Entertainment behind the scenes
Ahhh, summer is coming in North America, and that means summer festivals, concerts and numerous chances for music fans to take advantage of good weather and splurge their hard-earned dollars on watching their favorite singing stars. So who comes out on top as the most popular to see, as judged by ticket scalpers? Red hot Lady Gaga? Cool teen Justin Bieber?
Well, the pop stars’ egos might be bruised to learn that, not only is the Lady low on the list, Bieber’s not even there. Rather, sports stars are the tops, according to a Forbes.com survey of the highest-selling tickets offered by scalpers on website stubhub.com. Read the Forbes list here.
At No. 1 is game five of the NBA Finals pitting the Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers with front-row seats selling for $7,700. It is followed by the men’s semifinal round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament ($4,286), and next comes a seat near the dugout of Major League Baseball’s All Star game ($3,000).
Lady Gaga landed at No. 10 for a front row seat at her Monster Ball tour’s show in Los Angeles. She wasn’t the only music star on the list, but those making it were not young singers idolized by teen fans. In keeping with a relatively recent trend in concerts, the really expensive re-sale tickets go to older fans and “classic” bands. That fact held fast for Canadian band Rush, who have been on the comeback trail recently and even saw a documentary about them play at the Tribeca Film Festival. They landed at No. 9 with a Row A seat for an August show Las Vegas ($1,667), and at No. 5 is a third row Madison Square Garden seat for a James Taylor/Carole King show ($2,001)
Should all religions be taboo when it comes to comedy and satire?
Comedy Central — the same TV network that managed to both anger and bow to Muslim sensibilities in April by airing and later censoring a “South Park” episode portraying the Prophet Mohammad — is now at the center of a pre-emptive storm over plans to develop a comedy show about Jesus.
A new coalition of family and religious groups Citizens Against Religious Bigotry has called on Comedy Central not to air the animated series “JC” and asked advertisers to refuse to sponsor it.
from Photographers' Blog:
This portrait session came about because our entertainment reporter, Christine Kearney, noticed that one of the several PR pitches that came across her desk was a small event where Justin Bieber was going to give the winner of a contest a bouquet of flowers. Normally this isn't a story that we would be interested in because it doesn't have anything to do with any "larger picture" type of story. However, because it was Bieber, Christine decided she would ask for a few minutes to interview him. One of the hardest things for us to do is gain access because a lot of musicians, actors, or television personalities have very specific images that they want to project so access can be incredibly tight. This restriction to access can make my job difficult because as a photographer I would love the opportunity to document what these public figures lives are like on a day to day basis. The next best thing for me to get is a little one on one time with whoever allows it. Luckily, the PR officer said yes to both the request for a private interview and a quick portrait session, as long as I was low key and quick.
It was a hot day and hauling a large rolling suitcase around with a single set of strobes, along with my backpack full of camera equipment, was enough to make sure that I was panting by the time Christine and I arrived at a small non-descript flower shop in Lower Manhattan. As we walked in I was surprised to see only about a dozen people inside, a couple of television cameras, and one other still photographer. At most events where a celebrity as popular as Justin Bieber is attending there are dozens of photographers and television cameras. I was heartened to see that it would be a much smaller crowd for this. The woman organizing the event told me I could set up my lights in the back while a television station interviewed Justin. Once that was finished Christine could interview him while I moved my lights to the front of the shop where Bieber had to remain seated. I have to admit, I wish all of my portrait shoots could take place in flower shops because it was a welcome break from the usual portrait venue of a hotel room. Not only was the air conditioning on high but it smelled nice and flowery. I think this put everyone at ease as I didn't have any issues whatsoever setting up my lights, moving them to the front room through a small crowd, or shooting a quick portrait.
Loser. Double Loser.
Turns out Crystal Bowersox, the “American Idol” season front-runner, lost more than the coveted title this week.
On the morning of Tuesday night’s performance finale, Bowersox and her boyfriend split up and he headed back to their Toledo, Ohio hometown as she prepared for the biggest night of her life.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Eric Gaillard, Vincent Kessler, Jean-Paul Pelissier, Yves Herman and Christian Hartmann
Each year in May dozens of stars and photographers converge on the French Riviera at Cannes to attend what is recognized as the biggest film festival in the world. Since 1985, a Reuters Pictures team has taken part in the extravaganza.
