Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud overwhelmed film lovers with the 2007 animated film Persepolis, based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in Iran. Chicken with Plums, their second collaboration, is also based on a graphic novel by Satrapi. But Plums is primarily a live-action feature with a robust international cast and the lush aesthetics of a grand old studio film. The directors also employ magical illustrated ... Read More
This summer it was hard for me to catch a lot of the Olympics because I don’t have a TV, so once in awhile I’d be lured into a bar, and with surprise (or perhaps not), found myself watching in awe, cheering, and even crying at the Olympians’ accomplishments. (Gabby Douglas had me tearing up over my beer.) But the one game I knew I couldn’t- and wouldn't- miss was the U.S. women’s soccer team taking on Japan for the  Gold. If you don’t know, the ... Read More
  The name Family Band evokes a large, cheery ensemble, but this duo’s music tends toward foreboding melodies and dark, disillusioned lyrics. Comprised of married couple Kim Krans (an illustrator) and Jonny Ollsin (a one-time heavy metal guitarist), Family Band’s sophomore effort Grace & Lies is full of mystery, terror, and the excavation of painful memories. Opener “Night Song” establishes the album’s tone with bone-chilling ... Read More
 Minimalism, thy name is Britt Daniel. The Spoon frontman, already so accomplished at the fine art of paring a song down to its skeleton, has found new ways of establishing understated elegance with his new project Divine Fits. He, Dan Boeckner, and Sam Brown populate the space on the record like fussy interior decorators, seeking an elusive feng shui with perfectly placed stabs of guitar, percussion, and electronics. While the end result is deceptively ... Read More
  It sure isn’t easy being a girl, but Caitlin Moran’s got some pointers in her book, How To Be A Woman. In this part-memoir, part-rant, the TV critic and columnist for The Times in London takes us on a journey from puberty to motherhood. With each chapter title, she exclaims like a little kid, “I start to bleed!” “I get furry!” But don’t be fooled, this book is about more than periods and pubic hair. Yes, Moran does her fair share of ... Read More
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