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Camp Freddy Live at the Roxy and Gearing Up for the West of Memphis Soundtrack

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Apparently his week-long run performing as the titular character in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Roxy in November was not enough for Donovan Leitch.  This Thursday, the 20th, Donovan returns to the famous Hollywood club as Camp Freddy begin their sixth annual holiday residency.  As expected the three consecutive nights sold out as fans eagerly await not only the band, but also the unexpected guests who join them.  Given that Camp Freddy’s members are the aforementioned actor / singer Donovan Leitch, Billy Morrison (The Cult, Billy Idol band), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult, Neurotic Outsiders), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney, it is not a surprise that there are many friends of the band that join them to perform.  Considering that guests have included Billy Idol, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols (who was also Sorum’s band mate in Neurotic Outsiders), Slash, Kid Rock, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Macy Grey, there is no telling who will show up to join the band on stage.

For those of us who were unable to get tickets for the show, we can get through the season knowing that we can purchase the soundtrack for West of Memphis which will include Camp Freddy’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.”  The documentary film, directed by Amy J. Berg (the Academy Award nominated Deliver Us from Evil), follows the case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., collectively known as the “West Memphis Three.”  Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr. were arrested and convicted as teenagers for the murders of three children in West Memphis, AR in the mid-nineties.  Although DNA evidence collected ultimately exonerated the trio, they spent 18 years in jail, with Echols serving a death sentence, while Baldwin and Misskelley received life imprisonment sentences. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the soundtrack will be used to raise funds for the exoneration of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr.

Damien Echols, one of the producers of West of Memphis, released his critically acclaimed autobiography, Life After Death, earlier this year.

West of Memphis will be in selected theaters on Tuesday, December 25th.  The soundtrack will be released through Sony Legacy on January 15, 2013.

Here’s a look back at some previous Camp Freddy shows to get you pumped up for this weekend’s Christmas residency at the Roxy. If you make it to the shows, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Or post a link to your photos and videos of the Camp Freddy shows!

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Bon Jovi Return to the Stage as Part of GRAMMY Artists Revealed

“Performance occurs rain or shine” stated the Terms & Conditions for those who were lucky enough to obtain a ticket to gain entry to see Bon Jovi at the MasterCard Priceless Los Angeles presentation of GRAMMY Artists Revealed.  As evidenced by those who watched the live stream of the performance at the Paramount Studios Backlot in Los Angeles on December 1, 2012, it definitely occurred in the rain.

This fact only bothered fans while waiting for the exclusive performance.  Once Bon Jovi hit the stage, the umbrellas were put away and all worries were forgotten.  It was their first performance since the last date of the “Bon Jovi” tour in 2011, a fact that was noted by Jon Bon Jovi between songs such as their first number one hit single from Slippery When Wet (a pun referenced by a few fans in the crowd) “You Give Love a Bad Name,” to “It’s My Life” from Crush, and Have a Nice Day’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”  Always a fan favorite, Jon shared lead vocals on “Wanted Dead or Alive” with lead guitarist Richie Sambora and let the audience take over on vocals during the opening verse of “Livin’ On A Prayer.”

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Even though Jon mentioned being “one wet motherf****r,” the weather did nothing to slow him down, even with puddles forming on the front of the stage as the night progressed.  In fact, while some began to leave after the band blazed through “Bad Medicine” (which included a chorus from The Isley Brothers’ “Shout”), the band came back to perform an encore consisting of a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Run Run Rudolph.”  The night ultimately ended with fans singing along loudly on their own to “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”

If you have a chance, you definitely should catch them on their upcoming “Because We Can” tour in 2013. Tickets are on sale now for most shows via the Bon Jovi fan club and Ticketmaster. The tour kicks off February 9, 2013 in Uncasville, CT at Mohegan Sun.

It should also be noted that the band, with origins in Sayreville New Jersey, has one more performance scheduled as part of the 12-12-12 Concert for Hurricane Sandy Relief.  Even if you are unable to obtain a ticket to the show, you can still donate to the Robin Hood Foundation, the beneficiary of the charity concert which will also feature performances by Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Who, Billy Joel, Foo Fighters and Alicia Keys.

