Posted inMusic

Congotronics International is a supergroup as big as the world

Congotronics International is rooted in Konono No. 1 and the Kasai Allstars, two bands from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that released music through legendary Belgian label Crammed Discs in the mid-2000s. Those groups’ hyperamplified, percussion-heavy sounds, which Crammed released in a series dubbed Congotronics (also the title of Konono No. 1’s 2004 album […]

Posted inMusic

Experimental musician Claire Rousay makes you listen to everything

Prolific experimental percussionist and electronic musician Claire Rousay has created a sprawling body of work that clunks and patters somewhere between noise and silence, music and abstraction. Her new release, Everything Perfect Is Already Here (out April 22 on Shelter Press), consists of two 15-minute ambient explorations that rustle and dissolve in gentle lyrical spasms. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Subverting the dominant paradigm, one stitch at a time

The Bayeux Tapestry dates back to the 11th century, so you can’t really say that high art appreciation of fiber work is new. There’s a big difference, though, between validating a giant record of European military conquest and the recent explosion of curatorial interest in quilting, knitting, embroidery, and clothing. Mrinalini Mukherjee’s monumental draped fabric […]

Posted inFilm

The Cursed

Ellis has made it very clear that the emotional core of the film is the suffering of marginalized, displaced, and slaughtered people. Why then are we spending the bulk of the run time supposedly rooting for those who benefit from that slaughter?

Posted inFilm

No superman is an island

Disney used to be best known for its children’s animation. But over the last decade the House of Mouse has become the House of Hulk. Princesses and neotenous animal companions haven’t vanished. In terms of market share and screen dominance, they’ve been shouldered aside by the thundering pectorals and power beams of the Marvel Cinematic […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago electronic group Courtesy go pop but stay weird

Chicago group Courtesy have always staggered and glitched across the line between experimental and pop electronics. Their first album, 2011’s Idmatic (Tape Deco), recorded by members Drew Ryan and Kirk Rawlings in Memphis and Chicago, is filled with ambient drone and feedback noise but also illustrates their pop sensibilities; on “Sisters,” for instance, percussive clang […]