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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

John Frusciante will no longer release music for public consumption

One of the best guitarists of this generation says he’s stepping away from the public spotlight. In an interview with Electronic Beats, the one-time Red Hot Chili Peppers axeman John Frusciante reveals that he no longer intends to release music public consumption.

Following his departure from the Chili Peppers in 2009, Frusciante began experimenting with more obscure sounding electronic and ambient music. He’s released a handful of recordings in the years since, but admits “at this point, I have no audience.”

“For the last year and a half I made the decision to stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it, which is what I was doing between 2008 and 2012,” Frusciante explains.” I felt that if I took the public into consideration at all, I wasn’t going to grow and I wasn’t going to learn. Being an electronic musician meant I had to woodshed for a while, so I have a good few years worth of material from that period that’s never been released…”

“At this point, I have no audience. I make tracks and I don’t finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music. The music becomes the atmosphere that I’m living in. I either make really beautiful music that comes from classical, or I make music where the tempo is moving the whole time, and there’s no melodic or rhythmic center.”

Holiday Box Office Lowest Since 2001

This was a Memorial Day Hollywood would love to forget.

Typically the fourth weekend of May is one of the biggest of the year at the box office. This year, the industry’s estimated take between Friday and Monday in the U.S. and Canada was $190 million, according to Rentrak. That is the lowest since 2001—particularly bad when considering that average ticket prices have risen 44% over that time, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

The key reason for the empty multiplexes was the weak performance of “Tomorrowland,” the weekend’s sole new big-budget movie and a rare misfire for Walt Disney Co. Borrowing its title from an area at Disneyland but featuring an original story, the science-fiction film garnered mixed reviews and opened to an estimated $41.7 million over the four-day holiday weekend.

Last year, “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” grossed $110.6 million on Memorial Day weekend. The prior year, “Fast & Furious 6” opened to $97.4 million.

“Tomorrowland” featured a rare attempt by the company to spend big money—$180 million in this case—on a movie that didn’t feature characters or a fictional world already well known to audiences. Like “The Lone Ranger” and “John Carter,” more-expensive attempts by Disney to jump-start franchises, “Tomorrowland” has had difficulty drawing audiences.
The studio behind “Tomorrowland,” Walt Disney Pictures, has struggled to launch new film franchises, though it has had recent success with live-action adaptations of animated classics like “Maleficent,” based on “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Cinderella.”

Particularly disappointing to the company was that the PG-rated movie, directed by Brad Bird of “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol” fame and starring George Clooney, wasn’t a big draw with families. Only 30% of audiences Saturday were families, according to exit polls.

“I do think an original [story] plays a part in parents waiting to hear from other parents,” said Disney’s executive vice president of distribution, Dave Hollis. “We also played on the mystery” in the marketing and “weren’t as explicit about what it is.”

Despite the disappointing holiday weekend, Hollywood has high hopes for the rest of the summer, pinned on much-anticipated “tent-pole” movies including “Jurassic World,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” and the “Despicable Me” spinoff “Minions”—all jumping off from existing fan favorites.

Disney’s Mr. Hollis said he hoped “Tomorrowland” would perform better with families in the coming weeks, as there isn’t a new PG-rated movie until Disney’s own “Inside Out,” from Pixar Animation Studios, on June 19.

International audiences were even less willing than Americans to take a risk on an a movie with an unfamiliar premise. “Tomorrowland” opened to a weak $26.7 million in 65 foreign markets.

Its highest grossing foreign country was Russia, with just $3.6 million. By contrast, “Mad Max: Fury Road” opened to $6 million there last weekend. In the U.K. “Tomorrowland” opened to $2.1 million, while “Mad Max” outgrossed it with $4 million on its second weekend.

“It’s less than we hoped for on the international side, but it’s a little too early to judge how we really feel,” said Mr. Hollis, pointing to the film’s high-stakes opening in China on Tuesday.

“Tomorrowland” barely beat “Pitch Perfect 2,” which grossed $37.9 million over four days. The hit a capella sequel from Comcast Corp. ’s Universal Pictures has now collected a strong $125.4 million domestically and $187.1 million world-wide.

