MUSIC | How to make your very own Hood Internet show at the Varsity Theater

I’m going to say something that might surprise or even shock you: on Thursday night at the Varsity Theater, openers Elite Gymnastics put on a more entertaining show than the Hood Internet. The key word is “entertaining,” but nonetheless, the main event was underwhelming compared to the quirky, even baffling local boys who at least managed to retain my attention.

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MOVIES | “Red Riding Hood”: My, Grandma, what a big demographic you have!

Red Riding Hood has all the necessary components of a blockbuster romantic drama: lead actors oozing edgy, affected sexiness; a creepy village in the middle of nowhere surrounded by an equally-creepy snowy forest and cut off by jagged mountains; no fewer than three love triangles (one of which is incestuous); a mysterious old lady with lots of secrets; a can-we-or-can’t-we-trust-him vaguely pagan priest accompanied by some kind of multiethnic Medieval militia; an occult celebration scene/dance party/possible orgy; illicit sex; animal sacrifice; witch-hunting; werewolves; murder; torture; adultery…the list goes on.But that’s is precisely what’s wrong with the film. Rather than focusing on doing a few things well, the movie bounces all over the place trying and half-exploring a theme for a scene and then discarding it for another theme in the next. Tying together this plot-device-surfing is Amanda Seyfried as heroine Valerie, a bright young woman with a wild side who finds herself torn between her true love Peter (smoldering hottie Shiloh Fernandez) and her fiancé by arrangement Henry (Max Irons, cute in that harmless-and-slightly-crosseyed-foil-character-way).Just as Valerie is poised to make a decision between her two suitors, the big bad wolf shows up and, having subsisted on sacrificial goats for the past 20 years, kills a human. And then a lot more humans. A wolf hunt ensues. Continue Reading

MUSIC | Tennis at the 7th Street Entry: 20-something love

When Tennis took the stage on Saturday night at the 7th Street Entry, their demeanor was precisely what one would expect from listening to their debut album, Cape Dory. Demure, stoic, almost sheepish; the band slinked on stage with their heads down and their gazes averted towards the floor. Without a word, they jumped right into their 13-song set, the opening track “Seafarer” instantly transporting us to a place where you could nearly feel sea spray on your skin and young love in your heart.

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MUSIC | The Radio Dept. at the 7th Street Entry: Sleepy-sexy Swedecore

The Radio Dept. have been described as belonging to numerous subgenres of pop music (indie pop, synth pop), but Wikipedia probably has it right: dream pop is the most accurate way to describe their sound. Watching the sold-out show Wednesday night at the 7th Street Entry felt like just that, a dream. A lucid, fanciful dream played in slow motion and set at a latitude so far north that sometimes the sun doesn’t come out for weeks.

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MOVIES | “No Strings Attached”: Stereotypes in reverse are still stereotypes

Since the first time I saw a preview for No Strings Attached, I had a hunch what director Ivan Reitman was attempting to achieve. This was going to be a progressive romantic comedy; instead of featuring voracious cads bagging bimbos or letting down clingy, wholesome girls desperate for commitment, this would showcase an empowered woman who demanded sex without a relationship. By featuring a rational, self-controlled protagonist across from a submissive male lead, this atypical departure would provide enlightened commentary about the traditional woman-as-object storyline.From the first moment, it appeared my suspicions would be confirmed. The film opens with a flashback scene in which Adam (Ashton Kutcher) cries about his parents’ divorce while Emma (Natalie Portman) bristles, awkwardly puts her arm around his shoulder, and declares, “look, I’m not really an affectionate person.” In just the first ten minutes, this gender roles reversal is concretely established. Continue Reading