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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.


Tuesday, September 23 2014

Comics Go Psychedelic, Then Dark…

The most tumultuous and varied era of comics is chronicled with balance and aplomb in American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-69.


‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ Is a Charming Collection of Anachronisms

The classic farcical Sondheim musical springs to Blu-ray with all the hilarity of the classic movie, but only half the songs of the classic stage play.


‘Fear in the Night’ Speaks the Indecipherable Language of Noir

Noir, as a definitive term, is elusive and always out of reach, as are dreams. So what are we to do with Fear in the Night, a noir that traffics in dreams?


Aphex Twin: Syro

Unburdened of revolutionary duties, Syro offers a deeply rewarding expression of one of electronic music's most dependably brilliant talents.


King Tuff: Black Moon Spell

Black Moon Spells is a record about discovering yourself in the music you live. It's also a convincing and heartfelt next step for King Tuff, one as charmingly goofy as it self-assured and hard hitting.


Mac Wiseman: Songs From My Mother’s Hand

Direct, beguiling and brilliant, songs from Wiseman's family history realised in accessible, caring ways which reflect and bring forward mountain traditions.


Royal Blood: Royal Blood

This is a band that is ascending, and people are standing up and taking notice, even if the group's name and sound are a little generic.


Diplo: Random White Dude Be Everywhere

The monumental producer's compilation of recent singles and remixes may be the ideal party playlist, but it fails at just about everything else.


Monday, September 22 2014

‘Sleepy Hollow’: Skeptics Beware

Characters collect, interpret, and decrypt, all while the countdown to Armageddon bellows like a tuba just offscreen.


‘Scorpion’: Planes, Cars, and Nerds

It's no coincidence that Scorpion closely follows The Big Bang Theory on Mondays, a show that loves it nerds.


‘Gotham’ Is No Place for Nice Guys

Gotham is off to a good start, so good that it's possible to watch the entire premiere without missing Batman one bit.


Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition

You say schlock like it's a bad thing.


‘Cesar Chavez’ Deifies Instead of Humanizes Its Hero

Too reverential for its own good, this film feels like a social studies class instead of a work of art.


War, Peace, and Hope: “Wonder Woman: Futures End #1”

When a proud warrior becomes hardened by war, and it reveals her true strength.


‘Madam Secretary’: Téa Leoni Goes Global

Madam Secretary has more on its mind than entertainment, taking on intercultural conflicts and ethical dilemmas without obvious solutions.


‘All That Jazz’ Is Bob Fosse’s Cinematic Self-Flagellation

This excellent, entertaining, and accurate bio-pic of Bob Fosse's life and death was actually co-written and directed by Bob Fosse eight years before he died.


Alt-J: This Is All Yours

The contradiction of all second records but especially this one: Be what people expect when people want something unexpected.


Where Are AC/DC’s the Youngs in ‘The Youngs’?

I loved AC/DC as much as the next lunkheaded longhaired headbanger. But I don't know them any better than Jesse Fink does.


Robert Plant: Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar

You have to respect Robert Plant's desire to take the crowd-pleasing, Grammy-approved formula of his last few records into wilder, hazier places. But the results don’t always reach their intended target.


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