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- 12/31/11--14:13: _Inside AJ McLean's ...
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- 12/31/11--14:54: _another day of tom ...
- 12/31/11--15:16: _The 11 Most Infuria...
- 12/31/11--15:16: _guess which gracefu...
- 12/31/11--15:37: _NO WAY ALE WAS GONN...
- 12/31/11--16:00: _HAPPY NEW YEAR, YO
- 01/02/12--14:05: _ Jen Morrison in Mi...
- 01/02/12--14:06: _Mob Wives: Whose Si...
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- 01/02/12--16:35: _Kyle Richards think...
- 01/02/12--16:36: _‘Mission: Impossibl...
- 01/02/12--16:36: _Trailer for 'Upside...
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- 01/02/12--17:26: _The Daily Beast pic...
- 01/02/12--17:26: _Before they were fa...
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- 12/31/11--14:13: Inside AJ McLean's Wedding
- 12/31/11--14:52: Everyone's favourite hobbit
- 12/31/11--14:54: another day of tom felton in miami.
- 12/31/11--15:16: The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011
- 12/31/11--15:37: NO WAY ALE WAS GONNA LET PREGNANCY STOP HER FROM DOING THE VSFS
- 12/31/11--16:00: HAPPY NEW YEAR, YO
- 01/02/12--14:05: Jen Morrison in Miami Beach
- 01/02/12--14:06: Mob Wives: Whose Side is Renee On?
- 01/02/12--15:26: Kween Kat Kovers DISfunkshion Magazine
- 01/02/12--16:35: Kyle Richards thinks cheaters should get a free pass
- 01/02/12--16:36: Trailer for 'Upside Down' starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess
- 01/02/12--16:37: LeAnn Rimes: ‘Stop Discussing My Ovaries’
- 01/02/12--17:26: Before they were famous: The Real Housewives of Atlanta
- 01/02/12--17:27: 'Dragon Tattoo' sequel still on track, Sony says
- 01/02/12--17:28: Ricky Martin plans to marry his boyfriend on January 28th!
Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean and new wife, model Rochelle DeAnna Karidis, stepped out as newlyweds — and showed off their wedding rings — at a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert in Los Angeles..
The couple even wore coordinating nail adornment, with McLean, 33, sporting black polish with a red heart on his ring finger, and Karidis wearing red polish with a black heart on hers.
As for their matching wedding bands, Karidis’s is black with diamonds and McLean’s is red with a single diamond.
It’s a fitting color scheme for McLean and Karidis, who wed in a goth-themed ceremony on Dec. 17 at the Beverly Hills Hotel after McLean proposed onstage at the Hard Rock Hotel’s nightclub Las Vegas in January 2010.
You can see pictures from their wedding (courtesy of inTouch) behind the cut.
Source 1 and 2
I'm still surprised this actually happened and I say that as someone who adores AJ (but lets face it with his track record and all I didn't think they'd get married). All of that being said though congrats to them both! I wouldn't have expected AJ's wedding to look any different. Also, Nick, please cut your hair kthnx. <3
Elijah Wood looking forward to marriage
The Lord of The Rings star ElijahWood says he can't wait to get married and have children but he is in no rush to tie the knot. The 30-year-old actor, who split up from Gogol Bordello drummer Pamela Racine last year, has spent most of his adult life filming the Lord of the Rings movies but he says he wants to settle down in life, reported Contactmusic.
"Eventually, I want to get married and have kids. I don't have it written down when it's going to happen for me at the moment though. I would love to have a family one day. I've got a lot of friends who have families and it's a time in my life that I look forward to. It's also the kind of thing where you need to have things in place beforehand," Wood said.
Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and reprises his role in the upcoming The Hobbit films, says despite his busy career he always makes time to date.
"I've been busy so I'm not in a relationship at the moment, but there's always time for women," he said.
Tom Felton stripped down to splash about in his hotel’s pool this weekend in Miami. Joined by his bikini-clad girlfriend, Jade Olivia, the Harry Potter actor was seen enjoying a refreshing drink before taking a dip in the hot tub.
honestly surprised paps even recognize him without his draco hair. idek.
And since flipping the proverbial dial to something, anything, else is easier than ever these days, it's even less of an achievement for a song to be bad. To succeed—to scale the heights and be the best of the worst in 2011—a song had to infuriate, to cause a reaction so visceral that listening to the offending piece of music in its entirety was the only way to properly "appreciate" its awfulness. To that end, Sound of the City presents the 11 most infuriating songs of 2011. Our first, least-worst entry is below.
11. "Gucci, Gucci"- Kreayshawn
The Song: Kreayshawn, "Gucci Gucci."
The Crimes: Etsy classism, meta-enabling chorus, the complete charisma void at its center.
Ah, May. What an innocent time that was, when Kreayshawn was just an Odd Future/Lil B supporting cast member who was indistinguishable from her partner in video crime Lil Debbie. Then, somehow, "Gucci Gucci" exploded all over the Internet, with listeners either cottoning on to the Oakland rapper's Etsy snobbery (because, of course, people who can pay for the really nice stuff from Gucci Gucci Louie Louie Fendi Fendi Prada, or who at least have time to dig through the thrifts for vintage pieces, don't let you know about their achievements via visible logos) or completely misunderstanding the ironic intent of the chorus's flossing and proudly displaying their brand allegiances.
No matter what the initial intent, the Summer Of Kreay slogged on through the year's hottest months, with the Internet arguing over the meaning of her affectless rapping and her associates' racial slurs, her getting whiny and defensive on Twitter at those people who dared call her out, and—finally, depressingly—her talking smack about Rick Ross, then backing down once she was within his sights, only to taunt him once more while safely behind her own computer screen. That whole series of events was a sort of tabloid-blog Xerox of what makes "Gucci Gucci" so awful awful: It's a series of weakly flung taunts from a scared young woman who has absolutely nothing to back up her boasts, save a puffed-up sense of self-worth that evaporates as soon as she's out of her element, or even in the same room as the person who she's positioning herself against. Which is not to knock people in need of a self-confidence boost—just to say that maybe the best way to go about getting it isn't to make fun of others' fashion sense and purchasing power, since those are the sorts of virtues that can evaporate into a puff of smoke faster than you can tweet "that shit kreay." Especially if you can't rap worth a lick. (That line about swag and ovaries might be the most overrated boast of the year, a worse biological metaphor even than Janet Jackson calling herself "heavy like a first-day period" five years back.)
When Kreayshawn came back for a second go at performing in New York earlier this year, Jeff Rosenthal noted that she played "Gucci Gucci" twice in a row to close out her show. It's probably not a coincidence that Jay-Z and Kanye West, shortly thereafter, took to ending their Watch The Throne sets with multiple plays of "Dudes In Paris"—11 on the tour's final night. You think they were trying to clear the room of self-proclaimed "bad bitches"?
10. "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" by will.i.am, Jennifer Lopez, and some old guy
The Song: will.i.am feat. Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez, "T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)"
The Crimes: Overhashtagging, sub-"Dancing In The Streets" incoherence from Jagger, using "feces" as a term of braggadocio.
"T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)" not only continues to shine a spotlight on will's proclivity for acronyms (recall that The E.N.D. was actually short for The Energy Never Dies—good to know he's ditched the whole "using a noun" constraint), it contains cameos by Jennifer Lopez, who thanks to a not-terrible judging turn on American Idol returned to a pop-cultural place where her being in commercials spotlighting her wealth was annoying instead of funny, and Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones frontman namechecked lyrically these days because his name rhymes with "swagger." (The stealth influence of Goddess In The Doorway will have to wait a couple of years.)
