Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rock. Roll. 'N Recycle.

(Description: Me @ Lolla's Green Street. Please note my new reusable bag I purchased at Lolla! A practical souvenir created by Whole reads "Rock & Recycle." The 'recycle arrows' are guitars. Loveeee.)

To set the, the boyfriend, Tom and his lover carpooled from good old Michigan to Chi-town.

While the music was expectedly excellent (Radiohead and Girltalk being my highlights), I was pleasantly surprised by the festival's effort to go green.

How Lolla went green:

Green Street: The coolest and most bad-ass green thang there was Green Street--a little market area filled with strictly green trinkets. They had Whole Foods giving out free Cliff Bars, ice cream and organic tortilla chips. Plus there were the myriad of fun places selling fair trade fashion like Autonomieproject, Greenheartshop and Mata Traders. But my favorite one there was Revive because I fell in love with some of their bags (like the clutch made of pop tabs, the tote made from recycled water bags by women in Ghana and the wristlet made in Mexico from candy wrapper).

Good Eats: All the food vendors were supposedly organic and local. But one place totally worthy of mentioning was The Bleeding Heart Bakery, which sold Honeydew Limeade, iced coffee, cookies and cupcakes....yummmm. The guy running the station told me it was the only completely organic bakery in the U.S.

Schwaaaag: If you collected loads of water bottles and plastic beer cups lying around, like 5 or 10 pounds worth, you could trade it in at a station to get free stuff like t-shirts and reusable bags. And there was also the super green staff who were walking around doing the dirty work--collecting recyclables from us slobs while rockin' organic tees.

The BeGreen Fan Tag: These stickers were sold prior to the concert and onsite: a $5 donation bought renewable energy credits from sources like wind power to help "neutralize" or offset some of the very large carbon footprints attending the concert. They said the $5 investment was equivalent to something like not driving 757 miles or not flying 1,700 miles.

Styrofoam BANNED: All food and drink was served via paper or compostable plates.

Use of biodiesel for energy: All generators and light towers ran on it.

Paper-less: TP, food napkins, marketing crap etc. all made from recycled paper.

And so on...however, the greenness of the festival definitely had its critics, like this dude(click link to read his negativity on the matter). Perhaps to somebody who has been to multiple green events or someone who is married to the environment, the festival's attempt to go green didn't seem like much--sure, maybe it felt like an "afterthought" rather than a primary goal. But from an average person's perspective (say from somebody like myself), the green felt there--more so then I would have expected.

You think festivals, you think trash--pounds and pounds (times thousands of pounds) of trash. You think Lollapalooza, and you still think of a trashed park. But at least some of it was biodegradable, recyclable and organic. Right?

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Air guitar gods strive for the pantheon; vote for the best

In times fraught with weighty issues ranging from the economy to global extinction, it's comforting to know that some folks are consumed with nothing less than being the best at playing an imaginary guitar.

Tongues firmly planted in cheeks, these mighty competitors meet tonight at the Cuervo Black U.S. Air Guitar Championships in San Francisco to see who will earn the right to represent the USA at the Aug. 20-22 world championships in Oulu, Finland.

Will it be the 2005 king, the Rockness Monster, or 2006 maestro Hot Lixx Hulahan? Or maybe it's time for last year's U.S. winner to repeat.

"This is the stiffest competition I've faced yet," says defending champ William Ocean, 29, whose stage moniker is a goofily formal take on '80s crooner Billy Ocean (Caribbean Queen).

Ocean is a corporate events planner in New York; he's Andrew Litz to his fan-tastic parents, who have been known to show up at competitions toting foam fingers to cheer on their son. "My mom likes to say that the kicks she felt in her stomach were really me doing windmill strums."

And Ocean and his dad used to do Keith Richards/Mick Jagger air duets at family weddings. Seriously.

Watch Ocean in action on any number of YouTube clips and you see a mix of Spinal Tap's grimacing Nigel Tufnel and some of Jimi Hendrix's more outrageous moves. Sometimes it does look like he's playing a guitar that's invisible, but mostly it's all about the posing and hopping around like a madman during a 60-second, custom-edited track.

"There's a big debate in air guitar circles about whether it's better to actually know how to play guitar or not," says Ocean, who does not. "I think knowing the instrument makes you overly concerned with technical elements."

But that very skill, he admits, is likely why he hasn't risen higher than 11th in the world rankings: "The judges at the world championships tend to reward technique over theatrics."

