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by Hannah Cook 07.19.2012
Posted In: Music, Movies at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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When Someone Great Is Gone

Reflections on LCD Soundsystem's 'Shut Up and Play the Hits'

There’s a tremendous breach between a life of stardom and a life of ordinariness; it’s a point of view most of us Joes take. Constantly forming idols for ourselves, we forget that those deemed as “famous” perform such mundane tasks as even putting on underwear in the morning. For some reason, famous people don’t wear underwear — that’s too routine. They don’t have routines, they have fabulous, spontaneous lives. Perhaps they were never even children. Their birth was the moment that you fell in love with what they do. They are an entirely different kind.

Shut Up and Play the Hits bridges that gap for us, though. The documentary, directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, was screened in select theatres for only one night — a seemingly arrogant tactic, though I think it was done mostly just because it was the easiest and most affordable (the opposite of arrogant). Lucky for Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center showed it in the lobby of its stone, skate park-like building to a full audience.

Shut Up and Play the Hits tells the visual tale of dance/punk band LCD Soundsystem’s final moments as one of the world’s most respected and adored musical entities. The band’s ending, oddly constructed as it was, provoked curiosity: Why stop at the pinnacle of your career? Did you have this planned all along?

Using shots of the band’s last show to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden on April 2, 2011, mastermind James Murphy’s life before and after the show, and an actually informative interview, Shut Up and Play the Hits does some explaining, which was what Murphy really wanted. Not only that, but it also takes us through the inevitable emotional roller coaster Murphy and his bandmates rode on, anywhere from feeling “disturbingly normal” to breaking down in the presence of the band’s now jaded yet memorable musical equipment.

The film takes a spiral shape, starting and ending at the same spot — the cleaning up of LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show — but with two very different dispositions. At the beginning, we’re still confused as to why, but by the end, as that final heavy synth note rings out, we are understanding — content even — with Murphy’s decision to wholly join a life of normalcy.

This normal life seems to revolve around Murphy’s dog. Waking up at 10:32 the morning after the final, drunken show, Murphy lays pensively sleepy with his little dog on his belly, just staring at him. Maybe it’s the dog that keeps him from accepting the sadness of the end, or maybe he just hasn’t been able to look — really look — at his dog in quite some time. Either way, it’s an endearing moment that contrasts like a flash of lightening to the madness of their final show. The back and forth filming techniques foster those aesthetics.

In the moments of the show, the film actualizes just how much people treasure LCD Soundsystem. Slow-mo shots of the audience, focusing in on particularly passionate people, combined with the circling lights of the massive disco ball and LCD’s absorbing sounds gave life to the movie, like we were there ourselves. Murphy thanked the fans and his family with an authentic sense of farewell, leading into their final song “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” which was almost too fitting for the circumstances — almost.

In many moments throughout the film, Murphy’s gaze suggests a complexity of despondency and hopefulness all at once, whether he’s making coffee or glowing in front of an 18,000-person show. The end is near and never has such an ending become so suddenly swallowed up. The film symbolically leaves us with a weeping fan staring at the dispersing stage, gracefully blurring the line of the sacred and profane. Murphy only wished to leave a stain, but that final note of that final song could very well ring out forever.

 
 
by Eli Johnson 01.13.2012
Posted In: Movies, Music at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Music, Movies and the Not So Mundane

EMI Records has filed a lawsuit against the Irish state for not fulfilling its obligations under European law to block online piracy. Despite major record labels in Ireland (Warner, Universal, Sony and EMI) being harmed by Ireland’s lack of “blocking, diverting or interrupting of Internet communications,” which breaches copyright law, Ireland never implemented any piracy blocking provisions and last year member of the High Court Justice Peter Charleton acknowledged this.

“It is not surprising that the legislative response laid down in our country in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, at a time when this problem was not perceived to be as threatening to the creative and retail economy as it has become in 2010, has made no proper provision for the blocking, diverting or interrupting of internet communications intent on breaching copyright,” Justice Charleton’s judgment began.

“Establishing a causal link between Irish law and filesharing will be difficult, particularly given the evidence from elsewhere that blocking is ineffective,” said TJ McIntyre, lawyer at the University College Dublin. And while site-blocking is a last resort for the record labels, the link between the breach of the State’s obligations and the labels’ losses could prove to be problematic.

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by Jac Kern 05.14.2012
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

On this first day of Bike to Work Week, Park + Vine and Queen City Bike want to reward all those who swapped their cars for two wheels with a kombucha keg party tonight. Fab Ferments’ brew will be tapped at 4:30 and the fermented goodness will be served 'til 6 p.m. alongside tasty vegan snacks. P+V continues to celebrate bike month with lots of other events and promotions this month (find more here). Go here for our full Bike Month calendar.

Today is also the kick-off of American Craft Beer Week. That’s a thing! Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, so it’s no surprise that local watering holes are celebrating the creation and consumption of delicious craft beer. Tonight, Arnold’s taps Bell’s Third Coast Ale — one of two fifth-barrels in the entire city. Find Arnold’s full ACBW schedule here.

The Crazy Fox in Newport hosts open mic and all-night happy hour every Monday. All musicians are welcome to perform in a friendly atmosphere, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The Seedy Seeds’ Margaret Darling guest hosts this week.

It's Only A Day Away

Tomorrow, Northside Tavern hosts a fundraiser for End Slavery Cincinnati. Help raise awareness about human trafficking in the country and right here in Cincinnati from 5-10 p.m. There will be live music from The Flavor Junkies and Wild Mountain Berries, door prizes and more, for $5 at the door.

This American Life presented a live cinema event last Thursday that featured its standard true storytelling format, but with ample visual elements. In addition to anecdotes from David Sedaris, Tig Notaro and others, there were also dance performances, a hilarious short film from Mike Birbiglia and an interactive performance by OK GO. The theater in Newport where I watched the show was far too empty — I found the show more entertaining than any movie in theaters right now! Those who missed out have another chance to check out the program in theaters Tuesday. Sure, it will be a recording of the live show, but the charm and excitement of the live format will surely shine through. Without spoiling anything, the stories they were able to assemble were killer: laugh-out-loud, misty-eyed, thought-provoking TAL goodness.

Be sure to download this free app before you go — the TAL crew pulled some strings to allow audiences to use their phones at one point in the performance. Go here to find nearby theaters screening the show tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Can I gush any more? No. It’s worth the $20 ticket. Please go.

Ricky, Julian and Bubbles bring the trailer park to town for a night tomorrow! For those unfamiliar, Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary-style comedy series and movies that has developed a cult following over the past decade. It’s white trash hilarity at its finest. If last year’s live show was any indication, Tuesday’s “Community Service Variety Show” is sure to bring the LOLs. Buy tickets here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 11.20.2013
Posted In: Fashion, Humor, TV/Celebrity, Music at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Apparently Lady Gaga did damn well as host and musical guest on this week’s Saturday Night Live, because I keep seeing stories like this praising her. I don’t know for sure, though, because I fell asleep on the couch at 10:30 p.m. and woke up just before 1 a.m., just in time to see something that has recurred in my nightmares ever since: