Carmelo Anthony has always been a dual threat on the basketball court, a leading scorer and a fierce defensive threat, but now he’s showing the world how he can DO:MORE off the court with his love for boxing. Last night Anthony helped Degree Men launch its new DO:MORE campaign with an afternoon workout event with some of New York’s top amateur boxers in a pop-up boxing ring atop the Madison Square Garden marquee. From above the Madison Square Garden marquee, Carmelo helped inspire guys everywhere to DO:MORE in their own lives by hopping in the ring for a brief workout with his boxing trainer.
Complacency is not an option – especially for America’s elite athletes. As you may have already seen or heard, basketball superstars Carmelo Anthony & Kevin Durant are teaming up with Degree Men deodorant to help launch a new campaign encouraging men to go beyond their comfort zone and test their limits – they’re challenging guys to DO:MORE. With national TV advertising featuring Anthony & Durant airing this month during the NCAA tournament, the guys – who are known and recognized around the world for basketball – are showcasing their individual passions off the court with the support from Degree Men, in hopes to inspire guys everywhere to DO:MORE in their own lives.
With the support of Degree Men with MOTIONSENSE, Anthony has the confidence and protection needed to take his game to the next level and DO:MORE whether he’s running 94-feet up and down the basketball court or going 12-rounds in the boxing ring.
Jaymes Samuel is the type of person you wish they’d make more of. Bursting with energy, his creativity is palatable. The guy’s a born storyteller. He’s the type of casual wordsmith that reveals his cleverness in everyday conversation. He just can’t help it. Articulate, confident and excited, that’s his default mode. He’s a singer, songwriter, producer, writer, filmmaker, all-around multitasking visionary. He knows he’s the shit, too. And the real awesome thing is that he doesn’t hold it against you.
I had a casual lunch with Jeymes and a group of other media folks while visiting SWSX in Austin. It was the day of his film debut, They Die by Dawn, a 50-minute Western short with a sick cast that marked Jeymes first foray into film. The guy has created music videos before and worked with the artists like Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, Tori Amos, Charlotte Gainsbourg and a bunch of other people to create some great music. Jeymes has his own music crew too, a group called The Bullitts who will debut their first album this May. They’ve already released some pretty chill tracks, so check ‘em out if you haven’t already. I like “Landspeeder” quite a bit.
Anyway, MANjr is friendly with the Bulleit Bourbon brand, who helped sponsor the film, so we got sent out to SXSW to see the premiere of They Day by Dawn at a Bulleit-sponsored event at Viceland. The short film had a great cast (Michael K. Williams, Isaiah Washington, Rosario Dawson, Giancarlo Esposito, Erykah Badu,Nate parker, Jesse Williams, Bokeem Woodbine, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, you get the point). And by all accounts, everyone had a lot of fun making this short film.
The impetus of the film was Samuel’s love of Westerns and his desire to correct a “huge inconsistency” that he saw in Hollywood’s historical “disservice” of excluding people of color in Western films. But this short film was just the beginning, just a taste of more to come. As Samuel put it, “This was just a link. What’s coming next is a full tub of Haagen Daaz.”
That tasty bit of froyo is coming in the form of a full-length feature film called The Notorious Nine. They Time by Dawn was just a sketch, an illustration that Jeymes can do it all.
I had a chance to speak with Jeymes at the premiere of They Die by Dawn at SXSW in Austin. We talked about everything from his original score inspiration to the upcoming feature film The Notorious Nine and a whole lot more. Here’s the interview:
CS: So I know you did the soundtrack yourself. I felt a heavy Ennio Morricone vibe, is that where you drew some of your inspiration? Those old spaghetti westerns?
JS: Absolutely, Ennio Morricone is like my favorite film composer of all time. I love that guy, man. “Ecstasy Of Gold” is one of the greatest pieces ever made. So when I was doing They Die by Dawn, I drew a lot of influence from him and what he was doing. Because Ennio Morricone was a guy that didn’t have big orchestras at hand, so he would use voices. So he was the first guy that wasn’t doing Western music to a Western. He was just doing what he saw in his head. He couldn’t afford an orchestra so you’d hear “aaaaaaaaaaaaaah ha ah ah ah” so swag, you know what I mean? He is my favorite composer of all time.
