Monday, July 6, 2015

Mobb Deep, Freeway, Skyzoo, Lion Babe & more added to Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (which begins this week)

The 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival takes place this week, Wednesday (7/8) through Saturday (7/11), and new updates were recently announced. The annual Brooklyn Bodega-presented festival begins with a "conference on Hip-Hop, Technology and criminal justice reform" on Wednesday, followed by a screening of 1994's Fresh on Thursday. Friday has a tour of Brooklyn bars and restaurants, courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery, and the JUICE Hip-Hop Exhibition at Littlefield with a dance-off, various showcases, and galleries.

Then as always, the main event is the big concert happening Saturday at 50 Kent. As mentioned, Common is headlining this year. Since we last spoke, they added Queensbridge legends Mobb Deep, plus Lion Babe, Freeway, Charles Hamilton, Skyzoo, DJ Rob Swift, Mista Sinista, Pitchblak Brass Band, John Robinson & PVD, DJ Parler, Uncle Ralph McDaniels, Torae, Chelsea Reject, Slim Dollars, Tripset, Waffle NYC, Money & Violence and more. Tickets are still available, and you can also try to win a pair.

Lion Babe, who appear on the upcoming Disclosure album, are also playing Afropunk Fest and an Afropunk-presented Lincoln Center Out of Doors show. You can watch the video for their Pharrell-produced single "Wonder Woman" below.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Be Yourself | Danny Tenaglia at Output and DJ Spinna/ Frankie Feliciano in The Panther Room at Output, July 4th

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and Screaming Females added to 2015 4Knots Festival with Super Furry Animals!

The lineup for the 2015 4Knots Festival has expanded once again. In addition to headliners Super Furry Animals, we'll also now get another '90s indie great, Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks, providing direct support. Also added are the shredding NJ punk trio Screaming Females. Those additions join Mikal Cronin, Twin Peaks and more.

This year's fest happens July 11 on Hudson River Park's Pier 84. Tickets are still available.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Bunker Limited with Derek Plaslaiko & Mike Servito at Trans Pecos, July 3rd

We're finally back for another edition of The Bunker Limited at Trans Pecos, who now have a full liquor license and really chill backyard! For this party, we're keeping it simple ... two of our absolute favorite DJs, The Bunker residents Derek Plaslaiko and Mike Servito, are on deck all night. They recently played together in the Panther Room and at Anthology in Detroit, but of course have a long history of playing together going back to their youth in 90s Detroit. This will be the first time they've played all night like this in New York.

If you don't know the deal with these special Limited events: As The Bunker continues to grow significantly, many of you have expressed a desire to turn back the clock to the good ol' days when the party was weekly at subTonic for 100 people or so. We miss those days as well, so in 2011 we launched a new series of events called The Bunker Limited. For The Bunker Limited, we bring a ridiculous sound system into a very small space, and limit attendance to 150. Last year we said goodbye to Public Assembly and the small loft space above it that housed The Bunker Limited. In 2014 we relaunch The Bunker Limited in a new art space we could not be more excited to be a part of, Trans Pecos. There will be no guestlist for The Bunker Limited, the only way we can pull this off in a space this small is if everyone pays. The sets at these events are not recorded, and absolutely no photography is allowed inside.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Javotti Media Presents Talib Kweli LIVE with full band + Rapsody, NIKO IS, and K Valentine at Brooklyn Bowl, July 1st and 2nd

NYC hip hop vet Talib Kweli continues to release music and perform consistently. Tonight's his first of three hometown shows this week. Tonight and tomorrow he plays full-band shows at Brooklyn Bowl, and on Friday he'll be at the International African Arts Festival in Commodore Barry Park.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Is there Art in the Art of Anarchy?

Before I offer my review of this album, I'd like to being with my compliments to the artist who made the album cover.  I love this album cover and I also love the name of this band. 

