Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trailer Watch: Harry Potter & the Search for Purpose Once the Series Ends

Well, kids, the trailer for franchise finale - broken into two parts, natch - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hit the intertubes today, and it's certainly not lacking for overblown epicness...but then, that's what we're looking for in a conclusion, right?

David Yates, who brought a (mostly) deft hand to the last two series entries, takes the reigns again for the final chapter(s), officially making him the director of half of the Potter films. But before we all start prematurely crying into our butterbeers, let's check out that Voldemort-heavy trailer:


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

This weekend in Chicago concerts

Minneapolis folk-rocker Mason Jennings played the first of two consecutive shows last night at Lincoln Hall, and while the backing band he brought along for his tour last fall was missed, he offered up a satisfyingly varied solo set of old and new songs.

Among them were some deep cuts like "The Fisherman" - a bonus track from 2008's In the Ever - and "Stormy Weather," originally titled "The Field," (not to be confused with the similarly titled track off of Blood of Man) which Jennings recently unearthed from a box of forgotten recordings. The singer-songwriter shared with the enthusiastic crowd that he may release the old songs in an album format later this year.

Meanwhile, the second annual Green Music Fest wrapped up tonight in West Town, with headliners David Bazan and Cloud Cult. Bazan - armed with a 3-piece band behind him - clearly aimed for a festival-ready set of loud, rock-driven tunes, eschewing his usual question-and-answer segments, as well as, oddly, most of his newest record. Curse Your Branches may be speculative (at one point, Bazan mentioned the strangeness of playing "navel-gazing songs" at an outdoor festival), but it's also his most accessible material.

The orchestral-indie stylings of Cloud Cult provided a similarly boisterous closing set, highlighting a few solid songs from their new record, Light Chasers, which won't hit shelves until September 17, but is now available online. Up next for Chicagoans: Pitchfork, Lolla, etc, etc.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Who doesn't love some Buscemi?

Ok, so it's not technically a movie, but since the last time I broke my "music and movies only" rule was for the Sopranos finale, it's fitting that the second time is about Sopranos writer Terence Winter's new series, Boardwalk Empire.

Boardwalk, which premiers on HBO this fall, stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson (based on real life Atlantic County Treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Johnson), the "boss" of Prohibition-era Atlantic City, and generally looks awesome. It doesn't hurt that other Sopranos mainstays like director Timothy Van Patten are on board...or that Martin Scorsese directed the pilot and is producing the show.

Evidence of Scorsese's involvement is all over the newly released trailer, which doesn't quite make me want to pay for HBO, but ensures the series a home at the top of my Netflix queue:

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