Arts, Entertainment, Living

TV Q&A: Cool Japanese commercial edition

Friday, 02 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

TV Q&A is taking the week off for an end-of-summer vacation.

But it will return next week -- as long as viewers submit some new questions. (Questions about the new fall TV season, perhaps?)

In the meantime, why can't American companies make commercials that are this creative?

Check out a cool ad from Japan, after the jump. ...

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Dirt & Diamonds

Friday, 02 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

01dirtanddiamond

A new Pittsburgh-based online clothing shop is up and running, Dirt & Diamonds, started by designer Kelli Meyer.

Kelli’s design background comes from years of practice, as a means of expressing her creativity. A few years ago, she started purchasing vintage clothing and reworked them into her own designs, which eventually lead her to sewing her own clothing. 

All of the Dirt & Diamonds clothing is produced in Pittsburgh in Kelli’s design studio in the house she shared with her boyfriend, who helps her screen-print.  She says that producing Dirt & Diamonds clothing is typically a two-man operation. Clothing is produced in limited quantities on purpose, as Kelli says she hated the feeling of everyone wearing the same thing.

“Dirt & Diamonds is for the laid-back twenty-something girl who is a wild child and a true romantic,” says Kelli. “She’s a creative force not to be messed with, free-spirit who pursues her own path, and looks fabulous without trying.”

The Dirt & Diamonds website carried Kelli’s own designs, made of loose-fitting comfortable fabrics, and hand-picked vintage clothing.  Kelli says she has a new fall collection out later this month. 

Check out Dirt & Diamonds at: http://www.dirt-diamonds.com/

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Bumble Bee Slim leaves the scene; a blues picnic

Friday, 02 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by
bumblebeeslim
Howaard "Bumble Bee Slim" Kozy, from the WYEP web site.

I know I'm a bit late on this, even though I did mention the other day that I hope WYEP finds a good replacement for Bumble Bee Slim, aka Howard Kozy, the station's Saturday night blues spinner on the "Blues and Rhythm" show.

What I didn't do was offer a tip of the BlueNotes fedora to Howard for his 25 years devoted to playing the blues for Pittsburgh listeners.

Every time I tuned in, I was guaranteed to hear something  I'd never heard before. Here's a brief item that ran in the Post-Gazette. I'm not sure if you can "retire" from volunteer work, but after 25 years, it seems BBS has paid his dues.

WYEP says that "Big Town Blues," with Wrett Weatherspoon, will move from 8 to midnight into the Slim spot, but add an hour, and run from 5 to 9 p.m., starting tomorrow night.  They'll add a new blues show from 9 to midnight with WYEP's Rob O'Friel.

So thanks for all the blues, Howard/Bumble Bee. Every blues highway ends somewhere.
And of course BlueNotes got a little curious about the Bumble Bee moniker. So have a listen to  Amos Easton,  the original Bumble Bee Slim, a popular blues singer-guitarist from the 1930s.



And here's a snippet of the old "Bumble Bee Blues" by James "Son" Thomas:

A blues picnic: The Blues Society of Western Pa. is having its annual blues picnic on Sunday (9.4), and it promises to be a lot of fun -- and blues.

It's free, and you don't have to be a Blues Society member, but you get discounts on food and drinks if you are. But you should be. They are doing great work to bring you good music, and to keep the blues alive in Western Pa. Join them and sign up while you're there.

It's from 1-9 p.m. at Harmony Ridge,1280 Breitenstein Road in Ambridge. If the food and fun aren't enough, you can enjoy the music by:

Bubs McKeg and Chris Nacy, the Rumpshakers, Midnight Express with Jonathan Vallecorsa, and Wayne & Wildroot.

How can you go wrong?

Happy Labor Day weekend from the entire staff at BlueNotes World Headquarters.

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Grilled Brats with Kraut

Thursday, 01 September 2011 01:07 PM Written by
bratwurst-with-krautSometimes a picture is worth a thousand words ... that is how I feel about this photo. It looks like you could literally sink your teeth into it! Boil these Brats in beer first - and then be sure to finish off your beer - we do not want to creat waste right?! Wink Top them with kraut and lots of spicy mustard or cole slaw - whatever your preference. And then you may want to serve more cold beer ... just sayin'. Enjoy!!!

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MDA telethon plans

Thursday, 01 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

TelethonLogoThe MDA Telethon gets a makeover this year and it's not just the dismissal of long-time host Jerry Lewis that we reported on earlier this month.

The telethon, which used to span multiple days, will be confined to just one night. So it will be shorter in duration but it will air during hours with more viewers watching TV.

Read more after the jump. ...

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A Bluzer Spotlight on Melvin 'Lil' Son' Jackson

Thursday, 01 September 2011 12:00 AM Written by

indexThanks to some blues archeology by Bluzer, we'll offer another post that deals with what he calls "blues in the trenches." So here's a look at Texas Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson.

With all the recent talk about Blues radio and my re-emerging interest in 'Blues in the trenches', I got the itch to turn on the BLUZER Spotlight again so here we go.

This time the focus is on a rather obscure Blues artist who's been gone for roughly 35 years. Among hard-core Blues fans his recordings are some of the most enjoyable even if he didn't record extensively. He was another Bluesman who had the misfortune (if that's the right word) to exist under the large shadow of fellow-Texan Lightnin' Hopkins.

