Tagged with "david"
Celebrating the life of Michael David Larsen AKA Eyedea Tags: michael david larsem eyedea those we've lost word life production featured blog

Micheal David Larsen (November 9, 1981 – October 16, 2010), better known by his stage name Eyedea, was an American rapper of Lebanese and Irish origins. He was battle freestyle battle champion and songwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He had appeared as a solo artist under the pseudonym Oliver Hart, and as the MC half of the duo Eyedea & Abilities (along with longtime friend and collaborator DJ Abilities)] Larsen was first signed under Slug's independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers before founding his own record label "Crushkill Recordings". Eyedea's style of music is philosophical, abstract, political and poetic.

Eyedea first stepped into the hip-hop scene battling against other emcees at notable freestyle joints. His notable wins which included a victory at Scribble Jam (1999) and the televised Blaze Battle sponsored by HBO (2000), turned Eyedea into a hip-hop mogul. Notable hip-hop outlets have labeled Eyedea as a legendary freestyle icon. Eyedea has released numerous albums alongside DJ Abilities where the two performed under the duo name "Eyedea & Abilities". In 2001, Eyedea & Abilities released their debut studio album First Born, which included their successful single "Big Shots". The single was later chosen to appear on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. In 2004, Eyedea & Abilities released their second studio album titled E&A, which included the singles "Paradise" & "Man vs Ape". In July 2009, Eyedea & Abilities released their third and final studio album called By the Throat, which was followed by highly acclaimed positive ratings. The lead single "Smile" is Eyedea's most viewed music video on YouTube and was listed in Abbey's top 10 best hip-hop songs ever, respectively.

In 2014, Eyedea ranked #2 on Abbey Magazine's Top 25 'greatest freestyle emcees of all-time'. Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16th, 2010 at age 28; the cause of his death was ruled as an accidental overdose. Eyedea was a member of the music groups Eyedea & Abilities, The Orphanage, Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, and Guitar Party.

Eyedea lived just east of Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he attended Highland Park Senior High School.

Eyedea became known as a battle MC, touring the circuit between 1997 and 2001. During this time, he won top prizes at Scribble Jam '99, the Rock Steady Anniversary 2000, and Blaze Battle New York 2000. He contributed a track to the Anticon compilation, Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop. Additionally, he toured extensively as second MC and support DJ for Atmosphere.

In 2001, he released First Born with his partner DJ Abilities (collectively, they were initially called the Sixth Sense, but later changed the name to Eyedea & Abilities). In 2002, under his pen name "Oliver Hart", he released the self-produced The Many Faces of Oliver Hart, or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. In 2004, he reunited with Abilities to release the self-titled album E&A.

All of Eyedea's releases have been on the Rhymesayers record label, with the exception of the Carbon Carousel EP, which was released on his own Independent music label, Crushkill Recordings. In addition to touring independently and with Rhymesayers labelmates and members of Face Candy, Eyedea & Abilities participated in the Def Jux-sponsored "Who Killed the Robots?" tour, titled by Eyedea.

He was signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment and collaborated with Slug of the underground hip hop group Atmosphere as well as Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, and Blueprint. He was also a member of a MC super group called "The Orphanage" along with Slug, Aesop Rock, Blueprint, Sage Francis & Illogic. Although never releasing a full CD to the public, songs were recorded and released.[2]

After Eyedea released This Is Where We Were, recorded with his live freestyle rap/jazz group Face Candy, he created Carbon Carousel, an alternative rock band. They have released one EP, entitled The Some of All Things, or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking. This brought on speculation that Eyedea & Abilities were no longer together. However, in August 2007, the duo announced on their Myspace that they would be at the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop performing old songs and new material.

In December 2007, Eyedea & Abilities embarked upon their Appetite for Distraction Tour with Crushkill labelmate Kristoff Krane and Minnesotan duo Sector7G.

