Friday, March 18, 2016

Sights and Sounds: Janis Joplin, KISS, Soul Asylum, We Are Scientists

Lots of news for a Friday! Not a bad thing...

THIRTEEN's American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Amy Berg's Janis Joplin Documentary,Janis: Little Girl Blue, May 3, 2016 on PBS
Never-before-seen extended cut features new interviews with Alecia Moore (a.k.a. Pink), Juliette Lewis, Melissa Etheridge, Laura Joplin and Narrator
Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power)

One of the most revered and influential rock 'n' roll singers of all time, Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970) thrilled audiences and blazed new creative trails before her death at age 27. Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us From EvilWest of MemphisProphet's Prey) examines Joplin's story in depth, for the first time on film, presenting an intimate portrait of a complicated and driven artist.

American Masters - Janis: Little Girl Blue premieres nationwide Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN's American Masters series. The broadcast features a never-before-seen extended film cut with additional archival performance footage and new interviews with Joplin's sister Laura Joplin and musicians influenced by Janis: Alecia Moore (a.k.a. Pink), Juliette Lewis, Melissa Etheridge and the film's narrator, Chan Marshall, who is best known as indie rock star Cat Power. In tribute, she performs "A Woman Left Lonely" from Joplin's final studio album Pearl, released posthumously on January 11, 1971. This year marks the album's 45th anniversary.
Original interviews with Joplin's siblings Laura and Michael, friends, lovers and fellow musicians, including Big Brother and the Holding Company bandmates Peter Albin, Sam Andrew and Dave Getz, Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Country Joe McDonald (Country Joe and the Fish), Kris Kristofferson, Dick Cavett and Clive Davis, give a complete sense of someone haunted by insecurity and a need for acceptance throughout her life, despite her on-stage bravado and uninhibited, sexualized persona.
Exploring her childhood, struggles with addiction, active role in the musical and cultural revolution of the 1960s, surprising rise to stardom and untimely demise, Joplin's own words tell much of her story through a series of letters she wrote to her parents - many of them made public for the first time - and read by Marshall.
"The only way to tell Janis' story was through Janis' voice. Her letters show the vulnerable artist, daughter and lover Janis was in her short but impactful life," said writer, director and producer Amy Berg.
Other previously unseen material Berg discovered during the seven years she spent working on Janis: Little Girl Blue includes new audio and video of Joplin in concert and in the studio (some shot by legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker), as well as rare footage from Joplin's emotional return to her hometown, Port Arthur, Texas, for her 10th high school reunion.
"We were fortunately able to unearth footage of Janis that gives another glimpse into the joy Janis felt when she was playing music and performing," said Berg.
"I'm thrilled that Janis Joplin is taking her rightful place in the series alongside other music icons of the era like Jimi Hendrix and The Doors," said Michael Kantor, executive producer ofAmerican Masters. "I hope viewers enjoy Amy's extended cut, made exclusively for our broadcast."
Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards - including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special - 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. The series' 30thanniversary season on PBS continues Friday, May 27at 9 p.m. (check local listings) with The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website ( offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, photos, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel. 
                The documentary's official album companion, Janis: Little Girl Blue (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), is available digitally and on CD via Columbia/Legacy Recordings. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available May 4 via FilmRise.
American Masters - Janis: Little Girl Blue is a production of Disarming Films, Jigsaw Productions and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC's American Masters in association with Sony Music Entertainment and Union Entertainment Group.Amy Berg is writer, director and producer. Chan Marshall is narrator. Alex Gibney, Jeff Jampol and Katherine LeBlond are producers. Billy McMillin, Garrett Price and Joe Beshenkovsky are editors, with music by Joel Shearer. Francesco Carrozzini, Paula Huidobro and Jenna Rosher are cinematographers. Noah C. Haeussner, Michael Kantor, Susan Lacy, Stacey Offman and Michael Raimondi are executive producers.
Funding for American Masters is provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Rhoda Herrick, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Jack Rudin, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, and public television viewers. Additional funding for Janis: Little Girl Blue is provided by Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lenore Hecht Foundation, and Judith and Burton Resnick.
About WNET
As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series asNatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour WeekendCharlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series asGet the MathOh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTSReel 13NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams andMetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore Appwhere users can stream PBS content for free.

American Masters websites:   


The helicopter descended upon the infamous Hard Rock Hotel as KISS invaded Las Vegas for an historic nine-show run. Now, for one night only on May 25, fans will be able to experience this spectacular night for themselves as KISS Rocks Vegas hits cinemas across the globe. From this blistering live show, fans can expect sky high flames, ear-bursting volume and a few drops of blood! Includes exclusive interviews with band and footage you will only see in the cinema.

