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NEWSLETTER

Updated:  July 14, 2005

Toronto is melting under this heat - so try and stay cool out there!   Seriously though, please take care of yourself and ensure that you take precautions in how much you exert yourself during these very humid days.
 
You got a few days to clear your calendars to get ready for Monday night when Calypso and Reggae come together!  David Rudder and Sonia Collymore join forces on one hot night on Monday, July 18 at The Richmond Lounge!  See details below.  Here's a cool treat for you - a FREE CD offer from my friends at Universal Canada - the first five people to respond will receive the new Keyshia Cole CD!  For a taste, go to www.keyshiacole.com 
 
This week is full of entertainment news below - MUSIC NEWS, FILM NEWS, TV NEWS, and OTHER NEWS!  Have a read and a scroll!  This newsletter is designed to give you some updated entertainment-related news and provide you with our upcoming event listings.   Welcome to those who are new members.  Want your events listed by date?  Check out EVENTSWant to be removed from the distribution, click REMOVE.

 

 

::HOT EVENTS::

 

 

Sounds of the Caribbean – Collymore and Rudder LIVE – Monday, July 18

Calypso meets Reggae when David Rudder and Sonia Collymore team up to celebrate summer with CBC Radio One.  Hosted by Claudia Garcia de la Huerta of Big City Small World these two heavy hitters entertain us at The Richmond Lounge on Monday, July 18 at 7:30 pm. Come be a part of this live audio taping!  The show will be broadcast on Big City, Small World - July 30th (5:00 - 6:00pm on 99.1FM).  Tune in to Metro Morning and Here & Now for highlights.

Sonia's niche is Reggae! Her years of harmonizing for the veteran crooner Beres Hammond, has transformed her into a bonafide globe trotter. As part of his set, Hammond showcases his backup singers. An experience which has honed her talent. She has developed a soulfull on-stage exuberance, which has been critiqued to be extremely appealing. From Japan to Jamaica, she continues to win over fans with her heartfelt performances.  Her migration to the Reggae music scene brings with it a fresh sound filled with her own unique yet creative lyrical stylings. Her debut album will undoubtedly create a buzz. Not only in 'Reggaedom' but on the world stage for it's soulful, jazzed up, reggae vibe.  Her 2005 JUNO Award Winning debut album WYSIWYG will be re-released nationwide through Fusion3 Distribution and will available in all major record stores on Tuesday July 26th.   (www.soniacollymore.com).

Long before David established himself in the calypso arena, he was known as one of the few band singers who wrote all his own songs. His popularity flowed from his obvious talent and from the radically different image he cultivated of himself as a singer. He did not take a calypso name, did not drink (alcohol) and rarely fraternized with the other calypsonians.  Rudder's first big break came when Christopher "Tambu" Herbert, lead singer with Charlie's Roots, fell ill and suggested his friend Rudder as a temporary replacement. Rudder stayed on as a co-lead singer, and built a reputation for his scintillating performances. 

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2005
DAVID RUDDER and SONIA COLLLYMORE (LIVE TAPING)
The Richmond Lounge
342 Richmond Street W. (just east of Fez Batik upstairs)
Doors Open: 7:30 pm
Show starts:  8:00 pm SHARP for live taping
Tickets:  $5 at the door

 

 

 

::SCOOP::

 

 

`Fearless' Educator Mourned

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Hilda Hoy, Staff Reporter

(Jun. 29, 2005) Students loved Althea Rhooms.  The long-time teacher and principal had an infectious laugh and was always ready with a hug at the end of each school day.  She was also the whip-smart businesswoman who made sure students' education wasn't compromised by funding cuts, and fought tirelessly to improve her schools.  Always up for a good challenge, Rhooms was a woman described by best friend Sharon Alleyne as "strong, fearless."  "She could be strict in some ways, but there was always love for the students and lots of hugs," said Mike Timotheou, father of one of her students.  Rhooms, who loved the outdoors, rowed Saturday in the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival, competing on the Toronto District School Board team.  The next day, she participated in a practice dive at Stoney Lake near Peterborough with her scuba diving club. She had been diving almost weekly for a year, friends and family said.  But on Sunday, she began having breathing problems under water and never made it up. She was 43.  The coroner's office is still probing what caused her death.  Rhooms worked as a teacher before serving as vice-principal at McMurrich Junior Public School for two years, and then principal at Humewood Community School for three years.  She transferred to Maple Leaf Public School this past December, following her passion to the Jane St. and Lawrence Ave. neighbourhood where 65 per cent of her students have African or Caribbean backgrounds.  "She wanted them to grow up and take on life with dignity," said Alleyne.  Rhooms volunteered for Women for P.A.C.E. (Project for Advancement of Childhood Education), a group promoting early childhood education in both Canada and her native Jamaica.  "She wanted to be a leader in the African Canadian community," said Trustee Josh Matlow. "(At Maple Leaf) she found a place in the world to be a leader and provide mentorship to young students."  Principal Rita Garry, who took Rhooms's place at Humewood, said she took the assignment at the new school because "there were a lot of students from the black community there. She wanted to be a role model for the female students."  Flags were flying at half-mast and grief counsellors had been brought in at her former schools.  At a graduation ceremony at Maple Leaf yesterday, students spent what should have been a day of celebration, memorializing a lost friend.  Rhooms leaves her parents, younger brothers Wayne and Jason, and her 18-year-old son, Gyasi. Funeral arrangements are still being made.

 

 

 

::RECAPS::

 

 

Jully Black Recap – Friday, July 8

Jully Black has been a very busy veteran artist.  She has been promoting her fabulous debut album This Is Me (Universal, in stores now) - this has been a long time coming for Jully fans.  Jully has done appearances and performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival (with Patti Labelle and Aaron Neville), Etalk Daily, MuchMusic Video Awards and this past weekend, The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival Opening Ceremonies.  Jully brought her sultry alto vocal skills in true Jully fashion – meaning she worked it!  One of the many things that impress me about Jully is her ability to touch all age groups and ethnicities – a sign of a true artist with super stardom potential.  Her time is here.  Many thanks to the folks at the City of Toronto Special Events for securing her presence during her very busy schedule. 

 

 

 

Divine Brown Recap – Friday, July 8

Fans of Divine Brown gathered on the evening of July 8th to hear excerpts from her self-titled debut album at The Mod Club.  Divine and her hot hot band brought the goods as no one but Divine can bring – a five octave range with a vocal bag of tricks of stirring soul music for her audience.  Divine seemed to be in her element as she commanded the stage with her well-honed presence and original sense of humour.  One of my favourite performances of the night was the Joni Mitchell track, Help Me – not to mention the hot single Old Skool Love which she closed her set with.  Divine is well on her way to stardom as evidenced by the audience who was waiting and hoping for more.  Divine Brown available in stores now.

 

 

 

A Taste of Lawrence – Saturday, July 9

Councillor Michael Thompson invited me out to A Taste of Lawrence at Warden and Lawrence on Saturday, July 9th.  This event must have been something special to bring me out of my downtown cocoon all the way out to my home-based roots of Scarborough.  Carnival rides, multi-cultural live-stage performances by many local Scarborough musicians as well as many tents that featured the wares of many cultures.  Among the special guests were Mayor David Miller and I also bumped into Tonya Lee Williams (ReelWorld Film Festival) and actor on the Young & The Restless.  I really had a nice time embracing the culture of Scarborough.  Thanks to Councillor Thompson for the invitation. 

 

 

 

Sonia Collymore Recap – Saturday, July 9

I’ve been a long time fan of Sonia Collymore – before the Juno Awards and hot singles she has produced.  Her talent, professionalism and embracing nature has brought her to where she is and will continue to see her rise.  This is what brought me out on Saturday night to Yonge and Dundas to the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival to see the reggae queen bring it to us.  Sonia brought up a really upbeat and entertaining show incorporating participation from audience members and the Baby Boys dance crew.  One of the highlights for me was the performance of the track No Cash Flow featuring Chrome – the hot single getting lots of airplay.  Their polished performance is full of chemistry and fun.  Sonia frequently talks to her audience as though she’s entertaining them in her home – all while giving credit to those in her crew.  Props again to the City of Toronto Special Events for securing her presence during her very busy schedule.  Sonia’s album is called WYSIWYG – pick it up today!

 

 

 

War of the Worlds Recap

Just a brief note - went to see
War of the Worlds this week.  If you like special effects, intense drama and sci-fi action, then this one's for you.  It's a breathtaking, hand-over mouth thriller that will have you involved so much in the plot that you'll forget that it's a movie.  Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning were both outstanding in their roles and Oscar nominations are not an unattainable goal for either of them.  A tall order perhaps but this battle is definitely one to check out!  For once, a movie that is worth the price of admission!

Synopsis:  www.waroftheworlds.com
 

On June 29th, 2005, Earth goes to war. From Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures comes "War of the Worlds," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring international superstar Tom Cruise. A contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal classic, the sci-fi adventure thriller reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it. The film also stars Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin, and Tim Robbins.

Cruise stars as
Ray Ferrier, a divorced dockworker and less-than-perfect father. Soon after his ex-wife (Miranda Otto) and her new husband drop off his teenage son Robbie (Justin Chatwin) and young daughter Rachel (Dakota Fanning) for a rare weekend visit, a strange and powerful lightning storm touches down.

 

 

 

::THOUGHT::

 

 

Motivational Note:  The Key to Failure

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com - By Willie Jolley, info@williejolley.com

"I don't know the key to success, but I do know the key to failure! It is trying to please everybody!" This is a quote from Bill Cosby that expresses a real truth. In seeking success you must be an independent thinker. Some people are going to try to talk you out of your ideas and try to discourage you. An example is the story of the speaker who found one person in his audience who was unresponsive to his presentation and he concentrated all of his energies on that person, while ignoring the rest of the audience. At the end of the speech, he still had not changed that person. Instead, he had alienated the rest of the audience by ignoring him! As you move to becoming an independent thinker, you will realize that everyone will not like your ideas, but you must believe in your dreams and know that you will either live by your dreams or you will live someone else's dreams. Learn to think positive about your ideas and learn to like yourself enough that you can feel good when you please yourself. Do not let others discourage you and do not try to please everyone. If you love your ideas and move toward them with passion and enthusiasm, you will find many others who will love them also. Do not try to please everyone. Be an independent thinker!

 

 

 

::MUSIC NEWS::

 

 

A Fresh Start For Wes ‘Maestro’ Williams

Source:  rock-it promotions

Over the past two decades, Wes ‘Maestro’ Williams has evolved into a multi-media artist and a true Canadian hip-hop icon.  With starring roles on two television series, many enviable movie roles and a new greatest hits album about to drop (with 5 new tracks), Wes is undeniably at the top of his game.  Since Wes’ explosion onto the world’s radar with his hit single “Let Your Backbone Slide” and platinum selling 1989 album, “Symphony in Effect,” urban music has become a fixture in Canadian culture, inspiring new artists to follow in his footsteps and create a major impact on the international market.  “Symphony In Effect” is still the best selling Canadian hip hop album ever “Let Your Backbone Slide” is the only Canadian hip-hop single to reach gold status.

In the past few years, Wes has been establishing himself as a prominent actor.  He’s appeared in many TV and film projects including: ‘Tony Bogard’ in the Golden Globe nominated film, Redemption:  The Stan “Tookie” Williams Story starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, which earned Wes top billing and the attention and praise of critics.   He was also featured in the Showtime series Soulfood, feature film Honey with Jessica Alba and recently wrapped John Singleton’s newest film Four Brothers.   He currently stars on OMNI’s Metropia, in its second season, as ‘Quincy Daniels,’ manager of the nightclub ‘Bang’; and on CTV’s Instant Star, playing music mogul/manager, ‘Darius Mills.’  Instant Star is also in its second season and was recently picked up by Nickelodeon in the U.S.  Behind the camera, Wes also executive produced and co-starred in the short film Amma which just screened at Camera Bar on Queen Street.

Throughout his career, Wes has remained dedicated to social issues and charitable causes. He has been asked to join round table discussions on Parliament Hill on the subject of Race Relations in Canada, has performed for former Prime Ministers Mulroney and Chretien, Queen Elizabeth and most recently Prince Edward and his wife, the Countess of Duke.  Wes has also been involved with charities such as Covenant House and Charity of Hope Foundation.   Wes has also made a point of speaking alongside Ruben “Hurricane” Carter to students across the country about the importance of following their dreams; a powerful message conveyed in his 1998 Juno nominated song, “Stick to your Vision.”  He has released five albums, received numerous awards including a Harry Jerome Award from the Black Business and Professionals Association, four MuchMusic Awards, two People's Choice Awards, two Toronto Music Awards, the first Platinum Album from a Hip-Hop Artist in Canada, a Special Achievement and Pioneer Award from UMAC and a TrailBlazer Award from Toronto's Reel World Film Festival. He has also been nominated for 11 Juno awards, twice for vocalist of the year. 

His new album, ‘Urban Landmark-1989-2005’ hits stores on August 23rd and already has his single, a hip-hop mix of Gowan’s 1985 hit ‘Criminal Mind’ in medium rotation on MuchMusic and MTV Canada and heavy rotation on MuchVibe.  "I feel our Canadian rock culture has its history documented well.  Canadian hip-hop culture should also start being documented. My new album symbolizes a substantial part of Canadian music history."

For any other information/interview requests, please contact – Debra Goldblatt at 416.489.0055 or rockitpromo@sympatico.ca  

 

 

 

Farewell To All That Jazz

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Geoff Chapman, Special To The Star

(Jul. 9, 2005) The Colonial, Bourbon St., the Bermuda Onion, East & 85th, Basin Street, George's Spaghetti House and the Town Tavern have become mere memories in Toronto's jazz landscape.  And now The Senator, perhaps the most sacred of all, has formally joined its fallen comrades.  The last lines of "For All We Know," from seasoned vocalist Sheila Jordan backed by Toronto musicians, wrapped up the club's bookings for the Downtown Jazz Festival last weekend and, with it, its jazz line-up.  In the room was Senator manager Sybil Walker, the sparkplug who's maintained the quality of the Senator's jazz schedule for 15 years. "Sheila referred a lot to the Senator and said it was vital to keep jazz going. It was very special," Walker says. "But very difficult and heartbreaking for me."  All three floors of the building located where Victoria St. meets the concrete and iron "park" that is Dundas Square will be renovated. The new owners have said nothing official about any music policy or a reopening date, except for putting in a new phone number that answers to the name Savoy Grill. The piano has gone, and soon artist Hilary Kyro will be removing her huge jazz paintings from the second-floor walls.  The grievous Senator loss has been part of many a jazz conversation since the news broke. Ironically, it comes at a time when local jazz is in a buoyant state, the scene crowded with new and talented hopefuls who have gone through the jazz programs at University of Toronto, York and Humber College and with more and more jazz festivals and cruises.

Jazz venues do come and go. Some seem to last only days, others have succumbed to owner nervousness if there's one empty seat in the house, still more fight losing battles with landlords eager to cash in on the club's location or just to grab a share of the spoils.  Some places have special qualities that let them keep going.  And there's no doubt the special quality most responsible for the Senator's well-earned renown in Canada and abroad has been Sybil Walker, who's been running the place almost from its start in June 1990, trying to fill every one of the venue's 150 seats.  Walker, originally from Belleville, attended Shaw Business College and came to Toronto as an au pair because she was anxious to leave small-town life.  Later she went into the restaurant business.  "It was the worst mistake I ever made," she says, chuckling, in an interview. But it was working in restaurants like The Generator and Sherlock's that sparked her interest in jazz, since her route home to Queen and Spadina meant passing the Colonial on Yonge and Bourbon St. on Queen.  "I heard players like Dexter Gordon, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Smith, Bill Evans and Maxine Sullivan there. I also got to know a number of musicians, and my interest was solidified as I had a long, close relationship with bassist Freddie McHugh....  "But jazz was still a social thing then and I had no inkling that it would become most of my life."  Then Walker heard that Bob Sniderman, son of Sam "The Record Man" Sniderman, was planning to open a jazz club. Since she already knew him through the restaurant business, she sought him out.  "I was asked would I like to run it and I said yes. For the first six months I was managing and doing other stuff. The club opened in June 1990 with Jane Bunnett and Dewey Redman, and soon after that came singer Betty Carter, when the place was jammed, Cassandra Wilson, Red Rodney with CBS doing a segment on him, and many more.

"These were vibrant times, things felt rosy, the Bermuda Onion and the Montreal Bistro were healthy. The jazz scene was vigorous but there had always been more than one jazz club in Toronto."  Through the fall of 1990 Walker shared booking duties with Sniderman but soon she took over that and other related chores — such as negotiating with agents, dealing with contracts, publicity, taxes, immigration fees for visiting musicians ($150), arranging hotels, staff, working the door, looking after the third-floor room as well as organizing the restaurant's catering business.  "It was something I learned on the fly, 12 hours a day minimum. But if you want to work, that's what you do."  Walker understood that if you don't bring in names, people won't come, so the biggest risk the club was taking was financial. Yes, fans came out to see Ahmad Jamal, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Stanley Turrentine and Shirley Horn but their visits cost between $10,000 and $20,000 per week.  "It's a fine line to try to keep standards from slipping," says Walker. Jazz life went well until the mid-1990s. Problems were relatively minor; a flood meant cancellation of pianist Renee Rosnes' Saturday night sets, a famed saxophonist was discovered lying drunk on the floor of his hotel when he should have been playing, but most problems were routine.  Yet as the old joke goes: How do you make a million dollars running a jazz club? Start with two million.  By 1995 the Canadian dollar was weakening and Walker found it risky to book out-of-towners. "I had to be creative, getting them once a month instead of once a week, but this opened my eyes regarding local musicians."  Yet she still found time, for six years, to be artistic director of the jazz hydra known as the JVC Jazz Festival, recalling with pleasure performances by the likes of trumpeter Art Farmer, Turrentine and organist Shirley Scott.  The club tried reaching out to a broader community. It started jazz for kids, which didn't work, and half-price Wednesdays for students, which did.  "It's been really tough for the last five years," she says. "We had been trying to fill three rooms on the site: the street-level restaurant, the jazz club and the Guitar Bar, and it worked — only so long as Phantom of the Opera was running across the street at the Pantages Theatre (now the Canon).  "With pre-show and after-show business, we could make it work, but even during the last years of the Phantom's 10-year run (it closed in 1999) business was tapering off and since then there have been no long-running shows at the Canon — Wicked lasted six weeks, Dame Edna two and The Producers closed early, while other negative factors were SARS and the slow makeover of Dundas Square.

