With their 50 year anniversary at hand, the Rolling Stones will be touring in the US and Canada. The band really isn’t the same these days, but for die hard fans, or those fans who want take advantage of perhaps their last chance to see this legendary band, this will be welcome news.
Sometimes an interview opportunity comes along that you simply can’t resist. This is one of those occasions.
Belinda Carlisle added a delightful infusion of cuteness to the early days of MTV as the frontwoman for the Go-Go’s, then succeeded in departing the ranks of the band a few years later and forging an impressive solo career. Alas, she’s spent more time on the road than in the studio in recent years, bouncing back and forth between Go-Go’s tours and solo shows, releasing records with decided infrequency. Indeed, she hasn’t released a new album since 2007′s Voila, and given that the record in question consists of covers of her favorite French songs, it’s not exactly what you’d call representative of her usual work.
2013, however, marks the release of a new best-of set, Icon, and while it might not ordinarily be a major event, given that it’s the fourth such compilation of her solo work to be released since 1992, fans will be thrilled to know that it actually includes a new single, “Sun.”
It’s such a momentous event, in fact, that Carlisle opted to do a bit of press for the collection’s release, and when the opportunity to chat with her was pitched to Bullz-Eye…well, like we said, sometimes an interview opportunity comes along that you simply can’t resist.
Bullz-Eye: Icon isn’t your first best-of collection, but how much input did you have in selecting the contents of this one?
Belinda Carlisle: Oh, I did a lot, actually. The contents of the different collections have been predicated on the different countries who’ve had different singles, so when Icon was first presented to me… A lot of it had to do with catalog and a lot of the different “this music group signed with that music group” stuff, what was available and what wasn’t, so the track list went through a few different changes, because I wanted to include some of the stuff that maybe they didn’t include originally. So I had a big part, a big hand in it, actually.
BE: You revisit your old material whenever you do a show, but how is the experience of going back through the records to consider which songs needed a bit more of a shot at the spotlight?
BC: Well, because I work all the time, and especially in Europe, with all of the solo stuff, it’s not, like, “Oh, wow, I remember this song,” because I probably just did the song a few months ago…or even a week ago! [Laughs.] It’s fun for me to go through the catalog, but there’s no real surprises or anything. But it was interesting doing different track listings for different countries, because…well, for instance, for Russia, the song “California,” which is totally obscure here, was a big hit there. So you kind of go through the territories and change things around a little bit.
Billy Joel and who?
Well, remember the name Micheal Pollack, as this kid just might have a future. Check out the video above, where Pollack, a student in the crowd during a Q&A with Billy Joel, asks if he can accompany Joel on piano while Joel sings his favorite song – “New York State of Mind.” The result is pretty awesome.
We’re very excited to feature Angie Vu Ha, a Vietnamese model, DJ and producer who was kind enough to share these eight amazing photographs.
Angie started modeling in the fashion industry when she was 17. Shortly after that a film director discovered her and gave her the leading role in a TV series. She then took her talents to the music business and is now best known as “Asia’s Sexiest DJ” and was recently featured as one of the Top 10 Sexiest Supermodel DJs in the World. She also produces music, and her current tracks are being supported by some of the world’s elite DJs.
Dishing out the hottest Funky House, Electro, and Dirty Dutch Tracks, Angie released three singles, Cookies, Cream and Cyber Sex on Escape Recordings UK, released on Beatport. You can see more videos on her YouTube channel.
Angie is very active on the Internet and social media, so there are many places you can follow her career, including her official website, her Facebook fan page and on Twitter. In October 2012, Angie won the Playboy Miss Social contest.
You can also check out this awesome video of Angie behind the scenes from her photo shoots for her Limited Edition Glamour Calendar 2013.
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Jermaine Dupri has been a creative force in the music industry for more than twenty years. The founder of So So Def Records single handedly put Atlanta at the forefront of the R&B music scene. Learn the secret to his success, and find out how this music innovator has been able to “Reign On”.
2013 is off to a fresh start, and the New Year promises a lot for music. The early part of the year has shaped up well with updates on the most expected albums of 2013, and everyone is looking forward to what they have to offer. Here’s a list of top 5 expected music albums of 2013 everyone is looking forward to.
1. TBA – Five Iron Frenzy
The Christian ska band is all set for this release and expectations are high as it’s been a 10 year wait. After such a long interval, you may be wondering if they’re really going to come along, but the song ‘It was A Dark and Stormy Night’ suggests that band is pretty serious about making a comeback. The album may even include the best lyrics ever produced by the band.
2. Street King Immortal – 50 cent
The rapper is pumped up to release Street King immortal. The release date is slated around the 10th year anniversary of his popular album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. You won’t be listening to him alone. The album also features big names such as Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, Eminem, Adam Levine and Akon. The star tweeted the album’s release date; February 26.
3. One Women Army – Ciara
Ciara is making big comeback with this new album. Talking to MTV news, she stated the album is about her independence as a woman and represents her strength. It’s about what she wants out of her life. It’s going to be a follow-up to her album ‘Basic Instinct’ released two years ago, which featured three hit singles. Music lovers have high hopes from One Women Army.
4. Amok – Atoms for Peace
Thom Yorke and Flea are considered as the top rock stars of today, and they’ve recorded some impressive material so far. With Nigel Godrich on their side, the album has high expectations. The art work released so far has made a statement reflecting the creation as a building. The album is expected to release late in February.
5. Pink Friday: The Pink Print – Nicki Minaj
After cementing herself as a global superstar last year, winning multiple awards, she looks to continue her feat with the follow-up to her album Roman reloaded. The new album is going to be a continuation and a ‘re-release’ to The Re-Up. Let’. As the name of the album ‘The Pink Print’ suggests, everyone is expecting a lot of pink in the videos.
These are the biggest expected music albums of 2013. A good way to promote your favorite album among your social circle would be to learn playing guitar so you can play the tunes of your favorite tracks. Professional teachers from TakeLessons are an option if you live in Los Angeles, or if you live in another city, you can search for additional options. By learning tracks from your favorite albums, you would be able to promote it among friends and acquaintances, building a greater following for your favorite artist.
We’re thrilled to be able to feature this sexy slideshow of the lovely Krista Ayne. This model and actress has been all over the place, and you’ve probably seen her in the Pittsburgh Slim video below for “Girls Kiss Girls.”
Krista began her career as a 19-year-old model for Redken and she branched out from there. She has hosted Fuse TV’s popular “Pants Off Dance Off” and “10 Great Reasons” and Spike TV’s “Bikini Pool Shark.” Krista has also appeared on “The Howard Stern Show,” “The Daily Show,” Fox Business News and MTV along with a number of independent films.
This Italian-American actress has also appeared in a ton of music videos for everyone from 50 Cent and Usher to Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi, and she has appeared on 13 magazine covers.
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Bullz-Eye is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film with look back at every Bond movie, 007 One by One, along with a series of features about the Bond franchise, all laid out in our James Bond Fan Hub.
Over the years James Bonds came and went. Directors and writers shifted and changed. Vocalists were routinely swapped out. Though not the only constant in the Bond franchise, Maurice Binder, as the primary designer of the instantly recognizable title sequence, was certainly one of the most noticeable ones. For the bulk of Bond’s first 27 years, Binder brought us a cavalcade of swirling colors and curvaceous ladies, typically set to the tune of a current pop sensation. His job was to help set the tone for the film to come by presenting elements and themes from the movie in an abstract, artistic fashion. For many, these title sequences became an important, even necessary part of the Bond movie-going experience, and remain so today, over 20 years after Binder’s passing. Here we take an entirely subjective look at his ongoing contributions to cinema’s longest-running movie franchise.
The first thing ever seen in a Bond movie is the opening gun barrel sequence, and no amount of praise can be too effusive for Maurice Binder’s creation of it. James Bond emerges in profile from the right, caught in the movie viewer’s cross hairs. He then spins around, shoots, and the gun sight fills with, presumably, the viewer’s blood.
