Daft Punk Become Human After All, Following Electroma Screenings and a DVD Release on Vice; Short Circuit 2 is Still an Awesome Movie
Plot Outline #1 - Two robots go on a quest to become humans.
Plot Outline #2 - In a dystopic and crime ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him.
Plot Outline #3 - A robot wants to become human as he gains human emotions more and more.
Plot Outline #4 - Robot Johnny Five comes to the city and gets manipulated by criminals who want him for their own purposes.
Plot Outline #5 - A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so he can regain the love of his human mother.
Plot Outlines 1-5 are either the films Robocop, A.I., Bicentinal Man, Short Circuit 2, or the new Daft Punk film Electroma. The answer is:
All of those plots were Short Circuit 2, i.e., the best film ever made. Too bad there hasn't been a funny robot movie in a while. Rush Hour 3 better just be robots, or I am going to kill myself violently in a Starbucks in front of all of my friends and family. Perhaps I should calm down though, seeing as there is at least one robot film to look forward to this summer. Uh, no. Not Transformers. Did you know Michael Bay is already promising up to a 5th Transformers sequel? Yeah, what a douche!
Anyway, you can be relieved with the release of the robot meets indie/art film, Electroma, which features the quest of two robotic forms of Daft Punk to become humans. The 74-minute film was written and directed by the French House duo (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) themselves. The screening at last year's Cannes Film Festival caused people to leave during the drawn-out desert/hiking scene, which led critics to unabashedly compare the film to Vincent Gallo's shit-tank of cinematic incompetence, The Brown Bunny. Unless a film is staring Vince Vaughn, it can no longer be praised. Fortunately, there have been better receptions this year at Paris showings, applauding the film for its style and soundtrack.
Although I know you're bummed there is no theatrical re-release of Short Circuit 2 or even a cleverly done Bicentennial Man 2: The Attack of Flubber, you can still get your "robot on" by checking out one of the few American or Canadian screenings this summer or waiting until the DVD is released this fall on Vice in America and on Aztec International Entertainment in Australia.
Screening Dates for Electroma:
06.28.07 - Calgary, Canada - Stride Gallery (Sled Island Festival)
06.29.07 - Los Angeles, CA - New Beverly Cinema
07.28.07 - Miami, FL - Studio A
09.08.07 - Montreal, Canada - Osheaga Festival At Parc Jean-Drapeau
09.09.07 - Montreal, Canada - Osheaga Festival At Parc Jean-Drapeau
It is impossible to deny that Jack White has ruled the 21st century. Player hate on him, he'll beat your face in. Consistent, tough as nails, rich, fortunate, and prolific -- Jack White is all of these things. Let's go over some of his more recent accomplishments and then you try and tell me he isn't the rock star of our generation. I want to start with what I like to consider the turning point in White's career, when he made the transition from novelty sideshow freak to immortal and untouchable:
- After getting paid to record the Von Bondies album, White pounded lead Bondie Jason Somethingorother until the dude looked like a swollen red apple that got mauled by a rottweiler.
- The Flaming Lips wrote a song about Jack White.
- Electric Six paid White $60,000 (!) to sing on one fucking song.
- He wrote music for the soundtrack and acted in Cold Mountain. Picked up Renée Zellweger and another paycheck in the process.
- White broke his hand in a car accident and had the surgery taped -- and people watched.
- The man married a model and had a baby.
- White recorded a song for a Coca-Cola commercial that ended up being the best jingle I've heard in years. The ad aired once or twice but Jack laughed all the way to the bank.
- Got sick of Meg, called the boys, hung out, dropped The Raconteurs' Broken Boy Soldiers.
- Icky Thump, The White Stripes' new album, comes out June 19 and has already been deemed SPIN and Rolling Stone's number 1 album of 2007.
