Category: Archive

New & Noteworthy: Chew on this

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Just in case anyone thought that the oafish Oasis boys had mellowed with age — think again. Though the British-born, Mayo-reared Gallagher brothers are presently celebrating 10 years of name calling, hair pulling, fist fights and — oh, yes — singing, they’ve got plenty of time to take a swipe at any poor gobshite who catches their attention. Their targets this week? Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham and Eminem.

In an interview with British music bible NME, Liam took issue with Victoria’s literary pretensions. The former Spice Girl, now a solo performer and wife of Manchester United captain David Beckham, recently published her autobiography, “Learning to Fly.”

“[She] can’t even chew chewing gum and walk in a straight line at the same time, let alone write a book,” sneered Gallagher.

“Why is Posh Beckham writing a book of her memoirs?” he demanded.

It might be a rhetorical question, but we can think of at least one reason: Posh wanted to let the world know that yes, the long-rumored sixth Spice Girl did, in fact, exist. In the book, Posh alleges that former bandmate Michelle Stephenson was “hopeless,” and had “less rhythm than a cement mixer.” Michelle, who should have guessed that something was up when the band dubbed her “Clumsy Spice,” says she quit the band to nurse her sick mother, and that Posh’s remarks were, well . . . let’s just say, they rhyme with “twitchy.” (Posh, her gob full of Bubblicious, zigzagged away when asked for comment.)

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Noel, attempting to wrest the curmudgeons’ crown away from his little brother, took on potty-mouthed American rapper Eminem. After catching the real Slim Shady’s performance at the Reading Festival in England, Noel sniffed, “I was looking at the 60,000 people who were goin’ mad, thinking, ‘You lot don’t half deserve each other.’ ”

Though some may detect a bit of the green-eyed monster in Gallagher’s remarks, it seems he’s merely fretting over the human condition.

“People set their standards too low in their idols these days,” he said.

Who wants to be . . . a cartoon?

Back in the good old days — loosely defined as the first time ugly polyester shirts and Farrah hair were fashionable — real celebrity meant having your own Saturday morning cartoon. Bill Cosby, the Beatles, the Jackson Five, the Harlem Globetrotters, et. al were featured in glorious, low-quality animation, solving mysteries and singing songs in order to keep the kid occupied between Frosted Flakes commercials.

Now, talk/game show host Regis Philbin will experience the thrill recently known to such other luminaries as MC Hammer and My Pretty Pony: he’ll be featured in an animated version of his megahit show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

We hear that the show will focus on fictional winners, who use their new-found wealth to scale the Himalayas or explore the Amazon. Personally, we’d like to see something a bit more realistic, like winners rushing to the plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck and a nose job before hitting the fall preview sale at Saks.

Westies pip prince in sexy poll

In a recent poll, the teenagers of Ireland and the UK selected Westlife hunks Kian Egan and Shane Filan as two of the world’s sexiest celebrities. The Irish lads, who finished second and seventh, respectively, beat out Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst (9th place), Britain’s Prince Harry (11th place) and David Beckham (in at lucky No. 13).

Surprisingly, no Irish women finished in the top ten on the list, which included Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. But then, nice Irish girls like Samantha Mumba, Bellefire and B*Witched try to stay at least semi-covered when out in public — no sheer gowns, G-strings or short (short!) shorts for them. (Sorry, fellas.)

Wedding bells are gonna chime

Now that baby’s made three, Westlife’s Bryan McFadden and ex-Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona are getting ready to tie the knot. We hear that they will walk down the aisle early next year in Ireland.

The couple has already lined up entertainment for the reception. While we can assume that both Bryan’s and Kerry’s bandmates will probably be inspired to take turns at the karaoke machine, we hear that most of the singing will be done by British pop star Dane Bowers.

NME magazine reports that Bowers plans to sing “a big showstopper” at the afters.

“Maybe that one from ‘Titanic,’ or the ‘Lion’ one that Elton John sings from that cartoon,” said a source, who is described as “close to Ireland,” whatever that means.

“It’ll be good and clean . . . none of that rocky swearing stuff, I can tell you,” insisted the insider. Well, you wouldn’t want that with children present, right?

In more wedding news, we hear that former Boyzone front man Ronan Keating traveled to Spain last week to warble a few tunes at his brother nuptials.

The happy couple — Gary Keating and Valerie Dwyer — tied the knot in a small ceremony in a church overlooking the Costa del Sol. Though a tropical storm had caused a power outage in the town, the wedding went ahead as planned. We hear that the guests — all family and close friends — were thrilled with Ronan’s a capella rendition of “Once in a Lifetime.”

