TIME Books

The Descendants Writer Kaui Hart Hemmings: I Could Work With Shailene Woodley for the Rest of My Life

Penguin Young Readers

Kaui Hart Hemmings, bestselling author of The Descendants, will make her first foray into young adult literature this fall

Kaui Hart Hemmings is well known for her bestselling novel The Descendants, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 2011. While George Clooney shined as the lead and narrator, it was Shailene Woodley who rose to fame from her role as Alex, an angst-filled teenager whose performance — including a memorable scene where she cried underwater — earned her a Golden Globe nomination. But Hemmings, who has always loved writing from the teenage perspective, is publishing her next novel Juniors under the young adult genre in September.

TIME talked to Hemmings about her new foray with teen literature, working with Woodley and recent comments about YA from Jonathan Franzen.

TIME: Why did you decide to write YA?

Kaui Hart Hemmings: I wrote a book of stories called House of Thieves and the bulk of it was told from teenagers’ [points of view.] Even now I consider it YA, even though it wasn’t sold that way. I just wanted to get back into that world of the teenage mind — everything is so immediate and there’s so much living in the present. I didn’t sit down and say, “I’m going to write it as a young adult.” I just wrote what felt true.

Did seeing Shailene Woodley’s character in The Descendants inspire you in any way?

It really did. It was so lovely to see on screen, because you can switch it to that character’s point of view. I couldn’t think of an actress who could have done it any better. She wasn’t a star back then, and it’s exciting that that’s where it started.

Could you see her playing the main character in this new book?

I could totally see her playing Lea, especially because Lea has some Hawaiian blood. And Shai is like a Hawaiian to me — she’s like a local. I think a little bit of Hawaii left with her, so I could definitely see her playing this character if she’s not too young. But someone like her who has that ability to act naturally, so you don’t feel like they’re acting at all. I wish Shailene would be in the movie version. I could work with her for the rest of my life — she’s incredible.

What will Juniors be about?

It’s about Lea, a junior in high school who is transferring from her San Francisco school to a huge private school on Oahu. She’s not only moving to a new school or a new place — she’s also moving because her mom got a part in a show sort of similar to Hawaii Five-0. So in addition to moving schools, circumstances have made it so that she and her mother are going to be moving into a college of very wealthy residents. The rest of the book sort of delves into female friendships, and [Lea] trying to find her identity in this new place.

What are some recent YA books you’ve liked that have inspired you?

I loved Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. I loved We Were Liars — that was wonderfully done. I thought Meg Abbot’s The Fever was wonderful.

Do you think adults will also like Juniors?

I think adults will definitely like it, because the children are also seeing the adults — they’re watching their behaviors, they’re trying to figure out ways not to be them and figuring out what life has in store for them. That will be something [adults] recognize — the differences between the friendships they had when they were young and the way friendships are or can be now.

Jonathan Franzen recently made some controversial comments about YA. What do you think of how it’s been looked down upon as a genre?

Jonathan Franzen seems like the grumpiest guy and he doesn’t seem to like much of anything, so I really don’t care what he has to say. It’s useless to criticize things that people love and something that speaks to them. What’s great about teen fiction is that it’s all mixed up — there’s highbrow and lowbrow!

Juniors hits shelves and e-readers September 22, 2015, published under Putnam.

TIME Music

Hear Previews of 2 New Rihanna Songs

Listen to clips of "Higher" and "Dancing in the Dark"

Get More:
Music News

 

What will the first Rihanna album in nearly three years sound like? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. Pop music’s most prolific supplier of club-bangers subverted expectations by going acoustic and teaming up with a Beatle on “FourFiveSeconds,” and now, judging by two new Instagram clips of a song called “Higher,” it seems she’s spent the past few years curled up with some 20th century classics (or at least Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics).

Let’s pour a drink babe,” a raspy-voiced Rihanna sings over swelling strings, “I hope I ain’t calling you too late.” Of course not, Riri — even after all this time, it’s never too late for a house call.

