Thursday, December 30, 2010
Neil LaBute ("In the Company of Men," "The Shape of Things") toned down the misanthropy in "Reasons to be Pretty," his first play to hit Broadway, where it ran last year and earned three Tony Award nominations including Best Play.
The Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory's production opens Jan. 4 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts' Cook Theatre in Sarasota.
I recently sat down with director Barbara Redmond and leading lady Gretchen Porro (Steph) to discuss their staging of the acclaimed comic drama for this feature story running in today's Weekend section.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Michael Jackson's posthumously released "Michael" debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart and sells 3 million units worldwide.
Finally, Tupac Shakur has some posthumous competition.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
|Dec. 28 screen capture from Bradenton.com.|
Too chilly to think for myself, 11 hours ago I Tweeted/Facebooked: "Best song with the title #cold in it???"
Journalism at its laziest, I know.
Here are the results, in the order received. Wanna play along next time? Follow me via @accentbradenton or Friend me.
Top 10 songs with 'cold' in the title
1. "Cold Sweat," James Brown
2. "Cold as Ice," Foreigner
3. "So Cold," Breaking Benjamin
4. "Stone Cold," Rainbow
5. "Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)," Elton John
6. "Cold Shower," Kix
7. "Funky Cold Medina," Tone Loc
8. "Early Morning Cold Taxi," The Who
9. "Blood Runs Cold," Def Leppard
10. "Cold, Cold, Cold," Little Feat
—Bonus track (courtesy of my buddy Bob, whose music taste runs similar to mine): "Cold, Cold Heart," Hank Williams
—Special thanks: To everyone for NOT selecting "Baby, It's Cold Outside," a most creepy pop standard from 1949 that Wikipedia says, and I agree, might just be about date rape.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Bradenton alt-country luminaries Have Gun, Will Travel's "Postcards from the Friendly City" ranked No. 3 — behind releases by Vampire Weekend and ahead of the Avett Brothers' — on Tampa-based community radio station WMNF (88.5)'s recently released list of most played albums of 2010.
Here's the tally:
This list does not include theme songs and is restricted to music that came out in the last 18 months or so.Photo by Wade Tatangelo of Have Gun, Will Travel performing Dec. 18, 2010 at Ace's in Bradenton.
1) Vampire Weekend - Contra
2) Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
3) Have Gun Will Travel - Postcards From the Friendly City
4) Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
5) Black Keys - Brothers
6) Spoon - Transference
7) Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
8) John Legend and the Roots - Wake Up!~
9) Yeasayer - Odd Blood
10) Sleigh Bells - Treats
11) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Mojo
12) Preservation Jazz Hall Band - Preservation
13) Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
14) LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
15) Janelle Monae - The Arch-Android
16) Ray Lamontagne - God Willing
17) Passion Pit - Manners
18) The National - High Violet
19) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way
20) Trombone Shorty - Backatown
21) Miles Davis - Bitches Brew reissue
22) Robert Glasper - Double Booked
23) M.I.A. – Maya
24) The Birds and the Bee - Interpreting the Masters
25) Frightened Rabbit - The Winter
26) Paul Thorn - Pimps and Preachers
27) La Roux - La Roux
28) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
29) Flobots - Survival Story
30) Alejandro Escovedo - Street Signs
31) Bettye Lavette - Interpretations: British Rock
32) Peter Wolf - Midnight Souvenir
33) The Thermals - Personal Life
34) NNeka - Concrete Jungle
35) Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame
36) Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti - Before Today
37) The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
38) Brandi Carlile –Give Up the Ghost
39) Galactic - Yaka-May
40) Steve Connelly and the Lesser Gods - Every Monster
41) Michael Franti and Spearhead = The Sound of Sunshine
42) Of Montreal - False Priest
42) Crystal Castle - Crystal Castle
43) Janiva Magness - The Devil Is an Angel
44) Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust
45) Broken Bells - Broken Bells
46) Superchunk - Majestic Shredding
47) Old 97’s - Grand Tbeatre Vol. 1
48) Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone
49) Various Artists – Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine
50) Justin Townes Earle- Harlem River Blues
Sunday, December 26, 2010
|Associated Press - Itzhak Perlman|
Arts and education advocate Toby Perlman had high expectations from the start for the Sarasota-Bradenton area.
When Perlman Music Program Winter Residency begins Tuesday it will mark the seventh annual return of the event, which features her world-famous, concert violinist hubby Itzhak Perlman leading the faculty.
The PMP director and founder never doubted that the region would be able support such a series.
Continue reading about the Perlman Music Program and upcoming Sarasota performance by Itzhak Perlman's ("Schindler's List").
|(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) |
Cheerleaders give a rousing shout at the conclusion of their dancing scene on set of "Glee."
My Sunday column pokes fun at another wonderfully silly year in entertainment:
Ousted by NBC, Conan O’Brien brings same show (but new beard) to basic cable.Enjoy.
The singing cast of TV series “Glee” dominates music charts with boring covers of pop songs best left forgotten.
Kanye West battles Twitter addiction.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The first and only legal version of Bruce Springsteen's awesomely joyous rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" originally appeared as the b-side to his 1985 "My Hometown" single off the hugely popular "Born in the U.S.A" album.
I was seven years old when it came out.
My parents bought the record and played it for my three younger siblings and I every year around this time.
The Boss still lifts my spirits each time I hear it.
According to the person who posted this superb Springsteen performance of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," it's from a September 20, 1978, concert at Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey.
|Photo credit Jason Woodruff - Charles Ross wield his lightsaber|
Charles Ross talks about playing all the characters and presenting all three original "Star Wars" movies during his famed one-man/one-hour show.
“The funny thing is, I didn’t think it would work,” Ross said. “I figured everyone would think it would be lame and just for nerds. I didn’t dare dream of going off-Broadway. At best, I thought I would be playing science-fiction conventions.”
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
UPDATED 4:35 p.m.: Just got off the phone with Travis Clark of We the Kings. He's enjoying shooting DVD on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. The band will be filmed singing karaoke tonight at Tequila Beach Sport Grille, 7423 Manatee Ave.,W., Bradenton.
UPDATE 4:09 p.m: Travis Clark being interviewed for We the Kings DVD on top of what appears to be the Bradenton Financial Center in downtown:
UPDATE: Photo Gallery of Travis Clark arriving at SRQ Wednesday morning.
|Photo by Paul Videla|
Bradenton pop-rock band We the Kings, which recently were awarded for more than one million sales of single "Check Yes Juliet," are shooting their first DVD.
Singer/guitarist Travis Clark (pictured far right) will be met by camera crew and fans at SRQ airport at 11 a.m. today.
Filming began Wednesday at 9:41 p.m. and continues through 9:41 p.m. Thursday when WTK takes the stage at the Hall in Palmetto.
Clark explains in interview he did for this story running today in the Herald.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The image above appears to be track list for upcoming We the Kings album, or at least a rough draft of it.
"Here's where it starts," Travis Clark Tweeted, along with link to the photo, 35 minutes ago.
I spoke with Clark, of Bradenton pop-rock band We the Kings, today at noon for a story that will run Wednesday.
He mentioned working on the band's third album and said he'd like to see it released in spring of 2011.
Clark sounded most excited about "Party, Fun, Love and Radio."
"It may or may not be the first single," he said.
|Publicity Photo for "True Grit"|
No one is the same after encountering feisty, fearless and plain-spoken Mattie Ross, age 14, from near Dardanelle in Yell County, Ark.
Not the other characters in the Charles Portis novel she dominates, and certainly not the filmmaking Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel.
The Coens corralled stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld and came away with "True Grit," one of their most broadly entertaining films yet. Mattie has a habit of turning people around, she really does.
Read my interviews with composer great Frank Wildhorn and Broadway star Laura Osnes, performing concert tonight with Rob Evan, Marlyn Sanchez and Jack Murphy at Asolo Rep.
