Monday, August 23, 2021

Posted By on Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 10:04 AM

Gentlemen Afterdark Land On Stranger Things Soundtrack (3)
Gentlemen Afterdark tie-up Alice Cooper.
Hearts pounding—having just sprinted the half-mile from the neighborhood 7-Eleven back to a rented band house, near 22nd Street and Alvernon Way—they arrive in a panic, rooster manes disheveled after a routine beer run gone awry. Brian Smith, then frontman for Gentlemen Afterdark, explains, “We got hassled for how we looked, of course. This pair of rednecks in a small pickup truck chased us home, hell-bent to cave our skulls in.”

The saga continues: “When we got there, Winston [Watson], the smallest kid in the band, pulled out this authentic looking BB gun pistol and ran out the door screaming bloody murder. Out on the street he took this hilarious cop stance with legs apart and pointed the toy gun, his elbows straight, at those rednecks in the pickup. They freaked and ducked and skidded the hell out of there.”

This and so many incidents similar served as inspiration for “Open the Door." A song recorded 36 years ago—now enjoying an uncanny resurgence after finding placement on the season premiere of Netflix’s Stranger Things, starring Winona Ryder and David Harbour. And this season is red-hot. The third installment of the nostalgic horror series is the new Netflix four-day streaming champion; 40.7 million households watched over the long Fourth of July weekend.

Truth being stranger than fiction. Who would’ve ever imagined?

Gentlemen Afterdark—this arresting combination of New York Dolls glam/punk, ‘80s New Romanticism and the trash and grit scrapped from the sidewalks—were led by singer Brian, his brother Barry Smith on keyboards and violin, guitarist Robin Johnson, bassist Fred Cross and Winston Watson behind the drum kit.

Dancing on the crumbling precipice of fame, in 1984 they were vaunted by People magazine as “Stars of the Future.” The piece included a quote by rock legend Alice Cooper, a mentor who had taken the Gents under his wing.

“They reminded me of when I was young.” Cooper quipped, “I told them to have my daughter back by 7:30 p.m.”

In spite of such accolades Gentlemen Afterdark struggled to safely traverse the intersection where art and commerce converged.
Gentlemen Afterdark Land On Stranger Things Soundtrack (2)
Gentlemen Afterdark

Produced by Cooper and Dick Wagner, “Open the Door,” written by Robin and Brian, is from their 1983 EP. Originally self-released on vinyl, recorded at Vintage Recorders (Phoenix) in sessions which Barry Smith describes as being tense:

“[We were] young and hungry—pop music was exploding in all directions: Rap, post-punk, new wave. New sounds and energy were badly needed. But tension came from musical culture clashes. They wanted us to go with a safe sound of much of the pop music back then.”

Low on self-confidence, a shaky-voiced Brian found himself facing his musical idol through the studio glass, toiling to lay down the vocal track.

A now-sober Brian says, “My voice sounded so constricted here. I was so fucking terrified because, well, that was Alice Cooper. And Dick Wagner, who played guitar with Lou Reed. Those guys wrote 'Only Women Bleed' together. But my band was amazing, they were so young and gifted."

But what does this triumph mean to you now? “It’s very cool,” Barry says. “It comes at a perfect time...Gives a certain spiritual boost to my confidence.” Kid brother Brian says, “It is hard to get my head around the idea of that terrified voice now soundtracking a Winona Ryder scene in an episode of one of the most popular TV shows on earth. But I am really grateful for the song placement. There is something about this song, this sound of kids trying to find a sound. That struggle sounds pretty damn interesting now."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 10:48 AM

click to enlarge Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess Surprise Fans, Win Dancing with the Stars
Courtesy Dancing with the Stars official Facebook page
Country-radio host Bobby Bones and pro dancer Sharna Burgess are the winners of Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars. They were fan favorites throughout the whole season and surpassed their fellow competitors Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten, Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe and Milo Manheim and Witney Carson to be awarded the Mirrorball Trophy.

Their routines were enjoyable, humorous and entertaining. Although Bones was not the most technically skilled dancer, he won the crowd and the judges with his humor and entertainment.

Burgess choreographed a freestyle dance to “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack as their finale where Bones was awarded a perfect 10 from the judges for the first time.

