Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEW YORK CITY. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

VICE ANNOUNCES FEMALE-FOCUSED CHANNEL PREMIERE


Broadly




VICE today announces that its highly anticipated female-focused channel Broadly will launch August 3rd, 2015, providing an international audience of young people with daily editorial and video covering myriad subjects; spanning politics, culture, sex, and fashion.



Beginning on August 3rd, 2015, the latest addition to VICE's expanding digital network of award-winning channels will begin unveiling brand new video series, tentpole documentaries, in-depth profiles, dedicated columnists, and daily editorial features.



The channel's trailer showcases just a few of the cultural and political personalities who will be featured in upcoming Broadly content including Jena Friedman, Wendy Davis, Rose McGowan, Ann Coulter, Amber Tamblyn, Michelle de Swarte, Virginie Despentes, and many more.



Broadly is led by Editor in Chief and Director of Content Tracie Egan Morrissey, and Publisher Shanon Kelley.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE OF STATEN ISLAND SUMMER

John DeLuca



Gina Gershon



Gina Gershon and John DeLuca attended the premiere of Staten Island Summer at the Sunshine Landmark Theater in New York City the other evening.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

BEACH VOLLEYBALL OLYMPIANS AT THE EMPIRE STATE

Kerri Walsh Jennings With April Ross, Jennifer Kessy And Emily Day



Beach Volleyball's Olympians and AVP stars Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day celebrate the inaugural AVP Kingston New York City Open at the Empire State Building  in New York City.




Friday, July 17, 2015

DURAN DURAN @ DOCK ROCKS PARTY ON THE PIERS

Duran Duran



The South Street Seaport Museum announces DOCK ROCKS - Party on the Piers, the first annual concert and boat party fundraiser in support of the Museum on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 beginning at 5pm on Piers 15 and 16, South Street Seaport. Tickets are $55 for general admission, with VIP options available, and will be on sale beginning today at www.dockrocks.com and www.dockrocks.eventbrite.com.




DOCK ROCKS 2015 will showcase rising stars, superstars and surprise guest performances across five hours of unforgettable Main Stage music, with a headline performance from multi-platinum British recording icons, Duran Duran, and featuring special guest Wyclef Jean. The concert stage is on Pier 16 with nearby Pier 15 as a secondary viewing pier. Doors open at 4:30pm, with opening acts at 5pm, including the "Swatch Presents Emerging Artists" Showcase, from 5-6:30pm, presented by Swatch, Pledge Music & Fieldhouse Music.



The story of Duran Duran begins at the dawn of the '80s, when a group of young men in Birmingham, England formed a band that would quickly become a household name around the world. Three decades later, Duran Duran has sold over 100 million records, been honored with seven Lifetime Achievement awards and continue to perform for screaming fans on five continents. They have proven themselves timeless, outlasting their contemporaries and never losing the desire to innovate. Their approach-a fusion of art, fashion, technology, and incredible music-that has always been far ahead of its time, and shows no signs of stopping.



'I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT' PLAYING NYC THEATRE ROW

****
BROADWAYS BEST
****

Lué McWilliams And Olivia Scott



Penny Jackson’s dark comedy I KNOW WHAT BOYS WANT directed by Joan Kane, is playing now to August 2nd at Theatre Row’s Lion Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, NYC. (The play opens officially on July 18th at 8 PM)


Alex Esola & Jesse Shane Bronstein
In this cautionary tale, a prep school girl discovers that this week’s Internet sensation is a video of her having sex. Her feminist mother wants to help but Vicky insists she can handle the crisis alone. Can Vicky free herself from the curse of social media or will she always be caught in its web? The Equity production, directed by Joan Kane, has scene design by David Goldstein, costumes by Caitlin Cisek, lights by Dennis Parichy, sound by Andy Evan Cohen, projections by Jim Marlow. The Stage Manager is Tyler Winthrop. The cast features Olivia Scott (title role in Susan Stroman’s Little Dancer workshop), Lué McWilliams (Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks), Alex Esola, Kelsey Wang, Charlotte Frøyland, Alexander Nifong and Jesse Shane Bronstein (Pillowman on Broadway). Also appearing in I Know What Boys Want are Molly Collier, Lori Lusted, Joshua Spencer, Meghan St. Thomas and Phoebe Torres.



