After hearing indie rock concert horror stories of boring sets, low-energy crowds, and even lower-energy performers (Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, I’m looking at you), I was desperately hoping that Mac Demarco’s Tuesday show at the Fillmore wouldn’t live up to those rumours. A 24-year-old Canadian native, Demarco has found recent success with the release his most recent two albums, 2 (2012) and Salad Days (2014), although he had been performing since high school in a different project, Makeout Videotape.
It seems like every few years there is a new ambitious science-fiction blockbuster that is aiming to be the next 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ranging from the Star Wars trilogy to The Matrix to Inception, these efforts to carve out a niche in film history have had varying degrees of success. The latest in this line, Interstellar, came out last week and is a worthy contender. Though it falls short of becoming an instant classic, it is very entertaining, especially on the big screen.
Taylor Swift is very fond of leaving long periods of time between album releases, leaving lots of room to switch up her style. Fans and critics speculate about what her new sound will be, and usually are way off target. In her latest album, 1989, Swift said goodbye to her country roots and, true to herself, she went all out. Her fifth studio album marks her transition to ’80s pop, a pleasant surprise and a much needed addition to the genre.
Nightcrawler was one of the best movies I have ever seen. The movie is centered around Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he enters the world of “nightcrawling” (filming scenes of gore and violence to sell to news channels). It quickly becomes apparent that Lou is willing to do anything to get ahead in the business, and the film simply intensifies from there.
Perdition Smokehouse is a barbeque joint located on University Ave. and Milvia St. It opened this past June, so it is relatively new. I had the opportunity to eat there this past week, and I had mixed feelings. The atmosphere is very nice, and the decor is very comfortable, but I have to say that the meats tended to be rather dry and tasteless. They lacked flavor, and that nice juiciness that is crucial in barbeque. Perdition Smokehouse is also way overpriced. Considering its just above average taste and quality, it costs far too much, with the brisket at $24 a pound.
Alcatraz Island is the last place that most would think of when they hear “art exhibit,” but the former maximum-security penitentiary and current national park has recently been altered to feature the exhibition, @Large, by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, which is running from September 27 until April 26, 2015. Its many pieces have vast differences, yet are connected through a common theme of freedom and human rights. Weiwei, an artist and activist, was imprisoned for 81 days in 2011 for speaking out against the Chinese government.
Whenever adopting a fluffy cat companion, one of the best things to do is to adopt. Regrettably, the local shelters usually aren’t visually appealing and can create a depressing environment. Cat Town Café aims to change this and allow for more cats to be adopted in the process. Cat Town Café is a newly opened restaurant located on 2869 Broadway Street in Downtown Oakland. Opened October 25, Cat Town Café acts both as a café and a cat shelter, in which the customers can interact with cats while drinking a freshly made cup of coffee.
Activism has evolved a lot in this century, from women’s suffrage, to the Civil Rights Movement, to Occupy Wall Street; the means for action have changed so much from picket signs to Twitter feeds. Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Party People uses music, lighting, dance, song, video, and spoken word to explore the history and modern legacy of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, radical civil rights groups during the 1960s.
Recently released, Ouija is a horror movie based on the game by the same name, which is used to “communicate” with “spirits”. In the movie, Debbie (Shelley Hennig) hangs herself, leading her friend Olivia (Laine Morris), who suspects foul play, to investigate with four other friends.