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David Batka

Zac Efron went to rehab for cocaine addiction

Hollywood heartthrob quietly receives treatment after addiction interferes with work

Zac Efron, former Disney star and current heartthrob, has slowly but surely been breaking out of his “Disney” shell. Zac Efron has been taking on edgier, more adult roles for the past few years, but it seems he’s also made the unfortunate pitfall that most former child-stars do: A trip to rehab.

Zac Efron quietly entered rehab five months ago and completed treatment. Surprisingly, the story did not break at the time of Zac Efron’s treatment, but now that it has, there are conflicting reports as to why he checked himself into rehab. Originally it was reported that Zac Efron had issues with alcohol, but now, it’s being reported that the real reason is much more startling and that Efron had become addicted to “Molly” and cocaine.

Apparently his addiction came to a head during the filming of “Neighbors” with Seth Rogen. Zac Efron’s drug use got so bad that he missed several days of shooting because he never showed up to the set.

“It was common knowledge he was struggling with cocaine,” a source told TMZ.

Zac Efron rose to fame starring in Disney’s “High School Musical” series, followed by a number of high-profile roles alongside Hollywood heavyweights. While the films might not have been box office gold, he has slowly made a name for himself as a sought-after actor with legitimate talent.

Most recently, Zac Efron attended the Toronto International Film Festival to promote his latest film, “Parkland.” Zac Efron told red carpet reporters that he was feeling “good, real good.” Neither Efron, nor his publicist could be reached for comment.

For Zac Efron’s sake, let’s hope first time’s the charm for his rendezvous with rehab. No one wants a fate like Lohan or Corey Monteith’s to befall him.

Day très of Lollapalooza

The final notes of the grandest fest

The Mowgli’s played on the BMI stage, which is the smallest venue at Lollapalooza. With the audience mixed in amongst the tress, their set had an intimate feel. The band out of southern California kicked it off with “Waiting for the Dawn,” fueling the electricity and excitement in the crowd. The eight-piece crew also played their new song “Love is Easy,” which was proceed by a “world record setting” group hug. They closed with their jam “San Francisco,” which reached 13 on Billboard’s alternative chart.

Tegan and Sara, with their powerful harmonies and sound reminiscent of Joan Jett and the Cranberries, drew a crowd nearly as large as any of the weekend headliner. Their tune “I was a Fool” truly showcased their virtuosity as musicians. Though, what really took us off guard with the range of both of their vocals. It was easy to forget that such power was coming out of the two tiny women on stage. Their music and lyrics are proof that they are old souls, channeling emotions that are deep and meaningful.

New York rockers Vampire Weekend helped show everyone what Lolla is really about-listening to amazing music and getting drunk with good people. It’s been a year since the band has set foot in Chicago, and making a return in the beautiful Grant Park, showcasing their new album “Modern Vampires of the City” seems like a brilliant return. Beyond the artists performing on the Perry Stage, there were few other bands that actually got the half intoxicated crowd dancing like Vampire Weekend did.

With the sun setting on the three-day fest, The Cure helped cap off the night with classics like “Just Like Heaven,” “In Between Days” and “Lovesong.”  

So Lolla, we will miss you. The next year seems like a long time to wait, but we know that you’ll have some big performance in store for us. But just to remind you, don’t go cheating on Chicago with another city.

Here are a few bands that we are bummed we missed:

Art Department
The Blisters

Day dos of Lollapalooza

The rock gods have finally smiled and given us sun

With clear weather and a roster that made those who only had single day passes for another day envious, the second round of Lollapalooza in our opinion hosted the finest set of artists.

 The husband and wife duo of Shovels & Rope, helped get the day started with their folky alternative sounds.  With a repertoire including “O’ Be Joyful,” “The Thread” and “Gasoline,” they seemed to be the perfect remedy to help rejuvenate the crowd that was still hanging from the previous days performance.

