Saturday, December 15, 2007

HOLIDAY HORRORS!


HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Our MySpace buddy, comic book writer extrodinaire Christopher Mills, wrote to let us know the Moonstone Monsters prose anthology, WEREWOLVES: DEAD MOON RISING (in which Chris has a great prose story), is arriving in comic shops today, and will soon be hitting bookstore shelves.

Here's the publisher's comments:

"The blood will run red in the dead of night as both horror-fiction and comic book writers alike unite to bring you an unlucky 13 chilling tales of howling horror.With stories by Elaine Bergstrom, Tom DeFalco, Dave Dorman, Clay & Susan Griffith, William R. Halliar, C.J. Henderson, David Michelinie, Christopher Mills, Mike Reynolds, Beau Smith, Paul D, Storrie, Dave Ulanski, and Fred Van Lente!Interior illustrations by Ken Wolak- and a fang-tastic cover by fan-favorite Dave Dorman, this chilling collection of short stories is sure to keep you cringing under the covers all night long!

"Chris's contribution is a short story entitled "The Beast of Bava Pass," and it's a homage to all those clasic wolfman movies from Universal, Hammer and good old Paul Naschy.

WEREWOLVES can also now be ordered from
Amazon and Moonstone Books.

Doesn't everyone like a little horror fiction for the holidays?

RING-A-DING-DING HOLIDAYS!

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

MRS. HUGHES SOUNDS OFF!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

UNDERCOVER WITH MARTINI-FIVE-O, THE COOL POLICE!


UNDERCOVER WITH MARTINI-FIVE-O, THE COOL POLICE!


As soon as I arrived at work this morning at 0530, I fired up my computer and started streaming martiniinthemorning.com to listen to Brad Chambers morning show. Because it was Frank Sinatra's 92nd birthday, Brad was playing a lot of Sinatra songs and interviewing Charles Pignone, an intimate of the Sinatra family who has written and published a couple of wonderful coffee-table-type scrap books - The Sinatra Treasures and a history of the famous night club, Copacabana.


Pignone and Brad were also talking about the United States Post Office unveiling of the new Frank Sinatra stamp scheduled for later in the morning. Apparently, the USPS announced last week they would be issuing a stamp commemorating Frank Sinatra in the spring of 2008. The stamp image was to be unveiled today, on what would have been the legendary entertainer's 92nd birthday (he died in 1998 at 82 years of age).


I jumped on-line and found out the stamp was going to be revealed in a special ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills at ten o'clock on Wednesday. Sinatra's three children Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina, would be there to commemorate the event capped by the unfurling of a ten foot banner with an image of the new stamp.


Donning my Martini-Five-O Cool Police undercover identity as Scoop Bishop, Intrepid Boy Reporter, I drove over in my unmarked sedan and finagled my way into the parking lot. Taking my digital camera with me, I entered the lobby of the swank hotel - looking very cool I must say in trendy jeans, a blue sweater to match my eyes, and my favorite blue suede creepers (it was a casual day at work). I manuvered myself into a position where I could carry out a surveillance of the official press and members of the Sinatra family as they checked in at the guarded entrance to the room where the event was to be held.


What to do?


There was nothing for it, but to grab a tray of clean glasses and followed one of the hotel staff through a hallway to the back door of the event room. I followed him into the room, set my glasses down in the appropriate spot, and then moved over to mingle with the cluster of long-haired, similarly clad phtographers.


Nobody said a word.


Two minutes later the event started. Tina Sinatra got things rolling by introducing a cool Sinatra video, which played on twin screens on either side of the raised platform at the front of the room. Officials from the post office then spoke about Sinatra’s accomplishments - "an extraordinary entertainer whose life and work left an indelible impression on American culture whose recordings, concert performances and film work place him among America's top artists. His legendary gift for transforming popular song into art is a rare feat that few have been able to replicate" etc., etc. - and his history with the USPO - the building housing the post office in Sinatra's birthplace of Hoboken was renamed in his honor in 2002.


Tina, Frank Jr., and Nancy then pulled the cord revealing the ten foot high replica of the stamp, which was the centerpiece of the stage. The depiction of Sinatra on the stamp was created by respected stamp artist Kazuhiko Sano, who based the image on a famous 1950s photograph of Sinatra.


