Amy Winehouse Cancels Tour

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News worth an honorable mention: Amy Winehouse cancels tour; guerrilla artist Banksy comes to the States; a 3.3 pound truffle is up for auction; intercollegiate Quidditch — yeah, that's happening.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Hey, welcome back everybody. You're listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. I'm Alison Stewart.

Rachel Martin, would you care to step out of your news booth and join me on a tour through some of the news, maybe, you can't use?

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

I would love to.

STEWART: It's our very own selection of the odd, the freakish, and the sublime. We call it The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Okay, Rachel…

MARTIN: You start…

STEWART: …starting off with some disappointing news.

MARTIN: I know.

STEWART: Amy Winehouse has cancelled all of her concerts through the end of '07. There's not all that much of '07 left.

MARTIN: A couple of months. Yeah, six weeks.

STEWART: That is according to her spokesperson, so we know it's official. Winehouse's doctor took a look at the patient's health and said, you need a rest, young lady.

MARTIN: A rest?

STEWART: Or something like that.

MARTIN: At least something…

STEWART: A rest from cocktails. Oh, I didn't say that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: You know, a lot of her appearances, Winehouse has reportedly appeared well, a little drunk, a little disoriented. Ticketholders - you will get your money back. No plans for new concert dates. However - and I'm give you three seconds to insert you own "Rehab" joke here. One, two, three.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: I won't do it.

STEWART: Okay.

MARTIN: I've taken the high the road.

STEWART: All right, she's taking the high road. But it's still a great song, "Rehab."

MARTIN: It is. It's a really good song.

STEWART: And we do wish that Amy…

MARTIN: But it's sad. I like her.

STEWART: Yeah. That Amy will get better. We wish her well.

MARTIN: Get it together, lady. Okay, I'm going to tell you about…

STEWART: Tough love from Rachel Martin.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: I'm sorry, but, you know, she's, like, bailing on concerts. Come on. I don't care if you're a rock star. Okay. We're going to talk about the art world - vandal art. There's this guy named Banksy - I've never heard of this person. But apparently, he is a big deal in the art world, and he is this guy who goes around doing vandalist kinds of things.

He stenciled mind the crap on the sidewalk outside the museum in London. He placed a life-sized sculpture of a Guantanamo detainee on a ride at Disneyland - very provocative stuff - even smuggled 500 alternative copies of Paris Hilton's CD into London record stores with song titles like "Why Am I Famous?"

Anyway, so this guy has caused a lot of stir, and he's getting his own show. Why are we talking this? Because he's coming to New York. He'll be featured in exhibition at the Vanina Holasek Gallery in New York City next week. So watch out, Vanina.

STEWART: And watch out, I'd say Trump Tower.

MARTIN: Yeah, everyone be on the lookout.

STEWART: I'd say General Electric.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: You're…

MARTIN: But if you give this guy a show, the whole point of it, he doesn't want to be mainstream, right?

STEWART: Right.

MARTIN: So I don't know.

STEWART: And it's sort of travelling installation art.

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: So just in the subway…

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: …you know, be careful around you. This is the story of a very valuable mushroom. A truffle is going on auction today.

MARTIN: Not a large chocolate.

STEWART: No.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: This is upsetting that - we're talking about this three-pound truffle in our morning meeting, and Rachel's eyes got really big, because I could tell you were envisioning a three-pound…

MARTIN: I know. I like those more than the mushrooms…

STEWART: …chocolate.

MARTIN: …but go on.

STEWART: People who are gourmands know a truffle is very delicious - very, very expensive.

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: This truffle was found in Tuscany, and it's expected to spend - fetch more than $22,000 for this truffle. I have to tell you, I was in Italy about this time last year, and I had four little ravioli…

MARTIN: Yeah, like the essence of truffle, like three drops of truffle (unintelligible).

STEWART: …yeah, $80. Eighty dollars.

MARTIN: It's not even - they don't even give you a whole truffle. It's just like - here's the essence, the effervescense of truffles.

STEWART: Wait. They're telling me it was actually more money. How much was that, Jacob? $220,000.

MARTIN: This story just gets more ridiculous.

STEWART: Yeah, it's a big truffle. Okay, it's going to be a big, expensive truffle. End of story.

MARTIN: Big mushrooms. Okay, so we're going to talk about quidditch. You know that game in "Harry Potter" everyone plays, and they ride around on the brooms?

STEWART: Sure.

MARTIN: It's crazy. So apparently, it doesn't just happen in the movies. It happens in real life, and it happens at Middlebury, Vermont. It happened earlier this month. There was the first ever college match of quidditch. Middlebury beat Vassar, who failed to score, and…

STEWART: I can testify to this. One of my nieces is a sophomore Vassar.

MARTIN: Did she go?

STEWART: And she started talking about this in the back of the car about two weeks ago, and we were - and my sister and I were looking and saying, what do you mean? Like, a real quidditch game?

MARTIN: Seems like you're watching too many of these movies.

STEWART: You're school has a quidditch team?

MARTIN: So do they fly around? I actually don't understand how this happens.

STEWART: No, they run around, but they do have brooms. But I think - you know they fall out of the sky? You're supposed to fall on your broom.

MARTIN: Like on your own? No one supposed to…

STEWART: Yeah. Yeah, it's sort of an honor system, from what I understand.

MARTIN: And who gets to be that little thing they chase around?

STEWART: It's the - what is it called? The snitch?

MARTIN: The snitch.

STEWART: The snitch, right?

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: I think there's a kid who puts it on a pole and runs around, if I was listening correctly.

MARTIN: (unintelligible) kid.

STEWART: She lost me about halfway through, but continue your story. I'm sorry.

MARTIN: Well, apparently they did have to adapt the rules of the game to fit the world of the muggles, the non-wizards. So there actually are no flying broomsticks and no magic snitch, and the play is, I guess, it's something more akin to rugby or dodge ball. So I imagine it's pretty fun to watch, but…

STEWART: All right.

MARTIN: …I rather watch it in the movie.

STEWART: Those crazy kids. Hey, Rachel, thanks for helping me out with The Ramble.

MARTIN: I'm going to go read some news.

STEWART: We'll see you for the - yeah, in about 15 minutes, we'll see you with some news.

MARTIN: Okay, bye-bye.

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