A little over one week after making headlines in a lawsuit brought by the trust which owns the 1942 Cornell Woolrich story which Rear Window was based on, Steven Spielberg is making news again. The Los Angeles Times reports that in a scenario more implausible than most of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Steven Spielberg (E.T.) and Peter Jackson's (The Lord Of The Rings) new project has been rejected by a major studio.
After reviewing the final submitted budget of $130 million for a 3-D motion capture (see Beowulf) version of Belgian export Tintin, Universal balked. The LAT article reasons, "According to several people close to the project, Tintin would have to rake in $425 million worldwide in ticket sales before the studios could break even," as "[Spielberg and Jackson] would walk away with more than $100 million before Universal and DreamWorks could make a profit." At press time, it was unclear who would have played Tintin's dog, Snowy.
In 2008 alone, as half of the chart-topping duo Gnarls Barkley, Danger Mouse released the acclaimed LP The Odd Couple, toured the United States and Europe, and won two MTV Video Music Awards. As a producer, he lent his unmistakable touch to hit albums from Beck and the Black Keys. And Rolling Stone gave him "Best Producer" honors.
Danger Mouse is currently readying several undisclosed projects for 2009.
Photo © Erik Schneider
By Mawuse Ziegbe
Recently, I experienced one of the truly crappy things about living in New York: getting your bike stolen. My Schwinn still had that new bike smell when it was jacked on Bedford Ave. What's different for me is that it was my first bike since I was 11 (why I never learned to ride is a long, stupid story). Most of you already know the sting of losing your first set of wheels and the accompanying playground anguish and can handle it with aplomb. Not me, however. For the first few days, I would narrow my eyes at anyone on a blue cruiser. I imagined myself pummeling the thieving hoodlum and riding off into the sunset as a row of toothy schoolkids cheered me on. But really, was I going to bound into traffic, outrun a thief with robust pedal-pumping thigh muscles and reclaim my bike without further incident? Hell and no. But after trawling Craigslist and following dead leads on free bikes, I thought, this is America; why not just steal me another bike? Now I narrowed my eyes at poorly secured racers and suitably daffy owners who have wondered off for a latte. But again, how conspicuously nutty would I look yanking on locks while the owner fetches an espresso? And if I was successful, what happens when the owner sees me pedaling off and chucks the scalding coffee square at my back and I fall off writhing in the street. Then I'm not just a failed criminal, I'm a stupid, failed criminal. And really, I can't be a thief - I don't even have a mask!
But on a more growned-up note, Giant Step brought Gilles Peterson to Cielo which was wicked awesome. I never realized how amazing the sound at Cielo is! Gilles warmed up with some punchy Afrobeat and sped up the BPMs with some chunky deep house – including a sassy cover of Aretha Franklin's “Chain Of Fools.” But when Gilles launched into his Latin Jazz set, it really sounded like a 12-piece band was crouched beneath the turntables. It was like if you just conquered an empire and trumpeters trailed you constantly with your own saucy theme music. Plus, the man must eat music encyclopedias because in an hour he hops between Afrobeat, disco and Latin jazz, easy as pie. And Gilles Peterson sets are also awesome because he's got some loyal diehards. I spent a couple songs chatting with a fellow who would pause the conversation to shriek at the DJ booth “Whoo!! This is what we paid our money for! DAMN!” Indeed.
I also caught Hercules and Love Affair at Irving Plaza and ain't they the bees knees! The rainbow-friendly NY collective released their self-titled debut this year which makes my heart flutter. It's unapologetically new wave, nu-disco, New York nightlife fun combined with the theater of ancient Greece. So, of course the show was one big ol' shameless dance par-tay! Doors opened at 9 and they didn't hit the stage until midnight but the voguers and 7-piece band turned it out. They played the late-night torch song, “You Belong” and “Athena” with come-hither coos. It's like if you took the words “hot damn!” and made them into a recording group.
And in other hot damn news, the kids were hotfooting it at Bobbito’s turn at Giant Step’s Hudson Hotel DJ series last week. Bobbito dropped a range of hits from Chrisette Michele to Paul Simon to Parliament. Dancers of the Week, Brian Polite, DanSir and Dashuan got all Saturday Night Fever with it, wiping the floor clean with their synchronized moves and b-boy swagger. When you’ve soaked your starchy button-up so much that everyone can see your chest hairs through your pocket, you don’t need to mention how crazy the party was.
1: Chuck Palahniuk's book, "Choke" is going to be a movie, released September 26 in the US. Chuck Palahniuk wrote "Fight Club." "Choke" is just as awesome and a little dirtier. Read it.
2: Radiohead will be scoring the movie. Originally recruited to create the song for the closing credits, when they saw the movie, they liked it so much, they decided to score the whole thing. Yessssss.
Check out the trailer: