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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > Music+Film+TV+Tours| NEW Updates!!! 11/30|2014 PT. 4
Thread started 10/04/14 9:24am


Music+Film+TV+Tours| NEW Updates!!! 11/30|2014 PT. 4

Part 1(4/21/14--6/20/14)Here: http://prince.org/msg/8/406964

Part 2(6/20/14--8/3/14) Here: http://prince.org/msg/8/4...?&pg=1

Part 3(8/4/2014--10/4/2014) http://prince.org/msg/8/409550

Q Scores: Quincy Jones on Sinatra, Mentorship and His New Documentary


Quincy Jones likes to get into things. Even at 81, he's got his fingers in more pies than you can ever even think of baking. The man is still producing, composing, conducting, teaching, publicizing, fundraising, discovering. He's so busy, and has so many credits and causes and points of pride, that you can talk to him for 45 minutes and never get around to mentioning Thriller, "We Are the World," Sanford and Son, or the viewable-from-space acreage required to house all of his Grammys, Emmys, and humanitarian awards.

The musical legend's latest project is Keep on Keepin' On, a documentary about his mentor, the jazz trumpeter Clark Terry. Jones serves as a producer of the film alongside Oscar-winner Paula DuPré Pesmen (The Cove), as well as living proof of its subject's genius and generosity. The film recounts the moment that a barely teenaged Jones pursued Terry after a series of shows in Chicago, begging to be taken on as a student. The veteran musician relented, and with Jones as his first protégé, embarked upon what would become his greatest calling — serving as a tireless, beloved, and at 93 years old, still active mentor to everyone from Wynton Marsalis to the film's director, Alan Hicks. True to that spirit, Keep On serves as a dual portrait of Terry and his young ward Justin Kauflin, a talented blind jazz pianist, as the former struggles with diabetes and the latter's fights to make headway in a competitive field.

Over wine and cookies, high above Columbus Circle at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the man they simply call "Q" holds court about everything from music, movies, and mythology to mentorship, mathematics, and Mike Tyson. After all, when he drops names like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Will Smith, Quincy is invoking people who probably spend at least as much time bragging about knowing him. This is a man who wears a pinkie ring given to him by Frank Sinatra and who, after he's done giggling at your grade-school joke about Whoopi Goldberg's name, lightly reminds you, "I discovered her, you know. Oprah too." What follows is only a sample of what happens when Q gets into it.

Clark Terry is 93, and as we see in the movie, still stays up until 4am to talk music. You're 81 — does it even seem fathomable that you're in your 80s, considering your lifestyle and all that you do?
Johnny Mandel, he's one of my oldest friends — we go back to before electricity. And he always says, "Q, we're going to be the only two guys who ever went from infancy to Alzheimer's without passing through grown up." I don't want to grow up, do you? Boring, man. To my kids I say I'd rather you be my friends than my children. We hang out. We party. I can out-party my kids, too.

You've been conducting orchestras, running labels, and guiding whole industries from a very young age. How have you been able to preside over such major talent and serve as the glue between them?
It takes love and amazing respect, man. I never thought about it until I hit 80, but I have been blessed to work with every major music star in the history of America — including Louie Armstrong. You can't plan that. You can't say, "Mr. Sinatra, I want to work with you." No. You have to wait until he calls you.

So you were never a precocious 16 year-old going, "I want to work with Ellington and Sinatra?"
Hell no. I remember working in Paris and coming in one day, and they say Grace Kelly's office called, and Mr. Sinatra wants you to bring your 55-piece house orchestra down to Monte Carlo to the Sporting Club to play an event. Frank Sinatra — are you kidding? That's like gong to heaven, man. At that time I had Kenny Clarke on drums, I had Lucky Thompson on tenor, I had Stéphane Grappelli, who was with Django Reinhardt, the Double Six, the vocal group — they were all in my house orchestra.

So we took the train down there and played with Frank, and it was like working with a magician. We played "ba-ba-ba-bum bwam, bo-dee-do-do"...it's "The Man With a Golden Arm," you know? Frank is back there high-fiving with Cary Grant and Noel Coward and Grace Kelly and all these people, and I'm stupid enough to think, "I hope he heard because I don't want the applause to run out." So he hangs, has a drink, and we're like "ba-ba-ba-bum" you know. He was in the back of the room, and then he stops on his way up, he's got his little velvet shoes on. And he's looking for his cigarette holder, takes one out, lights a cigarette, and I'm like, come on man, hurry up. And as soon as he gets to the stage we go into "Come Fly With Me." You know, "ba-da-da, da-da-da-do-da-di-do-di-do."

And I saw something that night...I thought I was on Mars. Frank is singing and he takes a puff off his cigarette — cut down to pin, spotlight is dark. He sings, "when I get you up there"—no smoke. Then: "where the air is rare" and then there was smoke. Herman Leonard, the greatest photographer in the world, he takes that picture, a classic picture now, of him from behind with the smoke. That's from Sporting Club in '58. Afterwards, I didn't hear a word he said. "Great job, kid. Cuckoo." That was it. I didn't know how it registered on the scale. You don't know. But you pray, because that's a dream.

I don't want to grow up, do you? Boring, man. I can out-party my kids, too.

Four years later, I get a call. "Hey, Q." Nobody had ever called me that before. "This is Francis. I'm in Kaua'i, and I'm directing a film called None But The Brave, and I just heard that record you did with Basie last year, ‘In Other Words.'" So that was the first arrangement I wrote for him, in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe. Except Frank changed the title to "Fly Me to the Moon." I remember Sonny Burke said, "You can't change the title." And Frank said, "What's the first words you hear?" "Fly me to the moon." "That's the title." [Laughs] Frank didn't take no shit from nobody.

Clearly he was a musical genius, but I'd imagine your relationship extended to a whole lot more than that, right?
Everything. I'd be in my hotel room writing on Thanksgiving, and he'd be like, "What the hell are you doing? I'm coming to get your ass." They lived at 700 Nimes Road [in Los Angeles]. That's where Elizabeth Taylor died — she moved in afterwards. And it's where Nancy Sinatra lived, and where I met Michael Caine. We were running after girls back then. Oh god, so much fun. We had some fun, man. You forget that Harry James was married to Betty Grable. Artie Shaw had Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Rosalind Russell, all those girls were his girlfriends. Forget the movie stars, man — the bandleaders had them all. And Sinatra. Sinatra was with everybody.

Them cats didn't play. Whoo.

The first thing you asked me when I sat down was where I'm from — where my people come from. Why is that important to you?
Each state in this country had a major influence. Kansas City had Lester Young, New Jersey had Basie. Philadelphia — Jimmie Smith. Columbus — Nancy Wilson. Jackson — Big Maybelle. St. Louis — Miles, Clark Perry.

Could you hear it in their playing?
Oh yeah. They used to have territory bands. The genesis and the evolution of our music has just been astounding. And Americans don't know shit about it.

In the film, we learn that Duke Ellington mentored Clark Terry, that Clark Terry in turn mentored you, and you've famously mentored countless musicians from James Ingram and Patti Austin to Michael Jackson. Where does that impulse come from, to both guide and be guided?
It's ancient, [the idea of] mentorship and apprenticeship. Ravi Shankar told me in 1956 that "my students can not play in public for 14 years when they study with me." 14 years, man.!

That's a strict regime. But that's not the situation in jazz, is it?
It's a similar situation. You don't go out until you're ready, is what they're telling you.

How did you know when it was time for you to start passing things on?
If it happens to you, you know. [Count] Basie got to me at 13, Clark around the same age. Ray Charles was there since I was 14 — when he was just 17. And Benny Carter, he walked me straight into television as a composer. And if that happens to you, it's an automatic instinct for you [to give back]. Automatic. You don't even have to think about it.

And you knew to pursue mentors when you were young?
No, it's just part of your subconscious mind. Now, all these years later, can you imagine what it feels like to look at the guy who taught you when you were 13 years old? It's ridiculous.

What's it like to watch another young musician, Justin Kauflin, get taken under Clark's wing?
It's fantastic, man. You can identify with him every step of the way. In fact, I was shocked to hear Justin using all the vernacular, talking about "your crib," "your pad." That's all Forties and Fifties talk, man. Every word is all jazz. It's like cockney, or prison language. There were the jazz guys, and the hip-hop guys took it from them. Lester Young was calling Count Basie "homeboy" 90 years ago.

And it remains alive because it's always an "in" language?
Yeah, it's a prison language. Speaking of, you know I did The Italian Job 45 years ago? After I leave here I'm going to London where there's going to be a celebration with Michael Caine, and I'm going to conduct the London Philharmonic with songs from The Italian Job. Michael Caine, we were born the same year, month, day and hour.

Same hour? Seriously?
Celestial twins. Truly, celestial twins. That's like magic and all.

When did you get involved with this movie?
Accidentally, about a year and a half ago, when I went down to Arkansas to start working on a Clark album we'd planned to do with Snoop Dogg. He'd rap, and Clark would do [his scat character] Mumbles. It fits; they're both from St. Louis, too. But Snoop had an injury to his leg, so we just talked, and Clark said I want you to listen to this blind Japanese piano player. And it was over. Now Justin is one of my Global Gumbo All Stars. That's a group of, to me, the most talented young people on the planet.

Who else did you consider a mentor?
Other than those four I mentioned before, it was Armando Travioli, and Henry Mancini when I got into films. Morricone.

Really, Ennio Morricone?
I just talked to him yesterday. He's a great guy. He did 408 movies. We helped get him that [honorary] Oscar.

How do you balance out the need for the history of jazz music to be understood and honored, while at the same time keep the music alive and in the moment?
You make it alive. And it's alive already. Everything you hear Justin play, in the movie, they blazed that trail years ago. Can you imagine Stravinsky's ears, from the days of the three B's — Brahms, Bach and Beethoven — when he first heard "shhh-tish-shh-shhh-tish, shhh-tish-shh-shhh-tish." It didn't exist before. Nowhere on the planet! He made all this stuff up, invented it all. It's gotta be told, the story about the genesis and evolution of jazz music. People don't know. It's very complex, man. All we've got are 12 notes, and you have to know what everybody did with them in order to set your priorities and to make it your own. You've got rhythm, harmony and melody — to me, melody is the voice of god, and it hangs out there in the universe. You married?

No, but I was.
Ok, well you remember when you had a wife. And you had "our song" right? Nobody can change that. That's hanging out in the universe. You can't smell it, you can't taste it, you can't see it, you can't touch it. But you can feel it.

It's like the conversation in the film between Clark and Justin, where the older man is saying that the music has to come from you. It has to get inside you and become yours.
Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. You make it yours. It's astounding. And it's always been a challenge. Now, Stravinksy was Nadia Boulanger's mentor, and he said, "You'll never get it all. But if you keep working at it you'll get as much as you can." There's a lot too eat in music — retrograde inversion, counterpoint. It's heavy, man. [Pause] Sorry to veer off. I can't help it. I've got a jazz mind.


Black Crowes Hint at Retirement

Drummer Steve Gorman says the likelihood of the roots-rock group working together again is "as low as it's ever been"

Chris Robinson the Black Crowes retirement
By Joseph Hudak | October 3, 2014

When the Black Crowes finished the final gig of their tour last year in San Francisco, drummer Steve Gorman says the Robinson brothers — singer Chris, guitarist Rich — and the band all shook hands and congratulated one another on a successful run. Then they went their separate ways — possibly for good.

"I've said in the past, 'I know we'll work again' or 'there's no way we'll work again,' and I've been wrong. But right now, the likelihood of us doing anything again is as low as it's ever been," Gorman tells Rolling Stone. "We could obviously all see things differently in a year, but I'll be surprised if the Black Crowes do something again. Ever."

Gorman's prediction is particularly surprising given the upcoming milestone anniversary of the throwback rock band's debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker. Released in 1990, the LP spawned the radio hits "Jealous Again," Hard to Handle" and "She Talks to Angels."

"You know, 2015 is the 25th anniversary of our first album release and we're not working," Gorman says. "You could certainly make a strong case that we should tour next year, but we're all doing our own projects."

Chris Robinson released the latest Chris Robinson Brotherhood album, Phosphorescent Harvest, in April, while younger brother Rich put out his third solo project, The Ceaseless Light, in May. For Gorman, his attention is on his Americana supergroup with Joan Osborne, Trigger Hippy, which recently debuted their self-titled album.

"I'm solely consumed with Trigger Hippy. I'm not at all interested in getting in a room and trying to figure out Black Crowes music. That doesn't do anything for me. I'm just so thrilled that [Trigger Hippy] is where it is," says Gorman. "And I can't speak for Rich or Chris, but I'm fairly confident that's how they are with their things. We've done right by what the Black Crowes were and I think everybody is very happy to be looking forward to different things."

Although Gorman does reflect fondly on the heady days of the Shake Your Moneymaker era, when the band, catapulted by exposure on MTV, landed an opening slot on Aerosmith's Pump Tour in 1990.

"That was our first big tour. We did two club tours as an opening act and then went out with Aerosmith. Talk about in over our heads," he says. "We didn't know what we were doing. We were figuring it out, but we jumped straight into the deep end."

Gorman's Trigger Hippy is currently on a California tour, while the Chris Robinson Brotherhood kicks off a trek October 16th in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Rich Robinson has dates scheduled with the Experience Hendrix package tour, a celebration of the music of Jimi Hendrix, through the end of the month, before launching a U.K. tour in November.


In Tove Lo Veritas

Holly Rubenstein


Scandi-pop fever is set to strike again with the rise of Stockholm's Tove Lo. The 26-year-old (pronounced too-veh-loo) has hooked tastemakers both sides of the pond with the release of her debut EP Truth Serum, a brutally honest account of a love story gone wrong, brought to life in epic pop anthems. Her single "Habits," as well as its remix by Hippie Sabotage, retitled "Stay High," have been climbing charts worldwide, set to soundtrack summer parties all over.

Staying in California for songwriting sessions, Tove spoke to Interview from L.A., ahead of her debut West Coast show.

Tove Lo
HOLLY RUBENSTEIN: Your entry into the music industry began with your writing songs for other people (including Icona Pop, Cher Lloyd, and Adam Lambert). Was it always your ambition to work in music?

TOVE LO: I knew when I went to a very hippie high school that focused on music that I wanted to do something in the industry. I spent a few years in a rock band playing all these shitty bars around Sweden, and then I went from that into starting to write and produce myself. I did session singing to get by. I met an English A&R guy at a party in Stockholm and forced him to give me his email. He liked what he heard, put me in touch with people in Sweden, and a few months later I got signed to Warner Chappell and got thrown into songwriting sessions. It was such a weird situation to be thrown into having been writing in my own little home studio, but it was very exciting.

RUBENSTEIN: When did you decide that you wanted to release music as an artist, or was that always on the cards?

TOVE LO: I always loved performing and being on stage. When I got the publishing deal, I hadn't performed for a long time, and I loved being in a space with all these writers, so I pushed that away a bit. But then some songs that I wrote became too personal for me to give away, especially when people often want to change lyrics to make it fit someone else. I started releasing stuff independently, and after a while it just took off.

RUBENSTEIN: How would you describe your signature sound to someone who hasn't heard you yet?

TOVE LO: I'd say it's pop. It's very raw, honest, with a lot of drums and vocals in your face. It's dirty pop—no relation to Justin!

RUBENSTEIN: So much amazing pop talent has come out of Sweden in the last few years. Why do you think that Swedes are so good at writing pop songs?

TOVE LO: It's really hard to say. There are a lot of theories—it's the melancholy, it's because we're good at following the rules to make a pop song... I think it's a combination of those, and also the directness in music speaks to the way we are. Of course, we are also surrounded by talent who are doing really well, and you get influenced by that. Sweden is a very inspiring place to be when you're a songwriter.
Tove Lo
RUBENSTEIN: Who would you cite as your key musical inspirations as an artist?

TOVE LO: I was big into grunge, like Nirvana and Hole, when I was younger, which has been a really huge inspiration because of its rawness and honesty. But really I'd say there was one album in particular—Charlotte Gainsbourg's IRM. When I listened to that album, I was like, "I can do this." That's what made me start to produce and write on my own. It was simple, had these cool sounds and quirky lyrics. It opened a new world for me sound-wise that inspired me a lot.

RUBENSTEIN: You're currently blowing up both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously, which is a rare feat. How do you feel about the success coming so quickly and being so widespread?

TOVE LO: It's a bit overwhelming, to be honest. Now it's nice to be in L.A., just writing and staying away from reading about everything that's going on. It's hard to grasp. But it's amazing to have my first U.S. shows, and to have had my first show in the U.K. I love to travel and being new places, so I find it really exciting.

RUBENSTEIN: Given the subject matter, was the process of writing and recording the EP very emotional for you?

TOVE LO: Yes, both the writing and the recording. Writing the songs is always emotional and most of the vocals on there are the first three takes from the demos, because they give so much more. You're in that moment, so it speaks for itself.

RUBENSTEIN: Which of the songs on the EP means most to you, and why?

TOVE LO: For me, it's "Habits." It's the song that made everything take off, and it's the one that's the most directly honest. The process of writing that song was huge for me, so it has the biggest place in my heart.

RUBENSTEIN: Like Adele, you've turned a failed relationship into a bunch of pop classics —will you need a similarly emotionally intense experience to inspire the album?

TOVE LO: I have so many songs already for the album—it's more me trying to figure out what I want the storyline to be. I've been in a long-distance relationship for a while now, so there's going to be a lot about frustration of being apart, watching each other through a screen. Everything that's been happening the last few months have been insane inspirations—all these ups and downs. I do also tend to get into a trouble a bit, so there's always inspiration there!

RUBENSTEIN: Will people recognize themselves in your lyrics, given that you are so honest?

TOVE LO: Yes. The guy who Truth Serum is about—he knows. I haven't spoken to him, but he actually sent me a very beautiful poem about when he heard one of the songs, which I thought was very big of him. He's a great person. There's no hate there.

RUBENSTEIN: Your SXSW show and your London shows were both critically acclaimed. What is it about a Tove Lo show that is so memorable?

TOVE LO: When I'm on stage, I turn into this rock person. I give everything I have. I sing with emotion, I'm loving it up there, and I think there's a lot of energy. In the same way that I'm open when I speak, I'm that open on stage. I feed off the energy of the audience too, so they're feeling what I'm feeling. And the set up is great—I have two drummers and a bass guy so it's just us four.

RUBENSTEIN: How are you feeling about performing in New York for the first time?

TOVE LO: I'm so excited, I can't wait. My feet are jumping now when I'm talking about it. It's been a dream—I've been there a lot of times but never performed.

RUBENSTEIN: Have you always loved performing?

TOVE LO: I've had a love/hate relationship with it. I was an attention seeker as a kid, doing all this stupid stuff to get attention in general, but it all depends where I am in my life. If I'm having a bad few months I'll hide away. But I've always loved acting too—I like having all the eyes on me, I guess!
Tove Lo
RUBENSTEIN: How do you feel about fame?

TOVE LO: I have mixed emotions. I like the fact that a lot of people get to hear the music and I love performing with people cheering you on and you're feeling the love for what you're doing, but there's also the other side where if you give away as much personal information as I do it's hard not to take it personally when people are saying mean things about you. But I try not to read any comments. Right now I'm just feeling a lot of love.
RUBENSTEIN: Where would you like to be in a year's time?

TOVE LO: This is probably very ambitious but I hope to be starting on my world tour. That's my dream. I want to be in a bus, traveling with the band, almost in a bubble.

Bryan Adams Discusses New Album 'Tracks Of My Years,' Miley Cyrus And Two Forgotten Decades

Sep 30, 2014 12:01 PM EDT

Bryan Adams had such an obsessive work ethic early in his career that he's forgotten entire stretches of the '80s and '90s.

"I wish I could be kidding you," he said in a phone interview on Monday afternoon. "But I don't actually remember a lot of my career."

The Canadian singer, responsible for several Top 10 hits including "Summer of '69" and "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" blames the "volume of work" he went through for his memory loss.

He definitely remembers the '70s, though. That's the era from which he culled 12 cover songs for his new album, Tracks of My Years (out Tuesday). The tracklist includes re...ined songs written by Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and The Beatles.

We caught up with the 54-year-old to talk about the new disc, the few things he can still recall from his heyday and Miley Cyrus, among other topics.

You've got a big day tomorrow. What's it like to wake up on the morning of an album release?

I think it's pretty good. I'm grateful that it's coming out, and it should be kind of fun, I think.

I kind of remember releasing Reckless, because it was near my birthday in 1984. But I don't remember the morning of it. I kind of remember the anticipation because I was really excited about the release of the song "Run To You." I had a feeling that the track would really do something, and it did pretty good.

What was it like to promote a record back then? What else do you remember about that day?

I don't actually remember a lot of my career. It's not that I have some sort of amnesia or something, or that I'm suffering from memory loss. It's just the volume of work that went on between 1983 and 1999 was so intense that there are great waves of my life that I just don't remember.

Someone will say, 'Oh, yeah! I saw you at Birmingham in 1987. Do you remember that gig?' I'm like, 'I know I played Birmingham sometime. But don't ask me anything about the gig or what it was, because I don't remember.'

I always get, 'I saw you when you opened for Journey.' I hardly remember that because there were so many gigs.

Did you make a conscious effort in '99 to pull yourself away from that?

Yeah. I stopped touring like that. There's no point. It was just work at that point. Now I work differently; I do 10 shows a month as opposed to never going home.

What can fans expect as we get into your run of fall shows? How does the structure of the show work?

In October, I'm doing some Bare Bones [Tour] shows, which is kind of like a presentation of songs from the past 30 years acoustically. Then come November, I'm gearing up the band again, and we're gonna go out and do a 30th anniversary Reckless Tour. It should be good. I'm looking forward to it.

What are some of the pros and cons of having the band there vs. playing by yourself?

It takes a little more courage. It's not easy just to walk up there and do it. But I've gotten pretty good at it now. I've done six years of it. I think I've got it kind of figured out now.

Tracks of My Years seems like a fun project; you got to go back and try out a bunch of old songs you love. But how hard was it to make some of these choices?

It was a hard record to make because it's really hard to choose songs. In my humble opinion, a lot of songs are so sacrosanct they're untouchable. Especially the songs that really were the influences in my career. I just chose stuff that was sort of around the same time when I first decided music was what I wanted to do. I chose songs that were on the radio at the same time.

Instead of doing "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, I would do something else. It'd be silly of me to do that song. How can you beat that? You can't. I just chose songs that were great songs; not necessarily songs that I would've bought, even, but they stuck in my memory.

Back in the day in the '70s, radio didn't really play songs based on categories. They'd play songs if it was a great song. So you get a mix of country and rock and R&B. It was a good time for music, really — certainly inspiring for me.

So when it came time to choose the songs, it was just a matter of going through all those amazing songs and seeing which ones sounded right. They sort of had to sound like me.

(Photo : Verve Records)

Obviously, you're not writing the lyrics, but you had to rewrite a little bit of the music. How does that process work as opposed to new material you create?

Well, you just give it your best shot. Sometimes I get to the end of recording a song, and say, 'You know what? This is just sounding too much like the original. There's no point in doing that. Let's go back and do something else.' A lot of time in the studio was kind of wasted because we were just trying stuff all the time.

Verve Records' criteria was that the songs had to be Top 10 hits on Billboard, otherwise we're not recording them. So at least for the first 11 songs on the record, I had to do familiar songs. At the end of the day before the album came out, I snuck a few other ones in there. "C'mon Everybody" by Eddie Cochran. I don't know if that was Top 10. "You Shook Me" by Muddy Waters. I put some other stuff in there to rock up the album a little bit.

There were two different producers on the record besides myself, Bob Rock and David Foster. This is really David's thing. He likes making records like this. He can just buzz through a bunch of songs that are hits and he makes people enjoy it. He says, "Just give it a try and see what happens." A couple years later we finished the album.

When it came time to choose an album cover, I decided I wanted to have a photo of me when I was a youngster. I wanted to put a picture on there that was indicative of the time when I figured out music was what I wanted to do. As you can tell from that picture, I was kind of into hard rock. And I never looked back.

The only thing about having hair that long was, it was hard to get a job. So eventually I had to get it cut, which was a drag.

Looking back to that era: Do you think kids are still saving up money for guitars and playing in the basement?

No. I think people are saving up for iPhones. I don't think the drive to be a musician is anywhere near what it used to be. But I could be wrong, because, apparently, people are making more music now than they ever have. But I don't hear it in the same way.

Are there any younger artists that have caught your eye?

I hear songs once in a while that stand out. I heard a song the other day... [singing] "I'm all about that bass / About that bass." That kind of reminds me of something The Shirelles would've done, you know?

Actually, you know what, I really like that song by Miley Cyrus, too. "Wrecking Ball." I love that song. It's amazing. I wish I'd written that song.

What about "Wrecking Ball" struck you?

I just thought it was a good chorus. She's hot too, man. She's so hot. Give me a break. For an old soldier like me. It's pretty amazing. [Geezer voice] 'Wouldn't have done that in my day, let me tell you.'

BONUS COVERAGE: Adams is also an award-winning photographer. Read about his new project, Wounded at Photokina, over on our sister site MStars News.

Jack White Releasing 'Live At Bonnaroo 2014' As Three-Disc Vinyl Set with Plenty of Extras

Oct 03, 2014 12:42 PM EDT

Jack White is opening up The Vault at Third Man Records once again and this time he isn't reaching too far back in history to find its next release. The guitar whiz/vinyl revivalist will be releasing his set from Bonnaroo this year as part of a three-disc collection Jack White Live At Bonnaroo 2014.

The three records are white, blue and black respectively and come with a litany of extras, such a DVD of the performance, a USB of "bonus material," 8x10 photographs from the show, a patch and a poster.

Third Man was sure to emphasize that the product was well worth it, even with the live streams and videos of the performance available on the internet.

"(It) stands as a marked improvement over the on-the-fly board mix heard in webcasts, YouTube uploads and shady downloads," read a press statement sent to Consequence of Sound. No doubt house engineer Vance Powell had something to do with the press release.

The package might be especially appealing to those who couldn't attend the Tennessee music festive this year and heard stories about it afterward. The set has already been hailed as one of the best in the history of the huge music event, with White playing for 45 minutes beyond his set time. The guitarist played a ten-song "encore" that realistically qualifies more as a second set, and he included covers such as Led Zeppelin's "The Lemon Song" and Dick Dale's "Misirlou," as well as White Stripes classics, including a massive sing-along of "Seven Nation Army" as a closer.

Of course you're going to need to pay for it if you want the Third Man exclusive. Live At Bonnaroo will require $60 as well as at least a temporary membership to the label's subscription service.
Jack White Announces Live At Bonnaroo 2014 Box Set

Below is the tracklist for Jack White's Live From Bonnaroo:

1. "Icky Thump"
2. "High Ball Stepper"
3. "Lazaretto"
4. "Hotel Yorba"
5. "Temporary Ground"
6. "Missing Pieces"
7. "Steady, As She Goes"
8. "Top Yourself"
9. "I’m Slowly Turning Into You"
10. "Freedom at 21"
11. "Three Women"
12. "You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told)"
13. "We’re Going to Be Friends"
14. "Alone in My Home"
15. "Ball and Biscuit"
16. "The Lemon Song" (Led Zeppelin)


17. "The Hardest Button to Button"
18. "Hello Operator"
19. "Pipeline" (The Chantays)
20. "Misirlou" (Dick Dale)
21. "Sixteen Saltines"
22. "Cannon"
23. "Blue Blood Blues"
24. "Astro"
25. "Love Interruption"
26. "Little Bird"
27. "Seven Nation Army"



[Edited 11/30/14 18:34pm]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #1 posted 10/04/14 5:36pm


'Indiana Jones 5' May Be Rolling Forward

Gwynne Watkins

'Indiana Jones 5' May Be Rolling Forward

Harrison Ford in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Six years after his last big-screen appearance, Indiana Jones may ride again. Variety has printed what appears to be confirmation that Indiana Jones 5 is going into production. Buried in an article about an online filmmaking course is this line about cinematographer Janusz Kaminski: “His next project is the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie.” (A frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator, Kaminski was the director of photography on 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)

Insiders have been anticipating the announcement of a fifth Indiana Jones movie since December, when Disney acquired the rights to the franchise (following its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012). Spielberg and George Lucas have reportedly been developing the movie since 2008, but plans seemed to have stalled after Crystal Skull met with a mixed reception (albeit fantastic box office). One rumor circulating earlier this year was that Disney had agreed to develop one or two new Indiana Jones movies for Harrison Ford in order to secure his participation in Star Wars: Episode VII. If Ford is indeed reprising his role as the archaeologist-slash-adventurer, it would make sense to get the ball rolling while he’s still in Star Wars shape.

Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf in ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’

Of course, Ford is also 72 years old — and has suffered multiple injuries while playing Dr. Jones in the past — which means that Disney is probably weighing its options for a new Indy in the future. Shia LaBeouf, who played the junior Jones in Crystal Skull, once seemed the most likely candidate to don the fedora. In recent months, however, the rumor mill has named Bradley Cooper and Robert Pattinson as possible successors to Ford. (Both reports were denied by the studio.) But Ford has expressed interest in playing the character for as long as possible. “I don’t think I’ll do it in a wheelchair,” he joked to MTV in 2010. “George [Lucas] is working on an idea, and if it comes to a fruitful stage, all of us are very interested in making another.”

Unfortunately Ford was in a wheelchair for a time during the shooting of Star Wars: Episode VI, after injuring his ankle on the Millennium Falcon set this summer. Production went on a brief hiatus while the actor recuperated, but his co-star Oscar Isaac recently assured EW that Ford had made a “150 percent” recovery. As of today, Disney has made no official announcement regarding the next chapter of Indiana Jones.


In a Year of Moving Docs, 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me' May Take the Cake — and an Oscar Nom

James Keach's chronicle of the music icon's battle with Alzheimer's Disease comes in the same year as 'Still Alice,' a narrative film that's also about the affliction

Glen Campbell live
Getty Images

2014 has featured an impressive number of deeply moving and inspirational documentaries. There's been Life Itself, Steve James' remembrance of the dearly departed film critic Roger Ebert; Keep on Keepin' On, Alex Hicks' chronicle of an old man and a young man helping one another; Documented, Jose Antonio Vargas' portrait of the undocumented immigrant experience in 21st century America; Ben Cotner and Ryan White's The Case Against 8, which takes one into the center of the gay marriage debate; and the list goes on. But, in terms of sheer tears-inducement, I'm not sure any can match James Keach's Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a gut-punching look at what Alzheimer's Disease has done to the titular music legend — and the remarkable way in which the 78-year-old and his loved ones have conducted their lives since his diagnosis in 2011.

I'll Be Me, which skipped the fall film fest circuit, but which I saw at a private screening last month, will hit theaters in limited release on Oct. 24, thereby qualifying for Oscar eligibility. I think it stands an excellent shot at cracking the shortlist of 15 films that will be made public in December and the list of five nominees that will be announced in January. Why? Because, apart from being a very well made tearjerker, it also centers around beautiful music of a sort that will appeal to Academy members, who are generally middle-aged to aged, just like the last two winners of the best documentary feature Oscar, Searching for Sugar Man (2012) and Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013).

Moreover, it will be coming along at a time when you can bet that people will be talking and thinking about Alzheimer's Disease: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's narrative drama Still Alice, which will also be released before the end of the year, portrays the progressively devastating effects of the affliction — early-onset, in that case — on an individual and his or her loved ones, and thanks to Julianne Moore's Oscar-worthy performance and several others that may contend for nominations, it is sure to wind up very much in the spotlight, just as Julie Christie's performance in Sarah Polley's Away from Her (2007) did a few years ago.

It's true enough that a documentary about the effect of Alzheimer's on a prominent American made the Oscar shortlist last year but did not get nominated: that film was Alan Berliner's First Cousin Once Removed. But there are a couple of major differences between First Cousin Once Removed and I'll Be Me that could help the latter progress further than the former did in the Oscar derby. For one, the subject of the former, Edwin Honig, was highly respected in academic circles, but was hardly internationally known and loved, as Campbell — the "Rhinestone Cowboy" — is. Fairly or not, that will make people more curious about I'll Be Me and will undoubtedly make the experience of watching it all the more impactful. Additionally, Honig was around 90 when the film about him was made (he died in 2011 at 91), whereas Campbell was only 75 when he was diagnosed and the production of I'll Be Me began (and is only 78 now), which makes his predicament, in some ways, even more tragic — and relatable for Academy members, whose median age, according to the Los Angeles Times, is 63.


Thandie Newton, Melissa George to Co-Star in NBC's 'The Slap'

They join Peter Sarsgaard and Mary-Louise Parker in the eight-episode mini

AP Images
Thandie Newton and Melissa George

NBC's The Slap has added two more players.

Thandie Newton and Melissa George have boarded the eight-episode miniseries in co-starring roles, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Slap centers on the fallout after a man slaps another couple's misbehaving child at a family barbeque. This small event sparks a massive family dispute that exposes secrets, prompts a lawsuit and tears the family apart. Peter Sarsgaard, Mary-Louise Parker, Zachary Quinto and Brian Cox star.

Newton has been cast as Aisha, Hector's (Sarsgaard) wife, who is a doctor and mother of their two children. Organized, she readies herself for the onslaught as she makes preparations for Hector's birthday party, irritated but somewhat amused when her in-laws show up. Aisha is often stressed but philosophical.

George, who starred in the original Australian version, will portray Rosie, Gary's hippy wife and mother to 5-year-old Hugo on whom she lavishes attention. Defensive about her decision to keep Hugo at home rather than send him to preschool, she is a meddlesome mom, scolding the older children whom she thinks are bullying her precious son.

Based on the Australian series, Jon Robin Baitz (The West Wing, Brothers & Sisters) penned the Universal Television drama. He'll serve as an executive producer alongside Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Ted Gold and Tony Ayres. Lisa Cholodenko will direct. A premiere date has not been set.

Newton is repped by WME, U.K.'s Independent Talent and Untitled. She has had a busy year thus far, toplining DirecTV's Rogue, as well as co-starring in HBO's star-packed Westworld pilot. George is repped by WME, U.K.'s Vic Murray and 3 Arts.


Wu-Tang Clan to Release 'A Better Tomorrow,' 20th Anniversary Record, with Warner Bros. Records

8:40 PM PST 10/03/2014 by Andrew Flanagan, Billboard

Wu-Tang Clan won't die this year

Warner Bros. Records will be the home of the Wu-Tang Clans's forthcoming record A Better Tomorrow, Billboard has confirmed with the label. The record will be released on later this year -- still well within the legal limits for the group to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

"Wu-Tang Clan is responsible for creating a deep discography of iconic rap music," Warner Bros. Records chairman and CEO Cameron Strang tells Billboard, "spawning incredibly successful careers for each of the group’s individual members, and launching Wu-Tang into a full-fledged brand beyond their music. Two decades on, they remain a major force in hip hop. I speak for everyone on our team when I say how thrilled we are to be the new home for one of hip hop’s most influential groups. This is an exciting day in the history of Warner Bros. Records, and we can’t wait to contribute to the next phase of their careers."

A Better Tomorrow may truly deliver the goods. If what Wu-Tang leader RZA told Billboard earlier this week holds true, the record may bring a notable departure from RZA's signature gothic production style.

"It's a record to me that merges the way music was made in the classic essence, in an analog way... The process of making this album was very unique for me. I started first in my home studio in L.A., then I went to my buddy Adrian Younge and I went to his basement in Southern California where he has all this old '60s equipment that he be using." From there RZA headed to Memphis. "I recorded a lot of songs with the same guys who played on a lot of Isaac Hayes music and all the Stax, Hi, Willie Mitchell records," RZA told Billboard. "I recorded at Willie Mitchell's studio, with his son Boone Mitchell, using some of the same old equipment that made 'Love and Happiness.'"

It will be the Wu-Tang's first full-length since 2007's 8 Diagrams and sixth overall -- sort of. A different record, The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was created by RZA earlier this year in a single-copy, silver-festooned edition that reportedly garnered a $5 million bid. The public hasn't heard that record yet, though Forbes provided the world with a 51-second sample.

Read more Wu-Tang Clan Offered $5 Million for One-of-a-Kind Album, Says RZA

RZA, not one to rest on his laurels, also revealed to Billboard earlier this week that The Wu will be releasing a Bluetooth speaker that comes embedded with A Better Tomorrow bonus tracks. Both the speaker and the silver-boxed Once Upon a Time have been ways to, as RZA has said, "change the idea and the venue of music," re-valuing the art form in the age of free.

It looked, in the build-up to A Better Tomorrow, like the record would never come to pass -- RZA and principal Wu member Raekwon argued in the media earlier in the year before calling a truce. The dispute seemed to center around remuneration -- which we all know rules everything around all of us.


Jessica Alba's Tears on Her Way to Building a $1 Billion Business

8:00 AM PST 10/03/2014 by Kim Masters
Mike Rosenthal
Jessica Alba

Roles and paydays for actresses are declining, but she was among the first to market with her own lifestyle extension, The Honest Co., as everyone (Blake Lively, Reese Witherspoon) takes a page from her playbook

This story first appeared in the Oct. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Seven years ago, a pregnant Jessica Alba tested a popular mild baby detergent and broke out in a rash. Having been plagued with asthma and other issues that required repeated hospitalizations as a child, she may have been especially sensitized to problems that might afflict her unborn baby. Alba also had noticed the rise of autism rates and ADHD among children in recent years. To her, chemicals and toxins in everyday products must be partly to blame. "I was like, 'What is going on? What have we done to the world?' " says Alba. Stylish but understated in a black jacket and pants at the 6,000-square-foot Santa Monica offices that she decorated herself, Alba makes an impression: a serious, hands-on leader at the company that she labored for years to launch.

When her search for safer products left her unsatisfied, Alba, now 33, decided in 2007 to create "a trustworthy lifestyle brand that touched everything in your home, that was nontoxic and affordable and convenient to get," she says. After a four-year quest, Alba found the right business partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom attorney-turned-entrepreneur Brian Lee. Now, slightly more than two years since The Honest Co. launched in 2012, the private company is moving toward an IPO with an astonishing valuation at a little less than $1 billion, according to Dow Jones VentureWire.

A tree of employees' pictures at the company's offices

With an array of products from brightly patterned diapers to household cleaners to hand sanitizers, The Honest Co. has more than 200 employees and sells its wares online and in retail chains including Nordstrom, Target and Whole Foods. Lee declines to discuss profitability but estimates the company's revenue in 2014 will more than triple from last year, exceeding $150 million.

In an age when roles and paydays are fewer and farther between, Alba epitomizes the move into personal brand extension. Now the mother of two daughters, Honor, 6, and Haven, 3, with whom she seems game to appear in paparazzi shots, she has marketed herself as the ultimate mother: someone with looks and taste but down-to-earth instincts — happy to be seen as a "regular" mom during the day and a glamorous red-carpet presence at night. Unlike Gwyneth Paltrow, with her 6-year-old Goop, and other stars who have put their oar into the brand-extension waters (Reese Witherspoon announced her upcoming line of Southern products, Draper James, this year), Alba isn't seen as elitist or entitled. (Her profile as an actress in such movies as the Fantastic Four and Sin City franchises arguably is lower-wattage.) She appears uncomplaining and accessible, calling out to her "tweeples" on Twitter about what she's "stoked to be a part of." Plus, her multi-ethnic background (her dad is Mexican, her mother Danish and French Canadian) gives her a reach not necessarily afforded every actress in Hollywood.

But with any business that enters the arena of nontoxic lifestyle products (a market worth $10 billion, according to a recent report by research and consulting firm Natural Marketing Institute) — especially one with a name like The Honest Co. — comes scrutiny. There has been chatter in the media about a supposed rivalry between Alba and Paltrow, which began during a March 2013 interview promoting Alba's best-selling book The Honest Life, when she compared herself to Paltrow: "I didn't grow up with a bunch of money, so my tips are much more grounded." Paltrow then reportedly was overheard disparaging Alba as a hypocrite and in April posted an item on Goop questioning the safety of Honest Co.'s Multi-Surface Cleaner. Alba says the idea that there is friction with Paltrow is "craziness." (Honest Co. partner Christopher Gavigan, a family friend of Paltrow's, says she offered to take down the reference, but he declined. Paltrow did not respond to a request for comment.)

Products are displayed throughout the headquarters

Alba, whose father was in the military and whose parents each worked multiple jobs to support her and her younger brother in Los Angeles, among other places, has been a working actress since she was 13. Although she never went to college, she talks with sprinklings of MBA-speak and Internet lingo: The photos of babies on the wall in a meeting room are "little bits of brand identity," she says.

Although Alba is known in the celebrity weeklies and on gossip sites for her style, she found her connections and image little help when launching a company. "I spent a lot of nights crying and being devastated but more determined the next day to make it happen," she says. Alba adds that she consulted with a lot of business experts, some of whom she knew through her husband, producer Cash Warren: "I pitched my idea to a lot of smart people and businesspeople [and] talked to a bunch of bankers and Internet guys."

The key to her success, she says, was finding Lee, who started LegalZoom.com with Robert Shapiro (known for representing O.J. Simpson) and ShoeDazzle.com, a fashion company co-founded with Shapiro and Kim Kardashian. (Alba takes care to point out that Kardashian "was just a straight endorsement — he found her," as opposed to the other way around.) "I knew my strengths and weaknesses," she says about searching for her strategic partner for four years. "I'm very creative, I'm a dreamer. I'm practical, but I think big. I'm not a businessperson. I'm terrible at math."

The company's logo

When Alba first approached Lee, he rebuffed her. Then she went to a book party for Gavigan, author of Healthy Child, Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home and the CEO of a nonprofit dedicated to helping parents avoid toxic products. She hired Gavigan as a consultant, and 18 months later, the two circled back to Lee. They joined forces, and Gavigan became the partner in charge of product development and oversight. Alba promoted the company with multiple appearances on morning talk shows and her family lifestyle book, which hit No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list three weeks after it was published in March 2013.

Most of The Honest Co.'s business comes from its website, which has drawn some complaints from consumers who signed up for free samples and automatically were enrolled for monthly deliveries, then found it difficult to drop the service. The Better Business Bureau has logged 30 complaints since the launch. Alba and Gavigan say customer service now is improved; the bureau currently gives the company an A-minus rating.

The other issue: Does the company deliver on its promise of safety? As cited on Paltrow's website, the Washington-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which rates products according to the presence of toxic ingredients, has given a grade of C to several Honest products, including its laundry detergent and multisurface cleaner. It slapped the company's stain remover with an F, though its dishwasher gel gets an A.

Alba, at her desk

Alba dismisses the grades, saying the evaluations are "outdated" because they only flag the presence of an ingredient without measuring how much of it is in the product. "If anyone understands the science, they know it's not true" that the products contain harmful levels of certain ingredients. Besides, she adds: "We never touted ourselves as being green. We just have nontoxic, highly effective products that are beautifully designed and affordable." EWG spokesperson Shannon Van Hoesen says the group stands by its ratings but grants it does not evaluate "the specific amount" of ingredients because "that information is not on the label and is usually considered proprietary by the manufacturer."

Now in the office almost daily, Alba is committed to growing her business, though she says she can't imagine giving up acting, which taps into "an entirely different side of my brain and my heart and my everything." She adds that her acting career helped give her the strength to create The Honest Co. "At first, people pretty much expected nothing from me," she says. "That 'I have nothing to lose' attitude I took from acting, applied it to business and tried to trust my gut. Trusting my gut is something that I underestimated in business."

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Coming in 3D

6:29 PM PST 10/03/2014 by Joe Lynch, Billboard
Associated Press

Dancing zombies are looking to rise from the dead again

Thirty-one years after Michael Jackson gifted us with the world's greatest music video, the zombies of "Thriller" are looking to rise from the dead again.

John Landis — who helmed the 14-minute clip back in 1983 — recently announced that the "Thriller" music video will be getting the 3D treatment in 2015. "It is going to reappear in a highly polished and three-dimensional way that is very exciting on the big screen," Landis told New York Daily News.

Landis' lengthy legal battle with Michael Jackson's estate kept the idea of a revamped "Thriller" in limbo for years. But now that the dispute is over, Landis wants to bring it to theaters and Blu-ray in the near future.

"Thriller" redux won't be MJ's first 3D movie. Back in 1986, Michael Jackson starred in Captain EO, a sci-fi musical directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by George Lucas that played in Disney's Epcot center. Fingers crossed that 17-minute mind trip is coming to Blu-ray soon, too.


HBO, Tom Hanks Team for All-Star Veterans Day Concert

The Concert for Valor will be broadcast live Nov. 11, with HBO offering affiliates an open signal

Tom Hanks Horizontal - H 2014
AP Images
Tom Hanks

HBO is going all out to support veterans.

The premium cable network is teaming with executive producer Tom Hanks and Starbucks to present The Concert for Valor, a live all-star event to be broadcast live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The event will be broadcast live on both coasts on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. HBO will offer its affiliates the opportunity to open the signal — meaning cable providers can broadcast the live event to nonsubscribers free of charge.

The talent set to participate in the live event includes Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Metallica, John Oliver, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band, among others. Meryl Streep, Hanks and Steven Spielberg are among those scheduled for special appearances.

Executive produced by Gary Goetzman, Hanks and Joel Gallen, the latter of whom will direct, the concert marks Goetzman and Hanks' latest venture pegged to veterans, following miniseries The Pacific, Band of Brothers and John Adams. Former secretary of defense and Starbucks board member Robert Gates and former chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff Admiral Michael Mullen will serve in an advisory capacity on the concert when it comes to veterans outreach and service organizations that will receive concert donations.

HBO says the concert is the first of its kind to honor the courage and sacrifice of America's veterans and their families on the National Mall. The event, similar in nature to its Comic Relief benefits, is considered an awareness-builder and will include financial donation opportunities that will be announced at a later date.

"We are honored to play a small role to help raise awareness and support for our service men and women," HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said. "Their immeasurable sacrifice deserves our nation’s gratitude. This event will not only celebrate their service, but help remind Americans of the many challenges they face on and off the battlefield. We are delighted to join with Starbucks in our mutual effort to pay tribute to our veterans and those currently serving in the military."

Added Starbucks chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz: "The post-9/11 years have brought us the longest period of sustained warfare in our nation’s history. The less than one percent of Americans who volunteered to serve during this time have afforded the rest of us remarkable freedoms -- but that freedom comes with a responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them and to appreciate the skills and experience they offer when they return home. As many now seek re-employment, now is the time to offer them opportunities to work in our communities to do what they do best: solve problems and lead with selfless service. The Concert for Valor represents a significant and historic opportunity to demonstrate our country’s potential to come together as a nation, and do right by those who have done so much for us. They’ve stepped up. Now it’s our turn.”

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #2 posted 10/06/14 8:04am


Paul Revere, Leader of the Raiders, Dead at 76

Garage rock icon was a Raider from 1961 to 2014


Evan Minsker

on October 5, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. EDT

Paul Revere, Leader of the Raiders, Dead at 76

Pictured left to right: Jim Valley, Paul Revere, Mark Lindsay, Philip Volk, Michael Smith

Paul Revere, the organist and ringleader behind the 1960s garage rock band Paul Revere & the Raiders, has died, Rolling Stone reports. He was 76.


Revere, born Paul Revere Dick, was an Idaho native pianist who met singer and sax player Mark Lindsay in 1959. In 1961, their band Paul Revere & the Raiders gained an instrumental hit with "Like Long Hair". Though the band temporarily went on hiatus after Revere was drafted, they soon reformed. In 1963, they became the first rock'n'roll act to be signed to Columbia Records.


Though their gimmick had them dressing up in colonial outfits—a U.S. response to the British Invasion—they made hits, too, including "Good Thing", "Kicks", "Hungry", their version of "Louie, Louie", and more. In 1965, they became the house band on Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is" TV show. Lindsay and Revere also co-hosted the TV show "Happening '68". In 1971, they got a No. 1 hit with "Indian Reservation".


Like the Dave Clark Five before them, Paul Revere was the band's namesake, but not their frontman. Still, the back cover of their album Spirit of '67 describes Revere as the group's leader—the "moneyman, organist, direction-finder, hirer, firer, wheeler, dealer," and "the man who holds the whip of group leadership."


He's also called a "very fine clown", which is echoed in the memorial about Revere on the band's website.


While the band went through many lineup changes through the years, Revere was always there. He finally took a break from the band in July 2014 when he was forced by doctor's orders to stay home while the band went on tour.

Read a note remembering Revere on the...'s website.

Dear Paul,

Where do I begin? How do I tell you how much I love you and what you have meant to me?

Have you ever met a person and felt like you've known them your entire life, sensed a familiarity and warmth? That's how I felt the very first time I met you, and the feeling only grew stronger the more I got to know you.

Like most people, my initial introduction to you was on television, radio and records, but none of those mediums gave me a real clue to the one-of-a-kind life force that was Paul Revere.

Sitting in an audience at my first Paul Revere and The Raiders concert introduced me to a larger-than-life dynamo of high-energy slapstick, outrageous and spontaneous humor and a genuine child-like joy. Everyone in attendance just knew that you MUST be a wonderful person offstage too, no doubt about it.

Meeting you after a show in the autograph line cemented the deal for everyone. Just as fun, funny and spontaneous as you were onstage, extremely nice and accommodating to everyone who waited in the long lines to meet you. Take a picture - "SURE, take TWO!" Sign these 20 albums? "Why NOT, you helped pay for my first house, and my first wife!"

Generous to a fault with your family, your friends and your band, there seemed to be no limit to your kindness. When you turned your attention towards someone, you made that person feel special and in your spotlight. You had a pet name for each person, and you never hesitated to tell them how exceptional they were. You appreciated the talent, beauty, skills and uniqueness you found in others, and you were never shy about telling them so. All the more reason for people to feel wonderful in your presence.

It's no accident that people called you "Uncle Paul". You were like a favorite uncle who's always fun to be around. Hug-gable, like a child's favorite stuffed animal, smart, funny, world traveled and so very interesting. (and as you would say, "Don't forget CUTE!!") You were also the epitome of a cool rock star, admired and respected by so many entertainers throughout the decades.

And how about people like Dick Clark? How many businessmen and showbiz people did Dick Clark meet in his lifetime? And yet he gravitated to you, and chose to work on many projects and business ventures with you. He saw something in you, even when you were a kid, that separated you from the pack of extremely talented and interesting people with whom he constantly came into contact. He was proud to call you his friend and enjoyed your company tremendously. The same goes for Andy Williams and many, many others.

You loved eating a hot dog at a truck stop with the guys as much as you enjoyed spending an entire evening in a classy restaurant appreciating the finer things. You loved taking your friends out to dinner, and you never let them pay. You always got to know the staff when you ate out too. By the end of the evening you not only knew your server's names, you knew all about their hopes, their goals, their family. You knew the manager's name and you made sure you told them how fantastic your server was. And you always tipped WAY too much. This is EVERY time, at EVERY restaurant. This says a lot about the kind of person you were.

Your deep love and devotion to your wife, Sydney, was beyond compare. Anyone could see the eternal connection you shared, the great marriage you were part of, what a doting and attentive husband you were. The way you made each other laugh, holding hands and your open show of affection. No one could make you happy like she did, and no one could make you laugh like she could. Hopeless romantics enjoying each other and the life you shared together.

You loved Christmas like no one else. You loved Disney World, old movies on TCM, rocking chairs on the porch, Sunday mornings at home with your wife, a nice fire in the fireplace and a big bowl of popcorn - you absolutely just loved life!

But now you have passed on. By your example, both professional and personal, you've left a blueprint of how to live a life full of love, laughter and happiness. The world will be a lot less fun, a lot less kind and gentle without Paul Revere in it. Your larger-than-life absence will leave a void in our hearts and our lives.

We are all blessed to have known you, and we'll miss you more than you could ever know.

Love forever,
Everyone who has ever met you.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #3 posted 10/06/14 9:44am


Kat Edmonson releases tour dates in support of of new album 'The Big Picture' now out

By: Joseph Cirilo AXS Contributor Aug 6, 2014

Kat Edmonson has announced her October tour dates which will follow in support of the release of her junior album, The Big Picture, available on Sep. 30 on Sony Music Masterworks. The Big Picture is a big deal for Edmonson, who’s making her major label debut, recorded with Grammy-nominated producer, Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney) in his Los Angeles studio.

A full tour is expected to follow in early 2015, but for those of you who can’t wait that long to catch her hitting her stride on the road, the festivities begin Oct. 7 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, and end on Oct. 23 at Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles. A full list of tour dates is available below.

The premiere track off the album, “Rainy Day Woman” is available via iTunes now and for streaming on SoundCloud. Edmonson’s jazzy, and even sexy vocal work is akin to a track off a James Bond film soundtrack. It’s smooth and unique in that tone, with plenty of character and originality. Backed with lots of personality, and the taste of clean saxophone, Kat Edmonson kills with classy sophistication and incredible control.

“There’s no particular theme, but there are some commonalities,” Edmonson said of the album. “One of which is my ever-underlying influence from motion pictures and film scores. I have always felt that music and film go hand in hand, because that was how I was first exposed to music—from old movies and musicals—and to me there wasn’t a separation between an actor acting, dancing and singing.”

Prince cover: https://soundcloud.com/an...-beautiful

Plenty of merit goes along with her choice in direction. Music and film as art forms are not mutually exclusive, and tend to play off each other beautifully. You can definitely tell the difference in quality if faced with the same scene, one without the score, and one with. Kat Edmonson’s inspiration definitely seems to stem back to the early ‘60s in that respect, and perhaps even before that. The classical influence puts an unfamiliar and welcome spin on her work.

Edmonson grew up in Houston and sang in the local club scene in Austin for several years, as many budding musicians do, before self-releasing Take To The Sky in 2009. This new album is following her sophomore release, Way Down Low (2012), a record The New York Times praised as “fresh as a spring bouquet” and writer for the The Boston Globe, Steve Greenlee, hailed it as “one of the greatest vocal albums I’ve ever heard.” The record debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart and was featured on several major year-end “Best of 2012” lists including Downbeat Magazine, WNYC Soundcheck’s “Best Live Performances” and Daytrotter’s “Best Sessions of 2012.”

That’s quite a bit of an act to follow, but based on what we’ve been able to get wind of so far, Kat Edmonson is more than up to the challenge. For better or worse, the album sounds fantastic, and so does she. Look forward to seeing her take the stage this Autumn. You can pre-order tickets on her official website, as well as pre-order the album on iTunes.

October 7 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live

October 8 Boston, MA Regatta Bar @ The Charles Hotel

October 11 Toronto, ON The Drake

October 12 Morgantown, WV Mountain Stage

October 14 Chicago, IL City Winery

October 16 Minneapolis, MN Dakota Jazz

October 19 Vancouver, BC Rio Theatre

October 20 Portland, OR Alberta Rose Theater

October 22 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall

October 23 Los Angeles, CA Masonic Lodge

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #4 posted 10/07/14 8:59pm


Journey's Steve Perry Leads 'Don't Stop Believin'' Sing-Along at Giants Game

By Elias Leight | October 07, 2014 4:49 PM EDT

Steve Perry

Steve Perry attends the US Premiere of DreamWorks Pictures "Need For Speed" at The TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

Eric Charbonneau/Invision for DreamWorks Pictures/AP Images

Steve Perry, the former lead singer of Journey, was in high spirits Monday watching his San Francisco Giants take on the Washington Nationals in the MLB playoffs. Every fan wants to help out their favorite team, so Perry did what he does best, leading the crowd in a spirited sing-along of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (What other song could he choose? It's the playoffs!) Watch a video recap below:

And this fan-shot video of the Jumbotron really brings it home:

The Giants cheerfully tweeted about the sing-along:

Unfortunately, the Giants ended up losing the game (maybe they stopped believin'?), however, they still lead the series 2-1. Game 4 takes place Tuesday night (Oct. 7) in San Francisco, so wait for Perry to leave it all on the field.

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Reply #5 posted 10/07/14 10:18pm


I won't go see an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford. Without him, there is no Indiana Jones.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
Reply #6 posted 10/08/14 6:53am


purplethunder3121 said:

I won't go see an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford. Without him, there is no Indiana Jones.

I agree PT, although Brad Pitt might be a good choice. I hope he can do it.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #7 posted 10/08/14 7:18am


Today we celebrate together! Libras unite!


Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #8 posted 10/08/14 8:14am





These guys Celebrate it today as well. smile

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Reply #9 posted 10/08/14 8:19am


October 8 Birthdays

Bella Thorne Bella Thorne, 17 TV Actress 1 Bruno Mars Bruno Mars, 29 Singer 2 Nick Cannon Nick Cannon, 34 TV Actor 3 Matt Damon Matt Damon, 44 Movie Actor 4 Dustin Breeding Dustin Breeding, 27 Singer 5 Mike Mizanin Mike Mizanin, 34 Wrestler 6 Barbara Palvin Barbara Palvin, 21 Model 7 Travis Pastrana Travis Pastrana, 31 Motorcycle Racer 8 Chevy Chase Chevy Chase, 71 Movie Actor 9 Angus T Jones Angus T Jones, 21 TV Actor 10 Cara Gosselin Cara Gosselin, 14 Reality Star 11 Molly Quinn Molly Quinn, 21 TV Actress 12 R.L. Stine R.L. Stine, 71 Author 13 Sigourney Weaver Sigourney Weaver, 65 Movie Actress 14 Cece Winans Cece Winans, 50 Singer 15 Jesse Jackson Jesse Jackson, 73 Civil Rights Leader 16 Stephanie Zimbalist Stephanie Zimbalist, 58 Movie Actress 17 Shontell McClain Shontell McClain, 43 Family Member 18 Karyn Parsons Karyn Parsons, 48 TV Actress 19 Madelyn Gosselin Madelyn Gosselin, 14 Reality Star 20 Emily Procter Emily Procter, 46 TV Actress 21 Paul Hogan Paul Hogan, 75 Movie Actor 22 Mikey Bolts Mikey Bolts, 23 Web Video Star 23 Johnny Ramone Johnny Ramone (1948-2004) Songwriter 24 Ian Hart Ian Hart, 50 Movie Actor 25 Bill Elliott Bill Elliott, 59 Race Car Driver 26 Cody Lundin Cody Lundin, 38 Teacher 27 Ksenia Solo Ksenia Solo, 27 TV Actress 28 Anne-Marie Duff Anne-Marie Duff, 44 TV Actress 29 Teddy Riley Teddy Riley, 47 Producer 30 Juan Peron Juan Peron (1895-1974) World Leader 31 Nick Bakay Nick Bakay, 55 TV Actor 32 Gauri Khan Gauri Khan, 44 Producer 33 Jeremy Davies Jeremy Davies, 45 TV Actor 34 Reed Hastings Reed Hastings, 54 Entrepreneur 35 Rona Barrett Rona Barrett, 78 Journalist 36

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Reply #10 posted 10/08/14 8:45am


Chicago-born actress Sarah Goldberg, 40, dead of natural causes

Sarah Goldberg got her start in acting as an extra in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding."  |  Provided

Sarah Goldberg got her start in acting as an extra in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding." |

Sarah Goldberg landed her first show business break because of table linens.

She helped arrange tablecloths and napkins for “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” the Julia Roberts-Dermot Mulroney movie filmed at the Cuneo mansion in Vernon Hills.

Enchanted by the set, she wandered around. A film staffer spotted the glowing brunette and asked, “Do you have a purple formal?” He wanted her to be a wedding scene extra.

“She said, ‘No, but I could get one,’ ” said her mother, Judy Goldberg. They raced around and bought a gown, and the ingenue appeared briefly onscreen in the 1997 film.

Ms. Goldberg, who started out as a little bumblebee in a Chicago City Ballet production of “Cinderella” and grew up, moved to California and landed roles in the TV shows “7th Heaven,” “House,”

“Judging Amy” and the movie “Jurassic Park III,” died in her sleep at age 40 of natural causes, her family said.

An autopsy failed to determine a cause of death, but a heart ailment is suspected, her mother said. On Sept. 27, she died peacefully in her sleep, her computer in her lap at the family cabin in Wisconsin.

“She went to sleep and didn’t wake up,” her mother said.

Ms. Goldberg attended the Latin School of Chicago, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Amherst College and was planning to study medicine until being bitten by the acting bug in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

She appeared as a college student seeking drugs in the gritty Denzel Washington movie, “Training Day.”

After five months of auditions, she landed her best-known TV role. In the long-running “7th Heaven,” she was Sarah Glass Camden, a medical student and daughter of a rabbi portrayed by comedian Richard Lewis. Her character fell madly in love with Matt Camden, the son of a Christian pastor played by Stephen Collins. Their whirlwind interfaith romance was a fan favorite.

“She would walk down the street here, or places in Wisconsin, and people would come up to her and say, ‘You played the daughter’ ” of the rabbi, her mother said.


“She wanted to go to medical school, and instead for three years she played a doctor on ‘7th Heaven,’ ” her mother said.

In “Jurassic Park III,” she was Cheryl Logan, a graduate student of Dr. Alan Grant, played by actor Sam Neill.

Ms. Goldberg had recurring roles as Colleen Sarkossian on the 2008-2013 series “90210” and as Heather Labonte on “Judging Amy.” She also appeared in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Without a Trace.”

She was thrilled to be cast in Patrick Swayze’s “The Beast,” a series set in Chicago. “She loved working with him. She thought he was incredible, especially after watching ‘Dirty Dancing’ 900 times,” her mother said. During filming, her trailer was in front of her alma mater, the Latin School.

Ms. Goldberg’s credits sometimes list her as Sarah Danielle Madison, a name she took because of her fondness for Madison the mermaid in the movie “Splash.” At Latin School, the young fan did a project in which she crafted a mermaid tail. “She would sit in the tub and flop around pretending she was a mermaid,” her mother said.

Proud of her Jewish heritage, she wasn’t interested in erasing her ethnicity, her parents said. She thought the stage name would better guard her privacy.

Ms. Goldberg returned to Chicago for the Jewish holidays and hadn’t yet returned to her Santa Monica home when she died.


She also did voice overs and appeared in a popular Taco Bell Super Bowl commercial featuring Carmen Electra.

She was born in 1974 in Springfield, where her father, Bill Goldberg, a litigator at Seyfarth Shaw, was then an attorney in the administration of Gov. Dan Walker. The family moved back to the Near North Side, and she was cast in a production of “Cinderella” at the Chicago City Ballet, founded by prima ballerina assoluta Maria Tallchief. She loved being onstage, where “she would almost walk in front of Suzanne Farrell,” said her mother, speaking of one of the greatest of American ballerinas.

The young Sarah was a skilled volleyball player at Latin School and Amherst, where she graduated in 1996.

A firm co-owned by her mother, BBJ Linen, was handling the table linens for the set of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” where she caught a staffer’s eye and got cast.

When she headed to California, her only contact out West was an acting teacher, her family said. Soon, she landed an agent and roles.

A graceful athlete, she practiced yoga for 20 years and did trick skiing. “She could get on (skis) backwards and blow kisses to people and pretend she was a water skier,” her mother said.

Ms. Goldberg made many friends during a decade or so of visits to Campo Fiesta in northern Wisconsin, where she was a camper, and later, a counselor.

A dog lover, she had a Chihuahua-terrier mix, Bucket, whom she rescued the day she was to be euthanized. Her parents are showering Bucket with attention. “The dog’s going to be such a little princess,” her mother said.

She also is survived by her brother, Bradley.

Services were held.

In lieu of flowers, her family asked for contributions to the Sarah Goldberg Memorial Fund at PAWS, 1997 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #11 posted 10/08/14 4:16pm


JoeBala said:

purplethunder3121 said:

I won't go see an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford. Without him, there is no Indiana Jones.

I agree PT, although Brad Pitt might be a good choice. I hope he can do it.

I think Brad Pitt would be an excellent choice to play Indiana's son, carrying on his tradition of adventure. wink

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
Reply #12 posted 10/08/14 4:22pm


JoeBala said:

Today we celebrate together! Libras unite!


Happy Birthday Bruno Baby! kisses party :cake:

[Edited 10/9/14 7:32am]

Reply #13 posted 10/09/14 4:18pm


NaughtyKitty said:

JoeBala said:

Today we celebrate together! Libras unite!

Happy Birthday Bruno Baby! kisses party :cake:

[Edited 10/9/14 7:32am]

smile lol I bet he heard you NK.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #14 posted 10/09/14 4:47pm


R.I.P. Jan Hooks of Saturday Night Live

Oct 9, 2014 5:55 PM

TMZ is reporting the death of Jan Hooks, who proved herself one of the most reliable cast members in Saturday Night Live’s history during her 1986 to 1991 run. Her agency has since confirmed it, though an official cause of death hasn’t been released; however, it’s reported that she was suffering from a serious illness. Hooks was 57.


Like a lot of SNL players, Hooks got her training in the L.A. comedy troupe The Groundlings. After a brief television stint on HBO’s Not Necessarily The News, Hooks finally joined the late-night ensemble in 1986, during a year of merciless housecleaning.

A newly reinstated Lorne Michaels had spent his first season back stocking the show with budding movie stars and established faces like Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, and Randy Quaid—as well as Joan Cusack, who took Hooks’ spot.

After a mass culling that spared only Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn, and A. Whitney Brown, Hooks joined the show’s twelfth season alongside newcomers Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Victoria Jackson, and Phil Hartman. Quickly, they coalesced into arguably the strongest cast the show has ever seen.


