For all those who have always wanted to see a legend, and for those die-hard fans who would love to see him one more time, here’s your chance. Many chances, in fact. Madison Square Garden (MSG) announced today that music icon Billy Joel will become its first-ever music “franchise,” performing one show a month in the venue for as long as there is demand. Along with MSG’s other franchises, all sports teams: New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, Joel has become a venue staple since his first performance there in 1978. He’s played 46 shows since and holds the record for consecutive sold-out nights by a single artist at The Garden. Now Joel will play monthly, starting in January. The previously announced shows (Jan 27, Feb 3, Mar 21, Apr 18) are already sold-out; however, a new one will take place on May 9–on Joel’s 65th birthday–and in the months following.
It’s appropriate, as the 130-year old arena recently underwent major renovations, that the new and improved future of Madison Square Garden should include its superstar entertainer. “It is particularly fitting that these two great icons are coming together to make entertainment history right here in New York,” said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
“I’ve played different venues all over the world,” said Billy Joel, “but there’s no place like coming home to The Garden.”The GRAMMY Award-winning performer has sold more than 150 million records, is the third best-selling solo artist of all time and has been inducted into both the Songwriter and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
(image source: chfi.com)
About Joel at MSG
MSG now offers a rich visual history of Billy Joel and his many Garden performances through a scrollable timeline, images, videos, lyrics, and more. Visit billyjoelmsg.com for more information. Join the conversation with #BillyJoelMSG.
For May 9, 2014Tickets
The remaining shows will be announced later this year.
–Prices range from $64.50 to $124.50.
–Exclusive presale for Citi cardmembers: Dec 4 at 10am-Dec 6 at 10pm.
–Tickets available to the general public: Dec 7 at 10am via ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000 and Madison Square Garden Event box office on Dec 8.
Mind. Blown. A few months back, a recording surfaced of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie in-studio singing the vocals of their now-iconic hit “Under Pressure.” Without its musical backing. The isolated vocal track, which was sung for the studio recording of the song has now, for all intents and purposes, become an unintentional acapella session. They sound incredible; spot on. If you’ve ever doubted them, their talent or their brilliance, listen on. Take that, Vanilla Ice.
The original, for those who need a refresher or want to compare the two.
First, there was Romeo and Juliet. And then there was James and Celine. They met in 1995 when, in a sweeping romantic gesture, James suggests that Celine abandon their Eurail train and explore Vienna with him before his flight leaves at dawn. The romantic tension between the two in Before Sunrise becomes one of fairy-tales, and a desperate hope lingers between them (and the viewer) when dawn inevitably does come. Fast forward 9 years to 2004, when the two cross paths once again for a follow-up film, Before Sunset. The characters reconnect and assess and evaluate how the other developed and grew since their first rendezvous.
So what happens when, still another 9 years later, all of that wonderment—all of the getting-to-know-you—fades? When two people know one another so well that the other becomes predictable? When you can guess the next story the other will tell before they even decide to tell it? Does the love fade or prevail? That’s the question Director Richard Linklater has his viewers asking throughout Before Midnight, the film series’ third installment.
In 2013, we meet James (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) once again, and we meet their two daughters as well. The strengths of the first two movies remain in Before Midnight, which opens in theaters tomorrow. The Before series once again demonstrates brilliant dialogue and character development in the documentary-style fictional films that feature conversations so realistic you’d swear you’d spoken them yourself at some point. Only this time, the ease between James and Celine is traded in for a new type of complexity, and their relationship is tinged with a bitterness that lingers between them—one which can only be caused by the realities of life. Always though, we feel the voyeur: a glimpse into their lives is a glimpse into our own.
These movies aren’t solely plot-driven. There’s no violence and no extraneous sex scenes. In fact, they are mostly about conversation, about the moments when time is both standing still and fleeting all at once. Uninterrupted dialogue between the lead characters, portrayed brilliantly by Hawke and Delpy, continues for long stretches at a time. It is filled with vignettes about moments in life that would otherwise seem insignificant. The movie is about a human connection; but, human connections are rarely if ever simple, easy and uncomplicated.
