Friday, March 30, 2012

The Infamous JeanClaude at Love Is Earth Tonight

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The artist known as The Infamous JeanClaude is in town tonight. If you dig the style of this here flier, you can check out some new work by IJC tonight at 6 p.m. at hip-hop boutique — and 2011 Best of Nashville pick — Love Is Earth (903 Church St.).

Head over to his blog, Stay Champion, for some more examples of JeanClaude's work, a mix of photo collage and line drawing including album art for local hip-hop crew Ziggurat. Speaking of, Ziggurat's Miyagi will be providing beats at tonight's show, along with the fleet-fingered DJ Kidsmeal.

Below: a video of The Infamous JeanClaude adding a layer of fresh to an old refrigerator with a Sharpie. It's kinda McFettridge-y, but not in a rip-offish way.

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Support Nashville Horror Hounds Dr. Gangrene, Eric Powell, Jeff Preston and NaschyCast for the Rondo Awards

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM

  • Illustration: Jeff Preston
Keep your Oscars and Emmys — among fans of classic horror films, the most coveted award today is the “Rondo.” Founded 10 years ago as an off-shoot from the Classic Horror Film Discussion Boards, this bust of classic B-monster movie boogeyman Rondo Hatton has become a coveted prize in the horror-film-geek world.

Voting for this year’s awards ends at midnight on Sunday, April 1, but since voting is open to all you still have time to show your support for local fear-meisters. Several Nashville-area horror hounds are nominated including longtime Nashville horror host (and former Scene cover model) Dr. Gangrene, who is in the running for Favorite Horror Host of 2011, Best Website (Chiller Cinema), and Best Fan Event for his live show, “It’s Bob, by iPad!” at the 2011 WonderFest in Louisville.

Also nominated are local podcasters Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn for their monthly NaschyCasts (hosted through Barnett’s blog, The Bloody Pit of Road) — 90 minutes or more of in-depth discussion and dissection of the movies of Spanish horror icon and drooling werewolf Paul Naschy. Lebanon artist and comics wiz Eric Powell — who provided the art for the heroic 2011 Best of Nashville issue — is in the running for Best Horror Comic for his 12-issue series for IDW Publishing, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters. And Gallatin artist Jeff Preston is up for Best Magazine Cover for Monsterpalooza No. 1.

To see all the nominees, check out past winners and submit you votes just visit the Rondo Awards site. You do not have to vote in all categories, but only one ballot can be submitted per person.

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TiVo Now, Thank Us Later: Stunt Rock and Heavy Metal on TCM Underground Tonight

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Yes, cable without a-la-carte options is a rip-off. Yes, I await the happy day when unresponsive cable providers go the way of Blockbuster, facing a special tribunal in hell. But I deal with the devil for now — because the devil controls access to Turner Classic Movies, the channel that justifies the invention of DVR by the hour.

We've written here before about their awesome "TCM Underground" programming block of cult movies in the late-night Friday/early-morning Saturday hours — everything from the ’80s aerobics epic Heavenly Bodies to Andrzej Zulawski's deranged Possession. Tonight's double bill is a four-star bean-dip-and-Doritos indulgence of junk-movie heaven, perfect fare for unwinding after a night of clubbing or insomniac tube-surfing — or after tonight's Belcourt midnight show of Army of Darkness.

First up: Stunt Rock (1 a.m.), the next best thing to the Alamo Drafthouse setting up shop in your living room. One of the midnight-movie discoveries of recent years, right up there with Lady Terminator and Mad Foxes, this hugely entertaining whatsit has as its framing device a semi-documentary study of Aussie stuntman Grant Page in Hollywood, which gives an excuse to stitch together jaw-dropping clips of his greatest stunts: flaming leaps, zip-line plummets, car crashes.

What could possibly improve a barely tethered clip reel of beatings, wrecks and fireballs? Director Brian Trenchard-Smith is reading your mind: prog-metal musical numbers! Bring on one of the most awesomely cheesy acts in the history of either music or movies: Sorcery, a sort of proto-GWAR whose pyro-happy live show is built around an elaborate wizards' duel between band members playing Merlin and Satan. Believe us when we say you will watch these scenes; you will rewind these scenes; you will call and text and tweet people you haven't seen since the third-grade school play to describe these scenes, in between desperate gulps of oxygen and fits of hyperventilation. We so wish we could watch this with Gold, D-Pat, Lance and Ashley.

