Langfield Entertainment
88 Bloor Street E., Suite 2908, Toronto, ON  M4W 3G9
(416) 677-5883


Updated:  June 16, 2005

I’m just loving that it’s summer.  It’s looking like I’ll be going down to the St. Kitts Music Festival next week to cover the event – many thanks to the festival for inviting me to come (check out their site – . With acts like Keshia Chante, Wyclef, Boyz II Men and Ludacris, you can bet I’ll be really busy!  I’ll be gone for about five days so there will not be a newsletter next week.  I’ll not be able to create the newsletter as well as cover the festival – sure my loyal readers understand but know that the following week (Thursday, June 30) I’ll have lots of coverage from the festival. 

A couple of really HOT summer events coming up – first the new Sunday nights at Down One Lounge – this Sunday with Alana Bridgewater and special guests Dave Mathews and John Campbell.  Then in a couple of week’s there’s a special anniversary party at IRIE – check out all the details below. 

And  a FREE offer from the ladies at Laser Rejuvenation Clinic!  First to respond to this email WINS! 

So, Michael’s off the hook and Destiny’s Child will be breaking up.  Has the world gone mad?!  See related articles below.

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.






Show Time Live & Nu-Urban Soul Presents Sunday Nights Inside Down One Lounge

We all know that America has produced some great talent … now let’s see what Toronto has to offer when it comes to LIVE music!  A weekly live music showcase featuring Toronto’s finest urban performers each and every Sunday!

This weekend it’s Toronto’s soul daughter Alana Bridgewater and special guests Dave Mathews and John Campbell.  Want to get away from all the crowds from the MMVAs?  We’re just enough south that you won’t have a problem with the FREE parking and you’re guaranteed a quality show.  Spend some time with the men and women of the Nu-Urban-Soul this Father’s Day.  It’s an early night of fun each and every Sunday.  Doors open at 8:30 pm. Hosted by Keyth, Music by DJ Nigel ‘B’.  Drink Specials all night.  This event is brought to you by Carl Lyte, Keyth Williams.

Great live music +
Good food +
Good pool +
= Good Vibe. 

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2005
Show Time Live & Nu-Urban Soul presents
Down One Lounge
49 Front St. East (between Yonge and Church)
Doors open at 8:30 pm
Cover: $10.00 at the door
Or go to for $5.00 guest list




Irie 4th Anniversary – Monday, June 27

Carl Cassell and Sleeman’s bring us the annual Irie Anniversary Party on Monday, June 27th.  Don’t miss the party on one of the hottest patios in the city at Irie Food Joint.  Carl will be behind the bush grille serving us goodies to sample items from his summer menu – not to mention the drink specials he’s got going on – yummy!  The weather is as warm as it’s going to get, so you just HAVE to come out and help us celebrate.  Those that have attended before know it’s a party not to be missed!  Rain or shine as the patio is covered for our convenience.  The party begins at 10:00 pm.  DJ Carl Allen will be spinning the tunes while Kayte Burgess and Adrian Eccleston bring the live music.  Make some new friends and meet up with some old ones!  Let’s show Carl how proud we are that he’s been around this long bringing us an example of excellence. 

Irie Food Joint
745 Queen Street W.
10:00 pm







Laser Rejuvenation’s June Specials

We offer complimentary consultations and will determine which treatment is suitable for your skin type and concerns.   The Laser Rejuvenation Clinic currently has one of the most advanced laser systems in the world and is able to provide a multi-faceted and diverse treatment protocol for various cosmetic skin and dermatological disorders to all age groups.  Let me tell you, these women know what they’re doing and you’ll leave feeling like you’re a new and improved person.  


Men's Chest or Back
single laser hair removal treatments.
or Package of 6
 laser hair removal treatments for
(package value of $4000)
Package of 8 laser hair removal treatments on Upper lip

(regular price $700)
Package of 6 laser hair removal treatments
on the Underarms

(regular price $1000)


You can keep a wonderful glow all summer long
without exposing your skin to the harmful UVA & UVB rays.
50% OFF


3 products from Intaglio, DerMed, or Obagi
for only $169 plus taxes
*Some products excluded from this offer.
 Limit of one Vitamin C per client.
*Promotions not to be used in conjunction with any other offers/promotions.


A skin treatment that gently exfoliates the skins
epidermal layer, resulting in skin cell turnover and
Collagen production.  
2 treatments for
ONLY $200+gst
25% OFF


Laser Rejuvenation Clinic
87 Avenue Road, Suite 273
Toronto, Ontario M5R 3R9
(416) 923-0092
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 10am-6pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am-8pm







Motivational Note:  The Secret to Getting Motivated in Ten Seconds

Excerpt from - Jason M. Gracia Author of The Motivated Mind -

In the crazy and fast-paced world we live in today, it's not too hard to imagine that certain things get lost in the mix. And your plans for a better life are usually one of the first things to go. It's not that you've given up, it's just that the little things have a way of swallowing up what really matters. Now, you obviously can't enjoy a remarkable life if the changes you want to make don't stand out in your mind every single day. So what's the solution? Symbols. Symbols include any pictures or physical objects that remind you of the changes you want to make. They are the key to quickly and easily remembering everything you need to know in seconds. Seconds? You bet. Just take a look at an old family photo and you'll see firsthand how quickly the right symbol can bring to mind thoughts, feelings, and memories. But instead of an old family photo, you simply have to find pictures and objects that remind you of the great things to come. Once you have a few symbols, put them in places you pass by all the time. Your bathroom mirror, kitchen fridge, review mirror etc. This way you'll never let the small things in life push the big things to the side. While our time here is wrapping up, you can take this idea one step farther. I can show you not only how to remember your hopes and dreams but also how to make them happen without a struggle and without ever relying on willpower. It's a very simple solution that will give you everything you need to start living the life you have always wanted to live. It's behind every change I've made in my life and I know it can do the same for you. Why not take a few minutes to see what it's all about?







Destiny's Child To Disband After Tour

Source:  Associated Press

(Jun. 13, 2005) NEW YORK — Staying together was not part of Destiny's Child's destiny — the multiplatinum group is splitting up.  In a statement released to MTV News, the trio of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams announced plans to disband after their world tour ends in the fall.  We have been working together as Destiny's Child since we were nine, and touring together since we were 14. After a lot of discussion and some deep soul-searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny's Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other," the statement said.  The group was unavailable for comment today, but a representative said another statement would be released later in the day.  The break-up of the girl group, which first debuted as a teenage R&B foursome in 1997, isn't much of a shocker. Many critics didn't expect the group to exist at all after the multiplatinum solo debut of Beyoncé in 2003. Her album, Dangerously In Love, won five Grammys and solidified her as a one-name superstar apart from the group.  And the title of Destiny's Child's latest album — Destiny Fulfilled — appeared to signal the end was near.  In an interview with The Associated Press in November, the women were noncommittal when asked about their future.

"I think as far as Destiny's Child, our main focus is for us to maintain our friendship. And if in three years, five years, 10 years, whenever we decide we wanna do another Destiny's Child record, then we will do it," Beyoncé said. "But I think our main goal was to do this next record, and I think we just wanna eventually have kids that play together."  Beyoncé and Rowland have been members of the group since it was formed in their hometown of Houston. They scored instant success with their debut, thanks to the hit No No No (Part I). Back then, the founding members also included LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson.  But after the release of their second album, 1999's The Writing's On The Wall, Luckett and Roberson were booted from the group. (The duo later sued the group and Beyoncé's manager-father, Matthew Knowles, and reached a settlement.)  Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin replaced Roberson and Luckett the same year, but Franklin was later dropped, making the group a trio.  Among the group's biggest hits have been Bootylicious, Survivor and Independent Women (Part I). All of their albums have sold at least one million copies; their latest has sold more than two million.  Besides Beyoncé, Rowland and Williams have released solo albums — with less fanfare.  Despite the impending break-up, the women pledged to remain close friends.  "After all these wonderful years working together, we realized that now is the time to pursue our personal goals and solo efforts in earnest," the statement said. "No matter what happens, we will always love each other as friends and sisters and will always support each other as artists. We want to thank all of our fans for their incredible love and support and hope to see you all again as we continue fulfilling our destinies."




Mijac Found Not Guilty On All Counts

Excerpt from

(June 14, 2005) *We can only imagine what kind of partying was going on in the fleet of black SUVs carrying Michael Jackson and his family away from the Santa Maria court house Monday after it was confirmed the singer would not be going to jail.  Networks covering the verdict kept helicopter footage of the caravan on the screen as it toted the Jackson clan along the 101 Freeway toward freedom; the sweet sound of “not guilty,” “not guilty,” not guilty” - still ringing in their ears.   It’s finally over. And hopefully, so are the days of little boys spending the night with Jackson at Neverland Ranch and sharing his bed. The superstar and his family said nothing as they left the courthouse immediately after the verdicts were announced to caravan back to the crib. Jackson, 46, was charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003, plying him with wine and conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive to get them to rebut a damaging television documentary.  The jury took about 32 hours and 57 minutes to find the King of Pop not guilty on one count of conspiracy, four counts of committing a lewd act upon a minor child, one count of attempting to committing a lewd act upon a minor child and three counts of    administering an intoxicating agent to assist in the commission of a felony- which came with lesser offences of providing alcoholic beverage to persons under the age of 21). Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom “Cold Man” Sneddon said in a press conference afterward that he’s proud of his office and the Sheriff’s dept for its “outstanding job of investigating the case.”  Although he was disappointed in the outcome, Sneddon said: “In 37 years, I have never quarrelled with a jury’s verdict, and I’m not going to start today.” The DA had not spoken to the accuser or his family, and would not comment on whether this defeat would be the end of his efforts to convict Jackson. 

The jury had initially issued a statement requesting they be left alone and allowed to return to their private lives “as anonymously as they came in.” Next thing you know, the jury was agreeing to address the media en masse in a 10-minute press conference.  Well, those 10 minutes turned into a gracious hour, as the jurors and alternates addressed various aspects of their experience.     “We were required to look at some very specific charges in this case,” said juror No. 1, a grey-haired male. “And one of those charges wasn’t that Michael Jackson was guilty of sleeping with boys, or he was guilty of having adult material in his home. Those weren’t the charges in the case, they were all evidence that could point in one direction or the other. When it came right down to it, we were required to make our decision on reasonable doubt based on the 10 counts. And I think we did a good job.” When the jury was asked if their image of Michael had changed because of the trial, one woman, No. 8. answered: “It’s made me realize that even though he is a superstar, he is a human. And watching him throughout this trial, he to me is just a normal person, with everything. It’s not like he’s way up here and everybody else is down there. He’d be some person that you could walk up on the street and say, ‘Hey, what’s up.’ It made him real, in my eyes.” When asked if the accuser and his family came off like a bunch of crooks trying to scam their way into Jackson’s pocket, a female juror, No. 10, said: “The thought was definitely there. You couldn’t help but wonder many times, just things on the timeline; things didn’t add up.”

Juror No. 2, a Latino male, added: “One other thing, too, the mother [of the accuser] - when she looked at me and snapped her fingers a few times and she says, “You know how our culture is,” and winks at me - I thought, ‘No, that’s not the way our culture is.’”   Juror 8 jumped in next. “I feel that as a mother, the values that she has taught them and they’ve learned, it’s really hard for me to comprehend because I wouldn’t want any of my children to lie for their own gain.”    Meanwhile, Raymone Bain turned up on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” program to comment on her client’s acquittal.  That’s right, her client. Apparently, she is still employed as Jackson’s spokesperson despite reports over the weekend that she was fired  via a posting on Jackson’s MJJ Source web site. “I’m so happy because he’s always maintained his innocence, and I’m happy that we’re here at this day where a jury of his peers has acquitted him of all these false charges,” she told Cooper. “I think for right now, Michael should just be able to enjoy himself and he can deal with all of his strategies and what lies ahead later.”




Mo' Kelly Report: 'Not Guilty' Does NOT Equal Innocence

Excerpt from

(June 14, 2005) In some ways I’m shocked and in other ways I’m not.  If you asked me last week whether I believed Michael Jackson would be found ‘not guilty’ on all ten counts, I would have said ‘no.’ If you asked me whether I believed Michael Jackson would ultimately end up in jail … I would have said ‘no.’ So in a way, things turned out as I expected.  Michael Jackson would end up as a free man and move on with his life.  Yet, I did not expect him to be cleared of all charges. Regardless, people’s opinions are likely unchanged.  I know mine isn’t.  If you believe he was guilty on some level, you still do.  If you believe he was innocent, you still do.  The verdict doesn’t change anyone’s perceptions and doesn’t ‘vindicate’ Michael as some people might have you believe.  What actually  happened between Michael and that child … has not changed … regardless of your opinion about it or any verdict.  A verdict is far from scientific fact.  I disagree with the verdict yet I have nothing respect for it.  

And here’s why ... Most would agree on the fact that the prosecution did a poor job in putting together a coherent and thorough case.  The burden of proof lies with the prosecution and they failed to do their job.  Does it make Michael Jackson less of a criminal?  No, it means that the prosecution fell tremendously short in trying to prove the accusations.  But again, falling short doesn’t mean that the accusations were untrue … merely that they were ultimately unproven.  Law is not about truth or reality; merely the reality of what can be proven. Prosecutorial shortcomings shouldn’t in any way be used to validate or vindicate Michael Jackson.  He was tried, acquitted and now the world will move on to the next big thing.  I remain unchanged in my opinion of the bigger picture.  No verdict either way would have changed that.  Robert Blake was acquitted.  OJ was acquitted.  Laurence Powell and Stacey Koon were acquitted.  You get my point. Whether Michael Jackson uses this reprieve to change his behaviour remains to be seen.  Whether Michael finally realizes that his careless and reckless behaviour is at the root of the problem; remains to be seen.  If we find ourselves discussing any subsequent allegations about Michael Jackson, then we’ll have our answer.  The easiest way to avoid being accused of child molestation is simply not spending unsupervised time with children in an inappropriate manner.  That much Michael can control … that is if he’s not the sexual predator that many think him to be. Who knows what happens to Michael now.  He’s free and given another chance to do what’s right or he will again find himself back where all this started.  Maybe now he’s a bit wiser, a bit smarter and a bit more careful in the way he leads his life.  Then again, I’m not holding my breath.  Michael has a long history of bad decision-making in regard to young boys.  I’m not confident that he’ll finally learn to conduct himself appropriately.  If he does, more power to him.  If he doesn’t, this will end badly for him.  This story isn’t over, merely ending one chapter and beginning another. Michael Jackson is a free man.  Michael Jackson was deemed as ‘not guilty.’  But let’s not confuse that as being ‘innocent.’  The prosecution failed miserably and that is not to be equated with innocence.  That’s ineptitude. Best of luck Michael, with your newfound freedom.  What you do with it will be far more telling than any verdict given on this day.     We shall see.




Innocent, But Can King Of Pop Ever Recover?

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Ashante Infantry, Entertainment Reporter (With Files From Star Wire Services)

(Jun. 15, 2005) Now what?  Cleared of charges that he molested a 13-year-old boy, Michael Jackson must now reassemble the shards of his personal and professional life.  Though his freedom is assured, his future isn't.  The trial heard evidence that the spendthrift pop singer is carrying a $270 million debt that comes due in December. And the high-priced defence team that got him exonerated reportedly comes with a $10 million price tag.  So, the world's best-selling entertainer, a gifted songwriter and arranger, needs to get back to the business of making money — and that means making music.  "I can't believe that Michael is even considering music right now," said Jackson biographer J. Randy Taborelli.  "You just can't put a record out instantly. You have to be working on it and you have to be creative and he has not been any of those things.  "I hope that all the fire in his bellyful of music hasn't been extinguished by this nightmare in his life and that he really wants to continue with his career, because he's one of the world's great musical treasures and we haven't had a lot of the good stuff lately."  But can the frail 46-year-old, a shadow of his moonwalking, crotch-grabbing heyday, still make records that will connect with the youthful record-buying public?  And can he overcome the prosecution's portrayal of him as a heavy drinker and pornography collector who has questionable relationships with preadolescent boys, especially when some members of the jury that exonerated him said they believed he may have molested boys in the past, just not in the case they were deliberating?

"You have to look at one step before that: if nothing was going on could he have a record on the charts, and that's been a question," said Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex, who has spent his entire career discovering, promoting and developing new Canadian talent such as Idol runner-up Gary Beals — who was recently nominated for a 2005 Juno Award.  Jackson has not had a No. 1 hit since 1995's "You Are Not Alone." In fact, he has never returned to the mega-selling heights of 1983's Thriller, which sold 51 million copies worldwide and earned him the moniker "King of Pop."  "That Thriller album doesn't even make sense how amazing it is," said Flex.  "Every single song is a hit. Everybody has a different favourite. Everybody knows all the lyrics. And the videos are all stellar."  And Jackson, the ultimate crossover artist, influenced contemporary artists such as 2004's top seller Usher, and Justin Timberlake, said Vibe music critic Cheo Hodari Coker.  "Usher basically followed in the footsteps of Michael Jackson, just like Michael Jackson owes a tribute to James Brown and Jackie Wilson," he explained.  But once he was catapulted into the superstar stratosphere, the music seemed to take a backseat to his increasingly reclusive and eccentric behaviour. Tabloids filled with tales of his pet chimp, clownish attire and extensive plastic surgery, dubbing him "Wacko Jacko."  The success of Thriller was the best and worst for the singer, said Stacy Brown, co-author of the new book Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask.  "He was so hellbent on topping Thriller that he lost all moral sense and musical sense," said Brown.  "He severed ties with producer Quincy Jones and long-time manager Frank Delio because he didn't want them to get any of the credit."  The next album, Bad (1987), only sold 8 million copies, while the most recent, Invincible (2001), sold 2.1 million. Hardly a failure, but not up to standard.

