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Top 10 Indie Music Documentaries



Most music documentaries are little more than ‘companion’ pieces; accompanying fodder for fans of bands who’ve already chewed up all their albums. From that most artless vanity exercise, the live-concert movie, to the ever-tedious behind-the-scenes piece, often music films can’t stand on their own two feet. Except, of course, for the exceptions to the rule. To the film’s that, whilst having music running through their veins, are stand-alone works of cinema, filled with theme and meaning, aching with humanity, and blessed with their own artistic genius. Here’s ten of the best; witness them and feel blessed.

1. The Devil and Daniel Johnston

The Devil and Daniel JohnstonSony Pictures

The best music documentaries are works of compelling cinema in and of themselves; films made not for easy-to-please fans, but for those who may never have heard of the artist in question. The Devil and Daniel Johnston is a fascinating portrait of its singular subject; Johnston a celebrated ‘outsider artist’ who has long battled with bipolar disorder and mental illness. Jeff Feuerzeig’s film is essentially a study of Johnston as human-being, and, due to his particular compulsiveness, is filled with all kinds of intimate audio and video recordings; home movies, taped conversations, and early recordings. As Johnston flirts with the edge of sanity, Feuerzeig essentially asks: is this craziness central or incidental to Johnston’s art?

2. Dig!

Dig!Palm Pictures

Most music documentaries usually capture a single concert, perhaps a whole tour. Ondi Timoner’s awesome Dig! follows its principle subjects, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, for over seven years. As she showed on her brilliant 2009 feature We Live in Public —in which the life of its subject mirrored the rise of the internet, and opened up countless questions of the online surveillance state— Timoner has a knack for being able to see the big picture. Here, as the Dandys’ shift units on the back of a handful of novelty hits, and the BJM self-destruct in a toxic cocktail of ego, delusion, and drug use, Timoner sees their simultaneous rise/demise as symbols of the ’90s alternative music era and an opportunist music industry.

3. The Fearless Freaks

The Fearless FreaksShout Factory

It’s a moment intimate, infamous, and inspiring: Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd shooting up heroin on camera, talking candidly, the whole time, about his downward spiral into drug addiction. The Fearless Freaks is filled with such unfettered ‘access’: Bradley Beesley, an old friend of the band, essentially invited into the Flaming Lips family. Peering beyond the pantomimed happiness of their live-shows, Beesley sees the human beings behind the balloons. Looking at the life stories —and families— of band founders Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins, Beesley sees how their personal experiences inevitably leak into the music —the death of Coyne’s father inspiring the immortal “Do You Realize??”— adding an extra layer of meaning to their music.


4. Meeting People is Easy

Meeting People is EasyEMI

Following the monstrous success of Radiohead’s OK Computer, the band undertake a mammoth world tour, filled with soulless stadium shows, corporate-radio showcases, and unending interviews. Grant Gee’s documentary follows the band on a two-year promotional Groundhog Day, in which Thom Yorke and co yearn only to “disappear completely.” The film’s subtext is worn on its artwork: the band as product, the listener as consumer. In its most pointed moment, Jonny Greenwood recounts how Pink Floyd commissioned a documentary, then were appalled to discover it chronicled an endless parade of business meetings and financial breakdowns. Meeting People is Easy embraces that sad fate: its dystopian portrait of life-on-the-road an unblinkered look at corporate-rock misery.


5. The Power of Salad and Milkshakes

The Power of Salad and MilkshakesLoad

Countless films have attempted to convey the visceral nature of live rock’n’roll: the physical gymnastics of performance, the pressed flesh of the crowds, soundwaves pummeling bodies. But few have done it like The Power of Salad and Milkshakes, an on-the-cheap, on-the-road, on-the-lam look at Lightning Bolt’s live racket. This unairbrushed portrait of a pair of punks on the DIY circuit has few cinematic ambitions, but, placing the camera right next to their overdriven gear, the lens literally rattles as the band bash out their hyper-tight jams. Lightning Bolt set up in the middle of the crowd —be it at house-party or rock-club— and, as they get amongst the people, The Power of Salad becomes as much about those in the audience as those in the band.


6. Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed

Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed4digital

A handful of choice rockumentaries capture times and places long-gone; like grunge’s twin book-ends, 1991’s The Year Punk Broke and 1996’s Hype!. But few double as a social and political time capsules quite like 1982’s Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed. Hasan Shah and Dom Shaw’s glorified student film looks at punk-rock becoming post-punk, oi, 2 tone ska revival, and mod revival; but, filmed between ’78 and ’81, it’s a portrait of a nation in turmoil. The subtext is rich: The Winter of Discontent, gang violence, the rise of white-power movements like the National Front, and squabbles over ‘authentic’ youth culture in a swiftly-commodified age. Shot in DIY fashion, its warts-and-all portrait has a transportive quality that ably takes you back to back-in-the-day.

7. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man

Scott Walker: 30 Century ManOscilloscope Laboratories

The ‘talking heads’ approach is a depressing staple of rockumentaries; a Behind the Music cliché that mistakes hearsay for evidence and nostalgia for truth. Stephen Kijak introduces an interesting wrinkle to these tired tropes: sitting celebrity interview subjects down and playing them Scott Walker records. The music acts as a prompt, and David Bowie, Johnny Marr, Brian Eno, and countless others find their thoughts stoked by this unexpected act. 30 Century Man is essentially a three-act flick: first a chronicle of Walker’s strange pop-idol-to-avant-garde-recluse career, then the interviewees, then a behind-the-scenes chronicle of Walker at work, making The Drift. It’s not revolutionary itself, but it ably chronicles an artist who is.


8. Who Took The Bomp?: Le Tigre On Tour

Who Took The Bomp?: Le Tigre On TourOscilloscope Laboratories

Stuck playing Australia’s hyper-masculine, boy’s-own Big Day Out touring-festival in 2005, Le Tigre have to keep their sense-of-humor. After all, what’s a proudly-feminist, queer-friendly band to do when confronted with idiotic interviews, metal dufuses, and casually bigoted fans? Kerthy Fix’s flick finds the familiar hotel-rooms, backstages, and tour buses of the tour doc, but neither she nor band go in for easy cliché. Who Took The Bomp? revels in the humans making these righteous anthems; their personal drive attempting to effect social change. Oh, and Kathleen Hanna also recounts her riot-grrrl days thusly: “I was being told by mainstream music critics that I was a fat, retarded slut who didn’t know what I was doing.” Sing it, sister.

9. Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell

Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur RussellPlexifilm

Matt Wolf’s Portrait is of Arthur Russell the person; a documentary attempt to uncover the human-being behind the archival tracks. Wolf spends time not with celebrity fans, but Russell’s family: his parents, his sisters, and, most of all, his longtime boyfriend Tom Lee. Their recollections of Russell aren’t the stuff of rock-star hagiography, but intimate biography; and what rises up is a portrait of the artist as a young man, Russell depicted in all his flaws, his conflicts, his pettiness, and his genius. Throughout, Russell’s music shines brighter, three decades later, than it did in its day. In that light, Russell’s 1992 death almost feels like tragedy anew; the genre-crossing producer a 21st century figure completely ahead of his time.


10. You’re Gonna Miss Me: A Film About Roky Erickson

You're Gonna Miss Me: A Film About Roky EricksonPalm Pictures

Roky Erickson is a ’60s legend, but You’re Gonna Miss Me has no interest in myths. Keven McAlester chronicles the contemporary Erickson: 50-something, disheveled, hulking, matted hair, claw-like figernails, and rotting teeth. As he sits blithely in a chair, cartoons and radio blaring, Roky becomes a pawn for his family: members competing to ‘care’ for him in pointed, political battles. This is no celebration of a career, but a painful family portrait of maternal vanity and paternal disinterest, sibling rivalry and jealousy, psychiatric problems and debilitating drugs. Amidst this study of familial psychology and the institutionalized cruelty of mental hospitals, Erickson is hero, victim, and symbol; a sad figure fallen from rock’s great heights.