Though not a flashy breakout like Carvey or Miller, Hooks was—like Phil Hartman—a presence that elevated every sketch she was in. Her stable of memorable impressions included a perpetually weeping Tammy Faye Baker, a slinky, inappropriately seductive Diane Sawyer, and seemingly all the political women of the era: Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Kitty Dukakis.


Her impression of Sinead O’Connor in the classic “Sinatra Group” is a great example of what Hooks could bring to a sketch, disappearing into the role and allowing Hartman to land his jabs, and getting laughs with nothing but a slow burn.


Hooks was also well known for The Sweeney Sisters, a pair of obnoxious pop medley crooners she created alongside Nora Dunn. Their overenthusiastic scatting and cutesy, overly rehearsed patter became a mainstay of the show, and completely ruined “The Trolley Song” for everyone, forever.


After leaving the show in 1991, amid another shift toward a cast dominated by Chris Farley, Adam Sandler et al., Hooks took over for Jean Smart on Designing Woman, serving on the show’s two final seasons. She would also take a recurring role on 3rd Rock From The Sun as Vicki Dubcek, embarking on a tempestuous romance with French Stewart’s alien.

And she was Dixie, the alcoholic, completely out-of-it rock to Martin Short’s celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick, appearing in several episodes of Primetime Glick and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood.

Though denied the movie career enjoyed by so many of her SNL colleagues, Hooks did have a few memorable roles—most notably as Tina, the perky, gum-chewing guide in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, where she delivers the devastating news regarding the Alamo’s lack of a basement.

Tim Burton would cast Hooks again in Batman Returns, where she played an image consultant tasked with making Danny DeVito’s Penguin look presentable (and avoiding his “French flipper trick”). Her other TV and movie appearances included roles in the films Coneheads, Simon Birch, and A Dangerous Woman.

She could also be heard as the voice of Apu’s wife Manjula on six episodes of The Simpsons, and as the fembot Anglelyne who catches Bender’s eye in an episode of Futurama. Most recently, Hooks turned up on 30 Rock as Verna Maroney, the scheming mother to Jenna Maroney.


Like her frequent partner and on-stage husband Phil Hartman, Hooks was often quietly great, a performer whose consistency may not have received all the accolades it deserved in its day, but whose death will certainly prompt a lot of belated recognition of how good she was. And suffice to say, losing her only makes watching Tom Schiller’s short ...A Dream” all the more heart-wrenching.

[Edited 10/9/14 16:55pm]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #15 posted 10/09/14 7:42pm


Geoffrey Holder, Dancer, Actor, Painter and More, Dies at 84

Geoffrey Holder Dies at 84

CreditErin Combs/Toronto Star, via Getty Images

Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 84.

Charles M. Mirotznik, a spokesman for the family, said the cause was complications of pneumonia.


Few cultural figures of the last half of the 20th century were as multifaceted as Mr. Holder, and few had a public presence as unmistakable as his, with his gleaming pate atop a 6-foot-6 frame, full-bodied laugh and bassoon of a voice laced with the lilting cadences of the Caribbean.


Mr. Holder directed a dance troupe from his native Trinidad and Tobago, danced on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera and won Tony Awards in 1975 for direction of a musical and costume design for “The Wiz,” a rollicking, all-black version of “The Wizard of Oz.” His choreography was in the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Dance Theater of Harlem. He acted onstage and in films and was an accomplished painter, photographer and sculptor whose works have been shown in galleries and museums. He published a cookbook.


Mr. Holder acknowledged that he achieved his widest celebrity as the jolly, white-suited television pitchman for 7Up in the 1970s and ’80s, when in a run of commercials, always in tropical settings, he happily endorsed the soft drink as an “absolutely maaarvelous” alternative to Coca-Cola — or “the Uncola,” as the ads put it.

Long afterward, white suit or no, he would stop pedestrian traffic and draw stares at restaurants. He even good-naturedly alluded to the TV spots in accepting his Tony for directing, using their signature line “Just try making something like that out of a cola nut.”

Geoffrey Lamont Holder was born into a middle-class family on Aug. 1, 1930, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, one of four children of Louise de Frense and Arthur Holder, who had immigrated from Barbados. Geoffrey attended Queen’s Royal College, an elite secondary school in Trinidad. There he struggled with a stammer that plagued him into early adulthood.

“At school, when I got up to read, the teacher would say, ‘Next,’ because the boys would laugh,” he said in an oral history interview.

Growing up, Mr. Holder came under the wing of his talented older brother, Arthur Aldwyn Holder, known to everyone by his childhood nickname, Boscoe. Boscoe Holder taught Geoffrey painting and dancing and recruited him to join a small, folkloric dance troupe he had formed, the Holder Dancing Company. Boscoe was 16; Geoffrey, 7.

Mr. Holder at the opening of the Broadway musical “The Lion King” in 1997 accompanied by his wife, the dancer Carmen de Lavallade. He made his own Broadway debut in 1954. Credit Nancy Siesel/The New York Times

Geoffrey Holder’s career mirrored that of his brother in many ways. Boscoe Holder, too, went on to become a celebrated dancer, choreographer, musician, painter and designer, and he, too, left Trinidad, in the late 1940s, for England, where he performed on television and onstage.

His brother’s departure put Geoffrey Holder in charge of the dance company, as its director and lead performer, and he took it to New York City in 1954, invited by the choreographer Agnes de Mille, who had seen the troupe perform two years before in St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands. She arranged an audition for the impresario Sol Hurok. To pay for the troupe’s passage, Mr. Holder, already an established young painter, sold 20 of his paintings.

Promo of Roger Moore, Jane Seymour, Yaphet Kotto, Geoffrey Holder, Julius Harris, Earl Jolly Brown in Live And Let Die (1973)

After dropping his bags at an uncle’s apartment in Brooklyn, he fell in love with the city.

“It was a period when all the girls looked like Janet Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor, with crinoline petticoats and starched hair,” he told The New York Times in 1985. “The songs of that period were the themes from ‘The Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Limelight,’ and it was so marvelous to hear the music in the streets and see the stylish ladies tripping down Fifth Avenue. Gorgeous black women, Irish women — all of them lovely and all of them going somewhere.”

Mr. Holder had the good fortune to arrive in New York at a time of relative popularity for all-black Broadway productions as well as black dance, both modern and folk. Calypso music was also gaining a foothold, thanks largely to Harry Belafonte.

For a while Mr. Holder taught classes at the Katherine Dunham School, and he was a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1956 to 1958. He continued to dance and direct the Holder dance company until 1960, when it disbanded. In the meantime, at a dance recital, he caught the attention of the producer Arnold Saint-Subber, who was putting together a show with a Caribbean theme.

Thus did Mr. Holder make his Broadway debut on Dec. 30, 1954, as a featured dancer in “House of Flowers,” a haunting, perfumed evocation of West Indian bordello life, with music by Harold Arlen and a book by Truman Capote, based on his novella of the same name. Directed by Peter Brook at the Alvin Theater , it starred Diahann Carroll and Pearl Bailey, and among its dancers was a ravishingly pretty young woman named Carmen de Lavallade. She and Mr. Holder married in 1955, had a son, Léo, and sometimes shared the stage. Both wife and son survive him. Boscoe Holder died in 2007.


One character Mr. Holder played in the musical was the top-hatted Baron Samedi, the guardian of the cemetery and the spirit of death, sex and resurrection in Haitian Voodoo culture. Mr. Holder relished Samedi: he played him again in the 1973 James Bond film, “Live and Let Die” (the first of the Bond franchise to star Roger Moore), and featured him in his choreography — in his “Banda” dance from the musical “House of Flowers,” and in “Banda,” a further exploration of folk themes that had its premiere in 1982.


His Voodoo villain in “Live and Let Die” was of a piece with much of his sporadic film career: with his striking looks and West Indian-inflected voice, producers tended to cast Mr. Holder in roles deemed exotic. In “Doctor Dolittle” (1967), he was a giant native who ruled a floating island as William Shakespeare (the 10th). In Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * but Were Afraid to Ask” (1972), he played a sorcerer. In “Annie” (1982), he was the Indian servant Punjab. (An exception was the 1992 romantic comedy “Boomerang,” in which he played a randy director of commercials working for Eddie Murphy’s playboy advertising executive.)

Mr. Holder was multitasking before the term gained currency. In 1957, he landed a notable acting role playing the hapless servant Lucky in an all-black Broadway revival of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” directed by Herbert Berghof. The show, just seven months after the play’s original Broadway production, closed after only six performances because of a union dispute, but the role, with its rambling, signature 700-word monologue, lifted Mr. Holder’s acting career.

Kenny Ray

I never met the man, but feel you are remissed not to have included Swashbuckler (1976) in Holder's film credits. A forgotten Gem of a...


Wouldn't it be great if we could all be worthy of such find rememberances! Wouldn't it be great if we all deserved them half as much as Mr....


In 1982, I was a Rockette about to learn Ravel's Bolero on the stage of the great Radio City Music Hall, choreographed and designed by...

That same year, he choreographed and danced in a revival of the George and Ira Gershwin musical “Rosalie” in Central Park. And he received a Guggenheim fellowship in painting.

Painting was a constant for him. Whether life was hectic or jobs were scarce, he could usually be found in the SoHo loft he shared with Ms. de Lavallade, absorbed in work that drew on folk tales and often delivered biting social commentary. On canvases throughout the studio, sensuous nudes jostled for space with elegantly dressed women, ghostly swimmers nestled beside black Virgin Marys, bulky strippers seemed to burst out of their skins, and mysterious figures peered out of tropical forests.

His work was shown at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. And then there was his photography, and his sculpture.

His visual creativity extended to costume designs, “The Wiz” being just one showcase. Another was John Taras’s 1982 production of “The Firebird” for the Dance Theater of Harlem, in which the Russian fairy tale was relocated to a tropical forest. Mr. Holder designed both the sets and the costumes, one of which was a blend of 30 or 40 colors. He earned another Tony nomination for best costume design for the 1978 Broadway musical “Timbuktu!,” an all-black show based on the musical “Kismet.” He also directed and choreographed “Timbuktu!”

Mr. Holder’s dance designs were equally bold. Reviewing a 1999 revival of “Banda” by the Dance Theater of Harlem, Anna Kisselgoff wrote in The Times, “Mr. Holder is a terrific showman, and his mix of Afro-Caribbean rituals, modern dance and even ballet’s pirouettes is potent and dazzling.”

Other Holder dance classics were “Prodigal Prince” (1971), a dreamlike re-creation of the life and work of Hector Hyppolite, the Haitian folk painter, for which he also composed the musical score; and “Dougla” (1974), an evocation of a mixed-race Caribbean wedding. (Dougla refers to people who are of African and Indian descent.)

In 1959, he published a book on Caribbean folklore, “Black Gods, Green Islands,” written with Tom Harshman and illustrated by Mr. Holder; in 1973, he produced “Geoffrey Holder’s Caribbean Cookbook.” He himself was the subject of books and documentaries, including “Carmen & Geoffrey” (2009), by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob.

Mr. Holder said his artistic life was governed by a simple credo, shaped by his own experience as a West Indian child who had yet to see the world.

“I create for that innocent little boy in the balcony who has come to the theater for the first time,” he told Dance magazine in 2010. “He wants to see magic, so I want to give him magic. He sees things that his father couldn’t see.”

Correction: October 6, 2014
An earlier version of this obituary misstated Mr. Holder’s age. He was 84, not 83. (His date of birth was correctly given as Aug. 1, 1930.) It also misstated his middle name. It was Lamont, not Richard.
Correction: October 6, 2014
An earlier version of a picture caption with this obituary misstated Mr. Holder's surname as Holden.
Correction: October 7, 2014

An earlier version of this obituary misstated Mr. Holder’s tenure as a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. It was from 1956 to 1958, not 1955 and 1956.

'This Impromptu Dance': Geoffrey Holder's Son Tells One More Story

October 09, 2014 9:33 AM ET
Geoffrey Holder and his son, Leo.

Geoffrey Holder and his son, Leo.

Margo Astrachan/Courtesy of Leo Holder

Shortly after the death of dancer, choreographer, actor, painter and director Geoffrey Holder, his son, Leo, composed and shared this letter about the end of his father's life.

This Is A True Story

Geoffrey Holder 1930-2014
October 5th

A little more than a week after developing pneumonia, Geoffrey Holder made a decision. He was calling the shots as always. He was done. Two attempts at removing the breathing tube didn't show promising results. In his truest moment of clarity since being rolled into ICU, he said he was good. Mouthing the words "No, I am not afraid" without a trace of negativity, sadness or bitterness, he sincerely was good with it. He had lived the fullest life he could possibly live, a 70+ year career in multiple art forms, and was still creating. Still painting, a bag of gold (of course) fabric and embellishments in his room for a new dress for my mother, sculptures made out of rope, baseball caps and wire hangers. New ideas every second, always restlessly chasing his too-fertile mind.


A week of breathing tubes and restrained hands had forced him to communicate with only cryptic clues which I was fortunate enough to be able to decipher at best 40 percent of the time. The fact that we all struggled to understand him enraged him to the point that he could sometimes pull tantrums taking up to four people to restrain him from pulling out the wires.


He was headstrong (understatement), but he was also physically strong. Iron hand grip that no illness could weaken. Nine days of mouthing words that, because of the tubes, produced no sound, forcing him to use his eyes to try to accentuate the point he was trying to make.


But this didn't mean he wasn't still Geoffrey Holder. This didn't mean an end to taking over. Holding court as he always did. Directing and ordering people around. Choreographing. Getting his way. We still understood that part, and the sight of his closest friends and extended family brought out the best in him. Broad smiles in spite of the tubes, nodding approval of anything that met his standard (which was very high), and exuding pride and joy in all those in whom he saw a spark of magic and encouraged to blossom. The week saw a parade of friends from all over the world checking in to see him, hold his hand, rub his head, and give him the latest gossip. But he was still trying to tell me something, and although I was still the best at deciphering what he was saying, I still wasn't getting it.

Saturday night I had a breakthrough. After a good day for him, including a visit by the Rev. Dr. Forbes, Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church, who offered prayer and described Geoffrey's choreography as prayer itself, which made him beam, I brought in some music. Bill Evans with Symphony Orchestra, one of his all-time favorites. He had once choreographed a piece to one of the cuts on the album ... a throwaway ballet to fill out the program, but the music inspired him. From his bed, he started to at first sway with the music, then the arms went up, and Geoffrey started to dance again. In his bed. Purest of spirits. Still Geoffrey Holder. Then he summoned me to take his hands, and this most unique dancer/choreographer pulled himself up from his bed as if to reach the sky. It was then I broke the code: He was telling me he was going to dance his way out. Still a Geoffrey Holder production.

If it had been up to him, this evening's solo would have been it. The higher he pulled himself up, the higher he wanted to fly. I had to let him down. Not yet. There are friends and family coming in from out of town. He resignedly shrugged his shoulders, closed his eyes and went to sleep. I got it. Really. I got it. I walked out of the hospital elated. Ate a full meal for the first time in days, slept like a baby after. The next day would be his last. I was not sad. It wasn't stressful for me to deal with him in this state. It was an honor and a privilege to tend to anything he needed. This impromptu dance was his dress rehearsal.


Next morning, I show up early. Possible second thoughts? Should we wait? What if he changes his mind? Did he understand what we were talking about here? Thoroughly. Mind as clear as crystal. "You still game for our dance tonight?" A nod, a smile, and a wink, with tubes still down his throat. We're still on. But he still wants to do it NOW. NOT later. He's cranky. Sulks a while. Sleeps a while. Eventually snaps out of it.


From noon on, a caravan of friends and family from all over the globe comes through the ICU wing. Ages 1 to 80. Young designers and artists he nurtured and who inspired him. Younger dancers he encouraged to always play to the rear balcony with majesty. The now "elder statesmen" dancers on whom he built some of his signature ballets. His rat pack of buddies. Wayward saints he would offer food, drink, a shoulder to cry on, a couch to sleep it off, and lifetime's worth of deep conversation and thought. Closest and oldest friends. Family.

They know they are here to say goodbye. He knows they are here to say goodbye. He greets them beaming with joy to see them. By this time I'm reading his lips better and am able to translate for him as much as I can. The last of them leave. It's time for his one true love to have her time with him. His muse. Her champion. This is their time. 59 years distilled into 5 minutes of the gentlest looks and words as she caresses his noble brow one last time. She puts a note she wrote to him in is hand. She leaves.


Everyone is gone except me. My moment. I will be with him as he goes.

One more time: "You good?" Nod & faint smile. "You ready?" He is. I have asked the doctors to not start the morphine drip right away, because I want him to have his solo on his own time. Knowing him, he might stop breathing right after his finale. For dramatic effect. He's still Geoffrey Holder.

They remove the tube that has imprisoned him for the past nine days and robbed this great communicator of the ability to speak. I remove the mittens that prevent his hands from moving freely.

I start the music, take his hands and start leading him, swaying them back and forth. And he lets go of me. He's gonna wing it as he was prone to do when he was younger. Breathing on his own for the last time, Geoffrey Holder, eyes closed, performs his last solo to Bill Evans playing Fauré's Pavane. From his deathbed. The arms take flight, his beautiful hands articulate through the air, with grace. I whisper "shoulders" and they go into an undulating shimmy, rolling like waves. His Geoffrey Holder head gently rocks back and forth as he stretches out his right arm to deliver his trademark finger gesture, which once meant "you can't afford this" and now is a subtle manifestation of pure human spirit and infinite wisdom. His musical timing still impeccable, bouncing off the notes, as if playing his own duet with Evan's piano. Come the finale, he doesn't lift himself off the bed as he planned; instead, one last gentle rock of the torso, crosses his arms and turns his head to the side in a pose worthy of Pavlova. All with a faint, gentile smile.


The orchestra finishes when he does. I lose it.

They administer the morphine drip and put an oxygen mask over his face. And I watch him begin taking his last breaths.

I put on some different music. I sit and watch him sleep, and breathe ... 20 minutes later, he's still breathing, albeit with this gurgling sound you can hear through the mask. Another several minutes go by, he's still breathing. Weakly, but still breathing ... then his right hand starts to move. It looks like he's using my mother's note like a pencil, scratching the surface of the bed as if he's drawing. This stops a few minutes later, then the left hand begins tapping. Through the oxygen mask, the gurgling starts creating its own rhythm.


Not sure of what I'm hearing, I look up to see his mouth moving. I get closer to listen: " ... two, three ... two, three ... " He's counting! It gets stronger, and at its loudest sounds like the deep purr of a lion, then he says, "Arms, two, three ... Turn, two, three ... Swing, two, three ... Down two, three ... "

I call my mother at home, where she was having a reception in his honor. She picks up. There are friends and family telling Geoffrey stories simultaneously laughing and crying in the background. "Hi, Honey, are you all right?"

"Yes, actually ... he hasn't stopped breathing yet." I tell her about his solo, which brings her to a smile and a lightening of mood. I continue:

"Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, Honey. What?"

"Who the hell did you marry?"

"What do you mean?"

"You're not gonna believe this. He's got a morphine drip, going on over half an hour, an oxygen mask on, his eyes closed, AND HE'S CHOREOGRAPHING!"


This brings her to her first laugh of the day. She now knows we will be all right.

He continues on like this for quite a while, and a doctor comes in to take some meter readings of the machines. I ask the doctor if this is normal. As she begins to explain to me about the process, his closed eyes burst open, focused straight on us like lasers, and he roars with all his might: "SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!! YOU'RE BREAKING MY CONCENTRATION!!!!!!!"

We freeze with our mouths open. He stares us down. Long and hard.

Then he closes his eyes again, "Arms, two, three ... Turn, two, three ... Swing, two, three ... Down, two, three ... "

He continued counting 'til it faded out, leaving only the sound of faint breathing, slowing down to his very last breath at 9:25 p.m.

Still Geoffrey Holder.

The most incredible night of my life.


Thank you for indulging me.

Love & best,



Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #16 posted 10/09/14 8:34pm


Austin City Limits Livestream: Watch Live Performances & More From ACL 2014

By Billboard Staff | October 09, 2014 10:00 AM EDT

Photos: Austin City Limits 2012
A general view of atmosphere as seen during during day one of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 12, 2012 in Austin, Texas.
Watch Here: http://aclfest.redbull.tv/#!/

Broadcasts begins daily at 3:15PM ET, starting Friday, Oct. 10

Can’t make it to weekend two of Austin City Limits? Don’t worry – we’re helping to bring the action right to you. Starting Friday, Oct. 10, Billboard.com will host Red Bull TV’s exclusive livestream of ACL 2014, which will feature artist interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and live performances from 45 artists, including Lorde, Skrillex, Foster the People, Spoon, Calvin Harris, Interpol and many more. Come back at 3:15PM ET on Friday when the show begins and get ready to rock all weekend.

ACL Weeknd One: 10 Best Moments | Live Photos

Friday Oct. 10 Livestream Schedule

Channel 1

3:15 PM: Temples
4:15 PM: Capital Cities
5:15 PM: Bleachers
7:15 PM: Childish Gambino
8:30 PM: Foster the People
9:45 PM: Beck

Channel 2

3:15 PM: Saints of Valory
4:15 PM: Jimmy Cliff
5:15 PM: James Bay
6:15 PM: Paolo Nutini
7:15 PM: St. Vincent
8:30 PM: Belle & Sebastian
9:45 PM: The Glitch Mob

Elle Varner Talks New Album 'Four Letter Word,' Being Inspired by Eminem Following Release of Video For "F--k It All"

Oct 09, 2014 09:40 AM EDT

Elle Varner (Photo : Courtesy of Facebook)

Earlier this week, Elle Varner released her video for "F--k It All." She recently opened up about her new album Four Letter Word and talked about some of her inspirations, which include rapper Eminem.

Varner won fans over with her sweet love songs but as reported by Billboard, she's ready to show listeners "her natural progression -- both as a person growing up and as an artist digging deeper into her craft."

With that being said, its pretty much safe to say "F--k It All" has set the tone for the forthcoming project.

"The most haunting thing about the tune for me is that I never break from the light, airy, melancholic melody until the very end," she told The Fader of the song. "It was a challenge as a writer and singer to stay on one melody and chorus lyric - 'F--k it all' - and let only the verse lyrics grow in intensity."

Four Letter Word is due this fall and while putting the project together, Varner found herself opening up to a wider range of influences and collaborations, including Boy 1da, Hit Boy and Da Internz.

More specifically, the "Refill" singer praised Eminem when discussing her inspirations.

"There is a bit of a thread," she said. "It's telling a complete story. I haven't fully decided how deep I wanna go with it as I'm finishing up the little sequences and interludes. I'll just leave it at this: Eminem is one of my favorite artists of all time."

And Varner was just as excited putting the album together as she is for fans to hear it. In fact, the entire album was reportedly recorded in a matter of five days.

"It's definitely gonna be different from the first album, but I feel incredible about it," she said.

Stay tuned for more updates.


iHeartMedia Announces First Latin Festival

By Leila Cobo | October 02, 2014 10:04 AM EDT

iHeartMedia Announces First Latin Festival

Daddy Yankee performs at the 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards

Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

iHeartMedia's Fiesta Latina will go head-to-head with SBS’ Calibash Nov. 22 in Los Angeles.

IHeartMedia will produce its first-ever Latin mega concert. The iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina will take place at the Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 22, featuring performances by Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, Roberto Tapia, Alejandra Guzmán, La Original Banda el Limón feat. Voz a Voz and Jesse & Joy.

The event will be co-produced by iHeartMedia and Live Nation.

The iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina will be the newest of iHeartMedia’s multi-act concert events, modeled after the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour and the iHeartRadio Country Festival.

But in a twist, the inaugural Latin concert is taking place in the same city and the same date as Calibash, the big radio festival that Latin radio network giant SBS has produced for the past seven years.

As it has for the past several years, Calibash will take place at the Staples Center, also on Nov. 22, and is co-produced by SBS Entertainment together with AEG Live. Calibash is a predominantly urban show, and has sold out at the Staples every year, bringing in between 14,000 and 15,000 people. It’s one of multiple SBS mega concerts around the country, including the recent “Megatón” which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York last month.

Grammy Winners Jesse & Joy

IHeartMedia has a history of launching new events to compete with existing events. The iHeartRadio Awards, for example, premiered May 1, less than three weeks ahead of the Billboard Music Awards. But launching the same day as the competition may be a first, particularly for a niche genre like Latin.

"IHeartMedia’s Spanish and English radio stations reach 93 percent of the Hispanic population in the U.S. -- more than any other media company -- and our listeners have been asking for a show like this for a while,” says Tom Poleman, iHeartMedia’s president of National Programming Platforms, in a statement.

Despite iHeartMedia’s huge reach, the company has only 20 Spanish-language radio stations, none of them in Los Angeles. Beginning on Oct. 2, iHeartMedia will launch a four-week nationwide promotion to give fans the opportunity to win a trip to the festival. The promotion will run on iHeart’s Spanish language stations and on key iHeartRadio markets. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 11.

SBS began its promotion for Calibash last month.

The Latin music festival market also features major multi-artist concerts by many Latin radio networks, including Univision Radio, which produces its Uforia Music Festival in Los Angeles in the summer.


Debbie Harry, David Johansen Headline 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute

Ben E. King, Joan Osborne and the B-52s' Kate Pierson also set to appear at benefit gig where photographer Bob Gruen will be honored

John Lennon Tribute

By Daniel Kreps | October 9, 2014

Debbie Harry, David Johansen, the B-52s' Kate Pierson, Ben E. King and many more will be on hand for the Theatre Within's 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute, which will take place at New York's Symphony Space on Friday, December 5th. Joan Osborne, Marshall Crenshaw, the Fab Faux's Rich Pagano and Amy Helm will also appear at the event, while rock photographer Bob Gruen, who took pictures of Lennon's time in New York, will be the recipient of the first John Lennon Real Love Award.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the John Lennon Real Love Project, a new mobile songwriting program for children and teens undergoing long-term medical treatment. The program began last month at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx. Tickets for the benefit gig are available now at LennonTribute.org.

"I share Theatre Within's belief that music and the performing arts have a special power to bring people together and inspire us to make a positive difference,” Yoko Ono said in a statement. "It's beautiful that the tribute continues to have such a powerful impact in John's memory."

Osborne's set will commemorate Lennon's last major live performance by playing the same three songs – "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "I Saw Her Standing There" – he performed with Elton John at Madison Square Garden on November 28th, 1974. The legendary Thanksgiving concert celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.


Watch the Eerie David Bowie Cover From 'American Horror Story'

Why did Jessica Lange's character sing a 1971 Bowie cut on a show based in 1952 Florida? Creator Ryan Murphy explains

By Daniel Kreps | October 9, 2014

It's a show that features conjoined twins, a boy with lobster hands and a terrifying, murderous clown, yet the strangest part of Wednesday night's American Horror Story: Freak Show premiere came when Jessica Lange's Elsa performed a rendition of David Bowie's Hunky Dory classic "Life on Mars?" The cover was jarring for two reasons: First, that German accent, and secondly, Bowie's track was released in 1971, but the show is based in 1952 in Jupiter, Florida. So, is time travel a subplot?


As creator Ryan Murphy tells the Wall Street Journal, the use of Bowie was inspired by the anachronistic utilization of music by director Baz Luhrmann, who notably filled his films Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby with contemporary songs. As Sarah Paulson, who plays conjoined twins Dot and Bette told Vanity Fair, "[Luhrmann] creates these worlds that are so hyper-real and hyper-fantasy-based all smushed into one thing. It lends itself nicely to the tone of the show."

"We're only doing songs by artists who have self-identified as freaks,” Murphy tells Speakeasy. "That they felt different. David Bowie said yes to that, Lana Del Rey said yes to that, Kurt Cobain's daughter said yes to that, Fiona Apple approved that. That for me was the theme of the season, so we went for it. And that's how we came up with the 'Life on Mars' idea."


Katy Perry Reportedly to Perform at Super Bowl XLIX Halftime

Oct 9, 2014
Katy Perry Reportedly to Perform at Super Bowl XLIX Halftime
Getty Images

Naturally, Katy Perry made a quick stop at college before attempting to tackle the Super Bowl.

According to Ian Mohr and Emily Smith of the New York Post's Page Six, Perry is close to being confirmed as the halftime performer at Super Bowl XLIX:

Perry’s been rumored as a contender for the coveted Super Bowl slot, along with Coldplay and Rihanna (whose “Run This Town” was unceremoniously axed by CBS Sports as its Thursday Night Football tune when the season opened). The Super Bowl airs Feb. 1 on NBC. ...

“A deal is being hammered out for Katy to play the Super Bowl,” said an entertainment insider of the plan.

This news comes less than a week after Perry's heavily buzzed-about appearance on ESPN's College GameDay. She did a great job of picking games, correctly selecting Mississippi State to upset Texas A&M and Ole Miss to topple Alabama:

View image on Twitter

To see Perry floated as a serious contender for the Super Bowl halftime show isn't a huge shock. She's one of the most popular music acts in the country and would fit in with the NFL's recent trend toward younger performers. The Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars and Beyonce have all been featured during halftime in the last four years.

However, Perry did say on GameDay that she wouldn't perform at the Super Bowl if she had to compensate the NFL for doing so. Hannah Karp of The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reported in August that the league was considering making musical acts pay for the right to play at halftime.

"I’m not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl," she told the GameDay crew, via Mohr and Smith.

Super Bowl XLIX is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #17 posted 10/10/14 8:12pm


Five Things to Know About ABC's 'Cristela'

The family comedy stars standup Cristela Alonzo


ABC first brought race-themed programming to this season's TV line-up with Black-ish, and now it’s continuing its diversity push with Cristela.

The multi-cam comedy, which stars standup Cristela Alonzo is her television series debut, is based on the comedian's own life. The show follows the Mexican-American who, in her sixth year of law school, lands an internship at a prestigious law firm. But achieving the American dream is no easy feat amid her family’s concerns: her sister (Maria Canals Barrera) would rather her focus on her dating life, her brother-in-law (Carlos Ponce) wants to kick her out of his house, and her mother (Terry Hoyos) is afraid she'll forget the arduous upbringing she once had in Mexico.

Alongside series’ producers Becky Clements and Kevin Hench, Alonzo opened up about the story behind Cristela at recent PaleyFest panel. “I never wanted to tell the story of ‘Oh, pretty girl can’t find a date?’ Aww,” Alonzo said from the stage. “It’s about doing something that’s universal and honest. There’s too much math involved in TV trying to aim shows at Latinos.”

Ahead of her show’s Friday, Oct. 10 premiere, here’s five more things the star revealed about herself and the comedy:

The Sitcom is Autobiographical

That the show mirrors her own life is deeply personal for Alonzo and her family. The day the series got picked up, Alonzo called her sister. “She was driving and pulled over and started crying,” recalled Alonzo on stage. “She said, ‘Something like this doesn’t happen to people like us.’” In that moment, Alonzo realized the impact of her success on her loved ones: “It really hit me on such a strange level on how much it meant to my family and how much it meant to me.”

The Material is Mostly Accurate

How much of Alonzo’s own life is reflected in the series? “85 to 90 percent,” she said, adding: “100 percent on Natalie” (referring to her mom, who always wanted her daughter to be a haircutter because “if there was a recession, people still needed their hair cut.”) While the majority of the storylines are familiar to the comedian, the biggest deviation is her career pursuit. Comedy, as a profession, didn’t exactly translate the way the creators needed it to onscreen. “There aren’t any concrete steps to becoming a comic,” said Alonzo, who chose law instead because of her mother’s love for Mexican novelas, in which “everyone is a lawyer.”

She Never Expected Her Own Show

ABC’s series order came as a shock. “I wanted to do it as a kid,” Alonzo explained, “but the older I got, the more cynical I got about it because there weren’t a lot of people on TV that looked like me.” But Alonzo’s agents were more hopeful than she was, especially when they discovered her life story. Alonzo credits producer Clements, in particular, with spearheading her journey to the small screen: “She decided to take a chance on me and give me the confidence that I never had.”

People Are Getting Her Name Right

Alzono is still getting used to seeing "Cristela" spelled correctly. Her entire life, she’s seen her unique first name butchered more often than not. “When you have a different name, people just kind of take the liberty to spell it how they want,” she joked, remembering all the times she would leave stores disappointed because she couldn’t find anything personalized. “Now I go into the office and everything has my name,” she grinned.

The Comedy is Set in Her Home State, Texas

It was important to Alonzo that the show was set in Dallas, where she grew up. “The Texas thing is such a big deal because whenever I see Texas in a TV show, they always show slow-moving cattle and cowboys with the hats,” she said. “I wanted to show that Texas isn’t a stereotype.” The only time cowboys come into play is when Cristela and her family are watching the Dallas football team. The border town she grew up also inspired her love for television. Because it was known for cartel activity, Alonzo’s mom encouraged her daughter to occupy herself with inside activities. “TV was my best friend,” Alonzo acknowledged, citing The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Cosby Show and Roseanne as her favorites.


'The Affair': TV Review

Showtime The Affair - H 2014
"The Affair" on Showtime

The Bottom Line

More than infidelity. A lot more.


Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime, beginning Oct. 12


Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson


Sarah Treem

Excellent writing, acting and an intriguing structural device make Showtime's 'The Affair' the new show to watch


Sarah Treem's version — and vision — of infidelity is rendered superbly in The Affair, her new Showtime series that combines excellent writing, nuanced acting and an intriguing structural device to hook viewers.

The Affair comes at a time when the broadcast networks haven't delivered much meat, a good deal of buzz is being generated over on Amazon (for its excellent Transparent series), and cable is wrapping up some very good newcomers and trotting out some solid vets. Meaning, cable could use something new and electric right now, and The Affair fits the bill.

Treem (House of Cards, In Treatment), with the help of Hagai Levi (In Treatment), has managed to bewitch the pilot for this series, adding a Rashomon-ic element to the characters' recollection of events and teasing an as-yet-unknown crime. There's a lot of disparate threads, but The Affair deftly sets about twisting them all together.

Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour), plays Noah Solloway, a New York City public school teacher who has just completed his first book. Life is pretty good. He seems happy. His wife, Helen (Maura Tierney, ER), is mother to their four kids. Her father (John Doman, also The Wire) is a famous author who has parlayed his books into movies and riches, which causes problems with Helen and annoys the hell out of Noah.

Read more Fall TV: Tim Goodman Ranks 10 New Shows, From Best to "Heinous"

For the summer, Noah and Helen heading to Montauk to stay at her father's house.

There they will meet Alison (Ruth Wilson, Luther, etc.), a married waitress struggling to overcome the death of her 4-year-old son and the toll it has taken on her marriage to Cole (Joshua Jackson, Fringe), a member of a huge Montauk family who has owned a profitable ranch there for generations. Where Cole seeks solace in the support of his family, his many attempts to help Alison have gone nowhere, and he's grown bitter about it as the two drift apart.

Although critics only got to see the first episode, it was exceptionally well done and "a talker." Given the flashback sequences that Treem and Levi employ, you not only get memories of chance encounters but also important events — like when Noah's youngest daughter gets a marble stuck in her mouth at Alison's diner and almost dies.

In the hands of Treem and Levi, which character does what in those flashbacks is important, because it colors perception. Sometimes — but not always — Noah and Alison remember things in ways that show each being more valiant or understanding. One might paint themselves more romantic or present, instead of a jerk and distant. But it's the minute details — who really helped Noah's daughter in that time of crisis and who stood back, useless — that are telling.

Sometimes memories in The Affair are complete opposites. Sometimes one includes details that could prove important, while the other leaves out those details entirely. Which is the accurate recounting?

The show's first hour is worth rewatching to catch the numerous well-shot instances of such nuance.

Furthermore, every recollection may be a clue — possibly to a motive. Part of the intricate structure of The Affair has Noah talking, off-camera, to a man asking him questions. You first think he's talking to a therapist. But the tone is off. Later, in her version, Alison also talks, off-camera, then on it, with the same man, and we realize he's a detective, not a therapist. And there's been a time jump that has changed the characters' looks (and attitudes).

So, what's going on? Well, consider at this point the police investigation to be a hook that may really pay off later, but at present isn't that important. Treem telling the story of an affair — what the revelation does to the other spouses, what it does to those participating, or the kids who feel the fallout — there's enough emotional fireworks to make these episodes dense with complicated, mature, adult storytelling.

That the people we are only beginning to meet, only beginning to find out about in their affair, could in the present day be two vastly different people is a wonderful writing trick. As viewers side with Noah or Alison (or their spouses), as they no doubt will, they are learning about characters from a specific time, dealing with what might amount to a brief, forgotten summer, and now — with the passing of years — might not resemble in any way early Noah or early Alison. Hell, one or both could be implicated in a crime and our perceptions of them may change again.

This glimpse into identity and meaning is done with excellent acting and top-notch, emotionally fearless writing. There are times in The Affair when a character — let's say Noah — acts a certain way and it seems off, like a person wouldn't have that reaction. And you chalk it up, at that moment, to the writing not quite nailing the emotion — only to find out later that it's how Noah viewed himself and was thus skewed, altered by narcissistic elements. That's a nice touch to a series that will keep viewers guessing what's real, what's memory, and what, ultimately, is true.

That latter bit about truth may, in the end, be the twist that makes the show.


Shelby Lynne Recreates Grammy-Winning Breakout Album for Lucky L.A. Crowd: Concert Review

Shelby Lynne Largo 2014 P
Chris Willman

The Bottom Line

The one-time Best New Artist winner revisits I Am Shelby Lynne, the 2000 masterwork in which she really was reborn — with all its sadness and sultriness.


Los Angeles
(Wednesday, Oct. 8)

The Grammys made a big mistake in 2001 when they gave Shelby Lynne the award for Best New Artist. It wasn’t so much that she was on her sixth album when she got her trophy — although, sure, there was that nagging point — as much as how she really should have taken home Album of the Year. Her declarative musical rebirth, I Am Shelby Lynne, came out less than a month into 2000, and at the time, it may have spoiled us into thinking we were due for a better century than the one actually in store. We still haven’t heard a better album this millennium.

The 15th anniversary of that not-really-a-debut “debut” album is being celebrated with this week’s repackaging of I Am Shelby Lynne, which might count as the reissue of the year. Lynne somehow got back the masters to her two Island releases and handed this one, at least, over to her new label, Rounder, which does it justice with six studio bonus tracks that prove a lot of greatness was left on the cutting room floor, too. Also included is a DVD of a 2000 show at Los Angeles’ House of Blues that seemed to establish her as a cocky, strutting rocker, even though she ultimately took a more acoustic direction. For those of us who were at that HOB show, it would have been hard to surpass, but Lynne came close Wednesday at Largo, one of only two shows (the other at New York’s City Winery) to have her doing a top-to-bottom recreation of I Am Shelby Lynne.

For the most sumptuous female voice in any pop-related genre today, the years have been kind. You wouldn’t necessarily have made a sure bet on that 15 years ago, if only because there was such a palpable ache to the deeply felt material that you could reasonably wonder if someone who made you believe she lived with that much heartache would take good care of her instrument. (For evidence that the connection between recorded lonesomeness and real-life wreckage isn’t always a fallacy, see Amy Winehouse, whose Back to Black is the only serious rival I Am... has as a 21st-century hurts-so-good classic.) It still seems like a freakish miracle that someone who spent her first five years as a straight-up mainstream country artist would have suddenly turned out to be more of a Southern R&B stylist than anything. Teasing out the notes in an irresistible drawl, Lynne has the ability to make you believe her deepest vulnerabilities are just a remembered millimeter from the surface, even as she impresses with a sexy, tough-chick swagger that’s always going to keep a tear ever so barely at bay.

The I Am… album represented the one-time intersection of two great talents, Lynne and producer/co-writer Bill Bottrell, besting the work he’d done even on Sheryl Crow’s estimable Tuesday Night Music Club by a country mile. She brought the soul and he the ability to single out the pop hooks and frame that raw honesty in strings-laden recordings that sounded right out of the Bobbie Gentry/Dusty Springfield era. Whose idea was it that the sublime album opener, “Your Lies,” would start right at the top of a soaring chorus, just like so many of the great mid-‘60s records boldly did? Which of them had the genius to put a smooth-funk guitar on “Thought It Would Be Easier” that made it even more of a bridge-gapper between Dusty’s ethos and Aretha’s? Who knows, but touches like these set up a dynamic that Lynne has continued to mine very effectively for a decade and a half, territory that few other singer/songwriters have the chops to even attempt, although occasionally you’ll find a fellow Southerner like Tift Merritt coming close.

At Largo, the arrangements occasionally seemed a little more country than they did on record. That was mostly due to the band-leading presence of MVP Ben Peeler, who’s best known in the musical community as a lap-steel go-to guy. Peeler also played greater and healthier amounts of pedal steel than Bottrell did 15 years ago, when there was probably a bit more concern about audibly partitioning Lynne from her Nashville past. Even with all that extra-added steel, Lynne’s sound is still so much more black than it is traditional country — and yet still so obviously rooted in the country — that you wish there could just be a bin in the record store marked “Southern.” “I’m a Southern Calibamian,” declared Lynne, who sounds just as Alabamian as she did when she migrated west 15 years ago.

Following the 10-track album, Lynne performed all six bonus tracks, only a couple of which were previously released, on an almost impossible-to-find British CD single. At least three of these would have proudly seemed in place on the original album. “Wind,” she explained, was inspired by living in Mobile Bay and having the boys who’d just gotten off work in the bayou circle around the neighborhood in their cars, offering beer for companionship. She took the beer, anyway, she explained. The easy balminess of the tune vividly suggested the kind of humid breezes that drive the guys crazy and make the girls just relax.

Two other tunes may have ended up seeming too personal to keep on the album. “Miss You Sissy” had Lynne reaching out to her then-estranged sister, fellow singer Allison Moorer. “Do you hurt like I do? Is it hard on you too?” is a question asked not just among siblings but one that Lynne inherently constantly extends to her audience. As for the previously unheard “Sky is Purple,” it turns out that 2011’s Revelation Road was not the first time Lynne addressed their parents’ murder-suicide on a studio recording after all: “Little sissy is crying and she says don’t look,” she sang in this earlier retelling of that tragedy. “Your daddy took your mama like a dime-store crook.” As Lynne herself might put it, in the words of another song of hers: That’s heavy as 10 rocks.

But Wednesday’s Largo show was all about lightness, even if the subject matter of 90 percent of the songs was intrinsically downhearted. A climactic rendition of “Wichita Lineman” found Lynne doing something she doesn’t do often, and that isn’t done in other covers of the song: belting. Jimmy Webb’s classic might have seemed like an odd choice of tune in which to go completely cathartic, but his lyric is more appropriate for her I-am-woman roar than you’d think. Fifteen years after making a break from a compromised musical past and going for the gutsiness, if not gold, Lynne is truly still on the line.

Set List:

Your Lies
Life is Bad
Thought It Would Be Easier
Gotta Get Back
Why Can’t You Be?
Lookin’ Up
Where I’m From
Black Light Blue
Bless the Fool
She Knows Where She Goes
Miss You Sissy
Sky is Purple
Should Have Been Better
Wichita Lineman


When Johnny Met June
Iced Tea


Phil Collins Talks Frontman Transition in Genesis 'Sum of the Parts' Preview

"I didn't want to not be the drummer," Collins says in a clip from the Showtime documentary. "This is what I did. 'This is my territory"

By Ryan Reed | October 10, 2014

In 1975, prog-rock legends Genesis lost their dynamic, costume-wearing frontman, Peter Gabriel. And though they held auditions for a new vocalist, they ultimately realized the best replacement, Phil Collins, was sitting behind the drum kit all along. This is an essential turning point in the band's story – and it's the focus of the above clip, a preview of the documentary Genesis: Sum of the Parts, which airs Friday, October 10th on Showtime.

"I didn't want to not be the drummer," Collins says in the video, which premiered this week at Radio.com. "This is what I did. 'This is my territory'. . . As far as I can remember, we did revisit some of the tapes and thought, 'Is there really nobody that we've heard?' And we decided that there wasn't."

The biggest question mark, notes manager Tony Smith, was whether Collins' expressive voice packed enough range and power to fill the massive void left behind by Gabriel. But the drummer-turned-frontman says he remembers "nothing but good vibes from the audience."

"They wanted this to work," he says. "They didn't compare me with Pete – I was one of the guys in the band coming forward, and I'd been there all along."

Gabriel, meanwhile, maintains that he had complete faith in Genesis' capabilities during this difficult transition. "I think I had more confidence in the band being able to be successful than they did initially," he says.

Genesis: Sum of the Parts – which aired earlier this month on the BBC under the name Together and Apart – traces the band's sonic development from prog-rockers to pop-rock sensations, along with spending time on individual members' solo careers. But guitarist Steve Hackett recently spoke out against the project on his Facebook page, calling it "a biased account of Genesis history" that ignored his solo work.

"It does not deliver the theme of Together and Apart," he continued. "In interview I spoke at length as much about my solo career as my time in Genesis, but was not given any editorial involvement. Whilst the documentary's sister project, the R-KIVE box set represents us all equally, the documentary does the opposite. I know the documentary will soon be on sale via various outlets, but I won't be selling this via my own website."

A DVD release of the documentary is scheduled for November 18th. The recently released three-disc R-Kive compilation compiles Genesis classics, along with three tracks from each member's solo discography.


Robert Plant Reinvents Led Zeppelin Classics at Tiny Brooklyn Gig

Sensational Space Shifters break out career-spanning set of reinterpreted old hits and bold, new cosmic folk

Robert Plant Brooklyn Bowl
By Kory Grow | October 10, 2014

Nothing says more about Robert Plant's current attitude about his career than his decision to play a bowling alley in Brooklyn. At midnight. On a Thursday. The former Led Zeppelin singer – who has done much to separate his solo career from his past life recently – told the audience at Brooklyn Bowl that late last month he had enjoyed a burlesque show at the 850-person-capacity venue ("I have to tell you, we'd be better at it") and scheduled this gig to take place immediately after his appearance on The Colbert Report. The show itself – which was announced earlier in the week and quickly sold out – was on his terms, and he appeared to love every second of it.


"Thanks for coming out tonight, it's very late, I know – a lot of people I know have been in bed for hours," he joked at one point. "And a lot of them are single."

At this point, Plant seems most comfortable outside of his comfort zone. Over the past decade, the singer has drifted between playing with the globally-minded Strange Sensation ensemble (which shares members with his current backing band, the Sensational Space Shifters), folk artist Alison Krauss and, for one night, Led Zep. His most recent record, Lullaby and...the Ceaseless Roar, is a journey through cosmic post-blues and world-influenced folk, and throughout the 80-minute bowling-alley concert, the Space Shifters pushed the boundaries of this music even further, reconfiguring Plant's old classics as psych-rock odysseys.

robert plant
Photo: Nicole Fara Silver

When the lion-maned 66-year-old ascended the stage at 11 minutes past midnight (Questlove had opened with a DJ set), he did so with all the aplomb of a golden god half his age. He twirled his microphone stand over his head and snuck up behind guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson, clapping along as the group worked through its spacey, Middle Eastern-influenced interpretation of Howlin' Wolf's "Spoonful." That charisma proved to be the catalyst for many of the set's most memorable moments – as when he led the band's all-drum intro for new song "Rainbow" and led the audience in syncopated clapping for another new song, "Little Maggie."

Plant also allowed his bandmates to shine, spotlighting Gambian riti player Juldeh Camara as he played the single-stringed, violin-like instrument before the group's soaring take on "Black Dog" and encouraging multi-instrumentalist Justin Adams to take center stage for a flashy, rockabilly-inspired dance for the group's cover of Bukka White's "Fixin' to Die." "I wonder what Bukka would think of that," Plant wondered.

Throughout the set, which included only four Lullaby tracks and one from the 2005 Strange Sensation album Mighty ReArranger, the singer made a running gag of referring to the songs he had played with Led Zeppelin as "folk songs," after explaining how a Leadbelly tune had inspired Lullaby's "Poor Howard." "If you don't call [that] a folk song, this surely must be headed towards being a folk song," he said before playing a mesmerizing, stripped-down version of "Going to California," accompanied only by acoustic guitar and mandolin. Similarly his daring takes on a simplified "Thank You" – which was almost drowned out by the sounds of women cheering – an electronics-infused "Black Dog," a banjo-infused "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (dedicated to Mavis Staples) and a mega-medley of "Whole Lotta Love" – sandwiched between covers of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" and Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Coochie Man" – sounded altogether rejuvenated.

robert plant
Photo: Nicole Fara Silver

In a sense, Plant has subverted his back catalog – much as he did with Jimmy Page when they reunited for No Quarter in 1994 – in a way that, as folk numbers often do, proves how songs can be totally malleable. These reinterpretations are a declaration of independence from his past – even when they're played to people that paid $125 a head to let out hoots and cheers whenever he approached a Zeppelin cut close to how it was recorded.

Early in the set, Plant asserted that the concert was the final show of his 26th U.S. tour. "I guess I'm a man now," he quipped. But it's that experience that has allowed him the freedom to experiment with his back catalog, move ahead through contemporary folk and ramble on just how he sees fit.

Set List:

"Tin Pan Valley"
"Thank You"
"Poor Howard"
"Going to California"
"Black Dog"
"Fixin' to Die"
"Rock & Roll"

"Nobody's Fault But Mine"
"Little Maggie"
"Hoochie Coochie Man"/"Whole Lotta Love"/"Who Do You Love"


See Smokey Robinson and Otis Williams Discuss the Beatles' Motown Connection

"They were the first huge white act to admit, 'Hey, we grew up with some black music. We love this.'"

By Nick Murray | October 10, 2014

Today, the 1983 Motown 25 concert, broadcast in prime time on NBC, is best remembered for Michael Jackson's moonwalk. The show, however, involved much more: Host Richard Pryor introduced label legends like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the Jackson 5 and the Supremes both reunited.

Of course, there was even more going on behind the scenes, and the new Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever DVD set (available with one, three or six discs) is looking to excavate some of that history, adding rehearsals, roundtables and documentaries to the original footage. Above, watch a clip from one of the docs, in which Robinson, the Temptations' Otis Williams and author Nelson George discuss the symbiotic relationship between Motown and the Beatles.

"They were the first huge white act to admit, 'Hey we grew up with some black music. We love this," says Robinson.

Adds Williams: "We knocked down those barriers, and I must give credit to the Beatles. . .It seemed like at that point in time white America said, 'OK if the Beatles are checking them out, let us check them out.'"

The concert film and the three DVD Motown 25 set are already available, and the six-disc set can be ordered now.


Jessie J on Digging Deep for Her New Album: ‘I’m Not Afraid of the Pain’

By Andrew Hampp | October 10, 2014 10:58 AM EDT

Jessie J, 2014

Jessie J photographed on September 27, 2014 in London.

Rebecca Miller

Jessie J is trying something new: not oversharing.

On the phone from Hong Kong, where she recently wrapped a series of shows, the singer is expressing regrets about comments she made earlier this year to The Mirror about her bisexuality. ("It was a phase," she said then.) "I'm a talker; I wear my heart on my sleeve. But sometimes I just have to know when to shut up," she says now, declining to talk further about her sexuality.

The sentiment is in line with two songs on the 26-year-old Brit's new album, Sweet Talker (due Oct. 13 on Republic), "Said Too Much" and "Personal," which criticize her past tendencies toward TMI. She says the LP helped her cope with a recent, unspecified breakup; she had been linked to rapper Tinie Tempah in the press. But the singer, born Jessie Ellen Cornish, hopes the album can help her in other ways as well.

Jessie J is a star at home, but in the United States, most of her successes have come with disclaimers. Her current hit, "Bang Bang" (No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Oct. 18 after a No. 3 peak), achieved her highest chart position as a recording artist, thanks in part to Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, who share equal billing on the song. Her biggest hit overall was a co-writing credit on Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA," which reached No. 2. Jessie J solo hits "Domino" and "Price Tag" climbed to Nos. 6 and 23, respectively, but parent LP Who You Are failed to finish among 2011's top 200 sellers (after an April release). And the biggest disclaimer of all? Sweet Talker is actually Jessie J's third album. Her second, Alive -- which featured midtempo, muted R&B instead of the high-octane pop she arrived with -- was restricted to a U.K. release, delaying her hopes of blowing up stateside. "I think I censored myself," she says of the low-key music on the LP.

But the singer returns to her roots on Sweet Talker, a vocally raw pop album with big beats from Diplo, Max Martin, The Dream and Tricky Stewart. "I allowed other people to come in and push my control and make me uncomfortable," she says. "After my second album, I'm not afraid of the pain."

And Jessie J is familiar with pain. Raised as the youngest of three sisters to parents Rose and Stephen Cornish in London, she was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome as a child, which causes heart problems, and led to her having a minor stroke at the age of 18. But she persevered in the world of theater, appearing in a West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind at age 11 and later graduating from the famed BRIT Performing Arts School, where Adele and Leona Lewis were classmates. "I loved that world. It's very disciplined," says Jessie J. "There's hundreds of people auditioning for the same part as you, so that mentality is always in my mind."

Between that discipline and her health, you won't catch Jessie J partying with her pop peers, even if Sweet Talker finally makes her a stand-alone star in the States. "Do you see David Beckham pounding shots before a game?" she asks. "My voice is two thin pieces of muscle that hit together and influence everything in my life. It enables me to care for my parents and sisters. I've got a job to do."




[Edited 10/10/14 20:26pm]

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Reply #18 posted 10/13/14 4:31pm


Bjork, Depeche Mode Producer Mark Bell Dead

Electronic music pioneer passes away from complications from an operation

Mark Bell

By Daniel Kreps | October 13, 2014

Mark Bell of the influential electronic music group LFO passed away earlier this month, his label Warp Records announced Monday. "It's with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Mark Bell of LFO who died last week from complications after an operation. Mark's family & friends request privacy at this difficult time," Warp wrote in a statement. No other details were revealed. Bell was also a well known producer who worked with artists like Björk and Depeche Mode.

Bell founded LFO with Gez Varley in 1988, and the duo soon became one of the seminal acts on the rave scene. LFO were also among the first batch of artists to flock to the electronic music powerhouse Warp Records along with the likes of Autechre and Richard D. James. LFO's self-titled track "LFO" also marked Warp's first Top 20 hit. Pulp's Jarvis Cocker directed the "LFO" music video.

Mark Bell has died

Varley left LFO in 1996, and while Bell continued to perform under the moniker, he soon shifted his focus to production. Starting with Björk's 1995 Post bonus track "I Go Humble," Bell would work on each of the Icelandic singer's albums from her 1997 classic Homogenic up through 2011's Biophilia. Bell also collaborated on Deltron 3030's 2000 self-titled album and produced Depeche Mode's Exciter.

Following the news of Bell's death, many in the dance music community turned to Twitter to pay tribute to the LFO great. "RIP Mark Bell. His work has always been an inspiration, total amazing balance of intensity and lush melodic atmospheres. So tragic sad," Machinedrum wrote. Fellow Warp labelmate Mark Pritchard tweeted, "Mark Bell - Thanks for all the Bass and wicked music," linking to a video of LFO's "Freeze." Nathan Fake wrote, "horrified to learn about Mark Bell. one of my musical heroes. devastated. RIP." Artists like Django Django, Luke Abbott, and Drums of Death have also passed along their condolences.

RIP: Mark Bell, LFO producer and Björk collaborator

Hours before Bell's death was announced, Björk's social media accounts posted Bell's 1995 remix of her "Possibly Maybe." After Bell's passing was confirmed, Björk shared LFO's "Love Is the Message" with her nearly four million combined followers.


Monday, October 13, 2014 | 6:24 PM

Aretha Franklin Makes Billboard Chart History

Aretha Franklin

Photo Credit: Nomi Ellenson/ Getty

Aretha Franklin can add one more accolade to her mantle of accomplishments. The Queen of Soul is now the first female artist to have 100 titles on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

With her version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” debuting at No. 47 on the chart, Franklin joins only three other artist to reach this milestone. Since the Billboard chart became multi-metric ranking in 1958, only Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and James Brown have had 100 titles make the list. Franklin scored her first hit on the chart with the song “Today I Sing the Blues,” which peaked at No. 4 in 1960.

“Rolling in the Deep” will be featured on the forthcoming album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics (out Oct. 21).


NYFF: Kristen Stewart, Olivier Assayas & Juliette Binoche On The Dynamics Of ‘Clouds Of Sils Maria’

The Playlist By Alex Suskind | The Playlist October 8, 2014 at 5:21PM

Clouds Of Sils Maria

When Kristen Stewart was first approached to be in Olivier Assayas’ new film, “Clouds of Sils Maria,” she thought it was for the role of Jo-Anne Ellis, a Hollywood starlet known for her brushes with paparazzi.

“It was something that I knew so well, so I wasn’t as interested in living it [on screen]," said the “Twilight” star about the character, during a post-screening Q&A of the movie at the New York Film Festival.

"Kristen is very quick, she has this kind of seeded genius." - Juliette Binoche

Instead, Stewart got to play Val, the assistant to legendary actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche). The film’s primary focus is on their relationship as Enders contemplates taking on a role in a new production of “Maloja Snake,” the same play that made her famous two decades earlier. However, instead of portraying her original role, she’s been asked to play the one once held by her since-deceased mentor: an older businesswoman driven to suicide by a young female assistant. The thought of taking on the part terrifies Enders, so she looks to Val for guidance, friendship and perhaps something more.

“I had an idea of going into the feminine,” said Binoche, before approaching Assayas about working together again. The two previously collaborated on the 1985 erotic drama “Rendez-vous” and 2008’s “Summer Hours.” “I said ‘I have an idea about a character,’ and Olivier was very open to it. He said, ‘Give me two weeks and I will write something.’ And two weeks later he said, ‘Yeah I think I have something’… In the beginning I provoked him but at the end of the day I think he provoked me more than I did.”

Provocation is one of the many themes present in 'Sils Maria.' Both Enders and Val play off each other in a loving, playful, though often intense, relationship. As they rehearse dialogue from the play, the lines between fiction and their own reality become blurred. Val is Enders' assistant and she’s also reading the lines of an assistant. Enders is an accomplished middle-aged woman, and she’s also reading the lines of an accomplished middle-aged woman. It’s this doubling of storylines that gives the film its intrigue.

Clouds Of Sils Maria

“Instantly I thought of this play by [Rainer Werner] Fassbinder, ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant,’” said Assayas, when he first began writing the story. “My first approach was why not put bits and pieces of Fassbinder’s play into the film? Why not do my own condensed, simplified, brutalized version of ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’?”

The film ultimately broaches the difficulties that come with aging and desire, as well as the idea of celebrity. The latter category is explored through the two main characters and Chloe Grace Moretz’s Jo-Anne Ellis. Ellis, who ends up getting cast in the younger assistant role for the new “Majola Snake,” is a big star, known for her both work in a recent superhero movie her wild-child lifestyle off screen. One notable scene features Stewart’s Val showing Enders a "TMZ" clip of Ellis acting out. It’s an ironic moment for Stewart, who knows a thing or two about being chased by cameras.


Clouds of Sils Maria

“I had to rein in the grin on my face,” Stewart said about shooting that scene. “I had to make sure my cheeks weren’t turning red when I said some of the lines in the movie because my position and the way that I’m living gave it this irony. It made it a bit more relevant and interesting I think.”

"[Juliette] perplexes me in every way and gets me going. I never stop thinking around her." - Kristen Stewart

Meta moments aside, the most important job for Stewart and Binoche was developing the rhythm between their characters. The two have an intense relationship, one bubbling with sexual energy that neither seems sure they want to act on. Both actresses initially went about accomplishing that relationship in different ways.

“In the beginning we started rehearsing together and we realized it was not helpful, because Kristen’s way of working is different than mine,” Binoche said. “Kristen takes the text in the morning, she reads it two times and she knows it. And I ask for a month in advance…Kristen is very quick, she has this kind of seeded genius.”

Binoche adds that the ability to feel through the scene together was ultimately freeing––not knowing how the other actress was going to react, being able to jump into the unknown and truly discover a scene and what their characters want to accomplish.

Clouds Of Sils Maria,

“She says that I read lines quickly, and that’s solely because I don’t want to know them, I want to reach for them,” Stewart added. “It was very revealing…I didn’t feel expectation, I didn’t feel pressure, I felt truly like we were these characters and I was interested in the script because I thought it was a unique relationship and a commentary on the world that I live in. It was really heady and thoughtful and intellectual.”

That, ultimately, was what Assayas was going for––the dynamic between Binoche, Stewart and Moretz, and how it represents a real-world energy you don’t often see on screen.

“I realized while we were making the film was how much [Kristen], Juliette, and Chloe, gave themselves in the film––not in a sense of your work, but of your own identity,” said the director. “It’s a movie where you ultimately never forget who you are watching those actresses.”

Clouds Of Sils Maria

Here are a few more highlights from the NYFF press conference:

Olivier Assayas on the impetus of making the film:
“I started with the idea that I wanted to use Juliette in the film as Juliette. So what does Juliette do? She works. So one thing led to another, and that’s how the narrative took shape…It’s not that I like the idea of Juliette playing an actress. I realized when I was writing that the work of an actress is not so much about the superficiality or the technique of acting, it’s the part of absorbing humanity, it’s about understanding other people’s pain and trying to find within yourself those emotions that are universal emotions. This is not a comment on theater, it’s not a comment on art, and it’s just a way of showing how the day to day work of an actress is beautiful. In a sense that it’s really about understanding fellow humans.”

Juliette Binoche on the film’s challenges:
“For me it’s being present from the beginning to the end, because I didn’t have a day off. So how do I be present every day in different ways? Because really I had to play three characters in the movie. The actress in the beginning, then the working actor, then the one in the end with the character she’s playing. The challenge is somehow allowing yourself to be naked and also showing the difficulty when it comes to the abdication of yourself, and putting yourself into two layers of emotions that you don’t always want to go through because they’re tough on you. I Think the way of working with Kristen allows us to find light moments as well as deeper moments. It needed to be seamless, so we go from one world to the next one, so it just feeds itself naturally.

Kristen Stewart on working with Juliette Binoche:
“… When we started to traverse this journey, I was really surprised every day about… because the movie is about so many things. It’s two very contrasting perspectives and stages of life that come together and offer each other something, offer these eye opening cathartic experiences. It’s exciting and also extremely painful. I am happy being uncomfortable. I had so much fun. [Juliette] perplexes me in every way and gets me going. I never stop thinking around her. Everything you see in the movie was just happening. So it wasn’t hard.”


Loretta Lynn Comes 'Home' to Nashville's Historic Ryman Auditorium

Icon returns to the revered stage for first headlining show there in 54 years, with the Loretta-like Brandy Clark as her opening act

Loretta Lynn

By Sarah Grant | October 13, 2014

In 1960, Loretta Lynn was 28 years old, a mother of four, and about to debut her first song "I'm A Honky Tonk Girl" on the famous Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast, staged at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Lynn and her husband were so poor they slept outside the building in their rundown Pontiac the night before, and split a celebratory doughnut for breakfast.

Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves

"I was so nervous, all I can remember was tapping my foot," Lynn, now 82, told her sold-out audience at the Ryman Friday night. Fans young and old sat elbow-to-elbow in the wooden pews of the Mother Church of Country Music to see the icon performing a headlining show there for the first time in 54 years.

A standing ovation greeted Lynn, the picture of elegance in a shimmering turquoise gown. Encircled by her seven-piece band, the Coal Miners — one member being her son, Ernest Ray — Lynn kicked the show off with her 1974 hit, "The Don't Make 'Em Like Daddy Anymore." There was plenty of mother-son mockery throughout the evening, with Mom always getting the last word: "Why don't you tell a joke people actually understand?" she deadpanned. It felt like a long running joke after Ray's lighthearted rendition of Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," which he sang earlier with the band.

Lynn played several of her 16 Number One hits, including "She's Got You," "Fist City" and "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)," along with other classics "The Pill" ("I wasn't on the pill and I've got the kids to prove it!" she said), "Blue Kentucky Girl" and the evocative "When a Tingle Becomes a Chill." During almost every pause, there was an "I love you, Loretta!" shouted from the pews, to which she would respond, "I love you, too."

The show was a chance to see one of country's true legends in her musical backyard. But Lynn's wry sensibility and candor are so vivid that it's hard to keep her historic stature in mind when she sounds just like your mother or your best friend. She took a seat after admitting her back "hurt a little" from a recent surgery. ("I saw y'all sitting down, so I thought I'd join you," she said.) The chair became a prop for one of the Coal Miners to serenade Lynn with "Lead Me On," a lilting duet from her prolific partnership with Conway Twitty. Even more poignant was "Dear Uncle Sam," a song she wrote after her late husband encouraged her to write about her distress over the Vietnam War.

Lynn performed a pair of original gospel songs, "Everybody Wants to Get to Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die" and "Where No One Stands Alone," and predictably ended the night with her landmark hit, "Coal Miner's Daughter," a song about carrying her humble beginnings through life. However, on this unique occasion, as the country treasure took in the Ryman's vast congregation, there was no doubt what place she was referring to when she sang, "It's so good to be back home again."

