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by Bill Gibron

9 Dec 2009

Adventureland is a classic, a great film fashioned out of truths, consequences, and half-remembered conclusions. It’s a love letter to independence discovered and emotions stripped bare. It’s funny but not farcical, natural and organic without a hint of the whack job perversion that colored writer/director Greg Mottola’s previous film, Superbad. Indeed, audience failed to respond to the film when it was released in theaters because the geniuses behind the movie’s marketing kept repeating the Apatow angle over and over again. But unlike that updated teen sex romp, Adventureland is more like Mottola’s first film, the critically acclaimed effort from 1996, The Daytrippers. The humor here is not outrageous, peppered with every curse word and innuendo possible. Instead, this is the standard slice of life, carved with precision and purpose. The results surpass anything his previous canon could have suggested.

by Christel Loar

9 Dec 2009

On September 21, 1956, Elvis Presley made a triumphant return to his birthplace of Tupelo, Mississippi, following his recent, rapid rise from poverty and obscurity to prosperity and celebrity. At the beginning of this documentary, produced by Michael Rose and narrated by Kris Kristofferson, author Elaine Dundy asserts the importance of place in the formation of legendary personalities by stating, “You can hear the soil in Elvis as you can hear the cement in Frank Sinatra.” And, of course, it’s obvious from the details presented in Elvis: Return to Tupelo that the Presleys’ experiences in the rural, Depression-scarred community—just a couple hours south of Memphis, Tennessee, but it may as well have been a million miles from the big city life he would come to know—shaped the boy who would be the King more, perhaps, than anything else that happened later in his life. With this documentary, Michael Rose has done a magnificent job in providing a glimpse of Elvis’ childhood and shining a light on the city and situations that shaped a legend. Elvis: Return to Tupelo will make a cherished gift for anyone who has made the Graceland pilgrimage.

by Katharine Wray

9 Dec 2009

When you’re a kid, diners mean chocolate malts and french fries. When you’re in high school they mean cigarettes and coffee. When you’re in college – they’re a vital part of the hangover cure, a comforting place to nurse your headache. And through all this is the waitress keeping you, and everyone else in the place, in line. Photographer Candacy A. Taylor traversed the country documenting these women’s stories. With the changing history of America in the background, this is a great gift for the nostalgic type. Aspiring photographers would enjoy this book as a solid example of journalistic photography, and your favorite diner waitress would certainly appreciate this book as a holiday tip, if you were feeling so inclined.

by Tyler Gould

9 Dec 2009

Because not enough of the world’s music has Timbaland’s stamp on it, he teamed up with Rockstar Games to create a music mixer based on this Flash toy. The result is Beaterator, replete with beats, loops, and a veritable smorgasbord of sounds meticulously crafted by the hit machine himself.

Between this, the utilitarian KORG DS-10, and the inimitable Electroplankton, developers are carving out an interesting niche for music production on handheld video game consoles. Check out this video to see Timbaland in action, Beaterator in hand.

 

   

by Rob Horning

9 Dec 2009

The NYT had a mostly anecdotal piece this past weekend about how more people of the “iPod generation” are suddenly buying turntables and vinyl records. I don’t know if I am demographically part of this generation, but I can relate—I’ve been reacquiring albums I used to have in an effort to recapture the listening experiences of my youth, in which an entire side of a record would get digested in the full flush of analog warmth.

Interest from younger listeners is what convinced music industry executives that vinyl had staying power this time around. As more record labels added vinyl versions of new releases, the industry had to scramble to find places to press discs, said Mike Jbara, president and chief executive of the sales and distribution division of Warner Music Group.

“It is absolutely easy to say vinyl doesn’t make sense when you look at convenience, portability, all those things,” Mr. Jbara said. “But all the really great stuff in our lives comes from a root of passion or love.”

//Mixed media
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U2's 'The Joshua Tree' Tour Reminds the Audience of their Politics

// Notes from the Road

"The Joshua Tree tour highlights U2's classic album with an epic and unforgettable new experience.

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