Parks and Recreation has settled back into its familiar groove, with Leslie's (Amy Poehler) struggle to keep her council seat serving as a nice framing device that informs the stories around the office. But no real forward momentum is achieved, primarily because the petty Councilman Jamm (Jon Glaser) ties her up in an obviously manufactured trial about an inappropriate tweet sent from the Parks Dept. Twitter.
For all the talk, we never get to see the offending picture... but it's not a full-on Anthony Weiner, just a racy snapshot of a pair of lips and an eggplant and the caption "See you tonight. Hope you like tongue baths, you big nasty fireman," which, as far as inappropriate tweets go, seems pretty tame. However, it didn't stop Leslie from being railroaded at every opportunity for her negligence by Jamm. Surprisingly, we get Donna (Retta) in a main plot this week, as she proved to be the offending tweet-er, and the trial uncovers some rude things she wrote about Leslie on her personal page. However, for some reason, the conflict between Leslie and Donna clears up through Chris (Rob Lowe), not via a confrontation between Leslie Donna. It would have been nice to see a little bit more of Leslie and Donna alone, since the season (and the show) has been a little Donna-starved, and Donna's frustration at Leslie being "annoying" was solved a bit too simply.
It also continues its parade of guest stars, with the appearance of Tatiana Maslany as Nadia, a doctor from Indianapolis looking to book a park with Tom (Aziz Ansari) and April (Aubrey Plaza). You'd think Tom would have more game after dating Jama Williamson, Natalie Morales, Rashida Jones, and even Jenny Slate as the crazy Mona-Lisa. But, instead, at the sight of Maslany he panics and immediately begins faking a British accent. Maslany is of course best known for her lingual flexibility on Orphan Black, so to see her baffled by Tom's attempt at being dapper (and then, of course, being forced to drop it) feels like a nice reference to that show while still grounding it in character. From there, Tom attempts bribery, stalling, and eventually, outright lying in hopes of charming Nadia, but in the end what wins her over is April's blunt assessment of why she should give him a chance: "You're way out of his league. There's literally no risk for you at all."
The ensemble feels a little light this week, but that may just be due to the lack of Ann and Andy, as almost every other character appears and had something to do. Ron (Nick Offerman) and Ben (Adam Scott) tackle the thrilling subject of estate planning, as we find out that Ron's will is a single sentance he wrote when he was eight (of course it is) and he now has an outrageous amount of money (of course he does). Eventually, Ben must convince Ron to file a real will in order to protect his children. While Ron's reluctant transformation into a family man is sweet, it's also becoming somewhat one-note already, and could be time to switch it up for the character. But if they keep adding great bits like the ongoing accountant/lawyer rivalry between Ben and his attorney, I'll still be laughing. Who knew lawyers hated puns so much?
Questions, Comments, and Concerns:-Ron, on making his first joke: "I don't care for it."-Tom's burgundy suit was pretty fly. Looks like now that Rent-A-Swag is defunct he's got all of those clothes to himself again. -The Anti-Leslie "Committee to Recall Leslie Knope" farting Knope dolls is kind of lame for a show that's this funny.-Leslie's idea to add question mark stickers to "Recall Knope" signs backfires when April gets ahold of them, making every sign around the town read like a hypothetical. Also great: she creates a question mark plastered fascinator in the shape of an exploding firework. -#BitchBoss is obviously an insult, while #BossBitch is a total compliment. #PsychoBoss probably most accurately describes Leslie.-Ron is confident that he will not die at the hand of an accountant, lawyer, or wild boar.-DJ Roomba lives!
Victor Willis of '70s pop-disco outfit The Village People announced last week that he's regained control of his share of the songs he co-wrote and performed with the band starting in 1978, including massive hits like "In the Navy," "Go West" and the halftime and wedding reception staple "YMCA." Willis, who was the band's lead singer and primary lyricist (he was the one dressed like a cop), had signed away his rights to those hits when he left the band in late 1979, but thanks to a heretofore little-known clause in standard music industry contracts introduced in the Copyright Act of 1976, he was able to regain them through termination rights.
Basically, termination rights allow songwriters to reassert control over their songs 35 years after they were copyrighted, even if they had previously signed away their copyrights. It now being 35 years after 1978, the first year the termination rights clause went into effect, we're about to start seeing a lot more of these rights being exercised. So what does that mean?
