Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O is set to be joined onstage at Sunday's (02Mar14) Oscars ceremony by Vampire Weekend guitarist Ezra Koenig. The frontwoman will perform the The Moon Song, which has been nominated for the Best Original Song award, from Spike Jonze's movie Her.
Vampire Weekend rocker Ezra Koenig is hoping it pours with rain during the band's set at Glastonbury festival as he loves performing in the U.K.'s notoriously volatile summer weather. The New York native is adamant playing outdoor gigs in scorching sunshine is boring, and he would much rather sing to thousands of fans in the middle of a downpour.
The band is due to play on the festival's main stage on Sunday (30Jun13) and Koenig is praying for a spot of bad weather over the site.
He tells British newspaper The Sun, "We've played twice before. When we played one time, it was so warm and sunny it threw me off. For us, we play Coachella and it's hot, so I like the cold U.K. summer vibe. When I picture Glastonbury it's grey and wet, there's something kind of cool about that, too."
Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig wanted to quit the band last year (12) and launch a movie career instead. The singer/guitarist has confessed he felt trapped by the group's success as the rockers prepared to head into a Los Angeles recording studio to begin work on their new album Modern Vampires of the City.
Koenig considered ditching his blossoming music career and starting at the bottom in Hollywood as a writer's assistant, but admits he often dreams of escaping to a new life.
He tells NME magazine, "I met a lot of people who worked in movies and TV. And I thought, 'Well, if I just started out as a writer's assistant, I could start a new job at the very bottom.' And why not? What's permanence in your life? There's a void and the momentum stops.
"I still loved music but I had this weird feeling... But when I say I daydream about going to law school, or becoming a freedom fighter instead, it's not because I'm brave, but because I'm restless. And when I start to feel the walls closing in on me... it depresses me."
Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has been left disappointed by U.S. President Barack Obama, admitting he was "naive" to believe the politician could change America. The New York-based rockers were vocal advocates of the Democrat prior to his election victory in 2008 but they have since felt frustrated by his failure to introduce sweeping changes to the country.
The lack of progress has left the band's singer/guitarist Koenig doubting the wisdom of voting for Obama and made him realise political change often fails to impact on the general populous.
He tells NME magazine, "Things haven't changed in a massive way since Obama was made president. Probably even Obama would agree with that. But that sense of hope people had when he was first elected has dissipated. You realise there's certain things so ingrained into the fabric of how our government works that to expect one man to change that is a little bit naive.
"That makes you feel even worse, because the whole system's predicated on people waiting every four years to pretend that one person is going to change those things. That makes me feel like the whole system's broken. So, on that level, of course there's disillusionment."
Imagine, if you will, the unexpected strangeness of Steve Buscemi just showing up unannounced at your job. Thre you are, going about your day, and Steve f**king Buscemi pokes his interesting little face in. Now, that would be a bizarre occurence in and of itself, but then Buscemi, the very same guy who met the better half of a wood chipper in Fargo, tries to tell you how to do your job. Oh, and this is all after discovering you're distant relatives.
No, this isn't a nightmare you had last night, or even the plot of the next Coen Brothers film, but what indie rockers Vampire Weekend recently endured with the actor. As it turned out, band member Chris Baio's maternal great-grandmother was related to the paternal great-aunt of Buscemi. And since family's gotta stick together, the hipster-friendly group asked the star to direct their American Express Unstaged concert at New York City's Roseland Ballroom on April 28, which will be streamed live on online outlets like YouTube's mobile website for fans not lucky enough to catch the show in person.
While that's all fine and good, Buscemi showed up unannounced to one of the band's rehearsal sessions and it went... well, exactly as you'd imagine it would. If, that is, you imagine Steve Buscemi showing up, confusing you for one of your band mates, saying he didn't quite understand your music, and suggesting how to raise your profile. It's wonderfully weird and hilariously awkward, just like Steve Buscemi himself.
Of course these videos, including one in which the Boardwalk Empire actor mistakenly calls the band "Vampire Holiday" (honest mistake, really, considering they have a popular song called "Holiday") are all in good fun. In a press release, lead singer Ezra Koenig said, "We are thrilled to be working with Steve Buscemi, a wonderful actor, a NYC legend and a great director. We couldn't have picked a better guy to man the cameras for our April 28th event."
Watch the clips below, cringe/sing along, and keep your eye out for Buscemi. You never know when that guy might just show up.
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Kids' movies may be the most difficult cinematic mountains to climb. The filmmakers must cater to two perspectives at constant odds with one another: young ones who find amusement in simplistic stories and broadly painted humor and their parents who need enough of a grounded hook emotional core and clever jokes to keep them from nodding off. Not an easy task.
To see this winning combination pulled off by a 3-D animation/live-action hybrid adaptation of a rather irritatingly sweet cartoon from the '80s…well it's both a shocking and welcome surprise. The Smurfs transcends recent property-grabs like Garfield Alvin and the Chipmunks and Marmaduke by embracing the cartooniness relishing in the fact that it can get away with anything with the help of adorable little blue people.
Smurfs takes the model employed by 2007's Enchanted kicking things off in the colorful fantasy world of Smurf Village and quickly bringing its cheery clueless characters to the terrifying metropolis of New York. After Clumsy Smurf accidentally leads the Smurf-obsessive Gargamel (Hank Azaria) to the hidden mushroom haven of his brethren the bumbling black sheep of the Smurf family finds himself and a few clan members Papa Brainy Grumpy Gutsy Smurfette at the wrong end of a Blue Moon-induced worm hole. The group (along with Gargamel and his cat) find themselves face-planted in NYC's Central Park where they meet Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) yes man to the cosmetic titan Odile. This sets the race in motion—the Smurfs enlisting the help of Patrick to find a way back home Patrick seeking the perfect ad campaign for Odile's new make-up line and Gargamel questing hungrily for a few drops of Smurf essence.