Especially when she’s got more than one album in the works: in addition to her eighth solo record, she also curated the soundtrack to the animated movie Home, which she has a starring role in. Fans already heard one song from the compilation (expected to feature Charli XCX, Kiesza and Jennifer Lopez), “Towards the Sun,” and now they can hear a non-Instagram preview of another track, “Dancing in the Dark,” which sounds much more like the Rihanna we’re used to.

 

#NavyRDie

A video posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

TIME Art

Björk Is Your Tour Guide: An Exclusive TIME Interview for Her MOMA Retrospective

The Icelandic iconoclast tells the stories behind 12 legendary images

New York City’s Museum of Modern Art wasn’t designed to readily accept the life’s work of Björk Guðmundsdóttir—a trait it shares with most of the world. So when curator Klaus Biesenbach set out to exhibit the Icelandic iconoclast’s voluminous portfolio of visual and sound art, he had to modify the building. To accommodate the bass notes in a specially commissioned video for “Black Lake,” a song from Björk’s latest album, Vulnicura, “we had to build a new floor,” Biesenbach says, “to keep our Picassos from falling off the walls.”

The installation at MOMA, on display from March 8 to June 7, spreads over three floors, encompassing the photographs, music videos, costumes and custom-made instruments that have helped make Björk, 49, a singular pop presence since she emerged from Iceland with the Sugarcubes in 1987. Biesenbach pursued the singer for five years before she agreed to the retrospective. “It’s tricky for a musician to be in a visual museum,” she says. “To take someone on a musical journey, like a musician’s development, how you change in 20 years’ time. That’s the experiment.”

Here, Björk weighs in on 12 of the most arresting elements of her visual biography.

  • The Face, 1993 (Photograph by Glen Luchford)

    Glen Luchford

    Glenn Luchford did this photo. He’s amazing with skin. The camera was literally like this big—so you get all these details. I was 27 when this was taken. It’s very much when I moved first to London—I was a bit crazy, a single mom. I moved with my son [Sindri], he was 6 at the time. Found him a school, rented a flat. And I just found that all the people that were exciting me musically were living in London and it was just a mission I really had to go on. I started going to raves a little bit back in Manchester in ’89, hanging out with 808 States and Graham Massey. And then it wasn’t til ’93 that I moved to London, had that white fluffy—I wore this all the time, white mohair, like a bomber jacket. Very rave.

    I had met Dom T, who was a DJ and my boyfriend at the time. He was from Bristol. And I’d met Nellee Hooper, who was the producer of the [Debut] album. I didn’t know at the time that he would end up producing it—it was one of those things. I actually started working with Graham Massey, from Manchester. But then as I got to know Nellee, we slowly just did the whole thing together.

    I never wanted to be world-famous. I’ve always been a music nerd. I really love, and get high on, when there’s a flow in a group, sort of energy. I don’t know what it’s called in English. When a group works really well together. That’s my drug. I don’t know what it’s called. Some energy that happens. When everybody is kind of equal, and opened-up, and the clocks go away, and there’s just a sort of flow.

    I was in bands from when I was 15. I preferred being in a group. But I think what happened to me—the music in the band I was in [The Sugarcubes] wasn’t my taste. I love the people in it—we still text each other all the time. We all run this label in Iceland called Bad Taste, and they’re still like my best mates. But as a music nerd, I just had to follow my heart, and my heart was those beats that were happening in England. And maybe what I’m understanding more and more as I get older, is that music like Kate Bush has really influenced me. Brian Eno. Acid. Electronic beats. Labels like Warp. And if there’s such a thing in pop music as a Music Tree, I see myself on the same branch, you know. And for me it’s almost like you know, I’ve been calling it ‘matriarch electronic music.’ So I think that was the heart I was following.

    I just wanted to meet likeminded music people. And I definitely met those. Like Talvin Singh and Leila Arab—a lot of immigrants. I think basically most of the people I was hanging out with were immigrants. And Talvin Singh is from India, so I was tapping into the whole Bollywood thing. That ended up being two songs on this album, with strings recorded in India. Talman Singh was going to India anyway, and he took two songs on a DAT [Digital Audio Tape recorder] to the film studios there, and they recorded strings on two songs, “Venus As A Boy” and “Come To Me.” And then he came back and just put it on the tracks. So everything was very spontaneous. Just driven by love of music, really.