"After The Producers closed early, we knew the Senator would go. It worked for a long time but it's still a bit of a shock. I'll miss it terribly."  What will Walker miss most?  "The musicians, the fever-pitch excitement of opening night, hearing people new to jazz, like singer Ann Hampton-Calloway, feeling the music come together on the third or fourth night, seeing local musicians at their best, feeling the magic. Working on co-productions that brought artists such as Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Sadao Watanabe, Shirley Horn and Diana Krall to major Toronto stages."  What will she do now? Well, as artistic director she's already programmed late September's all-Canadian jazz festival at Port Hope.  "I'm not ready to retire. And I'd open a jazz club if I could, with fewer full weeks, but more one-off shows and theme nights," Walker says. "I'm a night person and I love the theatre of jazz. A lot of people deserve a stage and doing that would be a privilege as well as a labour of love. Perhaps I'll help produce records, organize music for events or I could stay in the restaurant business — but not to the same extent."  At The Rex before last week's festival began, Walker was presented with a watch from the jazz community. Clearly she will be sorely missed by everyone in jazz hereabouts, just as they'll miss the Senator.  Not only will I miss both her and the Senator, but I'll also miss the plaque on its bar designating a space for me to watch live jazz forever, a brilliant official retirement gift bestowed on me last year, though I, too, was not ready to retire.

 

 

 

Buck-Ing The Musical Trends

Excerpt from The Toronto Star -  Ben Rayner, Pop Music Critic

(Jul. 12, 2005) "If I'm a little bit of an outsider, that's okay."  Rich "Buck 65" Terfry is ruminating on the peculiar strain of success he has slowly and deservedly achieved since he began making obscure little hip-hop records to fitful acclaim and even more fitful record sales in his native Halifax during the 1990s.  Since signing to Warner Music Canada in 2003 — in a remarkably broad deal that saw the major reissuing of a half-dozen of his indie releases in addition to 2003's breakthrough disc, Talkin' Honky Blues — Buck 65 has been elevated to the ranks of the almost famous, garnering a transatlantic cult, Juno nominations and mounting acclaim from both rap music and indie-rock's critical cognoscenti.  He has also come into his own as a determinedly forward-thinking artist who transcends easy generic description, moving so far ahead of himself on his brave, almost unprecedentedly inventive new album, Secret House Against the World, that one can safely assume that, from now on, we will have no idea what to expect from Buck 65.  "Well, then, that's mission accomplished on my part," says the amiable Terfry, 33, calling from Montreal during a month-long Canadian tour that arrives at the Mod Club Theatre tonight. "I know it made me feel really good when people first started responding to my records and saying: `Oh, this doesn't sound like any other record that I've heard before.'... And I think that's what I have to offer. I don't really think of myself as talented; I just have a few ideas. Maybe some of them are a bit wacky, but I've got ideas," he says.  So many ideas, in fact, that it takes some serious, devoted listening to fully digest and appreciate the bountiful vision at work on Secret House. 

Buck 65 was always too much of a nonconformist to fully click with the hip-hop community. He has, however, been moving further and further into a unique no man's land between rap, rock, folk, country and cinematic spoken-word storytelling since Talkin' Honky Blues.  Secret House boldly steers headlong into a dense, unsettling realm where banjos and turntable scratches, wizened raconteurism and Gallic chansons, John Barry soundtracks and distorted electro-punk rants, Tortoise and Johnny Cash can coexist unself-conciously, if not always peacefully. The first record where Terfry opened his "hermetically sealed" production methods up to collaboration, it bears the eclectic imprint of a hodgepodge of collaborators that includes former Super Friend and occasional Buck 65 band member Charles Austin, multi-tasking Halifax mate Graeme Campbell, Elevator bassist Tara White, Toronto-born art-rapper and Feist producer Jason "Gonzales" Beck and, yes, Chicago post-rock troupe Tortoise.  It's a remarkable work, one that bears little resemblance to anything else being heard today, and quite a creative coup for someone operating within the supposedly stifling major-label framework.  "They don't really say anything to me. They completely support all the creative decisions I make," says Terfry of the Warner folk.  Terfry's not just interested in pushing himself on record these days, either. Forced to tour for the most part without a band until his record sales can support a more lavish entourage on the road, he also talks of studying silent films and Vaudeville lately in pursuit of a more dynamic stage presence.  "On paper, this might not look like a great show — a guy up there with a turntable and some kind of machine or whatever — but I do what I can to up the ante however I can and hopefully make people walk away feeling as if they got their money's worth," he says.

 

 

 

Canadians' Radio Listening Down Over Past Decade

Source: Canadian Press

(July 8, 2005) Ottawa — Canadians are spending an average of 90 minutes less per week listening to the radio than a decade ago, says a report on radio listening habits released Friday by Statistics Canada. On average, Canadians aged 12 and older spent 19.5 hours a week listening to radio in the fall of 2004, the same number of hours as the previous year but down by 11/2 hours compared to 1995. Also they are listening to radio more in the car and at work and less at home. The study is a joint project of Statistics Canada, Heritage Canada and the CRTC. Data was collected over a seven-day period, using a log-type questionnaire covering an eight-week period from Sept. 6 to Oct. 31, 2004.

Some of the results:

— Canadians spent 49 per cent of their listening time in their homes, down from 56 per cent in 1995. But they spent 27 per cent listening in cars, up from 22 per cent, and 23 per cent at work, up from 20 per cent in '95.

— Most radio listening in the home occurred in the early morning hours. At work it was between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and in the car, predictably, mainly during morning and evening rush-hour commutes.

— The gap between adult and teen listening continues to widen. Last fall, teens were tuning in for only 8.5 hours a week, a three-hour-per-week decline over the past five years, with adults reducing their listening time by close to one hour a week.

— Provincially, P.E.I. residents spent the most time listening to radio — an average of 21.2 hours a week — with B.C. residents spending the least time at 17.8 hours.

— Adult contemporary music continues to dominate formats, accounting for a quarter of adult listening time, followed by golden oldies/rock (15.3 per cent) and CBC Radio (11.1 per cent). CBC is the first choice in radio for respondents with university degrees.

The report notes that the survey return rate was 41.4 per cent, which is in line with international broadcasting industry practice for audience measurement, but modest by Statistics Canada standards and the data "should be interpreted with caution." With regular radio facing increasing competition from new technologies, from the Internet to IPods, it is not surprising that the Canadian Association of Broadcasters sounded an alarm last month over the CRTC decision to grant three licences for new subscription-based radio services, even though such conventional broadcasters as CHUM, Standard Radio and the CBC are involved in the coming technology. CAB president Glenn O'Farrell noted that private radio is still required to devote 35 per cent of its music to Canadian content, considerably more than the pay-radio options. And he called for the regulatory body "to ensure for local commercial radio a fair regulatory environment in a highly competitive marketplace." Still, some conventional broadcasters remain optimistic that their medium — which has survived competition in the past — will continue to do so. John Hayes, president of Corus Radio, which operates 50 stations across the country, says traditional AM and FM radio is hardly on the ropes. And he cites its local content as one of the main reasons it continues to do so well. "Out in the trenches in the real world, audiences still use radio as much as they ever did, advertisers continue to understand radio's tremendous reach and its ability to provide frequency of message and its ability to hit the consumer closest to the decision point of purchase."

Indeed, last month in its annual Broadcasting Policy Monitoring Report, the CRTC reported revenues for Canadian private radio stations exceeded $1.2 billion last year and profits before interest and tax came in at $224 million. Hayes believes AM and FM can co-exist with national pay radio services and one of the reasons is the unlikely prospect of households swapping out all of their traditional sets for new digital receivers. "How much more is the average Canadian household willing to pay for media on a monthly basis?" he asks rhetorically. "Think about how many analogue radio sets you have, between your automobiles and your kitchen and bathroom and bedside table, and so on. "And I would guess the average Canadian household would come up with six to eight radio sets. And there's 12 million Canadian households. . .my guess is there are around 80 million sets floating around Canada." Hayes predicts radio broadcasters will gravitate towards a digital solution that wouldn't require consumers to move to another spectrum, and that means the Internet. "I think the portability of the Internet is going to sweep past satellite radio very quickly," he says.

 

 

 

Intimate Bruce Not For Everyone

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Patrick Ho, Toronto Star

(Jul. 10, 2005) Over a career that has spanned four decades, Bruce Springsteen has offered two diametrically opposite visions of his music while on tour.  The most familiar is the stadium rocker whose marathon concerts with his E Street Band are filled with numerous sing-alongs and beer-fuelled, fist-pumping anthems. This is a crowd favourite, with his tour following his 9/11 inspired 2002 album The Rising packing venues around the world, including a record-breaking 10 sold-out shows at Giants Stadium — that's close to 560,000 tickets.  Not as popular is the singer-songwriter who takes the stage all by himself, his only companions an acoustic guitar, harmonica and a piano. Here, the New Jersey native, nicknamed the Boss, demands his audience to sit back and listen to the stories he has weaved into his songs.  This "intimate Bruce" kicks off the third leg of his latest tour in Ottawa on Wednesday to promote his solo release, Devils and Dust. Fans from as far away as Italy are heading to Toronto for the sold-out show on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.  The album briefly hit No. 1 in the United States and Canada when it was first released in April, but has since fallen off the radar. He's playing smaller venues on this tour, mostly theatres with capacity less than 5,000, a far cry from his stadium shows.  It would be easy to point to those two signs as evidence his popularity is waning after he alienated many of his fans who resented his support of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry. In the days leading up to last November's election, Springsteen even performed at a few of Kerry's rallies in a failed effort to convince Americans in swing states to vote the Democrats back into the White House. Springsteen doesn't have any regrets.  "Upsetting your fans is OK to do," he told CBS Sunday Morning in May. "As a matter of fact, it's a good thing to do. It should be part of your job on a somewhat regular basis because if not, then what are you doing? I write music hoping that it does touch, and upset, my fans to a certain degree. Because the other answer is that then you're telling people that everything is OK as it is."  He undoubtedly lost fans — many of the right-wing bent who just want him to shut up and play — because of his political activity. And the excited buzz surrounding his last two full-fledged tours, both with the E Street Band, on the Internet chatrooms was noticeably missing when the release of Devils and Dust and the subsequent tour was announced in spring.  But the lack of enthusiasm from his fans would be better blamed on his decision not to include the E Street Band on his latest project.

It's his first solo tour since the release of The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995. A number of fans were concerned this would be similar to the Joad tour, dubbed the "Shut the F--- Up tour," because of his admonition at the beginning of the show to keep quiet. Why spend more than $100 on a ticket only to be told not to clap along because you could throw him off his rhythm?  Other fans point out a show with the E Street Band was more of an event, with tailgate parties — and sometimes even a beach volleyball court — in the parking lot.  Despite the concerns, this tour has been better received by both fans and critics. Springsteen still prefaces each show with a demand for quiet, although he dropped that request when he played in Europe last month. But he appears more relaxed and having fun, jumping into the crowd like a drunken uncle during the encore of some of his European shows.  And even he acknowledged that one highlight of his Chicago show in May happened when a string broke on his guitar during "Land of Hope and Dreams," and the audience, as if on cue, jumped up and clapped along to support him while he and his assistant fumbled around for another guitar.  Leslie Tresun, a consultant from Los Angeles, who has been to nearly 80 Springsteen concerts, says she's been blown away by this tour.  "On the Joad tour, he was so deadly serious that it almost seemed the audience wasn't supposed to enjoy the music because then you weren't getting it," said Tresun, who has seen him four times this year.

"It was as if in his quest to be taken seriously as a solo acoustic performer, he'd forgotten that joy and fun are part of the musical experience. He's so much more relaxed now — he seems to realize that he can let the audience let loose and have a little fun on occasion and we're capable of calming down and giving his more sombre songs the quiet and attention they need."  His set usually consists of around two dozen songs, at least seven off the new album, with the rest a reworking of his more familiar work. He eschews staples such as "Born to Run," "Badlands" and "Rosalita" — concert highlights with the E Street Band — preferring to play less familiar material, such as songs off 1982 album Nebraska, his first and best solo work. He changes his set constantly, playing up to seven different songs from night to night. He's played nearly 85 different songs in 33 shows on this tour so far.  "Most of the stuff that I'm choosing (to play) I choose on the basis — does it feel new? Does it sound new? And does it feel fresh?" Springsteen said in the same CBS interview.  "I want people to come in and rehear all the music that they think they know and hear music that they don't know.''  Hanging over the 55-year-old Springsteen are persistent rumours that the next tour with the E Street Band will be the last one with saxophonist Clarence (The Big Man) Clemons and drummer Max Weinberg. Regardless, even if the E Street Band retires, his Devils and Dust tour will go a long way toward convincing his stadium-rock fans to give the "intimate Bruce" a chance.

 

 

 

L.A. Must Pay B.I.G. Family’s Lawyer Fees

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 11, 2005) *The judge who declared a mistrial in Notorious B.I.G’s wrongful death suit, filed by his family against the city of Los Angeles, has ordered the city and police department to pay the late rapper’s family "fees and costs incurred as a result of defendants' misconduct."  U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper declared a mistrial in the case last week after rejecting the city's argument that LAPD Detective Steven Katz had forgotten about documents in his desk drawer until his office was searched last month. The documents detail Katz's investigation of a prison informant's claim that corrupt former LAPD officers Rafael Perez and David Mack had a hand in Biggie’s 1997 killing. Cooper said the LAPD still has not turned over other files to the plaintiffs, including about 15 personnel complaint investigations into Mack. "The detective, acting alone or in concert with others, made a decision to conceal from the plaintiffs in this case information which could have supported their contention that David Mack was responsible for the Wallace murder," Cooper wrote in an order released Thursday affirming the family's request for a mistrial and sanctions. Attorney Perry Sanders Jr. said the family would refile the suit, but he didn't know when. As previously reported, the suit is expected to go after the LAPD for racketeering and to name Perez as a defendant. Meanwhile, B.I.G.’s mom, Voletta Wallace, spoke publicly about her son's death. "Eight years, three months and 29 days (ago) today, my son was murdered in this town, in this city. For all that time I've laboured with pain and sweat just to find out the truth of what happened," she said, adding that her suit "was not about money." She continued: "It was about honesty. It was about integrity. It was about cover-up. It had nothing to do with dollars and cents." In a separate news conference, Police Chief William Bratton denied the department had covered for Mack, currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for bank robbery, or his one-time partner Perez, the key figure in the LAPD Rampart corruption scandal. "What the hell do we want to protect those two scumbags for?" Bratton said, adding that LAPD and FBI investigations failed to implicate either man. He added that the department was looking into Katz's "oversight."

Mistrial Declared In Notorious B.I.G. Wrongful Death Case

Source:  Associated Press

(July 6, 2005) Los Angeles —  A federal judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the Notorious B.I.G. wrongful death case, attorneys on both sides said. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper's ruling came after she expressed concern at a hearing Tuesday that the Los Angeles Police Department had deliberately withheld evidence from the court. There were only three days of testimony in the trial, which began June 21 but was interrupted when an anonymous tip led to the discovery of large numbers of LAPD documents that hadn't been turned over to attorneys for the rap star's family. B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was 24 when he was gunned down in 1997 while leaving a crowded late-night party in Los Angeles. He was one of the most influential hip-hop artists of the 1990s and his two albums are regularly listed among the best in the genre. His family's lawsuit against the city and LAPD claimed corrupt police officer David Mack arranged to have Wallace killed at the behest of Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight, and that LAPD officials covered up Mack's involvement. Family attorneys had declared their intention to refile the suit with new allegations against the LAPD and against Mack's one-time partner, Rafael Perez. The city had previously asked the judge to continue with trial, arguing that any new documents largely revolved around hearsay. Assistant City Attorney Don Vincent said Wednesday he would still like "to try the case on the merits."

Family attorney Perry Sanders Jr. said the family — including Wallace's mother Voletta and widow R&B singer Faith Evans — didn't want to have to go through another trial but would do so. He said the case would now delve into a corruption scandal in the LAPD's Rampart division dating to the 1990s. "We're about to get to the bottom of Rampart," Sanders said. "We're about to peel the onion back to its rotten core." Perez was a central figure in the scandal, which involved alleged misconduct or brutality by corrupt officers in an anti-gang unit at Rampart. More than 100 criminal convictions possibly tainted by police misconduct were reversed. Perez alleged wrongdoing by others after he was found to have stolen cocaine from an evidence room. Perez was the focus of most of the recently discovered documents, which had been sitting in an LAPD detective's desk drawer until last month. The detective said he forgot about them, a claim the judge called "absolutely incredible" during Tuesday's hearing. The plaintiffs filed a motion Tuesday seeking a mistrial based on what they claimed was deliberate concealment of evidence and on the need for time to further investigate Perez. The court did not immediately make the mistrial ruling public. A written ruling will be issued Thursday, the judge's clerk said in confirming the mistrial. Perez and Knight have never been arrested or charged in connection with the slaying and were not named in the family's suit. Mack, now serving a prison term for bank robbery, and a man alleged by the plaintiffs to be the shooter, Amir Muhammad, had been named in the suit but were dropped before trial. They also were never arrested or charged in connection with the killing.

 

 

 

Lauryn Hill Says Fugees Had ‘Control’ Issues

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 7, 2005) *Lauryn Hill says she took a lot of “abuse” during her experience as a member of the Fugees and refers to the group as “a conspiracy to control, to manipulate and to encourage dependence,” in the new issue of Trace magazine, due on newsstands July 14.   As part of the publication’s annual “Black Girls Rule” issue, the reclusive superstar, who appears on the cover,  speaks candidly about her misery as a Fugee, her early affection for group member Wyclef Jean and discomfort with the fame that followed her Grammy-winning solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”  

Here are a few excerpts from the Trace article:

On stardom:
• I enjoyed the elation, and seeing the audience happy and fulfilled, and being a star was a natural progression. You go from being a very popular kid to being a very popular person, publicly. I was always extremely popular as a kid, but as a young woman I didn’t understand that dynamic. I made music out of love, and then I got a reaction, a big reaction, and it wasn¹t healthy because I ended up pleasing other people who were dysfunctional.

On the Fugees:
• I was impressed with Clef¹s discipline with the instrumentation. There were no black guys I knew who played the guitar like that. I saw a spark in Wyclef that was extremely attractive at the time.

• I took a lot of abuse that many people would not have taken in these circumstances. I cannot blame others, because I can see that a lot of relationships are analogous, but I didn’t realize what was going on until it was too late. I had become used to improper dynamics, where people would transfer their hatred on someone else, thereby making a beautiful person ugly. I was young, gifted and black in a world where you’re not supposed to know so much, and that brought out the hatred of others.

On “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”:
• People felt that they were entitled to touch me, that they were entitled to a certain type of greeting. I literally had to re-educate people. You have to remember that I had been through a tumultuous relationship, a painful relationship, and I was still hurting, and I hadn¹t healed. You will find that insecure women have a tendency to attract insecure men.

On hip hop:
• Hip hop was a folk expression, and changed unapologetically, and didn’t ask for permission from corporate sponsors on what it was going to do next. That’s why it was exciting. Hip hop was born out of black people who had something to say. Hip hop used to have an air of exclusivity, of intimacy, of relevance, and that it's lost. Hip hop has been sold to convenience.

