Kiss star Gene Simmons has taken aim at record industry chiefs for failing to support the next generation of rockers, boldly declaring: "Rock is finally dead". The veteran bassist believes there is a serious lack of real talent in the charts and he blames bosses at big labels for not nurturing aspiring musicians like they did in his 1970s heyday.
In a candid interview with his son Nick for Esquire magazine, he advises young musicians and songwriters not to "quit your day job", explaining, "When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain (to become a success story). Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There was an entire industry to help the next Beatles, (Rolling) Stones, Prince, (Jimi) Hendrix, to prop them up and support them every step of the way.
"There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters - the creators - for rock music, for soul, for the blues - it's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Simmons admits the rock industry's decline should also be attributed to the rise in illegal file-sharing, which has taken money out of artists' pockets.
He continues, "The masses do not recognise file-sharing and downloading as stealing... The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created. I can only imagine the frustration of all that work, and having no one value it enough to pay you for it.
"You're better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for (reality show) The X Factor. And I'm not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where's the next Bob Dylan? Where's the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them."
The Fourth of July has come and gone, which means that the best time of year for movies is in full swing. From the end of the month through the New Year, theaters will be packed with some of the biggest, best, and most explosive movies of the year, thanks to the summer blockbuster and winter awards seasons growing ever closer each fall. With so many movies competing for your attention and your money, it can be difficult to keep your Oscar-baiting dramas from your superhero franchise sequels from your sentimental, romantic tearjerkers... and let's not forget about the little indies that are hitting at the end of the summer, hoping to gather enough buzz and box office steam to make it to the Golden Globes in February. In order to help you keep it all straight and plan out the rest of your year accordingly, we've rounded up every movie that the second half of 2014 has to offer and organized them by genre so that the next time you're in the mood for an action flick, a nail-biting thriller or a goofy comedy, you'll know exactly where to turn.
Action/AdventureWe might be nearing the end of Summer Superhero Movie Season (only Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are left to keep us safe) but the rest of the year still has plenty of films packed with explosions, witty banter, and dizzying fight sequences to satisfy your adventurous side.
Hercules, July 25 Lucy, July 25 Guardians of the Galaxy, August 1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, August 8 Into the Storm, August 8 The Expendables 3, August 15 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, August 22 Step Up: All In, August 25 November Man, August 27 The Maze Runner, September 19 A Walk Among the Tombstones, September 19 The Equalizer, September 26 Left Behind, October 3 Dracula Untold, October 17 Kingsman: The Secret Service, October 24 Interstellar, November 7 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, November 21 Exodus: Gods and Kings, December 12 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, December 17 Barely Lethal, TBA
Highlights: While we can't wait for Marvel's crime-fighting band of misfits, Guardians of the Galaxy, we're equally pumped for Scarlett Johansson's action hero turn in Lucy, Christopher Nolan's mysterious Interstellar, and Colin Firth's performance as a spy mentor in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Comedy Whether you prefer them raunchy and in-your-face, quiet and filled with high emotional stakes, or likely to get the whole country blown up (thanks, James Franco and Seth Rogen!), 2014 has a comedy for every mood, person and sense of humor.
Sex Tape, July 18 The Fluffy Movie, July 25 Magic in the Moonlight, July 25 Wish I Was Here, July 25 What If, August 8 Let’s Be Cops, August 13 Life of Crime, August 29 This is Where I Leave You, September 19 The Interview, October 10 Birdman, October 17 St. Vincent, October 24 Dumb and Dumber To, November 14 Horrible Bosses 2, November 28 Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Christmas Untitled Cameron Crowe Project, Christmas
Highlights: Well, if it makes North Korea that angry, it's got to be good, so we're excited to see The Interview. We're also looking forward to Daniel Radcliffe's hilarious rom com debut in What If and Michael Keaton's big comeback performance in Birdman.
Animation and Kids’ Movies Whether you need to keep a younger sibling quiet and amused for a few hours, or you're just particularly young at heart yourself, the second half of the year is when all of the big hitters in children's entertainment and animation come out to play. Will one of them manage to finally bring Frozen's reign to an end?
Planes: Fire and Rescue, July 18 Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, August 22 Dolphin Tale 2, September 12 The Boxtrolls, September 26 The Hero of Color City, October 3 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day, October 10 The Book of Life, October 17 Big Hero 6, November 7 The Penguins of Madagascar, November 26 Night At the Museum 3, December 19 Annie, December 19 Paddington, Christmas
Highlights: Everything Laika painstakingly creates is a joy to watch, so we're counting down the days to The Boxtrolls, which looks completely charming. Ditto the gorgeous and elaborate The Book of Life and the adorably action-packed Big Hero 6.