When Wildhorn called the Herald from New York, he was splitting time between “Wonderland” rehearsals and putting finishing touches on ex-wife (and close friend) Linda Eder’s upcoming album for Sony Masterworks. His frequent lyricist Jack Murphy (“The Civil War,” “Rudolf”) wrote the words for the Eder record and some of those songs will be debuted at the Asolo performance, as well.Story originally published Dec. 19 on front of the Herald's A&E/Accent section.
In between songs, audiences will be treated to behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the Broadway titan.
“I’ll be telling plenty of stories,” Wildhorn said.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Have Gun, Will Travel debuted its first music video in between sets during a most jubilant performance Saturday (Dec. 18) at Ace's in Bradenton.
The gorgeously shot video — filmed in and around Bradenton — is for the song "Salad Days," a stirring love letter to the alt-country act's hometown in Manatee County, Florida.
The track is off the nationally-acclaimed band's excellent, latest album "Postcards from the Friendly City."
"Salad Days" by Have Gun, Will Travel
"Committed core group of people" appears to be code for every 30-something nerd in the nation.
Though quaint by today's standards, the computer-graphic effects in the original "Tron" were cutting-edge at the time. Yet the movie was a box-office underachiever whose following somehow swelled in the intervening decades in a way that perplexed even the studio's executives.
"I sure wish I knew, because there is a very, very committed core group of people who just love that movie, and they have fanned the opening-weekend grosses," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
My Sunday column about Broadway-bound "Bonnie & Clyde," which has its final performance 2 p.m. today at Asolo Rep in Sarasota.
In addition to reflecting on the musical, I talked to star Laura Osnes (Bonnie) about the cast Christmas Party at the family home of Holly Rizzo (Young Bonnie) on Holmes Beach.
|Have Gun, Will Travel singer/songwriter Matt Burke|
Have Gun, Will Travel delivered a joyous homecoming performance Saturday at Ace's in Bradenton.
The Bradenton alt-country ensemble played songs from their most recent album "Postcards from the Friendly City," their full-length debut "Casting Shadows Tall as Giants" plus a freshly penned, excellently jangly road song writer/front-man Matt Burke introduced as "13 Miles to Empty."
In between sets, the enthusiastic audience enjoyed a screening of HGWT's debut music video for "Salad Days." The loving homage to Bradenton, off "Postcards from the Friendly City," features images that fittingly celebrate not just the band but their beloved hometown.
|L to R: Scott Anderson, JP Beaubien, Matt Burke, Daniel Burke|
All photos by Wade Tatangelo.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
A true rock original has passed.
Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, who performed a complex brand of experimental rock under the name Captain Beefheart, died Friday. He was 69.
The Michael Werner Gallery in New York confirmed Van Vliet's death in California due to complications stemming from multiple sclerosis. The gallery exhibits his paintings.
Van Vliet was probably best known for the album "Trout Mask Replica," which was released in 1969 by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band.
Posted by About this blog: at 12:34 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
Posted by About this blog: at 3:30 PM
|Publicity Photo — Have Gun, Will Travel|
Have Gun, Will Travel are not only performing at hometown venue Ace’s, which is always special, but the nationally celebrated, Bradenton-based alt-country ensemble will also be screening/debuting its first music video.
The video is for the song “Salad Days,” a love-letter to Bradenton culled from HGWT’s highly recommended 2009 album “Postcards from the Friendly City.”
The video was shot entirely in and around Bradenton.
Have Gun, Will Travel performing "Garden Suite" at Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa
Have Gun, Will Travel with special guest Grant Peeples, 9 p.m. Dec. 18, Ace’s, 4343 Palma Solo Blvd., Bradenton. Tickets: $5. Information: (941) 795-3886 or www.4aceslounge.com.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
|PUBLICITY PHOTO - Damon Fowler|
"On Sunday afternoons when I was young, the whole family would get together and play and sing," Damon Fowler said in a release issued today. "I thought that's what all families did on Sunday. It never occurred to me that music was not part of the fabric of daily life for everyone."
