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- 09/08/14--23:57: _Nick Jonas Takes Hi...
- 09/08/14--23:57: _Nev Schulman Contin...
- 09/08/14--23:57: _Lady Gaga arrives i...
- 09/08/14--23:58: _Roger Waters Discus...
- 09/08/14--23:59: _"The PinkPrint" alb...
- 09/08/14--23:59: _My bae and yours ma...
- 09/09/14--00:00: _Day 5 of TIFF In Pi...
- 09/09/14--00:17: _Ariana's right side...
- 09/09/14--19:05: _ONE DIRECTION, LECR...
- 09/09/14--19:16: _Teen Wolf's Holland...
- 09/09/14--19:28: _New Homeland Season...
- 09/09/14--19:50: _Justin Bieber strip...
- 09/09/14--19:50: _New Funko The Hobbi...
- 09/09/14--19:59: _Jon Stewart pulling...
- 09/09/14--20:00: _Lady Gaga on Tony B...
- 09/09/14--20:16: _Interview with Outl...
- 09/09/14--20:17: _Best Actress Race, ...
- 09/09/14--20:19: _Day 6 of TIFF In Pi...
- 09/09/14--21:12: _G.R.L. Singer Simon...
- 09/09/14--21:12: _'Utopia's' Dave Gre...
- 09/08/14--23:57: Nick Jonas Takes His Shirt Off; 4 Pics From 'Kingdom'
- 09/08/14--23:57: Lady Gaga arrives in Dubai & responds to fat shaming comments
- 09/08/14--23:59: "The PinkPrint" album release still not determined
- 09/09/14--00:17: Ariana's right side, exclusive on Sunrise Australia (plus two songs)
- 09/09/14--19:05: ONE DIRECTION, LECRAE, JHENE AIKO LEAD ALBUM SALES CHART
- 09/09/14--19:16: Teen Wolf's Holland Roden at some NYFW shows
- 09/09/14--19:28: New Homeland Season 4 trailer
- 09/09/14--19:50: Justin Bieber strips on stage at Fashion Rocks...
- 09/09/14--19:50: New Funko The Hobbit Vinyl Figures
- 09/09/14--19:59: Jon Stewart pulling for Olivia Chow in Toronto's mayor's race
- 09/09/14--20:00: Lady Gaga on Tony Bennett: 'He liberates me'
- 09/09/14--20:16: Interview with Outlander Queen Caitriona Balfe
- 09/09/14--20:17: Best Actress Race, Still on for Julianne Moore? Still Alice
- 09/09/14--21:12: G.R.L. Singer Simone Battle -- Money Problems A Factor in Suicide
“I’m with my girl and [some other guys are] looking at her and I was like, I’ve just been training for three months how to be a real fighter for a TV show and I could hurt you now,” he recently told MTV News. “It was a moment when I was like, I’ve got to write about that because the fact that I got so passionate about it so quickly means that there is a song there.”
The solo star just released his single “Jealous” off his upcoming self-titled album (due out November 11) and the singer is embracing his R&B influences, much like he did with the preceding track, “Chains.” But this time he’s bringing a funkier upbeat sound that is refreshing and much different than anything we’ve heard from the youngest Jonas brother.
Meanwhile, Nick has been promoting his new single by showing off his body.
Source:MTV& thoseinstagrams& this Tumblr
Nev Schulman, host of MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show,” only found his true self after someone hid their own from him.
In the 2010 documentary “Catfish,” Schulman exposed a troubled housewife in the Midwest who had lured him into an online relationship by posing as a gorgeous young woman.
In his new book, “In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age” (Grand Central), Schulman reveals his own dirty little secrets by way of encouraging everyone to be more honest about themselves.
“I was a d—,” the 29-year-old says. “I always put other people down. And I was aggressively flirtatious with single and not-single women.”
Schulman, who with his brother Ariel (Rel), owned a photo/film production agency in New York that became even hotter after the success of the documentary, decided to change his ways when he landed the television show “Catfish” in 2012.
He did so by becoming celibate and quitting Facebook.
“I knew this was my window of opportunity, this was the moment that if I was ever going to grow up and become the guy I wanted to be, it was now,” Schulman says.
“I was spending too much time pursuing women and other distractions.”
The celibacy ended after 265 days when he found himself in a meaningful relationship with indie musician Shanee Pink. But he has never returned to Facebook, except for a fan page. These days he’s wary of false selves.
“If you are on Facebook, Instagram or any social media that requires an online identity and profile, even if you are totally honest, you are still not representing your true self,” says Schulman. “You are curating who you are.”
Schulman and co-host Max Joseph have spent three seasons on “Catfish” introducing “hopefuls” to the cruel reality of their online relationships. Often they find that even if they’re not the victim of an outright hoax, the person they’ve fallen into a virtual romance with has been lying about one or more critical matters.
Manti Te’o, now an NFL linebacker, became the subject of national ridicule in 2013 when it was revealed that the girlfriend whose tragic death he had sobbed about before the cameras was actually a man who had been duping him online for years.
But Schulman says most catfishing begins with lesser deceptions that grow. And in many cases, the victim is looking for a fraudulent relationship too, though they wouldn’t put it that way.
“What many people are looking for in an online relationship is a very specific, very controlled level of affection. It’s a very selfish way to go into a relationship. But they do that because they are not willing to take their real selves into the real world.”
