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by Michael Barrett

16 Mar 2017

Written, produced and directed by Ken Russell, The Boy Friend  isn’t merely one of his most exuberant films, which is already saying plenty, but it’s his happiest and most joyful.

Russell began with a solid structure provided by Sandy Wilson’s hit stage musical of the ‘50s, itself a self-conscious pastiche of ‘20s musicals. The original West End production became one of England’s longest-running shows, while the Broadway version introduced Julie Andrews to America. The year before this film was made, a Broadway revival starred Judy Carne and Sandy Duncan. It was part of a schizophrenic wave of ‘20s nostalgia that was hitting the culture with such items as the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie (with Andrews) and the 1971 Broadway revival of No No Nanette at the same time that taboo-breaking projects explored contemporary themes.

by PopMatters Staff

15 Mar 2017

Andrew Paschal: Lorde’s triumphant return is a subtle shapeshifter of a pop song. What starts off as a stern rebuke suddenly ascends into an irresistible piano line, like something snatched from a lost house or disco anthem. In this relatively spare context, it emits a quiet confidence, assembling its broken remains to stare you right in the eye. It strikes me as rare to hear the piano used so artfully and prominently in a pop song that isn’t a ballad. Lorde never dispatches entirely with her ambivalence, but even so “Green Light” sounds totally cathartic by the time it has swelled to its complete proportions. Some of the lyrics could have been honed a little more carefully: “She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar” is pretty inane, for instance. Is lying about the beach really the most damning piece of evidence Lorde could churn up about her ex? But such details matter little, because as a whole “Green Light” is the kind of song that will be remembered. [9/10]

by Sarah Zupko

15 Mar 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia indie folk duo Lowland Hum practice a sort of minimalism in their music. Focusing on soft and light tones, their songs possess an organic and fragile sensibility with spare instrumentation, right-on-the-money harmonies, and evocative lyrics. It’s a potent combination that has helped their fanbase grow quickly and passionately. On their latest video for the lovely “Folded Flowers”, the married Daniel and Lauren Goans, take a pastoral day in the woods where music fits the scenery as naturally as birdsong.

by Imran Khan

15 Mar 2017

A neatly constructed, though somewhat ineffectual, drama of conflicting love lives, Somewhere in the Middle (2015) marks the second outing of filmmaker and screenwriter Lanre Olabisi. Purely a product of New York filmmaking, Olabisi’s effort feels like a contentious New York minute stretched out and emotionally dissected systematically over its 90-minute running time.

Somewhere in the Middle is a romantic narrative told in ellipses. One storyline circles over another and is played back again to reveal how each character’s story is intertwined with another’s.

by PopMatters Staff

14 Mar 2017

Andrew Paschal: ANOHNI’s inimitable vocals are like a fixed quantity in her music, ensuring that most anything she sings retains an element of pained, graceful beauty no matter how harrowing or grisly the topic. “Paradise”, another collaboration with Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never following last year’s HOPELESSNESS, pushes this principle to its limit. The track is a tortured dirge barely disguised as bass-heavy synthpop, a veil disintegrating at the seams. ANOHNI sings as one caught between global concerns and her own personal, particular pain, lamenting the solipsistic confines of being but a single “point of consciousness”. Perhaps the paradise she evokes, a “world without end”, is one where the boundaries of the self are dissolved altogether, opening the way for empathy. And yet any clear vision of that utopia is clouded amid the wailing electronics, making it clear that we’ll have to contend with our own kaleidoscopes of pain for some time to come. [8/10]

//Mixed media

Tibet House's 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrated Philip Glass' 80th

// Notes from the Road

"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.

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