Music lovers have a variety of new CDs to choose from with week, with new albums from Wilco, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Levon Helm, Moby and more hitting stores today.
Here is a list of new CDs, DVDs and books from Amazon.com, VideoETA.com and BarnesandNoble.com:
Wilco, “Wilco (The Album).”
Brad Paisley, “American Saturday Night.”
Rob Thomas, “Cradlesong.”
Levon Helm, “Electric Dirt.”
Moby, “Wait for Me.”
Stephen Sondheim, “Road Show.”
Various artists, “The Woodstock Experience” (limited edition box set).
Do The Right Thing
Eastbound & Down: The Complete First Season
The Education of Charlie Banks
Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season
Eureka: Season 3.0
The Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
Princess Protection Program
Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Season Two
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Fifth Season
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
“Swimsuit” by James Patterson.
“Any Minute” by Joyce Meyer.
“The Apostle” by Brad Thor.
“Killer Summer” by Ridley Pearson.
“A Plague of Secrets” by John Lescroart.
“Return to Sullivan’s Island” by Dorothea Benton Frank.
“The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal” by Mark Ribowsky.
“Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919″ by Douglas Brinkley.
News flash: Megan Fox is not a real motorcycle mechanic. And she’s not a unicorn. She’s a woodland nymph fairy. (Associated Press photo)
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” star Megan Fox was on CBS’ “Early Show” this morning, and co-anchor Harry Smith managed to get some hard-hitting news out of the actress with his razor-sharp interviewing skills.
1. Fox is not, in fact, a motorcycle mechanic. She was PRETENDING to be a motorcycle mechanic in that movie. She can’t even ride a motorcycle.
2. Shia LeBeouf recently likened co-starring with Fox as “kissing a unicorn or something.” But Fox doesn’t remind Smith of a unicorn. She’s more of a “woodland fairy nymph.” Yeah.
3. The “Transformers” sequel is actually a movie for geniuses.
Wow, rarely has a man been rendered so utterly mindless by a short skirt and a hint of cleavage. At least, not in a supposedly professional situation that is being filmed for national television.
One genuinely interesting aspect of the interview: Smith says he saw the movie in IMAX “with actual human beings” (!) and asked Fox if he was supposed to “literally understand every scene.”
“I mean, I’m in the movie and I read the script and I watched the movie and I still didn’t know what was happening,” she answered. “I think if you haven’t read the script and you go and you see it and you understand it, you may be a genius. This is a movie for geniuses.”
After seeing it myself, I believe this should be the new tagline for the movie.
Despite the phenomenal box office success, my assessment of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” stands: It has some great fight scenes but the lack of plot transforms the film into a 2 1/2-hour explosion fest that eventually numbs the senses.
And if these two are any indication, it numbs the brain as well.
Check out the video here:
A version of this column also appears in Tuesday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
Gloriana making Swift rise
For a contemporary country band, opportunities don’t get much more career-transforming than a personal invitation to join teen star Taylor Swift’s first headlining tour.
“She called us when we were traveling around to all the radio stations in the country and she’d heard our song and she wanted to get us on the tour and scoop us up before anyone else did,” said Mike Gossin, singer/guitarist for the up-and-coming quartet Gloriana, in a phone interview from the road.
“We were freaking out. We said yes, and it’s just been an amazing, amazing life-changing experience. We owe so much to her for having us on the tour.”
With their breakout song, the rousing , romantic “Wild at Heart,” the young band not only caught Swift’s attention, they scored a top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
Now, their schedule includes sold-out arenas as well as clubs, fairs and other small venues like Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Bricktown, where they’re playing at 7 tonight.
“It’s always good for us to get back to our roots, and small gig, big gig, it doesn’t really matter to us. As long as we’re playing in front of people, we’re happy,” Gossin said.
The four members of Gloriana – Gossin, 24; his brother Tom, 27; Rachel Reinert, 19; and Cheyenne Kimball, 18 – have only been a band for about a year and a half, but have been making music since they were kids.
The Gossins played club dates as a duo for 10 years. Through MySpace they connected with Reinert, who earned her first publishing deal at age 15. The trio then met Kimball, who was 12 when she won the TV contest “America’s Most Talented Kid,” at a Nashville club.
“The minute the four of us sang together, we were like ‘wow, there it is.’ It was like the missing link. We knew that we had something very, very special,” he said.
Their self-titled debut album, due out Aug. 4, will blend contemporary and traditional country, with strong four-part harmonies and rotating lead singers. They also play their own instruments, especially in live shows, with Mike Gossin on electric guitar, Tom Gossin on acoustic guitar, Kimball on mandolin and Reinert on tambourine.
For the shows on Swift’s tour, coming to Tulsa’s BOK Center Sept. 27, they also perform an encore with the superstar.
“She has gone completely out of her way to involve us in every aspect she possibly can just because she likes us. And she doesn’t have to do that,” he said. “If we ever do reach that (level of) success, we definitely will be treating our opening acts the same exact way.”
When: 7 tonight.
Where: Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Bricktown.
Taylor Swift with Gloriana and Kellie Pickler
When: Sept. 27.