I think you get the idea; this man is hot shit. Surprisingly, he's also human and has put some morons in charge of his touring schedule. As a result, The White Stripes were forced to cancel a chunk of their upcoming tour, but in typical fashion, White comes out on top, rescheduling all of the dates. And there are a lot of them. The White Stripes will play a free show in Los Angeles for about 200 fans next Wednesday, one day after playing a record-release show at New York's Filmore. Tickets for the New York show go on sale 10 A.M. on Saturday at the Irving Plaza box office. New York, LA, then the world:
06.17.07 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
06.19.07 - New York, NY - The Filmore (Mescalito Holmes)
06.20.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Free Everywhere!
06.24.07 - Burnaby, British Columbia - Deer Lake Park
06.25.07 - Whitehorse, Yukon - Yukon Arts Centre
06.26.07 - Yellowknife, Northwest Territories - Shorty Brown Multiplex Arena
06.27.07 - Iqaluit, Nunavut - Arctic Winter Games Arena
06.29.07 - Calgary, Alberta - Pengrowth Saddledome
06.30.07 - Edmonton, Alberta - Shaw Convention Center
07.01.07 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - TCU Place
07.02.07 - Winnipeg, Manitoba - MTS Centre
07.03.07 - hunder Bay, Ontario - Community Auditorium
07.05.07 - Toronto, Ontario - Molson Amphitheatre
07.06.07 - Montreal, Quebec - Bell Centre
07.07.07 - London, Ontario - John Labatt Centre
07.08.07 - Ottawa, Ontario - LeBreton Flats Park Ottawa Bluesfest
07.10.07 - Moncton, New Brunswick - Moncton Coliseum Arena
07.11.07 - Charlottetown, Price Edward Island - Charlottetown Civic Centre
07.13.07 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Cunard Centre
07.14.07 - Glace Bay, Nova Scotia - Savoy Theatre
07.16.07 - St. John's, Newfoundland - Mile One Center
07.22.07 - Portland, ME - Cumberland Civic Center
07.23.07 - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
07.24.07 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden +
07.25.07 - Wallingford, CT - Chevrolet Theater
07.27.07 - Wilmington, DE - Grand Opera House
07.28.07 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center
07.29.07 - North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
07.30.07 - Birmingham, AL - Sloss Furnaces
07.31.07 - Southaven, MS - Snowden Grove Park Amphitheater
09.16.07 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
09.19.07 - 19 Inglewood, CA - The Forum
09.21.07 - 21 Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
09.24.07 - 24 Anchorage, AK - William A. Egan Civic Center
09.26.07 - 26 Seattle, WA - Paramount Ballroom
09.27.07 - 27 Seattle, WA - Paramount Ballroom
09.28.07 - 28 Boise, ID - Idaho Center Theater
09.29.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - The "E" Center
09.30.07 - Jackson Hole, WY - Snow King Center
10.02.07 - Rapid City, SD - Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
10.03.07 - Fargo, ND - Fargo Civic Auditorium
10.04.07 - Lincoln, NE - Pershing Center Auditorium
10.06.07 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
10.07.07 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
Gary Hustwit Releases a Film on Helvetica Font; Consider This an Extended Love Note I Left on the Fridge Because I Don’t Want to Stay Home and Cuddle with You Tonight; But, Seriously, I’m Really Invested in “Us”
Hey Reader, Baby, Sweetheart --
The thing is: we’re busy people, you and I. I’m surprised we’re making it work. I’m glad, though. I’m glad I have you to come home to, to share things with.
Relationships are about sacrifice, baby. I hope you liked the flowers I had sent to your office today, baby. Yellow roses, baby. Your favorite.
I know you wanted it to be just us tonight, reader, but, the thing is, I have plans in five minutes just itching with prospective HOOK UPZ, drinkin’, and puppy-saving.
I’d never lie to you. You know that.
Here’s the straight story, so I can get on out and you can position yourself on the couch waiting for my return. I think Fresh Prince is on.
I won’t be gone long. I promise.
