Andor is a refreshing change for Star Wars, and a thrilling and inspiring depiction of revolution

Note: It’s necessary to discuss the plot in some detail in order to discuss what makes Andor great both cinematically and politically, so be warned there are spoilers here. Andor is such a breath of fresh air for the Star Wars franchise, and for television in general. The new series streaming on Disney+, a prequel … Continue reading Andor is a refreshing change for Star Wars, and a thrilling and inspiring depiction of revolution

Peter Jackson’s Return of the King is a supreme classic, but here are some things that bug me about it

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King, which completed his triumphant adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I recently watched the entire film trilogy for the first time in probably 15 years. As much as I know these films backwards and … Continue reading Peter Jackson’s Return of the King is a supreme classic, but here are some things that bug me about it

Ride live in Sydney: A transcendent Nowhere retrospective rides a new wave of shoegaze

If you know me, you might have been surprised that I had to be talked into seeing Ride for the first time at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney early this month. The Oxford band are touring in (COVID-delayed) celebration of the 30th anniversary of Nowhere, their 1990 debut LP and their masterpiece; the first part … Continue reading Ride live in Sydney: A transcendent Nowhere retrospective rides a new wave of shoegaze

Khruangbin live at Sydney Opera House: Sublime space-funk in the grandest of settings

In the weeks before seeing the mighty Khruangbin in the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House last Friday night (the first of three sold-out shows for them there, and my first time seeing them), I told several friends I wasn’t so sure how appropriate a venue it was for them. I’m sure this might have … Continue reading Khruangbin live at Sydney Opera House: Sublime space-funk in the grandest of settings

Prey: Groundbreaking Indigenous action-horror that kicks ass

There’s something both enlightening and frustrating about watching Prey, the new Predator prequel set in Comanche country in the 18th century, now streaming on Hulu (or on Disney+ in some regions, including Australia where I am). It’s such a revelation for an action film of this caliber to have a completely Indigenous main cast and an … Continue reading Prey: Groundbreaking Indigenous action-horror that kicks ass

Tame Impala live in Sydney: Uncompromising, euphoric psych-pop for the masses

I had an epiphany on Thursday night while witnessing the mass euphoria that was Tame Impala playing “Let It Happen” to a crowd of 20,000 young Australians. The fact that Kevin Parker’s quirky, trippy, introspective fusion of psych-rock and electronic pop has been embraced by so many is remarkable if you think about it. “Let … Continue reading Tame Impala live in Sydney: Uncompromising, euphoric psych-pop for the masses

Bore, thud and blunder: The MCU jumps the shark

The thing about panning a Marvel film is you find yourself temporarily allied with the Marvel haters, and that’s annoying. Yes, I found the latest theatrical film in the saga, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, incredibly tiresome and pointless, an outrageous waste of talent and resources. The haters see every Marvel film the same … Continue reading Bore, thud and blunder: The MCU jumps the shark

Wet Leg’s debut LP is a raunchy, joyous treat and an instant rock & roll classic

Early this year, in my write-up of the best albums of 2021, I wrote this about young hyperpop artists like Banoffee and Charli XCX, who are making some of my favorite sounds lately: “I’m a 51-year-old dad and house DJ and this music is not made for me; the target audience is decades younger, not … Continue reading Wet Leg’s debut LP is a raunchy, joyous treat and an instant rock & roll classic

New York’s postpunk revival deserves a better documentary than Meet Me in the Bathroom

You can tell that Meet Me in the Bathroom, the new documentary about New York’s explosive music scene of the early 2000s, is going to misfire from the very first sequence. A 1959 recording of actor Ed Begley reading “Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun,” Walt Whitman’s soaring tribute to New York from his masterwork … Continue reading New York’s postpunk revival deserves a better documentary than Meet Me in the Bathroom