Where: BOK Center, Tulsa.
Today’s featured event:
JONES – Learn “The Art of Fun” with storyteller Michael Corley from 2 to 2:45 p.m. today at the Jones Community Center, 120 W Atlanta.
Corley will weave stories from legends of magical weapons of ancient Ireland to Native American tales of how using the right tool can win the day. He will be bring full costumes, change right before the children’s eyes, and tell stories that involve lots of audience participation.
The event is open to all ages.
For more information, go to www.metrolibrary.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Toby Keith (Associated Press photo)
Oklahoma country star Toby Keith is broadening his horizons, quite literally, by planning his first ever European tour.With his Nov. 9 date in Glasgow, Scotland, the Norman resident will start a journey around Northern Europe promoted by Live Nation International, according to a news release.
Keith’s international appeal as superstar artist, songwriter and movie star has been consistently growing outside of the borders of the United States, according to the release. His current album, “That Don’t Make Me A Bad Guy,” is already approaching platinum status in Norway and has been overwhelmingly received halfway around the world in Australia, where his video for “God Love Her” is No. 1 at the CMC network.
“Country music goes through cycles of mainstream popularity internationally and 2009 has seen the genre go from strength to strength,” says Universal VP/International Marketing Iain Snodgrass, with whom Keith’s label partners in Europe, in the release. “Toby has been at the forefront of this and we are delighted that he’s bringing his show to Europe.”
Meanwhile, Keith was recently named to Forbes magazine’s list of the most powerful celebrities in the world, in part because of a business empire that includes his restaurants, a clothing line, his Show Dog Nashville record label, and an endorsement by Ford Trucks. According to Forbes, Toby placed among the top earners this year. Since the turn of the decade, he has grossed hundreds of millions in ticket sales and his songs have spent more than a year at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, according to the release.
Adding support to Forbes’ ranking is a recent posting on the Yahoo! Music Blog that tapped Toby as the No. 4 album seller, all-genre, of the decade.
On the business front, Keith recently opened another location of his I Love This Bar & Grill. The Mesa, Ariz., venue measures 20,000 square feet. According to the release, Keith himself was involved in design for the establishment, which offers Southern style food and plenty
of room for live entertainment and dancing. The grand opening invited 100 active duty and veteran soldiers, and as always at any of the chain’s
locations, a military ID gives service members and vets a one-time free meal deal including an American Soldier burger, choice of side, and a
non-alcoholic beverage. The Mesa location joins Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and Kansas City as the fourth I Love This Bar & Grill to date.
Closer to home, readers of Oklahoma Magazine have voted
Keith of its “Best Of The Best” in the musician category. The results will
be published in the publication’s July edition, which is also its most-read issue.
Here is a list of Keith’s European tour dates:
Nov. 9 Glasgow ABC, Glasgow, Scotland
Nov. 10 Hammersmith, London, England
Nov. 12 Olympiahalle, Dublin, Ireland
Nov. 13 Odessey, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nov. 15 Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov. 16 Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
Nov. 18 House of Culture, Helsinki, Finland
Nov. 21 Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
Nov. 22 Vestlandshalle, Bergen, Norway
Country music star and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert recently talked to CMT Insider about her new song, “Dead Flowers.”
The song is the first single from her upcoming third album, “Revolution,” due out in late September.
Lambert spoke to CMT after shooting the music video for “Dead Flowers” with director Randee St. Nicholas, who also shot Lambert’s video for “More Like Her.”
The country singer-songwriter said “Dead Flowers” is one of her favorite songs she’s ever penned.
“This song is pretty special to me,” she told CMT Insider. “I wrote it by myself, and it was the last song I wrote before I went into the studio (to record the new album). It being the first single, I definitely wanted the video to reflect the song and the lyrics and how I felt when I wrote the song.”
Lambert hopes the single will be her first top five song. Her biggest hit so far, “Gunpowder & Lead,” reached No. 7 on Billboard’s country chart.
Click here to read CMT Insider’s interview with Lambert.
Rascal Flatts (Associated Press photo)
Country stars Rascal Flatts, which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher, and Toby Keith have made the Forbes’ 10 top-earning musicians list.
Rascal Flatts, which also includes Ohio natives Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox, is listed at No. 6 after earning $60 million last year. The group is tied for sixth place with British band Coldplay and Australian rockers AC/DC, according to Forbes.com.
The country trio is the artist with the least experience on the list, having released its first album in 2000. Forbes.com praises the group as a relatively young act that has ”mastered the art and science of the modern superstar that is more brand than band. With a JCPenney clothing line in the works, significant crossover appeal and endorsement deals, they recognize how to capitalize on their popularity, unfettered by the economic threats to their industry and the economy.”
Forbes continues in its top 10 photo slideshow that Rascal Flatts has created “a cozy niche for themselves with crossover pop/country hits and a young fan base.” The group grossed $56 million on the road last year, and earned more through lucrative endorsement deals with JCPenney and Hershey’s.
The band’s latest band, “Unstoppable,”debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when it came out in April.
