Jordan Coughenour


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Art forges connections between consumers

Last weekend, I had the epiphany that there is hardly a more pleasurable way to pass two hours waiting in line than by debating the ethics of stage diving. As I waited in line to enter Lily Allen's concert at the 9:30 club, I realized I had drastically overestimated my ability to occupy myself for such a large expanse of time with only a copy of the New Yorker.

News

'Soloist' lacks personal note

For a movie that profiles the crashes and falls of Beethoven's greatest symphonies and attempts to capture the heartbeat of Los Angeles itself, "The Soloist" feels remarkably claustrophobic. Despite immersive and touching performances by its stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, the film never reaches a viable climax and lacks any significant character or theme development.

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Lily blossoms at 9:30

A sold-out crowd seized the 9:30 club Friday night, dancing for the right to acceptance and the power to party on its own terms. British songstress Lily Allen and Seattle-based indie pop/techno band Natalie Portman's Shaved Head (NPSH) played to a crowd that collectively raised its middle fingers in the air in rejection of small-mindedness and sexual frustration.

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Sunny songs sizzle

There's no more assured way to make yourself miserable than by playing The Beach Boys in the wintertime. There are certain songs, movies and even books that should be banished from your shelves or iPods during the snowy months of the year. Playing the classic strums and "oo-ee-oos" of "Good Vibrations" with anything more than shorts and a T-shirt on is the musical equivalent to the electric chair.

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Fear darkens arts

Elizabeth Bennet has never been so appealing as when she is bashing out the brains of Satan's zombie army. Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," out April 8, is nearly 85 percent of Jane Austen's original romantic comedy but with the added infusion of viciously graphic battles with the walking dead on every page.

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'Streamys' recognize viral media innovators

Stingy corporate suits in skyscraper cubicles might control the content of mainstream television, but in cyberspace, it's the geeks who run the agenda. This weekend, their queen was officially crowned. Saturday marked the first celebration of The Streamy Awards, a ceremony honoring online video series of three episodes or more.

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Movie monuments mark magic

It was the late witching hour of a rainy and moonless night last December. The streets were deserted but for the idle couple staggering home from a night at the bars. My hands were starting to freeze inside my gloves and I was 20 minutes from the nearest Metro station, but none of that mattered.

News

Third dimension saves 'Monsters'

"Monsters vs. Aliens" is a relentlessly entertaining, 98-minute thrill ride; pure fluff without any of those pesky life lessons that typically accompany movies aimed at the pre-teen set. Sure, there might have been a few mentions of self-confidence and it's what's inside that counts, but if there's any significant point to be made in the movie, it's that 3-D animation has now reached the capacity to be absolutely mind-blowing.

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Heroes darken genre

In 1978, Christopher Reeve made us believe a man could fly, but nowadays, you'll be hard-pressed to find a self-respecting adult who will admit they weren't always looking for the wires. Comic books and superheroes have nearly always been classified as the property of adolescent folly.

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Celebs trade Tweets

If you've ever wondered what Rainn Wilson occupies himself with when he's not beet farming as his persona of Dwight on "The Office" or how Tina Fey spends her time between takes as "Girlie Show" producer Liz Lemon on "30 Rock," you need to seriously update your Tweeple.

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