OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt will score the upcoming Netflix series “Clark”. The six-episode drama series about the Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson will be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, whose visually driven signature style often pushes the boundaries of the status quo. Production company is Scandinavian Content Group.

Olofsson will be portrayed by Bill Skarsgård, who is best known for his terrorizing and iconic portrayal of Pennywise in the Stephen King saga “It”. Later this year, he stars in the Netflix film “The Devil All The Time” and in the Sundance hit “Nine Days” for Sony Pictures Classic. On television, Skarsgård most recently starred in Hulu‘s “Castle Rock”, a psychological drama series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

Based on the truth and lies of Olofsson‘s autobiography, the Swedish-language series will feature Clark‘s early years until present day. The notorious gangster started his criminal career in the 1960s and became one of the most controversial personalities in contemporary Swedish history. Convicted of several counts of drug trafficking, attempted murder, assault, theft and dozens of bank robberies, he has spent more than half his life behind bars and has left behind a trail of trauma, heartbreak, disappointment and general devastation. In the 1970s, Clark gave rise to the idea of “The Stockholm Syndrome” during a failed bank robbery in Stockholm — and has ever since kept his position as celebrity criminal fooling all of Sweden to fall in love with him. Just like he desired.

Åkerlund says: “‘Clark’ is the story about the most politically incorrect man, who lived the most politically incorrect life. These are the kinds of stories I always look for. It’s an ultra-violent, witty, emotional, real and surreal biography to put a face to the name Stockholm Syndrome, but it isn’t just about the Norrmalmstorg Robbery. It’s about his whole life and what made him who he is, the truth and lies of his incredible career. Bill Skarsgård is the perfect match for this and he will bring the Stockholm Syndrome to the role. And Netflix is the perfect platform, they are not just the biggest streaming service, they also have the boldness to tell this incredible story.”

Adds Skarsgård: “Clark Olofsson is, for good and bad, one of Sweden’s most colourful and fascinating individuals. I accept this challenge with delight mingled with terror and think that with Jonas and Netflix in the back, we can tell a groundbreaking story with a pace and madness we may not have seen on TV before. Clark‘s life and history is so incredible and screwed that it would even make Scorsese blush.”

Tesha Crawford, director of International Originals Northern Europe at Netflix, says: “We really look forward to continuing our great collaboration with Jonas Åkerlund and Bill Skarsgård. We can not imagine a better team to tell the complex story about Clark Olofsson and how he became one of the most controversial personalities in modern Swedish times.”


MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx has dismissed the influx of negative professional critic reviews the band’s biopic “The Dirt” has received, insisting that the fans love the movie.

He tweeted on Friday: “The album is number #1.The fans are going crazy over #TheDirt. The critics hate it. @MotleyCrue @netflix WORLD FUCKING WIDE.”

“The Dirt” currently has an 86% audience score from 324 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, an online review aggregation service that allows the public to score the movies alongside critics. It has a 42% critic score from 36 reviews on the same site.

Indiewire David Ehrlich called “The Dirt” “wonderfully bad” and compared it to last year’s QUEEN biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” has a 61% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes but won four oscars.

“For all the unique details of their story (and their sound), QUEEN‘s big screen bow was so generic that it felt like Bryan Singer was trying to gaslight everyone into forgetting that ‘Walk Hard’ had already reduced this entire genre to a joke,” Ehrlich wrote. “And for all the legendary hedonism that defined their lives, MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s movie feels like it could have been made about any one of a zillion other bands. Hell, it could even have been made about QUEEN!”

Los Angeles Times called “The Dirt” “horribly timed,” “astoundingly tone deaf” and “as vapid and misogynistic as the band members and the book they wrote with author Neil Strauss.”

The Daily Beast said that “The Dirt” “spends almost two hours glamorizing shitty behavior, and then attempts to exonerate its stars with a few vague voiceovers about regret and rehabilitation.”

The Atlantic wrote: “The danger of a document like ‘The Dirt’ is in showing pigheadedness as not only fun and cool, but also elemental, inexplicable, and unstoppable.”

Deadline wrote that “The Dirt” has been “bleached pretty clean from its feral and self-admitted sordid source material,” citing frontman Vince Neil‘s drunken car crash that killed HANOI ROCKS drummer Razzle and the death of his daughter after a battle with cancer as “rare exceptions in this straight to MOR movie that has a limited emotional range outside of party time.”

The New York Times concurred, saying that screenwriters Rich Wilkes and Amanda Adelson had “sanded it down to a junior varsity ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.”

