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by Cynthia Fuchs

23 Feb 2012


“If I’m not racing, I’m not happy,” says Brandon Warren, “That’s all I really care about.” Currently a world-class kart driver, Brandon hopes to break into NASCAR when he’s old enough. His grandparents, Katy and Phil, share his enthusiasm, and as they travel to races during the World Karting Season, they spend their time with other, equally dedicated families. Brandon is one of three kids profiled in Racing Dreams, directed by Marshall Curry (whose If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front is a 2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary). Astute and engaging, Racing Dreams shapes the families’ experiences into an increasingly complicated story, about how kids grow up and how adults affect them.

by Steve Jansen

22 Feb 2012


I must be getting older, seriously. It’s taking me way longer to get a buzz on these days: “Done that gig, heard those riffs. Yawn.” Then, quite out of the blue, I got hit by a tune this morning that’s had me riding the replay button ever since.

It’s a track called “Cherry Ripe”.

Can’t say I know a great deal about the duo responsible: except they’re called Elijah and Ava Wolf. Equally, I can’t tell you much more than: this is a demo, apparently. So it’s not even got a video clip to hypnotize. 

All I know is: someone, somewhere, slipped Elijah Wolf’s “Cherry Ripe” to someone else. Then they liked it enough to stick it on in the background of some TV show – which went out and I caught last night. After which, the damn track’s been caught in my head ever since. One Google later: and the full harmonies have been stuck in my brain ever since.

by Comfort Clinton

22 Feb 2012


18 IUS SOLI is an upcoming documentary, originated and executed in Italy, which addresses the issue faced by children of immigrants within the country. Italian law governs citizenship by the social policy of “jus sanguinis”, meaning that one’s place of birth does not determine one’s citizenship, but rather this is determined by one’s lineage. So, if a person cannot prove they are the direct descendent (child or grandchild) of an Italian citizen, they are not granted citizenship even if records show they were born on Italian soil, and have lived there all of their life. This means that, if you are the child of immigrants, after you turn 18 you are not recognized as a citizen, and must complete a complicated application for simply the chance to call yourself a citizen of the country in which you grew up, with no guarantee of success.

by Josh Antonuccio

22 Feb 2012


The long-awaited Big Star documentary is set to have its debut next month at South by Southwest in Austin. According to the director, Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story is a feature-length documentary “of artistic and musical salvation”, chronicling the development, decline, and triumphant legacy of Memphis’ beloved underground heroes. 

Headed by ex-Box Tops singer Alex Chilton through the early ‘70s, Big Star released three critically embraced albums in its short lifetime, but never was able to achieve broader success. However, like the Velvet Underground before them, it would be a small, but committed core of followers who would propel this Memphis band to cult status for years to come.  A wide swath of artists including R.E.M., Cheap Trick, the dB’s, the Replacements, Jeff Buckley, the Flaming Lips, and Elliott Smith have all acknowledged the influence of Big Star and the importance of their music.

by Jonathan Kosakow

22 Feb 2012


Within minutes of announcing their 12-date tour of the (mostly western) United States, Explosions in the Sky had to make it a 13-date tour. Their San Francisco date sold out almost instantly, making it more than necessary to play an extra night at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater.

Whether it’s the success of their most recent album, 2011’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care or their apparently earth shattering live show, Explosions may have just turned their name into reality.

Check below for tour dates, and a weirdly hilarious (also hilariously weird) yet touching video, Be Comfortable, Creature.

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