Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys has been shortlisted for a prestigious literature honour for his debut book. The Super Furry Animals frontman released his new solo album American Interior in May (14), inspired by the story of Welsh adventurer John Evans, who explored the U.S. in the 18th Century.
The special project came with an app and a book charting Rhys' reconstruction of Evans' journey, and now the novel has been announced as one of five works in line for the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize, which honours "authors whose novels enter history".
The winner of the award will be announced in October (14).
Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys has confessed his band Super Furry Animals went on a lavish spending spree in the 1990s after "swindling" cash from Oasis' million-selling albums. The singer/guitarist and his bandmates were signed to the same record company as the Wonderwall hitmakers, and their labelmates' commercial success produced huge profits for the firm.
Super Furry Animals became known for their eye-catching stunts including adorning their stage with huge inflatable creatures and arriving at U.K. festivals in their own military tank.
Now Rhys reveals the band funded their lavish spending with the cash pouring into Creation Records' coffers from Oasis' huge album sales.
He tells Uncut magazine, "We were very ambitious... We were quite demanding and on some weird swindle trip. We had no respect for the industry. We could ask Creation for a tank and they'd say: 'Yeah, no problem.' Ah, and we really need two inflatable 40-foot bears. 'Yeah, we can really see that.' They gave 100 per cent of their passion."
Rocker Gruff Rhys is launching an interactive project with a cell phone app in honour of Welsh explorer John Evans. The Super Furry Animals frontman is fascinated with the bizarre story of his fellow countryman Evans, who trekked across the U.S. in the 18th Century on a futile search for other Welshmen.
The musician has decided to pay tribute to the intrepid explorer with his next solo project, American Interior, which includes a new album and a film, book, and cell phone app about Evans' story.
Rhys tells Q magazine, "It's so far-fetched he might as well have been a Welsh prince who went to Mars in 1969 and stayed and had loads of kids... John Evans put his life on the line chasing mythology, a fantasy. Maybe that's not such a great idea."
Rockers Mogwai are indulging in their favourite tipple by releasing their own brand of Scotch whisky. RockAct81w is a single cask whisky distilled at Glenallachie Distillery in Speyside, Scotland in 2004.
However, the liquor has been limited to just 324 numbered bottles, which will go on sale for $88 (£55) next week (begs27Jan14).
The launch will coincide with the release of Mogwai's new album, Rave Tapes.
The Scottish stars aren't the first British musicians to enter the alcohol industry - Super Furry Animals and Maximo Park both announced plans to launch their own beers this month (Jan14), while Iron Maiden and Motorhead have also found success selling their branded booze, too.
Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals are following in Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Maximo Park's boozy footsteps by becoming the latest rockers to launch their own beer. British stars Maximo Park announced last week (ends17Jan14) that they had teamed up with brewers at Newcastle's Mordue Brewery in England to release Maximo No.5, in celebration of their fifth album, Too Much Information, next month (Feb14), and now the Northern Lights hitmakers are entering the alcohol industry too.
Fuzzy, named after the band's 1996 debut album Fuzzy Logic, has been created with tastemakers at the Celt Experience Brewery and has an alcohol content level of 8.5 per cent.
The drink will be unveiled at Wales' Fire Festival on 1 February (14).
Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Mastodon all boast their own ales and lagers too.
Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood and Welsh actor Celyn Jones are teaming up to play poets Malcolm Brinnin and Dylan Thomas in a new period movie. Set Fire to the Stars, which will be directed by Andy Goddard, will explore the relationship between the two writers.
Another Welshman, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, has been commissioned to compose the score for the movie, which will start shooting in Wales next month (Feb14).
Brinnin was a North American poet who was instrumental in introducing Thomas to American readers in the early 1950s.
Brinnin went on to document his friend's final years in his book Dylan Thomas in America.
Folk star Georgia Ruth has been named the recipient of the 2013 Welsh Music Prize. The harpist overcame competition from 11 fellow artists, including Neon Neon, Racehorses and Euros Childs, to claim the top honour for her debut album Week of Pines at the current Swn Festival in Cardiff.
Speaking to the BBC after her win, she admitted the announcement came as "quite a shock".
The award, billed as the Welsh equivalent of the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Music Prize, was created in 2011 to recognise the finest in Welsh music.
