September 30, 2010

Hollywood Stories: Tour Guide Shares Thousands of Stories on Hollywood Legends

After collecting literally hundreds of vintage tales of Hollywood legends over the years, Stephen Schochet not only wrote a book that everyone could enjoy on the glamorous, and not so glamorous, stories of Hollywood icons, but also created audiobooks. As explained in an interview with Reuters, this
entrepreneur told two kinds of stories on his tour bus; origin stories – telling how things we take for granted came to be, and funny anecdotes. He not only read a lot of books to find his material, but
also tried to meet people who were connected to the famous – like housekeepers – that he could garner some tidbits from! His book is a special blend of biography, history and legends and covers scandalous
yarns on some of Hollywood’s greatest characters – from Shirley Temple and Lucille Ball to Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney and Michael Jackson.

Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! (Hollywood Publishing) is packed with wild and wonderful short tales on many famous stars, movies and directors – anyone who has been a part of the world’s most fascinating and unpredictable industry!

The author covers the gamut when it comes to situational stories; from the one about a bus full of tourists at Universal Studies who were viewing the famous motel from the movie Psycho and who screamed in terror as a tall man, dressed in drag, carrying a large knife and looking remarkably like Norman Bates, charged the tram with a convincing maniacal expression– only to find out it was actor Jim Carrey having some fun - to the story of how Walt Disney overprotected his two daughters from the limelight in fear of their being kidnapped, to the point that when one daughter found out from a classmate that her father was THE Walt Disney, she went home and asked for his autograph!

Hollywood Stories truly has something for everyone. It is a thoroughly entertaining book that features a remarkable cast of Hollywood’s legendary characters and icons and is jam-packed with surprising and
funny tales with often unpredictable endings. No matter which page the book is opened on, there will be some fascinating part of Hollywood history to be savored!

Here's our exclusive  interview with author, Stephen Schochet.

The Mac Wire: One reviewer said, your are "The best storyteller about Hollywood", what do you say to that?







Stephen Schochet: Boy it sure is, there are so many great storytellers like Peter O'Toole and Michael Caine. It was very nice of Boston radio host Jordan Rich to say that.


TMW:  How did the book come about? Were you approached by a publisher due to your Hollywood-oriented experience or did you pitch around the idea? What kind of responses led to doing the book? I bet you were approached first.
SS: Hollywood Stories is actually a self published book which I did on my own, there was never any other publisher was involved. It came from my years of researching fun tales to tell the customers on my bus about stars, movies, directors, producers and famous landmarks like the Chinese Theater, the Chateau Marmont, etc. The idea was that the stories which were very brief but hopefully packed with fun information could be told anywhere. I had previously self published two audio books on CD Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney, and had gotten publicity for them and had them placed in bookstores so self-publishing was not that mysterious to me.

TMW: Your book is so jam-packed with fascinating stories, how long did it take to write? At first glance it looks quite time consuming! Love the short, right to the point stories.
SS: I got the idea to write Hollywood Stories in March 2009 and the whole thing took about ten months of working on it every day. Before that I had been collecting and writing material about Hollywood for about twenty years. Some of the content was for other projects such as articles for my web site and a one minute radio show; some of it I was just collecting to keep my tour fresh. When you have a job like that you see the same places all the time but you can change what you say. Some of the stories go back even longer.

TMW: Tell us about "The Legend of Bozo".
SS: The Legend of Bozo... A character created for a children’s storytelling record in 1946, Bozo the
Clown became both a franchised television star and part of an urban legend. Over two hundred actors played the redheaded jester in different markets around the world. The jolly circus performer would lead little tykes in contests where they could win prizes. The most notorious rumor about The Bozo Show
started in the 1960s. An underprivileged boy wanted to win a toy from Bozo’s treasure chest. All he had to do was throw three ping-pong balls in a barrel. Unfortunately, the third attempt fell short; the disappointed youngster ran off and buried his face in his hands. The white-skinned host followed him. “That’s a Bozo no–no.” The angry kid raised his head. “Cram it, clown!” The unproven, not filmed incident was repeated so often that after years of denials, some of the retired ex-Bozos began to flip flop and swear the story was true. I first heard that "Cram it Clown" tale from my Communications teacher at UCLA almost thirty years ago and never forgot it. Then when I decided to do the book it took some extra research to flesh it out and hopefully make it flow. 

