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CINEMA: All Mods Con

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Lambert & Stamp

LAMBERT & STAMP (2014, directed by James D. Cooper, 117 minutes, U.S.)

Buskirk AvatarBY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC The 1979 documentary The Kids Are Alright was one of the early classics of the rockumentary genre, a mad bash-up with the four characters who made up The Who. The film did a lot to burnish their artistic legend but years later it is apparent that the doc left out the guiding force that nurtured them into the band they would become: the visionary management of the duo known as Lambert & Stamp. Director James D. Cooper’s unusually intimate portrait of the band’s early years brings a whole new dimension to The Who’s ascent, painting the story of their rise to pop stardom as a grand, audacious heist.

Kit Lambert was the gay, under-achieving son the famed British composer Constant Lambert and he was born into aristocracy. Chris Stamp is the working class son of a tugboat captain from the East End of London whose older brother Terrence had just become a major film star. This odd couple met while working as assistants at Shepperton Studios. When they realize their dreams of directing films aren’t coming true, Stamp sells Lambert on the idea of putting their energies into managing a rock band. The plan is to make the band stars and then they’ll produce and direct a big screen vehicle for the group that will be their ticket into the film world. When they first discover The Who (then still known as The High Numbers), the band specializes in a primitive brand of dance-oriented American R&B and Townshend has yet to write a single song, but Lambert and Stamp see something outrageous about the quartet that captures their imagination. Now all the pair has to do is make the band stars and hopefully they’ll get a film out the spectacle before the whole under-financed operation collapses under its own weight. Because how long could this rock and roll fad last anyway?

Lambert & Stamp makes you feel like you’re part of this grand scheme and here’s a giddy thrill to the stories Stamp spins (Lambert died back in 1981) about opening up bank accounts and getting large advances merely because they were able to get a flat in the posh part of London. During those early instrument-trashing days, the band’s finances were constantly in the red but to the band’s managers it didn’t matter, they were only in this long enough to get their film made. It’s Townshend’s rock opera Tommy that looks to be the film vehicle they’re waiting for but as Stamp and Lambert get ready to bring their scheme to fruition, the well-planned plot implodes.

Stamp would go on to become a psychotherapist, and the film seems very aware the psychological motivations of its players. Particularly touching is Stamp’s remembrance of his friendship with Lambert. He tells the camera that having a gay friend, in a time when he himself wasn’t quite comfortable around women, allowed him to develop a sensitivity and intimacy he would not have otherwise. Townshend and Daltrey are interviewed at length as well and they are unusually open about the psychological state they found themselves in at the height of their youthful fame. All of which makes for a rich and revealing story about business and friendship.

Not that the film slights the musical aspect either. Because Lambert & Stamp were filmmakers, the documentary holds some beautiful, rarely-seen footage of the band as their image is being built and no expense seems to have been spared to fill the film with glorious images of the swinging ’60s. But the film’s record of the band’s artistic rise is overshadowed by the emotions and stories of these two men who have languished in the background all these years. For rock fans this new angle on the rise of The Who isn’t just thrilling, it’s a revelation.

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INCOMING: Q&A With Brian Wilson

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

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To celebrate the impending release of Love & Mercy, the excellent Brian Wilson biopic, and the arrival of summer, we’re making next week Beach Boys week. Music, videos, essays, surfing, LSD, teenage symphonies to God, Mike Love not war. You know, the usual. Plus, we’ll have an exclusive Q&A with Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson! Look for it all next week on a Phawker near you!

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BEING THERE: Ufomammut @ Johnny Brenda’s

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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Photo by DAN LONG

