f(ξ)

His role in what we shall call the Symphony was minimal. Minimal because this was a long symphony, long enough that one might’ve wondered if it were everlasting. Minimal enough that both the instrument he played and the measure at which he joined the composition are irrelevant. What instead merits exposition is how he came to understand his part.

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Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Camera: The Goldlink Vignettes and A Conversation with Sam Cutler-Kreutz

I first heard Goldlink way in the backseat of Baltimore producer Tek-Lun’s 2014 release, Ridin’ Round. One of only two passengers, his verse on the penultimate track, “Hip Hop,” is the climactic moment of the ride. Goldlink is still on the road. This past November saw the release of his sophomore album, entitled And After That We Didn’t Talk.

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The Breakdown: Malibu, by Anderson .Paak

 

Micah: I’ve been very excited about the release of this album for a while now. Like a lot of people, I discovered .Paak when he was featured all over Dr. Dre’s Compton. I fell in love with hiscollaboration with Knxwledge on “Suede”. He reminds me of a raspier, more prolific Frank Ocean-Andre 3000 hybrid who croons more than he raps. Malibu is warm, blissful, groove-dominated and smooth as hell. It’s enthralling the entire way with no filler and no sound out of place. I will be very surprised if this album does not make the top 10 for this year.

In Rotation: The Bird, Heart Don’t Stand a Chance, The Waters, The Season/Carry Me, Put Me Thru, Am I Wrong, Parking Lot, Room in Here, Come Down, The Dreamer

Henry: I picked up Cover Art a few years back off of Hellfyre Club’s bandcamp, and it’s been a pleasure watching Anderson .Paak come up since then. Pretty much everything the dude touches is fire. What strikes me most about Malibu is its timelessness. .Paak’s voice weaves through a spectrum of genres and periods to capture an aesthetic that is unmistakably Californian in its sunny optimism. Even in the dark places it manages to be bright, hot, gleaming like candy paint on a vintage low rider that has been kept alive since the mid-sixties with equal parts love and elbow grease. There’s something for everybody in Malibu.

In Rotation: The whole album. I think this project flows very well from start to finish, and should be listened to that way. I’ve pretty much had it on repeat since it dropped.

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Saint Thomas

The truck was flipped upside down and the rain was pooling beside the windows. One of the headlights was out and the other was sort of blinking on and off. I remember thinking, it’s okay if I die. I won’t regret anything. Only, I could’ve done some things sooner, some other things later and some not at all, but everyone has that problem so I can die watching one light blink on and off, that would be just fine.

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Keepsake. Doors. Dudes & Guitars. A conversation with Shohei Kobayashi

There is a strange door in the soul which only opens in the presence of one voice and one guitar. It can be another instrument, but it’s usually a guitar. Usually acoustic. The door is old. Many have sat outside it, idly strumming, hoping one day it might open for them, too.

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Micah’s Picks: Top Ten of Twenty Fifteen

Let me begin by saying that every list is wrong. Their creation involves the comparison of too many subjective intangibles for them to be considered in any way definitive. Still, everybody does a top ten. Here is our version, in which Micah picks some of his favorites from 2015, and we discuss.

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American Exceptionalism is Boring: 2015 in film.

At the end of The Martian, Matt Damon’s stranded astronaut turned dapper professor gives an inspiringly light hearted speech to a group of young astronauts who are about to begin their training for the next manned mission to mars. He says something like this:

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