strange hymns: why seeing lana del rey live is a spiritual experience

What does it mean to be a captivating performer in 2017?

Perhaps it has something to do with the stadiums that artists sell out, the pyrotechnics their show uses, or the complex dance routines they train tirelessly to perfect. Or, perhaps it’s something simpler than that. Perhaps, in the case of Lana Del Rey, it’s enough to have a voice that people are beguiled by.

Lana’s had a lengthy, complex relationship with performing live, one that started five years ago with a shaky and now infamous rendition of Blue Jeans on Saturday Night Live (trolls called it “the worst SNL performance ever”). Even now, those who don’t follow her career still define her stage presence by those four minutes of widely disseminated TV.

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tommy cash: the pioneer of post-soviet sound

An Adidas-clad Salvador Dali gallops through a MacDonald’s drive-thru on a shiny brown horse, clasping a Big Mac and the reigns of his generation. He transcends the boundaries of history, forging a new narrative for eastern Europeans through a bizarre blend of ‘the three stripes’ and a love for equestrianism. This is Tommy Cash, a city boy from Tallinn, Estonia, and the pioneer of post-soviet voices in the landscape of modern music.

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when two hip-hop obsessives come face-to-face with jurassic 5’s chali 2na

Chali 2na has been a mainstay of the alternative hip-hop scene for some 25 years. His work with Jurassic 5 speaks for itself, for many and the “verbal Herman Munster” has cultivated a much deserved, loyal following around the world. This is no accident: he has earned his place among the best-kept secrets in hip-hop with decades of hard work, indelible skill and his infectious “friendly neighbourhood baritone” vibe.

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all of the women in laura marling

When Laura Marling walked on stage in her white cotton dress, she looked exactly like the bride that should never be married to anyone, because no one else truly deserves her. I couldn’t ignore the matrimonial atmosphere of the stage filled with ferns and white flowers, plants twisted and tangled all around the instruments, her decorations transforming the venue into a charming and delicate space that almost made me forget about the giant trash disco ball hanging from the ceiling. It was the same Laura Marling, which is what we wanted, but with a new lease of love, devotion and celebration all directed towards her.

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how ‘original copy’ looks candidly into mumbai’s gentrification

There’s dust in the air and the sun radiates through floating orbs and onto the faces of sign painter Sheikh Rehman and his apprentice. They are in Alfred Talkies, one of the remaining analogue cinemas in Mumbai. The window, which the men are sitting by, looks palatial. A break from this fantastical moment comes when the youngest painter takes out his camera phone whilst his boss looks cinematic, smoking a cigarette. At this point Rehman could have expressed one of Original Copy’s many philosophies: “This is life’s movie” but instead poses until his cigarette burns to a stub, illuminated by views of changing skylines.
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arthur abel reviews ‘hounds of love’

hounds of love is a film. i am reviewing this film. i am reviewing the film hounds of love. it is the debut film from australian director ben young. i was asked to review this film because someone else didnt. the premise is that a seventeen-year-old girl gets abducted by two serial killers.

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dissecting the sick genius of flying lotus’ ‘kuso’

Man, this film is satisfying. It’s a visceral experience cobbled together from all the dark, sick shit you’ve ever seen. Remember goatse? Remember one man one jar? Remember lemonparty? Remember when you accidently saw someone’s head get cut off after clicking on that weird looking gif? Those images you saw that you can never get out of your head, the ones that made us lament on what a sad, lost, desensitised generation we’d become? We’ve seen a lot of the bad that comes out of the deep pits of the internet; the alt-right recently being a disturbing example of just what happens to men who have grown up contributing to and lurking on message boards (you know I mean 4chan) filled with racist, sexist and homophobic humour. It would be easy to demonise these forums, producing the meme-magic spouting supporters of Trump, the white men who could never get girlfriends and those whose teenage angst has turned into full-on bitterness in adulthood.

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how ‘i am not your negro’ crafts an evocative and empowering portrait of black america

There is no doubt in my mind that James Baldwin was one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, and I Am Not Your Negro serves as both a history lesson and an introduction to one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Raoul Peck uses an unfinished, 30 page draft of Baldwin’s to envisage the book that he never completed, translating it into film form. Using a mixture of archive footage of Baldwin and footage depicting the civil rights movement, Peck weaves together a history of blackness in America from writer’s often poetic point of view.

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this is why ‘free fire’ misses its mark

Have you ever been to see a film that everyone in the screening seemed to think was really funny and engaging, while you just sat there bemused and thinking: “this is a bit shite”? Well, that’s how I felt watching Ben Wheatley’s divisive sixth feature Free Fire.

As I looked around the audience in hysterics, I thought, “Is it just me? Am I just a stick in the mud?” I may have laughed once or twice, but it occurred to me that if you crack a hundred jokes, at least two of them are bound to be funny.

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how ‘the woman who left’ reshapes movie revenge

If you look at it solely from the perspective of the mention of the ‘revenge thriller’ in its synopsis, you’d think that this four-hour long, black-and-white Filipino film had very little going for it. In reality, it’s a shining example of how the idea of retribution on screen flourishes in the hands of female protagonists.

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