Some media outlets were kinder in their assessments, with Decider writing: “Lower your expectations, throw caution, decorum and good taste to the wind, and file it under ‘guilty pleasure.'” The Guardian praised the performances of actors Douglas Booth (who plays Nikki Sixx), Iwan Rheon (who plays Mick Mars) and Daniel Webber (who plays Vince Neil), saying that they “possess similar abilities to navigate between charm and repulsion, all working together to create such a chummy group that their power as an ensemble elevates the material. Just like their real-life counterparts.”

“The Dirt” movie, which was helmed by “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” director Jeff Tremaine, was picked up by Netflix after being previously developed at Focus Features and before that at Paramount.

“The Dirt Soundtrack” accompanies the movie and features a collection of MÖTLEY CRÜE classics that meaningfully underscore significant moments that shape the film. Exclusive to the film’s soundtrack, MÖTLEY CRÜE recorded four new songs, including the single “The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)”, “Ride With The Devil” and “Crash And Burn”, plus a cover of Madonna‘s “Like A Virgin”.

MÖTLEY CRÜE Movie ‘The Dirt’ Is Hated By Critics, Loved By Fans, Says NIKKI SIXX

Today is the day! Motley Crue‘s long-awaited film adaption of their infamous The Dirt book is now on Netflix. The band recorded four new songs for the soundtrack, having previously released two of them (“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” and a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin“) and now the remaining two tracks have surfaced.

“Ride With the Devil” (heard above) is a mid-tempo bluesy groover with lyrical nods to the band’s past (“Too Fast for Love”) as well as the present with the line “give me the dirt,” which is also the refrain on “The Dirt (Est. 1981).”

Below, you can hear “Crash and Burn,” another mid-tempo track with a similar arrangement. Much like “Ride With the Devil,” the verse relies on a rigid drum beat as the rest of the instrumentation steamrolls the energy into a shimmering chorus.

With the film’s release, fans have speculated as to whether Motley Crue will perform one-off shows, which would presumably not conflict with the cessation of touring agreement the four members signed as they embarked on their farewell tour, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2015.

Nikki Sixx wondered aloud if Crue had retired too soon as he sees contemporaries like Aerosmith and Metallica still hitting the road. “There will be no one-offs in our future,” the bassist told Rolling Stone, adding, “Maybe we’ll just get together and jam in Mick Mars’ front room.”


On this date in history, 8/7/2011, the Mayhem Festival arrived at Deer Creek in Noblesville just in time to make all of us metal fanatics happy…or at least argumentative concerning the lineup, which included Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Machine Head, Hatebreed, The Athiarchists, Unearth, Suicide Silence, Kingdom Of Sorrow, All Shall Perish, Red Fang, Straight Line Stitch, and The Surface. Every year I attended one of these all day metal festivals I would always try to discover a band I hadn’t previously heard before, and Red Fang was that band on this date.
They were phenomenal, kind of a mixture of Clutch and Mastodon, but very individual and original sounding at the same time. Highly recommended, in other words…check ’em out. Straight Line Stitch were great, too. I have a soft spot for bands with female vocalists, and the woman who sings for Straight Line Stitch can truly sing in addition to sounding like a wounded animal being tortured by hot pokers.
All Shall Perish brought the brutality, as did Suicide Silence. This was the last time I saw Mitch Lucker perform before his untimely death, and the next time that Suicide Silence returned, their new singer came from All Shall Perish, so this show was the beginning of a circle.
Kingdom Of Sorrow combined Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed with Kirk Windstein of Crowbar and Down (at that time) for a monstrous side project.
Bad weather temporarily halted their set, but it passed quickly enough that they were able to return and finish what they started.
We (being crazy metalheads) didn’t even seek shelter! Unearth played a blazing set that paved the way for Machine Head over on the main stage. Machine Head were my favorite band of the entire day. Rob Flynn and his army were simply magnificent, playing with a precision and rage that the iconic Megadeth had trouble following.
Dave Mustaine has always run a tight ship with Megadeth, and they rose to the challenge, showing why they are firmly in the Big 4 of thrash metal.
Godsmack shifted gears somewhat, ushering in the more “radio friendly” format of metal that would continue through their set and into the headliners, Disturbed. My friend and I stuck around long enough to watch the film that lead into Disturbed’s performance and then we left.
Mutually agreed that we don’t like that band. I acknowledge their success and understand they have legions of fans. I hope those fans enjoyed the show, but it isn’t my band and never will be. Overall, I had a fantastic time as always. I discovered a band, rocked to some longtime favorites, and truly had a great day with a really cool person.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History


In the first episode of “The Get Down,” the new Netflix series about the genesis of hip-hop in the South Bronx, there is a scene in which Shaolin Fantastic (Shameik Moore), a jack-of-all-trades cool guy, finds himself on the wrong side of attention from a local gang.

