Saturday, January 26, 2008

"Odd vinyl / record shop related video"

I somehow stumbled onto this video over on youtube. It's a Finnish comedy sketch with English subtitles. Disturbing - yet still amusing at the same time. - Ace:)

"Vivendi / Universal chief says music industry gloom overdone"

from - By Kate Holton - via reuters

Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy has no plans to spin off the music unit Universal and he said on Saturday he believed the gloom surrounding the industry had been over done.

Speaking at the annual Midem conference, Levy said the music industry was going through a huge transition at the moment, with new business models for mobile and Internet services appearing all the time.

But he predicted there would still be a viable market for physical products like CDs for many years to come and he said the industry's future lay, as always, in spotting the right creative talent.

"I think altogether today there is an exaggeration in the industry," he told the conference.

"Of course it is not doing that well, but look at us, we have flat revenues, a good two digit margins and it's not as dark as what many people describe."

The music industry has been hit in recent years by Internet piracy and the rapid growth in digital sales but the planned job losses at British company EMI have highlighted the issue even further.

Levy joked that Universal could benefit from its rivals' problems, by gaining more staff or bands, but he said that ultimately a stronger competitor would benefit the whole industry.

"We like to have strong competitors," he said. "I hope that after the shake up (at EMI) there will be a strong set of major companies that will help the music industry to grow."

Universal is the world's largest music company, with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Mika and U2, and Levy said he was very committed to the group.

"Back in 2003 the numbers didn't look very good," he said "(But) as a shareholder of Universal, I have seen the numbers go up quite sharply. We had in '03 a 3 percent operating margin business and we have today a 12 percent operating margin business.

"We do have a lot of satisfaction ... and we're very committed."


He said digital entertainment would continue to grow, due to the developments in technology, broadband penetration and globalization but he said this would not necessarily mean the immediate demise of the CD.

"If we (have the right creative policy) and if we understand the technology well and the consumer well, then ... digital entertainment will continue to expand and will be very successful," he said.

"It is a transition into a very diversified model, of which CDs will still play a part. So I do not think it is black and white."

A report released this week by the international trade body, the IFPI, said global music sales were expected to be down around 10 percent for 2007, despite a 40 percent increase in digital music sales.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Tony Austin)

"Fonzie to get bronze statue in Milwaukee"


MILWAUKEE, WI - Aaaaaaay! The Fonz will be returning to Milwaukee later this year - permanently, and in bronze.

A statue of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, the leather-jacketed biker from "Happy Days," will be erected in the city where the TV sitcom was set, now that local groups have raised the $85,000 needed to do it, civic leaders said Friday.

Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie during the show's run from 1974 to 1984, called the "Bronze the Fonz" project "a phenomenal compliment."

"It's not often you have a dream when you're 7 lying in your bed, you get to live your dream out and then someone is going to erect a life-size statue of your creation," he told The Associated Press earlier this week.

Winkler was in Milwaukee on Friday morning when organizers officially announced the money had been raised. Plans call for dedicating the statue around Labor Day. It will likely be downtown along the Milwaukee River.

Two booster groups, VISIT Milwaukee and Spirit Milwaukee, spearheaded the fundraising. Among the donors was cable network TV Land, which has sponsored similar statues such as ones of Bob Newhart in Chicago and Mary Tyler Moore in Minneapolis.

Other supporters included a bakery in Jefferson that sold thumbs-up cookies and a fan who established a "Bronze the Fonz" group on the social networking site Facebook.

Some serious art lovers were less enthusiastic. Mike Brenner, founder of the Hotcakes Gallery, called the statue a "publicity stunt" that perpetuated lowbrow stereotypes about Wisconsin.

"Can we just try to move forward, a little bit?" he said.

"New Kids on the Block REUNION!"

from -By Eileen Finan and Julie Jordan

After months of speculation and rumor, the Kids are coming back. A well-placed source tells PEOPLE exclusively that New Kids On The Block are indeed getting back together.

The band's Web site,, which had been dormant, is now back up and running in anticipation of the official announcement, which the source says will be made in the next few weeks.

The site currently features a television graphic with a fuzzy, flickering photos of NKOTB in their heyday, and a link inviting fans to sign up for info.