Frank Jr. then gave a short speech about his father and, pointing to the ten foot stamp image, noted, "It will have to be a pretty big letter to hold that stamp." Nancy then made her way to the podium and cried her way through a short speech declaring, "anyone receiving a letter with this smiling image of my dad on the stamp will have to smile too."


Another video, put together by Charles Pignone (who'd been on the radio with Brad earlier) finished off the proceedings. Lots of pictures were then taken, along with a bunch of on-the-spot television interviews. I hung around long enough to shake hands with Frank Jr. and Nancy - Tina was swamped by the official press - and spent a few minutes talking with Pignone about his books.


On the way out, I asked for a press kit and was given one without question - kind of cool since it contained a DVD of Sinatra. I was also able to pick up a couple of the official Sinatra stamp pins.


Hustling back to the station, I downloaded my pictures and sent them off to Brad Chambers, who immediately put our martiniinthemorning.com scoop up on the website.


Didn't get a lot of official work done, but I had fun.

A "LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE" CHRISTMAS!

A "LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE" CHRISTMAS!

Dear Lounge Music Fan:Richard Cheese sings lounge versions of your favorite rock and rap songs. Imagine Sinatra singing "Baby Got Back," and you've got Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine!

The seven CDs by Lounge Against the Machine and all of their T-Shirts, Lithograph Posters, and Christmas Ornaments are ON SALE TODAY, in honor of Frank Sinatra's birthday!

And, this year, you can get Richard Cheese to mail a personally signed Holiday Greeting Card to someone on your list!

You can visit www.richardcheese.com and give the gift of Cheese this holiday season!

Show your support for Lounge Against The Machine by emailing your local radio station and asking them to play "Christmas In Las Vegas" song from Lounge Against The Machine's 2006 "Silent Nightclub" Christmas album!

Let's make their song a holiday classic, and kick "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" to the curb!

Hear "Christmas In Las Vegas" now at www.myspace.com/richardcheese/

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

JONNY BLU SWINGS AGAIN!


JONNY BLU SWINGS AGAIN!

The ubiquitous Jonny Blu rode a smooth wave of appreciation and applause as he crooned through his holiday show this past Monday at the Soho supper club in Santa Barbara. At easy with his five piece band, which has morphed into a tight jazz blending, Blu himself continued his search for the personal sound at the heart of his music.

Perhaps, surprisingly, the intimate crowd was open to accompanying Blu on his journey. While the expected holiday standards and covers were warmly received, it was Blu's evocation of his own material garnering the greater response. Even more surprising, in this time of cookie cutter jazz singers, both male and female, there IS a specific Jonny Blu sound to appreciate.

Gliding hip-hop lyric sensibilities across melodies born of jazz and lounge, Blu's best originals are dense with words tumbling one after the other, while retaining the requisite ring-a-ding-ding swing on which his target audience thrives. The blend is pleasing – a post modern retro swing, which is both old and new at the same time.

While relying mostly on tunes from his recent In Just That Kind Of A Mood CD, Blu also ventured out with some new material. While In A Groove ran the risk of being a little too relaxed, Afternoon Loving brought yet another nuance to the performance with it's rock-a-billy nuances. Clearly, Blu is still experimenting, but he's making great strides in the process.

Blu's standard set pieces -- a swinging lounge version of L. L. Cool J's I Need Love, an upbeat re-imagining of Elvis' Are You Lonesome Tonight, and his kick back encore, Bobby Darin's Mack The Knife – are always nicely framed by songs in Portuguese, French, and – from his previous incarnation as a Chinese pop star – Mandarin. All of these add a unique touch to Blu's repertoire – especially Monday nights acoustical take on his Chinese hit Crossroads.

Blu's holdiay show ended 2007 on a high note for him with much promise for the future.

GIRL'S NIGHT -- THE MUSICAL!

NATIONAL TOUR OF U.K. HIT GIRLS NIGHT: THE MUSICAL AT THE CORONET THEATRE

Funny and touching, Girls Night follows five friends in their 30s and 40s during a wild "girls' night out" at a karaoke bar. Together, they reminisce about their younger days, celebrate their current lives and look to the future, all the while belting out classic anthems from "I Will Survive" to "We Are Family" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

Coronet Theatre
Address: 366 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Website:
http://www.coronet-theatre.com/
Phone: 310-657-7377


Hilarious and touching, Girls Night: The Musical follows five friends as they relive their past, celebrate the present and look to the future during a wild and outrageous girls' night out at a karaoke bar. Friends since their teens, they have all had their fair share of heartache and tragedy, joy and success. There's Carol the party girl, blunt Anita who tells it like it is, Liza and her "issues," boring Kate (the designated driver) and Sharon, the not-so-angelic angel who just couldn't resist tagging along.

Girls Night: The Musical is bursting with energy and packed with classic anthems, from "I'm Every Woman" and "I Will Survive" to "We Are Family," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Man, I Feel Like a Woman." So grab your sisters, your girlfriends and your co-workers and prepare to laugh, cry and dance in the aisles! Girls Night: The Musical is a not-to-be-missed slice of entertainment for anyone who really knows how to have fun!

Girls Night: The Musical has earned rave reviews and packed theaters throughout the United Kingdom on three national tours since 2003. Written by Louise Roche Directed by Jack RandleStarring Sonya Carter, Lisa Fogel, Jennifer Jane, Janine Smith and Danielle Wetzel

About the Creative Staff

Louise Roche (author) to date, has written and produced nine plays: Girls Night (Milton Keynes, 2007; U.K. tours, 2003, 2004, 2006), Bobby and Johnny (U.K. tour, 2005), Girls Behind (U.K. tour, 2005), Checkout Girls (Milton Keynes, 2005), Lucky Balls (Milton Keynes, 2002), Milton Keynes The Musical (Milton Keynes, 2002), Frankie’s Game (Milton Keynes, 1999) and Happy Christmas Shirley (Milton Keynes, 2006). Her writing for television includes work for the BBC and ITV. She also has a novel, Glutton for Punishment, published in paperback by Pan Books. Previously, she worked in television production as a researcher and producer of factual programs. Credits include: "Where There’s Life," "First Tuesday" and the drama documentary "Shoot To Kill." Two more plays -- True Love and Finding Daddy -- are in development. Louise became co-director of Goodnights Entertainment in 2003.

Jack Randle (director) studied drama at Exeter University. After graduating, he took acting roles with Leda Theatre, Nottingham; Theatre of Fact, Milton Keynes; New Victoria Theatre, Stoke; Theatre Alibi, Exeter; Forced Entertainment, Sheffield; and M6 Theatre Company, Rochdale. He also played the role of Dylan in the U.K. tour of The Magic Roundabout for David Graham. He more recently starred as Bobby D’Angelo in Bobby and Johnny (Milton Keynes, 2003). Television credits include "EastEnders," "Emmerdale," "Cracker," "Out Of the Blue," "Hetty Wainthrop Investigates" and a series of commercials for Draught Bass. His directing credits include Girls Night (U.K. tours, 2003, 2004, 2006), Bobby and Johnny (U.K. tour, 2005), Girls Behind (U.K. tour, 2005), Lucky Balls (2002) and Frankie’s Game (1999). He became co-director of Goodnights Entertainment in 2003.

About Coronet Theatre:

In the 50 years since its inception, the Coronet Theatre has presented over 300 plays and musicals. Legends such as Charlie Chaplin, John Houseman, Orson Wells and performances by Glenn Close, Woody Harrelson, and George C. Scott have graced the stage.

THE KID FROM BROOKLYN -- DANNY KAYE MUSICAL!

THE KID FROM BROOKLYN: WEST COAST PREMIERE OF DANNY KAYE MUSICAL!

The El Portal Theatre is proud to present the West Coast premiere of The Kid From Brooklyn, a musical based on the life of Danny Kaye. The show follows Kaye's rise from the Borscht Belt to Hollywood fame, as well as his tempestuous relationship with his wife and co-writer Sylvia Fine. Brian Childers plays Kaye.

A new musical based on the life of the legendary Danny Kaye makes its West Coast premiere at the historic El Portal Theatre in the heart of North Hollywood, across from the Academy of Radio and Television on Lankershim Blvd.

The production is directed by Peter Loewy; Brian Childers stars as Kaye, with Karin Leone as Sylvia Fine. (Brian Childers has been critically acclaimed nationally, and is the winner of the coveted Helen Hayes Award.) The book is by Mark Childers with musical direction by Randy Booth.

