Sunday, May 31, 2009

Universe of Sci-fi Stars to Guest on Warehouse 13

SciFi Channel's upcoming series Warehouse 13 doesn't debut until July, but it's already boasting an impressive line up of guest stars.

The show centers on a pair of Secret Service Agents -- Pete and Myka (Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly) -- who are transferred to Warehouse 13 and now answer to Artie, the location's caretaker and team leader. The Warehouse is a huge, top-secret storage facility for paranormal, mysterious and downright weird objects that have been collected by the US government. Think the Area 51 warehouse from the first and last Indiana Jones movies or the Cigarette Smoking Man's Pentagon storage hideway from The X-Files.

The new show's guest star roster starts with 3-time Emmy nominee CCH Pounder, who will play the boss of the Warehouse's caretaker in the pilot and a second episode later in the season.

Stargate Atlantis lead Joe Flanigan will guest as Jeff Weaver, a handsome and wealthy chamer who catches Myka's eye. He ends up under suspicion when the sculpture on which he bids vanishes in a seemingly impossible theft.

Several Battlestar Galactica veterans will guest star in different episodes. Tricia Helfer will play an FBI agent who initially clashes with the Secret Service agents when they interfere in one of her cases, until the unusual circumstances surrounding the case change her mind. Michael Hogan and his real-life wife, Susan, have been cast as Myka's father, Warren Bering, and mother in an episode that sees Bering's life threatened when he receives a dangerous object through the mail. Mark Sheppard will play Mr. Valda, one of the mysterious representatives of the Regents (the shadowy organization that controls Warehouse 13), who clashes with Artie.

Additional guest stars include Joe Morton, Erica Cerra and Niall Matter from SciFi's Eureka; James Naughton from Gossip Girl, Roger Rees from Cheers and Ivan Sergie from Crossing Jordan. [SCI FI Wire]
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Music Notes: Phil Spector sentenced, De La Soul talk new music/Gorillaz

Semi-early edition of Music Notes today! But there's plenty to read:

- "Wall of Sound" creator Phil Spector has been sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He's also been sentenced to four years for the personal use of a gun. Spector does have plans to appeal the decision. [MSNBC]

- De La Soul recently worked on a 10-track mix of new material, Are You In?, which was commissioned by Nike. The group has also started work on their next actual album, You're Welcome, which should come out next year. It seems they'd like to get a guest appearance from Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur). De La Soul actually worked with Albarn while rapping on Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc." De La Soul members have already contributed to two tracks on the next Gorillaz album (release date TBA), and De La Soul's Posdnuos told Entertainment Weekly, "From what we've heard, it sounds amazing. To me, quite honestly, it sounds better than the last album." Exciting times! [Entertainment Weekly]
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- Morrissey has canceled the rest of his UK tour dates, based on doctor's orders that tell him not to sing. Fans have been advised to hold on to tickets and wait for gigs that may get rescheduled. As someone who went through the cancellation fiasco the first time she saw Morrissey two years ago, I can say that holding on to the tickets isn't a bad idea (I was able to see him a couple of months later). But if you've seen Morrissey one or more times at this point, it might be better to spring for other concerts the next time he announces a tour. This is sadly not a new thing. [NME]

- Meanwhile, Mozzer's former bandmate Johnny Marr has revealed that The Cribs' new album is due out this September. [NME]

- The forthcoming DJ Hero, an offshoot of the Guitar Hero franchise, will feature music by Jay-Z and Eminem. A limited edition of the game will come with the artists' new greatest-hits CDs and could also feature unreleased tracks. A DJ stand and metal traveling case will also be included. The two rappers are going to serve as consultants. [USA TODAY]

- Nice little Q&A with Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 here. [SPIN]

- Singer-songwriter Kurt Vile has signed on with Matador Records, home to Jay Reatard, Cat Power and Yo La Tengo to name a few. His new album Childish Prodigy is due in the fall. [Pitchfork]
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Retrovideo Friday: "...dance to the radio..."

After taking a break last week, we're back with an all new Retrovideo Friday, going farther back than we ever have before.

This Week's Pick: "Transmission" by Joy Division (Year: 1979; Year of Video: Uncertain)

Joy Division, quite possibly the quintessential band of the post-punk era, has a legacy that's lasted longer than the group itself actually did. While they're probably most famous for the song, "Love Will Tear Us Apart," the band's influence can be heard in much of today's popular music. Bands like Interpol, The Editors, and hell — even The Killers — have all put out material featuring very Joy Division-esque sounds.

One of my personal favorite Joy Division songs is "Transmission," a 1979 non-album single with the memorable "Dance dance dance dance dance to the radio" line. A little dark and a little dangerous, it really is a bit of a dance song. Every single component, from the tight drumming to singer Ian Curtis's increasingly urgent-sounding vocals, has a way of drilling itself into the listener's mind... making the song ridiculously catchy.

The video below is a live performance of "Transmission." I'm not sure of the exact date it aired, but it does seem to be from a BBC program (and there's a bit of poetry at the beginning and end of this particular video). The performance is classic Joy Division — a stoic-looking band, fronted by an equally stoic lead singer with a propensity for thrashing his arms around whenever he was in a mood to dance. It's songs and performances like these that make me wish Curtis hadn't taken his life (he committed suicide just months after this single was released). Because even though we eventually got New Order, it would have been exciting to see what the band — as Joy Division — could have accomplished if they'd had more time.


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British Sci-Fi TV Alert! Doctor Who companion revealed, Torchwood returns

- The BBC has revealed the next actress joining the Doctor during his travels on Doctor Who. Twenty-one-year-old Karen Gillan will join new Doctor Matt Smith. She's technically already appeared on Doctor Who, playing a soothsayer in the Season 4 episode "The Fires of Pompeii." The actress told the BBC: "The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can't quite believe I am going to be a part of it. Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him." [BBC]

- In the meantime, Who spinoff Torchwood is set to return for a third season in July, airing on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the US. The season begins with a five-episode arc titled "Torchwood: Children of Earth." Watch the trailer below. [Paste Magazine] [BBC America]


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Music Notes: David Gahan's cancerous tumor removed, Sigur Ros record next album

- The whole Depeche Mode mystery seems to have been solved. After originally being hospitalized for gastroenteritis a couple of weeks ago, resulting in the cancellation of numerous tour dates, David Gahan has undergone surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed from his bladder. Doctors have ordered the singer to rest until June 8, which is when the band will resume their world tour in Leipzig, Germany. [BBC]

