Have you heard of the new Michael Cera's (George Michael from "Arrested Development," "Clark And Michael") new movie "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist"? Now you have (that was easy, right?).
It's directed by Peter Sollet ("Raising Victor Vargas"), co-stars the very cute Kat Dennings (from "40 Year-Old Virgin"; she's currently rocking South of Heaven which is pretty grand) and is shooting here in New York as we speak.
The synopsis at the characteristically incorrect Hollywood.com (they still list the Weitz Brothers -- "About A Boy" "In Good Company" -- as the directors) says:
"A drummer and the best friend of the girl Nick just broke up with go through many twists and turns in one evening in New York," which isn't far off the mark from the book's premise of vulnerable teens meeting at a chaotic rock club. So it's ripe for musical connections, right? Right.
Anywho, the punkguy is working on the film, and he's letting the interweb know that the movie will boast performances by indie-rockers Bishop Allen and Brooklyn electro-indie duo Project Jenny/Project Jan. He says the film will feature "real NYC indie rock bands" and hints that the aforementioned are bands are all he can announce so far (so more coming).
There's also an opening casting call for this Saturday (tomorrow) which he's been promoting, so if you want to be in the film, read more about the details on the when and where on his blog. They're looking for "young men and women (to play 18 – 30) to play punk rockers, rock n’ rollers, goth types, hipsters, indie rockers and any alternative music fan (Mohawks, piercings, liberty spikes, tattoos are all plus)."
We'll be curious to hear who else gets announced as participating in the film.
'Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist' Film Features Michael Cera; Indie-Rockers Bishop Allen, Project Jenny/Project Jan; Holds Open Casting Call
Have you heard of the new Michael Cera's (George Michael from "Arrested Development," "Clark And Michael") new movie "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist"? Now you have (that was easy, right?).
Perhaps you heard. Shocka: Rock Music Made By White People Is Surprisingly White (Indie Rock Why Aren't You More Black?).
This week Caucasian rock critic/obliquest blogger Sasha Frere-Jones taught other Caucasian rock critics about the word miscegenation.
SFJ also wrote this Simpsons episode back in the day.
Comedian: Yo, check this out: black guys drive a car like this.
[Leans back, as though his elbow were on the windowsill]
Do, do, ch. Do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do.
Yeah, but white guys, see, they drive a car like this.
[Hunches forward, talks nasally]
[Audience howls with laughter]
Homer: Ah ha ha, it's true, it's true! We're so lame!
Hey, remember composer/musician Jon Brion's excellent club in L.A. called Largo? Well, the club and it's colorful cast of musician friends and artists that routinely stop by to perform are starring in a performance film about the hipster locale creatively titled, "Largo."
Produced by alumni Paul Thomas Anderson and directed by Largo club owner Mark Flanagan and filmmaker Andrew van Baal the film features performances by Jon Brion-extended family players Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, my beawd huwts comedian Zach Galifianakis, John C. Reilly, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Colin Hay, comedians Patton Oswalt, Flight of the Concords and Sarah Silverman, Grant Lee Phillips, Sara Watkins, David Garza, Tom Brosseau, Bic Runga and many, many more.
Did they ever film that Elliott Smith performance - the audio tracks of which are appearing in the new Autumn DeWilde Elliott Smith book? Hard to say, but Elliott did appear once on Jon Brion VH1 pilot that never really took off.
No release date on the film other than "coming soon," but according to the always-fallible IMDB, the film is in "post-production" which in lay men's terms means "almost ready to hit the festival circuit in 2008." Thanks to our own Grace Brodie Cruz for the tip.
Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan. It's kinda like Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.
So there's this movie? And It's called "I'm Not There"? There's a concert, there's a soundtrack of famous covers, you can hear and preview some of the music. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!
Ok here's a bunch of Bob Dylan covers we collected. We hear this thing is cool. We're amused to hear that the rest of the blogworld is onboard now.
Download: Pearl Jam - All Along The Watchtower"
Download: Billy Bragg - "Positively 4th St"
Download: Yo La Tengo - "It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry"
Download: Mojave 3 - "Girl From The North Country"
Download: Drive-By Truckers - "Like A Rolling Stone"
Download: Pearl Jam - "Masters Of War"
Download: Jimi Hendrix & B.B. King - "Like A Rolling Stone"
Download: Crust Brothers - "Million Dollar Bash"
Download: Norah Jones - "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"
Download: Ani DiFranco - "Tangled Up In Blue"
Download: Bryan Ferry - "All Along The Watchtower"
Download: White Stripes - "One More Cup of Coffee For The Road"
Download: The Narrator - "All The Tired Horses"
Download: Bryan Ferry -“The Times They Are A-Changin’ ”
Listen: PJ Harvey - "Highway 61 Revisited"
Listen: Steve Wonder - "Blowin' In The Wind"
Listen: Nick Drake - "Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
Listen: Neko Case - "Buckets of Rain"
Listen: David Gray - To Ramona"
Listen: Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams - "One More Cup of Coffee"
Listen: Garth Brooks - "To Make You Feel My Love"
Listen: Metric - "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
Listen: Water School - "I'll Keep It With Mine"
Listen: Andrew Bird & Nora O'Connor - "Oh, Sister"
Listen: Magnet - "Lay Lady Lay"
Watch: Elliott Smith - "When I Paint My Masterpiece"
Watch: White Stripes - "Love Sick"
Download: George Harrison: If Not for You
Download: Nick Drake: Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
Download: Elvis Costello + Bob Dylan: I Shall Be Released
Download: John Lennon + Ringo Starr: Subterranean Homesick Blues
Download: Them feat. Van Morrison: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
Download:Isaac Hayes: Lay Lady Lay
Download: Nico: I’ll Keep It with Mine
Download: Roger McGuinn: It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Download: Robyn Hitchcock: Not Dark Yet
Download: Bruce Springsteen: The Times They Are A’Changin’
Download: Nina Simone: Just Like a Woman
Download: Yo La Tengo: I Threw It All Away
Download: Guns N’ Roses: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Download: Red Hot Chili Peppers: Subterranean Homesick Blues
Download: Cat Power: Paths of Victory
Download: Emmylou Harris: When I Paint My Masterpiece
A bunch of these last couple covers come from Cup Of Coffey.