CS: That Mission soundtrack is all super emotional as well.
JS: Ill, man. Ill!
CS: Alright so I know this thing ended on a cliffhanger, is there anything you can tell us about The Notorious Nine or not yet?
JS: Let me tell you something. I’ll straight tell you about The Notorious Nine. But even while I’m telling you, that’s nothing in comparison to what’s coming. I shot They Die by Dawn over four days, right.
CS: Four days?
JS: Four days, that’s small. For Notorious Nine, there was a guy called O.W. Gurley right, and he got his 40 acres and a mule. He took this place, Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and made black Wall Street. I’m rebuilding black Wall Street for Notorious Nine. I’m bringing back Jack Johnson. There’s a big bank heist around Jack Johnson, right. I’m bringing all of these characters back and I’m assembling them in one place at one time. We touched on one town in They Die by Dawn, but for Notorious Nine we’re going everywhere. It’s much bigger.
CS: Are we going to see some of the same characters?
JS: Yeah, because it continues. This is like a prelude. But The Notorious Nine, you can watch it even if you haven’t seen They Die by Dawn. But They Die by Dawn serves as a prelude to what’s coming next, when I unleash the most menacing villain in modern day cowboy movies, Rufus Buck. It’s like some real, real menace. It’s about the pursuit of Rufus Buck and, in turn, his pursuit of The Notorious Nine. You know what I mean? The movie is almost like a heist movie. It’s a really great thing.
CS: I’ve heard you talk about how you’re assembling this cast and you thought of it like The Avengers. How did you single out which characters you wanted to bring to life?
JS: Well there were about 150 characters I wanted to bring to life. But I was like, let me save some great ones for the The Notorious Nine and let me just introduce the ones I want to put out there now. Giancarlo Esposito is one of my favorite actors of all time. He’s the reason I’m wearing Jordan Force today. He was doing research into his character and I told him I wanted him to play him, it was just natural. Then I wanted to introduce the character of Rufus Buck and I wanted to talk about Bill Pickett, who wasn’t really an outlaw. He was more like a rodeo dude and that. But I really wanted to introduce these characters, just a few of them first, the ones that stood out to me the most. That was the easiest to portray. If it was someone like Cherokee Bill I’d want to make it more violent. He’s in The Notorious Nine but I’d want to make it even more violent with Cherokee Bill.
CS: Are we going to see some of the same cast members?
JS: Yeah. You’re going to see all the same cast members, all the ones that didn’t die. You’ll see all the same cast members and more. We’re going to close down down Hollywood on The Notorious Nine. You’re going to see something that you’ve never seen before in cinema.
CS: So how did you first get involved in the Bulleit Partnership? How did that develop?
JS: Well what happened was what I see in Westerns, when I see cowboys asking for whiskey, that’s unrealistic. That’s lazy on the writer’s part. They always ask for the same thing, that couldn’t happen. If I was a cowboy I’d have a particular drink, if they had particular drinks. Otherwise what is the point of having particular drinks in those days? Everything around the world has just been called whiskey, but they had brands so people would choose a brand. The only time when people would just say “give me whiskey” was in the depression era when they outlawed alcohol.
CS: “Gimme some of that bathtub stuff.”
JS: Yeah, give me some moonshine. Musically, I’m the Bullitts so I found this brand called Bulleit Bourbon, and that existed back then, it was meant to be like this couture brand. I was like, if I was a cowboy I’ll drink Bulleit,” so I just wrote it into the movie just to be authentic. So when people look at the script they can’t say “that didn’t take place” or “that town in 1890 didn’t take place” or “there wasn’t all that many black people.” I wanted to have all of those aspects and all the realistic aspects, that’s why I chose Bulleit Bourbon. The next minute, after I’d done post production, I met someone from Diageo, they told me that they own Bulleit. I was like, “no Bulleit doesn’t exist anymore” and they were like, “yes is does.” Next thing you know I’m speaking to Tom Bulleit and it’s just a whole other –
CS: I heard that guy’s a chill dude, right?
JS: He’s the most chill. Tom Bulleit is like Keyser Soze – the most chill dude you’d ever get to meet. He’s exactly like me with regards to his brand and bringing it back and the audacity of daring. You know what I mean? Dare to dream, almost, you know what I mean?
