sat 05/12/2020

1980s

Selva Almada: Dead Girls review – the stark proximity of women to violence

Selva Almada’s newly translated work has a stark title in both English and the original Spanish: Dead Girls, or Chicas Muertas. That apparent bluntness belies the hybrid sensitivity that makes up the pages. Its subject matter is the murders of three...

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New Mutants review - superheroes and the supernatural collide

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Josh Boone’s New Mutants. Delayed production, reshoots, the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, Covid-19, and accusations of whitewashing, have all contributed to it being dubbed a ‘cursed’ film. Now, with...

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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Album: Conrad Schnitzler & Frank Bretschneider - Con-Struct

When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the participants in this album have certainly been on the very cutting edge of sound-making, on multiple occasions. Conrad Schnitzler was a student of radical artist Joseph Beuys and leading light in...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Shellshock Rock

The feather in this particular cap is a DVD of director John T. Davis’ 1979 film Shellshock Rock. Filmed from October 1978 to April 1979, its 50 minutes thrillingly catch the Troubles-era Ulster getting to grips with punk rock. Vox pops from...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms 1970-1982

“These are African rhythms, passed down to us from the ancient spirits. Feel the spirits, a unifying force. Come on, move with the spirits. Stand up. Clap your hands. Groove with the rhythms. Get down. Get off.”So begins “African Rhythms”,...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Philip Rambow - The Rebel Kind

“Strange Destinies” is the first track. “Take your eyes off me Svengali” is its memorable opening phrase. Conjuring up Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Mike Scott, Bruce Springsteen and even The Boomtown Rats when they were aping the first and fourth of...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Razorcuts - Storyteller, The World Keeps Turning

Razorcuts formed after Tim Vass discovered Alan McGee’s Living Room club. In the booklet accompanying the reissue of his band’s first album Storyteller, Vass says of the weekly London promotion that “The headline act would often be someone like The...

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Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, BBC One review - still lives run deep

The eyes have it in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, which is in no way to discount this venerable writer's gift for words. Time and again in this vaunted series of dramatic solos, ten of which have now been remade alongside two new ones, a character...

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Blu-ray/DVD: It Couldn't Happen Here

The Pet Shop Boys' film It Couldn’t Happen Here, originally released in 1988, has been given a new outing on a BFI Blu-ray/DVD that contextualises it with special features. While it's an entertaining snapshot of a particular time in British and...

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New Music Lockdown 9: Chic, Laura Marling, Billy Bragg, Steel Panther, Wendy James and more

For better or worse, the lockdown may be easing in the UK but there’s no sign of any gig action, even on the far distant horizon. So it’s back to our screens for all that, and here’s the latest, liveliest selection of concerts, conversations and...

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Album: Westerman - Your Hero is not Dead

Will Westerman is not afraid of sounding retro. It's clear his influences are diverse, from jazz fusion to the bedroom proto-house experiments of Arthur Russell. But in their final form, his high gloss production, highly literate songs and fretless...

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