George Lucas "Confirms" What Everyone Already Knew About Star Wars TV Show - Lazy Lemming Journalists Follow Others Off Cliff Regardless
What's with certain journalists these days. Everyone is making us ill. This week, it's the rubbernecking deadline hacks of the movie world.
It started like this: The L.A. Times wrote a quick and innocuous story with neckbeard George Lucas where he talked about his upcoming Stars Wars TV show.
The slight problem was twofold, with the writers and the readers. The headline was "George Lucas Planning 'Star Wars' TV Series" and the news world lit up like wildfire (google news? 351 related stories on this topic).
The only problem? This story is at least a year old and Lucas has talked about this series ad nauseum to any one within earshot (and also very recently); people at the mall, your mom, Wired, TV Guide, you name it, they heard it. However, the world took it as a bonafide announcement (look we don't write about Star Wars or Lucas often, but even we knew this had been in the works forever - here's just one example from March 2006).
So there was at least new information in the L.A. Times piece, yes? Survey says: absolutely fucking not. While there is very recent news this week about screenwriters being hired to work on Lucas' Star Wars TV show, the Angeles Times has no mention of that whatsoever (take this as the power of a headline and the power of general stupidity and laziness).
So why the hubub and all the 'OMG's' fatuous reporting ? Because apparently if any even semi-respectable rag writes "Fatty Arbuckle to Star in ET Sequel Directed By Alfred Hitchcock," the pay-check cashing lazy asses in the media (not really the blog world this time) will regurgitate it happily like last week's dinner.
You people make me want to wretch. :)
"I found Jack White irritating. He is the coolest guy on earth. He is the greatest rock musician. And writer. And performer that you have ever seen. Fuck him! What is that? Now he is stepping on my territory. God damn it. He is so talented. It was so daunting to all of us." - While writer/producer/director and all around funny man Judd Apatow is multi-talented the L.A. Mayor of Comedy ("Walk Hard," "Knocked-Up") was a little vexed on the "Walk Hard" set when the White Stripes frontman proved he could act as well as upholster furniture, color-code dress and play guitar. [Coming Soon]
"And Eddie Vedder came. Dewey gets his lifetime achievement award, and Eddie does the over the top induction speech. That was irritating too, because Eddie nailed it on the first take. He did it perfectly. And he is handsome as shit. He is way too good looking as well." - The Pearl Jam man's fine cheekbone structure and comely manliness was also irritating to Apatow.
Samantha Morton Uses Boards Of Canada To Emote; Loves Spiritualized, The Smiths, Nick Cave, Squarepusher; More (Hurray For Music!)
If you want to file this under a mocking Stereogum-like: "Hey, Movie Stars Like Music Too!" we won't blame you (maybe file it under: light and fluffy for Friday).
But for better or worse, this is what we do. Entertainment Weekly has an interview with "Control" actress Samantha Morton ("Morvern Callar," "In America") and she reveals in the piece that her taste is not unlike the enthusiasts at Pitchfork or Stereogum.
The actress said when preparing for roles she'll listen to certain music to help her get inspired. When she starred alongside Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" what did she put on her Ipod? Scottish ambient duo Boards of Canada (no doubt to soothe herself from having to stand next to the Scientologist all day).
Morton said she was initially apprehensive to take on the role of Ian Curtis' widow, Deborah in the Joy Division "Control" film. "I became really obsessed with Joy Division for a while, and just listened to them all the time, so when the film came around, I was thinking, 'I don't know if this is right because I have so much respect for [Ian Curtis]'." she told the magazine. "I didn't want to become part of his story, like, They made a film, and the film starred Sam Riley and Samantha Morton. And you're like, Now I'm part of it. And I was really nervous and it was very important to me when I found out actually the film was based on Deborah Curtis' book, Touching From a Distance, about their marriage. It's not what I thought [at first]. I think it's been handled with a huge amount of integrity and respect."
Morton then rattles off a number of her all-time favorite albums which include gems like Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, Nick Cave's Abattoir Blues,
Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, the Stone Roses titular debut, the Talking Heads, Cocteau Twins' Garlands and Squarepusher's Ultravisitor (EW accidentally calls Guthrie's ethereal group "Twins").