CS: So what were some of your favorite spaghetti Westerns growing up? That you drew inspiration from for this?
JS: Well, the spaghetti Westerns were a particular type. I love all the Westerns, even the ones that take liberties with black people, like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I love all the Westerns. But as far as my favorite spaghetti Western, my favorite of those is For A Few Dollars More–
CS: With an awesome soundtrack…
JS: Wicked, man. Obviously The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Once Upon a Time in the West with Henry Fonda playing the most evil person you’re ever going to meet. Also a film called The Great Silence – Il Grande Silenzio. I think it was by Sergio Corbucci. It was an ill Western starring Klaus Kinski. And it showed a black guy, one of the leads is a black guy, and it has no reason for him being there. He’s just there, he’s just one of the characters in it. It really stood out to me.
CS: It took a foreign guy to do that.
JS: Yeah man, it took a foreign guy to do that. Like come on man, it took a foreign guy. It took Sergio Leone to cast Woody Stroud in Once Upon a Time in the West. And when he’s coming he’s not chasing anyone or serving anyone, he’s just one of the characters there. They don’t call him “that black dude,” he’s just one of the characters. It took someone who wasn’t institutionalized by the Hollywood system to do that. That was my inspiration. Some of those other things were my biggest inspirations when telling the story of They Die by Dawn and The Notorious Nine.
CS: When does that start filming?
JS: I’m going to start filming The Notorious Nine I think in late May or beginning of June. I’m going to start filming in a minute. When I get to London I have to hand in another script and then we go full on into pre-production.
CS: Well, I look forward to that.
JS: It’s ill, man. I’m telling you, The Notorious Nine… people like this stuff, and They Die by Dawn was done in four days.
JS: The Notorious Nine is a bank robberies, train robberies, jailbreaks, and a whole other rebuild. I’m rebuilding Yuma and we break out of Yuma. It’s a whole other moment. I think it’s going to be something really culturally significant. It’s going to be dope. The Notorious Nine, baby!
Logan Miller started out as a child actor on a few shows like “I’m in the Band” and he voiced the character Nova from the animated series “Ultimate Spider-Man.” Now Miller can be seen portraying a sex crazed maniac in an independent film called “Plus One” that premiered at SXSW this year. Before the party of the century for a group of college freshman, a small meteor hits earth and instead of any physical damage, the meteor causes molecular damage and every person develops a duplicate of themselves. It’s up to ‘Teddy’ to band everyone together and save his friends from the potential threat of the duplicates.
Miller was also on NBC’s “Grimm,” Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital” opposite Rob Corddry, Michael Cera and Megan Mullaly, and more. I was able to talk with Logan about his current projects, SXSW, and his career.
Art Eddy: You were at South by Southwest promoting the film you are in “Plus One.” Tell me a bit about the film and your role.
Logan Miller: The film concept is one that you have not heard before. It is a very crazy sci-fi thriller mixed with a teenage party movie. This small, small meteor comes to Earth and is very insignificant and it doesn’t affect anyone physically. It has this electric current that creates a tremor in the time space continuum. This causes everyone to have duplicates of themselves, but it is not just duplicates. It is you but you in an hour from that past. So everything you duplicate does you already have done. Add that with a sex crazed party movie and you have a great time at the movie theater.
AE: How did you get involved into this film?
LM: I auditioned my ass of for it. I started with some tapes and then I flew all the way to New York. I then flew to London to test for it and then went back to L.A. to test for it. I was definitely committed to do this project. It had been something that I had never done before and it was a branch out of my previous work. I think this is as fresh as you can get. I really wanted to grab a hold of this role immediately and it worked out to my benefit. I think we have something here in the film that we can be proud of.
AE: Wow that audition process you did alone should be made into a movie.
LM: (Laughs) Right. Once I flew to London I told myself if I didn’t get this role I would be very upset.
AE: So you were showcasing the film at this year’s South by Southwest festival? Did you get a chance to meet some cool actors or musicians?