Well, in this specific case, it gives Willis a much greater say in how his songs are exploited, including how the original recordings are repackaged. Also, he can forbid the current touring lineup -- which only includes backup singers Felipe Rose (the Native American) and Alex Briley (the soldier) from their hitmaking days -- from performing the songs he controls in concerts on American soil.
Perhaps more interestingly, this points the way toward musicians who signed bad contracts in their early careers -- Tom Petty and Billy Joel are notorious examples -- being able to exert more control over their catalogues, including the ability to renegotiate their post-1977 record company contracts. (The law applies only to songs recorded after January 1, 1978, which among other things means that Willis still doesn't have the rights to the Village People's 1977 hit "Macho Man.") Most listeners won't notice this change, which will have no effect on radio or streaming services. But the opportunity for creative artists -- even if the most lasting thing they created is that goofy arm-gesture dance everyone does when "YMCA" comes on -- to more equitably share in the proceeds of their work has to be seen as a victory.
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The almost unrecognisable photos of Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley in the press recently served as a sharp reminder that the second wave of punk-pop actually occurred much longer ago than you might have thought. Indeed, twelve years have passed since its heyday, the kind of timegap which suggests that a mini-revival is due any minute now. It might already be underway. Named after Wheatus' biggest hit, a Teenage Dirtbags compilation topped the UK charts last month, while Avril Lavigne's last single, "Here's To Never Growing Up," might as well have been titled "Complicated Part 2." While several of the sound's biggest hitters are unlikely to receive a glowing career reappraisal (hello Bowling For Soup!), the late 90s/early 00s movement did produce at least a handful of genuinely great singles that deserve to be given another lease of life. Here's a look at five of the best.
The Bloodhound Gang – "The Bad Touch"
Even by the scene's rather low standards, The Bloodhound Gang were considered as perhaps a touch too crude. This ode to the kind of mating habits you'd find on the Discovery Channel is undeniably juvenile. But buried beneath its stream of sexual metaphors, there's an equally ridiculous yet utterly addictive production which borrowed from '80s synth-pop long before it was fashionable to do so.
Alien Ant Farm – "Movies"
Their nu-metal take on "Smooth Criminal" lost its appeal after a few listens but the brilliantly buoyant follow-up single "Movies" suggested, extremely briefly, that there was more to the band than novelty covers of Michael Jackson classics.
Sum 41 – "Fatlip"
A full-throttle celebration of rebelliousness which revelled in the band’s 'lower middle class brat' status, "Fatlip" is a thrilling mix of Beastie Boys-esque rap, thunderous hard rock and pogo-inducing skate punk, which unlike many of Sum 41's peers, didn’t even try to take itself seriously.
Crazy Town – "Butterfly"
One of the '00s ultimate one-hit wonders, heavily tattooed L.A. natives Crazy Town gave the scene its first and only US chart-topper with this chilled slice of rap-rock, although admittedly take away the inspired Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar sample and there isn't much to it.
A – "Nothing"
The UK never really tried to compete with their US cousins when it came to punk-pop until 'boyband with guitars' outfits Busted and McFly came along. A frontman Jason Perry would later work with the latter, but it was on this 1999 breakthrough single that he first showcased his knack of blending explosive guitar riffs with soaring pop melodies.
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Rare Hollywood memorabilia including props from blockbusters Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Mission: Impossible Iii are to go up for auction next month (Sep13). Bosses at Premier Props are opening up their vaults for a high-profile sale, which will include the enormous truck featured in Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy Bruno, Lori Petty's goggles from Tank Girl, and Larry Hagman's personal mobile dressing room from the set of Dallas.
Ryan Gosling's motorcycle from The Place Beyond The Pines, a throne from 1956 epic The Ten Commandments, and costumes from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal's new crime drama Prisoners are also on sale, along with stunt guns used in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible sequel.
The auction will feature more than 1,000 movie props and outfits and will take place in El Segundo, California on 28 September (13).
Rockers Kings Of Leon are set to indulge their love of a good meal by hosting a food festival in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee next month (Sep13). Bandmembers Caleb and Nathan Followill have teamed up with chef Jonathan Waxman to co-host the Music City Eats festival, which will showcase some of the city's top chefs while bands perform live music.
