UPDATED: Video: OKC Farmers Market to host Flaming Lips’ Freakout after-party after fire marshal rejects party plans at the Womb gallery
UPDATE: The Flaming Lips and Womb have posted on their Facebook pages this YouTube video confirming that the Lips’ after-party as well as the planned art exhibit opening at the Womb have been moved to the OKC Farmers Market.
Oklahoma City psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips are scrambling to find a new venue for the after-parties they were planning to go along with their New Year’s Freakout #5.
The Oklahoman’s Business Writer Steve Lackmeyer, one of my excellent colleagues, reports that the Oklahoma City fire marshal issued a cease-and-desist order issued Thursday afternoon at the Womb, an eclectic art gallery operated by Lips frontman Coyne and artists Rick Sinnet and Jake Harms.
The gallery, 25 NW 9, was to host the Flaming Lips, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon (the widow and son of the late John Lennon), and members of The Plastic Ono Band following their joint concert performances New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at the Bricktown Event Center. Admission to the gallery parties was included in tickets sold for the shows at the Coca Cola Bricktown Events Center, which can accommodate about 1,500 concert-goers.
Fire Chief Keith Bryant said inspectors visited the gallery Thursday after an inquiry by the police department, which was responding to an anonymous complaint about the party.
“We looked at it from a fire code perspective,” Bryant told Steve.
“The party that is planned, the building they plan to hold it in, doesn’t meet current fire codes in terms of public assembly. It’s still listed as a garage. It still needs a sprinkler system, alarms and exits. We visited the building, found out there was a lot of work being done, but no permits pulled out from the city, no permits for a special event.”
Sinnett confirmed this morning that they were not able to reach an agreement with city officials that would allow for the Womb to stay open for the parties and art showing. He told Steve that efforts are under way to relocate the event to the Oklahoma City Farmers Market, 311 S Klein. To learn more, check out the NewsOK video posted above.
The after-parties at the Womb, which opened earlier this year, were among the many changes made to the Lips’ fifth annual hometown New Year’s concert. The biggest change was in the venue of the concerts. In previous years, the Lips performed their New Year’s Eve show in the Cox Convention Center, but this year’s event will be moved into the much smaller Bricktown Events Center.
Now a two-night extravaganza, the fifth Freakout is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 and Sunday, Jan. 1 at the Bricktown Events Center, 425 E California. The Flaming Lips and The Plastic Ono Band will play both nights, Phantogram will play on NYE only, and Neon Indian will perform on New Year’s Day only.
Tickets for this year’s Freakout also are pricier than past years: This year, tickets are $100 for one night or $150 for both shows. Many Lips fans have complained online about the price increase.
“I would say, to some people that is gonna be a lot of money and they’re not gonna be able to afford it,” Coyne told The Oklahoman’s Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett, my award-winning boss.
“But I would also say that just because there are things in the world that you can’t afford, that doesn’t make them bad. We know that we’re playing to a smaller audience by playing at the Coca-Cola Center, and it almost demands that you charge more money, but I think it’s a better show. Everybody gets great, great seats, everybody gets to be there at these shows and at these parties.”
He was referring to the all-night after-parties that were planned at the Womb following each night’s show. The band’s plan was to let all ticketholders for the concerts into the parties.
“Sean and Yoko Ono and all of our friends, and all of Oklahoma City that deems music and getting together important, will be there,” Coyne told Gene before the flap with the fire marshal started. “And it’ll be wonderful. … The Flaming Lips will play other shows, perhaps, but I don’t know if they’ll ever be able to play again with Yoko Ono and Sean. You know, to play Christmas songs together and stuff, it’s a pretty special moment.”
All the hoopla surrounding the after-parties aside, the NYE and Jan. 1 shows are still on, and the Lips are presumably still planning to sell recordings of their four-song collaboration with Ono, Lennon and their cohorts. Similar to the team-ups the Lips have already released in 2011 with Neon Indian, Prefuse 73 and Lightning Bolt, the recording will include a collaborative Christmas song titled “Atlas Eets Christmas,” Gene reports.
“The minute they kind of started to hint that they were going to be able to do the New Year’s Eve shows with us, I immediately thought, well, let’s do a recording that we can just put out at the same time,” Coyne told Gene. “Because you know it has to be a songwriter’s dream in a sense, to be able to do a Christmas song where, again, you’re the person with Yoko, doing this great message of peace and love to the world.