The boy band, which made legions of tweens swoon in the early '90s, selling more than 50 million albums, became a worldwide phenomenon before calling it quits in 1994.

Eighteen years later, they're still "Hangin' Tough." The oldest "Kid," Jonathan Knight, now a real estate developer, will turn 40 later this year. Since the band's demise, former members Donnie Wahlberg, 38, and Joey McIntyre, 35, have seen acting success, while Danny Wood, 38, has worked as a music producer and Knight's brother, Jordan, 37, has continued to record.

"Must See Video: WKCRW - 60,000 recording archives!"

Just stumbled onto this video about WKCRW Radio's massive recording archives over on Youtube. Quite interesting indeed. Check it out. - Ace:)

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Scarlett Johansson to release debut album in May"


Scarlett Johansson is set to release her debut album, "Anywhere I Lay My Head," on May 20. The album is under Atco Records, an imprint of Warner Music Group's Rhino Entertainment.

Ten songs on the album were written by Tom Waits, the famed songwriter and composer, while one song is self-written.

Johansson collaborated with Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zimmer and Sean Antanaitis from Celebration, among others.

On a personal note, Johansson was in the news recently for her reported engagement with boyfriend Ryan Reynolds.

The two have been dating for eight months following the 23-year old Johansson's break-up with Josh Hartnett and the end of 31-year old Reynolds' engagement to Alanis Morrisette.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"John Ritter's family sues over his death"

Actress Amy Yasbeck, the widow of 'Three's Company' star John Ritter, is suing two doctors who treated her husband before his death in April 2003, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

According to the lawsuit, Ritter's family is blaming a doctor who read the results of the actor's body scan in 2001 and another who diagnosed him the night he died.
"You can't treat my kid's dad for something and kill him in the process," his widow says.

Yasbeck wants more than $67 million in damages, due to Ritter's potential earning power on the hit show he starred in at the time of his death -- '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.'

"I think the money will show how angry the jury will be about what happened to John and what could happen to them," Yasbeck says of the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the doctors claim there was no wrong doing on the part of their clients.

"I really, really believe that for whatever reason, John Ritter's time was up," Stephen C. Fraser, one of the doctor's attorneys says.

Ritter's family has already received $14 million in settlements, including over $9 million from the hospital where he died.

"Tom Hanks' son Colin making documentary about the Music Industry"

from World Entertainment News Network

Tom Hanks' actor son Colin is directing a documentary about the modern music industry.

The King Kong star was inspired to scrutinize record sales and downloading after realizing kids were no longer growing up with the "thrill" of buying music from a store.

He says, "I've bought music online but I'm still very big about going into a record store.

"I'm very proud to say that I actually paid $14 for the Radiohead CD, and then actually went into the effort of converting it in pounds so I could buy it on the (British band's) website.

"The film will show the death of the concept of what the music industry was and what it's evolving into, and how that will effect all forms of entertainment.

"Everything is changing and it's all because the fact that computers can now do a great many things. Something big is gonna change and it's been changing in the music business for a while now and it will start affecting almost every other aspect of the entertainment industry.

"I will hopefully get a lot of musicians and various people involved in the music industry involved in the film."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Target to start selling MP3 downloads"

Target has started to slowly join the world of digital music with the release of John Legend's album "Live from Philadelphia" last week. The Sony BMG album is being sold exclusively in Target stores and is also available for sale as MP3 files off of Targets website, a first for the company. A nineteen song download off of the site runs $9.99, which is fairly reasonable price for a DRM-free full album download. Targets major competitor, Wal-Mart already offers music downloads off their site.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Can I needle your groove? Canadian record store rundown"

from - Written by Alex Hamlyn

(CANADA: Ontario area) If you hear the word vinyl and think of Halloween costumes, this article is for you.

Also, if you want to buy those big black plastic "cds" in order to impress your ironically moustachioed friends, this article, again, is for you.

Fact is, records have been popular in underground since the late '90s, but even Time Magazine recently ran an article pointing to a 15.4 per cent increase in record sales from 2006 to 2007.

Budget-conscious students may be wary of starting an expensive hobby. But these stores and Play De Record — located just around the corner from the Ryerson campus — allow any burgeoning audiophile a chance to start a collection without going further in debt.

