Country music fans know that it’s one of life’s great pleasures to hear Porter Wagoner bounce his way through a shuffle or crawl his way through a ballad. The lanky singer, who died yesterday in Nashville at the age of 80, could be a chilling vocalist regardless of of the style. Wagoner is known for being one of the most dapper entertainers in country music – onstage he often sported one of the exotic suits designed by the famed designer Nudie Cohen. He’s also the bandleader who brought Dolly Parton out of Eastern Tennessee obscurity in the late ’60s. Earlier this year, after a lifetime of hits, he cut a gorgeous new disc of hardcore country tunes; it was produced by Marty Stewart, shown with Porter in the picture above.
The Vegas desert vanished as the American Idol-esque circular stage became the spot on which 12 groups romped their way through Bob Dylan songs on Friday night. The Next Great American Band is off and running, and if you can believe it, none of the participants truly stinks.
Does that make for boring TV? A little bit. But there was enough novelty in the air during the two-hour escapade to keep an ear open. The blond bass player from Tres Bien gave some dubiously inspirational words to kick off the Zimmy fest: “Playing a song by someone who is so intellectual isn’t a challenge, it’s an honor!” Their version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was bubbly and ’60s enough to make you fantasize about Freddy and the Dreamers being the backup band on Bringing It All Back Home.
Here are some highs and lows. Which groups are getting kicked off this week? Weigh in.
THE IRRITATING BITS:
Denver‘s hokey choice of a modern zoot suit, as well as his non-ironic Paul Shaffer shtick (Dicko: “take that clown suit on a one way trip to the charity shop.”)
Johnny Rzeznik saying that some bands need to be more original, when his own Goo Goo Dolls started off as a a virtual Replacements tribute group.
Sheila E. declaring that Franklin Bridge would win the entire series, and then changing her mind when Sixwire did their peaceful easy feeling take on “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
By all accounts this kid appears to be just another adorable baby internet star who loves doing cute things like jamming to Prince while pushing a stroller on tape. Turns out he’s at the heart of a music copyright controversy after The Artist Currently Known as Lame freaked out and had his music label force YouTube to take down all videos featuring his tunes. Stephanie Lenz, mother of the little guy in question, fought back – and got her video (which had only been viewed by twenty-eight people when it was removed in June) back on the web, and she’s now suing Universal Music Publishing Group, Prince’s label. Apparently the tiny singer “scours the Internet” searching for videos that use his music, and Lenz’s clip was one of many that Prince personally requested to be taken down. Doesn’t this guy have better things to do? Perhaps a sequel to Purple Rain or a romp in the millions of dollars that he surely keeps stocked in the pool in his backyard? [ABC News]
Britney Spears, Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, and Hugh Hefner all made it out to Tompkins Square Park in NYC yesterday for their 17th Annual Halloween Dog Parade. Their glamorous lifestyles sure have taken a toll on their appearances.
Are you dressing up your favorite pets this Halloween? If you’re turning a mutt into a celeb send us photos! We’ll add the best submissions to this post as they are received. Shoot a JPEG to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever watched paint dry? It’s almost as exciting as Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson‘s recent chat as part of MySpace’s Artist on Artist series. Topics covered: India, monkeys, malaria, Texas, special effects. Topics not covered: Owen Wilson’s wrist-slitting suicide attempt. It’s not like we’re hungry for scandalous, salacious drama (this is a lie – we totes are), but this interview was touted as the first time Owen would be speaking out following his suicide attempt! You totally thought he’d at least mention his sh*tty summer, right? And it’s not that we don’t care about whether or not the guy took his malaria pills in India – we SO do. It’s just that it would have been way more exciting to hear about the juicy stuff that peaks our morbid curiosity. Check out the chat and let us know what you think – were you enthralled or bored out of your mind?
Over the weekend, The New York Times brought to our attention that the word “vajayjay” has made its way into mainstream culture through the nurturing help of a 2006 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Oprah Winfrey and network censors who are unsure if “vagina” is an appropriate term to broadcast over the airwaves. (Here’s a hint: If roughly half the population has one, it’s probably OK.) Sounds complicated, sure, but apparently that’s how things work these days. That got us to thinking about other terms that stand-in for genitals and the work our public figures do to promote them.
Movie premieres, awards shows, benefit concerts, and plain old clubbin’ – even though most of us are at home, the beautiful peeps are living it up somewhere. About Last Night puts you in touch with all the action.
Teri Hatcher, Rumer Willis, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Elvira (naturally) arrived in costume to Dream Halloween, an annual fundraiser benefiting the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.
Ellen Degeneres, Portia de Rossi, Christina Ricci, Kanye West, Kerry Washington, Dita Von Teese, Naomi Campbell, Ryan Seacrest, Rachel Zoe, Cindy Crawford, and Linda Evangelista were among those at the Takashi Murakami event honoring Marc Jacobs.
“Eat it, lick it, snort it, f*ck it.” Those are the words of Britney Spears, who hooted the tasteful statement at reporters on Friday when asked in the courthouse how her custody hearing was going. Her provocative response offered great insight into how she’s doing — you just need to dig a little deeper into her words to understand her thoughts. Here’s what Brit was trying to tell us:
Eat it: Ohhhhh — we get it. The singer is pissed off at K-Fed’s girlfriend for revealing that her ex freaked when she would guzzle vodka drinks and then breastfeed their boys. Alcohol has nutrients, ya’ll! She was just trying to keep those kids healthy.
Lick it: Britney has a new boy toy — football star Tony Romo — and she wanted us to know what kind of kinky things they may or may not be up too! The two hung out and partied together Friday night after her hearing, toasting Britney’s earlier tears.
Snort it: No, she’s not talking about cocaine! She’d be like, wayyy more obvious about it if she was. She’s trying to tell us how much she was crying during her court hearing on Friday — and not because she may not get her kids back. Brit was just upset that no matter what she did, she couldn’t get her hair and sunglasses to look good!
F*ck it: In this case, Britney means what she says. Eff this crap with her kids — she just wants to party! Chances are when the judge’s ruling comes back this week (presumably in favor of the Fedster), she’ll finally get a chance to celebrate her new life as a single woman. Baby bottles of vodka for everyone! [Image: Getty]
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