arts

Weekend's (half) year in review



Music:

“Slowdive,” Slowdive: The English indie rock band Slowdive had its legacy set in stone. Throughout the early to mid ‘90s, the band released three excellent records, one of which — 1993’s “Souvlaki” — still stands among the finest records of that decade. After the hesitant early single “Sugar for the Pill” left some concerned that the band might not be as vital a creative force as it was 22 years ago, concerns were assuaged when the final album came out in early May. The expansive opening track “Slomo” stands out as an early highlight from this dreamy comeback.

“Big Fish Theory,” Vince Staples: Vince Staples doesn’t worship ‘90s hip-hop, and that’s fine. His latest record, “Big Fish Theory,” finds the Long Beach, Ca. rapper drifting away from the gritty and cavernous production that defined his previous few projects and jumping into the uncharted waters of club rap and industrial hip-hop. His experimentation pays off. “Yeah Right” effortlessly switches between verses from Staples, fellow top-dog Kendrick Lamar and a glitched-out feature from Australian singer Kucka. The West-Coast G-funk meets Atlanta trap groove “745” is his smoothest yet.

“FUTURE” and “HNDRXX” by Future: Much ink has been spilled over Future, the as-of-yet unstoppable rapper turned singer from Atlanta and his ridiculously prolific stream of albums, mixtapes and one-off singles. Less has been said regarding his ability to constantly subvert expectations. Future followed up his album-by-way-of-mixtape “FUTURE” — the one that gave us trap hits “Draco” and “Mask Off” — with “HNDRXX,” another seventeen-track project that finally made good on Future’s promise as a wounded crooner. Both projects dropped within a week of each other and each hit #1 on the Billboard charts, officially making Future a commercially viable Percocet-numbed monster and a leaned-out bleeding heart — all at the same damn time.

Movies

Logan: Hugh Jackman portrayed the surly-Canadian superhero for the last time in the elegant and elegiac “Logan.” And while it might share a universe with the wider world of Marvel’s “X-Men” — owned by Fox, not the Mouse — “Logan” has more in common with indie hits like “Little Miss Sunshine” than it does with the David Hayter-penned original film. That’s for the best. Underneath all the gore, “Logan” is a film about family. In a summer dominated by dumb genre films, “Logan,” which is available on Amazon Video, remains a genuinely moving, intelligent mutant of a film.

Get Out: “‘Get Out” is about a black man named Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who goes on a trip with his white girlfriend Rose, played by Allison Williams, to meet her family. He fears their reaction upon learning his race, but when he finally meets her parents, they don’t freak out. Instead, they make awkward comments like her dad insisting he would’ve voted for Obama again if he could’ve. As microaggressions continue, a foreboding sense of tension builds, and Chris witnesses a series of increasingly strange occurrences that grow dire. “Get Out” may be unabashedly political for a horror movie, but that’s what makes it so frightening.

TV

Twin Peaks - The Return: When David Lynch retired from cinema earlier this year, he was disenchanted with the business of making movies. It’s easy to see why. While television is among the best it’s ever been — ask most Netflix binge-watchers, and they’ll tell you streaming has ushered in a new golden age of television — Hollywood is at an all-time low, cranking out soft reboots, sequels and remakes to recoup those films’ extravagant budgets. But “Twin Peaks: The Return” is every bit as fearlessly stylistic and challenging as anything the avant-garde auteur ever shot for the big screen. Just don’t tune in expecting a re-hash of the first two seasons; if anything, season three draws more from the polarizing Twin Peaks feature film “Fire Walk With Me” and Lynch’s last movie, “Inland Empire” than it does the cozy soap opera vibes of its most-beloved early episodes. But like the first two seasons, “Twin Peaks: The Return” is both strange and wonderful.

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