Articles on this Page
- 02/15/12--20:33: _Uggie has not been ...
- 02/15/12--20:34: _Revenge 1x16-"Scandal"
- 02/15/12--20:35: _Taylor visiting Toa...
- 02/15/12--20:58: _Whitney Houston's F...
- 02/15/12--21:10: _'Shameless' Promote...
- 02/17/12--12:33: _Robin Thicke arrest...
- 02/17/12--12:34: _Some hot Italian go...
- 02/17/12--13:05: _You think you know....
- 02/17/12--13:14: _Ellen Pompeo On Gre...
- 02/17/12--13:34: _Watch the pilot for...
- 02/17/12--13:35: _Macca's High Times
- 02/17/12--13:52: _Another Angelina Jo...
- 02/17/12--13:52: _Daniel Gillies Reve...
- 02/17/12--14:08: _NEW BRITISH MUZK PO...
- 02/17/12--14:09: _Chris Brown Doesn’t...
- 02/17/12--14:09: _Adele to sue French...
- 02/17/12--14:09: _Mars, Inc. to 'Reno...
- 02/17/12--14:10: _This is a Springste...
- 02/17/12--14:10: _Dark Knight Rises' ...
- 02/17/12--14:12: _new muchmusic promo...
- 02/15/12--20:33: Uggie has not been invited to the Oscars
- 02/15/12--20:34: Revenge 1x16-"Scandal"
- 02/15/12--20:35: Taylor visiting Toasty Bakery in LA
- 02/15/12--20:58: Whitney Houston's Funeral To Be Broadcast Online
- 02/15/12--21:10: 'Shameless' Promotes Zach McGowan to Series Regular
- 02/17/12--12:33: Robin Thicke arrested for marijuana possession in New York City
- 02/17/12--12:34: Some hot Italian goddess is the new face for Dolce&Gabbana Make Up
- 02/17/12--13:05: You think you know...but you have NO idea
- 02/17/12--13:14: Ellen Pompeo On Grey's Anatomy's Twins: "Those Babies Are Amazing"
- 02/17/12--13:34: Watch the pilot for NBC's Awake starring Lucius Malfoy!
- 02/17/12--13:35: Macca's High Times
- 02/17/12--14:09: Chris Brown Doesn’t Care How You Feel About These Rih-mixes!
- 02/17/12--14:09: Adele to sue French magazine over sex tape pictures
- 02/17/12--14:09: Mars, Inc. to 'Renovate' its Chocolate Products.
- 02/17/12--14:10: This is a Springsteen/Wrecking Ball post.
- 02/17/12--14:12: new muchmusic promo for degrassi
First, the Academy announced that “Man or Muppet ” would not be performed at the Oscars and now this: Uggie is probably not attending the big show.
“The Artist’s” Golden Collar winner “has not been asked to participate or appear at the Oscars,” a spokesperson for the Weinstein Company told Reuters. Oscar sources also told Reuters that Uggie has not been rehearsing a bit for the ceremony with host Billy Crystal, as previous reports had indicated.
Could this be some terrible oversight? Is this a ruse to hide a double secret performance between Crystal and Uggie? Did the Oscar organizers miss the Golden Globes moment when Jean Dujardin made Uggie do tricks on the stage and the whole world smiled? What is going on?
“The Artist” is probably going to win best picture at the Oscars. All signs point to that. Perhaps the humans don’t want to be out outshined by a dog during the acceptance speech? I would certainly understand that.
It’s also clear that director Michel Hazanavicius isn’t crazy over Uggie, like many of us are. “Artist” star Berenice Bejo — who, fun fact, is married to Hazanavicius — told Deadline her husband is “not a big fan of dogs.” He, reasonably, “grew tired” of the actors carrying around sausage to get Uggie to perform, according to Deadline. And based on this blooper reel , even having treats didn’t always ensure Uggie followed his commands. “Don’t work with children or animals” is a well worn adage for a reason.