Like the Black Eyed Peas hits that have blanketed the airwaves these past few years, "T.H.E." is a Frankenstein's monster of recent trends—pecked-out notes as the backbone, a synth line that sounds like a giant zipper being sampled, an anonymous-sounding female providing the hook, profligate bragging about riches. (No Occupy Wall Street cameo for will.i.am.) As the listener is instructed to either go hard or go home, there are multiple parallels drawn between will.i.am's "hardness" and erections. And there is lots of hashtag rap—including the worst self-congratulatory line in the history of hashtag rap and the history of rap as well, a tossed-off statement that ranks in at least the top 10 of the worst historical ways of being boastful. It's a line that Luda "BALLOOOOONS!" Cris has probably already sent him flowers over:
This beat is the shit/ Feces.
Alone these elements are aggravating enough—this, friends, is what it's like to watch someone crap on a pile of money, then have that person wipe your face with the smallest-denomination bills in the whole mess—but then Jagger comes in. He's first yammering away as he provides a backing vocal for Lopez, and then on the outro, he gets to rap—well, at the very least, he chokes out the instructions re going hard or going home a few times while also engaging in a bit of freestyling that I hope came off the top of his dome, because, Jesus Christ: "This is crazy/ psychology." He also calls both geometry and trigonometry hard. He both sounds like Shaun Ryder on the Happy Mondays' "Jellybean" and makes the ever-chemically-enhanced Mondays frontman sound like the pinnacle of lucidity. He makes you wonder just how much money was set on fire in order to make this collision of ego happen, how much money was spent on the plane in the video, how much money. This is the one percent at their most self-indulgent, the Nu-Gilded Age at its absolute marrow-sucking worst, the sort of vanity project that people rightly point at when they talk about how the music business is filled with moustache-twisting sots who are playing a very expensive joke on the public. It's more than enough to make a grown man—or woman, or sentient being with ears—cry.
9. "Last Friday Night (TGIF Remix)" Katy Perry featuring Missy Elliott
The Song: Katy Perry Featuring Missy Elliott, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (Remix)"
The Crimes: Chart-jacking, inanity, wasting the long-M.I.A. Missy Elliott on a nothing verse, allowing lazy writers to compare Teenage Dream to Bad because, seriously, as fucking if.
The story of Katy Perry's chart domination in 2011 is one that has been chronicled in this space amply by our own Chris Molanphy, and hoo boy is it a depressing one, if appropriately in keeping with Perry's overall brute-force nature. Briefly: She notched five chart-topping singles from her 2010 album Teenage Dream, matching the record-setting total of No. 1s that Michael Jackson achieved with his much superior album Bad. Two of those No. 1s had their tracks to the top greased by grafted-on verses from popular rappers. (A third remix-assisted single might just do the same thing and help her break the record.) The first to do so, the t.A.T.u.-pilfering ode to intergalactic other-sex "E.T.," got a boost from a creepy Kanye West verse; the second, the overly self-consciously '80s-homaging "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," was the track to tie Jackson's record, and a rush-released remix with a few bars from Missy Elliott helped take it to the top.
Elliott, once one of pop's more compelling artists, has been stuck in major-label purgatory for years now; her album Block Party was supposed to come out all the way back in 2008, and the last officially released single she appeared on was a track from Ciara's not-very-well-received 2009 album Fantasy Ride. So it was kind of a big deal to hear that she was appearing on a song that had any chance of getting on the radio at all, what with her being responsible for some of the greatest hip-pop songs of the past decade. Perhaps she could breathe new life into Perry's sax-assisted chronicle of rebelling by the numbers, or at least tell the eternally annoying singer to knock it off with the "I have a younger, nerdier alter ego who's existing in a time-warp, which is why it's totally OK for me to not-so-subtly make fun of her despite the 'be yourself because it gets better' message announced by 'Firework'" schtick?
Nope. The "remix" is merely one of those "extend the intro and slap a rap on top" constructions that became all the rage this year; Perry's barkiness remains intact, as do all of her self-impressed descriptions of her drunken antics. Meanwhile, here's Missy's verse in full.
Hey yo Katy Let's hit em with the remix baby Let's go...
It's a Friday night n
ow here we go
I ain't no stripper but I work the pole
Bartender can you pour some more
And I'm so tipsy coming out my clothes
Fly high high high
And I can't see so I can't drive
I party till I'm out my mind
I kiss on him but he don't mind
Then I wake up in the morn
I got a guy in my bed like hello good morn
Don't remember how I got him home
But Friday night it was nice and long
In case you missed it: She's talking about his penis. I'm actually surprised that Perry didn't chime in to let the people at home know that fact, what with her never missing an opportunity to underline a joke, but maybe the verse-grafting process was too rushed and she couldn't get to a studio in time. Or maybe the producers are saving that trick for the extra-special edition of Teenage Dream?
8. Tyler, The Creator- "Bitch Suck Dick"
The Song: Tyler, The Creator, "Bitch Suck Dick"
The Crimes: Ugh.
There really is no winning when one discusses the output of Tyler, The Creator, the leader of the West Coast hip-hop collective Odd Future, a skateboard-riding LA dude who this year showed the world that he loved the Neptunes and his mom as much as he adored getting attention for being "provocative" in ways that were codified by Malcolm McLaren way back before he was born (and that were subsequently furthered along by the likes of Fred Durst and the Insane Clown Posse). His role in 2011 was that of the foul-mouthed class clown who was seen by quite a few people as a cool bro, thanks to impeccable style coupled with an ability to rile up the squares—women, gay people, anyone who sympathized with either of those groups, etc. Cue the parade of fans, from critics to Justin Bieber to dudes on the Internet, lining up to try and get some shine from him, knowing full well that there was a good chance that telling him that they adored his work would get them spit and/or shit on. (Especially if they weren't famous.)
But isn't that punk rock, one might say? He's doing what he wants! He's being himself, man! I guess if your idea of "fighting the system" is taken entirely from a serious reading of the plot of PCU—or if you were, say, one of those music consumers who thought that calling a writer "an affront to the legacy of Lester Bangs" was the worst insult you could bestow—then maybe. But Tyler's act of getting attention for his violent outbursts and then claiming that no, he really has no problem with those people he's raving about in his lyrics and on his Twitter—why, some of his best friends are gay; also he loves his mom—is the worst kind of attention-porn, taking the idea of rebellion still fetishized by culture and the media and turning it into a club with which to both attack the expected targets and defend himself against any comers who just weren't cool enough, or who were too sensitive or vagina-having or interested in how words actually filter through and function in culture, to "get it." ("I think making a song about punching a bitch in the face is funny, because if you're a regular person, just hearing that is fucking crazy, and 90 percent of the people know I'm just fucking around," he told Spin. See? You just don't know him.)
So good was Tyler at twisting the discourse around him that "Bitch Suck Dick" is probably being cited as brilliant satire of commercial hip-hop by multiple people on the Internet right now, its mashed-banana keyboards and staccato yelling of its tautological chorus and outsized parody (?) of bitches-and-ballers boasting serving as some sort of heaping pile of judgment on the popular music of the day, the sort of stuff that's keeping Tyler's more sinister records from getting on the radio. And sure, the song is excruciating to listen to—good job, everybody!—but this explanation might work in full if Our Hero wasn't so excited about kissing the ass of every famous person who showed him some shine—with the exception of Chris Brown, of course. (A guy's gotta have some standards—if only for a minute or two.) At year's end, Tyler told Spin that he was bored with the whole violence thing and that he'd moved on to making "weird hippie music for people to get high to." (College!) Whether or not that groovy music will be punctuated by half-serious proclamations about asserting one's throbbing, strapping masculinity through a sucker punch remains to be seen, although just one song that did so would sure do wonders for dude's Annual Thinkpiece Quotient.
7. Maroon5 featuring Clownatina Aguilera- "Moves Like Jagger"
The Song: Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera, "Moves Like Jagger"
The Crimes: Profligate whistling, misplaced sass, wholly unsexy instruction to "take [Levine] by the tongue."