- Sigur Ros have been busy in the studio, working on a follow-up to last year's Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust. The band members have described the currently untitled album as a mellower, more ambient record than Med Sud... Sigur Ros seem to be aiming for a 2010 release date. [NME]

- Dr. Dre will debut some music from his album Detox in a Dr. Pepper commercial that will begin airing June 1. The album itself is expected to come out late in 2009. [Billboard]

- A little shout out to my college town — New Brunswick, New Jersey's Screaming Females opening for The Dead Weather (Jack White's latest project) in July. [TheDeadWeather.com]

- Vivian Girls will release their sophomore album, Everything Goes Wrong, September 8. [Pitchfork]
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TV News: 24 Casting News, Dexter

- Fox's 24 has been busy casting for the hit show's eighth season. Freddie Prinze Jr. is joining the cast as Davis Cole, "a recently returned Marine who runs CTU Field Ops and wants to follow in Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) footsteps." Additional 24 casting includes Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire) as a Middle East leader, Nazneen Contractor as Kapoor's daughter, Chris Diamantopoulos as the president's new chief of staff, John Boyd as a CTU systems analyst and Jennifer Westfeldt as a journalist. So how many episodes will Prinze last before his character suffers a painful death 24-style? Leave a comment below with your best guess! [Hollywood Reporter]

- Showtime hit Dexter is adding a new regular cast member for its fourth season. Veteran actor John Lithgow will play the Trinity Killer, so named because of his penchant for killing in threes. The Trinity Killer's real name is Walter Simmons, who is "an unassuming, mild-mannered suburbanite who has been living a dual life as one of America's most prolific and deadliest serial killers" and has avoided capture for almost 30 years. [E! Online]

- Right on the heels of Tuesday's Doctor Who news, BBC America announced that it will air the five Doctor Who specials that wrap up David Tennant's stint as the 10th Doctor. The series' Christmas special, "The Next Doctor," will air in the US on June 27 at 9PM. The second special, "Planet of the Dead," will air in July. Air dates and times for the final three specials have not yet been announced. [Variety]

- SCI FI Wire has an exclusive interview with Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) discussing his work on the upcoming BBC/NBC production Merlin. In the reimagined Arthurian legend, Head plays the evil King Uther who rules over Camelot while Merlin and not-yet-king Arthur are still teenagers. Season one of the 13-part drama premieres in the US on June 21 at 8PM on NBC. Season two of the BBC series is already in production. [SCI FI Wire]

- Jay Leno closes out his last week as the host of The Tonight Show with Billy Crystal (who was Leno's first guest when he became the permanent Tonight Show host) and Prince as tonight's guests and incoming Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien and James Taylor on Friday night. Leno has hosted the last night talker since taking over for Johnny Carson in 1992. The comedian's next project will be The Jay Leno Show, a one-hour comedy show for NBC that will air weeknights at 10PM starting in the fall. [NBC.com]
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Theater News: 007 and Wolverine Actors to Meet on Broadway

Reports are swirling that silver screen stars Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig will be headlining a new Broadway play this fall. The two action stars are said to be costarring in Keith Huff's A Steady Rain as two veteran cops whose friendship is tested when a routine domestic disturbance call leads to the death of a young boy. As the truth comes to light, the audience learns which of the officers must shoulder the blame for the boy's death.


A Steady Rain would be Craig's debut role on Broadway. Jackson won a Tony Award for Best Actor (Musical) in 2004 for his work in The Boy From Oz. [Playbill]
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Music Notes: Jay-Z nixes auto-tune, preps deal with Sony

- Don't expect to hear auto-tune on Jay-Z's next album Blueprint 3. Even though Kanye West (who went a little auto-tune crazy on his last album) is the producer, all auto-tune has been dropped from the album. Sweet. [Rolling Stone]

- In related news, Billboard reports that Jay-Z is now very close to signing a deal with Sony's Epic Records, which would allow his albums to get distributed by the label. This is all following last week's announcement that the artist had parted ways with Def Jam. [Billboard]

- Now time for another Jay. Jay Reatard's next album, Watch Me Fall, will come out August 18. The first track, "It Ain't Gonna Save Me," is available online. The album will be the follow-up to 2006's Blood Visions. [Matador Records]

- Morrissey has canceled yet another show due to illness. Heaven knows we're miserable now. [NME]

- Los Campesinos! are on the verge of finishing their third album. A fun interview accompanies this news over at Pitchfork. [Pitchfork]

- Weezer are releasing their own "Snuggie" blanket, to be known as a "Wuggie." Yeah, I don't know. [Yahoo! Music]
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TV News: HBO Hung Up on New Comedy

HBO has announced that its new comedy series Hung will debut on June 28 at 10:00PM with the vampire drama True Blood as its lead-in.

Hung stars Thomas Jane (The Punisher) as "a well-endowed man who looks to cash in on his assets." The half-hour show co-stars Jane Adams and Anne Heche. [Variety]
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Film & TV News: Dr. Who Film Script Ordered & Tennant Returns

A Time Lord may be taking over the silver screen in the future. A Dr. Who script is in development, a BBC Films spokeswoman announced.

No word on whether the titular character would be played by actor Matt Smith, who takes on the role of the 11th Doctor next in 2010, or David Tennant, who played the Doctor for the past four years.

Since the project is in the earliest stages, there is no guarantee that it will move from script to screen and, unless the project is fast-tracked, a release would be years away.

Tennant is definitely reprising his role as the 10th Doctor with a two-episode appearance in the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. The third installment of series -- comprised of 12 episodes -- begins airing this September.

Executive producer Russell T. Davies confirmed that Tennant is making more than a cameo appearance saying, "This is a full-on appearance for the Doctor as he and Sarah Jane face their biggest threat ever." [BBC News]
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TV News: Pacino Tapped to Play Kervorkian

Al Pacino will star in a new HBO cable movie about right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kervorkian.

The telepic will focus on the doctor's construction of his infamous "Mercy Machine" for assisted suicides, Kervorkian's first assisted suicide in the 1990s and the controversy that followed.

Barry Levinson will direct and co-executive produce the small screen movie for HBO. [Variety]
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Film News: Terminator Stomped, New Potter Clips, Buffy Resurrected on the Big Screen?

As Radhika said, the Pop Wenches are back after a quick break for the holiday weekend here in the US and there's no shortage of news and reviews to catch up on!

