Archive for the ‘ Local Yokels ’ Category
BY Beth Comery
With special Q&A with Providence-based filmmaker and director Laura Colella on Friday and Saturday. “Breakfast with Curtis” was filmed in Providence, and will kick off its theatrical release here two weeks before its New York opening, after a festival run that earned it several awards and an Independent Spirit Award Nomination. We wrote about the film earlier this year when it began making waves around the country. Recently the Cable Car began startling local audiences with its reel of coming attractions (trailer after the jump) causing much chatter and finger pointing — “Hey, I know that house!” In a nutshell:
Syd, an eccentric bookseller with delusions of grandeur fueled by red wine, caused a rift five years ago between the freewheeling bohemian residents of his house and the family next door. Over the course of a balmy summer, he now tries to draft the boy next door to make videos for his online book business. Introverted young Curtis is reluctant at first, but soon gets drawn in by Syd’s creative fervor. Their unlikely bond dissolves bad blood between their households, replacing old grudges and repressed secrets with new camaraderie and fresh possibility.
Colella made the film with all-local actors and crew on a tiny budget with her neighbors playing the main roles, and using our homes in Providence’s Mt. Hope neighborhood as principal locations (who hasn’t driven past this house a thousand times?). The movie has been enthusiastically received including a rave from Paul Thomas Anderson: “I absolutely love it,” says Anderson. “You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a smile from beginning to end.”
Opens, 7pm, Friday, November 22, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
BY Beth Comery
A few more weeks left of the ‘Locally Made’ exhibit at the RISD Museum. This includes unique midday events (Assembly and Office Hours) in the Contemporary Art Gallery and Chace Center Art Galleries (see calender).
Don’t miss the exhibit of local artists on the sixth floor (go here for individual Studio Notes). Take some time to examine this grouping of screen prints, specifically the one at bottom by Brian Chippendale called ‘Providence 2046′ — the rewards are many. They should put a chair in front.
Also, spend three minutes with the mesmerizing video kaleidoscope ‘Factory’ by Anne Morgan Spalter. If you’ve ever had too much to drink at the Hot Club this might look vaguely familiar. And RISD faculty printmaker Andrew Raftery has rendered contemporary scenes using traditional engraving techniques — is anyone else anywhere even doing this? I covet these pieces.
Museum is closed Mondays. Admission is free every Sunday (10am–5pm) and on the third Thursday evening of each month (5pm–9pm).
‘Locally Made’ through November 3, RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street and 20 North Main Street, directions
BY Beth Comery
The October issue of GQ came out with a new list of “The 20 Worst Sports Franchises of All Time” and look who comes in at Number 8 — the Providence Steamrollers.
In the late 1940s, the Steamrollers, billed as “The Fleetest, Fastest-Breaking Team” in pro basketball, promised fans “a Ding Dong Battle” on the hard court, whatever that is. Instead, the Steamrollers were the league’s inept-est, losing-est team; to this day, they hold the NBA record for fewest wins in a season (six), and after three years with a .274 winning percentage, they threw in the Ding Dong towel.
The name of this well-tucked young man is not known at this time.
BY Beth Comery
Rhode Island’s junior senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, appeared on Monday night’s The Colbert Report to promote his new book “On Virtues” and, I suppose, the virtues themselves. His publisher must be happy.
The full title of the book is “On Virtues: Quotations and Insight to Live a Full, Honorable, and Truly American Life.” Is it me or is there some awkward syntax in that tagline?
Anyway, they said “Rhode Island” on a television show!
BY Beth Comery
The music of Providence band Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (winners of the 2012 BRU rock hunt) defies easy categorization but vocalist Roz is okay with being hard to describe. If no single genre can quite capture their sound, Roz has no trouble coming up with some useful adjectives “Our music is progressive . . . experimental, but really melodic and catchy.” Find out for yourself Thursday night, July 18th, for a free, late show at Murphy’s Law in Pawtucket (where bassist Justin works).
