Obie Trice: Bottoms Up

Sticking with his happy-hour inspired album titles, Obie Trice’s long-delayed Bottoms Up — the album was pushed back several times since its projected release in the summer of 2008 — leaves one wondering whether the glass has any potent potion left, and, if so, how much? The beat on “Bottoms
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Nicki Minaj: Roman Reloaded

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded will propel Nicki Minaj further money-wise, but its factory-made, routine sound does not show her pushing for artistic growth. The sophomore album brings confusion to whether she strives to be a commercial success, an independent female rapper or a performance artist. Despite being part of the
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Counting Crows: Underwater Sunshine

Essentially, Underwater Sunshine is Counting Crows’ lead singer Adam Duritz’s love letter to the music world. Paying homage to the fifteen bands he lovingly plucked from within his musical covey, the new covers album consists of songs ranging from Dawes, the gem of music streaming site Daytrotter.com, to Bob Dylan.
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Election 2012: pop star politics

T.S. Eliot was right. April really is the cruelest month. Except for April 12 (my birthday a.k.a. the best day in the world), the month doesn’t have that much going for it. It’s a predictably pleasant month. Sometimes there’s sun. Sometimes there’s rain. Sometimes there’s a collective groan that can
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This Week in Arts

Film Peter Greenaway’s “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” (1989) is not a movie that calls for popcorn, not only because of its twisted antics — running the gamut of blood, shit and piss — but because it is a bold, serious film. Michael Gambon plays Albert
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Visually striking film explores 19th-century brothel

When Edouard Manet unleashed his “Olympia” upon the world in 1863, the aesthetic conventions that had previously held art together were suddenly, violently flouted. A turning point for Impressionism, this oil-painted portrait depicts a fully nude, voluptuous courtesan supine on a bed. Previous paradigms of female beauty were jettisoned in
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Oakland quartet Trails and Ways makes political dream pop

Keith Brown’s favorite novel is Greil Marcus’ “Lipstick Traces.” In the subdued, understated manner that is his hallmark, he claimed that it taught him to reject everything he had ever known and embrace the philosophy of punk rock at the age of 17. A rather odd statement, coming from a
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Berkeley Repertory Theatre fictionalizes renowned painter

“What do you see?,” grunted an artist in paint-splattered clothing. The question, repeated several times in the first moments of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s “Red,” was directed to his young assistant. There’s clearly an imbalance in the dynamic. The older man’s severe glasses channeled the sheer force of his personality, whereas
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