U.S. Tells Amy Winehouse 'No, No, No'
RACHEL MARTIN: So, it's that time, Alison.
ALISON STEWART, host:
What time would that be?
MARTIN: Well, it's a time when we take a break from the hard stuff and we talk about the news that doesn't make it on the front page but you still like it.
STEWART: Oh, I love it.
MARTIN: We love it. We call it The Ramble.
I'm going to start off telling you about a film director, you might have heard of him, Steven Spielberg. He's used to sitting in dark rooms you could say, by himself, staring at a television screen. So it may not be much of a stretch or a surprise to you to learn that besides being a director, he's also a gamer. His latest production is for the video game world, not the silver screen. He's working with this gaming company called EA, and he's developed a game for the Nintendo Wii called "Boom Blox". The game features a cast of more than 30 characters, including a chicken that lays bomb blocks - I don't even know what that is - and a baseball throwing monkey. The multiplayer game also has an in-game editor that allows players to create their own characters and levels. Spielberg said, I am a gamer myself and I really wanted to create a video game that I could play with my kids. So there you go. It's going to be available in May.
STEWART: I'm sitting here, I think - is EA Electronic Arts? If they are, they're a big deal. I think that's who it is.
MARTIN: All right.
MARTIN: Well, you can imagine that he's with...
STEWART: ..."The Sims." They're for real.
MARTIN: Which is probably why Steven Spielberg said yes and showed up. All right, we have a little bit more Barack Obama news. But it's not really about him. It's about an upcoming Web-only film that's called "Barackula: The Musical." No way. It's kind of just funny to say. It uses...
It uses Obama's speeches to tell the fictional tale of him battling a secret society of vampires at Harvard Law School. The songs in the film play off themes in the senator's life, lyrics such as Chicago community organizing, that's where I belong, I can't be a vampire, that's why I sing this song. I don't think "Spring Awakening" is in any trouble. First-time director Mike Lawson describes the film as quote, "a short political mock horror-rock musical, sort of like 'Thriller' meets 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'" Let's take a listen.
(Soundbite of movie, "Barackula")
Unidentified Man: (Singing) The name's Barack Obama. He's named president of Harvard's Law Review. It should be a time for celebration, but my life's in danger, my association with the secret society is apt to be(ph).
Unidentified Group: (Singing) Won't let me go. Won't let me be.
Unidentified Man: So I'm running. I'm running. I'm running across Harvard's lawn. I'm running.
MARTIN: Hey, kids, let's put on a musical. We need a musical. Everyone has a musical these days.
STEWART: Coming to a Web site near you, "Barackula."
MARTIN: Okay, I'm going to tell you about a very determined turtle. Apparently, there is a leather-back turtle who swam 12,774 miles. Now, this is surprising to me because when I think turtle, I think very little arms, right? Very little, turtle arms, like how does a turtle swim? This is something that maybe we're going to have to investigate.
STEWART: Didn't you - "Aesop's Fables"? "Turtle and the Hare," slow and steady wins the race.
MARTIN: Yeah, I guess. But I thought that was on ground. I didn't even...
STEWART: They can swim, too.
MARTIN: I can't even wrap my head around a - like, does the turtle get tired of doing the front stroke, so it's like on the side stroke? I mean, that's a really - that's a long way. Research biologists tracked this one particular turtle. It took him 647 days to journey from the coast of Papua province in Indonesia to Oregon. The turtle reached Oregon and then headed to Hawaii - as you would if you've just completed such a grueling task - before the battery on the satellite transmitter gave out. So I guess he's still going. He went to Oregon and he's just kept on going to Hawaii.
STEWART: There you go.
MARTIN: Interesting. Our next story has a music accompaniment please.
(Soundbite of song, "Valerie")
Ms. AMY WINEHOUSE (Singer): (Singing) Well, sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water.
MARTIN: She's not coming across the water. Even six Grammy nominations, you can't get Amy Winehouse into the United States. The singer's application for a visa has been denied, so you won't see her on the Grammy red carpet this Sunday. She still may make an appearance via satellite. Her label is said to be working on a deal for her to perform from Britain. As you may know, she has been in rehab for several weeks following a release of a video which allegedly showed her smoking crack cocaine. Now, Amy Winehouse, a really great talent, lady who gets in some trouble, is nominated for six awards, including the top prizes of Best New Artist, Best Record, Song of the Year and Best Album of the Year. So.
STEWART: Do we know why it's been denied - all the crack stuff?
MARTIN: Well, she's been a little bit frisky, shall we say. So, Amy, get better.
MARTIN: You've got a great voice. We wish you well.
MARTIN: That's The Ramble. These stories and more on our Web site, npr.org/bryantpark.
(Soundbite of song, "Valerie")
Ms. WINEHOUSE: (Singing) Hope you find the right man who'll fix it for you. Are you shopping anywhere, change the color of your hair? Are you busy? Did you have to pay that fine that you was dodging all the time? Are you still dizzy? Since I've come on home, well, my body's been a mess and I miss your ginger hair and the way you like to dress. Won't you come on over? Stop making a fool outta me. Why don't you come on over, Valerie. Valerie.