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P. J. Harvey Declines to Bring Sexy Back

The first-person characters in P. J. Harvey’s early songs never thought twice about oversharing. “I wanna bathe in milk, eat grapes,” she declared in the fuzzed-out opening of 1993’s “Reeling,” before howling: “Robert De Niro, sit on my face.”
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Nixon Returns—and Hits the High Notes

Picture this on an opera stage: President Richard Nixon lands in Beijing to deliver an aria about the mystery of the news industry beaming his story back to the West. Then he receives a philosophical lecture from his host about Confucius—after which Madame Mao enters and promptly freaks everyone out by putting on a violent agitprop play that insults Henry Kissinger. No grand breakthrough comes of the heavily symbolic meeting, and so the main characters all retreat to their bedrooms and wonder whether their efforts to make the world anew amount to anything but a poetic failure. Curtain.
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Superchunk's Super Indie Cred

Last month, Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" handed 21-year-old Merge Records its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. This was the cause of some high-fiving on the network of indie rock-centric blogs and Web sites, though it wasn't the first time this year that one of the label's releases made the top 10. The band's recent history.
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Q&A: National Jazz Museum Director on the Newly Discovered Trove of Jazz Greats

When the National Jazz Museum in Harlem announced last week that it had acquired approximately 100 hours of high-quality live radio broadcasts by giants from the swing era, something rare happened: a moment of complete accord. The museum’s executive director talks about the recordings and shares eight exclusive, never-before-heard clips from the collection.
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Q&A: National Jazz Museum Director on the Newly Discovered Trove of Jazz Greats

When the National Jazz Museum in Harlem announced last week that it had acquired approximately 100 hours of high-quality live radio broadcasts by giants from the swing era, something rare happened: a moment of complete accord. The museum’s executive director talks about the recordings and shares eight exclusive, never-before-heard clips from the collection.
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Can a Marching Band Pull Off Björk?

Last summer, the 12 members of Asphalt Orchestra—a marching band of highly skilled musicians from the jazz and classical worlds—started stomping and oompahing up a reputation not just for playing tunes by Frank Zappa and Charles Mingus in public, but also for daring to make their musical alchemy seem natural. Can a chamber-size marching band really pull off Björk?

Bun B's 'Trill O.G.' Inspires a Hip-Hop Debate

It's been five years since The Source, the magazine that proclaims itself the "bible of hip-hop," has awarded a perfect "5 mic" rating to an album. But when Trill O.G., the third solo album from stalwart Houston rapper Bun B, debuted this month and received the long-dormant designation, we got ourselves a good, old-fashioned hip-hop debate.

The Luke Wilson Movie About Online Porn Wants To Have It Three Ways

The new movie “Middle Men” is a based-on-real-life story of one businessman (played by Luke Wilson), who labors mightily in order to remain of several minds about the porn business for an impressive length of time. That is to say, he would like to be a key economic player at the beginning of its mid-’90s online distribution model (only a “middle man” on the credit-card side, thus the title), while remaining a blushing innocent when it comes to the nitty-gritty grind of smut’s production.

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