"In the early '90s when Nirvana released Nevermind and signalled that shift to grunge rock and gangsta rap became popular, Michael couldn't keep up with that gritty sort of unflinching reality," said contributor Bruce Britt. "He was so removed and reclusive and out of touch with what the normal guy was experiencing that I don't think many fans black or white could relate to his music anymore."  But the right songs could have the eminently talented singer back on the charts, said Flex.  "He could have a viable project going if there was some sort of overt connection to what he'd gone through, almost a testimonial in some way. If people believe that he deserved to be exonerated, then they'll believe that it's important to hear what he says on his record.  "His career lies with those fans who were impacted by watching him moonwalk and sing as a kid and will always refuse to believe that he's done anything wrong."  Likeability expert Tim Sanders concurs.  "If he delivers to his fans a record that says thank you for being there for me and that's the subtext of that record, it will be a huge hit. He needs to connect with the people who spent hours if not days standing outside of that courtroom holding up signs to cheer him."  And emerging subdued from his courtroom victory was the right move, added Sanders, whose 2005 book The Likeability Factor explores the measurable aspects of likeability, including levels of friendliness, relevance, empathy and realness.  "I was very pleased with the way Michael behaved yesterday: he was stoic, he understood the brevity of the situation and he demonstrated empathy by his silence and non-celebration.  "If I were him I'd study tapes of (American Idol winner) Ruben Studdard, and Usher, to recapture that youthful spirit he used to have. He cannot re-emerge to the world hurt, defeated and frail; he has to come back strong."  Las Vegas might be a possibility for him to make that strong comeback.  Yesterday, Jack Wishna, who has a minority interest in Trump's New Frontier Hotel and Casino, said he had been in talks with Jackson before the trial to perform on the Strip, and hopes to continue those negotiations.  "I am still interested in bringing his talents to Las Vegas," he said in a statement.  Jackson celebrated wildly on his website yesterday, where the acquittal was compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela's release from prison. "Remember this date, for it is a part of HIStory," says the site.




Edmonton's Music Director William Eddins Tells His Philosophy For Making Good Music

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

(June 14, 2005) Daniel Barenboim and I were having lunch. Actually, it just seemed that way, because William Eddins just couldn't give me enough of his well-practised impersonation of the famous pianist and conductor. "He's the only person on earth I'd volunteer to turn pages for," Eddins said, as if to assure me that imitation is the sincerest form of respect. "And I've done that more than once." After a half-hour in Eddins's company, it's hard to imagine him making himself inconspicuous on stage during someone else's show. He seems to be always in performance mode, whether musing on his plans for his new job (music director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) or savouring the calamari on his plate. If music hadn't claimed him, the theatre might have. Eddins, who is 40, may be the most flamboyant thing to happen to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since British rockers Procol Harum showed up to make a live recording over three decades ago.  Whatever happens during his tenure, which starts in a public way with a Mozart mini-festival opening today, it likely won't be dull. "I can't pace myself," he said. "I'm psychologically incapable of doing that. It's all or nothing." This is the man who, when asked by the Chicago Tribune magazine to describe himself in three words or less, said: "Rock 'n' roll." Chicago had 10 years to check out the rock 'n' roll soul of William Eddins, who survived what he thought was a lousy audition to become assistant conductor to Barenboim at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He impressed the town and the critics with his verve and energy, though the critics sometimes felt his virtuosity at the piano or with orchestra was short on subtlety. You might think that Eddins's kind of drama would find its natural place among the storm and thunder of the Romantics. But he's a classicist at heart, who "despises" the big Tchaikovsky concertos and could happily live without any further exposure to Wagner or Bruckner. "I'm perfectly comfortable with a smaller string section," he said referring to the diminished (by Chicago standards) group he'll be leading in Edmonton. "I'm not going to be doing any Mahler anyway. I don't like it. Woo-hoo! I don't have to do it!"

As you may have noticed, Eddins's non-faves are mostly Germanic. Virgil Thomson used to say that American composers tend to choose between the French and German poles of European music, and Eddins is proof that the same may be at least half-true of American conductors as well. After Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms (whom he regards as classicists in a Romantic era), his heroes are mostly French. He'd rather do Fauré or Debussy than almost anything from 20th-century Vienna, and one of the first pieces that came to mind when I asked what he'd like to record was Faust et Hélène, a little-known cantata by Lili Boulanger. "You know that old adage, there are no undiscovered masterpieces?" he said. "Well, to every rule there's an exception, and this is the one for me. She was 17 when she wrote it, it won the Prix de Rome, and it's freaking brilliant." Maybe he's got a soft spot for precocious people, because he was one himself. He graduated from Rochester's Eastman School of Music at 18, the youngest age of any graduate in the school's history. After further studies in conducting, he held positions at the Minnesota Orchestra (where he was associate conductor), the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (where he remains principal guest conductor) and the Berlin Staatsoper, where he again assisted Barenboim. Five years ago, he won the triennial Seaver/NEA Conducting Award (worth $50,000 U.S.) that had previously gone to Kent Nagano and Hugh Wolff. Minnesota is where he still lives, though he plans to move his family, including his clarinetist wife and two young sons, to Edmonton in the summer of 2006. He's seen enough of what Republican rule has done to the public schools in Minnesota, likes the Canadian style of health care, and hates commuting.

"I'm tired of going to the airport, of sleeping in someone else's bed, of eating in restaurants," he said. And after several years in Minnesota, he figures Edmonton winters will feel like home. His guide in all moves large and small, he said, is the Tao. The Chinese philosophy of the nameless way and the sage who does all without doing. It is so close to him, he said, that he had a Taoist symbol tattooed over his heart. He always wears a ring decorated with a celestial dragon chasing the pearl of wisdom -- a symbol, he says, of the idea that "you can never stop learning." How these tokens of serene understanding relate more deeply to the style of a hard-driving musician may be for Eddins to know and Edmonton to find out. "For me, it's a philosophy of life. It's how I try to treat people and to relate to what I'm doing. There's a lot of cynicism in our business. I know a lot of people who don't seem to have any joy in what they do. . . . A lot of people have been beaten down by bad conductors, forced to play bad music in bad halls for sometimes indifferent audiences." He's got a knack for making connections that can maybe bring the joy back. His three-concert Mozart Effect series with the ESO looks at Mozart's influence on such 20th-century neo-classicals as Stravinsky, Jacques Ibert and Benjamin Britten. "The day I walk on stage and say, 'I'm bored,' it's over," he said. "I'll put the passion I have into cooking. I'll open a great restaurant, because I love food." He also loves world music and progressive rock. He thinks Yes's The Gates of Delirium is "the best tone poem of the past 40 years." He'd be keen to have Keith Emerson come to Edmonton as soloist in his own piano concerto. And he's visibly interested by the news that King Crimson's Adrien Belew is going to premiere another concerto by the Estonian composer Erki-Sven Tuur. Not that he otherwise has much interest in what may have happened to European music since Stravinsky moved to Los Angeles. "At the end of the Weimar Republic, it was like, 'Okay, time to go across the Atlantic and see where the truly creative stuff of the 20th century was written.' 'Cause it's all over here. Really. Classical music changed three times in the last century: with Rite of Spring, Rhapsody in Blue, West Side Story. That's it."

As for the truly creative stuff being written over here right now, there may be a time lag ahead. After throwing out a few names -- Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner -- Eddins confessed that he has neither time nor interest enough to plough through new scores by people he doesn't know. He's more interested in recruiting an assistant conductor for the ESO than in filling the now-vacant job of composer-in-residence. But the ESO probably isn't looking for someone to drag its audience any further into the 21st century. It needs and wants someone who can throw some sparks on the podium, excite the populace, and keep the orchestra on the quiet road of recovery from its travails of recent years. A rock 'n' roll classicist just might be the man for the job. William Eddins and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra perform music by Mozart and others tonight, Thursday and Saturday at Edmonton's Winspear Centre.




Nearly 400 Bands In North By Northeast Festival

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Tabassum Siddiqui, Staff Reporter

(Jun. 13, 2005) Music festivals can be exhausting. But it's a good kind of tired.  Take this past weekend's North by Northeast (NXNE) festival. With nearly 400 bands playing at 25 local clubs over three nights, that's an awful lot of music to take in.  While this year's line-up initially seemed disappointing, littered with many of the same acts that had played Canadian Music Week last March, these last few balmy nights had revellers packing nearly every venue along Queen St. W. and beyond.  Everyone has their own approach as to what to see at NXNE, but sometimes it's just easiest — and often most rewarding — to check in with local artists, from fresh-faced newcomers to scene veterans, who are making things happen in their own backyard.

Thursday, June 9
 The Most Serene Republic, The Reverb, 10 p.m.
Even a good party has its awkward moments. Their appearance at the crammed NOW Magazine showcase was supposed to be the big coming-out bash for Milton sextet The Most Serene Republic, newest signees to indie success story Arts & Crafts (home to Broken Social Scene and its various splinter acts), but technical problems and a bad case of nerves put a bit of a damper on the celebrations.  Even before they took the stage, the MSR kids (they're barely out of high school) appeared completely frazzled, and once they did start playing, their instruments just wouldn't cooperate.  Lanky frontman Adrian Jewett bantered with the crowd and broke into an delightful impromptu rendition of Coldplay's "Trouble" during a long lull when guitar problems brought the set to a standstill, but subsequent keyboard issues and difficulty triggering a sample during another song threw a wrench into what was otherwise a high-energy performance by the talented crew.  As yet another rising large collective, MSR is already being compared to the likes of Canadian indie heroes Broken Social Scene and The Arcade Fire, but their youthful take on oddball alt-pop is encouragingly unique and fresh.  The Napoleon Dynamite-esque Jewett's nasal vocals are an acquired taste, to be sure, but his spastic onstage dance moves and infectious energy were a lightning rod for his bandmates to play off.  When things did work and all six members — including three guitarists, a keyboardist and an unbelievably ferocious drummer — locked into an ecstatic swirl of sound, you got the sense that there are very big things to come for these indie-rock fledglings.

Friday, June 10
 Priya Thomas, Club O.V., 10 p.m.
Thanks to the last-minute closing of punk club The 360 last week, all the showcases scheduled for that venue were moved to Club O.V., a beer hall that time forgot out in the far reaches of Etobicoke. Artists grumbled there would be next to no walk-in traffic at the rescheduled venue, as opposed to The 360's prime location on the Queen W. club strip.  But the show must go on, and if the true mark of a professional is to just get on with it, then Toronto singer/songwriter Priya Thomas scores full marks for playing to a half-empty room as if it was a packed house twice the size. Thomas, a veteran of the local club scene, isn't a folky girl-with-guitar; she's a rockstar and doesn't care whether you know it or not.  Stalking the stage, the tiny bleached-blond dynamo growled like PJ Harvey, ably backed by a trio who translated her alt-pop instincts into something a little heavier. While nearly all the songs seemed to be in the same driving tempo, many of the hooky new tracks from her forthcoming record You and Me Against the World Baby seemed ready-made for radio.  Perhaps Thomas, who is far more acclaimed in the UK than she is here at home, will finally get the recognition she deserves once the album is released later this summer.

 Debaser, 11 p.m.
The band may be named after a Pixies' song, but rising young local indie-rockers Debaser take their cues from the dark, angular sounds of the '80s, minus the synths. Singer Luke Higginson's distinctive wail adds to the moodiness of Debaser's anthemic rock songs, which are anchored by a killer rhythm section.  The lyrics still need work, and the band needs to learn that not every song has to be an epic statement. But any group that can nicely pull off a Joy Division cover ("Transmission") has got to be doing something right.  By the time Higginson dedicated aptly-named set closer "So Long" to The 360, Debaser had managed to fill Club O.V.'s dance floor with their loyal local following. The quartet of old school chums has been together for a few years now under various band names, but their dynamic NXNE set showed that they've gelled into a tight unit that deserves to find a wider audience when their debut album is completed in the fall.

Saturday, June 11, 2005
 Andrew Spice, Art Bar @ The Gladstone Hotel, 10 p.m.
Young piano balladeer Andrew Spice recently moved back to his hometown of Winnipeg, but he returned to Toronto specifically for his NXNE set, which was interrupted by technical glitches and the unfortunate sounds of karaoke filtering in from the adjacent Gladstone bar.  Spice handled the disruptions like a pro, with deadpan wisecracks to the crowd packed into every cranny of the tiny brick-walled space. "All the dramatic moments are being stolen from me," he quipped as the soundman tried to fix a feedback-laden amplifier that rendered Spice's whispery vocals near-silent during his first song.  But while there was nothing they could do to silence the overzealous singers next door, once the technical problems were dealt with, the focus was back on Spice's heart-wrenching confessionals and stark piano melodies  "Beautiful Creatures," the key track on his recently re-released Pretty Demons album (produced by local indie queen Emm Gryner), took on new life thanks to a lilting acoustic guitar melody added by Jordan Kern, who backed Spice on bass and guitars for most of the set.  A highlight of the set was the duo's beautifully rendered Whiskeytown cover, a surprisingly bouncy choice for the usually reserved Spice that suggested the singer should raise his lovely voice more often.

 Michie Mee, Drake Hotel, 1 a.m.
In another casualty of The 360 shutdown, one of the few hop-hop showcases at NXNE was moved to the swanky front lounge of the Drake Hotel, which could have been an overcrowded disaster with all the preening hipsters packed into the bar for Saturday-night drinks.  "Where has she been?" was the refrain throughout the bar as Toronto hip-hop icon Michie Mee's late-night set approached. The multi-talented musician has long been tapped to be Canada's great hope for a rap breakthrough (she was the first Canadian female artist to sign with a U.S. major label), but recent forays into acting meant that she hadn't been seen on a local stage in some time.  Michie wasted no time in turning the packed Drake crowd's attention away from scoping out each other with a short but fierce set that reminded everyone why she's known as the First Lady of Canadian hip-hop and R&B.  Backed by a squad of dancers in matching outfits, the diminutive rapper blazed through a set of reggae and dancehall-infused numbers, switching between a sing-songy flow and a harder-edged delivery. With lyrics inspired by her upbringing ("I was born in Jamaica but made in Canada!") and black empowerment, instead of the typical bling-and-babes content, Michie managed to lift the spirits and energy of a crowd exhausted after three long days of NXNE — no mean feat in itself.  She closed her set by saying she's in the studio working on new material. Hopefully she'll get around to releasing some of it soon, because we need to hear more from this hip-hop pioneer.




Hearing Hip Hop History

Source: Associated Press

(Jun. 11, 2005) LOS ANGELES—A young boy asks for the latest from Ludacris. Junior from Stanton wants to hear some classic Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Randy from Anaheim is hankering for political rapper Paris's decade-old "Guerrilla Funk."  Veteran DJ Julio G steps away from a glowing mixing board in the darkened studios of KDAY-FM, surprised and pleased by the last request.  "Wow. I haven't heard that in a while. That's hip hop," he tells the caller, promising to add the song to his mix.  Nostalgia for the not-so-long-ago sounds of early rap is kicking in hard for longtime fans who find themselves left cold by the genre's latest hits. The booming, marketer-friendly audience in their 20s and 30s is starting to find more mature alternatives to the ever-young party and gangster rap that populates the pop charts.  KDAY, named after the groundbreaking 1980s AM rap station, is the nation's first hip-hop oldies radio station. In Atlanta, WFOX plays "the best jamz of the '80s, '90s and now" — with Whodini classics sandwiched between R. Kelly and Usher.  WFOX doesn't attract a lot of listeners, but New York urban station WWPR (Power 105.1) is among the top-rated in the market and plays about three hip-hop or R&B oldies an hour.  Nearly every urban radio station around the country features at least one so-called old school show. L.A.'s dominant KPWR (Power 106) fills its popular weekday lunch hour with one.

Created in 1983, KDAY quickly drew national attention for playing a bold mix of cutting-edge rap around the clock: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Boogie Down Productions, Kid Frost. Now, nostalgic rap fans can hear some of that same music on the reborn KDAY. The rather weak signal at 93.5 FM "flipped" to the new format last September after being purchased by privately held Florida-based Styles Media Group. NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" was the first song played.  Listener Ginger Silvera, a 22-year-old student, was so enamoured with the station that she recently stopped by the studio to silently watch the DJs.  "Lots of people want to hear that old stuff. It's real," she said.  It's a format that could take off elsewhere in coming years as advertisers and radio executives recognize the buying power of aging hip-hop fans and the staying power of the music generally, said Dana Hall, urban and rhythmic editor for industry journal Radio & Records. "It's just a matter of time," she said. "Hip hop has kind of proven itself. It's not going away."  And though most haven't hit 40 yet, fans who've been around from the beginning are feeling a little bit, well ... old. Jeff Garcia, the 32-year-old DJ behind Power 106's oldies show, said he's still enthralled with the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere."  "It's so weird, how you can hear that and it's 20 years old and you can remember every single lyric — yet you can't remember to get milk when you go to the store ... It shows that music is part of you."




Alanis Show Gives Starbucks A Jolt

Excerpt from -  By Chris M. Walsh, N.Y.

(June 14, 2005) Alanis Morissette played a brief set last night (June 13) at Starbucks on Astor Place in New York's East Village to launch her new album, "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic." As previously reported, the re-recorded version of her iconic 1995 debut will be sold exclusively through the coffee chain for six weeks before being made available at traditional retail outlets.  Greeted by about 120 radio contest winners and Starbucks employees and executives, Morissette and bandmates Jason Orme and David Levita ran through the "Jagged Little Pill" staples "Hand in Pocket," "You Learn" and "Ironic."  The songs were immediately recognizable but offered slight changes, including the "Ironic" lyric "it's meeting the man of my dreams, then meeting his beautiful husband" -- with "husband" being substituted in for "wife," drawing laughs and applause.  Starbucks may seem like an odd venue to play for an artist who has headlined arena tours, but Morissette thinks this album works well in such a setting. "The acoustic songs have a coffee-house feel, so I think it fits," she told after the show.   The decision to first offer the album exclusively through Starbucks has been met with criticism by music retailers. Most recently, Canada's largest specialist music retailer, HMV Canada, pulled all her product from its shelves and returned it to Maverick Records in protest.  But Morissette said she didn't have to be sold on the idea. "I got it," she said. "I've always been open to alternative ways of sharing my music and any time there's a paradigm shift like this, I understand that some people are going to be resistant. It happened with the Internet, too."  Morissette's tour in support of "Pill Acoustic" began June 7 in Toronto and will wrap July 17 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Afterward, she plans to get busy on her next studio album. "I'm ready," she revealed. "I hope to be in the studio soon. I'm thinking about doing an album that encompasses 20 years of my life. I started writing when I was nine years old, so I have a lot to draw from."