Schulman freely admits that his own feelings of inadequacy made him vulnerable to the overtures of Angela Wesselman, the 39-old-housewife who first posed as an 8-year-old girl and then her 19-year-old sister, Megan, to draw Schulman into a romantic relationship online.
Wesselman, exposed in the documentary “Catfish,” obviously had her problems. But Schulman stresses that what catfishers and hopefuls have in common is that neither is willing to deal with the personal issues that stand in the way of having a meaningful relationship in real life.
“Hopefuls and catfish are two sides of the same coin,” he writes. “I thought I could put all the negative stuff away in a box — the hypersexuality, the lack of focus, the general d—ishness — and work on trying to be the good person I hoped to be.”
The problem was that it was so much easier to pass himself off as a better person online than to become one in real life.
Schulman says he quit Facebook because he wanted actual rather than virtual friendships. And love. He was finally willing to make changes that were much harder than merely glossing his profile.
“It was the single best decision I’ve ever made,” he says. “Being loved, or liked for your real self... is worth anything you have to do to get there.”
"It has a more universal message, which is passionately anti-war," Roger Waters says.
If a concert film can be emotional and even require a tissue, Roger Waters The Wall is it.
Roger Waters Premieres His New Doc at Toronto International Film Festival
Film Festival Saturday (Sept. 6) night for the world premiere of this unique live concert documentary. The film takes his strong anti-war stance and interweaves a highly personal mission into concert footage from his 2010-2013 sold out The Wall Live tour, which actually started in Toronto.
The 133-minute documentary, which includes all 26 songs from Pink Floyd’s 1979 album, The Wall, is still seeking a distributor.
“The only difference in the movie is that I’ve made a road movie about visiting the graves of both my grandfather and my father -- well, my father doesn’t have a grave because his remains were never found. He died in 1934 at Anzio [Italy] in the Second World War, but there is a memorial to him which during the movie I visit,” Waters told Billboard before the screening.
“I basically visit all kinds of serious iconic places with friends of mine from the past, in this movie. I hope that that road movie is integrated within the context of the concert movie we’ve made and serves to accentuate some of the points that we made in the concert.”
Waters worked closely with co-director and co-writer Sean Evans, the creative director on The Wall Live and previous visuals designer for Waters’ 2006-2008 The Dark Side of the Moon Live tour and his opera Ça Ira.
“It has to do with his impetus for writing The Wall,” Evans says of the narrative component to the film. “It’s all one big circle and it’s great how it all ties back.”
In The Wall Live -- based on the songs from Pink Floyd’s classic double album, The Wall, and subsequent tour -- Waters hammered home the idea that war is commerce and the immense cost in human lives. The stage show includes military costumes, animation of fighter planes and bombs, and dozens of fan-submitted photos of people all over the world whose lives were lost to war in this last century.
The original album and Alan Parker’s legendary 1982 film were based on the destructive life of an isolated rock star whose father was killed in action during World War II.
“I wrote this piece nearly 40 years ago. It came to me a few years ago that it had a broader message than the original message of the whiny guy who spat at the kid in Montreal in 1977,” Waters says, referencing his notorious reaction to a disruptive fan during Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh/Animals tour.
“And it has a more universal message, which is passionately anti-war, believing that war is a business -- Smedley Butler’s whole ‘War Is A Racket.’ It’s all about people making money. It actually doesn’t help the people who are expected to be collateral damage -- and most casualties in modern warfare are civilians.”
Like the concert, the documentary includes all The Wall songs in chronological order, but Waters’ road trip makes the message more powerful. He is not just looking at war from the outside; he knows firsthand the lifelong pain such loss has on the families of those left behind.
As the end credits roll, he respectfully shows all the photos of fallen loved ones.
After the screening, Waters did a 25-minute Q&A session, telling the audience at the Elgin Theatre he hoped this new film version of The Wall is “more universal and ecumenical and anti-war and humanitarian than the original version that I did with my much loved old colleagues from Pink Floyd, Dave and Rick and Nick.”
He added another hope -- that we’d “find a different way of organizing our politics and our commerce that don’t require that we murder each other.”
“Because we are all brothers and sisters under the skin and above it,” he says. “I know it sounds ridiculous to say, but it’s super important that we stop lopping bombs over the top of the wall and start trying to dismantle it so that we can say ‘Hi’ to whoever is on the other side, whether the divide is religious or nationalistic or political or economical.”
Roger Waters Premieres His New Doc at Toronto International Film Festival
"Roger Waters: The Wall" chronicles his recent tour covering the seminal 1979 Pink Floyd album.
Roger Waters celebrated his 71st birthday in style with a world premiere of his new documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival.
When the former Pink Floyd front man walked out on stage to introduce the film, a fan in the packed Elgin Theater screamed out happy birthday. That began an impromptu chorus of "Happy Birthday," and Waters graciously acknowledged his age with an expletive.
Waters told the audience he began working with co-director Sean Evans five years ago to update the show with a more ecumenical and anti-war approach. Since it kicked off four years ago in Toronto, the tour has grossed nearly $500 million.
Waters came back out for the post-film Q&A to a standing ovation. Moderated by TIFF CEO Piers Handling, the question of Waters' strong political feelings and the criticism he received for it came up early.
Waters politely responded by saying that his strong, humane traits came from his parents, but he wasn't there to defend himself or fight with anybody.
The musician has spoken out about Israeli treatment of Palestinians and has refused to play any shows in Israel.