TMW: What about the Walt Disney’s Daughters story?
SS: Walt Disney’s two daughters, Sharon and Diane, grew up sheltered from the limelight. The children had no images of Mickey Mouse around their home. Their father didn’t go to many parties, preferring to stay in after a long day of work. Sometimes he would playfully chase the youngsters upstairs, cackling like the evil peddler woman in Snow White. When they behaved badly, Walt would  admonish them with a raised eyebrow; his stern demeanor inspired the character of the wise old owl, in the 1942 animated feature Bambi. As toddlers, the brainy Diane and beautiful Sharon stayed blissfully unaware that theirparents worried about them being kidnapped and allowed no pictures of thesisters to be publicly circulated. Once in 1939, a curious classmate questioned six-year-old Diane about her family. She went home and said, “Daddy, younever told me you were that Walt Disney,” and asked him for an autograph.

TMW: Organizing the topics for the book must have been a nightmare!
SS: You are right, organizing the material was hard but it was really fun. There were alot of things to decide like the story Comics and Monsters about Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; should  it go in the comedian section, Science Fiction and Horror or Drinking Tales. Likewise, should The Real Maria Loved the Sound of Music go in Singers and Dancers, Great Movie Anecdotes or Oscar Tales, a lot of those choices were whimsical, some were made due to the chapter's length.

TMW: What stories do you think readers will reference the most?
SS: This book is kind of skewed to classic Hollywood so I think it will probably go in that direction although there are plenty of contemptary people in it like Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. One of my favourite reviews so far was from a mother who said her nine-year-old son didn't know a lot of the names in the book but loved the anecdotes anyway. I honestly think you could take some, not all, but some of the stories of the book change the names and it would still be enjoyable.

TMW: You really dug deep to find celebrity stories that hadn't been published before. 






SS: What I tried to do well tell the stories in a way that hadn't been done before. For example: Greta Garbo’s Strange Encounter Three ghostly figures induced Greta Garbo to restate her famous quote from  the 1932 movie Grand Hotel. The twenty-eight-year-old Swedish beauty never allowed visitors while she worked on MGM movie sets. Interlopers caused her to lose concentration when she made faces on camera, shattering the illusions she worked so hard to create. But somehow these three clownish apparitions, with their ghoulish makeup, had come charging into Garbo’s workspace. She hadn’t seen them at the studio before; there was something unusual, almost frightening about them. What did they look like normally? “I want to be alone!” she cried, and then beat a hasty retreat to her dressing room. Her antagonists, who were actually new contract players at Metro, were at first bewildered by her reaction, and then they began to laugh and ran off. “C’mon, let’s see who else we can scare around here!” Moe said to the other two Stooges. My source for that story was The Three Stooges Scrapbook (Howard-Maurer, Joan, Jeff Lenburg, and Greg Lenburg. The Three Stooges Scrapbook. New York: Citadel, 2000.) The change was I told it from Greta Garbo's point of view with biographical information so the revelation at the end came as a surprise. So hopefully Hollywood Stories will really be fun to read for people because of the way the material is presented. 

TMW:  We can't wait for your next book.

SS: I think it will be a while before there is a follow-up book and it might be something a little different, I have some ideas on that score. If people would like to find out the book Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies, the audio books Tales of Hollywood and Fascinating Walt Disney, or the tours I give either privately or for VIP Tours and Charters they can visit: http://www.hollywoodstories.com
Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes about the Stars and Legends of the Movies!

A Day in the Life of Nickelback's Chad Kroeger

Between his world-dominating work with Nickelback, his multi-platinum collaborations with other artists, and his award-winning compositions for film, Chad Kroeger has proved himself one of the most versatile artists working in rock today. Check out hits such as “Rock Star,” “Photograph,” “How You Remind Me,” “I’d Come for You,” “Savin’ Me,” “Far Away” and “Someday,” and you quickly realize that Kroeger not only possess a distinctive voice and a knack for writing hit songs – from ballads to anthems – but he is adept at penning thunderous guitar riffs, too. To honor these achievements, Gibson Guitar, the world’s premier musical instrument company and leader in music technology, has collaborated with the multi-award winner to present the Chad Kroeger Signature Les Paul signature model available worldwide October 2010.


