Monthly Archives: August 2009

Bumbershoot iPhone App

Announcing the official iPhone app for 2009 Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival.  This invaluable application features the full schedule, artist info, up to the minute schedule updates and the ability to create your personalized schedule. Download it HERE for only $1.99 and rock on!

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David Cross Talks To Time Magazine

In his first book, I Drink for a Reason, comedian David Cross ponders religion, politics and ideas for T-shirts sold at Urban Outfitters (example: “I Have to Go to the Bathroom”). Familiar to fans of the cult TV hit Arrested Development as the “never-nude” Tobias Fünke, Cross doesn’t mince words in print. The book’s preface is direct (“Hello”), its dedication straightforward (“To me. I couldn’t have done it without you”) and its stance on Jim Belushi pretty clear (“I have beef with Jim Belushi”). TIME talked to Cross about the literary scene, his upcoming stand-up tour and what to expect when Arrested Development comes to the big screen.  Read the interview HERE.

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Disney To Acquire Marvel Comics

According to Business Wire, the Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment and its portfolio of 5,000 characters for $4 billion. The deal will be made in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced Monday. The deal will be made final with approval by shareholders. The transaction price will be based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, which was $50 per Marvel share.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company.

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over 70 years in comic books, animation, television, film and merchandising.

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Apple Event Scheduled For September 9th

Apple has confirmed that there will indeed be an event next Wednesday, September 9th. The image on the invitations indicates iPods, or at least “music”, will be the focus. Will we see new iPods with cameras? How about iTunes 9 with some whiz-bang new social networking features? Or will the Beatles songs finally be available on iTunes? I will post the information as soon as it becomes available!

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This Weeks Comic Pick: Strange Tales # 1

Marvel Comics unveils their long-awaited Strange Tales MAX anthology series, but with the talent involved, they may as well have labeled the book Marvel Mome, after Fantagraphics long-running anthology of indie art comics. Culling creators from all over the world of alternative comics and literary graphic novels—from Paul Pope and Matt Kindt to Molly Crabapple and Peter Bagge—the stories in the three-issue Strange Tales comic recast such Marvel super heroes as Spider-Man and the Black Widow as quirky and complicated indie comics icons. And the editors behind the project hope that combination of mainstream superhero and alternative cartoonist will strike different chords for multiple audiences. Strange Tales #1 will be available in comic shops on September 2.

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Kings Of Leon Ready Remix Album, Live DVD

Even though Kings of Leon continue to tour in the wake of 2008′s platinum “Only By Night,” the group is planning a couple of new projects for the fall — and is starting to focus on its next album.

Though both are untitled and unscheduled at the moment, the quartet plans to release a live DVD and a remix album in the coming months. The former was filmed at London’s O2 Arena in July, an appropriate locale since, as drummer Nathan Followill tells Billboard.com, “England is really the first place we broke…We figured what better place to make a live DVD than where the fans have been the craziest for the longest?” The show featured some choice rarities, and Followill says “we just put the cameras in the back of our minds and acted like they weren’t even there.”

Even more exciting, however, is a remix album that came to life after Kings of Leon learned that other artists such as Justin Timberlake and Pharrell had started working on revisions of the band’s songs. Mark Ronson, Kenna, Lykke Li and Linkin Park are also contributing remixes, according to Followill.

“It’s neat to have these people who we would’ve jumped at the chance to work with ourselves…coming to us before we even get a chance to ask them,” the drummer says. “It’s amazing to hear your song played by these people who are so creative. Most of the time it takes me two or three listens to even wrap my head around, ‘Oh man, that’s our song…’”

Amidst all this, Kings of Leon has been working on new material, mostly at sound checks, and has “a good eight or 10 ideas kicking around” according to drummer Followill. “The new stuff is all over the place,” he reports. “I call it ‘Aha Shake…’ but by guys that are a little grown-up and a little better at their instruments. There’s stuff that sounds like Radiohead. There’s stuff that sounds like Thin Lizzy. There’s stuff that sounds like The Band. We’re pretty much to the point now where…we can be experimental and try stuff we would’ve been scared to death to try on the first couple of records. Now we find ourselves being a little more adventurous.”

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Foo Fighters Ready Two New Songs For Greatest Hits

Foo Fighters will commemorate the group’s 15th anniversary with the Nov. 3rd release of Foo Fighters Greatest Hits on Roswell/RCA. The group recorded two new songs for the set — “Word Forward” and “Wheels,” which the quartet debuted at a July 4 barbecue honoring military heroes at the White House — with producer Butch Vig at the Foos’ own 606 studio. They’ll join Grammy Award-winning songs such as “The Pretender,” “All My Life” and “Learn To Fly,” along with “Best Of You,” “Times Like These,” “My Hero, “Everlong” and others.

