|June 07, 2012||We're baaack...||1 comments|
|August 22, 2011||Check out the new entertainment site!||no comments|
|August 17, 2011||Arts, Beats & Eats||no comments|
|August 17, 2011||Have a listen back...||no comments|
|August 03, 2011||Performing Arts Commission meeting, 8/3||no comments|
|July 27, 2011||My new addiction: turntable.fm||no comments|
|July 24, 2011||Troubled diva Amy Winehouse dead at 27||no comments|
|July 20, 2011||What's on Your iPod? 7/20||no comments|
|July 14, 2011||Oxford Film Festival needs YOU to be in a movie||no comments|
|July 14, 2011||Spotify is here – will you use it?||no comments|
Like a zombie hungry for your brains, the Scene Now blog is back from the dead.
We put a stop to this blog last summer, when the new Entertainment section of DJournal.com started up. We meant to incorporate this blog into the new Entertainment section. We had lots of plans. But like everything good and worth waiting for, the Entertainment section/site is a work in porgress.
So I (Sheena Barnett) am bringing back the Scene Now blog. One day we may move it to the Entertainment site. Or it may stay here. Or something. Whatever. For now, I need a place to put all of the entertainment extras that I run up on. I need a place to write music reviews (those are all for you, Spencer). I need a place to get your ideas on stories, your ideas on whatever's happening out there.
So I'm back. Are you with me?
ps. I don't really want to eat your brains. I just like zombies.
In the coming weeks, you'll say "so long" to this Scene Now blog and hello to our new entertainment website.
At the site, you'll find stories on local events and artists, calendars, TV listings, and blog posts. We're still working on it, but if you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see, let us know.
Just got this in...
You are invited to enjoy an evening of art, music and food this Friday night (August 19) at In Bloom’s event hall from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Arts, Beats & Eats is a juried art event. All the artists are from New Albany. The artists are Mackenzi McKinney, Rebecca A. Browning, Jenny Cochran Hall, T. Lowry Wilson, John Anson, Brian Crockett, Lee Ann Thompson, Kellia Shorter, Catherine Ann Herrington, and Kathryn Dye. Artwork featured from these artists will include acrylic and oil paintings to photography in a variety of subjects. The artwork will be available for purchase during the event.
Local restaurants will be offering a selection of food. These include Coffee Addict with White Chicken Chili & Caramel Lattes, Jackson’s Butcher Block with Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders & Bottletree Bakery Foccacia with Infused Olive Oil Dip, Nichol’s Food & Deli with Chicken Salad in Mini Fillo Shells, Pizza Pit with Pizza, Small Gatherings with Mini Twice Baked Potatoes, Sugaree’s Bakery with Peach Pie Parfaits, Tallahatchie Gourmet with Assorted Po-Boys, Taylor’s Fish & Steak with Catfish & Hushpuppies, The Shak with Ribs, Chopped Butt, & Potato Salad and Vainisi’s with Seared Cajun Tuna Salad.
During the event, listen to music from Jason Wilbanks & Friends.
“Main Street is very pleased to develop an event that showcases the talent of our local community from all aspects of art, music and food,” said Vickie Duke, New Albany Main Street Manager.
Tickets are on sale now for $10 at the New Albany Main Street Office located at 135 East Bankhead Street or Sugaree’s Bakery located at 110 West Bankhead Street.
For more information please call 662-534-3438 or 662-534-0031.
Hey y'all – sorry I haven't had much of a chance to update lately – things are getting BUSY in the A&E world in North Mississippi, as many of y'all know!
September itself is insanely busy, with a ton of film screenings, concerts, theater performances at TCT, THS, Corinth, Starkville.... yeah. Busy.
On top of that, we do have some cool changes coming to the Scene Now blog...but all in good time, my kittens, all in good time.
Speaking of time, this past May was my fifth anniversary here at the Journal. I've been thinking a lot about all of the crazy stories I've covered (countless concerts, a bomb threat, "American Idol," flying an airplane, etc.), and, naturally, all of the good music I've heard over the years.
I thought I'd make a (hopefully brief-ish) list of some of my favorite bands/albums I've heard in the last 5 years, so here we go... (PS I'm leaving out your more famous-ish folk, like Adele. This is all about finding new music you may not have heard before, after all)
First off, my heart belongs to the locals – I've met and heard so many great bands from around here, and I can honestly say every band has had some kind of unique talent. Between all the bands from Oxford and Starkville and beyond, I don't have the space to list them all...
