Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Keith Urban gets the festive spirit
December 22, 2009 12:00amHERE'S a heart-warming Yuletide tale that shows Caboolture lad Keith Urban really is a top guy.
The Nashville-based superstar played secret Santa to an awestruck youth in a Fortitude Valley guitar shop on Saturday.
The young punter was in Tym Guitars trying out a fuzz pedal (a guitar effects device) when Urban, in between Boondall shows, walked in with his band.
Owner Tym Brennan says Keef and co were "genuinely very nice" and spent half an hour trying out a bevy of guitars (with the youngster messing around on the pedal all the while).
After settling on a $1400 Maton (a good Australian-made guitar), Urban leans over and whispers, "How much is the pedal that kid's playing?"
"$450," Brennan says.
Urban: "Put it on my card with the guitar."
Tym: "Do you want me to tell the kid?"
Urban: "Wait till I leave."
Brennan recounts: "Keith pays, then on the way out, shakes the youth's hand and says, "Merry Christmas".
"Was that Keith Urban? He said 'Merry Christmas' to me," the kid beams.
"Yeah," says Brennan, "He just bought you that pedal."
The kid was so "blown away" he was shaking, Brennan tells us.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Yes, he did, but this week while Kidman was making one blunder after another in her PR for Nine, Keith was having a great week in the homeland. He was getting some of the best reviews ever on this tour. He seems quite happy and quite content with what he is doing on the stage. None of that matters because it’s always all about Nicole; and to say she stumbled is quite an understatement.
First was the uneven interview with Meredith Viera on the Today show. Kidman appeared discombobulated by very simple questions that were asked. She would disagree with what Viera asked then she would answer with an almost word-for-word rewind of what she was asked. Second was her interview with the BBC. Kidman was happy to talk about the movie, her life and even her one true love, but bring up the topic of Scientology and she runs faster then Keith does when Kidman is naked. Third she stormed out of an interview after ten minutes that was originally scheduled for thirty minutes; she dumped on the homeland saying that she can't live in Sydney because they won't leave her alone. Gee, Nicole don't tell them that you are there. This could solve some of your issues, but it was a crappy thing to do to your husband while he is going back home to play for his toughest audience. And to put salt in this wound she said that they have to stay in Nashville because Keith couldn't make it in Oz as Country Music wasn't that popular in the homeland. Not a smart thing to say. Then Kidman was on Larry King. While there were six other people there Kidman seemed dazed by it all and answered him in sing-song phrases that made good sound bites, but were insignificant answers. Speaking of answers, Kidman couldn't really say where her daughter was; when asked on the red carpet in LA and New York Kidman said she was with friends and family and then she said Keith's family and then she said she was with her. Interesting that Kidman also admitted that she and Keith live in two houses in Nashville. Finally her clothing choices were not terrible; however, her make up was horrible in both LA and NYC. But, it made the news!
Now that she had full press coverage for her arrival in Oz, no doubt she will be seen here and there with her youngest daughter and her family. She does have a movie to promote, don’t you know.
Please think of what Keith will have to do in the coming weeks. Give up his press, his tour and be part of the power couple again. She will grab at her stomach and hold his hand and of course he will condescend to her. Someday he might learn he no longer needs her. We would prefer that she just go hang out on her farm, combing her alpacas' eyelashes. We could all use the break, Keith most of all.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Keith Urban was never really a country artist. He never fit in. In most reviews of his shows you will see the words ‘not a typical country concert’. It’s not. They are rock shows, not unlike those put on by Journey, Styx or Billy Squier in the 1980's. They are high energy shows built on radio rock. Today that kind of Rock is what Country music is made up of, however, Country has had a habit over the years of drifting back towards traditional, roots Americana music. This is what is happening along with the bubblegumming of the genre with people like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.
Paisley, who has the chops and the credentials to be a traditional performer, chooses to include a number of hokey, simple, funny songs that deride his true talent. Keith has never been in the same league as a George Strait or Reba who can keep contemporary but never lose their connection to the roots of the music. Kenny Chesney is taking some time off at a good time. He knows what has been normal for the last few years is no longer. Garth Brooks is going the Vegas route just as Cher, Sir Elton and Mr. Manilow did. He knows he has the fans that will go to see him. This leaves Keith Urban.
You will start seeing this change very soon. Til Summer Comes Around has just been released as the new single. This moody haunting song of loss and obsession is not a country song. Of course, Making Memories of Us, Tonight I Wanna Cry and You'll Think of Me aren't either. With Summer, Keith is turning away from Country and what it is becoming. He tried to conform; Sweet Thing and Kiss a Girl are both songs that can fit in the bubblegum country that is on the charts, but Keith is much more talented than those songs. His fans know that. He knows that. It is time to make a change that will put him in the future. The video for Summer was filmed recently. The pictures that were released, and this is a first that the gossip sites got full layout pictures from an Urban video shoot, show ‘Keith Urban – Crooner’. He is playing his guitar, but he is also walking along the beach, crying in the mist, doing something that he hasn't for a very long time - acting. There is no band with him; he looks good, too. The video wasn't shot by a director known for doing Country videos, Noble Jones. This director is known for working with non-Country acts and from seeing the shots of Keith on set this is going to be a great video and will move him beyond country.
So why make the move? Keith is of the age that moving into a new genre with his established fan base will be fairly easy. This move means he can still tour the arenas but also the clubs and cabarets. As his wife said recently, Keith is very ambitious. He always has been. Working with new writers like Timbaland and John Mayer and recording a new CD very soon are all signs that he is moving away from the country rock into the introspective singer songwriter arena. We will see if he is going to do as his friend and former tour mate, Faith Hill, has done and drop Borman Entertainment as management. We will see if he chooses a new record company, as rumors of his parting with Capitol Nashville get louder and louder, but we can see the changes that are starting; and for this long term Keith Urban fan this will be a good thing.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Please quit using your daughter as a prop to take the attention off whatever is wrong in your private/public lives. We understand Keith, that the outcome of the CMA's were not what you expected and now you are on to the next part of the year, which is really a wind down of the tour and this CD. Nicole, we are hearing that if there is a weak part in Nine, it is your replacement performance for Catherine Zeta-Jones. And you have had some questionable incidents in public lately. However, is that really cause for both of you to take your little girl out in public as much as you did recently? No. She doesn’t appear to like the attention. Are the paps scaring her? Let her live her life in private, please. Both of you have said you want her privacy, yet you have no regard for it. You are fully capable of staying hidden when you choose to do so. She is not Suri. You don’t have to prove anything with her. Keith, if you are going to talk about her, could you at least get the script straight? She’s been to Oz already.
Now it’s being spouted that she was baptized on your little vacay to Italy. How convenient; just in time to promote Nine. Did you fly all the grandparents and nieces and nephews in for the ceremony? Usually Catholic baptisms are performed in the family’s church, with necessary preparations completed by the Godparents. How nice that your superstardom allows you the freedom to disregard “your” Church’s teachings and protocols.
Your daughter has done nothing to deserve being shilled for your careers.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We were treated to pics of Keith alone on the beach making his new video for Til Summer Comes Around.
Keith performs another free acoustic show for Verizon in Pasadena, CA. Word is that he was half an hour late.
Kidman presents an award at the CNN Heroes show to be broadcast on Thanksgiving. No red carpet before the show, no Keith in sight.
AMA Rehearsal – Keith with 3/5 of his band.
AMA Red Carpet – The usual forehead touching shots of the loved-up couple. Kidman holding her ass. Kidman holding her belly, pretending she has a secret for the paps.
AMA Show – Keith wins his first AMA Award. He does thank the fans (it is a fan-voted award, after all). Says the award is for his Baby Girl – his 42-year old wife – oh, and Sunday. Kidman was in the audience long enough to be shown blowing Keith a kiss at the appropriate moment.
