Arts, Entertainment, Living

When the movies get TV wrong (this time in "Unstoppable")

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:00 AM Written by

denzel_330Last week the filmed-in-Pittsburgh movie "Unstoppable" arrived on DVD. I finally got around to seeing it at a second-run theater not long before the DVD release and I was interested to see how prevalent the use of local news was throughout the film.

For Pittsburgh viewers, there was no doubt a moment of gleeful recognition when WTAE anchor Mike Clark popped up on screen and when former WTAE reporter Ellen Gamble appeared to play a reporter.

I also had fun playing spot-the-local TV news elements in some background shots where the WPXI news open was visible. A Channel 11 live truck also made a cameo, although I think the reporter was an actor not a local TV news person.

But one thing did drive me nuts because the movie got this spectacularly wrong. Read on after the jump. ...

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Bluzer Spotlight - Big Maybelle

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:00 AM Written by
images_copy_copyHere's another in the ever-growing list of Bluzer Spotlights, this time about about one of the legendary fugures in the blues -- Big Maybelle:

Maybe it's coincidence...maybe it's karma. While BLUENOTES was listening to Big Joe Maher ... I was listening to Big Maybelle. "Who?" you were probably asking yourself. Well, during her active years Big Maybelle was a HUGE star (in a couple of ways) and a major force in R&B and then later with Soul music. Sadly, she seems to be pretty much forgotten today even by the Blues community.

But never fear, BLUZER and his trusty Spotlight are on the case. It's my great pleasure to present a 'look at' and a 'listen to' the music of one of the best Blues singers that ever was. She died young but left behind a tremendous musical legacy. I hope you enjoy this much-deserved look back at a legend.

MABEL LOUISE 'BIG MAYBELLE' SMITH (May 1, 1924 – January 23, 1972)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Maybelle

"AMERICA'S QUEEN MOTHER OF SOUL"

(FROM WIKIPEDIA) On March 21, 1955, she recorded the first version of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On", produced by Quincy Jones, two years before Jerry Lee Lewis' version.

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

DO LORD
1968
(HAVE MERCY!!...GET A LOAD OF THIS SLICE OF DANGEROUS DOO-WOP!!!!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beCun9Qgtno

WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON
1955
(THE  LITTLE-KNOWN FIRST VERSION - TIMELESS AND ETERNAL)
('REAL DEAL', GENUINE, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS, LASCIVIOUS RHYTHM & BLUES!!)
(LET ME SEND THIS ONE OUT TO 'BUMBLE BEE' AND WRETT)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp11vxr_pD4

CANDY
(HEAVY-DUTY SOUL BALLAD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMq1Ff1J4iM

96 TEARS
1967
(ODD CHOICE FOR A SOUL/R&B SINGER)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcqhXXOR0-k

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
(FANTASTIC VERSION OF A BEAUTIFUL TUNE - WHAT A VOICE!! - GREAT PHRASING!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH7E8FxQPo0

BLACK IS BLACK
1967
(ANOTHER INTERESTING COVER TUNE)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBsBDMxRZIc

OH LORD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME
1964
(BURNIN' SOUL BALLAD!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaYzNbnqQkI

THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD LOVE
1956
(ANOTHER HARD-CORE EARLY-SOUL/R&B WORKOUT)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBv2iWZwm14

GABBIN' BLUES
1953
(78RPM RECORD - HER FIRST OKEH RELEASE)
(ONE OF BIG MAYBELLE'S BEST...IF NOT HER VERY BEST!!)
(A CLASSIC THAT SHOULD BE IN EVERYBODYS BLUES COLLECTION)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drOd-XU7pbs

LET ME GO
(SWEET SOUL MUSIC!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6861jO7xqQ

I'M GETTING 'LONG ALRIGHT
1954
(SWEET EARLY-SOUL/R&B BALLAD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_51XbAe_Izk

QUITTIN' TIME
(1960'S SOUL STOMPER!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxUiLPkFicM

TELL ME WHO
(FINE TUNE - LOUSY AUDIO TRANSFER (CHEAP PHONOGRAPH))
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfSxXFioxBw

CARELESS LOVE
(NICE VERSION WITH A 'BIG EASY' BEAT)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LQ3Q6PhJQY

I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER
(1960'S MOTOWN-INFLUENCED SOUL MELTDOWN)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24LxOhelr2E