A.A. Bondy – My first intro to the folky singer-songwriter was his last album, "When the Devil's Loose." It remains one of my most-played albums on my iPod.
Shovels & Rope – I could argue that this is one of the most powerful and talented duos in music today. I saw them at Blue Canoe a few months ago and fell in love, and best of all, they're coming back one day. The pair play a mix of country and rock with a tough edge. But seriously, y'all – these two are talented.
Farewell Flight – Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the hardest-working band in music. I've seen these guys several times as they come through Tupelo, and they never disappoint. Their debut (indie-released) album, "Sound. Color. Motion," has become a security blanket of sorts. Amazing band.
Graffiti Island – Once in a blue moon, I'll find a free download to a song or two by this band, and I always gobble it up. I have no idea if they've ever released a full-length album. Still, the three songs I own – "Head Hunters," "Demonic Cat" and "Wolf Guy" are three of the most brilliant songs I've ever heard. All three are about exactly what you think they are – head hunters, a demonic cat and a werewolf. Pure genius, y'all, I can't even explain how genius.
Amy LaVere – This Memphis-based songstress is truly unique in her voice and in her music. She plays around here, and in Memphis, often, and puts on a terrific show. Her co-conspirator, David Cousar, is also very much worth your time.
Magic Kids – This Memphis-based group sounds like they came out of the 60s with their sunny pop. The Magic Kids are like sunshine in the form of music.
City and Colour – Folky singer-songwriter-y sounds that are so beautiful they take my breath away. Both albums I have, "Bring Me Your Love," and "Little Hell," are fantastic.
The Ettes – This group is pure rock 'n' roll. What more could you ask for? I saw them open for The Dead Weather last year and they were phenomenal.
Annie, Ladyhawke and Robyn – Forget Gaga, Britney or Rihanna – these three European ladies are where it's at in pop music. Ladyhawke's debut album, full of 80s and video game-inspired pop, is one of my favorite albums of all time. Robyn's latest, "Body Talk," is essentially a perfect record. Give Annie a listen for fun bubblegum/disco pop.
Star & Micey – This folk-pop group, from Memphis, puts on one of the happiest, most joyful live shows ever.
The Postmarks – Sometimes I'm surprised I like this band, because they can get pretty heavy on the ambient in its ambient pop sound. Still, they'll put you in a trance, and that's not a bad place to be.
Tame Impala – If you wish it were still the 60s, this psychedelic rock group is for you.
Antony and the Johnsons – I sure never knew I liked chamber pop until I gave this band a listen. The music is lush and gorgeous, and Antony's voice is one of a kind. The band's version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" is breathtaking.
Elvis Perkins – Whether he's solo or with his band, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, I love this guy's unique, robust, folky sound. (ps, yes, he is anthony's son)
Jens Lekman – Lekman's music is adorable, fun, and a little heartbreaking. He's whimsical in a Zooey Deschanel way, but not as annoying as she is. I mean, one song is called "I Am Leaving You Because I Don't Love You" – but it's actually sweet, I promise. Another favorite is "Maple Leaves," in which he sings, "She said we're all make believe/but I thought she said 'maple leaves.'" Adorable.
The Tallest Man on Earth – I hate to say he's Dylan-esque, but well, he is. He's just that good.
Cut Off Your Hands – I'm a sucker for super-catchy pop-punk. The band's first few EPs have never strayed from any of my playlists.
Army Navy – Need a good pop rock band who'll play music you can bop your head along to? Well, here you go.
Jessica Lea Mayfield – Her voice is pure country, but her lyrics aren't as straight-forward. Both of her records are terrific, especially her latest, "Tell Me."
We Were Promised Jetpacks – This group's restless rock-punk sound got me through some tough times, and I'll always love the band for that.
Ra Ra Riot – I loved this orchestral-y indie rock band's first album, "The Rhumb Line" and listen to it pretty often.
Death from Above 1979 and Sebastien Grainger – I first heard Sebastien first, as I came across his solo record on emusic. I fell in love with his fun rock 'n' roll sound, and did a bit of digging and found his former band, Death from Above 1979. The band blends metal and dance, so they're a ton of fun to hear. It's been a while since Death released an album, but they just regrouped, so we should hear something new soon.
Luther Russell – I wrote about this guy not too long ago – you have to love a guy who has so much fun making music that he makes a double album. His music is on the power pop side of things, but he has some gorgeous little instrumentals tucked in on the album. Worth a hear.
