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25million fans rush for tickets to Led Zeppelin comeback gig September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music.
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Re-forming rockers Led Zeppelin crashed the O2 arena’s website yesterday, as 25 million fans logged on in a rush for just 20,000 tickets.

An incredible 100,000 hits a minute sent the computers into meltdown as the band announced it would reunite for the first time in 19 years for a one-off show at the south-east London venue.

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones will play at the Tribute To Ahmet Ertegun concert alongside Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, Foreigner and Paolo Nutini. The gig, on Monday 26 November, is in honour of Ahmet Ertegun, who died last year aged 63. Ertegun founded Atlantic Records and had a hand in all their careers.

Internet service providers are working around the clock to keep the official website, www.ahmettribute.com, up and running. Promoter Harvey Goldsmith said today fans should be patient as the website will be open for registration until noon on Monday. He said: “It is not first come, first served.” All the night’s proceeds will go to charity, but the announcement has led to speculation that the Seventies superstars will be unable to resist the lure of a lucrative reunion tour, which could net them as much as £70million.

The three original members, Robert Plant, 59, guitarist Jimmy Page, 62, and bassist John Paul Jones, 61, will be joined at the O2 Millennium Dome by Jason Bonham, the 40-year-old son of the band’s late drummer John. Despite sky-high ticket prices of £125, many nostalgic fans are clearly keen to see the band which led to the website crash. With such high demand, organisers have decided to offer two tickets per household on a ballot system.

The concert’s promoter, Harvey Goldsmith, said the band is approaching the gig extremely seriously. “They thought about it very carefully, and even decided to actually rehearse for a few days to see if they could play together again,” he said. “I only asked them to do 30 minutes and they came back after a week’s rehearsals and said they wanted to do a full show. So they obviously started to bond back together again.” He added: “As far as I’m concerned, this is a one-off show – if something materialises after that, I’ll be thrilled.”

As well as a forthcoming greatest hits compilation, called The Mothership, the group will also release a special edition DVD showing exclusive footage from the concert. Ladbrokes last night made the album an odds-on favourite to top the charts. Nick Weinberg, a spokesman for the bookmakers, said: “Reunion gigs are all the rage at the moment and we reckon Led Zeppelin will make the most of their comeback. “We fully expect to see their older fans, and a new generation of rock lovers, getting behind the group.”

The band members, who held preliminary rehearsals together in June of this year, have not performed together professionally since 1988. They split shortly after drummer Bonham died in 1980 after a drinking binge. Since then, they have performed only a handful of gigs, including Live Aid in 1985. It is understood that Jones in particular was not keen to perform as part of Led Zeppelin again. The band sold more than 300million albums worldwide and in 1995 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Men’s fashion is an art form September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion.
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Summer is ending, and this means fashion no-nos galore, including baggy pants, popped collars, white socks and the dreaded jean short. But even those of you who don’t boast these items have a thing or two to learn about dressing yourselves.

Yes, that’s right. Every single one of you. Half of you seem to have the idea that it’s okay to dress as though your mother picks out your clothes during her weekly trips to the mall, and the other half seem to think it’s acceptable to dress like an Urban Outfitters or American Eagle mannequin. I don’t know where you’ve gotten these ideas from, but it has to stop. Now.

Like it or not, fashion is an art form. Like art, fashion requires that you consider elements such as color, shape and line, this means no matching plaid with stripes! Like art, fashion is accessible to and appreciable by all, not simply the financial elite. And best of all, as with any art form, there is an objective standard for fashion.

I know that part comes as a shock to some of you, but no, what looks good on a man is not simply a fleeting impulse determined by societal consensus, and it is not wholly subjective. We use the same criteria when examining an outfit as we do when examining a painting. Sure, we can sometimes be misled by popularity and novelty, but even the most ignorant trend-whore instinctively “knows” whether an outfit is good or bad.

Is it shallow to be concerned with appearances? Maybe, but it’s unavoidable. Even the most skeptical among you still put on clean clothes every day, and you probably wear a shirt and tie to job interviews. These are signs of acceptance that, just as you form snap judgments based on how others appear at first glance, so, too, will others judge you.

Luckily, being stylish isn’t a matter of wearing $80 Armani Exchange shirts, $170 Diesel  jeans, flashy sunglasses or pink Lacoste polos. In fact, common sense, not a fat wallet, is the best tool you have.

Examples of common sense rules include: Wear athletic clothing, including baseball caps, only if you’re heading to or from the sports centre. Ensure that all shirts and pants fit properly, neither skintight nor baggy. Avoid square-toed shoes, as well as cheap-looking shorts. Never put a hoodie under another jacket.

A word about bootcut: If it were meant to be worn with sneakers and sandals, it would be called “sneakers-and-sandals cut.” Leave the Hot Topic-style sayings, the polos with cute little animals stitched on, and the sky-blue, vertical-striped shirts with the rest of your high school clothes. You’re an adult now. It’s time to dress like one. Failure to do sends a message to your peers not to take you seriously, and it transmits a strong “Don’t breed with me!” signal to potential mates.

If you’re still completely lost, fear not. The “keep it simple” principle always applies.

Clean, conservative articles like spartan shirts, fitted jeans and pants, and classic sneakers are timeless elements that ought to be a part of every man’s wardrobe. Best of all, they can be acquired for very cheap; a properly cared-for pair of dry Levi’s will last you longer than their pre-distressed mall-brand equivalents, and they’ll cost you less money in the end. Most other items you need can be bought on the Internet or in thrift stores, and if all else fails, the nearest H&M is only a drive away.

Take the time to learn what looks good on you, and fill out your wardrobe with outfits that aren’t eyesores waiting to be worn. Your friends, and the people who pass you on the mall, will silently thank you for it.

Daniel Radcliffe and the magic of the Sex Pistols September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.
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december_boys_radcliffe.jpg  Out of his comfort zone: Daniel Radcliffe as Maps in his first non-Potter film, December Boys.

It’s certainly a novel way to begin an interview. Daniel Radcliffe has been speaking for less than 60 seconds when suddenly his ball drops to the floor and rolls across to the far side of the room. As he retrieves it and returns to his seat, he explains why he always keeps a cricket ball handy for interviews.

“When I was doing press interviews for Harry Potter V they were all junket interviews, so it was all on TV. I would sit with the ball under my foot, and any time someone was asking a really inane question I would start to tap wildly on it to release the nervous energy,” he says with a quick demonstration, “which was pent up due to the fact that I really wanted to go, ‘Why are you asking me that? That’s a really stupid question! You’re embarrassing both of us here.’ ”

It’s hard not to take an instant liking to Radcliffe, who speaks at a word-per-minute rate that would frighten James Woods. Not because the Harry Potter films have made him the most recognisable teenager on Earth. Not because his performance in his first non-Harry film is good and took guts to do. And not because he is articulate, funny and free of youthful hubris.

It is because of the Sex Pistols. He casually drops the reference while spruiking December Boys, which he shot in Adelaide two years ago, before he flew off to do Order of the Phoenix.

Set in the 1960s, the film stars Radcliffe as Maps, one of four orphan teens who, during a stay with a family at the beach, discover that one of them is secretly being sized up for adoption. Directed by Australian veteran Rod Hardy, it is an uncomplicated coming-of-age tale.

“It’s good, isn’t it?” Radcliffe chirps. “It’s sweet and it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. We’re telling a very simple story. That’s it.” He doesn’t appear to draw breath when he speaks.

“It’s like what I always say about the Sex Pistols. People say, ‘Their songs weren’t exactly complicated and there wasn’t much to them,’ and I say, ‘Yeah, but they played them well; they were a tight unit.’ And that’s what this is. We’re not telling an incredibly complex story in terms of plot. It’s complex emotionally, but it’s the way it’s executed. It’s really, really good.”

It was a costume dresser on the first Potter who gave Radcliffe his initial taste of punk, which he liked so much he had the dresser hard-wired into his contract. Radcliffe gushes about the Damned, the Buzzcocks, the Clash, obscure artists such as Jilted John and even the proto-punk Australian band the Saints. “Yeah. Stranded. Great song. He just got me into all that and it’s something that never died in him, and I don’t think it will ever in me.”

Radcliffe has a lot on his plate. The Potter franchise may be the most successful film series in history, at $4.47 billion it outranks Bond, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but he is hard on himself. He knows more than anyone that he has got a long way to go as an actor.

He took on December Boys, he says, to get away from the “comfort zone” of Harry. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could go into a totally new environment with a new crew and pull a performance off rather than just being totally overwhelmed and frightened by the fact that I didn’t know anyone. Also, having started acting young, he said, trying desperately to avoid the phrase ‘child actor’, there is,” he laughs, “this stereotype with child actors, which is that we’re all nightmares and that we’re all horrible, bratty kids. And going onto a new film you think, ‘God, am I going to have to work against this?’ ”

He did, and feedback from the crew confirmed to Radcliffe that he had escaped the brat syndrome. But what he really wants to escape is Harry. So he tackled the controversial stage role in Peter Schaffer’s Equus after December Boys, and mercilessly spoofed himself in an episode of the TV comedy series Extras, where Radcliffe played the movie prat he clearly isn’t.

He found December Boys refreshing. “One of the cool things about Maps was he’s very, very quiet. With Potter, all the characters express their emotions and a lot of the plot through the dialogue. Maps doesn’t have that. So you have to communicate with less dialogue, which is a nice challenge. It wasn’t exactly Holly Hunter in The Piano, but it was going closer to that.”

Given that he did the film two years ago, he rates his work as “the best possible performance I could have given at that time. If I did it now, I could do it better, but I think we can go through life saying that and it won’t get us anywhere.”

Thanks to Harry, Radcliffe is Britain’s wealthiest teenager. Uppermost in his mind, though, is not early retirement but the artistic impulse propelling him.

