Monday, December 31, 2007

"Led Zeppelin to rock U.S. / Bonnaroo in 2008"


Led Zeppelin will headline a US rock festival next year.

The legendary band are set to perform at Tennessee's Bonnaroo festival in June 2008 after lead singer Robert Plant had a "change of heart" over the decision to follow up their comeback concert at London's O2 arena earlier this month with further dates.

A source said: "They are going to play the Bonnaroo festival, which runs from June 12 to 15. This news will drive their fans absolutely wild.

"They have been bombarding their website to get back together for good but only lead singer Robert Plant wasn't keen to commit. -

"Now he's had a change of heart and if it all goes well they are also talking about touring."

It has been rumoured that 2008 will see the band - which also includes bassist John Paul Jones and guitarist Jimmy Page, with late drummer John Bonham' s son Jason on drums - embark on a world tour that could net them in the region of £1 billion.

The source added to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "All ticket sellers have been told a world tour will take place, there's just some ironing out of contracts to be done. They are already talking about playing venues like Knebworth, Glastonbury and even returning to Madison Square Garden in New York where they played their legendary shows in 1973.

"They were looking to do it in March but now it will most likely be May. With ticket sales combined with merchandising it could make them as much as £1 billion."

"Timbaland / Nelly Furtado to form Rock band"


Nelly Furtado has told in a new interview, that she is planning to form a rock band with producer Timbaland.

The pair have worked before on Furtado's current album Loose, as well as the hit Timbaland single Give It To Me.

Speaking to Billboard, Nelly describes how the duo's next project would be their "version of alternative", before adding: "It wouldn't necessarily be like heavy and guitar-driven. It would be left field, and not necessarily Pop."

On the title of the new band, Furtado says: "We keep arguing over names. I want these really weird, subversive names, and (Timbaland) wants these mysterious, like, Lord of the Rings kind of names. We can't decide."

It's thought the pair won't begin work on this new project until the back end of the Summer, one Nelly Furtado has completed her live schedule.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Happy Birthday Davy Jones"

Happy 62nd Birthday to Mr. Davy Jones - born David Thomas Jones on December 30, 1945.

Davy is best known as one quarter of The Monkees, but I always think of that Brady Bunch episode before anything. Classic... - Ace:)

"Sacha Baron Cohen cast as 60's Activist Abbie Hoffman"

from - by John Harlow

The creator of Ali G and Borat has been persuaded by Steven Spielberg to move from comedy to serious politics by playing a hippie opponent of the Vietnam war.

In The Trial of the Chicago Seven, Sacha Baron Cohen will portray Abbie Hoffman, a figure from the 1960s counterculture who used a series of pranks to campaign against the war. Baron Cohen is expected to be paid about £3m for the film.

Baron Cohen, 36, became famous in Britain for his Ali G persona in the 1990s but won international acclaim with last year's film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. He has now "retired" his Borat character.

The Spielberg film is said to be closer to Munich, the director's exploration of the morality of political assassination, based on the 1972 terrorist attack on the Olympic Games, than to his next Indiana Jones frolic, due in the summer.

The Trial of the Chicago Seven follows protesters who disrupted the 1968 Democrat party convention with an anti-Vietnam-war "carnival" that turned nasty. Demonstrators threw bricks, police responded with tear gas and the centre of Chicago was engulfed in flames. Curfews only escalated the violence.

After the clashes, independent investigators blamed eight police officers and eight protesters including Hoffman, who had already disrupted the New York Stock Exchange with showers of fake money.

The police were not charged but the protesters were accused of inciting a riot. One was jailed for contempt, leaving the seven to fight the charges.

It was, said the late writer Norman Mailer, who testified for the seven, a noisy televised clash between the old order and the burgeoning counterculture.

Hoffman went on to become an irascible celebrity who, later diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, killed himself with pills in 1989.

Baron Cohen will not have to undergo a big transformation to play the part. Hoffman, who was Jewish, attended Berkeley University in California, while Baron Cohen, an urbane Orthodox Jew more than 6ft tall, cut his teeth entertaining friends at Christ's College Cambridge with subversive wit and surreal pranks.

Baron Cohen is already planning a return to the screen in the guise of Bruno, a camp Austrian fashion show presenter with an unpleasant line in Nazi jokes. It is reported he will receive a £7m advance and 15% of box-office receipts for the role, a record for a British comedian.

He is still fighting writs for slander and fraud from several people lampooned in the Borat movie, including the villagers of Glod in Romania where the opening sections of the film were shot.

