Tagged: Pink

 

“Hello, is that AC/DC? Its Gill here!” That is the way a phone conversation needs to begin that should be made by AFL Chief Commissioner Gillon McLachlan this week. Perhaps an arrow hasn’t really been fired in anger yet when it comes to the 2020 AFL Season but people have already started to ask the question – who would be perfect to play at the Grand Final this year?

Blame America’s NFL for the question being asked. Those damn Yankees once again did things perfectly at this year’s Superbowl when they asked the queens of Latin music Shakira and Jennifer Lopez to perform at the game that was played in the very Latin inspired Miami. Given that the NFL seem to get the Superbowl half time musical extravaganza right every year just makes us ask the question ‘why do the AFL always seem to get it so, so wrong?’

Don’t get me wrong our Grand Final entertainment is normally pretty memorable. Who will ever forget Angry Anderson belting out ‘Bound For Glory’ while riding around on one of the lamest Batmobiles you will ever likely to see at the 1991 Grand Final? Likewise the memory of Meatloaf delivering what is possibly one of the worst live performances of all time at the 2011 Grand Final is forever etched into our brains.

Yes, as you can see the musical performances at the AFL Grand Final are always remembered for all the wrong reasons or not even remembered at all – can anyone tell me who the special popstars were that performed at last year’s game without turning to the almighty Google to find the answer? In fact looking back over a century of Grand Finals the only decent memory you are likely to find would be Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt joining The Killers on stage to sing ‘Mr. Brightside.’ Even that moment though is mostly remembered because of the pure elation that was on the newly crowned premiership player’s face than it was for the actual musical performance.

Now for the hard rock and metal fans out there you are dreaming an impossible dream if you ever think there will be a day when Behemoth are performing at the Grand Final, but given that last year’s no names were selected because the AFL believe that the Grand Final entertainment should be artists that people recognise the songs of then AC/DC are the best damn choice that even blind Freddy could see.

I know there have been arguments for Metallica in the past but realistically outside of true fans who in the general public is going to recognise any more than perhaps three of their songs? No, the obvious choice would be a band like AC/DC or Guns ‘N’ Roses. A band that have a bit of oomph, can put on a good live show but also have enough of what the young people of today call ‘bangers’ to have the audience singing along to. The fact that both bands are also universally recognisable is a big plus considering the rising popularity of AFL in the United States. I’m pretty sure most Americans sit there when the great Paul Kelly takes the stage every second year and think – ‘who is that?’

Even with Gunners and AC/DC in mind I believe the perfect choice for the 2020 Grand Final would be AC/DC. They tick off all the boxes – are recognisable worldwide, have tracks that people can sing along to and there is a unique Melbourne vibe to AC/DC given that their iconic video clip for ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ video was filmed in Melbourne’s very own Bourke Street. Given that their new album is set to be released this year it is also perfect timing for the band to be seen out there and doing their stuff on one of the biggest television audiences Australian will see all year.

The fact that the AFL Grand Final is played during daylight hours does provide some problems for a band like AC/DC performing, but even that is something that is pretty easy to overcome. Get them to come out at half-time and perform tracks like ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘TNT’ etc that everybody can sing along to and then make them the focal point of a night-time victory party at the MCG after the game. Team them up with a pop-star that has rock cred like Pink and suddenly you’ve got an after-party show that would match anything that the Superbowl has ever served up in the past.

As music loving footy fans we don’t ask for much, Mr McLaughlin, but this year we really ask that you make our Grand Final entertainment something to remember and something that our great game truly deserves. Please make the AC/DC this week, Mr McLaughlin… we beg you.

 

Australia is a country in pain. The country has literally been ablaze for the past few months and the stress and pain of the situation is certainly showing on the people who have found themselves wrapped up in it. Even as I write this reports are coming through of more fire-fighters losing their lives while others are severely injured. The news of the catastrophe seems to grow every day with very little remorse.

What has been a big surprise for me is how much the music industry has become involved with helping out. Not only are there an amazing amount of charity concerts popping and not only have artists such as Metallica and Pink reached into their pockets to help out, but I have been surprised by the small touching moments that I have experienced from several musicians over the past couple of weeks.

It all started with a Skype interview with Russian symphonic metal band Imperial Age. Normally when you are recording an interview it begins with a friendly hello, some general chit chat and then you jump into the questions at hand. This was an interview with a difference though, as soon as we got the hellos out of the way Aor and Jane caught me off guard by asking me if I was okay with the fires in Australia. I answered and went to go on but soon realised that their concern was genuine. They then spent twenty minutes asking me if it were true how many animals had been killed, if the fires were close to me, was I safe, was my family safe and whether there seemed to be an end in sight.

