Reviews

12 Dec 2005 // 1:00 AM

Fantastic Four (2005)

The superpowers bring trauma, anger, and confusion, and eventually a sense of responsibility, as the crew decides to do good with what they've got.

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	The Whigs: Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip

On their impressive self-released debut, Athens, Georgia's The Whigs shed the 'local bar band' tag for good.

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	Mercedes Sosa: Corazón Libre

Can we give this woman some love, please?"

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11 Dec 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Oranger: New Comes and Goes

Oranger wants to be a constant, a monolith of rock 'n' roll that shows its contemporaries there is a zone of comfort and consistency that does not require boredom or downsizing.

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	Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: The Sameness of Difference

A hip and happenin' new-style jazz trio covers the (newly) usual indie-folk: Bjork, Brian Wilson, The Flaming Lips. In a word: Eh.

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	Fifths of Seven: Spry From Bitter Anise Folds

Sadly, the perfect accompaniment of the times.

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11 Dec 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Eminem: Curtain Call

Eminem's new stocking stuffer Curtain Call has this bizarre morning-after effect, like the drugged pre-teen in 'Guilty Conscience' - oh my God, I totally can't believe we all fell for this guy.

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	Steve Dawson: Sweet is the Anchor

Sensitive songs about sensitive things, most often sung with an acoustic guitar. Yes, this has been done before, and better.

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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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