Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:54 pm
If it seems perplexing why an idea that has broad support nationally could fail to pass the U.S. Senate, here's an important reminder: The Senate is not a democratic institution.
It never has been, and it was never designed to be. Rather, it was structured to give small or sparsely populated states the ability to stop the majority's will. And on Wednesday, that's how it worked out, as the Senate failed to reach a 60-vote threshold to support new background checks on gun purchases.
The title of Disconnect may be read as describing any of several things: the gulf between online and real-world interactions; the chasm that opens between human beings when spoken communication fails; our default emotional position in the face of unthinkable tragedy.
Attempting to address all three interpretations within the confines of a single movie may be courting failure, but writer Andrew Stern and director Henry-Alex Rubin go one better, adding an unnecessary cybercrime angle that muffles the screenplay's more subtle psychological insights.
The best documentaries about filmmaking are the ones that show it at its worst.
Movie sets are fundamentally boring places, where there's mostly a lot of waiting around going on. But when disaster strikes with millions of dollars on the line, the tension and drama are suddenly amped up to levels that often equal those in the movie being filmed.
The off-screen protagonist of Herman's House, Herman Wallace, already has a dwelling for his body: a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola. But the documentary's on-screen protagonist, Jackie Sumell, wants him also to have a place for his soul: a dream house for a man who desperately needs dreams.
The score for Oblivion was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. I point this out because it's the best element of the movie â a cascade of dreamy synthesizers that registers as appropriately futuristic (at least the future as suggested by '80s pop) while allowing an undercurrent of romantic yearning.
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm
The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.
To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.
Bonnie Bishop makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Nashville-based by way of Texas and Mississippi, Bishop has made a name for herself with her songs and powerful live performances. In 2002, she toured Texas' vast roots-music circuit, and has since released four albums in a span of six years. Her work earned her a nomination for "Vocal Performance of the Year" at the Lone Star Music Awards.
Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst had their own careers going â his with the band The Films and hers solo. Then they started performing together, just the two of them, and found that their personal chemistry translated to their music together.
The South Carolina duo released its debut album, O' Be Joyful, last summer. Here, Trent and Hearst join us to talk about how that homemade record came to be â and, of course, perform live in the studio.