Concert review: J. Roddy Walston and The Business

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Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio – November 11, 2013

I really don’t want to make J. Roddy Walston & the Business out to be more than they are, when what they are – a rollicking, hard-working, soulful, piano-infused rock quartet – will so nicely suffice. Frontman Walston sings a bit like Bon Scott, phrases his lyrics a bit like Robert Plant, and has the stage presence of a mutant cross between Jerry Lee Lewis, The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson and Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, one moment leading a gospel tinged southern rock exploration and the next pounding the keys and head banging with total, infectious abandon. Continue reading “Concert review: J. Roddy Walston and The Business”

Movie Review: “Gravity” (2013)

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“You just point the damned thing at Earth. It’s not rocket science.”

Director Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space pressure cooker Gravity is a worthy and thrilling follow-up to his 2007 masterpiece Children of Men, a gritty dystopian sci-fi epic which contained, among other set pieces, an unbroken 8-minute shot tracking the protagonist’s desperate navigation of a raging urban war zone that remains the most staggering and visceral battle sequence I’ve ever seen on film. With Gravity, Cuaron attempts to one-up his own classic work by maintaining the former’s ridiculous intensity level but turning the entire film into one woman’s existential struggle against the implacable void of outer space, with outstanding results. Continue reading “Movie Review: “Gravity” (2013)”

Concert review: Frightened Rabbit

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Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio – October 15, 2013

Anyone who has ever been out in public with me, particularly to a concert, knows I have a general blanket disdain for my fellow man and a hysterically low annoyance threshold, so last night’s Frightened Rabbit concert was inevitably a sort of good news/bad news proposition. First, the good news, which was ample: the band was simply awesome, and played what can sometimes be disarmingly delicate music on album ferociously live, with very little degradation of what makes the original recordings so charming and memorable. Continue reading “Concert review: Frightened Rabbit”