- Terminator Salvation was bested by Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian over the long Memorial Day weekend. Museum brought in $70 million while Terminator came in below expectations with $53.8 million. With Terminator's reported $200 million budget, that box office tally has to hurt. Meanwhile, Star Trek held on to the third spot at the weekend box office and is close to grossing $200 million. [E!Online via Yahoo! News]

- Warner Bros. has released download links to a new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince featurette that clocks in at a little over 2.5 minutes. The featurette includes interviews with Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) and new footage from the movie. More sneak peeks of Half-Blood Prince will air this weekend during showings of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on ABC Family as part of their "Harry Potter Weekend." [Mugglenet]

- Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be returning to the movie screen . . . without Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or fan-favorite characters like Angel, Spike, Willow and Xander. The director of the original Buffy movie, Fran Rubel Kuzui, and her Kuzui Enterprises own the rights to Buffy and work has begun "on what is being labeled a remake or relaunch, but not a sequel or prequel." Taking a page out of the new Star Trek film's handbook, the new movie would use the Buffyverse conceit that there is a new vampire slayer for each generation to create a plot and cast that is separate from the well-loved television series, but doesn't disregard the plotlines that were established in the show. The Buffy tv series aired from 1997-2003. [Hollywood Reporter]

- Disney is set to remake the cult favorite sci-fi adventure movie Flight of the Navigator. Originally released in 1986, the movie "told the story of a 12-year-old-boy (Joey Cramer) who is abducted by an alien spacecraft in 1978 and reappears eight years later, still the same age and with no memory of what happened." When the government tries to exploit the child, he escapes with the spaceship and tries to find his family. [Reuters via Yahoo! News]
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Music Notes: Glastonbury lineup, plus some sad news

- The full Glastonbury lineup has been announced, and it is massive. The big headliners are Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and Blur. Other acts performing during the June festival include Franz Ferdinand, Metric, Jason Mraz, Ray Davies, Art Brut, Black Eyed Peas, Regina Spektor, Fleet Foxes, Lily Allen... and more. Seriously. For more, visit the festival's homepage. [GlastonburyFestivals.co.uk]

- Former Wilco member Jay Bennett, 45, died in his sleep early on Sunday. Bennett left Wilco in 2001, and recently sued the band, claiming that he was owed royalties. Bennett contributed quite a bit to Wilco's catalog — one of these contributions included the song writing credits he shared on nearly every song on their 1999 release Summerteeth. Bennett's cause of death is unknown at this time. [Rolling Stone]

- The Beastie Boys have named their new album — Hot Sauce Committee. It's supposed to come out in September. [Pitchfork]

- Eleven music fans died at a festival held over the weekend in Rabat, Morocco, after a rush to exits caused a fence to collapse. Forty others were injured. The event featured performers like Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Kylie Minogue. [SPIN]

- Hundreds gathered to mourn slain rapper Dolla at a service held in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday. [NME]
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This Week's Music (May 26, 2009)

After taking some time out during the Memorial Day weekend, we're back to our regularly scheduled program with this week's edition of my weekly new music round-up, where I'll try highlighting some of the major/interesting new releases out today. This is a slightly shorter list due to time constraints, so if you feel I've missed anything significant, please feel free to point it out!

Hard copies of Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix are out today, after the album was released via North American iTunes on May 12. Marilyn Manson has also returned (no comment), and there are some reissues of classic albums by Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.

Grizzly Bear have the big (indie) release of the week with Veckatimest, which is receiving a lot of love from various reviewers. Watch the slightly strange video for their song "Two Weeks" (which is a beautiful composition) below:



Albums, Singles, EPs:
Blank Dogs - Under and Under
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Smoking Acid EP; Vinyl
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Clearwater Revival Covers the Classics
Eminem - Relapse (Vinyl)
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest; Vinyl
A Hawk and a Hacksaw - Deliverance
Marilyn Manson - The High End of Low; Deluxe Edition
Mandy Moore - Amanda Leigh
Stratovarius - Polaris
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Vast - Me and You
Viva Voce - Rose City
War Tapes - Continental Divide
Jenny Owen Youngs - Transmitter Failure

Reissues, Box Sets:
The A's - Woman's Got the Power
Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain (2 disc, 50th Anniversary Edition)
Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition

Soundtracks:
Harry Potter Soundtrack Bundle (Amazon Exclusive)

DVDs:
The Moody Blues - Live at the Isle of Wight (1970)
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Music Notes: Muse announce newest album title, Scarlett Johansson does more music...

- Muse announced the name of their new album via Twitter. The album, The Resistance, should be out this September. [NME]

- Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn have teamed up, and plan to release a collaborative album that may have been inspired by Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot. The project, Break Up, was recorded a couple of years ago. It's supposed to come out September 8. [USA Today]

- The Noisettes plan to release their latest album Wild Young Hearts stateside in August. They also plan to announce US tour dates in the next few weeks. [NME]

- Eminem's Relapse is doing pretty well. Estimates indicate that the album will be the rapper's fifth consecutive Number One by next week, with 650,000 copies sold. [Rolling Stone]

And that's all for now. As I blogged earlier today, I won't really be around during the Memorial Day weekend. I'll resume posting Music Notes and other regular features on Tuesday. And the music round-up will also get posted on Tuesday, a day later than usual. Until then!
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Trek Behind-the-Scenes Footage Coming to DVD

Roddenberry Productions has struck a deal with Toolbox Productions for more than 500 hours of previously unseen footage from four of the five Star Trek television series. The footage will be brought together as a high-def video encyclopedia DVD set exploring the franchise's characters and mythology.

The Toolbox footage "consists of interviews with cast and crew, as well as behind-the-scenes material shot over the past 20 years" and encompasses the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise series.

Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, who is the CEO of Roddenberry Prod. and son of the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and the late "First Lady of Star Trek" Majel Barrett Roddenberry, will serve as host on the DVDs.

No release date has been set for the DVDs. [Variety]
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Quick Admin Note

In an attempt to actually take a mini break this Memorial Day Weekend, I'll be slowing down/not posting over the next few days. (And I'm pretty sure my fellow Pop Wenches might also be taking this approach). As a result, there will be no "Retrovideo Friday" post today, though I will resume the feature next week.

I'll probably post an installment of "Music Notes" later today, but the next installment will not go up until Tuesday. And while I am hoping to schedule the usual weekly new music round-up so that it will go up by Monday no matter what, there might be a possibility that I won't post that until Tuesday either.