THE STRAIGHT STORY, BABY:
Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (his past work includes High Tech Soul and Wilco’s I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) debuted Helvetica at the South by Southwest Film Festival to a sold-out audience in March. Not his typical music documentary, Helvetica is about the omnipresent typeface. Want tickets? Check the global screening tour. Read more at this website.
I hope you loved those yellow roses, reader, baby, sweetheart, xoxo,
P.S. It’s the 50th anniversary of the typeface this year, baby. Champagne? More yellow roses?
Maybe Principal Vernon was right. Maybe Judd Nelson’s’ character in The Breakfast Club really was a “gutless turd.” Silber Records to stand up for dads everywhere with Father’s Day e-zine.
“Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk.” “You forgot ugly, lazy and disrespectful.” “Shut up bitch. Go fix me a turkey pot pie.” “No Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you.” “No Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you.” “Dad, what about you?” “Fuck you!”
Most dads are not like the one described by "John Bender" in The Breakfast Club. With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, most of us are not concerned with corny but classic John Hughes films, but are instead racing to find something for our dear old coot before Sunday so he’ll go one more year without writing us out of his will. It is not as easy as it seems. The tough question confronting almost everyone every June isn’t if you’ll buy your dad a goodie for Father’s Day, but what to get him? Do you go for the golf-related, desk organizing asinine knick-knack from Den For Men? No, you got him that idiotic prezzie five years running. A tie? Nope, Dad doesn’t wear a tie at IHOP's dish-pit. A Shrek the Third or Orlando Bloom Pirates...: At World’s End beach towel (Wal-Mart is out of those featuring Depp)? A novel idea, but too risky perhaps. Do you really want your dad parading over white sand with such a passé movie tie-in draped over his liver-spotted wrinklefest? What can we buy our fathers for his big day, oh gift pixies, what?
Silber Records, our favorite family-first labels, doesn't have a clear-cut answer to this quandary but has something to read that will make Sunday go a bit easier. The label’s latest zine “QRD” is an online one devoted to musicians who are also fathers and their views concerning the oft-complicated balancing of full-time papa-ing and full-time music-making. “QRD” #33 will eventually include a Q&A with Colin Newman (Wire) and currently contains interviews with Alan Sparhawk (Low), Chris Olley (Six by Seven), Joe Kendrick (of WNCW radio), and many more with fatherly folk from the label’s killer roster of bands. It’s worth a try. It will certainly put a smile on your mug, which you will surely need after you see your dad’s face when he opens your present of a “Who Farted?” t-shirt.
The many-years-my-senior chef at the restaurant I used to work at asked me one night if I knew who The Flying Luttenbachers were. I replied that I did indeed, and that I had, in fact, seen them the night before. He immediately grew upset. "Why didn't you tell me about it?" he whined.
I don't remember why, exactly, I didn't tell him. I think part of it was an assumption that people had no interest in that sort of thing. By sort of thing, I mean Weasel Walter — the brains of the outfit, wearing a militaristic uniform, complete with a pair of S.S. pants and aviator sunglasses, pummeling on a tiny, cheap-looking drum kit, erstwhile leading a rag-tag crew of guitar shredders. I also didn't want to be hanging out with someone many years my senior, lest people get the wrong idea. I told the chef that the show sucked anyhow.
I went to the show with Phil, a peer of mine — a friend — and I had an absolute blast. After the show, I told Phil that I thought the show sucked, apologetic that he had spent $5 he ordinarily wouldn't have, especially on a bunch of brash, almost prog-rock, brak-noise. Phil loved the show and said he thought it was awesome people would do such a thing. I wasn't going to take my words back, you know, be a liar, so I just maintained that the show "sucked."
Anyway, though I had seen The Flying Luttenbachers before and knew what I was in for, I didn't know that Weasel Walter was so accomplished, a jack-of-all-trades.
