John Stamos has played a longtime bachelor-turned-grandfather on Grandfathered and the beloved Uncle Jesse on Full House, but his most fulfilling role yet is being a dad to 2-month-old son Billy.
“My first Father’s Day means that I don’t have to hand a kid back to the parents when someone yells cut. It means when people ask me if I’m a father, I don’t have to use the goofy line, ‘No, but I play one on TV,’ ” Stamos said on Instagram Sunday along with an adorable father-son portrait.
“My first Father’s Day means that from this day forward— I will start to look my age (and older). Most importantly, it means that for the rest of my life, I’ll always be known as someone’s dad. And that’s all I ever wanted. Happy Father’s day,” he added.
Stamos became a father for the first time on April 10 when he and wife Caitlin McHugh welcomed their son William “Billy” Christopher into the world.
“Happy 1st Father’s Day to the best new daddy! I knew you’d be a great father, but you’ve exceeded expectations. You change diapers! Lol, and so much more, of course. We love you most,” McHugh said in a tribute to her husband on Instagram Sunday.
And after a celebratory Father’s Day weekend, Stamos is looking forward to spending more bonding time with his son.
The actor will be bringing Billy along on his first cross-country trip as the Fuller House star/producer returns to host PBS’s annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth, the national 4th of July celebration in Washington, D.C.
It’ll be baby Stamos’ first cross-country excursion, coming on the heels of a slightly not-so-smooth local road trip.
“It was Mother’s Day and Caitlin’s birthday, so we went down to Laguna , and it was the first time we didn’t have a nanny — that was rough!” he told PEOPLE in late May. “ so far, it’s been a dream, and when I look at him, I feel like I’ve been thinking about that face for a long time.”
Stamos also said that fatherhood has been everything that he expected it would be, and it’s deepened his connection to his country.
“I always knew it was going to be like this,” he explained. “It took me longer than it should’ve, but I knew that I would be a family and be contributing to this country, and holding onto the morals and the values that my parents had, that I like to think of the world having. It’s a time to be kind and graceful to people. It just takes so much energy to block all the negativity. I’m really trying to get people together.”
A week before the world premiere of his debut feature film, “Lucid,” at the Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival, young British filmmaker Adam Morse has revealed in public for the first time that he is registered as a blind person. Even one of the film’s lead actors, Billy Zane, didn’t know until the shoot was underway, and […]
NEW YORK — Billy Reid could be a case study in resilience.
Since he created the first William Reid collection in March 1998, the soft-spoken Southern designer has experienced more than his share of ups and downs.
The ups: He has built his Southern-flavored Americana designer collection into a successful wholesale business at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom and 13 of his own Billy Reid stores. He’s also won four Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.
The downs: His initial foray into fashion, William Reid, failed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, driving the designer and his family from New York back to his home state of Alabama.
But despite the roller coaster that has defined his career, Reid is happy to be at the helm of a $ 25 million brand as he prepares to celebrate his 20th anniversary next year.
“Failure? I’ve been there,” Reid said, sitting on a chair in his showroom on Bond Street here. “Losing everything overnight was so humbling, but it makes you realize what’s important to you and that you can recover.”
Reid’s story begins in the small town of Amite, La., where his mother owned a women’s boutique called T.J.’s for Her that operated out of
Not that anyone’s keeping track, but it’s safe to say this was the first album release party that began with a guest appearance by a puppet.
And that was just Act I of Miley Cyrus’ three-act extravaganza, thrown for about 150 super-fans who packed into the third floor of Nashville’s most iconic downtown honky-tonk, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, on Friday night to celebrate the release of Younger Now.
The new album is a declaration by the 24-year-old artist, who’s spent the past decade successively reinventing herself, that she’s now embracing all her former selves (yes, including those Hannah Montana years) – and Cyrus put an exclamation point on it by throwing her release party back in her countrified hometown.
Her embrace also explains the puppet, a tiny ginghamed girl doll that debuted in the video for the “Younger Now” single.
“Look at Baby Miley’s dress!” Cyrus, 24, exclaimed as she popped up in the puppet’s elaborate theater set. “This is a dress that I used to wear when I was a little girl!”
The puppet was there, she explained, to “represent that the same person that’s standing here right now is the same person that’s here beside me, which is Baby Miley, which is always inside me.”
As her tiny alter-ego watched adoringly, Cyrus took questions from the crowd so “fans could understand how I made the album, why I made the album and why it’s so important to me.”
Her main impulse, she explained, was to no longer run away from her “life story.” She also pointed to her father, country artist Billy Ray Cyrus, as a primary influence in her new music, which has a strong country-pop vein.
“My dad,” she said, “really inspired this record a lot, I think, going back into those roots of everything he instilled in me.”
Sure enough, to emphasize her point, she brought out Billy Ray for the evening’s Act II, a segment she entitled “My Dad Always Says.” The elder Cyrus’ task: to offer counsel to the audience “because,” according to Miley, “he’s always given me the best advice ever.”
Billy Ray obliged by sharing that he always tells his daughter, “Watch what I do, and don’t do that, and you’ll usually get through life pretty good. … Does that make sense?”
“Yeah,” Miley countered. “Don’t grow a mullet, basically.”
“Hell, grow the damn mullet,” Billy Ray parried in defense of his trademark 1990s-era hairstyle. “Hell, yeah, man.”
Act III was a 45-minute set of nine songs, including four from the new album. Cyrus also brought her father back on stage for a rowdy duet of his signature hit, “Achy Breaky Heart,” and she covered Nancy Sinatra’s sassy “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” which her dad has included in his own act.
Every song was a crowd-pleaser for the Miley-philes gathered – some of whom had flown in from as far away as Miami and Detroit for the event – but a selection of early hits drew the most deafening cheers. These included “See You Again,” the 2007 debut single from the Hannah Montana days, a song Cyrus tearfully introduced as she recalled her family’s move to California so she “could live my dreams.”
The singer made sure to point out that her childhood best friend, Lesley Patterson, whom she mentioned in the lyrics, was in the audience – which “also makes me cry,” said Cyrus.
Throughout the evening, Cyrus also scattered tidbits about her new music and stories behind the songs. “Miss You So Much,” she said, was “the hardest song to finish” since it dealt with the shocking overdose death of a friend’s boyfriend.
“Rainbowland,” Cyrus’ collaboration with her “fairy godmother,” Dolly Parton, was “the craziest writing experience” of her life, she said, because Parton relied on a fax machine to communicate. “She did write it on a typewriter,” Cyrus revealed.
The inspiration for “Week Without You” was not fiancé Liam Hemsworth – which has been speculated – but, in fact, Cyrus’ “first true love”: Elvis Presley. She wrote it, she explained, to “kind of sound like a song out of his Blue Hawaii” – her favorite Presley movie because his love interest shares her name.
Cyrus wouldn’t identify the muse behind “She’s Not Him,” though most assume it’s based on her brief liaison with model Stella Maxwell. Instead, Cyrus said, she wrote the song “to actually normalize bisexuality” because “I don’t think there’s any songs, any films, any music – anything – that makes bisexuality feel normal for us.”
Hemsworth’s name was also something she avoided mentioning during the entire event, though she did hint that her lyrics have allowed her to let “people into, like, my private journal … of how I really, really feel and … the love that I feel in my life for the things that I feel in my life.”
That includes “Malibu,” of course, which she described as her love song to her beach home, even though the lyrics are obviously directed toward a romantic partner. Cyrus also noted the irony of the song’s title just when she’s decided to “move back to Nashville.” (She recently purchased a 33-acre farm in nearby Franklin.)
Her passion for her hometown, she said, is also the reason she’s staying off the road for the time being. “I would love to go on tour, but right now I am back in Nashville,” she explained to clearly disappointed fans. “I’ve just really been enjoying being home and being with my animals.”
“I want to be in Nashville,” she added, though she said she wouldn’t rule out a “local tour” – a comment that filled the room with raucous cheers.
