Tag Archives: movies

Zach Braff’s 10 Easy Tips for Filmwriting

Zach Braff’s 10 Easy Tips for Writing Films About Twenty-SomethingsĀ®:

3. The perfect catalyst for change should come in the form of a small, perky, impossibly cute, dark-haired Jewess, who, for some inexplicable reason, is deeply attracted to the protagonist, despite the fact that his personality is about as exciting as a soggy peanut butter sandwich.

Incredible that he never even has to mention the soundtracks…

The Who – Tommy and Quadrophenia Live DVD

The WhoTommy and Quadrophenia Live (Rhino)

Rhino Records has just issued a triple-DVD set chronicling not only live performances of Tommy and Quadrophenia, but two very different configurations of the reunited Who touring band. Though the purpose of the set is to archive the live versions of the two famous rock operas, the DVDs inevitably show the right way for the Who to have reunited and toured, and the wrong way to have done it.

In 1989, the Who staged a full tour after a seven-year layoff. I was fortunate enough to catch them that year, and at the time, I was awestruck upon hearing them open the concert with a fully fleshed out overture from Tommy. Through the sheer joy of seeing the Who play during my lifetime, I was willing to overlook the excesses of that tour. And God were there excesses! Three background vocalists, a percussionist, a second guitarist, and a full horn section which strayed too often into Phil Collins territory, it was a lot to swallow for fans of a band who used to encapsulate the lean, mean, less-is-more theory of noisemaking.

The DVD has the Los Angeles “all-star” performance of Tommy, a Vegas-revue version of the Who that hasn?t aged well. The drummer at the time, Simon Phillips, was much more Neil Peart than Keith Moon; his over-drumming doesn?t serve the arrangements well. The guest stars for the most part turned in okay performances; they can?t be faulted for the bombast.

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The Long Way Around: One Badass Year with Two Cow Garage

Two Cow GarageGlorious Noise has been a longtime supporter of the Columbus, Ohio band Two Cow Garage. They represent everything right about independent music—from their incredible energy on stage and development as musicians and performers, to their Do It Yourself attitude, dedication to the road, and genuine appreciation of each and every fan. They are proof of GLONO’s motto: rock and roll can change your life. Rock and roll took these three guys together and transported them out of Smalltown, Ohio into the wide open spaces of this great country. But GLONO is just one signal in a cacophony of noise devoted to great music, so it’s heartwarming to find another voice trumpeting Two Cow’s greatness.

John Boston says the idea to shoot a documentary on Two Cow Garage came up over dinner with his wife. Frustrated that a band so great was struggling to reach out beyond a handful of fans in any given town, he wished aloud that someone could tell their story and show how there are still bands out there doing it “for the right reasons.” These were guys with no traditional musical education, nor any guidance, out there doing what they loved. It was then that Boston’s wife pointed out the obvious, that he should do what HE loved and just make the film himself. After all, why not take a DIY approach to making a documentary about the ultimate DIY band? (Watch the trailer (7MB mov).)

Boston is 34 years old and struggling with the same philosophical issues those of us who grew up knowing Punk as not so much an attitude as a philosophy. How do we maintain integrity when faced with boring jobs that offer security and money and all the things we so easily dismiss in our teens as so many poisoned apples? Sure, our parents had nice houses, but it’d be a cold day in Hell before we put on a suit and went to a job we hated every day! But then we graduate college and start to long for the minor comforts of a nice place to live and a second-hand car. So, we take those jobs but keep playing in bands, or participate in local theater, or launch music criticism websites.

Having studied at NYU before moving to Chicago, a city with a thriving independent theater scene, Boston works as an administrative assistant while he continues to explore acting and now filmmaking. Glorious Noise sat down with Boston at a north side Chicago bar to discuss his film and the band that inspired it.

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Revenge of the Blue Yoda Society

Revenge of the NerdsI was 6 years old when Star Wars hit the silver screen. The weekend of Memorial Day 1977 I stood in line with my mother for an entire afternoon outside the Woodland Theater hoping to get in. Jimmy Carter was president. My parents were still on their first marriage. There was no internet. Cable TV was an extravagant luxury which only afforded you 10 extra channels. In our house music was played from vinyl records or 8-track tapes. The most popular radio station in town operated on a rock and roll album format. My favorite toy was a 12″ GI Joe action figure. Life was great!

The two hours I spent in the theater that day in 1977 changed my life. Star Wars, later subtitled Episode IV, A New Hope, turned my imagination inside out. I don’t need to explain this to any child of the 70s. The impact of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, released between 1977 and 1983 is now, for better or worse, part of humanity’s collective consciousness.

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Thrill Jockey – Looking for a Thrill DVD

Various Artists – Looking for a Thrill (Thrill Jockey)

Traveled to Chicago last weekend. My mission, among other things, was to catch an instore appearance at Tower Records and witness a lineup including locals like Califone and the hip hoppin’ All Natural. Catharsis abounded—on and off stage—and the afternoon proved to be the perfect atmosphere for a celebration: the release of Thrill Jockey Records’ new DVD experiment, Looking for a Thrill: An Anthology of Inspiration.

Excerpts from the 330-minute compilation played between sets, and I browsed Tower’s goods as Thurston Moore described the Cramps’ first show: opening for the sadistic, addictive stylings of Suicide.

Tim Rutili, mastermind behind Califone, has described the DVD as “inspiring” and “highly recommended.” And even though he makes an appearance in the film, one need not question his motives: all profits go to Greenpeace, which allows you to feel good for giving to charity.

While you bask in personal satisfaction, you can watch Bjork’s face light up as she talks about her two-year-old kid and bleating car alarms, you can listen to Rutili’s story about desperately wanting John Popper “to walk,” and (in Rutili’s words) you will see percussionist Ben Massarella, who “looks like Clark Gable and talks about Miles Davis.”

Looking for a Thrill is a masterpiece about illumination. Order it now, and within a few days you will have answers to some of your musical ruminations and, naturally, new questions too. Order it now and watch a shaggy Vic Chesnutt talk about Melanie, Orwell, and his reflection. Watch Ian Mackaye talk about Lux Interior throwing up onstage. Watch everyone talk about the Ramones. Watch it.

A Simple Twist of Fate: The Saga of Roger Salloom

Roger SalloomIn the 1960s, singer-songwriter Roger Salloom hung out in San Francisco with the likes of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. His band opened for rising stars like Santana, Procol Harum and Van Morrison. He was on the same label as Creedence Clearwater Revival, and label honchos told him they thought he was going to be the household name.

It didn’t happen. Creedence took off instead. Santana grew huge. Salloom’s band released a critically acclaimed record, Salloom, Sinclair and The Mother Bear, that was named by the Chicago Tribune the Top Album of 1968. But through a quirk of fate, timing, the market, his character, or a combination of all four, Salloom’s career never took off.

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