Before he became the superstar talk show host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah was working the comedy circuits in the US, building up his resume as one of comedy’s most incisive and curious contenders. Incisive because his brand of comedy explores racial topics from an insider’s deeply personal point of view, and curious because, as a South African who lived during apartheid—an experience of which much of his comedy is based on— he was unlike any other up-and-coming stand-up comic out there.
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The new (to me) Infinity Music Hall in Hartford played host to Brooklyn dhol and brass band Red Baraat on a post-show Saturday during March Madness. Those two factors likely had a measurable impact on the attendance, but those faithful fans who made it out were seriously into the music. Some were even families with kids—and all were dancing unabashedly to the bhangra fusion.
Jordan Blum: I’d be happy about this almost by default just because it marks the return of Gorillaz. There’s a nostalgic sense of joy that comes with seeing these mascots back in action. Luckily, the video and music is actually really solid. In fact, the opening gives the band more personality than I’ve ever seen before, and the colorful and crude haunted house vibe is a perfect continuation of their beloved vibe. As for the track itself, I didn’t expect the reggae forefront, but it fits well with the eerie backing track. After all, Gorillaz has always been about merging styles and never really sticking to any set sound, so this works. Of course, when Albarn adds his unmistakable essence, it’s classic Gorillaz. If the whole new record combines newness with trademarks this well, it’ll be great. [9/10]
Chris Ingalls: Rodney Crowell has been one of country music’s most revered, mature voices. While so much contemporary country consists of clowning around pickup trucks, Crowell has spent decades establishing himself as a superior songwriter, albeit one who gets more props from critics and his fellow songwriters. Backed primarily by sparse acoustic guitar, “Nashville 1972” is a lovely country/folk number that recalls Crowell’s salad days, full of lyrical detail and delicate fingerpicking. It’s a wonderful tribute to a bygone era that Crowell still remembers vividly. If the rest of Crowell’s upcoming album is this good, we could have a contender for album of the year. It’s that good. [9/10]
Dead Rising 4 is the Saltine cracker of the Dead Rising franchise. It’s just bland.
Yes, there are zombies, lots and lots of zombies. Yes, there are a ton of over the top weapons to cut up, electrocute, and burn huge swathes of the undead with. Yes, you can still wear silly outfits while doing such violence.