Michael Menachem



Film: 'The United States of Leland'

Rarely do we see a film that captures the good found in a character that would otherwise be abhorred and considered a complete monster. In "The United States of Leland," director Matthew Ryan Hoge structures a teen crime film from the perspective of a youth who is good, but whose one life-changing action destroys his network of family and acquaintances.


Interview: Actor Chris Klein, director Matthew Ryan Hoge

"The United States of Leland" leaves the viewer with so many questions and allows for multiple interpretations. To address the controversy of the film, which took 28 days to shoot, writer-director Matthew Ryan Hoge and actor Chris Klein made an appearance at the Ritz Carlton in Washington for an inside look at a very complex movie.


Web exclusive: Fountains hits 9:30 club

Fountains of Wayne jammed Sunday night at the 9:30 club, bringing back the nostalgic rock sound of the early 1960s. Through catchy sing-along tunes and clever storytelling, Fountains of Wayne appears to enjoy not being taken too seriously on stage. The band is currently wrapping a European and U.S. tour, promoting its critically lauded album, "Welcome Interstate Managers."


Thai-riffic Tenley restaurant

As Tenleytown is gradually sprouting apartment buildings, a Best Buy and new restaurants, one cannot miss the colorful sign of Neisha across from the Metro, on the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Albemarle.


Just the beats, ma'am

As a singer, songwriter, poet, rapper and producer, Just Jack uses melodic songs in combination with a rap-based trip-hop soul. "The Outer Marker" serves as a self-reflection of Jack's experiences and his opinions and observations of social life. The simple beats and brief electronic samplings and effects create an emotional, somewhat placid optimism.


Rock the Vote targets students

Contending that the youth vote could be an important factor in this year's elections, one organization is working to mobilize young adults. About 20 young people gathered last Tuesday to talk about the importance of the youth vote in the second meet-up for MTV's Rock the Vote at Caf? Luna in Dupont Circle. They included students and people who work for nonprofit organizations, the media, youth activism, education and research.


Restaurant review: Yanni's Greek Taverna

If you're grabbing a bite with friends or impressing that special someone, Yanni's Greek Taverna in Cleveland Park offers authentic flavor at a reasonable price. Yanni's is across from the Cleveland Park Metro, on a corner facing busy Connecticut Avenue and a host of other ethnic eateries.


Blue Man shoots, shares its show

Blue Man Group has been shocking its audiences for years with live performances at theaters in New York, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. The act began touring in concert arenas during the summer of 2002 at the Area 2 Festival with Moby, David Bowie, Busta Rhymes and world-renowned DJs. This past summer, Blue Man Group embarked on a summer tour and filmed two sold-out shows on Aug. 12 and 13 at the NextStage Amphitheatre in Grand Prairie, Texas.


Funk Brothers doo-wop the Birchmere

The Funk Brothers caused a raucous audience to dance, clap and work some naughty moves on performers at the Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, Va., Monday night. For those who are not familiar with the band, guest vocalist Peabo Bryson described the Funk Brothers best by saying that "their music is the fabric of our society."

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