“And I don’t want anybody to say it or to write about it, feeling like we’re the entity of the John Lennons in the song with Yoko. To me it’s just a song, especially a Christmas song with such an iconic entity who’s always been about this message of tolerance and peace and love and all that. That’s just in another realm. You just don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
Although the New Year’s Eve show is sold out, tickets for the New Year’s Day show are still on sale at www.ticketstorm.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Opening Night to ring in Oklahoma City’s New Year
The annual New Year’s Eve event will bring together 40 performers in eight venues across downtown Oklahoma City, and the grand finale this year will move to the renovated Myriad Gardens.
As the giant disco ball rises Saturday night at the culmination of Opening Night 2012, it will not only light the way to the New Year but also spotlight one of downtown Oklahoma City’s reinvigorated treasures.
“The big thing that is new is the change in the finale venue. For the past 25 years, we’ve had the finale at Kerr Park, and this year, we have moved it over to the Myriad Gardens,” said Opening Night Director Christina Foss. “The gardens are newly renovated and just look beautiful, and it’s really the perfect gathering space for people.”
As usual, Opening Night 2012 will transform downtown into a huge variety show, bringing together rock bands, roller girls, magicians and more to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Organized by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, the alcohol-free, family-friendly event will assemble 40 performers in eight different venues, with the festivities starting at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Party-goers can enter every venue with an Opening Night wristband, which are $8 in advance or $10 at the event, while children younger than 5 are admitted free.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens reopened earlier this year after undergoing a $42 million makeover, and coupled with ongoing downtown construction, organizers decided to move this year’s Opening Night finale to the new Grand Lawn.
At 11 p.m. Saturday, Opening Night headliners Smilin’ Vic and the Soul Monkeys will bring their high-energy fusion of rhythm, blues and soul to the finale stage. The year-end countdown will begin in earnest at 11:30 p.m. with a sound and light show involving police cars, fire trucks and a helicopter. To heighten the anticipation and experience, lights will go out across downtown, including those in the Myriad Gardens, buildings and parking garages.
As the final seconds of 2011 tick down, the 10-foot mirrored and light-festooned ball will be lifted at least 15 stories above the crowd. When the clock strikes midnight, an extravagant fireworks show will herald the New Year.
Along with the finale events, Edmond acoustic rocker Jamie Bramble will perform throughout Opening Night at the illuminated Crystal Bridge, which received a facelift as part of the renovation.
“It’s going to be a blast,” Foss said. “We hope that everyone will go through the gardens and see them. … It’s a really good opportunity to see all the new stuff that’s there.”
Old and new
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will be showcasing both familiar and new exhibits Saturday as it becomes an Opening Night venue for the first time.
The museum is marking the close of the special exhibits “Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman” and “Poodles & Pastries (and Other Important Matters): New Paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz,” along with the grand reopening of its vast collection of Dale Chihuly glass art.
Also, the museum will open Saturday night a new temporary exhibit titled “Chihuly: Northwest,” which will feature glass creations inspired by the American Indian basketry, along with selections from the Chihuly’s large collections of Pendleton trade blankets and images by renowned Western photographer Edward S. Curtis.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved with Opening Night for the first time in our 10-year history … in downtown,” said Leslie Spears, the museum’s communications manager. “We’re thrilled to partner with our colleagues at the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and at the beautiful new Myriad Gardens.”
Museum members will preview “Illuminations” from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and the redesigned Chihuly exhibit will open to the public from 8 to 11 p.m. Admission will be free to those with Opening Night wristbands.
From 11:30 p.m. to midnight, the museum’s Roof Terrace will host a champagne toast and viewing of the Opening Night fireworks. Tickets are $5 for guests and members, or free to patrons of the Museum Cafe’s annual New Year’s Eve Dinner.
In addition, two favorite jazz bands from the museum’s summer Roof Terrace concert series — Bruce Benson & Studio B and Maurice Johnson — will play in the museum lobby during Opening Night. OKC Improv will have improvisers performing throughout the event in the museum auditorium.
Once Opening Night starts Saturday night, the fun won’t stop until the next year rolls around. Famed musician David Thomas will conjure up his Vegas-style show World of Magic inside Cox Convention Center, the Ambassador’s Concert Choir will blend their voices at Leadership Square, and Tulsa band FM Pilots will rock Bank of Oklahoma.
The children’s area inside the Cox Center will offer art projects, face painting, an inflatable obstacle course and more.
“It’s always a lot of fun for families,” Foss said. “We have performers all across downtown. With musicians and theater and dance, there’s really just a little bit of something for everyone.”
