Saturday, December 22, 2007

Brian Setzer - Jump Jive N' Wail - Live!

Brian Setzer - Rock This Town - Live!

UPCOMING Y/A NOVELS!







UPCOMING Y/A NOVELS!

IAN FLEMING CENTENARY SITE!

IAN FLEMING CENTENARY SITE!

News from http://theliterary007.blogspot.com/

Ian Fleming Publications has launched a new website, IanFlemingCentenary.com, devoted to next year's Centenary events and publications.New to the line-up of events is the exhibit "Bond Bound: Ian Fleming & The Art of Cover Design," which charts the role of artists and designers in creating and defining the Bond look from Casino Royale through Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries. The exhibit will be on show at the Fleming Collection gallery from 22 April to 28 June 2008.The site will be regularly updated throughout the centenary year.

ALICIA SOUNDS THE HORNE!

ALICIA SOUNDS THE HORNE!

From pagesix.com comes this news:


It looks like Janet Jackson's dream of playing music legend Lena Horne is officially dead, because Oprah Winfrey has taken control of the project and cast Alicia Keys in the title role. During an interview for her new film, The Great Debaters, Oprah revealed that while she's never going to act again, she's taken to producing like a billionaire fish to water. "We're going to start filming next year," Oprah said of her Lena Horne biopic. "And we've got Alicia."



Now, unless she's talking about one-time Batgirl Alicia Silverstone (please, no), it's pretty much a given that the Grammy winner nabbed the role. Especially when you consider that Oprah told Alicia in 2005 that she would love for the 27-year-old to slip into the legendary singer's shoes.

The casting makes perfect sense since Lena and Alicia share more than a passing resemblance. Both were born in New York, both conquered the music industry quickly and both share a passion for philanthropy. Alicia is a spokesperson for several AIDS organizations, while Lena (below) dedicated her life to the civil rights movement.

Lena has been heavily involved in the casting of her life story since she famously asked for Janet Jackson to remove herself from the project (when it was set up as a TV movie at ABC) following her wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. What an honor for Alicia: to not only have the blessing of the powerful Oprah, but the legendary lady as well.




Friday, December 21, 2007

NEWS FROM JAZZ CROONER MARK ROBINSON!

NEWS FROM JAZZ CROONER MARK ROBINSON!

Hi all,

As you make your plans for the holiday week, I wanted to let you know that I'll be holding down the bandstand at Shanghai 1930 on Wednesday -- the day after Christmas.

Think of it as the perfect escape from the madness: No carols, no shopping-mall Santas, no packages to wrap. Instead: Excellent haute Chinese fare, perfectly made drinks, and a mix of some of the best standards written in the last century.

On hand for the festivities will be the ever-inventive pianist Denny Berthiaume and the genius bassman Chuck Bennett.

Hope to see you . . .

The details:

Wednesday, December 26

Shanghai 1930

7 to 11 pm

133 Steuart Street (between Mission and Howard)

415/896-5600

www.shanghai1930.com

Cheers,

Mark Robinson

Web:

www.markrobinson.org

Album: "Some Small Dive" now on sale:

www.cdbaby.com/cd/markrobinson

"A fresh face on the Bay Area jazz scene, Robinson is an assured jazz crooner with a deep, resonant baritone that sweeps ballads along. While he spent many years studying the classical repertoire, he's devoted himself to the American Songbook and has honed a compelling sense of swing. With the release last year of his impressive debut album 'Some Small Dive,' Robinson is definitely one of the most exciting additions to the Bay Area vocal scene in recent years." -- Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News, February 22, 2007

RENEE OLSTED NEW CD NEWS


RENEE OLSTEAD’S NEW CD ANNOUNCED FOR SPRING!


According to www.davidfoster.com and Renee Olstead’s official website www.reneeolstead.com the new album "Skylark", produced by David Foster, will be released Spring 2008.

This has all been said before, but after much time passing without any news Warner Bros. (who are releasing the album) are beginning to start the publicity rolling again. Hopefully, this time it’s for real.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

PERIL AT END HOUSE!


