Die-hard drill instructors, jailbreaking football coaches, and corrupt backwoods sheriffs. It was all just another day of work for former Marine Corp. drill instructor-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey, who died earlier this week. Ermey was an incredibly dynamic character-actor with an instantly recognizable face and rambunctious personality. The Kansas native joined the Marine Corp. in lieu of jail time after he’d been arrested twice by the age of 17. He began his career serving as a drill instructor in San Diego during the early 1960s before eventually being sent on a 14-month deployment in Vietnam. He was injured during his tour in 1969 and was sent to work as a staff sergeant in Okinawa before being medically discharged in 1972, ending his hopes of a long military career. After moving to the Philippines to attend college, Ermey married and began taking odd jobs in television commercials before landing his first film role as Sgt. Loyce in a movie called The Boys in Company C, which followed five young Marine Corp. recruits from their bootcamp training to their deployment in Vietnam. Continue reading →
WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading →
If you’re looking for more to do this summer than walk to the pool or have an occasional beach day, why not plan a trip around the annual Make Music Day festival this June 21st? Make Music Day is a worldwide event that features concerts, impromptu jam sessions, music lessons, and free events in more than 800 cities across 120 countries. Last year, 4,138 free concerts and events were held in 53 cities across North America in coordination with additional celebrations in cities around the world. All were held on June 21st. As impressive as that is, the organization is looking to one-up itself this year by adding more than 350 additional events to the line-up! That means plenty of destinations to choose from for a midsummer weekend road trip. Fête De La Musique was first started by France’s Ministry of Culture. It was held on the summer solstice in 1982 and since then has become an annual worldwide phenomenon, a celebration of music where all are welcome to participate or merely take in the atmosphere. Check out Make Music’s local links for Minneapolis and Chicago to find events happening in an area near you this summer, and get out and sing on June 21st!
Director Randal Kleiser’s big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit Grease is celebrating its 40th anniversary this April. To celebrate the occasion, TCM Big Screen Classics Presents and Fathom Events are hosting special screenings of the Oscar-nominated film in theaters across the country. Although Jim Jacob’s and Warren Casey’s original Broadway production received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Choreography (Birch), Best Actor (Barry Bostwick), and Best Costume Design, it was Kleiser’s film adaptation that would go down in history as an American pop-culture icon, with John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Face/Off) and Olivia Newton-John (Xanadu, Two of a Kind) in the roles of greaser Danny Zuko and good-girl Sandy Olsson. The film received several Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture (Musical/Comedy), Best Actor (Travolta), Best Actress (Newton-John), and Best Original Song for Frankie Valli’s “Grease” and John Farrar’s “You’re The One That I Want,” neither of which is featured in the original musical. John Farrar’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You” also earned the film an Oscar-nomination for Best Original Song. For the anniversary event, special screenings will be played at select theaters on April 8th, April 11th, and April 14th. To find showings near you, visit Fathom Events at the link below and enter your Zip Code on your preferred date, and enjoy the show!
Anniversary celebrations became something of a staple at last years Tribeca Film Festival after audiences were treated to (and blown away by) a special 45th anniversary cast-and-crew reunion of Francis Coppola’s mafia epic, The Godfather. This year, however, audiences will be treated to not one, but two cast reunions from two equally impressive cinematic icons, Brian De Palma’s Scarface and Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust drama Schindler’s List. De Palma and actors Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer are set to reunite for a special screening of Scarface at the Beacon Theater on April 19th. The same venue will also host a screening of Schindler’s List on April 26th, along with a discussion panel with director Steven Spielberg and actors Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Embeth Davidtz. The 17th annual Tribeca celebration will also host Tribeca Talks: The Directors Series and Tribeca Talks: Storytellers with directors and actors like Alexander Payne, Laura Poitras, Bradley Cooper, Spike Lee, and Alec Baldwin, as well as a Tribeca Talks: The Journey panel highlighting Sarah Jessica Parker. Tickets for the 2018 celebration are on sale now.
Chicago clothing brand, Jugrnaut, recently released a pair of new sport caps for those gearing up for Spring. Using their “Jux” logo, both hats are pretty versatile, especially the classic black version. These are both available online and in store for $36, click the link below for a better look.
Art A Whirl weekend has become a huge yearly event for many residents of the Twin Cities. The non conforming art festival now sprawls across innumerable art galleries, some official while others are inside homes transformed into show rooms. The 331 Club is in the thick of the Northeast Art District, and proves to be one of the best places to take a break from the art galleries for some live music and beer. This year the 3 day party will feature performances from Charlie Parr, Hastings 3000, Mark Mallman, FOG, Gay Witch Abortion, All Tomorrow’s Petty, and Beasthead among many, many others. Entrance for the Art A Whirl festivities is free, but you’ll need to be 21+ to party. Click the link below for more information and set times.
Location: 205 E Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis When: Thursday, April 5th @ 9PM
Rich Garvey’s birthday is right around the corner, so it’s only right that the local heavy hitter throws a big party. The event features a stacked lineup with performances from Prolly Tri$, EL.I.BE, Vinny Crook$, Prizm, Radio Ahlee, Juice Lord, and Timothy Devon, as well as production sets from Adriatic, Phib, and Blamsiss. DJs Rich Lee and Infinity Suite will hold down the 1s & 2s, while WNDRLND handles the hosting duties. This one is 21+ and the door is only $5, mark your calendars and stay tuned for more.
Location: 701 N 1st Avenue, Minneapolis When: Friday, March 23rd @ 9PM
Over the last year, Ness Nite has been in New York City, but that hasn’t stopped her from crafting a great album with oft-collaborator Mike Frey. The Minneapolis based producer and Ness Nite have turned their chemistry into one of 2018’s more refreshing offerings. The 12 track album showcases just how far Ness Nite has come in a fairly short amount of time. This Friday, she’ll headline First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry with openers DJ Rowsheen, DUA, and Izell Pyramid, a solid lineup for what should be a great night. This show is 18+ and tickets are still available for only $10 ($15 @ door), click the link below to buy yours now.
Location: 1265 Snelling Avenue N, St. Paul (State Fair Grounds) When: Sunday, May 27th // 11AM-9PM
Rhymesayer’s annual Soundset Festival will once again take over the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for what should be yet another good time. Although some people were a tad upset with last minute no shows and randomly switching set times, last year’s event ended up being solid for the most part; especially for anyone who stayed for Travis Scott’s headlining set. This year, once again, the lineup features a very eclectic roster including headliners Erykah Badu, Migos, and Logic; as well as sets from Tyler The Creator, Ice T, Brockhampton, Wu-Tang Clan, and Jaden Smith among others. Soundset has always been about more than just music, so make sure to check out the live graffiti section, car show, and B Boy/B Girl dance off. Soundset is all ages and it appears that VIP passes are already sold out. General admission tickets are still available for the base price of $82 ($97 after fees), but will surely rise as we get closer to the event. Click the link below for a complete guide to Soundset 2018 and to buy your tickets.