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Classic Rock Magazine

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    Jon Anderson

    Jon Anderson, arguably the definitive frontman from the prog-rock era, will “guest star” in the Las Vegas classic-rock concert series “Raiding the Rock Vault,” which runs from September 20th to the 24th.

    Anderson, founding member of Yes and current solo artist, will sing in five special performances of the show, which also features music from The Doors, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, among many others, and traces the evolution of rock music from the ’60s to the ’80s.

    “Jon Anderson is an icon,” said the show’s creator, John Payne, in a press release. “He is one of the biggest names in the history of progressive rock and I’m really excited for him to lend his voice to the show.”

    The line-up of performers also includes Howard Leese [Guitar] (Heart), John Payne [Lead Vocals and Bass] (Asia), Paul Shortino [Lead Vocals] (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Andrew Freeman [Lead Vocals and Guitars] (Lynch Mob, The Offspring), and Michael T. Ross [Keyboards] (Lita Ford, Hardline), among others. Tickets begin at a reasonable $49 and range up to $125; they can be purchased at Ticketmaster or via phone at 702-732-5755 or 1-800-222-5361.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Peter Gabriel

    In a recent, loose-limbed interview with Mojo, Peter Gabriel ruminated about the ’70s rivalry between punk and prog-rock. In particular, he discussed the class divisions between supposed “working class” punk bands (like The Sex Pistols and The Clash) and bands like Genesis, who held a reputation for being “snotty rich kid(s).”

    “It used to piss me off seeing all these ‘people’s hero’ musicians – like Joe Strummer – who’d come from a similar background to mine, but were keeping it quiet,” Gabriel told the magazine. “In Genesis, we were always very straight about where we came from, and we were middle-class, not aristocratic.”

    Gabriel — as much as any songwriter in the history of rock — has always blurred genre conventions with his music. And he says that’s the ultimate goal.

    “I’d love to have a songwriters’ event where you had the Sherman Brothers playing their songs for Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book next to Trent Reznor and Dr. Dre – and everyone talking about how they put songs together,” he says. “That’s what fascinates me – how you arrive at a song and the processes you go through. Everything else is bullshit.”

    And I’ll Scratch Yours, the song-swap sequel to 2010′s Scratch My Back, is out September 23rd.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Of Montreal

    Kevin Barnes is the freakiest, most unpredictable songwriter in “indie-rock.” And he’s also one of the most prolific — both in the studio and on-stage. His band, of Montreal, will release lousy with sylvianbriar, their third album in four years, on October 8th. Ten days later, they’ll hit the road for an American tour.

    Check out the full dates below.

    Of Montreal:

    10-18 Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
    10-22 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
    10-23 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
    10-24 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
    10-25 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
    10-26 Cambridge, MA – Middle East
    10-27 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
    10-28 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg *
    10-29 Cleveland, OH – Beachland *
    10-30 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
    10-31 Madison, WI – Majestic Theater *
    11-01 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center *
    11-02 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room *
    11-03 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater *
    11-04 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge *
    11-05 Boise, ID – Korah Shrine *
    11-06 Seattle, WA – Neomos *
    11-07 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom *
    11-08 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *
    11-09 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *
    11-10 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex *
    11-11 Los Angeles, CA – Largo at the Coronet *
    11-12 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress *
    11-14 Dallas, TX – Trees *
    11-15 Austin, TX – Mohawk *
    11-16 New Orleans, LA – Howlin’ Wolf *
    11-17 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West *

    *with La Luz

    Also, check out a stream of sylvianbriar track “Fugitive Air”:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Progressive Nation 2014

    It seems like everybody’s doing it these days. The 2014 edition of prog-rock festival Progressive Nation will come in the form of a cruise.

    The event — which features acts like Jon Anderson, Spock’s Beard, King’s X, Riverside, The Dear Hunter, and Transatlantic — will sail from February 18th to the 22nd, en route from Miami to Freeport, Bahamas. This is the first edition of the festival since 2011, which is also the year founder Mike Portnoy left his former band, Dream Theater.

    “This music festival at sea gives you an experience that a land festival just can’t match,” say festival promoters. “In addition to 4 days in the beautiful Caribbean and all the amenities of a cruise ship; you will enjoy music from morning ‘til night with over 40 shows on multiple stages, along with activities, Q&A’s, panels and workshops from your favorite artists.”

    More information is available at the Progressive Nation website.

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    posted in Festivals by Ryan Reed


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    Queens of the Stone Age

    Last night, Queens of the Stone brought their artful psych-rock swirl to Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s summer concert stage. The Josh Homme-fronted band are touring in support of their latest LP, …Like Clockwork, and they’re set to play Lollapalooza this weekend.

    Check out performances of the blistering “My God is the Sun” and the funky, winding “I Sat by the Ocean.”

    “My God is the Sun”

    “I Sat by the Ocean”

    Below are the band’s remaining tour dates:

    08/01 – Chicago, IL @ The Metro
    08/02 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
    08/03 – Bonner Springs, KS @ Cricket Wireless Ampitheater
    08/04 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino & Hotel
    08/05 – Sturgis, SD @ Broken Spoke Campground
    08/07 – Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Center
    08/08 – Calgary, AB @ Stampede Corral
    08/09-10 – Squamish, BC @ Squamish Valley Music Festival
    08/15 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    08/17 – Universal City, CA @ Gibson Amphitheatre
    08/31-09/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America
    09/02 – London, UK @ iTunes Festival
    09/10 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center
    09/12 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
    09/13 – Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion
    09/14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE Outdoors
    09/15 – Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion Outdoor Amphitheater
    09/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Old National Centre
    09/18 – Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace
    09/19 – Charlotte, NC @ TWC Amphitheater
    09/20 – Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
    10/05 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre *
    10/07 – Nashville, TN @ Municipal Auditorium *
    10/08 – Fayetteville, AR @ Arkansas Music Pavilion *
    10/09 – Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theatre *
    10/04-06 – Austin City Limits, TX @ Austin City Limits
    10/11-12 – Austin City Limits, TX @ Austin City Limits
    10/13 – Mexico City, MX @ Capital Corona

    * = w/ Savages

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    posted in News by HT Staff


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    Dawes

    Folk-rock quartet Dawes have just announced a headlining tour for the fall, kicking off September 19th in Kent, Ohio. This isn’t just a normal string of dates, though: Along the way, the band will be gracing the stage with a number of special guest performers, including Jason Isbell, Jonathan Rice and The Wild Feathers, Caitlin Rose, and Hayes Carll.