Some samples of her thoughts below on albums we particularily like.
The Smiths, Rank
Gosh, it's very difficult to talk about the Smiths very articulately, because I'm pretty obsessed. I'm from North England, you know, and [Morrissey's] voice — I feel like it's very close to home. When you're younger, you really feel like they relate to you, and then you might not listen to them for a bit, but then when you go back and listen to them, they just take you over again.
Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
I feel their music — it puts its arms around me and makes me feel loved. It's a little bit like a religious experience, if you're Christian or whatever and you go to church and you feel the congregation. I think there's something about [frontman] Jason Pearce — he's like a classical composer to me. You listen to some of his stuff, and you're like, oh my God, I'm crying. I'm crying.
Dirty Three: Entire catalog
When I'm writing or developing characters, it's so atmospheric. It's like angels making music.
Samantha Morton in the Chris Cunningham directed video for the Horrors ("Sheena Is A Parasite")
You knew this one was coming.
Variety is reporting that Universal Pictures has hired screenwriter, David Benioff ("The 25 Hour," the godawful "Troy") to pen an untitled drama about the life and death of one Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (what "Last Days" wasn't enough?)
The studio has acquired the rights to Charles Cross' 2001 biography "Heavier Than Heaven."
Who's executive producing? Why Courtney Love of course. Benioff is currently writing the Wolverine movie, so hey, who better to tackle Kurt, he was scruffy too, right?
We've already heard it and given you a pretty detailed review of what we thought, but now you can listen to 3 songs from the Bob Dylan meta-biopic "I'm Not There" soundtrack on your own and see what you think.
Sony is streaming three tracks from the 2-disc album that is due October 30 including Sufjan Stevens' take on "Ring Them Bells," Cat Power's cover "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" and Jim James of My Morning Jacket with Calexico's rendition of "Goin' To Acapulco."
In case you're curious, here's the final 2-disc tracklist that we already reported (and confirmed via the discs we got). We've seen the film too and not only given you an in-depth preview, but listed out all the songs used in the film as well (plus we broke down some insightful comments made by director Todd Haynes)
As for these three songs Sony's letting you hear, we rate them in this order. 1. Jim James and co. - thumbs up. 2. Cat Power - not bad and 3. Sufjan - survey says try again. Oh yeah, this Jeff Tweedy version of "A Simple Twist of Fate" is pretty good too.
Or what the hell listen below. Thus Spake Drake has a similar idea to the Mp3 Dylan I'm Not There OST original tracklist we made. Listen to (most of) the OST Dylan originals here.
Chromewaves has collected some interesting Dylan covers.
MP3: Billy Bragg - "Positively 4th St"
MP3: Yo La Tengo - "It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry"
MP3: Mojave 3 - "Girl From The North Country"
MP3: Drive-By Truckers - "Like A Rolling Stone"
A Newer, Different Version of the "I'm Not There" Trailer
Chris Walla and the Case of the Confiscated Hard Drive.
Yeah, this isn't a movie story, so what. Get your own blog.
You've all heard about this story concerning Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, his solo upcoming solo album Field Manual, his confiscated hard drive of songs and Homeland Security, yes? (written by my old MTV News pals)
If not, the gist is this: Walla was in Vancouver recording his solo album (that's been in the works for about 4 years now) and his label Barsuk hired a courier to retrieve the mostly-finished effort and bring it back to Seattle (something they'd done many times previous).
[According to the AP, "Barsuk needed the music to meet its production schedule, and a Hipposonic Studios employee volunteered to drive the mixed songs, on tape, and the original master tracks, on a computer hard drive."]
Well, when their courier got to the Canadian border to enter the U.S., legit paperwork in hand like usual, U.S. Homeland Security confiscated the hard drive that stored his master files for "reasons not abundantly clear, and sent [then] to the department's computer-forensics division for further inspection," according to MTV News.
Walla was understandably upset and pissed off; no one likes their harmless non-terroristy materials confiscated by an overzealous government. "I couldn't even venture a guess as to where [the hard drive is], or what it's doing there. I mean, I can't just call their customer-service center and ask about my drive. There's nothing I can do. I don't know if we can hire an attorney ... is there a black-hole attorney? You can't take a black hole to court," Walla said.
Late yesterday, Mike Milne, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the forensics experts had examined the hard drive and it was free to go. "We have attempted to make two notifications to the importer to pick it up, that it's free to go, but we haven't heard back from him," they said.
Ok, all well and good, right? But something else appears rotten in Seattle and this seems to be Walla's label Barsuk (and in some cases Walla himself) using this Homeland Security issue to plug his upcoming record.
The confiscation was naturally random, you think any U.S. border guard knows or even gives a shit about Chris Walla's solo record, let alone know who Death Cab For Cutie is? Walla even himself in the aforementioned AP said he believed the confiscation was random.
But on the Barsuk page for Walla, the label implies that the government may have known what they were doing, or perhaps provocatively suggests a conspiracy of sorts?
"Interestingly, a strong political thread runs through the record's lyrics; Walla takes more than a few shots at US policy, both at home and abroad, and challenges at least one senator to find the exit door...." they write, ellipsis left trailing off for you to come to... your own conclusions?
But, ok we're not naive, of course they're not suggesting a conspiracy, more like they're using this issue to promote Walla's album and that's pretty lame.
