Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://www.culturecatch.com/node/feed en How to Waste 93 Minutes of Your Life with Jonathan Rhys Meyers http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3740 <span>How to Waste 93 Minutes of Your Life with Jonathan Rhys Meyers</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/brandon-judell" lang="" about="/users/brandon-judell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brandon Judell</a></span> <span>July 18, 2018 - 16:57</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3740" data-a2a-title="How to Waste 93 Minutes of Your Life with Jonathan Rhys Meyers"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/120" hreflang="en">film review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/403" hreflang="en">films</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ly10vn4gS_Y?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Jonathan Rhys Meyers broods well. Better than most, in fact.</p> <p>His uncontrollable yearning for his family's new hiree (a Jewess in disguise) in <i>The Governess </i>(1998) is an indelible depiction of post-pubescent desire. In Todd Haynes' <i>The Velvet Goldmine </i>(1998), his petulant take on a David-Bowie-esque rocker cemented the film's rep as one of the best narratives on rock. Then there's his Dracula, Elvis, and Henry VIII with their applaudable sneers, plus his obsessed adulterer in Woody Allen's <i>Match Point </i>(2005) whose coin flip brings his comeuppance.</p> <p>Now in David Zelik Berk's highly cliched, instantly forgettable Middle-Eastern spy caper, <i>Damascus Cover</i>, Meyers goes stoic.  What a waste! So wooden is his performance, if you were casting for the part of an elm, you would definitely be stuck between choosing him or the splintery Henry Cavill.</p> <p>Based on Howard Kaplan's bestselling thriller from 1977, Meyers plays the recently divorced Ari-Ben Zion, an Israeli spy pretending to be a German businessman interested in purchasing Syrian rugs from a merchant who regularly commingles with a group of transplanted Nazis. Ari's task is supposedly to help a Jewish family escape to Israel from Damascus.</p> <p>The rightfully esteemed John Hurt, in his final film, plays his boss Miki, the head of Mossad, the Israeli national intelligence agency, who's using the unsuspecting Ari as a pawn in a grand scheme involving much double-crossing. In one scene, Miki gets to eat a sandwich on a bench. It's a minor role.</p> <p>Then there's Kim Johnson (Olivia Thirlby), who shows up as a flirtatious <i>USA Today</i> photographer with a broken watch. But is she who she says she is?</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/damascus_cover_photo_4.jpg?itok=hERGopi1" width="1200" height="557" alt="Thumbnail" title="damascus_cover_photo_4.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>You might care, but I was more interested by the various telephones showcased: the old-fashioned dial-ups, the push-buttons, and the oversized cellulars, especially when one is used as a murder weapon. Try killing with an iPhone X. It just won't do.</p> <p>In another scene, Ari is violently beaten up, possibly by members of Mukhabarat, the Syrian intelligence agency. Blood is everywhere. Face, clothes, street. The next moment, he is splatter-free, bloodless like the film. Maybe he was carrying Wash N Dri towelettes.</p> <p>Director Berk means well with this poorly realized script he co-wrote with Samantha Newton. He’s trying to capture the inanities of the situation in the Middle East, spotlighting how both sides have to go through the motions of playing cat and mouse, constantly switching who's the feline and who's the rodent, but you can't care when the characters are little more than one-dimensional.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3740&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="hEvovOABUT1TbdnIKk6_u2V80FqkmdMYbzUdZD9k7Dw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:57:26 +0000 Brandon Judell 3740 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3740#comments Cartoon by Ken Krimstein http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3737 <span>Cartoon by Ken Krimstein</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/steveholtje" lang="" about="/users/steveholtje" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve Holtje</a></span> <span>July 15, 2018 - 15:46</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3737" data-a2a-title="Cartoon by Ken Krimstein"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/literary" hreflang="en">Literary Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/96" hreflang="en">cartoon</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/439" hreflang="en">literature</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/k-krimstein-cartoon-7-18_0.jpg?itok=O2U-rnJc" width="1200" height="1200" alt="Thumbnail" title="k-krimstein-cartoon-7-18.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Ken's new hardcover book <a href="http://www.kenkrimstein.com" target="_blank"><em>The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth</em></a> (Bloomsbury Publishing) will be released on September 25, 2018. Pre-order it or his previous book, the very astute <i><a href="http://www.afishwithlegs.com/" target="_blank">Kvetch as Kvetch Can</a>, </i>through his <a href="http://www.kenkrimstein.com" target="_blank">website</a> link.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3737&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="lqrBfxK3C1RuQVIybkGdaeibdfGsiLsicBnvu2bNu-Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:46:15 +0000 Steve Holtje 3737 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3737#comments Tom Cruise Becomes Almost Huggable Again http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3736 <span>Tom Cruise Becomes Almost Huggable Again</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/brandon-judell" lang="" about="/users/brandon-judell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brandon Judell</a></span> <span>July 15, 2018 - 15:38</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3736" data-a2a-title="Tom Cruise Becomes Almost Huggable Again"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/522" hreflang="en">Mission Impossible</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/120" hreflang="en">film review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/523" hreflang="en">Tom Cruise</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wb49-oV0F78?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>This latest installment of the <i>Mission Impossible </i>franchise is unmitigated fun with its deliciously overwrought motorcycle chases, hellish helicopter skirmishes, frenzied fisticuffs, plus rooftop jumpings galore. My favorite is the bathroom decimation.</p> <p>More beneficial to our joy is that Mr. Tom Cruise has stopped making gossip headlines in recent years. He's only garnered press for injuring himself during an <i>MI </i>stunt. There's no added Oprahesque/religious/marital baggage to distract us from sitting back and being totally enveloped in this "global cultural icon's"* portrayal of the troubled Tom Hunt as he puts aside his own personal problems to safeguard the world from three plutonium bombs that have fallen into the hands of those who will sell them to terrorists.