Earlier this year, both Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera were coming off what might be called "soft landings"—the lite-funk outfit's 2010 album Hands All Over received a tepid reception from the marketplace, while the pint-sized belter was coming off punishing reactions to both her overstuffed robo-pop collection Bionic and the "so bad, it can't even be so bad that it's good" pile of camp Burlesque. Then NBC stepped in and hired them both as coaches on their translation of the Dutch talent show The Voice, and what do you know? Being on TV made Americans realize that they still existed, and had even been putting out music in recent months that wasn't as terrible as some doubters wanted to claim. The only way to properly react to this development was, of course, a cash-in single.
And so we were gifted with "Moves Like Jagger," in which Maroon 5 seem to be speeding through a piece of Xeroxed-to-death sheet music containing Hall & Oates outtake from 1981, with lyrics to match; sex is compared to starting a car, and there are vague references to making things "feel right" and rubbing, and Aguilera gets a dropped-in bridge where she shows off her pipes briefly. The song hit it big almost immediately upon its release, peaking at the top of the Hot 100 and ending the year at No. 8; the sinuous whistling on its hook is maddeningly, expertly crafted, a simple rise-and-fall line that sounds okay on its first listen and grating on its 10th, and that will have any listener who gets it stuck in their head reaching for the sleeping pills and/or the noggin-sized sledgehammer. Its broad-brush popularity—thanks to the combined wattage derived from the Hot AC popularity of the song's two responsible parties and the still-extant cool factor of the titular moving man—means that the whistling—da da da da DA da da da DA da da da—can strike anywhere, even in, like, the waiting area for an emergency room.
The most egregious crime of "Moves Like Jagger," though? Imagine a singles bar where everyone is sloshing your drink because they can't stop moving around like this—and whistling that damn hook:
6. Bon Iver- "Holocene"
The Song: Bon Iver, "Holocene"
The Crimes: Shapelessness, "atmosphere," wondering if we're all just particles, man, invoking existential music-listening crises.
Many of this year's most risible songs had clear reasons for being as irritating as they were—self-impressed "punk"dom, grating whistling, Katy Perry. But there were some records that, when they hit my ear, drove me bonkers in such a way that they had me wondering about the nature of my brain chemistry, and whether it was so off the mark that I was actually a deficient listener and in need of some sort of surgery or, at least, pharmaceuticals. Bon Iver's "Holocene," from the Kanye-beloved outfit's acclaimed-by-many-corners second album Bon Iver, Bon Iver, was one of those tracks that had me questioning my very existence as a listener. A nearly-six-minute bit of "atmospheric" latticework and falsetto, a spin of it would inevitably lead to me tapping my feet, and not in an "along with the rhythm" sort of way. (Because there really isn't much of any to speak of.) Certainly "Holocene" is antithetical to the booming, blustery tracks that dominated pop radio this year; where the likes of Pitbull's Ne-Yo-assisted "Give Me Everything" and Rihanna's "We Found Love" combined relentless keyboard lines with singing that, for better or worse, boasted its bona fides both via timbre and lyrical content, "Holocene" is delicate, unsure of itself in relation to the world, sung in a falsetto that could slide into the Vienna Boys Choir at a moment's notice. As Bon Iver's chief creative force Justin Vernon put it to NPR:
Holocene is a bar in Portland, Ore., but it's also the name of a geologic era, an epoch if you will. It's a good example of how all the songs are all meant to come together as this idea that places are times and people are places and times are... people? [Laughs.] They can all be different and the same at the same time. Most of our lives feel like these epochs. That's kind of what that song's about. "Once I knew I was not magnificent." Our lives feel like these epochs, but really we are dust in the wind. But I think there's a significance in that insignificance that I was trying to look at in that song.
Perhaps "Holocene" is trying to replicate that "dust in the wind" feeling by actually sounding like particles blowing up and forming a haze that one can't see through. Which, hey, if that's what Vernon is aiming for, good job! But "Holocene"'s meticulously crafted shapelessness and circularity—which does crescendo into a pile of tremolo'd strings and slightly more passionate warbling about a minute out, should first-time listeners want to skip ahead to that point—lands on my ear in such a way that it makes me feel almost instantly impatient; reading the lyrics closely makes me wonder what sort of later actions the deep-dude-in-the-dorm realizations outlined above, which are somewhat obfuscated by the use of his formelessness-inducing falsetto until one busts out the lyric sheet, might result in. ("Sorry, baby, we're all just particles"?) On its own "Holocene" would be just a skippable track on a record that I played a couple of times, but the laurels sent its way—never mind the expected huzzahs from the indie-rock press; the Grammys elevated this loose pile of gauze over the sparkling, hooky "Super Bass" for Record and Song of the Year?—elevate it enough to make me long for an alternate universe in which Vernon made songs using what he refers to later in the aforementioned NPR interview as his "Hootie voice." At the very least, it would have given his music a little bit of added oomph.
5. Rihanna- "S&M"
The Song: Rihanna, "S&M"
The Crimes: Dressing a bloodless ode to kink up by saying it's actually about the media? Na na na na na na, come on, girl.
Pop stars need their personas as much as they need the songs that take them to the top of the charts—and lest you think that need exists in a vacuum, trust that the people consuming the songs need those hooks as well. So Ke$ha is the "trashy" one, and Taylor is the "good" one, and Gaga is the "arty" one, and Katy is the "annoying" one. After the lukewarm response to her brooding 2009 album Rated R, the Barbadian pop star Rihanna decided to kickstart the process of reinventing herself as the "really, really, really sexy" one on her 2010 full-length Loud—and just in case you weren't entirely sure of how far she'd go, "S&M," an ode to getting one's kink on that manages to turn the zipless fuck into something almost completely lifeless as well, signified the pinnacle of that particular campaign. (Or the nadir, depending on how you look at it.) First, its musical crimes. "S&M" is pretty much a wholesale rewrite of Lina Santiago's minor freestyle hit "Feels So Good," only with the early-'10s thump, smug self-congratulation about being down with whips and chains, and brain-sticky overreliance on non-verbal sounds ("na na na na na," the titular letters) turned all the way up.
That Rihanna pairs her lyrics about "lik[ing] it lik[ing] it" with a vocal delivery that's completely flat in its affect shouldn't surprise too much; as thrilling as "Umbrella" still can be, it's not like she achieved her place in the pop firmament by showing off Mariah-style pipes. But it still creates a cognitive dissonance that makes one feel sort of bad for Rihanna; is the song actually a metaconfession, where her constant claiming that she "like[s] it like[s] it" is actually more proof of her being on the masochistic end of the relationship? Is "S&M" a cry for help buried inside a really aggravating pop song, and are the wordless utterances in fact coded messages saying "help, get me out of here and to a place where I can just put out a series of singles and not have to pump out albums to satisfy the demands of a dying model year in and year out"?
Making this track even more repellent was the brief attempt to placate the prudes and play down its sexiness by refashioning it as a sort of morality play about—what else?—Rihanna's love-hate relationship with the media, with Rihanna being the "bad girl" for acting out and the media being the sadist who loved to punish her by... covering her every move. Yes, the 24-hour news cycle encouraged by the explosion of the gossipsphere gets depressingly ugly, particularly when it comes to the mouth-breathing coverage of young women; there were quite a few victim-blamey pieces that ran after her ugly pre-Grammy altercation with Chris Brown in 2009, and her raunchier side did get tut-tutted by those media outlets who only know how to deal with female sexuality when they're the ones in charge of it. But claiming that Rihanna is pilloried for being who she is in the same way as, say, a Courtney Stodden (or even a Courtney Love!) is ludicrous. And can she really be that annoyed by the likes of Technicolored asshat Perez Hilton—whose noxious eponymous site is at the forefront of keeping women "in line," even with the supposedly nicer persona that he espoused in the wake of the It Gets Better movement—when she's putting him in her video and sending him mash notes via Twitter?