  • Video for “Human Behavior,” 1993 (Directed by Michel Gondry)

    When [Michel Gondry and I] first met, we did a song that was a little bit about my childhood. It took me 10 years to work it out that we had almost similar moms and really similar childhoods. All the videos we’ve done, they’re always about my childhood, nostalgic in a way. And then when I had to do [videos for] grownup songs, I’d have to go somewhere else. And then I’m always teasing Michel that he has to do a grownup song. We kind of have an ongoing joke about that. I think with people like Matthew Barney and Chris Cunningham, and also maybe Inez and Vinoodh, I had the opportunity to tap into the adult side of me. And also with Nick Knight, I think the work we’ve done has been less childish. I like both.

  • Homogenic, 1997 (Album cover photograph by Nick Knight, costume by Alexander McQueen)

    Nick Knight and Alexander McQueen

    After Homogenic, I would say I pretty much picked all the garments that I wore on my sleeves [album covers]. But in this one, I pretty much walked into a relationship that was between Nick Knight and Alexander McQueen. They had already done a few images that were quite feisty, and were kind of experimenting. In those years, you didn’t really do stuff digitally like that. Nick Knight has been such a pioneer in those things. But I explained to Lee—that’s what we call him in England, Alexander McQueen—that for me Homogenic was an album that had this contrast in it. Because I had just done two albums, Debut and Post, where I traveled the world, and did interviews, and became this representative of Iceland. And it was almost like a cliché, like I was this elf, eskimo from up North, which wasn’t true, you know?

    And I went to Spain and wrote this album. And I tapped into what I felt truly was Icelandic. It wasn’t the cliché. It was more romantic Icelandic strings and the beats on this album are distorted, they sound like volcanoes. That for me is very patriotic. But at the same time, I was saying to Lee, I’m like the most global citizen from Iceland. When I’m in Iceland, I’m like the cosmopolitan, you know. When I’m in New York, I’m like the Icelandic person. So it’s an interesting contrast.

    So my idea was to call the album Homogenic, which was about how I’m from one place, but I wanted this to be from 10 different places. So this is like, Indian, no this is from Africa, this is Mexican, this is Japanese, this is European manicure and then the eyes are kind of robot contact lenses. So for a lot of people this image passed off as a Japanese thing, maybe because of the background, but we were trying to make up a person, a warrior queen, that was from every culture. But I didn’t come up with this. It was Alexander McQueen’s idea.

  • Video still from All Is Full of Love, 1999 (Directed by Chris Cunningham)

    Directed by Chris Cunningham

    This video has a different story than most other things I’ve done. I obviously was a huge fan of [Chris’s] work. And then it wasn’t until I got the right song that I was like, “OK, this is something that’s very Chris, that has that melancholy and that sensual and emotional depth.” I told him that this song is sort of about where love and lust meet. It’s sort of like heaven. It’s quite erotic. But it’s in heaven so everything has to be white. And then I gave him these little statues that I bought—you know these Chinese ivory statues, this small, that are like erotic? I bought quite a few of them and gave them to him.

    And then a week or two later, he sent me a treatment where he included all this work he had done on robots, that happened to be something he’d been doing for years, and he’s like, “I think these two could meet.” It’s almost like a modern version of the little figurines.

    He thought it would take three months, and it just wasn’t ready. So I have to change and put another outfit on, and become the protector. I have to kind of hold off the record companies and become a producer. They spent nine extra months doing this video with hundreds of interns working for free, because we didn’t have any budget. I’m not really a No. 1 artist, you know.

    This took him a long time to finish. I was just like, I trust you. You know when you just know that something really amazing is happening, you just feel it in your stomach? And you just gotta protect it, like a feisty mom. So I just become a feisty mom, and created space for him. And he showed me this and it was next level. Chris just needs his bubble to create.

  • Swan Dress, 2001 (Designed by Marjan Pejowski)

    arrivals at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards
    Mirek Towski—FilmMagic/Getty Images

    TIME: Will the infamous, notorious swan dress be there?

