"We just gotta go straight ahead, there's still gonna be a festival, man," Stewart Levine tells a worried phone caller. No matter the confusions, the misunderstandings, the missed connections. The 1974 concert in Kinshasa, Zaire will go on. You know this much already, especially if you've seen When We Were Kings, Leon Gast's magnificent documentary on the Rumble in the Jungle, wherein Muhammad Ali rope-a-doped George Foreman. Where the 1996 documentary focused on the fight -- and on Ali's brilliant performance in and out of the ring -- this one follows how the music came together. Using so-called outtakes from the first film, it screens 2 August at Stranger Than Fiction, and followed by a Q&A with director Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, the film shows how the arrangements were made, how the stage was built, and how artists rehearsed. (It also includes a bit of Ali, following footage from Gast's film: "The only reason the camera's on me, the only reason I'm in the shape I'm in," he tells an interviewer, is because I'm the greatest fighter in the world.") While interviews suggest that participants just beginning to imagine an African diaspora aren't quite aware of the daily and long-term effects of Zaire's president Mobutu Sese Seko, the faith in culture and art to form community is palpable. The concert footage features incredible performances from B.B. King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, and Celia Cruz. But the film follows the structure of the show, climaxing with James Brown ("I'm just glad to be here," he says early on, pretending to be humble). In his Godfather of Soul jumpsuit, he's filmed from multiple angles, dancers backing him, band perfect, and every nerve on fire. "The best of James Brown is yet to come," he announces near the end. And you know it's true.
In Robert Eggers' brutal but lyrical 19th century horror show, The Lighthouse, there is a lot of David Lynch in the looming soundtrack and the steam-powered, proto-industrial feel in the scenes of tending the lighthouse machinery.
'Objectivity' in journalism has become a shield for privilege and a weapon for right-wing pundits, argues Lewis Raven Wallace in his work, The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity.
The decades-long partnership between composer Terry Riley and the Kronos Quartet continues – with a little help from NASA – on the brilliant new album, Sun Rings.
Old Crow Medicine Show honor history on Live at the Ryman, while continuing to show more interest in new, charged versions of tradition.
Hannah Williams & the Affirmations, given a boost by Jay-Z, successfully negotiate the hazards of retro-soul on 50 Foot Woman.
Director Craig Brewer helms his breezy tribute to Rudy Ray Moore, the '70s Blaxploitation icon who influenced an entire generation of young Black performers, with Dolemite Is My Name.
Although Hitchcock left Great Britain for the United States in 1939, his first two films -- Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941) -- nonetheless remained set firmly in English culture. His depictions helped craft perceptions of English life for decades to come.
Director Robert Eggers' emotional powerhouse, The Lighthouse, is a profound allegorical reminder that no man is an island.
Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."
In the '70s Dennis Altman was a founding figure of gay liberation. Now more restrained than radical, the Australian author and activist recounts the past and present of sexual politics in his new book, Unrequited Love.
Powerhouse blues vocalist Beth Hart teams with producer Rob Cavallo to confront her own sense of spirituality on her intensely personal new release, War in My Mind. She tells us that story.
Irish/Scottish punk rockers, V98 announce themselves in gloriously abrasive fashion with "Conversation Killer", the first taste of their debut EP.
Infinite Color & Sound showcased their flourishing project at PublicArts ahead of sets at Sea.Hear.Now as part of a brief East Coast run. Photos and video of the whole show inside.
San Francisco Americana collective Midnight North let loose a soulful new single, "Long View", ahead of their fall tour.
R&B songstress Rachel Mazer's new music video for "Is It So Wrong" celebrates love with a diverse cast of characters at the center of three separate love triangles.
The world's greatest metal band, Metallica unite with their hometown symphony for a concert of symphonic metal magic to ring in opening night at San Francisco's new arena.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film, Parasite, combines the epic class warfare of Snowpiercer with the zany activism of Okja, resulting in a brilliant, many-layered exploration of social stratification and capitalism.
Veteran drummer from New York's creative music scene, Whit Dickey combines two quartets that pose so many of the key questions about purely improvised music.
The third album from the twisted mind of Sean Cronin shows his band, Very Good, moving in strange, oddly compelling directions.
Grammy-winning Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia's new self-titled album covers much musical ground, all of which is tied together by the powerful vocals of lead singer La Marisoul.
Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".
Louder, faster, angrier, and harder than punk ever sounded, second-wave punk in 1979 Britain kept the core instrumental ingredients but used and produced them in ways that boiled off any subtleties or sophistication.
"She's Older Now" Is a Previously Unreleased Tune From Roger C. Reale and Rue Morgue, Featuring Mick Ronson (premiere)
Ex-Bowie/Ian Hunter six-string legend, Mick Ronson lends his formidable talents to tune that could have/should have been a hit in the dimming days of the 1970s. Just image the Top of the Pops performance.