Check out previous Retrovideo Friday posts here, and take a look at our archives for anything else that might interest you. On that note, I hope everyone getting the long weekend off gets a chance to enjoy it! See you next week.
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TV News: The CW Announces Fall Lineup

The CW unveiled a fall sked that features a very cohesive lineup of shows that continue to appeal mostly to a young, female demographic. Tuesday nights will feel a bit like an early '90s flashback as 90210 is paired with the "next gen" version of Melrose Place. The new Ian Somerhalder-led drama Vampire Diaries will be the Thursday night lead-in to returning paranormal drama Supernatural. For more details on The CW's new fall lineup, click here. [Variety]
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Music Notes: Jay-Z leaves Def Jam, Massive Attack plan major world tour

- Jay-Z has left Def Jam, despite never actually recording the final album he owed them according to his contract. The rapper bought himself out of his own contract for $5 million, telling RapRadar.com, "I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience and I respect them immensely. I've been in the family for almost my entire career.... I thank [Morris] for allowing me to be a completely independent artist. Not every artist can say they own or are given the opportunity to own all of their music." [MTV News]

- Massive Attack are back! A fifth album is due out in October, and the act has a huge world tour planned. More than forty dates are already planned for the UK and Europe, and it is likely that the full tour — which will include dates in the United States — could top 150 dates. [Billboard]

- Internet radio station-of-sorts/"music genome project" Pandora is launching a paid premium service. For $36 a year, users can get: all video and audio ads eliminated, 192 kbps streaming, five hours before timeout, a desktop app that allows play without a browser, mini web-based player, and custom player skins. [Hypebot]

- Cat Power will tour with The Pretenders and Juliette Lewis. [Pitchfork]

- And you won't find the latest Green Day album at Wal-Mart. Long story short? The chain wanted to sell "clean" versions of the album, which meant that some of the language and content would have been removed. Green Day said no. [Associated Press]
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TV News: Fringe Star Fired

Fringe fans learned that Kirk Acevedo, who plays FBI agent Charlie Francis on the show, was fired through an announcement on Acevedo's Facebook page. The FB post reads: "WELL BOYS AND GIRLS THEY DONE DID YER BOY WRONG! THEY FIRED ME OFF OF FRINGE,AND I'VE NEVER BEEN FIRED IN MY LIFE!!!!"

The news has since been confirmed by "industry insiders" although it does not seem that Fox has made an official announcement.

Too bad -- Charlie Francis' rapport with Olivia Dunham was excellent, and after the episode in which he almost died after being infected with a creature's progeny, I was looking forward to seeing how the character developed in season two. [Chicago TV Examiner]
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RIP Lucy Gordon

British actress Lucy Gordon was found dead of apparent suicide in her Paris apartment on Wendesday, just two days before her birthday. According to French police, Gordon hanged herself, although there is no word on what might have motivated her to take her own life.

Gordon had worked as a model before becoming an actress. Her screen credits included small parts in Spider-Man 3, Serendipity and The Four Feathers. Gordon's final film is the Serge Gainsbourg biopic Serge Gainsbourg (a heroic life), which is due to release in French theaters in 2010. [Hollywood Reporter]
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RIP Wayne Allwine

Wayne Allwine, the voiceover artist since 1977 for Disney's iconic Mickey Mouse, died on Monday at the age of 62 from complications to diabetes.

Allwine started in the Walt Disney Studios mailroom in 1966 and worked his way up to positions as voice talent and sound effects editor for the studio's film and television productions. During the course of his career Allwine provided Mickey's voice for Disney theme parks, records and video games as well as projects including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mickey's Christmas Carol and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Allwine is survived by two daughters, three sons, a grandson and his wife, Russi Taylor, who is the voiceover artist for Minnie Mouse and other popular characters. [AFP via Yahoo! News][Disney.com]
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Music Notes: New Blur compilation, Kanye West continues blogging escapades

- Blur will be releasing a brand new best of album this June, and it will be somewhat different from their last best of compilation. EMI will release Midlife: A Beginner's Guide to Blur — it will be a two-disc compilation (and also available in download format), while also featuring songs from their 2003 album Think Tank. The compilation will feature some of their biggest hits, alongside "quirkier" tracks like "Trimm Trabb." The tracklisting was announced via their website, under "news."

In the meantime, the possibility of the band coming to the United States may or may not be a little higher than it was before. And that high-pitched squeal you just heard was the sound of me shrieking with delight... now if only they'd show up before I go to grad school. [Pitchfork]

- Kanye West critiques a paparazzi shot of Rihanna in his latest blog entry, saying "This pic is hardcore. Peep the perspective shot of the city in the back.... Good job on this one!" He also went on to say Beyonce is the new Tina Turner and Thom Yorke is the new Roger Waters. And I continue to love his craziness. [Kanye West's Blog]

- Natalie Cole received a kidney transplant in Los Angeles yesterday, after months of undergoing kidney dialysis while still promoting her latest album. Following doctors' orders, Cole will reschedule her summer tour dates. [NME]

- Depeche Mode canceled more tour dates in Latvia, Poland, and Lithuania. There has been a lot of speculation regarding David Gahan's illness, but let's hope all ends well. [Pitchfork]

- Morrissey has rescheduled two shows he canceled last week (due to illness), and will be performing in four more UK shows as well. [NME]

- I think I missed this earlier, so I'll mention it here: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their Zero Remix EP yesterday on iTunes. That being said, a vinyl 12" EP of the album track and all four remixes will be available June 9. [YeahYeahYeahs.com]
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Music News: Michael Jackson Concerts Postponed

In not-at-all-surprising news, the opening four nights of Michael Jackson's This Is It concerts in London have been postponed. An email from Ticketmaster and AEG Live announced that the first concert has been pushed back five nights (from July 9, 2009 to July 13, 2009) "in order to meet the challenges presented by such a massive and technically complex show." The other four shows have moved from July 2009 to early March 2010. For the text of the email click here. [Billboard]
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Film News: MLK Movie Generates Family Controversy

Fresh off yesterday's announcement of a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic helmed by Steven Spielberg, two of the civil rights leader's children are threatening legal action over the project.

Bernice King and Martin Luther King III are in the midst of a legal dispute with their brother Dexter King over the rights to the personal papers of their late mother, Coretta Scott King, and are also disputing the film project focused on their father. Dexter King is the chairman-CEO of the King Estate.

Variety reports that DreamWorks insiders do not feel that the family dispute will affect the project.

