If you’re thinking about looking for a job in the corporate world after graduation, you just might think twice after reading Michael Hogan’s first novel “Man Out Of Time.” Through the eyes of the book’s narrator, Hogan paints a frank and utterly convincing picture of a company culture where getting ahead has little to do with talent, intelligence, or even hard work, and everything to do with social connections and a sharp grasp of office politics.
Mike Errico – “Skimming” (Velour Recordings)
I have terrible news: Mike Errico has released his debut CD. But that’s not the worst of it–he’s also coming to Maine next week. The rock singer/songwriter, a native of New York City, seems determined to spread his music, apparently oblivious to its detrimental effect on listeners.
Universal’s new romantic comedy “Along Came Polly” starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston is not funny and hardly romantic. Its sub par acting and disappointing script make for a long ninety minutes.
In the movie, Rueben (Ben Stiller), a risk assessor for an insurance company, marries Lisa (Debra Messing), a real-estate saleswoman.
Once upon a time, music was original. Before the carbon-copy releases ushered in by MTV and radio conglomerates, there came the inspiration on which these popular sounds were based. With their new self-titled LP, Billy Talent harks back to those days by putting a new spin on punk rock music.
When choreographer and 2002 USM graduate Brigitte Blose-Paulus danced in “The Nutcracker” during her years in Bangor’s Robinson Ballet Company, she and her fellow dancers would often liven up rehearsals by doing parodies of their parts. “People take [The Nutcracker] so seriously, and it just begs to be made fun of,” she said, while acknowledging that the elaborate ballet is the bread and butter of many dance companies.
Director Ron Howard’s new film ‘The Missing” is a western/suspense thriller with well-defined themes of religious faith, the strength of family and a woman’s fight to overcome adversity. Co-stars Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett are a great team and also give powerful performances individually.
Sometimes you can have a total change of heart after experiencing a new type of music for the first time. When I first I played this CD I mistakenly blurted out, “Oh great, another slow, heart wrenching, artsy feminist album about something that I am just far too simple to understand!” But upon closer examination, I found that I had been wrong.
This year’s student-written USM Theatre productions, “Ghosting” by Michael Toth and “Goin’ to Graceland” by M. Calien Lewis, play this week at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, 76 Congress St. in Portland. The one-act plays, directed by USM faculty members William Steele and Thomas Power and featuring student actors, explore themes of redemption, renewal and pilgrimage.
To walk into the State Theater on Nov. 13 was to immerse yourself in the very definition of a punk show. At every turn there was a teenager or 20-something with dyed hair, ripped clothing, tattoos and multiple piercings. The Dropkick Murphys and their touring partners had come to assault the ears and anarchic minds of Portland.
The new Universal Studios film “The Cat in the Hat” is intended as a children’s movie. But comedian Mike Myers turns Dr. Seuss’ fun loving and troublesome cat into a neurotic character with a potty mouth, and the adult jokes that director Bo Welch tries to sneak in are not appropriate for kids.
Seven USM students were featured in Maine State Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” which concluded at Merrill Auditorium in Portland this past Sunday. Senior Lacey Michaud, an art education major, danced as a demi-soloist in the Waltz of the Flowers segment and as Chocolate from Spain.
What do you get when you cross blistering, improvisatory rock/reggae/funk with enough marijuana to choke a Rasta? That’s right, you get moe. at the State Theater! With rock overtones and ripping, unforgiving solos, the band’s Nov. 8 show captivated the audience for nearly four hours, only to leave them pleading for more.
USM student Sean Demers first fell in love with acting in the sixth grade and has since decided that it is all he wants to do. So, when the cast and crew for the HBO movie “Empire Falls” arrived in the small northern town of Skowhegan, Maine, Demers planned to attend what he dubs the “cattle call” – a massive audition for movie extras.
Kay McKay’s photographs are filled with mystery. With their brilliant colors, soft edges and partially formed figures, they seem like something out of a vivid dream that is equally fascinating and hard to explain. What makes them even more remarkable is how they were taken.
Wandering through downtown Portland with the intention of finding dinner, Maria, Derek and I strolled down Oak St. (a small side street near L.L. Bean). While I was preoccupied peering through the window of a closed restaurant, Maria discovered one that was open.
Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, a veteran of Blue Note Records’ classic 1960s releases and a former member of the Miles Davis Quartet, came to Portland recently to perform with his own Quartet. The Academy Award winning soundtrack composer for the 1986 movie “Round-Midnight” — not to mention composer for Bill Cosby’s TV show “Fat Albert” — was a jazz-rock fusion star in the 1970s and is still one of jazz’s most respected innovators.
If the recent wave of rock bands hasn’t satisfied your cravings for 70s style rock and you love local music, pick up the new album by the Hot Dogs immediately. Otherwise, save your money.
With flailing guitar riffs and babbling, mostly incoherent lyrics, the Portland band the Hot Dogs play in a style akin to many early punk bands like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.
Can you ever find the “rock” section in a music store? Sure, there are “pop rock,” “alternative rock,” “70s/80s/90s rock,” and endless other variations, but you may find yourself thinking: Doesn’t anyone just plain ROCK anymore? Jeremiah Freed is out to let you know that someone does.
Meg Ryan plays an unfamiliar role in the new Screen Gems film “In the Cut.” Her performance as Franny Avery, a high school English teacher in New York City, marks a drastic change from her work in the wholesome, intelligent, witty romantic comedies “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Addicted to Love.
“The Voice at 3 A.M.”
By Charles Simic
Harcourt, Inc., 2003
Charles Simic is no stranger to praise. During the 44 years his writings have been published, he has become one of the most respected poets in America.
Don’t deny it. I know it is hard for you to even try and count the number of times you have thought to yourself, “I wonder what it would sound like if you put the Dave Matthews Band and the Dixie Chicks in a blender, with a pinch of bluegrass and Elton John, and poured it into a ten-song LP.
The traveling Flat Files exhibit, from the Brooklyn, NY gallery Pierogi 2000, is now showing at USM’s Gorham Art Gallery. Over 300 artists from around the world are featured. Owner of Pierogi 2000 and artist Joe Amrhein founded the exhibit, which has traveled around the country and through Europe.
In the past few years, popular music has produced a new wave of stars like the White Stripes, Interpol, and the Strokes who have revived the early raw sounds of rock bands who hit the scene twenty, thirty, even forty years before them. To be retro now seems commonplace in all genres of modern music.
The newest coffeehouse in Portland is Acoustic Coffee, and their mic is open all the time. Proprietors Mark Lembo and Margaret Lyons opened their doors at 32 Danforth Street the first week of September. Besides offering a wide range of food and beverages, they also offer a voice in the community for anyone who seeks one, through their “open stage all the time” ethos.