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Rescue Me To End

FX’s Rescue Me will end in 2011, with a final 19 episodes to come, Variety reports. The Denis Leary firefighter drama will finish its run ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks that inspired it. The current season ends Tuesday, and production on the final episodes will begin in September.

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Bob Dylan Christmas Album on the Way

Rock icon Bob Dylan will sing the old yuletide standards Winter Wonderland, Little Drummer Boy, Must Be Santa, Here Comes Santa Claus, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and O Little Town of Bethlehem on his first ever Christmas album, with royalties going to charity. Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart” album is due out on October 13, nearly six months after the release of his last studio album, “Together Through Life,” which topped the charts.

Speculation about the Christmas album began surfacing a few months ago, but were initially met with disbelief by some Dylan aficionados, as the singer was not known to record Christmas songs, and his latest albums have featured original material.

Dylan will donate all his U.S. royalties from album sales to the charity group Feeding America, and in a statement he said he hopes it brings “food security to people in need.”

Feeding America said it expects to provide meals to 1.4 million people this holiday season with the album proceeds.

Columbia said Dylan plans to donate his international royalties to two charity organizations that give meals to needy people in Britain and the developing world. But details on that partnership are still being worked out.

Dylan, 68, recently finished a concert tour of minor league ballparks. The singer behind the songs “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” received a Pulitzer Prize last year for his influence on music and culture.

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The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by Bev Vincent

An interactive approach to King’s greatest works, The Stephen King Illustrated Companion ($24.98) by Bev Vincent features a wealth of unseen memorabilia from the author’s desk and insightful text that reads between the lines to uncover King’s own compelling biography. Supplemented with rare and previously unpublished ephemera from King’s archives, such as hand-edited manuscript drafts, revealing letters between King and his editor, and personal mementos from his career, this unique companion volume tangibly illuminates the writer’s works and life in a way never done before.

With thousands of horrific pages published since the first lines of Carrie, Stephen King’s gripping perennial fiction has earned him the rightful appelation “The Master of Modern Horror.” The Stephen King Illustrated Companion takes a critical look at King’s most iconic works and reads between the lines to uncover the personal influences and demons as reflected in each monster, epidemic, and depraved character. Unseen family photographs and 16 pieces of previously unpublished ephemera—such as handwritten manuscript notes, typed early drafts, lengthy journal entries, and doodles for King’s college newspaper—complete this tangible tour. Packed with fascinating biographical details, literary interpretations, and personal memorabilia, The Stephen King Illustrated Companion is a must-have addition to any true fan’s library.  This book should be available at your local Barnes and Noble in October.

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The Men Who Stare at Goats Trailer

Here is your first look at the trailer for director Grant Heslov’s new comedy, The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.

Based on true events described in Jon Ronson’s 2004 book of the same title, the November 6 release involves a down-on-his-luck reporter (McGregor) who gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent (Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to use paranormal powers to end war as we know it.

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Facebook 3.0 for iPhone Released

After a couple of weeks of waiting in the iTunes app store approval queue, the 3rd major update of the popular Facebook application has been released. The new version includes some of the most requested features including:

  • Better news feed with direct links to comments
  • Ability to “Like” posts
  • RSVP to events
  • Create/upload photos to albums
  • Write/edit notes
  • Customizable home screen
  • Improved photo viewing with zoom
  • Better notifications

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Entertainment Weekly’s Seinfeld Reunion Cover

Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer together again? Get out! It’s true—and this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly goes on the set with Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Michael Richards, who joined old pal Larry David for the new season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Read more HERE.

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Stephen King’s Under the Dome Book Cover Reveal

The jacket concept for the upcoming Stephen King novel, Under the originated as an ambitious idea from the mind of the author. The artwork is a combination of photographs, illustration, and 3-D rendering. This is a departure from the direction of King’s most recent, illustrated covers.

In order to achieve the arresting image for this jacket, Scribner art director Rex Bonomelli had to seek out artists who could do a convincing job of creating a realistic portrayal of the town of Chester’s Mill, the setting of the novel. Bonomelli found the perfect team of digital artists, based in South America and New York, whose cutting edge work had previously been devoted to advertisement campaigns. This was their first book jacket and an exciting venture for them. “They are used to working with the demands of corporate clients,” says Bonomelli. “We gave them freedom and are thrilled with what they came up with.”

This CGI (computer generated imagery) enhanced image looks more like something made for the big screen than for the page and is sure to make a lasting impact on King fans.
 
