The future is once again playing at your multiplex, but it could also be the present, with isolated warring factions amidst a parched wasteland and rapacious leaders who bully the underprivileged masses by hoarding all manner of resources, including water and gasoline.
SCILLA SIEKMANN was the first act that lured me into Skinny’s Lounge in the NoHo Arts District. Once in there, her interpretation of JANIS JOPLIN's “Piece Of My Heart” had me convinced and convicted (like a religious conviction) and I became a huge booster for this multi-faceted vocalist.
On a Monday morning, in June 1979, a limousine pulled in front of Tower Records in West Covina, where I worked at the time. A man and two women exited the vehicle. The trio wore identical black t-shirts with white lettering. As they approached the entrance, I noticed the man carried several albums under his arms.
Avengers: Age of Ultron has plenty of fireworks, as befits a movie with no fewer than seven superheroes, a few more superheroes in waiting, some minor bad guys, and one very major villain at the core.
Ever heard the saying "a good TV show never really dies?" We all know that a beloved show can forever live on in the heart of its fans. Well it turns out, cult classic Community has found a new life itself, this time a part of Yahoo! Screen's new channel. You heard me correct, Yahoo! is making original TV shows now.
Near the end of her recent concert at the Hollywood Masonic Lodge, the British singer Rumer (Sarah Joyce) told the audience that “there are billions and billions and billions of amazing people in the world, and hardly any evil people. It’s just that we hear about them more often.”
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young is at its best in the early going, as it explores the emerging relationship between a middle-aged, childless couple (Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts) and an affectionate, energetic younger couple (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried).
Jogging down Cahuenga Blvd. for a bit of exercise and a browse at The Iliad Bookshop when the Cahuenga General Store was espied beyond Chandler Blvd.
Tammy Johnston is a freelance writer with a passion for music. One of her favorite pastimes is discovering local music treasures. She looks forward to sharing them with you!
With so many cool venues to choose from in NoHo Arts District, a series of three articles is planned to feature a few of those that have stood out. There are several that have a distinct ambiance about them and seem to reflect a specific atmosphere.
Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (I never thought I’d use those three words in tandem) turns out to be a visually sumptuous, beautifully scored (Patrick Doyle), and altogether enjoyable rendition of Charles Perrault’s well-known fairy tale, as adapted by Chris Weitz and fairly light on the Grimm.
Meet the Huangs, network television's first Asian-American family in over 20 years. Much like ABC’s other hit family comedy “The Goldbergs,” "Fresh Off The Boat" (FOTB) is based in the past and is narrated from the childhood experience of show creator Eddie Huang.
On February 19 Granville Morrow's ashes were taken up to the Hollywood sign so he could have a brush with the fame and glory that so many people have achieved since his birth on this date in Hollywood in 1945.
Years ago when I was a wee lad, I looked forward to the Oscars; my parents would allow me to stay up way past my bedtime and watch what was then a program running a mere 2 ½ hours. I would enjoy the appearances of the “old-time stars” and the opening monologues whether they were delivered by Bob Hope or Johnny Carson; later I would have the same fondness for Billy Crystal’s appearances (and truth be told, I enjoyed David Letterman’s gig).
The 57th Grammy Awards stands as a humble reminder that nothing is impervious to the ever thwarting and long reaching effects of Mercury Retrograde. My goodness, what else could have stricken this once entertaining television viewing on a Sunday night?
In accordance with the cinematic drought commonly known as February, these are some of my favorite 2014 releases that were generally neglected by the Oscars—and are well worth a first—or second—look.
Music plays an intricate role in all martial arts. One popular image is seen in the 1970’s TV series “Kung Fu”. Chinese Monk, Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) travels by foot across the Wild West. In between adventures he is seen playing the bamboo flute.
In May 2014, US Senators Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander introduced the Songwriter Equity Act of 2014 to the 2nd Session of the 113th Congress where it was read twice and was then referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. To date, this act, S.2321 and H.R. 4079, is still resting there. Because of the failure of the United States political representatives to move S.2321 and H.R. 4079 along, Lansdowne/Winston/Bloor/Hoffman House Music President Lynne Robin Green and Altarboy Music in Los Angeles and in the United Kingdom President Leon Luis have created a petition to send to Washington DC to motivate the politcal representitves to move S.2321 and H.R. 4079 along and enact it.
