Then & Now
Album, Book & DVD reviews
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Soul Explosion – The Daktaris
It looked and sounded like it came from Nigeria, and members implied they were part of a real-deal ‘70s afrobeat band. As it turned out, it was Nigeria by way of Brooklyn (The Daktaris disbanded soon after and members went on to form Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra). No harm no foul; the “fake” was laughed off, but the album still stands. There’s no denying the quality of this groovin’ afrobeat.
Antibalas – Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
These Brooklyn-based afrobeat maestros have been around since 1998, gaining the national spotlight in 2010 after providing music for the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Fela!. Antibalas is their first album in five years, and trust us when we say their jazz/funk/afro/cuban beats are delicious and infectious!
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Before the smash hit Broadway musical, before Kristin Chenoweth brought Elphaba to life on stage, there was the novel. For fans of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked is a delight – to be able to revisit Oz “behind the scenes,” before Dorothy barged in and turned everything upside down. View Oz through the eyes of Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West, and ponder what it means to be “wicked.”
Monster by Dave Zeltserman
Monster is a retelling of Frankenstein – from the monster’s point of view. Zeltserman, an award-winning up-and-comer in the horror world, remains faithful to the framework of the original Mary Shelley classic, but colors between the lines with shades of revenge and desperation that make for a gripping retelling of a classic favorite.
Better than Deep Impact (it won’t make you cry), Independence Day is the ultimate in ridiculously enjoyable Earth vs. alien movies. Not to mention, its cast includes Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid and stately everyman Bill Pullman. “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!” says Pullman as President Whitmore. C’mon, it’s a classic.
Think naval Independence Day. Yes, it’s a very silly premise, and yes, it really does have direct tie-ins to the board game. But, amidst all of that is a fun, suspend-your-disbelief sci-fi movie. Plus, if you hold on for the climax, there’s a fantastic payoff for the “Hawaii under attack” scenario.