The summer of 2009 saw Eyedea & Abilities joining the touring hip hop festival Rock the Bells for a limited number of dates, performing alongside such acts as Sage Francis, Evidence, M.O.P. and the Knux. E&A also performed at the first Rock the Bells concert in 2004, infamous for being Ol' Dirty Bastard's last performance with the Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2011, an EP of 4 of Eyedea's freestyles, previously released in 2010 but only sold at live shows, were made available for 'pay what you want' download. Guitar Party a group consisting of vocalist (and first grader) Mijah Ylvisaker, drummer J.T. Bates (Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, The Pines) and guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker (Carbon Carousel, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, The Cloak Ox), Jake Hanson (Halloween, Alaska), Andrew Broder (Fog, The Cloak Ox) and Micheal Larsen (Eyedea & Abilities, Carbon Carousel, Face Candy) released a recording of the only live show they had managed to play before Eyedea's death called 'Birthday [I feel Triangular]' .The second Face Candy album was released on May 24, 2011 on Rhymesayers. This album was recorded in two days at the Winterland studios and one night in front of an audience at St. Paul's Black Dog Cafe.

Death

Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16, 2010. He was found dead by his mother, according to friend. Cause of death was released November 18, 2010 and ruled an accident, from "opiate toxicity," according to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office. The specific drugs found in Larsen's system have not been revealed to the public.Various hip-hop artists went on their Twitter accounts to pay their tribute to him.

On December 25, 2013, it was announced on Eyedea & Abilities' Facebook page that a star was registered under the name Eyedea to commemorate Larsen on the web site Online Star Register.

Source: Wikipedia

 

Award winning Actor and true gospel singer - David Mann Tags: actor gospel singer david mann word life production new quality entertainment

Ingeniously funny and extraordinarily talented are understatements when it comes to the multifaceted actor and 2011 NAACP Award winner for Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Series (Meet The Browns, "Mr. Brown"), David Mann. A native of the "Bible belt" state of Texas, David masterfully showcases his God given talents in today's most dynamic and distinguished genre.

Accentuating his already natural gift of making people laugh as a youth, David set his sights on acting. As a free-spirited adolescent, the self-possessed 15 year-old discovered a way to employ his unsuspecting antics by involving himself in various high school activities including contemporary drama where he permeated the stage world by becoming a budding thespian. Finding his natural element, David was commonly cast as the production's funnyman where his infectious comedic flair was visibly realized and fittingly unleashed. From high school to local community theater, David's accomplished performances quickly gained notable recognition advancing his diversified image into public notice.

In short order, David joined forces with one of America's funniest actors and critically acclaimed playwright, Tyler Perry. The illustrious actor had written, directed, and produced numerous plays including the stage play hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself where David remarkably immortalized the intrusively nosey, wisecracking, ashy-kneed, and outrageously funny neighbor, "Mr. Brown." As was apropos, David's bravo performance led the way for "Mr. Brown" to become a principal character in many of Perry's other hilarious stage and film comedies, including the play and motion picture, Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, in which David reprised the role of "Mr. Brown" for mass audiences.

Both properties were sure-fire hits, playing to packed theaters and grossing millions. "If you thought Madea's family was crazy, wait till you meet the Browns" became the tag line for the new TBS comedy modeled after the film and starring David as the beloved "Mr. Brown."

David Mann's musical and theatrical talents brilliantly epitomize ingenuity at its best. When David is not on set shooting, he brings his live comedy show to venues around the country playing to sold-out crowds and is a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Assn. Along with his wife, Tamela, David is the co-host of the exciting new cooking and lifestyle TV show, Hanging With The Manns, which follows the dynamic couple as they cook-up delicious recipes in the kitchen and go on hilariously funny and wild adventures together, and he is the co-star of the upcoming sitcom Mann and Wife.

David is also the president of his independent music and entertainment label, Tillymann Music Group, with his wife Tamela. When David is not on tour, he enjoys the restful company of his wife of 25 years and their fun-loving children and grandchildren.

Source: Official Website

 

 

 

 

ngeniously funny and extraordinarily talented are understatements when it comes to the multifaceted actor and 2011 NAACP Award winner for Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Series (Meet The Browns, "Mr. Brown"), David Mann. A native of the "Bible belt" state of Texas, David masterfully showcases his God given talents in today's most dynamic and distinguished genre.