The performance schedule for I Know What Boys Want at the Lion Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, is Wednesday to Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM (with no matinee on July 18).



Tickets at $19.25 are available via TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200, via www.TeleCharge.com or at the Theatre Row Box Office (12 noon to 6 PM daily)


RICK'S CABARET PRESENTS 'SUMMER COCKTAIL SERIES'

Mixing At Ricks



Upscale gentlemen's club Rick's Cabaret New York rolled out its "Summer Cocktail Series" to refresh its thirsty clientele.


"The drinks at the club are so amazing," cooed Rick's Cabaret Girl Desiree. "In addition to the regular cocktail list, we have these delicious summer drinks made with all kinds of fruits in all the colors of the rainbow. I never knew vodka came in so many flavors. Ha!"


Rick's Cabaret Girl Lindsay purred: "We were hanging out in the newly designed 2nd Floor VIP Lounge enjoying the specialty cocktails with a bunch of pro athletes. I can't say their names because we respect everyone's privacy. Everyone knows the club's bartenders are so hot. But they're also great at their job. I could never make these drinks at home."



Named "The #1 Adult Club in New York" by Playboy, Rick's Cabaret is legendary for its stunning array of over 100 exotic dancers daily, warm hospitality, and celebrity clientele. The club's Roof Top Cigar Lounge and Garden is very busy with VIPS, business, and private catered affairs. 



Thursday, July 16, 2015

IAN MCKELLEN ATTENDS NYC PREMIERE OF MR. HOLMES

Ian McKellen



Ian McKellen came out for the 'Mr. Holmes' New York premiere at MoMA the other day in New York City. 



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MICKY DOLENZ'S FINAL NIGHT AT FAMED 54 BELOW

Peter Asher With Bruce Grakal, Micky Dolenz, Jim Kerr And Carol Miller



Micky Dolenz’s final night at New York’s 54 Below brought out a bunch of special friends; including Q104.3’s Jim Kerr and Carol Miller, as well as superstar-producer/artist Peter Asher.



Kerr, who had previously introduced Dolenz for two shows at B. B. King’s, did the same this night, referencing his work in his earlier TV-show Circus Boy, as well as the fact that the three-shows were all being recorded for a live album -to be released in September- which will share the title of the show, A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll, on Broadway Records.



Dolenz blazed through the show with stellar support from his bad, led by Michael Moritz, Jr.



Plans are afoot for Dolenz to return to the club in late-September.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

MONKEE MICKY DOLENZ KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK

Micky Dolenz



Monkee-Micky Dolenz knocked it out of the park at his cabaret opening this week at 54 Below.




Titled A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll, Dolenz neatly segued his Broadway-chops with several Monkee-hits, including the Carole King/Toni Stern (from HEAD) “As We Go Along,” which this writer just marveled at (fact: Neil Young and Ry Cooder were in on the original recording session).




Watching him do “Don’t Be The Bunny” from the show Urinetown, and, “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago was just marvelous; as he wrapped his golden-glove of a voice lusciously around these songs. “Cellophane” was preceded by a very home-spun story, as are all of these numbers. As always, Dolenz is a succinct and funny raconteur. I'm prompted to say that a book of these vintage anecdotes would be most welcome.




Of course the Monkee-hits flowed, including “Last Train to Clarksville," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer," the latter of which was followed by Dolenz's joking reminder to a child in the audience, "I sang that song long before Shrek."




It’s terrific to note that for the 70-year old Dolenz, his voice remains as strong and vibrant as ever; a welcomed mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury. The emotion that he can draw with each song is mesmerizing and admirable.