If Smurfs was simply a barrage of fart jokes and pop culture references the movie wouldn't click but by giving each of his characters something to do (seems obvious no?) director Raja Gosnell injects the film with a helpful dose of heart. Along with Clumsy's quest to be more than his name insists Harris' Patrick also has his own problems to overcome. Namely preparing to be a Papa Smurf to the kid he's about to have with his wife Grace (Glee's Jayma Mays). Harris and Mays take their roles here seriously going all out when they need to chase the adventurous Smurfs around town in one slapsticky sequence after another but they put just as much into their smaller scenes. One moment where Papa Smurf sits Patrick down for a "Dad talk" even has weight—a near impossible task for a "kids" movie.
But let's not get too sappy: the movie is funny plain and simple. Azaria makes a living bringing cartoon characters to life—he's a reason why The Simpsons has been on for more than 20 years—and his goofy Gargamel antics are inspired. A recurring gag where the evil wizard continually steps through ventilation steam grates probably read fine on paper but Azaria knows how to play big and doesn't allow any moment of physical comedy to lazily fall through the cracks. On the flip side Harris nails the straight man role and acknowledges that hanging out with Smurfs is just as bizarre as you'd imagine. Think The Brady Bunch Movie for the world of animation.
With solid kids' flicks becoming a rare occurrence Smurfs is a breath of fresh air a film that believes in its own simple message while simultaneously being self-aware of its cartoonish heritage. The movie's a smurfy good time but it takes a particularly smurfy Smurf to let go of cynical baggage and smurf it.
Twilight’s contentious “Edward vs. Jacob” debate was finally settled at the close of 2009‘s New Moon the second episode of Stephenie Meyers’ supernatural teen harlequin saga when plaintive emo hottie Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) definitively rejected the advances of Taylor Lautner’s musclebound man-wolf in favor of Robert Pattinson’s brooding vampire.
Or so we thought. Twilight’s fateful love triangle is revived in earnest by Eclipse part three of the series and this time the implications are serious -- relatively speaking of course. Taking over the helm from New Moon director Chris Weitz is David Slade (30 Days of Night Hard Candy) who adds a hefty dose of action to Twilight’s trademark mix of soaring romance and manic melodrama making Eclipse the first film in the saga in which -- get this -- something actually happens.
Indeed action is a primary theme of Eclipse. Like most high school seniors Bella wants some; her pasty paramour Edward Cullen however remains stubbornly chaste and not just because the briefest exposure to his unbridled vampire lust would almost certainly kill his all-too-human sweetheart. You see chivalrous Edward hails “from a different era ” one in which the institution of marriage meant everything and a man took care to mount a proper courtship before marrying a girl nearly a century his junior. (He’s 109 years old.) He asks her to marry him; she agrees but only if he’ll turn her into a vampire first; he hesitates pondering the unalterable consequences; the matter is tabled and heavy petting resumes. (This exchange is repeated ad nauseam throughout the remainder of the film.)
The constant fawning and unwavering devotion from impossibly beautiful Edward aren’t enough to sate Bella’s thirst -- she needs validation like a vampire needs blood -- and so she uses the flimsiest of pretexts to re-insert herself into the life of Jacob Black the sensitive werewolf she previously shunned who dutifully plies her with his own declarations of undying love. (Jacob to his credit has developed enough game since we last saw him to qualify as a serious contender for Bella’s affections and is no longer the devoted doormat we saw in New Moon. He’s still a tool though.) Game on.
But Edward and Jacob aren’t the only ones with designs on Bella. (Seriously are there no other hot emo chicks in the greater Pacific Northwest?) A ginger-haired menace (Bryce Dallas Howard) has emerged one that will require Edward’s vampire clan and Jacob’s wolfpack tribe longtime enemies forever on the verge of a climactic battle (in which Bella will serve as the jeans-and-hoodie-clad Helen of Troy no doubt) to put aside their differences and unite against a common enemy. In order to ensure Bella’s safety Edward and Jacob must form an uneasy tag-team (no not that kind of tag team much as it would likely better serve to resolve matters) to keep Bella safe from harm.
With its amped-up action sharpened wit and darker horror flick-inspired atmospherics Eclipse boasts the broadest appeal of all the Twilight films thus far. But that doesn’t mean it’s good. Director Slade’s grasp of plot development borders on amateurish in this film; Eclipse often feels less like a movie than a weighty discourse on the pros and cons of vampiredom laid out in lengthy exhaustingly repetitive chunks of exposition and awkward campy flashbacks as just about every character in the film including Edward attempts to dissuade Bella from joining the ranks of the bloodsuckers.
But alas no force no matter how utterly rational its arguments will keep Bella from her destiny. Which obviously is Edward. Or is it? Eclipse goes to great pains to invent ways to perpetuate the film’s romantic rivalry inserting scenes like the one in which Bella on the verge of freezing to death in a tent high up in the mountains is saved when Jacob arrives to heroically spoon her body temperature back to its proper level. (Eclipse is being hyped as the first “guy-friendly” Twilight flick but no film which includes a climactic spooning scene can rightly claim such a distinction.) Edward meanwhile with his poor vampire circulation is powerless to help.
Who will win in the end? Will it be abs over eyes? Obviously it will take two more movies (at least!) to solve this kind of wrenching dilemma.