A more reality-based portrayal of the couple can hit invested Before fans with a bit of a chill. Philosophy-steeped discussions and long gazes into each other’s eyes are traded for everyday dilemmas and circumstances: how to raise their children, whether they should relocate the family, and whether life is leading them in the same direction as one another. From the wonderment of what could be, we’re introduced to what actually is.
Still, a glimmer of hope keeps its viewers tied into in James and Celine’s lives and it keeps them caring about the outcome of their squabbles and discussions. The characters of the first two movies are still there, they’re just buried under the weight of the responsibility and circumstance that comes with a long-term relationship and a family. The first movies, steeped in idealism and hope, and swept up in spontaneity, are still there as well. The connection is just more subtle—less reminiscent of a fairy-tale and more telling of a real-life hopeful love story—and therefore it’s somehow even more poignant than the rest.
I didn’t post this yesterday in order to stay, at least to a degree, in line with the internet-wide blackout in support of stopping SOPA; however, I do believe that the cause is vital to address. It’s important to become educated in order to help prevent our freedoms from being taken away. Know thine enemy, yes? So:
What is SOPA anyway?
Great question! And one that many others have asked, particularly in the past day or so. Yesterday, January 18th, you may have visited your favorite website (Wikipedia, Google or Wired, among others) only to discover that they were participating in a “blackout” for the day. Sure that may have been inconvenient, but what if that one-day blackout was permanent?
SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are two bills that have been in Congress and are set to be voted on by the Senate on January 24th. The point of the bill is to crack down on copyright-infringement by restricting access to sites that host pirated materials. If passed, these bills will set regulations on web content and allow the government to block these websites from the internet or its search engines. Giving unnecessary power to the government to control our now open and free internet is worrying to say the least. Many sites have become active in encouraging its readers to sign petitions that will show our distaste of this bill. Google’s “motto” for the blackout, “Stop Piracy, Not Liberty”, resonated most clearly with me. While I appreciate an effort to protect our citizens’ privacy, I think it’s just as important to protect our citizens’ freedom of speech.
We already have many freedoms censored: literature, art and video games all get censored on a regular basis. When we allow one thing to be stripped of free speech, it opens the floodgates for everything else to be amended or suppressed as well. Cutting social networks, blogs and other internet resources in turn cuts our access to knowledge and information. With the potential to harm functionality of small businesses, it cuts jobs as well. Most importantly, it cuts our basic constitutional right to speak our mind and be individuals in a nation of such varied cultures, races, backgrounds and lifestyles.
4.5 million people spoke up today and signed Google’s petition
103,785 people signed petitions through the We The People website (according to the White House blog).
25,000+ blogs on WordPress went black to support the cause
12,500 WordPress blogs added a “Stop Censorship” ribbon to their sites
50,000 sites promised participation in the online demonstration on Fight for the Future.org
An average 2,000 calls per second were made through Engine Advocacy, a service that helps people call their local Congress members
4 million people used Wikimedia to look up contact information for their local representative
Our efforts are working: PIPA co-sponsor Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced yesterday that he is withdrawing his support of the bill! Just because the blackout is over, doesn’t mean the fight is. Support the protest of SOPA and PIPA by spreading the word, signing a petition, making sure you Twitter this article, share it on Facebook and LinkedIn (using the buttons below this article) or re-post it on your blog* to enlighten your peers, colleagues and readers.
(*If used on a blog, simply let me know that you’re using it by emailing me a link at email@example.com and you must also link back to this site!)
Our site’s founder, Mary Alice Franklin, was DigThisDesign.net’s expert contributor yesterday! She weighed in on the hottest upcoming style, color and pattern trends for Spring and Summer 2012. The article is still on Dig This Design‘s homepage, but you can visit the permanent post here:
In the article, you’ll see how these trends have been put to good use with examples by designers like Christian Soriano, Gucci, Rachel Roy and Alexander Wang, who have all used them in recent runway shows. For even more examples of how designers are using these trends, visit our “Spring 2012 Colors & Trends” Pinterest board!
Dig This Design is the blog of national award winning Interior Designer, Patricia Davis Brown.
This week, you can help save a child’s life for just $1.99. That’s right: with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, let’s not forget to be thankful for what we have and to help others get what they deserve.
