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Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a shaggy-haired, chain-smoking, alcoholic divorced dad with a broken dream of running his own record label. Gretta (Keira Knightley) is a down-on-her-luck young New York émigré with a song in her heart and a battered past of her own. Begin Again is less about the new beginning these two lonely city dwellers find, and more about coming to terms with previous endings. Light on plot and heavy on stubbly Mark Ruffalo grins, Begin ... Read More
What do swimming pools, sexual voyeurism, elevators, and eco-terrorist extraterrestrials have in common? They’re all the subjects of songs on Hotel Valentine, Cibo Matto’s first release in 15 years. Much of the album is written from the perspective of a wry ghost who haunts a hotel and delivers deadpan lines like, “I had some cheese and seedless grapes for lunch and floated around for the rest of the afternoon.” The band’s ... Read More
I Am Divine (directed by Jeffrey Schwarz) documents the true larger-than-life story of Divine, the three-hundred-pound drag trailblazer and star of many well-known John Waters films, such as Hairspray and Female Trouble. A fashion godsend and pre-punk muse, Divine bent gender and social norms to play some of the most inspirational queer roles of all time. The documentary features insightful personal interviews ... Read More
Following her debut novel, The City is a Rising Tide, Rebecca Lee presents a collection of seven biting stories about the luxury we take in life’s ordinary comforts, and the threats, real or imagined, that lurk beyond the surface. As of this writing, Bobcat was longlisted for the international Frank O’Connor Prize for story collections, and the praise is due: with deadpan humor, Lee’s light touch illuminates the contrasts in everyday ... Read More
New Girl Law is a post-Empirical, proto-fourth-wave-feminist memoir-cum-academic abstract that scrutinizes the current reality and future hope for women aspiring to positions of power in Cambodia. If that sounds heady, know that it also makes our country’s Mommy Wars look like child’s play—and proves, in the meantime, why we should be paying attention to Cambodia’s record of human rights and gender equity. Author Anne Elizabeth Moore, a ... Read More
 Alida Nugent, of The Frenemy blog fame, has brought her witty snark to the literary world with this debut. The book—a collection of short essays on 20-something life—has fine writing and some genuinely funny lines, but I was initially put off by the subject matter. Nugent spends a lot of time bragging about failed attempts at maturity, seems to revel in her emotional and financial instability, and spends too many pages discussing how best to ... Read More
Two girls romp around the city, tap dancing and play fighting and falling asleep together like puppies. Except they’re not girls, they’re women, and they’re about to be smacked in the face by the reality of adult friendships. Frances (played by co-screenwriter Greta Gerwig) and Sophie (Mickey Sumner) are so tight that Frances turns down moving in with her boyfriend because she wants to keep living with Sophie. But when Sophie announces she wants ... Read More
Going to an Akron/Family show is like attending a hipster tent revival, so it’s fitting that the band’s sixth album is full of psychedelic hymns for its flannel-clad brethren. Mixing folk-y melodies with strange rhythms and switching time signatures and tempos constantly, the band has fully realized its signature genre on Sub Verses: prog folk. Expansive opener “No Room” is a primal waltz with a grinding, repetitive drumbeat and soaring, ... Read More
Virgin Soul is the fictional memoir of Geniece> Hightower, an aspiring journalist undergoing a journey of self-discovery during the Black Power movement in 1960s San Francisco. Divided into four sections, each dedicated to a year of her university schooling, the novel follows Geniece’s transition from focused scholar to revolutionary panther. While researching a story for her college newspaper, she meets Allwood, a highly intellectual activist who pulls ... Read More
 As a self-identified geek and longtime Music-Obsessed Human, I’ve tried more than my fair share of headphones. Nobody wants to spend all their dang beer money on a crazy-fancy pair, but I’m definitely willing to shell out a bit of cash for quality sound and good construction that’ll withstand some abuse. I’ve tried everything from the ultra-cheap earbuds at Best Buy to massive 1960s-era Pioneer headphones (thanks, eBay!), but ... Read More
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