sun 29/05/2022

California

Long Promised Road review - another attempt to probe the fragile genius of Brian Wilson

There has been no shortage of documentaries about king Beach Boy Brian Wilson, not to mention the 2014 bio-drama Love & Mercy, so the purpose of this new effort by director Brent Wilson (no relation) isn’t altogether clear. Certainly Wilson (the...

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Rare Earth Mettle, Royal Court review - one long unsatisfying slog

Why are we indifferent to anti-Semitism? In the past few weeks the Royal Court, a proud citadel of wokeness, has been embroiled in an appalling case of prejudice by allowing a character, who is a really bad billionaire, in Al Smith’s new play, Rare...

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Hahn, Philharmonia, Chan, Royal Festival Hall review – nature's angels and demons

One benefit of the green tide in culture – music included – is that it should allow audiences to approach the arts inspired by the natural world in Britain, and elsewhere, a century ago with fresh ears and eyes. Weary over-familiarity can render a...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Blow My Mind! The Doré-Era-Mira Punk & Psych Legacy

Any compilation with a track credited to “Unknown Artist” is always going to entice, especially when it’s one which goes the full way by digging into original master tapes to find the best audio sources and previously unearthed nuggets. In this case...

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Album: Santana - Blessings and Miracles

Some guitar sounds are instantly recognisable. Carlos Santana blazed a trail in the late 1960s, with incandescent licks that made him world famous. He has traded on that brand – as brand it inevitably is – for more than half a century.He is in a way...

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Clickbait, Netflix review - fiendishly cunning thriller keeps everybody guessing

It seems Covid-19 may not be the only plague threatening mankind. The virus is nowhere to be seen in Netflix’s grippingly twisty mystery Clickbait, but it’s the use and abuse of social media that drives its tale of malice, murder and deception.The...

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The Beach Boys: Feel Flows - the Sunflower and Surf's Up Sessions 1969-1971

“Add some music to your day,” the Beach Boys urged in their song of the same name, from their 1970 album Sunflower. There’s far more than a day’s worth of music included on this immense five-CD package, which scrutinises the turn-of-the Seventies...

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Album: Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish was shot through fame’s looking glass with increasing force right through her teens. A girl’s hopeful artistic dreams exposed her to infinite judgement of her body and soul, social and mass media magnifying every blemish and...

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Album: Tomu DJ - Feminista

The endless circles and spirals that dance music moves in can take you to some strange places.It is, after all, a little peculiar that a producer from California, who was first turned on to DJing by the edgy, claustrophobic, ultra-modernist sound of...

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Album: Wavves - Hideaway

Wavves’ Nathan Williams found you can go home again. Following a deteriorating decade on a major label, and 2017’s raucous retrenchment You’re Welcome (2017), the punk-pop Californians have returned to their first label, Fat Possum. Williams then...

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Physical, Apple TV+ review - too much pain, not enough gain

It’s not easy to sum up Physical in a pithy soundbite, though “quasi-political misanthropic comedy” might be vaguely in the right ballpark. It’s set in San Diego, California in the early Eighties, in the aftermath of Ronald Reagan’s election to the...

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

With over eight million copies sold in its 50-year lifespan, Déjà Vu was, as Cameron Crowe writes in the booklet accompanying this compendious four-CD edition, “one of the most famous second albums in rock history”. It was originally released in...

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