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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Echo and the Bunnymen Get Nostalgic in New York

Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen / Photo by Lucas Blalock
Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen / Photo by Lucas Blalock

Liverpool-bred post-punk legends Echo and the Bunnymen commanded New York City's iconic Radio City Music Hall Wednesday night with a set of lush anthems that illustrated just how many bands they've influenced. How many? Seemingly every stark, rock music-playing act to strum a note since the Bunnymen's birth in 1978.


Echo and the Bunnymen / Photo by Lucas Blalock

With tunes from across their catalogue, from the early days as new-wave pioneers to their more mature sound of late, Echo and the Bunnymen played flawlessly during their first set, churning out rivers of guitar reverb on tracks like the band's catchy stateside hit "Lips Like Sugar." On every song, singer Ian McCulloch's aged-to-perfection pipes delivered true feeling.


Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen / Photo by Lucas Blalock

But it was the second set, the performance of 1984's Ocean Rain, that truly amazed the crowd. From the opening chords of "Silver" it was obvious everyone was in for a treat, as the band -- and a 10-piece orchestra conducted by Rupert Christie -- performed the record from in full, the way it was meant to be heard. As the last notes of the bone chilling "Killing Moon" came to a close, McCulloch addressed the audience. "I'll tell you sincerely," he dryly confessed. "I'm having a fantastic time."

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Legal Crackdown Jams Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising

By Jenna Wortham

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Several websites linking to Michael Moore's freebie film Slacker Uprising have received cease-and-desist letters demanding removal of the torrents.

The legal crackdown, news of which surfaced this week, seems like an odd move: The film was released online in September as a free gift to Moore's fans in the United States and Canada, with an e-mail from the director giving them permission to "share it or show it in any way you see fit."

The problem comes from international distribution of Slacker Uprising through the peer-to-peer sites, according to a lawyer from the firm of Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, which issued the takedown notices.

"My purpose was to address unauthorized online dissemination outside the scope of authorization offered by Michael Moore," said attorney Neil Rosini in a phone interview Friday. "If a server makes the film available outside of the U.S. and Canada, then it's infringing copyright."

The move seems antithetical to the spirit of Moore's maverick distribution plan, which drew more than 2 million visitors to the Slacker Uprising site during the week of the movie's release.

The film, which documents Moore's 62-city tour in support of John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election, shot to the top slot on Amazon.com's Video on Demand movie rentals list.

At the time, Moore claimed he wanted audiences to "not only download it, but also to e-mail it, burn it and share it with anyone and everyone."

But according to Moore's publicity team, the documentary maker only owns the North American rights to the film. So, while he's happy to distribute it for free, the Weinstein Company, which owns international distribution rights, may not be so inclined.

Moore addressed the issue in a note to fans before the movie's release: "If you live outside the U.S. and Canada, I'm sorry that I don't own the rights to make this film available to you for free. But it will be coming to a theater, video store or television network near you soon."

Wired.com has requested an interview with Moore to discuss the crackdown; we'll update the post if and when it happens.

What would you ask Moore? Let us know in the comments below.

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Christopher Nolan Signed For Batman 3?


By Josh Tyler
Despite rumors to the contrary, it looks like Christopher Nolan may now indeed be signed to direct a sequel to The Dark Knight. The newest edition of Production Weekly went out this morning, and they list Nolan as the official director of Batman 3, along with Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman in the cast.

They further confirm some of the rumors which were swirling around earlier this week, listing Batman 3 as slated to go into pre-production in February of 2009. On Wednesday IESB.net attempted to debunk the rumors of the film’s imminent pre-production when they were told by a WB exec that the film “is not in pre-production and is not getting ready to shoot”. That’s not necessarily wrong. It’s not in pre-production and it’s not getting ready to shoot… right now. It will however be in pre-production this coming February.

Production Weekly is not normally prone to exaggeration. In theory, they get all of their information directly from official sources and not internet rumors. Still, it’s somewhat surprising that Warner Bros. would give that information to Production Weekly before they’re able to make a big, splashy announcement themselves. This Batman franchise is sort of a big deal after all.

Original here