Shameless is holding on to its new hunk for Season 3. A Showtime spokesperson confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Zach McGowan has been promoted to a series regular for Season 3.
McGowan plays Jody, the recovering sex addict who has come between Karen (Laura Wiggins) and Lip’s (Jeremy Allen White) relationship.
He also plays Jagger in the web series, Dating Rules From My Future Self. McGowan isn’t a newcomer to the industry. He has made appearances on numerous shows, including Body of Proof, Good Luck Charlie, CSI: Miami, and Cold Case. The native New Yorker’s film credits include Terminator Salvation and The Hunt for Eagle One.
Showtime renewed Shameless earlier this month for a third season. And this past Sunday’s episode attracted its biggest audience to date with 2.07 million viewers. Currently, the series ranks as the network’s No. 2 rated show behind Dexter. Production on Season 3 begins in July.
Singer Robin Thicke was arrested in Manhattan for marijuana possession, the Daily News has learned.
The award-winning R&B crooner was arrested at 12:25 p.m. by patrol officers who saw him smoking a joint while sitting in a Cadillac Escalade near 3rd Ave. and E. 21st St.
“He wasn’t driving,” a police source said. “He was sitting in the car. He was arrested and a small amount of marijuana was recovered on him.”
Sources tell TMZ, Robin was extremely cooperative -- and even signed a couple autographs.
Thicke, 34, was in the Escalade with another person, the source said, but Thicke was the only one arrested and then charged with posession of marijuana.
It wasn’t clear where Thicke was heading, though he did provide police with a lower East Side address.
Thicke is married to actress Paula Patton. The singer’s fifth studio album, “Love After War,” was released in December.
Thicke’s father is actor Alan Thicke, who is best known for playing Jason Seaver in “Growing Pains.”
Following her appearance in Dolce & Gabbana‘s spring/summer 2012 campaign, Monica Bellucci (47, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Whistleblower, The Matrix Reloaded, Malèna, Under Suspicion) has been made a face of Dolce & Gabbana Make Up – alongside fellow actresses Felicity Jones and Scarlett Johansson.
Following her appearance in Dolce & Gabbana‘s spring/summer 2012 campaign, Monica Bellucci has been made a face of Dolce & Gabbana Make Up – alongside fellow actresses Felicity Jones and Scarlett Johansson.
“We love Monica and have worked with her many times over the past 20 years. Her beauty is timeless,” said Domenico Dolce. “She expresses the Dolce & Gabbana woman perfectly,” added Stefano Gabbana, “She is ravishing – a true Italian icon.”To celebrate the appointment, Bellucci will launch her own limited-edition range with the brand – Monica Lipstick Collection.
“I’m delighted to be collaborating with Domenico and Stefano on Dolce & Gabbana The Make Up,” said the actress. “I have always adored the aesthetic of Dolce & Gabbana and it’s so exciting to be involved with their creative process.”The Monica Lipstick Collection will be available from May 12.
AND for all the Bellucci-Cassel shippers out there, some images of Monica and husband Vincent Cassel partying in Brazil.
The Cassels are currently shooting their 10th movie together (<i>Samba Drama</i>, directed by Kim Chapiron) and will be staying in Brazil for some months with daughters, Deva (aged 7) and Léonie (aged 1).
Source: Monica Bellucci Fan
Life of Lindsay Lohan on True Hollywood Story
Lindsay Lohan is never far from the tabloid headlines, but at one time she was a celebrated child star. E! True Hollywood Story examines the road that Lohan took from child model to troubled star and gossip column fixture on E! True Hollywood Story: Lindsay Lohan, which premieres on Monday, February 20, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., according to a February 15, 2012, press release from E!
Lindsay Lohan was once on center stage for her acting ability, but that has been over-shadowed by a public battle with substance abuse, a volatile love-life, embarrassing family drama and legal troubles. THS presents her complete story with the help of friends and associates who offer insight as to what triggered her destructive behavior.
