Thursday, December 31, 2009

End o' week musings

This whole Christmas/New Year's thing is a bit much for me. I wish the holidays could be spread out a bit more because it seems like FOREVER until you get another one....

Christmas Eve I joined my friend and movie critic extraordinaire Vernor Rodgers for dinner and a movie. We went to BJ's, one of our favorite spots, where I enjoyed a big bowl of tomato bisque soup and a wedge salad. Then we were off to see "Up in the Air." It was quite good-- the acting was superb and the script wasn't neat and obvious. Not really a thinking movie, but worth watching.

I made breakfast burritos for my mom and I on Christmas morning. I was shocked- she said she had never had one before!! We opened presents, watched the Disney parade on television and went for two long walks.

In the evening I went to my boss' house for dinner and met her the latest addition to her menagerie, Nora, a foster dog. Nora was neglected and isn't very socialized. She wasted no time licking my hand as I came in the door, but she just can't bring herself to letting someone pet her. But she's gentle, sweet and really great with the charming corgis Liberty and Cedric. I think she'll eventually be OK.

Dinner was very nice. My boss' husband cooked ham and potatoes and we also had some of that red slaw salad from North Woods Inn. Yummy! There were also lots of nibbles, such as cheese and crackers, cookies, chocolates, veggies and more. Dessert was your choice of pie, ice cream, cookies and other decadent delights, plus a nice cup of coffee.

After eating, we took the corgis on a walk. It was beautiful outside with the stars in the sky and the lights on the houses. A perfect evening!

My friend Cindy was in town visiting so we met for breakfast Saturday. It was sooo great to see her and learn all about her new life in Northern California. She misses her friends, but she looks terrific and seems extremely happy. I think the move was good for her marriage. Plus her dogs love walking on the beach and her kitty has the run of the house, so all's good.

Later I went to Carin and Tom's to finish the last of the curtains I've been hemming. I also made a cover for their tiki bar. I'll admit that I somewhat surprised myself, as I had to figure out how to do it never having made one before. We had dinner at Stoks and soaked in the hot tub- heaven!

Sunday was fun, as I went with Louise to visit mutual friends Sidney and Richard. Again it was an afternoon of eating and chatting... and lots of laughing. I like those guys so much, I can't wait to get together again.

Monday my friend Andrew of Andrew's Bad Stuff dropped by. We had dinner at the Dockside and hung out catching up on everything. He brought me a pair of fuschia sneakers and got the size right! I'll be looking good in the new year. He also brought me a copy of his band's new CD- it sounds pretty good for homemade.

I began Tuesday by freezing in Irwindale at Fiesta Parade Floats. I was assigned to work on a float and write about it. You can read my story posted below. Watch for the bird with the red beak and feet on the Rainbird float tomorrow in the Rose Parade-- that's partly my work.

I stopped in the office to write for a bit and then dashed home and changed to meet my special guy and kid at the Speedzone for two rounds of mini-golf. Why do those guys always cream me on the course?! I think I need to sneak off and practice before our next game.... But it was fun and we spent some time in the arcade as well, which was a different thing for me.

We ended our day with chili cheese fries and pastrami sandwiches at The Hat. I love the Wild Cherry soda there! It was a very nice day-- but too short!

But wait, there's more. While on the course, my mother called me to tell me about the sale at Ikea. When I got home, guess where we went?! She bought a couch and I picked up the shelving unit I wanted. Oooo, we're stylin', huh?!

Wednesday and today are just sorta normal. I don't have anything exciting planned for the weekend. Perhaps catching up on sleep and cleaning the house should be on my list.

Photos we got 'em: Just a couple of pet pics from the usual places.
In rotation this week: Tribe of Gypsies, Tom Petty, Joe Walla, Morpheus (my former band) and the HorrorPops.

Thought o' the week: Right now everyone is talking about resolutions and what they can do for themselves in the coming year. You've heard it all, I'm sure- lose weight, relax, work harder, learn something new, blah, blah, blah. Why does that have to go into effect just because it's a new year? You can do this stuff any time.
Still, this is a time for reflection, so I will offer my suggestion for the new year which is quite simple- be nice. Be nice to your family, your friends, the clerk at the post office, the cashier at the market, the person you pass on the street. Smile, say thank you, open a door, whatever... just take that extra second and make someone else important for a change. I promise it will come back to you when you need it most.

Happy 2010!!
Keep on rockin'

Mickie lends a hand to the Rose Parade

Here's the full story of my adventure Tuesday, helping decorate a float for the Rose Parade. Enjoy! ~M

Flower girl in training

Walking into the Fiesta Parade Floats building in Irwindale is entering into a world of choreographed chaos. People are scurrying back and forth toting flowers, photographers and journalists are milling about seeking stories and bulldogs are scampering outside for a break from training. But somehow everything seems to get done.

I wandered past a grouping of oversized produce and a table full of playfully posed monkeys to find Sue Sundberg, the float supervisor for Rainbird and my instructor for the morning.
"Do you mind getting dirty?" Sundberg said.

I had dressed in my grubbies, so I was prepared for anything and followed her to the front of the Rainbird float. Four large exotic birds were perched for primping and partly coated with various plant materials. Along the way, Sundberg had picked up a box filled with dried red pepper flakes (the kind you sprinkle on pizza for some spice) and a small plastic bowl holding white glue and a paintbrush. One quick example and I was ready to touch up the bare spots on a bird's beak and feet.

I dipped the brush in the glue and carefully worked it along the edge of the bird's beak. I took a handful of flakes and patted them over the glue, holding the box underneath where I was working to catch anything that didn't stick. Waste is kept to a minimum here.

I continued my task - look, paint, pat, repeat - until none of the beak's paint showed through. As I focused on my work, all the noise and chaos faded away, it was just me and my box of flakes, but the second I stopped, the buzz of busy float building was back. My treat for finishing was a tour of the building.

I watched the bulldogs practicing their snowboard runs on the Natural Balance Pet Food float, marveled at the intricate details on the temple on China's float and was truly awed by the amount of flowers being prepared for placement in the back of the building. The range of hues and types of blooms was so stunning that I could have spent the day there and still have not seen them all... but I had a bird waiting for me.

Back with my pepper flake box, I worked on finishing up the bird's feet. This was a bigger challenge than the beak, as I had to kneel on the floor to reach the underneath of the toes. At times, I had to lean over in an awkward position to decorate just the right spot.

One of the women working on the bird's back feathers told me not to worry about my hair. I could get any glue out of it with peanut butter and it would make my hair extra soft as well.

Luckily, after a little more than an hour, I managed to only come away with slightly sticky fingers and a renewed respect for the many people who volunteer their time to make the Rose Parade one of the most beautiful events in America.


The business side of the stem

Sue Sundberg, float supervisor for Rainbird, got her start when she brought her daughter's Girl Scout troupe to Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale to work. Sundberg and her daughter, Misty Juarez, enjoyed it so much that they kept returning. Sundberg, a Temple City resident and Licensed Vocational Nurse has now been working on floats for 23 years.

"In this parade the most popular flowers are the roses. I think red is the most popular color, but there are so many different colors now that it's hard to tell any more," Sundberg said.

Among the rarest plants you will see on the floats is wigglewood from China. It looks like a long stick with curvy wood rather than straight. Plants are also specially grown just for the parade, such as black roses. All of the materials must be organic and in their natural color.

Texture is also a consideration in plant selection, such as for birds' feather and gorillas' fur.
"The hardest part is making sure you have the materials that you need and if you don't, you have to be creative," Sundberg said.

For example, two birds on the Rainbird float were supposed to be coated with cobra leaves, but when the leaves arrived they were too big. Cobra leaves cannot be cut because they tend to break and tear, so smaller, feathery skeleton leaves were substituted.

Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale produces 12-14 floats annually for the Rose Parade. It also creates floats for other parades throughout the year.

Float planning for the Rose Parade begins at the end of January when the theme is announced. Designer Raul Rodriguez comes up with the intial ideas, which go from his creative mind to completion by parade day. Rainbird was one of the first floats started for the parade this year. Work began in summer and will continue through to judging.

The floats can't go whizzing down the freeway from Irwindale to Pasadena, instead a caravan begins in Azusa at another float building site at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31st. Using side streets and picking up other floats along the way, the procession arrives at the staging site between 10 p.m. and midnight.

"The drivers that they have are so good that it's amazing how they do it. I've watched them do a 110-foot float in three parts parking that other people can't even do with their car," Sundberg said.

Workers, like Sundberg, and volunteers remain on hand for last-minute fixes until their float is judged.

"I always like to watch the parade in person and then I go home and sleep. I start my regular job on Monday," Sundberg said.

Volunteers are not needed at this time, but you can apply to work on a float next year by visiting Fiesta Parade Floats' Web site at before September.


Preparing floats for the Rose Parade takes an entire year, here's the steps:

- End of January the parade theme is announced, designing begins.

- Floats are planned out on paper, there are usually several different renderings from which the float owner may select the final creation.

- 3-D models of floats are made.

- Metal frames are fabricated for the floats and their items.

- Chickenwire is glued over the frames and molded to create the shapes of animals, produce and other items.

- The floats' floral designers select the materials for decoration.

- The floats are painted to indicate where the different colors of plants should be placed, similar to paint-by-number.

- Weekends in November, volunteers begin preparing materials needed for the floats, such as cutting dried strawflowers and filling vials with water for fresh flowers.

- Dec. 30 the floral designers start creating arrangements and fresh flowers are beginning to be placed on the floats.

- Dec. 31 the float caravan makes its way to the staging site and last-minute work continues as needed through the night.

- Jan. 1 judging is done and the floats make their way down Colorado Boulevard.

Doo Dah Royalty featured in the Rose magazine

Queen Skittles was kind enough to scan in the story I wrote and she photographed for the Rose magazine so I could share it with my blog readers. Enjoy! M

"Circa Sometime" opening at Gallery at the End of the World in Altadena

McGinty’s Gallery at the End of the World Presents
Circa Sometime
A Collaborative Exhibition of Assemblage and Collage

January 9 to January 31, 2010

Reception: Saturday, January 9, 4-10 pm

McGinty’s Gallery at the End of the World
2475 North Lake Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001

Gallery hours by appointment, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, noon until 6pm

McGinty’s Gallery at the End of the World is pleased to present Circa Sometime, an exhibition of selected works by six artists working in assemblage and collage. Circa Sometime marks the first such show at the gallery and includes collaborative and individual installation works. Described by Altadena Heritage as "the epicenter of the art scene in Altadena” - a magical gallery/garden that is itself a living assemblage of art and nature.

Featuring artists Carl Heinz, Jeffrey Kibbe, David Lovejoy, Kathy Carvellas, Johnny Fox and Ben McGinty, Circa Sometime consists of over 70 works created with repurposed materials - objects and images not merely “found” but specifically selected to become part of a greater whole. This exhibition is a collaboration of art and artists, creating unique environments to showcase their works together.

The Subs at the Dockside in West Covina Friday

Hello everyone!

In case you all aren't TOO partied out, or aren't planning on partying, from New Year's Eve, the SUBS will be at the Dockside Grill Friday evening starting at 8 PM.

This time, we will be joined by bassist Mike Stover and local drummer Eric Tice! Rocking your hangover away!

Immediately following the Bowl games. Or maybe during the last quarter. Or so.

3057 E Garvey Avenue North, West Covina, CA

Don't forget: the Subs as usual every Friday night as well!

The Subs

Esotouric offers darkest East Los Angeles crime bus tour

Esotouric's New Crime Bus Adventure Explores Darkest East Los Angeles

WHAT: Esotouric, L.A.'s most eclectic tour company, looks across the L.A. River with the EAST SIDE BABYLON crime bus tour

WHEN: Saturday January 30, 12pm-4pm

WHERE: Tour departs from Philippe The Original, 1001 Alameda, Chinatown

COST: $58/person

INFO:, 323-223-2767

Most tourists who visit Southern California confine their explorations to such famous destinations as Hollywood Boulevard, Rodeo Drive or the Santa Monica Pier. And there's certainly plenty to do and see at any of those old favorites. But when looking for something off-the-beaten path, savvy natives know the tour company to call is Esotouric.

On Saturday January 30, a select crew of urban explorers will climb aboard for the second excursion of EAST SIDE BABYLON, the latest addition to Esotouric's popular crime bus tour series, which debuted in a sold-out Halloween weekend date.

Passengers on this unusual bus adventure will discover fascinating, little-known historic neighborhoods and the grim memories they hold. With crimes spanning the 20th Century, some hideously gruesome, others weird and frankly unbelievable, the tour provides a new way of discovering the city,via crime scenes and oddities that make ordinary houses and intersections seem to vibrate with a mysterious energy.

Come visit Boyle Heights, where Night Stalker Richard Ramirez was captured and a mad dad ran amok. Roam the hallowed lawns of Evergreen, L.A.'s oldest cemetery and home of some memorable haunts and strange burials. Visit East Los Angeles, where a deranged radio shop employee made mince meat of his boss and bride-- and you can get your hair done in a building shaped like a giant tamale. Explore the ghastly streets of Commerce, where one small neighborhood's myriad crimes will shock and surprise. Visit Montebello, for scrumptious milk, eggnog and cookies at Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy washed down with a horrifying case of child murder. All this, and so much more on EAST SIDE BABYLON, Esotouric's exploration of L.A.'s most horrifying forgotten crimes.

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule:
Sat January 9 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat January 16 - Wild Wild West Side crime bus tour
Sat January 23 ­ Weird West Adams crime bus tour
Sat January 30 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour
Sun Feb 7 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA
Sat Feb 13 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Thurs Feb 18 ­ Jeremy Kasten presents "Spider Baby" with director Jack Hill
Sat Feb 20 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The New Chinatowns
Sun Feb 21 - Joan Renner lecture "How the 'Bob' Changed History" (tentative)
Sat Feb 27 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown- The Secret History of LA
Sat March 6 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat March 13 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sat March 20 - Maja's Mysteries: Rapture & Release (debut)
Sat March 27 - Raymond Chandler's Bay City
Sat April 3 ­ John Buntin's L.A. Noir
Sat April 10 ­ Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' L.A.
Sat April 24 ­ Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's L.A.
Sat May 1 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour with Crimebo the Clown
Sat May 8 - Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour
Sat May 15 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat May 22 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's So. Cal Nightmare

For more info on Esotouric, visit

For East Side Babylon info, visit

Agromin shares January gardening tips

While many trees and plants go dormant in January, warm, sunny days can entice Southern California gardeners into their backyards where much can be done even in winter, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from recycled green material from more than 50 Southern California communities.

Plant dormant fruit trees: Stop by any nursery and you will see a variety of dormant fruit trees ready for planting. These bare root trees are typically less expensive than those potted in soil. Dormant fruit trees, including apples, cherry, pear and plums, require a certain number of "chill" hours (temperatures less than 45 degrees) to break their winter dormancy and produce healthy crops in summer. Make sure the chill-hour requirements meet the particular micro-climate in your area.

Care for New and Established Rose Bushes: January and February are the best months to plant rose bushes. Like dormant fruit trees, bare root rose bushes are now abundantly available at nurseries. For existing roses, prune no more than one-half of new growth from the previous growing season. Pruning and pinching encourages new growth in early spring.

Plant Vegetables in Winter for Spring Harvest: January is the perfect time to experiment with vegetables not found in typical spring or summer gardens. Vegetables that are planted in fall and winter include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, collards, endive, kale, lettuce, onions, parsnip, peas, spinach and turnips. Year-round vegetables such as artichokes, carrots, beets and radishes can also be planted now.

Get Control Over Weeds: One or two days of rain is all it takes for weeds to sprout. Placing a two to three inch layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and plants prevents weed seeds from germinating. If weeds are already starting to grow, remove as many as you can and then cover the area with mulch. The goal is to prevent sunlight from reaching the weeds so they will not have fuel to grow. A common mistake is not adding enough mulch for the weed-suppression process to be effective. Once taken root, weeds need only a small amount of sunlight to flourish. Organic mulches break down over time, so if you already have mulch in your garden, replenish with an additional one-inch layer.

For more gardening tips, go to

Grant Langston news

Holy Smokes 2009 is O-V-E-R! That's hard for me to believe, and it's even harder to believe that it is the end of the DECADE. the aughts are O-V-E-R. Seems like just yesterday I was stockpiling canned goods and ammo anticipating the Y2K disaster that never came.

First off, thanks for your support over the past year. It's all worked out nicely, and your support has been vital. New record, Stand Up Man. A nice gaggle of press, some inspiring shows, and New baby, Elizabeth Pearl. (I guess your support wasn't necessary for the baby, but you get the idea.)

So, as the last few moments of 09 tick away Here's a few interesting items I'd like to share...

1. New MUSIC! Free Music Download - I Don't Give a Damn, She Don't Have a Clue

As some of you know, my wife had our first baby in August. I do have a small demo studio in the house, but it sits right next to the baby's room. This has made it somewhat challenging to write and demo new stuff. We thought that maybe this child would love to hear daddy working out new songs.

One day Catie brought her in and let her sit and listen to me. The first time I let loose with a high note she screamed bloody murder. Oh well.

So, I've been forced to get clever with my songwriting venues. I have a Honda Pilot that I use to haul the band and our gear around the country. It has a big back seat and so, I've taken to sitting back there with my Taylor and working up new material. Perhaps not the most inspiring songwriting room, but the view is variable.

This new song, "I Don't Give a Damn, She Don't Have a Clue" came to me during one of these automobile songwriting sessions. I recorded it on my iPhone, zapped it over to my laptop, uploaded it to SoundCloud...and here it is. You can just listen, or download. Merry Christmas!!

2. We Need You! Vote Stand Up Man as a "Best of 2009"

We got a nice review from A Truer Sound earlier in the year and they've added us to the ballot for Best Record of 2009. Please take a moment to click HERE and vote. No registration is required. Stand Up Man is listed near the top of the second column.

