Latest Blog Posts

<p>The Replacements</p>

The Replacements

The Replacements to reunite for first shows in 22 years at Riot Fest

Will the three dates lead to a bigger tour?

The Replacements will reunite to play their first shows in 22 years as the seminal Minneapolis rock band will take the stage at Riot Fest 2013 in Toronto, Denver and Chicago.

The band last performed together July 4, 1991 at Chicago’s Grant Park at Taste of Chicago. That gig, to put it mildly, ended badly as guitarist Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson basically dissolved the group on stage. 

Westerberg and Stinson came together again  last fall to pay tribute to former guitarist Slim Dunlap after he suffered a stroke earlier in 2012: the pair recorded an EP of song covers to benefit Dunlap and to help pay his expenses. That detente apparently lead to the three gigs.

The first show will be Aug. 25 at the Toronto edition of Riot Fest. Other acts on the bill include Iggy & The Stooges, Best Coast, Pierce the Veil, Rocket From the Crypt, and Mayday Parade.

The Replacements will next play at Riot Fest in Chicago, which takes place Sept. 13-15. Also on the three-day bill are Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Violent Femmes, Motorhead, Blondie, Public Enemy and Motorhead, among others.

The third date will be in Denver for Riot Fest Sideshow, which takes place Sept. 21-22. In addition to The Replacements, the line-up includes Blink-182, Iggy & The Stooges, Rancid, Public Enemy, Brand New, and Awolnation.

Speculation that the Replacements would play Riot Fest began to smolder recently, especially after Riot Fest advertised a Chicago line-up that included a series of question marks, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Then, it seemed to be all but confirmed earlier today when the following tweet appeared on the @Riot Fest Twitter account: “Holy [expletive. We’re getting the band back together.”  The tweet disappeared, but the official announcement came soon enough.

Who exactly will be in the band besides Westerberg and Stinson has yet to be confirmed. Riot Fest’s publicist told me that management will reveal the rest of the line-up soon, which is certainly intriguing.

To commemorate the announcement, the Replacements even launched a website, www.thereplacementsofficial.com...or at least a placeholder for one. The site lists the three Riot Fest 2013 cities and “full site coming soon.” Baby steps...

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/211296491.html

Read Full Post
"I'm Having Their Baby"

 "I'm Having Their Baby"

Credit: Oxygen

'I'm Having Their Baby' is great if you like crying babies and crying, period

Sharanda and Tory make tough decisions, but someone's always hurt

Oxygen's "I'm Having Their Baby" (Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET) is inherently dramatic, but it's also inherently depressing. I'm not sure who the audience for this show really is, except maybe people who simply like to cry or whose other option for the evening is sticking pins in their eyeballs. It's really that depressing.

That being said, of the reality TV shows out there this one is actually pretty real. There's no need for any pushy producer to step in and goose the dramatic tension, because the decision to give up a child mere hours after it's squeezed out of one's body is never predictable and, of course, never easy. 

In the second season premiere, we meet pregnant women Tory and Sharanda. We also meet a few adoptive parents, but we'll get to this in a moment. Even if we didn't see who's waiting in the wings with onesies and college savings funds, the struggle these women have between the hormonal impulse to love and  nurture their own flesh and blood versus the nagging suspicion life might be better for both mother and child if they let someone else do it is heavy duty enough.

Read Full Post
<p>I&nbsp;hope Tom Hanks looks exactly like this in whatever he and Tom Tykwer make together next.</p>

I hope Tom Hanks looks exactly like this in whatever he and Tom Tykwer make together next.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer reteam to bring Eggers 'Hologram' to the big screen

A partial 'Cloud Atlas' reunion is enough to make me smile

I'm glad to see that Tom Hanks is up for another artistic go-round with Tom Tykwer, who was, of course, one of the co-directors of "Cloud Atlas," last year's hugely ambitious movie in which Hanks played several roles that were all manifestations of one soul as it rippled across time.

I pay so little attention to box-office that I can't honestly tell you if "Cloud Atlas" was a modest hit, a total failure, or an international success story. I hope it did well enough to pay back the people who made it, at least, because I really admire that anyone was willing to pay for something that experimental. At the very least, Hanks must have enjoyed the experience, though, because now it looks like he's going to team up with Tykwer again, this time to adapt a Dave Eggers novel called "A Hologram For The King."

Read Full Post
<p>A scene from Michael Hirst's favorite &quot;Vikings&quot; episode &quot;The Sacrifice&quot;</p>

A scene from Michael Hirst's favorite "Vikings" episode "The Sacrifice"

Credit: History

Interview: 'Vikings' creator Michael Hirst talks Season 1 and beyond

'Tudors' scrib discusses spirituality, sex and strong female roles
History's "Vikings" snuck up on a lot of people this spring.
 
