Royal House, March 24

Low attendance and massive overreach hindered this nascent indie-rock festival. On the plus side, the Royal’s cool carnival setup (including a Ferris wheel), friendly staff, awesome sound and first-rate bands (even if the groups leaned toward the Pacific Northwest synth-pop end of the musical spectrum) suggest that this fest could eventually work. Case in point: Chromatics played a vibrant and totally pro set. “Back from the Grave,” “Candy” and “Lady”—all from the band’s forthcoming, ferociously excellent disc, Kill for Love—simmered in their cold, calculated, electronic glory. Singer Ruth Radelet sounded like nothing less than a beautiful Blade Runner replicant melodically lamenting her persecution for computer-related crimes against humanity. Like all the other bands gathered at the Royal, Chromatics proved Pastel had the better taste in bands, but inferior directorial skills. ★★★★☆

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Friends Has Benefits

Movie Review

Friends Has Benefits

They say if the hope for a distinguished movie career becomes a steep climb in this age of hack directors, lousy scripts and formulaic trash, then do it all yourself. A lovely triple-threat named Jennifer Westfeldt is putting this theory into fast-lane action. The co-writer and star of the independent film Kissing Jessica Stein now returns as producer, actress, sole scriptwriter and director of Friends With Kids. (OK, Westfeldt is a quadruple threat.) It’s a snappy and warmly observed film about the contemporary mores of dating hell, marriage and parenthood.



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