Review: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is the latest of a recent crop of buzzworthy documentaries that introduces viewers to talented artists who struggled to find mainstream success when their music was originally released. The story of Memphis rockers Big Star includes incredible artistic achievements followed by snowballing bad luck. When band members Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel formed in 1971, Chilton was reinventing himself a few years after having a #1 hit single at the tender age of 16 with "The Letter" (by his previous band The Box Tops).  

Everything about the early days of Big Star predicted great things to come. After recording their debut album, the cheekily titled "#1 Record", at Ardent Studios in Memphis, the album's release was set to be distributed as one of the first rock albums on Ardent's record label deal through the legendary Stax Records. That label had just signed a deal with Columbia Records,
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May Music Mayhem

It may seem that I'm diggin' in the dirt. Gettin' back to my punk rock roots. Well, some of my favorite new music does seem a wee bit primal, oui? And some of it is even out this world. But all of this music is party playlist-worthy for any weekend getaway. Proceed with caution....

"Back to the Way I Was" Emily Bell: In Technicolor (One-Eyed George)

Love the retro-girl bop rockabilly trip of this Austin-based ginger-haired flamethrower. She's got plenty of sass, snarl, and sex appeal. And her roots-rockin' band rips it up all the while she shakes and struts her stuff. This will keep any party swingin' all night long. Don't move your lips, just shake those hips....

"Signal 30" Public Service Broadcasting: Inform - Educate - Entertain (Test Card)

Driving, Relentless. Dangerous. Watch out for that speeding vehicle! Throbbing bass, guitar, and drums, played live. Signal 30 was truly a 1959 U.
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Interview: Burnell Taylor Talks About Competing on American Idol

  • ShockYa
Interview: Burnell Taylor Talks About Competing on American Idol
As Fox’s powerhouse reality singing competition, ‘American Idol,’ has been making headlines in recent months for the antics of two of its new judges, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, the current 12th season of the show is getting back to its true intention: finding the next musical superstar. As the competition moved onto its top seven performers, singer Burnell Taylor was the fourth contestant to be voted out of the top 10. After singing a solo rendition of ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi, and a duet of ‘The Letter’ by The Box Tops with fellow contestant Candice Glover, on Wednesday, April 3, Taylor was voted off [ Read More ]

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'American Idol' Top 7: Lazaro Arbos is lagging behind and needs to go home

It's Classic Rock Night here at "American Idol" -- if Kree Harrison doesn't do some Heart, we're going to be upset. Oh, and Orianthi is there to play guitar with the Idols. That's cool, she's terrific.

1. Burnell Taylor, "You Give Love a Bad Name," Bon Jovi

Huh. Not what we were expecting from Burnell. And this is ... not working for us. It's almost as though Burnell has too much soul for this. Too much soul, not enough rock, you know? Burnell would be stronger on maybe some Lenny Kravitz? That sound would suit his voice much, much better.

Either way, this left us really cold. Yikes. And case in point, Keith Urban's first comment is, "I'm going to assume rock 'n roll's not your thing ... I've never seen you look more uncomfortable." Yeah, that about sums it up. Nicki babbles some stuff about Teddy Ruxpin -- this is not
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

American Idol Top 7 Performance Night Recap: For Those Who Managed to Rock, We Salute You!

American Idol Top 7 Performance Night Recap: For Those Who Managed to Rock, We Salute You!
I can’t get no satisfaction — not when it comes to American Idol‘s Season 12 theme nights, anyway.

I know, I know: A couple weeks back I put together a gallery of potential alternatives to the usual “Songs That Inspire” and “Songs From the Year You Were Born” — and I’d actually included “’80s Rock” and “No Ballads Allowed” among my 22 suggestions. So you think that Fox’s official announcement of “Classic Rock, No Ballads” for Top 7 night would’ve been cause for nothing but a joyful Headbangers Ball up in Casa Slezak.

Alas, the problem this week wasn’t
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Magnolia to release Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me this year

Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights to Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, a documentary about the history of 1970s rock band Big Star—a group that, though never a huge success, proved highly influential on disparate acts like R.E.M., The Replacements, and The Flaming Lips. The film from co-directors Drew DeNicola and Olivia Mori tracks the history of the cult band, from lead singer Alex Chilton’s original gig as lead singer of The Box Tops through Chilton’s death just before the reunited group was to play South By Southwest in 2010, followed ...
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Musician B.B. Cunningham gunned down in Memphis

  • Pop2it
Musician B.B. Cunningham, a longtime member of Jerry Lee Lewis' band, was killed in a shooting Sunday (Oct. 14) in Memphis, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Police officers say the 70-year-old Cunningham, who was working as a security guard, heard a shot in an apartment and went to investigate. By the time police arrived, both Cunningham and a 16-year-old boy were found dead from gunshot wounds. Police do not yet know exactly what happened.

Byny Garcia, who lives in the apartment complex, tells the Commercial Appeal, "I liked [Cunningham]. We have a good memory of him. He'd take care of the old people and the Spanish kids. He was a good person. We don't feel good at this moment."

Born Blake Baker Cunningham Jr., B.B. came from a musica family. His father was a crooner who recorded music under the name Buddy Blake and his brother Bill was a
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Soyon An: American Idol: What They Wore, 5/2/12 (Top 5)

Soyon An: American Idol: What They Wore, 5/2/12 (Top 5)
On Wednesday's performance night, the #Idols took on the '60s and British-imported songs. Scroll down for all the fashion goodness!

Also, be sure to hit me up on on Twitter (@SoysFashion) with your style questions, or just to say hello!

