And below, read what Lance Conzett has to say about Maron in this week's Scene:
There’s this irritating logical fallacy haunting the music industry — usually stated by armchair psychologists with a subscription to Rolling Stone — that suggests once a musician kicks drugs, their art is no longer as valid as it was when they were high as a kite. And while Marc Maron isn’t a musician — though you wouldn’t know it by the blues-guitar wailing he enjoys from time to time when musicians drop by his cat ranch for appearances on the WTF podcast — that theory hangs right over his head. Now that Maron, a famously neurotic curmudgeon, is succeeding both personally and professionally, can he still be funny? Even if he’s still steeped in a terrible swamp of frustration and self-loathing? Yes, dummy, he can — and is. Maron’s as sharp and cynical as ever, and even though he’s become a figurehead for comedy in a new media landscape, he’s still got plenty to complain about. And FYI, Stone Temple Pilots were sucking long before any of them sobered up.
Ready to get heavy? Two of the most compelling, intense documentaries you'll ever see just dropped on Netflix Instant, and if you've got it in you to watch them both, you'll walk away with a new way of looking at the world. They're that affecting.
The House I Live In has a star-studded list of executive producers (Brad Pitt and Danny Glover, to name just two) and provides an intimate view of what the War on Drugs really is. The Wire's David Simon provides some of the doc's most astute lines. "It'd be one thing if it's draconian and it worked," he says. "But it's draconian and it doesn't work, and it just leads to war."
The New Jim Crow-author Michelle Alexander, who delivered this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day address at Vanderbilt, is featured prominently among the talking heads with opinion-changing ideas to share:
Well, in any war, you've got to have an enemy. And when you think about the impact, particularly on poor people of color, you know, there are more African-Americans under correctional control today, in prisoner jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. And that's something we haven't been willing to look in the mirror and ask ourselves. What's really going on?
Word comes down from TPAC that comedian Anthony Jeselnik, star of The Jeselnik Offensive and one of the more caustic elements of Comedy Central's kind-of-a-bummer series of celebrity roasts, will perform at James K. Polk Theatre on Sept. 27. And if you're easily offended, you should probably just go ahead and move on to that cat video you were about to watch before this came across your computer screen.
To call Jeselnik's style of stand-up comedy grim would be a massive understatement. This is a guy who opened his most recent album, Caligula, with a rape joke (titled “Rape”). Who has four jokes about suicide that he rattles off in a row. Who premiered his television series by performing cancer-themed stand-up to a cancer patient support group. You know. That sort of thing.
And, yet, despite his raging on-stage sociopathy, Jeselnik been celebrated by comedians and critics for his commitment to total darkness. Personally, his style of comedy — which comes off like Doug Stanhope in a suicide pact with Stephen Wright — isn't really my bag. But, he's nothing if not daring in his attempt to squeeze comedy out of subjects that have traditionally been considered off-limits.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. for $27.50. You may want to think twice about trying to score front-row seats, unless you're feeling particularly unflappable.
[Editor's Note: This is the latest installment of 'Notes From the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly series of story and art that artist Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]
Everybody knows that the hours between three and five o’clock are the doldrums of the day. What most people don’t know is that they are an especially fertile time for psychic visions. If I had a theory on this phenomenon, it would be that perhaps it’s during these lazy hours that our exhausted toes briefly loosen their death grip on the earth.
Earlier in the day, a timeless sort of hustler in Ray-Bans and an idler’s cap had sold me a vial filled with oil and flotsam to promote third eye vision. Sitting in the students’ lounge between workshops with a miraculously procured cup of coffee, I tipped some oil onto my finger, dotted the space between my eyes, and awaited illumination.
From the Scene print edition:
For weeks, the trailer for Peter Strickland’s giallo homage Berberian Sound Studio has been freaking out Belcourt audiences with its eerie quick-cut images and grotesquely squishy soundtrack. In what looks like a combination of the creepiest surveillance-nation aspects of Coppola’s The Conversation and De Palma’s Blow Out, Toby Jones plays an expert Foley artist who finds that his latest job — an Italian auteur’s splatter opus — is driving him to sonic delirium. Which makes this a thriller you’ll want to see in a theater as much or more for the sound system as for the big screen — so you’ll experience the full psychic torture caused by the sound of a knife plunging into a fleshy cabbage.
