Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wimbledon deafened by cacophony of body language | Harry Pearson

Radio commentators vie to interpret the semiotics of the slouch as tennis is reinvented as mime

Not a word is spoken. The only sound we hear is ? Bodytalk." So declared the splendidly harem-panted Leee John of Imagination 30 years ago. Little did we realise then, as we watched him writhe sinuously across a Persian rug on what may well have been the set of the old Fry's Turkish Delight ad, how prescient the oiled Britfunkster's words would prove. At the time we thought Leee was singing of physical love between man and wool-rich carpeting, but recently it has become ever clearer that he was actually predicting the future of radio sports commentary. You only have to listen to Wimbledon for five minutes to realise that these days ? just as Imagination forecast ? it is all about the look in your eyes, soft sighs and, well, body language.

"I'm looking at his body language, Jonathan, and it isn't good," the pundits say, or "Now, did I detect a slight shift in her body language during that last game?" or "Vital now, at a break of service down, that he gets his body language right."

It's almost as if the players are signalling their innermost thoughts to Annabel Croft using the ancient art of mime: "And looking at Andy Murray, Mark, I'd say Federer has very much got him in a stuck-in-an-invisible-box-type situation. Now, people might wonder what I mean by that. Well, I'm speaking mentally. In his mind the British No1 is trapped by walls that he cannot see and unless he can locate a transparent ladder and literally climb out of that box, I believe his problems in dealing with the former champion's ground strokes are going to continue through the rest of this set."

This is not an entirely new thing, of course. It has ? Leee John-like ? been slithering toward us for several decades with a winsome look on its pan. The man who introduced the interpretation of physical attitudes into the commentary box was the great David Vine. Grapes, as his millions of fans around the globe knew him, was peerless in this and many other respects too. Decked out in the sort of rectangular dark-rimmed glasses normally associated with the sort of chaps who play double bass in a mainstream jazz quartet, Vine was fluent not only in the language of the body, but also fully conversant in squeak, yelp and groan. The man's ability to interpret the grimaces, grunts and wheezes issued by Bulgarian 105kg weightlifters and render them into pithy English is never likely to be equalled (and that is hardly surprising, since Vine had spent his junior years honing his craft by doing something similar for Stuart Hall and Eddie Waring on It's A Knockout).

In Atlanta, for example, Vine responded to the sight of German super-heavyweight lifter Ronnie Weller lying on the floor with his arms and legs waving in the air like the world's largest toddler by barking, "'Oh yes,' he says, 'just give it to me now,' he says." Had Vine ever been let loose on the artistic gymnastics it's likely that something on a par with Finnegans Wake would have splurted from the gogglebox.

Graham Taylor has likewise proved himself a pioneering body linguist, though the ex-Watford root crop tends to take a slightly Daily Telegraph letter writer approach, forever emphasising the importance of "good body language", and openly criticising players when their posture and gait falls below expected standards. "He's a very talented player, Mike, but sometimes I don't like the boy's body language," Taylor will often opine, presumably after detecting what one can only assume to be the physical equivalent of a misplaced apostrophe, a series of dropped aitches, or possibly even a shrugged expletive or two.

The tennis experts are not such sticklers for pronunciation and syntax as Taylor, nor are they as poetic as Vine. In the buildup to Wimbledon they would often be heard talking of the importance of Andy Murray continuing to deploy his "new more relaxed body language". Clearly there's a fine line between comfortable and slouching, but I imagine that what Murray's supporters are looking for is the physical equivalent of the sort of thing we might expect to come from the mouth of Dave Cameron ? received pronunciation with the occasional "wanna" and "godda" thrown in just to emphasise the total lack of uptightness of the fellow. In other words the bodytalk answer to jacket but no tie.

I must say that so far the analysis of tennis players' body language is rather at the GCSE stage. In the next few years I expect it will gather new and fresh depth as it the pundits begin to look beyond the obvious interpretations when watching a large man sitting in a tiny chair with a towel over his head and a banana in his cakehole, and give us some subtext, emphasise the semiotics, pick up the themes. I'm sure it won't be many years before Tracy Austin has put simplistic interpretations of Murray's attitude behind her and is enriching our understanding of what is happening on court with something like, "Well, Andy looks very tired out there, and I can't help thinking that his slumped posture, with its clear echoes of post-colonial British foreign policy, is a stinging rebuke to William Hague over his handling of the Libyan crisis. I think the message that's coming out here is very much that it's through expression, not aggression that we become one, Jonathan." © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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'Transformers': Can Series Go On Without LaBeouf And Bay?

'If they're going to do it again, they have to attempt it with somebody else,' LaBeouf told MTV News
By Josh Wigler

Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
Photo: Paramount

Ask the stars, ask the critics, ask your friends: It looks like the universal consensus is that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is the very best of the bunch. But it also might be the very last of the bunch, at least for director Michael Bay and leading man Shia LaBeouf, who have both announced their intentions to depart the series following this latest battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.

"If they're going to do it again, they have to attempt it with somebody else," LaBeouf told MTV News at the New York City premiere of "Dark of the Moon" on Tuesday night, reaffirming his plans to leave Sam Witwicky right where he is. "We took it to the limit. We tried as hard as we could. I don't think we can turn in a movie that's better than this, really."

The question has been raised before: Can "Transformers" continue without Bay and Shia? From producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura's perspective, it would certainly be tricky. "You can't replace them. You'd have to go about doing it another way, that's what you'd do," he said.

"Another way" is exactly the idea Shia had in mind for how to continue moving the multimedia franchise forward without him and Bay at the helm. "If you want to keep making more 'Transformers' movies, you need another anchor," he explained. "It's different than, like, 'Indiana Jones.' Harrison Ford has an age. He's human. Optimus Prime is going to be Optimus Prime forever. He's never going to grow older. So you just need another human anchor. I think you just need to find it. There's tons of great actors."

But Shia says he won't be that anchor anymore.