Opening Night 2012
When: 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
Where: Eight venues downtown.
Admission: Wristbands are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the event. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Wristbands are available at 7-Eleven stores, metro-area Homeland stores, MidFirst Bank locations, Science Museum Oklahoma or at the event.
Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com.
See the Opening Night 2012 schedule after the break.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Downtown in December officially ends on New Year’s Day
With the holidays winding down, merrymakers have until Sunday to try snow tubing, check out the Lego recreation of Oklahoma City or see the festive lights displays
With the holidays winding down, merrymakers have just a few more days to take part in most of Oklahoma City’s Downtown in December festivities.
“We’re really excited to continue Downtown in December through Jan. 1,” said Gentry McKeown, communications coordinator for Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. “People usually think of it as a Christmas event. But we like to extend it through the New Year because we know families still have guests in for the holidays and they’re still looking for ways to entertain.”
While Downtown in December officially ends Sunday night, one of the most popular attractions, the Devon Ice Rink at the renovated Myriad Botanical Gardens, will remain open for skaters through Feb. 5.
“There’s no point in closing it on the first when we’re going to have really good ice-skating weather for the next few months,” McKeown said.
Chesapeake Snow Tubing at RedHawks Field will offer thrill-seekers 90-minute sessions on the man-made slopes at noon, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday.
In its second year in Automobile Alley, the OK CityScape Lego recreation of downtown Oklahoma City’s skyline will go dark after New Year’s Eve. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission to popular toy-block realm benefits Oklahoma City Educare, a school for disadvantaged children.
Although the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory won’t have daytime hours New Year’s Day, it will be open and offering free admission from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday as part of Downtown in December.
“More and more people come out every year. Downtown in December has been more successful as the years go on, and this year is no exception. There have been more people at this year’s event than last year’s, and we hope to continue that for years to come,” McKeown said.
The light displays in Automobile Alley, Midtown and the Myriad Gardens will remain illuminated through Sunday night, and Sonic Segway Santa will continue making the rounds in downtown handing out gift cards through the weekend.
It will be a particularly bustling holiday weekend in downtown, with the Arts Council of Oklahoma City staging its Opening Night 2012 New Year’s festivities in eight different venues, the Oklahoma City Thunder playing the Phoenix Suns Saturday night in the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Oklahoma City Barons taking the ice Saturday night in the Cox Convention Center, and the Flaming Lips ringing in New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at the Coca Cola Bricktown Events Center.
“We love seeing lots of foot traffic in downtown Oklahoma City. It just makes it feel more festive. And it’s really exciting to see people coming downtown and making it a destination,” McKeown said.
Downtown in December
When: Through Sunday.
Where: Various locations in downtown Oklahoma City.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Toby Keith to perform on Fox’s New Year’s Eve special
The Oklahoma country music star is coming off a red-letter year highlighted by the viral success of his raucous party anthem “Red Solo Cup.”
Toby Keith will toast the arrival of 2012 with his “Red Solo Cup” as part of a nationally televised year-end bash.
The Oklahoma country music star will perform his popular party hit on the “American Country New Year’s Eve Live,” airing at 10 p.m. Central time Saturday on Fox.
Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington, who just played his annual post-Christmas stint at Shawnee’s FireLake Grand Casino, will host the holiday special with Rick Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell of the reality TV series “Pawn Stars.”
Country stars Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins, Lauren Alaina and Eli Young Band also are set to musically ring in the New Year on the show, while comic Howie Mandel will make an appearance to share his New Year’s resolution and offer a sneak peak of his upcoming “Mobbed” series of specials.
For most of 2011, Keith experienced his usual excellent year: He was the highest-ranking country artist on Forbes’ roster of the World’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians, his U.S. and European tours were blockbusters, and his annual album release, “Clancy’s Tavern,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country album chart. The album’s first single, the flag-waving anthem “Made in America,” became one of the fastest-rising songs of his career as it bulleted to the top of the charts.
Overseas, the Norman resident embarked on his ninth United Service Organization Tour, and on the home front, he raised more than $650,000 for his Toby Keith Foundation at his eighth annual charity golf tournament and auction. Earlier this month, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority approved the foundation’s plans to build the $8.5 million OK Kids Korral at NE 8 and Laird, where it will provide lodging for families with children undergoing cancer treatment at nearby facilities such as The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.
