Looking Elsewhere: Mad Max, Slow West, Lawsuit Antics, Sam Phillips, Favorite 2015 Songs, Tara Owens, Sara Zarr, and Lauren Winner

Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here. And it's time to catch you up on Overstreet's recommended links for this week.(If you're following Jeffrey on Facebook or Twitter, you may have already seen some of these.) … [Read more...]

From the Writer Who Brought You “Amazing Grace”…

Our pleasure and our duty, Though opposite before, Since we have seen his beauty, Are joined to part no more: It is our highest pleasure, No less than duty’s call— To love him beyond measure, And serve him with our all.- John Newton This hymn relates to the subject of this site. Trust me. … [Read more...]

Tomorrowland? Or Tomorrow-bland?

"Is anything more dispiriting than a failed attempt at inspiration?"That first line of Steven Greydanus's latest film review reminds me of some of the reviews I read for Andrew Stanton's first non-Pixar feature film — the unfortunately named, and more unfortunately reviewed, John Carter. That movie and its critical reception (rejection?) were hard pills to swallow for this faithful Pixar fan. Stanton's a great storyteller, and I had been excited about his labor of Edgar Rice Burroughs lov … [Read more...]

Josh Garrels Goes “Home”

It’s easy to praise Garrels’ mad skills: his confident command of so many styles that it’s just unfair; his seemingly effortless musicianship; the way he can plant melodies—not just hooks or earworms, but whole melodies!—in your memory so that you’re singing them in your sleep; the way his voice acrobats its way from rapid-fire rap to a soulful falsetto that would bring tears to Sam Cooke’s ears.(Okay, I’m sorry about that last one. It made sense when I wrote it.)What’s more, I admire Gar … [Read more...]

Get Your Free Copy of NoiseTrade’s Memorial Day Favorite

Hey, it's a holiday weekend. How about celebrating with a free ebook? … [Read more...]

The Empire Strikes 35

"Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny." … [Read more...]

How to Hear the New 2015 Looking Closer “Playlist in Progress”

I'll let you in on a little project in progress.In my deep dive into the music of 2015, I'm adding tracks to a Spotify playlist of the tracks that get my attention, compel me to listen closer, and end up in frequent rotation.This is where I'll put the songs that I'm considering writing about for my "Listening Closer" column. … [Read more...]

Looking Elsewhere: Of Milk Carton Kids, Muppets, Vampires, and Gothic Fairy Tales

Looking Closer Intern Joe Allen here, counting down the days until I get to see Mad Max: Fury Road, which has all of the buzz and momentum of a summer action-movie classic.Overstreet is off to Vancouver B.C. to check out the opening weekend of U2's Innocence + Experience tour, so we can assume we'll get a report about that at some point. In the meantime, here's what he wanted me to share with you — a few highlights from his lunch-break browsing... … [Read more...]

Turn-It-Up Tracks of the Week: Giddens, TMBG, Marling

During my commute to and from my daily responsibilities at Seattle Pacific University, I often listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and new releases.But most of the time, I just hit "Shuffle" to see what pops out of my lifelong music library.When it's a happy surprise, I turn it up... and often I'll play it more than once. And sometimes I'll fight the urge to roll down the windows and share it with the world.It occurred to me today: Why not just post my favorites here?So consider this … [Read more...]

Looking Elsewhere: May 7 – Cold Cereal, Twin Peaks, Citizen Kane, David Foster Wallace, Bono, Sean Bean, Gene Wolfe, Leslie Jamison, and David “St. Augustine Fanboy” Brooks

Hello, class!I'm Joe Allen, your new substitute teacher, so to speak. You know how Dr. Evil had his "Mini-Me"?  For a while, I'm going to be Overstreet's Mini-Me. I'm a new Looking Closer intern, shouting out the news from the Looking Closer front porch, and helping fill the gaps while our usual show host strives to stay afloat amidst the stormy seas of a full-time job and graduate school.I'll take notes he sends me and pass them along to you—on writing, on music, on movies, and on that m … [Read more...]