"I think I've taken Sam as far as I can, creatively," he said. "We set out to make a certain thing. We wanted to make the best movie we could, and we had three shots at it. On the third one, we did it. I don't think that either one of us wants to return to it and attempt it when it was this good."

That's LaBeouf's perspective, at least, but what does Bay think? When we caught up with him on the red carpet, the Master of Bayhem reflected on not just what the series has meant to him, but what it's meant for fans across the globe.

"I gotta tell ya. It's been a touching moment for me. It's bittersweet for me, having done this franchise for six years," said Bay. "Today we got an urgent call from Make-a-Wish. They said, 'There's a little boy in Texas. He's got two days. He wants to see 'Transformers 3.' So we made a special print. We're flying [the copy] to his hospital room right now in Texas so he can see it. That's the power of these movies. That touches your core, you know?"

Still, for the moment, Bay is busy enough "birthing this one now. The movie's coming out tonight. Let's just enjoy this one!"

It certainly seems as though the fans are following those orders, as are the film's castmembers. In fact, it's one actor in particular who feels the most confident that Bay and LaBeouf aren't done with "Transformers."

"Let me tell you, I'm going to see what I can do. Leave it with me," grinned Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. "The boys listen to me. I've got it under control, people — don't worry. Who knows [if there'll be a fourth film], but you can never say never."

Check out everything we've got on "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

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Example: 'I have a formula now'

London-born rapper Example has one foot in the underground and the other at the top of the charts. He tells Rob Fitzpatrick about his perfect plan for pop domination

A few nights ago Example had a gig in Ibiza. He flew back early the next morning and came straight home to Fulham. He'd been home for an hour when his parents (who know him as Elliot Gleave) arrived from Australia ? he hadn't seen them for a year. One hour after that, his tour bus arrived to take him to Glastonbury. By his own reckoning, Example appeared at seven different events last weekend, from live shows and dubstep sets to an acoustic show late on Sunday afternoon.

After Glastonbury there was a beach festival in Newquay and then, this weekend, a show with the Black Eyed Peas, Plan B and Tinie Tempah in Hyde Park in London. A couple of weeks ago Example's new single, Changed the Way You Kiss Me, the first release from his third album, Playing in the Shadows, sold 115,000 copies in a week and went straight to No 1. Not that he's that fussed by it all.

"I don't give a shit about No 1s," he says. "I've not celebrated it really. The day it went to No 1, I played Wembley stadium as part of a Capital Radio show ? we were the only people who got the whole place bouncing. After the gig I was told we were No 1, I had a steak dinner and went home to bed. You know, I released a song in 2004 that sold 100 copies. I've done about 20 music videos. When I went to No 1 the only thing I really thought was: 'About time.'"

Example is one of the most startling pop stars in the country, someone who writes airy, melodic pop songs that develop into crunching, beat-driven dubstep, breakbeat and trance-house monsters. He can sell records and concert tickets ? he is currently one of the UK's biggest live draws and is booked for 27 summer festivals, more than any other British act. "This bass-music scene, me and Chase & Status and Wretch 32 and Skream and Benga and all the others?" he says. "This is the new punk rock for kids ? and I want to become its first proper star."

Example arrived seven years ago as a comedy-haired rapper signed to Mike Skinner's Beats label. He grew up on Blur, Nirvana, the Wu-Tang Clan and Michael Jackson, and had a half-developed cartoon persona and a background in theatre, film and TV. Skinner wanted him to try out every lyrical angle possible, so there were songs that featured Hammersmith bus routes and fighting in the cinema, a song about nuclear destruction and a love song to MDMA called Me and Mandy.

His debut album, 2007's What We Made, was "a mess, a warped version of me and it didn't connect". The follow-up, 2010's Won't Go Quietly ? his first after signing to Ministry of Sound's Data label ? "was all over the place, I didn't much like that either. It upset my cheeseometer," he says.

But one track on that second record would change everything for him. Released as a single last June, Kickstarts went to No 3. Its engaging and colourful boy-girl video ? with a smiling Example in the starring role ? has clocked up nearly 11.5m You Tube views in the last 12 months. A vastly more disturbing video for the excellent Bar 9 dubstep remix has more than 4m views of its own.

"Kickstarts was very personal," he says. "It was sad and happy ? an anthem. I idolise Blur, but even they didn't really know what they were doing until album three. That gave me confidence. I'm 28 and I only realised I wanted to be in music when I was 21. I knew nothing about the industry. I can't play any instruments, but it was that track that showed me what I should look like, how I should sound, what I should write about.

With that in mind, Example planned this new record very carefully. Written over six months, it drew on his personal experiences. "Then I'd tweak it to make it for everyone," he says. "I have developed this new technique: I get a title, and then work backwards from that. They must tell a story, and I believe you can't write good dance music unless you've done ecstasy. Also, it's important that you know what the song is about before you hear it, so it's all there in the titles; Wrong in the Head, Never Had a Day, Under the Influence, Stay Awake."

The results are a series of what Example calls "uplifting rave tracks" ? big chords, echoing breakdowns, drum'n'bass or dubstep parts ? that all wear peculiarly revelatory lyrics. In fact, there is an overarching theme to the whole record.

"This is my drugs and commitment album," he says. "The music industry puts a lot of strain on your relationships and social life. There's always pressure or opportunity to take drugs and to drink and to stay up all night and to cheat. This whole album is me asking: 'Should I be doing drugs? Should I be drinking? Should I commit? Should I stop partying? Should I settle down?' That's what the title is, too ? Playing in the Shadows. Am I trying to be someone else? Is it a split personality? But it's also about being in clubs with drugs and women getting thrown at you. I'm worried that being comfortable and having a family will mean I can't write songs that touch people any more. Then, if I do have a family, what will my kids think? What do I say to them when they hear me talking about cocaine like it's a beautiful woman?"