AMA Backstage – The following was in the LA Times:
After winning the country male artist prize, Keith Urban had only one thing on his mind: some downtime with his family -- wife Nicole Kidman and the couple's young daughter, Sunday. "This is the first time we'll be able to take her to Australia," Urban said.
Urban said he remains grateful for his success: "I just love playing music. I've come from a place where I've played in front of three people to a place where I play in front of thousands."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Kidman Popping Up at American Music Awards
Today 3:00 PM PST by Marc Malkin
Nicole Kidman is coming to the American Music Awards.
I can exclusively tell you that the Oscar-winner will be a presenter at the show on Sunday—but not for hubby Keith Urban...
Ms. Kidman will join Kate Hudson to introduce the Black Eyed Peas.
Well, Kidman, Hudson and Fergie are three of the mega-stars we'll be seeing next month in the musical movie Nine.
Kidman joins previously announced presenters Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Kristen Bell and Colbie Caillat.
The awards broadcast live from downtown L.A. on Sunday on ABC.
Air date: November 18, 2009:
9 Questions with the Women of Nine:
Q. What is your favorite meal?
Nicole: I think probably pasta, or when we were in Italy this summer, we had homemade pizzas straight out of the pizza oven. I had a pizza which was ricotta cheese and strawberries, which was amazing.It was just something that has to be experienced. We all thought, "No, we don't want the strawberry pizza." They brought it anyway, and we gobbled it down.
LeAnn Rimes discovered superstar neighbour Nicole Kidman is allergic to strawberries when she invited the actress to breakfast and laid on a spread of fresh fruit. The singer and her husband Dean Shermet live on the same Nashville, Tennessee, street as Kidman and her fiance Keith Urba, and the foursome have formed a firm friendship. Rimes explains, "Keith lives two doors down from us. We went out for dinner one night and Dean was bragging about how he makes the best breakfasts, so we invited them round the next morning. "Dean spent ages digging out these huge grapefruits and stuffing them with strawberries. When they turned up, Nicole said, 'Oh, 'I'm allergic to strawberries.' "We ended up having omelettes."
July 2008 Vogue Interview:
Our surroundings, most assuredly, are not. We're at the top-floor bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan's Battery Park and enjoying the healthiest of refreshments, bottled water and a lavish fruit plate from which Kidman—a devotee of red meat—takes everything but the strawberries (she's allergic). It's a clear spring day, and down below us is the harbor that Kidman's husband, country-music star Keith Urban, says looks a bit like her native Sydney.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
In 2008, the walls seemed to crash in upon this “Queen of the Screen and Sheen” ... suddenly there was worldwide cross-cultural questioning of (virtually all aspects of) this supposed “best actress of her generation” ... and having been a runner all her life, she never ran as fast as she did then, and now even more so, from this growing swell of disillusionment of her *star power*, and, in fact, integrity, being adjudged over-rated, overpaid, irritating and increasingly ‘plastic’ and dull, things I had been feeling for quite some time. Her fans (mostly congregated at NKU) tore their hair out trying to figure out why ‘Nicole-bashing’ had become so prevalent and put it down to the critics (professional and otherwise) being people who had ‘no lives of their own’ and were clearly hateful and ‘jealous’ of their ‘cute’ saintly heroine, despite it being common knowledge that frizzy-ginger-haired, freckled and flat-chested used to be the least desired physical attributes - NK first came to wide public attention when she appeared on a mag cover in Oz with just the very features NOT normally deemed cover-worthy; in the days when mag covers mostly featured ‘perfect’ models, usually bronzed and blonde, not actresses, let alone ‘quirky’ awkward ones. Yet, even she herself has since spent a fortune erasing every trace of frizz, freckle and ginger ... and upping the curves – on both chin and chest; slowly turning herself into a generic barbie caricature. Jealous? Not of what she has become.
Anyhow, she seemed to ride out the storm and suddenly this year had a golden opportunity when there was a surprising backlash at ‘Nicole-bashing’ ... being described as “so 2008” ... even though even I began to give her some slack, there was still no ultimate proof that she was not the barbie bimbo pretending to be altruistic and earthy that many of us were suspecting. Until recently. Until the GQ shoot and interview. Obviously this was created before the testifying at Congress. And when the questioning there turned to Hollywood’s role in endangering women in society, she started to back-track. Too late, the GQ stuff was already in the mill and I would love to credit her with enough intelligence to have recognized the incredible hypocrisy (or double standard) that would become self-evident. Most alarmingly: her saying that (her present marriage is) “incredibly dangerous” ... help; a woman is in danger ... of what? violence? being abandoned? what “danger”? And then to show more flesh in public than is considered classy, (the adjective most used to describe her – in the past), which will only lead men to think about her while they are making love to their own women, or their hands, which ultimately amounts to mental rape ... of the saint herself. What was she thinking? (What would her husband feel?) I think, given the film Nine, and the fact that she is low down on the call sheet and voting polls, she is futilely competing with Fergie, Hudson and Cruz, who all have this GQ look in that film. In my opinion, Nicole miscalculated radically, and couldn’t help wanting it to be all about her as usual; she was supposed to be portraying (in Nine) an iconic 60’s movie *star* (muse) ... she had the perfect opportunity to again create an iconic Monroe or Bardot type image which she could pull off; though, being a sex-kittenish roleplay, is still spiritually inconsistent with her coy black-jacketed ‘female empowering’ ambassadorial role at UNIFEM; however, still better than “give me risk, danger, darkness” and “kinky fetish sex". UNIFEM must be cringing. For some reason, she is really trying to be (VERY) SEXY. She doesn’t know that you either are or you are not and trying to be that only ever looks desperate and is only ever a turn-off generally, but especially in her case – and she had such a good thing going, for so long. Silly girl. She is SUCH a wannabe/wannahave (everything). She doesn’t seem to be able to draw the line at ‘enough already’; slowly busting the genuine allure and mystique that had working to her advantage.
Nicole has become the poster girl for the public’s growing disenchantment with the media’s obsession with portraying impossible beauty ideals and eternal youth – turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse: on the one hand to make more money for the publishing houses and studios and on the other turning many millions of girls into disempowered sex objects or (lifetime) eating disorder victims – eternally dissatisfied with God’s gift to themselves – THERE’S the ‘dark’, the ‘risk’ and the real ‘danger’.
When Mrs. Urban says she has “explored monogamy”, does that mean she has returned to or also explored the opposite? I wonder how Keith feels that his wife publicly claims she wants to “honour” her union to Cruise by not revealing ANYTHING about it, but then bleats about the raw intimacy of her marriage to him; negatively, busting the carefully honed image of the cosy homeliness of life on the farm in the countryside; which of course, the “no-life haters” have not bought entirely. Quite obviously the fetish stuff was with Kravitz or during the filming of EWS, but she leaves an indelible image in the mind’s eye of her being that way now; given her current attire on the GQ cover. I think her brain must be made of rubber.
For me, however, the most hideous, hypocritical and dishonest of her comments is: ‘I’d just given birth, so I was like “OK, I’m [still] a woman – I want to do this film (Nine), “I do have a life other than simply feeding this baby” and “I think when you give birth you get itchy to get back to work and you want to feel life still goes on.” She had previously stated that after she gave birth she absolutely did not want to work again but was ‘lured back’ by the ‘irresistible’ film Nine. Is having a child not “life” itself? But the “life that still goes on” is what, making films? Making make-believe, not reality? Is not ‘feeding’ a baby life itself? And is life with a baby not more than “simply feeding” it? “This baby”, not ‘my’ or ‘our’ baby. Of course, we knew she didn’t change diapers, or breast feed, or do any other tiresome child-rearing stuff, like even carrying the child in the first place (a certainly crazy rumour that I certainly can’t quite shift out of my own mind!) There is not a single picture of NK and her child that shows they are truly bonded; clearly she was handed bottles of feed to attempt that clearly impossible task; to her simply a tedious interruption to her actual “life”.
