Friday Oct 24, 2014

Jenny McCarthy brings her personality to radio

NEW YORK (AP) — For those who wonder if that so-called "honeymoon period" for a newly married couple is real, look no further than TV-radio personality Jenny McCarthy and actor-singer Donnie Wahlberg. The two wed in late August and have no problem in the PDA department....
Read More

TV

Jenny McCarthy brings her personality to radio
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Jenny McCarthy brings her personality to radio

NEW YORK (AP) — For those who wonder if that so-called "honeymoon period" for a newly married couple is real, look no further than TV-radio personality Jenny McCarthy and actor-singer Donnie Wahlberg. The two wed in late August and have no problem in the PDA department. Wahlberg recently sat in the room as McCarthy spoke to press for her new SiriusXM radio show "Dirty, Sexy, Funny". "We go to each other's jobs to spend time with each other," said McCarthy. (Wahlberg shoots the CBS cop drama "Blue Bloods" in New York.) In between interviews, the two kiss, speak softly to one another or McCarthy sits on his lap. As for her work life, that's great too, says McCarthy. "Dirty Sexy Funny" is a brand McCarthy created to give female comedians "the opportunity to shine." There's been a tour, a TV special and now this radio show. It began as a limited weekly summer run and is now a daily live radio show, airing 10 a.m. to noon EDT. McCarthy, who has made a living off her personality appearing on her own short-lived VH1 show and as a panelist on "The View" says radio seems to be the right career move for right now. "I always thought I needed to be in front of the camera but I had no idea of the freedom that I'm allowed with talk radio," she said. McCarthy says she's spent years trying to find the gig best suited to her personality. "I've been in holding deals since I was 23, network after network trying to fit me in," she says. "They'd pay me money to sit and wait for them to write a show and no one could quite figure out how to write a character for me. Because I realized I really liked myself as the best character. That's why I moved into talk. To be your authentic self today too is so welcomed, I think, by audiences." On "Dirty Sexy Funny", the 41-year-old will conduct interviews and discuss various topics. She also has creative control. "I am the one who is in charge of me," she says. ___ Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar ___ Online: http://www.siriusxm.com/ http://www.jennymccarthy.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M
Friday Oct 24, 2014
NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 9,000 unpaid interns stand to benefit from a $6.4 million settlement with NBCUniversal over back wages. Unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows brought a class action suit last July in Manhattan federal court claiming NBCUniversal violated the law by classifying them as non-employee interns and paid them nothing or less than minimum wage, when they were actually doing employee work. NBCUniversal said in court documents that even though it's settling the suit, it denies the allegations and doesn't admit any wrongdoing. The average amount that class-action members of the suit will receive is $505 before taxes, although the main plaintiffs will receive more. The number of class members is capped at 8,975. The interns had been seeking recovery of unpaid wages, attorneys' fees, interest and liquidated damages. The settlement still has to be approved by a judge. Unpaid internships have long been a way that students and young graduates got a foot in the door in many industries. Companies get some help, interns potentially get experience and contacts — if they can afford to work for free. But in the last few years, unpaid internships have come under legal fire. Last June, a federal judge in New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie "Black Swan." Other lawsuits were filed against record companies, magazine publishers, modeling agencies and TV talk show hosts. Some companies, including Conde Nast, subsequently did away with their intern programs. In addition to back wages, lead plaintiff Monet Eliastem will receive up to $10,000, and other named plaintiffs will receive between $2,000 and $5,000, for their efforts in bringing the class-action, according to court documents. Eliastem agreed not to apply for jobs at NBCUniversal for five years, as a stipulation of the deal. NBCUniversal is owned by Philadelphia-based cable provider Comcast Corp. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Nominees for Grammy Awards to be announced Dec. 5
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Nominees for Grammy Awards to be announced Dec. 5

