The Download Blog

Star Apps: Gia Coppola

Star Apps: Gia Coppola

With Gia Coppola, the grape doesn't fall far from the vine. Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter, partially raised on the Coppola Family Vineyard in Napa Valley, is also in the other family business: moviemaking. Her directorial debut, "Palo Alto," is based on James Franco's first book, became a film-festival favorite, and opens nationwide on May 16. The movie, starring Franco and Emma Roberts, illuminates the underside of the high school experience -- sex, drugs, recklessness, and a desperate need for approval. I chatted with Gia Coppola about transforming the book to a film, which character she … Read more

Star Apps: Devo's Gerald Casale

Star Apps: Devo's Gerald Casale

Devo co-founder Gerald Casale dates his wine interest to 1978, after the band signed to Warner and moved to Los Angeles, during California's food and wine revolution. There the new-wave band member met and befriended many of the new-wave chefs -- Michael McCarty (Michael's), Bruce Marder (Brentwood Restaurant), Wolfgang Puck (Spago), Piero Selvaggio (Valentino), and Jeremiah Tower (Stars) -- as well as a new breed of sommeliers and winemakers. These soon-to-be culinary superstars often invited Casale to home dinners and encouraged him to try everything.

Devo went on to produce hits like "Freedom of Choice, "Whip … Read more

Star Apps: Todd Rundgren

Star Apps: Todd Rundgren

Seminal blue-eyed soul and prog-rock artist Todd Rundgren is best known for his enduring singles "I Saw the Light," "Hello It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," and "Bang the Drum," as well as his state-of-the-art production on Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, and Hall and Oates albums. Rundgren was also responsible for the first interactive TV concert, color graphics tablet, commercially available music downloads, and direct Internet music-subscription service.

Rundgren credits much of his success to music classes, and today, through his Spirit of Harmony foundation, he works to ensure that … Read more

Star Apps: Soleil Moon Frye

Star Apps: Soleil Moon Frye

"Punky Brewster" made actress Soleil Moon Frye an idol to millions of young children growing up in the 1980s, and now grown-up Frye has become a role model to moms. The mother of three opened the first eco-friendly baby store, The Little Seed, in 2007, then developed a successful kids' clothing line for Target and released children's book "Let's Get This Party Started." She offers mothers inspiration and information on her Moonfrye.com Web site, Facebook, and Twitter. Through Moonfrye, her tech startup, she and veteran tech entrepreneur Kara Nortman have developed the MoonfryeRead more

Star Apps: John Turturro

Star Apps: John Turturro

John Turturro has described his craft as a form of prostitution, since audiences pay actors to role-play as clients do with escorts. Now the actor enters the world's oldest profession in his latest film, "Fading Gigolo." Turturro also produced and directed the witty, well-acted comedy, co-starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber. I chatted with John Turturro about directing his fifth film, how he prepared to play an escort, why capturing intimacy is more challenging than sex scenes, his three-way with Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara, and his favorite apps.

You've … Read more

Star Apps: Tribble Reese

Star Apps: Tribble Reese

Tribble Reese is used to admiration for his pretty-boy face and athletic physique, honed and toned as a college and arena-league football player. The model and athlete was voted Cosmopolitan's most eligible bachelor for South Carolina in 2008 and Jezebel's most beautiful in 2010. Since breaking out in reality TV shows "Sweet Home Alabama" and "The New Atlanta," Reese has returned to football, playing for the Elmshorn Fighting Pirates, a second-division team in Germany. I tossed some questions to Tribble Reese about his move abroad, the reality shows, dating, and mobile software.

How did … Read more

Star Apps: Karmin

Star Apps: Karmin

A little bit of rap, a little bit of R&B, and a lot of rock 'n' roll attitude. These are the genres that platinum-selling duo Karmin is made of. Currently promoting their debut full-length, "Pulses," on tour, Karmin's Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan talked with me about their video (featuring George Takei) going viral, the ups and downs of fame, how they balance work with a relationship, and their favorite apps.

You had George Takei narrate your new video. How did that happen? Nick: We don't really know. He said yes, so we're … Read more

Star Apps: Berlin's Terri Nunn

Star Apps: Berlin's Terri Nunn

Seminal new-wave band Berlin has returned to a more electronic sound on its latest release, "Animal," which the band is currently supporting on tour. Part '80s synthpop, part contemporary EDM, the record should appeal to nostalgia seekers and current club kids alike. The racy title track is as sultry as band classics "Sex (I'm a...)" and "Pleasure Victim." Vocalist Terri Nunn talks about the move back to electronica; the successes and failures of her platinum-selling, Oscar-winning band (for "Take My Breath Away" from "Top Gun"); her sex symbol status … Read more

Star Apps: Semi Precious Weapons

Star Apps: Semi Precious Weapons

It's been four long years since Semi Precious Weapons released "You Love You" (2010), the follow-up to its debut, "We Love You" (2008). The LA-based quartet is best known for supporting artists such as Lady Gaga and Kesha, and now it's back with "Aviation," whose kick-off single, "Aviation High," is in heavy rotation on alternative rock radio. The 12-track disc, produced by Grammy-winning, multiplatinum producer Tricky Stewart (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Frank Ocean) finds the band flying from its rock roots into more R&B and pop territory. Semi Precious … Read more

Star Apps: Linkin Park

Star Apps: Linkin Park

Linkin Park is always looking for innovative ways to deliver visuals to fans, whether through apps, online gaming, or Facebook Kinect video. The musicians -- who are also avid gamers -- met software developers Team Dakota at E3 and learned about Project Spark, a game-maker video game (for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows 8). Linkin Park saw the potential for a unique collaboration, and the result is the first fully interactive, remixable music video within a video game for the band's latest single, "Guilty All the Same."

Now the band is inviting fans to put their … Read more