The Clinton native opened several more of his I Love This Bar & Grill establishments, including new locations in Denver, Boston and Cincinnati, and successfully launched his own premium spirit brand, Toby Keith’s Wild Shot Mezcal.
But Keith’s fans will probably best remember 2011 as the year he toasted a familiar plastic beverage receptacle. Two months ago, he released online the music video for his raucous party anthem “Red Solo Cup,” and suddenly, Keith’s year became even more red-letter as the uproarious mini-movie went viral in a big way. Since its October release, the unedited version of the video has earned more than 7.7 million YouTube hits, and its popularity prompted Keith and his team to make it a single.
The top-15 hit has been covered on the cult favorite TV show “Glee” and spawned a holiday variation on the video, plus Keith performed it earlier this month on Fox’s American Country Awards after receiving the artist of the decade title as the country star with the most airplay over the past 10 years.
Keith has jokingly deemed “Red Solo Cup” “the most profound, intelligent thing I’ve ever done.”
“There’s nothing else out there like it, and it’s just one of those crazy things that happens sometimes in music,” Keith told The Oklahoman in a fall phone interview. “It’s just one of the craziest things we’ve ever done. And I’m having so much fun with it.”
Blake Shelton caps huge 2011 by playing Thackerville concert tonight, NBC’s New Year’s Eve show Saturday
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Blake Shelton looks to top breakout 2011 in coming year
BAM: The Oklahoma country star will play a sold-out home state show Friday at WinStar World Casino, followed by a national TV performance Saturday night on “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly.”
It’s hard to imagine Blake Shelton surpassing his chart-topping, award-winning, inroads-paving 2011.
But the way his New Year is looking so far, the Oklahoma country music star just might pull it off.
The Ada native will ring in 2012 with a national TV performance Saturday night on “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly,” airing at 9 p.m. Oklahoma time on the network home of the hit reality show “The Voice, which stars Shelton as a celebrity coach and Daly as its host.
Along with Shelton and Daly, the special will feature fellow “The Voice” celebrity coach Cee Lo Green, rapper Drake, British pop star Jessie J, hip-hop band The Roots and legendary crooner Tony Bennett.
Shelton also will close out 2011 closer to home: The Tishomingo resident will play a sold-out show Friday night at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville. The home state concert will be his last before he launches his hotly anticipated “Well Lit & Amplified Tour” headlining tour Jan. 12 in Toledo, Ohio.
On the cover of its Jan. 2 issue, Country Weekly magazine declares 2011 “The Year of Blake!,” while Billboard recently named Shelton one of the top country artists of 2011.
It’s not hard to figure out why. Although the innovative TV vocal competition “The Voice” was ostensibly intended to launch the career of a relative unknown, Shelton became the true breakout star of the surprise hit show.
“I really am having a lot of fun with it. I’m glad I did it. You know, being just a redneck from Oklahoma, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s a different world to step into that Hollywood spotlight and be on television once a week in front of that many people,” Shelton told me in a phone interview back in May during the show’s successful first-season run.
“I think ‘The Voice’ has set a couple of records for viewers, and however they spun it, it’s a lot of people watching. And it’s scary to be in that situation because you know my mouth, I’ve already got myself in trouble a few times just because I’m a redneck and I’m gonna tell you what I think and that’s never gonna change. I think that’s gonna be an adjustment for the network and producers and for me a little bit.”
But Shelton’s shoot-from-the-hip frankness made him a fan favorite on the series, which introduced the colorful Okie star to a whole new audience. As Billboard noted, he “may not have crossed over in the traditional sense, but he surely paved some pop culture inroads.”
Other highlights from Shelton’s 2011: He won a fistful of industry awards, including his second straight Country Music Association male vocalist of the year title; notched his fourth and fifth straight No. 1s on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, continuing a streak dating back to 2009; and saw his summer album “Red River Blue” debut atop both the country album list and the cross-genre Billboard 200.
Oh yeah, he also wed fellow country star and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert a star-studded ceremony back in May. He recorded his latest No. 1 hit, the earnest ballad “God Gave Me You,” in honor of her.
The chart-topper, penned by contemporary Christian singer Dave Barnes, recently earned a 2012 Grammy nomination for best country song, an award presented to songwriters. Shelton also garnered Grammy nods for best country album for “Red River Blue” and best country solo performance for the album’s first single “Honey Bee,” a multi-week No. 1 smash that set a record for the fastest-selling digital platinum single for a male country solo artist.