LM: Well I was very busy promoting the film so I didn’t have a chance to meet some of the people I wanted to that were there at the fest. It was great and I had a blast. I am actually from Texas so I knew a lot of the cool places to take people when I had down time. The vibe of the fest is great. I love the collection of Indie film makers and great music melded together. It is really a fun, fun town to lose yourself in and I really enjoyed my time there.
AE: Do you have any other projects that you are currently working on?
LM: I have another movie called “Deep Powder” that just got accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival. I also have this movie called “Night Moves” that Kelly Reichardt directed that also stars Peter Sarsgaard, Dakota Fanning, and Jesse Eisenberg. That movie is actually coming out in the summer. I am trying to finance my own short film. It is called “Risen.” You can check it out on my indiegogo website.
AE: You also voice the character Nova in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated series. For you what are some differences between live acting and voice acting?
LM: Voice acting I wouldn’t say is ten times easier, but I will because it is. It is so much fun. We do the show like an old radio show where we all get together and voice the show. We have such a blast doing the show. You just show up and read your lines and you can be as comfortable as can be and you don’t have to get any makeup on for voice over work. It is great.
AE: Are you a fan of comic books? Did you know a lot about the character of Nova before the series?
LM: Of course. Well I didn’t know too much about Nova, but I read up on him. I know he is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I am glad that film is coming along and maybe I can play him in the film. It would be an awesome role to play.
For all you reality TV lovers out there, ABC debuted a soggy addition to their Tuesday night line up with the new series Splash. The premise is a simple one — celebrities diving from Olympic style diving boards and platforms. The words “celebrity” and “diving” are used pretty loosely here. Halle Berry and George Clooney weren’t lining up poolside waiting to perform a synchronized reverse one and a half somersault.
The celebs who were present certainly gave a valiant effort. The slate was led by Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy Cosby). Keshia managed to perform a shaky handstand into a dive. King-sized comedian Louie Anderson pulled off a pretty basic swan dive from the 23-ft platform. You may remember Katherine Webb, the beauty queen that received inappropriate praise from Brent Musburger during the BCS national championship game. Katherine attempted a backwards flip in to the pool from 16 feet but fell and landed awkwardly on her feet and rear end. Extreme Skier Rory Bushfield was easily and understandably the best diver of the night. Rory launched off the 10 meter platform into an impressive double flip with a twist. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finally gave the audience (and producers) the terrible dive we had all been waiting for. Kareem landed directly on his face in an epic belly flop off of the 3 meter springboard.
The two judges were US diver David Boudia and Australian diver Steve Foley. I was hoping for a good cop/bad cop routine from them, instead their feedback was actually very complimentary. Watching terrible dives was far more entertaining than I anticipated. Turns out that watching famous people perform awful or even painful dives is more than enough to get a laugh out of me. The cuts to training were definitely a highlight of the hour. Hands down my favorite part was the scene when Louie Anderson was unable to get out of the pool on his own. Coaches and other contestants had to team up to push and pull Louie to dry land. This mighty struggle had me howling, poor Louie looked like a giant manatee being rescued by marine biologists.
Overall, I found the show slow but mildly entertaining. Next week we’ll see Playmate Kendra Wilkinson, TV star Drake Bell, Chuy Bravo, NFL sensation Ndamukong Suh and former Baywatch heart throb Nicole Eggert. I’m a big Detroit Lions fan so they had me at Ndamukong. Another opportunity to catch Nicole Eggert in a swimsuit doesn’t hurt either.
Splash airs on Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC.
On Tuesday night, elite actors including Michael K. Williams, Nate Parker and Felicia Pearson joined Bulleit Bourbon and director Jeymes Samuel for the NYC premiere of his groundbreaking short film, They Die by Dawn.
Held at Tribeca Cinemas, over 200 guests had the opportunity to screen the film. At the core of this project was Samuel’s desire to bring an untold story to life with an all-star cast, including Giancarlo Esposito, Isaiah Washington, Michael K. Williams, Rosario Dawson and Jessie Williams. Set in Langston, Okla., They Die by Dawn follows four African American outlaws blazing the western frontier to capture the group’s collective bounty.
Bulleit Bourbon’s partnership with Samuel in They Die by Dawn launches an on-going commitment by the brand to collaborate with emerging artists in film, art and music, who similar to its Founder Tom Bulleit, are passionate about making their visions a reality.
