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Exclusive: Singles – Citizen Dick – Smarter Than You Review

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Have you ever wondered what the full review of Citizen Dick’s album said? Jeff was trying to spare Cliff’s feeling, but we won’t. We keep things going for Singles Week with the full review!!

CITIZEN DICK
Smarter Than You (LP)
Real Clever Records

Once again, when the Cliff Poncier begins swinging… you know what you’re in for. More pompous, dick-swinging swill from a man who has haunted the local scene for much too long. You wish that Cliff would move to another town, like Minneapolis or Los Angeles or New York. A town where he could disappear into the masses and not stand out like the relentlessly mediocre talent that he is.

Mediocre? Well, that’s probably a rather kind term for the kind of music that Poncier’s new band purports to play. This is Seattle grunge rock at its predictable and painful best/worst. Slashing guitars mesh with sonically ‘treated’ vocals to create a kind of desperate preening, prodding and chugging mess. Mark Arm probably dreams about music like this, and then wakes up grateful. In fact, Citizen Dick makes groups like Gruntruck and Sadhappy sound like geniuses.

The very cover of this album makes me want to piss blood. There is Poncier, his arms spread like a scabarous messiah, begging to be appreciated. I remember when Poncier met my sister at the Central one night. He called her answering machine for a month straight, leaving yearning and dull-minded, semi-pornographic messages of love. And my sister is not good-looking. It makes you wonder about Poincier, and it makes me wonder about me. Why my life has come to this. Reviewing the music of a puss-faced immature pussy hound with a fake wig for hair.

And that’s me being kind.

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May 17, 2017

Exclusive: Singles Deleted Scene – The Poncier Tape

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To celebrate the release of this week’s Deluxe Soundtrack for Singles, we thought you might like this never before seen deleted scene. This would have played near the end of the film as Bailey is going to the doctor and runs into Cliff busking…enjoy!

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May 16, 2017

Say Anything… Filming Locations

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To celebrate today’s anniversary for Say Anything…, I’ve teamed up once again with the amazing Lindsay Blake to revisit all the locations from the 1989 film. While some 2nd unit footage was filmed in Seattle, all the key locations were filmed in the Los Angeles area. Let’s dive in!

 1. Corey Flood’s House (2545 Ganesha Avenue, Altadena) – Though an establishing shot of a traditional two-story home at 3627 Northwest 65th Court in Seattle was used to portray the residence of Lloyd’s gumptious BFF Corey Flood (Lili Taylor), all actual filming took place a good 1,100 miles away at a dwelling in Altadena.


 

2. Lloyd’s Apartment (318 South Canyon Blvd #3, Monrovia) – The non-descript apartment building where Lloyd lives with his sister, Constance (who was played by Cusack’s real life sister, Joan), and nephew, Jason (Glenn Walker Harris Jr.), is another San Gabriel Valley locale. The two-story complex can be found on a shady street in Monrovia, looking much the same today as it did onscreen 28 years ago. The actual interior of Unit #3, including the bathroom where Lloyd calls Diane for the first time, was utilized in the film.

3. Lakewood High School Graduation – Santa Monica College Amphitheatre (1900 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica) – The large amphitheater where Diane gives her famous “I’ve glimpsed our future and all I can say is, ‘Go back!’” valedictorian speech is sadly no longer standing. Formerly located at Santa Monica College, the arena was razed in 2009 to make way for a student services building.

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Apr 14, 2017

Billy, How Did You Do it?

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Billy & Cameron. Photo By Neal Preston

We lost the great Billy Wilder 15 years ago today. I thought it would be great to remember him with this 2005 Sight & Sound piece that Cameron wrote. It’s new to The Uncool and we hope you seek out a Wilder film to watch tonight!

Billy, how did you do it?