Ruckus Media has paired up with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, as part of their Thanks and Giving campaign, through the end of the month. When you buy one of their “Read-Play-and-Record-Along Rabbit Ears” interactive storybook apps for your iphone or ipad, 100% of the net proceeds will go to St. Jude’s important research and ground-breaking strides toward the cure for children with deadly diseases.
Your children will love their favorite stories as read by celebrities. Really, it’s a win-win: You instill the gift of literature into your own child’s life while instilling the gift of hope into another’s. Don’t have a child? Why not buy the apps and donate anyway, or gift the apps to someone else? It’s for a great cause! There are 11 classic stories, as read by the likes of Robin Williams, Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington and more. Buy one, several or the whole collection (all for under $22). All are available on itunes (see links below). Whatever you can give will support the struggle of a child in need.
The apps are especially convenient on the go, when you need something to occupy a cranky child’s attention! Maybe your favorite story as a child was “Goldilocks”—well, now is the time to introduce your son or daughter to that same story (as read by Meg Ryan!).
St. Jude is the nation’s leading pediatric research and treatment center devoted solely to children with cancer and other deadly diseases and the only hospital that covers all of the costs for treatment, travel, food and lodging for each patient and a family member.
One of my photographs, “Vinyl Underground,” has been featured on RedBubble.com’s homepage today! This truly gives me a feeling of accomplishment because only 3 in 1,000 ever make it onto the homepage features. In case you miss it today on RedBubble.com, here’s the screenshot with a permanent link to the photo:
For those who don’t know, redbubble.com is an online marketplace for art and writing. They feature an array of work which you can buy in the form of a print, t-shirt, greeting card and more.
Did you recently move into a new residence and still have bare walls? Or maybe you just can’t decide which wall art speaks to you most. No matter the problem, you now have a solution. Match.com is to dating as Netflix.com is to movies as, now, TurningArt.com is to art. Leave your commitment issues behind—you now have a gentle way to ease yourself into the idea of design by renting your artwork!
That’s right, folks: Rent art prints by emerging artists and swap them various times depending on the payment plan you’ve chosen. A monthly fee of $10 to $30 depends on the frame size you want (16×20 or 24×30), but both allow for unlimited print rotation. Develop a queue of artwork you love by browsing art by a number of different factors including medium, color and style.
After choosing your first work, a framed and matted, high-quality print will be sent to your home. Turning Art will send you your next print whenever you want. Since all works are printed at the same size—to fit your frame—simply swap out your old print for the new one and mail the old one back (with pre-paid rental mail label).
The best part? Your monthly fees convert to credits which you can save up and use to purchase an original piece once you’ve finally found something you truly love.
Your Design-phobias lose all weight when you’re in a non-committal, inexpensive relationship with your wall-space. Try things out and don’t be afraid to amp up the opulent, the flirty, the uber-modern, the bold or the patterns. This no holds-bar approach to styling your home will help you discover what works for you and what doesn’t. Your identity crisis doesn’t have to suffer as trends emerge and fade, because now your taste can emerge and fade with them. See what works for you and then support an emerging artist with your confident decision. Interior design has never been so easy.
*UPDATE [10/25/11]: A video of the full episode of Smithsonian’s “Hip-Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes” can now be viewed at the link posted at the end of this article*
As part of their “Inside the Music” series during the month of October, the Smithsonian Channel presents their latest feature— Hip-Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes— this Friday (October 21st) at 8pm. View a Sneak Peak of the show as well as Director Joshua Atesh Litle’s remarks on “Women in Hip-Hop” below.
Hip-hop began in 1970s inner-city South Bronx but proved to be universal as it spread across the world and spoke to those with political, societal and personal hardships. This reinvention of music proved itself as a way for these individuals and communities to get their message heard as they rapped about their own culture’s struggles.
As poets use verse to express themselves, hip-hop is a lyrical and rhythmic way to use music as a reflection of their culture and the conditions that surround them. It has served as more than entertainment; for those who don’t have a voice, rap has become a universal language.
