In ten clever and engaging short stories, Canadian author Zsuzsi Gartner explores trials of modern life imbued with the fantastical. Shortlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives consists largely of characters that come from places of relative privilege. Gartner often skewers the ridiculousness of that privilege, but always manages to take her characters and their dissatisfactions seriously.  In “Investment Results May ... Read More
If any of you My Morning Jacket fans were expecting more of the same from your favorite frontman’s new record, there’s one hell of a surprise in store for you. Jim James’ first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, is a heady, exploratory deluge that envelops the listener in an eclectic embrace. Over the course of the album, James incorporates everything from the romantic sway of a string quartet (“Actress”), to ... Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A ... Read More

Movie Review: Lore

BY BUST Magazine in Movies

  The titular character in this haunting film by Somersault director Cate Shortland is the 14-year-old daughter of a high-ranking Nazi official. When Allied forces inter her parents in their sweep through Germany as World War II comes to a close, Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is left to care for her four much-younger siblings, including a baby. So she leads them on a trek through her devastated country to find safety at their grandmother’s house. While Nazi ... Read More
   Since its beginnings in 2002, Los Angeles band the Bronx has incorporated a sunny element within its version of hardcore. Maybe it’s a California thing, but it’s hard to describe their explosive, melodic, pump-your-fist music, other than to call it pizza-party punk. Their latest effort The Bronx (IV) is lacking any form of anger, which feels weird for a band of their ilk. Still, songs like “Along for the Ride” and “Ribcage” are loud, ... Read More
A simple floral print nail art design, perfect for spring! This eye-catching design will surely bring a vintage look to any outfit. Step 1: Start by painting your nails with a nude beige nail polish. Step 2: Using a small nail art brush, create a few circles on each nail. The circles don’t need to be perfect. Step 3: Using a thinner brush and a dark red nail polish, carefully outline each rose, then do several smaller C-shapes within the circle to suggest ... Read More
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down may have made quirky, crowd-pleasing numbers their calling card with songs like “Bag of Hammers” and “Travel,” but in new album We the Common (out this week on Ribbon Music), minor chords and their subsequent sentiments ring truer here than a sing-along chorus ever could. Thao and the gang have changed a lot since 2009's Know Better Learn Faster, and We the Common introduces a flamboyant horn ... Read More
  Ever since her adolescence, Rosie Schaap, who writes the “Drink” column for The New York Times, has felt an attraction to bars. As a teenager, her obsession begins when she starts giving tarot card readings in exchange for beer in the bar car of the Metro North commuter train. When she attends college in a small town where the local bar is the only means of entertainment, drinking in bars becomes Schaap’s devoted hobby. She even abandons ... Read More
Almost 15 years after his award-winning breakthrough film, La Ciudad, writer/director David Riker once again examines the lives of undocumented immigrants, this time from an unusual point of view: that of a poor, white, single mother. Ashley (Abbie Cornish) is desperate to win back custody of her young son, who is in foster care. After losing her job at an Austin supermarket, she joins her truck-driving father (Will Patton) for a brief road trip and discovers why ... Read More
  Almanac, the second full-length from Brooklyn band Widowspeak, opens with cascading guitar lines you could listen to on loop all night long. Molly Hamilton’s waifish vocals float down between the heavy drums, getting listeners primed for more, more, more. Still drawing a striking resemblance to beloved ’90s legends Mazzy Star, Widowspeak seems to be venturing out from under that shadow. The guitars, courtesy of Robert Earl Thomas, are more ... Read More
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