Western Stars finds the Boss in the middle of the road
Movie Review: Western Stars
Bruce Springsteen decided not to tour for his latest album that pays homage to the American frontier, so he made a live performance documentary featuring archival footage, personal vignettes, and an entire string section that bows a new appreciation for easy listening.
Bohemian Rhapsody misses Mercury’s sexy essence
Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek does an awfully good job of manufacturing an English accent and a sense of sweet mischief, but for all his talent and ambition, he lacks the physical magnetism that defined Freddie Mercury and Queen’s unique place in the arena rock pantheon.
A Star is Born is a gassy giant, indeed
Movie review: A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper writes, directs and stars in this latest revamp of a seminal Hollywood yarn that proves the nexus of progressive America remains completely conservative when it comes to its own story. On the bright side, Cooper and Lady Gaga use their first-timer adrenaline to fuel this bumpy rocket ride, creating great spectacle -- if not deep drama.
At #TIFF18, it’s all about the music
Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival
The soundtrack of movies can leave you with the exhilaration of the dance floor, or bring you down into the existential angst of neo-noir
By Jay Stone
(September 8, 2018) TORONTO — There was a great moment at the movies this morning, near the end of Gloria Bell, Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his own 2013 drama Gloria. Julianne Moore, replacing Chilean actress Paulina Garcia in the original, stars as a 50ish divorcee — are they still called that? — who has a productive but somewhat lonely life that she spices up by going to dance clubs and letting herself get lost in the candy sounds of disco. A romance with a divorced man (John Turturro), who seems not quite totally divorced, disrupts her balance, but in the final scene, we see Moore back on the dance floor, raising her arms and swaying from side to side as Laura Branigan sings the old hit Gloria.
You can sometimes forget the importance of music in ...
Juliet, Naked strips romance down to nagging self-doubt
Movie review: Juliet, Naked
Director Jesse Peretz brings alt-rock authenticity to Nick Hornby’s story of a singer-songwriter who fell off the map, only to be rediscovered by the long-suffering partner of an obsessive fan. Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd offer pure performance, but it’s Rose Byrne’s quiet navigation of personal desire that redeems the ego-fest.
Michael Joplin remembers a happy Janis
Interview: Michael Joplin
Though Janis Joplin's surviving siblings don't occupy huge amounts of screen time, Michael and Laura Joplin's presence brings a new dimension to Amy Berg's new documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, premiering tonight on PBS
Art Bergmann plays The Apostate
Music: Interview with Art Bergmann
The former Vancouver punk icon says his joints are sore, his back aches and his neck breaks, but the release of his first new LP in a decade proves Art Bergmann is more than a survivor, he's close to folk hero
By Katherine Monk
For the first few minutes, we talk about sciatica, arthritis, spinal surgery and who’s dead. That's just what happens when you're over 50 and you haven't spoken to someone in 20 years. Even if that someone is Art Bergmann – the iconic face of Canadian punk rock turned apostate.
Make that “The Apostate,” because after an extended recording hiatus that witnessed the release of just one EP and a lost recordings collection over the course of a decade, Bergmann has a new LP, The Apostate, what he calls his “response to living in the west."
Bouncing from Vancouver to a small parcel of Albertan landscape situated near “the beige town of Airdrie,” Bergmann started a new life with his wife Sherri a decade ...
David Bowie’s Top Ten movies
Tribute: David Bowie
As the world mourns the loss of an icon who changed pop music, let's not forget David Bowie's impressive, and sometimes abysmal, body of work on the big screen because it was all part of a greater performance
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER - The I-5 was a ribbon of wet blackness that emerged, intermittently, with each croaking swipe of the wipers. It was going to be a long drive from Vancouver to Tacoma, and in late October rain without someone to talk to, it was going to feel even longer.
No one wanted to see Bowie with me. Not this tour, at any rate. My partner was a former music promoter. After a lifetime of walking around with a headset and a deck of laminates around her neck, she had no desire to be a plus-one in press seats.
Besides, it was the Outside tour. A 1995 conceptual opera featuring Nine Inch Nails and Bowie playing the character of Nathan Adler, a man who judges the worthiness of art in a post-apocalyptic future, the Outside tour proved ...
Rod Mickleburgh’s Cool Yule Top Ten
Music: Christmas Carols
A devout atheist reveals an unrepentant penchant for Christmas carols, and offers a list of top yule tunes, as well as a few nasty disasters from the past
By Rod Mickleburgh
A confirmed atheist from birth, I nevertheless fell under the spell of Christmas carols early on in my twisted, hippie life. I well remember a time when, in the days leading to Christmas, CBC Radio would broadcast the singing of carols every morning from the Timothy Eaton’s Store in Toronto. And this was no professional choir. The singers were the shoppers, and whoever else showed up to carol at 8.30 a.m., when the half-hour live broadcast began. Complete with coughing, the grave, echo-y announcements of the next carol, the audible rustling of the carol sheets and finally, the glorious sound of all those voices raised on high, it was an indelible part of my “child’s Christmas in Newmarket”.
I can tell you they never did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the ...
Pop Culture Decoder: Christmas Music
Christmas music is more maligned than soul patches; Misty Harris jumps to its defence
By Misty Harris
Every holiday season, the masses profess their hatred of Christmas music with a level of zeal normally reserved for discussions about politics, refugees, or Starbucks cup designs. As with hearing police sirens in a song on your car radio, the genre has a way of unsettling even the most mild-mannered of folks.
I, however, am not one of the masses. Call me punk rock but I LOVE Christmas music – so much, in fact, that it’s virtually the only thing I listen to between mid-November and Boxing Day. Cut me and I’ll bleed tinsel.
Why, you ask? Allow me to decode.
* Happiness: Admittedly, most holiday tunes lack complexity in terms of lyrics, melody and variety of plant life. But like Hugh Hefner bedding women in their 20s, Christmas music isn’t there to impress so much as to belabour a point: Fa la la la la (la la la la)! Surrendering to its unshakable optimism ...