Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Sherwood Schwartz gets a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame"

HOLLYWOOD, CA (AP) -- Sherwood Schwartz, who created the TV comedy classics "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Brunch," gleefully thanked the leading ladies of those shows Friday when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"To me, Dawn will always be Mary Ann on 'Gilligan's Island' and Florence will always be Mrs. Brady," said Schwartz, 91, referring to actresses Dawn Wells and Florence Henderson, who spoke during the ceremony.

Schwartz mused about his start in show biz, which happened "by accident," he said.

Schwartz said came to Southern California from New York in 1938 to get a master's degree in biological sciences. In need of work, he started writing jokes for Bob Hope's radio show, which Schwartz's brother Al worked for.

"Bob liked my jokes, used them on his show and got big laughs. Then he asked me to join his writing staff," Schwartz said. "I was faced with a major decision — writing comedy or starving to death while I cured those diseases. I made a quick career change."

Schwartz went on to write for "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and other radio shows.

He turned to TV in the 1950s, eventually creating "Gilligan's Island" in 1963.

After the show ended in 1967, Schwartz created the blended family comedy "The Brady Bunch," for which he also wrote the theme song.

Syndicated reruns of both shows have made them longtime TV comedy staples.

"The title of the winning film at the Oscars this year was wrong. Who says this is 'No Country For Old Men?'" Schwartz joked.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images North America)

"Madonna will NOT perform at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Show"


Madonna will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday -- but won't be performing.

Traditionally, inductees perform at the ceremony, but it appears Madonna is either too busy or too famous to bust a move. According to FOX News, the "material girl" will be serenaded by Iggy Pop, who is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Justin Timberlake is to do the toasting. There is no word why Madonna made this decision. John Mellencamp and Leonard Cohen are amongst the other nominees.

Friday, March 7, 2008

"Blue Note Records : Droppin' Science!"

Howdy peoples. Just wanted to give everyone who'd be interested a heads up on a real sweet release from Blue Note Records that came out last month. It's titled "Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note Lab".


Blue Note Records Presents: Droppin' Science. A unique collection of the legendary label's classic late 60s through mid-70s Jazz-Funk tracks, all of which have featured prominently as samples in some of the greatest Hip-Hop cuts of the late 80's, 90's and beyond. Hip-Hop artists ranging from Dr. Dre to the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest have sampled Blue Note grooves by such Jazz greats as Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Donald Byrd, and Lonnie Smith.

All of these original Blue Note tracks have been compiled for the first time on Droppin' Science!

The compact disc contains 10 tracks, and they are as follows:

1. LOU DONALDSON - "It's Your Thing" (8:59)
(sampled by Brand Nubian on "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down")

2. RONNIE FOSTER - "Mystic Brew" (4:09)
(sampled by A Tribe Called Quest on "Electric Relaxation")

3. DONALD BYRD - "Think Twice" (6:11)
(sampled by Main Source on "Lookin' Out the Front Door")

4. DAVID McCALLUM - "The Edge" (2:52)
(sampled by Dre. Dre on "The Next Episode")

5. BROTHER JACK McDUFF - "Oblighetto" (6:33)
(sampled by A Tribe Called Quest on "Scenario")

6. JOE WILLIAMS - "Get Out of My Life, Woman" (3:18)
(sampled by Kool G. Rap on "ill Street Blues")

7. GRANT GREEN - "Down Here on the Ground" (6:40)
(sampled by A Tribe Called Quest on "Vibes & Stuff")

8. LONNIE SMITH - "Spinnin' Wheel" (7:32)
(sampled by Pete Rock & CL Smooth on "Act Like You Know")

9. JEREMY STEIG - "Howling for Judy" (4:37)
(sampled by Beastie Boys on "Get It Together")

10. LOU DONALDSON - "Who's Makin' Love" (To Your Old Lady) (6:45)
(sampled by Notorious B.I.G. on "One More Chance" REMIX)

This release is also available on a double vinyl LP with a gatefold cover pressed on lovely THICK vinyl. The double LP also has three (3) additional tracks NOT found on the CD version. The bonus vinyl-only tracks are:

RONNIE LAWS - "Tidal Wave" (4:09)
(sampled by Black Moon on "Who Got The Props")

MONK HIGGINS - "Little Green Apples" (3:25)
(sampled by Gang Starr on "Code of the Streets")

DONALD BYRD - "Wind Parade"
(sampled by 2Pac on "Late Night")

Many of you may very well own the original pressings of these world-famous tracks, but for those who don't - OR for those who just love all-things Blue Note, this is a MUST HAVE release!

The CD can be purchased just about anywhere, and the vinyl is available from, (of course), and even!

The packaging on the double vinyl LP is fantastic, and the sound quality is TOP NOTCH!

