Monday, 15 July 2013

Selena Gomez Throws Epic Dance Party With Stars Dance Teasers

Gomez makes good on her promise of serving up dance music on her new album, out July 23.
Selena Gomez wasn't lying when she said that her new album, Stars Dance, was inspired by EDM king Skrillex. On Monday (July 15), the singer gave fans an early listen to the dance-song-heavy release, officially out on July 23

While the teasers are short, they also paint a pretty sweet sonic picture of what fans have in store for them on the album, her follow-up to 2011's When the Sun Goes Down. Full of wobbly synths, loopy vocals, fist-pumping beats and crunchy breakdowns, the album takes cues from all walks of music including disco, techno and electronic music, exuding sexy confidence and sassy swagger.
 It definitely can be classified as "baby dubstep," which how Gomez has previously described it.
It's clear that Gomez just wants to party on the album. The first teaser, with its clappy beat, has her proclaiming, "Tell them it's my birthday/ When I party like that!" (Coincidentally, the album actually drops one day after her 21st birthday.)
When Gomez spoke to MTV News back in May about the album, she made it clear that dancing would be an overarching theme. She noted that she was definitely inspired by her work on the bikini-heavy, Harmony Korine-directed "Spring Breakers," which included a dubstep-heavy soundtrack provided by Skrillex.
"To be honest, most of the record actually speeds up once I release [the first single] 'Come & Get It'," she said. "The rest of the record, I've never taken this long to work on a record before. ... It was really fun for me to have more of a creative control and more of a say. I want it to be a mixture of everything I'm obsessed with. I love to dance and I love to make people dance."

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Paparazzo sues Justin Bieber for alleged assault

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Bieber has been sued by a paparazzo who claims the singer kicked and punched him last year at a Southern California shopping center.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges the "Baby" crooner attacked Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran after Bieber and his then-girlfriend went to the movies at The Commons in Calabasas.

Bieber's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Duran claims Bieber started to leave the shopping center in his Mercedes, but got out of his car and sprinted toward him.

Duran says Bieber jumped into the air from 6 to 8 feet away to deliver a martial-arts-type kick to the photographer's gut before punching him in the face.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for "severe and extreme emotional distress" and negligence.

Source :

Friday, 21 June 2013

Smith Westerns Mellow Out Before Blasting Off

Kicking back with the Chicago indie trio before their summer tour

By Dan Hyman
June 20, 2013 3:20 PM ET
Cullen Omori has been stoned all day. A busy night lies ahead: The Smith Westerns singer is hoping to whip up a killer gumbo and then, if all goes according to plan, stock his newly minted "smoking room" with the early-Nineties action figures he's recently become obsessed with. Right now, though, he's ready to spark up again.

"Go easy – this stuff is pretty heavy," he warns, sliding a mini-glass bong snugly packed with choice buds across a table in the living room of his messy, college-style Chicago walk-up apartment. Omori's pet fish, Little Pig, looks on from his murky tank.

The 23-year-old frontman and his bandmates – brother Cameron Omori, 21, on bass, and longtime friend Max Kakacek, 22, on guitar – finished recording their third studio album, Soft Will, last October. Save for a pair of Coachella gigs in April, life for the three longhaired musicians has resembled one long, hazy weed nap since then. The daydream ends next month, when they head out on a nationwide tour behind the new album.

Summer Music Preview: The Season's Must-Hear Albums

Today, Cullen woke up, checked some trashy tabloid websites – The Daily Mail and Perez Hilton are two of his favorites – and messed around with a guitar that he recently outfitted with a marijuana-themed pick guard. Cameron overslept, the result of an up-'til-3:00 a.m. bender playing Candy Crush on his iPhone. Kakacek, the most put-together of the three (if only by process of elimination), had already met a friend for coffee and a chicken salad sandwich by mid-afternoon; he even found time to stop by the bank to withdraw some money for the early-Eighties Jeep Wrangler he wants to buy.

Playing in Smith Westerns is the only job these guys have ever known. Their Nuggets-inspired 2009 debut, recorded while all three were in high school, caught the attention of a handful of influential music blogs; their slightly glossier follow-up, 2011's Dye It Blonde, made them indie darlings.

After a year of touring behind Dye It Blonde, including high-profile opening gigs for Wilco and Arctic Monkeys, Smith Westerns returned home to Chicago in early 2012. Cullen moved into an apartment with Kakacek in the hipster-friendly Logan Square neighborhood; he later moved down the streeet to his current place, where he lives with his girlfriend. Cameron is still figuring out his plans, so he moved back in with his and Cullen's parents in the northern Chicago neighborhood of Sauganash.