    According to a press release, tickets for the tour are “currently available at select independent music retailers,” while online sales will begin on August 2nd. For full details, check out the band’s website.

    The band’s third LP, Stories Don’t End, was released in April.

    Full dates are below:

    AUGUST
    11 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

    SEPTEMBER
    19 – Kent, OH – Kent State University (free show)
    21 – Canton, MA – Life is Good Festival
    22 – Portland, ME – State Theatre *
    24 – York, PA – Strand Theatre (Hayes Carll, Johnathan Rice supporting)
    25 – West Long Branch, NJ – Monmouth Univ. at The Pollack Theatre (Hayes Carll, Johnathan Rice supporting)
    27 – Champaign, IL – Pygmalion Music Festival
    28 – Nashville, TN – Southern Ground Music & Food Festival
    29 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage at The Clay Center

    OCTOBER
    01 – Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre *
    02 – Columbia, MO – Blue Note *
    04 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom *
    05 – Dallas, TX – South Side Music Hall *
    06 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
    08 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre ^
    09 – Opelika, AL – “Opelika is Music” series ^
    11 – Baton Rouge, LA – Manship Theatre #
    12 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live #
    13 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
    15 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall ^
    16 – Tampa, FL – State Theatre ^
    18 – Live Oak, FL – Magnolia Fest
    19 – Charleston, SC – Southern Ground Music & Food Festival
    20 – Birmingham, AL – Workplay (The Wild Feathers supporting)
    22 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood #
    23 – Little Rock, AR – Rev Room #
    26/27 – Las Vegas, NV – Life is Beautiful Festival

    * = Johnathan Rice supporting
    ^ = Caitlin Rose supporting
    # = Jason Isbell supporting

    “Most People” Official Video:

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Rush

    On October 1st, prog-rock legends Rush will release The Studio Albums: 1989-2007, a massive box set which contains the seven studio albums recorded for Atlantic Records during that 18-year span. The ’90s era of Rush isn’t exactly the band’s most acclaimed era, but there are plenty of overlooked gems that were recorded during this period; hopefully the new remixes will shed light on that fact. Of particular note, however, is a remixed edition of 2002′s Vapor Trails, an album despised by many diehard Rush fans due to its grungy mix.

    In a press release, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee notes the demand for this new remix. “Vapor Trails was an album made under difficult and emotional circumstances,” he says, “sort of like Rush learning how to be Rush again. As a result, mistakes were made that we have longed to correct. David Bottrill’s remixes have finally brought some justice and clarity to this deserving body of our work.”

    The other albums included in the box set are 1989′s Presto, 1991′s Roll the Bones, 1993′s Counterparts, 1996′s Test for Echo, 2004′s Feedback, and 2007′s Snakes & Arrows.

    Last year, the band released the outstanding Clockwork Angels; they were — finally — inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    With “The Chop House,” we explore classic performances from bands with — you know — “chops.” Genres like progressive rock, art-rock, jazz-fusion — they’re nearly extinct in our current music culture. These days, we live (and consume art) impatiently, favoring a quick fix over a challenge. But here at Hidden Track, we refuse to let the dazzling, confrontational spirit of these wonderful bands die.

    Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant is arguably the most challenging, schizophrenic, and technically gifted band in the history of progressive rock. Across 11 studio albums in the 1970s, the British act mixed symphonic atmospheres with Baroque formality, medieval arrangements, Zappa-esque absurdity, and dazzling rock riffs. They were never as popular as prog’s big guns (Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer), nor were they as influential. But their music is just as rewarding: All these decades later, no band has struck up such a unique (and polarizing) blend of sonic textures.

    In today’s edition of “The Chop House,” we direct you toward the band’s BBC Sight & Sound concert, which was filmed at London’s Golders Green Hippodrome on January 5th, 1978. This was a divisive period in the band’s history: Their previous LP, 1977′s The Missing Piece, is regarded by most fans and critics as their last semi-classic album. Their subsequent release, 1978′s Giant for a Day!, was unanimously panned as a bland grab for pop-friendly accessibility.

    But this concert offers a glimpse at the band at the height of their technical powers. Though their best studio albums (like 1972′s Octopus) were years in the rear-view, they were still as mind-blowing as ever on-stage: swapping instruments with ease, balancing intricate virtuosity with exotic hooks and sheer muscle.

    Full Band Line-Up: Derek Shulman (Lead Vocals), Gary Green (Guitars), Ray Shulman (Bass/Violin), Kenny Minnear (Keyboards), John Weathers (Drums)

    Setlist

    1. Two Weeks In Spain 0:22
    2. Free Hand 3:33
    3. On Reflection 11:10
    4. I’m Turning Around 16:57
    5. Just The Same 21:06
    6. Playing the Game 26:03
    7. Memories Of Old Days 30:50
    8. Betcha Thought We Couldn’t Do It 38:14
    9. JP Weathers presents 40:53
    10. Funny Ways 42:40
    11. For Nobody 51:23
    12. Mountain Time 56:00

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    posted in The Chop House by Ryan Reed


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    Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens, Chris Bell and Andy Hummel in BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

    I saw Alex Chilton perform at the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2008. The summer music festival is known more for its abundance of fried food on sticks, large, sweaty crowds, and the best people-watching this side of the Mississippi. The quality of music – as locals argue it – often takes second tier. There have been, on occasion, exceptions. Chilton was one of them.

    He played twice. Once was with The Box Tops, the band that rocketed to stardom with hits such as “The Letter” and “Cry Like a Baby.” The second was with his band at the time, The Alex Chilton Trio.