American Sniper is a riveting, wrenching drama based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. Expertly directed by Clint Eastwood from a taut, perceptive script by Jason Hall, American Sniper paints a harrowing portrait of a man committed to serving his country (or as he might see it, saving his country) yet fundamentally unprepared to cope with domestic life on the home front. This isn’t exactly uncharted cinematic territory, (Jeremy Renner’s protagonist in The Hurt Locker had some of the same issues), but, bolstered by stellar performances from Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, this film succeeds in being equally gripping in war or peace.
Nick Koff’s Bunnynose band recently had the opportunity to demonstrate their Rockabilly, Koff disagrees with the label, prowess at The Trip in Santa Monica and used tunes such as “Heart Full Of Soul”; “Message To Pretty” which was written by Johnny Echols of the band LOVE and who was also in attendance, and a groovy ditty titled “Riverside.” This gig was labeled a birthday wingding for Echol’s lovely lady Georgianna Steele Waller and myself.
While some have been waiting for the screen version of Wicked, I guess we’ll have to make do with the anticipated adaptation of Into the Woods. With a beautiful score by Stephen Sondheim and well-crafted screenplay by James Lapine (adapting his own “book”), Into the Woods approaches a beloved story (or two) in a different manner.
Every year the music market gets more and more oversaturated with tons of new music and we are inundated with so much, dare I say, "crap" that it becomes easy to miss the real music gems that are waiting to be discovered. Now this by no means is a comprehensive list but a short compiling of a few records that are worth revisiting before moving into 2015. So get all those iTunes gift cards you got as stocking stuffers this year and head over to iTunes and support good music!
Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters seem to have knocked the perverbial ball out of the ball park with their new release “Sonic Highways”. It manages to expand the boundries of rock while tickling the fringes of their original genre…Grunge Rock.
Among the best cuts are “The Feast and The Famine”, “I Am A River” and “Something From Nothing”. There also was a video release of “Something From Nothing” where Grohl is playing the song acoustically that had a Topanga Canyon vibe to it and reminded one of simplier times.
If you thought the Virgin Mary was the only account of immaculate conception to be told, then you haven't been watching the CW Network recently. Based on Venezuelan telenovela "Juana la Virgen," comedy-drama "Jane The Virgin" follows a young pragmatic Latin woman (played by Gina Rodriguez) who makes a virginity vow at a young age. Unfortunately, Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated and impregnated with semen meant for someone else, thus the make believe story begins.
A female hiker with bleeding feet howls in the wilderness as one of her ill-fitting boots plunges into the abyss; so begins Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir recounting her efforts to reverse the downward spiral that had become her life by hiking a thousand miles (or more) of the Pacific Coast Trail.
The Universal Bar and Grill is a well-known, family owned business established over twenty years ago in North Hollywood. It has a reputation as a wonderful place to relax, enjoy good food, a full bar and great service.
While rifling through a box of music publications from the 60’s recently, I struck gold! The “gold” in question is a bunch of “Rhythm ’N’ News” issues stamped Ernie’s Record Shop, 5314 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. This find transported me back to the time when Ernie’s Record Shop was the hip hub in NoHo.
Dispiriting, disappointing, discouraging, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –Part 1 is my nominee for the non-event of 2014, a film that will be used as ammunition for those who believe that movies are more crassly commercial than ever. In this needlessly protracted preamble to the finale, the only “hunger games’ going on here are the producers’ hunger for your hard-earned money, which supersedes any desire to provide anything resembling satisfying entertainment.
Shonda Rhimes Does It Again.
If you don’t know that name then chances are you may have lived under a rock for the past few years or simply don't watch TV. But in case you don't know, Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, director and producer extraordinaire most known for highly rated shows such as medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” and breakthrough political thriller “Scandal.” Her unique brand of storytelling has made her a television force unable to be reckoned with. Rhimes’ newest endeavor, “whodunit” mystery “How to Get Away With Murder,” presses new boundaries, giving us that familiar Shonda “OMG” factor we’ve come to love, while still showing us something entirely new. It’s edgier, sexier, and darker compared to most criminal law shows on network television, making it stand out amidst the pack.