Friday, November 21, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Big Eyes...




Lana Del Rey has recorded two new tracks for the upcoming Tim Burton movie Big Eyes.

The singer will release title track 'Big Eyes' and 'I Can Fly' as part of the soundtrack for the film, The Hollywood Reporter states that Big Eyes follows the story of American artist Margaret Keane, whose paintings were falsely credited to her husband.

Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams star in the biographical drama as Walter and Margaret Keane, who were involved in one of art history's biggest hoaxes. Danny Huston, Terence Stamp, Jason Schwartzman and Krysten Ritter have supporting roles in the film.

"Lana's song expresses what Margaret is feeling so perfectly, it's like a soliloquy of her inner thoughts," said producer and co-writer Larry Karaszewski."Tim showed her the film and she fell in love with it. Women in particular seem to get the movie, and Lana really got the movie."

Big Eyes opens on Christmas Day (December 25) in the US and on December 26 in the UK.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sleepwalker...



Here is the Sleepwalker film, shown on Kylie Minogue's Kiss Me Once Tour.



(thanks to the wonderful ShineOnAndOn)

The Girl Is BACK!...



Bette Midler confirms UK 2015 tour! Birmingham, London, Leeds, Glasgow dates

Bette Midler has confirmed that she will return to British stages for the first time in 35 years. Her new tour, The Divine Miss M will see tickets going on sale this Friday, 21-November and fans who purchase their tickets online may also able to add a copy of Bette Midler’s new album “It’s The Girls!” to their transaction.

The tour follows Bette Midler’s previously announced North American tour and will feature material from her iconic career and material from her new album, “It’s The Girls!” – a glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages. “It’s The Girls!” features the swinging sounds of WWII-era Andrews Sisters, to 60’s super-groups like the Supremes and the Shirelles, to 90’s hit makers TLC.The album is out now on Warner Music UK.

“It’s The Girls!” reunites Bette Midler with long-time collaborator and Award-winning composer Marc Shaiman who produced the album, along with Scott M. Riesett. The album effortlessly showcases Midler’s distinctive and versatile vocal range while honoring timeless classic melodic harmonies.

One of the world’s best-loved and most versatile entertainers, Bette Midler has garnered accolades in all quarters of show business. She’s earned four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year (1989: Wind Beneath My Wings; 1990: From A Distance) and Record of the Year (1989: Wind Beneath My Wings); two Academy Award nominations, three Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and nine American Comedy Awards. Bette Midler has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Tickets for Bette Midler’s UK performances will go on sale Friday, 21-November at 9:00 am. Tickets starting at £50 (£56 in London) will be available from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk. Fans who purchase their tickets online may also able to add a copy of Bette Midler’s new album “It’s The Girls!” to their transaction.


Bette Midler – July 2015

Thursday 9th Barclaycard Arena Birmingham
Saturday 11th Manchester Arena
Monday 13th The SSE Hydro Glasgow
Wednesday 15th first direct arena Leeds
Saturday 18th The O2 London

With her new album IT’S THE GIRLS debuting at No. 3, Bette Midler can now mark her fifth consecutive decade of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. According to Billboard, she is only the second woman to do so, after Barbra Streisand.

IT’S THE GIRLS is Midler’s second-highest charting album ever; the 1989 soundtrack to BEACHES (with all-Midler tunes, including “Wind Beneath My Wings“) reached No. 2.

Before that, her 1972 debut album THE DIVINE MISS M hit No. 9, followed by her No. 6 self-titled album in 1974 and SOME PEOPLE’S LIVES in 1991, and finally BETTE MIDLER SINGS THE PEGGY LEE SONGBOOK, which peaked at No. 10 in 2005.


Midler’s tribute to girl groups — which features covers of such tunes as TLC’s “Waterfalls” and The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” — bows with 40,000 sold. The Warner Bros. Records release is Midler’s highest debut ever. It’s the Girls is Midler’s first album since 2008’s greatest hits set Jackpot! The Best Bette, and first album of new material since the 2006 Christmas effort Cool Yule.

Midler also recently announced on her official site that she will be touring the country beginning May 2015 in support of the new solo recording.

The actress finished her Broadway run of I’LL EAT YOU LAST this spring, starring as the legendary Hollywood agent Mengers in her first Broadway appearance in almost 40 years. Written by John Logan, I’LL EAT YOU LAST was directed on Broadway by Joe Mantello.

