Spectrum Check

I pitched it with loads of words this week at Spectrum Culture. First off, I contributed a review of the new Smith Westerns album, an effort I’ve been sitting on for a while because of a shifting release date. I wish the extra time had helped me like the album more, but it wound up being one of those reviews where I really wanted to write, “Pretty dull, huh?” and move on. Too bad, as I liked their previous album quite a bit.

Things were a little better for me on the film side, which is my main home on the site anyway. I reviewed the new Neil Jordan film, his first take on vampires since the misfortune of Interview with the Vampire, twenty years ago. It’s flawed, but worth it for how enjoyably it come together at the end. And there’s a performance by Gemma Arterton that strong enough to make me regret that I didn’t highlight it more in the review.

I also wrote on the new Big Star documentary. As with the vast majority of films I write on for Spectrum Culture, I watched it from a screener copy at home. In this instance, I spent much of the time wishing I was in a theater, just to hear that amazing Big Star music blaring out a full-scale sound system. The doc could have used a little sharper focus, or at least some trimming, but those songs. Every last one of them is a argument for the validity of a feature-length examination of the band.

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