This Is Outstanding

If you haven’t seen it. I mean even if you have, it’s still outstanding.

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.

Summer of Soul premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney’s new BIPOC Creator Initiative; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically.

Sopranos Prequel?

Yes, please!

Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his impressionable nephew will help make the teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.

With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?

June 10th! According to Louder Than War

When we lost one of the UK’s most remarkable singer/songwriters Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks in 2018, we also lost the chance to hear him tell the stories behind some of the songs we love so well, or so it appeared.

However, in 2020, recordings surfaced of a series of long, personal and in-depth interviews between Pete and close friend Louie Shelley. The two had spent hours discussing details of Pete’s life, moving song-by-song through Buzzcocks’ output to reveal his memories of the punk explosion and how he came to write songs such as ‘Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’ and ‘What Do I Get?’.

Now, to be published in print for the first time and with the blessing of Pete’s estate, these conversations offer us the chance to hear one of the finest songwriters of a generation in his own words at last.

FUN FACT: That cover is based on the 45’s cover art, which is based on Duchamp’s Fluttering Hearts, as described over the phone to the art director!

Down The Rabbit Hole I Go

I got so bored yesterday I compiled Sparks’ first 30 singles, from 1972 to 1984. Right click that cover and save for later if you want.

From Sound On Sound (December 2013)

In a career lasting 45 years, Californian brothers Ron and Russell Mael, trading together as Sparks, have carved out a reputation as musical pioneers, and have been name-checked by such diverse figures as Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney, Morrissey and the members of Abba. From their early days in Los Angeles, where they recorded two albums as Halfnelson, through their big hits of the 1970s — the propulsive glam rock of ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’, the dancefloor pulse of ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’ — and onto their homespun electronic albums from the 1990s onwards, the Maels have remained eclectic musicians with a certain skewed pop nous.

The brothers have kept pace with technological change, from fiddling with reel-to-reels in their ’60s student days, through constructing huge productions with the likes of Muff Winwood, Tony Visconti and Giorgio Moroder, to employing their own digital studio in singer Russell Mael’s living room. Whatever the approach to recording, however, they have never sounded anything other than recognisably Sparks, as evidenced by their latest release, the 81-track retrospective box set New Music For Amnesiacs, The Ultimate Collection.

Humans Have A Lot Of Trouble With The Truth

WARNING: Some of the artwork featured in this interview is inappropriate for the work environment. (You know, pee-pees and whatnot.)

From Fritz the Cat to Mr. Natural – meet the cult cartoonist Robert Crumb, whose artistic world is full of anti-heroes and demons from modern America and his own subconscious. In this rare interview, Crumb talks frankly about refusing to adhere to political correctness, and about his never-ending urge to unravel the layers of delusion in the world – as he says: “I’m still digging.”