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Quick Takes: Jay-Z takes on 'Gatsby'? Womack has Alzheimer's

January 03, 2013
  • Jay-Z is said to be scoring "The Great Gatsby."
Jay-Z is said to be scoring "The Great Gatsby." (Jennifer S. Altman / For…)

Director Baz Luhrmann already tipped his hand in the trailer for his upcoming adaptation of "The Great Gatbsy." Among the songs heard was the Jay-Z-led track "No Church in the Wild," his 2011 collaboration with Kanye West.

The use married an examination of the empty, ostentatious wealth of the '20s with an examination of the empty, ostentatious wealth of today.

This week, it came to light that "The Great Gatsby" could feature original Jay-Z works. The news was spread by the Bullitts, the musical designation for producer/musician Jeymes Samuel. In a tweet posted Monday, he wrote, "Z and myself have been working tirelessly on the score for the upcoming #CLASSIC The Great Gatsby! It is too DOPE for words!."

Unknown, however, is to what extend Jay-Z's music will figure into "The Great Gatsby." Warner Bros. Pictures has already announced that regular Luhrmann contributor Craig Armstrong is composing music for the film. A studio representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

—Todd Martens

'Fifty Shades' tops e-book list

If you bought a copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey" for your e-reader, you are not alone — not by a long shot. E.L. James' sexy novel about innocent college student Anastasia Steele and her love affair with handcuff-inclined billionaire Christian Grey was the bestselling e-book of 2012.

According to Digital Book World, James dominated the e-book bestseller list. The three books in her series — "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed" — took the three top spots, respectively, on the e-book bestseller list.

If that might indicate that readers seek particularly adult e-books, it's a rule that was swiftly broken by young adult writer Suzanne Collins. Her Hunger Games trilogy, propelled by a successful screen adaptation of the first book, came in at Nos. 4 ("The Hunger Games"), 5 ("Catching Fire") and 6 ("Mockingjay") on the e-book bestseller list. The three bundled together took another spot in the top 10, coming in at No. 8.

Specific sales figures were not disclosed.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Womack tells of Alzheimer's

After sparking widespread comeback chatter last year with his album "The Bravest Man in the Universe," soul singer Bobby Womack has announced that he's experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

"The doctor says, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,'" Womack told the BBC's Gilles Peterson in an interview on the latter's Radio 6 program. "It's not bad yet, but it's gonna get worse."

Womack, 68, admitted that he's having trouble remembering things, including the name of Damon Albarn, who co-produced "The Bravest Man in the Universe" with XL Recordings chief Richard Russell. At October's Q Awards in London — where Womack won the album award — he introduced the Blur/Gorillaz frontman as "Damon Osbourne."

"That's so embarrassing," Womack said of the memory lapse. "Here's a guy I work with — I would never belittle him like that."

—Mikael Wood

'Blunderbuss' is No. 1 on vinyl

Here's an accolade that will warm Jack White's analog-loving heart as much as a Grammy nomination. His 2012 debut solo album, "Blunderbuss," was the year's bestselling vinyl record.

The LP version of the album, released on Third Man/Columbia, sold just over 33,000 copies, according to Soundscan figures and an announcement from White's camp Wednesday. It knocked off the Beatles' "Abbey Road," which had claimed that spot for the last three years.

"Blunderbuss" is also the bestselling new vinyl album (excluding reissues and catalog titles such as "Abbey Road") since 2008, when Soundscan began tracking charts for new vinyl album sales again.

In October, Billboard noted that 2012 vinyl sales, while representing just 1.5% of the market for new albums, were up 16.3% compared with 2011 figures from the same point in the year.

—August Brown

'Starcatcher' on to the next stage

"Peter and the Starcatcher," the family-friendly Broadway play from Disney Theatricals that is an informal prequel to "Peter Pan," has had several theatrical lives.

The drama had developmental runs at the Williamstown Theater Festival and the La Jolla Playhouse. It eventually made its way to the New York Theatre Workshop in 2011 before transferring in 2012 to Broadway, where it won five Tony Awards.

The show's next stop will be off-Broadway's New World Stages, after its scheduled close at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Jan. 20.

A national tour of the play is scheduled to launch in Denver in August.

—David Ng

Hefner, 'runaway bride' marry

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris made it to the vows this time around, getting married on New Year's Eve in a small ceremony at the Playboy Mansion.

Hef, 86, announced the news via Twitter, saying that his younger brother Keith had served as best man.

Harris, 26, infamously broke their earlier engagement when she walked away five days before their planned wedding in June 2011. They reconciled a year later.

—Christie D'Zurilla

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