Saturday

Taste of Chicago : Black Crowes, Lyfe Jennings, John Mayer and More Mega Treats


If you're in Chi-town and seek a taste of the free, major concerts being served this year at the 2007 Taste of Chicago, hold onto your food tickets and dig into these Grant Park music goodies coming to the Petrillo Music Shell. From The Black Crowes and Lyfe Jennings to the cast of Wicked and country classics by Kenny Rogers, here's a sample of the entertainment on the Taste of Chicago's hot menu:


Saturday, June 30 at 3:00 p.m.
KENNY ROGERS
• Country music legend Kenny Rogers has been at it for over 50 years, even giving rock, pop and soul music fans a thrill with his raspy voice. But did you know this about Kenny Rogers? His music is extremely popular in Africa -- especially in Kenya. Check out this NPR audio file about the African hip-hop crowd who make Rogers' classic songs such as "The Gambler" among the most requested songs on African radio.
• Check the website for Kenny Rogers if you're interested in his latest news.

Sunday, July 1, at 3:30 p.m.
SARA EVANS and CRAIG MORGAN
• Some of us only became aware of country music's Sara Evans through her stint on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." A show which she quit after filing for divorce. However, fans of her music genre have known this gorgeous, People magazine annointed singer a long while. Sara Evans' hit songs "No Place That Far" and "Born to Fly" have taken enabled her to soar to the top of the Billboard Country Music charts.
• Visit the website for Sara Evans for additional information.

Monday, July 2 at 6:00 p.m.
BROADWAY IN CHICAGO
• Casts of the acclaimed musicals Wicked and The Color Purple promise to sing and dance away our extra pounds gained while enjoying the Taste of Chicago. Festival goers this day also will enjoy the amazing Chicago Children's Choir.
Broadway in Chicago provides information about various hit musicals and plays currently on Chi-town's playbill, if you'd like to quench your thirst for New York-style culture.

Tuesday, July 3 at 8:00 p.m.
GRANT PARK ORCHESTRA & MACY'S FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR
• Classical music lovers can enjoy the Grant Park Orchestra at the Taste this year, right before the huge fireworks display. By the way, GPO performs for free at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park all summer long. They'll even be joined by the hit indie rock band, The Decemberists on July 18th, as a highlight of the Metro club's big anniversary celebration.
• The Grant Park Orchestra website provides GPO's full schedule of performances at Pritzker Pavilion.


Wednesday, July 4 at 3:00 p.m.
JOHN MAYER and ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND
• Pop princess Jessica Simpson seems to love John Mayer, and Chicagoans do, too. Which is why so many of us will hit Grant Park to catch this 2007 Grammy Award-winner. But while we're "Waiting on the World to Change," get a load of Mayer's opening act: Robert Randolph & The Family Band. This exciting band, considered a power combo of soul, funk, rock and hip-hop, is a real crowd-pleaser.
• Check both websites for more groovin' news: John Mayer and Robert Randolph & The Family Band.

Thursday, July 5 at 5:30 p.m.
LYFE JENNINGS and MUSIQ SOULCHILD
• Multi-platinum selling R&B artist Lyfe Jennings adopted his moniker earnestly. He took the name on for tough lessons learned from serving 10 years of jail time on an arson conviction. But a month after his release, Lyfe appeared on the "Showtime At the Apollo" and won the hearts of America's toughest audience. Neo Soul music lovers, no doubt, will turn out en masse to hear Lyfe croon his popular tune -- "S.E.X." -- and other hits at the Taste this year.
• Lyfe Jennings' MySpace page is not to be missed, soul music lovers.

Friday, July 6 at 5:30 p.m.
THE BLACK CROWES
• Stand back, Chi-town: The Black Crowes are about to give it to us, hard rock-style. With a penchant toward the sweet, classic metal stylings of the mighty Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes' are about to bring sexy back to the Petrillo Music Shell. This one you won't want to miss, particularly since it's FREE, courtesy the City of Chicago.
• Check out The Black Crowes official website for more of their nitty-gritty dirt.