Everything else about this record is terrible. The combination of musicians, the song material, the production... all shameful. This is like a Dream Theatre record gone bad and I think Scott Weiland knew it, but took the money anyway and ran. The drama came out before the music on these guys. Apparently, they hired Weiland to sing and shoot music videos as their frontman. Weiland, in return rejected any connection to the band via interviews after its completion. We all know contracts were signed, but what really happened? Did Weiland think the music would come out better than it did? Did he do it for the money knowing he would distance himself after? Is the band lying about what he signed on to do and not to? Who knows and who really cares about this piece of crap no one will remember in two years. It's very generic metal, barely progressive and without any taste or appeal. It actually sounds like it was made quick and doesn't have any of the qualities Scott Weiland has added to his other previous collaborations such as catchy melodies, interesting lyrics or classic rock vibes. To be honest, they really didn't need to hire Scott Weiland and any typical metal singer could have done a better job. So who is the scammer here? I believe the band used Weiland's name for aspirations of success, even though they claim to be this supergroup consisting of one of ten lame fill-in guitarists from the post-Slash Guns and Roses, and some guy from the band Disturbed. Another terrible band no one will care about in the near the future, nor do I think many cared about them before. There seem to be a lot of these metal groups that buy their way into fame for a minute like Disturbed and quickly forgotten after their ten minutes of fame. How is Art of Anarchy a supergroup!? Bumblefoot is Axl Rose's hired clown that takes second to Buckethead in G n R. I think all of these 'musicians' are taking themselves too seriously. Really, if this was a pack of any other unknown musicians whining about how crappy their contracts are being fulfilled, would ANYONE care? Scott Weiland made the mistake of actually responding to this and helping them get publicity in retrospect. And maybe that was their plan from the beginning. The music is awful and impressively uncreative. It really sounds like a scam. An artless petty attempt at fame using a failing rock star as its only attribute.

I don't blame Scott Weiland for talking shit in public about this project, even if he did sign contracts because it sucks! And he knows it. 

A super group? Really!? Bumblefoot and co. need to go back and learn how to write a decent song before this over ambitious joke gets out of the studio. It's shameful what people will do for drama and fame. It makes me feel bad for Weiland, that he needed the money and recorded this. Sad times for an aging grunge star and even sadder for these anonymous never-been backing musicians who 'claim' to be a super group. A little jealous of the Velvet Revolver franchise is more like it. VR was more of a super group and even they admitted to being a money making scheme. They accidentally pulled off a couple of decent records before Scott's departure but this Art of Anarchy is sub par disgraceful bullshit. My advice to all of them is to get day jobs because no one gets the joke and no one is enjoying this crap.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Giorgio Moroder: The High Priest of Disco Returns...

Giorgio Moroder is about to release 'Déjà Vu,' his first LP in 30 years.

A few years ago, Giorgio Moroder was sitting around his home in Italy, not doing particularly much. In his heyday in the Seventies and Eighties, Moroder was a pop superproducer, responsible for dance-floor euphoria and Top 40 kitsch like Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," Berlin's "Take My Breath Away," Blondie's "Call Me" and the Scarface soundtrack. But in the Nineties, with disco on the wane and alt-rock and hip-hop ascendant, Moroder laid his synths aside. He fiddled with other creative pursuits — portraiture, architecture, high-end car design — but, he says, music left a hole: "I was getting a little bored. You can play golf and do some little projects, but at the end, it's not fulfilling."

Then, out of nowhere, Moroder got a call from Daft Punk. Like many of EDM's biggest names, the duo worshipped him. They invited him to their Paris studio, recorded him talking about his life and set his recollections to a track named "Giorgio by Moroder" on Random Access Memories, their smash 2013 album. Just like that, Moroder's retirement ended. The album was an instant EDM landmark, and Moroder's phone didn't stop ringing. Promoters wanted him to DJ. DJs wanted him to collaborate. Labels wanted new music: "I got four different offers to do an album," he says.

Today, Moroder is standing on the black-and-white marble floor of his Los Angeles high-rise condo, his fluorescent striped socks poking out from fine leather loafers. He is 75, but not, he says, remotely infirm. "I went to the doctor and he did tests and everything is perfect — I'm going to live till I'm 100!" he says. He's about to release Déjà Vu, his first LP in 30 years. It features vocalists who were either prepubescent or nonexistent when Moroder established himself as the Seventies' pre-eminent disco priest, including Sia, Charli XCX and Britney Spears.

In the entryway to the condo lie several trophies: the Oscar for producing "Take My Breath Away," which anchored Top Gun; the Oscar for producing "What a Feeling," from Flashdance; framed platinum records for both. Across the room, a gleaming-white grand piano abuts his terrace, and a glass-topped table with legs lacquered in gold and black dominates the dining room. Moroder claims to have not once done cocaine — "never, ever, ever" — but you wouldn't know it from his decor, which looks like someone smuggled it off the Scarface set.

Moroder was born in the Italian ski-resort village of Ortisei in 1940, situated 40 miles from the Austrian border. He loved the Beatles, and he started making music in his teens — gravitating not only toward catchy melodies but also then-state-of-the-art equipment: "I had two Revox recorders, and I would play piano and record it — as a composer I don't think I was great, but I knew how to use the machines."

By the Eighties, Moroder, riding a string of global hits, bought a mansion in Beverly Hills that friend and frequent muse Summer nicknamed the Ice Castle — "It was all marble and glass," he explains. He forswore narcotics, saying that sex, instead, "was my drug. I had some good-looking girls." Married now, he was, back then, habitually single. "I worked every day in the studio," he says, "so my social life in the Eighties was very little."