Even more exciting, Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (drummer Casey Belisle and bassist Justin Foster) will be part of the upcoming Newport Folk Festival on Friday, July 26th. (Proving that genres are getting pretty squishy, the festival weekend lineup includes Trombone Shorty, Beck, and Amanda Palmer.) The Saturday and Sunday tickets to the Folk Festival sold out immediately so an extra day was added. Ben Knox Miller wasted no time in organizing “The Low Anthem presents Newport Homegrown” featuring Roz and the boys, Last Good Tooth, Death Vessel, and Vudu Sister on the Homegrown Stage. (BKM is on the verge of becoming an impresario, dare we say . . . a mogul?)
When asked recently about her influences, Raskin cited Gwen Stefani of the early No Doubt days with “her attitude, and the empowering way she commanded the stage” as well as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, anyone who could “tell a story with their voice.” Roz has been playing piano since the age of five. In high school she and her brother joined the Classical High Jazz Band which her father Allan Raskin, also a musician, started directing gratis due to budget cuts. (They have long since graduated, but Mr. Raskin just kept on doing it . . . for other people’s kids. Allan Raskin — Dose “Volunteer of the Week.”)
Raskin loves the Mars Volta and cites the Ben Folds Five album “Whatever and Ever Amen” as a pivotal inspiration and also wants people to check out locals the Volcano Kings and Omnivore (Glenna Van Nostrand).
After returning from SXSW last March, the Rice Cakes got down to writing and recording at the Columbus Theatre (some of it recorded live on the main stage) and hope to have a new full-length album by the end of September-ish.
filed under: Local Yokels |
BY Beth Comery
Good news for those in the Del’s diaspora, you are not imagining things — that’s a Del’s truck you see on the horizon. New York magazine found it newsworthy.
Gothamist made a major and crucial frozen-lemonade discovery just in time for summer: Apparently, Rhode Island’s famous Del’s Lemonade is now in New York. The soft, slushy, and drinkable stuff will prednisone 100 mg be available at this weekend’s Ninth Avenue Food Festival and at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the site reports, where the vendor will dispense cups of the zest-filled and fructose-spiked happiness from the back of a refurbished 1949 Chevrolet 3/4-ton truck.
And someone should inform Mayor Bloomberg that this isn’t just sugary syrup poured over ice — it’s real fresh-squeezed lemons. Okay okay, there is some sugar added (see Food Channel segment at website) but it isn’t icky and overly sweet, so it shouldn’t matter how big the cup is. It’s a cup of happiness dammit.
BY Beth Comery
Today marks the release of singer-songwriter Eric Barao’s eponymous new power pop album and it’s really quite remarkable. This is a relief for me personally because he’s a friend and I am a terrible liar . . . in that I’m not that good at it. I am delighted to report that he has created ten excellent tracks. That’s ten out of ten . . . a perfect ten.
If the name sounds familiar, Barao fronted local band The Cautions a few years back, providing the pop soundtrack for many evenings at the Green Room, and some of those bandmates have contributed to this new recording.
To begin, it just sounds so great; the production values of this project are exceptional. Mixed and produced by noted musician Bleu (they’ve been friends since Berklee) and mastered by Grammy-winning music engineer Ducky Carlisle at Ice Station Zebra where much of it was recorded, this one is for the high-fidelity freaks. The result of this meticulous care is that the extraordinary arrangements and instrumentation — including wurlitzer, mellotron, ukelele, tuba, bicycle wheel — shine through and sweep you away. There are just no boring parts — lovely Beatle-y bits keep weaving in and out — and now I know why this was taking him so long.
My problem with many modern singer-songwriters is that they are so caught up with their poetry and tormented souls that the actual music writing seems to be a wan afterthought. Not so here, these are ten distinct, hooky melodies. However, Barao clearly has had some torment in his life. If the anti-bullying movement would like an authentic, not-lame, anthem, the poignant “To All You Guys” was apparently written years ago from the inside of a locker.
In addition to playing several instruments, Barao provides the polished lead vocals including a killer falsetto. My fave is still “New Earth.” I would probably have more credibility if I could find some one thing to fault . . . still looking. (Barao explains his influences and the new album in video after the jump. Album available now at iTunes, Amazon MP3, cdbaby, Bandcamp, and Spotify. Live shows, with band where everybody is named Matt, coming up.)
