An American in Hollywood – In Theaters July 18th, Watch Trailer

AnAmericanInHollywood

An American in Hollywood” is an amusing and sardonic look at the artistic struggle minority artists face in the Entertainment Industry today. (watch the extended trailer below) – Hailing from New York City, a talented filmmaker Josiah aka “The Dissenter” (Richard Carroll Jr.) leads childhood friends and fellow artists Dorian and Paul (JD Williams and Hassan Johnson from HBO’s hit series “The Wire”) to Los Angeles in pursuit of the Hollywood dream.

Wielding the artistic powers of writing, directing, acting, stand-up comedy, drawing, and graffiti, this team of “Real Artists” battles the “Entertainment Empire” of Hollywood through a humorous and satirical comic book animation-based reality which showcases artists as super-heroes, and the materialistic corporate studio system as super-villains.

In LA, Josiah meets his match in a beautiful feisty young actress named Ayoka aka “Power Girl” (Azur-De). Backed by her crew of “Bad Girls” (including Amber Lee Ettinger and Samantha Esteban from “Training Day”/”Harsh Times”), Ayoka and Josiah embark on their own quest as they seek to create and succeed in Hollywood together. But then… they are confronted with an even deeper obstacle… life.

This film is a comedic tale of love, brotherhood, talent, betrayal, success, failure, and survival in the Entertainment Industry today. If you enjoyed “Love Jones”, “Entourage”, and “The Avengers”, you’ll love “An American in Hollywood”.

Written and Directed by NYU/Tisch alum Sai Varadan. Produced By V-Twinz Productions Inc. and released through AMC Independent. Opening in Select Theaters July 18th in NYC, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Showing at the AMC Empire 25 in NYC. (234 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036) Click here for showtimes/tickets/info.

An American In Hollywood – Extended Trailer

 

 

 

Azur-De Interview — Black Hollywood Live’s Next

 

 

BHL: Next – In this episode Black Hollywood Live hosts Megan Thomas and Cortez West interview Azur-De.

Born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles, Azur-De is no stranger to the spotlight. At the young age of 9, she began performing with the dance troupe “Positive Steps” where she traveled statewide and performed in sold out arenas during half time shows for the Lakers, Raiders, and Magic Johnson All Star Weekends.

Her passion for performance grew when she studied at “Faith Acting Studios” at the age of 12. What began as a hobby soon became a major influence in her growth as an artist.

Growing up in South Central LA gave her limited resources but she used it as motivation instead of an obstacle. In high school she was honored for excelling academically, leading the cheerleading team as Captain and Senior Class as President.

She was accepted to the University of California, Berkeley with an academic scholarship. It was then where she solidified her commitment to acting with a double major in Theater and Mass Communications. After performing in the stage play “I Aint Yo Uncle” where she channeled the life of Elizabeth, a mulatto slave who saves her husband in a slave revolt, she knew acting was what she wanted to do as a profession: Infuse characters with her truth while impacting the consciousness of audiences at the same time.

Now, a working stage and screen actress based in Los Angeles, Johnson’s passion, skill and audience have grown exponentially. After landing a lead role in the sequel BET horror film Somebody Help Me 2 , she went on to a recurring role in GMC Network’s dramatic series She’s Not Your Sister, opposite former 227 star Jackee Harry. She has been featured in over 20 national commercials. Most recently she was principle in a national commercial campaign for McDonald’s, the lead in the independent film An American In Hollywood, which debuted at the Urban World International Festival in New York and the lead actress in the acclaimed short film Stakes that has received raves from audiences and earned Best Short prize at the San Diego International Film Festival. Whether she’s playing victim, vixen or valedictorian, Azur-De imbues each character with a truth and texture viewers can’t help but connect with.

And when she isn’t disappearing behind a role, she keeps it moving. With dance, fitness, and yoga- Azur-De is happiest in motion. But it’s her work as co-founder of Give Back LA – a community outreach project in Skid Row that to date has helped feed over 15,000 families – that makes her most proud. Says Azur-De, “Creative artists have a great responsibility. We’re tasked with bringing about consciousness and empathy, and I love being a part of that in character and out.”

This interview was recorded July 11th, 2014.

 

Theatrical Release

July 18th

New York City New Jersey Philadelphia

AMC Empire 25
234 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

AMC Hamilton 24
325 Sloan Avenue
Hamilton Township, NJ 08619

AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24
2121 New Jersey 38
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

AMC Neshaminy 24
660 Neshaminy Mall
Bensalem, PA 19020

 

 

 

Ryan Adams announces the release of new, self-titled album set for release on September 8

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Ryan Adams has announced the release of a new, self-titled album.

‘Ryan Adams’ will be released on September 8. Produced by Adams at his Pax Am Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, the album follows 2011’s ‘Ashes & Fire’, and will feature recent single ‘Gimme Something Good’. Scroll down for a full tracklisting for the record, which will be the singer’s 14th solo album.

Since ‘Ashes & Fire’, Adams has produced an EP for Fall Out Boy entitled ‘PAX AM Days’ and started heavy metal side-project band Pornography with Make Out singer Leah Hennessy and singer-songwriter Johnny T Yerington.