In addition to high B.P.M. on the drums, Weasel is a bass clarinetist, guitarist, saxophonist, bassist, mellotronist, electronics wizard (knob-twiddler), and all-around wanker. He also has a reputation that precedes him, in the most endearing way -- and heads up To Live and Shave in L.A. 2, To Live and Shave in L.A.'s splinter group with Misty Martinez, Nandor Nevai, and Rat Bastard.
Fans of noise, free jazz, no wave, and experimental music would be well-informed to know of Weasel Walter's new CD Early Recordings: 1988-1991 out on Lyon, France's Savageland Records. The album is a collection of pre-The Flying Luttenbachers mayhem, showcasing all of Walter's instrumental talents.
What's more, Walter Weasel will be screeching in Oakland and San Fancisco on select dates with select musicians in myriad improvised forms:
06.16.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●The Bangs: Jacob Lindsay (Clarinets), Ava Mendoza (Guitar), Damon Smith (7-String Ergo Bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
●Jacob Lindsay conducts an ensemble including Kristian Aspelin (Guitar), Matt Davignon (turntable), Phillip Greenlief (reeds), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Ava Mendoza (guitar), Kinoko Nishi (koto), David Slusser (winds), Damon Smith, (double bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
06.24.07 - San Francisco, CA - Musicians Union Hall
● Kristian Aspelin Group: Weasel Walter (drums), Kristian Aspelin (guitar), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Damon Smith (bass)
06.26.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Clarinet Choir: Weasel Walter (percussion, clarinets), Jacob Lindsay (clarinets), Aram Shelton (bass clarinet), Damon Smith (cello), Alan Anzalone (alto clarinet), David Slusser (bass clarinet, sluss-o-matic)
●Scott Amendola/Matthias Bossi Duo
06.27.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Quartet
●Wendy Atkinson (solo bass guitar)
06.30.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
Lou Harrison Tribute Concert featuring:
●Weasel Walter's Cellular Chaos (WW on guitar, William Winant, Mark E. Miller, Damon Smith)
●William Winant and percussionists performing on the instruments designed and built by Lou Harrison and William Colvig.
●f.u.b.a.r. 1 (John Hanes, M.E. Miller and Henry Kaiser) Film backdrop provided by Heike Liss
07.05.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●William Hooker (with Damon Smith and Oluyemi Thomas)
●Weasel Walter, Aram Shelton, Liz Allbee Trio
07.17.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Ahleuchatistas (Cuneiform Records)
●Weasel Walter Ensemble
Indie rock needs more beef. I really do not think that anyone can deny this. Rap has become the WWF with its intertwining storylines and backstabbing intrigue. One moment Lil’ Wayne is making it rain alongside Fat Joe, the next he is bashing him on his new album. Cassidy (WHO?!) calls out Jay-Z for no apparent reason. El-P and Sole get to write diss raps against one another. This, frankly, rules. I want this in indie rock (Brian Jonestown Massacre v. Dandy Warhols and Pitchfork v. Tim Kinsella is simply NOT enough). I want Tim Kasher to compose a concept album about how much he hates Spencer Krug. I want Owen Ashworth to write vicious LiveJournal entries about Will Sheff. I want Jamie Stewart to tell Will Oldham to perk up... and then to... punch... him...
Point being: indie rock needs to have the kind of interpersonal intrigue that got Fitty shot (too soon?). Obviously if the musicians aren’t going to facilitate this, I feel that it's my duty as part of the media (OH COME ON, this totally counts as the media) to just go ahead and create incendiary stories which will produce the animosity which I can, in turn, report. So: The New Pornographers hate Broken Social Scene. Always have.