‘Elizabethtown’ director Cameron Crowe pays tribute to Billy Wilder

 The first Billy Wilder movie to ever grace my family’s living room was Some Like It Hot. I was too small to catch all the subtext of those cross-dressing musicians, but this much was clear: something was going on inside that movie. A subversive sense of humour was at play, and those big laughs rocked our house. Later, someone pointed out that the same man made Sunset Blvd., another movie we all watched together as a family. Both were late-night ‘movies of the week’ on TV. The magic was palpable, even on that small screen.

I decided to become a film-maker to protect a script I’d written called Say Anything… A number of other directors had passed on it, and the script was about to fall into the hands of someone who cared a lot less about it than me. Wilder, a journalist who became a director for similar reasons, was one of the first masters I turned to in preparing to direct. Most writer-directors seeking inspiration eventually go to Wilder. I worked through his pictures one by one. His work was like a drug – character-rich stories filled with laughs and story turns so deft you could get a body rush sitting in the theatre. Eventually, I got to The Apartment, sadly after my father had passed away. Halfway through, it was already my favourite. When I heard the last line of the movie, “shut up and deal”, I realised where one of my dad’s favourite phrases had come from.

Part of the great fun of being a fan of Billy Wilder is that your favourite Wilder pictures change over the years. For me, sometimes it’s Love in the Afternoon; other times it’s A Foreign Affair; but usually I return to The Apartment. The characters, the score, the melancholy and the perfection of the script and performances… It’s hard to top. though the fizzy comic wallop of Some Like It Hot sure gives it a run for its money.

In my experience of interviewing him, Wilder usually chose Some Like It Hot or The Apartment as his personal favourite. His reasons he said, were mostly script-based. He just loved the structure and the successful collaborations with his writing partner Izzy Diamond. He often mentioned the ‘cracked mirror’ scene in The Apartment as one of his favourite moments in any of his films He explained that these pictures and Sunset Blvd. “just worked”. Of his audience favourites, the only one that seemed to displease him was Irma la Douce. As for his favourite actors, he always mentioned Lemmon and Matthau and, with an extra twinkle, Charles Laughton.

Double Indemnity survives because of its masterful victory of tone and performance and direction. For a still young director, it was a work of sly bravura. And Wilder’s favourite element – the inner ‘love story’ between Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson – gives the movie its freshness and a dark kick. Many try for this tone; few get there.Wilder used to say that a masterful comic actor like Cary Grant would forever be beaten at the Oscars by a less talented, furrow-browed serious actor with a “physical ailment of some kind”. It was his way, I think, of waving the flag for what he felt to be a far more difficult exercise – comedy. He was a great fan of modem pictures that had a certain graceful comic perfection, like the Japanese film Shall We Dance?. He also loved the deep-tissue satire of American Beauty. As for his own legacy, Wilder sometimes scoffed, “Why would anyone care about me?” But, in fact, he’d noticed the parade of younger film-makers who cited him and made a point of telling me it genuinely surprised and touched him. “A lot’?” “A little,” he’d answer with a trademark flick of his eyebrow that indicated the opposite might also be true.

As Wilder once said of Audrey Hepburn, “there is only one”. But his lessons to other modern directors are clear: protect your script and your characters; observe the values of script structure… Take a look at the work of Wilder’s own heroes, from Ernst Lubitsch to William Wyler, and then go out there with a camera and tell your stories with glee and a ferocious lack of false sentimentality. But most of all, “don’t bore them”.

Courtesy of Sight & Sound – Cameron Crowe – October, 2005

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Mar 27, 2017

Pearl Jam – State of Love and Trust/Breath 7″

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As we inch closer to the Singles Deluxe Edition Soundtrack, A Pearl Jam 7″ will be released on April 22nd as part of this year’s Record Store Day to celebrate.  The double A side vinyl will be limited to 5000 copies. We’d like to be the first to share both the front and back covers.

 

 

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Mar 23, 2017

Singles/Almost Famous Double Feature!

