Monday Feb 8, 2016

'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King say they welcomed CBS' decision to end the series, allowing them to write its final chapter. The Kings already had decided to exit as executive producers after this season, the seventh, leaving CBS to...
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TV

'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?
Monday Feb 8, 2016
'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King say they welcomed CBS' decision to end the series, allowing them to write its final chapter. The Kings already had decided to exit as executive producers after this season, the seventh, leaving CBS to weigh whether to keep the critically acclaimed show afloat without them. On Sunday, the network used its Super Bowl telecast to announce that "The Good Wife" was heading into its final nine episodes, with the series finale to air May 8. The Kings had just learned of the decision in the past week, they told a phone news conference Monday. "We felt very fortunate and flattered that we're being allowed to end the show .... the way we hoped it would end," Michelle King said. "The Good Wife" airs 9 p.m. EST Sunday. CBS may have faced the loss of series star Julianna Margulies as well. At an event last month honoring the Kings, Margulies joked in her speech that she'd only shown up because she would soon be out of work and needed the exposure. The actress "was kind of up in the air" about returning as lawyer Alicia Florick, Michael King said. Margulies has won two Emmys for the role. But after conversations in recent days involving her, CBS, the studio and the Kings, the conclusion was that everybody "really wanted to go all together," Michelle King said. The couple, who are moving on to a new series for CBS, the comic political thriller "BrainDead," said they had long envisioned "Good Wife" as lasting seven years. To avoid spoilers, the Kings spoke in broad strokes about how their critically acclaimed drama will conclude. Robert King said he likes shows that "end with some resonance," citing "Breaking Bad" and "Six Feet Under" as memorable examples. "What I admire an ending that feels inevitable and surprising," Michelle King said. There will be a return of characters who have been offstage, including Gary Cole's Kurt McVeigh, but viewers won't see private investigator Kalinda Sharma, played by Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi. Kalinda chose to disappear and "it wouldn't make any sense to bring her back," Michelle King said. Asked about a possible "Good Wife" spinoff, she said "nothing's off the table but there's nothing formal. ... We're not saying 'no' to anything at this point." Robert King said such a spinoff likely would be an ensemble drama focusing on characters who haven't gotten as much attention, such as Elsbeth Tascioni, played by Carrie Preston, or Martha Plimpton's Patti Nyholm. "The Good Wife," initially built on the response of Margulies' character to a scandal involving her politician husband (Chris Noth), was centered on the world of Chicago law and politics. In early January, CBS programming chief Glenn Geller told reporters that the network hadn't decided the show's future without the Kings. ___ Online: http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Conan O'Brien to discuss liberal arts education at Harvard
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Conan O'Brien to discuss liberal arts education at Harvard

BOSTON (AP) — Conan O'Brien is coming to Harvard to talk about the value of a liberal arts education. The late night TV host will visit the Cambridge campus on Friday for a conversation about arts and education with university President Drew Faust, followed by questions from the audience. O'Brien is a Brookline native and a 1985 graduate of the Ivy League university, which has about 29,000 students. He hosts "Conan" on TBS and is a former host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC. The ticketed event will be held at 4 p.m. at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. It will also be streamed live on the university's website. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Porn actress drops $500K assault lawsuit against Josh Duggar
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Porn actress drops $500K assault lawsuit against Josh Duggar

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A porn actress has dropped her $500,000 assault lawsuit against reality TV personality Josh Duggar amid evidence that her claims were fabricated. Duggar's lawyer calls the accusations in Ashley Stamm-Northup's lawsuit "entirely fictitious." Stamm-Northup is a San Diego woman known as Danica Dillon in adult films. Her lawsuit says that she met Duggar while working at a Philadelphia strip club last spring and that Duggar assaulted her when they went to a hotel to have sex. Evidence shows Duggar wasn't in Philadelphia at the time. His family's wholesome reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," was pulled from the TLC network in May over revelations that he had molested four of his sisters and a baby sitter. He has apologized for having a pornography addiction and for cheating on his wife. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

NY Times launches Spanish-language digital version
Monday Feb 8, 2016
NY Times launches Spanish-language digital version

