Rockers Interpol are no longer searching for a full-time bassist because frontman Paul Banks has taken on the role. Bassist and founding member Carlos Dengler left the group in 2010 shortly after they completed their fourth record and his replacement Dave Pajo quit after a year.
Brad Traux has been playing bass during live shows but the band is not looking for a permanent replacement because Banks has taken on the instrument for their upcoming fifth album.
Guitarist Daniel Kessler tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "We didn't have a discussion about what we were going to do... Then after the second rehearsal Paul was like, 'Maybe I should pick up the bass', cos it helps to anchor the songs... I was like, 'cool', and that was the first time we spoke about what we were going to do about the bass parts.
"By the end of the second or third rehearsal we'd made an incredible start to a couple of new songs... Paul surprised me with how excellent he is on the bass... we just ran with it and didn't have any conversations about it... Once those foundations happened, we found our way and we thought, 'Why would we look to other possibilities when this is working so well?'"
Banks admits they no longer talk to Dengler, telling Britain's The Guardian newspaper, "Yeah I call him an a**hole but I call my friends a**holes. I love Carlos, we all love Carlos. But I don't think he wants to see me."
The band's fifth album, titled El Pintor, is scheduled for release on 9 September (14).
Sir Paul McCartney is selling off one of his beloved Martin guitars to help conservationists save African elephants. The Martin D-28 left-handed guitar, which McCartney has signed, went up for auction on eBay.com on Wednesday (13Aug14).
Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Nature Conservancy's African Elephant Initiative. Bidding began at $10,000 (£5,900).
Alongside his signature, the former Beatles star - a keen animal activist - wrote, "This guitar saves elephants."
David Banks, the managing director of the The Nature Conservancy's Africa Program, says, "To have Sir Paul's support and working with Martin Guitar is a real honour. This calibre of collaboration will make a difference to help end the worst poaching crisis in history."
Cult film Wet Hot American Summer is reportedly set for a revival in a prequel mini-series on Netflix. The 2001 comedy's writers David Wain and Michael Showalter are in talks with bosses at the online streaming service to turn the movie about a group of eccentric summer camp counsellors into a 10-episode series, according to Variety.
Sources tell the site that Wain and Showalter are hoping to reunite the then-up-and-coming group of cast members to reprise their roles as high-school-age characters in the prequel, despite the fact many of them are now in their 40s. Wet Hot American Summer featured Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Meloni, and Molly Shannon.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
For a second there, Better Call Saul was looking like a big excuse for a Breaking Bad reunion.
The upcoming spin-off to the smash television drama has done well to fill its ranks with already familiar faces, but we had yet to see what Better Call Saul has to offer in terms of original characters. Both Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks are set to reprise their roles for the show, and even Aaron Paul has announced he was in serious talks with creator Vince Gilligan about returning for a guest appearance.
While another season of Breaking Bad wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome, we were eager to see some new faces fill out the free spaces in Saul Goodman’s skeezy legal drama. Thankfully, actor Michael McKean has just been tapped to add some new blood to the cast. The actor, famous for playing David St. Hubbins in the classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, and a role on the classic sitcom Laverne and Shirley, is set to co-star as Dr. Thurber, a talented lawyer who is hampered by a debilitating medical condition.
If McKean’s role gives you a faint sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. Dr. Thurber’s story, from the scant few details we know about the character, sounds suspiciously similar to a certain meth kingpin's. Thurber is a gifted lawyer who becomes sick with a strange ailment, while Breaking Bad's Walter White is a gifted chemist who learns that he has lung cancer. Both stories are about smart men whose lives are permanently altered by disease, and in the same way that Walt’s lung cancer sparked a desperate need for recognition inside Walt, whatever affliction is affecting Thurber will likely spark similar feelings of desperation.
There’s narrative power in desperation. It’s a strong, base, human desire, and it fueled some of Breaking Bad’s best stories. You could even make the case that desperation was the most resonant theme in the entire series. Walt’s burgeoning career as a drug dealer started in a desperate attempt to provide for his family before the cancer withered him away, a feat he couldn't possibly manage with the humble earnings of a high school chemistry teacher. Even when Walt's motives changed, and creating meth stopped being a sacrificial act for his family and twisted itself something more prideful, greedy, selfish, and ugly, he was a man still driven by desperation. Walt became a man with a desperate need to be the best, to eliminate his competition, and to create the best product the world had ever seen. He not only wanted fame, but infamy. He was desperate to be somebody after an eternity of feeling like the world's most gifted doormat.