The 55-year-old country crooner sat down with PEOPLE Now to chat about his hit CMT show Still The King, which airs Tuesdays at 10/9 c, when he couldn’t help but share thoughtful gesture dreamt up by Hemsworth that earned him the stamp of approval for life.
“I love Liam so much,” Cyrus said of the Hunger Games star. “I was doing a show down in Nashville and Miley had been all over the world and she had been going nonstop. and Liam surprised me at my show.”
“She said, ‘Liam said, ‘Man, let’s go down and surprise your dad — let’s go!’” He says. “I told him — from now, forward and forever — he never has to get me a birthday or Christmas present; he’s paid in full!”
After spending the night at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, Fyre Media’s Billy McFarland was released today on his own recognizance and the promise of a $ 300,000 bond. McFarland, who was arrested Friday night on suspicion of fraud and swindling investors out of millions, appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Fox this… Read more »
Billy Reid will plant a flag — albeit temporary — on the West Coast today. The Alabama designer is set to kick off his monthlong pop-up shop at friend Josh Peskowitz’s Magasin concept shop in Culver City, Calif., with a made-to-measure event running through the weekend.
“We think it’s a good opportunity for them to showcase more of who they are in Los Angeles,” Peskowitz said. “It’s a nice, organic partnership certainly and I have an enormous amount of respect for him.”
The temporary installment will carry exclusives including hand-painted graphic shirts and an assortment of tailored pieces, such as shorts made from selvage chambray. This weekend, clients of the brand can come into the store for custom orders, which have about a four- to six-week turnaround.
The designer, while having done trunk shows and special installations within his own stores, has never offered the made-to-measure experience outside of those and Reid said the success of what happens at Magasin will no doubt be weighed for the possibility of doing similar events going forward.
“We do not have a shop out here on the West Coast, but we have several customers out here,” Reid said. “I think once we go through it and figure out
“People grew up with it in an age of video where they’re watching it over and over again. So, I have to really examine all of those plot points. Also, the myths are very strong in that, so you’re hitting something even deeper than the movie sometimes. What I’m trying to do is honor what was there .… There are certain expectations people have.”
Billy Dee Williams will not be in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The Lando Calrissian actor made the declaration during his “Smooth Talkin’ With Billy Dee Williams” panel Thursday at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida.
Williams played Lando, of course, in Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, but has also voiced the character in Rebels, Robot Chicken, Lego Star Wars, and Battlefront.
A younger version of Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover, will appear in the upcoming Han Solo anthology film.
In addition to his “Smooth Talkin’” panel, Williams also appeared at Thursday’s “40 Years of Star Wars” panel alongside George Lucas and former co-stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davis, and Peter Mayhew.
In today’s edition of OMG dad you’re so embarrassing, Billy Ray Cyrus, father of national treasure and professional tongue wagger Miley Cyrus, might have spilled the beans on his daughter’s secret wedding. Or at least that’s what he wanted people online to think.
The former mullet-haver shared a cryptic photo (of a photo) featuring the “We Can’t Stop” singer beaming in a white dress to let the world know how happy he is for her. Totally sweet, right?
Earlier this year, she and Hemsworth rekindled their relationship after calling off their engagement in 2013 amid the Miley VMAs twerk debacle. During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres last year, the pop star confirmed that she was back with Hemsworth when the host asked about her engagement ring. For the record, neither Miley nor Liam has yet to address the rumors on their social media channels.
Listen, whether Miley got married or not isn’t really the most pressing question here. What we want to know is: Did she pop, lock and polka-dot it, “Hoedown Throwdown”-style, on the dance floor?
The Huffington Post has recached out to Cyrus’ representatives and will update the post accordingly.
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“He’s a very delightful young man,” Williams said. “He was doing what normal actors do, they just want to find out what direction they want to take so they gather their information. So, we just sat and talked, and I didn’t want to impose on anything he wanted to do ― he’s got his own ideas, I would imagine…He’s a very talented young man. In fact, I was listening to some of his music and it’s pretty good stuff.”
Despite his comments on preserving his portrayal of the character, Williams went on to tell The Hollywood Reporter that he never envisioned anyone else helming the role.
“Lando has been very much a part of my life for over 30 years,” he said. “When I go out and do conventions and stuff like that, even though people know me from all the other things that I’ve done, certainly [Lando] takes precedence. I just never thought of anybody else being Lando. I just see myself as Lando.”
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Billy Reid is moving into eyewear with help from Eponym.
The designer has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with the start-up to produce the first Billy Reid Optical collection, which will be available in Billy Reid stores and select department stores and boutiques for fall 2017.
“I have been wearing glasses since I was 20 years old, so at this point they are a part of my identity,” Reid said. “There’s been an obvious demand from our customers requesting eyewear and it only made sense for us to find a partner to help this come to life.”
Reid said the collection, which will include sunglasses and optical lenses, will be inspired by classic American shapes and made from fine metals, brass and horn.
“The team at Eponym has long admired Billy’s dedication to craftsmanship and the rugged appeal of his brand, as well as Billy’s honest, open and collaborative approach to partnership,” said Andrew Lipovsky, Eponym’s founder and chief executive officer. “The partnership with Billy Reid cements Eponym’s status as the go-to licensing partner for contemporary brands that are seeking to expand into eyewear.”
Eponym, which recently brought on Trish Donnelly, the ceo of Urban Outfitters Inc., to be its newest board member, was founded in
Azalea is not happy about being dropped off to look after Grandmother Clark. Even if she didn’t care that much about meeting the new sixth graders in her Texas hometown, those strangers seem much preferable to the ones in Paris Junction. Talk about troubled Willis DeLoach or gossipy Melinda Bowman. Who needs friends like these! And then there’s Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy who shows up to help in her grandmother’s garden. Billy’s great-aunt and uncle own the Lucky Foods grocery store, where days are long and some folks aren’t friendly. For Azalea, whose family and experiences seem different from most everybody she knows, friendship has never been easy. Maybe this time, it will be. Inspired by the true accounts of Chinese immigrants who lived in the American South during the civil rights era, these side by side stories-one in Azalea’s prose, the other in Billy’s poetic narrative-create a poignant novel and reminds us that friends can come to us in the most unexpected ways.
Not since Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show has a novelist captured the poignant contradictions of young manhood in the American West the way Bud Shrake does in Billy Boy. And no novel has ever combined history, spirituality and golf into so potent a triumph of the human spirit. There are tough times ahead for sixteen-year-old Billy. He’s just come to Fort Worth with his father, Troy, after the death of his mother back in Albuquerque. Troy’s drinking and gambling will leave them all but penniless, and he’ll soon move on and abandon Billy in this strange town to fend for himself. With only a vague idea of how he’s going to live, Billy heads over to Colonial Country Club, where he hopes he can get work as a caddie and where he just might see his hero, Ben Hogan. What he finds there, under the watchful eye of his guardian spirit, teaches him unforgettable lessons about golf, life, love and honor. In Billy Boy, longtime novelist and screenwriter Bud Shrake takes us back to the early 1950s, in a story thick with the Texas dust. Hardscrabble Billy, tough as he thinks he is and smarter than he knows, makes a place for himself behind the walls of privilege at Colonial. He first draws the approval, then the ire, of the club’s most eccentric millionaire member, while his looks and manner draw the attention of the millionaire’s beautiful granddaughter – to the displeasure of her boyfriend, the club champion. Billy survives a fierce initiation and a dreadful scene with his drunken father – but most important, he comes in contact with two of the greatest figures in the history of golf in Texas, Ben Hogan and John Bredemus, each of whom takes Billy under his wing for different reasons and with different results. Shrake skillfully weaves these historical figures and his richly drawn characters into the fabric of the town and the tenor of the time. Billy must face down his fears and doubts, and he does so in a climactic confrontation that combines the yearnings of youth w
The “Bad Santa 2” actor talks about everything from his ex-wife Angelina Jolie to My Little Pony and Komodo dragons.
Here are just five of the many things we learned about the star:
1. He thought Angelina Jolie was too good for him.
When asked about his two-year marriage to Jolie, the actor said, “I never felt good enough for her,” later adding, “I’m real uncomfortable around rich and important people.”
