DID YOU READ

Watch: Crocodiles “Hearts of Love”

Watch: Crocodiles “Hearts of Love” (photo)

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I recently met up with the talented young director, Sam Macon, just after an unfortunate roadside fiasco in Brooklyn that sent at least one person to the hospital. Shaken, but still men, we dusted ourselves off and retired to a cafe with our laptops to drink copious amounts of espresso while checking out this video he’d just shot for San Diego’s noise pop punks, Crocodiles.

Macon is well spoken, well dressed, gentlemanly, and intelligent. Men adore him and women follow him. But I’m convinced he is a Pied Piper of mayhem, a devilish Johnny Appleseed, sprinkling little seeds of chaos wherever he goes. “I wanted to paint a postcard of California,” he said of the video which he shot in LA and San Diego with the band, “One that stretched from surf and sun to the Manson murders.”

I like violence in videos when it’s well done, when it surprises or serves the song. Never got over that boyhood thing with switchblades either. The gore in the “gutting scene” was done with beef livers. Macon said they were at least five days old. They “had been in a ‘cooler,’ with no ice, in the trunk of my rental car,” he added. A similar rental car was involved in a certain aforementioned, roadside fiasco.

Crocodiles will be in New York City playing two shows later this month — Sept. 22nd at the Mercury Lounge and Sept 24th at Glasslands — in support of their upcoming full length album “Sleep Forever.”

Download Crocodiles – “Fires of Comparison” EP, entirely free from Fat Possum.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Exclusive Video Premiere: The Black Angels “Telephone”

Exclusive Video Premiere: The Black Angels “Telephone”  (photo)

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The video for this song “Telephone,” by one of my favorite Austin psyche outfits, The Black Angels, was inspired by an old legend about a disastrous miscommunication in the trenches of WWI. The tale goes that the British were sending a message down the lines — an order for the troops to get out and reinforce an attack that was underway. “The Colonel said, ‘Send for reinforcements we are going to advance,'” Christian Bland (guitarist/vocalist) explains. But “by the time it got to the end of the line, the message was ‘Send three & four pence we are going to dance,’ so they never got the message, and the troops were slaughtered.”

We don’t know what message the band is relaying down the line in here in the video, but Bland suggests it might have something to do with a message written on the inside of the LP, “We encourage you to rethink your preconceived notions, question authority, and create other methods for survival.”

The new Black Angels album, “Phosphene Dream,” comes out tomorrow, 9/14 on the resurrected Blue Horizon Records.

Watch: The Black Angels blow Paul Shaffer’s mind apart on Letterman.

Live performances from The Black Angels on IFC; “You on the Run,” and “Black Grease.”

Exclusive Video: Behind the Intense Visuals of The Chemical Brothers’ “Further”

Exclusive Video: Behind the Intense Visuals of The Chemical Brothers’ “Further” (photo)

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The Chemical Brothers seventh studio album, “Further” is a full on audio/visual extravaganza. Maybe I’m a Luddite but I couldn’t even believe what was going on in the interactive trailer for the album (embedded at bottom) that showcased the wild visuals — each tailored to accompany one of the album’s eight tracks. Did you know you could navigate around YouTube videos like that?

At the risk of career envy, dig this documentary “The Chemical Brothers: Making of the Visuals,” complete with British narrators and some exhausted wire performer who says “Note to self, not too many sausages before you do that.” I could watch them animate gelatinous liquids by blasting sound waves into them (“Ghostbusters II” style) all day.

(Play around on the trailer below first if you have not seen it.)

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