Hollie Cavanagh

(Left, 1st look for "River Deep Mountain High" by Ike and Tina Turner)

Tina Turner was known for her tight-fitting flashy dresses, and I wanted to incorporate Hollie's spin on her love of sequins for her tribute to Tina. She told me that she would start from the audience, then walk to the stage. So I wanted to make sure her shoes were as high as she loves them to be, comfortable, and perfect for the sequins dress. One of the reasons why I gave Hollie a thick-heeled shoe was because they're easier to maneuver on stage, and it still suited the retro look. Hollie wore an AllSaintsdress and Sam Edelmanshoes.
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American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Modern! English!

American Idol Top 5 Performance Recap: Modern! English!
If you’ll allow me to paraphrase Phillip Phillips (covering the Zombies), “it’s that time in the (American Idol) season for loving (our favorites).” Indeed, the Idoloonie Nation has devoted the last four months to auditioning dozens of singers for the role of America’s Next Top iTunes Obsession, and with each of the five remaining finalists having delivered 13 live solo performances, our allegiances have pretty much been pledged, our opinions have been pretty well formed, our speed-dialing fingers have been worn down to bone and sinew (as has the space between Randy Jackson’s ears).

But with the
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American Idol Top 5 Tackle 'British Music' and the '60s: Who Were Your Faves? Take Our Poll!

American Idol Top 5 Tackle 'British Music' and the '60s: Who Were Your Faves? Take Our Poll!
A potential bromance sputtered awkwardly. Ryan Seacrest pretended not to know the difference between a daffodil and a tulip. J.Lo and Steven Tyler respectively admitted to never having heard “The Letter” and “Bleeding Love.” And Randy Jackson one-upped them by going all “durrr”-faced when confronted by the word “crustacean.” (In his defense, it does contain more than two syllables.)

But who cares about such ignoble details when you’ve got the American Idol Season 11 Top 5 doing their darndest to one-up their own personal best performances and give us major Idol Moments in the process?

Yep, gripe all you
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Hollie Cavanagh Bounces Back on American Idol

Hollie Cavanagh Bounces Back on American Idol
The finish line is in sight - and as the final five contestants fight to be the winner of American Idol, the competition is fierce. Just like last week, the contestants brought top-notch performances, tackling classic songs from the 1960s and the British pop songbook. No one seemed to fight harder than Hollie Cavanagh. After another appearance in the bottom last week, she delivered Wednesday with a high-energy version of Ike and Tina Turner's rock-soul rave-up "River Deep-Mountain High," which found her shimmying and shaking across the stage while wearing sky-high heels. For her second tune, she brought tender
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‘American Idol,’ Season 11, Finalists Compete: TV Recap

‘American Idol,’ Season 11, Finalists Compete: TV Recap
Michael Becker / Fox. Hollie Cavanagh performs in front of the judges on “American Idol.”

The scramble was on to land a spot in the final four on “American Idol,” but to say any one competitor has a lock on this season would be ridiculous. It’s anyone’s game, as we saw tonight, with back-to-back solid showings. Everyone is bringing their A-game as the week’s dwindle, and one wannabe Idol is attempting a serious comeback from behind.

There were
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'American Idol' Top 5 set list and mentor - 'Little Steven' Van Zandt - revealed

When music legends agree to appear on "American Idol," the producers probably don't question the congruity of which giant appears on which theme week. So let's ignore the fact that it's British week and celebrate the fact that The E Street Band's Little Steven Van Zandt is lending his expertise to the Top 5 as they take on tunes from across the pond.

And just what are Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez singing this week? It's not clear which songs belong to which singer, but the official "American Idol" Twitter posted band leader Ray Chew's set list, giving us a glimpse of all the songs before they're sung on tonight's (May 2) episode.


"Ain't Too Proud to Beg," The Temptations

"The Letter," The Box Tops

"Proud Mary," Tina Turner

"Fortunate Son," Credence Clearwater Revival

"River Deep, Mountain High," Ike and Tina Turner

British Pop:

"To Love Somebody,
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A Little Big Star: Alex Chilton and the Movies

  • MUBI
The death of musician Alex Chilton in the middle of last March brought an untimely end to a very unusual career. Only 59 at the time of his death, his years as a professional musician began all the way back in 1966; he was only 16 when, as the lead singer of The Box Tops, he made it to the top of the charts with "The Letter." After the dissolution of that band, whose music was largely dictated by outside writers and producers, the Memphis-born Chilton attempted a solo career before hooking up with young Memphis musicians Chris Bell, Andy Hummel, and Jody Stephens to form Big Star. To say that this band created what came to be known as "power pop" is, in this former music writer's opinion, rather too kind to most of the groups put under the "power pop" rubric. And since this is a film website and not a music website,
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'American Idol' Top 11: Who was Billboard No. 1-worthy after a 'mentoring' session with Miley Cyrus?

'American Idol' Top 11: Who was Billboard No. 1-worthy after a 'mentoring' session with Miley Cyrus?
Talk about disappointments! I spent the last 48 hours hoping and praying that Miley Cyrus' guest appearance on tonight's American Idol telecast was secretly going to lead to a sing-off between the Hannah Montana star and ousted season 9 hopeful Haeley Vaughn, who clawed her way through "The Climb" during week two of the semifinals. Alas, it didn't go down that way. No tears. No Haeley. No "Surprise, Miley! You might end up in Wednesday night's bottom three!" Ah well...a boy can dream. Instead, we had a standard-operating performance night, focused on the (threadbare) theme of "Songs You've Heard Over
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