Langfield Entertainment
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Updated:  September 8, 2005

Happy Fall!  OK, there are some wild events coming up – one that you’ve been peeping for a few weeks now – the fundraiser for Sickle Cell – support a great cause with a great show and talent!  Now, a new kinda show hits the scene with Jazz by Genre with their launch that features the incomparable Roy Ayers and many other guests – go out and support this new and important concept!  Now, we’ve all heard about the disaster that Hurricane Katrina left in her wake – go out and lend your admission price to support the needy victims of this natural disaster with the Lester McLean TrioAlso, lots of other Katrina coverage below. 

There's some hot scoop too below with the release of the spiritually-lyrical CeCe Winans' Purified from Sony/BMG.  Also, some crazy good news for comedian Russell Peters, soon to hit our TV screens!

Hey, did you know that this email is linked to my website?  You could help me out in continuing to get more hits by clicking on any of the titles listed below, which will take you to my site.  Or, to see the full newsletter will all the graphics that still allows you to scroll, click HERE.  Just alternatives that will help drive up my hits on my site that will impress my already impressive client list!  I’m always surprised by those people that do not know that my email is just an excerpt from my personally designed (albeit simple) so take advance of the full Langfield Entertainment experience! 

This week there's a lot of Canadian news is all categories so check it out - 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 EVENTS






The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario Benefit Concert – September 11, 2005

The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario invites you to A Royal Tea & Benefit Concert featuring World Renowned Entertainer and Pianist Linda Gentille on September 11, 2005 at Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel.  Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition that can be life threatening. It causes chronic pain and swelling in the joints, fever and respiratory infections. There is no cure for sickle cell anemia – but there is hope through research.  The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario is a voluntary, nonprofit, charitable organization which is funded by donations from individuals, organizations and employee charitable funds.

Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel
36 King Street East
Tickets:  $65
Table of 10:  $650
For More Information, Please Contact SCAO:




Legendary Jazz/Funk Artist Roy Ayers Launches Toronto’s Hottest Jazz Series - Jazz By Genre

“Timely,” “progressive” and “cutting-edge” are just a few of the words that have been used to describe Toronto’s latest innovation – a new concept in jazz called Jazz by Genre.  Designed as a concert series, Jazz by Genre epitomizes a new thrust and direction in jazz music, forging a new path and connection with audiences who have been at times left out of the jazz loop. Produced by the Nu Jazz Society, the format of Jazz by Genre is a natural and progressive extension of traditional jazz programming. Its alignment with the various genres (e.g. R ‘n B, Soca, Latin, Brazilian, Classic, Swing), will begin with a focus on the contemporary dance club experience to drive entirely fresh, engaging and unexpected musical expressions such as ‘breakjazz.’ With that said, Jazz by Genre brings renowned jazz musician and producer, Roy Ayers to Toronto to launch its first in a series of concerts. On September 22nd, at the Guvernment, witness history in the making as DJs Jason Palma and Startin’ from Scratch are fully integrated with the band KUSH as live “musicians” playing a blend of funk, soul, Brazilian, house, hiphop, & R ‘n B breakjazz with their turntables positioned as the live jazz “instruments”. Breakjazz is a newly-defined form of jazz created by combining an acoustic jazz band with one or more DJs and/or turntablists, who add electronic elements to the performance (e.g. scratching, loops, vocals from a CD, vinyl record or other electronic source).

JAZZ BY GENRE featuring Roy Ayers
With Opening Act Kush
The Guvernment
132 Queen’s Quay E.
7:30 p.m.
TICKETS:  $37-MEMBERS*; $45-REGULAR; $55-VIP: Hors D’oeuvres & Drink Ticket

Opener KUSH featuring Etric Lyons, Eddie Bullen, Robert Sibony, and Nick “Brownman” Ali playing Soul/Funk/House/Hip Hop/R&B “Breakjazz” with DJ Jason Palma and DJ Startin from Scratch playing as guest performers in the band.  Spoken-word artists Al St. Louis and Anne-Marie Woods (aka Amani)
In addition to our official launch event, Jazz by Genre will host a pre-launch party at club Revival on September 21st. On this night of classic soul jazz we will pay tribute and make an honorary presentation to Salome Bey for her outstanding contribution to Canadian jazz over the last 40 years. Performing will be hard-bop band Kollage and five-octave range singer Liberty Silver.

783 College St. (at Shaw Avenue)
Tickets:  $15
$55 dinner packages are available.

Tickets for both events available at TICKETMASTER.CA or Play De Record




Benefit for Katrina Victims

It's been a difficult few days seeing countless images of death, destruction, and despair in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. There are many questions being raised about what was done before the storm and what was done in the aftermath. Regardless of the political questions concerning the relief effort, the fact remains that there is a tremendous need for help for the residents of this community that now lies in ruins.  On Sunday Sept 18, I invite you to a special Lester McLean Trio performance at Advent Lutheran Church with all proceeds benefiting the victims of this tremendous disaster. We are asking for a $10.00 donation with all proceeds going to Katrina victims. I promise you that you will enjoy an afternoon of great music and fellowship while doing something to help in this time of need.   Please feel free to forward this whomever you like.  The Lester McLean Trio is: Lester McLean - Vocals, Saxes, Guitar; Michael Occhipinti - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals; Louis Simao - Upright Bass, Accordion, Vocals

Benefit for Katrina Victims
Advent Lutheran Church

2800 Don Mills, Don Mills and Sheppard
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
$10.00 (All proceeds to flood victims)







Motivational Note:  You may be a very task oriented person

Excerpt from - by Motivational Speaker and Author, Jewel Diamond Taylor;

You may focus your energy and time in such a way that no one or no thing can distract you. However, there are some who are easily distracted and crushed by the people around them. If you know you are the type of person who allows other people to push your buttons, take back the remote control. If the opinions, judgments and rejections from people in your life are draining you emotionally, take back the remote control. Take back your power and realize you...and you alone are responsible for your peace of mind and happiness. Choose new healthy ways to respond when people try to trigger your emotions with their misguided anger, manipulation, jealousy, resentment and criticism. Strengthen your self-esteem, self-worth, faith and self-control and self-respect. by Motivational Speaker and Author, Jewel Diamond Taylor e-mail -







CeCe Winans Releases Purified

Source:  Sony/BMG Music Canada

Six-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans returns with the release of her seventh solo album, Purified. Blessed with a musical gift, CeCe continues to touch the hearts, souls and spirits of listeners utilizing her voice as an instrument of encouragement. With Purified, she combines the transformative power of gospel music with heart-stopping pop, street-smart R&B and infectious dancefloor rhythms to create her most compelling set of songs to date. Truly inspired in every sense of the word, Purified is a celebration of the heart, the soul and the spirit.




Russell Peters Signs Deal with Warner Bros.

Congratulations to Toronto’s own Russell Peters who signed a deal last week with Warner Bros. to star in his own comedy which will be filmed in Los Angeles!!  Another Canadian doing their thing globally. 

Below is background on Russell from

In his native Canada, this thirty-something, Gemini Award-winning stand-up comedian is a bonafide star. With South Asian roots, Russell explores attitudes towards race (his and others) in a way that is fresh, engaging and downright hilarious. Russell combines his bright observations with a deeply likeable, youthful, hip-hop stage persona and an attitude that is uptempo and cheeky. Comedically speaking, he's an international spokesperson on clashing cultures.

Russell has been nominated for 4 Gemini Awards (Canada’s answer to the Emmy Awards). Most recently, he was nominated at the Canadian Comedy Awards for Best Male Comic. He has been featured repeatedly at Montreal’s prestigious "Just For Laughs" Comedy Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, the Edinburgh (Scotland) Comedy Festival, and a host of others across the globe. His television appearances include CBC-TV’s "COMICS!," "CLUB CLASS" on Channel 5 (UK) and two one-hour “COMEDY NOW” specials on The Comedy Network in Canada (also aired on Comedy Central in the U.S.A.). His Comedy Now performances remain one of The Comedy Network’s most popular and requested shows of all time. He has also hosted a 13-part television series on BBC-TV (UK) and performed on the David Frost Comedy Festival Special, broadcast on both the BBC and the CBC.

On tour, Russell Peters is one of the hardest working comedians around. Russell tours extensively and tirelessly across Canada and the United States, playing not only comedy clubs like Yuk Yuk's or The Improv, but universities and concert theatres. He has toured throughout Britain, Scotland, Ireland, as well as in places like Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Sweden, Holland, South Africa, Dubia and most points in between. He has also performed a sold-out tour of South Africa and was featured on the Just For Laughs Singapore Tour, to name a few.

Future projects include live DVD and CD releases, and many, many more concert appearances around the world.







Trip Turns Sour For Toronto Women

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Tabassum Siddiqui, Staff Reporter

(Sep. 2, 2005) What was supposed to be a fun-filled "girls' trip" quickly turned sour for two Toronto friends in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.  Robin Raxlin, 29, and Anna Skrip, 27, both caseworkers with the City of Toronto's social services department, managed to make their way back home Tuesday after spending a nerve-wracking weekend holed up in a New Orleans hotel ballroom as the storm raged outside.  Food was running out, there was no water, and the hotel manager had sternly warned the 400 guests stranded by the hurricane that they were not to leave the confines of the room.  Raxlin and Skrip had flown to New Orleans from Buffalo last Thursday for a four-day vacation, and spent two days taking in the city's famed sights and nightlife before hearing the first rumblings about the approaching storm.  "We understand that it's hurricane season, but we had no notification, and it wasn't something we were thinking about," Raxlin said in an interview.  "Saturday was when it all started going to hell. They had already cancelled all the flights out, the rental cars were gone, there were no buses or trains — the city was already shutting down," she said.  The pair quickly realized there was no getting out of the city, so they headed back to their hotel in the French Quarter, where they were told it was unsafe due to rising water levels. They were moved to a downtown hotel, where they and hundreds of other guests spent much of Sunday and Monday shut in a second-floor ballroom.  "Once we got there we were basically in lockdown. They fed us one meal, but after that, food was becoming scarce. There was no water, and the doors were closed. I'm very claustrophobic, so I had to get out at some point, but the manager addressed everyone and said, `People have already died — if you leave this room, you are going to die,'" Raxlin said.  Some guests managed to call friends and relatives for updates on the hurricane, Raxlin said. Skrip was able to call her brother in Toronto a few times before her cell phone battery died.

"We called it the `hurricane room.' Some people were getting rumours, bits of reports ... The most dreadful part was when someone heard that the Superdome's roof had been blown off, and I'm thinking, `Our building couldn't withstand that.' But you couldn't let that cross your mind — you had to focus your energy on staying alive," Skrip said.  Monday evening, following the worst of the storm, guests were allowed to return to their rooms. Raxlin and Skrip slept for the first time in two days, but were awoken by a knock on the door early Tuesday morning.  "A Fox News reporter told us that the water levels were rising, and we had to leave now. I'm telling you, if this man did not come and tell us this information, we would still be in New Orleans today," Raxlin said.  Raxlin and Skrip arrived in the hotel lobby to find "absolute pandemonium," as frantic guests tried to find a way to leave. But with no taxis and few vehicles in the area, there seemed to be no way out.  Luckily, a hotel worker the women had befriended was able to point them to a family that was driving towards the airport.  "It was a family of seven. This green van pulls up, about a thousand years old, with all of the windows blown out because of the hurricane. There was broken glass everywhere, but they just looked at us, took our bags, threw them in the back and they drove us to Baton Rouge airport," Raxlin said.  Once at the airport, Raxlin and Skrip's good fortune continued. Though the airline they had originally booked with would not honour their cancelled tickets, a kind clerk at a Northwest Airlines counter took pity on the exhausted pair and booked them two tickets home for free.  Once safely on the ground, Raxlin and Skrip were met by anxious friends and family.  "Anna and I just ran to them and cried, cried, cried. When we got on that Memphis to Toronto flight, we just cried all the way. The stewardess just looked at us and said, `It's okay, girls. You're God's children,' and she wrote this little psalm for us.  "These people are just caring people, and they have such big hearts. They know the meaning of life and human kindness. When that city is ready to rise up again, I'll be the first one there. These people saved my life," Raxlin said tearfully.

100 Stranded, Ottawa Says

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Tabassum Siddiqui, Staff Reporter

(Sep. 3, 2005) Canadian officials are doing all they can to help more than 100 Canadians who are stranded in the United States after Hurricane Katrina, but progress is slow, Liberal MP Dan McTeague said yesterday.  "We will leave no stone unturned in getting Canadians out of harm's way," McTeague, the parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, told reporters in Toronto. "Help is on its way."  The Canadian Armed Forces is sending four ships, three Sea King helicopters and a Hercules transport plane to help with relief and reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast.  The Hercules will leave from CFB Trenton this afternoon, carrying 27 Red Cross personnel to Houston.  Three Canadian ships and a Coast Guard vessel are being loaded with supplies and 1,000 helpers. Those ships will link up with an American amphibious group sailing out of Norfolk, Va., to offer relief.  An Air Canada Airbus A-321 carrying bottled water and relief supplies left Toronto yesterday bound for New Orleans.  Air Canada and other airlines will operate shuttle flights on a continuous basis over the next several days to help move about 25,000 stranded people to the safety of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex.  Foreign Affairs Department officials have identified 71 Canadians in Louisiana and another 32 in Mississippi. They include 15 Canadians believed to be stuck in New Orleans.  No Canadians have died as a result of the hurricane, but one has sustained minor injuries and nine are unaccounted for.  Members of a Canadian search and rescue team described a scene of widespread chaos and death after their first day on the job east of New Orleans.  "It's absolute pandemonium," Tim Armstrong, leader of the Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue team, wrote on their website yesterday. "The death toll is rising dramatically."  The team of about 40 doctors, paramedics, search and rescue specialists and structural engineers have four inflatable boats they will use to search for people who need help. The team is being protected by Louisiana troopers.  "Canadian consular officials in the U.S. will set up temporary offices in Texas and Louisiana in addition to the consulates in Dallas and Houston.

files from Daniel Girard and Star wires

Chuck D Writes “Katrina” Song

Excerpt from - By Remmie Fresh

(Sept. 5, 2005) Public Enemy front man Chuck D has written a new song addressing the natural disaster in New Orleans, Alabama, Mississippi and the issues that surround the region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. In “Hell No We Ain’t Alright,” Chuck D sends a barbed message to government officials, the media, the military and even the Hip-Hop nation. The lyrics for the song were written on Sept. 2, the same day Kanye West rapped the treatment of African Americans suffering in the catastrophe live on the NBC television network. The rapper reportedly recorded the track over Labour Day weekend and is expected to distribute it shortly. Chuck D and Public Enemy have been long running activists in the rap community. Below are the lyrics to “Hell No We Ain’t Alright,” as written by Chuck D.

“Hell No We Ain’t Alright”

New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright

Now all these press conferences breaking news alerts

This just in while your government looks for a war to win
Flames from the blame game, names? Where do I begin?
Walls closing in get some help to my kin
Who cares? While the rest of the Bushnation stares

As the drama unfolds as we the people under the stairs
50% of this Son of a Bush nation
Is like hatin’ on Haiti

And setting up assassinations
Ask Pat Robertson- quiz him.... smells like terrorism.

Racism in the news/ still one-sided news
Saying whites find food/
prey for the national guard ready to shoot
‘Cause them blacks loot

New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright

Fires, earthquakes, tsunamis
I don’t mean to scare/ Wasn’t this written somewhere?
Disgraces all I see is black faces moved out to all these places
Emergency state, corpses, alligators and snakes
Big difference between this haze and them diamonds on the VMA’s

We better look/ what’s really important
Under this sun especially if you over 21

This ain’t no TV show/ this ain’t no video
This is really real/ beyond them same ole “keep it real”

Quotes from them TV stars drivin’ big rim cars
'Streets be floodin,’ B/ no matter where you at, no gas
Driving is a luxury
State of emergency
Shows somebody’s government
Is far from reality....

New Orleans in the morning, afternoon, and night
Hell No We Ain’t Alright

I see here we be the new faces of refugees
Who ain’t even overseas but here on our knees

Forget the plasma TV-ain’t no electricity
New worlds upside down-and out of order
Shelter? Food? Wasssup, wheres the water?

No answers from disaster/ them masses hurtin’
So who the f**k we call?--Halliburton?

Son of a Bush, how you gonna trust that cat?
To fix s**t when help is stuck in Iraq?

Making war plans takin’ more stands
In Afghanistan 2000 soldiers dyin’ in the sand

But that’s over there, right?
Now what's over here is a noise so loud
That some can’t hear but on TV I can see
Bunches of people lookin’ just like me…

Katrina Relief Benefit Calendar

Excerpt from

S.O.S (Saving Ourselves):  The BET Relief Telethon

*BET is bringing together stars of music and entertainment in alliance with the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Essence Communications and major recording labels for a primetime telethon from 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. (ET/PT). The event will be preceded with a special benefit episode of 106 & PARK:  BET’S TOP 10 LIVE at 6 p.m. ET. (It will be tape-delayed to the West Coast; toll-free pledge phone lines will be open).  The telethon will feature a roster of superstar artists, many with ties to the affected areas, including Wynton Marsalis, Master P, David Banner, Juvenile, Baby and Lil Wayne (Cash Money) along with Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons, Alicia Keys, Diddy, Jay Z, Kanye West, Island Def Jam Music Group Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Common, Usher, Nick Cannon, Omarion, Pharrell Williams, Ciara, Ludacris, Keyshia Cole, Avant, Gerald Levert, Lyfe, Twista, Stevie Wonder, Brandy, Wyclef, Erykah Badu, Al and Star Jones Reynolds, Chris Rock  and more. 

Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast

*ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB and UPN will join forces next week for the Sept. 9 primetime special, “Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast,” to raise funds for those impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.  The one-hour commercial-free program begins at 8 p.m. and will salute the brave citizens in the affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and pay tribute to the rescue personnel guiding relief efforts in the region. The show will be broadcast live from locations in New York City and Los Angeles to the Eastern and Central time zones and tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.  It will also be made available to other broadcast networks, cable networks, radio stations and broadband Internet providers.

48 Hour Jazz-A-Thon in Los Angeles

*Former New Orleans resident Sandra Booker is hosting a two-day Jazz-A-Thon at Cabrini’s Jazz Alley in Los Angeles from 5 p.m. Friday (Sept 9) to 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept 11). Proceeds will benefit the Rebuild New Orleans fund. A donation of $25.00 is suggested. Donations may also be sent directly to Cabrini's Jazz Alley at 5664 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90036. Make checks payable t Rebuild New Orleans. Please put your return address so that we can send you a tax deductible letter.


ReAct Now: Music & Relief

*MTV and its sister networks VH1 and CMT will simulcast a live hurricane-relief special from 8 to 11 p.m. ET/PT featuring a mix of live and taped performances and messages from more than 30 artists, including Kanye West, Ludacris, Usher and Alicia Keys. Several artists with ties to the Louisiana and Mississippi area, including David Banner, Trent Reznor, 3 Doors Down, Cash Money's Baby and Lil' Wayne, the Neville Brothers, Marc Broussard and the Radiators, will also participate, along with previously announced artists Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Gretchen Wilson and John Mellencamp.  The show will be broadcast from New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Atlanta, with funds going toward the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and America's Second Harvest. In addition to MTV, VH1 and CMT, the special will air on MTV2, mtvU, VH1 Classic, plus MTV Overdrive and VSpot, the broadband video networks. MTV News will also air a special on the hurricane relief efforts on Saturday and feature news correspondents Gideon Yago, Sway Calloway, and SuChin Pak filing from the hardest hit areas. mtvU also announced that it will be partnering with its nearly seven million college students, national fraternities and sororities, other student organizations and Urban Outfitters to mobilize clothing drives, donations and volunteer relief efforts. mtvU will also continue to broadcast special features from the universities most affected by the hurricane, and will highlight the relief work of the thousands of college students who have been displaced and cannot return to their schools.


Dave Matthews Band Benefit Concert

* The Dave Matthews Band, which has played at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, have added a fourth, Sept. 12th show to their upcoming three-night stand at Colorado's famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre to serve as a benefit for hurricane relief charities. "We're just getting in line behind those people, getting in line a long way behind the Red Cross or National Guard, but we all have to do a little bit," Matthews told The Associated Press.


Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert

*Jazz at Lincoln Center today announced plans to produce the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert, to be held at 7 p.m. at Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall on Broadway at 60th Street in New York City. Bill Cosby will host the concert featuring guests Wynton Marsalis Peter Cincotti, Elvis Costello, Paquito D'Rivera, Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Jon Hendricks and more tba. XM Satellite Radio will carry this concert live on their network from coast to coast on channel 70, the Real Jazz channel. Higher Ground will also be broadcast live via radio partner WBGO Jazz88.3FM in the New York City area and offered nationally and internationally via National Public Radio and its 807 member stations in the US, NPR Worldwide, and streamed live on, and The event will be recorded by Jazz at Lincoln Center and a CD will be produced and released by Blue Note Records with all profits going to relief funds. Concert tickets will be available beginning on September 8th at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway at 60th St., by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or via CenterCharge service fees will be donated to hurricane relief efforts. Ticket prices are $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000, $10,000.


Country Reaches Out: An Opry Benefit for the American Red Cross

*Great American Country (GAC) and the Grand Ole Opry have will present "Country Reaches Out: An Opry Benefit for the American Red Cross" to be broadcast  live and commercial-free from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House on GAC. Performers include Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, Marty Stuart, Craig Morgan, Julie Roberts and Billy Currington. Additionally, the event will be simulcast on the DIY Network and Fine Living channels on television, the Opry's long-time terrestrial radio home WSM-AM, Sirius Satellite Radio and Beyond the benefit show, the Grand Ole Opry and GAC are planning to host an online auction of country music memorabilia at and  

Steven Ivory: Fuck You

Excerpt from - By Steven Ivory

(Sept. 6, 2005) This is basically how George W. Bush has responded over and again during his tenure as President of the United States.  This was his placid retort when questioned about the funky accounting of votes in Florida during the Presidential election.  It is what he muttered while cutting health care and education budgets; what he spat when queried on 9/11, Iraq's infamous weapons of mass destruction and his unceremonious reply when Cindy Sheehan asked him to explain the "noble" cause her son died for in Iraq.  Perversely, the Bush Administration flouts any opportunity to illustrate a semblance of ingenuity or compassion where the common man is regarded.  Accordingly, Mr. Bush initially responded to Hurricane Katrina victims, most of whom are poor and of color, with the usual indifference we've come to expect from him in these matters but still just can't get used to.   None of the excuses make sense. We know that many people couldn't leave the area, but for the sake of argument, let's say they simply wouldn’t.  Is this reason not to urgently come to their aid?  Even if FEMA Director Michael Brown was truly ignorant to the scope of tragedy unfolding on the Gulf Coast, as he insisted to "Nightline"'s Ted Koppel, he had to have seen it on TV; the rest of the world did. How could the American government not get into these areas? The media did. Meanwhile, Americans of every color, cultural and economic background, horrified by the grim images that escaped Brown, immediately mobilized, collecting funds, clothing and food and awaited the government's instruction on getting it to stricken areas.  Firing upon the very helicopters bringing you aid is sheer lunacy.  However, machine gun fire, rockets, surface-to-air missiles--none of it deters the U.S. from landing anywhere else in the world. 

Truth is, if there were resources to be poached, Mr. Bush and cronies would have stormed New Orleans with a fury that would make Katrina resemble a summer shower.  Taking the Gulf Coast should have been comparatively easy--with western religion and supposedly, democracy already in place, the people only need food, water, clothing and shelter.  However, there is another reason rescue efforts lagged: Despite its claims, this administration doesn't appear emergency-prepared. Think terrorist attack, look at the government's shambolic response to Hurricane Katrina and then be afraid. Very afraid.  During his perfunctory ground tour of the disaster area, Mr. Bush never ventured into Downtown Hell, where starving people sat for days among garbage, feces and stiff carcasses.  Too dangerous.  At least Bush and Hell's inhabitants could agree on one thing.  At this time I offer sincere apologies to American whites and vacationing foreigners  who are innocent victims in the Administration's systematic nonchalance regarding  the black and poor.  Of course, if you're white and poor, then perhaps you understand. My heart particularly goes out to those who don't comprehend--such as the two irate poor white hurricane victims interviewed on TV who sought to set themselves apart with words like "animals" and "they (blacks) think it's Mardi Gras."   What part of "poor" don't these people understand:  Mr. Bush doesn't care about you, either.   In times of national crisis, somehow race always creeps into the picture, and this perverted portrait is no different. Across America, there are at least three conversations--the one blacks and whites have with one another; the one whites have with other whites and the one blacks have among themselves.  Sometimes the conversation is the same.  Hurricane Katrina violently tore open bandages that masked a terrible national cancer that many Americans of all hues dared think had actually made progress in healing.  The prevailing diagnosis: Under Bush's reign, people of color, the poor and the peace-loving are on their own.  The national dialogue, the finger pointing, fantastical alibis, the gas prices that have the aura of a car-jacking--eerily, it all feels like page one of an ominous new chapter in American history. To which Mr. Bush's response will undoubtedly be the same as always.   Steven Ivory's book, FOOL IN LOVE (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) is in stores now or at ( Respond to him via STEVRIVORY@AOL.COM or 

Operation SOS -- 'We Are Our Brother's Keeper'

Excerpt from

(Sept. 3, 2005)   *In an effort borne out of need to "help our own," because of governmental incompetence, several black media companies and black churches have banded together to create "Operation SOS: We Are Our Brother’s Keeper." The collective's mission is to jump in immediately and help save our brothers and sisters, the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The effort is being spearheaded by Blackmon Entertainment Media, Rabercom Enterprises (EURweb); Black Radio Exclusive Magazine; J /Arista Records; Southwest Community Baptist Church, Houston Texas and New Green Grove Community Baptist Church, Greenwood MS. You too can help.  Operation SOS needs volunteers, and cash, ASAP! Until an online merchant account is set up, you can send your donation t New Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church Hurricane Relief Fund PO Box 714 Greenwood MS 38935. For more information, contact Bishop Milton Glass at 662-458-2918.

Phase One
Currently a bus convoy is being put together, spearheaded by Bishop Milton Glass, pastor of the New Green Grove Community Church, Greenwood, MS. where all available buses, vans, motor homes and trucks, are being assembled, to make revolving trips into the disaster zone and retrieving affected citizens to one of the 10-15, evacuation centers, now set up in the city of Greenwood. Currently they need money, blankets, baby formula, toiletries, refrigerated trucks, pampers, antibiotics, and doctors and nurses ... all medical professionals.

Phase Two
Create a small tent/motor homes communities, on the highways in New Orleans and other affected area. Staff them with doctors, food water, baby products, security (for those who have made it to the highway.  (Medial Centers) porta-pottys, etc. There are over 1000 men women children and babies currently living on the I-10 Freeway, heading towards Mississippi. Ext 235, right above the Convention Center.  Commercial transports such as busses, cars, vans, ... even school and church busses needed for pick up.

Phase Three
Southwest Community Church
in Houston Texas is set to establish evacuation centers. They need donations ... money, doctors, nurses, volunteers, antibiotics, toiletries, heart medication, diabetes medication. Send donations to Pastor Greg Patrick, Southwest Community Baptist Church, Hurricane Fund, 14880 Bellaire Blvd. Houston TX 77083. Phone 281-983-5683.

DR Ed Montgomery, of the Abundant Life Cathedral of Houston Texas also needs help. Cash donations are needed. He is also coordinating evacuation centers in Houston as well via the Gospel Community Hurricane Relief Effort. Call 281-893-8200,  or Edna & Bruce Sims at 310-827-9727 or email: For additional info contact Blackmon Entertainment Media: 818-349-0364 or email:

BET, Black Leaders, Celebs To Aid Katrina Victims

Excerpt from

(Sept. 3, 2005)   *Black Entertainment Television will air a two-part four-hour telethon next Friday to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which has decimated the Gulf region and left thousands dead, more than a million people without power, thousands of stranded victims without food and water, and the submerged city of New Orleans in complete and total chaos.  BET will partner with the National Urban League and the American Red Cross for a telethon to be held from 7:30 to 10 p.m. ET on Sept. 9 featuring Wynton Marsalis, hip-hop entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and Percy "Master P" Miller, Warner Music Group executive Kevin Liles, Chris Rock, David Banner, Juvenile and the chairman and founder of Essence Communications, Ed Lewis. A special benefit episode of “106 & Park: BET’S Top 10 Live” will precede the telethon at 6 p.m. ET.   Marc Morial, the president and chief executive officer of the Urban League and  former mayor of New Orleans, tells Forbes magazine that their quick response is due in part to the close ties many of the leaders have to New Orleans. Marsalis and Master P are natives of the Big Easy, while Lewis has close ties to the area because his company stages the Essence Music Festival in the city each year. Morial says he contacted BET about staging a relief effort after receiving a large amount of phone calls from people asking what they could do to help.  By the time he reached out to the network’s CEO, Debra Lee, she had already been in contact with BET’s founder and outgoing chief executive Robert Johnson about organizing a fundraiser.  "We need to do something," Johnson told Lee. Many of the victims of the storm are poor and black, Michele Moore, a spokeswoman at The Urban League noted to Forbes, adding that everyone involved in the effort felt it was their obligation to provide leadership. "We think the response will just keep growing," she said. 

*Meanwhile, syndicated morning radio host Tom Joyner on Thursday announced the creation of the Relief Fund, formed in association with his online community, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and parent company REACH Media to assist people who are helping those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. "Hurricane Katrina hit the heart and soul of Black America," says Joyner. "This is our Tsunami and we want to take care of those people who now may have family or friends who are going to be in their homes for an extended period of time. We know it's hard and we want to make it a little easier on everybody."  The Relief Fund will accept donations in the form of gift cards to support families who are housing those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Fund will support individual families who have opened their homes to displaced families and loved ones to supplement their households as relief efforts continue.  Taking a grassroots approach, the relief fund will partner with local churches throughout affected regions.  The Tom Joyner Morning Show has suspended the popular "TJMS Cash Call" contest and will donate the contest money directly to relief efforts. This action alone donates more than $75,000 to the fund. Motivational speaker and personality, Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner Morning Show personalities Sybil Wilkes and J Anthony Brown have each pledged $1,000.  For those in need of assistance, Relief Fund assistance request form can be downloaded at All relief requests must be submitted by the church or partner organization administrator.

Louisiana Filmmaking Takes Hit

Source: Associated Press - Gary Gentile

(Sep. 2, 2005) LOS ANGELES—Hurricane Katrina already has forced some Hollywood productions to film elsewhere, and its devastation has decimated the progress Louisiana was making in luring filmmakers to the state with generous tax incentives.  "Louisiana had been on a roll, but they literally came to a crashing halt," said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. "New Orleans is not going to be a good location for filming, probably for several years."  The cast and crew of the Warner Bros. film The Reaping, including its star Hilary Swank, were evacuated by plane from Baton Rouge before the storm made landfall. The film is set to resume production early next week, the studio said.  The future of two films set to start shooting in New Orleans in the next two months is less certain.  Walt Disney Studios is still hopeful that the Jerry Bruckheimer film Deja Vu, and The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner, can shoot in the city. Deja Vu was scheduled to start filming in November. The Guardian, scheduled to start production next month, has been delayed.  "At this point, it's too early to tell," said studio spokesperson Heidi TrottaKatrina has indefinitely delayed filming for a new cable TV series that was set to start airing next spring. Thief, a one-hour drama starring André Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street) and set in New Orleans, was to be shot in the city.  The pilot was done a year ago, and production on the first season's five additional episodes was scheduled to begin Sept. 28.

"We're on hold," FX cable network spokesperson John Solberg said yesterday.  Louisiana's tax incentives took effect in July 2002 and offered a 15 per cent tax credit on the cost of productions valued at $8 million or more (all figures U.S.). The tax credits were expanded to cover construction of infrastructure like proposed studios.  The success of Louisiana tax incentives is one of the factors working against Toronto's campaign to maintain film and TV production in "Hollywood North."  Since the incentives have been available, numerous films have been shot in the state, including Ray, The Skeleton Key and The Dukes of Hazzard.  In 2004, the state racked up an estimated $377 million in film production.  Earlier this month, Sunset-Gower Studios announced plans to build a $20 million studio on the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans to accommodate film and TV production. Plans include an outdoor movie set designed to look like the French Quarter.  It's unclear if those plans will be placed on hold or even scrapped in Katrina's wake. The studio did not immediately return a call for comment and Louisiana film commission representatives could not be reached.  But despite the destruction, some think the movie industry eventually will return.  "The film industry is one of the most resilient industries ever," said Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. "I would think Hollywood will come back. In the meantime, I would hope the film industry would be helpful and supportive to the people of Louisiana given how supportive Louisiana has been to the film industry and I think they will be."  Already, several entertainment companies have announced plans to donate money and supplies to the relief effort. The Walt Disney Co. said it will donate $2.5 million. And TV networks plan a series of fundraising telethons.

R&B Legend Fats Domino Rescued In New Orleans

Source: Associated Press

(Sep. 1, 2005) NEW YORK (AP) - Fats Domino apparently rode out the hurricane in his New Orleans home and was rescued by boat from his flooded neighbourhood, his daughter Karen Domino White said today.  The 77-year-old R&B legend had been reported missing Thursday by his long-time agent, Al Embry, and his niece, Checquoline DavisWhite said late Thursday that she saw a photograph of her father that had been taken Monday by the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The photo showed Domino, whose real name is Antoine Domino, in jeans and a blue-striped shirt being helped off a boat by rescuers.  "We're very relieved," White said in a telephone interview.  White said she has been unable to speak to Domino and had no information on his wife, Rosemary, or any other family members in the flooded city.  Domino, who has rarely appeared in public in recent years, has a home in the 9th ward, a low-lying area of the flooded city. On Sunday night, Embry said he spoke over the phone to Domino, who told him that he planned to remain in New Orleans despite the order to evacuate.  Getting information on possible missing persons has been nearly impossible as phone lines for hospitals and police haven't been working.  Domino has sold more than 110 million records in his long career, including the legendary singles Blueberry Hill and Ain't That a Shame.  His 1950 recording of The Fat Man is sometimes called the first real rock 'n' roll record. He was among the first honourees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dave Matthews Band To Perform Hurricane Benefit

Source: Associated Press

(Sept. 2, 20050 Denver — The Dave Matthews Band will perform a Sept. 12 concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with all profits to go to charities supporting victims of Hurricane Katrina. "The amount of generosity from around the country I'm sure is staggering right now from people just giving what they can," Matthews told The Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday. "We're just getting in line behind those people, getting in line a long way behind the Red Cross or National Guard, but we all have to do a little bit." The band added the benefit show to its sold-out Sept. 9-11 stint at the amphitheatre. Matthews said it hasn't been decided which charities will benefit from the show. Advertisements "Denver is grateful to Dave Matthews Band for giving our city an opportunity to demonstrate our support for the hurricane victims," Mayor John Hickenlooper said in a statement. "We are fortunate to live in an incredibly generous community that will no doubt make this event a tremendous success." The city of Denver, which owns and operates the amphitheatre in Morrison about 35 kilometres west of downtown, waived rent for the event and will donate revenue from parking, food and other concessions to hurricane relief efforts, the mayor's office said. Food, beverage and merchandise concessionaire Aramark Corp. said it also would donate net proceeds from the Sept. 12 show to relief efforts. Concert promoter Chuck Morris Presents said a food drive by the non-profit Conscious Alliance each of the four nights will benefit the Houston Food Bank, which is sending food to hurricane victims. The Dave Matthews Band has sold 30 million albums since its first release in 1993. Stand Up, released this year, sold 465,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 1 on the album charts.