The multiple elements of this jacket art lend themselves perfectly to a unique, four-part jacket reveal campaign. The first aspect will be unveiled on September 21, followed by the release of additional images on September 25 and September 28, and culminating with the full reveal on October 5, when the world will see that everything is Under the Dome.

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Sirius XM Introduces The SkyDock for iPhone

Sirius XM Radio has introduced its new XM SkyDock accessory for the iPhone and iPod touch. The XM SkyDock is a combination vehicle mount, charger, and satellite radio receiver, featuring a flexible stalk, a choice of either auxiliary or PowerConnect connections, the latter of which uses the vehicle’s existing wiring to connect to the vehicle’s radio, and a cradle designed to handle any generation of iPod touch or iPhone via specifically-designed spacers. In addition, the SkyDock takes advantage of new hardware control capabilities found in iPhone OS 3.0 to allow users to listen to any of their subscribed XM channels as well as the “Best of Sirius,” including Howard Stern, tag songs they hear for later purchase from the iTunes store, and access game alerts, a sports ticker, artist and song alerts, and a stock ticker. The XM SkyDock will be available this fall and will sell for $120; the XM SkyDock app will launch at the same time.

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Repackaged DVD Release of Six Feet Under: The Complete Series

Warner Home Video has announced a repackaged release of Six Feet Under: The Complete Series which stars Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, and Lauren Ambrose. The 24-disc package will be available to own from the 3rd November, and should retail at around $179.90. Along with all the episodes and hours of rich bonus features from all five seasons, this set also includes an exclusive illustrated booklet with character obituaries and memories from the show’s creators.

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Playgrounder

Playgrounder is a brand new web magazine that helps parents and kids find the very best stuff. Their team digs up the best toys, games, gear, clothes, DVDs and more. New items are posted daily.

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Philips 9-Inch Portable DVD Player with iPod Docking

At last, here’s an easy way to play all those episodes of Sesame Street you downloaded from iTunes, hoping to keep your kids entertained on long car rides. The Philips DCP951/37 9-Inch Portable DVD Player with iPod Docking ($100) plays compatible video from your iPod, SD card, and a variety of DVD formats on the large 9-inch screen.

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Pete’s Dragon DVD

Pete’s Dragon is an uplifting musical adventure about a spunky young orphan that blends live action and stellar old school Disney animation. With his only friend Elliot, a tubby, 12-foot tall dragon who can make himself invisible, Pete (Sean Marshall) takes refuge from his abusive adoptive family in the seaside town of Passamaquoddy, Maine. After Elliot’s invisible antics wreak havoc with the residents and Pete gets the blame, Nora (Helen Reedy) is touched by the youngster’s plight and takes him to live with her and her tippling father Lampie (Mickey Rooney) in the Passamaquoddy Point lighthouse. Lampie’s tipsy tales of the boy and his dragon amuse the disbelieving townsfolk, until the local quack, Dr. Terminus, discovers that Elliot is real and hatches a scheme to capture the dragon. An exciting and inspiring story with unforgettable music, including the Academy Award nominated “Candle on the Water,” “There’s Room for Everyone” and “Brazzle Dazzle Day,” Pete’s Dragon High Flying Edition will be a perennial favorite with children and parents.

I had not thought about this film since I first saw it when I was 12 years old in 1977. Watching it was like meeting an old friend. Though it pales in comparison to Disney’s, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” it scores points with an entertaining song score (anchored by the Oscar-nominated “Candle on the Water”) and some delightful voice work by Charlie Callas as the voice of Elliott the Dragon. Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Jim Dale, Helen Reddy and Shelley Winters make an endearing ensemble. Of course, it is Elliott who is the film’s greatest delight. This new DVD has excellent picture and sound quality. The colors are sharp and grain is minimal (save for the process shots that mix the animated dragon with the live-action scenes), and it’s chock full of great bonus features such as:

• Brazzle Dazzle Effects: Disney’s Movie Magic – An entertaining new look at Disney’s pioneering work in the magical mix of live-action and animation, narrated by
the star of Pete’s Dragon, Sean Marshall.
• Deleted Storyboard Sequence: “Terminus & Hoagy Hunt Elliot” – A rare demo dialog track and storyboard sketches.
• Original Song Concept: “Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You, Too)” – The first demo recording for one of the film’s unforgettable musical sequences with story sketches for an early concept of the song Pete sings to Elliot.
• Original Demo Recordings (Audio Only) – A special audio-only feature that includes early demo versions of “Brazzle Dazzle Day” and “Every Little Piece” before they evolved into the songs heard in the movie. Also includes “The Greatest Star of All,” a song originally intended to be sung by Ferdinand, a character later deleted from the film.
• Promotional Record (Audio Only) – Pop versions of “It’s Not Easy,” “Brazzle Dazzle Day,” “There’s Room For Everyone” and Academy Award nominee for Best Song, “Candle On The Water,” originally released together on a 7” record to promote the film’s music.
• “Where’s Elliot?” – The Disappearing Dragon Game
• Pete’s Dragon Art Galleries
• Publicity
• Trailers
• About Pete’s Dragon
• Disney Family Album
• The Plausible Impossible
• Lighthouse Keeping

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weBite T-shirt

This awesome new shirt from the Chop Shop depicts 34 silhouettes of our favorite Vampires from film and television. You can pre-order now for $20 and get it before Halloween.  Buy this t-shirt for a loved one, they will fang you.