It seems trite to say that the stars came out for last weekend’s fund-raising telethon, “A Tribute to Heroes,” but it was, literally, the most star-studded concert since the “Live Aid” broadcast of 1985. An unprecedented roster of stars from every part of the entertainment industry pitched in to raise money for the victims of the horrific Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The musical guests, based in studios in New York, Los Angeles and London, each performed one number. Bruce Springsteen started off the show with “City in Ruins.” U2, accompanied by Dave Stewart of the Eurhythmics, performed “Walk On,” with Bono adding a Hallelujah chorus at the end. Billy Joel contributed “New York State of Mind,” and Mariah Carey performed the achingly appropriate “Hero.”

Among the most touching moments of the show were Wyclef Jean’s cover of the Bob Marley classic “Redemption Song” and Julia Roberts’s short speech paying tribute to the rescue workers.

“They followed the code of the day,” she said, her voice breaking. “Before we save ourselves, we save each other.”

The concert, which was broadcast on all major networks and scores of cable channels, raised approximately $150 million.

In the wake of the WTC disaster, the entertainment industry has found itself rethinking some of its products — and some of its marketing strategies.

One early casualty has been Samantha Mumba’s screen debut, “The Time Machine.” We hear that the movie contains a scene involving a skyscraper being blown up — hardly the kind of thing that will lure audiences who’ve witnessed the real thing over and over on CNN. The movie’s opening has been pushed back a few months, as producer Steven Spielberg reworks the ending.

In the music industry, some bands are pulling videos that might be considered insensitive given the current situation. The Cranberries, who are getting set to launch their new CD, “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee,” have decided not to release the video for the album’s first single, “Analyse.” The video, which was shot in New York, features footage of the Twin Towers before the attack.

Westlife has also decided to scrap their new video to avoid offending fans (and no, that doesn’t mean they’ll never release another video). The clip for their new single, “Queen of My Heart,” features the boys racing stock cars and smashing into one another at high speeds, causing huge explosions and showers of debris. You know, the basic love ballad stuff.

Backstage at the Disney Channel Kids’ Awards in London, Kian Egan told reporters, “There is no way we could show that video now, in light of what happened in America.”

Mark Filan said, “It was a horrible thing that happened, and our deepest sympathies go out to all the families.”

Nice sentiments from the Westies, but scrapping the video because of a couple of explosions is a bit of a stretch. Call us cynical, but it seems like a bit of bandwagon-jumping. To us, anyway.

Artists ask ‘What’s going on?’

Back on Sept. 5, Bono and music producer Leigh Blake organized an all-star recording of Marvin Gaye’s classic protest ballad, “What’s Going On?” to raise money for Global AIDS Awareness. Now, in the wake of the terrorist attack on America, the group has decided to split the proceeds equally between the AIDS relief group and the United Way’s September 11th Fund.

The CD single, which will contain the radio edit of the song plus four different remixes, will be in stores on Oct. 23. Featured artists include Christina Aguilera, Amir, the Backstreet Boys, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, Jermaine Dupri, Fred Durst, Eve, Nelly Furtado, Nona Gaye, Darren Hayes, Ja Rule, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Aaron Lewis (of Staind), Lil’ Kim, Jennifer Lopez, Nas, Nelly, *NSYNC, P Diddy, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani & Michael Stipe.

While we’re on the subject of charitable giving, we should note that Julia Roberts donated $1 million to the Red Cross and $1 million to the “Tribute to Heroes” telethon fund. Chat hostess Rosie O’Donnell and comedian Jim Carrey also opened their hearts and wallets, each donating $1 million to the Red Cross.

If you’d like to help out, turn to Page 23 of this issue to find out how you can contribute to the Emerald Fund.

What if they gave a party and no one came?

In the wake of WTC attacks, most people are finding it tough to celebrate anything other the heroism of the brave rescue workers at Ground Zero. Broadway shows are hurting — five, including “The Rocky Horror Show” and the marvelous “Stones in his Pockets,” closed last weekend — movie attendance is down, concerts and dinner dances have been cancelled left and right.

Given the mood of the public, some Hollywood stars are calling on the industry to cancel the annual Emmy Awards — originally scheduled for Sept. 16, and now slated for Oct. 7.

The New York Daily News reports that Best Actor nominee Martin Sheen — who plays the president on “The West Wing” — has been trying to convince his fellow Wingers to give the Emmys a miss this year.

Sheen’s rep denies that the actor is organizing a boycott.

“A lot of people have concern about a celebration. And security has definitely become a factor,” she acknowledged.

“But he has not told me that he is not going,” she insisted. “And I don’t think he is leading a parade of fellow actors to do or not to do anything.” Which we find a bit hard to swallow, given Sheen’s reputation as a committed political activist, but, hey . . .

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