OLD NEWS AND SAME FACES WINNERS AT EMMYS
THE GLORIOUS CORNER
Story By: G. H. HARDING
The Emmys --- Monday’s Emmys were the object of much intense anticipation. From new-host Seth Meyers, to the fact that this was the first time since 1976 (May 17 to be exact) that the show was held on a Monday, rather than their usual Sunday berth (where the VMA’s held court).
The show was certainly entertaining enough; Jimmy Kimmel’s bit involving Matthew McConaughey winning almost everything in sight was certainly hilarious (do you want the BET performer of the year award too?); and, Meyers was certainly serviceable as host – he veered right down the middle of the road, and, yet at times, he seemed liked he was back on SNL delivering the news.
The old news is that the same old faces were winners again; from Modern Family winning again for Best Comedy (tying the record with the late-great show Frasier) and Breaking Bad seemingly winning … everything.
Funnily enough, lead Bad-actor Bryan Cranston (who won as well) in his acceptance speech, even said he considered voting for McConaughey.
For the record: Jon Hamm, who has never won, has delivered consistently, brilliant work on Mad Men. As that show enters its final season, maybe he will be honored next time. It’s a huge error he has not yet been rewarded.
Interestingly, many new-er shows, like Orange Is The New Black and HBO’s mega-juggernaut Game Of Thrones, were basically shut out.
As a fan of True Detective, I would have been pleased if its actors and creator, Nic Pizzolatto, had taken home more trophies. But it won the only award it should have won, for Cary Fukunaga’s outstanding direction; and, he was seemingly poorly prepared for his acceptance speech; and, that was a bit odd.
Justice was also served to The Good Wife: I was thrilled to see Julianna Margulies win for her extraordinary year of work, and on behalf of her wrongly snubbed series.
I was also glad to see that Emmy shared my regard for Fargo (winner, outstanding mini-series) and The Normal Heart (winner, outstanding TV movie)—but I got a slightly perverse kick out of watching Sherlock (winner, outstanding writing, actor, supporting actor) upset both in this weirdly organized “genre” (to use Meyers’ awkward term).
The highlight of the show for sure was Billy Crystal memorializing his late-friend Robin Williams. His voice, breaking, Crystal delivered the emotional highlight of the night.
Also, the win for Normal Heart; for me one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV, was spectacular. The love for Larry Kramer, frail and weak who walked onstage, was much deserved. It must also be said that Ryan Murphy's direction for this project was brilliant as was his acceptance speech where he encouraged "all young people to take charge for a cause they believe in." Bravo!
For me Meyers ultimately didn’t work for me; bring in Ricky Gervais!!!
NEW PRINCE --- It's been five years since Prince put out a new record in the U. S., since he limited the release of his 20Ten release, but that will change next month.
On September 30th, the artist will release two new records: Plectrumelectrum, his long-teased album with the group 3rdEyeGirl, and his recently announced solo album, Art Official Age. He will reportedly hold a series of special events and live dates around the world, details for which are forthcoming, to celebrate the albums' release. Both records are available separately as pre-orders, via the website ArtOfficialAge.com, and include "instant gratification" downloads.
Art Official Age is being billed as "classic Prince," since it was produced, arranged, composed and performed by the musician (alongside singer-songwriter Joshua Welton). The record reportedly contains a mix of soul, R&B and funk. The pre-order includes the songs "Breakdown" and "Clouds," as well as three digital singles. The funky, jazzy latter track is now streaming at Complex.
Prince has already released the video for album track "Breakfast Can Wait" and he played "Funknroll" during his appearance on Arsenio earlier this year, though the version on Art Official Age is "funkier and nastier," according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune writer who got an early listen. The reporter also claimed that "This Could Be Us" was a ballad inspired by Prince's Purple Rain costar Apollonia Kotero and that "The Gold Standard" had lyrics "wild and rude." The writer also said the album contained an "aggressive and menacing" rap song featuring Rita Ora.
Plectrumelectrum, a "classic band album" that is said to be an "electrifying funk-rock statement," features the singer leading the all-female group ThirdEyeGirl.
He also previewed the record at a late-night listening session in New York City, which revealed the hard-rock guitar number "Pretzelbodylogic," as well as the original version of "Funknroll."
The records also mark Prince's return to Warner Bros., the label he split from acrimoniously in the Nineties after wearing the word "slave" on his face as a protest to his record contract. "When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave," he told Rolling Stone in 1996. "That's where I was. I don't own Prince's music. If you don't own your masters, your master owns you."
Earlier this year, he worked out a deal with the label where he now owns the masters to his recordings. The label previously announced a plan to put out a deluxe, digitally re-mastered, 30th anniversary release of the Purple Rain soundtrack, though it has yet to announce a release date.
"Prince is one of just a handful of visionary artists who have truly reshaped and redefined modern music and culture," Warner Bros. Chairman & CEO Cameron Strang said in a statement about the two new records. "For the past 35 years, he has never stopped evolving, challenging himself, reinventing his sound and pushing boundaries. In true Prince fashion, he has just given us not one, but two extraordinary albums that express the incredible range and depth of his talent. All of us at WBR are immensely proud to be working with Prince to bring this brilliant new music to his legions of fans around the world, and needless to say we are thrilled to be working in partnership with him again."
Fans and critics alike, love Prince. But, he’s been one of the most consistently frustrating artists ever. He is innovative, but has his time passed? He’s created history that no one will ever forget. I saw him two years back at Madison Square Garden, in the round no less, and he was as good as ever. Brilliant, in fact.
No artist creates as much ink as he does, often confusing and somewhat mis-directed. The record company folk are different now than they were back then. It’s a whole new ball game … but, I am glad to have him back in.
CLOSING NOTES --- Oscar winning director Sir Richard Attenborough, whose movies included the much awarded Gandhi and The Sand Pebbles, has died at age 90.
Known to his friends as “Dickie,” Sir Richard also directed Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., the movie version of A Chorus Line, and the 1977 classic A Bridge Too Far. He won kudos also for Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins and Cry Freedom, with Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline.
Attenborough started as an actor, and was prolific. He appeared in dozens of films and British TV series, including Jurassic Park, plus the feature Dr. Dolittle and the Cate Blanchett movie Elizabeth.
SIGHTINGS: Jersey Boys’ Donnie Kehr at Patsy’s in NYC; Paul Haggis, Gayle King, and, Anna Wintour at the U. S. Open in Forest Hills; PR-kingpin David Salidor and Rebecca Pollack at Victor's in NYC.