Rihanna's chronic disturbing of the sexy was woven throughout coverage of her this year, from her dragging audience members up on stage to have her way with them to her raunchy declarations about her starring in topless photos to her sex-shop trips with Drake, and the payoff of course, was that Talk That Talk, Rihanna's third album in as many years, got called "sexy" by nearly every outlet that bothered to cover it; this is how you see narrative-building paying off—or if you want to put it in the terms of this mess of a track, this is how the masochist can get her jollies. In this brightly hued video, though, Rihanna acts put-upon and literally tied up, with the whole mess of ball gags and latex culminating in what
LaChappelle ripoff artist director Melina Metsoukas called "a pop-art sticker killing... our fun death ending." "Fun," one supposes, because if she didn't have the media to complain about, who would be there to watch Rihanna when she chooses to rise—and flirt—again?
4. Brian McFadden- Just The Way You Are
The Song: Brian McFadden, "Just The Way You Are (Drunk At The Bar)"
The Crimes: Setting sexual assault fantasies to the dulcet strains of "Cotton Eyed Joe," as remixed by a David Guetta clone.
As has been the case for too many years now, 2011's year-end polls have ended in a wave of proclamations that the past 365 days, for real this time, constituted what could be called a Year Of The Woman; pieces of evidence cited to back up this claim include the sales successes of Adele, the artistic peaks of PJ Harvey and St. Vincent, the media blitzes of Gaga and Beyoncé, and so on. Few of these laurels, however, talk about whether the year was a good one for the woman listener, i.e., how easy it was to navigate the musical landscape in toto without tripping across even the mildest forms of sexism multiple times. As it turns out, 2011 was yet another year to perform pretty lousy on that particular front, from L'Affaire "Lyin' Ass Bitch" to the whole Tyler mess to the reflexive way culture mocked the bulk of Justin Bieber's fanbase for committing the crimes of being young and female while enjoying a particular artist's musical offerings. One of the most odious examples of this sexism, though, came from the ex-boybander/Aussie reality-TV judge Brian McFadden, whose hyperactive "Just The Way You Are (Drunk At The Bar)" comes off like an amphetamine-fueled date-rape fantasy focused on an inebriated paramour who he dragged to a hi-NRG line-dancing club.
"I like you just the way you are/ Drunk as shit dancing at the bar," McFadden croons to his paramour. Romance! So he goes on: "I like it/ and I can't wait to get you home/ so I can do some damage." Surely this tepidly hurried rewrite of Rednex's baseball-stadium staple "Cotton Eyed Joe" has already done a fair amount of that, Brian? Oh, wait, you mean "damage" in the "potentially traumatizing because of not remembering whether or not we had sex while I was blacked out" way! Sorry, I was confused there for a second.
Honestly, I could go on and quote all the lyrics—the passive-aggressive-greeting-card aphorism "Sometimes it's the little things we like/ but we pretend to hate them/ These things make other people fight/ but in you I love them"; the bit where he hallucinates a halo—but really, it's worth giving the song just one spin to hear how many depths a single piece of music can plumb simultaneously, from unpleasant aesthetics to barely coherent lyrics to lazy songwriting that someone's presumably claimed was deliberately done in order to mirror the feeling of being drunk. And hey, they might be right: to mimic the effect people repeating themselves annoyingly while they're totally blotto, one verse about the bar's other patrons "looking at you, looking like a ten" while the object is "all messed up [with] no place to go" is both sung and rapped. It makes the whole proceeding all the more creepy, too.
McFadden proudly tweeted its assault-happy chorus after it came out, then pulled the old "wait, I didn't mean to say that, even though the professional polish of the song and the fact that I had many decision-making opportunities between devising its concept and putting it for sale on iTunes might indicate otherwise" double-switch, complete with vow that he was giving the single's proceeds to charity. Could it be that this depressing pile of bravado and banjo was rushed out to get McFadden's name back in the papers in advance of his second season on Australia's Got Talent—which just so happened to start not long after "Just (Drunk)" dropped onto the Internet? At the very least, the song being a cog in a particularly inept marketing campaign helps explain the absolute shoddiness with which it was constructed, from the lousy Rednex aping to the casually deployed misogyny seen through a mean, drunk squint.
3. White Person Cutely/Seriously Performing an Urban Hit
The Songs: Karmin, "Super Bass" and "Look At Me Now" and way too many others; Mac Lethal, "Cook Wit Me Now"; Jackson Foote and friends, "Get Low"; Sophia Grace, "Super Bass"; probably more that are shooting up the Reddit charts right now.
The Crimes: Anti-pop snobbery; humorlessness in the name of "musicality"; pandering to the commenting hordes on tech blogs who consider themselves above pop music, but not above being catered to directly and embarrassingly. And let's not forget the racist viral hit of late November, Texts From Bennett, which came from one of the above auteurs.
Internet attention is precious currency for up-and-coming bands, who have to make their way past a torrent of acts both established and brand-new in order to get themselves heard. Those artists who have figured out that a pretty easy way to skip the line, so to speak, is to pander to the world of social-news sites—places like Reddit and Digg that are overwhelmingly male and extremely pop-averse, among other things—have held a depressing competitive advantage over the past few years, with their modest successes breeding breathless "future of the biz" stories that led to even more success and press and so on. There's one other common thread between all these musicians; the geek-beloved strummer Jonathan Coulton, for example, suggests that people listen to his chiming cover of "Baby Got Back" before almost anything else he's recorded; last year, the Bay Area duo Pomplamoose snagged a deal to annoy TV-watching Americans during the holidays after thrilling Digg and with wall-eyed, "real-music" versions of fun songs like "Single Ladies" and "Telephone."
Yes; even though it's been some 27 years since "Rappin' Duke," the "white people turn urban-radio tropes into something more similar to what they might listen to, with hilarity possibly ensuing" tack is still guaranteed to hit pay dirt among certain subgroups of people who consider themselves both musical aesthetes and "geeks." Whether they're cowed by the technologically forward production (irony alert!), unsure of which Urban Dictionary definition to use when figuring out just what the lyrics might mean, or just trying to fight the man, man (never mind that their computers were made by multinational conglomerates), these sorts of covers still get eaten up by YouTube viewers like they're ice-cream sundaes made by dairy geniuses. And thanks to the increased importance of "virality" in 2011, artists who took this tack were often rewarded by showers of likes, buckets of retweets, and hordes of people delighting in the knowledge that there were a lot of people out there whose noses were all upturned at exactly the same angle—which meant that they could only multiply. The four most egregious examples below.
Karmin, "Look At Me Now"
This year's most prominent example of turning urban-radio hits into Serious Music, Karmin is a Berklee-educated duo who managed to parlay their Internet-borne fame into something resembling pop stardom. That their first single, the fizzly Dr. Luke bite "Crash Your Party," isn't a rap song for the most part shouldn't surprise after listening to about 30 seconds of one of the hip-hop covers that made them famous; they don't really seem to enjoy the source material they're working with, despite its proven ability to send Reddit types over the moon. Here, they dispense of the Diplo-and-Afrojack beat in favor of some ominous-sounding keyboards, and Amy Heidemann's pained mugging at the camera while gutting her way through the original makes one wonder if she's attached some sort of beartrap to her leg, one that will not unsnap until she makes it through the recording process without committing a syllabic error. Only when the chorus hits, and she can unleash her trained singing voice and show the world that yes, she is a serious musician, does she actually seem like she's enjoying what she's doing.
Mac Lethal, "Cook Wit Me Now" (a.k.a. "Nerdy white kid KILLS 'Look at Me Now'")
This Kansas City rapper at least leaves the "Look At Me Now" beat intact while going the "Weird Al" Yankovic route, turning Chris Brown's spacey hit into an ode to making breakfast. Competent, for sure, although Mac Lethal proved that he lacks the class of the accordion-wielding song parodist by launching Texts From Bennett, which thrilled way too many people the Internet with its tales of a poor guy aspiring to live the life of a third-segment Jerry Springer guest. Only after it was revealed to be some ill-advised bit of viral marketing for Lethal's hip-hop ventures did people wake up and realize that they were reposting humor that was simultaneously racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic to all their friends' Facebook walls. Good job, everybody.
Jackson Foote, Eden Neville, Alex Koste, "Get Low"
This one is probably the worst of them all, taking the overproduction of Glee, the exacting musicality of college acapella crews, the smugness of a bunch of kids hanging out in their dorm room getting high and making fun of MTV Jams, and the excruciating experience of punishing overenunciation, and then turning the resulting pile of mugging and delight in "playing street" into a ball of solid paste. If you're ever having a good day and you want to specifically ruin it by making yourself feel really, really bad about the world, your place in it, and notions of "privilege," watch this clip.
Sophia Grace Brownlee, "Super Bass"
Probably the only place this trend could go: An eight-year-old mushmouthing her way through "Super Bass"—the clean version, where the coke dealer is actually hawking automobiles—bravely enough to get the notice of the Internet, and Ellen DeGeneres (also a Karmin fan!), and, eventually, Nicki Minaj. I hate picking on a little kid, but watching this performance makes me wonder one thing: How many of the YouTube viewers stumbling across "Super Bass" for the first time via this video realized after the fact that they liked Brownlee's version of the song better than the original because it's "cuter"? Right.
2. Lana Del Ray- "Video Games"
The Song: Lana Del Rey, "Video Games."
The Crimes: Irritated-alley-cat vocals; overwrought harps; fundamental misunderstanding of whether or not ironic critique of male-female mores can exist in the Hipster Runoff age; this poor girl's right thigh.
In 2011 the phrase "Lana Del Rey" wasn't just the name of an artist on Interscope's high-priority docket for 2012; those three words became a symbol for indie culture gone corporately curdled, for the confused feminism of the 21st century gone to pot, for the notion that while men could reinvent themselves as cool dudes with names like "Frank Ocean" women had to wear their major-label pasts and boring given names like "Lizzy Grant" like a permanently affixed scarlet L, for the hordes of anonymous commenters on the hunt for as much material for their hatefuck-masturbation fantasies as they could find. What got lost in this abstraction of signs and signifiers that the world is hurtling toward something completely unpleasant, though, was any concrete discussion of the actual music put out by the aforementioned artist. Which is probably a good thing for Del Rey and her people, since "Video Games" is about two harp-strokes, a battery of singing lessons, and a couple of pots of hot tea away from being Enya for the Twitter set.
It's not too surprising that "Video Games" took off as a song, and not just as an Internet phenomenon. It has the same furtiveness and circularity of other popular tracks that are big in the so-called "indie" orbit these days, although the HFCS-sweetened fake string section and dramatic harp flourishes take it to the next level; it stretches out over nearly five minutes, thus convincing those youngs who find a cultural object's length almost as crucial to its inherent worth as any meaning or aesthetically interesting decisions buried within. One crucial difference comes up front: Unlike the warm and swaddling vocals that characterize a lot of other soporific music, Del Rey has a squawk that makes her sound at times like a particularly irritable alley cat. If a listener squints her ears hard enough, she can almost sound like a Stevie Nicks impersonator who's prone to making herself seem different from her Night Of 1000 Stevies rivals by throwing a widdle bidda babee tawwk into her enunications now and then. The resulting song is all instrumental flourish, a mumblecore flick with a soundtrack by a Casio-core John Williams tribute band.
The arguing about The Meaning Of Lana Del Rey was one of the Internet's most wearying pastimes this year, with nearly every ugly behavior that could be manifested by the Internet's anonymous hivemind coming up at least once. That it happened again and again every time she did something "newsworthy"—an appearance on a British TV show, a magazine cover, a paparazzi shot—makes me think it was perhaps inevitable that the song accompanying her initial media blitz was little more than an overflowing pot of schmaltz gone rancid; it almost forced people to get embarrassed, and to talk about something, anything else.
1. Jessie J- "Price Tag"
Over the self-consciously swinging beat, which clearly is designed to underscore the lyrics' chilled-out vibe, Jessie barks out platitudes damning the capitalist pigs for being all interested in things like returns on investments and noting that "money can't buy us happiness" while taking a stand against "video hos" and "bling" and making fun of pop puppets in the attendant video. Wow, way to take a stand against the system! Was the b-side for this song supposed to be a cover of "This Note's For You"?
Much of what makes "Price Tag" so throw-your-stereo-out-the-window infuriating comes from the combination of Jessie's utterly meldable persona (seriously, she'd probably change her name to Wrigley's Spearmint Gum if you asked nicely) and the way that her gaping vacuity was somehow crammed into every open space this year. I figure that not seeing her touted in public bathrooms and on bananas merely means that I wasn't looking hard enough—I mean, she did busk "Price Tag" in the Times Square subway station early on in its promotional cycle.
In the context of other artists, the slightly ignorant "screw money, let's party" sentiment espoused by the lyrics might seem merely misguided, a tone-deaf attempt to capitalize on the bubbling anxiety about the world's problems carried out by someone who hasn't had to worry about what happens when "the money, money, money" runs out in quite a while. But in the context of Jessie J's prolonged multimedia assault, it's downright offensive; she comes off like one of those radical post-capitalist types who flings boogers at the idea of needing money to exist while having a nice cushion—happily provided by an indulgent parent who's totally fine with giving her as much cash as she needs to keep flying around the world and forcing people to listen to her murder TLC while she sits on a grandiose armchair—to fall back on.
That combination of hollowness and in-your-faceness, not to mention her self-satisfied scatting of cash-register noises and words like "bling," makes this wretched piece of smarm-oozing pop the top contender for the 2011 edition of history's musical dustbin; may it and she fade from the consciousness enough to not even merit a mention on VH1's no-doubt-forthcoming special I Love 2011, which at current rates of retromania should debut sometime in early 2013.
johnny announced this morning that he had married his fiance victor voronov. wedding of the year this summer tbh!
happy new year's eve! slut it up tonight!!
Although she wasn't yet showing any signs of her pregnancy, fellow Angel Alessandra was struggling with her figure.
"When I first found out I was pregnant I thought, 'Oh my gosh I don't think I'm going to be able to walk on the [Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in November],' and I didn't tell anybody so no one knew at the show that I was pregnant," she told Us Weekly. "A week before, I told my booker I don't think I'm going to be able to fit into the clothes because I gained a few pounds already, but we were just quiet. I cut all the sugars and sweets 10 days before and I got my trainer - the one I usually get - and we were doing lots of glutes and arms and back exercises."
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED MIDNIGHT! And to those who have yet to celebrate, STAY SAFE TONIGHT! We'll probably have another post closer to midnight Eastern time too.
Heres to 2012!! Any hopes for the new year? Things you hope will go away FOREVER?
This has been a crazy great year at ONTD and thanks to all of you for making it happen. Through the stan wars, epic posts, LJ issues and general drama, you've stayed with us and we appreciate that so much.
ecctv and all the ohnotheydidnt mods
(Same FFAF rules apply. Be cool yo.)
AND HEY If you go to Times Square, or are there take a fan sign picture!!!
Enjoying some well-deserved downtime, Jennifer Morrison was spotted sunning herself in Miami Beach on New Year’s Day (January 1).
The “House” hottie looked fit and fabulous in a skimpy two-piece bikini as she hung out with friends, though her boyfriend Amaury Nolasco was nowhere to be found.
During the Mob Wives season one finale, enemies Drita D’avanzo and Karen Gravano got into an explosive physical battle that left their co-star Renee Graziano bloody and wounded. The season ended with the Mob Wives cast divided into Team Drita and Team Karen. Well, now the girls are in the middle of filming season two and the war continues to wage on — but no one knows where Renee’s allegiances lie.
The Mob Wives cast arrived in two separate caravans to the VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on Dec. 18. Drita came with her best friend Carla Facciolo and new cast member Angela Raiola, a.ka. “Big Ang.” Karen arrived her ally Ramona Rizzo, who also joins the cast for season two, and Renee.
