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World Cup Tangent #5: Honda Mileage

SPOILER ALERTS: A review of today’s matches and the Belgian breakthrough, plus previews of tomorrow’s matches. Are you worried there are no big countries playing tomorrow? Nonsense! Still some fascinating match ups on hand: Colombia v. Japan, Poland v. Senegal, Russia v. Egypt

World Cup Tangent #2 – The Iceland Cometh

SPOILER ALERT I do talk about the final results form the games today, June 15th. Once you know the results and see the incredible goals though…have a listen to my preview of the matches to be played on June 16th, Day 3: France v. Australia, Argentina v. Iceland, Peru v. Denmark, and Croatia v. Nigeria.

World Cup: Tangent #1

What can I say, I love the beautiful game. Yes yes I’m back! For now…I was recently listening to another podcast that I love and adore and they were not doing the World Cup justice! They were talking about how excited they are for the World Cup and they left out so much vital information…the storylines! The storylines are what make soccer so interesting and what makes it even more exciting than just the beautiful play on the pitch! From Spain’s coach drama to Mohamed Salah’s shoulder, I want to make sure you know what that means…like Luis Suarez “The Biter!” So I’m setting out to do my best to inform you on all the storylines you need for each World Cup matchup…ole ole ole!

MUSIC:

Title: Arriba Mami Artist: Jingle Punks Genre: Dance & Electronic Mood: Happy Download: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/…

Episode 46: Play the Diamond with Matias Ponce




Sidekickback returns with a midnight special! My friend and former co-star Matias Ponce hopped off the Mark Taper Forum stage on Tuesday night to come over and chat with me about the wonderful revival of Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit going on at Center Theatre Group. Matias stars alongside Demián Bichir as Henry Reyna in the critically acclaimed production that has received an unprecedented third and final extension at the Mark Taper. We chat about his humble beginnings in Toledo, Ohio, his unconventional journey as an actor doing “the LA thing,” and the pretty positive turnout of his first understudy assignment.

Grab whatever Zoot Suit tickets you can at Center Theatre Group’s website!

Mind Blown: Mozart in the Jungle Goes to Prison

mozart-in-the-jungle-cast-goes-to-prison-rikers-island-olivier-messiaen




 

Well, the holidays are behind us. The time of festive fun and great food, sparkling lights and age-old traditions…families gathering around to spend time together. Perhaps to Netflix and Chill together.  Or in this case, Amazon and Kick It together?  The television is at the top of the list of great time-passers as you wait for your turkeys to roast and/or your latkes to fry.  You can gather ’round and watch some instant classic football games, a classic holiday movie or even experience a bit of completely new and cutting edge mind-mushing, brain-bashing, reality-wrecking episodic television.

This year, I got treated to such an experience when my family decided to forge ahead with their viewing of Amazon’s award-winning Mozart in the Jungle, even though I’m still on Season 1.  I was totally fine with skipping ahead as I’m not terribly invested in the show.  I found it to simply satisfy the need for a half-hour bit of comedy decompression after an intense drama like its Amazonian counterpart The Man in the High Castle. Nevertheless, the episode next up on the queue for my family would change everything.  It was no comedy to me…it wasn’t quite dramatic either…it was odd, dare I say cubist, almost sans-genre, and it has earned itself a coveted spot here in our Mind Blown series.

Episode 7 of Season 3 is titled, “Not Yet Titled” and already the existential crisis-like nature of this episode is established which will hopefully allay your fear of missing out on the previous two and a half seasons. Because what unfolds is a transcendent piece of I-don’t-know-what; a blend of reality as we know it, with the reality and surreality of the show, commenting on the surreality of our reality as we know it.  The episode takes a mocumentary approach without mocking anything but instead revealing the freeing power of music on the mind through an experiment, cleverly crafted by the show’s creatives including Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman.  Schwartzman returns as his on-screen persona, Bradford Sharpe, to lead the charge of this experiment. The subjects? Detainees at Riker’s Island Prison Complex.  A real film crew follows a sort-of-faux film crew capturing the real reactions and interviews of real prisoners after a very real concert performance by real and not-so-real musicians (the orchestra in each episode, including this one, is filled out by actual musicians from The Chelsea Symphony and the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra to add authenticity to the on-screen performances alongside the Mozart in the Jungle cast members). To top this whole brain-bender off, the pieces of music chosen for the performance were by Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen wrote the featured works of the episode (such as “Quartet for the End of Time“) while in prison during World War II.

