Month: July 2013

Hugh Laurie to Hit Road for U.S. Tour in October; New Album, New Tour

  If any of you  Hugh Laurie (House) fans have seen in him concert, then you know how amazing he is live on stage. Laurie will be hitting the road in October to promote his second album, Didn’t It Rain out in the U.S. August 6. For more info, check out the official press release below:

Globally acclaimed recording artist, actor, and performer Hugh Laurie, has announced that he will hit the road for a U.S. tour in October performing in theaters across the country in support of his new album, Didn’t it Rain which will be released in the U.S. on Aug 6th.

Laurie will be joined by The Copper Bottom Band, which is David Piltch (bass), Vincent Henry (horns), Elizabeth Lea (trombone), Jean McClain (vocals), and Gaby Moreno (vocals) – and is completed byHerman Matthews (drums) and Mark Goldenberg (guitars).

Didn’t It Rain is Laurie’s second album and the follow-up to his celebrated 2011 debut album Let Them Talk, was a New Orleans blues driven celebration that included guest vocals from Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Tom Jones. For Didn’t It Rain, Laurie follows the trajectory of the blues upstream and into the American heartland. It includes songs dating back to early pioneers W.C. Handy (“St Louis Blues”)and Jelly Roll Morton (“I Hate A Man Like You”) to more recent artists such as Dr. John (“Wild Honey”) and Alan Price of The Animals (“Changes”). Produced by  Let Them Talk producer Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Bragg),  Didn’t It Rain was recorded at Ocean Way Studio in Los Angeles in January of this year.

On Aug 3rd, PBS will air “Live On The Queen Mary,” an intimate live performance by Laurie with the incomparable Copper Bottom Band filmed — as the title indicates — aboard the historical Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The special includes songs from both Didn’t It Rain and Let Them Talk, along with the hilarious and charming repartee that only Laurie can deliver. It’s a great night of viewing so check your PBS listings for details. Click here to catch a glimpse.

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Gary Numan Announces New Album ‘Splinter’ (Songs From A Broken Mind) Released October 14th 2013

You guys remember Gary Numan and his big hit in 1979, “Cars”? I was working in a record store Upstate then when this song was played every ten minutes on AM radio.  In 1981 Gary and his mom and dad were visiting NYC and I got to hang out with them most of the day. I  freelanced  for a couple music mags back then and was happy to interview Gary. His parents were really nice, friendly people from what I remember and Gary seemed close to them.  This is a press release for his  new album to be released On October 14.  

On October 14th Mortal Records presents ‘Splinter’ (Songs From A Broken Mind), the inspired new album by pioneer, chart-topper and influential artist Gary Numan.

‘Splinter’ features guitarist Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N Roses), is produced by long-standing collaborator Ade Fenton, and will be followed by a full national headline tour in November.

The album finds Gary on fine dark electronic form; sounding both cutting-edge and classic Numan, it marks his best work since the late 70s, early 80s heyday.

‘Splinter”s opening gambit ‘I Am Dust’ is a statement of intent, combining heavy grind with his archetypal anthemic pop skills. The unsettling whispered verses, crunchy guitars and Hans Zimmer-esque strings on ‘Here In The Black’ create a sense of menace and drama, whilst more orchestral work adorns the cinematic ‘The Calling’.

Slower-burning ballads ‘Lost’, ‘Where I Can Never Be’ and ‘My Last Day’, highlight the album’s broad palate, adding elements of subtlety and even beauty in contrast to the album’s more aggressive moments.

Gary’s knack for sexy, idiosyncratic dancefloor killers is strongly evident on the pounding, growling throb of ‘Love Hurt Bleed’, whilst ‘Who Are You’ carries equal clout as-body-music-Numan-style – infectious, but sounding unlike anything else you might hear blasting from a soundsystem.

Although Numan released a straight-to-the-fanbase album ‘Dead Son Rising’ in 2011, this is his first self-penned full album since ‘Jagged’ in 2006.

In recent years he’s been quoted as an influence by everyone from Lady Gaga to Kanye West, Matthew Dear to Queens Of The Stone Age, The Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Prince and J Dilla, to Boyz Noise, Richie Hawtin and Battles (they released a single ‘My Machines’ on Warp Records with Numan in 2011).

But while Numan’s unique style continues to connect with fans from the worlds of metal, hip hop, electronica, industrial and indie, he remains as focussed as ever in pursuing his own singular vision. ‘Splinter’ sounds unique, while also utilising new sounds and ideas.

Katy Perry Secretly Recorded Background Vocals for Britney’s Smurfs Song

Pop star Katy Perry secretly recorded back-up vocals for Britney Spears’ new smurfs song Ooh La La.

The Firework hitmaker, who reprises her role as Smurfette in animated movie sequel Smurfs 2, has revealed she is featured on the track her frequent collaborator Bonnie McKee wrote for Britney, which plays over the end credits of the new film.

Perry says, “Me and Bonnie secretly did some background vocals on that song. So maybe listen for our voices.”

Katie and Britney posed for pictures together on the red carpet at the weekend premiere and the Toxic singer later revealed on Twitter.com it was their first time meeting – but it won’t be their last.

