This is a moving French film about the power of love and loss. Rust and Bone stars Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a killer whale trainer and Matthias Schoenaerts as Alain, a single father struggling to keep it together. Stephanie and Alain meet one night and later form an unlikely bond after Stephanie suffers from a life altering accident. A beautiful and emotional film that is a must watch.
One of my favorite albums Give Up by The Postal Service has been re-released as a tenth anniversary set. There are only two unearthed songs on the album, but they are fantastic. The rest of the album serves as reminder of how great Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello are together. Touring for the first time ever this summer, I hope to finally see them live.
After hearing the nonstop buzz about Homeland, I watched the first season and I was not disappointed. The plot centers on CIA agent Carrie Mathison, who was warned by an Iraqi source that an American prisoner of war had been turned by Al-Qaeda. When Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. Marine Sergeant, is rescued after being held captive by Al-Qaeda for nearly eight years, Carrie is suspicious. Claire Danes does a tremendous job playing the role of Carrie, who is determined, almost to a fault, to prevent another terrorist attack. This heart-pounding, suspenseful drama will keep you questioning who is really telling the truth.
The Good Wife is a fascinating legal drama that centers on Alicia Florrick’s (Julianna Margulies) return to her former profession as a litigator after 12 years spent at home raising her children. Her husband is the disgraced Cook County attorney, who is currently incarcerated due to a very public sex and corruption scandal. The show chronicles Alicia’s struggles as she deals with a new job, her conflicted feelings toward her husband, and the pressure of raising her two children. It is such a smart and well-acted television show and definitely one of my favorites.
This new dark drama takes getting even to the next level. The show centers on the beautiful Emily Thorne who rents a beach house in the Hamptons for summer. It is revealed through flashbacks that Emily is not there to soak up the sun, but instead to exact revenge for the people responsible for her father’s wrongful imprisonment. Her cold and calculating plan ensures that everyone involved in the plot to frame will suffer, especially the powerful Grayson family. Revenge is a deliciously wicked show that shows how far someone will go for justice.
A fabulous and fun album, Gossamer is guaranteed to get you on feet. Despite the upbeat tempo the lyrics tackle some bleak topics such alcoholism, immigration, and suicide. This is the second album for the electro-pop group, Passion Pit, and it is a wonderful mix of the highs and lows of life. Here is a clip of one of my favorite tracks “Take a Walk.”
One of the most talked about the albums of the year, the debut Boys and Girls by the Alabama Shakes does not disappoint. On this powerful soul record, Brittany Howard's vocals are reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. After hearing the band interviewed on the radio program Sound Opinions, I was struck by the band’s story and how they struggled to get this record made. The song “Hold On” has an infectious rhythm and will get you dancing no matter where you are.
This critically acclaimed series is a must-watch television show. Set in the 1960s, it focuses on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the creative director at an advertising firm with a complicated past. The show addresses issues of racism, adultery, and alcoholism with elegance and pose. This masterfully written show is fun to watch as it captures the era perfectly, down to the details with the excessive drinking, beehives, and Eames chairs. See what's on shelf today: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4. The show has also influenced a number of recently published books: The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Mad Women: the other side of life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and beyond, and Mad Men Unbuttoned: a romp through 1960s America.
The Australian singer Gotye covers a lot of ground from psych-rock to soul in his latest album Making Mirrors. However, the songs that stand out are reminiscent of ‘80s pop, especially the hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” This is a fun and different album that everyone should listen to this year. Check out reviews from NPR and Pitchfork.
Whokill by tUnE-yArDs (2011) A funky blend of Afro-Pop, R&B, and acoustic come together in this album by the percussionist and singer Merrill Garbus. This offbeat record where Garbus layers and loops her voice is a feel good album that will have you dancing for hours. For those of you who love Afro-pop artists like Zap Mama, this album is a must listen! Check out an interview with Garbus and a review of the album in Pitchfork. For more about the group, visit their record label 4AD.