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Press tour is over, but before I left the warmth of California, Dan and I recorded another Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, running down the second half of the tour, reviewing several shows debuting over the next week and a half (the podcast is taking next week off while Dan goes to Sundance), and we even got on Skype later in the evening to talk briefly about a frustrating Golden Globes telecast.
Also, apologies for the various football-related interjections during the podcast. Giants-Packers was on in the background, and I couldn't help myself in a couple of spots.
Happy Monday, Boys and Girls! It's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast time...
Alan is currently flying back across the country to reunite with his family, but as TCA press tour ended on Sunday afternoon, we sat down together to debrief from the last week of the Tour. Mostly, Alan was watching the Giants game. We also reviewed the new season of "Justified" and took early looks at FX's "Unsupervised" and FOX's "Touch." Then we Skyped up in the evening to debrief after the dreadful Golden Globes telecast.
My dreams. They came true.
Well, at least one of them. Dan Auerbach and Dr. John's SuperJam set at Bonnaroo in 2011 had my mouth watering for something more, that this wasn't just a one-time thing.
It wasn't. It was a trial run. Today it was announced that Black Keys guitarist/singer produced and performs on Dr. John's new, forthcoming set "Locked Down," due April 3 via Nonesuch. Auerbach recruited a backing band specifically for the sessions, resulting in what a press release calls "a significant departure from his recent efforts."
Dr. John, aka Mac Rebennack, aka The Night Tripper -- has been releasing albums consistently since his 1968 debut "Gris-Gris"; he's put out five sets in the last 10 years, the last being "Tribal" in 2010.
"Mac inspired me every single day we were in the studio together -- musically, spiritually, cosmically... something special seemed to be happening and everyone involved could sense it," Auerbach said in a statement. The effort was recorded in his Nashville-based Easy Eye Studio. "For my money, Mac's one of the greatest who ever was and who ever will be...I'm so honored to have had this opportunity to work with him."
Part of the fun was that it was Auerbach who approached Dr. John, to make "the best record you've made in a long time"; Rebennack's first and seemingly only impression of the guy was what his children thought of The Black Keys. The two jammed in Manchester, Tenn. for Bonnaroo, which left enough of an impression to get started on a record.
"It was way cool cutting this record with Dan and the crew he put together for it," said Rebennack. "It's reel HIP."
As of Friday, phase one of this year's Oscar season has drawn to a close. Ballots were due by 5pm and it's pencils down, the music has stopped, whatever metaphor you want to apply. And the period of December 27 - January 13 was crucial for films looking to grab a last-minute foothold and those hoping to maintain dominance alike.
During that frame, the image to the left of actress Anna Paquin was bravely showcased on the cover of LA Weekly, Los Angeles's ubiquitous alt-weekly publication, to promote the outlet's choice of Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" for the year's best film. Voters out and about on their daily routines surely walked past any number of magazine stands and newspaper racks displaying the issue.
Meanwhile, in a very last-minute bit of campaigning, Paquin and Lonergan were both made available for press opportunities, which we of course seized here at In Contention. But not every outlet has the luxury of scheduling pieces like that on the fly.
With their awards rather needlessly spread across drama and musical/comedy categories -- the craft is hardly incomparable between genres, particularly when certain titles aren't even categorized correctly -- the ACE Eddie Award nominations for film editing are more revealing in terms of omissions than inclusions.
And if it seemed like "The Help" was starting to build some momentum in this race, it received something of a setback today by missing the list. Though hardly an outstanding editing showcase, it might still have hoped to crack a drama category that did find room for "The Descendants" -- not heavily favored for below-the-line Oscar attention -- and the embattled "War Horse."
Michael Kahn's nomination here represents something of a lifeline for the WWI epic in the wake of snubs from the directors', writers', cinematographers' and even art directors' Guilds. Whether it's an indication of enough enduring support for "War Horse" to make Oscar's Best Picture lineup remains to be seen, but if it had missed here, it truly would have been time to read the last rites. It's one of two nominations for four-time ACE champ Kahn -- Steven Spielberg's long-serving collaborator was also listed for "The Adventures of Tintin" in the animated field, where he could well snag another trophy.
Well, the Globes came and they went. And as I stood in the Fox Pavilion viewing party outside the Beverly Hilton hotel, guessing every single win with publicist friends, I couldn't help but smile at the HFPA's gall for being so predictable and so very much…themselves.
Madonna? Really? Of course.
Seriously, though, each and every winner was obvious save for the Best Picture (Drama) field, which I had expected to go to "Hugo." The collective breath of the party seemed to be held until "The Descendants" was called, and the explosion was so intense you had to figure most everyone else in there was expecting it to come up short, too.
So, the Golden Globes. I suppose I should write something about them, given that I went to the trouble of posting (lousy) predictions and all, but my throbbing head doesn't really want to go back to that place. It was a night where "The Artist" cemented its frontrunner status, "The Descendants" was rather half-heartedly crowned its official opposition, the HFPA renewed their vows with George Clooney and Meryl Streep, and "W.E." won more awards than "Drive," "Shame," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Moneyball" combined. I might comment more later, but for now, I echo pretty much every word of Tim Robey's dismayed Telegraph review of the affair, coming down equally hard on the uninspired list of winners and Ricky Gervais's disappointingly flat hosting job. Better luck next year. [The Telegraph]
There was a period of time there where it seemed like if you chose to show a kid the movie "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure," people might view that as bad parenting or a controversial choice because of some of the real-life misadventures of Paul Reubens.
Thank god that's over.
I'm old enough that my first exposure to Paul Reubens and the Pee-Wee Herman character came through the Cheech and Chong movies he appeared in. I was only ten years old when "Cheech & Chong's Next Movie" came out, so I didn't catch up with it until it showed up on cable a year later, which was right around the same time HBO first aired "The Pee-Wee Herman Show," a videotaped version of the show that Reubens staged in LA with the help of the Groundlings. That's how he ended up in the Cheech & Chong film, too. There was an entire LA underground comedy scene that was captured in those early films that Cheech & Chong made, and when you see him play the character in "Next Movie" or when you see him as "The Hamburger Dude" in "Nice Dreams," that's the impression I had of Reubens for many years. There was something great about the way he set the raunch and the rock-and-roll of the late '70s against the super-pure '50s kids show aesthetic that he so obviously adored, and it was edgy without being full-blown dirty. I've written about this before, actually.
Ricky Gervais came out to host the 2012 Golden Globe Awards and tried to again paint himself as a rebel undermining the system from within. And yet even he could go so far with that angle, what with this being his third time as host, and what with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asking him back after he spent last year's telecast gleefully ripping most of the movie stars in the room.
"Now, the Hollywood Foreign Press have warned me if I insult any of you," Gervais explained, "they'll definitely invite me back next year as well."
It's hard to say whether or not tonight's episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" measured up to the fanfare of the Golden Globes (be sure to vote on the best and worst red carpet looks here), but in any case, it was still an episode of high tension, fortune telling and gun fire, so let's hope you set up your DVRs if you missed it. More importantly, NeNe, Sheree and Kim were all forced to make nice with one another, which might be one of the signs of the coming apocalypse. Consider yourself warned.