Lynn's artistic descendent, Brandy Clark, was the opening act and captured the mood with the first line of the night: "Who'd-a guessed that Aquanette/Could start a fire with a single cigarette," she sang in "Crazy Women." The bold singer-songwriter has writing credits on some of country's fiercest songs of late: Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart" and the Band Perry's "Better Dig Two," both of which she played along with songs from her acclaimed debut album, 12 Stories. Clark's set felt like a living tribute to Lynn's style of working class realism.

With a rich, honeyed voice and unapologetic lyrics, Clark's set was both confessional and confident. She showcased her range on heartfelt songs like "Big Day in a Small Town" and "Hold My Hand," and she drew laughs — and earned herself a few extra Hail Marys — with "Get High," her song about a weed-loving housewife. If Lynn flung open the doors of possibility for country songwriting in the 20th century, Clark is continuing to push those horizons today.

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Reply #19 posted 10/13/14 4:52pm


Latino Community Lends National Support To ABC’s “Cristela”


Cristela #1 Show in Its Time Slot

Overwhelming Support For The ABC Highly Entertaining Family Comedy Cristela

ABC’s Cristela debuted last Friday, October 10th as the number one TV show in its time slot and the #2 comedy debut of the fall season. Over six million viewers tuned into see the show.

The buzz on Cristela has been building since it became the “little show that could”. Originally not picked up for a pilot the producers decided to shoot the pilot anyway and it proved to be the best decision for them. The pilot tested through the roof and the results did not disappoint.

Cristela.HenchTCAThe support for Cristela, which is co-created (with Kevin Hench), co-executive produced, written by and stars Mexican American comedian Cristela Alonzo, crosses cultural lines, but of significance, and in an historic event, many Latino organizations came together to encourage everyone to tune in.

Members of NHLA, the umbrella organization for the 39 leading Latino organizations unanimously consented their support for the new family comedy Cristela for it’s positive portrayal of a Latino Family. The Latino Premiere Club (latinopremiereclub.com) whose goal is to give Latinos a voice on upcoming film and television projects that tell Latino stories and/or employ Latinos in front and behind the camera, also held screenings for its membership and created a social media campaign to help promote the show.

The show Cristela is about a young woman’s dream of becoming a lawyer, something her traditional Mexican-American family doesn’t quite understand. She’s entering her sixth year of law school after juggling home obligations and working multiple jobs to pay her way.

Cristela Alonzo is a well known comedienne whose life’s story reads like a Cinderella story. Growing up poor in an abandoned diner for the first 6 years of her life, Cristela [Alonzo] is living the American dream. The family comedy is based on her life and stand up routine and shows an American Latino Family that consists of a law school student, a small business owner, their multi-generational family – all working hard chasing their American dream.

Latino Leaders from across the country express their support for Cristela for what they believe will be a positive impact for the community:

“By supporting a show poised to change the paradigm of how Latinas are portrayed on television, we can make a difference as we advocate for laws and policies to advance the Latino community,” said Hector Sanchez, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“It makes my heart swell with pride to see a fellow South Texan, and former constituent, representing our rich and vibrant culture in television media,” said Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). “Cristela’s [Alonzo] efforts to rise from a poor upbringing, to become a successful stand-up comedian, and now to have her own television show, are equivalent to the hard work that all Latinos in America put forth to achieve the American dream. I will be watching and look forward to many successful seasons.”

“I am thrilled to finally see the life of an amazing and talented Latina like Cristela manifest itself in a network television show,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO. “We have a unique opportunity as a Latino community to support this show and ensure it is successful. The impact of having positive Latino role models on television for our young Latinos to look up to is immeasurable.”


Cristela at the Latino Premiere Club Screening

“At a time when Washington and the rest of the nation are polarized on almost every issue, here comes a television show – a comedy no less – poised to break down barriers and spark some needed water cooler dialogue,” stated Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation. “With it’s witty script and very relevant subject matter, ABC’s Cristela is a beautiful and hilarious portrait of the American Latino family that has the promise to be our generation’s Cosby Show.”

“As the head of an organization that promotes leadership, Cristela [Alonso] serves as a role model on and off the screen through her new program on ABC, especially to Latinas. Her personal story is inspiring and to have her being the only Latina to write, produce and star in a sitcom makes anything seem possible for creative young Latinos with “ganas”. On the screen, I’m thrilled to have her profession be in law and not the stereotypical professions Latinos normally get. I also like the dynamic of an old-school Latino family mixed with younger generation perspectives which makes for a compelling and entertaining show.” Antonio Tijerino, President & CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation

“The Cristela show on ABC featuring the electrifying Cristela Alonzo is one of the best new comedies on network TV in decades,” stated LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “The production showcases positive portrayals of Latino characters while remaining incredibly entertaining for all audiences at the same time. It’s a home run for ABC.”

Cristela is a welcome addition to the television schedule,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “By eschewing stereotype in favor of depicting an American Latino family that works hard, has ambition, and experiences the typical family mixture of love and conflict, the show can make a real contribution to improving intergroup understanding in our nation.”

“Cristela Alonzo is smart, funny, engaging, and fiercely proud of who she is. With one of the most diverse casts and staff on her new TV show Cristela, we couldn’t ask for a better representation of our community in primetime. Tell everyone you know to watch this show!” Janet Murguia, (NCLR) National Council of La Raza, President and CEO

“It’s never been more important for kids to see themselves in television, movies and literature. Cristela, a law student; a confident woman; a woman with a family full of love and laughter and conflict, will be a story that connects to Latino and non-Latino families. Bien hecho” Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, (NEA) National Education Association

“How media depicts Latinos matters because the way we are perceived is the way we will be treated in our society,” stated Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the (NHMC) National Hispanic Media Coalition. “As Latinos, we have an opportunity to make a national impact by tuning in to Cristela. It’s time for television to reflect the reality that Latinos are an integral part of the American social fabric.”

“The research is irrefutable – the media influences how people of color are perceived. And Latinos, especially Latinas, have long been absent or stereotyped in mainstream media, stymieing the cultural shift necessary to improve the lives of American Latinos and reflect our integral position in the social fabric of the U.S. Cristela is more than just a hilarious story of a modern American Latino family, it is groundbreaking and exciting because, for once, a Latina is telling her own story in mainstream English-language media, paving the way for a greater understanding of the community on a whole,” Jessica J. Gonzalez, (NHMC) National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Cristela is going to change your world! Through humor and raw honesty, this new breath-of-fresh-air show invites us to experience her story of Latina women, and their families, untold on national television. This moment is larger than Cristela, larger than any individual character or story, because although she never supposes to speak for all Latinos, her work is allowing people to peek behind the curtains and into our lives. The stories Cristela [Alonzo] shares through her television show, and in person, are inspirational and moving. She dares to dream big, and is unapologetic about her lived truth. I am an instant fan of hers. This show will be transformative for Latinos in popular culture. NYC Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (First Mexican American to be elected in the state of NY)


Meiko Returns With Dark, Electro-Tinged Third Album, 'Dear You,' [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Oct 13, 2014 06:04 PM EDT

Meiko (Photo : Photo by Leigha Hodnet)

Alt-pop singer-songwriter Meiko returns with her highly anticipated third album, Dear You, tomorrow (Oct. 14) via Fantasy/Concord Records. You may recognize her voice from a variety of TV and film projects including Grey's Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars. Dear You is the follow-up to 2012's The Bright Side, but trades in Meiko's cheerful pop for something darker and electro-tinged. Ahead of its release, we chatted with Meiko about the inspiration behind the album, what she has planned for her tour, defining moments in her career, and which TV show she'd love to feature her music.

Music Times: I read that this new album was inspired by unsent letters turned into songs. Can you tell me a bit about that? How many years have you been collecting these unsent letters?

Meiko: Yeah, this was a collection from years past. I just keep a lot of stuff from pent-up issues I had in past relationships. When I started writing for this record, I realized that I do have a lot of stuff from back in the day. Some of them are old songs, and some are just going back and thinking how I would react now to these situations. What would I say?

MT: Did all the songs on the record originate from unsent letters or were some inspired by memories?

M: Some of them are actually unsent letters. But most them are just me being passive aggressive and me writing what I want to say in a song.

MT: The music on this album is darker than some of the bubblier, uplifting songs you've written in the past. You've described it as a confessional. Had you planned to do a darker album going into it, or did it sort of just develop that way?

M: No, I wanted a darker record. I enjoy the clappy, happy stuff, but that's not really the stuff I listen to as a music listener. I just wanted to make something that I would listen to. Not that I don't like what I've done in the past, I do, but I like the electronic-y stuff and the more sad songs. So, I did want to make more of a cooler, darker, more professional record.

MT: You've incorporated more electronic elements on this album. What made you go that route?

M: Yeah, I did the record with just one other person, who was the producer. He plays the guitar...well he plays everything, really. I grew up listening to a lot of electronic music -- Portishead, Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin, lots of random, very electronic stuff. I also listen a lot of early '90s R&B. I like the synth-y stuff. I was working with the producer and wanted to do a simple record, and not throw too many things into the recordings. But he helped me come up with beats to keep it minimal but also have that electronic element.

MT: What artists were you listening to when recording Dear You? Did anything in particular influence your sound?

M: No. It's kind of a blessing and curse when people ask me, what are you listening to? I mean, I try to listen to new music, but I kind of just listen to whatever is playing. I'm kind of stuck in old-school stuff. I listen to a lot of Jazz and '90s music. It's awesome, but I'm trying branch out, man. I'm trying to listen to Pandora. I have been introduced to a couple of new artists that I like. But as far as my album, I am not trying to incorporate their sounds.

MT: You released the single "Be Mine" not too long ago. Can you tell me more about the story behind that? Is there a specific person that some of the other heartbreak and betrayal songs are aimed at?

M: Well I was in a long distance relationship. I feel like when you're in a relationship, you're dedicated to that person, and when they're not there, it's kind of lonely. It's not like you want to go and hang out with anybody else because that's like your best friend. I found that when he left town, it was f**king lonely. I was just by myself a lot. I was like, if I'm by myself I should be sitting here writing, I shouldn't be moping. So, I got a bottle of wine and sat in my living room and was trying to write a happier song that would make me feel better. I ended up drinking the bottle and just writing this kind of dark song.

MT: I was going to ask what type of alcohol the "bottle" in the song was referring to.

M: It was wine, I like red wine. I'm a wino (laughs).

MT: You are singing to a "you" in many of the songs on the album. Were you referring to one person in particular or many people throughout your life?

M: Yeah, all different people from my past. There's never one particular person.

MT: You played a sold-out show in NYC not too long ago. What did that feel like?

M: Yeah! It was pretty cool. I'm from a small town in Georgia. New York City was like "Oh, New York City!" I always dreamed of going there to play shows. My wish was to play a show in New York. But that show was the moment -- without being ultra-cheesy -- that the dream clicked and came true. I was playing for a sold out room in New York. Yeah, it just kind of blew my mind. I was really excited to be there, it was like an underground Jazz venue. It was actually underneath a diner where the waiters and waitresses jump on tables and sing show tunes (laughs). I went up there after like whoa!

MT: You sort of answered my next question. I was going to ask if there have been any "I've made it" moments, but that seems like it might have been the one.

M: Yeah, that was an epic moment for me, personally. I am kind of still reeling from that feeling.

MT: Do you have anything special you're doing for the tour? Any backing band?

M: No. I'm gonna be solo. It's really good for this record to not have a band right now because these are a lot of new songs. I think it's gonna be like a storytellers kind of situation where I do my thing on stage and tell the stories behind the songs.

MT: With your new record having so many electronic elements, will you include that in the live adaption or will it be more acoustic?

M: Just me and the guitar. Then when it's full band, I will have a drummer with a drum-pad and stuff.

MT: Some of your early popularity came from placement on TV. Have there been any placements that you've particularly liked? If you could have a song on any show what would it be?

M: Yeah, the first placement I ever got was Grey's Anatomy. My song "Reasons to Love You" was on the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy, and that is when things started changing for me. I was a waitress at the time at a music venue in L.A. called the Hotel Cafe. I was playing shows from time to time, and a woman came up to me and asked if I minded if she submitted some songs to Grey's Anatomy. And I was like, 'Hell no! Go ahead!' She did it, and they picked up the song.

I got a lot of response from that placement, and pretty soon after I was going on tour. I put my job on hold, and I never went back. That was a nice feeling, a pretty big moment. Also, my other song, "Stuck On You" was on a Crate and Barrel commercial that played all the time on TV and especially on airplanes. I feel like that created a lot of awareness.

MT: If you could have a song on any show what would it be?

M: I love Girls, that and Orange is the New Black. I think I watch too much TV (laughs). I still need to watch Sopranos. I didn't think Breaking Bad was going to be such a dedication, but I was like in my bed all day long, cracked out, eating ice-cream, watching episode after episode.

MT: It's just you on your new album, but if you could collaborate with any artist working right now, who would it be?

M: I like The xx, I'd be into that. Yeah, I would probably just keep that as the answer.

MT: Three albums into your career, what are some lessons you've learned? Do you have any advice for aspiring singer-songwriters?

M: Go with your gut, because if you listen to other people's opinions and try to work your music or art around that and it doesn't work out, then you will always regret not doing what you actually wanted to do in the first place.

You can purchase Dear You here and check out her tour dates here.

Pink Isn’t Worried About Alienating Her Fans With New Country-Folk Project You + Me

By Andrew Hampp | October 13, 2014 1:28 PM EDT

Pink Isn’t Worried About Alienating Her Fans With New Country-Folk Project You + Me

Alecia Moore began 2014 at an all-time high. As Pink, her 2012 album The Truth About Love had just been certified double-platinum, its accompanying tour grossing more than $150 million. But rather than go even bigger for her next act, Moore, 35, took a left turn by tapping her friend, 34-year-old singer-guitarist Dallas Green (aka City and Colour, formerly of hardcore band Alexisonfire), for a country-tinged folk side project. After holing up in a Venice, Calif., studio for a week, the duo produced nine originals (and one memorable cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”) as You+Me, whose debut Rose Ave. is due Oct. 14 on RCA. The pair spoke about their unique dynamic and the joys of putting Pink on pause.

This project is very unexpected from your respective fan bases. How did it come together?

Pink: I’ve always tried to do different kinds of things within an album; I’ve always been easily labeled as pop-whatever. This really was an opportunity to do something that I wanted to do instead of something I was obligated to do. No one was asking us to do this except each other. There was no record company saying, “We’re waiting for a record” or “You should really do something like this.” It was just us being friends and loving each other and loving to sing.

Green: Having not only just known [Pink] on a personal level, you can always see it in her music, just how at the forefront her voice has been, whether it be in a pop song or a ballad. I always appreciated her voice, so when we became friends one day, she sort of mentioned to me she might like to quiet down for a little bit.

Hear Pink Go Folk in New ...llas Green

Pink, you’re singing in tones that fans aren’t accustomed to hearing from you. Were you worried about alienating them?

Pink: I don’t think about that stuff ever, ever. My fans are people that would follow me wherever I go. If I told them I was doing a f—ing jewelry line or a perfume, they’d go, “Come on!” But this feels like something I’d do anyway. Whether it’s Germany or Australia or Canada or South Africa or the U.S., they just want to feel something along with me.

So how have your fans been responding to the music?

Pink: My favorite quote so far — I can’t remember where it came from -- was someone who wrote, “So this is what Alexisonfire sounds like swinging from that rope.” (Laughs.)

Green: People are going to have opinions; we live in a very critical society. But I’m just excited to share these songs with the world.

Have you thought about how this music might work on tour?

Pink: Yes, and we’re figuring that out. My fans know that I can fly around like Tinkerbell and then two minutes later I’ll be sitting down in jeans and barefoot singing [Led] Zeppelin. I just want to sing these songs for people.

Green: The running joke was that we were going to have to call this band The Self-Deprecation Society because neither of us could critique the other.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 18 issue of Billboard.


Andrea Navedo on “Jane the Virgin” and the Importance of Showing up

Andrea Navedo

Reprint courtesy of HOLA

By A.B. Lugo

Andrea Navedo is the definition of a “working actor”. Soap opera fans know her as Linda Soto in One Life to Live and Theresa Sandoval in Guiding Light. Nighttime TV viewers know her face from the recurring roles she has played on Law & Order (Det. Ana Córdova), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Cynthia Mancheno), Golden Boy (Lorraine Arroyo) and How To Make It In America (Debbie Domínguez). Film credits include Spike Lee’s Girl 6, Double Take,Washington Heights, El Cantante, Stereotypically Me, and the upcoming Superfast.

The Bronx-born beauty has been acting professionally since 1995 and has not stopped working ever since. Find out a little bit about Andrea Navedo.

Congratulations on the series Jane The Virgin. When did you first realize you wanted to be a performer? Where did you study?

I first realized I wanted to be a performer in the 5th grade when I did a play. I played [the popular character from the television series Happy Days] Fonzie’s girlfriend. I had no lines. I just had to act smitten and flirty with Fonzie, plus wear a poodle skirt (which I loved!). Afterwords, the desire to act was always there but I never knew anyone in the business and there was barely enough money to buy a container of milk so [there was] no opportunity to take classes. It just didn’t seem like a realistic option for me. It wasn’t until my first semester as a freshman in college that I entertained the thought of acting again. I saw an audition sign in the halls and was instantly intrigued. I wanted to attend but then fear kicked in and I started to talk myself out of going, feeling that I couldn’t compete with college actors since I had no experience. Eventually attending the audition was the lesser of two evils. I didn’t want to have any regrets if I didn’t attend so in spite of my fear I went and to my amazement I landed a role. I did the play and was hooked. I declared theatre as my major the following semester. I finished with a four-year degree in Theatre from SUNY Old Westbury College.

My first major TV role and it was a stereotype!

You first made a splash on television of daytime drama. Describe the experience of working in “soap operas”.

My experience working on daytime TV was an interesting one. Starting with the audition for One Life to Live. After several callbacks, the casting directors offered me a recurring role right in the audition room. It was amazing and felt like a dream. I was on cloud nine. They immediately sent me in for a fitting because it would start shooting the next day. I loved the part because based on the audition sides she was just the girl next door and this was exactly how I saw myself. When I got to the fitting they had me trying on miniskirts, combat boots and “ghetto fab” hoop earrings. I was confused. When I finally got my script I learned that the role that I was playing was the girlfriend of a gang leader! The material that I auditioned with was just used to hear me read and was from an old script of another character. I was so disappointed. My first major TV role and it was a stereotype! Nonetheless I decided that I was going to play my “Linda” away from the way it was scripted. I was going to give her heart, substance and a conscience. Plus, it was going to earn me enough to qualify for health insurance. It paid the bills, gave me lots of experience. The job lasted for 2 and 1/2 years and I think it lasted that long because of how I played her. Eventually my storylines got better and were written in a more positive light.

How was it like working on Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and How To Make It In America?


(l-r) Navedo with Paulina Singer &Luis Guzmán in “How To Make It In America”

Law & Order turned out to be another long term recurring job for three seasons. The show had a great cast and crew and it was wonderful to work with Jerry Orbach,Jesse L. Martin and S. Epatha Merkerson. The same can be said of my recurring role on Law & Order: SVU.Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino went out of there way to make me feel good about my work and a welcomed part of the cast.

How to Make it in America was another major recurring role and was great because I got to do comedy, something a lot of people don’t know I can do because I have done so much drama. Plus the opportunity to work with Luis Guzmán was pretty awesome.

You have done several films as well. How do you like doing films versus television?

I love doing TV for the longevity of the work but film is wonderful because there is the luxury of time to let a scene breathe and create the opportunity for spontaneity.

Tell me about Xiomara, your character in Jane The Virgin.


Andrea Navedo (R) plays Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) mom.

Playing Xiomara on Jane the Virgin is a dream. I get to do comedy, drama, sing and dance. I love portraying her. She is not your typical hot sex-craved Latina stereotype. She has so many colors. She is a fiercely loving and protective mother to her daughter Jane. She is also smart, crazy, funny, sexy, insecure, tough, loyal, vulnerable and so much more. With each episode I discover more of who she is and it is just so much fun. She is a dream character and I get to play her with a dream cast, crew, talented writers and super supportive producers and network. From top to bottom we have an amazing team.

How was it like playing a parody of Michelle Rodríguez in the upcoming Fast & The Furious spoof Superfast?

I loved playing Michelle [the character based on Fast & The Furious' Letty, played by Michelle Rodríguez]. Superfast is written and produced by the same team from theScary Movie films [Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer]. I love comedy and over the top silliness which is what I got to do in the film. It was a nice departure from my normal [roles]. I attribute my comedy skills to the late Rich Ramírez and the Salsoul comedy troupe. I was a cast member for a couple of years and ironically met Rich on the set of One Life to Live. The practice that I got doing our sketches were skills that I got to use on Superfast!

How do you feel about the images of Latinos (especially Latinas) in the media?

The images of Latinos in media are slowly but surely changing. Many stereotypes are still in play but I feel that I am part of the trend that is going in the direction of more positive or, at least, balanced images. I keep showing up to auditions, the set, interviews, etc. to be an example and hopefully an inspiration to Latinos and the world. I act for the love of it but I also know that every time I show up I am representing. And every time I show up to an audition or job, I am picking [to be] me. I know that I have something to offer just for being me (a Latina) and who I am and what I represent. I think it is super important to just keep showing up. If anything, that has been the secret to my success.

One of the most eagerly awaited shows of the fall season, Jane The Virgin, will premiere on the CW network on Monday, October 13, 2014. For more information, click here. The film Superfast will hit theaters in 2015.


Tinashe Wows With Her Debut Album 'Aquarius' After New York Times Critic Calls Her The Next Beyoncé [ROUND-UP REVIEW]

Oct 12, 2014 10:52 AM EDT

Tinashe recently released her debut album 'Aquarius.' (Photo : Courtesy of Facebook)

After non-stop radio spins from her summer hit "2 On," Tinashe released her highly anticipated debut Aquarius to critical acclaim. After being dubbed the next Beyoncé by a critic from the New York Times, the Los Angeles-based songstress received a slew of praises from various other outlets. Check out a round-up of what critics are saying below.

Complex rated the album 3.5 stars out of 5 and gave kudos to the 21-year-old for honing her ability to sing, dance, and entertain.

If only going by "2 On," the infectious yet unimaginative track produced by DJ Mustard, hitmaker of the moment, we might easily dismiss Tinashe as a one-hit wonder; at the very least, another so-so singer adept at the eight-count but not quite sustaining your attention. She is, however, far more interesting vocally, sonically, and subjectively than her Top 40 hit single might suggest, and her debut album, Aquarius, makes that apparent.

Idolator gave the album the same rating.

Tinashe's solid and slinky debut album Aquarius largely works for the same reasons: It's smart, it's confident and it feels very now. The moments Tinashe spells out her growing ambitions is when she's most convincing.

Billboard offered up a track-by-track review giving the album an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The entertainment outlet calls "How Many Times" featuring Future the album's "true centerpiece."

Yet even within the ranks of emerging women singers showing just how quirky and eccentric they can be (Jhené Aiko,Kelela, BANKS), Tinashe may be the songbird best primed for superstardom. Aquarius is mostly an emotional tug-of-war of thigh-shaking highs or starting-all-over lows. While there are definite follow-up hits ("How Many Times" is an essential), the project is a moody affair, a sum that's greater than its parts. With interludes that are sometimes complementary ("Indigo Child") and other times unnecessary ("Nightfall"), the project often nods to the past with direct influences from Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. Yet still, Tinashe is brightly blazing a trail for music's future.

Tinashe's debut album Aquarius is available on iTunes now.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #20 posted 10/13/14 5:23pm


We Remember: Augie Johnson – Founder of Side Effect Dies

Oct 12, 14 by EurPublisher

Augie Johnson Founder of Side Effect Dies

Augie Johnson

*Wow, this is one of those “How can it be, I just saw him” moments.

That’s surely what it’s like for hundreds of record and radio industry associates who were at the annual “Legends and Icons” picnic at Woodley Park in LA’s San Fernando Valley last Sunday.

Augie Johnson and his Side Effect crew was there like everyone else having a great time as folks reminisced about the good ol’ days, family and all kinds of stuff like that.

Augie and Side Effect even regaled the picnic-ers with some of their acapella styling. In fact the song they sang features their female vocalist who wasn’t present, so Kathy Sledge (of the legendary Sister Sledge) , who was also there, helped the guys out as you can see from the picture below.

We don’t have specific details, but EUR was told that Johnson apparently died in his sleep Friday night and his girlfriend discovered him Saturday morning. She says he told her he wasn’t feeling well and was going to bed. She reportedly called him several times Saturday morning, but since he didn’t answer, she went to his place and found him dead.

EUR will have more details as they develop.

augie johnson cathy sledge & side effect

Augie, Kathy Sledge, and Side Effect members



Jane The Virgin is respectful, complicated, and utterly charming

Winning cast gives series warmth and humanity

Oct 13, 2014 12:00 AM

From its opening moments, Jane The Virgin knows exactly the show it wants to be. The series, an adaptation of Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen, tells the story of Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), a kind and dedicated young woman whose life takes a turn for the dramatic after a fateful visit to the gynecologist. With on-screen text, a chapter book structure, and a warm, third-person omniscient narrator (Anthony Mendez), Jane The Virgin welcomes viewers to its world and invites them to sit down and hear Jane’s extraordinary tale. Voice-over narration is almost never a positive addition to a television series, but here it works, countering the show’s more heightened elements with calm reassurance, and effectively streamlining its complicated narrative.

In the pilot, Jane’s life is turned upside down, but rather than jump in with this, the show takes its time introducing her and her family. Jane lives with her mother, Xiomara (Andrea Navedo), and grandmother, Alba (Ivonne Coll), has a long-term boyfriend, Michael (Brett Dier), and works at a hotel to pay for her schooling—she’s studying to be a teacher. Rodriguez is fantastic in the lead role, making Jane funny and relatable. It’s refreshing to see an unabashedly good person at the center of an hour-long series. Jane is considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, and hard-working. She puts others before herself without a second thought, and yet it never feels like she’s a doormat. This should be a star-making turn for Rodriguez, who handles Jane’s broadly comedic moments as confidently as she does her quietly dramatic ones, and her performance in the role is enough of a reason to tune in by itself.

Hers isn’t the only strong performance. Navedo and Coll play off each other well and have an easy rapport with Rodriguez, giving the Villanueva family instant chemistry and a comfortable, lived-in quality that makes it easy to imagine their years together before the pilot’s instigating event. Adding to this is the series’ wise decision to have Alba speak in Spanish, with subtitles translating her speech for the audience. This gives the show a touch of realism and demonstrates respect for the audience. Like Rodriguez, Navedo and Coll are great at both their comedic and dramatic beats. While their characters could have easily become stereotypes, the writers add unexpected layers to both of them, making them more interesting than they initially seem. Xiomara and Alba balance each other, with Alba’s strict demeanor counterpointed by Xiomara’s vivacity, and Jane feels very much like the product of her two parental figures.

The final main presence in Jane’s life is her boyfriend, Michael. The two are downright adorable together, and Rodriguez and Dier do a good job of keeping a few potentially painful, overly cutesy moments on the right side of sincere. Complicating things, though not immediately, is Rafael (Justin Baldoni), whom Jane had a crush on years prior. When his company buys the hotel Jane works at, the two meet again and they become inextricably linked, through a series of circumstances explored in the pilot. Rafael’s wife, Petra (Yael Grobglas), is the villain of the piece and works in that capacity, but her character remains rather unexplored at this point. A few other characters have hints of darkness, but the pilot is unwilling to commit to them, focusing instead on the plot mechanics necessary for the series’ instigating factor.

Part of the fun of the pilot is discovering its twists and turns on one’s own, and while the biggest of these is, on paper, utterly ridiculous, the series does a surprisingly good job making it seem less so in context. Jane is presented with a dilemma and even those who struggle with its believability will appreciate the nuanced and honest reactions of everyone around her. There is no easy answer for Jane and the biggest strength of the pilot is the respect it pays not only to its heroine, but its many protagonists. Each perspective is given equal weight, with Jane eventually making her choice. Beneath its soapy exterior, this is a series about decent people trying to do their best in a difficult situation, one that will likely lead to future complications and lots of drama.

There’s also bound to be plenty of comedy, and the playful tone lent the series by its score, editing, and stylized elements goes a long way towards keeping the family drama from becoming self-serious. By itself, the show’s style and comedy would make for an enjoyable but lightweight viewing experience. Without them, it could quickly become overwrought. Instead, the series finds just the right balance, creating a unique place for itself among the current network fare. With its down-to-earth lead character and self-aware, but not self-parodying approach, Jane The Virgin is a breath of fresh air that will hopefully find a strong and loyal fan base.

Developed by: Jennie Snyder Urman, based on Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Yael Grobglas, Anthony Mendez
Debuts: Monday, October 13, at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW
Format: Hour-long dramedy
Pilot watched for review


Monday, October 13th, 2014

A 1978 Olivia Newton-John, ABBA, and Andy Gibb Concert in Stereo

Olivia Newton-John TV Special 1978

I was doing some research yesterday and happened upon something wonderful: a 19-minute mini concert, the final segment from the eponymous 1978 Olivia Newton-John ABC special posted on YouTube by its original sound engineer (who goes by the name ArgoWho —check out his amazing videos). Here’s the best part: he remixed the entire segment in stereo. So here’s a chance to hear lovely Livvy (in exceptional voice, I may add) and her compadres, ABBA and Andy Gibb, singing some of their biggest hits live. It’s a veritable time capsule of pop music, circa 1978 as all three artists were at the apex of their popularity.

Andy Gibb sings “(Love is) Thicker Than Water,” “I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” and a blistering “Shadow Dancing.” ABBA definitely had the songs (“Fernando,” “Dancing Queen” and, best of all, “Take a Chance on Me”) but, in my opinion, Frida and Agnetha really lacked charisma; the camera is ambivalent about them and it’s hard to stay focused on the Swedish songbirds. I kept wondering where Olivia was during their songs.

Olivia Newton-John, "Olivia!" 1978

Olivia, on the other hand, is every inch the winsome chanteuse in all of her luminous Grease-era glory. Among others songs, she sings “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “If You Love Me (Let Me Know),” and just about the best-sung version of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” that you will ever hear. She is a generous hostess, ceding the spotlight to her co-stars. As usual, her perfectly feathered hair alone is enough to engage Stargayzing readers (I was particularly fascinated by the slight asymmetry of the prominent curl near her right ear.)

Here is what the sound engineer who posted the video had to say in his YouTube introduction to the video. I am very grateful to him for the audio insight and for sharing the piece. Oh! And definitely take his advice and watch the clip with headphones. It makes a big difference.

ONE OF A KIND – FIRST GENERATION AUDIO. This is the concert segment IN TRUE STEREO from the 1978 special “Olivia!” Just prior to shooting this segment with a live orchestra, the audio guy asked if I would like a stereo feed of the sound. Of course I said yes and fed two three-quarter inch VCRs with the special feed. Stereo TV was not available widely until the mid-1980s. After completion of the special, I manually synced the 2″ master of the show to my ¾” master and, voila, a stereo version of the concert with Andy Gibb, ABBA, and Olivia! Shot just days before it aired, the ABC-TV special “Olivia!” was the marathon of all television specials I edited while in Hollywood. For 36 nonstop hours, director Steve Binder (my all time favorite) and the post-production crew dashed toward an unbelievable deadline and beat it. This is the entire concert segment. The air version begins at 3:01 and ends prior to “Thank you for the Music” (which was used for closing credits). Please select 480p and full screen (and don’t forget headphones!); the quality is matchless!

The Legacy of Rául Júlia, “The Penitent” Honored at Ibero American Film Fest

Penitent Banner

Participating Are Actors Julie Carmen, Armand Assante and Merel Júlia

New Mexico Attorneys Luis B. Juarez & Frank G. Gallegos
The Penitent Film & Discussion

October 22, 2014, 6PM
Yale University

Raul Julia

Raul Julia

The New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema announced the special screening the 1988 film The Penitent, as homage to

the legacy of one of America’s most beloved actors, Rául Júlia. The screening is timed perfectly to recognize the 20th anniversary of the passing of Julia. The Penitent is said to be Julia’s personal favorite of his illustrious career.

The Penitent (written and directed by Cliff Osmond) screening and panel discussion will take place on October 22nd, 6PM at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT on the Yale campus.


The film’s co-stars, Julie Carmen and Armand Assante along with New Mexico lawyers, Frank Gallegos and Luis Juarez will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Puerto Rican Journalist and Filmmaker, Caridad Sorondo. Merel Júlia, the actor’s widow will also be present. The panel will delve into the theme of the role of women in film and the vulnerability of religious minorities.

Rául Júlia was one of the most respected actors of his generation and well known for his humanitarian work. His diverse acting career included stage, film and television. He won numerous awards, including four Golden Globes and awards for human rights work. His unforgettable films include Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Burning Season, Romero, The Penitent, and The Adams Family.

Although his life was cut short at the age of 54, Júlia leaves a legacy most do not equal. In The Penitent, a fictional story set in New Mexico and South Colorado, Júlia delivers one of his most dramatic performances as Penitente Ramon Guerola. Attorney Frank Gallegos is credited to placing the film in the NEFIAC Film Festival at Yale University for educational and historical purposes.

The Penitent is particularly poignant today as we watch minority populations be killed, forced to flee to defend their homelands at great costs,” said Julie Carmen. “The film shed light on a community that relocated to the U.S. and Mexico after being expelled from Spain during the diaspora caused by the Inquisition. Their practices remained intact throughout the centuries and are presented in director Osmond’s narrative film with great sensitivity.”

Merel Julia and Armand Assante

Merel Julia and Armand Assante

Carmen further explained that both female characters in The Penitent push against the double standard towards women in a very religious town. “A young virgin is married off to a much older man but chooses to lose her virginity to the man of her choice while my character lives autonomously just outside town,” explained Carmen. “She loves freely and speaks with uncensored anger about religious hypocrisy. She’s an iconoclast, the type of woman who’d be burned or stoned through the ages by the very men who called her a friend.”

The Penitent 3

For more information on the screening and panel discussion, contact Jane Mills, info@NEFIAC.com

Follow the festival and panelist on social media:
@NEFIAC on Twitter


Twitter: @JulieCarmen3

Free and Open to the Public
2014 New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema
October 21-26

About Julie Carmen
Aside from being an award-winning actress with a career spanning over thirty years, Julie Carmen is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Yoga Media Producer. She is currently starring in Dawn Patrol, directed by Daniel Petrie Jr. opposite Scott Eastman and Rita Wilson. Dawn Patrol’s world premiere will be at the Austin Film Festival, October 25, 2014. Julie is perhaps best known for her starring role in Robert Redford’s Milagro Beanfield War, John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, The Penitent, King of the Jungle, Friday Night Part II, and NBC’s Drug Wars II. Nowadays, Julie has a private practice in Los Angeles, and finds the dynamics of balancing three professions enriching. Julie is Suzanne Somers’ private yoga teacher. A frequent contributor in LA Yoga Magazine, she is registered at the ERYT-500 level and is certified as a Yoga Therapist. She is Associate Director of Mental Health at Loyola Marymount University Yoga Therapy Rx. She is Founder and CEO of Yoga Talks, an indie yoga media production company. http://www.juliecarmenactress.com

About Armand Assante
One of the driving forces behind the production of The Penitent and the efforts now to revive the film, Armand Assante is a renown, award-winning actor with a long list of film and TV credits: American Gangster, The Mambo Kings, Gotti, among many others. He has also been a champion of independent filmmaking throughout his career and has given up cushy commercial roles to work with talented indie filmmakers or to support films who represent causes he believes in. He fell in love with the simplicity and poetry of The Penitente’s script and soon found himself raising the initial capital for the film and asked Rául Júlia to read the script. The rest is history. http://www.armandassante.net

About Caridad Sorondo
An award-winning journalist, film critic and filmmaker best known for her television work. Caridad is the producer and director of the popular Puerto Rican television show, En la punta de la lengua. Her film, Dona Inez Maria de Mendoza, will premiere at the NEFIAC on October 23rd.

About The Legal Eagles
Luis B. Juarez : A lawyer and former New Mexico prosecutor who studied for over two years to become a Penitente under Joe Baca, a leader of the Catholic lay fraternity in Montezuma, New Mexico.

Frank J. Gallegos: He practiced civil law for 25 years in New Mexico before spending the last four years as a criminal trial lawyer. As an attorney, Gallegos represented Penitentes in Taos, in their struggle to win approval from the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe to repair the Penitente chapel, known as a “morada.” The Catholic church bought the chapel years ago and locked the Penitentes out reflecting the church’s historical disapproval of Penitente ways. Gallegos, whose ancestors were Penitentes, found a 35mm copy of the film in the Library of Congress. He and Armand Assante have been trying to raise the money to buy the rights from the current owners overseas.


John Mellencamp Is Still Looking for Trouble

The rock icon talks about his decades-long career, not giving a shit, the dangers of the Internet, and his grandfather's advice

By Dan Hyman on September 19, 2014

Marc Hauser

It was sometime around 1988, John Mellencamp recalls, when he found himself having little use for pop music. "I decided that having hit pop records was not a very pleasant road to travel down," says the singer-songwriter, who for each of the preceding six years had notched a Billboard Hot 100 top-10 song and, to that end, etched himself into the American Songbook with radio-friendly heartland rockers like "Jack & Diane," "Pink Houses," and "Small Town."

Talking on the phone from his longtime home in sleepy Bloomington, Indiana, Mellencamp looks back on a two-decade run since then spent riding a freewheeling collision course with his own shortcomings. "I prefer the more bumpy road," he offers, with blunt assessment, of a decision to turn his pen inward. As demonstrated with poignant precision on his recent work — principally 2008's unflinching self-evaluation, Life, Death, Love, and Freedom, and now his latest LP, the fierce, poetic Plain Spoken, out next week — the 62-year-old, however, has never been more dialed in to his craft. "I just can't even imagine that I'm still doing this," he says with a laugh. "I started making records when I was 21. That was 1974, 75. And the idea back then that it was a lifelong occupation was just... It just never did register with a young guy."

JOHN MELLENCAMP: So where am I talking to you from, Dan?

ESQUIRE.COM: I'm in Chicago. How about yourself?

JM: Bloomington, Indiana.

ESQ: Ah, I love Bloomington. I've gone there several times in the past to visit friends at college.

JM: Probably got drunk and fell down, didn't yah?

ESQ: I don't remember the falling down part. But that's probably because I was drunk.

JM: [laughs]

ESQ: So I really enjoyed Plain Spoken.

JM: Wait, and you're how old?

ESQ: I'm 29.

JM: And you liked the record?

ESQ: I did. Ever since Life, Death, Love, and Freedom, I've loved your more introspective, hard-hitting music.

JM: A lot of the new songs have been around for a long time. But I wasn't mature enough to release them. Like "Troubled Man" off the new record: I think I started writing that song in the early nineties, but I just couldn't get it to sound somehow like I thought it should. So you know, I don't ever throw anything away. So I would go back and I would go, "What was I trying to do here?"

ESQ: Some of the album's most intriguing moments are when you look at your life in the harshest light. "Troubled Man" and "The Isolation of Mister" come to mind.

JM: That's why I asked you how old you were. Because I'm trying to write for people my age. And my inspiration over the years has changed dramatically. From being 22, 23 years old, my inspiration was the Rolling Stones. Now my inspiration is John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, Faulkner, Shakespeare. It has nothing to do with what I started out to do. If you read Shakespeare — and I don't mean to sound like a dick [laughs] — he talks about all of these things, you know? He says so much in one line. What I'm drawing from now and what I was drawing from as a kid are totally two different things. Because what kind of person's interests stay the same their entire life?

"A lot of people get to be a certain age and they just kind of lose interest or they give up. But I'm looking for trouble."

ESQ: Of course. What's ironic is that even though you haven't pursued pop hits for almost two decades, in recent years, as a result of dating Meg Ryan, you had to deal with the paparazzi.

JM: Well, you're right. And there's been such a paradigm change in our culture. Music actually meant something when I started doing it. Too bad I wasn't mature enough to write anything that meant anything [laughs]. I wrote some songs that connected with some people and, as a friend of mine said, "John was very fortunate to be a big pop star and that's also a very unfortunate thing." As early as '88 I wrote a song called "Pop Singer," and man, did I catch shit for that. But I was still a kid. I don't mean to call you a kid, but you'll find out that you get to be a certain age and it's like "This stuff just doesn't interest me anymore." I mean, I can't even imagine writing a song like "Hurts So Good." I don't even know who that guy was who wrote that song.

ESQ: Your younger self, I imagine, would not have looked at the world with as critical an eye as you do in "Lawless Times," on which you sing, "You can't trust a neighbor/husband or wife/you can't trust the police with the guns or their knives... You can't trust the banks the way that you used to do/Hope that Wall Street has been good to you."

JM: There's a paradigm change happening in our culture where people just don't seem to care. I mean, they don't vote in their own interests. "Don't take away our guns! You can't amend that!" Wait a minute, it's an amendment already! That's why they call it the Second Amendment! It's those types of things that were thought about in "Lawless Times." And the line that I like best is "If you want to steal this song it can be easily loaded down." Because actually I said a few years ago, and caught all kind of crap about it, "The Internet is the most dangerous thing since the atomic bomb." And I think that we're finding out that it is. I don't think that people really realize what can be done on that thing and what's going to happen. It's just not good.

ESQ: Look at ISIS being able to upload their horrific videos as propaganda.

JM: Exactly. And when you think about it, Dan, that is just one little teeny thing that's happening on the Internet. They could close down our banking. They could close down our electrical grid. We could do a lot of stupid things with that. It's just not people doing stuff to us. Who knows what we're doing to other people? I'm a firm believer that the government, it needs to revamped. This shit's not working.

ESQ: But obviously you must know how beneficial the Internet has been to our cultural evolution?

JM: Listen, like anything else there are positive things about the Internet. I mean the fact that we can get on and research a topic el pronto mundo... It's not all bad. It's not all black and white. But the recklessness with which it can be used is terrible. The recklessness of our privacy is terrible. When radio first came out it was a new delivery system. And smarter people said: "Wait a minute. You guys have this radio thing and you're playing our music. We need to get paid for that." But with the Internet nobody did that. It just became lawless. And you did whatever you wanted and people threw up their hands and said, "We don't know what to do with this." But in reality it was quite simple: It was a new delivery system of information and entertainment. Treat it exactly the same way you treated radio. Treat it exactly the same way you treat television. The arts wouldn't be suffering the way it is. Because the arts as you've known it, as I've known it, is gone. It's gone and it's not be retrieved at this point.

ESQ: From your tone of voice you don't seem any less impassioned about rallying against social ills than in your past.

JM: I'm looking for trouble. A lot of people get to be a certain age and they just kind of lose interest or they give up. But I'm looking for trouble. I have a bunch of information in my head that I'm not afraid to put in song or onto a canvas. Into any conversation. A friend of mine goes "I thought life was supposed to get easier as you got older." And it is if you don't have so many things that you feel you need to do. I've got a million things I feel like I need to do. Not for anybody other than myself.

ESQ: You mentioned the canvas. I know you're an avid painter. What does painting give you that songwriting does not?

JM: I am pretty much a... What do you call a guy that keeps to himself?

ESQ: A hermit?

JM: Well that's one word [laughs]. Let me put it this way: I enjoy the pleasure of my own company. I've been around so many people my entire life: bands and road crews and record companies and photographers. I enjoy the solitude of my own company. That makes it rough on anybody around me. When you live life for yourself it's hard on everyone. And that hasn't changed. For me, if anything, it's gotten worse.

ESQ: Though sometimes people care so much about others they wind up neglecting their own interests.

JM: I don't often say this, but really, I don't give a shit. I could care less. I mean, I'll listen to what people say and if they make a good point I respect it and I'll filter it through my brain and see if it makes sense to me. But generally, I don't care. To me, it's like "Well dad, everybody else is jumping off the top of the building! Why can't I?" And that's what most opinions sound like to me. I have two teenage sons, and one goes to Duke and one goes to RISD, and my youngest one, he's always throwing that one at me: "Well everybody..." I said, "I don't give a fuck what everybody else is doing! I don't care. What do we care? I spent my entire life trying not to be like everybody else."

ESQ: Funny you should mention your sons. I'm curious, what's something every father should teach his son?

JM: All I can do is repeat what I think is the best information that anybody ever gave me.

ESQ: And who was that from?

JM: My grandfather. He migrated here from Germany. Or he was the first generation to be born from German descent. And here was his big advice to me. Now don't forget this guy was pretty rough around the edges. He was a farmer. His advice to me was, "John, if you're going to hit a cocksucker, kill him." What he was saying is that if you're gonna just sit around talking about things — what you're going to do, what you're not going to do, how you're going to be successful or how you're going to fail or how you're going to live your life or what your beliefs are going to be — just shut up. But if you're actually gonna do it, do it. Listen, I think [Bob] Dylan said, without failure there's no success. He's right. You've gotta fail. Look at all the records I've made. I've made like 27 albums. I had about 10 good albums. C'mon, the rest of them... I mean, I made some songs that weren't exactly that great. Either I didn't have my heart in it or I didn't care. So when a person has their heart in it and they really believe it, fuck it, you can't quit. You can't ever quit. There's no quitting. This is life. Life will quit on you soon enough.

Interesting Interview On Howard Stern:

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #21 posted 10/15/14 8:40am


Gloria Estefan, Jerry Garcia, Linda Perry among nominees for Songwriter Hall of Fame

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
Reply #22 posted 10/15/14 8:51am


Grammy-winning Chilean rock band, La Ley, reunited after a decade apart, mounts U.S. tour

By Lucia Suarez

Published October 15, 2014 | Fox News Latino

La Ley.jpg

It's been more than 10 years since the members of the Grammy-winning Chilean rock band, La Ley, lost their passion to make music together. It had become a chore, so they broke up.


But last year, after a decade of doing individual projects, the trio of Beto Cuevas, Pedro Furgone and Mauricio Claveria reunited once again, and they sound better than ever.


“It feels great – getting back together with your buddies,” lead singer Cuevas told Fox News Latino. “It’s a good feeling. This gathering finds us with a more mature sound.”


Cuevas, who released two solo albums since La Ley broke up, said it was weird getting back together – partly because Furgone stopped playing for some time to focus on his family. But once they started up again, he said, it was like the years melted away.


“I really appreciate playing with these guys,” he said. “There is a good feeling. We feel young in the kind of music we are doing.”


La Ley recently kicked off a “Re-Tour” with shows in California. It’s their first time playing in the U.S. together for more than a decade.


“We have a great sound together,” Cuevas said. “(Fans) can expect to see La Ley as they left us. We sound better. We are tighter… It’s the best of La Ley.”


The trio is also working on a new album to be released next year. Cuevas said the sound will be what fans might expect from La Ley, but with an updated outlook. “We want to make relevant music. This is our musical history,” he said.


As to future potential break ups, Cuevas said they are feeling confident and happy with where they are, that if anyone wants to pursue any side projects they can, without having to split up the band.


The band plays Wednesday night in San Francisco before heading to Los Angeles and San Diego. La Ley will also play several concerts in Texas, New York, Illinois, and Florida before heading south to Mexico and Chile.

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
Reply #23 posted 10/15/14 9:01am


Alex Meixner mixes pop and rock into polka

By John Benson



Alex Meixner can’t wait to bring his oom-pah-pah sounds back to Northeast Ohio. The polka musician is scheduled to perform Saturday at Oktoberfest Youngstown, which takes place in Colonial Plaza on Belmont Avenue, Liberty.


“When I look at playing Youngstown, an area that historically has had so many great polka musicians, I greatly honor that tradition to do whatever I can to uphold it,” said Meixner, calling from Florida. “Many years ago I played with my dad’s band at Kuzman’s Lounge in Girard and throughout the region, like in Sharon, and of course up to Cleveland. So I’m looking forward to returning. We have a lot of friends in the area.”


Meixner, who started performing at age 6 with his sisters and father, is currently touring his latest CD, “Happiness is a Choice.” He said the new album finds a lot more original repertoire than previous efforts, including collaborations with reggae singer and composer Carlton Pride (son of country legend Charley Pride), as well as with Texas rock icon Hector Saldana of the Krayolas.

Even though Alex Meixner is most often considered a polka artist, the multi-instrumentalist can’t be pigeonholed. Sure, he plays his fair share of ethnic tunes, but underneath the melody can be found a cornucopia of influences and sounds.


“I’m the fourth generation in my family that are Austrian polka musicians in the United States,” Meixner said. “So I’ve built upon the tradition that my family has cultivated, and at the same time, I’m schooled in jazz, pop and classical music. Plus, the musicians who work with me are extremely versatile. We aim to make it a party that is built on the roots of the culture and, at the same time, is relevant to people of all walks of life.”


For those unfamiliar with Meixner, he’s considered a veritable iPod playlist artist that can change genres on a dime. Specifically, the Palm City, Fla., resident is known for his rock’n’polka mashups, which include Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” evolving (or devolving) into the Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville,” Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” The entire song is performed with a polka sheen.


Another mashup begins as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” before becoming The Liechtensteiner Polka and ’50s classic “Mr. Sandman” before returning to “Enter Sandman.”


Interestingly, the mashups act as a two-way street not only for those metal fans unfamiliar with polkas but to those diehard ethnic music fans with a serious disdain for hard rock. Meixner said he can’t wait to watch Oktoberfest Youngstown concertgoers become converts right before his eyes.

“That is one of the things that’s amazing about what I get to do, seeing how people start accepting music that they didn’t think they liked,” Meixner said. “Last night we were playing for metal heads and one guy said, ‘I really don’t like polka music but I like what you do to polka music.’


“So you’ll find certain old people who learn they like Ozzy Osbourne now and sometimes you’re going to find some young people who find out they really like old school polkas, they just didn’t realize it.”

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
Reply #24 posted 10/16/14 3:43pm


Actress Elizabeth Peña dead at 55. Understated, intelligent sensuality.

October 16 at 4:22 AM

Elizabeth Peña, the actress known for her roles in “La Bamba,” “Rush Hour,” “The Incredibles,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “Lone Star,” died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a short illness. She was 55.

'Lone Star' | 1996

The news was first reported by Peña’s nephew, Mario-Francisco Robles, in a post for Latino Review. Peña’s manager, Gina Rugolo, confirmed the actress’s death in a statement. Neither elaborated further on the cause of death. Robles followed Peña’s professional accomplishments with a personal appreciation for his aunt:

She did it all, and she made it look fun. She made it look easy. But I know it wasn’t. I know she had a drive like no other, and that she was a force to be reckoned with when she decided it was time to make it big or … well, nothing. She never considered an alternative. Her singular focus was breathtaking, and awe-inspiring.

Tonight, my family is heartbroken. There’s now a void that will never be filled. All we can do now is remember your sharp sense of humor, your endless hunger for life, and your never ending pursuit of happiness.

You were a great mother, wife, daughter, sister, and cousin. But you’ll always be my Ñaña, #1 in a category all your own.

In a 35-year career, Peña developed a penchant for oozing an understated, intelligent sensuality with ease. Though rarely a leading lady, she brought a certain magnetism to all of her roles. She was a patient, unflappable therapist in “Transamerica,” and a sultry but well-intentioned seductress in “The Incredibles,” in which she played Mirage.


“News of Elizabeth Pena’s death hits particularly hard, for some reason, maybe because she was consistently outstanding in everything,” tweeted Matt Zoller Seitz, editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com.

Elizabeth Pena

In a Twitter conversation Wednesday night, actress and producer Eva Longoria said Peña wasn’t just a Cuban-American actress — for many years, she was the Latina Actress. When Peña joined the Director’s Guild of America, she was only the fourth to do so. In 1987, Peña starred in the television show “I Married Dora” as a Salvadoran housekeeper who entered a green-card marriage with her employer to remain in the country.

Elizabeth Peñ, Co-Star of 'Jacob's Ladder'

Peña went on to play a wide range of roles that were far from typical; her characters felt vibrant and bubbled with humanity. In the charming and funny “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer,” she played a mother in her forties experiencing a sexual reawakening opposite America Ferrera and Lucy Gallardo. Peña won ALMA awards for her work in “Tortilla Soup,” “Resurrection Blvd.,” “Rush Hour” and “Contagious.”

Pena plays Gloria's  (Sophia Varga) mom in 'Modern Family.'

“Rest in Peace Elizabeth Pena … you paved the way for so many of us!!” Longoria tweeted.

Peña was aware of her role as a Latina groundbreaker and role model, and she also realized she was called upon to occupy this blurry, amorphous space as a Latina actress. She played Gloria’s Colombian mother on “Modern Family.” In “Lone Star,” she was a teacher on the U.S.-Mexico border.

ACCESS RIGHTS ONLY. This is a publicly distributed handout. Getty Images provides access rights only and does not license the copyright in the image.

“In the United States, all Spanish-speaking people are lumped into one category,” Peña told the Dallas Morning News in 1996 (via the Los Angeles Times). “But we’re all so different. Argentinians are completely different from Mexicans. Mexicans are completely different from Cubans. Cubans are completely different from people from Paraguay and Uruguay.”

On Wednesday night, Peña’s friends and colleagues expressed shock and grief and paid tribute to her on social media.

“My heart breaks,” tweeted Wilson Cruz. “She was FANTASTIC!”

“Q triste lo de #ElizabethPena era una dama con mucha alma!” John Leguizamo tweeted. In English: “It’s sad about Elizabeth Peña, a lady with a lot of soul.”

Elizabeth Pena starred alongside Chris Cooper in 1996's 'Lone Star.'

“I guess I finally found out why I felt so inexplicably heavy-hearted yesterday. I thought it was an unusually gloomy day in LA. I could feel a deep sadness in my bones,” Peña’s “Resurrection Blvd.” co-star, Esai Morales, said in a Facebook post.

He continued: “I just can’t believe she’s gone … I remember crushing on Liz back in our High School days and being inspired by her work and success in this ever so fickle and peculiar business. So you can imagine how happy and privileged I felt to be able to work on screen together (and steal her away from Ritchie…!!)

“Trying to write something deserving of her memory and her larger than life personality isn’t easy through bouts of laughter and tears; but what can I say … ? She was our first — and only, Elizabeth Peña … an artist with a truly gifted soul and a wicked sense of humor. A straight shooter who was uniquely fun, funny and always a pleasure to work with and just be around. A great gal who is gone too soon.”


Recently, Pena just finished work playing Maritza Sandoval on the first season of the El Rey network show “Matador.”

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague, Elizabeth Peña,” the network said in a statement. “She was a role model, a truly extraordinary performer and an inspiration in every sense of the word. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth’s family and friends during this difficult time. She ‎will be deeply missed.”

Elizabeth Pena

Peña is survived by her husband, Hans Rolla; her daughter, Fiona; and her son, Kaelan; as well as her mother and a sister.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #25 posted 10/16/14 4:03pm


Cool Info. Mickey Thanks. cool

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #26 posted 10/16/14 4:57pm


Clive Davis, Billy Joel's Band Among Long Island Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Gerry Goffin, Kurtis Blow, Debbie Gibson and more chosen for Hall of Fame's 2014 class

LIMHOF Billy Joel

By Daniel Kreps | October 16, 2014

Record exec Clive Davis, rapper Kurtis Blow, songwriter Gerry Goffin, concert promoter Ron Delsener and Billy Joel's famed backing band are among those who will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Patti Lupone (who will not be in attendance), Debbie Gibson and producer Steve Thompson are also part of the LIMHoF's fifth induction class, with Roger Waters inducting Delsener and Dionne Warwick presenting the award to Davis.

Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels – whose Run-D.M.C. was previously inducted into the LIMHoF – will be the recipient of the 2014 Harry Chapin Award. The all-star ceremony will go down at Huntington, New York's the Paramount on October 23rd. Tickets for the ceremony are on sale now at the Paramount's site.


While Joel was previously honored for his contribution to Long Island's music history with the Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 2006, the "Billy Joel Band" – drummer Liberty DeVitto, bassist Doug Stegmeyer, multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata and guitarist Russell Javors – will be inducted this time around. The foursome backed Joel from 1976's Turnstiles to 1981's Glass Houses, at which point Cannata left the band. (Stegmeyer, who died in 1995, will be honored posthumously.)

The induction ceremony, which takes place every two years, will also feature a tribute performance featuring songs penned by Goffin, the New York-born songwriter who was previously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and passed away in June.

Previous Long Island Music Hall of Fame inductees include Ramones, Tony Bennett, Public Enemy, Steely Dan's Walter Becker, Blue Oyster Cult, Lou Reed, Mariah Carey and John Coltrane. Inductees are chosen by the LIMHoF's Board of Directors, who choose eligible candidates based on whether the artist or music industry contributor spent a significant portion of their careers in geographic Long Island (Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties).


Billy Idol on Drinking With the Stones and Seeing Jesus in the Sex Pistols

"Rebel Yell" singer opens up about his memoir, the unlikely origins of "Dancing With Myself" and new album 'Kings and Queens of the Underground'

Billy Idol performs in West Hollywood, California on December 20th, 2013.
By Kory Grow | October 16, 2014

Billy Idol wanted to show people that his music matters, so he decided to write something other than an album: a memoir. "There is an artist there, and there is someone who does love, who does care, who does believe, someone who loves music," he says.

Earlier this month, the sneering singer released the book Dancing With Myself, his own wildly entertaining account of how the Londoner born William Broad came up through the British punk scene to transform into a mainstream rock singer who could live up to the name Billy Idol. Between stories behind hits like "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding," the vocalist opens up about his battles with drugs and alcohol, shares stories of what he describes as "sexual deviancy" (including one that landed him in court) and relives the harrowing 1990 motorcycle accident that put his career on pause.

Now that he has slowed down, Idol says he's grateful to be able to talk about his exploits in the past tense. The experience even led to the singer's first album of original music in nine years, Kings and Queens of the Underground, which comes out on October 21st. "It all began when we wrote the song 'Kings and Queens of the Underground,'" he says. "It's got a story, and it's my story. It's my story in song. It was a big song for us to write, and it took us down a certain road that led us to reinterpreting the sort of classic style song of mine for the 2014s. We had a new world in front of us again."

In the song "Kings and Queens of the Underground," you praise Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols for inspiring you. What do you remember about seeing the Pistols live?
Seeing the Sex Pistols back then was like a fucking, Christ, being St. Paul on the road to Damascus or something. You're kind of getting a vision of what the new world is going to be like – the world with no future. Here was the answer, and here was Johnny showing us what we should do. We should get up off our asses and do something. When I saw the Sex Pistols, it just showed me, "These are guys who are the same age as me doing what I could do. If they can do it, there's nothing stopping me doing it."

Me and [Siouxsie and the Banshees guitarist] Steven Severin wanted to start our own group, and he and Siouxsie wanted to start their own group. I nearly was in Siouxsie and the Banshees at one point. Seeing the Pistols was a huge moment for all of us, for our disaffected youth at that time. We were disenfranchised youth on the scrapheap. We started by seeing the Pistols and then starting our own groups. It sort of snowballed, gradually.

Most recently, you've used that ethos to put out this record on your own label. I can guess what its name, "BFI," stands for.
Yeah [laughs]. "Billy Flamin' Idol." "Billy Freaking Out of His Mind Idol." You've met me before in that Rolling Stone interview for your cover. "Billy Idol's out of his mind crazy."

You dedicated a whole chapter of your book to telling the story behind your 1984 Rolling Stone cover, and how you feel you drank too much wine and were in a "dope-sick state," talking about how much you did not want to be on the cover.
In my book, I actually apologize to that lady who did that interview for you [journalist E. Jean Carroll]. She was such a nice lady. I really took everything wrong. I'd made a great album with Rebel Yell. I really should have been talking about that music. I was so out of my mind with the alcohol and being dope-sick, paranoid and crazy [Laughs]. That lady was so lovely. I really should have been taking her around the New York scene and telling her about what a great record... I shouldn't have said what I was saying in that interview. I really have regretted saying that. I did try to make up for it in my book. I hope I have.

It seems like that story haunted you for a long time.
Yeah, it did really. That's not really what I thought about Rolling Stone. I always thought how brilliantly you did so much to help John Lennon [with his immigration problems]. I don't know why I freaked out like that. I included it in the book as a nice way of saying, "I'm so sorry for what happened." It was par for the course in those days. I was really "high horses." You do some daft things when you're young. But, then again, I don't think it really affected my music or what happened in my life or career. It was a momentary thing, and it was a bit of a shame. I tried to, sort of, apologize for it a little bit in my book, I think.

One of the things I like about your book is how you tell the stories behind the songs.
I have some nice little stories about the songs, like how drinking Rebel Yell whiskey with the Rolling Stones helped bring about "Rebel Yell." If someone had told me that I would get a song from the Rolling Stones, when I was 10 I would never have believed them. Between the bottle of booze I'd been drinking and the Stones, it was incredible.

A particularly interesting story is how going to a Tokyo disco inspired "Dancing With Myself."
If you went into a discotheque in 1978 in Japan, they were all dressed like Saturday Night Fever. But the one thing they were doing that was differently than in England and America was they were dancing to their own reflections in the mirror and not really with each other. They were just looking at themselves.

I happened to say to [Generation X bassist] Tony James, who always usually came up with the song titles, "Hey Ton, they're dancing with themselves." He went, "'Dancing With Myself,' that could be a song title." And I remembered that a few months later, when we came to start writing the third Generation X record, which became Gen X.

From my experience, people have not been taking the lyrics to "Dancing With Myself" literally.
I think a lot of people think it's about masturbation but it really was about these disenfranchised youth dancing and that was their world, really. For the time being, they danced with themselves. And that was their answer for that moment. And we sort of lionized that into an anthem for them, I hope.

But I mean, there's a masturbatory element to it, too. There's a masturbatory element in those kids dancing with their own reflections. It's not too much further to sexual masturbation. The song really is about these people being in a disenfranchised world where they're left bereft dancing with their own reflections. These kids were almost disaffected from each other and with their own reflections.

You open your book by recounting the motorcycle accident that landed you in the hospital. Was that hard to revisit?
Some of the book wasn't easy to write. Some of it was fun. Some of it exhilarating. Some of it made you feel sick and made you want to throw up but you went forward and the reward is finally holding the book in my hands. But the motorcycle accident was something, where I never liked thinking about having to recover from it. I always said to myself, "I can't wait 'til it's 20 years away from the motorcycle accident, so it's in the rearview mirror." It was such a horrible experience. And of course it was my own fault. I thought that was the best place to start the book, where I could say, "Look, here's me paying the piper everybody." [Laughs] I was living high on the hog, "Billy High Horses" thing, and ended up squashing myself underneath the car.

But then again, it gave me this wild, out-of-body experience where I went into this red dimension and amid all these other beings, other spirits who were living in this other time above us or near us. And they spoke to me. They spoke through me. They spoke with their minds into my mind and filled me with love and joy. And I wasn't sure where I was. When I came back down into my own body and found out I was still alive on the road, it was a second chance.

Then I had to go to the painful thing of recovering, which is sort of horrible, but mind you that was one hell of a way to get into hospital and all that morphine. I was such a druggy junky, it was the most incredible experience sitting there with all those pain boxes [which regulated the flow of morphine]. Every 12 minutes going, "boop." Wow! They had to put me on lockdown.

Fortunately, my dad told the doctor I was a junky and then I 'fessed up. He said, "Mr. Broad, you're drinking the pain medicine in. Is there anything you want to tell me?" I said, "It's OK, chief. I am a junky." He said, "We're just worried you won't get off it when you have to." And I said, "I will get off it when I have to." And it was a whole other experience coming off the morphine with a broken leg with it all open being repaired and coming off the junk. It was the best stuff in the world. So coming off it was a nightmare. But I did it.

It took me two weeks to get off the morphine and of course a few months it goes on for months, really feeling terrible. But I was used to that in lots of ways. I had already been through heroin withdrawals a number of times. But that was one of the last times I went through that. I decided that after that experience in the hospital, that was the end of my heroin-taking days. "You were never going to be on that gear again," I told myself. I put [heroin] to bed in lots of ways.

I became a cocaine addict after that. Smoked dope and it took me 10 years to get off that. But anyway, that's a whole other story that's in my book.



  • Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone
  • Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Michael Keaton's killer comeback performance sends 'Birdman' into orbit

BY Peter Travers | October 16, 2014

I'm jazzed by every tasty, daring, devastating, howlingly funny, how'd-they-do-that minute in Birdman. Like all movies that soar above the toxic clouds of Hollywood formula and defy death at the box office, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's cinematic whirlwind will bring out the haters. They can all go piss off. Birdman is a volcano of creative ideas in full eruption. Buy a ticket and brace yourself.

The short take on Birdman is that it's a showbiz satire. Yeah, like Pulp Fiction is just a crime story. We're talking reinvention here. Michael Keaton, in a potent, pinballing tour de force, plays Riggan Thomson, an actor who's fallen on hard times since playing the superhero Birdman in a trilogy of blockbusters. Sound familiar? It should. After two acclaimed turns as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton's Batman films, Keaton knows from what he's acting. He knows what it's like to fall short of the gold ring he once caught. Riggan's creative way back in is to make his Broadway debut by writing, directing and starring in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, a short story by the extolled Raymond Carver. It seems Carver caught the young Riggan onstage years back and sent a note on a cocktail napkin that said, "Thank you for an honest performance. Ray Carver."