HEAVEN WILL WELCOME YOU DR. KING
(TOPICAL, TEAR-STAINED BLUES BALLAD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz0dQaX2u08

ELEANOR RIGBY
(ANOTHER INTERESTING CHOICE FOR A COVER TUNE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6FsxoCC3_k

MY MOTHER'S EYES
(SWEET GOSPEL-FLAVORED SOUL BALLAD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrD861OdFt4

LET ME GO
(BROKEN-HEARTED SOUL BALLAD - NICE VOCALS - WEIRD VISUALS)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPk328VR6Vo

RING DANG DILLY
(BOUNCIN', BOPPIN' RHYTHM AND BLUES - JUMPS!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuGuJk2W90g

IT'S BEEN RAINING
(BIG MAYBELLE GETS FUNKY!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQhcSWfB1xo

OCEAN OF TEARS
(BIG MAYBELLE REALLY BELTS ONE!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFlgBKBjvDY

ONE MONKEY DON'T STOP NO SHOW
(AN R&B CLASSIC - GREAT STUFF!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSyE8IecKjQ

WHY WAS I BORN?
(A TOUGH AND TENDER BALLAD -  VERY JAZZY)
(THIS WILL BRING TEARS TO YOUR EYES!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s7n5ZC3Wtc

NO BETTER FOR YOU
(LOW-DOWN BLUESY SOUL - GREAT BEAT!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QH8Jz_wgA

YESTERDAY'S KISSES
("...BRING TOMORROW'S BLUES")
1965
(SWINGIN' SOUL - NICE BEAT FOR DANCING!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1V91xI90lg

I'VE GOT A FEELIN'
(REAL NICE - SWINGIN' R&B WITH AN EXOTIC BEAT!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk--XSnUBqo

UNTIL THE REAL THING COMES ALONG
(SWEET, HEART-BREAKING SOUL BALLAD)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM8AqSXT9FM

GOING HOME BABY
(JAZZY R&B BALLAD - GROWLING VOCALS)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF5xHhPlrX8

I DON'T WANT TO CRY
(NOW THIS WAS A GOOD CHOICE TO COVER!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN-E7eMjmwk

SAME OLD STORY
(PRIMAL 1960'S SOUL - A LITTLE SWING AND A LITTLE FUNK!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AUkav8fGfU

I saved the best for last (the only live footage I could find) but unfortunately the quality is not so great. I can only hope more footage will become available.

I AIN'T MAD AT YOU
1958
(LIVE PERFORMANCE - NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL)
(MAYBELLE ROCKS...BUT THE VIDEO IS TOO DARK)
(THE WHITE GLOVES ADD A NICE TOUCH!!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho5tSulnzXo

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

Big Maybelle died in a diabetic coma in 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery
Westlake
Cuyahoga County, Ohio

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.


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Happy President’s Day, gamers.  While this historic holiday isn’t known for being a big holiday for video game releases, 2011’s President’s Day will bring Bulletstorm, the FPS from Epic Games and People Can Fly Productions that hits stores tomorrow.  I’ll be working on a review as soon as I get my hands on it and will hopefully have a review up by the end of the week. 

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Some firsts in last night's 'Amazing Race'

Monday, 21 February 2011 12:00 AM Written by

Phil_Keoghan_Amazing_RaceLast night's premiere of "The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business" (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS) had a couple of firsts (spoilers ahead if you have it on your DVR): The first time a season premiere ended with a non-elimination, "to be continued" and the first time a flight was diverted for a medical emergency. Both could prove to be game-changers.

The diverted flight allowed folks on the second plane to get a lead that was intended for teams on the first plane (before its diversion). And the non-elimination could mean The Cowboys, Jet and Cord, might have a chance to catch up and avoid elimination, if they can ever crack the flag code.

"That was the most bizarre thing," Keoghan said of the plane diversion. The plane had to land in Hawaii (en route to Australia) because a passenger showed signs of having a heart attack. "You're flying in the sky and you hear you have to drop 30,000 pounds of fuel because we were only one-third of the way into the trip. The good news is the man was OK. But for the teams on that flight it had a dramatic effect."

Read more after the jump. ...

