Evergreen Joy

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Erasure turns seasonal songs into radical praise At Christmas time we forget that seasonal songs can also be praise songs. This comes clear in Erasure’s new release Snow Globe, a Christmas album built around the tradition vs. modernity tension of the holiday season–and yet an evergreen subject. Praise songs suit singer-lyricist Andy Bell, one of [&hellip
[ read more... ]

28 Comments

Best TV Narrative of 2013

Written by Our Town on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Why Blue’s webisodes rule Countering hipster perversity, Blue is not the warmest color in Rodrigo Garcia’s series on the women-centered YouTube channel WIGS. “Blue” is the moniker Julia Stiles’ Francine—single-mother accountant by day/escort by night—demands that family, coworkers and clients use to address her. Indeed, the name signifies her detachment in the sex trade and [&hellip
[ read more... ]

39 Comments

Best Albums of 2013

Written by Ben Kessler on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Inside out, Outside in for year’s Pop music. Honorable mention: Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob; Charli XCX, True Romance; El-P and Killer Mike, Run the Jewels; Jessy Lanza, Pull My Hair Back; Pet Shop Boys, Electric   IMO, the most significant moment in 2013 pop wasn’t a song, album, or music video. It was an unforgettable turn [&hellip
[ read more... ]

78 Comments

The Better-Than List for 2013

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

See year’s best films, reject the overrated The false politics of film culture 2013 (films exploiting race, class, sexual politics) paralleled the continued diminishment of cinephilia that has subordinated movies to TV, shifting cinema from a popular art form into political soccer games for media’s power elite. Lots of good film but also lots of [&hellip
[ read more... ]

53 Comments

Secret Lives of Walter-Marty

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Scorsese and Stiller overindulge themselves in two new films The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are the same movie. Both films deal with the ambition of working-class protagonists: Scorsese’s three-hour epic about a kid from The Bronx who becomes a Wall Street titan (Leonardo DiCaprio) charts his aggression through [&hellip
[ read more... ]

109 Comments

Dangling Dylan

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

The Coens examine Pop and Self When an apparition of Bob Dylan appears in Inside Llewyn Davis, it underscores the Coen Brothers’ abiding ambivalence about their Jewishness. Dylan, the oracular pop-star-prophet -outsider from Minnesota (like the Coens) represents an advance on mainstream culture and power that troubles the Coen Brothers’ fascination with American character. Inside Llewyn Davis [&hellip
[ read more... ]

85 Comments

Lisa Simpson Agonistes

Written by Gregory Solmon on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

How the Hollywood left is driving The Simpsons to the Dogs In a recent episode of The Simpsons, Lisa grows a vestigial tail, ruffled fur, a cold nose and a cocked hat. She’s evolving into Poochie the Dog, a character inserted in a classic-era Itchy & Scratchy cartoon to lampoon desperate, audience-pandering program adjustments. The [&hellip
[ read more... ]

1 Comment

Pynchon Soup for the Postmodern Soul

Written by Ben Kessler on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Visionary author takes the modern world to the Bleeding Edge In his new novel Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon uses the word “postmodern” for the first time in his fiction – a notable event in the career of this supposed American postmodern novelist par excellence. The word crops up in a few places, including a description [&hellip
[ read more... ]

4 Comments

Back to the Basics of the Bard

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Rylance re-invents Shakespeare at the Belasco It is fitting that the Globe Shakespeare company’s new repertory event appear at New York City’s most dramatically beautiful venue, The Belasco Theater. Its recently renovated, sumptuous, layered designed—both theater and sanctuary, offering volume, ornamentation and radiance–makes an on-stage performance special. Imagination and skill are represented in a jewel box–as [&hellip
[ read more... ]

48 Comments

Soul for Foodies

Written by Phyllis Workman on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

The Cecil cooks up Harlem history Former Time-Warner CEO Richard Parsons and his wife opened two new restaurants in Harlem, Minton’s and The Cecil as a neighborhood restoration to bring back the local legendary 1930’s/1940’s jazz club Minton’s Playhouse and its aura. The revived Playhouse also resides in the original location uptown but has been redesigned [&hellip
[ read more... ]

17 Comments

..