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The (always great) Prince Charles Cinema in London, England is showing a 35mm double feature of Singles and Almost Famous on Monday, March 20th. More info and tickets can be purchased on their official site. Give us a shout and send us some pics if you’re able to attend.

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Mar 17, 2017

Joe Walsh and Barnstorm Review

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Joe Walsh photo by Henry Diltz

Cameron did a rare concert review for Rolling Stone in the summer of 1973. It’s brand new to The Uncool. Enjoy!

Joe Walsh and Barnstorm
Winterland
July 7th, 1973

Several hours before showtime, Joe Walsh sat in nervous anticipation on the edge of his motel room bed. “I am so excited about tonight,” he blurted. “I just want to go out there and . . . kill ’em.”

When Joe Walsh bowed out as the guitarist-vocalist and focal point of the James Gang last year, the impression given by his fellow band members was that Joe was off to Colorado to become thoroughly immersed in the “get-my-head=together-and-make-my-solo-album” syndrome.

Truth was that Walsh knew exactly where his head was, and it wasn’t with the James Gang. Tired of the trio’s shoddy compromises that he was forced to comply with. Joe left to record Barnstorm, a masterful, if fairly low-keyed solo LP. The ethereal tunes then out of his system, he promptly returned to the high-powered style that was his trademark. To celebrate the occasion, he formed his own band, also called Barnstorm, and went on to record an album of mainstream rock & roll. The LP, The Smoker You  Drink, The Player You Get, is Joe Walsh’s finest work to date if only for the band’s perfectly offsetting musicianship.

And this brings us to Barnstorm’s recent appearance at Winterland as show-opener for the Doobie Brothers and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Given no sound-check and all of 45 minutes to perform, the group wasted no time in overpowering what normally would have been a still-milling sold-out crowd of 5000.

Playing material mainly from the Smoker LP, the band was able to dart in several directions without straying far from the common denominator of rock & roll. Several of the tunes were laced with improvised interplay between Rock Grace’s piano and Walsh’s guitar, while Tom Stevenson’s synthesizer belched gushes of wind and drummer Joe Vitali guided the interludes to their climactic peaks. Summoning images of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the stream-of-conscious musicianship bordered at times on jazz without alienating a crowd that had come to be rocked.

Two vintage James Gang tunes, “Tend My Garden” with bassist Kenny Pacerelli on harmonies, and “The Bomber,” actually a medley of “Closet Queen” and Vince Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” far surpassed their original versions and earned bales of applause from the audience. But it was the new single, “Rocky Mountain Way,” that whipped them into a frenzy.

A standing ovation brought Barnstorm back for “Funk 49.” Needless to say, Walsh’s guitar wailed and his voice soared. The set had been flawlessly paced.

Pete Townshend has said many times that Joe Walsh was his favorite contemporary guitarist. Let us just say that Townsend saved face that evening. Walsh did kill ’em.

Courtesy of Rolling Stone #141 – Cameron Crowe – August 16, 1973

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Mar 15, 2017

Happy Birthday to Mr. James Taylor!

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Photo by Timothy White

Photo by Timothy White

James celebrated his birthday yesterday and he is still going strong. He’s been on the road touring for the past few years with his latest album, Before This World. He’s wrapping that tour up in South America, but will back on the road this Summer with Bonnie Raitt in the US. Let’s jump back in our time machine to Cameron’s 1976 story from the L.A. Times.

James Taylor: Just a Homebody Who Finds No Warmth in the Spotlight

The young man edged closer and stared for a moment to make sure the lanky figure in the corner of the restaurant was indeed James Taylor. The man then tore a soiled bandage from his own forehead and began shrieking that Taylor had just miraculously healed him.Within seconds, the other customers in the restaurant were gawking at the shy singer-songwriter. Taylor sighed quietly and buried his head in his hands. All he had wanted was a burger.

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Mar 13, 2017

Mike Finger’s The Blue and the Black