Also performed was the Lieber/Stoller standout, D. W. Washburn. That song, neatly bridged both of the show's themes, being both a hit for the Monkees and later prominently featured in the Broadway play Smokey Joe's Café.




After his musical director Michael J. Moritz Jr. explained that "I'm a Believer" would be performed in a Broadway manner more suitable for the 54 Below’s intimate, classy setting, Dolenz launched into a slowed-down, jazzy version which was quickly stopped.




"What's scary is that there's probably someone out there doing it like that," he said before the band reverted to the familiar rocking arrangement.




The youthful band was truly inspired; most likely because they were backing such a star, but were spot on.




Playing tribute to the songwriters whose efforts made the Monkees so successful, including Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka, Dolenz seemed more comfortable than ever with his original band's musical legacy (next year is their 50th anniversary).




The evening ended with the rousing "Goin' Down" from their psychedelically tinged album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd., sending the baby boomer audience out in a blissful wave of nostalgia.


Photo Courtesy Of: David Salidor


Friday, July 03, 2015

MONKEE MICKY DOLENZ AT 54 BELOW IN NEW YORK CITY

Micky Dolenz



Next week in NYC, at cabaret-club 54 Below, Monkee-Micky Dolenz, debuts a new show called A Little Bit Broadway; A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll, and we have an exclusive peak into his rehearsal sessions held last week.



Working with a new band, with music director Michael J. Moritz, Dolenz performs several Broadway-numbers that are simply sensational.



Watch him do “Don’t Be The Bunny” from the show Urinetown, and, “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago.



He also does several Monkee-numbers, including a rare performance of the Carole King/Toni Stern song from Head, “As We Go Along.”



The shows are July, 7, 10, and 11, and we’ll be on hand for a closer review. A lived-album will be recorded and released on Broadway Records in September.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

NEW YORK CITY VIEWS AT HUNTERS POINT CROSSING

New York City Skyline



Living at Hunters Point Crossing has to be the best moves we ever did. Every night this is our view from our offices and home in Long Island City.


The builder and landlord Related out did themselves on this project. Our apartment has everything. Stainless steal dishwasher, stove and fridge. Hidden away are washer and dryer and everything from the countertops to the bathroom are marble. Amazing. Once these two buildings are done, we have a farm on the roof, bee hives for the tenants to get fresh honey, restaurants, gym, business center and even a playroom for the kids. The roof will have barbecues and lounges for the tenants to throw parties. Related and their buildings Hunters Point South Crossing and Hunters Point Commons are the future of housing in NYC.


I mentioned all of this to The NY Post's own Cindy Adams and she wrote the following.


Everyone’s moving to LIC?


Celeb fotog James Edstrom moved his www.TimesSquareGossip.com to Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South. Chosen from 92,000 applicants for LIC’s new community, he says: “It’s rooftop beehives, resident farms, energy-efficient green. Resident Magazine moved there. Also 43rd Street’s Manhattan Plaza developers. It’s housing’s new world, where kids don’t even know what a phone booth is.” OK.




Monday, June 29, 2015

JANE FONDA & LILY TOMLIN PERFECT IN GRACE & FRANKIE

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
****
Jane Fonda




SQUIRE PASSES --- We’ve lost so many music greats this year, but over the weekend we lost a true, true music giant; bassist-extraordinaire Chris Squrie, co- founder of Yes, at 67 from a rare form of leukemia.



Current Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes first tweeted the news, "Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire."



Yes confirmed Squire's death on their official Facebook page. "It's with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder, Chris Squire. Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix Arizona, in the arms of his loving wife Scotty,” wrote the band.



"For the entirety of Yes' existence, Chris was the band's linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years. Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today’s well-known artists. Chris was also a fantastic songwriter, having written and co-written much of Yes' most endearing music, as well as his solo album, Fish Out of Water."