Saturday, July 7 at 5:00 p.m.
CHEAP TRICK, SOUL ASYLUM and CRACKER
• Heavily influenced by British rock, Cheap Trick can be heard regularly on television. They have bragging rights to providing the theme music for "That '70s Song" and "Sons and Daughters." Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Cheap Trick's art from their album Rockford serves this as the official graphic for their hometowns' vehicle registration stickers. That's almost enough to make some fans of this punk rock and Beatles-sounding band migrate.
• Check out Cheap Trick at their official website for other news.

Sunday, July 8 at 3:00 p.m.
LOS LONELY BOYS
• Originally from the small Texas town of San Angelo, this band of three Tejano brothers -- Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza - have been hailed as the new Los Lobos. Except these guys are carving their own place in Tex-Mex history under the name of Los Lonely Boys. Mentored by Willie Nelson, these 2005 Grammy Award winners are impressively considered a blend of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Santana. Los Lonely Boys is yet another free concert in Grant Park not to be missed.
• Los Lonely Boys official website provides more info on these talented brothers.


These are but a few of the free concerts on the 2007 Taste of Chicago lineup. With about six additional stages featuring popular local acts ranging from Muntu Dance to Reginald T. McCants, you'll definitely want to check the City of Chicago's Taste of Chicago website for more mouth-watering performances.

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Friday

Concert For Diana: Warning, We Could Need Translation Services


The Concert For Diana will broadcast around the world, as people everywhere adored Lady Diana But for the universal power of music, those of us on this side of ye old pond probably won't understand a word of Princes William and Harry's royal remarks. What am I bloody yapping about? The Concert For Diana, that most anticipated music celebration on Sunday, July 1, honoring the greatly missed People's Princess.

Concert For Diana airs on Sunday, July 1st, 2007, celebrating the life of Princess Diana The worldwide televised event in Princess Diana's loving memory promises great entertainment with Elton John, Fergie, Kanye West, Joss Stone, Pharrell Williams, Diddy, Rod Stewart and Nelly Furtado among the powerhouse list of performers. However, I'm a little concerned we won't always know what's being said between band sets, given our cultural differences.

The thing is, I checked the Concert For Diana site for this wonderful charitable event's details... and just about needed a translation book. Well, not really, but I did get a kick out of the British terminology there.

For example, the "Info Q&A" page says this about security at newly designed Wembley Stadium: As at all large arenas and stadia, there will be security guards and bag checks.

Stadia? I feel cheated! Why don't we, their country cousins in America, commonly use this fancy term?

Another example, when warning concert-goers about the possibility of inclement weather: If your seat is on the pitch... If it rains, you will get rained on; bring a lightweight raincoat or cagoule.

Maybe it's my vocabulary limits that's that problem. But do stadia here in America usually seat folk that close to a baseball mound?

And what, again, should they wear for protection? In search of an answer, I found this Fatal Bazooka video at YouTube, titled "Fous Ta Cagoule"...



Does this mean that well-endowed blokes -- those who Chunnel in from France, anyway -- should prepare for the sport of sex in the event the American-tinged music of Joss Stone lands them at first base? Because here in the U.S., I believe these cagoule-things that Fatal Bazooka raps about are commonly called jimmy hats.

But don't quote me: I could be wrong as two, left brogues.

Princess Diana's handsome sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, are throwing quite a celebration in memory of their loving motherSuch a tragedy, the death of Princess Diana was.  But her two amazing sons seem fit to carry on their beautiful mum's tradition of helping heal the world Hosted by Matt Lauer, the Concert For Diana airs in the U.S. on NBC at 8 p.m. (CT).

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Tuesday

Married to the Mob : Hillary & Bill Clinton's New Video


Next at bat and scoring a home run in the viral video arena is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. To announce the song that's won selection as her official campaign music, the presidential candidate's team has released a "Sopranos"-esque video spoof in which she and husband Bill Clinton star.

Casually dressed and seated in a diner, the Clintons flip through songs featured on a tabletop jukebox, chatting about which tunes might win Hillary's campaign music contest. Posted at her official site, the Clintons' video short even includes a brief and menacing appearance by "Sopranos" actor Vince Curatola, who played mob boss Johnny "Sack."

Way to play ball, Team Clinton. The former First Couple -- and Next Couple hopefuls -- seem to strike back at Obama Girl's popularity in a most resounding way.

