REVIEW: Broadway Idiot [2013]

“I can’t act. I can’t dance. Compared to a lot of these people I can’t even sing” I remember picking up Green Day’s American Idiot with trepidation in 2004. Dookie is without a doubt a classic while Insomniac proved to be a worthy follow-up to its greatness. Nimrod came with a few good tracks, but […]

REVIEW: BUMRUSH! Boulder, Colorado [2013]

“We’re in Boulder, baby. This is how it goes.” While I’ve never been to Boulder, I have visited the Denver, CO area and experienced its college town atmosphere for the 30-40 sect looking to escape corporate suburbia for a bit of fun after the work day. I also talked to people who seemed genuinely discouraged […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: Begin Again [Can a Song Save Your Life?] [2014]

“Yeah. I just phased out my cassettes.” To answer the title’s question—Can a Song Save Your Life?—writer/director John Carney says, “Yes.” A song can save someone from jumping off a subway platform and someone else from the searing emotional pain of being scorned in love. Music in general is an art form that can move […]

REVIEW: Fame High [2013]

“Engage us” A real life version of Fame on the west coast, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s coming-of-age documentary Fame High shows us the pressures of pursuing an arts education and career at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Shot over a period of sixteen months, the film follows four students as they battle […]

REVIEW: The History of Future Folk [2013]

“You still make a crappy assassin, though” Hipster culture appears here to stay. Big-bearded, plaid flannel-wearing, folk music playing bohemians increase their numbers every day as bands like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and Iron & Wine expand into the mainstream rock scene. The appeal probably comes from our American love of wanting to be unique […]

HOTDOCS13 REVIEW: ALIAS [2013]

“Every kid has dreams. But then you get reality.” Holding onto hope for a better life to strengthen each subsequent generation so one day his ancestors won’t be forced to hustle on the street, Alkatraz strives to achieve a future through his music. Raising his daughter on one hand and doing what he “has to […]

REVIEW: How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song [2013]

“It’s not like I’m going to shove you down the stairs or anything” Artistic integrity—is it a dying concept or has the definition simply changed? As a freshman in college I began admitting to anyone who asked my major that pursuing a career in graphic design meant I sold out. Yes, before I had even […]

REVIEW: Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey [2013]

“I’m living a fairy tale right now” It was Journey‘s album Trial by Fire from 1996 that opened my eyes to their insane library of hits upon entering high school. Here was their first new music since the year after my birth in 1983—”When You Love a Woman” was constantly on the radio, my father […]

REVIEW: Hurry Up and Wait [2013]

“They’ll go on tour for 40 days and end up playing 42 shows” Remember when Atlanta, Georgia based rock band Gringo Star was on everyone’s lips and selling out shows throughout the USA back in 2011? Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. Listening to their albums—Count Yer Lucky Stars and All Yall—right now […]

REVIEW: Les Misérables [2012]

“I dreamed a dream” I tried to tackle Victor Hugo‘s massive literary masterpiece Les Misérables years ago only to find myself stuck two hundred pages in and our book club disbanded after learning my poor progress was actually second best among the lot of us. Suffice it to say, none of the words I caught […]

REVIEW: Shut Up and Play the Hits [2012]

“If I can see all my friends tonight” The end of LCD Soundsystem was a seminal moment in rock and roll music history. I’m not even a fan of the band and I know this to be true. Frontman James Murphy created something that spoke to the college crowd with a mix of electronic dance […]