Yes formed in 1968 after singer Jon Anderson met self-taught bassist Squire at a London music-industry bar; the pair was soon joined by guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford. Yes released their self-titled debut in 1969. However, it wasn’t until Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman replaced Banks and Kaye, respectively, that the prog rock group really hit it big with 1971's The Yes Album and Fragile.



Over the ensuing decades, Yes would see a parade of band members depart, enter and reenter, but Squire was the lone constant in the shape-shifting band, serving as their bassist for nearly 50 years. He is also credited as a co-writer on many of Yes' greatest cuts, including "I've Seen All Good People," "Starship Trooper," "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Heart of the Sunrise."



In addition to his work with Yes, Squire was involved in other side and solo projects. His 1975 solo LP Fish Out of Water is revered among prog fans.



In May, Squire revealed that he was recently diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, which would force him to miss the band's summer co-headlining tour with Toto. The absence marked the first time in the band's history that Yes performed without their longtime bassist.



"This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that Yes will have performed live without me," Squire said in a statement. "But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same Yes experience that our fans have come to expect over the years."



We recently viewed again their Songs From Tsongas - The 35th Anniversary Concert and Squire’s bass work throughout the show was outstanding; in fact, it was the highlight of the concert, especially his compelling solo on his song “The Fish.”



A major, major loss.




Grace & Frankie --- I finally had the chance to sit down and watch, well, at least the first five of thirteen episodes of the Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin Netflix show Grace and Frankie, and really enjoyed it.



It’s been widely written about already, so you may well know the plot already. It’s about two couples, Fonda and Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin and Sam Waterson, whose husbands decide to leave them both and hook up … with each other. It’s not the newest narrative in the world, but the combined talents are fierce and highly compelling.



Fonda continues her cable-net hot streak first started with her wonderful work in the Newsroom and Tomlin, well, she’s terrific, certainly equaling Fonda’s caliber here. Sheen and Waterson, besides making an interesting and believable couple, are terrific too. Who knew?



The show, from Friends-creator Marta Kauffman, is cute, almost too cute in some ways, but works for certain. The shows I saw dealt with the usual issues in a plot like this; where will we live; what do we do when the credit cards are cut off. Surprisingly, the tone of the show is somewhat similar to the new Odd Couple, with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. Actually, with Kauffman involved, you can see the road signs.



With a particularly strong supporting cast; Brooklyn Decker and June Diane Raphael as Fonda’s daughters, the short, as half-hour sitcom, works terrifically well.



Did I like it … most certainly. It’s already been set for a Season Two.



CLOSING NOTES --- Gloria Reuben’s solo show Friday night at L.A.’s Saghettini was a big success, according to All Access’ Roy Trakin. "She was great; the band impressive and she gave me a head-rub when she did her Roger Rabbit number.” She’ll be back on the East Coast shortly. Catch her in USA Network’s Mr. Robot …



You have to hand it to The Stones; on their current Zip Code tour they’ve featured a special guest appearance or a deep dip into their legendary catalog at nearly every stop, and at the band's concert Saturday night at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium they continued that trend by having none other than Ed Sheeran, who served as their opening act for the show, later joined the band onstage to duet with Mick Jagger on "Beast of Burden” …




Sunday, June 28, 2015

A LITTLE BIT OF BROADWAY A LITTLE BIT OF ROCK N ROLL

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
****
Micky Dolenz




MAGIC MICKY --- We’ve been sworn to secrecy, but we were at a super-secret rehearsal last night for Micky Dolenz’s upcoming three-play at 54 Below on July 7, 10, and 11. The show is called A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is a nice riff on Mr. Dolenz’s Broadway experiences (Aida; Grease; Pippin’; and Hairspray) then meshed seamlessly with his rock ’n roll music we all know so well.



Working with a different band than usual—fronted by the astounding Michael Moritz (Matilda; Beautiful)—the show is an amazing revelation from a gentleman with one of the best voices in rock ’n roll ever.



