In today’s episode of Sadly, This is Not a Satire… Check out this website promoting David and Goliath, a movie that hopes to attract audiences by condemning “Hollywood” as the Enemy of God. Note, I put “Hollywood” in quotes. Because… who exactly is this looming, powerful giant? I’m not going to post the David and Goliath trailer here: I want you to see the movie’s web page and trailer with your own two eyes… (more…) Read more

Joe Henry, who recorded my favorite record of 2014 (Invisible Hour), was the guest on the latest installment of the excellent podcast “On Being,” with Krista Tippett. Read more

Songs about this day-job, bill-paying struggle are a dime a dozen — or, rather about $16.99 a dozen in this economy. (more…) Read more

The long-running community of friends and colleagues called Arts and Faith has published their latest list of essential films: The Top 25 Films on Memory. Read more

Wow. (more…) Read more

Two guys — a blogger and his friend — after watching the blu-ray of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part One on the friend’s giant plasma TV: Blogger: “So, let me get this straight. You were cheering for Katniss and her friends in their rebellion against the evil oppressors.” Friend: “Right.” Blogger: “But she’s acting in an anti-authoritarian way.” (more…) Read more

This weekend, Sam Phillips joined Joe Henry onstage for what was reportedly a knockout, 2 1/2-hour concert. Oh, if only I could have teleported down to L.A. to at the Coronet. I’ve been in a bit of a funk, knowing that I was missing one of my dream concerts. To cheer myself up, I’m revisiting one of the highlights of my life as a journalist and as a faithful, attentive Sam Phillips listener. The following interview was published in Image Issue… Read more

When a music critic declares an album “perfect,” it tends to say more about that listener’s enthusiasm—and, perhaps, hubris—than it does about the record. So I’m holding myself back from that kind of overreach here. Suffice it to say that I’d have a hard time imagining a stronger “debut” record for Rhiannon Giddens than Tomorrow Is My Turn, an album that seems to immediately negate its own title by declaring “Today! Today belongs to Giddens.” (more…) Read more

[This review was included in my Favorite Films of 2014 post. But, for the archives, it gets a post of its own.] • In one scene, two young people play Connect Four. Do you remember Connect Four? I loved playing this game when I was a kid. There was the tic-tac-toe fun of trying to see connections before somebody else did, but it was more complicated than tic-tac-toe, and it also had tactile elements that made it more satisfying: the sound… Read more

Finally… an Oscar year that brings some much needed focus to a subject sorely overlooked at the movies — great men with big dreams! Read more

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