Arts, Entertainment, Living

Well if it wasn’t for the Transformers MMO sneak peak the day would have been a complete loss.  I arrived in L.A. too late for the EA press conference and didn’t make it to the L.A. Theater early enough to make it inside the Ubisoft press conference and day one looked grim.  But before I launch into what was introduced at the Transformers MMO preview, here’s the breif breakdown of what happened at the major press conferences.

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'Good Christian Belles' looks familiar

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 12:00 AM Written by

chenoweth_GCBlily_12_milesLast month while watching ABC's upfront, I noted the similarity between midseason comedy-drama "Good Christian Belles" (with Kristen Chenoweth, right) and HBO's abandoned 2008 series "12 Miles of Bad Road" (with Lily Tomlin, left).

Both shows use a Texas backdrop, comedy and soapy plots.

HBO never allowed "12 Miles" to be seen publicly but "G.C.B.," as ABC is now calling it, could be one of ABC's stronger entries for the 2011-12 TV season.

Watch a trailer for "GCB" after the jump. ...

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A Rhythm & Blues Revue with Tommy Castro

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 12:00 AM Written by

61j50TiZlHL._SL500_AA280_This is the third CD I've had since last fall that draws its music from the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. This one -- "Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue" -- comes from Alligator Records today and features Castro with several other performers from cruise performances.

Like the others, it's full of fine live music, played with a lot of feeling and excitement for ravenous blues fans.

Besides the tough music of Castro, the album features  Michael Burks, Debbie Davies, Rick Estrin, Theodis Ealey, Joe Louis Walker, Sista Monica Parker, Janiva Magness and the band Trampled Under Foot.

There's some tough blues (Davies' "All I Found" is a stinging example), soulful sounds (Ealey's horn-laced "This Time I Know" and Parker's "Never Say Never"), playful romps (Estrin's harp-filled "My Next Ex-Wife") and Castro's fiesty guitar work on everything he touches.

It's a fine little album, with a sampling of all the artists putting down passionate sounds for appreciative fans. Good-time music roaming over the contemporary blues spectrum.

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Tortellini with Pesto

Monday, 06 June 2011 12:48 PM Written by

pesto_tortelliniHappy Monday everyone!!! Happy Meatless Monday that is. Tonight's dinner screams FRESH - Tortellini with Pesto! Whether you use store-bought pesto or you whip up your own, the combination of pesto and cheese-filled tortellini will dance on your tastebuds like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire or sing in perfect harmony as Sonny and Cher and simply goes together like peanut butter and chocolate. You understand what I am talking about ... it is just so darn tasty!

To make this combo even more perfect - yes we can take it up a notch - add fresh chopped tomatoes or sliced grape tomatoes. And then sprinkle the entire dish with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Your tastebuds will be definitely be doing the happy dance!

And when you realize how quick and easy this dinner comes together, YOU will start doing a jig of your own! Start dancing, jump up and down in your kitchen, even say a few "WOWs" - your kiddos may have think you lost it but you may just get them excited (or frightened) enough to try green pasta!!! Have a GREAT day!!!

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If you assume you've never heard Ray Bryant's piano, think a second. Did you ever see the movie Hairspray? If you recall that famous, highly memorable "Madison Time" dance scene from the fictionalized, American Bandstand-like "Corny Collins Show," then you heard Bryant. In the real world, that song reached the Top 30 in 1960, an era when dance crazes were a dime a dozen and the Twist dominated the world.


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White hot 'White Collar' summer premiere

Monday, 06 June 2011 12:00 AM Written by

white_collarPASADENA, Calif. -- Easily the best of USA's "blue sky" programs, "White Collar" returns Tuesday night at 9 with con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer, a Carnegie Mellon University grad) trying to steal artifacts while under the watchful eye of FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay).

A light, entertaining caper, "White Collar" shines because of the chemistry between Neal and Peter. Each of them could be written as mere one-note characters but executive producer Jeff Eastin allows each of his creations shades of gray.

After the jump, Bomer and DeKay discuss their roles. ...

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Get flirty with Flirt in Monroeville

Monday, 06 June 2011 12:00 AM Written by


Though Flirt Boutique is not new to Monroeville, it is new to me! Flirt set up shop in November 2009 by two friends, Robin and Lisa, after 18 months of hosting at-home parties.  The name "Flirt" came about after Robin read an article in a major women's magazine that said when a women looks and feels good about herself, she tends to be more flirty! And I can't agree more. When you look and feel good about yourself, you want to shout to the world about this!  Whether you have a significant other or are single, like myself, you can use these good vibes for flirting. 

Through the boutique mostly carries jewelry, accessories and some clothing, Robin says that Flirt will add more clothing lines in the fall.  What you can find at Flirt now are unique jewelry pieces that can not be found in department stores. For instance, Flirt carries a line of necklaces out of Texas that come in three and five strands that can be worn five different ways, including as a belt. How genius.  (I love purchasing jewelry and clothing that has multi-functions, and this piece sounds like something I definitely need to check out.)

Whether your looking for a special gift for one of your girl friends or a piece of jewelry to finish off a new outfit, check out Flirt Boutique in Monroeville. Flirt is located at 1940 James Street in Monroeville and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 am until 5 pm.

Want to know more about Flirt? I'll be writing a larger piece for a future print edition of the PG. Be sure to keep an eye out! 

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41jhMlRqCWL._SL500_AA300_Yes, the CDs just keep coming. And I'm pretty sure you've heard of both of these guys, but I don't think they've ever recorded together, so this is a debut album for Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans) and Super Chikan (James Johnson), both currently Clarksdale, Miss., residents.

This album, due out tomorrow, is "Okiesippi Blues" (NorthernBlues Music), and it offers 11 mostly original tracks from two of the more original blues players around. Slim, a Boston native, had called Oklahoma home for years, hence, I assume, the Okiesippi of the title.

Neither is exactly a youngster, but it's just been in the past decade or so that both have made their marks on the blues scene. Slim plays harp and left-handed guitar, laid on a table in front of him, a remnant of how he learned to play with a guitar on his lap while in a hospital in Vietnam during that war.

But it's how he makes it sound, with a fierce slide and original story-telling lyrics, and impassioned delivery. Super Chikan is similarly talented with a sturdy blues voice and a down-home, traditional  style. Both are recent Blues Music Award winners.

So it's an album that full of musical variation, from Slim's opening "Trucking Blues" to the closing duet on a Chikan tune called "Moonshine." The guitar music from each is is tough and gritty, and both men's vocal chops have been honed with sandpaper righteousness.  The album sounds intiimate and honest, almost like it was being made up as they went along.

Here's a video of the two men playing together at a concert in Norway:

A cautionary calendar note: The WYEP blues calendar online shows guitarist Coco Montoya at the Thunderbird Cafe tomorrow night (6.7), but neither Montoya's web site nor the T-Bird's lists him as being in town.

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