The film does not have a release date.
Nicki Minaj Pink Print album release still not determined, album will feature a collaboration with Remy Ma.
The 31-year-old Queens-born rapper is set to release a new album, titled The Pink Print.
According to sources, release was initially reported to be on November 28, but recently, Minaj reps informed Billboard that the release date has not yet been determined.
The album would follow Minaj's 2012 record Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The hit, "Anaconda", "Pills N Potions", as well as "Chi-Raq" and the Soulja Boy-featuring "Yasss Bish!!", are just but a few of those songs Minaj previewed as new materials, but nonetheless, there is still no news on the tracklist.
During an interview with MTV, Minaj explains that the album's title is a "hats off" and reinterpretation to Jay-Z's famous 2001 LP, The Blueprint.
"I wanted to do that, I wanted to be like Jay Z," she explained. "I felt like with what I'm doing, I want female rappers to be able to pattern themselves with what I've done one day."
Minaj described the album as "more stripped", according to Billboard, where Minaj later gave the following quirky plug while on the red carpet of this years' Billboard Music Awards:
"It sounds like betrayal. It sounds like running. It sounds like fainting. It sounds like love. It sounds like... *gasp!*"
In an interview with Hot 97, Minaj explains her strong interest to collaborate with Remy Ma: the highly influential Bronx MC who had just finished an eight-year sentence for charges of assault, weapons possession and attempted coercion. "As soon as she get out, Rem holla at me," she said.
Marvel's Captain America talks about finally directing his first movie and his inauspicious film debut in new episode of “Drinking With the Stars” from Toronto
Forgot tags, sorry mods. BAE DON’T DO ME, YOUR WHITE PRIVILEGE IS SHOWING!
Playing the foil to a laundry list of new releases, the deluxe version of One Direction’s new album “FOUR,” which is currently only eligible for pre-order, claims the #1 spot on iTunes’ album sales chart. The standard issue of the album, which releases alongside the deluxe version in November, is positioned impressively at #13.
Lecrease’s “Anomaly,” the runner-up to the 1D pre-release, is the top seller among actually available albums. The new release is currently outselling Jhene Aiko’s new “Souled Out” (#3), BANKS’ new “Goddess” (#4) and Vance Joy’s new “Dream Your Life Away” (#5).
Ryan Adams’ “Ryan Adams,” Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance,” Dustin Lynch’s “Where it’s At” and Interpol’s “El Pintor,” all new releases, claim the next four respective positions on the chart. Maroon 5′s “V,” which debuted last week, holds the #10 position on iTunes. The first round of actually sales forecasts, which will include data from digital and physical retailers, is due by Wednesday afternoon.
Sept. 7: at Lela Rose Spring 2015 looking like she did her own hair and makeup 10 minutes before the show
Sept. 8: at alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet Spring 2015 with better hair and makeup and serving dead behind the eyes face
how cute are the shoes tho
earlier that day at Adeam Spring 2015 being side-eyed
and an interview about the teen wolf finale
MTV has given us our first look at the new additions to The Hobbit POP! Vinyl figures from Funko. In this assortment we get 2 larger 6” Smaug Vinyls with varying eye colours. Also included in the wave are Sauron and Tauriel. Look for these figures on shelves next month!
TORONTO - Comedy talk show host Jon Stewart is pulling for Olivia Chow.
The Daily Show political satirist championed the mayoral candidate on the TIFF red carpet for Monday’s premiere of Rosewater. The first film he directed and co-wrote, Rosewater is about a journalist who was detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison.
“From what I’ve read and seen about (Mayor) Rob Ford, there are some skeletons,” Stewart said at the Princess of Wales Theatre. “I haven’t been (to City Hall) yet ... but I’m going to go.”
Chow said she was flattered by Stewart’s endorsement and “won’t disappoint” him.
“Of course, he’s right,” she said. “I’m the only progressive candidate and that’s in line with what he has been talking about in the States.”
Stewart, according to other media reports, had made similar remarks Sunday during a Mavericks panel at TIFF.
Chow said she is a fan of Stewart and has watched The Daily Show and picked up his books in the past. She said she has been amused by his commentary on Ford.
“He has been very progressive in his approach in an entertaining way, and I think his prediction (of me making a comeback) is correct,” she said of Stewart. “I’ve laughed many times on his various reports on Ford.”
Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari spent five months imprisoned in solitary confinement in Iran after he was accused of being a spy. Bahari had covered Iran’s controversial elections in 2009 and taped a spoof interview with comic Jason Jones that aired on The Daily Show.
“Whenever I say that I spent 170 days in solitary confinement, people ask me if I was also tortured and I tell them, ‘That is a redundant question,’ because solitary confinement is the worst kind of torture,” Bahari said.
Gael Garcia Bernal, who portrays Bahari in the film, said the most disturbing thing he realized while in the shoes of a detained journalist is “this kind of thing happens all over the world. It’s not only subject to tyrannical regimes.”
Rosewater is on Chow’s TIFF movie list, but she has not yet seen it.
“Journalists that put their lives on the line to tell the truth and to give us a fair account of what is happening — their story needs to be told,” she said. “Solitary confinement for all these years is a very tough ordeal, so I’m glad Jon Stewart is telling that story.”
Rob Ford is 'best mayor in Toronto history' says Mike Tyson
'I'm not going to comment on his personal life,' says Toronto mayor of former boxer
Mike Tyson declared Rob Ford the "best mayor in Toronto history" on Tuesday at an unexpected meeting at city hall.
