Saturday, July 11, 2009

PARKER/STARK GRAPHIC NOVEL ~ THE HUNTER!

PARKER/STARK GRAPHIC NOVEL ~ THE HUNTER!

You do not want to miss this.

Parker comic creator Darwyn Cooke is interviewed by The Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon. He is joined by his editor, Scott Dunbier, and former collaborator Ed Brubaker, who currently does Criminal (which has been recommended to me a million times but which I have not yet purchased–get better, economy!).

The interview is an in-depth look at the creation process of Cooke’s adaptation of The Hunter, and many other subjects–how the project got started, how Cooke sees Parker, how he made his artistic decisions in terms of both art and prose, which other books are going to be adapted, his interactions with Donald Westlake, and much more. If a comic book could have a commentary track like a DVD, this would be it for Darwyn Cooke’s The Hunter.

TO READ THE INTERVIEW CLICK HERE

A SLAP WITH THE GAT TO THE VIOLENT WORLD OF PARKER WEBSITE


SAMMY DAVIS JR. ~ ONE FOR MY BABY (IMPRESSIONS)!

CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!

CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!

BLOG BUDDY CHRIS MILLS HAS SHARED WITH US A COUPLE OF GRAT LOOKING PAGES FROM HIS UPCOMING CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT ONE-SHOT FROM MOONSTONE BOOKS, WITH ART BY RICH CLARK, OVER AT HIS ATOMIC PULP BLOG.

FOR MORE CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT ART AND ALSO THE LOW DOWN ON THE CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT PROSE ANTHOLOGY CLICK HERE

HIS WAY, OUR WAY, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

HIS WAY, OUR WAY, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

MAROON 5 AND JOHN RICH DEFINITELY GET THE BEST OUT OF THEIR VERSIONS IN THIS MEDIUM HOT AND COLD COLLECTION OF SINATRA COVERS BY CURRENT ARTISTS.


THERE ARE NO JAMIE CULLUMS IN THE BUNCH, AND THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IS HOW THIN SOME OF THE VOICES ARE AS THEY STRAIN TO MAKE SOMETHING DIFFERENT OUT OF WHAT WERE SOME OF SINATRA’S BEST ARRANGEMENTS. STILL, REPEAT LISTENING MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

FIRST LISTENING: TWO-AND-A-HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE . . .

TRACK LIST:

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT ~ MAROON 5
ALL OF ME ~ MEIKO
I’VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN ~ SEETHER
STORMY WEATHER ~ THE KOOKS
I’LL NEVER SMILE AGAIN ~ PRISCILLA AHN
FLY ME TO THE MOON ~ JOSHUA RADIN
ONE FOR MY BABY ~ JOHN RICH
LONDON BY NIGHT ~ GREG LASWELL
WILLOW WEEP FOR ME ~ THE KILLS
LAST SUMMER ~ A FINE FRENZY
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM ~ REPUBLIC TIGERS
SOMETHIN’ STUPID ~ THE FASHION

HIS WAY, OUR WAY!

HIS WAY, OUR WAY!

SINATRA ‘RE-IMAGINED’ ~ NEWS FROM THE SINATRA FAMILY WEBSITE:


Frank Sinatra's music and life completely changed the face of popular music. Hordes of screaming teenagers, a bad-boy image, critically acclaimed artistry, scandals, the complete and utter respect of untold musicians -- Sinatra had all of this and more in his lifetime. An unparalleled interpreter of songs and a performer with grace and humility – Sinatra famously did everything "his way."


iTunes is paying tribute to the great man by working with a selection of performers to record new, exclusive versions of the songs Sinatra made famous. These aren't your standard covers – these are re-imaginings from artists such as Maroon 5, the Kooks, A Fine Frenzy, the Morning Benders, and the Kills. This is a collection of tracks you aren't going to find anywhere else. These are Sinatra covers -- done our way.

EXCLUSIVE! Hear the first airing of a song and an interview with the band, Maroon 5, on Sirius/XM this Friday, July 10th, on Third Generation with AJ Lambert at 10pm ET.

MAROON 5, JOHN RICH, DO SINATRA SONGS 'OUR WAY' FOR ITUNES

David J. Prince, N.Y.

When Apple rang up Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine to see if he and his band would be interested in recording a classic Frank Sinatra tune, the singer jumped at the chance.

"He's definitely one of my all-time favorites," Levine told Billboard.com recently. "He's one of those guys that’s just kind of larger-than-life. I always was a huge fan, ever since I was probably about 15 years old."
The resulting M5 version of "The Way You Look Tonight" is one of 13 Sinatra songs that Apple commissioned for "His Way, Our Way," an exclusive collection of covers and originals that goes on sale today (July 7) at the iTunes Music Store. Other artists who have their way with Ol' Blue Eyes favorites include the Kooks, John Rich, Seether, the Morning Benders and the Kills. An iTunes "His Way, Our Way" page has been created which features the covers and originals side by side.The collection, which iTunes created with the support of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, aims to introduce a newer, younger audience to the Sinatra songbook while introducing longtime Frank-o-philes to new artists.


Levine and M5 keyboardist Jessie Carmichael worked with producer David Campbell on the arrangement, and the cover was even recorded in Capitol Studios, a one-time Sinatra's haunt. For Levine, there's more than a little Sinatra in his own singing style.

"I think Sinatra had such amazing taste," Levins said. "He never overdid it. He was always pretty understated in his singing which is interesting because he wasn’t understated in his lifestyle. That juxtaposition is really kind of an interesting thing because he was very tasteful when it came to choosing certain melodies and almost didn’t embellish at all actually. Kind of stuck to the plan, which I thought was very cool."

