The Filtered Excellence: April 26, 2018

Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s right here. Once a week we take a break from comedy to bring you this week’s picks of the best things to watch, the most interesting things to do, great things to try, the best picks to read, our favorite things to listen to and more.


United We Swing: Best Of Jazz At Lincoln Center Galas by the Wynton Marsalis Septet. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual gala to benefit their education programs is one of the institution’s highlight events, drawing some of the biggest names in music to team up with The Wynton Marsalis Septet for once in a lifetime collaborations. Some of the highlights are being released on this new compilation album. Recorded between 2003 and 2007, it featured blues inflected versions duets between Marsalis and Bob Dylan (‘It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry), Eric Clapton (I’m Not Rough), Willie Nelson (Milk Cow Blues), James Taylor (Mean Old Man), Audra McDonald (Creole Love), Natalie Merchant (The Worst Thing), John Mayer (I’m Gonna Find Another You), Lenny Kravitz (Are You Gonna Go My Way), The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Susan Tedeschi & Butch Trucks, and The Blind Boys Of Alabama, among others. It also features one of the last live performances from Ray Charles, who comes full circle with a moving version of ‘I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town’. Marsalis and his group are in peak form with arrangements that bring out the best in each performer. What will surprise everyone is how the guest stars easily fall in with the dramatic re-imagining of their material – particularly Dylan, Mayer and Kravitz. Another cool reason to pick this up: All proceeds from the album will behind Jazz At Lincoln Center’s fantastic educational programs for the next generation of musicians. If you want to swing, this is your thing. United We Swing: Best Of Jazz At Lincoln Center Galas is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.


Dead Man. Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 existential western becomes the latest to join The Criterion Collection. It stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, an accountant who has barely arrived in the desolate outpost called Machine when he gets caught in the middle of a lovers quarrel. Wounded and wanted by the law, Blake is joined by the outcast named Nobody (Gary Farmer), who – convinced that the accountant is the reincarnation of the famed poet – takes him on spiritual journey out West that’s loaded with surreal encounters – and a trail of dead bodies. Beautifully shot in monochrome by Robby Muller, Jarmusch completely reimagines the Western that honors Native American culture, takes aim at the country’s legacy of violence and prejudice, the often devastating effects of industrialization and celebrates the natural cycle of life and death. As with most Jarmusch films, there’s a wild assortment of guest appearances including Mili Avital, Billy Bob Thornton, John Hurt, Alfred Molina, Gabriel Byrne, Lance Henriksen, Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, and, in his final film role, Robert Mitchum. DVD extras include a new Q&A with Jarmusch responding to fan questions, new readings of William Blake poems by Iggy and Molina, deleted scenes and more. Anchored by a hypnotic score by Neil Young, this is wonderful opportunity to re-discover an amazing film by one of cinema’s most daring and original filmmakers. The Criterion Collection edition of Dead Man is available now. You can also go to for more information.


New York City. A Different Picture: Women Filmmakers In The New Hollywood Era, 1967-1980. When we think of the directors that came to define ‘The New Hollywood’ of the 60s and 70s, the names Scorsese, Spielberg, Friedkin, DePalma and Hal Ashby are always in the conversation. But it was also a critical period for women filmmakers, who, despite dealing with sexism, racism, and overall indifference, managed to make significant cracks in the cinematic glass ceiling. BAM Cinematek will look about at this groundbreaking moment with a two and a half plus week retrospective. Some of the films that will be featured include First Love, Joan Darling’s 1977 drama that was one of the first major Hollywood studio films to be directed by a woman; Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning documentary Harlan County USA; and Attica, Cinda Firestone’s 1974 look at the 4 day uprising at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Women of color are also represented with films by Kathleen Collins, Fronza Woods (The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy, Killing Time, Fannie’s Film), Allie Sharon Larkin (Your Children Come Back To You) and Madeline Anderson (I Am Somebody) all slated to screen. There will also be guest introductions and post-screening Q&As to provide a new perspective on a period that’s been covered several times over. A Different Picture: Women Filmmakers in The New Hollywood Era will be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music May 2nd through May 20th. You can also go to for tickets, a complete rundown of films and more information.

