Category Archives: Celebrity Chatter

Time Life celebrates the legacy of Prince today with a purple pressing of vinyl

When Prince tragically passed away in April, he left behind a legacy as a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor.  To commemorate the wildly talented icon, musical innovator and seven-time Grammy-winner behind such chart-topping hits as “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Purple Rain” and “Little Red Corvette,” Time Life has released a special, limited-edition of the recently released vinyl album, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live – Volume 1.
The initial pressing of the album, released on April 29, immediately sold out and rose to #13 on Billboard‘s Vinyl Album chart.  The new pressing, which features Prince’s blistering and unforgettable guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from his 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, will be highlighted by purple vinyl in honor of the influential star.  It went on sale today at a suggested retail price of $25.98 wherever vinyl albums are sold.
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“Following Prince’s passing, we recognized that we needed to do something truly special to   commemorate his incredible musical legacy,” says Jeff Peisch, SVP of New Product Development & Marketing for Time Life. “When the first run of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live sold out immediately, the opportunity presented itself to do a purple vinyl pressing that perfectly captures the ‘Purple One,’ and is sure to resonate with those who loved his music and style.”
Time Life and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have digitally released the filmed performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” from an evening featuring Prince’s own induction by a 23 year-old Alicia Keys. Prince’s three-minute-long blistering solo went viral following his death, and has now entered into legend.  Prince fans and music lovers searching to own the filmed performance can now go to iTunes to download the music video for just $1.99.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Live – Volume 1  is a selection of the most memorable moments from induction ceremony history, featuring the biggest names in rock performing in combinations not seen anywhere else.  This 180 gram vinyl “ticket” is a front-row seat to the very best the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies have to offer.

Aside from “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which also features Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood and Dhani Harrison, the release includes performances from legendary talents like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Cream, Steve Winwood, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Green Day, James Taylor, Al Green, Chuck Berry and more.

Jam-filled performances of chart-busters like “Johnny Be Goode,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” “Train Kept a Rollin,'” “Ironman,” “Woodstock,” “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” make this volume a must-have for any LP library.

Scumbag Charlie Sheen becomes the pitchman for condoms. You read that right.

We know that Charlie Sheen has stuck his dick in just about everything quivering . . .  and now the disgraced actor has joined forces with Lelo to unveil what experts describe as “one of the most important innovations in sexual health for 70 years”–Lelo Hex, a condom re-engineered.

Sheen is one of just a handful of celebrities to publicly gab about HIV. He contracted HIV (“three hard letters to absorb,” he moans) sometime in 2011. He doesn’t know how, or from whom. After years of paying racketeers millions to keep his status secret, he realized, he recalls, “enough.”In November of last year, Sheen went on Today to admit:  “I’m here to admit that I’m in fact HIV-positive.”

Sheen’s revelation was personal. It was about ending the extortion and taking back control. But his disclosure had bigger repercussions that not even he could have anticipated. Dubbed ‘the Charlie Sheen Effect,’ the actor’s candidness sparked a surge in awareness surrounding HIV and AIDS–and a timely one at that! Not only is condom usage is at an all-time low, STIs are on the rise, including new drug-resistant strains of centuries-old diseases.
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For HIV in particular, public interest has waned since the epidemic of the ‘80s. Despite being in possession of the facts and cognizant of the risks, a dangerous ‘It’ll never happen to me’ attitude prevails.

Sheen is endorsing condoms as part of his efforts to drive discussions on sexual health, but this is not any old condom. Lelo Hex claims to be structurally different, aimed at addressing the most common issues with condoms today–that they reduce pleasure, slip frequently and break too easily.

Sheen’s still a scumbag.

“Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Volume 1” is a 180-gram black vinyl ticket to the very best music, ever

Everyone knows vinyl is making a 180-gram comeback, but for the record, there’s a new collectible music mavens and vinyl devotees must own: Rock & Roll hall of Fame Live – Volume 1. For over a quarter century, rock and roll’s biggest stars have gathered on one special evening for an exclusive party: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.  Honoring music’s most influential figures with the most prestigious of awards, it’s also an evening where both artists and fans celebrate rock and roll with once-in-a-lifetime performances.  For the first time on vinyl, Time Life has pressed a selection of the most memorable moments in the history of the induction ceremony, previously only available in digital and physical formats.
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2This release includes performances from legendary talents like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Cream, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Tom Petty, Green Day, James Taylor, Al Green and Chuck Berry.  Unforgettable collaborations occur on this volume, such as Tom Petty paired with Prince, and Mick Jagger paired with Bruce Springsteen.  Jam-filled performances of chart-busters like “Johnny Be Goode,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” “Train Kept a Rollin,'” “Ironman,” “Woodstock,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” and a show-stopping performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” make this volume a must-have for any LP library.  Volumes 2 and 3 will roll out though this the year, allowing fans to collect even more of these beloved performances on vinyl. Additionally, the net proceeds go to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which  supports the exhibits and educational programs of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

“Confirmation” revisits the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings with grit and power

It only takes one voice to change history. Let’s discuss Anita Hill and her powerful voice.
In July 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Clarence Thomas to fill Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. In October, during the final days of Thomas’ confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, both Newsday and NPR broke the story that one of Thomas’ former employees, law professor Anita Hill, had accused him of sexually harassing her 10 years earlier. These revelations triggered a maelstrom of events, with both Hill and Thomas testifying about the allegations before a stunned and riveted television audience.

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Kerry Washington as Anita Hill; Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas
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The real Thomas and Hill

History has been revisited in the HBO Home Entertainment TV movie Confirmation, now on DVD with Digital HD and Blu-ray with Digital HD. The film details the explosive Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern-day race relations. It looks behind the curtain of Washington politics, depicting a pivotal moment in American culture that became a turning point in workplace equality and gender politics.

The HBO Film was nominated for two 2016 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Kerry Washington as Anita Hill).

The Blu-ray and DVD releases include brief discussions with Washington and Pierce on the historical impact of the hearings as well as “Character Spot” featuring cast members discussing the character they play.

“Person of Interest” comes to an end . . . and what an ending says Michael Emerson

All things come to an end. Even great things. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released Person of Interest: The Complete Fifth and Final Season on Blu-ray and DVD.  This is the end of one of television’s most compelling, action-packed, crime dramas. 

For years, the Person of Interest team, consisting of tech genius Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), ex-agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel), NYPD Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), cyber-hacker Root (Amy Acker) and missing-in-action operative Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi), have been protected by The Machine. As worlds collided, however, and a rival AI known as Samaritan finally cornered The Machine inside the nation’s power grid, it was the POI team’s turn to protect Finch’s creation.

 In season five, the cold war is over. The world might appear to look the same, but something has drastically changed. Samaritan’s lethal “correction” has initiated its control. Finch’s Machine is essentially dead. Shaw is still missing. And the team is once again hiding in plain sight. But with Samaritan’s invisible grip tightening everywhere, will Finch be able to rebuild and resurrect The Machine? And if he does, will it be the same Machine when it comes back online?

We wonder what Michael Emerson (best-known for his theater work, including a great run as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and a greater Willie Oban in The Iceman Cometh), feels about Person of Interest ending.

“I feel good. I think we were surprised when we first heard that it was coming to an end,” he says. “You always think that as long as your ratings are high, you’re good to go. But it doesn’t necessarily always play out that way. There were other kinds of concerns and such.  Once we got used to the idea, and when they said, ‘We’re just going to shoot 13,’ somewhere in my heart there was a leap of joy because I thought, ‘Praise God. I think I can get through 13.’ I wasn’t sure I could do another 22.”

As for the way the series ended? “Oh, that’s alright. That’s a human ending, not some contrivance or irony or device. I’m really pleased with it and at peace with it and so happy that I’m not still out there shooting,” he adds.

Billy Zane, Chad Michael Collins and Dennis Haysbert hit the “Sniper: Ghost Shooter” target

We are die-hard members of the Billy Zane Fan Club. We love the hunky actor, even if he makes films that are pretty bad. One film that is not bad: Sniper: Ghost Shooter, the latest in the popular Sniper franchise. This latest action-packed direct-to-video chapter has arrived on DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and we’re watching it (again) as soon as we finish typing.

