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Can't Take it Back: Ryan Adams returns with 'Wednesdays'

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  Ryan Adams was one of the most important musicians of my twenties and many of his songs and albums could be considered the soundtracks to those years in my life. I had a best friend with whom one of our foundational shared interests was the love of his music and we got to experience him together in concert once, opening up for Oasis at the, now unfortunately demolished, Palace of Auburn Hills. Regretfully, I drifted away from this very good friend and we never had a full reconciliation, we had a phone conversation in 2012 and we didn't keep in touch afterward. Unfortunately, when I moved to Chicago in early 2017 an old mutual friend informed me that she had passed away recently. It was a shock and something that I didn't fully process in that moment and I still mourn to this day, with heavy dismay for not reaching out in the years following our last conversation. I will always associate Ryan Adams' music with varying degrees of heartbreak, not only for her but for the ter

Peacock Pick: Play Misty for Me (1971)

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Currently streaming on Peacock: Play Misty for Me from 1971   Clint's directorial debut, Play Misty for Me , released the same year as the first Dirty Harry film, is an early entry into the slasher genre that still resonates. Eastwood plays Dave Garner, a late night jazz DJ in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, who is a playboy and has a one night stand, at least in his eyes, with devoted listener Evelyn Draper (Jessica Walter of Lucille Bluth/ Arrested Development fame). 

Top Ten Albums of 2020

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Aside from jamming out to the classics and gaining new appreciation for some of the old greats, I found 2020 to be a strong year for new releases from fresh faces as well as stellar comebacks from veterans. The following is my list of the ten best albums of the year.

2000-2020 Rap-up: The 20 Best Hip Hop Albums of the Past 20 years

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  The following is a list of what I consider the best hip hop albums of each of the respective past 20 years, along with honorable mentions for each year.

The OTHER 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century

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The movie critics at New York Times released their list of the 25 greatest actors of the past 20 years last week and let's just say there was much to be desired. How could you have a list of the best actors and leave out Christian and Cate, Leo and Charlize? Meryl Streep should just be a default for any list of best actors in the last century. But the Times compiled a unique list perhaps hoping to spark debate, diverse with actors best known for supporting roles, arthouse and world cinema as well as obvious picks such as Daniel Day Lewis, Viola Davis, Juliane Moore and Joaquin Phoenix. They even threw in Keanu for kicks -- the John Wick trilogy is bad ass and I have no problems with his addition. But, the fact they didn't recognize the McConaissance is malarkey so I'm making things right with an alternative list.  While I'm not assigning any rankings to mine, the NYT ranked the actors with Denzel landing at #1, of which I find little room for deb

I always tell the truth, even when I lie: Trump was the Scarface of Presidents

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"Who put this thing together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me!"   Bill Maher recently joked that he envisioned Donald Trump's presidency concluding like the ending of Scarface : Tony Montana barricaded in his office, nosediving into a mountain of cocaine, eyes blazing with fury. Brian DePalma's stylish retelling of the original gangster tale from the public enemy era starring Paul Muni, the Al Pacino incarnation was given an upgrade this year as Universal rolled out a sparkling 4K disc. Debuting in 1983 at the prime of a Reagan era that would embrace the anything goes capitalism  driving Tony Montana's rise, Scarface has since aged from a beloved anti-hero epic to a prophetic vintage that lingers within the American spirit. The story of Tony Montana is as perverse as the one of Donald Trump, set to the demonic drumbeat of end-stage capitalism.  In the first act of Scarface , Tony Montana arrives in Miami masquerading as a political prisoner, fleeing the cl

Peacock Picks for Noir-vember: Red Rock West, Lost Highway, Missing, Rumble Fish, Dead Ringers

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  NBC's new streaming service offers a ton of great movies and the best part is the majority of them are available on the platform's free version. Here are five films that should be on any cinephile's watchlist this Noir-vember:   Red Rock West (1993) This western tinged neo-noir from John Dahl has an irresistible set-up. We are introduced to Nicholas Cage on a desolate open road, slumbering out of the driver's seat of a '67 Cadillac. He's looking for work in rural Wyoming and quickly finds himself mistaken for a hit-man; he agrees to take the job and then becomes the target of the hit-man he impersonated (Dennis Hopper) and the angry client (J.T. Walsh) -- both at their menacing best. Great twists and witty charm from Cage combine with a riveting yet simple plot make this one of the forgotten gems of '90's noir.      Lost Highway (1997) For me, David Lynch is hit or miss. But Lost Highway is a masterpiece and possibly his best film. A gripping, mind-ben