Mayor Rob Ford tweeted this picture of his meeting with former boxer Mike Tyson at Toronto City Hall.
The mayor and former boxing champion spoke to reporters, after a brief closed-door meeting, about their shared experience with scandal, personal problems and the media. "We're cut from the same cloth," said Ford.
Tyson said Ford's problems are no different from anyone else's, except that he is in the media's spotlight.
"He has a troubled past because he has 24-hour surveillance of the press," said Tyson of Ford. "Do you prefer him to be a guy who's clean-cut but behind the doors you never know what he's doing?"
Tyson said he prefers to know what the mayor's problems are, rather than have those problems hidden from the public eye.
Tyson is on tour for his one-man show, Undisputed Truth. He was in Toronto on Tuesday for his appearance at the Air Canada Centre. (Stephen Flood/The Express-Times/Associated Press)
He ended the brief scrum by announcing that Ford is "the best mayor in Toronto history."
Ford earlier said he "idolized" and "respected" Tyson.
Tyson is in town for his one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, at the Air Canada Centre, and phoned the mayor for a meeting.
Tyson was arrested in 1991 on rape charges in Indiana. He was found guilty in 1992 and served three years in prison.
"I'm not going to comment on his personal life," said Ford, earlier in the day, when asked about meeting the ex-convict. "I've never met the man. I'm interested in what he has to say."
Tyson is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers to ever get in the ring.
He famously bit off part of Evander Holyfield's ear in a 1997 bout.
Since Tyson's retirement from professional boxing, the New York native has appeared in films like The Hangover and embarked on his live tour.
Ford has met with with many celebrities and sports stars, including other former professional boxers such as Canadians George Chuvalo and Charles (Spider) Jones, who have both endorsed him in past.
Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga is pop's greatest provocateur; Tony Bennett is the last of the old-school crooners. But they've found much in common on their new album
At Joanne Trattoria on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, they serve their family-style cuisine with a side order of Italian-American jazz. This particular summer afternoon the atmosphere at Lady Gaga’s parents’ restaurant is distinctly relaxed. The lunchtime rush is over – some Japanese fans, busy having their photograph taken at their table, are the only other patrons – and both Joe and Cynthia Germanotta happen to be in the house. They’re extremely hospitable, both as my host and hostess, and as the proud mother and father of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, the biggest pop star in the world.
“You know,” says Mr Germanotta of his elder daughter, “she won a jazz competition when she was about 14 or 15. That was her roots: she was trained in jazz. It’s a great foundation for singing.”
Another foundation was supplied in the family home. “Oh sure I played Tony Bennett at home,” adds the hearty proprietor, as proud an Italian New Yorker as they come. “Especially when you’re in the restaurant business, you put him on all the time. Tony Bennett is an old American staple.”
That he is. A star of a bygone age and the last of his era, 88-year-old Anthony Dominick Benedetto recorded his first single, Fascinating Rhythm/Vieni Qui, in April 1949, in New York’s Decca studios. His 14th single, 1951’s Because of You, gave him his first hit, selling a million copies. The same year he was headlining the city’s Paramount Theatre, playing seven shows a day. He hasn’t stopped since, releasing – in Joe’s estimation – “300 albums or something like that”. Friend, peer and rival Frank Sinatra paid him the ultimate compliment: “Tony Bennett has four sets of balls.”
And then there’s Lady Gaga. The quintessential modern pop star, with her 42 million Twitter followers – or, Little Monsters, as they proudly and devotionally style themselves – myriad costume changes (even offstage, and often in the same day), outrageous wigs, over-the-top concert spectaculars, admissions of emotional and narcotic weakness, and dresses made of meat.
When Bennett first heard her, he confidently predicted she’d be “bigger than Elvis”. He also called her “the Picasso of pop”, a claim that holds slightly more water than it might otherwise given Bennett’s status as a keen painter.
“Tony heard her, they did something together, and then he said, ‘Let’s do a whole collaboration,’ ’’ recounts a pleased-as-punch Mr Germanotta. “And I’ve been sitting in the studio and it’s just been incredible. They have chemistry.”
As much is evident 20 blocks and three hours later. In an uptown recording studio Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are sitting down together. Five songs from that “whole collaboration”, a covers album called Cheek to Cheek, is today being unveiled through giant speakers. Well, they’re unveiling five of their faithful covers of standards culled from the Great American Songbook.
That simpatico relationship is also evident on Gaga’s flesh. True to form, she’s put her art on her sleeve – a Bennett sketch of Miles Davis’s trumpet, including the artist’s signature (“Benedetto”), is tattooed on her arm. The skin is still red, raw and angry-looking. Presented close-up with this evidence of her devotion, I swear the old-school singer blanches a little.
The jumping-off point for the project was “something they did together”: a recording of The Lady is a Tramp, which opened Bennett’s 2011 album Duets II. It was a crowded compilation that had the elder statesman partnering with 16 other singers, including Amy Winehouse, Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin and k.d. lang – and was itself the sequel to 2006’s Duets: An American Classic, which featured 19 singers (Bono, Sting, Juanes, some people with two names).
But on Cheek to Cheek, both the song and the album, it only takes two to tango. “Well, that was the first record we talked about actually,” begins Gaga of a song written for the 1935 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat. Those are big shoes to fill, and to her credit – on one listen anyway – Gaga does a genre-appropriate and respectful job, sounding a little like Dinah Washington.