It was a shocking win with his competitors leaving stunned and many fans ecstatic while others were upset with the results. 

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge Red Sox and Dodgers Head to the 2018 World Series
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series. The first game will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the World Series. The first game will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. First two games are at Fenway, next three (if necessary) are at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California and the last two, if necessary are back at Fenway.

The Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the League Championship Series while the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros. This will be the 114th World Series televised on Fox for the 19th year and ESPN Radio will carry the games for the 21st year straight.

It is the first time since the 1977 and 1978 World Series' that the Dodgers have made consecutive World Series appearances, losing against the Houston Astros in 2017.

This is the first time the Red Sox have played the Dodgers in the world series since 1916. The last time the Red Sox won the World Series was in 2013 and the Dodgers in 1988.

World Series champions from 2007-2017
2007: Boston Red Sox
2008: Philadelphia Phillies
2009: New York Yankees
2010: San Francisco Giants
2011: St. Louis Cardinals
2012: San Francisco Giants
2013: Boston Red Sox
2014: San Francisco Giants
2015: Kansas City Royals
2016: Chicago Cubs
2017: Houston Astros  

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 11:32 AM

Maroon 5 will be performing at the 2019 Super Bowl LIII Pepsi halftime show on Feb. 3 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Guest appearances for the performance have not been chosen, but there are speculations of potential artists.

Maroon 5’s recent single “Girls Like You” features Cardi B and is currently No. 2 on The Hot 100 list on Billboard, leaving us to wonder if the Bodak Yellow superstar and new mom will be at the Super Bowl.

The NFL faced a challenge this year in choosing a performer due to the controversy involving Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose decision to take a knee during the National Anthem for protest caused controversy and outrage throughout the United States, recently highlighted by the Nike campaign.

Last year, there were reports that Jay-Z turned down an offer to perform at the Super Bowl to show support for Kaepernick. So this year, the Super Bowl had speculations for who the halftime performer should be.

One of the toughest challenges for choosing a halftime performer isn’t just the appeal to the audience, but finding an artist who hasn’t already performed. Maroon 5 is more similar to recent performers like Justin Timberlake than to the more polarizing choices such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, we love you Left Shark.

Halftime Show Performers at the Super Bowl since 2008:

2008: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
2009: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2010: The Who
2011: The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash
2012: Madonna, LMFAO, Cirque de Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, Andy Lewis
2013: Beyoncé, Destiny's Child
2014: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers
2015: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott
2016: Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Gustavo Dudamel
2017: Lady Gaga
2018: Justin Timberlake

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 4:06 PM

click to enlarge American Horror Story Apocalypse
Courtesy FXNetwork
FX's hit series American Horror Story has had fans on the edges of their seats for seven seasons, and a highly anticipated eighth season was just released: American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

The first episode, which aired on Wednesday, is ironically called "The End." There have been extremely mixed feelings about the new season amongst fans, critics and press.

Collider, an internet news source for new movies and television shows, wrote an article that refers to the new season as a "mixed bag of meh."

The idea behind the season is that a nuclear apocalypse desolates the planet. Two young adults are preselected to be saved and are subsequently taken to an underground safe place called "Outpost" that seems more like a prison, at least from this first episode.

Along with the two youngsters in the safety lair are a select few of the world's most wealthy people. Some are brats and some are down-to-Earth, but now they're in the same boat — the world has been destroyed and they're forbidden to leave this strange place. At one point, they're fed the human meat of one man who had been there but tried to run away and, due to the nuclear apocalypse, was radioactively contaminated.

This new series is off to a strange start and, as perviously mentioned, American Horror Story fans are having mixed reactions to the first episode.

It is doubtful, though, that those feelings stop them from watching the second episode, which airs next Wednesday, Sept. 19th.  

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 4:17 PM

click to enlarge Laughing Stock: Return of the Two Amigos
Steve Martin (L) and Martin Short perform Aug. 26 at the Tucson Convention Center.

I jump at opportunities to say I discovered Martin Short, at least in my office. On Johnny Carson, he was the funniest person ever, so the next day I asked the break room comedy fans, “Have you ever seen Martin Short?” It turned out to be a mic drop moment.