A cable network without a lot of scripted series pedigree released a show without major stars and the initial reaction was, "It's 'Game of Thrones' without dragons and I like dragons."
 
It took only a few minutes to realize that "Vikings" was far better than it necessarily needed to be. The Irish-filmed visuals popped. The characters were rough and compelling. And, in addition to a solid performance from established veteran Gabriel Byrne, "Vikings" delivered impressive work from the likes of Travis Fimmel, Jessalyn Gilsig and particularly Katheryn Winnick.
 
Much of the credit for the success of "Vikings" goes to "Elizabeth" scribe Michael Hirst. Just as he did on Showtime's "The Tudors" and Starz's "Camelot," Hirst wrote every word of the first "Vikings" season. And, as he did on those earlier shows, he filtered well-researched history through a filter of sex and power and betrayal that blends juicy soap opera with Shakespearean tragedy and just a dash of "The Godfather."
 
"Vikings" ended its first season in April and probably won't return for its second season until 2014, but with Emmy nomination season approaching, I got on the phone with Hirst to talk about the show. 
 
In our wide-ranging 25-minute conversation, we talked about Hirst's particular staff-free approach to TV writing, the surprising evolution of the show's female characters and the 
 
Read Full Post

'Breaking Bad' creator on the final episodes: 'There will be blood'


"Breaking Bad" creator on the final episodes: "There will be blood"
Says Vince Gilligan: "You need to really settle down on the couch and pay close attention because it’s going to come at you fast and furious in the final eight episodes."


"Duck Dynasty" announces its own Carnival Cruise
For $749 per person, you can sail with the A&E stars to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico in July 2014. PLUS: "Duck Dynasty" meets MC Hammer.


MTV, VH1, CMT to celebrate "Music Independence Day" on July 4th
The former music video channels will go back to their roots to showcase artists who've yet to make it big.


Craig Ferguson doesn't have any late-night ambitions: "I don't care"

"Do I have ambitions for another time slot? You can ask me. I don't care," Ferguson said in Canada as he received the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award at the Banff World Media Festival.


Bill Cosby talks "Fat Albert" as the complete series comes out on DVD
"What would Fat Albert do today, if he had a cellphone?" he asks.


"HIMYM" fans can buy "Night Night, Little Marvin"

The single performed by Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan is now available on iTunes.


New reality show takes place only on Twitter
"Summer Break" will tell its story via Vine and Instagram posts.


A psychiatrist fan of "Mad Men" explains what Sally Draper is going through
Will she be scarred from Sunday's episode? PLUS: January Jones gets bangs.


What if the "Seinfeld" theme was slowed down 1200%?

The result: A horrifying sound. PLUS: The best "Seinfeld" quotes on typographic posters.


"Veronica Mars" creator on movie budget constraints: He had to drop the rain
The movie was supposed to open in the rain, but Rob Thomas says they were $30,000 over budget.


Courteney Cox to become a movie director
The "Friends" and "Cougar Town" star is making her film directorial debut "Hello I Must Be Going," starring Kate Walsh and Seann William Scott.


"Sex and the City" creator coming back to TV with Twitter-inspired "Honest Toddler"

Darren Star is going to adapt a mom's Twitter feed that inspired a parenting book.


Check out Jimmy Fallon's "Tebowie" transformation
Fallon used Vine to show how he became Bowie for tonight's show.


A "Mr. Show" reunion?
Bob Odenkirk expects a reunion to happen in two years to mark the show's 20th anniversary.


For sale: A Rick Grimes bust bank
The product comes from "The Walking Dead" writer  Robert Kirkman‘s Skybound imprint.


Watch "Awkward's" trailer for the 2nd half of the season
What comes after last night's shocker?


Starz orders 1867-set "Monsters of God"

The post-Civil War drama will take place in Texas during the Comanche Wars.


"Dexter's" Jennifer Carpenter is dating an Avett Brother

Carpenter is reportedly seeing folk singer Seth Avett, who's separated from his wife.


"Honey Boo Boo" meets "Baywatch"
See Mama June do a "Baywatch" slow-motion beach run.


"I'm Having Their Baby" debuts on Oxygen
The reality show, premiering tonight, takes a close-up look at adoption.