Sony Pictures Classics
Dramas Whether you're looking for a biopic, a musical, a musical biopic or just an intense, moving cinematic experience, now is the best time to check out your movie theater's more dramatic offerings. Besides, at least half of these films are likely to be in play come Oscar night, and you'll want to be on top of things before the trophies get handed out.
Get On Up, August 1 The Hundred-Foot Journey, August 8 The Giver, August 15 If I Stay, August 22 When the Game Stands Tall, August 22 One Chance, August 29 Addicted, September 5 The Drop, September 12 The Identical, September 12 Hector and the Search For Happiness, September 19 Jimi: All Is By My Side, September 26 The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, September 16 Gone Girl, October 3 The Good Lie, October 3 The Judge, October 10 Kill The Messenger, October 10 The Best of Me, October 17 Reach Me, October 24 Theory of Everything, November 7 Foxcatcher, November 14 Fury, November 14 Beyond the Lights, November 14 McFarland, November 21 The Imitation Game, November 21 Wild, December 5 Inherent Vice, December 12 Unbroken, Christmas Big Eyes, Christmas Selma, Christmas Into the Woods, Christmas A Good Marriage, TBA
Highlights: From the looks of things, Foxcatcher might be the film to give Channing Tatum his own "McConaissance," even if we never do manage to figure out a catchy nickname for it. And if you're looking for more superheroes in serious films, try The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, which tells one story from two distinct perspectives (and stars Professor X himself, James McAvoy).
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Indie If you're tired of blockbusters and Oscar bait, and instead want a more low-key way to spend your afternoon, this is the best season for indie movies. Comedies, dramas, romances, dramedies, action, musicals, characters that wear giant fake heads - there's something for everyone, and they're all worth checking out.
I Origins, July 18 Mood Indigo, July 18 Happy Christmas, July 25 Very Good Girls, July 25 Calvary, August 1 The Trip to Italy, August 15 The One I Love, August 15 Life After Beth, August 15 Frank, August 15 Two Night Stand, August 22 Love Is Strange, August 22 The Congress, August 29 The Skeleton Twins, September 19 Laggies, September 26 Whiplash, October 10
Highlights: There are plenty of Sundance darlings hitting theaters soon, but the most exciting one for us is probably the weirdest: Frank, which stars Michael Fassbender as a musician who wears a giant fake head at all times. A bit more normal is the zombie romantic dramedy Life After Beth, which highlights the challenges of dating the undead. Plus, there's Whiplash, which is set to remind us all just how terrifying J.K. Simmons can be.
Open Road Films
Horror As summer winds down, that means only one thing: Halloween is approaching. And what better way to celebrate ghosts, ghouls, goblins and everything that goes bump in the night than with one of the many upcoming horror movies that 2014 has to offer?
The Purge: Anarchy, July 18 Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, August 1 The Possession of Michael King, August 22 Jessabelle, August 29 Leprechaun: Origins, August 29 The Green Inferno, September Untitled New Line Horror Project, October 3 Annabelle, October 3 Ouija, October 24 Paranormal Activity 5, October 24 See No Evil 2, TBA
Highlights: This list is packed with sequels, but the one we're most anticipating is an original: Eli Roth's The Green Inferno, about a group of Amazonian explorers who are taken captive by a tribe of cannibals. If we know anything about Roth's work, it's probably going to be intense, gory and potentially a little scarring.
Thriller More intense than a drama, but with a better story than a horror film, thrillers are the perfect indoors-y alternative to rock climbing, roller coasters and water sports. It's all of the thrill without the risk of sunburn.
Aftermath, July 18 A Most Wanted Man, July 25 The Prince, August 22 As Above, So Below, August 29 Addicted, September 5 No Good Deed, September 12 Before I Go to Sleep, September 12 The Two Faces of January, September 26
Highlights: A Most Wanted Man was one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final films, and it promises to be an intense roller coaster of a film featuring what we're sure is a powerhouse performance from one of the greatest actors of his generation. Later in the year, there's The Two Faces of January to look forward to, which will see Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac go toe-to-toe.
Holiday cheer is all around us, and even Chuck Lorre is feeling festive. The writer and executive producer of The Big Bang Theory debuted his hilarious holiday card on his Vanity Cards Archives and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
In the shot, Lorre is seen wearing a leotard, tights, form-fitting dance shorts, and leg warmers as he flies into the air above a pack of seven ballet dancers. The text reads, "I danced as if no one was watching... and now I regret it." The whole scene is like a cross between Black Swan and a Richard Simmons' workout video. If that's not enough earn him lifelong membership in the Most Ridiculous Holiday Card-Givers Club, I don't know what is. Check out the current card-carrying members below.