It’s become part and parcel of the Bond films ever since, though only in “Dr. No” is it part of the title sequence proper; afterwards, it would be separated from the titles by the now also iconic pre-credits sequence. Coupled with the infamous Monty Norman-composed Bond theme song, the gun barrel sequence is that instantaneous moment when everyone simultaneously acknowledges they’re watching a Bond film.
After the gun barrel sequence, flashing colored lights set to the Bond theme reveal the title “Dr. No” as well as the cast, followed by the silhouettes of people dancing a sort of Jamaican mambo, and, finally, a calypso version of “Three Blind Mice” dovetails nicely into the movie itself. The “Dr. No” titles are a lot fun and unique in the Bond film series; the only real element of them that would come to feature heavily in the future is Binder’s inventive, energetic use of silhouette.
It’s anyone’s guess into what directions the Bond title sequences might’ve gone if Binder had helmed the titles for the “Dr. No” sequel. But he did not, and for the next two films – “From Russia with Love” and “Goldfinger” – the titles are designed by Robert Brownjohn. Both sequences march to the beat of different drum than Binder’s, and even though Brownjohn only ever did these two, his influence on what the Bond titles would ultimately evolve into on Binder’s watch cannot be discounted.
There’s an elegance and class that Brownjohn brings to the table that may or may not have progressed out of Binder as well, but for certain the one thing Brownjohn can be credited with is the fetishized exploitation of the female form, and both of his sequences are loaded with it; the curvaceous fairer figure is all but worshipped, and the dominant centerpiece of “From Russia with Love.”
Brownjohn’s other gimmick – projecting imagery over those lovely bodies – is strikingly used in both sequences. In the former, the credits are projected over the undulating female form, and in the latter, snippets of scenes from the movie itself. However, anything Brownjohn does with the “Goldfinger” sequence is very probably overshadowed by the sounds of Shirley Bassey, as this other imperative element – the pop song – finally drops into its place in the title sequence timeline. Bassey is the true star here, and her vocals remain some of the most iconic in film history.
With 1965’s “Thunderball,” Maurice Binder returned to his post in the franchise, and would remain with the series in this capacity for the next 24 years. Right here, right now . . . BAM! This is where all of the familiar elements finally congeal into the Bond title sequence we all know and love. Silhouettes of floating naked women mingle with silhouetted deep sea divers armed with harpoons. Water bubbles against myriad colors filling the screen. Tom Jones delivers bombastic accompaniment to the intense, widescreen visuals (also a first for the Bond series). This handful of disparate elements combine to create movie history, and our expectations for Bond would never be the same again.
Further, sometimes those silhouettes weren’t all that dark. Perhaps the one area where Binder figured he could outshine his temporary predecessor was to titillate the audience with brief flashes of visible boob and butt, and it worked, ahem, swimmingly.
Binder got even more creative on the next outing, by adding graphics and playing around with his silhouette technique by inverting it, as well as throwing filmed bits of flowing lava, erupting volcanoes, and sexy geisha ladies into the mix. Between the titles for “You Only Live Twice” and “Thunderball,” most of the tools in Binder’s creative box are on display, and he’d use various combinations of the pair in his work over the next 20 years and change. We’d also be remiss to not mention the theme tune sung by Nancy Sinatra, a hypnotic piece of work that’s stood the test of time.
Since “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was quite the mouthful, composer John Barry opted to create an instrumental piece for the titles, and it’s a rousing bit of work. Because this movie was, for the first time, introducing a new actor (George Lazenby) playing Bond, much of Binder’s work here consists of a montage of clips from the previous films, as the need was felt to stress to audiences that they were still following the adventures of the same man. The trip down memory lane aside, the graphics are borderline psychedelic, bursting with eye-popping color — wholly indicative of the film to come.
With “Diamonds Are Forever” the series moved into a new decade, yet the movie still had a foot in the Sixties, as is evidenced by the return of both Sean Connery and Shirley Bassey; the latter again dominates these proceedings. Binder grabs the iconography of diamonds and Blofeld’s cat to create the titles which brought an end to the Connery era.