He runs through the streets, a half-dozen or so foes in his wake. They chase him to the top of an apartment building, where it seems that he’s cornered, but no. Taking a running start, he leaps across to the roof of the building next door — filmed from above, he appears to be flying — clinging to its crumbling parapet and pulling himself up to safety.

The move is part childlike adventure, part superpower. And it captures the unusual, provocative energy of this show, which on the surface is a coming-of-age tale about a group of teenagers set amid the rubble of the South Bronx in 1977, just as hip-hop — before it had that name — was beginning to chip away at disco’s flamboyant dominance.


In actuality, though, “The Get Down” is more like a secret superhero story, one with black and brown teenagers as the heroes. Using extravagant camerawork and technical tricks that present the protagonists as larger than life, “The Get Down” takes a period and place that’s often approached with dutiful naturalism and sobriety about difficult circumstances and infuses it with light touches of magical realism and bursts of palpable otherworldly joy.

“They actually lived their magical realism,” Baz Luhrmann, the show’s co-creator and an executive producer, said about the youth of the era. “They had a magical reality.”

That this conflation of extravagance and grit has come from Mr. Luhrmann is no surprise: He is best known for carnivalesque music-infused films, like “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Great Gatsby,” which verge on the hyperreal. For this Netflix production — the first six episodes of Season 1 will be available on Aug. 12 — Mr. Luhrmann, who also directed the hour-and-half-long premiere episode, went deep and long, spending a reported $120 million on the production, which has sustained numerous delays.

The teenagers of “The Get Down” are all in different stages of self-invention — around them are unforgiving families, the burning buildings of the South Bronx, as well as the cultural claustrophobia of the disco era. Shaolin Fantastic finds his compatriot-foil in Ezekiel (Justice Smith), an ambivalent young poet who comes to realize he has a talent for rapping, eventually taking the name Books. Ezekiel is friends with the Kipling brothers — Ra-Ra (Skylan Brooks), Boo Boo (Tremaine Brown Jr.) and the graffiti artist Dizzee (Jaden Smith) — and his love interest is Mylene (Herizen Guardiola), a church singer with disco dreams.


That each was, in his or her own way, something of a superhero was a subtext woven into the show’s creation from the earliest stages. “Even in the writers’ room, we were talking about, ‘What’s Shaolin’s superpower? What’s Books’s superpower?’” said Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, an executive producer and a writer.

Mr. Moore said, “Baz, he was very clear — the picture he created in my mind was a superhero.”

There is a mini-renaissance of black superhero stories at the moment, including the coming Netflix series “Marvel’s Luke Cage” and the Black Panther comic book revival penned by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The movie “Captain America: Civil War” features three black superheroes, while “Suicide Squad” features two.

“The Get Down” is categorically different from those projects, but it raises a similarly radical proposition: that everyday teenagers — the show also anoints Hispanic heroes — imbued with obsession and determination can invent a whole new world and make the old one bend to their whims.

That supernatural approach to teenage creativity in the face of ruin had its roots in the role models of the 1970s, drawn from comic books and kung fu films. Those cultural touchstones fed into a sense among young people “of being something else, larger than life, someone who could best any foe,” said Nelson George, a longtime music journalist and filmmaker who served as supervising producer and a writer.

In the 1970s, as D.J.s were learning how to do more than simply play records, and rapping was emerging as a stand-alone art form, the first wave of Bronx teen superstars were being born. “When we got onstage we transformed ourselves from whoever we were into these pseudo-superheroes with microphones instead of guns,” said Rahiem of the Furious 5, one of the highest-regarded rappers of the prerecorded hip-hop era, who served as a rap consultant on the show.

And these transformations were convincing. Rahiem recalled how, as a teen, he would get harassed by the Black Spades, a fearsome local gang. But one time they arrived at his apartment playing a cassette of one of his performances, not knowing it was him on the tape. “I started saying the rhymes along with the tape,” he said, and once they were convinced of his legitimacy, “I went from being punked by the largest gang in NYC to the largest gang in NYC being my security.”