“It just comes down to what you’re motivated by. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not motivated by leisure. The thing I get the most buzz out of is being on set. You get a feeling of achievement at the end of a really good day’s work. Everyone likes that. Also, I like to write a lot to get that artistic stuff out.” Write what? “Poems, mainly. I really enjoy it. I really like reading and I like literature, but poetry is the main type of literature that I love reading.”

As a talented young actor with the world at his feet and a bright future ahead of him there is, of course, a chance that Daniel Radcliffe will ruin his career by engaging in the sorts of behaviour currently afflicting young Hollywood. He laments the damage Lindsay Lohan has done to herself “That’s so sad. Lindsay’s really talented. I think she’s brilliant”, and offers this observation of why it is happening so much.

“My interpretation of the reason is that in America if you start a career in the media young, such as being a child actor, you will be treated as an actor first and then a child. In England, you are treated as a child first and then an actor. I think that makes a big difference, because you can get ideas above your station if you are treated as someone of great importance from a young age.” Should any such ideas ever occur to Radcliffe, he will no doubt be the first to know.

December Boys opens in cinemas in September.

Related Links > http://wip.warnerbros.com/decemberboys/

Prince sues websites over videos September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music, YouTube.
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American pop star Prince plans to sue YouTube and other websites for unauthorised use of his music.

Trying to “reclaim his art on the internet”, the man behind such hits as Purple Rain, 1999 and When Doves Cry said on Thursday that YouTube could not argue that it had no control over the videos that users posted on its site.

YouTube was clearly able to filter porn and pedophile material but appeared to choose not to filter out the unauthorised music and film content that is core to its business success, a statement on his behalf said.

YouTube responded by saying it was working with artists to help them manage their music on the site. “Most content owners understand that we respect copyrights,” said YouTube’s chief counsel, Zahavah Levine. “We work every day to help them manage their content, and we are developing state-of-the-art tools to let them do that even better.”

Prince also plans legal action against eBay and Pirate Bay, a site accused by Hollywood and the music industry as being a big source of music and film piracy. The legal action is the latest attempt by the music industry to wrest back control over content in an age where file sharing, mobile phones and video sites make enforcing copyright increasingly difficult.

But it is believed to be rare for an individual artist of Prince’s stature to take on popular websites, while some up-and-coming performers actually encourage online file-sharing to create a fan base and buzz around a record.

Boys in briefs perk up shopping in Paris September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion.
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Parisian women whose husbands weasel out of shopping expeditions can engage stylists and scantily clad guys to try on the latest styles

Male models wearing nothing but red underpants try on clothes for you. Stylists guide you to hide-away boutiques. Shop assistants whiz around giant department stores to find your perfect outfit. Shoppers in Paris who are too busy, weary or undecided to run after the latest fashion trends are receiving the help of a row of fashion workers advising them how to spend it.

French menswear shop Celio is offering a “rent-a-husband” service for women whose male friends are too lazy to shop. Male models in different heights, weights and shapes, clad in nothing but underwear, are offering to try on clothes for females instead of their shopping-averse husbands.

“It was a bit of a crazy idea,” said Romain Martin, the founder of the Shoppenboys service, but he added that the half-naked models had helped spark sales at Celio shops. “When people see the boys in their underwear, they want to make them try something on,” he said, adding that some 2,000 men had applied to become such husband-replacement models since the service was launched last year.

Consumer spending in France is solid compared to many of the country’s European neighbours. And with Paris’s annual 27 million visitors spending an average 200 euros per day, many retailers are trying to also lure foreign customers into their stores with special services.

“Demand for personal shopping has spiked in the past few years,” said Isabelle Herve-Penard, who was running up and down the floors of Paris’s giant Galeries Lafayette department store to find her clients anything from ballroom gowns to sneakers. “If you’re ill, you go and see a doctor. If you have a legal problem, you consult a lawyer. So why not ask for professional help when it comes to your outfit,” Herve-Penard said, adding many women lacked the time to spend hours shopping around. “Here, it’s all presented for them, like on a plate,” said Herve-Penard, as she was convincing a client to exchange her black jacket and trousers for a new brown mini-dress and a shimmering green trenchcoat.

“I’m starting a new job and wanted to have a younger image,” said the shopper, who paid 150 euros for a three-hour makeover at Galeries Lafayette www.galerieslafayette.com

But many shoppers in Paris do not just lack the time to hunt after latest trends, they also have trouble finding hide-away fashion treasures, said personal shopper Joelle Diderich. “A lot of tourists who come to Paris tend to stick to the shopping districts that feature in guide books, like the Champs Elysees and large department stores, and miss out on the beautiful little shops that sell typically French products,” said Diderich, who takes clients on tailor-made shopping sprees.

“Most of the time, I take people on walking tours. Paris has fantastic flea markets full of vintage clothes, in addition to super-chic shopping districts like Saint-Germain-des-Pres.” Diderich’s shopping tours, www.boutiquepersonalshopping.com cost between 400 to 600 euros for a half to full day.

Galeries Lafayette’s Herve-Penard said there was only one drawback to the personal shopping boom. “I run around so much in the store all day, I can never wear high heels,” she said.