A viral photo of Sting laughing with controversial Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad was taken in 2008, before the atrocities that are taking place in that country.
A source tells London's Daily Mail, "Trudie [Styler] and Sting were on holiday in the Middle East in 2008 when they were invited to meet President Assad and his wife Asma. At that time, Assad was relatively new to power and regarded as Westernized and, so, a potentially democratizing influence in the Middle East." Sting's spokesperson says, "Naturally Sting and Trudie abhor what's happening in Syria now and what Al-Assad is doing to his own people, as well as his murderous attacks on journalists."
By the way, call him "Papa" Sting, as he will soon become a grandfather. His son, Joe Sumner, and his wife, Kate Finnerty, are expecting their first child. The 35-year old Sumner, a singer in the band Fiction Plane, is Sting's first child with his first wife, actress Frances Tomelty. He has a daughter with Frances and four children with his second wife, Trudie Styler.
I've really got to hand it to the guy, as he's raised millions of dollars over the years - and has done as much, if not more than anyone - to raise awareness about AIDS in this country and all over the globe. And Elton John says that after 20 years of his Oscar-viewing party he's not ready to "sit back and pat [him]self on the back." He tells CNN that despite all the money the event has raised over the past two decades, there are still 34 million people around the world infected with AIDS. "We don't say, 'Well done.' We say, 'How can we do better?'"
And it was Foster the People who performed an hour-long set that included new material at Elton's annual Oscar-viewing party on Sunday. Frontman Mark Foster tells CNN that Elton called him a month ago to ask if they'd do it and that "when he says his first name, you know exactly who it is." After hanging out a bit with Elton and his husband, David Furnish, during rehearsals, Foster describes them as "very down-to-earth."
Jason Mraz previews his upcoming studio album with the digital EP Live Is a Four Letter Word. A pair of songs from the upcoming studio album are a part of this live cluster, recorded last year in Jason's hometown of San Diego. The new full length album, by the way, is out on April 17th.
The Cranberries return today with their first album in 11 years, Roses. The band will be touring in support of this release, and are scheduled for The Brick in the Minneapolis Warehouse District on Thursday, May 17th. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Lyle Lovett's final album for Curb Records is titled Release Me. Lyle and his pal Johh Hiatt will return to the Twin Cities for one of their singer/songwriter/storytelling nights. It's "An Acoustic Evening With...," slated for March 7th at The State Theater.
Indigo Girls singer-guitarist Amy Ray releases her fourth solo album, Lung of Love. Jim James and Brandi Carlile make guest appearances.
New Multitudes sees Son Volt's Jay Farrar, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Will Johnson and Anders Parker create new songs to unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics.
The Pink Floyd reissue campaign wraps up with the two-disc The Wall: Experience Version and the five disc The Wall: Immersion Box Set.
Hugo is new to DVD and Blu-ray today. Martin Scorsese directs the Oscar-winning tale of a Paris orphan who crosses paths with a famous French filmmaker in the 1930s. It stars Asa Butterfield, Sacha Baron Cohen, Richard Griffiths, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, Chloe Moretz and Emily Mortimer. Extras include the featuretttes "Shoot the Moon: The Making of Hugo," "The Cinemagician, Georges Melies," "The Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo," "Big Effects, Small Scale," and "Sacha Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime."
In Johnny English Reborn, Rowan Atkinson is back at the bumbling title spy, out to save a Chinese politician. Gillian Anderson, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic West and Rosamund Pike co-star. It comes with deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and the featurettes "The Wheelchair Chase," "The English Files: The Making of Johnny English Reborn," "Working With Rowan," "Gadgets," and "English in Hong Kong."
How can you pass up this opportunity? Dining at scores of the Twin Cities top eateries, all at an (extremely!) affordable price. Done deal, right?! Ready, set and go...
My good friend Stephanie March is the Food and Dining Editor at Mpls StPaul magazine, and we caught up on the phone the other day with the lowdown on what you can expect overall, and what you can expect as far as a few highlights, for the latest Restaurant Week.
BT and Stephanie March fill you in on the latest Restaurant Week with MSP magazine
Most of the Restaurant Week offerings are a pre-fixe menu, but many of the establishments offer interchangeable components. Essentially, you want to go with a friend or two so you can all order different items - get the great Restaurant Week pricing - and try a variety of items among yourselves, rather than just what's on your plate. Now THAT'S what we mean by 'sharing is caring...'
For the complete look at participating restaurants, visit the Mpls StPaul magazine Restaurant Week webpage.
Can you cook quickly - and - make some tasty food? I know you've got it in you, buddy!
Enter my "5-Minute Cooking Challenge," happening Thursday evening, March 1st the the annual Home & Garden Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
My good foodie friend Jason Blair, Executive Chef at Red Stag Supperclub, and I will be your helpers on stage. Your goal is to make an entree in - well, 5 minutes! You can have all of your prep work done ahead of time, and if you need boiling water or heated oil or similar - those can be ready for you.
This link will take you to the Contest Page here at Cities97.com to enter:
BT's 5-Minute Home & Garden Show Cooking Challenge Entry Form
I'll choose two participants at random to compete. We'll have a ton of great prizes for the best plate, and another ton of great prizes for our second place finisher, too! I hope you enter - and we see YOU this Thursday at the Home & Garden Show!
A good friend to the show for years now, Joe Spencer is the Arts & Culture Liaison for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Fancy schmancy title, to be sure, but the bottom line on Joe's gig is that he tries to make fun stuff happen in the Capital City. He fills us in on all things St. Paul every Friday, so if you're looking for weekend fun on the east side of the river - you'll find it here!
Blind Date at the Ordway - through April 1st
Jazz at Studio Z hosts the Atlantis Quartet – Saturday
Erik Brandt (from urban hillbilly quartet) CD Release at Amsterdam – Saturday
Cactus Blossoms at the Turf – Mondays
Leslie Jordan at Camp – Saturday
Hey, she grew up with a single mom and not a lot of money but a whole lot of talent. So now that her talent has taken her places, she should be making some dreams and wishes come true. Adele recently took possession of a (huge) country manor rental among the farms of her lovely England. Now she's hoping to score a helicopter so she can buzz back and forth more easily between the acreage and London. As long as she keeps her head square on her shoulders and doesn't get too weird or sassy - I say go for it! Buy some actual gold goldfish. Don't eat chicken nuggets - eat exotic Amazon parrot nuggets (as long as their not on the endangered list, girlfriend). Point is, with sales numbers for her 21 album alone, she has some wealth that deserves being enjoyed...
The week after her Grammy wins, her album sold 730,000 copies. The jump from 238,000 the week before that to 730,000 is the biggest album increase following a Grammy win in the history of the music charting company Soundscan (since 1991). Norah Jones' debut Come Away With Me held the previous mark in 2003 when the album went from 144,000 sold to 621,000 after her Grammy wins.
21 is number-one on the Billboard 200 chart for a 21st nonconsecutive week, making it the longest-running chart-topping album in the SoundScan era. It surpasses The Bodyguard soundtrack, which had 20 weeks in 1992-1993. 21 has also becomes the longest-running number-one album by a woman in history, surpassing the Whitney Houston-led Bodyguard album. The 21 weeks that 21 have spent at number-one ties it with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, the 1990 album from rapper MC Hammer. If, as expected, 21 stays at number-one next week, it will have the eighth-longest run on top of the album chart. Lastly, Adele has two albums in the Top 4, as her debut 19 sold 87,000 copies last week, which is the album's best sales week and its highest position.