Midler began her legendary career as an entertainer in 1965, in New York, where she developed the trademark act that would make her one of the most renowned talents of her generation. Her debut album, 1972’s The Divine Miss M set her on the path that has led her to earn Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations in a career that has spanned over 40 years. She has toured the world, sold millions of albums, published two books and appeared in over two dozen films, including The Rose, Beaches, Ruthless People, Hocus Pocus, First Wives Club and For The Boys.



It's The Girls was released yesterday in the UK on both CD and LP (note that the US Target version of the CD has two bonus tracks, which is of course the version I bought). And there is also this lovely 7" single:



Here are her recent/upcoming UK promo apperances:

*The Divine Miss M - documentary (watch here)

* One Night Only: Bette Midler TV Special (Filmed November 16th…to air in December on ITV)

* The One Show – Tuesday, November 17th

* Loose Women – November 19, 2014

* Alan Carr-Chatty Man – November 21, 2014

* Moira Stuart ‘But Beautiful’ Radio Show, November 23rd

She will also appear on the Royal Variety Show in December, singing "Be My Baby".

Here are some of her recent US TV apperances:



Divine Intervention: Bette Midler Talks Early Gay Support, ‘Diva’ Degradation & Twerking (‘Girls, Please’)

‘If Your Panties Fall Down … Step Out Of Them & Keep On Singing’
BY CHRIS AZZOPARDI

Originally printed 11/13/2014 (Issue 2246 – Between The Lines News)

Before the whole world knew her as “The Divine Miss M,” Bette Milder was ours. In the early ’70s, bawdy, belt-y Bette was performing for the NYC bathhouse boys, and don’t think she’s forgotten it, either. “I mean, if I had a nickel for everybody that said they saw me at the baths,” says Midler in our recent interview, “I would be Joe Billionaire by now!”

Midler would go on to global fame, reaching beyond music to become a celebrated name in film, television and on the stage, winning Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmys and a special Tony Award. And now, the eagerly awaited return of one of show business’s most versatile performers has arrived with the release of her first album in eight years, “It’s the Girls,” a tribute to some of the greatest female harmonies in history.

Midler talked about the anticipated tour she’s about to launch in support of this latest effort – and the truck full of hairpieces she’s schlepping along (“Cher has 55 wigs; why can’t I?!”). She also touched on her early support of the LGBT community, the degradation of the word “diva” and her plan to avenge Mae West for sending her a cease and desist.

You know how much we gays love our girls. How much do you keep your gay following in mind when you make music, particularly with “It’s The Girls”?

To tell you the truth, it really didn’t cross my mind. The music I chose is music I had a lot of affection for. Some of these songs I’ve known since I was a little girl. I feel like if I have a strong feeling for this music, people will also have a strong feeling for it. The truth is, you cannot pander. You have to go with your gut and your heart and be true to yourself, and hope that people like it. They generally do.

You were welcoming to the gay community at a time when many weren’t. When you look back at your early support for the LGBT community, what do you recall as being the moment that galvanized you to stand up as an ally?

I had been in the theater for a long time, from the time I was a young person, and I’d always known gay people – and they were just, like, gay people! Just ordinary friends. People that you knew, and that you never thought twice about. You didn’t think of them as being different, although looking back on my high school years, I think there were a lot of people in my high school – this is so many years ago; this is 50 years ago – who probably were gay and didn’t ever talk about it. As a matter of fact, one of the kids that I went to school with, an enormously popular guy – really funny, really wonderful – who was in my Latin class, wrote me before he passed away from AIDS to tell me that he had been gay and that he had contracted AIDS.

So, I mean, what was the moment when I said that it was time to stand up? Oh my god – it never occurred to me not to. These were friends of mine – people that I had worked with, people that I had danced with, people I had broken bread with my whole life – so it never occurred to me not to. You do what you do because there’s nothing else to do. There’s no other option.

But to stand up for people who were seen as pariahs – that was taboo then. Did you experience any backlash for supporting gay people at the time?

You know, I might have, but I was very well-protected in those days. I actually did not feel it. I remember the first big benefit that anyone had done for gay rights (“A Star Spangled Night for Rights” in 1977). I remember the poster, and it was at the Hollywood Bowl. Lily (Tomlin), Richard Pryor and Tom Waits were on the program, but nobody ever said LGBT then. That didn’t exist.

So that night, Tom Waits sang “Standin’ on the Corner” and then Richard Pryor came out and Richard Pryor started off great. I don’t even know if this is in your history books or anything, but he started off great and then worked himself up into a real frenzy as only he could. He said that the gay community had never supported civil rights and, “Where were you when we were riding and they were kicking us to the curb and we were being fire hosed?” Then he said, “You all can kiss my rich, black ass!” and he stomped off the stage. And I had to follow him! I mean, I’m just stripping it bare, but imagine what happened. So I went out and said, “You all can kiss my rich, white ass,” and of course then everything was much better, but it was such a curious evening.