Rockers Future of the Left took home the trophy last year (12), while Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys was the inaugural winner.
People love animals. Because really, what's not to love? Have you see the YouTube video of the cat who gets surprised every time you tickle it? Do yourself a favor and Google "Suprised Kitty video." You can thank us later.
Well now the Hallmark Channel is hoping that cute kittens will translate into ratings because the cable network just announced they will be adding the first annual Kitten Bowl to its lineup next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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The Kitten Bowl will air on the morning of Super Bowl and is like Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl — which saw an array of dogs playing on AstroTurf for 12 hours and got over 12 million viewers. But this time the main attraction is adorable furry kittens. The adoptable felines will compete in various competitions with the hopes of ultimately getting adopted by a viewer.
President and CEO Crown Media Family Networks, Bill Abbott said, "Creating another programming event to reinforce Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, our corporate pet adoption and safety initiative, enhances the profile of the plight of shelter animals in our country while providing fun, family-oriented entertainment to our viewers. We are very proud of our association with American Humane Association and their support of our work in this area."
Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaCostantini.
[Photo Credit: iStockphoto]
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Let it be known: there is nothing greater in the universe than baby animals acting like adult humans. Or playing. Or barking. Or just generally existing in their perpetual state of cuteness.
And with that in mind, Animal Planet is bringing us mere mortals its annual Puppy Bowl, featuring the rookie talents of man's best friend — with some help from a couple kittens and even an hedgehog or two. The world is a beautiful place when seen through the eyes of a puppy, America.
Forget the pigskin and the touchdowns, and embrace the wagging tails, whiskered faces and tiny creatures that make up America's most-beloved ball game.
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Whatever your reason for watching the Puppy Bowl (it's far superiority to that other bowl game), one thing we can all agree on is its superior fuzzy, cuddly, furry-ness is something for the ages. The starting line-up is always excited to charge the field (whether for a million bucks OR a million bones — actually they prefer the bones).
Don't worry so much about MVPs, but instead watch the ref flag for "excessive cuteness" in situations of three or more puppies. And Internet favorite — the kitty halftime show — may not have the moves of Beyoncé, but something tells us it'll be far more captivating.
And, lest we forget, the addition of hedgehog cheerleaders may cause your heart to explode, so viewer discretion is advised. Check out the below clip for a tease of what's to come.
So in preparation for tomorrow's big day, we've got a couple of brain-explodingly cute pictures to whet your appetite before the main event.
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So grab your kibble, your water bowl, (and some catnip if you're feelin' groovy) and check out this year's precious pooches, charming kittens, and handsome hedgehogs in the gallery below. It's not like there's anything better to watch on a Sunday, anyway!
The 2013 Puppy Bowl: 17 Photos from the Cutest Game on Television
Puppy Bowl IX premieres at 3PM ET on Animal Planet, but if some weirdo, actual football game gets in your way, have no fear! It will be replaying for the remainder of the day. Phew!
All the poocherific participants in the 2013 Puppy Bowl are adoptable! Click here to get more information on how you can adopt this year's MVP (Most Valuable Puppies)!
[Photo Credit: Discovery]
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Hollywood is a cruel world of glitz and glam. It’s a place that loves to build you up and tear you back down, and for some folks, the only way to stay afloat is to take whatever ungodly, unbecoming, silly, derivative, potentially aimed at over sugared kids, and often desperate roles they can find. There’s a landscape rich with tales of celebs’ desperation to stay in the spotlight, but these are just a few of our favorites.
1. Heather Graham in Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Former reputation: After her role as Felicity Shagwell in 1999’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Graham became known as nothing less than a bonafide hottie. Men wanted her, women wanted to be her, but her career hasn’t been so kind, and aside from that cameo in The Hangover, she’s virtually disappeared.
Desperate move: She stars as the super cool, fun aunt in Judy Moody and The Not Bummer Summer. She’s gone from bouncing around in tiny outfits to helping am 8-year-old cross fun things off her summer to-do list.
2. Jennifer Love Hewitt in Everything, but Specifically Garfield
Former reputation: She’s another fallen hottie. Best known for things like Party of Five and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Hewitt has since lost the title and picked up an awful nickname that even I think is just a little too mean (not to mention, wildly uncreative): Jennifer Love Desperate.