Levine and his bandmates are currently ensconced in a Swiss recording studio with producer Mutt Lange, in the beginning stages of the next Maroon 5 album. "I've got a lot of great material that I'm really excited about," he said. "I'm more excited about this record than I've been about anything."

HIS WAY, OUR WAY PAGE ON ITUNES

RON KING BIG BAND @ VIBRATO!


BEAT TO A PULP #32!

BEAT TO A PULP #32!

NOTHING YOU CAN DO ~ BY JASON HUNT

"I was headed out and saw the light on in your windows,” she said, carefully pronouncing each word, “and figured I’d stop by and see if you needed anything before I left for the weekend."

She smiled that dazzling smile of hers, and I managed to eek out a smile of my own. I’d always found her attractive, but the little golden band on the third finger of my left hand had kept me from dwelling too long on the fact. Tonight, though, I said “What the hell.” I went ahead and dwelt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Hunt writes hardboiled. Of all the seedy characters he's spawned, he's probably most partial to Deke Rivers, a country music songwriter turned private investigator. Deke works the streets of Nashville, drinks Jack Daniels, drives a 1959 Coupe de Ville and wears two Colt .45 semiautomatics in a shoulder holster. Before taking up writing fiction, Jason wrote songs in Nashville, drank Jack Daniels, and...well, you get the picture. Recent stories have appeared in Hardboiled, Pulp Pusher, Plots with Guns, and now Beat to a Pulp.

TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE

Next week: Yellow Mama's Cindy Rosmus with "Kissy-Face"

Coming soon: "Hit Women" by Clair Dickson

WORLD’S FIRST PROJECTILE TASER!

WORLD’S FIRST PROJECTILE TASER!

Taser International has developed an extended-range taser. It is a 12-gauge shotgun that shoots a shocking cartridge over 100 feet:

The teases have revealed little actual info, but a Taser press release highlights that the X3 will be the “first multi-shot ECD (electronic control device) capable of simultaneously incapacitating multiple targets.” That could put some real scatter in less-lethal shotgun action, but also raises potential safety and abuse questions.

For now, rest assured that the X3 probably won’t go off accidentally. A YouTube video shows the device being subjected to electric shocks, and other tests have apparently involved the cartridge “doing 4 foot free-falls on concrete at 20 below,” according to a tweet from X3.
Taser International has developed an extended-range taser. It is a 12-gauge shotgun that shoots a shocking cartridge over 100 feet:

The teases have revealed little actual info, but a Taser press release highlights that the X3 will be the “first multi-shot ECD (electronic control device) capable of simultaneously incapacitating multiple targets.” That could put some real scatter in less-lethal shotgun action, but also raises potential safety and abuse questions.

For now, rest assured that the X3 probably won’t go off accidentally. A YouTube video shows the device being subjected to electric shocks, and other tests have apparently involved the cartridge “doing 4 foot free-falls on concrete at 20 below,” according to a tweet from X3.


FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

SATURDAY NIGHT SWING!

THE CAT'S MEOW!

A BIG MEOW TO LOL CATS!

GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET!

GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET!

MY FAVORITE TITLE OF THE YEAR SO FAR: GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET BY SCOTTISH CRIME WRITER DONNA MOORE.


On her latest case, wisecracking Private Investigator, Helena Handbasket, is faced with a lot of tough questions. Did Robin Banks have a hand in the theft of Evan Stubezzi's jewels? And if so, was the hand one of those packed in ice in the freezer box that was delivered to his brother, Owen?


Is there a serial killer on the loose? Or are all those handless corpses with scarlet fish sewn into their chest cavities purely coincidental? What shoes should you wear for a meeting with a killer? Why does her next-door neighbour smell of cheese?

Which of her true loves is her real true love? And, more importantly, is there anything in the fridge for dinner? Can our man-loving, cocktail-loving, food-loving, not-so-very-intrepid heroine answer these questions-any of them-without leaving a cliche unturned?

Busted Flush Press just signed Moore for the American publication of her second novel, Old Dogs ~ an incredibly funny caper thriller... reads like a Guy Ritchie adaptation of The Thomas Crown Affair.

Old Dogs will be published in summer 2010.

TO READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET CLICK HERE

Friday, July 10, 2009

TALES OF THE RODEO KING!

TALES OF THE RODEO KING!

NEW FROM DECODER RING THEATRE:


Phil Bledsoe's iconic hero Blaze Bing, Rodeo King was brought to us just two weeks ago. But behind evey tale of heroes is another story. Sometimes darker, sometimes sadder, but always unexpected. This week we bring you just such a tale with Tales of the Rodeo King!

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

ANITA O’DAY ~ PICK YOURSELF UP (1956)!

ANITA O’DAY ~ PICK YOURSELF UP (1956)!

NEXT TO JULIE LONDON, ANITA O’DAY’S VOICE SENDS ME THE MOST. HERE’S ANOTHER GREAT DOWNLOAD FROM KELLY’S LOUNGE SOUNZ . . .

KELLY'S COMMENTARY ~

This is Anita in her prime because her drug use had not yet affected her voice and her creativity was generally still at its height. The Buddy Bregman Orchestra does most of the backing but there are also a few tracks on which she is joined by a jazz combo.

Now and then I read a review that stands out from some of the others. This is one of them. While it might be short on details, it's long on ideas and being a "cat" person it appealed to me. It's written by Sam Chell.

"I have a cat who runs out to greet me every night, then insists on walking me around the block (more than one neighbor has done a double take after discovering Emmy is not a dog). At bedtime she waits 'til the light's out then shoos my other two cats out of the bed before depositing herself opposite my face exactly an arm's length away. If I try to lessen the space, her paw is immediately on my nose maintaining the crucial distance that marks her difference from her human counterparts.

