For its event coordinators, this year's Bartfest feels almost like the first time
They didn't know if there would be another Bartfest. Last year's indoor music festival at the Bartlett and nYne did not go over well.
Originally from South Africa, Civil Twilight has found freedom in their new sound and country
It's 100 degrees in Arizona last week, and Civil Twilight is sweating through their load-in for an upcoming show. Drummer Richard Wouters comes to the phone.
Lukas Nelson's dreams came true when Neil Young wanted to work with his band
Lukas Nelson met his Promise of the Real drummer Anthony LoGerfo at a Neil Young concert.
Purity Ring tries something different on their sophomore album
For Another Eternity, the follow-up to their 2012 debut Shrines, Purity Ring vocalist Megan James and producer/instrumentalist Corin Roddick did something new: record together. Shrines came together over email, as Roddick lived in Montreal and James called Halifax, Nova Scotia, home; the two were about an 11-hour drive apart.
A busload of baby-faced rockers and a mysterious soccer match — trying to piece together an epic August day from long, long ago
Wow, Def Leppard at the Arena — that's a blast from my past. I saw them play live in Spokane... all the way back in 1983.
Death Cab For Cutie gets in touch with its emotions again
In the Japanese art form kintsugi, artists take broken pieces of pottery and meld them together with precious metals, highlighting the imperfections rather than trying to conceal them. Death Cab for Cutie's new album, named after the art style, gets up close and personal with those ugly ridges.
Light Up the Sky learns what it's like to get a record deal
Over burgers at Red Robin last Fourth of July, Ray and Isaac Luna's dad gives them the talk. He says they need to do something with their lives, that music probably won't pay the bills.
Dave and Phil Alvin find new musical life together in old songs
Battling brothers are part of a proud tradition of dysfunctional-yet-great bands, ranging from the Kinks to the Black Crowes to Oasis. Redemption stories of brothers putting aside their differences for the sake of family and great music are rarer, but that's the tale roots-rockers Dave and Phil Alvin are spinning three decades after the acrimonious split of the Blasters.
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his love for the Hawaiian shirt and his TV career, and the person he is inside
He's the guy who sang "Eat It." And back in 1984, when "Weird Al" Yankovic hilariously skewered Michael Jackson's "Beat It," no one would have guessed the longevity of the comedic performer's career.
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Whatever Pan is supposed to provide a backstory for, it's not Peter Pan.
"Sometimes, to understand the end, you have to know the beginning," goes the early narration in Pan — and it's hard to imagine a 2015 movie that fails so spectacularly at fulfilling its own thesis statement. We've become accustomed to movies that attempt some new spin on a familiar pop-culture character, whether it's the seemingly infinite brand extensions in Disney's live-action versions of their animated classics, or relatively sedate tales like Mr. Holmes.
Rosenwald reintroduces us to a great American hero
Despite its overlong running time and a tendency toward the dreaded PBS Effect (during which the viewer fears that a fall fundraising drive may break into the narrative at any moment), this documentary about a Chicago-based Jewish philanthropist who spent his fortune building schools for impoverished Southern blacks during the Jim Crow era is dependably fascinating. I say "dependably" because director Aviva Kempner has made a career out of uncovering semi-forgotten areas of 20th-century Jewish history and turning them into memorably witty and historical documentaries, chief among them the story of television's very first (and unquestionably Semitic) sitcom, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg.
The Martian is the optimistic sci-fi movie that Christopher Nolan failed to deliver
During last year's media blitz for Interstellar, Christopher Nolan couldn't stop talking about his desire to make sci-fi optimistic again. It's too bad, then, that Interstellar was largely only optimistic in theory — Matthew McConaughey's character spent more time blabbing about mankind's potential than demonstrating it.
Sicario is a tough, brutal film — and one of the year's best
The "War on Drugs" may be a bullshit term invented by our overlords to justify overly aggressive policing on local and national levels. But the "War on Drugs" has never felt more like an actual war than in Sicario.
Everest takes us to the top of the world for a tragic and riveting ride
This is the kind of movie that movies were invented for: big, visceral and intense, a heart-stopping adventure that has you catching your breath and gasping in shock as it takes you places most of us will never get to, so as to engage in the sort of life-threatening thrills that, paradoxically, remind us that we are alive. That's an argument that safety-minded homebodies like me scoff at when risk-takers make it, but Everest makes you understand it deep in your gut.
Eli Roth looks to have lost some of his horror touch with The Green Inferno
After making the festival rounds back in 2013, Eli Roth's riff on the horror subgenre of tropical cannibal movies has finally arrived in theaters with less of a scream than a whimper. It's not that the film's quasi-ironic take on privileged, white activist college students' farcical attempt to save a fertile slice of the Amazonian rain forest from loggers already feels hackneyed — that's part of the "fun" in gore-tastic horrors such as this and Ruggero Deodato's infamous Cannibal Holocaust (obviously a huge influence on Roth).
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