Inside D.C. entertainment

Archive for November 2010

Washington Post close on new hyperlocal sites

November 2, 2010 - 04:53 PM
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There's a new survey out from the Washington Post, and it fills out a pretty detailed picture of what the region's largest news provider has in mind for the Internet. One of the questions: 

"Please rate your level of interest in accessing a community-news oriented website from your mobile device?"

Another question: "How interested are you in reading articles and getting information on the following local community topics?" (More than a dozen topics pop up in the field, including job listings, local politicians, local artists, etc.)

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The Script, Masaki Batoh, Deer Tick: Tonight's concerts

November 2, 2010 - 04:45 PM
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Irish band The Script has been getting buzz in the U.S. for the last year or so— even though the group formed way back in 2001. Although it would seem that the trio's catchy rock-flecked pop tunes would be enough to guarantee stateside success, the members aren't taking any chances. Joshua Radin, wedding singer to the stars, is opening up for the group on its current tour, and he will certainly ensure that American audiences show The Script some love.

Also tonight:

Deer Tick at Black Cat.

Fang Island at Rock & Roll Hotel.

Masaki Batoh at Velvet Lounge.

Commonwealth Presents: H.R, the After Party (the event follows the Bad Brains singer's appearance at the District retailer) at U Street Music Hall.

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FDR: 'American Badass' and werewolf slayer

November 2, 2010 - 04:31 PM
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With the success of the poli-zombie novel Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, which is being adapted for film by Tim Burton, it was only a matter of time before the knockoffs arrived. That time is now. Film School Rejects points to this tweet from Production Weekly:

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Fake Rick Ross spotted signing autographs at Howard homecoming (VIDEO!)

November 2, 2010 - 03:45 PM
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Because there can't be too much news about Rick Ross and his appearances during Howard University's homecoming (right?), here's one more tidbit from the weekend: A fake Rick Ross was spotted at a couple of events, taking pictures with "fans."

Eagle-eyed 93.9 WKYS jock EZ Street witnessed the fake Ross giving out autographs in front of the Howard McDonald's and nabbed some video.

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Fox on the Fairway's Ken Ludwig and Arch Campbell: Politest golf trash-talk ever

November 2, 2010 - 03:24 PM
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fox on the fairway
The character of Justin was inspired by a young
Arch Campbell, says Ludwig. (Photo: Scott Suchman)

The inspiration for Ken Ludwig's A Fox on the Fairway, about a madcap golf tournament, has an office down the hall from TBD. WJLA's Arch Campbell has been playing golf with the Tony nominated playwright for the duration of their 20-year friendship, and when I first asked Campbell about it, he said they were both terrible.

"I might have shot 90, and he might have shot 100," says Campbell of their last meeting. "I started out with a birdie. It all went downhill from there. We walk around out there, two old guys – he's not old, I am – joking and talking."

Campbell is being modest – he always wins, says Ludwig.

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Good Charlotte, Matt and Kim, A Very Carey Christmas: New releases

November 2, 2010 - 03:00 PM
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Waldorfians Joel and Benji Madden release new album. (publicity photo)

Judging the week's new music releases, based solely on their reviews.

Good Charlotte, Cardiology

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer finds that the latest album from the band led by the Waldorf, Md.-bred Madden brothers includes "a lot of different sides," and goes on to remark that "it really is as if they took the best parts of their previous albums, then went and made an album that all of their fans could really get behind."

Us Weekly writes that "[t]he fifth album by alterna-punk quintet Good Charlotte may be their most diverse foray into pop-rock so far."

Verdict: If Us Weekly says it, then it must be true.

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Actress Shoshannah Stern, Gallaudet's Jane Norman on deaf film

November 2, 2010 - 02:35 PM
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Shoshannah Stern
Actress Shoshannah Stern, a Gallaudet grad. (publicity photo)

Professor Jane Norman has directed film festivals at Gallaudet University before, with Deaf Way I in 1989 and Deaf Way II in 2002. But the inaugural, four-day WorlDeaf Cinema Festival, which kicks off on Thursday, looks to be the most star-studded yet, including appearances by producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. and actresses Marlee Matlin and Shoshannah Stern. The lineup, meanwhile, consists of 17 films selected from seven countries, selected from 173 submissions by a judging panel. Some of the films were made by hearing filmmakers, some by deaf filmmakers, but all pertain to the deaf experience — and come with English subtitles.

I interviewed Stern, a Gallaudet graduate, and Norman by email.