John Grisham, Wife Donate $5m To Katrina Victims

Excerpt from The Toronto Star

(Sep. 5, 2005) TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Best-selling writer John Grisham and his wife usually keep their charitable donations very private. But they've decided to disclose their $5 million (U.S.) contribution to establish a relief fund to help Mississippians rebuild after hurricane Katrina.  "In these very, very rare circumstances — this tragic time — we hope the gift will get some attention and inspire other people to contribute money and help our fellow Mississippians on the Gulf Coast," said Grisham, who maintains a home in Oxford, Miss.  The fund at BancorpSouth in Tupelo will be called the Rebuild the Coast Fund Organization.  Grisham, a former state legislator, said the fund will assist Mississippi residents and businesses. He said a staff will be hired to evaluate requests for help.  "When you make charitable contributions, you realize you can't save the world, so you find a small area you can go into and hopefully do some good and do it with your own money and your own sweat and you see the results," he said Friday. "You can't spread yourself too thin."

Oprah, Dr. Phil Meet With Astrodome Evacuees

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(Sept. 6, 2005) *Oprah Winfrey has taken a helicopter tour of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans with the city’s Mayor Ray Nagin for a special “Oprah Winfrey Show” airing today, entitled “Oprah on Location: A Special Report from the Katrina Catastrophe.”  Winfrey viewed the 9th Ward and other areas of the flood-ravaged region Sunday with John Travolta, Matthew McConaughey, Chris Rock, Faith Hill, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Lisa Ling, Gayle King, Lisa Marie Presley, Nate Berkus and medical expert, Dr. Oz.   Winfrey arrived in Houston yesterday and visited evacuees at the Astrodome with Illinois Senator Barack Obama. A future show will feature the talk show host’s efforts to provide assistance to some of the displaced people. On Wednesday, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will air an “On Location” special from her home state of Mississippi. On Thursday, Kanye West will appear on an Oprah show entitled “How My Worst Moment Made Me a Star,” but it’s not about Friday’s “President Bush hates black people” declaration on live television. The episode was taped in April and will focus on the rapper’s near-fatal car accident, and the hit record it spawned, “Through the Wire.”   Meanwhile, Oprah’s protégé, Dr. Phil McGraw, was in Houston last weekend consoling the thousands of evacuees housed in the Astrodome for an impromptu “town meeting” that was taped for a future “Dr. Phil” show. 

Macy Gray Visits Astrodome Survivors

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(Sept. 6, 2005) *"I just really wanted to help out," said eclectic R&B singer Macy Gray, who traveled to Houston’s Astrodome and spent Saturday handing out clothes and toiletries to about 18,500 Hurricane Katrina survivors taking refuge in the building.  "I think the most important thing to them is their futures,” Gray said. “They are here, and they have gotten out of that disaster but it is, like, now what? Because they can't live like that forever."  The Grammy winner said she was able to lift the refugees' spirits and many were excited to see her.  "It is very humbling, but I loved every second of it," she said. "It was really gratifying and I had a great time."  According to Gov. Rick Perry, more than 120,000 displaced residents were spread across 97 shelters in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and dozens of smaller cities across the state. An untold number are also being housed in churches and private homes.  "It is crazy when you don't know what is going to happen to you the next day and suddenly that is what their lives are like," Gray said.

Juvenile Plans Series Of Benefit Concerts

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(Sept. 6, 2005) *New Orleans rapper Juvenile, H3Enterprises and the UTP Family are putting together a series of benefit concerts in cities across America including New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Fayetteville, Los Angeles and Miami to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  "Our city of New Orleans and several other surrounding cities are experiencing total devastation," said Juvenile.  "People have lost their loved ones, their homes, their belongings, and their jobs.  Many of our folks in New Orleans didn't have much to begin with and now they have now lost everything.  Everyone has to pull together to help all those who have suffered these great losses.”  Born Teruis Gray, Juvenile had a home in Slidell, La. near the water on Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish.  New Orleans' neighbour to the east, Slidell was crossed by the eye of the hurricane, and Juvenile lost his house and all of his possessions.   "I am obviously devastated by my personal loss but thank God that I was able to get my family out to safety while many families were not so fortunate,” Juve said.

"We as Americans were so responsive to the world in the face of the tsunami, and we have sent our troops and our money to Iraq and Afghanistan. So I am sure that we, as individuals and as a country, can apply to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida the massive level of effort and giving which is surely demanded now.” The multi-platinum rapper grew up in the Magnolia Projects in the center of New Orleans.  His parents also live in New Orleans, and he has over 200 relatives in the area.  The locations of many of his family members are still unknown, and only about half of them were able to get out before the hurricane arrived.  Many of his friends also have still to locate family members.   “I have lost some friends and to their families I send my deepest condolences. It is difficult to describe the feeling of losing friends, not being able to reach others and having all of your personal items destroyed, but I am still one of the fortunate ones to have TeamH3 and my music industry family supporting me. Thousands of people have nobody to reach out to for support.” Organizers of the benefit concerts are seeking assistance from artists, promoters, agents, arena owners, and multi-media outlets to minimize costs and get as much money directly to the community as quickly as possible. A mega multi-media hip hop event is already being planned as well.  In the meantime, Juve appreciates the outpouring of support from around the country and the world.      “Please keep our city, its people, and our families in your prayers and donate whatever you can to the Red Cross," he said. Monetary donations to the American Red Cross may be made by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW or online at

Marsalis On Katrina’s ‘Race/Class’ Issue

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(Sept. 6, 2005) *New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis released the following statement about the devastation in his hometown from Hurricane Katrina:   “New Orleans is the most unique of American cities because it is the only city in the world that created its own full culture -- architecture, music and festive ceremonies. It's of singular importance to the United States of America because it was the original melting pot with a mixture of Spanish, French, British, West African and American people living in the same city. The collision of these cultures created jazz and jazz is important because it's the only art form that objectifies the fundamental principals of American democracy. That's why it swept the country and the world representing the best of the United States.   “New Orleanians are blues people. We are resilient, so we are sure that our city will come back. This tragedy, however, provides an opportunity for the American people to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we are one nation determined to overcome our legacies of injustices based on race and class. At this time all New Orleanians need the nation to unite in a deafening crescendo of affirmation to silence that desperate cry that is this disaster.   “We need people with their prayers, their pocketbooks, and above all their sense of purpose to show the world just who the modern American is and then we'll put our city back together in even greater fashion. This is gut check time for all of us as Americans.  In a country with the most incredible resources in the world we need the ingenuity of our best engineers to put the cultural heart of our nation back together. To put it together with 2005 technical expertise and with 2005 social consciousness, which means without accommodating the ignorance of racism and the deplorable conditions of poverty, and lack of education that have been allowed to fester in many great American cities since slavery.   “We're only as civilized as our level of hospitality. Let's demonstrate to the world that what actually makes America the most powerful nation on earth is not guns, pornography and material wealth but transcendent and abiding soul, something perhaps we have lost a grip on, and this catastrophe gives us a great opportunity to handle up on.”

Jackson Pens Song For Katrina

: Associated Press

(Sep. 6, 2005) New YorkMichael Jackson has written a song to help raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and will soon record it. Tentatively titled, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” the singer plans to ask other musicians to join him in recording it, his spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, said Tuesday. Mr. Jackson hopes to record the song within two weeks in the style of “We Are the World,” which he co-wrote and produced in 1985 to raise money for famine relief efforts in Africa. “It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the gulf region of my country,” Mr. Jackson, 47, said in a statement. “I will be reaching out to others within the music industry to join me in helping to bring relief and hope to these resilient people who have lost everything.” Mr. Jackson has been mostly reclusive since he was acquitted of child molestation charges in California on June 13. He has been spending much of his time in Bahrain as the guest of Sheik Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, whose label, 2 Seas Records, will produce the single.







Canuck Ska Trio Splash In U.K.

Excerpt from - Ian Nathanson

(Sept. 7, 2005) Canadian ska-reggae trio Bedouin Soundclash are barely known in their own country, yet England has been screaming high praises. The Daily Mirror has even tapped into their backstage demands. According to the Mirror, singer-guitarist Jay Malinowski, bassist Eon Sinclair and drummer Pat Pengelly had “come up with some very down-to-Earth demands for their stay (in England) ... two cases of Tizer, 30 Pot Noodles, one large umbrella and videos of Monty Python and Porridge.” Down to earth indeed, considering the Toronto based threesome have already won over English crowds with stints at the Leeds and Reading festivals. There’s only one problem with the tale: “In England, they have some very strange press,” Malinowski muses on the phone from the U.K. “Over here, the record (Sounding A Mosaic) is doing super well, yet the press make up stories all day long about things they don’t know about you, which we find novel and quite funny. I just found out a second ago Pot Noodles are like Mr. Noodles, so maybe we should be sponsored by Pot Noodles.” Malinowski says Bedouin Soundclash, who perform at the Church on Berkeley tonight, do owe a Canadian company — namely Zellers — for honing in on the record’s opening number When The Night Feels My Song, and utilizing it in a commercial. That gave the group airplay aplenty, helped sell a ton of records and landed them a spot on this past summer’s Warped Tour. But for Malinowski, the best moments arise whenever he has an encounter with one of his musical heroes. “We flew in a private plane of (The Offspring singer) Dexter Holland, that was funny,” Malinowski says. “But having a conversation with Daryl Jenifer of Bad Brains (who produced Sounding A Mosaic), or to play with Scott (Shields of Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros fame), Vernon ‘Maytone’ Buckley, or Money Mark, those are the moments in which I truly feel blessed.” Conceived three years ago at Kingston’s Queen’s University, Bedouin Soundclash take the reggae influence of Bob Marley and mesh it with everything from punk, dancehall, world, dub and jungle to two-step. As well, Malinowski incorporated his influences — the Clash, the Specials, the English Beat — into the group’s sound collage. Just don’t call Bedouin Soundclash a politics-pushing outfit. “Some of the songs we do, like Criminal and Murder On The Midnight Wire, are politically based in that they’re a reaction to 9/11 and that sense of fear we live in now,” Malinowski says. “Ultimately, all I want to do is to write good stories with my lyrics.” Or at least tell a good story — like the one in which a songwriter who was composing some stuff for Paris Hilton asked him if he thought the heiress should record a reggae number. “A friend of Scott Shields asked me if that was a good idea,” Malinowski says. “I had no comment. I really think she should do a punk album. Actually, Paris Hilton doing music period is enough for me.”  




Howard Is Humbled But Fred Is Fired

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Vinay Menon

(Sep. 6, 2005) Call it the end of an era.  The Humble and Fred Show, a durable fixture in Toronto radio for 16 years, is no more. Fred Patterson, co-host for the MIX 99.9 morning team, was quietly fired two weeks ago.  "I can live with it," says Patterson. "No hard feelings. I'll just have to find something else to do."  Patterson and co-conspirator Howard Glassman first joined forces in 1989 on CFNY (now The Edge). In 2001, the pair moved to MOJO, when the "talk radio for guys" station launched.  In 2003, they were signed to a 5-year contract at the MIX. For whatever reason — and nobody has a good one — the show never drew a large audience.  In the most recent ratings book, it ranked a dismal 13th. Given these disappointing numbers, management brought in consultants as various options were considered.  But, desperate to shake up the program, they relieved Patterson of his duties.  "That's the sad thing for me — the end of The Humble and Fred Show," he says, still trying to make sense of his first termination in 26 years. "Working with Howard for all those years was a fabulous experience. It just seems weird to not be getting up to go to work in the morning. Because if it was up to me, that's what I'd be doing."  Glassman remains with the MIX, leading a rechristened Humble Howard Morning Show.  "We had a great relationship, on the air and off the air," says Glassman, of his run with Patterson. "And we did some great radio that nobody ever heard."  This, you see, is a story about perception and reality. With an iconic status and legions of followers, many fans wrongly assumed The Humble and Fred Show was a top-rated program.

In truth, it was struggling for years. Between the fall of 1995 to the spring of 1997, Humble and Fred were No.1 in the 18-34 demographic. Then Howard Stern stormed into the market and the Canadian jokesters never recovered.  For Glassman, last month's forced separation was painful, awkward and sad. But not entirely unexpected.  "I was shocked and I was stunned but I wasn't surprised," he says. "We hadn't been doing well for some time and they were searching for answers for some time. I was pretty convinced we were both going to get fired, sooner or later, if things didn't improve."  At other stations, the lads had a reasonable excuse for weak numbers — they were working inside niche formats. The Edge played modern music, not something everybody wants first thing in the morning. MOJO, by contrast, played no music.  So expectations were decidedly high when Humble and Fred came to the MIX.  "I looked at this as a huge opportunity to finally be on a more level playing ground and it just didn't materialize," says Glassman. "I don't know. It's just weird."  What do fans make of this? Last week, Glassman gave out his personal cell phone number on the air. He's been deluged with calls.  Some listeners say they will not listen to a show without Patterson.  Others say the show must go on and they like what Glassman is doing.  Most callers, however, just want to satisfy their curiosity and pledge continued support.  "The passion they have for the show is unbelievable," says Glassman, who was a solo morning man at the MIX in 1991, after a brief split from Patterson and CFNY.

"I have a pretty personal relationship with these people. I've been reminded of that a lot in recent weeks. But they also feel like kids in a divorce, in a strange way.  "Other than Roger, Rick and Marilyn (the venerable morning team at CHUM FM), Fred and I have been together in this market for a long time. Even though we haven't done very well, the people who like us, they love us. So it's hard for them."  For Patterson, the future is unclear. But his sense of humour endures. I ask what he plans to do next.  "I was thinking about becoming an astronaut or a nuclear physicist or a psychologist," he says.  "One of those."




Frulla: Taking The Heat And Loving Every Minute

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By James Adams

(Sept. 7, 2005) It's not even noon on a sunny Thursday in Toronto and already Liza Frulla is looking tired. Of course, you can't blame her. As the Minister for Canadian Heritage, this 55-year-old former broadcaster from Montreal is overseeing one of the hottest portfolios of the moment.  For one thing, there's the kerfuffle over satellite radio licences that has to be settled, one way or the other, by next week. Then there's the lockout of more than 5,500 CBC employees by the Crown corporation's management: Talks between the two sides resumed last week, in part because of Frulla's ministrations, but no resolution looms on the immediate horizon. Mix in a minority government's continuing anxiety about the possible negative fallout from the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal -- as the MP for Jeanne-Le Ber, Frulla is one of just 21 Quebec Liberals in the Commons -- plus a lot of summertime consulting and travelling (if this is Friday, it must be a drive to Stratford to meet the theatre festival's board of directors and attend The Tempest) and, well, there's a price to be paid. The job, she acknowledges, "is burning me up. But I can't help it. I love it so much." Still, Frulla is known for her vivacity and once the questions from a reporter start coming, the vivacity kicks in with a flutter of hand gestures, a forward thrust of the head and a shrug of the shoulders.  With respect to the appeal to cabinet by CHUM Ltd. and Astral Media on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's satellite radio decision of June 16, on this day at least, Frulla amazingly says she hasn't made up her mind on what course to take.

"I'm listening . . . I have people all around me," she declares, suggesting she still is weighing their advice. But whether she'll recommend that (a) cabinet, which is scheduled to meet Thursday, annuls the CRTC's thumbs-up to the Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada consortia; (b) sends it back to the broadcast regulator for reconsideration; or (c) lets the original decision stand, she's not saying. Still, it seems that (b) or some variation thereof likely will prevail. For Frulla, the merits of the case rest on satellite radio's impact on Canada's cultural industries and their 650,000 employees, and the need to find an "equilibrium" between new technologies and "using them to our advantage." Canadians have a broadcast system "that works," that has "nurtured" both commercial interests such as CHUM and Vidéotron and artists like Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, she declares, so we have to be careful not be buffaloed into making wholesale policy alterations.  Proponents of the CRTC-approved satellite regime say a delay could set affairs back by at least two years and pave the way for a massive incursion by grey marketeers. But, says Frulla, "I don't think the grey market is a major issue." Frulla points to the hundreds of dollars in expenses associated with installing receivers, registering with a provider and subscribing to channels -- and whatever numbers proponents have bandied about have been "inflated."  She also swats away suggestions that cabinet's review of the CRTC decision "is based on French pressure. It's not French against English, not Quebec against the other provinces," and it's "irresponsible to try to pit one community against the other" in discussing the matter. Whatever decision results is going to be "very, very rational."