In the fascinating and funny book “Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World And Why We Need An Exit Strategy" (Random House), Marina Hyde discusses the phenomenon of celebrity humanitarianism and writes “of course, in the manner of many stars keen to augment their achievements with – what? Something that might bring that elusive sense of self worth? – Nicole has made plenty of statements about it being famous folk’s ‘duty to give something back’. Maybe she could just settle for putting money back, and keep for herself the belief that she can bewitch repressive regimes into playing nice.” Or trying to lead the public into thinking there is much below her shiny perfectly airbrushed facade. Certainly not dignity or even run of the mill intelligence.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Nicole Kidman reveals her love life has been kinky as she opens up about 'strange sexual fetish' encounters
By Jo Clements
Last updated at 11:44 PM on 03rd November 2009
She has always remained tight-lipped about her 10 year marriage to actor Tom Cruise and vows she will take all her secrets to the grave.
But in one of her most revealing-ever interviews, Nicole Kidman let slip how her experiences of love ranged from ‘mundane’ marriage to ‘strange sexual fetish stuff’.
The 42-year-old actress, currently married to country singer Keith Urban, said her life had been about exploring different types of love.
‘I’ve explored obsession. I’ve explored loss and love in terms of being in a grief-stricken place, I’ve explored strange sexual fetish stuff, I’ve explored the mundane aspect of marriage, and monogamy,’ she said.
But while she confessed she had previously experienced the ‘mundane’ side of relationships, she described her present marriage as ‘raw’ and ‘dangerous’.
‘You work on it,’ she said. ‘It’s a very extraordinary, adventurous place to be: incredibly raw, incredibly dangerous and you’re very much out at sea. You're exposed. You could drown.
‘When you commit to someone like that, you live and die together by that decision.’
The Oscar-winning film star admitted that her marriage to Cruise had been responsible for her rise to fame and revealed that her agents had told her not to tie the knot with the Days Of Thunder star.
‘I became famous very young. I became very famous because I was the wife of somebody,’ she told GQ.
‘I did a lot of good, worthwhile work in Australia between the ages of 14 and 19 and then I married someone famous. And really, despite the huge profile that brought to me, I was still finding my feet.
‘I know my agents at the time were like “Do not get married! It will ruin your career!” and I was like “But I’m in love”. All I know is that I wasn’t someone interested in fame. And that’s not why I got married. I wanted to work with people who intrigued me.’
Miss Kidman married Cruise in 1990, after they became romantically involved on the set of Days Of Thunder. The couple, who have a son Connor and adopted daughter Isabella, split in 2001, less than two months after their 10th wedding anniversary.
While rumours have always been rife about the reasons behind their split, Cruise and Kidman have refused to address the speculation.
‘I want to honour that marriage for what it was, and there is nothing I would go into about that. I have never discussed the intricacies of it and I never will,’ the actress said.
And she revealed how she even set fire to some of her diaries after she married Australian singer Urban in 2006.
Talking about people’s obsession with blogs and social networking websites, she said: ‘If you know what is going on inside somebody’s head all the time that’s not a good place. 'You can’t read somebody’s diary. You shouldn’t read it. I burnt most of my journals after I remarried… You’re only going to find out bad things.’
Miss Kidman, who gave birth to daughter Sunday Rose – her first child with Urban – last year, recently finished filming the big screen version of musical Nine.
The film, which also stars Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren and Kate Hudson, was her first film since Sunday Rose was born.
‘I’d just given birth, so I was like “OK, I’m [still] a woman – I want to do this film. And I do have a life other than simply feeding this baby”,’ she said.
‘I think when you give birth you get itchy to get back to work and you want to feel life still goes on.’
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Kidman: Hollywood probably contributes to violence
By CHRISTINE SIMMONS (AP)
WASHINGTON — Nicole Kidman conceded Wednesday that Hollywood has probably contributed to violence against women by portraying them as weak, sex objects.
The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence.
Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.
Asked by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., if the movie industry has "played a bad role," Kidman said "probably," but quickly added that she herself doesn't.
"I can't be responsible for all of Hollywood but I can certainly be responsible for my own career," she said.
Kidman appeared before the committee in her role as a goodwill ambassador the U.N. Development Fund for Women, known as UNIFEM, to promote the International Violence Against Women Act.
"In the real world, the laws go unenforced and impunity is the norm," she said.
The legislation has stalled in the past, but a sponsor, Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., said he and others plan to reintroduce it soon.
The Australian star told Congress that the U.N. women's fund needs more resources. "We need the money," she said.
Before the hearing began, a crowd of people lined the hall and around the corner to hear her speak.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Monday, October 19, 2009
Our question of the day:
How will Nicole spend most of her time preparing for this special event?
1. Her speech
2. Her wardrobe to wear on the Hill
3. A quick visit to the lip fairy and Dr. Botox
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Nicole's grande nuisance
Posted: 1:16 AM, September 25, 2009
IN line at Starbucks on Spring Street at Varick this week, a redhead with wet hair and jeans got to the counter. The female cashier loudly proclaimed, "You know who you look like -- that lady who used to be married to Tom Cruise. What's her name?" The manager, making the coffee, suggested, "Nicole Kidman?" "That's it, you look just like Nicole Kidman: tall, the blue eyes, the hair . . . anyone ever tell you that?" The redhead, clearly annoyed, quietly ordered her coffee with a discernible Australian accent.
Monday, September 14, 2009
And speaking of the pucker, where did that woman learn to kiss? She has made enough movies with a lot of wonderful leading men, why hasn't she learned? She went for Keith with those two plumped up lips like she was going to suck a lemon. I have seen Tom Cruise kiss in films for going on twenty five years, he knows how to kiss. I have seen Keith Urban in private settings with past girlfriends; he, too, has that down pat. Please someone spare the world this particular act from this woman. It just seems so forced, just like her acting.
Which leads us to another question: Why now with the PDA? Keith has had a lot of good press beyond being Keith Kidman. Could it be because test screenings for Nine happened recently in LA and while most reviews were glowing, the two biggest criticisms were about the performances of Kate Hudson and Nicole Kidman? Does she have a little insecurity about her sexuality? It has been twelve years since she bared all in the Blue Room on stage. Does she have some doubts about herself? She has been married to two of the sexiest men in the world, yet here she is acting like she is a fifteen year old. Is there something going on in her marriage? If you look at pictures of the couple leaving her apartment on September 8, they certainly aren't the loved up couple, but two people who look lost and sad. I would bet money there is a lot more going on than we are allowed to see.
Finally, our wise readers certainly know better than to believe all the twittering going on with the loved up couple. Kidman was supposed at a car show in Tacoma... haha.. when Keith was in Portland, Oregon. Then she was photographed in NYC... then Keith was on a flight back to Nashville after the Saturday Tacoma show, when he has a show in Spokane on Monday...and the family was also at a Farmer's Market in LA, oh no, it was Nashville... hmmmmm. Obviously the publicist is working overtime, or on Kidman PR overload. Hmmmmmmmmmmm....
Sunday, September 6, 2009
No. He is doing a damn good show but he has done better shows when he was hungrier. Is he appealing to more and more fans? No. He has not grown beyond his core fans. That is reflected in his CD sales, downloads and concert venue size. Has he put a face on Country Music in non-traditional markets both in the US and internationally? Yes, he has. While he hasn't toured in Europe this year, he will be touring in Canada and Australia. So why does he deserve the most important award in Country Music?