A mean-looking, hot-sounding contemporary Les Paul, the Chad Kroeger “Blackwater” Les Paul comes disguised as a traditional single-cutaway Standard with all the appointments that have made this guitar legendary for more than 50 years, but hides some simple yet clever surprises that expand its sonic capabilities exponentially. In addition to its traditional magnetic humbucking pickups, a GraphTech™ Ghost® piezo bridge and related electronics provide an authentic acoustic guitar sound that can be used entirely on its own, patched parallel to the magnetic pickups through two amps, or blended with the traditional tone. Roll from atmospheric ballad to rock anthem at the twist of a knob, or craft your own new tones that blend elements of both. With its killer hand-stained Trans Black AAA-flame maple top and unique trim package – featuring a truss-rod cover engraved with “Blackwater” in silver and small white stars on the side of the neck corresponding with the position markers – the Chad Kroeger “Blackwater” Les Paul looks as unique as it sounds, too. MSRP $4,099 USD.

On a recent Nickelback stop in Nashville, Chad boarded the Gibson tour bus and paid a visit to the Gibson USA factory accompanied to walk through and witness the final preparations being made to his signature guitar. Chad had the opportunity to tour the factory and get a step by step rundown on his line of guitars. “It was a memorable experience on a number of levels as I was able to interact and talk to the people on the line at Gibson USA about the guitar and its design, and also to witness their pride in their work,” said Chad.

 Photo: Courtesy of Sandy Campbell/Gibson

Josh Groban To Release Long-Awaited Fifth Studio Album

Already one of the most acclaimed and beloved singers and songwriters around the world, Josh Groban breaks new ground of artistic and personal growth with his long-awaited fifth studio album, Illuminations, to be released on November 15th, 2010, from Reprise Records. The album is the rewardingly surprise-filled result of the unexpected but stimulating teaming with veteran producer Rick Rubin, known for his iconic work with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash and Dixie Chicks among many others.

This unprecedented partnership saw both Groban and Rubin stepping out of their respective zones to come together and create an entirely new zone where art meets intimacy and immediacy meets timelessness. Most importantly, Groban – who ranks as Billboard Magazine’s 14 top-selling artist of the 2000s with more than 20 million units in the U.S. alone -- was free to express himself at his fullest by tapping into a new range of expression and emotional connection with lyrics drawn straight from the heart. Lead song “Hidden Away,” went to radio September 13, one of six co-written by Groban and Dan Wilson (former leader of the band Semisonic and co-writer of several cuts on the Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready to Make Nice), provides an emotional and artistic center, its plea for a romantic ideal given a musical setting highlighting the raw honesty and natural gifts of Groban as a singer, musician and writer.
“These are my stories,” says Groban, who co-wrote eleven of the thirteen songs on the album. “For every one of these songs, someone’s going to know it’s about them. I’m going to get a text message about every one! This is a very personal record.”

    Elsewhere Groban makes his first foray into singing Portuguese on the vibrant “Voce Existe Em Mim (You Exist In Me),” returns to the more familiar Italian language with “L’Ora Dell’Addio” (a lush collaboration with the great composer/arranger Walter Afanasieff and lyricist Marco Marinagneli), paints a loving portrait of the Big Apple with “The Bells of New York City,” with and offers his own, highly personal take on Nick Cave’s poetic and passionate “Straight to You.”

“Josh is a one-of-a-kind artist and he works in a genre I have never worked in before,” says Rubin. “So there was a great excitement discovering our ‘way in’ to get to his essence and make a fine art album unlike any he has made before.”