The same U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson brushed off any sort of these implications. "These guys don't even know who Death Cab for Cutie is, let alone that he's doing political music," Milne said of the border guards.
According a more robust version of the AP story at Seattle PI Milne did offer some explanations as to why the album might have been confiscated, noting that child pornography is sometimes shipped across the border in hard drives.
And - perhaps a more likely explanation - commercial items may not be imported through the Peace Arch crossing, but must go through the nearby Pacific Highway border point. Such commercial merchandise typically requires formal importing procedures.""Recorded music is commercial material," Milne said. "Chris Walla is a commercial entity in a multibillion-dollar industry."
This hasn't stopped Walla from continuing to talk to the press about it though. In fact, by the time he gave interviews to MTV news and the AP about it this week - including choice quotes like "Luckily, the tapes are Plan B, so while I'm bummed about the whole thing, it could be a whole lot worse," he laughed. "I still get to play music. I mean, I'm not at Guantánamo or anything like that. I mean, my drive might be. They could be water-boarding my drive for all I know." - the entire incident had passed into history. Deadlines had been missed, but no intellectual property was lost (Walla had a backup drive at the ready anyway.) And according the US Customs, phone messages had been left for Walla and Barsuk to pick up the drive between Sept. 19 and Oct. 1 (the confiscation incident took place on September 19) So why is this whole hubub news this week?
Was this him throwing salt on a healed wound?
Wired is going out on a limb positing the hard drive may have been nabbed because it might have contained imagery involving instructions on how to create an improvised explosive device (this feels really weak and a stretch to us).
They use this MTV quote to further their case. "I'm calling it Field Manual because myself and the guy who designed the packaging were looking through all these Army field guides from World War II. And there was one that he found that was really terrifying, actually. It was basically a manual issued by the Army in the late '30s, early '40s, about how to build what we now call an [improvised explosive device] in Iraq or Afghanistan. Like how to hide a bomb in a bed or in a tube of toothpaste. Just terrible stuff, and I started having this feeling of, like, 'Well, we need a new field manual.'"
But is this packaging actually on the hard drive? Wouldn't it just be master files of music as Walla implied earlier in the MTV interview?
Meanwhile, the clumsy media is all over this story in some cases twisting it with stupid and irresponsible headlines that imply or even outwardly state that the U.S. Government stole his album because of the politically-charged content (let's lump Wired into that crowd; that's kind of retarded). Pop "Death Cab For Cutie Guitarist" into Google search and 131 related articles on this story come up.
Pretty good press for his album, no? Some cynics are seeing this as an active marketing campaign, and while we wouldn't go that far, we do think Barsuk's implications here are a little sketchy.
UPDATE: Chris Walla responds: 'Clarity is important'...plus US Customs is pissed at the press and Barsuk Records doesn't 'buy the whole politically motivated thing'...
Additional contributions to this piece were made by our friends at the Daily Swarm.
One of our favorite things about writers and or press-releases is their selective or just plain failed memory.
Case in point: Folks are reporting that the "Downtown 81" soundtrack is going to be released on November 6 which it is, but folks seem to forget or are oblivious to the fact, that it's being re-released (it came out at least once already in 2001).
Don't get us wrong, it's a great soundtrack and an important moment in New York culture, but people let's stop pretending this is new (and or when you read a press release, maybe do a second of homework before you regurgitate it; most of the time it's your job).
Back to our regularly scheduled program: '81' starred late downtown New York art phenom Jean-Michel Basquiat (then only 19-years-old) in a quasi-documentary/elliptical urban fairytale of the hip, post post-punk, proto-hip-hop subculcha happenins of the Gray Ladies' early '80s Village scene (the film features such early Village hipsters as Melle Mel, John Lurie, Deborah Harry of Blondie, Lydia Lunch, performance artist Tav Falco, graffiti artist Lee Quinones, Fab Five Freddy, NY filmmaker Amos Poe, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, James White and the Blacks, Arto Linsday and DNA, Tuxedo Moon, the Plastics, and Walter Steding and the Dragon People).
Music in the film (and on the soundtrack) features the Brian Eno curated No New York no-wave era bands like Suicide, DNA, Liquid Liquid and Basquiat’s own band, Gray which included pre-filmmaking/acting Vincent Gallo ).
The film (originally titled "New York Beat Movie") was actually abandoned in the '80s due to financing issues, but resurrected in 1999 by producer Maripol Fauque and belatedly released in 2000. Having been lost for many years, the audio for the film went missing and or was unusable. Producers were able to get most of the original cast to re-dub their dialogue, but being that Jean Michel Basquiat died in 1988, spoken word artist Saul Williams was hired to dub Basquiat's dialogue.
Writer/co-producer Glenn O'Brien said in a stock press release statement: “I feel like a lot of the people in this film should have conquered the world. The film and soundtrack is a great place to learn about the beginning of a scene. If you see something interesting, you can follow it up and it will lead you to other music and other films. There are lots of very important artists who are briefly glimpsed in the film and I urge people to check out the other work of these artists.”