"2007 : Words of the Year" presents Words of the Year for 2007. For each month, we chose a word or phrase that was prominent or new according to our search logs and research regarding searches elsewhere on the Internet.
January: water intoxication
"Jennifer Strange had taken part in the 'Hold Your Wee for a Wii' game, which promised the winner a Nintendo Wii. Afterwards she reportedly said her head was hurting and went home, where she was later found dead. Initial tests have shown her death is consistent with water intoxication." — BBC News
February: coffee art
"Coffee art: Creative images are made in coffee." — CNN
March: bracketology
"Bracketology — the practice of parsing people, places, and things into discrete one-on-one matchups to determine which of the two is superior or preferable works because it is simple. It is a system that helps us make clearer and cleaner decisions about what is good, better, best in our world. What could be simpler than breaking down a choice into either/or, black or white, this one or that one?" — The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir, excerpt courtesy of Slate
April: nappy
"The controversy over using the book 'Nappy Hair' at a Brooklyn elementary school has had predictably distressing effects. Now a principal at an intermediate school in the same district has decided against using two excellent books in the sixth grade, apparently for fear of parental protests." — The New York Times
May: diatribe
"When Meyer launched into a diatribe, was dragged away by campus cops and subdued with a Taser gun, Jessup, 22, quickly sent the footage to CNN -- because, she says, she wanted national attention and does not like Fox News." — The Washington Post
June: virtual dissection
"Point-and-click versions of scalpels, scissors and even saws allow students to find, remove and examine organs without ever smelling formaldehyde. Hundreds of schools, which are already using software as an alternative to animal dissection will receive the fetal pig module later this month.
"Nearly a dozen states have laws or regulations requiring public schools to offer students such an option. Animal protection groups have lobbied against dissection and many students have decided that dissecting real animals is not for them." — The New York Times"
July: dogfighting
"Michael Vick's lead lawyer left open the possibility of a plea agreement after the suspended NFL star was scheduled for an April 2 jury trial on state dogfighting charges. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge in August and voluntarily reported to jail last week, even though he will not be formally sentenced until Dec. 10." — The Canadian Press
August: itch mite
"Health officials believe the Oakleaf Itch Mite may be responsible for a mysterious outbreak of itchy, red rashes in the Chicago area." — ABC News
September: teratoma
"M.R.I. scans revealed a teratoma in Megan's skull — a noncancerous mass of rapidly dividing cells, the result of natural developmental processes gone awry." — The New York Times
October: fire
"Fire crews watched for flare-ups Wednesday afternoon as high winds and low humidity levels increased the danger of a new blaze in fire-scarred Southern California." — The Mercury News
November: steroids
"A quarter of Blackwater security guards in Iraq use steroids and other 'judgment-altering substances,' according to a lawsuit filed by the families of several Iraqis killed or wounded in a Baghdad shooting in September." — CNN News
December: subprime mortgage
"Andy Weissman, publisher of the weekly Energy Business Watch, said the current focus in Cgress on housing market woes and the subprime mortgage meltdown are understandable, but both parties need to refocus on energy policy." — Fox News

"Getting to know Dita Von Teese : Photos Images Pictures"

So Dita Von Teese's divorce to Marilyn Manson is final... Blah blah blah...

I figured I would post some Dita information along with some random images of her for those who may have wondered to themselves - "Who's that girl"?

Here's some information gathered from

Dita Von Teese (born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972) is a popular American burlesque artist, model and actress.
She is one of the instigators of the burlesque revival and has been a considerable factor in bringing burlesque to mainstream attention. Her fame increased during her relationship with Marilyn Manson, whom she married and subsequently divorced.

Early life

Dita Von Teese was born in Rochester, Michigan. Her mother was a manicurist and her father was a machinist.

Von Teese is well known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for Dita to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Dita developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable, an actress that she frequently cites as her favorite.

She was classically trained as a ballet dancer from an early age, and danced solo at age thirteen for a local ballet company. Though she originally wanted to be a ballerina, Von Teese states that "By 15 I was as good as I'd ever be". She was later to incorporate this element into her burlesque shows, where she frequently goes en pointe.

At age twelve she moved from Michigan to Orange County, California with her parents and her two sisters. Von Teese attended University High School in Irvine.

As a teenager, Von Teese's mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and gave her a plastic egg containing a pair of wrinkly, flesh-coloured tights. Von Teese says she was disappointed as she had been hoping to receive beautiful lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in her father's Playboy magazines. This fueled her passion for lingerie. She worked in a lingerie store as a salesgirl when she was fifteen, and eventually as a buyer. Some people believe that this is the store where she purchased her first corset, however Dita states in her book that she purchased her first corset in a sex shop. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and stockings since.

In college Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for period films. She is a trained costume designer.


Von Teese began her career in a local strip club when she was nineteen. Disappointed with the lack of originality in all the other strippers' acts, Von Teese created a vintage-inspired outfit, with beehive hairstyle and elbow-length gloves, piquing the interest of the clientele.

Fetish and glamour modeling

It was during this time at the strip club that she began some glamour modeling, before she eventually became a fetish model. Her retro pin-up look, frequently emulating Bettie Page in photo shoots, set her apart from most other fetish models.

Her official website, often referred to as one of the first model sites on the internet, was created in 1992. Von Teese has maintained meticulous care to own the copyright to the majority of her images, very aware of what became of models, such as Bettie Page, who did not.

Von Teese achieved some level of recognition in the fetish world as a tightlacer. Through the wearing of a corset for many years, she had reduced her natural waistline to 22 inches, and can be laced down as far as 16 and a half inches. A diminutive person already, Von Teese stands at only 5'3" and weighs 105 pounds.

Von Teese appeared on a number of fetish magazine covers, including Bizarre and Marquis . It was around this time when she appeared, bound and partially suspended, on the cover of Midori's book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage.

Von Teese was featured in Playboy magazine in 1999, 2001 and 2002. It was her Playboy cover in December of 2002 that gave her her last name. Originally known simply as "Dita", a tribute to silent film actress Dita Parlo, Playboy insisted she use a last name. She picked "Von Treese" out of the phonebook, but it was misspelled "Von Teese". Dita, preferring the typo, adopted it as her name. Dita says that it is her appearances in Playboy that finally won her father's respect for her profession.

The German metal band Atrocity revealed that the cover model for their new album, Werk 80 II, will be Dita Von Teese. The album is due in 2008.