When Roger Moore arrived on the scene in 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” the titles exploded around him, via the inevitable hiring of a Beatle (and his wife) to pen and perform the theme. Paul McCartney and Wings arguably delivered the most instantly perfect Bond theme since “Goldfinger,” which is vaguely ironic, since it was in “Goldfinger” that James Bond took a swipe at the Fab Four: “That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!”
Here Binder deals in the nightmarish, voodoo aspects of the movie, including human skulls and crackling fire, all wrapped around women of color, some covered in tribal paint. An argument could be made that these titles are the “You Only Live Twice” titles on LSD. There can be no doubt that the franchise, and Binder’s work along with it, had firmly entered the 1970s.
The titles for “The Man with the Golden Gun” are a fairly paint by numbers affair, despite the complete and utter catchiness of Lulu’s theme song. Indeed, as a rule of thumb, if the song is the most memorable aspect of the Bond title sequence, then boundaries aren’t being sufficiently pushed, even within the limited confines of the format. That being said, the silhouette gettin’ down about two-thirds of the way through is a fine specimen of woman.
Harsh criticism can in no way be leveled at “The Spy Who Loved Me” titles, which showcase Binder at quite possibly the height of his creative powers. Simply put, everything comes together, in about an ideal a manner as possible. The imagery is slightly more abstract than the norm, mostly eschewing iconography from the movie, though sexy, athletic Russian ladies are a theme. Instead it seemingly invokes Bond’s relationship with women in general, achieved via the inclusion of Roger Moore, under the direction of Binder, as a part of the sequence. This was a first. It wasn’t movie footage, as had previously been done with “Goldfinger” and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – this was specially shot, and given the film’s title, it was an appropriate creative call.
Then there’s that perfectly gorgeous theme tune, performed by Carly Simon, and written by Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch, that so effortlessly works hand in hand with Binder. “Nobody Does It Better,” indeed. The marriage of music and imagery here is the stuff the very best music videos are made of, and this compares to ballet. If we were stuck a desert island with only one Bond title sequence, it’d be this one.
It’d be easy at this point to claim it was all downhill for Binder’s Bond after ’77, but that would be to deny a huge chunk of his artistry. Just because he peaked with “Spy,” doesn’t mean there weren’t bursts of beauty afterwards. Sadly, “Moonraker” doesn’t really have one of those moments. Visually it feels like leftovers from “Spy,” but its biggest problem, which is no fault of Binder’s, is the return to the Shirley Bassey well for a third time, a decision that no longer works. She’s from a different era altogether, and out of step with the movie itself, which was thematically looking forward to the future via its sci-fi aspects.
Things get seriously back on track with 1981’s “For Your Eyes Only,” a sequence, which, like “Spy,” features a visual first: The inclusion of chanteuse Sheena Easton’s face and body as a part of the titles. It’d be easy to claim that this was a reaction to the growing popularity of MTV if not for one thing – MTV didn’t launch until about three months after the movie was released. So instead we must assume that the decision was purely an aesthetic one, given that Sheena Easton was pretty enough to be a Bond girl herself. She’s a marvel, and the song by Bill Conti and Michael Leeson is nearly as tight as Carly Simon’s. Finding a current, pretty pop star with serious pipes was the apology after Bassey’s flaccid “Moonraker.”
Binder creates a swirling, sensual concoction here, and this was the last time he was truly on fire, doing the thing that he’s best known for, in the history of cinema.
We need look no further than the titles for “Octopussy” for proof of our previous assertion. Rita Coolidge is a fine singer, but not at all right for Bond, and out of step with the cultural zeitgeist of that moment. Couple her with yet another title that makes for a potentially awkward theme, and we end up with “All Time High,” and likely Binder’s least inspiring work in the series. There’s simply nothing of note here, unless we want to mention the unintentionally laughable bits such as Bond swinging a woman around in circles by an arm and a leg, and the visual around the 1:20 mark, where it appears Bond is humping the model.
