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Author Archives: Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

Movie Review: Cinderella Man

Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man is about as good a movie as you will ever see in the feel-good, underdog-triumphant genre. It’s also a very good fight picture. And it’s more than that as well. Along with a richly layered performance by Russell Crowe – all the more impressive because he portrays a character who, as written, is too good to ... Read More »

INDIE ROUND-UP for June 2 2005

Although rap and electronica are not my usual beat, I think I manage to explain why I like the selections below. In between, you’ll find a self-described “bunch of average middle-aged people” who call themselves Key Lime Pie. Next to strawberry-rhubarb, that’s my favorite kind of pie, so they have much to live up to. Read on to see whether ... Read More »

The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens

For a superb collection of science fiction and fantasy suitable especially, but by no means exclusively, for teens, you need look no further than this wonderful new anthology. The first in what I hope will be an annual series, the book was compiled by veteran anthologist Patrick Nielsen Hayden and noted children’s and fantasy author Jane Yolen. If it’s truly ... Read More »

CD Review: Styx, Big Bang Theory

Well, rock me over with a feather - Styx's new CD is damn good. Read More »

INDIE ROUND-UP for May 19 2005

=== Damon Aaron: Ballast Throwing hip-hop lovebeats into acoustic, folky music is a hip (pun intended) thing to do these days. Damon Aaron is good at it. Fans of Elliot Smith or Nick Drake might well like Aaron’s new CD, which also has a hint of Elvis Costello’s torchy mode (in “Don’t Know How It Happens”) and, on some tracks, ... Read More »

CD Reviews: Gentle Giant, Freehand & In a Glass House

Saying Gentle Giant's music is cerebral just means that it makes your brain dance. Read More »

Baby of Bataan

Escaping difficult family circumstances, Joseph Quitman Johnson enlisted in the US army at the age of fourteen and was stationed with the 31st Infantry in the Philippines in April 1941. After Pearl Harbor, his coming-of-age adventure turned into a nightmare of combat and suffering. Johnson survived shelling and hand-to-hand combat, escaped from the famous Bataan Death March, and ended up ... Read More »

Court Takes Down FCC Broadcast Flag

The US Appeals Court for the DC Circuit has vacated the FCC’s digital TV Broadcast Flag regulation. The court ruled that Congress never gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to regulate consumer electronics devices with respect to what they do after a transmission has been received, which is what the Flag Order amounted to. Under the rule, producers were ... Read More »

Kingdom of Heaven

A historical drama with an epic sweep, full of the sound and fury and gore of battle, Kingdom of Heaven is a somewhat formulaic but very entertaining tale of the Crusader wars. Directed by Ridley Scott from a tight script by William Monahan, the majestically shot film centers on Balian, a humble (if impossibly clean-faced and handsome) blacksmith who becomes, ... Read More »

INDIE ROUND-UP for May 5 2005

It’s only natural that a male-dominated music industry should use its promotional juggernaut to turn attractive female singers into icons. What’s more interesting is when it tries to reverse the process and turn icons and other cute things into singers. Lil Jon, who is collaborating with the much-less-stupid-than-she-looks Paris Hilton on a CD, is quoted in the New York Times ... Read More »