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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

Shaking it off

Music

Shaking it off

So much of rock and roll boils down to one simple goal: shaking off the oppressive stress and browbeating aggressors of everyday life. If you make it through the exhausting marathon that makes up just one average, unremarkable weekday in this life of ours, you're afforded the opportunity to frantically

Beauty in imperfection

Stage

Beauty in imperfection

Yohen takes its time revealing exactly what's going on with its two characters, James (Malcolm J. West) and Sumi (Aya Hashiguchi). While they speak as though they've known each other for many years, there's a hesitance to their interactions, a kind of nervous energy that feels slightly off. It takes until

Chasing terror

Attractions

Chasing terror

It's a never-ending source of fascination, to me, that people so frequently volunteer to be horrified. With a world so chock-full of real, readily accessible terror, how odd and endearing is it that people line up to pay money for the privilege of having of the wits scared out of

Sixteen candles

Music

Sixteen candles

It's a curious trait we have of striving to summarize eras in easily quantifiable terms, regardless of whether or not those designations hold up to scrutiny. An easy place to look for this behavior is in the repeated, exhausting attempts to define generations -- what it means to be a

Son of the Velvet Rat

Music

Son of the Velvet Rat

In radio pop, there's frequently an atmosphere of worshipping the young and pristine, and eschewing the unique and experienced. Talent shows like American Idol and The Voice rendered this subtext overt, sacrificing cherubic, would-be stars week after week, before arriving at one performer to be fed into the music industry's churning machine. While more

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

It's the spookiest month, and thus the spookiest Three Easy Pieces, where I examine a corner of pop culture from its birth to today. I'm thinking, now, of horror movies. While horror has classically been shrugged off by the snooty gatekeepers of fine cinema, there's one subgenre that's even more

Lo-fi hero

Music

Lo-fi hero

Early in the lives of many a burgeoning music nerd, there occurs a watershed moment where you're exposed to a band that unites your current passion for discovery with your love for novelty songs instilled in you in early childhood. These bands are a little funnier, a little weirder, a

Don't panic!

Stage

Don't panic!

Eighty years ago, this month, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players took to the radio to broadcast a live adaptation of HG Wells' classic tale of an alien invasion, The War of the Worlds. What followed, as legend has it, was widespread panic from listeners who believed they were actually

Can't-miss Tacoma Film Festival offerings

South Sound Cinema

Can't-miss Tacoma Film Festival offerings

While our usual advice, when confronted with an overwhelming festival, of any sort, is to take your chances on any random entertainment you may not have heard of, throwing a dart at a board isn't always enough. After all, we're also opinionated film nerds, and we can't pass over the

Tacoma Film Festival

South Sound Cinema

Tacoma Film Festival

We've been covering the Tacoma Film Festival for a number of years, at this point, and one of the pleasures of doing so has been in charting its steady rise to becoming one of the Pacific Northwest's preeminent annual cinematic events. Since its humble beginnings at the Grand Cinema, 13

LGBTQ benefit show

Music

LGBTQ benefit show

Humans have the capacity for doing a great many things -- good, bad and indifferent. We've all been inundated in our lives with moments of cruelty, both on a large scale, and on a smaller, more insidious one. Our instincts for conflict, exclusionism, and a fear of uniqueness have resulted

The Foreigner

Stage

The Foreigner

In many ways, Tacoma Little Theatre's production of The Foreigner feels like a more light-hearted version of Martin McDonagh's work. Earlier this year, I reviewed TLT's staging of McDonagh's The Pillowman, and The Foreigner -- penned by Larry Shue -- shares with it a pattern of jarring tonal shifts and an overabundance of ideas.

Set on shuffle

Music

Set on shuffle

I recently stumbled across a baffling playlist on Spotify called "Songs to Sing in the Shower." It seemed like the ideal soundtrack to cruising around on a sunny almost-autumn day, but I was quickly surprised by a series of songs that were either picked by a blindfolded person throwing darts

Tacoma Film Festival needs your help

South Sound Cinema

Tacoma Film Festival needs your help

For the past 13 years, the Tacoma Film Festival has been one of the bright spots of Tacoma's cultural landscape. Bringing in exciting voices and visions in film from all over the world -- including featuring the best local talents -- TFF has grown into a cinematic behemoth, as essential

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

Another month, another edition of Three Easy Pieces, where I explore a specific pop cultural subject from its birth to how it looks today. It's generally accepted that remakes of movies are never as good as the original -- and I'd usually tend to agree. This month, I'm looking at

Blissful exuberance

Music

Blissful exuberance

Paul McCartney recently did an interview where he ran down some of the best songs that he wrote for the Beatles. At a certain point, after discussing the likes of "Hey Jude," "Let It Be," and "Blackbird," McCartney noted how proud he was that, for the most part, Beatles songs

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