As for the CBC, Frulla hopes the Canadian Media Guild and CBC management "talk until they drop dead." She was dismayed that negotiations broke off late last month because "nothing positive comes out of not talking." She reiterates her previous declaration that the federal government won't impose any "special law" to settle the dispute. "In my mind, we can't ever be questioning the public service" that CBC provides, but once a settlement is reached, there'll be an opportunity to reflect on how that service should be provided. As for those critics who say the root cause of CBC's current troubles is the lack of sufficient funds from the Martin Liberals, she snorts: "It's not a question of money; it's a question of governance." She managed to save the CBC from being part of a reallocation of funding among Crown corporations and got it an additional $60-million for 2005-06. " I do not have lessons to take from Jack Layton and Charlie Angus, no way," she says in response to NDP funding criticism. In other developments, Frulla says she will: Name a new chairperson, a francophone, to the board of the CBC later this fall to succeed Carole Taylor, who resigned last March to enter B.C. provincial politics. That appointment will have to be brought before cabinet as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. "What we're seeking is somebody who knows inside-out broadcasting in French and English." Expectations are high that author-director-consultant Guy Fournier, one of seven new appointees named to the CBC board for a four-year term, will get the nod; Press for "a legacy gesture" of significant extra funding to the Canada Council for the Arts to mark its 50th anniversary next year; Take a delegation of provincial cultural ministers with her to Paris in October to sign, along with 126 other countries, the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity.




Quebec Radio Station To Continue Appeal

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Rheal Seguin

(Sept. 1, 2005) In a final bid to stop federal broadcast regulators fromclosing down Quebec City's controversial radio station because of offensive and abusive comments, CHOI-FM will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn today's Federal Court of Appeal ruling, which upholds a decision to pull the station off the air. The president of Genex Communications Inc, Patrice Demers, whose company owns the station, said he will fight until the end to protect his lucrative business as well as his station's right to freedom of speech against the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's decision to revoke CHOI-FM's license in July 2004. "It is the first ever station closed for verbal content in Canada," Mr. Demers said. "It is a major concern for Quebec City, for the Quebec population and for Canadians that government and five bureaucrats in Ottawa close down a station because they don't agree with what was said." Should the Supreme Court accept to hear the case, Mr. Demers expects his station to be on "judicial respirator" and continue broadcasting for at least another year until a final decision is made. His battle against the CRTC has so far cost his company a half million dollars and Mr. Demers expects it will cost him that much more to continue the fight. In upholding the CRTC's ruling, the Federal Court of Appeal issued a scathing decision against CHOI-FM and its former shock jock radio hosts whose vulgar attacks and personal attacks prompted the federal regulator to close down the station.

"I do not think I am mistaken in saying that freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom speech do not mean freedom of defamation, freedom of oppression and freedom of opprobrium," Federal Court of Appeal Judge Gilles Létourneau stated the unanimous ruling supported by the Federal Court's Chief Justice John Richards and Justice Marc Nadon.  " Nor do I think I am mistaken in saying that the right to freedom of expression under the Charter does not require that the State or the CRTC become accomplices in or promoters of defamatory language or violations of the right to privacy, integrity, human dignity and reputation by forcing them to issue a broadcasting license used for those purposes." Justice Létourneau referred to numerous complaints against CHOI-FM for allegedly making comments "defamatory, offensive, vulgar, blasphemous, malicious, false discriminatory and demeaning of individuals."  As an example he referred to comments made by the station's former morning host Jean-Francois Fillion about a psychiatric patient being mistreated in a hospital.  "Why don't they just pull the plug on him? He doesn't deserve to live. The guy's a freaking burden on society." On another occasion Mr. Fillion told the people from Saguenay to commit suicide at home rather than throw themselves off the Quebec City bridge.  "Because when they get to the bottom on the pavement, it creates shit and we're fed up with picking up shit." The court ruling also referred to a "spirit of vengeance" against a competing station and its morning host Robert Gillet who had been convicted for his role in a juvenile prostitution ring. And the ruling also referred to the defamatory remarks made by Mr. Fillion against weather presenter Sophie Chiasson who last spring won a defamation case against Mr. Fillion and the station and was awarded $340,000. Mr. Fillion has since been fired from the station and the language toned-down. But the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the CRTC's right to regulate and supervise content while ensuring that quality broadcast standards are enforced on Canada's public airwaves. "How can the CRTC monitor the standard of the programming without examining its content, which is composed of broadcasted programs?" Justice Létourneau stated.

The station built its case on the need to protect freedom of speech and to limit the CRTC's role in practicing what it called "censorship". However the court rejected the argument insisting that the CRTC did not exceed the mandate entrusted by Parliament. "It must be clearly understood that this appeal, contrary to the apparent belief and desire of the appellant (Genex Communication) does not give rise directly or in general to a comprehensive debate over freedom of speech. The issue is, and remains, whether the CRTC's discretionary decision not to renew the appellant’s license was made judicially and in compliance with the rules of natural justice, the standards of procedural fairness and its own procedures," Justice Létourneau stated. Mr. Demers said that the ruling avoided tackling the crucial issue of the station's right to freedom of speech, an issue he will ask the Supreme Court to decide.  The station has 20 days to obtain an extension of its judicial license to stay on the air. If no agreement is reached with the federal Attorney General, the Federal Court will be asked to grant an extension until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on whether to hear the case.  Mr. Demers said the future of the station hinges on the Supreme Court's decision. "If the Supreme Court upholds the CRTC decision we will have no choice but to close down the station and ask the CRTC for a new license," Mr. Demers said.




Elton John Dedicates Song To Victims Of Katrina

Source:  Canadian Press -By Angela Pacienza

(Sept. 7, 2005) Toronto — He may be a bit more subdued than in past years, but Elton John can still rouse an audience with his booming vocals and repertoire of hits.  The bespectacled performer packed the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night with about 16,000 faithful for the first of two sold-out concerts. Early into Tuesday's performance, John dedicated a song to those left homeless by hurricane Katrina. “Since Mississippi was one of hardest hit, we're gonna do this one,” he said launching into Porch Swing in Tupelo, a song “about Elvis” from his most recent album, Peachtree Road. John called it “a different sort of show,” because instead of playing a steady stream of hits as many fans have come to expect in recent years, he devoted the first half of the concert to the first eight tracks of his new release. “Although it hasn't been a commercial success, it has been a critical one,” said John, wearing blue shades and a dark suit embellished with white and gold flora on his right arm. “We love playing it.” He may no longer be a current chart-topper, but John continues to draw a loyal -- and giddy -- crowd. “He stands up there with today's artists,” raved Elaine Burke, a 42-year-old pharmacist who drove two-hours from Trenton, Ont., with friends for the show. “I'm not here for his flamboyancy, just good music.”

The mostly middle-aged crowd politely clapped along to the Peachtree Road segment, which John filled with stories including one about his fiancé, Toronto-born film producer David Furnish. John told the audience he “wasted a lot of my life doing a lot of drugs” and subsequently couldn't stay in a relationship. “When I got sober ... someone walked into my life,” he recalled. John and Furnish have been together 12 years, the singer said. “He's been the best thing that's ever happened to me. ... That's another reason to love Canada, right?” he said after singing My Elusive Drug, written about his beloved. The couple plan to wed on Dec. 21, several weeks after gay civil marriage becomes legal in Britain. As expected, the audience sprang to life when John reached into the past and busted out his pop hits, beginning with Pinball Wizard. Bennie and the Jets was met with whoops and yelps, as was Take Me To The Pilot and the ever-popular Rocket Man -- a grandiose, over-the-top version which stretched about 10 minutes.  He also dished out chart-toppers I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Tiny Dancer, Sad Songs, Levon and Love Lies Bleeding among others. Having ditched his legendary sparkly costumes and other theatrics in the late '80s, John's stage was sparsely decorated, save a pixel board in the background. This left plenty of space for his eight-member gospel choir and his five-piece band. All smiles, John frequently left his perch at the piano to acknowledge the crowd and accept gifts of flowers.

Elton John's Hard Work Is Paying Off

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Melinda Newman, Billboard.Com

(Sep. 7, 2005) LOS ANGELES—With deference to James Brown, Elton John may be the hardest-working man in show business. In addition to his ongoing touring schedule and his The Red Piano engagement in Las Vegas, John is working on a number of projects, highlighted by a new studio album to be released in 2007.  For that project, he and long-time songwriting partner Bernie Taupin are writing a sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy called Captain Fantastic and the Kid. The first edition, released in 1975, covered the pair's first 30 years; the second will cover the subsequent 30 years and will come out March 20, 2007, five days before John's 60th birthday.  "I'm starting writing and recording it in Atlanta in January," said John. "It was Sanctuary Group CEO Merck Mercuriadis' idea, because he said, `You're always saying how Bernie has become the Brown Dirt Cowboy' — he lives on a ranch in Santa Ynez Calif. — and I'm this guy who plays concert after concert, buying art, buying photographs, living a very lavish lifestyle. I've become Captain Fantastic.  "We would have been together then about 40 years by the time it comes out," John continues. "One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is the relationship I've had with Bernie.''  Beforehand, John will on Nov. 8 release Elton's Christmas Party exclusively through Starbucks. The disc will include previously released holiday-themed songs from other artists, plus a new duet between John and Joss Stone. A $2 donation from each album will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.  And while Billy Elliot, a musical written by John and Lee Hall, continues playing on London's West End (a Broadway opening is planned for 2006), the John/Taupin-penned musical "Lestat" is scheduled to debut in December at San Francisco's Curran Theater. The project is based on Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat series.  As previously reported, John has a development deal with Touchstone Television for a sitcom about a rock star and his entourage. Sex & the City scribe Cindy Chupack is writing the pilot.  Meanwhile, last March, John wrote nine songs with Scissor Sisters for possible inclusion on their next album, marking the first time he had ever written in the same room with someone.  "You know, I'm 15 years sober today," says John when asked how he finds time for all these projects. "That's changed my life. The energy that I used to spend doing drugs and everything, I spend doing great things, like getting up in the morning, going to Tower Records, trying to find new acts, trying to promote them. I have the most fantastic life. I really love it so much."




Carden Street's Montreal Invasion

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Mark Miller

(Sept. 6, 2005) It's the proverbial tale of two cities at the Guelph Jazz Festival this year. This modest but always visionary event, which begins its 12th season tomorrow, honours Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians on the occasion of its 40th anniversary and acknowledges Montreal's vibrant musique actuelle scene, now into its third decade. The Americans, of course, will get most of the attention, culminating Saturday night when the lately reconstituted and still legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago performs at the River Run Centre. But the Québécois, with their up-to-the-moment mix-and-match of ideas from the jazz, rock, pop and classical avant-garde, should not be overlooked. Some 50 Montreal musicians will have appeared in this Southwestern Ontario university town before the festival concludes on Sunday. One of their number, saxophonist and flutist Jean Derome, likens them collectively to "a tribe of Indians," with the important qualification that "the chief changes all the time." It is, in other words, a highly collaborative and co-operative community. Derome estimates its representation in Guelph this year to be "more than half of what's happening in Montreal," where, he notes rather provocatively, "maybe there are even more groups than there are musicians."

As that suggests, many of the players do double, triple and quadruple duty in each other's bands. Indeed, ask Derome about the number of groups to which he himself is a party, either as leader or band member. "Now, not too many," he responds mildly, in a telephone interview from his home in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood. "The active ones -- around 10 or 12. Less than usual." Derome, a stout yet soft-spoken fellow just turned 50, has been a pivotal figure in Montreal's left-of-centre musical circles since the mid-1970s, predating the advent of musique actuelle as a catch-all category for the city's funky, largely Francophone avant-garde. His activities, well documented on CD by the Ambiances Magnétiques label that he and others established in 1983, are remarkable for both the breadth of music and the amount of sheer hard work that they represent. One of those aforementioned 10 or 12 bands of the moment is Évidence, whose raison d'être for more than 20 years has been the music of Thelonious Monk. The trio -- Derome, bassist Pierre Cartier and drummer Pierre Tanguay -- will appear on Friday at the Guelph Youth Music Centre. Another is the Fanfare Pourpour, a street band that is scheduled on Saturday afternoon to lead a parade along Wyndham Street and then give a free concert of waltzes and other traditional European music at the festival's Carden Street tent. There can be as many as 20 musicians in the Fanfare, which often performs in Montreal for social or political causes. Derome calls it a "very beautiful, utopian group," noting that it is run by two of its members, guitarist Luc Proulx and singer-accordionist Lou Babin, as if it were a family rather than a business. "They decided I was artistic director," he admits rather uncomfortably, referring to the Fanfare's otherwise wholly egalitarian membership. "I don't know about that." A third band of those 10 or 12 is the Pierre Cartier-led sextet that will offer the bassist's classically informed, jazz-song settings of several Québécois poems on Thursday night at Mitchell Hall. A fourth is guitarist Rainer Wiens's sextet Follow, whose African-derived rhythms will rock the Carden Street tent on Saturday afternoon. That's an impressive range of musical idioms for one musician to embrace in just three days, and it still scarcely touches on Derome's work in free improvisation as heard last ear at Guelph in the form of Nous perçons les oreilles (We Pierce Ears), a duo with his wife, the singer and saxophonist Joane Hétu.

So what makes Jean, um, blow? He harks back to his earliest experience as a musician. "The first time you play music," he suggests, "there's something there that will always be your way of being a musician. The rest is just learning how to do it, how to say it, how to be more accurate each time you play. But even in the 'nest,' everything is already there." And Derome's "way" of being a musician? "First of all, I try to approach music with an open mind. I think that music can be many things. I try to be aware of different cultures, different eras, different styles -- and not just as if they're different clothes that you can wear. I'm always surprised to see that some musicians treat a style of music with disrespect, like a symphony musician who laughs at mariachi musicians, for example. You know, there's something in the triplet 'swing' that a mariachi band has that no symphony musician can play." Not to mention the triplet swing of Thelonious Monk -- whose compositional trickery continues to tease and taunt even the wisest of jazz musicians. Derome, however, heard something quite basic when he first encountered the American pianist's music. "It was really open; there was space for me to learn. It's like Johann Sebastian Bach's music: There's something that's . . . well, I wouldn't say neutral . . . but there's not so much dramatic ego -- the way there is in [Charles] Mingus's music. For a long time I felt you couldn't play Mingus's music if you were not Mingus, it was so personal."

Rest assured, Derome knows his Bach and he knows his Mingus. Years ago, he studied the classics at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal; lately, he has come to terms with Mingus as a member of the Normand Guilbeault Ensemble, which recently released its second CD devoted to the American bassist's music. "In Monk," Derome continues, "the tunes are like puzzles. There's always something. It's like having a rock outside your house and each time you go by, you stub your toe on it; each time you arrive at bar seven, second beat, there's a strange note. So you have to be very aware. It's always very exciting to play and it doesn't let you just show off your technique; you have to think about the pieces and find a specific feeling for each one." In the end, Monk, Bach, Mingus, waltzes, African grooves, free improvisation and mariachi music are all, in Derome's eyes, simply "different facets of the same diamond." Accordingly, it's only right that he should add on his own behalf, "Sometimes maybe I'm a bit of a chameleon and I change, depending on the context. But I think, deeply inside, it's always the same musician."




File Swapping Dealt Blow In Australian Court

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Mike Corder, Associated Press

(Sep. 5, 2005) SYDNEY, Australia - A court ruled Monday that popular file-swapping network Kazaa breaches copyright in Australia and gave the service's owners two months to modify their website to prevent further piracy by its millions of users.  Although the ruling is only enforceable in Australia, the record industry hailed it as a victory that would resonate around the world.  "The court has ruled the current Kazaa system illegal. If they want to continue, they are going to have to stop the trade in illegal music on that system," record industry spokesman Michael Speck said outside the court.  "It's a great day for artists. It's a great day for anyone who wants to make a living from music."  The Federal Court ruling culminated a long-running court battle between Australia's record industry and Kazaa.  The 10 defendants in the case include Kazaa's owners, Sharman Networks Ltd. and Sharman's Sydney-based chief executive officer, Nikki Hemming, as well as Altnet, a company that provided some of the software for the Kazaa website.  Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox found six of them, including Hemming, Sharman Networks Ltd. and Altnet, infringed copyright and ordered them to pay 90 per cent of the record industry's costs in the case. A hearing will be held at a later date to establish damages.  "These people have crowed for years about the downloads — 270 million downloads of somebody else's work each month," said Speck. ``We will ask the court when it comes to damages to reflect the value of the music these people ripped off."  Lawyers for Kazaa said they would appeal but made no immediate detailed response to the ruling.  They had argued that the software is no different from a tape recorder or photocopier — and that Kazaa could not control copyright infringement by users of the network.  But Wilcox said that they actively encouraged users to share files, the vast majority of which were copyrighted material.  "Far from taking steps that are likely effectively to curtail copyright file sharing, Sharman Networks and Altnet have included on the Kazaa website exhortations to users to increase their file-sharing," he told a packed courtroom in SydneyWilcox said that Sharman and Altnet should stop authorizing Kazaa users swap copyright material.

If it wants to continue its operations, Wilcox said Kazaa's owners have to ensure that new versions of the software filters unlicensed copyright material and he ordered them to press existing users to upgrade their software to a new version that filters unlicensed material.  "The court has made orders that will see the system either legitimized or disappear," Speck said.  The case is the latest in a long line of courtroom showdowns between so-called peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and copyright holders, such as record companies.  Speck said the ruling would have global effects.  "This court order ... will have a worldwide impact not only on Kazaa but on every other illegal peer-to-peer business," he said.  "If you're out there and you're ripping off music without permission and without payment, you should sit up and take notice. Now's the time to go legal or get out of the business before another court does what's happened to Kazaa today."




