April 30th, 2010
09:35 AM ET
Do you remember "In the Year 2525"? The ominous hit song about technology, by one-hit wonders Zager and Evans?
Jerry Weintraub - famed Hollywood promoter and producer, friend of performers and presidents - does. During an interview with CNN.com, he told an interesting story about its rise to No. 1 in the summer of '69.
His story begins at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Weintraub heard the song in a hallway. The guy playing it in his room was an A&R man for RCA Records and acquaintance of Weintraub's.
April 22nd, 2010
12:19 PM ET
"South Park" often gets bleeped. But not usually like this.
On Wednesday, the conclusion of the two-part story involving the Prophet Mohammed was shown with a number of audio spots covered by bleeps and images hidden by a block reading "CENSORED." Though "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have had fun with censorship in the past - including in part one of the Mohammed story, which involved free speech issues - apparently this time much of the censorship came from Comedy Central itself.
"Comedy Central was responsible for the bleeps and not showing Mohammed in last night’s episode," a spokesperson for the network told CNN.
The first part of the episode, which aired April 14, attracted protest from an Islamic group, Revolution Muslim. The group posted an entry on its website that included a warning to Parker and Stone that they risked violent retribution after the episode included a satirical discussion about whether an image of the prophet could be shown.
Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the author of the post, told CNN it was meant to show those offended by the depiction of Mohammed how they can voice their opposition, and wasn't a call to violence.
Mohammed was believed to have been portrayed disguised in a bear suit in a portion of the episode, though last night's episode revealed otherwise.
On Stone and Parker's website, SouthParkStudios.com, a message acknowledged that Comedy Central had added some bleeps and that they couldn't stream their cut of part two:
"After we delivered the show, and prior to broadcast, Comedy Central placed numerous additional audio bleeps throughout the episode," said a message on the site. "We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show."
April 21st, 2010
11:22 AM ET
Get ready for a deluge of Paul McCartney music.
The ex-Beatle and Wings-man, 67, has agreed to let Concord Music Group market and distribute his entire solo catalog. The new agreement will kick off in August with the re-release of 1973's "Band on the Run" album and include all of Macca's post-Beatles work, starting from 1970's "McCartney" and running through last November's "Good Evening New York City."
McCartney first teamed up with Concord in 2007 when he signed a deal with Hear Music - Concord's partnership with Starbucks - to release "Memory Almost Full." Most of the albums from his catalog were originally released by Capitol/EMI, though McCartney did have a stretch in the late '70s and '80s with Columbia.
April 20th, 2010
10:54 AM ET
Peter Jackson is nothing if not busy.
Aside from promoting "The Lovely Bones," which came out on video Tuesday, the "Lord of the Rings" director is neck-deep in several other films - Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," for which he's a producer; "Halo," a long-gestating project he's executive-producing; and "The Hobbit," from the J.R.R. Tolkien book that set up "The Lord of the Rings."
Rumors have swirled around the latter, from its casting - will Ian McKellen return as Gandalf? who's going to play Bilbo Baggins? - to its timing (what's taking so long?). Jackson cleared up some of the mysteries in an interview with Moviefone.com.
April 16th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
A volcano in Iceland is playing havoc with a music festival more than 4,000 miles away.
As CNN's Denise Quan reported this morning, several UK bands are scrambling to make it to the Coachella music festival in Indio, California - but thanks to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland, air traffic has been grounded in parts of Europe. That's meant that some bands aren't going to make their scheduled slots.
Among those that have canceled: the Cribs (recently joined by Johnny Marr), Frightened Rabbit and now Bad Lieutenant.
April 14th, 2010
10:34 AM ET
Obviously, Trey Parker and Matt Stone - the creators and driving forces of "South Park" - need new worlds to conquer. They've already done TV, movies ("South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" and "Team America: World Police") and off-Broadway theater ("Cannibal! The Musical," adapted from Parker's student film).
Next on their list: Broadway.
The pair are teaming up with "Avenue Q" composer and co-creator Robert Lopez for "The Book of Mormon," a new musical scheduled to hit the Great White Way in March 2011.
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