Engaging new doc brings us back to rock criticism’s glory days

Last Sunday night, thanks to co-presenters Noise Pop and KQED, a crowd of music aficionados at the Swedish American Hall was treated to a viewing of writer/director Raul Sandelin’s documentary Ticket to Write: The Golden Age of Rock Music Journalism, followed by an engaging Q&A with rock critics Robert Duncan (Creem) and Joel Selvin (San Francisco Chronicle). Sandelin’s film had been making the festival rounds, but has just become available on Amazon Prime, which should please ardent rock history fans everywhere.
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Film Review: Get Out

by Carrie Kahn on February 24, 2017

Don’t stay in: Get Out and see this smart, fresh thriller

Rose (Allison Williams) brings her new boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her family.

Jordan Peele, one half of the sketch comedy duo Key and Peele, makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a startling original take on the horror film genre that shouldn’t be missed. If you’ve seen the trailer, don’t be fooled; the trailer implies the movie may be a lowbrow, cheesy, run-of-the-mill-horror film, but it’s anything but. What Peele, who also penned the screenplay, has created here is a horror/comedy/social commentary mash up that’s one of the most entertaining, surprising, and utterly unique pictures to come along in years.
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A perfectly crafted, poignant charmer.

Zucchini looks to the sky.

My Life as a Zucchini is one of the most wonderful films of the year, which has resulted in its much deserved Oscar nomination this year for Best Animated Film. Zucchini is a stop motion animated feature from France and Switzerland about a nine year-old boy, Courgette (which is French for zucchini), who loses his mother and father and is taken to a foster home where a handful of other orphans reside. The brisk 70 minute film follows Courgette as he befriends the kindhearted policeman who takes him to the foster home, and then learns to love and trust the other foster children in similarly unfortunate situations. The animation is colorful and simple, yet each shot is overflowing with heart. My Life as a Zucchini is not meant for very young audiences — the subject matter may be beyond a young child’s understanding and there are some bits of nudity and substance abuse. And yet, I recommend audiences of nearly all ages see My Life as a Zucchini because it beautifully tackles how all people, including children and adults, can rise above their surface-level differences to love each other, even in the face of tragedies that affect their lives in unexpected ways.

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Film critics Carrie and Chad on who will – and who should – win the 89th Academy Awards

The 89th Academy Awards air this Sunday, February 26th on ABC at 5:30pm PST (tune in an hour or so earlier if you want to see any of the red carpet glitz). Once again, Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann share their annual predictions – and hopes – for the major categories. Follow along and see how we – and you – do on the big night!
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The garage-doom record you always wanted, but were too afraid to ask for

Album cover for Crystal Fairy's self-titled debut

Album cover for Crystal Fairy’s self-titled debut

If 2015 and 2016 were any indication, 2017 has certainly shows that supergroups are coming back to the forefront in a big way. While this is nothing new in the music scene, it has become more apparent, recently, that supergroups pose a necessity for most musicians, to escape redundancy and to experiment with new sounds. In the early 2000s, many big collaborative albums were produced, but were always under the guise of guest vocalist and musicians. It left a manufactured tone about the record, one that felt as though the labels were just trying to squeeze dime after dime out of shifting paradigms in musical taste. A true supergroup combines all the best attributes and skills of the players to create something fresh and exciting, for fans and musicians alike. It doesn’t always work, of course; Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is an excellent example of an extremely talented group of musicians whose full length album left far too much to be desired. The Dead Weather, on the other hand (featuring Jack White, Allison Mossheart [The Kills], Dan Fertita [Queens of the Stone Age], and Jack Lawrence [City and Colour, The Raconteurs]) have made a number of albums that continue to grab people in one direction or another. So when it was announced that King Buzzo and Dale Crover (Melvins), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), and Omar Rodríguez-López (Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) were joining forces to create Crystal Fairy, the prospect was definitely a positive attention grabber.

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Film Review: Fist Fight

by Carrie Kahn on February 17, 2017

Run, don’t walk, away from this fight

Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) and Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) moments before they get into a… wait for it… fist fight.

I’m going to try and keep this review short, since you, gentle Spinning Platters readers, deserve better than even to have to read about this painfully awful, joyless, and unfunny new “film.” And I use that term loosely. Suffice to say I sat through 90 minutes of the most mean-spirited, petty, and demoralizing material ever presented as comedy on screen just to bring you this warning: Do. Not. Go. See. This. Movie. It hurts me to even say its title, but in the spirit of educating you so you know what to avoid, the picture in question is called Fist Fight; if you see it on your local theater marquee, now you know to instead choose to see literally anything else that’s playing.
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Film Review: The Great Wall

February 17, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=avF6GHyyk5c

White male hero leads dumpster fire movie to a forgettable fate. I chose the above picture for very specific reasons. I could’ve chosen a more beautiful shot of a heroic looking Matt Damon atop The Great Wall of China. But no, I preferred this one for the way it captures the feeling one has while watching The Great […]

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Spinning Platters’ Guide to the 2017 Noise Pop Festival

February 15, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4aoH1mhPJc&feature=youtu.be

Noise Pop 2017 is upon us. For eleven straight days, we will be enjoying the finest in film and music that the scene has to offer. There is literally too much to do, and there is no way you can be everywhere at once, so here is a quick guide to the best of the fest. Of […]

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Spinning Platters Interview: Susan Ottaviano of Book Of Love

February 13, 2017

Spinning Platters sat down with Book of Love vocalist Susan Ottaviano, and they discussed the band’s favorite city (spoiler alert: it’s San Francisco), fan remixes of their songs, and advice for the next generation of female fronted bands. Book Of Love are playing DNA Lounge on Sunday, February 19th. Tickets can be purchased here!

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SF Sketchfest Review: The JV Club w/Janet Varney and guests Rachel Dratch, Jon Hamm, and musical guest Matt Nathanson at Brava Theater Center, 1/28/17

February 13, 2017

I’ve always liked Janet Varney, who I knew almost exclusively from her work with Thrilling Adventure Hour, but once someone made the connection for me that she was one of the co-founders of SF Sketchfest, my admiration for her ratcheted up quite a few notches. So, she’s super funny, and likeable, and charming, and kind of a […]

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