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Tuesday, April 15 2014

Carlene Carter: Carter Girl

Carter Girl, plus family and friends, delivers a rousing tribute to personal and family history.


Lilacs and Champagne: Midnight Features Vol. 1: Shower Scene

With Midnight Features Vol. 1: Shower Scene, the sample-heavy duo of Lilacs and Champagne prove that their one-of-a-kind sonic can function beyond the realms of the recording studio.


Mudhoney: Live at Third Man Records

If this is what a Mudhoney shows sounds like these days, then I say hooray for longevity.


The Fleshtones: Wheel of Talent

Nearly four decades into their career, these veteran garage-rockers haven't lost their knack for creating catchy and infectious tunes.


Los Lonely Boys: Revelation

Los Lonely Boys deliver some of their best work, exhibiting exceptional musicianship on the eclectic yet consistent Revelation.


Monday, April 14 2014

Tea Party Activists Are Looking for Answers in ‘Town Hall’

Even if you might not share the Tea Party's views, Town Hall invites you to empathize with the sense of vexation and search for answers pursued by these Tea Party activists.


‘Oculus’ Casts a Bad Reflection

Oculus is only partly about a mirror, a terrible, terrible mirror, the kind that pops up now and again in horror movies, the kind that's full length with an ornate wooden frame, odious and unfathomable.


A ‘Simulacrum of Life’ in Words: Marcel Theroux’s ‘Strange Bodies’

In this thoughtful, entertaining novel, Marcel Theroux explores the ways in which we construct 'a workable self out of all the dissonant parts.'


The Room Two

While it is true that a mystery loses all interest once it is explained, it is also true that continually implying something significant without providing a payoff can render it meaningless.


A Hands-Off Approach Goes a Long Way in ‘Philomena’

The direction is solid but not overbearing, the score subtle and light, the entire affair very nicely cushioned around Coogan and Dench's performances, and the film is all the more effective because of it.


The Afghan Whigs: Do to the Beast

Greg Dulli, John Curley, and some other guys they're calling the Afghan Whigs channel the rock, soul, and dark undertones of the band's classic work on an excellent quasi-reunion album


Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Piñata

Madlib and Freddie Gibbs drop one of the best hip-hop albums in recent memory.


Making Sense of Nonsense and ‘Assembling Flann O’Brien’

Given Brian O'Nolan and his sly guises, one must wonder what this erudite satirist makes of this posthumous tribute to his tetchy talents.


Tony Molina: Dissed and Dismissed

This 12-song, 11-minute album from 2013, now reissued by Slumberland Records, is a quick blast of power-pop in which brief songs become representative but not reflective. They twist or deny our expectations, and are all the stronger for that denial.


Cynic: Kindly Bent to Free Us

Cynic makes technical, progressive sounding music sound fun and emotional. These guys are masterful technical musicians, but more importantly, they are great song writers.


Meridiem: A Scattering Time

A Scattering Time plays like an emblem of a different era because it is an emblem of no era, a haunting and formless musical work full of pitch-dark textural turns, proggy rhythmic tremors, and a wailing vocal thrust.


Friday, April 11 2014

Lots of Dads in the NFL in ‘Draft Day’

The good dads theme culminates in the image of the biggest, bestest dad of all, Roger Goodell on the stage, calling out the names of hopeful young men whose lives are changed forever by his pronouncement.


Nicolas Cage Is Jolted Back to Life in ‘Joe’

Nicolas Cage jolts back to life for David Gordon Green's Joe, a Southern thriller and character study that asks more of him than grimacing or wigging out.


The Jen Chapin Trio Live at the Bohemian Caverns

The wonderful folk-soul-jazz singer plays a classic jazz club at the start of her tour. If only more people were hearing this music!


Off Course by Michelle Huneven

If you haven't yet read a Michelle Huneven novel, what are you waiting for?


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