Jazz

Thunder Soul is the movie Neil called, “a sweet, heartbreaking, truly unique emotional journey,” when he saw it during SXSW last year. It’s a documentary focused on the reunion of one of the best funk stage bands of the 1970s and the man who taught them how to perform. From the trailer, there’s a real-life element of Mr. Holland’s Opus going on as these men and women pay tribute to their band director, Conrad Johnson, and the life lessons he shared with them. Expect the tears to flow as openly as the syncopation. The music is bound to be out of this world, and it seems to have the emotional gut punch to satisfy those looking for a compelling story as well, so check out the trailer for yourself:

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Culture Warrior

Hipster is a term that is difficult to define, mainly because its definition has changed so much over time. The term (arguably) first entered mass culture with the publication of Norman Mailer’s 1957 essay, “The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster,” which recounts the rise of the jazz-age hipster from the 1920s-40s and its later manifestation in Beat culture. In this controversial piece, Mailer states, “You can’t interview a hipster because his main goal is to get out of a society which, he thinks, is trying to make everyone over in its own image.” Thus from the very outset early in the twentieth century, the hipster remains elusive in terms of providing a self-definition. The hipster thus became defined instead by those observing from the outside. To self-identify as a hipster in early-mid twentieth century subcultures was to, in effect, not be a hipster at all. Thus, the very definition of a hipster, if we can even call it that, becomes a self-contradicting Catch-22. In the age of jazz and the Beats, hipsterism was a means of deliberately constructed self-identification within an authentic counterculture (though such identification remained purposefully vague to those outside that culture). 20th century subcultures and countercultures have continually defined themselves through association with a certain brand of decidedly non-mainstream music. While the term “hipster” has moved in and out of use, the notion behind it has remained through each decade with each major shift in countercultural expression, from psychadelia to punk to goth to grunge […]

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AnthonyMackieHurtLockerInterview

After being blown away by The Hurt Locker, I was lucky enough to talk to Mackie about his role, the experience of the Middle East during Ramadan, his work with Matt Damon, his friendship with Wynton Marsalis, and his confidence in Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar chances.

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