John Simon On Big Pink: Music From Big Pink Turns 50

Last month the legendary Music From Big Pink turned 50 years old. In the hullabaloo surrounding the landmark anniversary, Robbie Robertson was interviewed many times. As one of two surviving members of The Band, it makes sense that people would want to hear about it straight from the source. However, there’s another voice that could shed some light on the birth of Americana music, producer … Continue reading John Simon On Big Pink: Music From Big Pink Turns 50

Interview With Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to hear the new album by The Magic Numbers ahead of its release. I wrote down some questions for the band hoping to run it congruent to the album review. Unfortunately I didn’t get them back until yesterday (who knew putting out an album and prepping for a tour would keep a band so busy??). Many thanks … Continue reading Interview With Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers

Molehill-Tin God (Video)

It’s been almost a full year since the last time Molehill was mentioned on this site. That seems crazy, because for a while there they were dominating the bandwidth here. It was just two years ago that I asked them to play the 5th anniversary show for Music.Defined., and they blew the roof off of Beat Kitchen in doing so. Last week they hit UpState … Continue reading Molehill-Tin God (Video)

CIFIKA at Virgin Hotel Chicago 3/23/18

Friday night I had the opportunity to see Seoul-based electronic producer-singer CIFIKA perform at Virgin Hotel in Chicago. She’s in the middle of a United States tour that is the longest ever stretch for a Korean musician. Two weeks ago she released her second EP, Prism, and performed at South By Southwest to rave reviews last week. I found her to be very warm and … Continue reading CIFIKA at Virgin Hotel Chicago 3/23/18

Top Movies Of 2017 (Better Late Than Never)

I finally saw the last movie I was waiting on yesterday, and I’ve adjusted my list accordingly. I saw a lot of 2017 releases, and I’ve decided that instead of doing a top ten, I’ll just rank them all. I hate it when the critics lists come out and half the movies no one has seen because they only played in NY and LA. I’m fortunate to live somewhere that gets most movies, but even I sometimes have to wait until they’re available on Amazon or iTunes to watch them.

First, here’s a quick list of movies I didn’t get to see. I’m not counting A Fantastic Woman, because I’ll be seeing it soon at the Music Box Members screening next month.


Battle Of The Sexes

The Glass Castle


Wind River



Brigsby Bear

The Square


The Killing Of A Sacred Deer


Darkest Hour

All The Money In The World

The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Collected)

Brawl In Cell Block 99

Most of these are available streaming in some way, but I haven’t had time to view yet. I’m most upset about The Square and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. I love the work of both directors and I’m sure I will enjoy these movies once I see them.

Now onto my list:

60. Song To Song

Directed by Terence Malick, starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Natalie Portman.

59. Baywatch

Directed by Seth Gordon, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron

58. A Ghost Story

Directed by David Lowery, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara

57. The Little Hours

Directed by Jeff Baena, starring Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Katie Micucci, and Dave Franco

56. The Bad Batch

Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, starring Suki Waterhouse and Jason Momoa

55. Killing Gunther

Directed by Taran Killam starring Killam, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Colbie Smulders

54. Landline

Directed by Gillian Robespierre, starring Jenny Slate, John Turturro, and Edie Falco

53. Atomic Blonde

Directed by David Lietch, starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy

52. War For The Planet Of The Apes

Directed by Matt Reeves, starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson

51. Kong: Skull Island

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson

Continue reading “Top Movies Of 2017 (Better Late Than Never)”