“It’s one thing to be acknowledged by the Grammy voters for one of your songs, but to have two songs nominated, and the album that they’re both off of, is an emotional experience. I may never have something like this in my career again and I’m darn well going to enjoy it!” Shelton said in a statement.
With the Grammys airing in February, his headlining gig at Wisconsin’s huge Country Thunder festival in July and his plans to set sail on a country music-themed cruise next October, Shelton’s stunning career momentum could continue into 2012, particularly with the refined second season of “The Voice” premiering Feb. 5 after what’s traditionally the biggest TV event of the year.
“We’re gonna make the Super Bowl look small,” Shelton recently told Billboard.
Get ready for another Year of Blake.
When: 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: WinStar World Casino, Interstate 35, Exit 1.
Tickets: Sold out.
Information: (800) 622-6317 or www.winstarworldcasino.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“Kung Fu Panda 2 Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy
With “Kung Fu Panda 2,” one of DreamWorks Animation’s most winning adventures gains a nimble successor as well as a canny setup for a third film.
As expected, the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster lands a strong one-two punch with its fists-of-fury action and uproarious if sometimes over-the-top comedy. Surprisingly, “Kung Fu Panda 2” also happens to be far more visually striking than it has to be. Director Jennifer Yuh and her talented team effectively transport viewers to ancient China and deftly use various animation styles to tell different parts of the storytelling.
In his second cinematic outing, loveable Po the panda (voiced by Jack Black, who reaffirms that he was perfectly cast) has achieved his dream of joining the Furious Five — Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen) and Crane (David Cross) — the famed kung fu-fighting protectors of the Valley of Peace. Although he is now a skilled warrior and leader of the band, Po is still a bit like the Five’s awkward younger brother with his pudgy physique, cuddly goofiness and hero-worshipping enthusiasm.
Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), who instructs Po and the Five, informs the panda that he won’t be a true kung fu master until he achieves inner peace, which for Po means delving into his mysterious origins. After all, his restaurateur dad, Mr. Ping (James Hong), is a goose who has been less than willing to discuss how he came to father a panda.
The secrets of Po’s puzzling past are painfully revealed when the villainous Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a crafty albino peacock, reemerges from exile leading a pack of vicious wolves and wielding a devastating secret weapon that threatens the very existence of kung fu.
“Kung Fu Panda 2” ups the ante in many ways, bringing Michelle Yeoh, Dennis Haysbert and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the A-list voice cast, boosting the intensity of the fight sequences and adding even bigger action set pieces. But the sequel makes its greatest strides artistically: The realism of the computer-animated action contrasts effectively with the clever flashbacks, which are done in a hand-drawn style, and the gorgeous prologue, which calls to mind ancient Chinese shadow puppets.
The best of the Blu-ray features is an interactive “animation inspiration” map that shows how different locales in the movie were inspired by actual Chinese landmarks. The Blu-ray also offers the options of playing the movie with a trivia track or “The Animators’ Corner,” which incorporates behind-the-scenes interviews and drawings.
Other bonus features include the fun new animated short “Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters,” an episode of the Nickelodeon series “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,” filmmakers commentary, deleted scenes, cast interviews, games and a Mandarin Chinese language lesson.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Casey Donahew Band “Double-Wide Dream” (Almost Country Records)
While I consider myself an ardent advocate of free speech and expression, I often wish I could ban country songwriters from certain overused phrases.
Heading that list of worn-out lyrics would be “I love that pretty little country girl,” an eyeroll-inducing line that seems to be experiencing unprecedented popularity as rural anthems extolling the virtues of down-home lifestyles and the women who thrive in them dominate the genre’s charts.
The insipid cliché makes yet another appearance in the chorus to the title track of the Casey Donahew Band’s “Double-Wide Dream,” and bland lyrics like it are the chief shortcoming of the popular Texas country sextet’s follow-up to its 2009 breakout album “Moving On.”
The band’s Burleson-born and bred frontman wrote or co-wrote all 10 tracks on “Double-Wide Dream,” but Donahew makes listeners wade through too much generic material to get to the stronger stuff, especially considering the album clocks in at less than 40 minutes. Still, those who slog through the blander tracks are rewarded with some engrossing songs, most notably the rollicking yarn “White Trash Story II (The Deuce),” another hillbilly ode enlivened with all sorts of intriguing imagery.
Similarly, Donahew and co-writer Aaron Copeland bring enough vivid details and genuine emotion to “Running Through My Head” and “Regrets” to set them apart from the usual maudlin breakup ballads.
