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Our Sights & Sounds: May & June 2019

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 at 3:24pm

Norah Jones. Begin Again. CD $10.99LP $17.99. RRC applies. Last year, Jones quietly returned to the studio with the sole intent of following her muse down creative pathways without any expectations. Revelling in the joy of music-making with a true spirit of openness, Jones got together with various friends for brief, largely-improvised sessions to collaborate and experiment. The singles Jones began releasing last summer ran the gamut from riveting electronic experiments to starkly acoustic folk ballads to organ-and-horn drenched soul songs. (Blue Note. April)

The Strumbellas. Rattlesnake. CD $11.99LP $21.99. RRC applies. Rattlesnake marks a stylistic turn from their melancholy, introspective releases, to an uplifting album with songs that focus more on optimism. The album, recorded on the band's home turf in Kingston and Toronto, is a musical step forward from the to-the-rafters scrappy folk aesthetic of their earlier work. The nine-track body of work is the sunny side of the street follow-up to The Strumbellas’ third album, Hope, which featured the hit single ‘Spirits’. (Glassnote. April)

See more of our May/June Sights & Sounds after the jump...

Jan Lisiecki. Mendelssohn. CD $13.99. RRC Price $12.59. Young pianist Jan Lisiecki explores a pair of early Romantic masterpieces with the acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra: Mendelssohn's Piano Concertos in G minor and D minor. Wishing to give listeners further insight into Mendelssohn's dazzling keyboard writing beyond the well-known concertos, Lisiecki also performs a selection of some of Mendelssohn's most brilliant pieces for solo piano including the Variations Serieuses and the Rondo capriccioso. (Universal. February)

Van Morrison. The Healing Game. 3-CD deluxe set $34.991 LP $27.99. RRC applies. This new deluxe CD edition includes the original album plus two additional discs of rare and unreleased material featuring B-sides, session outtakes and duets with John Lee Hooker, Carl Perkins and B.B. King. Also included is the first official release of a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in the summer of 1997. Here, Morrison is in full control, eschewing his greatest hits for deep cuts from his back catalogue. (Legacy. April)

Apollo 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller. Blu-ray $36.99DVD $31.99. RRC applies. This American documentary film focuses on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, the first spaceflight to land humans on the Moon. The film consists solely of archival footage, including 70 mm film that was previously unreleased to the public, and does not feature narration or interviews. Miller and his team sifted through material spanning nine days, including over 11,000 hours of previously uncatalogued audio. (Universal. May)

Masterpiece: Les Misérables, the PBS mini-series directed by Tom Shankland. Blu-ray 2-disc set $55.99DVD 2-disc set $44.99. RRC applies. Written by Andrew Davies, this new adaption of Victor Hugo's classic novel stars Dominic West and Lily Collins. Against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest, Les Miserables is the story of Jean Valjean, a former convict unable to escape the shadow of his past life and Fantine, a working-class woman abandoned by her rich lover, who is driven to increasingly desperate measures to provide for her young daughter. (PBS. May)

Blue Velvet, directed by David Lynch. Blu-ray $49.99DVD $36.99. RRC applies. Now available in this 4K remastered edition, this film tells the strange story of Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), a young man drawn into the mysterious orbit of beautiful nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) and her relationship with gas-huffing psychopath Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). Bringing the innocent Sandy (Laura Dern) into his investigation, Jeffrey plummets into a scary, hidden world of violence and erotic surrender. (Criterion. June)

War and Peace, directed by Sergei Bondarchuk. Blu-ray 2-disc set $59.99DVD 3-disc set $49.99. RRC applies. This epic Russian-made adaptation of Tolstoy's Napoleonic novel took five years and $100,000,000 to make! Grand vignettes of human drama are framed by astounding battle scenes, including one that featured over 120,000 extras. Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar, director Sergei Bondarchuk's adaptation remains a sprawling, faithful version of the literary classic. Run time: 422 minutes. (Criterion. June)

Categories: Music, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, movies

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