Russell Howard: Round the World - Review

Russell Howard

Performance at The Earl, Atlanta, 4 May 2017.

Having seen Russell Howard on Mock the Week, then catching his stand-up and later seeing him host the terrific Good News, it was a no-brainer to go catch him live for $25 while he was in town. For those of you unfamiliar with Howard, he's what would happen if ADHD manifested itself in human form and was then filmed by a Phantom Camera so it could be slowed down from Tasmanian Devil speed to something you could actually perceive. Because there's something to be said for seeing comedy in the flesh and the energy at last night's performance was pretty fantastic.

Helping things were not only the fairly intimate nature of The Earl's performance venue (with seating in place vs. their usual SRO, there wasn't really a bad seat there) but also the fact that opening act Dedrick Flynn (unfamiliar with him before now, but damn, the man is funny) opened with a bit to amp up the crowd that Howard apparently liked so much he used it as a refrain for the rest of his act. So Howard leapt in out of the gate and honestly seemed to like the crowd, as he told us he was only supposed to do an hour (not sure why) but he felt much more relaxed and open to chat.

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By |May 3rd, 2017|Reviews|0 Comments

Set the Boy Free - Book Review

Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

Written by Johnny Marr
Published by Dey Books

Initially known as the other creative half of The Smiths, Johnny Marr has had a pretty great run as his own guy. He's spent most of his adult life making some of the best melodies of the last forty years via his cofounding Electronic with Bernard Sumner of New Order and signing on for stints as a member of The The, The Cribs and Modest Mouse.

Now an established solo artist he's strummed his stuff on several soundtracks (most notably Inception) and been a collaborator with Beck, Kirsty MacColl, Billy Bragg, Pet Shop Boys, The Pretenders and Bryan Ferry.

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By |January 16th, 2017|Reviews|0 Comments

David Bowie Is… Invades The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

David Bowie Is

Widge's Note: It was one year ago today that we lost David Bowie--not the first casualty of The Year Which Must Not Be Named but just the first wave of the onslaught. But it was a bitter pill for everyone to swallow. Bowie was the Swiss Army Knife of musicians, trying on new personas like somebody whose dad owned a persona factory. One of the testaments to Bowie's chameleon-like nature was and is the David Bowie Is exhibition, currently in Tokyo and will be headed for Barcelona, opening May 25th. If there's any way in hell you can go, then go. Music Minister Rob Levy filed this report regarding his visit to the exhibition while it was based in Chicago. And we're reposting it today because it's One Year After.

Once in a while, a museum exhibition comes along that simply wows you with a sense of "I must see this!" glee and excitement! Like a Van Gogh retrospective or the Tut Exhibition from back in the day, the MCA's David Bowie Is was such an experience.

Created by London's Victoria & Albert Museum, this exhibition is the first to examine Bowie as a powerful figure in music, art design, theatre and film. It also emphasizes his impact on contemporary culture through the lens of his creative process and multiple collaborations. The exhibition, which opened on September 23, 2014 and closed on January 4, 2015 was a pretty big deal. The MCA Chicago was the only American venue for David Bowie Is, making it the epicenter for music freaks, artists and pop culture junkies.

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By |January 10th, 2017|Reviews|1 Comment

Rogue One - Movie Review

Felicity Jones - Rogue One

If you are reading this, chances are high you are at least a casual fan of Star Wars. It comes with the territory. Let's assume you've come here to find out how good Rogue One is without reading spoilers. I think I can be of help.

To summarize the story briefly: Agents of the Rebellion seek out Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star's architect. They want to use her to gain access to information about that rumored, terrific weapon. When they find out that the Death Star is real, a group of soldiers tries to steal the blueprints to the space station in order to find a hidden vulnerability in the design. If this is not what you expected then...where have you been the last couple of years?

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By |December 15th, 2016|Reviews|1 Comment

ScottC's Podcast Review: Audio Drama

Wolf 359 podcast Archive 81 podcast The Bright Sessions podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts. A lot of podcasts. Looking at my podcatcher, I have over sixty on there. I can also say, going total hipster, that I was into podcasts way before Serial. I listen to podcasts, I've been on podcasts, I am organizing a podcast (albeit slowly). I thought I'd share some of the podcasts I listen to and share some of the ones that may have passed you by with the current glut out there.

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By |November 7th, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

Orphan Black: Season Three - DVD Review

Orphan Black Season 3 Blu-Ray

It seems like that every season of Orphan Black just gets bigger and bigger in terms of boldness and innovative storytelling. At a time when many shows begin to peter out, Orphan Black instead picks up the tempo, creating a pitch perfect blend of suspense, comedy and modern science that all seamlessly morph into a compelling and well-acted production.

Recently renewed for a Fourth Season, BBC America has just released Season Three as a three-disc DVD and two-disc Blu Ray set. In addition to the episodes, the collection offers a nice chunk of extras.

BBC America Synopsis:

After neutralizing the threat by the DYAD Institute and the ruthless clone Rachel (Maslany), Project Leda clones Sarah, Alison, Cosima and Helena, (Maslany) are finally all united in their journey towards the truth of who and what they are. But new discoveries that include Helena's kidnapping, a book that could contain the answers to their existence, and the most shocking discovery of them all –- a set of treacherous militaristic male clones (Ari Millen) with an unknown agenda -- will test how tight their new bonds are.

From the start of "The Weight of This Combination" through the finale, "History Yet To Be Written," viewers are taken on an emotional whirlwind, which sees the Clone Club fighting Cantor on all fronts. There’s even an interesting jaunt to London and a great three-episode guest turn from James Frain as Ferdinand, a very dangerous cleaner.

With the success of Season Three, I think we can finally stop calling Orphan Black a cult TV show. The popularity stems from a few factors. First, there is real character development at work here. Second, the stories defy any single genre classification. There's a lot of stuff in the stew, including some wonderful dark humor. This oftentimes features a quirky twist or cruel act of fate that only enhances the drama.

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By |September 3rd, 2015|Reviews|2 Comments

Wayhomer Review #185: Ant-Man 3D

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang in Ant-Man

It's Episode #185 for Ant-Man, in which our protagonist talks about the Marvel streak, frets about their editorial past and also reflects on how the biggest fights can look tiny and inconsequential from a different height. Wow, that's deep, man.
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By |July 22nd, 2015|Reviews, Video Podcasts, Wayhomers|0 Comments

Wayhomer Review #184: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

It's Episode #184 for Tomorrowland, in which our protagonist appreciates ornery Clooney, marvels at his co-stars, and still doesn't have a jetpack.
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By |June 25th, 2015|Reviews, Video Podcasts, Wayhomers|1 Comment

Wayhomer Review #183: Mad Max: Fury Road 3D

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Yes, have some.

It's Episode #183 for Mad Max: Fury Road 3D, in which our protagonist wonders at the amount of automotive splode, the mayhem that exists inside George Miller and also he somehow manages not to be influenced to drive home like a frickin' maniac.
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By |June 3rd, 2015|Reviews, Video Podcasts, Wayhomers|0 Comments

Wayhomer Review #182: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Bailey says:
Widge says:

It's Episode #182 for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which our protagonist is joined by previous Avengers movie reviewer Bailey and they discuss a film with Cecil B. DeMille-level amounts of characters, a user-friendly Gordian knot of plotlines and the finer points of Cap's helmet.
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By |May 4th, 2015|Reviews, Video Podcasts, Wayhomers|4 Comments