Thornton and Jolie officially divorced in 2003, but the actor revealed they’re still friends and even talk on occasion. Plus, Thornton still has a visible tattoo of Jolie’s name on his leg.
2. He thinks movie critics ruin everything.
Especially because of their not-so-great-track record with liking sequels.
“’Oh, my God, did you see ‘Joe Dirt 2?’ It’s atrocious.’ Who gives a shit? Then don’t go see it. Don’t write about it, you know?” Thornton said when talking about his upcoming film “Bad Santa 2.” “You take away people’s right to like what they want to like by influencing people who are very easily influenced.”
3. He thinks we’re all desensitized.
“People have made sure of that, that you can’t shock anybody anymore,” he said. “It’s not just because of movies and TV. It’s because of what’s happening in the world. It’s like, well, surely no one’s ever, like, killed a bunch of rabbits with a hatchet and then ate them in front of a group of kindergartners, and you look it up and, sure enough, somebody did it.”
(Surely we all felt the same about Donald Trump winning the presidency ― it was never going to happen ― yet here we are.)
4. He actually loves “My Little Pony.”
The actor explained that he used to watch the animated show with his daughter Bella, but she grew out of it. He, on the other hand, “longed to see it again” and found a new version of it to watch with his daughter.
Just read how he talks about one of the show’s story arcs:
This was amazing because the Mane Six ponies, who are the stars of the show, they go out there because Celestia, who runs Equestria, she will tell Twilight Sparkle she needs to go somewhere, but she doesn’t tell her why.” Bear with him, it’s worth it, I promise. “So anyway, suddenly they get captured by them and told that they have to remove their cutie marks and get equal signs. But they said, you know what? No. So Fluttershy, who is my favorite because she kind of talks like Marilyn Monroe, says, ‘Oh, yes.’” (He says this like Marilyn Monroe.) “Fluttershy acts like she wants to become a member, you know? And so they give her the cutie-mark equal-sign stamp and everything. And then she notices something, like it rains, and it washes off Starlight Glimmer’s equal sign, and she’s got her own cutie mark. So she’s like a Jim Jones cult, you know, right?”
5. You don’t want to ask him to sign your “Sling Blade” DVDs.
Especially after you’ve just seen him perform with his band, The Boxmasters.
To those people who do ask him to autograph their DVDs, he might have this to say: “Sure, I’ll sign your ‘Sling Blade’ DVD. And you can go home and fuck missionary like a metronome and never have an original creative idea in your life.”
Yeah, best to leave those DVDs at home.
You can read Thornton’s full interview by heading to GQ’s website.
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Billy the Kid spent part of his youth in Santa Fe in the 1870s~ What was New Mexico’s territorial capital like in Billy’s day? How did Santa Fe’s frontier character and its Hispanic culture shape the development of this future desperado? What other residents did Billy encounter who would figure significantly in later chapters of his brief life? And how did Billy spend his days and his nights as a youngster in Santa Fe? Did he ice skate? . play baseball? . tell ghost stories?Historical facts and fanciful legends swirl around Billy the Kid’s early days-and around the City at the End of the Santa Fe Trail-in Young Billy, Lynn Michelsohn’s first book of the non-fiction trilogy, Billy the Kid in Santa Fe. Young Billy includes over 40 photographs, drawings, and maps and two appendices. Recommended for Western History buffs, Billy the Kid aficionados, and anyone who loves Santa Fe! Table of Contents: Chapter 1. Billy Comes to Santa Fe-despite defunct burrosChapter 2. Santa Fe Life-blue-eyed Mexicans, scheming politicians, and military musicChapter 3. The City at the End of the Santa Fe Trail-mud, mud, and more mud! Chapter 4. February 1873-did Billy ice skate? or play shortstop?Chapter 5. Billy Leaves Santa Fe-after a documented event, at last! Appendix A. Pronunciation GuideAppendix B. Finding Billy’s Santa Fe Today
Any worries Ang Lee had about how the technologists at the Future of Cinema Conference would receive his presentation of footage from “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” were laid to rest on Saturday. The presentation of an 11-minute sequence from the film in its native format (3D, at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second… Read more »
In the slum district of the great city of New York, on the 23rd day of November, 1859, a blue-eyed baby boy was born to William H. Bonney and his good looking, auburn haired young wife, Kathleen. Being their first child he was naturally the joy of their hearts. Later, another baby boy followed. In 1862 William H. Bonney shook the dust of New York City from his shoes and emigrated to Coffeeville, Kansas, on the northern border of the Indian Territory, with his little family. Soon after settling down in Coffeeville, Mr. Bonney died. Then the young widow moved to the Territory of Colorado, where she married a Mr. Antrim. Shortly after this marriage, the little family of four moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the end of the old Santa Fe trail
Did Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence just become best friends? (Answer: YES.) The evidence is all there: They've vacationed together. They're working on writing and starring as sisters in the movie of our dreams. And…
Billy Reid offered up a soft color palette of different shades of neutrals in an array of textured and luxe fabrics for spring. He even dabbled in solid black, ordinarily a no-no for someone with such a Southern sensibility, but the fit and flow of the ebony trench just felt right, Reid said, and made the cut.
Although his mastery of textile design was evident in the jacquard sweaters, polyester trenches that looked like silk, and basket-weave shorts, nothing was over-the-top.
“I didn’t want things to feel fussy or overcooked,” he said. In fact, any fabrics that Reid deemed too heavy for the season, he had made into pillows that covered the benches at his show and served as parting gifts for attendees.
“Sometimes the heavy fabrics are too hard to wear,” the designer said.
Reid’s tailored clothing showed a subtle Fifties influence with fuller silhouettes in jackets and high-waist pants, indicating that the tight, slim cuts of the past few seasons are yesterday’s news.
The collection overall was spot on and a strong indicator of Reid’s ability to always stay one step ahead of his customer.
New – Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Commentary (music and lyrics not included). Pages: 37. Chapters: Absolutely Free (song), Advance Romance, America Drinks and Goes Home, Are You Hung Up?, A Token of My Extreme, Billy the Mountain, Bobby Brown (song), Brown Shoes Don’t Make It, Camarillo Brillo, Cheepnis, Cocaine Decisions, Cosmik Debris, Dancin’ Fool, Disco Boy, Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow Suite, Du
GOODNIGHT MOONSHINE’S “DARK SIDE OF THE RAINBOW” MASHES PINK FLOYD WITH THE WIZARD OF OZ
photo courtesy of Seth Cohen PR
The video of the song “Dark Side of the Rainbow” is a mashup of Pink Floyd’s “Time” from Dark Side of the Moon, and “Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. Their aim is to pull back the curtain not only the urban legend of the Pink Floyd album but also to reveal the tension that often exists within a new marriage.
According to Eben Pariser…
“The whole thing emerged from the 90s phenomenon of syncing The Wizard of Oz movie to the Dark Side of the Moon album, and all the speculation that the coincidences were way too precise for Pink Floyd to not be in on it, especially since they were making movie soundtracks at the time. When I was 16 (after allegedly indulging in the stoner-sport of syncing the film to the album,) I spontaneously realized that ‘Time’ was in fact a perfect reharmonization of ‘Over The Rainbow’–but it took me 16 more years to find the right vehicle to record and perform the mashup, in my lovely wife Molly and our collaboration, Goodnight Moonshine.'”
According to Molly Ventor…
“We set out wanting to convince people that Pink Floyd intentionally synched the album to The Wizard of Oz. During the filming, we realized how closely the 2 sets of lyrics paralleled the different sides of a longstanding philosophical argument we’d been having; Venter believing that much in life is out of one’s control and that we must remain hopeful and optimistic, Pariser believing more in the power of individual will and action, and that missed opportunities are one’s own fault. Through the taping we recognized we were each trying to convince the other of our own life perspective. The video captures how painful that endeavor is. We’re a newlywed couple, letting you in on our life together through our music. All the good stuff, but also the dark stuff, challenging stuff–the stuff that often goes unsaid. No kitsch. And largely positive and healing through the revelation that we are at the core, just normal folks trying to make a marriage work. A positive loving relationship, and a deeply artistic and somewhat daring one.”
