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Across the Great Divide

Music

Across the Great Divide

As a teenager, seeing the great concert documentary The Last Waltz was a foundational experience for me; not only was I getting exposed to music that I hadn't really absorbed as a kid, but I was getting a peek behind the curtain of what it meant to be a working

Contact high

Music

Contact high

It's fascinating to look at little wellsprings of artistic inspiration -- groups of like-minded people, assembled at one pivotal moment in time -- and see how their influence can reverberate for decades after. One of the most influential groups of artists to have emerged in the past few decades, though,

Judging Hamlet

Stage

Judging Hamlet

If William Shakespeare's plays have engaged in a competition to see which of them will end up with the most adaptations and re-imaginings, I think it's safe to say that the two works that have come out on top are Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. The latter makes an awful

A gem of commiseration

Music

A gem of commiseration

Sometimes, we want our music to be aspirational. When we're listening to Kiss or Jay-Z or any number of SoundCloud rappers, we want to place our bodies inside theirs, to experience the solo jet planes, endless parties, and the lavish lifestyle that they're brazenly living. This is a paradigm so

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

It's Three Easy Pieces, where I look at a piece of pop culture from its birth to today. This month, I've chosen body-swapping movies, and I'll freely admit that this topic has backed me into a corner. While I thought I'd write about movies where characters literally swap consciousnesses into

2018’s Best of Theater

Stage

2018’s Best of Theater

Before I started reviewing theater a few years ago, I was only vaguely aware of how many good productions are put up in the South Sound over the course of a year. This year was my first full year of reviewing shows on a more active basis, splitting duties with

That New Year’s sound

Music

That New Year’s sound

For just about as long as I've been writing for this fine rag, I've complained about the inherent flaw in New Year's Eve, as a holiday: building up one giant party for an entire year will inevitably lead to disappointment. More than any other holiday (Halloween included), New Year's Eve

Song and dance with Charles Dickens

Stage

Song and dance with Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is one of the most frequently retold stories in all of modern literature, receiving endless adaptations for film, TV, comic books, the stage, and practically any other medium you can imagine. It's easy to see why a story about a rich curmudgeon who lives on a steady

Time to ReLive

Music

Time to ReLive

It was a sad day when news began to emerge that Tacoma's long-running, family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration First Night would be going dark this year. Several weeks ago, the event's organizers released a statement saying that, due to a lack of funds, 2018's transition into 2019 would have to

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

Welcome to Three Easy Pieces, where I look at a particular pocket of pop culture, from its birth, to how it looks today. This time, with the holiday season underway, I'm calling the bluff of every bro who argues that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. What are some other

Twelfth Night

Stage

Twelfth Night

We're awfully lucky, in the South Sound, to be exposed to as much great theater as we are. In addition to the more painstakingly elaborate productions put up at places like Lakewood Playhouse, Tacoma Little Theatre, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, and Olympia Little Theatre, among others, we're also granted the opportunity

To awaken and soothe

Music

To awaken and soothe

Where were you when you first were moved by the music of just one voice and one instrument? You'd be a liar if you didn't say that you'd crossed this threshold as a very small child. While we, as a species, quickly become accustomed to a big band full of

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Stage

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

It's no great secret that, while the holiday season may bring its share of joy and merriment, it can also be an achingly sad time of year for so many people. Somehow, a lot of holiday entertainment not only doesn't shy away from this aspect of the season, but places

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Stage

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

The 1954 film White Christmas occupies an odd little corner of the holiday entertainment pantheon. While it's certainly a favorite for some families, it doesn't frequently get mentioned alongside established classics like It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story, despite starring old Hollywood stars like

Holiday theater roundup

Online Newspapers

Holiday theater roundup

What's this? What's this? A chill is in the air! What's this? E-scooters everywhere! What's this? The summer has now gone, soon we'll be freezing, though our snowy nights are rare! What ... is ... this? It's the holiday season in the South Sound, with all the quiet nights, crisp atmosphere,

Two icons, one night

Music

Two icons, one night

To a certain extent, most art is essentially ephemeral -- even with a significant amount of care and upkeep, nothing's guaranteed to last forever. Paintings fade, films get lost in the shuffle and languish away in dank basements, and music can hit big before being relegated to the dust bins

Airbrushed rock

Music

Airbrushed rock

There's a band called Greta Van Fleet that's currently experiencing a bit of a moment in the sun. With the release of their debut album, they've been topping Billboard's rock charts and continuing to gain a sizable fan base. Good for them! Unfortunately, the backlash has already begun to set

Breakin’ Tchaikovsky

Stage

Breakin’ Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker is one of those stories that seems destined to never truly leave the public consciousness, having been adapted to ballet from an Alexandre Dumas story, which itself was an adaptation of an E.T.A. Hoffman story, back in the late 19th century. Since then, it's endured innumerable permutations for

Deadpan diversions

Music

Deadpan diversions

It's funny, the disconnect that happens in the time it takes for a band to record an album, and for a music critic to listen to it. So much of the time, the critic will struggle for words, and resort to some description along the lines of, "This band is

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

Welcome to Three Easy Pieces, where I explore a witheringly specific area of pop culture from its birth to how it exists today. This month, I'm thinking of A Star Is Born. Hollywood likes to remake it roughly once every generation, dating back to the 1937 original. Though the story's about

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