Archive for December, 2011


Come Experience the Music of Coldplay

coldplayThe simple line “and it was all yellow” is enough for true fans to know exactly what band we are talking about.  The hit song “Yellow” was released in 2000 by the British alternative band known as Coldplay.  Coldplay was formed in 1996 and key members include singer Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion.  Their musical style has been referred to as “blue romantic” or “melodic pop”.

So far, the band’s albums have included the beloved Parachutes (featuring the singles “Yellow”, “Trouble”, and “Shiver”), A Rush of Blood to the Head (released in 2002, with popular singles “Clocks”, “The Scientist” and “In My Place”), X&Y (in 2005, which had a number of hits including “Talk”, “Fix You”, and “Speed of Sound”), and Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (released in 2008 with hits “Viva la Vida” and “Strawberry Swing”).

The band’s latest album was released October 24, 2011 and is titled Mylo Xyloto.  Already it has received three Grammy nominations for the singles “Paradise and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”.  Besides great music and talent the band is also known for being active supporters for many major causes. 

In between writing their next big hit and touring the world, the band finds the time to support Amnesty International, the “Make Trade Fair” campaign, “Make Poverty History” campaign, as well as playing for charity at concerts such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, and Teenage Cancer Trust.  They have also teamed up with famous band member and activist Paul McCartney in the food campaign “Meat Free Monday”, which is trying to encourage people to help slow down the climate change.  They have also had their share of controversy because of strong political opinions, most recently with their opinions on the “Freedom for Palestine” music video.

From their charity work to fantastic music, there is plenty to love about the band Coldplay.  Listening to the newest album is great, but nothing beats hearing them performed live and in person!  Coldplay is on tour again and may be making it to your hometown. 

Come hear the band that has been nominated for over 20 Grammy Awards live!


There’s a New Country Music Festival – and Alan Jackson is Headlining!

alan-jacksonSome of the biggest acts are coming from around the country but for this music festival, it’s all about the local feel! The Jukebox Music Festival is going to hit the Shasta District Fair grounds in Anderson in Redding, California in July of 2012. It’s the first time for the festival to be held, and it’s all for a good local cause.

The money raised from the event will go right back into the Shasta District Fair, an event that saw much of its funding cut from the state’s budget last year. The current budget sits just under $1 million but organizers are hoping to recover some of those losses by making $15,000 – $20,000 over the course of the fair, an amount that’s about 10% of what was cut. From the sounds of the lineup, and the course of events that are scheduled, it sounds like they might just be making up all of the losses, and then some.

Alan Jackson is the biggest name, and will be headlining the event but other huge country acts will also be there including: Kellie Pickler, Joe Nichols, Ricky Skaggs, Pam Tillis, Mark Chestnutt, Daryle Singletary, and Asleep at the Wheel. In addition to that, people can set up camp anywhere on the fairgrounds in an RV or tent and spend the entire three days right in the middle of everything. To keep them entertained and refreshed, there are currently about 100 vendors also set up to serve festival-goers.

Tickets for the July 2012 Jukebox Music Festival have already gone on sale for a limited time until Friday, December 23. Once they go back on sale on February 1, they’ll cost about a bit more. Stay tuned for the Jukebox Music Fesival tickets on StubPass.com.

Rihanna’s New Video for “You Da One” is Da Bomb!

Rihanna has teased fans before, but this time she does it with her new video for “You Da One,” the full version of which is going to be released soon and comes from her sixth album, “Talk That Talk,” which came out on November 21. The teaser preview is more than just clips and pieces of the new video though, in it Ri-Ri takes fans behind the scenes in the making of the video. Not a new idea for artists but when it comes to Rihanna, just about everything seems fresh.

rihannas-music-video

The video touches on a lot of different sides of Rihanna, but if there’s one thing that’s clear it’s that Rihanna can be just about anybody, wear just about anything, and flash just about any style, and she’ll pull it off flawlessly. In the video Rihanna goes back and forth between working the Clockwork Orange look with a white bowler hat and cane to elegant leather pants (yes, Rihanna can make even leather pants look elegant,) and there’s lots of bling in every scene!