Fowler, a national touring artist signed to the highly respected blues label Blind Pig, will bring his spirit of family music gathering to Ace's in Bradenton by hosting "Sugar Shack Mondays" starting January 3.
"Since the release of Damon's CD, 'Sugar Shack,' then Damon moving to Bradenton Beach, I thought it would be cool to name a night or series after both Damon and the CD," said owner of Ace's Renee Bennett. "Then coincidentally I ran into Damon on the beach. After a few creative moments the idea evolved and now we are on our way to a very special event with many of Damon's friends."
|Damon Fowler (right) and Wade Tatangelo at music writer's Tampa place Jan. 2009.|
Fowler's vision includes broadcasting the regular Monday night series as an online webcast. In addition to the live show, Wade Tatangelo, music writer with the Bradenton Herald, will conduct interviews with the guest acts, reads the publicity release.
Watch "Sugar Shack Mondays" show by signing up here on Facebook:
Check out "Sugar Shack Mondays" group page for updates:
Check out "Sugar Shack Mondays" group page for updates:
Ace's in Bradenton presents:
Damon Fowler's "Sugar Shack Mondays"
Damon Fowler's "Sugar Shack Mondays"
Showcasing the best in touring talent
Begins Mon., Jan. 3 with special guest J.P. Soars
Showtime: 8 p.m.
Fowler and band mates Chuck Riley (bass) and James "Big Country" McKnight recently finished recording "Devil Got His Way." It will be released Jan. 18 by Blind Pig Records.
You want it.
Everybody wants it.
Retail price: $629.
But it's the holiday season and your buddies at Bradenton.com want to help.
Enter to win the Apple 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G by subscribing to any or all Bradenton.com e-mail newsletters.
Deadline: 12:01 a.m. Dec. 23.
David Letterman: "Apple iPad Top Ten List"
Posted by About this blog: at 7:54 AM
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
|Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times - Neil Diamond|
The "Sweet Caroline" crooner had been eligible for induction before.
"I thought about it occasionally, but I kind of figured they'd get around to me at some point," Diamond said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.
Diamond delivered a potent performance in 2008 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
"A showman, an ace songwriter, Diamond may have never been hip, but the man sure knows how to show folks a good time," I wrote in my review.
|Wade Tatangelo photo - Ringmaster Brian Scott, Dec 14., 2010 at Ringling Bros. Winter Quarters in Tampa.|
Brian Scott has been announced as the ringmaster of the 141st Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's "Fully Charged" program, which debuts in Tampa at the St. Pete Times Forum Jan. 5.
The 24-year-old is the third youngest ringmaster in the 141-year history of Ringling Bros.
I interviewed Scott as well as sisters Nicole and Alana Feld — the first all-female team to ever oversee a Ringling Bros. production — at Winter Quarters at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa this morning.
|Wade Tatangelo photo - Elephants on parade during media event Dec. 14 at Winter Quarters in Tampa.|
Look for my feature story on the 141st Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's "Fully Charged" in an upcoming edition of the Herald.
|Wade Tatangelo photo|
|AP Photo - Portman on cover of Vogue|
The Harvard-educated actress known for similarly serious roles has created a production company to make comedies — not romantic comedies —for women.
“We’re very into female comedies; there just aren’t enough," Portman told Vogue for its December 21 issue. "We’re trying to go for that guy-movie tone, like Judd Apatow’s movies, or "The Hangover" but with women—who are generally not allowed to be beautiful and funny, and certainly not vulgar.”
Portman is also in favor of casually walking around in her undies like male actors do:
“There’s a difference between being in a bra and underpants as an object on a men’s-magazine cover and playing yourself—a woman with desires and needs who loves and laughs with her friends—in a bra and underpants," she said. "You become an object if you simply put it out there. Most movies are made by men, it’s totally natural that they’re going to present their worldview, so we’re trying to find more women who are writers and directors who are expressing their worldview."
