Josef Woodard

Raised in Santa Barbara, Josef Woodard has been a freelance journalist/critic since 1980, at which time he began his writing career with the Santa Barbara News & Review, one of the precursors of the Independent. He started writing for the Independent from the paper’s first issue, and has written the “Fringe Beat” column since 1990. In that time, he has covered music (of various genres), film and the fine arts for many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, starting in 1990 and continuing to the present, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Musician, Option, Opera Now, Artweek, and the jazz magazines--Down Beat, Jazz Times, and Jazziz. He won an ASCAP Deems Taylor award for jazz writing in 1998. He has also written numerous liner notes and has been involved in book projects (including a work-in-progress on Charles Lloyd). With his other hat, Woodard is also a musician, guitarist, songwriter and is co-owner of the independent record label Household Ink Records, founded in 1987, working with bands including Headless Household, flapping, Flapping, Dudley, and etcetera.

Recent Stories

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In Helsinki: A Rake’s Progress, and Jazz

Author Tours Nontraditional Music Venues

Author tours nontraditional music venues.

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Top Ten TV and Films

Josef Woodard’s Favorites from 2018

Josef Woodard’s favorite viewing from 2018.

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‘Shoplifters’ a Deft Delicately Rendered Family Saga

Emotionally Powerful in Quiet, Unexpected Ways

Emotionally powerful in quiet, unexpected ways.

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‘Viper Club’ is Uneven But Important

Film Serves as Wake-Up Call

Killing the messengers is an alarming reality and this film serves as a wake-up call.

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'Maria by Callas'

Film Makes Audience Fall in Love with the Soprano

Film succeeds in making us fall in love again (or for the first time) with the soprano, and with opera.

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The Deliciously Delirious World of 'Maniac'

Netflix’s Strange, Trippy, Biochemically Fantastical Love Story

TV’s strangest, trippiest, and most biochemically fantastical love story this year.

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Coen Brothers’ ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

Good Ol’ Yet New-Fangled Magic

It adds up to that good ol’ yet new-fangled magic.

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The History and Jazz of Monterey

Woodard Travels Up the Coast to Steep in California Tradition and Music

Woodard travels up the coast to steep in California tradition and music.

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‘The Happy Prince’ Details Life of Oscar Wilde

Rupert Everett Is a Magnetizing Center of Narrative Storm

Rupert Everett is a magnetizing center of this film that inspires and meanders by turns.

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‘The Guilty’ Is Intense, Twist-Filled Film

Excitingly Cerebral and Touchingly Human

Director Gustav Möller’s movie is as exciting as a cerebral, filmic venture and touching as a fully, knotty human story.

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