Sniper savors know that Chad Michael Collins and Dennis Haysbert also return for this explosively entertaining installment in which Corporal Brandon Beckett (Collins) and his Marine sniper unit must face off against an infamous extremist sniper who has seemingly perfect accuracy. Directed by returning series’ director Don Michael Paul and co-starring Nick Gomez, Stephanie Vogt and Enoch Frost, Sniper: Ghost Shooter is loaded with the non-stop military action series’ fans (and BZ fans) and newcomers won’t want to miss.

Elite snipers Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) and Richard Miller (Billy Zane) are fighting extremists in the Middle East when Colonel (Dennis Haysbert) gives them a new mission: to protect a gas pipeline stretching from the Republic of Georgia to Western Europe from terrorists eager to make a political statement. But when skirmishes with the enemy lead to U.S. snipers being killed by a ghost shooter who locks into their exact location, a security breach is suspected. Fingers are pointed and battle lines are drawn, all leading up to an explosive climax.

Warning! Andy Samberg will have you pissing in your pants in “Popstar”

There’s something funny about Justin Bieber. We’ll star with this bon mot: He has no talent. On the other hand, Andy Samberg is funny. In Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping , a mockumentary  about a former boy-band member trying desperately to salvage his failing solo career (think Bieber), he is fucking funny. If you miss the flick in your local theatre, the film comes to Digital HD on August 16, On Demand on August 30, and Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. You can thank Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for this side-splitting comedy.

We won’t give away too much, but Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping goes behind the scenes as music sensation Conner4Real (Samberg), the breakout star of a popular but disbanded hip-hop group, finds his popularity plummeting after a disastrous album release, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he’s no longer the dopest star of all . . just as he launches a highly publicized solo tour.

It’s funny because SNL alums Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (the comedy collective known as The Lonely Island) wrote the screenplay, a razor-sharp, music-filled send-up of pop celebrity chronicles the exploits of the lovably egotistical singer-rapper (and his 32-person entourage) as he attempts to win back the hearts of his once-adoring fans. The trio also produced the film, along with comedy mastermind Judd Apatow.

And oh! Popstar co-stars a who’s who of comedy superstars, including Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots, Chris Redd, Bill Hader, Kevin Nealon and Will Arnett. And there are laugh-out-loud cameos from such music-world VIPs as Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Carrie Underwood, DJ Khaleed, Seal, P!nk, Nas, , Usher, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ringo Starr, , Simon Cowell, Questlove, Mariah Carey, RZA, T.I., and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Could this be the life story of Bieber? Never say never.

 

 

Lee Greenwood has a hot new gig: He’s Ambassador for Disabled American Veterans

He may still be looking for love in all the wrong places, but Lee Greenwood is in love with his latest job: The 73-year-old country crooner has become an Ambassador for the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a non-profit charity that provides support for America’s ill and injured veterans.
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Greenwood, who was recently named one of Billboard’s 100 Greatest Country Artists of All Time, performed his most recognizable patriotic song, “God Bless the USA,” for 4,000 DAV members at the closing ceremonies of the DAV National Convention in Atlanta on August 3. The event marked the start of Greenwood’s official partnership with DAV.

“It was an exciting night at the DAV National Convention in Atlanta,” says Greenwood. “These proud men and women are dedicating their lives after military service to help those who are struggling to fit back into civilian life. They address the challenges of all wounded veterans head on and give hope to each soldier who otherwise might not survive.”

A known champion of military and veteran causes, Greenwood will work with DAV to bring much-needed attention and support to the needs of the country’s 22 million veterans, their families and survivors. His ambassadorship will include support of many DAV campaigns, including Keep the Promise and Thank a Vet.

Coos said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess: “Mr. Greenwood has shown a deep and abiding respect for our nation’s service members and veterans, and we could not be more thankful for his support. Our members were absolutely thrilled to hear him perform, and appreciate his patriotism and genuine gratitude for those who served. He is greatly admired within the veteran community and we look forward to working closely with him as advocates for our nation’s heroes.”