Drita doesn’t get why Renee is hanging out with Karen and Ramona. “I think she’s confused,” Drita told HollywoodLife.com exclusively.While Drita continues to dislike Karen due to their fall-out last season, she also can’t stand Ramona. “My mother said if you dont have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all so that’s what I have,” Drita admitted to us.
At least Drita has Carla on her side. “Drita’s my girl, you know that,” Carla said to us. “I’ve always got Drita’s back.”
Renee doesn’t undestand why Drita and Carla are questioning why she’s on Karen’s side. “They must be confused,” she explained to us. “They must be confused with their own loyalty. This is my side of the fence. You don’t pick your family.”
“There’s a difference between being nice,” Ramona added. “She’ll be nice to people, but this is family.” “This is family,” Renee, Karen, and Ramona agreed.
BFFs — are you Team Karen or Team Drita?
Kat Graham kicks off the new year with a fabulous photo shoot for DISfunkshion magazine’s January issue.
The Vampire Diaries works various colorful looks by designers including her favorite Jeremy Scott.
“I’m big into Jeremy Scott, who’s a good friend of mine. He always creates these themes and fun prints. He’s incredible,” she revealed.
She boasts about her happy marriage but a Real Wives of Beverly Hills reality TV star has some unusual advice for couples. Kyle Richards - who has been married to husband Mauricio Umansky for 16 years - says if you cheat on your spouse once, keep it a secret.
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts confronted the socialite about her beliefs on US breakfast TV this morning. The presenter said she wanted to ask Kyle what she meant by saying: 'If you cheat on your spouse once do not tell. You get a free pass...'
But the star was unapologetic. Kyle said: 'I know [sic] I was going to get some heat for that.' She then went on to describe one scenario saying: 'I've seen circumstances with people that I know are in love with their spouse and they made one mistake and I said - this is somebody that I know, nobody that anybody knows here, "Listen, if this really was a one time mistake, and you did not put this person in jeopardy, I personally think you should deal with it with yourself and with God and not go and say: 'Honey look what I did,'" because I knew that this would ruin their relationship and their life.
Pass the Champagne: Hollywood is toasting a reversal of fortunes at the box office over the four-day holiday weekend.
Tom Cruise and the "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol" helped complete their most impressive stunt, leading a movie industry that had been lamenting 2011's overall drop of audiences to lows not seen since the '90s to a rebound.
"The challenge is making exciting movies that are good enough to pull fans away from their video game consoles."
Sherlock wins all imo. Tom's man-boobs just cannot compare.
And how awesome would it be if the professor was actually a masked Renee? haha
Just watched the movie and it was EPIC. Probably the best movie I've seen the whole year. (not counting HP)
LeAnn Rimes is not pregnant and not trying to get pregnant. And she seems to have had it with the endless speculation over when she and Eddie Cibrian plan to welcome a baby.
“I have never even tried [to get pregnant] so please stop discussing my ovaries LOL,” she tweeted at fans who had been wondering aloud about her status.
Referring to pregnancy rumors, Rimes added, “Unfortunately it’s beyond not true & not something i feel people should throw around cause it takes some couples a long time to conceive & some never can.”
The singer-actress continued, “You didn’t offend me, I just think its crazy that people make articles out of nonsense, so when it comes to me and all the speculation I have to laugh.”
As it happens, Cibrian’s ex-wife, Brandi Glanville, with whom he has two sons, got drunk and married over the weekend.
For now, it seems, Rimes’ two stepsons are enough for her.
We polled The Daily Beast’s culture team to find out what art, films, books, TV, and music are worth looking forward to in 2012—and the results are promising.
From The Dark Knight Rises to Nicki Minaj’s sophomore album and from Marni’s collection for H&M to Kiefer Sutherland’s new TV show, Touch, here are The Daily Beast’s picks for the most anticipated releases of 2012.
With a built-in audience of fans of Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of young adult novels, the hype around this movie has been insane for more than a year. And it nearly got out of hand when each bit of casting news caused the Internet to have tremors: in the end, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth were signed to play the three teenage leads. But beyond fan madness, what could be more politically relevant than the class warfare under the books’ surface?
The plot revolves around Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence)—a poor 16-year-old girl from a destitute coal-mining community—who is conscripted to compete in the Hunger Games, a real-time reality show in which kids fight each other to the death. If the movie adaptation is faithful to the book, which the trailer indicates it will be, Katniss provides an antidote to the passive, marriage-oriented Bella from Twilight—a feminist heroine for millennials. With Donald Sutherland as the evil President Snow; Woody Harrelson as the charming, drunk mentor, Haymitch; and Elizabeth Banks as the not-as-clueless-as-she-seems Effie Trinket, the books’ devoted followers have much to look forward to.
So does everyone else, we hope.
Kathryn Bigelow was already working on a movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden before he was killed—clearly, things had to be rewritten!
After that delay on her first big project after the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, the movie also faced controversy over its proposed release date: the month before the presidential election. Republicans sniped that the film would be designed to make President Obama look good as he sought reelection. They needn’t have worried, though.
The movie’s release date has been delayed until Dec. 19, 2012, and considering it hasn’t begun filming yet, and does not have a fully set cast, we’re just hoping to see it someday!
Lifetime has optioned the rights to Jeff Ashton’s memoir about prosecuting Casey Anthony. The movie is still in development, but how can this be anything but fascinating? In his book, Ashton spills behind-the-scenes beans like the fact that Anthony’s “smarmy” (Ashton’s word) lawyer tried to talk her into a last-minute plea bargain but she refused.
With lead characters like Casey, the world’s most prolific liar, a fictional babysitter named “Zanny the Nanny,” Casey’s father’s alleged mistress, Krystal Holloway, who also has other names, a car that smelled like death, and an adorable baby who did nothing to deserve what happened to her, this movie is a must-watch.
Tantalizingly little has been revealed about director Ridley Scott’s sort-of-but-not-really prequel to his trailblazing 1979 sci-fi epic, Alien. What we know so far: Michael Fassbender (Shame, X-Men: First Class) portrays an android accompanying Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo triology star Noomi Rapace on some sort of mysterious mission in deepest space. Charlize Theron is also along for the ride. And as we know from dispatches out of San Diego’s Comic-Con, where the director debuted 15 minutes of Prometheus footage in July, she is depicted in the movie doing naked push-ups.
Scott promises the film will answer a “big question” from the first two installments of the blockbuster Alien franchise. “In the last few minutes of the movie, you’ll understand what I’m talking about,” Scott said.
Due out June 2012.
The third and final installment in filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, and sees Gotham experiencing a rare moment of peace. Batman (Christian Bale), a fugitive from justice after assuming responsibility for Harvey Dent’s crime spree—is drawn back to the city following an ominous warning from the mysterious Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) that hints at evidence of Occupy Wall Street undertones, painting the Dark Knight as the “1 percent”: “You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits, you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” Batman is then drawn back to Gotham to do battle with the muscle-bound menace, Bane (Tom Hardy).
Like his last film, Inglourious Basterds, writer-director Quentin Tarantino’s latest is a brutal slice of revisionist history. The movie is set in the antebellum Deep South. Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave-turned-bounty hunter, teams up with his mentor, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), to rescue his wife from the ruthless Mississippi plantation owner Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio (in his first villain role). DiCaprio was supposed to star as Nazi Col. Hans Landa, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Waltz eventually replaced DiCaprio in the role, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Will this heinous villain bring DiCaprio a long overdue Oscar victory?
Adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal novel, The Great Gatsby sees Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) seduced into the decadent world of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), his enigmatic neighbor who pines for Carraway’s fetching—and married—cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). The film marks the reunion of DiCaprio and director Baz Luhrmann, who worked together on 1996’s Romeo + Juliet, as well as real-life pals DiCaprio and Maguire, who last shared the screen as young kids in 1993’s This Boy’s Life (that is, if you don’t count the 2001 disaster Don’s Plum, which never saw the light of day). The film will be shot in 3D, and, judging by Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!, will feature some eye-catching costumes.
