Posts By Jonathan Durbin

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Snoop Steps Into Time Machine, Wanders Into Bob Guccione’s House

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There’s something distinctly art-porn about Snoop Dogg’s new video. “Sensual Seduction” combines elements of ’70s Penthouse, the styling of Caligula and the makeup artistry of all the Solid Gold dancers. It’s a seductive, tongue-in-cheek skewering of . . . well, we don’t really know what he’s skewering, so there’s a chance he might actually have made this in earnest. Regardless of Snoop’s intent, the end results are beautiful. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to buy some Vaseline to smear on the lens of our Super-VHS.

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Writers Strike Is Just One More Thing Gone Wrong for Amy Winehouse

amy_winehouse.jpgAs you’ve probably heard by now, the Writers Guild of America went on strike last night, the first time television’s wordsmiths have walked out since those halcyon pre-Seinfeld days of broadcast greatness. How does this affect you? Well, if you’re a fan of soaps, talk shows and the fake news, let’s put it this way: You’re not going to be happy. It will take a little longer for lovers of scripted sitcoms and dramas to feel the bite, but it’s coming — those shows tape farther in advance, but if this continues, they’re going to run out of material, too. (Maybe the producers will fill in, or maybe YouTube will pick up the slack, or maybe we’ll all just take breather and go, you know, outside.) The blogosphere is abuzz with all the latest developments. NYMag.com, for instance, printed a wonderful pic of Tina Fey on the picket line outside Rockefeller Center, and The Los Angeles Times ran a handy chart as to which shows would suffer and when. Here are two of the more interesting items:

Read more…

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The End of Music As We Know It (And We Feel Fine)

madonna4.jpgThis just might be the week the music industry changes forever. Fresh on the heels of Radiohead digitally releasing their seventh album, In Rainbows, and offering fans the chance to pay whatever they want for the download, Madonna is reportedly close to leaving her long-time home, Warner Brothers, to sign with Live Nation. If you’ve been to a stadium show any time recently, you’ll probably recognize Live Nation’s name — they’re a concert-promoting business, and they’re betting $100 million on Madonna’s power as a performer (the Material Girl gets half up front). It’s a solid bet: Her tour last year grossed about $195 million. Even if she’s pushing the big Five-O, Madonna’s still money in the bank. This will make her only the latest in a long string of artists to have bucked tradition in favor of something weirder and more dynamic. We refer you to:

  • The Eagles (yes, we actually just wrote the words The Eagles in a VH1 blog) are selling their new album directly to Wal-Mart.
  • Not only did Starbucks release Paul McCartney’s latest, the coffee conglomerate also seduced Sonic Youth. The New York art rockers, whose contract is up with Geffen, will release Hits Are For Squares exclusively through the beanery.
  • Dissatisfied with simply forgiving Third World debt and editing Vanity Fair, Bono really is writing the Broadway musical version of Spider-Man.
  • Rufus Wainwright wants to be Judy Garland, and he’s hellbent on making it happen.
  • Gina Gershon released an album. Crazy times!

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Tila Tequila Takes All Comers

tequila.jpgOur fair sister network, MTV, has greenlit a somewhat interesting dating show: A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila. The idea behind it? Television’s very first bisexual dating game. Tila Tequila is the Internet celebrity said to be the most popular person on MySpace (and with over 2 million “friends,” whoever’s saying that just might be right). The show will feature 16 straight lesbians and 16 guys debasing themselv. . . er, vying for Tila’s love and attention. As the sexes and sexual orientations do battle, Tila becomes ever more famous and MTV breaks new ground. Or something. Says Ms. Tequila: “The only twist is that these guys and these girls have NO IDEA that I am bisexual and that they are competing against each others sexes!!! GUYS AGAINST GIRLS….WHO WILL I END UP HOOKING UP WITH????? WILL I BE STRAIGHT OR LESBIAN IN THE END?????” Jeez. They’re going to be untangling this one out in wymyn’s studies for the next 50 years or so. And that cash-register noise? Sounds like Tila’s got money in the bank. What you think about that?

Tune in to MTV October 9th at 10 p.m. and check our gallery of Tila Tequila pics.

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The Nuge Cracks, NRA Enjoys Free Press

nugent.jpgLate last week, gun-toting Republican firebrand Ted Nugent invited Vibe cover star and rising presidential hopeful Barack Obama to suck on his machine gun. Nugent also called Obama “a piece of sh*t.” He nugent.jpgthen invited Hillary Clinton to ride his machine gun into the sunset, and called her “a worthless bitch.” (Click here to watch the footage.)