The video ends, by the way, as abruptly as the now infamous "Sopranos" show ...................................................

And then, you're invited to make a campaign contribution.

Related Links:

HBO's video bank of Sopranos clips and actor interviews

Washington Post on Clinton's "Sopranos" spoof and importance of the Web in 2008 Presidential Campaign

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Friday

Obama Fan Video: "I Got a Crush - I'm a Stalker"



Obama Girl is either one heck of an actress, or
Michelle Obama had better keep an eye on
the funny bunny-burner in this hot YouTube video...



"I Got a Crush On Obama"
Obama Girl




"Jay-Z, You Are Amazing"
Katrina, A "Dr. Phil" Guest




"He Does Not Want Your Flower!"
Mr. Pregnant, YouTube Star



Top 10 Movies About Female Stalkers



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Wednesday

Last Patient Standing : Michael Moore's 'Sicko' Illustrates Plight of Edith Rodriguez


Last Comic Standing has its season premier tonight on NBC

A promotional television spot for "Last Comic Standing," which has a 2-hour season premier tonight on NBC, really captured my attention. In the promo, an up-and-coming comedian jokes about hospitals asking us who should be contacted in case there's an emergency. "The doctor!" is the comic's killer punchline. No truer logic exists.

But sadly for 43-year-old Edith Rodriguez -- who for 45-minutes writhed on the Emergency Room floor vomiting blood at a Los Angeles hospital -- calling a doctor would not happen. Her boyfriend grew so desperate for medical attention for her that he dialed 9-1-1, hoping to get Rodriguez to a different facility for care. His plea to paramedics for help was dismissed. Same thing happened when a complete stranger could no longer tolerate watching the woman die on the E.R. floor.

Eventually, the police came for Rodriguez. She died while they wheeled her out of the hospital. They hadn't come to help her, however. The police had come to arrest the dying woman for a parole violation.

ssR.I.P., Edith Rodriguez, whose shocking lack of treatment at a Los Angeles hospital's emergency room led to her demise
What policy, directive or threat could these hospital workers possibly have to justify so heartlessly ignoring this dying woman? It turns out the hospital already was on a 23-day probation for mishandling too many previous cases.

Adding insult to injury is the facility's name: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Harbor Hospital. Every African American employee, in particular, who walked past the dying Rodriguez should hang his or her head in shame...

Filmmaker Michael Moore challenges the healthcare system in his new movie, Sicko
Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore's new documentary, "Sicko," hits theaters on June 29 -- and not a moment too soon. A film that confronts a complacent American public for not demanding more humane treatment for those struggling to afford decent health care, "Sicko" importantly focuses its audiences on this, according to the Guardian Unlimited:

That the United States ranked only 37th on the WHO list, just two slots ahead of Cuba, particularly infuriates Moore: With more wealth and technology than any other country, we nevertheless have 50 million citizens without insurance, 9 million of them children. As "Sicko" anecdotally documents, many Americans eligible for insurance can't afford it, and a long inventory of preexisting conditions limits the insurability of those who can.

Among "Sicko's" villains are politicians who pocket millions from HMOs and pharmaceuticals while denouncing universal care as little better than a Communist plot.

Say what you will about Michael Moore's stance or tactics, but he continues to be a hero in my eyes. His is arguably one of the most important voices in America, period. I'm sure that poor Edith Rodriguez and no less than Dr. Martin Luther King would agree.

Links:
~ CNN transcript: Where the presidential candidates stand on healthcare

~ New York Times: "911 Tapes: Dying Woman Was Denied Help"

~ L.A. Times: Slide show covering Edith Rodgriguez's homegoing service

~ MichaelMoore.com

~ Michael Moore's interview at Time.com

~ Technorati Tags:

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Saturday

Rihanna : Hot Piranha Twirls 'Umbrella'


Barbados, where pop singer Rihanna was reared, is a lovely island, where the beach umbrella signifies a chilled-out life.

