Film

The Replacements Doc 'Color Me Obsessed' Continues Summer Screening Tour

The new documentary about the Replacements plays Atlanta, New Haven and California.

The movie Color Me Obsessed was recently part of the film screenings at the CBGB Festival with an informative Q&A with filmmaker Gorman Bechard, and is continuing on a tour to Atlanta, July 23 - July 29. It will also appear as part of the Indie West Fest in Ventura, California, July 28th and this Friday, July 27 in New Haven, Connecticut at Café 9. (There will even be a live tribute to the band and other regional musicians after the showing.) See a complete listing of upcoming engagements here and for those interested, there will be a DVD release before the end of the year.

Last year PopMatters declared Color Me Obsessed one of the Top 5 most anticipated music documentaries, and it is certainly worth seeing for anyone who counts the Replacements part of their personal history or any others that wish they could. Bechard made an unusual creative decision not to include the band or its music going into the project. It’d be similar to the Mats, to use their nickname, in that things could have been so much easier for all if everyone adhered to the rules. He found fans on Facebook and Craigslist eager to tell the tale instead, with locales decided by where participants were comfortable doing an interview. So the story revolves around how many concerts people attended (for Bechard, the number was 15) and which is their favorite album (Bechard’s is Tim). It wasn’t until editing the final cut that Bechard decided to add a few photos at the end, a heartbreaking effect after ending with the band’s breakup in 1991.

The effect of not seeing them or hearing their music makes the audience want to run home and listen to the band as well as looking up online resources, especially the train wreck which was their Saturday Night Live performance. (Gawker explores a few of them in a recent article with the backstory.) Bechard can be forgiven for the slight of hand in the editing room with this labor of love, for example allotting screen time to George Wendt comparing the song “Here Comes a Regular” to his hit series Cheers. These indie rock pioneers were a messy group of guys mixing classic rock with punk charged energy and attitude, earning them a place in rock 'n' roll history. The music scene simply hasn’t been the same since.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

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