For most of the songs, Rubin devised a setting to maximize the honesty and spontaneity of the performances. Recording live with Groban playing piano and singing alongside acoustic guitarists, Matt Sweeney, Smokey Hormel, and iconic organist Spooner Oldham also played on several tracks. From those sessions, multi-hued orchestrations were crafted by David Campbell for nine songs and James Newton-Howard for two, while Brazilian great Carlinhos Brown created the dynamic setting for “Voce Existe Em Mim (You Exist In Me)” in his Bahia home, including the power of an all-girl drum corps – the only drums on the album.

The partnership of Rubin and Groban developed organically and out of deep mutual respect. After an exploratory meeting, both were eager to take on a full album project. “From Day 1 it wasn’t about anything to prove, but two people finding a place to work together – two scared people,” Groban quips. 


“We wanted to find our line … and walk past it. From Rick’s view the grandness was something we wanted to embrace. I was given the very lofty task of having more responsibility on this album than I’ve ever had. The bar was set high from the beginning. That’s why it took so long. But I can say that more of me went into this record than anything I’ve done.”

Illuminations was three years in the making, but the writing and recording came in bursts of creativity as Groban busied himself with other projects, including starring in a 21st-anniversary performance of the cult musical Chess at London’s Royal Albert Hall, performing a comic medley of well-known TV theme songs at the 60Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, duetting with Heather Headley at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, guest starring twice on Fox’s hit show Glee, and filming a role in Crazy Stupid Love, a motion picture comedy starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and , due in spring 2011.

The 29-year-old Los Angeles native first broke through in 2001 with his self-titled 5x-platinum debut, followed by 2003’s 5x-platinum Closer and 2006’s 2x-platinum Awake. In 2007, Groban became the best-selling recording artist of the year thanks to sales of Awake and his blockbuster 5x-platinum Christmas album, Noël, which spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Groban and his recordings have been nominated for more than a dozen awards including an American Music Award, a World Music Award, a Juno Award, two Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award for “Believe” from the 2005 film Polar Express. He has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
Illuminations

AOL’s AIM Announces the Jason Derülo R oad Trip for Fans

AOL’s AIM announces the Jason Derülo VIP Road Trip in partnership with Entertainment 3Sixty. The promotion, which is currently running, will call on fans to “Like” the AIM Facebook page (www.facebook.com/aim) in order to be eligible for entry. One winner will be chosen for each date of Jason’s headlining tour beginning September 27 in Philadelphia, PA. Each winner can invite eight friends to go on a road trip with him or her to the venue where Jason will be playing within 100 miles of their home. Plus they get to meet Jason himself! Check out a video clip of Jason discussing the contest at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F78Aawlch38


This is Derulo’s first tour of the U.S. since his six-week stint on the road with Lady Gaga on her sold-out “Monster Ball” tour of North America in January 2010. Derulo recently wrapped several support dates with Black Eyed Peas in Canada and will appear at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan this weekend, before headlining his sold-out UK tour in August. His long-awaited U.S. headlining tour will be a five-week run between his European and Australian dates.


The first artist signed to Warner Bros. Records’ joint venture with Beluga Heights, Derulo is touring in support of his self-titled debut album, produced by veteran songwriter and hitmaker J.R. Rotem (Sean Kingston, Rihanna, Leona Lewis). The album has spawned three hit singles and established the Miami native as the breakout star of 2010. The triple-platinum “Whatcha Say” (which spent four consecutive weeks atop the Pop chart), and the platinum “In My Head,” made Derulo the first male solo artist to score consecutive No. 1’s on Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart in the chart’s 17-year-history with his first two entries. “Whatcha Say,” which climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Rhythmic, and Pop charts, has sold five million copies, while Derulo’s second single, “In My Head,” has sold more than three million copies, both worldwide, to date. His third single “Ridin’ Solo,” has been certified platinum in the U.S., while its accompanying video has earned more than 17 million views on YouTube. Derulo has sold over 11 million singles and 750,000 albums worldwide. Collectively, his videos have racked up more than 200 million views on YouTube, making Derulo the channel’s 20th Most Viewed Musician of all time.
Jason Derulo

Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler Take Their Places At 'American Idol' Judges' Table

Producer Nigel Lythgoe tweets picture of new judging lineup at New Jersey auditions.