Also new in theaters this weekend was a remake of the 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist,” which was released by 21st Century Fox ’s Twentieth Century Fox and co-financed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. It opened to an estimated $26.5 million, a decent start for a film that cost $35 million to make.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Place to Bury Strangers expand tour, playing Brooklyn Night Bazaar... opening for Jane's Addiction

A Place to Bury Strangers are currently on tour in Europe (they play Amsterdam tonight) but will be back in North America next month for Levitation fest in Austin. Shortly after that, they'll play a homecoming show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on May 16 with Sleepies,Pill, and Bambara. That show is free and if you'd like to skip the line you can RSVP.

The band, whose new album Transfixiation came out earlier this year, have added a few more shows as well, including a few opening slots on the Jane's Addiction Nothing's Shocking tour, including the four NY-area dates. Tickets for the NYC proper show (Brooklyn Bowl on May 13) just went on sale.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Soundtrack Of My Life: Ride (And Beady Eye) Legend Andy Bell

Make no mistake: the return of Ride is 2015's most exciting comeback so far. The band, who played their first shows together in 14 years last month, inspired everyone from The Horrors to Deerhunter across their four studio albums the first time around the block, earning them a reputation as highly influential shoegaze pioneers. But which bands were the ones to influence them? We caught up with Ride guitarist (and former Beady Eye man) Andy Bell to discover the records that shaped him...

The first song I remember hearing
‘I Love You Because’, Jim Reeves: “It was probably something by Cliff Richard or Jim Reeves. That song "I Love You Because", maybe. I think it's by Jim Reeves. Jim Reeves was a deep-voiced country singer, something like Johnny Cash-lite I think. I remember my dad singing it to my mum, fooling about, trying to get the low notes. Quite romantic really.”

The first song I fell in love with
‘The Only Living Boy In New York’, Simon And Garfunkel: “My parents played the ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ album a lot in the house, and I really loved it, but this song always used to put me in a trance, almost.”

The first album I ever bought
‘Parallel Lines’, Blondie: “When I was about nine I was so in love with Debbie Harry. I played that album to death. It's actually a great record! It has some of their best songs on - from hit singles like ‘Sunday Girl’ and ‘Heart Of Glass’, to the apocalyptic ‘11.59’ which frankly scared me! I was only nine though. I think it was about three quid but I needed to save up for quite a while to get it as I remember. Worth every penny.”

The song that made me want to be in a band
‘19th Nervous Breakdown’, The Rolling Stones: “While my folks were out at church on Sunday mornings, I used to stay home playing The Rolling Stones’ ‘Big Hits’ album very loud on the family radiogram. Something about ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’, maybe the overloaded guitar and bass riffs, got me really excited, and made me feel like I needed to make records. That, and the whole Beatles catalogue.”

The song that makes me want to dance
‘Rez’, Underworld: “‘Rez’ tends to unleash the horrific phenomenon of me hitting the dancefloor. For me, ‘dancing’ consists of sticking both my hands in the air and nodding my head, doing the bass face. It never lasts long because I have the kind of mates that don't like to see friends lose their dignity, so the shepherd’s hook always comes out.”

The song I do at karaoke
‘Know How’, Young MC: “I used to be able to do the whole of ‘Know How’ by Young MC when I was younger. I've never done karaoke but if I did I think I would like to give this a go.”

The song I can't get out of my head
The Frozen soundtrack: “All of it. I have a three-year-old daughter, and this means that it's necessary for songs from Frozen to be coming from at least two sources at all times.”

The song I wish I had written
‘Jealous Guy’, John Lennon: “It's got such a great melody, and the words are him at his best, admitting his failings and coming across so sincere but never corny.”

The song that reminds me of forming Ride
‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, Iggy & The Stooges: “It was the first song we ever jammed and it always reminds me of the early Ride sound as that album was one of our big early influences.”

The song that reminds me of Oxford
‘Fearless’, Pink Floyd: “I associate the Pink Floyd album ‘Meddle’ very much with Oxford, and if I had to pick a song from it, it would be ‘Fearless’. Something about this very easy-going, lazy era of Pink Floyd music is very Oxford.”

