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Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island Music Album Reviews

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the oft-overshadowed debut from indie rock icons, a smaller and more intimate look into the mercurial world of Jeff Mangum.
In the mid-’90s, Jeff Mangum moved into a haunted closet in Denver where he had dreams of women in fur coats drinking champagne, yelling at him to get out of their house. During a snowy Colorado winter, the Louisiana-born songwriter and his childhood friend Robert Schneider set about recording what would become Neutral Milk Hotel’s debut album. They worked feverishly, going out to smoke cigarettes when they hit a roadblock, until, in May of 1995, they had a finished record. The North Carolina indie label Merge scooped up the young band and quietly released On Avery Island the following March.

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Wild Rose Movie Review

Rose is Wild, Film is Tame

"Wild Rose" debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this year and it's supposed to be an inspirational tale of a woman overcoming overwhelming odds to realize her dream of being a star. It's more forced than inspiring.

Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) is an ex-con from Glasgow whose great dream is to eventually get to sing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Her crime wasn't bad enough to hate her so the audience can still root for her.


The director, Tom Harper, hits all the right plot points at all the right times and Jessie Buckley bursts through the screen with a bubbly and endearing performance, but it's not enough to prevent it from feeling like a carefully manipulated obstacle course. It's a constant battle between Buckley's zesty character and a story that feels stilted at every turn.

After she gets out of prison, Rose-Lynn takes a job cleaning the house of a well-to-do family. She cleans while wearing headphones and singing her heart out. Susannah (Sophie Okonedo) is the mom of the family and she almost immediately tries to get Rose-Lynn hooked up with a singing audition.

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Everyone loves Rose-Lynn except for Susannah's husband who is suspicious of her, but eventually he is won over, too. This serves as the great conflict even though it's not at all convincing as something to worry the audience.

If not for Buckley's performance this would be an absolutely horrible film, but she is so very good that it's passable. It's still absolutely unbelievable and contrived, but if you close your eyes it's almost worth it. Rose is wild. The film is tame.


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