</p> <p>The plot itself is much too complex to try to introduce to you here. (Something about a bonkers anarchist (Sean Harris) and his group, the Apostles, and their desire to overthrow world order.) And, yes, there are moments when you are about to say, "Huh!" But before you can scratch your head in bewilderment, the film hurtles forth at such a great speed from Belfast to Paris to London to Kashmir that you've forgotten that it might not at all make sense. It sort of does though in retrospect.</p> <article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/mission-impossible-fallout-1.jpg?itok=CkDDR7__" width="980" height="490" alt="Thumbnail" title="mission-impossible-fallout-1.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Aiding Mr. Cruise are his regular sidekicks: Simon Pegg as Benji and Ving Rhames as Luther. Both add much needed humor to the proceedings. Rebecca Ferguson also appears again as Ilsa Faust, the ass-kicking, sharp shooter who has won over Hunt’s heart. And if the Oscars come up with an award for best cameo, Wolf Blitzer will definitely get a nomination for his solid comic turn here.</p> <p>Then there's Henry Cavill as an overly attractive stick-in-the mud CIA agent. Perfect typecasting.</p> <p>As for writer/director Christopher McQuarrie's helming, although he lacks Paul (<i>Bourne Ultimatum)</i> Greengrass's artfulness, his sensibility is a perfect complement to a large popcorn and a Coke. The man, who won an Oscar for <i>The Usual Suspects </i>screenplay in 1996, tries to pull out all the stops here, and he pretty much succeeds.</p> <p>The result will be a huge hit, or is one already, which means get ready for <i>Missions Impossible 7, 8,</i> and <i>9 -- </i>and at least another two decades of the personable Mr. Cruise doing what he does best.</p> <p>*As noted in the film's production notes.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3736&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="iA8RT-cnj-oDnDorEQyLdDv1f-Yea89xNda_AXApWl0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:38:32 +0000 Brandon Judell 3736 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3736#comments The One That Got Away http://www.culturecatch.com/dusty/daniel_lanois <span>The One That Got Away</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>July 13, 2018 - 10:00</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/dusty/daniel_lanois" data-a2a-title="The One That Got Away"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/curios" hreflang="en">Curios</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/521" hreflang="en">Daniel Lanois</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x1UF_63KSCE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><em>This article first appeared on Culture Catch back in 2005.</em></p> <p>"Blood of Eden" -- the special movie mix for the Wim Wender's film <i>Until the End of the World</i> -- is one of my favorite songs ever. It was a remixed track from Peter Gabriel's 1992 record <i>Us</i>, a gorgeous, spacious ballad unencumbered by the surgically percussive elements that made <i>So</i> and <i>Us</i> such massively popular albums.</p> <p>Last week I had the opportunity to interview the artist responsible for co-producing, playing, and singing on this majestic piece of music, one of the true unsung heroes of rock and roll: producer/musician/songwriter <a href="http://www.daniellanois.com/" target="_blank">Daniel Lanois</a>.<!--break--></p> <p>For those of you who don't him -- and I'm assuming most of you don't -- he's mainly known as a producer, having helmed career-defining records for Peter Gabriel (<i>So, Us</i>), U2 (<i>The Unforgettable Fire</i>, <i>The Joshua Tree</i>, <i>Achtung Baby</i>), Bob Dylan (<i>Oh, Mercy, Time Out of Mind</i>, Emmylou Harris (<i>Wrecking Ball</i>), the Neville Brothers (<i>Yellow Moon</i>), and Willie Nelson (<i>Teatro</i>), to name but a few. And he's also recorded six CDs of his own music, including his current offering, the vividly cinematic instrumental CD <i>Belladonna</i>.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2syDIystpKg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>He began his '80s apprenticeship with ambient genius Brian Eno. Together they produced a breadth of work that remains as vital today as it did when it was released back in the '80s. His ethereal pedal steel playing on his collaboration with Eno on <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g1UnrUS5W4M&amp;offerid=78941&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D21697088%2526id%253D21697311%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30"><i>Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks</i></a> is simply one of most sonically challenging uses of an instrument primarily known for its country applications. But with Mr. Lanois hammering, stroking, and feathering it, it becomes an instrument for the cosmos. In fact, his new effort, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g1UnrUS5W4M&amp;offerid=78941&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D272861543%2526id%253D272861479%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30"><i>Belladonna</i></a>, is really a continued exploration of that instrument with themes and moods he developed on that early Eno effort.</p> <p>My Lanois sit-down was an amazing interview, to say the least, but upon returning to the studio, I discovered I had a major tech malfunction with my field equipment and I was unable to download the interview. One of the most candid interviews I've ever conducted was now just a special memory.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dcWwtQmAt7E?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Bob Dylan was absolutely right about the man. Dylan wrote in his book <i>Chronicles, Vol. 1</i> that he knew he could work with Lanois because he "didn't have a colossal ego, seemed disciplined -- nothing wheeler dealer about him -- and had an extraordinary passion for music."</p> <p>After spending an hour asking him questions about his music and art, I can say that this was unequivocally true. I knew that I could contact him and tell him what happened and if his busy schedule would permit, I could try to capture magic in a bottle for a second time. Perhaps there are other questions to be asked when the second interview takes place, but the ones that I recall asking were met with gentle and thoughtful answers. He confided in me that fellow Canadian Neil Young was someone he'd like to produce, someone he thinks he could help deliver a career-defining album. I shared with him that he would have been perfect for Jeff Buckley or even P.J. Harvey, though she certainly has her own clearly defined sound.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w-JtAcpKtYQ?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>His advice to all the up-and-comer songwriters and producers was to experiment with their equipment -- mics, instruments, rigs -- really get creative with how you record a song and how you approach delivering the song. Explore the song with all the creativity you can muster. In the end, I was left with something that resonated from his most recent press release. In it he said: "Some of my favorite records take you on a journey, it would take you to that place and never let you down." One can honestly say that the records I've mentioned above are works of art that do just that; whether one floats along a bubbling brook or glides gleaming on a magic carpet, trips will certainly be taken.