‘Hacia el Sol’ Has Sold Me On Allison Strong

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A little explanation regarding this review- I had initially meant to cover Allison Strong’s new single “One and Only,” but after an amazing conversation with the artist herself, and a few dozen plays of her single, I just needed to hear more of her beautiful, captivating music. Her truthful, relatable lyrics shine with Broadway strength vocals as she is accompanied by a symphonic variety of instruments and styles. Varying between …continue…

‘The Great Unknown’: What to Expect Next from Jukebox the Ghost

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Self-described piano pop group Jukebox the Ghost recently released a new single, “The Great Unknown,” in preparation for the release of their fourth full-length album this summer.  The album name has not yet been announced, but it’s sure to hold all the magic that has catapulted JTB to fame since the release of their debut album “Let Live and Let Ghosts” in 2008. “The Great Unknown” has a cohesive theme …continue…

Sarah McGowan, The Dirty Gems Unveil Fun, Passionate Singles

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Sarah McGowan’s “Williamsburg Boy” In her lament about a star-crossed crush on a hip “Williamsburg Boy,” Sarah McGowan shines in this new folk-pop single. With some humorous irony on the cheesiness of love songs- stopping, for example, midway to speak “I would literally fucking die [if he changed his hair]”- this upcoming singer proves that she not only has the talent to write relatable, lovable songs like Taylor Swift or …continue…

A ‘Rey’ of Black Sunshine- Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence sends us on a dark journey

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Lana Del Rey stares moodily out of the cover of her latest album, Ultraviolence, similar to The Ramones’ classic Rocket to Russia album art. The cover and the album as a whole represent a throwback to vintage rock n’ roll; Del Rey traditionally romanticizes and mystifies old styles but the new, more vibrant direction was probably created by album producer and contributor Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The two make an impeccable pair, mixing Del Rey’s sugary party-girl persona with Auerbach’s alternative, edgy musical background, but Del Rey’s usual talent is by no means obscured by his presence. She’s a little more distant, a little less enthusiastic, and a little more disillusioned with the world than on previous albums, creating an experience that isn’t just sad, but beautifully poignant.

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Tom Hansen’s New Art Form: The Book Concert

Tom Hansen, Remembering Our Oneness

Dr. Tom Hansen, retired academic and activist, will appear at Charlottesville’s Quest Bookshop on July 11th at 7PM to perform nine unique songs and spread his philosophy that human beings are “not just physical beings having an occasional spiritual experience.” Hansen’s rich voice, intricate melodies, and softly strummed guitar create a warmth in his music; believers in his spiritual ideas will no doubt take additional feelings of comfort from the lyrics Hansen presents with serene confidence. Each song is comprised of quotes from Hansen’s latest nonfiction work, Remembering Our Oneness, a continuation of his 1995 book Trying to Remember. “I contend that consciousness is the cause of the physical,” he says about his work, comparing it to the ideas of certain masters of quantum physics who use this spiritual idea to justify the existence of the universe.

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How the Seeds of Our Freedom of Speech Were Sown in the Hard Ground of the First World War

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Frohwerk was convicted and sentenced to ten years of hard labor for his news articles and opinions. He was one of about 2,000 seditionists rounded up and eventually imprisoned by zealous federal prosecutors in the years of the Great War. His was one of four separate appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1918, including that of Eugene V. Debs, famous labor leader, socialist and four time presidential candidate. All their various prison terms were affirmed by the Court, despite serious arguments that the freedom of speech protected their opinions on the War, the draft and other topics, as long as they had not directly incited imminent lawless action to disrupt the War effort.

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Manakamana: A Film Unseen

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The year 2014 brings yet another twelve months of hyperbolic, and over stimulated cinematic spectacle. Following a year of Superhero re-hashes (Man of Steel), comic book adaptations (Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine), darker themed sequels (Thor: The Dark World, Star Trek: Into Darkness) and over indulgent science fiction (After Earth, Pacific Rim), it seems Hollywood has lined up another round of expensive eye-candy. I recently had the pleasure of watching The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug at the cinema, although I firmly place this film in the same category of over produced films listed above, its fantastical charm was difficult to ignore.

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Live From KCRW

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Not long after the release of the hauntingly ethereal album, Push the Sky Away, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds recently took us by surprise with the release of Live from KCRW – recorded in April, 2013, before a small studio audience at KCRW’s studios in Santa Monica. The album departs from the heavy guitar sounds and hammering pace of earlier works like Murder Ballads, stripping down atmospheric sound in some of the band’s lesser known songs and seducing us with its soulfulness, emotion and haunting melodies, purveyed through the pure sound of instruments such as the piano, violin, vibraphone and organ.

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Frozen: The Snow Queen Touched by the Hand of a Disney Princess

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In Disney’s Frozen, the audience is introduced to a world that wields both the darkness of Hans Christian Andersen and the almost ‘unbearable lightness’ of the Disney Princess world, where characters spontaneously burst into song, though thankfully, they possess voices such as that of the inimitable Idina Menzel, the voice of the Snow Queen. The film is at once a feminist manifesto (i.e. sisterly love comes before romantic love) and a deeply romantic story, espousing the value of slow-growing sentiment based on truly knowing, understanding and complementing one’s other half, rather than on the typical Disney princess ‘love at first sight’ scenario. READ MORE.