For anyone who's allergic to cats Anita O'Day has to be the closest surrogate -- more companionable than Andrew Lloyd Weber's version, yet more detached than Peggy Lee's (thinking of her dubbed voice on Lady and the Tramp). In fact, like Peggy Lee – not to mention Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Ella, Sarah – Anita is very much a product of the swing era and the big bands perhaps epitomizing its hot sounds more effectively than any other female singer, most notably on her recorded duet with Roy Eldridge, Let Me Off Up Town.

But the difference between this survivor and her peers is the unmistakable ethos of "cool" that insures you and Anita will always remain strangers to each other. She purrs Stars Fall on Alabama and embraces you with buttery vibrations on Young Man a Horn, yet she remains as autonomous and inscrutable as the Sweet Georgia Brown who appears no less dangerous than Circe or Medusa in Anita's singular portrayal of her (she does so visually in the remarkable film documentary, Jazz on a Summer's Day). And when Anita sings I Won't Dance, you'd better believe it -- don't ask her!"

TRACKS:

01) Don't Be That Way
02) Let's Face The Music And Dance
03) I Never Had A Chance
04) Stompin At The Savoy
05) Pick Yourself Up
06) Stars Fell On Alabama
07) Sweet Georgia Brown
08) I Won't Dance
09) Man With A Horn
10) I Used To Be Color Blind
11) There's A Lull In My Life
12) Let's Begin

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE #62!

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE #62!

Join the BIG W every Friday evening as he continues to explorer, with drink in hand, the Space-Age Pop Hi-Fi musical sounds of the 1950’s and the 1960’s in LIVING STEREO!

PLAYLIST:

• Sing You Sinners – Rosemany Clooney
• My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean - Petter Nero
• Hallelujah, I Love Him So - Ella Fitzgerald
• Let's Do It – Enoch Light
• The Good Life - Ann Margret
• French Foreign Legion - Frank Sinatra
• Jada - Barney Kessel
• Witchcraft - Keith Textor
• Playboy's Theme - Dick Schory
• Mack The Knife - Dick Hyman
• Tijuana Taxi - Glenn Miller Orchestra
• Once In Love With Amy - Sammy Davis, Jr.
• A Guide For The Married Man - Johnny Williams
• I Must Know - Peggy Lee
• Staccato's Theme - Buddy Morrow & His Orchestra
• Five Minutes More – Jackie Davis
• Downtown - Les & Larry Elgart
• Pass The Udder Udder (Over To My Udder Brudder) - Stan Freberg
• The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane – Dean Martin
• Ridin' High - Les Brown

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

TALES OF THE RED PANDA: THE CRIME CABAL!

TALES OF THE RED PANDA: THE CRIME CABAL!

NOW AVAILABLE!


Springing from the popular audio drama series "The Red Panda Adventures" comes this first in a new series of Hero Pulp novels following the exploits of the masked protectors of 1930's Toronto!

Even the united remnants of Toronto's defeated underworld could not resist the city's masked protectors. But when they join with the murderous might of some of the masked man's deadliest foes, can even the Red Panda match the strength of... The Crime Cabal? Written in the breathless style of the classic "Hero Pulps" of the 1930s and 40s, Tales of the Red Panda: The Crime Cabal presents the masked protectors of Depression-Era Toronto in a pulse pounding conflict with gangsters, racketeers, corrupt officials and power-mad supervillains.

This story is a self-contained adventure; you needn't have heard a single episode of Decoder Ring Theatre's long-running audio drama series to enjoy the thrills, mystery, romance and adventure... but fans of the series will take special delight, as the story fits neatly within the series continuity. If you love classic adventure stories, mystery men, pulp fiction and golden age superheroics, you won't want to miss Tales of the Red Panda: The Crime Cabal!

TO ORDER TALES OF THE RED PANDA: THE CRIME CABAL CLICK HERE

SOLOMON KANE VOLUME 1: THE CASTLE OF THE DEVIL!

SOLOMON KANE VOLUME 1: THE CASTLE OF THE DEVIL!

ARRIVING IN COMIC SHOPS JULY 15TH!


Written by Scott Allie
Penciled by Mario Guevara
Colored by Dave Stewart
Cover by Mike Mignola.

Robert E. Howard's vengeance-obsessed puritan begins his supernatural adventures in the haunted Black Forest of Germany in this adaptation of Howard's "The Castle of the Devil." When Solomon Kane stumbles upon the body of a boy hanged from a rickety gallows, he goes after the man responsible‹a baron feared by the peasants from miles around. Something far worse than the devilish baron or the terrible, intelligent wolf that prowls the woods lies hidden in the ruined monastery beneath the baron's castle, where a devil-worshiping priest died in chains centuries ago.

Collects the Solomon Kane five-issue mini-series.
128 pages
$15.95

Dark Horse Comics

SWORDS FROM THE DESERT!

SWORDS FROM THE DESERT!

BY HAROLD LAMB ~ COMING IN SEPTEMBER!


Edited by Howard Andrew Jones
Introduction by Scott Oden

Countless authors have swept us into the exotic east, but few based their tales there. In a time when westerners still spoke publicly about “the white man’s burden,” Harold Lamb was crafting action-packed stories featuring Arabs, Mongols, and Hindus as heroic, sympathetic, and believable characters: men of honor and integrity ready to lay down their lives for their countries and their comrades.

Assembled in this volume are four novellas and three short stories gleaned from the work of one of the greatest pulp writers. Lamb eventually won acclaim and awards for his accurate historical research and was regularly consulted by the State Department for his Middle Eastern expertise, but before any of that he drafted these thrilling tales of adventure.