Lohan's first big break was when she was three years old and her parents brought her to the famous Ford modeling studios. “She was adorable, really cute and she really came alive in front of the camera,” Katie Ford, CEO FORD, tells E!
Lindsay was a success in the commercial world, but her father, Michael Lohan, was having legal troubles for charges related to securities fraud and was eventually incarcerated. Lindsay did not realize how much trouble he was in and thought he was just doing business, according to her friend Jessica Jutt.
Hollywood beckoned and Lohan made a name for herself with the movies The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. She became the next 'it girl' and was immersed in the “Hollywood Scene.” “It was almost like she was a politician that wanted to please everyone and you know when you’re in Hollywood there are a lot of different parties that you get invited to….” Mike Heller, Lindsay’s former commercial manager, reveals to E!
While Lindsay was partying, the drama increased at home. Her parents broke up and she became the breadwinner of the family, helping her mother raise the other three children. It was a lot of pressure for someone of such a young age, according to Mike Heller.
Lohan started having her own legal problems and made multiple trips to rehab facilities. She met her (now ex) girlfriend Samantha Rosen in 2008 and they had a volatile relationship. Still, Lohan obsessed about Rosen, according to E!'s Ken Rosen.
By 2010 things still were not looking up for Lohan. She traveled to Cannes Film Festival to promote her role as Linda Lovelace, which later fell through. She was supposed to return to LA for an important court date, but claimed to have had her passport stolen in Cannes. Her friend, Lady Victoria Hervey recalls the incident with E!, “Things somehow escalate with her and it’s really never her fault.” Judge issues arrest warrant for Lohan, in Cannes instead of LA
Lohan has served a short time in jail and is currently completing court-mandated community service. Lindsay Lohan to serve jail sentence and morgue duty
Ken Baker tells E!, “Lindsay does not want to go back to jail.” Mark Waters, who directed Lohan in “Freaky Friday,” tells E! “she’s somebody who has kind of been through a lot of stuff. She’s become more complete individual and that complexity can only make you a great actress again.”
Lindsay Lohan was tapped to appear in the movie Gotti, starring John Travolta. Like the Lovelace project, the Gotti role reportedly fell through for Lohan. Lindsay Lohan talks to Jay Leno about jail and Gotti role
Be sure to buckle up for the one-hour Lilo roller coaster ride as THS presents Lohan’s complete story and begs the question: can this talented young woman get back on top?
THS: Lindsay Lohan premieres on February 20, 2012m at 8:00 PM on E!
nobody wins when you're full of envy
Ellen Pompeo, 42, recently talked to about working on the eighth season of Grey's Anatomy, the babies on the show and her 2 1/2-year-old daughter Stella with husband Chris Ivery.
On the twins who play her character's daughter Zola: "Those babies are amazing. They're so cute and they're really small. You know they're only like a little over a year, but they seem to know when the camera is on them. I didn't see it but I think it [already] aired…When we were trying to get her to walk, and they're really on the verge of walking, and just when the camera was on her, she just stood up and walked across the room! It was really a real moment and so it really has been fun. They're great babies."
On not having Stella meet the babies: "No, I feel really bad. I really feel like I'm cheating on Stella, I feel terrible. They're adorable, but I really do feel guilty."
On juggling work with being a mom to Stella: "It is challenging. You know, I have my days where I feel really guilty that I've been here every day if I have to work a lot. But the truth is I'm in a very blessed situation, I am so lucky. First of all, I am so lucky to live in a country where a girl like me can make this kind of living, achieve her dreams and reach her goals. And I don't think anywhere else in the world can girls have the freedom that we do here to have these amazing careers and be mothers."
Curious about NBC’s new mind-twisting drama Awake, which premieres on March 1st? Well, NBC has decided to post the pilot episode online two weeks early, and you can view the full episode after the jump! Awake focuses on a police detective played by Jason Isaacs, a man who somehow keeps slipping back and forth between two parallel realities.
