Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams has credited a hypnotherapist and medical marijuana with helping him get back onstage after a crippling inner ear disorder. The Wonderwall singer was diagnosed with Meniere's disease a few years ago and his ear problems led to cancelled tour dates and the break-up of his band.
At the time, Adams threatened to walk away for good, but now he's recording a new album and hoping for the best.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I said, 'I'm not playing music anymore and I'm scared to play live and I feel jaded. All I ever do is disappoint people and I leave the stage'.
"All of a sudden you start seeing double and then my hand starts shaking, and then it's like you're in an elevator and the bottom just drops out and your bones feel 1,000 pounds."
Justin Bieber's habit for stripping off has reportedly landed him an endorsement deal for Calvin Klein underwear.
The Baby hitmaker has become known for showing off his branded boxer shorts in recent months by posting a number of 'selfies' online, and now sources tell DailyMail.co.uk he is set to be unveiled as a new spokesmodel for Calvin Klein by the end of 2014.
An insider says, "Justin has shot for Calvin Klein, we hope the results will be released later this year."
If the news is true, Bieber will join the likes of rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg and British supermodel Kate Moss, who have both previously posed for Calvin Klein underwear.
Dutch model Lara Stone fronts the brand's current advertisements.
Woody Allen was thrilled when Oscar winner Colin Firth signed on to star as a cynical illusionist in his new film Magic In The Moonlight - because he wrote the part of Stanley with the British actor in mind.
The filmmaker admits Firth's casting was especially sweet because he has failed to land so many of the world's top actors for his film projects. He explains, "The guys are great but they are hard to get, they are always busy. I have called (Robert) De Niro, I've spoken on the phone to Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson."
"Nicholson was going to do Hannah And Her Sisters. I wasn't thinking of Michael Caine at the time as I wasn't thinking of an English guy. It would never have occurred to me."
But when he started writing his latest project, he couldn't get past the thought of casting another Englishman, adding, "I was thinking of him as I was writing the movie and we were determined to have him, but he was scheduled to do another project."
"Fortunately for us, at the last minute his other project was postponed. Colin was the perfect person to play this because it requires a certain savoir faire (social grace). You want an elegant, good-looking person who can do the wit and can have that attitude without him getting on your nerves; someone you would like to watch for the whole movie."
Allen reveals the idea of casting Emma Stone opposite Firth came to him as he was working out: "I'm on my treadmill in the morning and I'm surfing through (TV channels) to kill the time and suddenly I would see these post-adolescent movies and think, 'Who's that girl? She's beautiful and she's very good'."
"I mentioned her name to Juliet Taylor, who casts for me, and she said, 'Yes, she's not just a pretty face. She's a very good actress'. She's very intelligent to chat with. She did such a good job she's in the (next) movie I'm doing now."
And it seems Allen is slowly getting his way when it comes to working with the world's top actors: "Now I am working with Joaquin Phoenix, a great actor, and Sean Penn... I would love to work with Kevin Spacey."
Former Kyuss frontman John Garcia was stunned when his hero Robby Krieger agreed to play guitar on a track on his new self-titled solo album. The rocker recorded vocals for a recent Vista Chino album through a vintage microphone owned by the Doors guitarist, but he never thought he'd get the chance to record with Krieger.
He tells Rolling Stone he was left speechless when producer pal Harper Hug suggested Krieger for a "Spanish, flamenco guitar" on Her Bullets Energy - and then revealed he was helping the veteran build a studio.
Garcia says, "I pretty much fell over from my chair and said, 'Do you think he would do it?'"
Krieger picks up the story and adds, "For the last couple years, I've been building a new studio with Harper Hug... Harper played me a song that I really liked, and we decided to try recording some of my flamenco guitar on it. This was the first time we actually recorded at the studio. We did it in the big room, and it sounded awesome."
Garcia recalls, "We spent more time, I think, talking about golfing than we did about the track. I'm from Palm Springs, and there's a s**t-ton of golf courses here. He was asking me about a couple courses out here. I'm not a golfer myself, but he's Robby Krieger, so I was trying to do my best to accommodate."