For more on : http://www.goodnightmoonshine.com
A Conversation with Billy Bob Thornton
Mike Ragogna: Billy, your group The Boxmasters has been working on its double CD Somewhere Down The Road for a while now. How does The Boxmasters hit you these days as opposed to when you were just starting out with the group?
Billy Bob Thornton: In the beginning, we didn’t really know how long it would last. It was kind of like a side project for my solo stuff. We thought we’d make that record and maybe another one and that would be it. It began as a sort of stylized thing. We were experimenting with a combination of British Invasion and hillbilly music and putting them together and wearing the suits in tribute to the sixties, which is the era we love. The first two or three records were almost like art projects. Like I said, they were very stylized. If you remember the first Boxmasters record, it had transitional music, so it never stopped. We put an extra CD of covers in each record as a bonus, songs we loved and that inspired and influenced us.
After those records were done and we parted ways with Vanguard Records, we thought we’d gone as far as we could. Then all of a sudden, we just started writing songs and playing the way we naturally sound as opposed to trying for a specific thing. On the first record, we were doing Mott The Hoople, The Beatles, The Byrds and singing it like David Allan Coe. Then JD and Brad and I started writing these songs and we just played them the way we naturally sound. As it turns out, the reason we made this new record a double is because we sound like two things. We have that moody sort of dark, atmospheric sound, and then we have this very late sixties LA country rock sound in the vein of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Burrito Brothers, with some influence of Petty and people like that. We discovered that that’s who we really are. We’ve written probably two or three hundred songs that aren’t even on records; we’ve got five or six songs that have already been mastered that aren’t out. We’re just going to sell those records on the website because we’ve got so many. That sound on Somewhere Down The Road–on the first side especially–is kind of what those other songs sound like. We’ve kind of finally settled into that.
MR: Do you feel like you guys reached this point creatively because of what’s going on in your personal lives? Maybe you’ve “matured” in some ways, if that’s the right word?
BT: I think that’s a good word for it. We have matured as songwriters, musicians, singers, everything. I think you can’t help doing something for so long that you’re just going to get better. We’ve gotten better over the years. I think we have more confidence. We know we can write songs and we know we can write songs that people can respond to as opposed to whatever weird stuff is in our head that we experiment with. I think we have definitely matured. I think recording is probably my favorite thing to do in music. We love playing live, that’s a great thing, but being in the recording studio is such a part of our souls and so natural to us. I love acting, I love doing movies and I love music, I love them all equally, but I think I only like the process of actually doing the stuff. I love the process of recording, I love the process of doing movies as an actor, I just don’t like all the other junk that’s involved with it. So maybe in the recording studio, you just feel exempt from everything when you’re in there. It’s like you’re hidden in a cave somewhere alone doing what you’re feeling in the moment. I guess that’s why we recorded so many songs; we just keep going. Even ones that aren’t intended to come out maybe. We get an idea for a song that probably isn’t commercially viable but we record it anyway because we want to.
MR: The process is more important than an end result. How is your creative expression different or the same in the fields of acting and music?
BT: They both really do feed my soul. Not only are they both very cathartic–I know that word is probably very overused but they truly are–but I just love the artistry of both. The thing is you get to experience what’s in your mind in different ways. It feels the same inside, it’s just as good both ways, but you get to experience your art in a different way. But to me, they’re really the same thing, just expressed in different ways. I never expected to become and actor of any stature. It just kind of happened. Because of that I always approach things this way: I’d rather have a hundred or two hundred really hardcore fans than millions of fans who just treat it like anything else and you get slagged off half the time and some of them are sort of interested or some hate it and some like it. It’s that end result thing you were talking about. I don’t do anything with that in mind. I never expect that we’re going to have a hit and I don’t particularly care if we do. It would be wonderful, but that’s not why we do it. That’s not why I do anything in movies either.
MR: You talked about fans who would really “get” what you put out. Can you identify what that kind of fan is, what your core fans love about The Boxmasters?
BT: Generally, our fans are people who like an eclectic mix of things. They’re people who aren’t diehard rock ‘n’ roll fans or die hard country fans, it’s kind of hard to identify our music and I think it’s kind of hard to identify our fans. We tend to have fans that are either forties and fifties and up or twenty year-olds. It’s sort of that middle range in there, people from thirty to forty, I don’t think we have as many of them for some reason. That could be because of whatever time they grew up in. I think maybe people in that age range were sort of spoon fed a particular fashion statement and things were put in boxes more when those people were growing up, whereas when I was growing up everything was very eclectic. I listened to Hank Williams and The Mothers Of Invention in the same day, and the radio would play James Taylor and Black Sabbath on the same station.
I think maybe the reason we have some younger fans is because that’s sort of starting to come back around. A lot of people are really down on music right now, but I see that even sometimes people of my generation are the ones trying to fit into a mold more and more. You see guys who were singing Vietnam protest songs and now they’re on the cover of a magazine doing a duet with a pop star so they can remain current. I’m finding that some of the guys in the younger bands are real fans of The Boxmasters because they themselves are looking for their thing like we were in the sixties. So when they hear something slightly off the beaten path they really dig it. I actually have hope for music right now. I really do. I didn’t before. Everybody knows the eighties was kind of a bizarre generation. The nineties had a little resurgence but then it kind of went away for a decade or so, but I think it’s really coming back. People are looking for different things. People are listening to certain metal bands as well as Mumford and Sons or the Old Crow Medicine Show, people like that. I think it’s on an upswing. Also young kids, say teenagers up until young twenties, are discovering The Beatles and Buffalo Springfield and Aerosmith and whoever it was along the way. There are plenty of twenty year olds who listen to Deep Purple and Zeppelin and The Who and everything like that.
MR: Since you’re a pretty solid music expert, doesn’t understanding what went into making classic, high-quality albums make the process a bit intimidating for you? Like how do you balance striving for that caliber while just expressing yourself and letting creativity flow?
BT: I think it’s two things. One is never forgetting history. Never forget that history of all the great classic albums over the years, letting them influence you and not being ashamed to say, “Yeah, absolutely, we were trying to be The Beatles” or The Stones or The Animals or whatever, that’s our desire. The bar was set very high for people of my generation. We all wanted to be The Beatles and we knew we were never going to be, that it was going to be impossible. You’re always reaching for an impossible goal, so you never get lazy about it. You’re always striving and you’re always desperate for acceptance and approval and everything. When the bar has been set that high you just never stop trying. At the same time, a good part of that is you have such great music and songwriting to draw from, you let it wash over you and influence you.
The second part is that you have to remain open to new things. We’re not trying to just copy old stuff that we love. We’re knot like that. We’re truly not the old guys chasing the kids out of the yard. We really do respect the evolution of music. I think you have to be open, resect the evolution of music and at the same time hold on to your history. You put those two things together and it’s very satisfying to you. Whether anybody is going to respond to it or not, that’s up to them. We have no control over it, but for us, if we accomplish those things, always striving to get better, always striving to be open to new possibilities and yet never letting our history die in our minds, the best of you comes out and you know at the end of the day that you’re not leaving any stone unturned. It’s very satisfying.
MR: These two CDs represent a fraction of the songs that you’ve recorded. So what was the assembly process like that led to this particular album?