The song that I can't live without on the road
‘Fyt’, This Mortal Coil: “This is Ride's original intro music. We pulled it out for the Oxford comeback show and it sounded huge. So we will definitely be using this on the upcoming UK tour at the end of May – it's going to be cool hearing it blasting out of big PA systems again.”

The song I want played at my funeral
‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, The Beatles: "They remain the ultimate band, and this song is all about merging with the infinite, which is what I expect to be doing around that time.”

John Frusciante's electronic alter ego: Trickfinger

A nagging thought creeps up on you frequently while listening to John Frusciante's debut album as Trickfinger: that perhaps you've heard these tracks somewhere before. You haven't, of course—Trickfinger is a new LP of original material from the multi-faceted artist (and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist). But it's also an album made up entirely of hardware-built acid house. Richard D. James' AFX records—or, rather, much of the Rephlex catalogue in general—seems to form Frusciante's roadmap, and he follows their directions closely. Very little of Trickfinger could be called surprising, but it isn't without its charms.

None of the eight productions on this album challenge the fundamentals of acid house, but they do harness its inherent qualities with style. In the same way that AFX utilizes dissonance and Last Step (AKA Venetian Snares) is steeped in loopy delirium, Frusciante uses harmony and rhythmic complexity to give his music definition. Something like "Sain," with its pointillist drum sequences and untethered 303s, finds fresh excitement in acid's natural proclivity for twitchy, evasive movements. "Rainover" snakes through a labyrinthian seven minutes, folding together slippery time signatures.

Frusciante's tricks make more of a lasting impact when he pushes his machines toward their limit. But sometimes the overdose of signifiers is debilitating—for instance, on "Exlam," with its convoluted synth patterns, bleepy timbres and hard-smacking drums. The bullish "Phurip" takes a stronger swing at club-ready acid heat; its bass-heavy arrangement swaggers with excitement, sounding not unlike a Luke Vibert highlight. Frusciante does little to develop the already potent machine-funk here, which seems to be a missed opportunity for a gargantuan album closer. But Trickfinger has no lack of solid ideas and sly hardware manipulations. That a relative newcomer to the field could do as much on such well-trodden ground bodes well for Frusciante's future as an electronic producer.

To pre-order it on double vinyl, CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Aphex Twin posts tracks dating back to late 80s to Soundcloud

Aphex Twin has shared several unheard tracks, posting a series of demos to Soundcloud.

Having released his long-awaited new album "Syro" last September, more than 100 purported Aphex Twin demos were made available on the music-sharing platform earlier this year.

Now, the user - thought to be Aphex Twin (real name Richard D James) himself - has uploaded a series of more tracks. According to Fact, some of the collection dates back to the late 80s. Listen below.

"Syro" was the musician's first full-length release since 2001's "Drukqs". Twin also surprise-released his latest EP, 'Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt 2', in January.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Primal Scream touring after Austin Psych Fest, including two NYC dates

Let's try this again, shall we? Primal Scream were supposed to have toured around an appearance at the 2014 Austin Psych Fest, including Irving Plaza and Warsaw in NYC, which ended up not happening. They're scheduled to play Austin Psych Fest (now re-dubbed Levitation) in May, and have announced a North American tour to go along with it, including the two same NYC venues they were to have played last year: May 20 at Irving Plaza and May 21 at Warsaw. Tickets to Warsaw go on sale Wednesday (1/28) at 10 AM and tickets to Irving Plaza go on sale sale Friday (1/30) at 10 AM with a LiveNation/Music Geeks presale beginning Wednesday at 10 AM (password: MUSICGEEKS). All dates are listed below.


