Monday, February 11, 2008

The Cat's Meow

Obvs the big news o' the day was the megaparty in LA last night for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards ... but before we plunge headlong into the Grammy red carpet, show, afterparties, etc. let's breeze thru some Spearsness to get the week started off right ... I know, I know, indulge me ;)

Britney Spears spent most of her weekend at the Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood, CA where it is believed that she is learning a new routine for her next music video. Except for a couple of quick runs to Starbucks (and their lovely public restroom), Britney has kept her focus predominantly on her work. No partying, no late-night driving around town to various hotels, no Sam Lutfi ... just work and Starbucks. Dare I say, she might really truly be on the right track back to sanity these dyas?

Photo credit: Mr. Paparazzi and X17

Yes, yes ... her outfit is still a mess and she doesn't really look like she's changed much since the manic days of yore but I suspect there has been a real change in her since her release from the UCLA Medical Facility. Now that Britney as her parents back in her life, maybe she's actually taking their advice and staying out of trubs. I think it's too early to declare that she's all better but I'm pleased with the progress that seems to have been made thus far. [Source]

Speaking of progress ... it seems that Jamie Spears, Britney's father and legal conservator, has started cleaning house at Chez Spears. First, he got rid of Sam Lutfi and all the other leeches that have been feeding on his daughter over the past few months ... and now it seems that Papa Spears is getting rid of Brit Brit's infamous pink wig:

Photo credit: X17

Maybe Papa Spears doesn't like what the wig represents, maybe it acts as a trigger that could possibly set off a manic episode in our dear Britney ... maybe he wants to sock it away for his personal use at a later date? Please, Lord, I hope it's not that third scenario. [Source]

Back in Kentwood, LA, parents-to-be Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge were spotted together in public for, what I believe, is the first time since news broke that they are going to have a baby of their own. JL has taken to wearing loose-fitting sweatshirts, possibly to hide her burgeoning baby bump and Casey continues to dress his country-best ... behold:

It would seem that rumors that these two had a falling out have been greatly exaggerated. They look happy as clams ... practically hand-in-hand ... just like they've always been since they began dating (and, apparently, sexin'). So far, so good ... Casey-Lynn Spears are still together ... but then again, we're still a bit a ways from the baby's arrival. [Source]

Allllright ... let's get to the Grammy biz ... here are a few pictures from the red carpet arrivals at the Staples Center for the biggest night in music -- the 50th Annual Grammy Awards:

Photo credit: Wireimage

The ladies looked lovely and the fellas looked pimpin' (especially Jazz man Dave Koz who doesn't nearly get as much lurve as he should) as everyone got all dolled up for the big night. [Source]

It's always arguable whether or not the Grammy Awards are worth watching ... on the one hand, the show always has great performances that are deffo worth a look ... on the other hand there is a whole lotta boring filler packed in between the performances. Nonetheless, the Grammy Awards did its best to make the show as entertaining as can be ... oh yeah, and some awards were handed out as well:

Photo credit: Wireimage

Trapped half a world away by the place she promised to never "go, go, go," a vibrant, exuberant Amy Winehouse dominated the Grammys on Sunday night, winning five awards and delivering a defiant performance of her autobiographical hit "Rehab" via satellite from London. Winehouse, nominated for six awards, lost the final prize in a shocker when Herbie Hancock took album of the year for "River: The Joni Letters." "You know it's been 43 years since the first and only time that a jazz artist got the album of the year award," Hancock said, then proceeded to honor "the giants upon whose shoulders I stand, some of whom like Miles Davis, John Coltrane ... unquestionably deserved the award in the past. But this is a new day, that proves that the impossible can be made possible" ... The Grammys, celebrating its 50th year, emphasized its history from the first performance. Alicia Keys, glammed-up with a '50s style, sat at the piano and sang "Learnin' the Blues" along with a black-and-white video performance from the late Frank Sinatra. "Frank Sinatra looked good for 150, didn't he," Prince joked moments later before introducing Keys as the best female R&B vocal winner for her smash "No One." Later, the casts from Cirque Du Soleil's "Love" Beatles' show and the Beatles-inspired movie "Across the Universe" paid tribute to the Fab Four as Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison watched from the audience. It was a hot-legs competition when Tina Turner teamed up with Beyonce on "Proud Mary." The senior citizen kept up with her younger counterpart, showcasing her famous dance moves while wearing a tight-fitting silver bustier and pantsuit. Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" earned two Grammys, including for best female country vocal performance. Bruce Springsteen took three awards, including best rock song for "Radio Nowhere." Other winners included the White Stripes, Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige with two each, the Foo Fighters and even Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for best spoken-word album. The last jazz album to win album of the year (not counting pop-jazz singer Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me") was "Getz/Gilberto," a collaboration between Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, in 1964. In any other year, West would have been the main story line thanks to his history of awards-show tirades, his huge album "Graduation" and the shocking death of his mother. But Winehouse's drama upstaged West and everyone else.

Yes, yes, yes ... Amy Winehouse ended up winning almost every award she was nominated for AND she managed to put on a fairly decent performance from London live via satellite (where she performed in front of a small crowd at almost 4AM local time). [Source]

Here are a few pics of Amy on stage and then of her shocked reaction as she was told how many Grammy Awards she had won:

Amy Winehouse couldn't make it to Sunday's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles – but that didn't stop her from stealing the show. The troubled 24-year-old singer won five awards – including record of the year, song of the year and best new artist – and rocked the crowd with a live-via-satellite rendition of "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab." After her emotional acceptance speech, the Back to Black singer addressed the crowd gathered in London at the Riverside Studios. "I can't believe I've won five awards," she told the intimate crowd, including her mother Janis, father Mitch and older brother Alex. "It's a shame I couldn't be there to accept the awards but I'm so proud and happy that I had the opportunity to perform for the Grammys in my hometown of London with my family and friends around me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Although the singer received last-minute visa approval to enter the United States, she could not make the trip to Los Angeles in time. Instead, Winehouse ... made Sunday night a family affair. The Winehouse clan and several of Amy's friends enjoyed a late dinner at London's Riverbank Park Plaza hotel, before heading off to the performance at around 2:30 a.m. Although the concert location was supposed to be kept secret – and admittance was strictly limited to friends and family – crowds gathered outside the venue chanting "Amy! Amy! Amy!" Cuba Gooding, Jr. (who was in town for the BAFTA awards) was on hand to introduce her performance which, thanks to the time difference, kicked off at 3:41 a.m. London time. Winehouse is continuing with rehab and, according to a statement from her U.S. rep, is "following her treatment plan rigorously and making wonderful progress."

In an emotional acceptance speech via satellite from London after a performance of "You Know That I'm No Good" and "Rehab," Winehouse, thanked her producer Mark Ronson (who won producer of the year), her mother and father, and her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. "To my Blake, my Blake incarcerated," she said. Fielder-Civil is currently awaiting trial in a London jail.

I'm not surprised that Amy Winehouse ended up garnering so many awards, her music is exactly the kind that the NARAS goes apeshizz over. Personally, I'm not a fan but I can appreciate that her music is liked and respected by others. So, I suppose congrats are in order. Hopefully this validation of her talent will help keep her focused on rehabilitating herself. [Source, Source]

Another emotional moment from last night's Grammy Awards came courtesy of Kanye West. In previous years, Kanye exerted a lot of time and energy bitching about all the awards that he didn't win ... this year, his energy was focused on paying tribute to his late mother -- which was a much classier way to go. Here are a few pics of Kanye on stage with Daft Punk, on his knees in reverence to his mother and holding one of his Grammy Awards up high:

Photo credit: Wireimage

Kanye West, who had a leading eight nominations and won four trophies, delivered an electric, glow-in-the-dark rendition of "Stronger," then segued into a stirring tribute to his mother, Donda West, who died unexpectedly last year at age 58 after undergoing plastic surgery. "Last night I saw you in my dreams, and now I can't wait to go to sleep," sang West, dressed in black and with MAMA etched into his haircut, as he launched into "Hey Mama," a celebratory tune from his second album that has now turned into a somber ode. West won awards for best rap album for "Graduation," best solo performance for "Stronger," best rap song for "Good Life" and best rap performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with Common on "Southside." While West was accepting the best rap album trophy, the orchestra tried to play him off the stage as he began speaking about his mother. "It would be in good taste to stop the music," West said — and the music stopped. "I know you're really proud of me right now and I know you want me to be the No. 1 artist in the world and Mama," West continued, "all I'm going to do is keep making you proud. We run this."

It's amazing how Kanye West can turn an egotistical and pretentious rant into something sweet and emotional, worthy of sympathy. Geeze, the man is a genius. [Source]

But, Amy and Kanye weren't the only winners last night ... here are a few pics of some of the other winners posing with their shiny new tropies in the press room last night:

Photo credit: Wireimage

I'm pretty sure that the Grammys give out more awards per show than any other awards show ... which is why it's impossible to list all the winners. You can click HERE for a full list of every single Grammy Award that was handed out this year. [Source]

And to round out all the Grammyness this year, here are a few pictures from the Sony/BMG after-Grammy party which was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel last night:

Photo credit: Splash News

OY ... I'm already full up on Grammy coverage ... so why don't we move on ... [Source]

Paris Hilton celebrated her 27th birthday early this weekend (she doesn't actually turn 27 until February 17) with a little soirée at Area nightclub in LA ... here are a few pictures of Paris, who was blatantly jockin' Avril Lavigne's whole entire look, with a few of her party guests ... who may look familiar to the Britney-watchers out there:

That's right ... Britney's former hangers-on Cousin Alli Sims and Sam Lutfi, who have been expunged from her life by Team Spears, had no other recourse than to attach themselves to Paris Hilton over the weekend. I'm sure Paris was happy to have them at her party ... especially when the paps were more interested in getting pics of Sam Lutfi trying to sneak out of the party while hiding under a coat rather than paying any attention to Paris herself. What a sad crew these 3 make ... [Source]

... but as sad as they were -- they weren't nearly as sad as another of Paris's party guests ... Paris Hilton's overpaid mouthpiece, Elliot Mintz, was also in the hiz for Paris's party and he thought he'd make himself hip and trendy so that he could fit in with such a young crowd ... and the poor old dude went a little overboard with the fake tanner, or the make-up foundation or ... something:

I'm sorry but this is the saddest thing I think I've ever seen ... like, ever. Elliot Mintz was prolly so desperate to look cool that he went and made himself look like an old clown. I just can't help it ... it's just the funniest effing thing I've ever seen ... like, ever!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL [Source]

Do you know what you get when you get Salma Hayek all riled up?

Photo credit: Splash News

You get an ass-whipping, that's what. It's unwise to get all up in the grill of an overly heated Latina. [Source]

In other brawlin' news, here is a follow-up to those pictures of Jesse Metcalfe getting his ass beat by UK no-name rapper Mamms Taylor that were posted last Saturday. Apparently, the sissy-fightin' didn't end there ... Jesse ended up running into Mr. Mamms at a club later on in the night and this time it was HIS turn to do some ass-beating:

It looks like Jesse came up from behind and got all touchy-feely with Mamms. If I had to pick, I'd have to say that Mamms is still the winner ... sure he landed a sucker punch on Jesse's face but it was still more gangsta than this hugging match initiated by Jesse Metcalfe. LOL! [Source]

We normally get to see hot pics of guys like Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds suiting up to ride around town on their motorcycles but today we have someone different to gawk at. Fans of CSI: know that George Eads is one sexy hunk o' man, one who doesn't get any attention at all :( Well, here are pictures of Georgie heading out for a ride on his bike this weekend:

Photo credit: Splash News

OK ... so mebbe these aren't the best pics to show off George's sexiness but I can assure you ... he's a first-class hottie who is totally drool-worthy. Mebbe we'll get to see more pics of George out and about, perhaps half-nekkid and wet at the beach, so that I can better prove my point here :) [Source]

The punk princess of pop has gone and gotten all grown up ... Avril Lavigne is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Maxim magazine:

Fortunately, the lass is wearing more clothes than one normally sees in the pages of Maxim. I don't care how married she is or how old she thinks she is ... she's still little Avril Lavigne to me, chasing after Sk8r Bois at the mall. [Source]

And finally, Neil Gaiman is celebrating the birthday of his blog journal (which turned 7 on February 9) with a fun little contest where fans of his work will be treated to a free book ... well, kinda:

From Neil's journalpost: As you may have deduced, it's the blog's 7th birthday today. On February the 9th 2001, I started writing this thing. And now, 1,071,213 words later, it is still going. (Until the wind changes, as Mary Poppins said.) One thing we've decided to do, as a small celebratory birthday thing is, initially for a month, make a book of mine available online, free, gratis and for nothing. Which book, though...? Ah, that's up to you. What I want you to do is think -- not about which of the books below is your favourite, but if you were giving one away to a friend who had never read anything of mine, what would it be? Where would you want them to start?

Head on over to his site HERE to vote for the book that you would like to be posted online for free. Of the choices available, I would love to see his book Smoke and Mirrors win the contest. As a collection of short stories and poems, I think it's the best introduction to Neil's work that exists. You'll know for sure if you are a Neil Gaiman fan if you can't get enough of this book. I really wish his collabo with Terry Prachett, Good Omens, was among the choices ... that book is my all-time fave Gaiman book. I'd really love for more people to read that one. [Source, thanks Fanny]

Les News:
So yesterday was my last half-day with Diana here in town. Because I wanted to maximize our time together, I put off working on the blog so that we could run out and grab a quick bite to eat at brunchtime. We ventured into SoHo for a great meal at Cabana Cafe (after we paid a little visit to Diesel) where David met us for eats. But, she had to catch her ride back to DC all-too-soon and away she went:

Then last night, David and I were invited to a gypsy run preview performance of the Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which is directed by Debbie Allen and stars Anika Noni Rose, Terrance Howard, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones -- the first all-Black cast of this play:

I was a little worried that I wouldn't be up for the 3 hour play (especially since, unlike a Broadway Musical, there are no musical numbers to wake you up if you start to doze off) but the cast was just so great that I had no problem staying awake and staying enraptured. I am just in awe over the way the actors were able to memorize all of their lines ... and there are a lot of lines. Anika Noni Rose was just superb in the role of Maggie. Honestly, I loved everyone ... but she really stood out for me. I was very impressed with the staging and the use of the simple set ... it was just a delight to watch. The show will be in limited run so I suggest you see this show while you can. It's really fabulous. Mark my words ... this show will be winning awards come Tonys time. Much love goes out to Shane for taking such good care of us at last night's performance.

After the show, we met up with a bunch of David's friends for a pizza dinner and then we hightailed it home. The temperature dropped about 25 degrees yesterday so while it was pleasant yesterday afternoon, it was bitterly cold last night. Ugh. Winter has finally come to NYC.

This afternoon I have an appointment to meet with someone ... I can't wait to talk about it as soon as I can ;) Tonight, David and I are having dinner with Sashie ... and Amsterdam is only 2 days away. Wee!!! Happy New Week, y'all!

I'm out.