BT: We were writing new songs to make an album, but when you’re writing songs, one day you may not feel a song that’s in that vein, so you write something else. It’s like, “Well, that doesn’t belong here. I love the song but it just doesn’t belong in this particular group of songs that we started.” So we took the maybe twenty or so songs that we had that were new and said, “Wow, we’ve only got five of these jangly, Byrds-like LA rock songs and we’ve got seven of these moody things. That doesn’t make one album.” So we went back into some of the songs we’d written before. I think the earliest ones on this record are from 2010. There were two or three of those that exactly fit what we were doing now. We had started writing this whole record of very sixties-like songs using a Farfisa Vox Continental Organ, and we said, “You know what? If that organ was a B3 instead those songs would totally fit this record.” So we had Teddy Andreadis, our keyboard player, just come over and replace the Farfisa with a B3 and suddenly they belonged on the album. Once we got those songs together, the label people, Mark and Tammy Collie who signed us to 101 Ranch Records, had certain favorites that were in the moodier side. We side, “Gosh, we don’t want to put out just a moody record right now because we want people to hear these pop rock songs. Let’s ask them if we can do a double album.” They were all for it. I guess, as they say, it was no skin off their nose. We ended up saying, “Well look, these are the songs we love; let’s just make two records.”
So we wrote new songs and collected ones from other recording sessions that just fit and ended up with the two records we really wanted. The other five or six records that we had finished we didn’t want to break up because they fit together too. There are songs from all of those records that could’ve gone on this, and as a matter of fact some songs where we were like, “I wish we could put this on here, it really fits,” but we didn’t want to break those records up. As a result, we ended up saying, “We’ll sell those on the website at a later time.” We do have a real nice cult following, people who really love us. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re great. We thought, “What we’ll do is we’ll even maybe put out five song or six song EPs of songs we don’t have enough of that style to make a whole record.” Some of them are even in demo form. We thought it might be interesting every now and then to put on the website a five song EP of songs that aren’t even finished, so people can hear what it’s like before, say, the lead guitar’s on there, or there’s no background vocals or something like that. Then later on, we’ll finish those and put them up finished.
MR: To me, the title track, “Somewhere Down The Road,” is the centerpiece of the album. For you, are there a couple of other tracks that are really important for the project?
BT: There’s a song on the first side called “This Game Is Over” which is a particular favorite of ours. On the moody side there’s a song called “What Did You Do Today?” which I think is what they’re putting out on Americana radio mainly and a song called “Somewhere” that we’re really in love with. It’s a very different-sounding song. It’s got a very different chord progression and I sing it slightly differently. But you love all your songs and you hope other people will, but sometimes you might have a favorite song that nobody else responds to and then you have another song where you say, “Eh, that’s kind of a standard song,” and everybody’s crazy about it. You never know. But “This Game Is Over,” a song called “Getting Past The Lullaby,” which I think is a beautiful song. Anybody who loves their mother is going to love that song.
MR: What do you feel about The Boxmasters’ legacy? When you look at this body of your work as well as the unreleased albums, what are your observations?
BT: I truly believe that if we had been twenty-five or thirty years old in 1968 or 1973, we would have been a huge band. I think we probably make music the way we do and with the passion that we do for thirty or forty years from now and not for today. I feel that someday, we will be an appreciated band, so I kind of look at it that way. We do it for ourselves and we do it the way we feel. We don’t craft anything tailor-made to be a hit, but I do believe that someday when people hear the thousand songs that we have I think some music geek is going to say, “Hey, you know what? I think these guys are worth their salt.”
MR: Billy, what advice do you have for new artists?
BT: I would say first and foremost learn the history. It’s like for you, as a journalist and as a writer, someone who is a fan but also makes a living at it, if you didn’t know who Walter Cronkite was, or Edward R. Murrow or Mark Twain or Jim Morrison or Chuck Berry was, if you weren’t real familiar with them, then you don’t have the education that it takes to truly be an artist. I would tell them, “Don’t just look at what’s shiny and bright in front of you right now. Always learn your history.” Also, if you’re a singer or a guitar player or whatever it is, even if your intention is to become famous doing whatever’s popular, if you’re content to let someone else write the songs and you just be the artist, I would say still write anyway. Even if you don’t intend to put it out there, even if you don’t feel it’s good, I think writing is an exercise that just makes you better whether it’s ever going to be seen or heard by the public or not. And write it from your heart and do it the way you feel it. Don’t try to copy anybody. Even if your life is going to be about copying and becoming popular and doing the current thing, I think it’s still important to create what you naturally create. I think it makes you better as a human being and as an artist.
MR: Excellent. Now what’s your advice to yourself?
BT: I think probably the number one best piece of advice for myself, and it’s so hard to do, is to ignore the comments of the now millions and millions of critics. Now with social networks everyone has an opinion and if you rub them the wrong way there’s not anything you can do about what they’re going to say. There’s seriously nothing you can do. So in other words, if they’ve got a bee up their ass about you, let’s say you say something stupid in public and it gets on the news, what an ass you are, if you apologize publicly, which has become a popular thing–“I’ll apologize to everyone”–they’ll say, “Oh, he only did that to help his career.” If you don’t apologize, then you’re an asshole for not apologizing. In other words, I’m trying to learn that there’s not a thing I can do about the people that hate me on the internet. Nothing.
As an artist, you’re sensitive by nature, and probably a little unbalanced, so it gets to you more. I’m trying to learn how to not let my oversensitive nature overtake me and make me stick my head back in the cave and not want to put myself out there. You have to do it. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from this. A lot of people have made comments like this throughout history but I think Jonathan Swift said something like, “…if what a certain writer observes be true, that when a great genius appears in the world, the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” I think you just have to get used to the fact that you’re doing what you love and what you feel and you are at least doing it, so anybody who’s willing to stick their neck out–and I don’t care if it’s the silliest part on the silliest sitcom out there or the deepest Marlon Brando performance out there–both of those people have something in common. Both of them were willing to try.
In that sense, you can’t separate anybody in the entertainment business, no matter if they’re a lightweight or real heavy. If you make a silly, syrupy pop record or you make some masterpiece like Dark Side Of The Moon, the one thing those two have in common is that they both put their necks out of the cave. They’re both willing to do something, so you end up being talked about by people who are not doing anything. We have to pay attention to the people who do, not the people who talk about the people who do. That’s the biggest lesson for me.
MR: Wow. So are you looking forward to the tour as a way to get your head fully back into music for a while?
BT: Yeah, I really am looking forward to it, especially since I’m going out with Brad and Teddy and J.D.. They’re my friends. I don’t have a lot of close friends, I have a lot of acquaintances, but I’m going to be out there on a bus with guys who are my friends and who I spend time with anyway. There’s a certain family camaraderie there. The only bad thing about touring is it’s not a good place for the kids, on the bus and everything. My daughter Bella is now ten. She’s going to be eleven in September and I’m going to miss her a lot. It’s thirty five days, but thirty five days when they’re ten is a big deal. That’s the hardest part of touring. On a movie, it’s different, we just got back from New Mexico and the family went with me because you’re in one spot. On this you just can’t do it. And we’re not spring chickens, either. It’s not like when we were younger. I used to rodeo and I could sleep in the front of a truck while some guy’s driving. It’s not like that anymore. We all try to take all of our vitamins and get ready to go.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
A Conversation with The Boxmasters’ J.D. Andrew
Mike Ragogna: J.D.! You good?
JD Andrew: I’m good! I’m trying to shake the nerves of getting ready to go on tour. I haven’t had a tour where I left my kids for longer than four or five days, so that’s a little nerve wracking right now. Last time I didn’t have any kids when we went so I didn’t have to worry about it.
MR: What’s it like juggling your music duty and being a new dad?
J.D.: Most of the time it’s not too bad. Billy sold his house a couple of years ago, so we don’t have the studio in the house anymore, so we don’t work six days a week fifteen hours a day anymore. If I had the kids and we were still doing that schedule I would probably shoot myself. It’s a lot easier time now, we just go and record when we have some songs or have some time. It’s a lot more relaxing, especially when the kids don’t sleep at night.
MR: So this new album is a double CD, which is pretty ambitious. How did you approach this one? You recorded it progressively over the last few years, right?