</p> <p>So a valuable lesson was learned in my young podcasting career -- always have a backup or, at the very least, a willing guest that will agree to a second interview. Daniel Lanois has agreed to a second interview. <em>(Yet to happen.)</em> Look for it soon. Converge is the Word!</p> <p>peace, <em>Dusty</em><br clear="all" /><!--break--></p> </div> <section> </section> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 46 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/dusty/daniel_lanois#comments Video of the Week: "This Is America" http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3734 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;This Is America&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>July 10, 2018 - 10:00</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3734" data-a2a-title="Video of the Week: &quot;This Is America&quot;"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">music video</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/516" hreflang="en">hip hop</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/517" hreflang="en">rap</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VYOjWnS4cMY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Protest music for this generation made easy but informed by those that came before, i.e., Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Fela Kuti, Public Enemy, et al. Childish Gambino nails it in his evocative hip-hop street symphony "This Is America." Thoughtful, direct and riveting, and directed by Japanese-American filmmaker <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiro_Murai" title="Hiro Murai">Hiro Murai</a>, a frequent Gambino collaborator, it is non-stop messaging in today's divisive America.  The song features background vocals by American rappers <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlocBoy_JB" title="BlocBoy JB">BlocBoy JB</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_Savage" title="21 Savage">21 Savage</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Thug" title="Young Thug">Young Thug</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rae_Sremmurd" title="Rae Sremmurd">Slim Jxmmi</a>,  <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quavo" title="Quavo">Quavo</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offset_(rapper)" title="Offset (rapper)">Offset</a>. 327,580,858 views and counting; killer indeed.</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3734&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="5szilc70jeiVKmTnbI2ASBTVwV7qZ54eFFgTVCWCAYY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 10 Jul 2018 14:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 3734 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3734#comments Who Cares For Planet Earth? http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3733 <span>Who Cares For Planet Earth?</span> <span><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous</span></span> <span>July 9, 2018 - 11:28</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3733" data-a2a-title="Who Cares For Planet Earth?"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/62" hreflang="en">art review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/509" hreflang="en">Morean Arts Center</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/01_s_roman_untitled_bend.jpg?itok=VyNDUrM3" title="01_s_roman_untitled_bend.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Selina Roman , Untitled (Bend), 2011, Archival Inkjet Print. Photo courtesy of the artist.</figcaption></figure><p>Considering the scope of climate change, it really begs the question why more artists aren't tackling the subject.</p> <p>Fortunately, we're seeing a sea change. Artists from the Sunshine State (and others) are assuming the mantle for bringing attention to a subject that is as dire as it is censored -- heck, the words "climate change" are even <a href="https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article208967284.html" rel="noopener" target="_blank">forbidden</a> from being included in official documents, a mandate from Gov. Rick Scott.</p> <p>At the <a href="http://moreanartscenter.org/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Morean Arts Center</a>, the comprehensive exhibition <em>Water over the Bridge: Contemporary Seascapes </em>displays both accessible and challenging works in a staggering variety of media. Curated by <a href="https://www.ddlombardi.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">D. Dominick Lombardi</a> of Valhalla, N.Y., and Amanda Cooper, the Morean's Curator of Exhibitions, it's a must-see for anyone who cares about supporting visual art and gaining perspective on the environment.</p> <p>"Contemporary artists can very often be like the canary in the coalmine warning of the presence of deadly gases," Lombardi wrote in the exhibition's program.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Artists can bring to light the changes in sea levels, and the industries that contribute to the problem by simply exposing, with visual and written references, a very troubling reality that we are in the thick of a political battle for our very future, and the futures of the animals and plants we love."</p> </blockquote> <p>Artists helping meet Lombardi's objective include <a href="http://katehelms.squarespace.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Kate Helms</a>, <a href="http://www.kennyjensen.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Kenny Jensen</a>, <a href="http://selinaroman.com/home.html">Selina Roman</a>, Anne Bowen, <a href="http://creativepinellas.org/magazine-items/guest-editor-babs-reingolds-roots-of-inspiration/">Babs Reingold</a>, Carolina Cleere, Margaret LeJeune, Rieko Fujinami and William Thompson.</p> <p>While some  may flinch when invited to a climate change-focused exhibition for fear of a heavy-handed downer experience, "Water over the Bridge" does much more. It elevates the discussion, offering as much that's life affirming as is foreboding. It provides humor and whimsicality as well as punch-you-in-the-gut pathos.</p> <p>"If you look at works by Don Doe, Bill Gusky, Scott Hatt, Dale Leifeste, China Marks and Selina Roman, you will see that they are raising our awareness of rising sea levels with a bit of humor," Lombardi elaborates. "I also believe that we have to be thankful for the not-for-profit institutions like the Morean that will mount challenging shows that raise important issues like climate change. Since not-for-profits do not have to rely on selling the work they exhibit, they can show art that goes beyond saccharine seascapes and landscapes. Living in New York I am no stranger to rubberneck delays on highways. It's a shame there is such great interest in slowing down to look at the carnage of a car accident across a roadway, while issues about the environment have become a nasty political battle."</p> <p>According to her artist statement, Kate Helms calls attention to the "parroted paradise ... born of stout St. Augustine grass, primly planted medians, perfectly spaced palms, and gracefully arcing sprinkler showers." Her works are "united by a desire to question cultural attitudes about the fabricated environments we inhabit and fetishize to the point of precarious delusion."