Latest Blog Posts
It's the first "real" week of competition, and the good news? We get a twist! You don't get to season ten without trying to mix things up a bit, and "Top Chef" is no different than any other reality TV series. Luckily, no one dances, there will not be ice skating (I don't think) and there will not be a McDonald's fry cook challenge (I hope). Maybe next season.
If there was any doubt, 1964 (especially at Briarcliff) was not the year of the woman. I'm not sure if this show is an impassioned indictment of how women were disempowered decades ago or just an excuse for mutilating some of them on screen, but the truth is that this episode was probably a rough one for anyone -- male or female -- to watch.
Variety published a music-focused Eye on the Oscars special today, and it's packed with interesting nuggets, from spotlights on individual composers in the awards race this year -- including "The Master"'s Jonny Greenwood, "Anna Karenina"'s Dario Marianelli and everything's Alexandre Desplat -- to a piece on the recent reversal of rules in the Best Original Song category, hailed by many branch voters as a victory for common sense.
The headlining feature of the special, however -- if only because the movie world is powerless to resist a Top 10 list -- is a poll of 40 working composers on the greatest film scores of all time. Participants range from Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino ("Up") to Coen Brothers favorite Carter Burwell to Cliff Martinez ("Drive"), with the list compiled by asking each one to name his/her three favorite scores. It's too small a survey to qualify as anything more than a bit of fun, but the results are surprising and inevitable in equal measure.
I'm always slightly surprised when awards bodies choose to bestow a lifetime achievement honor upon a recipient already firmly in the running for a competitive prize that year. Something about it seems a tad gauche and redundant to me: why not single out a worthy candidate not already being feted throughout the season?
Still, it's a route the Producers' Guild of America has taken for the last few years with their highest career honor, the David O. Selznick Award Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. Last year, Steven Spielberg was given the award on top of his Producer of the Year nomination for "War Horse," and his equivalent citation in the animated field for "The Adventures of Tintin." (He won the latter, to boot.) The year before, Scott Rudin received the Selznick Award, just as he was favored by many to take the PGA prize for "The Social Network." (As it turned out, he didn't.)
After an intense election season, a week of scandal, a big "Bond" premiere and that disappointing new Why? album, it's about time for something uplifting and easy to listen to. Yo La Tengo may fill that gap, with the promise of a new album "Fade," due on January 15.
The band released an EP, "Stupid Things," earlier this year, and have included the title track in the 10-song list for this fresh effort. You can hear it below. You may find your ballot-casting hand a little less shaky, or your headphones finally relieved.
Pre-orders are up now and a deluxe version gets you a 7″ with covers of Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light” and Times New Viking’s “Move To California.”
Yo La Tengo is touring in support, starting with their Hanukkah concerts at Maxwell's in New Jersey, and continuing with some shared dates with Calexico. Check those below.
Did I say the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" soundtrack would bum you out? I take it back. The video to Beach House's excellent dream-world "Wild" will bum you out.
And you thought your life was a wreck.
Johan Renck helmed this little spot of violent sexual sunshine, and it may not surprise the viewer that he directed episodes of "Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad," too. (It may furthermore surprise that he's directed clips for Kylie Minogue and Madonna.)
"Wild" is off of "Bloom," released earlier this year.
It seems like only a week ago that we sat down for Wednesday's "X Factor" Top 12 performances.
Then the producers decided to Melanieamaro Diamond White back into the competition, giving us a Top 13, at least until Jason Brock was sent packing last Thursday night.
So now? Back to 12 again! Click through for the full recap...
I am always slightly horrified to watch when fandom decides to turn on someone. And to be fair, I know it's never a group decision, but rather a ripple effect, and that it's just a percentage of people when something like this goes down. Even so, it can feel like everyone thanks to just how vocal people get and how unrelenting the negativity can feel sometimes.
It felt like a few years ago, Damon Lindelof had been embraced by fandom at large and he was one of those names everyone was talking about. When it was first announced that he'd gotten the gig rewriting what became "Prometheus," it seemed to be a pretty popular choice. These days, things have changed so much that he swore off the AICN talkback last week on Twitter. He's a whipping boy, and much of it is based on something that I think is very hard for people to judge, which is his contribution to the film. I like Lindelof, though, and I think a lot of this pile-on is unfair and ridiculous. I don't think he deserves to be the one person that fanboys attack over "Prometheus" or "Lost," and I think he is swinging for the fences when he works. Whether he actually hits that home run or not, he's trying to do the sort of big-idea big-entertainment movies that I love dearly, and I like that he's in the mix, trying to amaze.
Before I start in on Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green's live debut of her "Make the World Move" duet, a couple things:
1) People are doggin' on Xtina for the weight gain, and have for a while. I've always thought she looks mega-fine, the added pounds or not. Criticisms of her appearance have frequently preceded any salient thoughts on her talent, which is ever-impressive.
2) CeeLo Green operates best with specific confines. Give him a retro sound, and he's brilliant. Give him a costume concept and he's all in. Give him 10 minutes aggregate of a TV talent show and he's unstoppable. CeeLo doesn't dance. He grooves and gets out of the way.
3) "Make the World Move" is a generally likeable song off of "Lotus."
Now. The television performance of "Make the World Move" on last night's "Voice" (Nov. 13) was positively batty.
BEVERLY HILLS – I’d seen the pictures. I'd seen the news reports. I’d heard about Matthew McConaughey’s amazing weight loss for his role in the new independent film “The Dallas Buyer’s Club” from all aspects of social media. It was another thing, however, to shake the hand of a man that looked like he’d lost half of himself since we last talked just five months before.
The stars are coming out to help "Jersey Shore" and MTV raise funds to rebuild Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the area will benefit from the one-hour fundraising special "Restore the Shore," set to air Thurs. Nov. 15 at 11:00 p.m. ET.