I think Stonewall, in the middle ’60s, was the first time (the gay community) fought back, but, you know, in history everyone says “I was there.” I mean, if I had a nickel for everybody that said they saw me at the baths, I would be Joe Billionaire by now! I would be playing at Madison Square Garden instead of a rickety-tickety little bathhouse on 73rd Street! OK, let’s move on. I really do think that this big fundraiser in the late ’70s was a little shot across the bow too, and then not long after that, in the middle ’80s, AIDS came down and it was so horrible and, even though he knew so many gay people, Ronald Reagan did nothing. Nothing!

Right – he wouldn’t even publicly acknowledge it was an issue until years later. And hey, Bette, I don’t mean to cut you off, but we’re on a time limit.

Oh! I’m sorry. I’m waxing poetic. Anyway, enough about you; let’s talk about me.

If a gay fan approaches you, which of your projects would they most likely mention?

You wanna know the truth? “Hocus Pocus.” Honestly, I cannot believe what happened with “Hocus Pocus.” I’m just dumbfounded by the number of people who mention “Hocus Pocus” – and they’re young people!

Was your Halloween costume from this year – when you went as your “Hocus Pocus” character, Winifred Sanderson – the closest we’ll ever get to a sequel?

I tell them all you must write the Walt Disney Company because I don’t have anything to say about it – but they do! (To contact Walt Disney, head here.)

But you’d be up for it?

Oh yeah. The girls and I have talked about it, and we all laugh and say, “Yeah, we’ll wait for that phone call.” But sure, we would all do it. We had a wonderful time.

“It’s the Girls” celebrates and honors female performers who branded a very particular image. I mean, they definitely were not twerking.

Ugh. I don’t know what to tell you. I just saw that Jennifer Lopez video with Iggy Azalea – “Booty booty booty…” – and oh, girls, please! What can you say? Girls… please.

How do you compare the girl groups from the era you’re channeling to what you’re seeing now?

It was a really wholesome era in retrospect. It was sexy, but it was not blatant. It was intriguing and it was mysterious because it wasn’t flat out in your face. It was also supremely elegant. You know, I talk about this with my girlfriend Toni Basil, another gay icon: Those voices, the black voices, were not familiar to white ears. They simply never heard those voices singing harmony before. You never really heard those really strong, vibrant black girls singing until The Shirelles, The Crystals, The Chiffons, and then the Motown girls, and the girls who came after: Sister Sledge, the Emotions and down the line. The Honeycombs? Is there a group called The Honeycombs? I personally wanted to cover (the Weather Girls‘) “Two Tons o’ Fun” but everyone said, “No, no, you can’t cut that,” so I didn’t.

You cover TLC’s ’90s pop hit “Waterfalls,” which famously dealt with HIV/AIDS and safe sex. What significance does that song have for you?

The first time I heard it I was really struck by it because it seemed like such an important song. To me, it was one of the saddest songs I’d ever heard on pop radio. So, I wanted to do a stripped-down version of it because I really wanted the story to be clear. I had thought about it for a long time, and when I first heard it, I was so moved by it. I shed a tear myself, and I always use that as a kind of litmus test. If it really moves me, I can bring something to it; I can make it my own.

What about the song in particular hit you? Did you know the original song was inspired by the AIDS-stricken and promoted safe sex?

I do remember that, but it was a dance song. It was for the dance halls. It was for the discos, and yet it really is a song about the mother who can’t do anything, who’s completely helpless in the face of this. I felt that, and that’s the way I wanted to interpret it. I think it worked out wonderfully.

You’ve been a self-proclaimed diva. In fact, your 1997 HBO special was called “Diva Las Vegas,” and during your Las Vegas spectacle at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, “The Showgirl Must Go On,” you said you were the “People’s Diva.” At this point, has the meaning of the word “diva” changed so much that you no longer identify with it?

It’s a word that is just so overused that it’s really lost all currency. It no longer has any meaning at all. Any old slob on the Internet can say, “Well, I’m a ‘diva,'” and have some people believing it, but not me. In the old, old, old, old days – you know, during the Civil War when I was just a child – it meant “the star.” It was an opera term, and it meant a female opera singer who really could carry the whole opera, and it has been so degraded now. It’s a shame because it really was a wonderful word.

What does “diva” mean to you now?