The video does show a more subdued side of Rihanna, and perhaps that’s because she was so tired from string of concerts she was performing at the O2 Arena at the time. The video was shot in East London, in between concert performances. Much of the behind-the-scenes footage shows Rihanna talking about how tired she is and how she “won’t even remember this tomorrow!” 

The only word so far about when the full video will be released is “very soon.” Other than that, all Rihanna has to say about the video is that “it’s kind of infectious. The more you listen to it, the more you want to listen to it. It’s kind of dirty, I like it.” Fans are saying otherwise though, as Rihanna does seem to keep herself entirely clothed in the video, at least from what we’ve seen so far. To check out the teaser clip and find out if you want to see more, find it here.

Mid-December Brings Shocking Upsets

green-bay-packersWe shouldn’t be too surprised to know that the Green Bay Packers‘ perfect season came to an end, but at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs?  Yes, the under-performing team is now at 13-1 after suffering defeat against Kansas City.  What went wrong?  Green Bay fans are not exactly crushed, as an undefeated streak was not really a priority.  In fact, most NFL viewers were talking about the performance of the Chiefs, rather than the “shame” of Green Bay.

It’s not at all surprising that a quality team would overcome Green Bay at least once–especially considering that the Packers have been drastically affected by player injuries.  On the injured list are receiver Greg Jennings, running back James Starks, tackle Bryan Bulaga and rookie offensive linesman Derek Sherrod.

However, one must give credit to the Chiefs, and in particular, to interim coach Romeo Crennel, who went from defensive coordinator to coaching after the unceremonious firing of Todd Haley, who started the season poorly with a 5-8 record, and a crushing 37-10 loss to the New York Jets. 

Some sources speculate that Crennel did have an effective strategy, which was to overwhelm the offensive line of the Packers.  The Giants stumbled upon this “secret” flaw in Green Bay’s armor a few weeks ago, and gave them a very close game, though in the end they couldn’t capitalize on this weakness.  Practically everyone in the NFL is still buzzing about the performance of Aaron Rodgers who continues to make great decisions and great throws. 

One thing’s for sure: the eyes of the league are now on coach Romeo Crennel, who starts his temporary gig with a great accomplishment: a defeat of the sport’s best team.  This loss will no doubt fire up Green Bay, and agitate quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a more cautious state of mind.  Just witness how Rodgers looked after being sacked multiple times by outside linebacker Tamba Hali!

Speaking of upsets, how about the first win of the Indianapolis Colts?  The Colts are the perfect mirror image of the Packers, with a 1-13 score, after (finally) defeating an adversary and a good one at that, in the Tennessee Titans.  The Colts also avoided an embarrassing 0-14 record, which would have been a disastrous first. 

Things are looking shaky in the NFL in Mid-December and perhaps it’s the unstable weather.  Perhaps as January comes in, and colder temperatures prevail, we’ll see a return to the status quo?

Harry Connick Jr. Comes back to Broadway!

on-a-clear-dayIt’s been five years since Harry Connick Jr. has been on the Broadway stage and how that he’s back, this time to play the lead role of a psychologist in an impossible situation in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”

The story is taken from the original 1965 Broadway show, which was then turned into a movie in the 1970s. The version with Harry Connick though, is a complete revamp of both; and that’s good Connick, as he says he hated the movie. In the original the psychologist treats a woman to help her quit smoking. He discovers in the process that she was a jazz singer in a past life, and the doctor falls madly in love with this woman. The female jazz singer from the past has stayed the same but this time, Connick’s patient is a young gay man.

The role of the psychologist stays very much the same as the original, as do the hit songs from the musical such as “Come Back to Me,” and “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” That’s good for fans, as they can sit back to Connick’s classic style, pulling out those notes in his swingy southern drawl.