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Musician Adam Yauch, Dead at 47 #RIPMCA

By Jade Robledo

Many fans were disheartened to read the news this morning that Beastie Boy MC Adam “MCA” Yauch had passed away from cancer.   It was only appropriate that the news was announced by Russell Simmons, who, with Rick Rubin, released the hip-hop/rap/rock trio’s first releases, the EP Rock Hard (1985) and the instant classic Licensed to Ill (1986), which was the first rap album to go to number 1 on the Billboard album chart, a position it held for five weeks.

Adam Yauch (WENN/Getty)

Although the band is rightly recognized for such great releases as Paul’s Boutique (released in 1989, it was ranked number 156 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003), Check Your Head and Hello Nasty, the band should also be recognized for being among the first to be associated with a clothing line (X-Large), a magazine (Grand Royal) as well as a record label (also named Grand Royal).  The label, which was active from 1992 through 2001, was home to many highly praised artists such as Luscious Jackson and At the Drive-In.

Working under the nom de plume of Nathaniel Hornblower, Yauch directed several Beastie Boys videos including “Intergalactic,” “So What’cha Want” and the 2011 “Fight for Your Right Revisited” short.  This short, which featured Seth Rogen as Mike D, Elijah Wood as Ad-Rock and Danny McBride as MCA, was filmed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video by showing the aftermath of the events shown in “Fight For Your Right (To Party!).”  In addition to his directorial work with his band, Yauch filmed the 2008 documentary Gunnin for That No. 1 Spot.  In 2008 he also formed the independent film company Oscilloscope Laboratories, named after the band’s New York based studio that formed in 2002, which produced such features as the Oscar nominated Banksy documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop and the drama “The Messenger.”

Yauch was also a staunch supporter of Tibetan rights.  He was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization formed to raise awareness and activism on behalf of those suffering injustices of Tibetans by the Chinese government.  In 1996 he helped to organize the Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco, CA, the first of six festivals to help raise awareness and funds for the cause.  The last concert was held in Taipei in 2003.  Milarepa also organized a benefit entitled New Yorkers Against Violence in the wake of September 11, 2001, with proceeds distributed between the New York Women’s Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans September 11th Fund for New Americans.

In 2009 Yauch announced that he was being treated for cancer of the parotid salivary gland.  Although he underwent surgery and radiation therapy, he was not able to fight the disease.

In 2012 the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Although he was too ill to attend the ceremonies, he sent a letter to be read by his bandmates, who declined to perform without Yauch.   In their place, the Roots performed as back-up band to Kid Rock and Travie McCoy as they performed a medley of their songs.  This performance can be seen this Saturday, May 5th, on HBO’s broadcast of the ceremonies.

He is survived by his wife, daughter, parents, bandmates and millions of fans.

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Another Honor for Duran Duran – Headlining the Olympics

by Jade Robledo

It is a GREAT time to be a Duranie. That is, a fan of Duran Duran.

First there was the release of the artwork for their upcoming DVD / CD, A Diamond in the Mind. Then there was the first date of the South American leg of the All You Need Is Now tour, a date in which the band was joined on stage by popular Brazilian singer Fernanda Takai for a duet of “Ordinary World.” Now the news from this morning.

It has been announced that Duran Duran was selected to perform at the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held in London on July 27th. As the United Kingdom consists of four different nations, it was decided that the opening ceremonies should consist of live performances from an act representing each part. Duran Duran were chosen for England, with Snow Patrol representing Northern Ireland, Stereophonics selected for Wales and Paolo Nutini on behalf of Scotland. Each act will perform a “greatest hits” set in front of 60,000 fans in Hyde Park, and countless others watching throughout the world.

For those who may want a bit more than one of their many hit songs from the past three decades, the tentative release date for A Diamond in the Mind is set for July 10th, 17 days before the Hyde Park show. Filmed at MEN Arena in Manchester, England on December 16th, the DVD / CD set showcases the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 release, All You Need Is Now, along with their older hits.

If you are lucky you will be able to catch the band live. Their upcoming dates can be found on their official site.

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Donald Glover: From Coachella to 30 Rock’s Live Episode

Donald Glover  (Mitchell Haasetth / NBC)Donald Glover will return to 30 Rock for the show’s live broadcast on Thursday, April 26th at 8:30 pm.  Glover worked as a writer on the show from 2006 through 2009.  He, along with other 30 Rock writers, won the 2008 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy.  Although he would make occasional cameo appearances while writing for the show, he is scheduled to appear this week as a younger Tracy Jordan, the character portrayed by Tracy Morgan.