Behind all these questions is someone with seemingly limitless ambition. Put simply, now Example's had a taste of what could be in store, he wants everything, and he fully intends to get it. You can see it in those endless festival shows and the various Ibiza residencies, and his stated intention to be "hitting every market". That means all sorts of European events, from the coolest festivals to leftfield club nights, and taking his live show around the UK from hotspots such as Fabric in London to totally mainstream clubs such as Oceana in Plymouth.

"Some of those clubs are full of 18-year-olds on M-Cat," he says. "Some are full of drunk students, some are full of 14- and 15-year-olds on laughing gas and pills, but they all react to bass music like it's the new punk rock. Girls going berserk with their makeup running down their faces. When I was that age, you would have had to go to a metal or grunge night for that level of energy. I used to go to garage nights, but there everyone was dressed up and drinking champagne and trying to avoid the stabbings."

The years spent trying to work out what it is he should be doing, plus that direct line to the underground via the very top of the pop charts, places Example in a uniquely confident position. A few days before we meet, he pointed out on Twitter how the lyrics to the X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd's debut single ? Swagger Jagger ? seemed woefully uninspired. Hundreds of her fans were outraged and tweeted their disgust. Such was the furore that Example found himself talking about the affair on the radio the next day, only stopping himself when he realised his rationale ? how did a project with almost unlimited funds and the best possible contact book end up with such a catastrophically poor track? ? was a little too highbrow for a commercial radio breakfast show.

"I'm not against manufactured pop," he says. "Unless it's shit."

So no David Guetta guest spots?

"No," he says, without a pause. "And in the long run, that will be better for me. A year ago, if I'd been offered a verse on Girls Aloud or Gabriella Cilmi or the Wanted, my label would have expected me to do it. But now they realise what I'm doing. I'm very careful about who I collaborate with. I'll only work with drum'n'bass or dubstep producers and grime MCs."

Example's ultimate goal is to be "the first of my kind" to headline Wembley stadium. Two years ago he was playing Dingwalls. Next April he will headline the O2 Arena ? so there's no reason to think a stadium show is too far off.

"I have a formula now," he says, with admirable candour. "Some people try and be too creative and too artistic, and I fully rate that, but all I really want is to get people dancing in clubs and at festivals. It used to be Basement Jaxx or Groove Armada that were the top of the tree, now it's me or Pendulum or Chase & Status. The people want uplifting rave music, so I think, why not simply give the people what they want?"

? Example's next single, Stay Awake, is released on Data Records on 28 August, followed by the album Playing in the Shadows on 5 September.

From hardcore to mainstream: Five breakthroughs in UK Bass

Summer 2001: Skream, Benga and Arthur Smith meet at Big Apple Records, Croydon

Benga's brother shopped there every Sunday. A pre-teen Skream worked there at weekends. Benga was already making tracks on his PlayStation. Upstairs, Smith was making garage and techno records. Magnetic Man was born the moment the three met.

April 2004: The Hyperdub label is born

Hyperdub founder Steve Goodman was a DJ at the seminal Forward>> club in London and hosted the night's Rinse FM show. His label has always drawn on "the hardcore continuum" ? dub reggae, jungle, rave, garage and UK hardcore. In 2005 he released Burial's debut.

July 2005: July 2005 Pendulum's debut album released

As UK bass star Benga would have it: "It's their songs that make this album so inspirational, not the bangers." Though Australian, Pendulum were inspired by the UK underground and became massively popular ? thus helping to make bass music massively popular ? by concentrating on melody as well as rhythm.

March 2009: Skream remixes La Roux's In for the Kill

This should have been the single to push Elly Jackson (pictured) to the next level. What actually happened was Skream's remix became so huge that it overshadowed the original. Suddenly, the remixer was the person everyone wanted.

December 2010: Chase & Status release the Blind Faith video

A brilliant example of how rave nostalgia and modern bass music could be emotionally linked together, the short film for Blind Faith so stunningly recreated late-80s dance culture that a million crinkly-eyed ex-ravers wept at their desks.

January 2011: Britney's dubstep moment

Spears already had form with 2007's wub-wub friendly Freakshow, but the Dr Luke and Max Martin-produced Hold It Against Me was a full-on tribute to the sound of bass. And thus hardcore became mainstream. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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Gaga debuts her p-p-p-panda face in Japan

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She's tried everything from horns on her face to hatching out of an egg but never let it be said that Lady Gaga is short of ideas.

This time she's dressed up as a panda especially for her, um... Japanese audience.
Gaga arrived for her spot on a popular Japanese TV show wearing customary dark glasses but removed them to reveal panda eyes.

Seemingly ignoring the fact that pandas are native to China, she went on to explain her bizarre appearance, saying: "I really like pandas.

"Pandas have paws, and I always tell my fans to put their paws up."

Staying with the panda theme, Gaga went on to tell the hosts: "I've been eating a lot of bamboo this week," before listing "having panda babies" as one of her dreams.

Hats off to the chap who brazenly laughs in her face though.

Check out Gaga's panda face below...

What do you make of "Gagapanda"? Comments below please...

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Lady Gaga is probably the first pop star since glam rock to be more famous for her zany outfits than her music - and she never fails to make the effort! Check out our gallery of her many, many looks...




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Philanthropist Barbara Davis Lists L.A. Condo at a Loss

SELLER: Barbara Davis
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,885,000
SIZE: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Last week a little birdie whispered to Your Mama that Los Angeles doyenne Barbara Davis?octogenarian widow of oil and entertainment tycoon Marvin Davis?wants to move house. Sho enuf, puppies, her condo crib in a Wilshire Corridor high-rise near Century City in Los Angeles was just listed with an asking price of $1,885,000.

Helmet-haired charity types know the formidable but friendly Miz Davis as the she-rah behind the long-running bi-annual Carousel of Hope Ball, a lavish fundraiser for childhood diabetes that the L.A. Times once described as the "biggest, richest, puttin?-on-the-ritziest, arguably most successful and longest-running good-deed society event in town."

Tabloid and gossip glossy readers best know Miz Davis as the wealthy grand-muhmaw of a Tinseltown club hoppers and frequent trouble makers Jason and Brandon Davis. And, of course, the real estate fiends out there recognize Miz Davis as the gem-encrusted former chatelaine of The Knoll, a hulking Roland Coate-designed mansion perched on a gated 10-plus acre promontory above Beverly Hills, CA. The 25,437 square foot Georgian mansion was originally built for wildly wealthy widow Lucy Doheny Battson who moved from the legendary and even larger Greystone estate next door. The Knoll has had a succession of high-profile owners since the Doheny-Battsons including Oscar-winning producer Dino De Laurentis and country king Kenny Rogers who sold the high-maintenance estate in 1984 for $20,250,000 Mister and Missus Davis.

The Davis fortune was was once estimated to be as high as five or more billion bucks but the financial gossips have more recently pegged their shrinking fortune to somewhere in the neighborhood of half a billion clams, still wildly rich by any standard except that of someone who used to be worth five billion big ones.

After Mister Davis went to meet The Great Speculator in the Sky in 2004, The Knoll was put up for sale with an elephantine asking price of $59,000,000. It was sold in early 2005, according to property records, for $39,352,500 to tool and die tycoon Eric Smidt. Mister and Missus Smidt, who own one of the largest multi-parcel spreads in the steroidal Beverly Park community, hired mega-mansion specialists Hablinski + Manion to transform the white-brick Georgian into a Regency-style residence of epic proportions. The children may find it interesting to note that the 2008 taxes on The Knoll?which may or may not still be called The Knoll?ran a staggering $436,505.71 according to public records.

Anyhoo, in perfect west coast style, after Miz Davis sold The Knoll in 2005 she reportedly moved into a bungalow at the casually elegant (and sort of campy) but always fashionable Beverly Hills Hotel, which her husband, dontcha know, once owned. Eventually Miz Davis tired of hotel living and moved to The Wilshire apartment tower along the Wilshire Corridor near Century City. Title records show Miz Davis purchased the pad in May 2006 for $2,295,000, a number that means that even with a full-price sale Miz Davis faces a significant $410,000 loss.

This is not the first time Miz Davis has donned her silver lam� cowboy boots and rode the mechanical bull at this particular honky tonky; She's had her condo at The Wilshire on and off the market since March 2010. Current listing information shows the mid-floor unit measures 2,257 square feet?probably smaller than her bedroom at The Knoll?and includes 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

A private elevator landing furnished with a rococo console?or maybe it's baroque, what do we know??matching mirror and a framed photograph of Mister and Missus Davis sets the stage for the black and white marble floored foyer and main living spaces that include a "formal" living room with floor to ceiling windows, white wall to wall carpeting, flat-screen tee-vee mounted above the fireplace, built-in bookshelves and glass doors to the balcony. The day-core, somewhat particular to ag�d west coast society matrons , mixes "modern" things such as the white roll-armed sofas and glass and chrome coffee table with fussy and stuffy 18th- and 19th-century antiques (and antique reproductions).

The black and white marble floor in the foyer continues down the long thin corridor that leads to the bedrooms as well as into Miz Davis's dining room furnished with a blackamoor or two, florid giltwood mirror and gilt-accented dining room chairs. Glass doors open the room to a small planted terrace with panoramic views. The dining room connects to the perfectly serviceable and well-equipped if out-dated galley-style kitchen with adjoining service entrance and laundry room.

It appears to Your Mama that Miz Davis uses the second bedroom?with private en suite facility?as an office which would be a far better place for the gigantic treadmill she has sitting right up next to her bed in the the master suite. Listen, children, Miz Davis is an old woman and we applaud her for getting herself some goddam exercise instead of just sitting around letting her bones go brittle. However, we just don't know how a person?particularly one who fancies herself a refined lady of dignity and elevated social stature?can close their eyes and drift off to a peaceful slumber with that body torture device looming over them in the most menacing of manners. In addition to the treadmill?which we imagine Miz Davis will take with her?the master bedroom includes built in bookcases, two walk-in closets and a beige marble and mirrored bathroom with two sinks and separate shower and jetted tub.

The Wilshire building, 27 stories tall and built in 1990, offers its well-heeled residents the ease and convenience of condo living in a city where high-maintenance landscaping is de rigueur and white-glove services that include doormen, on-site parking with valet services, 24-hour concierge and fitness facilities that include a swimming pool. Former famous residents of the building include Farrah Fawcett and Charlie Sheen.

Miz Davis and her Real Estate face some stiff condo competition right in her own building where a 2,084 square foot unit with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms carries a price tag of $1,999,000. Another unit with 2,776 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms is currently listed at $1,885,000.

We hear through the high-society gossip grapevine that Miz Davis is considering a move two blocks down the road to The Carlyle Residences where?we're told by a snitch we'll call Willie Wilshireboolayvard?showbiz widda Candy Spelling recently leased temporary digs. Miz Spelling, currently in the process of selling her white elephant in the Holmby Hills for somewhere around eighty million clams, needed a place to camp out while the interior fittings of her new 16,000-ish square foot penthouse at The Century are completed.

listing photos: Unlimited Style Real Estate for Sotheby's International Realty


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Lindsay's free... to do community service

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Lindsay Lohan's gruelling stint under house arrest is officially over.

The wayward actress managed 35 whole days wearing an electronic tag and lounging around inside her luxury LA apartment but now she's finally free.
Of course, she's still got 480 hours of community service to do... and then there's the mysteriously-named "shoplifters alternative class"... but other than that she's back in business.

And what better way to celebrate than with a night out on the town (soft drinks only, so we're told).

According to Radar Online, Li-Lo pitched up with pals at the Lexington Social House last night and didn't leave until 2am.