We were a collection of blissed-out bobbleheads beating the air in unison last night at Johnny Brendas as the Italian psych metal trio Ufomammut delivered unto us an onslaught of riff-borne aggression within a haze of deafening sonic bliss. Touring in support of their latest album, Ecate, Ufomammut’s performance followed the space age post-metal atmospherics of Philadelphia’s Ominous Black and the scream-laden slowed up doom of Portland’s Usnea, an interesting duality culminating in Ufomammut’s third act as the band churned out weighty blankets of reverberating tone and rhythmic density that would violently unwind. While none of the bands last night engaged the crowd with more than a few words, there didn’t seem to be any room for humorous anecdotes or “Are you ready to rock?” posturing. Instead all energies dispensed were fully invested musically, Ufomammut realizing the headphones-revelatory immensity of their studio releases in a live setting, which seemed no small feat for a three-piece band. I could feel the low end in my breastbone, a tremorous reaction that could only qualify as impressive. Against a backdrop of film clips featuring giant eyeballs, shaky footage of trees and shape shifting visuals, the band worked in a constant state of payoff, an immediately satisfying array of riff and rhythm at times complimented by sonorous robotics and bassist/vocalist Urlo, whose voice was bathed in ethereal effects. With no breaks in between songs and no breathers for the audience to wait through, it was at times difficult to know when a song ended or when another began. After a solid hour and a four-song encore, the band launched into a four-second finale of thrashing instrumentation. Urlo lifted his bass to the crowd in salute and applause ensued. Once the lights came on it was as if oxygen had returned to the room. – SEAN CALDWELL

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CINEMA: The Wolf Pack

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The six Angulo brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Nicknamed “The Wolfpack,” they’re all exceedingly bright, are homeschooled, have no acquaintances outside their family and have practically never left their home. All they know of the outside world is gleaned from the films they watch obsessively and recreate meticulously, using elaborate homemade props and costumes. For years this has served as a productive creative outlet and a way to stave off loneliness – but after one of the brothers escapes the apartment (wearing a Michael Meyers mask for protection), the power dynamics in the house are transformed, and all the boys begin to dream of venturing out. Armed with unprecedented access into the subjects’ world and vast archive of home movies, first-time director Crystal Moselle crafts a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary family, capturing the thrill of the Wolfpack’s discoveries without skirting the darker questions of abuse and confinement that weigh upon all of them. THE WOLFPACK charts a fascinating coming of age story and becomes a true example of the power of movies to transform and save lives. Opens June 19th at the Ritz @ The Bourse. MORE

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INCOMING: Long Islandia

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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“Sandy Passage,” wherein Fred Armisen and Bill Hader satirize the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens, from Documentary Now!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: “Authentic. Loving. Celebratory. Time-specific.” That’s how Fred Armisen describes Documentary Now!, an IFC comedy (debuting Aug. 20) that spoofs and pays tribute to the genre with a six-episode showcase of mockumentaries about fictitious historical subjects (often rooted in real life), each unspooled in a different filmmaking style. Armisen and Bill Hader star in each half-hour doc while serving as creator/executive producer/writers alongside fellow SNL vet Seth Meyers. The SNL connection extends to another executive producer (Lorne Michaels) as well as the show’s directors (Rhys Thomas and Alex Buono). And it was on that sketch show that the seeds for Documentary Now! were planted—specifically with “Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros: History of Punk,” a faux doc about a British punk band starring Armisen and Hader. “IFC had always liked the Ian Rubbish thing and originally approached us about doing more of his story,” says “Rubbish” fred-armisen Ian Rubbishwriter Meyers. “But we were really happy with how that had been a piece, and we didn’t really know anything more we wanted to say about Ian, whereas exploring other things like that was more interesting to us.” And this show shares a similar comedy aesthetic with “Ian Rubbish.” “There really is no big joke in Ian Rubbish, “ says Armisen, “and that’s where we came from—where this isn’t a total punchline to any of it.” Hader, meanwhile, enjoyed trying on a series of disparate characters with his SNL co-star outside of their usual sketch playground. “It was fun for me and Fred because we never viewed it as more of a sketch show,” he says. “They were totally separate short films, but we get to play characters that have an A, B, and C story rather than a quick sketch character. There are sketches that are pretty over the top in it, but it was nice to get to play something over a full episode.” MORE

VULTURE: I didn’t decide to join Late Night With Seth Meyers as his bandleader. […] It was Lorne Michaels’s idea. I had finished SNL, and they were trying different things out for Seth’s band. Maybe it was going to be a DJ, maybe it was going to be nothing — and then Lorne Michaels had this idea. He knew I was busy doing Portlandia, but he had this idea, and I really liked it. It keeps me at NBC, it keeps me close to Seth and my friends, and it also gives me an opportunity to put punks together. So, when I started, I looked at how other people did it: Questlove, the guys from Conan’s band, and the legendary Paul Shaffer. Every time I talk to Paul, I see his whole history, like this waterfall. I’m like, “Oh my Paul ShafferGod. There’s this, this, this, and this.” His roots come from the perfect mix of comedy and music. He was such a huge part of Saturday Night Live and Lorne Michaels’s world. He was part of Godspell in Toronto, he knew Gilda Radner and the rest of that incredible cast, and he was part of that pre-SNL Toronto comedy world. What a great place to come from. He was with Bill Murray in the “Nick the Lounge Singer” sketch. He had the right taste to put the Blues Brothers band together. Anyone who was a key player in Spinal Tap is automatically put in the highest stratosphere of comedic and music history. He’s legitimately a funny, funny person. He makes other people look and sound funny. That’s a person I’d want to spend time with and listen to music with and play music with. It made total sense that he ended up on David Letterman’s show. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Fredlandia