In “The Shield,” Khalil el Khadr reaches storied Constantinople just before it is besieged by a horde of crusaders. He must survive the intrigues of his rivals, bypass the invading Franks, rescue the maiden under his charge, and escape with the city’s most fabulous horse. Journey to sixteenth-century India with the brilliant Daril ibn Athir, a skilled Arab physician with a sharp wit and a sharper sword that he must wield in three novellas to keep schemers and assassins at bay. Three shorter tales of heroes and maidens from desert lands round out this volume, a must-have for those who thrill to tales of bold deeds and daring exploits.

Trade paperback, 328 pages, $21.95


University of Nebraska Press: Bison Books

LAMB IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PULP ADVENTURE WRITERS FOR MORE INFO ON HIS WORKS CLICK HERE

SWORDS FROM THE WEST!

SWORDS FROM THE WEST!

BY HAROLD LAMB ~ COMING IN SEPTEMBER!


Edited by Howard Andrew Jones
Introduction by Robert Weinberg

Beset by enemies on every side and torn by internal divisions, the crusader kingdoms were a hotbed of intrigue, where your greatest ally might be your natural enemy. Because lives and kingdoms often rested on the edge of a sword blade, it was a time when a bold heart and a steady hand would see you far—so long as you watched your back.

Here, for the first time, are all seventeen of Harold Lamb’s uncollected crusader stories in one volume. Read now of the fall of kingdoms and the fate of doomed men, of desperate battles and brave comrades, of shrewd maids and scheming nobles. Join Nial O’Gordon, a young crusader riding deep into Asia to forget his past. Venture forth with Sir Robert of Antioch to cross blades with the Mongol hordes. Join King Richard the Lionhearted for his last battle. Stand firm beside Sir John and his Arab friend Khalil against a band of traitors. And sail out with Michael Bearn on a mission of vengeance, as he risks his life to bring down a sultan and his kingdom.

Trade paperback, 622 pages, $26.95

University of Nebraska Press: Bison Books

LAMB IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PULP ADVENTURE WRITERS FOR MORE INFO ON HIS WORKS CLICK HERE

THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE COMPANION!

THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE COMPANION!

The longest-running hero of the pulp era! For the first time, the history of the Phantom Detective is bought under one volume, completely updated! Includes an index to nearly 175 stories, 100s of pages of articles, two unused Phantom story plots from the mid-1930s and nearly all of the Phantom’s comic book appearances. It’s 400 pages of must-own information for any pulp fan to enjoy.

Trade paperback - $29.95
Limited edition hardcover (only 100 made) - $49.95

WHICH RAT PACK MEMBER COULD YOU HAVE BEEN?

WHICH RAT PACK MEMBER COULD YOU HAVE BEEN?

I CAME UP AS JOEY BISHOP ~ WHICH IS ABOUT RIGHT . . .

Would you care for a slice of Joey Bishop? Congratulations! Out of the other members, your life was the least scandal ridden! Although you were not as "out there" as the others you still managed a great career on radio and on television with your own show and numerous guest appearances. You were only married once and you and your wife had a son, Larry. Unlike Davis, you served in WW I willingly. In the Rat Pack, you did most of the comedy writing and routines and Sinatra was very grateful for that.

TO TAKE THE QUIZ CLICK HERE

THE BRIT PACK!

THE BRIT PACK!

EVERYONE’S GETTING IN ON THE PARTY ~


The Brit Pack show oozes energy, and the guys bring their own classy and individual performances to song stylists including Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin to modern day swinging pop standards by Van Morrison and Michael Buble – swing with a contemporary twist. Their show appeals to mixed age groups and international audiences and their stylish and sophisticated performance is timeless.

One thing is for sure wherever these guys perform, it is always one hell of a party.

The ultimate in sophisticated entertainment, these cool guys bring swing music right into the 21st century. Guaranteed to get everyone on the dance floor, they work to high quality playback or with their own big band. Performing as solo artistes, as a duo or a trio, with a wide repertoire of music from Sinatra and Bobby Darin to Michael Buble and Van Morrison.

The guys can also perform a set that promotes the best of British music from The Beatles, John Barry, George Michael and Anthony Newley to Oasis, Simply Red and Amy Winehouse.

The Brit Pack has performed at events including the Formula 1 Grand Prix Ball, they have entertained the world's top 100 real estate investors in St Moritz, the private members of Skibo Castle where Madonna got married and they supported soul diva Beverley Knight at a private event at Wembley Stadium in Feb 08. Clients include Shell UK, Clifford Chance, HSBC and Cafe de Paris in London's West End. This is Las Vegas lounge entertainment at its modern day best.


FOR MORE CLICK HERE

Thursday, July 9, 2009

THE COOLEST!

TIKI CRAWL 9 ~ SAN FRANCISCO!

TIKI CRAWL 9 ~ SAN FRANCISCO!

PER TIKI TALK . . .

Holy smokes! How did I miss this? Today is the first day of Tiki Central’s Tiki Crawl 9, the 4-day annual “pub crawl” of the fabulous tiki bars and restaurants the San Francisco area has to offer.

Stops include the Tonga Room, Trader Vic’s, Forbidden Island, Conga Lounge, Kona Club, and Tiki Toms. There is also a limited-edition souvenir mug available (pictured).

The event is free to the public. Crawlers can ride a chartered bus for safety’s sake: tickets for Friday and Saturday were still available at the time of this post.

FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

FORGOTTEN BOOKS ~ SOLO HAND BY BILL MOODY!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS ~ SOLO HAND BY BILL MOODY!

Last week I posted about David Fulmer’s brilliant novel, Jass, set in 1913 New Orleans. It’s evocation of the early evolution of jazz had me returning to the first novel in Bill Moody’s more modern jazz mysteries.

