Happy Pi Day! Ang Lee's next project, Tyrant, an FX drama pilot, tentatively begins production this summer. Lee will direct and executive produce, which is great news unless you're "salty" Christopher Doyle, in whose opinion Life of Pi's cinematography was "a total fucking piece of shit." He didn't care for Lincoln, either, in case you were curious.
“Ninety percent of the time, being in the Eagles was a fucking blast,” says a square-jawed, movie-star-handsome, 64-year-old Glenn Frey in the opening minutes of The History of the Eagles, a two-part, three-hour documentary airing tonight and Saturday on Showtime. Frey delivers the line with the stoned-faced ebullience of an asshole father sarcastically praising his son’s tackling after Friday night’s big game; he’s so stern that the sentiment verges on unintended irony.
The moment sets the tone for the rest of this engrossing, not-quite-forthright “authorized” biography of one of the most popular rock bands in the history of mankind: The History of the Eagles is illuminating, only if you know how to read between the lines.
Back in the ’70s, when the record industry was enjoying the first blush of its big-money salad days, the Eagles typified expertly crafted, universally pleasant, and defiantly crowd-pleasing rock music. And yet, at the band’s core, there was always a pitch-black joylessness. This dichotomy makes the Eagles fascinating, if not exactly likable. Every classic-rock band has a “dark” segment of their narrative arc that arrives once the euphoric effects of fame and drugs wear off, and the reality that you’re still the same fucked-up bunch of people sets in. There’s plenty of that in History, as you would expect from an Eagles doc — as Don Henley says at one point, the in-fighting and money-grubbing that reigned inside the Eagles’ camp was foregrounded into each of their albums. The Eagles chronicled their loss of innocence, song by incriminating song, and listeners used it to soundtrack their own willful self-corruption.
Nothing like a child walking through the city by herself taking pictures for her meatspace blog (a brick wall) with a camera plastered in sparkly stickers like a little Harriet the Spy. Jacksonville's Shinedown get orchestral and inspirational to mixed results.
Best YouTube Comment: "this video actually made me cry because it me think about the way I spent my youth just hanging out at home and watching TV and playing video games and only from time to time going outside to play with my friends wasted years that will never come back" — TheMisteriousX
For those who relish watching the old put the young in their place, last week was spectacular like a sparkly, diamond-encrusted cane waving grandly over a pristine lawn. Picture the kids as a scheming John Ross Ewing, and the aged as a craggy but still spry J.R. Ewing, and J.R. is holding a shaving razor to John Ross’s throat and cackling over this foolish youngster’s plan to steal the Southfork family ranch out from under his well-worn hat. That’s right, even Dallas references have cultural currency amid these recent, wrinkly finger-wagging developments, which include singer-songwriter turned professor David Lowery scorching a 21-year-old NPR intern because her music buying habits line up with practically every other 21-year-old on the planet; an elderly school bus monitor being cruelly mocked by sadistic children and subsequently turning her half-million tears into as many dollars with the help of (surprise twist!) those kid-friendly tweet machines; and Aaron Sorkin using his Jeff Daniels–shaped avatar to lecture college students about how great America was before they were born in HBO’s The Newsroom.
Oh, Dave Grohl. You're 43 years old. Everybody who will possibly ever love you already loves you. You have great hair, a wonderful beard, a classically refined sense of style. You have made jam after jam after jam. So will you ever stop being so darned charming? We know the answer now: No. No you will not.
The latest assault of Grohl magic comes to us in the form of an apology for his Grammys acceptance speech. If you've been living under a rock — or, you know, living a full, rich life — here's a reminder: After nabbing the Best Rock Performance statuette, Grohl opined that “the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do ... It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer.”
Grantland’s complete reaction to last night’s Grammy Awards is forthcoming later today, but for now, below, here’s a partial list of the winners. As you may have heard, Adele dominated, both through her widely praised performance of “Rolling in the Deep” and through her uncanny ability to mind-meld her name into basically every envelope that was opened. The other story of the night was, of course, the tributes to Whitney Houston, most notably Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” But if there’s one other thing that people will be talking about, it’s Justin Vernon’s acceptance speech.
Genres must be judged on their terms. Just as we have with recent country and latin-pop charts, this week we grade Billboard's top 10 rock songs. The '90s are owning! The top three songs are the Last Man Standing of rock: nostalgic, familiar, and unsurprisingly resilient.
1. Foo Fighters, "Walk"
This is a VERY generic Foo Fighters song. Those are Foo Fighting words but I can't get too excited about the ultra-compressed go-get-'em alt-rock crunch of this song because I've heard it so many times already before. It gets a lot better toward the end when Grohl starts screaming about how he never wants to die. Grade: B