"It was the first time since 2009 that we had this huge gap of time," Cullen recalls of their life after the Dye It Blonde tour. After an enjoyable stretch spent doing nothing, the trio got back to writing new songs; last summer, they headed out to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, Texas, to record Soft Will with returning producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV On The Radio). Adds Cullen, "It was nice to get out and go to this weird, isolated place."

On most days, the trio holed up in the studio from mid-afternoon until the early morning hours. New drummer Julien Ehrlich, formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, joined them for the sessions – the first time they'd recorded with a full band. Cameron recalls the sessions' loose, freewheeling vibe: "I feel like Dye It Blonde was the [album] where there was a little more pressure. This one was a lot more fun."

Soft Will suplements the band's Big-Star-style power-pop with more complex arrangements and lush orchestral melodies. Cullen says he looks to the Clash for inspiration on how to evolve. "You listen to their first record and it's almost unlistenable," he says. "Then you listen further down and it's like, 'Whoa – this is, like, straight-up, really, really poppy, catchy, well-crafted music. I like that."

Thursday, 20 June 2013

After four decades, Black Sabbath tops U.S. album chart

By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Veteran heavy-metal band Black Sabbath landed its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, more than four decades after the rockers debuted their first album in the United States.

"13," the 19th studio album from Black Sabbath, sold 155,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, knocking last week's No. 1 album by Queens of the Stone Age off the top spot on the weekly U.S. album chart.

Black Sabbath, an English rock band fronted by lead singer Ozzy Osbourne, released their debut self-titled album in North America in 1970, but were never able to notch the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart in a career spanning 43 years.

"The news is absolutely amazing - we couldn't have imagined this would happen," guitarist and founding member Tony Iommi said in a statement. Osbourne added, "to finally have our first No. 1 album in the U.S. is another incredible milestone for Black Sabbath."

French electronic duo Daft Punk held steady for the second week at No. 2 with "Random Access Memories," which has sold 543,000 copies since its release on May 18.

Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" saw a surge in sales last week after the album was discounted for Father's Day, with 35,000 copies sold and climbing from No. 9 to No. 3.

Country band Florida Georgia Line also benefited from Father's Day promotion sale prices, as their album "Here's to the Good Times" climbing back into the top 10 at No. 5.

Black Sabbath was one of five new debut albums in the top ten this week.

Boy band Big Time Rush came in at No. 4 with "24/Seven," alternative-rockers Goo Goo Dolls landed at No. 8 with their latest record "Magnetic," and movie score maestro Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for Superman movie "Man of Steel" flew into No. 9.

Comedy trio The Lonely Island, fronted by former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Andy Samberg, rounded out the top 10 with their latest collection of parodies, "The Wack Album."

Overall album sales totaled 5.25 million for the week ending June 16, down 10 percent from the comparable sales week in 2012, according to Billboard.

Next week's chart is likely to see a high debut from rapper Kanye West, who released his latest record "Yeezus" this week and is currently at the top of the iTunes album chart.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Jackie Frank)

Source :

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Salzburg Festival lets Pereira go early to La Scala

VIENNA (Reuters) - The Salzburg Festival has agreed to let director Alexander Pereira go early after falling out over his new post as manager of Milan opera house La Scala.

Pereira, who upset Austria's cultural establishment by taking on the La Scala role before finishing his term at the Salzburg classical music festival, will now leave two years early at the end of September 2014.

He is due to start at La Scala in 2015.

"When I came to Salzburg, I could not have imagined that I would ever do anything other than Salzburg," Pereira told Austrian ORF radio in an interview aired on Wednesday. "I signed my contract without a second thought."

The annual summer festival in Mozart's birthplace became a fixture of the international classical music scene under Herbert von Karajan, who was its artistic director from 1956 until his death in 1989.

Markus Hinterhaeuser, a pianist and former interim director of the Salzburg Festival who will become available in 2017 after running the Vienna Festival for three years, is considered the favorite to succeed Pereira.

The Salzburg Festival's head of theatre, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, will run the festival until then.

Pereira said he would not try to poach Salzburg's sponsors, which include Nestle, Audi, Siemens and Rolex.