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Everyone knows (and loves) funnyman Fred Armisen from Portlandia and SNL but few know how he got there. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, kid. How do you get to Portlandia? Trenchmouth. MAGNET goes to 30 Rock to walk a mile in the wing tips of The Nicest Man In Show Business and untangle his punk rock roots

By Jonathan Valania


“Do you have Questlove’s cellphone number?” Beyonce’s drummer asks nobody in particular. She twists around from her perch in the front seat of a black Escalade that NBC has sent to ferry us from a downtown Manhattan rehearsal studio to the storied Art Deco tower of power that is 30 Rock, and looks around to her bandmates in The 8G Band seated in the rows behind her — keyboardist Eli Janney, formerly of indie heartthrobs Girls Vs Boys; bassist Syd Butler and guitarist Seth Jabour, both formerly of indie iconoclasts Les Savy Fav; guitarist/bandleader Fred Armisen, formerly of Trenchmouth and SNL and currently Portlandia.

Everyone but Fred Armisen gives her that ‘How the fuck would I have Questlove’s phone number?’ look. You know that look. You probably give that look a hundred times a day without even thinking about it. We all do. But not Fred Armisen. Fred Armisen actually has Questlove’s phone number. Fred Armisen, as I will learn over the course of the coming weeks, has EVERYONE’s number. He shoots her a look that is half sheepish, half inquisitive and then asks her the question he already knows the answer to: “Yeah, do you want it?”

“Uh, yeah,” says Beyonce’s drummer (real name: Kimberly Thompson), who is, just to be clear, also The G8 Band’s drummer. “He just Instagrammed me and told me to call him.” Fred pulls out his iPhone and texts her the Roots’ drummers digits and..the elite circle of show biz connectivity remains unbroken and, as it must, the show goes on.

When we get to 30 Rock, the band rides the elevator up to the 8th floor, disembarks at Studio 8G, and after an hour in hair, make-up and wardrobe, takes up their positions on the bandstand of the set of Late Night With Seth Meyers. By now it’s 5 PM on the first Thursday of April and dress rehearsal for tonight’s taping has just gotten under way. They work through the songs that will score the arrival and departure of tonight’s sundry guests: a clear-eyed Bob Costas who will, upon his departure, walk over to Fred and do that prayer-handed Buddhist bow that signifies respect and due deference in show biz; a delightfully dastardly Steve Coogan, who will roll a disturbingly funny clip from the Alan Partridge film he has come to plug in which, long story short, he winds up naked with his junk tucked between his legs like Buffalo Bill in Silence Of The Lambs; and the exotic animal wrangling Kratt Brothers who have come bearing a Burmese python, a kangaroo and a lemur, all of which will slither, jump, strangle, crawl and possibly defecate all over Seth, as is the tradition established a long time ago in a basic cable galaxy far, far away by Johnny Carson, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of American Talk Shows.

When rehearsal wraps, the studio audience is ushered to their seats and after the standard off-camera warm-up/pep talk from a stand-up comedian, the taping of the 27th episode of the jon_fredfirst, but hopefully not last, season of Late Night With Seth Meyers begins. Fred and The 8G Band launch into the show’s opening nouveau New Wave-esque theme song over a jittery montage of Manhattan twinkling after dark — taxi cabs! neon signs! people on sidewalks! — as the announcer blurts out tonight’s guests in that stereotypical stentorian talk show announcer cadence before introducing the man of the hour, smart aleck-y fallen preppie, looks-like-the-guy-who-took-your-sister-to-the-prom Seth Meyers who makes his entrance to the deafening cheers of APPLAUSE-sign-triggered Midwestern tourist adulation.

