|BILLIE EILISHELTON JOHNOSCAR|
The Grammys and the Oscars are in the rear-view mirror, and South by Southwest is still a month away. That means the music industry gets to take a deep breath and contemplate the more important things in life. Like whether a song is any good.
This week in music:
BILLIE EILISH BOND SONG — The theme for the forthcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, has been released by pop music's newest superstar and her producer brother. So far, it's spawned more debate than that meme over gold dress versus blue dress. Those used to the soaring anthems spawned by Shirley Bassey thru Adele may not find the whispered and moody styling here to their taste. Others feel it's yet another triumph for the first family of 2020 pop. Take a listen and make up your own mind.
JUSTIN BIEBER CARPOOL: It's wall-to-wall Justin Bieber, celebrating the release on Valentine's Day of his first album in five years. Bieber's Changes has already spawned one controversy. As part of his three-day appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, it was revealed that gasp Corden doesn't actually drive the car as he turns his head, sings and dances in the driver's seat. The vehicle is towed, much to his eternal disgrace.
UNIVERSAL GOES PUBLIC: Universal Music, the world's biggest record company, is planning to offer shares on the stock market. The news comes just one week after rival Warner Music Group announced similar plans. UMG is home to Taylor Swift and the Beatles, among others. Vivendi, the music group's French parent company, said it aimed to float by “early 2023 at the latest.”
GREG KOT BUYOUT: Yet another rock critic is gone from the major newspapers, as the Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot said that he is taking a buyout after 40 years, including the last 30 as music critic. Kot is 62 and plans to focus on a basketball business.
BEALE STREET LINEUP: The Lumineers, Three 6 Mafia, The Avett Brothers, Lil Wayne and The Smashing Pumpkins will be part of the performers scheduled to appear at this year's Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. The three-day festival is held every year during Memphis in May. The music festival will run May 1 through 3. Other acts scheduled to perform include Nelly, Weezer, DaBaby, Lindsey Buckingham, Patty Griffin, and the Deftones.
MUSICIANS AND AB 5: The largely freelance world of music professionals took a hit from California’s Assembly Bill 5, which mandated that gig workers – including may musicians, but also embracing freelance writers, ride-hailing drivers, coders and more – had to be listed as employees if they worked a certain amount for anyone. That led to problems, but now the bill’s sponsor is going back to the drawing board and revising the unexpected consequences to better suit the world’s workers.
LOCAL 47 BACKS BERNIE: Los Angeles' Local 47 of the American Federation of Musicians has endorsed Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for president in the 2020 primary election. “Today more than ever, unions and workers are under attack by exploitative forces that are eroding our middle class. Immediate action and activism is crucial,” said Local 47 president John Acosta. “Bernie Sanders is the best presidential candidate to defend musicians and all workers by protecting jobs and workers' rights.”
YOUTUBE HELPS MUSIC: YouTube paid out $3 billion to the music industry in 2019 from ads and subscriptions as it partners to grow revenue and promote new artists, said CEO Susan Wojcicki. In a blog post Friday celebrating the company’s 15th birthday, she laid out some achievements and aspirations. The number of YouTube creators earning five figures annually, for instance,...
EXCLUSIVE: WME has inked filmmaker Heidi Ewing who recently directed, wrote and produced I Carry You With Me, which won this year’s Audience Award and Innovator Award in the NEXT! category at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films days into the festival.
Ewing was also nominated for an Oscar in the 2007 Feature Documentary category for Magnolia Pictures’ Jesus Camp. That doc followed the children who attend a Charismatic Christian summer camp outside Devils Lake, North Dakota, wishing that they’ll become the next Billy Graham.Christian Vásquez and Armando Espitia appear I Carry You With Me by Heidi Ewing. Sundance
Based on a true story, Ewing’s recent I Carry You With Me is an epic romance that follows two gay men from provincial Mexico as they chase the promise of social and economic freedoms in New York City. SPC will release the film theatrically in June.
Ewing also directed Roco films’ 2012 doc Detropia which followed the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base in the city of Detroit, as well as the Netflix 2017 doc One of Us which penetrates the insular world of New York’s Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals who were driven to break away despite threats of retaliation. Ewing is also directing the upcoming limited docu-series Love Fraud at Showtime with her longtime directing collaborator and co-Oscar nominee Rachel Grady. The four-part series follows the search of Richard Scott Smith, who used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon women looking for love. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge.
WME has signed Ewing for representation in all areas. She continues to be represented by Victoria Cook at Frankfurt Kurnit.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, The Irishman, Dolemite Is My Name and Late Night are among the film nominees for the 35th Artios Awards, the Casting Society of America announced Thursday.
