The Overnight. **EDITORS PICK** If dinosaurs and foul mouthed teddy bears are not quite your thing, The Overnight might be the perfect cure for the popcorn movie blues. Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott are two weird and funny guys, playing two offbeat characters in this indie unorthodox film about a couple looking to make new friends after they move to a new neighborhood. A little bit Bob & Carol & Ted and Alice, but not exactly. It opened in limited release last week and should be hitting a few more theaters this week. If you’re looking for something that isn’t too heavy, but isn’t just junk food either, The Overnight might be a perfect fit.
Go to theovernight-movie.com for trailer and information.
What Happened, Miss Simone? It’s only been a dozen years since her passing, but the world has finally caught up to Nina Simone. A musician, composer and human rights advocate of the highest order, Simone mastered all musical genres while fusing it with personal, often blistering social commentary. Her open advocacy on the behalf of people of color – and an undiagnosed bipolar condition – would slow down her recording and performing output, but her influence continues to be felt across the entire musical spectrum. Working with full cooperation with the Simone estate, director Liz Garbus culls together interviews and performances (most of which have been previously unreleased), along with recollections from family members, collaborators and contemporaries to paint the most complete Nina Simone portrait to take. Balancing career highs with painful, often personal lows, Garbus has been together a searing and memorizing look at one of music’s most dynamic, yet often misunderstood artists. The High Priestess Of Soul is back to reclaim her crown. What Happened, Miss Simone is at the IFC Center now and will be available on Netflix on June 26th.
You can also go to http://www.sundance.org/projects/what-happened-miss-simone for more info.
Coming Home by Leon Bridges. Right before the British Invasion bands and the sounds of Motown engulfed the pop culture landscape, artists such as Ray Charles and Sam Cooke were making their own musical history. Finding a common emotional link between the blues, R&B and gospel, a new sound emerged: Soul music. That sound – especially the early works of the late 50s and early 60s – had a lasting effect on Leon Bridges. The Fort Worth native isn’t trying to update the sound with big beats and new century sounds. Instead, Bridges is going back to the future, recording the album on old analog equipment to bring even more immediacy to his sound. At times, the album sounds like it was unearthed from a 1963 time capsule. At other times, it’s the album that Sam Cooke would have made if he hadn’t made the fateful trip to the Hacienda motel. In a time where singers are trying to show off their vocal phrasings, Bridges’ smooth, creamy vocals lets the material breathe, and in turn, gives the songs more emotional depth. For fans of rhythm and blues – not what is passing these days as ‘R&B’, this is the album for you. Coming Home is available now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.
Order Coming Home from Amazon.com.
You can also go to www.leonbridges.com for more information.
The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam by Thundercat. A key contributor on recent albums by Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and Kamasi Washington, Stephen Bruner – better known as Thundercat – has also carved out a solid career as a solo artist. His two albums, The Golden Age Of Apocalypse and Apocalypse played a huge role in attracting a new generation of fans – including hip hop heads like Lamar – into fusion. It also got the attention of fusion pioneers such as Herbie Hancock, who makes an appearance on Thundercat’s latest EP. Teaming up again with Flying Lotus, The Beyond is a meditative, often dreamlike trip into jazz influenced funk that leaves you begging for more. At times, you can’t believe that the sounds he’s creating are coming from a bass. Between this EP, You’re Dead by Flying Lotus, and The Epic by Kamasi Washington, Brainfeeder is music’s hottest label. A great EP from an artist on the brink of global stardom. The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam is out now through Amazon, Itunes and all major music retailers.
Order The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam on Amazon.com.
You can also go to www.brainfeedersite.com for more information.
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY: Kid Rock.Kid Rock has successfully transitioned from gutty rap rocker to seasoned heartland rocker (with splashes of country and Southern Rock thrown in). Aware that most concert tickets are at least three digits, Kid Rock’s most recent tours literally gives you more bang for the buck: Tickets and concert t-shirts are only $20 and beer is only $4 bucks. Anchored by The Twisted Brown Trucker Band, Kid Rock always puts on a great live show. Expect to hear a good sample of his new album, First Kiss, along with hits from his two decade long career. AT PNC Arts Center in New Jersey.
NEW YORK: King’s X at Stage 48. This incredibly talented power trio will be hitting NYC with a show at Stage 48. True rock n roll survivors, King’s X have weathered severe health issues in recent years, but their brand of progressive metal, funk, and soul – along with killer harmonies from all three members – is still as kickass and vibrant as it was when they burst on the scene in 1987. This is as good as it gets.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY: Garfunkel. With his recent health issues behind him, Art Garfunkel is back on tour and sounding better than ever. As his recent career retrospective The Singer proves, Garfunkel was not only the X factor in the Simon & Garfunkel partnership, but has only maintained a consistent and steady solo career with the wake of their breakup. Expect to hear some choice S&G tracks, remarkable covers and solo material. At the State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY: Hall & Oates. The most successful duo in pop music history are back on the road for a series of shows in Tri-State area. Whether its blue eyed soul, pristine pop or balladeers, the Hall & Oates imprint can be found in everything in today’s pop landscape. Come out and hear over four decades of extraordinary music at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
NEW YORK: Darlene Love AT BB Kings. Darlene Love has been in the business for over 50 years, but she’s about to be a hit all over again. She was featured prominently in the Oscar winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom, stole the show at the 2014 Oscars with during the film’s acceptance speech, has an autobiographical pic in the works, and is prepping a star powered new album that’s been produced by Little Steven. She’ll be previewing new material, along with all of the classic Phil Spector-produced hits this weekend at B.B. King’s. Come out and hear rock n roll royalty.
LOS ANGELES: July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with Smokey Robinson. The fireworks will be happening on stage and off as Smokey Robinson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will kick off the holiday weekend with three nights of patriotic music and sweet soul. Motown favorites, then fireworks? Sounds like a great way to celebrate the 4th!
LOS ANGELES: The Roots featuring Erykah Badu. On break from The Tonight Show, The Roots will bring high energy, thought provoking hip hop to Club Nokia this weekend. Always a top level live act, The Roots have also upped their game in the studio, releasing Undun and …and then you shoot your cousin, two albums that paved the way to bringing social consciousness back into hip hop. Joining them will be another artist who walks the walk and talks the talk, the always compelling Erykah Badu. Always a good time.
CHICAGO: Esperanza Spalding. The Grammy Award winning bassist/composer/singer hits the Windy City to unveil her latest project, ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’. This multi-media presentation centers around ‘rekindling her childhood interest in theater, poetry and movement’ through live musical vignettes that plays well in both an art gallery or a jazz club. Given Spalding’s abilities to mix and match various styles and genres, this promises to be another winner from one of the fastest rising stars in music.