Music's Idea Of The Century

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Geoff Pevere, Artifacts

Take Harlem's heartbeat, Make a drumbeat, Put it on a record, let it whirl, And while we listen to it play, Dance with you till day — Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl. — "Juke Box Love Song," by Langston Hughes (1959)

(Jun. 11, 2005) One hundred years ago, a wondrous invention made its public debut. Developed by a Chicagoan named John Gabel, it was called the Automatic Entertainer, and it played 24 songs for a nickel each.  The jukebox was born. And the 20th century was introduced to one of its most enduring pop-cultural icons.  It wasn't called the jukebox then. It had names such as the "coin actuated attachment for phonographs" or the "coin operated cylinder phonograph."  "Jukebox" referred to the kinds of places one tended to encounter these machines, the "juke joints." These were places where black southern field hands went to unwind at night. "Jouk" or "jook" was slang for a place one went to "dance or act wildly" — and indulge in other pleasures. "Juke joint" was also code for brothel.  The Automatic Entertainer marked the second birth of the coin-operated music machine. In San Francisco, on Nov. 23, 1889, a cylinder-based music machine, boasting a large horn for amplification, was installed by Louis Glass at a Sutter St. saloon called the Palais Royal. It played only one song, but it was a magnet for the thirsty and curious.  The coin-operated cylinder phonograph, sometimes called "the coinograph," made $1,000 (U.S.) in six months, and the run on patents was on.  The jukebox came out of an intensely productive period in new forms of mass entertainment. The movies had just arrived, and they, too, were consumed on an individual, pay-for-play basis. Like the nickelodeon, the jukebox was a derivation of recording technology perfected by Thomas Alva Edison — and considered to be lowly proletarian amusement. Neither would stay that way for long.  Mass production and technological development would deliver the magic of the Automatic Entertainer to joints, bars, diners and speakeasies across North America. When the old Edison-patented cylinders were replaced by discs, and as amplification graduated from 40-inch horns to built-in speakers and record-changing devices increased their song capacity, jukeboxes became more than a curiosity.

They became Saturday night entertainment. They were the reason people went to the joints, and they transformed the social ritual of going to bars.  In the early days, when a song finished one often heard a spoken command from the machine: "Go to the bar and buy yourself a drink."  A number of companies rushed in to exploit the demand. They had names such as Wurlitzer, Seeburg and Rock-Ola (named after the amazingly monikered David C. Rockola), and they competed intensely.  Like cars, jukeboxes changed their designs, names and accessories annually, eventually adopting styles and designs that said far more about the machine's showbiz role than its functionality.  In the original juke joints, the boxes played the kinds of music one couldn't hear recordings of anywhere else: black jazz and blues, hillbilly music, and other genres shunned by or unknown to the mainstream. This made them essential means of musical dissemination as well as commercial exploitation, making them instrumental in the revolution in popular music that would characterize the 20th century.  Decades later, white kids would pop coins into the gaudy, candy-coloured Wurlitzers and Rock-Ola machines to hear the jumpin' sounds of rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll — sounds you couldn't hear on the radio (yet).  By 1941, there were nearly 400,000 machines in the United States. Their ability to deliver swing to the right audience dwarfed that of radio, according to critic Francis Chase.  In the book The Entertainment Machine, he writes: "One tremendous hit on a jukebox, most bandleaders now agree, will do as much for a dance band as six solid weeks of broadcasting, and many of the great dance bands which have come to the front in recent years have done so on the basis of a jukebox hit."  The jukebox was not only a crucial means by which forms of black and country music were heard by vast new audiences, it transformed the evolution of popular music.

Not just an iconographic symbol of 1950s rock culture — think of the way its image is used as instant nostalgic shorthand in the TV series Happy Days or George Lucas's American Graffiti — but a key player in the new music's post-war rise. If the joint was rockin', it was the box that blasted the beat.  In 1949, an Omahan named Todd Storz, of KOWH radio, sat and watched as kids fed nickel after nickel into jukeboxes to hear the same songs over and over again. He had an idea. What if radio were to play songs based on their jukebox turnover? And so another jukebox-based pop revolution was born. It was called Top 40 radio.  In the days before cookie-cutter fast food joints, jukeboxes could be found wherever people gathered to eat, drink and dance. They were a magnet for teenagers, a shared entertainment experience and a way of making one's taste — or cool quotient — known to the entire room.  It was also a good way to meet girls.

Lots of people like to hear an organ, Others like a swing band, so they say, People go to Carnegie for classics, But I love to hear a jukebox play. — "I Want a Nickel for the Jukebox," 1944

While the popular image of the jukebox rests in collective nostalgia of the 1950s — with the domed and bubble-tubed Wurlitzer 1015 functioning as uber-icon and collectible — the machine's greatest boom period came earlier.  Following the repeal of Prohibition, the nickel-a-pop jukebox became a vital form of Depression-era entertainment. Between 1934 and '39, the number of jukeboxes in America leapt from 20,000 to 300,000 (including one on the Queen Mary ocean liner). Crooner Bing Crosby was the decade's reigning king of coin-operated tunage. Jukeboxes reached their production peak in 1948.  It was the children of the croon-crazy Depression jukesters, the teenagers of the 1950s, who would turn the box into a generational icon.  Jukeboxes — ubiquitous in malt shops, drugstores, diners and hangouts — became part of the symbolic landscape of the new teen culture.  In 1953's The Wild One, the leather-clad motorcycle stud played by Marlon Brando delivers his immortal juvenile delinquent retort to the question "What are you rebelling against?"  Drumming his fingers on a jukebox, he says, "Whaddaya got?"  Movies such as Gang War and Juke Joint revolved around the culture of the box. The place where Archie and his comic-book gang gathered — Pop's Chock'lit Shop — was also home to a Wurlitzer-style jukebox.  Yet at the same time that the jukebox became the shrine of teenage vitality and revolt, it was beginning its decline.  Radio had become rock-friendly by the mid-1950s, and radio could be consumed anywhere, including the car. Television provided entertainment at home, and portable record players meant that kids could have their own Top 40 sessions in their bedrooms.  Franchised fast-food joints standardized restaurant decor, and jukeboxes weren't included. While jukeboxes continued to be mass-produced and sold into the 1970s, by the '80s they had become artifacts. Like pinball machines, they were nostalgic status symbols of a bygone era.  MP3 players, with their capacity for thousands of songs, are often likened to personal jukeboxes, but the very idea of a "personal jukebox" misses the point.  In its heyday, the jukebox wasn't just a music machine but a social experience. It brought people together to dance to music they couldn't hear elsewhere.  Even one's personal musical choices became part of the public environment.  It may be a museum piece now, but in its day it changed the way we lived. It provided a distribution for marginal forms of music, generated a new kind of leisure experience and paved the way for Top 40 and rock 'n' roll, and it gave a century one of its more indelible popular icons.  You could say it rocked the world.




MC Lyte Continues To Shine

Excerpt from - By Karu F. Daniels

(June 9, 2005) Hip-hop veteran MC Lyte is shining brighter than ever before. The Brooklyn-bred lyricist, who became the first female rap artist to go gold (with 1993’s “Ruffneck”), is quite a viable commodity in and around the entertainment business – years after her last major record company release. She has a few other “firsts” underway, which we are happy to be the first to official to report about. Musically, her voice can be heard nearly every single day on a spirited Old Navy advertisement hawking colourful tunic tops.  She also just wrapped a season on the popular UPN series, “Half & Half,” portraying a no non-sense record company owner.  And she recently added another feather to her cap as an author of the recently released inspirational tome “Just My Take.” “I made it for the teenagers and the ladies in their early twenties,” MC Lyte (born Lana Moorer) told “The RU Report” this week.  “By all means, anyone can read it but I believe it can be especially inspiring for young adults who have not received many words of advice concerning different topics.”

“I try to keep journals but it’s not an easy task when things are not going the way you want them to in your life, so I always wind up just sitting them down,” she added.  The book, available online at, is an inspired work from the groundbreaking lyricist who delivered such hip-hop classics as “I Cram To Understand U,” “Cha Cha Cha,” “Lyte As A Rock” and the Missy Elliot-produced “Cold Rock A Party.”   According to Lyte, a special gift prompted her on the path to put her thoughts into literary form. “Well, one year I got a gift; it was a purple book with the word ‘CREATE’ on the top and that’s just what I did for 80 days straight,” she revealed. “I mean every single morning I would write whatever God put on my heart.  A couple of years later a friend of mine was checking out some of the poems and suggested that I publish it. So basically, that’s how it went down.” And never one to rest on her laurels, the 34-year old renaissance woman has just signed on to start working on a memoir – and unlike other celebrity literary projects, she assures us, that hers will not mince any words. But that’s not it. This summer, the always bold and courageous MC Lyte will tread onto more uncharted territory with the unveiling of yet another new project in another new genre: The Lana Moorer Home Accessories Collection. 

That’s pretty self-explanatory. Designed with William Kenney, the collection will consist of bath accessories (ranging from soap dishes to shower curtains) for the 2005 season and will progress to bedding in 2006.   We knew the phenomenal hip-hop woman could create … but not on such a grand scale.  Who would’ve thunk it?  “Yeah, I know huh,” she beamed. “It's a great way for me to express myself.  The line is to encourage young folks to take charge and make decisions as it pertains to their living space. There are pieces that are subtle and then there are pieces that reflect independence and forwardness.” So should Martha Stewart watch out? “Absolutely!” she laughed, then continued, “nah, she's alright, but she caters to a completely different person.”

The Huntersville, NC-based Cultural Accents (a division of Cultural Hangups, Inc.) has partnered with Lyte to develop a line of home accessories under her birth name. “We wanted to work with someone who was sophisticated, trend setting, well-recognized and had spiritual beliefs consistent with ours…and she was the perfect fit,” commented Cynthia P. Ham, the President of Cultural Hangups, which is currently negotiating with retail chains such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart and Lowe's. Now that she just wrapped the multi-city Pantene Total You Tour with gospel superstar Yolanda Adams, poet laureate Nikki Giovanni and comedienne/radio personality Myra J, the newest announcement couldn’t come at a better time. “It’s been a great ride and I’m not jumping off the train just yet,” she quipped.  “It only feels like a natural progression for me to go into other realms, especially acting because I wanted to do that before I even wanted to rap.” Aside from the UPN foray, MC Lyte has also appeared in the Lifetime drama “Strong Medicine” and the independently released film “Civil Brand.” She credits Hollywood hot-shot Yvette Lee Bowser (producer of TV shows “Half & Half” and “Living Single”) for believing in her talents. “She has as always been a great supporter of mine. I had a recurring character on her last sitcom ‘For Your Love’ and now she has created this role just for me.  It’s great to have someone who believes in you.”  That boost has enabled Lyte to get great face time on the show, and she gets to flex her acting muscle in a role that she has a close affinity too.  As record company head Kai Owens, MC Lyte gets to pay homage to a person that has been influential in her music career; legendary record company executive Sylvia Rhone, currently the President of Universal Motown. “She’s the best teacher when it comes to a female exec,” she said of the woman who guided her career through six major label album releases.

As far as the hip-hop music landscape is concerned, Lyte (who once stood at the forefront of the scene with other pioneers as Salt N’ Pepa, Queen Latifah and YoYo) comments, “Everyone seems like they’re scared to take chances and scared to make changes.  If you're a female MC and are not part of a clique then you're not getting an opportunity.  Even being part of a clique means nothing; still no guarantee you're going to hit.” Times have definitely changed.   All of the aforementioned acts, if still recording, have gone the independent route, or have flourished in other genres (Latifah in jazz, Salt in gospel).  We’re talking about folks who have garnered millions of dollars in revenues for major record labels.  “The respect for artists has always been wishy-washy throughout time,” Lyte continued. “Once you get to know the game, you either stay in and play it or you get out and play your own way.” So what’s next on the horizon for this bright shining Lyte? ”I’m opening a new and used clothing boutique in LA.  It should be fun, doing the construction part of it now.  There’s power in producing TV and film projects and I want to get my hands wet with that. Whatever God has me to do, I will.” With Godspeed!




Memorable Performances From Freddie and Beenie At VP Records Memorial Day Concert

Excerpt from - By Kevin Jackson

(June 9, 2005) The VP Records 2nd annual Memorial Day concert which was held on Sunday May 29 at the Bayfront Park in Downtown, Miami pulled out a massive crowd which was treated to high powered performances from the likes of Beenie Man and Freddie McGreggor. Other artistes on the massive line-up represented themselves well and earned tumultuous applause from the crowd during their respective time slots. Among those were Luciano, Capleton, Sizzla, Buju Banton, Assassin and Elephant Man.  Before the big guns exploded on stage, patrons were treated to performances in the afternoon hours from up and coming acts including Big Yard recording artistes Kyenie, NYE (formerly known as Marsha), Aaron Silk, Tami Chynn, and Rising Stars 2004 finalist Candy. Veteran reggae crooner Freddie McGreggor was the first major act to hit the stage. McGregor stamped his class on the proceedings as he ran through hit after hit. What was most admirable about McGreggor’s performance was that he interacted with the patrons, and he didn’t rush his songs. He sang word for word without the usual ‘wheeling up and pulling up’ which is the norm at shows of this nature. He sprinkled his set with hits from back in the day to the present. His performance was appreciated as patrons sang along word for word. His set was spiced with If You Wanna Go, Prophecy, Push Come to Shove, Big Ship, Revolution ( a tribute to the late Dennis Brown), and Stop Loving You, Lock it Down, Just Don’t Wanna be Lonely and Uncle Sam. McGreggor’s performance set the pace for Capleton who kept the fire burning with a blazing inferno of hits that had patrons all revved up.

He dived into Or Wah before hitting social commentary with That Day Will Come. Turn it (Fire Time) from the Mad Instrument Dance rhythm saw the fire man demonstrating to patrons some new dance moves, including the Fire Box, Tyson and Upper cut. Consuming and Invasion proceeded Capleton’s crash course in literature, and history lesson on culture. He came to a climax during his stint with the infectious Who You Calling Nigger. MC Nuffy hit the stage with his usual antics, as he introduced Beenie Man. Just the mere mention of Beenie Man’s name sent the females rushing to the front of the stage. Row like a Boat signalled the start of an entertaining performance. There seemed to be nothing that Beenie Man could do wrong, as the crowd rallied in his favour and sang along word for word to his hits both current and past. From Toy Friend to Dude (where the females in the crowd filled in for Ms Thing), Beenie Man was in top form. Crazy Notion from the Headache rhythm, the Bollywood rhythm hit Red Red Red, the 1990’s chart toppers Romie and Stop Living in the Past, and the Lady Saw combination The Healing, were just some of the nuggets that did the trick for Beenie Man. His lesson to the male members of the crowd on how to make love to their counterparts although a bit suggestive was well received.  Weh Yuh Nuh Fi Do, Breast Specialist, King of the Dancehall, Dance the Chaka, Chaka Tall and the recent number one hit A Nuh Mi (Frame I and I) put the lid on a brilliant performance from the dancehall kingpin. Sizzla delivered the hits that he is known for. During his lengthy performance he was asked by stage personnel to curtail his performance to accommodate other performers due to the limited time. He was quite defiant at this request. His conscious tunes including "Simplicity," "Solid as a Rock," "Rise to the Occasion," "Be Strong" and "Aint Gonna See Us Fall" were the ammunition he fired, in his bid to maintain a connection with the crowd.  Assisted by his dance crew on stage, Elephant Man danced up a storm and climbed atop speaker boxes much to the delight of the crowd.

He doused them with a string of hits including Blasé, Signal the Plane, Chaka Chaka Dance, and Pon di River, Pon Di Bank, before closing out his set with the now familiar We are the World. Luciano’s cultural messages are always appreciated and at this stage show, it was no different. Luciano sang his way into the hearts of patrons as his messages rang loud. He got the ball rolling with Who Can it Be Now, and then sifted through the rubble to unleash Your World and Mine, One Away Ticket, Lord Give Me Strength and Sweep over My Soul. In between the performances sound system selectors spliced in recorded music at various intervals. These included Supa Meng, Steelie Bashment, Mega Flexx, Island Star, Mighty Samson, Fire Links, Money D and Onkore. Buju Banton and Assassin brought the curtains down with high energy performances, at the 2nd annual VP Records Memorial Day concert. The show was promoted by VP Records in association with Jammin Productions and Rockers Island Promotions.




Single Minutes: With Anthony Hamilton

Excerpt from - By Kathy White

(June 9, 2005)   Periodically I will be featuring reflections from recognizable people in our communities. Today, I am featuring “Single Minutes with singer Anthony Hamilton.” We briefly discussed Mr. Hamilton’s upbringing in a single-parent household, what kept him motivated to rise above the odds, as well as his perspective on fatherhood. As you read on, be open to his thoughts and consider your own childhood experience. You may find resolve, comfort, or perhaps, pleasant memories.

KW: You are the product of a single-parent home, correct?

AH: Yes, my mother raised me, [as well as an] occasional stepfather.

KW: What was it like growing up without a consistent male presence in your life or was your father involved in your life?

AH: I remember [my father’s] face. I remember a few pair of shoes, a pair of pants and spending the night at his house once or twice. For the most part, my mom made sure that I had food. She had to get on public assistance. She would go out and get a temporary job. She would make sure we were fed and clothed, and that we had lights, running water, and all that.

KW: So did most of your friends in your neighbourhood have a mother and a father in the household?

AH: It was pretty balanced: Half and half. It wasn’t unheard of to have both parents in the house.

KW: Growing up, do you feel like you lacked anything from your childhood in terms of not having a male presence in your life?

AH: Well, yeah…that consistent male figure teaching you the valuables of being a man. The discipline that comes from a man is a little different from [that of] a woman. The man usually teaches you to survive for the family and when you don’t have that, you tend to be a little immature in certain areas of your life. And sometimes, it reflects as you get older.

KW: In addition to drawing your strength from God, what were some of the motivating factors in life that helped you along your journey to becoming a world-renowned, multi-award winning and platinum selling singer?