However, since she turns 25 this weekend, we're guessing the real party is yet to come.

What do you think - is Lindsay done with law-breaking? Leave your comments below...

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Odd Future face anti-domestic violence protests

Human rights groups to blast rap collective's provocative lyrics at Pitchfork music festival next month

Opponents of domestic violence have announced plans to protest an upcoming performance by Odd Future, arguing that the group's grisly lyrics "[are not] OK by any means". The non-profit group Between Friends will lead the charge at July's Pitchfork music festival teaming with agencies including Rape Victims Advocates, the YWCA, and activists for gay, lesbian and transgendered rights.

It's no secret that Odd Future are provocative. From their earliest mixtapes to Tyler the Creator's recent XL debut, the LA skaters have mashed swagger with ultraviolence, rapping about rape, necrophilia and "socking bitches in they mouth". Although Tyler insists that he's not homophobic, and Odd Future's sound engineer Syd tha Kid is a woman (and a lesbian), many feminists and activists have called for the group to be censured. "I'm disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile," wrote Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara. Tyler's response? "If Tegan and Sara need some hard dick, hit me up!"

Later this month, Odd Future's fans and opponents are set to come face-to-face at Chicago's Pitchfork festival, curated by the well-known music website. Odd Future are "contrary to what [Pitchfork] stand for," argued Yesenia Maldonado, programme director for Between Friends. "They have the right to have the music that they feel people are interested in ... [but this is] really our opportunity to take a stand."

Founded in 1986, Between Friends is "dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse". Together with other groups, they will be protesting in the streets around the festival site, distributing cardboard fans that ask festivalgoers to "cool down" and discuss domestic violence. To this end, they aim to raise $1,500 in online donations.

"We want to make sure that we let [Odd Future] know that this is something that we're taking notice of, and we really want to get the other view out there as much as possible," Maldonado said. "There are going to be people in that audience who have experienced [domestic violence], and we don't want their experiences to go unnoticed."

Odd Future play the Pitchfork music festival on 17 July. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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Lost in time

A shared fixation with the passing of time inspired the British visual artist to make a film about veteran painter Cy Twombly

In Tacita Dean's new filmed portrait Edwin Parker, the painter Cy Twombly is espied in his everyday life. Edwin Parker is Twombly's given name, Cy an inherited family nickname. The title of Dean's film implies intimacy, an encounter with the man behind the myth. It is indeed a rare insight. There are no classic old South Bank Show interviews with Twombly to watch, or anything like that, for he has always shunned publicity. Yet in Dean's film he seems totally unselfconscious as he thinks, quietly speaks, and contemplates his sculptures in a cramped studio looking out ? through blinds ? on trees and traffic in Lexington, Virginia, where he was born in 1928 and now spends part of each year.

The question is ? why does Twombly matter to Tacita Dean? Why does a veteran American painter fascinate a British artist best known for her film work? For Edwin Parker is evidently the fruit of Dean's deep interest in his work. She even contributed to the catalogue of Twombly's Tate Modern exhibition, writing about his drawing Pan, which also appears at Dulwich Picture Gallery. What connects them?

Pessimism for one thing, a preoccupation with time running down. Edwin Parker is filmed and edited with a Stygian lassitude, as if the projector were gradually running out of power, and everything had to be kept quiet and slow to conserve what survives. An eerie shot of Twombly sculptures in a dark room feels funereal. Twombly is an artist who always seems to be looking back, whose works preserve desire and longing as phenomena both unresolved and lost in time. The sombre beauty of Dean's filmed document reminds me of the collection of his works in Houston, Texas, in a building that feels like a classical mausoleum, where you can lose your mind in the melancholic emptiness of his achingly sensual painting Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor.

Dean, like Twombly, is fixated with time. She has photographed a ruined modernist house on an overgrown island, filmed nuns eking out their days in a dying religious community, and recorded the last days of a Kodak factory. Her portrait of Twombly is a study of an elderly artist's day: of how he exists in time. She has said she believes in everything that is "analogue", as opposed to virtual, and you cannot get more analogue than the art of painting.

But there is another connection. Tacita Dean is not just a film-maker: she draws, creates collages and makes ambitious prints derived from photographs. These works on paper are her most powerful creations, and there is a rich affinity between her graphic pieces, such as the sublime T&I, and Twombly's large paintings and collage-drawings.

Twombly has carried a serious and meaningful idea of art into this century; Tacita Dean is shouldering the same burden. Her commission for the Tate Turbine Hall is really something to look forward to, even as time runs down, as the film unspools. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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Miles Copeland III Lists Quirky Crib

SELLER: Miles Copeland III
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 7,486 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before there was The Selby?if y'all don't know it, you should?there was Nest. From 1997 until 2004 the remarkable and sadly shuttered quarterly shelter publication Nest lovingly presented extraordinary public and private spaces that flouted any and all traditional notions and confines of good decorative taste.

The high-concept publication, conceived and orchestrated by the wildly creative Joseph Holtzman, promoted and celebrated idiosyncratic, eccentric and often perplexing environments rather than the picture perfect rooms typically presented in design and day-core publications. Unlike the pretty and "correct" but too-often sterile spaces seen in most high-end shelter publications, the homes and spaces presented in vividly lush layouts in Nest were not always easy to look at but they were provocative and provided a deep, fascinating and raw look into the inner lives of the home's occupants.

Nest was definitely not for the strict classicist or decoratively feint of heart; This was not the sort of magazine that breezily offered suggestions about how readers could cheaply emulate the expensive and quote-unquote good design depicted on the glossy house-porn-filled pages of most design rags. Rather, Mister Holtzman and his band of merry interns sanctioned the somehow little encouraged notion that folks ought to follow their personal vision of decorative bliss even if it means covering the walls, ceiling and floor of a guest bedroom entirely in electrical tape or hanging a Christmas light festooned ficus trees upside down over the dining room as an organic make-shift chandelier.

