The Filtered Excellence: January 31, 2013

Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s 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:



Sound City. This eagerly awaited documentary directed and produced by Dave Grohl is using a famed studio to tell multiple stories.  There’s the rise and fall of Sound City Studios, a former amp factory that became the studio behind classic albums by Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine and  others.  Grohl also uses his rock star status to get many of those artists to talk about their Sound City experiences. Then there’s Grohl’s personal recollection of Nirvana’s road trip to Sound City from Washington (to record the iconic album Nevermind) and how that trip became a life changer. Finally, the doc revisits a decades old argument: Which is better: Analog or digital?  Both sides of the argument are presented surprisingly well – especially since Sound City’s demise was based largely in part to the rise of digital/D.I.Y. recording.  As an added bonus, Grohl assembles a virtual who’s who of music – past and present – to record new music using the studio’s famed Neve mixing board.  Sound City is works as a history lesson, a behind the scenes film and a live in the studio experience.  Sound City opens tomorrow in selected theaters and VOD.

Koch.   Opens February 1, 2013 (NYC).  During the years 1978-1989, Ed Koch governed as mayor at a time that found the city on the verge of bankruptcy, and in the midst of widespread crime and corruption. New York born and bred and from the Bronx, Edward I. Koch was mayor of New York City during some of the city’s most notoriously gritty and scandalous times. Though a larger-than-life figure in politics, Koch has been a patently private person, but here in Neil Barsky’s first film, he opens up. At 88, Ed Koch is still the classic New Yorker he’s always been: brusque, direct, often funny, and very charismatic. He shares gripping insight into his own particular experience, and the personal and political demands of serving in office during some of NYC’s most turbulent times. Neil Barsky, formerly a Wall Street Journal reporter and now first-time filmmaker has developed a compelling documentary of the former mayor through fascinating interviews and rare archival film.

Seven Psychopaths.  One of our favorite small films this year is now available on Demand and DVD.  Catch some great performances by ibang favorites like Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson in an very unconventional action-packed, violent, quirky and somewhat romantic comedic indie film.  It would be a waste of time to try explain it, but it’s great fun.

House of Cards.  Exclusively on Netflix, starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Mara, and Robin Penn.  The cast is tremendous and everyone is at their best, the setting is current day Washington DC, and the pacing is excellent.  If you like political drama, you’ll enjoy this new series.  Season premier, finale and everything in between debuts on February 1, 2013.

TCM’s Annual 31 Days of Oscar.  You now have 31 days where it will be impossible to say ‘there’s nothing on tv.’  TCM’s expertly selected round the clock festival of Oscar nominated and Oscar winning movies begins tomorrow morning (Friday, February 1) at 6am with Warner Brothers Films.  It’s all excellence  but some a few favorites running  n the first week days alone are  The Maltese Falcon, Treasures of the Sierra Madre, Streetcar Named Desire, Rebel Without a Cause, My Fair Lady, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, East of Eden, Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, The Wild Bunch, Papillion, Lolita, All’s Quiet on the Western Front, The Sting, The Deer Hunter and Smokey and the Bandit.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Announcement Show. Airs on the NFL Network on Saturday, February 2 at 5:30pm Eastern. Who will be chosen for NFL immortality and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame!? The inductees will be named the afternoon before the Super Bowl. The rules state that at least 4 must go into the Hall, but no more than 7.

Super Bowl XLVII.  The Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans this Sunday.  Super Bowl 47 kicks off at 6:30 and will feature a performance by the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School before the National Anthem, and a halftime show by Beyonce.



Feeling Mortal, by Kris Kristofferson. At 76 years old, Kris Kristofferson’s latest album- “Feeling Mortal” ranks up there as one of his most personal recordings. Produced once again by Don Was (who also produced Kristofferson’s two prior albums- This Old Road and Closer To The Bone) and recorded over only three days, there is the sense of urgency of a Man with much left to say while time may be running short.

Fourth Corner by Trixie Whitley.  The debut album by Trixie Whitley excels on so many levels.  Songs like ‘Irene’ ‘Hotel No Name’ and ‘Gradual Return’ echo her work with Black Dub and more effectively, her father, the late (and much missed) Chris Whitley.  When it comes to tales of heartache and longing, Whitley excels: ‘Pieces’, ‘Breathe You In My Dreams’ and ‘Need Your Love’ are devastating.  Expertly produced by Thomas Bartlett, Fourth Corner is at times, brooding, moody, dark but ultimately and wonderfully human.  Those who are waiting for rock’s new great voice are late.  It’s already here.  Fourth Corner is available now on Itunes, Amazon and all digital media outlets.



Eames:  Beautiful Details by The Eames Family.  Released this December, “Eames: Beautiful Details” celebrates the artistry of husband and wife design team  Charles and Ray Eames.  Over 400 beautiful pages showing off the work of two of the most famous designers of our time.  This stunning book was put together by three generations of the Eames family and is art in itself.



Memphis, Tennessee: The International Blues Challange. The IBC is already underway and continues into the weekend. This is a competition for unsigned blues bands from all 50 states and around the world. One of the best weeks in Memphis all year.

Boston, Massachussets:  The Films of Stanley Kubrick at the MFA Boston.  Starting February 1st and running through the end of the month, this is your chance to see amazing classics like A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, 2001, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Barry Lydon, Full Metal Jacket and so many more Kubrick films on the big screen.  Do not miss this.

New York City:  Celebrate Grand Central Station’s 100th Birthday and get some really cheap food.  As part of the celebration, Grand Central restaurants and stores are rolling back to 1913 prices!  Big events, performances and ceremonies all day long, tomorrow, February 1, 2013.   A few sample 1913 prices include 10¢ for a side of french fries at Tri Tip Grill *From 11am-3pm, 75¢ Adirondack cocktail at Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C., and  19¢ ea. shrimp, 13¢ ea. mussels, 13¢ ea. clams at Pescatore.


1 Comment

  1. DJ in Detroit

    February 1, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Trixie Whitley is great. Her dad, Chris was phenomenal. Saw him in Asbury Park back in ’92. He had his roadie approach my chick (multiple times) and try to get her backstage. She didn’t go, but probably should have, just for the story.