Reviews

26 May 2005 // 1:00 AM

Flame Trees of Thika (1981)

The filming oscillates uneasily between Masterpiece Theater lushness and National Geographic-style ethno-voyeurism.

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The Brooke Ellison Story (2004)

Christopher Reeve's film seems geared less towards portraying the warts and all existence of a disabled person, than showing what can be achieved with a little selfless dedication.

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	Various Artists: Once More: Music of Thad Jones

Thad Jones was a singular trumpet master who died prematurely and too little acknowledged as a major composer-arranger. The little big band here is simply as distinguished as any on record.

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	Reel Big Fish: We’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy

Reel Big Fish put the final nail in the coffin of their recorded alter ego by reducing them to cinders of irony.

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	Glen Phillips: Winter Pays for Summer

Hook-filled, dependable, and very easy on the ears, courtesy of former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman. Gorgeous artwork, too, by the way.

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Nile: Annihilation of the Wicked

The American death metal masters return with what could be their best album to date.

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25 May 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Gorillaz: Demon Days

Demon Days surpasses Gorillaz' debut in every conceivable way -- It's not just Damon's Wild Ride anymore.

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25 May 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Electrelane: Axes

Forget short pop songs with hooks; the ladies of Electrelane find that nothing beats a good, extended groove.

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	Gene Autry: The Essential Gene Autry

Two-disc collection of the singing cowboy's truly essential tracks is a quintessential piece of Americana.

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25 May 2005 // 1:00 AM

The line we're sold is 'fragile artiste struggling against overwhelming stage-fright,' but I suspect alcohol and a keen sense of drama might also factor in.

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25 May 2005 // 1:00 AM

The O.C.

The Cohens open their door to anyone needing support and stability (which is almost everyone; rich equals lonely).

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25 May 2005 // 1:00 AM

Gilmore Girls: The Complete Third Season

The casual, chatty extras capture the series' spirit: whimsical, free-spirited, and tinged with nostalgia.

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24 May 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Shrimp Boat: Speckly

Way underground legends' first vinyl is finally reissued. Test of time applied with mixed results.

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	Starflyer 59: Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice

With album number nine, Jason Martin rights the ship and delivers one of his best collections of wonderfully moody, thoughtful songs. They used to call this 'college rock'.

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	Screaming Trees: Ocean of Confusion: Songs of Screaming Trees 1989-1996

Solid overview of the Pacific Northwest band's definitive years on Epic includes two unreleased tracks.

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	Son Volt: Live From Austin, TX [DVD]

Jay Farrar and co's lack of visual flair sinks an otherwise-strong set of alt-country tunes.

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	System of a Down: Mezmerize

System of a Down have exceeded expectations, and they're only halfway done.

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	Mannie Fresh: The Mind of Mannie Fresh

Mannie Fresh has a very interesting mind. The word 'interesting' does not always mean something good, but here it does. This shit is bananas.

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	Johnny Maddox: Dixieland Blues

Gutsy stuff, lively and swinging, men who did it 75 years ago did it again 25 years later, jazz of 1929 with novelty ragtime interludes.

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24 May 2005 // 11:00 PM

	The Konks: self-titled

True garage rockers that they are, the Konks more than live up to the standards of Bomp! Records, and the legacy of its founder, the late Greg Shaw.

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