Garcia's new album, which also features a guest spot from his Kyuss bandmate Nick Oliveri, will be released in August (14).
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
When Hollywood movies were very much "a certain thing," Woody Allen's weren't. An innovator from the get-go, Allen celebrated the possibilities of cinema by contorting and creating, giving us in everything from What's Up, Tiger Lily? straight through his '80s string a filmic style that America hadn't yet seen. Now that he's done his due diligence, Allen seems content to make the sort of pictures that snagged his heart in the first place: the romantic comedies of the '40s and '50s — appropriately, Magic in the Moonlight borrows the Jazz Age setting of classics like Some Like It Hot — that operated in a certain straightforward, delightful fashion. Allen's latest follows the swath of Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, and Howard Hawks, but aims for the Woody brand with muted doses of his signature nihilism and cantankerous banter. But seven decades after this cinematic golden age and four past Allen's heyday, Magic in the Moonlight's charms wear thin and familiar rather quickly.
Magic in the Moonlight doesn't carry too many surprises; kind of a shame for a flick about magicians and mediums. But it's not the premise that is in principal need of reconstruction, it's the Allen chatter. The movie opens immersed in the fun inherent in the rantings of a misanthropic blowhard illusionist (Colin Firth, whose comic delivery in the early scenes of this movie is markedly impressive) who knows the margins of reality and can barely stomach the thought of some charming charlatan passing as a psychic (Emma Stone) pulling the wool over the eyes of a gaggle of unsuspecting millionaires... whom he also detests for their stupidity, but it's the thrill of the "A-ha!" that drives him to prove the clairvoyant a fake.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
Firth's comical butting of heads — both with the enamored aristocrats (Hamish Linklater plays the hysterically doe-eyed son who is smitten with Stone's Sophie; Jacki Weaver is a giddy matriarch longing to connect with her dead husband) and with the alleged swindler — ensues, opening up an unmistakably Allenian world of privilege-induced idiocy and shirt-stuffing. But what kicks off as great comedy grows tired by the fifth or sixth time we have to hear the curmudgeonly Stanley (Firth) pronounce his skepticism or watch the entrancing Sophie declare her devotion to possibility. After a while, what started out as a classic-era throwback reveals itself to be something with very little to show off, new or otherwise.
Still, even in its most redundant hours, Magic in the Moonlight never dips to levels of unpleasant. Firth and Stone are always a joy to watch, especially when playing rounds of combat. Allen's diatribes about mortality and meaning tire, but never fall dead asleep. And there is something consistently funny about Linklater playing a dead-from-the-neck-up Pittsburgh WASP serenading Emma Stone with a ukulele.
Ultimately, Magic in the Moonlight won't be a memorable trip back to the age of Wilder or Hawks, or a reminder of why you started watching Woody Allen movies in the first place. Instead, it's just a pleasant enough romp with a few hearty laughs and ample opportunities to let your mind wander back to your favorite scene in Sleeper. Ha, yeah, Sleeper. That was a good movie.
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Broadway's Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me failed because producers refused to build up anticipation for the show with a national tour, according to star Saul Williams. The production, based on Shakur's music, closed on Sunday (20Jul14) after just six weeks, and Williams, who played the lead character John, insists producer Eric Gold always knew the show would fail on the New York stage.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he explains, "They (producers) wanted that Broadway stamp. This is the cost of that stamp... When you do something fresh and new, you're going to face obstacles and I promise you this story isn't over."
Williams claims critics failed to get how important the musical was: "There's actually a generic response when I don't think critics realise they're playing into the hands of something that runs deeper than how this made you feel. I am speaking to that American race psyche; that thing that Harry Belafonte said to me after he saw the play, which is, 'You took an Afrocentric-themed play and placed it on a Eurocentric stage. The problems you'll face are larger than you think'."
Horror film director/writer John Fasano has died, aged 52. Fasano passed away in his sleep on Saturday night (19Jul14).
The filmmaker was best known for films like Darkness Falls and The Hunchback, which earned him a Writers Guild Award nomination in 1996.
He also penned the script for the TV series Woke Up Dead, Tom Selleck's TV movie Jesse Stone: Stone Cold, Universal Soldier: The Return, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Another 48 Hours, starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte.