PERIL AT END HOUSE! NEW FROM THE OFFICIAL AGATHA CHRISTIE WEB SITE!


The latest newsletter from the official Agatha Christie web site announces a downloadable version of their new interacvtive mystery game, Peril at End House.
There has always been an air of evil at End House, and with three attempted murders in as many days, it’s up to the famous Poirot to unravel the mystery in this spine-tingling seek-and-find adventure.


Featuring much loved searchable rooms and backdrops, plus new gameplay where you collect 'Clue Cards' to reveal the killer's identity, the game is a companion piece to the previouosly release Death on the Nile.

Add some truly gorgeous graphics that plant you so firmly in the story's world Peril at End House looks set to be another popular Christie game.

Like Death on the Nile, you can try an hour's worth of play FOR FREE by clicking here!

Visit the official Agatha Christie web site at: http://www.agathachristie.com/




Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM MATT DUSK!































BENSON'S BOND IS BACK!

BLAST FROM THE PAST -- RAYMOND BENSON' BOND RETURNS IN 2008!

K1Bond007.com reports today that a selection of Raymond Benson's James Bond novels will be republished in an omnibus edition in the U.S. in October 2008 by Pegasus Books.

The collection will contain the "Union Trilogy"-- High Time To Kill, Doubleshot, and Never Dream of Dying... plus, as a bonus, the complete uncut short story Blast From The Past.

Blast From The Past originally appeared in the January 1997 issue of Playboy in a truncated version. The full-length version was published in Italian and in French. This will be its first appearance in English.

Benson will provide a new introduction to the book. A title for the collection has not yet been selected. Pegasus hopes to publish a second volume of Benson's remaining 007 novels and short stories in 2009.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

KNIGHT RIDER RETURNS!

zap2it.com BREAKS KNIGHT RIDER NEWS!

Gentlemen, start your artificially intelligent, shape-shifting supercar engines: The Knight Rider remake has a premiere date.


NBC will unveil its updated version of the 1982-86 series with a two-hour movie on Sunday, Feb. 17. The film will also serve as a back-door pilot for a series targeted for the 2008-09 season.

The network unveiled the new KITT at a press event Wednesday, confirming online rumors that the supercar will be a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR. The movie will use three different models, including a remote control-operated car for use when KITT's driver is otherwise indisposed.

KITT, by the way, now stands for Knight Industries Three Thousand. The car in the original series (a 1980s-era Trans Am) was the Knight Industries Two Thousand.

The new "Knight Rider" centers on Mike Tracer (Justin Bruening), an ex-Army Ranger who, reluctantly at first, agrees to help childhood friend Sarah Graiman (Deanna Russo) find her missing father, Charles (Bruce Davison), the creator of KITT.

The car comes equipped with myriad weapons, a computer capable of hacking just about anything and nanotechnology that allows the body to change shape and color if needed. Will Arnett of "Arrested Development" fame will provide the car's voice.

Sydney Tamiia Poitier also stars as an FBI agent and friend of Sarah's who helps in the search. Original Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff will make a cameo appearance.David Andron wrote the script, and Steve Shill (Dexter, The Tudors) is directing. Doug Liman and Dave Bartis (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The O.C.) are the executive producers.

Monday, December 17, 2007

SETZER SWINGS!




BRIAN SETZER: A ROCKIN' REBEL!


It's the holiday season, and for Brian Setzer, rockin' around the christmas tree is an annual event.


His touring extravaganza is an eclectic mix, one bow to tradition in a career spent going against the grain.


Figuring that out requires a long detour down memory lane, so put yourself back in the late 1970s, and shift into reverse …


"I saw a picture of this guy named Eddie Cochran," Seltzer said, "and he had this guitar. I said, 'Where can I find one of those?' I wanted the whole thing. I wanted the hair. I wanted the jacket. I wanted the pants I just thought, 'That guy is cool.'"


And so at a time when punk was everything, he and two school pals from Long Island formed a '50s rockabilly band, Stray Cats.