Planet Hemp, out of Brazil, was a band that we didn’t mean to catch, but are incredibly glad we did. Their rap rock styling makes you want to throw your fist in the air and jump around. Lead singer BNegão’s voice is eerily reminiscent of Zack de la Rocha, which makes on miss Rage Against the Machine. So while there is no more Rage, we are just find with letting Planet Hemp take their place.

There was one artist of the day though that proved no matter how much soul you think you have, he has that and more in his little finger. Charles Bradley, who started his career as a James Brown impersonator, was unlike any other artist of the three-day fest. His stage presence and voice are larger than life. With lyrics drawn from his own struggles in life, Bradley pours himself into every word he sings.

The highlight of the night though was Mumford & Sons. Their high-energetic fueled folk rock, filled the field in front of the Red Bull stage like no band yet.  Their hit “I Will Wait” had every guy and gal in overalls moving.

Artists we’re sad we missed:

Brooke Wagner
The Dunwells
Bad Things
Ralph’s World

Day uno of Lollapalooza

Dreary with a chance of brilliance

In typical Lolla fashion, the kickstarter of the three-day fest was doomed with a downpour, but it didn’t stop ardent music fans in the slightest. Lollapalooza the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell made its debut back in 1991, and now over 20 yeas later is a staple of the libations and inhibitions that go along summer and good ol’ fashion rock n’ roll.

With an eclectic grouping of artists from nearly every genre imaginable, on nine stages, the sonic brilliance that emerged was the best this side of the Mississippi.

The Las Vegas based Imagine Dragons brought their airy and melodic sound to the Lake Shore stage. Their music, inspired through emotional highs and lows, resonated deeply with the crowd. When the first notes of “Radioactive” rang out, nearly every concert go began signing along.

And of course, Queens of the Stone Age, took the Bud Light stage by storm. Always the showmen, their set was flawless. Hearing them play any tune off “Songs for the Death” is a memorable event equivalent to the birth of one’s first child. Throughout the entire performance Joushua Homme didn’t miss a beat and kept the energy levels high.

Closing out the first night of Lollapalooza were Nine Inch Nails, Lana Del Rey and The Killers, with the acts like this it became quite the conundrum for deciding, which one to catch. If you were anything like us, it was a mad dash running between stages to at least catch a bit of each, which was quite a feat given that NIN and The Killers were at opposite ends of Grant Park.

Artists we’re sad we missed:

The Neighbourhood
Twenty One Pilots
Hey Marsellies

Josh Hutcherson's nude photos hit the web

Hunger Games star easily identified by anchor tattoo

Josh Hutcherson, star of mega-franchise “The Hunger Games” has found himself embroiled in a nude photo and video scandal. Josh Hutcherson, 20, signed himself up for an online dating website under the name “Connor” and began sharing explicit photos and videos with women.

Josh Hutcherson, apparently identifiable by the tattoo on his hip (which can clearly be seen in the photos and videos), sent the racy material shortly before “The Hunger Games” made him world-famous. Regardless, one would think that he’d have used common sense and not gotten all porntastic as there was no doubt that “The Hunger Games” was going to be a box office success.

Josh Hutcherson is no stranger to the fallout and backlash of a nude photo scandal. He dated “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens shortly after her infamous and totally illegal nude photo scandal (Hudgens was underage at the time that she sent the photos to then boyfriend and co-star Zac Efron) that left a blemish on Disney’s child-friendly reputation. Hutcherson obviously didn’t learn any lessons from that experience and decided to plow full-speed ahead into his own scandal.

When Hutcherson’s reps were contacted to verify the legitimacy of the photos, reporters were threatened with legal action. The unnamed woman who was on the receiving end up the heartthrob’s lurid images has already released one photo and intends to release the videos (if the price is right, of course).  “Catching Fire” is due to hit theaters in November, and while it’s already guaranteed to be a box office smash, this scandal will no doubt incite a fan-girl frenzy to see the beloved Peeta in such a compromising position.

So far neither Josh Hutcherson nor his reps have released an official statement.

Summerfest: This weekend’s lineup

Old School artists close fest

Summerfest 2012 kicked off June 27 in Milwaukee, marking the 45th year. Summerfest began back in 1968 and has become the world’s largest music fest.