Joy Behar's Hot, Holiday Bikini Bod
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon as Santa and Mrs. Claus (2008)
Kardashian Klan's Klassy Kard (2010)
Fergie and Josh Duhamel's Funky Frosty (2011)
[Photo Credit: ChuckLorre.com]
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Just one day after Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away on May 4, HBO aired the 2012 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and of course, the Beastie Boys. While the ceremony was filmed back in April, the special included a tribute to the Beastie Boys and a special reading from a letter composed by Yauch.
Rappers Chuck D and LL Cool J introduced the Beastie Boys. "We are here to induct the Beastie Boys into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame," LL Cool J said. "The reason I'm here tonight and the reason that this was so important to me is because if it wasn't for the Beastie Boys, I wouldn't have my career that I have today. The Beastie Boys actually played my demo tape for [record producer] Rick Rubin in the NYU dormitory. A lot of people don't know that." Beastie members Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond then took the stage to thank their family and friends. Sadly, when the ceremony was filmed on April 14, Yauch — who was suffering from cancer — was too sick to attend. "Adam would like to read a note that our fellow band member, who we could not have ever possibly done all of this stuff or we could not have been the family that we became," Diamond said. "Adam Yauch, MCA, wrote this speech and it was in his house, his parents' house in Brooklyn, I remember I would go every day after school and we would make a damn god awful racket. I can't believe they let us do it." Horowitz then read the letter: "I’d like to dedicate this award to my brothers, Adam and Mike, who’ve walked the globe with me. To anyone who’s been touched by our band, who our music has meant something to, this induction is as much ours as it is yours. To Kate Schellenbach. To John Berry. To John Berry’s loft on 100th St. and Broadway, where John’s dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, “Would you turn that f***ing s*** off already!” To my loving and supportive parents, Noel and Frances Yauch, and to our home in Brooklyn where we used to practice on hot Brooklyn summer days after school, windows wide open to disturb the neighborhood. But most of all I’d like to thank and dedicate this honor to my smart, beautiful, loving wife Dechen and our sweet, talented, loving daughter [Tenzin] Losel. Never has a man felt more blessed than I to be able to spend my time with my two soul mates. I love you guys more than you know. I wish I could name everyone who deserves naming, but of course there’s too many names to name. You know who you are, and I sent my love out to all of you. Your friend, Adam Yauch." Travie McCoy, Kid Rock, and Black Thought then performed a tribute of Beastie Boys' songs including "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and "The New Style." Captain Kirk Douglas and Questlove from The Roots joined the trio on stage mid-performance. HBO concluded the monumental special by displaying a photo of MCA with the loving caption, "In memory of Adam Yauch."
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Adam Yauch, the co-founder of the influential Beastie Boys, passed away following a battle with cancer. The 47-year-old hip hop artist, better known as MCA, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 after doctors discovered a tumor in his salivary gland.
Prior to and following his diagnosis, Yauch remained an active member of the iconic Beastie Boys. In fact, the band continues to enjoy success decades after their formation — their eighth album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2, garnered positive reviews last May, two years after Yauch's cancer treatments initially delayed its release.
The Beastie Boys first formed in the late 1970s, when Yauch teamed with Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz to create a hardcore punk band. Over time, the Beastie Boys evolved and became renowned for their influence on the hip-hop genre after the release of their first album, 1986's License to Ill, which included one of the band's biggest hits, "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)." Sixteen years later, The Beastie Boys were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yauch and his bandmates influenced slews of other musicians, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who dedicated their performance at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Yauch. The music legend, known for songs like "No Sleep till Brooklyn," is survived by wife Dechen Wangdu and daughter Tenzin.
[Globalgrind] More: How Adam Yauch Rocked Hollywood With Oscilloscope Celebrities Mourning Adam Yauch on Twitter
The Fighter director is expected to raise $15,000 (£9,300) for Tibet House by inviting the winning bidder to shoot a scene in his next project.
Hip-hop mogul and philanthropist Russell Simmons is also helping the cause by pledging to give an hour-long private yoga lesson in New York City - a prize expected to fetch $5,000 (£3,100) when it goes under the hammer on the Charity Buzz website.
Director Martin Scorsese has offered a visit to the set of his hit TV show Boardwalk Empire, while a meet-and-greet session with Maggie Gyllenhaal at the premiere of her comedy Hysteria is also up for grabs.
Rare prints of stars including John Lennon, Jay-Z, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix are also available in the auction for Tibet House, a charity which promotes and preserves Tibetan culture.