The show, first performed in August 2006 at the Broward Center Stage Door in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, uses some of Kaye’s most famous and most popular stage, television and film numbers to tell the story of his surprising and rich life, hitting on everything from the then-David Kaminsky's early adolescence in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn , to his ensuing days as a "Borscht Belt" entertainer – the place for Jewish vacationers and where many comedians got there start.

The show continues onto his success as nightclub entertainer in the 1930s, his emergence as a Broadway musical star (1939-1941), and his singular career as the star of a series of vastly popular musical comedy screen vehicles produced by Samuel Goldwyn (1943-1948).

This intimate musical portrayal chronicles Danny Kaye’s career and his relationships on and off the stage and follows the rise of Kaye from an undisciplined improvisational comic to his success under the guidance of his wife, Sylvia Fine. In addition to the role of Kaye, a cast of three moves in and out of characters that were significant in Kaye’s personal and professional life. Favorite songs of the period are used to recreate the highlights of Kaye’s career. Backed by a five-piece band, the musical highlights include "Pavlova", "Tchaikovsky", "Oh, By Jingo," " Minnie the Moocher" & many more!

The dramatic underpinning of this musical is Kaye's relationship with his wife and professional partner, Sylvia Fine. Fine wrote many of the witty, tongue-twisting songs Danny Kaye became famous for. Despite her devotion to him, she is portrayed as a domineering, smothering woman who so suffocated Kaye that she drove him into an affair with comedienne Eve Arden. Arden was professionally closely associated with Kaye from the time that they starred on Broadway (Cole Porter's Let's Face It), appearing as a regular on his radio program and playing major featured roles in most of his films with Goldwyn.

Although not chronicled in the musical, the last 40 years of Kaye’s life (more than a decade of further success in film, a decline in his film career, followed by extended success in television and a return to Broadway - the Rodgers-Harnick Two By Two), and long years of tireless work on behalf of UNICEF were memorable both on and off the stage and screen. He was the original UNICEF celebrity representative, a Goodwill Ambassador from 1954 until his death in 1987. And he proved a hard act to follow.

A strong advocate for social responsibility, Kaye logged thousands of hours as a pilot - a hobby he enjoyed immensely - on trips for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) - once flying to 65 cities in five days putting Kaye in the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Fastest-Flying Entertainer. The United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cueller said at the October 27, 1987 tribute to Kaye that he was the man who first "heightened global awareness of the plight of unfortunate children throughout the world." Kaye was the spokesperson for UNICEF and was asked to accept the Nobel Prize on behalf of the organization. There is a permanent Danny Kaye Media Center in New York City at the UNICEF Headquarters. Danny Kaye's legacy, both as an entertainer and as a campaigner for children, is set to endure.

ABOUT EL PORTAL THEATRE:

El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernando Valley, located in the heart of North Hollywood just minutes from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney, ABC, CBS- Radford and NBC Burbank. The theatre sits directly across Lankershim Blvd. from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The art deco marquee is visible to thousands of cars that travel on Lankershim Blvd. daily.

Since its opening in 1926, first for vaudeville, then silent movies and then Academy Award-winning films as the primo movie house in the Valley, the theatre has weathered the Jazz Age, the Depression, four wars, and finally the great earthquake of 1994. The lobbies boast luscious carpeting secured from Century City's Shubert Theatre and an art gallery featuring 13 Los Angeles Visual Artists.

Rebuilt in the late '90s and opened in January 2000, the El Portal now houses three theatres, the new Judith Kaufman Art Gallery, and sumptuous lobbies.

LIFE ON MARS RETURNS TONIGHT!

BBC COP DRAMA 'MARS' PUTS ENGAGING SPIN ON REALITY

Time-warping BBC series begins its final season, unraveling an engaging riddle.

Cop show, fantasy, mystery, comedy, romance, puzzle -- there are a lot of ways to approach "Life on Mars," which begins its second and final season tonight on BBC America, and they all pay off.

Season 1 began thus: Hit by a car in 2006, Manchester, England, police detective Sam Tyler (John Simm) awakens in 1973 (seemingly), wearing period clothes and still a detective, to the strains of the titular David Bowie song. (Key line, perhaps coincidental: "Take a look at the lawman / Beating up the wrong guy.")

