Today’s featured event:
Celebrate the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 at The Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve Freakout #4, featuring Stardeath and White Dwarfs, at 8:30 tonight at the Cox Convention Center in downtown.
After the Lips perform their full set – costumed dancers, balloon drop, mirror ball and all – and count down to midnight, they will play live their seminal 1999 album “The Soft Bulletin.”
“You know, some of the songs we’ve never played (live) before,” Lips frontman Wayne Coyne told The Oklahoman’s Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett.
“So it’s kind of thrilling from a musical standpoint, but also kind of nerve-wracking from a musical standpoint, ’cause it’s difficult music. I don’t know, some people wouldn’t know ‘The Soft Bulletin’ that much, but some of the tracks are just, they’re these humongous, strangely played (songs).”
To read the rest of Gene’s interview with Coyne, click here.
For more information, go to www.coxconventioncenter.com. For more events for the New Year’s weekend, go to www.wimgo.com.
Have a safe and happy New Year!
Edmond singer/songwriter/pianist Greyson Chance’s video for Google’s “Demo Slam,” in which the company demonstrates the use of its mobile products, is online at YouTube and at demoslam.com. The video features Chance visiting several Oklahoma City attractions last week.
The 13-year-old Internet music sensation faces off against nerd rockers Weezer in demonstrating Google Voice Search at www.demoslam.com. Fans can vote for either Greyson or Weezer in the “Demo Slam.”
Greyson made a whirlwind tour of Oklahoma City on Dec. 23, singing Christmas songs at various locales as he filmed the Google promotional video.
After shooting at his Edmond home, the musician made his first stop around lunchtime at Epworth Villa Retirement Community, where he was joined by a group of Edmond and Deer Creek teens in singing “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in the dining room. Along with the brief surprise performance, the 80 or so residents in attendance got a behind-the-scenes look at the process of making the promo video.
Greyson then visited Quail Springs Mall, the Devon Ice Rink and Bricktown Christmas tree to do more singing and filming.
The YouTube video features scenes at Epworth Villa, the ice skating rink at the Oklahoma City Civic Center, the Christmas tree at Bricktown Plaza and the mall, where Chance duets with Santa Claus.
Greyson’s “Demo Slam” video is posted above, but if you want to vote for him in his slam against Weezer, you have to go to www.demoslam.com.
Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton will perform at the World Ag Expo, the world’s largest annual farm equipment show, on Feb. 8 in Tulare, Calif.
According to CMT.com, the concert will be a fundraiser for various organizations tied to California agriculture. Jason Jones will open for Shelton. In addition, David Nail and Stealing Angels will perform at the event on Feb. 9.
Shelton, who was born in Ada and lives in Tishomingo, will play his next tour date on Jan. 28 in LaCrosse, Wis., with guests Easton Corbin and Steel Magnolia.
Before playing Hawkeye in Joss Whedon’s 2012 superhero super-film “The Avengers,” the Oscar-nominated actor will wield the hawk hero’s bow and arrow in another Marvel movie.
“The Hurt Locker” star will make a cameo as Hawkeye in Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of “Thor,” according to TheWrap.com.
Rumors to that effect have swirled for awhile, but TheWrap reports that an unnamed source who has seen an early cut of “Thor” says Hawkeye appears in it.
That unnamed source didn’t offer any more details about the context of Hawkeye’s appearance but did confirm Samuel L. Jackson’s earlier statements that Nick Fury does not appear in “Thor.”
With or without Hawkeye, “Thor” is one of my most anticipated movies of 2011; Paramount will release “Thor” on May 6. Disney will release “The Avengers” on May 4, 2012.
Oklahoma music star Garth Brooks may have generated as much as $10 million for the Nashville, Tenn., economy by playing nine charity shows earlier this month at the Bridgestone Arena, according to the Nashville Business Journal.
That doesn’t include direct visitor spending, as the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau hasn’t yet surveyed downtown hotels about their overnight visitors during Brooks’ Dec. 16-22 concerts, according to the publication.
But Smith Travel Research reports that hotel occupancy last week was up 15 percent over the same week last year. Revenue per available room also was up almost 19 percent, reports the Nashville Business Journal.
Brooks sold 140,000 tickets at $25 each for the shows, which also featured his wife Trisha Yearwood. The concert series raised a projected $3 million for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Proceeds will benefit ongoing flood relief; the city suffered devastating flooding in early May.
Although ticket prices were low, the journal reports that parking and concessions were pretty pricey and may well have contributed to that $10 million figure.
Today’s featured event:
See “Another Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock & Roll Exhibit” before it closes Friday at Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zhudi Drive. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: 522-0765 or www.okhistorycenter.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
As The Flaming Lips ramp up to play their annual New Year’s Eve Freakout Friday night right here in their hometown of Oklahoma City, frontman Wayne Coyne tells Rolling Stone that the experimental rockers plan to go into the studio in January, release new songs every month in 2011 and document on film the entire recording process.
Coyne told the magazine the band would gather in Oklahoma City with longtime producer Dave Fridmann for this ambitious undertaking.
