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Posts about Celebrities

Jeff Bridges to sing at Pantages on Aug. 24

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: June 6, 2014 - 3:11 AM
Jeff Bridges/ Photo by Richard Shotwell, Invision/ Associated Press

Jeff Bridges/ Photo by Richard Shotwell, Invision/ Associated Press

The Dude is coming to Minneapolis. Don’t know if he’ll abide, drink White Russians or bring the Coen Brothers with him. But he will sing his “Crazy Heart” songs and other material.

Jeff Bridges, the Oscar-winning actor who does music on the side, will appear Aug. 24 at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis  – one of 14 concerts on his summer schedule.

Bridges has released two solo albums as well as the soundtrack for 2009’s “Crazy Heart.” He won an Oscar for best actor for his performance of washed-up country star Bad Blake in that movie.. His most recent album is 2011’s “Jeff Bridges,” produced by T Bone Burnett. Bridges is reportedly working on a new album.

He does have a new film, “The Giver,” due on Aug. 15. It’s a sci-fi drama based on the novel of the same name by Lois Lowry. 

Bridges earned raves and award nominations for his work in such movies as “The Last Picture Show,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” “Starman,” “The Contender,” “True Grit” and “The Big Lebowski.”

Bridges will perform with his band, the Abiders. Ticket details for the Pantages show have not been announced yet.

Beatles insider Peter Asher charms with live memoir at the Dakota

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: June 4, 2014 - 2:54 AM
Peter & Gordon's 1964 debut LP

Peter & Gordon's 1964 debut LP

For Peter Asher at the Dakota Jazz Club, the third time was still charming.

For the third consecutive year, the Forrest Gump of rock brought his in-concert multi-media memoir to town. It was a delightful evening of insider stories about the Beatles, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, show biz, the music biz, the soundtrack biz and, most of all, Asher himself.

The veteran Brit was a pop star (Peter & Gordon), a movie actor (both as kid and adult), talent executive (starting at the Beatles’ Apple records), producer, manager and soundtrack recording artist. He’s won Grammys (as recently as this year) and given induction speeches at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (this year for Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham).

In his nostalgic and entertaining 2½-hour presentation, Asher, who turns 70 on June 22, told some of the same stories as in the past about his sister Jane Asher dating with Paul McCartney (who moved into the Asher family home), John  Lennon meeting Yoko Ono at Asher’s art gallery, James Taylor showing up at Asher’s London flat and getting signed to a record deal by the Beatles within days, and daughter Victoria Asher becoming a rock star recently with the synth-pop band Cobra Starship.

Asher’s Beatle connections run remarkably deep. His mother, a professional oboist and teacher, had a young George Martin as one of her students. Of course, he became the Beatles producer.

By no means is Asher retired – or retiring. Updates to this live memoir included his producing Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (which led to a Grammy this year), his work on some new movie soundtracks including this year’s Spider-Man and producing several new stars including Ed Sheeran, Miguel and the Band Perry on this year’s 40th anniversary tribute to Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Asher also brought a new special guest – the Webb Sisters, a British sibling duo which he produces and manages (his only current client as a manager).

The Webbs sang backup on a few tunes, proving that siblings are more convincing harmonizing on Everly Brothers tunes than non-siblings are. The sisters also delivered a heavenly version of Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will,” which they sang on tour with Cohen on his recent comeback tour. (The Webb Sisters will perform their own show Thursday at the Dakota.)

In addition to Asher and his band singing several songs (including with the late Gordon Waller on video), his show includes priceless Beatles photos and clips of Peter & Gordon performing on Ed Sullivan, "Hullabaloo" and other TV shows. There is also a clip of the Rutles movie (Eric Idle's parody of the Beatles), featuring John Belushi and a curly-haired bespectacled comedian, Al Franken.

“Senator Al,” Asher declared after his bandleader pointed out Franken in the clip. “I’ve forgotten that.”

It’s pretty hard to forget any of the memories Asher shared about his amazingly well-connected life.

He performs again at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Dakota.

Steve Perry of Journey unexpectedly sings with Eels in St. Paul

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: May 27, 2014 - 1:07 AM

Just when you thought some obsessive documentarian might make a film called “Searching for Steve Perry,” the reclusive former Journey frontman showed up unexpectedly Sunday night at the Fitzgerald Theater during the second encore of the Eels concert.

Perry, who apparently hadn’t performed in public since 1996, sang three numbers, including the Journey smashes “Open Arms” and “Lovin Touchin Squeezin.”

Perry, 65, didn’t have his heyday mullet but he did showcase his high, piercing voice, which, judging by the YouTube video, is not as high as it used to be – nor as high as that of current Journey singer Arnel Pineda.

No idea what the connection between Perry and the Eels is.

In other Journey-related news, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie – original members of Journey—will get together with Carlos Santana and others for a reunion of the original Santana band, the bandleader told Rollingstone.com. He credited Schon, the current Journey guitarist, with pushing for the reunion. They are recording new material for “Santana IV” (since they made three albums together) and talking of a possible tour.

Barkhad Abdi adds another film role

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: May 15, 2014 - 4:44 PM
Photo: John Shearer, AP

Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi’s film career is building momentum. The “Captain Phillips” Oscar nominee has added a the military Drones thriller “Eye In the Sky,” joining a cast led by Colin Firth.

Abdi is already booked to portray famous South African marathon runner Willie Mtolo in an upcoming biography, and to test his comedic chops in Judd Apatow's “Trainwreck.” The new film, directed by Oscar winning South African director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), returns him to a drama about African terrorism. Cue the official synopsis:

“A group of leading terror suspects gather in a secluded safe house in Nairobi, Kenya, to plan a suicide bombing mission. Meanwhile, British, Kenyan and American intelligence units, working together, keep the terrorists under real-time surveillance using cameras mounted on a remotely piloted, heavily armed MQ-9 Reaper Drone: an "Eye in the Sky." But as the British and Americans prepare to assassinate the terror suspects using a Hellfire missile, launched from the unseen drone flying at 20,000 feet, a little Kenyan girl walks into the kill zone, selling bread.”

Firth, who is producing the film, seems likely to play the man with his finger on the launch button, caught in a crisis of conscience. No word on Abdi’s role as of yet.

Bob Dylan previews new album with song made famous by Sinatra

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: May 14, 2014 - 3:08 AM

 

 

Looks like Bob Dylan will drop a new album this year.

In his typical cryptic fashion, there’s a photo of him on his website and the words “Shadows in the Night.” Rollingstone.com reports that a Dylan spokesman confirmed a new album for 2014 but did not confirm the title.

bobdylan.com offers one new track from the album – “Full Moon and Empty Arms.” It’s a standard that has been recorded by everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Jim Nabors to the Platters. The most famous version is Frank Sinatra’s 1945 hit.

Dylan’s rendition attempts to follow the Sinatra treatment but old Bob is no match for young blue eyes. Listen for yourself at www.bobdylan.com/us/home 

This will be Dylan's 36th studio album -- his first since 2012's "Tempest."

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