"Am I mad, in a coma or back in time?" Sam asks each week over the opening credits, and while the series pretends that this is a question that needs to be settled, the practical answer is that he's both in a coma and in 1973, which is at once in his head and independent of it. (What he is not is crazy, though the show raises the possibility now and again.) "Am I a man dreaming I'm a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I'm a man?" Master Zhuang famously wondered.

On the screen, you're whatever the camera shows, all realities being equal there, being equally invented. If anything, the show cheats in favor of the possibly imaginary people of 1973; they get to be warm and whole, while the citizens of Sam's former present, and present future, are remote -- blips of static from the 21st century.

As the second season opens, Sam is dimly conscious of his present comatose self; someone is trying to kill him there. (It's Marc Warren, from "Hustle," where the "Life on Mars" creators previously labored.) Later in the year, he'll be given an accidental overdose of medication in 2006 (or perhaps it's 2007), which will make him speedy in 1973. Conversely, what he does in the past, or in his head, can affect his present-day health.

It's the intersection and interaction of these worlds, expressed as echoes, resonances and puns, that undergird the show, which on another level plays as cheeky homage to cop shows of the '70s. "Starsky and Hutch have a lot to answer for," Sam tells his boss, the cheerfully profane Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt, played with great hulking gusto by Philip Glenister, after a bit of unnecessarily fancy driving. ("Who?" Hunt rightly answers, "Starsky & Hutch" then being two years in the future.)

The series is rife with the sort of clues and puzzles that make "Lost" fun (when it's good), but "Life on Mars" has a social-satirical component as well, offering a look back at history -- richer, of course, for the British audience -- at once critical and nostalgic. (This season will see episodes involving the IRA, wife-swapping and the introduction of heroin into Manchester; old-school racism, sexism and homophobia are constant themes.) It's a show about how far we've come and what we lost on the way, a kind of pre-forensic, anti-procedural police drama in which crimes are solved by intuition and inspiration.

As partners in crime-solving, Tyler and Hunt are constitutional adversaries -- head versus gut, better future versus golden past -- and so when they sync up, it's exciting in a Saturday-matinee kind of way.

Simm, who played Joy Division guitarist/New Order singer Bernard Sumner in "24-Hour Party People" and Raskolnikov in a BBC production of "Crime & Punishment," has a way with psychic pain, but he's also good at the sudden moment of happiness.

And this season is very much about accommodation and acceptance, not least as regards Sam's 1973 tentative love-interest, Annie (Liz White, softly staunch). She gets made a detective constable, to work alongside Ray (Dean Andrews), who doesn't like Sam at all, and Chris (Marshall Lancaster), a Ringo-esque puppy who does.

Eight more episodes to go, driving toward a satisfying conclusion I will not share. (Sixteen episodes seems just right.)

But some of these characters will be back: In "Ashes to Ashes," a spinoff set in 1981, Hunt will get a new, female partner from the 21st century, and there'll be a new era of old clothes to wear and old songs to play on the soundtrack -- a development that would seem to speak for the actual "reality" of the world to which Sam Tyler travels, not that it matters. It's all made up.

JAZZ BAKERY JANUARY LINE-UP!























MARTIN & LEWIS TRIBUTE HOLIDAY SHOW!


ITS THE 2ND ANNUAL
MARTIN AND LEWIS TRIBUTE SHOW
A HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!

This Sunday night
Dec 16th
Frank And Dean's Restaurant/Nightclub
3768 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena, California 91107 (626) 739-1847
www.frankanddeans.com

A Tribute to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis...and "friends".
www.martinandlewisshow.com

It's the 2nd Annual Holiday Extravaganza Featuring David Wolf as "Jerry" and Steve Waddington as "Dino".

Hot off their successful cruise ship gig, they are ready to let off some steam!!! This show will be their wildest, funniest and most entertaining yet! All your favorite "hits and bits", plus a lot of new things and a few "surprises".
If you've seen the show before, you know no two shows are EVER the same...and if you haven't seen the show...you are in for a wonderful surprise!
Its all the hits of Dean Martin, all the bits of Jerry Lewis...and a lot more! Comedy, Improv, newly added impersonations/characters, great songs, and a lot of overall fun and mayhem! Lots of Holiday songs too.