3. Amber Waves of Twang Best of 2009 Pick

Amber Waves of Twang has established itself as one of the leading Americana/Alt Country blogs in the country. We got a real nice review from them back in October, but we're thrilled to hear that they've added us to their Best of 2009 list...along with fellow LA artist Gina Villalobos. Read it here...

4. Video from the "It's a Cinema Bar Christmas" Show

As many Los Angelinos know, The Cinema Bar is THE home of LA Country music. It's a small place. It's a rowdy place. We usually have a Christmas show there... and on December 8th we kicked out the jams. Carols, Presents, and an appearance by You Know Who.
Here's a little guerilla video.

5. Article Published in Raised Country

I got a real nice note, via my publicist, asking me to write a short piece about growing up in Alabama. On my left arm, right below the bicep is a scar that came courtesy of a barbed wire fence. The story of how that fence ended up ripping my arm open was the one I chose to share. Read it HERE.

Lots of cool things coming in 2010. We'll see you on the other side!


Rick Shea & the Losin' End in Pioneertown Saturday

Rick Shea & The Losin End

Sat Jan 2nd 7pm
Pappy & Harriets Palace
53688 Pioneertown Road
Pioneertown Ca 92268

Classical concert in Manhattan Beach Jan. 23

Karen Hogle-Brown, soprano, Scott Graff, bass, and Shawn Kirchner, piano
The Concord Ensemble
Corey Carleton and Rachelle Fox, sopranos
Kristen Toedtman, mezzo-soprano
Pablo Corá, and N. Lincoln Hanks, tenors
Scott Graff, bass-baritone

When Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

Where Trinity Lutheran Church
1340 Eleventh Street, Manhattan Beach, CA
(3 blks east of Sepulveda & 1 blk south of Manhattan Beach Blvd.)

Admission Free, donations appreciated.

Selections by Shawn Kirchner (b. 1972), Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924), Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562–1621), Joan Pau Pujol (ca. 1570–1626), Juan Vásquez (1500–1560), Francisco Guerrero (1528–1599), Gioacchino Rossini (1792–1868), Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613) / Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) and J. S. Bach (1685–1750)

The Neats' remastered music to be released

Ace of Hearts Records today announced the release of "The Neats, 1981- 84, The Ace of Hearts Years". Re-mastered by legendary indie producer Rick Harte from their original studio recordings, the effort is a journey through a period fans and critics alike agree were the bands' most expressive years.

With this release, tracks only available on first pressing vinyl have now been artfully compiled into one fluid, organic format that preserves the essential feel and timbre of the original recordings.

"These tracks came out even better then I anticipated, which was a nice surprise," said Harte, founder of Ace of Hearts. "I am really happy with the end result and I think Neats fans will be, too."

From touring with international acts like R.E.M., to sharing the stage with the likes of Mission of Burma and The Lyres, The Neats were deservedly recognized as innovators in a constantly evolving music landscape. Along the way, they created a memorable piece of Boston rock history and forged an unparalleled sound that pureed post-punk pop with psychedelic garage rock.

Eschewing the sonic assault and art-rock leanings of label mates Mission of Burma, the Neats developed a more garage-influenced approach. Their sound is steeped in jangly, heavily accented guitar rhythms, evocative of other '80s indie mainstays like Husker Du and "The Minneapolis Sound" mob.

The Neats' body of work crystallized all of the iconic elements of the 1980's indie-college oeuvre: a do-it-yourself, anti-production aesthetic; clean, shimmering guitars out front in the mix; low-fi, unassuming drumming underneath. Singer Eric Martin's moody, brooding vocals, delivered in an earthy baritone, are somewhere between Iggy Pop and Ian Curtis.

Often compared to bands like The Dream Syndicate, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Feelies, and The Clean, The Neats combined a diverse style with creative songwriting and charismatic performance. They crafted singularly appealing music, at once subtle and inspiring.

Throughout, The Neats display the unmistakable brand of the Ace of Hearts catalogue: idiosyncratic, uncompromising artists who, despite a devoted fringe following, never developed the broad based appeal their music warranted. Like Burma and the rest of the Ace of Hearts fold, their impressive output only furthers Rick Harte's unrivaled reputation as an indie producer and tastemaker.

Look for The Neats to support this release in a series of live concerts. The CD is now available at the Ace of Hearts website and is being distributed nationwide.

Anthony Raneri adds dates to solo tour

As a special New Years present, Anthony Raneri of Bayside has added a string of headlining solo tour dates in addition to his run on the 2010 West Coast edition of the "Where's the Band?" Tour. Support on his East Coast headlining dates include Vinnie Caruana (Movielife, I Am the Avalanche) and JT Woodruff (Hawthorne Heights) on Jan. 20-21st and Kevin Devine and Shane Henderson (Valencia) from Jan. 22nd-24th (full dates below).

Earlier this month, Anthony unveiled a new demo, "The Ballad of Bill the Saint" on his personal MySpace page ( to a wealth of fan applause.

"Lyrically, I just wanted to try telling a story," says Anthony. "I don't think that singing about the hardships of being in a touring rock band are very relatable, so I wanted to try writing a few songs that used a fictional character's life as a metaphor for mine."

His songwriting prowess has been praised by the likes of Alternative Press, ("Anthony Raneri's lyrics completely cut to my core"), Wonka Vision ("lyrically, the band has reached the epiphany within... they put the rock back in punk rock"), to IGN ("the band writes the best songs and delivers with the passion and power that made Jimmy Eat World so successful").

He continues, " I wanted to convey the situations or feelings I was having, but I had to take them outside of my own personal situation so people could understand."

The 2010 Edition of the WHERE'S THE BAND? Tour includes solo acoustic performances by Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams), and Chris Conley (Saves The Day, Two Tongues).

2010 Where's the Band? Tour w/ Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams), Chris Conley (Saves The Day, Two Tongues).
Jan 7th - West Hollywood, CA @ the Troubador
Jan 8th - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
Jan 9th - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
Jan 10th - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill

Headline Dates w/Vinnie Caruana (Movielife, I Am the Avalanche), JT Woodruff (Hawthorne Heights)
January 20th - Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
January 21st - Farmingdale, NY @ Crazy Donkey

Headline Dates w/ Kevin Devine, Shane Henderson (Valencia)
January 22nd - Philadelphia, PA @ Northstar Bar
January 23rd - Hackensack, NJ @ School of Rock
January 24th - Wilmington, DE @ Harmony Grange

Ticket Info for all shows are at and

Info on the Where's the Band? Tour can also be found at

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Full House ready to rock in the new year


This weekend Jan 1st and 2nd @
@ KatieJakes 750 Terrado Plaza, Covina
626-967-2765 / No Cover/ 9pm – close

Saturday Feb. 6th
and Saturday March 20th
@ The Santa Fe Springs Swap Show!
Show times are : 12pm, 1pm. & 3pm - Bring the kids it’s only a buck to get in!!!

That’s all for now hope to see ya at the shows

Check us out on

Darrell Fusaro's "The Basement" now on DVD

I met Darrell when I co-hosted "G-Man's Freak Show" in Marina Del Rey. He was our producer, but much more, as he always had a wealth of creative ideas. I also was privileged to see his play, "The Basement," when it first came out. It relates the true story of his grandfather's mob murder and is absolutely riveting. Check it out! ~M

Los Angeles Author and Cartoonist, Darrell Fusaro returns to his hometown of Clifton, NJ, to give a benefit performance of his play, The Basement at his alma mater, Clifton High School; all proceeds to benefit the student body. Enthusiasm builds over Darrell’s play, which is the account of his grandfather’s murder and the effect it had on his family and this town. It’s hailed as, “A compelling evening in the theater, enhanced by this natural storyteller” by Theater Journalist and Critic for the New Jersey Star Ledger, Peter Filichia. But the day before the show, the School Board panics about the mature nature of the script and demands Fusaro make revisions to his true- life story.

By all appearances Fusaro seems to have lived a charmed life. Upon meeting him, we find a happy soul living a life of creative adventure. He’s an accomplished painter whose works have exhibited side by side with Andy Warhol’s. An actor, who has performed his play, The Basement, on stages throughout Canada and the United States, and who has appeared in television shows and commercials. He also cartoons weekly and is a Producer of the Emmy nominated Los Angeles news program, Local Edition that airs on CNN’s Headline News. And yet, with no pretense, he comes across as the likeable guy next door.

But behind Darrell’s smile is the nightmare that destroyed the Fusaro family. On New Year’s morning 1970, at the age of 8, Darrell overheard the details of his grandfather’s murder, while hiding in his grandparent’s basement kitchen. Newspaper headlines soon screamed, “The murder of James Fusaro had gangland signs.” As the news continued and rumors spread; the humiliation, shame, and fear of more violent attacks by Mafia, silenced the Fusaros. This silence was not without consequence; it became malignant and destroyed the family. By the time Darrell was 18, his close-knit Italian-American family, who celebrated so many good times together in their grandparent’s basement kitchen, was no more.