April 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mark Ruffalo and Christopher Thornton Discuss ‘Sympathy for Delicious’

Christopher Thornton and Mark Ruffalo in 'Sympathy for Delicious'Christopher Thornton and Mark Ruffalo in ‘Sympathy for Delicious’

© Maya Entertainment

  Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo makes his feature film directorial debut with Sympathy for Delicious, an independent drama he co-wrote with his friend Christopher Thornton. Ruffalo and Thornton also star in the film which follows an up-and-coming DJ named Dean O’Dwyer (who goes by the name of ‘Delicious D’). When a horrible motorcycle accident leaves Dean paralyzed, his dreams collapse and he’s left struggling to get by while living out of his car.

Ruffalo plays Father Joe Roselli, a passionate priest who reaches out to help Dean. Dean learns all about the world of faith healing from Father Roselli, and discovers he has the power to heal other people – however he can’t heal himself.

Ruffalo and Thornton met and became friends while studying acting with Stella Adler, and they’ve been working on Sympathy for Delicious for the past 10 years. And throughout the decade-long process of tidying up the script and preparing to shoot Delicious, there were many times it appeared as though their joint passion project would never be anything but an unproduced script left to languish on the shelf.

“Right now I’m in the pinching myself stage,” said Christopher Thornton at the film’s LA press day. “For so long this didn’t seem like it was going to get made, which is really depressing after putting work into a script for so long. I’m just really thrilled that it’s coming out. It still hasn’t sunk in yet that all this is really happening. I’m just really grateful that the planets lined up and I’m just hopeful that people like the film and see in it the things that we see in it. As cliché as it is, I’m happy to be here.”

Mark Ruffalo and Christopher Thornton Sympathy for Delicious Roundtable Interview

On the story’s lengthy journey to the big screen:

Christopher Thornton: “[It took] a long time. Of course when it took as long as it took there were many times along the way that, no, I thought it wasn’t going to happen. One thing that kept happening is that the movie kept coming together and falling apart, which I guess a lot of independents go through. But that’s really soul-crushing. It’s very difficult when you think it’s finally actually going to happen and then for whatever reason the money goes away or someone falls out of it or whatever. So, for a long time it didn’t seem like it would ever actually come together for real.”

Mark Ruffalo: “It was a long journey and when we started working on this I don’t think I was even actually able to support myself as an actor. I think I was still bartending, actually.”

Christopher Thornton: “When we first started, yeah.”

Mark Ruffalo: “I was just starting to get work, actually, but over that time period so many things had happened. I had my own brain tumor and just the struggle of our lives started to seep into the script. Our own journeys were oddly in it, about redemption and looking for faith, trying to make meaning of really meaningless things. So it was a strange thing. There was this collaboration going on throughout those 10 years of rewrites where our own lives were actually seeping into the script in a strange way. I like to say about the movie that none of it happened, but it’s all true.”

On the 10 year process of writing the script:

Christopher Thornton: “I wrote a draft, the first draft, and gave it to Mark. He was really enthusiastic about it and suggested himself as the director. I said yes immediately to that, and then so we sat down and talked about it and hashed it out. I went away and did a draft. Then he’d give me a ton of notes and then I’d do another. Eventually we kept getting closer and closer to where we were really on top of it at a table, hashing it out page by page. Out of those long sessions just came tons of notes, or we would improv dialogue to try and get to the point of what we were doing. We’d tape it. He’d say, ‘Okay, take that and clean that up.’ So he was very hands on, especially towards the later part of it, the rewrites.”

On setting the film in LA:

Mark Ruffalo: “It was really important to me. LA brings a certain kind of person to it, unlike any other place. It brings people with big dreams. I felt that was real important, that all those people had dreams that they’re sort of struggling to achieve, whether it’s Joe with the dream of a homeless shelter or Dean with the dream of fame and to be walking. Each of them had their own agenda that causes them to do things that are questionable at times. But that’s what dreams do. The fact that we have a very big homeless population here, but it is like it’s own city there. It’s totally segregated from the rest of the city. I used to live down there and so I knew it very well. When we mulled it over and thought about it, I just couldn’t see it being shot anywhere else. I couldn’t see these kinds of people being anywhere else.”

Christopher Thornton: “It’s such a specific place and then the band stuff, too. That band would be in LA.”

Mark Ruffalo: “That band was in LA, is in LA.”