Accentuating his already natural gift of making people laugh as a youth, David set his sights on acting. As a free-spirited adolescent, the self-possessed 15 year-old discovered a way to employ his unsuspecting antics by involving himself in various high school activities including contemporary drama where he permeated the stage world by becoming a budding thespian. Finding his natural element, David was commonly cast as the production's funnyman where his infectious comedic flair was visibly realized and fittingly unleashed. From high school to local community theater, David's accomplished performances quickly gained notable recognition advancing his diversified image into public notice.

In short order, David joined forces with one of America's funniest actors and critically acclaimed playwright, Tyler Perry. The illustrious actor had written, directed, and produced numerous plays including the stage play hit I Can Do Bad All By Myself where David remarkably immortalized the intrusively nosey, wisecracking, ashy-kneed, and outrageously funny neighbor, "Mr. Brown." As was apropos, David's bravo performance led the way for "Mr. Brown" to become a principal character in many of Perry's other hilarious stage and film comedies, including the play and motion picture, Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns, in which David reprised the role of "Mr. Brown" for mass audiences.

Both properties were sure-fire hits, playing to packed theaters and grossing millions. "If you thought Madea's family was crazy, wait till you meet the Browns" became the tag line for the new TBS comedy modeled after the film and starring David as the beloved "Mr. Brown."

David Mann's musical and theatrical talents brilliantly epitomize ingenuity at its best. When David is not on set shooting, he brings his live comedy show to venues around the country playing to sold-out crowds and is a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Assn. Along with his wife, Tamela, David is the co-host of the exciting new cooking and lifestyle TV show, Hanging With The Manns, which follows the dynamic couple as they cook-up delicious recipes in the kitchen and go on hilariously funny and wild adventures together, and he is the co-star of the upcoming sitcom Mann and Wife.

David is also the president of his independent music and entertainment label, Tillymann Music Group, with his wife Tamela. When David is not on tour, he enjoys the restful company of his wife of 25 years and their fun-loving children and grandchildren.

- See more at: http://www.tillymannmusic.com/david-mann-bio.html#sthash.gkfh19cg.dpuf

 

In Living Color is one of the most hilarious comedy sitcoms Tags: in living color damon waynes kim waynes jamie fox shawn marlon jim carey tommy

In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on the Fox Network from April 15, 1990, to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television and was taped before a live studio audience at stage 7 at the Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. The title of the series was inspired by the NBC announcement of broadcasts being presented "in living color" during the 1950s and 1960s, prior to mainstream color television. It also refers to the fact that most of the show's cast were black, unlike other sketch comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live whose casts are usually mostly white.

Other members of the Wayans family—Kim, Shawn and Marlon—had regular roles, while brother Dwayne frequently appeared as an extra. The show also starred the previously unknown actor/comedians Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier. Additionally, actress Rosie Perez, Dancing with the Stars judge and choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba and dancer Jennifer Lopez (now best known as a singer and actress) were members of the show's dance troupe The Fly Girls. The series won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series in 1990.

The sketch comedy show helped launch the careers of male comedians/actors Jim Carrey (then credited as "James Carrey"), one of only two Caucasian members of the original cast, Jamie Foxx, who joined the cast in the third season and David Alan Grier (an established theatre actor, who had worked in Keenen Ivory Wayans' 1988 motion picture I'm Gonna Git You Sucka).

The series strove to produce comedy with a strong emphasis on modern black subject matter. For instance, Carrey was frequently used to ridicule white musicians such as Snow and Vanilla Ice, who performed in genres more commonly associated with black people. A sketch parodying Soul Train mocked the show as Old Train, suggesting the show (along with its host, Don Cornelius) was out of touch and only appealed to the elderly and the dead.

Opening credits

For the first half-dozen episodes, an exotic-looking logo was used for the opening credits. However, after the band Living Colour claimed in a lawsuit that the show stole the band's logo and name,[1] the logo was changed to one with rather plain-type letters of three colors.

In the first two seasons, the opening sequence was set in a room covered with painters' tarps. Each cast member, wearing black-and-white, played with brightly colored paint in a different way (throwing globs of it at the camera by hand, using a roller to cover the camera lens, etc.). The sequence ended with a segue to a set built to resemble the rooftop of an apartment building, where the show's dancers performed a routine and opened a door to let Keenen Ivory Wayans greet the audience.

