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Advances in the management of cerebral malaria in adults

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cerebral malaria continues to be a substantial cause of death and disability worldwide.Although many studies deal with cerebral malaria in children, only very few pertain to adults. Presence of multiorgan failure makes the prognosis poor. Various mechanisms in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria and the role of adjuvant therapy will be discussed. RECENT FINDINGS: Artemisinin-based therapies have improved antiparasitic treatment, but in-hospital mortality still remains high, as do neurological sequelae. Several recent studies have given new insights in the pathophysiology of cerebral malaria particularly the role of immune mechanisms in disease progression. Recent findings have identified several potential candidates for adjuvant neuroprotective treatment. Recombinant human erythropoietin has shown beneficial effect in experimental cerebral malaria and will soon enter into large clinical trials. SUMMARY: Advances have been made in terms of antiparasitic treatment, but the identification of a well tolerated and effective adjuvant treatment to increase survival and reduce brain damage is still pending. The search for new approaches is a major challenge, not least of which is that mechanisms of malaria pathogenesis remain incompletely understood. The paper reviews newer information on pathogenesis and strategies in the management of cerebrl malaria in adults.


May 28, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Top 10 Eminem Songs of All Time

Eminem’s prolific song-writing is part of what makes him one of the greatest emcees of all time. Check out the Detroit MC’s best 10 songs of all time.

10. “Remember Me” (feat. RBX & Sticky Fingaz) [Marshall Mathers LP]

© Shady/Interscope
| Download |Before quirky beefs tore them apart, Eminem and Onyx frontman Sticky Fingaz hooked up with erstwhile Death Row artist RBX for this hardcore concept gem. The chorus switches whenever a different MC grabs the mic, blending rhymes from songs like “No Mercy, No Remorse,” “I’m Shady,” and “Slam” to create the perfectly unorthodox posse cut

9. “Sing for the Moment” [The Eminem Show]

© Shady/Interscope
| Download |Taking a page from Aerosmith’s songbook, Marshall creates a sprawling eye-opener about the hazards of monkey-see-monkey-do. Over the backdrop of Joe Perry’s piercing guitar strokes, Em quips: “They say music can alter moods and talk to you./Well can it load a gun up for you and cock it too?/Well if it can, and the next time you assault a dude,/ Just tell the judge it was my fault, and I’ll get sued.”

8. “Rock Bottom” [The Slim Shady LP]

© Shady/Interscope
| Download |Having lyrically enraged everyone, including his (now estranged) wife and his mom, you would least expect Eminem to have a soft spot in his heart. “Rock Bottom” has Em kicking his angry blonde image to the curb for a moment of introspection and self-pity, obviously penned at a time when life was “full of empty promises and broken dreams.”

7. “We as Americans” [Encore B-Side]

© Fernando Leon/Getty Images
| Download |Sure, Eminem initiated a shift towards political candidness on The Eminem Show, but this pre-“Mosh” thump truly solidified his no-holds-barred attitude. Over the backdrop of riveting piano loops, Em spites everyone from the police department to the president.

6. “Till I Collapse” (feat. Nate Dogg) [The Eminem Show]

| Download |Highlighted by a sprightly sound clash and stained with enough frustration that reveals Marshall’s unwillingness to abandon his hip-hop roots, the Nate Dogg-assisted “Till I Collapse” is a special song indeed. Despite his fury, Slim stops to salute his elders: “I got a list here’s the order that my list it’s in;/It goes Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.”

5. “Role Model” [The Slim Shady LP]

© Shady Records/Interscope
| Download |“I’m cancerous, so when I diss you wouldn’t wanna answer this/If you responded back with a battle rap you wrote for Canibus//”
Some say this was the one that jumped off a battle between Eminem and Canibus. Whatever the case, “Role Model” stands as a testament to the impeccable chemistry between Eminem and his producer-mentor Dr. Dre.

4. “Yellow Brick Road” [Encore]

© Shady/Interscope
| Download |The “N” word is already at the heart of a burning controversy within the African-American populace. So, imagine what the world’s most famous white rapper was up against when a couple of kids came forth with a tape of him using the racial epithet. Rather than hop on a podium and yell “I’m not racist!,” Em opted for a viable approach: a song indexing his upbringing in a pre-dominantly black Detroit neighborhood. “Yellow Brick Road” chronicles what that tape forgot to tell you.