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy will announce the nominees for the 2015 Grammy Awards the morning of Dec. 5, except for one category: the coveted album of the year. The nominees for the top prize will come later that day when the academy debuts the new TV special, "A Very GRAMMY Christmas," to air on CBS at 9 p.m. EST. It will feature performances from Pharrell and Ariana Grande. The Grammys first launched a televised concert announcing its main nominees in 2008. Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said in an interview Thursday it was time to switch it up. "We're freshening up, changing this up a little bit and the kickoff for Grammy season will still be getting our nominations out that day, albeit a little differently," Portnow said. The one-hour Christmas special will be hosted by LL Cool J and also will include Maroon 5, Tim McGraw and some others to be announced at a later date, show producer Ken Ehrlich said Thursday. It will tape Nov. 18 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The nominees for album of the year will be announced toward the end of the program, Ehrlich said. Grande, Pharrell and the others will perform their own hits and holiday songs, as well as discuss their favorite holiday moments and Grammy moments. All of the performers are Grammy winners except for Grande, who marked a breakthrough this year with a string of hits, including "Problem." "If you ask any musical artist what their best Christmas gift would be, maybe eight out of 10 of them would say a Grammy nomination," Ehrlich said. The 57th annual Grammy Awards will air live Feb. 8 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will include 83 categories. ___ Online: http://www.grammy.com/ ___ Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at twitter.com/MusicMesfin Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Steve Coogan to headline 'Happyish' for Showtime
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Steve Coogan to headline 'Happyish' for Showtime

The British actor will star in this black comedy, taking over the role initially held by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.In July 2013, Showtime announced Philip Seymour Hoffman as the star of "Happyish," an original series set in the advertising industry. Following the actor's death last February, the network suspended development on the project, leaving its future uncertain. Now Showtime has returned to "Happyish" with a new leading man: Steve Coogan. The British actor recently seen in Stephen Frears's "Philomena" will head to New York this December to shoot a new pilot. Coogan, who also appeared in the "Percy Jackson" and "Night at the Museum" movies, will play Thom Payne, an aging advertising executive whose firm has been bought out, and who is being upstaged by young talent. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Spanish town hopes for 'Game of Thrones' tourism boost
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Spanish town hopes for 'Game of Thrones' tourism boost

Fans of the "Game of Thrones" fantasy TV series are flocking to the historic Spanish town of Osuna, where part of its fifth season is being filmed, fuelling hopes the show will deliver a lasting tourism boost.The tourism information centre in the southern town has extended its hours since filming began on October 16 to deal with the influx and hotels are fully booked until the end of the month when filming ends. "It's crazy. Everyone is very excited. They want to take photos with the actors, at the locations used in filming," the owner of the 30-room Hotel Esmeralda in Osuna, Alberto Piedra, told AFP. Officials hope the show will continue to spur interest in visiting Osuna, with its 16th century palazzos and steepled churches, long after the episodes filmed in the town air around the world next year. To attract fans of the series after film crews have left, Osuna's business association plans to offer special location tours while one restaurant will redecorate in a "Game of Thrones" theme. The town hall is also thinking of setting up a museum dedicated to the film shoot and will update its tourism web page to highlight the sites featured in the series, Osuna mayor Rosario Andujar said. "We want to make the most of the fact that part of the fifth season of this series was filmed here," she told AFP. Producers of the series plan to film in Spain for 17 days, until the 30, mostly in Osuna, a hillside town surrounded by olive groves that is home to around 18,000 people. Film crews moved to Osuna after shooting for a few days at the Real Alcazar palace, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture packed with columned courtyards, in Seville, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) away. Producers have kept details of the shoot in Osuna a secret but the town's bull ring will reportedly be used for a battle scene involving hundreds of extras. - Tapas named after characters - Other cities and towns in Croatia, Malta, Northern Ireland and Iceland all reported a sharp rise in visitor numbers after serving as a backdrop for "Game of Thrones". The series has a dedicated fan base and is one of the most watched shows on television. Season four of "Game of Thrones", a tale of battles and betrayal mixed with a generous helping of sex and bloodshed, averaged 18 million weekly viewers in the United States. The US ambassador to Spain, James Costos, a former executive at HBO, the channel which produces the series, predicts visitor numbers in Seville and the surrounding area will rise by 15 percent. Visitor numbers to Osuna rose by 15 percent in August, and by 30 percent in September, compared to the same period last year, Andujar said. But the mayor would not predict by how much tourism could rise over the next few years, saying only that she was sure more people would visit because of the series. "There are going to be many followers of this who are going to want to come to Osuna to see where the actors stayed, where the filming was done and to sit where the actors sat," she said. While the long-term tourism impact for the town is unknown, the shoot has already generated hundreds of much-needed short term jobs in the southern region of Andalucia, which has been especially hard hit by Spain's economic downturn. Producer Fresco Film services based in Malaga has hired 550 people to work as extras during the filming at a series who will be paid 50 euros ($65) per day. Andalucia is struggling with an unemployment rate of 34.7 percent, the highest of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. The series has already provided a windfall for a restaurant in Osuna, Casa Curro, which introduced a special menu of tapas inspired by characters of the show. The "Joffrey" -- named after King Joffrey Baratheon, a character played in the first four seasons by Irish actor Jack Gleeson -- consists of trout with bacon garnished with mulled wine. "It has been very successful. I did not expect the menu to have so much success. People really like it," the owner of the 17-year-old restaurant, Teresa Jimenez, told AFP. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