In the year 2000, it is discovered that the union office where his grandfather had been murdered has remained untouched since the night of the crime with James Fusaro’s blood still splattered on the walls. Upon seeing this Darrell became motivated to take action and find resolution. In the documentary, The Basement, we witness this regular guy do extraordinary things through his acceptance, generosity and sense of humor.

Behind the Scenes of The Basement

Co-Producer Jeff Trujillo, editor of the Emmy award winning documentary, “Gangs: Facts Every Parent Should Know,” joined Darrell on the journey back to his hometown of Clifton, New Jersey, simply to record the benefit performance of The Basement, as a keepsake for the high school.

It wasn’t until reviewing the footage that Trujillo concluded there was a sincere story that deserved to be made available for others to enjoy. Once Jeff convinced Darrell that this was a worthwhile goal they rolled up their shirtsleeves and got started. Working together evenings and weekends, they assembled the footage, along with. Fusaro family photographs that spanned the Twentieth Century, and investigative phone calls Darrell had made years earlier in his quest for answers. As first time documentarians they were pleasantly surprised with how well things were coming together. But something was missing; a soundtrack.

Then out of sheer coincidence, it was discovered that Darrell’s dog had a neighborhood friend, Sparky, who’s owner turned out to be renown film composer, Gaili Schoen. Gaili’s documentary soundtracks include the PBS Special, “Annie Leibovitz: A Life Through A Lens.” With no budget, except what they pooled together from their own pockets, Jeff & Darrell knew Gaili would be out of their reach. Boy, were they in for a surprise. Gaili fell in love with Darrell’s story and joined the team.

After screening the film, Echelon Studios offered them a distribution deal bringing The Basement to the attention of the American and International film markets, On-Demand and Netflix. The Basement is available now on DVD.

What lasting impact do you hope your documentary will leave?

That a life well lived, in spite of personal tragedy, is an example of hope to others.

The Basement
By Jeff Trujillo & Darrell Fusaro
86 Minutes
DVD Price: $15.98
For your readers: $9.98
Available: Now
To Order:

Visit the website to view Trailer:

For more about the mystery surrounding the unsolved murder of James Fusaro visit:

*To add “The Basement” to your Netflix queue go to:

Sesonal garden talk series at Arboretum beginning Jan. 7

The Arboretum, 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007; call 626.821.4623 for information and reservations.

Thursday Garden Talks with Lili Singer
Winter 2010: 8 Thursdays, January 7 – February 25
9:30am–Noon / Palm Room / (Please note special times for field trips, which are self-driven and require pre-registration)
$100 for the series, $20 per class / Reservations or you may pay at the door
Information and registration: 626.821.4623 or

Thursday, January 7 Water-wise Irrigation with Bob Galbreath - 9:30am - Noon
What every gardener needs to know: the basics on techniques and equipment for water-efficient irrigation in urban landscapes Bob is an irrigation consultant with 30 years of experience in landscape water conservation. A former Certified Irrigation Designer and landscape contractor, he recently retired as a Landscape Water Resources Manager with the Environmental Programs Division of the City of Santa Monica.

Save the date : January 14 Heirloom Vegetables and Antique Flowers with Rosalind Creasy
This lushly illustrated program by the “mother” of the edible landscape movement offers a second look at classic vegetables and flowers, and explains why gardeners should grow them and how to use these delicious and gorgeous varieties in the landscape. Rosalind is a garden and food writer, photographer and garden designer. The long-awaited revision of her classic Edible Landscaping will be released in spring 2010. Visit her beautiful website at .

Saturday, January 9 Plant Identification with Jill Morganelli - 8:30-10:30am
$5 members/$7 non-members; call 626.821.4623 to sign up. Meet in the Main Entrance
Gardeners…Plant Lovers…Walkers! Learn 10 new plants every month! Walk to interesting Arboretum areas where Jill will discuss each plant, including care, watering, placement and culture, and provide you with handouts. - Bring your camera so you can catalogue and remember each plant. Jill is the curator of the Kallam Perennial Garden, adjunct faculty at Cuyamaca College and the owner of Panorganic.

Saturday, January 9 The Edible Winter Garden with John Lyons - 9:30—11:30am
$22 members/$25 non-members; call 626.821.4623 to sign up.
Join John Lyons for an in-depth look at how to create a beautiful cool season edible garden in Southern California. Topics include an overview of correct soil preparation, plant choices for the winter garden, growing from seed, use of cover crops and organic pest control. A gardener by trade, John Lyons designs, installs and maintains edible landscapes, California Native gardens, orchards and wild hedgerows. Originally from Ireland, he has had gardens in Galway, London, Zurich, New York and Los Angeles. John will inspire, cajole and inform fellow gardeners to try new things, keep doing what they are doing, and dream new landscapes and plant-combo conspiracies. At the LA Garden Show in May, he spoke to standing room only crowds!

Saturday, January 9 Family Adventures with Ted Tegart - 10am-12noon
Free with Admission. Meet by the fountain in front of the Oak Room.
Join your adventure guide, Ted Tegart, Youth Education Coordinator, as we explore The Arboretum. Each Saturday is new and exciting, and will have a different theme relating to nature. Come early as space is limited to 25. Children of all ages are welcome! Family adventures will go on rain or shine so dress appropriately! Theme this month: “When Plants Adapt”

Saturday, January 9 Rose Pruning with Jill Morganelli – 1 - 3pm
Meet at The Arboretum Rose Garden
$20 / $22 non-members; Call 626.821.4623 to pre-register or pay at the door
Join Jill Morganelli, curator of The Arboretum Rose Garden, for a hands-on workshop about rose pruning and rose care. January is a big month for roses; proper pruning and soil building will determine the health and beauty of roses throughout the year. Bring your garden gloves and a sharp pair of pruning shears as after learning pruning techniques, you are invited to practice what you’ve learned! Disease control and soil building will also be covered.

Sunday, January 10 The Seasonal Gardener with Steve Gerischer - 1:30- 4:30pm
$22 members / $25 non-members per class; Pre-registration preferred; please call 626.821.4623.
Come learn the essentials of gardening in tune with the seasons. In each of these workshops, the highpoints of major tasks and projects best suited to the specific time of year will be covered. Gardening in Southern California requires a bit of finesse and know-how in anticipation of the upcoming season, and these workshops will help you to fine tune your horticultural calendar. Steve is a landscape designer, frequent lecturer and President of the Southern California Horticultural Society.

MTV's "Made" returns Saturday

MTV’s “Made” returns Saturday, January 2 at 3pm ET/PT with four new episodes to help viewers jump-start their New Year’s resolutions. First, “Made Presents: The Real Show Choir” gives viewers a gleeful look at the trials and tribulations of a talented show choir as the teens perform to raise money for their ultimate dream: to compete at FAME: Chicago. Next, viewers who didn’t get that midnight kiss can brush up on how to nab their crush in 2010 with “MTV’s MADE Presents: Kiss & Tell: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating.” On “Made: Ladies Man,” fans watch as a lazy video game whiz is transformed into a true heartthrob sure to sweep the ladies off their feet. The block rounds out as an average Southern belle tries to become a head-turning pageant queen on “Made: Pageant Queen.”

Below is a detailed list of the upcoming “Made” episodes:

MADE Presents: The Real Show Choir premieres at 3pm ET/PT
For a sneak peek at this episode click here:

MTV's MADE presents the talented kids of a real life show choir. The students in Lawrence Central High School's Central Sound want to compete at the prestigious national competition, FAME: Chicago. Only Problem? They need $10,000 to get there. Watch as they endure endless rehearsals, drama and tears while trying try to pull off a successful fundraiser performance.

MTV’s MADE Presents: Kiss & Tell: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating premieres at 4pm ET/PT
For a sneak peek at this episode click here:

On Kiss & Tell our hostess, Ashley Hartman, of The O.C. and American Idol, and her team of three experts- specializing in style, comedy, and romance- take on the task of changing one shy and insecure high school boy into a more confident and romantically successful individual. Meanwhile teenage girls from across the country chime in about what qualities they look for in a boyfriend.

Made: Ladies Man premieres at 5pm ET/PT

Unmotivated high school Senior Alex “Furby” Spencer spends almost 8 hours a day playing video games. Now he wants to leave fantasy land and be MADE into a ladies man. Alex will travel to the Bahamas in search of true love and the confidence to get a date to his Fall Ball Dance.

Made: Pageant Queen premieres at 6pm ET/PT

Average small town southern gal Brittany has spent her whole life going along with what other people want. Now she's ready to stand out in the crowd by being MADE into a head turning pageant queen.

“MADE” ( chronicles the challenges and accomplishments that young people face as they attempt a life-changing transformation. To assist on their journey in accomplishing their “makeover”, MTV ( provides a coach who doubles as a mentor.

MADE” was created and is executive produced by Bob Kusbit and Francis Lyons for One Louder Productions. Dave Sirulnick, Tony DiBari are executive producers for MTV.