So there's Riggan trying to be honest again by walking the tightrope of Broadway, where vultures make a meal of movie stars. It's old news. But as filtered through the poet's eye of this risk-taking Mexican visionary (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful) and his co-screenwriters, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo, we see things fresh. As suggested by the film's subtitle, The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, blundering can be bliss.

The key to Birdman is in the visuals, gloriously executed by camera genius Emmanuel Lubezki, an Oscar winner for Gravity, to give us the feeling that the film is unfolding in one sinuous, continuous take. Lubezki's work is breathtaking, especially for the way it allows the film to veer from reality to illusion and back again with no break. So when Riggan flies above Manhattan and shoots flame balls from his fingers, we too are living with the crazy-ass visions in his head. Hell, we first see Riggan levitating in his dressing room and debating with the voice of Birdman (Keaton in a lower register), who tells him he's too good for these theater pussies.

That leads to the introductions of other characters, all acted to perfection and all stressing out Riggan as he seesaws between narcissism and self-doubt. It's great to see how beautifully Zach Galifianakis plays it straight and true as Riggan's loyal producer. Naomi Watts excels as an actress in the play, as does Andrea Riseborough as the actress Riggan is shagging and Amy Ryan as the ex-wife who tries to restore balance to a conflicted man.

Besides Keaton, who digs deep and delivers the best performance of his career, there is award-caliber work from Edward Norton as a volatile actor who drives Riggan nuts, mostly because his talent is as big as his ego. And a never-better Emma Stone is raw and revelatory as Riggan's embittered daughter, fresh out of rehab and eager to hook Dad on social media, where quality is gauged by Facebook "Likes."

The very real achievement of Birdman, a dark comedy of desperation buoyed by Iñárritu's unbridled artistic optimism, is how it makes us laugh out loud, curse the shadows and see ourselves in the fallibly human Riggan. Birdman spins you around six ways from Sunday. It's an exhilarating high. No true movie lover would dare miss it.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #27 posted 10/16/14 5:02pm



A beginner’s guide to the sweet, stinging nostalgia of The Beach Boys

Oct 16, 2014 12:00 AM

Primer is The A.V. Club’s ongoing series of beginner’s guides to pop culture’s most notable subjects: filmmakers, music styles, literary genres, and whatever else interests us—and hopefully you. This installment: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys 101

The craft of pop music is all about exploiting trends; the art of pop music is about exploiting popularity. This is the story of The Beach Boys. In the band’s early days, Brian Wilson and his brothers Dennis and Carl—joined by their cousin Mike Love, and pushed by their father Murry—capitalized on the surfing craze in Southern California, selling a lifestyle of big waves, boss cars, and pretty girls, first to the rest of the United States and then to the world. Once they were established as a novelty act, The Beach Boys matured, as Brian Wilson took advantage of the band’s huge fan base to experiment with more complicated arrangements and emotions, mixing some clouds in with the sun.

There are Beach Boys fans who only like the simpler, shallower early songs; and there are Beach Boys fans who hardly ever listen to anything the band recorded prior to 1966. That split is mirrored within the group itself; Brian Wilson and Mike Love have differed over the decades on what The Beach Boys should be. Over the years, Love has been largely responsible for keeping The Beach Boys alive, touring the nostalgia circuit and putting new albums out during the years a mentally struggling Wilson either couldn’t perform at all or could only produce strange, half-realized songs. Yet for many hardcore Beach Boys devotees Wilson is the band, because even at their oddest, his songs are graced with genius.

The one project that unites the two Beach Boys camps—and even some people who haven’t listened to much else the band has done—is 1966’s Pet Sounds, which routinely lands near the top of any list of the all-time greatest rock ’n’ roll albums. Considered an expensive flop at the time, Pet Sounds’ reputation turned around fairly quickly once it became clear the record wasn’t an aberration, either in pop music (with its lush, baroque orchestrations becoming the model for hundreds of ambitious late-’60s 45s and LPs) or in the career of The Beach Boys (who’d spend much of the next half-decade trying to match it).

Brian Wilson never meant Pet Sounds to be “difficult.” He saw himself as competing with The Beatles—whose Rubber Soul had set a new standard for how to construct a pop album—by treating each song as a potential mini-masterpiece. Pet Sounds’ conceptual coup is the way Wilson appropriates the style of his parents’ generation—the lavish, gliding sound of “dinner music”—and uses it to score songs about lovesick, moony-eyed young people. Some of the earliest Beach Boys songs gave an impression of Brian Wilson as a man who was old before his time, already pining for a vanished past. With the Pet Sounds songs “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” and “Let’s Go Away For Awhile,” Wilson made those feelings of displacement plainer, lending a deep melancholy to the album that echoed across lilting ballads like “God Only Knows” and “Caroline, No.” Pet Sounds was a Top 10 album, with two Top 10 singles—“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and a cover of the folk standard “Sloop John B”—but the un-hip orchestrations and pervasive sadness baffled some longtime fans, who didn’t immediately get what Wilson was trying to do.

One big reason why the perception of Pet Sounds turned around is that The Beach Boys followed it up with their most popular song ever, “Good Vibrations,” a dizzying collage of musical fragments and allusive lyrics that works like a summary (and summery) statement of The Beach Boys’ discography up to that point. Heavier rock musicians in the late ’60s and early ’70s tried to class up the genre by fusing rock with classical music, but Brian Wilson and Mike Love made that leap more intuitively and inventively, creating what their publicists dubbed “a pocket symphony.” There’s simply no precedent for “Good Vibrations,” which sounds like Wilson stripping the backing tracks from two dozen old Beach Boys songs and then treating those parts like instruments in an orchestra, to be conducted on the fly. “Good Vibrations” is also the most purely exultant song The Beach Boys ever recorded—a dose of concentrated joy that satisfied both Wilson’s and Love’s visions for the band. The song has the tight, high harmonies and California fantasy imagery they were known for, but it’s also experimental and expressionistic, externalizing the riot of colors and emotions in Brian Wilson’s head.

More confident than ever that he was on the right track, Wilson got together with his new friend Van Dyke Parks, aiming to make a whole album as inspired as “Good Vibrations.” That project, called Smile, was going to tell the story of America, and encompass the full range of popular music, all while trying to recapture the innocence and playfulness of childhood. But Wilson’s reach exceeded his grasp, and his worsening mental state—combined with pressure from his bandmates to capitalize more quickly on the success of “Good Vibrations” before the fickle record-buying public moved on—led Wilson to scrap Smile before he could finish it. This would be the start of a rough patch for Wilson, as the stigma of an unfinished masterpiece and an overall hardening of rock music fed his anxiety.

Songs from Smile would trickle out onto other Beach Boys albums over the next several years, and in the ’70s some fans took those songs, along with some rescued Smile outtakes, and reconstructed fantasy versions of the album on bootlegs. Finally, in 2004, a healthier Wilson started performing Smile in concert, and recorded a new version called Brian Wilson Presents Smile. Then in 2011, The Beach Boys put out The Smile Sessions, featuring new mixes of the old recordings, sequenced to match what Wilson had been performing.

People inside The Beach Boys camp are quick to note that neither Wilson’s solo album nor The Smile Sessions are “the real Smile.” That album has never existed, because right up to the moment that he abandoned the project, Wilson was still debating how he wanted to present the songs; he was considering a more groundbreaking approach that would split some of them into fragments and weave them together, more like a proper suite. (Beach Boys connoisseurs looking for glimmers of the more freeform Smile cherish some of the raw tracking sessions, collected on various box sets and reissues, which show Wilson working in the moment with studio-trained musicians to try out different variations on the same passages.) But even the approximate Smile is brilliant, with a wider variety of moods and approaches than Pet Sounds, and with lyrics that weave together a set of loosely connected ideas about health, happiness, and history. Wilson and Parks aimed to reach listeners on a subconscious level, with lyrics like “the child is the father of the man” that seem opaque at first, but profound when paired with the eruptive, chiming music.

Of the albums produced in the wake of Smile (or at least the ones that draw the most on the work Wilson did on that record), the two most essential are 1967’s Smiley Smile and 1971’s Surf’s Up. The former was an attempt to salvage something from the Smile sessions, by taking two of its anchor songs—“Heroes And Villains” and “Good Vibrations”—throwing in a few more Wilson oddities like “Vegetables” and “She’s Goin’ Bald,” and stitching the whole thing together with Smile esoterica. The album is too short, and only hints at what Smile was supposed to be, but the music on Smiley Smile is still some of the most sublime The Beach Boys ever recorded, even when packaged more as a psychedelic snack than as the rich brain-food Wilson intended.

As for Surf’s Up, it’s the transitional album between the Pet Sounds/Smile era and the more mainstream rock that The Beach Boys attempted in the early ’70s. The record’s big selling point is the title track, which is one of Smile’s key songs, and as perfect an example of Brian Wilson’s genius as “Good Vibrations.” At once elegiac and hopeful, “Surf’s Up” bids farewell to the past with a sense of yearning and purpose. And even though the morbid (yet strangely calming) “’Til I Die” is the only other major Brian Wilson song on the album—and even though Surf’s Up is marred by the awful Mike Love song “Student Demonstration Time”—the record as a whole matches the mood of its title track, highlighted by off-and-on Beach Boy Bruce Johnston’s sweetly swaying “Disney Girls (1957),” and two of Carl Wilson’s best songs, “Long Promised Road” and “Feel Flows.”

Between those two albums, The Beach Boys made 1968’s lovely Friends, which splits the difference between the two records, mixing the lazy-day lyrics of Smile with the tighter arrangements and focus of Surf’s Up. Even though the songs are so short that the whole album is over and done in the time it would take to self-medicate properly, Friends’ paeans to transcendentalism, having kids, and “doin’ nothin’” make it one of The Beach Boys’ warmest and most spiritual records. (Plus, without the lush instrumentals “Passing By” and “Diamond Head,” The High Llamas probably wouldn’t exist.)

Two years after Surf’s Up, the band put out an album just as good: 1973’s Holland, recorded in Amsterdam with major contributions from guitarist Blondie Chaplin and drummer Ricky Fataar, two South African musicians who’d joined the band in 1972—in part to help cover for absent members, and in part to help update The Beach Boys’ sound to something more relevant to the country-rock jams and prog-rock experiments of the early ’70s. Holland sounds refreshingly contemporary, from the steel guitars and harmonicas to the spoken-word interlude in the environmentalist trilogy “California Saga.” It also sounds like a Beach Boys album. It’s not just the rollicking Brian Wilson song “Sail On, Sailor” that shines like The Beach Boys of old. Fataar and Chaplin’s poignant ballad “Leavin’ This Town” sounds like a Jackson Browne interpretation of a Pet Sounds track, while Carl Wilson’s two-part “The Trader” applies brother Brian’s Smile lessons about sonic fragmentation to the kind of literate character sketch that confessional singer-songwriters up and down the West Coast were attempting at the time. Major rock and pop stars of the early ’70s like Browne, Neil Young, and Chicago all claimed The Beach Boys as a major influence. Holland took back what those acts had borrowed.

Holland marked the beginning of a commercial turnaround for The Beach Boys—one at first mild, then phenomenal. The record drew good reviews and sold decently, and was outpaced later that same year by a live double-LP. And then in 1974, Capitol Records repackaged the band’s biggest pre-Pet Sounds hits onto a double-album called Endless Summer, with a colorful, modern-looking cover. Arriving just as America was getting nostalgia-happy—around the time of Sha Na Na, American Graffiti, and Happy DaysEndless Summer became a massive hit, spawning a 1975 sequel Spirit Of America that also did well. Given the spottiness of a lot of the records The Beach Boys released in the early ’60s, Endless Summer makes the best case for what the band was up to before Brian Wilson went arty.

The Beach Boys got a similar commercial boost in the wake of the initially modest reaction to Pet Sounds by releasing a trio of The Best Of The Beach Boys albums between 1966 and 1968. Later, more comprehensive anthologies (like Endless Summer and Spirit Of America) have rendered these records irrelevant, but in and of themselves, they’re well-sequenced collections full of classic songs, and worth buying if they turn up in the used-vinyl racks. Another one to seek out is one of the odder of the Beach Boys compilations from the late ’60s: 1968’s Stack-O-Tracks, which collects the instrumental backing tracks from Beach Boys hits for fans to sing along to. The songs don’t sound quite right without the harmonies, but at least Stack-O-Tracks allows them to be heard in an entirely new way, calling attention to the band’s oft-underrated musicianship.

For those who can’t abide greatest-hits collections but still want to give the early Beach Boys their due, some of the earlier albums are better than others. The band’s third album, 1963’s Surfer Girl, was their first wholly produced by Brian Wilson, and already Wilson was trying to make his songs less one-note, as evidenced by the dreamy title track, the layered “Catch A Wave,” and the gorgeous “In My Room” (a surprisingly early peek into Wilson’s future insularity). In 1964, when The Beach Boys were trying to add a gearhead element to their repertoire, they released Shut Down Volume 2, which supplements catchy car tunes like “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Shut Down” with two more of Wilson’s best early “all grown up” songs, “Don’t Worry Baby” and “The Warmth Of The Sun.” And 1964’s All Summer Long serves as a poignant farewell to frivolity, taking its cues from the title track’s litany of what was, and running that same vibe through songs like romantic lament “Wendy” and the defiant “Little Honda.”

Intermediate Work

The Beach Boys’ transition from teenage kicks to the adult ache of Pet Sounds began in 1965, and especially with the album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), which puts more emphasis on the latter than the former. Like the previous year’s All Summer Long, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) is predominately an after-sunset, past-tense kind of record, with songs like “Girl Don’t Tell Me,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” and “Let Him Run Wild” all sporting strong overtones of despair. The album’s biggest hit, “California Girls,” applies the complex, curveball-filled arrangement that would later distinguish songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Good Vibrations” to what seems like a return to The Beach Boys’ novelty days, but is actually an example of Wilson creating an idealized reality to escape the stresses of his own life.

Post Pet Sounds/Smile, The Beach Boys scrambled to work around Brian Wilson’s eccentricities and to keep up with a rapidly evolving rock scene by releasing albums that fit Wilson’s sometimes-bizarre, sometimes-magnificent songs between hippie rhapsodies and throwback pop. Smiley Smile and Surf’s Up are the solid bookends of this era, with Friends as the whimsical centerpiece, but the three other late-’60s Beach Boys albums—1967’s Wild Honey, 1969’s 20/20, and 1970’s Sunflower—all hit some astonishing highs, and are all fairly cohesive, with not too many outright clunkers. Wild Honey is a back-to-basics record, leaving Smile’s freakiness behind and getting back into a groove, with stripped-down retro rock songs like “Darlin’” and “Here Comes The Night” alternating with pretty, Bacharach-inspired tracks like “Aren’t You Glad” and “Let The Wind Blow.” As with the same year’s Smiley Smile, it’s too slight, but it’s also enjoyably high-spirited and hokey. (If The Beach Boys could’ve waited and combined those two albums, which together are only 50 minutes long, they might’ve quieted the dismissive rock critics of that era.)

20/20 is more scattershot, due mainly to Brian Wilson being institutionalized during much of its recording. But the album does salvage one of the best Smile songs, “Cabinessence,” adds a new Beach Boys classic in “Do It Again,” and spotlights the work of Carl and Dennis Wilson, laying the groundwork for where The Beach Boys would go in the early ’70s. Sunflower, on the other hand, is the closest thing to a real, full album the band had recorded since Pet Sounds. Recording for a new label, Reprise Records, The Beach Boys put out a record that ran a relatively generous 36 minutes, and one that sounded unified—even though, like its predecessor, Sunflower contains contributions from everyone in the band, with a good number of songs by Dennis. Anchored by the single “Add Some Music To Your Day,” Sunflower is like the band’s answer to the wave of “sunshine pop” and “bubblegum” acts that had emerged over the previous couple of years, showing that no one could write and record slick, melodic, harmony-drenched songs quite like The Beach Boys, who knew how to add a layer of reflectiveness to chipper songs like “Deirdre” and “This Whole World.” (Plus, with Sunflower’s closing song, “Cool, Cool Water,” Brian Wilson and Mike Love turned a Smile-era throwaway into something textured and casually profound.)

None of the post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys albums were hits, but the success of Endless Summer made the band wildly popular again, and Brian Wilson’s controversial new therapist Eugene Landy (whom Brian would later sue for exerting too much control over his life) convinced him that it’d be good for his mental health to start reengaging with the band again by touring and recording. The other Beach Boys had mixed feelings about the new arrangement. Mike Love saw the publicity upside in having Brian back in the fold, working a new album, striking while The Beach Boys were a hot commodity. Carl and Dennis weren’t as keen on ceding so much of the creative control they’d had in the early ’70s back to Brian—especially given Brian didn’t seem all that interested in making a proper Beach Boys album, preferring instead to record a set of corny, off-the-cuff rock and pop covers. As it happened, everyone was a little bit right about the 1976 album 15 Big Ones (which was named both for its number of songs and for the band being 15 years old). Carl and Dennis were right that 15 Big Ones wasn’t daring enough for the band’s first album of new material in three years. Yet the record’s mix of Brian’s favorite oldies and a handful of nutty new ones—including the delightful “Had To Phone Ya” and “That Same Song”—is fun, in a low-stakes way. And Love’s instincts were spot-on: 15 Big Ones sold better than any new Beach Boys album had all decade. (It may have helped that the generic title and cover art made 15 Big Ones look like another hits collection.)

By the mid-1970s, there were effectively two bands calling themselves “The Beach Boys”: one led by Mike Love, who was more than willing to sing “I Get Around” for complacent baby-boomers for the rest of his life, and the other led by Brian Wilson, who was trying to process beach culture as deeply personal abstract art. Very early on, Wilson gave up touring to focus on songwriting and recording, which allowed Love to create this alternate version of The Beach Boys. But to Love’s credit, he helped hone the live act into an impressive and popular concert attraction. And there are a few worthy documents of this “good times, great oldies” Beach Boys, including 1964’s Beach Boys Concert (recorded when Wilson was still playing live, and featuring covers of the goofy hits “Monster Mash,” “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow,” and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena”), 1970’s Live In London (featuring rocked-up takes on the post-Pet Sounds songs), and 1973’s excellent double-album The Beach Boys In Concert (which sets the outstanding new early-’70s songs side by side with the classics, making them all sound more of a piece).

Advanced Studies

Because The Beach Boys were perceived in their early years as a here-and-gone proposition—like pretty much every other pop, rock, and R&B group—their label, Capitol Records, tried to generate as much product as it could, as quickly as it could. The first few years of The Beach Boys discography are littered with filler-heavy albums and repackagings of the same songs. Records like the 1962 debut album Surfin’ Safari, 1963’s Surfin’ U.S.A., and 1963’s Little Deuce Coupe are primarily only of historical interest now, because their best songs are available in much better anthology packages—and because anyone who wants to hear the kind of tame covers and oddball spoken-word pieces that padded out the early Beach Boys LPs is better off buying Surfer Girl and Shut Down Volume 2.

That said, some of the cash-in albums released during the band’s 1960s heyday have become fan favorites. While 1964’s The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album isn’t a masterpiece on the order of Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift For You, like Spector’s record it does successfully put youthful rock ’n’ roll in the context of old-fashioned holiday pop music and carols. (Plus, it contains “Little Saint Nick,” a spin on “Little Deuce Coupe” that’s even catchier.) Even more delightful is 1965’s Beach Boys’ Party!, a set of left-field retreads and covers—including three Beatles songs and one from Bob Dylan—played on acoustic instruments and arranged to sound like they’re being played live in a living room while the band’s friends chat and drink in the background. Though faked, the “impromptu” sound of the Party! album feels of a piece with the early Beach Boys’ albums’ evocations of laid-back California fun.

Party! capped a busy (and exclamation-point-filled!) 1965 for The Beach Boys, coming right after Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) and The Beach Boys Today! For those devoted to the early sun-sand-surf Beach Boys, Today! is a neglected gem, full of great songs like “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)” that are often left off the hits collections. It’s more uniformly upbeat in contrast to what came immediately after—with fairly simple rock arrangements and a minimum of melancholy—but as with the Christmas album, Today! is both an enjoyable record and a valuable look at The Beach Boys at the height of their commercial powers, competing aggressively with both the British Invasion and Spector’s signature sound: teen-friendly, operatic R&B.

Similarly, 1972’s funkily titled Carl And The Passions – “So Tough” is an outstanding document of the Beach Boys era when Carl and Dennis were steering the boat. The first album to feature Fataar and Chaplin as full-time band members, Carl And The Passions is like a running start at Holland; it’s a solid ’70s West Coast rock album in and of itself, even if at times—as on the Fataar/Chaplin composition “Here She Comes”—it barely sounds like The Beach Boys. The title implies some sort of ’50s tribute, but Carl And The Passions is more in the mode of laid-back country-rock, with a few progressive elements, like something Poco or Stephen Stills would’ve made at the time. This is Carl and Dennis reimagining what The Beach Boys could be—and quite well, as the superior Holland would prove one year later. (For those primarily interested in what Brian was up to at the time, the most relevant parts of Carl And The Passions are the dense, gospel-tinged “He Come Down” and the exuberant, quirky “Marcella.”)

There are some Beach Boys fans who prefer the Carl/Dennis age, and think The Cult Of Brian Wilson permanently damaged what could’ve remained a fine mainstream rock band. For them, 1977’s Love You is Exhibit A in what happened when the band let Brian dominate. For Brian-ologists, though, Love You is one of the great crack-up albums of the ’70s, in the same vein as Neil Young’s Tonight’s The Night, Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats, and Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Love You started out as a true Brian Wilson solo album, with Wilson using a synthesizer to replicate his grand orchestras of the ’60s. He eventually allowed his Beach Boys bandmates to contribute vocals and ideas, but Love You would remain the purest expression of what had been swimming around in Wilson’s brain since Smile. Crippling self-doubt, drilled into Brian by a reportedly abusive father and the fickle fluctuations of public approval, left him trying to use music as a balm. So there’s something almost desperately optimistic about Love You, as Wilson sings frayed songs about roller-skating, road-tripping, and Johnny Carson—like a frazzled man sitting in a corner chanting “calm blue ocean” over and over. It’s a beautiful, noisy, funny, heartbreaking work of art—one not for everybody, yet vital for anyone who wants to understand Wilson’s overall worldview.

Brian Wilson wanted to build off of the creative breakthrough of Love You, but the record industry was less enthusiastic. So The Beach Boys albums that followed over the next decade featured only token input from Brian as a songwriter and a vocalist—and as a result are mostly abysmal. (It didn’t help that Dennis and Carl largely checked out, too, or that the band as a whole was devastated by Dennis’ death by drowning in 1983.) There’s absolutely no reason to bother with anything bearing The Beach Boys name that came out between 1980 and 1992—at a time when outside producers, drum machines, self-parody, and the ever-present threat of “Kokomo” made listening even to Brian Wilson-penned songs a depressing experience. That said, the last two 1970s Beach Boys records actually aren’t that bad. M.I.U. Album, released in 1978, and 1979’s L.A. (Light Album) both go down smooth, putting the band’s classic harmonies in the context of the late-’70’s radio featuring the Grease soundtrack and Captain & Tennille. M.I.U. is the more seamless of the two—for better and worse—while L.A. has a few memorable wrinkles, including one truly great Dennis Wilson song, “Love Surrounds Me,” and a passable 11-minute disco version of “Here Comes The Night,” engineered by Brian Wilson’s best sunshine-pop disciple, Curt Boettcher.

After the revival of Smile in the 2000s, Wilson reunited with Love, Johnston, Al Jardine, and long-ago Beach Boy David Marks for a 50th anniversary tour, and paired it with a new album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, consisting partly of songs Wilson had written over the years and set aside for the band, just in case a reunion ever occurred. Far from an afterthought, That’s Why God Made The Radio is a fully realized Beach Boys record, produced by Wilson with nearly the same level of orchestration he brought to the late-’60s albums. And while the material is hit-and-miss, songs like the title track and the album-closing “Summer’s Gone” have all the yearning and rich harmonics of The Beach Boys of yore.


With Brian Wilson either absent or uncooperative in the latter half of the ’70s (and much of the decade beyond), the main Beach Boys tried their hands at solo albums, with decent results. Even Mike Love’s hilariously titled 1981 solo debut Looking Back With Love is unexpectedly charming, thanks in large part to producer Curt Boettcher’s clean integration of synthesizers into a set of lively, heartfelt pop songs. Carl Wilson’s own 1981 solo debut, Carl Wilson, and his 1983 follow-up Youngblood aren’t as much of a treat, because Carl’s songwriting is more somber and less catchy, which doesn’t mesh as well with the more club-footed ’80s production styles. Still, both albums offer a little closure for fans who enjoyed the sophisticated country-rock direction that Carl was pushing The Beach Boys toward in the early ’70s.

But the two best Beach Boys solo albums came from Brian and Dennis. Brian Wilson’s 1988 LP Brian Wilson is as synth-heavy and booming as The Beach Boys’ albums at the time, but the songs are terrific—especially the opening track, “Love And Mercy”—and Wilson seems to be having a ball, hearkening back to his classic Pet Sounds sound. (Later Wilson solo albums, like Imagination, Gettin’ In Over My Head, and That Lucky Old Sun, come across as tame and a little sterile, though each has flashes of greatness.) And Dennis Wilson’s 1977 record Pacific Ocean Blue is a wonder: a thoughtful and surprising refashioning of various kinds of American roots music to suit Dennis’ dark, sweet rasp. The songs are dramatic, and creatively presented, with as much of Dennis’ personality as his older brother’s freewheeling explorations of self.

Though it’s not a proper Brian Wilson solo album, 1995’s I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times is a strong collection of demos and new recordings of older songs, in support of Don Was’ moving documentary about Wilson’s life and personal troubles. (For fervent Beach Boys fans, these kinds of behind-the-scenes stories are important to understanding where the music came from.) And while it’s a marginal entry into The Beach Boys’ discography, the 1996 project Stars And Stripes, Vol. 1—which saw country stars singing Beach Boys classics, documented in the film Beach Boys: Nashville Sounds—did feature Brian Wilson’s first serious involvement with the band since the ’70s, as he stepped back behind the board as a co-producer. There are some really nice performances on Stars And Stripes, too, including Willie Nelson singing “The Warmth Of The Sun” and Timothy B. Schmit doing “Caroline, No.” The Beach Boys have a singular sound, but covers like these reveal how the songs can stand up to different interpretations, because they were always meant to be part of a larger pop music tradition.

The Essentials

1. The Smile Sessions
2. Pet Sounds
3. Holland
4. Friends
5. Love You

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #28 posted 10/17/14 5:51pm


‘Hideaway’ Singer Kiesza: Dyslexia 'Makes You More Creative’

By Steven J. Horowitz | October 16, 2014 6:16 PM EDT

Kiesza, 2014

Kiesza photographed by Joel Barhamand in New York on October 2, 2014.

Joel Barhamand

Put Kiesza on a rooftop with a rifle and she could probably shoot you down from a block away -- not that she's planning to. Prior to her amazing one-take video for her debut single, "Hideaway," going viral (to the tune of 132 million-plus views since February), the dance-pop singer-songwriter from Canada chased her teen obsession with boats all the way to the Royal Canadian Navy, where she excelled on the shooting range. "They put you in a war scenario, and you have to test your accuracy," says Kiesza, forking a grilled salmon fillet in Manhattan restaurant HK Hell's Kitchen. The thought, however, of training a weapon on a human being torpedoed her naval dreams. "It's fun when you're a kid to try to shoot a target, but then reality sets in and it's not a pretty business."

Kiesza, 2014

Now, the 25-year-old (born Kiesa Rae Ellestad) has her sights set on dancefloors, using the joy and subsequent demise of her first (and only) relationship to fuel her debut full-length, Sound of a Woman (Oct. 21, Island/Lokal Legend). Kiesza's timing couldn't be better: "Hideaway" surfs the house-music nostalgia wave that's dominating the British charts and beginning to make an impact here, mining '90s musical touchstones that recall the streaking synths and club-sized power hooks of Crystal Waters and CeCe Peniston. After topping the U.K. Official Singles chart in April, the song followed in the retro-flavored footsteps of British dance acts Clean Bandit and Disclosure and cracked the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 51 on the chart dated Sept. 20.

Kiesza, 2014

It has sold 394,000 downloads through Oct. 5, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and peaked at No. 7 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Sound of a Woman expands on its single's vintage house sound while dipping a few promising toes in soul, pop and even hip-hop, with guest appearances from rappers Joey Badass and Mick Jenkins. "I could do the cheesiest pop music you've ever heard, then it's an Irish drinking tune, and then it's hip-hop," says Kiesza. "I don't think I'm going to be stuck to one thing."

Kiesza, 2014

Her talents are as multi-pronged as her sound. Kiesza's adolescent stint as a ballerina, which ended at age 15 thanks to knee injuries, laid the groundwork for the invigorated choreography she hits during star-making live shows. Piano lessons as a kid gave way to the guitar, which she taught herself while sailing on tall ships prior to the Navy. And a few years at the prestigious Berklee College of Music informed her songwriting skills: She recently penned two cuts for Rihanna's upcoming album, has written for Kylie Minogue and also wrote and sang on "Take U There," the debut single from Skrillex and Diplo's Jack U collaboration. Berklee also led her to classmate Rami Samir Afuni, the 27-year-old Kuwait-born producer with whom she conceptualizes her music and videos. "We have similar sounds and styles, but we have polar-opposite personalities," says Kiesza.

Kiesza, 2014

"We're never on the same page, which is why it ends up sounding as it does. We don't even necessarily get along per se, but when we get in the studio, it creates this tension [that] brings out things in each other."

Afuni, the calm, laid-back inverse to Kiesza's intense focus, developed the singer through his Lokal Legend imprint under Island Records, where he also is an A&R rep. They used the free rein that Island gave them to create "Hideaway," its video (personally funded by Afuni for around $4,000) and July's Hideaway EP, which featured a melancholy piano-ballad take on Haddaway's 1993 house anthem "What Is Love."

Kiesza, 2014

"There was this tiny revival of house music happening in the U.K.," says Afuni. "We were like, ‘Why don't we put a face behind it?'"

Island president David Massey witnessed the same potential: "I already see her as the first artist to emerge from the area that touches on dance, a bit like back in the day in Madonna. She's emerging as a fully formed artist. I think the world was ready for her."

Kiesza Stuns With Perform...an': Watch

And she's making it look effortless. When Kiesza filmed the highly choreographed video for "Hideaway," she danced through the pain of an undiagnosed hairline fracture in her rib, a determination she traces back to her childhood. Raised in Calgary, Alberta, she managed to get A's and B's in spite of a lifelong struggle with dyslexia. Even today, she keeps saying "Charlie Blossom" when trying to recall The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, with whom she recently collaborated. "This is how my dyslexic brain works," she explains. "But it actually makes you more creative, apparently. I found out Einstein and da Vinci were dyslexic and was like, ‘Awesome!' There's just so much going on in my mind that I have to get out. If I don't, I won't sleep."

Kiesza, 2014

That relentless drive to create led her to end the relationship that inspired Sound of a Woman. Though she's mum about the details of who and when, she does admit that music got in the way. "I'd be selfish to be with a person when I'm so focused on something else; I didn't want to torture them. The person I'm with has to be as important as everything else I do, or else it's not fair to them. When I meet that person, I'll know, because I'll have that same passion for them."

Kiesza, 2014

After finishing her salmon and signing some posters for fan giveaways, Kiesza, who now lives in New York, walks over to a nearby dance studio, where she'll spend the next six hours tirelessly practicing moves for the video for her U.K. single, "No Escapesz." In addition to upcoming gigs on Good Morning America and Conan, she's already thinking about her sophomore album, writing songs for it during a recent tour stop in Italy. All she needs now is a second relationship to inspire her, just like on Woman. "I got a whole album out of it!" she says. "I'll get into another crazy situation and rant again: 'I have to end this because my album is done.' "

Kiesza, 2014

Jimmy Page Talks New Music, Led Zeppelin's Future & Why He Has No Interest Being in a 'Tribute Band'

By Richard Smirke | October 17, 2014 1:25 PM EDT

Led Zeppelin, 2014.
Ross Halfin/© Genesis Publications 2014

In his 70 years, it's fair to say that Jimmy Page has seen and experienced more than most. A hell of a lot more. Nevertheless, even he fails to hide the look of astonishment and boyish wonder that lights up his face upon exploring the Gothic splendor of "The Tudor Room" at London's The Gore hotel, located mere yards from The Royal Albert Hall.

"Oh, wow! You have to come and see this," exclaims the soft-spoken guitarist from behind the wood paneled door of a hidden annex room, which turns out to be a luxuriously opulent bathroom. "Now I've been in there I don't mind it being cold. That has warmed me up," he continues as he take in seat in the (admittedly) chilly main room, adorned with a Portland stone fireplace, oak four-poster bed and 15th Century Minstrels' Gallery.

Led Zeppelin Shares Rare, Alternate Version of 'Rock and Roll'

It's a suitably stately and atmospheric setting to interview a member of British rock royalty about his self-titled autobiography, the first ever book by a member of Led Zeppelin. "It's a very honest book," says Page of the personally curated 500-page photographic account of his life, published this month by Genesis Publications.

This is an impressive location for an interview. Didn't you once own a bookshop around the corner from here?

I did. In Holland Street, just off Kensington High Street. It was in the 1970s. I had it for a few years and I published a few books as well, although not [ones] written by me. The idea was to set it up as a bookshop and then in the old tradition of book shops to be a publisher as well. It was one of these things that was a great idea, but people didn't necessarily have a lot of money in those days for books on yoga and Eastern mysticism. [Laughs]

Led Zeppelin Shares Rare Alternate Version of 'The Rain Song'

A limited edition, deluxe version of your autobiography was first released in 2010. What made you want to revisit and re-release the book now?

The other book is astonishing. It's an incredible work of art, but pre-publication, it had already sold out. The amount of work that I had put into it, I had always hoped that we could do an edition that was more user friendly, more available and more affordable. We've also added in some extra material, one being Led Zeppelin at the Kennedy Awards and meeting President Obama. And also me receiving a Berklee College Honorary Doctorate, which was earlier this year, so that brings it right up to date.

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Pa...e of Music

What about a photographic journey through your life appealed to you, as opposed to a written autobiography?

I thought it was really the right thing to do. I knew nobody else had done it, so that was really appealing. It's a whole career in front of you in photographic images. It's a snapshot of the time and of the situations and the characters involved, [as well as] the attitude that you have when you are photographed -- the melancholy that's there, or the joy, or the positive assault that you are doing through the lenses. It's all totally upfront. It's a very honest book. Where I thought it might need a little footnote to make sense of it all, I added one, because not many [people] really know all the history of all of this.

The book opens with the great story of how you got your first guitar, when your family moved to Epsom, Surrey, and you discovered that one had been left in the house by the previous occupants.

It's a weird story, but I love the romantic imagery of it -- that's there is a guitar there and that's the sculptural object in the house. Then bit-by-bit you get to have a connection with it and actually tune it and start to play it. I don't know what happened to it. The first guitar that's shown in the book is a guitar that my mum and dad bought me. That was the only one because my dad said, 'You're on your own after this.' But it made me really want to work for what I did.

Do you ever think about how your life might have been different if that abandoned guitar had not have been left in your house?

I don't know what might have become of me. It's more of a question of would I have been a guitarist or not? It's that intervention. Because the guitar had all the strings on it, and that's the really weird part. You sometimes see guitars [abandoned] if they are broken. Anyway, it's something that I can ponder and wonder about, but be very grateful for.

Led Zeppelin Reissuing 2 More Albums This Fall

What are some of your favorite photos in the book?

The opening one of me as a choirboy one is pretty good. And then there is the last picture [a present day shot of Page holding a guitar]. I put the choirboy picture in there with my tongue in my cheek. You know how all those black soul singers say, 'Well, you know it all started in church, man.' I thought, 'Okay, well here we are: A white Anglo Saxon protestant in church.'

How did you feel when compiling the book and looking back over your life?

It is a privilege to be able to do because it's the sort of thing that somebody would probably do after you were dead. I would rather do it while I was still alive because at least I know what the proper journey of it all was. One of the things that became quite apparent doing all of this was just how some of the Led Zeppelin stories and the history had distorted over the years and just absolutely wasn't accurate.

Such as?

The reality of [Led Zeppelin] is that it came out of the ashes of the Yardbirds disbanding [in 1968]. I knew I wanted to form my own band at that point and what material I wanted to do. And from the point of having no band at all -- no Yardbirds, no nothing -- to actually going [forward] with determination and getting in touch with Robert [Plant] and going through the whole game plan with him. Because if he hadn't got it, I would have been looking for somebody else. But it came together relatively quickly. The Yardbirds break up in July. I'm probably doing this in August. John Bonham and John Paul Jones come in at the last minute, so the group suddenly solidifies pretty quickly. From that point we go to my house to rehearse. All of this sort of stuff people don't really know. Not just the fact that we rehearsed in my house, but that we played some dates in September in Scandinavia [as the New Yardbirds] to really get used to all this material. We then go in and do the album in October, and by the end of the following January, we have broken America. It's a handful of months and that's what is so astonishing out of all of it.

Led Zeppelin Aims to Send 'Stairway to Heaven' Lawsuit to Hell

You mention going through the game plan for Led Zeppelin with Robert Plant soon after meeting him. You obviously had a concrete idea of what you wanted to achieve with the band before the individual parts were in place.

Yes. If you look at the whole blueprint for it -- you make sure you get right the decisions on who is going to be in it. You don't try them out and then see if somebody doesn't look right and get rid of them. No. You get a firm commitment from everybody and then you do some concerts beforehand so you are limbered up enough to be able to do the album. And it was an independent album, too. It wasn't funded by a record company. It's the same blueprint for now. But now it takes so damn long. In those days you could be really speedy and efficient.

How important was it to Led Zeppelin's long term career that the first album was independently funded, rather than by a record label?

The thing about giving it [ready-made] to the record company was that you could make certain stipulations and say, 'We don't want to get to caught up in the singles market.' And the [response] would be, 'Why not?' 'Well, we're not going to. That's why.' Because that way we didn't have to keep referring back. We could just keep the music going on and on and on without having a point of reference, which would be a single for the next album.

Robert Plant on What Insp...d Zeppelin

Looking through your autobiography, you were astonishingly productive from the early 1960s, when you were an in-demand session musician, right through to the end of Led Zeppelin in 1980. With the benefit of hindsight, do you feel that your prodigious work rate throughout this period impacted on your creativity in the years that followed?

After we lost John Bonham, it wasn't a question of being burned out. I was just absolutely gutted. I had lost a great friend and a musician the likes of which don't come along all the time. He had established his identity on the very first track of Led Zeppelin I. He did that roll on the bass drum with one foot and it just changed drumming overnight. Me and him really understood what we were doing with Led Zeppelin and we just worked so well together. [His death] was a tragic loss all around -- obviously for his family, but for the world of music in general because he was just phenomenal. So, yeah, I wasn't feeling that good when we lost John. But then things started to come along. It's not in the book, but I did some work with two guys from Yes [Chris Squire and Alan White] and that was really interesting. It was a good workout for me.

In recent years, you have devoted your energies to overseeing the remastering and reissue of Led Zeppelin's nine studio albums, the first five of which were released this year. How important are those releases in maintaining and building on the band's legacy?

Very important. Absolutely. Because there had been a certain amount of live material out, including The O2 concert album Celebration Day, we felt it was important to have the re-address the balance of the studio material and give [the fans] all this extra information. I never under-estimate the fan base and how many are out there, and I know what they want. The only conflict was when to put them out. So the [remastered albums] are coming out in measured periods over the next year or so. And then there is still other stuff to come from me.

Led Zeppelin Drops Unreleased 'Black Dog' Take From 'IV' Reissue

What can you reveal about your own solo material or live plans?

Only so much because I'm not working with other musicians yet, but I am currently playing the guitar at home. If you spoke to me a year ago, I just wouldn't have had time. I would have been listening to hundreds of hours of Led Zeppelin material [for the deluxe reissue campaign], but now that I have stockpiled all this material for scheduled releases, it gives me a chance to focus on my own music and then get the musicians in. My master plan is to be playing live next year. I haven't got another 20-30 years left in me, so I really need to get out there and present myself the way that I like to present myself and to be seen and be heard.

Can you elaborate on what form this music might take?

Clearly, I will do music that's reflective of this book and that covers all of the Led Zeppelin releases. But I have new music and I want to present new music. It wouldn't really be me if I didn't have music that was in various genres and moods, but there will be some surprises to go along with that. That's the idea. I can't say what that is because I haven't had the chance to really work on it. But given the momentum of working and knowing that I'm going to be doing concerts, I'm getting ready to start putting all the pieces into play.

Led Zeppelin Makes Fashion Statement With Paul Smith Scarf Range

Presumably you going back on the road negates the already slim prospect of there ever being any more Led Zeppelin live shows?

Out of all the years from 1980, let's say there was one serious concert [the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2, London], as opposed to doing just a few guest numbers, and that's seven years ago now. Certainly, from the point of view of Jason [Bonham], myself and John Paul Jones, there was a real will to actually work at it, but there was only one concert. I thought there was going to be more. It was intimated that there was going to be more. And quite clearly, seven years later, there is not going to be any more because obviously you need the will of all people involved. However, I guarantee that I will play Led Zeppelin music because I'm really proud of the music that I did and the instrumental side of it -- things like "Black Mountain Side," "White Summer" and "Dazed and Confused," which only has two verses when you play as an instrumental -- you can take into another sort of feel. So I would do all that stuff, but I would do it well. I wouldn't go out and make it look like a tribute band.

Images courtesy of Genesis Publications 2014.

An edited version of this story originally appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of Billboard.


Interview: Tinashe On Blowing Up And Being Compared To Beyoncé

Tinashe's runaway success seems like a no-brainer. A pretty face and a cute voice that bounces around a beat from the summer's hottest producer—girls scream, guys sweat, wash, rinse, repeat. It's the oldest trick in pop's playbook, and it's worked: starting with her breakout hit, "2 On," the 21-year-old has emerged as a critical darling and prominent force on pop radio. But in conversation, Tinashe comes off as complex as the deeper cuts on her debut album Aquarius—she's polished without question, but also unafraid to offer an idea that may strike a bit left of center. She spoke to The FADER about blowing up, taking control, and the pressures of putting on a show.

It's kind of sexy right now to bash major labels and say, "Oh, I do everything myself." You've released music on your own, but you benefitted tremendously from a major label breaking your record. Yeah, I have the inside scoop on both sides. Record labels—it can go one of two ways: It can be a really positive thing for you, or it can be a really negative thing, because you are contractually obligated to them and there's a lot of people with their own opinions. If they aren't aligned with your opinions, then there’s a lot of tension. So I can understand why they can have a very bad reputation. The key for me was just to get a record label that already believed in what I was doing and respected me enough, as an artist, that they wanted to know my perspective, as opposed to telling me what to do. Record labels are definitely a huge asset, You just have to make the right decision when you do sign that record label, not just sign with the first person who gives you a check.

You'd turned deals down? Yeah, I wasn't thirsty for a deal because I had already been signed to a major when I was in a girl group. I was doing the solo thing, and I did love the independence of just being able to drop stuff whenever I wanted. Like you said, it's kind of sexy to be independent. So I wasn't keen to get rid of that. But when I connected with RCA and they showed a really, really, really genuine understanding and belief in me, I was like, OK this could be something.

What was starting Aquarius like? I still remember the first session was with T-Minus. It was the end of 2012. I knew I was working on it because they were putting me into the big studios and with big producers, right off the bat. That was a big shift from what I was used to, because I was creating all of my music on my own, in my room. It took me a good eight months to get comfortable with working with other creative people. Also, it took a little bit for other producers to get to know who I was and where I was coming from. They didn't know I had a perspective—especially when you're a new artist, and young, and they have hits, it's like, “Why should I listen to you? I know what to do, you don't know what to do.”

Did you still do some of this album on your own, in your room? Yeah. "Aquarius," "Bet," and "Cold Sweat" were completely recorded at my home studio, and a lot of parts of tracks were recorded there, too. I just wanted to stay true to what I had created.


The New York Times ran a glowing review of your album that said you and Beyoncé are pretty much the only female voices in a male-dominated era of R&B. That's really bugged because R&B has traditionally been the main outlet for female voices in urban music. Why do you think it’s different now? I think more recently, they honed in on this idea that there can only be, like, one, or two female artists. Which really doesn't make sense to me because there's a million male artists that look the same, sound the same, make the same music, and nobody cares about that. But you can't be a fan of Tinashe and Beyoncé, you can't be a fan of Rihanna and Tinashe, you have to pick one or the other. Like, why can't you just be a fan of both?

The navy, the hives… Yeah, exactly. It's very segregated and I don't know what that's about, but hopefully that will change.

In your episode of At Home With, you talked about living with your family. You still live at home with them? That keeps me so grounded. Even though I can tell my life has really changed, I don't feel like it's really changed. I feel like it's just all the same stuff but it's a lot more going on. It's always nice because when you travel so much and then to come back and feel like you're at home and have people around you that you love. It's nice. So I'm not in a rush to leave. Especially because I'm so busy, why pay for an apartment I'm not even at?

Your dad is an immigrant from Zimbabwe, and I know the children of immigrants often feel torn between two worlds. No, I think it helped me. The fact that he started from nothing and then was able to make something of his life, it gave my parents the attitude that life is short, let's just go. Let's support her, let's see what can happen. Let's move to LA. Let's drop everything and leave all our family behind because if you don't try, who knows? If you don't take that leap of faith, then you never know [what] your life could become. I highly doubt when he was a kid that he thought that his life would turn out the way that it has.

Do your younger siblings know what's going on? Oh yeah. My brother wore a Tinashe T-shirt to school today. He gets to play songs during the lunch hour and he said he's going to play my whole album. They are so supportive.

If you're Tinashe's little brother and you DJ at lunch, you've got to be the man in the hallways. Yeah, he's on homecoming court this year and everything. He's living this year, it's his senior year. I like being able to be in their lives. And that's an awesome thing that I've been able to do, to be around for so much of their teenage years. I could have moved out of the house at 18, but I'm really close with them.

Did you feel any pressure, like your family was banking on your career? The only time I ever felt pressure was when like when my family was really struggling financially, like really struggling financially because we lived in LA, and they were there because of me. I was just like, I want to help, but I'm not bringing any money to the table right now, because I'm in grind mode, you know? But I never felt pressure from them to be successful. They never put that on me, or never made me feel any type of way about it at all.

That comes across on your album. You sing about feeling weighed down. Yeah, "Cold Sweat" touches on pressures in the industry. Now I feel more pressure than ever before—well, not now because the albums out, but when I was making the album. It's just to be successful, and you don't know what that is, so that's a really hard goal to chase because there is no defining moment where it's like, "Oh, you did this. You're a success." You know?

And the reward for that success is more work. Higher goals, higher stakes. It just continues and it continues. I don't really know what success will necessarily mean for me, but I still just want to be successful.

Photo by Scott Perry

What I like a lot about you is that you're still regular. [Laughs] Not jaded by the industry.

In your lane, everything is extra glam, extra performance. That's the job of a pop star, to present this show and be that glam girl. How is it balancing that? There's always elements of putting on a performance and putting on a show. You have to step up to that. But people have connected with me because I haven’t tried to seem too clean cut and polished. There's something to be said for being like a real person. I've always connected to artists whose music is coming from a legitimate place.

Who are some of those artists that you've felt that about? It's why I connect so much to indie/alternative music. I can feel that the writing was coming from a real place, like Bon Iver and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs as opposed to like the super label-made contrived stuff. That's why I want to be able to have a balance.

Have you written or produced anything for other artists, or is that something that you’d like to do? Not consciously for other artists. I've got so many songs now that I don't want that I would not be opposed to giving to other artists. I'd like to do that in the future, but I've just been so focused on this album and this music, that all 200 songs that I wrote over the course of the last few years were initially intended for me.

I'd heard a story about a song that you had done with Detail that ended up on J.Lo's album. How’d that play out? Yeah, “I Luh Ya Papi.” That was interesting because we had the song, we recorded it, and Detail played it for J. Lo. It wasn’t “Papi” at first, it was “I Luh You Nigga.” [laughs] Like, I luh ya luh ya luh ya nigga. They switched the swag up a little bit. I had the whole song, it was intended for the album and everything. And then Detail was in a session with J. Lo and he played her the track because you know these producers sometimes, they’re like, “Yo, lemme play you my hot shit!” I guess she obviously really liked it, and she cut her version, and one day Detail calls me and is like “B-T-dubs, J. Lo is singing that song.” I didn’t believe it at first, I thought he was just not trying to give it to me for some reason. I was like, “J. Lo does not want that song, she’s not gonna sing that.” And then it came out. I guess she wanted it. I wasn’t tripping on it too much. I really roll with the punches. A lot of things happen for a reason. Timing always is perfect, even when you don’t think it is. I clearly wasn’t meant to have that song. Who knows, “2 On” might not have existed if I did the other song.

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Reply #29 posted 10/17/14 6:40pm


Misty Upham, ‘August: Osage County’ Actress, Found Dead at 32

Misty Upham, 'August: Osage County' Actress, Found Dead at 32

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The remains were discovered during a search in Auburn, Washington on Thursday afternoon

Update, Thursday at 9:17 p.m. PT: The body of actress Misty Upham has been transferred to the King County Medical Examiner's office in Washington state for positive identification, after a nearly five-hour recovery operation. Upham's manager confirmed to TheWrap that the body found was hers.

A police statement on Facebook said:

“Because a purse containing identification of Misty Upham was at the scene the body is presumed to be that of Upham. The Auburn Police Department states that there is no initial evidence or information to indicate foul play; however the Medical Examiner will make the final determination.”

The police statement said Upham's body was found by a person in the search party organized by her family at about 1 pm on Thursday. The police found her body “approximately 150 feet down a steep embankment near the river heavily covered in brush. It took a 10-person crew to recover the body from the steep and wooded area,” according to the statement.

A body believed to be that of actress Misty Upham was discovered Thursday afternoon in Auburn, Washington, according to the Auburn Police Department.

The “August: Osage County” actress was reported missing by her family on Oct. 6. A three-person search party, including one family member, found Upham's purse and ID 10 days later near the White River. They discovered a body nearby, at the bottom of a 150-foot embankment and called 911. An official identification of the remains has not yet been made.

The police posted this photo of the search:

Upham, 32, was last seen leaving her sister's apartment on Oct. 5, on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, 16 miles east of Tacoma.

Police had responded to a call of a possible suicide at the apartment, but Upham was gone by the time officers arrived, according to Auburn police commander Steve Stocker. Upham's parents told police she had been taking medication for mental health issues, Stocker said. She was listed missing a day later in the Washington Crime Information Center database.

Also read: ‘August: Osage County’ Actress Misty Upham's Father Pleads for Public's Help in Finding Her

The Native American actress, a Blackfoot, played housekeeper Johnna Monevata in “August: Osage County” and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best supporting female for “Frozen River.” She also appeared with Benicio del Toro in last year's “Jimmy P.”

Below is the official statement that the Auburn Police Department posted on its Facebook page Thursday evening, after the remains were recovered.

It took nearly five hours for the Auburn Police Department and the Valley Regional Fire Authority crews to recover the body of a deceased person from a wooded area near the White River in Auburn. The body was discovered near Forest Ridge Dr. and has now been turned over the King County Medical Examiner for positive identification and a determination of cause of death.

Because a purse containing identification of Misty Upham was at the scene the body is presumed to be that of Upham. The Auburn Police Department states that there is no initial evidence or information to indicate foul play; however the Medical Examiner will make the final determination.

The body was discovered by a person related to a search party that had been assembled by the Upham family that was in the area searching for her at about 1 p.m. this afternoon.

The Auburn Police Department found the body approximately 150 feet down a steep embankment near the river heavily covered in brush. It took a 10-person crew to recover the body from the steep and wooded area.

The medical examiner is expected to release their findings in the next few days.

Upham was reported missing by her family on Oct. 6 and the Auburn Police Department had been investigating her disappearance.

Misty Upham's Father Says She Plunged to Her Death While Fleeing from Police

Misty Upham's Father Claims She Died While Fleeing from Police
Misty Upham
Samir Hussein/Getty

10/17/2014 AT 06:40 PM EDT

Actress Misty Upham's father, Charles Upham, believes his daughter died after accidentally slipping off a steep embankment – while trying to hide from police.

"She did not commit suicide," Charles said in a statement on Facebook. "We believe she ran into the wooded area behind her apartment to hide from the police. The area in question has a hidden drop off and evidence suggests that she slipped and fell off of the steep embankment when she tried to get out of a view from the road. She simply did not see the drop-off."

Upham's body was discovered on Thursday at the bottom of a 150-ft. embankment in Auburn, Washington, after she had been missing since Oct. 6. The August: Osage County and Django Unchained actress was 32.

In the statement, Charles said that his daughter had suffered from mental illness and accused the local police department of treating her poorly in the past.

"Misty was afraid of the Auburn PD officers with good reason," he said. "In an incident prior to her disappearance, the Auburn PD came to pick up Misty on an involuntary transport to the ER. She was cuffed and placed in a police car. Some of the officers began to taunt and tease her while she was in the car. Because it was dark they couldn't see that we, her family, were outside our apartment just across the street witnessing this behavior.

"They were tapping on the window making faces at her. Misty was crying and she told them, 'You can't treat me like this. I'm a movie actress and I will use my connections to expose you.' Then another officer walked up to her asked, 'Are you a movie star? Then why don't [you] complain to George Clooney!'"

On the day she disappeared, police responded to her apartment after a call that Upham may have been suicidal, but when officers arrived Upham had already left.

Auburn Police commander Steve Stocker declined to comment when contacted by PEOPLE about Charles's accusations, other than to dispute Charles's claim that Stocker himself had animosity against Misty due to a previous encounter: "I had never met Misty or talked to her," Stocker says.

Earlier, Stocker responded to the family's claims that Misty's disappearance was insufficiently investigated by local authorities, who declined to rule her an "endangered" missing person.

"Our detective was doing everything they could based on the information we had and the tips that we were getting," Stocker told PEOPLE. "We feel that we've done everything we could based on these circumstances, and we're just really sorry that this was the ending."

King's County Medical Examiner's Office determined the date Misty died was Oct. 5 but says the "cause and manner of [her] death are pending investigation."

In his Facebook statement, Charles wrote that his daughter, who grew up on Montana's Blackfeet reservation and in Seattle, was in an extremely vulnerable state.

"Imagine a 32-year-old woman with mental illness, without her medication, imagine she left in an unstable mental state," he said. "Imagine for the first time in 32 years she lost contact with everyone for 11 days."

Her devastated family and friends are heartbroken by the tragic turn of events.

"Misty loved life, she had ambition, vision and a desire to make a difference in the world she lived in," Charles said, thanking the Muckleshoot Tribe and other Tribal volunteers for their support.

A memorial fund has been set up in Upham's honor.
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Reply #30 posted 10/17/14 6:42pm


Scarlett Johansson set for first major TV role in Edith Wharton period drama

The Avengers actress will take the lead in The Custom of the Country series

Scarlett Johansson is set to star in a new period drama for her first major TV role.

The Lucy actress, 29, will play the lead in a limited series adaptation of Edith Wharton's classic 1913 novel, The Custom of the Country, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Johansson will also executive produce the eight-episode run, which Atonement's Christopher Hampton is writing from his original screenplay.

Hampton first wrote a feature-length script based on the book almost twenty years ago, but it never reached screens and was instead published in his 2002 collection of screenplays.

It remains unknown when the series will air but it is thought to be intended for US cable TV.

The storyline follows ruthless heroine, Midwestern girl Undine Spragg, as she struggles ambitiously to rise to the top of New York City’s upper social circles in the early 20th century.

Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes has reportedly cited The Custom of the Country as inspiration for his hit ITV drama, despite it not being one of the acclaimed US novelist's best-known works.

Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Age of Innocence reached cinemas in 1993, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and directed by Martin Scorsese, while The Reef and The House of Mirth were adapted for the screen in 1999 and 2000.

Johansson will next be seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, before starring in spin-off movie Black Widow and Disney’s live-action CGI remake of The Jungle Book.

She has starred briefly in TV before, with stop-motion animated series Robot Chicken in 2005.


Ben Affleck and Matt Damon team up again for new TV drama Incorporated

The espionage drama will debut on US cable channel Syfy

After starring in Gone Girl, Ben Affleck is keen to sink his teeth into another thriller.

The actor is developing a futuristic spy thriller with Matt Damon via their production company Pearl Street Films for US cable channel Syfy.

The drama, Incorporated, is set in a world where corporations have seemingly unlimited power, and will be the story of one man’s efforts to beat the system.

Damon and Affleck set up their film production company in October 2012, and made US drama movie Promised Land in the same year.

The company currently has four more on-going projects in the pipeline, including new film Live by the Night set in the Prohibition Era that will be directed by Ben Affleck.

The actors first starred together in their film Good Will Hunting in 1997, alongside the late comedian Robin Williams.

Matt Damon with Ben Affleck after winning the Oscar for ‘Good Will Hunting’ in 1998

Matt Damon with Ben Affleck after winning the Oscar for ‘Good Will Hunting’ in 1998 The two have been friends since childhood, and rose to fame after winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the Nineties film. They previously appeared in TV adverts as children for TK Maxx.

Incorporated will be written by filmmaker brothers David and Alex Pastor, with The Good Wife’s Ted Humphrey serving as executive producer.


Susan Sarandon to Play Marilyn Monroe's Mother on Lifetime's Biopic Miniseries

Susan Sarandon to Play Marilyn Monroe's Mother on Lifetime's Biopic Miniseries

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“Marilyn” is a four-part biopic about the Hollywood legend based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”

Susan Sarandon has joined the cast of Lifetime's four-part miniseries biopic on Marilyn Monroe, playing her mother, TheWrap has learned.

“Marilyn,” based on J. Randy Taraborrelli's book “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe,” the film purports to reveal for the first time everything that the blonde bombshell was able to keep from the public. The film will portray her as both a personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men.

Sarandon will play Gladys, Marilyn's mentally ill mother whom she loves, hates and wants desperately to save. The role of Marilyn has not yet been cast.

Produced by Asylum Entertainment, “Marilyn” will be executive produced by Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, Keri Selig and Stephen Kronish. It is written by Kronish and will be directed by Laurie Collyer.

Sarandon can be seen opposite Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning in “The Last of Robin Hood.” On the TV front, she had a recurring arc on Showtime's “The Big C” and CBS’ “Mike and Molly,” and she is developing the sitcom “Growing Ivy,” set to co-star real-life daughter Eva Amurri.

UTA represents Sarandon.


Aparecium! JK Rowling releases Harry Potter fans from spell by revealing Twitter riddle

The answer to the anagram refers to Newt Scamander, the lead character in 'Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them', not Harry Potter

JK Rowling has revealed the answer to her cryptic Twitter message after sending Harry Potter fans into a flurry yesterday.

The author tweeted “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense”, sparking speculation she may be working on a new Harry Potter novel.

But many fans soon realised the author was talking about her upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Dedicated fans on Reddit soon discovered that the words “New York” and “Newt Scamander” were hidden as anagrams in the post.

A fan called Emily Strong later solved the puzzle, tweeting JK Rowling to say: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours…#anagram.”

Newt Scamander is the writer of JK Rowling’s 2001 book Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them, a copy of Harry Potter's textbook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The magizoologist stars as the lead character in the forthcoming film adaptation to be written by Rowling, which will be set in New York 70 years before Harry Potter’s story starts.

The film will be the first in a new trilogy of spin-off movies produced by Warner Bros. It has also been rumoured that Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages will be adapted for the big screen.


Foo Fighters' "Something From Nothing" Review: New Song Roars with Unadulterated Power Thanks to Steve Albini [LISTEN]

Oct 16, 2014 05:35 PM EDT

Foo Fighters at "Sonic Highways" HBO Premiere (Photo : Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Foo Fighters' new HBO series Sonic Highways and the accompanying new album are right around the corner and in anticipation of the premiere date, today (Oct. 16), Dave Grohl and co. released the record's lead single, the crawling "Something From Nothing."

Hardcore fans of Foo Fighters will find certain aspects of "Something From Nothing" comfortably familiar. The burning, sliding guitar riff in the first verse has been used frequently in trailers for Sonic Highways. But soon, the track takes a swift left turn into funk and heavy metal territory with a guitar riff straight out of Black Sabbath's playbook.

Like the best rousing Foo Fighters singles ("The Pretender," "Best of You"), "Something From Nothing" is all about the buildup. Before going into the hook-filled rolling funk territory at the two-minute mark, the song begins quietly. A haunting duet of guitars bop between two notes as Grohl whispers into the microphone. There comes in that sliding guitar and a bit more volume.

But before you know it, "Something From Nothing" explodes into a flurry of pure rock 'n' roll. With each passing minute of the nearly five-minute song, the Foos gear up for battle, with increasing volume, intensity and anger.

By the end of the song, Grohl is in full-on blast off mode. "I'm something from nothing / You are my fuse / It goes oh, oh, oh," he screams near the song's end. And then he lets out a yell so intense it sends chills down your spine.

The buildup and eventual destruction of your speaker system should be no surprise from this single: it was recorded for Sonic Highways in Chicago with legendary record producer Steve Albini, who previously worked with Grohl during his time in Nirvana.

"Something From Nothing" is a powerful lead single, not equipped for the world of pop radio. But Sonic Highways is all about American rock, and this song is nothing but that.

The new Foo Fighters' single "Something From Nothing.

Foo Fighters' new album Sonic Highways will be released Nov. 10.

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Reply #31 posted 10/17/14 6:59pm


David Bowie premieres new song: Listen to 'Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)'

The track was premiered by Elbow’s Guy Garvey during his Radio 6 show Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour earlier today

David Bowie has debuted new song "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)" for the first time.

The track was premiered by Elbow’s Guy Garvey during his Radio 6 show Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour earlier today (listen to a YouTube rip from the show below).

Bowie announced the exclusive first play of the single on Thursday.

The dramatic, jazz noir track was recorded in New York this summer with Tony Visconti and the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

It features on the singer’s forthcoming three-CD compilation album Nothing Has Changed.

Bowie posted the lyrics to the new track shortly after it was first played on his official Facebook page.

"Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)" is set to be released on 10-inch vinyl and in digital download from 17 November. The vinyl version will also feature 2014 recording “Tis A Pity She’s A Whore”.

The compilation album, Nothing Has Changed, will be available to buy on 17 November.

The track listing for it is as follows:

CD 1:

“Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)”

“Where Are We Now?”

“Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA Edit)”

“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”

“New Killer Star (Radio Edit)”

“Everyone Says ‘Hi’ (Edit)”

“Slow Burn (Radio Edit)”

“Let Me Sleep Beside You”

“Your Turn To Drive”

“Shadow Man”

“Seven (Marius De Vries Mix)”

“Survive (Marius De Vries Mix)”

“Thursday’s Child (Radio Edit)”

“I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1) (Clean Edit)”

“Little Wonder (Edit)”

“Hallo Spaceboy (PSB Remix)” (with Pet Shop Boys)

“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson (Radio Edit)”

“Strangers When We Meet (Single Version)”

CD 2:

“Buddha Of Suburbia”

“Jump They Say (Radio Edit)”

“Time Will Crawl (MM Remix)”

“Absolute Beginners (Single Version)”

“Dancing In The Street” (with Mick Jagger)

“Loving The Alien (Single Remix)”

“This Is Not America” (with Pat Metheny Group)

“Blue Jean”

“Modern Love (Single Version)”

“China Girl (Single Version)”

“Let's Dance (Single Version)”

“Fashion (Single Version)”

“Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (Single Version)”

“Ashes To Ashes (Single Version)”

“Under Pressure” (with Queen)

“Boys Keep Swinging”

“Heroes (Single Version)”

“Sound And Vision”

“Golden Years (Single Version)”

“Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin Mix)”

CD 3:


“Young Americans (2007 Tony Visconti Mix Single Edit)”

“Diamond Dogs”

“Rebel Rebel”


“Drive-In Saturday”

“All The Young Dudes”

“The Jean Genie (Original Single Mix)”

“Moonage Daydream”

“Ziggy Stardust”

“Starman (Original Single Mix)”

“Life On Mars? (2003 Ken Scott Mix)”

“Oh! You Pretty Things”


“The Man Who Sold The World”

“Space Oddity”

“In The Heat Of The Morning”

“Silly Boy Blue”

“Can’t Help Thinking About Me”

“You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving”

“Liza Jane”

Bjork's 'Biophilia Live' set for DVD release

The film will come out on 'audio visual formats' on November 24

Bjork's 'Biophilia Live' set for DVD release

Photo: Press

Bjork's film Biophilia Live is set for release on DVD and Bluray on November 24.

Biophilia Live was filmed during the final night of Bjork's tour at London's Alexandra Palace in September 2013. It was directed by Berberian Sound Studio director Peter Strickland with Nick Fenton, editor of Arctic Monkeys' At The Apollo DVD. The release comes with extra footage which was filmed at Japan's Miraikan Museum during Bjork's residency at the venue.

The singer cancelled her appearance at the premiere of the film earlier this month in order to work on her new album. Organisers of the London Film Festival confirmed that Bjork would appear at its premiere at The Odeon West End on October 9. However, a statement on Bjork's Facebook page said: "We are so sorry, but since Bjork is already working on her next album (out in 2015!) she cannot come to the 'Biophilia Live' premiere at the London Film Festival this week. Many sorries, and be well."

