Reviews

9 Dec 2005 // 1:00 AM

Konono No.1

Without the uber-hip distortion that usually dresses their music, all that remains are the modest men behind the curtain. Will that be enough for the indie set?

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Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler by Ethan Brown

This book provides a parabolic tale. Brown articulates that the tragic circumstances surrounding so many hip-hop greats signifies the folly of confusing a crime underworld with BET's Access Granted.

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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

As polemic, The High Cost of Low Price succeeds in personalizing the effects of a system that allows the ruthlessness of Wal-Mart.

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Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

The fact of Sayuri's stunning blue eyes only underlines the film's refusal to engage with the hardships geishas endure as a matter of course. She is 'special', she is treasured, she is property.

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

The scariest scene in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe comes at the start.

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9 Dec 2005 // 1:00 AM

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

It's Alma's silence that makes Brokeback Mountain feel so serious. Her pain is neither exquisite nor elegiac. It is only hard.

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	Robert Wyatt & Friends: Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974

A rare breed of musician who is forever alive to the possibility of new opportunities and forever blind to the existence of obstacles.

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	Martin Sexton: Camp Holiday

Martin Sexton kicks back, grabs a cup of hot cocoa and a guitar, and strums out a few Christmas tunes for all of us to enjoy.

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	Dave Seaman: This is Audio Therapy

The veteran Brit DJ's strong, stark prog-house mix is outshone by the 'bonus' disc of extras.

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	Pinetop Seven: The Night’s Bloom

This band is hard to compare to others, because they're quite unlike so many others.

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	Old 97s: Alive and Wired

The sweaty beautiful mess of the Old 97s in concert is finally captured on disc.

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	Willie Hightower: Willie Hightower

Hightower's story seems to be one of 'wrong song, wrong time' as his brand of gospel-infused soul, despite a few charting singles, gave way to other '70s styles, creating the misfortune of premature commercial obsolescence.

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	Guided By Voices: The Electrifying Conclusion [DVD]

Guided By Voices say goodbye with a four-hour finale full of fans, friends, and inebriation.

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8 Dec 2005 // 1:00 AM

Thrice + Underoath

In one corner, looking fit and trim, was Underoath, and on the opposing side, slightly heavier, stood Thrice. Who would be the night's heavy hitter?

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The Dick Cavett Show—Ray Charles Collection

It's no secret that Dick Cavett loved Ray Charles' music.

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Devil’s Midnight by Yuri Kapralov

Certainly the Russian Revolution has been tackled before, but Kapralov's stab brings a level of dark, supernatural mysticism that throws an already-gloomy history even deeper into shadow.

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Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005)

Even with its contradictions, Felicity offers Shailene Woodley's feisty performance and adorable little face.

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	U2: Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago [DVD]

Bono sets an example for us all, putting in a full night's work on his birthday.

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	Test Icicles: For Screening Purposes Only

Try as he might, Robertson can't warm to these hyped UK youngsters.

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	Phosphorescent: Aw Come Aw Wry

Looking for something authentic? Be careful what you wish for.

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Cage the Elephant Ignite Central Park with Kickoff for Summerstage Season

// Notes from the Road

"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.

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