The Men At Work

Good lord, four albums in four years? The Men’s feverish work ethic and dogged insistence on the value of their ensemble design is certainly making it look extra awkward that Women, a largely unsung Calgary band, may have broken up due to an onstage fight at a concert in 2010. Okay, politically incorrect joke over.

What I meant to say is that The Men’s fourth album, for Brooklyn label Sacred Bones, which has nearly cornered the market on that borough’s spacey, spooky, sprawling and spiffy rock music, arrives on March 5. It’s called New Moon and some of it is just too catchy to be believed.

For now, take a pass at “Electric,” a track deep in the running order that nonetheless could never be mistaken for filler, which The Men don’t seem to do. Instead it’s a hard-charging rush of punk guitar that could’ve slayed at CGBG’s if the place still existed. Guess I may have to cross the East River at some point after all.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Links: Kitson vs. Lindsay Lohan, ‘New Moon’ vs. ‘The Blind Side’

● Hell hath no fury like Kitson scorned. The painfully hip Los Angeles store is wielding their retail power over Lindsay Lohan after she demanded $15,000 worth of free clothing for being such a “good customer.” The store is deeply “offended” and owners are thinking of dropping Lohan’s leggings line. [FoxNews] ● Katy Perry’s parents don’t have much faith for her relationship with Russell Brand in the long run. Her father has said, “I have met Russell, I’m not thinking he’s the guy who will be her husband, but he’s a nice guy.” [MrPaparazzi] ● Rihanna may or may not want her next boyfriend to be good in bed and have a sizeable “umbrella” of his own, but she certainly didn’t say that during an interview with German magazine Bravo. [GossipCop]

● Although New Moon bitch-slapped the box-office competition this weekend, The Blind Side, which landed in the #2 spot, turned out to be Sandra Bullock’s best opening of her career. [BOM, Reuters] ● Those living in the Houston area, watch out — Dr. Conrad Murray is coming to a clinic near you. Michael Jackson’s former physician will start back at his medical clinic today. [Fox] ● Monica Bellucci will bless the world with another child; the preternaturally beautiful Italian actress is reportedly pregnant with her second child. [MediaFax]

I’ll Have to Be Drunk to Sit Through ‘New Moon’

I already knew Miley Cyrus and I had a lot in common: a love of hot pants, pole dancing. But not until her recent oh-no-she-didn’t interview with Ohio radio station Q92 did I realize we were sisters from another mister. Smiley hates Twilight, too! Our reasoning is a tad divergent. Cyrus says she doesn’t “believe in [Twilight]. I don’t like vampires … I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t like the shirts, any of it.” Perhaps church-girl Miley is aware God hates fangs, but, really, jealous, much? I, on the other hand, am fine with vampires. Bill Compton can suck my blood any time. If True Blood’s Bon Temps, Louisiana, actually existed, I would be at Fangtasia like every night. Yet even the hair gel-loving vamps on the CW’s Vampire Diaries are about forty shades darker and more complex than Twi’s limp fish Edward Cullen. Who we know is a ruthless bloodsucker because his skin glitters in the sun. Come on. Inside me is still an awesome 13-year-old girl, and she is insulted.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t be seeing New Moon. Thanksgiving equals multiple days and nights with the family — it’s gonna happen. I fell asleep midway through the first film and this one promises to be longer, but I have a plan. For my pre-Bella drinking, I’ve found the perfect cocktail to soften the edges of Kristen Stewart’s lower lip massacre. The vintage Blue Moon is actually a lovely shade of lavender thanks to crème de violette, an update on crème Yvette, which like crinolines and smoking while pregnant was super popular in the 50s. Because the only way to see the new Twilight is while mid-century tore up.

Blue Moon Cocktail 2 oz dry gin 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice 1/2 oz crème de violette

Add gin, lemon juice, and crème de violette to a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice. Shake briskly. Strain into a martini glass.


