Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sidewalk Reading Companion Part Deux

If you are still kicking after the onslaught of cuteness that was Lil Bub & Friendz and the opening night after party at Regions Field, then you will want to wander back downtown for Saturday's excellent Sidewalk Film Festival lineup. As a documentary fiend myself, I am going to pick out a few of the documentaries scheduled for viewing on Saturday and point out related recommended reading (and viewing) that can be found at EOL. For the viewing times and locations of these films and the entire weekend schedule, click here for Sidewalk's interactive schedule. (All book descriptions from unless otherwise noted.)
(From Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a notoriously aggressive orca that killed three people while in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses shocking footage and emotional interviews to present a convincing case against keeping these wild animals for human entertainment. Click here to view the trailer.
For further reading on Tilikum and Orcas in captivity, try Death at Seaworld by David Kirby - 
From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America’s most beloved marine mammal park. Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau’s death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks. Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales.

(From The Punk Singer - Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader. 

To find out more about Kathleen Hanna and Riot Grrrl, read Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus
Girls to the Front is the epic, definitive history of Riot Grrrl—the radical feminist uprising that exploded into the public eye in the 1990s and included incendiary punk bands Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and Huggy Bear. A dynamic chronicle not just a movement but an era,this is the story of a group of pissed—off girls with no patience for sexism and no intention of keeping quiet.

(From In Hey Bartender, two men try to achieve their dreams through bartending. An injured Marine turns his goals to becoming a principal bartender at the best cocktail bar in the world. A young man leaves his white-collar job to buy the corner bar in his hometown years later he struggles to keep afloat. The bar is three deep and the bartenders are in the weeds at the greatest cocktail party since before Prohibition. Hey Bartender is the story of the rebirth of the bartender and the comeback of the cocktail. Featuring the world's most renowned bartenders and access to the most exclusive bars in New York with commentary from Graydon Carter, Danny Meyer and Amy Sacco. Click here to view the trailer.

If Hey Bartender inspires you to try your hand at bartending professionally or at home, EOL has several books that can help:

The Bar and Beverage Book by Costas Katsigris explains how to manage the beverage option of a restaurant, bar, hotel, country club—any place that serves beverages to customers.  It provides readers with the history of the beverage industry and appreciation of wine, beer, and spirits; information on equipping, staffing, managing, and marketing a bar; and the purchase and mixology of beverages.   New topics in this edition include changes to regulations regarding the service of alcohol, updated sanitation guidelines, updates to labor laws and the employment of staff, and how to make your operation more profitable. New trends in spirits, wine, and beer are also covered.

Mix Shake Stir by Danny Meyer - The bartenders at Danny Meyer's wildly popular restaurants are known for their creative concoctions. Guests at Union Square CafĂ© or Gramercy Tavern expect not only the finest cuisine but also Meyer's special brand of hospitality that often begins with a Venetian Spritz or a Cranberry Daiquiri. In Mix Shake Stir, Meyer offers all the tips and tools needed to become a masterful mixologist and supplements the cocktail recipes with gourmet takes on bar snacks. There are over 100 recipes of bar classics, signature favorites, and original, refreshing libations--from the Modern's elegant mojito made with champagne and rose water to Tabla's Pomegranate Gimlet. Shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, these cocktails make this collection an invaluable resource for elegant entertaining. 

(From Muscle Shoals -Under the spiritual influence of the "Singing River" as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals is some of the most important and resonant of all time. "I’ll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", "When a Man Loves a Woman", "I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Loved You", "Mustang Sally”, "Tell Mama", "Kodachrome", and "Freebird" are just a few of the tens of thousands of tracks created there. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, he brought black and white musicians together to create music that would last for generations while also giving birth to the unique ‘Muscle Shoals sound’ and the rhythm section ‘The Swampers’. In this movie legendary artists including Aretha Franklin, Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Jimmy Cliff, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Wilson Pickett, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Steve Winwood and others bear witness to the magnetism and mystery of Muscle Shoals and why it remains a global influence today. Click here to view the trailer.

If Muscle Shoals gets you curious about the stories of some of the South's other legendary musical enterprises, or if you just want to hear some more sweet soul music, watch Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story. - The rise and fall of Memphis-based Stax Records remains one of the more compelling sagas in American popular music history. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, renamed in 1961 by blending the surnames of brother-sister co-founders Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, Stax was Motown's funky Deep South counterpart. From its loose atmosphere came giants, including Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas and daughter Carla, Booker T and the MGs, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, Albert King, Isaac Hayes, and the Bar-Kays. Recording in a converted movie theater, the earthy results were often as stunning and transcendent as anything from the equally loose Sun Records across town or Motown itself. While celebrating Stax, its triumphs and the genius of its artists and musicians, the documentary doesn’t shy away from the label's woes, like unexamined fine print that gave Atlantic Records, who distributed Stax, the rights to classic Stax masters. While it resurged following its sale, through the successes of Isaac Hayes, the Shaft soundtrack and legendary Wattstax show, those triumphs were a prelude to the label's final, ugly collapse. The redemption comes by detailing Stax's legacy into the 21st century. The DVD extra consists of rehearsal footage from the rehearsals for a Stax reunion show. Click here to view the trailer.

Until next time, happy reading (and viewing!)


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