That’s right, parallel realities. The plot goes something like this: detective Michael Britten wakes up after a car accident with his wife, Hannah, and his son, Rex. He finds that he is slipping back and forth between two parallel realities—in one world, Hannah is still alive but Rex is dead; in the other, Rex is alive, but Hannah was killed in the accident. Britten begins to live two lives as he bounces back and forth between the two worlds, facing the different problems that begin to occur in the two divergent realities, while at the same time discovering that the two realities may be linked together.
Intrigued? Well, check out the pilot episode below. It’s pretty wild—you may want to take notes!
Can also be watched on Hulu!
omg this is really good, psychological/fantasy/sci-fi things are my shit and Jason Isaacs is perfect. But everything on NBC seems to fail so I'm hoping this doesn't get cancelled!
Parental responsibility means sacrifice, even if you're one of the biggest rock stars of all time. To that end, Paul McCartney has revealed that he's quit smoking pot, mainly out of a sense of duty to his 8-year-old daughter, Beatrice.
"I did a lot, and it was enough. I smoked my share," McCartney said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "When you're bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in. Enough's enough."
The 69-year-old rocker was originally introduced to pot by none other than Bob Dylan, and his fondness for the drug has been well publicized. In fact, his ex-wife Heather Mills, Beatrice's mother, claimed he smoked as much as average (British) people drink tea in their divorce proceedings.
In the same interview, McCartney discussed a 1974 jam session that included John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, longtime Stones saxman Bobby Keys and Paul's then-wife Linda. The session, which was released as the 'Toot and a Snore,' bootleg, also featured plenty of drugs.
"We were stoned," McCartney said. "I don't think there was anyone in that room who wasn't stoned. For some ungodly reason, I decided to get on drums. It was just a party, you know. To use the word 'disorganized' is completely understating it. I might have made a feeble attempt to restore order -- 'guys, you know, let's think of a song, that would be a good idea' -- but I can't remember if I did or not."
McCartney also revealed that there was talk of reuniting the Beatles several times in the '70s, but all the attempts failed due to a lack of "passion."
"The re-formation suggestions were never convincing enough. They were kind of nice when they happened -- 'That would be good, yeah' -- but then one of us would always not fancy it. And that was enough, because we were the ultimate democracy."
McCartney's latest album, the jazzy 'Kisses on the Bottom,' is in stores now.
She says in the beginning "Good evening. Thank you for coming" in Bosnian. It was cute and she pronounced it perfectly. "I made this film not just to remind the world of such a dark time in history, one that should not be forgotten, but also to show the world the immense talent, beautiful art and extraordinary country, that is Bosnia. I know this will bring back many painful memories, and I know this will be difficult to watch, but I hope when you do, it does not just remind you of what you’ve suffered, but also reminds you on all that you survived. I'm so happy to be here tonight. I love Bosnia, I love all of you. (We love you too Angie)"
Sarajevo has just seen the premiere of controversial new film - In the Land of Blood and Honey - a love story set during the Bosnian War. It is the directorial debut of Angelina Jolie, and the BBC's Allan Little has been speaking to her about the experience.
She seemed momentarily taken aback by the warmth with which she was welcomed at Sarajevo's Zetra stadium. Five thousand people rose to their feet to applaud Angelina Jolie as she took to the stage to introduce the film, her directorial debut.
"It was one of the most amazing nights of my life, to be a part of that," she told me. "You take people's stories, their histories and you try to do your best by them but you're not making a documentary; it's an artistic interpretation, a film.
"And you see these people sitting here, reliving the worst parts of their lives and you think are they going to embrace it, or are they going to get upset? And when they stood I thought I was going to cry."
In the Land of Blood and Honey is not an easy film to watch. It depicts, in bleak and chilling detail, the brutal process by which hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs were removed from their homes in the campaign that came to be known as ethnic cleansing.