As America’s #1 Gold Record Award winning group of all time, and that’s in every category, KISS can easily be named one of rock’s most influential bands.
Famed for their iconic face paint and stage attire, KISS was formed in New York City in 1973 by Paul Stanley (Vocals, Rhythm guitar) and Gene Simmons (Vocals, Bass guitar). Their sensational live performances feature fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics to spare. Tommy Thayer (Lead guitar, Vocals) and Eric Singer (Drums, Percussion, Vocals) round out the band’s powerful lineup.  Tommy is also Producer of the film ‘KISS Rocks Vegas’.

Paul Stanley (Vocals, Rhythm guitar)
 “See us on the big screen with the awesome power of surround sound. Feel like you are in Vegas and don’t be shy ‘Shout it out loud”!

Gene Simmons (Vocals, Bass guitar)
“Join us for a ‘Crazy Crazy Night’ in your cinema!”

Tommy Thayer (Lead guitar, Vocals)
“We are all tremendously proud of this production; it captures a truly unique performance. You need to see it in a cinema to get the full on experience”

Eric Singer (Drums, Percussion, Vocals)
“We rocked The Joint at Hard Rock in Las Vegas. You get up close and personal with KISS. You’re going to LOVE IT “

The band’s global sales exceed 100 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time. The Rock N Roll Hall of Famers have released 44 albums . Honored by their peers, KISS received the illustrious ASCAP Founders Award in 2015.

Over 40 years of record-breaking global tours have brought KISS to their fans. They kicked off their recent world tour with 5 headlining shows in Japan and a #1 single in 2015 “Samurai Son” with pop group, Momoiro Clover Z.  Their 40th Anniversary World tour also rocked North & South America and Australia.  Annually the “KISS Army” becomes the “KISS Navy” as fans from across the globe board the KISS Kruise (2016 year will mark their 6th voyage).

KISS teamed up with Warner Brothers in 2015 to create the well-received original movie ScoobyDoo and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery. Other high-profile appearances have included the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, Rockin' The Corps concert, a FOX alliance with KISS appearing in multiple episodes of Family Guy, plus two special guest performances on American Idol finales.

KISS has been featured in major advertising and marketing campaigns for John Varvatos, Google Play, Hello Kitty— even appearing  in a Dr. Pepper Super Bowl commercial and advertising campaign in support of their Hottest Show On Earth tour. This year represents the 3rd season of the LA KISS Arena Football League team bringing professional football back to Los Angeles.  KISS founding band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have also entered the culinary world by opening a string of successful restaurants aptly named Rock & Brews.

KISS is dedicated to numerous Veterans Organizations including: The Wounded Warriors Project, The USO, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hire A Hero” program, The Legacy Organization in Australia, Help For Heroes United Kingdom and The Dr. Pepper Snapple Groups Wounded Warriors Support Foundations
 For more information, visit

A select number of cinemas worldwide will also be screening the concert in Dolby Atmos, providing a powerfully immersive and moving audio experience for the cinema audience.

For more information and to book tickets for the cinema event please visit

New Album from Soul Asylum 'Change of Fortune' out today on 


kicks serious fucking ass” – Blurt Magazine

Soul Asylum joins forces with Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) to release an album of all new material titled Change of Fortune out today. See the official video for the song Supersonic here:

one of their best in years” – Love Is Pop

This week’s remaining SXSW shows include Friday, March 18 Blurt Magazine/School Kidz Records party at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 19 KGSR show at the W Hotel at 11:30am, Waterloo Records instore and electric set at 5 p.m. and Official SXSW Showcase at The Scoot Inn at midnight.

 the new album shows a band still at the peak of their prowess”– Relix Magazine

Soul Asylum is: David Pirner on guitar and vocals, Michael Bland on drums, Winston Roye on bass and Justin Sharbono on guitar.  

Change of Fortune’ is a straightforward rock & roll album led by Pirner’s poetic gift for storytelling and finds the frontman soul-searching along the way…while maintaining that signature Soul Asylum sound” – Innocent Words

Change Of Fortune feels like both a fresh start and a classic Soul Asylum record. All the elements are there – the classic rock riffs filtered through punk rock energy, Dave Pirner’s soulful yet ragged vocals, clever lyrical turns of phrase, and themes the common man can always relate to.