Christopher Thornton: “They are. There’s like 10 of them in LA.”

Mark Ruffalo: “It’s ripped off from a real band.”

Christopher Thornton: “We stole most of that from a real band.”

On directing his first feature film:

Mark Ruffalo: “I really was scared. Once I got over the trepidation and fear and self-loathing, I actually really loved it. It was kind of everything that I thought that it would be and more. I realized that I had actually learned something in all those years that I’d been on sets with really great directors. I hope that it’s something that they’ll allow me to keep doing. It felt much easier for me than acting does, to be completely frank with you.”

“I could see why actors like directing. I love actors and to be able to work with them the way that I was is something that I’d like to keep doing. Only an actor really understands the way that another actor ticks. I think it’s an interesting transition and it feels like a natural transition to me.”

On starring in his directorial debut:

Mark Ruffalo: “Part of this game is like to cancel myself out as a first time director I had to act in the movie. No one will sign onto a movie until you have a movie going. No one’s agents will let you do it. I had to sign on first before I could get anyone else’s agents to even take me seriously. So my plan was to get them all in and then jump off and bring in someone who I thought would be great for the part. The day that I went in to do that we had to change our schedule and I had lost two of my lead actors because of scheduling conflicts.”

Christopher Thornton: “We had to push the movie seven weeks which really screwed us up. We lost a lot of stuff.”

Mark Ruffalo: “That’s when I got Orlando Bloom and Laura Linney. But the movie was falling apart in my hands and I came in to quit and they were like, ‘You’re not doing any such thing, dude. You’re all we have left.'”

Christopher Thornton: “He loved the part, but he just didn’t want to do them both at the same time.”

Mark Ruffalo: “It was a lot. It was a big thing to take on.”

On casting Orlando Bloom:

Mark Ruffalo: “Orlando probably wasn’t my first choice for this movie. I sat down with him and we talked about it and he said, ‘I really need for me, I’m kind of broken right now and I need an acting experience. I need something where I can really dig in change myself.’ As a director you sort of fall in love with your talent a little bit, with the talented people around you. It’s very vulnerable, the act of acting. I think that for people to be great they need a lot of trust and they need a lot of encouragement and they need love, kind of. I’ve seen everybody sort of at their best and their worst in this movie. They’re all incredibly talented people and they have a lot to offer and all of them have a huge reservoir of things to give. It’s just the material, creating the right work environment in order to bring it out of them.”

On why we should sympathize with Delicious:

Christopher Thornton: “Well, he’s having a hard time, isn’t he? He’s had a terrible thing happen to him and it’s very early on from it, which is a particular stage. I think probably the hardest part is the early days. He’s down and out and he’s struggling with it, and I think that more than anything affects his bad behavior – or his bad choices, I should say. He’s just had a tragedy in his life and he’s reeling from it.”

Mark Ruffalo: “I think he’s very human. I think that in time, maybe, we come to sympathize with him. The story is about a selfish man who makes a journey to do one selfish act, a selfless act. People would say that this character is unlikable on the page, but I’d say, ‘Yeah, but you don’t get the visual affect of seeing a guy in a wheelchair.’ I don’t know about you, but I see someone in a wheelchair and I immediately sympathize with them. I immediately say, ‘That person has it a little bit tougher than I do and somehow they got to that point where they’re in that chair.’ That visual cue, I hope, carries us through some of the more unsympathetic things that the character does.”

Christopher Thornton: “I don’t think it’s that important to sympathize with a character in a film as long as you empathize with them. Some of the great characters have been really unlikable to me, but empathy is important in that you understand, like, ‘Yeah, that’s a really hard place to be.’ Who knows what we’d do in that situation? I think that empathy is the most important thing.”

On their shared history of learning acting skills from Stella Adler:

Mark Ruffalo: “We were on the work study program there.”

Christopher Thornton: “He’s got the best anecdote. The thing that you have to know about Stella Adler is that even though she was 92 when we were studying, literally, she was the biggest flirt and would hit on the all the boys. She hit on all of us, but I think his story is probably the best.”