Civilians are casually gunned down in the street; women are repeatedly raped.
Many in the audience were in tears as they left. Most I spoke to said the film had captured the reality of what they had lived through in the war years - that it had told Bosnia's story with honesty.
"It is hard for me to talk about this. It is very emotional," one woman said. "The film is good. I am glad she made it."
But go to the Serbian half of the country and you enter a parallel universe.
Here, atrocities committed in the name of the Serb nation, aimed at carving out an ethnically pure Serb territory in Bosnia, are routinely denied. Many argue that the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, in which 8,000 men and boys were killed, simply didn't happen.
Here, Serb leaders have told Angelina Jolie that she is not welcome in the Serb areas, and that her film will not be shown.
Dragan Mutapdzija is a Serb veteran of the 1992-95 conflict and was himself held in a war-time prison camp for several months.
"Serbs never deny that crimes were committed," he said. "But they were committed by individuals and not by the whole nation. This film demonises our nation. Yet again the Serbs are depicted as the bad guys."
The film depicts good and bad on both sides. But overwhelmingly the perpetrators are Serbs and the victims Muslims.
Angelina Jolie rejects claims that the film lacks balance. "The war was not balanced," she says. "I can't understand people who are looking for a balance that did not exist. There are some people who don't want to be reminded of these things, some even who deny that these things even happened. Those people are going to be angry."
Bosnia's wounds are not healed. This film, for all its harrowing honesty, reveals a country unreconciled to its painful past, and bitterly divided still even on the question of what really happened here almost 20 years ago.
"Thank you. It means so much to all of us -- it means so much to me -- and I can't tell you how much it means to be here with all of you and to share this film. That you're receiving it so warmly means the world to me. Fala"
Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, was intended to remind the world of the horrors of the Bosnian war which began 20 years ago, and trigger a debate among Bosnians over what happened and why. But it has succeeded most in exposing the depth of the rifts in a country that many fear is moving away from reconciliation and drifting once more towards dangerous instability. Since the film opened, with a peace award at the Berlin film festival on Monday and a premiere before 5,000 people in Sarajevo on Tuesday night, Jolie and several Serbian members of the cast have received threats.
"There were things sent to me, there were things posted online," Jolie told the Guardian in an interview in Sarajevo. "The cast … have never complained to me about these threats but I've heard through other people it was happening … one of them did have their windows smashed in on their cars and someone else had an issue when their phone was hacked and emails were sent out saying they were from them and saying they had been hurt."
"It was a scary thought that someone was thinking along those lines," Jolie said, adding that she had given the multiethnic cast the option to leave the region, where In the Land of Blood and Honey is being shown for the first time this week, but that none of them took up the offer.Jolie has abandoned a plan to attend a premiere of the film in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, but denied it was a direct result of the threats.
"The physical threats are not what most bothered me because I have been to so many different countries where there are different kinds of threats, being in Afghanistan and other places as an outspoken American woman," she said.
"It was more that … with a film like this, you don't want it to be used as a tool … especially in an election year, where people are deciding to label it without having seen it, and try to incite aggression and violence."....
...As many as 50,000 Bosnian women, mainly Muslim, are thought to have been raped in the course of the war. The Hague tribunal on Balkan war crimes declared it a "crime against humanity".
An estimated 100,000 people were killed in the war, including 8,000 Muslim men and boys murdered at Srebrenica in 1995, which the Hague tribunal has declared an act of genocide.
The current Bosnian Serb leadership rejects the findings of the tribunal and other international investigations, and Jolie's film is not being shown in the Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity which makes up more than half of Bosnia.
Vladimir Ljevar, who runs a multiplex cinema in the main Serbian city of Banja Luka and controls much of the cinema distribution in the Republika Srpska, told the Guardian: "I have seen the film at a screening for distributors in Belgrade. The impression I had of the movie is definitely lousy."