    Björk: The swan dress? Yes. With the eggs. They were almost going to put a red carpet, but then, somebody talked us out of that. It would have been funny, though.

  • Volta, 2007 (Album cover photograph by Nick Knight, costume by Bernard Wilhelm)

    Nick Knight

    I was working with Bernard Wilhelm to make the outfits for the Volta tour, and we were meeting several times. And he showed me this thing. And I was like, “Wow, we gotta make this. That is absolutely ridiculous. It’s like totally slapstick.” What I’m wearing is plastic. He had never made something like that before. He found some people who spray cars [for the paint]. It was quite a journey. I’m so glad we get to exhibit it in MoMA.

    And we were like, “What kind of photographer is good at [shooting something like this]?” Nick Knight is just so good at photographing something that’s that streamlined and make it more powerful. For me it was almost like two covers of Volta, that one is the yang, the male, and [the other one, by Inez and Vinoodh] is more the female—all the crochet, what’s inside, like the intestines of the character.

  • Volta, 2007 (Alternative album cover photograph by Inez and Vinoodh)

    One Little Indian

    The first thing I always know—maybe it’s a musician thing—I always know the colors pretty early. And it’s like solving a murder mystery. I knew it was red, and then electric blue and neon green. The makeup reference funnily enough came from Bernard Wilhelm, because I was working with two people at the same time for this. Sometimes it’s like an overlap, you know? But we were trying to make up this character who is kind of in some invented tribe. And then M/M, the designers, they came up with a fire font for “Volta.” They actually made pipes, and put gas in it, and photographed it, making letters, a fire font.

  • Video still from “Wanderlust,” 2008 (Directed by Encyclopedia Pictura, costume by Icelandic Glove Corp.)

    Directed by Encyclopedia Pictura

    There’s always one song on each album that’s the heart of the album. I was living on a boat at the time, trying to figure out in what country we were gonna live in. And it was really about this nomad feeling, you know. So we talked about nomads and it was Encyclopedia’s idea immediately to go for the Himalayas, and this kind of aesthetic. I felt it would’ve been a bit obvious to do the Icelandic thing because I wanted it to be more universal.

    For the Volta character, I started quite early working on this. I contacted girlfriends of mine, they’re like a collective called Icelandic Glove Corporation. They’re friends of mine in Iceland. I wanted to make this nomadic shaman voodoo Icelandic woman, who was a feminist and kind of pagan. So we made up this character with several outfits where they would just crochet it like mad.

     

  • Biophilia, 2011 (Album cover photograph by Inez and Vinoodh)

    Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

    I’ve got a really amazing relationship with the photographers, Inez and Vinoodh, who I’ve worked with now for like 16 years, 17 years. I actually just came from them now, just seeing the new video they’ve done for me. I’m like, almost in tears. They really made it happen again. They’re so understanding of me. I’m really grateful for their vision. I’m able to mirror myself in them.

    This is actually a really typical thing that happens. I will arrive and say, “I want big orange hair, it has to be like a cloud, this woman has her head in the clouds, almost a piss-take, of this kind of music teacher, kind of trippy. Who takes the kids in her class on this utopian journey through the galaxy, teaching them psychology. So she has to be a bit nuts.” So I kind of asked for a big orange Afro and I brought some dresses that I collected. And then my friends from Three as Four, they’re clothes designers, they live here in New York, friends of mine since 2000. They brought this harp, and I asked if we could bring crystals. I just made up this nutty music teacher who’s trying to unite nature and music.

    M/M, the guys who designed my album cover, were really understanding, too. They came up with this galaxy here, and this logo. And they worked a lot with the photographers. So it’s kind of teamwork. I maybe go out hunting and bring the ingredients and throw them on the table, but then everybody cooks together the meal. I’m not really good—I once tried to photograph myself. But I hated it because it’s so narcissistic. I can’t get my head around it. And like the selfie thing, I’m not from that generation or something. And also there’s something catalyst that happens when you work with amazing photographers and a design team. They just put in the magic and the yeast, and make it all work.