For the third and fourth seasons, an animated sequence and different logo were used. Here, the real-life cast members were superimposed over pictures hanging in an art gallery and interacted with them in different ways (spinning the canvas to put it right-side up, swinging the frame out as if it were a door, etc.). The final image was of the logo on a black canvas, which shattered to begin the show. The fifth season retained the logo, but depicted the cast members on various signs and billboards around a city (either New York or Chicago), ending with the logo displayed on a theater marquee.

The hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz performed two different versions of the opening theme. One version was used for the first two seasons and remixed for the fifth, while the other was featured in the third and fourth seasons.

Live musical performances

In Living Color was known for its live music performances, which started in Season 2 with Queen Latifah as their first performer (appearing again in the third season). Some of the other music acts who performed on the show were Heavy D, Public Enemy, Kris Kross, En Vogue, Eazy-E, Monie Love, Onyx, 3rd Bass, MC Lyte, Arrested Development, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Tupac Shakur, Us3, and Leaders of the New School.

The Fly Girls

The show employed an in-house dance troupe, known as the "The Fly Girls". The original lineup consisted of Carrie Ann Inaba (who would later become a choreographer and judge on Dancing with the Stars), Cari French, Deidre Lang, Lisa Marie Todd, and Michelle Whitney-Morrison. Rosie Perez was the choreographer for the first four seasons. Perhaps the most notable former Fly Girl was future actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, who joined the show in its third season.

The Fly Girls would sometimes be used as extras in sketches, or as part of an opening gag. In one sketch, they were shown performing open-heart surgery (in the sketch, the girls are dancing in order to pay their way through medical school). The troupe's name is the same as the 1969 book title The Fly Girls by Bernard Glemser, which was popularized by the movie Come Fly with Me (based on the book).

Controversies

Departure of the Wayans family

Keenen Ivory Wayans stopped appearing in skits in 1992 after the end of the third season, over disputes with Fox about the network censoring the show's content and rerunning early episodes without his consultation. Wayans feared that Fox would ultimately decrease the syndication value of In Living Color.[2] Damon left at the end of the third season to pursue a movie career, though he made a few "special guest appearances" in the fourth season. During the fourth season (1992–1993), Keenen appeared only in the season opener, though he remained the executive producer and thus stayed in the opening credits until the tenth episode. Marlon left shortly after Keenen resigned as producer; and Shawn and Kim both left at the end of the fourth season.

Censorship

Fox censorship of scripts increased after In Living Color produced a live Super Bowl halftime special (branded by the network as The Doritos Zaptime/'In Living Color' Super Halftime Party). During the "Men on Football" sketch, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier ad libbed a suggestion that Richard Gere and track and field star Carl Lewis were homosexuals, much to Lewis' dismay. The programming stunt lured 20 to 25 million viewers from CBS' telecast of the halftime festivities during Super Bowl XXVI on January 26, 1992. Also, the originally-aired version of another sketch unrelated to the Super Bowl special ("Men on Fitness" – February 7, 1993) included a simulation of Damon Wayans' character Blaine enjoying receiving facial ejaculation while being sprayed with a water bottle. These two segments were initially cut from reruns, but have been airing on the Centric cable channel. The DVD releases have the Gere and Lewis references cut but retain the facial ejaculation simulation.

Reruns of the program on BET have questionable words and phrases (such as "ho" and "@!$%#") muted. One line ("drop the soap") during the second "Men on Film" sketch was muted out by Fox censors before ever airing on TV for its implications of prison rape. The DVD releases have the language intact (except for the "drop the soap" line), but have numerous sketches edited to remove song lyrics and music video parodies due to copyright and licensing issues (for example, the "Fire Marshall Bill Christmas" sketch originally had Jim Carrey singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" before the house exploded; on the DVD version, the short scene was cut, making it look like the house immediately exploded after the last person ran out).