1. Gray – “So Far So Real”
2. Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Coati Mundi – “K Pasa-Pop I”
3. Tuxedomoon - “Desire”
4. Liquid Liquid - “Cavern”
5. DNA – “Blonde Redhead”
6. James Chance – “Sax Maniac”
7. The Lounge Lizards – “I'm a Doggy”
8. James Chance – “Contort Yourself”
9. Gray – “Drum Mode”
10. Lydia Lunch – “Closet”
11. Coati Mundi – “Palabras Con Ritmo”
12. The Lounge Lizards – “Bob the Bob”
13. Pablo Calogero – “Tangita”
14. Kid Creole & the Coconuts - “Mr. Softee“
15. Suicide - “Cheree”
16. DNA – “Detached”
17. Chris Stein – “15 Minutes”
18. Plastics – “Copy”
19. New Day
20. Rammellzee, K Rob – “Beat Bop”
Download: Suicide - "Cheree (Remix)"
Watch: "Downtown 81" trailer
Heard Em Say: Ben Kingsley Inspired By Britney Spears, Coppola Calls Pals Lazy, Van Sant Wanted Ben Affleck Dead
"She's my role model, really. An inspiration, should I say?" - Sir Ben Kingsley gets blindsided by the idiots at TMZ asking about Britney Spears, so after appearing completely flummoxed, you can see the gears of improv start to churn and he basically fucks with the reporters. We're a bit sad for half the online sources that probably can't figure this one out (including those that reported it). [TMZ]
"They were young and insecure. Now Pacino is rich, maybe because he never spends any money, he just puts it under the mattress. De Niro ... created an empire and is wealthy and powerful. Nicholson was -- when I met him and worked with him -- he was always kind of a joker. He's got a little bit of a mean streak. He's intelligent, always wired in with the big guys and the big bosses of the studios." - Newly reinvigorated director Francis Ford Coppola chides his old pals Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Jack Nicholson for being lazy old men that rest on their laurels. His new "Youth Against Youth" film must really be getting to his head considering he stopped making movies for a decade to drink wine. [GQ via NYDailyNews]
"Good Will Hunting didn't have a death, but I tried to put one in. I tried to kill Chuckie [Ben Affleck's character]. There was actually a wake scene and everything. But I think it was getting to be too much my movie, and they decided to go back to what they had before."- Try as he might and despite having his own "death trilogy," Gus Van Sant couldn't kill Ben Affleck in "Good Will Hunting." [Vulture]
Ah, the confluence of movies and music, it's a beautiful place, no? Today's absurdist news comes from folk rock fruitcake Devendra Banhart who apparently made his bff Lindsay Lohan a "get well!" mixtape for her to survive rehab.
According to Wenn.com, Banhart - who let Lohan during an Interview interview in April - was so concerned with her welfare he made a soothing mix of tranquil and easy going songs. "I made two mix CDs for her. I put Nico, Vashti Bunyan, Captain Beefheart, Caetano Velso and Joanna Newsome on there," Banhart said (we'll assume the Beefheart was for the inevitable relapse moments, Trout Mask Replica, anyone?)
The two apparently bonded over the sundrenched sounds of the Mac. "She totally dug the [mixes]. We ended up talking about Fleetwood Mac who we're both obsessed with."
Indie-rockers and US Weekly readers take note, the freak folker says Lohan is getting better, although they haven't been in contact of late. "I haven't talked to her recently. She's taking care of herself. I'm trying to give her some space, because I think now is a tough time for her."
'Pump Up The Volume' Director's 'Weirdsville' Features Canadian Indie-Rockers, Dears, Constantines, Black Mountain, Buck 65; More
Remember Alan Moyle? You probably don't. He was the Canadian director behind cult early '90s indie-hit, "Pump Up The Volume" and the lesser, non-cult disenfranchised teen film, "Empire Records."
After 'Empire' middling box-office take he left Hollywood and retreated back to Canada and did a lot of TV and movies not worth mentioning, but his new film, "Weirdsville," finds him, at least ostensibly, back in form (Or at least with some decent press: the film was accepted at both the Toronto International Film fest and the recent Fantastic Fest that also screened "There Will Be Blood" - though the "Trainspotting shot in Canada but with more heart," refrain is worrisome).
Maybe it's the name cast that stars Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley as smalltown junkie slackers that get caught up with local Satanists when one of their girlfriends (go-to druggie waif Taryn Manning) ODs on their stash and in attempts to bury the body, they come upon devil worshippers trying to make a ritual sacrifice. Madcap hilarity ensues we're sure.
Naturally, the soundtrack is filled with many of the current crop of Canadian indie-rockers including The Dears, Black Mountain, The Constantines, East Coast rapper Buck 65, Broken Social Scene compatriots Raising The Fawn, Kinney Starr, Danko Jones and Montreal rockers the Lovely Feathers.
Actors Taryn Manning and Wes Bentley both contribute their own-penned songs to the film (Fiona Apple producer Mike Elizondo co-wrote Manning's track) and New York slow-burn shoegazers Calla also lend a track.
Lesser known Canuck bands whose music is featured in the film include Edmonton electro-rockers Shout Out Out Out Out, Comedy-indie band Canary Mine, now defunct trip-hop techno rockers Perfume Tree, Hamilton indie-rockers Ride Theory (now known as Young Rival), Toronto alt-radio rock band These Three Cities, Waterloo folk rocker Danny Michel and roots rockers Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
The film was released in Canada on October 12 and won't hit wide release in the U.S. until January 2008 (according to the always-fallible IMDB), but will hit a small limited release this Friday Oct 19 (according to Box Office Mojo).
