tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-54415211502654119332014-10-14T15:08:09.663-07:00Vampire Coffeehouse Where Pop Culture is Your Drink of Choice Courtney Devoresnoreply@blogger.comBlogger31125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-35620657839799013842014-10-02T21:04:00.000-07:002014-10-02T21:08:23.700-07:00Watch the trailer for the new indie film "Honeyspider" <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pdmvvKHixXY" width="560"></iframe><br />To relaunch my long neglected Vampire Coffee House, I wanted to share the trailer for the new film "Honeyspider," which will premier at The Gem Theater in Kannapolis, NC where part of the movie was filmed. The independent film is the creation of NC-based writer/producer Kenny Caperton and Ohio-based director/producer Josh Hasty.<br /><br />The movie is about Halloween birthday girl Jackie Blue (Mariah Brown). It's set in 1989 and instead of really celebrating college student Jackie is coming unglued as a mysterious stranger watches from afar.<br /><br />I found out about it because I've long wanted to write about Caperton's Myers House, the replica of the original house from "Halloween" he and his wife Emily built in Hillsborough, NC. Check it out <a href="http://myershousenc.tumblr.com/">here</a>. Since the movie is premiering in Kannapolis (Caperton frequented the Gem Theater while living in China Grove in high school), I not only get to write about it for my regular job I get to see it on opening night as part of a double feature with "Night of the Living Dead."<br /><br />I haven't been this excited about a semi-local release since Charlotte's Jason Griscom did "Come Get Some" over a decade ago.<br /><br />"Honeyspider" will also screen November 1 at the Raleigh Rd. Drive-In in Henderson. That's also a double feature and its paired with the original "House on Haunted Hill" (which I think scared the bejesus out of my mother in the theater) as well as on Halloween at the Murphy Theater in Wilmington, Ohio.<br /><br />So check out the trailer and, if you're in the area, go see the movie. Opening night is only $5 and what's more fun than homegrown horror?Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-19374572660597780672012-05-30T16:47:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.451-07:00Steve Earle at Neighborhood Theatre 5/2/12 My father died nine years ago last month. In his eulogy I wrote how even though he was gone I could still find him - in nature, in the bluegrass music he loved, in his stories, which I repeat to this day, and in the sad brown eyes of our hound dog Chelsea. Watching Steve Earle perform at Neighborhood Theatre May 2, I was reminded that the place I feel closest to my father is watching Earle perform.<br/><br/>I remember when Dad brought the “Copperhead Road” record home. The skull and crossbones on the cover. Earle in his motorcycle leathers and long hair on the back cover. This was not my daddy’s bluegrass. But it was the rare artist we could agree on. When Earle made a comeback a few years later with the acoustic leaning “Train A Comin’,” he became even more of a connection for my father and I. I’d snatch up each album - “I Feel Alright,” “El Corazon” - at the record store where I worked and take them home to Daddy in his dilapidated house in the woods in West Virginia in the same way he’d bring home cassettes and “Rolling Stone” magazines to me when he worked out of state when I was 11 or 12.<br/><br/>All of these memories come flooding back to me when I watch Earle, who with his graying beard and long hair resembles my father more now than he ever did. Earle is probably my favorite songwriter and I’ve seen him live countless times. After a few years of seeing him in more unusual configurations - last time at McGlohon Theatre he was backed by a DJ - the Neighborhood Theatre show reunited him with the Dukes including his longtime bassist Kelley Looney who actually got to sing lead(!). Earle was also backed by dB’s drummer Will Rigby and new guitarist Chris Masterson and his band mate in the Mastersons Eleanor Whitmore. Sadly Earle’s singer-songwriter wife Allison Moorer, a knockout singer in her own right, was absent. She is spending summer at home having decided that their two-year-old son John Henry spends enough of his life on the road.<br/><br/>Earle hit on the usual suspects early in his set apparently to appease those obnoxious, inebriated fans that insist on yelling “Copperhead Road” for the entire show. There actually was one such fan posted at stage front, but Earle just shrugged and laughed at the guy. Earle’s demeanor was definitely mellower. He wasn’t ruffled by the resident asshole. In fact he and his band stuck around and autographed merch after the show admittedly in an attempt to sell more of it.<br/><br/>He hit on the Celtic “Molly O,” dedicated "Every Part of Me" to Moorer, and “Telephone Road.” If you’re a fan of a songwriter you probably love hearing the stories behind the songs and Earle recited a great, longwinded tale about jumping through hoops to see ZZ Top, among other big names (including Fleetwood Mac when it was still a blues band) in the early `70s in Texas. He and his friends stayed on “Telephone Road.”<br/><br/>Earle’s concert whizzed by with “My Old Friend the Blues,” “Someday,” “Guitar Town,” and “Copperhead Road.”<br/><br/>“Anyone on parole can leave now,” he stated after the run of hits.<br/><br/>He introduced “Galway Girl” by noting his Steve Gilchrist custom mandolin, adding “I quit pimpin’ Gibson’s stuff because I don’t like the way they do business.” Burn! He followed it with “Harlan Man” and “The Mountain,” two songs that resonate with this West Virginia native and union organizer’s great granddaughter. By the time he’d run through “City of Immigrants,” “Taneytown,” “Hardcore Troubadour,” and “The Revolution Starts Now” his blue button-up was completely soaked.<br/><br/>The poignant introductions continued during the encore. He talked about the drama teacher that changed his life and how he continues to look for answers in books. That lead to <a>"Jerusalem,"</a> a song he said he’ll keep singing until seemingly unattainable peace is a reality. (Click on the song title to watch the moving intro and performance on YouTube). His optimism gave me chills. He followed that with “Never Get Outta This World Alive.”<br/><br/>He introduced “Devil’s Right Hand” with another story about how the tune became a gun control anthem years after it was written. His then teenage son Justin (who music fans now know as Justin Townes Earle) stole a loaded gun from under Steve’s mattress shortly after the elder Earle was released from jail. For someone with children his story only reinforced my own opinion - as he is apt to do - about having guns at home.<br/><br/>“I haven’t had a gun in my house since,” he said.<br/><br/>A second encore included his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper.” He ended with the rocking anthem “NYC,” an indication of where his heart really is - back at home in the city with his beautiful wife and son. And I left anxious to see my own little boys - the other place I feel closest to my father. Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-22900101103246377612012-05-04T19:01:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.439-07:00Best Concerts of 2011 <a rel="attachment wp-att-495" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=495"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-495" title="robyncloseup" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/robyncloseup-300x225.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="225" /></a>While doing my taxes this year I realized I'd never finished my list of favorite concerts of 2011. In looking back some were obvious, while I had to think a little harder about others. Some of the bands I fell in love with live and on record I watched with only a handful of people (Lydia Loveless at Evening Muse, Still Corners at Snug Harbor, Hank &amp; Cupcakes, who I highly recommend live, at Amos', and Nurses at Tremont). My husband stands by his top show of 2011 - Sade at Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre. She was great, but I didn't include it because that's really more of his thing and he's thinking of it from a production standpoint more than as a fan. That said, here is my list of my most memorable concerts of 2011.<br/><br/><strong>Robyn at Bonnaroo June 12, Manchester Tennessee</strong> (pictured) - After falling in love with her “Body Talk” album over and over again (in part thanks to my 1-year-old who digs “Dancing on My Own”) seeing her live was a revelation. Her style and actions are sometimes confounding - she wore a football jersey and biker shorts and ate a banana during the set - but her oddities and originality are one reason to adore her. She’s completely original and I always had a special spot for wacky dancers (Natalie Merchant with 10,000 Maniacs on “SNL” or Mary Chapin-Carpenter in the “Down at the Twist and Shout” video for instance). I can’t wait to see her again when she opens for Coldplay on tour in July.<br/><br/><strong>Eminem at Bonnaroo June 11, Manchester Tennessee</strong> - After seeing and hearing his set at Bonnaroo, which sounded amazing, I’d travel to see him again (which might be realistic since his live performances are pretty rare). It was hit packed. He was an incredible showman who engaged the crowd with each beat. It was one of those shows like Arcade Fire’s first Coachella that I felt privileged to witness. My Morning Jacket and Arcade Fire’s memorable sets the night before were also standouts.<br/><br/><strong>Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings March 11 at McGlohon Theatre, Charlotte, NC</strong> - Shimmying in a fringed dress on stage at 55 with a voice that’s strength and soulfulness comes in part from her age and experience, Jones and her crack band are just so good live. Simultaneously raw and polished like live bands should be, Jones demonstrates (along with artists like Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen) that music knows no age limit.<br/><br/><strong>Hopesfall at Amos’ Southend August 5, Charlotte, NC </strong>- I saw the influential Charlotte Christian core outfit at the height of its popularity, but never in the early form that drew such a rabid fanbase here at home. That lineup included friend and original drummer Adam Morgan. The group only did two reunion shows - one here and one at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem - and fans flew in from as far away as Australia to witness them. There was something really special about it both on stage and off. After endless lineup changes and a sort of strange end, it gave those that started it a sense of closure.<br/><br/><strong>Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel November 5 at The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC </strong>- Although my attachment to metal waned as trends veered toward indecipherable lyrics and screamy vocals, this show reminded me of everything I loved about metal when I was 13 and made me give the rest of the contemporary genre another try.<br/><br/><strong>Elvis Costello July 16 at Belk Theater, Charlotte, NC</strong> - "The wheel" - a giant game show prop (think “Wheel of Fortune” with song titles) - allowed audience members' spins to determine the set list. It  only landed on one of my very favorites once (“I Don’t Want to Go to Chelsea”), but Costello served up an interactive show and great career retrospective that rang with spontaneity. I consider him a living legend, but he didn’t behave like a standoffish performer. He interacted with the crowd, joked, and even marched out in the aisles where he sang not 10 feet from us. Each time I see him reaffirms his special place in music history.<br/><br/><strong>Foo Fighters November 8 at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC</strong> - I just don’t think there’s a better live rock band playing arenas today. There’s something joyous in Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’ demeanors that permeates the crowd. I didn’t think it could top its 2007 show at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but it certainly gave it its best shot.<br/><br/><strong>Face to Face May 25 at The Orange Peel, Asheville,</strong> NC - My husband sent me and a friend to Asheville to see this Victorville, CA veteran pop-punk band as a surprise. Neither of us really wanted to make the trip, but were glad we did. Like Anthrax, Face to Face reminded me of why I once wore their t-shirts. I loaded their entire catalog on to my iPod once I got home. Trevor Keith is still a force and songs like “Disconnected” and “Ordinary” as well as pretty much anything off “Big Choice” are just anthemic, pop punk classics.<br/><br/><strong>Kyusss Lives! September 25 at The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC</strong> - Having had a great interview with vocalist John Garcia a few weeks before the show gave me perspective on how much this reunion meant for both the fans and the band and that energy and joy was contagious. This is easily my husband’s favorite show of the year (aside from Sade), but he’s a longtime fan that was musically influenced by the original band. There was something special about the show (and maybe the whole tour was that way). It’s sad that the group is embattled in a legal dispute with fellow Kyuss founder Josh Homme because that hurdle may kill its momentum.<br/><br/><strong>Van Hunt September 29 at Double Door Inn, Charlotte, NC</strong> - Maybe it’s because I love his 2011 album “What Were You Hoping For?” so much. Maybe it’s because his band was so tight and funky. But despite harsh sound, this ranks up there with one of my favorite shows of the year. Hunt is a soulful vocalist. He crosses genres from jazz to funk to jam to rock with ease. He’s not afraid to turn up the weirdness as he demonstrated even more so during his more recent performance at The Double Door, which was a looser, jazzier, more improvisational set than September’s concert. I prefer the former because it was so heavy on new material.<br/><br/><strong> </strong> Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-54340282942390629632012-05-03T14:18:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.427-07:00Q&A WITH ACTOR BILL MOSELEY <em> </em><br/><p style="text-align: left;"><em><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 17px;"> </span></em></p><br/><br/><br/>[caption id="attachment_474" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Moseley as The Magician, photo by Tammy Sutton"]<em><a rel="attachment wp-att-474" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=474"><img class="size-large wp-image-474" title="The Devil's Carnival Teaser Shoot" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/Magician-400x800.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="800" /></a></em>[/caption]<br/><br/><em>With "The Devil's Carnival" director Darren Bousman and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich (“Repo! The Genetic Opera”) have created a fun, visually stunning and colorful musical which is kind of like the equivalent of a visual short story. The movie stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Jessica Lowndes, Dayton Callie, Paul Sorvino, and one of my favorite actors, Bill Moseley (who recently chatted about the project). This Spring Bousman and Zdunich embarked on a touring road show screening “The Devil’s Carnival” in clubs and theaters across the US with some of the actors appearing at individual events - the same approach they took when “Repo!” was bashed by critics and released in only a handful of theaters. With actress/musician Emilie Autumn and music producer Joe Bishara in tow at Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, the screening was more of a full-on experience than simple viewing party. There was a costume contest, a Q&amp;A, autograph signings, and a really well put together collection of "Repo!" rarities. It was a fun, original concept that drew fans closer to the filmmakers. Fans in turn left excited about the prospect of more “Devil’s Carnivals” be it as a series of online episodes, On Demand, or whatever new concept the filmmakers come up with. Hello, HBO!