When it comes to love songs, Donahew and Steve Rice, lead singer of Stillwater red dirt band No Justice, collaborate on a couple of keepers: “Lets Not Say Goodbye Again” makes palpable the relieved joy of a man grateful for reconciliation with his lady love, while “Give You a Ring” is less noteworthy for its play on words than for its protagonist’s unrestrained vulnerability.
The hard-touring band makes frequent jaunts to Oklahoma and will play Feb. 18 at the Diamond Ballroom. For more information, go to www.diamondballroom.net.
Today’s featured event:
EDMOND – Take a glide across the ice at the Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink at the Festival Market at First and Broadway.
Hours are noon to 10 p.m. daily through Tuesday; the rink will be open until 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
For more information, go to www.expressice.com/edmondok.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
We’re in the final days of 2011, and that means I’m winding down my “13 Days of Oklahoma Music,” a video series looking back at musical milestones reached by recording artists with state ties in the year almost past.
Country music star and Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert continued to build on the momentum established with her 2009 album “Revolution.” In February, she won her first Grammy for “The House That Built Me,” her heartfelt ode to going home again from “Revolution.”
She not only was among the honorees during the Academy of Country Music’s “Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country,” but she also announced during the TV special that she was launching a side project: an all-girl trio with fellow singer-songwriters Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley called the Pistol Annies. In August, the trio released its debut album, “Hell on Heels,” and to the surprise of industry experts, it debuted at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart.
In November, her fourth solo album, “Four the Record,” also bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart, making Lambert the first country artist in the 47-year history of the chart to have each of her first four albums debut in the top spot. “Four the Record” premiered at No 3 on the cross-genre Billboard 200.
Also in November, the Texas native earned her second straight female vocalist of the year title from the Country Music Association.
Oh yeah, she also wed fellow country star and Tishomingo resident Blake Shelton at a star-studded ceremony back in May.
Check out the Pistol Annies’ video for their hit first single “Hell on Heels” and “Baggage Claim,” her top-five lead-off single from “Four the Record.”
The members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists – which includes yours truly – have announced the nominees for our 2011 EDA Awards. The final winners will be announced Jan. 10.
EDA stands for Excellent Dynamic Activism. This year, the EDA Awards include the standard best-of categories and AWFJ’s unique Female Focus Awards in which we honor the year’s outstanding achievements by women working in film – and have some fun pointing out which actress is most in need of a new agent, which actress or actor gave the bravest performance, and what were the most memorable and most shameful film moments of 2011.
Here are the nominees:
Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen – Midnight In Paris
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Terrence Malick – Tree of Life
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Best Screenplay, Original
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
Beginners – Mike Mills
Bridesmaids – Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo
Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
Win Win – Thomas McCarthy
Best Screenplay, Adapted
The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Jim Rash and Nat Faxon
Hugo – John Logan
Moneyball – Steven Zallian and Aaron Sorkin
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan
We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsey and Rory Kinnear
Bill Cunningham New York
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin
Viola Davis – Abileen Clark in The Help
Kirsten Dunst – Justine in Melancholia
Meryl Streep – Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – Eva Khatchadourian in We Need To Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams – Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Bernice Bejo – Peppy Miller in The Artist
Jessica Chastain – Celia Foote in The Help
Janet McTeer – Hubert Page in Albert Nobbs
Carey Mulligan – Sissy Sullivan in Shame
Octavia Spencer – Minny Jackson in The Help
George Clooney – Matt King in The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – George Valentin in The Artist
Michael Fassbinder – Brandon Sullivan in Shame
Brad Pitt – Billy Beane in Moneyball
Michael Shannon – Curtis in Take Shelter
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Brannagh – Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks – Bernie Rose in Drive
Christopher Plummer – Hal Fields in Beginners
Alan Rickman – Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Andy Serkis – Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Best Ensemble Cast
Midnight In Paris
The Artist – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo – Thelma Schoonmaker
Tree of Life – Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa
War Horse – Michael Kahn
The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman
Hugo – Robert Richardson
Melancholia – Manuel Alberto Claro
Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse – Janusz Kaminski
Best Film Music Or Score
The Artist – Ludovic Bource, Original Score
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Original Score
Hanna – The Chemical Brothers, Original Score
Best Non-English-Language Film:
Le Havre – Aki Kaurismaki, Finland/France
Pina – Wim Wenders, Germany
A Separation – Ashgar FarhadI, Iran
The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodovar, Spain
Trollhunter – André Øvredal, Norway