The ‘Ryan Adams’ tracklisting is:
‘Gimme Something Good’
‘Kim’
‘Trouble’
‘Am I Safe’
‘My Wrecking Ball’
‘Stay With Me’
‘Shadows’
‘Feels Like Fire’
‘I Just Might’
‘Tired Of Giving Up’
‘Let Go’

Adams will headline the Newport Folk Festival at the end of this month and play a series of shows in North America throughout July and August. No European or UK dates have been announced in support of the record.

Daft Punk spotted without helmets at LAX airport

Daft Punk without helmets @ LAX

Daft Punk without helmets @ LAX

Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have been pictured without their helmets.

The pair were filmed by gossip website TMZ, who ‘unmasked’ the band, posting a video of the two unshaven men wearing caps and t-shirts at LAX airport in Los Angeles. See TMZ’s image of the band without their trademark helmets above.

Daft Punk were in Los Angeles to attend and perform at the 56th annual Grammys, where they won five awards.

The French duo’s performance at the ceremony on Sunday night was their first show since returning with last year’s ‘Random Access Memories’. They scooped awards for Record Of The Year (‘Get Lucky’), Album Of The Year (‘Random Access Memories’), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (‘Get Lucky’), Best Dance/Electronica Album (‘Random Access Memories’) and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical (‘Random Access Memories’).

The iconic L.A. ‘X’ punk band – The Unheard Music: Silver Edition [short film]

The X Band

‘X’ the band

“…a vivid collage of sound, image and style […] that match the X band’s music: fast, dense, provocative, uncompromising.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

The iconic L.A. band X changed the face of punk music with their vibrant, original style. We see the band at its peak in this legendary film, which took five years to make. As vital today as the day it was released twenty-five years ago, X: THE UNHEARD MUSIC, preserved by the Sundance Collection as a “seminal independent film,” provides an indelible record of underground America in the Age of Reagan. This innovative and unconventional film puts us inside the world of X using a striking, visionary style reflecting the uncompromising passion and raw energy of their music. Includes seventeen X classics from their critically hailed first four albums: “Los Angeles,” “Wild Gift,” “Under the Big Black Sun” and “More Fun in the New World.”

X: The Unheard Music takes long, detailed, and often funny look at the LA music scene of the late 70s and 80s and focuses on the group X that critics had singled out as the leader of the underground pack. The Unheard Music is a documentary that combines live footage of the band and interviews with the four members (as well as their friends and families) with surreal music videos and montages of newsreel footage and vintage television commercials which help to illustrate X’s uphill struggle against the music industry. Their story rings true even today. Bonus interviews and more.

Legendary punk band X play Under The Big Black Sun at the Paradise Nightclub, Boston MA on May 26, 2009.  Watch video below:

X (the band) – Under the Big Black Sun

X LosAngeles (1980) FULL ALBUM

X: The Unheard Music [Trailer]

Cast & Crew

GENRES

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Blue Sky Blues

Ryan Adams is one of the most underrated, prolific, talented, and versatile musical artists that has come along in the last 20 years. He is typically given the alt-country label but he has dabbled in many different genres over the years from country, to rock, to folk, and even heavy metal.  Unfortunately, he retired from recording and left NYC for Los Angeles. He currently lives in fancy West Hollywood.  Ryan is now a music producer and has his own recording studio. If you haven’t heard his music before I urge you to take a listen. It will be well worth the effort.

Jim James of The Morning Jacket at The Fonda Theatre in L.A.: Concert Review

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Spiritual ruminations meet perfected jam sessions during the My Morning Jacket frontman’s two-hour set, May 11.

Jim James @ The Fonda Theater – Concert Review

The My Morning Jacket frontman goes track-by-track through his solo effort before switching gears to an encore that included a caped cameo by Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst.

Jim James‘ hair is gloriously alive. During solos where the My Morning Jacket frontman hunches over his guitar, the enormous mane overshadows everything else, giving the impression that strands of hair are furiously strumming the instrument.

The opening of James’ set Saturday at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, however, began in a more composed manner. The multi-instrumentalist and singer, attired in a suit and tie, led the evening with songs exclusively from his ambitiously titled solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, released Feb. 5.

Beginning with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U),” the bass-grooving album opener, James went track-by-track through Regions. The dense solo album’s spiritual inclinations were previously stated by the singer to be inspired by the “hazy dream” of a robot and 1929 graphic novel God’s Man. And the reflective interludes, chants and saxaphone solos  initially were a stark contrast to the Southern alt-rock sensibilities of My Morning Jacket.

“I use my state-of-the-art technology/Now don’t you forget it: It ain’t using me,” he crooned.

“Know Til Now,” the first single released from the album, featured a sound akin to material that producer Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) could’ve conjured for James Mercer‘s Broken Bells project or Beck‘s Modern Guilt. “Dear One,” a standout track on Regions, was punctuated by two precisely executed drum solos that drew cheers from the standing crowd at the packed venue.