Some say it started when Amy Millan released Honey From The Tombs, stating that she could make a better album than Neko Case after huffing the ashes of Kathryn Calder’s dog... which she killed... and sacrificed... to Satan... on Kathryn’s birthday. While she failed, miserably, it was enough to set off A.C. Newman who, in a rarely cited press release, stated that The New Pornographers would simply exist “to crush those bizarro New Pornographers.” After a brief scuffle involving Dan Bejar brandishing a switchblade, Broken Social Scene went on “indefinite hiatus.” Thinking they had won, A.C. and his crew retreated to the studio to work on their new album You Fear Us Beat Broken Social Scene or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground. While deciding the correct amount of clap tracks for the upcoming album, a certain, inferior website leaked that Broken Social Scene would return to making music under the flimsy “Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew” alias. Needless to say, A.C. Newman was enraged and, after contacting the Matador lawyers and having the album changed to Yo, Kevin Drew and Posse. Suck It., he began to contact venues to create a façade that would mask his ultimate goal of finding Kevin Drew and squashing the beef. Through violence
09.13.07 - Victoria, B.C. Canada - McPherson Ballroom
09.14.07 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
09.15.07 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
09.16.07 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
09.17.07 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
09.18.07 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
09.19.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
09.20.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
09.21.07 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
09.22.07 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
09.24.07 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
09.25.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
09.26.07 - Boise, ID - The Egyptian Theatre
09.28.07 - Vancouver, B.C. Canada at Commodore Ballroom
ALL DATES SUPPORTED BY FANCEY, LAVENDER DIAMOND, PONY BOY, AND THE ENTIRE CAST OF THE WARRIORS.
To earn enough to buy lead pipes and to bribe cops to let up the location of “Broken Social Scene Presents...” The New Pornographers have put up their new album for preorder in two versions. The “Standard Edition” is being sold for $14.99 and will include an already available full, online album stream, three unreleased B-sides, and advanced ticket-purchasing options. The “Executive Edition,” which Bejar said will contribute “maxium BSS pwnage,” will be a box set including three discs of B-sides, demos, alternate mixes, live tracks, videos, photos, Leslie Feist fingernails, and artwork for $19.99.
Challenger subtitled: Sleep With One Eye Open Broken Social Scene.
Cat Power's 2006 album, The Greatest claimed this year's Shortlist Music Prize, beating out albums by Girl Talk, Band of Horses, Beirut, Bonnie Prince Billy, Hot Chip, Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor, Tom Waits, and Spank Rock. The Shortlist Prize has been around since 2001 and honors artists who haven't become certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America. Which is a good thing, but who really gives a fuck about the RIAA? Anyway, so Cat Power won it this year, so good for her/them.
The judges are a collection of well-known artists who, honestly, mostly suck real bad. See, the terrible injustice here is that these asshats are nominating some indie artist who could own their ass any day. To make it worse, they give them a prize that basically says, "well, sorry you didn't go Gold, we did and you didn't, so here is a music prize for you." That's really not very nice. Let me go on and name a few of these so-called "artists": Panic! At The Disco, The Killer's Ronnie Vannucci, and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. Panic! At The Disco? Are you kidding me? That's almost a fucking insult to Cat Power and all the other great artists up for the prize. It's hard to believe they're serious.
Well, congratulations Cat Power -- although, you probably didn't care whether or not you won it. I'm going to guess that you make music because you love it. Not to have some atrocious teenie emo band vote for you. Making music because you love to. That's kind of the point isn't it?
In other news, The Killers still can suuuuck it.
In 1998, we thought The Jesus and Mary Chain released their final album, the conflicted and divided portrait of a band on the brink of deterioration titled Munki (spelling courtesy of Jonathan Davis).
In 1998 Scarlett Johansson starred in the Robert Redford vehicle The Horse Whisperer, the year's winner of Oscars for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Picture, and Best Child Actor (if I'm not mistaken).
In 2003, Jim and Will Reid (a.k.a. Jesus and Mary, respectively) were sitting around in their underwear, eating Oreos and playing Battleship.
Also in 2003, Scarlett Johansson was blasting off into superstardom as the apple-bummed beauty she is, lighting up the screen as Charlotte in Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation. The film's final moments included a tense whisper from Scarlett's Charlotte into the ear of Bill Murray's Bob Harris (proof that starring in Ghostbusters will ALWAYS get you laid) to the sound of the JAMC's "Just Like Honey" from 1985's Psychocandy.