3. “Guilty Conscience” (featuring Dr.Dre) [The Slim Shady LP]

| Download |With Dr. Dre posturing as the antithesis of Em’s evil-minded conscience, both doctor and patient conceive a cure for dry hip-hop collaborations. Slim Shady instructs a young party-crasher to rape a 15-yr old girl, while Dre battles him to prevent the disturbingly immoral act from occurring. Hip-hop emerges victorious.

2. “The Way I Am” [Marshall Mathers LP]

© Shady/Interscope
| Download |No targets. No punching bags. Just Eminem defending his sheer existence as an unapologetic, foul-mouthed, lyrically-equipped artist who can’t stand boy bands.

1. “Stan” (featuring Dido) [Marshall Mathers LP]

|Download|You only need to listen to “Stan” once before realizing that this ill-fated account of a psychotic Eminem worshipper is simply unforgettable. “Stan” unmasks a vulnerable Eminem, one that turns up the pathos several notches while barely raising his voice. Dido’s ethereal crooning adds more soot to the tale.

May 28, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Born Under A Bad Sign: Bad Luck Blues Songs

The history of blues music is full of bad luck songs of one sort or another. Bad luck as a lyrical theme can take a lot of forms, from straight up sufferin’ because of the vagaries of Fate, or bad luck in love due to romantic ills. In other cases, it can be as simple as being broke, or as painful as a toothache. In any event, if you’re indeed “born under a bad sign,” you’ll be singing a bad luck blues song.

1. Albert King – “Born Under A Bad Sign” (1968)

Albert King's King of the Blues Guitar Photo courtesy Stax Records
Blues guitar great Albert King picked up the torch from Blind Lemon Jefferson and came up with his own bad luck blues, the incredible “Born Under A Bad Sign.” King’s lyrical imagery is as brilliant as his six-string licks are hot: “Born under a bad sign, I been down since I begin to crawl; if it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.” Unlike others bad luck blues songs, though, King’s protagonist is OK with it all, cravin’ wine and women and certain that it will all lead to his grave…but not before he has some fun!   )
The Very Best of Big Joe WilliamsPhoto courtesy Price Grabber
Sometimes a blues song is less about one’s questionable karma than it is about running away from your misfortunes. That’s certainly the case of Big Joe Williams, whose “I Won’t Be In Hard Luck No More” makes some hard choices. Life in the South isn’t so good, the song’s protagonist sings, finding “hard luck and trouble, everyplace I go” and “I believe that somebody put bad luck on me, I believe that it’s time to go.” What seals the deal is that when he had money, he had “friends for miles around,” now that his cash is gone, “my friends can not be found.” Although he started in “poor luck town,” he’s on his way to somewhere else.

3. Blind Lemon Jefferson – “Bad Luck Blues” (1926)

The Best of Blind Lemon JeffersonPhoto courtesy Price Grabber
For over 40 years, the “King of the Country Blues,” Blind Lemon Jefferson‘s mournful “Bad Luck Blues” served as the definition of Fate’s cold hand in blues music. Unlucky in love, the song’s protagonist wants to “go home” but he doesn’t have “sufficient clothes.” He gambled away his money, lost his woman, so now he’s gonna hop a freight train and head back to “lovin’ Tennessee,” where he’s going to try and turn his bad luck around…or at least find another woman.

4. Bukka White – “Fixin’ To Die Blues” (1940)

The Complete Bukka WhitePhoto courtesy Legacy Recordings
Country bluesman Bukka White was surely singin’ those bad luck blues when he penned the classic “Fixin’ To Die Blues.” The song’s protagonist, staring down the Reaper, says “I’m lookin’ funny in my eyes, and I believe I’m fixin’ to die; I know I was born to die, but I hate to leave my children cryin’.” Accepting his fate, the singer still doesn’t want his kids “screamin’ and cryin’ on the graveyard ground.” No death-obsessed Goth rocker ever wrote more elegantly about facing the afterlife.

5. Johnny “Guitar” Watson – “Broke & Lonely”

The Very Best of Johnny Guitar WatsonPhoto courtesy Rhino Records
Although he is best known for his 1970s-era funk albums, Johnny “Guitar” Watson first made a splash during the 1950s as a blues guitarist and gifted R&B singer. His telling of this classic bad luck blues song pairs a big-band horn arrangement and some tasty guitar licks with a story about how his “heart’s in misery” and the women won’t holler at him anymore because, well, he’s “broke and hungry.” As soon as he gets some cash together, though, he’s leaving his misfortunes behind and headin’ back to Texas.