On the May 5, 1990 broadcast, Keenen Ivory Wayans did a parody of a Colt 45 commercial featuring Billy Dee Williams (in which the purpose of the beverage is to get one's date drunk enough to have sex) that ended with a woman (played by Kim Coles) passed out on her back on a dining table, and "Billy Dee" moving in on her unconscious body to have sex with her. The "Bolt 45" sketch was seen only once during the original broadcast and omitted from repeats due to complaints from censors and viewers that it was mocking date rape.[citation needed] The Season 1 DVD set of ILC did not include the cut sketch from the pilot. This sketch was cut by Fox censors, and the necessary modifications were made to the master tape. Keenen Ivory Wayans accidentally mixed up the master tape of the pilot, and the edited master was broadcast instead. The sketch has never been broadcast since, not even in syndication, on FX, or on BET, and is considered lost forever. It has been replaced by "The Exxxon Family" (a fake promo for a sitcom about a clumsy Exxon boat captain and his wife, played by Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield) in syndication and DVD box sets.

The final season

By the fifth and final season, none of the Wayans family had any involvement with the show. The show's reliance on character-driven sketches gave way to an increasing reliance on celebrity cameos and guest appearances, including Nick Bakay (who played the host of The Dirty Dozens game show sketches), Barry Bonds, James Brown, Rodney Dangerfield, Bret Hart, Sherman Hemsley, Biz Markie, Peter Marshall, Ed O'Neill, Chris Rock, Macho Man Randy Savage, Tupac Shakur, and players from the NBA. Kelly Coffield, who, prior to Alexandra Wentworth's arrival in the fourth season was the lone white female cast member, left at the end of the fourth season.

Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, and "Fly Girl" Deidre Lang are the only cast members who remained on the show from beginning to end, although Jim Carrey's appearances became very limited due to his rising movie career while Tommy Davidson missed a few episodes for undisclosed reasons.

Chris Rock appeared (as a "special guest star") in a number of skits in the fifth season, and reprised his "Cheap Pete" character from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. In the early years of In Living Color, Rock was parodied as being the only African American cast member on Saturday Night Live (despite SNL also having Tim Meadows at the time). In an SNL episode honoring Mother's Day, Rock's mother states that she is disappointed in him for not trying out for In Living Color, to which Rock states he is happy with his job on SNL.

Other recurring guest stars in the fifth season include Nick Bakay (for The Dirty Dozens sketches) and Peter Marshall (for several editions of East Hollywood Squares). Rapper Biz Markie also appeared in various roles as a guest star in the fifth season, such as being in drag as Wanda the Ugly Woman's sister or as "Dirty Dozens" contestant Damian "Foosball" Franklin.

Where it was originally produced by 20th Century Fox Television on Fox, the series was in reruns on local affiliates and on the News Corporation-owned FX cable channel, where it was distributed by Twentieth Television.

Reruns of the show aired on BET from 2005–2008, and returned in 2010. Reruns have also aired on MTV2, VH1, nuvoTV, and on BET-owned Centric.

The Best of In Living Color aired on MyNetworkTV from April 16 to June 18, 2008. Hosted by David Alan Grier, it was a retrospective show featuring classic sketches, along with cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The show aired on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm Eastern/7:30 pm Central, after MyNetworkTV's sitcom Under One Roof.

At the 2006 BET Awards when the show returned from one of its commercial breaks, the show's host Damon Wayans played a character very reminiscent to "Men on ..." critic Blaine Edwards.

In Living Color alums Damon Wayans, Jim Carrey, and David Alan Grier reprised some of their In Living Color characters on Saturday Night Live:

Damon Wayans, a featured player during that show's eleventh season, hosted an episode from SNL's 20th season in 1995, where he brought on two of his famous In Living Color characters: homeless wino Anton Jackson and gay film critic Blaine Edwards.

Jim Carrey auditioned to be one of the repertory members on SNL 's ill-fated 1980-1981 season, but was dropped in favor of Charles Rocket (who later appeared in the 1989 film Earth Girls Are Easy and the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber with Carrey). Carrey hosted the season finale of SNL's 21st season in 1996, where he impersonated Fire Marshal Bill during the monologue.

