Home reviews Rewind Summer ’14

Rewind Summer ’14

by devnym


An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes
of the Wealth of States
Arthur B. Laffer, PhD
Stephen Moore
Rex A. Sinquefield
Travis H. Brown

With a title as long and pretentious as this one, you probably feel you’ve already been through this book with a fine-toothed comb. It appears that’s exactly what the four authors did when they wrote it to make sure their carefully selected facts added up to the pre-determined  conclusion. You may have heard that the wealth of states is solely dependent upon low taxes. No really – all prosperity is completely concentrated in the states where the taxes are lowest, because businesses will ONLY operate and millionaires will ONLY live in states where they pay less tax than the school janitors who work 7 days, 12 hours a day. Not that I’d be against lower taxes (I’d love it, frankly) but the cherry picking here is weird and makes it very hard to take this book as seriously as they’d like it to be taken.

The Appetites of Girls
Pamela Moses

Women, thanks to our current society and the way it brings us up, have very intimate yet often fraught relationships with each other — and with food. Pamela Moses, writing her debut novel, exposes most of them as she writes of four young women, and their friendship. Rarely are such multi-layered female characters the focal point of a novel, but Moses shows everything a woman can be; no apologies and no punches pulled. These four are women in every sense of the word, relating to each other as only women can and to food as the weapon of choice in the daily battles of life; self-doubt, jealousy, heartbreak, disappointment and the search for a true sense of self.

Thunder at Twilight: Vienna 1913-1914
by Frederic Morton

In this 100th anniversary year of the Great War, a book that observes Vienna as the city that played an influential role in that conflict and many more – right up to present day. The two years described are two of the city’s most extraordinary. Between 1913 and 1914, Stalin arrived from Russia on a mission that  launched him to the head of Russia’s revolutionaries; Hitler, freshly rejected from Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, formed the basis of the Nazi Party; and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand met with Emperor Franz Joseph not long before his assassination set off World War One. Morton puts all this into flowing prose that evokes both the sheer elegance of the city and the threat of apocalypse bubbling just below.

How Jesus Became God:
The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
Bart D. Ehrman

Bart D. Ehrman spent eight years exploring how a man became God. An apocalyptic prophet in a time of Roman occupation, Jesus extensively proclaimed that this age of evil would end – and got himself killed by the state for his trouble. Neither Jesus nor his disciples, according to Bart, thought that he was in any way divine. Indeed it is only after his death that his followers begin to describe him as a divine being when they believed he was resurrected. Bart is careful to remain neutral and open as he explores the historical record of changes in belief and conflicting claims. This is an investigation that all can learn from, believer or otherwise, without feeling judged or belittled.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant
Beatriz Williams

Summer is here and we’re all flocking to the beaches — and spending the day under the umbrella with a book. This is the book you want.. Set in Manhattan, 1964, a young woman decides to leave the Sloanie-Fifth Avenue-tradition behind: She pursues her career with Metropolitan magazine. But Beatriz Williams isn’t content to rehash Mad Men – Vivian Schuyler receives a suitcase which belongs to a distant great aunt, sending her head first into a mystery of passion and betrayal. The novel oscillates carefully and cleverly between the lives of two women, one living in 1914 and one in 1964, both intrepid as they choose careers, yet trying to follow very similar instincts as they seek a love they’ve wanted but never had.

Uganda Be Kidding Me
Chelsea Handler

Travel books have a way of being… well, really boring. How many essays full of insight into the development of one’s spirit can one take before beating oneself over the head with a club, anyway? Chelsea Handler’s books are ever the exception to the rule, and Uganda… is no different. Full of hilarious stories, the kind most people only wish they could tell after their trip, these essays are sharp and full of alcohol; she has her friends along for the ride and the pictures to prove it. From riding her segue and forgetting her obligation to her own TV show, to stumbling through airport security and including handy travel tips on how not to go abroad. You’ll laugh your way through this book from beginning to end.



The War on Drugs—Lost in the Dream

The band’s third studio album, which took over a two-year period to create due to tossed lyrics and scratched instrumentals, is noted as the band’s most profound to date. Hazy, intricate guitar riffs fused with cutting, heartbreaking lyrics—it, in a way, is a modern, cooler take on soft rock of the 80s. Coax your broken summer romance!