    During his entire time at the festival, Chilton played only one Big Star song – the group for which he is most famous. It explained a lot about his feelings toward that time in his life. And it left me hungry to know more about what happened.

    When I accidentally discovered a trailer online for Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, the documentary about Big Star’s commercial failure and eventual musical resurgence as rock music’s celebrated forefathers to 1980s and ‘90s alternative/punk/garage-rock music, I knew two things: I had to see the film, and I had to interview the people behind it.

    I had been emailing Danielle McCarthy – one of the film’s producers – for months, trying to get an interview with her, director Drew DeNicola, and co-producer Olvia Mori, as well as working with local film club – Mise en Scenesters – to get the film to premiere in my town. But the filmmakers had been busy putting the final touches on and promoting their critically acclaimed documentary, which was released in theaters across the country in July.

    Luckily, McCarthy was gracious enough to eventually make both happen.

    It has taken her since 2007 to get her documentary about the legendary Memphis power pop band made. But after six long years, two Kickstarter campaigns, and numerous setbacks, it all came together.

    Teaming with DeNicola and Mori, the three filmmakers crafted their love letter to rock history’s most overlooked and underrated band. It’s a film by Big Star fans, for Big Star fans. But more than that, it’s the definitive story of a band that was ahead of its time and went on to inspire countless groups such as R.E.M., The Replacements, Counting Crows, and Teenage Fanclub, helping to shape rock history as we know it.

    The idea for the documentary came from McCarthy, who was chatting about the band with a friend while sitting in a Memphis bar. He urged her to go for it, and she did. But like Big Star, she, DeNicola and Mori ran into their share of challenges. Money, the reluctance of Alex Chilton – the band’s singer, songwriter and arguable leader – to participate in interviews for the film, and the sudden deaths of both Chilton and original bassist Andy Hummel in 2010 all led the filmmaking trio to question the direction the project would take, and even if it would get made at all.

    “We actually did two Kickstarter campaigns — the first one in 2010 shortly after Alex passed away. Kickstarter was relatively brand new and not many people knew what it was,” says McCarthy. “We didn’t know what to expect so we set our goal pretty low — just $6,000. And then we hit our goal in 24 hours. It was nuts. And then we went on to raise over $14,000. I think after that first Kickstarter campaign was a real turning point for us. We finally had tangible proof that there was a serious interest and desire for a film about Big Star. Then we did the second Kickstarter campaign last summer to raise the funds to finish the film, and we were much better prepared and set a much higher goal which we surpassed and raised over $40,000. And, once again, the fans didn’t let us down. Without the aid of Kickstarter, I’m not sure we’d be able to make the film.”

    Before Chilton died, McCarthy was nervous about approaching him regarding an interview for the production. She had courted him for months about being a part of the production. And she was warned that he might be difficult.

    “I was at Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah Show in 2007, and I was supposed to talk to him then. I was so nervous that I got completely trashed,” she said, laughing. “I was obviously too drunk to talk to him. So, it was kind of scary. I called him five or six times before he finally picked up the phone. He was super friendly. But it was nothing personal. He just didn’t do interviews. And I think we were still grappling with that when he passed. And we had a moment when we were like, ‘What are we going to do?’”

    The film took on a whole other level, becoming less about the primary people involved and more about the music, the stories, and the essence of Big Star and its legacy.

    DeNicola explains his theory on why the band, despite receiving glowing reviews from rock critics, never made it to stardom while they were together. To him, part of it had to do with the dynamic between Chilton and Chris Bell — the John Lennon to Chilton’s Paul McCartney – who died in 1978 at age 27.

    “Chris Bell had this master plan for this kind of super-group he wanted to have. But it wasn’t necessarily what was on everyone’s mind. It wasn’t on Alex’s. What you get is an incredible diversity of sound and approaches on those records. I think that disjunction between the concept and the actual music, what actually emotionally came through out of those songs that was inadvertent that makes sense to me that was wonderfully packaged. But it’s also, I wouldn’t say uneven, but you’ve got a lot of different moods on those records. You’ve got a lot of different sounds going on. In a way, it’s almost like Alex Chilton realized that. It’s almost like he’s saying we’re not going to be big stars.”

    And so, instead of becoming mainstream successes, Big Star has become known as one of the most innovative bands in rock history, the band’s genius only to be recognized decades later.

    “I think because they didn’t make it for so long, they got used to that,” says DeNicola, sounding passionate yet tired. “They got used to the limbo. They got used to being outsiders. They didn’t want to satisfy anyone. There’s a lot of freedom there. If you don’t get a lot of commercial acceptance, you can do whatever you want.”

    And that’s exactly what Big Star did. And that’s why they’re remembered.

    After his second show at Riverbend five years ago, Chilton signed autographs and talked to the small crowd of fans, including me. Thinking back on it now, he seemed comfortable with his low-key status; maybe even preferred it.

    Just like in Big Star, he still seemed like an outsider to it all.

    Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is in theaters now and is also available to rent on iTunes and On Demand.

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    posted in Features by Charles J. Moss


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    Bob Odenkirk David Cross

    Last week, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross — the co-creators of the HBO cult-classic sketch comedy series Mr. Show — revealed a semi-reunion in the form of a brief comedy tour. The duo (along with friend fellow Mr. Show alumnus Brian Posehn) will hit the road for six gigs, starting in September.

    In honor of this amazing news, we felt we had no choice but to share our list of the Top 10 Mr. Show Sketches. It was a ridiculously tough process, but we think these 10 moments are the most original, clever, and — most importantly — loud-til-you-puke hilarious in the show’s history (if not the entire history of sketch comedy).

    Feel free to laugh, cry, reminisce, and tell us what we missed in the comments section.

    10. “Lie Detector”

    The premise here is so simple, it really shouldn’t be funny: Odenkirk’s character is hooked to a lie detector and reveals some horrifying details of his past. (Favorite bit: “Yes, our story was made into a hit Broadway musical”)

    9. “Phone Sex”

    After losing a jovial bet, Odenkirk accidentally agrees to two hours of phone sex with Cross. Hilarity ensues. (Favorite bit: “Horny Slut Hotline, this is Peppermint!”)

