Overrated/Underrated: No, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper weren’t ‘magic’ at the Oscars
Anna Webber’s ‘Clockwise’: With an off-center ear for interlocking melodies, this New York-based saxophonist was recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018. For her latest album, Webber assembled a band of like-minded jazz explorers that includes Matt Mitchell, Jacob Garchik and Ches Smith to pay tribute to the percussion-centric works of composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman and Edgard Varése. The results can conjure a swirling storm, such as on her own piece “Idiom II,” but as the songs lock into place and occasionally blow apart, Webber leads each singular, shape-shifting structure forward.
‘NewsRadio’ on Crackle: Because sometimes, when the world seems out of control, you need the genial rhythms of a classic sitcom, this workplace comedy that ran for five seasons in the late ’90s is the perfect choice once you’ve exhausted your options with “Friends.” Led by former “Larry Sanders Show” writer Paul Simms, the series has a more absurdist bite to its comedy than its contemporaries, and as a result has been relegated to cult status on the strength of a lethally funny cast that includes “Kids in the Hall’s” David Foley along with Maura Tierney, Stephen Root and the late, consistently fantastic Phil Hartman.
The ‘Star Is Born’ moment at the Oscars: You’re either in or you’re out with this movie, which for some became an awards season cause given the chemistry between its two leads, a comfortable pivotal song (“Shallow”) and a key scene that lent itself to online meme-ification (“I just wanted to take another look at you”). Then, at last weekend’s Oscars, fans swooned as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper reunited to sing “Shallow” and for a few minutes looked as if they really liked each other as much in reality as they did onscreen. You know, like a couple of actors might. It wasn’t magic; it was a performance.
The new rock biopic golden age: Thanks, “Bohemian Rhapsody” for setting the stage for more iterations of this seldom-satisfying genre to again rule the screen in search of awards-season riches. Next up is “Rocketman,” which finds Taron Egerton doing for Elton John’s sparkly Dodgers uniforms what Rami Malek did for novelty teeth, and productions are in the works for movies on David Bowie, Keith Moon and Bruce Springsteen, who basically staged one of these himself on Broadway. They will surely deliver satisfying nostalgia, but count how many of these have been as fun to see as they are to hear.
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