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Pixar’s Up – Limited Edition Luxo Jr. Lamp Pack DVD Set

Grab yourself a copy of Pixar’s latest classic and a fine desktop holder for your Pixar Blu-ray collection with the Up – Limited Edition Luxo Jr. Lamp Pack ($130). Produced in limited quantities, this set includes the heartwarming Up in three formats — Blu-ray, DVD, and digital — and a desk lamp modeled after Luxo Jr., who appears in Pixar’s animated logo and in the classic Pixar short of the same name, with a custom-crafted base designed to hold and spotlight your other Pixar Blu-ray discs.  The set is due on November 10th.

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Target And iTunes Team On Exclusive Albums

Target has announced a new partnership with iTunes to provide a special Target area on the iTunes Store for exclusive album content. The first album to be offered, currently available for pre-order, is Pearl Jam’s upcoming LP Backspacer. Scheduled for release on September 20, Backspacer will be available in the U.S. exclusively from iTunes, Target, Target.com, Pearl Jam’s Ten Club website, and independent retailers; customers who pre-order the album on iTunes will receive an instant download of the first single from Backspacer, “The Fixer.” Pearl Jam will also be debuting their music video for the single on iTunes as a free download.

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Adventureland DVD

Adventureland is a sweet coming of age comedy-drama written and produced by Greg Mottola (the director of Superbad) based on his own experiences working at an amusement park in the late 1980s. Jesse Eisenberg is James, a pothead virgin who is romantically interested in Em (Kristen Stewart), who is sneaking off with married handyman Mike (Ryan Reynolds). Fueled by a fun 80’s soundtrack, the humor is largely delivered by Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the park owners and Martin Starr as a Jewish brainiac who sees anti-Semitism in every first date. As summer comes to a close there’s the question of who Emily will stay with: the flawed and possibly unavailable Connell or James, who is leaving for New York City and grad school. The ending may seem formulaic but it’s hardly clichéd and will leave you happy and satisfied. When James discovers the courage to battle for Em, the result is a funny but heart-felt and unexpected encounter with real adult life.

Both the Blu-ray Hi-Def and Two-Disc DVD editions of Adventureland include these exciting bonus features:
• Deleted Scenes – With optional audio commentary by writer and director Greg Mottola
• Audio Commentary – With writer/director Greg Mottola and actor Jesse Eisenberg
• Just My Life: The Making Of Adventureland – Director and writer Greg Mottola sits down to
reveal how his real life experiences helped inspire his unique comic vision for Daytrippers,
Superbad, Arrested Development and now Adventureland. Cast members Jesse Eisenberg,
Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Martin Starr also talk candidly about what
shaped them into who they are today, including the worst job they ever had.
• Picture Music Selection

The Blu-ray Hi-Def edition of Adventureland keeps the fun coming with:  
• Frigo’s Ball Tap – The “drive by,” the “ambush,” the “stranger,” the “tying of the shoe” and the
knee-buckling, tear-inducing “Bangkok” are just a few of the nad numbing moves demonstrated
by the testicle tapping guru himself, Matt Bush.  
• Lisa P’s Guide To Style Ms. “Rides, Rides, Rides” herself, Lisa P (Margarita Levieva), shares
her totally hip, totally ‘80s fashion advice from spiral locks to neon pink nail polish.   
• Welcome to Adventureland – Fans can learn all there is to know about the Adventureland
amusement park with a pair commercials, the employee orientation kit and a peek at the official
drug policy.  

Adventureland has a suggested retail price of $29.99 for the 1-Disc disc DVD, $39.99 for the 2-Disc DVD and $44.99 for 2-Disc Blu-ray Hi-Def including digital copy.  

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Jack Johnson’s New Film And Live Album

Jack Johnson’s new film and live album are scheduled for an October 27th release date. The release will be available in a number of different formats including CD, LP, DVD, Blu Ray, Online, and in a special deluxe package that includes the CD, DVD, and a 60 page booklet). There will be a fan preorder in late September, and opportunities to see and hear parts of this release. Watch THIS SPACE for more news.

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