The Filtered Excellence: September 8, 2016

better-things-pamela-adlon

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:

Atlanta.  Donald Glover (30 Rock, Community) wrote, executive produced and stars in this much buzzed about new FX series.  Glover plays Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks, who’s back in his hometown of Atlanta after dropping out of Princeton.  Between homes, dead end jobs, and trying to figure out his relationship with his best friend/baby mama Vanessa, Earn reconnects his cousin, Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), an up and coming rapper.  Paper Boi hasn’t quite grasped the difference between street life and real life and Earn becomes his manager to help him figure it all out.  Along with Paper Boi’s right hand man Darius (Keith Stanfield), they must navigate their way through the Atlanta hip hop scene to make life better for them and their families.  As he did during his stint as a writer on 30 Rock, Glover expertly (and often hilariously) captures all of the nuances and quirks of Southern life, family dynamics and the fickleness of the hip hop scene. The laid back, nuances behind with laughs is one of the show’s many strengths, along with the great cast.  Posied to be the first great new show of the fall season.  Atlanta airs Tuesday nights at 10pm Eastern on FX.  You can go also to http://www.fxnetworks.com/ for more information.

Better Things.  Pamela Adlon and Louie C.K. co-created and co-wrote this new FX series that’s loosely based on Adlon’s life.  She plays Sam Fox, a divorced actress living in L.A. with her three daughters.  She’s also looking out for her mother “Phil” (Celia Imrie), an English expatriate, who lives across the street.  Between trying to earn a living, being a mom and dad to her children and dealing with her mom, all Sam wants a chance to hang with friends, and trying to have a life for herself.  Adlon, who did scene and show stealing turns on Lucky Louie and Louie, finally gets a chance to carry a series and she is, as always excellent.  As they have done through their previous work, Adlon and Louie C.K. walk a fine line between comedy and the real to keep everything on point and in perspective.  It’s a huge step up from the average sitcoms that are currently airing.  Definitively worth checking out.  Better Things will air Thursday nights at 10pm on FX.  You can also go to http://www.fxnetworks.com/ for additional info.

LISTEN TO THIS

The Party’s Over by Prophets Of Rage.  Working as an offshoot, continuation and retrospective all at once, this super group pairs 3/4 of Rage Against The Machine with Chuck D of Public Enemy and Cypress Hill’s B-Real.  As the title track suggests, the band is here to remind both political parties that the time for playing is over, peeps are mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore.  The RATM and PE catalog’s are well represented here with Chuck D all lyrical bite and venom on ‘Shut ‘Em Down, and ‘Prophets Of Rage’.  B-Real has a tough task of filling in for Zack De La Rocha, but hits it out of the park on the more vital than ever ‘Killing In The Name Of’.  The Rage portion of the band shows no signs of rust, playing as if they have never stopped recording and touring.  There’s no indications of a full on RATM reunion but hearing this crushing 5 EP, it makes you hope that a full Prophets Of Rage album is in the making.  The Party’s Over is available now through Amazon, ITunes and all major music retailers.  You can also go to http://www.prophetsofrage.com/ for more info.
Who Shot Ya by Living Colour.  Throughout their near 30 year recording career, Living Colour has never shied away from hot button topics.  They’ve tackled everything from gentrification, racism, sexual identity and even America’s fascination with Elvis.  As they put the finishing touches on their next full length album, Shade, the New York based band felt compelled the issue of gun violence with this new EP.  They put a rock spin on the Notorious B.I.G classic, ‘Who Shot Ya?’ and enlisted Chuck D, Black Thought from The Roots, and Pharoah Monch to drop verses on the remix.  In addition to the various remixes of the track, there’s a two song preview of the upcoming album (including a tasty cover of The Jacksons’ ‘This Place Hotel’) and instrumental versions of all of the tracks that will please both guitar heads and DJs looking to create new mixes.  It’s another slam dunk for one of rock’s most beloved and endearing bands. Who Shot Ya will be available on September 9th on Amazon, Itunes and all major digital music outlets.  You can also go to http://www.livingcolour.com/ for more information.

Goodbye To Language by Daniel Lanois.  The noted producer/music producer continues to find sonic brilliance with his new album.  Working with long time touring partner and collaborator Rocco DeLuca, they create this sweeping soundscape that serves as extensions of his work with Brian Eno and his 2014 album Flesh and Machine.  Haunting, hypnotic, mournful and meditative, Lanois has put together another extraordinary musical suite that is inviting, challenging and ultimately, uplifting.  Another winner from one of the best in the game.  Goodbye To Language will be available Friday through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.  You can also go to http://www.daniellanois.com/ for more information.

READ THIS

All These Things That I’ve Done: My Insane, Improbable Rock Life by Matt Pinfield. A walking encyclopedia of music, Matt Pinfield is THE one to go to when you need a valid opinion or to obtain even the most obscure info on your favorite artist or band. In this beautifully crafted memoir, Pinfield recalls how his love from everything from heavy metal to a rising new sound called alternative music took him from his native New Jersey to being a host of such shows as Headbanger’s Ball and 120 Minutes.  Whether its encounters with The Ramones and Lou Reed or interviewing Paul McCartney, Nirvana and Jay Z, Pinfield tells each story with wit, candor and above all a love and an appreciation for the music.  He also provides best-of lists, favorite tracks and artist profiles with the hope of turning people onto material that shaped him throughout his journey.  A must read for anyone who loves music.  All These Things That I’ve Done by Matt Pinfield is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.

DO THIS

New York City: Charles Burnett.  The films of Charles Burnett are subtle, but powerful portraits that examine race, culture and relationship dynamics.  His UCLA thesis film, Killer Of Sheep won the Critic’s Film Prize at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival and is now considered a watershed moment in cinema.  Danny Glover, used his clout from his successful turns in the Lethal Weapon movies to star and co-produce Burnett’s third feature To Sleep With Anger.  The film’s exploration of long-simmering issues within a black middle class family was a hit with critics, but suffered from a lack of distribution.  But like Killer Of Sheep, it was named a national treasure by the Library Of Congress’ Film Registry.  Starting September 9th, The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be presenting To Sleep With Anger, which has just been digitally restored.  Burnett will be on hand to do a post screening Q&A as well as introduce at a number of screenings including one for his 4th film, The Glass Shield starring Ice Cube.  It’s a chance to see the work of one of cinema’s most revered writer-directors and get some insight into the work.  To Sleep With Anger runs at The Film Society Of Lincoln Center September 9th through the 15th.  You can also go tohttp://www.filmlinc.org/ to get a complete list of appearance and run times.

Want more excellence? Read last week’s The Filtered Excellence and visit The Interrobang Recommmends

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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.