Miri Bin-Ari About To Blow

Excerpt from - By Karu F. Daniels

Who told you that you’re allowed to rain on my parade?”

(Sept. 1, 2005) FEELING ARI:  I am so excited to report that celebrated hip-hop musician Miri Ben-Ari will release her long awaited debut album “The Hop Hop Violinist” on September 20 via Universal Motown Records. Described as a groundbreaking fusion of crisp, soulful strings with hard-edged hip-hop production, the set will boasts collaborations with Kanye West, Akon, John Legend, Pitbull, Twista, Scarface, Fabolous, Lil' Mo, Mya, Baby, Lil' Wayne, Musiq, Pharoahe Monch and Anthony Hamilton, among others. And just in case you’re wondering: Who The Hell Is Miri Ben-Ari?  She’s the Israeli-born soul sister, who after establishing herself as an accomplished jazz artist, evolved into an R&B and Hip-Hop darling. To date, she’s worked with the likes of  Mr. West, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Patti LaBelle, Mya, Britney Spears, Joe, Wyclef Jean, Dallas Austin, Twista, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez among others. The first single from the album is “We Gonna Win,” which has a video-clip –directed by Paul Schneider and produced by Reebok. Ms. Bin-Ari is the newest face of the apparel brand's global "I Am What I Am" advertising campaign, featuring print, online and retail components. The Tel Aviv area native will join contemporary heroes of today’s global youth including Allen Iverson, Jay-Z, Yao Ming, Nelly, Curt Schilling, 50 Cent, Nicole Vaidisova, Donovan McNabb, Christina Ricci, Stevie Williams, and many more for the campaign. As a result of her unique strategic marketing partnership with Reebok, she and rap artist Styles P. (of The LOX) will wear customized Rbk branded apparel, footwear and accessories in the video.  “’We Gonna Win’ is a song of triumph,” she explained.  “It represents my personal belief that with hard work, talent and dedication everything is possible.  It's a one of a kind marriage between rap and classical music, where the music doesn't accompany the vocalist, but rather stand on its own.” Ms. Bin-Ari will pull strings on the performance front, too. According to her rep, she will embark on the “Kool Fall 2005 Tour” with none other than multi-platinum, hip-hop superstar Busta Rhymes. The 14-city jaunt kicks off on October 3 at Baltimore’s Ram’s Head. A few House Of Blues locations in major cities are also on the itinerary for the tour, which culminates at The Grand in San Francisco on November 10.




Destiny's Child, Carey Winners At World Music Awards

Source: Associated Press - Alex Veiga

(Sep. 2, 2005) LOS ANGELES—Destiny's Child and Mariah Carey helped solidify their status as bankable international acts, combining to win the most honours at the 2005 World Music Awards, which selects winners based on the strength of their worldwide record sales.  Destiny's Child won for best-selling pop group, best-selling R&B group and best-selling female group of all time at Wednesday night's ceremony.  Carey, who staged a huge comeback this year with The Emancipation of Mimi, nabbed the best-selling R&B artist, best-selling pop female artist and female entertainer of the year awards.  "This is an incredible night," Carey said after accepting the entertainer of the year award. "I never expected to be standing here.''  The Game and Gwen Stefani each took honours for the best-selling new male and female artist, respectively, at the awards show held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. It will be telecast Sept. 13 on ABC.  Stefani, who was on tour, accepted the award from Hillary Duff via satellite and gave a nod to fans around the globe who helped put her debut solo album Love.Angel.Music.Baby in the top spot.  "We've been all around the world and that's my favourite part of everything I do," she said.  Usher, who won three awards at last year's show, earned the award for male entertainer of the year, and 50 Cent won for best-selling pop male artist.  Eminem was presented with two awards before the show — best-selling pop-rock artist and best-selling hip-hop artist — while Irish supergroup U2 took the honours for best-selling rock artist.  The best-selling new group award went to the Killers.  Co-hosts James Denton of Desperate Housewives and Carmen Electra started off the night with a sexy vibe as Electra stripped down to black bra, panties and a feather boa shortly after taking the stage.  Three other scantily clad women then joined the hosts.  "It's a little hot in here," Electra said.

The show reflected the international focus of the awards, with appearances by the best-selling recording artist in Russia, Philip Kirkorov, and Lebanon's top-selling singer, Elissa, among others.  "It's global," singer Ricky Martin said of the show. "It's the world telling some artists they're doing a good job, because you get an award if you sell, so that's the audience talking, so it's very special.''  Several awards were handed out prior to the show, including some recognizing best-selling artists by country.  Before the show, Denton and other celebrity attendees struck a serious tone while reflecting on the destruction that Hurricane Katrina wrought this week upon New Orleans and surrounding areas.  "We saw the aerial photos this morning and that's when it really hit home, the devastation," Denton said. "I think there's a bit of denial. At some point you can just turn the TV off (but) they have to wake up with it every morning.''  Percussionist Sheila E was particularly concerned because she has family in New Orleans.




50 Cent Was On Drug Lord's Hit List, Feds Say

Source:  Associated Press - By Michael Weissenstein

(Sept. 6, 20050 New York — Federal investigators believed that crack kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and employees of rap label Murder Inc. plotted the attempted assassination of rapper 50 Cent as revenge for a song detailing McGriff's criminal past, newly released law enforcement documents show. Investigators also probed whether Run-DMC disc jockey Jam Master Jay was shot to death in 2002 for defying an unspoken recording industry blacklist of 50 Cent, the documents show. The allegations are laid out in a search warrant affidavit filed last week in support of a routine motion by the defence attorney for Murder Inc. founder Irving "Irv Gotti" Lorenzo, who is charged in a racketeering case with using his chart-topping label to launder more than $1-million (U.S.) in McGriff's drug money. The affidavit was published Tuesday on The Smoking Gun Web site. Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator Francis Mace writes in the 2003 document, filed under an application to search Murder Inc.'s Manhattan offices, that investigators believed the shooting of 50 Cent in May 2000 was revenge for the song "Ghetto Koran," which recounts some of the history of McGriff's reign as head of one of the city's most violent drug crews. Investigators also were looking into links between the McGriff-50 Cent rivalry and the killing of Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell. The DJ's shooting in his Queens recording studio remains unsolved.

"Agents are still trying to determine whether Mizell's homicide has any connection to the ongoing dispute between McGriff and 50 Cent," Mace wrote. "Law enforcement agents are investigating the possibility that Mizell was murdered for defying the blacklist of 50 Cent." A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which is overseeing the investigation, had no comment on the document. An attorney for McGriff, Robert Simels, said that while he no longer represented McGriff in this case he was familiar with the document and it represented "much ado about nothing." He said the allegations in the affidavit disappeared from later government filings, leading him to conclude that even the government no longer believed them. McGriff's current trial attorney and Lorenzo's attorney did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment Tuesday. McGriff and some Murder Inc. employees were continuing to plot the murder of 50 Cent, Mace wrote, citing text messages to McGriff from associates tracking the rapper's whereabouts. In one message Lorenzo's brother reported 50 Cent's appearance on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, in the area of Queens where McGriff, Lorenzo and the rapper grew up, Mace wrote. "50 is in the hood guy r. brewer!" the message said, according to the affidavit.





Satellite Radio Announces French, English Stations

Source: Canadian Press

(Sept. 1, 20050 MontrealSirius Canada and Canadian Satellite Radio say they'll offer four English and four French-language stations when they launch. The broadcasters say they plan to notify the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission of their plans. Both companies are required to launch their service with a minimum of eight Canadian channels. Both also say they'll continue to provide equal French and English programming if new Canadian channels are launched in the next two years. Critics have knocked the lack of French programming by the broadcasters. Advertisements The federal cabinet is to decide by Sept. 14 whether to review how their licences were granted. Michel Tremblay, a CBC vice-president involved with the Sirius bid, says the announcement of equal French and English programming is a positive step in reassuring the Quebec cultural community about satellite radio.

Suge Knight Released From Hospital After Shooting

Source: Associated Press

(Sep. 6, 2005) MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Marion (Suge) Knight, who was shot once in the leg at an MTV awards pre-party last month, has been released from the hospital.  Knight, 40, was released late last week, officials at Mt. Sinai Medical Center said Tuesday. They refused to release any other information, citing patient privacy regulations. Knight's lawyer in Los Angeles didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.  Knight is founder of Death Row Records and was shot during a party hosted by Kanye West in the VIP room at the Shore Club prior to the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 28.  Miami Beach police have made no arrests in Knight's shooting and have complained about lack of co-operation from witnesses. Knight underwent surgery to remove the bullet from his leg and repair a fractured bone.







Tuesday, September 6, 2005

50 Cent, Massacre [CD & DVD], Aftermath
David Banner, Certified, Universal
Howard Jones, Revolution of the Heart, Koch
Jeffrey Osborne, From the Soul, Koch
Sarah McLachlan, Bloom: Remix 2, Arista
Sloan, Navy Blues, Koch
Turk, Still a Hot Boy, Laboratory







Element Of Surprise: 'The First Time I Truly Felt Like A Canadian'

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Liam Lacey

(Sept. 7, 2005) Sitting at her Toronto kitchen table with her long, dark hair falling loose, director Deepa Mehta talks about her two films, both called Water. The "first Water" was an abortive film about the plight of Hindu widows in 1938, and led to her being burned in effigy and threatened with arrest before it was shut down in her native India five years ago. The "second Water", shot with a different cast and in a new location, is what she calls "my miracle film," which opens the 30th Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow night and was just last week acquired for U.S. distribution by Twentieth Century-Fox. Water was the film she planned to shoot in the holy city of Varanasi in 2000. Mehta knew she had a reputation as a provocateur in India. Her 1996 film, Fire, about the lesbian relationship between two women trapped in loveless marriages, had been a scandal -- Hindu fundamentalists had burned down the cinema where it first screened. But her second film in the "elemental cycle", Earth (1998) had been made without a hitch and she thought the problems were behind her. The story was inspired by an odd encounter in 1994. Mehta had seen an elderly, toothless woman crawling on the ground looking for something. She stopped and asked if she could help. The woman, a widow, had lost her glasses and couldn't find her way home. Mehta offered her assistance and went back to the widow's ashram, where she lived "with about 11 other women of different ages, some with kids, in a complete hovel."

She began to do research on the experiences of such woman, left to beg or sing hymns for money, sometimes turning to prostitution, when their husbands died. She talked to the women, even sleeping in their homes to discover their lowly life and sharing their food -- one meal a day, no spices or sweets to inflame their senses. (In contrast, Mehta, who was born in the northwest Punjab city of Amritsar in 1950, had been raised in a family ruled by an honoured widowed grandmother.) She set her story in the India of the late thirties, coinciding with the rise of Gandhi who, in addition to his calls for social reform, urged reform of the subjugation of widows. "I never set out to make controversial films," says Mehta, who had little idea what was in store for her. The script for Water had been approved, as is required by law, by the Indian government. On the day before principal shooting, Mehta was informed there were complications with local permits. The next day, 2,000 protesters from a coalition of different political groups had stormed the steps leading up from the Ganges, destroyed the film's main set and thrown it in the river. Mehta began receiving obscene and threatening phone calls at home and on her cellphone (she suspected the protesters had a spy on the set). Her Canadian-born daughter, Devyani Saltzman, who was 19 at the time, was so frightened for her mother that she shared her bed and tried to prevent her from answering the phone. (This October, Key Porter books will publish Saltzman's memoir of the experience, entitled Shooting Water: A Mother-Daughter Journey and the Making of a Film.) "At first, none of them had seen the script," Mehta says. "The first thing they said I was defiling Hindu windows because it was a film about Hindu widows who were lesbians. Then the script was leaked out by the government, with parts of it totally rewritten." The local officials withdrew permission to start filming again. Mehta agreed to make conciliatory changes to the script. With her own house mortgage at stake as well as other costs, she flew to Delhi to meet with the Ministry of Culture to ensure the film could go ahead. She was told there would be no further problems, though in retrospect, she thinks she was being toyed with.

On the first day of shooting, anti-riot military and about 200 policemen surrounded the crew. After the first two takes of the first shot, government authorities came on the set and shut it down, claiming public safety was at risk. A man had attempted suicide in protest against the film by taking poison, tying a rock around his waist and jumping into the Ganges. (It later turned out that he did "attempted suicides" for a living for various groups.) There were other threats of suicide, by fire and hunger strike. Mehta was burned in effigy and finally a local magistrate said the entire crew would be arrested if they attempted to film again. Letters of support came in and U.S. filmmaker George Lucas took out a full-page ad in Variety supporting Mehta (she had directed some of his Young Indiana Jones television series), but the officials would not back down. Mehta left India both frightened and depressed: "If this is how people react to my work, what's the point?" she thought. But when she saw the Toronto skyline from the airplane, she felt an emotional lift. She remembers the moment "as the first time I truly felt like a Canadian." Out of that experience came a desire to escape, and the vehicle was Bollywood, Hollywood. Her light-hearted tribute to Bollywood musicals set entirely in Toronto is a film she describes as "completely inane -- but I love it." One of her stars was Lisa Ray, a young Indian-Canadian actress raised in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke before she became a successful Indian model and film star. After Bollywood, Hollywood, Ray moved to London to study acting seriously. By the time Mehta came back around to shooting Water for the second time in Sri Lanka last year, Ray was ready for the role of a young widow/prostitute who befriends a young child bride sent to live at the ashram, and who later earns the ardour of a young lawyer and progressive-minded Gandhi follower, played by Indian heartthrob John Abraham.

"It took me four years to get rid of my bitterness," Mehta admits, "but I couldn't do this kind of material with any other agenda or baggage. It's a movie about a child; you can't manipulate her." The second Water took a substantial amount of work, as might be imagined of a film shot during monsoon season, with a large cast, and with a child actress who had to be directed in translation or through sign language. But Mehta is ebullient when recalling the 45-day shoot. "The best part of it? No political meetings. Through both Fire and Earth [both shot in India], I had to meet with somebody almost daily to talk about what the script meant, why I was depicting Hindus this way and so on. In Sri Lanka, all I had to do was to direct my film." Now that she's tied up that five-year-long loose end, Mehta would like to return to her new interest in Canadian-Indian dual identity, turning her gaze on her adopted country. The movie will be about the notorious Komagata Maru incident in 1914, when a shipload of 376 Indian passengers was denied entrance to Vancouver on a technicality. She's not trying to make a controversial story, she insists, "just a human story with heels and heroes on both sides."




The Man Acts The Part: Eugene Levy

Excerpt From The Globe And Mail - By Michael Posner

(Sept. 2, 2005) Eugene Levy is reluctant to attach too much weight to it, but the fact is his new film, The Man, may mark something of a belated turning point in his career. For almost three decades, Levy has managed to make smallish roles in film and television more meaningful and memorable than, in lesser hands, they might otherwise be. Think of his Bloomingdale's salesman in Serendipity, or his "Jim's dad" in the three American Pie movies. But until now, producers have never gambled major money on Levy's comic talents in a starring role, as they did with the likes of Steve Martin, Gene Wilder, Billy Crystal, the late John Candy and others. In The Man, an action comedy that opens a week today and co-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Levy plays Andy Fidler, a loquacious dental-equipment salesman from Wisconsin, improbably caught up in murder and mayhem during a trip to a convention in Detroit. Jackson is federal agent Derrick Vann, trying to find the killers of his long-time partner and the authors of a serious heist of a Detroit police force weapons arsenal. Advertisements Running a day-long gauntlet of media interviews, Levy recently explained that the offer to appear in The Man came about three years ago, even before Jackson's name was attached to the project. "New Line sent me the script and even though it needed some work, I knew I could make it work," he recalled. "It was a really interesting two-hander, a great relationship movie with these two guys driving each other crazy. But I said: 'You gotta be careful who the co-star is; I'm not signing on until we know who I'm working with.' " Early on, he says, the producers were mentioning names such as Diddy and Snoop Dogg, trying to reach a younger demographic. "I was a little nervous. I wanted to make sure the other guy could act." Eventually, Jackson was signed and Levy was delighted.

With his own character, the trick was to make him more three-dimensional and real. "With a lot of the roles I play, there's kind of an innate goofiness, whether it's Jim's dad or the guy in Serendipity. But I always try to keep everything grounded in truth, so anything comedic comes out of a real moment. That's what I did here." If the film scores with audiences, Levy and Jackson may have laid the foundation for a sequel or two. But he's averse to predicting it will happen. "We thought for sure there would be a sequel to Bringing Down the House [with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah], but they didn't do it. There's a lot of other things that factor into it like, how it's going to play foreign? What's the investment required?" Levy says he would love another chance to work with Jackson and says his co-star is already talking about taking a sequel to Turkey, where part of The Man's back story is set. But all such speculation, he suggests, is premature. He's also loath to agree that, at 58, the film marks a major step forward in his career. "Honestly, it's not as if we [Levy, his agents and managers] went out and looked for a vehicle like this. It was a role I knew I could do well and it happened to be a co-starring role. I was shocked when they wanted me to sign on, even though the other character had not been cast. It's a credit, yes, but there are some questions here, like: 'Have you ever opened a movie before?' And the answer is no. I've never had that weight on my shoulders." And he will continue to take roles that he can do something with, regardless of how big they are. This summer, for example, he shot a sequel to Cheaper By The Dozen, with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. It's a large role, but it's not a co-starring role. "I wouldn't even say I aspire to it. If it happens, great. We're looking for supporting roles that have more meat on the bone, as opposed to roles I was doing, with just two or three scenes." This fall, he will have another small part in the fourth of his and Christopher Guest's film satires, For Your Consideration. These collaborations -- they include Waiting for Guffman, Best In Show and A Mighty Wind -- are what Levy calls "creative escape valves. I'm glad I have them." Co-written with Guest, the films are green-lighted by Castle Rock without strings, giving them cinematic carte blanche. "I think we had to write a treatment for the first one, Guffman," he says. "But after that, once they hear the idea, they pretty much start into preproduction mode as we start writing."

