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Music/Arts Prime Cuts 2016

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From I Love Lucy To Hollywood’s Remake Obsession, Take A Glimpse Into What Fascinated And Intrigued Our Readers’ Music And Arts Fancies In The Year That Just Was

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By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 2, 2017 — The year that just ended — 2016 if your hangover is still a doozy — wound up, if nothing else, an interesting year, as far as music and arts was concerned.

There was so much great music and so many great movies released this year and a lot of that influence what we covered last year in the field of music and arts. That said, we didn’t dwell on the deaths of the many greats we lost in 2016 or the biggest of the big artists that released top 40 music this year. Instead, we looked to the past for inspiration in the modern day and we looked at smaller acts (and even entrepreneurs) who are thinking bigger.

As we all reflect on 2016, why not have a look back with us at what popped for Modern Times in the Music/Arts department this year with our Prime Cuts? These are the best of the best and the biggest of the big stories that you, our readers, really latched onto last year. From a couple of amazing stories from our Reel to Real guys to some focus on the Arizona local music scene, here are the top five Music/Arts stories from 2016

So if you missed some of our great Music/Arts pieces last year or just want a little refresher, here is your chance! What did you think? Did you have a favorite Music/Arts piece we ran in 2016?

No. 5 — Passing Time With Gene Kelly
Bringing everything back around, the Reel to Real guys are back in at the No. 5 five spot with another in-depth look at another Hollywood legend. This time, David Fantle and Tom Johnson had the pleasure of sitting down with the one and only Gene Kelly. It is nearly impossible to think of classic Hollywood movie musicals and not think of Gene Kelly. After all, it doesn’t get much more classic than Singin’ in the Rain. Modern musicals like La La Land and Sing Street may be the talk of 2016’s awards season, but without the genius of Gene Kelly, those movies probably wouldn’t be possible. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out earlier in the year, be sure to take a look at the career of a true Hollywood icon with the Reel to Real guys and check out their chat with Gene Kelly. Read more —>

The music industry is a fickle and complicated thing. As music sales continue to decline on all fronts and record labels struggle to find a way to work in the modern landscape, a couple of “button up punks” from Arizona tried to ReThink the way things are done. Another piece from Modern Times contributor Ryan Scott saw him sitting down with these guys in order to figure out what their business was all about. By offering artists a month-to-month subscription-style record deal, Jordan “Squirrel” Tomaeno, who, with the help of co-founder Zach James, tried to shake things up. It is hard to say that ReThink Records has succeeded in accomplishing the very admirable and lofty goals set by its founders, but their story is very interesting and it is certainly something unique and progressive in the world of the music industry. Read more —>

No. 3 — Five Local Bands Set To Hit It Big In 2016
The Arizona local music scene has seen serious highs and serious lows over the years, but 2016 saw a handful of artists found a way to rise above the noise and become part of a larger conversation. Modern Times contributor Ryan Scott looked at some of these artists, like the Ned Flanders inspired, Simpsons loving band Okilly Dokilly, did so with a gimmick (It is worth noting that the video for their first single “White Wine Spritzer” now has more than 1 million views on YouTube). Others, like Jared & the Mill, did so the old fashioned way with hard work, a ton of persistence and dedication to their craft. The rest of these five acts, Bear Ghost, Fairy Bones and Harrison Fjord, all have something that larger audiences seem to be latching onto. These are five local Arizona bands that are poised to do bigger things in the future and in year since this article was published, all of them have made big strides toward bigger things. This article serves as a very fascinating bit of hindsight for anyone who likes these artists or for those who have yet to discover them. Read more —>

No. 2 — The Truth Behind Hollywood's Remake Obsession
Modern Times contributor Mike Sallustio did what needed to be done this year. He talked about Hollywood’s current obsession with remakes and really dug into the subject, helping those not totally plugged into the movie-making world understand why this trend is going on. This may be something that changes in the future with movies like Ghostbusters tanking at the box office in 2016, but for now at least, remakes aren’t going anywhere and Mike does a fine job of trying to discover the “truth” behind this obsessive trend in Hollywood. Whether you’re one of the people that loves these remakes or if you’re one of the people who is begging for Hollywood to do something original, this piece definitely has something to offer. Read more —>

No. 1 — Having Less Than A Ball With Lucy
Even though it has been decades since I Love Lucy, the lady, the myth, the legend that was Lucille Ball remains a truly treasured part of American pop culture. That being the case, the Reel to Real guys really struck a ‘loving’ nerve this year with their piece on the red headed Hollywood icon. Not only do contributors David Fantle and Tom Johnson do a great recap of Ball’s journey on screen, but the interview is simply gripping, even if the guys did stumble a bit in the beginning. It is something that we loved just as much as our readers seemed to. If nothing else, this piece proves that sometimes the old is much more fascinating than the new. That actually leads quite nicely into our second entry on our list. Read more —>
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