    8. “Monsters of Megaphone”

    I fully anticipate this selection to be controversial, but “Monsters of Megaphone” is my hysterical sleeper pick, with Cross and Odenkirk playing rival “megaphone crooners” in the Roaring ’20s. (Favorite bit: Everything about Tom Kenny’s subtle yet amazing performance)

    7. “The Fairsley Difference”

    One of those sketches that begins with normalcy and spirals slowly into the absurd, “The Fairsley Difference” is painfully drawn-out and also painfully hilarious. It’s also proof that these guys could find comedy in literally any inane situation — even a grocery store rivalry. (Favorite bit: The wacky Fairsley font)

    6. “Angry Marriage”

    “Angry Marriage” is one of the most underrated Mr. Show sketches. It utilizes one of the show’s trademarks: adding a layer of heartfelt melancholy to a ridiculously juvenile framework. (Favorite bit: the amazing look on Odenkirk’s face at the 2:18 mark…Also, Cross does an impressive old man voice…)

    5. “Chip on the Shoulder Club”

    Dear god, this is the big leagues of funny. “Chip on the Shoulder Club” is quintessentially Mr. Show: both incredibly smart and profoundly stupid. Every slice of dialogue is so perfect, it’s best not to spoil it. (Favorite bit: The classic Odenkirk-ian delivery of, “We’re going up my mom’s ass!”)

    4. “Pre-Taped Call-In Show”

    One of the show’s most acclaimed sketches, “Pre-Taped Call-In Show” is certainly a work of genius. Not only does it boast one of the most complex and intricate conceits of any Mr. Show sketch (co-written by Brent Forrester and Dino Stamatopoulos), but it also features what might be David Cross’ finest comedic performance. (Favorite bit: the labyrinth of TVs inside TVs toward the end, with Cross growing increasingly less hostile.)

    3. “Audition”

    Like “Pre-Taped Call-In Show,” the Stamatopoulos-penned “Audition” is a work of awkward, offbeat genius, with another legendary individual performance from David Cross, whose “audition” is a roller-coaster of hilarious anxiety and bizarre hostility. Priceless. (Favorite bit: Odenkirk’s spot-on smiling.)

    2. “Great Seeing You, Guy”

    For some reason, this sketch doesn’t get enough credit. The writers were often masterful with misdirection, and “Great Seeing You, Guy” is the definitive proof. Even if the sketch ended halfway through, with its endless series of awkward goodbyes, it would have been a classic. But its strangely creepy and heartfelt conclusion makes it one of the greatest sketches in comedy history.

    1. “The Story of Everest”

    Some Mr. Show sketches are built on elaborate mazes of circular logic and sophisticated satire. “The Story of Everest,” in contrast, is based on the simple pleasures of watching a dude slip and fall. Over and over. And nobody in the history of slap-stick has ever fallen with the perfect elegance of Jay Johnston.

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    posted in Checkin' 'Em Twice by Ryan Reed


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    Thousands and thousands of films are made every year. And while some of them are destined for Oscar glory and widespread Metacritic acclaim, others wind up scraping the barrel on the IMDB Bottom 100. What makes these films so universally despised? Are they all really that bad? And, seriously, what’s the deal with From Justin to Kelly? We’ll answer all these questions (and hopefully more) with “Scraping the Barrel,” in which we review the ENTIRETY of the bottom 100, in order.

    In today’s installment, Ryan Reed takes a closer look (when he’s able to uncover his eyes) at #99, 1990′s Troll 2.

    (Editor Note: We realize the Bottom 100 has changed slightly since we began this series. Our master list was frozen on July 17th.)

    Troll 2

    The Gist: A vacation goes horribly awry when the Waits family — led by the young Joshua (Michael Stephenson) — discover that the small town of Nilbog is inhabited by demonic, tree-worshiping weirdos and goblins that ooze green slime. Oh, and all these freaks want to eat them.

    Those Who Shall Be Held Responsible: Directed by Claudio Fragasso (as Drake Floyd), co-written by Fragasso (as Drake Floyd) and Rossella Drudi

    IMDB Stats: #99, 2.5 rating

    The Straight Dirt: 

    In the words of the immortal Arnold (Darren Ewing), “OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!”

    Troll 2 (Fly)

    Troll 2. Where does one even begin to describe this thing? Some films are terrible for all the normal reasons, like an uninspired storyline, clichéd dialogue, awkward direction, and lack of artistic merit (take, for example, Meatballs 4). Some films (like Troll 2) are horrible for all those same reasons, plus many, many more. Including, “Nothing that happens on-screen makes ANY SENSE.”

    The accidental lunatic genius of Troll 2 is that it’s not really a “2″ and there aren’t any trolls. Let me explain: The film isn’t technically a sequel since it has absolutely nothing to do with the original Troll horror film (the only thing they have in common is their terrible, terrible quality); meanwhile, the goo-oozing creature-villains at the heart of the movie are referred to as “goblins,” not “trolls.”

    And then there’s the rest of the film to deal with. Young Joshua Waits (J-Dub, as I call him) really doesn’t want to go on his family vacation to Nilbog — probably because they’re swapping houses with a family from a freaking ghost-town, and also because his dead grandpa appears to him in hallucinatory visions and tells him he shouldn’t.

    J-Dub warns his family that Nilbog is evil, but nobody listens — not his slutty sister, Holly (Connie Young), nor his hilariously dead-eyed parents, Michael (George Hardy) and Diana (Margo Prey). So they voyage to Nilbog, while being stalked in an RV by Holly’s horny boyfriend and his gang of awkward dweebs.

     Troll 2 (Lady)

    So many classic scenes, so little time. Spoiler Alert: Nilbog is “Goblin” spelled backwards, a revelation which ultimately leads to some demonic tree sacrifices, surprising amounts of popcorn (I won’t spoil that last one), and lots of green ooze. For some reason, the color green is evil: J-Dub goes wee-wee all over his family’s poisoned food (and he nearly gets beaten by his father in response); sometimes people sweat green.