Dexter King has released a statement saying, "The King Estate is committed to working very closely with DreamWorks (and producers) Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones . . . For over 15 years, I have had the honor of being chief executive of the King Estate Corp. and am charged with the duties of managing my father's name, image, likeness, recorded voice, copyrighted works and rights of publicity." [Variety]
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TV News: CBS Announces Fall Lineup

CBS has unveiled its fall schedule, which sees the network's new hit show The Mentalist moving to a primo Thursday spot following CSI. The network is also rearranging its Monday comedy lineup and, as was expected, is integrating Medium (which, as reported earlier, was dropped by NBC) into its schedule to complement Ghost Whisperer and Numbers.

Without a Trace and Worst Week were added to the roster of shows CBS is cutting. For more details on CBS' new fall lineup, click here. [Variety]
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Music Notes: Arctic Monkeys sneak peeks, GA man apprehended for Dolla's shooting

- The Arctic Monkeys have premiered snippets of two new songs in a new online video available at NME.com. The band members have been in the process of recording a third album. [NME]

- Dolla, a 21-year-old rapper and protégé of Akon, was gunned down yesterday in LA's Beverly Center. The Atlanta rapper was born Roderick Anthony Burton II. Georgia resident Aubrey Louis Berry has been arrested as the suspect responsible for the shooting. [Yahoo! Music]

- Jarvis Cocker will voice Petey, a "mandolin-toting puppet," in Wes Anderson's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The two of them have also teamed up to write a song for the film, which will come to theaters on November 13. [SPIN]

- Check out the full details of Paul Banks' Julian Plenti album here. [Pitchfork]
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Film News: Crawford Brings Home the Bacon with Footloose

It's been a long day, so you're just going to have to forgive the bad Kevin Bacon pun. Paramount Pictures has confirmed that Gossip Girl's Chase Crawford has signed on for the lead role in the long-discussed Footloose film remake. Originally, High School Musical star and tween favorite Zac Efron was attached to the project, but dropped out in March.

Kenny Ortega (High School Musical trilogy, Dirty Dancing) will produce and direct the remake of the 1984 flick that starred Kevin Bacon as the rebellious, dancing Ren McCormack.

Several starlets have auditioned or are rumored to be under consideration for the role of Ariel Moore. Recent rumors have added Miley Cyrus' name to the mix, in additon to Hayden Panettiere, Amanda Bynes and Dancing With the Stars pro/country music singer Julianne Hough.

Watch one of the iconic dance scenes from the original Footloose:

[UsMagazine.com][E! Online]
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TV News: NBC Announces Split Seasons, CW Taps Into Vampire Craze

- NBC is bookending its coverage of the Winter Olympics with two separate TV seasons, featuring different lineups for fall and spring. As part of the unusual move, the Peacock is ordering a smaller number of episodes for many of its shows, but will actually air fewer repeats throughout the year. Heroes and Chuck, for example, will share the Monday 8pm timeslot with one show airing its full season in the fall and the other running in the spring. Click here for a summary of the new NBC lineups for each season. [Variety]

- The latest buzz says that The CW has put in series orders for Vampire Diaries (starring Ian Somerhalder of Lost fame), Melrose Place 2.0 (featuring Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) and Beautiful Life (starring Mischa Barton). Two other CW shows, Lily and Body Politic haven't officially been axed, but things don't look good for them. [E! Online]
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Sherlock Holmes Sneak Peek

The first trailer for Guy Ritchie's upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams has hit the interwebs. Enjoy!

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Film News: Spielberg Produces MLK Biopic

Legendary director and filmmaker Steven Spielberg will produce a big screen biopic on the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for DreamWorks. This will be the first film authorized by King's estate and DreamWorks has been granted rights to use King's copyrighted speeches (including the famous "I Have a Dream" speech), books and other intellectual property.

King, who became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights work in the US, was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. [Variety]
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TV News: ABC announces fall lineup, The Unit and My Name Is Earl canceled...

- ABC has presented its fall lineup, which will include returning shows like Grey's Anatomy and Dancing with the Stars. There will also be a Wednesday night, two-hour block of comedies (including Cougar Town). Scrubs and Better Off Ted are supposed to appear midseason. For more about the network's fall lineup, go here. [The Hollywood Reporter]

- Meanwhile, NBC has decided to cancel My Name Is Earl, but 20th Century executives are speaking to FOX and ABC about picking it up. The peacock network has also passed on ordering another season of Medium, but those rumors that show owner CBS could pick it up are still alive and kicking. Meanwhile, CBS has decided not to pick up The Unit. [Entertainment Weekly]
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Monday, May 18, 2009

TV News: Renewals and Cancellations as of May 18, 2009

We've been posting sporadic news about recent TV renewals and cancellations since last week, and I just posted my thoughts about the Sarah Connor cancellation here earlier today. But since we've all got day jobs here at Pop Wenches, it's tough to post each and every bit of TV scheduling news that's come out today.

So here's a little rundown of the fall line-ups so far:

- FOX announced its line-up of shows today, confirming the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and stating that an abbreviated season of Dollhouse will (still) be airing on Friday nights. Fringe will move to Thursday night, while other established hits like House will stay in their current time slots (which means House will be on Monday nights). For a more comprehensive look at FOX's fall schedule, go here. [THR.com]
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- Meanwhile, it looks like ABC has decided to cancel Samantha Who? But executives have renewed Castle, meaning Nathan Fillion is finally on a series — not including Two Guys and a Girl — that hasn't been canceled only 10 or so episodes into its first season. Better Off Ted, which is actually pretty quirky/funny, has also been renewed. And as posted this weekend, Scrubs is coming back...[Entertainment Weekly Link 1; Link 2]

- CBS has picked up four new dramas, including an NCIS spin-off starring Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J, alongside a Jenna Elfman comedy. For more information on that go here. [Entertainment Weekly]

- As posted this weekend, NBC decided to renew Chuck and has renewed established shows like Heroes as well.