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Fresh Factory Brings Unique Flair to Hometown T-shirts

Monday, 21 February 2011 12:00 AM Written by

01freshdan

When the typical work day is over, most people head home to make dinner, hit the gym, or grab a drink with some friends. Not friends Dan Desko (pictured above) and Dom Cugliari, the masterminds behind the local t-shirt line, Fresh Factory.

After working their typical 9-5 corporate jobs, the guys decided to start a t-shirt line as a way to spark their creative energies in a way their day jobs did not allow them to. They were also unimpressed with some of the over –the-top, "high end" t-shirt lines that were being worn strictly for their popularity, not for their creativity. (Yes, they are referring to you Ed Hardy.)

By using the left sides of their brains, Dan and Dom have created uniquely catchy t-shirts that pay homage to Western Pennsylvania. For their first t-shirt, the guys put on their space suits and travelled to outer space for creative inspiration. Well, they actually went 40 minutes north of Pittsburgh to Mars, PA, saw a flying saucer, and created a shirt with the saying, "I have been to Mars!"

Other t-shirts include the things we love about Pittsburgh—the skyline, the bridges, and our love of sports, of course. Fresh Factory's best selling shirt is the Stanley Cup t-shirt in which the word "believe" is shaped into an image of the Cup. New to the line of t-shirts includes "RUN PGH," a play on the hip hop group Run DMC's logo, the "City of Bridges" with the word "Pittsburgh" hidden in the cables, and "Steel City," complete with an image of the city's skyline within the lettering.

01freshfactoryt

Fresh Factory’s t-shirts are available online through their site, myfreshfactory.com, the Senator John Heinz History Center, Decade in the South Side, Charles Spiegel in Squirrel Hill, and Urban Outfitters in SouthSide Works.  The guys have other Pittsburgh-themed t-shirts in the works, so be on the look out!  

Fresh Factory is running a special promo. Use code “PGH15” for 15 percent off your purchase at myfreshfactory.com.

Be sure to check back on Wednesday for another Clutch post!

 

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Blues from Canada, eh....

Monday, 21 February 2011 12:00 AM Written by

 

shakura_475
Shakura S'Aida, right, at the Wheeling Heritage BluesFest last August. (Jim White photo)
We all know that blues is basically an American music -- America meaning the US of A, and not, say, Argentina, which is also part of "America."

But other countries have blues cultures -- Australians keep showing up with blues bands, plus  various Europeans, and the Brits, who were among the first to soak up blues and jazz revival performers way back when, and fed it back to us with British blues rockers, among others.

But how about Canada? Well, yes, they have a very active blues scene, and two record labels that focus on blues and roots music -- Stony Plain and Northern Blues.

It's such an active scene, and right next door to us, that BluesWax, the online arm of Blues Revue mag, has a nice new article on the Canadian "invasion," written by one of the invaders, the multi-talented Shakura S'Aida.

It's true, she was born in Brooklyn, but she seems to have adopted Canada as her home, so maybe she's some kind of double agent for the northern blues scene.

Whatever nationality she is, she's a great singer. I caught her at last year's Wheeling blues fest, and she delivered a rousing set of blues and bluesy music. She was one of the surprises of the festival for me, with a powerful, sassy style and a huge stage presence. The great vocals were a big help, too.

Here's the article that she wrote.

And here's a video of what she does:

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Film Tax Credits and Pittsburgh

Saturday, 19 February 2011 06:28 PM Written by

It's ironic that the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credits are being frozen at this time just as "I Am Number Four" which was shot in Pittsburgh threatens to be number one at the box office, "The Dark Knight" Batman Sequel is on the brink of filming here, and the largest entertainment company in the world no longer resides in California, but in Pennsylvania.  (i.e, Comcast NBC Universal)   

How important are the Film Tax Credits?   Just look at the stats of how many hundreds of millions of dollars have come into the Pittsburgh region since the tax credits change in 2007 to 25 percent with the cap being raised substantially.   In April of 2007, Lionsgate producer John Dellaverson, a Pitt alum who grew up in New Castle, came back home to speak at his alma mater, and that week joined Lionsgate's CFO and filmmaker M. Night Shamalyn as they spoke with Gov. Rendell and a group of legislators as to the benefits the new tax laws might bring.  Having watched the New Mexico go from $5 million to $450 million a year in film production, John had witnessed firsthand the benefit such tax laws could bring to a region.   And he longed to see that economic benefit in the place where he grew up.  

