This week in arts

Film This Friday afternoon, at 3 p.m., the Berkeley Art Museum is hosting Film Forward, a colloquium on the state of film education, curation and criticism. Prominent Bay Area film personalities will be on the panel, including independent filmmakers Tiffany Shlain (“Connected”) and Barry Jenkins (“Medicine for Melancholy”), film journalists
Read More…

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Glenn Close

People often ask me every February, “Are you excited for the Academy Awards?” It behooves me as a “film critic” (fuck off!) to offer a very emphatic, compulsory “Yes!” in response to this question, which pulls at my shirtsleeves all year like a nagging child. But each year, my enthusiasm
Read More…

Tyga: Careless World – Rise of the Last King

Tyga is the newest in a line of mainstream rap artists of Young Money Cash Money Billionaires (YMCMB) fame, and his latest album, Careless World: Rise of the Last King, is just as hackneyed and unnecessarily hedonistic as anything the label has ever put out. Don’t get me wrong —
Read More…

Grimes: Visions

Claire Boucher, known as Grimes, first started making music through GarageBand sessions in her home in Montreal. Although the 23-year-old artist continues to make her music singlehandedly, her newest album, Visions, ventures out of her bedroom and soars as her most confident compilation yet. In her past two albums Halfaxa
Read More…

Ducky: The Whether

Ducky’s latest four-track EP The Whether, swirls ethereal synth vocals around popping electro-pop beats. The album’s cover art — depicting a computer-generated woman wrapped in fur and free-floating hair (a la “Zelda”) with a bionic arm and opaque, white demonic eyes — encapsulates the album’s juxtaposition of bubble-gum beats and
Read More…

Cursive: I am Gemini

Kudos to Cursive for misguidedly returning to that no-man’s land of the goth-drenched concept album. Their recent release, I Am Gemini — follow-up to 2009’s Mama, I’m Swollen — attempts to reanimate a corpse by cobbling fairytale influences, carnival oddities and the too-likely tale of estranged twins, Cassius and Pollock,
Read More…

Perfume Genius: Put Your Back N 2 It

Google has a knack for knowing a lot more about us than we want it to. When the site flagged an album teaser showing Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius,  embracing another man for “promoting mature themes” and not being “family safe,” it underlined many of the social taboos that the
Read More…

Art Show Examines Audiences

In “Audience as Subject, Part 2: Extra Large” peasants become U.N. diplomats, Muhammad Ali is erased from film footage, and mosh pits are recreated. These are all a part of a new multimedia group show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts that examines our human nature both as
Read More…

Seth Meyers performs at Zellerbach Hall

People can only handle so much wit; Seth Meyers’ performance at Zellerbach Hall had much of the audience in tears. The “Saturday Night Live” head writer and anchor of the “Weekend Update” sketch was simply too funny. It was as though he walked on with a sash full of comedy
Read More…