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Burn Movie Review

Sizzlingly Odd
In his debut feature, writer/director Mike Gan has created a small film that, if there's justice, will attain a cult-like status. "Burn" takes place in the course of one evening and entirely within the confines of a rural, out-of-the-way gas station shop.
It's the kind of place that loners might wander into for a hot cup of coffee at 3am. Obviously this is not a big budget film, but Gan squeezes an awful lot of goodness out of it. Maybe we should call it badness.





Soundgarden - Live From the Artists Den Music Album Reviews

This focused and forceful 2013 live set showed the reunited grunge band looking to their future before the tragic death of lead singer Chris Cornell.

Soundgarden’s episode of Live From the Artists Den arrived just as the group was bringing the supporting tour for King Animal, their first album in sixteen years, to a close. They were roughly three years into their reunion, trading on ’90s nostalgia with an eye toward a sustainable future.

That future never materialized. Chris Cornell took his own life after a gig in Detroit in 2017, writing a sad final chapter to the band he fronted for more than three decades. Live From the Artists Den is the first posthumous Soundgarden release, a multimedia affair available as CD, LP, and BluRay, each presenting the entirety of the February 17, 2013 concert filmed at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theater. The show was meant to celebrate the end of the King Animal tour, but six years later, its accompanying album serves as an accidental epitaph—a career retrospective given right when the group seemed resurgent.

Part of the reason Soundgarden’s comeback seemed secure is that they wore middle age handsomely. Their reunion seemed neither crass nor nostalgic, but a resuscitation of a connection they lost somewhere after Superunknown turned supernova in 1994. King Animal felt assured and confident, with Soundgarden navigating new material with grace, slowing down the tempos slightly while weaving in Cornell’s dextrous rhythm guitar.

Listening to Live From the Artists Den, it’s striking how seamlessly the King Animal material fits between hits and deep cuts. The songs play off of each other, the slow churn of “Blood on the Valley Floor” teeing up the coiled menace of “Rusty Cage.” Soundgarden didn’t mess with the arrangement of “Rusty Cage” or any of their other classics, but the distance of years changed their attack. They sound a trace slower here, which makes the music feel weightier and more measured.

Some of this deliberation may be a side effect of filming a concert. Guitarist Kim Thayil admitted as much when promoting Live From the Artists Den, saying the group may have “played a little bit more conservatively because of the cameras and the lights.” This might sound like a tame performance, but Live From the Artists Den is focused and forceful.

In the four years following this performance, Soundgarden toured regularly, playing Rockfest after Rockfest, selling out amphitheaters named after cellphone companies and headlining places with cumbersome names like Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park. They were riding the circuit afforded to any ’90s rock survivor, toiling away on new material when their individual schedules allowed. Enough demos reportedly exist to form a finished album, but disputes between the band and the Cornell estate may mean that they’ll never be completed, so that leaves Live From the Artists Den as an unintentional swan song. It’s one that suits the band, offering a deep dive into their catalog with no nostalgia. Like all final goodbyes, it’s a bit too sad if you look too closely.

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