6. Mississippi John Hurt – “Trouble, I’ve Had It All My Days” (1966)

Mississippi John Hurt's The Complete Studio RecordingsPhoto courtesy Price Grabber
For some folks, bad luck is all they’ve ever had. Take country bluesman Mississippi John Hurt, whose “Trouble, I’ve Had It All My Days” has its protagonist walking down the street crying ’cause his gal “stayed out all night long.” When arrested and put in jail, he doesn’t “have nobody to go my bail,” and in the end, the song’s protagonist realizes that, “these troubles, gonna carry to my grave.”

7. Muddy Waters – “Hard Days” (1948)

Muddy Waters' One More MilePhoto courtesy Geffen Records
Straight off the plantation, the great Muddy Waters was still singing down-home Delta blues when he first landed in Chicago in 1947. Muddy’s brilliant “Hard Days” might have been the story of his move from Mississippi to the Windy City, but in this case, though, Muddy’s “hard days” have to do with havin’ “nobody to love me” and the sad fact that “my pocketbook was empty,” due to gambling it all away – both themes consistent with bad luck in the blues.

8. Sonny Boy Williamson – “Nine Below Zero” (1961)

Sonny Boy Williamson His BestPhoto courtesy Geffen Records
Unlucky in love, Sonny Boy Williamson sings “ain’t that a pity, I declare it’s a cryin’ shame; she wait till it got nine below zero, and put me down for another man.” Worse yet, the song’s protagonist doesn’t have a dime to his name, and no place to sleep: “I give her all my money, all of my lovin’ and everything; all of my money, all of my lovin’ and everything,” leaving him on the street with nothing but this bad luck tale.

9. Tommy Johnson – “Canned Heat Blues” (1929)

Tommy Johnson's Complete Recorded WorksPhoto courtesy Price Grabber
As tales of woe go, alcoholism is perhaps one of the baddest pieces of luck that can befall a bluesman or woman. Obscure, but not untalented, early Delta blues artist Tommy Johnson has the jones bad for that ol’ “canned heat,” a particularly nasty form of sterno that was drunk as an alcohol substitute. Although the song’s protagonist (probably biographical) knows that “canned heat killing me,” it’s actually his bad luck with women that has led him to drink.

10. Watermelon Slim & the Workers – “I’ve Got A Toothache” (2008)

Watermelon Slim and the Workers' No Paid HolidaysPhoto courtesy Northern Blues Music
Dental problems always make for a great bad luck blues song, even if they’re indicative of some other sort of trouble. In this case, Watermelon Slim’s “I’ve Got A Toothache” is a straight-up story of a rotten molar. Accompanied by some of the greasiest slide-Dobro that you’ve ever heard, Slim’s talking blues-styled vocals lay out the sordid tale. The painkiller isn’t helping, he can’t sleep, he hates the dentist and his drill, the tooth is throbbing all damn night, and even a glass of bourbon doesn’t help. In the end, Slim concludes that, “a toothache people, that ain’t nothing but the blues.” Amen.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Top 10 Britney Spears Songs

Britney Spears emerged as a pop star at the age of 16 in 1998. Her music became the definitive sound of teen pop. Her star faded amid tabloid headlines, but, defying the odds, she returned in 2007 to become as big of a pop star as she had been before with some of the best music of her career.

1. “…Baby One More Time” (1998)

Britney Spears - ...Baby One More TimeCourtesy Jive

This single introduced Britney to pop music fans around the world. Produced by pop mastermind Max Martin, the song is full of hooks and a big mainstream pop sound. The accompanying schoolgirl video caused a sensation, and, when the single hit #1, Britney was assured of stardom.

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2. “Toxic” (2004)

Britney Spears - ToxicCourtesy Jive Records

This hit helped prove Britney could still put together stirring and original music six years after her first appearance. The song is a killer dance track with a James Bond adventure movie feel. “Toxic” deservedly brought Britney Spears back to the pop top 10 for the first time in four years.

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3. “Womanizer” (2008)

Britney Spears - WomanizerCourtesy Jive Records

Britney Spears hit #1 on the pop singles chart with “Womanizer.” It was her first trip to the top since the first single “…Baby One More Time.” It’s a good song, and will stick in your mind the very first time. It is accompanied by arguably the best music video of Britney’s career.