It is Von Teese's burlesque routines that she is best known for, and is frequently dubbed "the Queen of Burlesque" in the press. Von Teese began performing burlesque in 1993 and, as a proponent of New Burlesque, has helped to popularize its revival. In her own words, she "puts the tease back into striptease" with long, elaborate dance shows with props and characters, often inspired by 1930s and 1940s musicals and films. Some of her more famous dances include numbers involving a carousel horse, a giant powder compact, a filigree heart and a clawfoot bathtub with a working shower head. Her feather fan dance, inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand, features feather fans that are the largest in the world and are now on display in Hollywood's Museum Of Sex. Her signature show features a giant martini glass.

Her burlesque career has included some memorable performances, including once performing at a benefit for the New York Academy of Art wearing nothing but $5 million worth of diamonds. Additionally, Von Teese became the first ever guest star to perform at the Parisian Crazy Horse cabaret club in the show's history when she appeared there in October, 2006.

Cameron Diaz performed a tribute to Von Teese's martini glass routine in the film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Von Teese's name appears in the credits, listed under "Special Thanks". It is rumoured that this was only added after Dita threatened to sue the film makers for stealing her idea.

Von Teese's first book, which consisted of her opinions on the history of burlesque and fetish, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese, was published in 2006 by HarperCollins. Vanity Fair called her "a Burlesque Superheroine."


Von Teese is also an occasional actress. In her early years she appeared in fetish-related movies, such as Romancing Sara, Matter of Trust, in which she is billed as Heather Sweet, and also in two films by Andrew Blake: Pin Ups 2 and Decadence.

In recent years she has appeared in more mainstream features, such as the 2005 short film, The Death of Salvador Dali, written by Delaney Bishop, which won best screenplay and best cinematography at recent festivals, including SXSW, Raindance Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival, and Best Actress for Von Teese at Beverly Hills Film Festival. She is due to appear in the upcoming feature films Saint Francis and The Boom Boom Room, both expected in 2007.

In addition to this, she has appeared in a number of music videos, including the video for the Green Day song "Redundant", the video for Zip Gun Bop by swing band, Royal Crown Revue, Agent Provocateur's video for their cover of She's Lost Control, and performed her Martini Glass burlesque routine in the video for "mOBSCENE" by Marilyn Manson.

However, Von Teese has said that acting is not at the top of her agenda and she would only take roles that she feels are right for her, stating, "I don't understand why women feel the need to go into acting as soon as they become famous...But I suppose if the part were aesthetically correct, then maybe I could consider it."

Fashion and modeling

In recent years, the fashion world has come to accept Von Teese and her retro look, and she has appeared on a number of best-dressed lists. Von Teese frequents the front row of fashion shows, particularly Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs, labels she is often seen wearing.

She has also done various catwalk work. During Los Angeles Fashion Week, Spring 2004, she modeled for former-club kid Richie Rich's fashion label, Heatherette. In 2005 she appeared in the Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear show for Giambattista Valli, a former designer for Ungaro, in Paris. In the 2006 Milan Fashion Week, Von Teese was on the runway, opening for the Moschino diffusion label, Moschino Cheap & Chic, autumn/winter 2006/7 show. In 2007, she appeared twice in the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture show during the Paris Fashion Week. Additionally, she has starred in several ad campaigns. She appeared in Vivienne Westwood's spring/summer 2005 collection adverts and became the face of Australian clothing range Wheels and Dollbaby for their 2006/7 Spring/Summer advertising campaign. Currently, she is a spokesmodel for MAC Cosmetics. Von Teese has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, and international issues of nearly every fashion magazine.

In spite of this, Von Teese states that she never uses a stylist. "The one time I hired a stylist, they picked up a pair of my 1940s shoes and said, "These would look really cute with jeans." I immediately said, 'You're out of here.'" She does her own make-up, and dyes her naturally blonde hair black at home.

She has also campaigned on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and appeared in their ads.

Personal life

Von Teese currently resides in Hollywood. She is a collector of vintage china, particularly eggcups and tea sets, and she drives a 1939 Chrysler New Yorker and a 1965 Jaguar S-type.

Von Teese frequently mentions that her best friend is fellow burlesque performer, Catherine D'lish, who designs all of Von Teese's burlesque costumes.

Prior to her marriage, Von Teese had been romantically linked to vocalist/guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion and to actor Peter Sarsgaard. She has also admitted to having several lesbian experiences including a long-term relationship with a woman when she was 20.

Relationship with Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson had been a long time fan, and was a member of her website. They first met when he asked her to dance in one of his music videos. Though she was unable to, the two kept in contact. On Manson's 32nd birthday, in 2001, she arrived with a bottle of absinthe, and they became a couple. Manson proposed on March 22, 2004 and gave her a 1930s, 7-carat, European round-cut diamond engagement ring.

On November 28, 2005, they were married in a private, non-denominational ceremony in their home. A larger ceremony was held on December 3 at Gurteen Castle in Kilsheelan (County Tipperary), Ireland, the home of their friend, Gottfried Helnwein. The wedding was officiated by surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky. They reportedly exchanged vows in front of approximately 60 guests, including burlesque sensation Catherine D'lish, Lisa Marie Presley, Eric Szmanda, Jessicka (Ex-Jack Off Jill) of [Scarling] and Christian Hejnal also of Scarling. She wore a royal purple silk taffeta gown, made by Vivienne Westwood plus a tri-corned hat designed by Stephen Jones and matching Mr. Pearl corset. Moschino designed an additional wardrobe for the rest of the weekend, exclusively for Von Teese. The reception music was provided by the retro German band "Palast Orchester mit Max Raabe". Guests were invited to participate in skeet shooting, archery and falconry in the days following the wedding. The wedding pictures appeared in the March 2006 edition of Vogue under the heading "The Bride Wore Purple".

