Arts, Entertainment, Living

Journeying from console to PC

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 06:15 PM Written by

Getting acquainted with a video game console has always been simple.  There’s no worrying about hardware specs, game installation isn’t a prerequisite, and the controller has buttons that my fingers are all too familiar with.  That’s why throughout my long and semi-illustrious gaming career, I’ve always leaned towards console gaming.

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PRESS TOUR: 'Grey's Anatomy' producer plans a new 'Scandal'

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 06:13 PM Written by

scandalFor a link to recent posts from the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour, click here.

PASADENA, Calif. -- Shonda Rhimes' last new series, "Off the Map," is off the air but she'll be back this spring with another new show, "Scandal." This time she leaves the medical realm of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" behind in favor of a show about a Washington, D.C., crisis manager played by Kerry Washington and inspired by real-life fixer Judy Smith.

In the pilot, it's revealed that Washington's character is having an affair with the President of the United States (Tony Goldwyn).

"I like to write about flawed characters," Rhimes said, noting she likes the notion of her crisis manager being embroiled in her own scandal even as she helps others with their crises.

Hmmm, Rhimes sure could have used a crisis manager back in the days of Isaiah Washington's gay slur on the "Grey's Anatomy" set given how poorly she handled that one.

Read more after the jump. ...

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Billy Porter at a Times Square taping of Seth Rudetsky's radio show.
City Theatre confirmed that Broadway veteran and recording artist Billy Porter (left) will choreograph the new rock musical “POP!,” featuring “Rent” star Anthony Rapp as Andy Warhol in its world premiere May 5-27. On Monday, Jan. 23, City will hold open auditions to fill the roles of members of Andy’s Factory.

To sign up for a half-hour slot in the open call from 4 to 8 p.m. at 1300 Bingham St, South Side, call 412-431-4400 ext. 463 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Auditioners are asked to prepare 16 bars or one verse of a favorite pop song to be sung a capella or with City’s accompanist. “We are looking for all types, ages and ethnicities with big voices, and big personalities,” the audition notice says. “Wear your finest ’70s glam and belt out your best number and who knows … you might just find your very own 15 minutes of fame!”

Those who make the cut will be asked to return on Thursday, Jan. 26, for an  audition with the “POP!” creative team, including director by Brad Rouse.

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PRESS TOUR: Floating up ABC's 'The River'

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 03:00 PM Written by

For a link to recent posts from the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour, click here.


PASADENA, Calif. -- While other networks run from serialized shows, ABC seems more willing to embrace them, whether they're soaps like "Revenge" or light comedies such as the upcoming "GCB."

There are also serialized elements to ABC's "The River" (9 p.m. Feb. 7) but the show's producers resist comparisons to the super-serialization of "Lost."

"We looked more to 'The X-Files' than 'Lost,'" said executive producer Michael Green. "We're all fans of that kind of television and know the pitfalls. We wanted to make sure this had stand-alone episodes ... and there are longer-term arcs because we wanted it to be rewarding for people [who tune in weekly]."

Read more after the jump. ...


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Sons of the blues -- The Morganfields

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 12:00 AM Written by

I got an email the other day, announcing an upcoming CD from Severn Records by Larry "Mud" Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters. It's called "Son of the Seventh Son," and will be out in March.

That got me to thinking a little bit (which I still do on occasion) about the Morganfield clan, which includes Big Bill Morganfield, who has been performing for a number of years, and Mud, who is the oldest son, now 57 I think, but just started his musical career in 2007 and has been making his own name, more or less, since then. Mud looks a lot like his dad, and the musical similarities are there too.

This will be his first album to get national exposure, and it's supposed to to have some original songs, but also seems to continue the traditional blues of his famous father. More on that when I actually get to hear it.

He's not exactly a youngster, but it's still good to know that the family line continues in Muddy's tradition.

Here are some videos I thought it would be fun to pass along.

Here's Mud (sometimes known as Muddy Waters Jr.) with the classic "Mannish Boy":

Here's a video of Mud and Big Bill, performing together for the first time in 2008, and with their younger brother, Joe, and his two sons.

And here's Muddy, late in his career, in a great performance of "Mannish Boy" from The Band's final concert, "The Last Waltz" (one of my favorite concert films), in 1976:

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elixir_160For a link to recent posts from the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour, click here.

PASADENA, Calif. -- ABC Family president Michael Riley said he's excited for the filmed-in-Pittsburgh cable movie musical "Elixir" to see the light of day but it does not yet have an air date.

"We're still looking at when the right opportunity is for that," Riley said. "The hope is sometime in 2012."

He said "Elixir," which is only a working title and may be changed, represents a new step for ABC Family.

"This is a direction for us we haven't been in," Riley said. "We're excited to see where it goes."

But "Elixir" is not intended to be a backdoor pilot for a weekly series, although, in success, Riley doesn't rule it out.

Read more about ABC Family's experience in Pittsburgh after the jump. ...

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This week's "Believe Your Ears" Music Podcast will look at some of the blues, jazz and country guitarists who influenced rock guitar, some going clear back to the 1930's.  It won't be a complete list (it would take several podcasts to do justice to all who might qualify), but we'll look at the most important players, with the usual audio clips of their best work.

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sheen_1-12For a link to recent posts from the 2012 winter Television Critics Association press tour, click here.

PASADENA, Calif. -- There's always at least one insane scrum per press tour, a time when reporters gather around an interview subject so tightly that all you can do is stretch you arm into the midst of it and hope the recorder you're holding picks up what the subject is saying because you can't hear it from the outer ring of the scrum.

This press tour the craziest scrum happened at a Fox party last night when Charlie Sheen showed up to promote his upcoming FX series "Anger Management." In the series the former "Two and a Half Men" star will play Charlie, an anger management therapist. Bruce Helford ("The Drew Carey Show") will write and executive produce the comedy that expected to debut in June.

Sheen skipped the photo line and entered the party from another door but he was quickly surrounded. After taking questions for 10 minutes he went out back for a smoke. A few minutes later, a publicist told reporters he'd take them back to ask more questions. We were led to a round picnic table and waited for Sheen to finish a conversation with "Young Guns" co-star Kiefer Sutherland.

Then another round of questioning began. In both sessions, Sheen praised his new collaborator and offered his take on the revamped, Sheen-less "Two and a Half Men." He also addressed how he's changed since a year ago when his public meltdown paved the way for his exit from "Two and a Half Men."

Read more after the jump. ...

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