AH: Always wanting to have something stuck in my mind [as well as] seeing my mom struggle and not having the things I think she deserved or not having a better life. [Her] not having a great husband made me want to grow up and try to create a good environment for her. Seeing my environment [filled with] broken homes, alcoholism, and things like that kept me on my path. Because I knew if I had something I loved I would stay with it. And if I had a chance to blossom it into anything like a little flower, I knew if I took care of it, it would grow into something great for me. With that I just stayed with it because I had nothing else that really made me that happy. Cutting hair was a love of mind, I stuck with that. Each thing that I feel in love with and stuck with, when I obtained it, it made me that much more complete. It gave me the incentive to go on and start creating new avenues. It was just like a walk of faith for me.

KW: Are those pretty much the kind of values that you try to instill in your children?

AH: Yes, I instill in my children that no matter what cards you are dealt in life there is never a dead end. There is always a way to make it better. And to make it better does not mean to sit around and pray and not walk. Trying faith means to go out and physically make an effort to change your surroundings, knowing that at the end of the day this amazing God is looking over you. You have free will to either be with or be without. It’s up to you to work hard at it and nobody is ever going to hand you anything of value. They will give you something quick. They will give you drugs and alcohol, people will even give away sex, but they won’t give you anything to hold on to that will change your life.

KW: What kind of insight would you give misguided single fathers out there who don’t have a relationship with their children?

AH: I would tell them that you can’t fully get to know yourself without knowing your children.

KW: That is profound!

AH: Your kids show you who you are. They show you your weaknesses. They show you that life sometimes seems hard but it is easier to smile if you allow yourself to. And they just keep you balanced. You can’t fully consider yourself a complete man without taking care of your kids.

KW: Well, thank you.

AH: Thank you, Miss Kathy White.

I personally feel that it is so important to share perhaps a word, sentence, or a song. We can learn from each other and take in what we can process. I am just thankful to Mr. Hamilton for allowing us to see a different side of his life other than the music. God bless you Mr. Hamilton and in the words of Ray Charles, “Keep doing what you do.”

Contact Kathy White via e-mail at To get  more information and to hear the program, visit

This article was edited by Feona S. Huff, publisher of Solo Mommy Magazine and freelance writer for Black Enterprise and The Network Journal. If you’re interested in her editing your work, contact her at or




Raul Midon Is In A Great ‘State’


(June 14, 2005) Raul Midon has long been one of New York's best kept secrets. His hometown sold-out gigs have "wowed audiences" (NY Times) and "won an eager cult" (Time Out NY). With the release of his debut album “State of Mind” (Manhattan Records/EMI), Raul is about to break big.  With a raft of great reviews, and a national television debut confirmed for June 30 on CBS' “Late Show with David Letterman,” Midon is set to take off.

"One of the year's most exciting debuts. [Midon's] remarkable voice boasts the warm, rich timbre of [Stevie] Wonder and [Donnie] Hathaway, a spine-tingling falsetto and an uncanny ability to mimic a trumpet... [and] his guitar work is Mind blowing."

-          4.5 out of 5 STARS - Chuck Arnold, PEOPLE MAGAZINE, June 13, 2005

"Midon's percussive guitar syncopations and supple, high-flying tenor have wowed audiences in his regular Joe's Pub appearances." - Jon Pareles, NY TIMES, June 3, 2005

"Raul Midon's attention-grabbing style trumpets the arrival of a major new talent."
- Jim Farber, NY DAILY NEWS, May 29, 2005

"At a concert last month, Raul Midon sounded as if he were backed by a drummer, two guitarists and a trumpet player. But it was just his flamenco, jazz and classically inspired guitar and his voice, which swoops from falsetto to horn and back again."
- Caroline Hsu, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, June 6, 2005

"A badass guitarist [with] a scary-authentic mouth trumpet."
- Adam Perlmuter, GUITAR ONE MAGAZINE, July 2005

"Few albums these days make you stop in your tracks. This one does."
- Gail Mitchell, BILLBOARD, June 11, 2005

To hear Raul's music and for more info, visit:




Smokey Robinson: ‘Smokin’ On Stage

Excerpt from - By Deardra Shuler

(June 14, 2005) Adoring fans were hanging from the rafters last week when Smokey Robinson appeared at the Lehman College Performing Arts Center. The house was packed. It was filled to capacity with adoring fans waiting to see the indomitable Smokey Robinson perform. And, perform he did. Smokey did not disappoint from the moment he stepped on stage until the moment he stepped off. Smokey was hot! His music pulsated, throbbed and sizzled prompting the crowd to rise up like a Quiet Storm in tune with Smokey’s heat and thunder. Smokey went up a notch to high drive with a string of his old hits that rocked the house and kept his audience “Crusin.” Romance dripped from his melodic lips as Smokey made one feel like he truly enjoyed “Being with You.” A purveyor of romantic songs, Smokey has written classics that are undoubtedly some of the best songs in human history. Prior to getting on the Motown train, Smokey with the Miracles issued a few singles on the End and Chess labels. One, well known song was “Got a Job.” Then the group came out with “Shop Around” in the late 1960s. That proved a springboard to national acclaim and secured a long relationship with the Motown label. Later the group became Smokey and the Miracles and were responsible for such upbeat tunes as “Ooo, Baby, Baby,” ”Going to a Go-Go,” “You Really Got A Hold On Me;” “I Second That Emotion,” “The Way You Do The Things You Do” and “Baby, Baby Don’t Cry.” Legendary for his lyrical prowess, Smokey created songs for artists like Mary Wells who made famous “My Guy” and the Temptations who did a rendition of “My Girl.” Robinson also wrote songs for Marvin Gaye and the Marvelettes. In 1970, the Miracles came out with the classic hit “Tears of a Clown.” Smokey Robinson was born in Detroit, Michigan in February 1940. He has been a singer, songwriter and producer for over three decades. In great part, it was Robinson’s genius, which helped to put Motown on the map. A solo act in the 1970s, he became an award winner, which netted him Grammy Awards and popular acclaim. As the balladeer of love, Smokey is responsible for songs such as “The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage” and “I Second That Emotion.”

“I have been described as one of the most romantic songwriters around,” remarked Smokey while we chatted backstage. “Sometimes people will say to me “...You have written so many songs – what do you do when you hear your music playing on the radio?” I answer: “Why turn it up, of course!” chuckled Smokey, amused by his own joke. “Since I am a prosaic balladeer, people always ask me what prompts me to write such romantic tunes. My answer is always the same, its love! Love is such a deep emotion. Love elicits a lot from you. It makes you do crazy things. Love will make you stay with a person even when you know you shouldn’t stay. I write romantic songs because love is a feeling that will be around forever.” While it is undisputed that Smokey can spin a quixotic tale and smother it in honeydew, Robinson is diverse and has a multi-faceted musical vision that consists of do-wop, soul, R&B, Pop and most recently spiritual music. “My latest CD is a spiritual one. This CD is the very first spiritual CD I have ever done. It’s called Food for the Spirit,” said the musical genius. “I believe it’s already in the record stores. I am working on two others. I also have a compilation of songs that Universal released. That particular CD contains most of my well-known songs. There are 10 old cuts and 2 brand new songs. I think people will enjoy it,” claimed the prolific singer/songwriter. Robinson honed his skills as a poet/songwriter while attending Detroit’s Dwyer Elementary and continued on into high school. He listened avidly to the soul and classic pop music of that era, eventually coming up with his own lyrics. Ultimately, Smokey formed a group called the Matadors and eventually the Matadors became the Miracles. “You know, I grew up in a house filled with music. My family listened to all sorts of music. I know many performers started their music careers in church. And, although my mother went to church, I can’t say that I learned my music from church” recalled Mr. Robinson. “Nah, it wasn’t church that got me started in music. It was from being a kid hanging out in the neighbourhood under the street light with the rest of the kids listening to all the music and singing together.”

Although, Smokey is often preoccupied with songwriting and in the recording studio, he insists on finding time to spend with his fans, which he does, through his tours and concert dates. “I feel so comfortable when I am on stage because I know all the people will be out there waiting for me. You know a songwriter does not write all his songs alone. There is someone there to put the music behind the words and that has been Marv Tarplin for me. Marv and I have been grovin together for a very long time” said Robinson. “I absolutely love to do concerts. It’s my chance to reach out to my fans. I find that exciting! It’s exhilarating! When I am performing my music, I am able to get feedback and a reaction from the crowd. I love that. I need to be in touch with my fans on a one-on-one basis. When I perform at concerts, I get that opportunity. I mean, I do see folks out-and-about when they approach me for autographs and stuff like that. That’s cool, too. But, I have to say, I really enjoy performing because I have a great time with my audiences and its fun for me, too” claimed the living legend. “You know in the old days, I loved being at Motown. Berry Gordy and I did a lot of good stuff together but Motown is not what it used to be. It will never be what it used to be. It used to be the place. It’s not that way anymore. Now, Motown has become just a fragment of what it once was,” remarked Smokey wistfully.  “You know, I think of myself as a life observer,” claimed the beloved musician. “I like to check out life to see what is going on. I know that my ability to write the many songs I have and live the life I live is truly a gift from God. My music is God’s gift to me. Although, it’s arresting, and even sometimes a labour, it’s my labour of love.”




Of Reggae And Writers

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Donna Bailey Nurse

(June 15, 2005) ST. ELIZABETH PARISH, JAMAICA -- One highlight of the annual Calabash Literary Festival, held at Jake's Resort on Treasure Beach in Jamaica in the rural parish of St. Elizabeth, is the celebration of reggae artists. Last year the festival honoured Peter Tosh, and in 2003, it was Bob Marley.  This year, the event, which was held for three days over the last weekend in May, extolled the gifts of Jimmy Cliff. Picture this: an open-air stage with a thatched palm roof beneath a flawless sky. Picture also the mystical arrangement of conch shells and eucalyptus boughs stage front and the jewelled waters of Calabash Bay rolling out behind.  Occasionally, a stiff gust off the sea snapped the flaps of the vast white tent that sheltered an audience of 2,000 people. Hundreds more lined the fence or settled comfortably on the grass. Three reggae musicians -- Billy Mystic, Wayne Armond and Stevie Golding -- sat centre stage, strumming guitars and sharing anecdotes about the iconoclastic Cliff. That Sunday afternoon, the audience was comprised of locals from St. Elizabeth and more than one thousand Jamaicans who had travelled from across the island. A few dozen Canadians, Brits and Americans also mingled with visitors from the other Caribbean nations. Wherever people hailed from, they seemed to know the words of I Can See Clearly Now, Wonderful World, Beautiful People and The Harder They Come. The audience sang along with gusto. There was much swaying and waving of arms. It was a spiritual moment when guitar chords announced the emotional ballad, Many Rivers to Cross, a song that moved a number of listeners to tears.  There may not be another literary festival in the world that places such great importance on music. But Calabash's artistic director, Colin Channer, says Jamaican writers must honour the country's reggae musicians. "In the Caribbean, the most important form of storytelling is music," he said. "Music is the literary medium that dominates."

The festival's explosive opening event -- a reading under the stars that featured eloquent activists Amiri Baraka and Linton Kwesi Johnson -- underscored that sentiment. Both Baraka, who is American, and Johnson, who was born in Jamaica, produce profoundly musical species of prose. Baraka's massive oeuvre -- plays, poems, fiction, scholarly writing -- includes Blues People, the seminal history of African-American music.  At 70, Baraka looks querulous and somewhat diminished, but his voice reverberates with surprising force: "The nigger computers/ Are duly reporting/ Ghosts ahead/ Ghosts ahead."  Would Baraka read his controversial 9/11 poem, Somebody Blew Up America, that had him ousted from his position as New Jersey's poet laureate? Apparently, yes, he would. Next, Johnson recited rhythmic reggae poems from Mi Revalueshanary Fren, a work that dramatizes the struggles of black Britons in the last decades of the 20th century. Poetry headlined the second night as well with a dazzling performance by Jamaica's Stacey Ann Chin, formerly of Broadway's Def Poetry Jam (and back in New York with a solo show Border/Clash: A Litany of Desires). Striking a balance between Caribbean and international talent, the festival showcased major American novelist Russell Banks (The Darling), and British star Andrea Levy, whose Small Island, a darkly comic tale of Jamaican immigrants in Britain, swept up a good portion of the year's top literary prizes. Canadians George Elliott Clarke and Dionne Brand were on hand as well.  The festival bookstore, Novelty Books, sold out of several titles; sales were up nearly 25 per cent from the previous year. Cameras were everywhere as documentary teams from Canada, the United States and Britain vied to cover the excitement -- all of which suggests that, after five years, the Calabash Literary Festival has come of age.

Channer, a best-selling novelist who founded the festival in 2001 along with poet Kwame Dawes, agrees the event is fulfilling its mission.  "What Kwame and I originally set out to do was raise the profile of literature in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean," he said. "At the same time, we wanted to change the profile from one that is largely academic to one that is more popular." Now living in New York, Channer was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963 and grew up there. His memories of studying literature in his homeland are not very pleasant. “Literature was not taught as something to be enjoyed. It was something to be analyzed. A lot of books we had to read because they had West Indian content and not because they were well written. The libraries were and still are . . . very under-stocked."  According to Channer, Jamaican bookstores remain equally limited. "It's not like Canada where you can go to Chapters and see lots of books and go to Indigo and see lots of books and go to World's Biggest Bookstore and see a whole heap o' books," he said. "Most bookstores in Jamaica carry textbooks." It was only after settling in the Bronx in 1982 that Channer began to get excited about the possibilities of Caribbean literature. Ironically, it was an American novel, The Book of Jamaica by Russell Banks, that kindled his passion.  "I said to myself not only does this person understand Jamaica, he can really write," said Channer. "It was actually Banks who made me look at literature a second time. After reading his work I decided to apprentice myself to writing."

Two novels, one story collection and a festival (featuring Banks) later, Channer has become one of the most significant literary figures in the Caribbean, influencing writers in the islands and those living and working abroad.  In fact, Calabash seems to be developing a special relationship with Canadian writers. Since the festival's inception many have been invited to Calabash including Austin Clarke, Olive Senior, Nalo Hopkinson and Tessa McWatt. This year Dionne Brand read from her poetry and earlier fiction, in addition to a jazzy excerpt from her recent novel What We All Long For. George Elliott Clarke was one of four authors on a bill sardonically titled: The Great Non-American Novel.  That just makes sense, says Channer. "A significant portion of the Caribbean diaspora is in Canada," he said. "Canada has produced some important writers." The connection between the two countries may run even deeper, to a shared sense of values. Like Canada, Jamaica is often referred to as one of the world's most multicultural countries. Indeed, its national motto -- Out of Many, One People -- suits Canada nicely as well. Like Canada, Jamaica has deep international relevance far out of proportion to its population and political clout.  "For one thing, Jamaica has produced Rasta," says Channer, "the most successful religion of the 20th century. Rasta is so popular it has become secular. Jamaica has also produced reggae, which is basically Rasta's music department. We have also given the world signature figures like [pan-Africanist] Marcus Garvey and, of course, powerful musicians like Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff.  "When writers come to Jamaica it's almost like making a pilgrimage," says Channer, "to a place that has reached out to them through music."




Mario Update From Jamaica

Excerpt from - By Kevin Jackson EURweb Contributor in Jamaica

(June 15, 2005) Alicia Keys once declared: "Mario's voice is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard." The voice of the now 19 year-old heartthrob has been making the hearts of young girls around the world flutter.  Temperatures were raised a few notches when Mario's love ballad “Let Me Love You” hit the top of the Billboard charts a few months ago. His latest single “How Could You” is also making gains on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.  Mario, who performed in Jamaica recently, says he is a fan of reggae music. The J Records recording artist who signed a recording contract by the time he was 14, said reggae music was an art form that he had been fascinated with for a long time.  "My family listens to a lot of reggae music. I do like the sound of it. If you listen to my album ‘Turning Point,’ there is a song I did with Baby Cham. I happen to know his manager and that's how the hook-up for the song came about," Mario explained.  Mario says he would like to collaborate with Beenie Man or Elephant Man.   Beenie Man is like a legend. His songs make you want to go to the club and dance. When I look at a performer like Elephant Man, I think of being creative. His music is incredible."  Mario was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He now resides in New Jersey. He started out by improving his natural vocal skills while singing with his mother using a karaoke machine at his home.  Discovered at the age of 11 in a local talent contest, he traveled to New York where he met with Clive Davis, formerly of Arista Records, who had just started his J Records imprint. Mario got a chance to stretch his vocal chords when he was featured on the soundtrack to the motion picture “Dr. Doolittle 2.”  Afterwards, a guest performance at Clive Davis' annual Grammy awards party where he sang Stevie Wonder's “You And I,” became the icing on the cake in sealing a deal with J Records. "The success I have had was so unexpected. I didn't really get a chance to think about it," he said.  Mario's debut self-titled album was released in 2002 and featured his updating of rapper Biz Markie's 1989 Billboard hit “Just A Friend,” which he renamed “Just A Friend 2002.” The album notched another hit single with “Braid My Hair.” The success of Mario's debut album led to a guest spot on the popular Scream tour, which featured other teen stars including Lil Bow Wow, Marques Houston, B2K and Nick Cannon.  The flight on the journey which he took to stardom to where he is at has proven to be quite an experience for Mario.

"It has had its ups and downs. Things have never been perfect but I have learned a lot along the way," he said. “Turning Point,” his latest album, which has been certified double platinum, is still a strong seller in the US. “Let Me Love You,” the first single, spent nine weeks at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. The song also topped the R&B chart. "’Let Me Love You’ was about an experience I had. That song just blew up overnight," Mario said.  Apart from Baby Cham, rappers Juvenile, TI, and Cassidy are featured on “Turning Point.”  "This album is different from my previous album in terms of the collaborations that I did. This album is like a transition for me and I wanted to go other places. This album is like a turning point for me, sort of like me coming of age," Mario said.  Movie offers are already on the table for the talented youngster who lists Stevie Wonder, Joe, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye among his musical influences.  "I have some acting projects in the pipeline. There is a movie called ‘Destination Fame,’ which I will be involved with. As for future plans, I would like to own my own record label and maybe sign my own reggae artistes," he said.  And for those teenage girls who have been requesting Mario's songs on the radio, he is very much single. "I don't have a girlfriend right now. At the moment there isn't any," he said laughingly.  Mario has been nominated in the 2005 BET Awards. His is up for two nominations, namely for Viewers Choice Award for the video “Let Me Love You,” and Best Male R&B Artist.




