The Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival returns to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park August 5-7 with scores of diverse musical acts, comedians, visual artists, and more food, beer, and vendors than you can shake a corn dog at. And now add to that roster of attractions The Muppets' own rock and roll legends, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, in what is their "first-ever live festival performance."
Just today, the lineup was announced by these far-out puppets in an amazing video, revealing their festival mates Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, Sufjan Stevens, LCD Soundsystem, Grimes, Duran Duran, Chance the Rapper, Beach House, Vince Staples, Lionel Richie, Peaches, Kamasi Washington, and many, many more.
Record Store Day is coming our way Saturday April 19. You can already see what we have going on at Amoeba stores here, and this is a full list of titles that will be available that day. It’s a lot to parse through, so we’ve pulled a few highlights:
Joy Division – An Ideal for Living (12”)
Who wouldn’t want the first-ever Joy Division release? It includes remastered versions of the four songs originally included—“Warsaw,” “No Love Lost,” “Leaders of Men” and “Failures.”
Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey LP
A totally awesome and underrated entry to the Husker Du canon. It was their major label debut, so the band’s fifth album got some flack from longtime fans, but revisiting it, Candy Apple Grey sounds as amazing as anything else they did, with songs like the immortal “Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely.” The 1986 album helped set the tone for alternative rock to follow. It’s on grey vinyl for the first time.
If you’re like me, most Christmas music makes you want to stab yourself in the eyeball with a sharpened candy cane. Luckily, since everyone and their mother has attempted a holiday album (I mean, most of them are X-mas-centric), there are some gems in the mix.
The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album/Christmas With the Beach Boys
The Beach Boys and Christmas music go together like Christmas and getting drunk. It’s an obvious choice, sure, but this album also wins because of the originals, which they put just as much effort into as their regular classics. “The Man With All the Toys” kicks enough ass to be listened to all year round.
Some would say the greatest Christmas album of all time, featuring classic productions by Phil Spector, with The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and other Spector favorites. Every other version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” sucks compared to this one.
These are films that I either suffered through, or whose trailers assaulted me while waiting to see something else.
Not So Bad Once You Get to Know Them
These are two individuals who made careers out of dehumanizing others. Yet, we're supposed to sympathize with them because one was a repressed gay man and the other a woman who faced off against men and is now suffering from Alzheimer's. Fuck them both. There are many legitimate ways to approach biopics about interestingly evil people (e.g. Downfall), but a liberalized understanding is not one of them.
I've previously expressed my horror at seeing simple 2D cartoonish figures rendered in photorealistic 3D detail. Who needs to count the black lines in Scooby's iris or see the snot dripping from his nose to get into the plot? But this grotesque disfiguration has really reached its aesthetic nadir with Spielberg's adaptation of the comic famous for its clear line style, HergÃ©'s TinTin. Rather than believe Spielberg can't see how hideous these deformed monsters look, I suspect that this kind of adaptation is really a simulation of a live action adaptation. Ultimately, it's a portent of a later stage of the technological revolution in which actors and much of the old film crew will be out of a job. A perfectly realistic CG star can't join a union. Of course, that'll only happen if they can digitally create the voices, too, which brings me to why the Muppets are dead and should not be brought back as zombies. Maybe Gallagher and Sam Kinison can be safely simulated by a close relative, but there is no muppet without the original muppeteer. Kermit and Fozzie might look the same, but they're obviously defective clones, being revealed as recovering stroke victims upon opening their mouths. (Not that I've ever been much of a fan of the Muppet movies, which tend to identify more with the lame humans than the characters of interest.)
Two of my favorite movies of the year so far came out a couple of months ago. Both Beginners and Drive are two of my favorites and they both have great soundtracks to go along with them. The Drive Soundtrack features songs from The Chromatics and Desire and an amazing score by Cliff Martinez. Beginners features songs from Jelly Roll Morton, Josephine Baker, and Mamie Smith. Another one of my favorite films of the year was the latest by Woody Allen. However, Midnight in Paris did not get a proper soundtrack release. The Soundtracks to Drive and Beginners are out now..