Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Music They Made

Isaac Hayes, Bo Diddley and Mitch Mitchell are among the bad mofos we lost along the way in 2008, a particularly tough year for drummers. As tribute The New York Times has put together The Music They Made a moving musical montage that's well worth a look and listen.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Clint Eastwood - Still Squinty After All These Years!

Clint Eastwood,
America's director, talks to the LA Weekly about his new picture Gran Torino, his approach to movie-making and being a "man's man" in a politically correct world. Feelin' lucky? Read on, punk!

Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 - A Very Good Year, For Scandals!

Sure you know more than you care to about Madonna and A-Rod, gallivanting ex-gov Elliot Spitzer and Ashley Dupree and disgraced presidential hopeful John Edwards & Rielle Hunter. But what other covert couples made Gawker's Best (and Worst) Sex Scandals of 2008?

Last Purr For Eartha Kitt, R.I.P. at 81

Eartha Kitt, the Emmy & Tony award winning actress, singer, author and cabaret star, best known for her portrayal of Catwoman (replacing Julie Newmar) on the 1960's TV series Batman, will p-u-r-r-r-r no more. Eartha was 81 when colon cancer took the last of her nine lives on Christmas Day. Kitt, whom Orson Welles once called "the most exciting woman in the world" caused further excitement when her cutting comments about the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon made First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson cry. Though her personna may have been the world weary sex kitten, Kitt was a tireless performer who had performances booked through November of 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas With the Allens...

In other Holiday hoo-ha, check out author Heather Holland Wheaton's take on the year end "Family News Letter"...

First off, special thanks to everyone for their cards and prayers when Bob was in the hospital. Addiction to Crystal Meth is serious business and unfortunately, the media tends to glamorize it. Bob has a long, hard road ahead of him, but with the support of his family, his friends and his Savior, he knows he’ll be able to stay clean—although we’re not going to leave him alone with a package of Sudafed anymore! Ha-ha.

And So This Is Christmas...

Hey Ho, Ho, Ho! Happy Holi-daze! Hoping your stocking is filled with happiness, excess and success! Best wishes to all for a naughty New Year! Heck, things are looking up already!

Spyder Darling

Monday, December 22, 2008

Batali & Bourdain "Chew the Fat"

Prior to the January 5 start of the new season of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain, sips, chats and "Chews the Fat" with super sized culinary crossover and Gwyneth Paltrow travel pal Mario Batali. Serious Eats has more.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Chef's Xmas Episode Overcooked & Underdone!

And a partridge in a pear treeeee! Oh please. Despite a stately guest appearance/ book plug by Martha "Jersey Girl" Stewart, this week's Top Chef was hardly a taster's choice. And to think it took Padma, Tom and guest judges Natasha Richardson and Michelle Bernstein an extra fifteen minues of inane holiday-themed programming to elimante not one raw scallop (ew!) or deviled egg dishing cheftestant! Read Adam Platt's petulant post game commentary on Grub Street.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy 65th Birthday Keith Richards!

Celebratory shots of Jack Daniels and Geritol all around for Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards. Though time might not be on his side, it's not quite "all over now" for Mr. Richards, the famously "elegantly wasted", founding member of the "worlds greatest rock'n roll band" and holder of 10th place on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 greatest guitar players of all time. Richards defied all odds and turned 65 today and joined band mate Mick Jagger in the "Eligble for Medicare Club". Read AFP's report of Richard's bithday week festiviies and take this highly unscientific quiz to find out how much you know about "Keef" as well as fellow birthday celebs Brad Pitt and Katie Holmes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paris Hilton Opens Wide For Esquire

"Having a nightclub in your house really helps for having a party, because then you don't need to go out." reveals twenty quixotic quotes from everybody's favorite reality-TV star/ ex-convict/ recording artist. No, not Lil Kim. The other one. Paris Hilton: What I've Learned.

Gawker's Top 10 Videos of 2008!'s wired-eyed video mavens have compiled a mesmerizing, foul mothed montage of 2008's greatest video clips. Including Tom Cruise, Sue Simmons, Bill O'Reilly and original snarkster Nelson from the Simpsons. Ha ha!