David Alan Grier first hosted SNL during season 21 and reprised his In Living Color role as "Men on..." critic Antoine Merriweather, which the end of the sketch included a surprise on-set appearance from Damon Wayans as Blaine. Grier hosted SNL on December 9, 1995 (season 21) and March 18, 1997 (season 22).

Jamie Foxx reprised his role as Wanda in a short segment at the 2009 BET Awards.

In the 1997 film Liar Liar, Jim Carrey reprised his "Fire Marshal Bill" character (albeit with no lines) in the background of one of the closing scenes.

The February 10, 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Jennifer Lopez included a sketch where Lopez "reunited" with the Fly Girls (played by Rachel Dratch, Jerry Minor and Tracy Morgan).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has released all five seasons of In Living Color on DVD in Region 1. Unfortunately the sets have been edited due to music licensing issues, resulting in some episodes' having entire sketches removed. Additionally (as discussed above, under "Censorship"), the "Bolt 45" sketch (which aired one-time only on May 5, 1990) has been omitted, as has the simulated facial ejaculation scene in the "Men on Fitness" sketch (which aired February 7, 1993), and the "soap" portion of the "drop the soap" line in the second "Men on Film" sketch has been muted.

In 2011, there were plans to make a reboot of the original series that featured a new cast, characters, and sketches.The pilot episodes were hosted and executive produced by original series creator and cast member Keenen Ivory Wayans. In early 2012, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo were hired as the choreographers. They cast the new line-up of The Fly Girls and shot pilot episodes for the show which were set to air on FOX, like the original. However, on January 8, 2013, Keenen Ivory Wayans confirmed the reboot had been canceled because he and FOX did not feel that the show was sustainable after one season.

Reported cast members included Cooper Barnes, Jennifer Bartels, Sydney Castillo, Josh Duvendeck, Jermaine Fowler, Ayana Hampton, Kali Hawk, and Lil Rel Howery.In addition, featured cast members were Henry Cho, Melanie Minichino, and Chris Leidecker. Members of the new Fly Girls included Christina Chandler, Tera Perez, Lisa Rosenthal, Katee Shean, and Whitney Wiley.

Wikipedia

A Band Called Death brings new life! Tags: punk rock death new life david dannis bobby hackney jr. ultimate rock classic feature

Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett's documentary, out on Friday, is simply titled A Band Called Death. It provides a thorough biography of an under-appreciated protopunk garage band that existed on the cusp of punk. They were called Death, obviously. The Detroit band, founded in 1971 by three brothers—David Hackney (guitar), Dannis Hackney (drums) and Bobby Hackney (bass, vocals)—was disbanded in 1977, but managed to record an album's worth of songs in demo sessions. When the band was rediscovered by record collectors, punk obsessives, and underground DJs in the 2000s, the Hackneys were hailed as visionaries.

Hearing Death for the first time, it's easy to see what had everyone thrilled and excited. It's genuine, 1970s punk without sounding tired, over-played, or over-imitated. The tempo is aggressive, the sound pleasantly jarring, the lyrics repetitive, catchy, and uncomplicated. When punk experts and critics started to learn about the existence of Death, they wondered if that Death might not only be the first black punk band, but perhaps the first punk band ever. "The Ramones got all the glory for what this is right here," Questlove says in the documentary, "this is the Ramones two years earlier."

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But this music, appealing and even conventional now, flopped in early 1970s Detroit. Studio executives who met with Death in the 1970s and considered signing them said that the world wasn't prepared for their sound. If you were a black musician in Detroit at the time, you were expected to be motown or R&B. Not rock, and certainly not a pioneering iteration of rock.

The documentary does a decent job of communicating why Death failed at first; it does an even better job showing the thrill of discovering the band. When people— everyone from record collectors, punk geeks, musicians, studio executives, and even Bobby Hackney's sons— recount their discovery of Death, they grow wide-eyed with revelation, disbelief, excitement, and admiration.