Dan Black coming to Los Angeles


February 18 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
February 19 - Montreal, QC @ Belmont
February 20 - Toronto, ON @ WrongBar
February 23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Cinespace
February 25 - San Francisco, CA @ Popscene / 330 Ritch

((un)) is a richly-detailed record as strikingly innovative and contrasting as it is sonically impressive. A pop record inspired as much by Black’s love for the “transcendent, emotional wonder” of acts like Nick Drake and Sigur Ros as it is fueled by his passion for the hip hop production of J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Timbaland. Its songs flit seamlessly from throbbing electro-rhythms to heart-tearing strings, from plaintive acoustic guitar strums to shuddering hip hop beats - these are songs which are sure to breathe life, heart and soul out of your stereos.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pasadena guide available for special events and offers Dec. 28-Jan. 7

The Pasadena Playhouse District kicks-off the post collegiate football season by offering the thousands of football fans descending upon the Crowned City a guide to exploring the city on a budget. “The Welcome to the Playhouse District” Guide includes special events, more than a dozen restaurant discounts, and free events and offerings. The guide will be available online at from December 28th through January 7th.

The recession friendly guide offers a lot of great deals. Among them are $2 off admission at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, two-for-one-admission at the Ice House for out-of-state visitors, and a free self-guided historic architecture walking tour. With thousands of football fans making the trek to Pasadena the guide will make it easy to explore the city.As well as, provide visitors with savings with the numerous amount of discounts listed.

“We are really excited to welcome college football fans to Pasadena. The guide will help as a great resource to many visitors to see what the many hidden treasures and things that Pasadena has to offer, says Erlinda Romo, Playhouse District Association Executive Director.

The Playhouse District will also host Football Flicks: A Free Wednesday Doubleheader on Wednesday, January 6th beginning at 11 am. The event will take place at the Laemmle Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. The football film festival will include free screenings of two widely popular football films: “Rudy” and the 1974 classic “The Longest Yard.”

These two great football films capture the excitement, passion and drama that are seen on the big screen. Kicking-off the film festival will be “Rudy.” The classic Cinderella story about underdogs triumphs, followed by the hilarious 1974 Burt Reynolds classic, “The Longest Yard,” the tale of good vs. evil, never giving up and all-out funny at 2 pm.
Here are a few highlights on the brochure offerings.

Featured Events:
Get pumped up before the big game. The Playhouse District Association is sponsoring a Football Flicks, Free Wednesday Matinee Double Header, and Wednesday, January 6 from 11 am – 2 pm. The film festival will feature two all-time top football films “Rudy” and the 1974 classic “The Longest Yard.”

Visit the Pacific Asia Museum one of the nation’s only four institutions in the country devoted to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

For the contemporary art lovers, the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is dedicated to the exhibition of California art, architecture, and design from 1850 to the present. Mention code word: BCS and receive $2 off admission.

The Ice House Pasadena is offering two-for-one admission for all out-of-state visitors. You just need to present identification.

Over a dozen restaurants in the Playhouse District are offering 10% off entire meals, a free desert or drink with entrée purchase. Make sure to frequent these restaurants and get cash in on the savings.

General Public: For more information on any the guide or Football Flicks, the public is asked to call 626.744.0340 or visit

Knott's New Year's fun and food drive

Knott’s Berry Farm will have something for the entire family this New Year’s Eve with a variety of dance music, family friendly comedy, a Midnight Mayhem Pyrotechnic Show in Calico Square, the Grammy nominated newsboys in concert and all Knott’s rides and attractions open until 1 a.m.

Headlining the evening will be a special performance by the Christian rock group, newsboys. One of the most popular Christian music artists of the past two decades, the newsboys have released 14 studio albums including "In the Hands of God," which was released this past May. The music of the newsboys has even reached space with NASA using the newsboys song "In Wonder" as the space shuttle’s wake-up song this past November.

But that is not all that is going on this New Year’s Eve at Knott’s Rock On Ride On. You will want to put on your dancing shoes and get on the dance floor as Knott’s rolls out not one, but several dance parties throughout the park. Get some salsa instruction in Knott’s Fiesta Plaza, try your hand at ballroom dancing in Knott’s Boardwalk Ballroom, or learn a little line dancing in Knott’s Wilderness Dance Hall. There will be dancing in the streets with music everywhere with something for everyone.

The whole family will enjoy a special performance of "Snoopy on Ice" and Bone Hampton, a family friendly comedian. In addition, Camp Snoopy will be open with rides and shows for the young and the young at heart.

At midnight, the sky will be ablaze with color in Calico Square as we ring in the New Year the Midnight Mayhem Pyrotechnic Show. Tickets for the Rock On Ride On New Year’s Eve are $37.99 (Regular) and $17.99 (Juniors/Seniors). Knott’s Annual Pass holders receive free admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


During these challenging economic times there are a record number of families in need of assistance. Recognizing the growing need in the community, Knott’s Berry Farm has once again partnered with the Orange County Food Bank to help fight hunger in Southern California. This year marks Knott’s Berry Farm’s ninth year coordinating the food drive that feeds thousands in the Orange County area.

To adequately serve the growing list of those in need, Knott’s Berry Farm is asking every guest to donate 2 or more cans at the park January 4-31 and in return will offer a Regular adult admission for the price of a Junior ($23.99) . This special discount offer saves $30 off of the Regular admission which is $53.99 for adults (over age 11).

The collected food will be used by the Orange County Food Bank to help meet the needs of Southern California’s most destitute families and to collect needed donations beyond the traditional holiday period when the need is great and food supply is low. For more information on assisting those in need throughout the community, please contact the Orange County Food Bank at (714) 897-6670.

For Knott’s Theme Park information, please call (714) 220-5200 or visit

Bernie Pearl classes and shows

My classes at Boulevard Music start on Wednesday, January 13. At 7:00 is the Acoustic Blues Jam, followed at 8:00 (and some people take both) by the Electric Blues Jam.

In both groups I emphasize jamming etiquette, accompaniment options, getting a grip on soloing. These are not guitar technique classes. We have had bass, flute, mandolin, lap steel, piano, drums, in addition to guitars. Classes are designed to increase confidence and comfort when playing with others. 8 class meetings, $100.

I will be in concert at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, on Saturday, March 13, 8:00. Mike Barry on upright bass. I will be debuting two unrecorded original instrumentals, and am kicking around a couple of other surprises. These concerts are always fun. Tickets are $15. (310) 938-2583

I spent much of September and October contacting festivals in California, and all over the US, Canada, and Europe, and have been booked by two so far, with several others making decisions in the next couple of months.

First up, in San Diego on Friday, May 7, is the Gator By the Bay Festival. The promoter also had seen Mike Barry and me do an acoustic set at the Simi Valley Creole Fest, and loved it.

Mike and I will also be traveling up to Mendocino for a concert and workshops at the Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop on August 27-28

Ted Russell Kamp preparing for European tour

The Workingman's musician, Ted Russell Kamp is on the road again, this time in preparation for his upcoming European tour. He'll be playing three dates in the towns of Corpus Christi, New Braunfels and Tarpley, TX and one show in his hometown of Los Angeles, CA.

For the uninitiated, Ted is a singer/songwriter, bass player and producer. He's been playing bass and touring with Shooter Jennings off and on since 2003 and has been making records on his own under the self-initiated, PoMo label. Kamp's 2009 release, "Poor Man's Paradise" has garnered rave reviews and placed on the AMA charts. It was also nominated for two categories in the Americana Music Awards for 2009... Best New/Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year, for "Let Love Do The Rest".

Kamp was a featured artist on the webzine, Country Standard Time that stated, "On his new "Poor Man's Paradise," Kamp brings everything together - the experiences, the travels, the influences, the record collection - for an album that takes pride in blending and blurring styles ... Top-notch singer/songwriter skills catches up with roots music as it wanders from the West Coast to Memphis and New Orleans and Nashville."

His previous CD, "Divisadero" ranked at No. 34 on the Americana Music Association’s list of Top 100 Albums of 2007 and was called by No Depression Magazine, "Terrific.... an impressive record."