When he stopped working, Moroder returned to the same part of Italy where he grew up and did other things. He gestures to an enormous canvas on his dining room wall, which depicts Elizabeth Taylor with snow-white skin and multicolored hair — he made the image using Photoshop, then hired an oil painter to reproduce it. "I made two of them," Moroder says. "I gave the other one to Taylor." He found other creative diversions, like investing in a sports car designed by his buddy Marcello Gandini, the man behind the Lamborghini Countach. More recently, Moroder helped an architect design a massive residential pyramid intended for construction in Dubai, though it was never built. "It was probably a little too ambitious," he says.

It's not surprising that Moroder gravitated toward crafting luxury items, because his greatest songs were luxury items too: precision-engineered, opulent, even pampering in their devotion to bodily pleasure. An extreme case of this came on one of Moroder's breakthrough hits, "Love to Love You," by Summer, on which he famously coaxed her to simulate an orgasm.

For Déjà Vu, Moroder had to update his way of working. In the past, he made tracks much the way he made his Elizabeth Taylor portrait: sketching them out with electronics, then hiring gifted musicians to flesh them out. Pop-craft was easier back then, he says: "It was, 'Donna, let's do an album.' 'OK, come to Munich and we'll do it.' "

Now, however, such streamlining is impossible. "Especially when you're working with 10 to 12 different singers. Logistically, it is a nightmare," he says. "Every singer has their own vocal producer and engineer." With Sia, "I gave her an instrumental, and she wrote what they now call the 'top line' — she wrote the verses and the lyrics, recorded it, did the harmonies and that was that." Other vocalists sent in a cappella tracks and Moroder came up with beats to match them. The finished LP straddles old and new. "On one hand, you want to get that disco kind of feel," he says. "On the other hand, we're in 2015."

A woman named Jen from Moroder's management company shows up, carrying a blond Sia wig. She wants Moroder to put it on so she can take a picture, "for social media." Moroder eyes the wig with a combination of intrigue and horror, then tugs it over his scalp, smiling bashfully from beneath blunt-edged bangs. "You look awesome," Jen tells him. Emboldened, Moroder strikes a pose at his piano as she snaps away on her phone. She mentions some other business, then heads for the door. "Send me that picture," he calls after her. "I want to see it!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chris Cornell Acoustic Higher Truth Tour 2015 (added dates)

Chris Cornell has added two new dates to his previously announced North American tour, in support of his new studio album Higher Truth. The additional shows will be at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix on September 17 and at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego on September 18.  

The multi-city trek will give fans the chance to see Chris perform in an unplugged, up close and personal setting and will include songs spanning his entire career. Chris will also introduce songs from Higher Truth, which is produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Neil Young) and scheduled for release on September 18.

In addition, an exclusive San Diego presale for American Express cardholder members will begin on June 17 at 10am PST. For both dates, promoter’s presale is on June 19 and tickets for the general public will go onsale beginning June 20 at 10am (local time). Many other shows still have tickets available: check ticket sites below for full details.

$1 from every ticket sold will go to the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, a charitable organization that helps to protect the most vulnerable children facing problems such as homelessness, poverty, abuse or neglect.  For additional ticket purchase info, please visit CHRIS CORNELL.

Blur Announce Hollywood Bowl, MSG Shows

Blur played a pair of Coachella sets six years ago to get their reunion rolling, and so far they’ve only played one super-exclusive Brooklyn show to promote The Magic Whip in North America. Now they’ve announced they’ll return to the US this fall for a pair of properly massive gigs at two of this country’s most storied venues. On 10/20 they’ll play the Hollywood Bowl in LA, then 10/23 they’ll headline Madison Square Garden in NYC. Tickets go on sale here starting at 10AM local time on 6/20.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bill Murray sings Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water' in 'Rock The Kasbah' trailer

The first trailer for music-themed comedy film Rock The Kasbah has been released - and it features Bill Murray delivering a memorable rendition of Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water'.

Rock The Kasbah stars Murray as a past-his-prime rock manager who takes his last remaining client to Afghanistan to perform for US troops posted in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation. Once there, he discovers a talented local girl with an impressive singing voice and decides to manage her through Afghanistan's equivalent of American Idol.

Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam, Rain Man) directs and the film's stellar supporting cast includes Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson, Scott Caan and Taylor Kinney. Rock The Kasbah will open in US cinemas on October 23, though its UK release date has yet to be confirmed.