There is one avenue of acquiring records that no amateur record collector should ignore: the summer yard sale. Between sorting through countless albums by Boston, Anne Murray, and Christmas sing-alongs there is no better way to snag classic and sometimes even hard to find albums at bargain prices.

Sonic Boom

Sometimes known as the "click click" store because of the constant cacophony of CD cases being browsed through. Sonic Boom recently renovated to make room for the constant influx of new CDs.

As a result, the record section has been moved to the more spacious basement. Its selection is akin to a flea market, with quality varying greatly from record to record. The variety of genres is pretty vast; anything from sound tracks to '70s folk to German techno-and cheap prices could make it a good place to start building your collection.

512 Bloor St. , 416-532-0334

Rotate This

The primary source of indie rock and underground pop for most of the Annex, Rotate This is one of the vinyl standbys of the city.

The elitist staff can be a turnoff, but the used selection is well worth the trouble, just try not to ask too many questions. Prices will vary, but when one is looking for out of print albums and hard to find b-sides money is no object.

The best bonus is that the store also offers concert tickets for most shows in town (except those at the big arenas) free of most Ticketmaster charges.

620 Queen St. West, 416-504-8447

Second Vinyl

It's possible to be put off by the atmosphere of Second Vinyl, as it primarily deals in obscure and pricey jazz and classical records. This may be great for the Beethoven fans out there — and we all know one — but the bins below the premium albums are a gold mine of classic rock and soul for the rest of us.

415 Dundas St. West, 416-977-3737

Kops Records

Though it mostly serves the DJ community, Kops Records still has a lot to offer the home listener. Alongside the usual used record bins, the new releases are mostly club hits, reggae, and hip hop. This should hopefully dissuade those who believe the world of vinyl collecting is purely the realm of classic rock and jazz.

229 Queen St. West, 416-593-8523

Criminal Records

Dealing purely in new releases and reissues, Criminal Records still offers a surprisingly wide offering of artists at excellent prices. Whether it be the newest indie release, or a classic jazz reissue they probably have it. To top it all off the staff are extremely friendly – a huge bonus in the ultra-hipsterfied world of vinyl – and more than willing to put in even single orders for requested records (if they're available).
493 Queen St. West, 416-364-5380

"Portishead announce European tour dates"

Portishead have announced details of a new European tour, including four UK live dates.

The band, who release their highly-anticipated new, as-yet untitled new album on April 14, will play gigs in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Wolverhampton as part of the tour.

The record will be the band's first since 1997's eponymous effort.

Portishead will play:

Oporto Coliseum (March 26)
Lisbon Coliseum (27)
Milan Alcatraz (30)
Florence Sashall (31)
Munich Tonhalle (April 2)
Berlin Columbiahalle (3)
Copenhagen KB Hallen (4)
Cologne Palladium (6)
Amsterdam HMH (7)
Manchester Apollo (9)
London Hammersmith Apollo (10)
Edinburgh Corn Exchange (12)
Wolverhampton Civic Hall (13)
Paris Zenith (May 5, 6)
Brussels Forest National (8)

"Ringo Starr walks off `Regis & Kelly Show' over song flap"

NEW YORK (AP) — Ringo Starr is known for being the amiable Beatle, but the rock star showed his tough side Tuesday when he walked off the set of "Live With Regis and Kelly" rather than cut short one of his songs.

Starr, who is promoting his new album, "Liverpool 8," planned to perform the title song with fellow rocker Dave Stewart. However, due to miscommunication between his publicist, Elizabeth Freund, and the musical director, Starr didn't realize the performance had to be 2 1/2 minutes or less, Freund told The Associated Press.

When told Tuesday morning that the performance had to be shortened, Freund said Starr tried to cut about a minute of the song's 4 minute, 15 second length, down to 3 minutes and 30 seconds. However, according to Freund, producer Michael Gelman said it had to be less than 3 minutes.

"We offered to cut back our chat time and asked them to fade or go to commercial. They were not willing to do that and Ringo was not willing to cut it further, so without a compromise we were not able to stay," Freund said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Ringo left saying, `God bless and goodbye. We still love Regis.'"