The New York Times on Monday launched a Spanish-language digital edition, aiming to expand the global reach of the prestigious US daily.The Times is offering "a selection of the best of New York Times translated into Spanish" as well as original articles, said a welcome statement from deputy international editor Lydia Polgreen. On the first day, the newspaper was running a story on the perilous journey of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States, as well as articles on the Zika virus from Brazil and on politics in Peru and Venezuela. "We have a fantastic team with journalists from various parts of Latin America and in Spain, and our mission is to offer high-quality journalism every day," Polgreen said. The Times said last week it is eyeing further changes to its newsroom to meet the growing challenges of digital. On the heels of its quarterly report, the daily -- seeking to navigate a shift to digital readership -- said executive editor Dean Baquet and longtime journalist David Leonhardt would lead a review of operations. During a conference call to discuss earnings, New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson indicated some shifts were coming. He said that in the coming months "we will take a close look at our existing cost base, even as we make targeted investments in our digital future." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Internet freaks out over Super Bowl Doritos ultrasound ad
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Internet freaks out over Super Bowl Doritos ultrasound ad

A Super Bowl Doritos ad featuring a woman who goes into premature labor when the father teases his unborn child with nacho chips has drawn both outrage and applause on social media.On Super Bowl Sunday -- the biggest advertising day of the year in the US -- marketing giants pulled out every trick in the trade, enlisting celebrity power to peddle their brands and creating strange and wacky storylines to try  and retain viewers' attention. But while most ads garnered a chuckle at most, it was a Doritos commercial titled “Ultrasound” that had the internet freaking out, with some viewers calling the ad offensive and inappropriate, and others laughing at the outlandish humor. In the ad, a pregnant woman is getting a routine ultrasound while her disinterested husband noshes on Doritos chips. The ultrasound monitor shows the baby reaching for the nacho until the mom throws it across the room, prompting it to initiate an early evacuation from the womb. According to Twitter, it was the best and worst ad during Super Bowl 2016, with both viewers and celebrities weighing in. “That Doritos ad was chilling,” tweeted comedian Mindy Kaling. Speaking on behalf of its fans, actor Dwayne Johnson disagreed, tweeting “That Doritos baby ultrasound commercial could win best commercial #SB50.” Some pledged to boycott the brand saying they'll never eat Doritos again, while others crowned it the best Super Bowl ad of 2016. The commercial even drew out Twitter spats between pro-choice and pro-lifers on the significance of the ad. “#NotBuyingIt - that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50,” tweeted American pro-choice group NARAL. Watch the ad at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH2LsFcWOFY. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne

To mark the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, Piper-Heidsieck is making a very special edition of its Cuvee BrutPiper-Heidsieck Red Carpet edition will be limited to just 1000 magnums and will be poured exclusively at this year's Oscars on February 28. "We are thrilled to celebrate a momentous occasion with a momentous bottle, one that reflects the Academy and the House's shared value of excellence," says Benoit Collard, Global Executive Director Piper-Heidsieck. "These magnums are as grand and bold as the films and performances we are celebrating this year." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Super Bowl 50: 4 family film trailers
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Super Bowl 50: 4 family film trailers

Trailers for "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "Eddie the Eagle," "The Jungle Book" and "The Secret Life of Pets" all aired during Super Bowl 50 -- catch up with them here.Alice Through the Looking GlassUS release: May 27, 2016Blink and you'll miss it as the 30-second "Tick Tock" clip rattles through 35 scenes at breakneck speed; Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, will need plenty of momentum in order to rescue Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), before the film's running time elapses. Uploaded to YouTube on February 1, well in advance of Super Bowl 50.youtu.be/dX-bT1SdKj8 Eddie the EagleUS release: February 26, 2016Its first trailer was played for laughs, but for the Super Bowl this ski-jumping biopic went sentimental and serious, with three current or ex-NFL quarterbacks drafted in to comment on its inspirational merits after seeing a special advanced screening.youtu.be/dARGS9l8z5M The Jungle BookUS release: 15 April, 2016A first teaser in September 2015 was a chance to see this live-action and CGI blend in motion; this one lets us hear Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and the other jungle inhabitants speak, with Ben Kingsley as black panther Bagheera, Lupita Nyong'o as snake Rashka, and Idris Elba as tiger Shere Khan among the talent.youtu.be/C4qgAaxB_pc The Secret Life of PetsUS release: July 8, 2016The studio behind "Despicable Me" prepares the ground in front of its next hit in waiting, a look at what pets get up to when humans aren't around. Though the animated feature can call upon Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Louis CK and Albert Brooks to voice it, this trailer is more of a skit-based affair to show how cats and dogs prefer to spend time away from their owners.youtu.be/hz8VOiTgcW4 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Super Bowl trailers: 'Captain America,' 'Deadpool,' 'Jason Bourne,' 'X-Men' action spectacular
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Super Bowl trailers: 'Captain America,' 'Deadpool,' 'Jason Bourne,' 'X-Men' action spectacular