    Also, can we talk about the goblin costumes for a second? Clearly these people ran out to their local K-Mart, grabbed some clearance Halloween masks, and duct-taped them to some potato sacks. It’s so pathetic, it’s seriously difficult to comprehend how it actually happened. (The costume designer, by the way, was Laura Gemser, a “sensuous brunette knockout” who — according to her IMDB profile — hasn’t designed a costume professionally since 1992.)

    Troll 2 is unquestionably terrible on basically every level imaginable. Legend has it that Fragasso, an Italian, had his script translated from his native tongue to English, hence the awful dialogue. But I’m not buying that excuse. “Nilbog” is “Nilbog” in any tongue. Margo Prey’s blank stare is the only genuinely scary element of the whole film, unless you count the fact that this crap-fest was made at all.

    Troll 2, like other similarly bad films (The Room, Plan 9 From Outer Space, etc.) has a reputation for being “so bad, it’s amazing.” And that’s absolutely correct. Its shittiness is so epic, it actually inspired a good movie (the acclaimed 2009 documentary Best Worst Movie, directed by real-life J-Dub, Michael Stephenson). Troll 2 transcends unwatchability; it’s a how-to manual on How to Not Make a Motion Picture. It is a monolith of a cinematic mess. It is a national treasure.

    Consensus:

    A queasily brilliant shit-sterpiece.

    Should-Be IMDB Score: 0.0/10.0

    Random Quotes:

    “If my father discovers you here, he’d cut off your little nuts and eat them! He can’t staaaand you.”

    “There’s no coffee in Nilbog. It’s the devil’s drink.”

    “Do you see this writing? Do you know what it means? Hospitality. And you can’t piss on hospitality! I WON’T ALLOW IT!”

    “The Stonehenge magical stone — the goblins’ magic power!”

    “They’re eating her! And then they’re going to eat me! OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!”

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    posted in Scraping the Barrel by Ryan Reed


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    Flavor of Love

    More often than not, television and music blend to form a perfect union, complementing each other in every respect. With a vast amount of incredible examples — like Radiohead’s hilarious guest appearance on South Park, or Paul McCartney’s surprise 30 Rock cameo — the marriage of the two mediums almost seems foolproof. But this isn’t always the case. There are several grim reminders, cringe-worthy enough to make you wonder what kind of television executive or band manager would ever give the green light. Here are 10 terrible television/music crossovers that should have never happened in the first place.

    10. Beyoncé Stars in The Famous Jett Jackson

    Before Jay Z “put a ring on it,” Beyonce shared an onscreen semi-romance with the titular character of the Disney Channel Original TV series, The Famout Jett Jackson. If you’re unfamiliar with the inception style show-within-a-show premise for the television series, it stars a teenage television actor who lands the role of a main character in a futuristic spy show and has each episode filmed in his sleepy, rural hometown, Wilstead, North Carolina. Destiny’s child makes a cringe-filled guest appearance in Jett Jackson’s television show, and then Beyoncé makes an equally cringe-filled guest appearance in Jackson’s personal life. The young actor slowly starts to fall for Beyoncé after spending so much time with her (The show blatantly ignores the other members of Destiny’s Child altogether) and fires an onslaught of awkward teenage flirtation towards the future pop icon. After a few ridiculous moments — such as Jett Jackson’s high school English teacher telling Beyoncé his literary interpretations of her lyrics — the singer has to leave Jett Jackson’s small town and head back to her real life of stardom. Before Beyoncé parts ways, she makes sure to completely friend-zone Jett Jackson by kissing him on the cheek and telling him, “You’ll always be my little brother down in Wilstead!”

    9. Justin Bieber Gets Shot on CSI

    Before his recent string of media-tabloid blunders, teenage pop musician Justin Bieber made celebrity blog headlines by being killed off in his guest starring role on CSI. The crime drama featured the singer setting a bomb off on police in a warehouse and then subsequently shooting a cop at a roadblock, prompting an arsenal of police to pump him full of lead. Though this prompted multitudes of gifs and parodies from all corners of the internet, it obviously doesn’t work in the actual show. Though he’s an overexposed cultural figurehead, it’s still weird seeing a teenager get shot to pieces by law enforcement.

    8. The Full House Crew Cover “Proud Mary”

    “Good Gosh Almighty!,” where do you even start with this one? Full House is arguably the awkwardest show in TV history, so it’s a natural candidate for this list. Context really isn’t important here: It’s Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) performing a caffeinated cover of the soul-rock classic “Proud Mary,” backed by the fictional Jesse & The Rippers, on his morning TV show. Throughout Full House‘s eight-season tenure (from 1987 to 1995), Saget took “White & Nerdy” to a new pathetic new low — and this clip single-handedly sets back dancing Caucasians at least a half-century. (Also, has there ever been worse instrument pantomiming? Come on, Rippers!) The idea that people actually tuned in and watched this stuff with a straight face is mind-blowing. — Ryan Reed

    7. My Chemical Romance on Yo Gabba Gabba!

    The bizarre Nick Jr. children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba! has hosted several surprising musical guests, including many notable acts like MGMT, Cut Copy, and of Montreal. Though seeing these artists perform children’s sing-along-songs is a bit different at first, you eventually warm up to the idea, and have to admit that it’s pretty heartwarming. This wasn’t the case at all for the 2011 Christmas special, though, which featured emo-metal band My Chemical Romance. The musical segment features the MCR crew dressed in daisy-duked snow suits, frolicking around in CGI snow, belting a nasally tune which features the lyric “Every Snowflake Is Different (Just Like You).” Though this sentiment would have been sweet from any other artist, hearing it come from the mouths of a band whose major fan demographic was the “teenage social outcast” makes this song seem like a corrupt form of marketing to children.

