1667 – Blind writer John Milton sold his copyright to Paradise Lost for 10 pounds. He needed the money because he was penniless at the time.
(AOTN) We are deeply saddened to learn that director Jonathan Demme has passed away at the age of 73. Demme is best-known as the director of the award-winning and critically acclaimed 1991 film “The Silence Of The Lambs”. According to his publicist, Demme’s death was a result of a battle with esophageal cancer and complications of heart disease.
Demme’s film “The Silence Of The Lambs” was only the third film in history to win Academy Awards in all of the top five categories which included Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. While “The Silence Of The Lambs” was in the category of thriller much of Demme’s additional work was on quirkier films such as 1980’s “Melvin and Howard” and “Married To The Mob”. He was never afraid to delve into multiple genres and other work included a remake of political thriller “The Manchurian Candidate” with Denzel Washington, and the Anne Hathaway indie drama “Rachel Getting Married.”
Demme also brought the story of “Philadelphia” to the screen which earned Tom Hanks his first Academy Award win for Best Actor for his role as a gay attorney. Demme also directed several music videos for artists such as The Talking Heads and New Order to name a few. He also directed several documentaries for The Pretenders, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. Music played a huge role in majority of Demme’s projects. One of his last films was 2015’s “Ricki and The Flash” which starred Meryl Streep as a rock star who had to return to her hometown roots, however the film was not considered a box office success.
According to his publicist, “Jonathan passed away early this morning in his Manhattan apartment, surrounded by his wife, Joanne Howard, and three children and there will be a private funeral.” Our sincere condolences go out to Jonathan’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time!
(PCM) Most of us could probably head outside to the backyard, especially after a rainstorm and create our very own version of these muddied-up so-called “dirty” jeans that Nordstrom is selling for the heft price tag of $425!
It seems the jeans have been for sale on Nordstrom’s website for quite some time, but only now has the internet gotten a look at them and the snarkiness has taken over! Many even thought the jeans had to be some type of joke. But these jeans are no joke. In fact, they are also sold at both Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave as well!
According to the Nordstrom website, the jeans “embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.” Seriously! That is the description!
According to CNN Money, the jeans are made by the fashion company PRPS, which also offers a “mud denim jacket” for deep-pocketed fashionistas who want to rock the all-denim, all-dirt look. The company also makes paint-splattered, pre-ripped dungarees, including one pair it calls simply, “Destroyed.”
The care instructions claim that the jeans can be washed and rest assured they will not lose their caked-on dirt appeal, why because it is fake mud! Once again, fake mud on jeans on purpose! What is the world is wrong with people these days! Just bring some jeans over to our place and we can have a big ol’ mud fight and heck, we might even cut you a deal and sell you some muddy jeans for only $100!
The post Nordstrom Is Selling ‘Dirty’ Jeans For A Hefty Price also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.
By: Debra Wallace
(PCM) Songstress Lea Michele has made an indelible mark on Broadway, on the hit television show “Glee” and she is now celebrating her new music and much-anticipated upcoming tour.
The remarkable 30-year-old singer and actress, best known for portrayal of Rachel Berry on the award-winning show “Glee,” kicks off her limited Intimate Evening with Lea Michele’s North American Tour on May 1 at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia.
Subsequent stops on the tour include: Boston, Ledyard, Connecticut, Toronto, Seattle, and San Francisco, which is something her fans around the globe are thrilled to partake in. There is something about her voice, her presence, and the way she conveys emotion in her music that speaks to her scores of admirers far and wide.
Her new single, “Love Is Alive,” was released on March 3, and her second album, “Places” will be released by Columbia Records on April 28. She first performed the new music during three intimate sold out shows in January, and this tour is a result of the demand from her many devoted fans, who have followed her rich career of music, television and Broadway.
No stranger to live audiences, Michele, who grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey, made her Broadway debut at age 8, after tagging along with a friend to an open casting call. After she spontaneously decided to audition, she was offered the role, and two weeks later she was starring on Broadway.
In 1995, she made her Broadway debut as a replacement for the role of young Cosette in “Les Miserables.” This was followed by roles in “Ragtime,” and in 2004, she portrayed Shprintze, and understudied the role of Chava, in the Broadway revival of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”
She was nominated for several awards for creating the role of Wendla Bergman in the original company of the musical of “Spring Awakening,” which debuted on Broadway in December 2006.