On April 27, 2007, Scarlett joined the Scottish lads on stage at the Coachella Music Festival in Pomona, California to sing backup on "Just Like Honey" and proceeded to announce her commandeering of the entire entity, effective immediately. The Reid Brothers, now subservient to Scarlett's sex appeal and sultry voice, would follow every order and fulfill every whim of the starlet.
Luckily for fans of washed-up, money hungry has-beens (just kidding, I still love you JAMC... and Pixies... and Morrissey... and The Police... and Genesis... and Poison.. and...), Scarlett has demanded a new album be recorded as soon as possible. The album is said to be built around the centerpiece of the new jam "All Things Must Pass," which the band performed live on The Late Show with David Letterman, as Scarlett controlled the Reid Brothers by a combination of remote control and puppet strings from the wings.
From the mouth of Jim Reid himself (with Scarlett playing ventriloquist), the reunion "is not necessarily about any nostalgia trip," but is purely about money, I mean, love and art (and money). "There will be a new record, otherwise there wouldn't be any point to reforming," said Reid. Well, besides the cash and blow, Jim... besides the cash and blow...
[Who's up for some good ol' misogyny-lite? Good! Keep reading!]
The genius behind Tegan and Sara lies within the simplicity of both their music and looks. When most girl bands come on the scene, they either bring it home with their music or with their looks; a la Aretha Franklin versus Hilary Duff. Tegan and Sara, however, keep both at an even pace. Their music is modestly good and looks much the same; so they innocently draw in girls who think the dream is still alive and boys who dream they can date them.
Since TnS are talented and pretty, most girls relate to them and hope that some day they can reach the point that TnS have. This, unbeknownst to the female fan base, is a clever way to draw in tons of money. Then, also because of their talent and looks, the males think they have a chance to get with them. Males will sacrifice masculinity points and listen to TnS in hopes that one day they will get to sleep with one of the members.
This whole talk of modesty leads me right away from whatever dribble I was just talking about to the current event's topic: TnS’s modest tour of looks in the key of modesty.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Neil Hamburger is touring. He isn't stopping until all the dates are complete, whether you like it or not. And, truth be told, a lot of people don't seem to like him. I did my own unofficial polling of people facing me, and half of them, when prompted, decided to face a different direction. Compelling results? Of course. Neil ‘The Burger’ Hamburger is, to some, hard to stomach. He coughs a lot. He's awkward. He tells bad jokes. People boo him. If you were in any doubt that the ‘boo’ was passé, that it had fallen into the annals of public appearance lexicon, watch him perform his stand-up. There certainly are laughs to compete, however, and apparently enough to propel a bunch of CD releases and this tour from Drag City.
With my unofficial poll and common understanding, those that boo fail to get the joke: that he is acting 'bad' on purpose (or at least it appears that way). Those that cheer have a strange sense of humor, or are laughing at him. It is perplexing. I have friends who tell bad jokes, and they do not have CDs and tours. I tell bad jokes all the time, too, and I think I would be much better off if I were rewarded with tourdates instead of a whopping dose of humiliation and mockery. But in Neil Hamburger's defense, he has a certain image and charismatic appeal that I will never have. Maybe we are indeed laughing at him, but I get the feeling the joke's on us.
Like a fine trip to Dick's Last Resort, where the waitstaff insult and abuse the patrons and we all pretend to enjoy it, Neil Hamburger is giving us what we don't want and making us laugh. That's something, isn't it? It's the perfect marketing strategy: give us a product to solve a problem we never knew we had. He's good for the economy, he's good for comedy, and he's good for us (Neil Hamburger prevents free radicals!). So boo or don't boo, either way he's touring, and you'll wonder if he's for real or not, but rest assured, he is. Help us, he is:
# Dr. El Suavo
Freeloaders can catch a glimpse of America's $1 Funnyman here.