Counting Crows has long been one of our inspiration bands at Midcoast Station and with six albums under their belt, down-to-earth attitudes and fun live shows, it’s easy to see why we love them. Now we want you to also give you a taste of that love.
We’re giving away a copy of Counting Crows’ latest record, Underwater Sunshine.
The album features cover track from artists in the last 50 years. Teenage Fanclub, Travis, Big Star and Bob Dylan are among the artists covered. You can stream Underwater Sunshine below:
To win a copy of the record, simply comment on this post (using a valid email address) and tell us what band you’d love to hear the Counting Crows cover on any future compilations. We’ll pick a winner randomly from the comments in one week, on Tuesday, August 7.
The Counting Crows are on tour and you can see full tour dates on their site at countingcrows.com. Join us in Kansas City, Tuesday, July 31, for their Starlight Theater show. Check back to the site later for a full review and photos.
Alright, multi-instrumentalist Ray Suen. It’s official. I’m jealous of you. First you got to perform as part of The Killers’ band and now you’re touring for Childish Gambino. One person should not be allowed to have that much awesome to himself. It’s not fair! But despite all my envy, I’m also really impressed. You see, The Killers, as an alternative rock group, do not really have anything in common with a rap/hip hop artist, but just by your presence, you’re a reminder that Childish Gambino is not your normal rap/hip hop act. It’s because of Childish Gambino’s unusualness that this indie rock fan found herself at a concert a little outside of my usual genre…and Childish Gambino’s sold out Beaumont Club show was worth stepping outside of my box.
Childish Gambino, may be better known to a lot of people as comedian Donald Glover. Glover stars on NBC’s “Community,” has written for other comedies such as “30 Rock” and has sold out plenty of comedy clubs. His writing background is heavily reflected in his lyrics. His lyrics not only talk about his impressive resume, but also drops plenty of geek and pop culture references. Of course, the usual hip hop themes of hanging with friends and impressing the ladies are still present too, especially in some of Gambino’s newer material. He also has plenty of surprises – there were plenty of jaw drops in Kansas City when the notes of Adele’s ubiquitous “Rolling in the Deep” were sounded out by the band, but the blistering fast lyrical twists gave a blast of freshness to this otherwise overplayed tune. He was like a one man lyrical tornado.
The other big surprise was just how instrumentally-focused Childish Gambino’s music is. I think a lot of people were expecting a turntable or Mac set up with Donald rapping over pre-recorded beats, but there were more instrumentalists up there than most rock bands have. Multiple guitars, drums, synths and even violin rounded out the Childish Gambino sound, making for a very full performance. Donald didn’t play an instrument himself, instead focusing on amping up the crowd and leading singalongs to his lyrics…that is until he started rapping so fast that the audience couldn’t keep up. Some of the most fun I had at this show was trying to read the lyrics on the video screen behind the band, which made singing along easy enough. But then the lyric screen practically would turn into a strobe light as it rolled through letters at Donald’s tempo, emphasizing just how fast he was going.
Donald Glover is a talent to watch. He brings freshness and accessibility to rap/hip hop with Childish Gambino. He has a great stage presence and genuinely seems to care about what he’s doing. So even if this isn’t your usual genre, just like me, I encourage you to step outside of the box and check Childish Gambino out.
Freaks & Geeks
So Fly –> Do Ya Like
I’m On It
Rolling in the Deep
All the Shine
You See Me
Freestyle (Just Donald)
We Ain’t Them
Eat Ur Vegetables – Unnecessary
Make Em Mad
The premiere of the “The Dark Knight Rises” was blighted by a terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. But there has been some light despite the darkness of this tragic shooting. The nation and the team behind Batman have impressively risen to the support of the Aurora victims.
Last week, Batman actor Christian Bale visited victims in the hospital and Warner Brothers announced they’d be donating a portion of “The Dark Knight Rises” ticket sales to help victims and their families.
