Month: June 2019

June 10, 2019

Cashville Rules Everything Around Me: Wu-Tang Clan Makes History at The Ryman

It’s an understatement to say seminal hip-hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan, set a standard for all of shows that will come follow at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN after their show on Sunday night.

The Mother Church of Country turned into “The Mother F’n Church of Hip-Hop,” if only for one night.
Courtesy of The Ryman @theryman 
Founded in 1892, The Ryman Auditorium is a fixture in Nashville, hosting everyone from Johnny Cash, the Frist Jubilee Singers, Dolly Parton, The Grand Ole Opry, and even Elvis Presley (even if it was only one time). But this time the stage was home to RZA, GZA, “Young” Dirty Bastard, Inspectach Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Master Killa, Cappadonna, and Method Man performing, in “nearly” its entirety, the record that re-established New York hip-hop as a viable product; 1993’s “Enter the Wu-Tang” 36 Chambers.”
Along with “36 Chambers” the Clan also performed favorites from “Wu-Tang Forever” like “Reunited,” “Ice Cream” from Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Links” and even Cappadonna got his moment with a verse from one of my personal favorite’s “Run” from his debut album, “The Pillage.”
The energy was high from the crowd from the beginning to the end.
Courtesy @vaughnphillip via Instagram 
RZA led the way most of the show, appreciating the moment and getting the crowd hyped for what came next, and was more than happy the spray Moet into the crowd and even give those in the front row some much deserved Hennessy. I’m sure it Captain Tom Ryman new that one day Hennessy and Moet would cover the floors of his beloved Tabernacle Church he probably wouldn’t believe you. 
Other highlights included the DJ interlude from resident Wu DJ, Mathematics, who, little trivia for you, actually created the Might Wu “W” that so many guests had adorned on their shirts and hats. There was also the inclusion of Street Life into the show as he joined Method Man for a few verses of “Grid Iron Rap.”
But hey, there is always a nit pick with shows like this.
Courtesy of @graperunner via Instagram
With the group all nearly in late 40s or early 50s, you could see the energy tamper out about an hour into the show, namely GZA. At times he seemed pretty disengaged from the show and walked off stage numerous times, including during the encore of Ghostface’s “Charchez La Ghost.” Sure, the show seemed to have broken down by then as the remained members starting letting audience members on the stage to start dancing, but hey, it’s all in fun.
And as any hip-hop show goes, the audio is always tricky. The background music drowned out the MCs more often than not, but if you’ve ever been to a rap show, you probably know this is a pretty regular occurrence, and the typical motif of every member of the Wu rapping over each other.
But those are quibbles that in no way took away from what this show really was; a moment in Nashville, and Ryman, history that can’t be taken away. A historic rap collective put it’s stamp on a city that many people blame for being “New Nashville” and not the Nashville they grew up with. Sure, this might open up more doors for hip-hop to be a more common occurrence at the Ryman, but a generational group like Wu-Tang Clan won’t be around “forever.” 
June 10, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men

Rap groups come and go. Many have an expiration date, I mean just look at most of the groups from the last 90s and 2000s. Record companies chewed them up and spit them out, but hey, it could have also meant they just weren’t very good either.

But as the old adage goes, “Wu-Tang is Forever,” even if it shows how FRACTURED they are after you watch Showtime’s “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.”

The four-part series peers behind the curtain during their making of THE SEMINAL hip-hop record of the 90s “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers” shows how they beat the music system by signing a lucrative record deal for each member, but also shows the dark side of management and how the death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard essentially imploded the group.

It’s a personal look, and plays like an intervention as the group gathers to watch old footage and wax lyrical on their struggles with each other and how the business has changed during their nearly 30 year run. 

June 8, 2019

Simplistic Interviews: Producer Heather Buckley, of “The Ranger”

On this Simplistic Interview, we sit down with Heather Buckley, producer of the 2018 horror film “The Ranger.”

From days writing at Fangoria Magazine to pitching films at Cannes and South by Southwest, Matt and Heather discuss what it was that got her into horror, how inclusion is shaping the horror genre, and essentially how she is an encyclopedia of genre knowledge. Oh, and of course punk rock!

Follow her all over social media too!

Twitter: @_HeatherBuckley
Instagram: www.instagram.com/_heatherbuckley

And of course check out “The Ranger!”

Twitter: @TheRangerMovie
Instagram: @therangermovie
Streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime, and anywhere else where you can find great horror flicks.

June 3, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Ma (2019)

There’s nothing like a slow BURN. Just enough time to get some fire in your belly while you wait for everything to really start popping off. That’s the delicious BURN I got from Octavia Spencer and “Ma” this weekend.

First thing’s first, I’m always a fan of actors or actresses that have won big awards, namely Oscars, and continue to work in the genre field. Spencer looks like she is having the time of her life playing the Veterinarian-turned-psychopath, but there is some meat to this story that cribs ideas from flicks like “Carrie” “The People Under the Stairs” and maybe even “Fatal Attraction.”

“Ma” BURNS the house down in it’s final 20 or so minutes and creates a memorable new heavy that rivals the likes of Alex Forrest and Anne Wilkes.

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