With Moore’s swansong, “A View to a Kill,” the series swings back around to contemporary and current by getting Duran Duran on board. Their theme song is exceptional, and Binder gives it his all, in an attempt to deliver visuals to match the audio. This title sequence, much like the year 1985, is a garish, hideous affair, drenched in glow in the dark excess. Not bad necessarily, as Binder seems at his worst when he’s not trying, and here he clearly is, but such a freakshow, you cannot take your eyes off it. He even brings a little something new to the table by featuring silhouetted naked men – on skis, no less! In doing so, Binder sort of proves why he’d never done it before: They appear neutered, like a Ken doll. Clearly the male form does not lend itself well to Binder’s artistry.
As we enter the final stretch of Maurice Binder’s work with the James Bond series, a new actor – Timothy Dalton – has been cast in the lead role, and a new era seemingly begins, even though behind the scenes it was all business as usual, with the same creative minds calling the shots in a cinematic world threatening to leave Bond behind. It was a franchise in a mild creative crisis, punctuated by being only a two-picture affair. It should come as no surprise that Binder’s final title sequences, as well as the songs the play over them, reflect this rocky footing.
“The Living Daylights” feels like a straight-up greatest hits compilation. It works well enough, but just. The same can more or less be said of Binder’s fourteenth and final Bond title sequence, 1989’s “Licence to Kill.” Few artists do their greatest work at the end of their careers, and Binder is no exception. While this is workmanlike, and not particularly exceptional, it’s difficult to level too much criticism at this stage, since he’d essentially been reworking variations of the same idea repeatedly since “Thunderball” (much like the franchise itself). But the fact that he was able to do it over and over again, for so long, while simultaneously charming generations of moviegoers speaks volumes to his talent and legacy.
Maurice Binder died at the relatively young age of 66 in 1991. Even if he’d lived to see ’95, when the Bond franchise was revived with Pierce Brosnan in the lead, it seems unlikely his services would have been called upon. Starting with “Goldeneye,” the title sequences (“Quantum of Solace” aside) have been designed by commercial and music video director Daniel Kleinman. On his watch they’ve become elaborate, CGI-driven affairs, which, while taking cues from and paying due homage to Binder’s work, have become their own, different sort of excessive animal.
All 22 of the Bond title sequences are now available to view in one single block (clocking in at over an hour), in gorgeous eye-popping 1080p, on the bonus disc of the recent Blu-ray box set, Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection.
Also available for Bond enthusiasts is a new 2-CD set entitled “Best of Bond . . . James Bond: 50 Years – 50 Tracks.”
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Last night at Manhattan’s posh Hotel on Rivington penthouse suite, HP and blogger Arjan Writes presented a special preview of “Halcyon,” the new album by British pop sensation Ellie Goulding. Best known in the United States for her monster hit, “Lights,” Goulding has gone on to great success stateside, appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as a special guest appearance at the White House last December, where she sang Christmas carols onstage with Barack Obama. For all of her enormous success in the last few years, though, Goulding is a very humble, down-to-earth and endearing personality.
The evening began with a bit of background on Goulding, who grew up in the small town of Hereford and got heavily into music early on. “My mum was cool with music,” she says. “She would buy every new thing that was out. We really had no money, but whatever we did have, she’d spend it on CDs and tapes.” Idolizing singers like Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Beyonce and Stevie Nicks, Goulding says she quit college because “something was pushing me into music.” Elaborating on what that something is, she also says, “Having people come together for the same cause is really important. The fact that I can do that with shows is really awesome.”
Delving into “Halcyon,” we heard samples of a few tracks, including the clearly Bjork-influenced “My Blood,” which shares thematic water imagery with other songs on the album. Goulding says, “I have a fascination with the ocean, being lost at sea. I kind of want to be a mermaid.” The title track, “Halcyon,” addresses another theme of the album in its plaintive chorus: “When it’s just us, you show me what it feels like to be lonely, you show me what it feels like to be lost.” “I write songs out of being alone,” Goulding says. “I’m around people all the time, but there’s a theme of loneliness on this album.”
That is not to say the album is relentlessly downbeat or somber, however, as Goulding is quick to point out that “I like making things that give people hope, I suppose, in the least cheesy way possible.” Ellie Goulding’s career certainly seems to show a lot of hope, with unreleased collaborations with the likes of Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia possibly on the way “in the next couple of years,” proving her mantra that anything could happen.
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This is just hilarious.