Rourke Soars in Cinematic Smackdown

The New York Times' A.O. Scott grapples with The Wrestler, Darron Aronofsky's no-holds-barred look into the world of professional wrestling, starring Mickey Rourke as Randy (the Ram) Robinson an 80s squared circle superstar trying to hang on to his glory days though he feels them slipping away with every match. Marisa Tomei also stars as Candy the stripper whose lap dances and small talk Randy mistakes for true lust. The ropes between reality and professionalism bend for the characters and make for interesting parallels between the actors as well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Got Pork? Bacon Lover's Gift Guide

Seriosu Eats Gift Guide For Bacon Lovers provides a divine gift giving guide for the swine lover in your life! Included is a how to for makin' your own bacon, bacon soup and even a bacon crochet wrap - the perfect thing to wear while waiting for delivery from the bacon of the month club. Pig out why dontcha!

Oh Those Kooky Caucasians!

"Stuff White People Like" gets into the holiday spirit this week with a peek, non-sectarian of course, into the cracker barrel subculture of "Ugly Sweater Parties." Grab your grand dad's cable knit and c'mon over!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crue Dude Hits Half Century Mark

The Pulse of Radio reports: MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx turned 50 on Thursday, December 11 and no one is more surprised than Sixx himself that he made it. The California native was a major drug abuser during much of the band'sfirst decade and was once declared dead for two minutes after a heroin overdose.

Since getting sober, however, Sixx has continued to record and tour,written a book, taken up photography and become president of a record label. Hetold The Pulse of Radio that sometimes he can't believe his current lifestyle.

"It's insane," Sixx said. "And you know what? If you manage it well, you can achieve so much on the planet, more than what I used to be able to achieve, which was, 'Let me write ten songs, record an album and go on tour.' That's it. That's all I did. That's like, ridiculous. If all I had to do was make a MÖTLEY CRÜE album and tour, I'd feel like I was gonna slit my wrists, I'dbe so bored now."

Sixx's real name is Frank Carlton Serafina Feranna. He was born in San Jose andraised by his mother and grandparents after his father left the family.After moving around several times, he struck out for Los Angeles on his own atthe age of 17, first joining the band London before forming MÖTLEY CRÜE in 1981with drummer Tommy Lee.

The band released its debut album, "Too Fast For Love", in 1982, and scored itscommercial breakthrough in 1983 with "Shout at the Devil".Despite other hit albums such as "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Dr. Feelgood", theCRÜE went through a period of uncertainty in the '90s, with both singer VinceNeil and Lee leaving the group at different times.The original band reunited in 2004 for a hugely successful world tour, at whichpoint Sixx officially declared himself sober.

His darkest drug period was chronicled in a 2007 memoir, "The Heroin Diaries: AYear in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star", and the accompanying album by hisside project SIXX: A.M.Sixx has been married twice, to Playboy Playmate Brandi Brandt and actress DonnaD'Errico, and has five children. He is currently dating tattoo artist and "L.A.Ink" star Kat Von D.

Holiday Warning!

This gift giving season, anyone even thinking of buying a Dustbuster, Thighmaster or other handy household item for their certain someone should peep this video first.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanks For The Mammaries!

Iconic pinup model Bettie Page passed away Thursday in Los Angles from a heart attack following a recent hospitalization for pneumnomia. She was 85.

Los Angeles (AP) Page was placed on life support last week after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, said her agent, Mark Roesler. He said he and Page's family agreed to remove life support. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.

"She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," her agent Mark Roesler said. "She is the embodiment of beauty."

Page, who was also known as Betty, attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere, where they remained for years.

Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses. The latter helped contribute to her mysterious disappearance from the public eye, which lasted decades and included years during which she battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.

After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken. "I don't want to be photographed in my old age," she told an interviewer in 1998. "I feel the same way with old movie stars. ... It makes me sad. We want to remember them when they were young."

The 21st century indeed had people remembering her just as she was. She became the subject of songs, biographies, Web sites, comic books, movies and documentaries. A new generation of fans bought thousands of copies of her photos, and some feminists hailed her as a pioneer of women's liberation.Gretchen Mol portrayed her in 2005's "The Notorious Bettie Page" and Paige Richards had the role in 2004's "Bettie Page: Dark Angel." Page herself took part in the 1998 documentary "Betty Page: Pinup Queen."