</em><br/><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Moseley, who was recently in Charlotte as a guest at the first Mad Monster Convention (where he sang a little Devo to our son), didn’t make it back to town for the "Carnival" (he was filming a movie in Connecticut) but he did take time to talk to me over the phone about his role as The Magician as well as some of his iconic characters. After seeing “The Devil’s Carnival” I can definitely imagine his Magician taking on a bigger part in a sequel. Our interview is below. </em></p><br/><p style="text-align: left;"><em>The tour is currently winding its way through the Midwest. It ends May 12. Watch the trailer <a href="http://www.thedevilscarnival.com/enter.html">here</a>. </em></p><br/><strong>When you started your career did you have a fondness for horror?</strong><br/><br/>Like any kid I loved Halloween. I loved monsters and seeing scary movies on TV. I definitely had a firm foundation in it. It’s funny in Hollywood people use you and hire you for what they know best. Certainly in the horror genre I have some good credits. I do seem to enjoy that genre. It’s fine with me. It’s good to get work in your chosen profession. Acting is about as independent as it gets unless you get signed on for a TV series. If you’re a feature film actor like me you’re always…<br/><br/><strong>It seems like a constant hustle.</strong><br/>It is. That’s why it is good to have teamwork - an agent and manager in terms of looking for work for you. It’s nice with the internet people can look me up on <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0608405/">IMDB.com</a> and can find my contact info. When I go to horror conventions I’m happy to hand out that information to people who want to work with me. You know it’s a constant effort to get your name out there. It’s…whatever the blue collar approach to (acting is).<br/><br/><strong>So what can you reveal about “The Devil’s Carnival?”</strong><br/><br/>I get to see it for the first time Thursday. That’s the premier that Darren (Lynn Bousman) and Terrance Zdunich are showing here in L.A. So it will be the first time I have seen it. Then I’m going down with Darren and his wife Laura Bousman to a screening of “Devil’s Carnival” in San Diego. I’m appearing at that screening with Clown (Shawn Crahan) of Slipknot, who is also in the film. Then it’ll be on the road for next month. I don’t know that “Devil’s Carnival” would be seen in regular theaters anyway. It's not a feature length film. It's more like TV episode. I haven’t talked to Darrren in terms of what he envisioned in terms of selling it.<br/><br/><strong>How much experience did you have singing and dancing before “Repo?”</strong><br/><br/>I certainly had sung and danced, but certainly not on screen. It was a big leap for me and a happy one. Between Terrance and Darren Bousman and (co-writer) Darren Smith, they saw the potential in me. It was funny because Darren said, “You’re going to have to audition. I know you can kill, but can you sing?” I showed him a cd from a band I use to have with Buckethead called Cornbugs. I did the vocals on the cd. I said, “Well, you’ve heard the Cornbugs.” He said, “Yes, but can you sing?”<br/><br/>The good news is for the past 15 years I’ve taken a weekly singing lesson. I sing Beatles songs at the piano. I do that not so much for my singing career. It’s like a voice gym and as an actor you need your voice in good shape. I was able to take the song Darren wanted me to audition with to my lesson. We figured out the dramatic structure of the song and of course hitting the right notes. I auditioned for Darren, Terrance and (composer) Joe Bishara. I guess I did a good enough job.<br/><br/><strong>So how did prepping for your role in “The Devil’s Carnival” differ?</strong><br/><br/>Going into “Devil’s Carnival” they knew I could sing from my songs in “Repo!,” but they wanted something different. They wanted a different character. I went over to Joe Bishara’s house a couple months ago and they sent me - I don’t know if it’s called a click track, but they sent me the music to the song “The Devil’s Carnival.” It was a relaxed enough situation among friends - Joe and Darren and Terrance. We worked on the song but basically the voice in the song informed me what kind of character they were looking for. It’s a little more high pitched and funny.<br/><br/><strong>Where did you film it?</strong><br/><br/>In Riverside, California on the lot of someone who has collected amazing circus memorabilia. They have booths, a big top and this is all on someone’s property which is not out in the middle of nowhere but right in the middle of town. It was an amazing location. It was all night shoots because, you know, I guess the Devil sleeps during the day. It’s the desert. It’s dusty and cold and we’re dancing around. Fortunately my costume was pretty warm. Not only did I have my red magician’s tux. I had a cape. I was the designated warmer. People that needed to be warmed could spend some time under the cape.<br/><br/><strong>Did it feel like you were stepping into this world? You look at the world they created with “Repo!” and then trailers for “The Devil’s Carnival” is its own unique world.</strong><br/><br/>It’s very exciting because its Darren Bousman’s crazy wonderful vision. He was really fun to work with once again. This was our third project together. I did “Repo!” and I worked with him on a movie called “The Tortured.” It’s fun to work with a director multiple times. You get to know each other. You can get right into your shorthand. You don’t have to worry if this will piss somebody off. (Or ask yourself) "What’s he looking for?" The third time is the charm and we had a great time.<br/><br/><strong>It seems like you’re part of a family of filmmakers that continue to work together with these films and the work you’ve done with Rob Zombie. Is that atmosphere preferable?</strong><br/><br/>In a way with actors being insecure wondering where the next job is coming from. Orson Wells had the Mercury Players. That’s wonderful. You see the same faces pop up. Actors are insecure people craving security. It’s nice to have someone calling you back and when they don’t call you back it doesn’t mean that’s not a good relationship. I had a nice run with Rob - about a ten year run from “House of 1000 Corpses” to “Halloween II.” That’s a long relationship in terms of Hollywood relationships. It’s great to be a part of the “Repo!” family. The familiarity is a happy aspect of it. It gives you a sense of continuity. It’s good for the director’s vision to see how they grow. From a blue collar perspective, it’s nice to keep working.<br/><br/><strong>Mentioning working with Rob Zombie - “The Devil’s Rejects” is such a special movie to me. Did the cast and crew have that same feeling about it? That you were creating something special?</strong><br/><br/>Absolutely. It was a magical experience. It was one of those rare times where all the elements worked together. Sometimes you might have a weak link among the actors, maybe the script doesn’t work or the directing or the plot is thin in places. Sometimes it’s the soundtrack, the marketing. Some fly in the ointment. With “Devil’s Rejects” really everything came together. It was amazing. Rob wrote an amazing script. Sid (Haig) and Sheri (Moon Zombie) and I had already worked together. We were reprising our roles as the Driftwoods and the Spauldings. And again we hit the ground running. I always describe “House of 1000 Corpses” as buying the car and “The Devil’s Rejects” as taking it out for a drive.<br/><br/>I’d never worked on a sequel for any characters I’d created before. Talking about working with directors - In 1986 I did “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” and created the role of Chop Top. I had a great experience working with the director, Tobe Hooper. That was 26 years ago. I’ve enjoyed a great warm relationship with Tobe, who also lives in LA. I’m friends with his son. I’ve had a nice personal relationship with him, but I’ve never worked with him again. It just shows you. I did “House of 1000 Corpses.” I come to that as a professional actor. I try to curb the expectation that it’s nothing personal. They use you or they don’t.<br/><br/>When Rob, I think it was a Superbowl party at his house in 2004 or 2005 - he said we’re going to do another movie, “The Devil’s Rejects.” I said, “Wow that’s cool.” He goes, “But this time I want Otis to look a little different.” He described one of the Allman Brothers. He had a paper plate. We’d been eating Cheetos. And he took a pen and sketched out this Allman Brothers looking character. I said, “First of all you have to sign and date that” - I still have it somewhere. The second thing I said is, “I’ve never grown a beard.” He said, “Why don’t you just stop shaving and see what happens.” So for about four months I let my face grow. Low and behold this amazing beard came out of me. I did not know it had been hiding in my chin and in my cheeks for all those years. It was amazing. That certainly started me on the road to Otis number two. They did shave my head for that. The long hair was a wig. If you watch the “making of” special disc documentary “30 Days in Hell” it shows the day by day video diary of shooting the movie. There are a couple of scenes of me working out stunts with Kane Hodder with this nice beard and bald head. They told me the wig was worth more than I was.<br/><br/><strong>You mentioned doing the “Texas Chainsaw” sequel in `86. Aren’t you in a new version. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D?”</strong><br/><br/>Yes. It’s coming out in January (2013).<br/><br/><strong>How does it fit in with the story?</strong><br/><br/>It picks up where Tobe’s original leads off. After Leatherface is pirouetting in the road with his chainsaw and Sally, with her mask of blood, is laughing in the back of a pickup truck. It cuts back to the Sawyer house.<br/><br/><strong>But Chop Top wasn’t in the original, was he? </strong><br/><br/>In “Chainsaw 3-D” I’m playing the cook (aka Drayton Sawyer). I figured when they contacted me they’d want me to reprise Chop Top. I don’t think they have the rights to “Chainsaw 2,” which is owned by Sony. The hitchhiker (in the original) had been run over by the truck. I was asked to play the part made famous by Jim Siedow. I said, “I’ll try.”<br/><br/>It was a great honor to play that part. I had a great warm and long lasting relationship with Jim and his wife Ruth. It was important for me to play that part and do it justice. I’d rather do it and have someone who wasn’t just hired, who has history and knows the actor. Jim and I are different types, but I did my best. I did have a moment. We filmed it in Bossier City, Louisiana on an Army base. They’d built a replica of the Chainsaw house. There was one point where I was lying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs waiting for the next shot in the front hall of the Chainsaw house and I could look down and see the sliding silver door and there was this red or purple felt against the walls and all these skulls hung up on it like in the original movie. I was covered in stage blood and chicken feathers and it was about 104 degrees with ninety percent humidity. All of the crew were pulling cables and stepping over me and being annoyed with me lying there. I looked up the stairs and looked down past the wall of skulls to the silver door. I saw the blood and had a flash of where I was and just how special it was. I don’t know how many people felt that same way and knew what I was thinking in terms of the history of the movie. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” - becoming a part of that history changed my life and gave me this career. It felt like an honor to be lying there as Jim in that costume in that same character and what that meant. It was short-lived. I’m sure someone asked me to get out of the way, but it was a special.<br/><br/><strong>You’re also taking on a pretty big role as Charles Manson, right?</strong><br/><br/>In “Manson Girls,” which is directed by Susanna Lo. We’re still waiting to shoot that. There is a trailer out for it. I sing the old Doors song “Five to One.” That’s in the soundtrack for the trailer. I can’t wait for that to get into production.<br/><br/><strong>I imagine the Manson murders happened when you were growing up? How much did you remember from that time?</strong><br/><br/>I was aware of it. I was a younger guy. But Charles Manson has been a recurring motif. People were comparing Otis to Manson.  I’ve read “Helter Skelter” and gone online and seen some of the interviews. I was also in a play. That’s one of the reasons Susanna hired me. Years ago I was in a play here in L.A.called “Timothy and Charlie.” Historically Charles Manson and Timothy Leary were in San Quentin in 1974. Playwright Tim Riehl took that piece of history and created a two act play based on the proximity of Timothy and Charlie. They barked back and forth. Timothy Leary talking about experiences with drugs getting you closer to God. Manson is shirtless and screaming, “I did it because I liked to get high." I actually played Timothy Leary in the play.<br/><br/><strong>To play a role like that do you have to identify in some way with the character? In this case the real person.</strong><br/><br/>It’s a fine line between actually taking on that persona and being real in it as opposed to very expert mimicry. I find that with my style I just have to go to those places and let my imagination take me to those places as opposed to trying to approximate and act out something that I may not agree with. I just find it work a little better when I am that person. Not necessarily like Robert Deniro gaining fifty pounds to play “Raging Bull.” With Manson it's going to be a little of him and a little of me. Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-73152710215917850522012-04-10T16:08:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.411-07:00Q&A with Darrell Scott <em><a rel="attachment wp-att-459" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=459"><br/><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-459" title="DarrellScott_hires7" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/DarrellScott_hires71-300x200.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a></em><span style="font-style: italic;">I recently spoke to singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott to preview his Charlotte date and in doing so got to talk to him about his new album, “Long Ride Home,” 2008’s “Modern Hymns,” and growing up in coal country.</span><br/><br/><em>There are several things about Scott’s work that resonate with me. On “Modern Hymns” - a collection of songs that influenced him - he covers two songs that were absolute staples growing up for me. My father often quoted Kris Kristofferson’s “Jesus Was a Capricorn” and we listened to Hoyt Axton’s “The Devil” driving around in the country with our dog. I’ve since put the latter on a mix for my sons. Scott, who is part of Robert Plant’s Band of Joy as well as an award winning writer whose tracks have been recorded by the Dixie Chicks, Travis Tritt, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and others, also grew up in Kentucky. Having grown up in nearby West Virginia we discussed his oft covered song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” (covered by fellow West Virginians Brad Paisley and Kathy Mattea). </em><br/><br/><em>For “Long Ride Home” he employed classic country session musicians piano player Pig Robbins and harmonica player Charlie McCoy (my bass teacher when I was a kid was actually in McCoy’s band on “Hee Haw”). </em><br/><br/><strong>Does the sound of “Long Ride Home” - recorded in your living room  with legendary session musicians - capture a certain era in your musical history? </strong><br/><br/>It’s the sound of my childhood in terms of that’s the sounds I was hearing as an eight-year-old and a12-year-old. By my teenage years I was listening to more rock or pop or jazz or singer-songwriter folks.<br/><br/><strong>Did you have a period where you rebelled against country music?</strong><br/><br/>It happened at about age 16. I’d had enough of the church kind of stuff my family raised me in and the music my family raised me in and I started branching out on my own. That’s why, again coming back to this sound and this kind of song and music is going back and feeling very privileged to have had this as my background. That’s part of the bigger reason of why it’s called “Long Ride Home.” I guess it has been. I’m now 52.<br/><br/><strong>You actually wrote a couple of these songs when you were a kid, didn’t you?<br/></strong>Two of the songs I wrote when I was 16.<br/><br/><strong>Did you stumble upon them in an attic or something?