Kevin Conroy has a distinct voice. For fans of “Batman: The Animated Series,” Conroy’s voice will forever be the one associated with the Dark Knight. From films to video games Kevin has been working on Batman projects since 1992. Conroy, a student of the famous Juilliard School, was in the same class as Robin Williams and learned from the best teachers imaginable. Conroy has a love for theater and appreciated the lessons he learned on the stage and uses those lessons in his voice acting roles.
I had the great pleasure to chat with Kevin about how he found the voice of Batman, Comic-Cons, video games and working with Mark Hamill. I even learned a thing or two about Batman from Kevin.
Art Eddy: I have to say ever since I watched “Batman: The Animated Series” you will forever be the voice of Batman. Take me back to when you got the role on that show back in 1992 and how you found the voice for not only Batman, but Bruce Wayne as well?
Kevin Conroy: It was one of those very, very lucky moments that just happened. I started working in New York since I was 17 and went to Juilliard and did a lot of theater and did a lot of television after that. I have been supporting myself working as an actor for a long time. I found myself in L.A. doing a TV series.
I had a voice over agent. I had been doing commercial voice overs. He said that they were doing a new show over at Warner Brothers. They were looking for animation voices. I had no background in animation. I didn’t even know that much about the Batman legend. I met Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano, and Paul Dini.
I told them that the only thing that I knew about Batman is from the ’70s TV show with Adam West. They said no, no, no. That is not what we are doing. (Laughs) They were very heavy in the whole Dark Knight ethos. They told me the story of the Bob Kane legend.
It became to have this dark, noir feel to it. They said think of that and I said let me just use my imagination and let me get that into that kind of head. I went in a totally different direction than what I was going in there with. I was almost expecting a Dudley Do-Right voice like very cartoony. I ended up getting into this mysterious, kind of husky, and what I considered a dark sound. I saw them get really excited in the booth. They said that they loved the instinct and the direction that I was going in.
They reacted strongly so I knew it was really right on or I was way off. That was just a lucky hand and glove kind of thing. All my theater training and the background I had made me right for interpreting that character at that moment.
AE: To me I think you and Mark Hamill, who is the voice of The Joker, have the best chemistry with the banter you guys have as Batman and The Joker not only during that series, but in the “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City” video games. How is it to work with him?
KC: We work so well together. There again that was just the luck of casting. He is basically a theater actor and so am I. Theater actors a bit different. They like to play the game. Acting is like throwing a ball back and forth. You have to be generous. You have to throw the scene to the other guy and wait for him to throw it back to you. It is all reaction and reaction and like a child being really able to go with the flow. To be silly sometimes and to not necessarily do what you were planning on doing and let yourself be surprised.
Mark has all of that in spades. He has great imagination. He has great vocal range and he has the imagination of a child. So when you throw him the ball he just runs with it. We both that that instinct in us. So we get into the booth together and we go crazy. We have a lot of fun.
AE: Another video game that is due out soon is “Injustice: Gods Among Us” where you do the voice for Batman. Can you tell me a little bit about the game and what is the difference between voice acting for a video game as opposed to an animated series?
KC: You have no idea what you just asked. It is so different. It is like another planet. Acting in the episodes is like doing a play. There are six or eight of you in a booth together and you are interacting and feeding each other energy. Like I said before it is like playing ball. There is a give and take. There is just a lot of energy.
When you do a game you are alone in a booth for four hours at a time. You get an hour for lunch and then another four hour session and that’s a day. That happens the next day and the next day and the day after that. A month later you go back and do another couple of sessions. I have done where it can go on for eight months where every month you are going in for a few days.
The experience is completely different than doing a show because you are alone. You got to be your own source of energy. You have to keep your character alive. Keep him real. Keep to Batman, but I don’t have anyone to reference it to. They want four different readings for each line. Then they will want four or five takes of each reading. It is a different kind of talent. When you see the results like with “Arkham Asylum” it is just incredible. You think wow, it was really worth it.
AE: I heard there were rumors of DC using the “Flashpoint” storyline to make an animated film. Would you be playing the role of Batman?