The movie opens tonight for a two-night run at The Belcourt; click over to our sister blog Nashville Cream, where Stephen Trageser has a wide-ranging post that touches on the collaboration between Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann, giallo master Dario Argento's use of music, and the British duo Broadcast that performed Berberian Sound Studio's soundtrack. Great stuff.
Any self-respecting film nerd living in the greater Nashville area has probably made a trip or two to the Regal Opry Mills 20, home to a real IMAX screen (not one of those junky knockoffs). Having an authentic IMAX screen is the icing on the cake for local movie lovers. But at $18 a ticket, the Opry Mills IMAX is also the priciest movie night in town. For a movie date, you may be paying through the nose for a movie that may not even take advantage of the format — especially if it's a lame conversion of some kind.
With that in mind, Country Life issues this IMAX Report Card, complete with graded categories to gauge whether you should shell out the extra dough. First up: Guillermo del Toro’s high-flying monster vs. robots epic Pacific Rim.
From Sesame Street to Downton Abbey, many of us share a lifelong love affair with PBS. As a kid, Sesame Street was one of the only shows that I was allowed to watch (oddly enough, the super sexist Smurfs cartoon was one of the others, but that's totally irrelevant). Years later, as a broke recent college grad with no disposable income for cable, I became addicted to PBS-aired BBC sitcoms like As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances, and — my favorite — Are You Being Served?
So, I knew my love affair would continue with the launch of You Ought To Know Nashville, which we we told you about last week. The You Ought To Know Nashville series is a new collaboration between Nashville Public Television (NPT), our local PBS affiliate, and Under the Guise's Heidi Jewell. Yesterday, PBS hosted a launch party for the new series at the Stone Fox. We tagged along to get a first look at the episode, featuring Nashville legend Prince's Hot Chicken and new Nashville hotspot Husk.
A few things I learned while attending last Saturday's Metropolitan Pogonotrophy Society beard and mustache competition at The Rutledge:
• Dudes come from all over to compete in these contests. The overall winner was Nate, pictured below, who said he was a Nashville native but traveled all the way from L.A. for the competition. His chops were outstanding.
• Serious competitors come up with characters to go along with their facial hair. There was a Pai Mei, a satanic Elvis, several hillbillies and at least one extra from Dallas.
• The women's categories aren't throwaways — these ladies are serious. There were hot-pink beards, beards made from a tangle of guitar picks, and a few Cousin It replicas in the bunch.
A few more (extremely low-quality — sorry) photos after the jump.
Legal shows have been TV staples since the days of Perry Mason and the original Defenders, but it's doubtful USA expected the reaction and response viewers have had to Suits, their program about machinations and misadventures at a high-powered Manhattan law firm.
For one thing, Suits neither devotes much airtime to specific cases nor spotlights (often) its main characters opposing other attorneys in court. Instead, it focuses on inter-office politics, tangled relationships between principal figures, and other plot devices that have only a slim connection to the law. So while you seldom see supposed top attorney Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) representing anyone, you see him in action everywhere else.
Yet that formula's worked very well. Over its first two seasons, Suits has not only become USA's top-rated drama, it has dominated every demographic category. When Season Three begins tonight at 9 p.m., the fallout from last year's explosive finale is plentiful. Specter and his boss Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) were once close allies, but her decision to merge with a British law firm against his wishes drove a huge wedge between them. Even worse, in his view, was that Specter's hand-picked associate Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) supported that decision.
Exciting news just came through my inbox: Claire Schneider, the curator who organized Cheekwood's excellent Soaps, Flukes and Follies exhibit of video art in 2010, is returning with another exhibition of smart, exciting contemporary art at Cheekwood.
Opening in September, More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing Since the 1990s is the first major exhibition to investigate the ways contemporary artists address the subject of love — and while it may seem hard to believe that such an artistically loaded concept hasn't been explored through an exhibition, consider the art world's disdain for all things sentimental and you'll understand that this is oddly unexplored territory. And Schneider's roster includes mega-important artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres (who has three pieces in the exhibit), Tracey Emin, Janine Antoni and Louis Bourgeois.
Full press release below. Plan on reading a lot more about this exhibit — it's going to be huge.
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