The first thing you notice about Seth Meyers —  in person and stripped of SNL’s Weekend Update desk and dressed as he is tonight in a fitted, slim-cut, two-button, two-piece charcoal suit — is that he has thicker thighs than you would expect from a man so petite from the waist up. Dude has quads the size of Easter hams, an anatomical fact that will surely serve him well in a job that is all about standing up and sitting down and standing up again. All day, every day. As per the unshakeable dictates of talk show orthodoxy, he monologues, somewhat mirthlessly it should be noted, on the newsmakers of the nano-moment: Putin, Blackberry, Beyonce. Then he tosses it over to Fred and The 8G Band who launch into one of those strummy, cymbals-sizzling interstitial rave-ups that mark every transition in the stations of the talk show cross as Meyers takes a seat behind the desk.

At this point in the show Seth and Fred do a recurring sketch called Fred Talks, their take on the obligatory talk show host/band leader banter — you know, Johnny to Doc, Dave to Paul, Jimmy to Questlove — which invariably involves and incredulous Seth calling bullshit on some ludicrous claim that he’s allegedly overheard Fred making backstage. Seth informs Fred that he’s done some asking around and some Googling and it turns out the following things that Fred has told him all week during this segment are patently false: Fred did NOT open a theme park in Arizona called Clayland, nor did he invent a ‘hot new dessert’ called Water Indulgence, i.e. a bowl of water, nor did he open a new spa that is basically a miniaturized version of the suburbs of Chicago, which is somehow ‘very calming’ and restorative. Fred just smiles serenely, untroubled by this intrusion of fact-based, objective reality — as if to say he’s used to it, he gets this all the time — because, after all, he is the hard-earned beneficiary of the New Normal in show biz, which is this: When all good 40something indie-rockers die, they go to Late Night Talk Show Band heaven.

Plus, he has tickets to see Kraftwerk tonight. MORE

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BRIAN WILSON: We Are All Chemistry

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Brian Wilson and Mike Douglas have a very frank conversation about drugs in Philadelphia, circa 1976.

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NERD CAGE MATCH: Marc Maron Vs. Terry Gross

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Marc Maron CROPPED

 

FRESH AIR

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Earlier this month, almost 2,000 radio fanatics gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) to listen in as Marc Maron, the neurotic and sometimes gruff comedian and podcast host, interviewed Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. He is known for being vulnerable and bringing his personal life into his interviews; she tends to keep her personal life separate from her work. The conversation that resulted blurs those two styles and ends up revealing aspects of Gross’ life that even the biggest Fresh Air fans may find surprising. Maron is the host of WTF, a podcast he started in his garage in 2009. WTF began as a way for Maron to talk about life and career struggles with other comics, and it has expanded to include musicians, actors and directors — and now the host of Fresh Air. Gross has previously interviewed Maron for Fresh Air, but those interviews were conducted in separate studios; the sit-down at BAM MarcMaron_TeriGross_613x463was the first time the two met in person. In her introduction to the interview, Gross says, “When I’d met him backstage before the show, I really wanted to talk with him, but we agreed — let’s save it for the interview.” During the course of their conversation, Maron and Gross discussed her childhood in Brooklyn, her beginnings in radio and her record- and book-strewn apartment. For her part, Gross says that Maron’s “no bulls***” style made her feel comfortable opening up to him. “I couldn’t look you in the eye and not tell you the truth,” she tells him. MORE

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TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES: Q&A w/ Marc Maron

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz

UPDATE: Marc Maron on Fresh Air

BY JONATHAN VALANIA Marc Maron pretty much wrote the book on how not to write the book — the book on how to win friends and influence people, how to succeed in showbiz without really trying, how to enjoy harmless recreational drugs like cocaine responsibly. Whatever his books about those topics (in truth, there are no books like that, but stick with me I’m going somewhere with this) tell you to do, do the exact opposite. Unless you want to find yourself on the far side of 40, bottomed out in Lotus Land, with little more than a couple ex-wives, a couple stints in rehab, almost zero career prospects, and a pair of rescued stray cats to show for your trouble. Because then you would have to start a podcast called WTF, even though you have no idea a podcast is, where you interview your comedy friends — Ben Stiller, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams, Garry Shandling, Judd Apatow and the always awesome Patton Oswalt — in your garage and get them to confess painful personal truths with brutal but utterly refreshing honesty. And then the podcast would blow up big and eventually become the No. 1  download on iTunes, and this would revive your comedy career, and bring a book deal and a new TV show based on your life that airs next year on IFC. So don’t do it.

