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Deerhoof-30

I cannot start this without immediately stating my bias. I love Deerhoof. I’ve been in love with this strange quirky band since I was 16 years old in high school, and a friend of mine played the cleanest version that exists of “Gore in Crown,” though we knew it as “Gore in Beans.” They are a band that — for whatever reason — manages to attack their inspiration ceaselessly and never get redundant in doing so. Like Fugazi‘s later career, each album is new, fresh, and exciting, better than the album before it. This says nothing of their performances — of which the following is my fifth as an audience member — which always retain some of the highest energy of any show I’ve ever been to.

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Stone and Carell serve up a winner in still timely ’70s tennis drama      

Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) play to the crowd at a press conference preceding the Battle of the Sexes.

Opening nearly 44 years to the day after the famous tennis match it’s named after, Battle of the Sexes chronicles the much publicized and widely watched (90 million viewers tuned in worldwide) 1973 match between then 29-year-old women’s champion Billie Jean King and former men’s champion 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. Billed as the ultimate Battle of the Sexes, the match became much more than just an exhibition game; it took on a life of its own, and, after King’s resounding defeat of Riggs, it became a touchstone for the growing women’s equality movement of the early 1970s. Husband and wife directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours; Slumdog Millionaire) wonderfully capture the zeitgeist of the period down to the smallest details, and have assembled a stellar cast to bring this often infuriating but always engaging true story to life.
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Film Review: Brad’s Status

by Carrie Kahn on September 22, 2017

A midlife crisis worth watching: Stiller shines in funny and poignant story  

Brad (Ben Stiller, l.) reflects on his life while touring colleges with his son Troy (Austin Abrams). 

Ben Stiller, who can play middle-age angst like no one else (see While We’re Young, for example), is in fine form in writer/director Mike White’s new film Brad’s Status. Although the film’s premise about a soon-to-be-50 straight white man facing an existential crisis as he grapples with his life choices may sound like the epitome of naval-gazing white privilege, the picture touches on some universal themes with sensitivity and wry humor, thanks in large part to Stiller’s well-tuned performance and White’s sharp screenplay (White is perhaps best known for the 2000 cult hit Chuck and Buck and this year’s social satire Beatriz at Dinner).
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Film Review: mother!

by Chris Piper on September 15, 2017

If a stranger knocks at your front door…

Jennifer Lawrence’s Mother struggles with hostess duties as Javier Bardem’s poet entertains.

Standing before an unpainted bedroom wall, a young and thoroughly domesticated woman ponders which shade of eggshell will look just so. She mixes up a tester, applies a strip, and steps back to regard her work. Elsewhere an older man inhabits his writing study, conjuring magic onto the page and thence to his readers. Later the two will enjoy her hearty meal, and settle into reading by the fire.

But something isn’t right. A sound, or maybe a feeling, forces the woman to cock her ear. She moves as quietly as possible, propelled by a feeling she can’t explain, to peek in on the man. He isn’t writing. He’s just sitting, waiting, watching. Something isn’t right.

Such is the ominous atmosphere of Darren Aronofsky’s latest film mother!, which only partly succeeds, through the use of the horror genre overlaid with biblical themes, at offering a portrait of female anxiety.

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Film Review: Home Again

by Carrie Kahn on September 8, 2017

Reese goes home again, but that doesn’t mean you have to    

Lillian (Candice Bergen, l.) and her daughter Alice (Reese Witherspoon) delightedly share breakfast with the three total strangers that Alice has let in her home (from l., Nat Wolff, Jon Rudnitsky, and Pico Alexander).

With Home Again, writer/director Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s debut feature, we see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The daughter of filmmaker Nancy Meyers (The Intern; It’s Complicated; The Holiday; Something’s Got to Give), Meyers-Shyer here copies her mother’s patented feel-good glossy, Pottery Barn-infused style to create a romantic comedy that is blandly harmless at best and ludicrously insipid at worst. That Meyers herself produced the project is no surprise, as the entire picture feels like Mom just handed her daughter the keys to the family car and admonished her to drive it exactly as Mom would.
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You have 15 minutes in a room with two of your idols to ask them whatever you want. Here’s how that goes…

Photo taken at The Independent in SF on 8.29.17

R.E.M. changed my life. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have found rock ‘n’ roll. At least they were my gateway band, the band that introduced me to punk, folk, power pop, and even hip hop. Sleater-Kinney are a band I found in high school, and they quickly became my favorite band. Little did I expect that cofounder Corin Tucker would form a band with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck many years later. That band is Filthy Friends, and they recently released a fantastic record. We had the opportunity to chat with them just before they played the Independent. I tried not to geek out too much. [read the whole post]

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Show Review: Dead Cross, Qui, Secret Chiefs 3 at El Rey, 8.21-22.17

August 28, 2017

“Nothing stops this tour!” Since supergroups seem to be the big deal right now, it’s hard to recognize any band who comes together in collaboration as anything but. However, it becomes crystal clear, when the band performs live, that “supergroup” is not as appropriate of a term. When talking about Dead Cross it is completely […]

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Film Review: Patti Cake$

August 25, 2017
youtu.be/L-591Dqa48g

Straight outta Jersey: Portrait of an unlikely rap star makes for one of the summer’s best films     New Jersey filmmaker Geremy Jasper got his start making music videos, so it makes sense that his first foray into feature films is a picture about an aspiring musician. With Patti Cake$, Jasper draws on both […]

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Outside Lands Night Show Review: Sleigh Bells, Jel at The Independent, 8/11/17

August 22, 2017

It may not be winter, but Sleigh Bells are always lovely The music festival night show: a time honored tradition, when nightclubs around town host a band playing said festival to also play a smaller show after curfew is over at the main event. There is good and bad with these; the good side is […]

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Outside Lands Journal: Day 3, 8/13/17

August 21, 2017

Karl The Fog even showed up to see Lee Fields We arrived at Day Three of Outside Lands, commonly known as “Sunday” to the real world. There was definitely a different energy in the air within the park, as much of the crowd was unaware of the extent of the activity happening in Charlottesville, VA […]

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