“We’ll start in late January, though I’m not sure if we’ll get together exactly by then,” Coyne told Rolling Stone. “With this new thing, we’re going to spend a lot of time recording at our houses or wherever we are at. We’ll try to release a song a month and document the song in the making, whether it takes us three or five days or a week. It’s gonna be, ‘We’re working on a song and it’s gonna be up by Friday.’ We just want to (release material) some other way.”
Wayne said he no longer wants to “live with” the same 13 songs for two years, the traditional gap between album releases.
“I think we’re going to just start to do things and put it out. Once we get 11 or 12 songs together, maybe we’ll do something else with it. We want to try to live through our music as we create it instead of it being a collection of the last couple years of our lives,” he said.
The Lips love props and toys – Coyne has promised the world’s biggest balloon drop, largest mirror ball and dangerous lasers at Friday’s show, and fans will be expecting plenty of costumed dancers, confetti and other good stuff – and they’re planning to offer some with next year’s downloads.
“The dilemma is whether we’re going to release it on vinyl, cereal boxes or some of it on toys that we make,” Coyne told Rolling Stone. “Sometimes, the music is the simplest part of any of these things. We’ll be making these little videos that connect in the end to a bigger movie we’ll be making next year as well. It sounds like a bunch of (expletive) work, but it’s different way of thinking about songs than just holing up.”
In the interview, Coyne also enthused about playing “The Soft Bulletin” live Friday at OKC’s New Year’s Eve Freakout #4. The band plans to play its seminal album live following a full show and the countdown to midnight. Similarly, the Lips played Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” at the third NYE Freakout.
“It seemed as though we should start with this one and see if anybody gives a (expletive). People always ask us to do those types of shows. I know in recent shows there hasn’t been very much ‘Soft Bulletin’ live – that came out when a lot of our fans were 10 years old.”
For more information at the Lips’ NYE Freakout #4, go to www.coxconventioncenter.com.
Oklahoma experimental rockers Stardeath and White Dwarfs, who will open for The Flaming Lips Friday night during the Lips’ New Year’s Freakout #4, are working on their sophomore album, due out in 2011. Get a sampling of what to expect from the album in these videos from Delo Creative.
For more information on the NYE Freakout, go to www.coxconventioncenter.com.
The Flaming Lips’ New Year’s Eve Freakout #4 is set to begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Oklahoma City’s own Cox Convention Center. In this year’s promotional video, head Lip Wayne Coyne promises a “weird, weird, great, great time.”
He also promises the world’s biggest balloon drop, the world’s largest mirror ball, dangerous laser beams, the greatest audience in the universe, music from the Lips and fellow OKC band Stardeath and White Dwarfs. As a bonus, after the initial performance and countdown to midnight, the Lips will play their seminal album “The Soft Bulletin” in its entirety, much as they did Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” at last year’s event.
Judging from last year’s event, I’m willing to bet that Wayne keeps all these outlandish promises, as grand as they sound.
For more information about how you can celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day with the Lips, go to www.coxconventioncenter.com.
From Wednesday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
Fickle weather turned “True Grit” directors away from Sooner State
LOS ANGELES – Brave as they are when it comes to their cinematic choices, Oscar-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen weren’t willing to take a chance on the Oklahoma or Arkansas weather when it came to making their adaptation of Charles Portis’ book “True Grit.”
The Arkansas author’s acclaimed Western novel is set in his home state and Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. The Oscar-winning siblings considered shooting in the Sooner State, which prompted Jill Simpson, director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, to ask the state Legislature in November 2009 to lift the $5 million cap on the state film incentive program.
The brothers also considered filming in Colorado and Utah. But they ultimately shot “True Grit” in March and April around Santa Fe, N.M., and in Granger and Austin, Texas. One reason: The story is set in winter, and they couldn’t count on springtime snowfall in this part of the country.
“New Mexico does have a lot of incentives to film there. There was another thing actually … we knew we wanted to have snow in the movie,” Joel Coen told The Oklahoman at a press conference for the film at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. “And the trick was snow but not too much snow.”
The Coen brothers new film actually is the second cinematic take on Portis’ 1968 novel. The 1969 film starring John Wayne, Glenn Campbell and Kim Darby featured the same story and setting. According to IMDB, it was filmed in largely in Colorado, along with California and Mexico. The Rocky Mountains can be seen looming in the background of many of the film’s scenes.
While the Coens set out to make a movie that would more faithfully adhere to the language and tone of Portis’ book, Ethan Coen said the film’s landscapes are a “total cheat” and differ from the novel. But the brothers said they emphasized authentically portraying the characters and story over creating a traditional landscape Western or filming in the actual locales mentioned in the book, which have changed drastically since the 1870s, when the novel is set.
“It’s about the characters. The honest answer is that it kind of becomes this mish-mash of different considerations that go into where you’re shooting and how you want to sort of treat the landscape,” Joel Coen said. “They’re a little bit hard to sort out after the fact, but everywhere from sort of the practical to just, you know, what does the movie actually want to be about.”