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4. “Piece Of Me” (2007)

Britney Spears - Piece Of MeCourtesy Jive Records

Here Britney Spears takes on the paparazzi directly, and she is taking no prisoners. After listening to this, if you still want a piece of her, you are more brave than most of us.

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5. “Oops!..I Did It Again” (2000)

Britney Spears - Oops! I Did It AgainCourtesy Jive Records

After the phenomenal success of her first album, millions of Britney Spears’ fans wondered what she would do for an encore. “Oops!..I Did It Again” is catchy, a triumphant return to formula, and deliriously witty. The spoken word allusions to the Titanic near the end of the song cap a triumphant second act for Britney Spears.

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6. “Circus” (2008)

Britney Spears - CircusCourtesy Jive Records

The title song of the Circus album proved that “Womanizer” was no fluke. It also cemented Britney Spears’ return to membership among the elite pop musicians of today. It seems that Britney Spears is here to stay.

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7. “(You Drive Me) Crazy” (1999)

Britney Spears - CrazyCourtesy Jive Records

The second single from Britney’s debut album is nearly as catchy as the first above. By the end of the first time you hear it, or possibly the second, you are bound to be singing along to the “cra-a-a-azy” chorus. It might follow a simple formula, but it sure is fun.

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8. “I’m a Slave 4 U” (2001)

Britney Spears - I'm a Slave 4 UCourtesy Jive Records

By the time of this single off her third album, it was obvious Britney Spears was becoming an adult. This song is a radical shift from the “not quite innocent” 16 year old schoolgirl of Britney’s first album. Slinky and sexy have crept into the Britney Spears style.

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9. “Gimme More” (2007)

Britney Spears - Gimme MoreCourtesy Jive Records

“It’s Britney, bitch.” The big comeback of Britney Spears began here with the first single from Blackout. Produced by Timbaland associate Danja, she roared back to the top of the charts older, wiser, and amazingly sexy.

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10. “Stronger” (2000)

Britney Spears - StrongerCourtesy Jive Records

This was another hit from the Oops…I Did It Again album. It was produced by Max Martin and declares triumphs over loneliness and difficulties in love.

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May 21, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

HIV/AIDS Update – Safety Concerns Prompt Label Changes and Medication Guide requirement for Testoste

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring manufacturers of two prescription topical testosterone gel products, AndroGel 1% and Testim 1%, to include a boxed warning on the products’ labels after receiving reports of adverse effects in children who were inadvertently exposed to testosterone through contact with a person being treated with these products (secondary exposure). The gels are approved for use in men who either no longer produce testosterone or produce it in very low amounts, and are often used by men living with HIV who have below normal testosterone levels. Although the Precautions in the current labels instruct users to wash their hands after using the product and to cover the treated skin with clothing, FDA has received reports of secondary exposure to testosterone in children ranging in age from nine months to five years. In most of the cases, users of these products failed to follow appropriate use instructions, resulting in direct contact between treated skin and the child. Adverse events reported in these children included inappropriate enlargement of the genitalia (penis or clitoris), premature development of pubic hair, advanced bone age, increased libido, and aggressive behavior.  In most cases, the signs and symptoms regressed when the child no longer was exposed to the product. In some cases, however, enlarged genitalia did not fully return to age-appropriate size and bone age remained modestly greater than the child’s chronological age. In some cases, invasive diagnostic procedures were required. Signs of inappropriate virilization (development of male secondary sexual characteristics) in children and the possibility of secondary testosterone exposure should be brought to a health care provider’s attention. The required label changes will provide additional information about the risk of secondary exposure and the steps that should be taken to reduce this risk. The FDA also is requiring that the manufacturers of these products develop a Medication Guide as part of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy to ensure that the benefits of these products continue to outweigh their potential risks. The FDA recommends the following precautions be taken to minimize the potential for secondary exposure:

  • Adults who use testosterone gels should wash their hands with soap and warm water after every application;
  • Adults should cover the application site with clothing once the gel has dried;
  • Adults should wash the application site thoroughly with soap and warm water prior to any situation where skin-to-skin contact with another person is anticipated;
  • Children and women should avoid contact with testosterone application sites on the skin of men who use these products; and
  • Adults should note that use of any similar, but unapproved, products from the marketplace –including the Internet– that can result in the same serious adverse effects should be avoided.

Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of these gels to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

AndroGel 1% is manufactured by Marietta, Ga.-based Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Testim 1% is made by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Malvern, Pa. Richard Klein Office of Special Health Issues Food and Drug Administration Kimberly Struble Division of Antiviral Drug Products Food and Drug Administration

May 20, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Will Ferrell Interview on ‘Land of the Lost’

Will Ferrell Land of the Lost

Will Ferrell in ‘Land of the Lost’

© Universal Pictures

Aficionados of the classic Saturday morning cartoon series Land of the Lost will be happy to know the Sleestaks and Chaka have made the leap to the big screen in the film version of the series set to hit theaters on June 5, 2009. If you remember the show, you probably recall park ranger Rick Marshall and his two children, Holly and Will, wound up in a lost world of dinosaurs and other strange creatures while on a rafting trip. In this incarnation of the story, Will Ferrell takes on the role of Rick Marshall while the kids have been replaced by adult research assistants played by Anna Friel and Danny McBride.

Universal Pictures invited press to a day on the set of the action comedy, and Ferrell sat down to chat about the long process of bringing the cult favorite to the big screen.

Will Ferrell Interview

You were attached to this for like three years?
“I don’t know. I don’t know how long. I was attached initially and then I wasn’t going to be able to do it and then Universal really wanted to make it and they were going to make it with other people – and then that disappeared.  So, I forget the chronology of it all.”

Well, you are rockin’ the khaki.
“The khaki is good. I like it.  I’m trying to think — not since Elf have I been able to wear the same clothes every single day.  It’s nice.  You don’t have to think about things. You don’t have those awkward wardrobe moments where you tried on a different T-shirt that you thought was really cool and then it’s not the same one the next day and you’re like, ‘What happened?’ ‘Oh, the director didn’t like it.’ Which is good. It never changes.  I like it.”

How hard is it with this big movie where you have effects and have to hit marks, etc. to be really funny and loose and be Will Ferrell?
“Well, yeah, it’s a whole different animal in a way.  You know, in some ways you actually don’t have to be funny all the time, which is what I like about it. And in other ways you can play these adventure moments just completely straight and they come off funny. You don’t have to work at it too much. The flip side of it is that as we are in precarious situations. It’s such a great backdrop to actually throw out these lines that are commenting that you’re about to be eaten.  That’s why I love Rick Marshall who is like, obviously, scared for his life at the same time his scientific mind is always working and he has a great appreciation of this character that’s going to eat him all at the same time. It’s a great combination for comedy.”

Can you talk about your character?
“Yeah, slightly different from the TV show, though George [from] may be able to shed some light on this.  Was Rick Marshall, was it ever established? Was he just a guy who liked to explore with his children?”

George: He was a Park Ranger.

“He was a Park Ranger.  Okay, so that’s where there is a difference.  Rick Marshall in the movie is a quantum paleontologist.  So, slightly failed, there was a moment at time that we sort of see at the beginning of the movie where he was one of the stars of the scientific community, but then he wrote this book on how he thought there were holes in time and space and everyone thought he was crazy.  And he ended up eventually punching Matt Lauer – we haven’t shot it yet – and that led to his fall from grace. We sort of pick him up working at the LaBrea Tar Pits trying to teach children who aren’t listening to him and all stuff like that.  Yeah, so it’s slightly different in that he had developed these theories about places like Land of the Lost and it wasn’t until Holly showed up and studied some of his findings and sort of reinvigorated him to get back in the field and that led them on this adventure.”

Did you watch the original Land of the Lost?
“My brother and I loved Land of the Lost.  It was kind of, for those of us who watched it, such a unique thing on Saturday mornings.  I just loved that it wasn’t a silly cartoon. It seemed so real at the time and how did they make this show with dinosaurs and Sleestaks creatures and, ‘It looked so real!  And I wish I was Will!’ I always thought it was the coolest premise and the fact it didn’t talk down to kids.  It seemed like a real adventure show, so I loved it.”

You’ve known Danny McBride and presented Foot Fist Way to America, and this is your first time working with him.  What’s that dynamic like with the two of you?
“It’s really fun. Dare I say [we’ve become] kind of good friends through this process and I’d love to keep working with him. I might do a couple cameo parts in the series we are producing. He is so much fun in that he sort of likes to work the same way I do : work hard, but have fun while you are making a movie. He’s just kind of open, great improviser.  We’ve been lucky that the three of us, Anna, Danny and Jorma [Taccone] too, who plays Chaka, for four people who have had to spend a lot of time together, we’ve had just a great time.”

