Forget the unabating spike in Covid-19 infections, the pandemic’s crushing toll on Britain’s poor and middle classes, Boris Johnson’s continuing misrule coupled with a historically weak Labour Party, and, of course, all those pesky issues like climate change which existed before the pandemic but have since been relegated to the back burner.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer won’t be distracted by such petty matters when he has better ways to spend his limited supply of political capital—like suspending his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party, reigniting Labour infighting, and sending a clear message to the new constituencies that Corbyn’s tenure brought to the party: “Fuck off.” …


Every four years and to a lesser extent during the midterms, leftists like myself piss off liberals, including some quite progressive liberals, by saying things about Democratic candidates which they believe to be, to put it mildly, unhelpful. (By “leftists,” I mean socialists, anarchists, and those with vague tendencies in that direction.)

This liberal frustration is primarily rooted not in the content of what we are saying (though in many cases they may disagree), nor in the language we are using to express it, but rather in the particular time at which we are saying it: that sensitive five-month period during which the Democratic Party nominee has been anointed, and we are supposed to uniformly serve the singular goal of propelling that nominee to an electoral victory over their Republican opponent. …


I want to talk about an album that I see not only as the best album to date by bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, but as one of the best albums of the 2010s from any artist.

Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution (pronounced by Spalding as “D plus evolution”) is simultaneously a tour de force in groove-heavy, sophisticated yet broadly appealing songwriting, and also a concept album rich in theatricality and lyrical metaphors.

It appealed to Spalding’s jazz fans while continuing to grow her already diverse audience. It also has a deeply personal, at times even autobiographical perspective.

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Album art by Holly Andres and Lawrence Azerrad

Over the course of the twelve songs on the original release, Spalding tackles themes including confidence, personal growth, poverty and prosperity, blackness and womanhood in American society, love and relationships, education, and more. …


Lately, I’ve been returning to the Pink Floyd obsession of my early teens. Like many fans, I was enamored of The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, but felt clever for insisting their best album was actually Animals.

For the past couple months, my Pink Floyd phase has returned in full force, but I haven’t listened to any of the three above-mentioned albums much at all. Instead, I’ve been digging deep into their early work for the first time.

As a kid, I never really understood why so many fans focused on the band’s original frontman Syd Barrett. I thought, he was only with the band for one full studio album and part of another—how important can he really be?

About

Matthew Waterman

I’m a writer, musician, and theatre artist from the US, currently located in Norway.

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