More Tragedy for #Malaysia: 6 Dead, 3 Others in Critical Condition from Drug Overdose at Huge Music Fest

Image credit: Daniel Lau

Police sealing off some parts of Bukit Jalil, the venue of the Future Music Festival Asia on Saturday. Image credit: Daniel Lau

A well-known, three-day music festival being held at a stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malasia, featuring acts like Pharrell and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis has cancelled its final day after horrifying news broke Friday.

via The Malaysian Insider:

The Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) is officially cancelled, following the death of six people from drug overdose last night.

“In the interest of public safety, we have heeded the authority’s advice to not proceed with Day 3 of Future Music Festival Asia 2014….

“This is also to help in the ongoing investigation. We appreciate the understanding of all parties and will share updates on this matter as soon as possible,” said the organisers on their Facebook page.

The six dead were between 21 and 28 years old.:

They are Kamal Zekry Kamal Basha, 21; Victor Wong E. Hern, 25; Sabreena Kamarudin, 21; M. Suresh, 27; Syazana Sohaime, 23; and Nor Faizza Mohd Wazir, 26.

All of the dead are from Malaysia.

The police have detained 29 people – 13 Malaysians and 16 foreigners – in relation to drug possession at the concert, and they will be remanded until Tuesday….

The Star Online also reported that three more people, one who is in a coma, were in critical condition….

In a conflicting report, the same publication said that there could be as many as 14 people recovering in the hospital from overdosing on methamphetamines.

The Malaysian Insider noted that “FMFA has been touted to be Southeast Asia’s largest music festival, with an estimate of 85,000 concert goers from the entire region.”

Read more details at the links.


Weekly Arts Roundup- 03/13/14


The stories:

Veteran Artist Program Kicks off ‘Operation Artists in Action’ CD

Brian (BR) McDonald, a musician, veteran and founder of The Veteran Artist Program, has also written on the subject of veterans and the arts (emphasis mine):

The truth is that many military service members are creative individuals who continue to innovate, serve in their communities and use the arts to communicate a unique veteran perspective.
In 2009, I returned to the arts after eight years in the military, during which I was deployed four times for Operation Enduring Freedom in Southeast Asia. Although I had been out of the arts scene for nearly a decade, I was by no means new to it. I had been a musician and performer all of my life. I was excited to reconnect with my love of the arts, but I was especially struck by meeting so many other veterans who had similar stories of putting their love of the arts on hold to serve….
Many organizations help veterans to express themselves and address issues related to combat and reintegration through art. But that approach can exclude those veterans who aren’t looking to the creative process as a form of therapy but want to make art for the same reasons as their peers.
Less than one percent of the American population has served in Afghanistan or Iraq since the September 11 attacks. This extreme gap in perspective is driving assumptions about veterans that are often perpetuated by the arts and entertainment industry. Giving veterans the tools, training and access they need to work in the arts community gives a voice to a population that is often the subject of media representation but rarely has a say in how they are portrayed.

Please read the whole thing, and learn how you can support Brian’s efforts.

Yahoo!7/ABC Australia: After decades of decay, the art of New York street artist Keith Haring is back to its bold and bright best.

Thirty years ago the famous New York street artist painted a mural on the wall of the old Collingwood Technical School in Melbourne’s inner-north.
Italian conservator Antonio Rava spent months lovingly restoring the mural to its former glory last year, after much debate about how it should be treated.
He says the mural was in such a terrible state, many people thought it could not be saved.
But a careful clean revealed the original colours were still there.
“This was a big discovery, everybody was thrilled, we didn’t know at the beginning the colour was there,” he said.
“When everybody says, ‘oh beautiful, you repainted it!’, we say not at all, we really conserved, and we really treated it as an old master painting.
“Every stroke, every line, it’s full of his energy.”

Read the full story of how the painting was made.