For those wondering what it will look like when Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler take their spots next to Randy Jackson at the judges' tab le on "American Idol" next season, Nigel Lythgoe is giving fans a sneak peek. On Tuesday, the "Idol" executive producer tweeted a photo of the new lineup.

The photo was taken at auditions in New Jersey, and in it Lythgoe seems to be directing Tyler, Lopez and Jackson, who all sit at their rightful spots at the judges' table, as well as the show's superstar host, Ryan Seacrest. "It's great to be back on American Idol," Lythgoe wrote. "The judges were great."
 Read more at MTV News>>

September 29, 2010

David Bowie's Expanded 'Station To Station' Special & Deluxe Editions Released By Virgin/EMI

 David Bowie's hugely influential 1976 album,Station To Station, was released this week by Virgin/EMI in expanded Special Edition (3CD and digital download) and limited Deluxe Edition (5CD+DVD Audio+3LP) packages.

To celebrate the release, four DJs from Los Angeles public radio station KCRW (89.9 FM and KCRW.com), Jeremy SoleAnthony Valadez, Eric J Lawrence, and Chris Douridas, have each remixed the album's lead single, "Golden Years."  Station To Station was recorded in Los Angeles, so it was fitting for some of KCRW's leading tastemakers to take on the task.  Each DJ took a unique path in recreating, deconstructing or re-imagining the classic song.
David Bowie's influential 1976 album, Station To Station, was released this week by Virgin/EMI in expanded Special Edition (3CD and digital download) and limited Deluxe Edition (5CD+DVD Audio+3LP) packages. To celebrate the release, four DJs from Los Angeles public radio station KCRW (89.9 FM and KCRW.com) have each remixed the album's lead single, 'Golden Years.' Each DJ took a unique path in recreating, deconstructing or re-imagining the classic song. All four remixes can be streamed online now, exclusively at http://www.kcrw.com/bowie. 
"Reinterpreting a timeless classic like 'Golden Years' certainly wasn't taken lightly by our DJs," said KCRW Music Director and DJ Jason Bentley. "It's an incredible honor and a massively intimidating challenge at the same time. It's important to note that two of our four featured DJs – Eric J Lawrence and Chris Douridas -- had no previous experience with remixing, yet they all brought a fresh perspective to the song and had fun doing it." 
Rolling Stone magazine bestows its highest five-star ("Classic") review on Station To Station (Special Edition) in the September 30 issue, on-stands now, raving "This zonked-out space-funk epic could be Bowie's greatest album..."

Billie Joe Armstrong Makes Broadway Debut in American Idiot


Last night, September 28, Green Day frontman and the musical's composer/ co-author Billie Joe Armstrong made his Broadway debut as "St. Jimmy" at the St. James Theatre in AMERICAN IDIOT. Armstrong will perform through Sunday, October 3, 2010. Immediately following this engagement, Mr. Armstrong will join Green Day in Caracas, Venezuela on October 8, 2010 to kick off their South American Tour. BroadwayWorld was on hand for his debut Broadway bow and brings you photo coverage below!

Original Broadway cast member and current "St. Jimmy," Tony Vincent, will resume performances on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 following a leave of absence due to a personal family matter. Vincent's understudies, Joshua Kobak and Andrew Call, will cover the role from Tuesday, October 5 - Sunday, October 10, 2010.

The smash-hit, Tony Award-winning musical AMERICAN IDIOT tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Their quest for true meaning in a post 9-11 world leads them on an exhilarating journey. The result, according to the Toronto Star, is "The first great musical of the 21st century!
" Read more  at Broadway World>>



The Original Broadway Cast Recording "American Idiot" Featuring Green Day (2CD)

Donny Osmond To Host 'Lovesongs' On KOST

Donny Osmond has come on board at CLEAR CHANNEL AC KOST/LOS ANGELES as host of "Lovesongs on the Coast," which airs on SUNDAY 7p-midnight.The program is a local version of The Donny Osmond  Show, which is syndicated by MCVAY MEDIA and distributed by CITADEL MEDIA.

