Arts, Entertainment, Living

Press tour: Spike TV digs 'Coal'

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 03:00 PM Written by

coal_2PASADENA, Calif. -- West Virginia coal miners get the reality TV treatment in Spike TV's "Coal" (10 p.m. March 30), filmed at the Cobalt Mine in Westchester, W. Va., a 90-minute drive south of Pittsburgh.

Read more after the jump. ...

 

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cleveland_8PASADENA, Calif. -- No corporate synergy at work here, but TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland" will have a crossover with ABC's daytime soap "All My Children" next month when Susan Lucci plays herself as a rival to "Cleveland" character Victoria Chase (Wendie Malick) in a two-part episode filming this week.

Read more after the jump. ...

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2011 winter press tour preview

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

As you could see in last week's Tuned In column, there are plenty of new shows to talk about for mid-season, and that column only chronicled the new stuff that arrives in January.

Beginning today I'll be attending the winter 2011 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., where the broadcast and cable networks will preview their midseason shows. I'll be posting several times a day through Jan. 14, so check back in regularly for updates.

What is there to look forward to this midseason? Find out after the jump. ...

 

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New Shoes Make Everything Alright

Wednesday, 05 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

01AldoOxfords

I once thought jewelry was the finishing touch to a perfect outfit. However, I have recently changed my mind. Shoes are the finishing touch to the perfect outfit.

This change in my mind came after weeks of scrolling through images on The Sartorialist. As I scrolled through post after post of fabulous looking people, the one thing I always noticed was what the people were wearing on their feet. In the posts, women are wearing magnificent high heels and rugged boots, while men polished in sophisticated dress shoes.

All of these images got me thinking... Why do all of my shoes suck? Why don't I have shoes like the fabulous women in the images?

The reason: my love of handbags. Yes, my love of handbags seems to overpower my love of shoes. And as I mentioned on Monday, I'm going to change that. I'm going to pay more attention to my footwear in 2011.

With this goal in mind, I purchased my first pair of fabulous shoes for 2011: a high-heeled pair of brown oxfords from Aldo (also my first Aldo shoes purchase).  Besides Aldo, I plan to attack some of the local shoe stores, including Pavement in Lawrenceville and Ten Toes in Shadyside for some more stylish shoes.

When I put on these shoes with a simple little black dress, I feel like the women in the images on The Sartorialist. Can it be this easy? Can purchasing a new pair of shoes completely change the way you feel about yourself? I think so.

What do you think?

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

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Caramelized Onion Chicken

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 12:34 PM Written by

Caramelized-Onion-ChickenCall it Test Kitchen Tuesday in your house and try Caramelized Onion Chicken tonight! The combination of soy sauce, fresh ginger, rosemary, red wine vinegar and yes ... raspberry jam is simply amazing!!! This is one of my favorite dishes! Not only does it taste amazing - and I think this would be an incredible sauce for duck - but it is super quick and easy! Don't be afraid of the jam! Yes there is a definite sweetness to this dish. But the addition of soy sauce and red wine vinegar help satisfy even the pickiest of eaters! And don't forget about the unbelieveable flavor fresh ginger adds to a dish!

When using fresh ginger, here is a tip about storing the remaining root in your freezer from my friend Dawn. Simply wrap the leftover piece of ginger in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. This will keep for a few months! There really is no substitute for fresh ginger!!!

Get out of your comfort food zone and try something new! My soon-to-be 7 yr. old son had two servings!!! So therefore - Kid Approved!!!

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'Bob's Burgers' serves up comedy

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by
bobs_burgersFox always seems to have the most success on Sunday night with animated series that don’t stray too far from what’s already successful, namely, anything from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. Last year “Sit Down, Shut Up,” from the executive producer of “Arrested Development” was a bomb. But I hope the network has better luck with “Bob’s Burgers” (8:30 p.m. Sunday, WPGH), an unexpectedly amusing comedy meal.

Read more after the jump. ...

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Bluzer Spotlight on -- Ragtime

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 12:00 AM Written by

My apologies to Bluzer, who asked that the following Spotlight be posted on Jan. 1. But I was still waiting for my internet access, which I now seem to have. So here's the Spotlight, on the venerable music called ragtime. The video above is by Bob Seeley, with "Maple Leaf Rag." I've seen Seeley the past two years I've been in St. Petersburg, Fla., and I hope to see him again later this month. A fantastic piano guy.

Bluzer says:

Let's start the New Year right...right from the very beginning!! Before the internet, before television, before radio, before electricity, even before the advent of man's ability to record and reproduce sound...there was the piano.  The first piano (known as the pianoforte) appeared sometime around the late 1600's-early 1700's. Imagine a guitar with 88 strings!! The three main categories of piano artistry that every Blues lover should be familir with are...

RAGTIME

'It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. It was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music'

STRIDE (OR NEW YORK RAGTIME)

'It was influenced by ragtime, and as a jazz piano idiom, features improvisation, blue notes, and swing rhythms.'