In late 2008, she received the role of Rachel Berry on “Glee’ and has received many awards for her performance, including the 2009 Satellite Award for best actress in a series, comedy or musical, and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations. She is also starring on the new Fox TV’s series, “Scream Queens.”
If all of this was not enough, Michele is the author of a charming book called “Brunette Ambition,” that explores her life and career, including fitness, fashion, the spotlight and more.
LEA MICHELE: It’s so funny because I have so many friends in Philly and I’m literally as I’m talking to you, I’m getting texts like, ‘can you get my mom’s friend from Philly four tickets,’ and ‘can we get nine more tickets for your show?’ So I’m like negotiating all my Philly tickets as we speak.
PCM: That’s pretty funny. I am sure these tickets are in demand.
LM: I think it’s because it’s the closest concert to the New York City, and I have a lot of friends there, so it’s very exciting for me to share it with all of them.
PCM: What are you excited about accomplishing with this tour?
LM: I think it was really important for me with this second record to immediately start performing. I’ve already done a couple of performances of this show that I put together back in January, but my goal is to get out there and show everyone that I’m a performer. I grew up on the stage. I grew up performing. I’m a live singer and I think that’s what sort of makes me different from, a lot of other entertainers.
PCM: Please tell me more about this.
LM: Well, even before this album comes out, I wanted to get up on the stage and perform. We’ve put together what I think, is a really great concert with some songs from my first record, [“Louder” released in March 2014], songs from this new album, “Places,” and then some really fun songs also from “Glee,” which I love singing. During the show, I tell stories along the way about “Glee” and about recording my first album and about the meaning of these songs from my second record.
PCM: So what should your fans look forward to during your intimate concert?
LM: They should expect a fun little night and it’s just sort of the beginning of this little leg of all these tours for me. I’m sort of learning as I go. But I’ve really loved it so far, and I can’t wait to travel to different places. Every city has like a different energy, and every audience is unique. I tell different stories each night, and sometimes I get a little too personal when I start giving everyone all of my deepest and darkest secrets; but I’ve really loved it.
PCM: Since your early days on Broadway you have really shined under the spotlight.
LM: Thank you. For sure; I feel the most comfortable on stage.
PCM: Tell me about the new album and the feedback from the first songs you released?
LM: People are really loving the single. We’ve released “Love Is Alive” as well as “Anything’s Possible,” and I think that people really just wanted to hear this type of music from me for a really long time. My first album was a little pop heavy and this album is a little bit more classical and it’s just about my voice.
PCM: What do you mean?
LM: Obviously on “Glee” I did a lot of pop songs, but I also did these really big, belting sort of show stopping numbers and I wanted to branch off of that and create an album that was timeless and that really just reflects a lot of the singers that I grew up listening to, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand, and for me I think this album is just a great representation of who I am as a singer. Not like you listen to it and you go, well that sounds like this person or it sounds like that person. You listen to it and it sounds like me, and I think that it’s something that people could also listen to in 10 years and it could still be relevant.
PCM: What does it feel like when fans say ‘I love Celine Dion, Adele and Barbra Streisand, and in my view you are up there with them?’
LM: Honestly, it feels weird. I think for me, I love singing, but it’s like, it’s difficult and it’s hard. I look at those singers who are still performing, and I feel like I am part of this new generation of singers. I think of what they do as being so effortless, but I imagine it’s the same thing for them as it is for me – a lot of hard work and unwavering dedication. I think they’re incredible, and to even just be in the same sentence as those amazing women is unbelievable.
PCM: Will you go back to Broadway?
LM: I would love to. But right now I really just want to focus on touring. I didn’t have that opportunity with my first record. So it is very important to me to do these shows now, to be on the stage and sing the songs from my album at my concerts. I also love singing the songs from “Glee,” which was such a big part of my life. So I’ve put together the concert and we have this lovely section about “Glee” and so I feel like I need to do this first before I can go back to Broadway, which takes a lot of time and effort. So this is where I need to be right now.
PCM: Is there any other advice that you would give a teenager or young woman who wants a career in TV, or music, or Broadway, or any of these things which are very big goals?
