Pink Floyd star Roger Waters performed at a star-studded charity gala over the weekend (30-31Aug14) to promote chemical-free landscape gardening. The rocker topped the line-up at the family picnic and concert in East Hampton, New York on Saturday (30Aug14) to raise funds and awareness for the Perfect Earth Project, which campaigns for toxin-free garden maintenance.
According to New York Post gossip column Page Six, Rufus Wainwright, singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, British folk star Teddy Thompson and experimental artist Laurie Anderson also provided entertainment as guests dined on picnic food and petted animals from a nearby wildlife reserve.
Guests at the event included Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart and B-52s singer Fred Schneider.
Singer and performance artist Laurie Anderson found herself locked in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber last week (ends11Jul14) during a routine therapy session in New York. The O Superman hitmaker, 67, reportedly had to text a friend when she realised she couldn't exit the person-sized capsule, and the pal then called for help.
According to the New York Daily News, Lou Reed's widow had escaped the chamber by the time emergency service officials arrived at Pure Flow spa, and she declined medical treatment.
The spa's owner, Andrew Barile, told the publication that Anderson was in the chamber for about 45 minutes, adding, "There was a miscommunication on the timing."
Linda Ronstadt is hoping her archives will keep fans happy for years to come now that Parkinson's disease has robbed her of her singing voice. The Blue Bayou hitmaker revealed all about her diagnosis last year (13) and explained she could no longer sing, but with a new album of duets set for release this week (08Apr14) and her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction scheduled for two days later (10Apr14), Ronstadt is hoping to make the most of fresh interest.
She explains, "I could put out a whole record of just Jimmy Webb stuff, or I've got enough duets with Aaron (Neville) to make a whole album."
The singer has already tasted success with Neville - their tunes All My Life and Don't Know Much became big hits in 1989 and 1990, respectively.
However, Ronstadt accepts her style of music might be out of fashion: "I don't know how much of a demand there is for it; the record business has changed so profoundly. It's not something I think about, but every once in awhile a record company comes and says, 'We'd like to put out this. Do you think you could put this together?' and I go, 'OK, I can do that'.
"I'd love to do stuff of me singing with other women singers, like Ann Savoy and Dolly and Emmylou and Laurie and just have it be that, or just traditional stuff. I sang a lot of stuff, so there are all sorts of possibilities, I guess."
Singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega has opened up about her final get together with pal Lou Reed before his death last year (13), revealing her final image of the rock icon was not one she's fond of remembering. The Luka singer tells Rolling Stone magazine that she visited Reed at the house he shared with partner Laurie Anderson on Long Island, New York two months before he died in October (13), and she could tell he was very ill.
Vega recalls, "He was hanging out in his backyard in his bathing suit. It was quite an image. He was very thin. You could see the battle scars from his surgery. He asked me if I wanted him to put on a T-shirt, and I said, 'Are you kidding? I'm gonna make you put on a shirt? I don't think so.'"
But the singer also has a lovely memory from her final meeting with Reed after his puppy chewed her sunglasses: "He was truly mortified that the dog had done that to my special sunglasses.
"Lou had a special relationship with his own sunglasses, so it was... telling. I was touched by his concern. I saw another side of him in the last few years. He was thoughtful and funny and kind."
Vega had hoped to work with her old friend on her new album but he was too ill to join her in the studio.
Debbie Harry, Paul Simon and Patti Smith were among the stars who turned out to honour late rocker Lou Reed at a tribute show in New York City on Monday night (16Dec13). Reed's family and friends were in the audience for the show at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, which was organised by his widow Laurie Anderson and marked 50 days since his death from liver disease at the age of 71.
The emotional event included musical tributes from artists including Blondie star Harry, who sang Velvet Underground's White Light, White Heat, and Simon, who moved the crowd with a performance of Pale Blue Eyes.
Patti Smith performed Reed's anthem Perfect Day, and other performers at the show included singer/songwriter Emily Haines, The Persuasions, and Jenni Muldaur.
Spoken word pieces were delivered by a number of other attendees, including moviemaker Julian Schnabel and Reed's former Velvet Underground bandmate Maureen Tucker.
Anderson also spoke at the event and picked up her violin to play a song she had composed for her late husband.
Guests in the audience included music mogul Clive Davis, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Richard Belzer, and author Salman Rushdie.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Lou Reed succumbed to liver disease at his home in Long Island, New York, according to the late rocker's doctor. The former Velvet Underground frontman died on Sunday (27Oct13) after battling poor health for months.
Dr. Charles Miller, who performed a liver transplant on Reed at the Cleveland Clinic in April (13), tells the New York Times that the rocker returned to Ohio last week (bes21Oct13) for further treatment.
The medic told Reed his condition could no longer be treated, and the singer/songwriter opted to return to the home he shared with his wife Laurie Anderson.
The doctor says, "We all agreed that we did everything we could."
Tributes from the music world have been pouring in for Reed since news of his death was released. Blondie stars Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne added their thoughts about the rock star in statements on Monday (28Oct13).
Harry wrote, "I'm so sad that he's gone but his hypnotic voice telling a story of a Perfect Day, or the devil let loose in White Light/White Heat will live forever."
Her bandmate Stein added, "Lou was one of a handful of originals. I don't think that the conditions that created him will again even be approximated, let alone duplicated."
And Byrne stated, "His work and that of the Velvets was a big reason I moved to NY and I don't think I'm alone there. We wanted to be in a city that nurtured and fed that kind of talent."
Veteran rocker Lou Reed is plotting his stage comeback after undergoing a liver transplant, declaring: "I am bigger and stronger... than ever." The former Velvet Underground singer scrapped a string of live dates in April (13) to undergo the life-saving operation in Cleveland, Ohio.
His musician wife Laurie Anderson broke the news of the procedure over the weekend (01Jun13), telling Britain's The Times, "I don't think he'll ever totally recover from this", but Reed has taken to his Facebook.com page to assure fans he is bouncing back quickly.
He writes, "I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than... ever. My (martial art) Chen Taiji and health regimen has served me well all of these years, thanks to (my instructor) Master Ren Guang-yi. I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."
Veteran rocker Lou Reed is recovering after undergoing a life-saving liver transplant. The former Velvet Underground singer had the operation in April (13), his musician wife Laurie Anderson revealed in a recent interview with Britain's The Times.
She explains, "It's as serious as it gets. He was dying. You don't get it for fun... I don't think he'll ever totally recover from this, but he'll certainly be back to doing (things) in a few months. He's already working and doing (martial art) t'ai chi. I'm very happy. It's a new life for him."
The 71 year old pulled out of a number of concerts - including two sets at California's Coachella music festival in April (13) - to have the procedure in Cleveland, Ohio.
Anderson admits she was impressed with the treatment her husband received, adding, "You send out two planes - one for the donor, one for the recipient - at the same time. You bring the donor in live, you take him off life support. It's a technological feat. I was completely awestruck. I find certain things about technology truly, deeply inspiring."
The couple married in 2008.
Dance stars Daft Punk are continuing to dominate the U.K. singles chart after notching up a third consecutive week at number one. The French duo's collaboration with Pharrell Williams, Get Lucky, has forced house producer Chris Malinchak to settle for second place with So Good To Me, while British singer/songwriter Passenger climbed to three with Let Her Go.
Meanwhile, jazz and pop singer Caro Emerald has scored a big hit in the U.K. albums chart - her sophomore release, The Shocking Miss Emerald, has entered at the top of the new countdown.
Home by drum and bass band Rudimental fell to second place, while actor-turned-blues singer Hugh Laurie has taken number three with Didn't It Rain.