Film Review: Churchill

June 2, 2017
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It’s never too late to grow up In Churchill, opening in Bay Area theaters today, we’re asked to see the old English bulldog in a new and unflattering light as he attempts to bend the tide of history to his will. The film suffers from too narrow a focus, and an approach to story that is […]

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Show Review: Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel at The Troubadour, 5/24/2017

June 1, 2017

An auspicious night of revelry and musical joy! Sometimes, even though it seems like the odds are stacked against you, problems invariably sort themselves. At least, this is what I was telling myself to keep calm after discovering that a number of unforeseen circumstances were possibly going to have ended my night before it could […]

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Spinning Platters’ Guide to Colossal Clusterfest

May 31, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fScKP1rXUJ8

Colossal Clusterfest, for the few of you who have managed to miss any of the billboards, radio spots, or blog posts, is a three day comedy and music festival coming to Civic Center Plaza. It’s being put on by Superfly & Another Planet, the same folks who bring us Outside Lands, which would be a […]

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Film Review: The Commune

May 26, 2017
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Come on and join together: Communal living, for better or worse  Reuniting for the first time since their excellent 2013 Oscar-nominated picture The Hunt, the Danish directing/writing team of Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm have collaborated again on The Commune, a smart, sensitive, and well-acted picture based on Vinterberg’s 2011 play of the same name. […]

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Spinning Platters Interview: Spike Slawson of Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

May 23, 2017

Me First & The Gimme Gimmes have been the most successful cover band in America for well over 20 years. What started out as a joke has turned into a successful career of rearranging classic pop, soul, and showtunes as pop punk. Spinning Platters had an opportunity to chat with their lead vocalist, Spike Slawson. […]

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Film Review: Alien: Covenant

May 19, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0VW6sg50Pk

In space, simply scary beats too much talking Alien: Covenant, the eighth of the Alien series of films, feels like an old friend from whom you’ve long since grown apart, but with whom you’ll still grab a beer and listen to the same stories and jokes. The film checks all the series boxes, and delivers […]

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Film Review: Snatched

May 12, 2017
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Hawn, Schumer deserve better than middling comedy Legendary comedienne Goldie Hawn has not been seen on the big screen since 2002’s The Banger Sisters, so it’s a shame that her return from a 15-year absence is in a mediocre film unworthy of her talents. On paper, the premise for Hawn’s revival movie probably sounded great: […]

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Film Review: The Lovers

May 12, 2017
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Powerhouse actors make tonally odd picture worth watching The Lovers is an odd movie. That’s not to say that it’s not worth seeing; it’s just that tonally, strange is the best word to describe it. A virtual pas de deux between heavy hitters Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, the picture focuses on their characters Michael […]

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Show Review: The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir at the Fox Oakland, 4/30-5/1/2017

May 5, 2017

Two nights of intimacy and storytelling with the man who plays a hundred instruments The Magnetic Fields are an extremely strange phenomenon: a group that is wildly talented, successful, and fiercely loved by their fans, despite staying relatively far from the radio-friendly limelight. The songwriting of creative leader Stephin Merritt evokes memories of both Sondheim-esque theatrical compositions […]

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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 5, 2017
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUn05hdkhjM

Dazzling, vibrant fun with a classy set list Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to the surprise superhero blockbuster from Marvel Studios, opens with a credit sequence set to Baby Groot dancing around a space station platform while the rest of the gang fight an intergalactic squid monster. Of course, Baby Groot […]

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