Friday, December 26, 2003

Michelle Branches OutWith apologies to those that yet again found my Xmas message a little unseasonal in tone. But then, Xmas wouldn't be Xmas without something being slightly overcooked.

This time last year I was linking to Christina Aguilera taking her clothes off for Maxim. To show how much the site has matured since then, this year we're linking to neo-classical pop nymph Michelle Branch...erm...taking her clothes off in Maxim. There's enough skin to make these pics dubious for work safety but we don't quite get to see whether Branch has gone back to her roots. Link first twigged by Simon XRRF. And while we're taking about pop strumpets in their skimpies, now's as good as time as any to point you in the direction of Rachel Stevens modelling Pretty Polly lingerie (again, borderline safe-for-work). S Club splitting up has been good news all round, don't you think?

But of course Parallax View isn't just here for the nice things in life, like directing you to galleries of underdressed celebrities. No, we also quite like to have a good laugh at the rich and famous pulled in for questioning. So take a look at these mugshots - 50 Cent (before the fat kid loved cake); Jack White (he'd sure be popular if he ever gets to prison) and Al Gore's Cookie Monster son.

I think this might have been online for a few weeks, but for those that, like me, missed it in all the excitement of spending all that money you haven't got, the trailer for Spiderman 2 is up. Sadly, there's no sight this time of Kirsten Dunst in wet and opaque clothing; I trust this is something the producers will address before the film sequel comes out in the summer. Meanwhile, I couldn't get the volume to work while watching the trailer for Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow so I've no real idea what the film's about, but the visuals are stunning. If nothing else, the Jude Law/Gwyneth Paltrow film should be winning awards for production design this time next year. There's some nifty desktop images available from the the official site too.

Courtney Love has made her new single Mono available for download in the US, streaming elsewhere. The album, American Sweetheart is due in stores Feb 10, the taster single is OK, although doesn't sound like a massive departure from Celebrity Skin but that wasn't as bad an album as most people made out, anyway. Let's hope the full record does her justice - if anyone needs a good 2004, it's Courtney. (link via Large Hearted Boy)

It's been announced that Bruce Springsteen was the highest-earning US tour performer in 2003, raking in a whopping Broocie bonus of $159m for 47 shows. I know that Mr Springsteen isn't everybody's cup of darjeeling, but I reckon he's worth it, which leads me nicely to...

My Top Ten Gigs of 2003

1. Bruce Springsteen (Old Trafford cricket ground, May 2003)
2. The White Stripes (Wolves Civic Hall, April 2003)
3. Ladytron (Birmingham Academy 2, March 2003)
4. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Hammersmith Apollo, June 2003)
5. Maria McKee (Birmingham Glee Club, May 2003)
6. Brendan Benson (Reading Festival, August 2003)
7. The Warlocks (Wolves Little Civic, February 2003)
8. The Rocks (Birmingham Academy 2, March 2003)
9. Jimi Tenor (Camden Jazz Cafe, March 2003)
10. Radio 4/Outhud (Nottingham Rescue Rooms, April 2003)

Biggest live regrets of 2003: not catching Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Thermals; that Grandaddy still haven't got their live arse into gear, and that transport problems prevented attendance at Stephen Malkmus and Radiohead gigs.

The Parallax View best albums of 2003 to follow in next few days. While you're chewing your limbs to stumps in anticipation, try taking this showbiz quiz.



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