KC: I can’t talk about upcoming stuff. I’m sorry. They are giving me a really hard time because about a year ago I let it slip about something I was doing. I thought it was the reason that they sent me to Comic-Cons was to promote the product. I said why did you send me if you didn’t want me to talk about the product.
They said don’t say anything until we tell you to say it. We weren’t ready for that release. I said I am giving you free publicity is that why am I there? They say you are there to be Batman to get the audience happy. So all I can tell you is that there are two big things that I am working on that are coming out.
AE: I can’t wait for those. Earlier you said you did not know that much about Batman before you took up the role on the animated series, do you read any Batman comics now?
KC: Oh yea! I have been doing it for 22 years. I have immersed myself in it. Did you know that Bob Kane lived in the Bronx when he wrote Batman? He came up with the idea in Poe Park. He and the other creator of the Batman series were tossing ideas and that is where they came up with the idea.
AE: You went to Juilliard. What were some of the major things you will always remember learning in the years you were there? Did they have any courses on voice acting when you attended school there?
KC: No. I shouldn’t say that now because I was there a long time ago so I don’t know what they do now. Back then it was a really traditional European style acting program. There was dance classes, voice classes, acting classes, fencing and a French mask class. Robin Williams was in my class with me. Robin was a genius at doing mask work. He would create these characters that were just unbelievable. Everyone was very competitive. Then you see Robin and you would think I just give up. It was just an amazing place to be.
AE: You make many appearances at different Comic-Cons around the country. How much fun do you have at the conventions and do have a favorite all time story you would care to share?
KC: I have a blast at those panels. I really do. The amazing thing is some of the stuff that you are asked to sign. Like body parts if you know what I mean. The great thing about Comic-Con is that it a real cross section of the whole culture. It’s the wackos and then it’s the hard core super fans and the serious, serious egghead fans. You get everyone in there. You get intellectuals and you get whack jobs. It is so interesting, especially the big ones like San Diego and New York. It is fascinating. You get a real cross section of the culture. It is really interesting.
To listen to the entire interview and hear Kevin indulge me with saying a few lines as Batman click here.
AUSTIN- At this point, if you haven’t been to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest you’re probably in either two camps. In camp A you have the people who want to get down here so freaking bad they can taste it. Every year that goes by without their presence at this festival fills them with the longing of a child watching recess from detention. If you’re in camp A you’re likely a music enthusiast with some sort of plan to get your ass down here, one day, soon.
If you’re in camp B, you get it. You’re tired of hearing about how great Austin is. You’re tired of seeing #sxsw a thousand times a day. You assume it’s all hype at this point. SXSW is now 26 years old. It’s got to be blown out. Everything great in music dies at 27 anyways. Corporate America has discovered a gold mine for “trend setting young adults with disposable income” and it can’t possibly live up the hype. Right?
It does. Oh it does.
SXSW is a music festival like none I’ve ever seen. There are literally thousands of acts playing nearly 24 hours a day. Trying to sift through where to go, who to see, how to get in, and what to do is enough to turn anyone with a penchant for organization crazy. It’s simply impossible. Just let it go.
Everywhere you look there is a band playing music. Real bands, hometown heroes, up and coming acts, LA, NYC, Nashville, Chicago bands. People you’ve never heard of who might become your new favorite band are playing right next door. Find them.
How do you deal with it all? Here’s a few tips for the man on the move in Austin.
Don’t get too hung up on details but before you arrive I would strongly suggest scanning sxsw.com for the list of announced bands. (Music acts, comedy, etc are listed under “showcase”) Cherry pick some acts you want to see. Follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook page, etc. Don’t try to plan your whole trip. Too many things change, too many things are TBA. You’ll have to change your plan a hundred times and it’ll end up being wasted time. Good immersion therapy for OCD and type A planners. Go with the flow.
Pay a couple of bucks to a site like RSVPster.com. They will RSVP you to the dozens of sponsored parties that get a lot of the big name acts. Their site is a gold mine of information for attendees. Use it. If you have the money, buy a badge ahead of time. You’ll skip every line, you’ll get into every official event. You don’t need one to enjoy the festival but if you have the coin it opens doors and keeps you in the clubs and out of line.
