Blues Heats Up

Jeff Jensen and Brandon Santini, leaders of Tennessee Redemption. Courtesy Endless Blues Records

It may still be winter, but plans are already underway for this summer’s blues-roots festivals. Playing with Fire founder and organizer Jeff Davis shared plans for the 2020 Playing with Fire concerts, announcing a new venue for this summer’s shows. In an email to The Reader, Davis said the concerts will be held at the […]

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Eating Off the Kids Menu

Gretel & Hansel is basically what you’d get if the Brothers Grimm were more interested in superheroes than in wolves doing grandma cosplay. Cloaked in all the kiddie cannibalism and witchy wickedness that you’d expect from the Gothic fairy tale, director Osgood Perkins’s take is visually spectacular, if a bit narratively superficial. Honestly, the biggest […]

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Military Action That Is Actually Justified

The only thing more common than art that argues we should really stop doing war to each other is the fact that we seem to be constantly doing war to each other. 1917 is a visual protest poem that arrives in the United States amid substantial angst about yet-another impending Middle East conflict. Asking director […]

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Cutting Room for January 2020

We complain a lot about remakes, but science says that no matter can be created or destroyed, and some religions say even you will get rebooted. I’m trying to make you feel better about Shrunk, which is an updated version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Technically, it’s just a distant sequel, as Josh Gad […]

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The Best TV Shows of 2019 and 2020

The Midwest is still seated at the cultural kids table. We’re “not for everyone,” apparently unlike New York and Los Angeles, so we don’t get to see a big chunk of the best movies from a given year until the start of the following year. It’s like how Canada is just now getting fidget spinners. […]

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What’s the Buzz

Rick Holmstrom, Mavis Staples

Looking back at 2019, here, in no particular order, are some shows that brought me joy. Jon Dee Graham & The Fighting Cocks played at B Side of Benson Theatre in July with Bonnie Whitmore opening and holding down the bass in the band. Graham’s rock ‘n’ roll reflections on the happy moments and challenges […]

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