BY H.L. Parker
(4.3) On Wednesday, April 3, James Beard award-winner Chef Jody Adams returns to her alma mater for a cooking demo and book signing at the Brown Faculty Club. The Providence native, and recent contestant on the second season of Top Chef Masters, is the owner of nationally acclaimed Rialto in Harvard Square and co-owner of TRADE.
In 2002 Adams published In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant which she co-wrote with husband Ken Rivard. In 2004 Gourmet named Rialto one of “world’s best hotel restaurants.”
Free and open to the public/cash bar.
5pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday, April 3, Brown Faculty Club, 1 Magee Street
BY Annie Messier
Officer Tony was at it again today.
BY Beth Comery
I’ll bet the Sisters of Mercy over at Bay View Academy are doing a jig right about now. Normally, we here at the Dose would not be discussing the whole beauty pageant thang (least of all the one owned and operated by the most loathsome man in the universe), however . . .
Rhode Island never ever ever wins these things, or even makes it past the first cut, so congratulations to Olivia Culpo who now rules the beauty universe. Plus she plays the cello, for realz.
BY Dave Segal
The Low Anthem are a wonderful folk rock band who tour the globe but call Providence home. This Saturday they reopen the Columbus Theater on Broadway for the first of what I hope will be many, many shows and communitarian happenings. (I’m pretty sure the last formal-ish show I saw in there was by Lightning Bolt, perhaps in early 2006.) It’s wonderful to have the venue back in business. Proceeds from the event go to the ongoing rehabilitation of the theater, and the Providence-based charity Atraves, which fosters economic development, education, and health care in Nicaragua.
David: Why did you guys leave the former pasta sauce factory in Central Falls — where you recorded your last album, Smart Flesh — and take to the Columbus?
Low Anthem: The Pasta Sauce Factory was always going to be short term. I mean, we had to sign a death waiver to get into the place. So when we left there, we started looking for a new studio in town. How it came to be the Columbus is a whirlwind. I wondered one day what was going on in there, as many people probably did, looking at the ominous, unchanging ‘opening soon’ marquee, and my curiosity led me to seek out the theater’s owner, Jon Berberian, who agreed to meet up for a walk-through. That was all it took. Our minds were blown. The Columbus is pure magic.
BY Beth Comery
“Major” — as in major chords and major fun — is the latest album from Fang Island, another band to come out of RISD (they’re in Brooklyn now). The band, who describe their sound as “everyone high-fiving everyone,” are currently touring everywhere but here. The song “Dooney Rock” — an ecstatic riverdance/pogo freak-out (Big Country meets Andrew WK) — must really get the crowd going. Please, I need to see these guys live. Once before I die. (Video of “Sisterly” after the jump.)
“Oblivian Hunter” (Load), the new album from Lightning Bolt, got a mention from Jon Pareles in the Sunday New York Times, the mere fact of which suggests respect and affection even if it is hard to discern actual praise.
Every so often Mr. Chippendale yowls some desperate, unintelligible vocals, or feedback and sirens screech above the instruments. The frenetic repetition draws on, and burns through, copious sources: thrash, military tattoos, progressive rock, drum-and-bass, nyah-nyah taunts, catfights among hyenas, tornadoes hitting junkyards, even raga — which is suggested by the album’s one respite, “The Soft Spoken Spectre,” a twangy, drumless, minute-long modal tune and drone. It’s only a breather to let the rest of the barrage hit harder.
Following his stint with LCD Soundsystem, fellow Fort Thunder guy Gavin Russom got back to work on his own project, the Crystal Ark. They released a single in September, “We Came To,” with your choice of house or dub mix; and earlier in the summer, the band contributed a track to the recent Fleetwood Mac tribute album “Just Tell Me That You Want Me.” Russom runs “Tusk” through the synthesizer making it a much more interesting song than it ever was. (There’s a lot to like on this album: Check out the happy happy funtime “Hold Me” by Haim; also J Mascis interprets Peter Green on “Albatross.”)