</strong><br/><br/>I remember all this stuff. I do. I not only remember most of my stuff I remember most of everybody else’s stuff too.<br/><br/><strong>Seriously? That’s amazing.</strong><br/><br/>That’s why for an album like “Modern Hymns” I didn’t have any of the lyrics sitting in front of me. I don’t tend to have lyrics in front of me. They tend to already be inside. It stays in there. It’s one of the things that goes on with this particular brain that I have. It’s very helpful because I have a pretty good library of stuff in my head.<br/><br/><strong>Why did you decide to include those two?</strong><br/><br/>Partly because I wrote them with my dad (Wayne Scott). He passed away while I was working on the record. We did a duet on the record. He passed away before I released this thing and unbeknownst to me that’s how those things work out that I put two songs I wrote with dad and a duet (on the record). I think really I was ready to pay my respects to where I came from musically. There’s been country elements to my records all along, but it’s a multifaceted musical thing that gets me going. I’m not going to be making country records. This is just a great place to pay a visit. It was a lovely visit getting to play with some of the heroes, the musicians who made these sounds when I was a kid and literally there’s my dad on the record. There’s the photo of me. When you make the right decision creatively all this stuff comes in to support it. The right photograph, songs, musicians. It’s one of those things that lets me know I’m doing to right thing.<br/><br/><strong>“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” is one that many artists that have recorded your songs seem to be drawn to. Do people, especially those with coal country backgrounds, seem to be drawn to that one because of the subject matter? </strong><br/><br/>Absolutely. I’ve seen it certainly in the artists who’ve covered it. It’s not just coal, but regional bluegrass bands in Colorado. It’s mining or really anyone who goes down in the earth. I’ve seen it done in Wales and Ireland and Northern England where there’s mining. There’s something about people who have a mining background. It’s something that seems to reach out to them, but I find when people don’t have that background it still speaks to them. But absolutely, the West Virginia and Kentucky stuff - they definitely get it. They feel connected with the song and have wanted to record it.<br/><br/><strong>Why do you think those stories are so universal? </strong><br/><br/>It’s part of, not just America’s past, but it goes deeper. There’s something archetypal because people have been sent into dangerous places to bring back the goods for the queen or the coal boss. People have been risking their lives for money from I would bet back to caveman times - “I’m not going in there, but whatever jewel you grab you give it to me when you come back.” I think it’s making somebody do something you wouldn’t do yourself. It’s coal. Yes. But it goes back further than that. It’s something mysterious and haunting and it’s true. It just comes to bear more obvious when we speak of coal. In any of our lifetimes we’ve heard of the horrible stuff and the fires and explosions or lung disease or the shoot outs and all that junk. For some reason coal holds all of that.<br/><br/>Coal songs kind of, to me, bridge the gap between the modern world and that ancient world where we would grab our poorest people and make them do shit we would never do. Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-13020242291592142462011-05-23T19:24:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.402-07:00The boy's growing up: Picking his favorite music on his own <div class="mceTemp" style="text-align: left;"><a rel="attachment wp-att-444" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=444"><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-444" title="Iphone photos3 021" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/Iphone-photos3-021-225x300.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="300" /></a>Now that our oldest son Devo is two he’s starting to pick his own music. “His<em> </em>music” is usually determined by whatever songs have made it on to my iPhone. I try to include all of the playlists I’ve created for him and his little brother. He’ll sit and flip from song to song, perusing album covers and stopping on the ones he either remembers or finds visually appealing. I’m fascinated by what clicks with him. When I started this blog and the more detailed journal I’ve kept since finding out I was pregnant with him it was as an unscientific study of his musical tastes – how the music he heard as a baby and as a child will later inform his preference as a teen and adult.</div><br/><p style="text-align: left;"></p><br/><p style="text-align: left;">I must admit I’m kind of proud when he skips over the kid’s songs from “Yo Gabba Gabba” that we’ve heard a million times in favor of Alice Smith’s “Dream” or the National’s “Abel,” two of his most recent favorites. Driving home from his grandmother’s on mother’s day he repeatedly played the drum solo heavy intro to Valient Thorr’s “Double Crossed” sometimes letting it play through the first chorus before starting it all over again. My husband noted the intro’s unusual time signature. I wondered if Devo, who played my friend’s drum kit on a recent trip to WV, likes the drums. He loves to dance, so it’s no surprise that "house" (meaning <em>my</em>) dance favorites like “Abel” have worked their way into his brain. Few things delight me more than seeing my two-year-old light up when he hears the guitar lead-in and shake his head to Matt Berninger’s shouting baritone.</p><br/><p style="text-align: left;">Other favorites include Julian Casablancas version of the “Saturday Night Live” holiday song “I Wish It was Christmas Today,” the intro and first verse of Jonathan Tyler &amp; the Northern Lights’ “Young and Free,” and Poison’s “Fallen Angel.” He also knows what his brother likes and will grin as he plays Rick Springfield’s “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Human Touch,” Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” or the theme to “Terriers,” which are all what we consider “Indi’s songs.”</p><br/><p style="text-align: left;">He has certain songs he repeatedly returns to, but he seems to discover new favorites daily whether laughing at N.E.R.D. or curious about the feline astronaut that graces the cover of the latest Klaxons' record. This week Abba’s “Take A Chance on Me” is quickly working its way into rotation. Hilarious!</p> Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-82853511222610382502011-03-30T11:32:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.383-07:00Christian Kane talks "Angel." This Buffy fan swoons. <div class="mceTemp"><a rel="attachment wp-att-413" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=413"></a><a rel="attachment wp-att-430" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=430"></a> <dl id="attachment_400" class="wp-caption alignleft" style="width: 266px;"> <dt class="wp-caption-dt"><a rel="attachment wp-att-400" href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?attachment_id=400"><img class="size-full wp-image-400" title="Leverage" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/kaneonleverage.jpg" alt="" width="256" height="144" /></a></dt> <dd class="wp-caption-dd">Christian Kane sings on "Leverage"</dd> </dl></div><br/>In February actor-turned-country singer Christian Kane, who currently plays Eliot Spencer on TNT’s “Leverage,” made his Coyote Joe’s debut after missing the January Stout Pull due to snow. Kane has starred in plenty of hit films like “Just Married” and “Friday Night Lights,” but I remember him best as Lindsey McDonald on “Angel” (this website alone is certainly an indication of my undying devotion to the Buffyverse).<br/><br/>It was on “Angel” that I first saw Kane sing though he also sang for his first acting gig on “Fame L.A.” Kane and I talked country music and transitioning from acting to the stage – Kane’s lived part-time in Nashville for years and his band Kane’s activities were covered in the pages of Angel and Buffy magazines. Although I tried not to geek out he could obviously tell I was a fan and was kind enough to share some “Angel” stories with me.<br/><br/>Check out Kane’s album “The House Rules.” It’s full of rocking radio-ready country and includes the song he sang on Season 3 of “Leverage" (another geek worthy episode that included a nepharious John Schneider and Alona Tal of "Supernatural" and "Veronica Mars" as Eliot's country crooning love interest. Love me some Meg Manning).<br/><br/>Here's the "Angel" portion of our interview.<br/><br/><strong><em>The first time I saw you sing was on Angel when you had your demon hand (transplant). And now with "Leverage." Did those storylines originate because of  abilities you already possessed?</em></strong><br/><br/><em>They did. That was the big thing. For two years I didn’t have a hand and I hated it. I remember the day it happened. It was very funny. Tim Minear was a good friend of mine. He was a writer and a producer on “Angel.” We were sitting there and I had my fake hand on. It was an hour in makeup everyday. I couldn’t eat lunch. They cut off my right hand which is what I do everything with and I was miserable. I was watching all these people. They’re all superheroes. They’re flying around on cables and turning into vampires. I literally looked over and he was writing the next episode and I said “What are you doing Tim?” He said, “I’m writing the next episode. It’s awesome.”  I looked at him and I said, “Kill Me!” I know people don’t want to die on TV shows, especially hit TV shows, but I was like “Dude, kill me.”</em><br/><br/><em>He said, “What are you talking about it?”</em><br/><br/><em> “I’m miserable dude. This hand. I’m in a suit. Everyone’s a superhero and I’m a frickin’ lawyer.” So they gave me my hand back after that.</em><em> And the one thing that David Greenwalt and me had in common was the love of music. He’s good friends with Jeff Bridges and a lot of people don’t know that Jeff Bridges has put out a couple albums. We talked in his office and he said I want you to sing a song. David wrote the song  and that was because I was a musician. That was their attempt to make me happy, which worked. I got to have my hand back and I got to sing a song. </em><br/><br/><strong><em>So were you happy when you returned in Season 5 with long hair, tattoos, and cowboy boots?</em></strong><br/><br/><em>That’s a funny story because I was in New York doing “Taxi” with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon. Joss Whedon called and said, “Hey, do you want to come back?” I said, “Joss, I want to come back, dude. I’ll do whatever you want. David Boreanaz is my best  friend (and he literally was). I want to come back, but I don’t want to get beat up by anymore chicks.”  He started laughing and said, “You have to trust me.” So I show up the first day. Spike’s throwing me around the strip joint kicking my ass. I look over and I go “dude.” Joss said, “Just trust me.” All right bro. I’m getting beat up again. It’s not cool. I trusted him and he gave me superpowers and I got to fight Angel. I did like coming back more than I liked being a lawyer.</em><br/><br/><strong><em>How did you feel about dying in the end?</em></strong><br/><br/><em>The funniest thing about it is, and since you’re an Angel fan I’ll tell you, Joss tried to kill me five times. I would not do it. Everyone died because of me. He kept trying to kill me and since I was a reoccurring character I would never do it. I said, “If you’re going to kill me, I’ll never show up.” </em><br/><br/><strong><em>What about when Lindsey finally is killed, despite fighting on the side of good in the end?</em></strong><br/><br/><em>I hated it. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I felt like I should be there for the final fight. My dear dear friend that we miss every, the late Andy Hallett killed me (Hallett died March 29<sup>th</sup>, 2009). He hated guns and was really nervous about firing the gun at me. It was very sad. He felt bad (and said) “It’s not how I wanted to do things.” It was a really surreal moment with us. I said, “Dude. It’s ok” and he shot me and I died. I think I shoulda been there for a final fight.</em><br/><br/><strong><em>Yeah. Lindsey was a villain but viewers liked him. You wanted to root for him. </em></strong><br/><br/><em>I think that followed me. It’s the same thing that’s going on with “Leverage.” We’re all bad guys, but you root for us. </em><br/><br/><em> </em> Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-7846072466327074062011-01-03T06:32:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.373-07:00In Defense of "General Hospital" 2010 [caption id="attachment_390" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Courtesy of ABC.com"]<a href="http://abc.go.com/shows/general-hospital"><img class="size-medium wp-image-390" title="michael's off to prison" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/michaels-off-to-prison-300x168.jpg" alt="Courtesy of ABC.com" width="300" height="168" /></a>[/caption]<br/><br/>First of all I consider myself a “General Hospital” lifer. I checked in when Luke and Laura were on the island during the Ice Princess storyline of 1981 and I haven’t checked out since (at least not for long). I’ve read a lot of complaints about General Hospital’s 2010 storylines and given that it’s a new year with a new nail biting tragedy (Monday’s bus crash) I felt compelled to defend my favorite soap. Viewers often complain about the lack of romance and the presence of the mob, but this year many lambasted Robert Guza, Jr. and his staff for allowing young Michael Corinthos, Jr. to be the target of possible (probable) prison rape. I’m not condoning rape, but this story while disturbing is exactly the kind of envelope pushing longtime fans expect. Many fans say they want escapism and romance from their soaps, but I want my favorite soap to surprise me the way it did pre-internet spoilers when Jax married Brenda as Lily’s car exploded or as Laura sang a lullaby to Leslie Lu while half of Port Chuck was gunned down. I want the same stunned silence then yelling at the screen in delight that I got when Michael wacked Claudia in the head (avoided spoilers on that one) or when Warren Bauer unexpectedly sent bullets sailing across the lobby. Michael’s story wasn’t sudden, but it does offer the same shock. Why is that?<br/><br/>                On “General Hospital” alone we’ve watched horrified as Laura and Elizabeth were raped. The rapes of Marty Saybrooke, Julia Santos, and Bianca Montgomery on “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” respectively, were some of the most disturbing on television. It’s an issue that daytime has often tackled more realistically than its night time counterparts (at least until “Private Practice”). Daytime has always had more time, given its number of episodes alone, to dig deeper into the issue. So why after watching so many women brutalized in the afternoon are viewers so squeamish about the unseen violation of poor Michael?<br/><br/>                The aftermath of whatever happened in that cell has been well done (though Franco’s role adds to the ick factor). There are so many layers to the story. Michael’s had a chance to develop a relationship with his brother Dante, while his mother (who is completely oblivious it seems to her child’s angst) is preoccupied with taking said brother down. He’s formed a stronger bond with Jason, who got himself sent to prison to keep Michael company – sadly a day too late. It’s also given actor Steve Burton (Jason) a chance to brood about something really brood-worthy. It also made Michael suddenly years more mature than his sister Kristina, who suffered a similar fate yet still exhibits silly teenage girl behavior (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). The best thing to come out of Michael’s story so far is the introduction of Abby.   <br/><br/>                After killing his stepmother, suffering silently through a misguided cover-up, and then being victimized in prison Michael probably wishes he’d never woken up from that coma. That was before he met Abby. Now I’m a sucker for a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold story. Megan on “Melrose Place” was my favorite. There’s something sexy and redemptive about those tales. Abby’s just a stripper dancing her way through college. Not everyone can model (ie. Brenda, see Courtney, Karen Wexler, etc.). GH seems to be glossing over the fact that she agreed to sleep with Michael as a favor to Sam (and we don’t really know if any money changed hands giving that hooker tag some weight). Regardless, I love the pairing. Andrea Bogart is a find. I could listen to her talk all day. She’d make a perfect therapist lulling her patients to sleep with that metered soft tone. She’s also gorgeous. I feel like I’m watching the next super couple being born as Michael and Abby’s scenes follow Sonny and Brenda’s reunion.<br/><br/>                As an aside, after watching Sonny and Brenda’s old episodes on SoapNet I felt like I figured out why my own relationships were so messed up – these two were my role models, my ideal. Yet after watching them fall back in love over the past two months I realized why they were so wonderful. Brenda makes Sonny, who had become narrow-minded, egotistical, and misogynistic, likeable again. His dimples shine every time she lets one of those crazy laughs fly. Suddenly I’m rooting for them, although Dante’s unrequited sweetness in those flashbacks certainly provides conflict. Sonny was never so sweet.  <br/><br/>                I’m anxious to see where Michael’s story goes. Had the writers not been brave enough to address such a controversial issue viewers would never have such a layered, potentially moving story and in turn such a high stakes love story. Carly’s meddling is predictable, but Michael needs Abby to help him heal. He’s come a long way just since the pair started sharing coffee talk at Kelly’s. I don’t know what the age difference is on the show. Bogart is 10 years older than Chad Duell in real life, but given what Michael’s been through it’s unrealistic that he could relate to kids his own age.<br/><br/>                Michael’s story was also connected to Franco - the biggest thing to hit GH in ages until Vanessa Marcil’s return, that is. His connection makes the whole situation even more disturbing, but it did give Franco something to torment Jason with and made the Franco arc heavier. The actual art show episodes seemed rushed as if a few important scenes were cut, but Franco’s second act on the soap was more fun than the first. The way he toyed with Port Charles residents like Jax and Diane was delicious, although the baby napping was out of left field. I loved hearing James Franco discuss his mother’s decision to play her part as an old stoner on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” That made her more fun as well.<br/><br/>                Another fun villain is Lisa Niles. I’m glad GH didn’t rush the breakdown of the Drake/Scorpio marriage. Viewers were allowed to warm up to Lisa before she went completely bonkers and Robin’s self-righteous behavior and preoccupation with her dead boyfriend made it easier to understand why shut-out Patrick would stray. Of course Lisa’s reinstatement at the hospital is unbelievable. Her forced alliance with Johnny was a nice swerve. Finally someone has something on her. The payoff is watching Johnny and Ethan torment her.<br/><br/>                Of course not everything works. It never does. Sometimes we have to suffer through Brenda sitting on her couch in Rome to get the payoff of Sonny presenting her with a humungous Christmas tree. I couldn’t stand Stacey on “One Life to Live” for instance, but her ridiculous pregnancy ruse led to the introduction of Kim and Oliver and Kyle getting custody of Sierra Rose. Now there’s an aborted story that I take issue with. “OLTL” gave us the hottest, sweetest gay couple in soap history, gave them a child, and then practically erased them from the canvas in mere months. That makes me want to tune out more than any of “General Hospital’s” meandering plots. I’m anxious to see where the Balkan storyline goes in 2011, although I hope there’s a deeper connection to Port Charles than Theo the hypochondriac. There is/was a lot of potential there that thus far hasn’t delivered. I’m crossing my fingers for 2011.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-9029896675355710982011-01-03T06:10:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.362-07:00Devo's Xmas 2010 Playlist [caption id="attachment_383" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Discovering snow in WV."]<img class="size-medium wp-image-383" title="devo snow" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/devo-snow-250x300.jpg" alt="Discovering snow in WV." width="250" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/><strong>Devo’s Xmas Playlist</strong><br/><br/>Julian Casablancas – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”<br/><br/>Carina Round – “Takes the Money”<br/><br/>Leslie &amp; the Lys – “Tight Pants/Body Rolls”<br/><br/>OK Go – “Oh Lately It’s So Quiet”<br/><br/>Jukebox the Ghost – “Half Crazy”<br/><br/>Duran Duran – “Union of the Snake”<br/><br/>Miranda Lambert – “Dead Flowers”<br/><br/>Tift Merritt – “Engine to Turn”<br/><br/>Surfer Blood – “Harmonix”<br/><br/>Usher – “Love ‘Em All”<br/><br/>Valient Thorr – “Sleeper Awakes”<br/><br/>The Whigs – “I Don’t Even Care About the One I Love”<br/><br/>Weezer – “Run Away”<br/><br/>David Mayfield – “I Just Might Pray”<br/><br/>Slash featuring Lemmy Kilminster – “Doctor Alibi”<br/><br/>Neon Trees – “Your Surrender”<br/><br/>Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger – “Jardin du Luxembourg”<br/><br/>Stones Roses – “Waterfall”Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-65336873422131131712010-12-31T20:55:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.340-07:00Favorite Albums and Concerts for 2010 [caption id="attachment_371" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Carrots and Green Beans join the Party at Yo Gabba Gabba"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-371" title="carrots and gbeans" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/carrots-and-gbeans1-300x225.jpg" alt="Carrots and Green Beans join the Party at Yo Gabba Gabba" width="300" height="225" />[/caption]<br/><br/><em>These are personal favorites that I either listened to repeatedly in 2010 or walked away from happy that I paid the babysitter and left the house. The list of albums was harder to come by than normal since labels just don’t send that many albums out anymore, especially if a band isn’t playing our market. Two of them I actually rushed out to get on release day, which is always fun. There are still other 2010 releases I want to check out like Best Coast and Liz Phair’s poorly reviewed new disc.</em><br/><br/> <strong>Best Albums</strong><br/><br/><strong>Robyn</strong> <strong>“Body Talk”</strong> The current favorite. From “Dancing on My Own” to “Time Machine” to “Dancehall Queen,” “Body Talk” makes me want to call up my childhood best friend and reminisce about the strong women of `80s pop and R&amp;B we grew up with (Shelia E., Madonna). Is anyone doing mainstream dance music better?<br/><br/><strong>The National</strong> <strong>“High Violet”</strong> The National’s albums have topped my year end lists since 2006’s “Alligator.” They are the shared favorite of my husband and I and we will travel far and wide to see them (within reason). So I’m biased. I still don’t think there is a better more consistent band out there right now.<br/><br/><strong>Valient Thorr</strong> <strong>“Stranger”</strong> Frontman Valient Himself tweeted recently that anyone that had already made up their mind about his interplanetary metal band (North Carolina by way of Venus) should give “Stranger” a chance. And it’s true. I liked Valient Thorr before, but I love “Stranger.” My 2-year-old keeps bringing the streaming Ap up on my iPhone so it gets the toddler vote too.<br/><br/><strong>Future islands</strong> <strong>“In Evening Air” </strong>Another band with Carolina roots. The Baltimore-based outfit manages to pull off something simultaneously angst-ridden and retro, meaningful and futuristic without mussing it up with too much polish. I love the juxtaposition of gruff and smooth in Samuel Herring’s voice.<br/><br/><strong>OK Go</strong> <strong>“Of the Blue Colour of the Sky” </strong>Best known for its videos (which my kid watches repeatedly on YouTube), OK Go also makes great records and puts on great live shows (see below). “Blue Colour” combines a softer dreamier version of the band than 2005’s incredibly catchy pop breakthrough “Oh No” and does fantastic Revolution-era Prince-inspired funk on a handful of tracks.<br/><br/><strong>Arcade Fire</strong> <strong>“The Suburbs”</strong> While I liked its predecessor “Neon Bible,” it didn’t quite capture the magic of the breakthrough “Funeral” (which may be an impossible feat). However, “The Suburbs” comes a hair closer.<br/><br/><strong>My Chemical Romance</strong> <strong>“Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”</strong> – While the current overexposure of the album’s singles (WWE, videogame commercials) is a definite strike against this one it still rings with instantly catchy tracks. I’m a fan of both the music and the thematic schtick. Now if they’d only make a full-length movie to link those incredible videos together, please.<br/><br/><strong>Tift Merritt</strong> <strong>“See You on the Moon”</strong> With a voice like honey, the triangle area songstress (who now lives in NYC) makes a record that looks and sounds like a `70s singer-songwriter album. It’s like a cross between Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks with a voice and warmth that just knocks me out.<br/><br/><strong>Hypernova</strong> <strong>“Through the Chaos”</strong> There’s an urgency in the tracks on this Iranian transplant’s debut that combines electro-rock and dark dance beats with vocals that unintentionally channel Joy Division’s Ian Curtis (can you tell I’m a sucker for those emotive, deep male vocals?).<br/><br/><strong>Girl in a Coma</strong> <strong>“Adventures in Coverland”</strong> Normally I wouldn’t pick a covers record for a “best of” list but Nina Diaz’s voice just bowls me over. Her huge vibrato gives me goosebumps, especially live. It’s my favorite post riot grrrl band and it keeps maturing and topping itself.<br/><br/> <br/><br/><strong>Best Concerts</strong><br/><br/><strong>Muse</strong> Gwinnett Center Atlanta, February 27, 2010 – My husband and I walked away knowing that this would top both our best concerts of the year list 10 months ago as we were braving the cold walking hand-in-hand through the parking lot after the show.<br/><br/><strong>The National</strong>, The National Richmond, April 23, 2010 – Our 5<sup>th</sup> anniversary show was my favorite since seeing the National for the first time in Atlanta before “Boxer” was released. This two-night engagement preceded the release of “High Violet” and was just perfect.<br/><br/><strong>Die Roten Punkte</strong>, Booth Playhouse Charlotte, May 27, 2010 – After witnessing the mad cap mock German punk duo’s opening night performance I recommended this part comedy/part music performance art piece (which was on its way to Spoleto) to everyone I encountered.<br/><br/><strong>Yo Gabba Gabba!</strong>, Ovens Auditorium Charlotte, October 17<sup>th</sup>, 1010 – Meeting Midwest diva Leslie Hall, having Devo’s pics taken with the Gabba gang, the endless merch, the parents singing along, kids beatboxing with Biz Markie, the look on Devo’s face when DJ Lance Rock hit the stage…the whole experience was amazing.  <br/><br/><strong>OK Go</strong>, The Visulite Charlotte, May 12<sup>th</sup>, 2010 – It took OK Go’s first Charlotte show to tear us away from Josh Ritter’s concert midway through his set at McGlohon the same night, but the YouTube stars made it worth the trip with a hand bell performance, funky falsetto, and furry white guitars.<br/><br/><strong>David Mayfield</strong>, Evening Muse Charlotte, December 14<sup>th</sup>, 2010 - Best known for his work with bluegrass act Cadillac Sky and for backing up sister Jessica Lea, David Mayfield quickly became a favorite with a wink, a toss of his hair, and a hip wiggle. Flanked by a band that was as charming as he was, he was funny, flirty, silly, and oh yeah, great musically too. His new album is out January 4<sup>th</sup> and it’s already a contender for 2011.<br/><br/><strong>Foxy Shazam</strong> <strong>with Babyshaker and the Lights, Fluorescent</strong>, Tremont Charlotte, June 28<sup>, </sup>2010 – I don’t know if I’ve seen this much energy on stage since the Arcade Fire’s infamous 2005 Coachella set. Go see them at Amos’ Southend on the 15<sup>th</sup> of January. This was a great bill where the local support was on. Sadly it was my last Lights, Fluorescent show since I was in the hospital during their bow at the Milestone two months later.<br/><br/><strong>Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie</strong>, The Uptown Amphitheatre Charlotte, May 19<sup>th</sup> – Although I could’ve used more Zombie (his set seemed short) seeing these two together was a blast. Aside from the backing vocals on Cooper’s “Poison” (I’ve never heard a better argument for a backing track) this was a fun freak show.<br/><br/><strong>Ben Kweller</strong>, The Visulite Charlotte, November 30, 2010 – I would have loved to see more people come out to see Kweller, who is one of my favorite solo artists. His solo acoustic set made the old punk rocker that accompanied me sorta sad, which I think is proof of Kweller’s depth and charm.<br/><br/><strong>Electric 6</strong>, The Milestone, September 30, 2010 – We arrived late having caught Girl in a Coma at Tremont earlier but the energy of Electric 6 matched the first time we saw them in a tent at Coachella in 2004. I actually thought the floor was going to fall in at one point as the crowd pogoed to the driving dance rock.<br/><br/>Honorable Mentions – <strong>The Pixies</strong> at Ovens Auditorium (I saw their reunion show in 2004 at Coachella, so this show had big shoes to fill. Still it was my second favorite Pixies show); <strong>Paul McCartney</strong> at Time Warner Cable Arena (seeing a Beatle from the 9<sup>th</sup> row was kind of unbelievable and the show was spot-on); <strong>April Smith and the Great Picture Show</strong> at The Milestone (this girl can sing…and swing); <strong>The Whigs, Black Keys, Kings of Leon</strong> at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (The Whigs get better and better, the crowd was completely rapt by the Black Keys, and although I had a baby two weeks before and was ready to leave halfway through their set, Kings of Leon was so much warmer and more personable than the last time they played Charlotte. I also liked the new songs they debuted); <strong>Faster Pussycat/L.A. Guns</strong> at Tremont (everyone I know says L.A. Guns was the better band but I really enjoyed how Faster Pussycat updated its sound).Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-83695948495026090202010-12-07T05:45:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.329-07:00Indio's First Playlist <img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-362" title="wide awake" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/wide-awake2-225x300.jpg" alt="wide awake" width="225" height="300" /><em>We welcomed a new baby brother for Devo in August. Indio is his name. He’s named for the town where the Coachella Festival is held each year (and the hometown of Vanessa Marcil who plays probably my all time favorite soap character Brenda Barrett on “General Hospital.” She actually returned to the show just in time for Indi’s birth this summer). My husband and I have traveled cross country three times for Coachella (once for our honeymoon) so the area is a special, mystical place for us. With a second child I’m tasked with creating unique playlists for two little boys. Devo, at almost two, is all about dancing. He loves watching OK Go videos on YouTube and discovered them all on his own on my iPhone. I dictate more of what Indi listens to. I try to blend whatever’s current with songs we’ve heard on TV (“Suddenly” was used in the karaoke scene on “Terriers” for instance) or have become recent favorites.