Want to thank Greenwood yourself? Catch him at one of his gigs; we share his concerts dates across below.

Aug. 7 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Game – Canton, Ohio
Aug. 26 Pentagon Auditorium – Washington, D.C.
Aug. 27 Donna Dean’s Old Dominion Barn Dance – Highland Springs, Va.
Aug. 31 Chuckwagon Races – Clinton, Ark.
Sep. 2 The Sweet Corn Festival – Millersport, Ohio
Sep. 3 Freedom Hall – Louisville, Ky.
Sep. 9 SCI Kiwanis Balloon Fest – Bloomington, Ind.
Sep. 10 Bristol Racetrack – Bristol, Tenn.
Sep. 11 Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheatre – Peachtree City, Ga.
Sep. 15 Mass Comm Bldg – Clarksville, Tenn.
Sep. 16 Plaza Theater – Glasgow, Ky.
Nov. 1 Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center with Crystal Gayle – Midland, Tex.
Dec. 1 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Event Center – Battle Creek, Mich.
Jan. 21, 2017 Meadow View Conference Resort & Convention Center – Kingsport, Tenn.
Jan. 27 Country Music Cruise – Tampa, Fl.
Feb. 25 Orange Blossom Opry – Weirsdale, Fl.

An intense story, a disturbing payoff make for a super DC Universe Original Movie, “Batman: The Killing Joke”.

We never tell jokes unless they involve farmers’ daughters and Republicans. It’s no joke when we suggest you delve into the demented history of the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis–The Joker–as he sets out to prove insanity is only a horrifying moment away for anyone in the latest DC Universe Original Movie, Batman: The Killing Joke.
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Based on one of the best-selling graphic novels of all time, this R-rated, feature-length animated film brings together some of the key creative team behind Batman: The Animated Series with executive producer Bruce Timm  at the helm and Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returning to their seminal roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively. You can see what the fuss is about: Batman: The Killing Joke has arrived (from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray Deluxe Edition, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. Super, man.

Let us share a moment featuring Batman searching the fun house as the Joker chides him with a monologue that ends with his famed “One Bad Day” line.

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Killing Joke takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime–from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is–setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, Batman: The Killing Joke stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades–spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless.

We ain’t saying anymore, but we Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing, the final words. She promises the film has an “intense, often disturbing storyline, but we are extremely pleased with how true to the graphic novel we have been in this original film.”

 

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner fans will be stung big-time by Sting

The news is so great we simply gotta spread the buzz: On September 30, A&M/Interscope Records will release The Studio Collection, a career-spanning vinyl LP box set featuring all of Sting’s seminal solo studio albums brought together for the first time.unnamed

The Studio Collection includes eight essential A&M Records albums across 11 LPs–The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985); …Nothing Like The Sun (1987, double LP); The Soul Cages (1991); Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993); Mercury Falling (1996); Brand New Day (1999, double LP); Sacred Love (2003, double LP); and The Last Ship (2013)–with both Brand New Day and Sacred Love available on vinyl for the first time ever.

All of the included LPs appear in exact replicas of the original artwork presented in an exceptional slipcase package, with brand new vinyl masters cut at the legendary Abbey Road studios to ensure exceptional audio quality.

Contained within The Studio Collection are some of the most iconic albums and songs of all time, including numerous Grammy-winning tracks as well as a plethora of multi-platinum, platinum and gold worldwide awards. Beginning with Sting’s first solo album, the revelatory The Dream Of The Blue Turtles from 1985–featuring the cream of America’s young jazz musicians in a politically-charged set–through 2013’s The Last Ship, exploring the central themes of homecoming and self-discovery in the North East of England, The Studio Collection showcases Sting’s meticulous song writing, evocative storytelling, and continual innovation in a ground breaking mix of musical genres and styles that have continually evolved throughout his remarkable career to date.

To complete The Studio Collection, Sting’s new album 57th & 9th will be released November 11. Take a listen. Your beating heart no longer needs to be still.