Hank Williams' daughter Jett Williams has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The 61 year old was pulled over by police on Tuesday (25Feb14) in Lebanon, Tennessee after cops spotted Williams swerving between lanes at around 2.30am local time.
Officers noticed she smelled of alcohol and was slurring her speech and she was asked to complete a field sobriety test, which she subsequently failed.
She was taken into custody and booked for DUI, while she was also given citations for not wearing a seat belt and not carrying proof of insurance.
She was released on $1,000 (£625) bail.
Williams was born just five days after her famous father passed away in 1953 from heart failure exacerbated by prescription pills and alcohol.
In just about every one of Kevin Hart's scenes in Ride Along, there's a joke that is just aching to find its way out of the diminutive, rascally comic actor. Hart is a small-scale physical comedian — of the same ilk as Jack Black — who puts nuclear-degree energy into his facial contortions, anatomical outbursts, and the delivery of every gag in general. If only he had material that was crafted with the same energy.
Unfortunately, nothing else about Ride Along seems at all "hard at work." Not the script, which pads a lifeless story with lazy comedy, and certainly not his screen partner Ice Cube, whose only stage direction seems to be "frown, and be taller than Kevin Hart." So lifeless is Ice Cube that even his machismo-obsessed straight man bit doesn't really work. Instead of the virile and intimidating "bad cop," he comes off as a disapproving middle aged dad without much to show for his own life.
But the script pairs the wily, overzealous high school security guard and video game junkie Ben (Hart) with no-nonsense lawman James (Ice Cube) on the titular ride along, with the scrappy cop-wannabe hoping to prove to the force veteran that he's good enough to marry the latter's younger sister. In earnest, he's not. Ben never puts any respectable effort into learning the tools of the trade, insisting on employing his amateur style and controlling the radio despite his proclamations that he wants, and deserves, James' trust. And James is no saint either — he's irresponsible on crime scenes, violent with perps, and disgruntled to the point of being unable to work with anybody else on the force. These are not good police officers... of course, you'll say, this is a comedy. But where are the laughs, then?
They're not absent entirely, you just have to look for them. In a movie so focused with big, broad humor, it's the smaller comedy that actually lands best. Hart's background mutterings and fumblings, his emoticon-laden texts to girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter, whose only stage direction seems to be "smile, and never wear a full outfit of clothing"), and a bizarre repetition of the word "weird" from supporting player John Leguizamo. All good for unexpected chuckles, while jokes like Hart facing off with a pre-teen or being blown backwards into a brick wall after firing a large gun are all lazy, familiar, and flat.
Structurally, the script is a mess. Ride Along spends far too much time on set up — we get it, Hart and his soon-to-be-brother-in-law Ice Cube don't get along — and far too much time on wrap-up — there's a gigantic, dramatic warehouse shootout that, in any other movie, would be the climax, but there's plenty more to go after that — without any cohesive middle to make the movie feel like... a movie.
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Hart, who leaps at every comic opportunity like a kangaroo (wallaby would be more appropriate), is suited just right for a buddy cop comedy, but he needs something fresh with which to work — a real character, an interesting story, actually funny jokes. Even just one of these would be fine!
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Rocker Sheryl Crow broke down in tears after a blogger likened her singing to a rape attack. The All I Wanna Do hitmaker rarely reads online comments about herself as she fears critics can be too savage, and her determination to stay away from Internet reviews was strengthened when she read a nasty blog.
She tells British magazine Seven, "I had a song come out - it was in reference to a Hank Williams tribute record - and somebody blogged that it sounded like someone being raped in an open field. It was so heinous. I sobbed. I never read that stuff, but I happened to catch that one thing. And I sobbed - and it wasn't even what he said. It was the hatred.
"And we've given everybody the opportunity to have an anonymous platform. We've given them momentum - and a community with which to associate. It used to be that if you were like that, you might be an outsider. Now everybody has found their people - who are haters."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Country star Hank Williams, Jr. will ring in 2014 as a winner - he will be honoured for his support of the U.S. military during his New Year's Eve (31Dec13) concert in Nashville, Tennessee. The singer, who has performed at various military bases over the years, will receive the Patriot Award from officials at the non-profit Operation Troop Aid (OTA) organisation as he headlines the Bash on Broadway show next month (Dec13).
OTA founder and executive director Mark Woods says, "I am extremely honoured to award Hank Williams, Jr. the 2013 Patriot Award. His art, legacy of family and Spirit of Patriotism is exactly why this award exists. He never forgot his roots and why we have the freedom we do in America."
He follows in the footsteps of previous recipients Toby Keith, KISS, Gary Sinise and Charlie Daniels.
Veteran singer Emmylou Harris and folk duo Shovels & Rope were double winners at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards on Wednesday (18Sep13), taking home two prizes each. Harris and her longtime collaborator Rodney Crowell were named Duo-Group of the Year and their joint project Old Yellow Moon claimed Album of the Year, while Shovels & Rope stars Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent beat the likes of The Lumineers' Ho Hey to score Song of the Year for Birmingham. They were also feted as Emerging Artist of the Year.