“The art of casting for film continued to shine this year, as represented in this noteworthy list of projects. Joining our television and theatre nominees, these talented Casting Directors exemplify the range of skills and expertise throughout our craft,” said Russell Boast, President, CSA. “The 35th Artios Awards will put a spotlight on the year's outstanding contributions from our members as we collectively build on this year's achievements for an even stronger future.”
The Artios Awards honor the contribution of Casting Directors to film, television and theatre. The winners will be revealed on Thursday, January 30, 2020 in ceremonies in Los Angeles, New York City and London. Ron Funches will serve as host in Los Angeles, with Michelle Buteau hosting the New York ceremony.
This year's honorees including Academy Award winner and advocate Geena Davis, who will receive the Lynn Stalmaster Award for Career Achievement, and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, who will be honored with the Marion Dougherty New York Apple Award.
Among the Casting Directors being recognized are Deborah Aquila, a three-time Artios Award winner for her work on La La Land, My Week with Marilyn and Red, who will receive The Hoyt Bowers Award, and Andy Pryor, an Emmy nominee and stalwart in the British casting community for his work on projects including Stan & Ollie, Dr. Who, Cold Feet and Call the Midwife, who will be honored with the Excellence in Casting Award at the London ceremony.
See below for the full list of film nominees for the 35th Artios Awards:
Abominable – Christi Soper HiltFrozen 2 – Jamie Sparer Roberts, Sarah Raoufpur AssociateThe Lion King – Sarah Halley Finn, Jason B. Stamey AssociateHow to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Christi Soper HiltToy Story 4 – Kevin Reher, Natalie Lyon
Big Budget – Comedy
Dolemite Is My Name – Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham AhanonuHustlers – Gayle KellerKnives Out – Mary Vernieu, Angela Peri Location Casting, Brett Howe AssociateRocketman – Reginald Poerscot-EdgertonUncut Gems – Francine Maisler
Big Budget – Drama
1917 – Nina GoldThe Irishman – Ellen Lewis, Kate Sprance AssociateJoker – Shayna MarkowitzLittle Women – Francine Maisler, Kathy Driscoll-Mohler, Douglas Aibel Location Casting, Carolyn Pickman Location CastingOnce Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Victoria Thomas
Studio or Independent – Comedy
Brittany Runs A Marathon – Laura Rosenthal, Maribeth FoxThe Dead Don't Die – Ellen Lewis, Kate Sprance Associate The Farewell – Leslie WooJojo Rabbit – Des HamiltonLate Night – Laura Rosenthal, Maribeth Fox, Kimberly Ostroy Associate Poms – Mary Vernieu, Marisol Roncali, Meagan Lewis Location Casting
Studio or Independent – Drama
Harriet – Kim Coleman, Erica Arvold Location Casting, Anne Chapman Location Casting, Meghan Apostoles AssociateHoney Boy – Chelsea Ellis Bloch, John PapsideraJudy – Fiona Weir, Alice Searby,Marriage Story — Francine Maisler, Douglas Aibel, Kathy Driscoll-Mohler AssociateWaves — Avy Kaufman, Mark Mullen Location Casting
Low Budget – Comedy or Drama
Clemency – Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee, Roya Semnanian AssociateDiane – Jodi AngstreichThe Last Black Man in San Francisco – Julia Kim, Nina Henninger Location Casting Skin – Jodi Angstreich, Laura Rosenthal,...
This year's Golden Globes were this weekend, and since the worlds of movies and music are so closely connected, there was some music news to be had. The most immediately obvious music-related tidbit is the award for Best Original Song — Motion Picture, and there were some big nominees this year. Ultimately, Elton John came away with the honor, over songs from Beyonce and Taylor Swift.
During his speech, John said that this Golden Globe was the first award that he and longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have ever won together.
The John and Egerton duet “I'm Gonna Love Me Again” took home the award, over Swift's Cats song “Beautiful Ghosts” and Beyonce's The Lion King track “Spirit.” Also nominated in the category were “Into The Unknown from Frozen 2 and “Stand Up” from Harriet.
Meanwhile, Rocketman lost out on Best Motion Picture — Musical Or Comedy to One Upon A Time In Hollywood, but Taron Egerton's portrayal of John in the film earned him a win for Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture — Musical Or Comedy.
Even though Beyonce didn't pull out the win, she still managed to go viral just by showing up. As for Cats, the loss is just the latest in a string of bad news for the ill-fated movie, which was apparently doomed from the start.