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.
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.
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.
Eric Clapton devotees have reason to clap . . . wildly applaud actually . . . now that we’re spilling the beans: EC’s latest CD, Live in San Diego With Special Guest JJ Cale, will be offered as a 2-CD set or 3-LP vinyl set and digital album, will be released September 30 on Reprise/Bushbranch Records.
Fans who pre-order the album from Ericclapton.com will receive the track “Anyway the Wind Blows” instantly and two additional songs in advance of the release date. The 180-gram version of the vinyl is exclusively available at the website, as well as a T-shirt and album bundle.
A live video of Clapton and Cale performing “Anyway The Wind Blows” from San Diego is available now at YouTube.com/EricClapton.
Recorded at Clapton’s March 15, 2007 performance at the iPayOne Center in San Diego, CA, this concert was part of a world tour that was much loved by Clapton fans and featured a stellar band that included guitarists Derek Trucks (now of the Tedeschi Trucks band) and Doyle Bramhall II. The two-hour San Diego concert was a highlight of the tour as it featured JJ Cale as a special guest on five tracks (including “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”), as well as Robert Cray on the final song of the record, “Crossroads.”
After successfully covering several JJ Cale songs over his career, Clapton finally collaborated with Cale in 2006 on the original album Road to Escondido. At the time, Clapton said: “This is the realization of what may have been my last ambition, to work with the man whose music has inspired me for as long as I can remember.”
So it is fitting that one year later, Cale joined Clapton on stage for this special concert where they performed five songs together – underlining the mutual respect the two musicians had for each other.
The concert features a set list from across Eric’s career. Notably, it includes songs from Eric’s classic Derek and the Dominos album Layla, with Derek Trucks playing many of Duane Allman’s original guitar parts.
A rolling stone gathers no moss, but The Rolling Stones gathers honors and hosannas, awards and accolades. But did you know there’s a “secret” chapter in their long history? Let us roll out the news about New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, the first-ever history of a band that has attained cult status among Stones fans. In 1979, Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ron Wood founded the New Barbarians to tour behind his solo album Gimme Some Neck. The group’s all-star lineup included Keith Richards, jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Stones confederate and saxophonist Bobby Keys, and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste from the Meters. The band’s life was short-lived: It was formed in 1979, toured only 20 dates and played its final concert in 1980 . . . gone, but not to be forgotten.
Fans will finally learn the untold story of this legendary cult band and how it helped Keith get through his heroin addiction following his infamous drug bust in Toronto, but they have to wait until Rob Chapman’s opus is released by Voyageur Press in October 1. The inside scoop is all recounted through never-before-seen photography and in-depth, behind-the-scenes interviews. The book offers an intimate look at the brief history of a band that built a cult following in record time. In addition, included with the book is a 10-track New Barbarians CD, featuring tracks from their 1979 tour.
Though Wood put together the band in 1979, in a roundabout way, the Barbarians’ story begins with Keith Richard’s infamous drug bust in Toronto in February 1977. Unlike Keith’s other brushes with the law due to drugs, this time it looked highly likely that Canadian authorities were going to put him in prison for a very long time–possibly for life. In the end, after nearly two years of limbo, hand-wringing and legal battles, Keith was allowed to serve his sentence by enlisting both the Barbarians and the Stone into playing two charity shows in Oshawa, Canada, on April 22, 1978.
Ultimately, the Barbarians helped pay Keith’s debt to society, but the band and tour did more than that, according to author Chapman. “The Barbarians were more than a band for Ronnie to tour with–they were a sanctuary for Keith,” he says. “In addition to the legal limbo he was also in the midst of kicking heroin.” Indeed, as Keith once said, “the Barbarians saved my life.” From the tour rehearsals in Los Angeles to each of the tour dates, Ronnie and the Barbarians provided the perfect vehicle for Keith to recover and revive himself.
The band became known for it’s members and music, but it also gained notoriety for events such as the riot at the New Barbarians’ first concert in Milwaukee-when the “special guests” did not appear during the show—to craziness at their last show. This and more wild, rollicking stories are detailed with behind-the-scenes anecdotes, interviews with band members and crew members, as well as dirt about its famous tour, plus background on how the group influenced future Stones music.
In addition, there are more than 300 amazing photos by over a dozen noted rock photographers. Included are behind-the-scenes and candid shots of the rehearsals, the shows and backstage babble.
Everything comes to an end. Kenny Rogers, who has done an annual Christmas tour since 1981, is taking a gamble. No, we don’t mean more plastic surgery. We’re still trying to figure out who’s had more: Dolly or Kenny?
After more than five decades of touring the world, Rogers’ farewell tour, “The Gambler’s Last Deal,” is underway and expected to run into 2017.
“Christmas has always been a special time of year to me,” Rogers coos. “The feeling I get performing on the Christmas tour is one of the things I’ll really miss about not being on the road. We will be sure to take extra time to cherish some moments on this last go around, and I hope as many people as possible will be able to join us in creating a new set of holiday memories.”
