in performance: chuck prophet

chuck prophet. photo by suzy poling.

chuck prophet. photo by suzy poling.

Likening the sold out, coffeehouse flavored atmosphere last night at Natasha’s to “a PTA meeting,” Chuck Prophet stripped away the voltage but not necessarily the rockish electricity from his music for a 90 minute solo acoustic performance. Though it was his first Lexington performance without a band, the West Coast songsmith presented what was essentially a rock ‘n’ roll show for a sit down crowd. And it worked.

Sure, the quieter strides of ballads like Would You Love Me? and Whole Lot More already possessed enough folkish ingenuity to fit readily in the solo format. Other works opened up enough for Prophet to color them with playful narratives. Prior to Sister Lost Soul, for instance, Prophet recalled when he and pal Alejandro Escovedo went in search of a recording facility in the aftermath of an Austin, Tx. ice storm (“where it got cold for, like, 10 minutes”). Then there were the less than complimentary remarks regarding CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper that more curiously prefaced You and Me Baby (Holding On). And let’s not forget Apology, which Prophet proudly dedicated to Mel Gibson.

But the real riot involved overtly rockish tunes that still packed a potent and resourceful wallop without a band. Among them: Doubter Out of Jesus (All Over You), which possessed a cooler, more pensive groove, and I Bow Down and Pray to Every Woman I See, with its sly, Tom Petty-ish framework.

Sure, there were a few tunes that really made you miss the homemade firepower of Prophet’s Mission Express band. Diamond Jim, for instance, still sounded great even though you couldn’t help but yearn for those fat, Kinks-style power chords the band version possesses. But hearing a long lost relic like Lucky recast as a wily acoustic yarn or the radio hit Summertime Thing as a suitably seasonal sing-a-long? Those were the products of a crafty pop mind that can locate a rock ‘n’ roll vibe in the most unassuming of performance situations. In short, this was a rock show even the PTA could love.

Mullan considers leaving Scotland for Hollywood; Top actor-director may go west

The Herald February 1, 2003 | Phil Miller; Arts Correspondent PETER Mullan, the top actor, writer and director, is considering leaving Scotland and moving to Hollywood to further his film career.

Mullan, who this month releases his controversial movie The Magdalene Sisters in Britain, is one of the country’s leading film makers and last night movie bosses said they would be disappointed if he chose to pursue his acclaimed career in the United States.

In an interview, published in today’s Herald Magazine, Mullan says his flights to the US are becoming more frequent.

His next project is for a “big and mythic” movie set in the United States and he says that now might be the time to establish himself at the heart of the film business on the west coast of the US. go to site last night movie

The most high profile celebrity supporter of Tommy Sheridan’s Scottish Socialist party, Mullan was yesterday filming a party political broadcast for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament election campaign.

However, he has admitted that, with his international profile raised even further by a distribution deal with the powerful Miramax organisation for The Magdalene Sisters, his stock in Hollywood is higher than ever and has discussed moving to the US with his family.

Mullan says: “We’ve seriously talked over moving to America. The next script is set in the States . . . and if it got the green light then I couldn’t leave the bairns, we’ll all have to move.” He says Hollywood is like the armed fortress of the Death Star in the Star Wars movies, and to “stir it up” he will have to be inside it “like Luke Skywalker”.

Mullan, 43, whose latest film, about the abuse of young women in Catholic homes in Ireland, was funded by Scottish Screen, added: “Anyway, it’s time to step aside here, and let others have a go at public funding. this web site last night movie

“There’s a lot of talent coming through in Scotland, so they need the money more than me now.” Steve McIntyre, the chief executive of Scottish Screen, said he would be dismayed if Mullan decided to move to Hollywood.

The star has made his name in a series of Scottish productions, starring in Ken Loach’s My Name is Joe, for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes, and as the director of Orphans. He made his name as an actor in Trainspotting and had a small role in Braveheart.

Mr McIntyre said: “We would be disappointed to lose one of the most interesting, talented and recognised artists and film makers in Scotland.

“However, only he can decide what to do and what he feels is best for his own career as a film maker.” In the interview, Mullan criticises Scottish Screen’s interventions in the making of The Magdalene Sisters, describing staff at the agency – which gave around (pounds) 700,000 to the film – as “stupid”.

In particular, he was angered by a suggestion to run titles over a silent stretch of the movie.

Mr McIntyre said: “I have no recollection of suggesting putting titles on the film. We always have lots of discussion with film makers and they are usually the stronger for that.

“We have constantly supported him and we will continue to support him, because he is a major film talent, but it’s disappointing that he has said that.” Mullan has broken box office records in Ireland with The Magdalene Sisters.

The film has been seen by one in 20 of the Irish population and has taken more than (pounds) 630,000 at the Irish box office. Funded by the Irish Film Board and Scottish Screen, it is the most successful non-Hollywood film of the year in Ireland, despite being condemned by Catholic authorities.

It won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival and the Discovery Critics Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

Phil Miller; Arts Correspondent

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