Getting Back to Basics

Getting Back to Basics

Heartworms is a welcome return to the Shins' quirky early sound
T here's a stretch of songs on Heartworms — the Shins' fifth album, released in March — that sounds and feels very much descended from the band's 2001 debut album, Oh, Inverted World.



Musical Pictures

Explosions in the Sky make instrumental post-rock with powerful, cinematic imagery
I was trekking across the sunbaked grounds of the 2009 Sasquatch! Music Festival, looking for a friend I'd lost in the crowd, when I was distracted by a big, spacey sound emanating from one of the smaller stages — lots of delicate guitar jangling, a little bass and the raw power of pounding drums, but no singing.


Alone, But Not Lonely

A friend's suicide inspired Spokane rapper Jango's uplifting message that a solitary life can also be a happy one
Few 21-year-olds are as enterprising as Elijah Kilborn. The Spokane rapper, better known by his stage name Jango, is sitting in a booth at Chicken-N-More on a sleepy Friday afternoon.


Still Buzzing

UK pop-punk pioneers the Vibrators play Spokane again, likely for the last time
They say it's their final U.S. tour, and as they've been on the road — in one form or another — for more than 40 years, you tend to believe them. For that reason alone, the Vibrators' upcoming (and presumably last) Spokane show shouldn't be missed.


Spokane Rock City

Photographer Erick Doxey trains his eye on Tinnabulation Music Festival's first year
The inaugural Tinnabulation Music Festival took over Riverfront Park this past weekend — at least the part of the park not currently under reconstruction — giving ticket holders the chance to see what a big-time festival looks like in the heart of the Lilac City. Upon entry, music lovers found themselves strolling across bridges and alongside the river to four stages featuring more than 50 bands, ranging from local favorites like Summer in Siberia and Jango to headliners like the John Butler Trio and OK Go.


Bass Master

One of the busiest session musicians in the game, Thundercat has developed into an eccentric, unpredictable artist in his own right
Thundercat's fretwork can seem like an illusion. Between fingering full chords on his monstrous six-string bass and singing in a delicate, soulful falsetto, he'll throw in licks so quick and fluid, they look like they're being played in fast-forward.


Pumped Up Kicks

Since scoring a surprise radio hit in 2011, Foster the People continue to explore the dark side of pop on their third album
Back in the summer of 2011, it seemed like "Pumped Up Kicks" was always playing somewhere. The song, recorded by the Los Angeles band Foster the People, appeared to come out of nowhere, and it was both maddeningly catchy and seemingly inescapable.


Soundtracking Your Feast

From rock to blues to hip-hop, these Pig Out in the Park headliners are the choicest cuts
Too Slim and the Taildraggers Thursday at 8:30 pm, Lilac Stage


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Another Brick in the Wall

The LEGO Ninjago Movie delivers fun family action, but can't quite rise to the level of its predecessors
It's easy to feel like everyone hates you in high school; teenage hormones and angst always get the better of you. But in the case of Lloyd, The LEGO Ninjago Movie's protagonist, those feelings are totally justified.


Shocking Awe

Kingsman: The Golden Circle amps up its spectacle and cruder comic-book elements for round two
Kingsman: The Golden Circle doesn't pussyfoot around. It takes about one minute for the movie to launch into a full-blown, high-speed chase through the streets of London that includes cybernetic limbs, hand-to-hand combat, acrobatics, a Gatling gun, gadgets and missile fire.


oh, brother!

Darren Aronofsky's artsy, surreal psychodrama mother! thinks it's an allegory about the exploitation of women, but it's exploitation itself
I cannot recall the last time a film made me as angry as Darren Aronofsky's mother! has.


Not Clowning Around

The first big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's epic It is a solid, if unremarkable, exploration of childhood horrors
Stephen King's 1986 novel It remains the prolific author's wooziest, most sprawling deconstruction of small-town America's thinly veiled moral decay. It's an epic fable about a force of shapeshifting, supernatural evil that haunts the fictional hamlet of Derry, Maine, and the group of social outcasts (self-dubbed the Losers' Club) that team up to fight it, first as kids and then years later as adults.


Unorthodox Orthodoxy

The narrative debut of a documentarian, Menashe is an empathetic character study with a vivid sense of place
Menashe tells the gentle, carefully observed story of a man caught between strict social constructs and his own paternal instincts. Its basic building blocks suggest the sort of plot we've seen many times before, but its vivid backdrop makes this one different: It's set in the bustling Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn's Borough Park, and like many of its inhabitants, it never steps beyond the perimeter of the neighborhood.


Midlife Crisis

The preposterous rom-com Home Again is basically a Pottery Barn catalog brought to life
Alice Kinney spends the morning of her 40th birthday crying in the bathroom. Of course she does — that's what women do — and Alice (Reese Witherspoon) has so much to be sad about.


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Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky @ Knitting Factory

Sat., Sept. 23, 8 p.m.

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