C.M. Wiggins/WENNOne of the few artists to transcend the punk pop scene of the early '00s, Avril Lavigne has gone from sk8er girl to reflective singer-songwriter to peppy cheerleader and back again during an impressively enduring eleven-year career. In the week she releases her self-titled fifth studio effort, here's a countdown of her albums from worst to best.5. Under My SkinLargely produced by Don Walker (Linkin Park), the nu-metal tinged Under My Skin was an attempt to establish Lavigne's serious artiste credentials. But while "Nobody's Home" remains arguably her greatest single, it suffered from both a whiney self-obsessive streak and a distinct lack of any humor.4. Goodbye LullabyAn album of two halves, Goodbye Lullaby began as a fairly pedestrian glossy rock affair before settling down into a far more interesting and introspective collection of songs inspired by and co-written with ex-husband Deryck Whibley.3. Avril LavigneAn entirely regressive but still consistently enjoyable listen, Lavigne's new record sees the Canadian unapologetically trying to cling onto her youth with a series of faux-rebellious anthems which suggest she's got a major case of Peter Pan syndrome.2. The Best Damn ThingPerhaps learning from the mistakes of her previous effort, Lavigne hooked up with hitmaker Dr. Luke and embraced the world of bubblegum pop on a record crammed full of 'guilty pleasures,' most notably the lead single, "Girlfriend," which sounds uncannily like the Rubinoos' power pop classic "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."1. Let GoAbly assisted by production factory The Matrix, 2002's Let Go was a highly accomplished debut which combined melodic Alanis Morissette-esque rock and bratty punk-pop with relatable lyrics which perfectly encapsulated those angst-ridden teenage years.
Roger Ebert's passing away in April marked a loss for every corner of the Hollywood world. For the critical culture most obviously, but also for writers, filmmakers, fans, and any other community even tacitly linked to the movie business.
Those devoted followers of Ebert's career beyond his work at the Chicago Sun-Times and on At the Movies will recall a 28-year-old aspiring screenwriter teaming (for the first time) with director Russ Meyer on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a musical romp through the NC-17 rated valleys of a sex-and-drug-infused showbiz underworld. An interesting episode for Ebert's professional story indeed, Cinemablend reports that writer/producer Christopher Cluess (MADtv) is developing a biographical feature about the making of the film.
Titled Russ and Roger Go Beyond, Cluess' script will follow the characters of Ebert and friend/collaborator Meyer as they try and ultimately succeed to get this unlikely picture made. While we aren't surprised to hear of an Ebert biopic underway, even so soon, this is hardly the first patch of the renowned critic's life that we expected Hollywood to mine for focal inspiration. Something like Gene and Roger Go to the Movies would have been a more likely exploit... and will probably find life in some form down the line. But while we anticipate most hungrily a hearty look at how Ebert helped to challenge and transform the way that people watch, talk about, and appreciate movies, we won't turn away a chance to watch a film about Ebert's younger days working on those wacky '70s films with Meyer.
Hopefully, down the road, we'll get something that really appreciates Ebert's influence.
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Staff at music magazine Nme received a personal phone call from Tom Odell's father after the British singer's debut album was given a scathing review. The rising singer-songwriter got his big break when he was discovered by Lily Allen, also known as Lily Rose Cooper, and signed to her label In The Name Of, before winning this year's (13) BRIT Awards Critics' Choice prize.
However, reviewer Mark Beaumont of NME was unimpressed with the 22 year old's upcoming debut, Long Way Down, giving it zero stars and writing, "I wish I could say there's a place in Hell reserved for Tom Odell. There's not. Just loads more BRITs. He'll be all over 2013 like a virulent dose of musical syphilis, pounding and warbling away at every Papal election and Bradley Wiggins (British cyclist) finishing line."
The harsh critique prompted a call from Odell's airline pilot father, according to NME's deputy editor Lucy Jones, who tweeted on Wednesday (19Jun13), "Tom Odell's dad just called the NME office to complain about his album review..."