</em><br/><br/><strong> </strong><br/><br/><strong>Indio’s first Playlist (3 Months)</strong><br/><br/>My Chemical Romance - “Na Na Na”<br/><br/>Robyn – “Dancing on My Own”<br/><br/>Robert Duncan – “Gunfight Epiphany (Theme from sadly departed ‘Terriers’)”<br/><br/>Kings of Leon – “Radioactive”<br/><br/>Valient Thorr – “Double Crossed”<br/><br/>Olivia Newton-John &amp; Cliff Richard – “Suddenly”<br/><br/>Rancid – “Spirit of `87”<br/><br/>Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”<br/><br/>Eminem &amp; Rihanna – “Love the Way You Lie” (#1 the week he was born)<br/><br/>Pink – “Raise Your Glass”<br/><br/>Foxy Shazam – “Count Me Out”<br/><br/>Amusement Parks on Fire – “Road Eyes”<br/><br/>Girl in a Coma – “Walkin’ After Midnight”<br/><br/>Jonathan Tyler &amp; the Northern Lights – “Young and Free”<br/><br/>Ratt – “Dance”<br/><br/>Johnny Irion – “Good Cry”<br/><br/>Future Islands – “Tin Man”<br/><br/>Steel Train – “Kill Monsters in the Rain”<br/><br/>Standard Fare – “Philadelphia”Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-39292444350695029492010-11-27T07:32:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.316-07:00Now Serving - Fall 2010 [caption id="attachment_353" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="courtesy FX Network"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-353" title="Terriers" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/terriers-photo-300x240.jpg" alt="courtesy FX Network" width="300" height="240" />[/caption]<br/><br/>Here are some of my current favorite things. <br/><br/><strong>“Terriers” on FX </strong><br/><br/>I started following Donal Logue’s TV roles with “Grounded for Life” so I felt compelled after the quick cancellation of “Knights of Prosperity” to check out this detective show on FX. The rest of the cast is fabulous too. For the most part it’s a collection of support players that you already liked on other series (Rockmond Dunbar from “Prison Break,” Laura Allen who I remember from “All My Children,” but most will recognize from “Dirt” and “The 4400,” and Loren Dean, Brennen’s brother on “Bones”). Michael Raymond James costars as Logue's BFF and partner. James played Rene Lenier on “True Blood" where he was so bad I almost feel a little guilty for loving his “Terriers’” character so much. Having already fallen in love with the down and out detective series, which is as character driven as it is guided by mystery and corruption, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see whose hands are in it. Tim Minear, whose credits include “Angel,” “Firefly,” “Wonderfalls,” and “Dollhouse,” is an executive producer here. And the irresistible Beck-goes-surf theme song was composed by Robert Duncan, who scored the last season of “Buffy” (his theme is available on iTunes). It’s the one show I make a point to watch live each week. The season finale airs Wednesday 10 p.m. EST on FX.<br/><br/><strong>Girl in a Coma “Adventures in Coverland” </strong><br/><br/>Many artists release covers albums to varying degrees of success. Growing up Metallica’s “Garage Days” helped introduce my friends to bands like the Misfits. On the other hand I was never that fond of Siouxsie &amp; the Banshees’ collection of covers “Through the Looking Glass.” Usually I greet the announcement of a covers album with curiosity and skepticism. There is usually a track or two worth keeping, but “Coverland” is consistent from start to finish as the Texan female trio have their way with everyone from Joy Division to Selena to David Bowie and Patsy Cline. In some cases Nina Diaz’s hypnotic voice, a wild animal that knocks my socks off live, almost makes me forget the originals.<br/><br/>Check out the Robert Rodriguez directed video for “As the World Falls Down” (<a href="http://tinyurl.com/2enrfow">http://tinyurl.com/2enrfow</a>) and another clip, directed by the band’s Jenn Alva, for “Walking After Midnight” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VfN6UmQlfI)<br/><br/><strong> “Haven” Season 2  </strong><br/><br/>“Caprica” and “Warehouse 13” got the critics’ and ratings love, respectively (although “Caprica” was recently cancelled), but it’s this Friday night supernatural mystery series that was the only thing that hooked me this summer (sorry “Mad Men”). Based on “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King, “Haven” plays like a small town mix of “The X Files” and gone-too-soon shows like “American Gothic.” It boasts charming performances by Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour, which is a deal breaker for me - I’ve got to love the characters, which is why I bailed on “The Event” and “Flash Forward” though I really like Jason Ritter and Dominic Monaghan. Congrats to Balfour, who appeared in the pilot of my beloved “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” He’s been in numerous movies and television series, but he’s finally starring in one that’s been renewed for a second season. No start date for Season 2 yet, but thank you SyFy for promising one.<br/><br/><strong>Valient Thorr’s video for “Double Crossed” </strong><br/><br/>A delightful low budget homage to “Walk This Way,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and “Fight For Your Right (To Party)", the North Carolina metal act creates a humorous calling card for its new album “Stranger.” For its part the album quickly eats its way into your brain like a B-movie zombie virus with breakneck singalongs like “Gillionaire,” “Habituary,” and “Double Crossed,” which you can hear and see here <a href="http://tinyurl.com/2c6hnlo">http://tinyurl.com/2c6hnlo</a>.<br/><br/><strong>Singer for Adler’s Appetite </strong><br/><br/>I loved everything about “Appetite for Destruction” era Guns n’ Roses as a kid. I even named my cat Axl. But after Axl Rose’s latest lawsuit, which from the report on Yahoo News sounds like it’s motivated by his hatred for Slash, I don’t see a reunion in the offing. So is there life for Gn’R after Axl? After seeing Steven Adler’s band Adler’s Appetite at Tremont last month I’d say there could be if the other participants were willing. I would pay good money to see Duff, Slash, Izzy, and Adler tour with current Adler’s Appetite singer Rick Stitch (of L.A.’s Ladyjack). Sure Rose has rights to the name, but Stitch and the rest of Adler’s band did a fantastic job of recreating “Appetite” era Gn’R aside from the omission of my favorite “It’s So Easy” (although they did play my other favorite “Rocket Queen”). Stitch was the key. It was just as good, if not better, than seeing Axl’s new Gn’R in Greensboro a few years back. Plus the crowd didn’t have to wait two hours between sets.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-88944944009525457312010-10-13T15:44:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.298-07:00Q&A with Guns n' Roses' Steven Adler <div><em> </em></div><br/><em><br/><div class="mceTemp"><br/><br/>[caption id="attachment_343" align="alignleft" width="231" caption="courtesy of Harper Collins"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-343" title="stevenadler" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/stevenadler-231x300.jpg" alt="courtesy of Harper Collins" width="231" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/></div><br/>Guns n' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" remains one of my favorite albums of all time - in my top 2 or 3. My obsession with that record was extensive. It was the soundtrack to my 6th grade. My grandma didn't even mind me playing it in the car (I turned down the volume during "It's So Easy"). It contained the first song I ever learned to play on bass. I kept a folder of articles on them torn from the pages of metal magazines and wrote a song about Axl, who I named my first cat after (we now have one named Slash). It remains a staple especially with the Guns n' Roses pinball machine (one of the greatest pins ever created) regularly churning out those tracks in our house (although sadly the machine is for sale).<br/><br/> <br/><br/></em><br/><br/><em>So I was giddy to interview Guns' original drummer Steven Adler, who plays Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte Thursday, October 14th with his Gn'R-revisiting band Adler's Appetite. Adler discussed "My Appetite for Destruction," his recently published biography which recounts his tumultuous childhood, his days with the band, and the drug-related downward spiral that landed him on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" and "Sober House."  </em><br/><br/><strong>In the book you spent some time in Vegas. Are you living back in LA now? </strong><br/><br/>I live in Studio City right by Universal Studios.<br/><br/><strong>Have you been to the Halloween Horror Nights attraction at Universal?</strong><br/><br/>I went last year and if I could get another pass where I can go straight to the front of the line I’ll go again. It’s very cool. I went there and and they had the Simpsons ride. It was the best, scariest ride I’ve ever been on in my life. You know how you’re on a rollercoaster you want to raise your hands? Well, I had one of those passes to go straight to the front of line. I rode it like five times. The car you’re in sits in one place its not like you’re rolling down tracks. I tried to lift my hands. I never said “oh my god” so many times in my life.  <br/><br/>The monsters on the Halloween thing last year. We were going through this one thing and Chucky is there. Little Chucky he runs up to me and my wife and says, “You’re Steven Adler from Guns n’ Roses.” Holy crap. This guy is suppose to scare me and he knows my name. The third thing that was cool the Jurassic Park Ride. When the T-Rex comes out to get you they’re playing “Welcome to the Jungle.” I was like, this is the greatest thing ever. Well, one of them.<br/><br/><strong>I bet you go places all the time and hear those songs though.  </strong><br/><br/>Not on the amusement park ride at Universal Studios. The Jurassic Park ride is a huge deal rollercoaster. I went straight home called my accountant the next day and said “Are we getting paid for this?” Every eight seconds it would play the song. It probably played it 1,000 times a day. She said, “Of course you are.”<br/><br/><strong>Was it difficult looking back for the book? </strong><br/><br/>My book shows all the warts and scars and tattoos of my life in rock n’ roll. It was very healing to go back and go over those memories and times in my life. A lot of them weren’t that great. The heavy parts where I was mentally and physically abused in my earlier years. Of course some of it I did stuff to myself. I didn’t do the raping, but I was a young kid hanging out at a place where I shouldn’t be. It was healing for me working with Dr. Drew when I was working on the book. The rape thing where I was sexually abused when I was 13, 14-years-old, I thought if I said something like that for other people’s ears to hear people would think bad of me. Once I did it, I was relieved. We (recently) did a US tour and I got home and built this huge fire in my fireplace. I took my book and threw it in the fire because all that was about making amends to people I’ve hurt and to myself. Remembering the things I don’t like thinking about isn’t so hard anymore.<br/><br/><strong>How long have you been sober? </strong><br/><br/>Nine months now. It’s been about two and half years that I’ve been working on myself. For 20 years before I wanted to be on it. I put so much effort into getting high and doing drugs. If I took one percent of that energy and put it into something positive I would be mega rich. I’d be telling Trump “You’re fired asshole!”<br/><br/><strong>What did you learn?</strong><br/><br/>I relapsed four times before the last time nine months ago. I realize working with professional people that have been through this that (relapse) is a part of recovery. I catch myself, pick myself up and get back on that bull. Nine months ago I was in the right place at the wrong time. It was a drug I hadn’t done before called OxyContin. Two weeks later my wife took a picture of me passed out in the hallway of our house and showed it to me. It reminded me of when I went to “Sober House” and how terrible I looked when I showed up high on heroine and how mean I was. I called Dr. Drew and Slash up, because Slash is over six years clean. I’ve known him since we were 11. His opinion means a lot to me. Because I showed an effort they helped me.<br/><br/><strong>You’re still in touch with most of the other ex-Guns aren’t you?</strong><br/><br/>Izzy (Stradlin)’s hard getting a hold of. He’s a gypsy. Right now he wants to be left alone. He keeps playing music on YouTube. I’m not going to wait. I’ll do my own thing.<br/><br/><strong>As a TV viewer and someone that’s toured with Aerosmith, what do you think of Steven Tyler becoming an “American Idol” judge?</strong><br/><br/>If anybody knows talent nobody knows it more than Steven Tyler. To tell you the truth I never watched the friggin’ show. I think this was the whole angle for “American Idol.” Most people like myself who are the underdogs don’t watch that crap, but if they see Steven Tyler’s on it they’ll tune  in.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-41063471586656581092010-05-18T17:50:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.287-07:00Q&A with Rob Zombie May 2010 [caption id="attachment_325" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="publicity photo"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-325" title="rob zombie small pic" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/rob-zombie-small-pic-200x300.jpg" alt="publicity photo" width="200" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/>Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper play Charlotte May 19<sup>th</sup>, 2010. My preview story on both ran in print and online. Here’s the remainder of my interview with Rob Zombie.<br/><br/><em>I read on Twitter you were doing rehearsals?</em><br/><br/>Yeah. Tonight I’ll rehearse. We rehearse every night. Ooh. Twitter.<br/><br/><em>Do you like doing it or is it a chore?</em><br/><br/>(Hesitates) I’m going to be honest. It’s kind of stupid. I do it because I feel like maybe I should because people like it. It’s kind of interesting with your friends. For strangers it’s a little weird, but when you know what your friends are doing when they haven’t told you it’s a little strange. When you see your friends and go “I heard you were going to see ‘Kickass’ but you were busy.” They’re: “How’d you know that?”<br/><br/><em>Do you remember the first time you noticed Alice Cooper as a kid?</em><br/><br/>Hmm…no. The first time I may have seen him I may have been shopping and seen the album. I can’t remember the first time. Maybe Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.<br/><br/><em>But he became an influence?</em><br/><br/>I’ve always loved him. Alice Cooper, Elton John, Kiss. That’s what exposed me to music.<br/><br/><em>Do you consider him the first to combine rock and horror?</em><br/><br/>The only other person who maybe did it before was Screaming Lord Sutch, an English artist back in the sixties. That’s just a minor footnote. I would attribute almost everything to Alice. He did it before Kiss. He did it before anybody.  <br/><br/><em>I always liked horror and bands that built that into their imagery. Do you have any theories why some people are drawn to that kind of thing?</em><br/><br/>I do. I don’t know why some people are, but I know why I was. I never realized it until I would do so many interviews and people would ask that question, I analyzed it. The thing I came up with for myself is as a kid sometimes you’re just the weird kid. You’re not striving to be the weird kid. Being weird when you’re a little kid sucks…(In monster movies) there was always a soul to the monster. The monster was always at its base some sort of misunderstood creature. Especially Frankenstein was a misunderstood creature who didn’t ask to be born or didn’t ask for anything. He wasn’t trying to kill anyone or wreak havoc, he just didn’t know any better. As a kid you don’t relate to the hero trying to kill the monster. You’re a second grader watching these movies, so you’re not analyzing it. But I think that’s why me and my friends identified with the monster. I think that’s how it all begins.<br/><br/><em>Is that why you gave Michael Myers (in his remake of “Halloween”) more of a backstory? More reasons for why he was the way he was? </em><br/><br/>Exactly because I thought that I wanted to take Michael Myers, who was basically a faceless killer who had no personality and no soul and reinvent him as a modern day Frankenstein. He is this big brooding monster with the soul of the 10-year-old boy, the mind of a 10-year-old-boy. The things he’s doing are horrible but I wanted there to be somewhere in there this lost demented soul. It’s far more interesting to me than Hey! teenagers are naked and you’ve got some guy stabbing them. I was never a fan of “Friday the 13<sup>th”</sup> or that stuff.