Kanye West producer Arca recently announced that he is to co-produce Björk's new album, which follows 2011's 'Biophilia'.


By NME News Desk , October 17, 2014 15:17

Snoop Dogg working on new album with Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder

The record will be Snoop's first on Pharrell's I Am Other imprint

Snoop Dogg working on new album with Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder

Photo: Getty

Having released 'Reincarnated' under his Snoop Lion alias last year, Snoop Dogg has now signed to Pharrell Williams' I Am Other label for his next rap record.

The yet-untitled album will be produced by Pharrell himself, who has previously worked with the rapper on tracks like 'Beautiful' and 'Drop It Like It's Hot'.

As reported by Billboard, the record – which currently has no due date confirmed – will also feature guest spots from the legendary Stevie Wonder and Charlie Wilson, who recently collaborated with Kanye West on 'Yeezus'.

It'll be Snoop's 13th studio album to date and the first under his better-known moniker since 2011's 'Doggumentary'.

Pharrell has recently worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, Kylie Minogue and Schoolboy Q.

Snoop Dogg made headlines earlier this week after engaging in an online feu...ggy Azalea, of whom he made several unsavoury comments about on social media. The rapper has since apologised for his role in the argument.

'God Only Knows' how the BBC got this lot together: Auntie's star-studded new single is a slick yet charmless affair

Pharrell Williams, One Direction and Kylie join forces for BBC's The Impossible Orchestra cover of Beach Boys classic

In the face of cuts and questions over the licence fee the BBC is probably hoping that the rather less-than subliminal messaging in a star-studded new cover version of “God Only Knows” (which continues “What I’d Be Without You”) it released last night will remind us all just how necessary the corporation is.

The reworking of the Beach Boy’s 1966 classic includes more celebrities than your average night in Funky Buddha. The 27 big names, including Dave Grohl, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Paloma Faith and Emeli Sande, have joined forces to mark the launch of BBC Music, an initiative described as “an ambitious wave of new programmes, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives that amount to the BBC’s strongest commitment to music in 30 years.”

The video, which aired across the BBC’s digital, radio and television platforms simultaneously last night, is dripping with high production value and sleek celebs decked out as the various players in a rather fantastical orchestral pit, accompanied by a real 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra. Think Moulin Rouge meets The Royal Albert Hall. Jamie Cullum floats in a hot air balloon, Elton brushes butterflies off his suit and Kylie floats above the musicians in a giant bubble in an impressive display of the BBC’s CGI might.

But what of the song? The classic B-side to the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is a beautiful, if irritatingly catchy tune. And in comparison to the BBC’s most memorable musical release to date, a megastar cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” in 1997, the voices it has gathered together can each be heard individually rather than as one hoary mass. But the high production value hasn’t produced the charm of “Perfect Day”, with each individual star inserting maximum oof and definition into their brief line or (in Jake Bugg’s case) set of “la la las” - a result which some might find rather cringe-inducing. There are plenty of pleasing arrangements, but too much trembling vibrato for my taste.

Video: Watch the full video here

Like “Perfect Day”, which raised 2 million for Children in Need, the BBC’s new single will go on sale to fundraise for the children’s charity. But unlike “Perfect Day”, which evoked a media storm after Auntie seemingly failed to recognise the implications of Lou Reed’s tribute to the drug heroin, “God Only Knows” is free of murky overtones and innuendo. The corporation has done well to showcase the breadth of musical talent it can access and this beautifully produced, if rather anodyne single, is likely to be a crowd-pleaser. Even if it is trying to get us to question, rather too explicity, quite where we’d be without the Beeb.

Who's who of 'God Only Knows' collaborators

BBC Concert Orchestra - Led by Principal Conductor Keith Lockhart

Martin James Bartlett - BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014

Pharrell Williams - N*E*R*D front man, solo artist and producer

Emeli Sandé - 2012’s bestselling artist in the UK

Elton John - International award-winning performer

Lorde - Youngest singer to top the Billboard Hot 100 in a quarter-century

Chris Martin - Multi-award winning Coldplay singer and songwriter

Brian Wilson - The Beach Boys founding member and front man

Florence Welch - Florence and the Machine’s leading lady and BBC Introducing alumni

Kylie Minogue - Aussie pop star and actress

Stevie Wonder - Motown’s biggest selling artist

Eliza Carthy - Yorkshire born international folk star

Nicola Benedetti - Former BBC Young Musician of the Year and international selling violinist

Jools Holland - Later… host, Radio 2 presenter and Squeeze pianist

Brian May - Queen’s lead guitarist and rock legend

Jake Bugg - BBC Introducing graduate and solo star

Katie Derham - BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts presenter

Tees Valley Youth Choir - Young North East collective

Alison Balsom - Trumpet soloist and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist

One Direction - Global boy band phenomenon

Jaz Dhami - Birmingham born Bhangra sensation

Paloma Faith - British pop songstress

Chrissie Hynde - The Pretenders founding female

Jamie Cullum - Modern Jazz vocalist/pianist and host of Radio 2 jazz show

Baaba Maal - Senegalese Pulaar singer and guitarist

Danielle de Niese - Renowned Australian lyric soprano

Dave Grohl – Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age rock god

Sam Smith - BBC Sound of 2014 winner and transatlantic No.1 selling artist


Daley Performs Live Acoustic Cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”


British soulman Daley has been touring the world since the release of his excellent debut album Days & Nights. With more U.S. dates coming up this November, the singer/songwriter brings us a new acoustic performance, as he covers Sia “Chandelier” for a live session at ‘The Joint’ in London.

Known for his impeccable tone, Daley flexes his falsetto over a single grand piano, delivering a riveting rendition of the pop hit.

Peep the performance video below, and check out his upcoming tour dates here.


Premiere: Newcomer Kiki Rowe Releases “Be Alright” Music Video


Many of today’s most prominent and exciting young artists have emerged from outside of the U.S., and our northern neighbors have birthed a large amount of these acts. A brand new name to add to the list of Canada’s rising stars is Kiki Rowe, who will be releasing her self-titled debut album on October 28.

Featuring songs produced by the likes of DJ Mustard and Ivan Barias (of Carvin & Ivan) the 8 song mini album is recommended for fans of smooth, yet powerful ambient R&B a la The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. The album has been preceded by the lead single, “Be Alright,” which instantly intoxicates with its lush production as Kiki professes the power of the love she is willing to give to her man.

“Babe, wait, listen to the words I’m sayin, it seems like me and you be fadin, this ain’t a little game I played in,” she softly coos. The cinematic visual plays off the songs commanding allure and emotion as a camera follows Kiki around the balcony of her building at dawn.


Born Keandra Shan Lal and raised in Mississauga, Kiki’s given name draws origins from the term “inspirational writer.” In addition to songwriting, which draws heavy influences from Usher and Tori Kelly, Kiki is also an accomplished pianist, taking first place in Ontario’s Conservatory of Music for Best Piano Composition in 2009.

Kiki Rowe will be available for free download October 28.

Check out the premiere of her new video below!


Faith Evans Talks New Album, Journey Within The Industry, Memories of Biggie, And More


If you think you really know what the ’90s encompasses of, then you have to know that Bad Boy reigned supreme for a vast majority of it. Not only with Diddy’s supreme business skills or Biggie’s lyricism, but in the artists that the developed and introduced to the world.

One artist that was on the roster of definite talents was that of Faith Evans. Arriving on the scene in 1995 with her self-titled debut album, the seasoned songstress has had her share of triumphs as well as failures. From the loss of Biggie and rumors of drug abuse to the success of the R&B Divas franchise, Faith has been a driving force in the R&B community and music industry.

Sitting down with Power 105’s The Breakfast Club, the famed singer and mother discussed her upcoming album Incomparable – which is due out on November 24 – as well as the rumors that surround her past and her and Biggie’s son, CJ. In addition, the timeless talent touched on her last encounter with former Bad Boy rapstress, Lil’ Kim, her connection with Biggie, working with Keyshia Cole, and more.

Watch as she keeps the Faith below:

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #32 posted 10/17/14 8:36pm


He's a mixture of Stevie, Maxwell, GM, James Morrison and TTD. Check him out!

New Music: JP Cooper – Satellite

jp cooper

It's been 15 years since the dreadlocked JP Cooper first started sharing his gift with the world, and it's been a slow burner for the Manchester-hailing singer. But where (an abundance of) talent, perseverance, and a bit of luck collide, the fire of success has no choice but to ignite. Having inked a deal with Island Records earlier this year, followed up by the release of the supremely well-received Keep The Quiet Out EP last month, JP Cooper seems to be fast on the road to combustion.

Enjoy this exclusive premiere of the JP Cooper track "Satellite," and read our interview with him below.

ALYA MOORO: Was there a particular moment where you realized music is what you wanted to do?

JP COOPER: It came towards the end of high school. Initially I wanted to be in sports; I was always a stubborn person, I never wanted to do things by halves—I wanted to be an Olympian. Then music kind of got its claws into me. I was just playing around with friends, but even at that point, I used to moan at the guys if they turned up late or if the drummer hadn't been rehearsing. They were like, "We're 15... we're not exactly going to be the next Green Day," or something like that, and I was like, "Who says that?!" Even then, I had the attitude that nothing was too big a dream.

MOORO: Your latest EP is very different from your previous offerings. How do you think your sound has developed?

COOPER: It was kind of a conscious idea to do that. My rough plan was to do three EPs and then hopefully by that point have enough money to do the album. We didn't, so at that point I started to record another one and I purposefully thought, "Okay, because it's not of the three, I'm going to experiment a little bit. And maybe people won't just put me in that box of like, ‘JP is this very traditional songwriter who works with live instrumentation and strings...'" It's [still] the heart of me, but I'm interested in a lot of things; I wanted to run with it and show people another side of me.

MOORO: Which part of the creative process do you enjoy most?

COOPER: The thing about being in the studio and writing is that when I'm finished something, it's like a physical thing, whereas with a gig, you're in it, then it's gone. You have these little flashes of moments of memory, but you can't really remember what happens. I love the studio because I can sit back and orchestrate things and I can make it perfect, but I love live [too], that's the kind of payday where you get to share it with people.

MOORO: What kinds of things inspire you?

COOPER: Everything comes out the way I'm feeling at that moment, or it might be a hindsight kind of thing or a conversation I have with a friend or something that I've heard in a bar. I used to work in a bar, and sometimes I'd write little things down and try and go into that, elaborate on that a little more or make up my own stories behind the idea. A lot of it is quite personal; it's like a diary to me. Particularly now [as] I'm trying to write a lot more, I like to think of little ideas rather than it all having to be pulling my heart out every time, because that gets a bit heavy.

MOORO: Is music quite a release for you?

COOPER: Yeah, there's something about sitting in a room as four friends—particularly as adults, a lot of the time you don't do that [anymore] unless you're drinking—and thinking about ideas and creating together. I don't think that's something that many people do and I think it's an amazing thing for your mind; it's a very beautiful thing.

MOORO: Other than great songs, what do you think is one thing that all great artists need?

COOPER: Patience and persistence. I started this journey 15 years ago, and I never saw any commercial success, and I've seen so many relationships fall apart and I've lost so many jobs and I've been broke for so long. A lot of my friends did music and then they stop because life is challenging, life asks a lot of you and sometimes music doesn't really have the answers to everything. Luckily I've been stubborn enough to push on through and I've got an opportunity now to make something work.

MOORO: What is it that keeps you motivated?

COOPER: I've always seen progression and growth, so I've always wanted to continue; I never felt like it got to a point where I was kind of plateaued. You do something you've never done before, or you write a song and think, "That's so much stronger than anything I've done before..." That inspires me. I've gone this far; it could just be round the next corner. I wouldn't want to quit at the last hurdle. I'm not here for the lifestyle; I want this.

MOORO: You've had some pretty awesome moments, too! What was it like touring with Angie Stone? Anything in particular you picked up from watching her?

COOPER: That was really special for me. The band was fantastic and the show was really beautifully put together, but one thing that I really picked up from her is the way that she cared so much about the show. I remember at one point she'd gone overtime at this venue and the stage manager was telling her, "You need to finish!" and she came to the side of the stage and she was genuinely really pissed off with him, not in a diva kind of way but like, "You're messing my show up! I'm trying to give here!" There was a real sort of honesty that after all these years that she still really wants to give.

MOORO: What's one thing you've learned over the last 15 years?

COOPER: The power of writing in general. When I started out I thought that if I was a great singer or if the band had the right look or the right attitude, if we had this cool sound, that was the way to do it. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of great songs and of honesty; being honest in the way that we share.


Well this is a nice surprise.


This past summer we introduced you to an artist by the name of JP Cooper with his EP Keep The Quiet Out, but he’s been a little silent himself since then.

It seems as if the quiet spell is over though as the talented Island Records singer has released a new song titled, “Satellite“. Singing out, “Back against the wall for you, I’ve never felt so small,” the UK crooner belts out about the only woman for him.

Interviews: http://www.mobo.com/news-blogs/jp-cooper-mobo-interview



Take a listen to the song below!

Mini Concert:

[Edited 10/17/14 20:37pm]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #33 posted 10/20/14 4:37pm


Tim Hauser, the Founder of the Manhattan Transfer, Dies at 72

Tim Hauser Credit Georgios Kefalas/Keystone, via Associated Press

Tim Hauser, a singer and showman who founded the Manhattan Transfer, a Grammy-winning vocal group that brought four-part harmonies to several decades’ worth of American popular songs, died on Thursday in Sayre, Pa. He was 72.

The cause was cardiac arrest, said his sister, Fayette. She said he had been taken to a hospital in Elmira, N.Y., with pneumonia shortly after arriving in nearby Corning for a scheduled performance and was later moved to a hospital in Sayre, where he died.

Begun in 1972 when Mr. Hauser was making ends meet as a New York City cabdriver, the Manhattan Transfer became known for its jazzy treatment of a wide spectrum of musical styles, from gospel and swing to doo-wop, pop and rhythm and blues; for stylish and sophisticated arrangements; and for a razzle-dazzle stage presence featuring slick costuming and arch choreography.

The group’s wide repertoire embraced different eras. It included Louis Armstrong numbers from the first half of the 20th century; “Tuxedo Junction,” which had been a hit for Glenn Miller in 1940; “Route 66,” Bobby Troup’s 1946 paean to the great American highway, which had been covered by Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry and others; the gospel tune “Operator,” recorded by the Friendly Brothers in 1959; the Rascals’ 1967 pop hit “Groovin’ ”; and soul songs like “The Boy From New York City,” a remake of a 1965 hit by the Ad Libs that was the group’s only Top 10 single.

Before Mr. Hauser’s death, the Manhattan Transfer had the same four members — the others were Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentyne — since the late ’70s, when Ms. Bentyne replaced Laurel Massé, who had been Mr. Hauser’s first recruit for his new vocal group but who had been injured in a car accident. By then the Manhattan Transfer had earned a substantial following, touring extensively, recording for Atlantic Records and headlining a summer variety series on CBS in 1975.

Still, the years between 1979 and the early 1990s were the group’s heyday. During that time they recorded their best-known albums — among them “Extensions,” which included a vocal version of the Weather Report song “Birdland,” which became one of their signatures; “Vocalese,” a collection of songs with lyrics (written by Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross) set to previously recorded jazz instrumentals; and the samba-tinged “Brasil” — and won multiple Grammys in both jazz and pop categories.

In addition to providing a midrange voice and crisp diction to the group’s renditions, Mr. Hauser was in charge of its public image, of which he was very conscious. Always flashily dressed onstage — sometimes with casual extravagance, now and then in formal wear — the Manhattan Transfer employed showbizzy dance steps in live performances, a Hollywood or even Las Vegas touch that appealed to many fans but that critics sometimes found irritating.

“On the one hand,” the New York Times critic Robert Palmer wrote in 1980, the four vocalists “are genuine aficionados of pop music’s many vocal-group idioms.” But, he added, “they’ve built their following with the help of a liberal amount of flash and often their jive talk, costume changes and showy stagings have tended to overwhelm the more musicianly qualities in their work.”

Timothy DuPron Hauser was born in Troy, N.Y., on Dec. 12, 1941, and grew up mostly on the Jersey Shore, in Ocean Township and Asbury Park. His father, F. Jackson Hauser, was an insurance adjuster; his mother, the former Theresa Butters, was a school secretary who later opened her own travel agency. She died earlier this year.

Mr. Hauser went to high school in Belmar, N.J., and studied economics at Villanova University. He was interested in vocal pop music from an early age and sang in his high school glee club.

In 1956, he met the members of the doo-wop group Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

“I heard them warm up a cappella in the dressing room before a concert, and that did it for me,” Mr. Hauser recalled in a 2012 interview for the Archive of Music Preservation. “I would say karmically, that was God hitting me with that lightning bolt, going, ‘Here it is, kid; if you miss it, it ain’t my fault.’ ”

When he was still in his teens, Mr. Hauser and a friend started a singing group called the Criterions, recording several songs and appearing on the same bill with groups including Dion and the Belmonts. He later sang in a folk trio, the Troubadours Three.

After graduating from Villanova in 1963 and serving in the Air National Guard, he worked for a time in advertising and in the marketing department of Nabisco. In 1969 he started a singing group, a quintet with a country and rhythm-and-blues bent that he called the Manhattan Transfer. (The name comes from the title of a 1925 novel by John Dos Passos.)

They recorded one album, “Jukin’,” for Capitol Records before disbanding. In 1972, Mr. Hauser was driving a cab to pay the bills when he picked up Ms. Massé, then a waitress and aspiring singer, as a fare, and the second iteration of the Manhattan Transfer began to gestate. Several weeks later, another fare brought him to a party, where he met Ms. Siegel. Mr. Paul, who was performing in the original Broadway production of “Grease,” was a friend of Ms. Massé’s boyfriend.

Mr. Hauser, who lived in the Los Angeles area, recorded a solo album, “Love Stories,” that was released in 2007.

He also appeared as an actor in the 1991 film “The Marrying Man,” whose soundtrack he helped produce.

His first two marriages ended in divorce. In addition to his sister, he is survived by his wife, Barb Sennet Hauser; a son, Basie; and a daughter, Lily.

Manhattan Transfer will perform despite loss of founding member

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2014 3:07 pm

The Manhattan Transfer has decided to keep their shows going despite the loss of founding member Tim Hauser on Oct. 16.

The group is scheduled to perform an intimate show called “The Living Room Sessions” on Oct. 25 at Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro.

A statement from the group says, “We are all deeply saddened at the loss and passing of Mr. Tim Hauser on Oct. 16. As you know, Tim was the founder of The Manhattan Transfer, a phenomenal artist and musician. In addition, he was a genuine friend, and colleague to us all. To honor the legacy that he began, The Manhattan Transfer will continue to tour and honor their commitments. His family appreciates your support, love, and privacy at this time.”

Trist Curless, veteran vocalist, will round out the quartet at the Carolina Theatre. Trist has performed and recorded with M-pact, Straight No Chaser, Take 6, Bobby McFerrin and New York Voices.

Tickets are $10-$59.50 at the box office, by phone at (336) 333-2605 or online at http://www.carolinatheatre.com.

For more information, visit http://manhattantransfer.net.

[Edited 10/20/14 16:39pm]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #34 posted 10/20/14 5:21pm


Tide is High writer and singer John Holt dies at 67

John Holt
John Holt first released The Tide is High as part of The Paragons in 1967

Reggae vocalist John Holt, who sang the original version of Blondie's hit The Tide is High, has died aged 67.

His manager Copeland Forbes told the Jamaica Observer he died in a London hospital on Sunday. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Holt rose to fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of The Paragons, writing and releasing The Tide is High in 1967.


He went solo in 1970 and went on to become one of the biggest stars of reggae music in Jamaica.

Musicians paying tribute to the singer have included Jamaican rapper Shaggy, who tweeted: "We have lost a legend. Very instrumental part of our reggae history! You'll be missed."

Fellow Jamaican artist Sean Paul said: "RIP Sir John Holt. You have served your culture well. I salute you."

UB40 added that Holt was a "massive inspiration and will be sorely missed".

Born in 1947 in Kingston, Jamaica, Holt penned a number of The Paragons' hits including Tonight, I See Your Face and Ali Baba as well as The Tide is High.

Although the track was popular in Jamaica, it only went mainstream when US band Blondie topped the charts on both side of the Atlantic with their version in 1980.

It went on to be covered by a number of other artists including Atomic Kitten, Maxi Priest and Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall.

As a solo artist, Holt's 1972 track Stick By Me was the biggest-selling Jamaican record of the year.

His only success in the UK came with his 1974 cover version of Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through the Night, which spent 11 weeks in the top 40 and peaked at number six.

Holt went on to release almost 40 albums over his career, mostly through Trojan Records.

The record company paid tribute to the singer, calling him "a huge talent and a true gentleman".

His last solo album, Peacemaker, was released in 1993.

John Holt performing


Paul Craft, Songwriters Hall of Famer, dies at age 76

Peter Cooper, pcooper@tennessean.com 6:14 p.m. CDT October 18, 2014

Paul Craft, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer whose sparkling wordplay was a reflection of his intelligent, irony-drenched, amiable personality, died Saturday morning at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital after years of deteriorating health.

Mr. Craft was 76. His songs traded on humor and heartache, with lyrics that often elicited chuckles and sighs.

"Leave me alone, don't try and ease me," he wrote in the ballad "Walking Home In The Rain," his personal favorite of his hundreds of compositions. "I'm not too lonesome to handle the pain/ Too few lovers don't leave me/ I'm getting used to walking home in the rain."

Though "Walking Home In The Rain" was Mr. Craft's favorite self-penned song, it was far from his most successful. In the bicentennial year of 1976 alone, country artists released seven of his songs as singles, and two of those songs — "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life" and the wry and rare football-themed gospel number, "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)" — earned Grammy nominations.

His "Brother Jukebox" was a No. 1 hit for Mark Chesnutt in 1991, and he also wrote Top 10 songs for T. Graham Brown ("Come As You Were"), Gail Davies ("Blue Heartache") and Moe Bandy (the aforementioned "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life"). Ray Stevens charted with Mr. Craft's "It's Me Again, Margaret," a howler that became one of Stevens' signature songs.

The Eagles recorded Mr. Craft's "Midnight Flyer" for their "On The Border" album and Linda Ronstadt memorably performed his "Keep Me From Blowing Away" on her "Heart Like A Wheel" album.

Singer-Songwriter Paul Craft.

Singer-Songwriter Paul Craft.(Photo: Art from Talent Agency Publicity Photo (From Tennessean Library File))

Mr. Craft is also among the most-successful bluegrass songwriters. Alison Krauss sang his "Teardrops Will Kiss The Morning Dew," The Osborne Brothers sang his "Fastest Grass Alive," Charlie Sizemore sang "Nothing Happening Every Minute" and The Seldom Scene — the progressive-minded group that just entered the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame — recorded standout versions of his "Raised By The Railroad Line," "Through the Bottom of the Glass" and "Keep Me From Blowing Away."

With the exception of "Nothing Happening Every Minute" (penned with Pat Alger), all of those songs were written solely by Mr. Craft, not carved out as collaborations.

"Back then you didn't need to tell anyone you wrote a song 'by yourself,'" he wrote in 2002, in the liner notes to his "Raised By The Railroad Line" album. "This was before the current Nashville practice of 'co-writing.' Some of the reasons for this activity I can only guess at. But I can't help feeling that if Ernest Hemingway had been forced to 'co-write' 'The Sun Also Rises,' it wouldn't be the same book and that would be a shame."

Mr. Craft knew his Hemingway, and plenty more. He was the rare roots musician to join American Mensa, an organization only available to those who score in the top two percent of the general population on an intelligence test.

That intelligence, and Mr. Craft's unique — even quirky — perspective showed in his lyrics. "If you're gonna walk around my mind, honey take your high heels off," he wrote. In another song, he wrote that the only family he had left were Brother Jukebox, Sister Wine, Mother Freedom and Father Time.

He wasn't interested in sheer cleverness, though: Mr. Craft dealt in poetic specificity.

Singer-Songwriter Paul Craft.

Singer-Songwriter Paul Craft.(Photo: Art from Record Label Publicity Photo (From Tennessean Library File))

"The clickety sound of the southbound freight and the high-speed hum of a passenger train/ Becomes a part of the soul and the heart and the mind/ Of the boy that's raised by the railroad line," he wrote. And in his Ronstadt-recorded sinner's prayer, he wrote "Lord, if you hear me, touch me and hold me/ And keep me from blowing away."

Born in Memphis and raised in Arkansas, Mr. Craft taught himself to play various instruments as a kid. In his early 20s, he paused his studies at the University of Virginia and went on the road playing banjo with Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys. He also served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, graduated from UVA, attended law school, recorded with Martin for Decca Records, managed a Memphis music store, played in a band and, at age 28, began writing songs.

While in Memphis, Mr. Craft found kindred spirits in Dickey Lee and Allen Reynolds, who formed a publishing company and began publishing Mr. Craft's songs. In 1968, they placed Mr. Craft's "Somewhere With Me Sometime" with country star Skeeter Davis, and Mr. Craft was, officially, a professional songwriter.

In Virginia, he'd met banjo player Ben Eldridge and singer-songwriter John Starling, and when those two formed The Seldom Scene with Mike Auldridge, John Duffey and Tom Gray, they began recording Mr. Craft's songs. The first cut on the Scene's first album, 1972's "Act One," was Mr. Craft's "Raised By The Railroad Line." And other Craft-penned songs were recorded by Sam the Sham, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jack Greene, The Osborne Brothers and others.

In 1975, Mr. Craft moved to Nashville, formed his own publishing company and recorded for RCA, signed to the label by Chet Atkins, who became a dear friend. But Mr. Craft's songwriting success eclipsed his recorded work, as he became an in-demand song-scribe, with 35 recordings of his songs in his first Music City year. He also succeeded as a publisher, ultimately publishing four top-charting country songs.

A 1978 Associated Press profile by Joe Edwards described Mr. Craft as "a cross among Tom T. Hall, Steve Martin and Lenny Bruce," and that rings true through the years: Mr. Craft shared Hall's storytelling sensibilities, Martin's elevated sense of absurdity and Bruce's tendency toward satire and, at times, sacrilege.

After many Music City years, Mr. Craft came to be considered among modern country and bluegrass music's most inventive and impacting writers. An up-and-comer became a veteran, and Mr. Craft's peers came to consider him as Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame material. He was nominated numerous times for the Hall, and was finally voted in this year, along with Gretchen Peters, John Anderson and Tom Douglas.

On Oct. 5, Mr. Craft arrived at the Music City Center for his Hall of Fame induction. He had his photo taken with his fellow inductees, then was rushed to Saint Thomas Midtown after falling ill. He died 13 days later.

Paul Craft at the 2014 Nashville Songwriters Hall of

Paul Craft at the 2014 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions.(Photo: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame)


Holy snail mail, Batman! Caped Crusader nabs his own stamps

Who needs the Bat-Signal when you can send letters using these collectible Batman stamps from the US Postal Service?

batmanstamps.jpgThese new stamps are geektastic! USPS

Batman saved Gotham from everyone from the Joker to Bane, but now thanks to these limited-edition Forever stamps from US Postal Service the Dark Knight could be saving snail mail from being boring.

To celebrate Batman's 75th anniversary, there are multiple variations of DC Comics' Caped Crusader with eight designs which include four eras of Batman costumes and four Bat-Signals per sheet of 20 stamps.

The first row of stamps shows a muscular Batman from the Modern Age of comics. The second row features Bronze Age of comics Batman alerted by the Bat-Signal.

The third row displays Silver Age Batman jumping into action with his signature cape swooping behind him. The bottom row highlights Golden Age Batman envisioned by creator Bob Kane.

The background illustration on the sheet features a silhouette of Batman standing on a bridge with Gotham's skyline looming above. The reverse side of the sheet displays two illustrations of Batman as well as a short history of the beloved superhero. USPS Art Director Greg Breeding designed the stamp sheet.

"The US Postal Service has a long history of celebrating America's icons, from political figures to pop culture's most colorful characters," said Nagisa Manabe, USPS ...es officer, in a statement. "We are thrilled to bring Batman off the pages of DC Comics and onto the limited-edition Forever Batman stamp collection, marking his place in American history."

A sheet of 20 Batman stamps retails for $9.80 plus shipping and handling and is available now on USPS.com.


Rachel Ann Weiss



Listen: http://rachelweiss.bandcamp.com/

Earlier this summer UNTUCKED sat down with songstress Rachel Ann Weiss at Mohawk Bend Restaurant in Echo Park, CA. After spending an hour and a half chatting about everything and anything and exchanging various recommendations for books, movies, and music, it was decided that maybe we should all buckle down, turn on the recorder, and talk shop. The official interview, like our casual conversation beforehand, was easy and fun and much different than any we’d ever done before. In fact, our server was quite taken aback when she realized that we had just met Rachel and that this was indeed a work lunch and not just a social one. Rachel’s ease and charm allow her to quickly form bonds and bridge potentially awkward gaps with a smile and a Doctor Who reference.

Rachel’s soulful approach to life is apparent in the way she performs. She’s this glorious East Village version of Adele or Amy Winehouse with just enough New Yorker thrown in to really send it home. She’s very good at connecting with her audience, and with such personal yet relatable songs she draws the crowd in and keeps them mesmerized for the duration of her set.
Most of her songs are based on people in her life, and that authenticity paired with her vocal talent and stage presence is key to her approachability. As she told us during our interview, “I genuinely really write from the heart. I tend to write about personal experiences. Whoever enters into any kind of relationship with me should expect to be written about. But I think that really brings people in, because we all have times where we are completely drowning in emotions, whatever they may be, good or bad or ridiculous. That tends to be what I write about, what my songs come out of.”

Out of the dozens of songs Rachel has written over the years her personal favorite is off of her first album, Dear Love. “The Ballad of Joshua David Paul” came out of a time where Rachel was shoved “into what felt like a pit of emotional despair.” She doesn't remember actually writing the song, but rather walking into a rehearsal room at Hampshire College and turning off the lights to sit at a piano (an instrument she never actually learned how to play). “It came out of such a viciously dark time that there are so few things that can redeem those few months of my life. But that song in a nutshell is basically why I consider myself to be a musician and a songwriter. I wrote something I’m so proud of in a time that I so hate to think about that it actually makes all of that pain and struggle worthwhile because I created something and so to me that’s why I do this, that’s why I write. I can take something that I feel too immensely or I’m uncomfortable with and put it into a context where I create something that I consider beautiful and it validates even the worst moments of struggle in my life.” Rachel is an artist that is clearly very connected with the work she does and how it relates to her world. She does this work with such intentionality and grace that it’s really quite inspiring.

Rachel was lovely and welcoming as soon as we met her. However, her extroverted persona is something she’s cultivated over the years out of necessity, although there are limitations to that gregarious demeanor. She’s terrified of falling in love yet desperately wants it, perhaps explaining her penchant for falling for band members she can’t really have. Also, because she’s so terrified of being vulnerable in that way, she’ll write a song expressing her feelings rather than directly discussing them (which she doesn’t recommend, by the way). Take “Dear Love”, the title track off of her first record, as an example, “I wrote it because I was trying to write a letter to the man I’d been in love with and to say, because I dropped out of Hampshire after third year, ‘I’m leaving and I don’t know how to tell you that I love you but I’ve got to get out of here.’ So I ended up writing “Dear Love” at the top of a notebook page. Part of why I do what I do is because I write these songs when I’m in desparate need to say something to somebody that I can’t bring myself to say in person and hope that other people out there have similar experiences and can relate to it. It’s really nice not to feel so alone, especially when you’re on the crazy train. When you're pining away for someone and can’t seem to stop or see through it, you just gotta ride it out and hope that somebody else doesn't think you're as crazy.”

At least twenty songs in Rachel’s repertoire were written about a specific guy from her past and, surprisingly to us, he knows it. They've stayed close and because of this, the songs have a great scope. They show the entire life of a relationship. From first pings of a crush to the headstrong swoony flares of a new relationship through to the break up and finally a place where the relationship can be looked back on fondly. Two of her newest tracks, one from her new EP Always and one from her upcoming EP Never are about him. When she discusses writing songs about him she says, “It’s funny. I’m a firm believer in that if you really ever truly love someone you never stop loving them, the way you love them just changes. The way that I love him is not that obsessed whole hearted madness that I did years ago. It’s just that I do truly love him as an individual. And that’s a great thing to write songs about.” Rachel says “Dark is Coming Soon", a song about both him and one of her favorite musicians, Jeff Buckley, “was written about that night sitting next to him and remembering how it was…sitting there being so comfortable…that’s a sweet song about remembering how things were.” The other song about this man that will be released soon is “There’s Always Something to Be Loved” which Rachel explained by saying, “I clung to the idea that I was in love with him long after I actually stopped being in love with him. Because it’s safer to feel like your heart is tied up in someone that you can’t have than it is to risk being vulnerable again. And so until you make the decision to stop putting things in between yourself and the rest of the world, you’ll always find a reason not to find someone to be in love with. If you decide that’s what you want. So I wrote “Always Too Something to Be Loved”. You’ll find as many reasons as you want to and you’re always too something, it doesn't matter what something. That was my song of like, get over it bitch. Move on…you can make any excuse you want, but it doesn't make it valid.”

Rachel’s emotional connection to her work is so obvious when she performs live and on her records. She has this magical ability to really make you feel while not completely overwhelming you. As Rachel explained to us, “I’m going to break my heart against you.” With her meaningful lyrics, beautiful melodies and rich voice, we very much believe her. Needless to say, we at UNTUCKED have formed quite a musician crush on our new friend Rachel and can’t wait to see her in action again. We expect that this is just the beginning of a long and beautiful career for this exquisite soul.

Rachel's music can be streamed below via SoundCloud, or you can find her music here on iTunes.
Article by Annie Bigelow.
Images courtesy of Rachel Ann Weiss.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #35 posted 10/20/14 6:31pm


2014 NCLR ALMA Awards - Winner's Walk

In This Photo: Charo

Honoree Charo poses with the Ricardo Montalban Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Winner's Walk during the 2014 NCLR ALMA Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 10, 2014 in Pasadena, California.


Smashing Pumpkins "Being Beige" Review: Listen to Billy Corgan & Co.'s Emotional New Single

Oct 20, 2014 11:52 AM EDT

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins (Photo : Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Smashing Pumpkins are due to release two new albums in the next year or so, and fans of the longtime alt-rock outlet now have the first sampling of Billy Corgan and co.'s new album, Monuments to an Elegy. Today (Oct. 20), Smashing Pumpkins released its first single in two years, the slow burning ballad "Being Beige."

Smashing Pumpkins took things down a few notches for the lead single. "Being Beige" begins with the soft, familiar strum of an acoustic guitar, touches of a piano and a soft, touching drumbeat courtesy of none other than Tommy Lee.

Though the song begins slowly and softly, it doesn't stay there for long, in typical Smashing Pumpkins fashion. The first chorus explodes into a swell of loud guitars, ripping drumbeats and emotional pleas from Corgan, though don't ask him to explain the meaning behind "Being Beige" too much.

Despite seemingly heartbreaking lyrics such as "Yes, I loved you / As a matter of fact / Your fires are wrapped up / And that is that" and "You once made me smile / Then you strayed," Corgan isn't sure whether or not there is much "honesty" in the song's lyrics.

"People always ask me to explain songs, and honestly I can't," Corgan said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "But if there's honesty in this lyric, it's that there's something amiss in our cosmos. Yet still, we must love."

"Being Beige" is a far cry from the heyday of Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins' career, but it still manages to tug at some sort of heart and emotional plea, so it's still a successful nugget of alternative rock.

Listen to Smashing Pumpkins' new single "Being Beige" below:

"Being Beige" is the lead single from Smashing Pumpkins' upcoming album Monuments of an Elegy. The album is due for release on Dec. 9.


Gloria Estefan, Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Perform at Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala

By Leila Cobo, Miami | October 19, 2014 7:48 PM EDT

Gloria Estefan, Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Perform at Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala

David Bisbal performing at the second annual La Musa Awards presented by the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Manny Hernandez

David Bisbal, Jencarlos Canela and Diego Torres hit the stage as well, honoring Latin songwriters and Latin music champions

The second annual La Musa Awards presented by the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame was an eminently musical and emotional affair whose elegant execution bodes well for its future and growth. While last year’s inaugural event featured a smorgasbord of talent, this year’s event at the ballroom in the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach was smaller but far more impactful, and featured a string of outstanding performances from the likes of Alejandro Sanz, David Bisbal, Jencarlos Canela, Diego Torres, Jon Secada and R&B Singer Miguel, who was awarded the Triunfador (Champion) award.

“I appreciate that you've included me in such a prestigious event,” said Miguel, whose father is Mexican American. “I'll try to do my best to honor the Latin community.”

Gloria Estefan Tribute Planned at Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala

And the evening was a wide-reaching celebration of that community, ranging from emerging bright stars who have already found remarkable chart success like Canela, who received the “Luchador” (Fighter) award, to Sanz, a 15-time Latin Grammy and three-time Grammy winner.

Jencarlos Canela, who received the “Luchador” (Fighter) award, at the second annual La Musa Awards.

Four composers -- Gloria Estefan, Omar Alfanno, Lolita de la Colina and Rafael Pérez Botija -- were inducted into the LSHOF. Although the mainstream may only be familiar with Estefan (who as a songwriter has penned many of her greatest hits, along with tracks for Shakira, Secada and Celia Cruz), the others have also penned some of the most memorable music in the Latin songbook, and were celebrated with performances by Bisbal (for Perez Botija) and ranchero singer Rafael Negrete (for de la Colina). Estefan was serenaded by Puerto Rican star Ednita Nazario, who was later joined by Secada and a gospel chorus, performing Estefan’s life-changing hit “Coming Out of the Dark.”

“Music has helped me in some of the toughest moments of my life,” said Estefan in her acceptance speech, no doubt referring to that particular song, which she wrote after the traffic accident that almost left her paralyzed in 1990.

Gloria Estefan, Ricardo Arjona Among Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees

On his end, Alfanno, who has had over 300 songs recorded in his career, performed a medley of hits along with friends Beatriz Luengo, Luis Enrique and Angel López of Son by Four, the group that originally recorded “A puro dolor” in 2000. The track was Billboard’s Latin song of the decade based on airplay. Also honored was salsero Marlow Rosado with the La Musa Elena Casals award.

The gala not only acknowledged music-makers. Zach Horowitz, the legendary record executive who was most recently Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, was given the Publishers award for a career that long supported Latin music and Latin music makers. Horowitz, who was instrumental in growing Universal’s Latin division was serenaded Oscar-award winning producer and artist Gustavo Santaolalla.

“He has promoted Latin music like no other executive from the mainstream world has ever done,” said Santaolalla. “It is because of Zach Horowitz that I’m here and I mean it in the most profound way.”

Miguel performing at the second annual La Musa Awards.

Honored posthumously with the Desi Arnaz Pioneer Award was the late media mogul Pablo Raul Alarcon, founder of the powerful SBS radio network and media company. His son Raul Alarcón, SBS’ current chairman/CEO accepted the award with an emotional speech that reminded the room of the real reason for celebration.

“My father loved music,” he said. “He loved musicians. When I was little, we used to live in New York and he would come home after work every nigh with a bunch of vinyl records under his arm arm, and regardless of the time he'd put those records on and crank the volume. He was a music man, my father.”

All told, said Alarcón, songs have played more than 34 million times over SBS stations since the network was created in the mid 1980s.

Gloria Estefan,Emilio Estefan, Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala (LA MUSA Awards) - Arrivals

Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization founded by renowned songwriter/producers Desmond Child and Rudy Pérez in 2012 to honor and celebrate Latin music creators. Created under the auspices of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, its nominating committee is comprised by songwriters, performers, musicians, producers, engineers, music critics, and industry executives. The La Musa (The Muse) award was inspired by Child’s mother, poet and songwriter Elena Casals.


Glen Campbell Doc Director on the Alzheimer-Stricken Country Star: 'I Want Taylor Swift Fans to Know How Important He Was'

By Phil Gallo | October 20, 2014 4:08 PM EDT

Glen Campbell 1970
MPTV Images

Having produced the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, James Keach was cautious when meeting with Glen Campbell and his producer Julian Raymond, not wanting to be typecast as a guy who makes films about country singers. But their sit-down, when Campbell was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, was about making a film that examined the relationship between the brain and music that would be shot during the singer's planned five-week tour in 2011.

"How does a man walk onstage, play for an hour-and-a-half and then not know how to find the bathroom in his own house?" asks Keach, director-producer of Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, which starts its theatrical rollout Oct. 24 in New York. That five-week tour turned into a 151-show, two-and-a-half year trek, and "the best decision I ever made as a filmmaker," he says.

The movie is being pegged as a serious awards contender alongside two other films about aging entertainment figures coping with illness: Life Itself, about thyroid cancer-stricken Roger Ebert, and Keep On Keepin' On, about diabetic trumpeter Clark Terry.

Glen Campbell Sets Releas...orded Song

I'll Be Me equally addresses a legendary musician's legacy and a disease that affects more than 5 million people in the United States (according to the Alzheimer's Association) and shows no signs of abating. It includes intimate scenes with Campbell and his wife, Kimberly, receiving a doctor's definitive diagnosis of the disease, moments when he struggles with his memory and a 2012 Grammy Awards salute 10 months prior to his final concert in Napa, Calif.

Campbell's Career: A Glimpse At The Numbers

"Live in the moment -- Glen taught us that," says Keach, who has recently traveled with the film to the Hot Springs, Ark., Documentary Film Festival and a convention of 5,000 aid workers in Nashville. "He felt safe, nobody was embarrassed, so it became a journey of how to behave with somebody who has this disease. We agreed let's not try to make it look good when it's not. Let it be Glen and still show the pain of the people around him."

Glen Campbell Releases Hi...ou': Watch

Recently, Campbell, 78, and his family were featured on NBC's Nightly News and Today a week after Big Machine released an EP of songs from the film, including Campbell's final recording session, which yielded the single "'I'm Not Gonna Miss You."

"I want Taylor Swift fans to know how important he was," says Keach, 66, who financed the film through his PCH Films company. "It became not so much the story of Glen Campbell but the story of the gift that is being taken away from him. And us."


Leslie Jones Named ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Member


EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live loves to promote from within, and the late-night sketch show has done it again, pinning featured player stripes on a member of the writing staff. Starting with this week’s show hosted by Jim Carrey, Leslie Jones will be joining the cast of SNL, where she has been a writer since early 2014.

Actress-comedian Jones took part in the talent search for a new SNL cast member last fall. She was one of 12 finalists invited to audition on the SNL stage and was in serious contention for the spot that ultimately went to Sasheer Zamata. But Lorne Michaels and his team liked Jones too and brought her in as a writer. She quickly established herself not only off- but also on-screen with appearances on Weekend Update. Her bit on slavery in May made a lot of noise, and she also was featured in the SNL season premiere last month. (Watch the video below.)

Like Jones, new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che also started as a writer on SNL, a long-standing tradition on the show. Jones, who will continue to write on SNL, joins Pete Davidson as the second new featured player this fall. She is repped by APA, Integral Management and Pierce Law Group.


Gerard Parkes, Fraggle Rock actor, dead at 90

7 hrs ago
Fraggle Rock TV show

Gerard Parkes, the Irish Canadian actor, best known for his roles on the hit children's series Fraggle Rock and the American crime movie The Boondock Saints is dead.

He died Sunday morning in a Toronto retirement home, four days after his 90th birthday, his niece and agent have confirmed to CBC News.

Born in Dublin in 1924, Parkes came to Canada and launched his show business career on CBC Radio in the 1950s, before landing roles in TV, film and stage.

Parkes appeared in the 1960s CBC-TV adventure series The Forest Rangers, and popular children's shows The Littlest Hobo and Shining Time Station.

Canadian actor Gerard Parkes is seen in this 1977 portrait from the CBC Still Photo Collection. © Ruth Springford/CBC Still Photo Collection Canadian actor Gerard Parkes is seen in this 1977 portrait from the CBC Still Photo Collection.

Winner of a Canadian Film Award for his performance in the 1968 feature film Isabel, Gerard also won a Dora award for his performance in a 1999 theatre production of Kilt and several awards for radio dramas.

'A magical man'

Despite his lengthy and diverse achievements, Parkes is probably best known for playing "Doc" on Jim Henson's popular TV series Fraggle Rock.

The grey-haired, bespectacled character, with the dog named Sprocket, was the only human to regularly appear on the 1980s children's program about a colony of colourful creatures who live under Doc's house.

When asked what Parkes would think about being remembered most for acting with puppets, Gerry Jordan, Parkes' agent of 30 years said "he'd love it."

"He had a thrill doing that show," Jordon told CBC News. "We got loads of fan mail from kids and adults around the world."

Gerard Parkes as Doc on Fraggle Rock. "He had a thrill doing that show," says Parkes' agent Gerry Jordan. © Alliance Films Gerard Parkes as Doc on Fraggle Rock. "He had a thrill doing that show," says Parkes' agent Gerry Jordan.

"He was a magical man and a terrific performer."

Gerard Parkes is survived by his partner of two decades, Sheelagh Norman.

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Reply #36 posted 10/20/14 6:55pm


Former 'American Idol' Contestant Joanne Borgella Dies of Cancer

The 32-year-old had reached the top 24 on season seven

Associated Press

American Idol season-seven contestant and plus-size model Joanne Borgella has died from a rare form of cancer.

The Long Island, New York native was 32 and had been battling endometrial cancer, which she revealed in a video posted to her Facebook page a year ago had "spread to her chest."

Borgella, who was living in Hoboken, NJ at the time of her 2008 audition, made it all the way to the top 24, but was eliminated after a performance of "I Say A Little Prayer."

Prior to her stint on the Fox singing show, she was the winner of Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance pageant as “Miss F.A.T.” in 2005. A Wilhelmina model, she was also featured as a cast member on the second season of Curvy Girls on NUVO TV.

American Idol musical director Michael Orland offered his condolences on Twitter, writing, "So sorry to read about the passing of @JoanneBorgella. She was one of those special people that came through the @AmericanIdol doors. RIP."

It has been a sad year for the season-seven cast. Top 10 finalist Michael Johns passed away this August.


Ox Baker, Pro Wrestler Turned Actor, Dies at 80

4:16 PM PST 10/20/2014 by Mike Barnes
Courtesy of The Price is Right

The memorable ring villain fought Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken in 'Escape From New York'

Ox Baker, a reviled pro wrestling heel who grappled with Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken in the 1981 sci-fi film Escape From New York, died Monday of complications from a heart attack. He was 80.

A 6-foot-5 bald giant from Waterloo, Iowa, with impressively bushy eyebrows, Baker started in pro wrestling in the early 1960s and was known for the "heart punch" that took his opponents' breath away.

"Just got the sad news that my friend and wrestling great, Ox Baker, passed away a couple of hours ago. RIP OX," WWE color commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler wrote on Twitter.

See more The Rock and 5 Other Wres...wood Stars

In John Carpenter's post-apocalyptic classic Escape From New York, Baker played the savage warrior Slag whom Plissken kills with a baseball bat to the head.

Baker gave stuntman Dick Warlock all he could handle during rehearsal, and Warlock offered this piece of advice to Russell before his scene with the big guy: "Good luck."

Baker (real first name: Douglas) also appeared in Jackie Chan’s Battle Creek Brawl (1980), was a Russian wrestler in Blood Circus (1985) and played The Butcher in an installment of the horror anthology Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear (2013).


‘Love, Rosie’: Rome Review

The Bottom Line

But you say he’s just a friend


Rome Film Festival (Gala)


Lily Collins, Sam Clafin, Christian Cooke, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse


Christian Ditter

Lily Collins and Sam Clafin headline this adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling book

A schmaltzy, mildly satisfying Anglo take on the BFFs-to-bedfellows subgenre that’s been seen recently in romantic comedies like “No Strings Attached” and “Friends with Benefits,” Love, Rosie offers up another longwinded reason why two best buddies in a platonic relationship should just shut up and do it already. That’s in any case the obvious moral of the story in this contrived, if intermittently charming, adaptation of Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling book, brought to the screen by German director Christian Ditter in an overtly polished adaptation that features a Best Of soundtrack and two engaging leads whose good looks take the place of good writing.

Financed by the Munich-based outfit Constantin Film, and making its international premiere as a gala screening in Rome, the Lionsgate U.K. release should see decent coin on its home turf and modest action abroad, especially with female audiences. The Film Arcade will distribute stateside sometime early next year, though Rosie will likely find more love when Paramount Home Media puts it out on the small screen.

A gushy cute opening introduces us to Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Calflin), two lifelong friends who grew up in a picturesque English town and seem to be inseparable until their lives – especially their sex lives – start getting in the way. About to graduate high school and still both virgins (although the actors playing them look much older, and about as virgin-like as Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth), they find themselves pulled apart by circumstance and their failure to confess their true feelings for one another.

Alex hops across the Atlantic on a full scholarship to Harvard Medical School (somehow he managed to skip undergraduate studies), while Rosie plans to attend nearby Boston College (or is it University – the film mentions both) until a major monkey wrench is thrown in her direction: she accidentally gets pregnant after sleeping with the class jock (Christian Cooke) and “losing the condom in her vagina” – in one lengthy prom night sequence that’s meant to provoke major laughs.

With abortion out of the question (“My parents are Catholic,” she explains), Rosie decides to stay home and raise the child herself, all the while keeping it a secret from Alex. That fact that she manages to actually do this in our Internet age (the film takes place between 2002 and now) is just one of several head-scratching twists in the script by Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls), which relies on any number of movie mix-ups and quid pro quos to keep Rosie and Alex apart for more than a decade.

Stuck in Boston and hitched to a tall blond American ice queen (Tamsin Egerton) with whom he’s settled down into a life of domestic misery (wait, how old are these people again?), Alex begins to long for Rosie just as she gets stuff in order, taking a job as a chambermaid and reconnecting with the baby daddy who messed things up in the first place. A slew of other coincidences lead to a race-against-the-clock last act, and one in which anyone who’s read the rom-com rulebook will know what happens.

The material mined is nothing new, and both the writing and direction are of a rather generic order, with standardized lines like “I know boy-girl friendships can be quite complicated” meshed in with numerous crane shots showcasing the two photo-friendly settings (with Toronto standing in for Boston, and Ireland for England). Ditter has made a handful of popular comedies (The Crocodiles, French for Beginners) in Germany, and while he’s able to maintain a certain rhythm and polish, there’s ultimately nothing in Love, Rosie that distinguishes it much from your average in-flight movie.

Collins (The Mortal Instruments) and Clafin (The Hunger Games) provide ample eye-candy and create a decent amount of chemistry, even if the relationship portrayed often feels more serendipitous than real, while their characters actually look younger as time passes, as if they were both stricken with Benjamin Button disease. But there’s no denying an innate desire to see these two find happiness and finally get it on, and it’s that magnetic attraction which holds the movie together more than anything else.

Tech credits are slick in all departments, with Ditter’s regular DP Christian Rein capturing the shenanigans through magic hour lighting and nonstop lens flares. A soundtrack working on overtime includes a playlist of hits ranging from Elton John to Beyonce, not to mention Salt-n-Pepa’s 1987 jam “Push It” – which the filmmakers include in the scene where Rosie goes into labor. Get it?

Production companies: Constantin Film, in association with Canyon Creek Films
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Clafin, Christian Cooke, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse
Director: Christian Ditter
Screenwriter: Juliette Towhidi, based on the novel “Where Rainbows End” by Cecelia Ahern
Producers: Robert Kulzer, Simon Brooks
Executive producer: Martin Moszkowicz
Director of photography: Christian Rein
Production designer: Matthew Davies
Editor: Tony Cranston
Composer: Ralf Wengenmayr
Casting director: Gail Stevens
Sales agent: Mister Smith

No rating, 102 minutes


Zoë Kravitz's Debut LOLAWOLF Album Is Deep In The Late Night Zone


photographer Eric Feigenbaum
New York electronic pop trio LOLAWOLF, fronted by Zoë Kravitz and named after the singer's sister and brother, release their debut album Calm Down tomorrow on Innit Recordings but you can listen to it right here, right now. Full of smoky vibes and lyrical asides, it digs deep into 3am feelings and a broader palette of sounds then their self-titled first EP. "We made this record in the Bahamas and Las Vegas, and it comes through in the sounds: hip-hop beats, tribal elements...electronic rhythm and vibe," the band told The FADER over email. Dig in below and get your hands on it here.


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Reply #37 posted 10/20/14 7:21pm


Fashion Designer Oscar de la Renta Dies at 82

October 20, 2014 | 06:32PM PT


Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed generations of celebrities in red carpet and evening gowns, has died after battling cancer at 82.


He first came to fame dressing Jackie Kennedy, and founded an influential New York fashion house. Among the actresses who appreciated his glamorous red carpet gowns were Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Stewart, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain. One of his most recent commissions was Amal Clooney’s wedding dress.


His name was so synonymous with high fashion that an entire “Sex and the City” episode was based on the idea of Carrie Bradshaw receiving a knee-length red poufy dress from her boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky.

PHOTO: Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta speaks onstage next to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2013 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall, June 3, 2013, in New York.

Though his ruffles and slinky satin dresses were undeniably feminine, he told Elle magazine, “I hate pretty. It’s a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty.”

His designs were a favorite of first ladies — he dressed Nancy Reagan in the 1980s and then provided inaugural gowns for Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. Hillary Clinton introduced a recent retrospective of his designs, saying, “His name alone evokes elegance and timeless beauty. And his designs give each of us a chance to feel like we’re special, too.”

Born in the Dominican Republic to a powerful family, de la Renta went to Spain to study painting and apprenticed with Cristobal Balenciaga before moving to Paris to work at Lanvin and Balmain. He moved to New York where he worked with Elizabeth Arden before launching his ready-to-wear label in 1965.

He married Francois Langlade, editor of French Vogue, who died in 1983.


His second wife, who survives him, is philanthropist Annette Reed.

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Reply #38 posted 10/21/14 5:21pm


Famed Elvis photographer Alfred Wertheimer has died

USAToday 4:01 p.m. EDT October 21, 2014

Alfred Wertheimer, the photographer whose photographs of Elvis Presley documented the start of a legendary career, has died. He was 85.

Wertheimer's editor and gallery curator, Chris Murray, said Wertheimer died of natural causes at his New York apartment.

Wertheimer was 26 and Elvis 21 when he was hired in 1956 by Presley's record label, RCA, to take some publicity shots of the then-unknown singer.

He traveled with Elvis for one week in 1956 and produced a series of now-famous black and white photos that were the subject of exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution and the Grammy Museum, as well as private art galleries.

Among the most famous shots is The Kiss, a photo of Elvis nuzzling a woman fan, later revealed as Barbara Gray, backstage at a concert in Richmond, Va.

Priscilla Presley, Elvis' ex-wife, said Tuesday that no photographer was able to get as close up and personal with Elvis ever again.

"Elvis keeps me young," Wertheimer told USA TODAY in an interview in 2010. "Every time I pore over those negatives, I discover something new."

Wertheimer instantly liked his subject and decided to stick around. The resulting candid images captured the crooner on the still-innocent cusp of global stardom.

"This was just another assignment," Wertheimer said in 2010. "But those days with Elvis, before he was Elvis, have become a huge part of my life."

Contributing: Linda Deutsch, Associated Press


Annie Lennox Talks Feminism, Frowns Upon Twerking

Oct 21, 2014 12:30 PM EDT

Annie Lennox (Photo : Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Although Annie Lennox's new album, Nostalgia, is rooted in hits of the past, the singer continues to take aim at women in the present day.

During an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Lennox strayed away from promoting her new album, out today (Oct. 21), and decided to address more issues with contemporary artists and feminism. Inskeep asked the former Eurythmics member why she's been calling modern music by female artists "over-sexualized."

"Well you've said it in the question," she said. "The reason why I've commented is because I think that this overt sexuality thrust -- literally -- at particular audiences, when very often performers have a very, very young audience, like 7 years older, I find it disturbing and I think its exploitative. It's troubling. I'm coming from a perspective of a woman that's had children."

Lennox recently called Beyonce's form of feminism "feminist lite" and "tokenistic." Inskeep asked about the remarks. "Well, I didn't specifically criticize Beyoncé," Lennox said. "I was being asked about Beyoncé in the context of feminism, and I was thinking at the time about very impactful feminists that have dedicated their lives to the movement of liberating women and supporting women at the grass roots, and I was saying, 'well that's one end of the spectrum, and then you have the other end of the spectrum.'"

Before the pair got back to Nostalgia, Lennox summarized everything perfectly with one final sentiment. "Listen," she said. "Twerking is not feminism. That's what I'm referring to. It's not -- it's not liberating, it's not empowering. It's a sexual thing that you're doing on a stage; it doesn't empower you. That's my feeling about it."

Nostalgia is the singer's sixth solo effort.


Nina Tassler Admits To Lack of Diversity on CBS

“The reality is we have to look at making the best choices, hiring the best actors. And if we don’t get the level of diversity we’re happy with going into the fall, we look for every opportunity through the course of the entire year to add it.” Nina Tassler, CBS Ent. President

As small screen juggernaut, CBS Corporation, made its presence known at this Summer’s meeting of the Television Critics Association (TCA), new programming was introduced on all three of its venues—CBS Entertainment, The CW and cable outlet, Showtime. For Latino viewers hoping to see their faces more often this season, there was mediocre news from CBS, really good news from CW and no news from Showtime.

Nina Tassler.490

Nina Tassler

When Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment—the highest profile Latina in network television—addressed the members of TCA, she confirmed that none of the Eye Network’s new fall shows would feature a Latino as a series regular, stating, “The reality is we have to look at making the best choices, hiring the best actors. And if we don’t get the level of diversity we’re happy with going into the fall, we look for every opportunity through the course of the entire year to add it.”

Tassler, who is of Jewish and Puerto Rican heritage, projected to 2015, which will see the premiere of Dovekeepers, an ensemble mini series, featuring Cote de Pablo. Tassler continued, “So that was an opportunity for us to say, look, we didn’t get the level of diversity in some of the fall shows, but let’s make a big statement and cast Cote in
our event series.”

Cote de Pablo, whose departure from CBS’s NCIS was not popular with series’ fans, has signed on to star in the four-hour miniseries, based on Alice Hoffman’s historical novel set in ancient Israel, focusing on the intersecting lives of four women at the time of the Roman siege of Masada. The project is exec produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Dovekeepers air date is to be announced. It’s obvious Chilean-born de Pablo will not be returning to NCIS.

Jane.KeyArt.Latino action certainly perked up during The CW’s segment of TCA. The debut sitcom series, Jane the Virgin—loosely adapted from the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, created by Perla Farías—has a plethora of Latino series regulars, including Gina Rodriguez (Jane), Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglss, Ivonne Cole and Jaime Camil.

Set in Miami, the series focuses on the comical tribulations of Jane Villanueva, a religious young Latina whose plan to keep her virginity intact until marriage gets sidestepped when she is accidentally artificially inseminated during a checkup. For Rodriguez, who was also offered a series regular slot on ABC’s Devious Maids, the choice to star in The CW’s new series was compelling, not so with Devious Maids.

Rodriguez recalled, “I didn’t find the story possibilities on Maids as rewarding. I have many family members that have fed many of their families on doing that job, but there are other stories that need to be told. And I think that the media is a venue and an avenue to educate and teach our next generation. And, sadly, right now the perception they have of Latinos in America are very specific to maid, landscape, pregnant teen, even though I am playing pregnant teen, but not in the usual way.”

Raised in Chicago, of Puerto Rican heritage, Rodriguez has two older sisters, one of whom is an investment banker, the other is an actor. Rodriguez affirmed, “Growing up, I never saw us portrayed on television. I would look at the screen and think, well, there’s no way I can do it, because I’m not there. Well, now I am there and I can do it.”

Jane the Virgin premieres Monday Oct. 13 (9pm). It is exec produced by Jennie Snyder Urman, Ben Silverman, Gary Pearl, Jorge Granier and Brad Silberling.


Carlos Valdes

The CW’s other Latino friendly series is The Flash, developed by writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character Flash (Barry Allen), a costumed superhero crime-fighter who was created by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Carmine Infantino, scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 7 (9pm). Series regulars include Grant Gustin (Barry Allen), Candice Patton, Rick Cosnett, Danielle Panabaker and Broadway star Carlos Valdes who portrays Cisco Roman, named after the civilian identity of the DC Comic character, Vibe. Valdes’ role on Once the Broadway musical stage show based on the 2006 film of the same name.

“I am the youngest member of this team of scientists turned superheroes,” says Valdes, who was originally introduced in CW’s earlier superhero series, Arrow. “My character is a super smart math whiz but not very socially adept. I actually relate to this character a lot. He’s a complete dork, as am I. And I think he’s actually a very sensitive character. That sensitivity allows him to become enraptured by mathematics and the patterns in nature and the patterns in his life. And I really resonate with that. More than just being a mechanical engineering genius or a dork, he is also a very lovable and sensitive person. At least I believe that.”

CBS’s cable presence, Showtime, presented a miniscule schedule at the Summer TCA gathering. Here’s hoping the Winter meeting will be more Latino forthcoming.


Greg Garcia To Produce NBC Comedy With Sebastian Maniscalco Eyed To Star

Sebastian Maniscalco

My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia is back at NBC with a new comedy project he is executive producing through his CBS TV greggarciaStudios-based Amigos De Garcia Productions. It is inspired by the live of comedian Sebastian Maniscalco who is expected to star. Written by Austen Earl, writer-producer on Garcia’s CBS series The Millers, and produced by CBS Studios, the untitled comedy follows newlywed Sebastian as he attempts to stay true to his blue-collar roots while adjusting to a world full of people he finds increasingly offensive. Earl and Maniscalco, who are friends, executive produce along with Garcia, Judy Brown-Marmel, Norman Aladjem and Alix Jaffe.

This marks the second consecutive season that NBC has developed a comedy starring Maniscolco and based on his standup/life. Garcia and his Amigos De Garcia Prods have sold a number of projects, including a single-camera comedy at ABC penned by Eric Falconer, as prolific creator Garcia has focused on supervising other writers this year.

Maniscalco, whose comedy special Aren’t You Embarrassed will premiere on Showtime on November 14, is repped by UTA, LEG and attorney Gregg Gellman. Garcia is with CAA.


‘Bachelor Party’ Comedy Series Inspired By Movie Set At ABC As Put Pilot

Bachelor Party Mule

Bachelor Party, a half-hour comedy anthology series loosely inspired by the 1984Jason Winer movie, has landed at ABC with a big put pilot commitment. The project hails from 20th Century Fox TV, whose feature sibling produced the film, and two 20th TV-based companies, Jason Winer’s Small Dog Picture Co. and The Walcott Co., , the shingle of New Girl star Jake Johnson and director Max Winkler.

Image (1) winklerjohnson__121022222045-275x252__130710225253.png for post 538500

Co-created by another New Girl duo, writer-producers JJ Philbin and Josh Malmuth, Bachelor Party examines relationships and the institution of marriage through the lens of three couples: one about to get married, another recently divorced and a third just falling in love. They experience the trial by fire that is the modern day, co-ed Bachelor/Bachelorette extravaganza. The series is envisioned as an anthologyImage (1) philbin__120922003905.png for post 665143, with each season focusing on a different wedding party. Philbin is executive producing with Winer, Winkler, Johnson and Small Dog’s Renate Radford. Malmuth co-executive produces, with Walcott’s Mary Lee serving as producer.

With two directors among its executive producers, Winer and Winkler are set to alternate directing duties if the project goes to series. Schedule permitting, Winer will direct the pilot.

This project needs a few more executive producers.
Joe Israel’s 1984 comedy Bachelor Party starred Tom Hanks as a groom-to-be at an epic bachelor party full of temptations. It spawned a straight-to-DVD 2008 sequel.

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Reply #39 posted 10/21/14 5:40pm


"The Flash"

Credit: The CW

The CW orders full seasons for 'The Flash,' 'Jane the Virgin'

As expected, both freshman successes will stick around

Hot on the heels of premieres that have set recent network highs and dramatically boosted time period averages, both "The Flash" and "Jane the Virgin" have been picked up for full seasons by The CW.

Try not to look surprised.

"The Flash" premiered two weeks ago and drew 6.1 million viewers in Live+3 DVR figures and delivered the network's highest-rated series premiere among adults 18-49 since the 2009 premiere of "The Vampire Diaries." The DC Comics adaptation slipped only slightly in its second week, averaging 4.27 million viewers and doing a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 in Live+SD ratings.

While "Jane the Virgin" wasn't nearly as successful, the expectations weren't nearly as high for the telenovela adaptation, especially airing in the bleak wasteland that has been The CW's Monday. The "Jane" premiere drew 1.605 million viewers and did a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 in its Live+Same Day debut, drawing the most viewers in the time period since February 2012. The dramedy, which earned some of the fall's best reviews, seems to have held up well in its second airing, though we'll see what the numbers look like when a football preemption is taken out of the equation. [UPDATE: "Jane" slipped a little in its second week, but The CW's Monday standards are so low that it remains a triumph.]