A spokeswoman for "Regis and Kelly" disputed some of Freund's contentions. The representative, who declined to be named — citing show policy — told the AP the show's producers tried to work with Starr. The spokeswoman also said the time of his song was almost 5 minutes, not 4 minutes and 15 seconds. She also said that his appearance had been booked since November and that Starr's representatives had agreed to the time requirement for the song.

With Starr absent, fashion designer Michael Kors and the winners of CBS' "The Amazing Race" did extra segments to fill his time.

Despite Tuesday's drama, she said the show would absolutely welcome Starr back.

However, Stewart had plenty of criticism for the show, calling it "disrespectful treatment of us as artists."

"Four minutes (3 minutes and 40 seconds, actually) seemed like an appropriate amount of time for a former Beatle. Mr. Gelman apparently felt Ringo's musical legacy should take a back seat to additional banter about the size of Ms. (Kelly) Ripa's derriere," he said in a statement.

The spokeswoman for "Regis and Kelly" said there would be no comment on Stewart's statement.

Starr, 67, shortened his song for CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman," but it was still over 3 minutes, Freund said.

But he was able to play the full song later Tuesday on "Rachael Ray."

"Ringo taped an interview and performance on our show this afternoon, which was absolutely amazing. He performed `Liverpool 8' in its entirety ... and was a complete professional and a pleasure to work with," said Charlie Dougiello, a spokesman for Ray.

"Sarah Michelle Gellar gets naked for Vaseline"

TV and film star Sarah Michelle Gellar has finally decided to bare all in a sexy ad campaign for the classic moisturizer, Vaseline.

In these tasteful images the Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress stripped off to reveal her flawless, sun-kissed skin, but she didn't let anyone take a peek at her face.

Gellar, 30, has always vowed that she would never reveal all for any film role and like many Hollywood actresses has reportedly had no nudity clauses written into film contracts

However, for this photo shoot she spares herself any blushes with some crafty camera-work and clever posing.

Vaseline challenged their customers to guess the identity of the mystery celebrity in their new campaign.

In one close up picture only her well manicured hand can be seen resting on her arm.

In another her hair falls over her face as she wraps her arms around her bare legs.

The skin care company then gives a glimpse of the star's lips and chin with the slogan "Keeping skin amazing".

It is thought that this could most revealing photoshoot the actress.

Gellar went some way to losing her clean-cut image when she starred in the 1999 film Cruel Intentions.

The actress was at the centre of much publicity when her character shared a steamy lesbian kiss with co-star Selma Blair.

Gellar met her husband Freddie Prinze, Jr., during filming of the 1997 teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The glamourous star was recently voted one of Hello! magazine's most elegant women.

Gellar's latest film role sees her play Alice in Wonderland as a young woman in a movie based on the computer game American McGee's Alice.

The film will be released in summer 2008.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Yazoo album remasters / DVD + Reunion shows CONFIRMED!"

It is with GREAT happiness that I can confirm that the Yazoo remastered albums, DVD, and reunion performance dates are a go! This is FANTASTIC news. Even better than expected actually. Can't wait! Here's the release from Yazoo:

Yazoo "In Your Room" 4 Disc Box Set

Due for release in May 2008 is "In Your Room", a 4 disc box set featuring:

* Stereo remasters & 5.1 mixes of the classic albums Upstairs At Eric's and You And Me Both.

* B-Sides & Remixes.

* DVD featuring an exclusive short film with new interviews from Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet and the videos for Don't Go, The Other Side Of Love, Nobody's Diary, Situation (1990) and Only You (1999).

But if that wasn't enough...

Yazoo Reconnected: Live!

Yazoo (Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet) are to perform live during June 2008!

"It's been really good going back to these songs after such a long while. Many of them have never been played live. I'm looking forward to performing them with Alison for all the fans who've enjoyed our music through the years but never had a chance to see Yazoo in concert". Vince Clarke

The live dates are as follows:

- Wed 04 June, Glasgow Clyde Auditorium

- Sat 07 June, Manchester Apollo

- Thu 12 June, Wolverhampton Civic Hall

- Sun 15 June, Brighton Centre

- Wed 18 June, London Hammersmith Apollo

Exclusive ticket pre-sale available 25th January from

Full venue / boxoffice information available from

This news has made my day! I really hope they'll end up doing some dates in NYC! - Ace:)