Ayrton Senna was a star. As recounted in Asif Kapadia’s terrific documentary, the Formula One driver was not only skilled and daring, but also charismatic and thoughtful. The film begins as he arrives from Brazil for the first time in Europe to compete in goo-kart races, and immediately draws attention, from other racers as well as media. “It was pure driving, pure racing,” he says in an interview at the time, 1978. “There wasn’t any politics involved in it, no money involved either. Like it was real racing.” The film goes on to consider the many ways that politics manifest in Formula One racing, the ways that teams make money, hire drivers, and contract with media, even as it also conveys what’s thrilling about the driving, from a driver’s perspective, for the most part. Using remarkable footage from inside drivers’ cockpits. As Senna, his chief competitor and teammate Alain Prost, and a range of number of international commentators and journalists discuss what’s at stake, for national, corporate and individual identities, the film leads inevitably to Senna’s death in 1994, following a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Less celebratory than contemplative, more nuanced than definitive, the documentary articulates risks and also allows the drivers to describe their nearly ecstatic experiences. Senna is a heady mix of material, psychic, and emotional elements, unresolved.
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“It masks pain from head to toe.” And, Andrea Kremer continues, “It’s a part of the game that the public’s not really supposed to see.” “It” is Toradol and the game is football, together the focus of the lead story on the latest Real Sports, premiering on HBO 24 January. As Kremer’s disturbing report reveals, this non-narcotic “wonder drug” has been used by players for years, but it’s only recently—in part because of a lawsuit brought by an increasing number of former players against the NFL, alleging a conspiracy to conceal information about concussions. The suit includes language pointing to the blood-thinning effects of Toradol as one of the exacerbating elements in some concussions. These are also associated with other consequences, according to Real Sports’ interviews with former team doctors and other experts, including gastro intestinal bleeding and liver and kidney disease. When Kremer reveals this information to the Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher, he sounds surprised, but he insists he’ll continue to take Toradol. “We love football,” he explains. “We want to be on the football field as much as possible.” When an NFL rep suggests that he sees her report as an “opportunity” for players and fans to “get this information,” she makes exactly the right point: “But they’re getting it through us, they’re not getting it through you.”
Soso is a rising Swedish singer with true pop star potential and if she plays her cards right, she could be the next heartthrob diva. She’s already drawing praise from Interview Magazine and RCRD LBL, who said “Soso is Swedish superpower composed of Monica Belluci’s face, Robyn’s voice and Adele’s heartbreak.” Her debut album, That Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up in China will release this coming May 1st and “Who’s Gonna Love Me” is the catchy first single, which you can check out below. The first remix of the tune was produced by Ghost and today we present the premiere of the second remix by Helium Robots, which presents a more mellow vibe with a dreamy and cloudy haze over the song.
Here’s the original track and an additional remix…
January in Colorado, to anyone who doesn’t live on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, seems like the coldest and stupidest time to be outside listening to music. But if you spend some time in or around Denver, you’ll know that’s not true. It might snow a foot on Monday, and hover between eight and ten degrees on Tuesday, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday still have a chance of hitting 60. In fact, the entire winter is like one long game of frostbite roulette. On January 27, the first ever winter concert at the open air, naturally formed Red Rocks Amphitheater will take place, inviting 9,000 people to play this only-sane-if-you’re-in-Colorado game with some of hip hop’s finest – Atmosphere, Common, and Rocky Mountain State native Grieves.
It’s the brainchild of Ben Anderson, founder of Icelantic Skis, who couldn’t wait to pair his love of winter with his love of summer. While Red Rocks is flocked to by thousands of concertgoers every summer, it is practically uninhabited during the colder months – except by the most extreme athletes found running the stairs in the thin air every morning. It’s a little crazy to think that the amphitheater will be full of people in snow gear rocking their arms back and forth as Atmosphere rhymes about Lucy Ford, or as Common waxes and wanes over water and chocolate, but it’s also completely believable. To everyone there, it’ll just be a matter of chance if they go home with blue fingers or if they have to shed a couple of layers. As always in Colorado, it’s a time for the risk takers, and there’s no telling what can happen.
The Boss has an announcement. Bruce Springsteen is releasing a new album (his 17th), Wrecking Ball on Columbia Records in March (5th March UK, 6th March US). The album will was produced by Ron Aniello with Springsteen and includes appearances from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and former Pearl Jam member, Matt Chamberlain as well as members of the E Street Band.
To coincide with the album, Springsteen has also announced a European Tour with plans for a US tour to come. He’ll be stopping by SXSW as a keynote speaker before then. And out now, is the lyric video for the first single, “We Take Care of Our Own”.