  • Video for “Mutual Core,” 2012 (Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang)

    This is for Mutual Core. This is based on the tectonic plates. Andrew always gets these weird requests from me. I kind of gave him a color palette and asked that it be sort of about the two tectonic plates, and how we are making them work together. And it was all about geology in a way. But I think that’s the reason I contacted Andrew Huang in the first place. Because he did this amazing video, I’m not gonna remember what it’s called now, you have to Google it, it wasn’t for a band or anything. He was working a lot with sand and deserts. So it was totally like, “Wow, we are overlapping here.” I’m so happy because he’s also doing two other videos for me now. He’s done three videos on this album [Vulnicura]. He’s been amazing.

  • Onstage at Bonnaroo, 2013 (Photograph by Danny Clinch)

    Danny Clinch

    This was shot a year and a half ago when I was doing concerts. What [MOMA curator Klaus Biesenbach] was realizing—something that I don’t realize, of course—is that I will have a character for each album. For me it’s almost like a tarot card. Each album character is on the cover. But then there’s always an in-between two characters. So this is like when the Biophilia dress isn’t there anymore—they were all in this copper color or electric blue—and the dress had become white. But it’s still a little bit Biophilia.

    This would [also] be the beginning of Vulnicura. But for me this photo is very much about forgiveness. What’s nice about the spines is that they’re very light, very easy to wear. I quite like how lo-fi it is. But I also like that it connects with something quite spiritual or saintly. And I think every human being has a potential inside them, that if they managed to forgive, it has this saint-like flavor. But I’m not saying I’m good at it, I’m not an expert at all, but I do try. It is definitely something I was tapping into here, definitely in the “Black Lake” song, it’s about the concept of forgiveness. And a lot of saints through the ages, their theme is if you manage to just forgive, it’s liberating. It’s the only way to salvation. And it’s very much between you and yourself at the end of the day.

  • Video still from “Black Lake,” 2015 (Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang)

    Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang

    Andrew Huang, the director, came to Iceland and we were looking for this scene. It’s like the wound is being healed. So we were trying to find cliffs that we shaped like a wound, so I could be inside the wound. Iris Van Helpen is an incredible craft designer. She designed most of the dresses for Biophilia. She did this dress that is metallic, and is kind of like lava.

    People say Biophilia is like —it’s like my sci-fi album. This is my very psychological, in-my-apartment album. I say that tongue in cheek, don’t take that too seriously. It’s funny. So that was sort of the language we were trying to find.

    The video goes through several different landscapes, but the story is kind of, spatially, told in the landscape. It’s kind of tight—this is quite tight. This is not the tightest one. And then it’s a resolution. Well at least we try for some sort of healing and liberation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the lyrics, but the last verse is about healing. And the last shot is sort of like a space shuttle. Kind of like when you see the space rockets, going out like the NASA ones. I like that.

    It’s been one of the longest relationships I’ve had, with Andrew. Because of MoMA, it wasn’t just a three-month, four-month music video process. He came into the picture almost a year ago and we’ve had like a hundred meetings. It it becomes like a bureaucracy thing when you do it with art museums. But this is how it ended up.

TIME beauty

See Kelly Clarkson’s Perfect Response to Body-Shaming Tweets

Kelly Clarkson visits SiriusXM Studio in New York City on March 3, 2015.
Robin Marchant—Getty Images Kelly Clarkson visits SiriusXM Studio in New York City on March 3, 2015.

The singer is keeping a positive outlook

News flash: Kelly Clarkson doesn’t care what you think about her weight.

After the singer showed off a fuller figure during an appearance on Graham Norton Live last month, British personality Katie Hopkins Tweeted several negative comments about her size.

“What happened to Kelly Clarkson?” Hopkins wrote. “Did she eat all of her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen.”

As the Twitterverse began to attack Hopkins, she took aim at Clarkson several more times.

“Look, chubsters,” she Tweeted a few days later. “Kelly Clarkson had a baby a year ago. That is no longer baby weight. That is carrot cake weight. Get over yourselves.”

But Clarkson remains unfazed by what Hopkins – or anyone else, for that matter – thinks about her size.