More of my favorites, that you've probably heard, one way or another, so I won't take up your time writing word-kisses on them: Gaslight Anthem, Band of Horses, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Santigold, The Civil Wars, Blitzen Trapper, MIA, Tegan & Sara, Avett Brothers, Childish Gambino (actor Donald Glover's rap name), Coconut Records (actor Jason Schwartzman's band), Ryan Bingham, Red Fang, The Gossip, The Decemberists, Spoon, Fleet Foxes, Girl Talk, Justin Townes Earle, Interpol, The Kills and all my riot grrrl bands that I finally discovered like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, etc.
I'm sure there are several I'm leaving out, but that's where I am for now...
What about you? What music have you fallen in love with in the last 5 years?
Got a bit of news from today's Performing Arts Commission meeting!
There are a few changes to the Link Centre's Monthly Music Mix series. Here's the full list, with changes..:
Aug. 27: Jauna Ellis and Friends, highlighting female singers and love songs
Sept. 30: Ole Miss Concert Choir
October is open, following a cancellation. Throwing around jazz options.
Nov. 3: Legacy
Jan. 20: North Mississippi Dulcimer Club
Feb. 17: Step Afrika
March 3: Richard Johnston
April 28: Delta State singer/songwriters group
Early May – details still being ironed out
June is open.
Upcoming film events include Movies in the Park, with "Splendor in the Grass" – free! – at 8 p.m. Thursday Aug. 18, and the Indie Film Series begins on Sept. 6 with the documentary "Surviving Hitler: A Love Story."
There will also be other films screened at the Link Centre – not a part of the Indie Film Series – including "Defend the Gulf," a series of short films about the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast.
Kit Stafford delivered news from the Gumtree Museum. Photography and art come together for the Southern Light and Paint Collaborative in September, followed by the Dunlap/Burgess/Dunlap exhibit in late September/early October.
I'll report back from the September meeting...
It's useful, yeah, I get it, but it just isn't fun.
What is fun is turntable.fm.
I know I'm a teensy bit late to this game, but, like with Spotify, I'm not allowed to stream very much up here at work and then I don't have the Internet at home. But when I can sneak in a few minutes, I love spending it on turntable.fm.
Here's the basic idea: You have your own room in which to DJ, and your audience judges the music you play – either "lame" or "awesome" (too many "lame" votes and your song will stop; "awesome" votes earn you DJ points). Alternately, you can join someone else's room and either DJ with them or just listen. If you like what you hear, your little avatar dances.
There is a nice chat on the side, where you can get to know your fellow listeners and DJs.
I only tried DJ'ing for a few minutes before I left to join the room started by Paste magazine editor Josh Jackson. I've been hanging out in there, listening to all kinds of awesome music. I've really enjoyed discovering a lot of new music in there. And, it's been fun chatting with Josh, other Paste folks and Paste readers.
I can stream music on Sundays, when there aren't a lot of people here at work, so I'll try to start opening up a room and inviting y'all to join me. Just look for updates here or on Twitter.
JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
LONDON — Few artists summed up their own career in a single song — a single line — as well as Amy Winehouse.
"They tried to make me go to rehab," she sang on her world-conquering 2006 single, "Rehab." ''I said 'No, no no.'"
Occasionally, she said yes, but to no avail: repeated stints in hospitals and clinics couldn't stop alcohol and drugs scuttling the career of a singer whose distinctive voice, rich mix of influences and heart-on-her sleeve sensibility seemed to promise great things.
In her short lifetime, Winehouse too often made headlines because of drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, destructive relationships and abortive performances. But it's her small but powerful body of recorded music that will be her legacy.
The singer was found dead Saturday at age 27 by ambulance crews called to her home in north London's Camden area, a youth-culture mecca known for its music scene, its pubs — and the availability of illegal drugs.
The London Ambulance Service said Winehouse had died before crews arrived at the house in leafy Camden Square. The cause of death was not immediately known.
The singer's body was taken from her home by private ambulance to a London mortuary where post-mortem examinations were to be carried out either Sunday or Monday. Police said in a statement no arrests have been made in connection with her death.
It was not a complete surprise, but the news was still a huge shock for millions around the world. The size of Winehouse's appeal was reflected in the extraordinary range of people paying tribute as they heard the news, from Demi Moore — who tweeted "Truly sad news ... May her troubled soul find peace" — to chef Jamie Oliver, who wrote "such a waste, raw talent" on the social networking site.
Tony Bennett, who recorded the pop standard "Body And Soul" with Winehouse at London's Abbey Road Studios in March for an upcoming duets album, called her "an artist of immense proportions."
"She was an extraordinary musician with a rare intuition as a vocalist and I am truly devastated that her exceptional talent has come to such an early end," he said.
Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood said he was dedicating Saturday's reunion performance of his band The Faces to Winehouse. "It's a very sad loss of a very good friend I spent many great times with," he said.
Winehouse was something rare in an increasingly homogenized music business — an outsized personality and an unclassifiable talent.
She shot to fame with the album "Back to Black," whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse — with her black beehive hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos — one of music's most recognizable stars.
"I didn't go out looking to be famous," Winehouse told the Associated Press when the album was released. "I'm just a musician."
But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse's demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet.
Last month, Winehouse canceled her European comeback tour after she swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs in her first show in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Booed and jeered off stage, she flew home and her management said she would take time off to recover.
Fans who had kept the faith waited in vain for a followup to "Back to Black."
Born in 1983 to taxi driver Mitch Winehouse and his pharmacist wife Janis, Winehouse grew up in the north London suburbs, and was set on a showbiz career from an early age. When she was 10, she and a friend formed a rap group, Sweet 'n' Sour — Winehouse was Sour — that she later described as "the little white Jewish Salt 'n' Pepa."
She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, a factory for British music and acting moppets, later went to the Brit School, a performing arts academy in the "Fame" mold, and was originally signed to "Pop Idol" svengali Simon Fuller's 19 Management.
But Winehouse was never a packaged teen star, and always resisted being pigeonholed.
Her jazz-influenced 2003 debut album, "Frank," was critically praised and sold well in Britain. It earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello songwriting award, two Brit nominations and a spot on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize.
But Winehouse soon expressed dissatisfaction with the disc, saying she was "only 80 percent behind" the album.
"Frank" was followed by a slump during which Winehouse broke up with her boyfriend, suffered a long period of writer's block and, she later said, smoked a lot of marijuana.
"I had writer's block for so long," she said in 2007. "And as a writer, your self-worth is literally based on the last thing you wrote. ... I used to think, 'What happened to me?'
"At one point it had been two years since the last record and (the record company) actually said to me, 'Do you even want to make another record?' I was like, 'I swear it's coming.' I said to them, 'Once I start writing I will write and write and write. But I just have to start it.'"
The album she eventually produced was a sensation.
Released in Britain in the fall of 2006, "Back to Black" brought Winehouse global fame. Working with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi and soul-funk group the Dap-Kings, Winehouse fused soul, jazz, doo-wop and, above all, a love of the girl-groups of the early 1960s with lyrical tales of romantic obsession and emotional excess.
"Back to Black" was released in the United States in March 2007 and went on to win five Grammy awards, including song and record of the year for "Rehab."
Music critic John Aizlewood attributed her trans-Atlantic success to a fantastic voice and a genuinely original sound.
"A lot of British bands fail in America because they give America something Americans do better — that's why most British hip-hop has failed," he said. "But they won't have come across anything quite like Amy Winehouse."
Winehouse's rise was helped by her distinctive look — black beehive of hair, thickly lined cat eyes, girly tattoos — and her tart tongue.
She was famously blunt in her assessment of her peers, once describing Dido's sound as "background music — the background to death" and saying of pop princess Kylie Minogue, "she's not an artist ... she's a pony."
The songs on "Black to Black" detailed breakups and breakdowns with a similar frankness. Lyrically, as in life, Winehouse wore her heart on her sleeve.
"I listen to a lot of '60s music, but society is different now," Winehouse said in 2007. "I'm a young woman and I'm going to write about what I know."
Even then, Winehouse's performances were sometimes shambolic, and she admitted she was "a terrible drunk."
Increasingly, her personal life began to overshadow her career.
She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink- and drug-fueled nights began to multiply.
Photographs caught her unsteady on her feet or vacant-eyed, and she appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms.
There were embarrassing videos released to the world on the Internet. One showed an addled Winehouse and Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty playing with newborn mice. Another, for which Winehouse apologized, showed her singing a racist ditty to the tune of a children's song.
Winehouse's managers went to increasingly desperate lengths to keep the wayward star on the straight and narrow. Before a June 2011 concert in Belgrade — the first stop on a planned European comeback tour — her hotel was stripped of booze. It did no good,
Winehouse swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs, as her band played gamely and the audience jeered and booed.
Winehouse flew home. Her management canceled the tour, saying Winehouse would take some time off to recover.
Though she was often reported to be working on new material, fans got tired of waiting for the much-promised followup to "Back to Black."