You may think it's time for a summer vacation, but it's not. It's back-to-school time, boys and girls. And what's today's lesson? We're studying the music industry, particularly that all-important function called Artist & Repertoire. It's listed on your syllabus as "Pop Star 101: The Making Of a ..."
Sexy Rihanna, pop sensation on Jay-Z's Def Jam labelUnder the "umbrella" of covering exotic pop sensations, some of the Internet's most-trusted music critics have filed highly entertaining articles reviewing Rihanna's new CD, "Good Girl Gone Bad." Not one of the reviews we're referencing outright flatters her for vocal talent. Yet, all praise her new set as a pop-music success infused with reggae and new wave-ish elements.

Don't miss these excellent reviews of "Good Girl Gone Bad" by Jay-Z's smoldering "it girl" on Def Jam:

~ A seriously thoughtful piece at the Village Voice, "The Battle For the Heart of R&B," critiques the potential of Rihanna versus Amerie, another Jay-Z / Def Jam artist whose moment a few summers ago seems to have timed out.

~ A second Village Voice writer, in "Mediocre Girl Gone Good," herald's Rihanna's "triumphant, only occasionally cringeworthy pop-coronation."

~ And Clay Cane's review of Rihanna for Edge New York not only warns listeners of her penchant to fall in the pop music category, he also cautions the 5'9" princess from Barbados may be what Hall & Oates dubbed a "man-eater."


It's plain to see why all eyes are on Piranha. I mean Rihanna. And we all know why: Music fans are baiting / awaiting her cat(fish) fight with Jay-Z's girl, Beyonce.




Ring the alarm, indeed; school's definitely not out. And the one thing we may learn, class, is this: As CEO of Def Jam, the "Mike Jordan of recordin'" is also an A&R genius -- for casting the net causing so much hype for a most luminescent, new vixen.

Links:
-- Rihanna nets Billboard trifecta with "Good Girl Gone Bad"
-- Rihanna's biography at Billboard
-- Discover, Dream, Enjoy : Barbados.org
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Friday

Paris Hilton : A Manolo Blahnik Walk Back to Jail


Hilton Hotel heiress Paris Hilton cries en route back to jail, where The Simple Life apparently isn't so simpleOkay: I give! The Paris Hilton (back in) jail drama wins... As hard as I tried not to type the words Paris Hilton here, I need to go ahead and get it out of my system. You might say I walked in Paris's Manolo Blahnik sandals yesterday. But today, you could say I'd like to chuck a sexy pair of Manolos at the whorish legal system...

I'd like to chuck one of Paris Hilton's gorgeous Manolo Blahnik sandals at the person who permitted Paris to live above the law.I had to go to Traffic Court yesterday for not paying an undeserved (!) ticket. I arrived alone and not worried, but then noticed a few other alleged traffic offenders -- with attorneys. Soon, the judge arrived and explained the process. I couldn't hear her over the security guard fussing behind me, at someone about cell phone use. All I heard the judge say was "... $100 ... plead not guilty ... jail."

I grew nervous. Traffic Court was more serious than I knew. I didn't want to wind up anywhere near(er) Paris Hilton's situation. When the cop pulled me over, he claimed I "sort of" rolled through a stop sign. Ticked off for feeling picked on when far more serious incidents are happening, I didn't mail the ticket payment. So now, I wanted to plead not guilty, but didn't want to risk having to deal further with the system by doing so.

If something so shocking as jail could happen to Paris Hilton, it could certainly happen to me, I'd finally realized.

Now I didn't think my minor, first-time offense alone could land me in jail. But I knew that my attitude about the situation possibly could. I couldn't trust myself to pipe down or say the right things to get off, if/when the ticketing officer told his side of our encounter. I prayed for mouthal control and hoped I wouldn't get myself slapped with contempt of court.

But the gods were on my side: The arse of a cop who wrote me the ticket failed to show up. So the judge dismissed my case. I got to keep that $100 in my pocket and barely had to open my pie hole. I made a mad dash out of the building -- before the judge changed her mind! All but kicking my heels. They were hardly Manolos, though...

Outside the courthouse, I ran into my cousin's ex-boyfriend, whom I'll call Greg. He'd just escaped from Traffic Court, too -- but without as much luck. Like the Shawshank Redemption's anti-heroes bonding, Greg and I decided to grab lunch together to chat the details. But McDonald's, he said, was all he could afford. He'd just have an ice cream cone...