Like the album, the songs transitioned seamlessly into one another, and James didn’t see the need to break up mood by adding any topical comments. His first words were a cryptic introduction to the fourth song, the sparse “A New Life.”

At times, the expanded live versions of the Region tracks took stabs at grand gestures. The bleak solos of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” and the manic tone of Radiohead’s “The National Anthem” appeared to be influencers.

Jim James @ The Fonda Theater

Jim James @ The Fonda Theater

Throughout the set, James ambled about the stage in a playful mood. He snatched what looked like a bronze ornamental bear prop and playfully twirled around before returning it to its proper place. And, periodically, he would freeze in position, stare out at the audience and smile as if there were some joke that the crowd was missing.

At the conclusion of album closer “God’s Love to Deliver,” James only briefly stepped away from the stage before starting the encore with acoustic tracks. His rendition of the latter-day My Morning Jacket song “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” was helped by stripping the string accompaniment that made the track sound rom-com syrupy on the album.

From there, the evening finally switched gears to head-nodding rock jams when James broke out material from his supergroup side project, Monsters of Folk.

During “Dear God,” the most notable track from the self-titled album, the hirsute frontman was joined by fellow Monster of Folk, Conor Oberst, for a cameo verse. The Bright Eyes singer appeared on stage wrapped in black cape and added his voice to a few lines before unfurling the cape with arms outstretched for the remainder of the track. At the end of the song, he covered his head and vanished offstage.

The set ended with three more Monsters of Folk tracks — “His Masters Voice,” “The Right Place” and “Losin Yo Head” — before ending with a rousing song from his contribution to New Multitudes, a Woody Guthrie tribute album, called “Changing World.”

Then, James inexplicably snatched the ornamental bear once again and appeared as if he were going to toss it into the audience. He seemed to offer it a prayer before setting it aside and leaving the stage for good.

Set List: 

State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)
Know Til Now
Dear One
A New Life
Exploding
Of the Mother Again
Actress
All Is Forgiven
God’s Love to Deliver

Encore:

Wonderful (The Way I Feel)
Dear God (with Conor Oberst)
His Master’s Voice
The Right Place
Losin Yo Head
Changing World

 

Band Of Horses preview another track from ‘Mirage Rock’ album

Band Of Horses have made a third track set to feature on their new album ‘Mirage Rock‘ available to preview online.

‘Slow Cruel Hands Of Time‘ is streaming via Soundcloud below, and follows the previous releases of ‘Dumpster World‘ and ‘Knock Knock‘. ‘Mirage Rock‘, is due for release on September 17th through Brown/Columbia Records, after being recorded with veteran producer Glyn Johns at Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles. The LP follows 2010′s superb ‘Infinite Arms‘ record, and will be supported with four UK shows in November.

As previously reported on Live4ever, Band Of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell has been revealed to be a guest vocalist on Biffy Clyro‘s own new double album ‘Opposites‘.

“I got an email from our manager via their A&R rep asking if I’d be interested in singing on a couple of songs,” he told NME. “I’m a huge fan of those guys, especially of their last record, so I just freaked out. I couldn’t believe it.”

About the band

Band of Horses, originally known for a brief period as Horses, is an American indie rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle, United States (US), by Ben Bridwell. The band has released four studio albums, the most successful of which is 2010’s Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms. The band’s lineup, which included Mat Brooke for the debut album, has undergone several changes; although, the current members, Bridwell, Ryan Monroe, Tyler Ramsey, Bill Reynolds, and Creighton Barrett, have all been with the band for several years. Band of Horses’ fourth studio album, Mirage Rock, was released in September 2012.

Band of Horses toured Europe and North America in 2007, prior to the release of their second album. Joe Arnone was no longer part of the band, which now toured as a six-piece band following the addition of Matt Gentling (Archers of Loaf – bass), Robin Peringer (Modest Mouse, Carissa’s Wierd – guitar) and Ryan Monroe (keyboards) to the line up. The album, Cease to Begin, was recorded in North Carolina and produced by Phil Ek. It was released by Sub Pop Records on October 9, 2007. The album features the core trio of Ben Bridwell, Creighton Barrett and Rob Hampton, with keyboards played by Ryan Monroe. Cease to Begin gave Band of Horses their first hit in the U.S. by reaching number 35 on the Billboard 200 and was also a hit in Norway, Denmark, France and Sweden. It was voted ninth best album of 2007 by Paste magazine and 47th best by Rolling Stone. The single “Is There a Ghost” gave Band of Horses their first European hit single, reaching number 30 in Denmark.

Following the release of Cease to Begin, Monroe became a permanent member of the band, along with new recruits Tyler Ramsey (guitar and vocals) and Bill Reynolds (bass). This once again made Band of Horses a six-piece band. In addition to his role in the band, Ramsey often performs solo as the opening act before the band play live.

In 2008, Band of Horses played at the Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, the Bridge School Benefit concert, and the Roskilde Festival.

Ben Bridwell’s vocals have been likened to Jim James of My Morning Jacket, early Neil Young and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.