The brother's first band was called Rock Fire Funk Express, because one of the brothers said they weren't "sure if they wanted to be rock or funk, but we wanted to keep going." They aimed to sound like a combination of the Who and Jimi Hendrix. The Hackneys report that their neighbors were less enamored with sound. Constant complaints from neighbors and the police prompted their brilliant single "Keep on Knocking." This resistance from their community and record studios fueled their creativity, said Bobby, "that is pure anger, we are fighting… to maintain our identity."

The Hackneys changed their name from Rock Fire Funk Express to Death just after their father was killed by a drunk driver. Dannis said that their conceptual leader, David, "wanted to put a positive spin on death, that it's like birth." While the name Death now seems mundane even, in the early 1970s, this name cost them a record deal. Groovesville's Don Davis wanted to sign the band as long as they gave up the name. David refused. Dannis said he would have changed the name in a second, but he respected David's vision. "He inspired us because we had the chance to change the name. I think David was the prime example of what the Lord said: 'What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and to lose his soul,'" says Bobby tearfully, "and David's music was his soul and he never wavered on it."

Death self-released 500 copies of a single on their label Tryangle, including the songs "Politicians in My Eyes" and "Keep on Knocking." But after failing to reach an audience, the band disbanded in the 1980s. The brothers moved to Vermont, where Dannis and Bobby married and had families. David moved back to Detroit in 1982 and died of lung cancer in 2000. Just a few years later, Death was rediscovered.

By 2008, the 45 was selling for $1000 on eBay. Then Bobby's son heard about a protopunk band from a friend going to underground DJ sessions in California and listened to them. When he heard his father's voice, he was shocked. "I can't believe I'm listening to the best rock and roll I've ever heard," said Bobby Hackney Jr. "and I'm the only one that knows about it."

Bobby's sons formed a Death cover band called Rough Francis, named in honor of their uncle David's last musical effort. In March 12, 2009, the New York Times featured a huge spread devoted to Death and the label Drag City that released all seven Death songs from the 1974 sessions for the first time. In September of 2009 Death reformed with Bobbie Duncan as the guitarist, though Dannis and Bobby considered refusing to regroup without David. After playing a small tour (including Joey Ramone's birthday party), Dannis and Bobby are still mourning David, but they indicate the playing and perpetuating David's musical vision is the best tribute to him.

As a documentary, A Band Called Death could use a little of Death's energy and urgency. It relies very much on people recounting—which is most likely due to a dearth of archival footage. Despite a labored start, A Band Called Death picks up with the excitement of the discovery in recent years (a structure following the subject's model, without the raw inspiration).

The lasting image of A Band Called Death, beautifully marks Death's influence. It occurs when Bobby Hackey's two sons play Death songs in their new band in a small concert venue. The image of Bobby Hackney laughing and crying as he watches his songs play this vicious, fuck-it punk is an astoundingly sweet and complicated and a perfect symbol of a new life for the band.

Speaking of David Bowie, we can’t forget his starring role in the Classic 80’s film, “The Labyrinth” Tags: classic television movies the lybyrinth david bowie word life production feature blog

Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars David Bowie as Jareth and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah. The plot revolves around Sarah's quest to reach the center of an enormous otherworldly maze to rescue her infant brother Toby, who has been kidnapped by Jareth, the Goblin King. With the exception of Bowie and Connelly, most of the significant characters in the film are played by puppets produced by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Labyrinth started as a collaboration between Jim Henson and Brian Froud, with ideas for the film first being discussed between them following a screening of their previous collaboration, The Dark Crystal. Terry Jones from Monty Python wrote the first draft of the film's script early in 1984, drawing on Brian Froud's sketches for inspiration. Various other script-writers, including Laura Phillips (who had previously written several episodes of Fraggle Rock), George Lucas, Dennis Lee, and Elaine May, subsequently re-wrote and made additions to the screenplay, although Jones received the film's sole screen-writing credit. Labyrinth was shot on location in Upper Nyack, Piermont and Haverstraw in New York, and at Elstree Studios and West Wycombe Park in the United Kingdom.

