boxtrolls

Creativity and craftsmanship reign in animated ‘Boxtrolls’

As animated films become more slick and commercial-looking — as CGI takes over not only backgrounds and motion but also character construction and whole projects — stop-motion only gets more charming and valuable. Richly textured, with a distinctly organic feel and the unmistakable stamp of handmade craft, the “The Boxtrolls” Read More…

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Fashion Fridays: As Chic as the French

Paris Fashion Week is well underway, but you don’t have to hit the streets of France to find out what’s in vogue. Take a walk through UC Berkeley and you’ll find a wealth of styles that are trendy yet distinctive — the Normcore cool kids, the indie prep, the girl Read More…

gaga

Sparks fly with Gaga and Bennett’s ‘Cheek to Cheek’

More often than not, a similar response is elicited when a big name in music releases a crossover or cover album: “Why?!” There’s always the notion of self-indulgence, like when an artist’s fanboy admiration for another’s work simply cannot be contained within their own back catalogue — see The Flaming Read More…

pride-movie

Thatcher-era activism reigns in ‘Pride’

Physical sensations will overwhelm you when you watch Matthew Warchus’ film “Pride.” Shivers will travel up your spine, your face will swell with blood and your eyes will become laminated with — wait, are those tears in your cynical eyes? Inspired by an incredible true story, “Pride” will physically affect Read More…

Sean-Wagner-Full

‘American Idiot’ a decade later

A little more than 10 years ago, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool faced an unordinary obstacle. The trio, known as Green Day, was at a crossroads. Green Day’s follow-up album to Warning — Cigarettes and Valentines — was stolen from its studio. Faced with a decision to Read More…

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No longer ‘assholes,’ the Pixies learn to appreciate

“We were assholes,” Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago explained to The Daily Californian in a phone interview about the band’s past, “little fucking punk-y, unappreciative jerks.” This time around — currently touring for their first album of new music in over twenty years — fans could describe the legendary alt-rock band Read More…

StarredUp

‘Starred Up’ packs a punch

Despite the flashy title, being “Starred Up” is anything but glitzy for main character Eric Love (Jack O’Connell, “Unbroken”). In this horrifyingly authentic prison drama, director David Mackenzie paints a tragic picture of a young life behind bars, all while keeping his audience as captive as his volatile protagonist. Part Read More…

Punk group Hostage Calm’s latest jumbles different inspirations

Connecticut punk band Hostage Calm’s latest release, Die On Stage, tries to funnel an array of rock influences into a 10-track LP meant to celebrate “the subsequent post-millennial fatalism permeating today’s youth culture,” as described in its press release. While the album has definite political rock and anarcho-punk undertones, the Read More…