Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ashlee Simpson speaks out

Now that Ashlee Simpson has addressed those pregnancy rumors as much as she's going to at the moment, she's eager to move on to a less controversial topic: her new album.
Yes, this is the same one she gave MTV News a sneak peek at back in September, then was talking about again in November, and the same one she filmed a Salvador Dali-inspired video for in December. But now, things are different. Because the record is done.
"The record is called Bittersweet World, and it's completely different than anything I've done before. I went into it kind of doing a singer/songwriter thing, but I was like, 'You know what? I want to do music people can have fun to and listen to in the summer,' " Simpson explained. "And it was different. It was a lot of people in one room when you're writing. And you're, like, standing naked in front of a stage, because you don't know these people yet. ... You just get in there and start writing with them. But it was a blast."
Those people included both established hitmakers like Timbaland and the Neptunes' Chad Hugo, and up-and-coming talent like Santi White (a.k.a. the much-buzzed electro artist Santogold) and the Plain White T's' Tom Higgenson, who appears on her current single, "Little Miss Obsessive."
"I love Tom and the Plain White T's, so I really wanted to work with Tom," Simpson said. "It's a song that kind of relates to the last album, but it grew with the new record. And every girl has gone through that situation. You put your foot in your mouth and you go, 'Wait, why did I do that?' We're on our phones writing and texting too much!"
Totally! Also popping up on the album is Gym Class Heroes MC Travis McCoy, who drops a verse on a track called "Murder." And while Simpson has talked her up in the past, her alter ego, the vampy Vicky Valentine, doesn't make an appearance, though she is there in spirit.
"That whole thing was a bit of a joke. ... I wasn't going for, like, Garth Brooks, you know? Where I was two different people," she said. "I'm not somebody who has an attitude, but there are a lot underlying things on my record that, if you listen to it, you might catch on. Sometimes I would put Vicky's shoes on, and be like, 'Snap snap.' "
Speaking of cameos, fans looking for some sort of duet with her new fiance are going to be disappointed. Simpson said Bittersweet World is 100 percent Pete Wentz-free, and she intends to keep things that way.
"He would come by the studio sometimes, but that was about it. He had the role of 'good boyfriend,' " she laughed. "Sometimes I would be like, 'What do you think of this song?' and that was about it. And no, I'm never going to be recording 'Married Couple Lullabies' or something like that. I doubt it."
And of course, you can't have Ashlee without Pete!
(this is an old article jsyk)
Pete Wentz has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, which is either the best thing about him (if you're one of his fans) or the worst (if you're his publicist).
In a culture of 10-second sound bytes and cloying correctness, this puts him in rarefied air, up there with the Kanyes and the Courtney Loves of the celeb-uverse. Of course, it also makes him a fixture on gossip sites and even the tabloids, an unfortunate side effect to his lack of an internal monologue (not to mention his girlfriend, Ashlee Simpson).
Recently, Wentz was in the headlines again, this time for grousing that his band, Fall Out Boy, were all but ignored by the Recording Academy when it came to Grammy nominations, despite the fact that FOB had played several Academy parties, and released one of 2007's most successful rock albums, Infinity On High. He also felt that the Academy overlooked the acts on his Decaydance Records, a roster that includes bands like Panic at the Disco and Gym Class Heroes, yet received just one Grammy nom (a pre-tel nod for the packaging of Panic's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out album).
So as a result of all that, Wentz decided to boycott this year's Grammys, taking in all the action just like many people did — from his couch, with junk food scattered around and his dog going crazy in the background.
And, in keeping with his free-speaking ways, he agreed to write an impromptu report on his Grammy experience for MTV News. What follows is his complete, unfiltered take on the show. ...
"The highlights of the Grammy show from my couch had to be postponed due to a trip to Häagen-Dazs, so unfortunately, I missed about the first 30 minutes of the show. I always kind of get chills when they do, like, weird holograms of people who died, so that might have been a good thing to miss."
"Got back in time to see the Kanye performance, man how much did those lights cost — like a zillion dollars? His show definitely made me want to go out to his tour — it also kind of made me feel high."
"The next thing that really stuck out to me was Beyoncé and Tina Turner. The whole time it was going all I could think was, 'How cool would it be to have Tina Turner as your grandma?' Like, she was busting pretty insane moves if you think about it."
"At this point, my dog goes crazy and I miss about 15 minutes here and there. Aretha Franklin and the gospel singers were slaying — it's like they packed all the people who could really sing into like a 3-minute period. When Kanye took the stage to accept the rap album award I knew something was going to go down. I feel like because Kanye gives very real reactions, it's sometimes expected. Kind of tacky to turn the music on, [his] speech was great when he spoke about his mother."
"The Foo Fighters slay. It doesn't even really matter that they're playing outside. They even had my dog circle-pitting. [I] watch Amy Winehouse — kind of a sweet place to get an award, just in a room full of your friends. Maybe the rest of the show should have had more stuff like that, the hometown team gives a lot of love."
"Never saw Herbie Hancock's win coming, but it was pretty cool to see an upset and I'm a fan. Maybe the Grammys should have more unexpected stuff like this and less 'Check out this-dude-with-this-dude mash-ups.' "
"All in all, it went well with my strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Could have even been a bit better if I hadn't thrown a tantrum about it like a 3-year-old. Oh well, there's always next year to complain some more, or man up and swallow my words."

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