Fasano is survived by his wife and their two children.
Sir Paul McCartney is adamant his recent health crisis has not made him change his mind about retirement, insisting he will go on performing for as long as he can. The Beatles legend axed his Asian tour earlier this year (14) after he was hospitalised in Japan with a virus. He also postponed a number of U.S. dates, but he resumed the trek on 5 July (14) after taking several weeks off to recover.
Many fans speculated the health scare could convince the 72 year old to finally hang up his guitar, but McCartney is adamant he has no plans to retire and cites the Rolling Stones as an example of how veteran musicians can continue playing well into their twilight years.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "Obviously, when you get to a certain age, it's going to be on the cards... When will you give up? When will it give out? Who knows? But the margin has been stretched these days. The (Rolling) Stones go out now, and I go to their show and I think, 'It doesn't matter that they're old gits. They can play great.' And I talk to young kids who say exactly the same thing: 'They play good'... I think that's the deciding factor."
McCartney also insists he enjoys touring, adding, "A lot of people get fed up with life on the road, particularly when you've got a really nice home life. But for me, I want it all. I've got a great home life, and I've got a great life on the road - it's not like we're on a Greyhound bus anymore - and the audiences are just so warm, and the feedback is so good."
Sir Paul McCartney made the best of his recent ill health as the break from work allowed him to spend more time with his wife and take his first proper vacation in years. The Beatles legend was hospitalised in Japan in May (14) after he fell sick with a virus, prompting him to cancel the rest of his Asian tour and push back his planned dates in the U.S.
McCartney returned to his native U.K. to recover, and was later pictured bouncing back to health on a sun-soaked vacation with his wife Nancy Shevell in Ibiza, Spain before restarting his American tour on 5 July (14).
The 72-year-old musician has now revealed he actually enjoyed his sick leave as he relished the chance to rest and recuperate.
He tells Rolling Stone, "People say to me, 'Aw, that must have been terrible for you.' Well, no, actually. No one ever tells me to rest! It was like summer holidays in school or something. I thought, 'Yeah, I can get into that'. I just took it really easy at home in England..."
McCartney reveals he had time to read a film script written by his son, experiment with some new music, and take up jogging before heading off on a vacation.
He adds, "My son-in-law had a film script - plenty of time to read that. I started jogging a bit. The weather was great, so that was cool. And then I went into my recording studio and did some music that I didn't have to do, some experimental stuff. That was a really nice musical awakening, and it made me feel better... One part of this rest program was, I said to Nancy, 'Hey, we can take a holiday! A real holiday, where we go away.' So we went away to Ibiza."
The longtime manager of acclaimed hip-hop group The Roots has died. Rumours surfaced on Wednesday (16Jul14) suggesting Richard Nichols had died following a long illness, but his musician pal Jon Pinder cleared up the reports on Thursday morning (17Jul14), revealing he was still alive but was nearing the end.
In a post on Facebook.com, he wrote, "Rich Nichols... is fading and it's just a matter of time before he leaves us".
However, Nichols lost his battle with leukaemia hours later.
His death has been confirmed on The Roots' Okayplayer website, with the band calling him "the guiding spirit behind the group".
A number of stars have taken to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the music manager, with hip-hop veteran Talib Kweli writing, "Rest in peace to one of the greatest men I've ever met, Rich Nichols".
R&B singer Jill Scott added, "Enduring respect for a brilliant, extraordinary MAN... Peace is yours", while rapper Phonte tweeted, "RIP to my man Rich Nichols. The lessons he taught me both in and out of the studio were priceless. Rest easy, good brother", and producer 9th Wonder posted, "Rest In Peace, and Power".
The Roots, fronted by drummer Questlove, also expressed their thanks to fans for their messages of support on Thursday, writing, "Much respect and gratitude to all who have expressed your condolences and shared memories of #RichNichols. We thank you."
Nichols began his music career as a jazz radio DJ before signing on as The Roots' manager in 1991. He executive produced all of the band's albums, including its latest release, ...and then you shoot your cousin.
He also worked as a producer for the likes of Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Al Green, Erykah Badu, Common and Sly and the Family Stone.