Invest Your Time Early
On your first day go wait in line for your wrist bands. You’ll thank yourself later. Just do it. You need them even if you have a badge and you can only pick them up at certain times. I know, you’re finally at South by, I need BBQ and a drink and some tunes, right now. Hurry up and wait, it’ll pay off later.
Start Your SXSW Experience on Twitter
Not on Twitter? Join it, if not just for this. Search for #sxswtips #sxsw #sxsecrets. Save those searches, check them regularly. Nothing on the web can keep up with Twitter. No web site, no schedule, no app. Twitter was made for days like these. Passion Pit goes on in 30 minutes, next door? Find out on Twitter. Rumors of Justin Timberlake and Daft Punk being deposited in a field by an alien spaceship? Find out on Twitter. Nearly every venue has an associated hashtag. Half the time I’m just using it to find out the name of the band on stage, who’s up next, who plays here tomorrow. Find it all on Twitter. It’s the internet’s whisper chamber, embrace it.
Continue It on Instagram
Best for use while on the ground in Austin, searching Instagram’s hashtags and nearby photos will give you approximately 860 words more per look than twitter. Searching nearby might tell you that John Wayne Bro is absolutely killing the club two doors down while you can’t get a drink for some act you’re not even into. There is a party happening everywhere. Find the one you want.
Download The Official SXSW App
The sheer volume of acts in town take away from this app’s usefulness. It’s not their fault, it’s just nearly impossible to sift through and organize everything they have happening. You set a few search parameters, a search area, a time frame and get moving. You scroll for 3 minutes and realize you’re still searching 10pm in a .2 mile radius. It has purpose and value but don’t rely on it exclusively.
Go Straight to 6th Street
There are other pockets of activity but 6th street is the beaten path for a reason. Get in a taxi and say, “6th and Congress please.” That’ll drop you right where you need to start. Google maps is your friend. Get your bearings. That big lit building that looks like an angry owl is at 4th and Congress. If you’re looking at it the numbered streets decrease. (3rd, 2nd…) If it’s at your back the numbers go up (6th, 7th, 8th). Know where you are, it’ll help later. Walk down 6th, take it all in.
Don’t Get Bogged Down With Information
When in doubt, walk into your closest bar and order a drink. Regroup, watch a band, have a drink. Plan your next assault. Most shows seem to start on the hour so if it’s quarter past go catch one in progress and start checking your area.
I know. Boring. But do it anyway. You need to hydrate, it’s hot, you’re walking everywhere, you’re probably having too much to drink. Know your limits. Don’t be that guy.
Pick a Liquor, Drink It on The Rocks
Beer will slow you down and make you wait in line for bathrooms. I prefer whiskey. Get a drink, sip it. Maintain the buzz without getting sloppy.
Charge Your Phone
Seriously consider buying one of those backup battery packs that hold an extra charge. Turn your screen brightness down, charge your phone whenever and where ever you can. Bring your charger out with you.
Mayhem rules. You will see so many bands your head will spin. Taking notes is boring, take a picture of the band, post it online with their name. When you get home check ‘em out and buy some of their music. That’s right, I said buy music. It’s fun, try it.
“Stay out late, sleep in… Do not take a night off” -Robin, Los Angeles, CA
You’re only here for a few days. Get your rest but don’t bone out of the nights, that’s where it’s at. Don’t push so hard during the day that you miss the best part.
Talk to Strangers
Don’t just stare at your phone all night making video recordings you’ll never watch. Talk to the people around you, make a friend for the night or life. Find out who The Airborne Toxic Event is and that they are about to rock Buffalo Billiards, connect with your fellow humans. It feels good.
Go Back Next Year, Do It Better
If you have not checked out the all new series on the History Channel, “Vikings” make sure you make it a point to do so. The series is set at the beginning of the Viking Age, marked by the Viking raid on Lindisfarne. This weeks episode, which is the Episode 3, is called “Dispossessed”.
A monastery in Lindesfarne is about to get a firsthand look at how the Vikings operate. In and out in a flurry of violence and terror, Ragnar and his crew raid the monastery for everything it contains from treasure to monks who can be sold as slaves. Unable to ignore the riches this unsanctioned journey has returned, Earl Haraldson has no choice but to agree to let these warriors undertake a second trip out. The west has now been opened for the taking by Ragnar Lothbrok and the world of the Vikings will never be the same.