It was one of the most amazing interviews that I ever had the experience of conducting and something that I never thought would happen again, then just a day later I was scheduled to interview Paavo Lotjonen about Apocalytpica’s brand new album Cello. Again though it seemed like the last thing he wanted to talk about was the album, instead he again he checked if I was okay before asking if what the he had seen on television about the fires was really doing it justice.

The whole experience reminded me just how lucky I am to be involved with such a wonderful industry where strangers on the other side of the world show that truly care what is happening to Australia and her people.

It was however the third interview that got me thinking just how important music can be to people at this time. That interview was with Deb DeMure the lead singer of new wave rockers Drab Majesty who are about to embark on an Australian tour. What he told me has played through my mind a million times since. When I asked DeMure if he was looking forward to the Australian tour he said this. ““We’re just hoping that the emotional shock of these fires hasn’t totally ravished the hearts and the souls of the people so much that there is a sombre cloud over it. I wouldn’t blame people if there was but it has really touched me how people are taking these fires, music seems so trivial when you think hundreds of thousands of koalas have perished… it feels really surreal.”

The answer floored up and I then asked whether or not that was something that had been playing on his responded and he responded with. “Yeah it does definitely. It kind of trivialises what we are doing but on the other side it gives us the opportunity to bring a gift that allows people to escape so I guess in a way it shows why it is essential for the Arts to carry on by creating something that people can experience and enjoy.”

That statement made me realise one thing – Australia needs music more now than ever before. Even in my own life I know how healing music can be. Today I use music to distress and unwind. Jump in the shower, turn up some tunes and sing at the top of your voice – it is amazing how that allows me to escape whatever is stressing me out. Likewise as a teenager it was albums like Nirvana’s Bleach that helped me get through the emotions that the warzone that was my High School left me with.

Yes it is amazing that so many musicians have dug deep to help the victims of the fires but every Australian should also remember the healing effects that music has on your mental health as well. Maybe go and check out a live show as a way to escape or simply chuck on your favourite album and sing at the top of your voice… it all helps.

Ricki Lee

Happy Ever After is Ricki-Lee’s uplifting and infectious new single. An anthem with a hypnotic guitar riff, an undeniably infectious groove and soaring powerhouse vocals like you’ve never heard from the Australian songstress.

Recorded in New York and written by Ricki-Lee with David Schuler (Grammy nominated producer/songwriter – P!NK The Truth About Love) with whom she wrote her 2011 platinum selling smash ‘Raining Diamonds’, and Hal Linton (Barbadian singer/songwriter – Motown Records).  Additional vocals and production and live instruments recorded at Australian rock royalty Powderfinger’s, Airlock studios in Brisbane. Listen to Happy Ever After right here:

Ricki-Lee says “It’s a song about believing in something and putting your dreams out there to be realized. Not letting moments slip away – making each day count, making the most of every second of every day. For me, this song is almost a continuation of‘Raining Diamonds’ where I was singing about what I believed I deserved and all the things I needed to see in someone to fall in love again. ‘Happy Ever After’ is about all of those things actually coming true! It was like I made a wish and it came true…a real life fairytale!”

Ricki-Lee is a household name, a platinum selling singer, writer and producer of her own material, with consistent airplay and chart success spanning across a ten-year career boasting an impressive nine Top 20 singles. After performing on Australian Idol, Ricki-Lee released her self-titled gold debut album in 2005, featuring a trio of hit singles ‘Hell No’, ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Breathe’.

After the success of Young Divas, Ricki-Lee focused on her solo work releasing ‘Brand New Day’ in 2007, housing Top 10 hits ‘Can’t Touch It’, ‘Love Is All Around’ and ‘Can’t Sing A Different Song’. Ricki-Lee’s third solo album, ‘Fear and Freedom’, hit gold and went Top 10, featuring smash singles ‘Burn It Down’, ‘Crazy’, platinum ‘Raining Diamonds’ and double platinum ‘Do It Like That’.

RICKI-LEE – HAPPY EVER AFTER – OUT JULY 11

Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner is the perfect reason why an actor should never give up, even when things are looking like they are going to be tough for a while. Renner has slaved his way through a career that started way back in 1995 and it has only been the last few years that this talented actor has received the acclaim and popularity that he deserves.