Micky’s stories, with which he explains and introduces each song, are hilarious and informative. Suffice to say that if you were a fan of Dolenz before, then this show is a must-see. I will exclusively add that’s there a song from the way-ahead-of-its-time 1968 Monkees feature film classic Head (hint: Carole King wrote it) that is not only one of my all-time personal favorites, but is also a major show stopper.




This month, by the way, is the 50th anniversary of that famous Variety ad that sought “four insane boys” to audition for a new music-based TV show. This is the ad that introduced the world to Micky, Davy, Peter, and Mike. Great pop history, indeed!

This new show from Micky will be recorded for a live album on Broadway Records, set to be released this September.



At the final Saturday night performance (July 11), Q104.3’s DJ Jim Kerr will introduce Micky from the stage. You’ve heard it here first: Do not miss this show.



TRUMPED --- Univision says it is severing all business ties to Donald Trump.



Univision is the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, so its decision is a blow to the Miss Universe Organization, a joint venture of Trump and Comcast’s NBC/Universal division.



Last week, in his speech announcing his run for President of the United States, Trump deplored immigrants from Mexico who "have lots of problems" and are "bringing those problems to us."



"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists," he said, adding, "and some, I assume, are good people."



Trump went on Fox News Thursday to say, "Of course I'm standing by the statement." He added, "I love Mexico, I love the Mexican people."



Trump also said he intends to sue Univision for refusing to carry the pageant.



"I'm going to have to sue Univision now . . . They have a signed contract," he said. At another point, Trump said, "They'll have to pay me a lot of money."



This morning, there are unconfirmed reports that NBC is distancing itself from Trump–which, if one reads between the lines, may mean Adios to The Apprentice.



While I knew Trump’s inflammatory speech would have a polarizing effect, I didn’t think it would happen this quickly.



Mr. Trump—a.k.a., Mr. Arrogant—is in trouble . . . again!



JOURNEY’S JOURNEY --- Journey has announced that their special guest on their Canadian tour will be none other than Neal "Vortex" Schon.



Of course, Schon is a founding member of Journey and will be playing with them on their section of the show, but he will also open as a solo performer, playing songs from his new all-instrumental album Vortex. Joining Schon will be Omar Hakim on drums, Rachel Z Hakim on keyboards and Jerry Brooks on bass.



Vortex was released on Tuesday via the Mascot Music Group.



Schon will then join his former Journey bandmates Jonathan Cain (keyboards and backing vocals), co-founder Ross Valory (bass and backing vocals), and lead vocalist Arnel Pineda (who was discovered by Schon) for a hit-filled set from the classic rockers.



Omar Hakim will also be doing double duty, filling in for Deen Castronovo who was recently arrested for assault.



If you ask me, I think things would get really interesting out there on the road if Schon were to reunite with one-time Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar (who remains teamed up with his fellow ex-VH bandmate and bassist Michael Anthony in the super-group Chickenfoot, also featuring master guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith on drums) and they put together a reunion tour of their short-lived but dynamic early ’80s band HSAS (which stood for Hagar, Schon, bassist Kenny Aaronson, and drummer Michael Shrieve). You never know—these kinds can happen.





CLOSING NOTES-- Fred Goodman, who I knew for years when he was with music industry rag Cash Box, is out with his new book Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Fred is a somewhat cantankerous individual, but a brilliant writer whose knack for getting to the meat of the matter remains essentially unparalleled in the biz. His previous book, The Mansion on the Hill (Vintage), remains one of the definitive books about rock-artist management in our time.



Klein, for those five of you who don’t know, was the business manager for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and many more. Simply cannot wait to read this one . . .



Which major NYC-based charity is being looked into for possible violations? Well, they just celebrated with a major gala this week—but the wolves are at the door. Stay tuned on this one.


Photo Courtesy Of: Brad Balfour/BMB Media

Saturday, June 27, 2015

YOKO ONO VISITS MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN NEW YORK

Yoko Ono At Moma



Yoko Ono stopped by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for when MoMA PS1 and Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) announced in New York City an expanded two-year partnership that will provide lead support for all of MoMA’s award-winning education programs, key exhibitions, and innovative initiatives that will share MoMA and MoMA PS1’s programming with a broad, global audience.





