mon 25/09/2017

Canada

Mae Martin, Soho Theatre review - life is a drug

She’s only 30, but Mae Martin has been at this comedy lark for a long time. By her own admission she was a rather strange child; she became obsessed with stand-up after her parents took her to a comedy club when she was 11, and she started...

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CD: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

Luciferian Towers, the third album since Canadian oddballs Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s 2011 reunion, is an instrumental psychedelic masterpiece that reflects our times without resorting to political bluster. Indeed, with two of its four tracks...

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Tin Star, Sky Atlantic - broken characters stalked by remorseless fate

Sometimes you can find yourself hankering after those old-fashioned TV dramas where you got a self-contained story every week, so you can drop in on it at any time and still keep up with what’s going on. With Tin Star, on the other hand, you need to...

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Late Company, Trafalgar Studios review - visceral production of Jordan Tannahill's lean, pained drama

Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill wrote Late Company when he was only 23. It would be an impressive achievement at any age, but it seems all the more remarkable that so stark a dissection of the consequences of a tragedy should have come from so...

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Maudie review - intriguing and irritating in turn

The little-known Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis is the Maudie of the title of Aisling Walsh's grim-faced biopic, which feels frustratingly incomplete where it really counts. Sally Hawkins's committed occupancy of this sweet-faced if largely...

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CD: Arcade Fire – Everything Now

If you consider the fanciful notion that Arcade Fire are a kind of Canadian art house Dexys Midnight Runners who have substituted strained angsty soul for strained angsty rock, then the title track of their new album is their “Come On Eileen”. It’s...

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CD: Broken Social Scene - Hug of Thunder

Hug of Thunder makes its case with “Victim Lover”, its ninth track. For the first time on Broken Social Scene’s follow-up to 2010’s Forgiveness Rock Record, the album takes a breath to focus on the song rather than its architecture. “Victim Lover”...

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It’s Only the End of the World

French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan leaves the time and place of It’s Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde) deliberately unclear: “Somewhere, a while ago already” is the only clue offered by its opening titles. An adaptation of the...

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St Lawrence String Quartet, Wigmore Hall

John Adams, let's face it, was the reason many of us came to hear the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Their performances and recordings as dedicatees of his labyrinthine First String Quartet and Absolute Jest, in which the four players function as...

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Planet Earth II: Cities, BBC One

Cities, the fastest growing habitats in the history of the world, provided the subject for the sixth and final programme in Planet Earth II, the series that came a decade after the original Planet Earth programmes set new standards for television...

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Kew's Forgotten Queen, BBC Four

The indefatigable Victorian spinster Marianne North (1830-1890) is the most interesting artist you've never heard of. The upper-middle-class Ms North thought marriage a terrible experiment, and with her single state allowing her control of her...

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Barenaked Ladies, Roundhouse

Lead singer and frontman Ed Robertson launches into a BNL-in-London rap, extolling the Roundhouse, “where they used to turn trains”, as well as the glories of Camden Market’s liquid-nitrogen ice-cream bar. The crowd, with its distinctly Cold Feet...

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