Summer may be winding down, but when it comes to entertainment, the year has just begun. Much like the film business, the music industry releases its big guns in the second half of the year, with some of the most anticipated albums of the year slated to be dropped in the fall. The influx of new indie and DIY artists has kept the music scene interesting, but for all you old schoolers yearning for some new music from familiar names, fall will definitely be your season.
Wu-Tang Clan: A Better Tomorrow (TBA)Although there’s no official release date as of yet, Wu-Tang Clan’s sixth studio album, A Better Tomorrow, is tentatively scheduled to be released in November. The album is a milestone, marking the group’s 20th anniversary, and will feature the late, great ODB’s vocals on a few tracks.
The Roots & Elvis Costello: Wise Up Ghost (September 17)What do you get when you put one of the greatest hip hop acts with one of the greatest rockers? Pure awesomeness, of course. The Roots’ ?uestlove first hinted to a collaborative album in January in an interview with Billboard magazine, and a release date followed soon after. As if Roots + Costello wasn’t enough, the record will also feature a guest appearance from La Marisoul, lead singer of La Santa Cecilla.
Elton John: Diving Board (September 13)In between performing at Caesar’s in Vegas, having kids, and hanging with Lady Gaga, Elton John managed to squeak out new music that will make up his 30th solo album, NBD. The album is John’s second studio album without his band members since 1979’s Victim Of Love and will feature twelve new songs and three piano interludes.
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (November 5)Eminem’s new album is the definition of “anticipated,” since the first single (the Beastie Boys-inspired “Berserk”) has already been crowned one of the hottest singles of the year and the album is a sequel to 2000’s brilliant Marshall Mathers LP. The album is produced by Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin, and is expected to debut sky-high on the charts.
Mariah Carey: The Art Of Letting Go (TBA)Speaking of Eminem, Mariah Carey’s got a new record set to drop sometime this year, as well. The album’s release has had more dates than most people have in a week, but what’s (semi)certain is that Carey’s fourteenth studio album will be released in the next few months. The last release date was July 2013, which Carey pushed back because she didn’t want to “exclude meaningful songs.” All this waiting is making for some serious expectations.
Drake: Nothing Was The Same (September 24)Drake’s third album has everyone holding onto their hats, thanks to the star-studded line-up he’s already confirmed will be making an appearance on his album. The Canadian rapper will be joined by Jay Z, Future, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, TLC, Justin Timberlake, Aiko, Big Sean, and more.
Arctic Monkeys: AM (September 10)British rockers Arctic Monkeys have made a solid career for themselves, going from the English equivalent of a bunch of frat boys to a respectable band made up of 4 talented musicians. Their fifth studio album, AM, finds the band getting some hip hop inspiration and also features an appearance from Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme.
Kings of Leon: Mechanical Bull (September 24)Mechanical Bull has Kings of Leon taking on a bunch of new directions at once, with lead singer Caleb Followill telling Rolling Stone that the album is influenced by everyone from Queens of the Stone Age to Sly and the Family Stone. It'll definitely be interesting to see how the new tunes from the Nashville rockers turn out.
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (October 29)After their wildly successful 2011 album, The Suburbs, Arcade Fire are finally back with their fourth studio album. The album has been getting hyped since The Suburbs was still going strong, since everyone wanted to see what the band had up their sleeve next. Arcade Fire released some teasers for the record, including a 40-second video montage of the band in the studio that dropped on September 9.
M.I.A.: Matangi (November 5)By now, just about everyone in the world knows not to mess around with M.I.A. The outspoken artist has never been one to shy away controversy, and the situation surrounding the release of her new album has been no different. After a number of delays of release dates courtesy of Interscope Records, M.I.A. threatened to leak the album herself if the label didn’t commit to a date. Interscope finally bowed down and M.I.A.’s fourth studio album will be making its way into headlines everywhere come early November.
Lady Gaga: ARTPOP (November 11)Lady Gaga’s third album is already drumming up a lot of hype, thanks to the early release of the first single of the album, “Applause,” which was mysteriously leaked immediately after Katy Perry’s new single was mysteriously leaked. Gaga’s new album is anticipated strictly for the “What the hell will she do next?” factor, not to mention that it will be interesting to see how she fares against her fellow other pop tarts.
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz (October 4)Oh, Miley. What’s not to anticipate here? From her brand new image as a twerking ambassador to her Miami Vice-inspired album cover, everything about Cyrus’ new album screams “Look at me!”, and, judging by how long it took for her VMAs performance to die down, look at her we shall. Bangerz will make or break Miley’s venture into her new image, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.
Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 (September 27)Because 1 record isn’t enough for a grandiose comeback, Justin Timberlake will be releasing the second half of The 20/20 Experience at the end of September. Timberlake is at his best when he’s making music, and The 20/20 Experience provided a bevy of hits - hopefully the sequel will do the same.
Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt (October 14)After 2009’s Backspacer, Pearl Jam fans are anxious to hear what the legendary band has to offer next. Produced by longtime Pearl Jam ally Brendan O’Brien, Lightning Bolt will be the band’s 10th record and will draw on everything from punk rock to Pink Floyd influences.
Sting: The Last Ship (September 24)Already a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, Sting is looking to add playwright to his resume, what with his working on a musical set to debut on Broadway sometime in 2014. The Last Ship is Sting’s eleventh studio album and is inspired from his play, which looks at the 1980s decline of the shipbuilding industry in Newcastle, England. His first album since 2003’s Sacred Love, the record will feature appearances from Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Kathryn Tickell, The Unthanks, and more.
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Less than an hour ago, news broke that five-time Grammy winner, Donna Summer, died this morning from cancer, at the age of 63. Obviously, this is a tragic loss for the music community given the singer's global impact on the world, and already Hollywood celebs have taken to Twitter to express their condolences. Take a look at all of the heartfelt messages below, which show that although the singing legend may be gone — she'll not soon be forgotten. RIP Donna. You will be missed!
Neil Patrick Harris: "Donna Summer passed away today. Same day as Jim Henson, 22 years ago." - @ActuallyNPH
La Toya Jackson: "My condolence to #Donna Summer's family & love ones. She will be terribly missed. She was truly the #Disco Queen!" - @LaToyaJackson
Gloria Estefan: "Few singers have impacted music & the world like Donna Summer! It's the end of an era. Peace & prayers 2 all who loved her. I will miss her!" - @GloriaEstefan
Madonna: "Rest in peace Donna Summer." - @MadonnaWolrd
Mario Lopez: "R.I.P Donna Summer...I remember roller skating to hits like "Last Dance" "Hot Stuff" & "Bad Girls." Synonymous with the 70's.. #QueenOfDisco" - @MarioLopezExtra
Billy Ray Cyrus: "R I P #Donna Summer LEGEND !!! Your music will live forever." - @BillyRayCyrus
Nigel Lythgoe: "One of my favorite singers of all time, Donna Summer, is dead. She defined dance music in the 70's and had a wonderful voice and personality" - @dizzyfeet
Kerry Washington: "Wow...RIP." - @KerryWashington
Glee's Amber Riley: "Omg :( RT @PerezHilton: Disco legend #DonnaSummer has died!" - @MsAmberPRiley
Alyssa Milano: "I used to do interpretative dance in my living room to Donna Summer's music when I was a little girl. Rest in peace." - @Alyssa_Milano
Jennifer Coolidge: "She worked hard for the money. So hard for it, honey. RIP Donna Summer." - @JenCoolidge
RuPaul's Drag Race: "Donna Summer, your last dance with remain in our hearts forever." - @RuPaulsDragRace
Blue's musician Sean Costello: "This song is going to come up all day on your Twitter feed. And it should. It's amazing. R.I.P. Donna Summer." - @valhalladsp
Singer Amy Grant: "From Team Amy -- we just heard the news of Donna Summer's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family." - @AmyGrant
Timbaland: "this cant be tru....i cant believe this RIP Donna Summer. at a lost 4words." - @Timbaland
Adam Shankman: "Sleep sweetly eternally my Amazing Donna Summer! Tonight, after my prayers, I will dance the last dance and think of you. Xoox." - @AdamMShankman
Boyz II Men: "It's unfortunate that we have to say goodbye to another amazing talent. Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, our condolences to her family!" - @BoyzIIMen
Niecy Nash: "RIP Donna Summer." - @NiecyNash
Donna Summer, Music Legend, Dies at 63: Report
Nicolas Cage is currently at the Toronto Film Festival to promote his new movie, Trespass, and he took some time to tell a story about how a few years ago, someone broke into his house to get naked and look at Cage sleep while eating. He said, "It was two in the morning. I was living in Orange Country at the time and was asleep with my wife. My two-year old at the time was in the other room. I opened my eyes and there was a naked man wearing my leather jacket eating a Fudgesicle in front of my bed. I know it sounds funny, but it was horrifying." Cage then went on to say that after talking the man into leaving the house, he did not press charges. - Reuters
Sean Penn's assistant took a shower at his house in Malibu, and she slipped and fell and dislocated her elbow. Penn promptly grabbed a towel and took her to the hospital. Doctors were able to put her shoulder back in its place, but that didn't stop Penn and his girlfriend (Shannon Costello) from sitting on some steps somewhere and shedding a few tears on their construction boots. - TMZ
Yesterday, Tareq Salahi claimed his wife, Michaele (who together crashed the White House state dinner in 2009 and were featured on The Real Housewives of D.C.), had been kidnapped because the last time he reportedly saw her was at around 11 AM on Tuesday at their home in Virginia. He told police that she was scheduled to go to a hair appointment that day but never showed up, and added that he got a phone call from Michaele on Tuesday night from a cell phone in Oregon, and she said she was going to her mother's house. But when Tareq called Michaele's mother, she said that Michaele wasn't there. ANYWAY, Tareq continued to believe that Michaele was missing until yesterday, when the news broke that she had just ventured down to Nashville to watch Neal Schon (lead guitarist with the band Journey) perform. AND, Michaele has apparently been dating Schon for quite a while, and she's called their relationship "intimate and passionate." - TMZ
The Milk star was snapped looking concerned as he helped his nameless employee get to a Malibu, California hospital.
