sun 31/05/2020

Chicago

Dangerous Lies, Netflix review - slick silliness

When not dipping into its bottomless debts to write Scorsese blank cheques, Netflix tends to favour old-school TV movie potboilers such as this slick, silly thriller, in which young couple Katie (Camila Mendes) and Adam (Jessie T Usher) have their...

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Can You Keep A Secret? review - a bumpy ride

Featherweight is one thing, brainless is another. Can You Keep A Secret?, the romcom adapted by screenwriter Peter Hutchings from the 2003 novel by Sophie Kinsella, uneasily straddles the two until a conclusion that goes off the rails...

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CD: Califone - Echo Mine

Inevitably expectations were high, given that this Chicago experimental rock band are one of my favourite groups of the 21st century, and this is their first album for seven years. And at first it’s hard to know what to make of Echo Mine. There are...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Bruckner, Notice Recordings

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 Igor Levit (Sony)“Beethoven paid no attention at all to the conventions of his own time In fact, he only ever wrote music for the future.” One strength of Igor Levit’s magnificent traversal of Beethoven’s piano...

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Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre review - hard times, hot tunes

It’s too darn hot, BoJo is in Downing Street, and we’re all going to Brexit hell – so we might as well sing the blues. Or at least take a night off from the apocalypse to enjoy a virtuoso company singing them for us in this rousing revival of...

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CD: Daniel Knox - Chasescene

Genuine authorship in popular music often manifests as eccentricity. Commercially driven musical entertainment thrives on treading familiar paths, tweaking well-established genres, often rooted in the various traditions of African-American styles...

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Widows review - feminist crime pays

Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to Oscar-winning director has been deceptively smooth. The chasm between Bobby Sands’ emaciated martyrdom in his feature debut, Hunger (2008), and a star-packed heist film seems still greater. His radical...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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CD: Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

Concluding a trilogy of releases that began with the EPs Not the Actual Events (2016) and Add Violence (2017) – Bad Witch is being called an LP despite its six tracks clocking in at only 30 minutes, a discrepancy that reportedly led an exasperated...

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CD: Ryley Walker - Deafman Glance

As it was with his last album Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, it’s impossible to listen to Ryley Walker without comparisons to John Martyn and Tim Buckley – the jazz-infused, non-linear Buckley of Lorca – springing to mind. But this time round,...

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Rasheeda Speaking, Trafalgar Studios review - unsettling comedy, thorny racism

Conflict and comedy can be unpredictable bedfellows, and Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson’s 2014 play occasionally risks overstretching itself in its attempts to reconcile the two – although its immediate context, the world of office politics,...

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The Good Fight, Series 2, More4 review - the longer they do it, the better it gets

The mystery remains of why they keep tucking away The Good Fight on More4, as they did with its illustrious predecessor The Good Wife. No disrespect to 4’s ancillary channel – now seemingly the designated last resting place of Grand Designs – but it...

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