Grading Robert Pattinson’s Talk Show Appearances

This had to have been the best week, like, ever for the hordes of Robert Pattinson fans out there. His New Moon media blitz is climaxing with the movie’s release at midnight tonight, and Pattinson is just everywhere. The Internet should rename itself the Robertpattinsonet. Only blind people and luddites haven’t seen him nervously run his fingers through that perfect hair like only he can. So how is Pattinson — who is famously allergic to his own fame — coping with all the, um, fame? We’ve scrutinized, analyzed, judged, and fawned over three of Pattinson’s recent talk show appearances — The Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly — to see how the actor handles himself on camera when he’s not working off a mediocre script.

Live with Regis and Kelly Pattinson shows off his serious acting chops by repeatedly laughing at Regis’ lame jokes (“He’s a vampire, what’s wrong with him? He’s got the upper tooth!”). But overall, this interview had to be a huge relief for Pattinson, if only because the hosts are the only ones who didn’t ask him if he’s dating Kristen Stewart, since he must be running out of cryptic denials by now. Also, it turns out that Regis Philbin is the only person on the planet who doesn’t know what Twilight actually is, at one point asking Pattinson if “the young people” overseas “knew him.” Pattinson looked genuinely taken aback by this question, but in a good way. Regis also called him “Robert Patterson,” and accidentally admitted that he didn’t bother to watch the film, when he referred to the Volturi as one character. Pattinson’s shining moment came when he cast his charm on some Twilight moms sitting in the audience by lying and saying they look too young to be mothers. Not funny, but so sweet you could almost feel his publicist smiling backstage. Overall, Pattinson wasn’t terribly engaging, and who could blame him. The hosts asked him age-old questions about his audition process, and where he was when he found out he got the part, stories he must have told 100 times during the Twilight media tour a year ago. The most revealing bit came at the beginning, when Pattinson couldn’t even remember whether or not he’d been on the show before, giving us an idea how batshit crazy his life must actually be. Pattinson did the job, but this was Regis’ time to awkwardly shine. Grade: B.

Late Show with David Letterman News Flash! Robert Pattinson was a whiny emo kid even before he was famous! During his interview with Dave, he tells of going out to dinner with a girl in Spain while filming Little Ashes and “complaining about everything in my life for about two hours.” Since he didn’t have paparazzi sob stories to share, what could he have to complain about? Oh, right — that he can’t find good work as an actor. Later that night he made a pact with the Devil. One of Pattinson’s best qualities is his tendency to point out the minute oddities of the incredibly messed up life he’s living, and he does it again here on Letterman’s couch. After some audience applause, he says almost to himself, “That’s a very strange experience having everyone clapping in the darkness, when you kind of can’t really tell who’s there.” Yeah, I’ll bet. The signature moment in this interview, the one that has all the blogs re-blogging, is when Letterman asks Pattinson if he’s dating Stewart. Instead of saying no, Pattinson answers yes by saying he’s been cryptically trying to avoid the question. Letterman interrupts him by saying “Oh, bite me,” a reference to the strange phenomenon of Pattinson’s fans wanting to bite him or be bitten by him or both. “What do I care,” asks Letterman. Pattinson must have been wondering to himself, “If only everyone felt like you, Dave.” The best part of the interview came, of course, courtesy of Letterman himself. Pattinson might be one of the biggest stars on the planet, but this is Dave’s show, and he reminded everyone of it when, after setting up the New Moon clip, he played a schlocky B vampire movie instead. Overall, Pattinson seemed relaxed and relieved to be talking to someone who didn’t give a shit who he was, and he rolled with Letterman’s punches as best he could, but never really made any good jokes himself. Maybe he just isn’t that funny. Grade: B+