Chiwetel Ejiofor joins Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Chiwetel Ejiofor joins Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'

The British actor who headlined Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" has joined the already impressive cast of Ridley Scott's forthcoming sci-fi feature.The British director will be in very good company on the set of "The Martian." In addition to Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Donald Glover and Kate Mara, Scott has recruited Chiwetel Ejiofor, who earned a 2014 Oscar nomination for his performance as the enslaved man Solomon Northup. Adapted from the eponymous novel by Andy Weir, "The Martian" centers on one member of an expedition to Mars (Damon), who is stranded on the planet when his fellow astronauts make an emergency exit, believing he is dead. Chiwetel Ejiofor is cast as Venkat Kapoor, the director of the mission to the red planet. The feature is due to open in the US on November 25, 2015. Before then, the actor who broke through in Steven Spielberg's 1997 film "Amistad" is due to return to theaters in "Triple Nine" from director John Hillcoat ("The Road") and in "Z for Zachariah." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Rowling writes backstory of Potter character
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Rowling writes backstory of Potter character

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry Potter fans can look forward to a Halloween treat, with some tricks, from J.K. Rowling. In an announcement posted Friday on her website, www.pottermore.com , the author revealed that she has prepared a 1,700 word story about the witch and former Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge. The story will appear on Halloween, Oct. 31, on her site. It will include Rowling's "revealing first-person thoughts" about Umbridge, according to Friday's announcement. Umbridge first appeared in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth of seven books in Rowling's multimillion-selling series. Imelda Staunton played her in the film adaptations of the Potter books. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Into The Woods' featurette displays broad appeal
Friday Oct 24, 2014
'Into The Woods' featurette displays broad appeal

Fairytale cornucopia "Into the Woods" combines traditional European folk stories with big name stars and musical renditions in a new featurette.The four-minute video consists of behind-the-scenes snippets, on-set clips and moments from the finished movie as well as lines sung by Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick. "What's beautiful about this piece is that it's not just a musical, it's not just a drama, it's not just a comedy -- it's all of these things, interwoven," explains director Rob Marshall, who has a track record with both fantasy adventure and musical adaptations ("Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," "Chicago.") Screen stars include Anna Kendrick as Cinderella and Chris Pine as her prince, James Corden as The Baker, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, young Daniel Huttlestone ("Les Misérables") as beanstalk-climbing Jack, and Meryl Streep as the bedraggled witch with motives uncertain. "It's a lovely cast," offers composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the 1987 Broadway original, "and we were very lucky to get the right people for the right roles." "INTO THE WOODS Featurette - The Story (2014)": youtu.be/ImiIMBPO9kk Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Disney pens love letter to Japan with robot film
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Disney pens love letter to Japan with robot film

