Then & Now
● By Style
McLemore Avenue – Booker T & The MGs
The 70’s McLemore Avenue is Booker T & The MG’s instrumental cover of The Beatles Abbey Road (itself released only months before in 1969). Stax Records’ laid-back geniuses might be best known for the soul classic “Green Onions,” but this lost gem of an album shows off Booker T & MGs and all of their talents in a way that can only bring a smile to your face. Seek and enjoy.
Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin – Brian Wilson
To some, the pairing of the quintessential “Beach Boy” with the man who practically wrote the American songbook might seem strange, but to anyone who happens to be a fan of both styles of music – it’s kismet. Who knew that there was magic yet to be added to “Rhapsody in Blue,” or “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”...but Wilson has, and it must be heard to be believed.
Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins’ 1868 novel Moonstone is best known as the precursor to the modern detective story. This enjoyable 19th century page-turner comes with a collection of fascinating characters, social commentary and multiple narratives. Collins’ early brand of “whodunnit” is the Model-T Ford of literature: They just don’t make them like they used to.
Faithful Place by Tana French
Faithful Place is the third in Tana French’s “Murder Squad” series. What makes French unique is that Faithful Place succeeds equally well as stand-alone fiction as it does part of a series (true of her previous novels as well). With a gripping story and memorable characters, French offers quality mystery fare for fans and newcomers alike.
Who knew a film about a middle-aged college professor hanging onto the bottom rung – bedding married women, sweating a third divorce, battling writer’s block – could be so compulsively watchable? A great script and fine performances from the likes of Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. make this a cynical comedy that is darkly hilarious.
Does anyone play “jerk” as convincingly as Michael Douglas? Not if Solitary Man has anything to say about it. Portraying an aging and totally inappropriate lothario in this quiet, small-scale film, Douglas is sublime trying to right serious wrongs. Danny DeVito and Susan Sarandon give affecting performances that lend the film both levity and gravity.