The couple lived in Laurel Canyon with their four Devon Rex cats, Lily, Aleister, Edgar and Hermann, and two dachshunds, Greta and Eva.

On December 29, 2006 Von Teese filed for divorce from Manson citing "irreconcilable differences." Von Teese left their house empty-handed on Christmas Eve, and was not able to get in touch with Manson to inform him of her intentions of divorce. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Von Teese says "I wasn't supportive of his partying or his relationship with another girl. As much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that". The 'other girl' is believed to be 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood, with whom Manson has continued his relationship after his divorce from Von Teese, despite scathing comments from critics. Von Teese also stated that she gave Manson an ultimatum, but says "it didn't work. Instead, it made me the enemy." Von Teese is not seeking spousal support and seems to have no interest in his assets. The news broke for the public and for Manson on his birthday on January 5, 2007, when he was served the divorce papers.

"I think it's unfortunate that he's had to exploit our divorce for the sake of record sales, but you do what you gotta do, I suppose," muses Dita. "I think most people at this point understand what happened and what they're dealing with when he's doing interviews drunk and offering journalists drugs. It kind of tells you what I might have been up against. I'm just trying to put it past me, I'm happy to be a single girl and have that drama out of my life."

Be sure to visit Dita's official site at Dita.Net - Ace:)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"FBI to use digital billboards to catch crooks"

The FBI is planning to use digital billboards in 20 major cities to display each area's most-wanted fugitives, missing people, and high-priority security messages.

The nation's top cop is launching the project through a partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor, an advertising company that's providing the space as a public service, according to an FBI statement released Wednesday. The initiative follows a successful test of a billboard in Philadelphia.

The billboards, which will be placed near high-traffic areas, would enable the bureau to highlight the people it's looking for the most in a given area, whether they're violent criminals, kidnap victims, missing children, or terrorists. Pictures of victims or suspected criminals could be posted shortly after a crime is committed or a child is taken.

The FBI launched the Philadelphia test Sept. 13, displaying "crystal-clear images" of 11 of the city's most violent fugitives on eight billboards and a 24-hour hotline for people to call. In October, two fugitives were captured as a direct result of the publicity.

The billboards later helped catch a suspect in the Oct. 31 killing of Philadelphia police officer Charles Cassidy, who was slain during an armed robbery. The suspect was captured in Florida.

Clear Channel has agreed to provide the FBI with 150 billboards that will be placed in 20 cities: Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio; Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; El Paso, Texas; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Newark, N.J.; Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla.; Philadelphia; and Wichita, Kan.

The FBI, which often uses information technology in law enforcement, said the billboards would be "coming soon" to the metropolitan areas, but did not give specific dates.

"Paul McCartney to duet with Ozzy at Brit Awards"

from - by C. Taylor

Sir Paul McCartney is set to team up with a strange choice of singing partner the 2008 Brit Awards – he's to duet with Ozzy Osbourne.

The former Beatle is to receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music award, and plans are being finalised for him to give the show a fitting conclusion by performing Bond theme classic 'Live And Let Die' with the ex-Black Sabbath frontman.

Why Macca needs someone to duet with on the song, and why that someone would be Ozzy, is beyond us – but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's all Sharon Osbourne's idea.

She tells The Sun, "They go together really well. It will be amazing."

Ozzy is a self-confessed McCartney fanatic though, after voting 'Memory Almost Full' his album of 2007.

"McCartney's a genius. The Beatles were the greatest band ever," he says.

Reports Macca will dedicate 'Live And Let Die' to Heather Mills are as yet unconfirmed...

"Music business ends year on another weak note"

from Reuters via Yahoo - by Ed Christman

Just when it seemed erosion of music sales during the holiday season couldn't get worse, December snowstorms compounded the retail industry's misery.

Album sales for 2007 are now down 15.3% for the year, compared with 2006. But for the four weeks beginning with Thanksgiving week and ending December 26, U.S. album sales were down 20% to 84.2 million units from 105.3 million a year ago, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The last week before Christmas didn't help matters much, with sales totaling 25.6 million vs. 31.3 million units in the same period last year.

The season got off on the wrong foot when Thanksgiving sales failed to ignite due to a lack of new hit titles, with retailers reporting anywhere from 5% to 15% comparable-store declines. And then Mother Nature blew in.

"It just makes things worse in one of those already bad holiday selling seasons," says Rob Perkins, president of Marietta, Ga., chain Value Music.

Snowstorms are to be expected at this time of the year, but a December 5 shooting in an Omaha mall "led everybody into a malaise for about a week," says Mike Fratt, who heads up the six-unit, Omaha, Neb.-based Homers chain.

In Brighton, Mass., Newbury Comics CEO Mike Dreese says sales were down 80% on December 16 -- a decline he attributes to snow and a New England Patriots game keeping people home.

Beyond the weather, a lack of big hits is grated on retailers' nerves. "I was astounded: There was no CD to give as a gift," Dreese says. "I have never seen that before."