Now, “TDKR” composer Hans Zimmer has found a unique way to contribute. He wrote a new piece called “Aurora” and dedicated it to those who lost their lives or were affected by the tragedy. The song can be purchased and downloaded by a pay what you want donation starting at 10 cents.
“I recorded this song in London in the days following the tragedy as a heartfelt tribute to the victims and their families. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Aurora Victim Relief organization.”
Big news: Joss Whedon’s 2008 web musical extravaganza, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” is coming to network TV. That’s right, you’ll be able to watch the quirky online hit from a bigger screen than your computer monitor. The CW will air the show Tuesday, October 9, at 9/8 CDT.
“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” is the musical adventure of a scientist super villain that’s frequently foiled in his plots to win over his love interest by a superhero. It’s ridiculous and fun and if you loved Whedon’s humor in “Buffy” and “The Avengers,” then you’ll like this.
While you can watch this gem online, we’re still pretty excited about it finding a much deserved wider audience. Now, the only thing that would make us happier would be news about the sequel.
Generally, video games turned into film adaptations tend not to work that well, but we really enjoyed the first “Silent Hill” movie and have high hopes for the sequel…especially since it stars our beloved Jon Snow…err Kit Harrington. Plus, the trailer for “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D” looks pretty awesome. Check it out below:
“Silent Hill: Revelation” follows the story of Heather Mason, who is drawn into a strange reality that relates to the nightmares she’s had since childhood. It’s in theaters October 26, 2012.
Check out below for a clip of a creeptacular scene from the film featuring some messed up nurses:
Though a lot of this week’s online chatter has been about James Bond (Daniel Craig) and the Queen’s special Olympic parachute drop-in, there was also a trailer for the new film “Skyfall” slipped into the Olympics television programming. You can check out the trailer here:
“Skyfall” is due in theaters November 9 and continues the story of Ian Fleming’s Bond character in yet another action packed adventure. In “Skyfall,” Bond’s loyalty will be put to the test.
And in case you missed the little Olympics bit with the Queen, you can see that here:
Making a movie with a wide variety of personalities can be a dangerous proposition. If it works out, you could have something like “Ocean’s Eleven” where the pieces are all complimentary. If it doesn’t, you could have something like “Grown Ups” where all of the actors step on each other’s toes. Thankfully, “The Watch” pulls off a good balance.
Evan (Ben Stiller) is a store manager at the local Costco and doesn’t have any friends, only fellow club-mates. When the overnight security guard at his store is found murdered, Evan forms a neighborhood watch with Bob (Vince Vaughn), Franklin (Jonah Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade).
What makes “The Watch” great is the different personalities of its stars. Stiller plays the straight-man, Vaughn is the loud-mouth, Hill is on the edge of sanity and Ayoade is an unassuming outsider. You couldn’t have picked better actors for the roles. Each delivers a really funny performance without getting in each other’s way. Hill is especially funny as Franklin.
The movie kind of falls apart whenever it tries to have any heart and a somewhat sad sub-plot seems very forced. Thankfully, there isn’t too much of that; but it slows the movie down from it’s frenetic pace and it will give you time to catch your breath.
If you are in the mood for a raunchy comedy, “The Watch” is a great pick. It’s really fun to see all of the actors sharing the screen and the jokes are nearly non-stop; I just wish they hadn’t tried to force the boring bits.
David Mitchell’s ambitious novel, “Cloud Atlas” has been adapted for the big screen and the first trailer has just been released. The exquisite teaser runs close to 6 minutes (the film is about three hours).
“Cloud Atlas” is about how individual lives impact one another through the past, future and present. The film stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess and many more. Perhaps more impressive than the cast is how smoothly it looks like the film’s three directors (The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer) were able to work together.
Here’s a fun promotion that’s anti-promotion. Actors Nick Offerman (best known as Ron Swanson), Megan Mullaly and Alison Brie are smoking together and in between hits, they’re talking the new film “Somebody Up There Likes Me.”
Mullaly and Offerman star and while Brie’s not actually in the film, she’s a nice little addition to this promo. The film hits theaters in March 2013.