The Today Show It’s early in the morning, and Rob looks hungover (he probably is). Away from adoring audiences who’ll laugh at anything Rob says, he’s forced here to make his first decent joke — claiming that he’s responsible for Twilight’s record-breaking DVD sales because he sold a bunch of them from the back of his truck. Unlike the other interviewers, Lauer tries to get Pattinson to consider the darker aspects of his fame. “Do you ever wonder if you could put the genie back in the bottle?” Pattinson answers with an unconvincing and awkward story about his teeth, and how he ruined them during the first Twilight. “I’ve kind of damaged my teeth permanently,” he says. Clearly, by teeth he means life. Pattinson also displays notions of genuine fear towards his fans. When Lauer asks him about the movie’s faithfulness to the book, Pattinson looks out towards the masses and says with what looks like actual worry, “Jesus, they would go crazy” if it wasn’t. He means it. Then, during Lauer’s “tabloid true or false,” Pattinson gamely answers yes to everything. He is dating non-stop. He is engaged. He did have a drug overdose. And according to him, he did date someone named Listen Hewart. Then, after an incomprehensible joke about his mother giving birth, Pattinson is confronted with the truth of his stardom. “There are very few actors or actresses that get to say they’re living in this kind of predicament you’re in.” Creepy. Pattinson aptly ends with a note about quitting acting when he had no jobs, calling it not quitting, but “surrendering to fate.” Now’s he’s surrendered to fate in exactly the opposite way. Grade: A-. Without having to play off of his interviewer’s constant jokes or make an audience laugh, Pattinson gives a brief but authentic interview.

First ‘New Moon’ Reviews: Smells Like Teen Spirit

The first batch of Twilight: New Moon reviews have cut straight to the heart of what makes the series such a phenomenon with teens: It’s the new Nirvana! In the early 90s, a lost generation of mopey teens attached their pubescent anxieties onto a gravelly voiced drug addict, rendering him so much larger than life that he eventually burst. The same thing is happening two decades later with the Twilight franchise, except that drug addict is now embodied by a self-conscious alcoholic who is equally uneasy with his fame. Of the six New Moon reviews on the net so far, four of them mention “angst” at least once, a word that perhaps best defines Nirvana’s most expressed (and expressive) emotion. Following that same angsty logic, Twilight is also the new Kierkegaard, Kafka, Heidegger, Salinger, and Sartre.

The Sydney Morning Herald: This is the world of metaphor-laden angst dominating any real physical romance, and for the most part any real action at all.

FILM INK: Sooky Bella eventually finds solace in the arms of her childhood friend, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who is equally tortured. He loves Bella, and is also riddled with angst because he’s, yes, a werewolf, charged with protecting the woods from vampires, including Bella’s beloved Edward. Cue tortured love triangle.

Emanuel Levy: In an effort to protect her, Edward decides to leave Bella just after her 18th birthday. He thinks he’s helping her by ending the relationship, failing to realize the torment and the angst involved in such a break-up.

Sci-fi Movie Page: Like a real angsty teenager the movie is oh-so serious and humourless (expect for one scene involving a Triple Date from Hell which boasted some lame attempts at obvious humor) … Clocking in at 130 minutes New Moon has more teenage angst that any reasonable adult should be allowed to endure.

‘New Moon’ Twihard Tourism Takes Over Washington State

Squealing tweens, teens, and moms are packing the theaters this week for the premiere of the second installation of the Twilight series, New Moon. And just like that, a cottage industry has sprung up around all things Twilight. Nordstrom has even gotten in on the hubbub with Edward, Jacob, and Bella bangles, and Team Edward/Team Jacob tees. The biggest winner of all the Twilight hysteria, however, is the sleepy state of Washington, as it is where all the action takes place in the books. The tourism board has fully drunk the Cullen Kool-Aid and has launched a section on the official site of Washington State dedicated to enticing Twilight-inspired visitors.