TOKYO (AP) — Disney executives call their next film "a love letter to Japanese culture." No wonder: This nation can't get enough of animation, especially Disney's. Walt Disney Animation Studios is practically bending backward to woo Japanese moviegoers after the stupendous success of "Frozen." The fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time made more than $250 million of its total in Japan alone, nearly a third of its overseas numbers and more than five times what it made in France, according to Box Office Mojo. "Frozen" is third of all time in Japan, behind "Titanic" and Japanese animation classic "Spirited Away," delivering success that even Disney executives acknowledge was surprising. Following "Frozen" into theaters in the country that is the birthplace of manga and Hello Kitty is "Big Hero 6," which stars a Japanese whiz kid as its hero, aptly named Hiro. Disney shows its love for Japan by setting the story in a picturesque town that's a cross between Tokyo and San Francisco, San Fransokyo, complete with cable cars and futuristic trains. "Big Hero 6" opened the Tokyo Film Festival on Thursday night — the first Disney animation film to have its global premiere in Japan. It opens at theaters around the world in November and December. Its directors, Don Hall of "Winnie the Pooh" and Chris Williams of "Bolt," did a lot of research and tapped Japanese sources to help make San Fransokyo authentic, down to signposts, manhole covers and faces of passersby. Williams said the world they created was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, the animation legend who won an Oscar for "Spirited Away." Hall said the mouth-less face of Baymax, the inflatable marshmallow-like robot, was inspired by a bell he saw at a Japanese temple. "I saw a smile," Hall told reporters recently while in town for the Tokyo Film Festival. "I thought it would be the perfect face for Baymax." The rubbery Baymax, designed to be a health care robot by Hiro's older brother Tadashi, becomes a companion for Hiro, and an embodiment not only of Tadashi's charming and loving persona but also of his message of peace, even after Tadashi dies in an explosion. Despite Tadashi's intentions to devote Baymax to healing and cuddling, Hiro adds some of his own more conventional robotic-design touches, such as a powerful fist, metallic ware and sky-soaring rockets, as Hiro embarks on his mission of solving the mystery of Tadashi's death. It's a safe bet that Japanese are enamored of all things Disney — and that they are willing to spend. Disneyland and DisneySea parks, outside Tokyo, had 31 million visitors last year, up 14 percent from the previous year, nearly all Japanese. Each spent an average of about $100, or 10,000 yen, on admission tickets, eating out and goods purchases. Mickey Mouse is so popular here the rodent's image is sold as traditional festival dolls, is a mascot wearing the blue uniform of the World Cup soccer team and is a familiar pattern on fashionable clothing in collaboration with design brands. But can the new film duplicate the success of "Frozen"? It might take a super-Hiro. "Big Hero 6" features fantastic music by Henry Jackman but not a potential smash single like "Let It Go." It also lacks fairy-tale princesses, which were a big part of the "Frozen" merchandising frenzy. The new film is about brotherly love and a little boy's perennial fantasy, a loyal robot friend. But even in robot-innovator Japan, Disney half-heartedly showed a fluffy stuffed doll in Baymax's likeness. It wasn't even inflatable. Roy Conli, who also produced "Frozen," was unfazed, emphasizing "Big Hero 6" was "a love letter to Japanese culture." "We hope that Japan loves it," he said. ___ Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Graphic novel 'Polar' heading for film adaptation
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Graphic novel 'Polar' heading for film adaptation

Dark Horse Comics is looking to take its graphic novel "Polar: Came In From The Cold" and adapt it for cinema, with production slated to start in 2015.Black Kaiser is the focus of the hit spy story, a retired but deadly spy whose personal mission sends him into the heart of Cold War conspiracy. Victor Santos originally published "Polar" as a free web comic, using a distinctive style and palette, eschewing dialogue to emphasize artistic proficiency. But its potential saw Dark Horse pick up the story, integrate a text-based script, and republish in 2013. A film script has already been provided by Jayson Rothwell (horror comedy "Silent Night," fairytale update "Malice in Wonderland") and production company Constantin Film, which stands behind adaptations of young adult fiction series "The Mortal Instruments" and four "Resident Evil" films, based on the influential video game, is partnering with Dark Horse Comics with a spring 2015 shooting date in mind. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Architect Frank Gehry shocks with obscene gesture
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Architect Frank Gehry shocks with obscene gesture

MADRID (AP) — Architect Frank Gehry traveled to Spain to receive a prestigious award but shocked his hosts by responding to a reporter's question with an obscene gesture and making contemptuous comments about most modern architecture. The American-Canadian was in the northern city of Oviedo to accept one of Spain's Prince of Asturias prizes Friday. Local media reported that on the eve of the ceremony, Gehry reacted with a rude gesture at a news conference when asked if his work was based on spectacle. Gehry said 98 percent of buildings today lack sensitivity and respect for humanity, according to El Pais. He has created the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, an arts center sponsored by the LVMH Fashion Group. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