No word of a soundtrack disc release quite yet, but folks are trying to make it happen. The trailer features The Dears' ""Pinned Together, Falling Apart" and Rodeo King's "Stoned" (both songs featured in the film as well).
Songs used in "Weirdsville"
"Stoned" - Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
"Struggle, Struggle, Struggle" - Weber Brothers
"It's Not My Fault" - Taryn Manning
"Druganaut"- Black Mountain
Uneasy - Perfume Tree
"Chicken Soup For The Fuck You" - Shout Out Out Out Out
"Swagger" - Calla
"Anything" - Kinnie Starr
"Bandits" - Buck 65
"5th Nights Hallucination" - Wes Bentley
"Orchids" - Lovely Feathers
"Pinned Together, Falling Apart" - The Dears
"Steal This Sound"- The Constantines
"Beautiful Nothing" - Danny Michel
"Into Ashes White" - Raising The Fawn
"Rock Song" - Canary Mine
"I'm on Board" - Ride Theory
"Cool Breeze" - Canary Mine
"Nobody Calls Me Unless They Want Something" - Shout Out Out Out Out
"Warm Sun Fingers" - Perfume Tree
"It Doesn't Matter" - Matt Mays & El Torpedo
"We Sweat Blood" - Danko Jones
"To Get Across" - Kate Maki
"Sign Says" - These Three Cities
Cat Power, My Morning Jacket, Calexico & The Million Dollar Bashers (Members of Sonic Youth & Wilco) Perform At 'I'm Not There' NY Concert November 7
Remember the kinda lackluster "I'm Not There" concert we told you about that happened back on October 7? (it only featured Ramblin' Jack Elliott, John Doe and Bob Weir - no disrespect to them, but it's a small lineup - did anyone actually go to this?)
Well, there's another one and it's better - at least better if you're an indie-rocker and better if you want to hear some people that were intrinsic to the "I'm Not There" 2-disc soundtrack set we've gone on and on about. And it's the "official" concert too, titled, "I'm Not There: In Concert a Celebration of Todd Haynes' Dylan Film;" the one we heard rumors about back in September.
According to Ticketmaster (tickets on sale now people), the show takes place November 7 at the Beacon Theatre in New York (sorry, rest of America, take solace in the fact that tickets are expensive as fuck) and the line-up includes Cat Power, My Morning Jacket, Calexico, Michelle Shocked, Joe Henry (he produced much of the soundtrack disc), Ian Ball and Olly Peacock (of Gomez), John Doe, Mason Jennings and the Million Dollar Bashers (need we remind you, their supergroup membership includes: Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, ex-Television founder Tom Verlaine, keyboardist John Medeski (from Martin, Medeski and Wood), guitarist Smokey Hormel (of Smokey & Miho) and Wilco avante-guitarist Nels Cline).
Update: According to the Beacon Theatre site, The Roots, J.Mascis, Mark Lanegan, Yo La Tengo with Buckwheat Zydeco have joined the bill along with Al Kooper & Funky Faculty (Al famously played keys on "Like A Rolling Stone" by basically faking his way into the studio, or at least pretending he could play keys), Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks and Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet.
We won't be going 'cause we'll be sipping margaritas in Mexico then, but if you go to the show and want to write a report, we'd be all ears.
A Newer, Different Version of the "I'm Not There" Trailer
Sometimes we see movies when we're not writing. We hate reviews, but we feel somewhat obligated. We digress... [ed. dude, these aren't that short]
Lars and the Real Girl (dir. Craig Gillespie. Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer)
This film, about a delusional young man (Ryan Gosling) who adopts an anatomically correct sex doll as a coping mechanism against his social paralysis and the family that tries to help him (Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider), seems to be semi-polarizing to some. Some respectable friends have censured the film for being cloying, precious and annoying, but we thought the subject matter was handled with a lot of respect, sensitivity and maturity. Ryan Gosling delivers another subtle, but powerhouse performance and there's a lot less goofiness and cheap laughs than you might have expected. In fact we'd probably label this movie a dramedy before we would a comedy (thanks misleading trailer). It's poignant and sad, charming and sweet; we unabashedly enjoyed it. Emily Mortimer said the inanimate sex doll deserved the crew's respect and Ryan Gosling even kept the thing. [B+]
Michael Clayton (dir. Tony Gilroy. George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson)
The key to understanding this movie, its rhythm and its intentions is a throwaway line director Tony Gilroy (writer of the Bourne franchises) said in an interview with EW where he lauds films of the '70s and their ability to not "round things off." What Gilroy means is the impulse to smooth over all the edges and tighten up a script and this is exactly what Gilroy doesn't do with his loose crisis of conscience tale. Like thrillers from the '70s ("The Parallax View," "All the President's Men," et al.), rather than making a taut, tight thriller that cuts to the chase, Clayton purposely lingers and wanders with a slow and deliberate gait. We're supplied with tons of deep backstory about this conflicted ''fixer'' (Clooney) who works for a slimy, corporate New York law firm and is forced to dig through a dangerous conspiracy involving their A-list litigator (Tom Wilkinson) who's stopped taking his meds and gone off the reservation. It makes for a nostalgic and unique ride (at least these days) about moral crisis. The ending is a little Hollywood, ta da!, but 'Clayton' is still a powerful directorial debut and Clooney's performance is free of his tricks and almost soulful. [B+]
Southland Tales (dir. Richard Kelly. The Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar)