For a final tally of all the shows that are getting renewed and canceled, you can always visit this cheat sheet by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. It's a little messy, but gives you a good idea of his predictions and final outcomes for each major network's TV line-up.
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Music Notes: Radiohead back in the studio, Blink 182 tickets to cost $20

- Radiohead are back in the studio, toying with ideas for their follow-up to 2007's In Rainbows. Bassist Colin Greenwood told the BBC the band is at the stage "where we've got the big Lego box out and we've tipped it out on the floor and we're looking at all the bits and thinking, 'What next?'" Nigel Godrich, who has worked with the band on every album since 1997's OK Computer, will produce this album as well. [BBC]

- I kind of stopped caring about Blink 182 sometime in high school (even though I've been posting about them), but this is actually a nice thing to hear. The reunited group plans on offering fans $20 tickets. The cost will include fees, taxes and free parking. Props, guys! [NME]

- Sigur Ros frontman Jón “Jónsi” Þór Birgisson has remixed Depeche Mode's "Come Back." The track will appear on Depeche Mode's upcoming single "Peace Out," and only the 7-inch vinyl release. [Sigur-Ros.co.uk]

- There's a fun Q&A with Regina Spektor over at SPIN. Check it out here! The songstress will release her next album, Far, on June 23. [SPIN]

- Pitchfork reports on an interesting venture by indie record stores. The Coalition of Independent Music Stores has launched ThinkIndie.com. The coalition issued the following statement about this online venture: "Each brick and mortar record store has its own homepage inside the site with its own recommendations, personality and local approach. Once a customer registers with the site, they are assigned to their local store and each time they make a purchase that store is rewarded." Pretty cool idea! Let's hope it can turn into a truly profitable venture. [Pitchfork]
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This Week's Music (May 19, 2009)

Welcome back to the weekly new music roundup, where I will try highlighting some of tomorrow's interesting/major music releases.

Tori Amos is back this week with her newest album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin. This is her tenth studio album, and her first independent effort (distributed by Universal Republic Records).

On a semi-related note (since he was covered by Tori on the album Strange Little Girls), Eminem is also coming back with Relapse. Meanwhile, Busta Rhymes will release his eighth studio album, Back On My B.S., after previously-planned release dates kept falling through.

The twentieth anniversary of Lenny Kravitz's Let Love Rule will be celebrated with a deluxe reissue of the album.

Jarvis Cocker, best known for his work with Pulp, will also be releasing his latest solo effort, Further Complications, tomorrow. Watch the video for his song "Angela" below. A list of this week's releases follows.



Albums, Singles, EPs:
Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted to Sin; Deluxe Edition
Andre 3000 - Andre Benjamin Presents
Beach Boys - Summer Love Songs
Busta Rhymes - Back on my B.S.; CD/DVD Deluxe Edition
Carbon Leaf - Nothing Rhymes With Woman
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Live From Madison Square Garden
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications; Vinyl
Eminem - Relapse
The Field - Yesterday & Today
Gin Blossoms - Live in Concert
Green Day - Know Your Enemy (Maxi; Single; Import)
Iron & Wine - Around the Well; Vinyl
Mat Kearny - City of Black & White
Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, The Commuter
Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers (Import); Deluxe Edition (Import)
Parachute - Losing Sleep
Passion Pit - Manners
Lionel Richie - Just Go
U2 - Magnificent EP (Single; Import)

Reissues, Box Sets:
Bjork - Voltaic (Limited Edition; 2 CD, 2 DVD Set)
Green Day - Insomniac (Vinyl)
Lenny Kravitz - Let Love Rule (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Tom Tom Club (Deluxe Edition; 2 CD Set Import)

Soundtracks:
Danny Elfman - Terminator Salvation
Alan Silvestri - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Various Artists - True Blood (Original TV Soundtrack)

DVDs:
Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Live From Madison Square Garden
Sia - TV Is My Parent
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TV Cancellation News: The Sarah Connor Chronicles gets terminated

Bad news for Terminator fans: It looks like FOX's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has officially been canceled (at least according to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello). It seems a bit premature, considering the fact that Terminator: Salvation will be out later this week. But even though I was a fan of the series, I will admit that it had a tendency to be fairly inconsistent -- maybe things would have been different if we'd had more episodes like the last season finale.
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Should FOX executives be crucified for this move? As much as it pains me to say it, I don't think so. I would have loved to see Terminator continue for another season, and some are speculating that it could in the form of DVD movies. However, let's not forget that the show did get another chance after a first season hampered by an industry-wide writers' strike. This was not another situation (a la Firefly) where the show's episodes were consistently aired out of order. Maybe it has been prematurely canceled -- this is something we may never know. But the fact remains: the show got two seasons, which is more than most well-liked, but poorly-rated shows tend to get.

Another thing I've noticed is that many fans are railing against Dollhouse as if that show really had anything to do with Terminator's cancellation. And I don't get it, even though I was a Terminator fan first and didn't even like Dollhouse much until its sixth episode. Though Dollhouse has a polarizing effect on viewers, and though many say its Whedon's weakest show, it does happen to have fans. And it's still a triumph for a poorly-rated science fiction show to be saved for at least one more season.

For all you know, Dollhouse will ultimately yield a poor profit for FOX (I'm sure they'll be watching those DVD sales this summer) and wind up getting canceled as well. So let's not turn this into a war. As a creative person, I'm extremely disappointed to hear about Terminator's cancellation, and I genuinely sympathize with the show's actors and production team. But even though we hate to admit it, TV is ultimately a business. And since this is not a colossally cruel cancellation of Firefly proportions, we can't be surprised (though we can still be disappointed) by this news.

[Entertainment Weekly]
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Film News: Stargate Faces Extinction?, Thor Gets Ready to Rumble, Bellucci is Magical

- SGA executive producer Joseph Mallozzi leaked the working title of the first Stargate: Atlantis movie via his dogs' Twitter account (yes, you read that correctly) and his own blog. Tentatively titled Stargate: Extinction, the movie's events would follow close upon the events of the Atlantis series finale which saw the team fly the city back to Earth to help defend the planet from an alien attack. The movie is expected to have a straight-to-DVD release like the two 2008 Stargate: SG1 movies did. [Joseph Mallozzi's blog] [Joe's dogs' Twitter]

- Chris Hemsworth, best known for his current role as Captain James Kirk's doomed father in the new Star Trek movie, has been chosen to play the titular thunder god Thor in the movie of the same name.  The anticipated Marvel Studios live-action flick will be directed by Kenneth Branagh and is scheduled for a May 20, 2011 release.  Before starting work on Thor, the Aussie actor will film a remake of Red Dawn. Hemsworth is taking over the lead role of Jed Eckert, a character originally played by Patrick Swayze. Hemsworth's younger brother, Liam, has also received good casting news recently (see below). [SCI FI Wire]

- In "are you KIDDING me?" film news, Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl fame will star as Heathcliff opposite Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) as Cathy Earnshaw in a new silver screen version of Wuthering Heights. That sound you're hearing? It's the sound of this Pop Wench's head exploding with pain. [Hollywood Reporter]