PHAWKER: So much of your career seems doomed by missed opportunities, bad attitude, drug problems, and unwillingness to compromise creatively. I can actually really relate to this. I’m wondering if your earlier heroes might have had something to do with this; Keith Richards, Hunter Thompson and William Burroughs. All brilliant cultural figures but they’re all the original “I’m not a role model” type role models, wouldn’t you agree?

MARC MARON: Oh no, no doubt. It was definitely a way to figure out my own reasons for why I was the way I was , which was driven by respect for the commitment to authenticity.

PHAWKER: You auditioned for Saturday Night Live in 1995 but you didn’t get the gig which you attributed to an awkward first meeting with Lorne Michaels.

MARC MARON: Everything that happened in that room was something…I had no idea what the real machinations or the reason for bringing me in there or why I wasn’t asked to be on the show. The meeting was very uncomfortable, I don’t think that was unusual. There was a little tension between him and I. But I’m sure he doesn’t have any recollection of it or register it as an important part of his life. It certainly was part of mine. I do think, looking back on it, I was a little standoffish and I was a little high. I don’t think I can completely blame myself because I think there was politics in it. It’s safe to say [the meeting] probably didn’t go well.

PHAWKER: Your tenure at Air America was just as doomed as Air America was. Why can’t the left get it together to make talk radio an effective megaphone for their perspectives the way the right has?

MARC MARON: Because they are not narrow in their scope. They’re not all on the same page, it’s a broad spectrum of ideas; ranging from very progressive to centrist Democrat. The right are very narrow-minded in their scope and shameless about their disposition. Which is also narrow. It’s a lot easier to be focused and angry and sort of misleading in the way they lead. Whereas the left, at their best, is all over the place. There is no single throughline like there is on the right.
(more…)

MEMOIR: Brother Theodore Was My Babysitter

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

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ZANDY HARTIG: For people who aren’t familiar with Theodore’s work, here’s a bit of background.  He was the voice of Gollum in the animated version of Lord of the Rings.  But before that, Steve Allen, Merv Griffin and Tom Snyder were big fans.  I think Merv Griffin may have been the first to call him “Brother” Theodore, but I’m not positive about that.  After a series of professional setbacks, David Letterman took a shine to him and was single-handedly responsible for Theodore’s career resurgence.  He was one of Letterman’s favorite regular weirdos, except both Letterman and Theodore were in on the joke.  They had a vast appreciation for each other’s sardonic intelligence.  Theodore would rant and rave and Dave would play the straight man, but not really.  Then Theodore would pretend to be enraged by Dave’s irreverence, transporting him to greater heights of lunacy.

Theodore performed German Expressionist horror-humor monologues.  He was an absurdist storyteller.  He began his tales with quiet, courtly menace and then build to BrotherTheoa demonic, bellowing climax of depravity.  His face contorted, spit would fly out of his mouth and his deep-set eyes would pop out of his head,  to me and my sister, literally.  It was comedy of the grotesque.  My father loved it, my mom less so and my sister and I, not one bit.   A question still lingers in my mind why we were allowed to watch these performances at all.

One of Brother Theodore’s favorite monologue subjects was his love of pre-pubescent girls.  He seemed fascinated and repelled by their purity and innocence, like a Grand Guignol Lolita.  And so, naturally, my parents chose this man to be one of our babysitters.  I recently asked my mom what the thought process behind this decision had been and her embarrassed response was, “Well, I don’t really know what was going through my mind.  He offered and we accepted.”  Fair enough.

When my parents mentioned to my sister and me that Brother Theodore was coming to babysit, we froze in fear.  Theodore wasn’t exactly a beauty.  His complexion was ashen colored and mutated to beet red at the climax of his performances.  His lips were brown and freckled.  His cheekbones looked like gashes on his face.  He did have nice, thick silver hair (and my father envied him, not having very much himself ), but he sported a strange bowl cut that didn’t flatter his enormous spherical face.  And I never wanted to get close enough to smell him. My sister and especially I suffered from mild separation anxiety, but it was in full bloom that night.  We clung to my mom and dad and begged them in whispers to stay.  After prying us off and promising to not be home too late, they left.  I watched the front door close and heard the elevator in the hallway slide and seal shut. MORE

TO MY GREAT CHAGRIN: THE UNBELIEVABLE STORY OF BROTHER THEODORE (Jeff Sumerel, 2008) from Spectacle Theater on Vimeo.

