Andrew Paschal: It’s easy to get completely lost in the interplay between Skyzoo and Joell Ortiz’s verses, and the elegant and alluring string sample weaved throughout the track. Hip-hop has never been an easy genre for me because I’m not really a “lyrics person”, in the sense that my brain often seems to encode lyrics only as sound rather than words the first couple times through. As frustrating as this is, “A Couple Dollars” is a wonderful listen even when treated only in this capacity. Each element here is impeccably chosen and seems to have an almost loving relationship with the larger production. The track oozes charisma and magnetism. There’s much to be gained from interrogating Skyzoo and Ortiz’s lyrics, but the fact that you can also just sit back and let the whole thing wash over you to excellent effect makes this track successful indeed. [8/10]
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These ten Blu-rays refurbish classic and sometimes less than classic films calculated to give you goosebumps. Intellectually speaking, some are closer to a speedbump. Which are which in this season of the witch?
Perhaps all these films take seriously Picasso’s observation that good taste is the enemy of creativity, but that doesn’t mean the absence of the former is sufficient to the latter. That’s why you have intrepid reviewers to sit through this stuff for you, Dear Reader, and separate the Tricks from the Treats.
New Zealand folk artist Jackie Bristow released her fourth album, Shot of Gold, back on October 7th and garnered praise from Stuff, who said “her tunes have a dark, classic quality to them, set off by haunting melodies and thoughtful acoustic guitar chording. The songs are so perfectly formed that their titles sing themselves.” Bristow seems primed for success on the now global Americana scene with beautifully composed music and straight from the heart lyrics that should thrill fans of Holly Williams, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. Having previously opened for the like of the Steve Miller Band, Bonnie Raitt, John Oates, John Waite, Marc Cohn and Rick Springfield, Bristow’s profile is sure to rise over the coming year as she tours extensively with Raitt. Here’s hoping we see her next September at AmericanaFest in Nashville as she’s sure to find scores of new fans there as well. Check out her amazing, atmospheric sound on this live take of album highlight “Whistle Blowin’”.
Last Friday, Grant-Lee Phillips released a digital-only deluxe edition of The Narrows, which we gave an eight and named a PopMatters Pick back in March when the record came out. The new edition includes four previously unreleased demos and to celebrate Phillips is releasing a new video for album highlight “Smoke and Sparks”, a track that we called the album’s bread and butter, an “introspective, memorable, slow-tempo ballad”. Indeed, it’s that and Phillips shows music shows a renewed confidence following his family’s move from the Los Angeles area to Nashville. “Smoke and Sparks” is a stunner, a truly gorgeous, spare song with a beautiful video that suits the music to a tee.
“Well, we should call the internet and find out as much as we can about these people.”
What a weird way to open an episode! Supernatural viewers were likely wondering just what the heck was going on in the first few minutes of this week’s episode, as it opened with the rather unlikely sight of Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and Lady Antonia Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore) in bed together. Just as we’re starting to wonder if Sam’s bad taste in women had struck again—in case we’d forgotten, Bevell did point out later on that one of his last serious girlfriends was Ruby the demon (Genevieve Cortese)—the show reveals this was all just a drug-induced hallucination (and an excuse to show a shirtless Sam). Bevell threatened to torture a lot of characters tonight, so it’s not surprising that fans of the show generally dislike her character. The events of the rest of the episode, however, certainly seem to hint that she won’t be much of a recurring character.
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