This marks the second live episode of 30 Rock.  The first, directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller (who will also be behind the camera this Thursday), aired on October 14th, 2010.  The first live episode featured surprise appearances by Matt Damon, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, currently starring on HBO’s Veep, as Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon during the shows trademark swoosh back segues.  Fey, who is also the creator of the show, has already promised that there will be more surprise cameos this week.

Instead of merely rebroadcasting the show for the West Coast, the cast are planning to film two separate episodes for the East and West Coasts, with those in the Central time zone viewing the East Coast broadcast.  The first live episode was filmed twice for each coast as well.

Glover recently appeared both weekends on the main stage at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival performing under the name Childish Gambino:

Before flying to New York for the 30 Rock taping, he also performed a secret show in Los Angeles on Monday, April 23rd.  He can also be seen earlier in NBC’s Thursday line-up as Troy Barnes on the cult favorite Community at 8:00 pm:


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Glee’s Tribute to Whitney Houston to Air April 24th

by Jade Robledo

Although co-creator Ryan Murphy once proclaimed that there would no longer be episodes of Glee dedicated to one artist, next Tuesday, April 24th, brings an hour tribute to Whitney Houston.  The show’s Amber Riley (Mercedes) covered Houston’s biggest hit “I Will Always Love You” on their Valentine’s Day episode earlier this year.  As the show was scheduled to air three days after Houston’s death from accidental drowning on February 11th, they were able to add a title card to the end credits reading:

Whitney Houston
1963 – 2012
We Will Always Love You

However, it was decided that this was not enough of a tribute to the singer / actress.  Thus, soon after her death it was announced that they would be filming an episode as tribute to her contributions to music.

The episode, titled “Dance With Somebody” will include the cast performing Houston’s hits “Saving All My Love For You,” “So Emotional,” “I Have Nothing,” “My Love Is Your Love” and the track that inspired the title of the episode, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”  A video of Amber Riley, accompanied by Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer (Kurt) and Naya Rivera (Santana) performing an a cappella version of “How Will I Know” has been released:

Whitney Houston’s own a cappella version of the song can be heard here:

Glee airs Tuesdays on Fox, check your local listings for the time.

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Dick Clark, “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Dies at Age 82

Dick Clark, Craig Sjodin / ABC

Dick Clark, known primarily as the longtime host of “American Bandstand” as well as his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” programs has died at the age of 82 following a massive heart attack.

Born in New York in 1929, Clark began his long career in the entertainment industry by working in the mailroom of a radio station WRUN in New York while still in high school.  He soon moved up to the microphone, filling in for people when needed.  He continued to work in radio as a disc jockey in the student run radio station while enrolled at Syracuse University.  Upon graduation he went back to WRUN, but soon left for a spot in Philadelphia at WFIL.

It was while he lived in Philadelphia that he began hosting the then local afternoon “Bandstand” dance show for teenagers.  Within five years, the local program became renamed by ABC as “American Bandstand” when it became a national show.  The program consisted of teenagers dancing to the big hits of the day, as well as appearances by people as varied as Elvis Presley to ABBA, from the Bee Gees to Aerosmith.  The popularity of the show and its host cannot be overlooked when observing popular culture in America.

In 1963 Clark moved the show to Hollywood, and began his own production company, Dick Clark Productions.  This company went on to produce shows such as Pyramid (the game show that he also hosted), So You Think You Can Dance and TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes.  Dick Clark Productions is also the company behind such annual shows as the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Golden Globes.

Although Clark stopped hosting American Bandstand in 1989, he was still welcomed into homes on December 31st as he hosted his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” specials from Time Square in New York beginning.  He began hosting the show in 1974, and continued until December 31st, 2004.  On December 6th of that year he was reportedly hospitalized following a minor stroke.  Regis Philbin stepped in since Clark’s health prevented him from hosting as he had planned.  In 2005 Clark was again hosting, however he was joined by a co-host, television personality Ryan Seacrest.  Although Seacrest handled most of the hosting duties, Clark still conducted the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown.  In 2009 the broadcast was renamed Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Even with Ryan Seacrest to reflect Seacrest’s increased hosting responsibilities.

Seacrest released a statement today stating:  “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark.  He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life.  I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel.  When I joined his show in 2006, it as a dream come true to work with him every New Year’s Eve for the last 6 years.  He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman.  I learned a great deal from him, and I’ll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me.  He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world.  We will all miss him.”

Clark is survived by his third wife, and three children from his previous marriages.

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