If Todd Selby hasn't yet photographed the Los Angeles, CA residence of legendary music mogul and artist manager Miles Copeland III for The Selby then Your Mama thinks he ought to get on his broomstick and hightail out from N.Y.C. to document the quirky (and janky) Hollywood Hills crib that Mister Copeland just put on the market with an asking price of $4,950,000.

Mister Copeland?the son of two intelligence officers and the brother of both noted music promoter Ian Copeland and The Police's Stewart Copeland?nursed and promoted the careers of various New Wave and rock bands including The Go-Go's, Wall of Voodoo, Squeeze, Camper Van Beetoven, Oingo Boingo, Gary Numan, John Cale, The English Beat, Concrete Blonde, General Public and Fine Young Cannibals. He is not, in all honesty, nearly as relevant today as he was in the 1980s but, as far as Your Mama is concerned, he's more than earned his place in the pantheon of music industry bigwigs.

Property records show Mister Copeland, now in his sixties, paid $750,000 for his slightly less than 2.5 acre wonderland in March of 1983. He bought the funky and somewhat fetid-looking estate from Emmy-winning actor, noted orchid cultivator and closet homosexual Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, Ironside) who occupied the estate for an unknown number of years with his long-time man-friend Robert Benevides.

Listing information shows the pale pink and white Andalusian-style main house measures 7,486 square feet. Floor plans included with marketing materials show the three story residence encompasses 15-rooms with 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, 2 kitchens, scads of staircases and more damned stained glass than Chartres Cathedral.

The mansion, originally built in 1923, has a rather haphazard arrangement of rooms done up in a vibrant and chaotic stew of jaw-dropping bad but satisfyingly personal day-core that liberally, fearlessly (and probably, thoughtlessly) commingles velvet Art Deco furniture, Arts and Crafts-style stained glass, vintage pottery, Egyptian artifacts, wall murals and children's artwork. Sprinkled throughout are teddy bears, heaps of house plants, hulking Gothic pieces with intricate and delicate carved details, religious doo-dads, King Arthur-ish bric-a-brac, oil paintings that depict bright Medieval scenes and various vases and urns that over flow with knick-knacks and more house plants. It's just awful, an honest-to-goodness hot mess if you look at it with Elle Decor eyes. But, looked at another way, as a manifestation of Mister and Missus Copelands' complex inner most decorative desires, it's rather magnificent. We could never live here and would probably need a nerve pill just to walk through the front door but we none-the-less applaud and fete the Copelands' complete and utter disregard for the rules and strictures of good taste and proper interior day-core as practiced by past and present masters like Sister Parish, Thierry Despont and Peter Marino.

The property can be accessed by way of two gated entrances on two different streets, which is perfect for those who need to elude the paparazzi. The top level entrance hall, lit naturally by a large stained glass sky light and cluttered with an orderly cacophony of columns, objet and and house plants, funnels guests into a vast 1,000-ish square foot "formal" living room that features a built-in window seat, Juliet balcony and massive fireplace with carved wood, stone and gilded details. Oh, and stained glass, there's lots of stained glass in the living room. If the over-stuffed entry didn't clue a person in to the incongruous and often competing decorative motifs in store for them at Chez Copeland, then the chic Paris flea market meets a decidedly frumpy West Covina yard sale style seen in the living room should hammer it home like a sexually frustrated drill sargeant in a foul mood.

Art Deco once again meets Nebraska grandma in the "formal" dining room where the children will note the pink orchid set prominently on the dining room table. Anyone whose been hanging around here very long knows that Your Mama is not a huge fan of the orchid. In fact, we hate them. They have become, quite frankly, a ubiquitous and annoying decorative clich�. In this case, however, the orchid is not only acceptable it's goddam perfect given former owner Mister Burr's noted cultivation of said flower.

A tiny kitchen, a kitchenette really, just off the dining room is fine for making tea and pouring cereal but is hardly the sort of thing one expects to find in a multi-million dollar mansion in Tinseltown. There is another, slightly larger (and ass-ugly) kitchen impractically located two floors down. There does not appear, according to floor plans we peeped, to be a dumbwaiter which surely means Mister and Missus Copeland probably have a house gurl and/or valet with extremely muscular haunches toned by hauling meals and dinnerware up and down two flights of stairs every time someone wants a damn meal.

The 800-plus square foot main floor master suite can be accessed either awkwardly through the kitchenette or less awkwardly by way of a long stained glass-lined hallway off the foyer that features a (dust-collecting) tented ceiling. The master bedroom bulges with Gothic furniture and includes a fireplace and a hulking built in platform bed with thick columns and velvet privacy curtains. Two walk in closets flank the room, a private balcony (accessible through a towering bank of stained glass windows) offers city views and the attached elaborate bathroom looks like the sort of place someone Old World and fussy like the pope might feel comfortable doing his dirty business.

At least two separate staircases connect the main level to the lower level that consists of a garage, office, an additional entry hall, three guest/family bedrooms (two with private cans plus a third one in the hall), and a large den with pegged wood floors and heavy mis-matched drapery that look like champagne-colored ballgowns someone tacked up over the windows in an effort at financial modesty. Arched French doors that lead to a Gaudi goes to Morocco souk-like solarium stuffed with candles, more house plants and a flotilla of vintage pottery.

Two more separate staircases descend one more level to more intimate family quarters where the walls and even the curving breast of the corner fireplace in the family/entertainment room are completely covered with children's artwork. To one side of the family room is a home theater with another fireplace and on the other a game room (also with fireplace) acts as passage to the mansion's inconveniently located service areas that include a laundry room, full bath and aforementioned ass-ugly and hideously outdated kitchen with paneled dining area.

