Archive for July, 2010
My pals over at Robot6‘s sister site, Spinoff Online, did a great job of covering the movie and TV aspects of last week’s Comic-Con International 2010. In fact there was so much coverage, I am still catching up on some of the panel coverage. The cast of one of my current favorite drama/comedies, Castle, had fun (and made it fun for the fans), judging from this post. It is no surprise that a panel with Nathan Fillion would be a blast, but bonus points to young Molly C. Quinn, “who embraced the spirit of the convention so completely that she dressed as an Enterprise crew member from ‘Star Trek’.”
Here’s the Castle video that Spinoff references in the coverage.
You might recognize Anna David (blog, Twitter) from several different forms of media, including her novels; her freelance pieces for countless newspapers, magazines and websites; or her four-year stint as the sex and relationship expert on G4’s Attack of the Show. This past April saw the release of an anthology on reality television (conceived and edited by David), Reality Matters: 19 Writers Come Clean About the Shows We Can’t Stop Watching. I was lucky enough to recently email interview David about the anthology.
Tim O’Shea: Did you let the contributors pick which reality show they wrote about? Or did folks have to fight over who got to write about American Idol or Sober House?
Anna David: I asked each writer I contacted to tell me the show that either resonated the most with them or had changed their perspective in some way. Several people had a lot of shows they were considering covering and we’d talk it out and try to figure out which sounded like it would make the best essay. With Idol, I happened to know the world’s greatest expert on it – my friend, Richard Rushfield, who covered Idol for the L.A. Times and is now doing a book on the show. So there was no one else who could do that one. There were a couple fights over The Hills, though. And even some over Real World, but I pulled rank on that one.
“At the start of 2008 we were of the opinion that there was a massive gap in the market for an online music publication not in thrall to snarky one-upmanship, hype, or an overload of fast-click, low-quality content. We also thought there was a gap in the market for a magazine that treated music of all genres from the last 30 years with the same reverence that titles such as MOJO and Word treat the rock & roll hall of fame.We chose a completely spurious Year Zero of 1974 because that’s when Kraftwerk released ‘Autobahn’ as a single. It seemed to us the birth of modern music. Modern sounding, that is.
Since then we’ve aimed to bring you the best of everything. We’re here to give music ranging from dubstep, death metal and post punk to hip hop, pop and spacerock the coverage it deserves. We’d like to inject some much-needed humour, intelligence and passion back into journalism, so we run in-depth features, reviews and opinion pieces from the best new writers and established greats. We also cover film, books, TV and comics, old and new, concentrating on quality over hype.”
Any site that focuses on quality over hype is a critical resource I should pay attention to on a more frequent basis. I would love to write more about The Quietus, but for right now I just want to check out the April2010 interview the site did with Adam Ant.
Anytime that Bill Murray appears on David Letterman, it makes for classic television. I missed last night’s appearance, but fortunately CBS posted a clip to the Late Night site.
The man will bleed in the name of comedy.
My musical realm of knowledge continually grows thanks to social networking. Singer/songwriter Jennifer Haase is the latest example, having been introduced to her music via her Twitter account. This September will mark the release of Haase’s latest album, No More Invitations. It was interesting to talk to an artist like Haase, given that she recently walked away from Corporate America to commit fully to her musical career. We discuss that transition, as well as the fundraising effort for her upcoming release and her overall approach to her music.
Tim O’Shea: How long has your upcoming album been in the works?
Jennifer Haase: It was spring 2006 when my record producer Mike Leslie and I shook hands with a plan to start this record together. If we’d known then what we know now, ha! It’s been 4 amazing, enlightening, tumultuous music-making years with him and my recording engineer Robert L. Smith. I told Mike recently that I feel like this project has weaved itself into the fabric of our lives.
O’Shea: Which has been harder, raising the funds to make the album or recording the album itself?
Haase: Making the album has been much harder on me than the fundraiser. The Boys (Mike & Robert) can confirm that I’m sometimes prone to impatience and bouts of self-doubt. With perhaps a teensy hair-thin sliver of perfectionism when it comes to my singing voice. Barely detectable beneath my joyous song-recording rapture, of course. A-hem.
As noted by PASTE’s Lindsay Eanet (and as first reported on July 17 at TVGuide.com), the old Arrested Development vibe continues to grow as David Cross has joined Will Arnett and creator Mitch Hurwitz in a recurring role in the new Fox fall series, Running Wilde. I’m intrigued by a show that utilizes Keri Russell as the female comedic lead–and the fact that Hurwitz is going the narrator route again–this time with Russell’s character’s daughter, named Puddle (Stefania Owen), as the narrator.