“This is the Great American Songbook,” she continues. Her New York accent is strong, but she seems to be dialling down, or holding back, her normal impassioned speaking style in deference to a man of whom she’s clearly in awe. Gaga is dressed demurely, for her: today’s wig is one colour (black) and one length (long).
Bennett, sitting within hand-holding distance in an adjacent armchair, is smartly suited and coiffed. She smiles reverently at him before carrying on. “It’s meant to be sung till the end of time. And Cheek to Cheek is the most simple and most beautiful way you can describe this relationship. Nothing matters except that we are together and we are having a conversation with jazz.”
This pair of New York-Italians first met at a 2011 hometown gala benefit hosted by the Robin Hood Foundation. What did Bennett know or think of Lady Gaga before that encounter? He seems not to hear or understand my question, which may be as much to do with my accent as anything. He replies in his low, gravelly, methodical speaking voice that, “it was the first time I ever saw her perform. I could not believe the audience reaction to her.
“I’ve been around long enough to know what every artist does. But this audience – it wasn’t just that one night, but every time I see her… and it’s not just little tiny children. She has an audience of all ages that are singing the songs that she performs. And they’re all singing in unison with her. So the audience just adores her.”
Since her emergence five years ago, Lady Gaga has had titanic success. Her third studio album, last year’s Artpop, may not have met with the same critical and commercial acclaim as its predecessors The Fame and (to a lesser extent) Born This Way. But 200 million record sales don’t go away overnight, and she’s still a huge global force; next month her global Artrave tour comes to the UK’s arenas.
Still, for all her seemingly Teflon-coated confidence, she’s no pop autobot. She admits that when she first went into the studio to record The Lady is a Tramp, her nerves were such that she resorted to a shot or two of whisky.
“Well of course I was so nervous!” Gaga retorts when I mention this.
“Yeah, but you showed up so prepared,” soothes Bennett.
“Well that’s ’cause I was nervous!” she repeats, laughing.
But she wasn’t drunk? She shoots me an as-if look.
“No, it takes more than a few whiskys to take me down, I’ll tell you,” snorts this woman with a predilection for partying. “But of course I was nervous, he’s so…”
“You know what?” interjects Bennett. “Every great performer I’ve ever met, they’re extremely nervous because they care so much. They want to make sure the audience gets the whole thing. Am I gonna remember all the words? Are the musicians gonna play with me so that it’s natural? Are the lights right? Everything. You just wonder what’s gonna happen before you hit that stage.”
Bennett knows of what he speaks: despite his multiple cojones, Bennett used to vomit with fear before performances or recordings.
“Now the artists don’t feel that nervousness,” he offers sagely, “there’s something flat that happens when they walk out. There’s a lack of energy. The audience sees that so they just…”
Bennett mimics a desultory, bored clap.
“But another performer with that live energy, right away the audience responds to it… And the best artists – Sinatra, Lena Horne, the greatest artists that I’ve ever met and watched and performed [with], were the ones – Ella Fitzgerald!” he exclaims, “before she hits the stage she almost forgets what her name is. That’s how she works.”
I ask Gaga about the jazz contest that her father had mentioned.
“The all-state jazz competition,” she nods. “It was students all over New York state. You win within your sector, then you got to go to this convention upstate in New York where everybody would compete for all sorts of medals and beautiful plaques. And I was the only person chosen from my school and I was so proud and happy to go.
“And it was always a great experience for me to be around people that loved music, ’cause I didn’t have a great performing arts programme at my school. That’s why I love Tony so much ’cause he has all those performing arts programmes and he cares so much about education and art.”
In 2001 Bennett opened the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) in his home neighbourhood of Astoria in Queens. Four years ago the programme was expanded to seven public schools in New York. Earlier in the week of our meeting, the pair had surprised 700 students at the FSSA with an appearance in the Tony Bennett Concert Hall, fielding questions and singing The Very Thought of You (him) and Every Time we Say Goodbye (her).
Having heard (once) her versions of Anything Goes, Mad About The Boy and It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it Ain’t Got That Swing), I can attest that Gaga does seem to have been having a whale of a time singing these standards. And as Bennett affirms, “boy can she belt ’em out”.
But whence that passion? In a press statement released when the album was announced, Gaga was quoted as saying: “It’s liberating to be singing jazz, and especially at this point in my career.” How so and why “especially” now?
“Well, it’s been extremely liberating for me ’cause jazz is rebellious. And I’m a rebel at heart. So in that way it’s also me rebelling against my own pop music – that’s really exciting for me. But I think the thing that has been the most powerful has been, there’s a part of me that has been quiet for a long time that is now being reawakened, after years of producers and record label people telling me to make my voice sound more radio-friendly.
“Since The Fame, The Fame Monster and Born This Way, they’ve been auto-tuning it more, or changing the timbre. They take the vibrato out so you sound like a robot.”
Before I can step in with a question – viz, “is that the truth? A major artist of your widely reported control?” – Tony’s beat me to it.
“Jeez!” he says.
“…they really control you,” she nods, “especially in the beginning. Although it was still my songs, and I still had a lot to say about the production, the vocal was something that they really, really wanted to control. So my vocal presence has been kind of the smallest presence about me for a long time. So everything else becomes the focal point.”