Various terraces lined with potted plants and shaded by thick foliage connect and lead to the various entertainment areas around the property that include a broad flat lawn with fountain, free-form swimming pool and a covered patio perfect for shaded tea on a hot summer day. The hillside grounds are criss-crossed by shaded paths and terraces that connect and lead to various outbuildings that include a 3-room, 1,211 square foot recording studio/office with fireplace and 1.5 bathrooms, a pair of greenhouses where Misters Burr and Benevides grew orchids, and a handful of storage and warehousing facilities that add up to another 1,412 square feet.

The downtrodden estate, tucked into an overgrown section of the Hollywood Hills between the famous Wattles Gardens and the dog-friendly Runyon Canyon were celebs (and Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter) take their pooches to commune with nature sans leash. Mister Copeland's nearby celeb neighbors include rock 'n roll female Cheryl Crowe who owns a multi-residence gated compound just around the corner and fast-tracked actress Amanda Seyfried (Big Love, Mamma Mia, Mean Girls) who recently splashed out $1,850,000 to buy a traditional residence from actor Adam Brody (Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Scream 4), also just around the corner.

listing photos: Michael McCreary Photography for Sotheby's International Realty


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Jill Scott Scores First #1 on Billboard 200

Bon Iver debuts at #2, followed by Adele at #3 and 'Weird Al' Yankovic at #9.
By Gil Kaufman

Jill Scott's <i>The Light of the Sun</i>
Photo: Blues Babe Records

R&B singer Jill Scott will notch her first #1 album next week when her fourth effort, Light of the Sun, crashes the top of the Billboard 200 chart thanks to sales of 135,000 copies, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.

That was more than enough to hold off the charge from another chart-topping newbie, sensitive Wisconsin folkie Bon Iver (a.k.a. Justin Vernon), whose self-titled second collection of pastoral Auto-Tuned hymns hits #2 after selling 104,000 copies.

The pair leads a parade of new faces, which include country singer Justin Moore at #5 with Outlaws Like Me (65,000), Pitbull, whose Planet Pit lands at #7 (55,000), and perennial chart-crashing joke man "Weird Al" Yankovic, who yuks his way to #9 with Alpocalypse (44,000).

The rest of the top 10: Adele, 21 (#3, 101,000); Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me (#4, 77,000); Bad Meets Evil, Hell: The Sequel (#6, 63,000); Lady Gaga, Born This Way (#8, 49,000); and Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party (#10, 40,000).

Speaking of parties, all-night disco rockers LMFAO wiggle in just outside the top 10 with their second effort, Sorry for Party Rocking, which hits #12 (27,000), while soul singer Ledisi takes a 10-spot tumble in week two with Pieces of Me, which falls to #18 (20,000). Without a smash hit like "Fireflies," fans seemed to flee Owl City's latest, All Things Bright and Beautiful, which plummets 26 spots in week two to #32, as sales drop 73 percent to 13,000.

Pop punk veterans Simple Plan rolled into the #52 slot with Get Your Heart On! (9,000).

Over on the iTunes charts, it's a different story, as Bon Iver rules the album tally, followed by Adele, Scott, the Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" collabo Bad Meets Evil, Pitbull, Moore, Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More, LMFAO, Matt Nathanson's Modern Love and a Frank Sinatra greatest hits collection.

Katy Perry was the queen of the iTunes singles chart thanks to "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," which beat out Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" collaboration with Christina Aguilera on "The Voice," then LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," Pitbull's "Give Me Everything," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory," Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight Tonight," Lil Wayne's "How to Love" and Blake Shelton's "Honey Bee."

Expect more shake-ups at the top next week when Beyoncé's 4 charts, along with new ones from Selena Gomez, former "American Idol" winner David Cook, Big Sean, Curren$y and, yes, the reunited Limp Bizkit.

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Leona Lewis wants 'bigger X Factor role'

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Former X Factor winner Leona Lewis has revealed she'd like a bigger role on this year's show.

In an interview with Reveal magazine, the singer said: "I always go on the show and sing, but I want to ask Simon Cowell for a bigger role.
"I couldn't be a judge this year as I've been busy working on my new album.

"I already know I'm going to be performing on the show this year but I'd like to do something different, maybe a mentor instead."

Sooo... was Tulisa Simon's second choice for Chezza's spot then?

We may never know but Leona reckons she's the perfect candidate for the mentoring job, which could be why she's decided to flog her LA pad.

"I've been through the whole process," she added. "So I think I'd be able to give the new acts some good advice."

Who knows... next year Leona could even take Cheryl Cole's position as 'the nation's sweetheart'.

What do you think? Would Leona make a good X Factor mentor? Comments below please...

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Ever wondered what those annoyingly thin and good-looking celebs would look like if they piled on the pounds? They'd look like other, tubbier celebs of course! Here's Eleven's round-up of the famous folk that were surely separated at girth...




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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

TV on the Radio ? review

O2 ABC, Glasgow

A huge roar goes up as Kyp Malone asks the crowd how many of them attended TV on the Radio's first gig in Glasgow several years ago. "That sounds like more people than could fit in the room," says the biblically bearded guitarist. "A lot has changed since then. I hope I don't have to get any more sentimental than that." It's the closest the Brooklyn art-rockers come to referencing the tragedy that befell them in April: the death of bassist Gerard Smith, from lung cancer, at just 36 years of age. The band seem resolved to push onwards, and with good reason: their latest album, major-label debut Nine Types of Light, has moments as strong as any they've produced to date; and their live show just keeps getting better.

With drummer Jaleel Bunton now on bass and a new sticksman in the form of Jahphet Landis, the six-piece power through a crowd-pleasing, career-spanning set, drawing as heavily on their 2003 debut EP Young Liars as their critically lauded 2008 LP Dear Science. Few bands can hop from chin-stroking avant-jazz to interstellar funk to throbbing krautrock and sound so complete, but then ? between the crackling vocals of Tunde Adebimpe and the diffuse sound-collages crafted by multi-instrumentalist and producer Dave Sitek ? few bands stamp their personality on their songs so forcefully.

