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Friday, September 22nd, 2023  


Fox, May 19th at 9 PM

May 19, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

The etymology of the word glee is appropriate in discussing FOX’s one-hour preview of its high school musical comedy that shares the title. Executive producer/writer/director Ryan Murphy shoehorns plenty of “entertainment, mirth and jest” into his Glee but its creators sense of the latter is what keeps this unoriginal series from being merely another high school comedy. Sure, there’s a lot of material lifted from Election, Bring It On, The Breakfast Club, and Freaks and Geeks in this charming pilot but these misfit highschoolers (and adults) sometimes stand without aides. Murphy’s work on Nip/Tuck is certainly more inspired but this one-shot preview, airing after tonight’s over-inflated American Idol finale, gets more things right than wrong.


May 19, 2009 DVDs Web Exclusive

Enigmatic and controversial modern-day composer Philip Glass is, unsurprisingly, a complicated, intelligent, and talented man, as shown in the documentary glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts by director Scott Hicks (Shine, No Reservations).


May 19, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Is the Mercury Music Prize an indication that you should stop doing what people seem to approve of so much? The prestigious award, given to one British artist annually, signifies the biggest contribution to British music for that year. Gomez were the recipients of that honor in 1998 for their debut, Bring It On.


May 16, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

On the documentary DVD that’s packaged with this live CD, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn comments: “This band was created in sort of the shadow of the Replacements.” Nothing wrong with that, given that The Replacements recorded an influential string of classic studio albums in the 1980s, but it makes The Hold Steady a dubious band to release a live album.


May 15, 2009 Music Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups are experiencing the opposite of most bands that share a similar sound. That sound being a wall of distortion, static, and fuzz that is part shoegazer—and in the Silversun’s case, part Smashing Pumpkins. Usually the first album is one big, long sound occasionally punctured by a recognizable riff. In contrast, the second album is defined by morsels of hints-at-pop hits—which in the Silversuns case ended up being full-blown smashes.


May 15, 2009 Music The Mary Onettes

In 2007, The Mary Onettes (pronounced like marionettes) released their self-titled debut full-length, featuring a sound reminiscent of bands like The Cure and The Church, whose pop melodies wrapped in lush textures and ethereal backdrops were second to none. This first single from The Mary Onettes’ upcoming sophomore full-length picks up right where the band left off.


May 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

British singer/songwriter Polly Scattergood feels your pain. Your pain, and the pain of every young girl clutching a notebook filled with poetry. While it’s difficult to doubt the sincerity of her convictions as they drip from every note and roll off every word of her affected shrill delivery, by the end of her eponymous debut you can’t help but feel thankful puberty has long since come and gone.


May 09, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The debut EP from these two teenage sisters from outside Stockholm, Sweden, is steeped largely in the folk traditions of artists such as Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake.


Modern Toss

IFC, Tuesdays, 11/10 Central

May 09, 2009 TV Web Exclusive

The producers of Modern Toss, the odd, ineffective little cartoon/live action hybrid being deposited on IFC viewers, seem to have confused the fact that shows like South Park are both rude and funny with the idea that rude is funny. But irreverence, or simple profanity, is no substitute for actual content. Promoters will try to argue that the show is too edgy for some, but in fact it’s too simple for most. These are half-clever sketches, done in an admittedly creative style, that amount to very little.