This special by the Smithsonian Channel spans globally, by exploring a number of different countries and stories, to discover why hip-hop acts as a way for individuals to revolt against and be elevated from their burdens: Germany’s Berlin Wall, Senegal’s female circumcision, rampant conflict in the Middle East. We meet hip-hop artists from the Bronx who formed the art; but also from France, Senegal, Germany, Palestine & Jerusalem, among others.
“What it really consists of, or what it was really intended to be, you’ll see that hip-hop is a saving grace for a lot of people around the world.” –Grandmaster Caz, from The Cold Crush Brothers
I recently had the pleasure of attending a film screening to preview Independent Film Channel’s Brighton Rock, (and even though I’m sad that my interview with Helen Mirren fell through, I still plan to report objectively about the film!)
Brighton Rock tells the story of a low-ranking teenaged criminal, Pinkie (Sam Riley), who is determined to prove himself to the other gangsters of an organized crime ring and position himself as their leader. Innocent and naïve waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough) links this stranger to a local murder and Pinkie sets out to seduce her into silence.
Rose’s protective boss and boss’s close confidant (played by powerhouse pair Helen Mirren and William Hurt) are observers to the unfolding situation and they try to prevent her from falling for Pinkie, who is in over his head. Because of her commitment to her faith, she refuses and quickly falls under his influence—effectively setting the mood for the peak of the film.
Based on the classic 1938 novel by Graham Greene, it’s hard not to compare first-time director Rowan Joffe’s adaptation to Greene’s book or the book’s first film adaptation in 1947 (which starred a young Richard Attenborough). The film is fine where it is, but my frustration comes with the potential of the movie that wasn’t reached.
Though styled as a film noir or neo-noir, the film highlighted too much visual pizazz and not enough depth of intended subject matter. It could’ve been more, but Jaffe doesn’t take us all the way there. The melodrama seemed a little heavy-handed at times and relied too much on film-school trickery. The lighting and set, on the other hand, were extremely well-done and appropriate for the tone of the film, creating a perfectly eerie and enveloping visual presentation.
The era-shift from 1930’s to the 1960’s was a clever decision on the part of Joffe, but the switch lent itself more to aesthetics than to furthering character development or adding anything new to the complexity of the plot. During a time of unrest in London’s resort towns, the oft-shown riots of the film, based on Britain’s “Mods and Rockers” riots, didn’t garner much explanation. Knowing about the time period helps the viewer to see how the plot does falls comfortably within this socio-historic narrative.
Of course the movie doesn’t have to be such a literal interpretation of the novel, and I appreciate the modern take and era adaptation, but the movie doesn’t do enough to justify itself in terms of creating a fresh take on the original. Joffe does do a great job of exploring elements of dark vs. innocence and right vs. wrong, as represented by the main couple of the film; however, in the novel, Greene tackles the philosophical theme of religious belief vs. skepticism as well.
The movie doesn’t delve into this religious topic much passed visual cues of things like crucifixes or Rose’s hesitation in leaving Pinkie. This is really where the core of the book grabs the reader and engages them in thought and feeling—the characters were driven by their beliefs. The lack of religious backdrop in the movie often pulls the viewer away from the story, leaving viewers to wonder what each of the characters’ motives were for their actions. For this reason, sympathy wasn’t developed fully for either character and I didn’t care as much about what happened to them.
I would’ve liked to see more of Pinkie’s panic and realization that he got himself deep into something that he doesn’t know how to pull himself out of. His fear of eternal damnation should have played a larger role in the plot, but the absence of this point leaves little explanation of the character’s actions. Similarly, Rose’s dedication to her faith kept her from straying from the love she felt for the mobster. We fail to see these characters’ internal conflict between their beliefs and actions, which would have given much greater purpose to the film, its mood, its purpose and its significance.
Still, the movie, for what it was without comparison to its predecessors, was engaging—cinematically breathtaking and lusciously dramatic. Mirren, as always, delved into her character’s persona—an Auburn-haired British floosy with strong morals. She was believable and I wish there was a bit more of her in the movie. Rising star Andrea Riseborough gave a very convincing performance—one that made me look her up after seeing the movie.
A movie that had so much promise, and lived up to a great deal of it, also fell short in its character development—a flaw that was detrimental to the final result of a still-captivating and visually-stunning thriller.