Reviews

CD Review: TRUE GRIT original soundtrack

TRUE GRIT soundtrack | ©2010 La La Land Records

It’s been a while since The Coen Brothers made a film as conventionally enjoyable as TRUE GRIT, let alone one that would allow their house composer Carter Burwell to engage in a full-blooded, mainstream score for them in the western genre he last trod upon with the modern cowboys of 1998’s THE HI-LO COUNTRY. While there will always be a sly subversion to one of the more engaging directors-musician relationships in modern cinema, fans of original GRIT composer Elmer Bernstein will feel home on the range with the brassily vast scope of Burwell’s work, right from the thundering heroism of […]Read On »

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Book Review: PEOPLE WHO DESERVE IT: SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE REASONS TO PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE FACE

PEOPLE WHO DESERVE IT: SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE REASONS TO PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE FACE | ©2010 Penguin

It’s rare a book comes along that captures the zeitgeist of pop culture in the nutshell, but for 2010, PEOPLE WHO DESERVE IT: SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE REASONS TO PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE FACE is as cathartic as they come.

It’s a humorous look at the obnoxious annoying people who make you want to punch them in horribly painful ways. Before you think this is an excuse to live out your most carnal inner desires, be warned, the book makes you sign a release form so you can’t say in court “the book made me do it.”

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CD Review: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – DAMN THE TORPEDOES: Deluxe Edition

TOM PETTY and the HEARTBREAKERS - Damn the Torpedoes Deluxe Edition | ©2010 Geffen Records

It’s hard to grasp that the first two Tom Petty records – 1976’s self titled release (featuring “American Girl” and “Breakdown) and 1978’s YOU’RE GONNA GET IT! (featuring “I Need to Know” and “Listen to Her Heart”) – were not commercial successes in the states.

The U.K. loved the band, but despite those great songs, they struggled to find a stateside audience.

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CD Review: Bruce Springsteen – THE PROMISE

THE PROMISE - Bruce Springsteen | ©2010 Sony

Whenever an artist starts scrounging around their archives for unreleased tracks, it’s usually for a box set of rarities, or even worse, a way to dredge up past glories when the current musical muse has long-since dried up.

That’s not the case with Bruce Springsteen. In the ‘90s he released an incredibly ambitious box set of B-sides and rarities called TRACKS that proved even his toss-offs were A-sides.

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The X List: RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE is one of the Highlights to DVD and Blu-ray Titles This Week

(c) 2010 Screen Gems. RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE Blu-ray

Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections. Yeah, I missed last week, it’s the holidays, sue me. Anyway, this is the combined Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 releases out now. Movies: RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE – Another chapter of the video game franchise on the big screen has Alice once again kicking ass and taking Umbrella […]Read On »

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CD Review: BLACK SWAN / FASTER soundtracks

© 2010 Sony Classical | Black Swan Soundtrack

Clint Mansell has always felt the need for speed, let alone the seeming urge to accompany more mental disintegrations than a national tour of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. Taking the next evolution from playing with Pop Will Eat Itself to make a stunning alt. scoring debut with 1998’s PI (a film that also marked the debut of his frequent auteur collaborator Darren Aronofsky), Mansell’s prolific, and usually innovative output has combined the shredding rhythms of industrial rock, the lush melodic reaches of a symphony orchestra and enough minimal chord progressions to rate a celebrity death match with Philip […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: V star Morena Baccarin sheds her skin

Morena Baccarin in V - Season Two | ©2010 ABC/photo by Bob D'Amico

In ABC’s reboot of V, the alien Visitors trying to take over Earth are led by Anna (played by Morena Baccarin), who is a pretty cold customer even by extraterrestrial reptile standards. She mates with humans and then eats them, skins alive subordinates who displease her and even beats up her own daughter Lisa for disobedience. This season, we’ll see that Anna also has been dishing out rough treatment to her mother (portrayed by Jane Badler, who was the primary alien villainess in the original ’80s incarnation of V). Thanks to the fact that Anna is played by Baccarin (pronounced […]Read On »

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Music/DVD Review: BLACK FRANCIS – THE GOLEM soundtrack

THE GOLEM soundtrack - Black Francis

When I first heard Black Francis (i.e. Frank Black, i.e. Charles Thompson) was concocting a soundtrack to the classic 1916 German silent film THE GOLEM, I thought it might be a more traditional kind of score. Instead, true to his music roots, he’s created a more rock and roll soundtrack for this endeavor featuring both instrumentals and actual songs (the songs are featured here on this new CD). This results in one of Francis’ strongest and most consistent albums in years. He originally performed his score live in San Francisco – and this is the studio version of that performance.

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Music Review: Kings of Leon – COME AROUND SUNDOWN

Kings of Leon - COME AROUND SUNDOWN | ©2010 RCA Records

In a recent interview with SPIN Magazine, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill said: “I still think there’s a song in me that will go down as one of the greats. I haven’t written it yet, not even close.” I would disagree with that statement, since “Use Somebody” from their 2008 breakthrough album ONLY BY THE NIGHT fits that bill to a tee. It’s a perfect pop-rock ballad seething with angst riddled lyrics and a performance by Followill that will guarantee that song lives on pop radio for the next two decades.

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