More Lauryn Bites From ‘Trace’

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 13, 2005) *"If I make music now, it will only be to provide information to my own children," says mother of four Lauryn Hill in the new issue of Trace magazine, on newsstands tomorrow (July 14). "If other people benefit from it, then so be it." As previously reported, the former Fugees singer, whose 1998 solo debut "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" earned a record five Grammys, spoke candidly in the magazine’s special “Black Girls Rule” issue about her troubled road following the success of the album. She says a CD of new solo studio material is forthcoming, but the jury is still out on a new Fugees album.  Her rocky relationship with group member Wyclef Jean, as well as her marriage to Rohan Marley (son of reggae legend Bob Marley and the father of her children) contributed to the singer’s longtime disillusion with men. "As a young woman, I saw the best in everyone, but I did not see the lust and insecurities of men," she says. "I discovered what a lie was, and how lies manifested themselves." Hill's last recording was 2001's "MTV Unplugged" — a rambling, core-baring performance that raised the eyebrows of fans and critics alike. "In order to bare one's soul, one has to display their whole vulnerability, which most people will never do," Hill says. "These people who bare their souls end up being the source of ridicule." Hill says she has been hesitant to release new music since the “Unplugged” album because most of her previous songs were “transitional.” “The music was about how I was feeling at the time, even though I was documenting my distress as well as my bursts of joy," she says.

 

 

 

Sugar Water Tour Schedule: Grammy Winners Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott team for summer tour

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 7, 2005) *The final selection of dates and cities have been announced for the Sugar Water Festival, a summer concert tour featuring Grammy-winning performers Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah and Jill Scott. Poetry/soul duo Floetry will serve as the tour’s opening act.  The trek kicks off in Virginia Beach on July 8 and wraps up with a two-night stand in Los Angeles on August 9-10. Advance tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets and ticketmaster.com.  "The Sugar Water Festival is much more than a concert tour," said Badu. "It's about educating, enlightening and entertaining. Queen, Jill and I are all committed to tapping into the communities we play -- to raise awareness, in a positive way, of what we can all do create a better world."  The Sugar Water Festival is sponsored by Curvation and Pizza Hut, along with CoverGirl -- who will have a presence at 13 of the 20 shows for their on-site brand experience Celebrate the Queen in You! Concertgoers will receive free makeovers from trained CoverGirl beauty experts in addition to a free CoverGirl-branded makeup bag and free digital beauty photos taken to remember their Sugar Water experience.

 

 

 

Pat Metheny Is No Bob Geldof

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Mark Miller

(July 9, 20050) MONTREAL -- Celebrity is a relative concept in jazz. After Diana Krall, who? And even Ms. Krall is well down the list of the noted and notorious in the wider world of the arts and entertainment. Well down. Pat Metheny is not a celebrity. So what are all these TV cameras, photographers and reporters doing, crowded into a small salon at the official hotel of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal? Well, when the festival beckons in this city, the media respond. And there really is a story here: The always personable and currently well-tanned Missouri-born guitarist will have performed at least six times before the festival is over tomorrow, his schedule concluding on the final night with an outdoor show by the Pat Metheny Group at the corner of St-Catherine and Jeanne-Mance. Actually, there's even more of a story here, if only the media knew or, perhaps, cared. Metheny at 50 is a political animal -- "the most political person I know," said his friend, bassist Charlie Haden, no political slouch himself, in an interview at this same festival last year. Metheny has a troubled view of the world, one that forms the rationale for his latest CD, The Way Up, whose single, 68-minute title composition was "a reaction," as he put it in an interview with JazzTimes earlier this year, "to a world where things are getting shorter, dumber, less interesting, less detailed, more predictable." And no, he's not a big fan of the Republicans either.

The media, however, seem to prefer fishing for compliments about the festival and about Montreal more generally. Metheny is obliging, and quite sincerely so, noting in his opening remarks, "I've said many times, and I really believe it, [this] is the best festival in the world." To which André Ménard, the festival's artistic director gloating to the guitarist's left, can't help but chime in, "You were the first [musician] to say that we have the best jazz festival in the world. You did not change your mind. Cool." But Metheny allows himself to be led only where he's willing to go. When asked about "music of the francophone world and what you feel about it," presumably in search of a similar endorsement, he takes a different tack. "You know," he responds, "I don't really think about 'francophone' or 'jazz' or 'rock' or 'classical.' To me, music is one big thing. When I hear something I love, I love it, and I don't really care much about nationality or style or genre. To me, music is something that is very instructive at showing how really kind of meaningless those terms often are. It cuts right to the humanity of it." Metheny is very much a "humanity" kind of guy. You can feel it in the sunny disposition of the music that he writes on his own or with Group keyboard player Lyle Mays and you can find it in the warmth and integrity of his relationships with other musicians from around the world. Indeed there was a perfect Metheny tableau to be seen in the hotel lobby a few hours before the press conference: the guitarist, just off the plane from France, balancing a Macintosh PowerBook on his knee as he called up a file to show the Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and the Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, just two of the many players whose paths he is crossing on the festival's stages this week. The Metheny cast also includes musicians from Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland and Vietnam, as well as such noted Americans as Charlie Haden, tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, guitarist Mick Goodrick, vibraphonist Gary Burton and bassists Steve Swallow and Me'Shell Ndegeocello.

Haden and Metheny will revisit compositions from their CD Beyond The Missouri Sky, while Redman joins the guitarist in a reprise of his album 80/81 and Burton and Swallow participate in a reunion of the Burton band, with which he started his career in the mid-1970s. The Pat Metheny Group, in turn, will play The Way Up for the last time on a tour that counted some 100 concerts in 16 countries. The piece now runs upward of 80 minutes, and the group's shows last about three hours altogether, a defiant response to the "aesthetic of reduction" that Metheny decries in contemporary culture -- that trend toward making things shorter, dumber, less interesting, and so on. He's talking one-on-one now. The TV cameras, the photographers and the other reporters have all left the salon, deadlines looming, and the conversation moves on to the world that so troubles him and to the effect that he, as a musician, might have on it. Ultimately, he's not sure. It's typical of Metheny, who's as thoughtful as anyone in jazz, that he can distinguish between rhetoric and reality. "Somebody," he remembers, "wrote me an e-mail that said, 'Man, you do so much better under a Republican administration. Your music is so much better when you're on the opposition.' And I had to think: 'Well, which records were those?' I couldn't exactly remember." In other words, whatever political subtext might be behind a particular piece or period of music may well lose its relevance to that piece or period in the course of time. Even the way in which The Way Up has just been received on tour leaves Metheny wondering.

"As we went around from show to show, playing it night after night after night, was [the political] aspect of our efforts really what people were responding to? I'd have to say probably not. They probably were responding to the sound of it, the notes of it, the spirit of it, the thing of it. Then I have to ask, 'What were we addressing?' We were probably addressing it more from the performance aspect as well." So what's a conscientious, politically and socially aware jazz musician of considerable international standing to do? "I think the main thing musicians can do," Metheny offers, "is represent themselves well musically. I think there's intrinsic value in that. And not just a musician; it could be anyone doing anything. If you represent the best parts of yourself through what you do, you're on the way to offering, well, not a solution, but a component of a solution to the kinds of things we're talking about." Not for Metheny, then, the role of musician as activist, beyond speaking his mind -- when asked. "Whenever a musician finds himself in a non-musical role," he notes, "there's a certain finesse required there that most of us don't have." Of course finesse, or the lack thereof, never held Bob Geldof back. But Metheny is not Bob Geldof. Or Bono. Metheny is a jazz musician, well down the list of celebrity even from Diana Krall. "In terms of musicians really feeling like they have power and impact on a social level," he suggests, "I don't think there's ever been a jazz musician who's had the platform that Bob Geldof or Bono do. Probably we're luckier for it; we're not burdened with that. It seems to be enough for us just to try and play the good notes." The Pat Metheny Group will appear tonight at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, returning to Montreal for an outdoor show tomorrow (http://www.montrealjazzfest.com).

 

 

 

Black Eyed Peas Reach The Next Stage

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Ben Rayner, Pop Music Critic

(Jul. 11, 2005) No one, it appears, can quite agree on what happened to the Black Eyed Peas.  Once a trio of promising Los Angeles MCs who operated slightly outside the usual generic constraints of mainstream hip hop, the Peas stormed onto the pop A-list in 2003 after bringing a comely female singer into their midst, collaborating with Justin Timberlake and churning out the sort of easy, fist-pumping party anthems that wind up being adopted as NBA theme music.  Those who had assumed the Peas would ride out their career as pillars of "conscious" hip hop were horrified. Other observers extended them a modicum of respect for being forthright in choosing to storm full-tilt for the top of the charts. Most of their three million or so new fans were surprised to learn that there had actually been two Black Eyed Peas albums before Elephunk and the Timberlake-abetted worldwide smash, "Where is The Love?"  With the recent release of Monkey Business, the quartet's official embrace of heavy-MuchMusic-rotation stardom has been solidified. The Peas, now unapologetically a glossy pop ensemble, scored a No. 1 album in Canada, earning the right to headline the Molson Amphitheatre last night before around 11,000 delighted fans.  Regardless of your personal views on the group's purported "selling out," there are much less deserving acts in its position these days. And at least they brought along Talib Kweli to open.  Triple-threat MCs will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo are much more competent on the mike than a platinum-plated mumbler like 50 Cent, for instance, and devoted a long chunk of the late going to solo showcases of their freestyle skills — although will.i.am, generally regarded as the creative muscle behind the crew, bested his mates with a rubbery stream-of-conscious flow that gained syncopation as it went on.  Fergie, the group's female component, doesn't have a great deal to do besides look totally hot and contribute a lot of "whoa-oh-ohs" to the proceedings, but her presence was duly appreciated by the many young-ish women in the crowd. (Indeed, will.i.am's comment that "the most beautiful-est women is in Toronto" seemed justified.)The tunes, however, had a tendency to blend into a long stream of dancehall-inflected flatlines and directionless, rather typical funk workouts like "Joints And Jams" that lacked the monumental pop hooks that drive the Peas' best material.  Could've been inexperience with working such a big stage. But if the Black Eyed Peas hope to skirt consignment to pop-hip hop's bottomless well of flashes in the pan, working some of the outsider moves that made them stand out in the first place would be a good place to start.

Black Eyed Peas Gambol For Shelf Life

Source: Angela Pacienza, Canadian Press

(Jul. 8, 2005) Is a chaotic, unpredictable live show enough to keep the Black Eyed Peas from being relegated to the record store discount bins?  That's what member will.i.am hopes as he muses on the continually shortening shelf life of mainstream hip hop.  "Hip hop is the only music that's disposable. That's a sad thing. Jimi Hendrix and The Doors — that's not disposable. That'll be around forever," the performer, born William Adams, stated matter-of-factly in an interview during a recent trip to Toronto.  "But songs I was listening to in 1989, are those disposable songs? I hope not. Was Heavy D disposable? I wish it ain't. But there's nobody holding that dear to them the way they hold a Frank Sinatra song."  Today's hot summer track is often forgotten once the seasons turn. And while hip hop isn't the only genre suffering from lack of staying power, its dominance on the Top 10 charts makes it a visible victim to the fickleness of consumer tastes.  The blame, he says, lies not with the music but with the way the current generation consumes it.  "We're bombarded with information — boom, boom, boom," said the singer, punching the air for emphasis. "It's not the way it was when Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra (were around). There wasn't that much information back then. There weren't as many upgrades."  The band — rounded out by Taboo, alp.de.ap and Fergie — hopes to build a career that lasts past this week's favourite ringtone and video game with a heavy touring schedule that shows off their spontaneous, free-spirited, free-styling musicianship.  The quartet started its Canadian leg of the Monkey Business tour this week in Quebec City. They come to Toronto on Sunday and by month's end, will have made 13 stops, including shows in Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

Monkey Business was the No. 1 album in Canada this week, buoyed in large part by a hot radio, TV and online single "Don't Phunk With My Heart."  A Black Eyed Peas concert is typically filled with disarray, as the foursome don't believe in rehearsing. The group uses on-stage goofs to sow seeds for new songs, so fans are often treated to impromptu jam sessions. That's how they wrote two hits from their last album, "Where is the Love?" and "Let's Get Retarded."  "If you fall on your face and you can't make a song of it, then you're no good. Jazz musicians do it all the time," said will.i.am, breaking into song to illustrate how a tuba player once gave him a riff.  "You never know what you're going to come up with. You could do the opposite and sit in some studio for hours ... with some dude who's probably having relationship issues with his girlfriend and his phone keeps on ringing but you rehearse for hours and then go on stage like robots."  Black Eyed Peas' other tour dates include: today in Ottawa; tomorrow in Montreal; July 11 in London, Ont.; July 15 in Winnipeg; July 16 in Saskatoon; July 17 in Edmonton; July 18 in Grand Prairie, Alta.; July 19 in Calgary; July 21 in Victoria; July 22 in Vancouver and July 23 in Kelowna, B.C.

 

 

 

Bow Wow Grows Up: Maturity Reflected On New Release, 'Wanted,' Out Today

Source: Amina Elshahawi, ICED Media, amina@icedmedia.com

(July 12, 2005) Ask Bow Wow what life is like now that's he's 18 and the music, film and television powerhouse pulls no punches. "I'm maturing," he says. "I'm becoming a man, but staying humble. I'm staying myself and most importantly, I'm trying to make good movies and music for my fans. Every one in hip-hop talks about staying real and what that means to me is staying down to earth, not getting cocky. When I say, 'do you,' that means 'be yourself.' That's what this album is all about." The name of Bow Wow's fourth Sony album is Wanted and whether he's letting fans know about his life, giving the ladies something, partying with the fellas or lacing you with a laid back vibe, Wanted is Bow Wow at his most focused, playful and in control. Featuring guest appearances from some of the hottest names in music--like Ciara and Snoop Dogg--Wanted truly reflects the way Bow Wow is, right now.  As fans of the multi-platinum entertainer know, any time Bow Wow makes a record, it's an event, but even by Bow Wow's standards, Wanted is cause for celebration. Credit the re-teaming of Bow Wow with superstar producer and mogul Jermaine Dupri. While 2003's Unleashed, executive produced by Bow Wow, ushered in the artist's mature new vibe, this time around Bow Wow knew he wanted to get back together with Dupri. "I've got no regrets about Unleashed and was really glad I had the chance to work with other producers," Bow Wow admits, "but Jermaine is like family. He's like my big brother and working with him is like being home. I just put my foot down and said, 'I'm not getting back into the studio unless Jermaine is there and he does my entire record.' You just can't mess with our chemistry." Want proof of that chemistry? Just check out tracks like the hard-hitting "Do You." "That's just me reclaiming my throne!," exclaims Bow Wow. "It's my way of letting everybody know that even if I'm gone for a decade, this is still my house and I'm putting my paw print on things and making sure that everybody knows what's going on." Something that's definitely going on is "Caviar," a slinky southern-fried jam that features Bow Wow and Snoop Dogg (who appeared on Bow's debut) having mad fun. "That's a real feel good party record with me and Snoop, doing what we do…again," says Bow Wow. Another high profile collaboration is "Like You," featuring Ciara.  "That's a special record," Bow Wow explains. "It's a girl's song and I always make sure that I do something for the ladies because they've always been so supportive and 'Like You' is something that they can relate to because everything that Ciara and I are singing about is real." Equally real and totally hyped up is "Go," which Bow Wow declares "is for the kids. It's an upbeat, way up-tempo crunk record. It's got this great chorus and totally makes a statement. That record is just an adrenalin rush!"

A major reason for that rush is that Bow Wow has taken a major hand in the song and music writing, making Wanted an extremely personal experience.  '"Everything I write about happens in my life," Bow Wow offers. "I talk about everything, from going to the mall, to being on '106th and Park' to shopping, my career, my movies, TV shows, my family. Everything. My style of rapping is bringing my world to ya'll. Letting ya'll know what's really going on inside the world of Bow Wow. I think that's why going into the studio and coming up with rhymes is such a natural thing for me to do because I'm just expressing what my life is all about." Bow Wow has been letting his fans inside his world from a young age. Born in Ohio (he now lives in Atlanta), Bow Wow was a naturally gifted hip-hop child prodigy. When he was just six and still answering to the name Shad Moss, he appeared on the popular "The Arsenio Hall Show," where he met legendary rapper Snoop Dogg. Snoop was so taken with Shad's charisma and skills that he dubbed him "Lil Bow Wow" and invited the then pint-sized microphone fiend to join the "Chronic Tour."  Soon, word began to filter throughout the hip-hop and pop communities about the cute little kid with the vicious flow. In 2000 Bow Wow brought that flow and his undeniable mass appeal to the top of the charts courtesy of his debut album, Beware of Dog. Thanks to infectious singles like "Bounce With Me," which topped both the rap and R&B charts, and high profile gigs like opening up for *NSYNC and appearing with Madonna to open the 2001 Grammy Awards ceremony, Beware of Dog would sell more than 2 million copies with Bow Wow emerging as the most talked about young rapper in the game. He kept the buzz growing with 2001's follow-up Doggy Bag (which went gold and platinum) and the sold-out "Scream" arena tours. Along with his own albums, Bow Wow popped up on the soundtracks for the films "Wild Wild West" and "Big Momma's House."  In 2002, Bow Wow made his move from the recording studio to the big screen with the starring role in "Like Mike" (one of the 50 top grossing films of 2002) which led to a role in the smash comedy "Johnson Family Vacation" in 2003.  "Acting is something that I feel like is really gonna be crazy for me," Bow Wow says, and his hunch is paying off. Watch for Bow Wow in a new movie, "Roll Bounce," a teenage skater-dramedy set in the late 1970s, slated for an autumn release; the headline slot on this summer's hotly-anticipated "Scream IV Tour" ; and his own self-titled television series premiering on the WB Network this fall. One listen to Wanted and you can tell that four albums into his career, Bow Wow is just getting started. Whether kicking it with the guys or whispering to the females, Bow Wow is continuing to deliver edgy but tender rhymes that are both true to himself and universal in their appeal. Asked what drives him and Bow Wow grins. "I know what I gotta do," he says, "I'm still that same threat that I was when I was 13. No matter what people say I'm still gonna be at it. I'm gonna keep being me and having fun with it." Wanted” IN STORES today, July 12, 2005. For more, visit http://www.lilbowwow.com

Bow Wow Joins Forces With Omarion

Source: Sony Urban Music/Columbia Records

(July 8, 2005)  (New York -) Multi-platinum rap icon Bow Wow and #1 chart-topper Omarion are joining forces to co-headline the Scream Tour IV Presents: The Heart Throb Tour beginning July 20 in Trenton, New Jersey and winding up September 4 in Miami (see itinerary following).  Other acts on the Scream Tour IV will include Bobby Valentino, Pretty Ricky and Marques Houston. A Top 20 record on the Billboard Hot 100, Bow Wow's latest single, "Let Me Hold You," is lighting up the nation's airwaves providing fans with a first taste of Wanted, the eagerly-awaited successor to Bow Wow's 2003 best-selling Unleashed. Wanted is being released--as both a traditional CD and as a DualDisc--on July 12. Produced by superstar hitmaker Jermaine Dupri, "Let Me Hold You" is a collaboration with Bow Wow's fellow hip-hop heartthrob Omarion, whose first solo album, O (Sony Urban Music / Epic), debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 at the beginning of March 2005. Fans can check out Bow Wow, Omarion and Jermaine Dupri in the studio cutting the smash "Let Me Hold You" via an exclusive online video at www.bowwowwanted.com 2005 is shaping up to be a very big year for Bow Wow.   In addition to the release of his new album and the Scream IV tour, Bow Wow is scheduled to light up the big screen this fall with a starring role in the feature film, "Roll Bounce," a teenage skater-dramedy set in the late 1970s, and his very own television sitcom, "Bow," scheduled to air on the WB. Bow Wow first burst on the scene back in 2000--under the wing of super producer Jermaine Dupri--with his debut album, Beware of Dog, which went on to sell more than three million copies while solidifying his status as an authentic hip-hop heartthrob.