In making this announcement, CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO/LOS ANGELES Head of AC Radio ANDREW JEFFRIES said, "After more than a few years in the entertainment industry, Donny’s star is the brightest it has ever been, but he has remained very real and approachable. Bringing that personality alive on KOST 103.5 and Lovesongs is a perfect way for him to expand that connection with our listeners even further."

KOST PD STELLA PRADO commented, "Donny has had a long-standing relationship with KOST 103.5 and his image as a family-friendly icon is a perfect fit for our listeners. Our core demo grew up with DONNY and the OSMOND family; it's a true pleasure to welcome him to our KOST 103 family!"

"Having my own weekly show on KOST is very exciting and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the station that I've enjoyed listening to for so many years," OSMOND said.
The Entertainer

Julian Lennon Show at Morrison Hotel Bowery makes history. CBS Sunday Morning to broadcast event this Sunday morning, October 3rd.


Brothers share a loving hug. Photo: Rick Edwards

L-R: Cynthia Lennon, Yoko Ono Lennon, Sean Lennon, Julian Lennon, Anthony Mason of CBS and CBS Cameraman. 

Julian Lennon show at Morrison Hotel Bowery makes history.CBS Sunday Morning to broadcast event thisSunday morning, October 3rd. The evening was being documented by the cameras of CBS Sunday Morningwhich will broadcast our event and interviews with Julian Lennon this Sunday morning, October 3rd. Please check your local listings.

Singer-Songwriter Bobby Long Signs With ATO Records


British singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobby Long has signed a recording agreement with New York-based independent label ATO Records. Long's debut is set for release on February 1, 2011. The album, entitled A WINTER TALE, is a collection of 11 original songs from a repertoire deeply rooted in American folk, blues and country music. The recording is produced by Liam Watson, Grammy® winner for his engineering work on Elephant by The White Stripes, at his analog Toe Rag Studios in London. 

Since he began performing in North America in April of 2009, Long has logged more than 150 shows (including sold-out appearances in major U.S. cities, Canada and Europe), winning over audiences with his gritty, passionate performances. His haunting vocals, intricately woven lyrics and intriguing guitar work, not to mention his charming tall tales, have helped to cultivate a devoted fan base that has filled rooms night after night. This year's tour schedule has also included several high-profile festival appearances, among them the Mile High Festival in Denver and the XPoNential Festival sponsored by Philadelphia's WXPN Radio, an early champion of Long's moving, personal songs. As one critic wrote on blogcritics.com: "With raw vocal power and smart, evocative lyrics, Long is a folksinger with a spirited intensity that puts him outside and above the masses of singer-songwriters roaming our cities, towns, and social networks." 


Bobby Long's studio debut recording, entitled A WINTER TALE, is a collection of 11 original songs from a repertoire deeply rooted in American folk, blues and country music. The recording is produced by Liam Watson, Grammy® winner for his engineering work on Elephant by The White Stripes, at his analog Toe Rag Studios in London. Long, who is an accomplished guitarist, is backed by an eclectic complement of studio musicians on slide guitar, standup bass, drums and keyboards. 

The selection of songs on A WINTER TALE poignantly touch on a variety of themes, some of them dark, sung with Long's deep signature rasp. His distinct finger-picking style on guitar is also prominently in evidence while he is backed by an eclectic complement of studio musicians on standup bass, pedal-steel guitar, vibraphones, drums, piano and keyboards. 

Included on the CD are several songs that have become associated with him over the endless months of touring, among them the guitar-driven "The Bounty of Mary Jane," the haunting imagery of "Being a Mockingbird," the anthemic "Dead and Done" ("I've already had the neighbors here, Johnny Cash came 'round and we split a beer" ") and the defiant "Penance Fire Blues" contrasted with the spare, plaintive "Who Have You Been Loving," which was embraced in its simplest acoustic form-lifted from the homemade self-released recording, DIRTY POND SONGS, that was only available at his shows. 