"We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with 'The Flash' launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and 'Jane the Virgin' recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country," blurbs CW President Mark Pedowitz. "Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and 'The Flash' and 'Jane' have both exceeded our expectations on all counts. I'm thrilled to announce full season orders for both of these terrific new series."

Thus far, "Black-ish" and "Gotham" are the fall's only new shows to receive full season orders including additional episodes. ["How To Get Away With Murder" received an odd confirmatory order for the originally intended 15 episodes.]


Gena Rowlands wins career achievement honor from L.A. Film Critics

Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands will receive a career achievement award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.
Film Critic Leonard Maltin will also be honored by the association.

Gena Rowlands will be honored next year with the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Career Achievement Award.

Best known for her work with her late husband, director and actor John Cassavetes, the 84-year-old Rowlands will be feted at the association's award dinner Jan. 15 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City.

Behind-the-scenes Classic Hollywood | Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster

"In her collaborations with her late husband, John Cassavetes, and in many other memorable performances for film and televison over the last 55 years, Gena Rowlands gave us women who lived every moment with a fierce, sometimes terrifying individuality," association President Stephen Farber said in a statement.

He added, "In doing so, Rowlands revolultionized the art of screen acting, particularly for the female actors who followed in her footsteps."

Rowlands was nominated for an Academy Award for her leading roles in Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" and "Gloria." Other credits include "Faces," "Another Woman," "Tempest" and "The Notebook."

She is a three-time Emmy winner: two for lead actress in a movie or miniseries for "The Betty Ford Story" (1987) and "Face of A Stranger" (1992), and one for supporting actress in a movie or miniseries for "Hysterical Blindness" (2003).

The critics group will also present critic and former President Leonard Maltin with a special citiation for "more than four decades of tireless, unparalleled service to lovers of cinema the world over."

Voting for the L.A. critics' awards for the year's films and performances takes place Dec. 7.


Chris Brown, Jodeci, Jeremih & More to Perform at 2014 Soul Train Awards


Following last week’s nominations announcement, CENTRIC has now revealed the surprise lineup of hit-making performers and presenters for the 2014 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS.

For his first ever Soul Train Awards performance, Chris Brown, who leads the show with seven nominations, will take the stage for a special performance medley. In addition, the reunion many have been waiting for is going down as platinum selling group Jodeci is scheduled to sing a medley of hits before ending with a preview of their upcoming new single, “Nobody Wins.”

Chart-topping international fan favorites Aloe Blacc and Nico & Vinz will keep the audience entertained with upbeat performances of their catchy sing-a-long hits. Jeremih, Lisa Stansfield, Kem and Liv Warfield round out the list of rhythm and soul singers set to captivate viewers during this year’s show.

Presenters Trey Songz, Boris Kodjoe, Laila Ali and Wolf Blitzer will join host Wendy Williams on stage at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on November 7. The show airs on CENTRIC and BET on November 30 at 8PM ET/PT.

“This slate of performances is another example that SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2014 is the only place where soul music lovers can find the diverse combination of current chart-topping performers and reunions from their favorite hit-making groups,” said Paxton Baker, General Manager and Executive Vice President, CENTRIC. “We are pulling out all the stops this year and are thrilled to have Chris Brown and Jodeci lead the big surprises we have in store.”

This year’s theme will celebrate the history of dance, from the classic Soul Train line and the electric slide, to the Dougie and this year’s breakout, the Nae Nae. To bring the dance theme to life, SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2014 has brought in award-winning choreographer Fatima Robinson and her 12 seasoned dancers to lead the show. Additionally, Grammy Award-winning producers 1500 or Nothin’ are back again as music directors for the show and will keep the party rolling throughout the night.

To see the full list of nominations, click here.


In 'Catch Hell,' Ryan Phillippe examines, and toys with, his image

Ryan Phillippe talks about his directorial debut, "Catch Hell"
Over Skype, Ryan Phillippe discusses directorial debut 'Catch Hell'
In new movie, Ryan Phillippe mocks his own career mishaps

Skype interviews are weird.

I had one a couple of weekends ago with the actor Ryan Phillippe. It was a Sunday afternoon and he was in New York, doing a day of press to promote his directorial debut, “Catch Hell.” I was in my bedroom in Los Angeles, wondering if he'd judge my duvet cover.

Suddenly, he popped up on my computer screen. He was wearing a white T-shirt and navy ball cap, framed perfectly between two nondescript hotel lamps. He is 40 now, which seems impossible if you’re a millennial like me who grew up watching him in teen films such as “Cruel Intentions” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” He also has two kids with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon -- Ava, 15, and Deacon, 11. So he is very much 40. But he doesn’t look it. He still has a head full of tiny blond curls not unlike 'N Sync-era Justin Timberlake.

It was just a situation I didn't want to be in. I was sold a bill of goods and it turned out to be something different, which is often the case in this business. - Ryan Phillippe

Before Phillippe’s face appeared on my laptop, I hadn’t seen much of it in the last few years. Since rising to fame alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Josh Hartnett in the late '90s, Phillippe attempted to make a name for himself as a serious actor. He had a role in Clint Eastwood’s 2006 World War II drama “Flags of Our Fathers” and two years later acted in another war picture, Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss.”

But save for a strong supporting turn in “The Lincoln Lawyer” opposite Matthew McConaughey, he’s mostly acted in little-seen indies over the past five years. Which isn’t what he wants, of course.

“I did this terrible movie with 50 Cent,” he told me, referring to the 2011 heist flick “Setup” -- which as far as I can tell, was never even released theatrically. “It was just a situation I didn’t want to be in. I was sold a bill of goods and it turned out to be something different, which is often the case in this business.”

The experience was so negative that it stuck with him, in part inspiring “Catch Hell,” which came out in a few theaters earlier this month and is currently on video-on-demand. He directed the film from a script he and his friend, Joe Gossett, wrote together in a few months -- and he's also its star. It was a lot of work, he said, but the acting didn't take much effort -- he kind of plays himself.

In the film, there’s an actor, Reagan Pearce (the initials are hardly an accident) whose career has hit the skids. Flight attendants still ask him for his picture, but he can’t land any good gigs. “What the hell happened to my career, man?” he asks his manager. He also wonders in vain: “Did we hear back on the [James] Cameron movie?”

'Catch Hell'

“We need that game changer that is gonna get you back on those studio lists,” replies the manager--played by David Schiff, Phillippe’s real-life representative.

Desperate for money, Reagan decides to head to Shreveport, La., to work on a sketchily financed indie. That’s when matters take a slightly different turn than they did for Phillippe in real life. He’s kidnapped by a pair of rednecks, who tie him up in a dilapidated shack infested with alligators. The kidnappers then hack Reagan's social media accounts and write racist, homophobic things that are picked up by a number of entertainment outlets. (Seriously.)

As it turns out, Reagan's kidnapping en route to the set was inspired by Philippe's own flight of fancy in Shreveport. A little while back, he was filming a movie called “Straight A’s” with Anna Paquin in the city. One day, in order to practice some horseback riding for the film, he was picked up at his Holiday Inn by two production staffers he’d never met before.

“I just started messing with myself, saying, ‘What if these guys weren’t who they said they were?’” He said. “You blindly just hop into a van with people you’ve never met. Back in L.A., an actor or actress of any fame has video cameras and gates and a guard and then on location, you kind of let all that stuff down.”

He was curious what this would mean given the public's perception of him. If he disappeared, after all, it wouldn’t land in the same way as if, say, Brad Pitt disappeared.

“This guy goes missing? It’d be a blurb,” he said. “It’d be like, this guy with a bad reputation has gone off the reservation.”

Acting alone doesn't sustain me the same way it used to ... Which I think is completely OK if you've done something for 20 years. Trying something else becomes really appealing. - Ryan Phillippe

Which isn’t to say Phillippe has resorted to self pity. “It’s certainly not a lament of mine that I’ve fallen out of favor in Hollywood,” he explained. Over the last couple of years, he said, he took a step away from acting. He wanted to be with his kids, and making his own movie allowed him to do that.

“I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years,” he said. “And in my opinion, five of them are good. So you slave away and you work hard and you want to make something great, and a lot of times you end up disappointed. There are a lot of elements that are beyond your control when you’re an actor for hire. So this is kind of the beginning of my wanting to take a little more control and be a little more involved.”

In a way, the entire movie is about exerting control, an “I’ll take aim at myself before you can take aim at me” kind of thing. But during the 19-day shoot, he also remembered some of the reasons he got into the business in the first place--how much he’d liked making silly monster movies as a kid, for instance, or about his experiences working with Eastwood and Robert Altman, who he repeatedly referred to during the interview as his “biggest influences.” Directing felt right, unlike acting, which he admits he's lost some passion for.

“Acting alone doesn’t sustain me the same way it used to,” he said. “Which I think is completely OK if you’ve done something for 20 years. Trying something else becomes really appealing.”

Which is kind of an odd thing to say, considering that he's currently in the middle of filming what he calls his most challenging acting gig to date. It's the upcoming ABC murder mystery "Secrets & Lies," which he stars in opposite Juliette Lewis and which he's been working on in North Carolina for the past few months. But he’s already planning to make another film -- he calls it "a dark comedy in the vein of 'Raising Arizona'" -- this winter, which he says he will not star in.

And what if, I asked, people come away from “Catch Hell” thinking Phillippe is desperate to regain his fame and fortune?

“I love it bleeding together and being a question of how much is directly related to me or isn’t,” he said. “I’m proud of this movie. I came in on time and under budget. I got it done, and it is what it is. It’s not giant. But I can’t wait to do the next one -- especially since I won’t be required to be on-camera the whole time.”


LeAnn Rimes Covers “Silent Night”, Offers Up ‘One Christmas: Chapter 1′ Tracklisting: Idolator Premiere

LeAnn Rimes is having quite a year in music: After dropping her fabulous new set of dance floor-ready remixes with Dance Like You Don’t Give A… earlier this summer, the Grammy Award-winning country-pop darling is at it again — and in a much more angelic state of mind this time around — with her upcoming holiday themed record, One Christmas: Chapter 1, due out on October 28.

The forthcoming EP will include 6 songs, made up of both classics (and more unconventional seasonal offerings) including “Silent Night,” “Carol Of The Bells” — even “I Want A Hippopotamus ...istmas.” Check out the full tracklisting, as well as the premiere of “Silent Night” after the jump.

As you might have already gathered from the album title, One Christmas: Chapter 1 is also only the beginning of a very festive set of records to come. From LeAnn:

I made a Christmas record a long time ago, and this time, I decided I wanted to spread it out over three years so I didn’t have to stop making Christmas music. We had so much fun making this first EP. I tried to play around with it as far as things you don’t typically hear me do. A lot of the vocals sound very live, and it’s just a really cool piece of music. It’s very exclectic. It has a lot of soul, and it sounds really organic.

One Christmas: Chapter 1
1. Silent Night Holy Night
2. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
3. Blue Christmas
4. Someday at Christmas
5. Hard Candy Christmas
6. Carol of the Bells


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Reply #40 posted 10/21/14 6:32pm


Filmmaker, actor and USA Film Festival founder L.M. Kit Carson, ‘one of the greats,’ is dead at 73

Long ago I referred to L.M. Kit Carson as “perhaps the most influent... filmmaker,” and with good reason: He more or less birthed the mockumentary in 1968 with the film David Holzman’s Diary (which he wrote and starred in), co-founded the USA Film Festival in 1970, landed on the National Film Registry, co-wrote Wim Wenders’ beloved Paris, Texas (co-starring Kit’s son Hunter) and helped young comers named Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson turn a short film into the debut feature known as Bottle Rocket. And he was once married to ac...aren Black, Hunter’s mother. Those are but the best-known highlights.

We revisit them this morning with a heavy heart: Kit Carson died at 11:34 last night at the age of 73 after a long illness. As Austin Chronicle founder Louis Black puts it in an email this morning, “One of the greats has left us.”

As the narcissistic filmmaker David Holzman in the 1968 film that more or less birthed the mockumentary

This is what Hunter wrote on his Facebook page:

“RIP dad. Your light was and always will brighten the pathways of our future. It will never be extinguished. You did everything the way you wanted and never let anyone else do less than they were capable of doing. You mentored, taught, learned, fought, excelled as both athlete and student. I loved and loved and will love every moment we spent together. Thanks for everything. See you in the movies.”

To call his career eclectic is understatement. The University Park-born, Irving-raised Carson, a product of the University of Dallas, was an actor, his filmography ranging from Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty to an episode of Miami Vice in which he soared. He co-wrote Jim McBride’s 1983 remake of Breathless starring Richard Gere, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II three years later. He served as inspiration ...an Coppola, son of Francis and maker of the movie CQ, which was partially cribbed from David Holzman, a black-and-white parody of cinema verite. He was an art-house-hold name.

“I met Kit on Paris, Texas, he was there as writer and father of the young co-star,” writes Allison Anders on Facebook this morning. She wrote and directed such films as Gas Food Lodging and Grace of My Heart, and went on to direct several episodes of Sex and the City. “He was later of one my advisors at the Sundance Lab and from there, a friend. I only discovered later all the incredible things he had done before Paris Texas, as a filmmaker and writer. He wrote some of the best pieces on pop culture in the late 60s for Eye Magazine and later Rolling Stone. So glad to have known him.”

Writes Anders, Kit’s was “a life truly lived on his own terms.”

Among Kit Carson's writing credits: the 1983 remake of Breathless starring Richard Gere (Irwin Thompson/Staff photographer)

I got to know Kit — born Lewis Minor Carson, the grandson of a Texas Ranger with whom he shared the name — quite well about two decades ago, shortly after the wandering filmmaker moved back to Dallas. He’d gotten involved in the Deep Ellum Film Festival, the first to fete the local-born great. In 1999, we spoke about why he fou...m Festival with Bill Jones, the SMU film professor: because he needed a place to show his movie, simple as that. During his brief ride there, the fest was among the most influential in the country.

“Back in 1971, the organism started in Dallas with people who were kind of interested in movies but didn’t know much about movies,” Carson told me in 1999. “There were no film fests in this country devoted to the American independent film. I said, ‘There’s no film festival for Marty Scorsese or Brian De Palma, so let’s start one, because this stuff is happening and no one is saying this is happening.’”

It was Carson who introduced Wes Anderson and the brothers Wilson (Owen, Luke and Andrew) to the world of filmmaking. The brothers’ family was close to Kit, and he and his wife, producer Cynthia Hargrave, took the Wilson boys to Sundance in 1992, where they more or less planned what became the Bottle Rocket short film.

“They were movie maniacs,” Kit told Matt Zoller Seitz in the Dallas Observer in 1995. “Their father [Robert Wilson] had asked me over for dinner for the express purpose of talking them out of a career in movies. I figured out pretty quick that there was no way anybody could talk them out of it.”

Years later, for his book The Wes Anderson Collection, Seitz and Anderson revisited Kit’s influence on the making of Bottle Rocket. Here is an excerpt from that Q&A:

Did you know who Kit Carson was as a filmmaker before you met him?

I’d sort of heard of him. I don’t remember exactly what I knew about him, but I’d heard of him. I feel like maybe he’d done a Q&A in Austin or something that I’d just missed. But right after I met him, there was a screening of David Holzman’s Diary at the Dallas Museum of Art, and I saw it and loved it. I thought, “This is really a good movie.”

Did Kit have any effect on you as a budding filmmaker? Were there any useful pieces of advice he gave you, any suggestions for films you should see that might prove useful?

He gave us so much advice and so much input I couldn’t even begin to know where to start. He was our guide. I don’t know if I can think of movies he turned me on to, exactly. Owen and I were both big movie watchers already. Owen was less interested in movies with subtitles. I showed him really old movies, and he showed me not quite as old movies.


Kelly Clarkson Covers Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”: Watch

It seems like everyone is jumping on the Sam Smith fan bandwagon, with the latest artist being Kelly Clarkson! The singer and new mother covered the “Restart” crooner’s smash hit, “Stay With Me,” during her concert performance in Chicago last weekend. Her vocals are already stunning, but the soulful ballad highlighted them even more.

Clarkson isn’t the first (and probably not the last) to cover Smith’s tune. Jessie J, Ed Sheeran and FKA Twigs both tried their hands at it, while Mary J. Blige joined him for a duet version. Listen to Kelly Clarkson’s rendition after the jump.

Kelly Clarkson recently announced her first-ever annual Christmas benefit concert called Miracle on Broadway in Nashville on Saturday, December 20. She’s bringing guest artists like Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Kacey Musgraves, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Charles Esten and Meghan Trainor along for the ride.


Kiesza’s ‘Sound Of A Woman’: Album Review

After the whirlwind that was last year’s Q4 pop album releases (including Katy Perry‘s Prism, Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP, Britney SpearsBritney Jean and Beyonce‘s Beyonce), the music industry seemed to fade into a boring lull once 2014 hit. But fast forward to the current season, and it appears that pop has had a musical resurgence – thanks to artists like Canadian pop-house maven Kiesza. The flame-haired singer first made waves this past, chilly winter with her smash single, “Hideaway” and now her debut LP Sound Of A Woman arrives today (October 21).

Kicking off the record is the song that started it all: “Hideaway.” We first got wind of the track back in February when the official video dropped, and added it to our Spring “Hottest Imports” playliss. The song is an ode to the deep house jams of the ’90s, and doesn’t skimp out on the synthesized drum beats or powerful vocals. To put it simply, it makes you feel damn good. When placed into the realm of current pop, “Hideaway” manages to stand out on its own without the help of a 4-on-the-floor blueprint or a crashing bass drop with standard synths.

Next up on the album is “No Enemiez,” the bigger and bolder sister to “Hideaway.” This song is strictly made for underground clubs – due to its throbbing beats that seems to draw from more European influences. The biggest highlight of the track is Kiesza’s vocals (as it should be – take note wannabe pop stars). Her glossy voice transcends over the heavy production, providing a juxtaposition that makes for totally fun listen.

Tracks like “Losin’ My Mind” and “So Deep” prove that Kiesza cannot be pigeon-holed into a strict dance category; her distinctly airy voice can also shift to be edgier and far more soulful. The former is a commanding mid-tempo number with a late ’80s underground hip-hop flavor (which is amped up thanks to Mick Jenkins‘ feature), while the latter takes you to space with its dreamy rhythms and breathy vocals that tease the eardrums as she whispers, “Baby I can’t never find the need / I’m still loving you right now, right now, right now.

In certain instances on Sound Of A Woman, the deep house trend becomes a bit trite, as with songs like “Vietnam” and “Over Myself” for example. But one cut manages to push through the album’s sometimes-overwhelming walls of ’90s dance mania, and that’s “Bad Thing.” Already released as a buzz track, it’s a welcome surprise that cuts right in the middle of the album. Whether it was a strategic move or not, this gritty track gives the listener a breather coaxes out a more mellow version of the Canadian singer. Assisted by young Brooklynite Joey Bada$$, “Bad Thing” has a swagger that many pop stars have tried to pull off with other rap features, yet this one seems more genuine.

Another surprise on the album is the singer’s version of Haddaway‘s 1993 dance smash, “What Is Love” — and it is a stunner. Kiesza manages to transform the classic party tune into a heartfelt ballad, which gives the song an entirely different meaning. Her decision to slow down the tempo allows the listener to connect to the moving lyrics; it’s a pretty genius move. After the “lighters in the air” moment that is “What Is Love,” Kiesza wipes her tears away and becomes defiant in the album’s title track. The tone is unapologetical vengeful, with her singing, “One more time, I’ll ask why/You let me waste all those nights/Had I known, I’d have not let you step into my life.”

While “Hideaway” is indeed a ’90s throwback, “The Love” gives it a run for the money. The difference between the two is this: the latter is more of a tribute to the decade as a while, and “The Love” sounds like it was lifted directly from German-American Eurodance group La Bouche‘s recording studio — and we mean that, of course, in the best way possible. Another close contender to “The Love” is the LP’s second UK single, “Giant In My Heart.” Like the greats that came before her (Haddaway, Robin S. and Crystal Waters), Kiesza takes the theme of pain, heartbreak and loneliness and places it along a lush bed of ’90s house beats. The classic combination makes for a song that you would not be afraid to belt out every word to while grooving on the dance floor.

Once EDM was introduced to us en masse, it seemed like that ear-draining techno beat would never escape. Thanks to modern producers like Avicii, Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, Afrojack and will.i.am (ugh), the techno craze seeped through all genres of music. To be honest, it was getting extremely redundant and boring almost at the onset, so much so, that a new wave of artists (Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City, Clean Bandit, etc.) have looked to the beloved era of ’90s house to get dance music re-energized. There’s no question that among the bunch, Kiesza has been a dominating force that should help influence others to shed the robotic nature of EDM and return to emotion- and vocal-filled house music.

Best Song That Wasn’t The Single: “Losin’ My Mind,” arguably the sultriest tune off the album. It shows Kiesza in a different light, as she digs into the subtle erotic grooves made famous by acts like Madonna and Janet Jackson during their heydays.

Best Listened To When: You’re getting ready for a night on the town with your best guy or girl friends, having zero cares in the world and want the perfect soundtrack that feeds your ’90s nostalgia.

Idolator Score: 4/5


Tatiana Maslany of ‘Orphan Black’ to Star Off Broadway in Neil LaBute Premiere

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

October 21, 2014 | 11:00AM PT

Gordon Cox

Legit Editor @GCoxVariety

Tatiana Maslany, the critically adored star of BBC America series “Orphan Black,” will make her New York stage debut this spring in the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s “The Way We Get By,” starting performances in May at Second Stage Theater.

She’ll topline the two-hander with Thomas Sadoski, the theater alum (“Other Desert Cities”) who’s a regular on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” in a production helmed by Leigh Silverman, nommed for a Tony earlier this year for the Broadway revival of “Violet.”

Maslany has earned a cult of fans playing about a dozen characters, and counting, in “Orphan Black,” the sci-fi saga about cloning. Two years in a row supporters have taken to the Internet to voice their ire over her perceived snubbing by the Emmys.

In “The Way We Get By,” Maslany will play Beth opposite Sadosky’s Doug, two sexual predators who hook up at a wedding and wake to an awkward morning-after encounter.

Maslany recently finished production on the Weinstein Co. film “The Woman in Gold,” Simon Curtis’ drama that stars Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. Sadoski is now at work on the NBC miniseries “The Slap” alongside Zachary Quinto, Peter Sarsgaard and Mary-Louise Parker.

Previews of “The Way We Get By” kick off May 12. The show is skedded to run through June 28, with an exact opening date still to be set.


Syfy Renews Zombie Drama 'Z Nation'

The cable network gives a nod to the series, halfway through its freshman season

Z Nation
Z Nation

Syfy is staying put in Z Nation. The cable network has announced a second season of the zombie drama, set for a 2015 return.

The news comes just halfway through the series' freshman season. Its proven to be especially competitive on Friday nights, averaging just under 1.5 million viewers and a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49 in live-plus-same day showings.

Z Nation comes to Syfy from producers The Asylum, the studio behind many of its popular b-movies that also run on Friday nights — including the Sharknado franchise.

Syfy has been loading up on original dramas of late. It has renewed Dominion, Defiance and Helix, and is filling the cupboard with 13 episodes of Gale Anne Hurd drama Hunters and the long-gestating miniseries based on Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End.

Z Nation, the network's response to the popularity of The Walking Dead, stars Harold Perrineau and Tom Everett Scott. It takes place in the U.S., three years after the country was ravaged by zombies.

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Reply #41 posted 10/21/14 6:34pm


Ringo Starr to Star in 2015 Skechers Ads

2:42 AM PST 10/21/2014 by Colin Stutz, Billboard
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Ex-Beatles drummer will star in a series of comedic television spots

Ringo Starr and Skechers announced a new partnership Monday that will have the former Beatles drummer appearing in the footwear company's global marketing campaign for its Relaxed Fit line, starting in spring 2015.

Starr will appear in comedic new television spots that will be part of a campaign that has previously included sports celebrities Joe Montana, Mark Cuban, Joe Namath and Pete Rose, with content spanning media realms to print, outdoor, online and point-of-sale materials through June 2016.

"We are incredibly excited to be working with such an amazing world-renowned artist as Ringo Starr," Skechers president Michael Greenberg said in a statement. "Ringo possesses the charm, cool charisma and instant global recognition that will elevate awareness for our popular Relaxed Fit footwear collection both in the United States and especially around the world. And his recent modeling gig with a high-end designer shows Ringo is not only a music icon, but also a style icon. As we move from the sports world to the music world with this campaign, Ringo is the perfect ambassador to illustrate how our comfortable footwear helps keep you relaxed in any situation."


'Shameless' Adds Singer-Actress for Season 5

Annie Little boards the Showtime series in a guest role

Annie Little - H 2014
Mira Adwell/ Courtesy of Annie Little
Annie Little

Shameless is ramping up for season five.

Singer-actress Annie Little has boarded the Showtime series for a multiepisode arc.

Little will play Elizabeth, sister to Bianca (Bojana Novakovic), who is a bit of a square and uptight. She will appear in at least two episodes.

Little is repped by Hervey/Grimes and McKeon-Myones. Her past credits include roles in Argo, Dexter, Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23, Southland and 90210.

Little and her husband, Marcus Ashley, comprise Los Angeles-based duo Little & Ashley. The pair recently signed a co-publishing deal with Razor & Tie and will release their first full-length album, Dreamy Happy Sexy, on Nov. 18. The duo, whose songs have been featured on national Amazon Kindle TV commercials, have booked a Hotel Cafe performance ahead of the album release on Nov. 6.

Shameless, which welcomes Dermot Mulroney for a major, season-long arc, returns Jan. 11 on Showtime.


'Back to The Future' to Receive Live Orchestra Accompaniment for 30th Anniversary Rerelease

Composer Alan Silvestri will add 15 minutes of new material to the score


Where they’re going, they don’t need roads — but, as it turns out, full orchestral accompaniment is a whole other story.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the much-loved time travel adventure Back to the Future, the Robert Zemeckis-directed film is headed back in a way most would never expect. IMG Artists and the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency announced a new partnership with Universal Pictures on Tuesday that will see the movie return to venues in 2015 across the globe, accompanied by a live orchestra performing Alan Silvestri’s score.

Read more London Secret Screening O...e' to L.A.

Silvestri, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his score to the 1985 classic starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson, will provide approximately 15 minutes of new material as part of the performance tour, which will debut with a screening and performance in Lucerne, Switzerland in May of next year.

The new series of orchestral screenings will actually be the second anniversary celebrations for the movie to center around music. In January, it was revealed that Zemeckis, screenwriter Bob Gale and theater director Jamie Lloyd were collaborating on a stage ... the story to debut in London at some point during 2015. That musical is also expected to feature new contributions from Silvestri.


Corner Office: Afo Verde, Head of Sony Latin, on Ricky Martin, His Producer Roots and Argentine Pride

By Leila Cobo | October 20, 2014 11:46 AM EDT

Corner Office: Afo Verde, Chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Prtugal at Sony Music Entertainment

Afo Verde, Chairman/CEO of Latin America, Spain and Prtugal at Sony Music Entertainment in his Miami office on Spet. 23, 2014.

The 50 or so ­employees at Sony Music Entertainment’s Miami headquarters are used to seeing Afo Verde walk briskly, fitting for a part-time soccer player. But today, he limps, still recovering from a 3-month-old ankle fracture sustained during his company’s weekly soccer match. “I’d love to say I was scoring a goal but the truth is, I stepped in a pothole,” Verde admits. That’s not to say the sporting tradition will stop. The Friday evening bouts have been in place for years and draw such soccer-­loving acts as Carlos Vives, Michel Telo and Chayanne when they’re in town.

That mingling between artists and executives defines the culture of Sony’s Latin music operations since Verde, 48, a former musician-turned-producer in his home country of Argentina, was named president of Sony’s Latin region in 2009. Three years later, he was upped to ­chairman/CEO, adding Spain and Portugal to his portfolio of 12 regional offices and 20 countries (more than 600 employees report to him regionwide). Now supervising a roster of 500 acts, including such superstars as Shakira, Ricky Martin and Romeo Santos, Verde works closely with sister labels RCA, Columbia, MasterWorks and Epic on a variety of projects, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup official album.

Calle 13 Lead Latin Grammy Nominations

His impact on SME’s business is undeniable: Its Latin market share grew from 28.4 percent in 2012 to 30.5 percent in 2013 (among albums) and 38.8 percent to 44.6 percent (single downloads), according to Nielsen SoundScan. And growth is foremost on Verde’s mind, as he notes new offices in Peru and the consolidation of all countries in the region under one umbrella. Another career accomplishment: Verde will receive the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award on Oct. 22, which in its 39 years has been given to Clive Davis, Irving Azoff, Quincy Jones and Berry Gordy. “When [RCA ­president] Tom Corson called me and said T.J. Martell was going to honor a Latin for the first time in 39 years, I said, ‘Who is it?’ ” says Verde with a laugh. “It’s an amazing cause.”

How have you applied your background as a musician to your job?
What has helped most is the years I worked as a producer [for the likes of Diego Torres and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs]. I would get together with the executives and I felt some were very close to the music and others not at all. My dream was to create a team that came entirely from the musical side. I feel a little like an infiltrator in this position, because after so many years, I understand each of [the artists’ and producers’] philosophies. That’s what it’s about: Understanding.

You started your label career in A&R, then left to work as an independent producer. What convinced you to return to labels in 2005?
It was a time when piracy really affected our markets in a major way. And while I worked in the studio, touring, producing, I came to understand the business models artists needed, and that was a 360 model. Yes, publishers run publishing, agents run touring, but an artist needs a global vision. When Sony asked me to come back [in 2005], my only condition was: “OK, but only if we change the business model.”

Corner Office: Afo Verde

Brian Smith

What did changing the model entail?
Even back then, we signed 360 deals and occasionally incorporated members of the artists’ teams into Sony’s Latin American companies. For example, I hired the manager of [Argentine rock group] Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to be part of the company. Fernando Travi, the current senior vp of our live music department, was Gustavo Cerati’s manager. I have entire management teams in the region. Artists don’t have to use them, but they’re available.

You collaborate with so many of Sony’s labels, like Columbia, Epic and especially RCA. How does that work?
We [label heads] meet every four months to talk about music and new projects. For example, that’s where I first presented Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida” [Which was the longest-running No. 1 single of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart in 2013]. It’s the way Edgar [Berger, Sony Music chairman/CEO of international] generates a healthy conversation about music and about the different territories’ commitments to artists. For example, in one of our meetings, Dennis Handlin [chairman/CEO of Sony Music Australia and New Zealand and president of Asia] said he wanted to do something with Ricky Martin, but we didn’t have an album at the time. So he got him to be a coach on The Voice Australia. A couple months later, Ricky is touring arenas in Australia and he doesn’t even have an album out. That’s the kind of relationship we have.

How closely do you work with [SME chairman/CEO] Doug Morris?
It depends. Shakira we worked very closely on. In fact, we went to Barcelona together when we were renegotiating her contract. He’ll see something from our world that impresses him on the charts and he’ll call me. He’s an extremely elegant chairman.

Corner Office: Afo Verde

Brian Smith

Do you see more opportunities for Latin acts today than in the past?
I believe so. It’s our ­responsibility to take “local” artists like [Argentina’s] Vicentito, [Colombia’s] Choc­quibtown and [Spain’s] Ismael Serrano and make them transcend, like we did with [Mexican pop group] Camila. What we need to do is internationalize this music more and better each time.

The music for the World Cup was a ­major priority for you in 2014. Was the atmosphere in the Miami office super-­competitive during the World Cup games this summer?
Yes. I have people from all over the world, and those that weren’t ­represented in the World Cup had to choose sides. We made a deal where the team that was leading could make everyone else take a selfie with the country’s T-shirt and put it up on Facebook. There are few things more spectacular for an Argentine like me than to see a Brazilian with an Argentina tee on.


Latin Mixx Conference to Honor Johnny Ventura, Jellybean Benitez

Photo: Johnny Ventura

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Dominican singer Johnny Ventura and famous disc jockey John “Jellybean” Benitez, who has worked with artists like Madonna, will be honored on Thursday at the 9th Latin Mixx Conference in New York.

The 74-year-old Ventura will receive a lifetime achievement award for introducing the native merengue sound of the Dominican Republic to countries around the world, conference founder Kevin Montano told Efe.

This is only the second time the organization has bestowed this honor, Montano said.

Benitez will be given the Icon Award by the Latin Mixx Conference.

Panamanian singer-songwriter Ruben Blades received the award last year.

Nearly 300 disc jockeys who work in radio, online and in clubs are attending the conference, which started on Wednesday, in New York.

The event was created “to recognize what Latino DJs have done all year,” Montano said.

Prizes are handed out in 14 categories, including awards for the best DJs on the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and South, the biggest honors at the even.

Montano, a former teacher, said he created the prizes to honor his cousin, Jason “Threat” Campbell, the first Dominican DJ on popular New York City station Hot 97.

Campbell was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2001, Montano said.

“I felt it was necessary to keep his name and work alive. I created the conference to raise the name of the Latino DJ to another level,” Montano said.


Spanish Singer Raphael Labels Himself an “Indie” Artist


Photo: Raphael

Spanish singer Raphael is facing the fact that others are thinking about his retirement, even though he is heading out on the latest tour in his decades-long career, a tour on which he will perform at the Sonorama music festival before a new audience: namely, “indie” fans.

“‘Indie’ doesn’t mean anything but independent. What I ask myself is how I didn’t go there before, because if there’s an artist who’s always done what he felt he had to do and has been his own boss, it’s me,” the 71-year-old singer said in an interview with Efe.

Raphael will kick things off in Cambrils, Tarragona, in northeastern Spain, next Sunday, calling this “De amor & defamer” (About love & lack of love) tour his “most forceful,” while he continues to seek an apex to his performances that “is very high” and which still is not in view.

The singer will release an album with the same title on which he will collect his “repertoire of love and lack of love” with many of his past hits revised with the help of Jacobo Calderon, the son of Juan Carlos Calderon, along with the input of his own relative Manuel Martos and accompanied by the RTVE Symphony Orchestra.

“I’ve put even more value into them, although that might seem to be incorrect,” Raphael said, citing a “spectacular” version of his number “En carne viva,” as well as “Provocacion,” “Que sabe nadie,” “Amor mio,” “No puedo arrancarte de mi” and songs by Jose Luis Perales like “Me estoy quedando solo.”

The tour will run from August to December and will wrap up in Madrid.

The singer said that in January he will once again record new songs with the help of young composers like Vega, with whom he recently sang “Wolverines,” which is included on her latest album.

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Reply #42 posted 10/22/14 8:31am


biggrin See the Beatles, Bob Dylan Beatbox in Stunning, Innovative Video

Roy Kafri's "Mayokero" clip, directed by Vania Heymann, features classic album covers forming a beatboxing posse

By Daniel Kreps | October 21, 2014

In Roy Kafri's innovative music video for "Mayokero," we discover what your album covers do when nobody's looking: They form an all-star beatboxing posse. The video seamlessly animates classic covers like the Beatles' Revolver, David Bowie's Aladdin Sane and Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline and Highway 61 Revisited to give the appearance that they're collectively singing the Kafri track (via A.V. Club).

Israeli director Vania Heymann created the "Mayokero" video, and this isn't the first time the young filmmaker has drawn raves for his creative use of the medium. Last year, Heymann unveiled his interactive music vid...ng Stone," which allowed viewers to literally flip channels during the duration of the song. On one channel, comedian Marc Maron was lip-synching, while another was fashioned after a nightly news program. Even the set of The Price Is Right got involved in the video, which had Rolling Stone applauding Heymann for turning a song from 1965 into one of the best music videos of 2013.

"Mayokero" is also reminiscent of this hilarious, ultraviol... from 2007. (Both videos make notable use of the cover of Lionel Richi...tled album.)

As the Kafri video works backwards in time, we find out that all the record sleeves are strewn all over the street because their original owner put them curbside after throwing down $350 for a Sony Mini-Disc player. The moral of the music video might be digital music is killing album art or maybe to hold onto your old vinyl, but either way the visuals are incredible.

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Reply #43 posted 10/23/14 7:20am


When I started college at UC Santa Cruz in the fall of 1979, my first act was to hang a poster of Linda Ronstadt on the closet door of my room. This was the era of “Back in the U.S.A.” and “Mad Love”. Ronstadt wasn’t a celebrity in today’s mold of boisterous, in-your-face public personas trying to master all media. Rather, Ronstadt was a musician and in her “musical memoir”, she provides ample evidence of her passion for her craft.

Now 67, and no longer singing, Ronstadt’s memoir clearly begs the age-old question, “Do we ever really grow up?” Although the book spans her musical career, from the earliest moments of singing in her home in the ‘50s, to her final concert and her own reflection on maturity, what comes across is not the voice of a old singer reminiscing about times past, but an ardent musician still very much telling stories that feel contemporary and meaningful, full of youthful enthusiasm and hope. Outside of a few rough encounters over the years, and the deaths of close friends, readers will find Ronstadt’s voice remains that of the young woman that first captivated listeners on “Hand Sown…Home Grown” when she sang “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”.

For fans, and even those who just remember her music fondly, Simple Dreams, provides background not only on Ronstadt, but on the entire American music scene in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Ronstadt lived, played and often just hung out with what we now consider the elite of American pop music: Jim Morrison, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, John David Souther, Neil Young, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Jackson Brown, David Geffen, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris and scores of others.

Though rich on details of such musically-oriented encounters, the book is scant on material that makes for juicy “must read” celebrity tell-alls. Of John David Souther, whom Ronstadt dated and lived with, we receive the following introduction: “He had the flint-eyed, dusty-wind squint of the Texas Panhandle, where he was raised.” They met when he was playing drums for Bo Diddley.

Ronstadt’s reserved detail, however, doesn’t detract from the story, but rather sets her apart in a way from her friends and acquaintances who experimented with drugs or suffered from overuse of alcohol. She clearly admits to her “hippy” leanings, but she succinctly puts to rest any rumors of personal drug use with the humorous quote from Janet Stark, her friend and long-time assistant: “When I smoke pot, it makes me want to hide under the bed with a box of graham crackers and not share.” There is almost a third-person detachment that makes for a better book.

Although Ronstadt remained a powerful performer after pairing with Nelson Riddle in for 1983’s “What’s New”, her musical meanderings become increasingly eclectic, and off the beaten path of the pop cannon.

But the post-1983 eclecticism wasn’t new, it was foundational. From her earliest stories she writes of a grandfather playing Puccini. Her singing aunt Luisa Espinel. Singing and music define Ronstadt. Her father, known as Gilbert, “had a beautiful baritone singing voice that sounded like a cross between Pedro Infante, the famous Mexican matinee idol and singer, and Frank Sinatra.”

In a poetic passage, Ronstadt says that her “favorite place for music was pachanga,” a late afternoon into late evening Mexican picnic. In the next paragraph she writes:

Around sunset, someone would uncork a bottle of tequila or the local bacanora, and people would start tuning up the guitars. The stars blinked on, and the songs sailed into the night. Mostly in Spanish, they were yearning, beautiful songs of love and desperation and despair…The music never felt like a performance, it simply ebbed and flowed with the rest of the conversation.

It is too bad Ronstadt didn’t take up the pen more often to write her own lyrics.

Ronstadt never married, though she famously dated then Governor Jerry Brown (also current Governor) of California and Pete Hamill (“with whom she was “keeping steady company” in the early ‘80s). The relationship with Brown generated much pop culture speculation back in the day, perhaps because of the privacy-oriented nature of both parties. It’s a good example of where Ronstadt clearly makes the choice between memoir and autobiography.

She ends the relationship in a single paragraph, with the very cordial statement, “Neither of us ever suffered under the delusion that we would like to share each other’s lives. I would have found his life too restrictive, and he would have found mine entirely chaotic. Eventually we went our separate ways and embraced things that resonated with us as different individuals.”

At 200 pages (with an additional 47 pages of discography and index), Simple Dreams is a quick read. Some of the chapters, all of which start with a picture, run less than a page. As satisfying and engaging as the book is, there are clearly stories that still haven’t been told, or at least details that haven’t been communicated. I’m not talking about the salacious stuff, but about collaborations and processes.

The book would have benefited from an occasional moment of reflection, a slowing down, to explore the mire of a recording session. On page 63, for example, she relays a story about the discovery of old cassette tapes recorded in her living room in 1976. Jackson Brown is teaching her “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, and JD Souther schools her in Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”. The paragraph ends with “That was a profitable evening,” as both songs ended up on her mega-hit album, Simple Dreams. I would have appreciated more detail about that evening, about how the two were different teachers, and what she learned from each—how they approached songs and how she approached their teaching.

Despite that minor disappointment, Ronstadt has crafted a fine book. She is a beautiful writer and an adept storyteller. Her stories bring you into her world with sparse orchestration. You are in her moment, and she is in that moment with you. It’s very good to see that despite physical difficulties brought on by Parkinson’s disease, Ronstadt’s spirit speaks with a still youthful vibrancy. If Simple Dreams was an album, it would be an “unplugged” version, where the voice of the artist soars above the instruments.


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Reply #44 posted 10/23/14 7:35am


America's Pop Music Hall of Fame Nominees

Are you a fan of Paul McCartney, Glen Campbell, the Jacksons or the Guess Who? It's time to rally the fans - and the fan clubs - to vote your favorites into America's Pop Music Hall of Fame.

Now through October 31, you can vote for up to 10 artists for induction in the 2015 class. The nominees are, in alphabetical order, Glen Campbell, Chubby Checker, Cher, the Dave Clark Five, Bob Dylan, the Eagles, the Four Tops, the Grass Roots, the Guess Who, the Jackson Five, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, the Righteous Brothers, Johnny Rivers, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Johnny Tillotson.

And these artists are on the ballot yet again, awaiting your support: Paul Anka, Dion & the Belmonts, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Three Dog Night, Frankie Valli & Four Seasons and Andy Williams.

Vote Here: http://www.americaspopmus...ffame.org/

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Reply #45 posted 10/23/14 7:45am


Video Of The Week:

Wingspan Docu.

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Reply #46 posted 10/23/14 8:04am


Baker Street saxophone player Raphael Ravenscroft dies

Raphael Ravenscroft

The musician behind one of the most recognisable saxophone solos - on Gerry Rafferty's hit Baker Street - has died.

Raphael Ravenscroft, 60, who found fame almost overnight following the release of the 1978 track, died following a suspected heart attack early on Sunday.

He was reportedly paid only £27 for the session with a cheque that bounced while the song is said to have earned Rafferty £80,000 a year in royalties.

In a radio interview in 2011, Ravenscroft said the song annoyed him.

"I'm irritated because it's out of tune," he said.

"Yeah, it's flat. By enough of a degree that it irritates me at best."

Raphael RavenscroftRavenscroft was described as "an absolute genius"

Scarlett Raven, Ravenscroft's daughter and a contemporary artist, said it was "incredible" to see how many people her father had inspired.

The musician behind one of the most recognisable saxophone solos - on Gerry Rafferty's hit Baker Street - has died.

She said: "He is an absolutely incredible man. You could tell from the way he played that he put his heart and soul into his music.

"He touched your soul and made you want to better yourself. I think he was very proud of Baker Street and that it made people feel good.

"I'm sure a lot of people will put on Baker Street and smile today."

Ravenscroft, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent, had already appeared on Maxine Nightingale's album, Right Back Where We Started From, in 1976, as an arranger but emerged as one of the industry's most prominent saxophonists.

Baker Street reached number three in the UK charts and number two in the US.

Raphael Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft also played with artists such as Pink Floyd, Abba and Daft Punk

Its famous solo became wrongly attributed...ockbusters, with radio presenters Stuart Maconie and Tommy Boyd - as well as Ravenscroft himself - claiming responsibility for the false story.

Mark Travis, a musician, made a recording with Ravenscroft after the two met on the music scene in Exeter, Devon, where the saxophone player lived in later life.

Mr Travis said: "He was an absolute genius, not just musically but also his presence in the studio. He was such a character.

"When we were doing the recording we talked a lot about his career and in particular Baker Street and how the song, in his eyes and in Gerry Rafferty's eyes, was not anything special until the sax was put on it.


Recorded tribute

"His addition of what he called a fairly straightforward riff really made the song."

Ravenscroft went on to work with icons such as Pink Floyd, Abba and Marvin Gaye. More recently worked as a session musician for artists Daft Punk and Duffy.

In 1990 Ravenscroft, also a former tutor of music at York College, published a successful instruction book, The Complete Saxophone Player.

In 2011, he recorded a tribute to commemorate the funeral of Rafferty called Forgiveness, which combined his saxophone playing with the voices of Grammy-nominated choir Tenebrae.

This summer he organised a charity gala concert in memory of a local schoolgirl who died after falling from a wall.

Raphael Ravenscroft, Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty

Raphael Ravenscroft with daughter Scarlett Raven, 2012 Photo by Getty Images

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Reply #47 posted 10/23/14 8:20am


Billy Preston, George Harrison, Gerald Ford




Ravi Shankar & Jack Ford


At the invitation of President Gerald Ford's son, Jack, George Harrison visited the White House on December 14, 1974. Accompanying him were Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston. It was the day of big hair. Even the back of Gerald Ford's hair almost touches the top edge of his shirt collar (for shame!). This isn't quite as surreal as when Elvis met Nixon, but it's still odd.

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Reply #48 posted 10/23/14 11:48am


Dee From What’s Happening Reveals Cancer Diagnosis and Smithsonian Honor

Former child star Danielle Spencer opens up about her health issue but also shares good news.

Posted: Oct. 22 2014 6:46 AM


Danielle Spencer as Dee in the ’70s sitcom What’s Happening; Spencer today

ABC; Danielle Spencer

One of the most memorable lines from the ’70s sitcom What’s Happening came from Raj’s bratty little sister, Dee. In at least every episode, Dee, played by Danielle Spencer, had her “Ooh, I’m gonna tell Momma” moment. What’s Happening had a successful run and even a spinoff called What’s Happening Now, but Spencer stepped away from the spotlight to focus on her education and career. She attended Tuskegee University, where she majored in veterinary science, and then became a veterinarian. Her career had her focusing on the health of animals, but now she’s focusing on her own.

In an interview with BlackAmericaWeb, Spencer discussed her recent breast-cancer diagnosis, which took her by surprise. “Surgery is definitely one of the options,” she said. “I’m trying to get as many opinions as possible, but it does look [like] that is what I’m going to do. Hopefully after that, there won’t be any chemotherapy or radiation. With everything that I’ve been through with the spinal cord injury, I know God is not going to give me another affliction. So I was completely shocked when the doctors told me.”

The injury Spencer referred to is from a car accident during her time on What’s Happening, which affected her 26 years later and caused her to have a bout with paralysis.

Although Spencer was diagnosed with cancer a month ago, she is also focusing on the positive. Recently she became the only child star to be inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. As part of her induction, when the museum opens in 2015, she will be included in the permanent exhibition of the museum.

“I still can’t believe it,” she said. “That’s something people can look at for years to come, long after I’m gone.”

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Reply #49 posted 10/23/14 6:00pm


Alice Braga 'La Reina Del Sur' Remake: USA Finds 'Queen Of The South' Star For Telemundo Telenovela Adaptation

Teresa Mendoza will live once again, but this time Alice Braga will be 'La Reina Del Sur' in the U.S. remake. Reuters

Alice Braga has been cast as the lead of USA's remake of "La Reina del Sur," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 31-year-old Brazilian actress that was born in São Paulo will give life to Teresa Mendoza in the "Queen Of The South" adaptation of the Arturo Pérez-Reverte best-seller. The novela had been succesfully adaptated by sister network Telemundo as a 63-episode telenovela with Kate del Castillo as the titled character.


The story follows Mendoza, who after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America. There, she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the same drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. In the process, she learns the tools of the trade and strategically positions herself to become the leader of the cartel.


The script for "The Queen Of The South" will be written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller and executive produced alongside David Friendly ("Little Miss Sunshine") and Pancho Mansfield ("Damien"). "We are excited to bring this global best-selling thriller to our viewers,” USA president Chris McCumber said. "'Queen Of The South' is a suspenseful twist on a dramatic tale of love and betrayal that examines the desperate choices people make when lives are on the line."

News of this comes months after NBC and USA announced they would be developing adaptations of "El Señor De Los Cielos" and "Señora Acero," respectively. The former finished off a successful sophomore season on the Spanish-net, with a third season already underway. The latter series just premiered this with with Blanca Soto as the star, and has had a healthy launch.

Latin Grammy Performances 2014: Ricky Martin, Jesse & Joy Among Performers

First Posted: Oct 23, 2014 03:51 PM EDT
Ricky Martin
(Photo : Instagram/Va Por Ti)

The 15th Annual Latin Grammy awards is quickly approaching, and as such, more details have been released about the event.

Ricky Martin, Pablo Alboran, Camila, J Balvin, Jesse & Joy, La Arrolladora Banda El Limon De Rene Camacho and La Original Banda el Limon de Salvador Lizarraga are all set to perform at the awards.

Organizers are planning a big show for its 15th go around, or its quinceañera.

There will be a year-long celebration, said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., the CEO and president of the academy, notes Voxxi.

"We're thinking about beginning beginning the festivities on the day of the awards and continuing to celebrate them during the entire year up to the 16th anniversary," Abaroa said. "Just a while ago, [the gala] was a little girl whom we were carrying and whose diapers were were changing, and suddenly 15 years is before us."

This year the ceremony won't be held in its usual location, The Mandalay Hotel in Las vegas. Instead, it will take place at the MGM Grand Arena, which is a bigger venue. Eugenio Derbez will serve as the host.

"We are seeing what we will do to have the best Latin Grammy possible," Derbez said.

J Balvin, who will be performing and is nominated for the show, recently opened up about his nomination.

He said that he found out early, at around 6 a.m., and that he was just overcome with feeling.

"I've dreamt about this for many, many years -- I think since I decided to become an artist," he said. "It's one of my biggest dreams, and well, we'll have to see what happens. We're still working. That's what important, to work and keep moving."

He's already thinking of his next dream, such as singing to a sold-out crowd in Madison Square Garden in the next couple of years.


Martin Scorsese to Exec Produce Grateful Dead Doc

4:10 PM PST 10/23/2014 by Seth Abramovitch
AP Images/Invision

Timed for the band's 50th birthday, director Amir Bar-Lev ('The Tillman Story') will weave archival footage with new interviews

The Dead are rising.

A new documentary from executive producer Martin Scorsese about landmark psychedelic rock group the Grateful Dead is headed our way.

Set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the legendary jam-band led by Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, the career-spanning retrospective will be directed by Amir Bar-Lev (2010's The Tillman Story). Bar-Lev has been trying to get the film off the ground for the better part of a decade.

The yet-to-be-titled documentary will pull from a half-century's worth of footage collected by longtime band archivist David Lemieux, who also serves of the film's music supervisor.

Vintage interviews, backstage color and live concerts will interweave with new interviews with surviving Dead members Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh, as well as other trippy characters from the Haight-Ashbury scene of late-1960s San Francisco.

Read more HBO, Martin Scorsese Prep... TV Series

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band," Scorsese says in a statement. "They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans. I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved."

The band couldn't be happier that Scorsese is driving the project. "From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved," Weir, Hart, Krueutzmann and Lesh said in a joint statement.

Alex Blavatnik is financing through his AOMA Sunshine Films. Eric Eisner, Nicholas Koskoff and Justin Kreutzmann will serve as producers. Executive producers are Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Andrew Heller, Sanford Heller and Rick Yorn.


Courtney Love Joins Fox's 'Empire'

The singer's recurring gig comes on the heels of a 'Sons of Anarchy' appearance

Courtney Love SOA - H 2014
AP Images
Courtney Love

Courtney Love has been bitten by the TV bug. The Hole singer and sometimes actress has booked a role on Fox's upcoming hip hop drama Empire.

Considered a recurring guest star, Love takes on the role of hard rocker Elle Dallas — part of the titular record label's stable of musicians.

This marks Love's second TV gig after booking a recurring role on the final season of FX's Sons of Anarchy earlier this season. Her previous acting credits are all in film and include '90s flicks 200 Cigarettes and Basquiat.

Set for a midseason bow, Empire comes from The Butler's Lee Daniels and counts Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe among its stars.

Love is repped by UTA.


AFM: Ethan Hawke to Play Chet Baker in 'Born to Be Blue'

6:00 AM PST 10/23/2014 by Scott Roxborough
Austin Hargrave
Ethan Hawke

The ‘Boyhood’ star is ready to get lost in the jazz trumpeter biopic

Ethan Hawke has signed on to play Chet Baker in a new biopic about the legendary jazz trumpeter.

Born to Be Blue picks up with the Baker story late in the musician’s life, when, after years of drug abuse, he stages a comeback.

Robert Budreau (That Beautiful Somewhere) is directing Born to Be Blue from his own screenplay. Hawke has worked closely on the development of the project, which will largely shoot in Sudbury, Ontario. Born to Be Blue is the second big jazz biopic to hit the market, following Don Cheadle's Miles Davis project Kill the Trumpet Player, which co-stars Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana.

Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy) and Callum Keith Rennie (Fifty Shades of Grey) co-star in Born to Be Blue. Producers are Jennifer Jonas and Leonard Farlinger of New Real Films; Jake Seal of Black Hangar Studios and Budreau through his Lumanity Productions. Executive producers include Andrew Chang-sang of Productivity Media, William Santor, John Hills, Adam Moryto, Stefan Jacobs, D. Matt Geller and Gurpreet Chandhoke.

Read More Ethan Hawke on 'Boyhood' Children

K5 International has picked up world sales rights for the project and will be pitching it to buyers at the American Film Market next month. eOne has acquired the Canadian rights.

Hawke is repped by CAA, The Schiff Company and attorney George Sheanshang. Ejogo is repped by ICM and Authentic. Budreau is repped by Brooke Ehrlich Artist Management.


'Archie' TV Adaptation Lands at Fox

One-hour drama hails from 'Arrow's' Greg Berlanti

Courtesy of Archie Comic Publications, Inc.

Archie may be coming to TV.

Fox is getting into business with Archie Comics, putting into development the modern-day one-hour drama Riverdale based on the popular Archie characters from prolific TV producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash).

Riverdale follows the main crew of Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, as they explore the surrealistic twists of small-town life, in addition to the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade. Set in the fictional town of Riverdale, N.Y., the drama will focus on the love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper and rich socialite Veronica Lodge.

The entire cast of supporting characters, including Reggie Mantle, Archie's rival; Jughead Jones, Archie's best friend; Kevin Keller, a popular gay character; and Josie and the Pussycats, also will be featured.

Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions will produce the project, with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee, Looking) writing.

For Aguirre-Sacasa, who serves as chief creative officer at Archie Comics, this marks his first sale this development season. He spent three seasons as a writer on Glee for Fox and has experience re-adapting popular titles as he did with 2013's Carrie remake and the Broadway-bound American Psycho.

Berlanti, a self-proclaimed fan of the Archie comics, has been busy this development season, executive producing The CW's Arrow and The Flash as well as NBC's The Mysteries of Laura. News of the Archie adaptation comes on the heels of Berlanti's Supergirl project, which is at CBS with a series commitment. Berlanti also has supernatural procedural The Things They Left Behind at CBS, based on a Stephen King story, and FBI thriller Blindspot at NBC.

"This is a historic moment for Archie Comics, and we couldn't be happier to partner with Fox, Warner Bros. and Greg Berlanti to bring our characters to television," said Archie Comics publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater. "Greg and Roberto are experts when it comes to making great, compelling television and bringing beloved comic book creations to life on the screen. They're the perfect team to welcome viewers to Riverdale."

"This is something we've been working on for awhile now, figuring out the best way to bring these characters to life for what will be, essentially, the first time," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "The entire team working on Riverdale is as passionate about Archie as Jon and I are, so it feels like the stars have finally aligned for Archie and the rest of the gang."

Comic book adaptations continue to be a big bet, with producers crediting built-in brand equity and technological advancements with visual effects to enable the telling of fantastical storylines on a TV budget.


Cheech Marin Talks About Working With El Rey's Robert Rodriguez, 'Book of Life'

First Posted: Oct 22, 2014 03:36 PM EDT
Cheech Marin and Robert Rodriguez
Cheech Marin and Robert Rodriguez (Photo : Cheech Marin and Robert Robert Rodriguez/Facebook)

Many people know comedic actor Cheech Marin for his stoner comedy "Cheech & Chong" films in the '70s and '80s, but he's also made his mark as a director, writer, musician and a Chicano advocate and art collector. He's starred in feature film comedies and animated movies and has made bestselling bilingual children's music albums.

Marin recently spoke to Latin Post about his role in the animated fantasy-adventure "The Book of Life," directed by Jorge Gutierrez and produced by Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro, who Marin said "was a part of that Mexican cadres of filmmakers that were coming up."

During the Latin Post exclusive interview, Marin also reminisced about his early days in the industry and recalled other Latino trailblazers in film, including filmmaker and fellow Mexican-American, Robert Rodriguez.

Marin and Rodriguez have been collaborating for years and have worked together in several films, including the "Spy Kids" trilogy, "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Machete," "Desperado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

Marin has seen Rodriguez evolve from aspiring filmmaker to become a founder of his own English-language El Rey Network (which features the popular TV series "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Matador" and "El Rey Network Presents: The Director's Chair").

"It has been wonderful, man. I have known him from the very beginning. He had just come from the University of Texas, and he had made a student film, called 'Bedhead.' It was a little short, and he made it with his brothers and sisters. It was about adventures of this little kid," Marin told Latin Post. "You saw the visual style that he was working on -- and it was fully formed already."

"Bedhead," a 16mm short, went on to become an award-winning "family-comedy-fantasy film" that "chronicles the amusing misadventures of a young girl whose older brother sports an incredibly tangled mess of hair that she cannot tolerate."

When Marin was working on his children's music album, "My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver," someone suggested he work with Rodriguez. At the time, Marin said he initially thought, "What? Are you nuts! He's about blood and guts," since Rodriguez is known for his campy, grindhouse style and cult-like film following. "But they said, 'No, he has this kids thing.' And then 'Spy Kids' came out."

Rodriguez had another side to him and a child-like thrill for adventure. "Spy Kids" became so successful and well-received that it spawned two sequels. "When 'Spy Kids' came out, it was like, 'That's what I'm talking about, you morons!'" Marin said.

"Robert and I were friends from the beginning. He would come over the house with his wife and stay with me, he's like family. He knew that he could always call on me if he needed this or that," he said. "We have this direct communication. ... He's looking through the lens, the viewfinder and he's talking to me."

Also a longtime friend and collaborator of Quentin Tarantino, Rodriguez reportedly grew up shooting action and horror short films on video and editing on two VCRs. In the fall of 1990, his entry in a local film contest earned him a spot in the film program at the University of Texas (where he made "Bedhead").

"[Rodriguez] was the first digital director. He wasn't afraid of it. ... He had this reverence for film, because it came from when he was in high school and he had a job in a camera store. When the first digital cameras first came out, the store owner said, 'Well you're going to be selling this, so here's the camera, take it home for the weekend and use it.'" Once he saw what Rodriguez could do, according to Marin, he said, "'You have talent, don't be afraid of digital technology,'" so he used it, and he was much better right away."

Marin Behind the Mic, Lens and Animation:

In "The Book of Life," which hit theaters Oct. 17, Marin voices the hysterical Pancho Rodriguez, one of Manolo's (voiced by Diego Luna) mariachi friends, the "Rodriguez brothers" (also voiced by Gabriel Iglesias and Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez). In the film, they sing "fun, though hardly romantic versions of Rod Stewart's 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy' and Biz Markie's 'Just a Friend' -- the latter to the accompaniment of a toy piano."

The film's themes include a love triangle, the strength of the human spirit and the celebration of Mexican culture, including its vibrant holiday, the Day of the Dead (el Dia de Los Muertos).

In addition to his other roles, Marin also provided his voice for several Disney animated films. In addition to "Oliver & Company" (1988), he voiced roles as Banzai in "The Lion King" (1994) and Ramone in "Cars" (2006) and "Cars 2" (2011). He also reprised the Banzai role in "Kingdom Hearts II." He also appeared in "Ghostbusters II" and the hit TV series "Lost" as Hurley's father.

Marin has released two bestselling, bilingual albums for kids:, "My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver" (1992) and "Coast to Coast" (1997). In July 2007, Marin added children's book author to his list of accomplishments with the release of "Cheech the School Bus Driver," which was illustrated by Orlando L. Ramirez. In 2005, Marin appeared as the character Juan Bobo in Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer series in an episode titled "A Crown for King Bobo."

As mentioned, Marin was part of the wildly successful comedy duo Cheech & Chong. While he and Chong went their separate ways, Marin is still close friends with Chong, who is currently starring on "Dancing with the Stars." According to Marin, there is a new "Cheech & Chong" film in the works, but they are still finalizing the details.

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Reply #50 posted 10/23/14 6:34pm


Alvin Stardust dead aged 72

Alvin Stardust, glam rock singer, dies aged 72

Singer Alvin Stardust has died aged 72 after a short illness.

He had recently been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and died at home with his wife and family around him, his manager said.

Born Bernard Jewry in the East End of London in 1942, his hits included My Coo Ca Choo, Jealous Mind and I Feel Like Buddy Holly.

The former glam rock star had been due to release his first studio album in 30 years on 3 November.

He recently announced the record, titled Alvin, was finished and would represent "a new and exciting departure" of which he was "immensely proud".

The singer had performed on stage at the Regal cinema in Evesham, Worcestershire on Saturday.

Stardust grew up in Mansfield and started playing guitar as a schoolboy. He met one of his biggest influences, Buddy Holly, at a gig in Doncaster and played backstage with the singer and his band the Crickets.

He signed his first record deal in 1961 as the frontman of Shane Fenton and the Fentones, though the band struggled to get in the charts.

In 1973 he signed with Magnet Records and took on the name that would make him famous.

"It started off as Elvin Starr, because they wanted a kind of rocky, country name," he recalled in 2010.

"But [a woman] who was doing promotion for us said it wasn't 'glam-rocky' enough, so it became Stardust and then Alvin."

My Coo Ca Choo, the debut song under his new guise, peaked at number two in the UK singles chart.

Known for his rockabilly quiff, sideburns and black gloves, he projected a glowering persona he said he adopted because he was nervous and "didn't want to be found out".

His success led to him being part of a Green Cross Code road safety campaign in 1976, which saw him instructing children to look both ways before they crossed the road.

That success continued into the 1980s with Pretend, I Feel Like Buddy Holly and I Won't Run Away all making the top 10.

Once described as "the Godfather of British Rock 'n' Roll" by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, he made sporadic acting appearances in Hollyoaks, The Grimleys and Doctors.

He also appeared on stage in such musicals as Godspell, The Phantom of the Opera and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, in which he played the fearsome Child Catcher.

Stardust was married three times. His first wife was Iris Caldwell, with whom he had two sons, Shaun and Adam.

His second wife was the actress Liza Goddard, with whom he had a daughter named Sophie.

"RIP Alvin Stardust," Goddard tweeted on Thursday. "Thank you for our beautiful daughter and granddaughter."

Stardust went on to marry Julie Paton, an actress and choreographer, with whom he had a daughter, Millie.

Shaun is now a headmaster of a school in Reigate, while his brother is a producer and DJ who records under the name Adam F.

DJ Tony Blackburn remembered the singer as "a great showman" who would be "sorely missed". "Performing was his life," added the veteran broadcaster.

"He had this bad boy image, but he was not like that at all," Blackburn continued. "On stage he was brilliant, but off stage he was just an ordinary guy."

Stardust, a committed Christian, was also remembered as "a great bloke" by his former Hollyoaks co-star Jeremy Edwards.

"RIP Alvin Stardust, the original landlord of the Dog in the Pond," the actor wrote on Twitter, referring to the Channel 4 series' fictional public house.

"I may not have known him long, but even in that short time he proved to be one of the most genuine and likeable men I've ever met," said the singer's manager Andy Davies.

"His passing is a huge and sad loss."


Celia Cruz Biopic Telenovela In The Works 10 Years After The Queen Of Salsa's Death

Celia Cruz
A Celia Cruz biopic telenovela is in the works since September, 2014. Reuters

Braise yourselves, guys! A Celia Cruz biopic telenovela is in the works and we couldn’t be more excited. Production started late this past September and the series will be 80 episodes long, going through all of the diva’s life, from when she was young to the height of her fame. Fox Telecolombia Network is developing the show with Canal RCN, and it’s been said we are likely to see many different actresses portray the Queen of Salsa, for every different stage of her life. It was announced in January that former Colombian pop star, Isa Mosquera López, will be playing la Reyna in her early career, followed by Jeimy Osorio, who we’ve previously seen in “Fast Five” and “Maid in Manhattan.”

Modesto Lacén will be portraying Cruz’s husband of over 40 years, Pedro Knight. Lacén is no stranger to the part since he’s played him before on stage in “The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.” The last part of Celia Cruz’s life will be played by non-other than Cuban singer and Latin Grammy nominee known as “La Sonera del Mundo,” Aymée Nuviola. Other members of the cast that have been confirmed include Jonathan Islas, Carolina Gaitán, Abel Rodríguez and Judy Henríquez.

Locations so far have been set in Bogotá, Cartagena and Miami, and it hasn’t been confirmed if Celia Cruz’s native Cuba, will be included further on. The plan for the show is to air in its entirety in Latin America at first, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for American networks like HBO Latino to pick it up.