Similarly, each central character in “The Get Down” has an origin story, and a moment when his or her superpowers are awakened — for Mylene, it’s the performance in church when she subverts her father’s authority and turns a hymn into a sultry disco explosion, tearing off her choir robe to reveal a slinky dress beneath, her Diana Prince-into-Wonder Woman conversion. “Taking off the robe was symbolic of what’s to come,” Ms. Guardiola said. “Mylene is someone who felt different, and wanted to get out.”

For Books, its when Shaolin Fantastic takes him to “the get down,” a party in an abandoned building where breakdancers are controlling the floor, and Grandmaster Flash is controlling the turntables, setting up beats for rappers to make their mark on.


In “The Get Down,” Grandmaster Flash (an adviser to the show and also a character played by Mamoudou Athie) is the Yoda figure, a spiritualist and font of knowledge who’s training Shaolin Fantastic in the art of D.J.ing. When Grandmaster Flash is first revealed in the pilot, it’s done slowly. Up until that point, Shaolin Fantastic is painted as the show’s idol, all fleet moves and fast hands. But the moment Grandmaster Flash appears, the focus shifts — he’s lit from behind, forcing the eye to take an extra moment to properly register him. “The backlight,” Mr. Luhrmann said, “softens the image and is slightly blinding. From Shao’s point of view, it’s like the sun is shining from behind his head.”

That scene is a reminder that all heroes have heroes of their own, and sometimes a hero needs to be a student, too. What Grandmaster Flash is to Shaolin, Shaolin is to Books. Even in later episodes, once the two are working side by side, the original dynamic lingers. “Whether Books wants to admit it or not, he still puts Shao on a pedestal,” Justice Smith said. Books is also, like many superheroes, not fully aware of the scope of his powers. “He doesn’t understand what the art form was set up to do in the first place, which is to conquer the violence around him,” he added.

And eradicating violence, a superhero task, was very much a concern of early hip-hop in the gang era. “We had to pull out all of the stops to keep them entertained,” Rahiem said. “Once there was a lull in the excitement, there was bound to be a shooting, or somebody would get stabbed or robbed.”

CAN – Vitamin C

Throughout “The Get Down,” what remains consistent is that each of the young protagonists is still living a double life, another superhero tactic. During the daytime, they live under their families’ thumb, but at night, they become godlike.

In places, the show collides those two approaches into one scene. In the third episode, the blackout of 1977 leads to widespread looting. Through it all, the show’s protagonists wander through fire-limned streets in slow motion, carrying their looted haul from the disco club, Les Inferno, that represents everything they’re agitating against creatively and spiritually.

“The way they steal the equipment — it’s like the Four Musketeers breaking into the castle and stealing jewels,” Mr. Luhrmann said. “The slo-mo is to isolate them, so that the audience has enough time to realize their stealing is different from the rabble.” The scene ends up being almost romantic — here are children persevering amid terrible circumstances, and the equipment they pilfered may end up allowing them to realize their alter-ego dreams.

As much as “The Get Down” is a story about the birth of hip-hop, it is also about the demise of the disco era (which had its own set of superheroes), and of the age of Blaxploitation film. The proto-hip-hop era served as a repudiation of those worlds — it worked from the street up.

“We understood how small and powerless we were,” said Mr. Rosenfeld, who wrote graffiti in the late 1970s, and was a friend of Jean-Michel Basquiat in his tagging days. “At the same time, we had this need to make ourselves big and strong and tough and safe.” Almost everyone Mr. Rosenfeld encountered at that time had created a character for himself. “I didn’t even know half the guys’ real names,” he said.


How they set themselves apart was in their invented characters, their bold expression, their imposition of color onto a devastated, gray city. Fresh sneakers and crisp clothes were their own sort of superpower. Accordingly, on “The Get Down,” Shaolin Fantastic is impeccably turned out, in primary colors and forever wearing creaseless red suede Pumas.

Last month, there was a screening of “The Get Down” in the South Bronx, for members of the local community. Afterward, a pair of older women approached Mr. Luhrmann.

“One of them, she had this excitement in her eyes,” he recalled. She told him about her time growing up in the neighborhood, and about her brother, who she said once “jumped out of a three-story building and said, ‘I’m a ninja, don’t tell anyone.’”

A lot of kids she grew up with were like that, she told Mr. Luhrmann: “They all believed they were invincible.”

Rolling Stone Magazine


‘The Get Down’ on Netflix: A Superhero Fable About the Birth of Hip-Hop