</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="856" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/nature_conversasy_art-14.jpg?itok=fLspQDOS" title="nature_conversasy_art-14.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Kate Helms. Colony 1. Photo credit: Daniel Veintimilla. </figcaption></figure><p>Her installation <em>Colony 1 </em>(created with resin, cloth, sandpaper and found chaise, measuring 74 x 28 x 35 inches) proposes a creepy hypothetical scenario; it foresees the future state of an antique chair in an opulent Florida living room after it's been submerged for decades -- the chair's once opulence is reduced to an absurd oddity as realistically crafted barnacles overtake it. It's both a poignant and humorous look at how nature may conquer us if we don't stop abusing it.</p> <p>"I haven't lost all hope and you shouldn't either," Helms said during her recent gallery talk at the Morean, adding that her work is not intended as a death knell but a call to action.  A Stormwater Program Administrator for the City of Largo, the scientist/artist has painstakingly tracked the effects of runoff and expresses no doubt that climate change is human-influenced.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="811" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/nature_conversasy_art-5.jpg?itok=_ESY-byM" title="nature_conversasy_art-5.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Babs Reingold. The Last Sea, 2018, mixed media and variable dimensions.</figcaption></figure><p>Babs Reingold's mixed-media installation <em>The Last Sea</em> mirrors a more current reality, one that harks viral videos of wildlife strangled by plastic bags -- a canoe filled with flaccid, nondescript small stuffed animal corpses and strewn with plastic litter. In addition, one of Reingold's Luna Ladders hangs overboard. From one perspective, it denotes a "jump ship" attitude like those of wealthy people who believe they can just colonize Mars. On the other hand, the ladder could intimate one last hope for survival. Adding a touch of dark humor, the boat's name, the piece's title, spelled out in a boat name painted whimsically in a recognizable 1950s-style semi-cursive font. It's a light touch on a dark piece. Ultimately, <em>The Last Sea</em> offers a chilling scenario, a proposition of the last major body of water on Earth. Its theme, a progression of Babs Reingold's series <a href="https://www.babsreingold.com/gallery/gallery.php?MT=6" rel="noopener" target="_blank">"The Last Tree,"</a> takes its inspiration from <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse">Jared Diamond</a>'s 2004 TedEx talk, when he asks, "What was the person who cut down the last tree on Easter Island thinking?"</p> <p>The ideal exhibition to bring teens and tween students to, Water over the Bridge engages and elicits critical thinking and discourse; a highly prescriptive antidote to reactive social networking and comment-board trolling.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1750" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/nature_conversasy_art-10.jpg?itok=ks4mlLwP" title="nature_conversasy_art-10.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Kenny Jensen. Dominion Under (Bound and Loosed), 2018, mixed media, variable dimensions.</figcaption></figure><p>"This exhibition does succeed as a kind of protest," Co-curator Amanda Cooper says in the brochure for the show. "If you ever thought about land conservation and wondered why it was important or whether you should care about it -- one only has to look at these paintings to see what we stand to lose. Sometimes a beautifully and lovingly crafted work of art speaks louder than a megaphone."</p> <p>In tandem, The Morean Arts Center is also presenting a solo exhibition by an established artist who places an emphasis on the joy and wonder we feel while encountering nature. "Leslie Neumann: Manna from Heaven … and Earth," shows the trajectory of an established artist and conservationist‘s work over a long period of time, focusing on the beauty of nature vs. our troubling current events.</p> <p>Arguably the world's most urgent problem, climate change not only hits close to home on both the figurative and literal level, but offers a number of philosophical quandaries to explore -- from the most elemental of human needs to more abstract, complex issues around stewardship of our planet, morality and evolution. -<em> Julie Garisto</em></p> <p><em>Ms. Garisto is an assistant editor/contributor at the central Florida nonprofit arts agency <a href="http://creativepinellas.org/">Creative Pinellas</a>, where she covers arts and music events. Julie also contributes to the Tampa Bay Times as well as other publications. She served as arts and entertainment editor for Creative Loafing (2010-2015). </em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3733&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="4XABYKhy8BmqunupOpcnmRGuMY3zqORQ39XkLdc0ZOo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 09 Jul 2018 15:28:25 +0000 Anonymous 3733 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3733#comments Quote of the Week: Elvis Costello http://www.culturecatch.com/QOTW/elvis_costello <span>Quote of the Week: Elvis Costello</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/david-ashdown" lang="" about="/users/david-ashdown" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dave Ashdown</a></span> <span>July 5, 2018 - 10:00</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/QOTW/elvis_costello" data-a2a-title="Quote of the Week: Elvis Costello"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/66" hreflang="en">quote</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/460" hreflang="en">celebrity quote</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3Y71iDvCYXA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"And I don't feel any form of music is beyond me in the sense of that I don't understand it or I don't have some love for some part of it."</p> <p><a href="http://www.elviscostello.com">Elvis Costello</a> (born Declan Patrick MacManus, 25 Aug. 1954), English singer-songwriter.<br /><!--break--></p> </div> <section> </section> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:00:00 +0000 Dave Ashdown 459 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/QOTW/elvis_costello#comments Happy 4th of July! http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3732 <span>Happy 4th of July!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>July 4, 2018 - 08:54</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3732" data-a2a-title="Happy 4th of July!"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/curios" hreflang="en">Curios</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/470" hreflang="en">4th of July</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/471" hreflang="en">new music</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/268" hreflang="en">Donovan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/mellow-yellow-cover.png?itok=sBDbk-_z" width="1200" height="1200" alt="Thumbnail" title="mellow-yellow-cover.png" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><article class="embedded-entity"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-audio-file field--type-file field--label-hidden field--item"><audio controls="controls"><source src="/sites/default/files/2018/2018-07/mellow_yellow.