Then & Now
● By Style
Fishbone – Fishbone
The ’80s weren’t just bubblegum pop and hair metal. The alternative underground scene was a cauldron of creativity. Take LA’s Fishbone for example: a stew of metal, punk, ska, funk, pop and reggae that mixed social commentary with dorky humor. While some tracks haven’t aged well, their 1985 self-titled album is a cornerstone of ’80s creativity.
I’m With You – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Chili fans rejoice! The Red Hot Chili Peppers continue the alchemy with uber-producer Rick Rubin and their anticipated new album I’m With You…their first since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. It also introduces new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer (following the departure of John Frusciante), and promises a fresh sound from the ever-youthful old guard of alternative music.
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
With a sharp, insightful eye for characters and a remarkable ear for dialogue, reading Annie Proulx is both rewarding and revelatory. The Shipping News is a true classic in the “fish out of water” story – at times hilarious, eccentric, moving and painful.
Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons
Novelist Anne Rivers Siddons has been hailed repeatedly by fellow writers, including Stephen King and Pat Conroy. Her new novel Burnt Mountain, written with her signature clear prose and eye for the lilts and peccadilloes of life in the South, is an intriguing tale of a Southern woman who confronts dark secrets from her past.
The Prisoner of Shark Island
Before he was a legendary director, auteur John Ford made lesser-known films like The Prisoner of Shark Island. Loosely based on the story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, convicted of aiding John Wilkes Booth (he unknowingly treated his wounds after the assassin gunned down Abraham Lincoln), this drama is, despite inaccuracies and Hollywood flourish, a well-crafted study in social injustice.
Robin Wright Penn gives a quiet, affecting performance as Southerner Mary Surratt – a civilian tried by military tribunal for conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln – in Robert Redford’s The Conspirator. Matching her is James McAvoy as the conflicted Union veteran assigned to represent her. Both performances lend the film a slow burn that simmers in our consciousness long after its conclusion.