This year’s lineup didn’t take a back seat either, featuring Rascal Flatts, Steve Miller Band, the Foo Fighters, Tran and Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum with Darius Rucker.

While most of the bands that headlined earlier in the week, were relatively young. Summerfest plans on closing this weekend with Big Time Rush and Rachel Crow Friday night, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick Saturday night, and the one and only Neil Diamond Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Check out the list of some of the bands that graced the stages of Summerfest this year.

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Foo Fighters
  • ZZ Top
  • Chicago
  • The Roots
  • David Gray
  • 311
  • Young the Giant
  • The Heartless Bastards
  • The Hives
  • Kool and the Gang
  • Ben Folds Five
  • Paul Oakenfold
  • Thievery Corporation
  • Burton Cummings
  • O.A.R.
  • Phantom
  • Rocker and Slick
  • Fountains of Wayne
  • Darius Rucker
  • Neil Diamond
  • Zac Brown Band
  • The Avett Brothers
  • Steve Miller Band
  • Common
  • Cake
  • Scorpions
  • Lupe Fiasco
  • Head and the Heart
  • Robyn
  • Eric Benet
  • Phil Vassar
  • Joss Stone
  • Awolnation
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Tito Rojas
  • Gavin Degraw
  • Atmosphere
  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
  • Halestorm
  • Fitz & The Tantrums
  • The Joy Formidable
  • Anthony Hamilton
  • Art of Dying
  • B-52s
  • Chevelle
  • Cowboy Mouth
  • Devotchka
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Hanson
  • Hollywood Undead
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Joe Walsh
  • Kellie Pickler
  • Mayer Hawthorne
  • Motion City Soundtrack
  • Squeeze
  • Sublime
  • The BoDeans
  • The Walkmen
  • We Came As Romans
  • Ziggy Marley

Summerfest lineup is locked for 2012- Foo Fighters tonight

Milwaukee’s grandest music festival boosts impressive artists.

The wait is over for Summerfest in Milwaukee, so concert can rejoice with Wisconsin’s largest festival, securing a killer lineup.

However, with the Foo Fighters headlining the Marcus Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m., other musical acts in the same time slot might as well just pack up their equipment and load it all back on to the tour bus.

The Foo Fighters have been hailed as this generations answer to Tom Petty, given their ability to continually pump out hit after hit. The band has garnered an impressive 11 Grammy Awards since its creation back in 1994

Summerfest will host Train and Kelly Clarkson Friday night. Country greats, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker will be Saturday night’s headlining acts. The Beach Boys will also be taking the Marcus stage Sunday for their 50th anniversary tour. Monday night Joe Walsh, former guitarist for The Eagles, will take the Miller Lite Oasis stage Monday at 10:00 p.m.  For all the metal heads and die-hard 80s fans Iron Maiden and Alice Copper will headline Wednesday night at Summerfest.

Other artists performing at this years Summer fest include: the Zac Brown Band, Ziggy Marley, Death Cab for Cutie, O.A.R., AWOLNATION, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Cake, Common, Neil Diamond, Sublime with Rome, Hanson and Bush.

For more information on Summerfest, check out their official site

Thursday night’s full Summerfest Lineup.

Marcus Amphiteater
7:30 p.m. – Foo Fighters with special guest Silversun Pickups

Miller Lite Oasis
Noon – Fatboy Run
2 p.m. – The Heroes
4 p.m. – Rocket Club
6:30 p.m. – Josh Thompson (Country Throwdown Tour)
8 p.m. – Rodney Atkins (Country Throwdown Tour)
10 p.m. – Gary Allan (Country Throwdown Tour)

Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Noon – Common Man
2:30 p.m. – Freddie Lee Band
5 p.m. – Midnight Groove
7:30 p.m. – Christopher’s Project
9:30 p.m. – Eric Benet

Harley-Davidson Roadhouse
Noon – The Form
2:30 p.m. – The Lucas Cates Band
5 p.m. – Leroy Airmaster with Junior Brantley
7:30 p.m. – Ryan Powers
10 p.m. – The Promise Ring

Summerfest Rock Stage
1 p.m. – Lovanova
2:30 p.m. – Maple Road Blues Band
4 p.m. – Charm City Devils
5:30 p.m. – Like A Storm
7 p.m. – Peter Mac and the Fighting Fish
8:30 p.m. – Ryan Shaw
10 p.m. – Gary Clark Jr.

