- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

Loose lips sync ‘SNL’?

Eminem is busy bashing President George W. Bush in a heavily downloaded new video, but the rapper raised some musical eyebrows over the weekend with his performances on “Saturday Night Live.”

The rapper, according to www.imdb.com, lip-synced through parts of his two performances on the NBC show one week after Ashlee Simpson’s miming fiasco drew unwanted attention.

Eminem failed to keep up with his own guide track as he performed the politically-charged “Mosh” and new hit “Just Lose It.” This came after several jabs at Miss Simpson by guest host Kate Winslet and various cast members.

“I’m thrilled to be hosting ‘Saturday Night Live.’ I can assure you it is live because I’m hyperventilating a bit,” Miss Winslet said.

Eminem’s performance wouldn’t be the first time a rapper relied on technology to carry over material to a live audience. But coming on the heels of the Simpson debacle, the timing was embarrassing for the guest and the show, which has always prided itself on being live.

Yet Eminem spokesman Dennis Dennehy insists the incident is par for the rap course.

“Tupac [Shakur] did it all the time,” Mr. Dennehy said of Eminem performing along with the aid of a pre-recorded vocal track to re-create the song “Mosh’s” album version. “He wanted it to sound as energetic and powerful as it does on the album.”

“It’s pretty commonplace, and I don’t think the rap audience is as unforgiving as the R&B; audience, whose artists live and die by their voice,” said Erik Parker, music editor of Vibe, the urban music magazine co-founded a decade ago by Quincy Jones.

“Rappers, on the other hand, live and die by their lyrics, their flow and their image,” Mr. Parker said in a phone interview from Vibe’s Manhattan offices. “The hip-hop audience holds them accountable not by their voice but by their lyrics.”

As for Eminem’s own October surprise, his anti-Bush tirade drew a thumbs up from Sen. John F. Kerry, according to an interview the presidential candidate gave to MTV.

Fessin’ up

MTV.com

Beyonce is finally acknowledging her relationship with Jay-Z.

In “Soldier,” which is set to be the second single from Destiny’s Child’s upcoming CD “Destiny Fulfilled,” Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams each describe their special man. And while Jay-Z’s name is never mentioned, Beyonce’s descriptions (like being from “the BK,” as in Brooklyn) make it clear he’s the one.

“If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then something is wrong,” Miss Williams said.

First impressions

Reuters News Agency

A group of 48 never before seen pastel works by renowned American impressionist Mary Cassatt will be displayed for the first and only time this week, before being sold off and scattered around the world.

Cassatt, who lived from 1844 to 1926, is one of America’s best known artists of the period and played a pioneering role among the impressionists of the late 19th century, working in Paris alongside Edgar Degas and Auguste Renoir.

Her paintings were originally owned by Ambroise Vollard, the famed Parisian art dealer who gave Pablo Picasso and Paul Cezanne their first one-man shows.

Vollard’s heirs sold the collection to a French art dealer, Henri Petiet His heirs recently decided to put the collection up for sale, but before then it is going on display at New York’s Adelson Galleries.

Before the collection came to light, there were only 22 known counterproofs by Cassatt, and experts were uncertain whether they had been made by the artist or at a later date by somebody looking to make money through a reproduction.

“Our shock when we first saw them was both the color and the scale … they were so big and so bright,” said Warren Adelson, president of Adelson Galleries.

Hannibal returns

E! Online

The insatiable Dr. Lecter is coming back for more — on screen and in bookstores.

Random House announced a fall 2005 publication date Thursday for author Thomas Harris’ latest Lecter novel, “Behind the Mask.” The book’s movie rights have already been snapped up by producer Dino DeLaurentiis, who served up “Hannibal” and “Red Dragon.”

It’s believed “Behind the Mask” is the source material for a DeLaurentiis project that’s been previously referred to as “The Lecter Variations.”

Like “Behind the Mask,” “The Lecter Variations” is billed as a prequel — and the story of the young Hannibal Lecter would seem to preclude Anthony Hopkins, now 66, from reacquiring his taste for fava beans and flesh.

Mr. Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs.” He was back in man-eating form for 2001’s “Hannibal” and 2002’s “Red Dragon.”

All told, the four Hannibal Lecter films, including 1986’s “Manhunter,” the first big-screen take on Mr. Harris’ “Red Dragon” novel, have grossed nearly $400 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Christian Toto from Web and wire reports.

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