BOOGIE WOOGIE


Blues historian Robert Palmer wrote that the boogie-woogie style bass pattern may have been created in the logging and turpentine camps and oil boomtowns of Texas, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Delta circa 1900'

With this BLUZER Spotlight I've mostly concentrated on the work of Ragtime great Scott Joplin to begin another year of exploring and examining what the Blues is all about and the origins of this great music. While this may be among the longest BLUZER Spotlights I've yet done...it could certainly have been even longer!! BLUZER says: "HAVE A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR AND KEEP ON LISTENIN' TO THE BLUES!!"

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SCOTT JOPLIN (between July 1867 and January 1868 – April 1, 1917)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
('the first instrumental piece to sell over one million copies of sheet music')

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THE STRENUOUS LIFE - 1902
(MY FAVORITE JOPLIN RAG!!)

THE RAGTIME DANCE - 1906

PINEAPPLE RAG


A BREEZE FROM ALABAMA - 1902


THE CASCADES - 1904

SUNFLOWER SLOW DRAG - 1901

WEEPING WILLOW RAG - 1903
('MUDDY' SOUND)

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM - 1904

THE ENTERTAINER - 1902

SUGAR CANE - 1908
(MIGHTY FINE!!)

SOLACE (A MEXICAN SERENADE) - 1909
(ELEGANT AND BEAUTIFUL!!

ELITE SYNCOPATIONS - 1902


PALM LEAF RAG - 1903

HELIOTROPE BOUQUET - 1907
(ANOTHER SWEET SLICE OF SYNCOPATION!!)

THE FAVORITE - 1904
(SLIGHTLY 'MUDDY' SOUND)

STOPTIME RAG
(WAY AHEAD OF IT'S TIME!!)

ROSE LEAF RAG

SILVER SWAN RAG
(GREAT TRANSFER!!)

M A P L E  L E A F  R A G - 1899

OVER A MILLION 'HITS'!!!
(PIANO ROLL ACTUALLY PLAYED BY SCOTT JOPLIN)
(THIS SOUNDS TOTALLY INCREDIBLE...AS IF HE'S PLAYING IT IN PERSON)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
- PIANO ROLL THAT DOESN'T SOUND HAND-PLAYED)

MAPLE LEAF RAG
(ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL JOB OF RE-MASTERING!!)

PARAGON RAG
(ANOTHER INCREDIBLE-SOUNDING PIECE BEAUTIFULLY RE-MASTERED)

THE SYCAMORE - 1904

COMBINATION MARCH - 1896
(GREAT BEAT - THIS ROCKS!!)

CLEOPHA - 1902
(ANOTHER 'TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY' ROCKER!!)

GREAT CRUSH COLLISION MARCH - 1896
(STRANGE NAME - SWEET RAG)

THE EASY WINNERS - 1901

PEACHERINE RAG - 1901
(A RAGTIME MASTERPIECE!!)

SOMETHING DOING - 1903
(THIS RAG SWINGS!!)

SWIPESY (CAKEWALK) - 1900
(ANOTHER 'ROCKIN'' RAG)

PLEASANT MOMENTS - 1909

FIG LEAF RAG - 1908

REFLECTION RAG

(SOUNDS ALMOST 'CLASSICAL'!!)

A REAL SLOW RAG

(DON'T BE FOOLED...THIS SWINGS!!)

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Along with Scott Joplin, there was a lesser-known but equally proficient Ragtimer who was perhaps as influential. Here's a mini BLUZER Spotlight of his work.

JAMES SCOTT (February 12, 1885 – August 30, 1938)

'Scott was a cousin of blues singer Ada Brown'

KANSAS CITY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - OPHELIA RAG

OPHELIA RAG
(THE ORIGINAL COMPOSITION)

GRACE AND BEAUTY - 1909


RAGTIME ORIOLE - 1911
FROG LEGS RAG
(BEAUTIFUL MELODY!!)

KANSAS CITY RAG

PROSPERITY RAG - 1911

DON'T JAZZ ME - 1921
(RAG ME!!)

HONEYMOON RAG - 1916


CLIMAX RAG - 1914

RAG SENTIMENTAL

GREAT SCOTT RAG - 1909

(ROCKIN' THE RAG!!)

THE SUFFRAGETTE (WALTZ) - 1914

(A HAUNTINGLY-SWEET AND POLITICALLY CORRECT RAG!!)

SUNBURST RAG - 1909

NEW ERA RAG - 1919

HILARITY RAG - 1910
(NICE AND BOUNCY!!)

BROADWAY RAG - 1922


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And now let's take a listen to a variety of artists also associated with the Ragtime/Stride style.

FORGOTTEN STRIDE AND RAGTIME GREATS

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JOSEPH LAMB - AMERICAN BEAUTY RAG - 1913

JOSEPH LAMB - BOHEMIA (RAG) - 1919

JOSEPH LAMB - CHANPAGNE RAG - 1910

ROY SPANGLER - RED ONION RAG - 1911


TOM TURPIN - ST. LOUIS RAG - 1903


WINIFRED ATWELL - TIGER RAG
VARIOUS LIVE PERFORMANCES
(PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS OF ALL RAGS)
("HOLD THAT TIGER!!")