He deserves the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award because he appreciates Country Music and he is showing it more and more. From his performance of Marty Robbins songs at the George Strait tribute, to his turn at the 2009 Grammy awards, to his very moving tribute to Les Paul when Paul recently died, Keith Urban is the face of Country Music to the rest of society. He is constantly coming back to Nashville as a muse, as a source of musical wealth and as his home. I doubt his wife likes living there. I believe she has no choice if she wants to maintain the facade of the marriage. He, however, likes Nashville. You can tell. He likes Country Music and is using his celebrity power to shine a light on it.
He does have celebrity power and that hasn't translated to material power. He is rich, but not a big player in Nashville. He is using what he has for Country Music. You can't say that about the most popular person in Country today, Taylor Swift, who has transcended into a celebrity beyond music. I think at one time Keith wanted that, but that isn't there anymore . His current activism for the Country Music Hall of Fame is to be applauded. He will be in the Hall of Fame one day, but in his appeals for the current fund raiser you can see that he is educated about this subject. This isn't about selling himself or his marriage; this is about something he believes in. That's nice to see. We find fault with him many times and deservedly so; but on this track we can't, and that is why we sincerely hope he wins Entertainer of the Year. We just hope he will be able to appreciate the fact that the award is about him and his work, and not about how his marriage made him who he is, because he made himself who he is and we know it. The nominations will be announced on September 9th.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
KEITH URBAN TO MAKE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT DURING HIS NASHVILLE, TN ESCAPE TOGETHER SHOW THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!!!
KEITH URBAN TO MAKE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT DURING HIS NASHVILLE, TN ESCAPE TOGETHER SHOW THIS SATURDAY NIGHT
When Keith brings his headlining Escape Together World Tour Together With KC Masterpiece© and Kingsford© to the Sommet Center in Nashville, TN this Saturday night it will give him the chance to share some exciting news with his fans. For fans that cannot attend the show on Saturday, the announcement will be streamed live on Keith's website. So make sure you come back to Keith's website around 9PM Central on Saturday night. Keith will follow up this announcement with a press conference on Monday at the Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum. This event will also be streamed live on Keith's website. Stay tuned for more details to come!
This just in from the streets of Nashville....
Keith will be announcing a benefit concert, "All for the Hall", to take place on October 13th. Jason Aldean is on board, as well as Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Vince Gill. Tickets are $25.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Country star Keith Urban sings a happy song
By Kellie B. Gormly
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Keith Urban's life has been golden for the past few years, and it shows in his most recent music, fans say; he has lived up to his earlier hit, "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me."
Urban, who will perform tonight at Mellon Arena, has enjoyed many positive life changes: sobriety after rehab, his marriage to movie star Nicole Kidman, and last year's birth of the couple's daughter, Sunday Rose. The new optimism and fulfillment shine through the lyrics in his latest album, "Defying Gravity," which came out in March, fans and music industry officials say.
"I certainly think you can make the statement that ... the CD has more of a sunny, maybe more positive outlook than some of his previous work," says Frank Bell, vice president of programming for country radio station Froggy 98.3. "It's a reflection ... of coming through rehab, and how good his life is going in the sense of being married to Nicole Kidman and having a baby."
Urban called Bell last year in the wee hours of the morning Australian time, when he was up changing the baby's diaper, Bell says. Urban had a list of radio stations he should call, including Froggy, and he sounded very happy, Bell says.
"I think he's got a lot of very positive things going on in his life right now," he says. "He has a very successful concert tour, and his album's doing well. He's got a lot to be thankful for right now. He's just a great individual."
"Defying Gravity" includes the current single "Only You Can Love Me This Way" and the recent No. 1 tune "Sweet Thing." Jeremy Mulder, a Froggy DJ who does the afternoon show under the name "Danger Frog," says he regularly sings "Sweet Thing" to his new wife, Kelly.
"Keith Urban songs make you want to sing, even if you can't," Mulder says jokingly.
He agrees that Urban's newest music demonstrates a shift from his earlier work.
"He married a beautiful, Oscar-winning actress," says Mulder, a big fan. "Now ... he's talking about some of the love in his life. ... It's still good, but just in a different way.
"Even when things weren't great, (Urban) had an optimistic view on life. No one can play the guitar like him ... and he has a great voice."
Bettyann Grooms, a fan from Kennedy, says she fell in love with Urban about three years ago when she saw a DVD of one of his live concerts. Later, when she went to an Urban concert at Mellon Arena, she sat in the front row and caught a guitar pick he threw.
"He's just so talented, not to mention extremely gorgeous," says Grooms, 36. "I think ... he is an amazing writer. His music just speaks to me ... with my life experiences."
She agrees that "Defying Gravity" reflects the happy spot where Urban is in his life right now.
"A lot of his music, especially ballads, have been about love lost and the search for Ms. Right," Grooms says. "Now, you can hear the love in his music. He's found that person. He really relates that in his music now."
Grooms' fiance, Frank Farmer, agrees that Urban's latest music is happier and more lighthearted. Farmer also says he likes Urban's personality.
"He seems to be really down to earth -- a real person, and not just an entertainer," says Farmer, 43. "He seems like somebody you can just walk up to and have a conversation with."
Bell also praises Urban's personality and kindness.
"He's one of those guys who certainly is qualified as a star in any sense of the word, but when you meet him, he is so down to earth, he is so likable, and he is so genuine," Bell says. "He has all of the qualities that you would want to have in your best friend."
Kellie B. Gormly can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
In this writer's opinion, perhaps it is time for Mr. Urban to think about taking a permanent vacation, while the rest of us spend our money and our time finding an artist worthy of the investment.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
1. When were the Hamptons beach pictures actually taken? They couldn't have been taken on the evening of the 18th; Keith was in Las Vegas - too many people saw him there. And why all of a sudden these “happy together” pictures?
2. Where did they spend Sunday Urban's birthday? She was photographed in New York City on the 7th of July yet Keith tells a reporter two days later they were in Nashville and had a little cake. Perhaps he was with Sunday on July 7th and her mother missed the big occasion.
3. Why no comment from Keith about Jennifer Nettles dropping out of the shows? Even Kenny Chesney made a statement supporting Nettles and her "vocal problems" but then again, Kenny never had vocal problems like Keith did in 2003 and 2005. Perhaps Keith knows a little more about those problems.
4. Unlike almost every other tour mate, Keith didn't invite Taylor Swift to sing with him during his show. Why?
5. Why would Biography neglect to mention that Keith won the most prestigious award in Country Music, Entertainer of the Year, and yet spend more than a third of the program explaining how Nicole Kidman saved Keith Urban? Why no mention of his womanizing? Or his long term relationship with a woman who he dedicated his first solo CD too? Why no mention of his appeal to women and the way his female fans were manipulated by the barefoot love poet persona? Why no mention of his brother Shane? His manager, Gary Borman, who was responsible for his success, and his father figure, lawyer Ansel Davis? Why only mention his Grammys but not when he won them?
6. Why would someone make a deal to sell his publishing for major dollars after he spent his first major money buying up all his material? Does Keith need money for something?
7. How did Keith get that stiff neck (pinched nerve as he called it)?
8. Why in any biography or writing about Keith Urban do they not mention his turbulent relationship with his father?
9. Isn't Keith really playing with fate by flying out to a concert on the day it is happening? What about plane delays and weather?
10. How is Keith's relationship with his parents and brother? Are they still involved in his life?
We were just wondering.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
We also have to wonder why they treat each other as if they were adolescents. We know that Kidman appears to have some difficulty speaking coherently, but Keith "acts" as if he has never been in a mature relationship before. His public persona is weakened, he sounds stupid, and he is not. This in turn affects his work and that is the number one reason we would like to see this business arrangement end.
