Author Archives: Roger Catlin

Sunday TV: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ — Once

The latest iteration of the cult series, “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS, 830 p.m.) makes its debut — but look quick. It only shows on network TV once. Like a previous series it introduced this way, “The Good Wife” sequel “The Good Fight,” the one time showing is meant to build up the CBS All Access [...]

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Saturday TV: The Global Citizen Concert

Stevie Wonder, Green Day, the Chainsmokers, Pharrell Williams, Andra Day, the Lumineers, Big Sean and Alessia Cara all play the Global Citizen Festival 2017  (MSNBC, 3 p.m.), a benefit for fighting inequality and ending poverty, live from New York’s Central Park. College football dominates network prime time TV with Penn State at Iowa (ABC, 7:30 [...]

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‘Take Me to the River,’ the Concert Version

Since Martin Shore released his 2014 documentary “Take Me to the River,” telling the story of Memphis soul while trying to introduce a hip hop generation, a number of its featured artists have died, including Bobby “Blue” Bland, Hubert Sumlin and Teenie Hodges. But three other of its featured participants went on to win their [...]

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Friday TV: Johnny Paycheck, the Cartoon

After successfully mastering action comedy with his first-rate “Silicon Valley,” Mike Judge returns to the animation with the unusual approach to music documentary, “Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus” (Cinemax, 10 p.m.). It’s a strange hybrid, with live action Judge explaining his motivations — there’s a lot of weird stories in country music [...]

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Randy Newman at the Birchmere

At 73, Randy Newman is still writing sharp and funny political songs, elaborate and cynical set pieces about the state of the world and, in between, the kind of stark songs that unexpectedly rip your heart out. At a wide-ranging, two-set, 33 song panorama of his work of the past half century, fans responded to [...]

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Thursday TV: ‘Monterey Pop’ and More

Some great rock ’n’ roll concert films and documentaries back-to-back and commercial-free on Turner Classic Movies with the classic “Monterey Pop” (8 p.m.), 50 years after the event that helped kickstart careers for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, with some great performances by the Who and Ravi Shankar. It’s followed by the Bob [...]

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Screams at the Yoko Tribute Concert

Aside from her considerable career as a conceptual artist, Yoko Ono may also be the most polarizing figure in rock. She still carries a lot of unfair blame for being a convenient target as the Beatles were breaking up, and may have showed up on too many Lennon solo albums for purists. At the same [...]

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Wednesday TV: The 2 Minute Marathon

As marathon runners get closer to breaking the two-hour mark, the sneaker manufacturer Nike is trying all it can do to help, funding scientific and technological research that might help. And they’re documenting it in the film “Breaking2” (National Geographic, 8 p.m.) making its debut tonight. The returning network comedy “The Good Place” (NBC, 10 [...]

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Arcade Fire Adapts Well to Arena

Playing in the round isn’t always the best way to take in an arena concert. By definition, a band’s presentation is fractured in different directions, lacking a central, unified focus. Every time a band member is facing you means that another is facing the other way. If it’s a spinning stage, it can all be [...]

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Tuesday TV: Conan Goes to Jerusalem

I always thought Jay Leno would be the former “Tonight” show host who would travel the world and send back specials. Instead, it’s been Conan O’Brien, whose latest sends him to the Middle East, where he creates laugh and has at least as good a chance as Jerod Kushner in creating good will in “Conan [...]

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