On July 14-15, the San Francisco Symphony will celebrate 50 years of Star Trek with Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyagefeaturing iconic film and TV footage beamed on to a huge screen while the symphony performs the musical scores, live! CineConcerts, the producer of this live music experience, was founded by composer/conductor Justin Freer. Freer will be conducting the SF Symphony’s two performances.

Freer graciously took a short break from a studio session to speak to us about his musical career, CineConcerts, and of course, Star Trek…

Justin Freer: Let’s do this. What do you want to talk about?

Spinning Platters: Let’s talk about film music!

Justin Freer: <<laughs>>

SP: How did you first get into film music? I read that you grew up learning trumpet and later music composition, but when did film music start to interest you?

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What an amazing movie. Parts of it may repulse you. Go see it anyway.

Elle Fanning in Nicolas Winding Refn's Neon Demon

Nicolas Winding Refn doesn’t care what you think about his movies. He makes films without traditional plots, and with a fair measure of gruesome violence. He believes himself so important that he uses a little NRW monogram under the title card of his features. He doesn’t feel the need to explain anything to the audience; instead, he deals with metaphor and buried meaning. Regardless of whether or not his movies fall under any old fashioned idea of what’s “good,” he’s awesome at making them.

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John Carpenter

John Carpenter

Music in film is an often-celebrated phenomenon, but it seems to exist primarily in the medium it’s made for. Occasionally, composers and songwriters will offer up their works for public or private performance, though they themselves may not be in attendance, and in general the world of film music feels very separate from that of “traditional rock music”, i.e. the bands that release albums and promote them with live tours. The phenomenon of a live tour by acclaimed horror director John Carpenter, therefore, is even more impressive; his musical works not only require an actual band to perform (with synthesizers and guitars driving the melodies, rather than orchestras and choirs), but the tunes are steady, driving, and in small enough bits that they are easy to digest — this isn’t a random night at the symphony, folks! In addition, Carpenter himself wrote the scores to a good chunk of his films, so the live performance of compositions and overtures from his classic works could now be experienced with an ever more present vitality.

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Finding Dory gives you another big ocean adventure and all the feels

The charmingly grumpy Hank helping Dory

The charmingly grumpy Hank helping Dory

Let’s start with some full disclosure. Finding Nemo is my favorite Pixar movie and Dory is my favorite part of it. To say I was excited to see Finding Dory would be an extreme understatement. I spent all day telling telling everyone I saw “I’m seeing Finding Dory tonight!” not for any particular reaction, but just that I was so excited it just jumped out of my mouth like crazy fangirl word vomit. Luckily it seems like most people are excited to see Finding Dory so my spastic exclamations were pretty well received. The audience at the screening seemed excited as well, even if it was smaller than usual due to the Warriors game. Seemed strange to me people would pick a basketball game over the movie, but maybe the game was better? [read the whole post]

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The Rock and Kevin Hart are having so much fun — it’s infectious.

Super secret action plan from The Rock to Kevin Hart.

Super secret action plan from The Rock to Kevin Hart.

There are more holes in the plot of Central Intelligence than there are in an average kitchen sponge, but it doesn’t matter. The action scenes are poorly shot, but it doesn’t matter. The character arcs are flatter than plywood, but it doesn’t matter. What matters the most is that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart are having a blast acting in the fast-paced, ridiculous buddy crime comedy, Central Intelligence, and their exuberance is infectious, making this film a satisfying viewing experience.

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The sticker that I hope that you earned yesterday.

The sticker that I hope that you earned yesterday.

Did you vote yesterday? Hope you did.

This week in The Bay Area we have fevers, spirits, and, well, Canadians.

And now, let’s preview. I vote for previewing. Let’s preview now. Previews ahoy. [read the whole post]

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Show Review: At The Drive-In with Le Butcherettes at The Warfield, 6/3/2016

June 7, 2016

It took 15 years to happen, and it was worth every moment. Ten were spent wondering, with all involved working on new projects, exploring music and art in numerous forms. Two passed, with excited fervor and mild confusion, as they returned to the fold, thrust into the spotlight on unsteady feet and with only a […]

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Show Review: Baroness with Youth Code at the Regency Ballroom, 6/2/2016

June 6, 2016

Near-death experiences have often been labeled as the reason behind sudden shifts in artistic mindsets, philosophy, spiritual beliefs, and overall lifestyle changes. For the men of sludge-psych heroes Baroness, who experienced their own brush with the beyond in a horrific bus crash in Bath in 2012, it almost spelled out the end of the band, […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 Festival Journal, Day 3

June 3, 2016

You’re reading Day 3. Have you checked out Day 1 and Day 2 as well? I don’t know why, but Day 3 always seems to be the day all my friends attend BottleRock. This year was no exception. Two friends came up from the South Bay, not wanting to miss a moment. While I waited […]

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BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 Festival Journal, Day 2

June 3, 2016

You’re reading this year’s Day 2. Don’t forget to check out Day 1 too! Day 2 got a bit of a late start, but once inside, I wasted no time at all stopping by Lagunitas for a cold Aunt Sally, which is easily my favorite beer they make, since it’s the least hop-driven! I went […]

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