Sam Beam, like Alexander, can survey his kingdom and weep for lack of further worlds to conquer. At this point in his career, under the sobriquet of Iron and Wine, the folk singer has mastered every art form he’s attempted. He’s directed short films and videos, written screenplays, painted or designed almost every album cover in his catalog, and – while he was first setting his Rimbaud-evocative poetry to music over a decade ago – taught film and cinematography classes at a Florida university. He plans to helm a feature-length movie in the near future. Read More
Unlike their predecessors Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash, the Avett Brothers of North Carolina don’t write songs about characters in faraway places. Seth and Scott Avett stick to songs about themselves.
There’s little third-person storytelling, and everything is true. Read More
The Palace Hotel has been in the news lately because of its decision to remove the iconic Maxfield Parish mural “The Pied Piper” from the wall behind the bar that bears the painting’s name. But due to public outcry, the painting — which is valued at several million dollars — will soon return to its traditional place. Long before Parish was commissioned to create “The Pied Piper,” the bar was home to the man who wrote the book on bartending — literally. William T. Read More
Months ago, my sister called me from the back of a cab, distraught, in frantic flight from a wildly uncomfortable date at Supper Club. As my introduction to the place, it wasn’t promising. Nor was the website, a slideshow with the clubby and surreal look you might get if David Lynch were let loose to direct an ad for Virgin America. Scared and curious, I reserved a bed (yes, a bed) at “Food Worship,” last month’s dinner party that guaranteed, if nothing else, lots of blasphemy and sequins. Read More
Narratively flawed but admirably ambitious and occasionally splendid, “At Any Price” details trouble in the heartland. Established indie writer-director Ramin Bahrani delivers some uncharacteristically phony melodrama in this most commercial film he’s made to date. But his trademark human shades and social textures prevail, and the result is a gripping look at the cutthroat world of modern farmers. Read More
Thanks to the brilliant casting of Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark — aka Iron Man — is the most fun of all movie superheroes.
Unlike the army of muscular pretty boys, Downey brings incredible talent, charisma and personality to his roles. He has gifted Stark with an infectious, devil-may-care attitude and an array of ready wisecracks.
In “Iron Man 3,” however, Stark is a little skittish from his experiences in last summer’s “The Avengers.” He can’t sleep, and he doesn’t want to talk about it. Also, he’s begun to experience panic attacks. Read More
At the very top of Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Park, I had an epiphany — but not the kind where a spiritual being appeared in a bush and my hair turned gray. I sat on a stone in the shade, looked into the vista where San Francisco lurked somewhere in the distance, and texted a friend in Brooklyn, N.Y., with those eternal words as only Mick Jagger can sing them: “I’m the man on the mountain, come on up.” Read More
Katy Perry is the daughter of a fiery preacher, and he’s none too pleased that his little girl is a prancing, demonic Jezebel that exalts Satan’s wares.
“They ask, ‘how can I preach if I produce a girl who sings about kissing another girl?’” Keith Perry asked a congregation in Santa Fe Springs. Read More
Lindsay Lohan still just does not get it. Wow.
TMZ is reporting that she is refusing to enter rehab in New York at the court-approved spot and has instead boarded a jet to L.A. so that she can go to a place of her own choosing that will allow her to smoke cigarettes. Lohan’s dad told The Sun that she had been crying hysterically about having to go cold-turkey. Read More
“This album should be played loud,” read the line notes of “Small Fires,” the new third outing from Bay Area blues-rockers The Stone Foxes. And rightly so. The disc – anchored in the gravelly vocals of frontman Spence Koehler and fiery harmonica of his drumming brother Shannon Koehler) crackles with Willie Dixon fervor, from the sinewy “Everybody Knows” to a stomping “Ulysses Jones,” a gravelly “Cotto,” and the forlorn “Goodnight Moon,” sung from the perspective of a homeless man. Read More