J.D.: Mostly. This one was done mostly at Henson studios, some of it was done over at Billy’s house previously, but it started in about 2013 sometime. Brad and Billy wrote “This Game Is Over” and “Sometimes There’s A Reason.” I would call those two songs the touchstones for at least the first CD. They’re all original, both CDs. The first one is kind of more rock ‘n’ roll and jangly sixties country rock stuff and the second one is more of the moody singer-songwriter stuff, more like Billy’s Beautiful Door record, using his Warren Zevon influences and doing that sort of thing. I would say three quarters of this stuff was all done in the past two or three years. Some of it is from five years ago. When we initially met with 101 Ranch they were like, “Give us a record! We want to put it out.” We had so much back catalog material and records finished we initially started just picking songs from everything but we said, “We really want to keep these other records together and release those as they are at some point,” so we said, “Why don’t we just do a double record?” and the label went, “Sure, why not?” That was in some ways easier for us, to concentrate on two different sounds, the two different things that we do rather than figure out how to mix the two together.
MR: How has the band evolved sonically?
J.D.: The other projects were more hyper-stylized. We were really going for the combination of the early sixties/hillbilly/British invasion stuff. We made very definite guidelines on what were going to do, what we weren’t going to do, what equipment we would use, things like that. As we’ve evolved we’ve evolved into playing how we play naturally. It’s still got all of those sixties influences, it’s just a little more–I don’t even want to say “modern,” it’s just a little more relaxed in its stringency to those kinds of rules that we set before. It’s kind of jangly rock ‘n’ roll.
MR: So it’s like Boxmasters 2.0.?
J.D.: Yeah. Brad Davis is playing lead guitar on this stuff, we had another guy on those first couple of records. Not that they do a lot of things differently, it just is a version two. Brad Davis and Teddy Andreadis are now official Boxmaster members. We’re a four-piece as far as documentation goes. We’ve got six guys on the road. It’s just become more of a straight rock ‘n’ roll band at times with crazy moody psychedelic stuff in it.
MR: How are you going to perform this project on the road? And what have you learned from being on the road that you’re now applying to Boxmasters’ music?
J.D.: We’ve always kind of been a straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll band on the road. We sound big, we play loud. Right now it’s two electric guitars, an organ, a bass player, a drummer, and Billy’s out front and we just try to fill it up, but this time we are doing some shows at smaller venues where we’re going to do a slightly more stripped-down version of ourselves where there’s some acoustic guitars and some stools, which we’ve never really done before. We’re going to play some of these songs where we get more moody and slow.
MR: J.D., what have you found Billy’s favorite environment for a Boxmasters show to be?
J.D.: Billy wants a big show. He wants a place where we can have a good light show. Basically the thing he doesn’t want to do in any place, no matter how big or small, is he doesn’t want to look like a bar band. We work really hard on putting these shows together and we want that to come across. There’s lighting and projections and fun stuff going on, we want a sound system that will actually play above the band so it sounds big. When he does these really moody songs, he sings in his low register and he’s got a very resonant voice, so sometimes you need a system to get it to come out. When you’re kind of whispering it’s hard to get it out to the people.
MR: How about you? What are your favorite kinds of venues?
J.D.: My favorite places that we’ve played have been punk clubs. I like to sound like The Replacements live. Basically, “Let’s have a train wreck and have a lot of fun doing it!” At the same time, we want the songs to have starts and endings that actually start and end together and not just devolve into chaos. But I like them to all be faster than they probably should be, and louder and trashier. That’s just my personal preference. We’re a tight band, we’ve got really good players, it’s a lot of fun to play with the guys.
MR: Do you prefer recording or performing more?
J.D.: I have so much freedom in the recording process as far as how we sound. That’s what I do. That’s my initial hat that I think of. Playing live is fun, but then I have to worry about how fat I am and getting up in front of people and looking like a complete loser. That’s the part I worry about.
MR: When you’re recording are you considering having to play these songs live?
J.D.: No, we don’t tend to think about that at all. When we recorded most of these songs, it wasn’t until August or September of last year that we were really thinking of putting these together as a record. Anything we’ve recorded was just because we felt like recording it. Billy’s like, “As long as I can get in the studio every few weeks or once a month I’m fine. Otherwise, I lose my mind.” Everything is just recorded as we feel at the time. There’s no other outside influences like playing live or anything. The tempos are whatever is right for him to sing to and the rest of the instrumentation is mostly whatever our strengths are. I play the jangly stuff, Brad plays the fancy lead guitar stuff, Teddy does the keyboards and Billy’s the drummer, that’s it. Whatever fits whatever song is being done at that time is what we do.
MR: Do you have a couple of favorites on the project?
J.D.: I think every one of us would agree that “This Game Is Over” is one of our favorite songs, sonically, lyrically, vocally. It’s just really a great song. Another one of my favorites is “Somewhere Down The Road,” the last song and the title song of the record. That’s a song that was initially on another project we were kind of working out, kind of a concept record that we haven’t finished yet, so it just made sense that that song would go in this new batch. It’s one of the few songs that I actually remember writing. We wrote so many songs that I don’t remember the actual genesis of, but for some reason I remember when we wrote “Somewhere Down The Road” and how we did it. I’m trying to go down the list in my head. “Young Man’s Game” is my favorite one on the second side.
MR: I love that the concept of “sides” of a record has expanded into meaning two CDs.
J.D.: [laughs] Yeah.
MR: Which side would you listen to casually?
J.D.: I would probably drive to the first one and put the second one on at my house to do work. They’re just two different moods. The first one is much more of an exciting record for doing upbeat things and the other one’s a little more for doing introspective things.
MR: How has the writing experience evolved for you guys?
J.D.: We’ve done eight or ten songs since that record has been finished and we’re actually working more as a quartet on writing some of these songs. Most of the time, Billy will either have a chord or two that he’s plinked out on the guitar and maybe he has a lyric idea, he might have a whole lyric written. Some of the time, I have a whole track started or completely finished, other times I’ll just have some sort of riff idea. Really it comes from anything that gives us inspiration. It doesn’t take a lot, really, it’s just a couple of chords that make us perk up and go, “Hey, that’s something!” Then we’ll turn it into a song. Teddy brings all of his piano chords into the mix, so we’re trying to incorporate more of that along into what we do because it just gives it a little bit more different stuff. All that equals inspiration.
MR: Do you feel like the permanent addition of keyboard has shifted the focus of your approach?
J.D.: It’s not going to end up being a big sonic shift, it’s just anything that gives us an inspiration. Teddy can add a couple of different weird chords into things. That’s what we’re always going for, just evolving into more weird chords.
MR: Does Billy’s schedule as an actor ever conflict with the band’s schedule?
J.D.: He says, “Let’s tour in April” and that’s when we go. Any time we have something band-related that’s going on that’s important he just tells his film manager that this is what we’re going to do. It’s not a lucrative position for him, but a lot of times they can reschedule. We haven’t had to deal with that before, because he wasn’t making a lot of movie projects for quite a while, which gave us years of constant recording. This is the first time he might actually have a bunch of projects going on. We’ve all got stuff going on, Brad’s got his own studio in Texas, he’s got to take time to close the place down and postpone projects, and Teddy’s always on the road playing with someone. I hang out with my kids most of the time when I’m not working with Billy. It’s good.
MR: So this has evolved in a good way for you all, time-wise.
J.D.: Yeah, everybody has other things they do. It’s just a matter of, “Hey, are you available this time?” “Yeah, I am,” “Great, let’s get together and do something.” It’s not the other three of us sitting around and going, “Man, I can’t wait until we can tour again.” It’s whenever it’s good for all of us. We’re excited to make it all happen.
MR: J.D., what advice do you have for new artists?
JD: My advice is to not chase whatever trend is going on and try to sound like everyone else. Take the people you are inspired by and start digging into who inspired them, and then find out who inspired them. Get back to the root of the music that you love. It might surprise you as to what was the genesis for somebody else’s inspiration. I’m sure Billy will say this too–learn your history. There’s so much of it that’s being lost, we have to hold on to it and learn it and teach it to others. Use that history and use it to inspire you to make music that is personal to yourself and not just whatever the next hot thing is that’s going to get you on American Idol.
MR: Nice. Do you think that’s what people are taking away when they listen to a Boxmasters project?
