Hello from New York – and an America where the Ice Bucket Challenge has turned practically everyone, from Oprah to Lady Gaga, into caring, water-wasting ‘slactivists’. This one, by Girls’ actor Andrew Rannells is my favourite though.
* Leonard Cohen will be turning 80 in September, and a day before he does, he’ll be releasing 9 new songs as part of an album he’s titled Popular Problems. It’s not clear yet if he’ll be touring the new album, although he has said he won’t be doing so in 2014, so perhaps next year? Even though he is the man who said: “Touring is like taking the first step on a walk to China. It’s a serious commitment,” I would love for him to undertake that commitment again to give fans like myself, who’ve never seen him perform live, the chance to.
* Taylor Swift also released details of her new album, called 1989, in honour of the year of her birth. She released her new (definitely-not country) song through Yahoo on Monday, premiering too, a music video directed by Mark Romanek, who made One Hour Photo, starring the late Robin Williams (oh, how hard that is to still write). He’s directed videos for other artists, like the one he did for Michael Jackson and Janet, for Scream, and Jay Z’s 99 Problems. Called Shake It Off, the song and video sees Swift take on various dance roles, as she addresses her “haters.” The song is catchy and a few of the dance moves are cute, but there are a few misguided scenes.
* Sharlto Copley has his next role – he’s set to make his TV debut in Powers, alongside Michelle Forbes, from The Killing, as the lead in the TV series based on the comic book. The show is meant to be part of Sony’s PlayStation network’s push into original programming, and I know it would definitely make me tune in to see Copley every week for a 10-week arc. Copley is currently filming John Krasinski’s The Hollars.
* Three weeks ago at Comic Con, director Peyton Reed said Ant-Man would begin filming around now, and production has indeed begun on the long-gestating movie. Also, the movie has added names like Mad Men‘s John Slattery, Judy Greer, and TI, the rapper to the cast. Wishing Reed and the rest godspeed – they have an unenviable task ahead of them, given the rocky-road the film has been on.
* And with the tense situation going on in Ferguson, some artists have chosen to speak out – like John Legend and Nelly. The rapper says he’ll be setting up a scholarship with the family of Mike Brown, the teenager that was killed by police in his hometown state of Missouri a week ago.
[Pic: Sony Music]