Archive | April, 2008

“American Idol,” April 30

30 Apr

Brooke White was voted off “American Idol” tonight.

Brooke was in the bottom two with Syesha.

The show addressed Paula’s slip-up from the night before — Ryan said the judges were not expecting to make any comments when Paula was asked to critique the first set of songs.

Then he said there have been “rumors” — but he didn’t say what kind of rumors — but that they weren’t true and Paula is a much-loved member of the “Idol” family.

Orpheum Memphis announces next Broadway season

30 Apr

Wicked

The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis has announced its next Broadway season.

From the theatre’s blog:

Avenue Q
September 30-October 5, 2008

The Pajama Game
December 9-14, 2008

The Drowsy Chaperone
January 13-18, 2009

Legally Blonde
March 3-8, 2009

The Color Purple
March 31-April 5, 2009

Fiddler on the Roof
May 5-10, 2009

Wicked
June 24-July 12, 2009

Popular fan favorites Mamma Mia! (November 18-23, 2008 ) and Riverdance (February 20-22, 2009) will return to the Orpheum stage and serve as add-ons to the Broadway series.

Learn more at the theatre’s blog on MySpace.

What’s Going On – Idol, sequels, Willie Nelson

30 Apr

Anyone else still feeling dizzy from the mess that was “Idol” last night? Man, that Paula drama is calling the whole show into question now. Everyone is accusing the show of being completely scripted and/or rigged.

Entertainment Weekly is doing a great job of covering it – I especially liked this piece that described what the studio audience saw.

But on to news…

  • BBC America shows like “Torchwood” and “Robin Hood” are now on iTunes.
  • Jonah Hill may star in the “Transformers” sequel.
  • Want a free copy of a new “Star Wars” book? Click here.

And, finally, a happy for today:

Willie Nelson turns 75 today.

If your mama raised you right, she brought you up listening to Willie.

I know my mama did. My mother sang me Willie Nelson songs the way other moms sing lullabies. I always assumed everyone else was put to bed by the strains of “Crazy” or “Pretty Paper” (she sang that one all year). He was almost a member of our family. We just called him “Willie.

Do you have a favorite Willie song?

My cousin Shawna loves “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.”

My pick is “Crazy.” That may be the best song ever written, ever.

My mama’s favorite Willie album is “Stardust.”

Share your favorites!

To celebrate his birthday, here’s a video of Willie singing three of my favorites: “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy” and “Night Life.”

“American Idol,” April 29

29 Apr

Strange night for “Idol.”

This week is Neil Diamond week. The contestants had to sing two songs, so the whole show felt rushed yet crazy boring. Maybe it’s just me — I have all the respect in the world for Sir Diamond but I can’t say I’m that big of a fan, so I wasn’t crazy about this night.

Speaking of a crazy night, Paula had a particularly bad show. Let me explain:

So, the contestants sang two songs, but only got comments from the judges after the SECOND song.
So, for the first round of songs, Jason sang, then David Cook, then Brooke, then David Archuleta and finally Syesha.
After the first round of songs by the contestants, Ryan asked the judges to give a very quick summation of how the first songs were (and they’d get a more in-depth commentary after their second songs). Randy went through them quickly and said things like “Jason — OK, David Cook — good, Brooke — karaoke” — you get the idea. But then Paula started to critique Jason’s first song — that was so far all that he had performed — and she started critiquing his second song…and we were still on the first round of songs. She was critiquing something she hadn’t even heard yet. The whole place went silent, and then finally you could hear the audience laughing nervously and she was corrected by Randy. Paula actually said she thought Jason sang twice. Finally Simon just started asking her, “Who did you like best, Paula?” like a hundred times, the way you’d ask a child. It was a complete disaster.
Probably didn’t help that later she called Syesha “Brooke.”

Poor Paula. I don’t know if she was honestly confused or what, but it made her look terrible. Bless her heart.

Anyway, on to the show.

Jason Castro sang “Forever in Blue Jeans” first and “September Morn” second. Both were plainly and simply OK — nothing crazy remarkable about either.
Randy said: They were just OK.
Paula said: He needs to get out of his comfort zone.
Simon said: He made no attempt to make the songs his own and both were forgettable.

David Cook sang “I’m Alive” and “All I Really Need is You.” As my mother pointed out, these songs aren’t huge Neil Diamond hits — so maybe David was smart to pick them, because it wouldn’t be quite so easy for everyone (except HUGE Diamond fans) to compare David’s version with the original. The first one felt bland but the second was better.
Randy said: He “rocked the house again.”
Paula said: She felt like she was already looking at the American Idol.
Simon said: The first one was OK; the second was brilliant.