* * * * * *

Land of the Lost hits theaters on June 5, 2009.  

May 20, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Megan’s World Music Blog .Dispatches from Festival International

Here I am again, checking in from Lafayette, Louisiana, where I’m gleefully attending Festival
Internationale de Louisiane and loving every second of it. Yesterday, I kicked off the day by attending LIME, the Louisiana International Music Expo, where I got to catch up with lots of friends and fellow world music businessfolk, and see a couple of bands do quick showcases. Then, a quick sushi stopover, and it was on to the festival.

First, we checked out Divine Jones, a singing and songwriting duo with an all-star (well, in Lafayette, Louisiana anyway) backing band. Country-fried yet perfectly elegant, it was a really nice way to start the evening. I tried to jet-pack it away from that stage before the Quebe Sisters started, as they’re a Texas fiddle and Western Swing band – pretty much my least favorite genre of music – but as Festival is like a family reunion, I got waylaid by a dozen conversations, and wound up catching their first couple of songs. The girls are talented fiddlers and great three-part vocal harmonizers, but the song material made me want to tape my ears shut.

Finally, I extricated myself and got to the Fais-Do-Do stage, where Guinean guitar master Alpha Yaya Diallo had already started. I found myself a hidey-hole in the backstage area, where I could see the stage, but I was pretty sure no friends would be able to find me (I can see my friends any time – I’ve only seen Alpha Yaya Diallo once before in my life!) and let them take me away. The band sounded beautiful, and was clearly having a wonderful time, as smiles were seen all across the stage. The marimba player was outstanding, and Alpha Yaya himself was in top form. He’s a very eloquent speaker, but a very focused performer, so the riling-up-the-crowd work was left to a gorgeous dancer, who had no trouble whatsoever getting the audience on their feet and screaming.

After Alpha Yaya Diallo came Dobet Gnahore, a young Ivorian singer who I’ve been anxious to see live ever since I heard her 2007 recording, Na Afriki. My expectations were high, and Gnahore soared above them. I knew that she was a talented vocalist, but I had no idea how strong her voice actually is in a live setting. I also knew that she danced, but I was sort of envisioning straight-ahead African dancing… I was shocked to discover that she’s practically an acrobat, and combined over-the-top leaps, splits, body drops, and other modern dance moves with uber-traditional West African motions. Oh, and she’s also funny – she gently teased and deadpanned the audience and, without too much trouble, coaxed everyone in front of the stage into falling madly in love with her. And her band, which was just three pieces (electric bass, drums, and nylon-string guitar) was top-notch also. She was by far one of the best performers I’d seen in quite some time, and it was easily the best set at the Festival so far.

Because Dobet Gnahore and Grupo Fantasma were scheduled against each other, I had big plans to check out a little bit of each, but I was too captivated to leave Gnahore’s set. I did manage to see the last ten minutes or so of Grupo Fantasma, and they sounded great. Hopefully I’ll see a bit more of them today. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Rupa and the April Fishes and Rachid Taha for the first time tonight, and catching up with at least a little bit of Walter Mouton’s all-too-rare set… Walter is probably the best living Cajun accordion player, but he refuses to record a CD and he doesn’t tour, so he’s hardly known at all outside of Louisiana. He’s a curmudgeon with a heart of gold, and one of my favorite musicians in the world.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Blues Festival Calendar 2009 Where to hear the best blues music this year

Jasn Ricci & New Blood

Jason Ricci & New Blood will appear at blues festivals this summer

Photo courtesy Eclecto Groove Records

12th Annual Doheny Blues Festival

May 16 & 17 @ Dana Point CA

16th Annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival
May 23 & 24 @Aptos CA

14th Annual Western Maryland Blues Fest
May 28-31 @ Hagerstown MD

Michael Arnone’s 20th Annual Crawfish Fest
May 29-31 @ Augusta NJ

Eureka Springs Blues Weekend
May 28-31 @ Eureka Springs AR

June 2009

Highway 61 Blues Festival
June 6 & 7 @ Greenville MS

Waterfront Blues Festival
June 12-14 @ Toronto ON Canada

The 9th Annual State Street Blues Stroll
June 13 @ Media PA

19th Annual W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival
June 13-20 @ Henderson KY