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Reply #51 posted 10/24/14 3:43pm


Chris Rock Looks Back at 'Purple Rain': '30 Years Later, There's Nothing Remotely Close'

By Chris Rock | October 24, 2014 3:31 PM EDT

Prince, 1984

Prince performing on the Purple Rain tour in 1984.

Richard E. Aaron/MPTV

"When Purple Rain came out, I was a DJ with guys on my block, playing block parties. That summer, the big thing was Run-D.M.C. -- Born in the USA, blah blah blah, the streets were playing "Sucker MCs" and "It's Like That." I remember "When Doves Cry" mixed into "It's Like That" perfectly, and even at a block party, when all we wanted to hear was hip-hop, "When Doves Cry" was so hardcore, such an amazing record. "Take Me With U" is probably my favorite on the album, it's just a beautiful song. But those drums on "When Doves Cry?" With no bass? And the lyric was not corny at all. It makes all the sense in the world, and it makes no sense. You can't write a song like that now -- music today has no metaphors, it's all literal. Now they would make you say, “When love dies" or something.

1984: From Prince to Huey Lewis

There's not a bad record on Purple Rain. Thriller is allegedly the best album of all time, and that has at least two bad songs on it. There's no "Baby Be Mine" on Purple Rain.

Prince Returning to 'Satu...n November

I remember seeing the movie two or three times the first day it came out. It was mind-boggling. Prince was funny. He was really cool -- he's one of the last guys with a real mystique. We were all like, "Where the fuck is Minneapolis? Who are these guys?" I saw the Purple Rain tour from the last row of the arena. It was one of my first concerts. We all wore purple. I forget which girl I went with, but I didn't get laid. Anyway, I've been lucky to sit in the last row and to sit on stage with the guy. He's the best there is. Thirty years later, there's nothing remotely close." – As told to Alan Light.


Jennifer Carpenter's 'Death Class' Lands at NBC With 'Dexter' Producer

Based on the book by Erika Hayasaki

Jennifer Carpenter Sara Colleton - H 2014
AP Images/Invision
Jennifer Carpenter and Sara Colleton

NBC is staging a Dexter reunion.

Former Dexter star Jennifer Carpenter is teaming with Sara Colleton to adapt former Los Angeles Times writer Erika Hayasaki's book Death Class: A True Story About Life for NBC, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Read more TV's Remake Craze: Who Ge...he Rights?

Carpenter, who starred as Debra Morgan for eight seasons of the Showtime drama, optioned the book, with producer George Stelzner, in April. NBC and Universal Television have boarded the drama, with Colleton also signing on to the project. A search is underway for a writer.

Death Class centers on nurse Norma Bowe, who, when she decides to teach a class on death at a college in New Jersey, never expected it to be popular. But year after year students crowd into her classroom and the reason is clear: Norma's "death class" is really about how to make the most of what poet Mary Oliver famously called our "one wild and precious life."

Carpenter is not attached to star but will exec produce alongside Colleton, who served in the same capacity on the Michael C. Hall serial killer drama. Carpenter most recently signed on to star in USA Network's drama pilot Stanistan.

Former Hallmark Entertainment exec Stelzner oversees West Egg Studios, a banner that focuses on literary adaptations.


'Agent Carter' Enlists 'Nikita's' Lyndsy Fonseca

As a friend to Hayley Atwell

Lyndsy Fonseca Horizontal - H 2014
AP Images
Lyndsy Fonseca

ABC's Agent Carter continues to hit the casting out of the park.

The midseason "bridge" show has enlisted Nikita favorite Lyndsy Fonseca, Marvel announced on Friday.

Based on the one-shot on the Iron Man 3 DVD, the drama, from showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Resurrection), stars Hayley Atwell and takes place a year after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger. It follows Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) girlfriend Agent Carter (Atwell) as she builds her career as a secret agent while the hero is frozen in ice.

See more Faces of Fall 2014

Fonseca will recur and play Angie Martinelli, an aspiring actress who befriends Peggy (Atwell). The role marks the latest post-Nikita part for Fonseca, who in September was tapped to co-star in Amazon's comedy pilot Down Dog.

In Agent Carter, she joins a cast that includes Dominic Cooper, who will reprise his role as Howard Stark, as well as Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj, James D'Arcy and Shea Whigham. From ABC Studios and Marvel Television, Agent Carter will fill the gap between the first and second half of Agents of SHIELD's sophomore run during the winter. A formal premiere date has not yet been determined.

Fonseca, whose credits include How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and feature Kick-Ass 2, is repped by ICM Partners, Management 360 and Morris Yorn.


Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti to Star in Showtime's 'Billions'

'Divergent's' Neil Burger will direct the pilot

Paul Giamatti Damian Lewis Split - H 2014
AP Images/Invision
Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis is returning to Showtime and he's bringing Paul Giamatti with him.

Homeland alum Lewis and Oscar-nominated Giamatti have been tapped to star in Showtime's drama pilot Billions, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Billions is a fictional drama that takes a forensic look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures — the hard-charging, whip-smart U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhodes (Giamatti), and the brilliant, ambitious hedge-fund king, Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (Lewis).

Read more Showtime Orders Drama Pil...oss Sorkin Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Divergent, Limitless) will direct the pilot, which will film in New York in early 2015.

Billions is written and executive produced by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Squawk Box's Andrew Ross Sorkin, and was picked up to pilot in March.

The role marks a return to the premium cable network for Lewis, who won a Golden Globe and Emmy for his portrayal of Nicholas Brody on Showtime's Emmy-winning drama Homeland. His credits include Band of Brothers and PBS' upcoming Wolf Hall. The casting comes after Showtime president David Nevins fought hard to keep Lewis' Brody on Homeland after season one when the character was originally envisioned as having a shorter run on the series. He's repped by UTA, Markham Froggatt and Jackoway Tyerman.

Read more 'Homeland' Star Damian Le...d All Fans

The casting also reunites Giamatti with Koppelman and Levien, who produced The Illusionist, and with Sorkin, whose book Billions inspired HBO's Too Big To Fail. Giamatti's role in the latter earned him an Emmy nomination.

The prolific actor's credits include his Oscar-nominated turn in Cinderella Man as well as an Emmy-nominated role in Downton Abbey. Should Billions go to series, it would mark the actor's first small-screen regular role. He most recently starred in the FX pilot Hoke, which did not move forward. Giamatti is repped by UTA, Perri Kipperman and attorneys Robert Offer and Shelby Wieser.


Usher on How He Gets Tough With Justin Bieber and Why He's Not Ready for a New Album

1:00 PM PST 10/24/2014 by Jonathan Ringen, Billboard
Miller Mobley

"Shit, I'm singing love songs that went on to be baby-makers, and now the damn babies are in the audience — talk about a family reunion"

There Are Segways, and then there's Usher Raymond IV's Segway. Usher's scooter is a custom-built, gold-plated number with rims that look like they were lifted from Rick Ross' Maybach. It shines like Louis the XIV's jewels as he zips through the hallways of the Philadelphia arena in which he's rehearsing for an upcoming tour on a mid-October day. He's wearing a cozy blue hoodie sweater (hood up) with a bejewel-ed plastic crown canted over it, like he just got back from partying with the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are. As he joins his band — already shaking the empty arena with depth-charge blasts of bass-heavy funk — it's hard to believe that anyone on the planet is having more fun.

And why not? During a two-decade career, Usher, 36, has sold nearly 24 million records in the United States alone, won eight Grammy Awards and, with 2004's Confessions, scored the top-selling album of the 2000s. He has acted on Broadway (Chicago in 2006), starred in movies (he'll play Sugar Ray Leonard opposite Robert De Niro in the forthcoming Hands of Stone) and coached two seasons on NBC's The Voice, winning the second time around. He has a profitable perfume line and owns a small piece of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. (Just to be clear: Last season, Usher did not lobby his buddy LeBron James to come home, because that would be against NBA rules.) He has played the Super Bowl and Michael Jackson's funeral, and discovered Justin Bieber, provided him with the Usher playbook and set him loose upon the world.

Or, as Usher describes these things: "I get to see life through rose-colored glasses a lot of the time." Then he laughs.

Usher lives in Atlanta with his sons Usher V, age 6, and Naviyd Ely, 5. He won primary custody of them when he divorced their mother, Tameka Foster, in 2009, after two years of marriage. When he's not with them, he spends most of his time with his manager — girlfriend Grace Miguel, who, at 44, is eight years older than Usher and has been part of his career for three years. "I have an incredible partner and manager," says Usher. "She has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and my career."

Usher often alludes to challenges to overcome, to crises that left him smarter and tougher. One is clearly his acrimonious relationship with Foster, who was Usher's stylist before they married, and now stars on the VH1 reality show Atlanta Exes. (In October 2013, she sued for temporary full custody of their sons after the older child was caught in a pool drain. Usher's aunt had been watching them, and the boy was unhurt. Usher kept custody.)

The hard times aren't necessarily behind him, although they are perhaps of a less personal nature. There's the existential issue, common to superstar artists in 2014, of making the transition from diamond-certified albums and near-annual No. 1 hits to struggling to even score gold records. Usher's last album, 2012's Looking 4 Myself, has sold 504,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan — 800,000 fewer than the one before it, 2010's Raymond vs. Raymond. This fall, he was supposed to release his eighth album, but unexpectedly — and indefinitely — pushed the record back. "I just ain't ready," he explains. "Meaning I have more that I want to say and more that I want to do. My process is pretty different. L.A. Reid will tell you, it takes two albums to make one with Usher."

It's also possible that it's just not Usher's exact time anymore. The brand of male R&B he mastered isn't exactly dominating — among the current top 20 singles, only Jeremih and Jason Derulo represent the Usher school. Drake, this decade's reigning urban-radio loverman, isn't even a singer, exactly, and makes the more traditional soul-based ballads that Usher is so great at seem even more old-fashioned. Then again, his biggest hits, from "Yeah!" to "Climax," were so unconventional as to rewrite the language of pop. And he could well have a pocket full of them. (There's a reason he has been in the studio with Skrillex and Diplo.) If Usher is worried about any of this, he's not letting on. "Marketing is more important than it has ever been," he says. "But I'm trying to tear the layers back and make it not so contrived. I think people just want entertainment. For certain artists it might be hard, but they don't have the show."

For now, Usher is taking a look back, delving deep into his own music and legend. For the last week, he has been camped out at Temple University's Liacouras Center, prepping for the Nov. 1 launch of a world tour he's calling the UR Experience — a celebration of "20 years of music and entertainment." The arena's hoops and hardwood are stowed away, swapped for a vast spaceship-ish stage, Metallica-ready P.A. system and an entire Guitar Center's worth of shiny gear. The show will include elaborate choreography, megatons of pyro (stored behind a door marked with warnings not to smoke near it) and a killer 13-piece band that Usher refers to as his "funk-soul orchestra."

"Most tours cater to the specific launch of a project — not this time," he says emphatically. "The focus this time is the music. Going all the way back to the beginning."

Earlier that day, just after 8 a.m., Usher wanders out of his dressing room, marked with a sign reading "Keyser Soze," in search of breakfast. "I'm not a morning person, but I've become one as the result of having kids," he says, settling down at a large round table in the crew catering room. "The morning is my private time to spend with my boys. The music industry doesn't allow you to go to bed until five in the morning anyway. You have to just keep rolling."

Usher speaks with a honeyed drawl, and has an easy, thoughtful vibe. He's not exactly modest, tending to refer to himself in the third person and at one point comparing his music to Picasso's Blue Period, but he's not off-puttingly self-aggrandizing. He's quick to give credit to his team and praise other artists. He has a deep knowledge of everything from classic soul and commercial rock to cool indie acts like Grizzly Bear and Sinkane. And partly because he has been the center of attention since he was a teenager, he has learned to wear his celebrity lightly.

When his breakfast arrives it's just a couple of fried eggs and some bacon on a paper plate — a far cry from his vegan period a few years ago, when he traveled with a private chef. "That was opulent as hell," he says. "It was just difficult to find people who can make vegan food taste great."

If you couldn't tell from his renowned music-video torso, not to mention dance skills mostly unrivaled in pop or R&B today, fitness and health are major areas of interest for Usher, who turned 36 earlier this month. (He jokingly bristles when his regimen comes up: "Are you asking that because of my birthday? You saying I'm getting old?") In addition to boxing, Usher gets major cardio during rehearsals. "I sweat like a hooker in church when I'm onstage!"

Through the years he has tried pretty much every diet, from Paleo and Atkins to macrobiotics. "These days, I try to eat for my blood type when I'm not eating for the fat kid inside me," he says. His blood type? "A doctor I know came up with it, but hasn't released it yet, so I don't want to tell you too much about it," he explains. "But the idea is to eat the foods that work best for your body. For my blood type the meats I can eat are pork, beef and fish."

Usher's first fan was his mom, Jonetta Patton, who raised him with his stepfather, Terry Patton, and younger half-brother, James Lackey, in Chattanooga, Tenn. (Usher never really knew his father, who died of a heart attack in 2008. Jonetta and Terry eventually divorced.) Convinced of his talent, Jonetta moved with her sons to Atlanta, where Usher was discovered and signed by Antonio "L.A." Reid when he was 14.

Mentoring is a key part of Usher's identity. It explains Bieber, the appeal to him of The Voice and the way he promotes within his organization (one of his choreographers used to be a dancer, for instance). "My mom always says, ‘You talk to everybody like they're your kids,' " he says. "I'm like, ‘I'm sorry, I was born to be a dad.'"

Usher is realizing there are limits to his influence, especially when it comes to Bieber's current behavior. "Our relationship is more man-to-man now," he says. "He's making his own decisions and it's important to show support. I can say I'm not happy with all the choices my friend has made, but I'm supportive of him. I try my hardest to give as much positive reinforcement as I can. I'll punch him in the f---ing chest when I need to, and give him a hug and kiss when I need to. It's more than just mentoring. I love the kid."

Usher's own mentors include a Bad Boy-era Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs — Reid sent Usher to live with Combs in New York as a teenager, with the idea of toughening him up. "I'd say I earned my stripes in New York City," says Usher. "My time with Puff, it gave me chutzpah." As the youngest member of the extended Bad Boy family — they called him Baby Huey — Usher received, as he has openly discussed, an all-access pass to sex, drugs and some of hip-hop's greatest stars. "I got to see performers like Tupac Shakur," he says. "Redman, Method Man, Ice Cube. I got to perform onstage with The Notorious B.I.G., be in sessions with him and Craig Mack. I got to be part of the driving force that was Bad Boy, that was Puff."

He has been thinking about his past a lot, in part because of the in-progress record. "Every album I've made represented a specific thing that was happening in my life," he says. "And not until now did I think to look back at my life and take inspiration from my own music." He has dozens of finished songs, including the tracks he has worked on with Skrillex and Diplo. Three singles have already debuted: "Good Kisser," a No. 2 R&B hit; the retro-soul "She Came to Give It to You," featuring Nicki Minaj; and the recently leaked "I Don't Mind" — a bouncy, surprisingly tender ode to a stripper ("Shorty I don't mind/If you dance on a pole/It don't mean you're a ho") that has been racking up airplay on hip-hop stations across the country.

"Artists like Usher, you can't pin them down," says Diplo, who produced Usher's 2012 top 20 hit, "Climax." "That's what leads them to be successful and have longevity. If Usher brings in 20 R&B writers, they're going to do a certain kind of 'Usher' song. But Usher really wants to do something. Like, last album, he worked with Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun to write records like theirs, not 'Usher' records."

Usher sees the UR Experience tour as a journey through his entire varied career, from his start as Michael Jackson-channeling teen sensation through his reign as R&B's biggest star to his current place as one of pop's elder statesman. "This will be one of my freest tours," he says. "Shit, I'm singing love songs that went on to be baby-makers — and now the damn babies are in the audience." He cracks up. "Talk about a family reunion."

That afternoon, Usher wraps a dance rehearsal and joins the band to work out some rough parts. He glides over on his golden Segway, straps on a Fender Jazz Bass — playing it is a new interest — and kicks off a Prince-inspired funk jam. His part is a simple two-bar up-and-down groove, but it sounds good against the band's sleek perfection.

The show's "acoustic portion," meanwhile, is especially important him. "There's something magical about the Dave Matthews Band," Usher says. "Even though [Dave Matthews is] playing for a huge audience, he's bringing them into his own private space." Accompanied by guitar, keyboard and percussion, Usher sings a soaring version of his 2010 ballad "There Goes My Baby." He works closely with the three backup singers, drilling down on each harmony part. At one point the Rhodes keyboard tone gets a little hammy. Usher shoots the player a look and half-jokes, "Sounds like a baseball game, son!"

At 9:30 p.m., more than 12 hours after Usher arrived, the house lights snap off and a full concert run-through bursts into Technicolor life. For the first time all day we see the singer, who first appears silhouetted in classic Michael Jackson style, really dance. Even though it's just a rehearsal, and he's got whatever internal dial controls these things set at maybe 70 percent, it's still a rush. Nine songs in, during the Confessions banger "Caught Up," he spins twice, quickly, and sweat flies off his face in sheets.

Earlier that week, Usher celebrated his birthday in New York with Miguel. They wanted to see the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Mu...erican Art, but when they got there, the museum was closed. "We asked if there was any way to open the museum for me, and ended up going through the whole thing with the curator explaining shit to me," he says. "The theme of the show was luxury and degradation — it was pretty cool."

He was especially interested in a period where the artist — now the celebrated creator of, among other things, enormous balloon animals in mirror-polished stainless steel — was rejected by the art establishment over sexually explicit work he made with an Italian porn star named Cicciolina, whom he married and divorced a year later. Shortly after their split, she gave birth to their son, Ludwig, and moved with the infant to Rome without Koons' consent. The resulting custody battle raged on for more than a decade. "When the art industry comes against you, or any similar industry, they can really try to destroy your career," says Usher. "Who are they to decide what is art? But then out of adversity comes something that creates not only strength but perspective."

It's hard to believe he's not really talking about himself. Some fans, especially R&B traditionalists, haven't been comfortable with what Usher considers the most important thing about his career — musical diversity. "I've always wanted to be an artist who was recognized for versatility, which is why I began to play with EDM, I began to play with pop, with rock, with Latin music," he says. "Those things make up what I am as an eclectic artist."

Miguel, a former Island Def Jam executive, clearly supports Usher in pursuing his many directions. She's an impressive presence herself: attractive, stylish, off-the-charts smart. "She's someone who has been able to support and understand all of who I am," he stresses. "Not just as a dancer or as a performer or as a singer, but as a humanitarian and a businessman and as a person."

And she's a great travel companion, opening up Usher to the world in a new way. "One thing that has come from having a great partner like Grace is being able to cherish the places that I've gone," he says. "We see the monumental sites, go to the museums, eat in the best restaurants. I'm that guy now! In the past I'd do what I have to do and get on the bus to the next city. Life has become a vacation."

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of Billboard.


Film & TV

Michael Shannon On ‘Young Ones,’ Alcoholism, and Recovering After Sandy

October 20, 2014

In Young Ones, a unique genre pastiche of sci-fi and Western, Michael Shannon once again proves that no one does stone-cold quite as good as him. The actor plays Ernest, a recovering alcoholic and hardened father of two who’ll do anything to protect his two children (Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee) and his land. The film, directed by Jake Paltrow, is set in a future where water is scarce, and Ernest—who in the opening scene shoots an intruder trying to steal what little water he does have—is suspicious of a young man (Nicholas Hoult) whose intentions are unclear. We spoke to Shannon recently about the film, exploring alcoholism as an actor, and staying put after Hurricane Sandy.

How’s everything going with your band, Corporal?
Why, have you seen us?

No but I ran into you at a party a few months back and you had just gotten back from playing a show in New Orleans. You seemed excited by it.
Yeah, at One Eyed Jack. I don’t know if this will make it into whatever you’re writing, but we’re playing November 9 in New York at Bowery Electric.

I’ll definitely come check you guys out! Let’s talk about Young Ones. Your character in the film struggles with an alcoholic past. Do you find the battle against alcohol an interesting road to explore as an actor?
Well it’s certainly pervasive in our culture. I keep seeing articles about how binge drinking is at an all-time high. I guess it’s mostly young people, but it seems to be a pretty big problem. In terms of Ernest in particular, it’s part of the bigger picture. I think he started drinking heavily when his land started drying up. So the way I see it, it’s a way of how people are going to deal with the increasing stress of living in this world as our problems escalate. I heard on the radio the other day, a woman talking about how there’s never been so many crises all at the same time, as right now. There’s so many stressful things to deal with, so it’s hard not to feel sorry for Ernest to a certain degree, because he’s only trying to deal with his situation.

Young Ones is part Western, part sci-fi. Which genre did you place it in?
I like that it’s a combination of those genres. That’s one of the points that drove me to do it in the first place, that you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was. And that despite all of the style of the film, it’s actually also very grounded and about real people. The style I don’t think overwhelms the film. They work together hand in hand. Without the relationships and the story–the style only gets you so far.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.25.32 PM

There’s a robotic mule in the film that follows you guys around and functions as a pet. It looks very real but is obviously CGI. What did it look like on set?
When we were on set, the back of the robotic mule was there, and for the legs, they had these two fellas who would put the little bed on their backs and they would walk around. They had motion capture suits on–they were basically the legs. So that was a very hard job for them.

The movie is set in a futuristic world, but it takes places in a rural corner of that society. We only get glimpses of advanced technology and what that society might actually look like. Did you ever try and visualize what that world’s large cities might look like?
We would speculate about it. I think it was important for us to know what we were not being included in and what we were missing out on. There weren’t any drawings or anything, it was mostly our imagination. Basically the idea is, where we are there is not any water, and if we were somewhere else there might be. But we don’t want to leave our home, because it’s our home. It’s easy to say if something happened we would just leave, but I live in Red Hook and people didn’t just leave after Superstorm Sandy. They wanted to stay and they spent months trying to build it back up knowing that it may happen again. That’s how people are wired.

Your character has a rebellious teenage daughter played by Elle Fanning. As a father of two young girls, did her character set off any alarm bells for you?
Oh yeah, it’s natural, the course of life. My eldest is already very stubborn, but it’s a beautiful thing. I’d rather have a kid who stands up for themselves than a pushover. She gets it from her dad I guess.

You shot this movie in the middle of the South African desert, which seems like an exotic location reserved for larger movies. What was it like traveling all the way there to make what is a relatively small film?
It was amazing. I’m so glad that we did it that way, that we went so far away to a place where there’s really nothing else happening. It really brought us together and it felt like its own separate world, which was very helpful.

Why did you travel so far?
Jake wanted to find a truly distinct environment. I feel like it looks different than anything else I had seen in a movie. You would think certain landscapes would not be identifiable but if you see them in enough movies… There’s also some South African financing behind the film.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #52 posted 10/24/14 4:35pm


Elisabeth Moss on ‘Listen Up Philip’ and the Myth That Women Like Assholes

October 17, 2014


Next year, Mad Men will finally end and Elisabeth Moss will have completed one of the great character arcs in TV history. And if her recent filmography is any indication, Moss’ post-Peggy Olson career will be dotted with idiosyncratic characters in smart movies. Her latest is Listen Up Philip, the terrific new film from Alex Ross Perry in which she plays an esteemed photographer forced to deal with the pangs of a recent breakup with her narcissistic novelist boyfriend (played Jason Schwartzman). We spoke to Moss this week about her upcoming project with Cate Blanchett, breaking up in New York City, and the myth that women are attracted to assholes.

I’ve been told that you are in Australia.
Yes, I am in in Australia. That is not a lie.

I assumed the publicist wouldn’t lie to me. What are you doing there?
It’s very far. It’s very far way. I’m in Sydney. I’ve been here three times and I’m kind of familiar with it. Great food, great shopping, the weather is kind of like San Francisco weather. I’m doing a film here with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford called Truth.

Wow, Redford and Blanchett.
Yeah that’s pretty much how I felt. I wanted to be in this film so badly because it’s such a great script and the two of them are involved. I definitely have moments where I sort of look up and think, “My god that’s Cate Blanchett and she’s talking to me. This is so crazy.” She’s just one of my absolute idols and she has been for like 10 years. And she’s lovely, nice, and normal. It’s trippy though. I try to act normal around her. But it’s one of those things where I feel like everything I say around her sounds stupid. Like I’m around the most coolest, beautiful woman in school and I’m the dork.

Unrelated to Blanchett, what initially drew you into the character of Ashley upon reading [Alex Ross] Perry’s script?
There were a couple things that I really liked about Ashely. One, I liked that the film picks up with the relationship not going well and tells the story of the end of the relationship. So often in films everyone is so concerned with establishing the relationship, and see the good times and show why these people were together in the first place. And I like that this movie was just like, “No, we’re not telling that story. This is a different movie.” This is about the end. It’s story of ballsy.

Also, I spent my 20s in New York and I have lived in New York for 13 years. I’ve gone through a couple of breakups during the summer in the city and I felt this was an incredibly accurate representation of that. It’s a very specific thing. Summer in New York. It has a lot of promise, but it can also be really oppressive. It’s a very specific time and place, post-breakup: Getting dressed up and going out to bars, and then sort of spending time on your own for the first time in awhile, getting a pet. Reexploring of things that you used to do before the relationship. Reconnecting with your friends. Going to the park. All of those things were very real.

Your storyline in the film seems to be about rebirth in a way—figuring out who you are again after the relationship ends.
Exactly, and when she’s really done she’s not even mad at him [Philip] anymore, which I though was really done well. She knows that she is actually over him and that she’s moved on. When he comes back, she’s not angry with him.

She just wants him to get the hell out.
Yeah, which I think that was a line that I made-up, which may or may not be in the movie because of the narration. She says to him at the end at the door, “I’m not even angry with you anymore. I just don’t want to be with you. I’m better on my own.” I thought that was pretty interesting.

And pretty accurate. When she says those words you believe it. She probably is better off without Philip.
And think that’s interesting when he goes away she’s upset at first, and then after a little while she realizes, “Oh, my life is actually not that different without him, and actually it’s kind of better.”

Isn’t that a strange concept? You often hear that idea that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” In this case distance just gives her the time and space to realize how much she doesn’t need him.
Yeah, and I think it’s fascinating to show that kind of relationship that really does happen. Where the person leaves and you’re kind of like, “Oh, I’m happier without you.” I love the idea that she got that cat and that sort of fulfills that good things that Philip gave her without the bad. The cat kept her company and she could talk to him and she didn’t have to be alone, but she didn’t talk back and she wasn’t an asshole.

Have you ever gone out with a guy who was big of an asshole as Philip?
Maybe not so overtly dickish and misanthropic.

(Laughs) Yeah I think that Philip is very overtly asshole-y. We actually had a discussion when we were rehearsing and the boys (Alex and Jason) were asking, “Aren’t girls attracted to that right? They’re attracted to assholes right?” And I was like, “No, no we’re not.” We don’t like assholes. That’s one of the great myths of the sexes. That women like that. It’s not that that we like. Maybe the mystery or the idea that you are the one who is going to be nice to you. Maybe that’s something. But no, straight up asshole behavior is not attractive.

Why has that myth been perpetuated?
I don’t know! It’s something that I’ve definitely encountered with men who are like, “Aren’t women attracted to men who are mean to them?” And I keep saying “No!” People in general don’t want people to be mean to them.

I think that’s about the line between confidence and arrogance.
Absolutely. You don’t want a wet blanket. You don’t want somebody who you can just walk all over. You want somebody who was confidence. I think it’s also perpetuated constantly by the women out there who are attracted to that. And those women are ruining it for everyone.

I’m glad we’ve solved this problem.
Yeah, me too. I’d like send a message to all those ladies to please spread the word that we do not like assholes.

After centuries of this myth being perpetuated we have figured it out in 12 minutes.
(Laughs) Yes, we have finally put it to bed. You’re welcome world.


Warner Wants A Woman To Direct The Wonder Woman Movie

By Nathan Birch / 10.24.14

Warner Bros.

So, as part of their ridiculously ambitious plan to suddenly start making two major superhero movies a year, Warner Bros. finally broke down and decided, what the hell, let’s do that Wonder Woman movie everyone wants. Great news! Except, given Wonder Woman’s heavy involvement in Justice League, many had the gnawing fear that Zack Snyder might be heavily involved in the movie, and you really don’t want Zack Snyder anywhere near your lady-starring action movie [side-glances at Sucker Punch].

Well, more good news – according to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Is looking for a woman to direct Wonder Woman’s first movie. Of course, the decision is partially WB covering their W-Butts…

“Oh, nobody watched the Wonder Woman movie? Way to screw it up, ladies.”

…but still, it’s the right choice, and a nice, high-profile opportunity for a female director.

That said, there’s some question as to who could step into the role, as there aren’t really a lot of women directing blockbuster summer action movies. Of course, the top name being thrown around is Kathryn Bigelow, but it seems like she’s into slightly more cerebral fare these days. Angelina Jolie is another strong contender – if she was a few years younger, she’d probably be playing Wonder Woman, and she’s got solid directing chops. My personal pick would be Mary Harron, the director of American Psycho and lots of episodes of your favorite cable dramas. Ultimately though, I’m going to guess a former Disney/Pixar animation director gets poached for the job. Jennifer Lee, the co-director of Frozen, perhaps?


OZZY OSBOURNE Says BLACK SABBATH Will 'Disband' After Next Studio Album, Tour

OZZY OSBOURNE Says BLACK SABBATH Will 'Disband' After Next Studio Album, Tour

Ozzy Osbourne says that BLACK SABBATH will "disband" after completing the next album and touring cycle, leaving him to focus entirely on his solo career.

The singer released a solo retrospective called "Memoirs Of A Madman" earlier this month. The collection features 17 of Ozzy's greatest hit singles compiled in one place for the first time in his career.

Asked why he decided to release "Memoirs Of A Madman" now, Ozzy told The Times-Picayune: "A lot of people are asking me, with the success of the reformation of BLACK SABBATH, am I going to do any solo stuff any more? The answer is yes. I am going to continue to do my solo stuff, but I can't do the two at the same time. This 'Memoirs Of A Madman' package is to let everybody know that I haven't abandoned my solo career."

He continued: "I'm doing one more BLACK SABBATH tour, one more BLACK SABBATH album, and then we're disbanding the name, I believe. And then after that, I'll be doing my solo stuff."

Ozzy added: "In a way, I'm glad that I did the things with BLACK SABBATH. No. 1, it was the first time we ever had a No. 1 [album] in America. No. 2, hopefully we'll end on a happy note. The only sad note about it is that [original drummer] Bill Ward didn't do the last tour, for reasons that I guess have something to do with financing or something. I don't know.

"It would be great for him to get it together and sort all the problems out for the next tour. It would be a great way for the four of us to end such a wonderful experience of being BLACK SABBATH, and what we achieved.

"Tommy Clufetos [the drummer in Osbourne's solo band] did a great job [filling in for Ward on the most recent tour]. He's a great drummer. But he ain't Bill Ward, you know?"

Ward was announced as part of the band's reunion in late 2011, but dropped out early the following year due to what was assumed to be a dispute over his contract.

Since that time, however, the other three original SABBATH members — Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler — have hinted that Ward was not physically up to the task of recording a new album and embarking on a lengthy world tour.

Ozzy said as much when The Pulse Of Radio asked about Ward's absence a while back. "Bill Ward has got the most physically demanding job of the lot of us, 'cause he's the timekeeper," he said. "I don't think personally he had the chops to pull it off, you know. The saddest thing is that he needed to own up to that, and we could have worked around it, whether we had a drummer on the side with him or something. But I suppose it was something to do with finances as well."

Ward underwent surgery last year for perforated diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal condition in which the walls of the intestine have become perforated.

For the recording of its 2013 reunion album, "13", SABBATH used RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE drummer Brad Wilk, while Clufetos handled the drums on tour.

Ozzy recently told Metal Hammer magazine that Rick Rubin, who produced last year's "13" album, will likely be back for the next project.

Asked if he has started writing songs for the new BLACK SABBATH album, Ozzy told Esquire magazine: "No. Although I texted [guitarist] Tony [Iommi] the other day. I said, 'It would be a great idea if you could send me some musical ideas so I can try and work some melodies around so we don't have to go searching for the song structure.' So I'm not starting from a cold block, you know?"


METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Still Finds 'Some Kind Of Monster' Difficult To Watch

METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Still Finds 'Some Kind Of Monster' Difficult To Watch

METALLICA will release a 10th anniversary two-disc Blu-ray edition of the band's 2004 documentary, "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster", on November 24. The new edition of the film will be available digitally and via VOD for the first time. It will also contain a new bonus feature, "Metallica: The Monster Lives", a 25-minute follow-up segment filmed at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival during the premiere of the band's second film, "Metallica Through The Never".

The segment features interview footage with the band and "Some Kind Of Monster" co-directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky in which they all look back at the decade since the release of the film.

Originally released on July 9, 2004, "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster" followed the band through the three most turbulent years of their long career, during which they battled through addiction, lineup changes, fan backlash, personal turmoil and the near-disintegration of the group during the making of their "St. Anger" album.

Asked by morning radio talk show host Elliot Segal earlier today (Thursday, October 23) if the raw and brutally honest film was still tough for him to watch, Hetfield said: "Yeah, it [is]. Hearing yourself, watching yourself, seeing the mirror back at what other people see. Especially where Joe and Bruce, the directors of this, they ended up being pretty much fly on the wall, so you really kind of forget the cameras are there and you're being yourself. And a lot of times I'm not really comfortable with myself and seeing myself in the situations, but, man, I learned a lot about what I don't like about me. Which was good — it was a good mirror. And I think everyone involved in that movie pretty much felt the same way about themselves."

In other news, METALLICA will release a limited 12-inch vinyl single of the new song "The Lords Of Summer" on Record Store Day Black Friday, November 28.

The single will feature the "first pass" studio version of the song as well as a live take recorded in Rome in July. This collectable vinyl will only be available through independent record stores and Metallica.com.

METALLICA is reportedly getting back to work this fall on its 10th studio album, due out sometime in 2015.


This Hilarious Web Series Probes into the Cluelessness of Single Life

Kate Hakala Oct. 21, 2014


Many people before her have attempted to inspect the genus of the modern date — from Kirra Cheers’ intimate portraits of her Tinder dates, Connor Hines’ Tinder-inspired “Local Attraction” series, to the now-aged pantheon of Sex and the City episodes. But few borrow so freely and candidly from their own personal lives as writer and performer Alex Kern.

In her new web series SingleDumb, which premieres today, Kern welcomes the camera into the follies and triumphs of her dating life. Delivered in bite-size three-minute episodes, SingleDumb tells the story of Alex, your typical single twenty-something urbanite, as she stumbles through a litany of fun, bizarre dates. Within the early episodes, Alex encounters a motley crew of single guys — from a man who won’t take off his dirt-stained skinny jeans in bed to a dude deadset on falling in love by date two.

Around two years ago, Kern began accepting the invitations of set-ups from friends and took on the world of online dating. Before that, she had never dated, really. Kern tells me, “it was like a shit storm of bad dates. I mean dates that were so horrendous, they couldn’t possibly be true, but, oh, they were. For example, on a first date at the movies, one guy offered me a hard-boiled egg during the opening credits. I was horrified but I didn’t leave! I can’t leave at the beginning of a movie.”

It took her a while to realize that not only were her dates not going well, but she herself needed help dating. “I wasn’t being honest with myself, I wasn’t really listening to myself, I was being a little ‘dumb,’ so to speak. Like, if the guy is a jerk, leave, you don’t owe him anything [...] My lack of social intelligence was profoun,d hence the title SingleDumb. I know that there are many of us out there who have no idea how to do this whole dating thing. I am certainly one of them, now perhaps a more improved version of my former dating self,” Kern admits.

The idea broke ground on the standup circuit, where Kern collected her stories, turned them into scripts, and began shooting the series in an experience she calls “very cathartic and much cheaper than therapy.” Kern started in traditional theater. After college, she moved to New York to go to The New Actors Workshop, a two year acting conservatory. In the last three years, she’s joined classic comedy theater troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, during which she’s found inspiration from comedy luminaries like Lena Dunham, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City, and the folks behind “High Maintenance.” Her comedy roots are alive within every detail of the series — typical episode of SingleDumb borrows from the traditional Seinfeld format with a split between Kern’s standup and her fictional performances. “I’m just going to start saying yes to everything,” she proclaims in the premiere episode, and then proceeds on a date with a man who prefers whisper-quiet cafés to true romance.

Each episode comes from a place of truth for Kern, who really did endure some of the more mortifying experiences from her series. The premiere, she says, was “pretty much identical to what happened to me. It was one of my first OkCupid dates at a coffee shop in the East Village. I felt like I was in a library and we whispered the entire time.” While Kern sings the praises of dating both on and offline, she thinks the trap of contemporary dating lies in the paradox of choice. “It’s easy to get lost in the whole ‘what does it all mean’ thing today,” she tells me. “Do you like someone? Do you want to get in his or her pants? Do you want to hang out with him all the time? Okay, great. Then you should go for it. Don’t send him a snail emoji — that is just confusing.”

What was it like reliving even her worst dates? Kern took it all in stride, finding the rearview web series evolved her singledom into something, well, less dumb. “It was a thrill to have my imagined world come to life especially when the origins of the event were real. It also allowed to me to look back with a completely new perspective. Basically, I was experiencing it all over again with an intelligence that I hadn’t previously had. That was exciting.” If only we all could be so lucky.

New episodes of SingleDumb premiere every Tuesday.


Watch: Spike Lee’s Great 16-Minute Documentary 'I Throw Like A Girl' About Little League Phenom Mo’ne Davis

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 24, 2014 at 9:17AM

I Throw Like A Girl

While his features continue to be hit and miss affairs, Spike Lee's documentaries still rank among his best work, and that's no different with his latest, "I Throw Like A Girl."

This terrific, 16-minute doc turns the camera on 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis, the Little League pitcher and phenom who managed to bump NBA star Kobe Bryant off the cover of Sports Illustrated following her performance in the Little League World Series this past summer (she was the first girl to pitch a shutout in the series). With insights from her coach and family, Lee's film not only profiles Davis' accomplishments on the mound, but her talent on the basketball court, and her natural ability and work ethic (she's on the honor roll too) that paints a bright future for the athlete, who already has eyes on the WNBA. Even if you don't know your curveball from a three-pointer, this is inspiring stuff, and well worth a watch, so check it out below. [The Root]
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Reply #53 posted 10/24/14 4:37pm


Culture Club, Heaven, London: Boy George is in fine voice at his old haunt

For their first gig in 12 years, Culture Club return to the first London venue they ever played

Boy George clearly means a lot to a lot of people. At Culture Club's first live performance in 12 years, Heaven was packed with the band's most hardcore of fans - original vinyls were held, memorabilia phone cases were carried, supportive T-shirts worn and a banner waved with the words "Duran Duran who?"

The setting, the legendary gay club hidden under the arches of Charing Cross station, also had significance; Heaven was the first London venue the band played at back in 1982.

The band opened with the surprisingly upbeat given its title "Church of the Poison Mind", and from the outset it was clear that Boy George's voice sounds as great as it ever did - a tender tenor sound that still resonates.

On stage, George, now 53, is the perfect mix of serious and playful. He is serious about his music and was in complete control of his skilled band, but still playfully interacted with his audience without ever seeming desperate for approval.

The band performed a mix of their older hits and new material from their forthcoming album, Tribes, including the country-inspired "Runaway Train" chosen as the finale track. Old classic "War Song" was deconstructed, the tempo slowed and then restored to its original pace. "Karma Chameleon" was a reminder of what a truly great pop song should be, and "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" still nigglingly catchy. The show lost some of its energy in the second half, as a series of slower tracks were performed with less punch.

George was occasionally almost aloof with his crowd, at one point chastising two members of the audience for talking while he was performing, then pointedly singing "More Than Silence". But, then again, Boy George has always possessed an out-of-reach allure.


Jessica Chastain interview: Interstellar star on acting without 'thinking of the paycheck first'

With brilliant performances in both Interstellar and A Most Violent Year, this year's Best Actress Oscar could well be Chastain's for the taking

What was odd about Jessica Chastain’s ascent in the age of internet teen stars was that, in 2011, when she seemed to come out of nowhere to become a sensation, she was already in her mid-thirties having carved out a career in character roles.

Her overnight success was in fact the culmination of years of graft – attending acting classes at Juilliard, stage work, travelling to film festivals, meeting film-makers and then waiting for the famously meticulous Terrence Malick to finish The Tree of Life, the Palme d’Or winner that would finally bring her to wider attention.

Now after two Oscar nominations – a Best Supporting Actress nod for her hilarious turn as a working-class outcast married to a socialite in The Help and in 2013 a place on the Best Actress shortlist for playing an agent on the trail of Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty – she is in her most high-profile role yet, starring in her first bona-fide blockbuster, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

In a year when no sure-fire Best Picture favourite has emerged from the Venice or Toronto film festivals, many are expecting Interstellar to be the horse that gallops home. Nolan’s first film since he completed his Batman trilogy is a space opera in which Matthew McConaughey plays an astronaut charged with finding a new planet for humans to inhabit. Chastain plays his daughter Murph, or the older version of her, a smart scientist. While McConaughey is out in space, time is distorted; an hour for him is years on Earth so he must act fast before his children’s generation dies out. Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley and Casey Affleck also star in a film that Chastain cryptically describes as a “love story”. It’s likely that she means it is a film about a father’s love for his child but she remains firmly vague on details.

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (Hand out press photograph/film still from Interstellar/Warner Bro's/Melinda Sue Gordon)

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (Hand out press photograph/film still from Interstellar/©2013 Warner Bros/Melinda Sue Gordon)
In any case, Chastain doesn’t think of Interstellar as a blockbuster. “It’s something different. It was great because Christopher Nolan is an independent film-maker who happens to work at a studio. Yes, Interstellar is a big budget film, but it’s his voice, you feel completely like it’s his movie all the way. When I’m on a film the only thing I don’t want is 20 people directing me. I don’t want everyone showing up to the hair and make-up test, where the director doesn’t have a say on what I look like and what I should wear. That’s not so exciting to me, because then it feels like I’m making a movie for a corporation.”

The sense that she works for the art and not for the money or fame is something that Chastain reinforces throughout our interview: “I’ve been very lucky when I choose a film, I don’t think of the paycheck first. I think, when we end the film, how are we going to be more enriched as human beings? For me I’ve never taken a role and thought that I’ll get something out of this. If you think, ‘I’ll get recognition’, often the opposite happens.”

Interstellar sees Nolan venturing into Stanley Kubrick territory. “He’s so capable, it’s scary,” says Chastain admiringly of Nolan. “It’s one of those things. He’s so much more capable at anything – like life in general. He doesn’t believe in wasting time. We finished the movie two weeks early.” Nolan is just one of many Brits Chastain has worked with recently and she admits to finding the class system baffling. “It’s a really strange thing to me, like who your parents are, where you come from, is it a good home? In the US they cheer you on if you come from nothing and achieve success. With a lot of my friends in England it’s the tall-poppy syndrome, you come from nothing and get success and they try to cut you down.”

The actress took the call about Interstellar while she was on set filming an adaptation of Miss Julie, directed by Liv Ullmann. The pared-down version of the play, which Ullmann has moved from Sweden to 19th-century Ireland, stars Chastain as the lead, Colin Farrell as the valet John and Samantha Morton in fine form as Kathleen. Chastain’s admiration for Nolan is nothing compared to her infatuation with Ullmann, the woman who appeared in 10 Ingmar Bergman films. “I just wanted to hang out with her for two months,” chimes Chastain. “She’s such an important part of film history. And I knew it would be an experience that I would always remember, like working with Al Pacino. I love the partnership that she had with Ingmar Bergman. Most people say that she was his muse, but I wonder if he was her muse, because he probably inspired her as much as she inspired him.”

Chastain took her research for the role seriously. First came homework on the character, Miss Julie, which involved going to every theatrical production that she could find, reading every book on the play she could lay her hands on and watching recordings of other productions, including her first exposure to the August Strindberg play – a video tape of Helen Mirren performing the role in a 1972 TV film directed by John Glenister and Robin Phillips. Then, almost more important, it seems, was her research on Ullmann: “I loved the documentary Liv & Ingmar... it’s so beautiful. I read her books, which are amazing, she has one called Changing where I read about her whole experience living on the island [of Faro] with Bergman and making the films.”

It was Malick who first told Chastain that she resembled Ullmann. “He told me I looked like her, when we were shooting together. And that was the most beautiful compliment anyone could have ever given to me.” That said, she admits to getting “embarrassed” when people give her compliments. A latecomer to the A-list, she says that she often has to pinch herself when she thinks about her success: “I don’t get used to it, I feel like I’ve found a place in the industry, but that I’m observing everyone. That I’ve got into the coolest concert ever, and I’m backstage and I get to hang out with the Stones. I don’t feel like I’m part of a band,” she says.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Jonathan Olley)

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Jonathan Olley)
Chastain was raised in Sacramento, California. Her mother is a vegan chef and her stepfather a fireman. A keen dancer and thespian, she appeared in stage plays in San Francisco and studied classics before winning a scholarship provided by Robin Williams to attend Juilliard. It was there that she met Jess Weixler, her best friend, who plays her sibling in her next film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. “My family consists of not just my biological family, but my best friend – she’s like a sister to me – and all the people in my life that help me through this craziness.”

The big change in her life came when she worked on stage with Al Pacino, a collaboration that is central to his 2011 documentary film Wilde Salomé. It was Pacino who first told Malick about her.

She now craves a relationship with a director that mirrors the one that Ullmann had with Bergman: “I hope to some day have a film-maker where we are each other’s muses and we have a collaboration that can go on for years.” That film-maker was almost Ned Benson, the director of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – three films dealing with a single relationship, each one told from a different perspective – Him, Her and Them. Benson’s script started as a story about a break-up told from a man’s perspective and made it onto Hollywood’s Black List, the annual line-up of the best scripts that have not made it to production. Then Benson met Chastain at a film festival and the pair began dating. She encouraged Benson to write a version of the script from Rigby’s perspective, which remained on the page until Chastain became Hollywood’s most talked-about actress and the project finally received the green light.

Director of Silver Linings Playbook David O Russell poses with actors Jessica Chastain and Bradley Cooper inside the Beverly Hilton.

Director of Silver Linings Playbook David O Russell poses with actors Jessica Chastain and Bradley Cooper inside the Beverly Hilton (Getty)
James McAvoy was cast as her love interest and the two films showed back-to-back in a 190-minute version at the Toronto Film Festival last year. At different screenings, “Him” and “Her” were shown in different orders. Harvey Weinstein bought the film, but the question of whether audiences would sit in the cinema for over three hours has proved a tricky one. At the London Film Festival this month a mash-up called Them was shown which, Benson told me, “isn’t how I want people to see the film”.

In the meantime, Chastain and Benson broke up but they remain on good terms and promoted the film together at Cannes. She is now dating the dashing fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposula and spends her time between New York and her beach house in Santa Monica. Yet she hasn’t forgotten the years of struggle and often takes to social media to campaign for more female participation in cinema both on- and off-screen.

“It’s silly we don’t have more female directors,” she states. “I don’t feel different working with a woman than a man. I think a good director is a good director. A lot of times when I’m talking to the press and say that there are not many roles for women, I’m not talking about myself, I know that I have a great choice of roles, I’m talking about actresses I want to see act, like Samantha Morton and Viola Davis.”

Jessica Chastain with Octavia Spencer in The Help (AP)

Jessica Chastain with Octavia Spencer in The Help (AP)
If Interstellar doesn’t give Chastain her hat-trick of Oscar nominations, the word is that she gives another stellar performance in crime drama A Most Violent Year, from All Is Lost director JC Chandor. It will be released in America on the 31 December just in time for Academy Award consideration. It seems the Best Actress Oscar could well be Chastain’s for the taking.

‘Interstellar’ is out on 7 November; ‘A Most Violent Year’ on 25 January. ‘Miss Julie’ and ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby’ will be out in 2015


Don’t Let the Leather, Heels & Glitter Fool You “Justice Woman” is a Warrior for Justice


Award-winning Justice Woman Season 3

Premieres Oct. 28th

Actor/Filmmaker Vanessa Verduga’s Justice Woman is back for season 3 and is bringing its unique blend of comedy and suspense back to the real world. Justice Woman is an iconoclastic series in a time where police dramas, comedy crime capers and courtroom thrillers present a united front of self-congratulatory success.

Justice Woman, in contrast, has a darker perspective—a show that reveals corruption at the lowest level and highest level, taking inspiration from the Occupy movement, and ripped-from-the-headlines stories involving judicial and political corruption.

The series follows the adventures of Sofia Escala (played by Verduga), as costumed vigilante Justice Woman, and spunky Assistance District Attorney by day. Robert Gallion, played by Lee J. Kaplan, is her best friend at the D.A.’s office and cross-dressing sidekick Roberta. Together, they wage war against a corrupt legal system where innocent people are victimized and people in power get away with murder.


Despite the heavy subject matter, Verduga has always been intent on the series playing up its comedy and camp. Season 3 promises more laughs, as well as creative visuals including motion comic sequences. “Sometimes the best way to make people think is to make them laugh and that’s why we add elements of comedy to the drama. It makes the show more accessible and unique from all the other legal shows on television,” she said.

Citing inspiration from a variety of shows, including Will & Grace, Law & Order and even Latino telenovelas, Verduga makes it clear she really does believe in superheroes. “We live in an age where superheroes dominate movies and TV shows. And yet people are still afraid to stand up to injustice. That’s why I want our show to be about real life superheroes…situations we can all relate to and empowering everyday people to stand up for what’s right.”

The show has recently tackled some controversial subjects, including domestic violence, immigration, homophobia in the workplace and abuse of power from government and judicial officials. Today’s super villains are less quirky and far more menacing, but Justice Woman’s recurring theme about confronting life altering challenges by tapping into one’s own superhero or super-heroine powers to influence change remain timely.


The show’s themes of female empowerment has helped the web series win a bevy of awards for seasons 1, and season 2 garnered further mainstream attention, including two 2014 Rome Web Awards in the categories of “Best Sexy Actress” for Verduga and “Best Original Score” for TJ Kross’ music. In addition, the series has been made an Official Section of the 2014 Miami Web Festival and the 2014 Campi Fiegrei Web Series Festival in Italy. The award-winning web series has enjoyed a steady viewer increase that currently surpasses 1.5 million.

Justice Woman joins an onslaught of internet-based entertainment shows, that dare to push further and features more independent-minded filmmaking than the network standard, with a quality level equal to cable series.

The web series’ increasing popularity, and the recently launched Justice Woman comic book has made scheduling demands on Verduga, who is now bi-coastal, travelling from New York to Hollywood. However, the thrill of networking with the show’s fans at comic conventions makes it all worthwhile.

“When little girls tell me how they want to grow up and be a super-heroine, it really makes my day. We all need role models who exhibit positive self-confidence and self-esteem. And, without ever having to sacrifice our femininity to prove we are strong, wise and fearless,” said a beaming super-heroine.

Verduga recently participated in the highly acclaimed “Women of Color in Comics” panel hosted by the NYC Women in Comics Collective at the 2014 NY Comic Con. “I’m so proud to be a part of a movement that sheds light on the issues faced by diverse women as we strive for equal representation in the comic book industry.”

In the tradition of Wonder Woman, Hit-Girl and Rogue, Justice Woman is a super-heroine who represents something bigger than just a leather-cladded glittering crime fighter.

Justice Woman Season 3 premieres on October 28th on its YouTube Channel:


For more about Justice Woman visit: http:// JusticeWoman.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JusticeWomanSeries | Twitter: @JusticeWoman1

You can watch all of Seasons 1 and 2 online

SEASON 1 ►http://tinyurl.com/lk5snkn

SEASON 2 ►http://tinyurl.com/khfxu8z

Vanessa Verduga

Vanessa Verduga

Vanessa Verduga is an actor, writer, singer, director, producer and lawyer committed to examining social issues for their impact on the underprivileged and disenfranchised. She is the creator and star of the popular award-winning web series “Justice Woman”, which follows the story of an Assistant District Attorney, by day, who becomes a defender of truth and justice at night. Vanessa also stars and produces “H.O.M.E.”, a feature film that examines the loss of communication told through the immigrant’s perspective, and is in pre-production for a comedy feature film she wrote and will star in entitled “The Implications of Cohabitation.” For more on Vanessa, visit: http://www.VanessaVerduga.com


Roberto Orci To Direct “Star Trek 3″ While Committed to FOX’s Sleep Hollow


Roberto Orci was named “one of the 50 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood” by The Hollywood Reporter in 2007. As of that year, Orci—born of a Mexican father and Cuban mother—had a string of co-writing film credits that included The Legend of Zorro, Mission Impossible III, and Transformers, as well as writer/producer status on such small screen affairs as Xena: Warrior Princess, Jack of All Trades, Fringe and Alias. Since then, Orci has risen quite a few notches up HR’s Latino list and for any list in Hollywood for that matter, accruing a slew of film credits, including Star Trek Into Darkness, The Amazing Spider Man 2, the TV series, Hawaii Five-O on CBS, Matador for El Rey Network and CBS’s debut drama, Scorpion. And for FOX, he is now launching the second season of the fantasy drama, Sleepy Hollow, serving as co-creator/executive producer, along with Alex Kurtzman and Len Wiseman.


“I’m looking forward to this season,” Orci exclaims. “It is all about war.” The first season of Sleepy Hollow established that the legendary Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow is actually the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, named Death. This season establishes the second Horseman, War, who had been introduced in the first season as townsman Henry Parrish (John Noble), but is actually Jeremy Crane, the son of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and his wife Katrina (Katia Winter) and also the second of the apocalyptic Horsemen. All three had been transported from the Revolutionary War of the late 18th century to modern day Sleepy Hollow.

Orci affirms, “War obviously is coming to town, literally as personified by Mr. Noble. We are going to be carrying through the theme that something like war can tear not only a town apart, but a family apart. This is about Katrina and Crane and how they will react to the potential conflict. Can they redeem their son or not and how do the people around them deal with this? Sometimes you have to just go at evil the hard way.”

Forty-one year old Orci, who was raised in Los Angeles, attended Crossroads School in Santa Monica where he was a classmate of his future writing partner Kurtzman. He then attended University of Texas at Austin prior to launching himself as a screenwriter. He recalls, “As a writer, I didn’t start out to be so involved in heroic fantasies, but that’s the way it has turned out.”

Nicholas Gonzalez as Det. Morales

Nicholas Gonzalez on Sleepy Hollow as Det. Morales

Orci’s first major credit was the American/New Zealand TV series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1997-98). He has come a long way since then. Aside from all his other commitments, Orci was all set to exec produce The Power Rangers movie for Lionsgate this year. He had to drop out because he got a better offer. Orci is now writing and directing the upcoming Star Trek 3 feature film for Paramount. He also affirms he is not slighting Sleepy Hollow, which began its second season on Monday October 20 (9pm) and will run for 18 episodes.

“Obviously, there is a bit of time management involved in all this,” Orci admits. “But I am just as committed on keeping Sleepy Hollow up to the standard we established during its first season.” The series, which is very loosely based on Washington Irving’s 1820 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, also features Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones and Lyndie Greenwood as series regulars and Nicholas Gonzalez in his recurring role of Detective Morales.

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Reply #54 posted 10/24/14 7:47pm


Tom Jones writing autobiography

Veteran crooner SIR TOM JONES is reportedly set to lift the lid on his lengthy career by writing a tell-all book.

Published: Sun, October 12, 2014

The Welsh singer has signed a lucrative deal with a U.K. publishing house, and is expected to reveal all about his friendships with stars including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, according to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

The book is reportedly set for release in autumn 2015.


Mick Jagger Talks James Brown, Elvis & Making Movies

By Associated Press | October 23, 2014 10:53 PM EDT

Mick Jagger attends "Get On Up" premiere

"Get On Up" roducer (and Rolling Stones frontman) Mick Jagger attends the film's premiere at The Apollo Theater on July 21, 2014 in New York City.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Song credits won't be the latest place to feature Mick Jagger's name. Instead, look to upcoming films and TV shows.

The Rolling Stones frontman has been busy producing projects, from this year's James Brown biopic "Get on Up" to a not-yet-titled HBO series directed by Martin Scorsese.

Jagger is also behind the HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, which debuts Monday (9 p.m. EDT). The rock icon said he was asked to produce the documentary before the film.

Mick Jagger & Chadwic...nes Biopic

"I was really interested, but I was kind of a bit documentary-ed out at that point," the 71-year-old said with a laugh, explaining that he was asked to produce Mr. Dynamite around the time he finished working on the 2012 Stones' documentary, Crossfire Hurricane.

"It's very time-consuming ... but I said, `Yeah and I'd really like to do the documentary.' Then I woke up the next morning and thought a feature film would be a great idea."

Jagger asked Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to work on the documentary, which takes an overarching look at the Godfather of Soul's life. Brown died in 2006, at 73.

"The fact that we were doing it after Mr. Brown had passed allowed people to be a little bit more free about talking about him," Gibney said.

The Rolling Stones Return... In Norway

Gibney, whose credits include Taxi to the Dark Side, said he enjoyed collaborating with Jagger.

"I heard some things that made me nervous, but I had a great time. He's a good producer," he said. "I just heard rumbles ... but I didn't find that to be the case. Just the opposite."

Jagger's other upcoming production projects include the films Tabloid and The Tiny Problems of White People with Colin Firth. He'll play rescheduled dates with the Stones in Australia starting Saturday, and said in a recent interview that his production duties have helped him deal with his tumultuous year following the suicide of his longtime partner, L'Wren Scott


AP: What was your relationship with James Brown?

Jagger: I'm not claiming that we were buddies (laughs), but I met him early on in my career. When I first came to New York ... I went to the Apollo and I spent the day there ... I introduced myself to him, I'm sure he had no clue (who I was) ... But he was very, very nice to me. Very generous.

How influential was Brown?

He was such a big influence on all kinds of music. He was influential on performers that came later like Michael Jackson, Prince, and then the beginning of hip-hop and so forth. But he was also influential (on) every band, every rock band, (they) didn't necessarily play all James Brown numbers, but we all knew them.

The documentary focuses on his music and activism, but it also touches on domestic violence, which was glossed over in the film.

I think Alex wanted to concentrate really on the two areas (music and activism) ... without ignoring the other areas. We could have made a whole movie (on), `Was James Brown a drug addict and wife abuser?' but that's the negativity and I don't think you want to be ... white-washing people, but you don't want to be turning up their negative side. And really we wanted to explore James Brown the musician, the performer. We wanted to explore James Brown the activist, because those we really interesting times. A lot of people obviously didn't live through them and a lot of people forget, me included, so we didn't heavy-hand the negativity of it.

What other musicians would you like to do a documentary about?

I have been asked to be involved in producing a movie on an adolescent Elvis ... so that's in the works. And I'm doing a series on HBO which is very much music-orientated. It's fictional drama. The lead character is the owner of a record company and it's about his life.

Are you going to appear on the HBO series?

I'm not in it. It's a story I worked on with Marty (Scorsese). ... It was going to be a movie and then we made it into a TV series. ... The action starts in 1973 in New York so it's a kind of a weird time because it's like the beginning of punk, the very beginning of hip-hop and so a lot is going on.

This has been an emotional year for you. How are you doing?

I'm doing fine. ... Everyone's been kind to me. My family's been very supportive, you know. I've had a lot of work to do so that's kept me, you know, in a good way. So I'm fine.




[Edited 10/24/14 20:28pm]

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Reply #55 posted 10/24/14 8:09pm


Dolly Parton Q&A: The Country Legend on 50 Years in Nashville and Why She Supports Her Gay Fans

By Deborah Evans Price | October 24, 2014 2:08 PM EDT

Dolly Parton, 2014.

Dolly Parton photographed on Sept. 29, 2014 at Nashville’s NorthStar Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joe Pugliese

This year marks the 50th Anniversary since 68-year-old international icon Dolly Parton came to Nashville. The fourth of 12 siblings who shared a one-room cabin, the East Tennessee native was so poor growing up that her father paid the doctor who delivered her with a bag of cornmeal. The day after her high school graduation, Parton left the Smoky Mountains for Music City, where she shepherded her career from singing on The Porter Wagoner Show, a syndicated music-variety series that aired from 1960 to 1981, to winning seven Grammys and scoring 25 No. 1 songs on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart -- a record for a female artist.

Dolly Parton: The Billboard Photo Shoot

On a recent fall afternoon at Nashville's NorthStar Studios, Parton is an animated conversationalist, throwing her head back and laughing often. In person, the legendary entertainer possesses a down-home, self-effacing charm -- disarming for someone who helms an empire that includes the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based Dollywood theme park, which annually hosts nearly 2.5 million visitors, and a valuable publishing catalog of such songs as "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," which she took to No. 1 long before Whitney Houston. In 2014 alone, Parton's 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke, debuted at No. 2 on Top Country Albums and No. 6 on the Billboard 200 -- marking her highest-charting solo album on the latter list -- and wrapped a successful world tour that included performing for 170,000 at the United Kingdom's Glastonbury Festival.

Here, the self-described "Backwoods Barbie" sits down with Billboard to talk business, her 48-year marriage to husband Carl Dean and leaning in.

How are you different now from the girl who came to Nashville in 1964?

I'm more successful now than I was then, but I still feel like the same girl. I'm just a working girl. I never think of myself as a star because, as somebody once said, "A star is nothing but a big ball of gas" -- and I don't want to be that.

What do you think about how people revere you?

I'm sure there's lots of people out there who'd like to smack my head off, but we won't talk about them. (Laughs.) I've lived a lot and I've done a lot. I've been around so long that I think people just kind of feel like I'm a member of their family -- like a favorite aunt or an older sister. People relate to me because I grew up poor and in a big family. They know I understand all the hardships.

What were you thinking when you looked out and saw 170,000 people at Glastonbury?

I was very honored. I was a little bit nervous at that show because I'd never done it before. I thought it was more for a rock crowd, and I just hoped that I would fit in. I was standing backstage all nervous and thinking, "Oh, I hope they like me. I hope that everybody's right that this is a good thing to do." And then I heard them say my name, "Dolly! Dolly! Dolly!" and I thought, "I guess they do know who I am."

Nashville's Studio A, where you recorded "Jolene" in 1973, was recently in danger of demolition. [At the last minute, Tennessee businessman Aubrey Preston saved the property.] What memories do you have of that studio?

The first time I ever got a new car was also the first time I was going to be recording with Porter [Wagoner]. I went down to Studio A and I didn't know how to drive. I ran right through the wall and tore a bunch of bricks out that fell on top of my car. I just got out of the car because I was running late. I didn't see anybody so I locked my car, went in and did the session. When we all came out, someone said, "Damn, somebody ran into the wall." [I said], "That was me" and then I called my father-in-law, Carl's dad, to come down.

What kind of car was it?

It was blue. I didn't get my Cadillac until I had more money, but I think it was a blue station wagon. I think it was a Chevrolet because Carl, at that time, only drove Chevrolets. It was our first family car and we had just been married about a year or so. Anyway, it left a hole in the wall where some of the bricks fell out. They replaced those bricks, but there was always a little bit of discoloration in the brick. When [Studio A] used to do tours, they'd go around and say, "This is where Dolly Parton ran into the wall."

Dollywood attracts lots of church groups, but it has also become a draw for the LGBT community. What does that say about you?

It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It's for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.

Dolly Parton Longs for 'H...eo (Watch)

You have a large gay following. To what do you attribute that?

They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I've struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don't think we should be judgmental. Lord, I've got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else.

A portrait from 1965.
As a Southern woman, how do you speak your mind and take care of business but remain likable?

I'm open and I'm honest. I don't dillydally. If there's something going on, I just say it. Sometimes if I get mad, I'll throw out a few cuss words just to prove my point. I've often said I don't lose my temper as much as I use it. I don't do either unless I have to because I love peace and harmony, but when you step in my territory, I will call you on it. People say, "Oh, you just always seem so happy." Well, that's the Botox. (Laughs.)

What advice do you give women going into business?

You need to really believe in what you've got to offer, what your talent is -- and if you believe, that gives you strength. In my early days, I would go in, and I was always overmade, with my boobs sticking out, my clothes too tight, and so I really looked like easy prey to a lot of guys -- just looked easy, period. But I would go in, and if they were not paying close attention to what I was saying, I always said, "I look like a woman, but I think like a man and you better pay attention or I'll have your money and I'll be gone." (Laughs.)

Dolly Parton Mulls Record...l Mud Song

Are you familiar with Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In?

What is it?

Lean In -- it's a book. Have you ever "leaned in"?

I've leaned over. (Laughs.) I've leaned forward. I don't know what "leaned in" is. Lean in to God.

Family has always been very important to you. Do you regret not having kids?

No. I used to think I should regret it. Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids. We weren't doing anything to stop it. In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn't turn out that way. Now I say, "God didn't mean for me to have kids so everybody's kids could be mine." I'm very close to my family -- five of my younger brothers and sisters lived with me and Carl for many years -- and we're very close to our nieces and nephews. Now that Carl and I are older, we often say, "Aren't you glad we didn't have kids? Now we don't have kids to worry about."

You've been married a long time. What's the best marriage advice that you have?