Now that New Mexico and other states have changed their film tax credit laws, there is real opportunity for PA to become an even bigger player in the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry which is now one of our country's leading exports.  Generally speaking for every dollar that is spent for a film in a community, two dollars in ancillary spending occur in hotels, restaurants, etc...

But hear from John himself by watching this video about him coming home and see why the film and TV business is such a good fit for this region. 

Read this article when he was urging the film tax credit law three years earlier and remember what it was like before the tax credit... when sadly we lost hometown icon George Romero when he went north to Canada to film his "Land of the Dead" film. Let's not let Batman fly away with the Dead.  

You can see the impact yourself of all this by looking at the Film Tax Credit Report by clicking here.

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Weekly Menu for the Week of Feb. 21

Friday, 18 February 2011 05:02 PM Written by
grocery-shopping

Welcome to my weekly menu!!!

As I am writing this week’s menu, the weather is beginning to get colder again. Oh well … it is February and winter is still upon us. However, I have certainly been bitten by the “bug” and have Spring Fever!!!

This week we are having a few “Fan Favorites” and I am really excited about because not only are they delicious dinners, we are able to take advantage of great specials at the grocery!!! We are going to kick things off with Meatless Monday and have Ziti and Spinach Parmesan! This makes A LOT and will be perfect to reheat for lunches or to have leftovers later in the week. On Tuesday – and if this recipe is new for your house call it Test Kitchen Tuesday and have your kids wear “Judge” badges – we are having Asian Pork Wraps! Once again the crock-pot will be your best friend that day! This is also our Double Duty meal of the week. Leftovers will be reinvented on Friday night for a “take-out, Happy Hour at home” by whipping up Lettuce Wraps with dipping sauces that mimic that little restaurant that is so hard to get a table in less than hour! You know which one I am talking about! We will also have Baked Chicken and Pierogies! Great specials and great recipes!!!

If you would like to receive an email notification when the menu has been published please follow the link below and sign-up!

http://pages.exacttarget.com/page.aspx?QS=2e4c31a3756cb940c8b847348e1c2c73ff6c7f36e3c6f7f827d595a306624694

You can also follow the menu on Facebook and Twitter!!! Go to Kristen Kill Reisinger’s Menus That Save on Facebook and click like!!! You will receive updates and pics throughout the week. Also follow the menu on Twitter - @menusthatsave.

 ALWAYS check your coupons!!! Not only the ones we receive in our newspapers and mid-week mailers but also online! Check out www.coupons.com

 Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

 I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

Monday

Ziti and Spinach Parmesan
Salad
Garlic Bread

Ziti and Spinach Parmesan

1 Medium onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
2 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1 – 35 oz. Can of Italian peeled tomatoes
¼ t. Crushed red pepper
¾ t. Salt
¼ t. Freshly ground pepper
10 oz. Dried ziti or penne or farfalle
1 lb. Fresh spinach, stems discarded, leaves thoroughly rinsed, dried and coarsely chopped.
6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 c. Freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook the onion and garlic in the oil over moderate heat until the onion is just softened, about 5 minutes. Using your hands, break up the tomatoes and add them with their juice to the skillet. Stir in the crushed red pepper. Increase the heat to moderately high and boil the sauce stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 18 minutes. Stir in both the salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and cook pasta according to directions. Drain well and return to the dry pot. Stir in the spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the parmesan. Add the tomato sauce and toss.

Transfer the hot ziti to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup of parmesan on top. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until browned. Serve at once.

Tuesday

Asian Pork Wraps
Stir Fried Broccoli

Asian Pork Wraps

1 – 2 or 3 lb. boneless pork roast, or use 8-10 boneless chops depending on their thickness– OR – use 2 pork tenderloins
½ cup of Hoisin sauce
2 T. grated ginger
2 T. sherry cooking wine
1 clove of garlic, minced
6 shiitake mushrooms
12 flour tortillas
2 t. sesame oil
4 cups of shredded cabbage
1 bunch of green onions, sliced

Place pork roast in crock-pot. Combine 3 T. of hoisin sauce, ginger, sherry and garlic. Pour over the roast. Discard stems from mushrooms, chop remaining part and then cover the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove pork from crock-pot. Stir cabbage into broth in the crock-pot. Heat to high setting, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until wilted. Shred pork with two forks and return to crock-pot.