BY Beth Comery
Hard to believe that this is the same party now sneering at the rising sea levels (somebody tell Romney that the U.S. Navy is not laughing). Today the New York Times reported the death at age 92 of renowned conservationist and advocate Russell E. Train.
Mr. Train developed the idea of establishing the Council on Environmental Quality, a policy office within the White House. He also helped persuade the Nixon administration to create the Environmental Protection Agency, empowered to execute and regulate the nation’s new program of safeguarding natural resources and protecting public health.
“I felt strongly that environmental issues needed a sharp, cutting edge in government, one that had high visibility to the public,” Mr. Train recalled in his 2003 memoir, “Politics, Pollution, and Pandas.” And, he wrote, “this view finally prevailed.”
Train was also a founding member of the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund’s United States affiliate. Talk about your endangered species — Republican environmentalists have got to top that list.
(Pictured here is Beavertail in Jamestown, Train’s birthplace! Well, not right on the rocks, but . . . you know.)
BY Beth Comery
The Cable Car Cinema celebrates the birthday of horror writer, Rhode Island’s very own, H.P. Lovecraft (August 20, 1890) with a double feature — two nights only (note different times). The main attraction is The Whisperer in Darkness. Loft Cinema had this to say,
In The Whisperer in Darkness, based on HP Lovecraft’s classic short story, folklore professor Albert Wilmarth investigates legends of strange creatures in the most remote hills of Vermont. His inquiry reveals a terrifying glimpse of the truth that lurks behind the legends. Filmed in the style of classic 1930s horror films such as Frankenstein, Dracula and King Kong, The Whisperer in Darkness returns us to the golden age of cinema for a thrilling adventure of supernatural horror. Filmed on location in New England using the “Mythoscope” process – a mix of modern and vintage film techniques – by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society, The Whisperer in Darkness treats audiences to a cinematic thrill not felt since the Hoover administration, delivering one of the most authentic and faithful screen adaptations of a Lovecraft story yet attempted.
But first, the short (47 minutes) silent movie adaptation of “The Call of Cthulhu” — the only story featuring the celebrated monster Cthulhu. Follow a young man’s crusade against the Cult of Cthulhu, a tale that embodies Lovecraft’s nihilistic world view and cosmic perspective.
(Need a gift for the HPL fan in your life? What Cheer Antiques & Vintage just happens to have some interesting Lovecraftiana on sale right now. Pix after the jump.)
10:30pm, Friday, August 17/10pm, Saturday, August 18, Lovecraft Double, Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street, 272.3970
BY Beth Comery
One entry in the Rhode Island International Film Festival was made right here in Providence — “Breakfast with Curtis” was written, directed, and shot by Laura Colella, teacher of directing and film production at RISD. She writes of the film’s unique genesis in the Wall Street Journal (“How to Keep Your Indie Feature on Track: Shoot your Neighbors”).
It was June of 2010 . . . I looked around at the characters in the three-family purple house where I lived. On the first floor was an eccentric online bookseller, who started drinking wine at 10 a.m. with his quietly witty and stylish partner. On the second floor was our free-spirited landlady, who was in her seventies. And on the third floor, was my artist-performer boyfriend and me. We all loved to hang out on the porch and in the yard, which had homemade patios from salvaged brick and granite, two fountains, a swing, a “bedswing”, a ping-pong table, and an extensive vegetable garden.
The couple next door lived in a one-family house with two sons . . . They were regular visitors, and we had lots of laughs over beers and a variety of cocktails . . . Great locations, vibrant characters, compelling situations from our lives and imaginations . . . the elements for a movie were brewing right under my nose. I threw out the idea of a homegrown movie project to everyone, and they were immediately seriously committed to making it happen.
The film recently screened to rave reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival and comes highly recommended by Christina Bevilacqua despite the near total absence of whales.
$10, “Breakfast With Curtis,” (6:30pm shorts), 7pm feature, Friday, August 10, the Vets, running time 82 minutes, Q & A with cast and crew follows
BY Beth Comery
And a big thanks to Rhode Island Public Radio for blurting out the results this afternoon as I drove down the highway. Not cool.
These jackets are growing on me . . . shades of Star Trek.
Check out the photo gallery at the Providence Journal.