In “The Beguiled,” Sofia Coppola continues her observational work on American youth

Sofia Coppola, like John Hughes or Gus Van Zandt before her, is our foremost chronicler of American youthfulness. Plenty of other extraordinary films have captured experiences or asked questions about what youth means in American culture, but few have done so as consistently as Coppola. It began in The Virgin Suicides and continues in her newest film, The Beguiled. Continue reading “In “The Beguiled,” Sofia Coppola continues her observational work on American youth”

Manchester Orchestra travels to fatherhood on “A Black Mile to the Surface”

Last winter, my wife and I took a trip to her mother’s house in Florida. On the way back, I decided to play through the discography of Manchester Orchestra, one of my favorite bands, but one I hadn’t listened to closely in quite some time. The collected length of all the albums would put us pretty close to home. We switched driving duties more than halfway through Georgia, and so began my time behind the wheel while my wife took a nap. About an hour and half, or two albums through, I noticed an odd sight, a sign: “Welcome to Florida.” Continue reading “Manchester Orchestra travels to fatherhood on “A Black Mile to the Surface””

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: “The Nashville Sound”

I have an intrinsic personal relationship to Jason Isbell’s music. I associate with his stories, his memories, his politics, and, in a way, to his past demons. Analyzing where he fits in the milieu as a country rock star is hard. I can’t see clearly the zeitgeist forest for my own trees, as it were. On the closing cut (“Something to Love”) off his new album with his band The 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound, Isbell sings as he often does best, straight forward and elegantly: Continue reading “Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: “The Nashville Sound””