Here’s how Fox describes the series, it’s “a romantic comedy starring Will Arnett (“Arrested Development,” “30 Rock”) as STEVE WILDE, a filty-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart, EMMY KADUBIC (Keri Russell, “Waitress,” “Felicity”), the uber-liberal humanitarian who got away – all told through the perspective of a 12-year-old girl.”
TVGuide noted that “Cross will appear in seven of the first 13 episodes, including the pilot (airing Tuesday, September 21 at 9:30/8:30c), and he will play Andy, the radical environmentalist fiancé of Keri Russell’s Emmy who has been living with her in the Amazon. Cross takes over the role from Andrew Daly, who played Andy in the show’s original pilot.” (The above clip from Fox briefly features Andrew Daly, not Cross.)
The heart of why I enjoy doing these interviews is when I get a glimpse into someone’s creative process. So you can imagine how interested I was when I found out that Michael Streissguth had written a book, Always Been There: Rosanne Cash, The List and the Spirit of Southern Music, about Rosanne Cash‘s making of her 2009 release, The List. As noted at the book’s site, Streissguth is “the author of Johnny Cash: The Biography, and five other books. His work has appeared in Mojo, the Journal of Country Music, and many other publications. He is a professor in the Department of Communication and Film Studies of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where he lives with his wife and family.” My thanks to Streissguth for this email interview–and I’m looking forward to reading his next book, given how much I enjoyed this one.
Tim O’Shea: How hard is it to know when to pull back when covering an artist’s life? For example, I felt uncomfortable reading the book when an incident occurred at Rosanne Cash’s son’s school (ultimately revealed to be the death of a
classmate). Did you hesitate to include that in the book?
Michael Streissguth: It’s not hard to pull back when an event seems superfluous. I did hesitate to include the part about her son, but ultimately I felt it would help readers understand that Rosanne is a caring mother who has to deal with the same kind of challenges that parents everywhere face.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Harvey Pekar. But his impact on the comics medium is obvious. He was found dead early on Monday morning. My condolences to his family as well as his many friends, collaborators and fans.
If you’ve read my interviews in comics over the years, you know I have a hell of a lot of respect for Dean Haspiel. And not surprisingly, as a frequent collaborator and friend of Pekar’s, his appreciation is a damn fine read. Kudos to LA Times’ Geoff Boucher for getting Haspiel to write the piece.
I love Haspiel’s closing line, which I quote here:
“I can’t wait to see what Harvey Pekar and Edward Hopper cook up but, fingers crossed, I won’t be able to find out for a good while longer.”
Damn straight, Dean. Thanks for sharing, sir.
So, my good friend, Tracy Van Voris ([aka Queen Pirate of the Crumsy Pirates] one of the first folks interviewed for this blog), periodically posts comments in the Who Talks to Tim? blog entry. Today she posted a comment that is just so great and topical, I’m giving it the spotlight it so richly deserves.
Take it away, Tracy.
Hello, my name is Tracy, and I am a World Cup Addict.
Hey, I do likes me some euro-football in general – I do listen to matches on BBC5, follow some of the dailies, etc., throughout the year. But I wouldn’t call myself a “superfan” of the sport by any means…oh, no…just because I can name more that 20 international players and their respective club teams does NOT mean I am a soccergeek….it’s just that:
Well, I freaking LOVE the World Cup. I’ve been watching it some since the ’80s, and ever since mon capitan, ZiZou, captured my heart with Le Bleu several tournaments ago…and yes, my husband understands as he’s been dealing with a mancrush on that Brazilian Kaka…every four years, I just can’t. Stop. Watching.
And now. Now I have to choose between the country of my ancestors (the ones who aren’t from the British Isles, anyway), and those cuties from Espania. What to do, what to do?
Well, I’ll manage.
And then by Monday morning, I’ll be wanting to come back to humanity and see some old friends….so what will you be doing this upcoming week, mi amigo? Want to get together sometime? We’ve got a CD with your name on it, and a perfect place for some Jamaican food!
T. – happy to finally come out of the closet to you on this World Cup matter
I would call you to see if you want to grab a beer this weekend, Tracy. But I think the World Cup will have your full attention this weekend.
And back in April they aired a week’s worth of Cayamo performances, including Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller; Ben Taylor and Stephen Kellogg; and started out the week with my favorite Cayamo musician–John Hiatt–and Robert Earl Keen (plus in the same episode a non-Cayamo spotlight on the oh so great Sam Phillips).