J.D.: I hope so. They should know that it’s heavily influenced by the past. We’re trying to bring it to new audiences, especially with the older cover stuff. Bring it to new audiences who might say, “I really like that song by Webb Pierce, I want to go listen to more of that,” and then they go and find Del Reeves or Merle Haggard or The Boxtops or anybody like that. Find things that are inspiring and might lead them to new creative heights.
MR: Musically, is there anything out there that surprises you anymore?
J.D.: I constantly feel like an idiot because there’s so much stuff that I haven’t heard. I hang out with Brad and Billy and Teddy and they are insane in their knowledge. It makes me feel like I don’t know anything. It makes me feel like I have to be constantly learning and looking into doing other things so I don’t feel like a complete idiot. These guys know so much history, it’s inspiring. Everyone really is influenced at their core level by other things. Brad grew up as a bluegrasser, Teddy grew up more of a rock ‘n’ roll, R&B kind of guy, Detroit via New Jersey. I’m also a little bit younger than those guys, I started learning a little bit later than them. Even though I was years behind my time I haven’t caught up. I’ve still got a lot to learn.
MR: What kind of a legacy do you want The Boxmasters to have?
J.D.: Basically I want people to listen to the music and read the lyrics and see that there’s a whole lot going on. Some of it’s poppy, bouncy, good time-sounding stuff but there’s really deep thoughts and stories and things going on that are a lot deeper than they might think. I want people to know, “Hey, that’s Billy singing,” he really is a great vocalist, a great storyteller, and all those crazy girl harmonies that you’re hearing in there, that’s him, too. I think I’m the boring underneath stuff that’s not the stuff you listen to and go, “Wow, that’s fantastic,” but he does all the high stuff that I can’t even reach anyway. There’s a lot going on in these records even if it just sounds like some guys bashing away. And it’s all played, there’s not machines going on. This is all how they used to make records in the old days. That’s what we do. We don’t use tracks live, we just play songs. That’s why we crash and burn at times.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
LINES WEST’S “PERFECT PAIR” EXCLUSIVE
photo credit: Ryker Kallas
According to Brian Larney…
“Lately, John and I have been talking a lot about some of the great songs of the late 60s and 70s a la Badfinger or Paul McCartney. The sound of those records and the song craft on them is just mind blowing. In every song there’s a killer hook! I had the idea of “Perfect Pair” kicking around for a while and it seemed to just beg for an arrangement that reflected our enthusiasm for that sound.”
Lyrically, it’s really about a pedestal and a plea. I can remember a few times finding myself in one of those -the quintessential unrequited situations yet I remain an optimist. The song ends with ‘I can take you anywhere. We’re two of a perfect pair’…I guess I’m just hopeless.”
DOUG BURR’S “NEVER GONNA BE YOUNG AGAIN” EXCLUSIVE
photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR
According to Doug Burr…
“We wanted this one to be jangly, Buddy Holly sounding. The music is kind of at odds with the story on this one–which is nothing new in the folk music world of course, the idea of a soldier living through war. Musically it stands out a bit on the record, but the subject matter was spot-on, and that song had received such strong audience response when playing it live. I’d been including that one in some live shows, since about 2012. So it felt like it needed to be a part of this record.”
If anything, O’Brien took his Tinder experience and cranked it to 11. The talk show host has conversations that leave nothing to the imagination (you’ll never look at a birch tree the same way again), brings a bowl of condoms that makes it look like he’s passing them out as Halloween candy and rides around in a creepy van with another glorious paint job. And incredibly, he’s actually pretty successful.
There were times where I would say to [the actor who played his boyfriend], ‘Bob, “I love you,’ and the audience would laugh nervously, because, you know, it’s a long time ago, that I’d feel this anger. I wanted to stop the tape and go, ‘What is your problem?’ Because it made you sort of very self-conscious about what we were trying to do then. And now it’s just, I see it and I just hope people don’t abuse it and shove it in our face — well, that sounds terrible — to the point of it just feels like an everyday kind of thing.
In recent years, more and more queer content is making its way onto the airwaves. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters and storylines can be seen in popular shows like “Looking,” “Modern Family,” “Empire,” “Transparent,” “Orange is the New Black,” “American Horror Story” and “Glee.”
Earlier this month, comedian Kevin Hart also sounded off on gay roles in Hollywood. “I can’t [play a gay character] because I don’t think I’m really going to dive into that role 100 percent, because of the insecurities about myself trying to play that part,” he told hosts of the Breakfast Club on New York’s Power 105.1. “What I think people are going to think while I’m trying to do this is going to stop me from playing that part the way I’m supposed to.” Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Bonnaroo, arguably the biggest music festival of the summer, announced its lineup on Tuesday. Including Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5 and Kendrick Lamar, the list features some artists who blew critics away in 2014 (Run The Jewels, Hozier and Caribou, to name a few) and newcomers who are just starting to get their festival sea legs (see: Tove Lo, Odesza and Ryn Weaver). Bonnaroo regulars like Florence and the Machine, Alabama Shakes and Flying Lotus are also on the bill.
Set in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo will run from June 11-14, and features more than 125 bands. Tickets go on sale Jan. 17 at 12 p.m. ET. Here’s the full list of artists scheduled to perform:
2015 Bonnaroo Lineup:
Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence and The Machine, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, Alabama Shakes, Childish Gambino, Flume, Hozier, Slayer, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Belle and Sebastian, Spoon, The War On Drugs, STS9, Ben Folds, SuperJam, Atmosphere, Atomic Bomb! Who Is William Onyeabor?, Tears for Fears, Brandi Carlile, Twenty|One|Pilots, The Bluegrass Situation SuperJam featuring Ed Helms & Special Guests, Flying Lotus, Earth Wind & Fire, Caribou, Gary Clark Jr., SBTRKT, Punch Brothers
Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood, Tove Lo, Run the Jewels, Dawes, G-Eazy, Trampled By Turtles, Sturgill Simpson, Moon Taxi, AWOLNATION, Sylvan Esso, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Guster, Jamie XX, Against Me!, Odesza, SOJA, Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester, Bleachers, Rudimental, Mac DeMarco, Tycho, The Very Best, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Shakey Graves, Shabazz Palaces, Gramatik, Mø, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jungle, Benjamin Booker, Houndmouth, The Growlers, Glass Animals, Ana Tijoux, SZA, Courtney Barnett, Rhiannon Giddens, Royal Blood, Tanya Tagaq, Woods,
Hurray For The Riff Raff, Iceage, Temples, Between The Buried & Me, Rustie, Ryn Weaver, Dopapod, Pokey LaFarge, Priory
Bahamas, Strand of Oaks, Phox, Gregory Alan Isakov, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, The Districts, Madisen Ward & Mama Bear, DMA’s, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jon Cleary & The Monster Children, Pallbearer, Dej Loaf
Christopher Denny, Hiss Golden Messenger, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, Unlocking the Truth Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Downtown Julie Brown opens up about her brief fling with rocker Billy Idol.
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Downtown Julie Brown’s Fling with Billy Idol | Oprah: Where Are They Now? | Oprah Winfrey Network
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“Parks And Recreation” may be ending next year, but a little piece of Pawnee will stay on Hulu.
The site announced Tuesday that it had given a straight-to-series order for Poehler-produced show “Difficult People” — a half hour comedy starring “Billy on the Street” host (and the inimitable “Craig” on “Parks & Rec”) Billy Eichner and master podcaster/”Billy on the Street” scribe Julie Klausner.
The Billy & Ray of the vague title Mike Bencivenga gives his play at the Vineyard are Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler. By practically sheer accident the two men–and only after director Wilder had a rift with longtime partner Charles Brackett–collaborated in 1943-44 on the screen adaptation of James M. Cain’s steamy novel of the same title.
While censor Joseph Breen was breathing down their necks, they focused on making the film version even steamier. It was an aim that film noir fans will cheer them for achieving with innumerable subtleties but not without much friction along the way.
