fri 07/05/2021

California

Album: Tune-Yards - Sketchy

Tune-Yards have been much-feted for bringing an original sound to pop. Quite rightly so. Over the last decade the Californian duo, led by singing percussionist Merrill Garbus, have fired out four albums (and a film soundtrack) that amalgamated...

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Album: Skyway Man - The World Only Ends When You Die

When the concept album first properly took flight, in the late 1960s, before it became slave to the bloated artifice of prog-rock, it was an extension of the LSD-soaked times: “Songs aren’t big enough, man, I need a bigger canvas!” Famed albums by...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Lost Innocence - Garpax 1960s Punk & Psych

An old saw relating to The Doors says their ambition when they formed was to be as big as Los Angeles-based garage-psych sensations The Seeds. After listening to Lost Innocence – Garpax 1960s Punk & Psych, it’s hard not to wonder where the bands...

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Blu-ray: Visual Acoustics

One of the world’s leading architectural photographers, Julius Shulman was the subject of a show at London’s Photographers’ Gallery this autumn, “Altered States of America”. That title surely alluded to the visual modernism that changed the face of...

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Falling review - Viggo Mortensen's powerful directorial debut

“California is for cocksuckers and flag-burners. Did they know you were a fag in the army?” Willis (Lance Henriksen; best known as Bishop in Alien) asks his son John (Viggo Mortensen), now living in LA with his husband Eric and their adopted...

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Emma Cline: Daddy review - scintillating short stories by the author of The Girls

The Girls, Emma Cline’s acclaimed debut novel of 2016, was billed as a story based on the Manson murders. But in fact, like some of the stories in Daddy, her new short-story collection (written over a decade, several have already been published in...

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Bill & Ted Face the Music review - modestly delightful

Beavis and Butthead’s vicious grunge-era gormlessness remains interred, Wayne and Garth (and their stars’ careers) are too superannuated to revive. But here are the slightest of Gen X’s idiot double-acts, back again to save the universe in a time-...

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Album: Allison Neale - Quietly There

Seattle-born Allison Neale’s alto saxophone sound is instantly appealing. Her playing has the light wispy, airy quality from the "cool", "West Coast" school of Paul Desmond. One day last year, she spent just six hours (10am-5pm minus an hour for...

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Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Sky Atlantic review - the good, the bad and the unspeakable

American history of the 1930s and ‘40s suddenly seems to be all the rage on TV, cropping up in the reborn Perry Mason, Das Boot and now this new incarnation of Penny Dreadful (Sky Atlantic). The original was a blowsy Gothic mash-up of Dracula,...

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Album: HAIM - Women in Music Pt. III

If the title of their third album alludes to the lazy assumption of female-fronted as a musical genre, HAIM’s revenge is to try a little bit of everything, while never sounding anything less than themselves. Women in Music Pt. III elevates the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks - Orange Crate Art

Orange Crate Art makes most sense in the context of Van Dyke Parks’s solo career rather than that of Brian Wilson’s. For the former it was preceded by Tokyo Rose, an orchestrated set tackling the intersections of American-Japanese cultural and socio...

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Album: Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

Girl-wonder Phoebe Bridgers is one of the brightest stars to come out of the ever-renewing pool of creative talent that bubbles away in Southern California. Her new album, following the release last year of the brillant Better Oblivion Community...

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