Primal Scream - 2015 Tour Dates
5/9 Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest
5/11 New Orleans, LA - NOLA Civic
5/12 Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
5/14 Pittsburgh, PA - Mr. Smalls
5/15 Toronto, ON - DanForth
5/17 Boston, MA - Royale
5/19 Philadelphia, PA - The TLA
5/20 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
5/21 Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blur playing FREE NYC SHOW at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday

As mentioned, Blur are playing The Tonight Show on Thursday and we wondered if they might do a show while here...and yes they are. Blur will play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (5/1). It's an early show (Trail of Dead got moved to the late show you may remember) and sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks and is a free show. Hondurasare opening and it's all ages. You do have to claim free tickets through Ticketmaster which will be available Wednesday (4/29) at noon.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blur playing Jimmy Fallon this week -- NYC show while here? ++ watch them perform two songs on 'Jools Holland'

Blur's new album, The Magic Whip, is out this week and the band will be here in NYC to play The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (4/30). That will mark the band's first US appearance since Coachella 2013 and their last NYC appearance in much, much longer. (Their last tour here was 2003.) Seems a long way to travel for just one or two songs on TV...might there be a show while in New York?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blonde Redhead announce 2015 tour (2 NYC shows included)

NYC indie vets Blonde Redhead will tour this June into July, hitting their hometown twice. The first is a Northside Festival show happening at Brooklyn's Warsaw on June 13, and ten days later they play Webster Hall on June 23. Tickets for Warsaw and Webster go on sale Friday (4/17) at noon and 10 AM respectively, and you can also try to get into the Warsaw show with a Northside badge.

Blonde Redhead's most recent album was LP #9, "Barragán", which dropped last year.


Blonde Redhead -- 2015 Tour Dates:
Jun 13, 2015 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
Jun 16, 2015 - Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
Jun 17, 2015 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Jun 21, 2015 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Jun 23, 2015 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Jun 24, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Jun 25, 2015 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat DC
Jun 27, 2015 - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
Jun 30, 2015 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's
Jul 1, 2015 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
Jul 2, 2015 - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Jul 24, 2015 - Chicago, IL Subterranean

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Let’s get to this before the British press does.

Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, is interviewed by Rolling Stone in a new piece to promote the upcoming HBO documentary Montage of Heck, and while the entire thing is an extremely fascinating read — and comes highly recommended — one tidbit certainly jumped out at us.

Her taste in music, especially pertaining to Nirvana.

Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A:

Rolling Stone: Do you remember the first time you heard a Nirvana record — and knowing that was your father? I’ve talked to Sean Lennon about this. He had a few more years with his dad that you did. But for him, the records were a road into understanding his father after he was gone.

Frances Bean Cobain: I don’t really like Nirvana that much [grins]. Sorry, promotional people, Universal. I’m more into Mercury Rev, Oasis, Brian Jonestown Massacre [laughs]. The grunge scene is not what I’m interested in. But “Territorial Pissings” [on Nevermind] is a fucking great song. And “Dumb” [on In Utero] — I cry every time I hear that song. It’s a stripped-down version of Kurt’s perception of himself — of himself on drugs, off drugs, feeling inadequate to be titled the voice of a generation.

That noise you heard were the Gallagher brothers high-fiving each other, and the bloke from Mercury Rev jumping up.

Of course, the irony in all this is that Noel Gallagher, as legend has it, penned the lyrics to “Live Forever” as a retort to Nirvana’s “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” though the High Flying Bird leader has professed all along to be a massive fan of Cobain.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The comedy world is tragically filled with amazing talents who left us far too soon. And among them is the phenomenal Bill Hicks, a comedian and sociopolitical commentator of the highest order, who succumb to pancreatic cancer at age 32. But over the course of just a decade and a half, Hicks blew his “Evening at the Improv” peers out of the water with his incisive criticism of political theater and utter disdain for pop culture banality, producing a wealth of material that would seem ahead of its time even today.

Although much of his stand-up is preserved in comedy specials, album releases, and a handful of documentaries, a massive collection compiling every single performance Hicks ever recorded will soon be released. Comedy Dynamics has been working with the Hicks estate for this definitive box set, which is scheduled for a digital release April 28 and a physical set in August.

Comedy Dynamics president Brian Volk-Weiss told The Houston Chronicle, “Our goal is to have everything. It’s designed give a Hicks fan or novice no reason to have to look anywhere else.”