The Austin Film Critics Association Has Announced Their Nominations!


moonlightThe Austin Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the best of 2016 earlier today!  So, let’s see what my fellow Texans selected:

Best Film:

Best Director:

Best Actor:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • Colin Farrell, The Lobster
  • Denzel Washington, Fences
  • Joel Edgerton, Loving
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Best Actress:

  • Amy Adams, Arrival
  • Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Ruth Negga, Loving

Best Supporting Actor:

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
  • Min-hee Kim, The Handmaiden
  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight
  • Viola Davis, Fences

Best Original Screenplay:

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Eric Heisserer, Arrival
  • Luke Davies, Lion
  • Park Chan-wook, Jeong Seo-kyeong, The Handmaiden
  • Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
  • Whit Stillman, Love & Friendship

Best Cinematography:

Best Score:

Best Foreign-Language Film:

  • The Brand New Testament
  • Elle
  • The Handmaiden
  • Things to Come
  • Toni Erdmann

Best Documentary:

  • 13th
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • O.J.: Made in America
  • Tower
  • Weiner

Best Animated Film:

Best First Film:

  • The Birth of a Nation
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Krisha
  • Swiss Army Man
  • The Witch

The Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award:

Best Austin Film:

  • Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)
  • Midnight Special (dir. Jeff Nichols)
  • Slash (dir. Clay Liford)
  • Tower (dir. Keith Maitland)
  • Transpecos (dir. Greg Kwedar)

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Song of the Day: Paradise City (by Guns N’ Roses)


Paradise City

One cannot reminisce about the 80’s music scene without including the biggest (and most dangerous) band of that decade. Well, the band and it’s handlers sure thought of them that way. The band I speak of is Guns N’ Roses. this was the band that dared to put the word hard back into hard rock after the glam metal scene began to turn it into a joke.

Nothing against glam metal. Mötley Crüe was and is a favorite rock band of the 80’s for me. Yet, even they succumbed to the hairspray overload that glam metal would turn into. These bands became more about their look (especially in their music videos) than actually playing good music.

Guns N’ Roses still had the teased hair, but their music when they released their Appetite for Destruction album was a breath of fresh air in the hard rock scene and would grab glam metal fans from the vapors of hairnet spray into the dark, dingy bluesy lounges and then the overwhelming open air arenas.

I’ve already featured two of the bands most famous tracks from their first album, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, so it’s time to give their third biggest hit from this album time to shine.

“Paradise City” is a place we all should aspire to visit.

Paradise City

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home (Oh, won’t you please take me home?)

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home (Oh, won’t you please take me home?)

Just an urchin livin’ under the street
I’m a hard case that’s tough to beat
I’m your charity case so buy me somethin’ to eat
I’ll pay you at another time
Take it to the end of the line

Rags to riches or so they say
You gotta keep pushin’ for the fortune and fame
You know it’s, it’s all a gamble when it’s just a game
You treat it like a capital crime
Everybody’s doin’ their time

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home, yeah, yeah?

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home

Strapped in the chair of the city’s gas chamber
Why I’m here, I can’t quite remember
The surgeon general says it’s hazardous to breathe
I’d have another cigarette but I can’t see
Tell me who ya gonna believe

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home, yeah, yeah
Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home, yeah?

So far away
So far away
So far away
So far away

Captain America’s been torn apart
Now he’s a court jester with a broken heart
He said “Turn me around and take me back to the start”
I must be losin’ my mind, are you blind?
I’ve seen it all a million times

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home, yeah, yeah

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home?

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home, yeah, yeah

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home, home

Oh, I want to go, I want to know
Oh, won’t you please take me home?
I want to see how good it can be
Oh, won’t you please take me home?

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Take me home

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home?

Take me down, take me down
Oh, won’t you please take me home?
I want to see how good it can be
Oh, won’t you please take me home?

I want to see how good it can be
Oh, oh take me home

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh, won’t you please take me home?

I want to know, I want to know
Oh, won’t you please take me home?
Yeah, baby

 

Song of the Day: 1980’s Edition

  1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World (by Tears for Fears)
  2. Hazy Shade of Winter (by The Bangles)
  3. Never (by Heart)
  4. Kyrie (by Mr. Mister)
  5. Waiting For A Girl Like You (by Foreigner)

Song of the Day: Sweet Child o’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)


GunsNRoses

As a child of the 1980’s it would be difficult to come up with a greatest guitar solo ever list and not make mention of the work of one Slash. The man with the top hat, who played a mean Gibson Les Paul  would become part of what the 80’s called “The Most Dangerous Band” in Guns N’ Roses.

“Sweet Child o’ Mine” would become one of the band’s biggest hits and, ultimately, their most recognizable. This is quite an impressive considering this is the band that came up with quite a bit of classic tunes in the short time they all played together. It’s also the song where Slash truly made his mark by creating not just one of the most recognized opening hard rock riffs, but also one of the best guitar solos.

For a band that was seen and who saw itself as “the most dangerous” they also came up with a power ballad that combined not just genuine emotions, but the hard rock sensibility one expected from a band such as Guns N’ Roses. It’s a power ballad worthy of past great power ballads such as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Free Bird”.

Sweet Child O’ Mine

She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry

Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I’d hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain

Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain
To quietly pass me by

[3x]
Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine

(guitar solo)

[4x]
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Sweet child o’ mine

Great Guitar Solos Series

27 Days of Old School: #5 “Welcome to the Jungle” (by Guns N’ Roses)


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“Welcome to the jungle. We’ve got fun n’ games.”

Quite the extreme reversal from #4 to #5 but then my taste in music between junior high and high school was pretty much all over the place. I could be listening to the latest teeny bopper, LAtin-freestyle dance track one month then I’m picking up that hard rock or metal song that I knew my parents would never approve of (especially my mom).

Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” was one such song though I was surprised that my Dad actually liked it as much as I did. My first memory of ever hearing “Welcome to the Jungle” was watching the latest and last Dirty Harry film with my dad. It was The Dead Pool and this song was used as a sort of soundtrack in the fake horror film in the film. I’m not sure if my dad liked the song because it was in a Dirty Harry flick or he just liked it because he grew up in the 60’s and 70’s listening to hard rock.

I don’t think my dad was too keen on the Guns N’ Roses look though. Even then he knew the hair metal, glam look was no bueno.

So, “Welcome to the Jungle” was my initial introduction to Guns N’ Roses and pretty much opened up my ears to a whole new spectrum of music. I never abandoned the R&B, dance pop and freestyle songs from junior high and even years later, but hard rock and metal soon joined the LP (and later CD) rotation.