Tour Dates:

January 7 2010
9:00P 21+ $5.00
Executive Surf Club: 309 North Water Street
Corpus Christi, Texas

January 9 2010
1:00P all ages/ Free show
Gruene Hall: 1281 Gruene Road New Braunfels, Texas

January 10 2010
4:30P all ages/ donations accepted
Williams Creek Depot West - Tarpley TX Tarpley, Texas

January 14 2010
9:00 P 21 + Free
The Cinema Bar 3967 N. Sepulveda- Culver City, CA

For more information on Ted Russell Kamp, visit:

Upcoming concerts around California

Anaheim, CA

January 21, 2010 Shadows Fall w/ Throwdown @ HOUSE OF BLUES-1530 SOUTH DISNEYLAND DRIVE-(714)-520-2371-7:00 DOS/8:00 SHO-$25 ADV/$27.50 DOS

Chico, CA

February 20, 2010 Shadows Fall w/ Throwdown @ SENATOR THEATER-517 MAIN ST-7:00 DOS/7:30-SHO-$20 ADV/$23 DOS

Long Beach, CA

January 22, 2010 Testament w/ Megadeth and Slayer @ Long Beach Arena-300 EAST OCEAN BLVD-(562)-436-3636-$29.50, $39.50, $45.50-5:30 DOS/7:00 SHO

San Diego, CA

January 22, 2010 Shadows Fall w/ Throwdown @ House of Blues

San Francisco, CA

January 21st, 2010 - Testament w/ Megadeth and Slayer @ Cow Palace -2600 GENEVA AVE-(415)-469-6000-$37 ADV/$42.50 DOS-6:00 DOS/7:00 SHO

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tom Behrens seeks return of stolen musical instruments and equipment

I just got done playing at a private party Saturday, Dec. 19, in Pasadena. Around 1 or 2 PM, Peter Burke and I were loading our equipment into our cars. After making a couple trips to the truck and closing the back, I went in the house to get my amp. One of the guests yelled, "Who's got the white truck?....It looks like some kids are unloading it" I ran out to find my truck open and empty.

They got my upright bass, Fender electric bass and my gig bag with a mic, cords and some accessories.

I drove after them and some of my friends walked up and down the block looking for any signs of them but to no avail. I later found out that it was a group of 4 or 5 guys in their early 20's, two of which had been in the house helping themselves to the buffet when they asked them who they knew and then told to leave. It put a total bummer on an otherwise perfect night.

Here's a detailed list:

1.) Kay upright acoustic bass, with a brown vinyl cover. Equipped with two pickups installed on the bridge. As far as any markings, there's a pencil sized hole patched with duct tape on the side of the bass near the bottom. Also of interest, I was told when I bought this bass back in '84 that it belonged the Larry "the Mole" Taylor of Canned Heat and John Mayall fame.

2.) Fender electric Precision bass in a black hard Fender case. The body is brown and has a black pick guard, a Badass bridge and an extra pickup right next to the bridge. There's also some teeth marks at the end of the head stock (don't ask why). I bought this bass from Bruce "Meadows" Wandemeyer, of Pecos and Doo Wah Riders fame and once belonged to radio personality, Freddy "A Tad Rad" Johnson of Blue Chow, Preston Smith, and Curb Feelers fame.

3.) Small beige suit case, covered with stickers (including but not limited to, Tribal Horses, Roy Rogers Museum, I survived y2k with Snotty Scotty & the Hankies, Bosco Tech, I'd Rather be a Roper Than a Doper and Use an Accordion.. go to Jail). Contents: L. R. Baggs parametric equalizer, Shure SM57 microphone with cord, a cheap tuner and some guitar cords.

If you see any of this stuff or have any leads please call, e-mail or roll down the window and yell.

Much Grass,

Tom "Billy Booger" Behrens

Here's a couple links to the story.

From Channel 7: Partygoers steal instruments from local band

From the Star News:

Shimmy Showcase in Long Beach seeking dancers



SEEKING DANCERS--We have openings in January. Please see below for program and theme details and then contact us at if you’d like to perform!

Everyone is invited to this cozy haven for a relaxing evening among friends. Select your favorite beverage, hot or cold, from an assortment of coffees, teas, smoothies or juice; add to that a tasty sandwich or pastry; and then seat yourself alongside our magic carpet to enjoy some really great dancing at NO cover charge!

The SHIMMY SHOWCASE begins at 7 p.m. at the I-CANDY COFFEE in Long Beach (1708 E. Broadway -- 562-437-3785).

Below is our upcoming schedule for the next several Sundays at the I-Candy Coffee in Long Beach. If you are a dancer interested in performing at an upcoming showcase, please check out the schedule below for open dates and then email us at
with the dates on which you'd like to perform.


December 27: DARK

January 3: DARK (Happy New Year!)

January 10: As the new year gets underway, and the cheerful goodwill of the recently ended holiday season fades, Shimmyshowcase returns to I-Candy Coffee with an apropos theme-- Post Holiday Blues! Coordinator Saviya and guest dancers MariaElena, Kalila and Meryem Vani will enthrall with their creative coupling of Blues music to bellydancing.

January 17: Xandra is excited because Elan returns to I-Candy Coffee for our first Shimmyshowcase of 2010 with LIVE MUSIC! Rico & Marguerite of Elan will delight both dancers and audience alike with their exquisitely played and sung arrangements of middle eastern music, interspersed with some blues and standards during the breaks. Jilly, Saphira, Draca, Shirin, and Gaea will add their gorgeous dance moves to the music of Elan. Please join us in our friendly, intimate setting for what is sure to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment and camaraderie.

January 24: Coordinator Abraiha presents guest dancers May, Ana, Constance, Akiko, and Nazi from Dance Garden.

January 31 - Alexiis, your coordinator for the evening, presents guest dancer Maria. We have openings for more dancers, so if you would like to perform for this Shimmyshowcase, please contact us at

February 7th - Xandra welcomes yet-to-be-identified guest dancers for this Shimmyshowcase. If you would like to perform, please contact us at

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Please allow time for parking to avoid missing any of the fun. Since street parking around I-Candy Coffee is scarce, we recommend you try the perimeter of Bixby park located two blocks west of I-Candy Coffee at Broadway and Cherry. Please try to arrive before 7:00 PM (earlier if you’re a performer!) as we try not to start the show until everyone has settled with a tasty beverage.

for additional information, please visit our website at:

We look forward to seeing you soon at the Sunday Shimmyshowcase!

Campground still open for winter fun in California

Most retirees who plan to spend all or part of the winter in California campgrounds and RV parks and resorts have already made their reservations. But for those who have waited to the last minute, the task of locating a private park that still has room for short or long-term winter visitors just got a little easier: The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds has assembled a list of parks that still have room for snowbirds.

“We’re trying to make it easier for snowbirds to find places to stay,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the Auburn-based campground association, whose website, , serves as a search engine and booking tool for campgrounds throughout the state.

As of late December, Sipe added, at least 21 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in California had yet to fill up for the season. Parks that still have vacancy for short- and long-term winter visitors include:

n Anaheim Resort RV Park in Anaheim: Located one mile from Disneyland, this pet-friendly park offers a heated swimming pool and hot water spa.

n Bakersfield Palms RV Park in Bakersfield: This park features a heated pool, horseshoe pit and children’s playground. www.palmsrv.comn Bakersfield R.V. Resort in Bakersfield: This park has many amenities, including an onsite message therapist, a fitness center and gym, a putting green, plus a bar and restaurant and Internet café.

n Bernardo Shores RV Park in Imperial Beach: This 124-space gated adult park is located on the San Diego Bay.

n Black Meadow Landing in Parker Dam: The park, located along Lake Havasu, offers fishing, boating, birdwatching and golf.

n Butterfield Ranch Resort in Julian: This park is located near the historic gold mining town of Julian and Anza Borrego State Park in San Diego County.

n Calizona RV Park in Needles: This park, located on historic Route 66 and overlooking the Colorado River and the Topock wetlands, features crafts, horseshoes and exercise classes.

n Campland on the Bay in San Diego: This park offers extensive activities for people of all ages, from arts and crafts classes to beach volleyball, basketball, kickball, Capture the Flag, darts, horseshoes, pickleball, adult ping pong and water sports. The campground also has its own skatepark.

n DeAnza Springs Resort in Jacumba: This clothing-optional park is located in the mountains roughly one hour east of San Diego.

n Kit Fox RV Park: This new park near Interstate 5 is 92 miles south of Sacramento. The park plans to add a dog run and putting green.

n La Pacifica RV Resort in San Diego: This park’s amenities include a video and book library, a large recreation room with a wide screen TV and a heated pool and spa.

n Marina Dunes RV Park in Marina: This 88-site park is close to the beach and just a few miles north of Monterey.

n Merced River RV Resort in Delhi: This San Joaquin Valley park is located just south of Modesto.

n Mountain Gate RV Park in Redding: Located three miles south of Shasta Lake, this northern San Joaquin Valley park features big rig friendly sites, a solar heated swimming pool and a fenced dog park.

n Paradise by the Sea in Oceanside: This 102-site, big-rig friendly park also has a hot tub.

n Pismo Sands RV Park in Oceano: In addition to offering nearby hiking, ocean swimming and kayaking opportunities, this park features a heated swimming pool and spa and arcade with pool and air hockey tables.

n Sands RV and Golf Resort in Desert Hot Springs: This park’s amenities include a 9-hole executive golf course; a leash free dog park; a large heated pool and two Jacuzzis. Activities include a hiking club, and classes in dancing, water aerobics and arts and crafts.

n Shadow Hills RV Resort in Indio: This pet friendly park has a heated pool and Jacuzzi, a state-of-the-art fitness center and recreation room with pool and ping pong tables and shuffleboard courts.

n Sleepy Hollow RV Park in Willets: This 18-site, pet-friendly park has a small pond and recreation room.

n Twentynine Palms Resort in Twentynine Palms: This park has its own 9-hole golf course with water obstacles, sand bunkers, and doglegs.

n Victorville Shady Oasis in Victorville: This 136-site, pet-friendly park is in the high desert. (888) 897-2153

Barry Big B Brenner performances this week

Barry Big B Brenner
Toasting This Week At...
********************** ***********************

Firefly Bistro
New Years Eve!
December 31st, 6-10pm
Check out Chef Paul’s special NYE Menu!

