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Jason Gargano
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A Lull

Aug. 2 • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 31, 2012
When I told a friend via cell phone that a band called A Lull was about to take the stage at the recently completed Pitchfork Music Festival his response was, “A what?” Possibly uninspired moniker aside, Chicago’s A Lull went on to deliver a dynamic, percussively driven set that drew heavily from the band’s 2011 full-length, Confetti, and this year’s EP, Meat Mountain.

Lit: Alex Kava

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Alex Kava’s road to best-selling mystery novelist was an unconventional one. A native of tiny Silver Creek, Neb., Kava studied art and English in college before entering a successful career in marke  


July 29 • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Monday, July 23, 2012
Exitmusic’s recent Tiny Desk Concert for NPR, in which artists literally perform live amid desks in the media outlet’s office, was anything but tiny. The New York City-based quartet, led by husband-and-wife duo Devon Church and Aleska Palladino, played four songs from the band’s recently released full-length debut, Passage (on Secretly Canadian), all of which were delivered with a majestic sweep — both sonically and emotionally — that belied the modest surroundings that housed them.   


June 24 • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A recent study revealed that Brooklyn-based band Yeasayer was the most blogged-about artist of 2010. Now comes Yeasayer's Fragrant World, which Secretly Canadian will release Aug. 21. The first single, “Henrietta,” finds the band tweaking its approach yet again — the song opens as a frothy, tightly constructed dance track before, halfway through, morphing into a dreamily atmospheric mood piece that lifts the listener into the clouds.   

Pop Art

Despite success, Santigold remains a restless artist determined to keep pushing limits

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It’s been four years since Santi White (aka Santigold) dropped her stellar, genre-juggling debut. Some might think that is a long layoff between albums, especially in a fickle contemporary cultural landscape that moves quickly and without concern for those who don’t try to keep up.   

Chris Abani's Vehicle for Hope

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The theme of The Mercantile Library’s Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture series is “writing to change the world.” Few writers live up to that idea better than Chris Abani, who was imprisoned in his native Nigeria after the publication of his first novel, 1985’s Masters of the Board.

’Yards Sail

Merrill Garbus’ worldly musical curiosity and theatrical background inform tUnE-YaRdS

1 Comments · Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Started as a one-woman project in 2006 by New England native Merrill Garbus, tUnE-YaRdS is set apart via its meld of Appalachian Folk (ukulele being the most obvious signifier) and numerous African elements, none more visceral than Garbus’ versatile vocal delivery, which alternates between low-key crooning, honest-to-goodness yodeling and full-on wailing.  

2012 Summer Film Preview

Typical sequels dominate the summer slate, but smaller festival favorites offer hope

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The visions are as fresh as the day they entered my impressionable head. As a child weaned at the entertaining teat of 1980s blockbusters like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future, I have a soft spot in my movie-snob heart for a good summer popcorn movie.  

Marley (Review)

Reggae legend is straightforwardly rendered in this fascinating documentary

0 Comments · Thursday, May 3, 2012
Why does Bob Marley — the man and his music — still resonant more than 30 years after his death? That’s a question director Kevin MacDonald tries to unpack in this straightforwardly rendered, often fascinating documentary about the Reggae legend.   

Damsels in Distress (Review)

Whit Stillman’s much-anticipated film arrives with the writer/director’s singular voice intact

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Whit Stillman creates a place that seems hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world — cinematographer Doug Emmett notably bathes the proceedings in unnaturally bright light — a place that posits the major problem in contemporary social life as “the tendency to always seek someone cooler than yourself” without a whiff of irony.