New York City. Street Dreams Pop Up. To coincide with the release of the new issue celebrating New York City street photography, Street Dreams Magazine will have open a pop up store this weekend deep in the heart of Brooklyn. In addition to being able to pick up physical copies of the magazine, there will be a video game lounge, guest DJs spinning round the clock, giveaways and much more. A great way to support street photographers, a grassroots magazine and the local New York City arts scene. The Street Dreams Magazine pop up store will be at Peerspace in Brooklyn April 28th and 29th from 12-8pm. You can also to for more information.

New York City. Rachel Vaadzi Ghanasah: A Woman’s Work. MoMa’s Pop Rally Series – devoted to engaging with young audiences to with the venue – continues with an evening of readings, performances and short film screenings conceived and curated by noted essayist Rachel Vaadzi Ghanasah. An extended meditation on Black female creativity, its genealogies and its legacy on art and literature, it will feature appearances by Jamaica Kincaid, Steffani Jamison, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Saeed Jones, Darryl Pinckney, and Greg Tate along with works by Julie Dash, Kandis Williams, dream hampton, and a DJ stet by Delado Negro. Destined to be an evening that will fuel the eyes and the mind. Rachel Vaadzi Ghanasah: A Woman’s Work will be at MoMa April 29th at 7pm. You can also go to for tickets and additional information.

Chicago. In Their Own Form. The global success of the film Black Panther has only fueled interest in Afrofuturism, but also with how Black artists are using all mediums to present a full, unfiltered look on how they are perceived and presented. This new exhibit at The Museum of Contemporary Photography brings together 33 photographic and video artists to use science fiction, Afrocentrism, fantasy and tech to display images that reframe the past, present and future as it pertains to the transnational Black experience. All of the pieces use themes such as escapism and time-travel – without the stains of racism, oppression and stereotypes to show Black life at its richest. A truly transformative exhibit that will stay with you long after you leave. In Their Own Form will be at The Museum Of Contemporary Photography through July 18th. You can also go to for tickets and additional information.

Washington D.C. 1968: Civil Rights At 50. In one of the most turbulent years in U.S. history, 1968 saw the nation nearly torn apart by the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy, a dramatic escalation of the war in Vietnam – along the growing number of protests against the war and for human rights. The most dramatic protest came during the Summer Olympics when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists while accepting the Gold and Bronze medals for track and field. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this crucial period, Newseum is presenting an exhibit covering 1968 as it pertains to the American Civil Rights Movement. It will feature a number of news artifacts spotlighting the sanitation workers strike in Memphis (which Dr. King was in town to support when he was killed), the aftermath of the murder of three unarmed black teens by police during a protest in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and the Poor People’s Campaign in D.C., which was also founded by King to place emphasis on extreme poverty in the U.S. In addition to being extraordinary documentation of past events, it also shows the connection they have with current situations that exist here today. A must see exhibit. 1968: Civil Rights At 50 will be at Newseum through January 2, 2019. You can also go to for more information.

Los Angeles. The Great Los Angeles River Cleanup. Now in its 29th year, this annual event is the nation’s largest urban clean up with over 10,000 volunteers pitching in to protect the Pacific and its wild life from trash and refuse. Last year, over 100 tons of trash was collected with organizers hoping to cover more stretches of the vast landscape. There will also be a ‘work party’ featuring live music, gift giveaways, family activities and much more. It’s a great way to build community on a local and global level. The Great Los Angeles River Cleanup will take place on April 28th.. You can also go to for more information.


Want more excellence? Read last week’s the filtered excellence.

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Earl Douglas is a writer/photographer based in New York City. A frequent contributor to The Interrobang, Earl is also Executive Director for the New York chapter of The Black Rock Coalition. Earl worked in radio for nearly two decades at WNEW-FM and XM Satellite Radio, which included being the on-air producer for Carol Miller, Scott Muni and Ron & Fez, and a contributor to Opie & Anthony. Earl has also independently published a number of books including Black Rock Volume 1, Urban Abyss, Mobile Uploads, and For Shimmy. His latest project is the photojournalism magazine PRAXIS, which is available exclusively through

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