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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 14, 2005
Electric as Elektra, Jennifer Garner does a high-powered, blade-thrusting star turn as Marvel Comics' ninja-inspired superheroine, bringing such unbridled energy and sexuality to her performance, one barely notices the movie itself. And that's a good thing, because Elektra is pretty shallow stuff, a pastiche of martial-arts razzmatazz surrounding a too-solemn ode to lost childhood. Both Elektra and her enemies, emissaries of an evil group known as The Hand, seem to acquire new powers at will, and emotions turn way too arbitrarily.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | May 17, 2008
After hearing one of his military bands play an arrangement of music from Richard Strauss' opera Elektra, England's George V reportedly said, "His majesty does not know what the band has just played, but it is never to be played again." Even now, 99 years after the premiere of Elektra, it is bound to strike some listeners as a little scary. Poor George is just lucky he never heard the singing that goes with it, or confronted its bloody plot.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | May 17, 2008
After hearing one of his military bands play an arrangement of music from Richard Strauss' opera Elektra, England's George V reportedly said, "His majesty does not know what the band has just played, but it is never to be played again." Even now, 99 years after the premiere of Elektra, it is bound to strike some listeners as a little scary. Poor George is just lucky he never heard the singing that goes with it, or confronted its bloody plot.
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By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER | February 2, 2006
When Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws was 14 or 15, he had a slick imitation Les Paul guitar. Now, he has a real one. Caws likes to think that's the only difference between then and now - despite years of touring, a hit single and two acclaimed indie albums. Through music, he keeps his adolescent feelings of freedom and escape, he said. "It feels pretty teenage to have this be our occupation, I have to say," said Caws, now in his 30s. Nada Surf plays the 8x10 on Wednesday. "It's a lot less serious than what everyone else in my family does."
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 13, 2000
Outside of "The Jerry Springer Show," there is probably no greater procession of thoroughly dysfunctional, off-putting people than can be found in Richard Strauss' "Elektra." But unlike the assorted, and sordid, misfits on constant televisual parade these days, the characters in "Elektra" enjoy two fabulously redeeming qualities -- Strauss' music and Sophocles' drama, as filtered by librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. When those qualities are displayed as compellingly as they were Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House in the Baltimore Opera Company's first-ever production of the work, it's impossible to take your eyes or ears off of the familial smash-up.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | November 5, 2000
A cartoon that appeared shortly after the 1909 premiere of the latest Richard Strauss opera, "Elektra," depicted a terribly suffering man confined to a contraption made out of a bass drum and harp. He was being assaulted by the notes of the score, delivered directly into his head through a trumpet played by Strauss himself. The caption: "The Elektric Chair." This sort of response was not untypical. Audiences that had been shocked out of their corsets four years earlier by Strauss' "Salome" had an even tougher time with "Elektra."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 2, 1997
Richard Strauss, "Elektra," performed by Deborah Polaski, Alessandra Marc, Waltraud Meier, Johan Botha, the Chorus of the Berlin State Opera and the Berlin State Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim conducting (Teldec 4509-99175-2).Strauss' "Elektra" can be called nightmarish, ugly and perverted; listening to it makes you want to take a shower afterward. The one thing the listener never expects this opera to be -- never mind how badly sung or played -- is boring.Nevertheless, Daniel Barenboim has accomplished what heretofore seemed impossible: He makes "Elektra" really dull!
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 3, 1997
Although "Elektra" is ranked alongside "Salome" and "Der Rosenkavalier" as one of the three operas by Richard Strauss most firmly established in the repertory, it does not turn upfrequently. The new production of the opera that opened Saturday night at the Kennedy Center is the first "Elektra" in the Washington Opera's history.The reason for "Elektra's" relatively rare performances outside such huge institutions as New York's Metropolitan Opera and London's Covent Garden is the difficulty of the title role.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 13, 2000
Of all the operatic roles you might expect to hear Renata Scotto sing, that of Klytamnestra, the murderous, maniacal queen of Thebes in Richard Strauss' "Elektra," might well be the last. The famed soprano, long associated with the likes of Mimi, Lucia, Violetta, Butterfly and a host of other sympathetic, endearing characters, took the plunge into the mezzo - even contralto - depths of Klytamnestra for the first time Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House. Scotto laughs about the way she is making her Baltimore debut.
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April 28, 2005
HOT FIVE 1. "Candy Shop," 50 Cent 2. "Hate It or Love It," The Game 3. "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani 4. "Lonely," Akon 5. "Since You Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson Billboard ALBUMS 1. The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey 2. Lost and Found, Mudvayne 3. The Massacre, 50 Cent 4. Bleed Like Me, Garbage 5. The First Lady, Faith Evans Billboard CONCERT TOURS 1. Eagles 2. George Strait 3. Cher 4. Josh Groban 5. Hilary Duff Pollstar DVD SALES...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 2005
HOT FIVE 1. "Candy Shop," 50 Cent 2. "Hate It or Love It," The Game 3. "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani 4. "Lonely," Akon 5. "Since You Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson Billboard ALBUMS 1. The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey 2. Lost and Found, Mudvayne 3. The Massacre, 50 Cent 4. Bleed Like Me, Garbage 5. The First Lady, Faith Evans Billboard CONCERT TOURS 1. Eagles 2. George Strait 3. Cher 4. Josh Groban 5. Hilary Duff Pollstar DVD SALES...
