The Bulletin: Arts & Culture News | 13 May
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
After being picked up for broadcast by US network ABC, the first teaser trailer for Joss Whedon's hotly-anticipated Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show have been released online. Picking up where Avengers Assemble left off, Clark Gregg returns to the Avengers universe, reprising his role as Agent Coulson (his apparently fatal stabbing will be explained in the show).
He heads up a team of operatives - some of whom may be super-powered - who apprehend criminals and super-villains. From the look of the preview, the show will play like a futuristic, souped-up Man From U.N.C.L.E, with superhuman bad guys. Tantalising glimpses of core Avengers team members and their paraphenalia suggest that the possibility of a Cap, Thor, Iron Man or Hulk appearance is strong.
S.H.I.E.L.D. was created in 1965 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and others for Marvel comics. The quintessential S.H.I.E.L.D. comic is Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1966). Written by Lee and drawn by pop art-influenced comics artist Jim Steranko, the comic ic considered a high benchmark of creativity in the Marvel canon. More recently, writer Jonathan Hickman took on the S.H.I.E.L.D. legacy, with a visionary take on history that extended the clandestine organisation's roots back as far as the time of Leonardo Da Vinci, and even further, back to ancient Egypt.
NEW MUSIC: RAEKWON, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, THE CHILD OF LOV FT. DOOM & DAMON ALBARN, FOUR TET
Following in the footsteps of fellow founding Wu-member Ghostface Killah, whose recent album Twelve Reasons To Die (reviewed here) has been well-received by the hip-hop fraternity, Raekwon is back with a new abum, F.I.L.A., dropping in June. He has unveiled the first track, Son of Sam, this week.
Another track from the new Queens of the Stone Age album surfaced this week - Keep Your Eyes Peeled was revealed by the band during a session for Belgian radio station Studio Brussells.
The Child of Lov is a mysterious Dutch producer who debuted on Domino sub-label Double Six late last year, Since then, he's been hard at work at Damon Albarn's 13 Studio, creating his first album. This week he previewed two new tracks, with guest vocals from Albarn and rapper DOOM. The album is out now.
Finally, Four Tet recorded an exclusive mix this month for WNYU radio's Tim Sweeney-hosted Beats In Space show, featuring tracks by the likes of James Holden, Jai Paul, Joy Orbison and Koreless. You'll find the playlist here - stream and download the mix below.
FIRST FILM OF EIFF 2013 ANNOUNCED
Drake Doremus' emotional, intimate film Breathe In will open the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was announced today. On 19 June, Doremus will attend the European premiere in Edinburgh for the film, which stars Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones and Amy Ryan. The EIFF's director Chris Fujiwara commented: "In a healthy year for American cinema, BREATHE IN is clearly a stand-out. It’s an emotionally powerful, beautifully understated and intelligent work from director-writer Drake Doremus, who reveals tremendous sensitivity, style and skill. He also draws superb performances from Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones. BREATHE IN is the ideal opening film for our festival this year."
The film follows broke cellist Pearce, whose life is turned upside down when a British exhange student comes to stay with his daughter. Doremus was awarded the 2011 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for his last movie, Like Crazy. Breathe In reunites him with screenwriter Ben York Jones and the same production team behind his Sundance hit. Watch an interview with Doremus below.
NEW VIDEOS: KILLING JOKE, KENNY FEINSTEIN COVERS MBV, MARIA MINERVA
Killing Joke this week unveiled a new track and video to support the release of their singles box-set, details of which we shared in a previous bulletin. Corporate Elect is a blistering, fast-paced track from the band, taken from their last album MMXII. The box-set is out this week.
Kenny Feinstein is best-known as the front-man of bluegrass-influenced indie band Water Tower - now working as a solo artist, he's released a rather leftfield project - a cover of the entire album Loveless, by My Bloody Valentine. The first video from the album, for What You Want, also features vocals from Richard Buckner.
Maria Minerva has just unveiled the new video for her track Soul Searchin' - taken from her EP Bless on 100% Silk. The track features a sample of comedian George Carlin, the much-revered original presenter of Saturday Night Live.