********************** *********************** :

SUNDAY BLUES BRUNCH :January 3rd, 11am-2pm
Firefly Bistro
1009 El Centro Street
(626) 441-2443

********************** **********************
For a Complete List of Big B’s Upcoming Shows, Go to...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

End o' week musings

Wow! The holidays are here! It smells like a cookie and candy shop in my office, but I'm being good an nibbling on an apple.

Last Friday I went to the doctor for my usual check up, plus to see what I could do about my asthma problems. He said he could not yell at me because my lab work was great and I even lost some weight! The doctor also gave me some meds to help my asthma, they're working, but it's still not great. It's hard for me when the air is so cold...

Saturday was a crazy day- I had way too much to do and most of it was fun. I went to the House of Rock concert at the Covina Center of Performing Arts and those kids were amazing. The musicians were 10-18 years old and took on tunes by the Who, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones and even Motown and holiday music. I've seen the future and it rocks!

Later I went with my friend Byron to his sisters' house for their holiday gathering. It included a pot luck, which made me laugh. There was so much meat- chicken, ribs, pork, sausages and more, but only one bowl of green beans and one bowl with green peppers. I'm more of a veggie person... We played some games and I won one of them. The prize was a gift card for Target, so that was very cool.

I spent Sunday with my mom. We made fudge, molded chocolates and dipped pretzels in chocolate. We went through about 10 pounds of the sweet stuff and had a great time. We've been giving it away all week too lol!

Work has been fairly quiet this week. I guess most of the rock stars and other people I interview are on vacation. I have a nice weekend planned, though, with various friends, including Cindy, who is in town visiting. Next week promises to be much the same, which is fine with me- a little quiet is a good thing.

In rotation this week: "We Wish You a Metal Christmas," "Northern Christmas" a music and nature sounds CD, Frank Sinatra, Ren and Stimpy, Straight No Chaser, 38 Special, Joe Walla and more.

Photos we got 'em: Just some cool animal pics I found on the Web to make you smile.

Thought o' the week: Share your heart. Although any time is good, this season is especially important for letting people know what they mean to you. Take a minute to thank your landlord for all he does or tell your co-worker how much you like working with her or.... the list goes on.

Why I say it's especially important to speak out now is that the holidays can be a very depressing and stressful time for many of us. Your kind words can brighten someone's day and make them find a little joy in their life. I know as I have been there and hearing that someone cared about me made all the difference.

Keep on rockn'

Good Earth encourages you to donate to charity

December 31 is the most popular day for charities to receive donations online. Not only does it coincide with the spirit of giving associated with this time of year, it also constitutes a last minute tax deduction for 2009 donors. Good Earth encourages everyone to donate to charity as the season of giving comes to a close, and to vote to help their favorite non-profit win a donation from Good Earth at

According to an article in the New York Times published on December 17, charities raised 22.5 times more money on December 31 than any other average day last year. The entire last week of the year is more charitable for non-profits as well, with the average gift size being 57 percent larger than the weekly average.

Every Good Earth tea or coffee product purchased until the end of February helps raise funds for the Good Earth Cares donation. Good Earth plans on giving 50% of its after tax profits from its sales through 2/28/10 to the top three customer-chosen charities at Voting on also ends on 2/28/10.

About Good Earth
Part of the Tata Group, the largest India-headquartered multinational in North America, Good Earth is dedicated to brewing goodness into each and every cup of their delicious premium coffees and teas, ensuring a purity and authenticity in a wide variety of blends. One of the first American herbal companies and a leader in specialty tea, Good Earth Teas brings full flavored, healthy teas from around the world to the U.S. Its sister brand, organic Good Earth Coffee, boasts great-tasting, 100% specialty grade Arabica beans that create an unrivaled aroma and great premium taste. The Tata Group also includes award-winning Eight O'Clock Coffee and Tetley Tea.

On Facebook:
On Twitter: @GoodEarthTea

Reduced Shakespeare Company coming to Caltech

The Reduced Shakespeare Company presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) on Saturday, February 6, at 8 p.m. in Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium.

All 37 of William Shakespeare’s plays are performed in 97 Minutes. An irreverent, fast-paced glimpse through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy - 10 years at the Criterion Theatre.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that takes long, serious subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies.

Tickets to this performance are priced at $29.00, $24.00, and $19.00; youth (high school age and younger): $10.00. Senior rush tickets will go on sale for $10.00, beginning one-half hour before the performance (subject to availability). Tickets can be purchased at the Caltech Ticket Office, 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Pasadena.

Parking for Beckman Auditorium is located at 332 South Michigan Avenue, Pasadena (south of Del Mar Boulevard). For information, call (626) 395-4652.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

KCRW offers free The 88 download

Beginning Christmas Day, fans of The 88 can download “All I Want for Christmas Is You” free for 24 hours and the track will remain stream for 3 months on on KCRW’s website.

So while you open your presents, drink your hot cocoa and bask in the glow of your Christmas tree lights, don’t forget to head to to check out his soon-to-be- holiday classic from The 88.

The Audition to tour

THE AUDITION is set to kick off the New Year in style with The Revolutions & Resolutions Tour. This impressive tour will be heading all over the US, so be sure to check out the dates below to see when they will be rolling into town.

Jan 20 2010 - Webster Hall - New York, New York
Jan 21 2010 - First Unitarian - Philadelphia
Jan 22 2010 - Recher Theatre - Towson, Maryland
Jan 23 2010 - Jaxx - Springfield, Virginia
Jan 24 2010 - The Brewery - Raleigh, North Carolina
Jan 25 2010 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 26 2010 - 1982 Bar - Gainesville, Florida
Jan 27 2010 - Sluggos - Pensacola, Florida
Jan 28 2010 - Meridian - Houston, Texas
Jan 29 2010 - Eisenburgs - Plano, Texas
Jan 30 2010 - Emos - Austin, Texas
Jan 31 2010 - The Conservatory - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Feb 2 2010 - 23 West - Tempe, Arizona
Feb 3 2010 - Karma - Victorville, California
Feb 4 2010 - TBA - Los Angeles
Feb 5 2010 - Chain Reaction - Anaheim, California
Feb 6 2010 - The Refuge - Cupertino, California
Feb 7 2010 - The Underground - Reno, Nevada
Feb 8 2010 - In The Venue - Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 10 2010 - Marquis Theatre - Denver, Colorado
Feb 11 2010 - House of Bricks - Des Moines, Iowa
Feb 12 2010 - The Loft - Madison, Wisconsin
Feb 13 2010 - Triple Rock - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb 14 2010 - TBA - Chicago, Illinois
Feb 15 2010 - Magic Stick - Detroit, Michigan
Feb 16 2010 - Peabodys - Cleveland, Ohio
Feb 17 2010 - Forward Hall - Erie, Pennsylvania
Feb 18 2010 - Bulldog Cafe - Louisville, Kentucky
Feb 19 2010 - Ciceros - St. Louis, Missouri

Don't forget, you can always visit for the most up to date information regarding tours from all Victory Records artists.

National Wildlife Federation recommends Be Out There Resolution

Many will once again resolve to get organized or lose ten pounds in the new year, but National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is recommending a resolution with profound impacts because it recaptures an essential part of childhood, outdoor play. By making the 2010 Be Out There Resolution to spend more time outside in 2010, Americans will be making a resolution that’s both good for their families and fun to keep. Everyone who makes the 2010 Be Out There Resolution will receive the Know, Go and Grow Be Out There Toolkit with important facts, fun tips and interactive tools to help them keep the resolution.

Outdoor time significantly enhances children’s physical and mental well-being, but, sadly, today’s kids don’t get much. In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. While previous generations ran around in nature until called in for dinner, modern children spend only four to seven minutes outdoors per day. Research in the fields of public health, psychology, and medicine documents the toll an “indoor childhood” takes on kids. NWF launched the Be Out There movement ( to return to the nation’s children something they don’t even know they’ve lost, their connection to the natural world.

“To address childhood’s fundamental shift indoors, we are asking parents to make the 2010 Be Out There Resolution to Know, Go and Grow,” says National Wildlife Federation’s Vice President of Education, Kevin Coyle. “We want them to know and understand the importance of outdoor time; to go outside more with their kids and grow the Be Out There movement by spreading the word and inviting friends along.”

Children reap wide-ranging and numerous benefits when encouraged to interact with nature in an outdoor setting including better eyesight, enhanced physical fitness and less obesity, increased classroom preparedness and lower levels of stress and depression.