The formula for holiday selling success is a plethora of obvious hit titles and a couple of surprise hits, and this year retailers have had few of the former to rely on. But at least one title has far exceeded expectations: Since its October 9 release, Josh Groban's Christmas album "Noel" has sold 3.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan; it is now the top-selling album of the year.

Indie retail chains are also citing Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand" and Mindy Smith's "My Holiday" as strong sellers. And Fratt reports that Homers has sold "a ridiculous amount" of the Eagles' "Long Road out of Eden" and the Tom Petty "Runnin' Down a Dream" DVD, which, respectively, are exclusives at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Eric Levin, who owns the Criminal Records indie store in Atlanta, says this year's dearth of hit titles inspired the chain to move its usual January sale on its top 100 titles up to December 1. That change, he says, has helped the chain increase sales by 8% so far in December.

One bright spot across the board, retailers and wholesalers say, has been online physical sales. Dreese says December will be Newbury Comics' first $1 million month for its Web store.

DVD sales, meanwhile, were flat, though retailers had expected them to be up slightly. And while videogames had a decent December, merchants say, sales could have been better if enough Wii game systems or "Guitar Hero" games had been available.

But for music, retailers say, the message is clear. "Unless we get some innovation put into physical music," Value Music's Perkins says, "we will see a continuing of this bad sales trend."

Indeed, senior executives at two of the major labels say they are forecasting a similar drop in CD sales for 2008. The decline could be accelerated by a continued reduction of shelf space devoted to music. Retail executives say they are unsure how poor sales will affect such matters in 2008, but 2007 saw a number of chains reduce music space to expand other product lines.


"Amy Winehouse ranks #1 on the AP's Top Albums of 2007 list"

And I couldn't agree more! Check out the top 10 below. - Ace:)

01. "Back to Black" - Amy Winehouse
02. "The Bird and the Bee" -
The Bird and the Bee
03. "Finding Forever" -
04. "Once" -
05. "Graduation" -
Kanye West
06. "Double Up" -
R. Kelly
07. "As I Am" -
Alicia Keys
08. "Alright, Still" -
Lily Allen
09. "Good Girl Gone Bad" -
10. "Kala" -

* info from The Associated Press

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Vinyl gets new spin as jewelry"

from by Erin Kobayashi

TORONTO, Canada -- James DesRochers, a self-taught clothing designer and DJ based in Toronto, wanted to merge his passion for fashion and music.

He looked to his extensive record collection for inspiration, deciding that he wanted people to wear actual music as jewelry.

DesRochers began cutting precise, detailed shapes such as horses, pirate ships and skulls out of old and damaged records. His jewelry line, Vling, a combination of the words vinyl and bling, was born.

About two inches in size, the statement necklaces and earrings are large so DesRochers can create intricate details on the brittle vinyl. But the designer also wants people to look closely at the texture of each piece.

"The reason I have that size is because it is easier to see the grooves of the record. I want the wearer to know and see that it is music," he says, though some record collectors are unhappy with him.

"I will get nasty emails from record collectors who think I am destroying vinyl but nothing I use is listenable. All of the records I use for the jewelry are defective, damaged or scratched," he says. DesRochers should know. As a DJ he owns more than 800 records and would simply add a valuable find to his own collection. "Record collecting has a rabid fan base; collectors are not easy to please," he says.

Vling is similar to the whimsical and silhouette-inspired designs of Alex & Chloe and Tatty Devine that have become popular over the years. However, instead of making jewelry out of acrylic and Plexiglas, DesRochers is able to keep costs low by recycling damaged vinyl that would end up in landfills. At $14.99 for most pieces, Vling is also significantly less expensive than the other jewelry lines.

Vling is also entirely made in Canada at DesRochers' Toronto studio. The only material that is not from the GTA is the coloured vinyl from a pressing plant in San Francisco that he uses for limited-edition pieces. He also comes out with new designs every three or four weeks, including a set of three recycled vinyl snowflake ornaments for $19.99.

Available at

"Rosie O'Donnell named Parade Magazine's most annoying celebrity of 2007"

A recent online poll asked readers to weigh in on the biggest pop culture stories and personalities of the year and the votes have been counted.

Nearly 2,000 people responded to Parade magazine's questions and when it was all over, Rosie O'Donnell was voted the "most annoying celebrity?" by 44 percent of readers. What it is about O'Donnell is unclear, but she found herself at the center of several controversies in 2007.
Here are some 'most annoying' poll stats from
Rosie O'Donnell -- 44%
Paris Hilton -- 24%
Ann Coulter -- 16%
Heather Mills McCartney -- 12%
Perez Hilton -- 4%

"Girl gets bizarre note instead of iPod from Wal-Mart"

A little girl thought she was getting an iPod for Christmas but ended up getting a rude surprise. She got the box but when she opened it up, she found a surprising switch: the iPod had been replaced with a bizarre note.

The note reads in part "Reclaim your mind from the media shackles."

Jay Ellis, the girls father, returned the ipod to the Germantown, Md. Wal-Mart store where he purchased it. The store manger told him that another customer returned an iPod with a similar issue.

MyFoxDC attempted to reach Apple for a comment, but got no response.


"For the record - Vinyl discs are making a comeback"

from - by Ron Cassie
Frederick, Maryland - Sunday night, two days before Christmas, two teenagers working checkout at the Best Buy on Buckeystown Pike suddenly find themselves ringing up something they can still manage to get excited about.

It's a-thought-to-be obsolete invention from the late 1800s called a record player.

"These are awesome, you can plug the USB cable right into your computer and make your own CDs," the young man said to his female colleague, examining the box for a better look. "I'm definitely going to buy one after Christmas."