The writer of Rock The Kasbah, Mitch Glazer, also co-wrote Bill Murray's forthcoming Netflix Christmas special, A Very Murray Christmas. Written by Murray, Glazer and Sofia Coppola, who also directs, the special is billed as "an homage to the classic variety show" and features guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzman and Jenny Lewis, among others. It will premiere on Netflix in all territories this December.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

James Murphy opened 'Four Horsemen' wine bar, DJing at Output this month

While James Murphy has his hands full with his new wine bar in Williamsburg, he's not letting it completely rule his life. He'll be spinning at Output on June 19, performing back-to-back sets with Eric Duncan which he's done a few times now. Tickets are on sale now.

Returning that wine bar -- Four Horsemen opened to the public this past Sunday (6/7). Bon Appetit got a first look at the place which features a lot of blonde wood and a vintage soundsystem:

"You can buy $20,000 speakers, but put them in a room that's not right and it sounds terrible," Murphy said. "If you buy $20 speakers and put them in a room that's tuned right, it'll sound great." The acoustics are serious business at The Four Horsemen--and no wonder given Murphy's background. The cedar slats on the ceiling are absorbent, and the burlap on the walls helps, too. "Imagine the wall was a mirror. If you shone a flashlight on it, the light would bounce right back in your face. If that mirror that was a bumpy, chaotic surface like a disco ball, the light would disperse and go all over the place," Murphy explained.

As for what tunes will be blaring through the sound system, which Murphy purchased on eBay, Murphy said it'll be whole albums. There will be no Pandora or Spotify (he "hates that stuff") and no electronic or dance music. Instead, expect feel-good energetic music, anything from The Monks to Van Morrison.Four Horsemen is open daily at 5:30 PM, with the kitchen open till 11 PM and wine served later than that. Anybody gone already?

Drugs, paranoia and a creepy Charles Manson connection: Why we’re still fascinated with the dark drama of the Beach Boys

The new film “Love & Mercy” looks at the brilliant and troubled Brian Wilson around the time of the Beach Boys’s artistic breakthrough, “Pet Sounds,” as well as in his addled 1980s. Brian had been bullied by his father, heard voices and fell deep into LSD.

But the Beach Boys had more problems than just Brian’s psychology. Californians get tired of hearing their state described in dichotomous terms of sunshine and noir. But if there was ever a band with a stark contrast between clean-cut innocence and nasty stuff beneath the surface, it’s these guys. Compared to them, the Stones are art-school poseurs dabbling in Satanic imagery.

And if you look closely, you can see the weirdness from almost the very beginning. “Don’t Worry Baby” is one of their best pre-“Pet Sounds” songs, with complex vocal harmonies and an unforgettable melody. It’s also – especially if you watch the band perform the song – deeply creepy.

Check out the awkward body language, the folded arms, the fake grins. These clean, stripe-shirted surfer boys kind of look like they might go find someone to beat the hell out of after this performance — or even start whaling on each other.

The lyrics (which Brian co-wrote with Roger Christian) go like this:

Well its been building up inside of me

For oh I don’t know how long

I don’t know why

But I keep thinking

Something’s bound to go wrong

Well, yes — and it would. The song, of course, is about a girlfriend reassuring the singer that “everything will turn out alright.” But we also see an early glimpse of Brian’s paranoia.

Hollywood has a long history of selling fantasies, and from the beginning, the band was a fake – especially the image of a happy family who spent their time dancing with bikini girls and surfing by the Pacific. “They were pure white trash, West Coast hillbillies,” Nik Venet, the Capitol executive who signed the band, told writer Barney Hoskyns. “At that time, even Dennis didn’t surf – they got most of it from the movies.”

Of course, it was not just Brian, and it all gets weirder from here. Just a few years later, Dennis Wilson – the only real surfer in the band that often posed with surfboards – became close with Charles Manson. Wilson met some attractive young women who were out hitchhiking, and they led him to Manson. The friendship between the Maharishi-loving Beach Boy and the murderous cult leader – the two seemed to bond over their interest in “spiritual” matters – didn’t last long. But Manson recorded in one of the band’s studios, and some of Manson’s family lived with Dennis for a while.

Songwriter and Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, who is a credible witness to the period, recalls the end this way:

“One day, Charles Manson brought a bullet out and showed it to Dennis, who asked, ‘What’s this?’ And Manson replied, ‘It’s a bullet. Every time you look at it, I want you to think how nice it is your kids are still safe.’ Well, Dennis grabbed Manson by the head and threw him to the ground and began pummeling him until Charlie said, ‘Ouch!’ He beat the living shit out of him. ‘How dare you!’ was Dennis’ reaction. Charlie Manson was weeping openly in front of a lot of hip people. I heard about it, but I wasn’t there. The point is, though, Dennis Wilson wasn’t afraid of anybody!” The group recorded Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” – one of these songs in which the murderer tries to convince a “pretty girl” to give up her ego and let him take her over — with a slight change as “Never Learn Not To Love,” in 1968.

