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Lurk No Further



Alicia Keys
When: September 13th, 2008
Where: The Venue
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.  

In 2008, there aren't many mainstream artists who have careers that are worth following.  Sure, there's an infectious hit single here and there, but when it comes to an artist who has consistently been worthy of their success, Alicia Keys is one of the first to pop into my mind.  Her first single, "Fallin'," was a surefire display of better things to come from a 20 year old R&B diva.  Throughout the years since, there've been hit singles, countless awards (including 11 Grammy awards), and relentless touring.  So seeing her on the stage of The Venue (name aside, this place is an amazing place to catch any show), it felt like an honor and a privilege to witness such a legendary artist.  

She kicked off her set with 'Go Ahead,' the empowering opener from her new album, "As I Am".  Judging from this song alone, she lives to for the stage - she headbanged, head twirled, and sassed her way across the stage as if she owned it.

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Dandy Warhols
When: September 12th, 2008
Where: Vic Theatre
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

The Dandy Warhols have two sects of fans - those who like their Pop-infused hit singles and those who like their psychedelic trip-outs.  On Friday night at the Vic, they catered to the latter and still gave the previously mentioned Pop loving fans what they came for as well.

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The Walkmen
When: September 12th, 2008
Where: Metro
Reviewed by: Jason Horine

I walked the seven blocks to the Metro in the drizzling rain, the kind of sprinkling rain too light to justify an umbrella but heavy enough to soak the tops of your shoulders and cuffs of your trousers. The lights of the city at night blurred and refracted through my rain-dropped eyeglass lenses, already struggling to do their job thanks to the Knob Creek and ginger ale cocktails that accompanied my dinner.

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Hamlet 2
Directed by: Andrew Fleming
Released on: August 27th, 2008
Grade: 2 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Mark Dujsik

How is a movie with the song "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" not funny? The first 10 minutes or so of Hamlet 2 has promise (come on, the title alone is damn hilarious), but then it takes this horrible dive into trying to offend without actually offending. Steve Coogan stars as a failed actor (clips of him in commercials and a spot on Xena: Warrior Princess are the best part of the movie, and they're over within the first two minutes) who now works as a high school drama teacher in Tucson, Ariz.

Some kids from the wrong side of town are forced to join his class, so he tries to inspire them. Drama is about to be cut, and to save the program, he decides to put on a self-written sequel to Shakespeare's tragedy. The buildup is all about this P.O.S. show, which is so ineptly conceived as not to be funny.

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AMOS LEE @ Park West

Amos Lee
When: August 11th, 2008
Where: Park West
Reviewed by: Diana Bae

It's funny how much the people around you at a show can affect the whole experience. It's been a couple hours since Amos Lee's show at Park West on Monday evening ended and my ears are still ringing from the girl (I hope for her sake she had been drunk...) screaming obnoxiously behind me, despite others' attempts to shush her. Thankfully, she eventually weaved her way through the crowd away from me after thoroughly embarrassing herself.

Other than crazy girl next to me though, the show was nearly perfect. Dayna Kurtz opened with a mediocre performance that really failed to capture the sold-out crowd's attention.

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ANTHONY GREEN @ Reggie's Rock Club

Anthony Green
When: August 10th, 2008
Where: Reggie's Rock Club 
Reviewed by: Jessica Cohn

Anthony Green, most famous for fronting progressive emo-rock band Circa Survive, played to a packed male-dominant crowd at Reggie’s Saturday night. On tour with friend-bands Person L and Good Old War in support of the release of his first studio solo effort, Avalon, Green took the stage with an acoustic guitar, a stationary mic and a charming smile.

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2008
Reviewed by: Drake Baer 

Consider me duly Pitchforked. Between the bands, the beer, the food, the sweat and the oodles of the delightfully weird, I am spent. And that’s just Sunday:

I rose after having my bells rocked all the way down in Tinley Park. The El was in fine form, departing as I arrived. Eventually, I did make it to the Ashland Green Line stop. I love the scene on the train — tight-jeaned and thrift store-shirted hipsters among folks who actually have a place to be on a Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival, it was a hot nine-hour mess of music and trying to figure out where the hell my friends were. (Note: there ought to be some sort of universal system for locating one another at concerts. My research suggests it’s impossible.) 

Times New Viking provided a delightful aperitif of synth-pop, with lots of energy to start off the day. The Matador lo-fi trio of Beth Murphy on keys, Adam Elliot on drums, and guitarist Jared Philips played a very rough pop sound, reminiscent of ‘90s American indie rock along the lines of Velocity Girl. They called it “bubblegrunge” back in the day, pop songs about drugs over a wall of sound. 

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Get Smart
Directed by: Peter Segal
Released on: June 20th, 2008
Reviewed by Mark Dujsik

It's the best comedy ever. Would you believe the best TV adaptation ever? How about a faithful and pretty funny reworking? A major component of the success of Get Smart is the casting coup of Steve Carell, who admirably fills Don Adams's shoe phone as blundering secret agent Maxwell Smart, and the rest is a script that doesn't rely on the old jokes but doesn't allow the concept of updating the material to overshadow them. The plot is inconsequential, as newly made agent Smart and his experienced partner Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) try to recover a list of CONTROL agents from the evil organization KAOS.

The action sequences, including a fight in midair and a car chase on train tracks, are surprisingly effective on a visceral level, but that doesn't mean director Peter Segal skimps on the humor within them. The spirit of the show is here (creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry are credited as "consultants" -- whatever that means): occasionally, harmlessly, politically incorrect and full of pratfalls and anticlimactic buildups.

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BJÖRK || Volta

Label: Atlantic
Released on: May 8th, 2007
Reviewed by: Chess Hubbard

After delving into the avant-garde realm of entirely vocal-based songs with Medulla, Björk returns with a more straightforward release, Volta, her sixth studio album. This time around, Björk has recruited hip-hop icon Timbaland on three of the tracks, most notably the hard-hitting “Innocence” and the catchy, percussion laden “Earth Intruders”. There is a fusion of the older, more accessible Björk from the days of Post in Volta, with the newer, stranger, “I’m dating Matthew Barney” Björk that created Vespertine.

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