Potawatomi Bingo Casino Stage
Noon – Nora Collins
1 p.m. – Channing Wilson, Carly Pearce, Rose Falcon
2:30 p.m. – Maggie Rose
4 p.m. – Florida Georgia Line
5:30 p.m. – Eric Paslay
7 p.m. – Sunny Sweeny (Country Throwdown Tour)
9 p.m. – Pat McCurdy

JoJo’s Martini Lounge
Noon – Pre-recorded music
4 p.m. – Pinstripe
8 p.m. – Oil Can Harry

BMO Harris Pavilion
1 p.m. – Dr. Woo
2:30 p.m. – Piles of Rhythm
5 p.m. – Johnny Wad
8 p.m. – Robert Francis
9:45 p.m. – Ben Folds Five

U.S. Cellular Connection Stage
12:30 p.m. – TBA
3 p.m. – Sandman Viper Command
4:15 p.m. – Aly Jados
5:30 p.m. – The Balconies
6:45 p.m. – CHAPPO
8 p.m. – The Features
10 p.m. – Sleeper Agent

Uline Sportszone
1 p.m. – Milwaukee Bucks basketball clinic
2 p.m. – YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
4 p.m. – Milwaukee Admirals hockey
5 p.m. – Wheelchair sports
6 p.m. – Milwaukee Wave soccer
7 p.m. – Cops 4 Kidz & Community
8 p.m. – Division BMX Stunt Team

Cascio Interstate Music Groove Stage
1:30 p.m. – Matt Haeffel
3 p.m. – Ian & The Dream
4:30 p.m. – Civil Servant
6 p.m. – Midnight Reruns
7:30 p.m. – Vic and Gab
9 p.m. – Boy Blue

Northwestern Mutual Children’s Theater
Noon – Paul Merklein Draws Great Big Faces
12:45 p.m. – Wayne & Wingnut – Red Hot Chilli Puppets
1:30 p.m. – Laura Ernst – Juggler, Acrobat and Aerialist
2:15 p.m. – MYSO Calypso Steel Drum Band
3:15 p.m. – Matthew Magic Morgan and Liliana
4 p.m. – Marc The Zani
4:45 p.m. – MYSO Calypso Steel Drum Band
5:30 p.m. – Laura Ernst – Juggler, Acrobat and Aerialist
6:30 p.m. – Matthew Magic Morgan and Liliana
7:30 p.m. – Wayne & Wingnut – Red Hot Chilli Puppets

Amber Portwood, "Teen Mom" star, begins her five-year prison sentence

Portwood violated parole

Amber Portwood, the reality show Teen Mom star, began her five-year prison sentence Wednesday when she was transported to Indiana’s Rockville Correctional Facility, reported Us Weekly.

Portwood, during her first two weeks will undergo a “diagnostic and evaluation period,” according to a spokesman from the facility. This process will help determine where Amber Portwood should be placed.

During this time Portwood can receive mail, but she can’t have any visitors until she is fully settled in.

The prison sentence fell on Amber Portwood June 5 when a judge reinstated her sentence due to the teen mom failing a urine test while on parole. 

However, it is unlikely that she will serve the entire five-year term. Inmates at the Rockville Correctional Facility receive one day off their sentence for every day of good behavior. Amber Portwood could also receive an additional 30 days off her time if she completes a drug rehabilitation program.

The reality TV star could have avoided prison time all together though if she didn’t drop out a drug rehab program a month earlier.

Amber Portwood has also stated that she tried to commit suicide by taking more than 30 plus pills of Suboxone over a three-day period.