Stick around for a favorite from my junior year of high school, the 1981 animated fantasy Heavy Metal (2:45 a.m.). The novelty of cartoon sex, R-rated animation and sleazepunk futurism may have subsided somewhat, but the impulse to slow-bang your head to Blue Oyster Cult's "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" on the platinum-selling soundtrack reigns eternal. Coming soon to TCM Underground: French softcore-horror auteur Jean Rollin's The Iron Rose; William Gunn's fascinating blaxploitation-era vampire drama Ganja & Hess; Alex Winter's sicko cult comedy Freaked — and of course, Heavenly Bodies.

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Drinking Game of Thrones

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Winter is coming.
  • "Winter is coming."
GAME OF THRONES! Oh man, guys, it’s back on Sunday, are you going to watch? You’d better, it’s great. Second Season! War! Sex! Dragons! Wolves! Handsome men! Beautiful women! Intrigue! The Wall! If you can’t tell, I’m excited, and I hope you are too. If you’re not as 100 percent stoked as you should be, you can always enhance your enjoyment the way countless generations have before us — by drinking questionable amounts of alcohol. Need some ideas? Well, drink whenever …

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Two TV Dorks Ruminate Over the Utility of Cable

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Ashley Spurgeon: So, a lack of cable/satellite — what's your deal?

Lance Conzett: So, here's the thing: I like television. I'm not one of those awful people who are like "I don't even have a TV, I only read books and pretend to care about The New Yorker." But I hate paying for television because I am a poor person. Also, I don't have an antenna on my TV because I'm a lazy poor person.

Ashley: Woah, you don't have one of the converter-box things that happened a few years ago? Those were only like $30! I know you have $30. I guess my first question is this — did you grow up with cable?

Lance: Yes! I remember watching Æon Flux on MTV when I was way too young to understand what that show was about (that wouldn't come until I was like 23) and I'm pretty sure it warped my tiny little brain. What about you? I mean, about childhood cable, not borderline incoherent cartoons on MTV.

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Bela Tarr's The Turin Horse Three Days Only at Belcourt

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Part of an essential piece by Jonathan Rosenbaum on what is supposedly the final film by Hungarian director Béla Tarr, The Turin Horse, playing tonight through Sunday at The Belcourt:

For me the abiding mystery isn’t what the film means but how and why we watch it. “Try not to be too sophisticated” was Tarr’s suggestion the first time he introduced it at the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland. A sound piece of advice, but not easy for all cinephiles to follow, especially if the “sophistication” resembles Dan Kois’ pseudo-populism masquerading as common sense (“Eating Your Cultural Vegetables”) in the New York Times. Going beyond the usual middlebrow philistinism, this position suggests that audiences supporting art movies by Akerman, Costa, Kiarostami, Reichardt, Tarkovsky, or Tarr (strange bedfellows, these — back in the 60s they would have been Antonioni, Bergman, Bresson, Dreyer, Godard, or Resnais) must be masochists wanting to impose their self-inflicted punishments on others.

Factored out of such reckonings are those who regard Star Wars, Amélie, Slumdog Millionaire, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds or even The Tree of Life as obligatory cultural vegetables. And meanwhile denying that sensible individuals can find pleasure in Tarr films ultimately means attempting to outlaw the possibility that any might do so. Clearly part of America’s eccentric mistrust of art and poetry is bound up with a bizarre association of both with class; the usual pseudo-populist position is to find such activity excusable only when it’s interlarded with religion and/or “entertainment” (which in most cases entails colonial conquest, revenge, violence and/or some form of mush). To fail in this sacred duty apparently means to make films that are lethally boring, so that Rivette’s 13-hour Out 1, even as a serial, allegedly can’t be fun and games like Twin Peaks.

Why, then, did I wind up at all three screenings of The Turin Horse in Wrocław, three afternoons in a row? Largely because of my fascination with how a film in which practically nothing happens can remain so gripping and powerful, so pleasurable and beautiful. I’m usually reluctant to compare an anti-cinephile like Tarr to any other filmmaker, but even though his diverse technical materials are completely different from those of Erich von Stroheim, there’s something about the sheer intensity of both filmmakers as they navigate from one moment to the next that makes the usual rules and logic of film narrative and even the usual practice of following a plot seem almost beside the point — a kind of distraction. The world of The Turin Horse isn’t unveiled or imparted or recounted or examined or told; it’s simply there, at every instant, as much as possible and more than we can think to cope with, daring us simply to take note of it.

