Amid the mountains of cocaine and bloody shoot-'em-up scenes in the Philly-set Next Day Air (see review on p. 26) arises the great Mos Def from the loud, flashy din. Although the movie's publicity campaign gives him top billing, his part is more of a glorified cameo. But every time he leaves the screen, you miss his laid-back cadence and spot-on timing. His dramatic chops are no secret, but here — as sticky-fingered courier Eric — Mos Def's few minutes are better than anything else Next Day Air offers.
- Molly Eichel
From "Jack Ruby" to "Eurotrash Girl," David Lowery has, historically, proven an exceptional writer of eerie, wandering epics, but there's also this other side, the one who likes loose, snarky, honky-tonk rock 'n' roll. You'll find a frontman united on Cracker's latest, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey. He's having fun doing doughnuts at the crossroads of dirty country sensibilities and weird globe-trotting lyrics.
- Patrick Rapa
Sunday is Mother's Day. Crap. If your mom is anything like mine, who texts me things like "happy saturday, love u!" she will totally eat up Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose's Love, Mom, a compilation of actual notes from actual mothers. A sample: "This is the best article I have seen on the risks associated with oral sex. I had never heard of a dental dam before. Please do read this. Love, Mom."
- Carolyn Huckabay
Last week's Springsteen show at the Spectrum ranked high among my Boss encounters, but I would give my right kidney to have seen him play London's Hammersmith Odeon '75, available on DVD and CD. Bruce had blown up in the U.S., but London concertgoers were skeptical. The E Streeters don't sweat it, blazing through Born to Run, along with reworked choice cuts like "Rosalita" and "Kitty's Back." It's at this show that the Jersey wharf rat became king.
- Molly Eichel