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Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

For those of us who can’t make it to Utah this year, don’t feel bad: you can still experience a lot of the action on the Sundance Channel’s website. On top of red carpet photos, critical buzz, and high society party reports, 31 Days of Sundance streams some interesting behind-the-scenes video about the upcoming indies / possible future sleeper hits.


Among the films featured is The Freebie, a low budget dramedy about a seemingly content couple who, despite their superficial chemistry, are having little sex behind closed doors. To mix up their sex life, the two decide to grant each other a “freebie”, or a no strings-attached one night stand with another partner (shades of Curb Your Enthusiasm). The film is written, directed, and starring newcomer Katie Aselton (The Office, The League), who in this interview is joined by her costar, a increasingly mature Dax Shephard.


Aselton recounts how when she complained no one was calling her for work, her husband and League co-star Mark Duplass (referred to here as the “king of the do-it-yourself film movement”) just told her to stop complaining and make a movie. After coming up with an idea (an important part of the process), Aselton did just that, using her modest budget to film bedroom scenes with Shephard in her own home, with her husband present. All in all, it sounds pretty decent. If it doesn’t get picked up by a studio, I’m pretty sure I’ll catch it on Netflix’s instant stream queue in the near future.



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Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

Back in December, there were reports that Eddie Vedder proposed to his girlfriend in D.C. He was in the nations capitol on December 2009 to pay his respects to the Boss as part of the Kennedy Center Honors Bruce Springsteen Tribute Performance where Vedder performed “My City of Ruins” from the 2002 album The Rising. Vedder starts solo on his guitar but is shortly joined by the soulful harmonies of a gospel choir. Even as he sees his city in ruins he stands undeterred by the sight and prays for the strength to rebuild aided by the congregation’s voice which stretches higher.


Springsteen formed his version in response to the events of September 11th, but one can’t avoid noticing hints of other recent tragedies in it’s context as the evocative song tinges with dark echoes of New Orleans after Katrina in 2005 and the anguish of Port Au Prince now. There is a lot of emotion in these words so give it a listen; it will be worth spending your dollar to support Haiti relief efforts. Buy this song now from the Pearl Jam store (MP3) or on iTunes. “Proceeds from the sale of the track benefit Artists for Peace and Justice Haiti Relief.”


Eddie Vedder Haiti Relief Single



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Friday, Sep 18, 2009

While I am not the first to say this, I would like to extend a warm welcome back to the Meat Puppets. On 12 May 2009 the grunge-era rockers made a triumphant return to rock music with the release of their critically acclaimed album Sewn Together. Marking the second album since the band reunited in 2007, Sewn Together has been described as clever and more polished than past works. In an interview with Larry Rodgers of the Arizona Republic, Meat Puppets bassist, vocalist, lyricist and producer Cris Kirkwood said: “Sewn Together (which followed 2007’s Rise to your Knees) represents Curt and I getting beyond the fact that we’re just back together. I think the singing is better than ever.”


To celebrate the newish album the band has released a brand-new music video for the single “Rotten Shame”. They have also been touring more vigorously than ever before. In attempts to connect with fans, both new and old, the band has been accepting set-list requests for their live shows at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Tour dates after the jump.



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Friday, Sep 18, 2009

Buddy Miller at the 2008 Americana Music Festival [Photo: Sarah Zupko]


PopMatters perennial favorite Buddy Miller swept last night’s Americana Music Association Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for his recent duet album with wife Julie Miller. Written in Chalk is indeed one of the finest albums of the year in any genre. In the clip below, Miller discusses the making of the acclaimed album, which also features collaborations with Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, and Patty Griffin. Miller also won Artist of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year. Full list of winners after the jump.



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Thursday, Sep 10, 2009

The show Fear Itself was a horror/thriller anthology series that aired on NBC beginning on June 8th, 2008. Despite given the time of Thursday at 10pm/9pm central, the show did not live up to the ratings numbers needed and was canceled after the show went on hiatus in order to make room for the 2008 Olympics.


The show title was derived from the Franklin D. Roosevelt quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. The show was in the same line as the show Masters of Horror, each episode was a self contained story that usually ended with a twist, and each story had its own distinct characters portrayed by different characters. In addition, the episodes were all the vision of different directors, the best and biggest in the horror genre such as John Landis (American Werewolf in London), Brad Anderson (Transsiberian), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator), Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV) and John Dahl (Joy Ride).


Now, FearNET, both a website and onDemand cable network have secured the rights to air the series, including the last five unaired episodes, which can be seen via Comcast or via the website, www.fearnet.com



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