The new film is about a small, independent production company involved in making a feature and the havoc that ensues when one of the actors is briefly mentioned as a possible Oscar nominee. It stars Parker Posey, Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer and Bob Balaban. Levy says his partnership with Guest came out of the blue. "He called me one day in Toronto. My wife and I had moved back from Los Angeles after the kids were born [they have a son and a daughter], and I knew who he was and was a big fan of his work, going back to his National Lampoon days. And he said: 'I'm doing a movie. Do you want to write it with me?' And so I went down to his place in Idaho and from day one, it was amazing how we clicked. These films are great ensemble pieces with people who are so adept at doing this kind of work." The most controversial of Levy's roles in the Guest films came in A Mighty Wind. In it, he plays Mitch Cohen, a burned-out, almost catatonic folk singer from the sixties, cajoled into attending a reunion with his old performing partner, Mickey Crabbe (Catherine O'Hara). It was one of the few performances of his that drew some sharply negative reviews. "There are no rehearsals for these movies," Levy explains. "You show up and you do the scene. I was pretty nervous that first day. This character just fell into place in the last week or so. And boy there were some strange reactions on the set. There was a lot of quiet, and that wasn't a good sign. All day, people went out of their way to avoid me. There was no eye contact. It was the strangest vibe.  "And I thought: 'I've really gone over. I'm the torpedo that's going right into the hull of this movie and sink it.' I went up to Chris at the end of the day and said: 'I'm standing right at the edge of the cliff and I'm a second away from going over.' And he said: 'Well, it was a brave choice.' "I thought: 'That's the kiss of death.' I went home and was as close to a breakdown as I think I've ever been. A huge mistake. But you have to keep going and as it went along, I felt more secure about the character, but still not sure it would work. And it wasn't until he was editing, that he called to give me an accolade." Although virtually all of his work comes out of Los Angeles, Levy does not regret the move back to Toronto two decades ago. "My wife and I made the decision so that the kids would have a level playing field, where show business would not be factor. And it's a great town with a great transit system and they can be independent. Ironically, it didn't mean anything. My daughter is going into theatre and my son wants to be an actor."




Fest Films Garnering Notice

Excerpt from - By Chris Atchison

Red carpets are being cleaned to soon be laid as a cushion for the designershoe clad feet of Hollywood’s A-list as they march for the cameras at the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow and runs until Sept. 17. Organizers are preparing for an onslaught of movie buffs from around the world. And buzz is beginning to build around some of the critics’ early picks for this year’s top films. While it’s too soon to say which will go down as the unofficial tour de force, the one movie that will have bloggers, film geeks and media waxing poetically for hours at their keyboards, Metro recommends the following films to help fans who are drawing up their TIFF must-see list:

Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee’s beautifully-shot tale of love, intolerance and emotional conflict stars Hollywood heavyweights Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in somewhat surprising roles. Strong performances by the two stars bring the complex story to life, raising powerful questions about acceptance and denial.

A History Of Violence Director David Cronenberg’s followup to the 2002 film Spider examines a father’s efforts to bury a life that he thought he’d long since left behind. Viggo Mortensen’s (The Lord Of The Rings) stunning emotional transformation only slightly overshadows strong performances by Maria Bello (Silver City) and William Hurt (The Village).

Water The opening night film at this year’s TIFF completes director Deepa Mehta’s Elements trilogy. Those who were largely unimpressed by the first two instalments, Fire (1996) and Earth (1998), will find that Water not only flows, but brings important social issues to the surface in a story that’s not only poignant, but at times remarkably powerful.

The World’s Fastest Indian While Roger Donaldson’s film about land-speed record holder Burt Munro is plagued by unnecessary sentimentality and all-too-convenient plot developments, Anthony Hopkins’ performance as the determined motorcycle racer is not to be missed. Perhaps another Academy Award, Sir Anthony?

Thumbsucker With an ensemble cast led by newcomer Lou Pucci as thumb-obsessed 17-year-old Justin Cobb, Mike Mills’ film examines the many challenges teens face as they approach adulthood. Keanu Reeves’ amusing performance as a new-wave orthodontist will surely leave audiences saying “Woah!” as they leave the theatre.

Capote Already being touted as an Oscar contender, Capote may well be Philip Seymour Hoffman’s best performance to date. The film follows legendary writer Truman Capote as he researches a gruesome murder for his novel In Cold Blood, a groundbreaking work that introduced the true-crime genre to literature. Hoffman and co-star Catherine Keener (The Forty Year-Old Virgin) as Nelle Harper Lee delve deep into the psyches of two larger-than-life characters and resurface with impassioned depictions.

Why We Fight The documentary explores the rise of the U.S. military industrial complex and looks into the motivations for modern-day war from the angle of economic imperialism. While the film lacks the whopping emotional punch of Erol Morris’ The Fog Of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. McNamara, it manages to explore divisive political and cultural issues with an arresting — albeit left-leaning — degree of intelligence.  




Montreal World Film Festival Vows To Continue On Next Year

Source: Canadian Press

 (Sep. 7, 2005) MONTREAL—Off Screen, a Netherlands-Belgium co-production, took the Grand Prize of the Americas top award at this year's edition of the Montreal World Film Festival.  Observers have suggested the 29th edition of the festival could be its last.  Federal and provincial funding agencies gave $1 million of its funding to a new event after an analysis criticized the festival's operation.  The new event is set to begin in 10 days.  World Film Festival founder Serge Losique was undeterred by the gloom at the event's close on Sunday, announcing the 30th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival would take place Aug. 24 to Sept. 6. He also said 34 countries had promised to help supply films.  Off Screen's Jan Decleir was awarded the best actor honour and Adriana Ozores was named best actress for Gerardo Herrero's Heroina, from Spain.  These were among the 340 films from 75 countries shown during the 11-day event that included tributes to Chinese actress Maggie Cheung and director Chen Kaige.  Montrealer Claude Gagnon — a long-time Losique booster — was a big winner in jury and public opinion categories, with five awards for his Japanese-Canadian co-production Kamataki.  Gagnon was also named best director and his film was voted most popular in the festival, and most popular Canadian feature.  Kamataki also took the international critics' jury prize, and the ecumenical jury prize — given not only for artistic merit, but for a film's ethics and humanity.  Special mention in this section was made of Three Dollars, by Australia's Robert Connolly.  Best screenplay honours were awarded to Jose Corbacho and Juan Cruz for the Spanish film, Tapas.  Gold, silver and bronze Zenith Awards for the best first fiction feature were awarded, respectively, to Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros), by Aureaus Solito of the Philippines; Wahrheit oder Pflicht (Truth or Dare) by Germany's Jan Martin Scharf and Arne Nolting; and London, from the United States's Hunter Richards.  Pierre-Henry Salfati's National Film Board ode to Beethoven, La Neuvieme (The Ninth), was named best documentary film; and the award for best Canadian short film was given to Montrealer David Boisclair for Mesdames et messieurs (Ladies and Gentlemen). 




Keith Beauchamp: Telling “The Untold Story Of Emmett Louis Till

Excerpt from - By Deardra Shuler

(Sept. 6, 2005) There is a universal law of action and reaction and what goes around… comes around.  Even, if it takes 50 years.  In a world, where the misguided, try to impose their brand of superiority through forms of oppression, suppression, derision, and execution, hate is a marketable commodity.  Within the twisted mind lies fear and hatred and often times a self-loathing that demonstrates itself through acts of violence, even against children.  Such was the case August 28, 1955, when 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till, was viciously murdered in Money, Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Keith Beauchamp’s documentary film, “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,” is being shown at the Film Forum on West Houston Street, and will soon go nationwide in mid September/October.  To support and find out further information on the film see  Emmett Till was a lively, vivacious lad who visited family in the Delta region in the Summer of 1955.  Till, who had a speech impediment, had problems pronouncing the letter ‘B.’  The day of his encounter with white storeowner, Carolyn Bryant, he was trying to buy bubblegum.  Since he was raised in Chicago, he had no idea of the Mississippi apartheid mentality that responded to whistling at a white woman via severe repercussions. Bryant's husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother J.W. Milam, kidnapped Till from the home of his relatives, and along with 14 others, (5 of whom were black, employees of the murderers), beat, tortured and gouged out Emmett’s eye. They cut off his genitals with a hatchet and split open his head.  They transported Till to the Tallahatchie River, barb-wired a cotton gin fan around his neck, shot him in the head and threw him in the river.  Till’s body was so unrecognizable, his mother was only able to identify him by his ring.  Despite protestations, his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley (formerly Bradley), showed courage, by forcing an open coffin funeral so the entire world could see hate in its most acrimonious form. Despite witness testimony, an all white male jury acquitted the two murderers, even exonerating them of the kidnapping charges.  The case was closed even though the two murderers confessed to and bragged of the murder in a magazine that paid them $2K for their story.

Filmmaker Keith Beauchamp was 10 years old when he first saw a picture of Emmett Till in Jet Magazine. He was unable to get the image of Till’s mutilated body out of his mind.  Beauchamp himself is from the south.  “I grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and was shocked by Emmett’s picture when I first saw it at age 10. My parents had to explain to me what happened to him. During High School, I dated interracially.  My parents cautioned me not to let what happened to Emmett Till happen to me. 2 weeks before my HS graduation in 1989, I was beat-up by an undercover cop for dancing with a white friend of mine” stated the 35 year old filmmaker turned activist.  “This incident motivated me to try and make sure such incidences of racism never happened to Blacks again.  I decided to study Criminal Justice at Southern University -Baton Rouge in the hopes of becoming a Civil Rights attorney.  One summer, I had the opportunity to work with a friend who had a film production company in New York.  I became interested in filmmaking.  I wrote/produced music videos and then produced my first screenplay. I wrote about Emmett Till.” At age 24, Mr. Beauchamp, set out to investigate the cold case on his own.  He located Mamie Mobley and the remaining living witnesses.  “Because Emmett was stricken with polio as a child, Mamie taught him to whistle to get certain words out” explained Keith.  “When Emmett went into the store to buy bubblegum, his mother thought perhaps the whistle occurred after Till tried to ask Carolyn Bryant for the bubblegum.  However, eye witnesses specifically say that Emmett did wolf whistle. Thus, Till’s mother was able to learn the truth before her death in 2003 as to what actually happened” stated the determined Beauchamp. Because the authorities are presently conducting a criminal investigation into the case, Keith is careful not to say too much about Carolyn Bryant, outside of the fact, she instigated what happened to Till. Beauchamp discovered through FBI records, there was a warrant issued for her arrest in 1955, but was never served.  Till’s death sparked the outrage that bolstered the Montgomery Bus Boycott and spurred on the Civil Rights Movement.  “Because I wanted to make sure the film was authentic, I worked with Ms. Mobley for 8 years to get justice for her son.  Ms. Mobley was a very influential, wise, charismatic, angelic woman. There are no words to express the admiration I have for her.  She helped sculpted me into the person I am today,” said Keith.  Through Mobley, Keith was able to convince Simeon Till, Emmett’s cousin, to talk about the case though it took 3 years.  According to Simeon, Emmett put money in Carolyn Bryant’s hand.  She recoiled at his touch and followed the boys when they left the store to retrieve a gun from her car.  It was during this period that Emmett whistled at her.  Seeing the gun everybody panicked and took off.  3 days later, Emmett was killed.  “No one thought these whites would come after a 14-year old boy” said Beauchamp.  “Apparently, not even a Black child was safe.  The same racist climate exists today.”

Distributed by Think Films, the documentary is presently being screened to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Till’s death. “It’s my hope this film will force the world to deal with racism” stated Keith. Through the efforts of Beauchamp and the NAACP, the Justice Department and the State of Mississippi have reopened the case.  Indictments may be brought against the few remaining living participants before years end.  Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam died of cancer. Carolyn Bryant still lives. Beauchamp hopes his film will establish dialogue between Blacks and whites in an effort to root out racism.    “While Bush is chasing terrorism abroad, African Americans are still being terrorized in America --yet nothing is being done” claims Keith.  “If White Supremist Organizations are not terrorist -- what are they?  This is a very politically savvy generation but people must awaken to the fact [the] Civil Rights[era] hasn’t ended as long as racist crimes continue.  My goal is to unite conscious people, the old and young generation to bring the youth within the Hip Hop community together with the Civil Rights community.  I want to awaken these Hip Hop artists to speak on issues other than community problems.  I want to educate them about their civil rights history in order to bridge the gap between the two modalities so that they join together to become the civil rights movement of today.  My film is not only about Till, it’s about a movement.”




Rendezvous With Road Rage

Excerpt From The Globe And Mail - By Matthew Hays

(Sept. 5, 2005) MONTREAL -- Kathleen Robertson can be forgiven for looking a bit weary. She is now leaning back in a chair, heaving a sigh of relief. The actress just spent the entire day shooting one crucial sequence in Last Exit, the CTV movie about a road-rage incident and the effect it has on two women's lives. Robertson has almost lost her voice, she explains, as the 12-hour shoot demanded that she lose her cool on one very hot and humid Montreal day, in the dramatized road-rage incident that lies at the centre of Last Exit. The sequence, which director John Fawcett (Ginger Snaps) required be shot from more than 20 angles, called for Robertson to smash a $50,000 Jeep Cherokee with a telescope while in a blind rage. "It's the kind of thing that's not too hard to do once or twice," Robertson explains. "But I had to do it about 20 times over. There were people standing all around the street where we filmed it. When I finally finished off the car and they yelled 'cut' for the final time, the crowd that had gathered began cheering and clapping." Robertson describes acting out such a scene of mercurial hostility as "a very strange sensation," but adds that the screenplay shows us how her character ends up at the end of her rope. Robertson plays the overworked mother of a disabled child, forced to juggle work and home stress with too little support. Andrea Roth (Rescue Me) stars as an upwardly mobile advertising executive who ends up in a nasty automotive scuffle with Robertson. "It wasn't too difficult to generate panic while I was in the car," Roth says. "It was pretty freaky." True to the CTV Signature movies of the week, Last Exit (slated to air later this season) takes a ripped-from-the-headlines social issue and spins it into a feature-length premise -- much like previous movies in the series, such as Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story (which tackled abortion) and Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (which dealt with gay rights). But screenwriter Russell Cochrane (Radio Free Roscoe) and director Fawcett say Last Exit avoids many of the conventions associated with made-for-TV movies. Advertisements "A lot of things about this story are actually counter to good storytelling," says Cochrane, of the main challenge in writing the script. "These two characters don't know each other. They have never met before they have this incident happen when they're driving. In fact, this is really about three stories: the two stories of each woman and then the story of the fallout from the road-rage incident." Cochrane chose to have the entire plot of Last Exit take place over one day -- in particular, the hottest day of the year. As the movie proceeds, we see the stress building in each woman's life -- and the story is told with a non-linear structure, often leaping between flashbacks and flash-forwards. What holds the film together is the growing tension, the audience knowledge that an explosion is never too far off. "The funny thing about this script is, everyone seemed to be able to relate to it. Everyone had their own road-rage story. As a driver, I can understand how it happens."

Fawcett says he's been offered a great many movies of the week, but felt the Last Exit screenplay set it apart. "This felt much more like a feature script or an HBO movie. I liked it precisely because it didn't play like a diseased celebrity story or something that was ripped from the headlines. It was fictional. It also moved at an incredible pace -- just a few pages into reading it and I knew I wanted to direct it. I saw it along the lines of the movie Traffic in the way I wanted to shoot it. Lots of rapid edits, with shots out of focus, lens flares, hand-held camera work, the look of documentary applied to fiction filmmaking. I didn't want any polish here, just rawness and grittiness." Fawcett also says he was drawn to the project because it involved a road-rage incident that occurs between two women. "Movies depicting the stress of urban life are so often about male figures, like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. I thought there was something very unique about showing the pressures contemporary women are under to balance home and work." The trick to shooting Last Exit, Fawcett explains, is in capturing the rapid-fire excitement of the screenplay. "I thought much of this screenplay was full of humour. The people at CTV were like, 'What?' It's like we're sticking pins in a character and seeing when they'll explode. Every character we introduce is an obstacle to [Robertson's character]. It's a bit like the way Martin Scorsese prodded his central character in After Hours. "Our cinematographer Norayr Kasper is astonishing. He really understood where I was coming from. His lighting style is amazing. If half the film is out of focus, frankly, I'm happy. Road-rage incidents are spontaneous -- this film has to be full of rough, unplanned moments. I don't want this to look, smell, taste or sound like a made-for-TV movie."




