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For those of us who survived, another South By Southwest Music Conference has come and gone, with a new slate of happenings for next year's programmers to topple. Check out 2012's biggest happenings below, from the Boss to Weezy.
+ Bruce Springsteen had some fine guests on the second big date of his "Wrecking Ball" tour. After an afternoon of delivering the keynote address, he was able to finally rock out and see some friends -- like Arcade Fire, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Tom Morello, Jimmy Cliff, the Low Anthem and the lead singer of the Animals.
+ Rick Ross -- speaking of Bawse -- was the surprise guest at Fader Fort on Saturday night to perform more than a dozen tracks.
+ Alejandro Escovedo had a visit from Springsteen earlier in the week, and then played host to a number of other musical cameos: R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Mike Mills, Jessie Malin, Jon Langford and Lenny Kaye all showed. Johnny Depp… maybe did?
+ 50 Cent was joined by several special guests, including Eminem, Kidd Kidd, Precious Paris and Governor, during his performance of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" from front to back.
It's a long, and at times strange, Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week, one where we wound up spending more time talking about the Denver Broncos quarterback situation than we did the "Mad Men" season premiere (but only because Matt Weiner would have likely shot us if we'd said more than we did). Between "Mad Men," "The Walking Dead" finale, the cancellation of "Luck," the debut of NBC's "Bent" and the return of FOX's "Touch," there's an awful lot of TV to talk about before we get to the end-of-show sportstalk segment. If it's not our longest podcast ever, it's up there. Hopefully, some of y'all have a long commute this week to get proper value.
Having hit paydirt less than a year ago with "Midnight in Paris" -- which, in case you've forgotten, became the highest-grossing film of Woody Allen's career and nabbed him a fourth Oscar to boot -- Sony Pictures Classics is clearly keen to woo the same audience that fell for the film's romantic European charms to his next effort. Originally dubbed "Nero Fiddled," Allen's latest has been granted a new title that couldn't sound much more cannily focus-grouped if it tried: "To Rome With Love."
If you loved what Woody did for the City of Lights, one imagines the marketers thinking, just wait until you see him in the Eternal City. And fair play to them: with "Paris" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" standing comfortably as Allen's best-received films of recent years, perhaps including the location in the title has become his lucky charm. (Meanwhile, uninformed viewers could be forgiven for mistaking the film for another entry in the popular recent series of portmanteau films that has given us "Paris Je T'Aime" and "New York, I Love You.")
Is Atlantic City turning into the new Las Vegas in terms of offering still vital and relevant artists a platform to perform regularly?
As the rumors continue to swirl that Britney Spears could be the next act to set up her tent (“Circus” or otherwise) in Sin City, Beyonce will perform three shows in Atlantic City at the new Revel Resort.
Set for May 25-27, at Ovation Hall, the concerts will be Bey’s first shows after giving birth to Blue Ivy Carter earlier this year.
We can only imagine what the payday is for a show like this. It’s obviously enough for Beyonce to take it seriously. An big artist we know refers to such high-paying gigs as "bank runs." The venue, which holds 5,050, was designed by Cirque du Soleil veterans Sceno Plus.
The tickets go on sale April 6. We went to ticketmaster.com to find out how much they will set you back, but there’s no price up yet.
Watch: Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth meet in fantastical world of 'Snow White and the Huntsman'
I am back in Los Angeles after what felt like an inordinate time away from home. I've missed my boys something fierce, and more than anything, I've missed sitting with them and watching something. Anything. They went to a few movies while I was gone, and in particular, they seemed to have a really good time going with my wife to see "Mirror, Mirror."
As the April 3 release date for Nicki Minaj’s sophomore set, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” nears, expect lots more Minaj minutiae. Today, comes word of her European tour. The outing kicks off June 8 in Stockholm and swings through Scandinavia, France and Italy, before hitting the U.K. June 24 with two dates at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London.
In case you missed it, Minaj also released the official tracklisting for the standard and deluxe editions. It looks like she’s in really good company for the sets, which include such guests as Lil Wayne (natch), Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Nas, Drake, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, Bobby V and Beenie Man.
AUSTIN, Texas - When you live in a world filled with newscasts reporting terrible acts of inhumanity, reality television shows that celebrate terrible values and actual people who use their value system as a weapon against others who don’t share it, it feels like there’s plenty of motivation for almost any filmmaker to create a film like “God Bless America.” But if you ask writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait, he said the idea was inspired by decidedly more mundane circumstances: “It was a Christmas present to my wife, so the catalyst was me being a cheap husband.”
Goldthwait, of course, has been working for decades in Hollywood creating iconic characterizations and hugely successful comedy routines with a singular, supremely distinct voice. (It helps that he actually used a fake one for so many years.) But as a filmmaker, he said that the ideas for films like his latest come from what he shares in common with others, not how they stand apart. “It kind of was like a love letter to her, because Roxy and Frank’s conversations are the same ones we have at home. And I always say that the key to a good relationship isn't liking the same things, it’s hating the same things, because that will make a very smooth road."
Garbage's new single, "Blood for Poppies" is a sonic slab that is instantly redolent of the band from its mid-2000s heyday, and yet at the same time, sounds completely new.
Awash in synthesizers and guitar effects, the song also combines a slight reggae, slacker feel as Shirley Manson wonders "why they are calling on my radio/they know I'm here/just outtasight." The production, helmed by band members --including uber-producer Butch Vig-- is intense, especially during the echo-y breakdown in the middle about "staying alive."
[More after the jump...]
Are we on the verge of another Boy Band bubble? With The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” perched at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, teen girls screaming their lungs out over One Direction on “The Today Show,” and Big Time Rush gathering their own “Monkees”-type following from their Nickelodeon series, it sure looks like it.
The timing is right as well. For some reason, there seems to be a new batch of boy bands around the beginning of every decade or so. In the late ‘90s/early ’00, it was the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. Twenty years ago it was New Kids on The Block and New Edition.
So, what did you see over the weekend? "21 Jump Street," possibly -- though to judge from recent chatter on Twitter and elsewhere, no new release got people more excited over the past two days than the 150-second trailer for Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," the possible "Alien" prequel with a dream cast headed up by Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender. Multiplex junkies and critics alike have been drooling over the possibilities since the first teasers debuted months ago; each new scrap that gets released seems only to heighten expectations.
Some readers asked why we haven't chimed in with our own take on the latest trailer -- it's certainly not because we aren't psyched for the film, which ranked at #3 in our Most Anticipated of 2012 list. Kris, of course, is on pre-wedding hiatus, though I'm sure he'd have thoughts on it otherwise. I, meanwhile, have no thoughts whatsoever on this or any other "Prometheus" trailer -- not least because I have painstakingly avoided seeing the lot. My no-trailers diet is still in effect for the most part, and I'm far too intrigued by this on-paper proposition to spoil my appetite now.