For his upcoming Christmas & Hits tour dates, Rogers will perform holiday favorites, selections from his 2015 Christmas album Once Again It’s Christmas and (of course) his hits at concerts across the U.S. The tour currently includes 16 dates. Making this final Christmas tour experience even more special, a limited number of VIP ticket packages will be offered, allowing fans the opportunity to meet Rogers and receive one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Two types of VIP packages will be available for each show of the tour. We find such marketing pretty rude. Just as Dolly.
“The Gambler’s Last Deal” concerts feature an all-new show, including a reflective look back through Rogers’ storied 50-plus-year career. Enhanced with personal stories, vintage photos and video clips—including never-before-seen footage—the music-filled retrospective will touch on every part of Rogers’ career. Along with his long list of hits, Rogers is singing songs in concert that he hasn’t performed in years.
For the most up-to-date information on all of Roger’s final world tour dates (including on-sale dates and links to purchase tickets and VIP packages), please visit www.kennyrogers.com.
Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler’s Last Deal” Christmas & Hits Tour
Nov. 25 – Independence, Mo. – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
Nov. 26 – Branson, Mo. – The Mansion Theatre
Nov. 27 – Cincinnati, Ohio – Taft Theatre
Dec. 2 – La Crosse, Wisc. – La Crosse Center
Dec. 3 – Green Bay, Wisc. – Resch Center
Dec. 7 – Norfolk, Va. – Ted Constant Convocation Center
Dec. 8 – Detroit, Mich. – Fox Theatre
Dec. 9 – French Lick, Ind. – French Lick Resort Casino
Dec. 10 – Mount Pleasant, Mich. – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Dec. 14 – Greensburg, Pa. – The Palace Theatre
Dec. 15 – Englewood, N.J. – Bergen Performing Arts Center
Dec. 16 – Uncasville, Conn. – Mohegan Sun Arena
Dec. 18 – Reading, Pa. – Reading Eagle Theatre at the Santander Arena
Dec. 20 – Verona, N.Y. – Turning Stone Resort Casino
Dec. 21 – Red Bank, N.J. – Count Basie Theatre
Dec. 23 – Westbury, N.Y. – NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Diana Ross was six years into her solo career away from The Supremes when she released a self-titled project, her seventh studio album, that included two No. 1 pop smashes, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and the dance-floor hit, “Love Hangover.” Ross also took two more tracks from the album up the charts, “I Thought It Took a Little Time (But Today I Fell in Love),” which hit the top five of Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening (now known as Adult Contemporary) chart, and “One Love in My Lifetime,” No. 5 on the Soul charts. Diana Ross, the album, peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, No. 4 on the Soul album chart and No. 5 in the U.K.
Marking 40 years from its original Motown release in February 1976, UMe is reissuing Diana Ross in vinyl for the first time since then on July 15, following a 2012 two-CD expanded set on the Hip-o-Select/Motown label.
Let’s give this a supreme nod. And maybe a toast to the girl from the projects who once bused tables in a cafeteria and became Miss Ross. Most of the headlines she’s made recently have been naughty: The 2000 Supremes reunion was a greater flop than any of Liza’s comebacks; she was arrested for extreme DUI in 2002 and in 2004, her former husband died in a hiking accident.
In fact, she was so drunk when pulled over by Arizona police on December 30 that she could not accurately write down the alphabet, list numbers sequentially or tell officers the correct time or date. She was asked to perform a one leg stand and fell over after seven seconds, giggling “Ha! Ha! Ha! Great.” Three Breathalyzer tests recorded her blood alcohol content at nearly triple the state’s .08 maximum. All this and Ross denied that she had been drinking! Ross was not only driving a white Pontiac in the wrong direction, but she then parked it in a handicapped spot in front of a Blockbuster store. Police were in the area after receiving a call that a white car was driving in the wrong direction on a nearby street.
What’s a disgraced diva to do?
Listen to the vinyl release?
Don’t expect her to ever watch Dreamgirls, which Ross still refuses to see. “If in any way my life and what our music has done, and what we stood for has made a difference, has made it possible for movies like Dreamgirls to be made, I am just really proud of that fact,” Ross insists. “I have not seen it because I know it is not our story, and I know that they have taken images and likenesses of our story and used that. So I’m confused as to how I should react, because I’m complimented on one hand, but it’s not something that’s true. People are going to think there’s some truth there, when there’s not.”
So. Just how much of a bitch is she?
If she grants an interview, you must agree not to ask about other members of The Supremes, Michael Jackson and Motown founder Berry Gordy, and the father of one of her daughters.
Read what happened to poor David Stone, whom she threw out of her dressing room. Dishy (and true) story, here live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blogs/an-interview-with-diana.
The Boss of Bitchiness?
Considered by critics, musicians and fans as an innovator, David Bowie’s career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and his stage presence impacting popular music. Guest conductor Brent Havens, vocalist Brody Dolyniuk, the Pittsburgh Symphony and Windborne Music (described by the powers that be as “a full rock band”) will take audiences on a symphony musical odyssey that explores the incredible range of Bowie’s music including the hits “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “Heroes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “China Girl” and more.
The concert begins at Heinz Hall on July 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, ranging in price from $25 to $65, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/summer.