Akron/Family – Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free (Dead Oceans)

Akron/Family lost a member between 2007’s Love is Simple and the new Set ’Em Wild, Set ’Em Free, but being short-handed doesn’t seem to be holding them back. Set ’Em Wild is even more sprawling than anything the band has done before — something of an achievement from an outfit that’s equally comfortable with folksy … Continue reading

Leonard Cohen – Live in London (Sony)

It’s a widely known secret that Leonard Cohen’s first concert tour in 13 years was prompted by financial woes. When his manager (allegedly) ran off with Cohen’s savings and the publishing rights to his songs, the then-71-year-old had little choice but to hit the road and recoup some of the losses. Judging from Live in … Continue reading

Magic Flute – review

Director Kenneth Branagh has always been a traditionalist. Back when Baz Luhrmann was updating Romeo and Juliet for the MTV generation, keeping the language and adding frenetic visuals and a killer soundtrack, Branagh directed a four-hour version of Hamlet, the most faithful version ever put to film. Luhrmann’s movie sparked a sensation, proving Shakespeare’s star-crossed … Continue reading

Disney’s documentary legacy

On April 22, Disneynature (a wing of Disney devoted to nature docs) will release Earth, a companion piece to the BBC’s widely acclaimed Planet Earth TV series. What better time to examine the legacy of Disney’s previous foray into nature documentaries? Namely, one of the most persistent urban legends of the last half-century, and one … Continue reading

Rourke wrestles again

In what’s either a brilliant bit of marketing for an art house film or just another chapter in an increasingly bizarre Hollywood story (or maybe both), actor Mickey Rourke appeared at Wrestlemania last weekend, sparring briefly with pro wrestler Chris Jericho. Rourke’s appearance had been rumoured as early as January, although it was fervently denied … Continue reading

Where the Wild Things Are

For a certain breed of monster-obsessed kid, there is no better children’s book than Maurice Sendak’s 1963 classic, Where the Wild Things Are. The story of an angry kid named Max who travels to a world full of beasts, Sendak’s simple tale and wonderfully distinctive illustrations stick with anyone who sees them. It’s also the … Continue reading

SXSW 2009

Every March, tens of thousands of music fans, industry workers and hangers-on descend upon Austin, Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW), an orgy of sheer aural mayhem. With nearly 2,000 musical acts performing in every available space the city’s downtown has to offer, it’s the kind of event that’s difficult to sum up in a … Continue reading