Volkswagen Group of America has been a major partner of MoMA and MoMA PS1 since 2011, supporting a wide range of more than 30 exhibitions, educational opportunities and special event programming. The new initiatives announced today build on the success of the partnership.





The new focus on supporting MoMA Education will expand the Museum’s opportunities to reach a worldwide audience of learners. The profound shift toward digital learning that has occurred since MoMA launched its first curriculum website in 2006—a transition not only from print to digital, but also towards customizable, interactive, self-guided, anytime-anywhere learning—has allowed MoMA to produce and aggregate a wealth of multimedia content that encourages a wide audience of participants not only to read and learn about works of art, but also to reflect, create, participate, and share.





From instructor-led online courses to interactive apps, to free downloadable resources, MoMA’s digital initiatives help expand perspectives and enrich lives for a growing global constituency. MoMA Education also offers customized programs for more than 900,000 people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities who take part each year.





The expanded partnership will allow MoMA Education new opportunities to connect visitors with living artists, leverage emerging technologies, and further illuminate the richness of MoMA’s collection.





Additional highlights of the new agreement announced are:





- Lead sponsorship of a series of exhibitions at MoMA and MoMA PS1, including Greater New York 2015 (October 11, 2015-March 2016), a survey exhibition that takes place every 5 years, and this year will show a city and art community that has changed dramatically over the last 15 years.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

THE FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY'S SPRING GALA

Jean Shafiroff



The Fashion Institute of Technology ( F.I.T.) held its Annual Gala honoring Saks Fifth Avenue and Edwin A.Goodman at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Moderating the event was Debi Mazar.



Jean Shafiroff, Couture Council Board Member, at the Annual F.I.T. Gala, was photographed wearing Carolina Herrera and Marina B. jewels. 



F.I.T. provides an affordable college education to tens of thousand of students each year. For more information on F.I.T. and the education it provides. Visit here!.



The Couture Council is a membership group of fashion enthusiasts that helps support the exhibitions and programs of The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion.



Photo By: Patrick McMullan 


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

THE 5TH ANNUAL BROADWAY SINGS FOR PRIDE FETE

Jinkx Monsoon



Isis King And Rain Dove



Malan Breton



Dascha Polanco



Tula And Alexis



The 5th Annual Broadway Sings For Pride Event was held at JCC Manhattan in New York City yesterday. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

SEASON TWO OF 'TRUE DETECTIVE' AS GOOD AS FIRST

****
THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. HARDING
****
Matthew McConaughey




TRUE DETECTIVE --- Last night was the start of the much-anticipated second season of HBO‘s True Detective. I loved and was constantly fascinated by Season One. The music, the visuals, the story, and the absolutely brilliant acting of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson made for some remarkable small-screen entertainment.



One columnist posited that Season One was such a success, and so quickly, that rumors started up almost immediately about whether Season Two could compete. Well, it did—and it didn’t.



The first episode of any series can be tough. Introducing the main characters (here, four), and weaving in the right cohesive narrative isn't always easy and doesn’t always happen quick.



Here we had Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. It took time–almost the whole episode—but in the last five minutes, which featured a sit-down between Farrell and Vaughn‘s characters and a whirlwind motorcycle ride with Kitsch and McAdams seemingly getting thrown out of a casino, worked brilliantly. A crime was committed after bringing the three together, with the Vaughn character soon to follow.


Rachel McAdams
The episode borrowed certain elements from Season One; T Bone Burnett‘s haunting theme music; atmospheric lighting; and some brilliant camera work. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga was jettisoned from Season Two. Here, Justin Linn (who has done all the Fast and Furious films) signed on for the show. Honestly, I felt that addition didn’t bring all that much to the proceedings, although I’ll admit that Kitsch’s episode-ending cycle-ride was fairly breathtaking. Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn, who have together done enough Rom-Com epics for their careers to date, were brilliant. McAdams surprised me with her range, and set up a thousand questions about her character. Vaughn, a personal favorite, was top notch as the burgeoning bad guy.



