The 1980s, aka the more-is-more era, and its metal music keep moving to new heights
Jody Piper's old band was touring in Phoenix when his drummer's cigarette accidently met with a pointed gust of hair spray. In a flash, the dressing room lit up.



Throwback Talent

Parker Millsap is a fast-rising roots-music star
Parker Millsap is probably tired of people calling him "precocious," but when you're just 23 and delivering the kind of lyrically and musically inspired songs like those filling his new album The Very Last Day, the term just makes sense. The sound is a stirring blend of gospel, folk and roots-rock, delivered primarily via acoustic guitar, standup bass and fiddle.


Still Life

The Avett Brothers have worked for years to get to the top, and they'll never stop evolving
Their songs are already known. People sing and scream every word at their often-sold-out shows all around the country.


They Love It Loud

Gene Simmons talks bombast, Beatles and, oh yeah, songs
Even if he didn't breathe fire, spit blood and flap his stupendous serpentine tongue constantly on stage, Gene Simmons would still have one of the most famous mouths in rock. The KISS co-founder and brains behind their over-the-top marketing ploys — getting buried in a KISS Koffin?


From the Hip

Seattle's the Dip continues to help bring soul and funk music to a new generation
University of Washington house shows often pound with DJ prowess or rock 'n' roll grit. But what the Dip brought to parties was a funky beat with a blasting horn section.


Maximum Chemistry

We Are Scientists have found the correct formula for mixing pop and rock music
For three years, Max Hart played keyboard in pop goddess Katy Perry's band, choosing to leave the gig after — oh, no big deal — sharing the stage with the notorious Left Shark in 2015 at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona. From there, Hart headed to New York City to produce Helter Seltzer, the fifth album from Brooklyn pop-rock veterans We Are Scientists, with whom he had toured in 2008 and 2009.


Behind the Music

From Elk to New York City, Jordan Miller now writes songs for the Goo Goo Dolls and more
For 12 to 14 hours a day during the workweek, Jordan Miller is holed up at a Manhattan studio, writing lyrics and playing melodies. At night while he sleeps, these songs run together in his mind, musical lines are lost and nothing makes sense.


Cleveland Raps

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are a reminder that LeBron James is far from the only talent to come out of northeastern Ohio
Two weeks ago, victory finally came to Cleveland. Fans there screamed and jumped and cried when LeBron James (a native of nearby Akron) and his Cavaliers beat the record-setting Golden State Warriors in a thrilling Game 7 of the NBA Finals.


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A Load of Scrat

Ice Age: Collision Course continues a franchise that keeps going only because it can
A curious realization came over me as I waited to watch Ice Age: Collision Course: I had no idea how many of these movies there had been. On the one hand, I was pretty sure that this was the fourth, though in fact it's the fifth; on the other hand, I wouldn't have been surprised if you had told me it was the 37th.


Ain't Afraid of No Feminism

The Ghostbusters reboot dishes out laughs with a new team of ghoul chasers
My reaction to the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot? I'm desperate for movies about women doing all sorts of things — including silly stuff like engaging in experimental particle physics, playing around with total protonic reversal and saving New York City — but I'd also like women to get their own stories and the opportunity to create their own iconic characters.


Cats and Dogs

The Secret Life of Pets is a pure joy of the imagination
What do our pets do all day while we're at work or school? Mostly sleep, probably.


Watch Me Whip

In the '80s, a couple of kids filmed a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark
If Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made was simply a good-hearted documentary about a bunch of kids remaking their favorite flick shot for shot, it might be entertaining for serious film geeks and Raiders of the Lost Ark fans, but few others. This charming movie, though, proves far more than that, as it recounts the story of three Mississippi 11-year-olds who spent the better part of the '80s — and their respective childhoods — crafting a homemade ode to the 1981 Steven Spielberg action classic.


Wedded Miss

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates needs to go away
Do you think Adam Devine is the funniest person alive? Not do you think he's funny, but do you think he's light-years funnier than Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer and John Oliver combined?


Kid Stuff

Steven Spielberg's gifts shouldn't be taken for granted in The BFG
It is probably a cliché at this point to note that Steven Spielberg has become a victim of his own success, but... well, there it is. We know that he's capable of masterpieces, whether he's venturing into genre fare or exploring the Big Events of history. We've seen what it looks like when he's applying his incomparable skills behind the camera to fascinating ideas, or profound emotion.


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Recent Comments

  • Re: They Love It Loud

    • I saw them in Boise last week, it was definitely the best KISS show I…

    • on July 14, 2016
  • Re: Ain't Afraid of No Feminism

    • The acting and comedy chops of each actress are more than enough to carry any…

    • on July 14, 2016
  • Re: Equestrian Dreams

    • Great review for a brilliant film!

    • on June 30, 2016
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    • Isn't that why the documentary should be watched? So people can understand what was so…

    • on June 25, 2016
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