Bow Wow took his brand of rap to the next level with 2001's Doggy Bag, hitting the road in support of his multi-platinum sophomore CD with the sold-out "Scream Tour II," wowing fans all over the country with hits like "Take Ya Home" and "Thank You." Bow Wow's undeniable star power led to starring roles in the box office triumph "Like Mike" (one of the 50 Top-Grossing films of 2002) and the subsequent hits "All About The Benjamins" (2002) and "Johnson Family Vacation" (2004). With his third album, 2003's Unleashed, Bow Wow became more directly involved with writing and producing his music, creating a collection directly from the heart, conveying a more personal overview of life from Bow Wow's perspective. He is the youngest musician to open the Grammy Awards, is the first "kid" to be included in Vanity Fair's prestigious annual music issue (October 2001),  and entered the "The Guinness Book of World Records" as the youngest solo rapper to hit #1 on the U.S. charts. Having recently turned 18, with several hit singles, platinum-plus albums, sold-out tours, starring roles in hit films, and a place in "The Guinness Book of World Records" already on his resume, Bow Wow continues to prove that he's the 100% real deal with the indisputable goods: a bona fide teen superstar blessed with burgeoning talent, tenacity, and a deep connection to his audience. Omarion's career is currently ablaze with a # 1 chart topping album, a radio favourite single, "O," and his latest smoking hot single release, "Touch."  The music video for "Touch" has already debuted on BET 106 & Park and is following in the large footsteps of "O." Born and raised in Inglewood, California, Omarion rose to fame while still a teen as a member of the groundbreaking urban "boy band" B2K.  His soulful vocals and undeniable charisma helped B2K score a hit with the group's very first single, "Uh Huh," in 2001; achieve gold status with the group's self-titled debut album in 2002; and go RIAA platinum with the group's best-selling sophomore outing, Pandemonium! in 2003.

Omarion's undeniable media geniality has led to numerous television guest appearances including "Punk'd," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "Soul Train."  In addition to his musical performances, Omarion has acted on the big screen with key roles in "You Got Served" and "Fat Albert."  Currently in production, Omarion's latest film venture, "The House," is an innovative horror film directed by Chris Stokes. A solid collaboration between two bona-fide superstar performers, "Let Me Hold You" is as hip as it is infectious.  The music video for "Let Me Hold You," directed by Grammy award winner Bryan Barber, is destined to place Bow back on his throne as the self proclaimed "King of '106 & Park.'"  A nicely crafted song that's a great fit for ladies and the fellas who love them, "Let Me Hold You" is shaping up as the jam of the summer.

www.BowWowWanted.com
www.columbiarecords.com

 

 

 

Rev Run’s New Reality

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 11, 2005) *It was his partner DMC who said ‘I won’t stop rockin’ till I retire,” but with a new album and reality show on deck for the fall, 40-year-old Rev. Run – introduced to millions as Run of Run DMC with 1983’s “It’s Like That” – says both of his new projects are part of God’s plan to continue spreading the Word for as long as possible.    “I read a quote somewhere that said ‘Your life is speaking so loud that I can’t hear nothing you’re saying,” says Rev Run, whose name reflects his God-centered direction since being “called” for a higher purpose. “My job is to come out in front of the world on MTV and show them how I’m doing and what I’m doing after Run DMC.” Born Joseph Simmons, the brother of Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, Run will appear with his wife and five kids in “Run's House,” premiering this fall on MTV. Russell and his wife Kimora Lee Simmons, who live a stone’s throw from Run in Saddle River, New Jersey, are seen on the show spending time with Run’s fam and vacationing with them in St. Barts. The series will also show the holy M.C. in the studio recording his first-ever solo album “Distortion,” due Sept. 13 via Russell Simmons Music Group/Island Def Jam.  “You’re gonna see how Run juggles his life,” Run tells EUR’s Lee Bailey of his TV show. “It’s exciting and interesting to see rap all grown up. That’s what this is. When you look at LL Cool J braiding his daughter’s hair in a Coke commercial, you see how far rap has come.  Rap is also fathers now.” Run and his wife Justine, a former rapper/singer, are the parents of 21-year-old Vanessa, a Ford model, former Miss Teen New York and aspiring actress; 17-year-old Angela, a straight-A student and aspiring fashion designer; 15-year-old JoJo, a budding rapper who loves music and girls; 9-year-old Diggy, star of the basketball team and an aspiring rapper; and 8-year-old Russell, Jr.

Although cameras were constantly filming the entire family, Run wasn’t bothered at all by the lack of privacy.   “If you’re confident that you’re doing the right things, you don’t mind having it taped,” he says. “I feel like we’re being taped anyway. God sees everything that’s happening. The bible says if you seek to keep your life, you’ll lose it.  If you seek to lose your life, you’ll keep it. At least this way, I can account for it in front of the world.  It’s a big responsibility, but I believe I was born to inspire people.”   Rev. Run’s path to enlightenment went through the rise and domination of Run DMC, who brought rugged beats and stripped-down rhymes to a genre that at the time was heavy on sampled R&B grooves and rock-the-party lyrics.  Known then as Joey Simmons, Run got his first hip hop paycheck by DJing for Def Jam’s first big act, Kurtis Blow. Run and his best friend Darryl McDaniels started rapping together at underage clubs around their native Hollis, Queens before Jam Master Jay joined the duo to form the group Run DMC in 1983. Their first single, “It’s Like That,” cleared a path for the landing of their self-titled, genre-expanding mothership album the following year.  As follow-up discs “King of Rock” and “Raising Hell” brought Run DMC’s Adidas from Two-Fifth Street to the rest of the world, Run was taking advantage of every luxury afforded such a rise to fame.  “I thought that the goal was to get as much money, drugs and women as possible,” Run says. “I thought the goal was to get more of whatever seemed right as a youth. But then there came a point where God said, ‘You finished? Okay. Come on, let’s go do something else. You’re older now.’ The bible says, ‘As a child, you do childish things; when you get older, you do older things.’  I’m in my right place. I’m in my calling.” The calling wasn’t necessarily to step in a pulpit, says Run. “It’s not so much to preach Jesus as it is to show people Jesus,” he says, explaining his crossfade toward God as a “natural progression.”

 “It wasn’t really I was trying to be a preacher, I was just going to church because I was empty.  It just evolved to this,” says Run. “We might’ve had Rev. Tupac soon, if he didn’t go. We have many people that are going to run into God in their travels; like Paul, who was doing his own thing. Sometimes you’re doing your own thing and God says, ‘I have need of you. I’m getting ready to do something different with rap.  They might ridicule you for saying your name is Rev. Run, but stick with me.’ And here I am now years later after picking up the call with a reality show on MTV.”   As for his new album “Distortion,” Run says fans will feel like they’re in a time warp upon first listen.  “It’ll remind you of Run DMC’s best records,” he says. “It’ll be sounding like stuff you’ve heard and the only thing you’ll be able to judge it against is Run DMC stuff. It’s not going to be trying to do anything but what you’ve heard.” The set includes the songs "Boom Ditty," "I Use to Think I Was Run," "Break'em Til It's Broken," "Got a Way," "Home Sweet Home," "Distortion," "Changetime," "Beats to the Rhyme" and "High and Mighty Joe."  The album’s first single, "Mind On the Road," will be featured on the upcoming "Madden 2006" video game, due Aug. 9 via EA Sports. The video, directed by Rev Run  and Ghetto Nerd, premieres this month. All of the album’s beats were laced by Whiteboy for Whiteboyz Noize, Inc., who also co-produced the album with Rev Run.  As previously reported, digitally-remastered, expanded editions of four classic Run-DMC albums will be released by Sony/BMG's Profile/Arista/Legacy division on Sept. 6th: 1984’s “Run-DMC,” a 20th anniversary special edition of “King Of Rock,” “Raising Hell,” and 1988’s “Tougher Than Leather.” Run has completely shut the door on recording another Run DMC record out of respect for his late friend and group member Jam Master Jay, who was killed on October 30, 2002, just weeks after the group finished a major summer-fall tour with Aerosmith and Kid Rock. The trio had been touring in support of “Crown Royal,” their eighth album and first new studio release since 1993's “Down with the King.” Jay’s killing halted Rev. Run’s recording activities, making his re-emergence this fall on wax and on the small screen even more special. 

 

 

 

A Record Company's Best Friend

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Robert Everett-Green

(July 13, 2005) A week or so before the Detroit rock duo the White Stripes released their much-awaited recent CD, a few fans in Memphis, Tenn., began streaming the entire album over the Internet. A leak like that would usually draw a menacing letter from somebody's lawyer, but when V2 Records heard about it, the New York label's on-line marketing guy sent the perpetrators a friendly e-mail asking them to hold off for another week. The fans immediately withdrew the album from their website, Scenestars.net, and posted a note thanking "the extremely generous people at V2 Records" for being so decent about an honest mistake. Also for giving Scenestars permission to resume free, on-demand plays of the Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan one day before the disc's official release on June 7.

Welcome to the world of mp3 blogs, the soft beachhead of the recording industry's efforts to get more gain and less pain from on-line music sharing. The same companies that are trying to crush illegal downloading are making nice with a growing army of audio bloggers who offer free access to copyrighted music every day. The different treatment stems mainly from the attitudes of those on the receiving end. People who go to fileswapping sites such as Grokster want stuff for free. People who maintain music blogs for little glory and no pay want to share their feelings about music, and use mp3 files to make the exchange more vivid. Reading a blog entry about a song by Spoon while hearing the music on your computer speakers is like listening to a friend's excited analysis of the sounds pouring from his dorm-room stereo.  "You're getting honest feedback from real people who are passionate about it, and who are out there buying records and talking to their friends," said Miguel Banuelos, V2's manager of on-line marketing and promotion, who maintains regular contact with more than two dozen prominent blogs, including Scenestar. "For the most part they're niche or genre-oriented, which is helpful."

They also tend to be stout defenders of the property rights of musicians and their labels. "Files are only up for a very limited time and are here for the express purpose of getting you to go out and buy more CDs," says a notice at The No. 1 Songs in Heaven, a blog devoted to vintage soul and funk. Invective against greedy music conglomerates is rare, in part because bloggers know that their music posts depend on corporate good will, especially if they want to be first with a hot new track. Besides, the companies know where they live. A blog tended by the same people every day has none of the anonymity of a drive-by download from Kazaa. Over the past year, the passion of the blogs has become an almost bankable commodity. Several indie rock bands, including The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Montreal's Arcade Fire have enjoyed major boosts in sales and visibility as a result of organized music chatter on the web. The e-zine Pitchfork is still the best-known source for on-line opinion, but the balance of influence may be shifting. Ryan Schreiber, who founded Pitchfork at his parents' house 10 years ago, recently told The Chicago Tribune: "If I were starting over, I'd certainly start a blog instead of a webzine." Music webzines are mostly modelled on paper magazines, and run album reviews that aren't much different from those found in Exclaim!, the free monthly Canadian music mag. Audio blogs are more like really slow radio stations, for music you won't hear on radio. They treat the song as the medium of exchange, and the paragraph as the unit of comment. "[An audio blog] allows for a different kind of music writing, because you can engage with the song on a moment-by-moment basis," said Jordan Himelfarb, a McGill philosophy student and musician who writes for Said the Gramophone. "Without the audience being able to listen while they read, it would be too obscure."

Many sites, however, are bigger on enthusiasm than sustained analysis. Some, such as Fifteen Minutes to Listen, give only brief descriptive information about the tracks they offer. "You've got to hear this!" is the prevailing ethos. At the other extreme (short of words-only music blogs such as Alex Ross's The Rest Is Noise or Carl Wilson's Zoilus) is Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua, whose critical commentary has professional depth and polish. A "discernible number" of audio blogs are run by people who have some professional relationship to music and the music industry, said V2's Banuelo. Many are venting their desire to get ahead of the curve and to have their say about the state of the art, which they may not get in the corporate environment or while spinning decks at a nightclub. All are putting many hours into the task, to the point at which the apparent freedom of the blog can become a form of bondage. Regular publication is an article of faith. "One of the worst things I ever did was to get into the habit of publishing daily," said Web engineer Frank Yang, who writes Chromewaves, a text-heavy Toronto blog that features one mp3 per week. "I've got this Cal Ripken streak going on, where I haven't missed a day in 16 months." There's no end to the types of music found in blogdom. Some sites trumpet their eclecticism, while others carve out their interests with a razor. The only music not well represented is the ubiquitous kind. Nobody needs to make an audio blog for Britney Spears or for American Idol contestants.

The Tofu Hut mixes social commentary with its music, as for example in a recent post of a photo of Condoleezza Rice above an mp3 of Joe Pullum's 1934 blues hit, Black Girl, What Makes Your Head So Hard? You can stay and read a few paragraphs about Pullum and the fate of his tune, or click on the cutline for a scathing satirical biography of the U.S. Secretary of State. Whatever the content, virtually all audio blogs are connected to a community of blogs, and are read as such. Habitual visitors scan the newest post, listen to the attached mp3, then click to see what's new at another blog contained in a long list down the side of the screen. Mp3blogs.org maintains an ongoing record of new items on blogs that include audio files in most postings. "I would imagine there's a lot of overlap between our readership and the people who read Fluxblog or Music for Robots," said Himelfarb. All three blogs have hyperlinks to each other. Some music websites, such as Fingertips, have taken their places in this daisy-chain of attention by spinning off blog versions of themselves. And there are always people dropping in from a Google results page, some of whom become addicted to the audio blogs' mixture of currency, availability and personal taste. In short, the whole system is a word-of-mouth machine, especially when you consider that many who are turned on to a new band by a blog probably tell their friends about it. And word of mouth is the cheapest and most potent form of promotion. The major record companies began to take note during the dot-com boom, but when the bust came the interest evaporated just as quickly, said V2's Banuelos. The companies resumed their sometimes awkward courtship of audio bloggers a couple of years ago, after LCD Soundsystem scored an underground hit largely on the strength of a posting on Fluxblog. "I get a lot of e-mail from labels offering me promotional stuff, most of which is misguided," said Himelfarb. "They'll say, 'Hey Jordan, I love your site, I read it all the time,' and then they send something that we would never post." In spite of their growing power, most audio bloggers show little or no active interest in making their passion pay for itself. The ads that festoon e-zines such as Pop Matters are seldom seen.

"We're not about making money," said a rather defensive announcement, on Music for Robots, that the popular blog was offering a limited-edition CD for sale. Even the unobtrusive, easy-as-pie AdSense system run by Google is still regarded with suspicion, though Frank Yang thinks it may finally be safe to add it to Chromewaves. "Enough sites do it that there isn't really any stigma attached to it any more," he said. AdSense runs targeted ads down the side of the screen, and pays the site each time a visitor clicks a commercial link. In any case, the cash outlay required to run the easiest kind of audio blog is literally nothing. It took me two minutes to set up a free blog at Google's massively popular Blogger.com site and file my first (and possibly only) post. All that stands between you and a fabulous audio blog is the desire, time and talent to pick some interesting music and write compelling words about it. Be your own critic! You could become a hero to many, and maybe an entry on some record company's contact list.

 

 

 

Live 8 A Success, Bono And Geldof Say

Source: Associated Press

(July 9, 2005) Gleneagles, Scotland — Bob Geldof and Bono, two of the world's best known Africa fundraisers, have declared victory in their campaign to push leaders at the G-8 summit to double aid to the continent. “We've pulled this off,” U2 frontman Bono said Friday. He and Geldof praised the Group of Eight summit for pledging to double aid to Africa to $50-billion (U.S.), saying the move will save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who would have died of poverty, malaria or AIDS. “The world spoke and the politicians listened,” Bono said. He said the Live 8 concerts and pro-Africa protest marches near the G-8 summit helped persuade the leaders of the wealthy countries to try to help end poverty in Africa. “It's not the end; it's the beginning of the end,” Bono said. “A mountain has been climbed here only to reveal higher peaks behind it.” The new funds “mean the financing is in place to halve deaths from malaria by 2010,” Bono said. He added that 600,000 people “will be alive to remember this G-8 in Gleneagles who would have lost their lives to” malaria. Geldof, who organized last weekend's Live 8 concerts, said: “The summit in Gleneagles is a qualified triumph.” Appearing alongside Bono at a news conference held at the close of the summit, he said: “A great justice has been done.”

 

 

 

Pink Floyd's Gilmour Donates Live 8 Profits

Excerpt from The Toronto Star

(Jul. 6, 2005) LONDON (AP) — Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour says he will donate profits from his Live 8 appearance to charity and he's urging other artists to do the same.  Retailers have reported a huge upsurge in Pink Floyd sales since the band reunited for Saturday's concert in Hyde Park. The concert was one of 10 around the world designed to pressure leaders of the G-8 nations to strike a deal for impoverished African countries at their summit in Scotland this week.  HMV said sales of Pink Floyd's album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd had gone up by 1,343 percent since the weekend.  "Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G-8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert," Gilmour said in a statement.  "If other artists feel like donating their extra royalties to charity, perhaps then the record companies could be persuaded to make a similar gesture and that would be a bonus," he said. "This is money that should be used to save lives."  Saturday's Pink Floyd set was the first time Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, keyboard player Richard Wright and bassist Roger Waters had appeared onstage together since a concert at London's Earl's Court in 1981.