The main set draws to a blistering conclusion with Staring at the Sun, Repetition and the rushing Wolf Like Me. Resisting calls for a revisit of their mood-capturing impromptu cover of the Ghostbusters theme at Glastonbury ("It's like a bad tattoo," says Malone), they play glitchy, glorious Dancing Choose, sounding very much like their best years still lie ahead.

At Wireless festival, London, on Sunday.

Rating: 5/5 © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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Music Weekly podcast: Glastonbury 2011 ? day two

When Billy Bragg first came to Glastonbury in 1984, he tells Rosie Swash, it was a CND festival, full of anti-Thatcher protesters. With a new crowd, and a Conservative prime minister in power once again, he explains why the Leftfield stage is more important than ever, as the idea of political activism comes into focus for a new generation.

Guy Garvey, meanwhile, is full of nerves ahead of Elbow's performance this evening. Glastonbury, he says, is still the best party on Earth and playing on the Pyramid stage is a huge deal for him. Plus he shares the secret of successful festival footwear, and gives us the inside information on Micahel Eavis's breakfast habits.

Rosie, Alexis and Malik Meer also discuss U2's headline set from Friday night, and look forward to Saturday's Glastonbury highlights. There's also a track from Oh Land, who are playing not one, not two but three sets at the festival this weekend.

We'd like to hear from you ? whether you're at Glastonbury or not ? leave us an Audioboo telling us your highlights so far. We'll play the best ones over the weekend.

You can record an Audioboo on your computer and Apple and Android devices ? just make sure you tweet @MusicWeeklyPod the link to your "boo" ? or post it in the comments below.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates, and we'll be back tomorrow with our next mudcast.


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Doctor Razes Presley's Pad in Horsey Hidden Hills

Rock-n-roll heiress Lisa Marie Presley?only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla and ex-wife of both Nic Cage and Michael Jackson?sold her compound in the upscale guard-gated community of Hidden Hills, CA in November 2010 for $5,000,000. The new owner, a Los Angeles-based physician, apparently had little use for Miz Presley's 8,000-ish square foot mansion and its multiple outbuildings. Thanks to a snap-happy snitch we'll call Heidi Hidesoutinhiddenhills the good doctor razed LMP's mansion and much of the landscaping that once surrounded it in order to make way for his own?no doubt steroidal?version of Barbie's Dream House.

Not long before she sold her house in Hidden Hills, Princess Presley and her fourth husband, music producer Michael Lockwood, plus their young twins and her two young-adult-aged kids from her first marriage to musician Danny Keough, decamped for the U.K. The blended family reportedly settled into the humongous and historic Coes Hall, a sprawling estate in East Sussex very near a somewhat (in)famous estate called Saint Hill Manor, which happens to be Britain's Scientology headquarters.

Of no particular relevance to this discussion but fascinating none the less is that Mister Keough served as the best man at LMP's nuptials to her current husband. That children, is so damn civilized and modern that we just can't stand it. Truly. Our point of view on the matter might seem odd to some but it is deeply informed by the friendly nature of our own blended family in which the children of Your Mama's Big Daddy's third wife?that would be our step-momma's children from a previous betrothal?used to spend a week every summer at the beach with Your Mama's Momma who was Big Daddy's first wife. Does that make sense, bunnies? 'Tis true.

Anyhoodles poodles, property records and previous reports reveal that the formidable but low-key (and wildly wealthy) Miss Presley paid $2,600,000 for her horsey Hidden Hills compound back in December 1993 when she was a dewy lass in her mid-twenties with the same swarthy and smoldering visage of her famous father. At the same time she bought the compound she paid another $625,000 for the adjacent property, a thickly-treed 1.47 acre parcel with a 2,842 square foot house tucked down a long drive at the back of the property that butts up to the Ahmanson Ranch. It's widely reported that Miz Presley's first hubby, Danny Keough, occupied the property in order that both parents could remain a constant presence in their childrens' lives.

Miz Presley first got ants in her real estate pants sometime before October 2009 when she officially listed her 3.07-acre equestrian compound with an optimistic asking price of $8,995,000. The property was de- and re-listed several times and by July 2010 the price tag had plummeted to $6,995,000.

The property encompassed a main residence with 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in about 8,000 square feet of interior space, a one bedroom guest house and a recreational annex with recording studio. A three-stall barn had an attached bedroom and pooper perfect for a beau-hunky live-in groomsman. The grounds, before they were scraped up by the present owner (see photo above), had broad rolling lawns with mature shade trees, an orchard, several outdoor entertaining areas, and a free-form swimming pool and spa with a water slide that swooshes through an imposing pile of boulders. Iffin we're being honest, and we always are, we have no idea if the new owner kept of demolished the swimming pool area.

At the same time she listed her compound she put the house next door?where Mister Keough lived?on the block with an also optimistic asking price of $1,995,000. As mentioned above, Miz Presley sold her compound to a SoCal healerman for five million clams and property records show she sold Mister Keough's crib in February 2011 for $1,200,000.

Other residents/property owners of the Hidden Hills include Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Melissa Etheridge and her ex-wife Tammy Lynn Michaels, David Boreanaz, Nicolette Sheridan, former tween and pre-tween heart throb Shaun Cassidy, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and back in the saddle pop phenom Britney Spears who recently leased a resort-like estate inside the gates of Hidden Hills that includes a 19,107 square foot mansion with 10 bedrooms and an unlucky 13 dirty business cans. Hidden Hills is also the family seat of the Kardashian clan.

Coes Hall, where Miz Presley and family may or may not currently reside ?we really have no idea if they've maintained their expat status or scrambled back to the good ol' U.S. of A.?includes a substantial updated mansion with sections that date back to the 15th-century. The residence contains 11 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 9 receptions rooms, a state of the art sound system and a cinema while the expansive and bucolic grounds offer a tennis court, a swimming pool complex with spa, parterre gardens, paddocks for the ponies and a private lake.

photo: Heidi Hidesoutinhiddenhills


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