One man who has come close to nabbing that world crown — finishing second five times — is Dan Crane, 37, who wrote the book To Air Is Human. The Los Angeles writer/musician explains that the Finns, who pioneered this "sport," also are known for such offbeat competitions as wife carrying and cellphone throwing. "They have very long winters up there," says Crane, who as Bjorn Turoque (get it?) will serve as Master of Air MC at this year's Finnish showdown.

And just what is it about playing air guitar — famously enshrined in pop-culture lore when Tom Cruise had a go in his underwear in 1983's Risky Business— that strikes a universal chord?

"It's a completely atavistic response to hearing music, much like dancing is," Crane says.

Which brings up an interesting question: Does Keith Richards play air guitar?

READERS: Which song would you love to rock on the air guitar? Leave your selection in the comments below.

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Soundgarden Inadvertently Reunites At Area Cinnabon

SEATTLE—Members of the popular 1990s grunge band Soundgarden shocked critics and fans alike Tuesday, appearing together publicly for the first time in more than a decade after accidentally running into one another at the Northgate Mall Cinnabon.

Enlarge Image Soundgarden

The former bandmates come out for an encore of Chillattas.

The unplanned 15-minute reunion was the result of a number of unrelated events, including lead singer Chris Cornell stopping by the baked-goods franchise to buy a Caramel Pecanbon, drummer Matt Cameron taking a break from shopping at the nearby Banana Republic, bass player Ben Shepherd walking by and noticing his one-time bandmates in the food court, and former guitarist and Cinnabon daytime supervisor Kim Thayil working the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift.

According to those in attendance at the packed fast-food venue, the highlight of the incidental Soundgarden reunion came when the rockers reconciled their differences and teamed up for the first time in years to finish off an order of Cinnabon Stix.

"At first it was pretty awkward and none of them seemed like they were really into it," said Al Helbling, 30, a Northgate Mall Sam Goody employee and Soundgarden fan. "But then the drummer comes in and right after that the bass player comes in, and it was like, 'Yes, Soundgarden is back.' It was so intense."

The former members of Soundgarden, who have not released an album together since 1996's Down On The Upside, reported that it was initially difficult to find common ground, but once they began exchanging ideas and riffing on which sugar-filled dessert they were going to order, the chemistry felt "as strong as ever."

While Shepherd told reporters he enjoyed seeing his old bandmates, he admitted to experiencing some last-minute doubts about going through with the encounter.

"I got all the way there, but then I just didn't know if I could do it," Shepherd said. "I had a huge lunch that day. And Cinnabon, that's some really sugary stuff, even if you have a sweet tooth like me."

Thayil, who joined the band shortly after it was formed in 1984, said some tension arose between himself and former front man Chris Cornell early on in the reunion, after Thayil scolded Cornell for entering the cinnamon-bun snack purveyor without a shirt.

"Honestly, I didn't even recognize Chris at first," Thayil said. "All I saw was this bare-chested guy entering the store, and that's unacceptable in the food-service industry. I hate to be the enforcer, but just because we were in a band together doesn't mean I can allow him to create an unhygienic environment."

The heated situation was quickly settled, however, when Thayil offered Cornell a complimentary 12-oz. CarmeLatta Chill. In turn, the 44-year-old lead singer responded by serenading Thayil with a version of the group's hit song "Black Hole Sun" in which he replaced the titular phrase with the word "Cinnabon." Cornell, former singer for the now-defunct group Audioslave, then stuffed his pockets with napkins, saying he needed them for a later solo project.

The two soon moved to a back table, where they joined Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron, the latter of whom said he was overjoyed to see his old bandmates, since he had to "kill some time" before Pearl Jam practice.

Although Tuesday marked the first time the group has fully reunited, the members of Soundgarden have had a few near-misses in the past 10 years. In August 2000, all four members were seen entering Seattle-area Arby's restaurants, but the reunion never materialized: Cornell and Cameron visited the Meridian Avenue location, while Thayil and Shepherd decided to visit the Michigan Street franchise. The afternoon did, however, mark the largest Temple of the Dog reunion to date, when Cornell and Cameron ran into the rest of the supergroup's members in the restroom.

After the success of the Cinnabon reunion, Soundgarden is reportedly planning a tour of the Sunglass Hut and Piercing Pagoda.