Harry Connick recently said about playing the role, “Man, this is so different. It’s by far the most intricate character I’ve had to play. Definitely the most emotionally demanding thing I’ve ever had to do on stage.”

On a Clear Day” is now playing on Broadway at the St. James Theatre.

“Beauty and the Beast” Musical is a Beaut to See

beauty-and-the-beastThere is nothing more charming than the “tale as old as time” – except when it is all played out right before your eyes by a very believable make-believe cast, stunning effects, and inanimate objects somehow brought to life.

You’ll get that and more if you’re lucky enough to be able to see “Beauty and the Beast.” This dynamic show immediately dazzles you, as you watch a young handsome prince be completely transformed into an ugly, horrific beast. From there, audiences are immediately taken to a faraway land, full of villains and heroes, and little teapots and tables that come to life. Emily Behny does an outstanding job playing the part of Belle, and the audience hangs on every word in the very beginning of the play as Belle pleads for her father’s life. The story carries on from there, taking you from hit musical numbers such as “Be Our Guest,” to Belle’s softening of the ugly and crass Beast’s heart.

But you’ll get much more than just a stage adaption of the Disney film with this touring show.

Of course every great fairytale has a great moral, and everyone goes in knowing this one — it’s to see past one’s outward looks to see who a person (or a Beast) really is. But this show portrays that in more than just the song lyrics and the costumes. Each stage set consists of layers upon layers, so the audience must continually be looking through and at different things, in order to put the entire concept together.

Beauty and the Beast” isn’t just one of the greatest fairytales put to life — it’s a truly enchanted experience you’ll never forget! The second leg of the tour began on December 6 in Madison, Wisconsin and will continue until August 5, 2012, when the show will wrap in Clearwater, Florida. You can find a full listing of dates and venues and get your Beauty and the Beast tickets at StubPass.com

John Leguizamo Live and in Living Color

john-leguizamoYou may need sunglasses just to watch John Leguizamo in person, the energetic, intense and very often hilarious actor-comedian. Leguizamo has done it all in show business, starring in serious films like Al Pacino’s Carlito’s Way and of course, as a memorable drag queen in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. However, Leguizamo is not just a star of the month celebrity–he’s been a Shakespearean-level actor for over 20 years.

His first foray was into theatre was Mambo Mouth, which he wrote and starred in as seven different characters. That got him the attention of Broadway and Hollywood. In 1993, he would follow up with Spic-O-Rama, a show spoofing Latino stereotypes. In 1998, he got personal with the show Freak, which detailed his troubled life experiences. It was so successful the play as even turned into an HBO film by famed director Spike Lee. His next two adventures were Sexaholix… A Love Story and Klass Klown, both semi-autobiographical one-man shows.

Leguizamo is a man who has experienced great hardship as well as great rewards, and it’s hard to imagine him not being outspoken, funny and dramatic, considering his life thus far. Most recently, Leguizamo has been starring in the show Ghetto Klown and has toured everywhere, from Toronto, Canada to Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. He is still touring with the show, and plans to start an international tour in late 2011 to 2012.

Leguizamo’s act is universally praised by theatergoers and stage critics alike, as he is just loads of fun to watch and listen to in person. Together with the fact that he is not fronting but actually talking about his past, present and future uncensored, makes this a dynamite show. Come see why John Leguizamo is such an asset in Hollywood and in Broadway. He may look young and take those twenty-something parts, but at almost 50 years of age, he is no “kid.” In fact, we’re pushing for an Academy Award win for this long overdue thespian, certainly one of the same caliber as Johnny Depp and Leonardo Dicaprio. He is a master of the craft of acting and performance and his in your face comedy/drama stylings will leave you feeling exhilarated!

Neil Diamond Brings Summerlove Dates in 2012

neil-diamondWe’re not talking about the hit song he released in the 80s; we’re talking about the summer love that Neil Diamond is bringing to his fans in 2012!

