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Starck Sounds, Mamet Revival in Peril, Kean-ye? and More Cultural News

<span style=”Verdana;”><strong>Starck speakers on the market: </strong>Attention last-minute holiday shoppers: design star Philippe Starck just came out with an aesthetically pleasing and minimalistic set of wireless iPod speakers. Starck is known for his ability to combine the everyday with his artistic visions, but with a suggested retail price of </span>$1,500, you better hope you’ve been mighty nice.<span style=”Verdana;”> [<a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/prnews/20081217/parrot-and-philippe-starck-partner-to-create-couture-stereo-speakers.htm">IBT</a>]</span>

<span style=”Verdana;”><strong>Piven quits Mamet play: </strong>Jeremy Piven abruptly left the cast of Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet’s acclaimed revival of the play. Piven cited high mercury levels as the reason for his departure, to which Mamet (bitterly?) responded that perhaps Piven should take up a career as a thermometer. The show must go on without the exhausted actor, though a replacement has yet to be named. This is NOT good for the producers, who are likely to have plenty of people angry that they paid $200 only to find that the guy they paid said $200 to see is out. If it were Raul Esparza or Elizabeth Moss (sorry Peggy!), different story. [<a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/124437.html">Playbill</a>]</span>

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<span style=”Verdana;”><strong>Keane + Kanye = Kean-ye?:</strong> Kanye West might be making an even greater departure from his former sound. According to Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley, the rapper recently sang over their track “Perfect Symmetry” during an impromptu recording session in Paris</span><span style=”Verdana;”>, though details are yet to be found. We’re most interested to see if they’re going to mash-up their near-identical names. [<a href="http://uk.news.launch.yahoo.com/dyna/article.html?a=/081217/340/icij4.html&amp;e=l_news_dm">DotMusic</a>]</span>

<strong>MOCA might hawk art to pay the bills:</strong> Following in the footsteps of <a href=”http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/museums/new_yorks_board_of_regents_might_allow_museums_to_sell_straight_from_their_collections_103348.asp&#8221; target=”_blank”>New York State</a>, Los Angeles’ troubled Museum of Contemporary Art might be forced to start selling off pieces from the collection to cover their losses says Jane Nathanson. “I think these are dire times and I certainly have strong feelings about deaccessioning art for any other reason but buying more art…I know those are the guidelines, and they’re the guidelines I have always gone by, but sometimes one has to look at alternate possibilities…” [<a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/museums/architects_go_crazy_over_new_presidio_planning_while_the_moca_considers_selling_art_to_pay_bills_103737.asp" target="_blank">UnBeige</a>]

<span style=”Verdana;”><strong>Rowling book outsells everything: </strong>With 2008 quickly drawing to a close, there’s a million “top-[blank]-of-2008″ lists surfacing. And the winner for fastest-selling book of the year goes to that seemingly haphazard Harry Potter spin-off that J.K. Rowling released just this month. <em>The Tales of Beedle and Bard</em> sold more than 2.6 million copies in just two weeks and is already being considered for a movie deal. [<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE4BG5IL20081217">Reuters</a>]</span>

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