Cybertainment: New comedy Web series 'Sex Drugs and Jazz' celebrates gypsy jazz guitar
"Sex Drugs and Jazz" is a new Web comedy series that draws its energy from New York's vibrant and diverse music world and its street life. It was filmed on location in several Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods.
Series protagonist Neptune is a jazz guitar virtuoso, but he's unskilled at pretty much anything else, like earning a living or dealing with others. He turns to selling marijuana to make money.
Web videos aren't rated, like movies are, but viewers who are uncomfortable with rough language or occasional drug use may want to pass on this one.
But it's not just a stoner comedy. Neptune is a first-rate gypsy jazz guitarist, and the series celebrates this musical style -- made popular in the '30s and '40s by legendary guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt -- and the contemporary artists who keep the tradition alive.
"My humble goal for this project is to make a funny show that makes musicians proud while also attracting new folks who wouldn't normally listen to jazz -- as well as introduce our audience to groundbreaking music and bands that aren't being heard in mainstream TV and radio," writer/director/producer Cameron Washington said in his director's statement.
Ashley Springer stars as Neptune, with Trevor Zhou as his best friend. In scenes where Neptune plays guitar, the actual guitarist playing is New York-based Alex Simon.
The show's website also has a section on the history and evolution of jazz and its many different flavors and styles.
The pilot episode, "The Chronicles of Neptune," is online now. Episodes will post monthly on the first of each month throughout 2012.
Music fans now can watch some of their favorite concert footage in HD on both their large and small screens. The video is available through Qello, a cloud-based digital syndication service.
Qello's concert collection includes new shows and an archive of classic concert performances. There also are music documentaries.
It works with Android and Apple mobile devices and tablets and with Google and Samsung smart TVs. Apple users can stream to their TVs using Airplay and Apple TV.
Qello is available as a free download. People who use the free service get access to one track from each concert plus Qello TV, a stream of concert footage. The All-Access subscription of $4.99/month lets them watch entire concerts from beginning to end.
First Published May 13, 2012 12:00 am