Catch seven action movie trailers that aired during Super Bowl 50 as movie studios went all out to capture that young, male audience with TV spots for "10 Cloverfield Lane," "Captain America: Civil War," "Deadpool," "Gods of Egypt," "Independence Day: Resurgence," "Jason Bourne," and "X-Men: Apocalypse."10 Cloverfield LaneUS release date: March 11, 2016There's a lot left open to interpretation in this 30 second teaser of terror, with the true intentions of John Goodman's survivalist / kidnapper unknown, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead caught between a rock and a monstrous place.youtu.be/IhdJkFH7K38 Captain America: Civil WarUS release date: May 6, 2016Can't we all just get along? Not when there's Marvel's Cinematic Universe to fill out, no, as former best buddies Captain America and Iron Man face off against each other. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. return as the two lead characters, flanked by returning faces from previous entries to the Avengers franchise.youtu.be/0L7iH3foZU0 DeadpoolUS release date: February 12, 2016The near-indestructible, utterly irreverent vigilante Deadpool reveals his secret pro-athlete aspirations in this latest trailer for a first R-rated addition to the X-Men franchise. Ryan Reynolds stars.youtu.be/1JcaAlQbEwU Gods of EgyptUS release date: February 26, 2016One of Egypt's most elaborate origin stories gets a CGI-heavy treatment and the hands of "The Crow," "I, Robot," "Dark City" and "Knowing" director Alex Proyas, with the likes of Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and a very shouty Gerard Butler bringing the ancient gods to life.youtu.be/S37sBYwlULs Independence Day: ResurgenceUS release date: June 24, 2016Possibly the most overtly US-centric of the Super Bowl ads, playing over a sports stadium rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, there's screen time for leads Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Jeff Goldblum in this special effects spectacular.youtu.be/g5K0lKrebqg Jason BourneUS release date: July 29, 2016Nine years after "The Bourne Ultimatum" and it's time to return to the Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass franchise. But why now? What's motivating secret agent Jason Bourne? And why has he become some sort of street-fighting king in the interim? If there's one thing we now know, post-trailer, it's that the film has a non-numbered title.youtu.be/_gBnmKOixDM X-Men: ApocalypseUS release date: May 27, 2016Olivia Munn makes her franchise debut as Psylocke, and Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse gets a new voice -- hear the comparison for yourself when this trailer's bumper extends to include a clip from December's equivalent treatment.youtu.be/mnu06cIUpMs Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

First trailer for Zac Efron's 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' released during the Super Bowl
Monday Feb 8, 2016
First trailer for Zac Efron's 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' released during the Super Bowl

The first trailer for Zac Efron's new movie "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' aired Sunday during the Super Bowl.The comedy stars Efron alongside "Pitch Perfect" actor Adam Devine as two brothers looking for dates to take to their sister's wedding, finding that they have met their matches in the form of Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" will be released in theaters on July 8.  You can watch the official trailer now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33MtR-g4Jcg Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

New trailer for 'X-Men: Apocalypse' airs during the Super Bowl
Monday Feb 8, 2016
New trailer for 'X-Men: Apocalypse' airs during the Super Bowl