There’s a reason they call it the great outdoors™. NWF hopes parents will show their children what that reason is by making the 2010 Be Out There resolution at This is one Time Out kids will actually enjoy.

LACMA presents Sundays Live

LACMA Presents Sundays Live
FREE Chamber Music Concerts

Sundays at 6pm at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036

Visit for streaming and updated information.

Concerts also streamed live on, and heard by delayed broadcast EACH WEDNESDAY at noon EXCLUSIVELY on KCSN, 88.5 FM.


No concert: Sundays Live is on holiday.

Pianist Inna Faliks performs Beethoven: Eroica Variations, and Schumann: Fantasie, Opus 17.

Chamber ensembles from the Crossroads School perform selections including Schubert: Quintet in A major, “Trout,” Kodaly: Duo, and Bacewicz: Quartet for Four Violins.

24No concert: Sundays Live is on holiday.

Angeli Duo: Violinists Julie Gigante and Sara Parkins, with guests harpsichordist Lucinda Carver and cellist Trevor Handy, perform works by Bach, Handel, and Martinu.

Ring in the new year in West Hollywood

Whether you want to enjoy an elegant dinner with close friends, mix and mingle at a nightclub soirée, or rock out till the ball drops, WeHo holds the experience for you this New Year’s Eve. Only in West Hollywood will you find the notorious Sunset Strip, eclectic Santa Monica Boulevard (home of So Cal’s premier gay scene), and the chic Avenues of Art & Design – each with their own array of innovative establishments making up WeHo’s cutting-edge nightlife and world-class dining.With such diverse districts, West Hollywood offers something for everyone.

For a more complete list of New Year’s Eve events, go to and click on “Things to Do”.10 reasons to ring in 2010 in West Hollywood:

Skybar Speakeasy (@ Skybar at Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Blvd)
Enjoy the beautiful view at Skybar this New Year’s Eve at the Skybar Speakeasy themed party from 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Admission is $150 (Hotel guests and Asia de Cuba patrons $125) and includes open bar and a champagne toast at midnight. Music by DJ Joe Greto. Email for VIP table reservations. 323.650.8999.

New Year's Eve @ RH (RH at Andaz West Hollywood, 8401 Sunset Blvd)
Bid farewell to 2009 by indulging in Chef Archambault’s celebratory four-course New Year’s Eve menu. Price for the First Seating (5 p.m.) is $70/person; Second Seating (8 p.m.) is $110 per person, which includes a Champagne toast at midnight. Tax and gratuity not included. With its open, airy design and mid-century vibe, RH at Andaz West Hollywood is a fun, sophisticated and relaxed space to gather for the season’s celebrations with family, friends and colleagues. Reservations required, call 323.785.6090 or visit

New Year's Eve Party at Eleven (@ Eleven Restaurant & Nightclub, 8811 Santa Monica Blvd)
Eleven is hosting a Rough House Boys party with shows every hour and music for the night by DJ Paulo Ramirez. The party will have a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, a $500 balloon drop and party favors! Premium open bar is $99/person, or $55 with dinner reservations. Three-course dinner is $50/person 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.; or $65/person from 8:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. For dinner reservations and bottle service email or call 310.855.0800.

New Year's Eve Party at The Roxy (@ The Roxy, 9009 Sunset Blvd)
The Roxy is hosting a New Year’s Eve bash (on twitter #NYEROX) with Mike Posner, 2AM Club, Shawn Chrystopher, Chris Young, and Fly Gypsy. General Admission tickets are $30, All You Can Drink (well & beer only) tickets for $55, or All You Can Drink (premium) tickets for $100. Bottle Service is also available - for info email

New Years Eve Masqerade Ball at Petit Ermitage (@Petit Ermitage, 8822 Cynthia St.)
Celebrate the New Year with a palm reader, magician, DJ, & a burlesque performance while enjoying cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a decadent midnight champagne breakfast! $200 to attend - ALL INCLUSIVE - and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the local non-profit Good Shepherd Shelter. RSVP at by Thursday, December 24th. Masks and mask painting complimentary. Black tie optional/elegant carnival. Party starts at 9 p.m.

Hassle-Free New Year's Eve takeout by Lemonade (@ Lemonade on Beverly, 9001 Beverly Blvd)
Let Chef & Owner Alan Jackson of Lemonade and Jackson Catering cook your New Year's Eve meal this year. Contact Lemonade by Monday, December 28th before 3 p.m. to place your order. Orders will be ready for pick up on Thursday, December 31st between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. To see the full NYE menu visit:

Hamburger Mary's Charity Bingo & Dance Party (@ Hamburger Mary's, 8288 Santa Monica Boulevard)
Mary is hosting a Charity Bingo on New Year’s Eve followed by a groovin’ Dance Party.

New Year's Eve Black & White Party (@ House of Blues Foundation Room, 8430 Sunset Blvd)
The Foundation Room at House of Blues will be hosting a NYE Black & White Party 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Tickets are $150 for members; $200 for non-members and includes a five-hour open bar 9 p.m. - 2 a.m, party favors, and a 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. buffet in Parish. The NYE concert at HOB is Erykah Badu, tickets are $99.50 GA and $50 for Foundation Room Member seats. VIP Prayer Room Rental also available for parties, for more info contact 323.848.5138.

New Year's Eve Menu at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood (@ Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood, 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd)
Enjoy a delicious meal in culinary excellence at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood. Early seating (5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.) will have a five-course menu for $90, and late seating (8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.), will have a seven-course menu for $140 including a champagne toast at midnight. To view the full menu and to make a reservation visit, or call 310.358.7788.

Interested in making the night a mini vacation? Book the New Year’s Eve Celebration package and get one night’s suite accommodations, champagne toast upon arrival, dinner for two in the Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood Restaurant (8 p.m. seating with champagne toast at midnight) and breakfast for two on New Year’s Day in the Boxwood Café by Gordon Ramsay.

New Year's Eve at Cabo Cantina (8301 Sunset Boulevard) or Fiesta Cantina (8865 Santa Monica Boulevard)
Start the night off right by taking advantage of the best Happy Hours in town! All drinks are two-for-one prices from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. (and 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. at Fiesta). Both Cantinas are open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. and serving a full Mexican menu throughout the night. Complimentary champagne toast and party favors will be provided. PLUS! Return the next day to nurse that NYE hangover with Bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys for only $9.95 until 3 p.m.! Also offering a special $1.99 Hangover Burrito, in addition to the Mexican brunch menu. Both Cantinas will be showing all Bowl Games on HD Flat Screen TVs.

View the full list of NYE happenings in West Hollywood at then click on “Things to Do” to view the calendar. More than 30 great options listed on New Year’s Eve including festive dinners at stunning restaurants like SUR, Cecconi’s, BLT Steak, BOA Steakhouse, Katana, Tinto Tapas and more!

Upcoming concerts around California from Live Nation


Steel Panther - December 28

Steel Panther - January 4, 11, 18

Motion City Soundtrack, Set Your Goals, This Providence, The Swellers - February 14


Motion City Soundtrack, Set Your Goals, This Providence, The Swellers - February 15

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grammy Awards performers announced

Current GRAMMY® Award nominees Beyoncé, the Black Eyed Peas, Lady Antebellum, Maxwell, and Taylor Swift are the first performers announced for the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast. The music industry's premier event will take place live on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 Surround Sound on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The show also will be supported on radio via Westwood One worldwide, and covered online at and, and on YouTube at

Additional performers, presenters and special segments will be announced soon. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy®'s social networks on Twitter and Facebook: ,

Ten-time GRAMMY winner Beyoncé leads with 10 nominations: Record Of The Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Halo"; Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary R&B Album for I Am…Sasha Fierce; Song Of The Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"; Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "At Last"; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Ego" (with Kanye West); and Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for "Once In A Lifetime" (from Cadillac Records, with Ian Dench, James Dring, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarnon & Jody Street).

Taylor Swift has eight nods: Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year (with Liz Rose), and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "You Belong With Me"; Album Of The Year and Best Country Album for Fearless; Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "Breathe" (with Colbie Caillat); and Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song (with Liz Rose) for "White Horse."

Three-time GRAMMY winners the Black Eyed Peas and Maxwell each are up for six awards: The Black Eyed Peas with Record Of The Year and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "I Gotta Feeling," Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for The E.N.D., and Best Dance Recording and Best Short Form Video for "Boom Boom Pow"; and Maxwell with Song Of The Year, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for "Pretty Wings," Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Love You," Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Phoenix Rise," and Best R&B Album for Blacksummers' Night.

Lady Antebellum has two nominations: Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals and Best Country Song (with Tom Douglas) for "I Run To You."

As previously announced on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" on Dec. 2, music fans can upload a 20-second video of themselves singing along to a portion of the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" for a chance to have their video appear as part of the Peas' performance on Music's Biggest Night®. Videos may be uploaded to and through Jan. 15, 2010.

The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions and AEG Ehrlich Ventures for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Louis J. Horvitz is director.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs.

The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, join the organization's social networks as a Twitter follower at , a Facebook fan at , and a YouTube channel subscriber at