Bring the whole family...tell your friends...but make your reservations NOW, as the last shows sold out! (626) 739-1847...and ask for a seat as close to the front as possible!

The performance runs from about 6:30 til...well, whenever they run out of gas! LOL! (Usually a couple of hours or so!)

The show is at the legendary "Frank and Dean's", a venue built as a sort of "shrine" to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The owner, Frank, is not only a huge fan of Mr. Sinatra, he was also a friend. Many collectibles and keepsakes from his private collection adorn the walls and you will see many things here that you will not see anywhere else!

Because this place is a sort of "home" for the Martin & Lewis tribute, Steve and Dave will be doing things here (as usual) they wouldn't even think of doing at other venues! This is the place where it all started for the Martin & Lewis tibute, and it was the owner, Frank, that put Steve and Dave together for the first time as a team!

Great food, Rat Pack Vegas-style seating and atmosphere and wonderful service!

You will NOT want to miss this show!!!

FIL-AM JAZZ FESTIVAL REVIEW!


CHARMAINE CLAMOR AND OTHERS GET INTO THE GROOVE, FILIPINO STYLE AT THE FIL-AM FESTIVAL!


By Don Heckman, Special to The Times


There weren't a lot of familiar names in the lineup Friday for the third annual Fil-Am Jazz Festival at Catalina Bar & Grill. At least not for anyone in the audience who wasn't Philippine. Although singer Charmaine Clamor has begun to get some much-deserved attention as an appealing new arrival, many of the other artists are best known in their native Philippines.


But surprise! The program was a delight, a nonstop string of first-rate performances testifying to the high quality of Philippine musical talent as well as to the global reach of jazz.Pianist Tateng Katindig, Philippine-born but an active Southland player since he moved to Los Angeles in the early '90s, opened the evening with a rhapsodic take on the standard "A Beautiful Friendship" before digging into an up-tempo romp through a group of imaginative variations on "Caravan."


Far less known in this country, singer Mon David was the winner in 2006 of the first London International Jazz Competition for Vocalists. His set, ranging from a stunningly improvisatory reading of "Footprints" to the grooving lyricism of "I Remember You" was the stuff of world-class vocalizing. At a time of real paucity in top-ranked male jazz singers, David showed the potential for a significant breakout.The same can be said for guitarist Johnny Alegre, whose pair of original tunes -- "Offering" and "Barnabas" -- managed to invigorate his inventive lines with Pat Metheny-like drive and a sound reminiscent of Gabor Szabo. Alto saxophonist Julius Tolentino took a different tack, roving across jazz history, including the bebop licks of a Charlie Parker-inspired "I Can't Get Started" and the honking, bar-walking-style "Jacob's Bounce."A pair of pianists followed.


Veteran pianist-composer Toti Fuentes, joking with the crowd and looking hearty after recovery from cancer, played a gorgeously lyrical rendering of "Alfie." Victor Noriega's "Pandangguhan," a take on a traditional Philippine folk song, blended fiery virtuosity with irresistible swing.


The evening's most remarkable set was provided by the versatile Abe Lagrimas. After playing sturdy drums to back the other acts, he took center stage, playing a harmonically lush version of "The Nearness of You" before demonstrating the ukulele's jazz possibilities with his own swinging "Centipede."


Clamor, wrapping up the impressive program, offered a pair of numbers celebrating the roots of the evening: an incisive transformation of "My Funny Valentine," titled "My Funny Brown Pinay," followed by the proudly declamatory "Ako Ay Pilipino" (I Am a Filipino).

Monday, December 10, 2007

NO.1 OF THE SECRET SERVICE!

NO. 1 OF THE SECRET SERVICE AND OTHER EUROSPY TREATS ON DVD!

ANOTHER GREAT UPDATE FROM www.doublosection.blogspot.com

Videoasia released a DVD collection last week containing a number of hard-to-find spy and spy-related movies: The Grindhouse Experience Volume 2. You get twenty films on five discs, so I can't imagine the quality is much to brag about, but there are some very appealing films in the mix, including No. 1 of the Secret Service (released here as Her Majesty's Top Gun)!

The Seventies didn't produce nearly as many Bond knock-offs as the Sixties (the heyday of the Eurospy genre), but director Lindsay Shonteff pretty much single-handedly kept the genre alive with his two Charles Bind films, No. 1 of the Secret Service starring Nicky Henson and No. 1: Licensed To Love and Kill starring The New Avengers' Gareth Hunt as Bind.

