The Filtered Excellence: September 19, 2013

Bob Geldof once asked us, “Where is the filtered excellence!?” It’s right here. Here are this weeks picks of what to WATCH, what to DO what to TRY what to READ what to LISTEN TO and more:



Farm Aid 2013. The first Farm Aid benefit concert was in 1985. 28 years later, Farm Aid still working to keep family farmers on their land and promote healthy family farm grown food. The line up for the 2013 concert includes Farm Aid founders, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp and guest star, Dave Matthews and many others. The concert starts at noon on Saturday, September 21st at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.  Harry Dean Stanton is a World War II veteran, a poet, philosopher, musician and singer. He’s also one of the greatest character actors of all time with a career spanning over 50 years. Directors David Lynch and Sam Peckinpah called him their favorite actor and he was close friends with Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, and Francis Ford Coppola. Debbie Harry wrote a song about him and the NBC series Chuck centered an episode as his character in the cult classic Repo Man. Director Sophie Huber takes a dreamlike look at the iconic actor, driving through the streets of L.A., with Stanton and a host of friends (including Kris Kristofferson, David Lynch, Debbie Harry, Wim Wenders and Sam Shepherd) reflecting on his long and distinguished career. There’s also plenty of clips from their nearly 250 films that he was worked on as well as beautiful versions of American & Mexican classics sung by Stanton. A beautiful salute to an American treasure. Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction is playing in New York and L.A. now.

The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience. The timeless classic “The Wizard of Oz” is back in theaters for one week and one week only! Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are all of to see the Wizard again and this time on the giant IMAX screen and in 3D. The re-release is going on across the country starting Friday, September 20th. The IMAX screenings lead up to the home video 75th anniversary release of “The Wizard of Oz” including a Blu-ray 3-D version of the film coming in October.

Dexter Series Finale. After 8 seasons, the fate of the Bay Harbor Butcher will be decided. It’s been a long ride since Dexter first went up against the Ice Truck Killer. There’s been plenty of blood and murder since then. Who else dies before this series says goodbye?   Will Dexter make a clean getaway or is everything finally closing in? Everything comes to end an end Sunday night, September 22nd at 9pm Eastern on Showtime.

Ray Donovan. Season Finale. The first season of the Showtime series “Ray Donovan” starring Liev Schrieber and Jon Voight, wraps up this Sunday. Ray has a big problem with Sully and wants him out of town. Plus, Ray and his father, Mickey meet up to talk things out. Mickey wants answers to his questions – why did Ray try to have him killed? Answers are coming Sunday, September 22nd at 10pm on Showtime.

SEC Storied: The Book of Manning. This is the third documentary in the ESPN “SEC Storied” series. “The Book of Manning” focuses on football’s first family, The Mannings. Narrated by John Goodman, the film takes a deep look at the lives of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning and their rise through college and into the NFL. Using unseen photos and home movies, “The Book of Manning” shows, not only the victories, but also the tragedies in the Manning family. “SEC Storied: The Book of Manning” airs Tuesday, September 24th at 8pm Eastern on ESPN.


Wild Tales: A Rock n Roll Life by Graham Nash. He was the co-founder of two iconic bands – The Hollies and Crosby, Stills & Nash, was Joni Mitchell’s lover and muse, witnessed the births of the London Rock scene and the singer-songwriter movement that came out of Laurel Canyon and played a pivotal role in bringing political activism to rock n roll. Now Graham Nash, noted musician, songwriter and humanitarian, tells his story in Wild Tales. And they were wild – he was in the audience at rock’s first full on concert riot, was exposed to and consumed more drugs than any person can handle and was friends with some of the most iconic names of the genre. There’s a lot of rock-based books out there now and most of them are very good. Wild Tales stands head and shoulders above most.

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Truth Serum by Garland Jeffreys. After not releasing an album for 13 years, Garland Jeffreys is making up for lost time. First came the 2011 release of The King Of In Between, which featured guest appearances by Lou Reed, Duncan Sheik, Steve Jordan and production by Larry Campbell. Then came the digital reissue of his classic 1977 album Ghost Rider, often cited as one of the best albums of the decade. Now comes the release of Truth Serum, the most vibrant and urgent sounding album of his long and impressive career. Recorded live in the studio songs like ‘Any Rain’, and ‘Is This The Real World’, pop with passion and immediacy. ‘Collide The Generations’, is a Velvet Underground-like romp and the title track is straight up blues. In a career full of amazing songs, the elegant ‘Far Far Away’ might be his finest. Garland Jeffreys turned 70 this year, but Truth Serum has the vitality, passion and energy of a debut album. One of the year’s best.

Leave On Your Makeup by Ben Kenney. Incubus bassist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Ben Kenney has played a key role in the band’s success since joining the band in 2003. He’s also released several solo albums that has put his talents on full display. Those talents are in high gear on his latest EP, Leave On Your Makeup. ‘Concord’, ‘New Amsterdam’ and the title track could’ve easily fit onto an Incubus album, and the song ‘I’ll Be Outside’ features vocals by Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd and indie rock guitar hero Kaki King. A outstanding EP by one of music’s most consistent, yet underrated songwriters.


DANVILLE KENTUCKY: The Official Blues Brothers Review. Brought to you by Dan Aykroyd, the estate of John Belushi and music director Paul Shaffer, it’s the Official Blues Brother Review starring Elwood and Brother Zee Blues. The show features the Blues Brothers music and comedy in a tribute to Chicago’s blues, R&B and soul music. Tickets are still available for the show at the Norton Center for the Arts in Danville, Kentucky on Saturday, September 21st at 8pm in Newlin Hall.

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HUNTINGTON NEW YORK: Robert Hunter. The Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter is doing his first live performance in nearly 10 years. The man known for the words for so many Grateful Dead songs, including “Casey Jones”, “Truckin'” and “Uncle John’s Band” and others will be performing at the Paramount in Huntington, New York, Thursday, September 26th at 8pm. Tickets are available now.


NEW YORK CITY: ‘Amazing Shanghai’. Now through September 21st, Rockefeller Center will take you to Shanghai. Located in the Rockefeller Center concourse, ‘Amazing Shanghai’ will showcase 100 years of artwork and photography along with 15 displays that trace the Jewish Community’s history and impact on the city.

NEW YORK CITY:  Timothy Leary’s Files at the New York Public Library. The New York Public Library has a acquired a huge collection of Timothy Leary’s files, letters, manuscripts and reports on his drug research. Those papers are now available to the public for the first time at the library. Some of the highlights of the collection include, a detailed description of psychedelic training courses that Leary taught at Millbrook in 1966 and a 1975 letter he wrote to Ken Kesey from prison. The library has no immediate plans to make the files available online, so visit in person at the New York Public Library.

NEW YORK CITY: Kite Flight at the Port Authority. The Fashion Center BID in New York is taking over the roof of the Port Authority in New York for its annual kite flying event. There will kite decorating and kite flying help from expert Glenn Davidson. The day also includes street games, jugglers, music, and food court, all atop the Port Authority at 8th Avenue and 40th Street. The day’s event is free. It happens this Sunday, September 22nd starting at 1pm.

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NEW YORK CITY:  Bryant Park Square Dance. A month of square dancing events wraps up this Wednesday at Bryant Park in NYC. The best part is that there is no experience necessary. Classes will be taught throughout the evening and Bryant Park will even find you a partner to do-si-do with. There will be plenty of music with square dance caller Dave Harvey and The Remedies on the main stage. VIP tickets are available for unlimited barbecue and drinks. The Bryant Park Square Dance is this coming Wednesday, September 25th starting at 5:30pm.


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