I was like, “OK, Tom Holland, still killin’ it as the Hero Who Could Be You.”
But then, Holland did this on the MTV show “Lip Synch Battle.”
Which is a good reminder that Holland is a song and dance man back home in England. (He played “Billy Elliot” on stage.) This is years of dance lessons, loads of talent and total fearlessness all at once.
“Since We Fell” by Dennis Lehane (Ecco) After she loses it on air, former journalist Rachel Childs has barely left the house. And then an encounter causes her life, marriage and possibly sanity to fall apart. Look, it’s the new Lehane; of course you’re curious. (May 9)
Norm Macdonald: Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery (Netflix) The newest special from the great Norm Macdonald. (May 9)
Zac Brown Band, “Welcome Home” (Southern Ground/Atlantic). The very embodiment of frat-country releases their seventh studio album, just in time for the end of college finals and the start of summer vacation. (May 12)
Harry Styles, “Harry Styles” (C(olumbia). Styles, former singer with One Direction and possessed of some of the greatest hair in popular music, makes his solo debut. Columbia is praying it has another Justin Timberlake on its hands. (May 12)
“Anne” (Netflix). This is an eight-episode adaptation of the foundational 1908 all ages/children’s book “Anne of Green Gables,” about a complicated Canadian orphan girl and her adventures with friends and (adopted, more or less) family. You may make your own “bosom friends” joke here. (May 12)
Various artists, “The Bob’s Burgers Music Album” (Sub Pop). A double album with 112 songs from the first 107 episodes of one of the best animated shows of its era. (May 12)
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Look, I love a King Arthur movie. Even bad ones (2004’s “King Arthur,” we’ll never forget you). But let’s be real: Does anyone remember the last time a King Arthur movie made any money domestically? Or any movie set in the Middle or Dark Ages? Was it in the 21st century? They tend to do OK overseas, but not so much in the States. Anyway, this one stars Charlie Hunnam as Arthur and Jude Law as Vortigern. Yes, I will see it, but I will be astonished if anyone else does. (May 12)
“Snatched.” Amy Schumer is the daughter, Goldie Hawn is the mother. They go on vacation. Hijinks ensue. (May 12)
The New York Times Magazine this week sports a profile of Mike Judge, one of the most visionary humorists of our age. No, really — look at his CV if you haven’t in a while: “Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Office Space,” “King of the Hill,” “Idiocracy” and now the fourth season of “Silicon Valley,” which premieres on HBO April 23. Some highlights from the profile of the occasional Austinite:
Like many great writers, Judge is a champion (inadvertent) eavesdropper. “Frog Baseball,” the short that demo’d “Beavis and Butt-Head,” was something he overheard at work.
“First, he thought: That stuff happens. Then he thought: Who would do this? Beavis and Butt-Head offered an answer to that question.”
Milton in “Office Space” — he of the red stapler — was partially based on an engineer Judge worked with in San Diego post-college. And Judge’s next-door neighbor at one time was a mechanic.
“He would serve as inspiration for Lawrence, the construction-worker neighbor in ‘Office Space’; Judge’s neighbor in the other direction helped inspire Butt-Head.”
The article’s author has very specific ideas about satire:
“‘Beavis and Butt-Head,’ which thrived in part by savagely roasting both MTV (the channel that aired it) and the generation its programming had spawned …”
“If you set aside his long-running TV show ‘King of the Hill,’ which is much too loving to be considered satire …”
I am not sure about this. There is genuine affection for the leads in “Beavis and Butt-Head,” and the biggest critique of MTV itself was the fact that “B&B” was the only place one could see certain videos. (Also I suspect the author is young enough never to have actually seen MTV when it was, you know, showing videos all the time.)
Maybe MTV was playing Jawbox’s “Savory,” Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair” and Shutter to Think’s “Hit Liquor” on the regular, but the only place I ever saw clips for those three excellent songs was when those two were mocking them.
As for “King of the Hill,” it was an incredibly sweet and thoughtful show, but satire need not be brutal all the time. Living in Texas made me appreciate that program’s singular combination of mockery and respect all the more. Also, naming a character “LuAnne Platter” was brilliant.
Yes, “Silicon Valley” has the enthusiastic cooperation of real tech companies. During a scene set at fake industry convention:
“Staged for a scene in the show’s coming season, the event had 28 booths, among them Pied Piper’s and, across from it, one for a fictitious mobile game. The other 26, however, were completely real, with many staffed by actual employees. Square was there, along with Roku and Oculus and Nest, which brought a fire truck that had been painted baby blue by the guys from ‘Pimp My Ride.’”
Some of the folks there were real employees, some were extras.
And as anyone actually in tech can tell you, the show is both spot-on and can be not a whole lot of fun.
“Thomas Middleditch, who plays Richard … gets two responses from people in tech: They either love the show for its accuracy or find it so accurate that it’s too stressful to watch.”
Judge was amused by T.J. Miller’s body.
“(As Miller) walked by (at an audition), Judge saw his silhouette pass and started laughing. ‘If someone’s silhouette can make you laugh … they’re probably pretty funny.'”
Judge and cast members will be at Alamo South Lamar to screen two episodes of “Silicon Valley” and participate in a Q&A April 18. The event is sold out.