Both movies also featured the Moore-era Minister of Defense, Geoffrey Keen, in the M-like role. In addition to being full-blown knock-offs in their own right of Seventies Bond, these were also unofficial follow-ups to the Sixties Bond knock-off series of Charles Vine movies, which Shonteff originated with Licensed To Kill (1965) starring Tom Adams.

Supposedly Shonteff made another pair of "Bind" movies in the early Nineties, Number One Gun and The Running Gun, but I've never heard of anyone having actually seen them. (Please sound off below if you have!) But all of that is just a history lesson; the only Bind/Vine title included here is No. 1 of the Secret Service. One must go into any Shonteff movie with a certain willingness to settle, but it's a fun movie sure to please avid fans of Seventies 007.

But wait! That's not all you get in this set, spy fans! Also of interest is one of one of the few other lost Seventies Bond knock-offs (via blaxploitation), Mr. Deathman, the Eurospy classic O77: Mission Bloody Mary, 3 Supermen Against Godfather (1979) and Diabolik rip-off Phenomenal and the Treasure of Tutankamen (1968)!

Chances are this print of Mission Bloody Mary won't hold a candle to the excellent one put out a few years ago by Dorado Films (who have finally updated their website and are having a fabulous sale during the month of December!), but it's a fun film nonetheless. As far as I know, those others haven't seen any sort of official release in the US before.

I'm particularly excited about Phenomenal; it's one I've always wanted to see. The rest of the movies in this budget-priced set will probably also appeal to Eurospy fans in one way or another; a lot of them features actors well known from the genre.

JUDY WEXLER -- DREAMS & SHADOWS!

Jazz singer Judy Wexler is one of our favorite local jazz singers. Her new release, "Dreams & Shadows", will be out in March of 2008 on Jazzed Media.

Hip follow-up to jazz vocalist Judy Wexler's critically acclaimed debut project, "Easy on the Heart." Features an eclectic repertoire, including "Spooky" and "Almost Blue", with inventive arrangements by piano greats Alan Pasqua and Jeff Colella.


With her warm voice, cool style, and tasty song selection, Judy is backed up by some of the finest jazz musicians on the west coast:
Alan Pasqua, piano

Jeff Colella, piano

Darek Oles, bass

Joe LaBarbera, drums

Steve Hass, drums

Bob Sheppard, woodwinds

Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet

Tollak Olestead, harmonica

Stefanie Fife, cello.


Judy Wexler's newest release confirms her status as one of the finest rising bop-influenced jazz vocalists on todays music scene.


Jazzed Media, a jazz record label and film production company,was founded in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area in 2002. Jazzed Media's owner Graham Carter is a Grammy-nominated record producer (The Bill Holman Band "Live" and The Bill Holman Band "Hommage") and award-winning jazz filmmaker (Phil Woods "A Life in E Flat").


Graham Carter produced the Jazzed Media production Phil Woods, "A Life in E Flat", and produced and directed the forthcoming Bud Shank documentary "Against the Tide". Carter recently announced he will be producing and directing a documentary about Stan Kenton entitled "Artistry in Rhythm".


Artists appearing on the Jazzed Media label include Phil Woods, Bud Shank, Terry Gibbs, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, Bill Charlap, Brian Lynch, Hubert Laws, Marvin Stamm, Bill Mays, Carl Saunders, Don Menza, Christian Jacob, Scott Whitfield, Andy Martin, Lanny Morgan, Bobby Shew, Irene Kral, Jackie & Roy, Bob Lark, Ron Stout, Jim McNeely, Mel Martin, Benny Carter, Frank Tiberi, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Lorraine Feather, and Matt Wilson.



Sunday, December 9, 2007

21 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULD RECYCLE!


Garbage. Americans produce more and more of it every year, when we need to be producing less.


Even the most waste-conscious among us can feel overwhelmed by the amount of household waste that goes beyond what municipal recyclers and compost bins can handle.



That’s why our editors have spent the summer investigating the state of waste management in our country, and putting together information for you, our Co-op America members, explaining how we can get serious about the three R’s – reducing, reusing, and recycling. Supporting members of Co-op America can expect to receive this issue of the Co-op America Quarterly this fall. If you’re not already a supporting member,

join us now to get this special issue mailed to you.


