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Grimes: Visions

Claire Boucher, known as Grimes, first started making music through GarageBand sessions in her home in Montreal. Although the 23-year-old artist continues to make her music singlehandedly, her newest album, Visions, ventures out of her bedroom and soars as her most confident compilation yet. In her past two albums Halfaxa
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Ducky: The Whether

Ducky’s latest four-track EP The Whether, swirls ethereal synth vocals around popping electro-pop beats. The album’s cover art — depicting a computer-generated woman wrapped in fur and free-floating hair (a la “Zelda”) with a bionic arm and opaque, white demonic eyes — encapsulates the album’s juxtaposition of bubble-gum beats and
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Cursive: I am Gemini

Kudos to Cursive for misguidedly returning to that no-man’s land of the goth-drenched concept album. Their recent release, I Am Gemini — follow-up to 2009’s Mama, I’m Swollen — attempts to reanimate a corpse by cobbling fairytale influences, carnival oddities and the too-likely tale of estranged twins, Cassius and Pollock,
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Perfume Genius

Perfume Genius: Put Your Back N 2 It

Google has a knack for knowing a lot more about us than we want it to. When the site flagged an album teaser showing Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius,  embracing another man for “promoting mature themes” and not being “family safe,” it underlined many of the social taboos that the
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This week in arts

Film Readers know I have talked about “Melancholia” ad nauseum, but this Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco could be your last chance to see Lars von Trier’s spectacular film on the big screen. It’s kind of a trek, but witnessing “Melancholia” — which stars Kirsten
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Divine Palace: MC of Shabazz Palaces talks funk, spirituality

Ishmael Butler has been redefining what it means to be cool since his days under the pseudonym Butterfly of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop trio, Digable Planets. Now, reigning at the forefront of modern hip-hop as Palaceer Lazaro of Shabazz Palaces, his musical experiment acts to  liberate a genre confined by
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Air: Le Voyage Dans la Lune

A trip to the moon is nothing new for Air, the French electronica duo. For over a decade, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel have immersed their music in retro Moog synthesizers and galactic themes (prior singles include “Kelly Watch the Stars” and “Surfing on a Rocket”) like a pair of dreamy
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Of Montreal: Paralytic Stalks

Of Montreal’s latest record, Paralytic Stalks, makes for great spaceship music. The record has a sonic quality that brings to mind the Big Bang (yes, the beginning of the universe). Explosions of abstract, spacey sounds echo and blare throughout, from screechy vocals and guitars to noises wholly extraterrestrial and unidentifiable.
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Dr. Dog: Be the Void

Dr. Dog pulls it off again. Six albums deep, the band picks up where their 2010 release, Shame, Shame, left off and gives us Be the Void. With a tendency to experiment, or more so, let their style evolve with age, Dr. Dog departs further from their psychedelic harmonies and
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Lana Del Rey: Born to Die

Lana Del Rey wants you to own her, love her, objectify her, abuse her and worship her. Now, there’s enough here — in her image, her music and the backlash it’s all received — for a whole team of pop culture critics, feminists and intellectuals to fuss about, but, all
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