Reviews
Various Artists: Graciously, A Gulf Relief Compilation

Even if it didn’t benefit a good cause, Graciously, A Gulf Relief Compilation contains enough interesting nuggets to be a worthwhile purchase no matter

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Billy Martin & G. Calvin Weston: Live at Houston Hall

Live at Houston Hall is another recording from 2002, and pairs Martin with Lounge Lizards co-conspirator G. Calvin Weston for a celebration of the tenth anniversary

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Billy Martin: Solo Live Tonic 2002

Drummer and multimedia artist extraordinaire Billy Martin—most well-known as a member of non-trad jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood—has two newish drum releases

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4 Aug 2006 // 1:03 AM

Splendour in the Grass 2006

We drove for 18 hours, but others came from Melbourne (38 hours round trip) and Western Australia (unspeakably far away) to pay their respects to the gods of rock.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

The Descent (2005)

This second feature by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers) knows what it's about, both its generic limits and your knowledge of those limits. It doesn't try to trick you, but instead delivers the usual tension-building effects.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto: Bricolages

The best we can say for this remix album is that the original material still sounds great.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (1994)

As a newcomer to anime and a skeptic of the video game movie genre, I was stunned at my enjoyment of this film.

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Super Monkey Ball Adventure

This is about breathing new life into a series via an expanded, developed one-player experience.

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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

As much as Ricky Bobby's racing career is about going fast, it's even more cogently about products, lots of 'em.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

JPod by Douglas Coupland

What's missing from JPod altogether is a sense of the increasingly participatory nature of online culture.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

The Night Listener (2006)

Tapping into recent public outrages over writers who lie, The Night Listener's indictments are drearily unsubtle.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

The Descent (2005)

The crawly cave-beasts keep popping up in sudden soundtrack blasts, but Neil Marshall's half-baked ideas about betrayal and woman's capacity for savagery are simplistic and pretentious.

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Ren & Stimpy: The Lost Episodes

Kricfalusi hopes that sales of the Ren & Stimpy DVDs will lead to a commercial rebirth, giving him the chance to make more episodes and release them on the digital format, untouched and uncensored.

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Primal Scream: Riot City Blues

Riot City Blues sounds like it's been made by a band on rock and roll autopilot. It's a record of pastiche pieces, without the sense of impending danger or collapse that makes truly great rock and roll so thrilling.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

Shawnna: Block Music

Chicago, Illinois, emcee Shawnna strikes again. So can a sista with a couple of hit singles get some love?

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Butch Walker: The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Lets-Go-Out Tonites

This album is the real deal, the shit, a modern masterpiece, and I don't use those terms lightly. It rocks from beginning to end with an arched eyebrow and a steamy sexuality.

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Old 97s: Hit By a Train: The Best of Old 97s

As an introduction to Old 97's, Hit by a Train simply can't be beat.

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Harvey Lindo: Kid Gloves - A Modaji Long Player

Dominic Jacobson takes a swing at hip-hop and scores with this well-balanced, deeply enjoyable treat. So why did Kid Gloves spend 2005 as a Japan-only import?

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The Tango Saloon: The Tango Saloon

You'd expect the descriptor cinematic to be applicable here, and the term certainly fits. The album also evokes a majestic and wide-screened collision between jazz, experimental, and ethnic folk music.

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3 Aug 2006 // 11:00 PM

Brandtson: Hello, Control

At its core, it's a run-of-the-mill Brandtson record, but it's presented with such wide-eyed techno wonder you can't help but feel it creep into your skin a little more than it should.

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