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"></source></audio></div> </div> </article><p> </p> <p>Sunshine daydream! Happy 4th of July! To all Americans and citizens of Earth, celebrate your freedom and enjoy the melodic sunshine! Special thanks to <a href="https://donovan.ie/" target="_blank">Donovan</a> for his vocal support on his timeless '60s folk-rock classic.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3732&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="q-dlUaG19sAYgKrDkCWN0U5tbQSxWRpwVsDGkYlVxTE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 04 Jul 2018 12:54:40 +0000 Dusty Wright 3732 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3732#comments More than Intercourse and Catchy Confections http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3731 <span>More than Intercourse and Catchy Confections</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/c-jefferson-thom" lang="" about="/users/c-jefferson-thom" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">C. Jefferson Thom</a></span> <span>July 2, 2018 - 18:01</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3731" data-a2a-title="More than Intercourse and Catchy Confections"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/461" hreflang="en">music interview</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/413" hreflang="en">music review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/462" hreflang="en">marcy playground</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/pmcdonald_20180523_0266.jpg?itok=a5AKrovp" title="pmcdonald_20180523_0266.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Phill McDonald</figcaption></figure><p>The world of popular music, or what's commonly played on the radio, has drastically shifted since Marcy Playground first made their presence know with the hit single "Sex and Candy" back in 1997. Rock isn't really the popular music any more &amp; while hip hop and more mainstream pop stars have arguably taken it's place on the throne, you could also argue that there are so many listening platforms available that there really isn't a singular stage that the majority of society crowds around any longer. Who was the last to to stand on that all-eyes-watching stage? Maybe Nirvana or Michael Jackson... but either way it would be hard to argue against the fact that most of us live in our own musical bubbles these days. What is at the top of our personal lists may be vaguely recognized or completely unknown to the person sitting next to us at our local bar or bus stop. Someone who lives completely within the realm of our physical world, the paths we cross on a daily basis, often lives entirely outside the universe of what we're listening to and watching. It's a brave and somewhat lonely, isolated new world.</p> <p>But for those of us still happily stuck in the 90s, when rock was a raw king that had broken through the glamorous fetters of the 80s so that it could plainly vomit truth on our tattered Vans Sneakers and Dr. Martens boots, it is a comfort to see bands that keep fighting that good fight. Even in a world crowded with so many different sounds that its becoming increasingly difficult to make out a solitary song, there are bands that take the stage and rock. Marcy Playground is one of those bands.</p> <p>I reviewed Marcy Playground when they played at <a href="http://culturecatch.com/music/marcy-playground-bb-kings" target="_blank">B.B. Kings</a> in NYC back in 2009 and I hold to my overall position in that piece, which is that this is a band that is very worthy of exploration far beyond the hit single everybody knows. They are only a one-hit wonder for those too lazy to wander their solid and inspiring catalogue, so bring a shovel and Marcy will provide the depths for you to dig. This time they were playing in Seattle at the Showbox and I was able to sit down with John Wozniak (Woz for short), the band's frontman and song writer, and chat before the show. My wife, Lori, joined me for the interview below.</p> <p><strong>C.J. (Culture Catch): </strong>So, coming to Washington, is this like a homecoming for you?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Every time.  Yeah, man.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Well welcome back!</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It's a little shocking how expensive hotels have gotten.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> That's actually something I wanted to ask you about. So you went to Evergreen, years ago now. So what are the changes? What's this landscape looking like to you now?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It's like exploded. Seattle was kind of more of a small town.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> It used to be a company town with Boeing...</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> That was it. And Microsoft... and Starbucks was just getting going...</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Are there places that have vanished that you miss that make it feel less like the Seattle you knew?</p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>There used to be a house boat on Lake Union that I stayed at that my friend Sean, his family owned. I don't know if that's still there. I need to check that out. That was the coolest -- by far the most chill thing I've ever experienced. I spent a summer on that thing in probably '92 and I hope that's still there.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Where do you live these days?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> I live in Hamilton, Ontario. It's about 45 minutes outside of Toronto. Steel town.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> So you're a Canadian now.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> I've been in Canada for 16 years now. Something like that. So what happened was I bought a recording studio in Vancouver. A place called Mushroom and it was like this really old studio from the '60s that did Zeppelin, BTO, &amp; Heart--</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Another Seattle band.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah. Exactly. That's where they did <i>Dream Boat Annie </i>and <i>Magazine</i>. Yeah they were signed to Mushroom records initially before they sued the crap out of Mushroom Records into non-existence.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> And then you went and picked up the toad stool--</p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>I was not the guy who did that. That would have been Charlie Richmond, he did that in like the early '80s. He picked up the remnants of that situation. I bought it in like '98 or something like that...</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> So like right after the self-titled album. [<i>Marcy Playground</i>]</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Exactly. I had a bit of money and I was like, <i>what do you want do with this? </i>So I bought a recording studio.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Because that's what rock stars do.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It is apparently. So I did that and we did a lot of great records when I was there. We did the first Hot Hot Heat record and we did some MudHoney stuff. A lot of Canadian artists. Matthew Good... just a lot of Canadian artists.