Helluva guy, that Ted. He must be best friends with Don Imus.

For those of you who don’t remember Nugent, he’s the genius who wrote “Cat Scratch Fever.” He’s also the drooling-lunatic-of-choice when it comes to punditry about gun control. It turns out that Ted’s not in favor of gun control. Go figure. Anyway, in a twist to this story, it turns out that the Nuge was scheduled to play a state fair in South Dakota. The fair’s organizer apparently contacted Nugent’s representative to remind Mr. Man that he would be performing for a family crowd. Ted kept his death-threats in check. But we wish that the fair’s organizer would have asked him to play Harlem instead. We can hope, though. All good things come to those who wait.

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Boys to Men – Mission: Manband Episode 4 Recap

Mission: Man Band
Last night’s Man Band was a cruel exercise in humiliation. When Miss Kate forced the guys to perform at the Orlando Magic half-time show against their will, that was one thing. Everyone was expecting to be booed. And booed they were. But when Miss Kate pointlessly, antagonistically made them listen to radio jocks tear their performance to shreds the following morning, that was something else. And when she made them watch a tape of the show, that was the camel that broke the straw’s back. Read more…

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Hip-Hop’s 20 Highest Money-Makers

jay-z.jpgForbes released their list of hip-hop’s 20 biggest money-makers, and, not surprisingly, that list is filled with names you know. What you might not know is how these men — these well-dressed, media-savvy, fully diversified men — made their money. The key, it seems, is to have many different business interests. Like music. And clothing. And lining your bed with thousand-dollar bills.

Take No. 1, for instance: Jay-Z. Not only is he a performer and president of Def Jam records, he also owns the 40/40 Club franchise, has a stake in the New Jersey Nets, and earns cash from endorsement deals with Budweiser, Hewlett Packard and General Motors. That’s to say nothing of his girlfriend, Beyonce, who’s not doing too shabby herself. Jay-Z alone banked $34 million last year. That’s pretty amazing.

What’s not-so-amazing is Forbes‘ use of the word “hip-hopreneurs,” which has to be the ugliest phrase we’ve heard since “vlog.” (Is there nothing decenct about modern diction? Sigh.) To read the full description of hip-hop’s richest, click here. To see the rest of the list, take a peek after the jump.

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Biggie Smalls Casting Call

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This crossed our desks. We thought some of you might be interested. It seems Fox Searchlight is casting for the role of Biggie Smalls in their upcoming film Notorious. Think you’ve got what it takes? Well, unless you’ve got an endless supply of Cohibas, a yacht and the voice of angel, we doubt it. But go here to apply now anyhow. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

See the full ad after the jump …

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A Real American Idol?

babyidol.jpgA hearty congratulations goes to Antoria Gillon. The 20-year-old hairstylist was nine-months pregnant while auditioning for the upcoming season of American Idol. Well, she’s not pregnant anymore! Gillon went into contractions while waiting her turn on line. The labor pains continued as she performed for the judges. She said: ?I gave it my all through the contractions. They were back to back and getting harder and harder but I was more than willing to have my baby right there. I wasn?t leaving without my golden ticket to the next round.? As if that weren’t nutty enough, Gillon proved herself to be a genius by naming her son Jamil Labarron Idol McCowan. Two thoughts: First, if this keeps up, Gillon’s going to give Dina Lohan a run for worst mother of the year; second, Rupert Murdoch, the Australian mogul who controls Fox, American Idol’s parent company, has just found himself a new marketing and PR exec. You’d hire her, wouldn’t you? Thanks, Fox! You’ve made our lives better. Again. [Image via Dlisted]

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50 vs. Kanye: It’s On! No, It’s Off! Wait, Does That Mean It’s On?

kanye.jpgAs previously reported, last Friday 50 Cent agreed to debate Kanye West about whose forthcoming album will be better — Curtis or The Graduate. The offer came from BET’s 106 & Park, to which 50 said, “Kanye, he’s not going to want to show up.” Well, Kanye proved 50 right by rejecting his challenge at yesterday’s MTV Video Music Awards announcements. In fact, Kanye called the debate “the stupidest thing.” While we agree that indeed the debate would be very stupid, we were looking forward to someone — anyone! — offering some sort of apology for holding it on September 11. That was the proposed date of the debate, which is also when both rappers’ records will be released. If Kanye hadn’t dashed 50′s plans, America would be one step closer to understanding why the rest of the world hates us.

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