The daily battle didn’t go without notice at the time, although apparently no one recorded it in its entirely–or filmed it. But Wilder spoke about it and, in particular, to James Linville for a 1996 Paris Review interview. He also allowed Charlotte Chandler, no relation to Raymond, to write the 2002 biography Nobody’s Perfect.
It’s likely those are at least two of the sources for what is a highly amusing, highly polished comedy about the several months the temporary partners hashed out the seven-Oscars-nominated classic.
Less than comic, however, is the worry Jewish immigrant Wilder (Vincent Kartheiser) had about the family who’d stayed behind in Europe and are reported missing or the secret drinking Chandler (Larry Pine), supposedly on-the-wagon to elderly wife Cissy, slowly allowed to get out of hand during the pair’s sessions.
As Wilder baits Chandler, who’d never been on a movie studio premises before (let alone attempted a screenplay of his works or the works of others), Chandler refuses to get over his disdain of the $ 750-weekly assignment and continually objects to Wilder’s quirks. The director-writer’s handy-dandy secretary Helen Hernandez (Sophie von Haselberg) tends amiably to the two men’s demands and neophyte producer Joe Sistrom (Drew Gehling) hovers about wringing his hands over seeing no pages.
Billy & Ray–which has little in common with David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow about two Tinseltown execs working on a script and aided by a secretary and more in common with Neil Simon’s Sunshine Boys–wouldn’t be half the fun it is without the players, swinging into it under Garry Marshall’s first piece of Manhattan stage direction. (The opus was initially produced at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre by Marshall, Kathleen Marshal LaGambina and Sherry Greczmiel.)
No regular Manhattan theater regular will be surprised by Pine’s impersonation of the Ivy League-ish Chandler, who looks and behaves nothing like his Philip Marlowe. After all, Pine–who recently played the brittle title character in An Unauthorized Biography of Walt Disney and then cross-dressed for Casa Valentina–makes everything he takes on seem as if he’s simply doing it off-the-frayed–cuff. Pine is especially funny on author Cain’s deficiencies, one dishy quote verified in the Paris Review chat.
The welcome surprise is Kartheiser, best (and perhaps only) known as the ambitious Pete Campbell on the soon-to-wrap Mad Men. What he offers here is a complete transformation. Speaking loudly in a Viennese accent (no dialect coach mentioned in the program) and carrying a big stick, he says ungrammatical things like “What did he did?” He also says about the groundbreaking he wants to do with Double Indemnity that “It’s time the pictures grew up.” Nosirree, Mad Men freaks, Kartheiser looks nothing like Pete Campbell, and bravo for that.
Gehling does completely right by the anxious Sistrom, a New York transplant afraid he’s about to be sent right back where he started from. Von Haselberg is so good at what she’s asked that she should soon cease to have it mentioned that her mom is Bette Midler. She does have a bit of the wonderful Divine Miss M strut.
Her blocky ’40s shoes are a big help, as found by costumer Michael Krass. As a matter of fact, all the duds look authentically ’40s–especially Helen’s ensembles and the casual wear Wilder affects. Chandler’s outfits resemble any professor’s who might have been crossing a campus in the last several decades, and in his blue suit Sistrom gets to be the suit.
Billy and Ray–that’s how Wilder insists they address each other to Chandler’s chagrin–carry out the ultimately extremely successful bellicosities in a sleek Paramount office designed by Charlie Corcoran, who may not have read the Linville interview and its mention of the man’s digs. Apparently, Wilder had hung a prominent sign featuring the question, “What Would Lubitsch Do?”–Ernst Lubitsch being a strong Wilder influence. Also, there are photograph of Wilder with fellow director-writers like Akira Kurosawa, John Huston and Federico Fellini. Corcoran has a Picasso and a Lautrec on the walls he puts up, along with portraits of various Paramount pretties.
At one moment, Wilder steps out on the walkway leading downstairs and spots Bing Crosby in white collar for the filming of Going My Way. Things were certainly going Crosby’s way, since all the 1944 Oscars for which Double Indemnity was nominated, went to Der Bingle’s release. Nice that Wilder and Chandler get a bit of a payback with Bencivenga’s entirely satisfying entry.
Kimber Lee’s brownsville song (b-side for tray)–the all-lower-case letters are Lee’s stipulation–starts out at a tough level with gray-haired Lena (Lizan Mitchell) angrily declaring that the story about to unfold should not begin with her. While insisting, she does get across that the subject matter is a grandson, Tray (Sheldon Best), who was shot four times and killed as an innocent bystander in a local shoot-out.
Thereupon the dead boy’s story gets underway, and it’s an upsetting one, as Lee intends it to be. Clearly, she has in mind putting forth one ghetto youngster to stand for all of the promising young men and women done in by stray bullets and who then turn up in the kind of news coverage that never seems to stop.
Tray is a skilled boxer, who’s also a candidate for a college education and a caring brother to younger sister Devine (Taliyah Whitaker). He’s being tutored on his required college essay by Merrell (Sun Mee Chomet), who’s his and Devine’s estranged mother, a woman who lost her bearings after her husband died. By horrific coincidence, the dead husband and father was, like Tray, also killed by four bullets.
The admirably and unfailingly good Tray holds down a Starbucks barista job, where Merrell, needing work, lands a position. Tray helps her learn the ropes, and he tolerates his pal Junior (Chris Myers), who’s constitutionally sullen and doesn’t get Tray.
Kicking off the drama as robustly as Lee does, she can’t resist allowing sentimentality to slip in before the final fadeout. It’s her commitment to showing the great loss to society suffered when young people disappear in a violent society doing little to improve itself. Who can blame her, when, for instance, she reveals the essay Tray writes that qualifies him for no less than a hefty grant he’ll never claim?
As directed with understanding by Patricia McGregor, the actors are impeccable. Andromache Chalfant’s set gets the point across. It’s dominated by a corrugated garage door with Tray’s face painted on it over the insistent word “Memory.” The same goes for Asa Wember’s evocative sound design.
The enterprise has the feel of a rap song made stage-ready. Perhaps that’s the explanation for the “b-side” in the title, although if records with what used to be widely known as b-sides (as opposed to the more commercially-intended a-side) still exist, I’m caught off guard.
Oh, I see, Lee may be implying that boys like Tray are unfairly regarded as no more than b-sides. If so, how damning is that? Arts – The Huffington Post
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Celebrity fitness instructor Billy Blanks leads viewers through this exercise program, focusing on strengthening and sculpting the abs into a flat, toned six-pack, all through the use of Blanks’ famous martial arts/dance inspired aerobics program, Tae Bo. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi
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Billy Bob Thornton is not the tabloid sensation we though he was. Go behind the interview with Executive Producer Jon Sinclair, as he give insights into Billy Bob and some of his hilarious views on life.
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Gap’s official Twitter account responded to Howerton, calling the side-by-side photo recreation “Worthy of a Tony!” According to Broadway.com, Lauper and Porter spread their show’s message of tolerance as part of Gap’s “Make Love” campaign.
Get ready to sweat and have some high-octane fun with Billy Blanks Jr.’s Dance Party Boot Camp. This 30-minute workout will supercharge your calorie burn with a nonstop mix of the hottest dance moves and boot camp conditioning. Billy and his wife Sharon Catherine will show you the steps and challenge your body to the max! Designed for all ages shapes and sizes it’s the best time you’ll ever have losing weight! Warm-Up (5-Minutes): Ignite your metabolism with a total body warm-up that sets your body in motion. Dance Party Boot Camp (30-Minutes): Get your sweat on and fire up the burn with a fast-paced dance workout that includes boot camp- inspired jumps squats twists and fat-blasting kicks. Cooldown (5-Minutes): Gradually lower your heart rate and reward your body with soothing stretches and fluid dance movements.
Billy Casper autographed 8×10 photo (PGA Golf Champion) Image #1 (Photo has slight tear at top discounted). Item comes fully certified with a tamper-evident, serialized hologram and certificate of authenticity.
List Price: $ 62.90 Price: $ 57.80