Those of us who have been fans of Keith Urban for more than a few years know what he is capable of; he wasn't an orb who just put out vanilla songs with vanilla lyrics. He had the potential to take Country Music to new areas; worldwide acceptance and he had the songs and stage persona to do it. The future was wide open. We also know how hard he struggled to get there and some of what he had to do. Many of us realized it took a toll on him, but he was so very close in 2004 to becoming a big player and for those of us who went to the shows and bought the records and requested the songs there was a sense we were helping him. You can understand with all the struggle that he went through why a puffy media romance with a
While many of us have been fans for a long time and knew he had a private life and private struggles we didn't know everything nor did we want to. I really didn't need to know that he liked to bathe his lovers or feed them candy in bed. We didn't want to know or speculate about his drug use. But with Kidman we got to learn everything. Did that help him or hurt him? It hurt him. If you wondered the cost he paid for this high profile relationship it comes down to two words: Betty Ford.
We also look at how awful some of the work is; Keith dedicating everything he lives and breathes to Kidman takes away from the music itself. For instance he has given the kiss of death to his latest single, Only You Can Love Me This Way, by saying it’s for Kidman. By associating it with her, he takes the meaning away from the listener; and if you don't like Kidman, well, the song is ruined. That is what has happened for the last four years. This is why we say 'shut up and sing' Keith. That is why we praise him when she isn't mentioned and he puts on a good show, and it is why we can't wait to see this farce of a relationship end.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Keith Urban recalls Sac as a fun town
.......Nothing brought him as much attention as his June 2006 marriage to Kidman, the stunning blonde and Oscar winner for "The Hours" (2002), and his almost immediate entry into a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. He was in rehab for the first few months of their marriage.
The song "Thank You," the final cut on the album "Defying Gravity," would seem to tell that story. It's sort of his autobiography in verse – and a love letter to his wife.
"I wrote this song with Rick Nowels, who doesn't do a lot of lyrics, but he had this piece of music in his cache," Urban says. "When I got to the session, he played the piece, and it drew this song out of me. I don't know if I would have written it if I had sat down to think of a lyric or think of a title, so it's even more truthful. It's pure reaction from the music."
The song begins: There were nights where I was sure/ I wouldn't see the morning sun/ And there were days that seemed so dark/ I couldn't wait for night to come/ I couldn't stand to think about how/ My life slipped away from me.
"I think when it was finished," Urban says of the song, "I looked at it and thought, 'God, it's really out there, saying it very clearly.' I'm happy about that, because I don't know if I could have been as truthful if I had tried to write a song with that title or tried to write about wanting to express my gratitude to my wife and my love for her." ........
The review from LA:
The L.A. Times music blog
....Granted, Urban didn't directly address his well-publicized substance-abuse relapse and recovery on that album, and the closest fans got to a peek inside his private world during Sunday's show was when he performed "Only You Can Love Me This Way."
He dedicated the song to his wife, Nicole Kidman, "who happens to be here tonight, [and] I'm very happy about that.".......
Keith has left Capitol Nashville:
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The same two people are in them: Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. These were shot less than a week apart and are, oh, so telling. The video was shot on Tuesday, July 14th; we see the "loved up" couple in an SUV in New York City.
Suddenly, Kidman sprints from the car. Urban bolts from his side of the vehicle and grabs Kidman by the shoulders and tries to talk to her as photographers snap Kidman and ask her questions about her daughter. As they enter the apartment building, Urban suddenly drops his hand, walks away from her, and struts to the elevator. In our set of still pictures we have the couple on a beach strolling, sitting, talking, and Keith giving her an awkward hug.
They seem the perfect picture of happiness.
So which is the real state of the Urban marriage? We don't feel we are going out of our way in saying the video from Tuesday night is an accurate depiction of the marriage. The new set of photos were in direct reaction to the video that had been posted all over the internet, and the story circulating about Nicole being afraid of the sun from her Indian soft drink video shoot. These photos are fake. Too posed, too stiff. Sorry, but the cracks in the marriage are starting to show and no matter how many staged photos they create, be it a movie date or a red carpet, all is not well in this relationship. There we said it.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Jul. 17, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
SOUNDS: Making It Work
Adaptability, perseverance paid off during Keith Urban's journey to Nashville
8 p.m. Saturday
Mandalay Bay Events Center, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Cosmopolitan country artist Keith Urban began playing the guitar at age 6 and was performing in Australian pubs by the time he was 15.
He was 15 years old and in danger of becoming ground chuck.
The Australian pub scene is a notorious meat grinder for musicians, with a rugged working-class fan base that doesn't want any frills with its Foster's.
It was these hard-knock ranks that Keith Urban threw himself into as a young teen, quitting school, trying to make a name for himself, playing in a band five nights a week.
There was just one problem: Urban had grown up listening to his dad's Glen Campbell, Charlie Pride, Ronnie Milsap and Merle Haggard records, and country music was the root of his inspiration.
But the crowds that flocked to the pubs loved their rock 'n' roll, weened on hard-hitters such as AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, and Urban would have to improvise.
His one saving grace was that he was from Brisbane, a slightly more rural city than Sydney and Melbourne to the south.
"There were a lot of farmers around that area, so you could play slightly more singalong type stuff, and it would always work in those pubs," Urban recalls. "You just had to beef it up a little bit sometimes. You might do a Creedence Clearwater song, but with a wailing, distorted guitar solo. You'd just find a way to make it all work."
And that's pretty much what Urban has done ever since. He's never really fit in anywhere at first. When he initially got to Nashville in 1992, he already had established himself as a musician with some promise in Australia, notching a quartet of number one hits on the country charts.
But Nashville wasn't so welcoming.
"Nashville was a very, very difficult town when I got there, particularly not being from here," Urban says. "I thought I had support, with the way people were talking to me and slapping me on the back. I thought, 'Oh, this is fantastic.' But it would never really amount to anything. It was a deceptive town in a lot of ways. And I'm grateful for that, because I think if I had known that everyone thought I was a total fool for trying to do what I did, I don't know what effect it would have had on me. Maybe the deception was a good thing for me."
Nevertheless, it took Urban nearly a decade of struggling in the Music City songwriting circles before he'd eventually be named "Top New Male Vocalist" at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Since then, Urban has become one of the most recognizable faces of modern country.
Urban is different from his peers, guys such as Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney, both for the alchemical nature of his discs and the personal pathos that underlie them.
He's an ace guitarist, having played since he was 6 years old, and his records are underscored with six-string rock 'n' roll pyrotechnics.
Also, there's an earthiness to his songwriting that balances out the slick, polished feel of his recordings.
Urban's always been a fan of and identified with contemporary country, but for him, growing up, that meant artists such as Alabama, Lacy J. Dalton and Janie Fricke -- acts who were far more attuned to the genre's honky-tonk origins than today's current crop of Nashville stars.
As such, there's always been a hint of traditionalism in Urban's repertoire, even though it's buoyed by a clear and unabashed pop savvy.
Combined with Urban's well-documented struggles with drug addiction over the years, he's just always seemed more like a real-life person than so many of his prefab counterparts.
This doesn't always work to Urban's advantage.
Shortly after the release of his 2006 disc, "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing," he checked himself into rehab once again.
"The last record was very difficult to make," Urban says. "I felt this internal challenge to try and make this record that worked in so many areas and so many different countries, and I was second guessing everything. Having said all of that, I still find it to be a really strong, valid record for me. In the end, art often lies in the attempt, which is why there's so many frustrated artists. I think that with some distance from that last record, I've had a greater appreciation for what we are able to do under the circumstances."