Setzer showed CBS’s Susan Spencer where the Cats started, in what used to be a bar. "It was called Arthur's," he said. "Now it's called Ugly Yellow Town Homes." "Things change, you know?" Spencer said.


"I don't want them to change," said Setzer.


Back in 1980, Stray Cats needed a change, and a hit. That meant leaving home. They found their big break in London.


But when they came home a year later, with several hits under their belts, they were broke, ripped off by unscrupulous managers.


I think I have to do whatever is not popular. I started a big band when grunge was popular. I mean, that didn't make much sense.


Brian Setzer"We went to the Swiss bank, which is where they had our money," Setzer said. "We wanted to take out money to buy presents for Christmas. And we didn't have any."


Enter MTV, the music network was just getting started, and the band's 50's sound and rebel looks were a perfect fit.


The Cats' first U.S. album, "Built for Speed," raced up the charts. Over the years, more hits followed, but this is a hard business and by the early '90's the Stray Cats were pretty much over.


"I mean, we were selling 32 tickets at the Roxy in California," Setzer said. "We were over."


For Setzer, necessity is always the mother of re-invention. His idea this time: "I can sit down, I can read music, I can write music. I'm going to write 18 pieces for a big band, and have a guitar lead the band.


"Rock and roll and swing never quite mixed. Rock and roll came in and just blew everything out of the water. Big bands were dead."


"So you start off by going back to a sound that was popular 20 years before your time, you move on then to a sound that was popular 50 years before your time," Spencer said. "What's in your makeup that makes you essentially go against the grain?"


"I think it's my mom. I think I have to do whatever is not popular. I started a big band when grunge was popular. I mean, that didn't make much sense." Turns out, it made plenty of sense.


In the '90s, Setzer revitalized swing just as he had rockabilly a decade earlier, and this time people took notice. He now has three Grammies to his name. But back in his old neighborhood in Massapequa, Long Island, he's still just "Brian." He's always had a heart for hot rods and vintage cars, a rock star unafraid of getting grease on his hands … or in his hair.


"I like a good pompadour," he said.


When not touring, the 48-year-old Setzer lives in his adopted hometown of Minneapolis, with wife Julie, who is a background vocalist in his big band.


He's loved in Japan as "Elvis" - "They like the whole style, they like dressing up. They love the actual music, the whole package," Setzer said - But his newest venture is about as far from Elvis as you can get: a Grammy-nominated classical CD entitled "Wolfgang's Big Night Out."


"This is real classic rock!" he said.


Setzer is asked about a quote of Mozart's on his CD: "I pay no attention to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."


"How can you? If you listen to everybody's opinions, I mean, I always say I'd be digging a ditch on the side of the road now if I had listened to what everybody told me what to do. You know, you have to follow your heart, you have to."


"That quote could very well have been said by you?"


"Yes. Although Mozart said it 300 years earlier!"


What's next for Brian Setzer? Check the rearview mirror. For now, he's on the road ringing in the season in his own unique style, which of course he could change tomorrow.

KNIGHTS IN SHARKSKIN ARMOR!


KNIGHTS IN SHARKSKIN ARMOR!

For eleven weeks in 1960 Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. (along with cohorts Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop) claimed the spotlight of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. While there, they forged and cemented the legend that would become The Rat Pack. They led the world to think their success was all about swinging style and devil-may-care attitude, hiding the depth of the talent which was the true key to their immortality.

Shooting the casino robbery caper Ocean's 11 during the day, hitting the stage at the Sands in the late evening for impromptu concerts, and then partying through the night, the boys personified Vegas. Like knights in sharkskin armor, Dino and Sammy played Lancelot and Galahad to Frank's King Arthur -- as Dino said, "It's Frank's world, we just live in it."

Now, direct from a record-breaking run in London's West End, The Rat Pack: Live At the Sands brilliantly recreates the ultimate meetings of three legendary performers. The Sands is no longer, and Frank, Sammy and Dean have left us, but the talented cast and fifteen piece orchestra of The Rat Pak: Live At The Sands transports the theatre back to a never equaled, glistening moment in popular music history.