The show will air on this Sunday, March 17 at 10 p.m. on HISTORY. The show is directed by Johan Renck and written by Michael Hirst.
Here is a sneak peek of Sunday’s episode.
On March 4th Hulu started airing the “Raising the Bar” series which took place during last year’s American Royal World Series of BBQ. There was a contest that had six teams that had to construct a bar within an eight hour time limit. Each bar was judged on its uniqueness and ability to pour George Dickel Tennessee Whisky. The producers of shows like the “Deadliest Catch” and “Storage Wars” were the ones that created this series.
The first episode followed three guys who are metal workers that dubbed themselves “Team Big Steel”. They used over 4000 washers that were welded onto metal slabs to construct their bar. Their design also called for a steam powered arm that would actual pour the whisky. They had eight hours to build the bar and make sure it was in working order. I don’t want to tell you if they were able to complete the bar in time, but if you want to find out what happened click here for the video.
One of the reasons that this contest took place was to celebrate the fine art of American craftsmanship and ingenuity. George Dickel Whisky was looking to see which team would rise above the rest of the other challengers and create the perfect bar.
One of the cool concepts coming from the “Raising the Bar” series is that viewers get to voice their ideas of what they would add to the bar to make it stand out even more. The series runs for five weeks and in each episode a new bar is created from a different team. Each idea that is sent in will be given to that specific team. For instance after watching the video of “Team Big Steel” and if you feel you can add something to make it better send in your ideas on Twitter using the hashtag “RaisingtheBar.”
If your idea is selected by the winning team and Master of Whisky Gerry Graham you have a shot of winning some cool things from that team that won the contest. Use your imagination, but the items that teams do not want is anything dealing with electronics or the latest tech gear. If you are a fan of good old fashioned hard work and independent thinking watch the “Raising the Bar” series each week and send in your ideas to make the designs of the bar you love even more impressive.
Dutch brothers Wouter and Sjoerd Jannsen, better known as Showtek, return to Orange County March 13 at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. The brothers will make a few more stops before arriving in Miami for Winter Music Conference 2013 where they are scheduled for a boatload of performances.
Last summer, Showtek tore it up down under with a sold-out Australia tour.
MANjr had the privilege of meeting up with hardstyle masters Showtek for an exclusive interview before their sold-out performance in Orange County awhile back.
Showtek rocked the house at the Grove of Anaheim in front of raucous legion of fans that came early for a meet and greet with the Dutch hardstyle masters. The pride of Eindhoven, Wouter and Sjoerd hail from a musically gifted family, and have exploded on the electronic dance music scene with their relentless energy and bangin beats.
After a mind-blowing morning set at the inaugural EDC Las Vegas, Showtek embarked on a European tour followed by a U.S. tour that culminated with their epic show in Anaheim. MANjr was granted exclusive access and got to hang with the brothers before, during and after the show.
As we entered the duos hotel suite, we were greeted with Jack & Cokes and smiles, which was pretty impressive considering the jetlag they were feeling from their long Glasgow flight.
The interview covered a gamut of topics including their EDC Las Vegas set, their musical influences and their aspirations to be professional basketball players like their homie the Dunkin’ Dutchman Rik Smits.
After we wrapped up the interview, the party moved to the Grove of Anaheim where thousands of loyal fans were ready to greet their favorite DJ’s. The boys took the time to chat up, take pictures and mingle with everybody.
Once the pleasantries were complete, the brothers Jannsen were ready to take the stage and throw it down. Showtek pumped up the crowd from start to finish, playing a wide range of their hardstyle hits like Here We Fucking Go! and World is Mine. Wielding an ice gun and striking willing fans with blasts of cold air, Sjoerd is the MC and crowd handler while his bro Wouter controls the pace from the ones and twos.
When the lights came on, Showtek stuck around to thank their fans and sign all sorts of stuff ranging from posters, pictures, phones and even a Mohawk. Since then, Showtek has continued to tour the globe and spread their sound.
Showtek’s combination of upbeat energetic beats mixed with a genuine love for their fans should serve them well moving forward.