Other songs on the record include "In the Frost," which paints word pictures of scenes from Long's native England, and "A Passing Tale" and "Sick Man Blues," which are throwbacks to the traditional folk era of the 1960's. "A Stranger Song," the closer, brings to mind the wordplay of one of Long's major influences: Leonard Cohen. "Two Years Old," a finely crafted story song about the ravages of war, conjures images reminiscent of the battle scenes in the film Atonement, and the title cut, "A Winter Tale," is a driving, memorable opus that demands repeat plays.

Long, who moved to London from Wiltshire in the southwest of England to attend college, became part of the burgeoning open mic circuit to expose his music. He met actor and fellow musician Robert Pattinson, who would go on to sing "Let Me Sign" (co-written by Long and friend Marcus Foster) over a crucial dramatic scene in the blockbuster film Twilight. The inclusion of the song in the film's soundtrack gave Long a head start on a legion of fans. Although A WINTER TALE is the 24-year-old's first foray into the formal recording process, "Left to Lie," his first single from the DIRTY POND SONGS collection, reached #1 on the iTunes "Unsigned" chart and #8 on the Folk chart. Pollstar wrote: "Long's emergence as an up-and-coming artist is the stuff Hollywood loves to make movies about. He continues to amaze audiences with a bare-bones sound reminiscent of early Bob Dylan." 

Neil Young's Le Noise Film To Premiere September 30


Le Noise Film — a 38-minute black and white film of eight live-in-studio performances of the eight songs that appear on legendary rocker Neil Young’s brand-new album Le Noise — will be made available for viewing exclusively on YouTube  beginning September 30th. These will appear in the Spotlight section of You-Tube’s homepage as well as on Young’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/neilyoung). In addition to the performances, there will also be a personal introduction by Young himself, along with behind-the-scenes clips from album producer, Daniel Lanois, and more. The performances, shot by filmmaker Adam CK Vollick, feature Young on acoustic and electric guitars at Lanois’ home studio in Silverlake, CA, where Young and Lanois recorded Le Noise.
The eight-song album, which is already generating glowing reviews, is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others.
Le Noise features Young on acoustic and electric guitars with Lanois adding his trademark sonic textures, creating one of the most sonically arresting albums Young has ever recorded. No band, no overdubs, just “a man on a stool and me doing a nice job on the recording,” as Lanois puts it.
Writing about Le Noise after hearing it at Lanois’ home, The Los Angeles Times commented: “What’s striking about Le Noise is the way it both summarizes and distills Young’s singular approach to music, predominantly just Neil and a guitar: Arguably Young's most consistently potent work in the last decade."
The Chicago Tribune enthused, "One of Young’s finest recordings."
Rolling Stone Magazine awarded the album 4 Stars and concluded, “Le Noise is, ultimately, an extreme simplicity: the sound of a man who won’t give up.”
Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, and digital download. In November, Reprise will also release a Blu-Ray edition, featuring Lanois and Vollick’s beautifully shot films of Young.
Young has just wrapped up his Gulf Coast tour, in which he teamed up with Tyson Foods to fight hunger in communities affected by the April oil spill. He will appear at Farm Aid at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI, on October 2nd, and will reunite with Buffalo Springfield members Stephen Stills and Richie Furay for this year’s Bridge School Benefit concerts. The shows, which also feature Pearl Jam, Elton John and Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, and others, will take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, on October 23rd and 24th.

September 28, 2010

Jason Mraz Announces "Life is Good"

Jason Mraz has announced details of “Life Is Good,” a live digital EP available October 5 recorded earlier this month on Mraz’s current North American tour.
“Life Is Good” will feature live versions of four new songs, as well as a live version of “Coyotes” from Mraz’s last studio album, WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS. (see attached tracklisting).  Mraz and his band recorded the EP on the first three dates of his current tour--in Bangor, Maine; Utica, NY; and at the Life Is Good Festival in Canton, MA.  Mraz’s tour, which is still winding its way across the continent, wraps up in Santa Barbara, CA on October 8 (see attached itinerary).
“Life Is Good” will be available at all online retailers beginning October 5.  Mraz will premiere the songs on his website, www.jasonmraz.com, starting with “Freedom Song” today.  More songs will be posted over the next week, along with candid videos shot by tour videographer Jeff Coffman on the road that capture Mraz explaining the origins and meanings of the new songs.
Mraz first heard “Freedom Song,” after songwriter Luc Reynaud donated the song to a compilation album benefiting the homeless in his hometown of Seattle.  Mraz, who was touched by the lyrics to the song, shared the song with a group of freed child slaves in Ghana this summer when he visited the country with the organization Free The Slaves.  This tour marks the first time Mraz has performed “Freedom Song” with his band.  Additionally, the collection’s other new songs, “San Disco Reggaefornia,” “Up,” and “What Mama Say,” all results of Mraz’s recent songwriting sessions, also made their live debut on this run of dates.
Following the conclusion of his tour dates, Mraz will return to the studio with WE SING. WE DANCE. WE STEAL THINGS. producer Martin Terefe to complete his next full-length album, due out in 2011.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces Nominees for 2011 Induction