Before actually completing the customer's purchase, he punched in several keys on the store computer, "Look at what it is with our store discount!"

Less than $100.

"Oh my God," the young woman said. "My parents have all these great Black Sabbath albums I can listen to now."

Vinyl is making a comeback.

According to a National Public Radio report earlier this year, in the midst of flagging compact disc revenues, long-playing, vinyl record sales spiked 10 percent last year.

In October, launched a vinyl-only section, stocking it with an ever-expanding number of titles, including releases from Eric Clapton and Neil Young, to the original U2 recording of The Joshua Tree remastered, to Nine Inch Nails, to the soundtrack of the Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There, which, of course, is both an old and new subject itself. even offers several turntable options online and an online forum for questions about vinyl "technology."

Part of the credit for the resurgent goes to the merging of old technology with new technology, highlighted in the story above. Turntables are now available at local stores like Best Buy and Record Tape Traders with USB cables enabling listeners to record their LPs onto their computer. Once there, they can be easily converted into CD or MP3 files.

"Buying CDs is fading out, to tell the truth," said Chris Wolfe, a bass player and guitarist with the local band Ecstasy the Flower, as he fingered through some used LPs at Record and Tape Traders.

Wolfe, 22, has worked at the West Patrick Street store for two years. He says for most young people the compact disc format began waning years ago because it's easier to go to the Internet and download music for free -- or select singles for individual purchase.

The funny part is that many are bypassing CDs for relatively cheap, LP, "hidden treasures" -- as Frederick sound restoration and preservation expert Steve Smolian, put it.

The quality of the vinyl recording sound, it appears, is being discovered for the first time by younger audiences. So is the experience of listening to one album side, then another -- an idea also previously thought obsolete for a generation generally derided for its short-attention span.

"We do sell turntables and the USB cables are definitely making a difference -- we're sold out right now," Nick Salisbury, a manager at Record and Tape Traders said. "Some of the interest is collectible LPs, but companies are still making them, too. The new turntables have made it easier to move from format to format."

The Beatles, Rolling Stones, classic rock, Coltrane, Jazz, Motown, punk, and New Wave naturally remain popular in the used market at places like Joe's Record Paradise in Rockville. What's more interesting is that emerging artists like Washington-based Georgie James are imprinting their debut albums on vinyl first and then offering a code inside so their music can be downloaded from their website for free.

Salisbury said Record and Tape Traders does a healthy business in new LPs, which major companies still issue, and used LPs. Like many customers, he prefers the "slightly rough" sound of vinyl.

It's a quality, a "texture," that Smolian, 73, appreciates as well -- though he notes that popping and clicking on worn and damaged records can be a concern.

"A lot of LPs have 'a broader' sound, not left to right, but a 'richer' sound," Smolian said. "A great part of it has to do with the equipment. It's 'hum' is in there -- that's part of the charm."

Smolian added that's there software available to "clean up" scratched or damaged LPs for digital recording. Along with the sound quality of LPs, Smolian said he enjoys the larger round albums for other aesthetic reasons.

"I like the size of it, you pick up the album jacket and there is some 'art' to it that's been lost," Smolian said. "The CD is impersonal by comparison, It may look great to a cat, but to me, it looks micro. They don't have a fold-out, a pop-out box, there's a means of artistic expression that's been lost."

Finally, Smolian said, while the CD may hold more space, bands often lack the songs to pull off the longer format. More -- or newer -- doesn't always translate to better.

"They have to dredge up less than wonderful material, 39 minutes maybe on an LP versus 79 on a CD -- I think that's pretty clear."

Matt Jaro, a record collector from Damascus and the treasurer of the Baltimore Vintage Record Club, also said "pops and ticks" can be an issue on older LPs. At the same time, the 62-year old said, the "the sound can be really cool."

"Some people say that that sound's richer because they have everyone playing together and they microphone on each instrument and the whole thing is mixed together right there by the engineer," Jaro said. "Now they hang one microphone in the hall and somebone's singing who is not even in the same room.

"It doesn't have the same presence."

Wolfe, who said that he grew up on Motown and Classic Rock, thinks the USB cable equipped turntables will make older music "more accessible for younger people." He never apparently had to be converted, recalling the first record he ever heard was his dad's copy of Pink Floyd's, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn."

"I don't listen to music any other way when I'm at home," said Wolfe, who has a 4,000 vinyl album collection. "Everybody's into vinyl these days, it's been revitalized.

"It's more of a warm sound, not digital, not overproduced, and you don't feel like you want to skip to the next track," Wolfe continued. "Just pure analog. You hear it, how it was played, even if there are defects or mistakes, it's a real sound."

"UK : illegal film and TV downloaders could lose their links to the web"

from - by Sam Coates

Internet users who download pirate films or television series could soon see their service suspended as political pressure grows on broadband service providers to stop illegal downloads.

The Government has given notice of its concern at the "huge cumulative effect" of illegal downloads and called on internet service providers (ISPs) to examine ways to reverse the trend.

MPs are also calling for the use of camcorders in cinemas to be made a criminal rather than a civil offence, as nine out of ten pirate films first appear in the market as a camcorded copy.

ISPs are to be brought to negotiations in the new year over plans by film companies to suspend the service of those who break the law.

