Thank you, Gene, for being a bright light and making us smile. Not only did I enjoy your performances in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, YoungFrankenstein,and Blazing Saddles, but I really enjoyed your small stint on Will and Grace as Will’s boss Mr. Stein. The world will be a little less bright without you. Gene was 83 and died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Brian Ives gives us a stately look at the Vamps’ 5 July show from New Jersey’s Borgata in Atlantic City. I’ve only provided an excerpt of Ives’s humorous and insightful passage here, but go check out the entirety, you won’t regret it.
In the wrong hands, the band’s central theme – paying tribute to people who’ve died, mostly through substance abuse – could come off as dour, or even as a “Just Say No” commercial. Instead, Cooper (who knew nearly all of these deceased artists) celebrates Lennon, Hendrix, Morrison, Moon, et al, by asking, “What would they have liked?”
The show began right after 8 pm with a film showing some of the artists that the Vampires pay tribute to, and then the band hit the stage with one of their few originals, “Raise the Dead.”
“A sudden quick demise,” Cooper sang. “And so the body dies, but the music stays alive.” The show was proof of that. From there they went into Spirit’s “I Got a Line.” Then, two songs by David Bowie, whose catalog wasn’t eligible for a Vampires cover when they released their self-titled debut last year, since he was still alive. That gave the performances of “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City” more poignancy… or as much poignancy as a song that invites the audience to yell “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” can have.
In this set, they performed covers of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong (Get it On).” They sound awesome doing it! Watching Johnny Depp play guitar on T. Rex songs feels a lot like watching Johnny Depp in a Stephen King movie–double the joy! Double the satisfaction!
He looks good amid all the turmoil he’s facing off-stage, but the music is definitely providing a solid sense of escape for the man. He looks at home on the stage, in his element. I only wish I could go see him, but they aren’t coming far enough south. The closest they’ll be is the 7 July show in Aurora, IL. *heartbreak*
(From Alex Neff) Hollywood Vampires cover “20th Century Boy”
(From Steve Easton) Hollywood Vampires cover “Bang a Gong (Get it On)”
I am so excited to have The X Files back in active rotation. Just caught up with the first episode, “My Struggle,” and found it close to form. It generated a lot of new questions, barely answered any old questions, and gave us a whole new revised version of the old conspiracy to theorize about. All I know is I am locked in for the next episode, because I have just got to see how this mini-arc ends.
It was lovely to see Scully and Mulder “back together” and in the most awkward of consequences. They were more often trading barbs than kisses, which I’m okay with either way, but they did a fine job of simply making it feel awkward to watch them together. Again, not a bad thing, they are actors, after all, and it would be awkward to be called by a former boss to find a former lover, who is also a former co-worker, wouldn’t it? And, then, after more than a decade, hang out like it’s old times? Yep, definitely awkward.
We also get to see Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Sans awkwardness, but with heated exchanges and statements of the obvious, respectively. And then there’s Joel McHale, playing buddy believer with Mulder, as a conservative TV host, who the New York Timesfelt was miscast here. But I thought he brought just enough energy, zeal, and overt seriousness (I mean, sometimes it felt like he was just trying too hard there.) to bring that character to life. It just reminds me that I need to start watching Community.
Overall, I was pleased, and I’m looking forward to where this little reboot takes us.
You would have been 116 today, and I can only imagine what kind of movies you’d be making today — let alone what you would think of the movies being made today. Thank you for Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents! You’ve made many a lazy afternoon in my life enjoyable.
Sunday night was the live broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards. Posted originally at Variety, here is a full list of the winners. Much congrats to Taylor Swift; it was great seeing Molly Ringwald; and the tribute to B.B. King was short but sweet.
Billboard Music Awards Winners 2015: Full List
The 2015 Billboard Music Awards aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC. See a complete winners list below.
TOP ARTIST Taylor Swift (WINNER) Ariana Grande
TOP FEMALE ARTIST Taylor Swift (WINNER) Iggy Azalea
TOP RADIO SONG
John Legend, “All of Me” (WINNER)
Nico & Vinz, “Am I Wrong”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy
TOP MALE ARTIST Sam Smith (WINNER) Drake
TOP DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST Calvin Harris (WINNER)
TOP BILLBOARD 200 ARTIST Taylor Swift (WINNER) One Direction
You would have been 48 today, and I can only imagine what the world of music would have been like if you would have stuck around. I can only imagine what the world would have been like. Remembering you today.
To the lead singer of one of my favorite bands of all time, Green Day, Happy Birthday!!! Your voice, your words, and your passion changed my life as a lonely 12-year-old girl in central Iowa over 20 years ago. Tracks like “She”, “When I Come Around”, and “Basket Case” were balms to the wounds in my soul. Thank you and thank you for staying true to yourself. Keep rockin’!
(From Green Day) This was the first single I’d ever heard, and I’ve been smitten ever since!
Two of my favorite comedic actors of all time share the same birthday! Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman were born on the same day 13 years apart, Andy in 1949 and Jim in 1962. Jim was in his early 20s when Andy “departed” this living realm. And I only heard about their shared birthday from Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally written by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies–a book I happened upon buried at the bottom of a seemingly unrelated Google alert (as if I should expect anything less from Andy). I can’t believe I didn’t notice this when the biopic was released in 1999. It’s even listed on IMDB under trivia about Andy. But, who knows? If I’d known about their birthdays, I might not have found out about this book. Stranger things have happened, right?
Happy 66th Birthday, Andy! and Happy 53rd Birthday, Jim! All the best to you both (just in case Andy is reading this)!!
Love the Oscars. One of my favorite award shows. Now, I’m not geek enough to know all the stats like Chris Connelly from ABC News; but that doesn’t mean I don’t love cheering on my favorites and those on my “To Watch” list.
Who do you think the Oscar should go to? How did you feel about the “snubs”? (I have to say I was awfully surprised to not see more noms for Selma, and I guess Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal were shut out despite being held up for their work in Cake and Nightcrawler, respectively.)