The Filtered Excellence: September 12, 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

Liam Gallagher: As It Was. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, Oasis was one of the biggest bands in the world, topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with such hits as ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Supersonic’, ‘Rock n Roll Star’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. At the center of it all was Liam Gallagher, the controversial frontman whose ongoing battles with his brother Noel – and just about anyone in his orbit – made Oasis constant fodder for the press. But by 2009, things began to fall apart: First, Oasis has a highly publicized split before a show in Paris. Beady Eye, the group Liam formed in its wake, also had a short run, breaking up after just two albums. After his 2nd marriage ended, Liam Gallagher found himself without a band, a family, and spending his days drinking heavily. This new documentary from Charlie Lightening and Gavin Fitzgerald shows Gallagher emerging out this dark period, re-embracing his love for music again and striking a new path as a solo artist. We see Gallagher in the studio, on the street and back in the one place where he was meant to be – on the stage. They capture Gallagher at his most introspective, humorous, and, of course, outspoken. Lightening and Fitzgerald find a way to keep away from what ultimately led to the Oasis split, keeping the focus on Gallagher’s new musical adventures. It’s a great look on one of the last true rock n roll stars. Liam Gallagher: As It Was opens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend and in select theaters starting September 15th. You can also go to www.liamgallaghermovie.com for more information.

Country Music. After tackling baseball, The Vietnam War, and Jazz, Ken Burns now takes on the vast scope and influence of country music in this new PBS special. He explores how this fusion of gospel, blues, jazz, and other roots music made its way from family gatherings, churches, bars, and honky tonks, to theaters, arenas and stadiums. Burns also dives into how these memorable ballads, hymns, and blues found a an audience itching to hear songs that mirrored and connected with their own lives. With a slew of archival clips and stories from some of the biggest names in country, Burns has once again pays tribute to a genre that continues to resonate with audiences around the world. Country Music premieres Sunday, September 15th at 8pm East on PBS.

LISTEN TO THIS

Free by Iggy Pop. For his 18th studio album, Iggy Pop manages to make another sly musical detour that both shocks and thrills. Working with jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas and guitarist Noveller (Sarah Lipstate), Iggy puts together a song cycle that is rich in moody atmospherics, and lush, jazzy soundscapes designed to be heard in one listen as opposed to cherry picking tracks. There’s also two remarkable spoken word pieces that show his current state as an elder statesman and honors an old friend. ‘We Are The People’ is a 1970 Lou Reed poem that Pop transforms into the State Of The Union Address circa 2019. Then there’s a defiant reading of Dylan Thomas’ ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ that suggests that Pop isn’t quite ready to hang up his performing shoes just yet. It’s a strong, bold effort from an artist who, 50 years later, continues to make provocative music. One of the year’s best. Free by Iggy Pop is available now through Amazon, Apple Music and all major streaming outlets.

READ THIS

Bill Cunningham: On The Street: Five Decades Of Iconic Photography. For over five decades, New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham captured how fashion and style evolved in New York and in Paris. But these photos have never been assembled in one place. Until now. This new book culls together some of his best work for The Times, along with a ton of never before seen shots that serve as a mini history lesson of New York City over the last 50 years. Whether it was the 1980 transit strike, the emergence of casual Fridays in the 1990s, or the overwhelming sadness that fell over the city following 9/11, Cunningham finds a way to capture it all in a way that only he can. Anchored by essays by some of Cunningham’s influences and photo subjects, it’s the ultimate salute to one of New York City’s most beloved artists. Bill Cunningham: On The Street: Five Decades Of Iconic Photography is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major book retailers.

DO THIS

New York City: Two Free Women: Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner. It’s hard to imagine Lily Tomlin’s career arc without collaborating with Jane Wagner. The work that they did together transcended the worlds of film, TV, stage and animation and made Tomlin a comedic titan. The Film Society of Lincoln Center looks back at their exceptional work with this new four day retrospective. It will include their 1991 film The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe; the TV specials Lily, Appearing Nightly, Lily: Sold Out, and Lily For President; cartoon versions of Tomlin’s iconic Edith Ann; and a 1976 pilot for a magazine style show that was written by Wagner and hosted by Tomlin. It will also feature Tomlin’s work in films such as Nashville, 9 To 5, All Of Me, Big Business, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, I Heart Huckabees, Grandma and much more. Tomlin and Wagner will also be on hand to talk with writer Hilton Als about their creative process. If you are a long time fan or new to their work, this retrospective covers all of the bases. Two Free Women: Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner will be at Film At Lincoln Center through September 16th. You can also go to www.filmlinc.org for tickets and 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.