Cowell sets his sights on EDM
Simon Cowell has just launched the World Cup of EDM – a sort of X-Factor with added turntables
The Voice Of Ireland? The X Factor? America’s Got Talent? Pah! Forget all of those contrived, fake-ass, karaoke blubberfests and say hello to Ultimate DJ, the competition which aims to find the best DJ on the goddamn planet. Simon Cowell is involved and . . . hey, hey, come back, come back!
Of course, Cowell is involved. The man behind Go Go Power Rangers!, Robson & Jerome and other musical gems knows a good thing when he sees it and reckons there is cash to be made from choreographing turntable wars. If the Yanks are going gaga for EDM, there’s sure to be many would-bes and wannabes who will want to unleash their inner Guetta or Avicii and make fools of themselves in the process.
Cowell’s cohorts in this project include Yahoo (company boss Marissa Mayer is an EDM fan, apparently), Sony Music and Steve Aoki, who will be one of the judges. A marketing person gushed with excitement that “Ultimate DJ will be very much like the World Cup of EDM - country against country, DJ against DJ, fanbase against fanbase”.
All involved will be hoping that Ultimate DJ brings home the bacon, though it’s hard to see how watching a bunch of lads and a few token lasses spinning tunes is going to make a great TV spectacle. They really need some Ultimate DJ challenges, like how does the DJ deal with drunken requests for Maroon 5 or Arctic Monkeys at 3am? Now, that would be appointment TV. Jim Carroll In Belfast tomorrow, as part of the city’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, the Irish premiere of music documentary Looking for Johnny takes place (Black Box, 3pm, £4, cqaf.com). The film explores the (brief) life and times of New York Dolls’ guitarist Johnny Thunders, and while it’s a goodie, it got us to thinking what other brilliant music documentaries will hopefully be coming our way over the next few months. Here’s our top five...
All Things Must Pass
Colin Hanks directs this sharply observed movie about the rise and inevitable fall of Tower Records, the American music retail giant that in 1999 recorded earnings of $1 billion, and which by 2005 had entered bankruptcy proceedings. Ouch.
Theory of Obscurity: a film about The Residents
Avant garde US band The Residents have never been identified by name or face. Go figure . . . Don Hardy directs a documentary about one of alt.rock’s weirdest and most bewildering bands.
American music industry executive and band manager Danny Fields shares many rich anecdotes about his involvement with the likes of The Doors, Ramones, Velvet Underground, and Iggy Pop. A racy film – and the soundtrack is bliss.
From early hip-hop to EDM (via Madonna and Taylor Swift), the Roland TR-808 – a drum machine, no less – is eulogised by the likes of Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn and Afrika Bambaata. Alexander Dunn directs.
Earplugs! Scott Crawford delves into the DIY punk scene of Washington DC from 1980-90. The result is an access-all-areas, warts’n’all look at a highly influential scene. Talking heads include Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl, and Thurston Moore.