The New Pornographers continue to set the bar for the indie music scene. This Canadian band released their first album Mass Romantic in 2000, winning a Juno Aaward for Alternative Album of the Year. The New Pornographers also have songs featured on The Office and Weeds. Their latest album, Challengers, came out today, August 21.
Comedian Seth Rogen has a rapidly-expanding career, making him a huge star this summer. Rogen first appeared in the Judd Apatow television series, Freaks and Geeks, leading to a role in Apatow’s second series, Undeclared. Although each of these series only lasted one season, Rogen was able to join the writing staff of Da Ali G Show. In 2005, he had a supporting role in Apatow’s sleeper hit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Most recently, this summer Rogen starred in Knocked Up, a movie that has already earned, without DVD sales, over $165 million worldwide, and had a major supporting role in Superbad, a comedy he also wrote. He already has two more headlining roles for next year in The Pineapple Express and The Middle Child, with no end in sight for his ever-growing career.
In 1924, Max Roach was born to Alphonse and Cressie Roach in North Carolina. When Max was four, he and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. By the age of ten, Max was playing drums in gospel bands. In 1942, Max began to perform in jazz clubs, and became one of the first drummers to play the bebop style.
In 1952, Roach, along with Charles Mingus, founded Debut Records. The record label released the famous Jazz at Massey Hall, a live concert featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and Roach himself.
In 1960, Roach, after asked to contribute to the hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, composed We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, an album speaking about black history and racism. Later, in 1966, he released Drums Unlimited, an album featuring many tracks of only drums, showcasing the drums as a solo instrument in its own right.
In the 1980s, Roach began to play concerts alone, thereby further showing the drums could be enough to create music. He also began to perform duet recordings with avant-garde musicians such as Archie Shepp and Cecil Taylor. Later Roach performed at a hip hop concert with Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers.
Roach passed away August 16, 2007, in Manhattan, New York.
Stand-up comedian Lewis Black continues to make people laugh with his commentary on contemporary politics and trends. Black has invaded our television sets with his “Back in Black” segment on The Daily Show, one of only two segments that still air on the show since its creation. Starting in 1998, he has had three Comedy Central Presents specials, leading to two HBO specials, Black on Broadway and Red, White, and Screwed. In 2006, Black appeared in three films, Accepted, Man of the Year, and Unaccompanied Minors. Most recently, in February, 2007, he received the Grammy award for “Best Comedy Album” for The Carnegie Hall Performance.