Farrell, always good, continued in his ne’er-do-well role as a conflicted (up to his eyeballs) cop. Apparently, he and Vaughn share some secrets that will no doubt be elaborated upon.



Writer Nic Pizzolatto has evolved his scriptwriting from several things in Season One, where a big complaint was that he didn’t create any viable female roles. The McAdams role works terrifically well, though, and there are several minor femme-roles, too.



Here, the locale is Los Angeles in a fictional town called Vinzi, with tons of aerial shots—no doubt Linn’s passion from the Fast and Furious series.



Believe me, it was frustrating to watch almost three-quarters of this episode before it all came together, as memories of Season One lurked in my mind. But now I’m all in. Will it reach the furor created by its predecessor? Could be, could be—after all, the last five minutes of this first episode from the new season was miraculous.



WENNER’S FOLLY --- Sixteen of the forty-two members of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been dismissed. Most or all of them have been there a long time, and represent the bloc of voters who still lobby for early rock and R&B pioneers who’ve remained overlooked or purposely dismissed out of hand for induction.



Also jettisoned this past week were: famed publicist Bob Merlis; record exec and R&B music specialist Joe McEwen; and former Rolling Stone editor Joe Levy. And so where does that leave writer David Fricke, who was also let go by Rolling Stone last week? (Though public uproar prompted the magazine to stated that Mr. Fricke will remain a writer for them, albeit on a freelance basis.)



Jann Wenner, who runs the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reportedly wanted to cut the eligibility time down from twenty-five to twenty years. The reason was to sell off the Hall of Fame‘s induction ceremony as a TV show to HBO. Wenner needed stars, not old or dead actual founders of rock—in other words, he wants a younger demographic.



Replacing nominators with younger people who have no attachment or feel for rock origins, and shortening the chronological time cycle of eligibility means Wenner can continue to skip over acts he doesn’t like and can move on to more recent stars. Face it: With Atlantic Records’ late founder Ahmet Ertegun (who started the whole thing with Wenner), it’s quite literally turned into a Trump-like vanity exercise for Wenner.



Many seminal rock and pop artists who still remain left out of the Hall may now never be inducted. J. Geils Band and Peter Wolf; Chicago; The Moody Blues; and Carly Simon are, amazingly, still not in the Hall. I also wonder what that means for somewhat newer acts like Bon Jovi; Sting; Nile Rodgers; and Chic. Also, what about The Monkees and Todd Rundgren? When are these great pieces of the rock landscape going to receiving their recognition?



Honestly, I had the opportunity to join the fracas years back. When I looked at how things were shaping up, though, I decided I wanted no part of it. This new move is a resoundingly crass insult (and I say that loud and proud) to the major bands of yesterday who have never made it into what clearly remains—as Monkees singer/drummer Micky Dolenz has called it—“a club.” Whatever Wenner thinks he’s doing for the fine history and tradition of this thing called rock ‘n roll remains a puzzling and rotten mystery to me—and I’m sure that many others feel the same.

James Gandolfini




CLOSING NOTES --- Finally got to watch James Gandolfini‘s final movie, The Drop, over the weekend. Written by Dennis Lehane, it was a nifty little story of a small bar and its former owner, Gandolfini, looking for one last score. A pretty tremendous cast for a smaller movie; it lagged a bit, but Gandolfini’s performance was exquisite. I always loved his work, especially in The Castle with Robert Redford, and certainly as tormented Mob boss Tony in The Sopranos. This final film of his is a true find, for sure. What a loss . . .



