Crossfire Hurricane. Directed by Brett Morgen. This breathtaking look at The Rolling Stones during their formative to peak years breathes new life into a story that we thought had already been told. Director Bret Morgan (who did the brilliant Robert Evans profile The Kid Stays In The Picture) had the full cooperation of the band: Its loaded with new interviews, ultra rare footage (including outtakes from the infamous Altamont concert & a sequence of Jagger and Richards tripping on LSD through the forest. Then there’s of course, tons of classic material in concert and in the studio. It’s the most revealing look at the band to date and ties in perfectly with the band’s 50th Anniversary and tour. Crossfire Hurricane premieres tonight on HBO.
The Comedy. Tim Heidecker gives an impressive performance in director Rick Alverson’s provocative new film. Heidecker plays Swanson, a shiftless thirty-something hipster, in the hipster capital of the world, Williamsburg Brooklyn. As his future seems to hold for him a sizable inheritance, every day is his to do as he pleases, which would mostly involve hanging out with his friends of all similar ilk. It would seem that the film, then, would be truly reflective of the title it bears, but the story is deeper than that, and potentially more disturbing. There’s a darkness which runs throughout the film and that is evident in Heidecker’s deadpan portrayal and reveberates through the faux bohemian facade, all coated with sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek irony.
Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl. The documentary chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history and includes interviews with twenty-six survivors, dramatic photos and rare footage. The two-part documentary,The Dust Bowl, airs Sunday and Monday on PBS from 8:00 to 10:00.
About to Die by the Dirty Projectors. Earlier this year we told you about Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan. If you haven’t check it out, do so. It’s great. If you checked it out and liked it, give it a new listen. You might find it’s even better on re-discovery. The band wrote and recorded many songs before deciding on the 12 that ended up on on their full length album. Anchored by Swing Lo Magellan standout track, About to Die, a new EP collects some of those extra tracks. Amazingly, these new songs sound less like castoffs and more like a natural extension on Magellan, and that’s even more of a good thing!
King Animal by Soundgarden. After a 16 year absence, Soundgarden is back and they haven’t missed the beat. All of the trademarks remain: Sledgehammer riffs, insane time signatures and of course, Chris Cornell’s out of this world voice. Time hasn’t slowed the band down a bit and King Animal is bound to give rock n roll the swift kick in the rear end that it needs. King Animal is available through Amazon, Itunes and all digital outlets.
Every Day is an Athiest Holiday by Penn Jillette. Penn Jillette is half of American’s greatest Magic act, its best known atheist and a damn good humor writer. The book is filled with great stories. From the story about being blackmailed over pictures of Penn receiving oral (found on his old lap top), being on the receiving end of attacks from Piers Morgan and Donald Trump, and even stories about fatherhood. The essays have an easy conversational flow and they all have major laughs.
Short of the Week. Their tagline is, “The greatest stories being told.” Short of the Week recognizes and reviews all kinds of short films from cartoons to festival winners and you can watch them all there online.
New Brunswick, NJ: Classic Albums Live on the Big Screen. See these two great live concert films in a beautifully restored iconic concert venue, stage and screen theater on a 46 foot screen. First, see Led Zeppelin Celebration Day, Live from London 2007 in HD at the State Theater on Friday November 16, 2012 at 8pm. Then come back on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 21, for The Doors, Live at the Bowl ’68; digitally re-mastered glory as the entire concert has been carefully restored from the original camera negatives to include the lost performances of “Hello I Love You,” “Texas Radio and the Big Beat,” and “Spanish Caravan.”
New York: The Rolling Stones: 50 Years On Film @ MoMa. To coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary, MoMa will be screening all of the concert films, videos and specials featuring The World’s Greatest Rock n Roll Band. The films include the seminal Albert Mayles documentary Gimme Shelter; Robert Frank’s controversial documentary Cocksucker Blues; Martin Scorsece’s 2008 salute Shine A Light. Also making its premiere will be Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965, Peter Whitehead’s rarely seen look at the band’s tour through Ireland just as ‘Satisfaction’ propelled them to rock superstardom. If you are die-hard Stones fan or wanted to introduce someone to the group, this is the retrospective to catch. It runs today through December 2nd.
New York: Roast of Gary Shteyngart See how a roast is done by celebrated authors for a celebrated author. Gary, who is the author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Super Sad True Love Story will be roasted by Jay McInerney, Kurt Anderson and others. (Super Sad Tuesday November 20th. BAM Harvey Theater. 7:30pm
New York: Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler. See two great performers on one stage, and check out the new Barclay Center. Wednesday November 21st, Thanksgiving Eve at the Barclay Center 7:30pm
Boston: Philly: Washington DC: Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler. If you’re in Boston, Philly or Washington, here’s your chance to check them out too. November 18, 19 and 20th.
Chicago: Mavis Staples. Legendary singer Mavis Staples will fill the stage at the Elgin Community College Arts Center with help from her sister, Yvonne Staples. Expect to hear hits like “I’ll Take You There.” Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35-$38. She’s also appearing at City Winery next weekend if you can’t make this date.
Chicago: Thanksgiving with Ricki Lee Jones at City Winery. Don’t have Thanksgiving plans? Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Go to City Winery for a three course feast and all the Ricki Jones you could want. You may want to skip the family altogether or bring them along.
Philadelphia: John Prine, Don’t miss the chance to see the great singer songwriter this Friday at 8:00 at the Merriam Theater.
Philadelphia: Philadelphia Marathon. Race Weekend November 16-18th (Marathon on Nov 18th starting at 7 AM) Watch one of the U.S.’s most historic races. The Philadelphia Marathon takes place this weekend. Spectators have access to a series of fan-friendly “cheer zones,” where fans can root on competitors while enjoying music and food.
Pittsburgh: Light Up Night. Thinking of visiting the ‘burgh? Come for Light Up weekend, one of the biggest non-sporting events of the year. If you want to see the Christmas holiday amped up and taken to extremes, kick off your holiday season nice and early. Over half a million people will show up for the tree lightings, unveiling of the Macy’s Christmas windows, and lots of music, including an appearance by Kool and the Gang. It’s primarily a family style event, but family is not required. And it’s all free.
Seattle: Taj Mahal Trio: The Grammy winning blues musician is in town for a week from Nov 16–25 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.
Los Angeles: Lolita Screening. There’s a screening of Kubrick’s Lolita this Saturday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Amazing performances all around in this Kubrick classic.