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Mathilde Roussel's 'Homo Arboretum,' The Slow Decay of Art, and 'Stored' at Cheekwood [Installation View]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM

As promised, I went back to Cheekwood to visit with Mathilde Roussel and check out the gigantic "Homo Arboretum" outdoor sculpture that I missed during my last trip. The day we met also happened to be Home School Day at Cheekwood, so the grounds were crowded with around 600 cute little guys getting excited about the sunny weather, and parents trying to keep them from touching all the art. (Side note: I might have brought up the fact that I've always found home-schooled kids to be kind of weird, and Mathilde might have sweetly let me know that she herself was home-schooled. Luckily, to an artist my comment didn't come across as criticism.)

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Must-See: Vortex Percussion Ensemble Celebrates Cage/Cunningham Sunday at Ingram Hall

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Vortex Percussion Ensemble Celebrates John Cage and Merce Cunningham
Where: Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, April 1. (Festivities begin at 7 p.m. with The Cage Musicircusa; a pre-concert talk begins at 7:40.)

A hundred years after his birth, can we call John Cage an old master of new music? After all, the controversial and widely influential avant-garde composer was never one to shun paradox: "I have nothing to say and I am saying it" is just one of his charmingly gnomic conversation-starters.

At any rate, the Blair School of Music's Vortex Percussion Ensemble stages a Cage retrospective concert this weekend to celebrate both the composer's centenary and his 50-year partnership with modern dance legend Merce Cunningham. And in a terrific coup for the innovative student ensemble, the show's closing "MinEvent" will feature former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which disbanded last year after a farewell tour following the choreographer's death in 2009.

The evening should offer surprises for Cage fans and novices alike. "The impetus for this concert is to present the broadest Cage to the broadest audience," says Vortex director Michael Holland. "We hope to break some stereotypes of Cage as a shock-value artist or an anything-goes kind of guy."

Read the full article here.

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What Duckling? What Cookie? Mo Willems Signs Tuesday at Hillsboro High

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Popular children's author (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!) and former Sesame Street writer Mo Willems returns to Nashville for a book signing 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the gym at Hillsboro High School. From the Parnassus Books website:

Join children's author Mo Willems for a special reading and signing event. To ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have their books autographed in an orderly fashion, we will be distributing signing line numbers and calling attendees to line up in small groups. Line numbers will be distributed at the book purchasing table at the event, but if you purchase or preorder a Mo Willems book in-store or through our website prior to the event, you can receive your line number early!

If you waited in line for his mobbed appearance at the Southern Festival of Books, don't take that as an idle threat. And by the way, the coming events roster over the next few months at Parnassus looks insane. How's this for a list of visiting authors (some in conjunction with Humanities Tennessee's Salon@615 series): Adriana Trigiani, RJ Smith, Alice Randall, Delia Ephron, Holly Tucker, Gregg Allman, Sissy Spacek (!), Colin Powell (!!), Richard Ford (!!!) — and in November, Room author Emma Donoghue? Watch Country Life for details about these and other events.

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Hail to the King, Baby: Army of Darkness Midnight at Belcourt

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Army of Darkness
Where: The Belcourt
When: Midnight Friday and Saturday

A date night from my early courtship: me doubled over in giddy delight at this goofball classic, my bride-to-be kicking the back of her seat in oh-God-will-this-end agony. The final (?) chapter of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy is a mash-up of everything a kid of the 1970s loved about after-school TV: Ray Harryhausen, the Three Stooges, sword-and-sandal epics, movies with dudes in armor. It’s held together by Bruce Campbell in slantwise square-jawed lunkhead mode as Ash, who survived The Evil Dead’s assault by tracking shot in the Tennessee woods to wind up sword-fighting skeletons in medieval times, armed with his trusty “boomstick,” Raimi’s trusty Oldsmobile and an arsenal of action-hero witticisms.

Some prefer the morose alternate ending, which promised a futuristic sequel that so far hasn't come. I’m too fond of the release version, with Ash’s thrillingly ridiculous final stand in a suburban department store turned supernatural ninja battlefield. Even without the Book of the Dead, this is a movie that never fails to raise my spirits.

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