The Salzburg Festival's annual budget is 60 million euros ($80 million), which Pereira had overspent by 5 million, angering the city's mayor.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Paul Casciato)

Source :

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Black Sabbath to release new album, embark on world tour

By Iain Blair
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Forty-three years ago Black Sabbath released its debut self-titled album, a collection of songs inspired by occult themes and powered by heavy-metal guitar riffs.

Now, three of the original band members - singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler - and drummer Brad Wilk, of Rage Against the Machine, are releasing a new album, "13," and planning to tour the world to promote it.

"I never thought we'd still be going strong in 2013," said Osbourne, whose well-publicized battles with drug and alcohol addiction and solo career led to friction with other members of Black Sabbath. "But it's great to be back together again."

"13," the original band's first studio album since 1978, is being released this week. A tour is scheduled to begin this summer in the United States followed by concerts in South America and Europe later in the year.

Osbourne said the band had tried to get back together in 2001 but nothing jelled.

This time the music flowed.

Osbourne said Iommi, who is being treated for lymphoma that was diagnosed a year ago, had great riffs and the band narrowed them down to ten tracks.

"I think working on this album helped Tony take his mind off his illness, but he never talks about it," Osbourne explained in an interview. "And no matter what we have to complain about, it's nothing compared to that."

After the band members agreed on the songs, they brought in record producer Rick Rubin to help shape the material.

Songs like "Damaged Soul," "End of the Beginning" and the first single "God Is Dead?" fit into the band's canon, but others, like the jazzy "Zeitgeist," might confound some fans.

"It was just a warm-up jam originally," said Butler, "but Rick thought it was great, so it ended up on the album."

Butler and Osbourne fight against the notion that Black Sabbath typifies the heavy-metal sound.

"I've never been able to get my head around the word 'heavy-metal,'" said Osbourne, adding that the 1970s were better for him than the 1980s. "And I kind of missed the '90s you know - I must have been in a cocaine haze, because I can't remember the '90s at all."

Osbourne said the best thing now is that the band members are alive and together and "it is a lot more fun being sober and enjoying your fellow workers."

Over the past decade Osbourne carved out a niche on television, appearing with his family in a reality TV show that ran from 2002 until 2005. They also starred in the 2011 documentary "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne."

Despite being together so long, Butler said the band is attracting younger fans.

"We've gotten older but the audience has stayed the same," he explained, "and then you get like a few people at the back that are our age and you see all the gray hair glinting."

For Osbourne touring now is better than it has ever been.

"It's all right until I have voice troubles and it takes me a couple of gigs to get over the fact that I've been the leader of my own band for 35 years or so and that I have to step back and be a band member. It's just getting used to it and it has worked out great in the end."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Paul Simao)

Source :