New York September 28, 2010 — The nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 were announced today. The nominees are:

· Alice Cooper
· Beastie Boys
· Bon Jovi
· Chic
· Neil Diamond
· Donovan
· Dr. John
· J. Geils Band
· LL Cool J
· Darlene Love
· Laura Nyro
· Donna Summer
· Joe Tex
· Tom Waits
· Chuck Willis

Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 26th Annual Induction Ceremony. To be eligible for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2011 Nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1985.

“We believe our nominating committee has put forth a list of artists that truly represent the wide variety of music that defines rock and roll,” commented Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in December 2010 and the Induction Ceremony will take place on March 14, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be televised live on Fuse, Madison Square Garden’s national music television network.

All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, the nonprofit organization that exists to educate its audiences on the global impact of the rock and roll art form via the museum, as well as its education programs and library and archives.

"Glee" Recap: Brittany Vs. Britney

John Stamos and Britney Spears made their much anticipated debuts on this week's "Glee."

Will protests the kids' suggestion for a Britney Spears assignment. As we all know, Britney has never been the most modest of pop stars. Will fears that Spears may not be the best role model for New Directions to emulate.

Brittany echoes this sentiment, but for a much different reason. Turns out, Brittany's full name is Brittany S. Pearce (pronunciation means everything here.) Living with the same name as the superstar has made for a difficult youth for the Cheerio.

While New Directions chews on the subject of Britney Spears, John Stamos heats things up as Emma's new boyfriend, Carl.

Carl, a dentist, comes to school to speak to New Directions about the importance of taking care of their mouths. This doesn't sit very well with Will, whose jealousy over Emma takes over. This prompts Will to admit that he still has feelings for Emma.

Brittany remains in focus when Dr. Carl acknowledges that she has the worst teeth he's ever seen. A quick visit to his office, he tells her, will be just the fix she needs.

With Britney on the mind, Brittany fantasizes a Britney Spears montage while under anesthesia.

With 68 cavities, Carl deems a second appointment necessary. Santana decides to go with (purely to support her friend of course - the hot dentist had nothing to do with her decision.) While with her friend, Santana demands to be put under as well.

This time it was "Me Against the Music" and an appearance from Ms. Spears herself.

Will finally gives in, letting the kids perform a Britney Spears routine at the homecoming pep rally.

This week's episode had a lot to live up to, following in the shoes of last season's Madge-ical "Power of Madonna." While the episode itself was strong, a lack of musical performances and a brief appearance from Britney Spears disappointed.
Glee: The Complete First Season

Elton John's Mom to Auction Off Memorabilia

Sir Elton John's mom is auctioning off memorabilia from her famous son after moving to a smaller house.

The Rocket Man's mother Sheila discovered a host of items from John's glittering career after clearing out her home, and she has decided to place them under the hammer.
Items to be sold include tour jackets, more than 100 gold and platinum discs and VIP passes used by Sheila to get into the singer's gigs.

Spokesperson Andrew Elliston-Elhinn from Gorringes auction house, where the sale will take place, says, "Some (items) are autographed but, as his moms aid, 'Why would he sign it for me? I'm his mom.'"

John's representative adds, "She's got 38 years worth of stuff that needs a new home."
The auction will take place on 19 October (10) in Sussex, south England.