LM: I’ve gotten asked that question for such a long time, and I think for me I worked so hard. I never slacked off. I never was the girl that went to the party or anything like that, because I was working and I had to take care of myself. So being a performer, and being in the industry, it comes with a lot of sacrifices and you have to be willing to make those sacrifices so you have to work really hard. You have to take care of yourself. You have to go to school, and learn your craft. There’s a lot of different elements that sort of lead to success, and for me, I just never really stopped. I never gave up, and I worked really hard.
PCM: I look forward to your Philadelphia show on May 1. Good luck with the tour. It was been a pleasure talking to you today.
LM: Thank you!
For more information about Lea Michele, go to: www.leamichelemusic.com
For tickets to the Intimate Evening with Lea Michele Tour at the Merriam Theater, go to: www.KimmelCenter.org. Or call: 215-893-1999.
(PCM) An artist by the name of Julijonas Urbonas has created what is arguably one of the most controversial inventions. His project is called the “Euthanasia Coaster”, which is a roller coaster that is designed to kill its’ riders. According to his website, Urbonas says his coaster design is “a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely—with elegance and euphoria—take the life of a human being.”
It sounds a little demented and creepy to us, but Urbonas explains that the Euthanasia Coaster is also designed to provider the rider with a spiritual experience as well. As the riders cart climbs a very long and slow incline that leads to a quarter mile long straight drop, they are given a chance to spiritually reflect upon their lives. When they reach the peak they have a chance to wave and say goodbye to loved ones or change their minds a go back. The cart would be equipped with a “Fall” button, however once it is pushed there is no turning back.
After flying straight down the hill the rider is then thrust upon a series of upside down loops, six in a row to be exact, that create so much centrifugal force that a person would not be able to breathe and would pass way due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Urbonas says that this type of centrifugal force can also create a sense of euphoria in the brain which is why he claims his “death coaster” is actually a quite humane way to end someone’s life.
The project overall definitely creates a shock factor and certainly leads to many ethical questions and concerns. Urbonas says that his project could theoretically be used to assist with curbing overpopulation or helping individuals who are ailing or sick end their lives the way that they choose, almost like one final thrill ride!
Artist Creates ‘Euthanasia Roller Coaster’ Designed To Kill It’s Riders was contributed by a Myth
(TRR) We recently had a chance to catch up for a quick chat with iconic Everclear frontman Art Alexakis to discuss the band’s upcoming summer tour, changes in the music industry, his work on a solo acoustic record and more! Also, it is hard to believe that one of Everclears’ most popular albums “So Much For The Afterglow” will be turning 20 years old this year and the band is headed out on a summer trek to celebrate for which we can’t wait!
Q: “So Much For The Afterglow” is one of our personal favorites from the band and it is hard to believe it turns 20 years old this year. We know you are headed out for a massive summer tour this year to celebrate, how does it feel looking back on that particular album?
ART ALEXAKIS: Thanks! It’s definitely one of my personal favorites too! It was a big deal making that record, just the same way that “Sparkle and Fade” was a big deal and the success from that was amazing. I wasn’t super surprised when it happened because I knew it was a great record … that we made a really good record and I wanted to make a really good second record. Back in the day there was all this talk about one-hit wonders and sophomore slumps and stuff like that and I was just driven to not let that happen. It took awhile to make that record happen, but when we did I was really pleased with it. It’s the kind of record I can listen to from beginning to end, even now, without that cringe factor and I’m really excited to get out there and play these songs this summer. Some of them we have never even played live ever, so it’s going to be fun.
Q: We thinking that is what is lacking now with so many album releases. We are missing the whole aspect of being able to pop on the entire album and listen to it from start to finish.
AA: It makes sense because it’s an album. There’s something about it that ties all the songs together and while it doesn’t necessarily have to be a concept record, it just feels like an album, if that makes sense. People aren’t making those anymore because the technology is not really set up for it right now. Services like Spotify exist now and everyone wants to hear, or rather stream, what ever their favorites songs are and it’s not a thing where you start a CD or a record at the beginning or even a tape and listen through. It’s a whole different mindset.
Q: We feel like everyone gets trapped in the singles market.
AA: Even back in the day there were still albums that would come out and it just seemed like they would have the hit and there would be one other really great song and the rest just sounded like filler. If you’re going to make an album, you gotta throw down and put your whole heart and mind and body and soul into it. It’s not easy to make a good record … a whole record that does different things but still sounds like your voice. Not just the singing, but lyrically and musically and all that stuff. The bands that pull it off like The Pixies, they had two or three records like that, Led Zeppelin was great at that and everything sounded like Zeppelin for the first four or five records. Those records are just unbelievable and Stevie Wonder went through that period with about four or five records and it’s just amazing.