'Too Hoot To Handle' From The Hootz: New Hip Hop CD Is Hip Shakin' Fun For Parents & Kids

Source: Paula Witt, Shore Fire Media;;

(June 15, 2005) Critics are applauding 'Too Hoot to Handle,' (Koch Records) hailing it as the funkiest hip-hop album for kids on the market. Many are touting the album's fun danceable beats and educationally enriched lyrics, which teach children the "rewards of studying hard, good manners and having ambition" (NY Daily News). 'Too Hoot to Handle' could possibly be the harbinger in a new brand of children's music "forging a model of kid rap that works" (Time Out New York). Check out the feature in the June issue of XXL Magazine and read below to hear what others are saying:

"[Too Hoot to Handle] will have little ones singing right along, and older ears (yes, yours) will appreciate an album that at times sounds like it came from Nelly or Lauryn Hill."
-Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 2005

"If Mariah Carey and LL Cool J did a children's album, it would probably sound a lot like this."
-Parenting, April 2005

"Behind the R&B, funk and rap are educational messages and cultural lessons, but it's really about the happy-feet beats and smooth R&B. What a hoot!"
-New York Post, April 9, 2005

"With simplified beats and sweet melodies 'To Hoot to Handle' delivers rhyme, reggae and song that parents and kids can enjoy together."
-New York Daily News, May 26, 2005

"Easily digestible, nonhazardous funk"
-Time Out New York, May­/June 2005

"A kid-friendly hip-hop CD featuring classic children's tunes."
-Ebony, June 2005

"Too cool."
-Gotham, June ­ August 2005

"Your young'uns will be down and trippin' like never before."
-Philadelphia Daily News, May 24, 2005




Canadian Gigs Announced For Springsteen Tour

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail

(June 14, 2005) Toronto -- Bruce Springsteen announced three Canadian dates, along with a host of additional U.S. concerts, for his expanded summer solo tour yesterday. Promoting his new album Devils & Dust, the singer-songwriter will play Ottawa on July 13, Toronto on July 14 and Vancouver on Aug. 13. Staff




The Misunderstanding Of Lauryn Hill

Excerpt from

(June 13, 2005) *The audience members at Saturday’s Vibe MusicFest in Atlanta have unwittingly become the latest victims of Lauryn Hill’s weird behaviour of recent years.  The reclusive singer emerged from hibernation to take the stage in 60s getup and an apparent mushroom wig to perform at the event, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. From the opening song, “Doo Wop-That Thing,” it was apparent that the Lauryn Hill of old - with those unmistakable pipes that powered the “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album to five Grammys – would not be making an appearance.  The Journal-Constitution’s Sonia Murray said “her band was distorted, and her usually full, soulful voice was unusually raw and weakened.”  After plodding through three more “Miseducation” tunes and reciting a poem, Hill abruptly bounced to a round of silence.  “No applause. No boos. No anything, except perhaps stunned silence,” wrote Murray. The venue’s curfew was soon tossed around as a possible reason for the sudden ending.  Wearing an afro, oversized lashes and black turtleneck under a gray, scoop-neck sweater, Hill also appeared on the pre-taped season premiere of HBO’s “Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry” that aired Friday night. Greeted with a standing ovation, she barely looked up from her notes while reciting a poem entitled “Motives and Thoughts.”  When it was over, Hill said “thank you,” straightened her papers and gave the audience a slight grin. 




Ice Cube Featured On 'A Conversation With..." Talks New Movies

Excerpt from - By Tiffany Hamilton and Houston Williams

(June 10, 20050 Hip-Hop veteran and celebrated actor Ice Cube is joining the ranks of Laurence Fishburne and Jeffrey Wright by being featured at this year's "A Conversation With…", sponsored by Time Warner.  "A Conversation With…" is a 45 minute on-stage interview with a celebrated actor that gives the audience a candid, penetrating, and insiders view into the art of acting. The feature is scheduled to take place in on Friday July 15th at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC. In related Ice Cube movie news, the rapper will soon start production on "The Extractors" and "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," a remake of the 1948 comedy that starred iconic actor Carey Grant. “We are going to make our version so fly that you won't even be able to tell it's a spin off of the old movie, because that film was made in 1948,” Ice Cube told “We are in the process of writing it now, we haven't actually started production because we are trying to get the script right.” The film is being directed by Steve Carr, who also directed Cube’s “Next Friday” as well as “Daddy Daycare” and a new movie starring Martin Lawrence, titled “Rebound.”




Usher Unveils His ‘New Look’

Excerpt from

(June 13, 2005) *Usher is now caught up in a new non-profit organization he founded with hopes of giving disadvantaged youth a new outlook on life - thus, its name Usher’s New Look, Inc. ( The foundation, unveiled during a recent press conference in New York, seeks to school youngsters on the various behind-the-scenes careers available within the sports and entertainment industries. "From a young age, I envisioned a life in the entertainment industry, and thankfully I was able to make that dream a reality." Usher explains. "But many kids with that dream do not have the opportunity to perform on stage or in an arena. In my thirteen years in this industry, I've been blessed with an incredible support system, and it's important to me to show these kids the wide variety of amazing careers available to them and to help give them a new look for the future." A fundraiser for the foundation will be held at New York City’s Capitale on July 8. The event precedes the organization’s first initiative Camp New Look, a free two-week resident sports and entertainment camp on the campus of Clark Atlanta University to be held July 11- 23. Some 150 participants (ages 9-17) will be introduced to producers, stylists, athletic trainers, lawyers, equipment manufacturers and others who shape the sports and entertainment industries. An All-Star Celebrity Basketball Game and Half-Time Show will also take place during the two-week camp.




R. Kelly Album Locked And Loaded

Excerpt from

(June 14, 2005) R. Kelly’s 10th album “TP.3 Reloaded” is ready for its July 5th introduction to the world.   The 19-track set from Jive Records features guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, the Game, Elephant Man, Nivea, Baby and Twista.  The five-chapter opera, “Trapped in the Closet,” has served as the disc’s collective lead single and appears in numerical order as the last five songs on the album.   "He wanted to do something unconventional [that recalled when] radio was an important part of people's lives," Zomba Label Group president/CEO Barry Weiss tells Billboard. Kelly also co-directed and stars in a 16-minute film for "Trapped." BET will air the complete film during the album's release week. It will also be available as part of a bonus DVD that will be packaged with the CD.




Latoya London To Drop Debut CD In Sept.

Excerpt from

(June 14, 2005) *LaToya London, an “American Idol” finalist in 2004, will release her debut album “Love & Life” on September 20 via Concord/Peak Records.   The 14-song set covers a mixture of musical styles, including  pop, R&B and hip-hop.  “Appreciate,” the album’s first single, is an ode to the opposite sex that features input from Black Thought of The Roots.    London, whom many thought should’ve replaced Diana DeGarmo as Fantasia's final “American Idol” competitor, co-wrote several songs on the CD, including the first single due in August.  Other songs on the LP include "Every Part of Me," "State of My Heart" and "Meet Me Halfway."  Producers and writers on the project include Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey), Barry J. Eastmond (Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker) and David Foster (Barbra Streisand and Quincy Jones).





Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Aaron Neville, Tell It Like It Is [Aim], Aim
Backstreet Boys, Never Gone, Jive
Booker T & The MG's, Best of Booker T. & the MG's [Collectables], Collectables
Eric B. & Rakim, Gold, Hip-O
Fat Joe, All or Nothing, Atlantic
Ike & Tina Turner, Original Gold, Disky
J.J. Jackson, But It's Alright, Collectables
Janis Joplin, Pearl [2 Disc Special Edition], Sony
Lil' Flip, Keep It Gangsta: Freestyle Kings, Vol. 6, BCD Music Group
Pras, Win Lose or Draw [Clean], Universal
Pras, Win Lose or Draw, Universal
Ronnie I's Cliftonaires, Doo Wop Souvenirs, Collectables
Various Artists, Island Def Jam Recordings Presents #1 Spot [Clean], Def Jam

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Angie Stone, Greatest Hits Live [CD & DVD], J-Records
Baby, Fast Money, Universal
Boyz N da Hood, Boyz N da Hood, Bad Boy
C-Murder, Truest **** I Ever Said [Chopped and Screwed], Koch
Culture Club, Greatest Hits, Virgin
Eric Benet, Hurricane, Warner Brothers
Keyshia Cole, Way It Is, A&M
Leela James, Change Is Gonna Come, Warner Brothers
Master P, Ghetto Bill Gates, Koch
Me'Shell Ndeg�Ocello, Dance of the Infidels, Shanachie
Method Man Presents Street Life, Street Education, Cleopatra
Mike Jones, Who Is Mike Jones? [Clean], Warner Brothers
Mike Mosley, Platinum Plaques, Vol. 2, Wall Street
Ol' Dirty Bastard, Definitive Ol' Dirty Bastard Story [CD & DVD], Rhino
Patti LaBelle, Classic Moments, Def Jam
The Baby Jaymes Record, Ghetto Retro, DRT Entertainment
The Lost Boyz, Forever, Contango
The Memphis Horns, Memphis Horns [DBK Works], DBK Works
The Ovations, Goldwax Recordings, Kent
Various Artists, Late Night Soul, Compendia
Wade O. Brown, All Night All Love, 33rd Street







Back With A Vengeance

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Rob Shaw

(June 11, 2005) When David S. Goyer sat down to write the screenplay that would restart the ailing Batman movie franchise, he had a simple goal -- create a film that would please the notoriously fickle Batman fans. It was a novel idea, given the critical scorn and fan disgust that had buried the franchise and left the Dark Knight for dead in 1997. That was the last time the world saw Batman on the big screen; the camp comedy misadventure Batman & Robin left a bad taste in the mouths of all concerned. Director Joel Schumacher's vision of a rubber-nippled batsuit, George Clooney's codpiece and a seemingly endless supply of cheesy one-liners dropped the bottom out of its box-office gross. Batman & Robin earned approximately $238-million (U.S.) worldwide, just under half the $411-million grossed by the original Batman in 1989. Batman Returns pulled in $267-million during its run in 1992 and the number was low enough for Warner Bros. to turf director Tim Burton and original Dark Knight, Michael Keaton. Schumacher was given the reins and in 1995 released Batman Forever, which grossed $336-million. The box-office performance led to carte-blanche approval for Batman & Robin, where low-earnings and fan disappointment proved the end of the line for Schumacher. The franchise sat stagnant for eight years, until Wednesday when Warner Bros. unveils its blockbuster relaunch film Batman Begins.

"There was an enormous amount of pressure," said Goyer, of charting a new course for a character that has generated more than $1.1-billion in worldwide ticket sales. "There was another kind of pressure -- equally formidable -- and that was from the fans, from the people that wanted a definitive Batman film." Batman Begins is the film Goyer believes will bring the fans back. The movie is a complete restart to the franchise and ignores the lineage of the previous four films. The $180-million picture, shot in Iceland, London and Chicago.  It follows a young Bruce Wayne after his parents' death. He travels the world to gather the skills and equipment he will later use as Batman. The film climaxes when he returns home to Gotham City, dons the cape and cowl, and battles a mad-scientist known as The Scarecrow. Goyer's screenplay was brought to life by co-writer and director Christopher Nolan -- best known for his critically acclaimed but smaller art-house films Memento and Insomnia. Batman Begins marks Nolan's first genuine big-budget blockbuster but he is joined by a seasoned all-star cast that includes Christian Bale as Batman and Michael Caine as his butler, Alfred. Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman appear in supporting roles. "From a commercial standpoint, the Batman films were reaching a point of diminishing returns," said Goyer, who had previously written the Blade movies. "The benefits of a relaunch are obvious, we can literally start from scratch. We can take an audience by the hand and reintroduce them to Batman without them having had any back story or previous knowledge. "The other beautiful thing about this Batman story in particular is that no one has ever told the definitive Batman origin story, certainly not in film or television. If our movie works, then we can gradually reintroduce the other characters -- the Joker, the Riddler et cetera -- but hopefully with a new kind of gravitas attached to them."

Reintroducing Batman's infamous villains, many of which had been killed off by a rubber-clad Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer or George Clooney, was just one of the perks of restarting the franchise. "I think it was necessary to do a new creative expression of the character for film," said Paul Levitz, president and publisher of DC Comics, the company where artist Bob Kane created Batman in 1939. "I don't think the world was sitting there saying 'We loved exactly what we saw last time we had a Batman film, give us another one just like it.' Goyer and Nolan could also veer away from the cartoon violence of the past two films and ground Batman Begins in a world where his weapons and methods were practical. "In terms of realism that was our mantra when we were writing this film," said Goyer. "It doesn't particularly feel like a comic-book film, which is something we were striving for." But just because Batman's back, doesn't mean he's a guaranteed success. While he was once the leading alpha male of the superheroes, he returns from hiatus to a movie industry dominated by rival Marvel Comics characters Spider-Man and the X-Men. Still, Batman has what Levitz calls a "protean" quality. Over 66 years, few characters in any genre have been played to such extremes. In the 1960s, Batman was a squeaky-clean Adam West who doled out equal parts fisticuffs and puns in the live-action television series. In 1986, writer Frank Miller (the recent author and co-director of Sin City) used the graphic novel Batman: Year One and later The Dark Knight Returns to transform the Caped Crusader into a psychotic and cruel superhero, driven past sanity through rage and anger at his parents' death.  Goyer used Miller's work, among other films such as Lawrence of Arabia and the James Bond feature On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as inspiration for Batman Begins. "This is definitely the darkest depiction of Batman yet seen on film," he said. "You have to believe that he would be capable of crossing the line, of committing murder. If you don't do that, then there is no real tension as the film unfolds."

"Batman is a vigilante. He is someone that operates outside the law. Bruce Wayne believes that the law doesn't work. . . . His intention is to use force. To use terror. In a way, Batman is a terrorist. It's an interesting angle to approach. "A normal person doesn't contemplate murder. A normal person does not spend seven years of his life training with thieves and killers, pushing himself to horrible extremes. A normal person does not dress up as a giant bat and attempt to scare the living shit out of the criminal element. Chris [Nolan] and I were interested in exploring themes of fear and terror -- the way that those elements could be manipulated and exploited." Along with making the movie, Warner Bros. also had to make amends with the fans. In interviews after the Batman & Robin fiasco, Schumacher blamed an "unpoliced Internet" and "small cult" of diehards for turning public opinion against his movie. A rift formed between the fans and the filmmakers. "Schumacher tried to blame the unpoliced Internet sites for ruining Batman & Robin, but the film ruined itself," said Bill Ramey, owner of Batman on Film, the longest-running Batman fan site on the Web. "Around the time of Batman & Robin, websites weren't looked at particularly fondly by the studio. But I think they realized that it could be to their advantage if maybe what the fans wanted could work." In an effort to rebuild bridges, Warner Bros. struck up a friendly relationship with Ramey, a 39-year-old high-school football coach and married father of three from Houston. His was the only fan site invited to visit the set in London last fall (Ramey sent his own U.K.-based correspondent). The studio also allowed him to premiere a movie poster on-line, trolled his message boards for feedback, and invited Ramey to meet the film's stars and see the movie at a press junket in early June. His website, Batman on Film, is up to 50,000 daily visitors because it became what Ramey called an "on-line lobby group" that had the ear of Warner Bros. Even Goyer visited the site. "I think that through me, it's [the studio's] way of speaking to the fans," said Ramey. Ramey's initial review called Batman Begins "fantastic" and "the definitive Batman film" -- words sure to please the studio. But they will also ease the mind of Goyer, who appears closer than ever to achieving his simple goal for Batman Begins: "Frankly, I wanted to be able to go to my local comic-book store and be able to look my fellow comic-book buyers in the eye, and feel good about what we've done."




Short Films Have To Make Their Point Quickly

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Guy Dixon

(June 14, 2005) By the end of the 28-minute documentary short 9 Months, 6 Blocks, the details of Peter's life are sketchy, yet we're intimately familiar with him. A retired postal clerk, he lives in Parkdale, a Toronto west-end neighbourhood, and mixes bygone manners ("Oh by the way, would you gentlemen like anything at all?" he innocently asks the film crew on camera), with bouts of sudden swearing ("Oh, what the. . . . I think I'll have a piece of pie, too"). His days are exceedingly ordinary, listening to old LPs in his cramped apartment or getting excited about a roast-beef sandwich at a local diner. But he's easily one of the most compelling characters among the films in this year's Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto, which runs until Sunday. 9 Months, 6 Blocks demonstrates how varied and experimental documentary shorts continue to be, at a time when documentaries in general are going through an unprecedented period of creativity. Last year's highly acclaimed Canadian documentary shorts Ryan, about the life of master animator Ryan Larkin, and Hardwood, about a former Harlem Globetrotter and his two families, both broke new ground in the way they told their stories. Ryan used computer-animated decomposing body parts as a metaphor, while Hardwood made creative use of basketball as a motif in the movie. 9 Months, 6 Blocks doesn't have much of a story line. It is basically a set of character sketches. It isn't even really about the neighbourhood of Parkdale, since the characters' lives are so utterly unrelated to each other. But in the end, the viewer has a deep sense of these people. All of the Canadian documentary shorts in the festival leave a similar impression. Because of the short format and truncated story lines, the films have to drill down to core emotions and central truths about their subjects -- they don't have the luxury of spending time objectively analyzing them. It's a fascinating trend in documentary-making.