WINIFRED ATWELL - THE BLACK AND WHITE RAG
(MORE OF A 'HONKY TONK PIANO' SOUND)
(FAST FINGERS!!)

WINIFRED ATWELL - THE BLACK AND WHITE RAG
SEVERAL DIFFERENT LIVE PERFORMANCES
(THE ROOTS OF BOOGIE WOOGIE!!)

WINIFRED ATWELL - FIVE FINGER BOOGIE

LIVE IN LONDON - 1953
(THIS, OF COURSE, IS 'BOOGIE WOOGIE' AND THAT'S A WHOLE 'NOTHER STORY!!)

MIKE BERNARD - 1915 RAG
(RARE RAG)

EUBIE BLAKE - JAZZIN' AROUND - 1917

(TWO PIANOS AND 'TRAPS' - AN EARLY 'RAGTIME BAND'!!)

EUBIE BLAKE - DREAM RAG - LIVE RECORDING
(AUDIO ONLY)

EUBIE BLAKE AT 90 - INTERVIEW AND LIVE PERFORMANCE
SUBERB...BUT INCOMPLETE
("LOVE WILL FIND A WAY")

EUBIE BLAKE - CHARLESTON RAG
SPEAKING AND PLAYING LIVE FOR A RAGTIME DOCUMENTARY
(WEIRD AND INTOXICATING!! - A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON!)
(RAGTIME AS THE ROOTS OF 'THE SECOND LINE'!!)

MEDLEY - LIVE RECORDING - (AUDIO ONLY) - 1973
EUBIE BLAKE SPEAKS AND PLAYS JAMES P. JOHNSON
(ONE STRIDE MASTER SALUTES ANOTHER)

LUCKEY ROBERTS - PORK AND BEANS - 1946
(THE ROOTS OF STRIDE PIANO!!)

LUCKEY ROBERTS - RAILROAD BLUES - 1946

FELIX ARNDT - FROM SOUPS TO NUTS - 1914
(ANOTHER RARE RAG)

FELIX ARNDT - NOLA - 1915
(A LOUSIANA-FLAVORED RAG!!)
(PLAYED BY SUE KELLER)

JELLY ROLL MORTON - FINGER BUSTER
(WAY BEYOND RAGTIME - BEYOND STRIDE PIANO - THIS IS THE BIRTH OF JAZZ!!)

JAMES P. JOHNSON - ECCENTRICITY - 1921
A SYNCOPATED WALTZ
(MY ALL-TIME, ABSOLUTE FAVORITE RAGTIME/STRIDE PIANO PIECE)

JAMES P. JOHNSON - CAROLINA SHOUT - 1921
(STRIDE (AKA NEW YORK RAGTIME) PIANO CLASSIC)

ART TATUM - TIGER RAG
(TATUM WAS UNIQUE - FLYING FINGERS!!)
(THIS AIN'T YOUR GRANDFATHERS, 'HOLD THAT TIGER'!!)

THE VERSATILE FOUR - DOWN HOME RAG - 1916

(AN HONEST-TO-GOODNESS, GENUINE 'RAGTIME BAND'!!)
(DIG THAT CRAZY RHYTHM - A BAND DOESN'T GET ANY MORE 'CRACKLIN''!!!)

MARTY MINCER AND SUE KELLER - LION TAMER RAG
LIVE PIANO DUET - DATE AND LOCATION UNKNOWN

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An area that I could have greatly expanded on is the way Ragtime became a style played on the guitar.

RAGTIME (OR FINGERPICKING-STYLE) GUITAR
'fingerpicking was probably originally inspired by ragtime piano. An early master of ragtime
guitar was Blind Blake, a popular recording artist of the late 1920s and early 1930s.'

RAGTIME GUITAR LESSON WITH JIM BRUCE


WILLIAM MOORE - RAGGIN' THE BLUES
RECORDED FOR PARAMOUNT - 1928
("RAG MY BLUES AWAY, BOY, RAG 'EM")

REVEREND GARY DAVIS - CINCINNATI FLOW RAG

GEESHIE WILEY - LAST KIND WORDS - 1930
RECORDED FOR PARAMOUNT IN GRAFTON, WISCONSIN

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And last but certainly not least, my all-time favorite stride piano professor. He'll get his own BLUZER Spotlight sometime during the course of 2011.

WILLIE 'THE LION' SMITH - ECHOES OF SPRING

(WALLACE BISHOP, DMS - DEC. 1, 1949 - PARIS)

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With 2010 behind us it’s time to look towards the new year, and if everything that’s slated can hold its release date this year should be a doozey.  Of course, we can assume that most of our anticipated games are likely to be delayed, quite possibly all the way to 2012 (gasp!).  But even with the inevitable delays there are still the sure things like Dead Space 2, Portal 2, and Crysis 2

Here’s what 2011’s video game timeline looks like.  Let the great sequel parade begin!

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