A series of South By Southwest festival concerts planned for venues on Red River Street in Austin, Texas on Thursday (13Mar14) have been scrapped following a Wednesday night (12Mar14) car crash, which claimed the lives of two music fans. Steven Craenmehr, the 35-year-old creative director of the Massive Music agency, and an unidentified woman were killed when a suspected drunk driver ploughed into a crowd of revellers waiting for a Tyler, the Creator midnight gig outside The Mohawk Club.
More than 20 people were also injured when 21-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens lost control of his vehicle. At press time, eight people were still in hospital and two remain in critical condition.
As a result of the accident, SXSW organisers decided to scrap Thursday afternoon gigs planned for venues on Red River Street, where the crash occurred.
The owners of The Mohawk Club have issued a statement on the venue's Facebook.com page, which reads: "We will be canceling all events scheduled for this afternoon."
That means gigs featuring Perfect Pussy, punk stars F**ked Up and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart will no longer take place. Bosses at neighbouring venue Cheer Up Charlie's have also scrapped gigs by Tokyo Police Club, Deap Vally and Bleeding Rainbow.
It is not known if Thursday night's A$AP Mob gig at The Mohawk Club will go ahead as planned.
U.S. punk icon Exene Cervenka has offered her sympathies to the families of the music fans killed outside her band X's gig in Austin, Texas on Wednesday night (12Mar14). A man and a woman lost their lives when a car with a suspected drunk driver behind the wheel ploughed into a crowd outside The Mohawk Club just after X's House of Vans South by Southwest festival performance.
More than 20 other revellers were left injured, five critically.
Cervenka took to Twitter.com in the early hours of Thursday (13Mar14) to comment on the "horror" on Austin's Red River Street.
She wrote, "I am so sorry that there was a horrible accident tonight in Austin. At gig. Don't know details. Heard cops chased car? Maybe not, came out of gig horror, never know what is true anymore."
And a statement from The Black Angels, who were also on The Mohawk Club bill, reads: "Our hearts go out to all those involved in the tragedy that happened on Red River tonight. Sigh... so sorry."
Rapper Tyler, The Creator's headline slot was scrapped following the tragedy. He also took to the social media site and wrote, "Something Sad Happened. I'm Bummed."
Rocker Slash, who is also promoting new music and projects at SXSW, has also taken to Twitter.com to add his thoughts, writing, "Tragic incident at SXSW last night. Such a senseless act. My heart goes out to the victims & their families & friends."
Mohawk Club officials are planning to get back to business on Thursday, hosting festival spots from Cloud Nothings, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, F**ked Up and A$AP Mob.
A statement about the tragedy from organisers of the South By Southwest festival was released on Thursday morning. It reads: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the tragic accident that took place last night here in Austin. We appreciate and commend the first responders as well as the city agencies who so quickly sprung into action.
"We will be making schedule and venue changes for programming in the surrounding area of last night's events. All other programming will continue as previously scheduled."
Austin's Chief of Police, Art Acevedo, has confirmed the accident happened just after midnight when a motorist tried to avoid a drink driving checkpoint and ended up driving the wrong way down a one-way street before accelerating along Red River Street, losing control of his vehicle. The suspect crashed into a parked van and then attempted to flee on foot.
A Mexican music festival set to feature Kiss, Twisted Sister and Guns 'N Roses has been cancelled over safety concerns. The Hell and Heaven Metal Fest was due to take place at a fairground in Texcoco, close to Mexico City, next weekend (15-16Mar14) and was expected to attract 70,000 to 80,000 fans with 50 acts slated to perform.
But officials have scrapped the event, claiming organisers did not have adequate safety plans and as such could put attendees at risk.
A representative for the Mexican state government reveals they shut down the festival because "safety conditions for potential concert-goers were not ensured" and cited a lack of fire safety and evacuation plans, as well as inadequate planning for fireworks.
However, some reports suggest the axe had little to do with crowd control and more with the kinds of people the metal gigs would attract.
Juan Carlos Guerrero, a spokesman for the event organisers, says, "I don't know if this is discrimination against the metal community, I couldn't prove that's the case, but there are some things that make you wonder, and one is that massive 'grupero' (Mexico folk music) concerts have been held in Texcoco, with as many as 200,000 people."
