Saturday, May 28, 2011

RIP Gil Scott-Heron

I love music, but I'm not a big jazz guy. I'm a writer, a published poet, I even run an online poet's group, but I'm not a poetry guy. I only like certain kinds of rap and hip hop, but I'm nowhere near what you would call a fan. All that said, I love Gil Scott-Heron.

Gil Scott-Heron was not a jack of many trades, but a king. He was one of the godfathers of rap, a brilliant jazz musician, a genius of spoken word, a poet, a performer, a social activist, and he was one of my favorite artists. He is one of the few artists of whose work I have worn out tapes and vinyl records of. I didn't always agree with him politically, but I love his way with words, ideas, sounds and grooves. He was a master.

The master passed away yesterday and we are all poorer for it. Whether you know him from "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," the No Nukes concert, the songs "B-Movie" and "Re-Ron" during the Reagan Administration, "Whitey on the Moon" from the Howard Stern show or just from his phenomenal catalog of music - Gil Scott-Heron will be missed.

Below enjoy the song he's most known for, "The Revolution Will Not be Televised," and my personal favorite "17th Street."

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Jeff Conaway 1950-2011

Actor Jeff Conaway passed away today after doctors took him off of life support. The actor was in a medically-induced coma after suffering from an overdose of painkillers. This was after a long battle with drug abuse, much of which occurred in front of the world via reality television, as Dr. Drew tried to help Conaway on several of his rehab TV series. It seems a shame both that he had not only this problem, but also that a whole generation probably only knows him as that wrecked old drug addict on TV.

Jeff Conaway had a long career before crashing and burning, he was on television and film, and was prolific with both. He played Kenickie in Grease, and was a member of the long-running ensemble sitcom "Taxi," until eventually being fired for drug use, a specter that haunted him even then. I remember also in Disney's Pete's Dragon and even though I never watched it, I know he was also a regular on "Babylon 5."

What I remember Jeff Conaway most for, and while this marks me for not being with the Grease or "Taxi" or even rehab crowds, it cements my nerd cred. I remember him in "Wizards and Warriors." This high adventure/subtle comedy TV series, mostly directed by Bill Bixby, was CBS' way of cashing in on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy demographic. It soon became evident that those folks didn't watch prime time TV, or at least that show, and it was canceled after just a handful of episodes. I still dug Conaway as the square-jawed hero. playing it straight and standing above. Would love to see that on DVD someday.

No matter how you remember Jeff Conaway, he will be missed, and remembered.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

The All Things Fun! Comics Vidcast for May 18th 2011

The All Things Fun! Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ - All Things Fun! - co-hosts Ed Evans, Allison Eckel and Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube.

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: Allison catches up with Flashpoint, Ed and Glenn help fill in the details and conspiracy theories, Avengers #13, more Avenger-y goodness with the superhero prom, the Sinister Six and movie tie-ins, and the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man.

The discussion continues in segment two including: Allison's The Batcave, Smallville unintentional tie-ins, J.T. Krul's Teen Titans #95, Allison's Kids Komics, Geoff Johns' Flash Omnibus, Ed's X-Men and leftovers, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7 by Nick Spencer and Mike Grell, James Robinson's Justice League of America #57, Zatanna #13, the Rocketeer is back, Thor movie toys, the return of light saber chopsticks and Ed's trades.

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the broadcast live, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

M'korstock 2011

The annual music and arts event sponsored by Congregation M'kor Shalom will be held this Sunday, May 22, 2011.

M’korstock is a Jewish festival, in that it features Jewish singers, songwriters and musicians performing Jewish music, along side non-Jewish performers, performing a variety of genres from folk, country, contemporary, pop, and gospel. It is the only Festival of this type in the region.

At M’korstock, there will be major entertainment on two outdoor stages. Nationally-known performers Rick Recht, folk duo Aztec Two-Step, Ross M. Levy, and Cantor Jen Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom, Also, the interfaith choirs of M’kor Shalom singing with the Baptist Church Unity Choir will sing in their beautiful blend of music and faith. Local Klezmer band “Izzy” comprised of M’kor Shalom members, will take the stage, along with M’kor Shalom religious school students, to open the program. Kneehigh Spunk, the a capella group that won "Cherry Hill's Got Talent" will also hit the stage.

A huge marketplace will include crafts and wares of all kinds, including, jewelry, food items, home goods and children’s items. In addition there will be a children’s area complete with entertainment, activities such as inflatables and craft-making activities. A wide variety of food from Kuzina by Sofia will be available ranging from ethnic foods to standard festival fare along with wine and beer by WineWorks of Marlton

M’korstock is open to the public. M’korstock guests are invited to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to relax on the grounds and enjoy the music, arts and food for hours. There will be offsite parking and free shuttle service throughout the day at a drop off area with handicap onsite parking. In case of inclement weather, the entire event will move indoors.

The festival runs from 11 AM to 6 PM and will be held at Congregation M'kor Shalom in Cherry Hill NJ. For more information, check the website and M'korstock on Facebook. Hope to see everyone there for a day of music, arts and shalom!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011