ROUND-UP September 2021

 Hello faithful readers! It's sure been a while! I am now working as the Exhibit & Program Coordinator at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. I still plan to keep this blog updated with reviews of the shows I see in New England and elsewhere, along with albums and movies and other forms of art as I have time (and the inclination) to write about them.

"Directed and produced by filmmaker Colin Barnicle, This is a Robbery aims to infect its audiences with “Gardner Fever.” On its face, it seems like Netflix has scored an easy hit in bringing a scintillating unsolved crime to a subscriber base hooked on true crime like Making a Murderer, Tiger King, and The Staircase, to name but a few offerings. Was the heist an inside job? Was it a mafia hit? Were the paintings used as collateral in lurid drug transactions? How did the thieves spend 81 minutes in the museum and not get caught? And why did the thieves take such a random scattering of works? Rembrandt’s only seascape (“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”) and an automatically-rare Vermeer make sense for either a collector wanting something no one else has, or someone looking to fetch a high price based on name recognition. But to ignore the Titian? Take a metal finial in the shape of an eagle? Less logical. Netflix true crime fans, are you ready to crack the case?
"With very few exceptions, the songs on If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power reflect and project Halsey’s sheer terror at giving up fundamental control, largely through heavily distorted, eerie instrumentations and often frantic, shrieking vocal delivery. This album is best consumed in small bites, and definitely not all at once.

"It’s not just the terror of giving over one's body to pregnancy. Lyrically, Halsey connects this unique and brutal experience with existing anxieties over giving up other forms of control in their life, a theme that has lingered throughout their discography. Other specific issues that seem at play are, giving up privacy to chase dreams of musical fame, or dealing with the emotional vulnerability of falling in love. Celebrity, lover, and now parent: are these categories forms of love, or forms of power? And are they ultimately worth it, in the end? If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power asks, but for the most part can only reply with ambivalence. And it’s perhaps that ambivalence--rather than any specific details of blood and pain--that give its most terrifying aspect."