Toby Keith (AP photo)
Keith, who was born in Clinton, raised in Moore and lives in Norman, came in at No. 10 on the list with $52 million.
The Forbes.com photo slideshow sums up his success like this: “A consistent name among musical top earners, Toby Keith has continued to expand his brand. He grossed $31 million on tour in 2008, and ‘That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy,’ which has since sold over 500,000 copies. He also sees income from an endorsement deal with Ford, an eponymous chain of restaurants and as a prolific songwriter.”
Madonna topped the Forbes list. According to Forbes.com, the Material Girl’s annual earnings have hovered between $40 million and $50 million dollars since 2002. In the last year, a sold-out worldwide tour, impressive international sales of her latest album, “Hard Candy,” and lucrative endorsement deals put her earnings at walloping $110 million.
The top three artists on the list are all women: Celine Dion and Beyonce Knowles are sitting pretty in the No. 2 and 3 spots.
In the last 12 months, the top 10 musicians earned a combined $719 million, up from $500 million during the same period ending June 2008. According to Forbes.com, big shows with big ticket prices are main reason for the jump in stars’ income. Ten single shows grossed more than $10 million in 2008, Forbes reports, citing Pollstar. In 2007, only four shows reached that level.
Here is Forbes’ list of top-earning musicians:
1. Madonna, $110 million.
2. Celine Dion, $100 million.
3. Beyonce Knowles, $87 million.
4. Bruce Springsteen, $70 million.
5. Kenny Chesney, $65 million.
6. Rascal Flatts, $60 million.
6. Coldplay, $60 million.
6. AC/DC, $60 million.
9. Eagles, $55 million.
10. Toby Keith, $52 million.
A catchy quote from a movie, TV show or other source to brighten the beginning of your week
Benjamin: Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.
- Click here to learn the source
As expected, the bombastic action sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” made a ridiculous amoung of money over the weekend, despite its dearth of anything resembling a decent plot, acting or even sense of style in its action sequences.
Michael Bay’s follow-up to his 2007 hit “Transformers” made more than $200 million in domestic ticket sales in its first five days.
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” hauled in $112 million in the its first weekend – obviously it was No. 1 at the weekend box office – and $201.2 million since opening Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
It’s on its way to becoming the year’s top-grossing movie and could even cross the $400 million mark for its domestic receipts.
“I’d say given the momentum it has, it’s got a real shot,” Rob Moore, vice chairman at Paramount, the sequel’s distributor, told the AP.
The first film started its blockbuster run with a $70.5 million weekend and went on to make $319 million domestically. The sequel made nearly two-thirds of that total in just five days.
Playing in almost every other country except India, the movie made another $185.8 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $387 million. That’s more than half the $708 million global total for the first “Transformers,” according to the AP.
For the first five days, the “Transformers” sequel’s take was second only to last summer’s “The Dark Knight,” which nabbed $203.8 million in its first five days.
The sequel began with $60.6 million on its opening day Wednesday. That also was second only to “The Dark Knight,” which had the biggest single box-office day ever with $67.2 million on its opening day July 18, 2008.
“Transformers” also made $14.4 million at 169 IMAX theaters, setting a record for a five-day opening in the giant-screen format, nearly doubling the previous best of $7.3 million set by “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
In addition, the “Transformers” sequel notched the biggest opening weekend of this year, surpassing the $85.1 million debut of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in early May.
The other wide release, the Warner Bros. weepy “My Sister’s Keeper,” starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, opened at at No. 5 with $12 million.
With a $13 million weekend, Disney/Pixar’s “Up” became the year’s top-grossing film domestically – for now – raising its total to $250.2 million. “Up” passed Paramount’s “Star Trek,” which made $3.6 million over the weekend for a cumulative $246.2 million.
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” based on the venerable Hasbro toy line of giant alien robots called Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (baddies) who convert into trucks, planes and other machines, should pass both “Up” and “Star Trek” in a few days.
Summit Entertainment’s Iraq War drama “The Hurt Locker” started strong in limited release, taking in $144,000 in four theaters for an average of $36,000 a cinema. According to the AP, that compares to an average of $26,453 in 4,234 theaters for “Transformers.”
The film, which stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie members of a U.S. Army bomb squad working in Iraq, is set to open in Oklahoma City in early August.
Here are the top 10 films, from the AP:
1. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” $112 million.
2. “The Proposal,” $18.5 million.
3. “The Hangover,” $17.2 million.
4. “Up,” $13 million.
5. “My Sister’s Keeper,” $12 million.
6. “Year One,” $5.8 million.
7. “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” $5.4 million.
8. “Star Trek,” $3.6 million.
9. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” $3.5 million.
10. “Away We Go,” $1.7 million.
The Octopus Project
Today’s featured event:
NORMAN – Hear Austin, Texas-based experimental pop band The Octopus Project, along with Oklahoma City rockers Student Film, at 9 tonight at The Opolis, 113 N Crawford.
To hear music by The Octopus Project, go to www.myspace.com/theoctopusproject.
To hear a sampling of Student Film, go to www.myspace.com/studentfilm.
For more information, go to www.ticketstorm.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.