On last night’s American Idol, the songs sung by the top nine weren’t necessarily hits of this week’s celebrity mentor Tony Bennett. They weren’t even technically all standards, the genre for which Bennett’s known best. Basically, the song choices could be summed up simply as "old." Considering that Mr. Bennett will turn 81 this year, "old" was sort of the theme for the evening.
Blake Lewis kicked it all off with "Mack the Knife." Maybe it’s because popular versions of this song are sung by Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darrin — who each lent their own smooth, cool, effortless air to it — that its violent lyrics are generally ignored. It was cute when Mr. Bennett told Blake during their mentoring session that although "Mack the Knife" is "pre-rap," it’s still really "gangsta." The assumption was the he was being a cute old man, trying to relate to Blake in language that the younger man would understand. But it turns out that Tony was totally right. That song is straight-up gangsta! It’s about a crazy murderer. And as much as I hate to admit it, Blake killed with it. It was really nice to see a performance in which he wasn’t beat boxing, although he still worked in his stupid RLS dance style.
You heard it here first — Bam Margera is set to host this year’s VH1’s Rock Honors show in Las Vegas. Airing on May 24th, just in time to buoy you through your long weekend, the Jackass mainstay and star of Bam’s Unholy Union will introduce to the stage this year’s honorees: the lovely ladies of Heart, the sharp-dressed men of ZZ Top, the crazy train that is Ozzy Osbourne and the no-jacket-required stylings of Genesis.
The two-hour extravaganza will also feature contemporary artists paying tribute to these legends of rock, including Nickelback, Gretchen Wilson and Keane. It’s set to blow the roof off the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. If you don’t believe us, you don’t know Bam. For more info, videos and a chance to win a trip to see the show in-person, go to VH1’s 2007 rock honors page.
A video of Lilith Fair staple Alanis Morissette doing her best Fergie impression showed up on YouTube this morning. The singer, known for her crunchy outlook, morphed the absurdist club banger "My Humps" by ubiquitous quartet Black Eyed Peas into a haunting piano dirge. Then made a video complete with booty shorts, head butts and plenty of ice. For real.
From the Department of Odd Pairings: King of Mope Robert Smith has teamed up with pop singer Ashlee Simpson to work on her next record, according to Ash’s not-at-all over-bearing dad/manager Joe. Excited? You’re not alone — rumored Ashlee paramour (and Cure fan boy) Pete Wentz told EW, "I doubt I had anything to do with it…But I definitely only have good things to say about Ash — I think the collaboration could be great!" Could "Pictures of You [In Us Weekly]" be far off?
Which is the better collab: Ash and Pete or Ash and Robert Smith?
Photos: Ashlee Simpson
Enviably pelted woodland creatures, PETA and Diddy’s babymama — J. Lo can now add Spanish-language record company Ritmo Latin to her list of sworn enemies. Ritmo has announced that its 50 stores in the New York area are boycotting Lopez’s latest, the Spanish-language Como Ama Una Mujer. Jenny from the Block recently returned to her Bronx hood to promote it offering select fans the opportunity to meet her at FYE. The fact that Lopez chose an "Anglo" store at which to promote her record enraged Ritmo President David Massry. "This is a Spanish-language CD, and if she wants to discriminate against the Latin community, then we will not sell her product," said Massry.
As if there wasn’t enough to look forward to with the upcoming Spiderman 3 — Topher Grace, a more realistically complex Spiderman character — Record Collector has announced the soundtrack, a smorgasbord of indie fare. In addition to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wolfmother and the Walkmen, there’s the awesomely titled "Spiderman vs. Muhammad Ali" by the Flaming Lips. All songs are "new and exclusive" to the soundtrack according to the Record Collector site, though Chubby Checker’s 1960 hit "The Twist" is included. In keeping with the indie-fying of the soundtrack, maybe Checker’s song underwent a DFA remix, available only on 180 gram vinyl.
This isn’t the first time the indie cognoscenti have rallied around Spiderman — punk forefathers the Ramones‘ recorded a version of the theme song.
Vivica Fox Busted on DUI
The actress failed a sobriety test after speeding past a cop. [Yahoo!]
Tennessee Disses Timberlake
Maybe his "Dick In A Box" on YouTube peeved Republican senators. [MSN]
Jay-Z Loses $1000 Gambling on ‘Comeback’
Hova delivered 10 crisp $100 bills to journalist Rob Tannenbaum. [New York Post]
Swimsuit Latifah Flips Paparazzi The Bird
Spotted swimming in Maui, the Queen had a smile as she told the cameras to get lost. [The Superficial]
Another Naomi Cell Phone Controversy
This time, a sanitation worker got into trouble for sneaking a pic of the model with his camera phone. [TMZ]
Size Matters: Paula Calls Simon "Small Ben"
Paula seems to be highly educated on his private parts. Hmmm. [New York Post]
Pam & the Kids: Hit the Road Jack
The Baywatch bombshell has had enough of the men in her life. [E! Online]
News Station Broadcasts 30 Seconds of Porn
Employee fired for "an intolerable act of human sabotage." [MSN]
Mom Says Princess Lindsay Is Like Princess Di
If the paparazzi keeps chasing La Lohan, tragedy may follow. [New York Post]
"Talent" Wants to Dump Brandy for Sharon Osbourne
Overwhelmed by Brandy’s negative publicity, NBC is looking for a replacement. [Televisionary]
Chance displayed his sensitive side in Episode 9, crying like a baby when New York sent his brother Real packing. But it didn’t take long for the bad boy to rebound: "Does Tango have something to worry about?" he asked. "Man, when the tears start flowin’, blood starts shedding." What does Chance need to do to win it all? Comment below.
Real was devastated when he got the axe in Episode 9. "I ain’t cried like that since I was a baby," he said. Could Real have done any better? Did he have a chance to win New York’s heart? Send him your thoughts.