Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless - Shots of the American rock band The Pretty Reckless as they performed live in concert at the Manchester Academy in Manchester, United Kingdom - Wednesday 19th November 2014
Jenny Lewis isn't the only former actress to find musical success.
There seems to be a special musical buzz in the entertainment business at the moment reserved for screen actresses who are wanting to spread their wings in their career - and maybe earn some more money too. Whether it's Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande blowing everyone away with her stunning vocal range as she gears up to release her second album this summer, or indie favourite Jenny Lewis becoming ever more successful with her solo singing career after a good three years fronting a band, it appears that some actresses just can't resist testing their pipes in the recording studio. Even Hollywood sensation Scarlett Johansson dipped her toes in musical waters back in 2008 with her well-praised debut 'Anywhere I Lay My Head'.
While we're half expecting Keira Knightley to release a record any day now after singing on her latest drama 'Begin Again', we look at the film world's biggest female musical successes.
Jenny Lewis: Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis this week released Voyager, her critically acclaimed third studio album. Although best known for her time fronting indie favourites, Rilo Kiley, music wasn't actually Lewis's first career choice, instead the Vegas native was intially known as an actress. Her early showbiz experience mainly consisted of TV roles, with small parts in the likes of 'Baywatch', 'Brooklyn Bridge' and 'The New Twilight Zone' in the 80s and early 90s as well as film stints on 'Troop Beverly Hills' and 'The Wizard'. Her last major acting venture came with 1995's black and white drama 'Don's Plum' alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire before she formed Rilo Kiley with then-boyfriend Blake Sennett.
Continue reading: Ariana, Zooey, J-Lo, Miley! When Actresses Become Songstresses
Download Festival 2014 was a tamer affair than in previous years, largely owing to the event's tightened alcohol and drugs searches, bands being instructed not to encourage the crowds to mosh, more mainstream main stage headliners, fewer boobs being shown on the live camera feed, and the sombre tone of the renamed 'Stephen Sutton Stage'. Instead of holding a silence for the cancer-struck teen, festival attendees took part in a minute of respectful applause, which was paralleled by comedy pop punk band Bowling For Soup's tribute to the late comic, Rik Mayall.
In memoriam sections aside, the festival managed to transform what could be perceived as a weaker line-up compared to its preceding year into a three-day celebration of a broad range of the rock spectrum, filled with bespoke performance gems and quality heavy metal memories. First night closers Avenged Sevenfold brought a larger stage to Donington than they'd ever taken out of the US and combined imposing crypt-inspired adornments with an explosive set that proved on a world stage that they are worthy successors to titans Metallica and Iron Maiden.
The beady-eyed punter will have had a ball spotting the odd and hilarious happenings across the weekend, including a "face-melting" washboard solo from Berlin faux cowboys The BossHoss, punk's immature popsters Bowling For Soup asking a knight to decapitate a giant inflatable sheep, full contact medieval fighting from Battle Heritage, and Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach inviting the crowd to "dance responsibly" to a particularly heavy breakdown. Ribs were probably broken in the latter instance.
Continue reading: Download Festival 2014 Review
If there's something to take away from this year's Isle of Wight Festival, it's probably sunburn. Unlike the mud bath of two years ago, 2014 will be remembered for serving up one of the hottest weekends I can remember for a festival, along with some crowd-pleasing performances. While not every act managed to capture their moment in the sun, all the major names delivered in spades.
But it wasn't just the music that made the weekend for many; a real sense of celebration seemed to erupt across the site. Partly fuelled by anticipation over the World Cup and partly because of the good weather, thousands of smiling faces could be seen everywhere. Sunflowers seemed to be an essential festival accessory and many opted for as few clothes as possible with t-shirts looking like they'd gone out of fashion altogether. I've even had to make a note in my diary that it's international flip-flop day on June 20th, just one of the many things I learnt around Seaclose Park this year.
The highlight of Friday afternoon should have really been local boy Tom Odell on the main stage. But his piano led ballads took some time to win the crowd over despite his number 1 album 'Long Way Down'. By the time he'd finished though, the reaction showed that he'd justified his place on the main stage billing.
Continue reading: Isle of Wight Festival 2014 Review