Billtown Blues Festival
June 14 @ Hughesville PA

Riverfront Blues Festival
June 26 & 27 @ Fort Smith AR

North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic
June 26 & 27 @ Potts Camp MS

24th Annual Monterey Bay Blues Festival
June 26-28 @ Monterey CA

July 2009

IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
July 2-4 @ Davenport IA

22nd Annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival
July 2-5 @ Portland OR

16th Annual Kalamazoo Blues Fest
July 9-11 @ Kalamazoo MI

Great South Bay Music Festival
July 10-12 @ Patchogue NY

New York State Blues Festival
July 11 & 12 @ Syracuse NY

North Atlantic Blues Festival
July 11 & 12 @ Rockland ME

Third Annual Deep Blues Festival
July 15-19 @ Minneapolis MN

Windsor International Blues Festival
July 16-19 @ London ONT Canada

London International Blues Festival
July 17-19 @ London ONT Canada

W.C. Handy Music Festival
July 17-26 @ Florence AL

18th Annual Pocono Blues Festival
July 24-26 @ Big Boulder Ski Area PA

15th Annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival
July 24-26 @ Pittsburgh PA

August 2009

Kitchener Blues Festival
August 6-9 @ Kitchener ON Canada

Cincy Blues Fest
August 7 & 8 @ Cincinnati OH

Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Fest
August 7-9 @ Clarksdale MS

Riverfront Blues Festival
August 7-9 @ Wilmington DE

Mile High Blues Festival
August 8 & 9 @ Denver CO

Edmonton’s Labatt Blues Festival
August 21-23 @ Edmonton AL Canada

First Vermont Blues Festival
August 21-23 @ Mount Snow Ski Area VT

Trinidaddio Blues Fest XI
August 29 @ Trinidad CO

Marquette Area Blues Fest
September 5 & 6 @ Marquette MI

September 2009

Rendezvous Rhythm & Blues Festival
September 4-6 @ Oroville WA

Dusk Til Dawn Blues Festival
September 4-7 @ Rentiesville OK

The 16th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
September 18-20 @ Telluride CO

2009 Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ Festival
September 25 & 26 @ Columbia MO

October 2009

Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival
October 8-10 @ Helena AR

May 18, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Interview with Danny McBride on ‘Land of the Lost’ On the Set of ‘Land of the Lost’ with Danny McBride

Land of the Lost

Danny McBride, Anna Friel and Will Smith on the set of ‘Land of the Lost.’

© Universal Pictures Will Ferrell became a fan of Danny McBride’s after seeing The Foot Fist Way, an independent film McBride co-wrote with director Jody Hill. Ferrell was so impressed with Foot Fist Way that he and his producing partner Adam McKay snatched the film up and it became the first release of their new company, Gary Sanchez Productions. Now McBride takes on his first real starring role in a big budgeted feature film (he was a supporting player in Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, and Drillbit Taylor) playing opposite Ferrell in the big screen adaptation of the classic 1907s TV series Land of the Lost. On the set of the Universal Pictures action comedy, McBride talked about taking on a lead role in one of Universal’s big 2009 releases.