Nick Cannon Is A Class Act

Excerpt from - By Marie Moore

(Sept. 1, 2005) Nick Cannon is definitely a class act. Whether it’s stand-up, acting, rapping, directing or producing, Cannon does it with style. The classic Cannon stamp is written all over his projects. A familiar face on TV, Cannon first began working his magic behind the scenes with “The Nick Cannon show. He went from being a producer of Nickelodeon’s The Nick Cannon show to producing his first film, “The Underclassman.”  When The Film Strip last talked to Cannon, he was starring in “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” which he got just on the basis of his performance in “Drumline.” “It was cool,” he gushed, “I didn’t have to audition for ‘Love Don’t Cost A Thing.’ They called me to do it after seeing ‘Drumline.’” Cannon got “Drumline” after his friend and “mentor,” Will Smith vouched, for him. At that time, more than two years ago when he was promoting “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” he was overly excited about “Underclassman:”  “What I'm doing is I'm trying to think outside the box and create my own material, so I'm writing a film right now. The film I'm shooting right now I created the story for. I'm also executive producer on that film as well. It's called ‘The Underclassman’.”  In town to promote “Underclassman,” Cannon could surely hold classes on being a successful and respected filmmaker and performer.

So Nick, What was the inspiration behind this film?

NC: Actually, I would say the inspiration was from reading a lot of scripts and wanting to be a part of an action-comedy and play a cop in a film. Getting a chance to meet with the studios, they’d say, “Oh, yeah, you’ll be great in a few years! You look too young for this.” Or “You’d be perfect but you’ve just got a baby face” I wanted to use all of that to my advantage. I wanted to come up with a story to where it works on my behalf.

At any time did you have a private tutor?

NC: I went to high school.  You know what’s weird, though?  I guess because I started off on Nickelodeon, a lot of people thought I was a kid on television, but I didn’t really start doing television work until I was about 18. So I had already finished high school when I was 16. From high school, I was touring around the country and doing stand-up gigs and stuff at, like 16, 17 years old.

Do you still get stopped to have your ID checked?

NC: Nightclubs, they’re like “yeah, right…c’mon,” but if they recognize me then they really think I’m young because everything I’ve done, I play younger than I am.

Did you use “Beverly Hills Cop” in the conception stages [of this film]?

NC: Oh, of course. I’m a huge fan of “Beverly Hills Cop” and all those movies…”Lethal Weapon” and things like that. Obviously, we paid homage to a lot in the film. Then I kind of put my own spin on it to hopefully show that I can break out and do action roles. Being that wisecrackin’ comedian was a good experience for me.

Do people quote “The Chappelle Show” line to you and do you know Chappelle?

NC: Nick Cannon is Heelarious!  Oh, definitely. I kinda knew Dave in the comedy clubs. We kind of had a connection because he started doing stand-up really young, so he would always look out for me when he would see me in the club and give me advice and things like that.  Yeah, they told us that they might do this and it was going to be fun.

How did you get the gumption to go to Miramax and tell them to make this film?

NC: Yeah. I’m a passionate person, especially when it comes to ideas that I create, so I was passionate about this from the jump. So to me, this was a no-brainer. You get to mix a genre of a great high school comedy with an action movie. It makes sense and Miramax understood and saw my vision, so they rolled with it.

With all the action going on in the movie, were there any mishaps?

NC: The scene where I’m on the quad motorcycle, I tipped that over, you know, and everybody came running out. They thought that was real scary, but nothing happened. When they blew up the truck, I singed my arm. In the actual film, you actually see my reaction. That was real! They had to put all this ointment and stuff on my arm afterwards, cause it was really hot.  The other one, I don’t know if it was necessarily dangerous but it was definitely brutal. We were shooting the last scene in Vancouver in like six-degree weather. I was in a tank top and I had to jump in the ocean and jump out onto a boat going 45 miles an hour, so that made it below that. When they called “cut,” they had to put me in a tub of hot water so I wouldn’t catch hypothermia. 

What’s going on with the MTV series, “Wild ‘n Out”?

NC: It’s going extremely well. To me, that’s probably some of the most fun I’ve ever had.  I got a chance to hang out with all of my friends, create and produce a show, and for it to be a success on the network, that was an extra bonus. For Thursday nights, it’s the #1 show on television for teens, so you can’t ask for anything more. We completed the first season already.

What are you working on now?

NC: I have two projects at Happy Madison that we’re doing with Adam Sandler, so those are some of the things that are on the forefront that I’m trying to get those off the ground.

So you're looking at some dramatic scripts?

NC: Absolutely. I've been developing a few things. I'm interested in doing athletic movies. I'm actually writing a boxing movie right now, and training, because it will take me a year and a half to bulk up.

Is it based on a real person?

NC: Loosely, I'm working with a guy who trained Sugar Ray, and Will Smith for "Ali." He has a really unique story, so we're going back and forth. I'm trying to figure it out.

While Nick figures it out, “Roll Bounce,” in which he has a small role, rolls into theatres in a couple of weeks. Over the next year he has “Extra Protection,” “Monster House,” “Even Money,” “The Beltway” and a yet to be titled project headed to movie houses.







eTalk Turns Up Star Power

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Vinay Menon

(Sep. 5, 2005) Sophie Grégoire's whirlwind summer just won't end.  In May, the vivacious 30-year-old married Justin Trudeau, eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The wedding, in Montreal's Sainte-Madeleine d'Outremont church triggered an uncustomary wave of coast-to-coast fervour and placed Grégoire under a blinding spotlight.  But marrying into Canadian royalty, it turns out, was merely her first act on the national stage. CTV will announce today that Grégoire is joining eTalk Daily, the network's flagship entertainment program.  "I won't be able to have dinner with Justin as much as before," jokes Grégoire, when we talked this weekend. "This job will change my life. But it's not all new to me. I have worked as a TV host. I have done interviews. I have travelled on my own."  Based in Montreal, Grégoire becomes an eTalk correspondent later this month. She will focus on the nexus between celebrity and altruism, showcasing stars who use their power for the greater good.  "As much as we can, we will try to focus on the social and charity work environment," she says.  In other words, celebrity with a conscience. Grégoire believes with fame comes responsibility. Indeed, from U2's Bono to Bob Geldof, from relief efforts for the Asian tsunami to Hurricane Katrina, the cultural elite has blurred the lines between politics, activism and entertainment.  "There is a sense of responsibility that comes with (fame), a sense of possibility as well," says Justin Trudeau, no stranger to celebrity. "Of using the power you've been granted by arbitrary twists of fate in order to change the world, to make it better. That's something that's been important to Sophie from the day I met her."  A familiar face in Quebec media circles, Grégoire started her career as an entertainment reporter for Francophone media outlet LCN before hosting shows such as Techsho on Canal Z. After the wedding, there were several offers for the auburn-haired beauty, who was raised in Montreal's Town of Mount Royal.  "At first I was like, `Do I want to go back into entertainment?' Because that's how I started," she says. "But the entertainment world has always fascinated me."  Today's announcement traces back to April, when eTalk Daily covered the Daffodil Ball in Montreal, an annual fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  That night, Grégoire was interviewed. Her energy and camera presence captivated CTV executives.

"When we looked at that tape it was, like, `Oh. My. God,'" recalls Jordan Schwartz, eTalk Daily's executive producer and CTV's vice president of daytime programming.  "This was beyond a story. This was somebody we have to start talking to."  So, with a wedding on the horizon, Grégoire found herself in the midst of a second courtship. Last month, Schwartz flew to Montreal, where the two met for a secret lunch.  Schwartz was, to use his words, "blown away."  "She's the whole package," he says. "She is sophisticated. She is warm. She is engaging in conversation. She is a great interviewer. She puts you at ease."  For Grégoire, who has also worked as a personal shopper for Holt Renfrew, the decision to join eTalk Daily was, in the end, about personal relationships.  "It's going to sound cliché but it's the people I met," she says. "In television, the people who surround you and the team you work with makes the whole difference. And I just clicked right away with the whole team."  Landing Grégoire is quite a coup for CTV, which has expanded eTalk's newsroom — the show now employs more than 70 staff — and invested considerable resources.  eTalk Daily is becoming the unofficial home for those with familial connections to former prime ministers. In addition to Grégoire, the show also features co-host Ben Mulroney. Who will they hire next? Catherine Clark?  The show, which begins its fourth season tonight, is bracing for a war as new competitors flood into the rapidly expanding market.  Last week, Global unveiled a new entertainment show, ET Canada, which debuts Sept. 12. Starting tomorrow, both Star! Daily (Star!) and Inside Jam! (Sun TV) premiere.  "The fact is we have been the only game in town on a daily basis for a few years," says Schwartz. "I think having competition is great for the industry. It provides more places for Canadians to be highlighted."  Observes Grégoire: "I think that when you say the word `eTalk' there is a reputation there in itself. It has become a part of Canadian culture and established itself as a leader in the industry."

Grégoire brings a new dimension to the show and will also expose viewers in English Canada to Quebec's vaunted and elaborate star system.  Her biggest concern? She may be too tough on herself.  "I'm a perfectionist," she says. "So I always doubt a portion of what I do.  "I am my harshest critic. I can't look at myself on TV. I only watch myself to see what I can do better. But this is constructive."  On a practical level, the new gig is not without an upside in the Trudeau-Grégoire household, especially now that Justin has returned to university this fall to pursue a master's degree at McGill University.  "With me going back to school, it's great to have someone working in the family," he quips.  Grégoire also plans to find time for "the outdoors."  Is she still into extreme sports?  "I married Justin Trudeau," she says. "He is an extreme adventurer. So if we go hiking, we'll go to the highest summit. We just came back from the Arctic and Justin was always the guy doing the craziest expeditions.  "I just hope I don't get three boys. They're going to drive their mummy crazy, those little Trudeaus."




Ottawa's Kelly Rowan thrives in Orange County

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Andrea Baillie, Canadian Press

(Sep. 6, 2005) When we last saw the gang from Orange County, the situation was a little, well, heavy.  Caleb had just been buried. Kirsten was headed to rehab. Julie and Jimmy were poised to resume their tumultuous relationship.  Oh, yes, and Ryan's brother, Trey, was lying in a pool of blood after a panic-stricken Marissa shot him in the back.  The fun begins again Thursday when Season 3 of The O.C. kicks off, but on a trip to Toronto earlier this summer, actress Kelly Rowan wasn't able to offer even a hint of what was to come.  "We never know what's going to happen. It's always a surprise to us, too," said the Ottawa-born actress, who plays blueblood Kirsten Cohen on the show. "There are going to be a lot of questions."  After all, there's still much to be resolved between Rowan's character and husband Sandy, played by Peter Gallagher. Last season, the temptation to cheat loomed large for both and Kirsten's alcoholism led to a serious car accident.  "In the first season, (Kirsten) seemed really together, but there's this undercurrent of `something's got to be up.' And (last) season you got to see kind of the underbelly of her," says Rowan. "Now we kind of have to pick up the pieces."  Another looming plot line will no doubt come from the pending graduation of Seth, Rachel, Ryan and Marissa. While other teen shows like Beverly Hills 90210 managed to continue on after the characters left high school, it presents a tricky logistical task for the writers.  If anyone is up for the job, it is likely O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, who has called the coming season "epic."  Whatever the future holds, Rowan — who moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to pursue her film career — expects to enjoy more than a few laughs with her co-stars this year, saying the chemistry between the cast is one of the main reasons for the show's success.

"We just kind of all clicked, which is a real hats-off to the producers and the writers of the show to put this group of people together," she says.  "We actually really do have fun on the set. There are days when we'll be doing a family scene, a dinner scene, and we'll start laughing and the poor crew is just rolling their eyes saying, `Would they just cut it out.'"  Rowan spent the summer vacationing in Italy and Scotland and, of course, hanging out with her mom in Toronto. She says she doesn't get back to Canada as much as she would like and recently bought a condominium in Vancouver, which has yet to be built.  It's the perfect getaway, says Rowan, from the heady world of one of television's most popular shows.  "I get a little dose of the Canadian culture and friends and it's only a 2 1/2-hour flight (from L.A)."




Make Way For The Prime-Time Prime Minister

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail - By Guy Dixon

(Sept. 6, 2005) Hopefully the finalists for TV's The Next Great Prime Minister won't be accused of dithering, or utter Paul Martin's favourite, redundant phrase "transformative change." A one-hour television special likely to air in early December plans to take a 10-year-old essay-writing contest sponsored by business mogul Frank Stronach and turn it into a reality-TV cum Canadian Idol program. Canadians aged between 18 and 29 are invited to submit a three- to five-minute video outlining what they would do as prime minister, and their vision for Canada. (Entry details are at Stronach, who is the father of Belinda and founder of auto-parts maker Magna International, is said to have been underwhelmed by the public attention that his essay-writing competition attracted over the years. So his people contacted Toronto-based production company Summerhill Entertainment, who in turn came up with the idea for the TV special. Producers are hoping this could even evolve into a series.

The five finalists picked from the pool of video applications will each receive $10,000 and vie for a $50,000 first prize. All five will also receive paid internships at public- and private sector organizations (every contest-winner's dream!). And the plan is to tape the show live at Ottawa's Carleton University, which is also sponsoring the contest through its Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs. Rumour is that CTV and Global have expressed interest in airing the program. It is perhaps telling, though, that the contest will no longer be based on how well contestants present their policies in writing (past essay-winners seem prone to such vague prime-ministerial themes as "responsible stewardship" and "renewing" the country). Now the contest is all about presentation and poise. In addition to the segments in front of a live studio audience, the special will have taped portions in which the would-be PMs will be pitted against scrums of real journalists or forced to spar with real politicians. But don't expect junior Jack Laytons or Stephen Harpers entering into highly partisan debates. Entrants in the contest so far have been largely apolitical, talking about community issues and causes such as the Make Poverty History campaign against world poverty. Take heed, Mr. Prime Minister!




Bob Denver, 70: Accident-Prone Gilligan

Source: Associated Press

(Sep. 6, 2005) LOS ANGELES — Bob Denver, whose portrayal of goofy first mate Gilligan on the 1960s television show Gilligan’s Island, made him an iconic figure to generations of TV viewers, has died, his agent confirmed Tuesday. He was 70.  Denver died Friday at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in North Carolina of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer, his agent, Mike Eisenstadt, told The Associated Press. Denver’s death was first reported by Entertainment Tonight.  Denver had also undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery earlier this year.  Denver’s wife, Dreama, and his children Patrick, Megan, Emily and Colin were with him when he died.  “He was my everything and I will love him forever,” Dreama Denver said in a statement.  Denver’s signature role was Gilligan. But he was already known to TV audiences for another iconic character, that of Maynard G. Krebs, the bearded beatnik friend of Dwayne Hickman’s Dobie in the The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which aired from 1959 to 1963.

Gilligan’s Island lasted on CBS from 1964 to 1967, and it was revived in later seasons with three high-rated TV movies. It was a Robinson Crusoe story about seven disparate travelers who are marooned on a deserted Pacific Island after their small boat was wrecked in a storm.  The cast: Alan Hale Jr., as Skipper Jonas Grumby; Bob Denver, as his klutzy assistant Gilligan; Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer, as rich snobs Thurston and Lovey Howell; Tina Louise, as bosomy movie star Ginger Grant; Russell Johnson, as egghead science professor Roy Hinkley Jr.; and Dawn Wells, as sweet-natured farm girl Mary Ann Summers.  TV critics hooted at Gilligan’s Island as gag-ridden corn. Audiences adored its far-out comedy. Writer-creator Sherwood Schwartz insisted that the show had social meaning along with the laughs: “I knew that by assembling seven different people and forcing them to live together, the show would have great philosophical implications.”







Full Steam Ahead

Excerpt From The Globe And Mail - By Leanne Campbell

(Sept. 2, 2005) Over the next few months, there are about as many openings in Vancouver as there are ways to order a latte -- everything from the naughtily intriguing to the mainstream: British Installation Theatre Week will attempt to answer the riddle of how small an audience can be and still be an audience. Two of the three presentations are designed to entertain one person at a time (one work is four minutes long and the other, 10); the third piece can accommodate four patrons. The intimacy continues with US, a solo show by American performance artist Tim Miller, who left the United States because of its policy against same-sex marriage. He talks and sings about his self-exile to Canada. His gimmick? He does it in the buff. British Installation Theatre Week, Oct. 4-8, and US, Oct. 18-22 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. (604) 251-1363, Getting young actors involved is one of the priorities for Rumble Theatre's first offering of the year. Its North American premiere of David Grieg's San Diego -- which made its 2003 debut in the author's native Glasgow -- will feature senior-year acting students from Langara College's Studio 58. San Diego, Oct. 6-23, at Studio 58, Langara College. Rumble Theatre: (604) 662-3395, your tastes run to the darker side, you might try Carnage by Stéphane Hogue, receiving the world premiere of James Long's English translation at the hands of Pi Theatre. Flagged with the warning "extreme explicit content" because of its depictions of violence and pornography, it's also touted as "disgustingly and horrifyingly funny." Carnage, Nov. 3-19, at Performance Works. Pi Theatre: (604) 872-1861, Advertisements Touchstone Theatre opens its 30th season with Little Mercy's First Murder, described as a "wicked film noir musical." It boasts a dynamite cast: Donald Adams, Dean Paul Gibson, Michael Scholar, Jr., Tara Jean Wilkins and Katey Wright. Little Mercy's First Murder, Nov. 3-12, at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Touchstone Theatre: (604) 709-9973,

Ruby Slippers begins its two-show season by remounting Denise Clarke in her own creation, A Fabulous Disaster. The company will be really flexing its muscles next March, when it tackles The Leisure Society by François Archambault. A Fabulous Disaster, Nov. 1-5, at the Firehall Arts Centre. Ruby Slippers: (604) 602-0585, Vancouver's only professional French-language troupe, Théâtre la Seizième, launches its 2005-06 slate with Visites à Monsieur Green, a sort of Tuesdays with Morrie-story of the friendship between a young and an older man. Visites à Monsieur Green, Nov. 9-12, at Studio 16. Théâtre la Seizième: (604) 736-2616; Of the main stages, the hottest ticket so far is Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The Arts Club reports having sold in excess of 3,000 single tickets so far. Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Nov. 17, 2005, to Jan. 15, 2006, at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Arts Club Theatre Company: (604) 687-1644; show sure to get the cash registers singing is Mamma Mia!, scheduled for a 13-day stint. Mamma Mia!, Sept. 27-Oct. 9 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. TicketMaster: (604) 280-3311. The Vancouver Playhouse is in the second year of its new-works-only mandate and first up is The Syringa Tree, a one-woman show performed by the author, Pamela Gien, who will alternate performances with Caroline Cave. In 2001, Gien earned a nod from the Drama Desk for Outstanding Solo Performance, for her depiction of life in South Africa during apartheid. Cave scooped the 2004 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance for her work in the Toronto run. The Syringa Tree, Oct. 8-29. Vancouver Playhouse: (604) 873-3311, Seemingly thumbing its nose at the Playhouse, the newest member of Vancouver's theatre scene promises to focus on "great dramatic works." Blackbird Theatre's list of founders would have trouble finding one stage to accommodate all of their collective talent: Nicola Cavendish, Bernard Cuffling, Tom McBeath, Camille Mitchell and Gabrielle Rose have put their weight behind the maiden project, Schiller's Mary Stuart featuring founders Rose and McBeath, as well as such respected players as Duncan Fraser, Lee Van Paassen and William Samples. Mary Stuart, Sept. 6-18, at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Blackbird Theatre: (604) 734-5273, William Samples will also appear in the Pacific Theatre opener The Elephant Man. The theatre's most exciting programming is coming up in the spring, with two world premieres and a Canadian premiere slated for the period between January and June. The Elephant Man, Oct. 20-Nov. 12. Pacific Theatre: (604) 731-5518, It's enough to make anybody want to crank up the espresso machine. Pass the sugar.