Speaking of loss, we learned over the weekend that the great Phil Austin (a.k.a., the voice behind “Nick Danger,” admittedly still one of the most beloved and accessible of characters to spring from the great subversive comedy troupe, The Firesign Theatre) passed away at the age of 74. Austin had been battling cancer, according to his friend and fellow Firesign Theatre co-founder David Ossman. Ossman, together with his fellow still-living Firesign Theatre member Philip Proctor, placed very affectionate posts about Mr. Austin, the one member of the group who was perhaps tapped most directly into the realm of an acting professional. He is now the second member of the album-oriented counter cultural group to have passed. (Peter Bergman was the first to pass away back in 2012.) Austin is survived by his wife, Oona, and a sister.



In a time when vinyl albums are again being sold in mainstream markets, far outnumbering units sold by CD, and when “radio” has lost any truly satiric edge or bite in place of political platitudes predominantly from the Right Wing listener, the work that Phil Austin did with his fellow members in the Firesign Theatre should be available again in the LP format. Let’s hope that a group even admired over the years by self-appointed “King of All Media” Howard Stern himself will again be re-assessed and enjoyed by old and young listeners alike. There will never again be a group like the Firesign Theatre—without all four still together, the collective mind of the improv group will never again exist in the same way—but again, the recordings remain . . . do yourself a favor, and check them out.



Steve Miller at the Postgame Concert after the Mets game on Saturday, June 27? Just amazing. Last time I caught him was with Marty Stuart at The Met . . .



Kim Gordon‘s art installation (Design Office: The City Is a Garden) is at the 303 Gallery (507 West 24th Street, NYC) through July 25. Via Sonic Youth, her work is great!

Steven Spielberg




And lastly, we have a report from one of our column’s trusted contact about the 40th anniversary screening yesterday of the still-gripping Steven Spielberg film of Peter Benchley‘s once-bestseller Jaws. Our source was one of at least 100 viewers in a packed theatre out in the Stony Brook section of Long Island. “I was glad to have ordered tickets online the night before,” our source says “because when we got to the theater a full hour before the 2pm screening, there were already about 20 people standing in line.” The theater was soon a packed house, with all but five or six seats left unused. Suffice to say, it’s a marvelous thing to hear about a nearly sold-out crowd going to see Spielberg’s 1975 film classic in the same movie house running Jurassic World. “When the film started,” according to our source, “and throughout nearly the entire picture, people were quiet and attentive and totally engrossed by the film.” And what about at the end of the film, when the Great White shark is blown up when a tank of compressed air jammed in its mouth is exploded by the last rifle bullet shot by Chief Brody (the late great Roy Scheider)? “The entire audience hooted and applauded,” our source tells us. “And then again, as the film’s end credits began, everyone clapped again in total appreciation. It was truly a great thing to see.”



If you didn’t get to see Jaws on the big screen yesterday, don’t worry—two encore screenings of the trailblazing blockbuster classic will be shown again on 500 movie screens nationwide. I’m going to try to go!



Sunday, June 21, 2015

JEAN SHAFIROFF GIRL OF THE WEEK IN AVENUE MAG

Jean Shafiroff



Avenue Magazine has named Jean Shafiroff the "Girl Of The Week". The stunning philanthropist is truly one of the gems of New York City and The Hampton's.


THIS WEEK ON THE AVENUE


Girl of the Week



AVENUE MAGAZINE -- Our girl of the week is socialite and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff. Undoubtedly one of the most influential women in New York Society, she is also a highlight of the summer season, hosting and attending some of the most exclusive events in both New York and Southampton, like last week’s Central Park Conservancy event. Along with her husband, Barclays managing director Martin Shafiroff, she had donated, supported and participated in charities like the Southampton Hospital and NYC Mission Society. We’re also completely in love with her style, especially the blue dress she wore to the French Historical Society cocktail soiree she hosted at her Park Avenue home.

 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

GAGA AND LAUPER @ SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME

Lady Gaga



Cyndi Lauper



Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga were snapped at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 2015 46th Annual Induction and Awards Gala at New York Marriott Marquis, in New York City.