Born in Nigeria and raised in England, Noo Saro-Wiwa avoided visiting her native country after her father, a prominent political activist, was killed there for speaking out against government corruption. Years later, Saro-Wiwa, a travel writer, decided to return to Nigeria and explore her love-hate relationship with her homeland. Her journey both reinforces and calls into question her ethnic identity: a visit to her home village means that she is in the one place in the world where people can pronounce her name correctly; yet her grasp on the local dialect is shaky at best. Read More
Lightning strikes a fourth time with Matt and Kim’s newest album. If the Brooklyn duo seems familiar, perhaps it’s because you saw their bare-naked asses in the now-classic “Lessons Learned” video. Behind the keyboard, Matt Johnson’s deviant, almost Dookie-esque vocals combined with Kim Schifino’s gung-ho drumming make for an upbeat, heart attack-paced record with just a hint of disco. As the first of several party anthems on this track, “Let’s Go” is also the best, and perhaps the exact song you’d want playing while giving birth. Read More
  While the abortion debate continues to rage in the US, across the pond, in Ireland, news of a woman’s death, caused by the denial of an abortion, is stirring up the debate once more in a country where abortion remains inaccessible to women. Savita Halappanavar, 31, died on October 28 in University Hospital, Galway after being hospitalized for a week due to severe pains at 17 weeks of pregnancy. She was found to be miscarrying, but because a fetal heartbeat was detected, doctors refused to terminate the pregnancy. Read More
Ever fancy yourself doing the hula on the sands of Hawaii? Singer-songwriter Victoria Bergsman’s musical outfit Taken by Trees can transport you there, metaphorically speaking, with her third album Other Worlds. During a visit to the idyllic paradise, Bergsman found herself amidst a creative swell, so much so that she fashioned the LP as an impressionist poem that sings the tropical locale’s praises. On “Only You,” Bergsman lulls, “All I ever wanted is in front of me. Read More
The reference to “six granddaughters” in the title of this dark, complex novel is deceiving: two are dead. One dies as an infant and pulls a shroud of everlasting grief over the family, and the other narrates the entire novel from beyond the grave while she floats in an afterlife. At the heart of the novel is Cecilia, a beautiful poet who is perceived as being the most talented and attractive among the granddaughters. Nonetheless, she is plagued by many demons, not the least of which is abuse at the hands of a mysterious man. Read More
With our days numbered and the end of the world imminent, Brooklyn-based Prince Rama’s sixth release couldn’t have come at a better time. For Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, the ex-Hare Krishna siblings have compiled a cover album of 10 fabricated popular bands that died during the apocalypse. While the sisters summon up the spirits of each chart-topping group, every song is still replete with their signature synths, psych-pop, tribal drumming, and haunting harmonies. Read More
This is the story of a Palestinian family in Gaza coping with the hell of living in a warzone. The book is informative, exciting, and thorough—all you have to do is get through the first 60 cumbersome pages, and then the story flies along until the end. Dabbagh’s main characters are 27-year-old Iman and her twin brother Rashid, and their story opens with a bombing raid. While Rashid is hanging out on his roof, stoned out of his mind and welcoming death, Iman is camped out in a basement with an activist group called the Women’s Committee, trying to find a solution to the war. Read More
In Marbles, cartoonist Ellen Forney’s life-altering journey though mental illness is graphically exposed in more ways than one. The Forney we see at the start of the story is experiencing her most sexual, creative, and manic period, which is followed by a big crash that leads to her bipolar diagnosis at 30. Here, her story evolves into the struggle not only to come to terms with medicating herself, but also to find the right formula of medications that will get her back to her life. This excruciating and lonely process takes four years, even with the help of her omnipresent shrink. Read More
Oh Blues Explosion, where have you been? Who’s been playing that dripping-wet, gut-punching, sleaze-blues noise that you so reliably delivered? After the comparatively cleaner albums Plastic Fang and Damage, and a long hiatus, I thought JSBX were happily semi-retired. But lo! Not only are they back with a new record, but it’s also their dirtiest bit of business since 1998’s Acme. Read More
  We're pretty excited about the Tinderbox Music Festival happening this weekend (and featuring CocoRosie, the super-talented gals pictured above). So excited, in fact, that we're giving away a pair of tickets to this awesome concert to one lucky BUST reader and a friend. To enter, please send your name and address to giveaway@bust.com with the subject line "Tinderbox."  The winner will be chosen on Friday, November 9th at 12 PM EST. Even if you don't win, be sure to check out Tinderbox on Sunday, November 11th at Webster Hall in New York! It's gonna be sweeeet. Read More