Fresh Spin

Fresh Spin

A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
David Thoren isn't a snobby record store owner. When you walk into Groove Merchants, his newly opened shop in the Garland District, he's not going to quiz you on the most obscure bands you know.

Music

Music

Untamed Pop

On the road for most of the year, Portland's Wild Ones keep evolving
It would make sense for Danielle Sullivan to be a solo artist — like Cat Power or Jenny Lewis, both of whom she idolizes — but she says the four other guys in her Portland-based dream-pop-centric band Wild Ones make it what it is. And singing in front of people was never something Sullivan thought she'd do. "I thought my voice would be painful to people's ears," says the lead singer and lyricist from the band's 15-passenger van, driving toward San Francisco last week.

Music

Hairy Matters

L.A. glam-metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are calling it quits, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
There's no reason Mötley Crüe should still be around, in original form no less, for what the L.A. glam-rock pioneers are calling their "final tour." We're talking about a band whose members somehow survived drug overdoses, prison stints, crippling disease, paparazzi-fodder Hollywood marriages, multiple tours with Ozzy Osbourne and pop culture's collective decision in the early '90s that the entire hair-metal genre the Crüe reigned over, well, sucked.

Music

Celestial Sounds

Star Anna is here for Thanksgiving with songs from the gut
Every time singer-songwriter Star Anna goes on tour she eats at Denny's. There's comfort in familiar cuisine and she appreciates any menu that includes a respectable pun (Moons Over My Hammy is a favorite).

Music

A Love Supreme

Bob Curnow and his Big Band prove jazz isn't dead at their multigenerational shows
Out through the open Big Dipper doors, jazzy harmonies float into the inky night — over the rain-soaked streets, under the street lamps, echoing beneath the train overpass on this Monday night. Once inside the darkened music club, the crowd is surprisingly multigenerational, ranging from high school kids to grandparents in one room.

Music

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Film

Safely Outrageous

Horrible Bosses 2 depends on the most predictable kind of transgressive humor
In the opening scene of Horrible Bosses 2, our returning protagonist trio — Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) — appear on a happy-talk Los Angeles morning news show to promote their entrepreneurial idea, a shower head that includes a shampoo dispenser. Kurt stands in a makeshift shower in the studio to demonstrate the device, but darn it, the water won't work.

Film

Katniss Strikes Back

The next installment of the Hunger Games series is sequel gold
Don't tell Hollywood I said this, but chopping the final novel of the Hunger Games trilogy into two films might be the best thing that could have happened to this franchise. I mean, it didn't work for Harry Potter — the first Deathly Hallows film was terrible — and Peter Jackson is already two-thirds of the way (with the final third almost upon us) toward demonstrating that turning the brief Hobbit book into three long films was not artistically warranted.

Film

Growing Up

Seattle director Lynn Shelton delivers another unpredictable story with Laggies
Ten years after high school, 28-year-old Megan Burch (Keira Knightley) is floating through life, unable to settle into a career and new family attachments like her teenage BFFs have. Those pals are planning weddings and baby showers, and Ellie Kemper's inclusion as the bride-to-be in the film's opening setup helps create an expectation that Laggies is going to be another Bridesmaids-like comedy.

Film

Stranger Than Fiction

Jon Stewart tries his hand at directing with the true story Rosewater
Students of recent Iranian history, or pretty much anyone who's turned on a TV newscast in recent years, will be familiar with the absurdity of the country's presidential election in 2009.

Film

Got the Beat

Whiplash features some excellent jazz, but struggles with its message
If recent release Birdman borrowed a cup of energy from its drum score, then Whiplash, about a young jazz drummer at a cutthroat-competitive conservatory, steals a whole quart.

Film

Dare to Dream

Interstellar gives us hope for the future of big movies — and humanity
This is big. It's huge.

Film

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Fresh Spin

    • Nice... Still love to pull out the old vinyl and take it for a spin…

    • on November 27, 2014
  • Re: Fresh Spin

    • Congratulations David!!!!! Lots of love and success to you!!!

    • on November 27, 2014
  • Re: Hairy Matters

    • *sheepishly* I remember FireHouse, Danger Danger and Britny Fox. And Bang Tango, BulletBoys, Junkyard, Dangerous…

    • on November 22, 2014
  • Re: Hairy Matters

    • At some point self destructive hedonism is no longer brash youthfulness. It's old, tired and…

    • on November 22, 2014
  • More »
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  • Fresh Spin

    A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • Hairy Matters

    L.A. glam-metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are calling it quits, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
    • Nov 19, 2014
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