"In short documentaries, you can be a little bit more experimental, you can play around with form more," said Chris Romeike, a Toronto-based documentary cinematographer and first-time director of 9 Months, 6 Blocks. Another film, My Own Revolution, similarly has to narrow its focus due to time. It follows a Canadian woman travelling to the Ukraine as an official election observer. The film moves along so quickly it's difficult to pinpoint where her sympathies for the opposition movement end and where her role as an impartial observer begins. Truth be told, it seems the observer herself isn't entirely clear about the separation of the two in her own heart. The 22-minute version of the film showing in the festival was originally a 15-minute segment produced by independent Toronto filmmaker Craig Goodwill for the program CBC Sunday. He also has an hour-long version he is hoping to sell to broadcasters or distributors at the festival. "The hard part about doing such a small piece is that you don't have the time to explain the context of it, and some things are just [shown] at face value. . . . Short documentaries really break it down to their emotional essence," Goodwill said. Some films at the festival test the bounds of documentaries. Chambre de Torture, 1944, a two-minute animated film by Toronto-based filmmaker Madi Piller, is listed in the festival program as an experimental short, and it begins with abstract animation. But it ends with the description of a painting Piller's father made 40 years after the Second World War of an empty torture chamber in France. The inscription on the back is something he remembered seeing on a prison wall: "From this day on and forever, I make a vow never to lock a bird in a cage." Despite the abstract imagery, the film functions as a documentary. It couldn't have recorded its emotional essence any other way, the director argues. "Others have also asked me if I had considered making it longer. I think the film is long enough to transmit the message," she said. Yet possibly the most unusual Canadian documentary short in the festival is Can You Love Me?, directed by Ryerson students Adam Garnet Jones and Sarah Kolasky. It tells the story of how Toronto art student Morgan Mavis put up posters around the city advertising herself and giving out her phone number. She attracted one particularly strange, disturbed loner who left an endless stream of obsessive messages, sometimes threatening.

But what's startling is how Mavis unapologetically talks about toying with this admirer and how much she craves attention. Given that the documentary is only nine minutes, the film stuns viewers by not giving much of Mavis's back story, but by simply letting her say such startling things. "One of our objectives is to leave the audience wanting more, wanting to know more about her," Kolasky said. But sometimes, as with Can You Love Me?, what we are given in short form is perfect. What we want is more of this kind of experimentation. For more information on the Worldwide Short Film Festival, see or call 416-445-1446, ext. 815.




Mel Knows 'I Hate Violence'

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Gayle Macdonald

(June 13, 2005) Hollywood director Richard Donner is serenely sipping away on something called a Chocolate Monkey while watching a New York City bus careen wildly through the streets, finally crashing spectacularly in a deserted alley. On the set of his new $55-million (U.S.) movie 16 Blocks, Donner is clearly an old pro at filming hard-core action scenes, having commandeered Mel Gibson through countless close scrapes in the four Lethal Weapon films, as well as directing the late Christopher Reeve as the buff superhero in Superman I and II. But he bills this shot-in-Toronto, set-in-New-York feature film as predominantly -- and more importantly -- a character-driven action flick. Thus, he's adamant he's far more consumed with the quality of the performances he inspires from the actors (including Bruce Willis, Mos Def and David Morse) than the whiz-bang special effects. "I don't care about crashes," says the 75-year-old director, who has the energy and zip of someone in his 20s. "We've all done crashes. Put a camera here. Put a camera there, and you've got a great crash. In this particular case there's such a wealth of performances from these people. . . . that at the end of the day, it's like, 'What the hell am I going to put in the movie?' It's all so rich. That is way more important to me."

The crash scene is integral, though, because it is the climax of what turns out to be a tortuous 16-block trip during which alcoholic homicide detective Jack Mosley (Willis) is supposed to escort petty criminal and key witness Eddie Bunker (Def) from the fifth precinct to 100 Centre St. to testify before a grand jury. It turns out someone doesn't want Bunker to get there -- and so begins a film about survival, self-enlightenment and friendship. (The burning bus and the SWAT teams are just testosterone-laced window dressing.) "I liked the idea of someone who's broken and dead inside who can be fixed and brought back to life," says Donner. It's taken Donner and his Toronto crew 13 days to set up and execute the bus-goes-down scene. Twelve cameras were on-hand to capture the steel-twisting carnage, shot in a sweltering 30 degrees Celsius. Through the heat, smoke and noise, Donner is genial and unfazed, cracking jokes with the crew and sipping that Chocolate Monkey (a blended concoction of powdered chocolate, bananas, milk and ice). He explains that this film appealed to him -- like the many that came before -- because it's a compelling tale (written by Richard Wenk) that gets you in its grip. Over the course of his 50-year career, Donner has made everything from dramas and comedies to feel-good family films and thrillers. Some titles include his breakout film The Omen (who can forget the demon spawn Damien?), the kiddie cult hit The Goonies, and perhaps the best feature ever made about child abuse, 1992's Radio Flyer.

Dressed in jeans with his rumpled shirt hanging untucked, Donner explains he started in this business as a bad actor, one who was unceremoniously dumped from a bit role in Martin Ritt's TV production of W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage.  "We had a stupid argument," Donner remembers. "I should have had my mouth shut and it was open, which happens a lot. Martin told me I'd never make it as an actor because I couldn't take direction. He thought I could give it, so he offered me a job as his assistant." Ritt made such classics as Norma Rae, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Hud. After moving to Los Angeles from his native New York in the late fifties, Donner found some opportunities to direct TV shows, starting with Wanted: Dead or Alive (featuring his pal Steve McQueen), and then moving on to series such as The Twilight Zone and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. His first major feature was The Omen, which revolutionized the thriller/suspense genre. Then came Superman, a huge international hit, and the Lethal Weapon quartet, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, films that have grossed close to $1-billion at the box office. Often asked which projects rank among his favourites, he always offers the same reply: "Do you have any kids? Which one are you most proud of?" Having said that, Donner admits he has a soft spot for Ladyhawke, the medieval adventure tale starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer.

"My wife hired me to direct it. I met her and fell in love. It was a wonderful little film about unrequited love. It has a lot of personal life for me." Donner is married to Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of such films as You've Got Mail and Any Given Sunday. She's currently in Vancouver overseeing X-Men 3. "Superman I loved because it set a precedent," he continues. "It started something rolling, however, that today has gotten out of hand -- nowadays if you write a comic book it's on the screen tomorrow. "And I love my Lethal Weapons. I love everything I've done with Mel Gibson." Friends for more than 20 years, Donner says his pal has gotten a bad rap over the controversial The Passion of the Christ, a film about the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus. "He is just a great, crazy, nutty son-of-a-bitch that I love dearly. He's the guy you want to hang with. He's the kind of buddy you want to have," Donner says of Gibson. "I've known the man for two decades -- and I've known him through all sorts of his own demons in life that I experienced with him. And I've never heard him say anything bad about anybody. That's Mel. He's pure. Whatever he did with that film, it was something he had to do. If there were demons he had, he got them out. But no way in his mind was he anti-Semitic."

Donner has not seen The Passion, because Gibson told him not to. "He said it's so violent, and he knows I hate violence. If you've seen my movies, violence is always totally contained or it's comic-book violence. I can't do it if it's stark reality and document. So Mel said, 'Don't go. You'll hate me.' " Donner wraps shooting 16 Blocks in Toronto on June 24, and then will move onto a two-week stint in New York. "The visit to New York is so we can tie it all together. We have to go there to get the smell. Everybody's going to be eating a Sabrett hot dog on the street, with mustard, sauerkraut and hot peppers -- or they don't stick around with me," he jokes. From there, he plans to join his wife of 18 years at their beach home in Maui (they also have residences in the San Juan Islands near Vancouver, and Los Angeles.) While he's eager to get home, he adds that the Toronto crew has been the best he's ever worked with. "I've made a lot of pictures in a lot of places, and I've never had a crew like this in my life. If I could take this crew anywhere in the world, if I had my choice of crew, I'd take this crew. They're extraordinary." No wonder the guy gets homemade Chocolate Monkeys.




New Influence For Telefilm

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Murray Whyte, Entertainment Reporter

(Jun. 15, 2005)  Telefilm Canada, the country's biggest funding source for film and television production, announced yesterday a new deal with CBC to produce feature-length documentary films.  It served as a footnote to an already busy week for the agency, which has seen its reach and influence expand dramatically since the start of the Banff Television Festival on Friday.  On Monday, Heritage Minister Liza Frulla announced that Telefilm would take over the administration of the Canadian Television Fund, an agency with which it shared a complex relationship that perplexed television producers for more than a decade.  The plan suddenly added about $175 million — $100 million of it drawn from private companies in the television industry — to Telefilm's already large portfolio. The move puts about $425 million in cultural funding in-house there, dwarfing all other funding agencies.  However, the consolidation may not be permanent. Frulla said Telefilm's control of the fund was on a contractual basis only. "They'll have to perform or they'll lose it," she said in an interview yesterday.  The CBC announcement is meagre by comparison — a $1.5 million commitment by Telefilm for the 2005-06 season — but it's part of a larger movement expanding the role of the agency, and its executive director, Wayne Clarkson, in how — and what — film and television is made in the country.  The Canadian Television Fund consolidation amounts to a kind of one-stop shopping for television and film producers looking for federal cash for projects.  It also came as a relief to several producers on hand in Banff for the announcement.  "It simplifies things tremendously, having one set of analysis for our applications," said Stephen Stohn, the executive producer of such shows as DeGrassi: The Next Generation and Instant Star.  Over the years, Stohn, like many television producers, had wearied of the two-pronged process of applying for funding, when Telefilm and the fund functioned as two separate boards handing out money. Often, producers would need approval from both for a show to go ahead. "Sometimes, you'd get approval from one and not the other. It left you wondering what was going on," he said.  Frulla, who also announced a $100 million commitment to television funding through 2006-07, agreed.  "Before, it was a headache. I wanted to avoid the insecurity the milieu has had to live with each time. Now we want to work in the next budget so the industry can plan ahead."  Michelle Marion, director of original programming at The Movie Network, also welcomed the news, with some reservations. "It makes the point of access easier and clearer," she said. "But the fact is that the fund is still dramatically oversubscribed." The same day as Frulla's announcement, the Coalition of Canadian Audio-Visual Unions released a report saying that spending on television drama last year hit its lowest point since 1998.




New Influence For Telefilm

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Murray Whyte, Entertainment Reporter

(Jun. 15, 2005)  Telefilm Canada, the country's biggest funding source for film and television production, announced yesterday a new deal with CBC to produce feature-length documentary films.  It served as a footnote to an already busy week for the agency, which has seen its reach and influence expand dramatically since the start of the Banff Television Festival on Friday.  On Monday, Heritage Minister Liza Frulla announced that Telefilm would take over the administration of the Canadian Television Fund, an agency with which it shared a complex relationship that perplexed television producers for more than a decade.  The plan suddenly added about $175 million — $100 million of it drawn from private companies in the television industry — to Telefilm's already large portfolio. The move puts about $425 million in cultural funding in-house there, dwarfing all other funding agencies.  However, the consolidation may not be permanent. Frulla said Telefilm's control of the fund was on a contractual basis only. "They'll have to perform or they'll lose it," she said in an interview yesterday.  The CBC announcement is meagre by comparison — a $1.5 million commitment by Telefilm for the 2005-06 season — but it's part of a larger movement expanding the role of the agency, and its executive director, Wayne Clarkson, in how — and what — film and television is made in the country.  The Canadian Television Fund consolidation amounts to a kind of one-stop shopping for television and film producers looking for federal cash for projects.  It also came as a relief to several producers on hand in Banff for the announcement.  "It simplifies things tremendously, having one set of analysis for our applications," said Stephen Stohn, the executive producer of such shows as DeGrassi: The Next Generation and Instant Star.  Over the years, Stohn, like many television producers, had wearied of the two-pronged process of applying for funding, when Telefilm and the fund functioned as two separate boards handing out money. Often, producers would need approval from both for a show to go ahead. "Sometimes, you'd get approval from one and not the other. It left you wondering what was going on," he said.  Frulla, who also announced a $100 million commitment to television funding through 2006-07, agreed.  "Before, it was a headache. I wanted to avoid the insecurity the milieu has had to live with each time. Now we want to work in the next budget so the industry can plan ahead."  Michelle Marion, director of original programming at The Movie Network, also welcomed the news, with some reservations. "It makes the point of access easier and clearer," she said. "But the fact is that the fund is still dramatically oversubscribed." The same day as Frulla's announcement, the Coalition of Canadian Audio-Visual Unions released a report saying that spending on television drama last year hit its lowest point since 1998.




Movie Boss Has Best Seat In The House

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Gayle Macdonald

(June 15, 2005) For close to 20 years, Ellis Jacob has worked alongside some of the country's biggest entertainment names -- and egos. And during that time, the movie theatre veteran has never got -- nor actively sought -- media attention or industry acclaim. But earlier this week, the low-key, 51-year-old emerged as a player of note when news broke that his exhibition chain Cineplex Galaxy LP (controlled by leveraged-buyout king Gerry Schwartz) was taking over rival Famous Players in a blockbuster $500-million deal. Now Jacob -- the invisible man who had toiled alongside Garth Drabinsky at a going-under Cineplex Odeon, Allen Karp (when Cineplex was going back up), Robert Lantos (when his Alliance Communications merged with similarly-named Atlantis Communications) -- is the main-man-in-charge of Canada's biggest movie exhibition circuit, with 1,300 screens at 132 locations: A company that will control 63 per cent of the national box office and basically dictate how and what we experience at the movies. Smart enough to know it would be ridiculous to imply he's not tickled pink to be finally sitting in the big chair. Jacob is also quick to play down the significance of his new job in the grand scheme of things. "To me, whatever I was running -- if it was one theatre or this whole company -- doesn't change me," he says in an interview yesterday. "The people I have the most to thank are the ones who stood by me when I was running Galaxy as a small chain." Jacob is referring to Galaxy Entertainment, a teeny movie-house chain that, ironically, he launched in June, 2000 -- five years, almost to the day, before the Famous Players/Cineplex Galaxy merger. "I think this deal is great for the country," he insists.

"It's the first time in ages you have a Canadian-owned company running the theatres in the country. It's a cultural coup." To get the blessing of the federal Competition Bureau, Jacob had to agree to shed 35 theatres in 17 cities. When Galaxy emerged on the scene in the spring of the millennium year, it was a bit player with big dreams. Specifically it planned to go into mid-sized markets, like Ontario's Sault Ste. Marie, Cornwall and Brantford, and give folks something they hadn't enjoyed in years, a spiffy theatre with cushy seating, big screens and the latest sound. Some industry types predicted Jacob would flounder. But with backing from Schwartz's Onex Corp. and undisclosed investments from movie-maker Lantos, film distributor Victor Loewy, Famous Players and Alliance Atlantis, he made a go of it, making a profit each year, and eventually building 19 theatres with 154 screens in six provinces. The skeptics shut up. Slowly, but surely, Jacob set about turning the movie exhibition world in Canada on its ear.

In 2002, Onex got control of the North American-wide Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. chain while it was under bankruptcy protection. Later, the U.S. theatres were sold at a huge profit, Galaxy and Cineplex's Canadian operations were merged, and a chunk of the venture was sold to investors as an income trust. Jacob -- a guy whom Schwartz describes as "a first-class operator -- relentless in cost control while at the same time, builds an outstanding management team" -- was placed in charge. Then eight months ago, Jacob went back to Schwartz and convinced him to give him the green light to start wooing Viacom to buy Famous Players, rumoured to be looking for a buyer. Earlier this week, Schwartz and his wife Heather Reisman (owner of Chapters/Indigo) made headlines as the power couple behind this movie chain deal. The truth is Schwartz et al. had virtually nothing to do with it (oh, except the part about financial backing).  As Jacob puts it, "Gerry's hands-off totally. He never gets involved in the day-to-day stuff." Combined, the two circuits will have over 60 million customers on an annual basis. In the cliquey Canadian entertainment world, Jacob is pretty much universally regarded as, well, a decent guy. Tough, but fair. Bob Findlay, head of Canadian corporate banking at Scotia Capital, says "there are no hidden agendas with Ellis. He is a tough negotiator but never loses sight of the purpose of the negotiation -- the conclusion of a deal that both parties can accept. This skill means people want to do business with him again and again." On the phone, Jacob apologizes for having to sign off. Famous Player's president Robb Chase is coming to his office, and they've got a three-hour meeting to try to sort out what is still a murky future. There will be layoffs.

"It's always been my view, take the best people from both companies -- that's going to determine who stays and who goes," says Jacob, who immigrated to Canada from Calcutta in 1969 with $10 in his pocket at age 15. He stayed with his sister, eventually becoming a chartered accountant and earning his MBA from York. There will be more theatres built -- six already slated in markets such as Saskatchewan, Montreal's South Shore, outside Ottawa, and in Aurora, Milton and Brockville, in Southern Ontario. "My biggest fears are twofold. First, piracy. And second, the flow of product, ie. the quality of films that are coming into the theatres. I always say I just set the table, I don't serve the steak. That's really the true nature of our business. At the end of the day, I still rely heavily on what Hollywood delivers." Talk about a career that's come full circle. Today he's sitting in the same office space where he started taking orders from Drabinsky. It's taken 18 years, but Jacob is finally emcee of his own show.




Alliance Eyes Spinoffs From Cineplex Deal

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Richard Blackwell

(June 15, 2005) The movie distribution arm of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. may be interested in picking up the 35 movie theatres that must be sold by Cineplex Galaxy LP after it completes its buyout of rival Famous Players Inc. Paul Laberge, executive vice-president of Movie Distribution Income Fund, 51-per-cent owned by Alliance Atlantis, said in an interview that his firm will look at the list of theatres and consider a bid. "We'll have to wait and see what the list includes," he said, "but certainly we're always looking at acquisitions that would be accretive to us in complementary businesses, so this would fit that pattern, potentially." He said he would not expect there to be "a lot of crown jewels" among the properties Cineplex is willing to sell, but that won't be clear until his firm can see the list. Alliance Atlantis already has a stake in five theatres -- three in Toronto and one each in Vancouver and Victoria. The group carries the Alliance Atlantis name, although they are run by the company's joint venture partner, Famous Players. Now that Cineplex is taking over Famous Players, the status of that joint venture is up in the air. "We have to sort through how the new ownership arrangement would impact that," Mr. Laberge said. The main business of Movie Distribution Income Fund is to distribute films to theatres, so the Cineplex-Famous Players deal is a "a little bit of concern" to the company because it decreases the number of buyers, Mr. Laberge said.  "More operators is better from our perspective."