Since then, Urban has rebounded strongly, and his latest album, "Defying Gravity," is a sharp, multifaceted affair heavy on texture and nuance. It might be his most intriguing disc, equally haunting and hopeful.
To hear Urban tell it, his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, is responsible in large part for broadening his horizons.
These days, he's arguably country's leading cosmopolitan.
"My wife is steeped in the more cultural side of life, with the art galleries and books and painters and so forth than I used to be and has opened up a whole new world of art that's been really good for me," he says. "And so when it comes time to be going and making a record, I sort of bring everything into the studio. I hope that we come with the thing that I'm carrying in my head -- and my heart."
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Urban a big hit, so who wouldn't wanna see him?
By Ricardo Baca The Denver Post
With the rugged good looks of a young Brad Pitt and the big arena rock hooks of an '80s-era Berlin, country music star Keith Urban owned a near-capacity crowd at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night.
The man who added the pop to country threw down a crowd-pleasing selection of songs that spanned his recorded history — diving back to his career-defining eponymous hit record from a decade ago but focusing on his new redemptive outing, "Defying Gravity."
Looking fit, wearing a chest-snuggling red-sparkle plaid shirt, Urban traversed the goliath stage with confidence and flair, unafraid to venture out to the crowd and onto an ancillary stage on the other side of the arena. Backed by a five-piece band that was competent in electric and acoustic guitar — along with mandolin and banjo — Urban's hits and B-sides alike sounded complete and full.
It helped that Urban is one of country music's finest (and, surprisingly, most soulful) electric guitar players. Urban's solo at the end of "Stupid Boy" was inspired and honest.
Among the show's highlights was the set's second song, "Days Go By," one of Urban's most likable tracks. The banjo and mandolin on "Where the Blacktop Ends" was refreshing, and it added a rootsy component to Urban's polished songs. One of his most recognizable ballads, "Making Memories of Us," was a potent moment that had the entire floor singing along with a country star who's a rock star.
Urban left a lot of the singing in "Raining on a Sunday," done solo on acoustic guitar, to the crowd. And "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" was an undeniable fun pop-country concoction, one that would win over nonbelievers.
The new "Sweet Thing" was a riotous pop-country ballad that Urban wrote in honor of his famous wife, Nicole Kidman. The upbeat song certainly hit a chord with the many twenty- and thirtysomething women there. "Kiss a Girl," another new song written for Kidman, sounded fresh and alive.
But Urban's appeal didn't stop at the women in the audience. Grown men sang along with his songs proudly, and it was obvious they were doing so out of a love for the music.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
2. Nicole will always remind you that she is the most important person in the universe: by having her contractual husband praise her to the rafters. Unfortunately the praise is not coming from her children, parents, sister nor her former lovers, co-stars and directors.
3. You must admire Nicole. No question about it, she is there for you to admire and emulate.
4. She is the only person who has ever:
a. Been a woman
b. Been a mother
c. Had her heart broken
d. Found new deeper love
e. Discovered that Keith Urban is quite musical
f. Admired her father
5. Having a baby is so easy after years of not being able to; if you pay the right price a child will be yours.
6. Is glad that she can spend some time in the backwoods of Tennessee so she can relate to the little people who want to live there.
7. Can create work for herself over and over again.
8. Nicole will never age. She has enough money to stop that.
9. Show the entire world what a secure happy marriage she has and that her husband adores her and never knew a woman before her - really, really, he says it all the time.
10. Realizes that everyone looks to her so she knows why you will understand why she doesn't like anyone besides herself.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
12:31 AM Sun, Jul 12, 2009
Keith Urban is a terrific singer, but after seeing him for the first time in concert, I can tell you that's not the reason to pay whatever it takes to get in the next time he's in town. That would be his pure, blow-you-away musicianship. As good a singer as he is, that talent completely pales in comparison to his virtuosity as a guitarist. At Saturday night's concert at American Airlines Center, one of the standout moments was an extended duet of Urban on electric guitar with Chris McHugh on drums. I closed my eyes for a minute, and I think I know now what it must've felt like to be at a Jimi Hendrix concert.
Another highlight was when Urban sang his hit cover of Del Rio native Radney Foster's "Raining on Sunday" -- and out came Foster to sing it with him.
Urban seems an extraordinarily generous performer, both with his band and the audience. He gave each of his five band members a lengthy solo, and he played every side of the packed house. At one point, he went to the opposite end of the floor area from the stage, where a smaller stage was set up. "Who's got the good seats now?" he asked the ecstatic back-of-the-room crowd.
For a full review of Urban and opening act Jason Aldean, check back here on Sunday evening, and in the print paper on Monday. G'day, as Keith would say. Or, g'night.
Concert review: Keith Urban thrills with energetic, generous show at American Airlines Center
01:33 PM CDT on Sunday, July 12, 2009
By JOY TIPPING / The Dallas Morning News
Country star Keith Urban is a terrific singer, but that talent completely pales in comparison to his virtuosity as a guitarist, both electric and acoustic.
He's one of those artists you have to see live to truly appreciate – you simply can't feel the New Zealand native's energy and jaw-dropping moments of musical brilliance from the radio or listening to a song on an iPod.
At Saturday night's concert at a packed American Airlines Center, the absolute show-stopping moment came when Urban, on electric guitar, played an extended duet with Chris McHugh on drums before launching into the encore number "You Look Good In My Shirt." I closed my eyes for a minute, and I think I know now what it must've felt like to be at a Jimi Hendrix concert.
Urban also did an extended guitar lick in the rocking closing number, "Better Life" from 2004's Be Here CD. He did songs from throughout his decade-long U.S. career, including several from Defying Gravity, which was released in March: "Sweet Thing," "Kiss A Girl," and the mournful ballad " 'Till Summer Comes Along."
Another highlight was when Urban sang his hit cover of Del Rio, Texas, native Radney Foster's "Raining on Sunday" – and, surprise – out came Foster to sing it with him.
Urban seems an extraordinarily generous performer, both with his band and the audience. He sang nearly two dozen songs in the two-hour show, and gave each of his five band members a lengthy solo. At one point, he took off to the opposite end of the floor area from the stage. "Who's got the good seats now?" he asked the ecstatic back-of-the-room crowd.
The production itself was tremendously good, with crisp sound and a lot of downright brilliant videography, both live and recorded.
Jason Aldean, who brings the same kind of electric energy to the stage as Urban, made a perfect opening act, playing for about 45 minutes and closing with the irresistible girls-in-boots anthem "She's Country" from his latest CD, Wide Open.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Urban had audience at his beck and call
By Kevin Coffey
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Somebody might want to pat down Keith Urban's tight plaid shirt and make sure he's not carrying a deed in his pockets.
Why? Because he owned Qwest Center Omaha.
At his beck and call Thursday night, the audience — heavy on young ladies — screamed when the Aussie country singer took the stage in fitted black jeans, his hair in his eyes. An “I-can't-hear-you” hand to his ear brought cheers. And pointing the microphone to the crowd caused fans to sing whole verses.
The arena — packed to the rafters — was full of Urban-ites, who showed that country fans aren't all boots, cowboy hats and honky tonk. Most were female, decked out in sundresses and T-shirts, not plaid or belt buckles.
“It's very nice to be back,” Urban said. “It's your night. If you want to, stand on the chairs. Sing. Dance. Have a good time tonight!”
Members of the audience took his advice, dancing in the aisles and on top of their seats, much to the chagrin of Qwest Center crowd control. They also sang whole sections of songs, nearly drowning out Urban on several, including “Tonight I Wanna Cry.”
Though he's the kind of performer who makes you want to work out more and get a better haircut, Urban showed he's not just a pretty boy.