As of Sunday (09Mar14) all three headline bands still had the event listed on their tour schedules.
Universal via Everett Collection
You wouldn't take Liam Neeson for a man of many fears — he's fought Batman, Darth Maul, half of Europe, and now a mysterious terrorist hidden aboard a civilian airplane in Non-Stop. But real life Neeson is a gentler sort. In fact, it took him quite a while to board his first flight. "I was a late developer in every department," Neeson told a crowd of reporters during a press conference for the action thriller, now in theaters everywhere. "My first flight [was] at the age of 21, I believe, to fly to Amsterdam from Belfast ... It was terrifying, quite. It was a hop and skip, that’s all it was, but that was my first time. I was very, very scared. Very nervous, I should say."
Neeson's Non-Stop co-star Julianne Moore is no stranger to fear herself. The esteemed performer felt that true fear is an important element to gripping movies like the pair's latest. "Whenever you’re constructing [a piece of] entertainment, all the kind of thrillers and horror movies, or anything ... with this kind of scare, they're all based on what our natural worries are," she said, delving into her personal perils. "You sort of take them and exaggerate them. Are you scared of ghosts, is it the devil? I'm very scared of the devil."
Moore continued, comparing Non-Stop to some of her favorite scary films: "In this case, you take something that's sort of routine. Obviously when you enter an airplane, you're giving up some control, all of us, and you play on that fear and you take it. And what I like so much about this particular script and [director Jaume Collet-Serra's] handling of it is that he takes a rather ordinary circumstance and turns it into a sort of Hitchcokian event. You know, it’s very reminiscent of those older movies and of the disaster movies that I loved as a kid, like Poseidon Adventure and Towering Inferno, so it becomes kind of a classic entertainment."
Alongside the universal notion of fear, Non-Stop delves into gigantic themes like prejudice and addiction. On the former theme, Neeson praised the movie's ability to turn the audience's preconceived notions on their heads. "I think on the first glance [the characters are all] kind of stereotypical. But I think Juame played with that in our own heads too. Of course there's the Muslim doctor. You go, 'Uh-huh, yeah, this is interesting...' But it's not gonna be him. [And] it's not going be the African-American kid that you think is 'definitely the guy.' He's got a real attitude."
Neeson also touched on the topic of his character's biggest struggle in the film: addiction. "He's an alcoholic. He's an addict. That's always in charge, so his big battle is just doing a seven, six-and-a-half hour flight without having a short one. That's his goal, to do that without having alcohol, and of course all s**t breaks loose. And I love the fact that — and it was in the script, but Juame covers it without the audience being banged of the head with it — in the height of the crisis, there’s a beautiful bottle of whiskey waiting to be drunk ... It's a little human gesture, I think that resonates with people. It is human and many of us are addicts. So, I like those little human touches."
Moore dived in to explain how this makes Nesson such a compelling hero, beyond the likes of your ordinary action schmoe. "I think that's why audiences respond to Liam this way. I think he does present a very humane, sensitive, complicated person — a real person — who then becomes the hero. It's not like a superhero coming in. You know that Superman's going to be able to do it, he's not even a real person. [But Liam] brings real sense of authenticity to all of these characters."
But even with so many grave themes present, Neeson takes issue when people attempt to draw too much of a sociopolitical statement from films like Non-Stop. "We all know the nightmares of airports. Obviously it's playing on those fears. But it's entertainment. A lot of the journalists in Europe — quite a few, actually — were asking about September 11th [in regards to the movie]. It’s like, 'Oh please!' That being said, I don't think the film could be made a few years ago, of course. It would have been totally insensitive. But it's a backdrop to a thriller, is what it is."
Getting more to the core of the story of Non-Stop, Moore and Neeson relished in the fact that the movie was far more a cerebral whodunnit than people might think. Moore was particularly intrigued by the naturalism achieved by the distribution of the characters. "I like the fact that there was a mystery about all of the characters, because I feel like in life, that's the way it is," Moore said. "In cinema, people are always walking into something and saying, 'This is who I am, this is what I want, and this is how I’m gonna get it.' And we don't [do that] in life. Particularly not in a public situation. People don’t know your name ... they don’t know what you do, and you're not going to offer it up. So, if you start there, you realize this is probably a much more normal presentation in film than what you would ordinarily have."