Read Full Post
<p>Chris Evans in &quot;Snowpiercer.&quot;</p>

Chris Evans in "Snowpiercer."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton go off the rails in first 'Snowpiercer' trailer

2031-set action pic is Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho's English-language debut

2013 is evidently the year for South Korean genre masters to spread their wings. Earlier this year, Park Chan-wook ("Oldboy," "Thirst") made his English-language debut with the wild Southern Gothic noir "Stoker," still one of my favorites of the year; somewhat less successfully, we also had Kim Jee-woon ("I Saw the Devil," "The Good, the Bad, the Weird") directing Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Last Stand." Now their compatriot and colleague Bong Joon-ho -- who last hit our screens in 2009 with the acclaimed thriller "Mother" -- is making the switch as well, with his post-apocalyptic action film "Snowpiercer."

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Thicke</p>

Robin Thicke

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' clearly tops Billboard Hot 100

Does Miley Cyrus debut within the Top 10?

Last week, Robin Thicke scored his first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. One week later, he’s got his first No. 1 as “Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., tops the chart, jumping 6-1.

“Lines” also surpasses the 1 million downloads mark this week and rises to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as well.

“Blurred Lines” ends a five-week run at No. 1 by  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton, which drops to No. 2.  It’s a good week to be Pharrell as he’s also featured on the No. 3 song, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” according to Billboard.

Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” drops 2-4, and Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” featuring Nelly, holds at No. 5.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” rises 8-6 on the Billboard Hot 100 while spending its 12th week at No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs chart.  Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess, drops 4-7, pushing Selena Gomez’s “Come & Get It” down one spot to No. 8.

Ariana Grande scores her first Top 10 hit with her debut single, “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller, as the song jumps 12-9. Rounding out the Top 10 is Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” featuring Charli XCX, which falls 9-10.

Miley Cyrus just misses bowing in the Top 10 as “We Can’t Stop” enters the Hot 100 at No. 11.

"Blurred Lines" is one of our picks for 2013's biggest summer songs. Check out the rest of our list here:

Read Full Post
<p>Charlie Day studies monsters in 'Pacific Rim' this summer and plays one in 'Monsters University'</p>

Charlie Day studies monsters in 'Pacific Rim' this summer and plays one in 'Monsters University'

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Day talks about getting physical to play his role in 'Monsters University'

'Sunny' star also talks about his time in giant monster movie 'Pacific Rim'

Charlie Day is best known so far for his work on "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," and that's as it should be. After all, he's a major creative partner in the production of the show, and it fully expresses a totally lunatic sensibility that Day seems very proud of, each and every week.

This summer, though, Day shows up in a few very different films. There is, of course, Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim," where Day plays a scientist who is the leading expert on the kaiju, the giant monsters that threaten our planet. I'll be publishing some looks at my time on the set next week, and a lot of what we watched involved Day, Ron Perlman, and something that was not there. Watching him work for a full day in that sort of environment, I was really impressed by how much Day threw himself into every take, into even the angles where he wasn't the focus of the shot. He seemed to be able to summon it up every time, and knowing Del Toro… knowing what he asks of his actors… I could tell that he felt like he had found another missing piece from his always-growing movie family.

Read Full Post
<p>Kraftwerk</p>

Kraftwerk

Kraftwerk is werking on a new album

Ralf Hütter says a follow-up to the group's last 2003 album is coming 'soon'

Kraftwerk fans rejoice! The electronica trailblazers have a new album "under way" for an arrival "soon," according to founder Ralf Hütter.

Speaking with The New York Times, Hütter said the German group's first studio set since 2003's "Tour de France" is a work-in-progress, as is all of Kraftwerk's operations.

“We didn’t fall asleep,” he said. “The 168-hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970.”

Kraftwerk has been performing over the last couple of years for residencies like at New York's MoMA, London's Tate Modern and, most recently, wrapping at Akasaka Blitz in Tokyo, performing full albums in chronological order. They have a slate of more general tour dates starting this month through November, posted below.

“Kraftwerk is a living organism,” Mr. Hütter added. “Music is never finished. It starts again tomorrow. The record is just a record, but for us it’s nearly boring. We like better the programs that we can operate with. So we are operating, we are upgrading, we are updating continuously. There’s continuous reprogramming going on, and composition and new concepts are also coming.”

Read Full Post

When should John Oliver quit with the 'I'm British' jokes?


When should John Oliver quit with the "I'm British" jokes?

On his 2nd outing as "Daily Show" substitute, Oliver pointed out again that he's British.


Report: No "Idol" return for J.Lo

Jennifer Lopez won't be back as a judge next season, according to E!


Jeffrey Tambor recreates the "Larry Sanders" opening on Jimmy Fallon

Watch Tambor reprise his famous Hank Kingsley character. PLUS: Fallon's 4th Video Game Week kicks off Monday.