Dennis Wilson refused to talk about Manson, but as Barney Hoskyns wrote in “Waiting For the Sun,” the definitive history of Los Angeles music, “the middle Wilson brother, more than any other LA musicians, was Manson’s ticket to the heart of the rock community.”

For several of the Beach Boys, alcoholism, debilitating drug use – which scarred this group more than even more decadent ‘60s bands – and almost constant quarreling, followed.

Then there were the lawsuits, which are so numerous and complicated they are difficult to chronicle here, except to point out the time when Mike Love – who controlled the band’s name – kicked Brian Wilson, the group’s musical leader, out of the band. And the stories of Brian’s mental illness and damaged soul are endless.

Beside the deranged genius Brian Jones, all of the original Stones are still alive, and despite herculean amounts of drugs and alcohol consumed over the years, they are still a lean and mean enough group to put on rave-worthy shows of the songs of their heyday. As for their clean-cut American cousins, two of the band members are dead, the leader has seemed unmoored for decades now.

It’s not a bad time for a movie to remind us just how messy and complicated their story was.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Liam Gallagher reportedly forming supergroup with The Who's Roger Daltrey

Liam Gallagher and The Who frontman Roger Daltrey are reportedly forming a supergroup for the upcoming TFI Friday comeback episode.

TFI Friday will return for a one-off live special at 9pm next Friday (June 12), hosted by Chris Evans. A TFI spokesman recently confirmed to The Sun that Gallagher and Daltrey will perform 'My Generation' as part of a supergroup featuring The Lightning Seeds' Ian Broudie and former Oasis drummer (and Ringo Starr's son) Zak Starkey.

"Liam's got a bit of time on his hands since Beady Eye called it a day last year so he fancied trying his hand at something new," a 'source' recently told The Sun. "He's told his mates he's pretty bored. Other than Noel, you would be hard pushed to find a better set of bandmates than Roger, Ian and Zak. It's a proper supergroup and the performance will be something to remember."

The yet-unnamed will be joined by fellow musical guests Blur, Stone Roses and Primal Scream bassist Mani, Rudimental and Years & Years. It's not yet known whether the Gallagher-Daltrey-Broudie-Starkey supergroup will play any further shows following the TFI Friday performance.

Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher has discussed his recent involvement in a charity football match in Italy. Gallagher appeared alongside a number of former Juventus players like Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved at the Juventus Stadium in Torino on Tuesday night (June 2). The match was organised by the Italian equivalent of Soccer Aid.

Speaking about the event, Gallagher has since said: "The invitation to take part came from an old friend of mine Andrea Dulio who used to work for Sony Italy whom I knew throughout the Oasis era."

Gallagher added: "I’ve played a few in my time with the mighty Oasis but never football. I must say I was a little nervous in front of 45,000 crazy Italians... I’m not sure what was said at half time as I was on the piss around that time as I was substituted 20 minutes into the game much to my delight as I was fucked," Gallagher told The Secret Footballer. "I do run most days but I haven’t had a proper kickabout since 1999."

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Patti Smith expands tour, adds a 'Horses' show in NYC, New Year's Eve in San Francisco

Punk legend Patti Smith and her band are on tour now in Europe performing her seminal 1975 album, Horses, in full for its 40th anniversary. A full North American leg hasn't been revealed yet, but Patti did just announce a Horses show for her hometown of NYC happening November 10 at Beacon Theatre! 

Tickets go on sale Friday (6/5) at 11 AM.

She also recently announced a New Year's Eve show for San Francisco (maybe that and the Beacon show means she isn't doing her annual New Year's shows in New York this year?). All currently known dates are listed below...