Danny McBride Interview

Can you talk about your character in the film? “Yeah, Will in the film, you know in the TV show he was obviously younger. He was a teenager and he was related to Holly and Marshall, which he’s not in this. Our paths cross when Marshall and Holly are investigating these mysterious tachyon hits. They find me out in the desert. I own a gas station and a weird sh-tty amusement park that has one ride. Yeah, we all get swept away into the Land of the Lost together.” You already knew Will Ferrell before working with him on this so do you two have a shorthand? “It’s weird. Will, in scenes, he only likes people to communicate with him through sign language, so I’ve had to really learn a lot of that in this.” How does the action in Land of the Lost compare to Tropic Thunder? “It’s a whole different deal, I guess. This has been a lot of looking at tennis balls and running away from dinosaurs. There were no dinosaurs in Tropic Thunder so that’s different. The Tropic stuff, because we were in the jungle and it’s 120 degrees and everyone’s sweaty and it smells like pig sh-t, it was really easy to get into the zone of running for your life. Where here you’ve got to use the old mind bone a little bit more to figure out how you would react to a T-Rex running over the top of you.” Is it easy or hard to be funny in that circumstance? “You know, Will just takes everything up a notch that you just try to fall in line. The mood on the set has been so light for something that’s been going on for so long. Yeah, everyone just always seems to be in a good mood, so it hasn’t been too hard to stay in a jovial mood I guess.” Is there room for improv when you’re hitting specific marks? “Well, that was one of the things that initially attracted me to this was Brad’s take on it was he wanted to make a big movie with such a large scope with large special effects and still try to keep the looseness of what Ferrell comedies usually are like. So that seemed interesting to me, to mess around with the improv and kind of keep that comedy and see how that plays when you have Rhythm and Hues, Academy Award-winners making T-Rexes and weird lizards running all around you.” How do you work together? “It’s cool because it just forces you to like not be as lazy. Like, if you did something that was really good in one take, if you want it to be in there… multiple cameras are hardly ever rolling unless it’s some sort of action or stunt. So it’s not like in the scenes we’re covering everyone for every riff. It just makes you have to work at it more. Brad [Silberling] will tell you, ‘I think this scene is just going to be this shot.’ So if you came up with something great in the second take, you have to figure out a way to make it work with what’s happening in the fourth take so that it’ll be there, hopefully, in the movie.” And working with Anna Friel? “Well, I’ve said before, it’s really incredible. She’s the first real live British person I’ve ever met. They don’t just live in history books like I thought, so that’s cool. It’s kind of neat to have your eyes opened like that. It’s really cool. It’s real, just like the dinosaurs are. No, she’s been awesome. I think Anna’s background is like she comes from a really strong dramatic background, so it’s cool to see her walk into something like this and how she just is easily able to just fall right into the deal. She’s really funny. When I read the script, a lot revolves around that character because the world of the science and the theories kind of comes from, she balances Will out in a way, and you really needed someone that was going to be able to sell this like tachyon meters and these weird theories about Land of the Lost to make it seem like it’s real. I don’t know. It’s weird. The British accent just legitimizes so many things you would not believe.” Is this the kind of movie you have a lot of friends calling you to see if they can come visit? “I’ve had a bunch of friends, yeah, especially like friends who are like huge Sid and Marty Krofft fans. They instantly just gravitate towards them. Guys who are big fans of Bo Welch and they want to come in and see his trees that he’s made for the movie and stuff. I went to film school so these guys have very specific interests in the movie, yeah.” Was it surreal to be working with Sid and Marty Krofft? “Oh yeah, it’s been incredible. Those guys have been amazing. It’s cool to just come to work and just f–king make fun of Marty Krofft to his face and just joke around with him. He throws it back you. It’s like this is so surreal, hanging out with these guys. They’re incredible.” Were you a fan of the show? “Yeah, yeah, I watched actually a lot of Sid & Marty Krofft stuff when I was a kid. My parents were really into it so that was just something that they kind of opened the door to me. It was weird though because I had watched a lot when I was a kid. Then when I started to grow older, I kind of had just forgotten about Land of the Lost. Then I think I saw a picture of a Sleestak somewhere and it like unlocked all those ancient fears. Like, ‘Oh God, I remember being horrified of these things.’ So it was definitely a pretty trippy day the first day the Sleestaks worked, just walking onto a set. There’s like 30 of them just coming out and their little pinchers, walking all slow.” * * * * * * Land of the Lost hits theaters on June 5, 2009.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment

Rachel Weisz to Play Hedy Lamarr?

Rachel Weisz to Play Hedy Lamarr?

Robert Redford’s daughter Amy is prepping a biopic on Hedy Lamarr which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, won’t focus on Lamarr’s acting career. And Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Fountain) is apparently considering the idea of playing the Austrian actress whose credits include Algiers, Tortilla Flat, and Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah.

Redford’s Face Value will shed light on something not many people know about Lamarr, one of the most beautiful actresses ever to grace the big screen. Lamarr was also a scientist who patented an idea that became, according to her official website, “the crutch of both secure military communications and mobile phone technology.” Lamarr and George Antheil (composer, The Pride and the Passion, The Plainsman) patented the Secret Communication System, a means to block signals from radio-controlled missiles back in 1942. Bet you didn’t know that.

Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, Lamarr began her acting career in German and Czechoslavakian movies. MGM took notice, liked what they saw, placed her under contract, and Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler became Hedy Lamarr once she arrived in Hollywood. Lamarr acted in films from the 1930s up until 1958. She passed away on January 19, 2000 at the age of 85.

May 15, 2009 Posted by | 1 | Leave a comment