Nick Cage holds on to his ‘Ghost’ of a career

February 23, 2007 • 0
In the opening moments of the Marvel comics-inspired “Ghost Rider,” the camera pans across a nighttime desert landscape while Sam Elliott’s parched baritone narrates a predictably cartoonish-sounding premise. In every generation, legend has it, the Devil has enlisted the services of some menacing mortal to be his personal bounty hunter — his Ghost Rider. “The »

A return to the old ‘West’

February 16, 2007 • 0
To say that confessional songwriting has its limits is an understatement. For every guru like Leonard Cohen or Joni Mitchell there are probably a thousand Avril Lavignes waiting to fill the airwaves with sappy sentiment. As one whose bared heart advertises humanity rather than narcissism, Lucinda Williams belongs in the first category. Her latest album, »

Actually, Yoko really is a ‘Witch’

February 9, 2007 • 0
Yoko Ono’s latest album, “Yes, I’m A Witch,” is exactly as weird as one would expect it to be — no more, no less. That’s good news for listeners who might have worried that 73-year-old Ono would suddenly go off the deep end after nearly 40 years of making music. But then again, it seems »

Brit pop gets hip new girl

February 2, 2007 • 0
Lily Allen is one mean girl. No, not in that vaguely disarming we-only-wear-pink-on-Wednesday manner. She’s meaner than that. With a bucketful of vindictive lyrics and a loose but deceptively sweet Cockney tongue, she’s more like the enraged girlfriend who might challenge The Streets to a barroom fight in London’s East End. Incidentally, though, she may »

Fifteen minutes of Facebook, frat fame

February 2, 2007 • 1
Andy Levine ’08 and Roberto Velez ’08, the newly crowned champions of Yale’s first-ever Last Comic Standing contest, will get to meet comedian Lewis Black DRA ’77 this Friday. But in the seven days since their riotous victory, Levine and Velez have been more struck by the peculiar trappings of campus fame. “I went to »

Denise Soesilo

January 19, 2007 • 1
Denise Soesilo ’10 has been on the “Tonight Show,” and she almost never knew. Sporting one of the bright green-and-orange tasseled hats worn by her teammates on last winter’s German Olympic women’s hockey squad, Soesilo was walking through Torino’s Olympic Village when she was approached by the Tonight Show’s flamboyant in-the-field reporter Ross the Intern. »

Artspace exhibit meets implosion of history

January 16, 2007 • 0
Strange that one’s idea of history is so often colored by perception. For some, history is the province of textbooks. For others, history is 6,000 tons of steel imploding on itself. And for others still, history is a gigantic, half-naked George Washington engaging in coitus with a barn. Perhaps the third is just the personal »

Best places to ponder Plato

December 8, 2006 • 0
Next Monday at 7:07 a.m., daylight will dawn on another Reading Week at Yale. Most students will probably respond by burrowing deeper under the covers, but sooner or later the sun will send them scurrying around campus in pursuit of an idyllic niche in which to prepare for the coming squall of exams and papers. »

Waits wails through three-disk set

December 1, 2006 • 0
Tom Waits has well-nigh perfected the art of writing a certain kind of song. It’s the song that sounds intimately personal when sung, as if emanating from the most brutal and delicate recesses of the soul, and yet which simultaneously has absolutely nothing to do with Tom Waits himself. When Waits bends over the microphone »

Ferrell’s ‘Fiction’ not that strange

November 17, 2006 • 0
Be relieved: Will Ferrell’s rookie attempt at drama is a movie nearly as charming and rewatchable as “The Truman Show.” Let’s just hope that Ferrell isn’t donning a Seussian green felt costume three or four years from now. But even if Ferrell doesn’t manage to ruin the film, there’s still an inherent risk in making »

Culture writer makes an Elm City appearance

November 10, 2006 • 0
On the front cover of his fourth book, pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman looks lost. He’s little more than a face, barely visible as he peeks over a milling crowd of pedestrians in the middle of what could be any New York City crosswalk. His features are largely obscured by a thick blond beard, and »

Cloying, semi-political polemic ‘of the Year’

October 20, 2006 • 0
Lest anyone forget, writer/director Barry Levinson’s last movie “Envy” centered on a fictional aerosol spray designed to effect the immediate disappearance of human and animal excrement. Alas, it’s unlikely that even the heaviest dose of Vapoorize could do the same favor for Levinson’s newest film, “Man of the Year.” One of the highest (and most »