Such themed mystery series are often hard to pull off successfully. Often the theme has nothing to do with the mystery or it’s resolution. Other times, the theme is strong, but the mystery is weak, negligible, or highly manipulated.

In Moody’s jazz related tales, however, he brings off the balancing act with aplomb. The biggest reason for this is Moody’s protagonist, jazz pianist Evan Horne, whose damaged hand has brought his music career to an abrupt end with little hope of rehabilitation. Horne is at once world weary, slightly sad, and just this side of melancholy, but ultimately uplifted. Moody gets the voice of his character just right as he takes us into the heart of the disappearing jazz clubs and the anathema of the repetitive, unlayered, smooth jazz explosion.

When Horne is reluctantly pulled into the role of private detective, we feel his pain as he tried to leave behind what was for an uncertain future he doesn’t want.

In Solo Hand, Moody quickly develops his premise and then turns Horne over to his first case, the blackmail of a jazz singer gone pop for whom Horne once worked.

This is the point where most themed mysteries get off track, but Moody keeps his musical chops intact, weaving the mystery through improvised jazz riffs, eventually coming full circle in time for the denouncement.

Moody’s own background as a respective jazz drummer serves him well – the reader aware on a visceral level that the jazz background is real.

As the series progresses through Death of a Tenor Man, Sound of a Trumpet, Bird Lives! (my personal favorite), Looking For Chet Baker, and the most recent series entry Shade of Blue, Moody keeps giving us strong jazz related mysteries – tapping in to real jazz myths and legends – and keeps honing his writing skills to deliver ever more assured mystery compositions.

Because of my personal bias for jazz and mysteries, this series hold prize of place in my collection among other similar, but less satisfactory attempts. Moody and Evan Horne rise above the rest like the rising scream of a tight brass section.

THE CAT'S MEOW!

THE DESTROYER: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS ~ AGAIN!

THE DESTROYER: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS ~ AGAIN!

TANNER OVER AT DOUBLE O SECTION GIVES US THE SCOOP . . .

The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz Blog reports that Remo Williams is coming back. Columbia Pictures and Atlas Entertainment will produce a new movie based on the classic paperback hero The Destroyer, created by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.

TO READ THE FULL POST CLICK HERE

LIFE CAN BE A DREAM!

LIFE CAN BE A DREAM!

Remember how much fun you had the first time you saw THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES? NOW, the writer/director Roger Bean and Producer David Elzer take you on another journey back to Springfield ("Go Chipmunks!") for a brand new musical featuring more of your favorite songs from the late '50s - the show is LIFE CAN BE A DREAM and it stars none other than the Crooning Crabcakes!

You remember the Crooning Crabcakes don't you? The boy group banned from the Springfield High School prom which made it possible for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” to perform there. Now, in an era before American Idol, and Star Search, the guys get one more chance at fame and fortune as Denny and his friend Eugene form a singing group so they can enter and win the local radio contest on Big Whopper Radio! With the help of their best friend Wally and their new friend Skip, this is the best quartet of singers since, well, you know who!

Trouble comes in the form of Lois, who arrives to help put some polish on the group but who also broke Eugene's heart many years before at their Junior Prom. As Eugene falls apart , Skip, Wally and Denny fall in love - and hilarity and heartaches ensue! Featuring such classic songs as “Stay” (Just a Little Bit Longer),” “Runaround Sue,” “The Great Pretender,” "The ABC's of Love," “Tears On My Pillow,” “Unchained Melody,” “Earth Angel,” “Little Darlin’,” “The Glory of Love,” "I Only Have Eyes For You," and of course the title song, LIFE CAN BE A DREAM is another musical trip down memory lane that will leave you laughing, singing and cheering, let’s hear it for the boys!

LIFE CAN BE A DREAM will begin performances on Saturday, July 25 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood - And since you have been there with us from the beginning - you can purchase tickets to all performances for 25% off the ticket price! Just enter promo code SUZY where prompted to receive this discount - but don't delay - this code will only be active until August 15, 2009!

Visit
LifeCouldBeADream.net or PLAYS411.com/LIFE to purchase your tickets NOW! So don't flip, get hip and get your tickets to the next big thing in Los Angeles Musical Theatre - see it before it goes to New York - LIFE CAN BE A DREAM, written and directed by Roger Bean!!!

SH-BOOM!!! SH-BOOM!!!

Your friends in the Wonderettes family!

LifeCouldBeADream.net
enter promo code SUZY
this code will only be active until August 15, 2009!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Y/A CORNER ~ THE UNSCRATCHABLES!

Y/A CORNER ~ THE UNSCRATCHABLES BY CORNELIUS KANE!

Det. Max Crusher McNash, a fearless bull terrier in the slaughter unit of the San Bernardo police dog force, must overcome his distrust of special agent Cassius Lap, a very Zen Siamese of the FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation), in their pursuit of a serial killer cat targeting dogs in this off-the-leash hard-boiled satire from the pseudonymous Kane. The fur begins flying when two rottweilers are torn apart.

Later victims include a retriever attending a museum shindig, movie star Jack Russell Crowe and a newshound. Crusher and Cassius deal with gangsta hounds as well as visit Kathattan, an island where dogs are unwelcome, and Cattica Correctional Facility, where convicted murderer Quentin Riossiti, a debonair psycho cat, offers his help for a price. Billed as a well-known Australian author, Kane offers plenty of tongue-in-muzzle insights into bestial behavior, political chicanery and assorted foxy topics.

A BRIGHT AND GUILTY PLACE!

A BRIGHT AND GUILTY PLACE!

A VERY COOL TELLING OF THE BEGINNINGS OF NOIR LA WITH BACKGROUND ON RAYMOND CHANDLER AND JAMES M. CAIN THROUGH THE EYES OF PULP WRITER LESLIE WHITE . . .