- Monica Bellucci will play a sorceress and Nicolas Cage's long-lost love in Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Cage headlines the film as a sorcerer "who recuits and trains a young protege to help him fight the forces of darkness in modern-day Manhattan." [Variety]

- Actress Tilda Swinton has signed on star in the film adaptation We Need to Talk About Kevin. Based on a novel by Lionel Shriver, the movie "tells the story of a smart, educated New York mother who does her best to raise a son she never wanted in the first place." The son turns out to be a problem child and causes his mother's marriage to breakdown "before going on a killing spree at his high school with a crossbow." Clearly, this will be the feel-good movie of the year . . . [Hollywood Reporter]

-American Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame is starring in and producing The Dry Land, a movie "which follows a young man's difficulties readapting to small town life following a tour of duty." Ryan O'Nan (The Unusuals) and Melisa Leo (Homicide: Life on the Street) also star in the flick. [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]

- Australian actor Liam Hemsworth has been cast opposite Miley Cyrus in The Last Song, Disney's upcoming adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel. Cyrus will play a rebellious teenager forced to spend the summer with the father who abandoned her years ago. Hemsworth plays Cyrus' love interest, a beach vollyball player and member of the "cool crowd" with Ivy League aspirations. [Hollywood Reporter]

- And in case you'd like to meet your Velveeta quotient for the year in one shot, you can watch Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus starring '80s pop star Deborah "Debbie" Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas. [MTV]
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

TV Renewal News: Chuck gets 3rd season, Medium may go to CBS

- NBC has decided to renew Chuck, much to worried fans' relief. In a move similar to what FOX did with Dollhouse, NBC executives have decided to pick up only 13 episodes of the show. Still, something has to be better than nothing! [THR.com]

- In somewhat related news — fans have also been concerned about the future of Medium, another NBC show. Now it looks like the show, starring Patricia Arquette, could wind up moving to CBS. Though the show currently airs on NBC, CBS TV Studios is actually the force behind the supernatural drama. That being said, nothing is set just yet. [The Hollywood Reporter]
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Friday, May 15, 2009

TV Renewal News: Dollhouse and Scrubs are coming back

- First things first. It may seem like the miracle of the year, especially considering the fact that its finale reportedly had the lowest rating of all its episodes — Dollhouse is coming back. We won't get an official announcement until Monday, but FOX executives have decided to bring it back for a 13-episode order so far. Now apparently, they do want to continue airing it on Friday nights... but I think it would be interesting if they put it on back to back with a show like Fringe on another night. (That's assuming Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles doesn't come back, and sadly it seems like it won't). [THR.com]

- And now it looks like Scrubs is coming back too for a ninth season, and Zach Braff will be coming back as well (for six episodes). Sarah Chalke is also slated to return for six episodes. Hm. I hate saying it, but it does feel like the Season 8 finale has been cheapened in a way. Can the show still go out on top in the future? [THR.com]
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Music Notes: Paul Banks releases solo track, Blink 182 play first reunion gig

- Paul Banks (going by the name Julian Plenti) has released a track that's probably going to appear on his upcoming solo album Skyscraper. The track, "Fun That We Have," can be found here. Thoughts? [Prefix Mag]

- Blink 182 played their first reunion gig last night at a private party unveiling the new T-Mobile Sidekick. Well, I guess this is growing up! [Rolling Stone]

- Broken Social Scene are working on recording a new album in Chicago. [Pitchfork]

- And don't expect to see a new Gorillaz album until 2010 — Damon Albarn's manager has said there's plenty of tracks to work with, but there's no need to rush the artist (also fronting a reunited Blur) at this time. [NME]
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Retrovideo Friday: "Me, I'm supa dupa fly..."

What do you get when you have cameos galore, an extremely loose "plot"... and a garbage bag-inspired outfit?

This Week's Pick: "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliott (Year: 1997)

Missy ("Misdemeanor") Elliott has been working hard for a while now — even before releasing hits like "Lose Control" and "Get Ur Freak On," she got her start writing/producing and appearing as a guest on other artists' albums.

It was 1997 when she finally released her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which featured the hit/lead single "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)." The track featured Elliott rapping over sparse, moderate beats that were juxtaposed against a sample from Ann Peebles' "I Can't Stand the Rain." The end result was a pretty original-sounding track.

Oddly enough, it was the video for the song that was practically as memorable as the track itself. On first glance, the video — directed by Hype Williams — didn't seem all that different from the other videos out there. It featured a number of cameos from well-established acts like Da Brat, Lil' Kim and Sean Combs (or Puff Daddy, or Puffy, or P. Diddy, or Diddy...) And people dancing. But it also featured some odd imagery, such as Elliott bopping around in a garbage bag-like outfit and later on, sitting on a grassy hill flopping her head around in a puppet-like fashion.

Whatever it is, there's something intriguing about the video — something that still has me remembering it so many years later. And looking back, it's no surprise we wound up hearing so many more innovative tracks (and seeing equally innovative videos) come from Elliott in her followups to Supa Dupa Fly.

Watch the video for "The Rain" below:

<a href="http://www.joost.com/08200ye/t/Missy-Elliott-The-Rain-Supa-Dupa-Fly-Video-Version">Missy Elliott - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) (Video Version)</a>
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Music Notes: Depeche Mode (and more) cancel shows, Kajagoogoo no longer 'too shy'

- The Depeche Mode tour has now shut down until May 21 due to David Gahan's illness. [Rolling Stone]

- Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan's US tour has been postponed until September. Campbell announced the delay via MySpace, citing "unavoidable circumstances," and adding that tickets purchased for upcoming shows would still be valid in September. Campbell was previously affiliated with Belle & Sebastian, while Lanegan is better known for his work with Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age and the Gutter Twins. [NME]

- Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was robbed and assaulted in Atlanta, where the band is currently recording a new album. The incident was caught on camera, though no suspects have been apprehended yet. [SPIN]

- In a total WTF? moment: Kajagoogoo have reunited. Yes. [Yahoo! Music]

- Paste Magazine is sadly among the music publications suffering in the global recession. The magazine is turning to readers for help — in exchange for a donation, you can receive rare and exclusive tracks from artists like The Decemberists, Neko Case, G. Love, The Hives and more... Remember, without these publications, blogs would have a tough time existing as well! [Paste Magazine]

- Random release: David Bowie's episode of Storytellers (1999, VH1) will be released as a CD/DVD set, and as a download on July 14 by Virgin/EMI. [Pitchfork]