    6. Bob Dylan & The Pawn Stars

    A random assortment of musical memorabilia has made its way through the doors of Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on History Channel’s Pawn Stars, but one episode actually featured an unlikely appearance from an in-the-flesh music idol, the legendary folk artist Bob Dylan. Though the show poses to be reality television, the obviously staged encounter began when the store received a vinyl copy of Dylan’s 1970 album, Self Portrait. The money hungry co-owner of the store decided that the album wouldn’t pull in enough revenue by itself and then sent the goofball, comic-relief character Chumlee on a quest through downtown Las Vegas to find Bob Dylan. After several segments showing Chumlee goofing through the streets of the City of Sin, asking strangers if they’ve seen the musician, he finally encounters Dylan on a side street just chilling by his lonesome. After a brief, awkward conversation, Chumlee gets one of the most important American musicians in history to sign his album for the sole purpose of monetary gain. But he ultimately fails in his mission — Rick reveals to him that it can’t be sold because the autograph was made out specifically “to Chumlee.”

    5. Anthrax Crashes Married… with Children

    In 1992, the television sitcom Married… with Children hosted the unlikely cameo of thrash metal band Anthrax. The episode focuses around the Bundy children, who have won a contest to have dinner with the band, as well as a free house show. In order to evade their parents’ strict rules, the Bundy kids developed a scheme to get their parents away from the house by tricking them into going to Florida on vacation. Anthrax then arrived to the house, but in quirky 90’s sitcom fashion, the prospective party the kids were planning ended up being thwarted due to a snowstorm. The kids spent the remainder of the episode trying to please the musicians, who released their frustrations (due to the lack of an audience for the show) with a slew of snarky remarks. Tensions lightened as soon as Anthrax dove into spoiled, psychedelic meatloaf left in the refrigerator, which caused them to visually hallucinate an audience and play an awkward rendition of their song “Persistence of Time” in the Bundy living room.

    4. Michael Jackson Dances with Alvin

    The Alvin and the Chipmunks TV special Rockin’ with the Chipmunks was released in 1992, featuring the musical rodents grooving along to their own renditions of American rock songs. In addition to the standard covers element behind the chipmunks, two Michael Jackson music videos were added in which the ringleader of The Chipmunks, Alvin, was stenciled in. This mesh of cartoon/real-life crossover has worked awesomely in several circumstances (like Roger Rabbit, for example), but utterly fails in this scenario, in which Alvin flops around and dances in the foreground to “Smooth Criminal” and “Beat It” but isn’t acknowledged once by anyone. It almost hurts watching Alvin perform his little guts out, not receiving as much as a high five from the King of Pop.

    3. Tom Morello’s Star Trek Cameo

    Tom Morello, lead guitarist of Rage against the Machine, made a cameo appearance in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in 1998. The musician, a vocal Star Trek fan, had the opportunity to play a very minor role in an episode of the TV show, in which he walks through a doorway, addresses Captain Janeway, then gives her directions in a scene lasting under a minute. What makes the minor cameo fail is Morello’s cringe-filled reference to his political leanings in real life, redirecting Captain Janeway’s path by saying “Uh, to the left, ma’am.”

    2. The Office Covers The Decemberists

    In one of the final episodes of The Office’s farewell season, Rainn Wilson’s beet-loving character Dwight Schrute, along with his farming buddies, performs The Decemberists’ 2006 anthem “Sons and Daughters.” They uncomfortably re-cast the song as a folk traditional, utilizing an entire ensemble of front porch pluckers. The bizarre scene has no actual context in plot development, as it was apparently pulled from a Schrute-centric spinoff that fizzled out and subsequently squeezed into place in the episode. It survives as an awkward testament to what could have been — and what thankfully wasn’t.

    1. Flavor of Love

    Sometime in the mid-2000s, VH1 gave the go ahead for a Bachelor-style reality show starring Public Enemy hype man Flavor Flav. The Viking horn-wearing, clock-welding, cartoonish star spent three seasons trying to find love in a revolving cast of female contestants, all the while yelling his real life catch phrases “Yeah boy!” and “Flavor Flav!” In retrospect, the premise of women fighting over the aged hip-hop musician is entirely confounding. How this idea ever came into fruition (and did well enough to spawn three direct spin-offs) remains an unsolved pop-culture mystery.

    Which awkward TV/music crossover moments did we miss? Tell us (and for the love of god, give some links) in the comments section.

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    posted in Checkin' 'Em Twice by Tyler S. Collins


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    With “The Chop House,” we explore classic performances from bands with — you know — “chops.” Genres like progressive rock, art-rock, jazz-fusion — they’re nearly extinct in our current music culture. These days, we live (and consume art) impatiently, favoring a quick fix over a challenge. But here at Hidden Track, we refuse to let the dazzling, confrontational spirit of these wonderful bands die.

    georgeduke

    Legendary keyboardist, songwriter, and bandleader George Duke passed away on Monday, losing his fight with chronic lymphocytic leukemia at age 67.

    Duke was an icon in the jazz-fusion community, helping shape the genre in the in 1970s with his much-overlooked solo material — and, more famously, with his work as a side-man for legends like Frank Zappa and Miles Davis.

    His true break-out album was 1969′s The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio, a collaboration with Ponty, the virtuoso violinist. But Duke truly made his mark later in the ’70s when he joined up with Zappa, adding a rich layer of soul and funkinesss to the composer’s often avant-garde compositions. Duke lent his distinctive synth runs, sophisticated keys, and breezy falsetto to Zappa’s classic ’70s albums, including the fusion-based ’72 stand-out The Grand Wazoo, the raunchy 1973 commercial break-out Over-Nite Sensation, and 1975′s progressive-minded One Size Fits All.

    Duke was hugely prolific as a solo artist, recording dozens of albums under his own name. Other notable collaborations include his keyboard work on Michael Jackson’s 1979 classic Off the Wall and Miles Davis’ 1986 comeback album, Tutu.

    Before his death, Duke finished work on a new LP, Dreamweaver, which he dedicated to his late wife, who passed away one year prior.

    Duke has left behind an incredible body of work. In celebration of his incredible life, here’s Duke playing with at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival as part of the Billy Cobham & George Duke Band.

