wed 19/06/2024

California

Judy Chicago: Revelations, Serpentine Gallery review - art designed to change the world

Being a successful artist is not Judy Chicago’s primary goal. She abandoned that ambition six decades ago when the Los Angeles art world greeted her with hostility. Now she’s having the last laugh, though. At 84 she is being heaped with accolades,...

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The Beach Boys, Disney+ review - heroes and villains and good vibrations

It was – let’s see – 63 years ago today that Brian Wilson taught the band to play. Fabled for their resplendent harmonies and ecstatic hymning of the sun-kissed California dream, the Beach Boys seemed to represent everything golden and glorious...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Mark Eric - A Midsummer’s Day Dream

In June 1969, The Beach Boys released “Break Away” as a single. A month earlier, they had announced they were leaving Capitol Records, who they had been with since 1962. The split with their long-term label came after the band sued for unpaid...

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Lisa Frankenstein review - a bitchy trawl through the high-school horror movie back catalogue

Diablo Cody’s biggest screenwriting hit was 2007’s Juno, a larky but tender story of teenage pregnancy. She’s gone back to high school for her latest, Lisa Frankenstein, which focuses on another troubled teen. This one has goth looks accessorised...

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Hir, Park Theatre review - incendiary production for Taylor Mac's rich absurdist family drama

In 2017, two years after Hir premiered, Taylor Mac was awarded a “Genius Grant” and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The new production of Hir at the Park demonstrates why. It’s a rich, provocative piece about the ideas that drive us now,...

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Infinite Life, National Theatre review - beguiling new comedy about a world of pain

A sun deck with seven pale-green padded loungers is the latest setting for the latest National Theatre premiere from American playwright Annie Baker to people in her inimitable way. In her hands this banal space is as dramatically charged as...

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RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology, Barbican review - women fighting to protect the environment

RE/SISTERS is a show about the brave women who’ve been fighting to protect our planet and the artists whose work – mainly in film and photography – is, in itself, a form of protest. The opening section, Extractive Economics demonstrates the problem...

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Album: Devendra Banhart - Flying Wig

Had Devendra Banhart been born between 1940 and 1950, he’d likely be a household name. His output – very loosely – sits between Cat Stevens, Syd Barrett and Richie Havens, studded with a greatness not widely acknowledged. He had a spell around 15-20...

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Fremont review - lovely wry portrait of an Afghan refugee looking for love

A cameo by Jeremy Allen White wouldn’t usually excite interest, but the star of Disney+’s The Bear is big box-office now, so his presence in Fremont, however brief, will probably guarantee it an audience. There the curious will also find a gem from...

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Album: OSEES - Intercepted Message

On the face of it, this is an extremely simple record. It is big, stomping, party-monster neanderthal synth-rock.There’s no new sounds here: the structures are classic garage punk, the synthesisers’ growl and squeal sounds like some jerry-rigged...

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Daisy Jones & The 6, Amazon Prime review - hit rock'n'roll novel doesn't make great TV

Based on the bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six is the rags-to-riches-to-wreckage story of the titular Seventies rock band, supposedly somewhat based on Fleetwood Mac. Their journey from their fashion-defying...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Goin' Round In My Mind - The Merrell Fankhauser Anthology

Merrell Fankhauser's first outing on record was with Californian instrumental surf band The Impacts, who issued their sole album in 1963. Thereafter, he was the prime mover in an unbroken succession of pop, psychedelic and freak-rock bands. His...

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