Neeson agreed that the roles in Non-Stop were all expertly constructed: "I relied on Juame a lot, because he's a very, very prepared director. Any queries we had about the script or what the characters should do or should not do, we always tried to judge it to the Nth degree. Because he was always thinking of the overall arc, the symphony of the whole film. Just the raise of an eyebrow sometimes might be just too much." Still, the actor really seemed to connect with the intensity of the movie's mystery. "There's a great [moment involving Julianne Moore]. When I walk away, she's lying asleep and she just opens her eyes. And it's amazing. Like, 'Oh my God!' Suspicious. And she's just opening her eyes! Every little nuance we were aware could take on some significance."
Finally, the stars were probed about their experiences off set with their many adoring fans. While Moore had nothing but kind words to say about the public — "People are really nice, honestly. Sometimes I really do talk to people and have a really nice conversation. I do talk to women with children a lot, because you feel for them, man. If somebody sits down next to you with a baby, I’m gonna talk to her. Because I've been there." — Neeson had a more... colorful way of dealing with "pesky fans."
"I just say f**k off," the actor claimed. "Especially if it’s kids ... Like a Star Wars autograph for some little seven-year-old. F**k off." Of course, he admitted immediately after that this was only a joke, but we enjoyed the story while it lasted.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Actor Jamie Foxx helped to keep the memory of tragic Florida teen Trayvon Martin alive on Saturday (08Feb14) by leading a peace walk through the streets of Miami. Hundreds of demonstrators joined the Ray star and members of Martin's family to rally against gun violence almost two years after his death in February, 2012, when the unarmed youngster was shot dead by infamous neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. He was acquitted of murder last year (13) after claiming self-defence.
Addressing the crowd, Foxx, wearing a T-shirt featuring a photo of Trayvon, explained his reasons for continuing to lend his voice to the cause, stating, "They say 'Jamie why you got that Trayvon Martin shirt on? That ain't in no more.' I say, 'Well, Trayvon Martin's still dead; and his mother still grieves, his father still grieves, his brother is still wondering 'Where's my brother at?'"
The Oscar winner insisted he was not there as an activist, and instead as a father and a gun owner as he called for more discussion about responsible gun ownership across America.
He said, "What we are all supposed to do is protect our kids no matter what. We're in a culture where things are sort of getting out of control... We're starting to forget that guns actually kill. We're starting to get desensitised to it. How can we be a society with guns, and responsible with guns? How can we be more responsible?"
Foxx, who previously held a candle-lit vigil in New York to remember Martin on the one-year anniversary of his death, also declared the rally was "not about race nor colour, but peace for our children".
The march took place days after what would have been Martin's 19th birthday and occurred on the same day that a Celebrity Boxing event promoter axed plans to put Zimmerman in the ring with rapper DMX.
Embattled pop superstar Justin Bieber had to ask New York police to back down on Monday (03Feb14) after they attempted to keep a throng of fans from mobbing him outside his hotel. Devotees gathered outside the Baby hitmaker's Manhattan hotel early on Monday, despite heavy snowfall, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their pop idol, and cops showed up on the scene to keep the crowd under control.
The excited fans surged forward the moment Bieber appeared outside, prompting officers to step up their efforts in order to keep them from grabbing at the singer.
However, the 19 year old decided to spend some time with his followers in the cold and instead had a word with cops so he could hold an impromptu meet and greet.
An eye witness tells GossipCop.com, "A couple of cops were trying to stop the fans from going near him and pushing them back. (Bieber) approached and defended the fans... (He) calmed the cops down and took pics (sic) with the kids."
Bieber later took to his Twitter.com blog and wrote, "dear cops. my beliebers (fans) wont hurt me. all is ok (sic)."
The singer was in the New York area to attend the Super Bowl festivities in the lead up to the big game on Sunday (02Feb14), but he was reportedly turned away from at least four exclusive parties in the early hours of Sunday because club bosses feared he would spark trouble. He was eventually allowed in to the Leather & Laces bash thrown by models Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima.
He arrived on America's East Coast on Friday afternoon (31Jan14), and even his landing at a New Jersey airport caused controversy - authorities conducted a search of the plane after suspecting there was marijuana on board. No contraband was found and the star was subsequently allowed to go on his way.
