The man who wrote Luke Bryan's maligned new song That's My Kind Of Night has hit back at Zac Brown over his radio remarks about the tune. Brown sparked a new war of words in country music when he called Bryan's single the "worst song" he's ever heard, adding it makes him want to "throw up" every time he hears it.
Justin Moore and Jason Aldean have both jumped to Bryan's defence, and now Dallas Davidson, one of the three songwriters behind the tune has broken his silence about the furore.
Davidson, who also co-wrote Blake Shelton's Boys 'Round Here and Lady Antebellum's Just a Kiss, among other hits, reveals Bryan actually called him to let him know what Brown had said during a radio chat.
He tells Roughstock.com, "The first thing I did was sit there and soak it in. A comment like that will hurt your feelings because when you write a song, it's kind of like one of your babies. To hear a successful artist say it was the worst song he's heard and it makes him want to throw up, that's just not cool."
Davidson adds, "We write about what we know about. What I know about is sitting on a tailgate drinking a beer. Hell, I live on the river. When Luke called me to tell me about what happened, I was literally smoking Boston butts on my homemade cooker at my 800 square foot river house with about four of my buddies with their trucks backed up, sitting on a tailgate."
The songwriter insists he won't be getting involved in a rap-style diss with Brown, adding, "My mom always told me if you don't have nothing nice to say, then don't say it at all. That's true.
"I think social media... has really changed this whole generation where it's OK to be mean, and it's OK to talk bad about people. When I grew up, you didn't do that."
But he jokes, "If that song makes him want to throw up, I hope I write one today that gives him the flu because that means I'm doing my job right."
The world of country came together for one of several nights honoring their top talent for the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards. Hosted by The Voice's Blake Shelton and the two-first-named Luke Bryan, the night belonged to Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, and group Little Big Town. Taking home trophies for Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Single Record of the Year, Lambert proved herself the toast of Nashville with her track "Only You."
Other big winners included Eric Church and Jason Aldean, and featured performances by an increasingly-varied roster of artists from across the spectrum — including John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, and Kelly Clarkson. Also came the announcement that the Artist of the Decade award would be renamed to honor the show's former producer, Dick Clark.
Check out the full list of nominees (with winners in bold), below!
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Entertainer of the YearJason AldeanLuke BryanMiranda LambertBlake SheltonTaylor Swift
Male Vocalist of the YearJason AldeanLuke BryanEric ChuchToby KeithBlake Shelton
Female Vocalist of the YearMiranda LambertMartina McBrideKacey MusgravesTaylor SwiftCarrie Underwood
Vocal Duo of the YearBig and RichFlorida Georgia LineLove and TheftSugarlandThompson Square
Vocal Group of the YearThe Band PerryEli Young BandLady AntebellumLittle Big TownZac Brown Band
New Artist of the YearJana KramerBrantley GilbertFlorida Georgia Line
Album of the YearCarrie Underwood, ‘Blown Away’Eric Church, ‘Chief’Taylor Swift, ‘Red’Luke Bryan, ‘Tailgates and Tanlines’Little Big Town, ‘Tornado’
Song of the YearLee Brice, ‘A Woman Like You’Eli Young Band, ‘Even if It Breaks Your Heart’Miranda Lambert, ‘Over You’Eric Church, ‘Springsteen’Hunter Hayes, ‘Wanted’
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Single Record of the YearEli Young Band, ‘Even if It Breaks Your Heart’Miranda Lambert, ‘Over You’Little Big Town, ‘Pontoon’Eric Church, ‘Springsteen’Hunter Hayes, ‘Wanted’
Video of the YearEric Church, ‘Creepin’Hunter Hayes, ‘Wanted’Little Big Town, ‘Tornado’Kacey Musgraves, ‘Merry go round’Taylor Swift, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’Zac Brown Band, ‘ The Wind’
Vocal Event of a YearKelly Clarkson (Feat. Vince Gill), ‘Don’t Rush’Rascal Flatts (Feat. Natasha Bedingfield) ‘Easy’Kenny Chesney (Feat. Tim McGraw), ‘Feel Like a Rock Star’David Nail (Feat. Sarah Buxton), ‘Let It Rain’ buxtonJason Aldean (Feat. Luke Bryan and Eric Church) ‘The Only Way I Know’
Songwriter of the YearRodney ClawsonDallas DavidsonJosh KearLuke LairdShane McAnally
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David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
It's likely Academy of Country Music co-host/The Voice coach/country superstar/one-time proud mullet owner/social media fiend Blake Shelton will post plenty of behind-the-scenes intel on his ever-updating Twitter feed. (The multi-tasker even managed to slip in some tweets during the show!) But it's unlikely Shelton — who hosted the 47th annual ceremony tonight on CBS alongside Reba McEntire — will be able to fit the entire winners' list in only 140 characters. That's why we're here! See below for the night's entire winners' list, which includes Shelton, who was awarded Male Vocalist of the Year. (It will be a happy night in the Shelton household — the singer's wife Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for Four the Record.) Who picked up trophies for Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year, and more? Find out below!
Entertainer of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert Vocal Duo of the YearThompson Square Vocal Group of the YearLady Antebellum New Artist of the YearScotty McCreery Album of the YearFour the Record, Miranda Lambert Single Record of the Year"Don't You Wanna Stay," Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson Song of the Year"Crazy Girl," Eli Young Band Songwriter of the YearDallas Davidson Video of the Year"Red Solo Cup," Toby Keith Vocal Event of the Year"Don't You Wanna Stay," Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson More: Taylor Swift Explains ACM Awards To Her Kitten Image Credit: ACM/CBS
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.