P.D. James' riff on Jane Austen comes to TV
Friday Oct 24, 2014
P.D. James' riff on Jane Austen comes to TV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actors generally are eager for work and a challenge, but Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin admit they were skittish about taking on the lead characters of "Pride and Prejudice." This despite the fact Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are out of their element in "Death Comes to Pemberley," an adaptation of P.D. James' 2011 mystery novel of the same name that plunges the now-married pair into murder most foul. The two-part drama airs on consecutive Sundays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, on PBS. The eminent James, 94, was largely applauded for her riff on Jane Austen's much-loved classic. Rhys and Martin, however, saw themselves as interlopers unfit for their famed characters. "We laughed a lot in that we felt we were both there by mistake," said Rhys. "Anna said, 'I win awards for (playing characters) wearing tracksuits in the projects and here I am playing Elizabeth Darcy.'" Martin, in a phone call from England, acknowledged feeling "really daunted." She's been seen on U.S. television in U.K. imports including "The Bletchley Circle" and "Bleak House." "It carries a great weight playing those parts and if you get it wrong, you'll get slammed," she said. Rhys, who stars in FX's "The Americans," said Darcy's social status gave him pause. "As much as I enjoy doing accent work, upper-class English is the one that sticks in me," said the Welsh-born actor. "It's not just about an accent, but it affects everything: your deportment, how you hold yourself." The result is, he said: "I feel incredibly fake and fraudulent." Qualms aside, both he and Martin carry off their roles with aplomb and wit. As "Death Comes to Pemberley" opens, six years have passed since the courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice," and the couple has settled into life in Darcy's grand estate, Pemberley, and into the role of parents. Then comes trouble in the person of Elizabeth's loose-cannon sister, Lydia, and her husband, George Wickham, as dashing but shifty as ever. The mystery plays out with James' usual skill at careful plotting and with a bedroom scene — discreet, of course — that wouldn't have made the 19th-century cut for "Pride and Prejudice." Any project connected to the novel faces the specter of Colin Firth's brooding Darcy and Jennifer Ehle's sparkling Elizabeth in the 1995 TV miniseries, an enduring hit with, as Martin puts it, "brilliant" performances. A new generation of Austen fans was gifted the swooning 2005 "Pride & Prejudice" big-screen movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. But it's the miniseries that uniquely boasts the wet puffy-shirt scene, in which Darcy takes a quick dip in a pond to cool his ardor for Elizabeth. He then strides manfully — if soaked — toward a fateful encounter with his true love. No equivalent was discussed for the PBS drama. "But we joked about it," Rhys said. ___ Online: http://www.pbs.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Nominees for Grammy Awards to be announced Dec. 5
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Nominees for Grammy Awards to be announced Dec. 5

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy will announce the nominees for the 2015 Grammy Awards the morning of Dec. 5, except for one category: the coveted album of the year. The nominees for the top prize will come later that day when the academy debuts the new TV special, "A Very GRAMMY Christmas," to air on CBS at 9 p.m. EST. It will feature performances from Pharrell and Ariana Grande. The Grammys first launched a televised concert announcing its main nominees in 2008. Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said in an interview Thursday it was time to switch it up. "We're freshening up, changing this up a little bit and the kickoff for Grammy season will still be getting our nominations out that day, albeit a little differently," Portnow said. The one-hour Christmas special will be hosted by LL Cool J and also will include Maroon 5, Tim McGraw and some others to be announced at a later date, show producer Ken Ehrlich said Thursday. It will tape Nov. 18 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The nominees for album of the year will be announced toward the end of the program, Ehrlich said. Grande, Pharrell and the others will perform their own hits and holiday songs, as well as discuss their favorite holiday moments and Grammy moments. All of the performers are Grammy winners except for Grande, who marked a breakthrough this year with a string of hits, including "Problem." "If you ask any musical artist what their best Christmas gift would be, maybe eight out of 10 of them would say a Grammy nomination," Ehrlich said. The 57th annual Grammy Awards will air live Feb. 8 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will include 83 categories. ___ Online: http://www.grammy.com/ ___ Follow Mesfin Fekadu on Twitter at twitter.com/MusicMesfin Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Punk icon Joan Jett savors rockin' role-model gig
Friday Oct 24, 2014
Punk icon Joan Jett savors rockin' role-model gig