Stephen Triffitt as Frank Sinatra is commanding and assured. His voice resonant with Sinatraesque bravado and control. David Hayes is so spot on as Sammy Davis Jr., it's as if he is channeling Sammy's energy right there on stage. Nigel Casey's Dean Martin takes a while to grow on you, but once you get beyond his voice being an octave to high (Dino once did an aside in a song about having his shorts on backward – perhaps that was the problem here), you come to appreciate how honed his Dino physical mannerisms are as well as hearing Dino's vocal vibrations in every note.

Unlike the Vegas tribute The Rat Pack Is Back – a ninety minute courtesy cruise more interested in the politically incorrect jokes and raunchy language of the time, The Rat Pack: Live At The Sands is two and a half hours of singing and more singing with enough all-boys-together silliness to keep you amused while being bowled over by the vocal talent on stage.

A great show for anyone who reveres the time, the atmosphere, and the legend.



COUNTERCULTURE COPS!

'60s COUNTERCULTURE COPS FINALLY OUT ON DVD

It was originally to be called The Young Detectives. Maybe if it had been, it would have gone the way of the short-lived The Young Lawyers and The Young Rebels that soon followed. But somewhere during the show's development, in that halcyon year of 1968, the title got changed to the catchier, kitschier The Mod Squad, a name promising something other than young versions of our same old elders.

Its first 13 episodes come out on DVD Tuesday, giving nostalgic boomers a chance to remember when they were the Young Whippersnappers.

A cop show for the counterculture, The Mod Squad starred Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III and Peggy Lipton as a youth-culture undercover team for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Very loosely based on a 1950s LAPD narcotics squad headed by series creator Bud Ruskin, the show became a four-season hit on ABC. And for all its sanitized TV vision of hippies and Hells Angels, protesters and "pigs," it broke ground in giving the screen its first lasting counterculture protagonists -- something the ostensibly more sophisticated movies wouldn't do for another year, with the breakthrough film Easy Rider.

The Mod Squad was one of the earliest attempts to deal with the counterculture and the disillusioned-youth sensibility of the time. It successfully drew in the young audience and made it feel as if the show spoke to them -- and did it without alienating older viewers, since it had the trappings of a police drama.

The Mod Squad was remarkable for its time in what it addressed. It was the first TV drama to embrace the counterculture. The three lead characters were the vanguard of protagonists who weren't older people; it didn't look like shows five years or even a year before it. Today, however, anybody under 40 is going to find the show a bit corny.

SLAP SHOT

'SLAP SHOT' GAVE HIM ROLE OF A LIFETIME – LITERALLY

by Jerry Crowe / Los Angeles Times


Steve Carlson wasn't a great player, nor did he last long in the NHL, but no other player who ever laced up a pair of skates for the Kings left a more indelible, sidesplitting mark in Hollywood.

The King-for-a-season was one of the Hanson Brothers.

As in the expletive-spewing, violence-inciting, scene-stealing trio of goons who practically hijacked the screen from no less than Paul Newman in "Slap Shot," the rip-roaring 1977 comedy that is generally regarded as one of the greatest sports movies ever made and to hockey fans is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece.

"Newman was on the verge of becoming a superstar at that time," Carlson says, "and they figured, 'OK, let's bring the Hanson Brothers in to put him over the top.' You notice he never won an Academy Award until after he worked with us."

Carlson, 52, is speaking tongue in cheek from his home in Kenosha, Wis., where he runs power skating classes and books appearances by the Hanson Brothers, who were based on the real-life Carlson brothers -- Steve, Jack and Jeff -- and were portrayed in the movie by Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson and Dave Hanson.

The Hanson Brothers, whose popularity has only grown in the three decades since the film was released, still make as many as three dozen appearances a year, Steve Carlson says. Donning the black-framed, clownishly thick, held-together-by-tape glasses they wore in the movie and wrapping their hands in foil for increased punching power, they answer questions and sign autographs at NHL games, conventions, golf tournaments, "Slap Shot" screenings, etc.
Last year, Carlson says, they received 285 booking requests.