Monday, 10 June 2013

'Kinky Boots' struts off with the most Tony Awards

By MARK KENNEDY, AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The feel-good musical "Kinky Boots," with songs by pop star and Broadway newcomer Cyndi Lauper, won six 2013 Tony Awards on Sunday, including best musical, best score and best leading man.
Find: Lauper steps up to stop bullying
Christopher Durang's comical "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" won the best play Tony. "Matilda the Musical" won four awards and three other shows — "Pippin," ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Nance" — shared three awards each.
Lauper, who wrote the hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," was part of an impressive group of women who took top honors. Diane Paulus and Pam MacKinnon both won for directing — a rare time women have won directing Tonys for both a musical and a play in the same year. (It also happened most recently at the 1998 Tonys.)
"Kinky Boots" also won for choreography and two technical awards, and Billy Porter won for leading man in a musical.
Photo Gallery: Check out what the stars wore to the Tony Awards
Porter beat "Kinky Boots" co-star Stark Sands and told him from the stage: "You are my rock, my sword, my shield. Your grace gives me presence. I share this award with you. I'm gonna keep it at my house! But I share it with you."
Durang, whose other works include the play "Beyond Therapy," was a Tony nominee for "A History of the American Film" and his "Miss Witherspoon" was a Pulitzer Prize nominee in 2006.
Paulus won her first Tony for directing the crackling, high-energy revival of the musical "Pippin," which also earned the best revival honor and helped Patina Miller earn a best leading actress trophy.
MacKinnon won for directing the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," a year after earning her first nomination for helming "Clybourne Park." Her revival of Edward Albee's story of marital strife won the best play revival and earned Tracy Letts his first acting Tony, an upset beating of Tom Hanks.
"The greatest job on Earth. We are the ones who say it to their faces, and we have a unique responsibility," Letts said.
Photo Gallery: Memorable Tony Awards moments
Andrea Martin, 66, who won as featured actress in a musical, plays Pippin's grandmother and sings the music hall favorite "No Time at All," stuns audiences nightly by doing jaw-dropping stunts that would make someone a fraction of her age blanch.
The Tonys were broadcast live by CBS from Radio City Music Hall. Neil Patrick Harris was back for his fourth turn as emcee and leads a show featuring talented children and pulse-pounding musical numbers.
The big, opening number started with Harris simply holding a guitar in a pub like "Once" but quickly morphed into a flashy razzle-dazzle number that showcased performers from almost a dozen musicals — and even ex-boxer Mike Tyson dancing. Harris sang "It's bigger! Tonight it's bigger," jumped through a hoop, vanished from a box and promised a "truly legendary show" before glitter guns went off.
Courtney B. Vance won for best featured actor in a play for portraying a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in "Lucky Guy." He dedicated his award to his mother.
Judith Light won her second featured actress in a play Tony in two years, cementing the former TV star of "One Life to Live" and "Who's the Boss?" as a Broadway star.
She followed up her win last year as a wise-cracking alcoholic aunt in "Other Desert Cities" with the role of a wry mother in "The Assembled Parties," in which she goes from about 53 to 73 over the play's two acts.
"I want to thank every woman that I am in this category nominated with: you have made this a celebration, not a competition," she said.
Gabriel Ebert of "Matilda the Musical" won as best featured actor in a musical. He thanked his four Matildas and his parents, stooping down to speak into the microphone.
Cicely Tyson, 88, won the best leading actress in a play honors for the revival of "The Trip to Bountiful," the show's only award on the night. It was the actress' first time back on Broadway in three decades.
"'Please wrap it up,' it says. Well, that's exactly what you did with me: You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years," she said.
Lauper and Harvey Fierstein have given "Kinky Boots" — originally a 2005 film about a failing shoe factory that turns to making drag queen boots — a fun score and a touching book that celebrates diversity.
"I want to thank Harvey Fierstein for calling me up. I'm so glad I was done with the dishes and answered the phone," Lauper said.
The import "Matilda the Musical" is a witty, dark musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl that is still running in London. Its leading woman is actually a man — Bertie Carver, who plays the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull.
Others musicals hoping for awards include the acrobatic "Bring It On: The Musical," the hit-heavy "Motown the Musical" and "A Christmas Story, the Musical," adapted from the beloved holiday movie. Top musical revivals include an updated "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella" and a cracking revival of "Pippin" with a circus feel.
Some of the telecast highlights included the stunning kids on Broadway — the orphans in "Annie," the actor Raymond Luke Jr. as a pre-teen Michael Jackson in "Motown the Musical," and the dancing tots in "A Christmas Story, the Musical" — especially the young tap dancer wizard Luke Spring — plus the four young women in "Matilda."
Harris got his face licked by the dog playing Sandy in "Annie," made fun of Tyson and Shia LaBeouf, who left a revival of "Orphans" before the show opened and then tweeted about it, and joined with "Smash" star Megan Hilty, "Go On" star Laura Benanti and former "The Book of Mormon" star Andrew Rannells to skewer theater stars who seek fame on TV with a twisted version of "What I Did For Love" from "A Chorus Line."
Kenneth Posner, surprisingly, did not take home the award for best lighting design of a musical. Of the four shows in the category, Posner had been nominated for three — "Kinky Boots, "Pippin" and "Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella." But he lost to his only competitor, Hugh Vanstone, who designed the lighting for "Matilda the Musical."
Presenters included Jesse Eisenberg, Jon Cryer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Zachary Quinto, Sally Field, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
The Tony winners were picked by 868 Tony voters, including members of The Broadway League, American Theatre Wing, Actors' Equity, the Dramatists Guild, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society as well as critics from the New York Drama Critics Circle.
The awards telecast faced competition for attention on Sunday night from an episode of "Mad Men" on AMC and Game 2 of the NBA finals between San Antonio and Miami on ABC. Last year's telecast was seen by 6 million viewers, down significantly from 2011's 6.9 million.
The awards cap a somewhat grim financial season on Broadway in which the total box office take was flat and the number of ticket buyers slipped 6 percent. Both numbers were blamed in part on Superstorm Sandy, but high ticket prices and the lack of long term audience growth has many worried.
A total of 46 new shows opened during the season, which began last May and ended May 26: 15 musicals, 26 plays and five special events or concerts.
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