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>It is Canada.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It is Canada and then I moved to Toronto several years ago and that was a big change. That was a bit of a shock. Toronto's a big city.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> It's one of the biggest cities in North America.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah. They're big. But I love it up there and I made my way up to Hamilton because of a girl.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>So now do you still own the Mushroom studio in Vancouver, so you still maintain that?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> We actually moved the entire business out, so now that's in Hamilton. We're about to to reopen up there.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Smart. So, I've been listening to your music since '97. I'm a big fan and you have an amazing catalogue with a bunch of music and I very often run into the annoying thing that I mention you--</p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>Yeah. Oh, "Sex &amp; Candy."</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Exactly. So what's your relationship with "Sex &amp; Candy" today?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Better than it's ever been.  I used to -- I mean, way back when it was over played on the radio and it was just... everything was...</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>It's a great song. There's nothing to be ashamed of there.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Not at all, especially since the record company never promoted the song. It had an organic spreading. Started on a radio station in San Diego and got huge requests then other stations started hearing about that and started playing it and getting their own huge requests and so it sort of speard organically. So in that sense it was a fan driven hit and then it stayed on the top of the charts for a very long time.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>It was like fifteen weeks or something like that. I remember reading about it.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah. It was.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>It was a pretty long period of time.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah. It was absurd, actually, and at that point I was a little sick and tired of it. I won't lie.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> That's why I ask. <i>Shapeshifter </i>is an amazing follow-up album and it's still like when I ask people -- even friends who are big fans of your music and they love the first album but they didn't know the second album and I think, <i>how could you not follow this up?</i></p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>You know that's funny, I found there're two classes I've found with fans of our band and that's the ones that you're talking about that that's their favorite one and there's ones that are like <i>Shapeshifter</i>'s it, like forget it, that was the beginning and end of you guys, like it's the greatest thing, they love it so much and... I find that I hate both of those guys because I want them to hear the rest of the music. (Laughter)</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="675" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/cj-woz-lori-2018.jpg?itok=MaEYFmA0" title="cj-woz-lori-2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Elias Bucci, Tour Manager</figcaption></figure><p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Well then we can still be friends because I'm a huge fan of <i>Wonderland</i>. [<i>Leaving Wonderland... In a Fit of Rage</i>] <i>Wonderland </i>is a huge transition. Now I know you were going to do that as a solo album and then you brought in the band. You have a rich fantasy life, there are a lot of fantastical lyrics and I can detect an element of personal quality in all of your songs but <em>Leaving</em> <i>Wonderland </i>is much less veiled. It seems a lot more raw. Is it just because it was supposed to be a solo album or is it just where you were at that moment in your life?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Totally where I was at that moment in my life. It's much more personal. I just figured -- there's a lot of vulnerability in that record because I sort of said that's what I want. To show a little more, you know, take a bit more of a risk. It's still music, right, so I think you can show that side of yourself and people still enjoy it just because it's a good song or whatever but then there's another bunch of people that will really relate to the songs and the lyrics. Some people don't listen to lyrics, some people do.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Lyrics are one of the things I gravitate to pretty quickly and it's interesting to me how that album is the first one that seems to deal with some darker issues more face on. Whereas that darkness has always been there... like with "Wave Motion Gun." Here's this really upbeat, happy-sounding song but if you listen to the lyrics you're talking about shooting heroin and basically committing suicide.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It's a warning.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Yeah. It's a pretty heavy subject matter. So I'm just wondering if that's something that's always been steeping underneath the surface for you?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Oh, yeah. Yeah. It has. It took me -- I had to be separated from drugs and alcohol physically four-and-a-half years ago in order to finally start down the road to my own personal recovery. (Laughs)</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Where was <em>Leaving</em> <i>Wonderland </i>in that process?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> That was like -- I was in it. I was like deep, deep in the alcoholism and drugs.</p> <p><strong>C.J: </strong>So the gin and cocaine in the back of you car--?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It wasn't a lie. It was dead true. I was pretty brutally honest with that record.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Well, it was probably a natural progression though. It must have felt very natural for you guys.</p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>So is alcoholism. (Laughs)</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Yeah. It's so easy!</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Right? Yeah it is. No, it was a natural progression and you end up being more open to ah... sharing a bit. I think on some level I might have been reaching out, you know, to say like, <i>hey</i>! I'm not saying this is my musical call for help but I was definitely trying to reach out for contact without realizing it. You know reaching out to feel part of instead of separate from. I was in a state that was very separated from everybody else at that point.</p> <p><strong>C.J:</strong> Like a depression?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Oh yeah! And it's amazing to me to look back and think I pulled off a record in that.</p> <p><strong>C.J: </strong>A pretty amazing record, too. I'm a big fan. That's my favorite album actually.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Well it's a Pacific Northwest written and recorded album. I did that at Mushroom before I moved to Toronto.