Another big winner at the Americana Music Association's Nashville, Tennessee event was Dwight Yoakam, who received the Artist of the Year title, and musician Larry Campbell earned the Instrumentalist of the Year prize.
The late Hank Williams was remembered with the President's Award, while Duane Eddy and Dr. John were among those to receive Lifetime Achievement honours.
The childhood home of folk legend Woody Guthrie is to be rebuilt more than 30 years after it was demolished. The house, in the town of Okemah, Oklahoma, was torn down in the late 1970s, but developers have now announced plans to reconstruct it using original planks of wood which were salvaged during the demolition.
The project will cost an estimated $500,000 (£333,333) and organisers hope to raise funds through public donations and a benefit concert, reportedly to be headlined by Kris Kristofferson, which will take place in Tulsa next month (Oct13).
Johnny Buschardt, a spokesman for the project, tells Billboard.com, "If you were to put a Mount Rushmore of American music here in the Midwest, the first two artists on it would be Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie. Without Woody, there wouldn't be a Bob Dylan or a Bruce Springsteen."
Construction is due to begin in November (13). Guthrie died in October, 1967, aged 55.
Last week was a big deal for singer-songwriter Neko Case: she released her sixth album, the yearningly-titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (Anti- Records), to the best reviews of her career. She had a busy week's worth of promotion, ranging from a terrific appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to her debut as a panelist on the NPR quiz show Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me (where she tanked on the final lightning round, unfortunately). She also started a nationwide tour that will run through November. Plus, Sunday was her 43rd birthday, so hopefully she got a nice cake or something. So here's five things you may not have known about the copper-haired siren.
She Started Out DIY
Neko Case first gained notice for a string of powerful alt-country albums in the late 1990s, but she actually got her start as the drummer for an all-female punk trio from Vancouver, British Columbia called Cub. She played drums on their 1993 debut album Betti-Cola, which included their best-known song, the adorably twee "My Chinchilla." (That's her replacement Valeria Fellini in the video, however.)
She's Not Actually Canadian
Although Case got her start on Vancouver's DIY scene and has since 2000 been a key member of the Canadian power pop collective The New Pornographers (singing lead on many of their best-known songs, including their debut single "Letter From An Occupant"), she was born in Virginia and grew up in Tacoma, WA. She'd moved to Vancouver to study at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, from which she graduated in 1998, and music writers have mistakenly called her a Canadian artist ever since.
She's Finally Settled Down
After losing her student visa, Case left Canada, living in Seattle, Chicago, Tucson and other cities before buying a large, isolated farm in Vermont. Much of her previous album, 2009's Middle Cyclone, was recorded on the farm, with some tracks featuring a chorus of old out-of-tune pianos she had picked up for free on Craigslist and stowed in her barn. The album ends with a thirty-minute track called "Marais la Nuit," a field recording of a frog-filled pond on her property.
She Respects Other Songwriters
The Worse Things Get is unique among Case's albums for being entirely self-written. A student of songwriting, Case has recorded masterful versions of songs by everyone from Hank Williams to the cult-hero art rock duo Sparks, whose "Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth" is a highlight of Middle Cyclone. Although even now, she enjoys tipping a cap to her influences: the two-LP vinyl version of The Worse Things Get includes three bonus tracks, kicking off with a spirited take on Robyn Hitchcock's 1989 college radio hit "Madonna of the Wasps."
She's Had A Rough Four Years
In the four and a half years since Middle Cyclone's release, Case lost both her parents and a grandmother. As a result, The Worse Things Get is a somber, poignant album with an uncharacteristically naked autobiographical edge to its lyrics. And yet it isn't merely dark and is only rarely depressing: there's a sense of peace and even hopefulness to many of the songs. It's one of the year's strongest albums, and certainly one of its most emotionally resonant.
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Country couple Tim Mcgraw and Faith Hill have put their sprawling family farm in Tennesse on the market for a whopping $20 million (£13.3 million). The singers' 750-plus acre estate on the banks of the Harpeth River includes main house Beechwood Hall, a plantation previously owned by country music legend Hank Williams and a log-built Greek Revival-style house, as well as at least four other residences, barns and storage buildings, according to RealEstalker.com.
The man who served as Hank Williams' chauffeur on the day the country legend died has passed away at the age of 79. Charles Carr, a retired investor, died on Monday (01Jul13) in Montgomery, Alabama after a brief illness.
Carr was a young college student when he was hired to drive Williams to West Virginia for a New Year's Eve show in December, 1952.
The singer was forced to axe the gig due to an ice storm and they instead headed straight to Canton, Ohio, where the star was booked to perform on New Year's Day (01Jan52).
But Williams never made it to the concert - he suffered heart failure and was found dead in the back of Carr's blue Cadillac in West Virginia early on 1 January, 1952. He was 29.