Don't sleep on the vinyl version, as I am sure they didn't press a ton of 'em. Enjoy! - Ace:)

"Avril Lavigne glams it up in the latest MAXIM Magazine"

So... For what it's worth, here are some photos of Avril Lavigne from the March 2008 issue of Maxim Magazine. - Ace:)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Non-actor cast to play The Notorious B.I.G. in upcoming movie"


Jamal Woolard, a Brooklyn-based rapper, will play Biggie Smalls, aka Notorious BIG, in a forthcoming biopic about the late rapper.

Smalls was a huge star in the 90s, and died of gunshot wounds in Los Angeles in 1997. His killer has never been caught.

The biopic, which will be titled 'Notorious', is scheduled to be released in January 2009, with production beginning this month, reports Billboard.

Actors Derek Luke, Angela Bassett and Anthony Mackie have also landed roles in the film, playing P. Diddy, Smalls' mother and

Film executives auditioned over 100 rappers going for the part of Smalls before casting Woolard, who has no previous experience of acting. Bosses said they wanted an authentic rapper rather than an established actor to play the part

"Minnesota bars skirt smoking ban by declaring patrons as Actors"

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP)— All the world's a stage at some of Minnesota's bars.

A new state ban on smoking in restaurants and other nightspots contains an exception for performers in theatrical productions. So some bars are getting around the ban by printing up playbills, encouraging customers to come in costume, and pronouncing them "actors."

The customers are playing right along, merrily puffing away — and sometimes speaking in funny accents and doing a little improvisation, too.

The state Health Department is threatening to bring the curtain down on these sham productions. But for now, it's on with the show.

At The Rock, a hard-rock and heavy-metal bar in suburban St. Paul, the "actors" during "theater night" do little more than sit around, drink, smoke and listen to the earsplitting music.

"They're playing themselves before Oct. 1. You know, before there was a smoking ban," owner Brian Bauman explained. Shaping the words in the air with his hands, like a producer envisioning the marquee, he said: "We call the production, `Before the Ban!"'

The smoking ban, passed by the Legislature last year, allows actors to light up in character during theatrical performances as long as patrons are notified in advance.

About 30 bars in Minnesota have been exploiting the loophole by staging the faux theater productions and pronouncing cigarettes props, according to an anti-smoking group.

"It's too bad they didn't put as much effort into protecting their employees from smoking," grumbled Jeanne Weigum, executive director of the Association for Nonsmokers.

The Health Department this week vowed to begin cracking down on theater nights with fines of as much as $10,000.

"The law was enacted to protect Minnesotans from the serious health effects of secondhand smoke," Minnesota Health Commissioner Sanne Magnan said. "It is time for the curtain to fall on these theatrics."

At The Rock earlier this week, a black stage curtain covered part of the entrance, and a sign next to it with an arrow read, "Stage Entrance." Along the opposite wall, below a sign saying "Props Dept.," was a stack of the only props needed: black ashtrays.

At the door was a printed playbill for that night's program, with a list of names of the people portraying bartenders and security guards. Playing the owner: "Brian."

Courtney Conk paid $1 for a button that said "Act Now" and pinned it to her shirt. That made her an actor for the night, entitling her to smoke. She turned in an understated, minimalist performance, sitting with cigarette in hand and talking to a bass player with the band.

"I thought it was funny that they found a loophole," Conk said. "I'm more of an activist-actor tonight, you could say. I think it's kind of this way of saying what we think about the ban."

While The Rock asks nothing of its actors by way of creativity, a few other bars have been a little more theatrical.

At Barnacles Resort and Campground along Lake Mille Lacs, a "traveling tobacco troupe" dressed in medieval costume on the first theater night. Mark Benjamin, a lawyer who pushed bars to exploit the loophole, wore tights, a feathered cap and black boots.

"Hey, I'm a child of the '60s. I can do a little improv," he said. His improv amounted to speaking in medieval character to other patrons.

In Hill City, Mike's Uptown owner Lisa Anderson has been offering theater night once a week. The bar had a Mardi Gras theme last Saturday, attracting about 30 patrons, most of them in costume.

"I was dressed in a Victorian dress with the old fluffy thing that weighs 500 pounds," she said. "We had some fairies and some pirates and a group of girls — I'm not sure what they were, but they had big boas and flashy makeup."

Though there were no skits, Anderson said some people "start talking with different accents." She added: "It's turned into the funnest thing I can imagine."

One bar on northern Minnesota's Iron Range, the Queen City Sports Place, calls its nightly smokefest "The Tobacco Monologues."

Proving anew there's no business like show business, Anderson said her theater-night receipts have averaged $2,000 — up from $500 right after the ban kicked in. Similarly, Bauman said revenue at The Rock dropped off 30 percent after the ban took effect, then shot back up to normal once the bar began allowing smoking again.

He and other bar owners said they plan to continue putting on theater nights.

"There's no question we were struggling," he said. "And we are extremely nervous that this is going to go away, and we will be back to the way it was."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"Sarah Silverman as Amy Winehouse"

Here's a photo from the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine's 'Very Funny Women' spread. It's Comedienne Sarah Silverman dressed up as Soul superstar Amy Winehouse. Good stuff indeed. - Ace:)