The New York Times reported that Labyrinth had a budget of $25 million. Labyrinth was a box office disappointment and only grossed $12,729,917 during its U.S theatrical run. The commercial failure of the film demoralized Henson to the extent that his son Brian Henson remembered the time of the film's release as one of the most difficult periods of his father's career. It would be the last feature film directed by Henson before his death in 1990.[1]

Although it was met with a mixed critical response upon its original release in the summer of 1986, Labyrinth has since gained a strong cult following and tributes to it have been featured in magazines such as Empire and Total Film. A four-volume manga sequel to the film, entitled Return to Labyrinth, was published by Tokyopop between 2006 and 2010. In 2012 Archaia Studios Press announced they were developing a graphic novel prequel to the film.

The film opens with a barn owl watching a teenager, Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), reciting lines from her favorite book called The Labyrinth in a park. As Sarah struggles to remember the final line of her monologue, the town clock chimes seven o' clock and Sarah remembers she has to babysit her brother Toby. She rushes home and has a confrontation with her impatient stepmother.

 

Following her parents' departure Sarah realizes that her teddy bear, Lancelot, is missing from her room. She finds the toy in Toby's room and resentfully declares a wish that the goblins would take the baby away. Abruptly, Toby vanishes and a barn owl flies into the room, transforming into Jareth: King of the Goblins (David Bowie). Jareth tells Sarah that he will return her brother if she can solve his Labyrinth within thirteen hours. He transports Sarah and himself to the Labyrinth, then leaves Sarah to start her quest.

At the entrance of the Labyrinth, Sarah meets Hoggle, a grumpy and obstinate dwarf who refuses to help her. She advances through the labyrinth alone and overcomes a series of obstacles during her journey, including a Knights and Knaves logic puzzle, before eventually trapping herself in an oubliette. Jareth sends Hoggle into the oubliette to free Sarah and misdirect her back to the beginning of the labyrinth.

As they travel Sarah and Hoggle encounter a group of goblins tormenting a gentle beast named Ludo, whose roars frighten Hoggle and lead him to flee. Sarah saves Ludo and travels with him but the two become separated. A group of revelers with detachable limbs called the Fire Gang harass Sarah until Hoggle reappears to rescue her. Shortly afterward they pass through the Bog of Eternal Stench where they are reunited with Ludo and add another to their party: Sir Didymus, a chivalrous, fox-like knight who guards the bridge that leads away from the bog.

Hoggle offers Sarah a peach that Jareth had ordered him to give her. Upon biting the peach, Sarah falls into a trance and finds herself in a dream-like ballroom where Jareth attempts to seduce her. The sound of a striking clock reminds Sarah that she needs to save her brother and she frees herself from the vision to resume her quest. After rejecting an old goblin junk lady who tries to convince her to stay in a recreation of her room filled with all the discarded possessions she outgrew over the years, Sarah rejoins Ludo and Sir Didymus, and the three of them approach the Goblin City that surrounds Jareth's castle. Hoggle appears and disables a giant robot that guards the city gate. Sarah forgives Hoggle for his earlier betrayal and continues with all her friends through the city, successfully defeating the soldiers of the goblin army who have been sent to stop them.

Upon reaching Jareth's throne room, Sarah decides to go forward alone. She finds Jareth and Toby in a vast, stair-filled room, (inspired by M. C. Escher's Relativity), and attempts unsuccessfully to find a path to reach her brother. She is interrupted by Jareth, who confronts her face-to-face and asks her to abandon her quest in order to stay with him forever.

Sarah however vehemently rejects the overture and begins to recite the monologue from the beginning of the film once again in order to help her concentrate on repelling Jareth and rescuing her brother. As he prepares to cast the ultimate spell over her, she finally remembers the last line: "You have no power over me." Jareth, acknowledging defeat, returns Sarah and Toby to their home, whereupon she finds Toby sleeping in his crib, apparently oblivious to the previous events.

Upon having a seat at her vanity, Sarah discovers that she can see Hoggle and the rest of her friends from the Labyrinth, but only behind her through a reflection in the bedroom mirror, as when she turns to face them, they are not there. Sarah tells her friends that she does need them after all, whereupon they appear in her room, surrounding her. The film closes as Sarah and the creatures celebrate her victory over Jareth. Outside the bedroom window, a barn owl briefly watches the party before flying away.

Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth_%28film%29

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