"One of the reasons I got out of coaching was because we felt that we could make another career out of touring as the Hanson Brothers," Carlson says of the trio's surprising realization, about 15 years ago, that they were in demand.Of course, Carlson jokes, he and the others predicted all this when they signed on in 1976 to make the movie. "Oh, hell yeah," he says. "You've got three great-looking guys with all the talent in the world . . . and the chicks love the glasses."

Later, more serious, Carlson says of the film's lasting appeal, "It has foul language, sex and violence, everything a man wants in a movie. And people can relate to limited-skill players who will do whatever it takes to make it."

Unlike the character he portrays in the movie, or his real-life brothers, Steve Carlson was not a brawler, nor was he unskilled as a player.

"I wasn't a total slug," he says.

In fact, in addition to playing a key role in "Slap Shot," Carlson played professionally with both Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

"Pretty cool," he says of his one-of-a-kind hat trick of appearing in history's most famous hockey movie and playing alongside the sport's two greatest stars.After the movie wrapped, Carlson played with the World Hockey Assn.'s New England Whalers, where he centered a line between Howe and Howe's son, Mark. Later, with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers, he played (and roomed) with Gretzky before the Oilers joined the NHL. And in the 1979-80 season, his lone NHL season, Carlson tallied nine goals and 12 assists in 52 games with the Kings.

"If he had been able to score a little more, he would have been around for a long time because he was a real smart player," Mike Murphy, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations, says of his former Kings linemate. "You could use him as a checking center and as a penalty killer. He was an effective player."

Still, after tallying two points in four playoff games against the New York Islanders, Carlson spent the last seven years of his career in the minors.

By then, he already was destined for hockey immortality.

The Carlson brothers, who grew up in Minnesota, were tapped to basically play themselves in "Slap Shot," Steve Carlson says, because the producers couldn't find actors who skated well enough. (Jack Carlson, called up to the WHA just before shooting started, was replaced by minor league teammate Dave Hanson.)

They weren't paid much.

"But," Steve Carlson says, "when you're 21 years old and they ask you if you want to do a film with Newman, you're not going to say, 'Well, let's negotiate.' You sign whatever they put in front of you and you say, 'OK, this is great.' "

It wasn't a stretch, Carlson says, to play the role.

"That's how our team played," he says of the minor league Johnstown (Pa.) Jets, the inspiration for the movie's Charlestown Chiefs. "A lot of that stuff in the movie actually happened: We did get hit in the face with a key chain and we did go into the crowd and we did get arrested. We did jump a team in warmups."We just reenacted all that stuff."

Thirty years later, they're still playing their roles.

They don't do it full time, Steve Carlson says, because they fear that interest in the Hansons won't last forever. So, Jeff Carlson continues working as an electrician in Michigan and Dave Hanson as a manager of an ice rink outside Pittsburgh, even as the popularity of the Hanson Brothers shows no signs of waning.Last year, the "brothers" shot six commercials in Canada.And had a blast, Steve says.

"It's fun," he says. "We like putting smiles on people's faces."

NEW MONEYPENNY COVER ART!

NEW MONEYPENNY COVER ART

An update from doubleosection.blogspot.com/


Over the weekend, CommanderBond.net exclusively debuted the final cover art for Samantha Weinberg's (writing once again as Kate Westbrook) third book in The Moneypenny Diaries trilogy, Final Fling.


As promised in her interview with the Double O Section last summer, Stina Persson once again provides the artwork, and once again it's excellent. (Take a note, Devil May Care!) Head on over to CBN to see the whole cover in all its glory!


Personally, I don't like the colors quite as much as on the last one, but it's still a stunning, retro eyecatcher, and a vast improvement over the lame art on the first two hardcovers. And they finally saw fit to mention James Bond on the cover! (Fitting, since it is a James Bond novel, and he is the primary selling point...) Final Fling comes out in the UK on May 1, 2008; the first book in the series, Guardian Angel, finally sees a US release that same month.