According to Wikipedia, punk rock bands “created fast, hard-edged music, typically with short songs, stripped-down instrumentation, embracing a DIY (do it yourself) ethic”.
This sounds familiar to me. It sounds like the greatest band of all time circa 1963 knocking out their first masterpiece in a marathon single day session. The Beatles had more edge than the Sex Pistols, rocked harder than the Clash, and had a revolutionary attitude that would make Black Flag blush. Simply put, the Beatles embodied all of the major punk rock ideals a decade and a half prior to the invention of the genre. Paul McCartney’s “1, 2, 3, 4” was not only the count in to the first punk rock song, but also the count in to the greatest revolutionary force of the 20th century. Vladimir Lenin, Che Guevara, Mao Zedong eat your heart out.
The Museum of Modern Art presents a major retrospective of Charles Burnett, the American filmmaker who through three decades has chronicled the African American experience in over a dozen feature films and numerous shorts with actors including Danny Glover, Beau Bridges, Halle Berry, Lynn Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis, and Ruby Dee. “Charles Burnett: The Power to Endure”, running April 6 through 25, 2011, in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, is a comprehensive overview of works including feature films, student shorts, and made-for-television movies all of which chronicle some aspect of the black experience in America.
Burnett, among the best under-recognized American filmmakers, has created films that deal with the particularly American problem of racism from its roots in slavery through the Civil Rights movement and beyond. Burnett will be present on April 6 through 8 to introduce his films, including the opening night screening of Killer of Sheep (1977), his first feature film, examining the Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s. Charles Burnett is organized by Charles Silver, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art and Professor Robert Kapsis, Department of Sociology and Film Studies, Queens College (CUNY).
The films within this comprehensive retrospective include such noteworthy works as the dark comedy The Annihilation of Fish (1999); Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation (2007), the wide-screen epic chronicling the rise of the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) leader Sam Nujoma; The Glass Shield (1994), Burnett’s first studio-produced feature film; To Sleep with Anger (2007), an examination of the dynamics of families; and Selma, Lord, Selma (1999), a Disney television movie tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.
For those of us who don’t have cable or satellite television, good old-fashioned cartoons are hard to come by. When I was growing up, Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, and Winnie-the-Pooh were Saturday morning staples, but things have changed in recent years. The best Warner Brothers and Disney shorts have been saved for DVD releases, while the airwaves are clogged up with cheap-looking anime knock-offs, family-friendly sitcoms, and bland “educational” programs that would bore anyone over the age of ten to tears.
But if you have Antenna TV, the retro-themed TV network that airs in at least 26 states, you can watch Totally Tooned In. Usually airing in three hour blocks early Saturday morning, it’s the place to see characters like Mr. Magoo, Fox and Crow, Gerald McBoing-Boing, Scrappy, and Lil’ Abner.
Brooklyn’s Country Mice are made up of a band of Midwest transplants who come by their “country” sensibility naturally; frontman Jason Rueger is from a teeny town on the Kansas map called Beattie. Instead of heading to Nashvegas in search of country stardom, Rueger set his sights on Brooklyn and teamed with fellow Midwesterners Ben Bullington (guitar) and Kurt Kuehn (drums) to form a group as rooted in classic rock as it is in the Twang. Country Mice will release their debut, Twister, on 7 June, an album that should be a new favorite of the Wilco-loving masses.
Radiohead actually released their latest, much-lauded new album, The King of Limbs to the masses digitally back in February via their own website, but this week brings the physical product—yes, that still exists. That must still mean something because “The King of Limbs” is sitting pretty at #2 in Amazon presales ahead of the new Britney Spears album and, this from a record where the music has already been widely available for a month. Our two reviewers loved the album as you can see from the quotes below. We’ll have this stream available until Friday… enjoy.