According to TMZ.com, the assistant fell and dislocated her elbow while showering at his home nearby.
Penn reportedly wrapped his aide in a towel and drove her the nearest medical facility - and then waited nervously outside with his girlfriend Shannon Costello.
The website reports the assistant is now recovering at home.
The star was spotted with the beauty back in July (11), just weeks after his reported romance with Scarlett Johansson came to an end.
The pretty brunette has now been named as Shannon Costello, the ex-communications director of the actor's J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which helps those affected by the nation's devastating 2010 earthquake.
According to People.com, Costello is now a producer, and will be working on Ron Howard's upcoming project Under The Banner of Heaven.
And the pair looked close as they held hands heading to a Miami, Florida restaurant on Friday (19Aug11).
Penn divorced longtime wife Robin Wright last year (10).
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Alex Michel, star of ABC's The Bachelor, may be content with the girl of his choosing (Amanda) after Thursday's two-hour finale, but ratings indicate audiences are drooling for more.
According to Nielson Media Research, 18.2 million viewers tuned in to find out which woman Michel would choose, making the show second only to CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But don't worry, ABC is getting ready to tie the knot on part two of The Bachelor. And the guys won't get to have all the fun--a network source revealed that ABC is casting Bachelorette as well. No word on when the shows will air.
Although Baretta star Robert Blake couldn't post bail to get himself out of jail while awaiting the trial for the murder of his wife Bonny Lee Bakely, he did manage to free his bodyguard, Earle Caldwell. The Associated Press reports Blake posted $1 million bail on Friday for Caldwell, who has pleaded innocent to one charge of conspiracy to murder Bakely.
The BBC reports Catherine Zeta-Jones joined singer Charlotte Church and former cricket player Ian Botham for the last two miles of a 229-mile, 9-day walk for charity in Wales on Saturday.
Dennis Quaid (The Rookie) must really like sports in the movies. The AP reports he's slated to star as Lee Petty, father of NASCAR record-winning champ Richard Petty, in an as-yet-untitled biopic of the driver.
Chicago police are still unsure if sex tapes allegedly featuring R&B singer R. Kelly and a woman who was not his wife involved any lawbreaking, but if new reports are true Kelly could be in some pretty hot water. On April 3, Sparkle, a singer who made the 1998 hit "Be Careful" with Kelly, identified the unknown woman in the tape as her 14-year-old niece to radio DJ Adimu of the Beat (KKBT), SonicNet Music reports. Police won't confirm if there is any truth to Sparkle's story.
Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue kicked off her European tour in Wales on Friday night with a futuristic show, the BBC reports, as she emerged from a Terminator-style robot wearing her signature thigh-high silver boots. You go, girl!
Rockers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones and singers Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Lenny Kravitz will all appear together on one upcoming episode of The Simpsons, the BBC reports. No word on when the show will air.
The irreverent VH-1 talk show Late World with Zach will air its final original episode Thursday at 11 p.m., CNN reports. Although it has only been on air since March 4, viewership was lower than expected.
Sean Penn presented Kevin Spacey and Warren Beatty with awards Thursday night at the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival, the AP reports. Spacey took home the Peter J. Owens Award for "brilliance, independence and integrity as an actor," and Beatty was given the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement in directing.
Singer Michael W. Smith won six awards at the 33rd Annual Dove Awards for Christian music, CNN reports. The show took place Thursday night at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.