It followed a string of legal woes for the youngster, who was arrested for driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving without a valid licence in Miami, Florida last month (Jan14). He is due in court to face those charges on 14 February (14), while he is also due in a Canadian court in March (14) to face claims he assaulted a limousine driver in December (13).
This week’s Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels largely like a retread of the pilot episode. But without the fantastic J. August Richards adding heart to the monster of the week, things feel pretty cold and distant, which is especially disappointing considering the baddie of the week has the power to create fire.
The episode opens on a bustling street in Hong Kong where a street performer is doling out low-rent magic tricks to a crowd of semi-interested on-lookers. The magician turns up the heat and reveals that he has fire powers. But calling them "powers" is a little generous, considering he has the pirokinetic ability of a human bic lighter. The magician is approached by a sultry woman who takes special interest in his cigarette lighting abilities, but she turns on him in what is probably the most obvious kidnapping in human history.
The magician, named Chan Ho Yin, was being watched by S.H.I.E.L.D., and his disapearence sets of some alarms. It turns out that the folks at The Rising Tide were the ones who leaked the information to Chan's kidnappers. All eyes turn to Skye, who denies involvement. The team tracks The Rising Tide hacker to Austin where Ward gives him a chase, only to lose him after the guy employs some nifty hacking on the city's street lights. The Hacker get’s home only to find Skye there, who starts to berate him about stealing S.H.I.E.L.D info. The two then do the most logical thing to do when an impossibly powerful multi-national security force is searching for you, it's obviously time for a quickie. When the deed is done, Melinda May is waiting right behind the door, just as Skye is looking for her shirt in a terribly obvious reveal. Skye is in big trouble with Coulson and the gang, and she tries to pretend that they're only friends, as if that would make tipping off a rouge hacker okay.
Centipede is revealed to be behind the kidnapping and they inject the human bic lighter with the Extremis serum from the first episode, believing that his fire ability will stop the drugs' unfortunate side effect of blowing people up. Chan's powers multiply and he becomes more of a human blow torch. Centipede then steal his blood platelets (which were controlling his powers) resulting in some nasty burns. Chan then begins attacking both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Centipede agents, so Coulson must make the tough decision of killing him... though they didn't try all that hard to save him in the first place. I'm starting to think that Coulson likes to skip all the moralizing and just kill the "out of control good guy turned bad guy of the week" just so he can get back to his jet sooner. Lola needs a good buffing anyway.
An angry Coulson meets with Skye and demands to know what she's hiding. It turns out she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. to learn what happened to her parents, information that was redacted by none other than S.H.I.E.L.D.. For some reason, she's still allowed to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent after all of this. I guess Coulson lost his common sense when he got stabbed by Loki.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still resting on the fact that action and superhero name checks are a suitable replacement for actually creating interesting characters and compelling stories. Everything about this episode was terriby bland. Everyone's decisions and actions ring false, and the show makes impossible to emphasize with anyone. It's trying to be a show for everyone, but it's failing at entertaining anyone.
Best Quips and Other Observations- "Oh crap. They gave him a name."- "Scorch" is such a lame name for a superhero. It's a shame Chan got so attached to it.- Even lamer than Scorch is Centipede. Really? You named your terrorist organization Centipede? Watch out for their fearsome sister-organization "Gentle Bug."- Couldn't Coulson just shoot the guy in the head when he snuck up on him instead of purpously blowing him up? How is that "minimizing the damage"? Thats actually increasing the damage... by a lot. - Just how long was Melinda May waiting behind the door while Skye and generic hacker guy were getting it on? Was she just waiting there listening? That's kinda creepy.
Andrei Jackamets/Getty Images
Shock; the world is in utter shock. Okay, by "the world" I mean women in their 20s who obsessed over Melissa Joan Hart in her Nickelodian glory days. However, it is pretty surprising that the quirky child star and current mother of three was once a huge partier and drug user.
Melissa Explains It All, a play on the Nickelodian series Clarissa Explains It All, is the new tell-all book that details Hart's colorful past, and calls out the other Hollywood celebs who partied with her. Life & Style got a peek at the book, and highlighted some of Hart's noteworthy antics. The author explains, "I experimented with weed, Ecstasy, mushrooms and mescaline for about a year and a half."