Renner’s love for acting began way back in his college days at Modesto Junior College. While he dabbled in psychology, computer science and criminology, it was the fact that he could show emotional expression in the theater department that led him to concentrate on his acting. Aside from college, he decided to expand his acting range by working at the local Police Academy as an actor as part of the Police training exercises. He then traveled to San Francisco so he could train at the American Conservatory Theater.

On his arrival in Los Angeles in 1993, he headed straight into the theater world when he starred in and co-directed the critically acclaimed “Search And Destroy,” before landing a role in the feature film “National Lampoon’s Senior Trip.” He then appeared in a number of television shows and movies including “Deadly Games,” “Strange Luck,” “A Friend’s Betrayal,” “A Nightmare Come True,” “To Have & Hold,” “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane,” “The Net,” “Time Of Your Life” and “Angel” before scoring more feature film roles in “Paper Dragons,” “Fish In A Barrel” and “Monkey Love.”

Renner’s career took a huge step forward when in 2002 he played serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in David Jacobson’s “Dahmer” – a role that saw him gain plenty of critically praise. Then in 2003, he gained box office success when he starred alongside good friend Colin Farrell in the action blockbuster “S.W.A.T.”

The success of “S.W.A.T.,” however, didn’t have a huge impact on Renner’s career straight away and soon the actor once again found himself picking up a variety of roles, ranging from voicing a character in the “Catwoman” video game through to appearing in Pink’s video clip for “Trouble.” He did, however, manage to appear in notable films including “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” “Lords Of Dogtown,” (with Heath Ledger), “North Country,” (alongside good friend Charlize Theron) zombie flick “28 Weeks Later” and the critically acclaimed “The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” – the latter being a film that saw him get to act amongst an A-List cast including Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck.

Then came the film that made Renner a worldwide name right around the world – Kathryn Bigelow’s intense war drama “The Hurt Locker,” which earned him a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award nomination at the 2010 Oscars. He then backed that up with another performance that saw him earn another Oscar nomination; this time for the Ben Affleck directed “The Town.”

These nominations saw Renner become hot property in Hollywood. Soon he found himself playing comic book character Hawkeye who first appeared in “Thor” and then had a major part in the mega blockbuster hit “The Avengers.” Now considered a true action hero Renner soon found himself acting alongside Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and then with Rachel Weisz in “The Bourne Legacy.” He also starred in the underrated “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

Jeremy Renner is very much THE MAN in Hollywood at the moment and the fact that he is one of the stars of three major franchises will ensure that he will be seen on cinema screens for a number of years. Yes, Jeremy Renner really has made it in Hollywood.

Django Unchained

Well the sun has set on another year in cinema land. Films came, films went. Some exceeded expectations, others went away quickly never to be watched again. But if you are looking for the cream of the crop in 2013, then these are this writer’s favorite ten films.

“Django Unchained” – This is a borderline film for most people’s Top Ten lists this year. In some countries it opened in 2012, in other countries it opened in January 2013, so let’s call it a 2013 film. “Django Unchained” was director/screenwriter Quentin Tarantino at his absolute best. The script sizzled with great one liners and brilliant characterization and while the film did lapse a little (incidentally at about the time that Tarantino himself appeared on the screen), the film did more than enough to be one of this year’s best films. As if the script wasn’t enough to win you over, you then have some marvellous performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson that make this film a must see.

“The Way Way Back” – Every now and then a coming-of-age film comes along that reminds you just how good this genre can be when it is done the right way. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash certainly go the formula right when they put together “The Way Way Back.” The film saw Steve Carell play one of the best against-type roles of all time as he played the emotional abusive father of Duncan (Liam James) while Sam Rockwell put in one of the finest performances of his career as he played the fun-loving owner of a water theme park. If you didn’t get to see “The Way Way Back” when it hit cinemas make sure you check it out when it reaches shelves on DVD.

“Mud” – There was a time when actor Matthew McConaughey was considered a joke. He acted in poorly written romantic comedies that used him more for his looks rather than acting ability. As a result people started to believe that McConaughey was a poor actor, but he turned that around with some great performances in “Bernie” and “Magic Mike.” 2013 saw McConaughey deliver another powerful performance in “Mud,” a small-time drama in which he plays an escaped convict using an island as a hideaway who uses two local boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) to help him escape. Director, Jeff Nichols, manages to make this drama an intense thriller by drawing the audience in and making them wonder exactly what Mud is hiding or willing to do in his escape.