The guy can jam.
Urban played lead guitar in his six-piece band, using at least eight different guitars, including a Fender Telecaster that had colored, flashing lights in its body.
The country star brought the show to every corner of the arena, making sure more than the people in the front row got good pictures of him on their digital cameras.
In the middle of “You're My Better Half,” Urban walked into the crowd, making his way to the back of the arena. He smiled, laughed and played a guitar solo while members of the crowd mobbed him, taking pictures and mussing his hair. He set up on a small stage in the opposite end of the arena, playing “Once In a Lifetime,” “Making Memories of Us” and “Only You Can Love Me This Way.”
Later in the show, after returning to the main stage, Urban ventured into the crowd once again. This time, he played “You're In My Shirt” on a tiny stage in the arena's lower bowl.
At times, Urban may have seemed far away from some parts of the audience. But enormous video screens made the acoustic, emotional songs like “You'll Think of Me” seem intimate, like the performer was playing in a living room.
At the same time, its images of Urban's guitar shredding and big smile upped the intensity on the big numbers, including “Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me.”
Urban made the night for one little girl who carried her own acoustic guitar when he beckoned her on stage. After strumming with him and singing on “Once In a Lifetime,” Urban hugged her and signed her instrument.
“What a magic night tonight,” Urban said. “I love this town.”
Contact the writer:
Sunday, June 28, 2009
iwirelesscenter, Moline, Illinois
Opener: Taylor Swift
Urban and Swift bring the i wireless Center to life
Originally Posted Online: June 28, 2009, 11:43 pm
Last Updated: June 29, 2009, 7:21 am
Feana Kotter, firstname.lastname@example.org
The calendar lied Sunday night when Keith Urban made the i wireless Center come alive with his distinct blend of explosive and energetic music.
"It's like a Friday night in here," Urban said to a roaring audience.
The walls morphed into a fortress housing the Escape Together World Tour and its performers -- Urban and teen sensation Taylor Swift. Though there was no king or queen to speak of, both performers played their roles as one would expect in a royal court.
Swift is the self-declared princess who pens anthems scolding the foolish prince who broke her 18-year-old heart. The princess, though young and relatively inexperienced, is capable of giving an entire audience the gusto to loathe a cheater. Though her voice lacked the power of an older performer, songs like "Should've Said No" and "Just Another Picture to Burn" gave the impression of a princess who is very quickly tiring of lame suitors, also known as 18-year-old boys.
The audience was attentive and curious about Swift, as was evident by the various age groups.
Sarah Witt, of Freeport, Ill., brought her niece Rachel Riley, of Lanark, Ill., and both said they enjoyed Swift's performance.
"She was very charming," Witt said.
"One word: Amazing," Riley exclaimed.
With a few more years and experiences under her belt, Swift has a decent chance of becoming as talented as she is enthusiastic.
There was, however, no mistaking when Urban entered the arena. Thundering drums and flashing lights ushered in the troubadour -- the musical genius who travels around the room showcasing his talents.
"It took us a little while, but we made it back," Urban said.
As the beginning guitar chords for "Days Go By" echoed around the room, Urban's eyes began to twinkle. He walked around the lower bowl, methodically strumming his guitar and feeding off the audience. This troubadour is not satisfied merely standing in place.
Paula Welsh, of Dubuque, was seeing Urban for the third time and said movement is one of the best things about his live show.
"He goes around in the crowd a lot," she said. "No matter what seat you have, it's good."
Urban is a force to be reckoned with on the guitar. Whether acoustic or electric, he commands the strings like a veteran player. His searing solos were equal parts powerful and passionate and expertly executed during "Sweet Thing" and "Stupid Boy."
Don't let his Nashville-by-way-of-Australia roots fool you -- Urban's unique fusion of rock, blues and country sets him apart from any performer in either genre. Whether playing an up-tempo song such as "Kiss A Girl" or a ballad such as "Memories of Us," his fingers gracefully strum notes and riffs that seem to bring the room to life.
Though he was sweating, the troubadour played on in the fortress. His band, full of stringed instruments and heavy percussion, produced a powerful and enticing sound. Very few people were focused on anything other than Urban.
If Swift is lucky, she might learn something from such a prodigal performer.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Opener: Taylor Swift
The video for Keith's newest single is being shot at this show. Unprecedented..... filming a video when the single is released!!!! What a concept!!!!
Urban, Swift keep sellout Des Moines crowd involved
By SOPHIA AHMAD • email@example.com • June 28, 2009
Take a show by country music star Keith Urban, add a sultry blond siren — country pop star Taylor Swift — and throw in a rowdy Saturday night audience, and you get a double-header big enough to be the first sellout at Wells Fargo Arena this year.
The concert, part of Urban's "Escape Together" world tour, opened with Swift, 19, riling up the crowd with an 11-song set.
Swift, whom Urban called his "soul sister," is just a teenager but proved her maturity on stage. Her songs tackled love, heartbreak and betrayal, themes ripe for some of her revenge ballads and fiery lyrics. She wove "You're Not Sorry" into a medley along with a cover of Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River," complete with headbanging and some writhing on the piano bench.
Fans were in for an extra treat when Urban, 41, took the stage. A notice was posted on his official Web site four days ago saying that his newest video, "Only You Can Love Me This Way," would include footage from the Des Moines crowd.
It appeared that most of the arena knew, because the audience chorus was just as loud as Urban's sweet tenor. There were two takes of the song, with touchups in between.
Urban said he felt silly about all the fuss but he went on and thanked the crowd. "You guys are the best — thank you so much Des Moines," he said.
Like Swift's, Urban's energy was high, always dancing around stage with his guitar strapped to him. At two points during the show, he walked through the crowd to get to stages near the back of the arena. "Who's got the best seats now?" Urban asked.
Shelley Preston of Clive was among those in attendance. She took her 13-year-old granddaughter, Kalee Rinnels of Eldora, to hear Swift. Preston was there for Urban.
"I really don't have a favorite song. I like them all," Preston said.
But Kalee dished. "Her favorite is 'Kiss A Girl' — she sings it all the time."
The passing of pop and R&B superstar Michael Jackson on Thursday was fresh on Urban's mind. He introduced three of his bandmates, and each sang portions of Jackson's songs "Man in the Mirror" and "The Way You Make Me Feel" along with the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There."
Both country stars appreciated the audience.
"Mighty fine singing, Des Moines," Urban said. "It sounds awesome."
Swift felt the same: "It really doesn't matter if you didn't have friends in junior high, you have 13,000 of your closest friends in Iowa."
Close. When the final attendance numbers came in, Taylor could count on 13,620 friends.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Milwaukee Summerfest - an 11 day festival beginning June 25th through July 5th. 11 days, 11 stages, 700 bands.
Very Special Guest: Counting Crows
Review from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Musical odd couple hit it off
For some music fans, the match of country heartthrob Keith Urban with the jangly folk-rock of Counting Crows might seem like a blend akin to chicken-flavored ice cream.
The Urban/Counting Crows marriage was the great booking experiment of Summerfest '09. As it turned out Friday night at the Marcus Amphitheater, even seriously smitten young ladies have a taste for folk-rock as well as hunky Aussie guitar heroes.
To these ears, Counting Crows has always worked better on disc than in person. A lot of that is traceable to Crows' frontman Adam Duritz, whose utter lack of humor and almost painfully earnest manner undercuts the jangly pleasure of the Crows' songbook.
Having said that, Friday was the best Crows show this observer has seen. Although he still sports the hair extensions, Duritz has lost a lot of weight, and the leaner Duritz was a more energetic and engaging Duritz.
