Two weeks ago, as I began to figure out my plans for the 2012 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, my SPIN magazine arrived in the mail. As I flipped through it, I saw a piece on up-and-coming artist Gary Clark Jr., who, according to the magazine, was performing at more major festivals than practically any other artist this summer. He was on my short list to see and interview once I arrived in New Orleans, so I was curious to see how crazy his touring schedule was. As I looked at the festivals listed, however, I saw a glaring exception. Essence wasn't listed as one of the festivals.
As weeks became days and the time came where I had to actually purchase a ticket to New Orleans, I asked some friends with whom I had covered Coachella or South by Southwest if they were making the trek down to Essence. I was surprised to receive very few affirmatives.
"MARRIED TO A CRAZY MAN" The Saga Of Russell Brand And Katy Perry: "Katy Perry awoke alone in her Kauai, Hawaii, rental home December 30, ready to organize a party for New Year's Eve." A trial separation exploded in flames when Perry realized "her husband of 14 months had reneged on the deal, blindsiding her by filing for divorce." Katy "struggled to make sense of it all" while in the U.K. Brand "even released a statement to the press." This all compounded Katy's "private hell" wherein she had been "trying to salvage a doomed union." Brand's friends say he "has an insatiable desire for pushing limits." But "he soon learned that, for all her whipped cream-shooting bras and double entendres" Katy is actually "a good Christian girl" and "Russell didn't like the real Katy the more he got to know her." Now Perry, who really thought "marriage is forever" is devastated, since she "feels she failed." Katy initially "used her 'wild child' persona to keep him sexually infatuated" but just "a year in" and "Brand was already bored." At the start of their courtship "Katy was kinky" and Brand "was very attracted to her. When things got bad, if they had a roll in the hay, they were always better after." But all that kinky sex was "never enough" and "Russell doesn't like being alone." Katy's career interfered. Brand "always needs someone there, and that's not Katy -- she's busier than he is." Without constant female companionship to keep him in line, "Russell goes to a dark place." This dark place is on the internet, where Brand "really gets off on one particular porno with a guy in a wheelchair. He's attracted to things he can't imagine happening to him." For the couple, "all their sexual pyrotechnics couldn't mask a larger problem": Russell's sober lifestyle opposed Katy's party girl antics. But was the real problem the imbalance of fame and Brand's resentment of his wife being a bigger star? "She had so much going on this year, and there were so many times when he wasn't there." Perhaps it's because "being called 'Katy Perry's husband' bothers him." After Katy's SNL hosting gig (which he skipped) "he told her that she wasn't that funny. That really hurt." Now Brand will "no longer have to pretend to be her biggest fan." He is already "ringless" and "on the prowl" in the UK while Katy "continues to nurse her broken heart." Who gets custody of the cats???
Five days into the new year, and the first big celebrity trend has reared its shockingly cute head: being engaged. We as a culture are used to becoming emotionally invested in one or two celebrity engagements at a time, but seven is a bit much. Yes, seven men decided to put rings on it over the past two weeks, giving us seven celebrity engagements to juggle. Life is hard.
Anyway, figuring out which ones to spend time obsessing over is a tough task. Luckily for you, I have developed a highly complex formula for determining which couples are worth your time.