“Rust And Bone” – When people talk about some of the acting performances of 2013, it is surprising how many people seem to skip right over Marion Cotillard’s performance in French film “Rust And Bone.” In what is at times a harrowing film Cotillard plays Stephanie, a young woman who loses her legs in an accident involving a killer whale at the marine park at which she works. In an extraordinary piece of screenwriting, Stephanie’s life is completely turned upside down when she meets Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts), an out-of-luck guy who loves to get involved in backyard fights. “Rust And Bone” may have been a gritty drama, but it is also one of the most intense romances to have surfaced in 2013, making it one of the most underrated films of the year.

“Prisoners” – One of the biggest surprises of this year has been the fact that when all the talk of Oscar nominations has been circulating, the film “Prisoners” hasn’t been getting more love. To be blunt “Prisoners” is one of the best crime thrillers to have surfaced since “Silence Of The Lambs.” Director, Denis Villeneuve makes this an intense thriller that sees Australian Hugh Jackman play Keller Dover a father who is pushed to the absolute extreme when his daughter goes missing along with her friend. Out-acting Jackman, just, is Jake Gyllenhaal who plays one of the most intriguing script cops of all time in Detective Loki. This is one crime thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

“Flight” – With “Flight,” cinema goers walked into the cinema expecting to see another disaster film. Denzel Washington would play a pilot who had to save a plane load of people as something went wrong … it would be a simple film right? Director, Robert Zameckis surprised everyone by delivering a film that opened with pilot, Whip Whitaker (Washington) snorting cocaine and drinking before boarding a flight. The film then became a well-written thriller after the plane crashes and the investigation tries to work out whether Whip is a hero or a villain. Sensational writing and a great performance by Washington makes for one hell of a film.

“The Paperboy” – One of the other big surprises of 2013 was the film “The Paperboy.” Zac Efron doesn’t normally spell one of the films of the year but this time the young actor really delivered. Efron plays Jack Jansen, a young boy that works at his father’s local newspaper who teams up with his older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) who is a journalist working on a racial murder case. Director, Lee Daniels, gets the absolute best out of his cast. Efron and McConaughey are sensational and are well supported by Nicole Kidman and John Cusack, who both act against type remarkably well.

“Broken” – Just when it looked like it was going to be a lean year for British films along came “Broken.” Directed by Rufus Norris “Broken” was a nasty little film that showed British society at its absolute worst. Told through the eyes of a young girl named Skunk (Eloise Laurence), “Broken” tells the story of the violent events that occur at the end of what should be quite English street. From a man who accused of being a sexual monster, to a broken marriage that is affecting some young children and a father who simply cannot cope any more, this is a film where the audience is left wondering who (if anyone) is going to be left emotionally okay (or even alive) by the final credits. “Broken” is British drama at its best.

“What Maisie Knew” – Another surprisingly good film for 2013. On the surface “What Maisie Knew” looked like it would be a film that should be on the Hallmark channel. Instead it became a gritty drama told through the eyes of a young girl named Maisie (Onata Aprile). This young girl becomes the victim of a bitter custody battle between her washed up rock star mother, Susanna (Julianne Moore), and her proud art-dealing Dad, Beale (Steve Coogan). The film had the power to emotionally affect anybody watching it as it soon becomes painfully plain that neither parents want the girl; they just don’t want their ex-partner to have her. “What Maisie Knew” delivers one of the most emotional scripts of the year.

“The Railway Man” – Rounding out the top ten is a late contender with the Australian/British co-production “The Railway Man.” Over the years a lot of filmmakers have told the story of how men cope when they return from war. Few, however, have focused on a story where a victim returns and faces the man who tortured them. Based on a hit novel, “The Railway Man” centers around Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a man whose war demons come to the surface after he has married Patricia Wallace (Nicole Kidman). As the ghosts who have haunted him since he was a POW forced to work on the Thai Burma Railway come to the fore, Patricia inspires him to return to the scene of the crime, unaware that it will result in a tense standoff with Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada). The scenes of the two men confronting each other made for some of the best cinematic moments of 2013.

It would be neglectful not to also mention the following films when talking about the best films of 2013. Also worth a look is “Thanks For Sharing” (with a surprisingly good performance by Pink), “Lygon Street: Si Parla Italiano,” “West Memphis Three,” “Trance,” “A Place Beyond The Pines,” “Performance (A Late Quartet),” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Compliance,” “The Impossible,” “Warm Bodies” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”

Now that 2013 is out of the way, it is time to wait and see what new gems film lovers can uncover in 2014. Bring it on!