Asked by Heat magazine about the fat-shaming Tweets, Clarkson was initially puzzled.

“I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about,” she said. “Someone Tweeted something nasty about me?”

When the reporter explained who Hopkins is and what she had written, Clarkson laughed. “That’s because she doesn’t know me,” she said. “I’m awesome! It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will.”

For the uninitiated, Hopkins rose to fame as a villainous contestant on The Apprentice UK, where she drew attention for her acerbic, insulting comments. An outspoken conservative, she parlayed her infamy into a career as a perennial reality contestant and political pundit. (Think Omarosa meets Ann Coulter.)

Despite the critical lashing, Clarkson is keeping a positive outlook.

“I’ve just never cared what people think,” she told Heat magazine. “It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good. That’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family – I don’t seek out any other acceptance.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Music

Hall & Oates Sue Cereal Company Over ‘Oats-Related’ Granola

2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival - Day 7
Douglas Mason—Getty Images (L-R) Daryl Hall and John Oates of Haul and Oates performs during the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 5, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

With a band name like that, what did they expect?

Famed rock duo Hall & Oates is suing a Brooklyn-based cereal company over their cleverly named granola, Haulin’ Oats.

The suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, alleges that the artisanal cereal company Early Bird is trying to capitalize on the rock group’s brand, according to the BBC. The case notes that several companies have tried to tie the “Man Eater” band to “oats-related products.”

The phonetically punny snack is made of maple syrup and oats and touted as a perfect base for a breakfast parfait. It costs $27 for three packets.

But if Early Bird has to retire Haulin’ Oats, we have some other band-inspired suggestions: Damien Rice Krispies, Korn Flakes, Modest Muesli, Apple Jack Whites, Cap’n Crunch and Tenille, Cream (of Wheat), Chuck Berrycrunch or The Almond Brothers.

[BBC]

TIME Television

Watch Adam Sandler and Bob Barker Continue Their Happy Gilmore Fight For Charity

Fight! Fight!

Adam Sandler picked a fight with hospital bed-bound Bob Barker that turned into a rematch of their infamous Happy Gilmore brawl. The two claim to have not spoken in years, but they pick up right where they left off in the 1996 golf comedy, tossing barbs and heckling each other like old frenemies.

But Barker and Sandler didn’t throw down for fun. It was all for a good cause — a fundraiser for autism services. Specifically, Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, which airs March 8 and features a crop of talent that helps the benefit live up to its name including Louis C.K., John Oliver, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman, Steve Buscemi, Steve Carell and many more.

To see how Sandler and Barker’s fight club has matured, here’s the original Happy Gilmore brawl:

Night of Too Many Stars airs Sunday, March 8 at 8/7c on Comedy Central.

TIME Video Games

Rock Band 4 Exists and It’ll Be on PS4 and Xbox One This Year

The massive music game franchise is ready for a comeback tour

Prep your sweatbands, eyeliner and hair extensions: an official sequel to Rock Band will happen this year for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, says longtime series developer Harmonix.

Better still, the studio’s revamped, group-angled rock-a-thon—dubbed Rock Band 4 and due by this fall—will be backward-compatible with pretty much everything from prior installments, including all the songs (over 2,000), plastic faux-guitars, rubber drum kits and keytars you’ve doubtless sequestered away somewhere, you know, for precisely this moment.

The last band-focused Rock Band game happened five years ago in 2010 and sold well enough, but after years of market saturation (remember the deluge of Guitar Hero titles?), the thinking was that maybe folks needed a make-believe musical break. Harmonix released a one-off in the interim, a downloadable rhythm game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 called Rock Band Blitz that eschewed special controllers for catchall gamepad-tapping. But the worry post-2010 was that maybe the phenom had passed.

And who knows, perhaps it has. Harmonix’s challenge, with scads of copies of earlier games and all their accessories still widely available, is convincing players Rock Band 4 is more than just the last band game they played with souped-up visuals and refurbished content. Out front, it sounds like the studio understands that concern.