A handsome and domineering 36-year-old who moved here from Germany six years ago, Greg said over lunch that his traffic incident had shattered his life. As a result of allegedly running a red light after a Super Bowl party, everything had come unglued. A lady cop had stopped him; knowing him, he grew indignant with her. She'd wanted him to take a sobriety test; he'd refused. She called for back-up to search (ransack) his car. Of course, nothing illegal was found. But the lady cop kept Greg's license; his driving privilege was revoked.

Unfortunately, Greg drove a short-distance hauling van for a living, so he lost his job. He also had to let go of his leased van: The City would have impounded it, since he now had no license to drive. Poor thing, he's had to learn the city's public transit system and lives deep in the suburbs, where absolutely little happens. With his heavy German accent (and attitude), he's having a tough time finding work.

I was in disbelief. The invisible arm of the law had reached in and grabbed this proud man by the throat and strangled him out of a livelihood. And with it, quite a bit of his dignity...

An hour or so later, I learned that Paris Hilton -- a fellow traffic offender -- was released from jail. Humph.

Manolo Blahnik shoesWasn't Paris Hilton once in the same shoes as Greg -- but worse? Unlike Greg, Paris took the sobriety test, and failed it. Unlike Greg, Paris kept her car(s), and obviously used them, unlicensed. From what I've read, she was stopped twice after losing her right to drive for suspect driving... Fortunately, no one was killed.

In Paris Hilton's situation, I see a compelling Shawshank Redemption storyline the writer might have deleted from the script. And to the hilt I'd say Hilton & Company have played it. This wealthy, make-believe Shawshank character speaks to the role of money and influence, and the special privilege they can create.

I don't doubt that Paris Hilton verged on a nervous breakdown in jail; I could have had one just thinking about it while I sat in Traffic Court. But what about the worries of people like Greg whose lives are devasted by the law? And what about the inmates Paris Hilton left behind? Don't most of them cry and fret and lose their appetite and pass out or whatever at some point?

I mean, really: How many people gleefully click their Manolos behind bars? Oh wait: No one in jail probably even owns a pair of Manolos, except a brat on a three-day hiatus from her Simple Life. Jail's not supposed to feel like a Hilton Hotel, you know.

Paris Hilton, Hilton Hotel heiress, was returned to her jail cell about an hour ago, to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. My friend Greg is free to come and go as he pleases -- but only on the bus or subway, in search of an income he may never find.

It seems as though Greg got the tougher sentence.
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Thursday

Summer Fun : Cool Cocktails, Grilling & Music


Ready for hot fun in the summertime?  Well, break out your BBQ grill, cocktail mixer and let's get started!

It isn't officially summer yet... But isn't it high time we get in the spirit of the season's hot, sweaty fun? Now's the time for spiritual chilling, for sloughing-off that dull winter skin. So check out these awesome summer cocktail, grilling and music highlights:

I first learned the word 'mojito' in Paris.  Mojito is the name of a super-cool dance club we partied at in the sleezy Pigalle section of Paris.  What fun!  Since then, the mojito cocktail has become one of my 'absolut' favorite drinks~ Here at the Original CyberLounge, we only serve you "mental" martinis. But if possible, I'd be slinking to your table on the patio with your beverage choice from the Food Network's awesome Top 10 Summer Cocktails list. My Absolut favorites are the Cape Codder and Mojito. But with eight more cool offerings on the Food Network's summer drink menu, you're bound to find something tasty to ward off the heat.

Summer grilling is fun, but it can also be dangerous.  So watch out for those flames!  Always keep plenty of water nearby. ~ While some like it hot, others like it sizzling -- everything from oysters and salmon steaks to turkey burgers and apple crisp, that is. Check out RD Living's menu of Summer Grilling Recipes and Food & Wine's Summer Grilling Perfect 10. They'll bring Sexyback to your backyard; you'll be smelling lighter fluid by the end of this post.


~ Now that you've got your drink on like Will Farrell's landlord [video] and your grillz as hot as Nelly and Paul Wall's [video], all you need is some smokin' new music. Check out these best bet new CDs coming soon to an outdoor sound system near you...

