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Andrew Phillips
Andrew Phillips
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Critical Review: Chuck Klosterman On Chinese Democracy and the Difference between Review and Criticism

Perhaps the most anticipated album of our age, Guns ‘N Roses’ long-brewing Chinese Democracy broke its 15-year gestation period with a bit of a whimper. While the media’s incredulous exhortations of the album were unrelenting in the weeks before its release, sales and radio response have been somewhat less stunning. The critical reaction is similarly mixed: Paste called the record […]

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Björk Plays Dirty Projectors, Live: 10 Anecdotes You Won’t Read Anywhere Else

Everyone knew last Friday’s one-off collaboration between NYC art-rock outfit Dirty Projectors and Icelandic pop institution Björk would be epic. The real question was, HOW big would it be? Brokered by Stereogum’s Brandon Stosuy, the meeting of the (very weird) minds took place after Projectors’ Dave Longstreth composed a piece — an ode to whales and Mount Wittenberg — […]

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Plastic People of the Universe: The Dissident Soul of Czech Revolution, Reborn 

Your average critic becomes a little uneasy when asked to ventue into the realm of cultural historian, but The Plastic People of the Universe leave us little choice. Founded in the ’60s and playing increasingly underground well into the ’70s, this once illegal Czech act was more than a band; it was revolution incarnate. Not […]

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The Jewel Bright Hardness: Thoughts on Support and Understanding While in Recovery

The night is long, and you are all alone. Even snuggled in the softest cotton, a darkness consumes the stream of hospital lights peaking under the door, shadows snickering into the spiked malaise of the sick body below. Drug addicts call the moment of dispossessed terror a “K-Hole,” but I prefer the image of a […]

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My Rhymes Come Cold: Jurassic 5's Marc 7 on Drugs, Meditation and Mastery 

There’s a dull click, then a soft fuzz. My ear perks as the needle meets wax. Head bowed, unassuming, a man reaches forward. Boom! With a whip of his wrist he sends a sharp stab across the audience. With a smooth lift, the man ushers in a moment of silence. Ears ringing, the crowd stands quietly, anticipating […]

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Staying Classic in Trendy Times: Chris Bray of Billykirk on Life and Leather

Clothing trends come and go faster than a super-cute fashion-week freebie. But the prominent leather impresarios behind Billykirk simply aren’t interested. Partnering with the Pennsylvania Dutch, brothers Chris and Kirk Bray create a line of handmade leather products that are simultaneously cosmopolitan and relics of a classic age. Yes, they’ve got a store in Lower […]

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Konono No. 1 and America's Obsession with the African "Other"

If there’s a more surprising convergence of cultures, I’d like to see it. Indie elitists (and a fair number of electronic music aficionados as well) have seized Konono No.1, whisking the decades-old act from their home in Congo. Of course, I’m not as surprised as the group’s members must be. For years Konono No.1 have […]

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Daybreak in Silicon Alley

General Assembly’s Matthew O. Brimer talks tech and the collaborative future of education

General Assembly cofounder Matthew Brimer may call himself an “instigator of mischief,” but his hijinks are more computer club than class clown. Before he was a superintendent of an edu-tech empire (alongside cofounders Jake Schwartz, Adam Pritzker, and Brad Hargreaves), he was just a struggling student navigating the choppy waters of his first failure. No […]

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How to Hack Your Head (Under Supervision of Science)

Neuroleadership pioneer David Rock on mind-hacking, and the science of motivation

When it comes to Dr. David Rock, the word “scientist” isn’t entirely adequate. The better descriptor is “evangelist.” With a striking Australian accent and a carnival barker’s ability to work the room (albeit one more TED talk than boardwalk), he’s a natural acolyte for the ability of science to improve the way we work.   The […]

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Make them Grow: Vashti Bunyan on Freak Folk and a Life Away from Art

Vashti Bunyan would have made a frustrating friend. In the late ’60s she possessed an undeniable gift: an inner eye that pierced the very essence of her surroundings. Like a sage, her words were weighty and her melodies transcendent. But her temperament was far less sublime. A look at her career (or lack thereof) reveals […]

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