A captivating chronicle of how the City of Angels lost its soul.

Los Angeles was the fastest growing city in the world, mad with oil fever, get-rich-quick schemes, celebrity scandals, and religious fervor. It was also rife with organized crime, with a mayor in the pocket of the syndicates and a DA taking bribes to throw trials. In A Bright and Guilty Place, Richard Rayner narrates the entwined lives of two men, Dave Clark and Leslie White, who were caught up in the crimes, murders, and swindles of the day. Over a few transformative years, as the boom times shaded into the Depression, the adventures of Clark and White would inspire pulp fiction and replace L.A.’s reckless optimism with a new cynicism. Together, theirs is the tale of how the city of sunshine got noir.

When A Bright and Guilty Place begins, Leslie White is a naïve young photographer who lands a job as a crime-scene investigator in the L.A. district attorney’s office. There he meets Dave Clark, a young, movie-star handsome lawyer and a rising star prosecutor with big ambitions. The cases they tried were some of the first “trials of the century,” starring dark-hearted oil barons, sexually perverse starlets, and hookers with hearts of gold. Los Angeles was in the grip of organized crime, and White was dismayed to see that only the innocent paid while the powerful walked free. But Clark was entranced by L.A.’s dangerous lures and lived the high life, marrying a beautiful woman, wearing custom-made suits, yachting with the rich and powerful, and jaunting off to Mexico for gambling and girls. In a shocking twist, when Charlie Crawford, the Al Capone of L.A., was found dead, the chief suspect was none other than golden boy Dave Clark.

A Bright and Guilty Place is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping. Key to the tale are the story of the theft of water from the Owens River Valley that let L.A grow; the Teapot Dome scandal that brought shame to President Harding; and the emergence of crime writers like Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, who helped mythologize L.A. In Rayner’s hands, the ballad of Dave Clark is the story of the coming of age of a great American city.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

TO READ AN EXCERPT CLICK HERE

SIDE MAN ~ LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE!

SIDE MAN ~ LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE!

JULY 13 – AUGUST 2


Side Man is the semi-autobiographical story of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and the turmoil his family suffers as a result of his passion for jazz music, seen through the eyes of his only son Clifford. The story follows the lives of the family for over thirty years as Gene struggles to maintain his career during the decline of the big band circuit and the birth of rock-and-roll. Playwright Warren Leight, whose father was a side man, captures the New York jazz scene with insight and tenderness in this moving serio-comedy.

LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE

Seventy-five continuous years of quality live theatrical entertainment have established the Long Beach Playhouse as a landmark in the City of Long Beach. The Playhouse produces 16 shows annually with a new play or musical every three weeks on the the Mainstage or upstairs in the Studio Theatre. Long Beach's flagship professional theatre cuts across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries while being entirely self-supporting through ticket sales and membership support.


HALF-PRICE TICKETS AVALABLE THROUGH WWW.GOLDSTAR.COM

BRITISH TV ~ PIE IN THE SKY!

BRITISH TV ~ PIE IN THE SKY!

HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS SERIES WHO CAN TELL ME IF IT’S WORTHWHILE?


Perfecting a recipe is like solving a crime, suggests Pie in the Sky, the clever British mystery series featuring sleuth-turned-chef Henry Crabbe (Richard Griffiths, The History Boys). After being shot by a notorious embezzler, Crabbe tried to retire from the police force so he could open a restaurant--but his weaselly superior officer, ACC Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair) blackmails him into remaining a detective.

Thus begins Crabbe’s dual career, which of course proves handy as mysteries feature everything from omelets to edible snails. He’s assisted at the restaurant by his wife, Margaret (Maggie Steed, Sensitive Skin), despite her maddening indifference to food; he’s assisted in his investigations by DS Cambridge (Bella Enahoro), who works for Fisher but whose sympathies lie with Crabbe.

Pie in the Sky has an excellent balance of suspense and humor, exemplified by the very first episode’s opening: The snappy banter of policemen on a stake-out turns abruptly taut when a car careens into their territory, then segues into an elegant and almost eery face-off between Crabbe and the embezzler (played with crisp malice by Michael Kitchen, Foyle’s War).

Some later episodes are more conventional, but odd narrative turns are a staple of the series (in one episode, it turns out a crime was never committed in the first place!).

Griffiths is probably best know as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series, but others know him as lecherous Uncle Monty in Withnail and I--which only demonstrates this superb actor’s remarkable range. His approach to Crabbe is almost gentle, yet with a decisive, cunning undercurrent. The ten episodes of Pie in the Sky: Series 1 unfold like a well-made meal: Unexpected yet delightful flavors are revealed with each bite.

MOLLIE SUGEN ~ ARE YOU BEING SERVED ~ R.I.P.

MOLLIE SUGEN ~ ARE YOU BEING SERVED ~ R.I.P.

I STILL LAUGH EVERY TIME I WATCH ARE YOU BEING SERVED, AND MOLLIE SUGDEN WAS ALWAYS A HOOT . . .

LONDON — British comic actress Mollie Sugden, who played the formidable saleswoman Mrs. Slocombe in the BBC's long running comedy series "Are You Being Served?", has died aged 86.

Sugden built a career playing strong-willed, overbearing women _ she played a snobbish mother in "The Liver Birds," a comedy about two women sharing an apartment in Liverpool in the 1970s _ but it was her role as Betty Slocombe that made her a household name.

As the bossy saleswoman who dominated the underwear section at the Grace Brothers department store, Sugden delivered double entendres in a perfectly outraged voice, shaking her tightly curled, dyed hair.

The show ran from 1973 to 1985 and at its height attracted audiences of over 20 million.