Since McKean's character will likely have similar circumstances surrounding his character, we hope that Vince Gilligan is able to mine the same amounts of depth from this new character of his. November can't come soon enough.
Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron picked up two major prizes at the Jameson Empire Awards 2014 in London on Sunday (30Mar14), including trophies for Best Director and Best Film. The Mexican filmmaker added even more statues to his awards haul during the star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, just weeks after earning his first Best Director prize at the Academy Awards.
Cuaron was unable to attend the event, but accepted his awards via video messages.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug also tied for two wins, including Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Best Male Newcomer for Aidan Turner.
Meanwhile, other acting honours went to Margot Robbie in Best Female Newcomer (The Wolf of Wall Street), Emma Thompson for Best Actress (Saving Mr. Banks), James McAvoy for Best Actor (Filth), and Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively.
Earning top genre prizes were Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Best Comedy), The Conjuring (Best Horror), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Best Thriller), and The World's End (Best British Film).
Special honours were also handed out to a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Tom Cruise (Legend of Our Lifetime), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Action Hero of Our Lifetime), Hugh Jackman (Empire Icon), Simon Pegg (Empire Hero) and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass (Empire Inspiration).
Goran Sivacki / WENN
It can be hard to take an actor seriously when he or she decides to switch gears and become a musician. Even the Real Housewives have opted to release songs available exclusively on iTunes. However, every so often, an actor or celebrity will shock you with their ability to hold a tune or at least produce a booty-shaking song.
This August: Osage County star has been acting since she was a child. However, in 2003 she formed the band Julliette & the Licks and proved that she also had music in her soul. The band captured '70s rock, '80s punk, and '90s alternative into a neat little package. The band broke up in 2009, but Lewis went on to released an additional solo album. Although her fame comes primarily from her roles in films like Natural Born Killers, Lewis has proven herself a part of rock music with multiple successful tours and albums.
Murphy was a gifted actress who we'll always remember for films like Clueless, 8 Mile, and Sin City, but she tried her had at a few forays into music as well. Murphy sang vocals on Paul Oakenfold’s “Faster Kill Pussycat,” which became an international dance hit. She also sang some songs on the Happy Feet, soundtrack including Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.” There’s no telling that had Murphy had the chance she would have released her own album and found success in the world of music.
McGowan is not the first person you’d think about when you think of music, though she did have a short engagement to Marilyn Manson. However, she has released a few songs. She provided vocals for the dance song “Superfabulous” by BT. She also sang in an episode of Charmed and a few songs for the Planet Terror soundtrack. Like her Bettie Page looks, her throaty soft voice is a throwback to days past.
Meester ruled television as teen fashion icon Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl. However, she has the potential to rule the music charts too. Although she hasn’t released her own album she has produced some pretty amazing songs. She sang “Somebody to Love” with a pre-“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke. She also sang on the Cobra Starship song “Good Girls Go Bad.” She also sang her own songs for the film Country Strong.
Before Osbourne became the fashion icon on Fashion Police and after her punky album Shut Up, Osbourne released Sleeping in the Nothing. It offered a more thoughtful, and on-trend electroclash style. She proved herself to be a viable musician with the song “One Word.”
Banks’ attempts at acting and television hosting may be questionable. However, in Season 2 of America’s Next Top Model she premiered a song that was so painfully catchy that it’s a wonder that she never released an album. Seriously... Tyra lasted painfully long but her music career lasted just one episode. As you can see, her singing voice is way better than her ability to ask serious questions.
Ali made a name for herself as the plucky daughter Ashley on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She shattered her child star image with a run as a sexy R&B singer. Her album Kiss the Sky has proven that she’s a legitimate R&B songstress.
Sagal has had a ton of success on television with multiple successful series. Before her days as Peg Bundy, Sagal began her career as a singer and sang back-up for Bette Midler, Tanya Tucker, and Bob Dylan. She has also released two albums Well... and Room. She’s proven that not only does she have the golden touch with comedy, she has an amazing singing voice.
Leto has found a ton of notoriety with Dallas Buyers Club. He has proven himself an actor and a heartrhob, but he’s also the face of his well known band 30 Seconds to Mars. The multi-talented figure has a rocking voice that had led his band to notable success.
Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Ugh... Mondays, am I right? Every week kicks off with that trademark despair so expertly articulated in Mike Judge's Office Space: you've got a case of the Mondays. Luckily, Netflix has you covered, with plenty of pick-me-up comedies to make the worst day of the week a bit more jolly. To start off our Netflix Hand-Picked Flix recommendations, we suggest Our Idiot Brother.
Is it possible to be too nice? That's the question posed by Our Idiot Brother. Paul Rudd, the nation's greatest resource of pure charisma, puts his all into Ned, an impossibly idealistic man in a world that isn't ready to take in so much goodness. Ned loves everything unconditionally. He's a soft, easygoing spirit, but lacks the tenacity to make it in the modern day, and spends the twilight of his thirties surfing between his sisters' couches. Everyone learns soon enough that even affability has its breaking point, and Ned, who is cluelessly honest in all situations, throws his family into turmoil when he lets loose damaging secrets.
The film is an adorable indie comedy, and features the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, and Steve Coogan, all putting in good work, but the true highlight of the film is the completely likable Rudd. The character and his worldview are affecting, and ultimately a bit inspiring. Even when Ned's lack of duplicity causes the film to take one or two unfortunate detours, his charm is pure magnetism.
You can stream Our Idiot Brother on Netflix, and make sure to check back tomorrow for our recommendations for the perfect Bluesday Tuesday movie.
Stars including Evan Rachel Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Aaron Paul and Zach Braff were left shaken following an earthquake in Los Angeles on Monday morning (17Mar14). The city was hit by a 4.7 magnitude tremor at 6.30am local time and many celebrities took to Twitter.com to share their stories.
Actress Wood was thrown into a panic by the tremor, so she grabbed her baby son from his crib and cowered in a doorway with the infant in her arms until the ground stopped shaking.
She writes in a post on Twitter.com, "My house shook like when the jet engine falls on (film) Donnie Darko. Grabbed my baby and hid under a doorway till it was over... there are no tables in my bedroom."
Rapper Nicki Minaj was also caught up in the chaos, writing, "This earthquake just made me re-evaluate my entire life... I swear it felt like the entire house was picked up n (and) thrown down the block", while singer LeAnn Rimes adds, "Holy hell we just had an earthquake! Shaking," and singer Mika tells fans, "Wow just woken up by pretty strong 2 second tremors in LA. Strongest I've ever felt here."
Glee's Dianna Agron adds, "Not going to lie. That woke me up & that scared the s**t out of me. Can't say I've never felt an earthquake anymore..." and actress Elizabeth Banks quips, "Earthquake! I leapt out bed to check on the kids. They slept right through it, and couldn't have cared less."
Other stars who tweeted about the earthquake include Aaron Paul, who shared footage from a news programme which showed the TV hosts crawling under their desks, as well as Kevin Jonas, Vanessa Hudgens, Kerry Washington, Josh Duhamel, and funnyman Zach Braff, who joked in a message to One Direction star Harry Styles, "Dearest Harry Styles are you in LA? Is your hair ok? Earthquake."
Lohan also managed to make a joke about the incident, adding, "Earthquake... Where's Oprah when you need her."
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul is in "serious talks" to reprise his role in the hit TV drama for the show's upcoming spin-off series, Better Call Saul. Show co-creator Vince Gilligan has been working on a prequel based on the dodgy dealings of lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, and Paul reveals he has been invited to reunite with his old co-stars as troubled youth Jesse Pinkman.
His character will be portrayed as a low-level drug dealer before he joined forces with his high school chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord Walter White (Bryan Cranston).
He tells the New York Daily News, "Anything Vince is involved with, I'm there. I owe him my entire career. And the idea of jumping into the skin of Jesse Pinkman again in his lighter days - because it's all a prequel - it would be fun."
Paul won't be the only familiar face making an appearance on Better Call Saul - Jonathan Banks, who played private investigator Mike Ehrmantraut, has also signed on for the series.
It is not yet known if Cranston will also return, but Dean Norris, who was cast as his onscreen brother-in-law and drug enforcement agent Hank Schrader, will not be part of the reunion.
He says, "I think that experience was that experience. I'm not a big fan of kind of revisiting something that has already been done. But I think it's going to be awesome. So I can't wait to see it."
Better Call Saul is due to debut on America's AMC network in November (14), a year after Breaking Bad's fifth and final season aired on TV.