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 14, 2005
Electric as Elektra, Jennifer Garner does a high-powered, blade-thrusting star turn as Marvel Comics' ninja-inspired superheroine, bringing such unbridled energy and sexuality to her performance, one barely notices the movie itself. And that's a good thing, because Elektra is pretty shallow stuff, a pastiche of martial-arts razzmatazz surrounding a too-solemn ode to lost childhood. Both Elektra and her enemies, emissaries of an evil group known as The Hand, seem to acquire new powers at will, and emotions turn way too arbitrarily.
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By Patrick Z. McGavin and Patrick Z. McGavin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 30, 2003
The graphic, boldly stylized brand of Japanese animation known as anime has a great many virtues - a thrilling visual style, adult sensibility - qualities displayed in Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe's feature-length adaptation of his wildly popular television series. With his collaborators (mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane and character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto), director Watanabe fashions a spectacular imagined universe dense with character and elaborate detail. The movie's vivid sense of flow and movement create a hypnotic rhythm and fluid pace.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 5, 2002
The genius of Mozart is never difficult to find. In a memorable scene from the awfully fanciful play Amadeus, Mozart's supposed arch rival Salieri realizes that genius when a deceptively simple melodic line suddenly emerges from an oboe, boring into his very soul. In Idomeneo, Mozart's first great opera, the genius shows itself perhaps most compellingly at the end of Act 2, when the chorus finishes registering its fright over a sea monster not with one last big chord, but an eerie fade-out.
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By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff | October 14, 2001
The sign reads "Ellie's Smellies," which by itself is enough to draw you into the shop. What could that possibly mean? But after stepping through the tiny Reisterstown store's doorway, you know: Ellie's Smellies is all the things that make you glad you have a nose. Pumpkin spice, custard, hot apple crisp -- the scents of fall swirl about, but there's not a pastry in sight. Instead, the new store is filled with fragrant handmade soaps, bath salts, lotions and candles in seasonal scents and aromas like spear-mint with lemon, pear, vanilla, cucumber and raspberry.
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By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | November 13, 2000
What relationship to you is your father's mother-in-law's only daughter's only child? In a science lab at the Gilman School yesterday, nine people held No. 2 pencils and grimly tried to answer questions such as this in an effort to gain entry into that sliver of brainy society known as Mensa. Yesterday was national testing day, an annual event begun three years ago in hopes of increasing membership in the organization known as the "high IQ society." The group numbers about 100,000 worldwide.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | December 13, 1991
KEEP IT COMIN'Keith Sweat (Elektra 61216)Because he helped pioneer the hip hop-powered sound of new jack swing, fans have come to expect a certain amount of rhythmic insistence from Keith Sweat, and his current album, "Keep It Comin'," certainly delivers on that front. Indeed, from the bouncy beats of "Let Me Love You" to the sample-studded groove of the title tune, the album is an almost irresistible inducement to dance. Even so, what makes this music worth returning to isn't the way it swings, but the way Sweat sings.
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By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,Staff writer | December 26, 1990
The recording resurrection of rockabilly music star Charlie Feathers began in June with a telephone call from New York City to Severna Park. It was Elektra Records on the line, wanting to speak with Billy Poore.Sure, Poore said, he would bring Elektra's offer of a recording contract to Feathers, the Memphis, Tenn., musician who is credited with helping to create the music that Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made famous.Feathers, stricken with a paralyzing illness, had not cut a record since he made a single, "You Believe Everyone But Me," in 1983.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 13, 2000
Outside of "The Jerry Springer Show," there is probably no greater procession of thoroughly dysfunctional, off-putting people than can be found in Richard Strauss' "Elektra." But unlike the assorted, and sordid, misfits on constant televisual parade these days, the characters in "Elektra" enjoy two fabulously redeeming qualities -- Strauss' music and Sophocles' drama, as filtered by librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. When those qualities are displayed as compellingly as they were Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House in the Baltimore Opera Company's first-ever production of the work, it's impossible to take your eyes or ears off of the familial smash-up.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 13, 2000
Of all the operatic roles you might expect to hear Renata Scotto sing, that of Klytamnestra, the murderous, maniacal queen of Thebes in Richard Strauss' "Elektra," might well be the last. The famed soprano, long associated with the likes of Mimi, Lucia, Violetta, Butterfly and a host of other sympathetic, endearing characters, took the plunge into the mezzo - even contralto - depths of Klytamnestra for the first time Saturday night at the Lyric Opera House. Scotto laughs about the way she is making her Baltimore debut.
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