It’s inspiring to know that I think there’s a lot of acts out there now that are getting frustrated with how the music industry is now and that’s how it always is, you know? Someone’s going to get pissed off and somethings going to come out of it like punk or hip-hop did or alternative did and it’s going to blow over the top. I think with what’s going on politically in this country, it’s going to add a little extra dissension to the mix. I’m kind of excited to see what’s going to happen in the next couple of years musically.
Q: Music has always been something that people have turned to, especially in times like these and we love that so many artists have a voice. Hopefully they will not be afraid to use it.
AA: Yeah, with the way things are now there is this tendency where they want to squelch the press and confuse everyone with “fake news” and all that stuff to create smoke and mirrors, but it’s nothing new. People have been doing it for years. Even back before Hitler, it goes back to the Roman Empire, they did that crap then and the church did it for years. It’s nothing new and people just need to know that and with the advent of social media there’s always a venue and a platform to get what you want to say out there, so that’s a good thing.
Q: We’ve seen so many changes in the music industry over the years with one of the biggest ones being the up rise of social media. Have any of those changes had an effect on the way that you approach recording, new music and promotion?
AA: (laughs) Well, we’re not recording on tape anymore! You record on Pro Tools and you can either use it to tune it and make it something it’s not or you can use it as just a recording device. I think it’s opened up a lot for a lot of people and it’s just made it more accessible and to me that’s a good thing. Having the ability to make music and film and taking the stigma of this huge dollar amount and having to go through this major label structure, now you can just buy a computer and do it yourself. If you’ve got the goods … you’ve got the songs … then it all comes down to the songs. It comes down to the content whether it’s film or whatever. “Moonlight” recently won the Oscar for Best Picture and it’s such as simple and easy film to make, no special effects, nothing crazy. It was all about the story and the content and that to me was huge. It inspired me.
The same thing with the music. I want to make a solo acoustic record this year sometime and I’m writing songs, just me and the guitar, if there’s any other instrument I’m going to play it, it’s going to be very minimal. Very stripped down.
Q: We did hear that you were planning work on a solo release. How far along in the process are you?
AA: I’ve got about two of three songs recorded and we’re working on it. It’s a slow process. I had to deal with some health stuff early in the year and I just got some back surgery that I need to get and I’m still recuperating from that, so I probably won’t be jumping off speakers anytime soon (laughs)
Q: That’s good! You have to take care of yourself!
AA: I’m getting too old for that anyway (laughs) But, no, I’m in good shape and just very happy with my life and my family and working … doing different things and just being grateful. I think that’s going to come out in songs and they are starting to come together. They are a little more militant than I thought they were going to be (laughs)
Q: How therapeutic is the creative process for you? It has to be a release even if you are not expecting it to come out that way!
AA: Well, you can take the boy out of the punk rock, but it’s hard to take the punk rock out of the boy! Even with acoustic guitar … the fire’s there! I still have the fire in my belly.
Q: Is there any Everclear material in the vault? Anything you would think about going back to and revisiting?
AA: Not right now. We made a record a couple of years ago called “Black is the New Black” which I believe was released in 2015 or 2014 (laughs), and it was just a lot of fun to make and just one of my favorite records. It is one of my favorite Everclear records ever, as it’s a really hard rock record. It was dark and it just sounded good and I think I just want to do some different stuff for a while. We are going to do this 20th anniversary tour and “The Noise” turns 25 in 2018, so we might do something for that, so we might do something somewhere, but for right now just concentrating on doing my solo record and I’m working on a book which is kind of a memoir of my childhood.
I’m also doing this thing with artist development where I’m going online and running classes just talking about the things I’ve learned. You know, the things I did right and the things I did wrong (laughs). Just trying to be a mentor for people who want to be in this business.
Q: That is a wonderful thing because so many artists get lost in all the confusion that can be the music industry. They can lose their purpose sometimes without some type of guidance.
AA: Right, exactly! Also, I’m a DJ on Sirius XM Lithium and I have my own a show on Sunday nights that begins at 6pm EST.