The tourism board would like you to know that they were early fans of the Twilight series, which just so happens to highlight three real life places in Washington — namely Forks, Port Angeles, and La Push. You can visit Bella and Edward’s high school in Forks, stake out the scenic beach at La Push where Bella learns the truth about Edward, or grab a bite at the restaurant in Port Angeles where B + E have their first date. The local stores and restaurants are now offering menu items and memorabilia for fans with a thirst for all things Twilight. You can even download a handy dandy Twilight map to Washington right here. No word on what the restaurateurs and boutique owners think about being turned into a vampire theme park, but I’m guessing with all the added business they don’t mind.

Links: No Full Monty for Levi Johnston, Gerard Butler Kilts Out

● Levi Johnston doesn’t show his johnson in Playgirl, according to a spokesman for the site. How can we ever trust him again? [NYDailyNews] ● Is Amy Winehouse going the way of Courtney Love? No, not with drugs, rather with plastic surgery. After getting a boob job, Wino is considering a nose job, as going under the knife has become her new obsession. [DigitalSpy] ● Are Nicole Richie and Joel Madden really married? She didn’t correct her lawyer in court when he referred to Madden as her husband. [People]

● Larry Charles, of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat fame, is teaming with the boys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for Boldly Going Nowhere, a TV show described as The Office in space. [Zap2It] ● Gerard Butler attended the Scotland premiere of Law Abiding Citizen in a traditional kilt. You’re welcome. [JustJared] ● It should come as no surprise that New Moon has slapped the competition silly to become the top advance ticket-seller in Fandango history; take that, Harry Potter and Batman. [Zimbio]

Los Angeles: ‘New Moon’ Premiere Monday

Sparkly vampire movie New Moon is set to premiere on Monday in Los Angeles. The red carpet will be bracketed by twin galleries of screaming tweens and girls of all ages who want a peek at Robert or Taylor so they can swoon appropriately with the drama of it all. Sounds exciting! If you can’t make it to the premiere in person, but you still want to see everyone sashay and pose on the carpet, you’re in luck — MySpace is going to livestream the whole ordeal.

Check it out live on Monday starting at 6pm PST here. Additionally, viewers of the MySpace feed are also encouraged to comment and pose questions that might be asked of celebrities as they walk down flashbulb aisle. Squeeeeee!

Not a big Twilight fan? While everyone else is attending the premiere you can pick up Nightlight, the Harvard Lampoon satirists version of the book; it’s an 160-page novella about an awkward geek named Edwart Mullen and his klutzy U-Haul-driving lover, Bella Goose. The front of the book reads, “About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him — which I assumed was wildly out of his control — that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me.”

Anna Kendrick on Robert Pattinson Hysteria & Impending Stardom

If you’re Anna Kendrick, you’ve got to be pretty excited right about now. Your second tour of duty in the Twilight franchise is coming out in a week, and you get to enjoy everything that comes with being involved in a phenomenon without the terrible scrutiny faced by its two leads. But more importantly, your role in George Clooney’s next movie is receiving unilateral praise, and the film itself, Up in the Air, is already being called one of the year’s best. And for the capper, there’s a good chance that come winter, at the age of 24, you’ll have your first Oscar nomination. You’re no longer just the girl whose face was licked by Robert Pattinson. Here ‘s the budding star on her proximity to the supernovae that are Robert and Kristen, that infamous photo, and the sneaking suspicion that things are about to change.

Does your relationship with George Clooney in the film have any romantic undertones? No, that’s actually one of the things I love about this script and this role. My character is a young woman, but there is never a romantic plot for her, and there is never a romantic interest with George. George has his own love interest, and the role really could have been for any general age, it just happens to be a young woman. She’s not romantic in any way, just smart and driven.

Is it true that you beat out people like Ellen Page and Emily Blunt for the part? I don’t know anything about that. I know it was printed, but certainly I don’t know anything about that.

What was your reaction when you got the role? I had already signed up to do Scott Pilgrim, and I was so worried about scheduling problems and letting anybody down that my immediate reaction was this overwhelming anxiety about not being able to all the things I was signed up to do at the same time. So, it should have been this really overwhelming thing and immediately my brain goes to, how is this going to work and who am I going to piss off?