Page's career began one day in October 1950 when she took a respite from her job as a secretary in a New York office for a walk along the beach at Coney Island. An amateur photographer named Jerry Tibbs admired the 27-year-old's firm, curvy body and asked her to pose. Looking back on the career that followed, she told Playboy in 1998, "I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous." Nudity didn't bother her, she said, explaining: "God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."

Bettie Page's dark bangs became her signature, and were imitated by numerous fans. In 1951, Page fell under the influence of a photographer and his sister who specialized in S&M. They cut her hair into the dark bangs that became her signature and posed her in spiked heels and little else. She was photographed with a whip in her hand, and in one session she was spread-eagled between two trees, her feet dangling. "I thought my arms and legs would come out of their sockets," she said later.
Moralists denounced the photos as perversion, and Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, Page's home state, launched a congressional investigation. Page quickly retreated from public view, later saying she was hounded by federal agents who waved her nude photos in her face. She also said she believed that, at age 34, her days as "the girl with the perfect figure" were nearly over.
She moved to Florida in 1957 and married a much younger man, as an early marriage to her high school sweetheart had ended in divorce. Her second marriage also failed, as did a third, and she suffered a nervous breakdown.
Life grew more turbulent in later years. In 1959, she was lying on a sea wall in Key West when she saw a church with a white neon cross on top. She walked inside and became a born-again Christian. After attending Bible school, she wanted to serve as a missionary but was turned down because she had been divorced. Instead, she worked full-time for evangelist Billy Graham's ministry.
A move to Southern California in 1979 brought more troubles. She was arrested after an altercation with her landlady, and doctors who examined her determined she had acute schizophrenia. She spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino. A fight with another landlord resulted in her arrest, but she was found not guilty because of insanity. She was placed under state supervision for eight years.

"She had a very turbulent life," Todd Mueller, a family friend and autograph seller, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "She had a temper to her. "

Mueller said he first met Page after tracking her down in the 1990s and persuaded her to do an autograph signing event. He said she was a hit and sold about 3,000 autographs, usually for $200 to $300 each. "Eleanor Roosevelt, we got $40 to $50. ... Bettie Page outsells them all," he told The AP last week.
Born April 22, 1923, in Nashville, Tenn., Page said she grew up in a family so poor "we were lucky to get an orange in our Christmas stockings."
The family included three boys and three girls, and Page said her father molested all of the girls. After the Pages moved to Houston, her father decided to return to Tennessee and stole a police car for the trip. He was sent to prison, and for a time Betty lived in an orphanage. In her teens she acted in high school plays, going on to study drama in New York and win a screen test from 20th Century Fox before her modeling career took off.

Top Chef Episode 5: Danny Boy, the LIE is Calling!

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen Top Chef’s episode 5 yet, read on at your own Perilla, so to speak. Last night foodie heartthrob, author (in the same way Paris Hilton is a recording artist) and salty tongued Padma Lakshmi, head judge and Craft Restaurants honcho Tom Colicchio and guest judge/bride to be Gail “I could eat a bowl of this and be happy” Simmons of Food & Wine Magazine sent chef-testant, Danny packing back to Babylon Carriage House, allegedly one of world famous Long Island, NY’s most popular restaurants and methinks future Kitchen Nightmares location.

Maybe things would have worked out differently for Danny, astonishingly a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, had he put more effort into his cooking and less on perfecting that bizarre reverse mustache. And what's up with sneaking mushrooms into other people’s salads? Adieu Danny and give my regards to the Long Island Expressway.

Oh by the way, Gail, Valerie Harper called and said you could keep the dresses you’ve been wearing this season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top 10 New Big Apple Bars

Citysearch reports on New York City's "Top 10 Bars of 2008". #1 the Rusty Knot has a winsome faux dive bar vibe and spotless restrooms but the overpriced upscale grub and worst jukebox in NYC (Billy Joel?!) will have you heading for the hills or at least Hogs & Heffers in short order. Of the other nine notable potent potable emporiums on the list the most promising appears to be Santos' Party House a downtown watering hole helmed by Andrew W.K. who is sorta England's version of Kid Rock. Shoolbred's in the East Village bodes well with a relaxed inexpensive vibe, working fireplace and wide selection of brown liquors. Will reserve judgement on the remaining locations pending winning the Lotto, or in the Hotel Delmano's case, banishment to Brooklyn. And even then, "hipster chic at its finest" seems oxymoronic at best. Bottoms up!