Ljevar added: "I wish I had a multiplex cinema in Sarajevo so I can also make a profit on it. Here I cannot. There are simply some films that are acceptable for Sarajevo, but not for Banja Luka."
In the small snowbound town of Pale, the Serbs' wartime capital about 12 miles from Sarajevo, a group of law students all said they had no intention of going to see the film.
Zeljko Stankovic, who was just two when the war started, said: "It would be an uncomfortable feeling. How would an American feel about watching a film with Americans portrayed doing things like that?"
Back in Sarajevo, where the film was greeted by a standing ovation in a former Winter Olympic stadium, Jolie argued against the suggestion that the film had failed because of its rejection by most Serbs, pointing out that some people in Republika Srpska were trying to get hold of the video independently.
"If anything, it has proven what is happening in the country. It has reminded people of the complications of the region, of the way people view each other. And also many people have risen up like these people who are doing private screenings in their homes," she said.
"Many people have written to me. People are speaking up and not allowing someone to tell them how they should feel about the film, about each other, about history, and I think this is the extraordinary thing."
I know somebody already made a Brangelina Megapost, but the other op didn't include some of the interviews. Please accept this post, thank you :)
Sinking your fangs into a human and draining them of blood is one thing, but now The Vampire Diaries has introduced a mass murderer who’s been going around staking innocent humans — including Caroline’s (Candice Accola) father and our beloved Alaric (Matt Davis). The fact that both of these dudes came back from the dead and couldn’t identify their attacker — and one is skilled in hypnotic suggestion and the other’s a trained vampire slayer — makes us think an invisible ninja is on the loose.
According to what executive producer Julie Plec recently told Clique Claque, this is one mystery that isn’t going to be solved CSI style — it’s going to span several episodes to the end of Season 3. “The episode where we come back after the next little mini-hiatus really dives right into that mystery and tells us, starts to give us a sense of what’s actually going on and who’s behind this strange trail of bodies that have been stacking up. That villain and that mystery will be driving us towards the end of the season very hard,” says Plec. As if this town wasn’t dangerous enough. The question is, is this killer human, vampire, hybrid, ghost… or some monster we haven’t seen yet?
Speaking of someone we haven’t seen yet, don’t get your hopes up that Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert) will be taking on a third doppelganger role this season. Though we were teased earlier in the season that Klaus(Joseph Morgan) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) were in love with the same girl, Tatia, that’s a tale for another time. “[It's a question of] how many originals are left to tell the tale when all is said and done. If there's any standing, maybe that's a story we'll tell one day," Plec told Zap2It. But we want it now! Or maybe Nina can guest star on that Originals spin-off Gillies keeps talking about.
Jessie Ware - Running
if ur like me then you know her from her work with SBTRKT. i like this a lot, it's like a 2010s Sade imo!
Alexandra Burke featuring Erick Morillo - "Elephant"
love the song but this video is kind of poopy
Daley featuring Marsha Ambrosius - "Alone Together"
<3 his voice
Michael Kiwanuka - "I'm Getting Ready"
no comment bc I haven't really listened to this but i'd be lying if i said I didn't want Azealia to beat him in the BBC Sound Of poll
Rihanna has been tweeting shade all day, following the reports of her ex-abuser, Chris Brown jumping on the full version of “Birthday Cake”. Well as always, Christopher’s publicist went to the bathroom just long enough for him to hop on Twitter himself.
Of course, he doesn’t care about your feelings because they make music. Apparently, we can also expect to hear Rihanna on the remix to his record, “Turn Up The Music.”
From what I’ve heard, Rihanna actually put in work on these records with Chris on her own terms, and now her label is trying to stop the songs from being released. If this ain’t a clusterfuck — and the songs haven’t even dropped yet. Somebody call Jay-Z!
Adele has launched legal action against a French magazine which published fake pictures it claimed had been taken from an alleged sex tape.
The 'Someone Like You' star dismissed the claims published on the front cover of Public magazine today.