After taking almost two years off (after touring for two years prior to,) Neil Diamond will kick off the summer on June 1, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That’s opening night for his newest “Neil Diamond in Concert” tour, which is currently promoting his 37th compilation album, The Very Best of Neil Diamond. And just as the name suggests, the best of it absolutely is!

In addition to those 37 compilation albums, Neil Diamond has also released 31 studio albums, and it’s from those that he’s drawn many of the tracks for his latest album. Songs such as Forever in Blue Jeans, I am…I said, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, and of course, Red, Red Wine. And those are just a few of the classics that fans can expect along the way of the tour!

How you enjoy the concert is up to you. Tickets will be on sale beginning December 5. You can buy general tickets or if you want to enjoy Neil Diamond in only the finest style, you can purchase one of the VIP packages. With these you can enjoy free concessions, box seats, and other perks.

The concert will take Neil Diamond on many stops throughout the United States, as well as a few in Canada. Although he’s booked most of August for himself, Neil Diamond wraps up the tour on September 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For a full listing of concert dates and venues, you check out the Neil Diamond ticket page on StubPass.com.

NBA Players Voting on CBA Today

NBA fans rejoiced less than two weeks ago when a tentative deal was reached and it looked as though the league would be back to regular play on Christmas Day. That still seems to be the general consensus, as players and trainers have been allowed to visit facilities ever since news of the tentative deal was released. And now, players are currently voting to finalize that deal, and get the cogs of the NBA running smoothly again.

The head of the Players Union, Billy Hunter, wrote a letter to all players after the tentative deal was finalized on November 26. Within the letter, the terms of the deal were outlined and explained in great deal, along with Hunter’s suggestion that the players agree to the deal. Players began voting on ratification of the deal on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and they have until this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. to cast their vote.

Once the players have voted, the NBA owners will then meet in New York City this evening to see if the deal has been agreed upon by a majority on both sides of the arguing table. If so, training camps and free agency deals can begin as early as tomorrow, December 9, 2011. It will then be just a matter of weeks until Christmas Day, when the NBA will begin a season that will include 66 games.

With all the talk that has been going on for the second half of the year, and the progress that has been made just in the last few weeks, it would be shocking to just about everyone is this deal were to fall through now.

Turn Off the Radio and Come Watch Dennis Miller Live, in Person!

dennis-miller-livePerhaps it is for the best that Dennis Miller is no longer performing on Saturday Night Live, as this newly converted Republican would probably rub liberal Hollywood the wrong way. Indeed, Miller’s politics and his wonderfully acerbic wit stand out like an elephant in the writer’s room, and there is no one else quite like him.

You may remember him from his HBO comedy series and as the anchor for Weekend Update in the 1980s. However, during the last few years Miller has been ranting on radio, as he is now the host of Westwood One’s Dennis Miller Zone, available as live stream and as a subscription-based archive. Miller averages 1,740,000 weekly listeners.

Before he became a witty political commentator though, Miller was a highly respected comedian. He was and is well known for his laid-back style and his brooding sense of humor. His trademark is the “rant”, an artsy diatribe with stream-of-consciousness prose delivered as a fast-paced monologue.

Dennis Miller does stand out from many of his SNL alumni, as he is part of a small group of un-closeted Republicans and isn’t afraid to talk politics and criticize the left. And though stories of his post 2001 conversion do get around, some of his friends and colleagues express a lack of surprise at Miller’s current political angle. Al Franken (”Stuart Smalley”) speaks on Miller, suggesting, “What happened to Dennis? Nothing happened to Dennis. He’s the same Dennis. He’s always had a conservative streak on certain issues.”

Politics and radio chat aside, what can you expect from Dennis Miller when you come see him in person? He often tours on the road and plays in Las Vegas, and when he does, he delights his audience with a mix of old and new material, though he can’t quite break away from political jokes. Regardless of your political bent, you will get a kick out of Dennis as no one else in the comedy circuit is capable of delivering such acidic and literate observations and in such a funny way! Hear one of his “rants” in person and see why he made Saturday Night Live history.

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