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Win Tix To See Primal Scream @ The TLA Tonight!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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Twenty-three years ago, a handsome young go-getter — aka me — at the tender age of seven (ahem), began his auspicious rock crit career by reviewing Primal Scream’s February 12th, 1992 performance at the Trocadero for the Allentown Morning Call, my hometown newspaper. To wit:

Primal Scream, a Scottish indie guitar/acid house aggregate, brought a shimmering slice of Madchester to the Trocadero in Philadelphia on Tuesday. The group, fronted by former Jesus And Mary Chain drummer Bobby Gillespie, started out in the mid-’80s as your basic British indie guitar band, in stripey shirts and pudding bowl haircuts, with all the requisite terminally-hip American influences, i.e. The Velvet Underground, The Byrds and The Beach Boys. After two albums, the band grew tired of staid rock audiences and retooled its sound to appeal to the dance-club crowd.

Tuesday night represented a concerted effort on the part of the Trocadero to recreate the overhyped, Ecstacy-driven Rave scene that made Manchester, England, an international youth culture capital. Before the show, noted DJ Boy Blake spun acid-house mixes at 130 beats per minute or faster while the dance floor swirled with smoke, sirens and strobe lights. The more Primal Screamthan 800 people grooving on this mind-altering disco scene invariably resembled the cast of Beverly Hills 90210. Many were dressed in baggy acid washed jeans, floral print shirts and baseball caps slightly askew.

Primal Scream managed to continue the hallucinations by decorating the stage with a Day-Glo mural backdrop, more smoke and swirling tentacles of pink and purple light. Onto the backdrop, the band projected slides of classic American iconography such as Elvis, rebel flags and cowboys. While the eight-piece band utilized its share of backing tracks and sampling, two real live guitar players gave the canned grooves an appealingly raw quality. Gillespie spent the evening doing a dead-on impersonation of a young Mick Jagger, and a black female back-up singer lent some much-needed vocal heft to his frail British sneer.

By combining soul, gospel, psychedelia, country & western and disco, the band produced an often infectious, if unadvisable, pop hybrid. High points included “Come Together,” “Loaded,” “Higher Than the Sun” and a raucous and rhythmic reading of The 13th Floor Elevators’ “Slip Inside This House” — during which Gillespie transmuted the chorus to “trip inside this house.” However, the most compelling moment came near the end of the night, when Primal Scream canned all the electro-schlock and proceeded to stomp all over The Stooges’ “No Fun” — which no doubt confused all the Brandon and Brenda Walsh wannabees in the crowd. And that’s just fine with me. MORE

OK, Lester Bangs it aint’ but, hey, I was only seven (cough, cough). Plus I really stuck it to those Beverly Hills 90210 wannabes. I still HATE those guys. Fast forward 23 years and we’re all a little bit older and a little bit colder, but some things never change. I’m still a handsome, impossibly young rock critic with my whole life ahead of me and Primal Scream is still (presumably) skinny-butt limeys taking drugs to make music to take drugs to. They play the TLA tonight and while we can’t help you out with where to get some E, we do have a coupla pair of tix for the Phawker-reading hepcats that can appreciate the value of said tix. To qualify all you have to do is follow us on Twitter and then send an email to FEED@PHAWKER.COM telling us you now follow us, or already did, along with your full name, Twitter handle and a mobile number for confirmation. Put the magic words SCREAMADELICA in the subject line. Good luck and godspeed!



PRIMAL SCREAM + PSYCHIC TEENS PLAY THE TLA TONIGHT @ 8 PM

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ENDORSEMENT: Vote SpongeBob KenneyPants!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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EDITOR’S NOTE: When offered the opportunity to interview the man who will in all likelihood be the next mayor of Philadelphia, the only logical choice for who to send was Charlie C. Because, well, he’s 10 years old, and we believe the children are our future. And if nothing else, this election is about the future of our fair city. The fact that Mr. Kenney was such a good sport about this and took Charlie’s questions seriously and offered thoughtful responses only reinforced what we were already thinking: Jim Kenney is the right man for the job.