Magic Returns To The Stage

Excerpt from The Toronto Star - Richard Ouzounian

(Sep. 2, 2005) First they cheer, then they cry and finally they cheer again.  That's the universal audience reaction to Billy Elliot the Musical, which burst onto the scene this past May and immediately emerged as the biggest homegrown hit in recent West End theatre memory.  And for once, the hype is fully justified. This version of Stephen Daldry's successful 2000 film not only delivers all the humour and pathos of the original, but actually sharpens the social consciousness that informs the entire piece.  Believe it or not, what we have here is a socialist musical that also happens to be a box office hit. Only in England, you say? Pity.  The show's plot is a faithful rendering of the movie's. It's set in northern England during the devastating miners' strike of 1984-85 that ripped the country apart and began the end of its love affair with Margaret Thatcher.  The labour problems may comprise the highly visible background to the piece, but the foreground is the story of Billy Elliot, the son of a striking pitman, who suddenly finds he has an aptitude for dance and is encouraged to audition for the Royal Ballet School.  Ironically, the stage adaptation seems less "stagey" than the movie, where the shots of a young Billy dancing down the cobblestone streets of his town strained credibility.  Here, in the world of artifice, everything meshes together seamlessly. And Stephen Daldry, who directed the film, fills his staging with a fine combination of cinematic fluidity and theatrical sensibility.  It all comes together beautifully in the "Solidarity" song, where a ballet class of klutzy young girls weaves in and out of a chorus of striking miners and belligerent police. Daldry (assisted by his ace choreographer, Peter Darling) creates a sequence that tells a story, pleases the eye and fills the heart all at the same time — which is a perfect description of what musical theatre ought to do.

A show like this only works if everyone is singing from the same hymnbook and that is truly the case here. Fortunately, the tunes have been composed by Elton John in a style that harkens back to the grittier material of his early days, rather than the more homogenous pop he's been providing for Disney musicals.  John is certainly helped by the solid lyrics of Lee Hall, who also adapted the skilful book from his original screenplay.  Numbers such as "The Stars Look Down" and "Once We Were Kings" give eloquent voice to the miners and their struggle, while the sizzling "Electricity" is the perfect way to depict Billy's delight in dancing.  Humour is also in abundance, especially in a savage piece called "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher," which uses grotesque puppets in the style of Spitting Image to devastating effect.  Daldry has marshalled cast members who look and act like genuine people, instead of musical comedy archetypes. You couldn't do any better than Haydn Gwynne's razor-sharp dancing teacher, or Tim Healy's tough-tender Dad. Ann Emery's Grandma and Joe Caffrey's brother are also both the real thing.  The show rises or falls, however, on its Billy and British child labour laws have insisted that the part be triple-cast. I saw Liam Mower, who was an absolute delight: part scrappy street-kid, part embryonic fawn.  The scene where he dances to the Black Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake with a fantasy vision of the adult dancer he dreams of becoming, is sheer theatrical magic, the kind of moment you wish could last forever.  In the end, the secret weapon that catapults Billy Elliot to success is its heart — the sheer honest emotion it's not afraid to display.  With all of North American musical theatre seemingly dominated by campy spoofs, we need this antidote on our shores and soon.  And they don't have to worry about changing it or explaining all the British references. Billy Elliot is ultimately about the importance of believing in something and everyone can understand that.





Bergen's Return To Vietnam

Excerpt From The Globe And Mail - By Kamal Al-Solaylee

(Sept. 5, 20050 Novelist David Bergen is fond of a saying he first heard in Thailand, where he spent three years teaching English in the 1980s. It goes something like this: If you spend three weeks in Thailand, you'll write a novel. Two years, you'll write a short story. Three years and you won't write anything. If there's a lesson to be learnt from these words of expatriate wisdom, it may be that a certain naiveté before, and incomprehension during and after, a visit to a foreign country can in fact be liberating for a novelist's imaginative powers. "The more you immerse yourself in a place, the more you get under its skin, the more perplexed you become and the more you realize how little you know," says the award-wining writer (A Year of Lesser, See the Child and The Case of Lena S.) on the phone from his home in Winnipeg.  Just as well, then, that Bergen spent only half a year in Vietnam in 1996 -- on a teaching-English-abroad mission organized by the Mennonite Central Committee that never panned out -- because nine years later he can proudly point to his exquisite fourth novel The Time in Between, inspired by his visit. "I was lucky to spend only six months in Vietnam because I came away with a novel," he says. The novel made its appearance on Canadian bookshelves (actual and virtual) late last month with simultaneous release in the United States and France. It follows siblings Ada and Jon Boatman as they search for their missing father, Charles, in Vietnam. Charles is an American soldier who fought in the Vietnam War but eventually sought refuge in British Columbia in the late 1960s. In 1997, Charles makes "the return trip" to Vietnam, assuring his children that he'll be travelling as a tourist, before vanishing without a trace. The novel's publisher, McClelland & Stewart, has made no secret of its great expectations for The Time in Between as one of its fall season main titles and as Bergen's breakout novel, particularly in the U.S., where strong reviews did little to help weak sales of his earlier works. A report in the industry publication Quill and Quire estimates advertising cost a staggering (for Canadian books) $40,000 with a first printing of 25,000 copies -- not quite Harry Potter figures but impressive enough for a literary Canadian novel.

Reading Bergen's elegant, sparse, emotionally fraught but delicately constructed prose, and hearing his soft, lilting voice on the phone, it's hard to imagine him at home in the middle of an aggressive, American-style marketing campaign. This is the man who, days before his novel's publication and the beginning of a cross-country promotional tour, geared up by taking his kids to the water slides and sitting in the sun and reading Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero. "It's somewhat of a contradiction," Bergen admits. "I guess the quieter the voice, the more necessary it is to push it. It's not going to leap out at you and scream. I also can't control how a book is marketed. To say the book marketing is aggressive, fine, I'm happy with that. Push the book. That doesn't mean that my personality or writing style changes." Radical changes for the characters he creates in The Time in Between are just as unrealistic. This is not a novel where a Westerner's trip to the East implies a spiritual or cultural conversion in the E.M. Forster mode. Connections between people and cultures are made briefly and lost irretrievably. Two romances -- Charles's encounter with Elaine, the wife of an American preacher, but particularly Ada's relationship with a Vietnamese painter by the name of Vu -- are tentatively developed but denied full growth or happy endings. Love in Bergen's world is signified by its elusiveness. "I've always been interested in the emotion of longing," he says. "We all experience longing in various ways. What literature can do is approach it and magnify it. I'm not sure how I would have ended [the novel] if there was a connection. Maybe Ida realizes that this is an in-between time," says Bergen, explaining one of the numerous meanings of his title. Ada's world view, says Bergen, is essentially a romantic one. Vu, by comparison, "has to be more materialist in his view of the world. He has to eat, make a living. He doesn't have the luxury of nostalgia." The same cultural-difference theme is revisited by contrasting attitudes toward the war between the Americans who seem incapable of forgetting it and the Vietnamese who have "moved on." Although The Time in Between is by no means an "anti-war novel," its critical attitude can be glimpsed through its exploration of the psychological legacy of that war, not just on a former solider but his children and those who (want to) love him. Between the first image on page one, of Ada watching a typhoon from her hotel room in Vietnam, and the book's final words, "to carry a traveller home," multiple searches and narratives unfold.

"On the literal level, Ada is looking for her father. Charles's search is more psychological. Physically, he's looking for the village [where he killed a Vietnamese child point-blank]. By extension, if he finds the village, he thinks something will happen and he'll be absolved -- find completion. I suppose it's symbolic of what happened to him in Vietnam. Ada is still looking for what he was. . . . One can never find certainty but that won't stop her from trying. The quest beyond finding him physically is to discover where he comes from, where he's been, what happened to him and by extension what happened to her." If you're searching for Bergen himself (when he's not on a promotional tour) look no further than Winnipeg, the city whose name appears almost by default whenever his is mentioned. The novel may be set in Vietnam but was written while he was writer-in-residence at the Winnipeg Public Library. "I always balked at the notion of being called a Mennonite writer. I don't balk at being called a Winnipeg writer, because that's where I'm from," Bergen says. "Whether I'll set another novel outside of Winnipeg, I have no idea. . . . That said, there was something about stepping out of my milieu and going to another country that allowed me to explore characters I might not have normally explored." A bit of literary transvestitism doesn't hurt either if the fine line between his real-life experiences in Vietnam and their fictional incarnation is to be examined too closely: "I took David Bergen and made myself into Ada, a 27-year-old woman meeting this artist and imagining the possibilities that could come out of it."




BET Charts New Directions - 6 Questions with Reginald Hudlin

Excerpt from - By Gil Robertson

(Sept. 1, 2005)  In a move that many are calling long overdue, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has appointed writer/director Reginald Hudlin as President of its Entertainment Division. Best known for films like, “House Party,” “Boomerang” and “The Great White Hope,” Hudlin is expected to infuse a much needed dose of creative direction and content to the network’s woefully uninspiring programming boards. Gregarious, bubbly and serious about his commitment to transform the portrayal of Black images, Hudlin recently sat down with the RTSC to talk about what viewers should expect now that he’s at the helm of the world’s largest Black media conglomerate.

Robertson Treatment Syndicated Column - As president of BET entertainment, what exactly does your job entail?

Reginald Hudlin : I’m in charge of all creative content on the channel, which means what shows go on, when they go on… all of that. I’ll work closely with other divisions of the company to ensure maximum synergy for our programming. I’ve also create a new division within our Entertainment division which will focus on the acquisition of new and existing titles for the network.   

RTSC: Given your success as a director can we expect more long form programming on the network?

RH: Absolutely! We’ve got so many ideas on the table that my staff looks at me in terror. But it’s a good thing because the influx of ideas has energized the department creatively. Also, we’ve been met with a great reception from the Hollywood community which I am sure will allow us to deliver some revolutionary projects for BET’s audience.

RTSC: Balancing entertainment with news and other programming is an ongoing problem in all of television, in particular BET. Tell me how do you plan to strike a balance?

RH: First of all I don’t see it as a problem. People like information--- they are starved for it in fact, particularly our audience. I think it’s about acknowledging who our audience is and identifying how they want to be informed. What we’re trying to do is reinvent what news is for our audience and how they want it to be presented and what news is relevant to them. We are not interested in imitating CBS Evening News or another CNN. If you want to see that, you can watch those channels. What we’re going to do is present information that you can only hear from us. We will have an approach that is honest, bold and edgy that you can only get from us. BET is going to change the way news is delivered and we’re going to change the kind of news that we’re delivering. Now it’s going to take a while but one of our goals is to deliver our viewers more news on than ever before that will be more provocative and more talked about than ever before.

RTSC: In what other ways can we expect for you to expand BET’s market share?

RH: At the end of the day, the heart of this job is good story telling. If you tell a good story of any genre you’ll gain the audience’s attention. Presently I’m looking at various new formats for the network but it all comes down to knowing your craft and telling stories that engages the heart and mind of the viewers.

RTSC: Besides BET what other projects are you working on?

RH: I recently did a graphic novel called The Birth of a Nation, which has performed very well. I’ve also fulfilled a childhood dream of mine by working with Marvel Comics where I’m writing Spider Man and reintroduced the Black Panther, America’s first Black super hero. In addition to those projects, I am also a director for “Everyone Needs Chris” which will be airing on Fox this fall and I am executive producer of the “Boondocks” which is also coming to TV this fall.

RTSC: What should BET represent to the African American community?

RH: As a brand ultimately what we aspire to be in the repository of all African American culture. We’re about covering everything from Louis Armstrong to Jimi Hendrix to Alicia Keys. From Sidney Poitier, Will Smith and Jamie Foxx.

There are a lot of different ways of measuring power. You can measure power economically and you can measure it militarily.   But if you measure our cultural influence, Black people are a super power and we need to act like it. BET is the most powerful Black media company on earth, which means we’re one of the most powerful media brands on earth.   I’m all about embracing who we are and celebrating that.







A Toned Body In 15 Minutes A Day!

By Joyce L. Vedral, PhD, eFitness Guest Columnist

(Sept. 5, 2005) When we think of getting in top shape, we often give up before we start, because we imagine having to be a fitness  fanatic. Most of us are busy trying to survive, making a living, fulfilling family obligations, and to eke out some leisure time to pursue what makes us happy. This leaves most of us with available minutes, not hours, a day to get and stay in shape.  So what can you do? The key is efficiency. I've boiled it down. With 15 minutes a day, you can transform your body in nine weeks. The secret is working out with weights. Not heavy "Arnold" weights, but weights that you can easily handle -- inexpensive hand-held dumbbells used at home.  You need to do three exercises per body part, three sets each. But since your rare rests are very short, your 15-minute workout is worth an hour. How so? For example, on your first workout day, you'll be working your chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps. For chest you will do flat dumbbell presses and flies, and cross bench pullovers, three sets each (a set is a group of repetitions.) That is a total of nine sets.

You will do an additional nine sets for each of the other three body parts that day -- another 27 sets in total. Added up, that's 36 sets in all. If you do the math, since each set takes about 20 seconds, that's 720 seconds, or 12 minutes in all.  But what about the rests. You get only a 15 second rest after every three sets. So you rest 12 times, or 360 seconds, which is 3 minutes. Added up, the total workout is 15 minutes. An ordinary workout that seeks to build bulk asks you to rest at least a minute after each set. That would mean 36 minutes of resting time. When you add the 33 minutes (you did rest 3 minutes) to your workout, you have a 48 minute workout that you do in only 15 minutes.  What's the catch? You can't get big hulk muscles -- the Arnold kind. But what you do get is a lean, defined, toned body. What I call "feminine muscularity." In addition, after 12 weeks of working out, your muscles will increase your metabolism, so you can eat 15 percent more than before without getting fat!  You will be exercising one half of your body one day, the other half the next, and then you will repeat one or two more times during the week. We've already discussed your day one workout. Day two will be back, abdominal, thighs and butt.

For the ideal combo of exercises for your entire body, and to do the workout with me, see details in my Definition DVD or video at




EVENTS –SEPTEMBER 8 - 18, 2005




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




Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel
36 King Street East
Tickets:  $65
Table of 10:  $650
For More Information, Please Contact SCAO:

EVENT PROFILE: The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario invites you to A Royal Tea & Benefit Concert featuring World Renowned Entertainer and Pianist Linda Gentille on September 11, 2005 at Le Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel.  Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition that can be life threatening. It causes chronic pain and swelling in the joints, fever and respiratory infections. There is no cure for sickle cell anemia – but there is hope through research.  The Sickle Cell Association of Ontario is a voluntary, nonprofit, charitable organization which is funded by donations from individuals, organizations and employee charitable funds.




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.




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.




Benefit for Katrina Victims
Advent Lutheran Church
2800 Don Mills, Don Mills and Sheppard
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
$10.00 (All proceeds to flood victims)

EVENT PROFILE: Featuring It's been a difficult few days seeing countless images of death, destruction, and despair in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. There are many questions being raised about what was done before the storm and what was done in the aftermath. Regardless of the political questions concerning the relief effort, the fact remains that there is a tremendous need for help for the residents of this community that now lies in ruins.  On Sunday Sept 18, I invite you to a special Lester McLean Trio performance at Advent Lutheran Church with all proceeds benefiting the victims of this tremendous disaster. We are asking for a $10.00 donation with all proceeds going to Katrina victims. I promise you that you will enjoy an afternoon of great music and fellowship while doing something to help in this time of need.   Please feel free to forward this whomever you like.  The Lester McLean Trio is: Lester McLean - Vocals, Saxes, Guitar; Michael Occhipinti - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals; Louis Simao - Upright Bass, Accordion, Vocals




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