Music critic Simon Price of The Independent on Sunday has since slammed editors at NME for publishing the bad review, insisting, "It is a very safe and easy thing for NME to do. It is the sort of thing that allows them to pretend they are still a vicious paper with teeth, when the truth is they are scared to attack their core acts. The latest Beady Eye album was truly awful but they gave it a good review and (frontman) Liam Gallagher was on the cover that week."
Top British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has pulled out of the 2013 Giro d'Italia contest after falling ill with a chest infection. The Olympian's performance has been suffering during the annual Italian cycle race, which started earlier this month (May13), and bosses of his professional racing team have decided it is best for him to withdraw.
Wiggins' coach Sir Dave Brailsford says, "His chest infection has been getting worse and our primary concern is always the health of our riders. Bradley will return to the U.K. today for treatment and to rest, and we hope to have him back on the road as soon as possible."
Wiggins is hoping to recover in time to defend his Tour de France title when the famous French bike race begins on 29 June (13).
Soul star D'wayne Wiggins has split from his wife of 12 years. The Tony! Toni! Tone! singer's partner Michelle Lochin-Wiggins has filed for divorce from the star, citing irreconcilable differences for the breakdown of their marriage.
She is seeking full legal and physical custody of the couple's teenage sons, aged 17 and 14, according to TMZ.com.
Scottish actor McGregor has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal, while revered pop star Bush and Emin have both picked up Commander of the British Empire (CBE) accolades.
Blake, who is perhaps best known for his work on images for writer Roald Dahl's books, will be knighted in the New Year, as will cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour De France in 2012 and then claimed gold at the Olympics.
Sir Paul McCartney's designer daughter Stella also makes the coveted list - she'll be awarded an OBE for her services to fashion, and London Olympics boss Ruth Mackenzie, former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie and choreographer/dancer Arlene Phillips will also kneel for The Queen after landing CBEs.
Phillips tells the BBC she's "absolutely thrilled" by the honour, adding, "I haven't quite got used to it yet, but I'm very pleased about it."
Australian actor-turned-politician Michael Cashman has also been awarded a CBE, while actor Adrian Lester picks up an OBE and actress Siobhan Redmond receives an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to drama.
Prince William's wife has been suffering from a crippling bout of morning sickness, and was hospitalised for several days earlier this month (Dec12).
She cancelled all of her public engagements following her release from the King Edward VII Hospital in London last week (begs10Dec12), including the British premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in a bid to recover.
The Duchess stepped back into the limelight on Sunday when she attended the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, where she handed out several honours alongside soccer superstar David Beckham.
The sports hero announced Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins as the winner of the revered prize and fellow Olympian Jessica Ennis as the runner-up, while the royal handed the pair their awards.
She also presented Lord Seb Coe, the chairman of the 2012 London Games committee, with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Beckham took to his Facebook.com account to congratulate the winners on their success, writing, "Just had a great night at BBC Sports Personality Awards. There were so many incredible performances, it was a shame there could only be 1 winner. Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins and all the other winners."
The cyclist, 32, was thrown off his bike when a vehicle pulled out of a petrol station and collided with him in Lancashire, near to the star's family home.
A representative for Wiggins states, "We can confirm that on Wednesday evening Bradley Wiggins was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding his bike near his home in Lancashire.
"He is being kept in hospital overnight for observation but the injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery. More details will be announced in due course."
The Lancashire Evening Post newspaper reports Wiggins may have broken several ribs and suffered hand and wrist injuries.
Actor Stephen Fry and singer Leona Lewis also joined the celebrity group to record Rudyard Kipling's iconic poem If as part of the soundtrack to a film honouring British medallists at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards.
The film shows a round-up of golden moments from the London 2012 Games and features medallists including cyclist Bradley Wiggins and athletes Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis.
The video tribute will be screened at the star-studded gala held at London's Grosvenor House on Monday night (29Oct12) to an audience including Nicole Scherzinger, Pierce Brosnan, Jon Bon Jovi and Sir Ian McKellen.
Bradley Wiggins has become the first British cyclist to win the Tour De France. The sportsman took the title on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday (22Jul12). Sky teammate and fellow Brit Christopher Froome finished second and Italian Vincenzo Nibali was third.