Real Estate—Atlas

Currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, this third studio album proves more of a coming-of-age bit than their last two. Maintaining the same sunny, lighthearted sound, but with lyrics on a more serious note, this is a great album for contemplating what the fall may bring or reveling in any summertime gloominess.

Pixies—Indie Cindy

Released in April of this year, it is the iconic 90s grunge rock band’s first release since 1991’s Trompe le Monde. To some’s disdain, this one is without the well-known, widely loved bassist and founding member, Kim Deal. For the most part, maintaining their unique sound and, at times, silly lyrics—this album is a must hear for any avid Pixies fan that has undoubtedly haven to take a break from their past material.

Glass Candy—Feeling Without Touching

Glass Candy is an electro-pop duo hailing from Portland, Oregon, that cleverly mixes disco, industrial, and glam rock elements into their songs. This, in turn, creates a vibe that you can dance to, sing to, or purely enjoy through headphones and do neither. Feeling Without Touching was released in 2010, but still holds a relevant, summery fashion to it.

Dirty Beaches—Drifters/Love is the Devil

Dirty Beaches is the stage name for Alex Zhang Hungtai, a Taiwanese-born Canadian, whose music is as interesting, dark, and mixed up as his personal culture clash may be. The one-man band says his music is something of a product of experience, “Of someone traveling long distances in search of something, in exile, misplaced, with no home to return to.” Artistic drifters, unite!

Annie clark St Vincent

St. Vincent is the band name for the very talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ann Erin “Annie” Clark, that is said to come from the Nick Cave song about Dylan Thomas’ death, ‘There She Goes My Beautiful World.’ Clark has been in the band The Polyphonic Spree and a member of Sufjan Stevens’ before forming St. Vincent in 2006. St. Vincent’s music, overall, is characterized by funky, sporadic, and experimental instrumentals paired with thought-provoking lyrics and smooth, vibe-y songs that are more poetic.  Their latest album, “St. Vincent,” is very much in this vein, but their preceding album—which they collaborated with the infamous David Byrne of The Talking Heads on—is a truly great modern album that maintains a classic Talking Heads element while simultaneously sounding original.


Orange is the New Black

A Netflix original series created by Jenji Kohan is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman about her year spent in a women’s prison. Piper, who had smuggled a suitcase of drug money ten years prior, was a law-abiding New Yorker when she was sentenced to 15 months in prison. In the show, you get to see her transformation from middle class yuppie to hardened, jail-wise prisoner and are introduced to amazing, hilarious, and emotionally deep characters along the way.


Based on the Australian series, Wilfred, this version stars Elijah Wood (Ryan) and its co-creator Jason Gann (the dog, Wilfred) and follows their relationship together. Originally going to commit suicide via drug cocktail, Ryan is subsequently asked to watch his neighbor’s dog, which he sees, hears, and interacts with as a man dressed in a dog’s costume. Great show for comforting your personal delusions.

Dazed & Confused

This is a coming-of-age comedy that follows a group of seniors on their last day of high school in 1976. Even though you may have finished school a bit before or decades after this film takes place, it’s wonderfully nostalgic to any viewer and conducive to buying a pair of bellbottoms, listening to Alice Cooper, and lighting up a doobie. It also stars many to-become-famous actors like Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and Parker Posey.


About a high school clique that plays a prank gone disastrously wrong. They fake kidnap their friend—coincidentally the leader of their pack—and gag her with a jawbreaker that she chokes and dies on. The rest that ensues is their attempt at covering their ass. Originally released in 1999, this film was received terribly, even today being ranked on several ‘worst films’ lists. But there’s something to its black-comedic charm that makes it really good in its really bad way.

What If

The story of a medical school dropout, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who’s been through an exhaustive string of failed relationships. Even though everyone around him is happily matching up, he decides to press pause on a love life. This is until he makes an instant connection with an animator that has a long-term boyfriend, Chantry (Zoe Kazan). They become best friends, but then question, ‘what if’ your true love is your best friend? A lighthearted type of meta romantic comedy with a super cast—Adam Driver, Rafe Spall, & Mackenzie Davis to name a few—that should make it the rom-com of the season.