Lawyers for the singer confirmed that they were taking action, adding in a statement: "We are informed that the French magazine Public has today published images which it claims show our client in a sex tape.
"Our client has not appeared in a sex tape as claimed in the article. Our client does not appear in the photographs. Such claims are untrue and grossly defamatory. Our client is taking legal action in relation to this matter."
This week, Mars Inc. reiterated a promise to “renovate” its chocolate products — which include M&Ms, Snickers, and Dove Bars — so that no portion will exceed 250 calories by the end of 2013.
In some cases, this means chocolate bars will get smaller. In others, it means packaging will change: hefty King Size portions will be subdivided into smaller “2toGo” subportions, designed to make it easier to put one serving aside for later.
In theory, anyway.
Whether smaller packages really do translate to fewer calories consumed has been a matter of debate.
In one study from researchers at the University of Colorado in Denver, participants offered 100-calorie snack packs for a week consumed fewer grams of food than participants offered standard-sized packs — and continued to do so once bigger packages were re-introduced, suggesting that eating from smaller packages increased awareness of portion size. (Personally, I’ve had pretty good luck sticking to just one of these Trader Joe’s chocolate bars at a time.)
But this analysis from Supermarket News shows that though consumers frequently say they like portion-controlled products, they still often overeat.
The Los Angeles Times has weighed in often on portion control in recent years. In 2008 and in 2011, writers Karen Ravn and Jeannine Stein reported on portion control plates, designed to help diners serve up the right amount of food. Last year, Stein also blogged about a study that found that cutting food into smaller pieces limited consumption. And this study, which I reported about in December 2010, suggested that merely imagining eating an M&M could make you crave it.
The new Bruce Springsteen album, Wrecking Ball, was unveiled to the media today at a playback in Paris.
Interview from the presentation and snippets from the album
1. We Take Care of Our Own
Muscular anthem of blue-collar pride and American togetherness. As stirring as the first single is, only little background touches of strings and echoes keep it from being Springsteen-by-numbers. The uplifting lyrics are just generic enough to have already been adopted by Obama for his re-election campaign, which might be considered ironic when the political anger that drives the album seems to stem from a nation that is not really taking care of its own, and where Springsteen claims to be “knocking on the door that holds the throne” and deploring “good intentions gone dry as a bone”.
2. Easy Money
A stomping rock beat houses a Celtic soul romp, with strumming acoustic guitars and fiddles. Its zydeco-meets-glam-rock jolliness is undermined when you realise that it’s the song of a couple of hustlers prepared to do violence to fill their wallets. Springsteen is whooping and wailing like mugging is fun, but his real target is the bigger economic crimes that underpin his outlaw anthem. “All those fat cats will just think it’s funny,” his small-time hood acknowledges of his petty misdemeanours, “looking for easy money”.
3. Shackled and Drawn
Like a chaingang blues with an Irish lilt, Springsteen channels the exuberant energy of the folk songs he recorded for the Seeger sessions, where even a lament sounds like a party. “What’s a poor boy to do in a world gone wrong?” he calls, but makes it universal and political when his shackled narrator turns his attention to the party going on “up on banker’s hill”, where “it’s still fat and easy”.
4. Jack of All Trades
A mordant waltz, underpinned by a slow arpeggio piano figure, this is another lament for the plight of the unemployed, delivered like a 1950s rock’n’roll lullaby. There is no doubt who the villains are in Springsteen’s latest epistle from the American frontline: “The banker man grows fat / The working man grows thin / It’s all happened before /And it’ll happen again”.
Effective in its own right, with a lonely trumpet adding soulful flourishes, the major chord sequences are perhaps just a bit too predictable. You could say these are folk songs for a new depression, but does the message risk being blunted by the over-familiarity of the medium?
5. Death to My Hometown
A martial beat drives along this folky ramble about a ghost town, destroyed not by “cannon ball” or “powder flash”, although the Civil War connotations are kept up with tin whistles piping and an ethereal choir haunting the chorus. In a Dylanesque coda, blame is laid once again at the feet of villainous bankers, or rather, in the archaic language Springsteen employs, “the robber barons”.