The weekend event will also feature the Petty Fest Nashville, an all-star celebration of the music of Tom Petty, hosted by Kings Of Leon at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium. They will perform alongside Emmylou Harris and Norah Jones.
Waxman says, "A few years ago, Caleb Followill quietly slipped into my restaurant Barbuto in New York, and we bonded over food and music, and throughout our many conversations, he kept asking why there wasn't a food and wine festival in his hometown of Nashville. We are inviting some truly amazing chefs from around the country, and most importantly, the best chefs and restaurants in Nashville. I am extremely excited by our shindig, and the Kings and I can't wait until September rolls around."
Music City Eats will take place from 21 to 22 September.
The Wanted star Tom Parker is facing a fine from officials in Colorado after he allegedly defecated into a plastic bag and threw it out of his tour bus window. The Walks Like Rihanna singer pulled the prank while in the U.S. with his bandmates and faces a penalty of up to $500 (£333) for littering, which is considered a class two petty offence in the state.
Parker avoided being penalised by crossing the state line the following day, but bandmate Jay McGuiness is convinced he will be forced to pay the fine eventually, telling Britain's Daily Mirror, "I am going to try to avoid Colorado right now but if we do go (back), Tom needs to get $500 ready. That was the most expensive passing of a number two (Tom) will ever have."
The revelation comes just days after the singers were accused of drenching a hotel guest by throwing Champagne out of a window at the Marylebone Hotel in London while celebrating McGuiness' birthday last week (beg22Jul13). Police were called, but no charges were filed.
Celebrated singer/songwriter Jj Cale has died at the age of 74. The musician passed away at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California on Friday (26Jul13) after suffering a heart attack, according to an announcement on his personal website.
Born John Weldon Cale in Oklahoma, he adopted the name JJ Cale to avoid being confused with John Cale of the Velvet Underground and helped create the Tulsa Sound, a musical style which combined blues, rockabilly, and country.
He became famous in the 1970s, when Eric Clapton covered his songs After Midnight and Cocaine and the pair collaborated on 2006 album The Road To Escondido, which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2008.
Cale released 14 studio albums but enjoyed greater success as a songwriter than a singer, penning popular tracks for Tom Petty, Carlos Santana and Johnny Cash.
"I predict you're going to have an incredible time tonight. I don't have to be anywhere for hours." Rocker Tom Petty ended up playing for more than two hours with his band the Heartbreakers as they closed the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee on Sunday (16Jun13).
Singer/songwriter Jack Johnson has stepped in to replace Mumford & Sons as the headlining act at the Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee on Saturday (15Jun13), after the folk band was forced to pull the plug on its performance to allow bassist TED DWANE to recover from brain surgery. The I Will Wait hitmakers had to scrap a series of gigs this week (begs10Jun13) when Dwane was hospitalised with a blood clot on his brain. He has since been discharged after undergoing surgery, but the group has had to pull out of the festival gig.
Their decision left Bonnaroo organisers scrambling for a replacement, but on Friday (14Jun13) they announced Johnson had agreed to hit the stage at short notice.
However, the Better Together hitmaker admits he has some practice to do before the big performance.
He says, "I've got a lot of lyrics and chords to relearn by Saturday night. I was here to play the first Bonnaroo and it is a very special festival to my band. We are excited to hit the stage again."
Johnson warmed up for Saturday's show by performing a surprise set in the Bonnaroo media tent on Friday (14Jun13), when he told reporters: "So the circumstances are pretty unfortunate. I was really looking forward to seeing Mumford & Sons!"
Johnson joins a line-up which already boasts the likes of Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bjork and R. Kelly, although rapper Earl Sweatshirt has had to axe his appearance at the four-day festival after falling ill with pneumonia.
According to Billboard.com, country star Darius Rucker had also been approached to fill in for Mumford & Sons, but his tour schedule didn't allow for a festival appearance on Saturday.
The 2013 Bonnaroo music festival has opened on a sombre note following a fatal car crash involving revellers making their way to the event in Manchester, Tennessee. Two people were killed and five others injured in an eight-car pile-up on a freeway in Murfreesboro just after midnight on Thursday morning (13Jun13).
The names of the deceased festival goers, who were killed when their vehicle exploded, had not been released as WENN went to press.
The accident happened just an hour away from the festival site.
Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Bjork are among the highlights at this year's sold out four-day event, which kicked off on Thursday (13Jun13).