Mark Ruffalo: “She came walking by me. I would tape her classes. I was there to help her come into the theater on a cane and I put my arm out and she stopped and goes, ‘Darling, how old are you?’ I said, ‘I’m 23, Stella.’ She said, ‘Oh, too old.’ And she went by me. That was classic Stella. The thing about her is that more than anybody she really believed that as an actor you were a great artist and that you had a huge responsibility to make yourself better and to lift the ideas of the playwrights. She used to quote George Bernard Shaw quite often. She said, ‘You should have to pay to go to church and the theater should be free, darlings,’ because she really saw storytelling as one of the great teaching tools. People don’t talk about acting like that anymore, which is a shame, but it’s something that as a 22 year old you don’t hear people talking like that about anything. It really turned me on, turned a lot of us on.”

Christopher Thornton: “You could count on one hand [people] that you would say actually changed your life, but she did. And to be that young, we were really young when we were first started in that class and to hear somebody speak like that… I had never heard anybody with the wealth of experience and knowledge that she had about acting and what it meant, the importance of it. None of that was even in my head. I left that class wanting to read Chekhov. That’s a big change at that age.”

On preparing to play The Hulk in The Avengers:

Mark Ruffalo: “We have to get the script. We’ve been working on the script, which has been fun. I’ve lost 15 pounds. They didn’t want me all ripped up, but they want me to do be lean and mean. It’s been trying to get the psychology of somebody who knows at any moment they could literally tear the roof off of wherever they are. I’m trying to bring – I don’t know – something real to that and totally fantastic. Like I said, I’ve been working with Joss Whedon on the script with the rest of the cast. We start rehearsals soon. So, hopefully we’ll have the mother of all comic book movies for you soon. [We start shooting] the first week of May.”

April 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alzheimer’s Disease: Signs May Appear Decade Before Symptoms

The brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease start shrinking up to a decade before symptoms like memory loss appear, according to new brain imaging research. The discovery, which adds to growing evidence that Alzheimer’s is a slowly emerging disease, could help scientists identify people at risk before the damage is done.


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The research team, led by Dr. Bradford Dickerson, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Frontotemporal Dementia Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, assessed the size of the hippocampus — the brain’s memory center — and other brain regions affected by Alzheimer’s disease. They used magnetic resonance imaging in 65 people who were cognitively normal. Among those with the smallest Alzheimer’s-related brain area measurements, 55 percent were later diagnosed with the disease.


“It tells us that areas of the brain that are important for memory and other aspects of thinking are beginning to shrink in people who don’t yet have symptoms,” said Dickerson, lead author of the study published today in the journal Neurology. “We at least have the potential to detect changes a number of years in advance, and hopefully we could do something about it.”

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia among older adults, is estimated to affect 5 million Americans and is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dickerson compared detecting Alzheimer’s-related brain shrinkage to measuring cholesterol levels in someone at risk for heart disease.

“We need to be developing a cholesterol test for Alzheimer’s disease, in a sense,” he said. “We need to have markers that we can identify in people that are still normal to boost that chance of preventing or slowing the disease.”

But a dearth of effective treatments means early detection won’t yet save lives.

“This imaging finding will not translate into new treatments. However, it does increase the rationale for utilizing preventive therapies,” said Dr. Steven DeKosky, professor of neurology and dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2011 Festival Guide



Since the late ’60s and early ’70s (Woodstock, Monterey, Altamont, Isle of Wight) warm weather outdoor rock festivals have been crowd magnets. Although a few are struggling, a number of major festivals are parlaying A-list classic rock acts into big ticket sales. Beginning in March and continuing through September, there is ample opportunity to rock in the great outdoors in 2011.

March 11-20: South By Southwest (SXSW)


SXSW is part music festival, part film festival, part “music and media conference.” The musical portion (March 16-20 at various venues around downtown Austin, Texas) is, in a word, huge, with hundreds of panel discussions and nearly 2,000 musical acts of all genres on stages throughout downtown Austin. Irish rocker Bob Geldof will be the keynote speaker and Showcase Performer at the 2011 SXSW Music Conference. This is THE event for hardcore music junkies.


April 15-17: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Coachella Music and Arts Festival

Officially, it’s the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, but everyone refers to it simply as Coachella. 2011 headliners include Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire and Duran Duran. Since the first edition in 1999 (attendance: 25,000) Coachella is now attended by 100,000+ annually.

