A popular subject among people who are really into television history are “cult TV shows”, series that never really drew in big ratings, but are deeply revered by a small yet devoted group of people.
Sometimes a show starts out with a “cult following” and word-of-mouth turns it into a big hit. A recent example of this is CBS’ NCIS. Its eighth season began this week, with the series enjoying its highest ratings yet. However, NCIS also has something in common with several other cult TV shows—David McCallum.
Playing the role of medical examiner/ forensic psychologist Dr. Donald Mallard, “Ducky” has become a big hit among NCIS fans. Whenever internet rumors go around about someone leaving the cast, the comment section is always full of “I hope it’s not Ducky!” replies. In one episode, however, a sly reference was made to another cult TV series McCallum co-starred in.
Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar documents the short life of the transsexual actress whom Warhol’s POPism memoir described as “the most striking drag queen I’d ever seen”. Oscar-nominated actress Chloe Sevigny supplies the voice of the Superstar, who grew up on Long Island being entranced by silver screen legends like Kim Novak and Lana Turner. After moving to Manhattan, her role in Glamour, Glory and Gold, written by Jackie Curtis, served as the entryway into Warhol’s orbit. In addition to appearing in major underground films like Paul Morrissey’s Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), Darling inspired the Velvet Underground song “Candy Says” and is mentioned in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”. After dying from cancer in 1974, her Upper East Side funeral drew the presence of icons like Julie Newmar and Gloria Swanson, a fitting tribute to a young actress whose dreams of Hollywood stardom were left unfulfilled.
The legacy of her gender-bending brand of blond ambition has been transmitted to newer generations of glam-pop performers. In 2005, Madonna herself was rumored to be playing Candy in a film project that never actually materialized. Candy has also been a key inspiration for Darian Darling, a make-up artist and New York nightlife persona who used her blog to offer “love, respect and fascination” to her Superstar namesake. In July 2010, Lady Gaga named Darian as one of her fellow “Golden Girls of Rocknroll,” alongside Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons and her longtime collaborator, Lady Starlight. Gaga tweeted a photo of the quartet to her millions of fans. Another fitting caption for this picture might be the question posed by Candy during her memorable scene in the Warhol-produced Flesh: “Don’t you want to learn to be glamorous?”
Director James Rasin and producer Jeremiah Newton will be present at the documentary’s screenings at the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival, both in early October.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently announced their nominees for the 2011 induction, and as usual, it left many people disappointed. While there were some good candidates on the list, it’s impossible to please everybody. However, ardent fans have made a strong case for the following bands and artists who weren’t nominated this year and aren’t in the hall of fame yet.
Portland’s Tu Fawning was formed three years ago by Corrina Repp and Joe Haege and, in that short time, have developed a sophisticated and mature sound that draws from the noirish elements of Tom Waits, the textures and moods of Portishead, and ‘20s and ‘30s big band tunes and folk music. The emphasis is very much on experimentation and messing about with traditional rock instrumentation, so it’s not unusual to hear Tu Fawning trotting out trumpets, trombones and just about anything else that will allow them to augment their jagged riffs with something a bit unexpected. As Haege says, “We’re trying to weave a fabric that is a little more dense, which some will undoubtedly find unnerving. For others, though, ourselves included, it seems to be the last oasis for searching out that emotional high that music can give you. There is just something magical about being able to make your songs sound as though they were played while a giant walks through a valley, a piano is stabbed in a 1920’s basement, drums are beat on a mountain or that you’re singing in a cave.”
Buenos Aires’ Tremor fuse the indigenous sounds of the Andes with electronic grooves and rock-like riffs and attitude into a potent combination. Composer Leonardo Martinelli is the heart of the group and his background in creating musical scores for film and theatre plays out in the group’s theatrical presentation and ambitious musical scope. Tremor had the honor of being selected to appear at this year’s WOMEX in Copenhagen in October and they have a new record planned for the future, of which this video “Tarkas” will give you a preview of coming attractions. The video was filmed back in June in Brooklyn during a tour to the US and is named after the type of flutes played in the song.