sat 07/12/2019

2018

Capernaum review - sorrow, pity and shame in the Beirut slums

An angry little boy, in jail after stabbing someone, stands in a Beirut courtroom and tells the judge that he wants to sue his parents. Why? For giving birth to him when they’re too poor and feckless to care for him. And he wants them to stop having...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

It’s been a great year for music: trailblazing and unforgettable EPs from Stella Donnelly and boygenius; the triumphant returns of Robyn, and Janelle Monáe; flawless albums from Kurt Vile and Tunng; stunning re-imaginings from St Vincent and...

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Best of 2018: Books

Reasons to be cheerful? A fortissimo blast of anguish and foreboding currently sounds from both those end-of-year round-ups that look back over the past twelve months, and the doomy previews that dwell on the travails of our immediate future. So, in...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe had already established herself as pop’s next great innovator with The ArchAndroid and Electric Ladyland, two albums full of earworms, high production and retro-futuristic lyrics. This all-too-brief musical career seemed in jeopardy...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Joan Baez - Whistle Down the Wind

We end 2018 “down to the wire, runnin’ out of time”, as Joan Baez sings in Eliza Gilkyson’s “The Great Correction”, the penultimate song from Whistle Down the Wind, the album which – at 77 – she says will be her last, though perhaps there’ll be a...

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Best of 2018: Film

While the Academy Awards is still searching for a host, theartsdesk's relatively controversy-free 2018 means we're ready for our end of year tributes. Superhero saturation reached breaking point, with Warner's Aquaman, Fox's Deadpool 2 and Sony's...

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Albums of the Year 2018: William Parker - Voices Fall From The Sky

A 3CD set featuring 17 singers, 34 tracks and over three hours of uniquely rewarding music, my Album of the Year, Voices Fall From The Sky by the NYC-based musician, improviser, composer, educator and author William Parker, represented an...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Fiona Monbet - Contrebande

2018. Another year when strong presences who have shaped and defined the music for decades, and whom one had fondly imagined might be around for ever, are gone from our midst. Unique vocalists Aretha Franklin and Nancy Wilson have passed...

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Albums of the Year 2018: The Prodigy - No Tourists

2018 has been a quietly encouraging year for fans of music that doesn’t kowtow to mainstream norms. There were fine debut albums from feminist art punks Dream Wife and dancehall queen Miss Red, as well as King of Cowards, a cracking sophomore set...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Nightports w/Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne has been a significant experimental and collaborative presence on the scene since 2001, when he won the Perrier Jazz Award. This project with musician-producing duo Nightports (Adam Martin and Mark Slater) is the first of a series...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Black Merlin - Kosua

Kosua was released only last month, but its journey began two years ago when George Thompson, aka Black Merlin, released Hipnotik Tradisi, a beautiful and captivating document of his travels through Indonesia, seamlessly blending field recordings,...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Farai - Rebirth

It’s been an odd year for albums. The one I’ve listened to most is Stop Lying, a mini-album by Raf Rundel, an artist best known as one half of DJ-producer outfit 2 Bears. It’s a genially cynical album, laced with love, dipping into all manner of...

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