Folk legend Bob Dylan will be presented with the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year honour from former U.S. president Jimmy Carter after receiving musical tributes from Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Jack White. The Lay Lady Lay hitmaker will be honoured at the Recording Academy's 25th annual benefit gala dinner and concert on 6 February (15), and a host of stars have lined up to celebrate Dylan's career.
Joining Springsteen, Nelson and White will be Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Jones, John Mellencamp, Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Beck, the Black Keys, Los Lobos, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones and singer/songwriter John Doe.
President Carter will close out the night by personally saluting the veteran.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the MusiCares organisation, which provides financial and medical aid to musicians in need.
Previous MusiCares Person of the Year honourees include Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Bono, Tony Bennett and Carole King, who received the accolade last year (14).
Rock legend Neil Young has teamed up with Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and Tom Petty to launch a Kickstarter.com campaign to raise funds for his new digital music service and player Pono. Springsteen, Vedder, Petty, David Crosby, James Taylor and Sting are among the stars who have provided testimonials to support Young's new invention, which recreates the purest sound of the music - as heard in the studio during the recording process.
Launching the new campaign with a video message to music fans, Young says, "It’s about the people who make the music and the way it sounds to us when we’re in the studio making it. It’s about you hearing what we hear. And that hasn’t happened in a long time. I want to bring back real music. That’s why we’re on Kickstarter. So that everyone who loves music can share in the release of Pono and the launch of the real music experience in the 21st century."
The video also features testimonials by Beck, Jack White, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, Sir Elton John, Patti Smith, Kid Rock and members of Mumford & Sons.
Neil Young reunited onstage with David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills for the first time in seven years at his annual Bridge School Benefit in California on Saturday (26Oct13). Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were among the highlights of the star-studded benefit, which also included performances from Arcade Fire, Jack Johnson, Queens of the Stone Age, Heart, Elvis Costello and his wife Diana Krall, My Morning Jacket and fun.
Young opened the show by performing a rendition of Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind before breaking into acoustic versions of Heart Of Gold and Comes A Time, which he sang with his wife Pegi.
Non-Young highlights included Costello's rendition of the Hollies' King Midas in Reverse with the band's Graham Nash, and Arcade Fire's rousing set.
The Canadian band was added as a last-minute replacement for The Killers, who pulled out of the benefit earlier this month (Oct13).
Frontman Win Butler told the audience at the Bridge School gig, "Neil emailed us a few days ago. They needed a pinch hitter, so we looked at our schedule. There's nowhere else on earth we'd rather be."
Young joined the band onstage for a new track they introduced as "I Dreamed A Neil Young Song".
CSNY took the stage just before midnight and kicked off their hour-long reunion set with Just A Song Before I Go.
The first night of the 2013 Bridge School Benefit weekend shows ended with an all-star rendition of Teach Your Children.
The annual charity concert continues on Sunday (27Oct13) with Tom Waits joining the line-up.
Neil Young's upcoming Bridge School Benefit Concerts this coming weekend (26-27Oct13) will stream for free in its entirety on YouTube.com. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Queens Of the Stone Age, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Fun, Heart and Jenny Lewis are among the acts on the bill.
Here's something to make us all feel old — today marks the birth of the one and only Sir Paul McCartney, who is now 70 years old. And while the youth of today may be trying to figure out who he is, those of us who have been following this artistic legend's career can appreciate just how much this man has shaped the history of music. And his band The Beatles (you might have heard of them) didn't do so poorly either.
All-in-all, McCartney has experienced a rather extraordinary career throughout his lifetime, so it should come as no surprise that celebrities and reality show contestants of all ages have covered a wide variety of his songs — some good, and some not-so-good. So in honor of this musical great's birthday, here's a look back at seven of the best and worst covers of McCartney's most iconic songs.
Bob Dylan — "Yesterday"
This Beatles' classic has been covered by over 2,200 artists, which is more than any other song in the history of recorded music. But Dylan somehow manages to do the song justice.
Ike & Tina Turner — "Get Back"
Turner uses her vocal, howling chops in the best way possible for this popular hit song, proving that she doesn't have to be rolling on the river to earn a spot on our iTunes list.
Steven Tyler — "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window"
This American Idol judge may act a little strange at times, but he still knows how to properly rock out a song. Tyler performed this tribute to McCartney at the 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Now if only his wardrobe could be as good as his singing.
Jack White — "Mother Nature's Son"
Jack White performed an absolutely awesome cover of this song at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize ceremony in 2010, where McCartney won for Popular Song.
Ray Charles — "Yesterday"
Many people believe Ray Charles performs the best cover of "Yesterday" amid all of the other celebrity talent. But then again, pretty much everything this artist has ever done has been magnificent. You've definitely got the right one, baby!
Jim Sturgess — "All My Loving"
The dreamy Sturgess proves very effective at making the ladies swoon in this 2007 musical drama. This song in particular leaves you especially weak in the knees and gives you a great chance to enjoy the superb lyrics.
Billy Joel — "Back In The USSR"
Come on, this is Billy Joel we're talking about. Of course he's going to be amazing. Granted, nothing can compare to McCartney's original vocals, but this comes in a close second.
Next: While some covers are hot, others are not.The Worst:
Crystal Bowersox (Idol contestant) — "Maybe I'm Amazed"
Though she was definitely a fantastic singer in general, this song was just not the right choice for her, especially since she didn't sing the lyrics correctly. A big reality show no-no if there ever was one.
Katie Stevens (Idol contestant) — "Let It Be"
She's got great vocal moments, but those high pitched screeches just aren't the type of quality you like to hear in a McCartney song.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt — "Hey Jude"
Can anyone get on board with this song rendition?
Jonas Brothers — "Hello, Goodbye"
This poorly redone version of such a classic song is enough to send someone right over the edge on a Monday morning. Hello and Goodbye to this cover!
Alvin and the Chipmunks — "I Saw Her Standing There"
Just let the pitch speak for itself on this one...
Bing Crosby — "Hey Jude"
This guy has such a unique voice and sound that it's hard to associate him with anything besides Christmas music. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas when you listen to this cover?
Siouxsie & The Banshees — "Helter Skelter"
We saved the very worst one for last. The video quality in this one far exceeds that of the vocal quality of the performance.
Paul McCartney Birthday
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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.
A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
Rasey's trumpet could also be heard in movies like An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, Spartacus and Ben-Hur.
He died of complications from a heart condition last Monday (26Sep11).
A childhood polio sufferer, Rasey began his career with bandleaders like Sonny Dunham and Alvino Rey and he became a regular on U.S. radio shows throughout the 1940s, during which he featured on programmes hosted by Jack Benny and Bing Crosby.
He joined the MGM studio orchestra in 1949 and made his mark as a TV show musician behind the scenes of hits like Bonanza and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Trade magazine Variety reports he played on as many as 3,000 film and television shows in his career.
He is perhaps best known for his jazz trumpet in 1974's Chinatown score.
Rasey also performed with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Doris Day and the Monkees.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
Quincy, M.E. TV star Jack Klugman has married for the second time, at the age of 85.
The star--most famous for his role as a Los Angeles medical examiner in the long running series--exchanged nuptials with his partner of 20 years, Peggy Crosby, at the Little Brown Church in Studio City, California on Saturday.
Crosby is the ex-wife of Bing Crosby's son Philip. Klugman's first wife Brett Somers died last year. They married in 1953 and separated in 1974, but never divorced.
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