The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the frequently mad scientists who discovered them.
Five Ways of Disappearing marks Smith's return to recording, and the album reflects both her psychedelic background and the more ethnic/folky material she creates now. Songs like "Aurelia Zebulon" and "Temporarily Lucy" are heavy, droning pieces bordering on gothic, while "In Your Head" is a demure pop song, and "Maggots" is an odd tune with a nonsensical chorus of "maggots/do-do-do-do-do." Her deadpan vocal delivery adds another layer of individuality to an offbeat album by an offbeat artist.
The Candlebox of 2016 isn't the Candlebox of 1996, lacking many of its members – only mainstay lead vocalist Kevin Martin and drummer Dave Krusen remain – and also most of the grunge signifiers that turned the band into a chart-topper in the glory days of '90s alt-rock. Two decades on, Pearl Jam isn't a touchstone: Matchbox Twenty is, as is Third Eye Blind, two titans of the smoother post-grunge movement that ushered bands like Candlebox out of the charts. Perhaps the Seattle-based quintet, which is now essentially a vehicle for Martin's music, is slightly behind the curve by concentrating on this sound, yet the broader lines, slower tempos, and emphatic pleading suit a band now in middle age: it's adult alternative rock the way they used to do it back in the day.
The idle lives of the rich or famous or both are depicted from an aloof and uninvolved perspective in this standard though uneven drama by director Francesco Maselli. Claudia Cardinale appears in one of her early screen roles as Fedora, a member of the elite and privileged in a provincial Italian town. The seedy underside of illicit affairs, quick flings, betrayals and deceptions, and other, similar pasttimes of the "in" circle slowly become apparent when a young outsider tries to gain acceptance into the exclusive group. As the plot weaves in and out of the various liaisons in a cool and remote manner, the motivation for wanting to take part in it all is hard to fathom.