review

TV Party Tonight! #55
DVD/Blu-Ray

Documentary Now! Season One and Two The mere existence of a show like Documentary Now! is baffling. Because, let’s break it down. It’s spoofing documentaries by recreating them and adding a new twist. In order for this to work, the show must 1) understand the subject matter (the film it is spoofing) 2) develop an intriguing enough twist to reinvent the documentary 3) have actors who are versatile enough yet bring their own sensibilities to the roles and 4)...

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42
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Wednesday, 22 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #191
BOOKS

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Policis Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books) Books about financial crises shouldn’t be this exciting. Books about financial crises that happened 40 years shouldn’t be this exciting. But, somehow, Kim Phillips-Fein has achieved the impossible. One would think a book dealing with such a serious and complicated subject would read like dry homework, but Phillips-Fein has managed to tell the story in a riveting way. I don’t want to say that...

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47
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Thursday, 16 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #190
BOOKS

The Evolution of Beauty Richard Prum (Doubleday Books) Richard Prum seems to think he’s a Richard Dawkins type, which he’s not, and that’s probably at the heart of the problem with the Evolution of Beauty. What could have been a book that elevates our awareness of the world we live is instead just a clunky fragmented book. First of all, Prum is the arrogant showoff type. Richard Dawkins is too, but Prum seems not to notice that he keeps it...

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43
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018
TV Party Tonight! #54
DVD/Blu-Ray

Super Troopers 2 Whether you like it or not, you gotta admire the underdog nature of Super Troopers. It’s a comedy that’s aged surprisingly well that fortunately never fell victim to many of the popular comedies of today. It’s not dependent of cameos for its performances but focuses on writing. Instead of relying on a “remember them?” neuron firing when we see an actor on screen, it instead focuses on its script actually being funny on the page...

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44
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Monday, 13 August 2018
Vinyl Vlog 341
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the The Old New Me / Times Like This 2LP reissue by Slim Dunlap. Of course, after the collapse, crash and burn of The Replacements in 1991, it was almost instantly hoped that somebody in the band would begin producing more music but nobody looked at Slim Dunlap to be the first one out of the gate. Dunlap was, after all, the replacement guitarist in The Replacements – that was the joke...

2
69
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Sunday, 05 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #189
BOOKS

David Sedaris Calypso I’ll tell you, the hardest thing I’ve had to do at this point in my life is buying a house. Stressful doesn’t quite begin to describe it, and that’s considering that I had it pretty easy. I was so green going into it and the process moved so quickly that I was constantly playing catchup, feeling like I was missing some important details or new obstacle kept presenting themselves. We need a what now? How much is...

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56
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Wednesday, 01 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #188
BOOKS

October Song by Paul Le Blanc (Haymarket Books) I’ve read a lot of books on the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik victory, good and bad, and it’s about time a book like this came along. October Song is essentially a detailed account of how the events after the October revolution led to the totalitarian and authoritative state of the Stalinist era. Be forewarned: this book feels longer than it is because of the dense subject matter, so it’s not for...

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61
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Thursday, 26 July 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #187
BOOKS

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein Naomi Klein is responsible for some of the most import and in-depth reporting on the left. Ever since I saw her on the Corporation documentary more than 10 years ago, I’ve tried to follow her reporting. She’s surprisingly not in the mainstream very much. Her previous work No Logo is a phenomenal look into the outsourcing of mainstream brands and how that’s essentially...

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60
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Monday, 16 July 2018
I Wanna Be Literated 185
BOOKS

Why Bad Governments Happen to Good People by Danny Katch Danny Katch had already won me over with his book Socialism…Seriously. Not just because of what he writes, but how he writes. When we reviewed this book last year, we made sure to note that Socialism…Seriously was important for how Katch was trying to communicate complicated and frequently misrepresented ideas clearly and simply to the masses. Also, with a dose of humor to lighten the mood a little bit. Whenever...

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73
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Monday, 25 June 2018
Vinyl Vlog 333
COLUMN

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the You’re Not Alone 2LP by Andrew W.K. An epiphany: since first appearing on the pop music radar in 2001 with the release of his debut album, I Get Wet, Andrew Wilkes-Krier has chased the idea and image of a perfect party as well as producing a genuinely kinetic soundtrack for such an event with little thematic deviation (obvious exception being the piano-focused, instrumental album which appeared in 2009, 55 Cadillac) –...

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Saturday, 26 May 2018