Smithsonian announces "Oprah Winfrey Theater" after her $12M donation for black history museum
The $12 million donation will help fund a $500 million museum for black history and culture. Because of the donation, the Smithsonian is renaming its largest theater after Oprah.


"24's" longtime producer/director Jon Cassar will be back for "Live Another Day"

Cassar, who won an Emmy for his "24" directing, will return for the reboot.


"Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham is confronted on the Howard Stern show

She insists her sex tape isn't porn.


Watch Letterman's obsession with drums
A YouTuber made a supercut of Dave asking drummers, "Are those your drums?" PLUS: Letterman is "Letterace."

Read Full Post
<p>Michael Jackson</p>

Michael Jackson

Credit: AP Photo

Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial reveals the ugly truth behind touring

Why the show must go on

As the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial against AEG Live continues into its seventh week, the testimony is revealing as much about the often nasty business of touring in general as it is the particularly ugly secrets of the Jackson “This Is It”  outing specifically.

As the email trail shows, what it often comes down to— and Jackson was an extreme case because of his superstar status and the earning potential— is keeping the artist on the road, through whatever means possible. I’m not trying the case here and I have no idea how the jury will decide, but through the testimony so far, it sure sounds like Jackson was in no shape to be thinking about a 50-date stand at London’s O2 Arena.  From the emails exchanged, it’s a miracle he made it through the two sentences he uttered at the press conference he was so “drunk and despondent,” according to an email from AEG Live head Randy Phillips.

All sides at various times expressed anything from mild concern to outright panic about his ability to sustain the rigors of a live show or even do multiple 360 degree spins. I’m no sage, but I remember when the tour was announced and concerts kept being added, thinking there was no way Jackson could make it through that many concerts given how fragile a state he seemed to be in. To be sure, AEG tried to mitigate the risk by making the world come to Jackson instead of his going to the world, but even then, it seemed a case of greed.

So why, in the face of what seems to be incontrovertible evidence that Jackson was in no shape to perform, didn’t someone pull the plug? Because once the wheels are in motion, especially on an enterprise as large as this one, it’s almost impossible to stop the juggernaut...though Jackson certainly found a way to stop it permanently, sadly.

The artist may be alone up on the stage, or surrounded by a small band, but there is a whole behind-the-scenes cottage industry that depends upon that human taking the stage every night and millions are at stake when that doesn’t happen. It’s not just the money earned off the ticket sales, but from merchandise, concessions, parking, ticketing fees, etc. The ancillary revenue can often surpass the ticket take.

I’ve seen artists on stage who had no business being anywhere but in rehab and yet the tour chugs on every night. The artist is up on display, like a circus bear, trotted out nightly to make sure everyone gets his or her share and if the act stops, so does the money train. The goal is to prop them up with a phalanx of support: whatever it takes to get them on stage.

I’m painting a craven picture to be sure, and most tours are handled just fine, but it’s important to note that it’s not always the folks behind the curtain who are demanding that the act keep going: sometimes it’s the artist. There are varying accounts of Jackson’s financial situation, from downright broke to still flush, but it seems fair to say that money was the motivating factor for his willingness to take the stage again as well.

Regardless, the takeaway from the Jackson trial could very well be much bigger than the jury’s decision over whether AEG Live was culpable in his death. By showing the drama behind the star-making machinery, the trial has revealed to the world just how sordid the touring industry can be.
 

Read Full Post

See Rob Lowe as JFK


See Rob Lowe as JFK
Lowe began filming "Killing Kennedy" this week with Ginnifer Goodwin playing Jacqueline Kennedy.


"Veronica Mars" movie filming begins next week
"We r almost locked & loaded!" says Kristen Bell.


"The Voice" hits an all-time low
Tuesday's show was down 13% from last week.


IFC renews "Portlandia" for 2 more seasons
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will be back for Seasons 4 and 5.


Woody Allen put a "Bachelorette" in his new film
Ali Fedotowsky says she has a cameo in "Blue Jasmine."


"HIMYM" will be at Comic-Con for the 1st time
The entire cast will be there, along with the show's creators and director.


Soledad O'Brien lands on HBO
The former CNN anchor will join "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" and, with her production company, come up with scripted projects for HBO.


ESPN shutting down its 3D channel after 3 years

There just wasn't enough interest in an ESPN 3D channel.


"Steve Harvey" renewed through 2016

Harvey's talk show has been picked up for two extra seasons.


"True Blood" bringing back Courtney Ford
She'll reprise her role as Bill Compton's great-great-great-great granddaughter.


Disney Channel cancels "Good Luck Charlie"

The kids' show lasted four seasons.


Kristin Cavallari reveals her official wedding portrait

"It was absolutely perfect," says the former "Hills" star.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME