Monday, June 02, 2008

You Can Go Your Own Way; Tori Amos Leaves Epic Records

Taking a page from the Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails rule book, Tori Amos has decided not to renew her contract with Epic Records and will, from here on out, release her own music projects in her own way, on her own terms as she sees fit. I first heard that Tori left Epic on one of the Tori Amos mailing lists I subscribe to but Billboard magazine has finally sorted out the deets:


Tori Amos has ended her tenure with Epic Records and "has chosen the path of independence for her next work," according to her manager. "As with many of her contemporaries, Tori is devising new and exciting ways of getting her music to the masses without the boundaries and limitations of the major music companies," manager John Witherspoon tells Billboard's Ask Billboard column. Amos' next album, due in spring 2009, will be "a project of new music and visuals which is being started in the summer," he says. Amos is also writing a musical for the British National Theater, "The Light Princess," and in July will unveil a graphic novel, "Comic Book Tattoo," based on her catalog. Amos recorded for Atlantic from 1992 to 2001 before signing with Epic. Her last album for that label was 2007's "American Doll Posse."

Woot! This is amazing news! I love that Tori will be releasing her own music in her own way from now on. The thought of Tori blessing us with a new track or two whenever her heart desires is very exciting. To be fair, I really liked the way that Epic Records treated Tori when she was with them (ever so briefly and as opposed to the way that Atlantic treated her near the end of her contract with them) but I think this new venture will work out best for both her and her fans. I can only imagine how new material will be distributed to us (and how soon) but I'll be on pins and needles until we start to hear from Tori again :) [Source]

UPDATE: Tori Amos has posted an official statement regarding her parting ways with Epic Records on her official site ToriAmos.com:

a message from tori...

On parting ways with Epic/Sony and heading in the indie direction:

"This is an exciting time. There will be many ways in the present and in the future for artists to cross what has become the new unchartered Music Frontier. Ways that may seem impossible today but in a months time will seem probable. There are many ways to be involved in a structure. But what kind of structure will it be and what will be the make up of its foundation? These are important questions, so important that I've been observing many different working templates in the music business for years now. The key word here is the word "working." In some cases these structures do not work positively for some artists. Only for those who have designed the system to specifically "work" for the corporate few. Artists need not fear structure, we just have to design and partner with expansive ideas. It is time for us as artists to stop being dependent, dependent on any system that has become undependable. Only then can we help to create a new system that propagates and secures independence for each creator."


Again, I fully trust that Tori Amos will make the most of this new venture and I eagerly await the coming of the new music.

Dannii Walks For A Cause

Dannii Minogue must love raising money for charity. Earlier this year, she joined Olivia Newton-John on the Great Walk to Beijing to raise money for breast cancer research and just this weekend she embarked on a 10k walk to raise money for AIDS research. Here are a few pics of Team Minogue at this weekend's charity walk:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

Wee! As if I couldn't love the woman any more she has to go and do something else to endear her to my heart. You have to hand it it Ms. Minogue ... she really puts her money where her mouth is -- er, where her feet are. You can tell that she takes great pleasure in doing everything she can to raise money for these charities and I think she should be commended for her efforts. I cannot imagine the strains on Dannii's time and yet she still finds a way to fit in these sorts of charity walks into her schedule. I just love her ... thank you so much for all your hard work, Dannii :) [Source]

Bruisin' For A Cruisin'

Messy Amy Winehouse somehow found the ability to make her way to the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon late last week to perform for an audience of thousands. It was during the performance that she paid tribute to her incarcerated hubby Blake Civil-Fielder (who is currently serving a sentence for attempting to pervert justice in the UK) with a cute little clip in her hair. I guess she was also paying tribute to the fella in her life by showing off a nasty new hickey on her neck:


Photo credit: Big! Pictures

All eyes were on a purple bruise on Amy Winehouse's neck on Friday as she paid tribute to her incarcerated husband at a Portuguese gig. The unsightly mark on the troubled singer's neck at the Rock in Rio concert in Lisbon left fans wondering if Winehouse was sporting a love bite from her spouse Blake Fielder-Civil. The Rehab star's mysterious body marking appeared to suggest Winehouse had received a souvenir from her visit to Fielder-Civil at Pentonville Prison in north London just hours before flying to the Portuguese capital. The singer arrived at the gig half an hour late and croakily admitted she was suffering from a sore throat as she attempted to make amends to the 90,000 fans at the Bela Vista Park. Friday marked Winehouse's first concert performance since she cancelled a series of gigs last November after her husband was first imprisoned. After finally walking on stage, a disheveled Winehouse, admitted she probably should have cancelled the gig when she was greeted by boos. She said: "Hey Lisbon, I'm sorry I late. My voice is not singing right and I can't even hold the microphone. I should have cancelled, but I wanted to be here so much." During her performance, which finished on time despite the tardy start, the 24-year-old touched her neck repeatedly, suggesting she was conscious of the so-called love bite.

The hickey may be gross but it's a sight better than those nasty cuts and scratches she usually sports all over her arms and body. It really says a lot about a person who looks better with a hickey than with any sort of lacerations. I'm just amazed the woman is able to marginally function at all. [Source]

Just What Las Vegas Needs

Because the Maloof brothers don't have enough money and because Las Vegas doesn't have enough luxury resorts it was decided that the Maloofs would open a new Palms spa resort called the Palms Place Hotel & Spa ... so naturally, there had to be a party full of celebs to officially open the place:


Photo credit: Splash News

You may recall that we saw pics of the newly single Linda Hogan cutting a rug with her new 19-year old beau (with the nasty, fried bleached out wispy hair) at the Palms opening yesterday. Now we see that newlyweds Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Pete Wentz were in the hiz as well as the lovely ladies from The Hills, LC and LO. Ian Ziering (who is prolly desperately waiting by the phone for the folks from the 90210 spin-off to offer him a job) strutted down the red carpet with a sassy hat tipped just askew on his head. All in all, the Palms opening sounds like it was a phat event full of mirth and merriment. [Source]

Jessimo Flee To San Diego

It would appear that the rejuvenated romance between Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo is moving forward in an attempt to stay viable ... or something. After reports that the couple broke up and then got back together, Jessimo have been lying low most probably so that they might be able to heal in private. Over the weekend, the couple surfaced in Las Vegas, NV for the grand opening of Palms Place Hotel & Spa and then, oddly, showed up at the airport in San Diego, CA the next day:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

Could it be that the couple have fled to San Diego to try and jumpstart their romance or where they just being as wily as can be, choosing to circumvent showing up in LA together? Whatever the case may be, Tony Romo sure don't look all that interested in being seen with his ladylove Jessica. He kinda looks ashamed to show his face ... which, I guess I kinda get. I'd prolly hide my face, too. [Source]

The TV Guide: Can't Get Enough Sex

GRRR. Blogger has been screwy all day thus far. I've been having a tough time getting anything done since Google has been having server issues all morning long. Posting will likely remain spotty for the rest of the day to compensate. Fortunately, we are only a little over a week away from the site relaunch so the Blogger issues will no longer be an issue from that point on. I'm sure we'll have our own server issues once the site relaunches from time to time but at least we'll have control over getting things fixed. Other than that, I've been going kinda nuts with all the behind the scenes stuff happening with the relaunch and with the party. The contest winner will be notified very soon and things are moving at a fever pace. Blah. It's exciting but also stressful.

I was kinda sick most of yesterday but I managed to recoup in time to go see Sex and the City again with Steph, Alek and their friend Antoine at the Arc Light in Sherman Oaks, CA:


The movie was just as good the second time around. We all had a blast, in fact, the whole audience had a blast. I'm so glad the movie did so well at this weekend's box office. I love that a female-centered movie like SaTC could make so much money ... I'm very much looking forward to the sequel already.

After the movie, we grabbed some food at PF Chang's (inspired by the Chinese food that Miranda and Carrie enjoyed on New Year's Eve in the flick) and toasted the night with Cosmos ... natch:


Yeah, we're cheesy but fun :)

There are a lot of things to take care of this week ... David arrives at the end of the week and then the real fun begins. I hope I find the time to breathe. Happy Monday!!!

Les News: Sex Is #1, Bo Peaces Out, Tatum Gets Busted

Angelina Jolie Does Vanity Fair & The Daily Mail

Late last week we saw Angelina Jolie's coverphoto for the July issue of Vanity Fair magazine and today we get to see a few more pics from inside the mag (which were shot many months ago, clearly before she was showing how superpregs she is now):


The coverstory provides a nice look into Brangelina's private life revealing that Angelina Jolie isn't all that different from any other pregnant woman carrying twins ... except for the fact that she's one of the most famous women (pregnant or not) in the world:

It's an established fact. Some women can't stand being pregnant, getting big and bloated, and hauling around a giant stomach, and some women, for reasons probably understood by Darwin, love it. That Angelina Jolie is one of the latter can be seen in any of the thousands of pictures of the actress—who was, after all, impregnated by Brad Pitt, which is like being impregnated by a future man or a star child—that began to proliferate in the celebrity weeklies and supermarket tabloids in the spring of 2008, by which time Jolie, who is carrying twins, had bellied out like a sail. "I love it," she told me, smiled, laughed, then said, "It makes me feel like a woman. It makes me feel that all the things about my body"—she raised her hands as she said this, her fingers as long as those of a point guard, and made the squeezing motion commonly used to suggest fruit that is particularly ripe—"are suddenly there for a reason. It makes you feel round and supple, and to have a little life inside you is amazing. Also," she continued, dropping her voice, leaning in, "I'm fortunate. I think some women have a different experience depending on their partner. I think that affects it. I happen to be with somebody who finds pregnancy very sexy. So that makes me feel very sexy." ... It's as if the Jolie-Pitts are pioneering a new genre of family, with children from every global hot spot and parents who are beautiful and famously not married. "People have made a lot out of it that we're not," she said, "but we both have been married before, and it's very easy to get married, but it’s not easy to build a family and be parents together. And maybe we've done it backwards, but we certainly feel married." ... "How pregnant are you?," I asked. "I don't want to say," she said, smiling sadly. "A few months. I only know, if I do say, people will start stressing on our due date."

And the VF piece (which you can read in full HERE) goes on from there. We now know that she claims to be due in August but considering the false alarm that happened last week (where Entertainment Tonight erroneously jumped the gun and reported that she had already given birth in France) I think that she may give birth at any time and will do everything in her power to keep the secret. The coverstory is interesting but doesn't really shed all that more light on good ol' Angie. She tends to give the same info in all her interviews ... even still, I find her insanely fascinating. I think back to that girl we saw in the 90's movie Hackers and can hardly believe that she grew up to be Saint Angelina, Savior and Mother of the world. [Source]

The Daily Mail published a few super sexy pics of Angelina in their newspaper supplement Live over the weekend ... check 'em out:


But in this interview, Angelina gives a little more ... flavor ... than she usually does in magazines like Vanity Fair:

"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them," she says with a dry candor. "I bought original, real guns of the type we used in Tomb Raider for security. Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one. And yes, I'd be able to use it if I had to. I could handle myself. I think there are certain combat skills that would come out. I tend to want to throw an elbow. I don't know why. I've learned all the punches, head butts and kicks – yet getting someone with my elbow is my first instinct. I think it's good for anybody to learn a skill when it comes to fight training – be it kung fu, boxing or kick-boxing – because self-defense is important. Brad and I want our kids to learn it. They're going to get into a fight some day, so they might as well learn how to take care of themselves. I was kind of a punk when I was a kid, but I didn't get picked on. I was left alone because I was a bit of a loner. I would get into fights on behalf of other people. I wasn't a pushover. So I wasn't the one who was targeted. There's a side to me that people know is humanitarian, and there's a side to me that's a mummy. But there's also the side that likes to get down and dirty and run and jump around and fire guns. I don't want to lose touch with that. That's one of the reasons I like to do action movies. It's good for me every once in a while."

So, Saint Angelina is packin' heat. I believe that she would go apeshizz on anyone stupid enough to threaten her family. This is the sort of stuff I wish she'd talk more about in interviews ... not that I advocate gun use or whatever, I just like hearing about these sorts of facets of people's lives. Incidentally, these Daily Mail pix seem to be of the same batch that Esquire magazine published last year ... they're hot but pretty old ... not that that takes away from their enjoyment. [Source]

Hugh Look Like Fun

Over the weekend, we saw a few pics of Hugh Jackman enjoying a dip in the ocean at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia with a male friend (supposedly his trainer ... but you never really know) ... and today we have a few more photos of a mostly nekkid Hugh from that same beach trip:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

I post these photos purely for prurient reasons but I'm sure that y'all don't mind. Hugh Jackman is a nice hunk of beef so it makes sense to feature his hunkiness as much as possible :)

But, to be fair, here are a few photos of Hugh Jackman fully clothed and wearing his Sunday best yesterday as he enjoys a sunny afternoon playdate with his family (wife Deborra-Lee Furness and children Ava and Oscar) as they played a game of catch on the lawn of the Sydney Yacht Club:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

Meh. I like him better wet and mostly nekkid but I guess he looks a'ight in his little suit. Hugh looks like he's having a ball hurtling his children into the sky ... I'm not sure it's much fun for the kiddies but I'm sure they'll be fine ... as long as Hugh doesn't drop the ball, as it were.

A Day At The Races

Brad Pitt and his son Maddox Jolie-Pitt were special guests at the Moto GP race in Italy over the weekend. Here are a few cute pics of father and son enjoying some very fun male-bonding time together on the sidelines at the race this weekend:


Photo credit: Bauer-Griffin

What a life this little kid gets to enjoy. In fact, all of the Brangelina kids are on track for a pretty amazing life with access to pretty much anything on Earth they could ever possibly want. Most kids have to play race cars in their bedrooms while Maddox gets to play with the real things all around the world. I trust that Brangelina will bring their kiddies up right ... I just hope they learn to appreciate the luxurious life they are living. [Source]

MTV Gives Out Some Awards

Despite the fact that a portion of the Universal Studios Lot burned to the ground in the early hours of the day yesterday, the 2008 MTV Movie Awards went down without a hitch at the Universal Amphitheater on the portion of the Universal Studios Lot that wasn't affected by firey destruction ... natch. Here are a few photos from the MTV Movie Awards red carpet yesterday:


Photo credit: Splash News

Except for the purpose of shamelessly promoting new movies (like Sex and the City, The Incredible Hulk, etc.) folks like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Hudson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Ed Norton came out to the MTV Movie Awards to help distribute some awards. OK, so maybe they really came just to promote their movies but still ...

Anyways ... MTV trotted out a few celebs of their own to join in the festivities ...


Photo credit: Splash News

I must admit, all of The Hills cast members were lookin' pretty damn faboo if I do say so myself. Lauren LC Conrad, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt and Audrina Patridge all looked amazing on the red carpet. No one was shiny and no one suffered any close calls with wardrobe malfunctions ...

... that was reserved for super special guest attendee Lindsay Lohan who almost showed the world her nether parts when a big gust of wind blew across the red carpet:


Photo credit: Splash News

Fortunately, Lindsay decided to wear undies and managed to keep her biz on lockdown. Whew.

So yeah ... the awards ... there were a few handed out ... so lets get to that ... and check out a few pics from the actual show itself:


Photo credit: Wireimage

The destruction of King Kong and part of the iconic Back to the Future clock tower in a fire that broke out early Sunday morning at the Universal Studios back lot did not prevent Kong-size stars such as Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Ben Stiller and Charlize Theron from showing up for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, held Sunday night at The Gibson Amphitheatre, not far from the site of the fire. By the time stars arrived, the smoke had cleared and the blaze provided some material for laughs. The Office's Rainn Wilson laid claim to having set the fires to strike the wrath of God into Hollywood. "I meant to destroy the amphitheatre," he joked. "I made a mistake on MapQuest." Like at most MTV Movie Awards, just about every star had a film to promote (Wilson's The Rocker opens Aug. 1) — and few were shy about it. Host Mike Myers kicked off the show with a joke about promoting The Love Guru, due June 20. Presenters also had product to push: Smith and Theron (Hancock, July 2); Cruise, Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder, Aug. 15); Will Ferrell (Step Brothers, July 25); Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Get Smart, June 20); Edward Norton and Liv Tyler (Incredible Hulk, June 13); Seth Rogen and James Franco (Pineapple Express, Aug. 8); and a gaggle of gals from The House Bunny (Aug. 22): Anna Faris, Rumer Willis, Katharine McPhee and Emma Stone (who also stars in The Rocker). There was a special salute to Adam Sandler, whose You Don't Mess With the Zohan opens Friday. But some of the biggest cheers went to double-winner Johnny Depp, who gave laid-back thanks amid squeals from women in the crowd. Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Hudson, whose Sex and the City: The Movie, just brought home big bucks at the box office, were among the few without an upcoming movie to sell. With the success of the movie's opening, Parker was asked about a sequel. "Honestly," she said, "(producer/director/screenwriter) Michael Patrick King and I have not even talked about the idea." Backstage, she received congratulations for the No. 1 opening from Cruise, who was there with wife Katie Holmes.

Okay ... so the MTV Movie Awards is kind of a huge movie promotion vehicle but it's also deffo a fun show that provides a lot of entertainment and has become an annual ritual for kicking off the Summer Movie Blockbuster Season. As usual, I really enjoyed watching the show ... Mike Meyers is funny as hell (tho, I think Wayne's World really needs to stay in the 90's where it belongs) and, to be frank, the promo really worked on me. I'm very much looking forward to many of the movies that were promoed last night so ... I guess mission: accomplished.

OH yeah ... MTV Japan had their own little soiree this weekend ... here are a few pics from the 2008 MTV Music Video Awards Japan which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan:


Photo credit: Wireimage

Paris Hilton managed to appear at both the MTV Music Video Awards Japan and the MTV Movie Awards all in the same weekend ... she should get an award for that, no? I mean, what else could she possibly be qualified to win an award for? In any event, I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all ... deserving folks went home with golden popcorn and all is well with the world.

Mayerston Invade Malibu

Things continue to go full speed ahead in the burgeoning Mayerston romance. Now that Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer have brought their lovefest here to SoCal the couple has been spotted making their way around town (ie. trying to flee by not staying in one place for too long). Here is a pic of the giddily happy Mayerston (with Jen's pooch in tow) making their way up to Malibu, CA:


Photo credit: INFdaily

The couple spent part of their Sunday afternoon chillin' with Jen's BFF and former Friends co-star Courteney Cox-Arquette and her hubby David at their Malibu home ... where they quickly got to canoodling once they reached the balcony deck:


Photo credit: Splash News

Awww ... they do make a cute couple. It's still strange seeing them all loved up on one another but it's nice seeing Jennifer Aniston happy ... cuz, you know, she kinda always looks so miserable and bitter. Here's hoping that John Mayer can keep that smile on her face ... it'd be a shame if he went and added to her "man issues" by breaking her heart. You be good to Jen, ya hear?