Today’s specials:

I’ve just discovered an album that’s definitely going to be on my year-end favorites list. Lizz Wright’s Dreaming Wide Awake is a revelation (at least to me, I didn’t hear her previous release, Salt.) Dreaming Wide Awake gives Wright’s glorious, smoky, passionate vocals fantastic opportunities in covers of songs like Joe Henry’s “Stop” and what may be the definitive version of Neil Young’s “Old Man.” Craig Street’s production is so pristine, T-Bone Burnett would be impressed. Here’s the All-Music Guide review.

  • You can always count on Jonathan Rosenbaum to write a rabble-rousing review. Here’s his take on Last Days:
    “A film about a junkie rock musician, played by Michael Pitt at his most narcissistic, doing nothing in particular for the better part of 97 minutes isn’t my idea of either a good time or a serious endeavor. Yet a few of my colleagues seem to be responding to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days the way some responded to The Passion of the Christ — taking it without a grain of salt or an ounce of irony. But it’s the grunge version of the Christ story, so that makes it hip.”
  • You’ve gotta love this film’s title.
  • This ain’t another episode of That 70s Show! Donna’s got a movie of her own… Deadly… and it’s causing a bit of trouble in Canada, where this horrible true story is still a little too fresh in people’s memories.

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