She goes on the say she took Ecstacy at the Playboy Mansion in 1999, then made out with a girl on the limo ride home. She even showed up to her Maxim photo shoot still under the influence. Hart admits she was "kind of running with a bad crowd," which apparently included Ryan Reynolds, Nick Carter, and Jerry O'Connell. She adds that she had a fling with both Carter and O'Connell, and labels O'Connell a "man-whore." Another Hollywood hottie that makes it into the book is Ashton Kutcher. Hart recalls, "Ashton and I just didn't get along," and explains she twice tried the throw him out of her parties for making "smartass remarks."
While the tell-all is both shocking and alarming, it has a happy ending. Hart says she never became addicted to the drugs, and in fact, "just didn’t enjoy taking drugs. I don’t like the loss of control.” She is now happily married and staring on the popular sitcom Melissa and Joey.
Check out Melissa Explains It All when it hits shelves Oct. 29.
More:Apparently, Zac Efron Went to Rehab 5 Months AgoMelissa Joan Hart Wants to Move ForwardParis Hilton Responds to Nick Carter's Relationship Remarks
| Follow @lexi_smail
From Our Partners:A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Actress Melissa Joan Hart has upset old pal Paris Hilton with drug revelations in her memoirs. In Melissa Explains it All, which hits bookshelves at the end of next month (Oct13), Hart opens up about her secret drug abuse hell and claims Hilton once offered her cocaine at a party - something the socialite's publicist insists the actress has misremembered.
Talking about the dark moments in the book, the TV star tells Life & Style magazine, "I experimented with weed, Ecstasy, mushrooms and mescaline for about a year and a half. I was kind of running with a bad crowd. I just didn't enjoy taking drugs. I don't like the loss of control."
She reveals she once took Ecstasy at the Playboy Mansion in 1999 and made out with an unnamed woman in the limo ride home.
But it's her revelations about a party at Hilton's home, where the socialite allegedly offered her cocaine, that is set to really shock readers.
A rep for Paris has denied the claim.
And she's not the only celebrity who will be upset with Hart over her revelations - she also opens up about past flings with Jerry O'Connell and Backstreet Boys star Nick Carter, and she rips Ashton Kutcher for being a "smart a**", explaining she twice tried to kick him out of her parties for being a wiseguy.
She says, "Ashton and I just didn't get along."
British singer-songwriter Juliette Ashby paid a moving tribute to her best friend Amy Winehouse during a gig at London's Jazz Cafe on Thursday night (19Sep13). Just days after what would have been the Rehab singer's 30th birthday, Ashby dedicated two of her songs, Not Trying (To Get Over You) and Waiting, to the girl she met at school, aged four, and with whom she shared her childhood, teenage and early adult years.
Ashby, who was launching her EP Take It Over at the fabled Camden venue told the crowd, "I just want to take a moment because it's appropriate, to dedicate these next two songs to my best friend. She passed away two years ago. It was her birthday and it was a horrible, sad day for me.
"We have amazing memories here at the Jazz Cafe, sitting upstairs with my girls - and she's up there now with us too tonight, and it feels amazing."
Winehouse and Ashby were inseparable as kids, forming the rap duo Sweet 'n' Sour, and sharing their first experiences in the recording studio together, aged 10. They lived together as Amy's career took off, following the release of her album Frank in 2003, but when her best friend's drug problems took hold and her behaviour spiralled out of control, Ashby decided the only way she could help her pal was to give her tough love and step away.
Rarely speaking publicly about her late soul sister, Ashby tells WENN the circumstances surrounding her friend's addictions and untimely death are often too painful to talk about about.
She says, "I've loved Amy since we were four. We grew up together, but when she did the stuff she did I told her I would not tolerate her behaviour.
"It changed the amazing person that she is, which is my best friend. And she knew that. But she knew I would always be there for her and that's why she came to me when she wanted a sense of normality back in her life or when things got really bad and she really needed help. She felt safe knowing that I wouldn't take any s**t from her during those dark times.
"Her 30th birthday, which should have been a joyous occasion, was really miserable for me without her here. I love and miss her more than I can ever put into words."