April 29 – May 8: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

The “Heritage” part of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (or, JazzFest, as it is more commonly known) opens the event to artists representing many genres. Accordingly, counted among the dozens of 2011 JazzFest performers are artists like John Mellencamp, Jeff Beck, Arlo Guthrie, and Gregg Allman Blues Band. JazzFest’s roots go back to 1970, when the concept of the multi-day outdoor music festival was just beginning to take hold.

June 8-11: Sweden Rock Festival

Sweden Rock

Since 1992, Sweden Rock magazine has staged an annual festival that caters heavily to hard rock/heavy metal bands, but not exclusively. Confirmed acts for the 2011 edition (June 8-11 in Sölvesborg) include Kansas, Styx, Joan Jett, Thin Lizzy, Molly Hatchet, Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest.

June 9-12: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

It’s like Woodstock, but with good planning. Since its beginning in 2002 Bonnaroo has grown from a jam band gathering to being named Best Festival by Rolling Stone in 2008. Virtually every musical genre is represented, including classic rock. The 2011 lineup includes Buffalo Springfield, Robert Plant, Bruce Hornsby, Warren Haynes Band and Greg Allman. Bonnaroo 2011 (self-described “four-day, multi-stage camping festival” on a farm near Manchester, Tennessee) is June 9-12.

June 22-26: Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts

The first Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts opened the day after Jimi Hendrix died, in 1970. Three more were staged in the ’70s, and since 1981 Glasto (as it is commonly known) has been an annual event. Is it popular? Tickets for the 2011 version (June 22-26) were sold out shortly after they went on sale in October. Confirmed 2011 artists include Coldplay, Flaming Lips, Jackson Browne, Ray Davies, and Richard Thompson.

June 29 – July 10: Milwaukee Summerfest

Milwaukee World Festival

They don’t make them any bigger than Milwaukee’s Summerfest. Literally. It has been certified by Guinness World Records as World’s Largest Music Festival. Typically, between 800,000 and 1-million people listen to more than 800 bands during the 11-day festival. In recent years, featured festival acts have included Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick and Blondie. In addition to being the largest, Summerfest (aka The Big Gig) is also one of the oldest, having begun in 1968

July 14-16: Moondance Jam

Moondance Events

A purely classic rock fest, Moondance (near Walker, Minnesota) began in 1992 and by 1995 was attracting bands like Kansas, Starship, Three Dog Night and Grand Funk Railroad. Recent headliners have included Journey, Yes, Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Buckcherry. The venue for the Jam (July 14-16) is Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest, Leech Lake

July 8-9: Rock the Resort

Project Live LLC

Inaugurated in 2004, the two-day (July 8 and 9) Rock the Resort festival at Clay’s Park Resort near Canton, Ohio is heavily classic rock-oriented. Recent headliners have included Survivor, Asia, Kansas, Canned Heat, .38 Special, and Dennis DeYoung.

July 23-24: High Voltage Festival

MAMA festivals / Classic Rock

The folks who bring you Classic Rock magazine have branched out into the festival business. Back for its second year, the 2011 High Voltage festival (July 23 and 24 in London’s Victoria Park) includes acts like Jethro Tull, Black Country Communion, Judas Priest, Dream Theater and Queensryche.

August 5-7: Lollapalooza

Parkways Foundation

Originally a traveling festival, Lollapalooza found a home in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2005. Featuring punk and alternative rock bands, the festival historially includes artists from the classic rock era in the lineup. In recent years, those have included Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Iggy and The Stooges, Billy Idol, Flaming Lips and Phoenix

September 2-4: Bumbershoot

Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival

The aptly named Bumbershoot (slang for umbrella, held in Seattle) over Labor Day weekend is one of the oldest (beginning in 1971) and largest festivals. Contemporary rock acts are most prevalent (in recent years Sheryl Crow, Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, Fergie, Kings Of Leon) but once in a while artists with classic rock cred (Steve Miller Band, Blondie, Joe Bonamassa) pop up.

