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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.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Tatiana Maslany Continues to Astound in ‘Orphan Black: Season Two’

The second season of BBC America’s Orphan Black continues its breakneck pace of twists and turns, all the while showcasing the best performance on television.


“Weird Al” Yankovic: Mandatory Fun

Yankovic's release-week overexposure lead him to having his first #1 album, but the parodies prove to be way better than the originals this go-round. #Accordions


Got a Girl: I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now

These are faithfully recreated jet-setting sounds from the golden age of air travel, and the highs hit quite high.


Unkle Bob: Embers

Reformed British band Unkle Bob reform and return with characteristic charm on third album Embers.


Devon Williams: Gilding the Lily

LA-based tunesmith Devon Williams decides to join his peers and craft a musical exploration of that trendiest of decades, the 1980s.


Aisles: 4.45 AM

The real variance between a band of sophisticated copycats and this bunch is indeed intelligence.


Shawn Lee: Golden Age Against the Machine

The man who never met a genre he couldn't master tackle old-school hip-hop, delivering a solid effort that is more hits than misses.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

New Orleans Artists Headline the DC Jazz Festival

Festival organizers won the day by pulling in some top talent from the nation’s jazz capital (New Orleans, of course) to mark the occasion.


Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Landline’ Is Part Magic, Part Soap Opera, and All PopCorn

This novel plays hopscotch with different genres, and that’s part of its appeal.


‘Wayward Manor’ Is a Bit Insubstantial

Neil Gaiman wrote a video game.


Disney and Spike Lee Unite in ‘The Spike Lee Joint Collection’

Even with some dips in quality, these four movies represent part of a remarkable run; you can feel all of them strive for masterpiece status.


PS I Love You: For Those Who Stay

Some might be enamoured by the nods to classic rock, and some might not, but what you get in the end is an album of little significance.


David Gray: Mutineers

Deliverance. This being the singer's 10th album, David Gray presents himself as a complete man with these 11 songs.


Uri Caine: Callithump

Solo piano from the idiosyncratic and omnivorous jazz pianist.


Cardinal: Cardinal (reissue)

Reissue of the overlooked indie classic by pop oddballs Eric Matthews and Richard Davies.


K. Leimer: A Period of Review (Original Recordings: 1975-1983)

The songs on A Period of Review were essential to Leimer developing his own style. Whether or not they're essential to your music library is another matter.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

‘30 for 30: Slaying the Badger’: Shenanigans at the 1986 Tour de France

Slaying the Badger constructs an exciting, sometimes troubling story of competition and deceit, focused on the 1986 Tour de France.


Savage Fun: “Savage Hulk #2”

This isn't a perfect Hulk story. It doesn't break new ground or raise important issues. But, frankly, who cares? It's fun.


Smells and Bells, Halls and Hells: ‘The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London’

The mud, rain, smoke, fog, and excrement that abounded meant whatever one's rank, the weather and the smells took their toll on one's health, one's clothing, and one's nerves.


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