“I don’t feel at home in this world anymore.” Austin filmmaking reasserted itself in dramatic fashion at Sundance when River City actor/writer/director Macon Blair’s “I don’t feel at home in this world anymore” took the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for U.S. feature. It is Blair’s directorial début.
Blair, a native of Northern Virginia, directed Austinite Elijah Wood, Melanie Lynskey (“Togetherness”) and former Austin resident/Scratch Acid/Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow (whose acting career seems to be growing by the second) in the thriller about a burglarized woman who tries to track down the thieves and finds herself over her head. Blair shot the film last year in Portland, Ore. (Feb. 24)
Dirty Projectors, “Dirty Projectors” (Domino). First music since 2012 for this act, which is probably just pretty much guitarist/songwriter David Longstreth at this point. Word has it it’s a breakup album about former bandmate Amber Coffman (who has her own solo record coming out later this year). Solange, Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco and Dawn Richard all guest star. (Feb. 24)
The Feelies, “In Between” (Bar/None). Man, all the old folks are putting out records. This is the second album this decade and sixth LP overall for these indie rock godfathers, who celebrated their 40th year of existence in 2016. (Feb. 24)
Old 97’s, “Graveyard Whistling” (ATO). New music from Ryan Adams and these Americana lifers in the same month? Somewhere, Statesman music critic (and former “No Depression” co-editor) Peter Blackstock is firing up the turntable. (Feb. 24)
In February, Jaclyn Smith will be honored for her work in television, Kris Kristofferson will be honored for his work in all sorts of things and Kenny Rogers, the Gambler, gets a lifetime achievement award from the Texas Cultural Trust.
They are but three of the Texans to be honored at the ninth biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards Feb. 21-22. The awards will take place for the first time ever at the University of Texas at Austin.
This celebration will include a Stars of Texas brunch at the Governor’s Mansion, an awards show with special musical performances and a gala dinner.
“The Texas Medal of Arts Awards recognizes those whose artistic talent and generous philanthropy have shone a spotlight on the vibrant artistic culture of our state,” said Texas Cultural Trust Executive Director Jennifer Ransom Rice. “People from all over Texas and from all artistic disciplines are honored and celebrated as we raise awareness about how vital the arts are to our state’s economy and our children’s education. We hope for continuing and expanding support for the arts for future generations to appreciate, embrace, and enjoy.”
The 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards honorees:
Corporate Patron: John Paul & Eloise DeJoria, Paul Mitchell/Patrón Tequila, Austin — The hair care mogul is one of the state’s most enthusiastic and well-respected philanthropists.
Multimedia: Kris Kristofferson, Brownsville — Songwriter, singer and actor. If you have never seen him in Scorsese’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” you really should get on that.
Television: Jaclyn Smith, Houston — One of the greatest Charlie’s Angels who ever lived.
Dance: Lauren Anderson, Houston — The brilliant ballet dancer became, in 1990, only the second African-American female dancer to be promoted to principal dancer at a major American ballet company.
Music: Yolanda Adams, Houston — Pretty much the most popular gospel singer alive, Adams has sold more than 4 million albums in the U.S. alone.
Arts Education: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas — The company, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, is the only predominately minority professional dance company in the five-state area of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico.
Film: Janine Turner, Euless — Sure, she was in “Cliffhanger” and “Dr. T and the Women,” but she will forever live in our hearts as Maggie O’Connell on “Northern Exposure.” (She was also note-perfect as Katie McCoy on “Friday Night Lights”).
Architecture: Frank Welch, Dallas — You may recognize the master Texas Modern architect from such work as a lot of homes in Highland Park and some really cool looking schools.
Literary: John Phillip Santos, San Antonio — The poet and filmmaker was the first Mexican-American Rhodes scholar.
Journalism: Scott Pelley, San Antonio — Pelley has been the anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” since 2011 and was the CBS News chief White House correspondent during the second Clinton administration.
The Texas Medal of Arts Awards has presented 99 medals to 105 Texas luminaries. Former award winners include: Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Neiman Marcus, Margaret McDermott, Barbara Smith Conrad, Tommy Lee Jones and more.
“Babylon’s Ashes” by James S. A. Corey (Orbit). The sixth book in Corey’s hit space opera known as the Expanse series. The series has been turned into a show on Syfy called “Expanse,” for which one imagines they are hoping for a “Battlestar: Galactica”-type audience. (Dec. 6)
“Hairspray Live!” (NBC). NBC really loves these live musicals, huh? With Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande and more, starring newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad. (Dec. 7)
Neil Young, “Peace Trail” (Reprise). Young’s 37th album overall and second of 2016 (following the live album “Earth”) is reportedly a mostly acoustic album, cut in four days, with drummer Jim Keltner and bass guitarist Paul Bushnell. (Dec. 9)
“Miss Sloane.” Jessica Chastain stars as a hard-charging D.C. lobbyist in this Franco-American thriller directed by John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”). With Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michael Stuhlbarg, which seems like a very strong cast for a movie with virtually no buzz. (Dec. 9)
“Office Christmas Party.” When an uptight CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close the office run by her goof-off brother (T. J. Miller), he and his staff must throw a total rager to save their jobs. As often happens in these situations. You may have seen Aniston on a really terrible episode of “Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 3 promoting this very film. (Dec. 9)