Sugden was born in Keighley, in northern England, in July 1922, and trained at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She met her husband William Moore in 1956 while they were both acting in theater. They married two years later and their twin sons were born six years after that.

Moore died nine years ago. Sugden's agent Joan Reddin said her two sons Robin and Simon Moore were with the actress when she died July 1.


HERE'S AN EPISODE I MUST HAVE MISSED!

U.N.C.L.E. ALERT!

U.N.C.L.E. ALERT!

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES WILL PRESENT BACK-TO-BACK SHOWINGS OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. FEATURE FILMS TO TRAP A SPY AND THE SPY WITH MY FACE STARRING ROBERT VAUGHN AND DAVID MCCALLUM TOMORROW (THURSDAY) MORNING BEGINNING AT 6:00 AM (EST). THE TWO FILMS WERE RELEASED IN 1966 BY MGM AS A DOUBLE FEATURE THAT SCORED TREMENDOUS BOX-OFFICE SUCCESS INTERNATIONALLY.

FOREVER PLAID: THE MOVIE ~ TOMORROW NIGHT!

FOREVER PLAID: THE MOVIE ~ TOMORROW NIGHT!

Most everyone who has attended a movie in Los Angeles in the last couple of weeks – or, in fact, in North America – has already seen very plaid trailers.


To celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the popular off-Broadway musical, a new movie version of "Forever Plaid" will be shown simultaneously via satellite feed to 500 theaters in the United States and Canada on July 9. Along with the screening of the film, theater audiences will see a live stage show featuring Hollywood and Broadway stars and will have the opportunity to join in a nationwide sing-along.

Trailers have been rolling in 17,000 theaters in North America since June 10.


The film will get the requisite L.A. red carpet (or will it be plaid?) treatment at downtown L.A.'s Club Nokia, with a celeb-studded pre-show and a live introduction by actor Fred Willard, an appearance by Carol Channing and a live performance by "Plaid" cast members -- a group that includes three of the original cast of the stage production (Stan Chandler, Larry Ruben and David Engel) singing songs from the show as well as other selections. Channing will sing one of her signature songs, "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend," which Channing first performed onstage 60 years ago.

Those who catch the show in L.A. will see the staged portion of the show live; the rest of the country gets it via satellite. The stage show will also be part of the package when the movie is released on DVD; a CD of the show's tunes plus songs added for the live performance is also planned.

Tickets for the show in all theaters will go for $18. The Nokia event is somewhat pricier, with general admission set at $50 and VIP tix at $175.

The movie was produced by Benni Korzen (Forever Plaid Productions) and is being distributed by Fathom Productions, a division of National CineMedia.

As yet there are no plans for a wider theatrical release for the movie.
"We just finished the movie last Friday," Korzen tells Culture Monster. "This production has created some interesting challenges; no one has done this before, we are guinea pigs; it's not just a movie, it's a live event. We have to make sure our technical crew pushes the right buttons. The sing-along and all of that is something we're all now trying to wrap out hands around."

Why the decision to present the show this way instead of producing a traditional movie adaptation for general release? "We were really stymied -- we thought, 'We can't go out with 2,000 prints, nor is it an art movie -- it's something in between.' Fathom was looking for something that was not the standard movie musical release." Korzen is predicting about 45% capacity audiences at the participating theaters.

While the production is being touted as a "one-time-only" event, if all goes well, Korzen says that they'll probably do the whole thing again in 30 days or so, including a recorded version of the Nokia show.

Will feeding "Forever Plaid" into 500 movie houses cut into the audience for the many stage productions of the ubiquitous musical? The show seems to roll through the Los Angeles area regularly; regional productions have included a special "holiday edition" of the show at Pasadena Playhouse in 2001, a performance by Fullerton Civic Light Opera at Plummer Auditorium in 1998 and a presentation at La Mirada Theater in 1995.

Korzen doesn't think so. "Remember when TV came about and some people said: 'That will kill the movie business?' That didn't happen."

He adds that some of the preliminary research for the project revealed
many "Forever Plaid" audience members had seen the show multiple times: "There's something there that brought people back in."

"Co-existence is very much possible here; it depends on how much the audience enjoys this."

Monday, July 6, 2009

MORE FROST!

MORE FROST!

THIS IS GREAT NEWS AS FROST IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE BRITISH COPPERS ~ HE’S CERTAINLY THE MOST HUMOROUS AND PUT UPON.

BOOKSELLER.COM REPORTS . . .


Transworld has signed a deal to publish two new Jack Frost novels, written on behalf of the estate of R. D Wingfield, who died in 2007.
Sarah Turner, editorial Director, acquired the UK & Commonwealth rights from Philip Patterson at Marjacq Scripts.

Writing under the pseudonym James Henry, the books will be co-authored by James Gurbutt, who has just joined Constable & Robinson to found a new imprint, and Harvill Secker author Henry Sutton.

They will be prequels to the bestselling series written by Wingfield, which inspired the series A Touch Of Frost, and the first will be published by Bantam Press in early 2011. Gurbutt said: "‘The prospect is tremendously exciting and it’s a privilege to continue such an outstanding series.

Wingfield was one of our finest crime writers, and a brilliant stylist. I grew up where Wingfield lived and wrote, and have always been deeply immersed in the best of British crime writing."

Philip Wingfield, son of the late author, added: "The authors have captured my father’s style superbly. Fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed."

BURY ME DEEP ~ MEGAN ABBOTT!

BURY ME DEEP ~ MEGAN ABBOTT!

THE RAP SHEET HAS A GREAT POST TODAY ON MEGAN ABBOTT’S LATEST NOVEL, BURY ME DEEP. WITHOUT A DOUBT, ABBOTT GETS SOME OF THE COOLEST COVERS FOR HER BOOKS ~ AND THE INSIDES AREN’T BAD EITHER . . .