Original here

Hollywood Miscalculations: 5 Famous Actors and the Roles They Turned Down

Ransom Riggs
by Ransom Riggs

Sean Connery wasn’t supposed to be James Bond. Keanu wasn’t supposed to be “the One.” So, who were the original choices? Here are 5 actors and the legendary roles they turned down.

THE ROLE: James Bond in Dr. No

Picture 111.pngWHO LET IT GET AWAY: Cary Grant. Despite being Bond producer Albert Broccoli’s best man, Grant said “I don’t” to the offer, and Sean Connery got the role instead. Of course, many studio executives objected to the decision, and even Bond creator Ian Fleming said Connery “wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.”
REGRETTABILITY METER: Low. By the 1960s, Cary Grant already had a spectacular film career. If he’d accepted the role (as Broccoli later revealed), it would’ve been just a one-movie deal.

THE ROLE: Neo in The Matrix

Picture 122.pngWHO LET IT GET AWAY: Will Smith turned it down to star in the forgettable action flick Wild Wild West, and the part went to Keanu Reeves.
REGRETTABILITY METER: Low. In an interview with Wired, Smith said, “I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix. At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be—whereas Keanu was.”

THE ROLE: Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction

Picture 134.pngWHO LET IT GET AWAY: Michael Madsen, who was stuck in lengthy rehearsals for Wyatt Earp. John Travolta got the role instead and, almost overnight,
transformed from a Hollywood has-been into one of the most bankable stars in the business.
REGRETTABILITY METER: High. Madsen called Wyatt Earp “a big waste of time.”

THE ROLE: Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Picture 142.pngWHO LET IT GET AWAY: Sean Connery, who’d never read the J.R.R. Tolkien series and claimed he “didn’t understand the script.” (Can you say karma?)
REGRETTABILITY METER: High. In return for playing the role, New Line Cinema offered the Scottish actor up to 15 percent of worldwide box office receipts, which would have earned Connery more than any actor had ever been paid for a single role—as much as $400 million.THE ROLES: Sundance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection, and Captain Benjamin Willard in Apocalypse Now.
Picture 152.pngREGRETTABILITY METER: Tragically high. McQueen turned down the role of Sundance simply because costar Paul Newman refused to give him top billing. Later, McQueen declined the lead in The French Connection because he felt the part was too similar to the tough cop he’d played in 1968’s Bullitt. Gene Hackman took the part and won an Oscar for it. And finally, in 1978, McQueen told Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola to shove off when he was offered the lead. McQueen’s non-negotiable asking price was $3 million; plus, he didn’t feel like spending four months shooting in the Philippine jungle. Instead, Martin Sheen landed the role, and despite suffering a heart attack during the stressful production, he gave one of cinema’s greatest performances.

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Fanboys Shoot it Out

Shot during our trip to Comic Con San Diego a few weeks ago, here is Kevin and Dana being interviewed by Peter Guber on AMC's Shooutout which airs in its entirety on Sunday, August 10 at 11AM.

In this clip from Sunday's show, Dana and Kevin discuss the tremendous support for the heart and soul of the film from the grassroots level--and how Harvey Weinstein eventually came back from the dark side of the Force.

This marks the beginning of the Ewok style victory celebration (we've got the bonfire and steel drums made out of Stormtrooper helmets in the office (not really)) that Kevin, Dana, director Kyle Newman, and the rest of team FANBOYS must be gearing up for after winning the battle to keep the cancer subplot in the film--and staying true to the real fanboys and fangirls who spoke out to preserve it.

This may prove that Fanboys was ahead of the curve, already with some die hard supporters of its own. Credit not only goes to the fans and the 501st for their support, but most importantly to George Lucas, whose support of the film allowed it to stay true to the ultimate source material: the Star Wars movies themselves.

Original here

'Paris for President' Parody Strikes Viral Gold

Picture_7Socialite turned political spoofer Paris Hilton has hit web gold with her faux bid for presidency.

Since the mock campaign video was released three days ago on comedy site Funny or Die, the short has been viewed more than 6.2 million times, driving traffic numbers to the highest level in company history.

As Hilton might say, Funny or Die "loves it."

"We are excited that this piece has become a hot topic for both the media and the public and we find it insane that Paris has the country discussing energy policy," said Adam McKay, co-founder of Funny or Die and creator of the Hilton clip in a statement released Friday.