    Full Line-Up: George Duke (keyboards, vocals), John Scofield (lead guitar), Alfonso Johnson (bass), Billy Cobham (drums)

    Setlist:

    1. 0:00:00 Panhandler 4:18
    2. 0:04:18 Juicy 8:10
    3. 0:12:28 Red Baron 7:51
    4. 0:20:19 Almustafa The Beloved 9:07
    5. 0:29:26 Ivory Tattoo 5:37
    6. 0:35:03 Some Day 9:54
    7. 0:44:57 Hip Pockets 8:06
    8. 0:53:03 Drum Solo 8:00
    9. 1:01:03 Sweet Wine 3:53
    10. 1:04:56 Life & Time 4:15
    11. 1:09:11 Stratus 5:10
    12. 1:14:21 That’s What She Said 5:00

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    posted in The Chop House by Ryan Reed


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    Breaking Bad AMC

    (SPOILERS AHEAD, so “tread lightly,” ye Breaking Bad fanatics!)

    Season Five, Episode 9, “Blood Money”

    Written by: Peter Gould, Directed by: Bryan Cranston

    …And we’re baaaack!

    After 11 agonizing months, AMC’s game-changing TV drama is back for its final eight episodes. Yes, that’s right — we have eight-ish hours of Breaking Bad left, and there are so many lingering questions. Will Walter White, America’s favorite mad-man meth genius, make it out of his web of deceit unscathed? What’s the deal with the machine gun in the trunk? Will his DEA agent bro-in-law Hank lay the smack down? Will Walt Jr. ever get to finish a freakin’ plate of bacon and eggs?

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First off, let’s talk “Blood Money,” the first installment of Season Five’s final half run. As show-runner Vince Gilligan has sworn in various interviews, there’s no time for navel-gazing and water-treading. There will be blood, and plenty of it. Remarkably, though, “Blood Money” was an incredibly nuanced, leisurely paced episode of television, advancing the plot in some major ways, but never once rushing. Though we covered a whole lot of narrative ground in a short time frame, every big dramatic beat landed effortlessly, thanks to Gould’s pitch-perfect script and two brilliantly tense performances from Bryan Cranston (Walt) and Dean Norris (Hank).

    Quick Breakdown

    We left off in “Gliding Over All” with Hank’s crapper-side revelation: Walt is Heisenberg. I figured Gilligan would drag out this scenario for awhile, allowing Hank to stew on this life-changing tidbit for at least a few episodes. But we don’t have time for that — after learning The Big News, Hank excuses himself from the White family cookout, drives home with Marie, has another terrifying black-out, and crashes into a nearby picket fence. After taking some time off of work to “recover,” he secretly re-opens the Heisenberg case to peg Walt as The Man Who Knocks. The episode’s ultimate showdown — Walt and Hank in the garage — is as tense and spine-tingling as any scene in the show’s masterful run. Watching Hank and Walt carefully eye each other — both knowing the truth but daring not to speak it — is a moment for the TV time capsule.

    Then, of course, the garage door slides down. But is it Walt who’s trapped — or Hank?

    Meanwhile, in Flash Forward Time, Walt revisits a ghetto-fied version of his former home, a graffitied wasteland with a young hooligans’ skateboard park where the swimming pool used to be. He takes out the ricin cigarette from the electrical outlet and goes on his not-so-merry way.

    Jesse’s back to his strung-out, post-dead-Jane pothead ways, hanging out with the always-annoying Badger and Skinny Pete (who relish what must be their juiciest screen time in Breaking Bad history). He’s not handling that cool $5 mill at that well, and after Walt talks him out of donating it to the Sharp family and Mike’s granddaughter (RIP Mike), Jesse throws fat stacks out of his car window onto random people’s lawns. For Jesse, every dollar is a mocking memory of death and cruelty. Throwing those millions out the window, he’s never looked so liberated.

    More Things That Happened At Some Point: Walt lies to Jesse (stop me if you’ve heard that one before), telling him that Mike is alive and well, probably, yaknow, sipping a 40 ounce on a private island somewhere. Jesse doesn’t believe him at first, but he eventually relents since Walt basically begs for his trust. (Am I the only one who isn’t buying that, though? Jesse still looked awfully suspicious, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t do some investigating on the matter.)

    Lydia’s back and still annoying — she drops by the car wash and tries to recruit Walt back into the game (Apparently the meth purity has dropped to 68%), but Heisenberg insists he’s hung up his beakers for good. Also, yep, Walt’s cancer is definitely back, as evidenced by his hospital visit and his violent vomiting.

    It would, of course, be ironic poetry if Walt’s menace was avenged from within — perhaps cancer is the only force truly powerful enough to defeat the mighty Heisenberg. After all, Walt’s worst enemy has always been Walt.

    Rating: A-

    Overall, what a damn good episode. Breaking Bad is back, but not for long, so let’s all relish every second of these final eight hours.

    Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

    – Flash Forward Walt’s “Hello, Carol,” then repeated by Normal Time Walt

    – Walt to Lydia at the car wash: “Please give this to your car wash professional and have an A1 day”

    – That creepy mugshot of Gale in the files, with the crazy hair

    – Bob Odenkirk has the highest comedic batting average of any actor ever. Every Saul line in this episode was golden. (“Absolutely! I live to serve!”)

    – “#LikeWhiteOnRicin” in the promos…fantastic turn of phrase, AMC

    – “I don’t think he is capable; I don’t think he’s coming back.” — Jesse about Mike

    – What’s up with the remote-controlled car in the background outside of Hank’s garage? Did I miss something there, or did that feel too random to not be important for some reason?

    – Hank’s terrifying face as he closes the garage door / “You son of a bitch.” “You bombed a nursing home.” / “I don’t know who you are. I don’t even know who I’m talking to.”

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    posted in Breaking Bad Breakdown by Ryan Reed


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    LMR

    Progressive rock has a long and turbulent history with supergroups. Some of them turn out quite well (Emerson Lake & Palmer), while others (GTR, Asia, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe) wind up as awkward disasters.