Speaking to Harmonix’s past work, product manager Daniel Sussman puts it this way: “In retrospect, I think we innovated in a lot of areas that were not necessarily the right ones. We’re really trying very hard this time around to be very creative in ways that will impact everybody in the band.”

Two hitches. First, we have no idea what Sussman’s talking about, because Harmonix is only soft-announcing the new game today and avoiding specifics (probably to fend of copycats for as long as possible). All you’ll hear in the “behind the scenes” video above are a few fuzzy buzzphrases, like “evolution of the way that you play” and “now we’re very indie.”

And second, everything I typed about backward compatibility above? Scratch 2009’s masterful The Beatles: Rock Band, arguably the apotheosis of Rock Band-dom. According to Wired, that musical gold mine’s off the books for licensing reasons, at least for now.

TIME Television

Kate Middleton Will Pay a Visit to Downton Abbey

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke on Trent, England on Feb. 18, 2015.
Samir Hussein—Getty Images Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke on Trent, England on Feb. 18, 2015.

Well, kind of

Downton Abbey has welcomed its share of fictional dignitaries. But next week it will host a most esteemed visitor for real.

Princess Kate will check out the servants’ quarters on March 12 as she pays a visit to the set of the popular series – not Highclere Castle in Hampshire, where the gorgeous exteriors are shot, but at Ealing Studios in west London.

Kate, 33, will watch one take of a scene being shot in the servants’ area, and a second take of the scene as the producers might watch it – via monitors in the “video village.”

Palace sources can’t say yet which actors will be taking part in the scene that Kate, who is around eight months pregnant, will see. But stars including Dame Maggie Smith (Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham), Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham) and Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham) are currently filming the show’s sixth season.

Known to be a fan of the show, Kate, who stepped out Monday in London, will be met by creator Julian Fellowes and shown around the studio. She’ll see workshops and meet everyone from costume makers to markup artists. Later, she will join a reception, where she’ll also chat with cast members, writers and producers.

After suffering severe pregnancy sickness during her first trimester, Kate is enjoying a much healthier springtime third trimester and is set to work well into March.

Her visit to Downton is a part of an action-packed week that will see Kate head to an art gallery in Margate, Kent, and join husband William, 32, and senior royals including Queen Elizabeth at services to commemorate the Commonwealth and mark the sacrifices made during the Afghanistan campaign.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

Read next: Princess Kate Leaves a 2-Year-Old Speechless

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Music

Review: Kelly Clarkson’s Piece By Piece Is a Victory Lap

Kelly Clarkson's 'Piece By Piece'
RCA Records

Clarkson still has some of the best pipes in pop, but she's using them to hit the same note — over and over again

Kelly Clarkson won her fame on the basis of her voice, but she kept it by being a survivor. It’s the subject she returns to most frequently in her music, and it’s the underpinning of her entire career. She survived an American Idol thresher so notoriously brutal to its alumni that one of its winners recently sued the show. She unapologetically torching bridges with mogul Clive Davis and songwriter Ryan Tedder over, respectively, the commercial viability and alleged label mishandling of 2007’s My December and Tedder’s repurposing the backing track of single “Already Gone” for Beyonce’s “Halo.” Throughout, she’s navigated pop-music tides that haven’t always welcomed her big-voiced balladry. Lesser artists might be sunk by any of these setbacks, but it’s a testament to Clarkson’s talent and persistence that she’s still being written about in 2015. And the 2015 music landscape would seem about as good as it gets for Clarkson: longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin has found himself in high demand as a songwriter for P!nk, Katy Perry and other A-listers, while artists like Sia (another Kurstin colleague) have brought her sort of emotive pomp-pop back into vogue. In many ways Piece By Piece, Clarkson’s first full studio album since 2011’s Stronger, couldn’t be coming out at a better time.