Hopefully, this look at his music will find interest among those unfamiliar with his work and will win him new fans. This may be an uncharacteristically short BLUZER Spotlight but it's no less sweet!! Enjoy.

MELVIN "LIL' SON" JACKSON (August 16, 1915, Tyler, Tx. - May 30, 1976, Dallas, Tx.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lil_Son_Jackson

FREEDOM TRAIN BLUES
1948
(DEEP TEXAS COUNTRY BLUES - RAW AND ROUGH!!))
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhfDTMAvg8A

DISGUSTED
(BRUTAL AND SLOW TEXAS BLUES - GREAT VOCAL!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4jZtX80A0o

ACHING HEART
(AS BY 'LIL' SON JACKSON HIS ROCKIN' AND ROLLERS')
(SWEET SAX BREAK - SOUNDS MORE CHICAGO THAN TEXAS!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgPlo1Z49S4

RED RIVER BLUES
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - ANOTHER KILLER BLUES!!)
(REMINDS ME OF SLIM HARPO'S, "I''M A KINGBEE')
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFbNMuwBBVI

NO MONEY
1953
(RECORDED IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS)
(GREAT TUNE!! - 'REAL DEAL' TEXAS R&B - SUPER SWINGIN'!!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xnaa4yEjgI

THRILL ME BABY
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - EXCELLENT JUMP TUNE!!)
(NICE SLIDE GUITAR AND SLIDESHOW!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6WYdKIzQuA

ALL MY LOVE
1952
(78RPM IMPERIAL RECORD PLAYED ELECTRICALLY)
(MOANIN', HEAVY-DUTY TEXAS BLUES - THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZdubJff6U0

TRUE LOVE BLUES
(78RPM IMPERIAL RECORD PLAYED ELECTRICALLY)
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - ANOTHER LOW-DOWN TEXAS MOANER!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo4JE5W3NeQ

RED LIGHT
1951
(AS BY "LIL' SON JACKSON AND HIS ROCKIN' AND ROLLERS")
(KILLER!! - INCREDIBLE TEXAS RHYTHM AND BOOGIE!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4EiW-LSCgs

ROCKIN' AND ROLLIN'
1951
(78RPM IMPERIAL RECORD PLAYED ELECTRICALLY)
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - AKA, "ROCK ME BABY" - SOUND IS MUDDY))
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9zW95Xgx70

UPSTAIRS BOOGIE
1952
(78RPM IMPERIAL RECORD PLAYED ELECTRICALLY)
(LOUIS JORDAN-STYLE JUMP BLUES)
(A BOUNCING TEXAS BOOGIE - MIGHTY FINE!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qakoPH9vwY

MILLFORD BLUES
(78RPM MODERN RECORD)
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - LAZY COUNTRY BLUES!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCdA-7dywg

I was going to place this one at the top of the list but since I consider this one of "Lil' Son's" best I've saved it for last...

TALKING BOOGIE
1951
(78RPM MODERN RECORD  - AS BY 'LITTLE SON JACKSON')
(VOCAL WITH GUITAR - TIMELESS AND ETERNAL!!)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG8Eg26nAMw

------------------------------------------------

FOOTNOTE: I'm posting this version ONLY because I couldn't find the original.

ERIC CLAPTON - TRAVELLING ALONE
(2010 LIVE PERFORMANCE - LONDON)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7QpMvyD7SU

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Pittsburghers help foment a 'Dinosaur Revolution'

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 12:00 AM Written by

23272_25_0610_00421_00329Chatham University associate professor of biology Michael Habib is no stranger to TV shows about dinosaurs. In 2009, he was among the experts interviewed in Discovery Channel’s “Clash of the Dinosaurs,” about dinosaur physiology.

He’ll be back on screen in the Sept. 11 episodes of Discovery’s latest, “Dinosaur Revolution” (9-11 p.m. Sunday and Sept. 11).

“ ‘Dinosaur Revolution’ is much more about the dinosaurs’ lives and dinosaur behaviors, what they might have done,” Mr. Habib said. “It’s much less of a typical documentary and more of a story, more of an in-the-field mockup.”

“Dinosaur Revolution” is sparsely narrated with lengthy segments of computer-animated dinosaurs in their natural habitats.

“Myself and the other individuals interviewed appear on screen in short intermissions between the longer sequences,” Mr. Habib said. “It doesn’t bounce back and forth the way it does in a more typical natural science documentary.”

Read more after the jump. ...

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Top cities for fashion

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 12:00 AM Written by

London is now the “it” city for fashion. According to the Global Language Monitor, an Austin-based media analytics company, London has overtaken NYC as the Fashion Capital of the World, due to the stylish Kate Middleton and designer Alexander McQueen. 

Following London, is New York City, then Paris and Milan, always strong competitors in this list. The entire list is:

The Top Global Fashion Capitals of 2011:

1. London

2. New York City

3. Paris

4. Milan

5. Los Angeles

6. Hong Kong

7. Barcelona

8. Singapore

9. Tokyo

10. Berlin

11. Sydney

12. Madrid

13. Rome

14. Shanghai

15. Monaco

16. Las Vegas

17. Melbourne

18. Moscow

19. Amsterdam

20. Buenos Aires

And the list continues here. Who isn’t on the list is Pittsburgh! Maybe one day, Steel City.

I hope this is helpful in planning your next “shopping” trip! Be sure to check back on Friday for another Clutch post!

 

 

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