Between multiple annual collections for Chanel and Fendi, a capsule collection for Macy’s, and countless other projects, Karl Lagerfeld is a busy man. So when he announced that he’d be launching yet another line in 2012, it took the world by surprise. But this time, he’s doing things a little differently: Lagerfeld will launch Karl, an online-only collection that will be sold exclusively on Net-A-Porter in February. And the “Kountdown” is already intense: the e-retailer has launched a social networking service called “Karl’s Kult” that allows people to follow Lagerfeld on the job, and have released a video to get people anticipated for the launch. The 70-piece collection (ranging from $50 to $1,000) will feature T-shirt dresses, metallics, jerseys, leather and sequins—and will be predominantly black, white, grey, silver, with the occasional burgundy and pink.
The Kardashians, it seems, may have finally met their match.
First it was Lanvin for H&M, then it was Missoni for Target, and Versace for H&M. The year 2011 was filled with frenzy-inducing collaborations between luxury brands and mega retailers—and it looks like 2012 is about to follow suit. Next up, it’s Marni for H&M, which will launch on March 8th. The collaboration will bring Consuelo Castiglioni’s bold colors and zany prints to 260 stores nationwide. The ad campaign for the collection reportedly features Sofia Coppola in Morocco, and while images from the collection are still under wraps, Casitglioni says the collection will have a “modern tribal” feel and will “juxtapose prints and colors.” Let’s just hope it doesn’t crash HM.com.
Armando Iannucci, the British satirist behind British cult political comedy The Thick of It (and its spin-off feature, In the Loop), turns his attention to America with HBO’s Veep, a half-hour comedy that follows a former U.S. senator who has been elected vice president. Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars in this biting and witty satire as Selina Meyer, the woman who is one heartbeat away from becoming the president, but who is more concerned about personal vendettas, biodegradable utensils, and people’s opinions of her than the current administration. Louis-Dreyfus—joined by a cast that includes Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw, and Timothy Simons—is at her trenchant best here, discovering early in her term as VP that the halls of power are filled with sharks. Not to be missed.
(Launches in 2nd quarter 2012)
Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) are back! The legendary bad girls of Britain’s Absolutely Fabulous return with three brand-new comedy specials celebrating 20 years of bad fashion, booze, pills, and outrageous behavior. (Worry not: Julia Sawalha’s Saffy, Jane Horrocks’ Bubbles, and June Whitfield’s Mother are also along for the madcap ride.) Among the targets of AbFab’s first special: the Kardashians, the original Danish version of The Killing, and children of celebrities in prison. These two fashion doyennes might be 20 years older than when we first met them, but some things—especially Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone—never go out of style. (The first special airs Jan. 8 at 10 p.m.)
Airing the night after the Super Bowl, NBC’s answer to Glee—or perhaps a more sophisticated, adult version of Glee—is this musical-drama, which revolves around a group of Broadway producers, actors, writers, and directors putting on a show about the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. Capturing the behind-the-scenes tension and stress—and well as the exuberance and emotional highs—that mounting such a huge production would lead to, Smash features an all-star cast that includes Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee, Anjelica Huston, Megan Hilty, and Jack Davenport, and original music from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The result is intoxicating and contagious, and the songs impossible to get out of your head. (Launches Feb. 6 at 10 p.m.)
Chris Lilly—the Australian chameleon behind the cult hits Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes—returns with mockumentary comedy Angry Boys, another opportunity for the versatile writer/actor to don a series of wigs, costumes, and funny accents. In this case, the disparate characters that Lilly plays includes a deaf 17-year-old Australian boy and his twin brother, a black L.A. rapper, a surfer, and a grandmother who works as a prison official, to name but a few. Edgy, provocative, and at times lovingly bizarre, Angry Boys is ultimately an exploration about what it means to be a member of the male gender in the 21st century. (Launches Jan. 1 at 10 p.m.)
Kiefer Sutherland back on TV: do we really need to say more? We don’t have to, but we will. Fox’s new Touch has so much promise—Kiefer Sutherland and the young actor, David Mazouz, who plays his son—are terrific as a father and son struggling to communicate in more ways than one. The show is emotional, spiritual, and has a strong overall message about connecting. If you’re worried you can’t see Kiefer Sutherland as anything other than Jack Bauer, the pilot episode quickly works hard to dispel that image. Danny Glover and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are also in the cast.
Since setting the world on fire with “Hey Ya!,” one of the most electrifying, universally-beloved singles of the ‘00s, the rapper-singer-multi-instrumentalist—who comprises one-half the multi-platinum-selling “Hotlanta” hip-hop duo OutKast—has been relatively quiet on the music front. Just a few songs on the soundtrack to OutKast’s fizzled 2006 movie musical Idlewild and guest verses on a bunch of other artists’ songs. Despite his low profile, however, fascination surrounding the notoriously perfectionist vegetarian fashion icon (who has reportedly been working on his solo LP for more than two years) never went away. And even if Andremay or may not claim the starring role in a long-gestating Jimi Hendrix biopic, the public appetite for new music from Andre 3K remains huge. (Release date TBD.)
In the decade-plus since this multi-platinum-selling ska-pop quartet released its last album, Rock Steady, lead singer Gwen Stefani stepped away from the band to have children with Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale and forge a chart-topping, arena-rocking career as a solo artist. Although No Doubt’s new disc was scheduled for release this year (with recording begun in 2008), the group punted its rollout into 2012. “We don’t want to rush this album just to get it out,” the band said in a statement. But does out of earshot mean out of mind? As evidenced by No Doubt’s rumored announcement as a co-headliner for 2012’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival—and, moreover, the excitement that news caused—the fans apparently haven’t forgotten them or moved on.
When she won the Best New Artist Grammy in early 2011, beating out more established pop phenoms such as Justin Bieber and Drake, the biggest question surrounding the jazz singer-bassist-composer was “Who the hell is Esperanza Spalding?” (Collateral damage: an upset legion of Beliebers hacked Spalding’s Wikipedia page to disparage the kinky-coifed performer.) While her unique song styling has been described as “where jazz, classical, folk and world music collide,” Spalding, 27, will reportedly take her chamber music-inspired sound in a different direction on her new album, “Radio Music Society” under the auspices of her producer Q-Tip, jazzy musical mastermind of the seminal late ‘80s/early ‘90s hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. (Due out in early 2012)
Question: can a snotty, bratty alterna-rock band hold on to its indie snarl after becoming one of the biggest pop acts in the world? After recording eight studio albums and mounting a successful Broadway adaptation of its music? Seven years on from the release of its barrier-breaking rock opera (turned musical) “American Idiot” and two years since Green Day’s last CD 21st “Century Breakdown,” the Berkeley, Calif. trio return with what is arguably 2012’s most eagerly awaited rock offering. According to early intel (i.e. reviews of an intimate Halloween gig in New York City), the new material incorporates the harmonies, hooks and power chords of the group’s two previous discs. But lyrically, the new material is said to be more straightforward and less emo. Sample lyric: “Shut your mouth ‘cause you’re talking too much and I don’t give a f--- anyway.” (Release date TBD.)
The much-anticipated follow-up to pop-rap chanteuse Nicki Minaj’s platinum-selling debut album Pink Friday, which including the breakout single “Super Bass”—albeit on the deluxe version only—will be released on Valentine’s Day. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded will mark the return of the eclectically styled, Indian-Trinidadian singer’s bizarre alter ego, Roman Zolanski (think: Sasha Fierce with a screw loose, and a penis), which featured on her debut. So far, Minaj has released two singles from the upcoming album—“Roman in Moscow,” which received mixed reviews, and “Stupid Hoe.” Expect several high-profile cameos on the record, including her recent tour-mate Britney Spears, her boss, Lil Wayne, and former flame, Drake.