Enter the jazz cavalry. Eyes blazing, she affirms that the Cheek to Cheek project, and specifically Bennett, have “let a wild animal out of a cage…
“So when I say ‘at this point in my career’, he’s changed my life for me because he’s gonna make my art better from this moment on. Because he said: ‘Hey, you’re so much better than you’re even letting yourself be.’ ”
Does Bennett agree, that she wasn’t reaching her full vocal potential on her pop records? He replies that she “needs to be left alone and she should sing how she feels”. Sinatra, Ella, Nat King Cole – they all did that. He, then, is aligning her with those 20th-century vocal greats. Gentlemanly unimpressed as he is with social media stats and tabloid kerfuffles, he seems able to see past all the bells and whistles and wigs and steak frocks and focus on the singer within.
“See, it’s so funny,” chips in Gaga. “I think you’re right – a lot of people don’t know where I am because it’s so, um, eccentric to them, the way that I am. But he just sees an artist. And he hears the voice. I think the way I am is actually more old school than people realise.”
Our carefully calibrated time is nearly up. The duo are doing only a handful of interviews worldwide. But two days ago they undertook a nine-hour shoot with fashion photographer Steven Klein and, well, Bennett is both legend and old man, one with his own painting and concert schedule. Plus, Gaga’s world tour extravaganza restarts soon. Time with the pair of them, then, is at a premium.
Before they go, I ask about Lush Life. There’s a weariness in Gaga’s voice as she sings the Thirties standard: “I used to visit all the very gay places, those come-what-may places, where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life, to get the feel of life from jazz and cocktails…” And: “life is lonely again, and only last year, everything seemed so assured, now life is awful again…”
Might that song be a depiction of the last couple of years of Gaga’s life? Among other setbacks, a hip injury forced her to cancel the end of her Born This Way tour, she split with her long-standing manager, and she admitted to heavy use of marijuana – seemingly it took 15 to 20 joints a day to cope with physical and mental distress.
“It is an autobiographical song,” she affirms. “And I said that to Tony the second I sang it to him in the studio. And I was crying and he put his arms around me and I said, ‘Tony, I just feel like I’m such a mess, and I don’t want to be a mess for you.’ And he said, ‘You’re not, you’re a sophisticated lady!’ Then he sang that song [Sophisticated Lady] back to me.
“That song,” she goes on, referring again to Lush Life, “I sang it when I was 13 years old. Mr Phillips, the jazz director at the Regis High School, gave that song to me and said: ‘You could sing the hell out of this song’. And I didn’t know what it was about, but it’s like I sang it into reality, into existence. Singing that song with Tony, putting that down – gosh it was like therapy, you know?
“And,” she adds, “I don’t like to say that about music ’cause it’s not really therapy – I really love to do it. But that was really a therapeutic moment for me: to revisit singing jazz and then letting out all of that… the pain of fame.”
“The pain of fame,” murmurs Bennett, roused by the default talkative passion that Gaga has clearly been stoppering thus far through deference to her partner. “That’s good,” he chuckles.
Has making Cheek to Cheek changed her as an artist and a person? “Yes. Absolutely. He has made me so happy in the way that I really needed to feel. He’s really, like, saved my life.”
Really? “Yeah, he really has. ’Cause I really love music, and I really love being a singer, but I really hate being put in a box. And when I get put in a box I get very like a wild animal. And he let me be free. And I get to be with him while I’m doing it, and he’s teaching me all these life lessons, and I’m singing music I’ve loved my whole life. There’s no better music than the Great American Songbook. There just isn’t.
“And I feel a sense of confidence about myself as a musician that I always felt in the beginning. And then now I’m like: that’s right, you’re a cat. You got this. This is who you are. And,” she beams, looking headlong at Uncle Tony and clutching his hand, “it’s ’cause I got him by my side.”
To return to Sinatra’s famous description of Bennett: Tony, how many sets of balls does Lady Gaga have?
He gives a raspy laugh and outs her: “About 10!”
Gaga laughs, delighted.
“Don’t tell them all my secrets, Tony!”
Great interview I'm sure no one will read
When Starz first brought Outlander to the Television Critics Association, they had not even shot any of it yet. The pedigree of the Diana Gabaldon books and producer Ron Moore was enough to announce production on the series back in January. I interviewed Catroina Balfe way back then, and now that Outlander is
four five episodes into its first season, everyone has gotten to know her.
Balfe plays Claire Randall a combat nurse from the 1940s who is transported back in time to the 1740s. Time travel, the producer of Battlestar Galactica, and the network that brought the blood and boobies of Spartacus means Outlander is on Nuke the Fridge’s radar. Outlander airs
Friday Saturday nights on Starz.
Nuke the Fridge: This must be a huge opportunity for you.
Caitriona Balfe: It is, definitely, yeah.
Nuke: How competitive were the auditions for Claire?
Caitriona Balfe: Well, I wasn’t aware of the huge search. I heard about it much later. I think my manager sent it to me in August. I think Sam [Heughan] had already been cast in June so they were looking for about three or four months. I self taped. I sent it from L.A. to London and then I found out about two or three weeks later that they wanted to test me and they’d flown Sam over to L.A. because they were testing a few different actresses there. But I found out within a week that I got it and then three days later they were putting me on a plane and sending me off to Glasgow.
Nuke: And your name is pronounced “Katrina?”
Caitriona Balfe: It’s pronounced “Katrina,” yeah. It’s Gaelic.