Don't think Portman can be awesomely crude and hilarious? Check out this Saturday Night Live skit from a few years back. Here's the censored version of her wonderfully ribald rap that aired on NBC in 2006:
Monday, December 13, 2010
Will Ferrell (as David Bowie) and John C. Reilly (Bing Crosby) have created a hilarious send-up of the strangest duet in music history for funnyordie.com:
And here's the highly odd, yet endearing, Bowie/Crosby original from 1977 TV special.
Click to read "Ferell, Reilly parody classic Christmas duet."
Ever wonder what an Alfred Hitchcock film would be like remade as slapstick for the stage?
Friday, December 10, 2010
|"Christmas Vacation" (1989) "No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights."|
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) decorates with maniacal dedication in the movie "Christmas Vacation."
Pretty much the same could be said for members of the close-knit community in West Bradenton whose little road has rightfully earned the name Christmas Street.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
|WADE TATANGELO My "Bonnie & Clyde" review super-sized!|
Stopped by Asolo Rep in Sarasota today.
Alerted to big a-frame sign featuring my "Bonnie & Clyde" review outside the company's Mertz Theatre.
The show's highly successful run ends Dec. 19.
Then the manly musical about America's most famous criminal sweethearts heads to Broadway.
I want that sign!
It would look pretty cool in the features corner of the Herald newsroom.
Or my living room.
I'm totally considering breaking the critic's code and asking for it.
|RINGLING.EDU Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota|
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
|Cover art for Damon Fowler's "Devil Got His Way."|
Damon Fowler's "Devil Got His Way" will be released Jan. 18 on esteemed national label Blind Pig Records.
|PUBLICITY PHOTO Damon Folwer|
"The record company and I are very excited about this," Fowler said. "It really captures where I'm at right now."
Here's the track listing:
1. "We've Got A Good Thing"
2. "Devil Got His Way"
3. "After The Rain"
4. "Tight Rope"
5. "28 Degrees"
6. "Fruit Stand Lady"
7. "Cypress In The Pines"
8. "Don't Call Me"
9. "Once In Awhile"
10. "You Go Your Way"
11. "American Dream"
12. "Happy Hour"
Stay tuned for more details regarding the album, record release party, video shoot, webcasts and many more Fowler happenings in 2011.
Full disclosure: I co-wrote the song "Happy Hour" with Fowler and Ed Wright.
John Lennon did one last interview three days before being shot to death outside his New York apartment 30 years ago today.
The Associated Press received the final interview from Rolling Stone. The magazine will release the full interview —only brief excerpts have previously appeared — in the issue that streets Dec. 10.
"I'm not claiming divinity," Lennon told RS's Jonathan Cott. "I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can ... But I still believe in peace, love and understanding."
Lennon also had kind words for Bruce Springsteen.
"And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he's no longer God," Lennon said. "They'll turn on him, and I hope he survives it."
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Laura Osnes will be joining Tony Award winners Joel Grey and Sutton Foster on Broadway for a revival of "Anything Goes," reports PlayBill.com.
The 25-year-old is starring in "Bonnie & Clyde" at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota through Dec. 19.
Osnes will join the musical's composer, Frank Wildhorn, for a concert at the Asolo on Dec. 21.
As reported here, "Bonnie & Clyde" is confirmed to open on Broadway in September, 2011.
On March 10 of the same year, the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes" begins previews at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Click for more info on the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of "Anything Goes."
Click for my interview with Osnes prior to the opening of "Bonnie & Clyde."
"Bonnie & Clyde" trailer courtesy of Asolo Rep
|Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times: Willie Nelson performing in Lake Elsinore, Calif., in 2009.|
American music icon Willie Nelson will play the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Feb. 17.
I've seen Nelson several times during the past decade and each time has been a wonderful experience: hippies, students, rednecks, professionals, housewives, grannies and all sorts of other folks come together to celebrate the man and his music.
Let's just hope a court appearance related to the 77-year-old's recent arrest for marijuana possession doesn't get in the way of his Sarasota date.
Tickets cost $30-$115 and go on sale 10 a.m. Dec. 10. Click for more info.
Willie Nelson performing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"