fri 23/04/2021

2000s

Andrea Bajani: If You Kept a Record of Sins review - where blame, grief and discovery meet

“I think it happened to you, too, the first time you arrived.” So begins Andrea Bajani’s second novel (Se consideri le colpe, 2007), recently translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris, with the narrator’s characteristic reserve. “You”, that...

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Album: Annie - Dark Hearts

The term electro-pop has kind of lost its meaning, The Top 20 has, for many years, been full of music created on computers, from Charli XCX to BTS to Clean Bandit. Yet still, as a genre header, it's often used to refer to music that riffs on the...

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Book extract: Snake by Erica Wright

Ophidiophobia is one of our most common fears, from the Greek for serpent ('Ophidia'). Writer and editor Erica Wright grew up in Tennessee with periodic interruptions from rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads, who were spotted slinking around...

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Album: Bright Eyes - Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

During the first decade of this century Conor Oberst was critically anointed as a successor to the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. It didn’t seem to make him very happy. His project Bright Eyes, with musical prodigies Nate Walcott...

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Album: Hayley Williams - Petals for Armor

The music of monstrously successful emo-pop sorts Paramore is globally massive but is far from everyone’s cup of angst-lite. There is something polished and squeaky clean about them, Teflon fluoro-goth with an off-putting whiff of decent boy/girl-...

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Dark Waters review - an ominous drama with plenty of backbone, but not enough flesh

Watching Dark Waters, the latest film from director Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven), I kept thinking — what’s the opposite of a love letter? The film is based on the work of Rob Bilott, a real-life lawyer who uncovered a corruption scandal so...

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Album: La Roux - Supervision

10 years ago, a wave of exciting femme-pop was cresting, women taking the reins with singular visions; the results were shiny, personally honest, inventive and ebullient, from Gaga to Adele and beyond. A leading light was La Roux, a duo fronted by...

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Currie, Jordan, NCO, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - major marimba music

Finding one piece for marimba soloist and string orchestra would tax the powers of many concert planners, never mind coming up with two, so the Northern Chamber Orchestra is to be congratulated on its first Manchester performance of 2020 –...

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Album: Electric Soft Parade - Stages

18 years ago, Electric Soft Parade, centred around brothers Alex and Thomas White, were the latest hyped hope of indie kids and NME-type media. However, their might-have-been moment imploded when they moved too fast for their fans, rocketing off in...

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Heston's Marvellous Menu: Back to the Noughties, BBC Two review - ghost of food trends past

Heston Blumenthal, of triple-cooked chips fame, is a mad food scientist. Well, that’s how we’re introduced to him in Heston’s Marvellous Menu. Tonight’s BBC Two programme had a rather theatrical premise: a chef recreating the complete dining...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Mercury Rev - All is Dream

In the liner notes to the new reissue of 2001’s All is Dream, Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue says it is “a weird astral album musically, and yes the symbolism lyrically runs many layers down and deep – different coloured layers of rock, soil and ash...

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The Last Tree review - young, angry, and black in '90s UK

Putting a radical spin on a fish-out-of-water story, The Last Tree explores troubling aspects of the African diaspora experience in an England riddled with xenophobia and black-on-black racism. Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical second feature is...

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