 

 

 

Ray Davis, 65

Source:  Associated Press

(July 7, 2005) Trenton, N.J. — Ray Davis, a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic, a flamboyant 1970s funk band whose music is considered a precursor to modern rap and hip-hop, died Tuesday from respiratory complications at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. He was 65. Davis provided bass vocals on songs such as “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucka),” “One Nation Under A Groove” and “Flashlight.” The latter two songs reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. Under leader George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelic fused R&B, jazz, gospel and rock styles combined with garish costumes and elaborate stage displays to form one of the most original bands of the 1970s. “It started out as a doo-wop group,” Clinton said in a 2003 interview at a Rhythm & Blues Foundation ceremony honouring the band. “Once we decided to change from that, we went as far as we could ... from diapers to any kind of costume that anyone might have on.” Born March 29, 1940, in Sumter, S.C., Davis was a member of the original Parliaments, a vocal group formed in the 1950s by Clinton while a junior high school student in Plainfield, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Web site. Other members of the group included Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins and Grady Thomas. The group scored a top-20 pop hit in 1967 with the single “(I Wanna) Testify.” In the early 1970s, Clinton changed the vocal group's name from plural to singular and also created Funkadelic, a funk band with a sound more influenced by the electric guitar. The two overlapping groups and other affiliated acts became known as “P-Funk.” Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 in a class that included the Jackson 5, Bee Gees, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Young Rascals and Buffalo Springfield. Davis, who lived in Franklin Park, remained active musically in recent years, according to his son, Derrick, filling in on bass vocals with the Temptations after the death of Melvin Franklin in the mid-1990s and touring since 1998 with original P-Funk members Haskins and Thomas.

 

 

 

Dvyne's Music Is So Good You Can Taste It

Source: Eugenia Wright , ISA Public Relations, kleopatragirl117@hotmail.com

(July 7, 2005)    Los Angeles, CA -- R&B/Jazz Singer, DVYNE from Oakland, CA is busy in the studio re-mastering her new single “Talk to Me” which will be released by mid August 2005.  The sensuous diva, whose voice has been compared to caramelized chocolate emanating from luscious lips that would be the envy of Angelina Jolie, possesses charm and exudes an addictive alluring presence.       DVYNE's music and vocal quality transcends genres giving her an undeniable mainstream appeal.  When DVYNE walks into a room everyone takes notice.  Her experience as a Victoria Secrets and Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie runway model in addition to her musical talents, makes DVYNE stand apart, leaving spectators with a lasting impression you won’t want to forget. Fellas try not to stutter over this hazelnut beauty.      DVYNE’s inspiration is the first woman she ever saw ... her mother, who was a jazz and gospel artist. DVYNE developed her musical abilities while singing with her Mom in church at the early age of ten years old.  Since then, she has blossomed into a stunning beauty and has appeared on cable shows in the Bay area. She has co-hosted “Beauty Beat” for Soul Beat TV and “Nite Cap,” for VJTV two popular shows in Northern California. As a dancer, she has appeared in music videos for Suga T and Allie Baba.      Music has always been DVYNE's first love and she is now focusing on making that her career. Some say she has a musical “pillow talk” quality like Janet Jackson or Beyonce, others say Aaliyah but DVYNE is standing on a pedestal all of her very own.  Her new single "Talk to Me" will no doubt be the exciting "talk of the town." She is the next superlicious umhumhum diva, aurally inspiring and visually persuasive. Where there’s chocolate, there is DVYNE.

 

 

 

Sean Paul bolts up the Billboard chart with We Be Burning

By Kevin Jackson / MYfeedback@eurweb.com

(July 7, 2005) Sean Paul has been absent from the Billboard charts a little over a year now. He now scores his 10th entry on the Billboard R&B Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart with the Renaissance-produced We Be Burning.  The song is featured on the Renaissance label’s 2004 dancehall rhythm project ‘Stepz’ rhythm.  We Be Burning debuted at number 81 on the chart last week.  Sean Paul’s journey on the Billboard R&B chart began five years ago, with Deport Them. His other entries include Hot Gal Today (featuring Mr. Vegas), Gimmie the Light, Get Busy, Like Glue, I’m Still in Love With You (featuring Sasha), Baby Boy (featuring Beyonce), Breathe (featuring Blu Cantrell), and Ay Ay Ay featuring Tony Touch.  The collaboration with Tony Touch was his last entry on the Billboard R&B chart, stalling at number 77 last summer. And, news just in, it is understood that the video for We Be Burning will be shot next week in the desert in Las Vegas.

 

 

 

Ying Yang Twins Ambassadors Of The U.S.A. (United State Of Atlanta)

Source: Joe Wiggins, Urban Publicity, TVT Records, www.tvtrecords.com

(July 12, 2005) U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta), the fourth album from Ying Yang Twins debuts at #1 on this week's Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart on sales of 201,478. In a unique promotional tie-in that help jettison album sales, a $50 Exxon gift card was placed in 500 random CDs and as well as a chance for fans to enter an online contest to win free gas for a year.  U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta), the Collipark/TVT Records release hosts a diverse line-up of guest appearances from Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Anthony Hamilton, Mike Jones, and label mates Teedra Moses, Pitbull & Jacki-O.  The entertaining 23-song collection starts off strong with 'All Good Things (Intro)' and sustains its delight through the album-closing 'Wait (The Whisper Song) Remix' with Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Lil Scrappy, and Free (from BET¹s 106 & Park). U.S.A. casts a wide net that is sure to reel in more fans. And just one listen to the arresting lead single, 'Wait,' and you¹ll remember how no other group can bring any dance floor to a fever pitch like the Ying Yang Twins.  The group recently shot the video to their second single, 'Badd' featuring Mike Jones. 'Badd' is the #1 Gainer in the Rhythmic format and continues to build at mainstream radio. The clip has been added to MTV2 and BET; where it was 'New Joint' on 106 & Park for Wednesday (7/6). The group will perform their single on NBC¹s Last Call with Carson Daly (7/13).  TVT's other notable urban releases: Kings of Crunk Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz double-platinum album Crunk Juice and the gold-certified M.I.A.M.I. from Cuban-American emcee Pitbull. Upcoming urban releases for 2005 include deep-fried Memphis rapper Yo Gotti, Newark emcee O-Solo and for early 2006 look out for Lil¹ Jon-protégé Chyna Whyte, a female rap slayer with vicious rhymes and incredible lyrical dexterity.

 

 

 

AHH Stray News: Mos Def - Slum Village

Excerpt from www.allhiphop.com - By Clarence Burke Jr.

(July 11, 2005) Mos Def is in negotiations to star opposite Brenden Fraser in the new thriller “Journey to the End of the Night.” The movie centers on a man and his son, who are both trying to better their lives through the criminal under world. Alice Braga, who starred in “City of God” is already attached to the project. “Journey to the End of the Night” will start production on location in Brazil beginning in December.

*Slum Village has parted ways with Capitol Recordings and the group is preparing their first release since their major label effort Detroit Deli. Prequel to a Classic the Mix Tape lands in stores on July 12th and is a collection of unreleased songs. Kurupt, Dwele, The Dramatics and Frank & Dank round out appearance on the album, which features production by B.R. Gunna, T-3, Kareem Riggins and J. Dilla.

 

 

 

::CD RELEASES::

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ace of Base, Da Capo, Universal International
Bow Wow, Wanted, Sony
Mariah Carey, Emancipation of Mimi [Bonus Track], Universal International
Slum Village, Prequel to a Classic, Barak
Sting, My Funny Valentine: Sting at the Movies, Universal Japan
Sum 41, Does This Look Infected? [Bonus DVD], Universal Japan

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Little Richard, Baby Face, Pazzazz
UB40, Who You Fighting For? [Canada Bonus DVD], EMI

 

 

 

::FILM NEWS::

 

 

Made In Quebec -- And Cleaning Up At The Box Office

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Konrad Yakabuski

(July 9, 2005) MONTREAL — Montreal's annual comedy festival began this week, but chances are those aren't tears of laughter streaming from the eyes of Quebeckers today. More likely, the weepy-eyed are among the thousands who stampeded to theatres across the province yesterday for the opening of Aurore, the cinematic event of the summer in la belle province. The much-hyped tearjerker, based on a true story of child abuse that has been entrenched in the collective psyche for 85 years, started playing on 117 of Quebec's 800 movie screens. And theatre owners in the province are counting on the blockbuster release to help them continue to buck the continental trend of declining ticket sales. War of the Worlds notwithstanding, it's been a disastrous year so far for the North American movie industry -- everywhere, it seems, but in Quebec. While box-office receipts across the continent were down more than 8 per cent in the first half of 2005 compared with a year earlier, they fell less than 3 per cent in Canada's French-speaking heartland. There's nothing bewitching about the trend. While this year's crop of Hollywood films is leaving Quebeckers just as indifferent as other North Americans, homegrown movies continue to build their audience, making the province's film industry the envy of its English-Canadian counterpart.

The steady supply of crowd-pleasing Quebec films has been a godsend for theatre operators in the province. This season's sleeper Quebec hit, C.R.A.Z.Y., for example, remained in the number-three spot in terms of box office last weekend, a full five weeks after its May 27 release. While U.S. blockbusters such as Star Wars: Episode III and Batman Begins rapidly lost momentum after their release, and while duds such as Bewitched opened weakly, C.R.A.Z.Y. has increased its share of ticket sales almost every week. "Every [theatre operator] who has it wants to keep it, because it's just about the only movie that not only has held its audience, but built it, too," notes Simon Beaudry, president of Cinéac, a Montreal-based firm that collects box-office data for the Quebec film industry. C.R.A.Z.Y. opened on 75 screens, and continues to play on more than 60. So far, the film, a lyrical portrayal of five sons growing up amid the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Liste Noire), has taken in $3.3-million, putting it in second place overall in Quebec this season, behind Star Wars. Anchored by a breakout performance by 21-year-old actor Marc-André Grondin, C.R.A.Z.Y. is being hailed by many critics as the best Quebec-made film in years, and hopes are high it will also do well outside the province. Aurore, on the other hand, likely won't be destined for an international career. But it probably won't need one in order for its producers -- as well as funding agencies Telefilm Canada and its Quebec counterpart, la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles -- to recoup the movie's $6.6-million budget. The film's appeal at home is expected to make it one of the biggest-grossing films ever in Quebec.

"Aurore is a phenomenon," explains Patrick Roy, senior vice-president of Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm, the movie's distributor. "Every Quebecker grew up being told: 'Fais pas ton Aurore.' " The expression, effectively meaning "Don't play the martyr" is still used by parents to remind overindulged children, upset at having to forgo the latest gadget, that they're not so hard done by. The real Aurore died at the age of 11 in 1920 after enduring three years of often brutal abuse at the hands of her stepmother, Anne-Marie Houde, who was supposed to hang for murder, although her sentence was commuted and she died of a brain tumour. A kitschy 1952 movie version, in which the stepmother is a plain-and-simple two-faced villain, remains a cult classic in Quebec. The new version offers a more nuanced portrayal of Houde by popular Quebec actress Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc, who also plays the trampy daughter on Radio-Canada's megahit black comedy, Les Bougons. Aurore is a first film for director Luc Dionne, one of Quebec's most sought-after television writers, and is produced by Denise Robert and Daniel Louis, the duo behind the Oscar-winning The Barbarian Invasions. That $7-million film, directed by Denys Arcand, grossed $47-million at the global box office, and has generated several million more in DVD sales. Since the release of Invasions in May, 2003, Quebec films have consistently accounted for about 15 per cent of annual box-office receipts of about $200-million; English-Canadian films struggle to boost their domestic audience share from less than 2 per cent of the market. Some weekends this year, Quebec films' share of ticket sales has surpassed 20 per cent, thanks to C.R.A.Z.Y., Le Survenant, a period piece based on a famous Quebec novel, and Idole instantanée (Instant Idol), a satirical take on pop-star reality shows in which comedian Claudine Mercier plays all four finalists.

But while the Quebec public has come to embrace homegrown movies, they are not undiscriminating consumers of local productions. Nouvelle-France, a $33-million Canada-France-Britain co-production, was a relative disappointment last fall, taking in barely $2-million in Quebec, despite a star-studded cast that included Gérard Depardieu. Still, the weakness of U.S. films has given Quebec moviemakers reason to hope that 2005 may be the industry's best year yet. After Aurore, this year's upcoming big releases include L'Horloge Biologique (Biological Clock) and Maurice Richard, another Robert-Louis production. The film on the life of the Montreal Canadiens hockey legend will, it almost goes without saying, score big at the box office.

 

 

 

Hustle Versus Flow

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Unnati Gandhi

(July 13, 2005) Toronto — With soundtracks increasingly packaged for simultaneous release with films, the cynical might wonder: Are music movies simply two-hour commercials? Or, is there a deeper commitment to the sounds at play in these films?  Take Hustle & Flow. It not only has an album in stores -- it is an MTV Films co-production. Yet in a recent interview, the film's producer John Singleton said, "I've always hated movies that were made to promote a record or where they shoehorn music into a picture." At the centre of Hustle & Flow then is the story of crunk, a style of southern hip-hop featuring repetitive chants, drum-machine rhythms and dance beats being popularized by Ludacris, Brook Valentine, Lil John and the East Side Boyz and Ciara.  The film focuses on DJay (Terrence Howard), a streetwise Memphis, Tenn., pimp, who wants to escape his dead-end life. When he meets an old friend Key, a sound engineer (Anthony Anderson), he's inspired to start writing down his freestyle crunk raps -- his flow.  Soon, the two team up with Shelby (DJ Qualls), a church musician with a beat machine, to record an album. This affects DJay's entire house, as the women in his life -- Nola (Taryn Manning) and Shug (Taraji P. Henson) --- find ways to contribute to the creative process by singing back-up and helping DJay get his music played on the radio.  But, with the impending visit of platinum-selling rapper Skinny Black (Ludacris), DJay has to make a tough choice: give up the hustle or devote himself to his music.

This is not the first of Singleton's films to use music as more than mere filler. In Boyz N the Hood (1991), Shaft (2000), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and the upcoming Four Brothers, music gets to the heart of characters' identities and struggles. In Hustle & Flow, though, Singleton goes further. His decision to make "Dirty South" the centre of his film may help ease this style of music into the mainstream. "It's the first crunk movie," said Singleton. "It's the first movie that has those driving crunk beats." Unlike other recent films about inner city rap heroes in New York or Detroit, this film also turns a rare lens on the southern United States. While best known for Elvis Presley and rhythm and blues, Memphis has become a particular hotbed for crunk. "The south is not influenced by the big city kind of life," said Singleton. "It's just very country."  Another aspect of Hustle & Flow that takes it beyond singers-trying-to-make it-big movies like 8 Mile, Crossroads and Selena is that it shows DIY techniques real-life musicians use to make their dreams a reality. Supporting actress Taryn Manning calls the homemade recording studio in the film -- where cardboard drink-holders are stapled to the walls -- "poor man's sound-proofing." It's a makeshift solution Singleton feels will resonate with viewers. "Everybody has a home studio and everybody is making music," he said. It's certainly a home-style recording process Manning can relate to. In addition to being in 8 Mile with rapper Eminem and Crossroads with Britney Spears, she is a singer in her own right.  "My brother and I made four tracks on our very first record from the MTV Music Generator that my brother rented and never returned," she says. "We didn't have any money and my brother would build tracks on this video game and put the output into his digital four-track."

Their efforts paid off. Her remake of Blondie's Rip Her to Shreds is heard during the opening credits of Mean Girls and singles from her band Boomkat have topped Billboard's dance charts. But even Manning is wary of stand-alone film tracks. "Sometimes when a single is made for a movie it just cheapens the whole flick. It just takes away from the importance of the film," she says.  Singleton is also careful to distinguish between the way his film uses music and the way a music video uses images. Though Singleton made the 1992 music video for the second single off of Michael Jackson's Dangerous album, he said, "For me, there's no comparing the two. Scenes, one has scenes. The other is just a collection of shots." (Could've fooled Jackson. On his video compilation DVD, the self-professed king of pop dubbed the music video a "short film" because of the characters that were created on screen and the extensive visual effects Singleton used.) So far it seems the crunk sounds combined with Singleton's scenes in Hustle & Flow are striking an authentic chord. It won the audience award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. "It's very much driven by the music," says Manning. "You just can't help but rock out in the theatre." As for crunk's longevity? "It's so funny because there was this whole thing years ago about [how] hip-hop was going to be a fad," said Singleton. "But hip-hop became pop culture itself because it encompasses not just the music but fashion and attitude and everything."

 

 

 

Tim Story On His ‘Fantastic’ Leap

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 8, 2005) *It’s almost too perfect that his last name is Story.  The 35-year-old “Barbershop” director, whose road to Hollywood came through music videos and a stint rapping with Ice T’s Rhyme Syndicate, was hired to direct the Marvel Comics’ special-effects behemoth “Fantastic Four” because of his keen ability to tell a good story.     “‘Barbershop,’ if you remember, was 10 characters in one room for two hours,’ says “Fantastic Four” producer Avi Arad, who also runs Marvel Studios and hired Tim Story to direct the film.  “For Fantastic Four, we needed someone with a good heart, a light hand and a sense of comedy that can handle a group. It’s very difficult. You can follow one character, but this film is pretty much mayhem.  You have five characters, six characters in a way. And in a very short period of time, [he] had to introduce to the world - the uninitiated - the Fantastic Four; who they are and what their destiny is.” Arad and the other producers met with Story to offer him the job, an undertaking that would clearly be his biggest film to date, following 2002’s “Barbershop” and 2004’s “Taxi.”  But before the Los Angeles-born filmmaker said yes to the project, he told the suits that he had to check with his wife – who was pregnant at the time.  “On one hand, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime, especially for someone who always loved the ‘Fantastic Four,’ Arad said of Story’s dilemma. “But at the same time, it’s about families. So when he left and said he had to talk to his wife, we just looked around the table and we knew we got the right guy.” Arad warned Story about the pressure he would be under from ‘Four’ fanatics, who had their own ideas about who should be sitting in the director’s chair – and it wasn’t Tim Story   “You’re walking in with an audience that already expects a certain thing,” said Story. “I knew immediately what I was getting into and Avi was quick to educate me on what I was getting into. He told me immediately, ‘Do not read the Internet!’ He said, ‘Tim, we picked you for story and character. We’re going to support you when it comes to the effects and action and stuff, so just go out there and do what it is you do.’”