Patti Smith -- 2015 Tour Dates
Jun 4 Porto NOS Primavera Sound (Spoken Word/Acoustic)
Jun 5 Porto NOS Primavera Sound
Jun 7 London Field Day
Jun 8 Manchester O2 Apollo
Jun 9 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Jun 11 Bergen Bergen Festival
Jun 12 Oslo Norwegian Wood
Jun 14 Roma Eutropia Festival
Jun 16 Catania Anfiteatro Comunale
Jun 18 Firenze Teatro Le Mulina
Jun 19 Verona "Rumors" Le Illazioni della Voce. Teatro Romano
Jun 20 Milano Villa Arconati
Jun 22 Frankfurt Alte Oper
Jun 23 Köln Tanzbrunnen
Jun 25 Werchter Rock Werchter Festival
Jun 26 Beuningen Down the Rabbit Hole
Jul 12 Lörrach Stimmen Festival
Jul 13 München Tollwood Festival
Jul 14 Wien Arena Wien Open Air
Jul 16 Singen Hohentwiel
Jul 19 Bern Gurtenfestival
Jul 21 Karlsruhe Tollhaus
Jul 22 Winterbach Zeltspektakel Winterbach
Jul 24 Lyon Les Nuits de Fourvière
Jul 25 Nyon Paléo Festival Nyon
Jul 27 Collegno (TO) Parco della Certosa
Jul 28 Gardone Riviera (BS) Anfiteatro del Vittoriale
Aug 1 Codroipo Villa Manin
Aug 2 Ljubljana Krizanke
Aug 4 Wels Alter Schlachtof
Aug 5 Prague Archa Theatre
Aug 7 Luhmühlen A Summer's Tale
Aug 8 Dresden Junge Garde
Aug 9 Katowice Off Festival
Aug 11 Berlin Tempodrom
Aug 13 Copenhagen Royal Theatre
Aug 14 Copenhagen Royal Theatre
Aug 15 Göteborg Way Out West
Aug 17 Reykjavík Harpa
Oct 20 Paris Olympia
Oct 21 Paris Olympia
Nov 10 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Dec 31 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ride at Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 1st TONIGHT

Ride return to New York tonight at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. This is a big event for shoegazers and Brit-pop fans around the world. Andy Bell had just broke away from Oasis and back on lead guitar and vocals with Mark Gardener, where he belongs. Some say this is the best band of the British Invasion of the 1990's and the best of the Creation Records era. They were the 'house band' at every Alan McGee cocaine loft party in London. They are legends to many. This should be a triumphant reunion and killer comeback show for the band at a very small, intimate venue. It's completely SOLD OUT.

SOHO International Film Festival 2015

The Soho Film Festival wrapped up last week with some impressive movies and all around inspiring vibes. The festival was held at the Village East Cinemas on 2nd Avenue with a rolling red carpet of celebrities, up and coming filmmakers, aspiring actors and interested movie-goers. Every film was jam packed in attendance. Each movie was followed by a Q and A with the cast and crew members along with notable facts and quirky anecdotes about the films. It was a great opportunity for audience members to share their reactions and engage with the artists directly. This was also a big event for social networking from the inside.

Of all the worthy submissions, these films got outstanding ovations and made a big splash at the event...

"The Protrokon" written and directed by Anthony De Lioncourt was the most impressive to my eyes. It was a hybrid of 1980's punk rock cinema with a touch of Quentin Tarantino's 'revenge plot' aesthetic . This is the perfect midnight movie, both philosophical and energetic with quick paced action sequences and haunting psychedelic dialogue. Lioncourt's influences are obviously all over the spectrum, from old fashioned Horror movies to cult classics such as "Mad Max (1979)" or "Bad Timing (1980)". His lead character, on a quest to revenge the murder of his fiancee, is dressed in a leather biker suit like a new wave Daft Punk superhero. The other characters are clad in unique costumes one would find scouring rare eBay items all day. Being that this was an independently financed film, the budget was low, but what the cast did with it is extraordinarily ambitious. The soundtrack was very Tangerine Dream, VERY 80's, something Michael Mann would use. Though the plot twists are minimalistic, the dialogue is profound and experimental. At times I felt like I was watching a twisted cerebral episode of Knight Rider, and other times a Black Exploitation film from the 1970's. As the movie develops, the theme grows more abstract, but it all runs visually with a cool rawness you don't see in modern cinema anymore.

"All In Time" written and directed by Marina Donahue and Christopher Fetchko was a charming movie about a rock and roll band manager who's obsessed with fame and fortune, more so than his relationship with his girlfriend. He believes in a bar rock group more than they do and will stop at nothing to achieve success. What starts off as a typical 'rock and roll' movie mixes with science fiction and time travel. The musical performances are fantastic and of the highest quality I've ever seen in a music film. Better than "Once" or "Begin Again". This was more like "The Commitments" with a Philip K. Dick twist. The way it comes together at the end is very clever and flawless all around.

"The Networker" written and directed by John Gallagher was the most talked about of the festival. A comedy about a guy floundering through life, is challenged by his father to run the family business successfully in three months. He goes to networking meetings to learn and get mentored into the business. He meets hilarious characters, one played by Stephen Baldwin as a potential networking mentor, but lands a partnership deal with a shady businessmen character blurting out Jewish catch phrases throughout the movie. Gallagher involved several different plot lines, an office romance, the closeness of an Italian American family, the comedy of the whole networking schtick, and a few big surprises at the end that you'll never see coming. It was an honest and sincere script, not trying to fit into any particular genre, but a delightful time at the theater. Sometimes, that's all a movie should be.

