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TVON: The Smile You The Smile Is You

The Smile At Magazine London 1-30-22 – I streamed it live and the latest Radiohead offshoot, featuring three Headers is easily their most accessible, sort of a less arty Atoms For Peace. Not so pleasant to look at (Thom Yorke is morphing into Willie Nelson -the old one), but it was a creative, lovely sounding band and they encored with (wait for it) “It’s Different For Girls” – B

Cate Le Bon At Thalia Hall, Chicago 2-14-22 – Also live streamed, Cate is a fine singer and first rate folk weirdo, but the new album isn’t much and she kept getting nailed by sound glitches. And she is boring – C-

Courtney Barnett At Ryman Auditorium, Nashville – 1-28-22 – and another live stream… The problem with Barnett is not her songwriting, which is first rate indie folk rock, but her voice where she uses a not necessarily necessary sing speak voice (pace “Avant Gardener” ) that sounds like Lou Reed (she just covered “I’ll Be Your Mirror”). Barnett, with an electric rock band backing her, mines her best album to date, Things Take Time, Take Time, and these songs, especially “Things Take Time” improve the evening’s 75 minuteset. Courtney isn’t much of a live performer, but she is good enough for this – B

All Creatures Great And Small – PBS – The second season of the much beloved James Herriot’s books, adapted (again) for television and presented in the US as part of the “Masterpiece Theatre”, has proven itself the equal of the other kinder gentler television, , also taking place in England, Ted Lasso. All the leads are great and more, simply the manner in which animals and humans act in tandem is a world we haven’t live in since the post- WWII industry and culture gone insane – A

JEEN-YUHS: A KANYE TRILOGY Episode One – Netflix – A Chi-Town friend follows and films Ye for twenty years and tells his story over four and a half hours. The first episode is magnificent for we Ye fanatics, and invites us to acknowledge what a spectacular woman and huge loss his mother Donda’s death was – A

Don’t Look Up – Netflix – Dr. Strangelove for people banged on the head as children. A terrible, apocalyptic tale as clear as the asteroid hurtling towards Earth and the USA’s refusal to blow it up because its made of rare minerals that can be sold – D

Peacemaker – HBO Max – The DC superheroes franchise returns with a Suicide Squadron offshoot and a star making performance from WWE superstar cum action hero John Cena, who is like The Rock if The Rock was prone to making bad decisions. It is an exciting and clever story of a father-son dynamic that ends as bad as it can – A-

Marry Me – HBO Max – the worst romcom ever made, equal parts silly beyond belief, surreally bizarre and other worldly, and a sour tasting piece of crap with zero romantic charisma starring Jennifer Lopez as a pop superstar, Maluma as the Marc Anthony who cheated on her before their live streamed to 20M wedding, and Owen Wilson in his worst performance of his entire life in the Ben Affleck role – E+

Bel Air – HBO Max – talk about a self-inflicted wound. Why take one of the sweetest natured sitcoms ever “The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” and turn it into a brooding piece of #BLM nonsense where “Will Smith” fights nastily with everyone? I went back and checked out a coupla episodes of “Fresh Prince” and there is no comparison. A big, big miss – D+

Star Trek Discovery – Paramount Plus – the season to catch is # 3, just after the crew has leapt 900 years into the future, # 4 is same ol’ Trek and the leap matters very little. Sonequa Martin-Green’s (you know her from “The Walking Dead”) was great in the first coupla seasons as a bad ass renegade but the straighter and stronger she has grown the more she has been indifferent – C+

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