Short appears with Steve Martin at the Tucson Convention Center Arena on Sunday, August 26, in “An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your LIfe.” One hopes that’s a joke given the ticket prices: $55 to $175 via

Short is a smart and physical comic, generating laughs with the merest gesture of any visible body part. A veteran of Second City and SCTV, he is the person Robin Williams first reminded me of, and, to me, he is the star of The Three Amigos.

You know that 1986 movie was made at Old Tucson, right? Steve Martin co-wrote it with Lorne Michaels. Martin, Short and Chevy Chase starred. You should own it.

Titan-of-comedy Martin has been brilliantly picking banjo since he started in show business. He has said he started telling jokes in his juggling and banjo act. Comedy’s won him two Grammys, but songwriting and banjo have won him three, including a Best Country Instrumental.

The show represents a throwback to an era of duo comedy that virtually ended with the Smothers Brothers (Google Laugh In, kids.) and the gamut of TV variety shows once hosted by popular comedians. It includes, in addition to amusing back and forth banter, side-splitting bits from Short’s one-man show, a ventriloquist segment featuring Short as the dummy, a slide show of baby pictures, Martin’s playing solo and with The Steep Canyon Rangers, and a story swap of encounters with Elvis and Frank Sinatra, complete with imitations.

There will be no politics, though. Short told the Los Angeles Times, “We're not social satirists. We're more clowns.”

For the budget conscious, Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget is available on Netflix. It’s been nominated for four Grammy awards, but obviously won’t include inevitably entertaining live adlibs.

Note: The Hope After Dope show scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25 at House of Neighborly Services is being rescheduled. We'll have updates as they are available.


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Monday, August 13, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 2:28 PM

click to enlarge Sahuarita Dance Team on America’s Got Talent Tomorrow!
PAC Dance Team
After passing through every round of preliminaries, Walden Grove High School’s PAC Dance Team will appear on the live broadcast of America’s Got Talent. The episode will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, on NBC.

On their Facebook page, PAC Dance Team posted:
THIS TUESDAY NIGHT IS OUR LIVE SHOW EPISODE!!! 🎉🎉 Tune in to #AGT this Tuesday night to watch us dance on the BIGGEST STAGE OF OUR LIVES! And VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!! 

There will be three weeks of quarterfinals every Tuesday and Wednesday from August 14 to 29. During every week, 12 acts will perform, ultimately resulting in seven making it through to the semi-finals.

If they receive enough votes from viewers, PAC Dance Team will move on to the semi-finals, which will air live from Sept. 4 to 12. And beyond that, possibly to the final rounds. Only five acts make it to the finals, which will air live Sept. 18 and Sept. 19.

The Sahuarita dance team made it to onto America’s Got Talent after performing a hip-hop dance version of the Wizard Of Oz. The dance routine first gained attention last October when a video of the performance at a homecoming assembly was posted to YouTube and received nearly 3 million views.

For more information, and to cast votes, click here. 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 3:25 PM

As an expansion to the nonfiction medical show “Nightwatch,” A&E is creating “Nightwatch Nation” which took the original show’s premise but filmed in many more U.S. cities, including Tucson.

Similar to Cops, the show follows the night shifts of emergency responders as they deal with car crashes, drug overdoses, and other medical emergencies.

“By capturing the heroic work of EMTs in cities like Austin, Yonkers, Baton Rouge and Tucson, viewers get a glimpse into the extent of what they do for their communities.” Says Producer Rasha Drachkovitch.

The first season has 10 episodes, all of which feature Tucson. Filming was done with local EMTs in multiple locations and situations across Tucson, including when “paramedics face an Internal Defibrillator that unexpectedly malfunctions”. Other filming locations include Yonkers, Austin, and Baton Rouge.

“Nightwatch Nation” premieres Thursday, August 16 at 10pm ET/PT.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 4:38 PM

Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures announced on Monday that Rugrats will soon return to both the big and small screen.

The adored animated characters will make their comeback with 26 new episodes of Rugrats and a live-action film that will feature CGI versions of the classic characters such as Chuckie Finster, Tommy and Angelica Pickles, and Lillian DeVille.

Nickelodeon has yet to announce the official airdate for the 26 episodes of the Emmy award-winning show but says that the movie will debut sometime in November of 2020.

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