The UK Film Council estimates that film piracy cost the industry more than £800 million in 2005. Shrek 2 and Star Wars: the Revenge of the Sithwere both available through file-sharing networks before their cinematic release. Several of this year's Oscar contenders, including Atonement, The Kite Runner and I Am Legend, have also appeared illegally online.

The first episode of the revived Doctor Who was downloaded by tens of thousands of fans from file-sharing websites before it was shown on television, according to a report by MPs.

Until now, broadband companies have been deeply reluctant to step in, arguing that it is impractical to monitor the activities of users and would infringe privacy. "ISPs are no more able to inspect and filter every single packet passing across their network than the Post Office is able to open every envelope," insists ISPA, the industry association.

However, this argument has been undermined by developments in France, where an industry initiative backed by President Sarkozy could result in internet subscribers who download music, films and other content without paying for them being banned from having access to the web.

Denis Olivennes, the chairman of Fnac, the DVD retailer, who conducted a review for the French Government, called for a "three-strikes-and-you're-out" policy for individuals found guilty of internet piracy. He argued that ISPs are culpable because they encourage subscribers to take advantage of the amount of free material on the web.

In Britain, pressure is growing on ISPs from a powerful cross-party committee of MPs on the Culture Select Committee, who argue that ISPs have accepted in principle that access to unlicensed material should be restricted. In a report on the creative industries, MPs said: "It may be impractical for such businesses to be made legally liable for providing access to certain material, but we believe strongly that the industry should do more to discourage piracy."

The Government welcomed the MPs' report and called on ISPs and film companies to work together.

Some broadband companies have indicated that they are willing to enter negotiations. A spokesman for Virgin Media said: "As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media would always openly negotiate with any interested party or governing body such as Ofcom." He added that a precedent for monitoring users had already been set.

A spokesman for BT said as copyright infringement is a civil, not a criminal, offenceit is "a matter for the rights holders and not for the ISPs".

"Religious community gets rid of 666 phone prefix"

REEVES, La. (AP) —  After decades of living with what Mayor Scott Walker calls a stigma, residents of this southwest Louisiana village are getting a new telephone exchange, one without the biblical connotations attached to their current 666.

Beginning this month, residents and businesses can change the first three digits of their phone numbers from 666 to 749. Walker said he's made the change on his phone; it's set to be official for City Hall Jan. 2, and Walker said he'd had "20" people contact him Friday morning — before 10 a.m. — about changing, as well.

"This boils down to, this is a very, very religious community," Walker said.

There are three churches in town, two Bible and one Baptist, and fewer than 450 homes, he said. In the Bible, 666 is depicted as the mark of the beast, and those taking the mark would be associating themselves with Satan, he said.

"It's been a 40-year battle" to change the number, he said, counting at least four failed attempts.

This year, after a resident contacted the mayor with questions about the prefix, Walker said he polled residents and found overwhelming support for a change. He worked with the phone company, CenturyTel, and the state Public Service Commission among others to make the change. He said he began publicizing the option Sunday, addressing first the local churches and then reaching out to local media.

"It's been a black eye for our town, a stigma," he said. "I don't think it's anything bad on us, just an image."

Walker said one of the biggest hangups he's had, both as mayor and as a lifelong resident of Reeves, is the reaction he's gotten when giving people his number. He describes it as a pause, followed by the admonition: "Y'all have to change that."

"That's what we're trying to get rid of," he said. "This is a good town. ... We're good Christian people."

"Child's Wal-Mart MP3 Player loaded with filth"

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A father gave his 10-year-old daughter a Christmas present that would make Santa blush.

Now Daryl Hill wants to know why an MP3 video player he bought at a Wal-Mart in Sparta was preloaded with p_rn_graphy and expl!c!t songs.

Hill bought three of the players as Christmas presents for his children. He said one of the devices had apparently been returned to the store from a previous owner who loaded $ex clips and songs with lyrics about using drugs.

"Within 10 minutes, my daughter was crying," Hill said Thursday. "I wish I could take the thoughts and images out of her head."

Hill questioned why Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would sell used merchandise as new, which he said violates its own policies.

A company spokesman said in an e-mail to WSMV-TV of Nashville that stores are not supposed to return opened packages to the sales floor and that the matter was under investigation.

Hill said he declined Wal-Mart's offer to replace the MP3 player. He said he has already bought his daughter a new one and is hanging onto the controversial one until he talks to a lawyer.

"New Jersey Bans Sex Offenders From Using Internet"

EWING, N.J. (AP)— Convicted sex offenders who used the Internet to help them commit their crimes will be banned from using the Internet under a measure signed into law Thursday.

The bill applies to people who, for example, lured a potential victim through e-mail or other electronic messages. It also affects paroled sex offenders under lifetime supervision, but exempts computer work done as part of a job or search for employment.

"We live in scary times," said Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who signed the bill because Gov. Jon S. Corzine is vacationing in the Caribbean.

Under the law, sex offenders will have to let the state Parole Board know about their access to computers. Those caught using the Internet would face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Convicted sex offenders will have to submit to periodic, unannounced examinations of their computer equipment and install equipment on their computers so their use can be monitored.

Parole officers can also order polygraph tests for convicts suspected of violating the Internet ban, said Parole Board Chairman Peter Barnes.

The Parole Board currently supervises about 4,200 paroled sex offenders whose sentencing guidelines call for lifetime supervision — regardless of whether their offenses involved the Internet.

The board last month approved new rules banning those convicts from using Internet social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The Parole Board imposed the new restrictions after state officials discovered, after subpoenaing several sites, hundreds of profiles registered to convicted sex offenders.