How are these prisoners going to react to an avant-garde orchestral performance, challenging pieces of classical music, that were born out of a man’s captivity?

“It took me a way from where I’m at, definitely did.”

Do yourself a favor and go check out the results.

Watch Season 3 of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime here!

The Mozart in the Jungle cast includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell. Watch out for cameos from all over the music world including Gustavo Dudamel, Joshua Bell and acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax deeply engaged in a game of Dance Dance Revolution.

 

Episode 45: Winter Has Come with Janet Graham Borba

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On the latest episode of Sidekickback Radio, I get to chat with HBO’s Senior Vice President of West Coast Production, Janet Graham Borba. As an executive, Janet plays quite a major role in the making of some of HBO’s wonderful projects, the most notable of which being the grand epic series known as Game of Thrones (sorry GOT fans, no spoilers in this one. Well maybe one…) Additionally, she recently wrapped production on the upcoming feature film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring Rose Byrne and Oprah Winfrey in the adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s book of the same title about an African-American woman whose cells are used in trailblazing medical research in the 1950’s . In our episode, Janet and I chat about the rapidly shifting landscape of subscription-based television, what makes a great line producer, and how Pizza Hut might have changed Janet’s life forever.

Some of her earlier projects include Hackers (starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller) and one of my personal childhood favorites, Camp Nowhere (starring Christopher Lloyd and Jonathan Jackson).

The Game of Thrones production machine is without a doubt one of the most massive undertakings in television history. As evidenced by such scenes as The Battle of the Bastards (into which Janet gives us some insight) the process can take months to prepare and weeks to rehearse, with so many factors like seasonal weather and actors’ schedules creating a giant jigsaw puzzle that someone like Janet has to piece together. Game of Thrones production is now under way as they film its 7th season and as Janet tells us in the episode, with such a great writing team led by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the production crew is firing in sync on all cylinders, ready to deliver the final episodes of a truly epic era in television.

Catch up on Game of Thrones season 6 with HBO GO here!

Episode 44: Director of My Own Journey with Rich Delia

One of the first steps in the filmmaking process is the somewhat mysterious, often underappreciated art of casting. On the latest episode of Sidekickback Radio, I sit down with Casting Director extraordinaire Rich Delia.  You can see his fine work in such films as Dallas Buyers Club, Short Term 12 and currently in theaters, Lights Out. We chat about how he transitioned to casting director from acting, what it takes to find that perfect actor for the role in the casting process and some suggestions for actors strugglin to break through

Coming soon, Rich’s upcoming projects include:

Transpecos – with Clifton Collins Jr. and Gabriel Luna, directed by Greg Kwedar, 2016’s SXSW Audience Award winner tells the story of three border patrol agents that make an unnerving discovery revealing possible betrayal amongst their own unit.

Fist Fight starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube as two high school teachers who have a score to settle…in the parking lot, after school.

To the Bone – from previous guests of the podcast, Mockingbird Pictures, To the Bone stars Lily Collins as a young woman dealing with anorexia who meets an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves) that challenges her to face her condition and embrace life. Written and Directed by Marti Noxon.

The Masterpiece – directed by James Franco, the star-studded cast includes Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone and Franco himself as they recreate the behind the scenes “magic” that led to the cult classic that is considered to be one of the worst movies ever made, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.

Stay up to date with his IMDb here!

Episode 43: Put The Toppings On It with Drew Kilcoin

In this episode of SideKickBack Radio, I sit down with Highway to Havasu‘s radass editor Drew Kilcion.  As a lead editor, he has cut some great projects such as the fascinating documentary Craigslist Joe, episodes of FX’s gone-too-soon comedy Legit with Jim Jefferies and Split, soon to be released on iTunes. Drew also assisted Jeremiah O’Driscoll on Robert Zemeckis’ films Flight, The Walk and Drew is now at Illumination Entertainment, working on the upcoming animated feature film Sing starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Seth MacFarlane.  We chat about his approach to cutting a scene, what its like to have a dream come true, and why his trips to the bathroom got quite dramatic at one point.

Check out Craigslist Joe on Hulu!

Check out Drew’s website!

Check out Drew’s IMDb!