Jay-Z's got something hot cooking on the BBQ grill, too, it seems.  But as Concrete Loop says, 'What Beyonce doesn't know won't hurt her.
~ Rihanna's "Good Girl Gone Bad" (see Clay Cane's music review)... Clay doesn't exactly give Jay-Z's sultry pop protege a glowing write-up, but if you know Clay's hilarious way with words...

~ Jazz master Chick Corea joins fusion banjo wiz Bela Fleck on "The Enchantment," reviewed with big thumbs-up at Billboard

~ R. Kelly Flirts His Way to No. 1 Chart Debut, says Billboard, with his newly released album Double Up

~ If you're a fan of Big & Rich, stomp on over to Billboard for the music review of "Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace"

~ For jazz, see Billboard's music review of "We All Love Ella," featuring the songs of Ella Fitzgerald performed by Linda Rondstadt, Queen Latifah, and others.

~ And dance club diva Ultra Nate' is back with "Grime, Silk and Thunder"! Don't miss her visually arresting video for her cover of the Pointer Sisters classic, "Automatic."
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Monday

Fergie : The Fergalicious Dutchess On Tour


Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas stands outs among pop stars, perhaps demonstrating the true spirit of the next 'Madonna'

Fergie Concert Tickets Here
Chicago House of Blues, Sun., 6/10



Fergie's Glamorous Party
details,
6/10 in Chicago



Scroll Down For All Verizon Concert Tour Details,
Thru Late July





There are a good number of top-selling female artists today who are nearing the commercial cross-over success of legends like Madonna and Tina Turner. But not all of today's super-girls have the DNA for je ne sais quoi that makes a Madonna or Tina so much extra in their own time.

You might, for example, agree that Beyonce Knowles is an exciting, contemporary version of the legendary Tina Turner. But if you look closely, you may also detect in The Dutchess -- i.e., Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas -- a sassy secret sauce that eventually landed a young Madonna atop a unique pedestal in pop music history.

[Hear Fergie's hot CD, "The Dutchess," in the right sidebar --->]

Sure, the industry today is crowded with sexy pop stars who're contenders for the "Madonna crown." But you've gotta admit there's something so distinctive... so soulful... so ... so Fergalicious about Stacy Ann Ferguson that she's practically, well, Like a Virgin!

Lil' Stacy Ann Ferguson on Kids Incorporated




Fergie's Verizon concert tour will soon hit St. Louis, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston and Anaheim.  Scroll down for remaining 2007 concert tour dates Not just "like" a virgin, hopefully Fergie was a real one at that young age...



But back to the here-and-now... The next time you listen to the super-cool song Glamorous, imagine the sophisticated and reinvented Madonna having sung it. And Fergie's sexually playful tune London Bridge? Isn't it similar to those funky, energetic classics by Madonna, too?

Conversely, if anyone ever records a cover of Madonna's mega-hit Vogue, who else but Fergie could take it to the next level? Make such a fly and fashionable gem sound even more... glamorous?

Still, there are Fergie critics... Note: When she's not just funning around in a song, Fergie has a beautiful sonora and stealth vocal control. Singing well sounds effortless for her; she has no need to bellow throughout a song to win approval. These are marks of distinction in that illustrious field of cross-over superstars.

Fergie's hit songs may have done well had they been recorded by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera or Gwen Stefani. But the umph with which Fergie delivers them earns only her humps extra lumps of sweet, street cred.

Only time will tell if Fergie's popularity will command her to further reinvent and go officially solo from the Black Eyed Peas. If that day ever comes, I'd say scoot over Madge of London. There's enough room on your famous bridge for a little Dutchess from Kids Incorporated to cross into mega-stardom with you.

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas makes her solo concert debut in Chicago on June 10, 2007
Links:

~ Fergie's 2003 interview @ Chicago Sun-Times




~ FergieWorld at YouTube




~ The wicked Wiki on Fergie




The Fergie Verizon VIP Tour 2007 Schedule
Sun., 6/10 ---------------- Chicago @ House of Blues
Mon., 6/11 ---------------- St. Louis @ Pageant
Wed., 6/13 --------------- Detroit @ State Theatre
Tues., 6/19 --------------- Boston @ Mass. Avalon
Thurs., 6/21 -------------- New York @ Roseland
Tues., 7/17 --------------- Anaheim @ House of Blues
Wed., 7/18 --------------- Los Angeles @ Wiltern Theatre
Thurs., 7/19 -------------- Phoenix @ Dodge Theatre
Sun., 7/22 ---------------- Denver @ Fillmore
Tues., 7/24 --------------- Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom


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Sunday

Don't Cha Wish Your Video Was Funny Like Farrell's?


