Showing posts with label Rick Rubin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rick Rubin. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2019

Previewing Shangri-La

When the Wu-Tang documentary was announced I thought, four hours on one subject, but with ten members there were plenty of stories to spread around. And the ODB and their one copy album could support their own documentaries in themselves. And I kind of want the latter because it got short changed in their documentary. But really, it was hard to think that there were many other subjects that could substance four episodes.

Then I watched Showtime’s latest documentary Shangri-La. And you know what; it also manages to be compelling throughout its four episodes. The docu-series focuses on creative conversation and the emotional side of music-making, using legendary music producer Rick Rubin's iconic Malibu, CA studio, Shangrli-La, as the backdrop.

Unless you read liner notes, you may not know Rick Rubin’s name, but if you have listened to music in the past thirty-five years, you definitely have herd songs he has produced no matter what you listen to. You could listen to pop (Adele), rock, (Tom Petty), heavy metal (Slayer), country (The Dixie Chicks), alternative (Red Hot Chili Peppers), folk ((The Avett Brothers), he even produces comedy albums (Andrew Dice Clay). He is most linked to rap after starting Def Jam in his college dorm room launching the careers of Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy. When Jay-Z says, You’re crazy for this one Rick” in 99 Problems, that is Rubin he is referring to.

Shangri-La has had a long rich history long before Rick set foot there in 2006. It was featured in another famous music documentary, Martin Scorsese’s The Last when The Band’s bassist Rick Danko gives Scorsese a tour of the studio back in the late seventies. Oh, and Shangri-La use to be the summer home of one of the biggest television shows at the time. Probably someone you will never guess.

But is really is not just the long history of Rubin or even Shangri-La that makes this documentary, it is that this documentary is pretty weird. The series is peppered with images of a young Rick with his later day trademark beard and balding long hair. Then one of the first talking heads is Tyler the Creator basically saying he does not really know who Rick Rubin is. Kind of a weird choice for a docu-series about Rick Rubin. And I am all for it.

Some other people who stop over to Shangri-La include David Lynch, the lead singer of Vampire Weekend (watch to found out which song off their latest album he did not include because it sounded like a song Smash Mouth would do for a Shrek movie), David Blaine (Rick is a huge magic guy), Triple HHH (Rick is also famously a huge wrestling fan), Jerrod Carmichael, and it also features Mac Miller’s last recording sessions.

This is also the first docu-series that I can think of that kind of has an episode end on a cliffhanger. Episode three ends with news coverage of last year’s California wildfires, which left me thinking, oh await, is this studio I just spent three hours with about to burn down. You will have to turn into episode to find out. But the show is definitely worth the watch just because it is a very weird and entertaining watch. Of course if you do not get the weirdness, it does not really matter to Rick Rubin. When asked, “does it matter at all that people didn’t understand?” his answer is simply, “Never.”

Shangri-La airs Fridays at 9:00 on Showtime.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The 100 Most Entertaining People of 2013

1. Lorde

2. Tatiana Maslany

3. Seth Rogan

4. James Spader

5. Timothy Olyphant

6. Mads Mikkelsen

7. Pharrell Williams

8. James Franco

9. The Civil Wars

10. Eminem

11. Rick Rubin

12. Jim Parsons

13. Kacey Musgraves

14. Vampire Weekend

15. Robert Downey Jr.

16. Rob Ford

17. Jon Hamm

18. Jonah Hill

19. Ken Marino

20. Kat Dennings

21. Charlie Hunnam

22. Daughter

23. Michael Shannon

24. Kaley Cuoco

25. Haim

26. Alison Brie

27. Keri Russell

28. Connie Britton

29. Craig Robinson

30. Janelle Monáe

31. Hayen Panettiere

32. Emma Watson

33. Bryan Fuller

34. The Avett Brothers

35. Leonardo DiCaprio

36. Megan Boone

37. Hugh Dancy

38. Caitlin Rose

39. Ashley Benson

40. Danny McBride

41. Jay Baruchel

42. Caroline Glaser

43. Eden Sher

44. Holly Henry

45. Ciera Eastin

46. Eliza Coupe

47. Donald Glover

48. Elizabeth Henstridge

49. Jane Levy

50. Kacey Rohl

51. Vocal Rush

52. Charlie McDermott

53. Amos Lee

54. Jeff Garlin

55. Mumford and Sons

56. Jack Johnson

57. J. B. Smooth

58. Chvrches

59. Maggie Lawson

60. Beyoncé

61. John Slattery

62. The Hero

63. Jere Burns

64. Abigail Spencer

65. Bailey Buntain

66. Come and Get It

67. Pearl Jam

68. Sarah Hyland

69. Sutton Foster

70. Kristen Bell

71. Donal Logue

72. Jeremy Renner

73. Patton Oswalt

74. Wendell Pierce

75. Ed O'Neill

76. Jason Segel

77. Amy Adams

78. Neil Patrick Harris

79. Margo Martindale

80. Emmy Rossum

81. Kings of Leon

82. Taylor Swift

83. Walton Goggins

84. Prince

85. Alexandra Chando

86. Emily Van Camp

87. Eric Clapton

88. Lana Parrilla

89. Madeleine Stowe

90. Robin Williams

91. Simon Helberg

92. Laurence Fishburne

93. The Roots

94. Gemma Arterton

95. Julie Bowen

96. John Stewart

97. John Mayer

89. Sara Bareilles

99. Nick Searcy

100. Aubrey Peeples