This upcoming MoMA exhibit will feature a retrospective of more than 180 photographs from Cindy Sherman’s career. In addition to classic Sherman pieces, such as black-and-white photographs of the artist dressed up as a typical 1950s actress and people from various levels of society, this MoMA exhibit will include new photographic murals in their American premiere. For 30 years Sherman has disguised herself in wigs, makeup and a variety of costumes, using herself as the model for some of the most beautiful, glamorous, and disturbing photographs. New York’s Museum of Modern Art will be running the Cindy Sherman exhibit—which includes selected films as well as photographs—from February 26-June 11, 2012.
From his shark suspended in formaldehyde to his diamond-encrusted skull (complete with the original owner’s real teeth), Damien Hirst’s art has garnered controversy, praise and a lot of money since he first appeared on the U.K. art scene as a student in 1988. To coincide with the London Olympics, the Tate Modern will host the first-ever U.K. retrospective of Hirst’s work opening April 4, 2012. The infamous skull, called “For The Love of God” and covered in 8,601 diamonds and a 52.4 carat pink diamond on the forehead, will be among the many Hirst pieces on display—in a special viewing room and behind very tight security, that is.
Roy Lichtenstein is perhaps best known for his comic book-like paintings, ubiquitous with Pop Art. But the late artist is responsible for several sculptures, drawing, collages and even Chinese landscapes that will be featured in the Art Institute of Chicago’s upcoming retrospective of Lichtenstein’s career. The display, which will run from May 16-Sept. 3, 2012, will be the first scholarly assessment of Lichtenstein’s entire career since his death in 1997.
Video games have changed how technology influences entertainment and, according to an upcoming exhibit at the Smithsonian Art Museum, how it affects art. “The Art of Video Games” will explore 40 years of video games as an artistic medium, featuring influential video game designers and artists and examining the growing prevalence of video games in popular culture. The exhibit is interactive, allowing visitors the opportunity to play some of the featured games. After 3.7 million votes from around the world, the exhibition’s curator Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and a video game collector, chose 240 games to display. DC’s Smithsonian Art Museum plans to ring in the exhibit with a “Game Fest”—panel discussions and talks with designers and artists, movie screenings, hands-on play and costume photo-ops. The exhibit itself will be on display until Sept. 30, 2012.
A whirlwind 24 hours of action plays out in Fear Index, a gripping financial thriller by Robert Harris. Its protagonist, Dr. Alex Hoffman, is a partner at a hedge fund in Switzerland who has developed a brilliant program that makes market trades by analyzing fear language in the media. The night before he is set to unveil the next level of his software to investors, an intruder breaks into his mansion and knocks him unconscious. He awakes to a financial nightmare in which he analyzes his own fear index while his personal and professional lives mysteriously fall apart.
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor has obsessively covered the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama since the beginning of 2007. Five years later, she’s releasing The Obamas a book about the first couple’s marriage, an in-depth and intimate portrait of both their public and private relationship. A journalistic sleuth, Kantor takes readers inside the White House’s bedrooms and offices as the two struggle to simultaneously maintain a normal home life and fulfill their roles as president and first lady.
In Mortality, his final, posthumous book—a memoir based on a series of essays he wrote for Vanity Fair about his battle with esophageal cancer—legendary polemicist Christopher Hitchens chronicles how he moved “from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady,” as he wrote in the first of the series, ”Topic of Cancer”. It’s a token of his singular character and incomparable gift that Hitchens continued to dazzle readers with his fierce wit and brilliant intellect (on the subject of his own death, no less) in his final months. While his body deteriorated, his mind seemed only to sharpen and produce the most effervescent prose. Though he remained an atheist, his writing had an otherworldly quality that became increasingly profound as he approached death. “Before I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a year and a half ago, I rather jauntily told the readers of my memoirs that when faced with extinction I wanted to be fully conscious and awake, in order to ‘do’ death in the active and not the passive sense,” he wrote in his last column for Vanity Fair. “However, one thing that grave illness does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings.
And there’s one that I find I am not saying with quite the same conviction as I once used to: In particular, I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’"
Travel down memory lane and check out throwback pictures of the ladies from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Rachel Ray v. Guy Celebrity Cook Off!!
Lou Diamond Phillips
Team Guy wins!
Cook Off (Bottom Two)
Source: My tv
According to Sony, the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, is still moving forward despite the lingering perception that Dragon Tattoo has underperformed. “[Dragon Tattoo] continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book,” a Sony rep tells EW.
In November, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal told us that The Girl Who Played With Fire was definitely a go, with a targeted late-2013 release date. But Dragon Tattoo, which has grossed $60 million in the U.S. since its release on Dec. 20, is being perceived as something of a box-office disappointment (although moviegoers are enthusiastic — it received an A from audience-survey firm CinemaScore — and it seems to be holding up well over time as it chugs toward the $100 million mark). Given the film’s merely decent performance, there’s been much speculation about whether Sony will now actually move forward with the sequel. But the Sony rep tells us that “development continues” on the sequel and Steven Zaillian is still working on the script as planned. So far no director has committed to the project (Fincher hasn’t yet decided whether to return), but according to Pascal, stars Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both already signed up for the other two films. Last month Mara told EW she’d love to play Lisbeth again. “I don’t feel finished with the character,” she said. “I’m not ready to go back there yet, but I think by the time we start, I will be.”
yay. i need these sequels in my life
CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – Ricky Martin and Carlos Gonzalez are planning a wedding, boda, after matrimonio reports dominated Latin America noticias this week. Ricky Martin and novio Carlos Gonzalez will have a wedding ceremony in New York in January, Latin American news is reporting today. The reports follow earlier erroneous claims that the couple would marry in Buenos Aires.
Ricky Martin and Carlos Gonzalez dominated Latin American noticias in December with reports of a possible wedding in Buenos Aires. The reports had claimed Martin and his economist boyfriend Carlos González Abella had sought to marry in Buenos Aires. Those later reports were confirmed as false.
December reports later claimed that Martin was anxious to marry this January, but that Martin hadn’t decided on a location. Other reports claimed that Martin’s best man would be Angelo Medina. Another story claimed that a wedding reception would be held in Miami with guests anticipated to be Ednita Nazario, Charly Masso of Menudo, and Ángelo Medina and others from Menudo.
Martin, who turned forty on December 24, has previously told news that he wants same-sex marriage to be legalized in Puerto Rico. “What I want is for them to say no to discrimination so that equality among us human beings may be a reality in my country.”
But with Puerto Rico not possible, El Nuevo Dia is reporting noticias today that the Ricky and Carlos will marry January 28 in New York City. The location in NYC is not revealed.
The date appears to be logical. Martin will debut on Broadway for Evita in March. He will play the role made popular by Antonio Banderas in the film version (opposite Madonna). Martin will play Che in the groundbreaking revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical. Previews for Martin on Broadway start March 2012, the opening is April.
Congrats to you Ricky and Carlos! All the best!
Kim had been living with her boyfriend Ken in Westlake Village, California.
In November, Kim told RumorFix “I’m in love.“
Kyle tells us that reports from a gossip site that her sister is moving in with her are completely false.
“She won’t be living with me,” she says, “We’re a little too old for that.”
Kyle has visited her sister during Family Day at the Betty Ford Center and Kyle tells us her sister is “doing really well.”
Kim has agreed to stay at the facility until early February and will re-evaluate the situation at that time.
One reason her family and friends are so happy Kim is seeking help is her tumultuous relationship with Ken. “No one likes Ken,” a source tells UsWeekly. “He’s controlling and tells her what to do.”
Kim was allegedly homeless and staying with a friend when she made the decision to enter treatment after several fights with Ken forced her to leave the home they shared.
Brandi has married again!
Brandi posted wedding photos (those are below) from her Vegas nuptials.
Following Brandi’s tweets, many fans began to wonder if she actually tied the knot and it turns out she really did!
Brandi just posted the following on her twitter page following some backlash by fans -