thu 25/07/2024

California

Album: AJ Lee & Blue Summit - City of Glass

In the world of popular music, tangential connections to success are profile-raising. They offer an immediate connection to an artist. It is beholden on me, then, despite not knowing it when I first enjoyed this album, to mention that rising Grammy...

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The Marilyn Conspiracy, Park Theatre review - intriguing murder mystery

The death of Marilyn Monroe is a wet dream for conspiracy theorists. Like the assassination of JFK in the following year there is plenty of material in the official accounts that doesn’t quite make sense – which opens the door to free-form...

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Rain Parade, 229 review - the Paisley Underground perennials prove unafraid of their past

It kicks off with “No Easy Way Down.” First released on 1984’s mini-LP Explosions in the Glass Palace, it was an instant benchmark by which to measure Rain Parade. Churning, dense and foggy, it made good on what this California outfit were portrayed...

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Judy Chicago: Revelations, Serpentine Gallery review - art designed to change the world

Being a successful artist is not Judy Chicago’s primary goal. She abandoned that ambition six decades ago when the Los Angeles art world greeted her with hostility. Now she’s having the last laugh, though. At 84 she is being heaped with accolades,...

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The Beach Boys, Disney+ review - heroes and villains and good vibrations

It was – let’s see – 63 years ago today that Brian Wilson taught the band to play. Fabled for their resplendent harmonies and ecstatic hymning of the sun-kissed California dream, the Beach Boys seemed to represent everything golden and glorious...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Mark Eric - A Midsummer’s Day Dream

In June 1969, The Beach Boys released “Break Away” as a single. A month earlier, they had announced they were leaving Capitol Records, who they had been with since 1962. The split with their long-term label came after the band sued for unpaid...

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Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-school horror movie back catalogue

Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school for her latest, Lisa Frankenstein, which focuses on another troubled teen. This one has goth looks accessorised...

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Hir, Park Theatre review - incendiary production for Taylor Mac's rich absurdist family drama

In 2017, two years after Hir premiered, Taylor Mac was awarded a “Genius Grant” and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The new production of Hir at the Park demonstrates why. It’s a rich, provocative piece about the ideas that drive us now,...

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Infinite Life, National Theatre review - beguiling new comedy about a world of pain

A sun deck with seven pale-green padded loungers is the latest setting for the latest National Theatre premiere from American playwright Annie Baker to people in her inimitable way. In her hands this banal space is as dramatically charged as...

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RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology, Barbican review - women fighting to protect the environment

RE/SISTERS is a show about the brave women who’ve been fighting to protect our planet and the artists whose work – mainly in film and photography – is, in itself, a form of protest. The opening section, Extractive Economics demonstrates the problem...

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Album: Devendra Banhart - Flying Wig

Had Devendra Banhart been born between 1940 and 1950, he’d likely be a household name. His output – very loosely – sits between Cat Stevens, Syd Barrett and Richie Havens, studded with a greatness not widely acknowledged. He had a spell around 15-20...

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Fremont review - lovely wry portrait of an Afghan refugee looking for love

A cameo by Jeremy Allen White wouldn’t usually excite interest, but the star of Disney+’s The Bear is big box-office now, so his presence in Fremont, however brief, will probably guarantee it an audience. There the curious will also find a gem from...

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