Spears wrote, “So great to see you Smurfette @katyperry! Can’t wait for our Vegas date.”

Britney is planning a residency in Sin City and it seems Perry might be joining her onstage!

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Nirvana: In Utero – 20th Anniversary Multi Format Reissue – September 23rd 2013

To say that Nirvana’s third and ultimately final studio album In Utero was 1993’s most polarizing record would be the understatement of a decade. The unadorned sonic rawness of Steve Albini’s recording laid bare every primal nuance of the most confrontational yet vulnerable material Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl would ever record. And with its 1991 predecessor Nevermind having sold some 30 million copies, singlehandedly returning honest rock ‘n’ roll to the top of the pop charts, In Utero was essentially the first record Nirvana would make with any expectations from the public. So from the opening quasi-shamble melodics of “Serve The Servants” through the bittersweet closing strains of “All Apologies,” In Utero was the sound of the most incredible yet conflicted rock ‘n’ roll band of the era at the peak of its powers coming to terms with a generational spokes-band mantle they’d never seen coming-and ultimately surmounting these struggles to make the record they needed to make. As Rolling Stone’s David Fricke said in his review at the time, “In Utero is a lot of things-brilliant, corrosive, enraged and thoughtful, most of them all at once. But more than anything, it’s a triumph of the will.”

Sheryl Crow’s New Album "Feels Like Home" Out September 10

Nine-time GRAMMY award-winner Sheryl Crow’s highly anticipated brand new album, Feels Like Home, is available for pre-order today and is due out September 10th* on Warner Bros. Records. The album features her hit single, “Easy,” which is currently Top 20 and climbing. “Writing the songs for this album, after 20 years of writing songs, felt so great because I am still doing what I love, but I’m learning and stretching at the same time,” said Crow of working on the first country record of her career. “It was amazing to be making an album in my community, and have my life still be my primary inspiration. Like the title says, it just felt like home.”

Sheryl Crow fans can pre-order Feels Like Home today on the newly re-launched SherylCrow.com. Three album-themed packages are available featuring Feels Like Home on CD & digital, exclusive new merchandise, and a limited number personalized to fans from Crow. Visit store.sherylcrow.com to see the full fan offers. A never-before-seen live performance video for “Best Of Times” is also premiering this Thursday, August 1, exclusively on RollingStone.com.

Celine Dion, Elton John Solidify Vegas As Marquee Destination For Superstars

(Las Vegas)—The reigning queen and king of the Strip, Celine Dion and Elton John, reinvented Las Vegas entertainment as a marquee destination for superstars rather than a dumping ground for has-beens.

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, home of their respective productions, turned a decade old in March, and the venue remains the chief draw in Las Vegas, with a lineup that now includes hit-list veterans Rod Stewart and Shania Twain.

Prior to the arrival of the classic rock stud and the pop-country darling, a double dose of divadom in the blissfully flamboyant forms of Cher and Bette Midler shared Colosseum space as well, solidifying the venue’s stature among acts with intense drawing power.

“We touched a nerve of what Vegas once was, but in a modern fashion,” said Jason Gastwirth, senior vice president of marketing and entertainment at Caesars Entertainment Corp. “When the Colosseum rolled out, it changed the paradigm of headliners coming to Vegas at the height of their careers.” When Dion opened the $95 million venue in March 2003 with her “A New Day” production, it was a gamble, so to speak. Even with her international fan base, would enough tourists pour into the 4,300-capacity venue several nights a week during her four-year residency to justify her reported $100 million paycheck? Considering that the show sold out 723 times and grossed more than $400 million, it turned out to be a good bet. Dion is back for a renewed residency through next year with her revamped “Celine” show, which features almost as many covers as originals and spotlights the Canadian songbird’s love of music.

John, meanwhile, also kept the Caesars Entertainment coffers stuffed with revenue from his 243 shows between 2004 and 2009. That “Red Piano” spectacle, designed by David LaChapelle, was a garish overload of colorful inflatables that often swiped the focus from the singer’s stellar pop gems. But John and ostentatious are frequently synonymous, so that hardly deterred fans from flocking.

For his re-imagined “Million Dollar Piano” showcase, which opened in September 2011 and will keep the sometime-Atlanta resident there on select dates through 2014, John, like Dion, is concentrating on the music. (John’s recent bout with appendicitis won’t affect his upcoming Colosseum shows, Caesars says.) Casual fans can gape at the elegant gold hounds wearing John Lennon-style shades that flank the stage as John belts out “Bennie & the Jets,” “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer.” But serious Elton-philes will raise an eyebrow in happy surprise when he dovetails into his homage to New York City, “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” and breaks out “Better Off Dead” backed only by mesmerizing percussionist Ray Cooper.

Dion’s show also presents plenty of familiar dramatic balladry (“Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” “Because You Loved Me,” “Beauty and the Beast”). But far more interesting are her frequent forays into unexpected covers such as Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen,” Billy Joel’s “Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel)” and an exhilarating tribute to James Bond themes.

