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Josh Hurst

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Everything posted by Josh Hurst

  1. Here's a question that stems from a conversation I just had with a friend. Is artistic merit ever absolute, or is it strictly a matter of opinion? In other words, does one ever come across a work and have the right to say, "EVERYONE should appreciate this"? Or is there always room for someone to argue against even the finest piece of music, film, etc.? Not sure if I'm making any sense here; let me know if I need to try rephrasing this.
  2. Good poetry?

    I must confess that, outside of song lyrics, I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to good poetry. Does anyone have any favorite poets or books of poetry that they can recommend? Or any acclaimed poets that you don't see what all the fuss is about? Specific poems that are meaningful to you?
  3. Recently I've been thinking a little bit about art within art, so to speak-- specifically, movies that explore issues pertaining to the power, the importance, and the nature of art and art-making. So, in this thread, list movies that, in some way, explore these ideas. It doesn't have to be the main focus of the film, just so long as it's in there somewhere. A few off the top of my head: Amadeus Three Colors: Blue The Story of the Weeping Camel Babette's Feast Almost Famous The Pianist
  4. Prince - Plectrum Electrum

    Following his (hysterical and brilliant) turn on 'The New Girl,' Prince has released a new single with Zooey Deschanel on vocals-- supposedly from his upcoming album, Plectrum Eelctrum. You can hear the whole thing here. There's another new single, "Pretzelbodylogic," on Spotify; both songs are quite good, I think, not as visionary or as freaky as his best work but at least as good as anything he's made this century. They give me heart that he's making something of a return to form.
  5. Out March 23-- and boasting an immediately iconic album cover.
  6. Parks and Recreation

    I can't believe we don't have a thread for this. I know there are only two episodes left in the season-- both of them airing next Thursday night, I believe-- but surely there are other fans of the show here, and a rolling thread to discuss new episodes would be put to good use. I will go ahead and say this much: For as long as Mad Men is out of the picture, anyway... this is by far my favorite show on TV.
  7. Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams

    Coldplay is already plotting their next-- and apparently final-- album.
  8. Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi

    Something else to look forward to; this one's due some time in March, I'm told.
  9. Anais Mitchell - Hadestown

    My goodness. The new album from folk singer and songwriter Anais Mitchell is a full-on "folk opera," based on the myth of Orpheus but set during the Great Depression and set to music that incorporates country, blues, even ragtime. The cast of players includes Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, Ani DiFranco, and Greg Brown. You can read about the album-- and listen to a couple of tracks-- at NPR. And, here's Thom Jurek's review.
  10. Richard Thompson - new album in June

    ... produced by Jeff Tweedy.
  11. Making up for lost time.
  12. Bill Frisell - Guitar in the Space Age!

    Another one that sounds like a must-hear:
  13. Bettye LaVette - Worthy

    Out in January; co-produced by Joe Henry, and featuring many of his usual players; promised to be deliriously funky; and featuring songs penned by JH, Bob Dylan, Mary Gauthier, and Over the Rhine!
  14. ... to be produced by Joe Henry.
  15. Out May 12-- and based on the first single, it sounds like a big change-up.
  16. Blur - The Magic Whip

    It's happening!
  17. This full-length reimagining of the classic Johnny Cash album was produced by Joe Henry, and features Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Milk Carton Kids, and more. The house band includes-- well, you know: The usual Joe Henry crew, which is a very good thing. Full details here. Out August 19.
  18. Marcus Miller - Afrodeezia [2015]

    Holy cow: I knew this was coming out but didn't think much about it until I read Thom Jurek's rave review; now I'm listening on Spotify for the second time today and am totally swept up in this record's big melodies and massive grooves. On his Blue Note debut, the bassist assembles a dream team that includes Robert Glasper (a good indicator of how hip and wide-ranging this material is), Chuck D, and a bunch of jazz cats as well as West African musicians; the songs-- most of them original-- are all rooted in jazz but incorporate a lot of African beats, gospel music, and even bits of rock, blues, and hip-hop. It is ridiculously funky and joyful from start to finish.
  19. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

    What's funny is that, once upon a time, wasn't that word one of the taboos that led to the development of the Parental Advisory sticker, e.g. in "Darling Nikki?"
  20. Finally: The memoir we've all been waiting for.
  21. Dwight Yoakam - Second Hand Heart [2015]

    The new album-- out April 14-- is described as a cross between Bill Monroe and The Ramones.
  22. Blur - The Magic Whip

  23. Well, yes... I suppose you could interest me in this.
  24. Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter

    Whew, what a great surprise! This is a wonderfully lively, raucous album that blurs the lines between rock, country, and low-key folk. It's full of great performances and memorable hooks. There have been a lot of great new records already this year, including many from great female singer/songwriters, but this one stands tall among the best of them.