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TV series pushes boundaries

(04/13/06 4:00am)

The seventh season of "South Park" is by far one of the best of the controversial animated show's ongoing run. Its no-holds-barred satire of society, using four fourth grade students and their crazy hometown of South Park, Colorado, hits up everything from illegal music downloading and metrosexuality to protesting/anti-protesting, Native American casinos, Mormons and stem cell research, among other topics.

Thrice gets musical, political

(12/01/05 5:00am)

Orange County's heavy hitting rock band Thrice, which hit D.C.'s 9:30 Club earlier this month, have gained a diehard fan base and a major label record deal thanks to their poignant lyrics, melodic metal/hardcore influenced rock and relentless touring. The band's last two and previously most beloved records, "The Illusion of Safety" and "Artist In The Ambulance," were made with well-known rock producer Brian McTernan (Hot Water Music, The Movielife, Snapcase).

Drama doesn't preach

(04/25/05 4:00am)

Imagine two actors. One, a talkative veteran, who has been in publicity interviews many times before, is relaxing on a hotel couch, with well-combed and parted hair and wearing a leather jacket. He is very open and seems to be interested in discussion and generally expanding his knowledge. He's not quite sick of the press because he still has a lot to say.

'Crash' amuses, fascinates, but never patronizes

(04/25/05 4:00am)

Upon hearing that a movie is about racial tension, most people's gut reaction will be to stay away. In the case of "Crash," the directorial debut of writer/director Paul Haggis, the mind behind the "Million Dollar Baby" screenplay, audiences who are able to get past this fear will be rewarded with an incredible film. Edge-of-your seat drama and humorous dialogue combine to make an intelligent and insightful movie that still avoids being preachy.

'Jimmy' eats up Bender Arena

(04/21/05 4:00am)

Jimmy Eat World and hot prospects Taking Back Sunday and The Format played Bender Arena Wednesday night to a packed crowd. The Format warmed up the crowd with songs such as their aptly titled probable first single, "The First Single." Taking Back Sunday stormed the stage next with the show's peak of physical energy. The main visual kinetics came from singer Adam Lazzara as he whipped his microphone all over the place, most notably around his neck and back around again with dazzling accuracy while bassist Matt Rubano hopped around the stage.

Letter Kills poised to release debut LP

(07/12/04 4:00am)

Southern Californian upstarts Letter Kills, who will visit D.C. Aug. 4, have come a long way in the past two years. Five members, each interested in different genres, began the band in 2002 in Temecula, Calif. Letter Kills quickly brought an original style of rock that blended the influences of everyone from Guns 'N Roses to Bob Dylan. Letter Kills guitarist Dustin Lovelis' high school friend and Finch guitarist Randy Strohmeyer enjoyed the band's self-produced three-song EP so much that he showed it to some of his friends in the music industry. Soon, a bidding war began and Island Records came out victorious.

Anime DVD is deft with visuals, clumsy on plot

(04/26/04 4:00am)

The anime craze has hit America hard in recent years with hit action shows like "Dragon Ball Z," "Gundam Wing" and "Cowboy Bebop." "Texhnolyze" is a dark anime series based around a futuristic underground city where each person fights, takes other peoples' limbs and gets robotic limbs to replace them. It's kind of like "Highlander," but unfortunately not as cool.

Funeral for a Friend invades D.C.

(04/19/04 4:00am)

Bands from the U.K. have been "invading" the United States for years. For the most part, recent successes of U.K. bands have been limited to modern rock like Coldplay; however, the U.K. does not only export softer radio fare. Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend are one of these rare exceptions to that rule. With their emotionally charged hardcore and metal-driven music, the band has the pained vibe of AFI and the intensity of Slayer.