No federal law restricts sex offenders' Internet use. Florida and Nevada are the only other states to impose such restrictions.

Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, D-Mercer, said the new law provides a needed update to Megan's Law, which requires sex offenders to register with the state after being released from prison.

"When Megan's Law was enacted, few could envision a day when a sex offender hiding behind a fake screen name would be a mouse-click away from new and unwitting victims," she said.

"Madonna's directorial debut to premiere"

from via

Madonna's directorial debut is to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

Filth And Wisdom, which stars Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz and Richard E. Grant, will be shown out of competition, say organizers.

It is not yet known if the singer will go to the German capital to promote the short film.

The Berlin Film Festival runs from February 7-17, reports the BBC.

"Warner offers DRM-free music on Amazon"

Warner Music Group, a major holdout on selling music online without copy protection, caved in to the growing trend Thursday and agreed to sell its tunes on Inc.'s digital music store.

Until now, Warner Music had resisted offering songs by its artists in the MP3 format, which can be copied to multiple computers and burned onto CDs without restriction and played on most PCs and digital media players, including Apple Inc.'s iPod and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune.

The deal raises the total number of MP3s for sale through Amazon's music download store to more than 2.9 million. Warner Music's entire catalog, including work by artists Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Sean Paul, will be added to the site throughout the week. The Amazon store launched with nearly 2.3 million songs in September.

Major music labels Universal Music Group and EMI Music Group PLC had already signed to sell large portions of their catalogs on Amazon, as had thousands of independent labels. Most songs cost 89 cents to 99 cents each and most albums sell for $5.99 to $9.99.

Warner Music Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar Bronfman Jr. had been reluctant to follow in the steps of the rival recording companies.

In February, when Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs penned an essay calling on record labels to drop Digital Rights Management from tracks sold on the company's iTunes Store, Bronfman shot back during a conference call with Wall Street analysts: "We will not abandon DRM nor services that are successfully implementing DRM for both content and consumers."

The recording industry had argued that DRM itself is not what makes some songs incompatible with some digital players, but the fact that there are different versions of DRM in use. The companies suggested Apple, whose iPod outsells all other media players, should license its DRM technology to other music services.

Apple didn't budge, and the industry's position began to unravel when EMI struck a deal with Apple to sell DRM-free versions of its music on iTunes. A few months later, Universal announced it would do the same with a host of online retailers — with the exception of iTunes.

In an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press and distributed to Warner employees Thursday, Bronfman noted that selling downloads without DRM would help spur new types of online music applications and foster competition among online retailers.

"By removing a barrier to the sale and enjoyment of audio downloads, we bring an energy-sapping debate to a close and allow ourselves to refocus on opportunities and products that will benefit not only WMG, but our artists and our consumers as well," Bronfman wrote.

Philip Leigh, a senior analyst with the research group Inside Digital Media, said Warner Music's changing strategy is a signal that all the record labels will move in the same direction, including the last major player to drag its heels, Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

"It's not surprising they've chosen to do this first with Amazon," Leigh said. "They don't want to admit to Apple right away that they were wrong. They would rather do it indirectly."

Warner Music did not comment beyond statements in a news release Thursday, but Leigh said it is likely the company is discussing a similar deal with Apple.

Pete Baltaxe, director of digital music at Amazon, emphasized in an interview that the retailer's music store stands out from most competitors like iTunes in that it only sells MP3s, rather than a mix of protected and unprotected music

from AP - By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology

AP Business Writer Alex Veiga in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"TV Exec may be Jamie Lynn Spears' real baby daddy??"

The plot may be thickening folks.... Star Magazine is reporting that Spears family members are allegedly hinting that 18 year old assumed-baby daddy Casey Aldridge may not be the baby daddy after all. What they are alleging is that Mr. Aldridge is being paid off to be the fall guy so potential baby daddy #2 doesn't get thrown in the klink.

These sources allegedly claim that Spears & Aldridge were barely seeing each other as of late, and that the yet unnamed baby daddy #2 may be a substantially older executive who works on Jamie Lynn's TV show Zoey 101. Whatever that is...

Anyway, if true said baby daddy would indeed face statutory rape charges. So, that's the word on the tabloid street. I'm waiting to see her on Maury Povich any day now. - Ace:)

"Jam of the moment: 12/27/07"

OK, I may get a little flack due to the stigma attached to the artist providing my current 'Jam of the moment', but hear me out.

On September 18th of this year Rhino Records released a double CD set titled The Bee Gees "Greatest" Special Edition. While I didn't get my hands on it until today (promo copy) - I must say that I am VERY impressed by the track offered for your listening pleasure below.

It's Supreme Beings of Leisure's remix of "How Deep is Your Love". In essence it can be considered to be a 30 year anniversary remix, as the original version ruled the charts exactly 30 years ago this week - but I know what you're thinking... The Bee Gees? Yes, the Bee Gees, but this remix is done quite well. Nice and subtle.... Warm like a sunny Spring day. OK, I'll stop being corny and get down to business.

The remix is brilliant in my opinion. Check it out below.


Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the original version of "How Deep is Your Love" - Ace:)

"How Deep Is Your Love" is a song recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977. Originally intended for Yvonne Elliman, it was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever. It was a number three hit in the UK. In the U.S., it topped the Billboard Hot 100 on December 24, 1977 and stayed in the Top-10 for a then-record 17 weeks.

The song was ranked #366 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Along with "Stayin' Alive", it is one of the group's two songs on the list.