The Filtered Excellence: May 3, 2012
Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” Its right here. Here are this weeks picks of what to WATCH, what to DO what to TRY what to READ what to LISTEN TO and more:
Between Two Ferns, Comedy Central. Don’t know if you’re planning on watching the Comedy Central Comedy Awards this Sunday night (shrug?) but what you should definitely plan on tuning in to is The Primetime Premiere of Between Two Ferns. that will be airing right before the ceremonies. Yeah, on TV! Zach Galifianakis’ well loved and hilarious web talk show Between Two Ferns promises to entertain: In this brand new special edition half hour, Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, and Richard Branson will be interviewed while seated between two potted fern trees, as is customary… Comedy Central Sunday 8:30 PM
Living In The Material World by George Harrison. Martin Scorsese’s sprawling four hour look at the former Beatle – which premiered on HBO last fall – is now on BluRay and DVD. As one might expect, there’s a ton of Beatle music and highlights from his solo career and as a member of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. The doc also goes into depth about Harrison’s role – and importance – in The Beatles, and his forays into Indian culture, auto racing and film making. But the centerpiece of Living In The Material World is how Harrison’s interest in spirituality played a greater emphasis in his life even as his status as a pop icon grew.
My Extraordinary, Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek. Fans will not want to miss this really touching and conversational memoir by the great actress. With a grounded wisdom rare for a woman in her line of work, Spacek is a beautiful and moving story teller. Few could write about the joys of the simple things in life in one breath while telling stories of mingling with Hollywood greatness in the next.
LISTEN TO THIS:
Fear Fun by Father John Misty. So who’s this Father John Misty? When the ex-drummer of Fleet Foxes sets off West Coast roadtrippin’, that’s who you get. Roaming down the highway with nowhere to go and, “enough mushrooms to choke a horse,” J. Tillman’s quasi-character was invented to tell the tale in this solo album of, “weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences,” sung in a familiar voice that rings pristinely. Acoustic guitar and mandolins are very present as well as big lush harmonies and thundering drums. Brimming with darkly mischievous lyrics wrapped in a warmly mellow disguise, this record is a sunny afternoon swing in a hammock with a mind full of morbid concerns. Fear Fun is folk rock Americana, aching and countrified, with Hollywood playing as one of the main characters.
Little Broken Hearts, by Norah Jones. The seeds of the latest effort from the Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter came from unexpected places. A very hush hush 2009 studio jam with Danger Mouse produced no new songs but it was so promising that they decided to work together once schedules cleared up. Two years later, they resumed the project. Playing most of the instruments themselves, Jones and Mouse emerged with a 12 song cycle that features emotionally bruised vocals, trippy guitars and string arrangements that would fit perfectly in a David Lynch movie. Little Broken Hearts is in the running for best breakup album of the past decade (Adele’s 21 and Sea Change by Beck being among the others) and marks a new chapter in an already stellar career. Don’t be surprised if Jones is back up on the Grammy stage next February. Little Broken Hearts is in stores now.
Master of My Make Believe, Santigold. Singer songwriter Santi White (aka Santigold) returns with her sophomore effort, expertly blending pop, hip-hop, guitar rock and electronica for a sound that the current crop of hitmakers would kill for. Standout tracks include Disparate Youth and GO! featuring Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Sun Midnight Sun by Sara Watkins. Sweet voiced singer, accomplished songwriter, fiddle player, and Grammy Award winner with Nickel Creek. She’s all that and more. The new album has guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Benmont Trench, and her brother Sean Watkins. Not a song you’ll leave off your playlist. She’s the real thing.
Seminar. Go see this funny, smartly written stage play on Broadway, only now through May 27. It stars Jeff Goldblum and an outstanding ensemble cast. Goldblum is Goldblum at his best, and Zoe Lister Jones is brilliantly funny. Jerry Bruckheimer, and Justin Long are also terrific in this play about creativity, being an artist and growing up.
Leonard Cohen. Cohen announces his 2012 North American tour. It’s Leonard Cohen, what more could we need to add? If you have an opportunity to get to see this brilliant singer-songwriter, don’t miss it.
The Beale St Music Festival in Memphis. It takes place this weekend so hurry up! If you’re in the area, don’t miss this great lineup. Some highlights include Al Green on Saturday night, Alison Krauss and Jerry Lee Lewis on Sunday, Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and a long list of other great artists.
Under Our Skin. This excellent new documentary about Chronic Lyme Disease is getting a lot of attention. The disease has been nicknamed “The Great Imitator”, because it can masquerade past even the most advanced screenings as other diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, or even Lou Gherig’s Disease. Many doctors don’t even believe it exists, making treatment especially problematic. However, there are a growing number of physicians in the U.S. willing to treat Chronic Lyme with long-term antibiotics. Many patients who are treated by these “Lyme Literate” Doctors are claiming miraculous strides towards, if not reporting, full recovery, and yet these physicians are being threatened with board sanctions, license revocations, or even jail time. Watch this illuminating documentary, available for free online, to find out more.