Hilton may just have enough viral star power to give Will Ferrell's raging baby short "The Landlord," which boasts nearly 60 million views since it first aired in 2007, a run for its page views.

The heiress' parody, which features Hilton sunbathing and discussing her candidates for vice president, was a response to an ad released by Sen. John McCain's camp, using Hilton's image to suggest Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama is nothing more than a lightweight celebrity.

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What I’ve Learned: Jenna Jameson

By Cal Fussman

Jenna Jameson

Shawn Mortensen

Jameson was crowned porn's best new starlet in 1996 and inducted into the industry's hall of fame in 2006. She left acting behind to write her memoirs and launch a clothing line: House of Jameson.

C’mon downstairs. I just got a new couch. We can break it in.

The first thing that comes out of my mouth is always right.

If I have daughters, I wouldn’t want them to go into pornography. That’s not really a conflict with who I am. You don’t ever want your children to struggle. You want everything to come to them beautifully and perfectly. My industry is not cut out for harmony. I don’t want my little girl to have to worry about whether or not those whispers are about her.

Don’t let your son read my book until he’s sixteen.

Duxiana. It has this technology that doesn’t allow you to bounce all over the place, yet it’s still really supersoft.

Getting a tattoo should hurt. It’s a rite of passage.

I’ll be out having a good time and stick my gum on the side of my cup -- I know, it’s a horrible habit -- and people will steal the cup. I’ve had girls come up in crowds and rip out my hair. Not because they’re being mean. Because they want a piece of me. It’s really weird.

Women’s vaginas go back to their normal size after sex. They don’t stretch out. Whatever you’re born with you’re kind of stuck with. And once you have a baby, you can always have extra stitches put in, right?

I did my bathroom like that on purpose. The photo of Jean Harlow. The one of me spread-eagle across from the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I think what you see is such a beautiful contradiction. That room is me in a nutshell.

I’m a paradox wrapped inside a paradox.

Yeah, I see those “Increase your size” e-mails. So sad. To have someone actually put some implant into your penis -- that’s crazy! If I were a man, for me to even think of doing that, it would have to be inverted.

I’m a powerful woman. I think that’s intimidating to a man, on every level. That’s why I always go out of my way to be ultranice and ultrasweet and coy, because it makes people feel comfortable, and I want people to feel comfortable around me before I put them in a headlock.

I would never cheat on the person I’m with.

I think more people out there need to have more sex.

There are certain things that I just didn’t feel comfortable with on film, and anal sex was one of them. It’s just too intimate. To this day, I equate doing it with only someone that I 100 percent trust. It’s very private for me.

Dancing at a strip club is a job. Men don’t want to feel like they’re giving us money to do what we’re doing. They want to feel like we’re doing it on our own. Guys have to realize that the money they’re giving a stripper is paying rent and making car payments.

I hate getting political and stuff, but when really right-wing people get into office, they worry about things that should be the least of our worries. Whether or not I’m getting it doggy style from a black man should not be their concern. They should be worrying about health care, about our homeless, about the war. How about bringing the troops home? Call me crazy.

George Bush has read my book. Don’t act like he hasn’t.

What the news is feeding us is so different from what is happening.

When I was first approached about debating at Oxford, I was like, How am I going to do this? I barely got a diploma. How do I debate against professors? But my husband at the time said, “Do you think those professors know more about pornography than you?” So I wrote a ten-minute speech. But I never looked down at it once. The passion just poured out of me. I could see how many people in the audience were against me in the beginning. But as I got into my story and talked about all the things I’ve learned along the way, I could see the tide turning. I could see the women in the audience understanding that I’m just a normal girl, and slowly they started to relate to me. After a debate at Oxford, the audience can walk out of one of two doors -- one for pro, another for con. I stood there watching nearly everybody go through the pro door. It was beautiful. There are certain moments in my life that I remember kind of stepping back and thinking to myself, Please print this on your brain, because this is something that you want to be able to tell your children. That was one of those moments. I win, motherfucker. I win.

When you’re fearful, you stumble.

My definition of courage is never letting anyone define you.

I don’t know what happens next. At the end, I just want to feel completion. What’s completion? I don’t know.

I remember finishing my book and thinking, Okay, now I’m going to settle down, have kids. I’m going to ride off quietly into the sunset. Now look. It seems like I will forever be that crazy girl who never rides off into the sunset. I’m always going to be the one riding the fucking bronco. In assless chaps.

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