NEW YORK (AP) — "Can't stay at home, can't stay at school! Old folks say: 'Ya poor little fool!'" Punk pioneer Joan Jett doesn't give a spit if you lump her in with old folks. The "wild girl" in the incendiary anthem "Cherry Bomb" embraces aging while raging — and, at 56, relishes her gig as a rockin' role model. On Thursday night, the snarlingly sensuous singer-guitarist, flanked by famous friends and fresh-faced acolytes, provided the three-chord thrash as she was named Rocker of the Year at the jubilant Little Kids Rock educational fundraiser. Alice Cooper presented the award. Other performers included Billie Joe Armstrong and Tommy James, who sang "Crimson and Clover" with Jett. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 nominee, who co-founded the seminal group the Runaways at age 16, spent decades fending off music industry males who snubbed and humiliated female rockers. While the glass ceiling is still not entirely shattered, "there are girls playing rock 'n' roll in every city I go to," Jett said in an interview with The Associated Press. These days, Jett's ferocious philosophy is tempered: count your blessings; welcome challenges; find your passion; honor your parents; "be kind but don't take any crap." "Aspects of me are very confident. I'm also very shy," confesses the woman who struts around the stage with flaring nostrils and arched brow, tenderized by a wink or wry smile. Post 1980s inflation and technology have recalculated "I Love Rock and Roll's" route to the dance floor ("so put another dime in the jukebox, baby"). But Jett's take-no-prisoners pathos roars on in Generation L.K.R. "She is the queen of rock; I've been listening to her all my life," singer-songwriter Tsi Shaffer, 17, of Jersey City, New Jersey, said before performing. "She's iconic because she's such a strong woman." Little Kids Rock, which provides instruments and lessons for budget-strapped schools, makes young rockers want to cruise in the education lane. Who wouldn't when you're surrounded — even for a single, shooting-star night — by old-school cool like Jett and Rock Hall denizens Cooper, Darlene Love and Steven Van Zandt? Instrumentalist-vocalist Jake Clemons, doing his own thing after globe-trotting with Bruce Springsteen, received the Big Man of the Year award named for his uncle, the late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons. Performers from Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Manhattan's Lower Community Middle School and Public School 98 held their own amid the masters at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Jett's parents bought her a $30 guitar when she was 13. Her teacher looked at her strangely when she wanted to rock. She soon figured it out herself. "When you're a kid," she says, "you're naive" and "figure you can conquer the world. You don't think about obstacles." Still, she acknowledges it was "life and death ... scary" when 23 record companies rebuffed her first solo album. The rejection was actually a "blessing" — prompting producer Kenny Laguna and his wife to sink their meager life savings into Blackheart Records. Jett peddled her vinyl "out of the trunk of the car." This year, the doting aunt and cat-mom dominated "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with Nirvana at the Rock Hall show in Brooklyn and appeared in a Stephen King-based Lifetime movie. Riper themes inform her art: the "devastating" loss of parents and friends; midlife "freakouts." Rock keeps you mentally young, but maturity has its advantages. "Some aspects of being young were difficult," says Jett. "Being too much in your mind." Even a rebel can "worry about what people think about you, say about you." The grown Joan knows how to "take a step back and breathe." ___ Online: http://www.littlekidsrock.org/ https://rockhall.com/inductees/nominees/joan-jett-and-the-blackhearts/ http://www.joanjett.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Judge: Chris Brown following probation rules
Thursday Oct 23, 2014
Judge: Chris Brown following probation rules

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge says Chris Brown has been doing well and following his probation rules since his last hearing in August. The Grammy-winning R&B singer appeared in a Los Angeles court Thursday for a progress report. Judge James Brandlin told Brown he's shown good cooperation with the probation department. Brandlin bumped Brown's community labor requirement from three days to four, but said that was only to ensure that he met his work requirement by the end of his probation in January. Another hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15. Brown was jailed for nearly three months earlier this year for violating his probation by getting into an altercation outside a Washington, D.C., hotel last year. He was on probation after he attacked pop singer Rihanna, his then-girlfriend, before the 2009 Grammy Awards. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.