Bullets Over Broadway
Playing at the St. James Theatre

Adapted by Woody Allen from his 1994 movie, BOB has David Shayne (played by Zach Braff), a playwrite with no backing, desperately seeking funding. His search finds him in the company of mobster Nick Valenti– with an overbearing girlfriend, Olive Neal (portrayed by Helene Yorke) to keep happy. Shayne agrees to cast her as the lead in order to get his backing and luckily for David, Olive comes with a mob escort whch has a knack for creative revisions when it comes to the play’s material. The score is not original – it’s composed of hits from the 1920s – but that hardly stops the enjoyment, because this new musical also marks the first time Allen and famed choreographer Susan Stroman have collaborated. Sometimes zany antics hit the spot.

Playing at Studio 54

Based on stories by Christopher Isherwood, a young American man (Cliff Bradshaw, portrayed by Bill Heck) enters the Weimar Republic – sexually free and enticingly excessive – trying to finish his novel with no means of support. He and footloose entertainer Sally Bowles, played by Michelle Williams in her Broadway debut, strike up a relationship ignoring the threat of the Nazi Party always hovering dangerously just outside the walls of the sleazy Kit Kat Klub. Alan Cumming reprises his role as the outrageous Emcee,  and you haven’t seen debauched until you’ve seen him playing it to perfection.

Playing at the Richard Rogers Theatre

Contemporary musicals are few and far between but with Indina Menzel at the helm of If/Then, this one proves to be fabulous and well worth the wait. Elizabeth (played by Menzel) is a city planner who has returned to New York City after a disastrous run in Phoenix, Arizona, in hopes of restarting her life. Organized by nature, she has her new life all planned out – but when fate and plans collide, things never go as one thought they would – and two distinct storylines play out on the stage. In a world of infinite choices, If/Then follows Elizabeth through two possible lives simultaneously, under the watchful eye and soaring voice of Menzel.

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Playing at the Cort Theatre

Moves’ Cover Daniel Radcliffe returns to Broadway after a critically acclaimed run of this production, playing “Cripple” Billy, a young man who is tired of his daily life in 1930s Inishmaan, an island off the coast of Ireland. Word arrives of a Hollywood production being made on Inishmore, an island close by, and the locals of Inishmaan clamour to be cast. Martin McDonagh’s characters shape, destroy and save each other, by virtue of their constant gossip; his humor is dark and biting; and the cast comes together to offer brilliant performances of the eccentrics and vividly colorful characters that populate this play.

Playing at the Winter Garden Theater

A million Rocky movies? Now add a Rocky musical to the list. Much as the movies did, Rocky the Musical tells the story of struggling, small-time boxer Rocky Balboa (played by Andy Karl) from Philadelphia. Thanks to a last minute drop out, Balboa is presented with a chance to go up against heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, and jumps at it. But while he trains for his first chance to become the next champion, his relationship with Adrian (played by Margo Seibert), may not be able to take it. The music and lyrics are thoughtfully provided by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, so at least you can enjoy the cheese while it lasts.


Cry Translator. $4.99
Because deliriously trying to figure out if your baby’s hungry or just annoyed at 4 a.m. is really the pits.

Plague Inc. $0.99
Have you ever wanted to infect the entirety of humanity with a deadly disease and bring about the end of all things? Now you can!

iHobo Free
Question your morality and responsibility with this app that equates a homeless person to a Tamagatchi

Notifyr  $4.00
The next step to streamlining your life–reciving iOS notifications on your computer. For that second that your eyes dare avert from your phone screen.

Blower $0.99
Ever felt the need to save your breath? Now your phone can blow air at people, or birthday candles, so you don’t have to.

Paper Racing Free
For those with too much foul time on their hands, race with your friends at who can unroll toilet paper fastest.

Bowel Mover $2.99
Get to know your poo’s, their progress, and then share the info with your friends if t.m.i. is your forte.

Marco Polo $1.00
Find your lost phone by yelling ‘Marco!’ and hearing it reply ‘Polo!’ A ‘Find Your Phone’ type app for bored or obnoxious people.

Haircaster Free
Let this app warn you to ‘Stay Home’ or ‘Frizz Alert’ when it comes to maintaining your hair’s reputation against all weather odds.

Toilet Sound Machine Extreme $0.99
For those times when you really
need some toilet sounds! Wave your hand for any number, at any inappropriate time.

Zips Free
This app displays a zipper. You get to zip and unzip it, and have the ability to customize the color of underwear that’s revealed. The end.

Passion $0.99
If you feel the need for an app to rate your sexual performance, that’s probably your first clue that you suck.

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