Nuke: Is that a common Gaelic spelling of it?
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, in Ireland that’s pretty common. There’s usually an accent on the second I.
Nuke: Were you aware of the Outlander books before this audition?
Caitriona Balfe: I didn’t know of them but when I got the first audition, sometimes you just get two scenes and a very brief synopsis. It wasn’t until I knew I was going back that I figured out it was a book, and then I went and bought the book at my local book store. It was quite funny that I was at Book Soup in West Hollywood. He said, “You know they’re making a TV series out of it?” I was like, “Oh really, that’s cool.” He said, “Yeah, Ron D. Moore is producing it. I wrote my thesis on him.” So I had this really interesting chat with the guy.
Nuke: Now it’ll be you on the cover of the book.
Caitriona Balfe: Oh, you never know.
Nuke: I hope you go back and sign a copy for that book store.
Caitriona Balfe: I know, I should do. I love that bookstore. It’s my favorite.
Nuke: Both eras Claire finds herself in are the past to us. How big a shock is it for her to go from 1945 to 1743?
Caitriona Balfe: For her, it’s a huge shock. For me as an actor, I really only concentrated on making Claire as much a woman of the ‘40s as I could because everything for her when she goes back to the 1700s is new. It’s as new to her as it is to me, so I didn’t really have to look at that very much at all. Definitely I just focused on the ‘40s, the music of the time, the films of the time, reading as much as I could about that time period.
Nuke: Which films of the ‘40s did you watch?
Caitriona Balfe: Oh, I love His Girl Friday, Rebecca. There was a movie I saw when I was sick as an eight-year-old that has always stayed with me. I don’t know why. It’s this silly British romantic comedy called Gertie’s Garter. That was one I had to find again. I just watched some Hitchcock stuff. That’s been really fun, and I found this great CD of British wartime big band jazz, listening to a lot of that stuff. It’s been fun immersing myself in that world.
Nuke: Do the subsequent books return Claire to her time, or does she become more natural in the 1700s?
Caitriona Balfe: I don’t know. I’ve only read the first book. The first book is the first season so I had three days when I found out I was cast to go to Scotland and ever since then my head’s been down and working, so I haven’t had a lot of time to attack the other books.
Nuke: Who is Claire Randall to you?
Caitriona Balfe: It’s been really funny, the more I spend time with her and the more I’m working. I see so many similarities between us but she’s much more courageous. She’s a very strong, strong character and I think playing that role has given me a lot of strength. I’m embarking on the biggest job of my career to date. It’s been a really big responsibility. The first six episodes are told solely through my point of view so it’s a huge workload. I think she’s really strong-willed, a strong woman, tenacious. I think in a strange way playing her has given me a lot of that strength.
Nuke: Do subsequence episodes branch off and follow some of the other characters more?
Caitriona Balfe: I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to do it. I think we’re not going to be exclusively form my point of view all the time. Mainly because I think I would probably fall down and die, and I think it’s also more interesting for the audience to see it form other people’s point of view too but I’m not sure exactly how they’re dealing with it.
Nuke: Being Starz, how explicit or juicy can the romance get?
Caitriona Balfe: Well, for anyone who’s read the books, Diana does not hold back. It’s romantic but it’s not fluffy at all. There’s nothing sappy about the story at all. It’s quite gritty. It’s quite raw and real. I’ve filmed some sex scenes already but they’re very integral to the storyline and they’re not really gratuitous at all. Claire is a very sexually comfortable, sexually active woman and they show that. I think it’s all in keeping with the story.
Nuke: With both men?
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, my husband in the 40s and then Jamie in 1743.
Nuke: In the ‘40s she’s a combat nurse. Did you do any research on that?
Caitriona Balfe: I did. I found this great book, which my grandmother was actually a nurse during the Second World War. So I found this great book about the Queen Victoria Nurses who were combat field nurses. It’s all firsthand accounts of all of these nurses, and it was incredible reading about what they had gone through. They were right up there in the front lines. That was when I really felt like I found Claire, reading these women’s stories because you kind of tend to think that people back then were so much nicer, more polite and they didn’t have sex or get drunk or any of those things, but these women were really courageous and brave but they were funny. They got into trouble and they snuck off to see their boyfriends and all that. It brought the whole thing to life for me. That was a really great door to that world for me.
Nuke: Had you spent much time in Scotland before?
Caitriona Balfe: I have one of my oldest friends in Edinbrugh so I’ve been to Edinbrugh quite a few times, but Glasgow I haven’t spent much time. That’s where we were based. And I haven’t really traveled outside of Glasgow so it’s been really nice seeing. It’s gorgeous. The countryside is awesome.
Nuke: Did you have to do any physical training for Outlander?
Caitriona Balfe: We did quite a lot of boot camp for horse riding, which was really fun. I had ridden horses sort of when I was kid. I’d never really taken proper lessons but our neighbor used to have a horse. There used to be about four or five of us on it and I was the smallest one so I’d be at the top of the neck. Whenever it would bend its head, I would fall off. So it was really nice to get some proper riding lessons. We’re jumping on and off horses quite a lot. The guys are horse riding and sword fighting and all that kind of thing. That was mostly mine. The lads obviously had to do a lot more swordfighting and fight training, all that kind of thing.
Nuke: Is it English style or side saddle?
