The Filtered Excellence: June 27, 2019

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

Clarence Clemons: Who Do You Think I Am?. We all know Clarence Clemons as the towering sax blowing anchor for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. But in this new documentary by Nick Mead, we get to know the man behind horn, who after a trip to China, embarks on a life changing spiritual journey that he continued until his death in 2011. We get glimpses Clemons on the road taking in local culture and customs and offering never before heard insights on what led him on this path to enlightenment. We hear from Clemons’ family, including his nephew Jake, who succeeded Clemons in the E Street Band, and band mates Nils Lofgren, President Bill Clinton, and Joe Walsh to show their love and appreciation for The Big Man. It’s a fitting elegy for one of rock’s most beloved sidemen. Clarence Clemons: Who Do You Think I Am opens in select theaters this weekend.

Anima. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke once teams up with Oscar winning director Paul Thomas Anderson for this short film supporting Yorke’s new solo album. Set in a bleak dystopian future, Yorke finds himself literally struggling to go with and against the grain, while also looking to connect with a woman (Dajana Roncione) he sees on a train. Taking cues from the classic noir films of the 40s and 50s, Anderson creates a world that has to be seen to be believed, featuring incredible choreography by Damien Jalet, and mind blowing visual effects to match Yorke’s moody soundscapes. It’s a master filmmaker at the peak of his powers paired up with one of rock’s most adventurous singer-songwriters. A fantastic piece that elevates the music video format. Anima by Thom Yorke is available now on Netflix.

LISTEN TO THIS

Originals by Prince. The latest release from Prince’s vault presents his versions of songs that were hits for other artists. It includes material he gave to proteges The Time (‘Jungle Love’, ‘Gigolos Get Lonely Too’), Sheila E (‘The Glamorous Life’), Apollonia 6 (‘Sex Shooter’) and Jill Jones (‘Baby, You’re A Trip), along with tracks for Sinead O’Connor (‘Nothing Compares 2 U’); The Bangles (‘Manic Monday’); Kenny Rogers (‘You’re My Love’) and Martika (‘Love…Thy Will Be Done’) among others. Aside from the exceptional musical range, its incredible how prolific Prince was during this period and how fully realized the productions – his demos are better than most finished recordings. It’s a true insider’s view in the mind of one of the greatest composers, producers and performers of all time. .E.
ssential for any true Prince fan and for anyone who loves music. Originals by Prince is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

Black Pumas by Black Pumas. After taking the Austin music scene by storm – including winning the Best New Band award at this year’s Austin Music Awards, Black Pumas have released the eagerly awaited self-titled debut album. Comprised of guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and singer-songwriter Eric Burton, they marry vintage 60s/70s soul with hints of psychedelia, Laurel Canyon acoustic soul and splashes of Curtis Mayfield and Ennio Morricone-style orchestration to complete the stew. Burton, an L.A native who busked his way to Austin, combines the ache of Otis Redding with the urgency of David Ruffin that immediate puts him within the ranks of those great soul men. He’s the real deal. Quesada, whose already has a solid reputation for his work with Grupo Frantasma and Brownout, has reached a new level of excellence as a performer, arranger and producer. A dynamic debut that begs for multiple listens. One of the year’s best. Black Pumas is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

The Rescue by Simi Stone. For the follow up to her critically acclaimed self-titled album, multi-instrumentalist Simi Stone took a different musical approach. Working exclusively with long time musical partner David Baron (Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Murphy), Simi combines acoustic-fueled R&B/soul with a touch of electronic textures to convey songs of hope, love and healing. She manages to capture the rustic cool of her hometown of Woodstock, the urgency of the times and a ray of light in turbulent times with great poise and conviction. It’s another bold leap forward for a singer-songwriter whose talent is just starting to come into its own. The Rescue by Simi Stone is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming services.

New York City. Do The Right Thing. 30 years after its release, Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing still shocks and awes with it’s look at racial relations that literally boil over during a hot summer day in New York City. To help celebrate, The Brooklyn Academy Of Music will host screenings of the film through July 4th. Also, Spike and his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule will host a block party on the same Bed Stuy street where the film was shot from 12 to 7pm. Expect a lot of great music, food and perhaps even a surprise appearance or two. Do The Right Thing will be at BAM through July 4th with the block party happening on this Sunday. You can go to www.bam.org or www.eventbrite.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.