The Swell Season Finds Joy in Heartache

Strict Joy is the first album by principals Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova that does not reference any prior recordings that either did in any previous incarnation (including Hansard’s first band The Frames). Once and The Swell Season shared a lot of songs with each other, albeit in different interpretations, as well as a few of The Frames’ later albums. As such, this album was crucial in establishing some new direction for a group of musicians who had essentially been playing a lot of the same material from album to album. [Read more...]

Red State Brings the Brimstone and Gunfire

There’s a scene towards the end of Kevin Smith’s Red State where two perceived heroes, divided by loyalty and faith but united by shear desperation, attempt to escape a living hell full of brimstone and gunfire. They finally reach the good guys, one of who pulls out his sidearm and shoots both characters point blank in the head. This is the defining moment in Red State as it underlines the total lack of boundaries or predictability in this relentless, visceral thriller.

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Middle 8: October 19, 2011

A departure from the repetitive verse-chorus-verse of your typical Top 10s, The Vinyl Recliner presents our inaugural Middle 8 countdown…

Ben Folds FiveTell Me What I Did
One of three new recordings done by Ben Folds Five for Folds’ retrospective of his career with and without Five, “Tell Me What I Did” is most like early BFF, with a raucous riff and clever lyrics (both written by bassist Robert Sledge).

Sleeping At Last Noble Aim
The indie rock band wrapped up it’s 12-EP Yearbook project with September, which includes the autumnal and inspiring “Noble Aim,” with sweet harmonies by Katie Herzig. [Read more...]

Things Are Looking Up!

After The Incredibles, I started doubting the promise of Pixar’s next few features based on the trailers for their next movies. It wasn’t that I was gleefully anticipating their inevitable fall from grace. On the contrary, I wanted Pixar to continue making great pictures. But after six phenomenal movies, I just expected we’d eventually see a dud. However, with each film, they kept their streak of quality alive.

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A Tale of Toys, Tears, and Growing Up

The beauty and wonder of film has always been its ability to form an emotional connection with its audience. Whether it’s through the hatred we feel for despicable villains, the excitement we feel watching silver screen heroes, or even the love we feel for an on-screen beauty. Certainly the strongest emotion the cinema has ever invoked is crying. We cheer at an amazing action sequence, gasp at a dramatic moment, and laugh at a wacky situation. But these are all emotions we feel frequently throughout any given day. However, we don’t often cry. So when a film makes us shed a tear, it’s touching a precious nerve.

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