Under a consent agreement Cineplex signed with the federal Competition Bureau, it must sell the 35 theatres to no more than three buyers, to ensure there is strong regional competition.  If the company can't sell them, a trustee will be appointed to find a buyer. The details of this arrangement -- including how much time Cineplex has to complete a deal before a trustee steps in -- have been kept confidential. The specific locations of the 35 theatres that have to be sold off also are confidential, although the names of the 17 cities where they are located were revealed when the deal was announced Monday. They include big cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, and smaller centres such as Saskatoon, St. Catharines, Kingston and Lethbridge. Analysts say there are a number of potential buyers in addition to Alliance Atlantis.  Analyst Ben Mogil of Westwind Partners Inc. said one of the most likely bidders is the No. 3 player in the Canadian market, Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC Entertainment Inc., which has a handful of large theatres in Ontario and Quebec. AMC now has a 6-per-cent share of the market, Mr. Mogil said, and the addition of 35 theatres would boost that to about 20 per cent.  Other possible bidders -- for some or all of the theatres -- include regional players like Empire Theatres Ltd., the leading chain in Atlantic Canada, Western Canadian operator Landmark Cinemas of Canada Inc., or Montreal's Cinema Guzzo.  "It could be anyone," said BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. analyst Jeff Tkachuk, including private equity players and pension funds that lost out to Cineplex in the bidding for Famous Players.  For a company or investment group interested in getting into the movie business, "a 35-theatre chain is sizable enough to get a strong foothold in the industry," said Howard Lichtman, president of Toronto marketing consulting group Lightning Group.




Murphy in ‘Dreamgirls’

Excerpt from

(June 14, 2005) *It’s official. Eddie Murphy has been cast opposite Beyonce Knowles and Jamie Foxx in DreamWorks’ film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.”  Bill Condon directs the story of singing trio The Dreamettes (Effie, Deena and Lorrell).  Murphy will play superstar performer James "Thunder" Early, for whom the Dreamettes sing back up, before they take over the spotlight themselves as The Dreams.







Like Friends . . . But In A Hostel

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Unnati Gandhi

(June 13, 2005) Yes, they all live at home with their parents. But that doesn't mean they can't come up with a television show about the lives of people checking in and out of a fictional downtown Toronto youth hostel. Because you know what? They already did. Six friends from Toronto are at this week's Banff Television Festival to pitch a pilot episode of their situation comedy The Hostel. Their trip to the Canadian Rockies, where they've arranged to stay at a youth hostel, will actually be the first the twentysomethings take together. "For all we know, we might hate each other by the end of [this trip]. This might be the end of our great plan," joked Alex Herman, 23, out on the patio of Toronto's largest youth hostel, Global Village Backpackers. Herman, along with Alex Molenaar, Kegan Winters, Adam Peterson, Paul Matthews and Dave Baker, brainstormed their "great plan" earlier this year during weekly meetings they would hold to foster creative conversation.  "Even when you're drunk," 24-year-old Winters said, "the level of conversation is just intense. "That's what I miss about university -- the intellectual conversations. I don't want to call it a support group, but. . . ." At the Banff Television Festival, which began yesterday and runs through Wednesday, the fresh batch of university grads -- with alma maters ranging from Princeton to McGill to Oxford -- will present their three-minute pitch to a panel of broadcasters, distributors and industry executives, selling the idea of the "quarter-life crisis."

Theirs is one of 14 pitches that were chosen for the Festival's New Players category. There were well over 120 submissions. "The concept of a quarter-life crisis is becoming very popular among twentysomethings," said Molenaar, 23.  "People are so overwhelmed with choices that they create this extended adolescence, stuck in a transient environment. Everyone travels after university." This is where their motto, "Now that we can do anything, what do we do now?" fits in. Their six-part miniseries, so far titled The Hostel, revolves around four central characters -- a farm boy from Lethbridge, Alta., known affectionately to others as L.A.; a wannabe pop singer from Montreal who hates Toronto; an entrepreneur with pathetic ideas from upstate New York; and a lovestruck metrosexual who is in the unfortunate situation of having a dad that's cooler than he is.  Why hostels? And why Canada? "We made it about something we all know about," Herman said. "With Canada being so welcoming to international students, it's the perfect setting for a show like this." He described the sitcom's style as somewhere between Arrested Development and The Office. Matt Wyatt, marketing director of Global Village Backpackers, thinks the idea of making a television show about a hostel is long overdue. "So many interesting things go down here," he said.  "It's a setting most young people are familiar with and can relate to. Hostels have changed a lot from our parents' time."




TV Funding Agencies To Work In Sync

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Gayle Macdonald

(June 14, 2005) Independent producers cheered yesterday a federal promise to do away with much of the paperwork and red tape that's long needled at folks trying to stickhandle their way through the TV funding application process. In a speech to a crowd gathered at the Banff World Television Festival, Heritage Minister Liza Frulla announced plans to strip away the overlap that currently exists between the country's two main funding bodies, the Canadian Television Fund and Telefilm Canada. In previous years, both the CTF and Telefilm had independent boards of directors as well as administration departments to dole out funds. Now Frulla said the CTF will function as the board and Telefilm as chief administrator. Wayne Clarkson, who became executive director of Telefilm in January, welcomed the one-stop shopping for independent makers of TV. "There's been a duplication of resources and differences in terms of policies and priorities because the CTF is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership, and Telefilm is a crown agency of the government," said Clarkson, in Banff, Alta., for the four-day event. "Two boards and two administrations meant more work for everybody, not the least for independent producers. This will be a more cost-effective way of doing business," he said.

The minister also committed $100-million in new funding through the CTF's 2006-2007 fiscal year, signalling to TV producers that the annual budget will not shrink -- as it has done in the past -- next year. Frulla told the audience she aims to ensure long-term funding for the television production fund in the 2006 federal budget. She also announced plans to set aside a CTF funding envelope specifically for the CBC, equalling 37 per cent of the total pie. Earlier in the year, CBC's executive vice-president of English television, Richard Stursberg, had asked the federal government to guarantee that 50 per cent of the CTF be allocated, in a multiyear envelope, to independent Canadian producers whose programs air exclusively during CBC's prime time. Christina Jennings of Shaftesbury Films welcomed news of the streamlined approach. "It's just easier. In the past, it was a lot of paperwork. And you'd hear from the CTF about something, but have to wait to hear from Telefilm about something else," she said. At Banff yesterday, the Coalition of Canadian Audio-Visual Unions (CCAU) released a report that showed spending on Canadian television drama has plummeted since 1999, with 2004 recording the lowest level in seven years. "Drama spending by Canada's English-language private broadcasters bottomed out at $53.6-million in 2004 from a high of $73-million in 1998," stated the report, entitled The Need for a Regulatory Safety Net.




Ottawa Injects $100m To Fund Canadian TV Shows

Source: Canadian Press

(June 12, 2005) Banff, Alta. — Canada's television industry is getting $100-million in new money to create homegrown programming.  The money was announced Sunday by Heritage Minister Liza Frulla to producers and executives at the Banff World Television Festival. The money will go to the Canadian Television Fund, Ms. Frulla said in a speech before the festival's opening reception.  The Minister said her next move is to ensure long-term funding for the fund in the 2006 federal budget.  Ottawa has contributed $800-million to the fund since it was formed in 1996. The private-public partnership, which supports creation of programming in French, English and aboriginal languages, has helped create $5.7-billion in Canadian programming.  Ms. Frulla said the fund is essential to ensure Canadians receive distinctive programming.  “Since it's inception, the (fund) has helped bring more than 18,000 hours of original Canadian programming to the screen,” said Ms. Frulla.




Lopez Back On The Upswing

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

(Jun. 11, 2005) HOLLYWOOD—It's nice to see that George Lopez hasn't lost his sense of humour — even when it comes to the emergency kidney transplant he received on April 23. "Are you kidding? The catheter in itself is hilarious," he quips in between sips of hot tea. "It's a trauma that I don't think my penis is over just yet."  Not that Lopez, who turned 44 less than a week after the operation, isn't deeply grateful to actress and screenwriter Ana Serrano, his wife of 12 years, who donated the life-saving organ.  "The single most important thing that ever happened to me is the fact that she matched and never hesitated," he admits. "It's like she said, we already did `for richer or poorer,' now we are doing `in sickness and in health.'"  Things weren't always so easy for the loving Latinos (she's Cuban, he's Mexican), who met at a comedy club in 1990. Not long after the birth of their daughter Mayan, 9, Lopez was booted out of the house for excessive drinking and what he now calls "self-destructive" behaviour.  "In the middle of the night, I filled up his car with all of his clothes, all his toiletries, a frying pan, toilet paper ... It was like, `Buddy, you're not coming back.' And I changed the locks," Serrano told Primetime Live.  The still up-and-coming comic moved into an empty condominium. "A month of laying on a mattress you filled up with a pump, with only a TV-VCR combination thing on the floor and a few rented movies makes you really take stock," he concedes.  Lopez (friends call him G-Lo) is all too familiar with broken homes. When he was just two months old, his father abandoned the family. His mother moved to Sacramento when she remarried and left her then 10-year-old son to be raised by his maternal grandmother and step-grandfather.  But the biggest influence on his life, Lopez says, has been the game of golf. "It taught me all of the things that an adult male should have taught me. It taught me patience. It taught me honesty. I had a horrible temper and you can't play golf that way. I don't think I can repay golf for what it has done for me."

So Lopez, a 13 handicap, decided to do the next best thing: he "adopted" the golf team at his alma mater, San Fernando High. "I saw them at a golf course and I was making fun of their clothes because they looked like bumblebees, all black and yellow," he says, remembering with a laugh. "So I talked to the coach and said `Whatever you need I'll take care of it.' When they come back to school they are gonna be pimped out with Tommy Bahama clothes, Titleist clubs, Scotty Cameron putters ..."  Lopez will pay for it — at least in part — with earnings from The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl in 3-D, a movie fantasy about pre-teen superheroes.  The movie, in which Lopez plays four different roles, was directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids) and based on a story by his 7-year-old son.  This fall, Rodriguez will direct an episode of The George Lopez Show, which was recently renewed for a fourth season.  A best-selling author — his autobiography Why You Crying was in the New York Times Top 20 last year — Lopez paid his dues working factory jobs by day and in comedy clubs by night before his breakthrough role in the 1990 comedy Ski Patrol.  "Now that I am healthy, I would love to reconnect with my stand-up," says the multi-tasker, who recently worked as a full-time DJ at an L.A. radio station, hosted the Latin Grammy Awards, recorded an award-winning CD (Team Leader) and appeared on TV specials including The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs ... Ever. (His pick: "Informer" by Canada's Snow.)  "I have worked hard for the past 25 years," he says. "Nobody gave me anything. There are certainly people out there who may not like what I do, but I earned the right to do it."




Wayans World: Bros. Looking To Build Oakland Facility; Damon Goes ‘Underground.’

Excerpt from

(June 15, 2005) Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans are interested in turning an old Oakland Army Base into a sprawling new facility that would include a movie studio, entertainment-themed attractions, related retail shops and a hotel. According to AP, the proposal to develop 70 acres was expected to go before a City Council committee yesterday. There appears to be no other bidders for the site, which has been largely vacant since the base shut down eight years ago. The Wayans’ spokeswoman Kay Karney said the acting siblings have been looking for a city to build an entertainment complex based on the layout of Southern California’s Universal Studios.  She said family members have visited several times and were impressed with the diversity, access and weather in the San Francisco Bay area. Meanwhile, Damon Wayans is busy making plans for life after “My Wife and Kids,” his former ABC sitcom that was cancelled last month after a five-year run. “‘American Idol’ (was) killing us,” Damon told AP of the show’s demise. “So I'm starting a new project on my own. It's called 'The Underground.' It's a sketch comedy. I'm going to do it on my own, with my own money. It's going to be reminiscent of 'In Living Color.' I'm going to be doing a bunch of different characters. It's going to be super sexy. I have about 30 sketches we're ready to shoot. I got Iraq's funniest home videos, dope sick cops, a gang of funny commercial parodies. The streets will be talking about it for sure. I think we might go straight to DVD. People want something they can't get on TV. I have 500 channels of nothing. DVDs give you the option to watch what you want when you want.”




Matthew Perry To Host ESPY Awards

Excerpt from The Toronto Star

(Jun. 10, 2005) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matthew Perry, a former junior tennis player in his native Canada, is going back to the sports world as host of the ESPY Awards.  He takes over from comedian and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, who hosted the previous two years.  Perry was a nationally ranked junior singles and doubles player in Canada. He has been a familiar face at matches played by his friend Jennifer Capriati over the years.  The ESPYs will be taped at the Kodak Theatre on July 13. The awards show will air four days later on ESPN.  Perry, 35, was a co-star on NBC's Friends. His screen credits include The Whole Nine Yards and its sequel, The Whole Ten Yards.







Full List Of 2005 Dora Nominees

Excerpt from The Toronto Star

(Jun. 9, 2005) Here is the complete list of the 2005 Dora Mavor Moore awards nominations.


Outstanding New Play
Claudia Dey, Trout Stanley; Keira Loughran, Little Dragon; Rick Miller & Daniel Brooks, Bigger Than Jesus; John Mighton, Half Life; David S. Young with the company, No Great Mischief

Outstanding New Musical
David Finley, Aladdin; Guy Mignault, Autour de Kurt Weill

Outstanding Production of a Play
Bigger Than Jesus, Necessary Angel Theatre Company in Association with Factory Theatre; Blue PlaneT, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People; Half Life, Tarragon Theatre and Necessary Angel Theatre Company; Take Me Out, CanStage; The Leisure Society, Factory Theatre

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Aladdin, Ross Petty Productions; Ain't Misbehavin', CanStage and Dancap Private Equity Inc.; Autour de Kurt Weill, Le Théâtre français de Toronto; Hairspray, David and Ed Mirvish / Margo Lion, Adam Epstein, The Baruch-Viertel-Routh-Frankel Group, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer, Rick Steiner/Frederic H. Mayerson, SEL & GFO, New Line Cinema in association with Clear Channel Entertainment, A. Gordon/E. McAllister, D. Harris/M. Swinsky, JGB Osher; Urinetown, CanStage

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Daniel Brooks, Bigger Than Jesus; Daniel Brooks, Half Life; Ken Gass, The Leisure Society; Allen MacInnis, Blue Planet; Joseph Ziegler, Hamlet

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Marion J. Caffey, Ain't Misbehavin'; Ted Dykstra, Aladdin; Guy Mignault, Autour de Kurt Weill; Jack Obrien, Hairspray; John Rando, Urinetown

Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role — Play
Stuart Hughes, The Dumb Waiter / The Zoo Story; Daniel MacIvor, Cul-De-Sac; Rick Miller, Bigger Than Jesus; Eric Peterson, Half Life; Paul Soles, Trying

Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role — Play
Marie-Hélène Fontaine, Le Collier dHélène; Carolyn Hetherington, Half Life; Melody Johnson, Trout Stanley; Irene Poole, The Leisure Society; Alison Sealy-Smith, Cast Iron

Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Principal Role — Musical
Jay Brazeau, Hairspray; David Keeley, Urinetown; David Lopez, Ain't Misbehavin'; Derek McGrath, Aladdin; Frank Moore, Urinetown

Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Principal Role — Musical
Divine Brown, Ain't Misbehavin'; Mary Ann McDonald, Urinetown; Mary Ann McDonald, Side by Side by Sondheim; Vanessa Olivarez, Hairspray; Jennifer Waiser, Urinetown

Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role in a Play or Musical
Oliver Dennis, Waiting for Godot; Barbara Gordon, Half Life; Fran Jaye, Hairspray; Richard Lee, Little Dragon; Mike Shara, Take Me Out; Michael Simpson, Translations

Outstanding Set Design
Judith Bowden, Blue Planet; Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson, Bigger Than Jesus, Ken MacDonald; Take Me Out, Francis O'Connor, Translations; Marian Wihak, The Leisure Society

Outstanding Costume Design
Sarah Balleux, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme; Judith Bowden, Blue Planet; William Ivey Long, Hairspray; Astrid Janson and Julie Renton, The Red River Rebellion; Francis O'Connor, Translations

Outstanding Lighting Design
Beth Kates, Bigger Than Jesus; Kevin Lamotte, Translations; Glen Charles Landry, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme; Brian MacDevitt, Urinetown, Kimberly Purtell, The Leisure Society; Graeme S. Thomson, No Great Mischief

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition
Ben Chaisson, Bigger Than Jesus; Richard Feren, Cul-De-Sac; Keith Handegord, Urinetown; Wayne Kelso, The Leisure Society; Lyon Smith, Little Dragon; Ernie Tollar and Maryem Hassan, TollarLe Collier d'Hélène

Outstanding Musical Direction
Bob Foster, Hairspray; William Foster McDaniel, Ain't Misbehavin'; Marek Norman, Dream in High Park — As You Like It; Mike Ross, No Great Mischief; David Warrack, Aladdin; Stephen Woodjetts, Urinetown

Outstanding Choreography in a Play or Musical
Marion J. Caffey, Ain't Misbehavin'; John Carrafa, Urinetown; Tracey Flye, Aladdin; Sven Johansson, Blue Planet; Jerry Mitchell, Hairspray

Outstanding Touring Production
Bombshells, Harbourfront Centre — World Stage Festival and Associated Artists; Dream Machini, Theatre Passe Muraille and One Yellow Rabbit; Est-ce quon ne pourrait pas saimer un peu?, Le Théâtre français de Toronto and Théâtre Loyal de Trac de Bruxelles, Belgique, Lili, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People and Dynamo Théâtre; Past Half Remembered, Harbourfront Centre — Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts and New International Theatre Encounter (Czechoslovakia/Norway/France/UK co-production)


Outstanding New Play or Musical
Erika Batdorf, Poetic License; T. Beagan, Thy Neighbours Wife; Andy Massingham, Rough House; Gord Rand, Pond Life; Rick Roberts, Kite

Outstanding Production
A Whistle in the Dark, The Company Theatre; Rough House, Nightswimming; That Time, Theatre Extasis and The Theatre Centre; The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine, Theatre Columbus; The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom, Alianak Theatre Productions in association with VideoCabaret and Eldritch Theatre

Outstanding Direction
Leah Simone Bowen, Thy Neighbours Wife; Leah Cherniak, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine; Todd Hammond, Poetic License; Brian Quirt, Rough House; Rick Roberts, Kite; Jennifer Tarver, That Time

Outstanding Performance by a Male
Paul Fauteux, That Time; Andy Massingham, Rough House; Rick Roberts, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine; Eric Woolfe, The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom; Joseph Ziegler, A Whistle in the Dark

