Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pip And A Gun

I made it back to LA safe and sound after a bit of a delay on the runway back in Detroit (one of the worst feelings in the world is hearing the announcement that there are 56 airplanes in line ahead of you for take off right before you're supposed to take off for a 5 hour flight) and I'm already enjoying the warmer weather. My heart lives in Detroit but my buns like it just fine here in the sunnier climes of SoCal ;) Anyways ... let's get to it ...

I am very bummed to report that Britney Spears's new album Blackout has been denied the number 1 spot atop the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart this week due to a revision in the chart ranking policy. Curiously, this revision *just* went into effect, mere hours before the official chart positions for this new week are about to be finalized. Britney was well on her way to enjoying her 5th debut in a row at #1 but has, sadly, been denied by The Eagles at the last minute:

The Eagles' first new studio album in 28 years, "Long Road Out of Eden," takes a short route to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 after Billboard revised a significant chart policy today (Nov. 7). In consultation with Nielsen SoundScan, Billboard will now allow exclusive album titles that are only available through one retailer to appear on The Billboard 200 and other charts, effective with this week's charts. Prior to this, proprietary titles were not eligible to appear on most Billboard charts. Early SoundScan numbers have the Eagles taking the top perch on The Billboard 200 with 711,000 copies sold, with most sales moved by Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. For now, the only other U.S. outlets carrying "Eden" are, where both physical copies and downloads are sold, and the Eagles' own Web site. "Eden" became available at the mass-market chain Oct. 30. Aside from two compilations, this is the Eagles' first album since the mostly live "Hell Freezes Over," which led The Billboard 200 for two weeks in 1994. Britney Spears' new Jive album, "Blackout," which would have been No. 1 had the Eagles' data not been reported, will open at No. 2 with first-week sales of 290,000 copies. "We know that some retailers will be uncomfortable with this policy, but it was inevitable that Billboard's charts would ultimately widen the parameters to reflect changes that are unfolding in music distribution," says Geoff Mayfield, Billboard's director of charts. "We would have preferred to make this decision earlier, but only became aware within the last 24 hours that Wal-Mart would be willing to share the data for this title with Nielsen SoundScan." Boo. The LA Times *just* reported that Britney would win the #1 spot on the Billboard chart because the Eagles album was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores, writing: When the new edition of the Billboard 200 chart is released Wednesday, it will show that the No. 1 album in America is "Blackout" from Britney Spears. But in reality, the bestselling album in the country over the last week was in fact "Eden" -- because it was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart stores and the veteran band's website, "Eden" is ineligible for the Billboard tally. What a croc of bullshizz :( Britney should've had her #1 debut ... I cannot believe that this revision had to happen at the last second ... just in time to rob her from becoming the first woman to ever have her first 5 albums debut at #1 (tho, she does become the first woman to have her first 5 albums debut at least #2). It just feels so shady to me. [Source]

In other music news, Tori Amos rolls across the US with her American Doll Posse and has debuted on this tour for the first time one of her strongest, most powerful songs at last night's concert stop in Chicago, IL. In the guise of her character Pip, Tori Amos performed her rape survival song Me and a Gun with her full band ... and with a gun and knife as props. Longtime fans of Tori Amos should understand the significance of this performance interpretation:

Photo credit: Bullocks Troy

Pink reader Joe was at last night's performance and sent in his account from the show: Tonight, YOU MUST KNOW, she did "Me & A Gun" as Pip, WITH the band. It was the most intense thing I have ever seen ... As you can see, the performance included a knife (which she at one time put in her crotch) and a gun, which she put under her head, and ended the song with it pointed at the audience. It was insane. completely. Tori's song Me and a Gun is an acapella song of survival from a rape incident that occurred in Tori's past. It has been a source of strength and power for others who have, unfortunately, experienced the same horrible violation. In the early days, Tori used to perform the song at every show acapella. I believe that this is the first time that she has incorporated her band mates to provide music for the song. It is definitely the first time she has incorporated props in performing the song. I am completely blown away by this development ... I'm sure many of you unfamiliar with Tori Amos's music and performance style do not understand the significance but please bear with me, this is a pretty huge evolution in Tori's performance canon. Click HERE to watch video of Tori as Pip performing Me and a Gun at last night's show ... which is also available for official bootleg download HERE. [Source, thanks Joe, Scott and Melissa]

In legal news, the long arm of the law has finally outstretched itself in order to issue a warrant for the arrest of Nick Hogan for his involvement in that horrible car accident in Florida this past August. Nick, who is 17 years old, is being charged as an adult on a charge of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury ... the police allege that he had been drinking before the accident took place:

Cops have concluded Nick Hogan was drinking the night he crashed his Supra, severely injuring his best friend. Clearwater PD today released details of their investigation into the August 26 crash. In addition to being arrested for reckless driving involving serious bodily injury, cops also cited Hogan for use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, a person under the age of 21 operating a vehicle with a breath-alcohol level of .02 or higher and having an Illegal window tint. Police also concluded that although Hogan and a second car were racing right before the crash, the driver of the second car was not a direct cause of the accident. That driver has also been ticketed for reckless driving. Nick already turned himself in to police early this morning and a lawyer for the Hogan family has already released a very long statement:

"Nick and the entire 'Hogan' Bollea family are saddened that criminal charges have been filed in regards to the tragic single car accident on August 26, 2007. Nick will meet and answer these charges in the appropriate arena – a court of law. The family's primary focus and concern still remains for the continued recovery of Nick's longtime friend John Graziano. The Bolleas will also continue to stand by the Graziano family and help them in any way they can.

The tragedy to both families is compounded by the fact that unfortunately John was not wearing his seatbelt. Thankfully, Nick was wearing his. Because of what happened to John, the entire Bollea family will make it a priority to increase public awareness about the importance of always wearing your seatbelt.

There has been much speculation as to the speed and wet road conditions surrounding this accident. Although all the evidence has not been evaluated, preliminary reports from the experts indicate that this was not, in fact, a high-speed accident.

Because Nick is still a juvenile and has no prior criminal record, we are disappointed that he is being charged as an adult offender. However, we are confident that the evidence will demonstrate that this was an accident. We ask all who follow these events to keep an open mind as to the facts until they have been ultimately determined. Finally, we thank all who have prayed for John's recovery and ask for your continued support and prayers."

I'm just floored that the Hogan family is expressing care and concern for John Graziano, who is still hospitalized due to injuries he suffered in this accident where Nick was driving, out of one side of their mouths and then blaming him for not wearing a seatbelt out of the other side. I mean, I guess I understand that they have to make the best legal argument they can but this statement just sounds soooo shitty. The whole matter is really sad but does anyone really believe that road conditions are what caused this accident? Personally, I think the driving 60mph in a 40mph zone had a lot to do with it ... oh yeah ... and that .02 breath-alcohol level. [Source]

In happy news, a new season of Project Runway is in the can (and totally safe from being effected by the Writer's Strike, so yay!) and about to debut on Bravo next Wednesday November 14th (woot!). To prepare, Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia and the season 4 contestants convened for a pre-season premiere party and fashion show at the Lincoln Center in NYC, NY yesterday. Here are a few pics:

Photo credit: Splash News!!!! Don't get me wrong, there has been a lot of great TV to enjoy in recent weeks (Heroes finally got good) and I've been pretty entertained by a lot of reality TV (while The Hills doesn't count in my mind, I'm really enjoying Survivor: China, America's Most Smartest Model, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila and more) but nothing compares to Project Runway for me. Talk about appointment television. I can't miss a single episode on the night it airs. I enjoy the show so much, I rewatch many of the eps from the first 3 seasons from time to time when Bravo airs them. It'll be great to have Tim Gunn nurturing the new designers' talents, Nina Garcia bitching them out on the runway and have Heidi Klum auf wiedersehening them off the runway again :) One week, y'all! Woot! Woot! [Source]

Kristen Bell was the star at last night's Maxim magazine party for the new video game Assassin's Creed at Opera nightclub here in LA last night. Her Heroes co-stars Masi Oka, Greg Grunberg and Dania Ramirez were in the hiz to show their support ... and Hayden Panettiere was nowhere to be seen. Hallelujah! The operation to sever Kristen from Hayden's hip appears to have been a success!!

Photo credit: Wireimage

I gotta say ... Kristen looked great at last night's party. I'm bummed I wasn't able to make it out to this little shindig (because of my plane delay) cuz I would've loved to have played video games with her. Audrina from The Hills was also at last night's party chillin' with a guy who has better hair than she does (not very smart on her part). Do you suppose that this means that Justin Bobby is out of the picture for good? At any rate, I hope that Kristen and the other Heroes actors enjoy playing Assassin’s Creed ... it looks like they may have a lot of free time their hands in the coming months if the Writer's Strike carries on. [Source]

Here are a few of the first pics of Edward Norton down in Brazil beginning work on his new Hulk movie:

You may recall that studio big wigs have decided to make a new Hulk movie to try and make the world forget the horrible monstrosity that Ang Lee made a few years ago. While I really love looking at Eric Bana, I really hated his Hulk movie. I think Ed Norton will make a great Bruce Banner/Hulk and I'm confident that they are gonna get the movie right this time around. [Source via Source]

Um ... what part of Lindsay Lohan's body do you suppose her bodyguard is guarding when she steps down out of her car?

Photo credit: Splash News

I'm just asking. [Source]

Jennifer Lopez decided to cancel the San Diego, CA date of her En Concierto Tour because she had better things to do ...

Photo credit: Splash News

... like walk around Miami, FL trying not to look pregs despite the fact that her stomach is ballooning by the second. Morning sickness, perhaps? Announcement soon, please? [Source]

Aretha Franklin, who is no friend to furry animals, performed a free concert in Canada last night to celebrate the unveiling of the holiday window displays at the Holt Renfrew department store in downtown Toronto. I'm not sure why she was licking her fingers during her performance but something tells me that it might have something to do with all those dead animals that she was wearing:

Photo credit: Splash News

Aretha may be a fierce beyotch from Detroit Rock City but her love for fur is just gross :( I wish the Queen of Soul would find a new appreciation for cotton polyblends. [Source]

Lance Bass, who spent this past weekend here in LA doing promo appearances for his new book Out of Sync, is back in NYC ... and apparently back in the arms of his new (boy?)friend Ben Thigpen. Here is an innocent enough pic of Lance and Ben (still working on a name for them) at the 5th anniversary of Butter this past Monday night:

You may recall that this hot fellow is the same guy who has been keeping Lance company recently. I'm glad to see that things appear to be going well for the two of them :) [Source]

Here are a few screencaps from The Kylie Show which will air in the UK on ITV this coming weekend ahead of the release of Kylie Minogue's new album X. Kylie climbed atop the mechanical bull to perform her new song Sensitized:

The show will feature Kylie performing a mix of old and new songs spanning her 25-year pop career. Needless to say, I am insanely jealous that folks in Europe will be able to watch the show while we Americans will be languishing here in the Kylie wasteland :( Hopefully, vid clips from the show will be available on You Tube shortly after the show debuts :) [Source]

Julian McMahon dropped trou on last night's ep of Nip/Tuck in a scene where he posed in the nude for a Playgirl-type magazine in order to attract new clients to the fictional LA office of McNamara/Troy ... behold:

Click above to see larger, uncensored image

Yeah, this isn't anything new for the show, we've seen Dr. Troy's butt many times in the past, but I still like talking about it/looking at it ;) I really like where the new season looks to be headed ... lesbianism? I'm shocked. And I'm loving it :) [Source]

TV Guide is celebrating the fact that Heroes doesn't suck anymore with a set of 4 commemorative covers for the new issue of their weekly mag:

Additionally, after Heroes creator Tim Kring blamed the audience for the show's falling ratings he has done a 180 and decided to apologize for his previous statements. He talked to Entertainment Weekly and outlined all the ways they kinda messed up the first eps of his second season -- which is what led to the falling ratings. In the end, I'm happy that Tim has decided to apologize to the audience for casting blame on them/us ... but I'm really glad that the show appears to be back on track. It's a bummer that the season might have to end early due to the writer's strike ... so much wasted time has passed already. [Source]

And finally, speaking of that Writer's Strike ... we're now into Day 3 of the strike ... and still, no end appears in site. The strike has effectively shut down production on shows like Back to You, Rules of Engagement and Desperate Housewives ... Eva Longoria can be seen here causing a ruckus by crossing the picket line on her way to work:

At the end of her work day, Eva tried to make nice with the picketers by bringing them pizza ... but the strikers weren't interested -- they yelled back at her: "No justice, no pizza!" and "This isn't the piece of pie we meant! Now we're hearing that if the strike goes on into the new year, we might have to wait until 2009 for the new season of Lost. Yipes. While that sucks and all ... I'm still with the writers on this one. I hope they get what they want ... and soon. [Source, Source]

Les News:
Soooo, I'm back home in SoCal and the sun is shining so I'm pretty happy. I must admit, tho, I was really sad to leave Detroit this time around. I spent so much time with Sarah and my other friends that I got used to seeing them every day again. It was hard to pack up my stuff from my guest room in Sarah and Mark's home yesterday. My parents and I met up with Sarah for one last meal at BD's Mongolian BBQ for a delish dinner before I had to be dropped off at the airport.

Mike and his friend Bari, who is visiting from NYC, picked me up for the airport and deposited me at home to crash. And that is that. I have some things to take care of this afternoon ... and then I'm meeting The GangTM for dinner tonight to catch up. Have a great Hump Day. I'm out.