There's nothing wrong with the Crows catalog, and Friday's opening set was an appealing mix of hits such as "Mr. Jones" with less-familiar material like "Washington Square" and "Richard Manuel Is Dead" (the latter of which Duritz messed up and took a second swipe at).
There were also covers from Gram Parsons and Bob Dylan. And they picked one of Dylan's wittiest tunes - "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," which helped compensate for the dour Mr. Duritz.
As for Urban, like Brad Paisley, he is part Music City hottie and part down-home guitar god. He's also very good at charming a crowd.
Friday, he leaped into the audience and made his way to the top of the front sections, where he did a substantial mini-set of tunes in the wheelchair section.
For about 20 minutes, the folks in the cheaper seats had the good seats, which is never a bad move for one's populist country credentials.
Although Counting Crows was warmly received, once Urban came out there was no doubt who the crowd was there to see. The odd thing about Urban is that his best songs are often his ballads.
"Hit the Ground Running" was a clever launch pad, and "You Look Good in My Shirt" made a rousing encore, but the ballads like "Raining on Sunday" and "Stupid Boy" revealed Urban at his most nuanced, both as singer and player.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
UM would like to take a short break from our normal routine and pay homage to the King of Pop. Michael's music touched so many millions of people in so many ways. His passing at such a young age deserves a tribute. It is so very sad that his music and talent were eclipsed by such an odd life. We hope that he will rest in peace. Thank you, Michael, for all you gave to the world.
You may have noticed that we have been a little lacking in the original blogs recently. We have not retired nor been scared off, it is just for many of us life has taken precedence over Kidman and Keith. Plus right now with Kidman in semi-retirement and Keith doing nothing but putting on good to terrific shows there isn't a lot to talk about. But we are still here and we do have a lot to say about both Keith and Kidman.
This blog is not a Keith Urban blog nor is it a Nicole Kidman blog; it’s about both of them. We will remind all of you again we don't like her. So, yes, right now the quiet is deafening and that usually means something is up. So hold on to your hats because we know she will do something that makes her come off as we have grown to view her: a not so bright, very lucky person.
This last week brought her 42nd birthday. There were no fireworks for her; no skywriting; not even a dinner out captured by the photographers. Mighty weird behavior for the Kidman star-making machinery. This week is their anniversary; will we get anything?
In a couple of weeks on either July 6 or 7 depending on which story you believe, Sunday Rose will be having her 1st birthday. If I were a betting kind of person my money would be on this event being exploited. Not by her father but by her mother. We will see, but with Katie sporting a baby bump, something about the natural child will probably hit the press.
In one of the comments recently we were criticized about this being a Keith Urban blog and discussing her and getting mad when he discusses her. That’s a bit skewed. We are giving our opinions that Keith Urban is reading from a script. Something that is so obvious that many can now predict which part of the “she saved me”, “I am balanced” and “I am complete” yarn he is spinning. Hopefully he has stopped that but probably, not yet.
If you want to talk about Keith Urban, we can discuss his shelf life with relationships. We will skip the one-nighters, the elevators, the booths in Nashville restaurants and the bathroom stalls where the Urban loving was consummated. Let's look at the relationships he has had since he has been famous. You have noticed that with each relationship he has climbed up the ladder of status. First we have Laura. We say her name because he dedicated the entire first American CD to her. They were together for 7- 9 years. There is some differing on when it ended. The songs that came out of that relationship were great. Unfortunately after having so much of his personal life exposed because of the Kidman glare of light, we know that this woman put up with a lot from Keith. Drugs, drink and other women; not to mention rehab. When they finally parted she didn't run to the press nor has she talked to the press since. We admire that. On to the next public relationship, one Nicole Taylor. Niki lost her sister, had a terrible accident, and chose to move to Nashville; then she got involved with Keith. There are no pictures of them anywhere; both of them chose to keep their relationship quiet. Why? Keith was building the barefoot poet persona and Taylor was trying to adjust to retirement and did not want the publicity. They were together for three years and both Golden Road and Be Here are the products of that union. To many those are his finest works. And finally for the last four years we have had to put up with Nicole Kidman. Yes, still more famous than Keith, but her career has gone into a tailspin and she looks to be just about over her fifteen minutes of fame.
Keith Urban is now famous, but not because of his music. The music has in fact suffered for it. What once was private and quiet is now thrown off the highest mountain in order for more publicity. Too bad, because in the long run it was probably better to keep many things about Keith Urban private. Now they are all part of the Urban myths.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Isn't it also interesting that Antony Kidman named Nicole's third child? Remember, Keith Urban admitted it in an interview in June, 2009 on Australian television. "We got the name from Nic's father," he explained. Sure you did, why not Keith? You see the Kidman's are so far above the Urban's; you saw that at the wedding. Of course he also said a few months ago that she was named after the day of the week. Whatever works, depending on which interviewer from which country is interviewing you.
Wasn't Keith a wonderful choice for a second husband? A weak alcoholic drug addicted womanizer. Wonder how he passed Daddy’s radar? Nothing makes Daddy a hero more than a husband with a weakness. And when this marriage ends, and we all know it will, Daddy will be there and Nicole will continue to sing his praises. Perhaps in retrospect, instead of looking at Nicole and finding fault, we really should look at her father and blame him. At least Tom will be off the hook!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Urban's wide appeal a hit in Charlotte
By Sarah Aarthunsaarthun@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Thursday, Jun. 18, 2009
Keith Urban brought his Escape Together tour to Charlotte on Thursday night and did what he does best – a high-energy concert with wide appeal beyond the country genre.
Opening for Urban at Time Warner Cable Arena was country duo Sugarland, whose hour-long set rivaled the energy of Urban's. Lead singer Jennifer Nettles powered through 15 songs to the packed house, including recent singles “It Happens” and “All I Want to Do” as well as their 2006 hit “Stay,” performed with believable emotion from Nettles.
Many in the audience came just for Sugarland – it was the most full I had seen the arena for an opener -- but if they left before Urban took the stage, they truly missed a great show.
While Sugarland has a distinct country twang (Nettles let her Georgia roots show as she conversed with the audience, calling one woman “Honeypot.”), Urban's brand of country regularly crosses into rock territory thanks to his fast-fingered skills on the electric guitar and his guitar-heavy band. That rock-star style appeals to male fans, while the women swoon for his heartfelt ballads about love.
He provided a mix of both on Thursday, opening with the high energy “Hit the Ground Runnin'” from his latest album “Defying Gravity” and 2004's “Days Go By” before slowing things down with “Stupid Boy.” It was a formula he followed throughout his two-hour set, but he's clearly at his best with his faster-paced rock songs (I found the back-and-forth between slow and up-tempo made the concert drag a bit). Highlights included “Who Wouldn't Want to be Me” and “Somebody Like You” both of which were punctuated by his elaborate stage setup – five huge HD screens that showed every drop of sweat along his brow and a massive light show timed to the music.
Perhaps the biggest thrill for the audience came when Urban ventured into the crowd (twice), popping up on a stage toward the back of the floor (“Who's got the good seats now?” he asked nearby concertgoers who rushed the area for an up-close view) and again in the lower bowl.
He seemed genuinely grateful for his fans, and I think that's what makes his shows so successful – he cares about giving back to them whether it's giving an intimate performance to fans in the cheap seats or acknowledging that disposable income for things like concerts is harder to come by.
Before he ended his two-song encore, he took a moment to give thanks. “I know there are a lot of seriously hard times” right now, he said in a nod to the recession and the budgets many are operating under. “Thank you so much for choosing to come see us tonight.”
His final song: “Better Life.” The chorus: “Someday baby, you and I are gonna be the ones, good luck's gonna shine. Someday baby, you and I are gonna be the ones, so hold on, we're headed for a better life.”