1. Appliances: Goodwill accepts working appliances,

www.goodwill.org, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them. 800/YES-1-CAN, www.recycle-steel.org.


2. Batteries: Rechargeables and single-use: Battery Solutions, 734/467-9110,

www.batteryrecycling.com.

3. Cardboard boxes: Contact local nonprofits and women’s shelters to see if they can use them. Or, offer up used cardboard boxes at your local Freecycle.org listserv or on Craigslist.org for others who may need them for moving or storage. If your workplace collects at least 100 boxes or more each month, UsedCardboardBoxes.com accepts them for resale.


4. CDs/DVDs/Game Disks: Send scratched music or computer CDs, DVDs, and PlayStation or Nintendo video game disks to AuralTech for refinishing, and they’ll work like new: 888/454-3223, www.auraltech.com.


5. Clothes: Wearable clothes can go to your local Goodwill outlet or shelter. Donate wearable women’s business clothing to Dress for Success, which gives them to low-income women as they search for jobs, 212/532-1922, www.dressforsuccess.org. Offer unwearable clothes and towels to local animal boarding and shelter facilities, which often use them as pet bedding. Consider holding a clothes swap at your office, school, faith congregation or community center. Swap clothes with friends and colleagues, and save money on a new fall wardrobe and back-to-school clothes.


6. Compact fluorescent bulbs: Take them to your local IKEA store for recycling: www.ikea.com.


7. Compostable bio-plastics: You probably won’t be able to compost these in your home compost bin or pile. Find a municipal composter to take them to at www.findacomposter.com.


8. Computers and electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers, local and national, at www.ban.org/pledge/Locations.html.


9. Exercise videos: Swap them with others at www.videofitness.com.


10. Eyeglasses: Your local Lion’s Club or eye care chain may collect these. Lenses are reground and given to people in need.


11. Foam packing: Your local pack-and-ship store will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. Or, call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a drop-off site: 800/828-2214. For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, 410/451-8340, www.epspackaging.org/info.html


12. Ink/toner cartridges: Recycleplace.com pays $1/each.


13. Miscellaneous: Get your unwanted items into the hands of people who can use them. Offer them up on your local Freecycle.org or Craigslist.org listserv, or try giving them away at Throwplace.com or giving or selling them at iReuse.com. iReuse.com will also help you find a recycler, if possible, when your items have reached the end of their useful lifecycle.


14. Oil: Find Used Motor Oil Hotlines for each state: 202/682-8000, www.recycleoil.org.


15. Phones: Donate cell phones: Collective Good will refurbish your phone and sell it to someone in a developing country: 770/856-9021, www.collectivegood.com. Call to Protect reprograms cell phones to dial 911 and gives them to domestic violence victims: www.donateaphone.com. Recycle single-line phones: Reclamere, 814/386-2927, www.reclamere.com.


16. Sports equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249, www.playitagainsports.com.


17. “Technotrash”: Project KOPEG offers an e-waste recycling program that can help you raise funds for your organization. Use Project KOPEG to recycle iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and chargers, digital cameras, PDAs, palm pilots, and more. Also, easily recycle all of your CDs, jewel cases, DVDs, audio and video tapes, pagers, rechargeable and single-use batteries, PDAs, and ink/toner cartridges with GreenDisk’s Technotrash program. For $30, GreenDisk will send you a cardboard box in which you can ship them up to 70 pounds of any of the above. Your fee covers the box as well as shipping and recycling fees. 800/305-GREENDISK, www.greendisk.com.


18. Tennis shoes: Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring. www.nikereuseashoe.com. One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti. www.oneworldrunning.com.


19. Toothbrushes and razors: Buy a recycled plastic toothbrush or razor from Recycline, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are made from used Stonyfield Farms’ yogurt cups. 888/354-7296, www.recycline.com.


20. Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: Send to Shirley Cimburke, Tyvek Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Spot 197, Room 231, Richmond, VA 23234. Quantities larger than 25, call 866/33-TYVEK.


21. Stuff you just can’t recycle: When practical, send such items back to the manufacturer and tell them they need to manufacture products that close the waste loop responsibly.