THIS IS THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF OUR “STORY BEHIND THE STORY” SERIES. TODAY WE WELCOME NEW YORK CITY AUTHOR MEGAN ABBOTT, WHO GIVES US THE BACKGROUND TO HER NEW HISTORICAL SUSPENSE NOVEL, BURY ME DEEP, WHICH IS BASED ON A TRUE, 1930S CRIME INVOLVING JEALOUSY, ABANDONMENT, AND HOMICIDE.

TO READ THE COMPLETE POST CLICK HERE

I SPY!

I SPY!

ROBERT CULP RECALLS THE MAKING OF I SPY IN A RECENT AMERICAN TELEVISION ARCHIVE VIDEO POSTED ON YOUTUBE.

TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE

Sunday, July 5, 2009

YUKI 7 ~ TO CATCH A TEMPTRESS (1967)!

YUKI 7 ~ TO CATCH A TEMPTRESS (1967)!

IN TO CATCH A TEMPTRESS, OUR HEROINE YUKI IS BRAINWASHED BY A MASKED VILLAINESS AND FORCED TO STEAL VALUABLE JEWELS FROM A HEAVILY GUARDED PALACE THAT ONLY SHE HAS THE SKILLS TO PENETRATE. HOW WILL SHE ESCAPE THE GRASP OF THE MASKED TEMPTRESS?


TO CHECK OUT YUKI 7 CREATOR KEVIN DART'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

YUKI 7 ~ ROMAN RENDEZVOUS (1966)!

YUKI 7 ~ ROMAN RENDEZVOUS (1966)!

THIS IS YUKI'S THIRD FILM IN WHICH SHE ENCOUNTERS LOTUS, THE ALLURING ITALIAN DOUBLE AGENT, AS WELL AS THE MYSTERIOUS BIKINI ASSASSINATION SQUAD.


TO CHECK OUT YUKI 7 CREATOR KEVIN DART'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

YUKI 7 ~ DANGER IS A FEMALE (1965)!

YUKI 7 ~ DANGER IS A FEMALE (1965)!

WHO IS YUKI 7? SHE’S THE ULTIMATE HIP 60’S CHICK. SHE’S SEXY, HER CLOTHES ARE TO DIE FOR, AND SHE CAN BEAT ANY MAN OR WOMAN IN A GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE. IN THE WORLD OF ESPIONAGE, NO ONE CAN KEEP A SECRET FROM HER AND NO ONE CAN RESIST HER CHARM.


TO CHECK OUT YUKI 7 CREATOR KEVIN DART'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

YUKI 7 ~ A KISS FROM TOKYO (1964)!

YUKI 7 ~ A KISS FROM TOKYO (1964)!

A KISS FROM TOKYO WAS THE FIRST MOVIE TO STAR INTERNATIONAL GIRL OF MYSTERY YUKI 7. MADE IN 1964 AMID THE SPY CULTURE CRAZE THAT FOLLOWED THE WORLDWIDE SUCCESS OF "DR. NO", IT LAUNCHED THE CAREER OF KIMIKO SUZUKI WHO WOULD GO ON TO PLAY YUKI 7 IN SEVERAL MORE SPY FILMS.


TO CHECK OUT YUKI 7 CREATOR KEVIN DART'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE

KEVIN DART ~ NO DOUBT!

KEVIN DART ~ NO DOUBT!

YUKI 7 CREATOR KEVIN DART WAS ALSO RECENTLY COMMISIONED TO CREATE A POSTER FOR THIS SUMMER'S NO DOUBT SUMMER TOUR.

INSPIRED BY 60'S SUSPENSE MOVIE POSTERS, THIS WAS A ODE TO THE SONG "SPIDERWEBS."

IN ADDITION, KEVIN'S POSTER WILL BE GIVEN OUT AS PART OF THE OFFICIAL NO DOUBT CLUB TOUR PACKAGE. IT WAS ALSO SCREEN-PRINTED ON TOTES FOR NO DOUBT'S OFFICIAL TOUR MERCHANDISE.
AWESOME JOB KEVIN!

THE MAKING OF YUKI 7!

THE MAKING OF YUKI 7!

TO CATCH UP ON THE CREATION OF INTERNATIONAL SPY YUKI SEVEN READ THESE RECENTLY DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS:

PER CREATOR KEVIN DART:

I combed through some folders of reference I had collected over the last few years, immersing myself in campy Euro-spy film posters, 1960’s Thai pop music album covers, and mid-century modern architecture. I went back and re-watched some of my favorite spy films like “You Only Live Twice” and discovered new ones like “Deadlier than the Male”. A world slowly started to form in my head and I could feel hundreds of backlogged ideas and unfinished stories suddenly collide into one cohesive mass. Later on, I realized Yuki 7 had been building for years even though she arrived in a flash of insight.

PART I
PART II
PART III

EYES ONLY!

SEDUCTIVE ESPIONAGE PART II!

SEDUCTIVE ESPIONAGE PART II!

MORE YUKI 7 ART CONNECTED TO KEVIN DART'S NEW BOOK, SEDUCTIVE ESPIONAGE: THE WORLD OF YUKI 7 . . .

Artist Kevin Dart invites you to discover his favorite swinging 60’s spy girl, Yuki 7. Seductive, intelligent, and charming, Yuki romps through film after film, vanquishing villains while looking fabulous. Since these madcap movies exist only in his imagination, Dart has brought Yuki’s world to life through a collection of artwork accompanied by the clever writings of Ada Cole.

TO CHECK OUT KEVIN DART'S WEBSITE CLICK HERE