I've been married 48 years, going on 49. But I think it's true of all relationships -- no matter what they are -- you have to respect each other. We make each other laugh.

Dolly Parton Planning LGB...ance Album

Do you have an office at home?

I have an office everywhere, but I usually work on the couch. I also work in the kitchen. I have all these offices -- just like I have all these swimming pools, and I never swim. I have offices, but I just work wherever I'm at. I just pile my stuff on my bed and work. I have files of my music in every house.

How many houses?

We have a place in [Los Angeles] and a couple places here [in Tennessee]: on the lake, then we have the office complex, and I have the old [East Tennessee] place up home. It's investments. It's not to say, "Hey, look at me." I'd rather buy property than play the stock market.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? What makes you happy?

I love to read. I love to cook. I love hanging out with my husband, riding around in our little RV. Even when I get off the road after traveling thousands of miles, I'll say, "Get the camper; let's go somewhere." He'll say, "Are you kidding? Ain't you tired of riding?" "No, I'm a gypsy. I want to do that." My life is fairly simple when I'm out of the limelight.

When you go somewhere public like Cracker Barrel, do you go in full makeup or in disguise?

I hardly go out much anymore. I just send somebody after the stuff I like. But if I go anywhere, I go in full disguise. I'm afraid somebody will recognize me and say, "Oh, did you see Dolly? She looked like hell." I'd rather them say, "Did you see Dolly? She's so overdone."

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #56 posted 10/25/14 4:15pm


JoeBala said:

Dolly Parton Q&A: The Country Legend on 50 Years in Nashville and Why She Supports Her Gay Fans

By Deborah Evans Price | October 24, 2014 2:08 PM EDT

Dolly Parton, 2014.

Dolly Parton photographed on Sept. 29, 2014 at Nashville’s NorthStar Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joe Pugliese

This year marks the 50th Anniversary since 68-year-old international icon Dolly Parton came to Nashville. The fourth of 12 siblings who shared a one-room cabin, the East Tennessee native was so poor growing up that her father paid the doctor who delivered her with a bag of cornmeal. The day after her high school graduation, Parton left the Smoky Mountains for Music City, where she shepherded her career from singing on The Porter Wagoner Show, a syndicated music-variety series that aired from 1960 to 1981, to winning seven Grammys and scoring 25 No. 1 songs on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart -- a record for a female artist.

Dolly Parton: The Billboard Photo Shoot

On a recent fall afternoon at Nashville's NorthStar Studios, Parton is an animated conversationalist, throwing her head back and laughing often. In person, the legendary entertainer possesses a down-home, self-effacing charm -- disarming for someone who helms an empire that includes the Pigeon Forge, Tenn.-based Dollywood theme park, which annually hosts nearly 2.5 million visitors, and a valuable publishing catalog of such songs as "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," which she took to No. 1 long before Whitney Houston. In 2014 alone, Parton's 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke, debuted at No. 2 on Top Country Albums and No. 6 on the Billboard 200 -- marking her highest-charting solo album on the latter list -- and wrapped a successful world tour that included performing for 170,000 at the United Kingdom's Glastonbury Festival.

Here, the self-described "Backwoods Barbie" sits down with Billboard to talk business, her 48-year marriage to husband Carl Dean and leaning in.

How are you different now from the girl who came to Nashville in 1964?

I'm more successful now than I was then, but I still feel like the same girl. I'm just a working girl. I never think of myself as a star because, as somebody once said, "A star is nothing but a big ball of gas" -- and I don't want to be that.

What do you think about how people revere you?

I'm sure there's lots of people out there who'd like to smack my head off, but we won't talk about them. (Laughs.) I've lived a lot and I've done a lot. I've been around so long that I think people just kind of feel like I'm a member of their family -- like a favorite aunt or an older sister. People relate to me because I grew up poor and in a big family. They know I understand all the hardships.

What were you thinking when you looked out and saw 170,000 people at Glastonbury?

I was very honored. I was a little bit nervous at that show because I'd never done it before. I thought it was more for a rock crowd, and I just hoped that I would fit in. I was standing backstage all nervous and thinking, "Oh, I hope they like me. I hope that everybody's right that this is a good thing to do." And then I heard them say my name, "Dolly! Dolly! Dolly!" and I thought, "I guess they do know who I am."

Nashville's Studio A, where you recorded "Jolene" in 1973, was recently in danger of demolition. [At the last minute, Tennessee businessman Aubrey Preston saved the property.] What memories do you have of that studio?

The first time I ever got a new car was also the first time I was going to be recording with Porter [Wagoner]. I went down to Studio A and I didn't know how to drive. I ran right through the wall and tore a bunch of bricks out that fell on top of my car. I just got out of the car because I was running late. I didn't see anybody so I locked my car, went in and did the session. When we all came out, someone said, "Damn, somebody ran into the wall." [I said], "That was me" and then I called my father-in-law, Carl's dad, to come down.

What kind of car was it?

It was blue. I didn't get my Cadillac until I had more money, but I think it was a blue station wagon. I think it was a Chevrolet because Carl, at that time, only drove Chevrolets. It was our first family car and we had just been married about a year or so. Anyway, it left a hole in the wall where some of the bricks fell out. They replaced those bricks, but there was always a little bit of discoloration in the brick. When [Studio A] used to do tours, they'd go around and say, "This is where Dolly Parton ran into the wall."

Dollywood attracts lots of church groups, but it has also become a draw for the LGBT community. What does that say about you?

It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period. It's for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.

Dolly Parton Longs for 'H...eo (Watch)

You have a large gay following. To what do you attribute that?

They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people. I've struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don't think we should be judgmental. Lord, I've got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else.

A portrait from 1965.
As a Southern woman, how do you speak your mind and take care of business but remain likable?

I'm open and I'm honest. I don't dillydally. If there's something going on, I just say it. Sometimes if I get mad, I'll throw out a few cuss words just to prove my point. I've often said I don't lose my temper as much as I use it. I don't do either unless I have to because I love peace and harmony, but when you step in my territory, I will call you on it. People say, "Oh, you just always seem so happy." Well, that's the Botox. (Laughs.)

What advice do you give women going into business?

You need to really believe in what you've got to offer, what your talent is -- and if you believe, that gives you strength. In my early days, I would go in, and I was always overmade, with my boobs sticking out, my clothes too tight, and so I really looked like easy prey to a lot of guys -- just looked easy, period. But I would go in, and if they were not paying close attention to what I was saying, I always said, "I look like a woman, but I think like a man and you better pay attention or I'll have your money and I'll be gone." (Laughs.)

Dolly Parton Mulls Record...l Mud Song

Are you familiar with Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In?

What is it?

Lean In -- it's a book. Have you ever "leaned in"?

I've leaned over. (Laughs.) I've leaned forward. I don't know what "leaned in" is. Lean in to God.

Family has always been very important to you. Do you regret not having kids?

No. I used to think I should regret it. Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids. We weren't doing anything to stop it. In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn't turn out that way. Now I say, "God didn't mean for me to have kids so everybody's kids could be mine." I'm very close to my family -- five of my younger brothers and sisters lived with me and Carl for many years -- and we're very close to our nieces and nephews. Now that Carl and I are older, we often say, "Aren't you glad we didn't have kids? Now we don't have kids to worry about."

You've been married a long time. What's the best marriage advice that you have?

I've been married 48 years, going on 49. But I think it's true of all relationships -- no matter what they are -- you have to respect each other. We make each other laugh.

Dolly Parton Planning LGB...ance Album

Do you have an office at home?

I have an office everywhere, but I usually work on the couch. I also work in the kitchen. I have all these offices -- just like I have all these swimming pools, and I never swim. I have offices, but I just work wherever I'm at. I just pile my stuff on my bed and work. I have files of my music in every house.

How many houses?

We have a place in [Los Angeles] and a couple places here [in Tennessee]: on the lake, then we have the office complex, and I have the old [East Tennessee] place up home. It's investments. It's not to say, "Hey, look at me." I'd rather buy property than play the stock market.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? What makes you happy?

I love to read. I love to cook. I love hanging out with my husband, riding around in our little RV. Even when I get off the road after traveling thousands of miles, I'll say, "Get the camper; let's go somewhere." He'll say, "Are you kidding? Ain't you tired of riding?" "No, I'm a gypsy. I want to do that." My life is fairly simple when I'm out of the limelight.

When you go somewhere public like Cracker Barrel, do you go in full makeup or in disguise?

I hardly go out much anymore. I just send somebody after the stuff I like. But if I go anywhere, I go in full disguise. I'm afraid somebody will recognize me and say, "Oh, did you see Dolly? She looked like hell." I'd rather them say, "Did you see Dolly? She's so overdone."


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
Reply #57 posted 10/25/14 7:09pm


25 Years Ago: Terence Trent D’Arby’s ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’ Undeservedly Flops

You remember Terence Trent D’Arby, right? The guy who unleashed that amazing barrage of hit singles back in 1987 — ‘Wishing Well,’ ‘If You Let Me Stay‘ and ‘Sign Your Name‘?

Ever wonder why he’s not still ruling the charts with those seemingly effortless updates of classic soul styles? Well, it’s because he fell victim to one of the biggest sophomore slumps in modern chart history with the release of his second album, ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh,’ which came out 25 years ago this month.

Taken purely on its own merits, the album deserved a much better fate. Admittedly, it’s sometimes needlessly pretentious, carrying the full title ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh: A Soundtrack of Love, Faith, Hope & Destruction,’ and starting with two minutes of what can best be described as an ambient spoken-word piece before slipping into ‘I Have Faith in These Desolate Times,’ a “you’ll love or hate this” largely a cappella piece adorned only by plucked classical string instruments and bongos.

But compared to its bright, polished and eager-to-please predecessor — ‘Introducing the Hardline,’ which included all the hits mentioned above — the album also features bold steps into darker, more diverse musical territory. For starters, there’s the dazzling ‘Roly Poly,’ which finds D’Arby crooning and testifying over what sounds like a late-night tape-loop studio session attended by both the Beatles and Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad.

Even more impressive is the next track, ‘You Will Pay Tomorrow,’ which finally answers the “What would it sound like if James Brown joined an amazing rock ‘n’ roll band?” question. Obviously feeling very confident in his creative choices, about halfway into this song D’Arby decides to add a very unusual instrument — a kazoo! – into the already potent wah-guitar and soul horn mixture. And damn if it doesn’t work perfectly.

Hear Terence Trent D’Arby Perform ‘You Will Pay Tomorrow’

There’s also a handful of more accessible songs — specifically, the rousing, gospel-tinged ‘I’ll Be Alright‘ and the slinky, insistent ‘Attracted to You‘ — that you could easily picture following ‘Wishing Well’ and the rest right up the charts. So what went wrong?

Well, D’Arby obviously was aiming to be something bigger than a flash-in-the-pan pop star with this album. But in retrospect, it seems pretty clear that it was his own ambitions and methods that tripped him up — including a series of interviews that overshadowed his talent by earning him a reputation both in the public and within the music industry as an unsympathetic egotist.

For example, while promoting ‘Hardline,’ D’Arby ruffled feathers by stating, “I think I’m a genius. Point f—ing blank,” and declaring that the record was better than the Beatles’ masterpiece, ‘Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ No doubt this brashness turned off some of the very same potential fans D’Arby was hoping to reach with his later, more serious music.

Regardless, flush with the success of ‘Hardline,’ D’Arby not only turned in a challenging follow-up in ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh,’ he reportedly demanded that his label not release any singles to promote the record. The strategy backfired, and ‘Flesh’ fell off the charts on both sides of the Atlantic within a month. Eventually, the suitably representative, if not immediately catchy, ‘This Side of Love’ was released as a single, but the damage was done and ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’ was dead in the water.

Surprisingly, years later, D’Arby decided this failure was the best thing that could have happened to him. “At the time of ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh”s non-performance in the marketplace — I believe that’s the expression — every single thing hit me at once,” he told Q magazine. “Legal situations, financial situations, the mother of my daughter and I were splitting up, everything. I was naked, I had no place to go. But now I genuinely feel that ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’ was not only the best thing that could have happened to me but the only thing that could have happened to me. If it had been successful, I would have missed that opportunity to get on the train that was pulling me out of the situation.”

You’re wondering what train he’s talking about, right? Well, four years later D’Arby would issue his third and possibly best album to date, ‘Symphony or Damn,’ which successfully blended the accessibility of ‘Hardline’ with the experimentation of ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh.’ However, the world at large had turned a deaf ear, and we found out exactly what D’Arby meant by pulling out of the situation.

Eager for a fresh start, after one more underwhelming album — 1995′s spotty ‘Vibrator’ — D’Arby changed his name to Sananda Maitreya, moved to Europe and began releasing albums almost exclusively via his own website. His most recent effort is 2014′s ‘The Rise of the Zubebrian Time Lords.’

Read More: 25 Years Ago: Terence Tre...edly Flops | http://theboombox.com/ter...ck=tsmclip
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Reply #58 posted 10/25/14 7:25pm


Cream bassist Jack Bruce dies aged 71 after a lifetime in blues

Tributes for Scottish vocalist who formed seminal 1960s band with Eric Clapton, and helped turn rock into serious art form
Jack Bruce at home in Suffolk
Jack Bruce at home in Suffolk in 2003. Photograph: Eamonn Mccabe/.

Jack Bruce, the bassist and singer for the seminal 60s rock group Cream, has died aged 71. He had been suffering from liver disease.

A young Jack Bruce with a bass guitar

His death was announced on his official website on Saturday and confirmed by his publicist Claire Singers. “Jack died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family,” she said.

Trained as a classical musician, Glasgow-born Bruce had a powerful melodic voice and was also a talented, jazz-influenced bass guitarist. He formed Cream with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker and was responsible, with co-writer Peter Brown, for penning the majority of the band’s songs. Their most famous hits include I Feel Free, White Room, Politician and (with Clapton) Sunshine Of Your Love, which features one of the world’s most frequently played guitar riffs.

Jack Bruce, bassist for Cream, dead at 71

Jack Bruce, center, with Cream bandmates Eric Clapton, left, and Ginger Baker, right.

The group were distinctive for the high quality of their musicianship andplayed a key role in establishing rock as a serious art form in the late 60s. Cream sold 35 million albums between 1966 and 1968 and were awarded the world’sfirst platinum disc for their album Wheels of Fire. A host of artists covered Bruce’s songs including Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Ella Fitzgerald. Tributes to the singer poured in from the world of rock, including one from his former Cream bandmate Ginger Baker. “I am very sad to learn of the loss of a fine man, Jack Bruce,” he said via Facebook.

Cream in 1966: Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce

Bruce was born in Glasgow on 14 May 1943 and was educated at Bellahouston Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, to which he won a scholarship for cello and composition. Bruce left the academy prematurelyto pursue a career as a jazz and blues musician in London and in 1962 joined Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc with whom Charlie Watts, later to join the Rolling Stones, was the drummer. Later Bruce joined Ginger Baker in the Graham Bond Organisation but left after three years after Baker complained that his playing was “too busy”.

Cream perform on the TV programme Ready Steady Go in 1966

Bruce then played for John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, where he first met Clapton, before joining Manfred Mann for a brief, unhappy stint which Bruce found unacceptably over-commercial. In the end it was Baker who initially asked Bruce to form Cream with Clapton, who insisted that Bruce would be the singer. The band’s driving pace and technical proficiency made them an extraordinarily exciting act, though their tendency to add 15-minute drum or bass solos to live performances also left rock with one of its less attractive legacies. By contrast many of their songs, including Tales of Brave Ulysses and We’re Going Wrong, have become classics.

Cream in the US

Cream split in November 1968 at the height of their popularity in part because Bruce felt they had strayed too far from the music he wanted to play. He recorded several solo albums, including Songs For A Tailor and Harmony Row, which were a synthesis of rock, jazz and classical formats and which featured leading UK musicians such as guitarist John McLaughlin, blues saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and drummer Jon Hiseman. Bruce also worked as session man on carefully chosen dates with such rock musicians as Lou Reed and Frank Zappa. With the latter, Jack co-wrote Apostrophe, which became Zappa’s biggest selling album.

Cream get fitted out in the latest fashions at the Westerner boutique on Oxford Street, February 1967

For many years Bruce fought addictions, in particular witha long-term heroin problem. In the end he quit the habit though not without a considerable fight. “I went to the clinics, I wasn’t proud, but I’m proof it can be done,” he said in an interview three years ago.

Bruce with his bass guitar

In 2003, Bruce developed liver cancer. He was given a transplant which his body initially rejected and he was left gravely ill. However, he recovered andin 2005 he went on to re-form Cream who played a series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. Both Bruce and Baker looked painfully thin and fragile during their performances. By contrast, Clapton seemed the epitome of health.

Cream on a boat in Central Park, New York, 1968

Later Bruce toured the world with other projects. In June 2011, he played a special concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, which was celebrating its 60th anniversary in an evening that marked the 50th anniversary of the blues in Britain. Bruce played with his Big Blues Band. The next year he played at the Gerry Rafferty tribute concert in Glasgow when BBC Scotland recorded a one-hour documentary on Bruce.

Bruce circa 1970s

He leaves a remarkable musical legacy, a point stressed by his family on Saturday: “The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and for ever in our hearts.”

Playing at the London Guitar festival in 2011

Former Cream bassist Jack Bruce: 'I squandered too much money on drugs'

Former Cream bassist Jack Bruce says he is not ambitious but he did once buy a Scottish island.

Former Cream bassist Jack Bruce talks about money

In the Sixties, supergroup Cream produced a string of classic hits such as I Feel Free, Sunshine of Your Love and White Room. Bass player Jack Bruce, now 68, wrote most of the songs and so earns the lion's share of royalties from the band's 35m record sales. He lives in Essex with his second wife Margrit, 57, and their youngest son Corin, 18.

How did your childhood experience influence your attitude to money?

Growing up in inner-city Glasgow, it sometimes seemed to me money hadn't been invented. We lived in a council flat, my dad worked in a factory and my mother worked in a baker's shop and scrubbed floors at the local hospital. There was never any pocket money and sometimes we used to go to the local football ground and collect empty bottles to take to the shops for a few pennies to make ends meet. But my parents were able to pay for my music education – my mother took two jobs so they could send me to grammar school, which was unusual for people in my class in those days.

At the age of 16 I started performing with a dance band in the evenings and began earning more money than my father, but he was pleased for me. He had assumed I would join him at the factory and never imagined I could actually make money in music. But my background made me very insecure and ignorant about how to deal with money and when I hit the big time with Cream, I made some blunders.

Did having money make you happier?

Initially yes, it was tremendous fun to be able to buy a house in central London and furnish it without worrying about the cost. And I bought a large country mansion, but I decided I didn't need anything so big so I sold it.

Jack Bruce – 1943-2014

What blunders did you make?

My first mistake was to have a bad manager. He basically used every trick in the book to steal our money and siphon it off into his own pockets. It was easy do with young musicians who were naive and didn't care about contracts. I think it happened a lot in those days. Today there is usually a clause in most contracts warning you to get independent advice, but in those days there would usually be a clause forbidding you to get independent advice.

I managed to recoup some unpaid royalties in the Nineties, thanks to the hard work that Margrit put into resolving the situation, and I am now paid regularly. But my second mistake was drugs – way too much of my money was squandered on that.

Are you cautious with money or liberal with it?

I don't give a damn about it – money has never meant anything to me. Sometimes I have had a lot of it and sometimes not so much, but I have always been able to do what I want. Thankfully I'm not endlessly ambitious, but I have done some crazy ambitious things like buying an island off the west coast of Scotland in the late Sixties. I eventually sold it because they decided to build a nuclear power station within sight of it.

Cream reunion gig at the Royal Albert Hall, London in May, 2005

So are you better at handling money now?

Yes, I got to a stage where I had to become more responsible. It might seem rock-and-roll to be carefree, but I know I need to look after my money. Margrit is better at this than me – she arranges meetings with my accountant and I usually sit in, but then I try to get out of it by going to make the coffee. In 2003 I was diagnosed with liver cancer as a result of my former drug abuse and I had a transplant. I feel I've been given a miraculous extra lease on life, which is a wonderful gift. I can go on playing and touring for as long as people ask me and when they stop asking me, I'll give up.

What would be your advice to other musicians?

I've always had money because of my early success with Cream, so I tell young musicians to aim to write their own material, because owning the composition rights makes a very big difference. I still get a lot of royalties flowing in from radio play and the use of Cream music in commercials and movies, which is a good earner.

How do you invest?

Margrit manages our portfolio of investments along with my advisers and I know she has chosen to invest in a lot of ethical companies and ethical funds. The other thing I do is buy property – I enjoy choosing properties and I like to visit them.

Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, members of the former band Cream are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, 12 January 12 1993

How many properties do you own?

In 1986 I bought our six-bedroom farmhouse near Halstead for £79,000 and we have since spent around £200,000 renovating, moving the kitchen and adding a large conservatory. It is filled with cellos, Hammond organs, grand pianos and guitars.

Twelve years later I bought a small holiday home in Italy for £73,000, because I fell in love with the beautiful artistic village of Dolceacqua, with its winding, cobbled passages and lovely castle ruin. Then after my liver transplant in 2003 I bought a three-bedroom villa on the Canary island of La Palma for around £320,000 because the climate aided my recovery. And in 2005, the Cream reunion earned me enough money to buy a town house in Colchester for £300,000 and we spent around £1m renovating and extending it.

What has been your best buy?

I made a good profit on a small cottage we bought in Wester Ross in the Eighties, which is in one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. It worked out really well – it was a beautiful place to go and stay in May and September and I only bought it for £30,000, but sold it for double that.

And your worst buy?

I went through a period of buying terrible old cars to restore – Morris Minors and a Jensen FF – but I wasn't any good at it and they would just mould away and rot. I was also involved in starting up a commercial catamaran operation in Majorca which ran aground. I now strongly advise people not to get involved in multihull commercial boating.

How do you prefer to pay – by card, cash or cheque?

I usually use American Express because I can collect points and I like redeeming them flying with Virgin business class. I don't use many other credit cards and I pay my Amex card off every month because I don't believe in paying interest – that's a mug's game.

How easily do you tip?

My mother once worked as a waitress so I am generous because I know how people can rely on tips to make a decent living. But it's amazing the cultural differences – in Japan you don't tip anyone because it would be insulting, whereas in America if you give anything less than 20pc they'll come after you with a meat cleaver. I find it's more difficult to know what to do in Britain because in this country, we're not really geared for service.

What about pensions?

Many years ago I started up a large portfolio of investments that just sat there. It was all very safe – things like Royal Dutch Shell – but it stopped performing, so I stopped putting money in. It was only growing as fast as cash in the bank, so what's the point of that? Investing doesn't excite me – I think it's like gambling, which is not one of my vices. I have now started taking some of my pensions, so at least I'm getting paid.

Do you bank online?

Yes. It's very convenient if you live in the sticks like I do. I'm doing more and more online every year – I hardly ever buy anything in the normal way any more. And I'm downloading all the time from iTunes.

Jack Bruce and his Big Blues Band are touring in March 2012. Book tickets at seetickets.com

The Cream farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 26 Nov 1968

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Reply #59 posted 10/25/14 8:06pm


Morelia Film Fest: Transgender Drama 'Carmin Tropical' Wins Top Prize

5:52 PM PST 10/24/2014 by John Hecht
Courtesy of Cine Pantera
'Carmin Tropical'

Road movie "Gueros" grabs audience award, best first work

Rigoberto Perezcano's Carmin Tropical, a crime drama that explores sexual intolerance in an unusual Mexican town, won best picture at the 12th edition of the Morelia International Film Festival.

Carmin Tropical unfolds in Juchitan, a southern Mexico town known for its Muxe (transgender) community.

Also coming up big in Morelia was Alonso Ruizpalacios' Gueros, a black-and-white comedy about Mexican slackers on a quest to find a washed-up musician. Gael Garcia Bernal has an associate producer credit.

Gueros won best first feature at Berlin, the Horizons Award in San Sebastian and best cinematography (Damian Garcia) in Tribeca.

Matria, an odd tale about a man who organized an army of Mexican cowboys to fend off a possible Nazi invasion during WWII, nabbed best documentary.

Morelia opened with Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman.

International guests this year included Inarritu, Juliette Binoche, Homesman executive producer Michael Fitzgerald, award-winning Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida), Amos Gitai (Free Zone) and Hubert Sauper (Darwin's Nightmare).


Watch Intense New Trailer for Fox's Hip-Hop Drama 'Empire'

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson star in Lee Daniels' midseason soap

Empire - H 2014
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Fox used Game 3 of the World Series to ramp up midseason hip-hop drama Empire.

From The Butler's Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, Empire stars Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who heads the hip-hop record label at the center of the series. Gabourey Sidibe also stars, along with new addition Courtney Love.

Back in May, Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter that he intended "to make a black Dynasty. You sit there and go, 'No, this bitch didn't! Oh my f---ing God!' "

The minute-long teaser opens with Lucious sharing his life story, before it's revealed that he is suffering a life-crippling disease that could change his life in a matter of a few years. "It was the music that saved my life," he says, before the powerful music mogul tells his grown children to "man up" and take charge of his empire.

And as if on cue, Cookie barges in: "Don't forget me baby. I want half my company back!" Looks like Lucious is going to have his hands full.

Empire premieres in January 2015 on Fox.

Watch the trailer below.

'Pale Moon': Tokyo Review

Courtesy of Tokyo International Film Festival

The Bottom Line

It's more blessed to give than to receive


Tokyo Film Festival (Competition)


Rie Miyazawa, Mitsuyo Kakuta, Sosuke Ikematsu


Daihachi Yoshida


Kaeko Hayafune

Rie Miyazawa stars as a housewife turned embezzler in Yoshida Daihaci’s fantasy drama

Going from strength to strength, director Yoshida Daihachi (The Kirishima Thing) returns to the themes of conformity and rebellion in Japanese society in Pale Moon (Kami no Tsuki), the story of an obedient housewife who becomes an embezzler to live it up with a young lover. Though seemingly played for straight drama, there are mischievous clues throughout the film that other readings are possible, confirmed in the surprise ending. The fun — and anxiety — lies in watching the delightfully proper heroine overturn the conventions of a highly regimented country, and stage and screen actress Rie Miyazawa is fully up to delivering outrageous behavior in a subtle, almost deadpan performance. One of the strongest competition entries in this year’s Tokyo festival, it should shoot straight to the festival circuit and would make a fine candidate for exotic art house pick-ups. Shociku releases in Japan in November.

Yoshida’s talent for light comedy, seen in his Cannes Critics Week entry Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers!, is kept under wraps here, and there will be viewers who follow the story as a straight immorality play, watching housewife Rika Umezawa (Miyazawa) slip away from her boring, inattentive husband and into a life of daily crime. Her fall from grace is emphasized in flashbacks to her girlhood in a Catholic school and a key episode when she is smitten by a charity drive. The nuns want the kids to donate half their allowances to help needy children, but Rika is so convinced that she steals big money from her Dad’s wallet. When caught, her self-righteous defense is that the ends justify the means.

Read more 'Garm Wars: The Last Drui...kyo Review

The idealist in her is still there under cover when we meet her as a demurely uniformed bank employee, selling bonds and retirement funds door-to-door to her elderly, well-off clientele. At the home of one rich man, she meets his grandson, the college student Kota (up-and-coming young actor Sosuke Ikematsu in a convincing perf), who can’t take his eyes off her. Though mousily attired, Rika really is lovely, but when after being stalked by the lovesick lad she lets him take her to a cheap motel, the film hits its first dizzy turning point.

Kota is a nice boy but is on the verge of dropping out of school because he doesn’t have the money for tuition. His rich grandfather won’t budge and Rika seizes an opportunity to help. She simply makes out a fake cashier’s check for Grandpa and gives $20,000 in cash to Kota as a “loan”. It’s the first of a very long series of switcheroos she performs at the bank, thanks to her impeccable reputation and the assistant manager’s less than impeccable shortcuts, all under the disapproving eye of her suspicious supervisor Mrs. Sumi (Satomi Kobayashi).

Read more 'River of Exploding Duria...kyo Review

With amusement and trepidation, the audience watches the heroine burn more and more bridges as she throws herself into a life of luxury hotels, restaurants, clothes and expensive gifts for her young lover. When her husband is transferred to China, she turns their apartment into a messy counterfeiter’s den. The more she goes against society’s mores and becomes a free and independent woman, the more the noose of coming retribution tightens around her neck. When the day of reckoning finally comes, however, more surprises lay in store in Kaeko Hayafune’s liberating closing scenes, all based on a novel by the award-winning woman author Mitsuyo Kakuta.

From the sterile, spotless bank to the chaos of Rika’s topsy-turvy apartment, everything is pleasantly shot in an elegantly subdued palette by cinematographer Makoto Shiguma. The soundtrack adds its own dose of ironic freedom with Lou Reed’s Femme Fatale. The one sour note to mention is the painfully obvious product placement that crosses the line into blatant advertising.

Production company: Robot Communications
Cast: Rie Miyazawa, Sosuke Ikematsu, Renji Ishibashi, Satomi Kobayashi, Yoshimasa Kondo, Yuko Ohshima, Seiichi Tanabe, Yoshimasa Kondo, Renji Ishibashi
Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Screenwriter: Kaeko Hayafune, based on a novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta
Producers: Fumitsugu Ikeda, Satoko Ishid, Naomi Akashi
Director of photography: Makoto Shiguma
Music: The Velvet Underground, Nico
Sales Agent: Shochiku
No rating, 126 minutes


Actor, Activist Salma Hayek to Speak at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast

Actor, Activist Salma Hayek to Speak at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast

From left: Gail Berman, Salma Hayek, Arwa Damon

Hayek joins powerhouse producer Gail Berman and Courage Award-winning journalist Arwa Damon

TheWrap is pleased to announce that Salma Hayek, actor, producer and activist, will be a special guest at TheWrap's 6th annual Power Women Breakfast on Oct. 29 to speak about her work as a humanitarian and activist.

Hayek is one of the leading actors, producers and directors of our time. She was the first Latin actor nominated as Best Actress for her role in “Frida” in 2002. In 2014, she produced Kahlil's Gibran's “The Prophet,” an animated children's film adaptation of the book of essays addressing issues of life and the human condition.

Hayek is also a leading humanitarian activist, raising awareness of violence against women and discrimination against immigrants with groups such as Global Green, Youth AIDS, AMFAR and UNICEF.

She joins one of Hollywood's most successful producers, Gail Berman, Chairman and CEO of The Jackal Group, who will be interviewed about her career and the transition from traditional Hollywood to digital entrepreneur.

Berman is one of the most prolific content creators in the entertainment business, having launched award-winning properties for television, film, digital and the Broadway stage. In 2014 she launched The Jackal Group, a new independent production entity formed in partnership with Fox Networks Group.

CNN International Correspondent Arwa Damon, winner of the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Awards, will also be honored at the event. Damon has reported on recent history in the Middle East, covering revolutions, popular demonstrations, war and terrorist attacks. Based in Beirut, Damon strives to tell the stories of those living through conflict.

Now in its sixth year, TheWrap's Power Women breakfast is an intimate gathering of Hollywood's leading women executives to connect and be inspired by women inside and outside of the entertainment industry.

The Oct. 29 event will be held the Montage Beverly Hills. The event will feature a silent auction of products generously donated by Ferragamo, Gucci, Montane Designs and Marrin Costello. Jewelry proceeds will go to the International Women's in Media Foundation.

The Power Women's Breakfast is sponsored by Bank Of America and Keurig.


Olivia Wilde, Kate Hudson, Aaron Sorkin to Honor Fearless Female Journalists

Olivia Wilde, Kate Hudson, Aaron Sorkin to Honor Fearless Female Journalists

Alexandra Trower, Honoree Arwa Darmon, Editor-in-Chief of Le Souverain and honoree Solange Lusiku Nsimire, and journalist and Honoree Brankica Stankovic at the IWMF Luncheon in New York on October 22. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for IWMF)

Death threats, gunfire and roving bands of genocidaires – three women investigate some of the most dangerous stories will get honors from their journalist peers at the Courage in Journalism Awards

CNN correspondent Arwa Damon, Serbian TV reporter Brankica Stanković, and the editor-in-chief of one of the few independent media outlets in the Congo, Solange Lusiku Nsimire, will be honored by their peers at the 25th International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday.

The IWMF celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. In protest of the owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel's policies, the IWMF cancelled their contract with the hotel and moved it to the Beverly Hilton earlier this year.

TheWrap's CEO and Founder Sharon Waxman is a co-chair with Willow Bay, Director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Olivia Wilde and Glamour Magazine Editor-In-Chief Cindi Leive serve as hosts.

A companion event at Cipriani's 42nd Street in NYC took place earlier this week for the same honorees. Norah O'Donnell and Cynthia McFadden hosted the east coast installment.

From information provided in a media release, calling the honorees brave would be an understatement.

Brankica Stanković has been under 24-hour police protection since 2009, while continuing to investigate Serbia's political and economic elites. She is a prominent investigative journalist, and uncovers corruption and crime, earning her explicit death threats.

CNN's Damon has dodged bombs and gunfire while reporting on the revolutions, war, and terrorism across places few in the Beverly Hilton will ever go – Libya, Syria, and Iraq.

Solage Lusiku Nsmire runs Le Souverain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She continued to publish the independent newspaper (meaning independent of corrupt power brokers and bands of Rwandan genocidaires, those who commit genocide) despite enemies bringing their intimidation to her front door, attacking her family home.

Muse singer Matt Bellamy (significant other of Kate Hudson), Jason Sudeikis, “Gone Girl's” Sela Ward, Abigail Spencer, Paula Abdul, and Bo Derek amongst other bold face names will come to shine a light on the work of the above honorees.

Lisa Ling, whose own sister Laura was held captive in North Korea until President Bill Clinton made a special trip to ensure her release, will present one of the awards. Kate Hudson and Aaron Sorkin will also present.

Bank of America, Chevron, and the Los Angeles Times are sponsoring the night, which wil include a performance by Carly Paoli.

Individual tickets starting at $1,000 and tables starting at $10,000 are available at www.iwmf.org/tickets


Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Maroon 5 Tabbed for Grammy Christmas Special

Album of the Year Grammy nominees will be revealed during the holiday-themed concert

By Daniel Kreps | October 25, 2014

After six years of announcing the nominees of Music's Biggest Night during a primetime concert, the Grammy Awards are mixing things up for the 57th annual ceremony. Gone is Grammy Nominations Concert Live, and in its place comes A Very Grammy Christmas Special, which will air on December 5th on CBS. Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and Tim McGraw have been recruited for the holiday special, which will conclude with an extra gift for five artists: An Album of the Year Grammy nomination.

The Grammys' primetime nomination concerts kicked off in 2008, but after declining ratings in recent years, the Grammys will now begin announcing their nominees with a morning ceremony on December 5th, the same day their holiday concert airs. Nomination in 82 of the 83 Grammy categories will be revealed over the course of that day, but the artists up for the biggest trophy – Album of the Year – won't be unveiled until the conclusion of the Very Grammy Christmas special.

The holiday-themed concert will feature each of the artists performing their latest hits along with seasonal favorites. Grande, Williams and Maroon 5 will also share their favorite holiday memories as well as discuss what being nominated for a Grammy means to them. The 57th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday, February 8th, from Los Angeles' Staples Center.

According to Variety, part of the reason the Grammy Nominations Live Concert struggled in recent years is because it was broadcast live with a 10 p.m. start time on the East Coast and a 7 p.m. start in the West, which was both too late and too early. That won't be an issue this year: A Very Grammy Christmas will be prerecorded at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on November 18th, with a 9 p.m. broadcast on December 5th on both coasts. Tickets for the all-star performance are available now through Ticketmaster. Producers promise additional performers will be announced shortly.


'Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore': Tokyo Review

'Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore': Tokyo Review
Courtesy of Tokyo International Film Festival

The Bottom Line

For too-cool-for-school fans of Roxanne


Tokyo Film Festival (Competition)


Tadanobu Asano, Nathalia Acevedo, Elena Kazan



A wordless digital poem captures the mood of Manila’s mean streets

At first glance a controversial choice for Tokyo competition, Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore is a tone poem that has its own raison d’etre. Prolific Filipino digital pioneer Khavn (aka Khavn de la Cruz), who has carved out a youthful fan base at many Euro festivals, won’t disappoint his followers with this wordless romantic crime tale that surges forward on waves of world music. The story is set in a shabby but colorful rabbit warren of backstreets amid Manila’s violent, live-for-the-instant underworld, where a handful of characters love and murder each other.

It would be a challenge to dredge a meaning, much less a message, out of the events onscreen, but this will probably be a mere detail for Khavn’s fans. Suffice it to say that there is more poetry than narration here. Charged with electricity by Australian D.P. Christopher Doyle of Wong Kar-wai fame, the lush roughhouse lighting and handheld digital camerawork contribute the lion’s share of the film’s atmospheric energy high.

The absence of dialogue makes the backstory a guessing game, but a pre-credit intro – shot like a police line-up – helps to identify the protags. The main faces are the Criminal (Tadanobu Asano, star of Christopher Doyle’s directing bow Away with Words) and the Whore (played by live-wire Mexican newcomer Nathalia Acevedo from Post Tenebras Lux.) Dreamlike jump cuts set them in motion, as the dark-haired hooker goes on the run with the hit man after he leaves his latest victim lying shirtless in a pool of blood. We are somewhere deep in the Manila slums. The only antagonist in sight is an exhibitionist Godfather who appears on stage in a kind of trance reciting “I am the world poem.”

This is a case where excellent casting goes a long way. Acevedo’s exuberant body language and striking costumes and Asano’s sheer gritty physical presence, heightened by a broken arm in a dirty cast, create a world that's both familiar to the viewer from myriad cinematic and literary versions (hence “another” lovestory) and quite distant. Though Doyle’s constantly moving, staggering and tilted camera and production designer Francis Soeder’s densely packed screen blunt the impact of an orgy scene, a long-held shot of the prostitute laughing in extreme close up with semen running out of her mouth is quite uncomfortable to watch. But sex and violence aren’t really what this very physical film is about; it comes closer to a joyful, wild and dizzying engagement with fleeting life, which includes moments of tenderness and various moods of love.

Brezel Goring and Khavn contribute strong musical energy from around the world which guide the tone of each scene. The memorable opening credits are shakily tattooed on somebody’s back.

Production companies: Kamias Overground, Rapid Eye Movies
Tadanobu Asano, Nathalia Acevedo, Elena Kazan, Andrew Puertollano, Khavn, Vim Nadera
Director, Screenwriter: Khavn
Producers: Khavn, Achinette Villamor, Stephen Holl
Director of photography: Christopher Doyle
Production designer: Francis Soeder
Editor: Carlos Francisco Manatad

Music: Brezel Goring, Khavn
Casting director: Anthony Cinco
Sales agent: Rapid Eye Movies
No rating, 73 minutes


[Edited 10/25/14 20:08pm]

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #60 posted 10/26/14 8:14pm


Marcia Strassman Dead: Starred In ‘Welcome Back Kotter,’ ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’

Marcia Strassman

Actress Marcia Strassman has died at the age of 66 after a long battle with breast cancer, her sister Julie Strassman confirmed. Though Marcia Strassman acted in a wide range of TV shows and feature films, she was best known for her lead roles in the TV show Welcome Back Kotter and the comedy feature Honey I Shrunk the Kids and its sequel, Honey I Blew Up the Kids. Strassman also served on the national board of the Screen Actors Guild.

“She was the funniest, smartest person I ever met,” said Julie Strassman of her sister. “And talented. She knew everything. Now I won’t be able to call her and ask her questions.”

News of Strassman’s death first emerged in online posts by long-time friend, ” Curb Your Enthusiasm director Bob Weide: “So sad that a sweet friend, kind person & wonderful actress Marcia Strassman lost her brave battle with cancer today.”

Another friend, singer/actress Cher, also tweeted: “Wanted U2 No,a Funny,Talented Friend Died.Not 4U 2feel sorry 4me,but she died alone, &Energy from U is powerful &Sends (love) ‘Marsha (sic) Strassman'”


Strassman was born Apri 28, 1948 in New York City, and grew up in New Jersey.

She came to Los Angeles when she was just 18, her sister said. She was initially a singer in the late 1960s with some modest local success, most notably with The Groovy World of Jack and Jill and The Flower Children. She also had a few TV roles, including three episodes of The Patty Duke Show. She left show business for a time before returning as an actress in a recurring role as nurse Margie Cutler in M.A.S.H.


In 1975, Strassman had a breakout role in the TV hit Welcome Back Kotter, opposite comedian Gabe Kaplan, playing his frequently exasperated wife Julie. That show, about a teacher returning to the tough high school and neighborhood where he grew up, ran through 1979.

Strassman worked steadily thereafter, most notably in major roles on several mostly short-lived TV shows, including Booker, Tremors, Third Watch, Providence, and Noah Knows Best and as a voice-over artist on the children’s animated show Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and elsewhere.

Welcome Back Kotter

Her biggest film success came playing the wife and mother opposite Rick Moranis in Disney’s hit comedy Honey I Shrunk The Kids and its equally successful sequel, Honey I Blew Up The Kids. She also appeared in 1985’s The Aviator with Christopher Reeve and Roseanna Arquette.

Strassman was active in fundraising for various progressive and social causes, including breast cancer research and treatment even before she was diagnosed, her sister said. She was a member of the Screen Actors Guild national board, elected to a three-year term in 2010. Julie Strassman said her sister continued to sing, and had many other skills and a wide group of friends throughout Hollywood.

The 66-year-old actress played Julie Kotter in ABC's 'Welcome Back, Kotter' from 1975 to 1979 and appeared in the 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' franchise.

“She had more friends than anyone in the world,” Julie Strassman said. “She could do anything. She made clothes, made curtains, knitted sweaters for friends. She could dance.”


Strassman died Oct. 25 in her Sherman Oaks, Calif., home, after a seven-year fight with breast cancer. She is survived by her daughter, New York costume designer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Collector, whom Julie Strassman called her sister’s “great love.” She is also survived by brother Steven Strassman.

Strassman, center, with the cast and crew of 'Welcome Back, Kotter.'

Services are pending, but Julie Strassman asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her sister’s name to organizations fighting cancer.

View image on Twitter

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #61 posted 10/27/14 8:28am


Soul Power in Overdrive

‘Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,’ on HBO tonight.


"Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," a documentary by Alex Gibney, is being shown Monday on HBO. Credit Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images

There is one interview I remember from my early days as a reporter, and I often recite a line from it because it’s the best answer I’ve ever gotten and ever will get. Naturally, it came from James Brown.

It was in 1989, at the dark, wrong end of Brown’s career, when he was in prison for, among other things, capping a long bout of partying with a high-speed chase through Georgia and South Carolina that ended only after police officers shot out his tires.

I was a Time magazine reporter, and he was working in the prison cafeteria. The warden let me wave through a window at Brown, inmate No. 155413, as he wiped down tables in a cook’s white coat and cap, embellished by purple wraparound sunglasses and matching scarf. Brown was allowed to speak by phone.

I didn’t even know where to begin, so I asked how he was feeling.

“I’m well rested now,” he said, and waited a beat. “But I miss being tired.”

That reply is almost reason enough for watching “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” an HBO documentary directed by Alex Gibney, on Monday night. But there are plenty of others. This is a smart, informative and compassionate look at the artist known as the Godfather of Soul, whose music changed America.


“Mr. Dynamite” is an informative and compassionate look at James Brown, whose R&B, soul and funk altered American music. Credit Emilio Grossi/HBO

And you can dance to it.

Brown, who died in 2006, was a fascinating and confounding figure. Just this year, he inspired a biographical movie, “Get On Up,” with Chadwick Boseman as Brown, and there have been a steady stream of biographies, including two memoirs that he wrote with co-authors.

He was a magnetic, kinetic master of R&B, soul and funk, with roots in gospel and big-band music. He was a beloved performer and an often terrible boss and violent husband. (His third wife, Adrienne Lois Rodriguez, told me he once laid out her mink coat on the bed and then shot it.) He played an important role at critical moments in the civil rights movement and also shocked his fans by supporting Richard M. Nixon in 1972.

Of course, there is also the music.

The film opens with Brown sweating through a muscle T-shirt and chanting the opening words of “Soul Power” to a frenzied audience at the Olympia in Paris in 1971.

The narrative threads his scratch-poor boyhood dancing for nickels in the segregated South to his lasting influence on rock, hip-hop and rap. The film doesn’t dwell on his sad last days, but it does address his many contradictions — personal, musical and political. All of it is set to the beat of his music, which gets the last word.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who was a friend and protégé and contributed to one of Brown’s memoirs, tries to explain why his hero supported Nixon. “James Brown believed in bootstrap economics, lift yourself up,” he says, “so the appeal of Richard Nixon, which was a total, total atrocity to me, but to James Brown it was black capitalism.”

The camera cuts to Brown performing “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing.”

Mick Jagger, a producer of “Mr. Dynamite,” also has a lot to say about Brown, an artist he copied early in his career. Mr. Jagger, of the Rolling Stones, has the grace to admit his debt, saying he tried “to steal everything I could possibly do.” But he also uses the occasion to correct a legend about “The T.A.M.I. Show,” a performance feature film shot in 1964, when the Stones followed Brown and were upstaged by his electrifying performance. Michael Veal, a musician and author, says he heard that while Brown blew up the room, Mr. Jagger stood watching on the side of the stage, “just being devastated and traumatized.”

Mr. Jagger says that although Brown did indeed “kill,” the concert was filmed as a movie, which was heavily cut and edited, and that the Stones’ performance was filmed hours later with a different audience. (In fairness, the Stones’ rendition of “It’s All Over Now” at that concert does not seem nearly as insipid and embarrassing as Gerry and the Pacemakers’ singing of “How Do You Do It?”)

Some of the most revealing moments come from the memories of less famous friends and colleagues, including Bobby Byrd, the musician who took in Brown when he got out of jail at 20 and who founded what was eventually known as Brown’s backup group, the Famous Flames. Other musicians who played in Brown’s band express joy and pride in their work and also deep disappointment with a boss who was aloof, a loner and a bit of a skinflint.

One time, when band members gathered to confront Brown, he stormed out. Another time, when band members said they were fed up, Brown brought a group of new musicians onto the stage, where the current band members were already preparing to play: It was their cue that they were all dispensable.

He was an important, thrilling voice during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. After Brown performed in Mississippi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “This is black power, baby.” And Brown played a heroic role in Boston in 1968 right after Dr. King was killed. He went on with a scheduled concert and persuaded the enraged and distraught audience, and the entire city, to stay calm.

Not everything about him was admirable. Mr. Sharpton gets the second-to-last word, explaining, “What was his negative may have ended up being his strength.”

Last and best comes Brown, performing back when he felt good because he was feeling tired.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #62 posted 10/27/14 9:30am


12 Things We Learned From Howard Stern's Interview With Neil Young

He's pissed at David Crosby and Barack Obama, and he's got a secret cure for weed-induced paranoia

neil young

Howard Stern's long-anticipated interview with Neil Young was full of amazing revelations.

By Andy Greene | October 14, 2014

Howard Stern has been asked many times over the years to name his number one dream guest and his answer has never changed: Neil Young. His dream finally came true Tuesday morning when Young entered his studio at SiriusXM headquarters in midtown Manhattan for a 90-minute interview promoting his new book Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars, his new digital music service Pono and his upcoming album Storytone. Here are 12 things we learned from the incredible interview.

1. Young was understandably nervous about appearing on the show for the first time. "I woke up this morning at 4:30," he said. "I was thinking to myself, 'God, what's he going to ask me about?' I couldn't go back to sleep. Some of the thing we got into in a very kind and nice way could have upset my family and my kids. We didn't do that, which I really appreciate. People say things without understanding the depth of damage they do to people's lives."

2. He's smoking weed again, occasionally. "I do it every once in a while," he said. "Just a little tiny bit." Stern gave it up years ago because it makes him paranoid, but Young had the solution. "Try black pepper balls if you get paranoid," he said. "Just chew two or three pieces. I just found this out myself. Try it."

3. He wasn't kidding last week when he said he's never going to perform with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ever again. "Playing with Stills and Nash in that band was really great," he said, intentionally leaving out a certain other member. "I wish [Crosby] the best with his life. There's love there. There's just nothing else there. [A reunion] will never happen. Never happen, no, not in a million years….You have to think about things before you do them. If you make a mistake, you have to fix it right away. [A reunion] will never happen. You don't have to worry about it. It's easy to say 'no.'"

4. His relationship with Crosby remains strained, though he didn't get into specifics. "There's nothing to apologize for," Young said. "It was fixable, but it didn't get fixed." Stern asked if it was Young's fault it didn't get fixed. "Absolutely not," said Young. "I did everything I could to make sure it got fixed…We were together for a long time. We did some good work. Why should we get together and celebrate how great we were? What difference does it make? It's not for the audience. It's not for money, either. When you play music, you have to come from a certain place to do it and everything has to be clear and you don't want to disturb that. I like to keep the love there, and if the love isn't there, you don't want to do it."

5. Even 45 years later, he's still pissed about all the cameras onstage at Woodstock. "They didn't have to be right there on the stage," he said. "They're cameras, hello! Use zoom, dickhead. We were playing music and there's some jerk standing there in black clothes. We're playing music, get out of there."

6. He finds it difficult to tell stories about the old days without saying the name of a certain person. "I love the Woodstock movie," he said. "If you listen to when they introduce Crosby, Stills and Nash, you can tell…Wait a minute, did I say the full name of the band there? Okay, when the guy says, uh…I have to get this right…When he says, uh…Stills, Nash and Young, you can tell he cut. They had to take my name out." Later in the interview, he referred to Crosby's 1971 album If I Could Only Remember My Name as a work by "whatshisname." Stern joked that Crosby wouldn't like Pono and Young facetiously said, "This Pono player is poisonous. It's going to kill something? Isn't that what he said?"

Stern didn't understand what he was referring to there, but it was clearly these recent comments that Crosby gave to The Idaho Statesmen: "I happen to know that [Neil is] hanging out with somebody that's a purely poisonous predator now. And that's karma. He's gonna get hurt." Crosby isn't backing down, telling a fan recently on Twitter that he has "no regrets."

7. Bono gave him advice about how to write more commercial music. "I sung all the songs in Greendale," Young said. "And Bono commented that the songs needed hooks that went over and over again and more people could hear them." Young didn't take him up on the advice.

8. He's tremendously disappointed in President Obama. "He just opened up the Gulf of Mexico to fracking," he said. "Like the Gulf of Mexico didn't need a break…Politicians are empowered by the system to do nothing but take money from the corporations that control them. Obama campaigned on change and hope, and they're fracking in the Gulf of Mexico. Barack, hello! Wake up, buddy."

9. The first batch of Pono players are sold out. "We're going to try and make more in January," he said. "We're starting to build and scale up, but the demand for them was awesome…We're making this for people that want it. We're not making it for people that don't want it, but they may not know then want it until they hear it. It's a gentle revolution. We're not trying to bowl over the world. We don't think success is anything you can tangibly see. It's a smile."

10. His newest hobby is paddleboarding. "I'm going out paddleboarding with my girlfriend tomorrow morning," he said. "It's a beautiful thing…I can't worry about the paparazzi. You can't see them anyway. They are taking pictures from behind trees. You can't think about that."

11. He's psyched about his upcoming album Storytone. "It was a great experience," he says. "I was in a room with all these musicians. We did it all at once. There's no overdubs. Be great or be gone. That's what my producer David Briggs always said. You only have one shot at a time and you can't go fix it. I knew where I wanted to go with the songs, and the orchestra had charts and an arranger and everything…It was done with up to a 90-piece orchestra. We did it live in the room like Sinatra."

12. Sharing a Toronto apartment with Rick James in 1966 was nonstop fun. "We did some wild things," he said. "It's all very hazy to me now. I'm glad I made it through that stage. It got a little dicey. There were some drugs going on. I remember singing one song for about a day and a half."

David Crosby: Neil Young Is Very Angry With Me

Crosby's comments come after Young reveals that "CSNY will never tour again, ever"

David Crosby
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on September 23, 2014 in Morrison, Colorado.
By Daniel Kreps | October 11, 2014

Neil Young is busy enough lately with a new album and another m...he horizon, but at an October 8th concert in Philadelphia, when asked by an audience member if he'd reunite with Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Storytone rocker responded frankly, "CSNY will never tour again, ever… but I love Stephen Stills." CSNY last performed together in 2013 at Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert, but since then there have been no plans for the quartet to hit the road.

When Young's comments made their way back to David Crosby, the CSNY singer tweeted Friday night, "I hear Neil said 'there will never be any more CSNY shows' that's like saying there are mountains in Tibet we know Neil ….we already knew." When a fan asked Crosby why Young ruled out a CSNY reunion, Crosby responded, "He is very angry with me…" Crosby also confirmed Young's comments by saying, "believe me... not going to happen" to a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion.

When another of Crosby's followers remarked how Young's guitar-playing was irreplaceable, Croz tweeted some more shade, "I know at least 20 better guitar players than Neil. 3 in Snarky Puppy alone ..Hendrix , Stevie ray, get a grip." Stephen Stills and Graham Nash have yet to respond to Young's CSNY comments. In an interview with Rolling Stone last year prior to the Bridge School Benefit, Crosby expressed doubts about CSNY going on another full-scale tour.

"I love working with Neil. He really does push the envelope. He makes fantastic music. I feel really good working with him. We're an interesting bunch because we have such a wide palette of colors," Crosby said. "All four of us are really good writers and, more importantly, completely different from each other. It gives you a palette to work with that's incredible. Between us we got 900 songs . . . But as far as another tour, I don't know. You know who it's up to."


Stephen King, John Mellencamp create 'Ghost Brothers' gothic musical headed to Detroit

Eric Lacy | <a href=elacy@mlive.com" /> By Eric Lacy | elacy@mlive.com

on October 23, 2014 at 10:01 AM, updated October 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM
Ghost-Brothers.jpgThis musical created by Stephen King and John Mellencamp is coming to Detroit's Fisher Theatre on Nov. 26.

THURSDAY PM UPDATE: Check out MLive.com's interview wit...Mellencamp about the musical, his fondest Detroit memories and more.

DETROIT, MI -- A musical called "Goth Brothers of Darkland County" that's the brainchild of author Stephen King and musician John Mellencamp is headed to Detroit's Fisher Theater on Nov. 26.

Described as "southern gothic" and "supernatural" in a press release, "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County" was written by King and has music from Mellencamp, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member.

This musical, which starts actor Billy Burk and actress Gina Gershon, is a collaboration 16 years in the making, and blend of unique musical and staging styles, according to press release.

Its "eerie blues ‘n’ roots music" reveals the inner workings of the characters as opposed to just propelling the play’s narrative, with only a few songs directly advancing the plot."

The storyline involves "a haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge," and begins with a man reflecting on a past tragedy involving his two older brothers battling over a girl which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three.

Now with the man, named Joe McCandless, as an adult and two boys of his own, he’s in an all too familiar scenario ready play out before his eyes.

With his sons at each other’s throats, McCandless' story in the musical is expected to will either save or destroy his family.

For more information about the musical, visit BroadwayinDetroit.com, aeglive.com or ghostbrothersofdarklandcounty.com.


Stephen King's Revival - exclusive book cover reveal

Help the master of horror to unveil the jacket for his latest novel

Stephen King.  AFP PHOTO /  Getty Images

Revivalist … Stephen King. AFP PHOTO / Getty Images

What is the mysterious image in the picture? Is it a tortured face or a demon from the dark side? All will be revealed as fans of Stephen King help to fill in the details of the cover for his latest novel.

Revival, out on November 11 from Hodder & Stoughton, is the 58th novel by King, who shows no sign of letting up as he approaches his 67th birthday. It will be the second book he has published this year alone, and marks a return to his horror heartland after his excursion into hard-boiled fiction in June with Mr Mercedes.

The cover will be revealed segment by segment today on a Facebook app hosted on King’s Facebook page, with each square unlocked when enough likes, comments and shares have been generated. Once the entire cover is uncovered, it will become interactive, enabling fans to discover extra clues about its creepy content.

Revival is set in a small New England town where, in the early 60s, a small boy falls under the spell of a charismatic minister. Decades later, the two meet up again and strike up a relationship which takes them on a devilish trip through rock and roll, addiction, religion and stage conjury.

Just Music-No Categories-Enjoy It!
Reply #63 posted 10/27/14 10:06am


'The Last Ship': Theater Review

The Last Ship Production Still - H 2014
Joan Marcus
Rachel Tucker and Michael Esper in "The Last Ship"

The Bottom Line

Far from a wreck but not exactly seaworthy either


Neil Simon Theatre, New York (runs indefinitely)


Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker, Jimmy Nail, Aaron Lazar, Sally Ann Triplett, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, Fred Applegate


Joe Mantello

Sting returns to his childhood home in its dying days as a shipbuilding port in this allegorical musical about hope and redemption

He may not appear onstage, but there's no mistaking the voice of Sting in both wistful balladeer and rousing reveler modes in his stirring score for The Last Ship. Set against the demise of the shipyards in the composer's hometown of Wallsend in North East England, this melancholy musical is without doubt a heartfelt, intensely personal project. It's performed with vigorous commitment by an accomplished cast, robustly staged by Joe Mantello, and designed by David Zinn with a harsh beauty that seems salvaged out of the rusted hull of a once-proud sea vessel. Sadly, it's also a bit of a yawn.

For anyone who cares about the endangered species of the original Broadway musical, that's a regrettable shortcoming, particularly when so much love and artistry have been poured into the show. There's genuine feeling in the songs' exploration of the conflicted bonds between fathers and sons, and the crippling losses of men robbed of their work, thereby denied their dignity and pride.

So what's missing? It's easy to see the central figure of Gideon Fletcher as a romanticized alter ego of Sting (Gordon Sumner at birth). But the plodding book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey gives him too little psychological dimension to come alive. It also strands him among generic characters and clichéd situations seen in countless Brit films set in depressed industrial towns blighted by Thatcherism. What's worse is that it falls back on that old standby of using allegory as an excuse for a plot that — sorry — simply doesn't float.

As pretty as the songs are, this is the rare musical that needs fewer numbers and more book scenes. That's especially the case in the shuffling second act, in which serious anthemic overload takes hold.

There are two principal narrative threads that gradually entwine. One focuses on Gideon (Collin Kelly-Sordelet), who clashes with his father Joe (Jamie Jackson) over his refusal to take an apprenticeship in the shipyards. He flees up the River Tyne, promising his sweetheart Meg (Dawn Cantwell) that he'll come back for her.

Cut to the now-adult Gideon (Michael Esper) returning after 15 years away as a merchant seaman, two days too late for his dad's funeral. Meg (played as an adult by the appealing Rachel Tucker) gave up waiting and is now romantically involved with Arthur (Aaron Lazar). But despite Arthur's repeated offers to marry her and be a father to her 15-year-old son Tom (Kelly-Sordelet again), Meg keeps putting him off, unable to explain the reasons even to herself. Anyone who has ever watched a soap opera will guess Tom's paternity; only Gideon is unaccountably slow on the uptake.

The second strand concerns the unemployed shipyard workers, wallowing at the pub while refusing lower-paid job offers from the new owner, a scrap-metal company. The sole turncoat is Arthur, who serves as mediator with his resentful former colleagues. That group is led by the principled foreman Jackie White, played by the wonderful Jimmy Nail, who invests humanity and gravitas into the otherwise hackneyed plot, tackling his songs with a nice dash of Shane MacGowan-esque growl.

Given that no stereotype is too crusty for the writers, there's also a boozy, salt-of-the-earth Irish pastor, Father O'Brien (Fred Applegate), succumbing to cancer. In an inspirational sermon, he urges the disenfranchised men to occupy the yard and build one last ship to sail away as an act of defiant resilience, "borrowing" church development funds to finance the operation.

That blarney becomes the driving force of the narrative, along with a host of attendant questions. Will Gideon follow generations of men in his family and become a proud shipbuilder after all? Will Tom go against his mother's wishes and join the workers, risking arrest? And once the ship is built, will the lad sail off to an unknown destination with his new father and seemingly every other man in the town? Then there's Meg's wavering between dependable Arthur and the love of her youth who let her down.

Despite affecting moments, none of these questions acquires much urgency because the characters are not drawn with sufficient nuance to make them real. Esper has proven himself a soulful performer, both in musicals (American Idiot) and plays (The Lyons). But Gideon is shortchanged by the writers. While the reasons given for his flight from an ill-tempered father and a life in the yards are serviceable enough, there's no attempt to explore what kept him away so long, aside from vague allusions to him being the eternal drifter, torn from his roots by a culture of hardened men. And while we're meant to believe that he never stopped loving Meg, he adds insult to injury by telling her that he would have returned had he known about Tom. Gee, thanks.

That offhand treatment of the women characters is a constant; they are strictly cutouts, like "brassy zaftig barmaid" or "feisty community backbone," though there is one intriguing '80s refugee in the ensemble who looks like she escaped from a Flock of Seagulls video. (The show is set in a non-specific timeframe.)

Watch more Sting Tells All on Tantri...udio' Clip

Screenwriter and playwright Logan, who took charge after Yorkey's earlier drafts, clearly intends the ship to function as a symbol of hope, redemption and the battered but unbroken spirit of the blue-collar British male. But even on its own elastic terms, this glum fairy tale doesn't hold water. It has enough elements of gritty realism to leave audiences pondering such distracting questions as how a crew with only one experienced sailor is going to navigate a massive boat out to sea; where their months-long voyage will take them; and what they or their families back home will live on.

To be fair, there is some historical precedent in the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders occupation that thwarted Conservative government closures in Glasgow in 1971, but that doesn't make this fanciful variation more plausible.

On a visual level, the production is impressive, and Mantello keeps things moving as best he can in a bloated show that's at least a half-hour too long. Zinn's set, with its corroded walls, thick ropes and industrial scaffolds and gangways, is evocative, bathed in the shadowy textures of Christopher Akerlind's burnished lighting. Water imagery is a frequent motif, seen to gorgeous effect across a scrim through the opening number. The choreography, by poetic movement specialist Steven Hoggett, fits the material. But all the rowdy, hyper-masculine stomping and suspended gestures grow repetitive, unfortunately calling to mind the merciless Forbidden Broadway parody of Hoggett's work on Once.

The musical's chief distinction is Sting's score, which includes most of the 2013 album of the same name as well as a handful of pre-existing tracks ("All This Time," "Island of Souls," "When We Dance"). The artist's fans alone may be enough to constitute an initial audience. Even if his rhymes can be a touch insistent ("Life is a dance, a romance where ye take your chances/Just don't be left on the shores of regretful glances"), Sting's skill with musical narrative is unquestionable. If the numbers eventually wear out their welcome that has less to do with the quality and diversity of the Celtic-flavored score than with the problematic storytelling of Logan and Yorkey's book. The truth is that all the melodic tunes in the world can't save a show from the crucial failing of being dull.

Cast: Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker, Jimmy Nail, Aaron Lazar, Sally Ann Triplett, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, Fred Applegate, Eric Anderson, Craig Bennett, Dawn Cantwell, Jeremy Davis, Bradley Dean, Colby Foytik, David Michael Garry, Timothy Gulan, Shawna M. Hamic, Rich Hebert, Leah Hocking, Todd A. Horman, Jamie Jackson, Drew McVety, Matthew Stocke, Jeremy Woodard

Director: Joe Mantello

Music & lyrics: Sting

Book: John Logan, Brian Yorkey

Set & costume designer: David Zinn

Lighting designer: Christopher Akerlind

Sound designer: Brian Ronan

Music director, orchestrations, arrangements: Rob Mathes

Choreographer: Steven Hoggett

Presented by Jeffrey Seller, Kathryn Schenker, Kevin McCollum, Sander Jacobs, James L. Nederlander, Roy Furman, Herb Alpert, Jerry Moss


Juan Luis Guerra Signs Deal With Universal Music Publishing Group

Published On October 8, 2014 | By La Mezcla | Culture & Entertainment, News


Juan Luis Guerra, the award-winning Dominican singer/songwriter, has signed an exclusive contract with Universal Music Publishing Group, according to a spokesperson.

This is the first time the prolific songwriter assigns his catalog to a major music publisher for representation around the world, according to John Echevarria, executive VP of UMPG Latin America.

“He’s an icon whose songs are an indelible part of the fabric of contemporary Latin Music,” Echevarria said. “In addition, his humanitarian work and dedication to others makes him an example for all of us.”

Guerra’s music, known in the U.S. and beyond, catapulted the singer into the spotlight throughout Latin America after the release of his first album in 1984 along with his band 4.40. In the 1990s he took the bachata genre to a much larger audience, and to date, the arranger, composer and producer has sold more than 30 million albums in 30 years, according to his publisher.

“From the moment I arrived here I received unconditional support,” Guerra said in a statement. “I feel part of the family.”

In 2009, Guerra received an honorary doctorate from his alma matter, Berklee College of Music. Known for his versatility from R&B to Afro-pop and bachata, his lyrics have touched on many social causes and have include themes around history, romance and Christianity.

A winner of 15 Latin Grammys, three Grammys and two Billboard Latin Music Awards, Guerra’s accolades are plentiful, including Billboard’s Spirit of Hope Award in 2005. The entertainer has used his name to help build hosp