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Few media have the level of penetration that music does. From mobile ringtones to elevators, there’s a melody, it seems, everywhere. Whether it’s a soundtrack to a mainstream film, or the song identifying a popular TV show, music occupies every conceivable space we can find it. Certainly, music has become so ubiquitous, we find ourselves blocking it out more often than we tune in. Any wonder why there’s less money in it these days? (More…)

Some punk bands, like Wire or Fucked Up, get bored with the genre and experiment. Others, like the Cramps and the Ramones, double down and refuse to budge. Long-running Swedish hardcore band Wolfbrigade are firmly in the second category. Their new LP, Damned, is a perfect example. (More…)

“Fuck retirement,” John Mack says softly. At 77, he’s powered by a deep drive to achieve equality for blacks and other minorities. The inner hardness meshes with an outward tenderness. It’s an appealing mix that has charmed US presidents, British royalty and homeless mothers from South LA. (More…)

Last December, I “celebrated” my first anniversary of living on the street. Hence, it is perhaps a bit overdue for me to reflect on and share some thoughts about the experience. Since I first became homeless, I’ve lived out of my car, which is a blessing compared to the many people trying to get by in the growing number of tent communities in the U.S. or with no roof at all. (More…)

Perhaps it is not my place to comment on your über-feminist “Why Do They Hate US?” eureka moment, since it almost exclusively focuses on the Arab world. You have every right to roll your eyes and think: “there goes the Iranian again, crashing our party and sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.” (More…)

With just one statement, Mahmoud Abbas demonstrated how far removed he is from the realities on the ground that his meagre “authority” administrates. “You (Benjamin Netanyahu) must also choose between settlements and peace, for those who want peace do not think of settlements,” he said. (More…)

Cynicism is warranted. If Italy could serve as a staging base for NATO attacks against one of the largest investors in its economy, why wouldn’t Nicolas Sarkozy participate in the operation? Hence the note of sarcasm in this badly copied anti-Libyan War flyer, found on Via Madama Cristina, in Turin. (More…)

Two weeks ago, I went to an awards dinner together with several students. We work on an education project in an Arizona prison. The hotel dining room was filled with hundreds of people, nearly all of whom were religious volunteers engaged in prison ministries. (More…)

Conventional histories of deathrock dry up around 1986. There’s good reason for that. The orthodox approach to the subject is to describe it as a specific moment in Southern California punk. As a style of music, however, deathrock has persisted into the present, with interest and activity waxing and waning as the years have gone by. (More…)

It’s impossible to avoid politics in discussing This Is Not a Film. But this study of director Jafar Panahi, who was sentenced by the Iranian government both to prison and the purgatory of not being able to pursue his profession for two decades, is far more than your typical protest documentary. Indeed, the restrictions under which this project was conducted demonstrates what makes Iranian cinema so great. (More…)

By now, you may have heard about the “racist art cake” incident  at an event celebrating the 75th birthday of the Swedish Artists Organization at the Moderna Museet. During the event, Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was invited to cut the first piece of a cake designed by biracial African-Swedish artist Makode Aj Linde that was part of a five-cake installation. (More…)

It’s a refrain that has been heard for many years. It usually comes from supporters of draconian Israeli policies, a cynical question which lays blame for the occupation at the feet of Palestinians.The irony of the question lies in an ignorant view of who Nelson Mandela is, and how he became the face of post-apartheid South Africa. (More…)