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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
The familial vocal harmonies and gentle string arrangements of Run Boy Run's Something to Someone make it a lovely autumnal bluegrass experience.

The Tuscon, Arizona collective called Run Boy Run is a real family affair. Comprised of brother sister Matt Rolland (fiddle, guitar) and Grace Rolland (cello, vocals), sisters Bekah Sandoval Rolland (fiddle, vocals) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, vocals), and Jesse Allen (bass), the band’s take on the classic bluegrass instrumental lineup is a delicate and tender thing. The group’s latest album, Something to Someone, is perfectly positioned for its end of October release, as the mood evoked by the music is spot-on for the autumn season.


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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
The latest video from the longstanding jam group moe., "Same Old Story", directed by Jay Blakesberg, is a sprightly run through a graveyard.

When a groovy jam of a tune motivates you, where would you go to let your energy loose? If your answer is “a graveyard”, well, that’d be an odd one. But, as it turns out, you wouldn’t be without company: case in point the Buffalo, NY rock outfit moe., who in its latest music video, “Same Old Story”, directed by Jay Blakesberg, does just that.


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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
We conclude our coverage of this year’s London Film Festival with Mike Leigh’s long-anticipated biopic of J.M.W. Turner: a languorous, immersive, richly detailed work that surpasses expectations.

The popular perception of Mike Leigh remains that of a supreme anatomist (or, for those less kindly disposed towards the filmmaker, broad-brush caricaturist) of contemporary British experiences: a sharp, sensitive observer of the myriad ways in which modern life can be rubbish (or great). Yet, weigh it up, and it quickly becomes apparent that it’s actually the director’s period work that’s proved most rewarding over the last 15 years.


The peerless Gilbert & Sullivan opus Topsy-Turvy (1999) (a film that never ceases to reveal new treasures no matter how many times it’s viewed), the ‘50s-set abortion-themed drama Vera Drake (2004) and Leigh’s last play at the National Theatre, the Rattigan-esque Grief (2011), have all been among the director’s finest-ever pieces. Moreover, each has far surpassed the two rather minor contemporary films that Leigh has turned out during the same period, >Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010), both of which found the film-maker falling back in a sometimes tiresome fashion on all-too-familiar situations, conflicts, character types and tropes.


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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
The 11th song on American Idiot, "Wake Me Up When September Ends" is arguably the most multifaceted and emotionally powerful composition on the album.

As I’ve already discussed thus far in this series, Green Day’s 2004 masterpiece American Idiot is incredibly multifaceted. Part punk rock concept album (in the vein of the Who’s Quadrophenia) and part social commentary on post-9/11 America, the album offers both an endearing yet tragic coming-of-age tale and a formal expression of the fear and sadness felt within the country at the turn of the century. While the full-length has already featured plenty of wonderful examples of these sentiments, its eleventh track, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, is easily the most poignant, striking, and universal one up until now. A heartbreaking eulogy to the losses of its central character, vocalist, and even the nation in which it takes place, the song is devastatingly somber, hypnotic, and beautiful. In fact, in terms of pure songwriting, it make be the best composition the trio has ever written.


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Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Blake Mills is touring in support of his new album Heigh Ho with instrumental group yMusic backing him. Friend Fiona Apple joined in in New York.

Singer-songwriter Blake Mills is touring in support of his new album Heigh Ho out on Verve. The album is a showcase for Mills powerful country and blues guitar work and features several renowned musicians including Jim Keltner on drums, Jon Brion on keys and Don Was on bass (amongst others) plus Fiona Apple lending her voice to a couple of tracks. Perhaps it was because Apple was likely to appear (as she had on many other dates) that Mills’ two shows in New York (one at Le Poisson Rouge the week before this one) were sold out, but it would be unfair to suggest that Mills alone doesn’t deserve the attention. According to the NY Times, Mills has received praise from many artists, “Eric Clapton recently called him ‘the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.’ The producer Don Was says he is ‘one of those rare musicians who come along once in a generation.‘“and he’s played with many of them too. It’s worth checking out his headlining tour when you can to witness his guitar virtuosity.


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