Caitriona Balfe: No, I’m not doing that. I’m doing it the rough and ready way like the boys are. It’s quite interesting with the costumes because I have a lot of fabric, these big heavy wool skirts and stuff. So mounting and dismounting the horse is quite difficult.
Nuke: Do you have one horse that’s yours on the set?
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, in the story, in the books as well.
Nuke: But in movies and TV they can use multiple horses to play the same one.
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, but I have mine, Travis, who’s this gorgeous chestnut fat fluffy guy. He’s very funny.
Nuke: He’s a fat horse?
Caitriona Balfe: He’s slightly fat.
Nuke: Which period do you prefer, the 1940s or 1740s?
Caitriona Balfe: I don’t know. I don’t know that I prefer one or the other. I love the 1940s. I think also just because it’s so much more relatable. We have visual images on it because we have films from there and we know the music from there and everything. But, I’m really enjoying learning so much about the 1700s and that time period. It’s always surprising how little has changed and how people are always the same.
outlander tag pls ~:)
Everyone's talking about it: This year's two female acting categories are, at this admittedly early date, looking extremely thin. In the lead actress category, of what has already been screened, the one and only slam-dunk contender is Reese Witherspoon (Wild). Of what is still to come, Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) could get in, Amy Adams (Big Eyes) is always a possibility and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) has a plum part — but really, who knows?
This possible opening has been recognized by the teams behind the two most serious best supporting actress contenders, Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), both of which are now weighing whether or not it makes sense to give up a relatively sure-fire nom and possible win in the less prestigious of the two acting categories in order to vie for a nom in the other one. (Rounding out the field of potential supporting actress candidates is Keira Knightley for her turn in The Imitation Game.)
I mention all of this because it is in this larger context that Julianne Moore's magnificent performance in Still Alice, an acquisition title that I saw today at its second screening at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival, just landed.
Still Alice is an adaptation of Lisa Genova's best-selling 2007 novel of the same title, written for the screen and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. The 53-year-old Moore plays a wife, mother and accomplished academic who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease and has to deal with that news and its implications for her and her family (played by Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart, among others).
In any year, a nuanced and heartbreaking performance like this one, which features several show-stopping scenes and has left TIFF audiences in tears, would be a serious threat to land a best actress nomination. But in this year, I believe that should a competent distributor acquire this film and set a 2014 release date, Moore — one of the most liked and respected actresses of her generation, but a perennial Oscar bridesmaid (she's 0-for-4 so far and deserved twice that number of noms) — would immediately become the potential favorite to win the best actress Oscar.
That would be poetic justice, since Moore reportedly won't be getting an Oscar campaign, if even a Golden Globes campaign, for her other big 2014 performance: David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, for which she was awarded this year's best actress award at Cannes by that film's U.S. distributor, Focus World.
Review from hitfx:
Moore’s performance here is reminiscent of her breakthrough role in Todd Haynes' “Safe” and her Oscar-nominated turn in Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours.” In each scene she peels a little bit more of Alice away as the emotional pain of the disease takes its toll. It is incredibly subtle work that has to have been painstakingly thought out. You only realize this, however, walking out of the theater. Moore won’t let you see her working behind the curtain.
Review from hollywoodreporter:
Rather than focus on the destructive effect of the disease on relationships, the drama dives deep into how one woman experiences her own deteriorating condition, placing all the emphasis on Moore’s face and reactions, her vulnerability seesawing with her strength. This insider’s account would be a tall order for any actor to fill without resorting to sentimentality or falling into the obvious, but she never loses control of the film for a second, with able support from Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish as family members. The involvement of the Alzheimer’s Association and executive producing names like Christine Vachon, Maria Shriver and Trudie Styler will offer an additional leg up, although word of mouth should provide the strongest incentive for audiences leery of the topic[...]
Despite a two-hour running time, the drama is swift-moving, perhaps because the viewer dreads the disease's progression and wishes time would stop for poor Alice. But it doesn't stop, and step by step she descends the cognitive ladder, not suffering so much as struggling to stay connected. In one standout scene, she stumbles onto suicide instructions she has left for herself on her computer. Though this is one of the film's most intense scenes, the directors are able to slip in a moment's humor to lighten things up.
source: hollywoodreporter2, hitfx
the hollywood reporter calls it "career-high performance, driving straight to the terror of the disease and its power to wipe out personal certainties and identity"
G.R.L. singer Simone Battle had been struggling with financial problems before committing suicide ... TMZ has learned.
We know friends and family members told law enforcement ... Battle was depressed over money issues recently -- the family wasn't specific but they were clear ... money was bringing her down.
The family didn't quite understand, because Battle was part of a successful singing group that had just completed an overseas tour.
People close to Battle told cops ... she was frustrated that she hadn't hit in the U.S. and worried she never would. Apparently Battle wasn't cutting it financially overseas.
We broke the story ... the 25-year-old singer was found hanging from a clothing rod in a bedroom closet of her West Hollywood home. Her boyfriend found the body about 8:30 A.M. We're told he had last seen her alive about 5 hours earlier.
Dave Green was the first "Utopia" pioneer to leave the compound and in a call with the press Tuesday (Sept. 9), he tells reporters that he thinks he should have stayed.
The full album of NSFW are HERE
Mods, I hope this post is okay, both sources are documented. This show is such a mess, the ratings are lackluster and the plot lacks focus, if the show gets canceled, do the people stay in Utopia for a whole year as planned, who knows, who cares...