6. This Depression
Equating depression emotional and economic, Springsteen pits a delicate melody against a harsh, sledgehammer drum pattern to sombre effect. Deft little sonic touches keep a dark little song burning, with an atmospheric echoing lead solo and hints of ghostly voices.
7. Wrecking Ball
The title track has the slow burn of classic E Street Band, a defiant narrative driven by a thrashed acoustic guitar, the band swelling and subsiding as it follows the Boss’s vocal lead, always threatening to explode. When the blast comes, it is led by trumpets, not saxophone or electric guitar, a flavour that adds to the sense that Springsteen is looking back to a musical time before rock and roll for his inspiration. His exhortation to “hold tight to your anger” seems to be the core message of this lyrically dark yet musically uplifiting album.
8. You’ve Got It
Light relief, in the form of an optimistic love song, a little pop rock gem driven by the interplay of acoustic and electric guitars and full of pithy couplets. “No school ever taught it / But baby you’ve got it / Now come on give it to me”
9. Rocky Ground
The track where a new idea of Springsteen really breaks the surface. A sampled cry of “I’m a soldier” introduces an understated female chorus phrase sung over a downbeat, echoing looped drum pattern. The ambiance hints at the brooding soul of Philadelphia. Lyrics evoke biblical language, with the money lenders in the temple still the focus of attention, but as a gospel choir pitches in, all these disparate elements start to fuse into a bold, weird 21st-century anthem of hope. Is this the first Springsteen song to feature a rapper?
10. Land of Hope and Dreams
Picking up on this nu-gospel quality, Springsteen strikes out for rocking E Street uplift over loops and samples. This universal chorus has been a staple of Springsteen shows for a long time, and it is great to hear it finally find its place on an album. No one else could sing a cliché like “This train carries saints and sinners” and still sound not just like they mean it, but that they are reminding us of something vital. There is even a sinuous sax solo, the ghost of the Big Man.
“All aboard,” Springsteen roars, and makes you want to jump on. He doesn’t make the mistake of overstating his case. It’s a grand finale to an album that aims at a classic, ancient sense of folk protest.
11. We Are Alive
A campfire song for ghosts of the oppressed, martyred strikers, protesters and immigrant workers, with Springsteen strumming and whistling while a Mariachi band kicks in to celebrate the eternal possibility of good triumphing over bad as an idea, if not a reality.
It is an uplifting end to a downbeat album, that tries to channel a spirit of folk protest via roots and folk into modern-day stadium rock. One playback is not enough to tell whether Springsteen has really achieved his aim. Are the songs too simplistic to stand with the classics in his canon, or do they strike the right notes of familiar form, adult emotion and spirited delivery to repeat in the listener’s psyche? Time will tell. But it is reassuring to find that at least one old rocker is still angry and impassioned, and desperate to make a difference.
'Wrecking Ball’ is released by Columbia on March 5
Good, yes, very good.
This pretty much sums up Catwoman played by actress Anne Hathaway in Christopher Nolan's upcoming Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises". Catwoman's heels make 'claw-like' marks. She has no talons, and she won't be wielding a whip. Nolan's Catwoman is pretty lazy, IMHO. She won't even take the time to hide her hair. Michelle Pfeiffer must be turning in her grave.
how many rooms you guys done it in? that is so owen mocking my bb clare.
DEGRASSI scoop please. — Lindsey
The TV Addict: As we are won't to do anytime we get a plea for intel on what trials and tribulations those maniacal DEGRASSI writers plan on putting your favorite student body through when the hit Canadian export returns next Friday February 24th, we sent out a quick feeler to our source on the set. Their response, “Expect a life-changing accident!” Read into that what you will.
i think alli gets hit by a car after she gets that break up text from "dave"
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