It means nothing. It has absolutely no meaning at all. “Divine” still has meaning because there’s still a church, but “diva” has absolutely no meaning at all.

When you hit the road for your first tour in 10 years, how many wigs are you bringing along with you?

Oh my god – I have a truck! I have a whole truck. Well, Cher always does. Cher has 55 wigs; why can’t I? To tell you the truth, I have been wearing wigs since, let’s see, the very, very old days. Since I first started making motion pictures – movies! – I’ve always worn wigs. Always, always, always. It really does spare you. It really is a time-saver, and I really enjoy them. And I love makeup and hair. I just love it, love it, love it! I love becoming somebody that I’m not. As they used to say about Mae West: “A little old lady used to come in onto the set and go into the trailer, and four hours later Mae West would come out.” It’s really kind of like that.

A lot of drag queens would agree with you and Mae. What advice do you have for a guy who wants to dress in Bette drag?

A good pair of shoes – a really good pair of shoes – because you’ll really hurt yourself. You’ll hurt your joints. And a serious undergarment. And if your panties fall down all around your feet, step out of them and keep on singing.

That’s good advice even if you’re not a drag queen.

(Laughs) Well, I’ve been accused of (being a drag queen) many times! But I take it with a grain of salt. To me, it’s a supreme compliment.

Any chance you’ll revisit songs by The Sanderson Sisters or the ladies of “The First Wives Club”? They are, after all, girl groups.

I really do have to think about this. If I go out around Halloween, I’ll have to put some effort into it. I’ve got some surprises up my sleeve.

You mentioned Mae West, and it was announced in late 2013 that you were cast as Mae in an upcoming HBO biopic. How’s that project coming along?

I’ll tell you something: The script just came in, but I haven’t seen it. I’m waiting for the director, Billy Friedkin (director of “The Exorcist”), to make his notes, and then he’s gonna hand it off to me and we’ll see what happens.

I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve been reading and doing my due diligence. She’s such a fabulous – she’s so fucking nuts! I mean, she was so insane. And you know, when I started my career all those many moons ago, I used to do an impersonation of Mae West, and I did it on “The Johnny Carson Show” – my very first “Johnny Carson Show” – and she sent me a letter telling me to cease and desist, which I swear to god I still have.

I didn’t understand it at the time. I thought, “What’s wrong with her?” Now that I’ve done all the reading and am of a certain age, I totally get it. She was protecting what she had made. She was protecting her creation. That was practically a trademark and she didn’t want anyone to mishandle her creation. Ultimately, she was right. So I bowed to her wishes; I ceased and desisted. And I think it’s so amusing. (Laughs) After all that, if the script actually comes to the point of doing it, it certainly would be revenge. Take that, Mae!

Froot...

Froot album artwork

Marina And The Diamonds will release her third album, Froot, on April 6th next year.

"I want to tell you that I have absolutely thrived on your support over the past five years. Thank you, genuinely, for all the confidence and love you have given me," said Marina Diamandis.

"I want to create an experience that we can all be a part of and share together, no matter where you live in the world. And for the first time ever my album will be released worldwide, so you will all be receiving each track on the same day!

"This is the start of a new musical and visual era for me. I don't know what this next chapter holds but I'm so excited for us to be on a new journey together."

Tracklist:

'Happy'
'Froot'
'I'm a Ruin'
'Blue'
'Forget'
'Gold'
'Can't Pin Me Down'
'Solitaire'
'Better Than That'
'Weeds'
'Savages'

Marina has already released the title track from the album, which will no doubt end up as one of my favorite songs this year! It's one of these songs that just gets better and better with each listen. I can't wait for the album!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Special...



Bette Midler will appear in her first ever UK television special later this year. Bette Midler: One Night Only has been commissioned by ITV, and will be presented by Joanna Lumley.

The singer and actress will perform a selection of her biggest hits, as well as songs from her new album It's The Girls!, which sees her covering hits from some of the world's biggest girl groups.

Midler - who will also sit down for an interview with Lumley - said: "I can't believe this is really my first special in the UK. What have we been waiting for all these years? We're going to have a ball.


"I'm looking forward to performing some of my favourite songs and also introducing some wonderful new songs that celebrate iconic girl groups. I love the music these women made. They say behind every great man, there's a great woman. Well, I think that behind every great woman, there should be at least two other women singing and dancing in perfect unison."

Peter Davey, commissioning editor for entertainment at ITV, said: "Legends don't come any bigger than Bette Midler and everyone at ITV is delighted that she has chosen to make her first UK special with us."

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