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Friday, October 25 2013

The Trouble with Fandom and ‘The Elizabethans’

A.N Wilson's The Elizabethans is a very readable history, despite the author's inability to get out of his own way.


Monday, July 14 2014

Good Guys With Guns?!: “Grayson #1”

The obvious question is whether or not Dick Grayson can carry a book, minus his mask and superhero identity. The answer, at least in this first issue, is yes, yes he can.


Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

Tesla Effect is B-grade fun that unfortunately soon turns into B-grade nonsense.


British Summer Time at Hyde Park

Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Soundgarden and more: a tale of music and Independence.


John Hiatt: Terms of My Surrender

Legendary songwriter John Hiatt takes the hard road on Terms of My Surrender, a tough, modern blues contemplation which turns into an exciting heartland roar.


Landlady: Upright Behavior

The way Landlady can explode with joy and strangeness puts them on some sort of a pedestal, right from their debut.


There’s Generational Magic in Tiphanie Yanique’s ‘Land of Love and Drowning’

Tiphanie Yanique's debut novel is both a family saga and an unusual love story. It seems likely to become a classic of Caribbean American literature.


Trampled By Turtles: Wild Animals

When your album highlights are a song that sounded just as good in a previous rock incarnation and a pair of fast songs that sound like fraternal twins, it’s probably not your best effort. Especially when there are eight other tracks on the record.


The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer: A Real Fine Mess

This is a streamlined collection of a standard sound with some sonic detours into pop territory, and it draws inspiration from both the classic and the contemporary styles of blues.


Various Artists: The Motown 7s Box Volume 2

The second set of Northern Soul-flavored 7x7"-singles from the legendary soul label highlights just how tough it is to consider the Motown sound objectively these days.


Sunday, July 13 2014

Guillermo del Toro’s Vampires Are Let Loose in ‘The Strain’

People must make choices, dire, resonant, tragic, repeatedly in The Strain.


Friday, July 11 2014

It’s the Humans That Go Ape in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Matt Reeves’ sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a tight, bleak, and dramatically lopsided tragedy wrapped inside a pummeling summer crowd-pleaser.


On Roman Polanski and the Psychosexual Power in ‘Venus in Fur’

Polanski's movies tend to be even-handed in their treatment of the sexes, at least in that both male and female characters can be conniving and power-mad.


Quest for Infamy

In Quest for Infamy, you’ll spend more time looking for a story and puzzles than you do participating in a story and puzzles.


In ‘Proof’, Science Writer Adam Rogers Investigates Booze, and Suffers Gladly for His Art

Should you indulge, I encourage you to pour your favorite tipple, settle into a comfortable chair, open the pages of Proof, and enjoy the "bar moment".


‘Southern Comfort’ Is Populated By Tropes

Walter Hill's talkiest action film boasts one of his best stories, but isn't the forgotten classic one might hope for.


Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto 50th Anniversary

The seminal bossa-nova record for American audiences still sounds perfect.


Chicago: Now (Chicago XXXVI)

Now (Chicago XXXVI) will likely make moms across the land swoon, and that’s pretty much all you can ask from Chicago by this point.


Mick Harvey: Intoxicated Man / Pink Elephants

They are Serge Gainsbourg's songs, but it's Harvey’s show, and he does a fine job as frontman throughout.


Say Hi: Endless Wonder

Watching Eric Elbogen's career has been like watching a turtle come out its shell in slow motion, and Endless Wonder is perhaps Say Hi's most fully realized album to date.


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