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Alright. Nice. So locally grown. Well it's an amazing album. Like I was saying to Lori, I'm blanking on the title of the song... [singing] "<i>kicking down the back streets people trying to break my stride."</i></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-07/pmcdonald_20180523_0160.jpg?itok=GnitBYNq" title="pmcdonald_20180523_0160.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Phill McDonald</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Woz:</strong> Oh. <i> Good times.</i></p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> <i>Good times</i>, of course.</p> <p><strong>Lori: </strong>How did you write that song when you were that depressed? Where did that come from?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Because that's what it's about.  It's about me trying to call to myself -- it's a self soothing.  That's what that song is.  <i>Hey, man. It's going to be alright</i>. You know what I mean? Just believe that. Fake it 'til you make it. (Laughs)</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> It's an upbeat song that would very often annoy the fuck out of me. That it's just like, <i>oh, hey, everything's great</i>! But there's such a sincerity to it because of all the shit that the happiness is growing out of.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> The really weird thing is, too, like... I didn't even realize the phrase <i>this too shall pass </i>was an AA phrase. It's right out of Alcoholics Anonymous, <i>this too shall pass</i>. It's even on some of the medallions. And I wrote that long before I even realized I was an alcoholic and needed help. So, I think that's kind of interesting.</p> <p><strong>C.J.: </strong>Yeah! You were in your own AA.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah, it was like -- I don't know.  Thinking sort of in the future or something. My future self was maybe trying to talk to myself at the time.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Was sponsoring you?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> (Laughs) Yeah. Was sponsoring me back then. Like, it's gonna be alright, this too shall pass, it's kind of like -- you know looking back on it, 'cause I can reflect on it a little better than at the time. You know, like with the Beatles song "Help!"<i> </i>It's a very vulnerable song. "<i>Help!  I need somebody</i>." It's like almost doing the same thing, trying to self-soothe.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Like your lyrics, if you read just the lyrics, if you didn't have this happy, poppy song going along with it... yeah. It almost hides the darkness underneath.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It does. Yes.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> I'm a big fan of bitter pills being better to swallow with a sweet coating. I mean it helps a lot.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah and also it's a musical irony that is appealing esthetically.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> I agree and that's one that I think you do very well. Now I was talking to a couple of my friends and asking them things they might like to ask you and a friend of mine named Vern who's in a band in New York that's great called Woodhead<i> </i>and he was wondering -- you've been around and doing this thing since 1997, how has the music industry changed?  Has it gotten harder? Do you find more freedom in this era of the internet and downloading music? 'Cause you've really seen a huge transition from the label era to whatever the hell it is we're doing now.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> It's much easier to get your music to the people, obviously. Before there were gate keepers. The record companies acted as the gate keeper and that made it so that you had to follow -- sort of try and follow this singular path that they were creating for you if you wanted to reach a large audience. Now days it's not the case at all, it's just you have to figure out -- you have to be creative and clever and figure out ways to be the marketing team. What is it that's going to get your music to people so they're going to want to watch it on YouTube or whatever and, consequently, maybe go to your Facebook page and then finally find you on iTunes or something like that and buy the record or the song or whatever you've got.  So, in that sense, it's -- you can create what we used to call back in those days <i>street teams</i>, right? Just fans that would try and get the word out, but they would do it by like putting stickers in taxi cabs and that sort of thing and now days it's a little quicker. If you want people to know what you're about and hear your music, if you ask a bunch fans to tweet about it... social media is an incredible marketing tool.  That being said, however, there's no tour support in there so... unless, of course, you do GoFundMe or something like that. There's no album budgets, it's a lot of -- you have to do it yourself and I've watched a lot of people successfully do that. However, it is awesome -- it was great when you could just throw your record at the record company and then get on a tour bus and go out and tour and not really focus on...</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Business.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Right, the business and marketing aspects of it. So, I mean, I'm a musician, first and foremost, I'm a creative person, so if you ask me to do that kind of job I'm going to fall short. I'm just not very good at it and I'm not necessarily unique in that I would rather have experts in that field working with me as a team to be able to make that happen. So in a business sense all I can say is it's different. Is it better or worse?  No. There's no better or worse really.  More opportunity now, but more work. Harder work.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Do you find that it's harder to be a working musician?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> No. Because of the fact that we have this legacy and the fact that we've been doing this for as long as we have, we don't any of those sorts of problems. We'll come out and we'll do these tours and it's totally doable. The thing with us, really, it's our time. 'Cause Dylan, our bass player, he actually works at WNYC in New York--</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> And Dylan's been with you since New York from the very beginning.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> ...since the beginning. Yeah. Do you know the show <em>Radiolab</em> on NPR?</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Yes! Of course!</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah, so Dylan... you'll hear his name at the end of every show because he's the technical director for the show. He does all the sound, all the music, all the editing... so he's got that job and I produce records for other bands, you know I've got the studio and, also, I have hobbies, like I build and repair guitars.  There're other things that I'm interested in doing. However THIS is always going to be my first love. My band is always going to be my first love and I've tried to do the solo thing, as you know... I just went, <i>nah! Let's just do it as a band again.