<br/><br/><em>The “Devil’s Rejects’” characters are so beloved. Is there ever any thought to going back and doing something that shows why they turned out the way they did?</em><br/><br/>(Sighs) No. The main reason is that for the most part prequels don’t work because people already know the outcome. And also for the actors it would be harder to play their younger selves and if you replaced them with other actors it would be horrible. It was kind of like “Butch and Sundance: The Early Days” and they didn’t get Robert Redford or Paul Newman. (Note: It actually stars “Greatest American Hero” William Katt and Tom Berenger).<br/><br/><em>What else are you planning movie-wise?</em><br/><br/>Several things on backburner. Nothing concrete. I’ll spend 2010 touring and doing music and won’t start the next movie until 2011. I don’t know what it is yet.<br/><br/><em>Would you ever do something that was more CGI based? </em><br/><br/>I would never say never basically to anything. Typically that’s not really my thing that I’m excited about. I like actors and working in that capacity. When you get into doing these big CGI movies it’s not really about that anymore. You basically have actors on green screens and you spend the next year in the digital world. That’s not what excites me about making movies. It might excite me about watching certain movies, but it doesn’t excite me about making movies.<br/><br/><em>“Halloween 2’s” up for a couple MTV movie awards and as someone who was actually on MTV painting the sets on “Headbanger’s Ball” at one time, MTV has changed so much.</em><br/><br/>Yeah it’s a totally different thing.<br/><br/><em>Is the Movie Awards one of the last ties to the old MTV? </em><br/><br/>I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to it. I would love to love it. I used to like MTV because I liked watching music videos. I don’t care about any of the other stuff and I never watch it.<br/><br/><em>Has the internet filled that void? </em><br/><br/>The internet has and it hasn’t. You can go watch any video or clip of any band any time which is spectacular. You can find old stuff, new stuff. The thing I miss about MTV showing videos is that there was something cool that when something was playing everybody across the country was watching it at the same time as you. Everybody was tuning in to see the new whatever video. If you’re scanning through YouTube you’re the only guy watching at that moment. There was something about the cool consciousness of everybody watching it. I remember Tim Burton saying this once about why he liked watching movies on TV. There was something fun about other people sitting at home watching it too. I know I’ll go and buy some TV show on DVD and I never watch it. If it comes on TV I have to sit down and watch it. Somewhere down the street someone’s sitting in their house watching it.<br/><br/><em>The whole shared experience.</em><br/><br/>I think that means something.<br/><br/><em>Do you bother making videos now?</em><br/><br/>We do, but not really. We made one for the new album, but I’m kind of sick of music videos truthfully. I was excited about them for a while. You make ‘em and get on TV - for all the reasons I just mentioned. Now it gets shrunk down to a dinky little screen. Once I started making movies the thrill of making music videos went away.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-88924102607932592402010-05-16T15:52:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.275-07:00Musical Tastes Can Form Bonds <img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-320" title="avett bros tee" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/avett-bros-tee1.jpg" alt="avett bros tee" width="216" height="162" />Sitting here with my 1-year-old asleep beside me on a quiet Sunday night listening to Jane’s Addiction’s “Ain’t No Right” it hit me how taste in music is so much more than that. It often guides you, not only toward a career as it has my husband and I, but it can determine the people you share your life with. This isn’t always true of course. My college roommate’s record collection consisted only of Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. We were still friends. But when I think of the friendships that are formed out of shared musical tastes or even just a passion for music, I find that the trend has followed me throughout life.<br/><br/>                Would I be as close to my high school friends Trey and Heather today if they didn’t come to Charlotte for concerts? I don’t know. It’s something that has kept us connected despite living three states apart for 17 years. So much of the time we spent bonding as kids was scored by a soundtrack of Siouxsie Sioux, Gwar and yes, Jane’s Addiction. I remember the night our friend Josh introduced me to the Pixies (a band whose reunion 15 years later was essential to the cross country courtship with my future husband). I remember dancing to the Cure in Trey’s room. I remember my boyfriend’s animated passenger seat dance to the Pixies’ “Dig for Fire” and Heather waving her mini bat through the sunroof of another friend’s Celica as if she were in a one (crazy) woman parade whenever “Magic Carpet Ride” would play. A completely different group of friends, which we goofily yet proudly referred to as the Posse, was built around weekly 9<sup>th</sup> grade slumber parties spent dancing to old Prince, L.L. Cool J and not so old Bel Biv Devo.<br/><br/>                More so than those isolated incidents are the friendships that were sparked because of a shared musical interest. My friend Tina and I didn’t have much to discuss during our shifts together at Record Exchange until management made us fill out a music survey and we discovered our shared love of Detroit ska-punk band the Suicide Machines. My husband’s best friend and I hit it off (before I knew my husband) because of Clutch. Their own 20 year friendship survives on a shared love of guitars, amplifiers, and fishing. My long distance bestie Molly and I had worked together for a few years, but it was an eight hour trip to Atlanta to see Depeche Mode that solidified a bond that withstands eight years and thousands of miles. How different things would be had my college buddy Brooke and I not logged many miles together to Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Winston, and Atlanta to see artists like the Spinanes, Cibo Matto, Elastica, Letters to Cleo, Morrissey, and Ani DiFranco.<br/><br/>                Of course there’s Phil, my husband. I met him at a club. I don’t know who I was there to see, but it was years later that a friendship really formed on the way to see Concrete Blonde in Asheville. Our romance and even our marriage blossomed during trips to the Coachella Festival in the California desert. Our tastes differ. He loves classic rock and doesn’t “get” the Pixies or punk rock. He likes slow hypnotic dirges while I prefer fast and loud. But when we agree, it’s brilliant - The National, Interpol, the Cardigans’ “Long Gone Before Daylight” album. Arcade Fire at their first Coachella, the National and Muse in Atlanta (years apart) - those are some of our favorite times together.  <br/><br/>                Although they may not realize it as its happening, my children may find themselves drawn to those friends collected because of the simplest thing be it a shared love of games, sports, food, art, TV, film or music. When I look back it’s hard to imagine my friends without a soundtrack. In fact I can imagine a playlist where one song represents each of them. Although it’s often hard to pick just one.<br/><br/>The Pixies – “Dig for Fire” (Chris)<br/><br/>Jethro Tull – “Aqualung” (Crystal)<br/><br/>Siouxsie &amp; the Banshees – “The Passenger” (Heather and baby Kenzie)<br/><br/>Neil Diamond – “Cherry Cherry” (Molly)<br/><br/>Led Zeppelin – “Tangerine” (Christy and Crystal)<br/><br/>Biohazard – “Tales from the Hard Side” (Mike)<br/><br/>Presidents of the USA – “Lump” (Ellen and Brooke)<br/><br/>Shania Twain – “You’re Still the One” (Tina and Chandler)<br/><br/>Kid Rock – “Cowboy” (Pissy)<br/><br/>Gwar – “Sick of You” (Heather)<br/><br/>Sheila E. – “The Glamorous Life” (Jennifer)<br/><br/>Kiss – “Heaven’s on Fire” (Keri)<br/><br/>When in Rome – “The Promise” (Tina and Chandler)<br/><br/>Foo Fighters – “Everlong” (Leonard)<br/><br/>The Smiths – “Ask” (Mike)<br/><br/>The Cure – “A Strange Day” (Trey)<br/><br/>Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You” (Sherry)<br/><br/>Erasure – “Chorus” (Josh)<br/><br/>Mary Chapin Carpenter – “Down at the Twist and Shout” (Scott)<br/><br/>Outkast – “The Way You Move” (Sam)<br/><br/>L.L. Cool J. – “The Bristol Hotel” (Andrea and the posse)<br/><br/>Nena – “99 Luft Balloons” (Jennifer)<br/><br/>Switchblade Symphony – “Sheep” (Brooke)<br/><br/>Q-Feel – “Dancing in Heaven” (Keri)<br/><br/>Last names withheld for the safety of good taste in some cases at least.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-60268238694770635692010-05-16T09:42:00.000-07:002013-08-06T15:52:35.265-07:00Miranda Lambert Opening Night Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour 3/18/2010 It’s been over a decade since I saw a show at the Raleigh County Armory (now called The Beckley Convention Center) in my hometown of Beckley, WV. My mother saw the Supremes there on Dick Clark’s Caravan of the Stars when they were a young support act and she was a teenager and later saw the Carpenters there in the `70s. One of my very first concert was “Queen of Hearts” Juice Newton who played the Armory at the height of her “Angel of the Morning” success. That memory was a bit sullied after my dad flipped when she (according to her roadies) refused to sign autographs after the show. It wasn’t a huge deal to me, but Dad never had a good word to say about her after she unknowingly shunned his 6-year-old.<br/><br/>                Returning almost 30 years later for opening night of Miranda Lambert’s Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars tour was almost like stepping back in time since The Armory has barely changed in the past few decades. It looks more like the site of a county fair or touring one-ring circus than the state of the art arenas we’re used to, but that is part of the charm in pairing the “Famous in a Small Town” singer with a literal small town – there’s a sense that Lambert and her crowd just get each other.<br/><br/>                Towering figure James Otto’s opening set included Bob Seger’s “Night Moves,” his own “Drink &amp; Dial,” and a shout out to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” (one of those universal party tracks that unites fans of all styles), his #1 track “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” and “In Color,” the Academy of Country Music Association’s 2009 song of the year that Otto co-wrote with Jamey Johnson. It all went over well. The only drawback was sound quality, which was expected in a building that was built long before acoustics were a consideration. Close your eyes and you might think you were listening through a tin can or from the next room. Surprisingly the sound was just as harsh when my sister and I saw Lambert at Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte a couple years ago.<br/><br/>                I eventually forgot about the sound issues as if they’d dissipated during Lambert’s set though. They didn’t but her performance and charisma overshadowed technical hiccups. Stomping about in a sequined tank, leather fringed vest, and jeans, Lambert was introduced with Steve Earle’s “The Revolution Starts Now,” a reference to her award winning album “Revolution.” In that moment I realized the parallels between those feisty Texans. Although Lambert operates within Nashville’s confines, her output is sharp, witty and unapologetically feminist while also heartfelt. Although Earle is very much an alt-country Nashville outlaw now, when he emerged with “Guitar Town” and “Copperhead Road” in the eighties he was a hit maker able to chart his own course within country music’s capital. Like Earle, Lambert is a jagged rock jutting out from a sea of smooth, indistinguishable polished stones. That’s what I like about both.<br/><br/>                She kicked off her set with her debut hit “Kerosene,” unleashing that sonic firecracker early on and relying heavily on her latest album for the bulk of the set. Her sense of humor, sass and intelligence shined during “Only Prettier” and “Dry Town.” Lambert’s not all spunk and sass, she can vocally back up that schtick wailing on power ballads like “Dead Flowers,” one of many “Revolution” tracks she penned or co-wrote. As on her albums, she chooses cohesive material that echoes her image - Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Merle Haggard, and even Joan Jett made the cut (she covers Fred Eaglesmith and Buddy Miller on “Revolution” as well).   <br/><br/>                “We wanted to be where we knew the party people were,” offered Lambert before launching into “Famous in a Small Town.” Other songs included “Love Song” (co-written with fiancé Blake Shelton), “Heart Like Mine,” which she said was a personal favorite from the album, and one of my favorites “Me and Your Cigarettes.”  <br/><br/>                “I can barely leave the stage sometimes without singing a Merle Haggard song,” she said perching on a stool at stage front and introducing the acoustic portion of her set with Haggard’s “The Way I Am.” The band joined in during the brief but lovely “Airstream Song” (my current favorite). Despite already having the audience in the palm of her hand Lambert kicked it up a notch by tossing in an a capella version of “Take Me Home Country Roads.” There’s no better way to charm a roomful of West Virginians, although the crowd did seem a bit distracted during the quiet single “The House That Built Me.” It fails to perpetuate the tough image of singles like “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder &amp; Lead,” but “House” may help to alter public perception about Lambert’s stylistic diversity. She returned to more familiar territory for the riotous “Sin for a Sin” (another Shelton co-write), “Gunpowder &amp; Lead,” and “That’s the Way That The World Goes Round.” She ended the set with her latest award winning single “White Liar,” a duet with Otto, and Jett’s “I Love Rock n’ Roll.” The latter fit the rocking nature of her set well.<br/><br/>                Although the sound would be particularly annoying for someone less familiar with her albums (my mom could rarely understand the words), I enjoyed her show immensely. The consistency and spunk of Lambert’s “Revolution” is a new country revelation.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-15193185286373619042010-03-07T15:54:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.253-07:00Devo's Playlist at 1 year [caption id="attachment_301" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Feeding himself"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-301" title="2010 iphone 038" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/2010-iphone-038-225x300.jpg" alt="Feeding himself" width="225" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/>The Whigs – “Naked”<br/><br/>V.V. Brown – “Shark in the Water”<br/><br/>Ting Tings – “That’s Not My Name”<br/><br/>Brandi Carlile – “Dreams”<br/><br/>The Bravery – “Slow Poison”<br/><br/>Spindrift – “Ace Coltrane”<br/><br/>Rob Zombie – “Mars Needs Women”<br/><br/>The Noisettes – “Beat of My Heart”<br/><br/>Lady Antebellum – “Need You Now”<br/><br/>Motion City Soundtrack – “Her Words Destroyed My Heart”<br/><br/>Over Mountainmen – “Coney Island Express”<br/><br/>Muse – “Undisclosed Desires”<br/><br/>Corinne Bailey Rae – “The Sea”<br/><br/>Heartless Bastards – “The Mountain”<br/><br/>Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”<br/><br/>The Features – “The Temporary Blues”<br/><br/>Greg Laswell – “This Woman’s Work”<br/><br/>Miranda Lambert – “White Liar”<br/><br/>Justin Townes Earle – “Midnight at the Movies”<br/><br/>Foo Fighters – “Wheels”<br/><br/>Butterfly Boucher – “Bright Red”<br/><br/>Andrew Belle with Katie Herzig – “Static Waves”<br/><br/>Allison Moorer – “The Broken Girl”<br/><br/>Alicia Keys – “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart”<br/><br/>Cage the Elephant – “James Brown”<br/><br/>Metric – “Stadium Love”Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-45460389277853139972010-03-07T15:48:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.244-07:00Devo's Playlist at 9 months [caption id="attachment_297" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Devo at Portofino&#39;s"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-297" title="2010 iphone 006" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/2010-iphone-006-300x225.jpg" alt="Devo at Portofino's" width="300" height="225" />[/caption]<br/><br/>Here's some of Devo's musical staples and favorites at 9 months to 1 year.<br/><br/>Alice Smith – “Dream”<br/><br/>Muse – “Uprising”<br/><br/>Face to Face - "Disconnected"<br/><br/>The National – “Abel”<br/><br/>Greg Laswell – “Off I Go”<br/><br/>Landon Pigg – “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop”<br/><br/>Blink-182 – “Always”<br/><br/>Ludo – “Drunken Lament”<br/><br/>Dead Weather – “Treat Me Like Your Mother”<br/><br/>Dixie Chicks – “Silent House”<br/><br/>Chairlift – “Planet Health”<br/><br/>Letters to Cleo – “Awake”<br/><br/>Rick Springfield – “Human Touch”<br/><br/>Shakira – “Did It Again”<br/><br/>Miranda Lambert – “Airstream Song”<br/><br/>Motorhead – “Killed by Death”<br/><br/>Darrell Scott – “The Devil”<br/><br/>Kylie Minogue – “In My Arms”<br/><br/>Kelly Osbourne – “I Can’t Wait”<br/><br/>Kool &amp; the Gang – “Jungle Boogie”<br/><br/>The Lights, Fluorescent – “Seaside Suicide”<br/><br/>Rancid – “Fall Back Down”<br/><br/>Pretty Girls Make Graves – “This is Our Emergency”<br/><br/>Ricky Skaggs – “Heartbroke”<br/><br/>The Roots – “Here I Come”<br/><br/>Poison – “Fallen Angel”<br/><br/>The Noisettes – “Wild Young Hearts”<br/><br/>Pat Benatar – “Don’t Walk Away”<br/><br/>Sum 41 – “The Hell Song”<br/><br/>Tegan &amp; Sara – “Hell”<br/><br/>The Ting Tings – “Happy Birthday”Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-42373686734649278152010-03-07T13:57:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.235-07:00Review: Muse and Silversun Pickups Atlanta 2/27/10 [caption id="attachment_285" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Muse hits the stage with &quot;Uprising&quot; "]<img class="size-medium wp-image-285" title="MuseAtlanta10" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/2010-iphone-030-225x300.jpg" alt="Muse hits the stage with &quot;Uprising&quot; " width="225" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/>                If you’re considering going to see Muse before their current US tour with Silversun Pickups concludes at Coachella on April 17<sup>th</sup> – go. My husband and I were lucky enough to make it to opening night of the tour in Atlanta. The towering skyscrapers erected behind openers Silversun Pickups during its set will come as no surprise to those who’ve seen Muse’s video for “Resistance,” but the massive screens and towering podiums on which the headliners performed several songs helped duplicate the apocalyptic political spirit of the British trio’s latest sci-fi opera of an album (also titled <em>The Resistance</em>).<br/><br/>                But first the Pickups. I really like the continuity and cohesiveness of the L.A. four-piece. They have a sound – sweeping fuzzy swirling guitar melodies, big bass lines, and a drummer that thrashes about like Animal from The Muppets – and they don’t veer far from that identity, which allows me to get caught up in the moment (either live or on record) and stay there. In that way they remind me of a Pixies or even Kings of Leon. I was just happy, given how nice frontman Brian Aubert was during our interview last fall, that such a good yet humble band was opening such a sweet tour.<br/><br/>                The dynamics-driven group crept up on its audience slowly with Aubert’s quiet fluttering vocals, Nikki Monninger’s building borderline disco bassline, and a wash of keys and Edge-y guitar cresting to the song’s end like a rolling snowball picking up speed downhill during “Growing Old is Getting Old.” By the second song it proved that its brand of reverb-dripping indie-rock translates well to an arena. Aubert’s inverted shadow against the backdrop during “There’s No Secrets This Year” made him seem a much funkier dancer than he appeared on stage, but by “Panic Switch” he and Monninger were thrashing about in controlled fits. Their energy escalated during “Sort Of” and “Substitution,” but the crowds peaked during the final song. The band’s biggest hit “Lazy Eye” found the entire floor section throbbing.<br/><br/>             No matter how well Silversun Pickups’ spacey rock translated to the big stage, it was no match for the grandiosity of Muse’s set which began with those towering skyscrapers dropping their drapes and revealing vocalist/guitarist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard each perched on his own tower. The two opening tracks of <em>The Resistance</em>, “Uprising” (which ABC has brilliantly used to promote its <em>V</em> remake) and the title track, set the pace for the night’s post-apocalyptic theme complete with a sort of militaristic vibe (motivational lyrics displayed on the giant digital podiums that held the band) and Bellamy in shimmering silver leather and mirrored sneakers poised as leader. Even older songs like “Map of the Problematique” and “Supermassive Black Hole” played on the theme, which made me realize that triumphant gloom and doom isn’t exactly new for Muse. It’s just that they’ve taken the ideas explored in earlier songs like “Time is Running Out” to the next level on <em>The Resistance. </em>Yet the strength of the songs and the performance kept the sci-fi theme from overtaking the music. Their songs may at times recall the bombastic theatrical quality of Queen at its <em>Flash Gordon/Highlander</em>-campiest, but at its heart Muse is more music than mere show.<br/><br/><em>                </em>With the addition of a keyboardist half-hidden between the pillars that rose and sunk into the stage, Muse kept the momentum of those opening numbers through crowd pleasers like “MK Ultra,” “Interlude” and “Hysteria.” Bellamy climbed behind a glass-top piano for the over-the-top Queen-like “United States of Eurasia” and “Feeling Good.” Each song seemed as grand and majestic as the next. “Undisclosed Desires” added a touch of Timbaland-style hip-hop production to the evening as green lasers danced like a million busy lightning bugs at the back of the building. “Starlight,” an anthem that out Coldplays Coldplay, however didn’t quite seem as ridiculously romantic and big as it does on disc. Longtime fans went nuts for “Plug in Baby” as balloons dressed as bloodshot eyeballs fell from the ceiling.<br/><br/>                “Time is Running Out,” which found Bellamy doing his own version of the moonwalk, and “Unnatural Selection” ended the regular set, but the band returned to cap off the evening with “Exogenesis Overture” and “Stockholm Syndrome.” The final slot was saved for the band’s most stylistically bold single, “Knights of Cydonia.” Beginning with the stocky, serious Wolstenholme’s harmonica solo the band dove into the wild, sincere marriage of old west, starry eyed harmonies, and guitar theatrics. Muse never wavered from its initial momentum. “That may be the show of the year,” my husband said as we stepped into the chilly night air. And it’s only February.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-56713569265096865892010-01-21T07:22:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.222-07:00Mourning Conan's Tonight Show It looks like Friday will be Conan O’Brien’s last <em>Tonight Show</em>. To me his rude dismissal signifies another blow to what I thought was my generation stepping up. When Conan aired his last <em>Late Night</em> last winter I was laying in a hospital bed having had a baby two days earlier. My mother was snoring on the couch beside me as I watched Conan gracefully say his (albeit temporary) farewell. Turns out it might not have been so temporary. Tears streamed slowly down my cheeks as he said goodbye to New York and thanked his staff, his guests, and his viewers for sticking with him through those iffy early years. I felt like I was witnessing history, the changing of the guard.<br/><br/>                With O’Brien heading up late night and <em>Saturday Night Live</em> vet Jimmy Fallon moving into O’Brien’s old slot it looked as if late night entertainment would be more <em>my</em> entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I love Craig Ferguson’s wacky who-cares unpredictability. When David Boreanaz, Kristen Bell or Emily Deschanel are guests, the chemistry is genius. But I’ve never watched a late night show for the host. I just flipped back and forth to see which guest I liked best (until <em>Jimmy Fallon </em>started getting really good last fall. His “Real Housewives of Late Night,” the Roots slow jamming the news and writing songs for audience members on the fly, and Fallon’s genuine excitement about his guests make me tune in nightly). I thought I was bringing a baby into a world with a president my generation elected and a television line-up representative of that same youthful optimism. A year later I feel like it was all a tease. The boomers are taking it back and when someone who put 17 years into a job – and did it well - is treated with such disrespect it’s a little disconcerting. I lose a little bit of the faith in people that I gained in the last year. <br/><br/>                 The last few weeks have proven that O'Brien's monologues are the best in late night and although he toned down the weirdness of his later show, I especially enjoyed the parking lot stunts and his new-to-L.A. outings early on. But I couldn’t really pinpoint what I liked best about Conan until this whole debacle at NBC went down. Then he refused to move <em>The Tonight Show</em> from the slot it has occupied for decades. It was not only respectful to the legacy of the show, but to the hosts and staffs of <em>Late Night with Jimmy Fallon</em> and the all but forgotten <em>Last Call with Carson Daly</em>. When news broke that the line-up as we know it was in danger, I worried for the fate of not only O’Brien, but Fallon and Daly. I’d either lose a show or I’d never get to sleep. It wasn’t just my schedule I was worried about though. I was impressed that Conan rejected NBC’s offer to bump his show back because he not only honored the legacy of the show, but acted to protect the jobs of NBC’s other late night hosts and their staffs.<br/><br/>                 I waited confidently, as did David Letterman, for Jay Leno to step aside, admit defeat and honorably refuse to take back his show. He did not. I was shocked and disappointed. It’s one thing for a faceless corporation to disregard its employees (as we’ve experienced close to home this week), but for a peer? I realize Conan is walking away with millions, but at what humiliating cost? Losing a show after only seven months?<br/><br/>                <em>The Tonight Show</em> has been a fixture in my family since its early days. My great Aunt Nellie, an eccentric, unintentionally hilarious, and extremely generous woman who was like a grandmother to me, watched it religiously. She was a night owl, often up addressing Christmas cards or cutting newspaper articles until 4 a.m. I follow in that pattern (not the cards or papers, mind you). We don’t fall asleep during <em>The Tonight Show</em> with the remote in our hand and a string of drool creeping down our chins. I’m lucky if I doze off through <em>Carson Daly</em>, which in the last year has gone from almost unbearable (unfunny comedy) to fresh and innovative (with an original, newsy format and focus on music and entertainment Daly is passionate about). I thought that the new late night line-up coinciding with the birth of our son Devo signified a new era. Devo (yes he’s a night owl too) watches late night and often applauds along with the crowd when O’Brien steps from behind the curtain. I thought he would grow up with Conan as I did with the wonderful Johnny Carson, as this lovely genial presence that is always there. And he still may if O’Brien continues in late night elsewhere.<br/><br/>                But right now I feel like we’re traveling back in time. I can’t say I’ll boycott NBC because I want a great show like <em>Chuck</em> to succeed. I’ll continue to watch <em>Fallon</em> as long as they keep him on. But given the way Leno has handled reclaiming his old timeslot, however seemingly innocently, I won’t be tuning into his show. He was always last on my list anyway, but now it’s about the principle of the thing. Principles? What’s that? Oh yeah, that’s what Conan has displayed throughout.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-24321889421891166782010-01-11T10:08:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.210-07:00Fan Turns Extra in Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 <div><em>[caption id="attachment_270" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Kate Logan and company on the set of Halloween 2. "]<a href="http://www.violatekate.deviantart.com/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-270" title="set2[1]" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/set21-300x225.jpg" alt="Kate Logan and company on the set of Halloween 2. " width="300" height="225" /></a>[/caption]Imagine being on set with one of your favorite film makers/musicians. That’s what happened to graphic artist Kate Logan (the blonde in the photo) when she and her friends were recruited as “metal bikini girl” extras in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, which hits stores on DVD . Logan, who also plays keyboards in the Atlanta-based metal industrial band Helltrash, wasn’t an aspiring actress punching up her resume but a fan out for a few days of horror movie fun. She spoke to me last fall about her experience. To find out more about Kate and view her artwork visit http://www.violatekate.deviantart.com/</em></div><br/><div><em> </em></div><br/><div><em> </em></div><br/><div><em> </em></div><br/><div><em> </em></div><br/><em> <br/><br/></em><br/><br/> <br/><br/> <br/><br/><strong>How did you and your friends end up in <em>Halloween 2</em>?</strong><br/><br/>One of my friend’s ex-boyfriend does ironwork. His company is called Virgin Iron and they specialize in bras and panties for grinder girls. The <em>Halloween 2</em> people were doing a casting call wanted people with interesting costumes. The Virgin Iron people contacted them and they were like bring out some girls to be in metal bikinis.<br/><br/><strong>Where did you film?</strong><br/><br/>An hour outside of Atlanta in Newborn, Georgia. There was nothing around but a barn in the middle of nowhere. They had all the extras meet at the Starlight Drive-in in Atlanta at 7 a.m. and everyone loaded up into these big buses and they drove us out and had us out there for two days. The first day it was eight in the morning until 2 a.m. Then they took us back and immediately we had to turn around and come back at 5 o’clock in the morning the next day.<br/><br/><strong>How was the experience?</strong><br/><br/>Insane. First of all, the locals were all standing around watching and taking pictures. It was like redneck paparazzi. They had a gas station across the street and we would walk over for energy drinks and they would swarm us and ask for pictures. It was a lot of sitting around. When we weren’t sitting around we’d get called to the set and shoot the same thing over and over for hours. It was very exhausting, but really fun.<br/><br/><strong>What scenes did you shoot?</strong><br/>The first thing we filmed was a party scene inside a club. We just had to react to the band. At one point Rob asked the four of us to get up on the side of the stage and dance, but that got cut from the movie. As soon as it got dark they had us do an outdoor scene. That one did end up in the movie. We were standing beside the character, Uncle Seymour, who is played by the Geico Caveman. We had to stand beside him and greet people coming into the party. That’s the scene that made it into the movie. They kept telling us in this scene the main character was on acid and was tripping really bad, but when the movie came out she wasn’t on acid. Then later on I saw an interview with Rob where he had done another version of the film where she was messed up on drugs, but the audience didn’t respond positively to it. So he just scrapped that one.<br/><br/><strong>So what did you think of the movie?</strong><br/><br/>I actually really enjoyed it. I know a lot of people didn’t like his first version of <em>Halloween</em>. I am such a huge Rob Zombie fan. I love every movie he’s ever done. I thought it was as good as the first one. It was a lot darker.<br/><br/><strong>Did you meet him?