The rest of the festival included award ceremonies, shorts, documentaries, foreign films, meet and greets with the filmmakers and a chance for actors and audience members to connect in between movies. A good number of these actors are on their way to becoming stars in the near future. That's part of this festival's appeal, the chance to see their work before they're discovered and thrown into the wild west of the mainstream.

For further info, check:

Friday, May 29, 2015

‘Mad Men’ Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image Extended

If you’re still suffering from “Mad Men” withdrawal – and you’re going to be in the New York area anytime throughout the summer – then the Museum of the Moving Image has a remedy way more satisfying than another binge-watch or analyzing that Coke ad for the zillionth time.

The museum, located in Astoria, New York, announced yesterday that “Matthew Weiner’s ‘Mad Men,‘” a comprehensive exhibition devoted to the recently concluded AMC drama which was originally scheduled to close on June 14, has been extended through Sept. 6.

“A landmark TV series, ’Mad Men’ will continue to be watched, discussed, and studied for years to come,” said the museum’s executive director, Carl Goodman, in a statement. ”Given the extraordinary popularity of the exhibition, which has attracted a broader public beyond fans of the show, the Museum is very pleased to extend its run.”

The exhibit features large-scale sets, including Don Draper’s office and the Drapers’ Ossining kitchen, hundreds of props, 33 costumes, and production material from “Mad Men,” as well as personal notes, books, and research material from series creator Matthew Weiner. It is a must-see for any fan of the trailblazing show.

“Mad Men” aired its series finale after a seven-season run on May 17.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

15 Winners and Losers From Cannes 2015

As your jet-lagged Vulture staffers put their fancy clothes in with mothballs and break out the sweatpants, join us as we reminisce about what the Cannes Film Festival had to offer this year. Which movies came out of Cannes smelling like a rose, and which will now be tainted by the scent of merde? Here are 15 of this year's winners, losers, and other superlatives.

Biggest Punching Bag: Sea of Trees
Yes, Gus Van Sant's derided Matthew McConaughey drama had a meager script, but the pundits who were calling it the worst movie to ever play at Cannes either haven't been going for very long or have been unusually blessed by the moviegoing gods. Still, there's always gotta be one notorious flop on the Croisette, and this year, it was former Palme winner Van Sant's chance to take those low blows. —Kyle Buchanan

Best Advertisement for Online Dating: The Lobster
Sad single people are turned into animals if they don't couple up within 45 days in Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos's charming, absurdist (and sometimes terrifying) trip into the near future. Winner of the Jury Prize, this sure-to-be cult classic follows Colin Farrell's recently divorced David as he checks into a last-chance hotel for the uncoupled, then escapes to try his luck in the woods with the "loners," who are just as dictatorial in their eschewing of love and are at constant risk of being shot and bagged by sad singles from the hotel. If that doesn't make you walk out of the theater and immediately sign up for, nothing will. —Jada Yuan

Our Own Personal Palme Winner: Max Max: Fury Road
It's sort of outrageous that Fury Road was consigned to an out-of-competition slot, though at least it was in good company: Pixar's well-received Inside Out didn't make it into competition, either. Perhaps the festival simply couldn't tolerate the idea of letting two big-studio, megabudget movies breathe that rarefied air, but this snub was a major error, as these were two of the best-reviewed movies of the festival. —KB

Hottest Movie With No Sex: Maryland
The minute we saw that this thriller from director Alice Winocour starred Matthias Schoenaerts (Vulture's pick for Best New Leading Man at Cannes 2012) as a former Special Forces soldier who becomes the private bodyguard for Diane Kruger, we were already turned on. And yes, Schoenaerts does take off his shirt, and yes, it is glorious. But the real heat comes from his loaded glances while Kruger swans around in a deep backless dress, or the tortured looks that flicker on his face as he tries to save Kruger and her child while keeping the violent rage from his wartime PTSD at bay. There's no sex, but the brief moments of physical contact between our leads are enough to set all your parts a-tingling. —JY

Most Oversexed Movie: Love
And then, on the other side of the spectrum, we've got Gaspar Noé's provocative Love, which opens with a couple mid-coitus and features so many cum shots that we lost count. Here at Vulture, we're advocates for more screen sex, and there's one genuinely hot threesome in Love, but too few of the sex scenes present anything besides narcotized actors going through the motions. —KB

Most Haunting: Son of Saul
From the first frame of this debut feature from Hungarian director Lázló Nemes, we're thrown into the living hell of 1944 Auschwitz as viewed through the eyes of Saul (Géza Röhrig, also making his debut), a prisoner forced to dispose of the bodies of his fellow Jews in order to delay his own execution by a measly few months. Saul witnesses the death of a boy who he claims is his son and becomes obsessed with giving his corpse a proper burial, no matter the risk to his safety and the well-being of his fellow prisoners. Winner of the Grand Prix (second place), the film was so powerful that after the jury emerged from the premiere, "We had a very long moment of reflection and silence," said jury member Xavier Dolan. "The movie screened at the very beginning of the festival [but] we have never forgotten about the film, and it has fed so many reflections and conversations. It is one of those films that slowly grows into you." —JY