“Both us and (concert promoter) AEG will choose an artist with a certain vision in mind, but ultimately it’s the artist and creative director who refine that vision,” Gastwirth said. “I’ve never seen a scenario where there hasn’t been perfect alignment. These are some of the biggest names in the industry. Each of these shows has a distinctive nature to them; there is no formula.” Those artistic visions range from a pair of horses joining Twain onstage to John’s new toy, a $1 million piano (nicknamed “Blossom” in honor of jazz pianist Blossom Dearie), which literally lights up with scenes of him singing with KiKi Dee. And then there’s Dion’s show-closing “My Heart Will Go On,” performed under a rising platform and cascading water in a nod to the song’s “Titanic” roots. Most shows run a Vegas-friendly 90 to 120 minutes.

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Big Brother 15 Week 5 Spoilers: MVP Nominee and POV Competition Results

Aaryn honored her deal with Helen this week and nominated Spencer and Howard for eviction. Helen’s alliance wants Howard gone and they have the numbers to make it happen, so Howard’s only hope is the Power of Veto.

SPOILERS:

America’s MVP nominee this week is Amanda. She got to play in the POV competition along with Aaryn, Howard and Spencer. The two randomly chosen players were Jessie and Candice.

Spencer won the veto and will take himself off the chopping block. Aaryn will be forced to name a replacement nominee. Her most likely choice is Candice because of Candice’s close relationship with Howard. The two girls have never liked each other, so that adds to the likelihood that Candice will find herself on the block next to her showmance partner.

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On Broadway: Disney’s Newsies Nichololas Lampiasi In The MP3 Experiement

Last Sunday Newsies’ Nicholas Lampiasi, participated in the MP3 Experiment 10 – created by the company Improv Everywhere. Thousands of people gathered at South Street Seaport to simultaneously listen to an MP3 and follow the instructions they were given on it.

They were told to “blend in” ahead of time so people NOT participating in the event would have no idea what was going.

They were given a list of certain items they needed to bring with them ahead of time, including bubbles, sunglasses, a dollar bill, a paper with their name on it and their high school yearbook quote, and something red.

They were asked to lay down, walk in slow motion, walk backwards in slow motion, go up to someone who wasn’t participating and give them a dollar bill, make a paper airplane and fly it, find someone who looks like them and take a picture with them, and, to blow bubbles.

According to reports, several thousand people participated in the event. Said ten-year old Nicholas, “It was a great event to have been a part of … very New York for sure.”

For additional  stories on Nicholas Lampiasi and Newsies. use the search box at the top of the site.

Awarding Winning Multi-Platinum Music Artist James Blunt Set To Release Fourth Solo Album, Moon Landing in November

Any James Blunt (“You’re Beautiful”) fans out there....New album, new tour. First single, from Moon Landing,  “Bonfire Heart” Out now.


Multiple Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter James Blunt will release his fourth studio album MOON LANDING in the U.S. on November 5th. The highly anticipated new album was produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Moby, Foo Fighters), who worked with James on his multi-platinum selling debut BACK TO BEDLAM. MOON LANDING also features production from Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, Martha Wainwright, Jason Mraz). The album’s anthemic first single, “Bonfire Heart,” which was released today was co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder and can be heard here: http://youtu.be/rZB5LnNC-e0


“This is a much more personal album, and also quite back to basics,” commented Blunt. “It’s about me and Tom, the producer, finding where the story all started and where we are now. It’s an album about dreams, longing, first love.” About looking in the mirror and seeing the boy you were, the man you are – and learning to be comfortable with that, flaws and all. About getting back to basics and rediscovering the power of music to communicate emotion directly and honestly, without too much polish or complication.

Since BACK TO BEDLAM was released in 2004, James has had four number one singles and won countless awards including two BRITs, two Ivor Novello Awards, 5 Grammy nominations and a host of MTV awards. He has sold nearly 17 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide and toured around the globe several times over.

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Box Office: "The Wolverine" Tops With $55 Million Debut; Plus "Despicable Me 2" Crosses $300 Million Mark

Sometimes even earning the No. 1 spot can be seen as a modest disappointment, or at least that’s what the new narrative around The Wolverine (CinemaScore: A-) would have you believe.

With no competition this weekend, The Wolverine pulled in about $55 million domestically in 3,924 locations — on target with studio estimates, but far below tracking projections, some of which went so far as to predict an $80 million weekend. With the majority of screens showing the Fox tentpole in 3-D, the movie averaged about $14,016 per screen on an estimated budget of $120 million, so this weekend’s performance is really nothing to scoff at. Interestingly, at $55 million, the film is right in line with 2011′s X-Men: First Class which made $55.1 million in its first three days at the box office in early June. But so far The Wolverine is holding steady as the second lowest opening of all of Fox’s six X-Men movies — that title goes to the first in the series which opened at $54.5 million. But X-Men was also released 13 years ago with no 3-D surcharges, so it’s not an entirely fair comparison.

The Wolverine opened internationally this weekend as well to grosses of $86.1 million, playing on 15,152 screens in 101 territories, bringing its worldwide total to about $141.1 million. Fox estimates that audiences were about 58 percet male, and 42 percent under the age of 25. Read more>>

(Source EW)

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