An new trailer for "X-Men: Apocalypse" aired during Sunday's Super Bowl, giving us a new look at what to expect from the superheroes. The sequel to 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" will see James McAvoy's Charles Xavier bringing together the X-Men in an effort to protect humanity against the movie's villain Apocalypse, played by "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" actor Oscar Isaac. As well as McAvoy the movie will also see the return of Jennfier Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Nicholas Hoult as Beast. They will be joined by X-Men newcomers Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Lana Condor as Jubilee, and Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner as Jean Frey. The first trailer for the movie was released back in December 2015, with the film due to hit theatres May 27 2016. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

International designers to explore 'fashion utopia' during LFW
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
International designers to explore 'fashion utopia' during LFW

London Fashion Week will be shining the spotlight on international designers this month with an exhibition titled "Fashion Utopias."The show will see emerging fashion designers from 24 countries create fashion installations at the city's Somerset House. The building's west wing will be transformed into a Utopian terrain, designed by Hatty Ellis Coward, where an emerging generation of international designers and curators will present their vision of the future. Over 14 galleries, 13 of which will represent a country, designers will unveil creations on a theme that honors the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's inspirational text, "Utopia." There will be one group installation, "Next in Line", which will feature designers from 11 more nations. It is the fifth annual edition of the British Council and the British Fashion Council's International Fashion Showcase (IFS) initiative, which explores the link between fashion and contemporary culture. Nationalities represented in the 2016 exhibition include Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Lebanon, Korea, Portugal, Philippines, Nigeria, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Argentina, Bahrain, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates will feature in the Next in Line installation. Highlights are set to include Guatemala's installation, where each designer will create miniature versions of their designs as traditional worry dolls, and Indonesia, where each designer will represent an essential element -- earth, fire, water and wind. Each designer from Lebanon will create a customized piece for IFS in the unifying shade of blue, while Lagos Fashion and Design Week will curate an installation of Nigerian menswear and womenswear that imagines the creative energy of designers as a cosmic bang. Fashion Utopias will run February 19 - 23. A winning Country and Designer, as well as a "Curator Award" sponsored by mannequin creator Bonaveri, will be announced on February 21 during London Fashion Week. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Academy luncheon is time for reflection in high stakes year
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Academy luncheon is time for reflection in high stakes year

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The annual Oscar nominees luncheon is generally a time of low-stakes celebration, but this year amid discussions of Oscar diversity and a boycott, as well as dramatic changes to academy membership, the Monday gathering was also one for reflection. Those at the luncheon did their best to keep things focused on the nominees and not the controversy swirling around the industry. Producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill also announced a big change for the show on Feb. 28. Winners will still have a tight 45 seconds for their acceptance speeches, but now, thanks to a scroll of key names that will appear on the screen, the speech doesn't just have to be a list of people. This development, they hope, will give winners an opportunity to say what's in their heart, rather than worrying about forgetting to thank an agent, producer or director. While the luncheon was full of schmoozing and love, with attendees like Steven Spielberg, Alejandro Inarritu, Lady Gaga and more, backstage, diversity and #OscarsSoWhite dominated the discussions. Sylvester Stallone, who became a focal point in the controversy for being the sole nominee (supporting actor) from "Creed," which had both a black director and lead actor, said he consulted with director Ryan Coogler as to whether or not he should attend at all. "I said, 'if you want me to go, I'll go, if you don't, I won't,'" Stallone told reporters before lunch. "He said, 'Just go there and try to represent the film.'" Prior to the luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., various nominees stopped to speak to a room of reporters about everything from finance reform to fashion. But Stallone wasn't the only one thinking about the question of diversity, both at the Oscars and in the industry at large. For his part, Stallone said that he believes things will change and it's just a matter of time. "Spotlight" director Tom McCarthy complimented Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for doing "an amazing job of navigating change." McCarthy said he has faith in the film community's ability to push the needle for change. "Mad Max: Fury Road" director George Miller said that from his standpoint, casting is story-driven and commented how television has been ahead of the game in diverse casting. Rooney Mara, nominated for her supporting performance in the 1950s-set lesbian drama "Carol," said she had just read an article the other day suggesting that there should be a hashtag for "Oscars so straight." "These are all important conversations for us to be having," Mara said. Beyond the discussions of #OscarsSoWhite, the nominees were also just excited to be there to celebrate with their peers. Alicia Vikander, nominated for her supporting performance in "The Danish Girl," was one appreciating the moment. She saw her co-star Eddie Redmayne (also a nominee) go through the process last year during filming when he was nominated, and won, for "The Theory of Everything." "He said try and enjoy it because it is very wonderful," Vikander said. Isaacs also tried to steer the focus back to the nominees at large inside the room. "This year, we all know there's an elephant in the room. I've asked the elephant to leave," said Isaacs in her opening remarks. "Today is all about your incredible work." The annual event brings together over 150 nominees to celebrate the honor before the golden statuettes are actually handed out at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28. ___ AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report. ___ Online: www.oscars.org Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne

To mark the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, Piper-Heidsieck is making a very special edition of its Cuvee BrutPiper-Heidsieck Red Carpet edition will be limited to just 1000 magnums and will be poured exclusively at this year's Oscars on February 28. "We are thrilled to celebrate a momentous occasion with a momentous bottle, one that reflects the Academy and the House's shared value of excellence," says Benoit Collard, Global Executive Director Piper-Heidsieck. "These magnums are as grand and bold as the films and performances we are celebrating this year." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Producer Dave Cobb goes from outsiders to influencers
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Producer Dave Cobb goes from outsiders to influencers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Producer Dave Cobb sits on a couch in the cavernous RCA Studio A, a 50-year-old studio on Music Row that was due to be razed to the ground less than two years ago to make room for luxury condos. Preservationists stepped in at the last minute to save the building developed by country legend Chet Atkins where Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson have all recorded. In April, Cobb will become the new in-house producer at Studio A and he looks like a kid in a candy shop. "There are some guitars you pick up and they have songs in them and you can't put them down," Cobb said. "And this is a space that does that. You're in here and it just inspires you." Cobb got his start working with outsider country artists pushed aside as the trend moved to a slicker, pop and R&B-influenced country sound. But it was Cobb's work with Americana darling Jason Isbell and breakout country singer Chris Stapleton that turned him into Nashville's hottest producer. Cobb is nominated for non-classical producer of the year and album of the year for Stapleton's "Traveller" at this year's Grammy Awards. "Well, nobody calls me for hit singles," Cobb said. "I think if I was probably doing super pop stuff, I think I would feel a ton of pressure. But I think people just call me to make honest records, so that I can do." The Savannah, Georgia-native got his start as a producer in Los Angeles working with Waylon Jennings' son, Shooter, on his 2005 album, "Put the 'O' Back in Country." Jennings introduced him to Jamey Johnson, and the two worked together on Johnson's 2008 album "That Lonesome Song," and his critically acclaimed 2010 double album, "The Guitar Song." As Cobb's circle of artist friends grew, he moved back to Nashville in 2011 to start a home studio. "I just fell in love with the music scene," Cobb said. "I just felt like Nashville right now is maybe where London was in the '60s and L.A. was in the '70s. It feels like this is music mecca." What followed was a string of career-defining records for Cobb. He broke genre lines with Kentucky-bred singer Sturgill Simpson on his 2014 psychedelic honky-tonk record "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music." Isbell's raw post-rehab album, "Southeastern," swept the 2014 Americana Music Awards and their 2015 follow-up, "Something More Than Free," is also nominated for best Americana album this year at the Grammys. He found his biggest commercial success with the long-haired Stapleton, who had written hits for Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney. The former bluegrass singer cut his debut solo album with Cobb in Studio A, but he struggled to get any radio play with his bluesy, country soul record when it was released last May. All that changed on the night of the Country Music Association Awards on Nov. 4, when pop star Justin Timberlake and Stapleton jammed for nearly 8 minutes on national television and Stapleton won album of the year, male vocalist and new artist of the year awards. After the show, Stapleton's record jumped from nowhere to No. 1 on Billboard's 200 chart. Soon after, the award nominations came rolling in for Stapleton, including four Grammy nominations and five Academy of Country Music Award nominations. "I can't believe it's had the impact that it has," Cobb said. "Especially because there was no angling for any of this. That's what is so great about this. It was done out of purity and honesty. To see commercial success behind that was really gratifying." Now even mainstream country artists are eager to work with him. Cobb is releasing an all-star concept record called "Southern Family," on March 18, which features Cobb's ever growing musical family, including Jennings, Johnson, Isbell, Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, as well as artists he's never worked with like Brandy Clark and Miranda Lambert. Singer John Paul White, formerly of the Grammy-winning country duo The Civil Wars, recorded a new song, "Simple Song," for the upcoming album and said Cobb's relationship with artists is what makes him distinctive. "I think Dave is just making records for himself," White said by email. "He's incredibly knowledgeable about gear, he's mindful of vibe and feel, and has studied production technique to the nth degree. He takes that info and makes records that he would want to buy. He works with artists that he would want to listen to. Strangely, that makes him unique." ___ Online: Dave Cobb: http://davecobbproducer.com __ Follow Kristin M. Hall at twitter.com/kmhall Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Kristin M. Hall from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Beyonce's Super Bowl show bringing both praise and criticism
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Beyonce's Super Bowl show bringing both praise and criticism

