First Reformed

Written by the man behind the Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is a tense look at a man slowly unraveling as his faith comes undone. Reverend Toller ( Ethan Hawke) plays a preacher who is nursing a tragedy, the death of his son and the consequent disintegration of his marriage. When he is called …

Fates & Furies

A poignant collection of western tales courtesy of the Cohen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is perhaps the perhaps the most original piece of television Netflix has ever commissioned. Taking the classic western tropes such as gunslingers, wagon trains, Native American tribes, outlaws and gnarly gold prospectors they twist the genre in a way …

The A to B of Andy

Along with Picasso, Andy Warhol is perhaps the most famous artist of the twentieth century. There’s probably not a western human being alive who hasn’t seen one of his screen prints or heard about The Factory. So on one level, it’s hard to have an exhibition that really holds any surprises for an audience. Yet …

Kinfolk

Nate Smith is a jazz drummer of the highest quality. In fact, many consider him to be the best in the world ( something Mark Guiliana might like to dispute) His album ‘Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere’ is a superbly accessible album that exists in the land where Pop meets jazz. One of the standout tracks …

The Culture of Nauman

  If you like the artist Bruce Nauman and live in New York, you’re in luck. MoMA is doing a massive retrospective of his work that spans not just the Manhattan branch of the Museum but MoMA PS1 as well. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth traipsing out to Long Island City to see one …

All Things are Photographable

  I have very few heroes but one would undoubtedly be Garry Winogrand. For years he roamed the streets of New York photographing the everyday life he came across. People termed what he did street photography, a term he hated, but what ever you call it you gotta love it. Ordinary life is beautiful if …

Fox 8

George Saunders is probably one of the few genuine geniuses writing today. I would be very surprised if many of works aren’t read in thirty years time Part of this down to his humanity and basic human His book Fox 8 is a perfect parable for our troubled times. It is a simple tale of …

Dans Ma Main

Moody, evocative and gossamer light French Canadian, Jean-Michel Blais, writes compostions for a winter evening in. He is described by some as a post-classical composer and during his recent concert at National Sawdust, he explained how he liked to take previously inaccessible modernist works that seemed to be deliberately obtuse and ‘hard’ for the listener, …

All hail the Childqueen

National Sawdust is a new venue in Williamsburg that feels like a small studio. This helps when seeing acts that have a quite an intimate sound. Kadhja Bonet is a case point. The daughter of an opera singer, her music is full of subtle and beautiful harmonies, which her all-female band enhanced. Tracks like Joy …

Broken Politics

When someone you used to like back in the day comes back with a new album there’s always the worry that they’re going to ruin their legacy with some horror show of a record. Thankfully, Neneh Cherry has emerged with a peach. Her new album ‘Broken Politics’ is superb from first to last. With Four Tet …