Apparently Richard Kelly (director of once overlooked, now-overrated cult hit "Donnie Darko") thought this post 9-11, post Iraq not-to-distant future culture/war Orwellian allegory was supposed to be a comedy. And one can see why, but most of the guffaws are not with the director, but aimed at his ambitious, but laughable and woefully misguided attempts at satire and prescient dystopian profundity. The casting is also part of the supposed irony, but folks like The Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar and a bunch of D-list SNL actors are just plain awful. The soundtrack may have some interesting cuts by the Pixies, Jane's Addiction and other alt-rockers, but it can't save this grasping at straws and all over the map mash of muddled politics, specious religion and sci-fi ridiculousness.[D-]
Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Catherine Deneuve)
Could this film be a harder sell? A black and white graphic novel adaptation of young girl's experience growing up under the fundamentalist revolution in Iran; sounds like fun for the whole family, right? But Persepolis needs its own "you must see" campaign to combat any pre-conceived ideas you may have about it as it's wonderful. Charming, funny, and heartbreaking, this unique coming of age story won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for good reason. Voiced by Catherine Deneueve and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni (fathered by Italian screen idol Marcello Mastroianni), the film explores themes of tyranny, oppression, alienation, xenophobia abroad, and universal ideas about growing up female in a male-centric world (not to mention loving punk rock under the regime of the Shah). The film premiered in North American at the recent NY Film Festival, but doesn't hit theaters until Christmas. Don't miss this terrific gem.[A]
PS the American version of this film (i.e. no subtitles and dubbing instead) will feature Iggy Pop and Sean Penn as the voices of the two male leads.
Another day, another biopic. Today it's word that Blondie's Deborah Harry has given her blessing (whatever that's worth) for blonde pixie Kirsten Dunst to portray her in an upcoming biopic about the '70s disco rockers.
Apparently Michel Gondry had something to do with this project initially, but we can't see that going very far. When fans inevitably bitched, Dunst was quick to defend herself. "Debbie chose me for this role so anyone who disputes this can take it up with her."
The film is apparently still in the pre-natal planning stages, but Harry thinks Dunst is up right for the gig. "She's probably capable of a lot of things she hasn't been asked to do yet, and doing something that's sort of left of center would be great for her," she said in praise of the actress she calls, a "sweetie."
See you all in 2011 when everyone else has moved on to other projects. [via Spinner/Rolling Stone]
You may have heard of this really lame Justice League movie that Hollywood is trying to green light rush because of the impending screenwriters strikes (mark our words, rushing something as big as a gigantic superhero movie will be disastrous).
We haven't reported too much about it, cause frankly we don't care, but this item about director George Miller flying potential cast members to Australia in the Hollywood Reporter caught our eye.
Apparently rapper Common was one of the few lucky actors chosen to screen test (other actors include, Adam Brody, Mary Elizabeth Winstead,Teresa Palmer and the guy who played kid version of Cameron Crowe in "Almost Famous," Michael Angarano).
While the piece doesn't say which actors will play the specific superhero parts one can safely assume Common would be testing for the role of the African-American version of Green Lantern, John Stewart (a) there's very few African American Justice League members b) this version of the Lantern seems to be especially popular as there are many different Earth-based Lantern members and versions, but the Cartoon Network chose to use Stewart for the animated "Justice League Unlimited" show - wow that was nerdy).
Don't do it Common. This lameduck tent pole film has "hurry, we need a 2009 blockbuster to put asses in seats, quick!," written all over it. We'll find out soon enough. Every element of this film has been ridiculously hurried, so casting will inevitably be finished soon; watch for announcements.
Brian Reitzell's '30 Days Of Night' Soundtrack Due October 30, Composing Non-Existent Film Soundtrack With Air
As faithful readers of the Playlist will know, we've reported that musician/composer and soundtrack music supervisor Brian Reitzell (Sofia Coppola's go-to soundtrack guy) has composed the score for the upcoming horror film, "30 Days of Night."
While Reitzell - who has helped the musical tastemaking of "Lost In Translation," "The Virgin Suicides," "Marie Antoinette" and collaborated with Explosions In The Sky and Spoon for "Friday Night Lights" and "Stranger Than Fiction" respectively - has composed original music for films before, this is the first time he's composed a film's entire score (Reitzell will also always have the estimable distinction of coaxing My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields out of hermitude to compose original music for "Lost In Translation," and then by proxy to speak to the press for the first time in almost a decade).l
For the '30 Days' score (what might seem like an unusual choice of film given his past work), Reitzell gerry rigged up a pottery wheel and affixed items like drum mallets and sticks to record weird and frightening sounds.
"I was trying to figure out the different sounds and colors and instruments to use," Reitzell explained in a press release. "I thought if someone came at me with an ax or was trying to kill me or eat me, that was going to be such a horrific experience and was going to be totally new and unfamiliar, so I didn't think what I was going to hear was something like an orchestra."