Story’s actual story dates back to age 12, when the budding performer was given an 8mm camera inherited from his older brother and began making silent films starring his family members. But soon, other interests would command the youngster’s attention.  “When I was young, in my neighbourhood, you either danced or you rapped,” he says of his time growing up in Los Angeles. “I was a rapper for a while, and at the end of high school, what it really came down to was picking one or the other, and film is the only medium where you use everything, you use, music, drama, all of this.” Story was about to sign a record deal with Warner Bros. while still at Westchester High School when one of his group members was shot and killed by a neighbourhood rival.   The incident sent him into another direction that included producing and directing local talent shows and variety musicals.  At the USC film school, Story fine-tuned his skills behind the camera. Three years after graduation, he wrote, produced and financed two feature-length films: 1996’s “One Of Us Tripped,” which won an award at the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame Feature Film Festival, and “The Firing Squad” in 1998. Seven years later, Story is witnessing his biggest film to date, “Fantastic Four,” open in theatres across the country with stars Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic; Jessica Alba as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman; Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing. Together, they must join forces to battle the evil Dr. Victor Von Doom, played by Julian McMahon.  Already, Story is thinking about the sequel. “I would definitely want to come back for the second one,” he says. “If you’re familiar with this comic book, we just scratched the surface.  This is an origin movie and there are so many characters, there’s so much that we have to get to. Now that these guys are kind of comfortable with their powers, there’s a whole ‘nother attitude that comes on.  I would love to be back.” But until then, Story is just happy that the PG-13 film is finally in theatres, despite the threat of being devoured by such summer blockbuster fare as “War of the Worlds” and “Batman Begins.” “It’s a crowded summer. I don’t think you can really guess what’s going to happen,” he says. “I’m just happy about what’s going on and the job that Fox has done.  It’s everywhere, and I just think we have a family movie that’s light and fun; a popcorn movie everyone can just come to the theatre, sit back and have a good time.”  

 

 

 

Not Into Big Weddings: Vaughn Altar Cad In New Comedy

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Sean Daly, Special To The Star

(Jul. 11, 2005) BEVERLY HILLS—Vince Vaughn already knows exactly what his own wedding day will be like: "Very traditional, very small, and very family based. I won't be having 200 people."  Now all he needs to do is find a bride.  "I would really love to have kids and a family," says the 6-foot-5 star of Wedding Crashers, a new romantic comedy opening Friday.  Vaughn, an overnight star thanks to the 1996 indie hit Swingers ("You're so money!"), has been previously linked in the tabloid press with names like Anne Heche, Joey Lauren Adams and now Jennifer Aniston. He denies all, adding that right now "there is no one serious."  It seems Vaughn — once rumoured as a possible replacement for late-night host Craig Kilborn — isn't really that into dating. At least not in the traditional, prearranged way.  "I don't like the feeling of having to go and pick up someone I don't know at their house and then take them to a formal restaurant," the 35-year-old shares during an informal chat at the Four Seasons Hotel. "It's just like that feeling you get when you are younger and your mom makes you dress up and go to some formal function. You just don't feel comfortable."  The most important lady in his life these days is mother Sharon, a former real estate agent and stockbroker from Hamilton, Ont. She divorced the actor's toy salesman father, Vernon, many years ago and now resides in Chicago. That's one reason Vaughn recently traded his Hollywood Hills home for a townhouse in the Windy City.  He's making his next movie there — a romantic comedy with Aniston called The Breakup. Vaughn will earn $12 million (U.S.) to produce and star in the Odd Couple-like story of a man and woman who break up but are forced to continue living in the condo they purchased together.  Vaughn takes another stab at comedy in Wedding Crashers, in which he and Owen Wilson are a pair of divorce mediators who have yet to find a ceremony, or a bridesmaid's heart, they can't work themselves into.  "I just heard the title originally and it made me laugh," says Vaughn, who shares his birthday with singer Reba McEntire and actress Julie Stiles. The actor admits he has only a few rules when it comes to picking up women: "I prefer meeting someone separate from my friends so you don't have any other dynamic going on besides your own."

To prepare for the role, Vaughn took six weeks of ballet lessons at the Actor's Center in Chicago. He was no stranger to the studio. "My mom used to teach dance classes," he says. "When I was younger I went down to the local rec centre and took tap class. It was a beginner class for 5- and 6-year-old girls. I was 11."  Born in Minneapolis, Vaughn was raised in the tony suburb of Lake Forest, Ill. He was the last of his parents' "double Vs" — his sisters' names are Valerie and Victoria; the family dogs were Viking, Vero and Vladimir.  A popular student and president of his class at Lake Forest High School, Vaughn caught the acting bug after landing a TV ad for Chevy trucks.  "I got that commercial and thought, `This is it now,'" he told The Washington Post. Vaughn made brief appearances on Doogie Howser, M.D. and 21 Jump Street before landing his first studio movie, the feelgood football flick, Rudy.  "Most of my scenes, I'm in a helmet," he remembers. "It was kind of embarrassing. I called my parents and had to tell them to look for number 44."  It was on that movie that Vaughn met fellow up-and-comer Jon Favreau and later agreed to appear in his movie, Swingers.  He hasn't been as proud of any role since. Unless you count quitting smoking earlier this year.  "I take every conversation and I steer it towards how I quit smoking," Vaughn revealed in March. "People will be like, `Vince, do you wanna go see a movie?' I'm like, `That's terrific, because I have quit smoking and you can't smoke in a movie theatre.' You just wanna find a way to talk about that."  Vaughn says he only took up the habit at age 24, so he "didn't want to look fake" on film.  "But I looked totally fake in the first movie I smoked in," he now laments. "I got addicted from doing that and that's how I started — for the craft, isn't that so beautiful?"

 

 

 

Hounsou Leads Effort To Curb Corruption In Africa

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 13, 2005) *Djimon Hounsou (who's starring in the upcoming Dreamworks flick 'The Island") and Bono are leading a new effort to encourage African scholars to give back to their home continent and work toward ending widespread corruption.    "So many countries in Africa have not really had great leaders because of corruption, so I'm working with Bono in trying to find ways to get African scholars and African artists together to find solutions to end corruption in some of the places,” said Hounsou, who was born in Benin. "We do need to improve in trading with the West and we do need to improve on an education level. We do need to end corruption... We need help, but more than anything, Africa needs to be able to trade with the West. That's the only way we can be self-sufficient." Hounsou, who participated in Geldof’s Live 8 effort earlier this month, is also calling on people who have visited the continent and were moved by its beauty to give back.  "The continent which stood for so much and was the cradle of life has become the cradle of death,” he says. "Everybody has gone to Africa and everybody has drawn or gotten something from Africa. I think it's about time we gave something back to that continent."

 

 

 

Stone, Cage team up on 9/11 film

Source: Associated Press

(July 9, 2005) New York — Nearly four years after the collapse of the World Trade Center, Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone will direct a film based on the story of two police officers who were trapped in the rubble on Sept. 11, 2001. Nicolas Cage, who won a best-actor Oscar for “Leaving Las Vegas,” will star as Port Authority police Sgt. John McLoughlin. McLoughlin and fellow officer William J. Jimeno became trapped during rescue efforts after the collapse of the twin towers. Paramount Pictures said the movie is expected to be released next year. “It's a work of collective passion, a serious meditation on what happened and carries within a compassion that heals,” Stone said in a statement Friday. “It's an exploration of heroism in our country — but it's international at the same time in its humanity.” Paramount said the film also will focus on the officers' rescuers and their families. McLoughlin and Jimeno are said to be the last two men rescued. “I feel someone had to tell the story of the people who were in the Trade Center before and after it collapsed,” McLoughlin said in a statement. “It needs to be told how this horrific tragedy brought Americans and the world together to help those in need.” While the star power of Stone and Cage will likely make the movie the most high profile film to tackle 9/11, it's not the first. Many independent films have turned their lens to downtown New York, and in the 2002 film “The Guys,” Anthony LaPaglia played a fire captain who lost eight men in the towers' collapse. Stone has won best-director Oscars for “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July.” He also has directed “Alexander,” “Nixon,” “JFK” and “Wall Street.” Screen credits for Cage include “Adaptation,” “City of Angels” and “Moonstruck.”

 

 

 

Curtain Rises At New Cinema

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail

(July 8, 2005) Last fall, Toronto got the Camera Bar, the Atom Egoyan/Hussein Amarshi-owned 50-seat cinema and cocktail bar on King Street West. Now, another attractive art cinema space opens this week at the Al Green Theatre in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street West. The 288-seat theatre, with Dolby sound and 35-mm film and video projection equipment, will be a showcase for films from Capri Releasing, a Toronto-based company that brings a mixture of independent, foreign and documentary films, including such titles as Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Nobody Knows and Tarnation. "This is an idea of mine that's been germinating for years," said Tony Cianciotta, the president of Capri. "I wanted to show specialty films, for the storytelling and the aesthetics, but also for the social value by bringing in guests attached to the film, faculty members from the University of Toronto and so on. A venue for those kinds of discussions is almost impossible to find unless you come to a community centre like this." Capri is launching the new space with a week of free films, starting with Sue Brooks's Japanese Story (July 8 and 9, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.), Margarethe von Trotta's Rosenstrasse (July 10 and 11, 7 and 9:30 p.m.) and Eytan Fox's Walk on Water (July 12 and 13, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). The theatre opens commercially on July 15 with writer-director Dan Verete's Metallic Blues, a Canada-Israeli-German co-production about two Israeli men trying to sell a limo in Germany.  The Al Green Theatre is located at 750 Spadina Ave. Seats are first come, first served. For information, call 416-262-7180.

 

 

 

Spielberg Honoured For Helping Preserve Ghetto

Excerpt from The Toronto Star

(Jul. 6, 2005) WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The city of Krakow has recognized Steven Spielberg for his efforts to preserve parts of the former ghetto where he filmed much of his Oscar-winning Schindler's List.  Spielberg was named a prestigious Patron of Culture for 2004 in a ceremony late Tuesday, said Krakow spokesman Filip Szatanik.  The city cited the director's donation of $40,000 (U.S.) to preserve the former Pod Orlem pharmacy, whose owner risked his life to help Jews of the ghetto.  "We are trying now to revitalize old Jewish districts in Krakow where people lived before the war," Szatanik said, adding that the award was one of the most important that the city bestows. "This support from Mr. Spielberg will help us to do this better."  The pharmacy owner, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, was the only non-Jew who remained in the ghetto during the entire Nazi occupation. He provided food and medicine to the Jewish population and helped some residents escape.  Pankiewicz described the experience in his book, The Pharmacy in the Krakow Ghetto.  The city will send Spielberg the award — a small bronze statue representing Stanczyk, a 16th-century court jester who served as adviser to Poland's King Zygmunt III.  Director Roman Polanski, who is a survivor of Krakow's ghetto, also has donated to the preservation of the pharmacy, which was converted into a museum in 1983.  Krakow is helping to build a museum in the factory where Oskar Schindler — the subject of Spielberg's 1993 film — shielded more than a thousand Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.

 

 

 

Telefilm Doles Out Cash For 12 Feature Films

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By James Adams

(July 7, 2005) Twelve feature films will begin principal photography over the next 12 months using a total of almost $20-million in investment money from Telefilm Canada. Telefilm chose the 12 productions -- eight English-language, four French -- from a total of 90 submissions filed in April. The English-language films are to receive a total of just over $14-million while francophone productions scored commitments of close to $5.5-million.  Highlights include a Canadian-British-South African co-production based on the Rwandan travails of Canadian UN peacekeeper Gen. Romeo Dallaire, to be directed by Yves Simoneau. An adaptation of Anne Michaels's best-selling novel Fugitive Pieces will be produced by Toronto's Serendipity Point Films and directed by Jeremy Podeswa. Silk, an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's best-selling novel, marks the return to features of director François Girard.

 

 

 

CASTING COUCH: Rudolph’s ‘Prairie’; Price auditions for ‘Dreamgirls’; Hall in ‘Danika’; ‘X-3’ auditions Williams sisters; ‘ANTM’s’ Yaya takes ‘Lead’; Carey/Houston sought to replace ‘A.I.’s’ Abdul; Guy/David in play.

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 7, 2005) *“Saturday Night Live’s” Maya Rudolph will co-star in director Robert Altman’s untitled comedy  based on Garrison Keillor's radio show “Prairie Home Companion.” According to Variety, the film takes on the fictionalized premise that Keillor's multi-award-winning show - carried on 500 radio stations domestically - is being shut down after 30 years. Rudolph’s character is among an ensemble of performers, musicians and back-stage crew all prepping for a final live broadcast. The cast includes Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Kline, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly and the recently cast, Tommy Lee Jones. Filming has already begun in St. Paul, Minn.

*Singer Kelly Price has reportedly tried out for the role of “Effie” in the upcoming feature film version of “Dreamgirls.” Jennifer Holiday originated the role on Broadway. With Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy already cast, the film is due in theatres in late 2006. 

*Regina Hall joins Craig Bierko (“Cinderella Man”) and Marisa Tomei in the psychological thriller “Danika,” says the Hollywood Reporter.  Hall will play the psychiatrist and confidant of Tomei’s title character, a woman whose fears for her children are manifested in premonitions of death and disaster. The movie, from Roberts/David Films Inc. and Blue Omeg, is shooting in Los Angeles and Maryland.

*According to The Sun newspaper, tennis siblings Venus and Serena Williams are competing to land the part of a bisexual hooker in “X-Men 3,” directed by Serena’s ex-man, Brett Ratner.  A source said: "Brett feels either of the girls would be fantastic for the role, which is a superhero who oozes sex appeal. Her great power is the ability to seduce anyone."

*“America's Next Top Model” finalist, Yaya has scored her first big screen role in New Line’s upcoming dance-drama “Take the Lead,” opposite Antonio Banderas. The afrocentric Brown University grad, who came in second to “ANTM” season 3 winner Eva Pigford, will play the role of a dance student in the film based on the true story of international ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane (Banderas). Dulane volunteers to give dance lessons to New York public school students, but his ballroom methods bump up against the hip hop style of his students. Soon both parties team to create a new dance style. Directed by Liz Friedlander, the movie is currently filming in Toronto for a 2006 release.

*Star Magazine is reporting that “American Idol” producers already have a couple of ladies in mind to replace Paula Abdul, should she decide to jump ship to judge Fox’s dance spin-off show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”   Both Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have reportedly been approached to sit between judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell for “AI’s” fifth season. Whitney is reportedly the producers' first choice.

*Jasmine Guy and Keith David star in a new, African American staging of Jan de Hartog's marriage-minded play, “The Fourposter,” which opened Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware. Guy and David play married couple Agnes and Michael in the two-actor production set in Harlem from 1890-1925. The title refers to the couple's bed, which is central to the scenic design. The Fourposter runs July 6-17 at The Baby Grand Theater at The Grand Opera House in downtown Wilmington, DE.

 

 

 

Quebec Film Wins Prize At Czech Festival

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail

(July 11, 2005) Montreal -- A Quebec movie has won a prestigious award in the Czech Republic as the province's films continue to draw attention abroad. La Vie avec mon pere (Life With My Father) won the Public's Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Telefilm Canada announced. It was the first time a Canadian film has won the award. The film, a comedy about two brothers who are forced to move back in with their once-famous father, will also compete as an official selection at the festival. CP

 

 

 

::TV NEWS::

 

 

Johnson’s NBC Deal

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 11, 2005) *Director Clark Johnson, best known as Detective Meldrick Lewis on NBC’s 90s detective drama “Homicide: Life on the Street,” has signed a one-year deal with NBC Universal TV Studio to develop, direct and executive produce series projects for the studio with producer Sean Ryerson, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The deal follows Johnson’s directing of the studio's "NY-70," a drama pilot based on the experiences of "The French Connection" detectives Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan (starring Donnie Wahlberg and Bobby Cannavale). Johnson also directed the Showtime terrorism-themed drama pilot "The Cell," starring Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr, which has been picked up to series. Johnson is currently directing New Regency’s thriller "The Sentinel," starring Michael Douglas, Kim Basinger, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria.

 

 

 

Emmy Race Shifts Into Gear

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Ray Richmond, Special To The Star (The Hollywood Reporter)

(Jul. 7, 2005) The possibility exists each year that there will be a changing of the Emmy guard, a genuine infusion of new blood — or at least semi-new blood — in the comedy and drama categories.  Usually it doesn't happen, aside from the occasional hot newcomer crashing the party, but as the race for the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards shifts into gear, a transformation of many major categories appears nearly inevitable. Moreover, the network leading this swing isn't HBO but — against all odds — ABC.  Nominations for this year's Primetime Emmys will be announced July 14. The highest-profile statuettes will be dispensed Sept. 18.  For the first time in a good while, HBO isn't moving into Emmy season with a stranglehold on the proceedings: Neither The Sopranos (last year's winner for outstanding drama series) nor annual multiple nominee Curb Your Enthusiasm are eligible for awards attention, in both cases because of a lack of episodes. This, after all, is a network that marches to the beat of its own drum and ignores the traditional seasonal concept.  While HBO does have a strong drama contender in the gritty, profane western Deadwood (an 11-time nominee for its first season in 2004), and Six Feet Under remains a contender, HBO's only hope in comedy is Entourage, which earned a surprise Golden Globe series nomination this year but isn't considered in the class of such stalwart predecessors as The Larry Sanders Show and Sex and the City. If Entourage doesn't make the cut, it would mark the first time in 13 years that at least one HBO comedy does not appear in that series category.  So there won't be a repeat of last year, which between Sopranos and the much-decorated miniseries Angels in America saw the proceedings transform into HBO's private party. This time, there's a better chance for massive attention to go to ABC, which stands to enjoy its best Emmy nomination showing in at least a decade thanks to its hot freshman contenders Desperate Housewives and Lost.

Housewives is poised to preside over a comedy category no longer populated by Frasier, Friends and Sex, with its chief competition expected to come from last year's Emmy darling, Fox's Arrested Development. In addition, it is not inconceivable that all five ladies from Housewives could earn performing nominations: Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria for lead comedy actress, and Nicollette Sheridan for supporting actress.  Lost, meanwhile, is expected to duke it out with Deadwood in a drama category overflowing with other worthy candidates including CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Without a Trace, NBC's four-time drama winner The West Wing, Fox's 24 and the FX trio of The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me.  In long form, look for HBO to retain its dominant position in the telefilm and miniseries categories with such entries as Dirty War, Empire Falls, Lackawanna Blues, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Sometimes in April and Warm Springs.  Then there is non-fiction, where many of the usual suspects (CBS's two-time winner The Amazing Race and Survivor, NBC's The Apprentice and Fox's American Idol) will troll for honours alongside some newer faces (ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, Discovery's Monster Garage and NBC's The Contender).  But if there is anything we have come to expect from the Emmys, it's that we shouldn't come to expect anything. It is a kudo- fest annually rife with puzzling omissions, so while Housewives and Lost appear to be locks for big awards attention, it would be inadvisable to call them sure things. Emmy, after all, traditionally favours age over beauty and consistency over heat; the hip and happening still typically stand a better chance at the Golden Globes. 