</i></p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Marcy just pulled you right back in...</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah! Yeah. Like I've never released anything as a solo record but I'd like to at some point, maybe.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Is that the next step? 'Cause I know you've done some compilation stuff, but since <i>Wonderland </i>-- that was your last completely originally album, right?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Is there something in the works right now?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Yeah. There is. In fact, I just mixed a song in the back of the bus. We recorded it in Hamilton. It's a new song.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> Will we be hearing any of that tonight? Will you be playing any new songs tonight?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Ahhh... possibly, I'll talk to Dylan. We'll see. I mean it's super brand new.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> I understand. You don't want to take it out before it's ready.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> No. I don't mind doing that. I just don't want to sound like shit.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong>  That too!</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong>  I think we need to practice it a little more.  I don't mind sounding like shit, just not in front of an audience.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong>  I think that's a reasonable stance to take. (To Lori) Did you have anything you wanted to ask?</p> <p><strong>Lori:</strong>  Who should we listen to?  Who are you excited about?</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong>  I mean... if you haven't been obsessed with The Shins yet that's a good way to go.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong> OK. I know of The Shins but I have not been obsessed with them yet.</p> <p><strong>Woz:</strong> Oh, man. Yeah, I think James Mercer is a genius. He's got like, I mean a deep catalogue of material and his lyrics. I love them so much.</p> <p><strong>C.J.:</strong>  Cool. I don't go to shows much any more. I have a bunch of friends in local bands and I see them and I go out to their shows, but I don't to big ticket events much any more.</p> <p><strong>Woz: </strong>I always feel like I should be working whenever I go to a concert now. You know what I mean, I'm looking around and I'm like, <i>am I allowed to be in the audience?</i></p> <p>-------------------------------------------------------</p> <p>Fortunately for us, Woz was not in the audience that night, but instead was on the stage working, engaged in playing music with his "first love." My immediate impression was how tight they were, perhaps even more so than when I saw them back in 2009. This is not a band going through the motions while looking to cash in on our nostalgia; they clearly love what they do and are dedicated to doing it right. They didn't end up playing any new material, but put out a solid set that spanned their four full-length albums. It was a slightly short set. No offense meant toward the other two bands on the tour (Everclear &amp; Local H), but I could have done with at least an hour more of Marcy Playground.</p> <p>So if you find yourself missing the music of the '90s or just craving some heart-felt rock with catchy hooks and galvanizing lyrics, you're in luck. If you haven't already explored Marcy Playground and their full arsenal, you have an invitation to one of a number of refreshing oases to help you survive this present Rock &amp; Roll desert we've found ourselves traveling through.</p> <p>For future tour dates and merchandise, check out the <a href="https://www.marcyplayground.net/" target="_blank">Marcy Playground's official website</a>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3731&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="rAOqF-cJNup9axvZOhVkyoBAXobquCTX992q8ik_Fpc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 02 Jul 2018 22:01:15 +0000 C. Jefferson Thom 3731 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3731#comments Woman & The Bull http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3730 <span>Woman &amp; The Bull</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>June 29, 2018 - 23:38</span> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3730" data-a2a-title="Woman &amp; The Bull"><a class="a2a_button_whatsapp"></a><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_email"></a></span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/446" hreflang="en">film</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/120" hreflang="en">film review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/f3HSYOMfAz0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><em>Woman Walks Ahead</em> (Studios) </p> <p>Producer Rick Solomon said it took him 17 years to get his movie made! Based on true events, this compelling movie tells the story of Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain), a widowed "feminist" artist from Brooklyn, New York who, in the 1880s, heads out to the Badlands to paint Lakota Sioux chief Sitting Bull, the Native American hero who defeated General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. More like a "bull" in the proverbial "china shop," she is up against it from the start. This is the America that was brutal to Native Americans and women alike, relegating them second class citizens; misguided machoism masquerading as paternal protector.</p> <p>The film was directed by Brit <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1264352/" target="_blank">Susanna White</a> and written by Steven Knight. And while Weldon becomes politicized by the plight of Sitting Bull and his Native brothers and sisters, I wonder if his original script trumped up the popcorn romance that is hinted between subject and painter. The real life story suggests that Weldon was not interested in becoming Sitting Bull's third wife. It was the one aspect about the film that felt unnecessary. But given the charisma of the two leads perhaps their on screen chemistry muddied those waters. </p> <p>The entire cast is wonderful but this movie truly belongs to Greyeyes. It's a knockout performance and certainly Academy-award nomination worthy. This veteran actor is a Plains Cree from the Muskeg Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, and he is riveting throughout -- whether digging potatoes or posing for his portrait. And Oscar winner Sam Rockwell as Col. Silas Groves is both menacing and funny, he understands the real danger of both the "savages" and the savage bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. As we know, politics are never easy to negotiate, even in the movies.</p> <p>Additional kudos to cinematography Mike Eley's stunning camera, with widescreen vistas shot in North Dakota and New Mexico that resonate like Ansel Adams' frontier photographs.  I can think of worse ways to spend a hot summer night than sitting through this excellent adult movie. - <em>Dusty Wright</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3730&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="MdxLzfOyJSVs9aSWlEpcV6QnmEB7GyLnYYGOELxyaa0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 30 Jun 2018 03:38:32 +0000 Dusty Wright 3730 at http://www.culturecatch.com http://www.culturecatch.com/node/3730#comments