Pete Townsend’s cult coming-of-age rock musical follows the travails of a young Mod, who faces clashes with rival-gang Rockers (and his own mates) as he tries to find himself in early ’60s England. Funny, surprisingly touching, and powered by a classic Who soundtrack.
Set in Victorian England, this animated action-adventure movie features a boy inventor, Ra Stim, who is torn between his father and grandfather in their bitter feud over a joint invention, a mysterious “steam ball” that holds the key to almost unlimited power. Japanese anime director Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s impressive images are a nifty pastiche of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, but the story may be too bombastic for children.
Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s tasty, multi-layered drama about two Italian immigrant brothers struggling to keep their restaurant open offers a large dash of comedy served up by a talented ensemble cast. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll crave pasta.
With rain and wind rapping at the windows of a tacky hotel off the Florida tip, a heavyweight (and sometimes hammy) cast runs through a succession of stagy formations in John Huston’s postwar melodrama, dripping with tropical glamour and gloom. Part of the “Bogart Collection” box set.
|Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days
Sam Beam’s freshly veiled lyrics have pushed Iron and Wine toward more subversive levels of storytelling. Along with producer Brain Deck, he toys with syntax and meter, using shaky bits of percussion, volume shifts, and tempo changes to mimic the twitchy movement of the best epic poetry, creating gritty little snapshots and swells of acoustic lyricism that dwell deep in the canon of American verse.
|Acid House Kings – Sing Along with the Acid House Kings
Combining the aesthetics of Kraftwerk with Motown girl groups from the sixties and influences from Burt Bacharach to The Smiths, Acid House Kings represent a refreshing brand of Swedish pop. The perfect album for a drive to the grocery store, sipping coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or preparing for an upcoming karaoke party.
|Tom Waits – Closing Time
With his voice just beginning to show signs of the whiskey-and-cigarette-croak that would become his trademark, the singer-songwriter and all-around musician lays down lullabies for a sawdust floor that would be imitated by many in the years to come, while establishing himself as the quintessential barroom troubadour. A timeless gem.
|Prefuse 73 – One Word Extinguisher
Scott Herron’s Prefuse 73 is a combination of Warp-label glitch and instrumental beats that offers a heady mash up of new-school electro and (largely instrumental) hip hop, bolstered by an arsenal of digital effects. In spite of swaggering, jazzy keyboards and squelching bass, there is much that is summery and sweetly melodic on this album.