In the category of humor is as humor does... Comedy Business Turns to the Web, a New York Times Techology story, interviews comedian Will Farrell about his FunnyOrDie.com venture with partner Adam McKay.

Creators of the brilliantly funny and, so far, viewed 30 million times video short "The Landlord," Farrell and McKay say that sketches starring more A-List celebrities are the next big thing. Brooke Shields, Bill Murray and boxer Oscar De La Hoya are among those who have or will shoot comedy videos for Funny or Die.

Hollywood star-power aside, the Saturday Night Live alums will have a tough time beating these standouts found at Farrell's burgeoning funny site:


"Bill Vendall" as Sanjaya as "Bill Vendall":
The Sanjaya Installation



"The Landlord" Out Takes:
The Landlord Out Takes

Rachel Ray Parody:
Rachael Ray Parody -

Don't Cha Wish Your Boyfriend Was Bald Like Me:
DON'T CHA WISH YOUR BOYFRIEND WAS BALD LIKE ME



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Friday

So You Think You Can Stand More Dancing?


Is it my imagination, or are the judges on reality TV shows acting more bizarrely than the delusional contestants? A few nights ago, I happened to catch So You Think You Can Dance on Fox, an American Idol knockoff, but for -- you guessed it: those who (sadly) think they can dance. It was entertaining enough, particularly one kooky, gold helmet-wearing guy from California -- Bryce "Gold Inferno" Cleverly -- who performed a cool and jittery dance from Amsterdam. It's called Jumpstyle, the Gold Inferno said. He learned Jumpstyle from a YouTube video:


Aside from the Pop and Lock dancers, most of whom were amazingly acrobatic and excellent performers, many of the contestants were mediocre. One of the best things about the show was its repeatedly having the dancers perform as a group to Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls... I've been digging the song for a while, having only heard it before on the Borat DVD. Luckily, while searching for a Jumpstyle video to post here, I finally discovered the song's title and artists:


(Now if I can just figure out what the heck "Danity Kane" means...)

Unluckily though, no one on So You Think You Can Dance moved the way these sexy ladies do. Still I suffered through the show. And I emphasize "suffered." Why? Because of the lone female judge on the show, choreographer Mary Murphy...

I ask you, "What's the deal with the reality show judges any more?" This woman annoyingly laughed and laughed to tears throughout the entire show. Laughing at the contestants, right in their faces as they stood there, probably nervous and insulted. But patiently waiting for her to pull it together enough to move on to their critiques...

Who was this Paula Abdul wanna-be, I wondered. Drunk with laughter -- and I mean, she acted high or drunk, making Paula Abdul look sober as the Pope.

Well, at least she didn't fall off her chair. She seemed to come mighty close, though.

And then yesterday, as if not to be upstaged by the far too giddy judge on So You Think You Can Dance, Paula Abdul makes the scandal sheets again with this headline:

Paula Abdul, a judge on American Idol, was caught on tape sobbing and whining because her publicist quit her for too much sobbing and whining
According to the New York Post, there's a conference call audiotape with Paula sobbing and whining to the high heavens about her former publicist, who dropped her as a client. From the looks of the transcript, Paula dramatically whined that he dropped her because she was too whiney. (Note to Paula's new publicist: Run while you still can! Try to get out alive!)

Then, moments later, I caught wind of this: Jerry Springer will host the new season of America's Got Talent, which premieres Tuesday on NBC. Great! If Got Talent judge David Hasselhoff falls off his chair and starts writhing on the floor eating a sandwich again, Jerry-with-the-two-left-feet will dance over to admonish his bad behavior.


I don't know about you, but I can't keep dancing with these wacko stars.
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"Urban Islands" Photo Gallery | Viqi French



Picaboo