Outstanding Performance by a Female
Erika Batdorf, Poetic License; Tara Beagan, Thy Neighbours Wife; Barbara Gordon, That Time; Yanna McIntosh, Hedda Gabler; Jenny Young, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine

Outstanding Set Design
Glenn Davidson, The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine; Joanne Dente, That Time; David Duclos and Steve Lucas, I Know and Feel That Fate is Harsh But I am so Loath to Accept This; Emma Polimac, The Romance of Magno Rubio; Teresa Przybylski, Hedda Gabler

Outstanding Costume Design
Joanne Dente, That Time; Shawn Kerwin, St. Christopher; Camellia Koo; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Heather McCrimmon, The Hollow; Teresa Przybylski, Hedda Gabler

Outstanding Lighting Design
Bonnie Beecher, Hedda Gabler; Rebecca Picherack and Sandra Marcroft, I Know and Feel That Fate is Harsh But I am so Loath to Accept This; Rebecca Picherack and Michelle Ramsay, Rough House; Kimberly Purtell, Pond Life; Michelle Ramsay, That Time

Outstanding Sound Design/Composition
Romeo Candido, Banana Boys; Morgan Doctor and Todd Hunter, Between us Goddesses; Marc Downing, The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom; Ian Lefeuvre, Macbeth; E.C. Woodley, That Time


Outstanding Production
And by the Way Miss..., Theatre Direct Canada; Bed and Breakfast, Puppetmongers Theatre; Birds Eye View, Cliffhanger Productions and Theatre LMNOP; Dib and Dob and The Journey Home, Roseneath Theatre; Where the Wild Things Are, Carousel Players in Association with Manitoba Theatre for Young People

Outstanding Performance
Andrew Craig, Smokescreen; Ensemble, And by the Way Miss...; Ensemble, The Triple Truth; Ensemble, Dib and Dob and The Journey Home; Blair Keyzer, Where the Wild Things Are


Outstanding Production
Actéon, Opera Atelier; Constantinople, Tapestry New Opera Works and the Gryphon Trio in association with Music Toronto, The Banff Centre and Ex Machina; Dido and Aeneas, Opera Atelier; Don Giovanni, Opera Atelier

Outstanding Performance
Peggy Kriha-Dye, Don Giovanni; Nathalie Paulin, Dido and Aeneas; Laura Pudwell, Dido and Aeneas; Maryem Hassan Tollar; Constantinople; Monica Whicher; Dido and Aeneas


Outstanding New Choreography
Susie Burpee, Mischance & Fair Fortune; Dominique Dumais, Fading Shadows / Returning Echoes; Emio Greco and Pieter C. Sholten, Rimasto Orfano; Matjash Mrozewski, Break Open Play; Heidi Strauss, At Last; Kinya "Zulu" Tsuruyama, HA-SU — breath of lotus flower

Outstanding Performance
Susie Burpee, Countess of Main Events; Susie Burpee, Mischance & Fair Fortune; Ensemble, Rustling Shadows Ensemble, HA-SU —breath of lotus flower; Andrea Nann, Source; Yvonne Ng, Fading Shadows / Returning Echoes




Tyson Retires

Excerpt from

(June 13, 2005) *You knew something was wrong when Mike Tyson emerged from the locker room without his usual hip hop beats pounding through the MCI Center’s sound system.  If that wasn’t enough of a hint, maybe it should’ve been his attempt to actually box opponent Kevin McBride at the first bell instead of barrelling out swinging like the angry bear we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. The clues were all there, but Tyson’s love for the sport – by his own admission – was not.  The boxer quit on his stool before the bell signalling the seventh round of their non-title bout.  The once great Iron Mike, who became the youngest heavyweight champion, suffered his third loss in four fights and told reporters afterward that his boxing career is over.    "This is it. I'm finished. It's just not in my heart," Tyson, 38, said during a post-fight news conference. "I'm just not interested in fighting anymore. I can't lie to myself. I'm not going to embarrass the sport." McBride came to Washington D.C. prepared. His game plan was to keep leaning all of his 271 pounds on Tyson, then tie him up to prevent the brawler from delivering any roundhouse surprises. The tactic allowed McBride to survive the first several rounds, despite taking Tyson’s hard body shots and textbook uppercuts. 

Tyson, meanwhile, was clearly frustrated. At one point, he decided to punish McBride’s constant holding by twisting his left arm. In the first minute of the sixth round Tyson was deducted two points for an intentional headbutt, done seemingly to scare off McBride from coming inside. The illegal move left a disgusting cut over McBride’s left eye, but the 6’6” fighter stuck to the plan of staying inside.  McBride pushed Tyson to the canvas as the sixth round came to a close. Tyson barely mustered the energy to pick himself up and stagger to his corner.  Seconds later, his camp asked referee Joe Cortez to stop the fight – stunning the Tyson-favoured crowd who paid anywhere from $50 to $5000 for tickets.  Tyson was even pelted with a drink by someone in the MCI Center as he headed toward the locker room. If this is to be his last fight, he retires with a 50-6 record that includes 44 knockouts. Tyson will pocket $5 million for the fight while McBride's purse totals $150,000. Still millions in debt after declaring bankruptcy, Tyson admitted that he took the fight only to make enough money to pay his bills.  He decided that he would retire should McBride win the fight, but said he would have continued had he won.




Phil Jackson Returns To The Lakers

Excerpt from

(June 15, 2005) *For those who thought this day would never come, you weren’t the only one. "This is something I never thought could possibly happen. It's a pleasure to come back," Phil Jackson said Tuesday at a Staples Center news conference to announce his return to the Los Angeles Lakers – the very NBA team he exited – with the help of owner Jerry Buss - last June 18.  Questions inevitably turned to Kobe Bryant, the star Lakers guard whom Jackson spoke ill of in a book about the 2003-04 season and once dubbed “uncoachable.’  "I think it's a matter of trust, a matter of rebuilding the trust that we had," Jackson said of his relationship with Bryant. "And yes, I have talked to Kobe; he actually called me this morning to congratulate me on the job. And I felt confident that he's confident that we can go forward."  Kobe, meanwhile, issued the following statement through his agent: "When the Lakers began the search for a new head coach, I put my complete trust in Dr. Buss and (general manager) Mitch Kupchak to select the person they thought was best for the Lakers' organization," Bryant said. "In Phil Jackson, they chose a proven winner. That is something I support."  Jackson's has signed on to coach the Lakers for three years. Although details were not announced, it's believed he'll be pocketing between $7 million and $10 million per year, which would make him the highest-paid NBA coach of all time.




Toronto Life Wins Big At Magazine Awards

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail – By Rebecca Caldwell

(June 11, 20050 For the third year in a row, Toronto Life was the big winner at the National Magazine Awards, picking up four gold and four silver awards at the 28th annual gala honouring the best in the country's magazines.  Gerald Hannon proved to be the powerhouse winner of the evening, earning gold medals in both the profiles and the arts and entertainment categories for his article The Eyes of Ed Burtynsky, as well as a silver medal in the profiles category for his piece Super Conductor, all of which were published in Toronto Life.  The Walrus, now in its sophomore awards season, earned the second-highest number of prizes, receiving four gold awards and two silver awards.  L'actualité and Maclean's tied for third place, both picking up three gold awards and one silver award.  The Globe and Mail's Report on Business magazine was nominated for seven awards, but didn't claim any top honours.  Globe and Mail writer Ian Brown, who acted a host at last night's ceremony at Toronto's Carlu club, won a silver award for an article published in Chatelaine.  Magazine veteran Paul Jones received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an acknowledgment of his work for a number of industry organizations, including Magazines Canada, the Print Measurement Bureau and the National Magazine Awards, as well as periodicals such as Maclean's, Canadian Business, MoneySense and Profit.  The President's Medal honouring "continual overall excellence" went to Maisonneuve, an English-language general interest Quebec-based monthly whose motto is "eclectic curiosity."  Sophie Lees was named the recipient of the Alexander Ross Award for Best New Magazine Writer for her AlbertaViews articles The War on Fat and The Conundrum of Kites.




Paparazzi Targeted By L.A. Criminal Investigation

Source:  Associated Press

(June 10, 2005) Los Angeles — The celebrity hunters have become the hunted. Hollywood's paparazzi are targets of a criminal investigation that comes amid complaints about their aggressive tactics. In the wake of a traffic accident involving actress Lindsay Lohan and a photographer the teen star was trying to escape from, police and prosecutors continue to investigate allegations ranging from misdemeanours such as trespassing to more serious crimes like false imprisonment and even potential conspiracy. "It is my sense that the activities of the paparazzi have grown more and more aggressive over the last couple years," William Hodgman, chief of the target crimes division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, told the New York Times. He said it would be premature to say whether the inquiry will lead to charges. Boris Nizon, owner of the Fame Pictures agency, was unconcerned by the probe. "We obey the law and we work really professionally," he said. The investigation was launched in part because of concerns that paparazzi run-ins with celebrities are getting more dangerous. "There is great concern that someone is going to get hurt," Hodgman said. "It's not just the celebrities themselves, but it's third parties and often children, who could be within the number of those who are likely to get hurt." Last November, Charlie's Angels star Cameron Diaz and her pop star boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, snatched away a photographer's camera when he and a partner surprised them outside a ritzy hotel. And last month, Lohan narrowly escaped serious injury when her car collided with one driven by a paparazzi who was allegedly following her. Photographer Galo Ramirez, 24, was booked for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, his car, and released on $35,000 bond. "Watch out for the paparazzi," Lohan warned at this year's MTV Movie Awards. Celebrity outrage over paparazzi antics is nothing new. After Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in 1997 in a Paris car crash following a high-speed flight from paparazzi, a chorus of fury came from some of biggest names in show business at that time — Madonna, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Elizabeth Taylor. They called for everything from consumer boycotts of supermarket tabloids to new laws on libel and privacy. California even passed a law in 1998 that forbids "constructive trespass," the use of technologically advanced devices to watch or eavesdrop on someone in a situation where they have "a reasonable expectation of privacy."




The Santanas Make Most Of NY Visit

Excerpt from

(June 10, 2005) On Wednesday, the Santanas will appear at Macy's landmark Herald Square location for a reception and fashion show spotlighting the Carlos By Carlos Santana Shoe Collection, a collaboration between the musician and the Brown Shoe Company. The "Carlos" line of high-fashion women's footwear is “inspired by Santana's vibrant spirit and artistry, as reflected in the shoe collection's rich colours and materials, unique styling and exciting details,” according to a release.  The first 250 customers who make a Carlos By Carlos Santana shoe at the event will receive a pass for an exclusive reception with the Santanas and a special commemorative gift bag. A portion of the proceeds from all sales of "Carlos" footwear benefits the Milagro Foundation, established by Deborah and Carlos in 1998. Milagro (which means Miracle) supports organizations worldwide working with children and youth in the areas of the arts, education and health, and since its inception has granted close to $2 million. 

The following day, Deborah Santana will make an appearance with Carlos at Barnes & Noble's Lincoln Center store for a special signing of the audiobook version of her memoir, “Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart.” Mother of three, activist and manager of the Santana Band, Deborah’s memoir is a moving account of her life growing up in a biracial family, her adventures in the free-spirited 1960s, her thirty-two year marriage to Carlos Santana, and her own personal evolution.  Carlos, along with son Salvador, composed the original music accompanying the audiobook edition, which features three exclusive Santana-penned songs as well as music by Deborah's father, blues pioneer and guitar legend Saunders King. Deborah will also sign the hardcover edition, published by Random House's One World/Ballantine Books. Barnes & Nobles' Santana event begins at 12:30 p.m. at their store located at 1972 Broadway at 66th Street in Manhattan. Everyone attending the book discussion and signing will also have the chance to win a Paul Reed Smith guitar autographed by Carlos Santana.




Queen Honours Attenborough

Source:  Associated Press

(June 11, 2005) London — TV naturalist David Attenborough received the prestigious Order of Merit award Friday from Queen Elizabeth II. The order is a special distinction awarded by the Queen to people who have shown exceptional merit in the arts, learning, literature and science or public service. "How could anyone believe they actually deserved something like this?" Attenborough said. "I can only think that it is because I have been able to reach so many people through television." The award was presented at Buckingham Palace. Attenborough, 79, can now use the letters "OM" after his name. The prominent conservationist has written, produced and hosted natural history TV programs for 50 years. His 13-part series Life on Earth has been seen by millions of people. Attenborough, who was granted a knighthood in 1985, studied zoology before joining the British Broadcasting Corp. in 1952. He went on to hold a string of BBC management posts in the 1960s.




The House That Rick & Russell Built

Excerpt from

(June 15, 2005) *This August, Ballantine Books will publish “Def Jam, Inc.,” the never-before-told story of Def Jam Records and its roster of famous performers, featuring interviews with more than 70 Def Jam artists and employees – including founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. Written by Stacy Gueraseva, “Def Jam, Inc.” traces the company's rise from the NYU dorm room of 19-year-old Rubin, where LL Cool J’s demo tape was heard for the first time. The book also chronicles the label’s financial struggles and scandals – including the Beastie Boys' departure from the label and the eventual parting of Rubin and Simmons – to revealing anecdotes about artists such as Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Foxy Brown, Jay Z, and DMX. The former editor-in-chief of Simmons's magazine, Oneworld, Gueraseva offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the company – and decade – that cemented a new level of hip hop.  The hardcover will be released on August 2.






Don't Abuse Cardio

By Michael Stefano, eFitness Guest Columnist

(June 13, 2005) Whenever I discuss this issue, I'm reminded of Mary, the overweight aerobics instructor. She led four or five, foot thumping, heart pounding classes every day, and her students could barely keep up.

So why is Mary fat?

For most of us, cardiovascular, or aerobic exercise, usually has one main goal: elevate heart and breathing to a level where fat is burned as the body's primary fuel, and at the fastest possible rate. To this end, it's a smart idea to incorporate at least a moderate amount of cardio into your weekly workout regimen.  But it's not the actual activity (jogging, swimming, stepping) where most of the benefits are gleamed. As a matter of fact, jogging for a half an hour barely burns off one doughnut.

Define Aerobic Exercise

When you exercise aerobically, you train your muscle cells to burn fat all day, every day. The production of certain fat-burning enzymes is greatly enhanced, thereby expanding the benefits of aerobic exercise to 24 hours a day. Again I ask, "Why is Mary fat?"  Let's look at what it means to "train aerobically." In other words, what defines aerobic exercise, and compare it to what Mary is putting her body through.  Exercise physiologists measure cardiovascular exercise with heart rate. Numerous formulas exist for calculating your optimum fat-burning heart-rate zone. But, for the purposes of this article, we'll call it 60 to 80 percent of maximum heart rate capacity.  Maximum heart rate also needs to be defined, as it differs with every individual. For the sake of safety, apply the formula of (220 minus age) to determine your estimated heart rate max.

(220 - 40 = 180)

Forty-year-old Mary has an estimated max heart rate of 180 beats per minute. With a few simple calculations we determine Mary's fat burning zone to be between 108 (60 percent) and 144 (80 percent) beats per minute.  Every day, Mary leads her loyal students, but her heart rate never breaks 95. For Mary, the classes cease to be an aerobic event.  Sure she's burning some extra calories at the moment, but we've already determined that the greatest impact on weight loss is achieved through the ability of the body to adapt to these repeated cardiovascular demands and increase its capacity to use fat as fuel.  The same situation befalls many faithful proponents of cardio. An initial weight loss of a few pounds barely seems worth the countless hours spent on the treadmill or exercise bike. It's obvious that an adjustment needs to be made with this approach.

Short and Sweat

Keep it short and keep sweating. A moderate amount of cardio (as low as 15 to 25 minutes), performed anywhere from two to five times per week, and at the correct heart rate, will prevent any cardio routine from becoming a stroll in the park.  The reduction in time and energy expended enables you to devote some extra effort to your resistance training. A moderate amount of resistance, or strength training, when married up with your cardio program will greatly enhance the overall effectiveness and impact on your body.

Short Circuit Your Workout

Circuit training delivers the benefits of both cardiovascular and resistance training in one workout. By simply sequencing exercises with a short rest between sets (one minute or less), as well as priming the pump with five or 10 minutes of traditional cardio (a quick warm-up stint on the stationary bike or treadmill works nicely), you can get a two-for-one effect.  Doing so will add some lean muscle mass, increase overall metabolism, and change the shape of your body, not just burn fat.

Remember, traditional cardiovascular exercise needs to remain challenging to sustain its effect. Measuring heart rate is one way of ensuring adequate intensity exists, and exercise continues to be effective. Also be sure to combine your aerobic exercise with some strength training, the true leader in full body conditioning. Circuit training, a great time and energy saver, is the perfect combination of both modes of exercise.




EVENTS –JUNE 16 - 26, 2005




The Orbit Room
College Street
10:30 pm 
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Wade O. Brown, Shamakah Ali, Rich Brown, Adrian Eccleston, David Williams.




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




SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2005
Show Time Live & Nu-Urban Soul presents
Down One Lounge
49 Front St. East (between Yonge and Church)
Doors open at 8:30 pm
Cover: $10.00 at the door
Or go to for $5.00 guest list

EVENT PROFILE:  We all know that America has produced some great talent … now let’s see what Toronto has to offer when it comes to LIVE music!  A weekly live music showcase featuring Toronto’s finest urban performers each and every Sunday!  This weekend it’s Toronto’s soul daughter Alana Bridgewater and special guests Dave Mathews and John Campbell.  Want to get away from all the crowds from the MMVAs?  We’re just enough south that you won’t have a problem with the FREE parking and you’re guaranteed a quality show.  Spend some time with the men and women of the Nu-Urban-Soul this Father’s Day.  It’s an early night of fun each and every Sunday.  Doors open at 8:30 pm. Hosted by Keyth, Music by DJ Nigel ‘B’.  Drink Specials all night.  This event is brought to you by Carl Lyte, Keyth Williams.




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. 




Indian Motorcycle
  King Street (at Peter)  
10:00 pm  
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring host Chris Rouse, Calvin Beale, Joel Joseph and Shamakah Ali with various local artists. 




The Orbit Room
College Street
10:30 pm 
EVENT PROFILE: Featuring Wade O. Brown, Shamakah Ali, Rich Brown, Adrian Eccleston, David Williams.




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




Have a great week!  

Dawn Langfield   
Langfield Entertainment