The Filtered Excellence: October 4, 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.


WATCH THIS

Studio 54: The Documentary. From 1978 to 1980, Studio 54 was the destination spot in New York City, if not the world. Gossip columns were loaded with stories of which celebrities were spotted there. Just getting into the premier spot to dance, hang and do all of the things your mother warned you not to do was an art all by itself. At the eye of this cultural storm was Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, two college friends from Brooklyn who conceived this gilded pleasure place and turned the city upside down. Rubell was the club’s face, always standing besides the celebrities in press photos. Schrager worked behind the scenes, happily avoiding the spotlight as the club reached mythic status. The good times ran steadily for two years until a financial scandal brought everything to a crashing halt. Director Matt Tyrnauer uses recently unearthed footage and, for the first time, extended interviews with Schrager to tell how two friends gave dance music it’s most celebrated home base. To hear Schrager’s take on what made it all work, the highs and the lows – all with a lot of music from that time – makes this a must see doc. Studio 54: The Documentary opens this weekend. You can also go to www.zeitgeistfilms.com for more information.

Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London. Brett McKenzie and Jermaine Clement – better known as Flight Of The Conchords won a devoted following in England and here in the States with their folk/funk/rock/acapella based music and comedy. Their HBO series ran for two years, picking up an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy. Their 2008 album ‘The Distant Future’ also won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album before the pair decided to call it quits in 2009. Now, nearly 10 years after the show ended, New Zealand’s ‘almost award-winning fourth most popular folk duo’ is back with this new HBO special. Filmed before a sold out audience at The Eventim Apollo in London, they will perform all of the classic material along with some new original songs from their recent reunion tour. It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed, but McKenzie and Clement are a sharp, biting and witty as ever. A much welcome return.
Flight Of The Conchords premieres October 6th at 10pm on HBO. You can also go to www.hbo.com for more information.

LISTEN TO THIS

An American Treasure by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Though its been just over a year since his sudden passing, the life and legacy of Tom Petty is still alive and very much felt. Petty’s incredible output on stage and in the studio is the subject of this new 4-CD box set. Curated by Petty’s widow Dana, his daughter Adria and band mates MIke Campbell and Belmont Tench, it features unreleased tracks, alternate versions of classic songs and a trove of live tracks that capture Petty & The Heartbreakers at their best. When you hear tracks such as ‘Keep A Little Soul’, ‘Saving Grace’ ‘Down South’ and ‘Gainesville’, you’re amazed at how they didn’t make it the final cut. It’s as strong as any of his classic material. The live tracks just reaffirm what we already knew: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were one of the best live acts to ever grace the stage. It’s a fitting coda to an artist who left us much too soon. An American Treasure by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all digital music streaming services.

Autobiography (Music From Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography) by Jlin. After blowing away audiences with her critically acclaimed album ‘Black Origami’, Jlin gets to fulfill a lifelong dream: making music for a dance company. Teaming up with renowned British choreographer Wayne McGregor, the Gary, Indiana native once again hits us with a blizzard of dazzling soundscapes that are awash in percussion, audio samples and electronic textures that will take on an epic mind execursion. It’s yet another reminder as to why Jlin is at the top of the electroinic music chain. Autobiography (Music From Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography) by Jlin is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music streaming outlets.

It’s About Time by Nile Rodgers & Chic. Though its been 28 years between since the last Chic album, Nile Rodgers has been anything but inactive. Aside from writing and producing some of the biggest names in music, Rodgers curates the FOLD (FreakOut! Let’s Dance) Festival, tours worldwide with Chic and published a best-selling memoir. After teasing fans with the single, ‘I’ll Be There’, the appropriately title new album picks up right where that song left off; Puslating grooves and the always distinctive guitar stylings from Rodgers. There’s a number of great guest vocalists including Elton John, Craig David, Emilie Sande, and Lady Gaga, who does an icy cool remake of the Chic hit ‘I Want Your Love’. This is an album designed to make you move and dance away all of your constrictions. A much welcomed – and needed – return. It’s About Time by Nile Rodgers & Chic is avaialble now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music streaming services.

READ THIS

The Flame: Poems, Notebooks, Lyrics & Drawings by Leonard Cohen. When Leonard Cohen passed away in 2016, we lost one of the most respected and revered artists. Fortunately for us, he left us with last burst of his creative genius. The Flame features some of his final poems, lyrics, hand-drawn self portraits and excerpts from his private notebooks, giving us and intimate look at one of rock’s greatest treasures. Featuring a forward by his son Adam, it’s a moving coda to life well lived. The Flame: Poems, Notebooks, Lyrics & Drawings by Leonard Cohen is available now through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all major book retailers.

DO THIS

Los Angeles. Adult Swim Festival. It was inevitable that the Cartoon Network’s brand of quirky animation would morph into a full on festival. The inaugural gathering will feature live performances by Run The Jewels, Mastodon, Neko Case, Flying Lotus, Thundercat,, Hannibal Burgess, among many others. There will also be a ton of Adult Swim tie-ins and games – including an inflatable obstacle course called ‘Smack Up My Uvula’ and a Meatwad Dome, a 360 video installations modeled after the Aqua Teen Hunger Force mascot. With a perfect mix of animation, music and comedy, it’s one of the can’t miss events of the season. The Adult Swim Festival run this weekend. You can also go to www.adultswimfestival.com 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 Blurb.com.

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Earl Douglas
Earl Douglas
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 Blurb.com.