Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Britney's Wild Weekend

Oops, she did it again

In the wake of her little sister Jamie Lynn's headline-grabbing pregnancy announcement, it seems Britney Spears has made every effort to turn the spotlight back on herself.
The singer filled another weekend with late-night shopping trips, run-ins with paparazzi and wild driving – but still found time for her kids.
The adventure began just after midnight on Saturday morning, when she and a friend, her assistant Carla, left her Beverly Hills home in the singer's Mercedes with its headlights off and trunk open. The posse made the first of several stops at a Rite-Aid store in Hollywood, where Spears parked in a disabled-designated parking spot.
"I have stuff I have to buy for my babies," Spears told photographers on her way in.
After testing – but not buying – deodorant sprays, she emerged, spending a total of $57.46, with Lucky Charms cereal, Purex laundry detergent, Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies and a 32-inch plush horse (regular price $29.99, marked down by 50 percent).

Who Will Be the Next Big 'Tween Star?

Among some of her fans and their parents, Nickelodeon star Jamie Lynn Spears may have lost some of her status as a 'tween idol. But there are many other young actors, actresses and singers whose talent could soon make them household names.

Already a superstar, of course, is Miley Cyrus of Hannah Montana fame. Here, PEOPLE looks at the next group of tween stars who we'll likely be talking about in the years to come.

Emma Roberts, David Henrie and Alyson Stoner

  • Emma Roberts, 16. CREDENTIALS: The daughter of actor Eric Roberts (and niece of Julia), she appeared in the movie Blow when she was just 9, starred in Nancy Drew, and is also the lead in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous. Asked about other young celebs' partying ways, she told PEOPLE this year: "It doesn't freak me out. I'm not the kind of person who would fall into that kind of stuff."

  • David Henrie, 18. CREDENTIALS: He has starred in the Disney Channel series That's So Raven and Wizards of Waverly Place.

  • Alyson Stoner, 15. CREDENTIALS: She starred in the movies Cheaper by the Dozen and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. Another That's So Raven vet, she also has a voice role in the upcoming animated series Phineas and Ferb and stars in Camp Rock.

  • Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Led Zeppelin Takes London to the Promised Land

    Who knows if Led Zeppelin will ever tour again? But if its last show was indeed Dec. 10 at London's O2 Arena, one thing is for sure: the band ended as it began, concise, precise and dynamic.

    Like it was in the last few months of 1968, when the band toured as the New Yard birds to fulfill old obligations and start new dreams, each of the 16 songs played at the 02 remained amazingly faithful to their original framework. But within each song, the band never failed to evoke the power, majesty and yes, the hammer wielded during its original incarnation.

    The 130-minute show began with "Good Times, Bad Times," which lurched from off-kilter rhythms and explosive outbursts of kinetic energy in what was little more than two minutes. As the crew at the board struggled to get the sound together during the second song, "Ramble On" ignited the audience and from there it went on from one peak to the next.

    By the time "Black Dog" kicked in, there was no doubt the band was strutting its stuff. Singer Robert Plant, supposedly the most reluctant about future Zeppelin activity, appeared to be having the most fun on the stage, displaying many of the moves associated with the physical vocabulary he helped invent as one of rock's great front men.

    While Led Zeppelin is as vaunted for the shading and dynamics built within its original framework, the so-called light side of its sound was hardly evoked during the evening, with the band moving into still even heavier territory. For starters, Zeppelin unleashed "In My Time of Dying," where Jason Bonham reminds the audience that he is his father's son and shows the Zep foundation is in good hands.

    "For Your Life," from the band's somewhat overlooked yet magnificent "Presence" album, was followed by a frenetic "Trampled Underfoot" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine." These songs are showcases for the architects of the band's sound, guitarist Jimmy Page and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones, who shifted from bass to keyboard throughout the night.
    These tunes set the stage for some of the band's signature magnum opuses: "No Quarter," "Since I've Been Loving You," "Dazed and Confused" and "Stairway to Heaven."

    Led Zeppelin Dazzles at Joyous London Concert

    For two hours and 10 minutes Monday night, renowned British rock band Led Zeppelin was back, rocking privileged fans at an ecstatic O2 Arena in London. It was something not seen for almost 20 years.

    The evening was to honor late Atlantic Records founder and producer Ahmet Ertegun, and the band's devoted throng -- many of whom had paid thousands of dollars and flown thousands of miles to see them -- could not have been happier.

    The Led Zeppelin part of the show began right on time at 9 p.m. local, with a giant screen showing clips from U.S. television when Led Zeppelin first toured the States.
    Original members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant blasted onto the stage with drummer Jason Bonham, taking the place of his father, John Bonham, who died in 1980. The stage was brilliant and the lighting looked great, with an excellent video display offering multiple images behind the live players.

    Page, 63, is stout these days, with puffy features and frizzled hair, but his fingers move just as quick. Plant, 59, whose visage is more familiar with all the publicity he's been doing for his hit album "Raising Sand" with Alison Krauss, appeared like a well-fed Anglo Wild Bill Hickok, commanding the stage and still finding those elusive trills.
    Jones, 61, was clean cut and all business on keyboards or bass, and Bonham at the drums looked beefy but fit.

    They began with a brisk version of "Good Times, Bad Times," with Page's guitar crisp and clear but Plant's voice cramped by feedback. When "Ramble On" followed, Plant's microphone was working better and he sounded in good voice, growling and snapping just like he used to.