“You know, I was very depressed, all alone, all bitter at everybody,” Amber Portwood lamented in the interview with ABC News. “I felt like that wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I felt like I’d rather do my time, and get it over with and make the best out of the situation that’s been handed to me.”

Portwood added that she feels the time behind bars will only make her a better person and mother to her daughter.

Amber Portwood was first arrested in 2010 when an episode of Teen Mom shoed her punching, shoving, slapping and chocking her daughters father Shirley.

The two have a three-year-old daughter together, and Shirley has full custody.

Amber Portwood sentenced to five years in prison and attempted suicide

“Teen Mom” star opens up about going behind bars

Amber Portwood, MTV’s Teen Mom star, was sentenced to five years in prison last week by Indiana Circuit Judge David Happe. Portwood pled guilty to felony drug charges.

Amber Portwood was originally brought back into court on May 24 when she failed a urine test, which violated her probation requirements, according to Prosecuting Attorney Rodeny Cummings.

Odds are that Amber Portwood, 22, will only serve two of her five-year sentence, given that inmates are rewarded with one day off their sentence for every day of good behavior. She could also receive another 30-day deduction for completing a drug rehabilitation program.

With her impending prison time, Amber Porter decided to open up about her choices and actions in an ABC News interview. In the interview, Portwood stated that the access to drugs and money only fueled her addiction.

Eventually, Amber Portwood’s demons were too much, and over three days, she consumed 30 plus Suboxone pills- her drug of choice.

In the interview, Amber Portwood lamented, “The depression took over. I’d just take four to five at a time underneath my tongue, and nod out. I had more than addiction problems. I had, you know, mental problems, too.”

The Teen Mom star was offered the option to attend a drug rehab program, but she felt time behind bars would inevitably make her a better person and mother to her three-year-old daughter, whom she doesn’t have legal custody of.

“You know, I was very depressed, all alone, all bitter at everybody,” Amber Portwood added in the interview with ABC News. “I felt like that wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I felt like I’d rather do my time, and get it over with and make the best out of the situation that’s been handed to me.”

Portwood was originally arrested back in 2010 for domestic violence when she attacked Gary Shirley, the father of her child. Shirley currently has custody of their daughter.

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Virgin Mobile iPhone vs. Cricket iPhone

Let the showdown begin

The Virgin Mobile iPhone has quite a few Apple enthusiasts over the moon. The prepaid phone company, owned by Sprint, plans on throwing its hat into the ring for the hottest smart phone, offering the Virgin Mobile iPhone monthly plans much less than AT&T and Verizon.

The announcement of the Virgin Mobile iPhone offering came last Thursday with sales beginning June 29.

The Virgin mobile iPhone plans come in much cheaper any other carrier, but the price of the iPhone isn’t being dropped. Virgin mobile is selling the phone at its full price of $549 for the 8GB iPhone 4 $549 and the 16GB iPhone 4S at $649.

The plans for the Virgin Mobile iPhone too are what really makes switching carriers a real option. Their cheapest plan is $35 per month for 300 minutes with unlimited data and texting. But, for $55 per month, you receive unlimited anytime minutes, texting and 3G data. If you sign up for Auto-Pay, then you’ll receive $5 off your bill each month.

The company does note that once more than 2.5GB of data are consumed in a billing cycle data speeds will be throttled back.

Cricket Wireless has also picked up the iPhone. The Cricket iPhone 4 is only $400 for the 8GB model, and the iPhone 4S, with 16GB, is $500, making the Cricket iPhone $150 cheaper for both units. The company is also offering unlimited data, talk and texting for $55 per month.

While its clear that Cricket is offering the cheaper of the two iPhone plans. It’s important to keep in mind that the Virgin Mobile iPhone will run off of Sprint’s network, which covers most of the U.S.

The Virgin mobile iPhone can be found at Best Buys and Radio Shacks throughout the country on June 29. The Cricket iPhone will be available June 22 at Cricket stores and MyCricket.com.

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