With January nearly gone, we're still casting a few lingering backward glances at 2006. The culture section turns thoughtful and introspective, and February is just around the corner. While you hunker down to wait out the remainder of winter, we offer you some food for the mind, heart, and spirit.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Carlo Wolff declared last year A Geezer Year for Pop in his look back at the top ten albums of '06 because many of them were from long-time favorite artists. Check out his picks and the reasons why they made his list.
Why does Mat Brewster need so much Grateful Dead? He answers that question and takes a look at The Grateful Dead – Live At The Cow Palace in this exceptional music review.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
Two very different ventures into history caught my eye this week. Ed Rust regularly finds a fascinating range of magazines to explore for BC Magazine, and this week he was checking out Antiques And The Arts Weekly. Ed provides a vivid picture of the nature of the publication, almost made me want to read it, even though I was put off antiques for life by a childhood of being dragged around antique shops.
Simon Barrett has meanwhile been looking at living history, interviewing the 89-year-old Dr George Baldwin, nuclear physicist, getting his thoughts on the (nearly) past century of research. Journalists are always told to go to the original source, and that's exactly what Simon did.
From Asst. Books Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
"Access doesn't equal insight," says Carlo Wolff in his incisive and expressive review of the wannabe insider's account, the "superficially irreverent, contrived revisiting of fact and rumor surrounding the making of Exile on Main Street." Refreshingly, Carlo has no sympathy for this kind of deviltry.
In his cohesive review of Dark Bargain – Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution, Matt Mitchell notes how the delegates who crafted the United States Constitution "wrestled with the issue of moral restraint versus the economic necessity of slavery." In addition to explicating conflicting impulses, Matt also alludes to the author's theories being "bolstered by in-depth facts." The same kind of substantial reinforcement in Matt's review shores up his analysis.
From TV Editor TV and Film Guy:
Well, it's apparently not like 24, but apparently it's good anyway. Or, maybe it is like 24. No wait, it's not. Either way, Ray Ellis tells us all about Sleeper Cell: American Terror.
From Film Editor Lisa McKay:
As we continue to look back at the year in film, David Dylan Thomas offers up his own top ten and notes that most of them aren't going to have you leaving the theater whistling a happy tune.
T. Rigney does love his B-movies, and this week's pick is called Soul Vengeance. Even if you have no intention of ever seeing this gem, any movie review that includes the phrases "sinister wang" and "unholy sausage" is worth a read.
It's pretty easy to like a movie and write a glowing review, but a good bad review is a work of art. El Bicho didn't like Smokin' Aces one little bit and he turns a nifty phrase or two in the telling of it.
From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:
Daniel J. Stasiewski sweeps you away with his charming review of The Last King Of Scotland.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
Life, living, death, and dying come together to define the finest writing in Culture's lineup this week. Certainly there are lessons to be learned, but what these writers offer more than anything else is observation, experience, and perspective. You'll find no soup for the soul here — just soul.
• Luca Patuelli: Dancing to His Own Beat by Alessandro Nicolo
• Dealing With My Dad's Disease by Ginger Haycox
• On Death by Baritone
No picks this week.
No picks this week.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
Xbox Live Arcade Review: Heavy Weapon – Atomic Tank by Matt Paprocki — Heavy Weapon is one of the best games on Xbox Live Arcade, and Matt tells you why.
PC Game Preview: Vanguard – Saga of Heroes by Kristen Schweitzer — Is Vanguard the next huge MMO? Kristen previews the game, and asks the developer some questions.
PS2 Review: Rogue Galaxy by Aaron Auzins — Yet another epic RPG for the PS2? Didn't see that one coming. But this is another great title for Sony's aging system.
From Science Editor John Vaccaro:
Ashleigh Charlesworth brings us word of WordPress 2.1 (aka Ella) with a raft of new features.
Eric Berlin talks about the best place to store/archive all those bits and bytes that make up your online life.
From Technology Editor Daniel Woolstencroft:
Steve Wild, who never seems to tire of sharing his expertise when it comes to everyone's favourite open source operating system, gave us a handy guide to Simple DVD Re-Authoring in Linux.
There was a time when we didn't have digital cameras. Where every feature was manually controlled, and digital displays didn't exist. Raoul Pop takes us back to that time with this review of The Exakta EXA Ia Analogue Camera. He's also included some great pictures.
No picks this week.