Desperate move: Well, everything since about 2000 could fall into this category, but I think it all went downhill when she did Garfield. Yes, as in the 2004 half-animated “comedy” wherein Bill Murray tried desperately to kill his career.
3. Brendan Fraser in Furry Vengeance
Former reputation: He was a golden boy of sorts. Audiences loves him and his abs in George of the Jungle which allowed him to star in a slew of throwaway comedies before scoring the series we know him best for: The Mummy and its sequels.
Desperate move: Suddenly, Fraser disappeared off the face of the planet (perhaps because he kept insisting that everyone pronounce his name a certain way when he should have just been grateful we were pronouncing it at all), and just as suddenly he popped back up in a little ol’ movie called Furry Vengeance as a developed plagued by animals because he’s trying to destroy the environment. This does entail a port-a-potty stunt. I think you get the idea.
4. Dwayne “The Rock Johnson in Tooth Fairy
Former reputation: There was a time when Dwayne Johnson was somewhat of a badass. Granted, all his badassiest moments are in terrible movies like The Scorpion King or they take place in a very staged wrestling ring, but still, he was mean, angry and audiences loved him for it.
Desperate move: Who knows why he did it, because he can clearly still get work as an oversized buff guy in things like Fast Five and The Other Guys. Instead, he put on fuzzy wings, went by a title with the word Fairy in it and listened to Julie Andrews and now that’s all I can think about when he’s walking around with a lead pipe in his hand.
5. Hilary Duff in Gossip Girl
Former reputation: She was a teen queen, and she was the good one (nothing like that Lindsay Lohan train wreck). She starred in all the cutesiest pre-teen movies, made every little girl want to be like Lizzie Maguire and even recorded an album.
Desperate move: With her firm hold on the teen market slipping – as these things tend to go – and her age pushing her firmly out of that realm, Duff had to do something, anything to stay relevant. So she went on Gossip Girl, but that’s not even the worst part. She went on Gossip Girl to play a hyped version of herself mixed with Kristen Stewart and her character participated in a threesome with her boyfriend and his best friend. If you're looking for desperate, this is it.
6. Heather Locklear in Melrose Place (Redux 2009)
Former reputation: As Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place back in the 1990s, Locklear solidified her rep as an incredibly sexy mega bitch, and it served her well until about 2001.
Desperate move: Finding that nothing else seemed to be working, Locklear returned right back to square one: Melrose Place. Only this time, it was on a CW reboot with an all new cast that only made her look even more desperate. Oh, and did I mention it didn’t even make it past its first season?
7. Paris Hilton in The World According to Paris
Former reputation: Well, her reputation has never been good – she rose to fame for that infamous sex tape – but her fame has been higher before. She’s the reason half of America lost their brain cells in the first decade of the new millennium. It took some people a while to learn than “That’s hot” is not an acceptable response to anything. While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and blame her for tiny, ugly dogs in purses, too much pink, and skirts that refuse to actual cover girls’ asses.
Desperate move: The World According to Paris is her attempt to stay famous now that she’s 30 and most of America has seen the error of their ways and her attempt to “set the record straight.” All we’re learning is that wisdom does not come with age and personally, I’ve got a theory that that much pink kills brain cells (but you know, it could be that illegal white powder she keeps in empty Chapstick tubes).
8. Cuba Gooding Jr. in Snow Dogs
Former reputation: He was Cuba Gooding Jr. (bear with me), an Oscar-winner, the man who asked us to show him the money in Jerry Maguire, the one who made us laugh in a little Oscar-winning film called As Good As It Gets, the one who was a serious actor on the rise.
Desperate move: Then he wasn’t. And as if he had no hope of every returning to those days of glory, he took on Snow Dogs. There are literally six dogs with bigger pictures than Cuba on the poster for this movie. Oh, and then there’s the part about how it was absolutely awful.
9. Frankie Muniz in Agent Cody Banks Series
Former reputation: He made us laugh as Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle. We loved that tortured little rascal, then suddenly, the show was over and no one cared anymore.
Desperate move: Muniz wasn’t willing to just disappear. He even made some effort preemptively, before the show ended. He tried that terrible movie with Amanda Bynes, but Paul Giamati was in it, so we’ll give him a pass. The really awful move came when he not only made Agent Cody Banks, but he made Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Honestly, I don’t know what else he could have done, because for me it’s Malcolm or bust.