Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends!
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Rodrigo y Gabriela, best known for their lightning fast acoustic guitar playing, are working on a new album in Cuba.
The Dublin-based, Mexico-born duo recently returned from 10 days in Cuba, where they recorded with producer Peter Asher, who first worked with them on the music for “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.”
“We became friends and they asked me if I would help them with this record," Asher says. "The idea is to redo some of their existing hits, favorite songs, but instead of just being the two of them, which is amazing, obviously, we wanted to give something different so we went off to Cuba.”
In Havana, the pair re-recorded many of their well-known songs incorporating Cuban rhythm sections and horns. Among the guest players are some members of seminal Cuban rock band Los Van Van.
The pair is finishing the album in Los Angeles. Asher says it will be out next year. Rodrigo y Gabriela’s most recent set, “Live in France,” came out July 19. Its last studio album, "11:11," included production by John Leckie, best known for his work with Radiohead and Muse. Leckie also produced the group's second studio album, which was self-titled.
Asher recently finished producing "Listen To Me: Buddy Holly," a tribute album, out Sept. 6, to Buddy Holly featuring Stevie Nicks, Brian Wilson, The Fray, Zooey Deschanel, Cobra Starship, Train's Pat Monahan, and others singing tunes written by Holly. It follows another Holly tribute album, "Rave On," which came out earlier this year. Holly would have turned 75 on Sept. 7.
When I was watching the first few episodes of "True Blood," one of the thoughts I kept having when Ryan Kwanten showed up onscreen was, "Seriously… screw this guy." And not in the sure-to-get-ratings-for-HBO way, either. More in the how-much-work-do-you-think-went-into-his-abs sort of way.
Over the course of the wildly uneven and occasionally ridiculous series, though, Kwanten has demonstrated a strange, boyish vulnerability that makes me like him more, and the more of his work I see, the more I'm convinced this guy's an actor worth watching. It would be easy to use a show like "True Blood" to immediately make the jump to big-budget Hollywood movies, but Kwanten hasn't done that yet unless you count his voice-only appearance in "Legend Of The Guardians." Instead, he's got an interesting list of small indie films to his credit, and it seems like many of them are Australian films. The neo-Western "Red Hill" that was released last year was a solid little film, and a nice showcase for a very different side of Kwanten, and now the same can be said for Leon Ford's "Griff The Invisible," an interesting take on the real-world superhero genre that has emerged over the last few years.
I can't believe I made it through five whole minutes with John Madden without asking him a single football question.
Madden's biggest hit and highest pop-culture profile came in 1998 with "Shakespeare In Love," and it seems like some film nerds have never forgiven him for beating Spielberg's big movie that year. I think the hard part about having a hit like that is the way it sets up expectation that you'll match that success every time out, and Madden isn't a guy whose career suggests that he'll be in the Oscar hunt every time out. He had something like fifteen years of film and television work under his belt before he made "Shakespeare,'" and for the most part, he's always been drawn to small-scale intimate material. He's got a sense of dramatic restraint that comes through clearly in films like "Golden Gate," "Mrs. Brown," and even his TV work like "Theseus & The Minotaur," one of the episodes of Jim Henson's groundbreaking "The Storyteller."
Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck wrote one of my very favorite episodes of one of my very favorite TV shows, "The Larry Sanders Show," and if the only thing they ever produced would be the script for "Putting The 'Gay' Back In Litigation," then I would consider that a more than triumphant filmography.
After several different TV gigs, the guys have made the jump to features with their new ensemble comedy "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy," and while I think the film's a mixed bag, there's enough of it that works that I would recommend it. More than anything, it suggests that Gregory and Huyck want to do something with some weight, that they aren't content to just go for the joke. While "Orgy" is a comedy first and foremost, it does offer some genuine insight into the way relationships and friendships change over time, and it's got a big ensemble cast that has great easy chemistry, making it easy to watch even when it doesn't quite work.
Diamonds are forever but the Deftones have largely shined off their support of their latest “Diamond Eyes.” This weekend, the band finishes their worldwide tour overseas, and now those eyes have turned toward their next recording project.
You have to hand it to the team behind this first teaser for "American Reunion," the latest sequel to 1999's "American Pie," it's perfect.
In a so-simple-it's-genius concept, it evokes nostalgia for the original film, as well as the original films era, and piques the interest for the next movie.
It's a series of photo-booth style pictures of the original gang including Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Sean William Scott, and even Dad Eugene Levy, accompanied by Matt Nathanson's soulful cover of the song "Laid," originally performed by the band James (making it even more nostalgic for those who know the original version from the early 90's.)
Seeing the the original cast, all now well into adulthood, presented in such a way evokes our memories of the characters instead of the actual characters. Most likely we remember them fondly, as we do anything over ten years ago. So by letting the audience wax nostalgic, they've hooked them without showing anything from the film whatsoever.
Oh, those bad girls! The stars of season seven of "Bad Girls Club" (Oxygen, Mondays at 9 p.m.) have settled into lovely New Orleans, and at first it seemed the laid back Louisiana setting might have had a soothing effect on our delicate flowers. But that's just crazy, because you don't call 'em bad girls for nothing. In this exclusive clip, watch the girls scream, curse, threaten, shoulder shove and get all up in one another's faces following a visit to a night club. Enjoy your Southern belles!
After the club, a fight ensues in the house between both groups and Shelly accuses Angie of lying. The fight escalates when Angie calls Shelly Sasquatch, which she doesn't consider an appropriate nickname for some reason.
Maroon 5 scores the second No. 1 of its career as “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera dances its ways 4-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
The song is Maroon 5’s first chart topper since 2007’s “Makes Me Wonder.” For Aguilera, the pinnacle ends a much longer drought as her last No. 1 was also a collaboration: her remake of “Lady Marmalade” with Lil’ Kim, Maya and Pink in 2001. It is her fifth No. 1 overall.
It’s a good week for Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine as he is also in the top 10, at No. 10, as the featured artist on Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts.”
“Jagger’s” ascension means Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” falls to No. 5; LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock stays at No. 2, Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” kicks its way 7-3, jumping over Bad Meets Evil’s “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars, which moves into the Top 5 as it scoots 6-4.
Nicki Minaj’s MTV Video Music Award-winning “Super Bass” falls 5-6, Lil Wayne’s “How To Love” inches up one space to No. 7, as does OneRepublic’s “Good Life” to No. 8. Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer climbs back into the Top 10, possibly because of his performance on the VMAs, moving 11-9.
Two other songs, both performed on the VMAs, also soar following Aug. 28’s award show, the highest rated in MTV’s 30-year history: Lady Gaga’s “You And I” leaps 35-16, while Adele’s “Someone Like You” glides 34-19.
The highest debut on the Hot 100 belongs to Pistol Annies, the trio led by Miranda Lambert. The album’s title cut, “Hell on Heels,” bows at No. 55.
Nestled inbetween the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, Telluride has a reputation as a movielovers smorgasbord, but it's also become a prominent fixture on the awards season festival circuit. The major films set to screen at the 2011 edition of the Labor Day Weekend event were announced today and some heavy hitters are on their way to the small Colorado township.
I'm on vacation this week, but I did promise to put up a post for people to discuss the latest episode of "The Hour,"Â which features various personal revelations at the large country estate, Freddie advancing on the mysterious Mr. Kish, and various other bits of mid-'50s British goodness. What did everybody else think of it?