Singer Bret Michaels made a surprise appearance on “American Idol” on Wednesday to perform his signature song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” after spending the past few weeks recovering from a potentially fatal brain hemorrhage, a mini-stroke and learning that he has a hole in his heart.
The frontman for the glam band Poison said that he tried to keep his guest role on “Idol,” during which he sang with former contestant Casey James, under wraps. It was his first live gig since suffering a series of medical emergencies in April.
The bold PR exec Samantha, portrayed by actress Kim Cattrall, is shown multitasking in ther Times Square office — on the phone with a client and working on her Hewlett-Packard computer with one hand, and applying a hormonal cream to her menopausal self with the other.
Lady Gaga’s presence was stamped all over Fox’s “Glee” Tuesday night as the kids of New Directions explored their self-identity.
This week, Finn Hudson was caught in a bad bromance with Gleemate Kurt Hummel. It was a bad day for Finn as his homophobic prejudices toward Kurt surfaced upon hearing that he and his mother would be moving in with the Hummels and that he’d be sharing a room with Kurt, who has had a not-so-secret crush on him all year. Finn learned his lesson though after a lecture from Dad and came to Kurt’s defense (wrapped in a signature Gaga red rubber dress) just as Kurt was about to get a beating by football bullies who were not down with the Glee club’s new look: “If you want to switch it up, go from Gap to Banana Republic.”
Score one for Mamasox.
The “American Idol” judges on Tuesday all but crowned Crystal Bowersox as the next “American Idol,” making it clear they loved just about everything she did in her final three performances, while they subjected her rival Lee DeWyze to nothing more than lukewarm praise.
But “Idol” voters are known for bucking the judgment of Randy, Ellen, Kara and Simon, so could this too be one of those nights? Will single mom Crystal take the “Idol” crown and start on the path trod by fellow Ohioans Chrissie Hynde, Macy Gray and Tracy Chapman on her way to pop stardom?
Ann and Nancy Wilson, the pioneering duo behind Seattle rock band Heart, have taken time out from their busy touring and family schedules to record the group’s first album in six years. “Red Velvet Car,” which comes out on Aug. 31 through Sony’s Legacy Recordings division, is the follow-up to 2006′s “Jupiter’s Darling,” which quickly disappeared after being under-promoted by now-defunct label Sovereign Records.
The sisters (Nancy, 56, at left; Ann, 59, right) previewed three songs from the new album, dusted off the hits “Crazy On You” and “Barracuda,” and shared anecdotes about their career during a Q&A session at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Monday.
They collaborated on the album with Heart guitarist Craig Bartok, and also brought in k.d. lang’s songwriting partner Ben Mink to co-write songs, play on and co-produce the album with them. They described it as an autobiographical project, and Ann said the process was “was pretty darn easy.”
The title track, she said, is “about that night when maybe you’ve hit bottom or you’re stuck some place out in the rain, and you have no recourse but to get on the phone and call your best friend and say, ‘Help! Come get me!’ And the person comes, in a red velvet car.
“That type of thing is what we’re dealing with on this record,” she added. ”There aren’t a bunch of real lacy, lily love songs on this record.”
Another song, “Sand,” was inspired by Ann’s gardener who died of AIDS, and asked that his ashes be scattered in her garden. She duly complied. “Hey You” is a love song 10 years in the making to Nancy’s husband, director Cameron Crowe. Ann’s 19-year-old daughter, Marie, with whom her mother has had a difficult relationship in recent years, is the object of “There You Go Again.” “She will not conform,” Nancy said with a hint of irony.
“As a parent now I can say that the scariest thing is to watch your kids float, to not really know what they wanna do,” Ann said a little later. “To be 18, 19, 20 and still feeling like, … ‘I don’t wanna do anything except smoke dope.’ We were just focused, you know-”
“-Even though we smoked dope,” Nancy interrupted to big laughs.