Heat oven to 300˚. Brush tortillas with sesame oil and stack on a sheet of foil. Wrap the tortillas and heat the packet for 10 minutes.

To serve, spread each tortilla with remaining hoisin sauce, top with shredded pork mixture and green onions. Roll-up and enjoy!

Stir Fried Broccoli

One head of broccoli
2 T. of Canola Oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ t. of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 T. of soy sauce
Sesame oil

Chop broccoli into florets. Place broccoli in microwave safe covered dish with 2 T. of water and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. This will steam it. Put oil and garlic in a skillet and heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped broccoli and stir frequently for 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and soy sauce. Cook and stir for an additional 3 minutes. Prior to serving, drizzle broccoli with a little sesame oil.

Wednesday

Onion Baked Chicken
Wild Rice
Green Beans

Onion Baked Chicken

3 lbs. chicken quarters or bone-in breasts
1 T. olive oil
1 T. onion powder
1 ½ t. Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. paprika
¼ t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚.

Brush chicken with olive oil. Mix seasonings in a bowl and coat the chicken evenly with the mixture. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Thursday

Leftovers
Or
Pierogies and Sausage
Broccoli
Applesauce

Pierogies and Sausage

½ stick of butter
1 box of frozen peirogies
1 lb. of smoked sausage or Kielbasa, sliced
Sour cream

Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and add the sliced sausage. Brown on all sides until heated through.

In a separate skillet, melt the butter. Add the FROZEN pierogies!!! Yes I said add them frozen ... it makes a huge difference! Boiling them first will make them a bit soggy. Turn the pierogies frequently until cooked through and crisp on both sides.

Serve them with sour cream.

Friday

Pork Lettuce Wraps
Fortune Cookies

Pork Lettuce Wraps

1 T. of Canola oil
Leftover Asian Pork
Slivered carrots
Small can of chopped water chestnuts
Head of iceberg lettuce or Bibb lettuce

Heat oil in a skillet. Add leftover pork, carrots and water chestnuts. Stir frequently until heated through.

To serve, pile pork mixture into a lettuce leaf, drizzle with dipping sauce, and wrap it up!

Dipping Sauce – you could use a store bought dipping sauce or the recipe below which has been adapted from PF Chang's

¼ cup of sugar
½ cup of water
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. of ketchup
1/8 t. of sesame oil
1 T. of Hot mustard (optional – depending on your heat index)
1 – 2 t. of garlic and chili paste

Dissolve the sugar in the water by boiling the same. Set aside. Combine Soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup and sesame oil. Mix together the hot water and the hot mustard. Depending on your taste, you can add some of the mustard mixture with the soy mixture. You can also add the garlic and chili paste to the soy mixture. Keep adding various amounts to the soy sauce mixture until the taste suits you!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste! And NEVER shop without a plan!

Shopping/Checklist

Produce
Salad – GE special
Medium onion
1 lb. of fresh spinach
Ginger
Garlic
Shiitake mushrooms – about 6 large – regular mushrooms are on sale and would work fine!
Cabbage
Green onions
Head of broccoli
Carrots
Head of lettuce – iceberg or Bibb

Deli
Italian bread for garlic bread
Parmesan cheese

Spices/Oils/Vinegars/Condiments
Olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes
Sherry cooking wine
Canola oil
Soy sauce
Onion powder
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Paprika
Sugar
Ketchup

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
35 oz. can of Italian peeled tomatoes – GE special
Penne, ziti or farfalle – GE special on Barilla –look for coupon for extra savings
Hoisin sauce
Sesame oil
Wild rice
Applesauce
Chopped water chestnuts – small can
Rice wine vinegar
Hot mustard
Garlic and chili paste
Fortune cookies

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
2-3 lb. boneless pork roast, or 8-10 pork chops or 2 pork tenderloins – GE special on the whole loin
3 lbs. chicken quarters or bone-in breasts – GE special
Smoked sausage or kielbasa – GE special

Frozen Foods
Green beans – GE special
Pierogies – GE special

Dairy
6 oz. mozzarella cheese – block
12 flour tortillas – taco size
Sour cream

Bread

Misc.

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