The experiment yielded excellent results, but was apparently pretty dangerous. "The pottery wheel can spin up to 280 rpm," he said. "You have to wear goggles and body armor. I was scared to death."
Don't you love having two street dates? The album goes digital on October 16 and physical CDs (what is the hell is that?) is due on the 30th. We've exclusively scored the tracklist below.
Reitzell's next move will be reteaming with his breezy French cohorts Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin of Air to compose a non-existent soundtrack. "It's probably a sci-fi- type film, but it's very emotional, maybe someone trapped in a spaceship kind of thing.We're conceptualizing it now. It might be that we take a book or take some images and just start to score to those images and then a film will find us."
"30 Days Of Night" Soundtrack tracklist
01. Prelude / Last Day of Sun
02. Girl Bait
03. Muffin Monster
04. Soon There Will Be Just 5
05. Vampires On The Horizon
06. They Didn't Take Me
07. Barrow Burns
09. Vampired Johnny
10. Gus Loses His Head
11. You Wanna Play With Me Now?
12. The Bloody Fruits Of Barrow
13. Eben Shoots Up
14. The one Who Fights
Our belated New York Film Festival review, plus a rundown of all the music used in the film.
Gus Van Sant has been fixated on a minimalist, experimental type of filmmaking since the beginning of this decade ("Gerry," "Elephant" and "Last Days" comprise what people call his "death trilogy") and his approach with his latest effort, "Paranoid Park," is much the same including his penchant for chronological puzzles/time displacement and his fondness for experimental, musique concrète and abstract music (A special 60th anniversary prize went to Van Sant's film at Cannes this year)
About a teenage skater kid that accidentally kills a security guard and tries to keep it secret, as the London Telegraph perfectly puts it, "few American directors rival Gus Van Sant's ability to create lush, beautifully lensed and strangely enigmatic odes to the vulnerability of teenage boys," and this nails it.
Photographed with typical gorgeousness by longtime Wong Kar-Wai associate Christopher Doyle, the film branches out and utilizes some brave and dreamy musical choices by Fellini collaborator Nino Rota (brave as they might be distracting to some cinephiles).
Another notable addition to Van Sant's experimental stage is departed musical collaborator Elliott Smith who wrote most of the material used in his breakthrough film, "Good Will Hunting." Van Sant almost uses Smith's material as lyrical and simple music videos where almost the entire songs play out in full. The Elliott Smith era track "The White Lady Loves You More" is used in a gorgeous slo-motion shot and he does more film cannibalization - this time his own - by once more using Smith's "Angeles," in another minimalist one-shot.
However, aside from Nino Rota (whose collage of music is all over the film, including themes from "Juliet of the Spirits," and "Amarcord," that stand in drastic emotional juxtaposition to the lead characters numbed mindset), the one person you'll think of musically when you walk away from this film is electro-acoustic Portland artist Ethan Rose whose swirling, evocative and lush soundscapes (think the instrumental parts of Icelandic electronic band Múm) are really the centerpoint of the film.
The dense sound design is also bolstered by Montreal electroacoustic musician Robert Normandeau and Francis White's sound installation music "Walk Through Resonant Landscape" which is used to incredibly powerful effect in a shower sequence (again mining his own work, Van Sant used this same sound piece in "Elephant") More traditional music that skate kids would put on comes in the form of punk band The Revolts and hip-hop group Cool Nuts.
A bit of foreboding country and pop comes from Billy Swan, Cast King and Henry Davies. Indie-rockers Menomena have the distinction of closing out the film.
While the film might not be quite as effective as his past few experiments (his cast plucked from myspace is sometimes amateur-ish), Van Sant does have an ear for the teenage voice and experience and that strength is evident here once again and at the very least the marriage of visuals and music is extremely stirring.
"Paranoid Park" won't hit theaters until March 7, 2008. A 19-song soundtrack disc that covers most of the key tracks in the film is due October 15 in France (you can pay 18 Euros for it) but its U.S. counterpart probably won't be released closer to the March film release.
Music Used In "Paranoid Park"
Nino Rota - "La Porticina Segreta"
Ethan Rose - "Song One"
Robert Normandeau - "La Chambre Blanche"
Francis White - "Walk Through Resonant Landscape #2"
Elliott Smith - "The White Lady Loves You More"
Cool Nuts feat. Six and Aniece - "I Heard That"
Ludwig Van Beethoven - "Symphony No.9, Op 125, Adagio Molto Cantibile"
Cast King - "Outlaw"
Eric Hill - "Guitar Strumming FX"
Nino Rota - "L'Arcobalena Per Giuletta"
Henry Davies - "Tunnelmouth Blues"
The Revolts - "We Will Revolt"
Ethan Rose - "Song Three"
Bernard Parmegini - ""Dedans Dehors"
Ethan Rose - "Song Two"
Nino Rota - "Il Giarino Della Fate"
Nino Rota - "Rugiada Sui Ranocchi"
Nino Rota - "La Gradisca E Il Pricipe"
Elliott Smith - "Angeles"
Billy Swan - "I Can Help"
Menomena - "Strongest Man In The World"
Scenes From Paranoid Park