    But we have a really good feeling about Levin Minnemman Ruddess, a new supergroup featuring bass/stick legend Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), percussionist extraordinaire Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Trey Gunn), and keyboardist Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater). This feels like the right blend of talents, and the trio’s obvious lack of ego should lend itself well to a collaboration. These guys have mostly built their careers by playing gracefully on the sidelines — hell, Levin turned it into an art-form.

    The trio’s self-titled debut album will be released on September 5th. A deluxe edition will feature an exclusive DVD, which includes outtakes, a bonus track, in-studio footage, interviews, and home demo mixes. The first 1,000 pre-orders will be signed by the three members.

    More info is available at the band’s website.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Jimi Hendrix Experience

    Jimi Hendrix only released three studio albums in his short life, which explains why his fans tend to be rabid completists, snatching up every unofficial bootleg and overstuffed box set with childlike glee. Good news, then: An expanded version of The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set — which includes previously released b-sides, live tracks, and alternate mixes, along with some new, unearthed gems — will be released on August 20th.

    The 56-track set was previously released in 2000, and it featured a wealth of rare material, including alternative versions of some of Hendrix’s most famous tracks (like “Little Wing” and “Foxey Lady”). This deluxe version with expand on the original tracklist, with a wealth of new rarities (a live version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” an original single mix of “The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice,” among others).

    More details (and pre-orders) are available on Amazon.

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    posted in News by HT Staff


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    The_Dear_Hunter_254-large

    Casey Crescenzo, frontman of progressive indie-rockers The Dear Hunter, has announced plans to compose his first symphony, which will be recorded this fall in the Czech Republic with the Brno Philharmonic. But there’s a catch: He needs your financial support.

    To put your money where your mouth is, head over to the Pledge Music site. According to a press release, incentives for donators “range from autographed score books and a limited edition double gatefold vinyl release of the symphony, to the opportunity to join Crescenzo in the Czech Republic for the recording, or have him hand-deliver the vinyl release and score book to their home and perform a private concert.”

    The Dear Hunter released their fifth studio album, Migrant, earlier this year. Their upcoming tour dates are below:

    August

    24 — Salt Lake City, UT — X96 Big Ass Show *

    September

    4 — Providence, RI — The Met Cafe ** (not seated)

    5 — New York, NY — Highline Ballroom **

    6 — New York, NY — Highline Ballroom **

    7 — Philadelphia, PA — Union Transfer **

    9 — Vienna, VA — Jammin Java #

    12 — Detroit, MI — Crofoot Ballroom **

    14 — Chicago, IL — Czar Bar ^

    15 — DeKalb, IL — The House Cafe #

    17 — Minneapolis, MN — The Varsity Theater **

    18 — Kansas City, MO — Riot Room #

    21 — Denver, CO — Riot Fest ^

    26 — San Francisco, CA — Regency Ballroom **

    28 — Pomona, CA — Fox Theatre **

    February 2014

    18-22 — Miami, FL — Progressive Nation at Sea cruise

    * = radio show, full band

    ** = headline show with string quartet

    # = Casey Crescenzo solo show

    ^ = festival performance with string quartet

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Basia-bulat

    Jim James has a knack for finding awesome tourmates. This September, he’ll play a run of dates with Basia Bulat, a hugely soulful Canadian folk artist who’s bound to turn a bunch of new heads.

    It’s not like Bulat is a newcomer — she’s already released two LPs and earned some swooning reviews. (Pardon me as I Spotify the rest of her discography.) On October 1st, she’ll release her third album, Tall Tall Shadow, via Secret City Records. We haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but the title-track (located below) is explosively soulful and catchy.

    Here are Bulat’s upcoming tour dates:

    *with Jim James
    August 13 – London, UK – Servant Jazz Quarters
    August 31 – Dundas, ON – Christie Lake Conservation (Harvest Picnic)
    September 8 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre *
    September 9 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown *
    September 11 – Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall *
    September 12- Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom *
    October 01 – Montreal, QC – Cabaret du Mile End
    October 04 – Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle
    October 5 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Center
    October 10 – Toronto, ON – Polish Combatants Association
    November 06 – Stoughton, WI – Stoughton Opera House
    November 07 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
    November 08 – St. Louis – Off Broadway
    November 10 – Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
    November 12 – Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox
    November 13 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
    November 14 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
    November 15 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
    November 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
    November 23 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
    November 29 – Calgary, AB – Festival Hall
    November 30 – Edmonton, AB – Avenue Theatre
    December 04 – Victoria, BC – Sugar Nightclub
    December 05 – Vancouver, BC – The Rio Theatre
    December 06 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
    December 07 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
    December 09 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Breaking Bad AMC

    Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse (aka the “Yo bitch” sidekick to Bryan Cranston’s Walt) on Breaking Bad, will be hosting a Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session today at 5:00 p.m. EST.

    Yes, Paul’s biggest fans (or, more likely, Breaking Bad fanboys) can ask the actor anything. He’s also participating in an Omaze campaign for Kind Campaign, an organization co-founded by Paul’s wife, Lauren Parsekian. Those who donate to the program will have a chance to hang out with Paul (He’ll pick you up at the airport) and attend a Breaking Bad series finale party at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

    All in all, the whole thing sounds pretty amazing. Also, if you missed our coverage of last week’s Breaking Bad premiere, “Blood Money,” check it out here.

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    posted in News by Ryan Reed


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    Breaking Bad AMC

    In a move that critics around the country are (probably) calling “man’s finest moment to date” and “a triumph of the human spirit, ” MHK Productions has created a fake trailer for Breaking Bad, recasting the AMC drama as a romantic comedy.

    I won’t spoil the whole thing for you, but let’s just say Walt and Jesse are cooking up a whole lot more than meth together. There’s a glimpse of Walt’s infamous tighty-whities, a bit of Marvin Gaye, an awkward love triangle, and a surprise pregnancy.

    (Also, I know we’ve been covering Breaking Bad a lot the past week, but give us a break! The show just kick-started the second half of its final season on Sunday, and we’re already getting misty-eyed.)

    Check out the amazing trailer below:

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    posted in Movies by Ryan Reed


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