 

 

 

Koreans Love Their Bridget Jones

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Burt Herman, Associated Press

(Jul. 11, 2005) SEOUL, South Korea—She doesn't let men push her around, is overweight, can't dance well, and talks openly about constipation. That's why South Korea is falling in love with Kim Sam-soon.  The new TV soap opera My Name is Kim Sam-soon has rocketed to the top of the ratings since its premiere last month. Its popularity is driven by an audience of 30-something women who see the gutsy Kim as South Korea's Bridget Jones — a woman who speaks her mind and is fed up with societal pressure to marry and settle down while also living up to conventional stereotypes of beauty.  The show soared to 41.7 per cent viewership across South Korea one recent Thursday evening and is the highest-rated soap opera this year. TNS Media Korea, which compiles TV ratings, said women in their 30s are hooked.  "The lines that Kim Sam-soon speaks go straight to my heart," said Shin Hye-sun, 36, an office worker in Seoul.  "Normally, other dramas depict women of that age glamorously, but this drama shows normal people as they are," said Kim Jin-hee, a 25-year-old jewellery designer.  South Korea's traditional Confucian society has been going through a sea change in recent years, fuelled by an infusion of outside influences shaking up the traditional male-dominated culture with women asserting themselves personally and professionally.  The National Statistical Office said the marriage rate has declined drastically, with more people also choosing to wed later. In 2004, women tying the knot averaged 27.5 years, up 4.9 years from 1972.  Nearly half of South Korean women work, up more than 10 per cent since 1970. The number of female breadwinners has also more than tripled with 19.5 per cent of households headed by women.  Nearly 80 per cent of women attend college, a 14.7 per cent increase since 2000.  Kim is a pastry chef, who got the job after working hard to save money and study cooking in France. She has a crush on her handsome, rich boss, but refuses to pander to him — instead making him get on his knees in a recent episode to beg her to return after she resigns in anger over having to deal with him.  Kim punctuates her frank speech with slang and the name Sam-soon rings of countryside backwardness to Korean ears. She's even shown urinating in public and loudly passing gas.

Producers on the show's website say Kim is an "average 29-year-old" and note that polls show a majority of Korean women think they're fat.  "We present the Sam-soons of this world with romance," the producers write. "We hope the Sam-soons become as strong as Kim Sam-soon in the drama. Even if life deceives you, even if love makes you cry, become stronger and not worse."  The show isn't totally devoid of eye candy. American actor Daniel Henney, whose mother is ethnic Korean, has acquired national heartthrob status through his portrayal of a doctor, and his English dialogue is shown with Korean subtitles.  Some are skeptical the show actually breaks new ground in its portrayal of women.  Kim Hoon-Soon, a media studies professor at Ewha Womans University, notes Kim Sam-soon ultimately seeks to get a man and raise her social status.  The actress who plays Kim — Kim Suna, well known for previous comedic roles, who gained 15 pounds for the part — sees the show as a beacon of hope for mature women who sympathize with their earthy heroine.  "I don't consider myself or Sam-soon an old maid," she said in a recent interview with film magazine Cine 21. "It's society that casts them that way."

 

 

 

Gay TV Channel Close To Mainstream Access With Shaw, Bell

Source: Canadian Press

(Jul. 10, 2005) Months of negotiations to gain wider carriage by Canada's cable and satellite services appears to be over for the country's gay-themed TV channel.  Bill Craig, president of OUTtv, says an agreement has been reached with Calgary-based Shaw Communications to make the channel available on Shaw Cable and Star Choice satellite as a regular specialty channel. He says a similar deal is very near with Bell ExpressVu.  "I think it's terrific that Shaw is now seeing the wisdom of keeping the world's first gay television station alive," said Craig. "I just wish it wasn't so difficult to get us distributed but that's the nature of being gay, I guess, in this day and age."  Helping to break the logjam was a move in April by new owners — a private consortium of gay businesses — to re-brand the former PrideVision as OUTtv. The hard-core content was transferred to a spinoff channel called Hard TV, which remains a premium service like the Playboy Channel.  While the move made OUTtv more acceptable to such key systems as Rogers, Cogeco and Videotron, Shaw and Bell still resisted including the channel in their regular packages.  When negotiations reached a deadlock, the issue was headed to the CRTC.  The channel owners were ready to argue that Shaw and Bell — which together control nearly 70 per cent of the country's digital TV subscribers — were required by law to carry OUTtv.  Shaw president Peter Bissonnette confirmed Friday a deal had been reached while denying any initial whiffs of homophobia.  He says talks stalled because the broadcaster tried to force Shaw into carrying not only its newly mainstream OUTtv, but also the explicit Hard TV service, which Shaw still declines to do.  Craig stresses that OUTtv hasn't exactly been toned down, that it will still be risqué late at night, but no more so than, say, Showcase.

 

 

 

::THEATRE NEWS::

 

 

The Burglary - July 14 – August 7, 2005

Come see the fantastically hilarious cast of The Burglary at the Jane Mallett Theatre this summer. Paul Anthony, Kim Roberts and Kevin Sinclair create quite a stir on stage and among audience members in this “outrageously serious comedy.” Accompanying the cast is the creative and management team, including Julia Tribe, Set and Costume Design; Andrea Lundy, Lighting Design; Stephen Lalande, Production Manger; Michael Sinclair, Stage Manager; and Producers Paul Harrington-Smith and Kimahli Powell.

As director of The Burglary, mandiela uses her talents to best showcase the words of the outrageously witty writer, Anthony Winkler, and the creativity and artistry of the cast and crew.  mandiela says of directing The Burglary, “Directing theatre productions, is about adding my creative voice to those of the playwright and the other interpreters; all the while working with a competent and dynamic support team. This venture into work on The Burglary definitely fits the bill… Winkler’s script is deep, intelligent, and funny! The actors ready and waiting to shine like the star they are; the designers I really respect and admire; and the production support is no less than a team of crack professionals. Now i say: forward & booyaka… (feel the rhiddim) skengeh skengeh skengeh skengeh.”

In 1998, ahdri zhina mandiela’s independent film on/black/stage/women profiled a number of prominent Black women artists in Toronto, celebrating 30 years of their contributions to the city’s vibrant theatre scene. Individuals like Djanet Sears, Alison Sealy-Smith and Jackie Richardson lit up the screen in this seminal documentary. Today, a film like this would have to feature mandiela. She has been working in the theatre scene since the late 70s and founded Toronto-based b current, a small not-for-profit performance arts company, which presents and supports performance works emanating from the Canadian and international Black Diaspora. mandiela just completed b current’s fourth version of the annual rock.paper.Sistahz festival this past May. mandiela continues to promote Black artists and their contributions to the greater community, all the while encouraging collectivism. Her pet project: training and mainstreaming emerging artists through her company’s rAiz’n the sun program. Always an innovative visionary director, you can check out her current work, Two Can Play, in Toronto at the Berkeley Street Theatre from June 4 – July 2.

Become a part of The Burglary Experience by visiting www.gamutproductions.ca to receive special codes for discounted tickets and a chance to win exclusive prizes and free tickets to see THE BURGLARY this summer July 14 – August 7, 2005 at the Jane Mallett Theatre in Toronto. 

 

 

 

 

 ::SPORTS NEWS::

Nike Just Does Kobe Again

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 11, 2005) *Nike has decided to ease back into the Kobe Bryant business following his arrest two years ago for the alleged sexual assault of a female employee at a Colorado resort.  The shoe corporation, who had given the Los Angeles Lakers guard a $45 million endorsement deal shortly before his arrest, is the first company to feature his image in an ad after his sexual assault charge was dismissed last September.  “Nike agrees with most NBA observers that Kobe ranks among the very best players in the NBA, and his training and preparation are key elements of his game," said Nike spokesman Rodney Knox according to AP. Cynthia Stone, spokeswoman for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, criticized Nike's decision. "Corporations like Nike play a huge part in creating role models for millions of young athletes," she told AP. "It would be a great inspiration to those young people if the endorsers were not only accomplished athletes, but also had a reputation for positive and ethical conduct." McDonald's and Nutella both cut Bryant loose from their roster of celebrity endorsers after his arrest. Bryant’s rape charge was dismissed when the accuser refused to go forward with the case.  The athlete gave her a public apology without admitting any guilt.  Nike’s Bryant ad can be seen in “Sports Illustrated.”

 

 

 

 ::OTHER NEWS::

Terry Talks To Tavis: 'Stella' Author Dishes Exclusive Details About Her 'Groove' Gone Bad

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 12, 2005) Terry McMillan spoke out for the firsthttp://www.langfieldentertainment.com/images/JULY 2005/terry_mcmillan(00-headfaceshot-blk-hat-med).jpg time bluntly on “Tavis Smiley” on PBS on her well publicized dispute with her estranged husband Jonathan Plummer. McMillan is the best-selling author of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "Waiting to Exhale" and her new novel "The Interruption of Everything."  The conversation with Tavis will air tonight, Tuesday, July 12 on PBS. Check your local listings or visit www.pbs.org/tavissmiley for airtimes.   Here are some excerpts from McMillan’s comments to Tavis about the dispute:

She Kicked Him To The Curb
“I was getting a divorce from Jonathan in the first place. When I basically asked him if he was looking for a place to live was when he decided to tell me he was gay. I find out he has a lover of nine months. I kicked him out of the house.  His lover was not available. I put him up in a hotel for three weeks, and the next thing I know, he gets an attorney and he’s suing me for my prenuptial agreement saying basically that he signed it (under) duress, which is not true.” 

It's About Extortion
“I’ve got evidence to prove all kinds of things, that he was gay when he met me, that this is basicallyhttp://www.langfieldentertainment.com/images/JULY 2005/terry_mcmillan(front&jonathan_plummer(2005-med).jpg extortion.  Everything that he has done from the time I said I’m not paying him any money.  I have a valid prenuptial agreement which states no spousal support, no legal fees. I pay for his college education, a vehicle. I paid $300,000 to get him a pet grooming business. Three days ago, I heard that he sold everything in it and split. Everything he’s been doing, he’s been lying, he lied in his court documents and made them available on the internet. He and his attorney both are guilty of trying to spread rumours about me being a homophobe. Everything in his court documents are lies with two exceptions, one that he’s gay and two that he’s Jonathan Plummer.”

He’s a Habitual Liar and Sociopath
“I resent that he did all of this to basically eclipse the publication of my book so people would think that it’s a publicity stunt. I don’t need him for publicity. All this is basically because he wants my money. He’s not getting it.  He has risked my life by having sex with men for years. He has become a U.S. citizen because of his relationship with me. He’s trying to get sympathy for himself and he’s a habitual liar and he’s a sociopath. Now, I will prove it. He has gotten on my last nerve.”

Afraid for Her Life
“But right now, I’ll be honest with you, I’m afraid for my life. He’s coming across as Mr. Goody Two Shoes and Mr. Nice Guy. Right now, the world knows almost everything about me. The contents of my home. He has spread all of these lies on the internet and even gone on nationwide TV and has lied. He has not had to prove a single lie. It is filed in the US Superior Court, every lie that he has told. He has gone on nationwide TV to spread them. I really resent it. The legal system has not worked in my favour. My personal information should not be in the news, not be on the internet, not on newspapers. He should not have been permitted to go out there and spread lies about me that nobody believes anyway.”

It's Not About Him Being Gay, But ...
 “I don’t care about him being gay, but he risked my life.  What if I’m sitting here HIV positive.  I can’t get rid of that.  And he wants my money?  He should get a job.  That’s all I have to say.” 

Not A Homophobe, But a 'Jona-phobe'
"I will not be deterred. The bottom line is that I know that I was told don’t call him names. But he’s gone on TV and called me a homophobe. I have too many friends who are gay for him to even to say that. I’m not a homophobe.  I’m a 'Jona-phobe.' He has basically orchestrated this entire thing, all of which is to set me up to pay him money. Because he thought this would embarrass me. I’m not embarrassed. What I am is insulted that he went this far. That’s why I know I’m a 'Jona-phobe.'  The bottom line is this, he has basically orchestrated this entire thing, all of which was to set me up, to pay him money. He thought this would embarrass me.  I’m not embarrassed.  What I am, is insulted that he went this far. That’s how I know he’s a sociopath.  He’s a covetous sociopath."

Insulted, Pissed Off and Railroaded
"I’m insulted and humiliated that he was able to get away with this without having a shred of evidence. The bottom line is this, he’s the one who’s gay. He’s the one who withheld this knowledge and information from me.  He’s the one who has tried to hurt and sabotage my entire life and disrupt it. I am insulted. I am pissed off, is what I am. And so far he has done OK. I’ve got a judge ordering me to pay this bastard money - and his lawyer. I’ve got a valid prenuptial agreement that states that I don’t owe him anything. I’ve got proof. It’s like I feel like I’ve just been railroaded. I don’t feel weak by it because there are a lot of legal issues that I hope to be able to bring up that a lot of women who aren’t in my position couldn’t even address. And that’s where I’m coming from. It’s not just about me. I’m smarter than he is. I am insulted that somebody of his intelligence – that’s probably more than anything, that people know just how stupid he is. That’s what I’m embarrassed about. Cause I didn’t know how stupid he was. He’s slick but prison is full of slick people."

Terry McMillan Divorcing 'Groove' Muse

Source:  Associated Press

(June 29, 20050 SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Author Terry McMillan has filed for divorce from the man who inspired the 1996 novel "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," which chronicled the romantic adventures of a 40-something woman who falls for a guy half her age. In papers filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, McMillan, 53, says she decided to end her 6 1/2-year marriage to Jonathan Plummer, 30, after learning he is gay. The revelation led her to conclude Plummer married only to get his U.S. citizenship, she said. McMillan met Plummer at a Jamaican resort a decade ago. "It was devastating to discover that a relationship I had publicized to the world as life-affirming and built on mutual love was actually based on deceit," she said in court papers. "I was humiliated." In response, Plummer maintained McMillan treated him with "homophobic" scorn bordering on harassment since he came out to her as gay just before Christmas. McMillan is seeking to have the marriage annulled; Plummer has asked the court to set aside a prenuptial agreement that would prevent him from getting spousal support. McMillan filed for divorce in January, but news of the split didn't surface until this week, when it was first reported in a San Francisco Chronicle gossip column. Earlier this month, a judge ordered McMillan to pay Plummer $2,000 a month in spousal support and $25,000 in attorney's fees until the case comes back to court in October. McMillan's latest novel, "The Interruption of Everything," is scheduled to hit store shelves next month. It plots the mid-life adventures of a married mother of three who is questioning her comfortable suburban life. McMillan said she did not plan to let a divorce "detract from the many blessings in her life," according to a statement released through her publicist. Plummer's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

 

 

The Authentic Magic Of Voodoo Art

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Marina Jimenez

(July 7, 2005) Hollywood movies and popular culture have long vilified the Haitian religion of Voodoo, focusing on flesh-eating zombies, sorcery and black magic. Now Canadian international development expert Cameron Brohman is presenting another, more authentic, side of this ancient, syncretic religion and the brilliant art form it has inspired. They are called Voodoo or spirit flags -- colourfully beaded creations depicting the pantheon of gods in meticulously hand-sewn designs. Normally these sacred works hang in the Voodoo temples that dot Haiti's countryside, dirt-floor, open-air shacks with roosters running through them. But a selection by prominent Haitian artists are now on display at Brohman's CREOS gallery, which opened this spring in a basement studio in Toronto's theatre district. "They are to Haitian art what the Buena Vista Social Club was to Cuban music," said Brohman, who spent 15 years in Haiti working on reforestation and potable water projects. "They are the illuminated manuscript of the religion." He and business partner Tony Piggott, president and CEO of the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson Canada, have assembled the most important collection of Haitian art in Canada. As well as spirit or Voodoo flags, it includes metalwork made from recycled oil drums, pottery, masks and paintings from the late Alexandre Gregoire, a 20th-century naïf master. (Naïf refers to artists who are self-taught, as well as younger, emerging painters.) Works by Gerard Valcin and his brother Pierre-Joseph Valcin, also from the naïf school, are featured. The gallery owners hope the collection will go some way toward challenging negative cultural stereotypes about Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Western hemisphere with a long history of political violence and instability.

"Haiti is the textbook example of a people, a nation and a culture that have been economically damaged through cultural demonization," said Brohman. Films from the cult-classic Night of the Living Dead, which portrays zombies as creatures who feed on the living, to the recent release Land of the Dead, by legendary filmmaker George Romero, and the film The Serpent and the Rainbow, based on Wade Davis's best-selling book, have unintentionally solidified negative connotations about Voodoo, prompting fear of the art work associated with it. In fact, the religion is a unique blend of 14th-century West African beliefs, Roman Catholicism and the rituals of the Caribbean's native population, and is practised by a majority of Haitians. Brohman, who lived in Haiti for 15 years, was so intrigued he was initiated into it in 1990 in a thatched-roof hut with sacred pythons living in the roof. In a ceremony that lasted three days, he was bathed in spring water and dressed in new white clothes to symbolize re-entry into the world. "The Voodoo I was shown does not resemble Hollywood's version. The premise is that the dead are alive and should be treated as invisible companions," he said. "It is a great teaching system. The deities correspond to Catholic saints and are comrades to us through our trials and dreams. Some anthropologists believe it is the first spiritual system on record." The flags portray such deities (or lwas, pronounced loah) as Erzulie, the Goddess of Love, who is often represented through a heart and geometric pattern. La Sirene, Queen of the Ocean, is a resplendent mermaid who is the muse of music and poetry. Bossou, the patron of cultivation and a fertility god, is characterized by an ox. And Baron Samedi, the spirit of the cemeteries, is often portrayed in a black suit and hat. "There are 20,000 hand-sewn sequins in most flags," says Brohman. "It would take an artist one month of 12-hour days to complete it. The hougan, or priest, runs the temple as an atelier. And sewing is like a meditative exercise, much like sand drawing in eastern religions."

The flags are used at the beginning of Voodoo ceremonies to welcome the gods and their devotees, and are also "satellite dishes" to the spirit world, drawing cosmic energies that are communicated back to the religious community. They are also a highly collectible -- and yet affordable -- folk-art form and hang in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and galleries in Paris and New Orleans. And yet the market for Haitian art in Canada is small, especially outside Montreal, where most Haitian expatriates live. While wayang golek puppets from Indonesia and Mexican day-of-the-dead icons have found a market in Canada, Haiti's offerings have not. Brohman hopes to change this. He thinks art can help deliver Haiti from poverty. "The UN recognizes the creative industries of Haiti as a poverty-reduction strategy, as long as marketing barriers can be overcome," said Brohman. "As artist Jean Claude Garoute says, 'In Haiti, art feeds millions.' " CREOS is a member of UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity, with a mandate to preserve art from endangered cultures. It has created a foundation to reinvest a portion of its profits into Haiti's creative industries, and has partnered with the Harriet Tubman Centre at Toronto's York University. The centre, which focuses on the preservation of cultures of the African diaspora, is planning a conference on endangered cultures next June. "The Voodoo flags are like a living archive documenting the use of Voodoo and magic in the ritual vocabulary of Haiti," said Thor Burnham, a PhD student at the centre.