Charlie-head-shotBY CHARLIE C. The city of Philadelphia has a big decision to make in the next few days; they have to choose who will lead the city. Now, I have had the opportunity to do an interview with the man who I am biased to say that will be mayor, Jim Kenney! Alright, now, I have asked this man six questions that will help explain what he will do to fix the city of Philly and I now see why he seems to be the head of the race so far. While working on this, I did have a little help with the questions. And, I hope you enjoy it!

PHAWKER: Being mayor looks like a thankless job. People are always yelling and screaming and upset with decisions that the mayor makes. So why did you decide to run for mayor?

JIM KENNEY: When you are the one making tough decisions you’re not always going to please everyone, and as a City Councilman I’ve had some practice with this. I always remember that it’s a few people who are unhappy that make the most kenney-spongebobnoise, as long as it’s a net benefit to the city, it’s usually worth it. I believe that you’re never truly ?happy unless you’re serving others, by high school teachers taught me that. As mayor, I think I’ll be in the best position to drive down the city’s poverty rate and help the most number of people.

PHAWKER: Fixing the schools is important because children are the future. For years, people have tried to fix the school system and failed. What makes you so sure that you will succeed where so many have failed

JIM KENNEY: My approach is different because I’m focused on expanding community schools – which address the child’s entire learning environment, including the family’s socio-economic circumstances and the child’s health. Community schools are proven to raise graduation rates and improve the communities surrounding them.

PHAWKER: When Lynn Abraham fainted on TV, people who saw it said that she should drop out of the election because she was too old. Other people said this was sexist, because they wouldn’t do the same if a man fainted. If you had fainted, do you think people would have suggested you drop out of the election? Also, what does sexist mean?

JIM KENNEY: Sexism is when women are treated differently because of their gender. For instance, many women are paid less than men despite having the same kenney-spongebobqualifications. As mayor this is something I have a plan to correct in Philadelphia. As for DA Abraham, I think she’s proved that she’s as fit as a fiddle.

PHAWKER: I am worried about getting shot by the police. Do you think that every police officer that has a gun should have body cameras?

JIM KENNEY: I do believe that every officer carrying a firearm should be outfitted with a body camera that way any time there is an accident city officials will know exactly what happened and will be able to react accordingly.

PHAWKER: I’ve heard that the city’s pension fund should have at least $10 billion in the bank to cover everyone, but we only have $4 billion saved. When I grow up, if I worked in the city, would you say there would be a pension for me?

JIM KENNEY: There are three things I will do to make sure our pension fund is solvent and available for future generations, including overfunding the city’s minimum obligation, negotiating with municipal unions and revising our agreement with the Wall St managers who currently receive $32-33 million in fees every year.

PHAWKER: If you become mayor would you make a law saying that the Eagles can spike the football after a touchdown?kenney-spongebob

JIM KENNEY: Unfortunately, that is something that falls outside of what I will be able to do as mayor. That is something that will be need to be addressed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. All I can say is that I hope we as fans can celebrate plenty of Eagles touchdowns in the stands and at hom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Like any normal 10 year old kid from Haddon Heights, he goes to school, loves his dog, likes Minecraft and leaves a mess wherever he goes. You can check out his blog THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO CHARLIE.

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CINEMA: Truly Madly Amy

Monday, May 18th, 2015

AMY_web

 

Just released movie poster for forthcoming Amy Winehouse doc, Amy, which opens in the U.S. on July 10th.

DAILY BEAST: How Mr. Winehouse Exploited Amy

VULTURE: The Complicated New Amy Winehouse Doc

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PREVIOUSLY: CONCERT REVIEW: Amy Winehouse @ The Electric Factory

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Rise Of Robots Info Wars

 
FRESH AIR

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From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce. Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that robots, once thought of as a threat to only manufacturing jobs, are poised to replace humans as teachers, journalists, lawyers and others Rise Of The Robotsin the service sector. “There’s already a hardware store [in California] that has a customer service robot that, for example, is capable of leading customers to the proper place on the shelves in order to find an item,” Ford tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. In his new book, Rise of the Robots, Ford considers the social and economic disruption that is likely to result when educated workers can’t no longer find employment. “As we look forward from this point, we need to keep in mind that this technology is going to continue to accelerate,” Ford says. “So I think there’s every reason to believe it’s going to become the primary driver of inequality in the future, and things are likely to get even more extreme than they are now.” MORE

RELATED: Fear Of A Robot Planet

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