Early into last night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, something crossed my mind that I almost dare not speak aloud. During the mini challenge, as the queens were throwing shade at one another and nearly all of them were terrible at it, this thought started forming. Today I will get out my library card (because reading is fundamental), and throw some of my own shade: maybe none of these queens are actually worthy of the title of America’s Next ... Read More
I’ve long suspected that Jamie Stewart, the brains and bleeding heart of Xiu Xiu, could be the third member of Mates of State, exiled from their land of hetero jangle-pop to a rehab center for self-harm. In a similar vein as 2010’s Dear God, I Hate Myself, the band’s new album Always (out now on Polyvinyl) finds Xiu Xiu still wandering the freeways, subsisting on fistfuls of wild kumquats and prescription painkillers. Stewart’s voice ... Read More
Reality shows, like war, can turn heroes into villains and villains into heroes. One day you’re a model soldier being considered for general, the next you’re going rogue and hiding out in the jungle. One day everybody hates you for being a loud alcoholic, then you get punched in the face and you're queen of the shore house. This week on RuPaul's Drag Race, Willam, heretofore the great villain of Season Four, dropped so many one-liners and rocked the ... Read More
Splendor Squalor (out now on Kanine), the second full-length from Brooklyn-based Xray Eyeballs, finds the quartet in a much poppier place than they were on their first effort, Not Nothing. The raw, energetic sound backing O.J. San Felipe’s husky vocals is still present, along with the perfect blend of nostalgia for sounds of the past with a vision decidedly focused on the future. But if Not Nothing felt like a Velvet Undergound–hosted night of garage ... Read More
After an especially traumatic breakup, Islands frontman Nick Thorburn moved from New York to Los Angeles, looking to find solace in a new environment. On Valentine’s Day of last year, Thorburn sat down at a piano and began to play what would become A Sleep & A Forgetting (out now on Anti-), an album in which Thorburn exorcises the demons of his heartbreak, showing both despair and forward-looking optimism. Recorded in just two weeks, the album is less ... Read More
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