mon 24/01/2022

CDs/DVDs

Blu-ray: Champion

Champion (1949), one of many boxing films of the 1930s and 1940s, made a sculpture – and a star – of Kirk Douglas. In one of the few non-fight scenes, Douglas, as middleweight Midge Kelly, agrees to pose for an artist (Lola Albright), but quickly...

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Album: Fiona Monbet – Maelström

Fiona Monbet is a phenomenal violinist with a huge expressive range. Her credentials, above all in jazz, are impeccable: the late Didier Lockwood once declared the Franco-Irish musician to be his “spiritual daughter”, but her influences range...

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Album: Eels - Extreme Witchcraft

Mr. E’s music examines hellish depths, but always climbs back towards the light. Electro-Shock Blues (1998) was soon redeemed by “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues”, and a trilogy of sometimes feral, wracked albums ended with Tomorrow Morning (2010). As the...

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Album: Earl Sweatshirt - Sick!

Around 2017, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, known professionally as Earl Sweatshirt, said he wanted to push his music in a more experimental direction, to do “riskier shit” to be precise. This need to venture out after being released contractually from...

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Album: John Mellencamp - Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

“I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It was just sent to me”, John Mellencamp has said of Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, his first album in five years.Lauded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Nora Guthrie, who sees in his work echoes of her father...

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Album: Lady London - Lady Like: The Boss Tape

Virtual “mixtapes” are not proper albums. Their purpose is often to whet the appetite. Nowhere is this more so than in US hip hop and right now Lady London’s new teaser is much-vaunted.Off the back of a couple of hot tunes that woke her peers to her...

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Blu-ray: Ingmar Bergman Vol 2

In my teens, I was one of the budding cinephiles who ran the Film Club at my boarding school. Once a month, we’d rent an arthouse movie. The films would be projected on the Saturday night.Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) was a revelation. As...

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Album: Boris - W

This is just boggling. The Japanese rock trio Boris have been together in the same lineup for over a quarter of a century – and it’s longer still since their original formation – but they’re outdoing themselves record by record. Their last record,...

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Album: Elvis Costello and the Imposters - The Boy Named If

There is a sense in which Elvis Costello emerged as a recording artist fully grown, with that unique vocal mix of vulnerability and insolence, savvy and often brilliant lyrics. Although he has never stopped experimenting, always with the logic of a...

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Album: Spell Songs II – Let the Light In

The first set of Spell Songs, The Lost Words, was inspired by nature writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris’s spell-spinning mission to bring back those ‘lost words’ from the natural world that had been excised from children’s...

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Album: Grace Cummings - Storm Queen

Although Storm Queen begins forcefully with the suitably tempestuous “Heaven,” the most affecting track on the second album from Melbourne’s Grace Cummings is the sparse, reflective “Two Little Birds.” The two performances capture the opposing poles...

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Album: Cat Power - Covers

It has been claimed by a good many commentators over the years, that an album of cover versions suggests that an artist is running out of steam and inspiration. Jazzers normally get a pass on this one as they are far more inclined to improvise...

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