“a perfectly blended mix of musical harmony” – ReadJunk

We Are Scientists announce new album ‘Helter Seltzer’
to be released digitally April 22nd and physically June 3rd 
via 100% Records 

New single ‘Buckle’ available to stream and download
'Helter Seltzer' available for pre-order on CDVinyl and iTunes
US dates confirmed for May (more to follow)

Click on image to watch the video for 'Buckle'
or listen on Soundcloud here

We Are Scientists, the Brooklyn-based pop-rock troupe, are set to return April 22nd with their fifth album. Titled ‘Helter Seltzer’ and released via 100% Records (on CD, digital and limited edition teal-colored vinyl), it is preceded by the single and video release of ‘Buckle’, the album’s bombastic opening track. Available today for stream and download, the accompanying video sees carrot juice, egg yolks, and glass splash and spin through the air with gorgeous languor!
Most of our videos start with some kind of longstanding desire that we’re aiming to fulfil,” says We Are Scientists’ guitarist and vocalist Keith Murray. And well, I’d always wanted to dump food all over Chris’s face. Not in an angry way. I just thought it would be fun, and man, was I right.”
In order to capture the sloppiness in all its colorful detail, New York City director Jedidiah Mitchell turned to the Phantom Miro video camera, a highly specialized machine capable of shooting over 1,000 frames per second, in bursts a maximum of 5 seconds long. The results make an iPhone’s slow motion video look paltry by comparison.
For ‘Helter Seltzer’ We Are Scientists asked their ex-keyboard player, Max Hart, to produce. Max had just finished a three-year stint as the keyboardist for international super-mega-person Katy Perry, choosing as his final gig Ms. Perry’s performance at the 2015 Super Bowl.
Max rented a studio space in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, outfitting it with gear he had accumulated over a decade of obsessive internet shopping. In early March, the team got to work. Sifting through the options, a direction emerged: they would use the tones and trickery of radio pop to add a sweet sheen to the new crop of distinctively We Are Scientists songs. Months of toil and trial and error finally brought the right balance, and the finished recordings were shipped to mixerChris Coady at Sunset Sound in L.A. Coady has quietly emerged in recent years as one of the finest mixers of glossy indie pop, with credits that include Future Islands, Beach House, and !!!.
In ‘Helter Seltzer’ he knew he had an album that should shimmer but also bang, and he applied all of the magic and sauce at his disposal to insure it did exactly that. Finally, the music was passed through the deluxe mastering machine that are the ears of Greg Calbi (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Noel Gallagher, Perfume Genius) to add a coat of heft and sparkle, and in January of 2016, nearly a year after construction began, the album was pronounced complete.
"We've always made overtures toward being a pop band, but we've generally had the inclination to obscure those pop leanings in grit and chaos — to screw them up with fuzzed-out tones and raucous performances," says guitarist and vocalistKeith Murray"It's made us really think about what our musical genre is. We're not punk — we're too interested in making our songs as pretty as possible. We're not straight-up rock — our tastes are too left-of-centre. We're not indie-rock — our heads aren't far enough up our own butts. So finally, after putting as much time into thinking about it as we're apt to — about ten minutes, over beers — we decided that our genre is 'Helter Seltzer.'"
"Declaring a new genre is obviously douchey as hell, though, and impossible to deliver with a straight face," adds bassist Chris Cain, "so we did the noble thing and just made ‘Helter Seltzer’ the album title. It's especially apt for us these days, though. The songs here are more effervescent than we've ever managed to deliver, but they've still maintained a measure of that ‘Helter Skelter’ element — no matter how fizzy and refreshing the tunes are, they've
always got a bit of that seamy, scuzzy, 'cult on Spahn Ranch' vibe. We therefore consider this album, as a vessel of both sweet pop tunes and seltzer outreach, to be a work of undisguised philanthropy on our part," concludes Chris.

‘Helter Seltzer’ track-list
2. In My Head
3. Too Late
4. Hold On
5. We Need A Word
6. Want For Nothing
7. Classic Love
8. Waiting For You
9. Headlights
10. Forgiveness

April 22nd - London - Rough Trade East *Instore*
April 24th - Bristol - Bierkeller
April 25th - Nottingham - Rescue Rooms
April 26th - Newcastle - Riverside
April 27th - Birmingham - Library (Institute)
April 29th - Leicester - Handmade - Festival
April 30th - Leeds - Live At Leeds - Festival
May 1st - Glasgow - Live In Glasgow - Festival
May 3rd - Manchester - Academy 2
May 4th - London - KOKO
May 5th - Brighton - Concorde 2

May 10th - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
May 11th - New York City, NY - Irving Plaza
May 13th - Washington, D.C - Rock & Roll Hotel
May 14h - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
May 15th - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern
May 17th - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
May 18th - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
May 19th - Houston, TX - The Raven Tower
May 20th - Austin, TX - Barracuda
May 21st  - Fort Worth, TX - Lola's
May 23rd - Nashville, TN  - Exit In
May 24th - Asheville, NC - Tiger Mountain
May 25th - Raleigh, NC - Kings
We Are Scientists are:  Keith Murray and Chris Cain

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