FESTIVAL WATCH: INCUBATE, TAURON NOWA MUSYKA, GREEN MAN
Incubate (16-22 Sep), which takes place in Tilburg, Germany has added a few more names to its bill - they welcome Clock DVA, Eaux, Shonen Knife, Golden Grrrls and Distel to their lineup, alongside the likes of Front 242, Ceephax Acid Crew, A Guy Called Gerald, 808 State and DJ Pierre. Full details and tickets here.
Another European festival with a pretty special lineup this year is Tauron Nowa Musyka (22-24 Aug), which takes place in Poland. They will be welcoming Amon Tobin in his Two Fingers guise, along with Jamie Lidell, Tosca and Deptford Goth, among others. Details and tickets here.
Finally, Green Man (15-18 Aug) has announced details of performers to be featured on their Spoken Word and Literature stage. Julian Cope, James Yorkston, and journalist Bob Stanley are among the names confirmed. Details and tickets here.
DEATH GRIPS: THE MOVIE?
As mentioned in our review of their recent gig at Glasgow's SWG3, drummer Zach Hill is not touring with Death Grips as they make their way around the UK and Europe, leaving the show in the capable hands of front-man MC Ride (Stephan Burnett) and producer Flatlander (Andy Morin).
This week, the band issued a statement explaining his absence, saying: "Zach is currently writing, directing and soundtracking an original feature film. The movie is of his own creation, fictionally based and not related to the group. The film will be soundtracked with all new Death Grips music. He is also working on and recording the new Death Grips album at the moment." No details about the plot or theme of the film have yet been announced.
The prospect of a Hill-helmed Death Grips movie is an exciting one, but more exciting still is the news that the band have new material in the works. Hill's commitment to the band was also underlined in the statement, which closes: "Death Grips is Stefan. Zach. Andy. Zach is very much still in Death Grips."
4AD LEGACY EXAMINED IN NEW BOOK
Slated for a September release, Facing The Other Way will tell the story of one of the UK's most consistently daring and inventive labels, 4AD. Founded in 1979 by Ivo Watts-Russel, producer and visionary behind This Mortal Coil, and Peter Kent. The pair were both employees at Beggars Banquet, and initially set up a sub-label there, under the name Axis. The name changed to 4AD, with a mandate of being a proving ground for artists who would eventually work on Beggars Banquet itself.
In 1980, Watts-Russel and Kent bought the label outright, and began compiling a catalogue that would go on to be a definitive snapshot of experimental 1980s music, playing home to a huge number of influential bands, from Throwing Muses, Pixies, Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins. The label was so successful and admired that in 2008, Beggars Banquet folded their entire operation into their more successful offspring. Since then, the label has released seminal albums by a new wave of artists including Grimes, Twin Shadow, Purity Ring and St. Vincent.
Facing the Other Way, written by music journalist Martin Aston, will examine the label's history, its key artists, and its legacy. It will be published by Harper Collins on 19 September. In case you missed it, here's last year's annual 4AD sampler, which you can download for free.
WATCH SAVAGES LIVE AT MINISTRY OF SOUND
Having gained respect and notoriety among fans for banning the use of mobile phone video-capture at their concerts, and having asked concert-goers to mute and ignore their phones while watching the band, post-punk outfit Savages rewarded their followers with a live stream of a recent gig at London's Ministry of Sound. The performance was recorded in the round, with the band surrounded on all sides. Watch the full one-hour concert below, via The Creators Project.
HOW TO BE BRIAN BLESSED
Comedy website Bad Teeth shared a video this week with some important knowledge contained therein - They want to show you How To Be Brian Blessed. For some reason, they decided to enlist the help of Danny Dyer... it does however contain some great advice from Blessed about how to Party Like A Roman, and some quality anecdotes. In case you're not doing it already - we highly recommend following Brian Blessed on Twitter, where the self-described 'actor, adventurer and raconteur' discusses badgers, charity events and the VOLUME OF HIS UNIQUE VOICE!
SPACE ODDITY... IN SPACE
And finally, to round off your Monday, here's a first for you - Chris Hadfield, the de facto boss of the International Space Station, covered David Bowie's Space Oddity in zero gravity, making his performance the first ever music video shot in space. Hadfield has kept in regular touch with his fellow Earthlings while orbiting above us, regularly posting on Twitter, recording music, and even releasing a Christmas single. His tour ends on 14 May. Whether his singing career will take off without the zero-gee gimmick remains to be seen... It just goes to show that in the modern world, everyone wants to be a pop star - even the astronauts.