How do you spend downtime between movie shoots? Basically, I watch a lot of movies too. I’m trying to kind of get all of the classics under my belt. I’m a big fan of staying at home and watching movies.

Do you think your supporting role in Twilight can result in backlash from fans of more serious fare? I understand a certain amount of backlash to something that’s really popular. I think particularly this being popular with young women, it takes a certain amount of flack. I mean, I can tell you a lot of the actors in Twilight are incredibly talented. It might be something that’s driven toward young females, but it has no bearing on anybody’s acting chops.

There’s a picture online of Robert Pattinson kissing you. Do people tease you about that? I have seen fans comment on places that post them, but no one in person has ever said anything but nice things to me about being in Twilight. The fans, when you are removed from them and they’re on the internet, can seem a little scary and overwhelming. Even at the premiere, which was loud and massive and crazy, once you got up to the fans to start signing stuff, they were really warm and respectful.

Is that part of your job a source of anxiety? Premieres are always interesting. Every time I sort of convince myself that it’s going to be fun, I get a little nervous right beforehand even though it’s coming from a good place. Having that much energy thrown at you is really intense and just a little jarring.

Can you even begin to fathom what Rob is going through? Yeah, I went Comic-Con and I have never seen anything like it. For whatever reason Rob and Twilight kind of flipped the switch in people’s heads, and all they can do is scream. It is really intense but I kind of wanted to see what it was like for myself. I kind of needed to know first-hand because I’d seen these videos from the first Comic-Con they did. I just figured it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing, so I had to see for myself. And it was every bit as intense and terrifying as I thought it was going to be.

What’s the hysteria like on set in Vancouver? The one thing that we had to shoot outside was just with Kristen, and they kept Rob really covered because again, even if it’s Kristen, girls seem to have the ability to stay quiet and be respectful, but with Rob, it’s like a different story. So, they have to kind of block out the set and we are kind of working in something of a cave because having him around is a security risk.

With Up in the Air getting so much positive buzz, does it feel like you’re approaching a career turning point? I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of the films I’ve been in, and having a slow and steady build. I have done smaller films that a lot of people in the industry have seen, and I feel sort of fortunate that it hasn’t been this overnight thing. I’m hoping that it continues to be this slow and steady thing so that I can take a deep breath and get used to it.

How did shooting New Moon differ from shooting the first film? The set feels different, but I think part of that is we are shooting in a different city. We understand better what the film is going to be and what it means to people. That was something that even I forget sometimes, just how little anybody in the cast really understood what a phenomenon this was. So there’s a little bit more of an expectation to deliver, because you understand what it means to people.

How has the atmosphere changed around Robert and Kristen, now that they’re superstars? The atmosphere hasn’t changed, and they haven’t changed and certainly the way that they behave, or we behave around them hasn’t changed at all. It’s as though everything is normal except there are these crowds of screaming people, but it feels completely separate from the movie. It feels almost as though it has almost nothing to do with what we are actually working on.

Are you embracing life in Los Angeles? I’ve been living here for a few years now, and at first I was really fighting it. When I first got here somebody told me that it takes a year to really embrace it and I think it took me a little bit longer. Growing up back East and coming to L.A. when you’re 18 is quite a culture shock. But yeah, it’s home now and I’ve kind of learned how to navigate.

What is your favorite thing in the city? I really love the silent movie theater on Fairfax. I saw a screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc with a live new age electronic band scoring the movie. It was sort of mind blowing. If nothing else, it seems a be a town that’s committed to film, and that’s pretty fantastic.

Would you call yourself a film buff? I always hesitate to categorize myself that way because I know there are so many films I haven’t seen and a true film buff could eat me for breakfast.

Are you nervous about becoming famous? Yeah, I’m sort of trying to allow myself to think about it because I think the worst possible thing would be to be caught off guard.