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Spend too much time on social media in 2016, and the surfeit of self-affirmation can be suffocating. The professionalization of digital space means incessant self-promotion in a game where ego is your greatest asset; and the lives cropped and filtered until they depict only our idealized parts are so commonplace as to be unremarkable. We are exhorted to excel, to thrive, to be our best possible selves at every turn. Merely existing has never...
The release of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia, 15 years ago, was overshadowed by drama. It was recorded in 1999 by a band that barely resembled the one that released Faithless Street three years earlier. Due to record label disputes it sat on the shelf for two years, during which the band split up and members Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary both released solo albums, and was seemingly only released because fans had taken matters into their...
I was 15 years old when braless, emphatic Paula Cole performed on Saturday Night Live in 1998 with her nipples blazing and pit hair in full effect. SNL was a show I always and only watched with my father, who had custody of my brother and I on the weekends and who had let me stay up late for episodes since I was a child. He was the type of man who regularly commented...
Post-Haste is a new column that lets us deal with album reviews in our own damn time. The unexpected drop may be great for sales--or clicks--but it's terrible for criticism. It's terrible because music, especially pop music, is meant to grow and breathe and live inside your life with you. That's when you arrive at the kind of writing like Lester Bangs' ecstatically anguished screed on Astral Weeks (recently cited by Amanda Petrusich...

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