A day after the Super Bowl, people are still parsing over each frame from Beyonce's halftime performance, trying to glean the messages, both subtle and overt, that made for a stunning display of unapologetic blackness and political activism during one of the most-watched events of the year. The halftime show — seen by an estimated 112 million people — is drawing praise from her fans and consternation from critics. While Beyonce hasn't commented on the specifics of the show, and her rep declined comment, the imagery speaks for itself. Beyonce's dancers donned berets, sported Afros and wore all black, similar to the style of the Black Panther party, founded 50 years ago by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in the Bay area — the location of this year's Super Bowl. At one point during their routine, the dancers formed an "X'' on the field, which some people are taking as a tribute to slain black activist Malcolm X. In addition, Beyoncé and her dancers raised a fist to the sky, reminiscent of the black power salutes of the 1960-70s, made popular internationally by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists to the sky after winning gold and bronze at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Several people applauded her embracing the history of black activism and of her own identity. Her new song "Formation," which she sang during her performance, includes the lyrics "I like my baby hair, with baby hair and Afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils." "I think that you're hard-pressed to find that demonstrative an example of performative blackness on stage, on such a high profile stage," said Damon Young, editor in chief of the website www.verysmartbrothas.com , on Monday. "Between the dancers coming out dressed as Black Panthers to the lyrics to the song, again ... I can't recall another time you saw that unambiguousness with a performance on a large scale." Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter activist and leader in California, said it's wonderful that artists like Beyonce "are willing to raise social consciousness and use their artistry to advance social justice." But not everyone appreciated Beyoncé's performance. Republican Congressman Peter King of New York immediately condemned Beyoncé for her performance, saying on Facebook "her pro-Black Panther and anti-cop video 'Formation' and her Super Bowl appearance is just one more example of how acceptable it has become to be anti-police." (While there were no direct references to police on the Super Bowl field, the video, released Saturday, features a young black child in a hoodie dancing in front of a line of police officers, and graffiti that reads "Stop Shooting Us.") And all of this comes during heightened racial tensions across the country, particularly in regards to allegations of police brutality. Hollywood is grappling with issues of race as well, with Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith planning to skip the Academy Awards after no actors of color received Oscar nominations for a second year in a row. Lakeyta Bonnette, a Georgia State University political science professor, said more and more celebrities like Beyonce are moving toward public activism. In 2014, basketball superstar LeBron James and other NBA players wore "I can't breathe" T-shirts to their basketball games: "I can't breathe" were the last words of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a physical altercation with police in New York City. But some people have complained that Beyonce injected politics into a sports event. On Monday's Fox & Friends, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani slammed her tributes to black activism during the halftime show when performers are "talking to Middle America." "I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive," said Giuliani, who said he would have preferred "decent wholesome entertainment." To be fair, it wasn't just Beyoncé that the 71-year old Giuliani didn't like. He called the whole halftime show "ridiculous." "I don't know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible," he said. "Actually don't even know why we have this. I mean, this is football." ___ Jesse J. Holland covers race, ethnicity and demographics for The Associated Press. Contact him at jholland @ ap.org, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jessejholland. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Jesse J. Holland from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.