On the challenges of being a deaf actress:

SS: I think every role I've played has presented its own unique challenge, whether it's written as a deaf role or not. Sometimes roles that have been written as deaf present me with a challenge because being deaf is a very individual thing, and it can be a bit difficult to figure out exactly what kind of deaf they're looking for. The roles of Bonnie in Jericho and Holly in Threat Matrix weren't written as deaf, in addition to the role of Sarah I have now on Lie to Me.... With each show, I was tremendously lucky to have people who saw something in me and were willing to take a risk. It can be a struggle to think outside the box, especially in television.

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John Olsson of Olsson's Books and Records: An appreciation

November 2, 2010 - 01:30 PM
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John Olsson, who was 78 when he died last Thursday, outlived the D.C.-area chain of book and record stores that he founded by a little more than two years. Olsson, a District native, opened Records & Tapes Ltd. at 19th and L streets NW in 1972, started up a bookstore three years later, and gradually expanded his holdings until he decided to rename them all Olsson's Books & Records in the '80s.

Shopping at Olsson's was not like shopping at Barnes & Noble. That was on purpose.

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Frightened Rabbit holds a beard convention at the 9:30 Club

November 2, 2010 - 10:42 AM
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Frightened Rabbit
Frightened Rabbit, dropping the c-bomb. (Photo: TBD Staff)

"We don't know when we'll be back in this part of the world, so we're going to play quite a lot of songs this evening," said Scott Hutchison, Frightened Rabbit's frontman, three songs into what would become a 19-song set at the 9:30 Club last night. The five-piece Scottish indie rock band leaned heavily on their breakthrough sophomore album, The Midnight Organ Fight (2008), and this year's The Winter of Mixed Drinks, in delivering a performance so crowd-pleasing that Hutchison even obliged that annoying dude — there's at least one at every show — who kept shouting out song requests.

Number of beards on stage: Four.

Number of beards in audience: Too many to count.

Number of beards on this reporter: 1/2.

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This week in electronic music: House, house, and house

November 2, 2010 - 10:00 AM
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Derrick Carter is back at U Hall this Friday.
Derrick Carter is back at U Hall this Friday.

If you're looking for something avant-garde in dance music this week, you ain't gonna get it. But look at this week's Red Fridays as a refresher course in house.

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Stewart speech gets auto-tuned, and other residual rally news

November 2, 2010 - 09:53 AM
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stewart rally press conference
Stewart and Colbert at a post-rally press conference. (Photo: TBD Staff)

When will auto-tuning the news get old? When it stops being funny. And it just stopped being funny. The Gregory Brothers, of "Bed Intruder Song" fame, have digitized Jon Stewart's rousing speech at the end of Saturday's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" (clip below). The shout-outs to the names of the New Jersey Turpike's rest stops is mildly amusing, but it's not enough to convince me that this group's 15 minutes aren't up — until, that is, their inevitable auto-tune of the Rent is Too Damn High guy, which better be an improvement over these three remixes.

[The Daily What via Vulture]

Other detritus from the rally:

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Keeping hippies off your lap: The TBD guide to seeing 'Hair'

November 2, 2010 - 09:00 AM
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Midway through the first act of Hair at the Kennedy Center, a cross-dressing character dubbed Margaret Mead breaks the fourth wall to address the audience. "Oh you have fantastic seats, good for you," she says, looking towards the center of the orchestra level. But some of the folks sitting in those seats might not agree. Over the course of the night, the cast of Hair will crawl over them through the middle of the most expensive seating section, stepping on the arm rests for support. They'll tousle audience members' hair and hold their hands and give them bouquets of flowers and pantomime sex a foot away from them, on the floor between the aisles. Hair is not, by any means, a passive theater experience. For some people, that's perfectly groovy. For others, it will resemble a bad trip.

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Demi Lovato enters treatment, Moogfest, R.I.P John Olsson: Morning arts links

November 2, 2010 - 08:15 AM
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Teen singer Demi Lovato drops off of the current Jonas Brothers tour and enters treatment for "emotional and physical issues." No clue what that means...

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Freestyle Underground, Frightened Rabbit, Cloud Cult: Tonight's concerts

November 1, 2010 - 05:00 PM
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Tonight, DC Rap hosts Freestyle Underground at Liv nightclub. Not only will the event feature performances from DMV rappers including Muggsy Malone, Tha Kid MD, Dones & AV of The Sole Vibe, and Nick Pratt, but the night will serve as an open audition session for up-and-coming MCs who want to be featured performers at 2011 DC Rap shows. Doors open at 9 p.m.; entry is free with a DC Rap shirt, $10 otherwise.