CREOS also sees art as a key development model. The flag-making temples are Haiti's premier cottage industry and craft exports generate more than $30-million (U.S.) a year. Yet Haitian crafts have not been marketed with the same success as those from other countries, largely due to the country's political upheaval. Violence escalated in Haiti this year following the ousting of Jean-Bertrand Aristide from the presidency in February, 2004. More than 400 people have died since September in clashes involving pro- and anti-Aristide street gangs, police, peacekeepers and ex-soldiers who helped drive the former president from the country. A United Nations peacekeeping force remains on the ground. In this climate, it is no surprise that few tourists venture to Haiti, much less its galleries. Still, Voodoo artists remain busy, forced to rely now more than ever on their cultural offerings as a means of survival. "Haiti as a country is in steep decline, and yet its culture and spiritual forces persist with courage and imagination," said Brohman. "I am hoping the Toronto art community will embrace this most vibrant and intelligent of art forms."

 

 

 

Caught On Camera: Paparazzi Can Act As Barometer Of Stars' Careers

Source:  www.metronews.ca - Reuters

(July 7, 2005) They're cursed at, knocked down and have objects thrown at them. They're loathed by their subjects. Yet the demand for the photos they shoot is stronger than ever. Welcome to the world of the paparazzi: the guerrilla-like photographers who will go to any length to get the "money shot," like those rare, candid pictures of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt frolicking on a Kenya beach that fed on the public's obsession with the stars and sold for an estimated $500,000 U.S. The paparazzi know actress Cameron Diaz flips the bird, Pitt will use a hamburger for defence and actor Ben Affleck will engage in a high-speed car chase to evade these unwanted lensmen. They are not the credentialed photographers who shoot obediently from arm's length at premieres and the Oscars. "Their job requires more cunning, creativity, and sheer nerve than a red carpet ever demanded," said Peter Howe, whose book Paparazzi, published last month, delves into the photojournalists' world and their complex relationship with their subjects and the public. Veteran paparazzi are quick to note that while many actors outwardly scorn them, they also know they cannot achieve or sustain fame without paparazzi photos in the press. "I don't think they'd ever admit to saying they like paparazzi, but there are certainly those who accept us as part of their business," said Frank Griffin, a veteran paparazzi who now runs Bauer-Griffin agency with partner Randy Bauer. These days, paparazzi photos appear in even the most mainstream of publications as more news organizations than ever have sought to capitalize on the public's seemingly insatiable interest in celebrity. In his book, Howe said the O.J. Simpson trial was pivotal because the proceedings were covered live on TV and showcased what was "under the rock of a celebrity's life." Indeed, a celebrity may first learn he or she is off the A-list from the paparazzi.

"The paparazzi have amazing antenna. They know before a celebrity does when a career is cooling. It may not be much of a consolation, but stars know their careers are on track when their lives are made hell by photographers," Howe said. A thick skin is a prerequisite to be a paparazzo — a term coined by director Federico Fellini in his 1960 film La Dolce Vita. "We don't have to worry about who we piss off. Everyone's already pissed at us," Griffin says on his website. Howe, former picture editor for the New York Times Magazine and director of photography for LIFE magazine, interviewed various paparazzi, like Phil Ramey, Ron Galella and Griffin for the book, which came out just as the Los Angeles police announced a probe into whether the city's paparazzi engage in criminal conspiracy to land photos of stars in distress. The probe was revealed in June shortly after a photographer was accused of crashing his car into actress Lindsay Lohan's Mercedes, but authorities said it was launched months earlier in response to a growing number of cases in which photographers band together to provoke celebrities. Many fear another tragedy like the Paris car accident that killed Princess Diana in 1997. But Howe said the elite paparazzi do not engage in the chases. "The stupid paps, the grunts of the profession, would try to run a star off the road or cause collisions," he said. The smarter ones, who make more money, try to avoid being seen at all costs. The big money comes when celebrities don't even know they're being photographed." 

 

 

 

Miss Universe 'Surprised' By Canada's Reaction

Excerpt from The Toronto Star -  Ben Rayner, Pop Music Critic

(Jul. 12, 2005) MONTREAL (CP) — It's hard to be the centre of the universe when even your own country won't let you shine.  Toronto's Natalie Glebova, only the second Canadian to be crowned Miss Universe in the pageant’s 53 years, acknowledged Monday the muted reaction to her coronation was a little off-putting.  "I was surprised," she said during her first official Canadian appearance held Monday at the Montreal Casino.  She had just arrived from a 16-hour flight from South Africa where she spent the last 10 days learning first-hand about the region as part of her new role in spreading awareness of HIV-AIDS.  Beauty pageants are "not in our culture," said Glebova but considering Canada is normally quick to trumpet its international successes, she was expecting a little more.  She beat 80 other contestants at the May 30 pageant, which was telecast to an estimated 1 billion people. The victory only received brief mention in the Canadian media and no recognition from her hometown of Toronto, her province of Ontario or the federal government.  Monday's news conference, attended by more than 35 journalists, all but six of them male, more than 20 of them cameramen and most chuckling about "tough assignments," was heartening, she said.  "It was nice to see so many people out. Canada is my home, so it's nice to be supported at home."  Little versed about the AIDS epidemic — the Miss Universe corporation chooses the cause, not her — Glebova is learning, although admits the training is a bit overwhelming.  "I cried a lot," said the 23-year-old, who immigrated from Russia with her parents at the age of 12. "To see people who are dying of AIDS, children orphaned by the disease — it's hard."  But it also lends relevance to a title many think is "all about the glamour," she said, and justifies a prize virtually ignored in her own country because of its focus on the physical as opposed to intellectual.  A shy girl with few friends and no boyfriends in high school — she's currently single — Glebova obtained a BA degree in information technology management at Ryerson University. She is also a former rhythmic gymnast and classical pianist.  Already diplomatic, she takes the criticism of beauty pageants in stride.  "If I just looked at the pageant and didn't know anything about it, I'd probably feel the same way," she said. "Having a title like this is not all about the glamour side of it.  "If this title has a lot influence and power, maybe we should give it to a good cause and bring awareness to the world and make a change.  "I hope others will see that, too."

 

 

 

‘Down Low’s’ King On Promo Tour With Ex-Wife

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 12, 2005) *J.L. King, author of the 2004 bombshell book “Living on the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of ‘Straight’ Black Men Who Sleep with Men,” will go on tour with his ex-wife, author Brenda Stone Browder, to share their personal experiences of the "down low" phenomenon, and how those going through the difficulties associated with a partner living on the down low can heal, forgive and find love again.  The trek, called "A Conversation of Reconciliation," is in direct response to the hundreds of requests each of the authors has received while promoting their separate literary projects.  "Many people have come up to me, in disbelief that Brenda and I are friends, and that people really can heal and move past their differences,” King says. “Hopefully our tour will teach people how they too, can move past their pain.” King's book triggered a national discussion on sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS prevention.  With this discussion came the reality that the new face of HIV and AIDS is a black woman, with an alarming 64 percent of new HIV infections reported in the U.S. found among this minority group.  Browder, author of the Essence bestseller, “On the Up and Up: A Survival Guide for Women Living with Men on the Down Low,” credits her faith in God and a supportive family for her making it through that very difficult time in her life. Currently a lay speaker and divinity student, Browder sees it as her ministry to assist women and men dealing with the down low phenomenon.  "Given the HIV/AIDS pandemic that we have in the black community, I believe strongly that J.L. and I must continue the dialogue about human sexual orientation and honest relationships with action," said Browder. "I want women in particular to know, that they can find love again-as I did.”  For tour information and updates on The Conversation of Reconciliation, visit www.brendabrowder.com and www.jlking.net.

 

 

 

Kravitz Has Designs On Another Career

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 9, 2005) *A couple of side decorating gigs here and there turned into a full fledged operation for rocker Lenny Kravitz, who has addressed the demand for his unique style by founding the company, Kravitz Design. "We were quiet at first, just doing some private homes, and then moved into doing a penthouse recording studio," the 41-year-old singer tells AP of his two partners. "(Now) we're doing hotels. We've got three or four things on the table now." The Miami-based venture has been in existence for about two years and was born out of Kravitz’s love of architecture and interior design. "I was always changing things and moving things around," said Kravitz. "When I started touring 16 years ago, going around the world, I got into architecture." The funky décor Kravitz chose for his own homes began to appear in magazines such as Vogue.  When more and more people began asking him to hook up their pads, the side hobby became a bonafide business, with future plans to launch a line of Kravitz decor.  "We have a couple of items that I think are classic and will have an identity," he said. "They have a personality and they'll be unique."

 

 

 

Winfrey, Rusesabagina To Receive Freedom Awards

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com


(July 8, 2005) *Oprah Winfrey and Paul Rusesabagina, whose courage in the face of genocide inspired the movie "Hotel Rwanda," will be given Freedom Awards from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.  Built around the former Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the museum will give Winfrey its National Freedom Award in November for her efforts to improve the lives of poor children in Africa and helping create a U.S. database of convicted child abusers.  Rusesabagina, a hotel manager during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, will receive the International Freedom Award for his efforts to shelter more than 1,200 Tutsi refugees and Hutu sympathizers in the Kigali hotel where he worked to prevent their slaughter by Hutu militias.  A new Lifetime Achievement Award for civil rights activism will be given to actress Ruby Dee and her late husband, Ossie Davis.

 

 

 

Freeman, Intel Team For Digital Ent. Co.

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 8, 2005) *Actor Morgan Freeman’s production outfit and Intel Corp. have joined forces to form a digital entertainment company that will allow consumers to watch movies online before they come out on DVD. The new company, ClickStar Inc., will offer users premium, first-run movies before they're available on DVD, bucking the current system of films going from theatres to DVD first, before being offered to online movie rental services.    "What we're setting up is a distribution platform strictly for the dissemination of film content," said Freeman, who will consult for the company. "It's probably later on that the studios might adopt it as a model and improve on it." Freeman is said to be using his Hollywood connections to secure content for ClickStar, which aims to begin distribution by next year. The company’s CEO, former Sony Pictures executive Nizar Allibhoy, said he hopes ClickStar will accomplish for Hollywood what Apple's Steve Jobs did with iTunes in the music industry. "He demonstrated a new market for digital media," Allibhoy said. "We have the same advantage of being the first out there." The company was unveiled Wednesday by Freeman and Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini at investment bank Allen & Co.'s annual conference of media executives in Sun Valley, Idaho.

 

 

 

Jermaine Dupri Coffee Maker

Source: W&W Public Relations, Inc., w-wpr.com, Patti Webster, Jacinda Chen

(July 11, 2005) Jermaine Dupri, best known for producing and writing chart-topping songs, announces the grand opening of his first restaurant, Café Dupri, in Atlanta, GA.  Located at 3133 Piedmont Avenue in the Buckhead section of town, Café Dupri officially opened for business on Monday, June 6.  The hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 7:00am-2:00am and Friday and Saturday from 7:00am-4:00am.   Recently named as ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year for the 5th time as well as receiving their prestigious “Golden Note Award,” Jermaine Dupri has shown his commitment to the Atlanta community and continues to prove with his many successes in music, production and business that he has the Midas touch. Café Dupri should be no different.  “I am proud to be a part of the Atlanta community and am excited to be opening Café Dupri in the place I call home,” says Dupri.  “Café Dupri has innovative, high-quality menu items that are also healthy, and of course, have a little So So Def flair.”  Dupri hopes to expand Café Dupri into a franchise with locations in New York, Japan and elsewhere.   The newly built Café is 2200 square feet and opened with 39 employees. It seats 105 guests and will serve a diverse menu of nutritious choices including low carb options with a southern flavour. General Manager, Gail Matney, will oversee the location and renowned Atlanta-area Chef, Christopher B. Banks, adds his culinary expertise.   Café Dupri offers a complete casual dining menu with high quality recipes.  A full breakfast menu includes So So Def specials like Eggs Oscar, Eggs Portobello and Applewood Smoked Salmon.   Lunch includes Turkey Burgers, Chicken Kabob’s, Veggini’s and the signature dish, Tomatoes Dupri (Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Blackened Crawfish).  For dinner, guests can dine on Chicken Napoleon, Tuna Carpaccio and Eggplant Roulade, among other dishes.  On Sunday, Cafe Dupri offers a Sunday brunch complete with complimentary mimosas.   Jermaine Dupri’s commitment to providing the best he has to offer has also been adopted by the restaurant and its employees.  Café Dupri is dedicated to providing unparalleled food quality and incomparable customer service.

 

 

 

Reginald Hudlin Joins BET

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

(July 13, 2005) *BET President and CEO Debra L. Lee has announced filmmaker Reginald Hudlin as President of Entertainment for BET, effective immediately.  The noted director will split time between BET programming and production hubs in Los Angeles and New York, and company headquarters in Washington.  He becomes chief programming executive in charge of BET’s music, entertainment, specials, sports, news and public affairs, film and program acquisitions, home entertainment and programming development units.    “There is no media property with greater growth potential than BET,” said Hudlin.  “I’m grateful for Debra, Bob (Johnson, Co-founder) and Tom’s (Freston, Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Viacom) confidence in my ability to shape the creative future of the network.  I look forward to working with them as we guide BET to the next step in its evolution with a wide range of original programming.” Hudlin exploded on the scene with older brother Warrington in 1990 with production of the comedy “House Party.”  His filmography also includes “Boomerang,” “The Great White Hype,” “Bebe’s Kids” and “The Ladies Man,” among his producer and directorial credits.         

 

 

 

 ::FITNESS::

 

 

Get Motivated To Shape Up!

By Michael Stefano, Special for eFitness

(July 11, 2005) I can list dozens of reasons why you should work out, not one of which is more motivating than the way you see yourself every time you glance in the mirror. Lower cholesterol, reduced blood pressure, increased energy, and protection against many diseases are all valid reasons to begin a fitness program, but it's the bloated image in the mirror that will convince you that it's time to peel yourself off the couch and do something.  Luckily, exercise that gets you to lose weight and look great also helps rid your bloodstream of all those nasty fat and cholesterol supplies.  In addition, the right type of exercise will relax the walls of your arteries, reducing blood pressure, turning your heart into a super-efficient pump, thereby extending its lifespan; you can enhance the ability of your body to process insulin, stave off diabetes, build functional strength and endurance, provide extra energy, elevate mood, reduce stress, and -- I could go on and on (all by exercising).  Being out of shape and overweight is not just about appearance. Unhealthy trends that start early in life can progress to full blown medical problems. Any injury or illness can also paralyze your workout regimen, as an unhealthy, unfit body can't train like a conditioned individual's. The vicious cycle continues -- as pain or lack of energy can keep you on the sidelines.

But at any age or condition there's always a starting point, a place where exercise is not only doable, but safe and beneficial.  Anyone who has ever sprinted a lap around the track or performed a quality set in the gym knows that when exercise gets a little tough you have to make a decision. As lactic acid burns up on the insides of your muscle fibres, or you're too winded to speak, you need to decide whether to push forward with another rep or stop.  No matter how conditioned (or unconditioned) a person may be, success is achieved by almost hitting that line of intensity, but not beyond. Pushing past it involves unnecessary risk that could ultimately jeopardize your program in the long run.  Work to the level of burn or fatigue that's acceptable to you, and be guided by the following:  You should feel tired after exercise, but not totally drained. After an hour or so, you should have completely regained your energy levels, and be able to enjoy a good night's sleep. On the day following intense exercise, it's okay to feel a little muscle soreness, but it shouldn't be so extensive as to limit movement or give you a sense of overall fatigue.  Previously, I used the term "quality set." Intensity can only take a back seat to perfect form, which is the only way to perform quality exercise in general. From aerobics to yoga, go through each movement as it was designed, without cheating, following the guidelines of the discipline involved. Intensity is always best achieved while working within the limits of each exercise.

So where does all this leave you? First and foremost, get on a fitness plan that's flexible and can be molded to your lifestyle, goals, needs, etc. Within the parameters of that program, using a system of trial and error, find your "line of intensity" on every exercise. I suggest that at first you record what you're doing to help re-create the same, or slightly harder, conditions every session. The establishment of a workout journal can be an invaluable tool, especially at the beginning of your program.  If you're really out of shape, your initial program may simply be one of walking for five or 10 minutes on a daily basis. Eventually, you'll need to structure a program based on your goals, limitations, equipment, time, preferences, experience, and willingness to work hard. Success is then achieved by finding your "line of intensity" and pushing it regularly. Remember to talk to your doctor before you get started.

 

 

 

EVENTS – JULY 14-24, 2005

 

 

 

SATURDAY, JULY 16
THE A-TEAM
The Orbit Room
College Street
10:30 pm 
$8.00   
 
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Wade O. Brown, Shamakah Ali, Rich Brown, Adrian Eccleston, David Williams.

 

 

 

SUNDAY, JULY 17
SOULAR
College Street Bar  
574 College Street (at Manning)  
10:30 pm 
$5.00   
  
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French.

 

 

 

MONDAY, JULY 18
IRIE MONDAY NIGHT SESSIONS
Irie Food Joint
745 Queen Street W.
10:00 pm
 
EVENT PROFILE:  Welcome to Negril Ontario, that is!  Yes, Carl’s been at it again and has completely revamped his back patio for his faithful Irie patrons.  And now that the weather is warmer, you just HAVE to come out party on the new and hip patio.  Rain or shine as the patio is covered for our convenience.  A real celebration of summer at the hippest patio in Toronto!  DJ Carl Allen will be spinning the tunes while Kayte Burgess and Adrian Eccleston bring the live music. 

 

 

 

MONDAY, JULY 18
VIP JAM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS  - NEW LOCATION
Indian Motorcycle
  King Street (at Peter)  
10:00 pm  
NO COVER  
  
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring host Chris Rouse, Calvin Beale, Joel Joseph and Shamakah Ali with various local artists. 

 

 

 

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2005
DAVID RUDDER and SONIA COLLLYMORE (LIVEhttp://www.langfieldentertainment.com/images/JULY 2005/richmondlounge.jpg TAPING)
The Richmond Lounge
342 Richmond Street W. (just east of Fez Batik upstairs)
Doors Open: 7:30 pm
Show starts:  8:00 pm SHARP for live taping
Tickets:  $5 at the door
Log into CBC for more details

EVENT PROFILE: Calypso meets Reggae when David Rudder and Sonia Collymore team up to celebrate summer withhttp://www.langfieldentertainment.com/images/JULY 2005/David Rudder Sonia Collymore.jpg CBC Radio One.  Hosted by Claudia Garcia de la Huerta of Big City Small World these two heavy hitters entertain us at The Richmond Lounge on Monday, July 18 at 7:30 pm. Come be a part of this live audio taping!  The show will be broadcast on Big City, Small World - July 30th (5:00 - 6:00pm on 99.1FM).  Tune in to Metro Morning and Here & Now for highlights.

 

 

 

SATURDAY, JULY 23
THE A-TEAM
The Orbit Room
College Street
10:30 pm 
$8.00   
 
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Wade O. Brown, Shamakah Ali, Rich Brown, Adrian Eccleston, David Williams.

 

 

 

SUNDAY, JULY 24
SOULAR 
College Street Bar
574 College Street (at Manning)
10:30 pm 
$5.00
 
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French

 

 

 

Have a great week!  


Dawn Langfield   
Langfield Entertainment  
www.langfieldentertainment.com