‘Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset’ is a vulnerable masterpiece

[Read my feature “Richard Edwards Reborn” for an in-depth look at the album from musician himself.]

For nearly a decade, Richard Edwards released music as a band called Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s. Don’t be fooled; he was the band. The players came in on different albums to help, but he was always the maestro. His lineups changed year to year, as did his music.

Now, Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset is his first true solo album under his own name. I wrote a feature about it that will appear sometime shortly on All Things Go about why this was time for him to step out from behind the Margot moniker.

Continue reading “‘Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset’ is a vulnerable masterpiece”

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Gambino grows up: ‘Awaken, My Love!’ reviewed

Donald Glover’s artistry blossomed in recent years. It might have been an existential crisis in a hotel around the release of Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet in 2013. It might have been that he was finally allowed to write and act his own thoughts instead of helping Tina Fey on 30 Rock or playing Dan Harmon’s affable jock Troy Barnes on Community. Whatever it is: Glover is one of the most important artists right now, and his Childish Gambino alter ego is finally ready to step up to that level. Continue reading “Gambino grows up: ‘Awaken, My Love!’ reviewed”

‘This is Us’ proves cable dramas need explosive acting; not explosive CGI

Here is a confession that I should just get out of the way right now. I cried five minutes into NBC’s This is Us. Not a full fledged ugly cry. Just a little swelling of tears. I’m not sure what that says about me. That I’m not manly? That I appreciate cliched tropes? That this show is the new emotional pulse of broadcast television? Probably all three; but definitely the last.

Continue reading “‘This is Us’ proves cable dramas need explosive acting; not explosive CGI”

‘Mr. Splitfoot’ by Samantha Hunt reviewed

[ release date: January 5, 2016 via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]

Samantha Hunt’s latest novel, Mr. Splitfoot, is an enchanting modern gothic ghost story.

The most memorable aspect of the novel Hunt’s ability to bring to life this story that primarily deals with the dead. Her prose makes the characters feel alive, and, even though there is a lot of haunting supernaturalism at play, the characters feel real. Continue reading “‘Mr. Splitfoot’ by Samantha Hunt reviewed”

‘Fourth of July Creek’ reviewed

Fourth of July CreekPete Snow is a social worker in the sticks of Montana. It’s cold, rugged, and bleak. The synopsis will tell you he deals with a family called the Pearls. Jeremiah is a survivalist who thinks the world is going to burn and his son, Benjamin, follows in his dads footsteps.

That is the basic narrative of Fourth of July Creek, but it’s only a quarter of it. As much as the story is about Pete and the Pearls, it’s about a few other families as well. I won’t go into much detail about his social work life, but like author Smith Henderson’s description of Montana, the lives these people lead are cold, rugged, and bleak. Continue reading “‘Fourth of July Creek’ reviewed”

‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ reviewed

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a techno thriller that will eventually be made into a Jason Bourne type film. Don’t think of the novel as Lee Child or Vince Flynn. This is a literary thriller; it’s not beautiful language, but it is descriptive and creative. It reads like you don’t expect it to, and it takes a while for it to develop. Continue reading “‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ reviewed”