Also tonight:

Frightened Rabbit at the 9:30 club

Cloud Cult at Black Cat

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A young Nazi comes of age: Tonight's movies

November 1, 2010 - 04:12 PM
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The Adventures of Werner Holt
Hmm, maybe being a Nazi wasn't such a good idea after all. (publicity photo)

The Goethe-Institut's "Made in West/East Germany" film series continues with The Adventures of Werner Holt, an East German film about Werner, a Nazi private who begins to question his ideals during the waning days of WWII. Critic James van Maanen writes, "At nearly three hours, the movie is certainly long but seldom uninteresting. And the scene toward the end, when Werner and his small, bedraggled crew discover the results of an SS visit to a small local town, is riveting — even without the usual visual gore that would accompany such a scene were the film to be made today."

The Adventures of Werner Holt, Goethe-Institut, 6:30 p.m., $7

The Night of the Hunter, AFI Silver, 7 p.m., $10

Julie, AFI Silver, 9 p.m., $10

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Shocker: Critics continue to criticize Stewart's 'Sanity' rally

November 1, 2010 - 03:17 PM
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press stewart rally
The press riser at Stewart's rally. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Given the steady stream of negative copy published before the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" had even taken place, it's no surprise that the event was followed by a flood of the same. But whereas the pre-rally criticism focused on whether Jon Stewart was, or was not, taking himself seriously enough, the post-rally criticism aimed mostly at Stewart's critique of — guess who? — the media. If you think, as I do, that cultural critics are a prickly lot, wait 'til you hear what they have to say after their profession is mocked for three hours in front of a crowd of 215,000 people.

A roundup of the punditry, then:

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Diddy misses Howard Homecoming! Rick Ross doesn't!

November 1, 2010 - 03:15 PM
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For those who thought they'd see hell a bottle of Ciroc freeze over before they'd see a Diddy-less Howard Homecoming, well, it actually happened. Mr. Combs wasn't in D.C. this weekend, but he had a fine excuse.

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Area MC SoulStice donates profits from new single to Katrina relief

November 1, 2010 - 01:16 PM
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SoulStice is donating (and matching) profits from the sale of a new single to Katrina relief. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Earlier this year, Maryland hip-hop artist SoulStice and his wife took a trip to New Orleans. "We went in February, and took a tour of the lower 9th Ward, and it was eye-opening for a number of reasons," he says. "The spirit of the people was so resilient and festive, but at the same time, it looks like it did right after Katrina, except it's dry. I was surprised to see how much work still needs to be done."

The trip inspired "Do Something" a song released on Oct. 26 by SoulStice and Haysoos, who record together as Wade Waters. Until Nov. 30, anyone who buys the single (naming their own price), will also be making a donation to a non-profit dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans. And SoulStice is not only donating the profits, he is matching them.

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Rally to Restore Sanity crowd estimate: Stewart beats Beck in attendance

November 1, 2010 - 12:21 PM
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stewart rally crowd
This is what a crowd of 215,000 people looks like. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

Prior to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear," there was abundant speculation — by me and many others, including Catholic desktop-support guy — about how many people would show up on the National Mall on Saturday. The number of Porta Potties ordered by Comedy Central meant that organizers expected an attendance of around 150,000, according to the Wall Street Journal, and I told Politico that that number was "on the low side." A crowd estimate commission by CBS News suggests my prediction was right: AirPhotosLive.com says some 215,000 people attended the rally. The same firm estimated that 87,000 people attended the Glenn Beck rally in August. (Canada's CTV, meanwhile, put the Stewart rally at 250,000.)

As CBS notes, the U.S. National Park Service doesn't provide crowd estimates, but the Times' Brian Stelter tweeted the following on Saturday:

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'Saw 3D' [gore metaphor] the weekend box office: Film links

November 1, 2010 - 11:10 AM
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saw 3d
I hope this woman isn't too attached to her head. [rimshot] (publicity photo)

A movie franchise can't rightly be called a movie franchise without a 3-D sequel. See: Jackass 3D. And now Saw 3D, which didn't match the former's opening weekend but performed well enough, grossing an estimated $22.5 million at the weekend box office. There's nothing quite like seeing a severed head hurling directly at you, I suppose.

Other news:

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