- Download a live acoustic rendition (free) of A Camp's "I Signed The Line." [SPIN]
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Film News: Nicole's a No-Show, Multiple Jekyll & Hydes, Scorsese Tackles Ol' Blue Eyes

- Nicole Kidman has pulled out of Woody Allen's upcoming, untitled movie, citing a scheduling conflict. Allen's film is now scheduled to begin filming this summer on the East Coast; Kidman will be producing and starring in The Rabbit Hole in the UK during that time. Previously it had been announced that Kidman would costar with Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto in Allen's film. [Entertainment Weekly]

- Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde has become a hot property. In addition to the contemporized version starring Keanu Reeves that was recently announced, Guillermo del Toro is developing his own adaptation. Del Toro's full slate of currently schedule films, however, means that his Jekyll movie is years away from becoming reality. A third bigscreen adaptation helmed by Abel Ferrara has just been announced. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker will play Dr. Jekyll and rapper 50 Cent will play Mr. Hyde. Yeah, I don't know what to think about that either . . . [Fangoria][Variety]

- Universal Pictures and Mandalay Pictures have annouced that Martin Scorsese will direct and produce the first silver screen biopic about the legendary Frank Sinatra. Simply titled Sinatra, the film is intended to "touch on all phases of Sinatra's life." According to one of the studio execs, Leonardo DiCaprio is "an obvious candidate" to star in the film since he has starred in Scorsese's last four flicks. Any music used in the film will come from Sinatra's original recordings, so the lead actor will not need singing ability. [Variety]

- Tina Fey and Steve Carell will be joined by Ray Liotta, Mila Kunis and Mark Ruffalo in the Fox comedic movie Date Night. Liotta, Kunis and Ruffalo join a cast that also includes Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Taraji P. Henson, Common and Leighton Meester. Filming for Date Night began last month. [Hollywood Reporter]

- Because he wasn't going to be busy enough with half-a-dozen upcoming projects, Hugh Jackman has signed on to star in Unbound Captives alongside Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz and Twilight's Robert Pattinson. Weisz will play a woman "whose husband is killed and her two children kidnapped by a Comanche war party in 1859." Jackman will play the fronstiersman who rescues Weisz' character, and Pattinson will play her son. Madeline Stowe, who penned the script, will also make her directorial debut with Unbound Captives. [Variety]
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Music News: Free Album from Del The Funky Homosapien

How's this for a serious music flashback? Oakland hip-hop artist Del The Funky Homosapien (of "Mistadobalina" fame) is offering his newest album, Funk Man (The Stimulus Package), in its entirety as a free download. To listen to or download the album, click here. Warning: lyrics NSFW.

Del has eight dates left on his US club tour in support of this album. Dates and cities as follows:
  • May 14th - Boulder, CO
  • May 15th - Denver, CO
  • May 16th - Colorado Springs, CO
  • May 18th - Salt Lake City, UT
  • May 22nd - Geneva, MN
  • June 5th - San Francisco, CA
  • June 6th - Santa Cruz, CA
  • June 12th - West Hollywood, CA
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Watch the music video for "Get It Right Now" from Funk Man (The Stimulus Package):


Watch the music video for "Mistadobalina":


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Living on the Fringe

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Tuesday's Fringe finale, "There's More Than One of Everything," along with general spoilers for the show's first season.

The finale for Fringe's freshman season included a guest appearance by Leonard Nimoy; breaches of the wall between our world and an alternate reality; and a couple of people whose bodies were cleanly, fatally and disgustingly severed when these breaches sealed around them. The most shocking moment of the episode though, was a brief look at a plain tombstone bearing the words "Peter Bishop, 1978-1985."

Peter Bishop is, of course, the character played by Joshua Jackson — a character who is a 30-year-old man who is very much alive, not a dead seven-year-old child.

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Early in the season, I thought the writers had given too much away when they had Peter's father, mad scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), tell Peter that he was special. While I haven't followed Fringe fanatically (I tend to watch the eps on Hulu when I have a moment), the bits and pieces we were given about Peter's childhood seemed to back up my earlier assumption. The story of Peter's severe illness as a child and his near death in an icy lake, coupled with his father's comment about Peter being special led me think that he'd been treated with the experimental drug cortexiphan in the same way Olivia had been dosed with it.

While cortexiphan treatment may still be a possibility, the tombstone and the episode title — "There's More Than One of Everything" — point to the Peter we know being an "import" from an alternate reality, possibly the same reality in which the mysterious William Bell (Nimoy) currently resides. The same reality to which Olivia was taken at the end of the finale. A reality in which the World Trade Center still stands tall in NYC, but the White House has been destroyed.

Over the course of the first 20 episodes Walter and Peter Bishop have slowly developed a father-son relationship (with Peter usually taking the paternal role), albeit one that's frequently contentious. Uncovering the hows and whys of Peter's story next season sets up a rollercoaster of a storyline.

During the first half of this season, I was waiting to see if Fringe would find its legs. The initial eps were okay for a new sci-fi show, but I kept waiting for the writers to show me something that didn't feel like it had been lifted from The X-Files. Right around mid-season, the show hit its stride and has been ratcheting up the stakes for its three main characters every week. Fringe has become addictive sci-fi television and fall's season two premiere can't come fast enough.

Watch the season one finale "There's More Than One of Everything":

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Music Notes: Wilco album streaming, Gahan recovering from stomach flu

- Wilco's new album is streaming in its entirety on their website. Listeners can listen to the stream in low or high quality. [WilcoWorld.net]

- Following up on yesterday's news about David Gahan: the singer is indeed suffering from a severe bout of stomach flu. As a result, Depeche Mode have canceled gigs in Athens, Greece and Istanbul. Both shows will be rescheduled soon, and fans are being told to hold on to their tickets. [SPIN]

- Even though the album won't be released until Friday, Green Day's latest is probably well on its way to being at the top of the Billboard charts next week. [Billboard]

- First Howling Bells, now Elbow - the latter will be joining Coldplay as an opening act during several North American tour dates this summer. The band will also play some solo dates, and will kick things off with a July 22 show in Los Angeles. [NME]

- Weezer will apparently tour with Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy. [Pitchfork]

- And even though you've all probably heard by now, I will end with this item because I'm endlessly entertained by Kanye West's blog. The rapper just went on a tirade against Twitter on his blog, ending with the following: "HEY TWITTER, TAKE THE SO CALLED KANYE WEST TWITTER DOWN NOW .... WHY? ... BECAUSE MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS LOUD!!!!!!!!!" That'll tell 'em, Mr. West. [Kanye West's Blog]
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