April 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unusual buildings of the world



All the buildings reflect the desire of their creators but our list describes the 15 most unusual buildings of today. The builders have stepped away from the ordinary standard of architecture, we can say that these prominent structures are among the unique treasures of the world, which transmit the bizarre feeling of uniqueness that showcases contemporary exotic forms of external and internal design and permissible visionary architect.


The Basket Building (Ohio, United States) The Longaberger Basket Company building in Newark, Ohio might just be a strangest office building in the world.

The Longaberger Basket Company building in Newark, Ohio might just be a strangest office building in the world. The 180,000-square-foot building, a replica of the company’s famous market basket, cost $30 million and took two years to complete. Many experts tried to persuade Dave Longaberger to alter his plans, but he wanted an exact replica of the real thing.

Kansas City Public Library (Missouri, United States) Kansas City Public Library

This project, located in the heart of Kansas City, represents one of the pioneer projects behind the revitalization of downtown.

The people of Kansas City were asked to help pick highly influential books that represent Kansas City. Those titles were included as ‘bookbindings’ in the innovative design of the parking garage exterior, to inspire people to utilize the downtown Central Library.

Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada) The cube is the base, the mean and the finality of Habitat 67.

Expo 67, one of the world’s largest universal expositions was held in Montreal. Housing was one of the main themes of Expo 67.

The cube is the base, the mean and the finality of Habitat 67. In its material sense, the cube is a symbol of stability. As for its mystic meaning, the cube is symbol of wisdom, truth, moral perfection, at the origin itself of our civilization.

354 cubes of a magnificent grey-beige build up one on the other to form 146 residences nestled between sky and earth, between city and river, between greenery and light.

Cubic Houses (Rotterdam, Netherlands) The original idea of these cubic houses came about in the 1970s.

The original idea of these cubic houses came about in the 1970s. Piet Blom has developed a couple of these cubic houses that were built in Helmond.

The city of Rotterdam asked him to design housing on top of a pedestrian bridge and he decided to use the cubic houses idea. The concept behind these houses is that he tries to create a forest by each cube representing an abstract tree; therefore the whole village becomes a forest.

Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House (Vietnam) Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House

The house is owned by the daughter of the ex-president of Vietnam, who studied architecture in Moscow.

It does not comply with any convention about house building, has unexpected twists and turns, roofs and rooms. It looks like a fairy tale castle, it has enormous “animals” like a giraffe and a spider, no window is rectangular or round, and it can be visited like a museum.

Crooked House (Sopot, Poland) The building is located in the center of Sopot, and reflects the art for Dahlberg and Jan Marcin Szancer, both of them have created a bizarre scene that led to life Crooked House ..

Have you heard about Einstein’s theory of curvature of space and time? In any case, skip this unusual house seem to be caught between the twisted worlds, impossible. The building is located in the center of Sopot, and reflects the art for Dahlberg and Jan Marcin Szancer, both of them have created a bizarre scene that led to life Crooked House ..

School of Art, Design and Media Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) School of Art, Design and Media Nanyang Technological University

Then erase the line between nature and architecture, this building Technological University is an outstanding example of green construction with smooth shapes, grass roof, which, and the internal structure with a protective coating. In the urban landscape dotted with traditional buildings, which will automatically hold the heat, CPG Consultants offers award-winning design that will have cooling properties with a roof system, rainwater harvesting and intelligent sensors. It seems as if the glass, concrete and metal structure is cut into its wooded valley, speaking as a natural continuation of the landscape.

Conch Shell House (Isla Mujeres, Mexico) Conch Shell House

Located just 20 minutes from Cancun, is the Caribbean Ocean, surrounded by an oasis – created by Octavio Ocampo – of course, leaves a distinctive impression with its panoramic 180 degree views of the ocean and outer shell design. 5500 square feet of housing, as construction materials collected directly from the beach and the surrounding region, the building has no corners … just smooth flowing lines that reflect the real seashells. In the interior, as tempting as its front (thanks to the creative details of the design that contain these corals and shells), the structure Ocampo – which is available for vacation rentals – invites you to plunge into a heavenly world of the ocean.

House of reason, part of the Park Güell (Barcelona, Spain) House of reason, part of the Park Güell in Barcelona.

Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, known for its fantastic and original architectural works that can be found in Barcelona, includes an intriguing mythological images in his Park Guell, including the colorful mosaic as lizards and snakes in the form of a bench, took her unforgettable view through the lush impression women in wet clay. A little more memorable than his bare buttocks design method is common to both the design of your lovely town garden boasts 88 twisted thickets with winding paths that occur existence of symbiosis with green scenery. Being the center of a vast botanical area of the Pavilion, or Mind, this house is a real “spike” a masterpiece with intricate roof topped with peas and mushrooms form of the tower.

“Hole House” and “Tunnel House” (Houston, Texas) Tunnel House, Houston

Prior to his imminent destruction, Houston-based arts trio Kate Petley, Dan Havel and Dean, Rick decided to make an unusual property in the area of Montrose, turning it into a small but very memorable set called “tunnel” or “Hole”. The central tunnel like the wind in the tunnel, as it spilled out into outer space structure, besides the local audience could experience at first hand how Alice in Wonderland fantasy (or nightmare, depending on the circumstances), before all this was finally demolished in 2005 . We can only contemplate these photos and dream about their country of miracles.

Urban Cactus (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Urban Cactus in Rotterdam rise into the sky like an alien invader from the desert.

Urban Cactus in Rotterdam rise into the sky like an alien invader from the desert. This is a 19 storey building located in Rotterdam and offers city residents the opportunity to get in touch with the future of green buildings. Invented by a team of designers architects CA, the levels of the structure allows natural light to pass through the living quarters at the same time offering residents access to ample space outdoors, while overlooking the harbor of Rotterdam.

The building of the sheep and sheep dogs (Waikato, New Zealand) This is a craft shop, the building of sheep is a perfect complement to your dog.

What can only be described as the sea surface of sheep, it is rather fitting that in a country where the furry creatures in the number of people 12 to 1 that tyrants boast the world’s only known corrugated iron structure forms like a sheep and a dog. This is a craft shop, the building of sheep is a perfect complement to your dog. Both produced a local artist Stephen Clothier.

Experience Music Project (Seattle, Wash.) Experience Music Project

You know the architectural wreck or just a brilliant collision of the most memorable sights in our world? Probably not! In fact, this development of the museum by Frank Gehry – which offers cultural studies of science fiction, and music inside – a tribute to Henry Tower, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, among other works created by the designer. Of course, critics called it, although some forms of hemorrhoids, and one of the ugliest buildings in the world, and although it is risky to apply the clash of colors, textures and overall architectural identity crisis, but Experience Music Project is amazing with their uniqueness and external forms of madness. Perhaps it is time soft and walks architecture.

Ice Hotel (Yukkasyarvi, Sweden) Ice Hotel in Sweden.

Ice Hotel inside.

Ice Hotel – Sweden temporary pearl appears very short. This is a seasonal treasure, akin to the appearance of the cherry blossoms (sakura) which bloom today and gone tomorrow, it turns out that Yukkasyarvsky ice hotel is only 4 months of each year. But as it built? Ice is used from the nearby Torne River from which it cut tons of large square blocks, which is then used along with more than 30,000 tons of snow in the form of essential structures of the central pillars, flickering numbers, and surreal ice bar. In late spring, that is processed and stored for construction next year – which is just one of several environmental efforts (including their own renewable energy), the hotel will provide zero emissions of carbon, which they intend to achieve by 2015 year. By the way the rooms used by elements of light does not emit light – on the contrary the use of conventional lamps would accelerate the melting of the hotel.

Eliphante (Cornville, Arizona) Eliphante house.

Eliphante house inside.

Beautiful lsuschestvlenie in art creative organic architecture, this extraordinary house – has an area of 3 hectares of natural landscape in Arizona. A built it husband and wife – Michael Kahn and Leda Levant. The building consists of 5 separate structures handmade interconnected common kind of theme, the main living quarters are located in Eliphante and connected to the area of meditation, art gallery, sauna, garden sculptures, ponds and wetlands. By the way raw materials taken from the desert. Then they are integrated into the manor with an artistic flair, along with stone and glass mosaics, wood, tile, plaster and metal sculptures, which lives and breathes with nature. 

April 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment