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Future Of The Left

Future Of The Left, The Peace & Truce Of Future Of The Left

If Andrew “Falco” Falkous has mellowed at all over the years, it’s barely perceptible: As the guitarist and cantankerous barker behind both Mclusky and Future Of The Left, he’s been responsible for some of the most joyfully rude rock of the past 20 years. Still, FOTL’s fifth album, The Peace & Truce Of Future Of The Left, does sound slightly more grown-up than its predecessors, though no less angry and funny. “In A Former Life” hits those two markers perfectly, with its ornery bass and drums giving way to Falco’s increasingly incensed howl—and he’s calling out ridiculousness all the way: “In a former life, he was Ron Perlman’s gas tank!” Is that a Sons Of Anarchy nod? [Josh Modell]


Sling TV

At first, the infinite choice awarded by streaming services like Netflix and Hulu was a gift. Finally, I’d be able to watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted! But after a couple years of living in this utopia of infinite choice, I realized something: I missed just turning on the TV and seeing what was on. Living alone, sometimes you want the TV to be more of an ambient companion than a source of entertainment, and putting on an episode of The X-Files or whatever just isn’t the same. No, for TV that doesn’t demand more than half of your attention, you need cable. Or Sling TV, the cord-cutter’s alternative that streams an assortment of basic cable channels—AMC, A&E, TBS, TNT, Lifetime, IFC, El Rey [Note: El Rey, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.], the new Viceland—all of which air the kind of random movies and docutainment series perfect for having on in the background while you do the dishes. I never thought I’d be so happy to see Hoarders again. The biggest downside is that you can’t DVR shows, which kind of sucks, but is also kind of the point. [Katie Rife]


Beer brewer by day, one-man metal band by later in the day: Austin Lunn keeps busy. The Minneapolis-based musician, who records under the moniker Panopticon, has been churning out gorgeous, convention-defying black metal anthems since 2007, playing just about every instrument on each of his six full-length albums and the numerous splits he’s found time to contribute to in between. If you’re into the genre—or even just Deafheaven, an outfit similar in sensibility if not sound—there’s no wrong place to start with Panopticon. But Lunn has hit his stride these past few years, beginning with “blackgrass” milestone Kentucky—a concept record about the plight of coal miners, featuring covers of protest-folk standards and snippets of dialogue from the documentary Harlan County USA—and continuing through this past year’s best metal album full-stop, Autumn Eternal. The paradox of Lunn’s music is that it sounds too dazzlingly complex, too full, to be the work of just one person, while also achieving a singularity of voice perhaps only possible through the man’s go-it-alone process. This summer, Panopticon will make its live debut, as a murderers’ row of peers help Lunn perform his epic, tuneful maelstroms on stage for the first time ever at the Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington. Consider this an all-purpose recommendation: for the concert, for the albums, for increased awareness of the best thing going in American black metal today. [A.A. Dowd]


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