Occasional bits of recording saw the light of day. Her rendition of The Zutons' "Valerie" was a highlight of producer Mark Ronson's 2007 album "Version," and she recorded the pop classic "It's My Party" for the 2010 Quincy Jones album "Q: Soul Bossa Nostra."
But other recording projects with Ronson, one of the architects of the success of "Back to Black," came to nothing.
She also had run-ins with the law. In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned by police for assault after she slapped a man during a raucous night out.
The same year she was investigated by police, although not charged, after a tabloid newspaper published a video that appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.
In 2010, Winehouse pleaded guilty to assaulting a theater manager who asked her to leave a family Christmas show because she'd had too much to drink. She was given a fine and a warning to stay out of trouble by a judge who praised her for trying to clean up her act.
In May 2007 in Miami, she married music industry hanger-on Blake Fielder-Civil, but the honeymoon was brief. That November, Fielder-Civil was arrested for an attack on a pub manager the year before. Fielder-Civil later pleaded guilty to assaulting barman James King and then offering him 200,000 pounds (US$400,000) to keep quiet about it.
Winehouse stood by "my Blake" throughout his trial, often blowing kisses at him from the court's public gallery and wearing a heart-shaped pin labeled "Blake" in her hair at concerts. But British newspapers reported extramarital affairs while Fielder-Civil was behind bars.
They divorced in 2009.
Winehouse's health often appeared fragile. In June 2008 and again in April 2010, she was taken to hospital and treated for injuries after fainting and falling at home.
Her father said she had developed the lung disease emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack, although her spokeswoman later said Winehouse only had "early signs of what could lead to emphysema."
She left the hospital to perform at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park in June 2008, and at the Glastonbury festival the next day, where she received a rousing reception but scuffled with a member of the crowd. Then it was back to a London clinic for treatment, continuing the cycle of music, excess and recuperation that marked her career.
Her last public appearance came three days before her death, when she briefly joined her goddaughter, singer Dionne Bromfield, on stage at The Roundhouse in Camden, just around the corner from her home.
Despite the years of frustration and disappointment, Winehouse retained a huge body of fans, all hoping she would find her feet again. Some gathered outside her home after her death, laying flowers, comforting each other and taking in the police tape and ambulance that marked the end of her journey.
Winehouse is survived by her parents and an older brother, Alex. Her father, Mitch, who released a jazz album of his own, was in New York when he heard the news of her death and immediately flew back.
Winehouse's spokesman, Chris Goodman, said "everyone who was involved with Amy is shocked and devastated." He said the family would issue a statement when they were ready.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
What's new on your iPod?
I've got two new(ish) albums on my iPod, and I'm digging them both.
First off – I've been starving for some good metal, and I decided to give Red Fang a try. I bought the band's latest CD, "Murder the Mountains." I'm digging this quite a bit. If you need some rock 'n' roll in your life, check it out.
The second new album I got is "The Last Place," by Army Navy. I randomly found the pop-rock band online a few years ago and loved its self-titled debut album. "The Last Place" is just as happy, peppy and jaunty as the band's last album.
I also got the new single by the Horrible Crowes called "Behold the Hurricane." The Horrible Crowes are an offshoot of one of my favorite bands, The Gaslight Anthem. If you dig GA, you'll dig the Crowes. It's a little bit of a different sound, but not so radically different that you'll have sonic whiplash.
What are you digging these days?
Here are the details:
We would love for you to help us get the word out that anyone in Lafayette County and Oxford that wants to be involved in the Oxford Film Festival's second community film can now sign up.
The film will be shot this fall locally. Both actors, speaking and non-speaking, and crew are needed.
The short comedy, produced by the Oxford Film Festival, will once again be shot by local filmmaker and Film Festival Production Director Micah Ginn. Production is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of October 8, 2011. The film will premiere at the 2012 Oxford Film Festival (February 9-12, 2012).
If interested in being part of the film, please fill out an interest survey at: http://tinyurl.com/offcommunityfilm
The first community film, The Hanging of Big Todd Wade, filmed in Lafayette County in January, premiered to sold-out crowds at the 2011 Oxford Film Festival. Collectable DVDs are still being sold locally at Off-Square Books, Taylor Grocery, and Oxford Bicycle Co., and can be viewed on YouTube.
More information can be found at www.oxfordfilmfest.com
The European music streaming service Spotify is available in America.
American music fans have been salivating for this for a while now, for the ability to stream music anywhere. It's basically like having all the music in the world right at your fingertips – for a monthly fee, naturally.
If you want more info on this, here are some news stories that can explain it better than I can:
So, what do you think? Will you sign up? Have you already? If so, what do you think?