Early returns were promising. Lead single “Heartbeat Song” — thanks in part to a hefty lift from Jimmy Eat World’s pop-emo hit “The Middle” — is as poppy as anything Clarkson’s done and, as is her wont, more nuanced than par. It’s not just a crush song but a song about a crush that strikes long after giving up hope on the matter (sample lyric: “I’m so used to feeling numb”), and Clarkson’s delivery is one long breathless jolt of life, like an EKG spike rendered in heart emoji. The single’s one of her best, but sadly, it’s an anomaly on Piece By Piece, which mostly runs the gamut from midtempo ballads to slightly slower ones. Perhaps inevitably, the highlights are the tracks most likely to rankle purists. EDM might not seem like a natural match for Clarkson’s earthier presence – it’s probably telling that apart from club remixes of her singles she’s mostly avoided the genre – but her tiptoes in that direction turn out surprisingly well. “Take You High” begins with orchestral pomp but, come the chorus, dissolves into Purity Ring-esque vocal gurgles, by far the most triumphant moment on the record. No less exuberant is bonus track “Bad Reputation,” like a brassy update of “Miss Independent” with a retro punch; the style has suited her ever since her electrifying Idol performance of “Stuff Like That There,” and it’s surprising she hasn’t done more like it since.

Otherwise, Piece By Piece is near one-note, like an album-length take on her platitudinal coronation song “A Moment Like This.” There’s been a conservative quality to Clarkson’s albums after the My December fallout, and Piece By Piece might be the most uniform yet. Clarkson recently told BBC Radio 1, to a minor Internet furore, that she “felt like she had the plague” after artist after artist turned her down for collabs. Whether that’s true or exaggerated (Clarkson has since backpedaled), it’s hard not to have the quote in mind while listening to Piece By Piece’s filler. What collaborators are there are often surprising. “Heartbeat Song” was co-written with Kara DioGuardi – who also has ambivalent ties to the Idol apparatus and worked on much of Breakaway, though very little this decade – while Antonina Armato and Tim James, best known for producing pre-twerking Miley Cyrus, give John Legend duet “Run Run Run” a lovely touch. Oddly, the most promising collaborations fall flat. Working with Shane McAnally, who with the likes of Brandy Clark and Kacey Musgraves has produced country’s most ambitious work in years, would seem so natural (or, more cynically, like a smart exit strategy), since Texan-born Clarkson’s always been a little bit country, anyway. But “Good Goes the Bye” suffers from a truly embarrassing lyrical conceit. At least that one’s not her fault, unlike “I Have a Dream,” a would-be generational anthem that sets carping about the kids and their “Jezebel ways” to a cod-gospel choir in a juxtaposition that’s ill-advised at best.

The faults of Piece By Piece are less Clarkson’s fault and more that of her repertoire. (It’s perhaps telling that ever since My December, Clarkson’s written less and less on her albums.) She’s in strong voice throughout and no less confessional than ever. One of the album’s strongest moments is when she drops the vague inspiro-platitudes and names names on the title track, a dagger to deadbeat dads everywhere that marks her most pointed lyrics since Stronger’s “You Love Me.” The song’s all the sharper for the dull ballads and toothless screw-y’alls one has to slog through to get to it.

Some critics suggested around Stronger that Clarkson’s music and/or life has to be angsty to produce musical fruit, and that’s not the case. It’s more that for whatever reason, they’ve brought out in her a specificity this album lacks. At its best, Piece By Piece sounds like a victory lap from an artist who’s earned about five. At its worst, it evokes the umpteenth hour of an Idol finale with no victory in sight.

TIME celebrities

Now You Can Spend The Night at Leonardo DiCaprio’s House

Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the British Academy of Film and Arts awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London in this Feb. 16, 2014.
Suzanne Plunkett—ReutersS Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the British Academy of Film and Arts awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London in this Feb. 16, 2014.

But only if you pay $4,500 per night

Now you can spend the night at Leonardo DiCaprio’s house in Palm Springs. But before you start packing your bags, you’d better check your bank account: he’s charging $4,500 per night.

Set on 1.3 acres, DiCaprio’s 7,022-square-foot estate in Palm Springs has 6 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, the LA Times reports. Oh, and there’s also a pool and a tennis court.

DiCaprio bought the property last year for $5.23 million, which might explain the hefty price tag per night (and there’s a two night minimum). But still, for anyone who wants to get a little closer to Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, this might be your chance.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser