Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
If you watch only one completely-realized, well-lipsynched, full-length video mashing up Spongebob Squarepants clips with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" this year, make it this one.
Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has written a letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in hopes of swaying him to stop the impending execution of two Australian men in their prison system. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Iommi joins the many international appeals urging the Indonesian president to save the lives of the two convicts.
Austin-based Latin funk band Brownout covers Black Sabbath on their forthcoming album Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath. [more inside]
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
Whether taking all mankind close to the edge with his keyboard contributions to every punk's favorite prog-rock band Yes, or going it solo (in fully sequined gown) with all Six Wives of Henry VIII all the way to the center of the earth, or perhaps with figure skating Knights of the Round Table, or composing the score for Ken Russell's Liztomania (and "acting" in it), or doing definitive session work for the likes of David Bowie, Black Sabbath, etc, or candidly singing the praises of Christianity and/or Freemasonry ... [more inside]
Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
The female bandmembers of Chairlift, Au Revoir Simone, Class Actress, and This Frontier Needs Heroes get together with "an essentially revolving cast of indie Brooklyn sirens, twice a year in a living room in Greenpoint to cover a single, classic song that they learn and arrange right before they perform. Calling themselves Girl Crisis, the group covers a classic (mostly a capella) from a male artist each Winter and a female artist each Summer. The performances are are filmed with a Super 8 camera, are not open to the public and exist only online. Their latest: Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End of Love". (Via) [more inside]
Come on down to Funk Junction, we've got it all! Songs about cats, songs about orange things, songs about dolls, and songs about Canada! We have IDM, jungle, breakcore, and harsh noise! Do you like jazz and modern classical music? Great! We've got that, too, chopped up and re-arranged for easy digestion! A whole world of sound, created by Aaron Funk! A veritable city of Venetian Snares! And we have a biography, too, after the break (or you can skip the background, and go directly to the streaming music). Please note that kids should probably stay outside the Funk Junction, as it'll get loud, angry and obscene at times. [more inside]
We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - a documentary on the Ozzfest '99 tour (MLYT) (NSFW - mainly swearing and tits)
The rainbow has gone dark. Wendy Dio, wife and manager of metal legend vocalist Ronnie James Dio, reported that this morning he lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67. [more inside]
This cheesy 1979 promo film from the group, Blackjack, offers a glimpse into the hard rock past of balladeer Michael Bolton, which also includes a co-writing credit for a Top 40 hit by Kiss. Similarly, Bill Joel disavows the days when he posed in medieval armor next to slabs of raw beef on the cover of the self-titled album by Joel's heavy metal duo, Attila, although Julian Cope is a fan of the album and its Deep Purplish vibes (check out Holy Moses and Wonder Woman). To round out the trifecta, we have Tori Amos who got marketed as the metal-chick frontwoman of Y Kant Tori Read (check out the video for The Big Picture). On the other hand, metalheads have the opposite problem of hiding their pop past. Examples include the industrial metal band Ministry's early days as a new wave synth act and Tommy Iommi's brief tenure as a member of Jethro Tull before becoming lead guitarist of Black Sabbath. Meanwhile, Bon Scott, the late lead singer of AC/DC, is probably spinning in his grave over the YouTube footage of him as an Australian teen idol and a bearded hippie with a recorder.
War Pigs : An unofficial video for Cake's cover of War Pigs, previously covered by Faith No More.. Originals by Black Sabbath.
Sabbath plays the Folsom Street Parade along with members of San Francisco's Gay Imperial Court. I'm confused though – what was the the Folsom Street Parade? Folsom Street Fairs didn't start until the 80's and the city's first large Gay Pride march wasn't until '72. (homophobes, leatherophobes, wikipediaphobes, and youtubeophobes probably shouldn't click the links. And ya, Folsom Street is not super work safe. Unless you work in a dungeon.)