Best Wardrobe: Carol
The reviews were rapturous for this Todd Haynes–directed lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, even if some of the pundits we spoke to on the Croisette found the '50s-set drama a bit frosty. Still, one thing everyone could agree on were the luscious sweaters and luxurious dresses worn by Blanchett's socialite and Mara's striving shopgirl: Carol premiered at Cannes the same weekend that Mad Men went off the air, and it was nice to have a new place to get our period fashion fix. —KB

Most Likely to Make You Hug Your Cab Driver: Dheepan
The unspoken inner lives of immigrants are at the center of Jacques Audiard's unexpected Palme d'Or winner, which traces three refugees from the Sri Lankan civil war who meet for the time as they're fleeing the country and then create a makeshift family in France. There, Dheepan (played by non-actor Jesuthasan Antonythasan, who actually was a Tamil Tiger) takes a job as the caretaker for an apartment complex overrun by drug dealers who hardly suspect he was once a soldier with lethal skills to employ when his family is threatened. Jury member Jake Gyllenhaal said he'd been deeply moved by watching "three strangers, forced to travel to a strange land, essentially learn to love each other." I personally was struck by the idea of how much struggle must mark the lives of every immigrant we encounter, and vowed to treat cab drivers with a little more kindness. —JY

Best Cameo: Youth
Jane Fonda marches into the final section of Youth with such command that she make you think it's been her movie all along, even though you've been watching stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel murmur to each other for the better part of two hours. Equipped with a giant wig, a face full of fright makeup, and a wicked scowl, Fonda's faded star makes so much of her scant few minutes onscreen that some critics predicted she'll manage to end up in the Best Supporting Actress race. —KB

Most Gonzo Visuals: Tale of Tales
I can't say I knew exactly what to make of Matteo Garone's twisted fairy tales in the puzzling Tale of Tales, but I do know there are images in it I'll never forget. Toby Jones hugging a five-foot flea! Salma Hayek lustily tearing into a sea serpent's heart with her teeth! Vincent Cassel kicking a peacock! Bless this weird, beautiful movie. —KB

Most Hunger-Inducing: Our Little Sister
Don't go to Japanese master Hirokazu Koreeda's sweet family drama on an empty stomach. In Our Little Sister, three adult sisters take in their teenage half-sister (after the death of the tomcatting father they have in common) and bond with her over food, food, and more delicious food, from freshly caught fish on toast and hand-pulled noodles to homemade plum wine. Even the subplots play out in diners where everyone talks about how good the food is! And ... we'll finish this up after we eat. —JY

Most Deceptive: The Assassin
Fans of the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien were swooning after they watched this pretty but glacially paced drama about a Tang Dynasty hit woman, but there were a whole lot of walkouts, too, after it became apparent that the plot would remain utterly indecipherable and the sword fights would be fleeting. Some in-the-tank critics called this the action movie of the festival, and take my word that they are trolling you, hard. —KB

Best Use of Parker Posey: Irrational Man
It seems like an oversight that Parker Posey has never lent her loopy line readings to the dialogue of Woody Allen, but it's a mistake that's been rectified by his latest film, Irrational Man. Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are the stars here, but Posey steals every scene she's in as a sexually voracious 40-something who's determined to woo Phoenix's flaccid professor into bed. Why is this unique creature not in every movie? —KB

Best Self-Esteem Booster: Inside Out
Pixar's latest takes us into the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her five key emotions — Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust — are all vying for control. Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) has led the team for most of Riley's childhood, but when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, Sadness (The Office's Phyllis Smith) starts to gunk everything up without quite realizing what sort of wreckage she's causing. The emotions all love Riley and want her to be the happiest girl she can be, but as Joy scrambles to keep Riley's crumbling emotional landscape together, the radical message that Pixar is sending to little girls is that all of their feelings are valid, even the sad ones. —JY

Best Performance: Mountains May Depart
Carol's Rooney Mara and Emmanuelle Bercot of Mon Roi may have shared the jury's Best Actress prize, but if it had been up to us, Zhao Tao would have won by a landslide. In this new, generations-spanning film from director Jia Zhangke, Zhao's task is gargantuan as she morphs from a naïve 20-something at the center of a love triangle to a world-weary divorcée who tries to reconnect with her son as the tides of commerce pull him away from his home country. She is the heart of this movie, and when she's not onscreen, we ache for her presence.