THIS WEEK

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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 26, 2013 0 comments
January 1865, with the American Civil War in its fourth year, two months after Abraham Lincoln's re-election, there is much to be done, a nation to be remade in a new form. Lincoln - directed by Steven Spielberg from Tony Kushner's screenplay, based in part on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin - depicts the true events confronting the president and his monumental political challenge to amend the United States Constitution to permanently abolish slavery.
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Philip Ryan Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments

The second show of a three-show run can be a difficult thing. When they've played as well as they did on Sept 2, there's pressure to follow it up with something amazing.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Jul 16, 2013 0 comments

42

42 is so schmaltzy, clean-cut, clean-living, and well brought up that it makes sentimental 1940s-made baseball biopics with Jimmy Stewart (The Stratton Story) or Gary Cooper (The Pride of the Yankees) seem positively cynical and bawdy in comparison.

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Mark Smotroff Posted: Sep 11, 2012 0 comments

Magical Mystery Cure

The really big news from overseas is that - FINALLY - The Beatles' legendary Magical Mystery Tour film extravaganza is being reissued with a proper remastering and a deluxe box set treatment.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Nov 01, 2012 0 comments

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

The 15 films from 1942-1976 gathered here - Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble with Harry (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (

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Ken Richardson Posted: Apr 23, 2013 0 comments

will.i.am: #willpower

New release (Interscope)

Has a hip-hop-related record ever opened as optimistically as this?

Good morning, welcome to the thing called life
Good morning, don’t you let it pass you by
We laugh, we cry, and then we dry our eyes
We fall, we rise, ready for another try
When life gets tough, remember, we were never born to die
When times get rough, remember, we were born to be alive

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Josef Krebs Posted: Dec 24, 2012 0 comments

Arbitrage

 

In Arbitrage, Richard Gere plays Robert Miller, a New York hedge-fund magnate with the world at his feet - money, power, mansion, a loving, supportive wife (Susan Sarandon), a beautiful, young mistress (Laetitia Casta), and a devoted daughter (Brit Marling) who works loyally by his side.

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Ken Richardson Posted: Jul 09, 2013 0 comments

Robert Pollard: Honey Locust Honky Tonk

New release (GBV Inc.; tour dates for Guided by Voices)
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

When you’re the prolific Robert Pollard and you tend to release dozens of songs each year on multiple albums, one thing is certain (despite what the ultra-faithful think): Not every song on every album is going to be a gem. This is particularly true when you’re being especially prolific — as in the past 18 months, when Pollard has released four albums and one EP with his reunited main band, Guided by Voices, and now three solo albums, for a total of 130 songs, 97 of which he wrote alone and another 13 of which he co-wrote.

That said, more things are certain: The gems are far more prevalent, and typically they’re truly sparkling.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 12, 2013 0 comments

Life of Pi 3D

What do you do when you find yourself adrift alone in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with just the company of an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra, and a majestic but fearsome, nay terrifying 450-pound male Bengal tiger? This is the sticky situation Pi Patel must deal with while trying to survive the elements and discover the meaning of life.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Jun 25, 2013 0 comments

Help!

The title song, Help!, kicks in beautifully - thrillingly - with snaredrums somewhere in the room up left, vocals in center, lead guitar in the surrounds - glorious. Whenever the film launches into one of its seven classic numbers (only seven?) in 5.1 channels the band leaps into the room filling the soundstage and bringing everything to life.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Sep 04, 2012 0 comments

Person of Interest: The Complete First Season

Reclusive billionaire scientist Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) has built a machine. It processes information from an omnipresent surveillance network he's created for the government - and is able, based on that info, to predict terrorist events.

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Mark Smotroff Posted: Oct 23, 2012 0 comments

Halloween's not even here yet, but Sufjan Stevens is ready for Christmas

But you can pre-order some fun Holiday albums already, including Sufjan Stevens: Silver & Gold (Ltd Ed. 5 LP, 6 EP set)

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Ken Richardson Posted: Apr 09, 2013 0 comments

Paramore: Paramore

New release (Fueled by Ramen; tour dates)

I’ll never forget my first encounter with Paramore. It wasn’t at a gig or on the radio. It came in the pages of a magazine: a backstage photo taken around the time of 2007’s Riot! And I have to be honest: My focus wasn’t on the band but on its singer, Hayley Williams. Underneath that flame of orange-red hair, with her head cocked elatedly to the side, she was laughing as if there was no tomorrow. Now that’s rock & roll, I thought, wondering if she (um, the band) sounded as full of youthful excitement as she looked.

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Mark Smotroff Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments
This weekend, I pulled out my SACD of Vince Guaraldi's classic soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas, marking the beginning of the holiday season for me personally.
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Ken Richardson Posted: Jun 18, 2013 0 comments

What you are looking at above is the “cover art” for Kanye West’s new album, Yeezus (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam). In fact, there’s no cover or CD booklet at all, just a sticker on the back of the package with the track listing. This dovetails nicely with Kanye’s mysterious anti-campaign for the album’s release today. He did perform “Black Skinhead” and “New Slaves” on Saturday Night Live in May, and if those hard-hitting, industrial-sounding tracks are any indication, then Yeezus could be a wowzer.

Still, I can’t stop thinking about that “cover art” and, paradoxically, how much it reminds me of this:

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