</strong><br/><br/>I did. First he was just walking by and everyone was struggling not to freak out. When we did the outdoor scene, it’s actually kind of funny. They pulled two of the girls in the metal bikinis to be in front of the camera and left me and another girl behind. She had a flask and we squatted down behind a car and were drinking. Then they were “Where are the other two metal bikini girls?” We were a little tipsy and they were telling us to have fun and we were drawing a lot of attention to ourselves. Rob Zombie came over and told us we were troublemakers and was asking us about the bras. He was really interested in that they were grinder bras.<br/><br/><strong>Have you ever acted or been an extra in anything else?</strong><br/><br/>No, no.<br/><br/><strong>Did you just want to do this as a fan or for fun or what?</strong><br/><br/>All of the above. I love Rob Zombie. I’ve been a huge fan of his for 10 or 11 years now. I like his movies and I like the <em>Halloween</em> series so it was everything I would want wrapped into one. I get to be in a <em>Halloween</em> movie. I get to be in a Rob Zombie movie. And I get to be in a movie.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-69091533791645123862009-12-31T12:52:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.189-07:00Top Albums and Concerts of 2009 <div><em> </em></div><br/> <br/><br/><em><br/><br/>[caption id="attachment_256" align="alignleft" width="198" caption="Credit Maria Egan"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-256" title="Bob Crawford and Joe Kwon at Bojangles Coliseum" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/bob-and-joe-198x300.jpg" alt="Credit Maria Egan" width="198" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/>Since I didn't do a year-end best of for the newspaper this year, I decided to compile one here. These are my favorite concerts and discs of the year.<br/><br/> <br/><br/></em>Albums<br/><br/><strong>Ida Maria “Fortress Around My Heart” </strong>(Mercury) – I knew last Spring this would make the list. This debut reminds me of PJ Harvey’s first two albums or what a straight forward rock album from Bjork might sound like as the Norwegian rocker sweetly pummels her listener with one catchy track after another.<br/><br/><strong>Muse “The Resistance”</strong> (Warner Bros.) – ABC couldn’t have found a more perfect song to launch its sci-fi drama <em>V</em> than this album’s lead track “Uprising.” It made me give this disc a second go and it’s rarely been out of rotation since. It scores a sci-fi movie in my head that keeps evolving with its Queen-like bombast, over-the-top grandiosity, and romanticism. Muse plays Atlanta’s Gwinnett Center on February 27<sup>th</sup>.<br/><br/><strong>Metric “Fantasies”</strong> (Metric Music International) – The single “Help I’m Alive” has been a staple in my iPod since last Spring, but seeing these songs performed live solidified “Fantasies” as a front runner with tracks like “Sick Muse,” “Satellite Mind,” “Gimme Sympathy,” and “Stadium Love.”   <br/><br/><strong>Miranda Lambert “Revolution” </strong>(Sony) – The country vixen gets better with each album as she bridges sassy independence and vulnerability on yet another fine collection. This time she balances the classic country feel of “Airstream Song” and “Me and Your Cigarettes” with the more modern Nashville sheen of “Dead Flowers” “White Liar” and “Time to Get a Gun.”<br/><br/><strong>Taking Back Sunday “New Again” </strong>(Reprise) – I could care less about the internal drama and controversy that sparked fan internet debates last Spring. Whatever inspired this disc makes for great lyrical fodder. There is a sense of drama in the arrangements with tension rising during verses and cresting with sing-a-long choruses. “New Again” is also a lot of fun. <br/><br/><strong>Tegan and Sara “Sainthood”</strong> (Sire) – These sisters remain consistent with one smart and catchy pop-rock collection after another. “Sainthood” hits you right away with easily memorable hooks, plus it’s a little less of a downer than “The Con.”<br/><br/><strong>Brandi Carlile “Give Up the Ghost”</strong> (Sony) – Carlile’s big alto knocks me out and I like nothing better than seeing her play acoustic flanked by twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Her third album captures the trio’s live chemistry and energy. Elton John, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, and Indigo Girl Amy Ray all guest, but Carlile overshadows them all.<br/><br/> <br/><br/>Best Concerts of 2009<br/><br/><em>The birth of our son cut down on some of my concert-going this year, especially when it came to traveling to shows. I hate that I missed Neko Case for one. Of the concerts I was lucky enough to witness, here are ones that moved me. </em><br/><br/><strong>Metric</strong>, November 27th Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC – I got so swept up in the performance I forgot what city I was in. Older songs like “Empty” and “Handshakes” prompted me to add earlier titles to my Christmas list. Read the review <a href="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?p=200">http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/?p=200</a><br/><br/><strong>Coldplay/Elbow/Kitty Daisy and Lewis</strong>, August 7th Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC – Coldplay’s performance, which turned out to be its last for the US tour, made my husband and I regret cutting out early during their Coachella 2005 set. The tireless group created a rocking churchlike atmosphere for fans giving weight to those U2 comparisons. Elbow almost stole the show though. At home on the big stage, its set was captivating.<br/><br/><strong>Blink 182</strong>, October 6th Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC –After the 2008 plane crash and the death of his friend and fellow crash survivor DJ AM little more than a month earlier, Barker’s return to Blink was nothing less than triumphant. You could feel the love.<br/><br/><strong>Ani DiFranco</strong>, March 11th Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC – After adoring her in the `90s, DiFranco kind of lost me with jazzier turns and less intimate theater shows at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville and Charlotte’s Ovens Auditorium. Back in a club setting she thrived, making me remember why I was such a big fan in the first place.<br/><br/><strong>Jessica Lea Mayfield</strong>, June 10<sup>th</sup>, Visulite, Charlotte, NC – Sitting in the back of the room I was astounded by the brooding charm of Mayfield and her band who bridge hypnotic shoegazer, folk and psychedelia. Of six shows that week, it was the one that stuck with me spawning the idea for a profile on promoter Gregg McCraw (<a href="http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/November-2009/The-Player/">http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/November-2009/The-Player/</a>)<br/><br/><strong>The Avett Brothers</strong>, August 8<sup>th</sup> Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, NC – The building may not have been full (but it wasn’t for Kings of Leon or Foo Fighters either) and the sound is never impeccable there, but the anticipation and warmth that met the intelligently crafted set made for a marvelous homecoming. Goosebumps climbed my arms during the encore of “Salvation Song.” Almost two months before the release of its Rick Rubin-produced "I and Love and You," you could feel a band on the verge.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-33715119019678396362009-12-02T06:55:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.165-07:00Revisiting Lou Ford's "Sad, But Familiar" [caption id="attachment_245" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Photo by Chris Edwards"]<a href="http://www.myspace.com/itslouford"><img class="size-medium wp-image-245" title="aisle14chrisedwards" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/aisle14chrisedwards-200x300.jpg" alt="Photo by Chris Edwards" width="200" height="300" /></a>[/caption]<br/><br/>                Charlotte’s Lou Ford will play its debut album “Sad, But Familiar” from start to finish Friday at Snug Harbor. These days it’s not unusual to hear major artists like Bruce Springsteen revisiting “Born to Run” song-for song or Aerosmith recreating “Toys in the Attic”, but it’s rare that a regional release would warrant such treatment. “Sad, But Familiar” wasn’t just any album though. Its heart-on-sleeve heartbreak captured a community.<br/><br/>            When it was released in the late `90s it was almost inescapable. It was practically on repeat at Tremont Music Hall. I’m almost positive I heard it wafting from the speakers at Lupie’s and Fat City. I don’t remember another local release receiving as warm of a reception until Benji Hughes put out “A Love Extreme,” which became a Plaza-Midwood staple last year. “Sad, But Familiar” was certainly a fixture at Record Exchange where I worked. The entire staff loved it. I remember practically tearing up while counting inventory as singer Alan Edwards channeled my own post break-up angst (coincidentally another ex walked off with both my Lou Ford discs). It was the right album at the right time, a sentiment I think a lot of fans shared. It's still a timeless listen.<br/><br/>            One of its strengths, besides songwriting and an ability to appeal to both country and punk fans, is its consistency and cohesiveness. The tracks fit together like a snug puzzle of a faded rural scene. There’s no filler. The songs just roll by like pocked black and white reel-to-reel footage. Of course there are unforgettable standouts that fans deem classic – “How Does It Feel,” “The Part of You” and “You Ain’t Worth My Time” for instance. Even now the customer reviews on iTunes, though few, are glowing with descriptions like “great” and “perfect.” <br/><br/>            Over the past 10 years Lou Ford weathered line-up changes, released the almost-as-good follow-up “Alan Freed’s Radio,” broke up, regrouped with its original line-up and released a third album “Poor Man’s Soul” in 2007. The first two albums are unfortunately out-of-print, but bassist Mark Lynch says “Sad” will eventually be repressed. It’s currently available on iTunes.<br/><br/>            Lou Ford and Bill Noonan play Snug Harbor (1228 Gordon St., Charlotte) Friday, December 4<sup>th</sup>, 2009 at 10 p.m. $5.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-82939827080780101682009-11-29T08:33:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.156-07:00The Youngest General Hospital Fan [caption id="attachment_221" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Notice Soapnet in the Background"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-221" title="Devo 020" src="http://vampirecoffeehouse.com/wp-content/themes/vampire/img/Devo-020-225x300.jpg" alt="Notice Soapnet in the Background" width="225" height="300" />[/caption]<br/><br/>I’ve been watching <em>General Hospital</em> since Luke and Laura were battling the Cassadine’s weather machine in 1981. My Barbies emulated the island storyline. I was five. Twenty-eight years later as I lay medicated watching the final day of February sweeps from my hospital bed I turned to my nurse, interrupting her conversation with a student, and said, “Hey, you see that chick?” Mob princess Claudia Zacchara was on screen. “Today’s her birthday,” I informed her as my husband shook his head. I was speaking of actress Sarah Joy Brown (formerly Claudia) who I’ve loved since she originated the part of Carly Corinthos on the soap when I was in college. For weeks my husband and I’d been debating what celebrity our baby Devo would share a birthday with and at almost a week late my mother was banking on Brown. That suited me fine. He actually arrived later that night during another ABC show, <em>Lost</em>. Though no TV was on during the C-section, I thought (this time silently), “He’s here in time to catch the end of <em>Lost</em>.”<br/><br/>                I revel in cool coincidences so standing in my living room 8 ½ months later as Michael Corinthos struck his stepmother Claudia with an ax handle it took about five minutes of cheering the brilliantly appropriate and swift demise of Brown’s second <em>GH</em> character to realize that Claudia died on my birthday (which in the storyline was her birthday too). How fitting in a convoluted way. Sadly Devo was napping and missed it – unexpectedly 10 minutes into a Wednesday episode instead of saved for a Friday cliffhanger.<br/><br/>                It’s safe to say that Devo has inadvertently witnessed nearly every <em>GH</em> episode since his birth through sight or sound. I work from home, but 3 p.m. is break-time/escape-time if I have no deadlines or interviews. So it’s no wonder that the dated guitar and saxophone-fueled theme has become as popular in our house as Moose A. Moose singing “Everywhere I Go” on Nick Jr. This past week Devo stood bouncing with excitement as <em></em>’s credits rolled. It’s gotten to the point that I’ll even rewind during the commercial so he can do it all over again. When our little boy asks what the first song he danced to was, I’ll tell him: He may have exhibited rhythm for the first time to ultra-cool Rocket from the Crypt, but his first dance was “General Hospital.” Maybe he too will be a lifer.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5441521150265411933.post-69122095490078614242009-11-28T08:25:00.000-08:002013-08-06T15:52:35.140-07:00Concert Review: Metric at Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte 11/27/09 Metric played Charlotte for the very first time Friday, but the electro-rock band’s blistering set at NoDa’s Neighborhood Theatre made me forget what city I was in. There’s nothing wrong with seeing a show in your home town, but standing in the dark in the crowded venue with Metric front woman Emily Haines headbanging center stage at her keyboard in a silver sequined mini dress I could easily forget my surroundings. The exposed ceiling beams and chatting in the lobby floated away. I could have been in New York or Atlanta.<br/><br/>                Metric was good from the get-go with thumping basslines, swirling guitars and synthesizers, and Haines’ sweetly seductive vocals. But its show was craftily paced as if to demonstrate “you thought that song was good, check out this next one.” It was easy to imagine that this is what Blondie might be doing if it was new now. And Haines is every bit the frontwoman that Debbie Harry is. Her moves brought to mind a robot go-go dancer and a young Siouxsie Sioux kicking and shaking her head back and forth deliberately during “Empty” as if that too were a dance move. Despite her glittering attire she didn’t carry herself like a sex-selling pop diva either. She moved with athleticism without repeating the same routines and barely stopped bouncing all night. One friend later described her as a cross between Harry and Gwen Stefani.<br/><br/>                Haines may have been the center, but all four members held their own musically and charismatically. Bassist Joshua Winstead fired off sexy, disco-ready basslines and ooohoooh backing vocals. Drummer Joules Scott-Key was a mass of sweat bleeding through his gray dress shirt and tie. And Jimmy Shaw, while often hidden in low light, drove the tracks from shoegazing psychedelic guitar workouts to bumping dance hooks and bluesy solos. Metric is definitely a sum-of-its-parts operation.<br/><br/>                What was more was that the show escalated from beginning to end. Each track was better than the last as Metric bounded sophisticatedly through “Satellite Mind,” the hit “Help I’m Alive” and “Handshakes” (from 2005’s “Live It Out”). The show’s climax built as well with “Gimme Sympathy” to “Sick Muse” to “Stadium Love,” all from 2009's excellent "Fantasies."  The set could’ve ended satisfactorily with any of them, but Metric upped its game at every turn. Haines stood with her back to the audience as she introduced the latter. “Stadium Love” she’d say turning sassily to one side of the audience. “Stadium Love” over her other shoulder. Then she did a killer backbend as the band kicked into the anthem. I was trying to catch the beginning of Seahorses’ set across the street, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the Neighborhood until Haines finally stepped off stage. A stellar frontwoman with an incredible band - this is easily one of my favorite shows this year.Courtney Devoreshttps://plus.google.com/111419896636680943157noreply@blogger.com1