Brooke White sang “I’m a Believer” and “I Am I Said.” “I’m a Believer” was a total disaster. She sounded horrible. But she totally made up for it with “I Am I Said,” which was great. She even changed a few lyrics to fit her life, which Diamond suggested.
Randy said: “I Am I Said” is a tough song to sing and she did a nice job.
Paula said: Everyone loves who she is.
Simon said: He really hated the first one (he first called it a “nightmare”) but the second song was much better, but not incredible.

David Archuleta sang “Sweet Caroline” first, followed by “America.” Maybe Little Bit is starting to get to me but I wasn’t much a fan of either — although I think his vocals on “America” may have been a little better.
Randy said: He’s “definitely in the zone.”
Paula said: His voice is on-point and he’s brilliant.
Simon said: “America” was a smart song choice.

Syesha sang “Hello Again,” which was pretty, and “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime.” She had a lot of fun with her second song.
Randy said: She finally realized who she is.
Paula said: Her vulnerable side in “Hello Again” was beautiful, as was her theatrical side in “Thank the Lord.”
Simon said: She’s a good actress but she may be in trouble because he didn’t think the second song was memorable.

So, who’s going home? Jason, Brooke and Syesha in the bottom three, for sure. Actually going home, though? Jason probably should, but I’m guessing it’s Syesha.

What’s Going On – New CDs, Betrayal, ‘Top Chef’

29 Apr

Merry Tuesday, dear Scene cats…

  • Tupelo metal band Betrayal has posted new songs to its MySpace page.
  • Click here to stream new CDs by Lil Mama, Estelle, Steve Winwood, Augustana, Martina McBride and Sarah McLachlan.
  • Think you’re good enough to be a “Top Chef”? The show is casting.
  • Britney Spears is coming back to “How I Met Your Mother.”
  • MTV asked readers to send in questions for the stars of “Twilight.” Here are their answers.

Check back here tonight for “Idol” coverage!

In My Queue: “There Will Be Blood”

28 Apr

Maybe I’m the last person in America, but I’m only just now getting around to watching “There Will Be Blood.”

Like a lot of other movies released late last year, such as “No Country for Old Men” and “Atonement,” this movie got quite a bit of hype. I won’t say it’s my favorite hyped-up movie of the year, but it was worth watching.

Very simply, “There Will Be Blood” tells the story of Daniel (Daniel Day-Lewis) and how his life plays out after becoming an oil tycoon. Elements of greed, religion and family (especially father-son relationships) weave together to tell a rich, terrifying and magnificent story.

I can’t say turn-of-the-century oil tycoons interest me much, but Day-Lewis sold me on it. His performance is so incredibly amazing. You almost wish they made something more than just an Oscar for acting — because when someone is this good, giving them a gold statue of a naked guy seems so silly.

Paul Dano, who plays Eli, is also terrific. You probably remember Dano as Dwayne in “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Overall, there were moments that felt completely pretentious and indulgent. And the entire first hour did nothing for me – I spent most of it wondering if they were using dark chocolate syrup for oil (a la dyed corn syrup for pig’s blood in “Carrie”). But once the latter half of the movie rolls in and we come to understand Daniel more, it becomes way more interesting. And, Daniel Day-Lewis’ acting is really so good that it makes you forget the more indulgent moments.

I probably enjoyed “No Country” more (um, if that is possible – both can be hard to watch), but “There Will Be Blood” is still a great movie.

Here’s the trailer for “There Will Be Blood” —

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this “Blood” inspired T-shirt!

What’s Going On – Double Decker, music, TV

28 Apr

Avett Brothers in Oxford/Crackerfarm

Crowd at Double Decker for the Avett Brothers/Crackerfarm

See yourself in the crowd?

The Avett Brothers had a photographer with them at Double Decker in Oxford Saturday, and they posted some of the best photos at their MySpace page. They’ve got a new photo album called “Oxford, MS.” The photos include shots of the show and of the band on their tour bus.

I didn’t get to stay for the whole set (*sigh* long day, long story), but the little bit I saw of the Avetts, they were wonderful.

OK, on to Monday news…

  • If you’re looking for new music to hear, Sony/BMG artists are now streaming for free on a new site. You’ll have to pay to actually download any music, though
  • Guillermo del Toro is directing “The Hobbit.” So awesome.
  • Take the “Arrested Development” creator and add in two former “Simpsons” exec producers and you’ve got a new animated series.
  • One of the coolest people ever, Nathan Fillion, has signed on to star in a new ABC series, “Castle.”