the lookout

Laura Veirs hasn’t enjoyed the widespread popularity or been welcomed to the radio waves like her other Portland musician colleagues and frequent collaborators have, like The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens. “Not a household name / but she’s been in your head all day / It would be so cool to be like Carol, Carol Kaye.” These lyrics from “Carol Kaye” off of Veirs’s 2010 incredible LP offering July Flame, just about sums it up. It’s unfortunate that Veirs isn’t the household name her music has well-earned the distinction of becoming. Alas, two more LPs and a collaboration album with Neko Case and k.d. lang (Case/Lang/Veirs) later, and Veirs is still delivering radio-worthy tunes that are as catchy as they are folksy and heartfelt. [read the whole post]

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(see Liam Neeson threaten more people!)

A clue, dear Neeson!

A clue, dear Neeson!

A Walk Among the Tombstones isn’t the first time I’ve had the chance to observe, critique, and celebrate Liam Neeson’s second life in cinema as an action star (see Non-Stop).  It won’t be the last, either (see Taken 3).  It doesn’t matter which film the imposing Irish actor stars in these days, it will undoubtedly be compared to, and its box office receipts still depending on, the popularity of 2009’s Taken.  Neeson as a bad ass, to any degree, will spark endless amounts of “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want” and “certain set of skills” quotes around the workplace and dinner tables (maybe a few “Now’s not the time for dick measuring, Stuart!”).  But in the new drama thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson is able to add layers to his usual badassery — the character Matthew Scudder is more like Sam Spade than Bryan Mills (from Taken).  The film is based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Lawrence Block, and its a callback to the movie detectives of the 1940s and 1950s.  It’s a dark film that plods along the crime thriller genre path, invoking many crime thriller cliches and plot turns, but produces just enough menace, style, and disturbing characters to keep our attention.

[read the whole post]

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