Variety: Robert Rodriguez, Mountain Dew in Promotional Pact to Find New Filmmakers

Daily Mail UK: Little People, Big World stars Matt and Amy Roloff separate after 26 years of marriage

Matt and Amy Roloff of TLC’s Little People, Big World have agreed to ‘a trial separation.’
The couple – who have been married for more than 26 years – made the announcement to People.
‘Though we have weathered many storms together, we recently made the tough decision to engage in a trial separation,’ Matt, 52, and Amy, 49, said in a joint statement….
The reality series premiered in 2005 and followed the couple, who were diagnosed wtih [sic] dwarfism, as they tended to their Oregon farm and raised twins Jeremy and Zack, 23, Molly, 20 and Jacob, 17.

The Washington Times: Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates

The Independent UK: Star Wars 7 casts ‘Girls’ actor Adam Driver as Darth Vader-like villain, reports (and Lena Dunham) claim

Daily Mail UK: ‘I am so ready to play a really dumb character’: Benedict Cumberbatch says he’s ready for a less intellectual role and that Sherlock is ‘an absolute b*****d’

Ahem… Emma Watson‘s back…

Photo credit: Carter Smith/Elle

Photo credit: Carter Smith/Elle

‘I’m so jealous!’ Former child star Emma Watson admits she’s envious of actresses who ‘get to emerge as a complete human being’

See more, um, artistic photos at Elle.

Something musical this time from our pal Gene at Blackmailers Don’t Shoot: Worldwide Heavy Metal

For those in the Los Angeles area:

March 14- April 14: Turner Classic Movie channel offers free movie locations bus tours

The New York Times, Arts Beat blog:College Art Museum Hit With Sanction After Sale of Bellows Work

The Association of Art Museum Directors, which represents more than 200 museums in North America, has issued a rare sanction against the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va….
While museums commonly sell works in order to buy other works – a practice known as deaccessioning – ethical standards in the field strongly prohibit sales for other purposes, like capital projects or operating costs….
[L]ast month, the National Gallery of Art in London announced that it had bought the painting for $25.5 million, money that will go to the college’s endowment. The sanction, one of the strongest punishments meted out by the group, asks other member museums “to suspend any loans of works of art to and any collaboration on exhibitions and programs with the Maier Museum of Art.” Member museums are not legally bound to do so but generally abide by the group’s decisions.
At the time of the sale the college said it would begin a partnership with the National Gallery of Art in which curators would lecture at Randolph and loans of the Bellows back to the Maier would be possible.

The Huffington Post: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently “The things that stand out the most are the paradoxes of the creative self … Imaginative people have messier minds.”



View and purchase more of Bradley’s work at Fine Art America or via his listing at Christopher Michael Galleries’ eArtConnection online gallery.

Catch the return of MatchCon, Own the Narrative Network’s hilarious and very mature game show. Saturday night’s guests include L.A.-area musician Gary Eaton, culture warrior Gay Patriot (Bruce Carroll) and IJReview editor Kyle N. Becker. The MatchCon show starts at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific Saturday, and you’ll have the most fun if you interact with panelists and the host in the chatroom! See you there!

Please share your thoughts on and suggestions for the Arts Roundup… looking forward to hearing from you! And as the image points out, artists don’t work for free. Hit the tip jar.

Top image hat tip: Looplay


You must see this– 11 People Who Are Worse Dancers Than You from the young bloggers of Jackie Wellfonder’s #RARFire!


Weekly Arts Roundup- 3/10/14

Weekend Arts Capsule- 3/1/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/24/14

Debut- Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/18/14

Thanks so much for the linkage, Daley Gator!


Watch: ‘Drugged Out': Accused #SXSW Killer Rashad Owens’s 10-Minute Movie

Photo credit: Rashad Owens/Facebook

Photo credit: Rashad Owens/Facebook

Not only is accused South By Southwest killer Rashad Owens an aspiring rapper and music producer, but he appears to have had acting on his mind, too.

Published on his YouTube account last February, ‘Drugged Out: KB The Movie’ glamorizes the gangsta lifestyle: taking drugs, getting wasted and scoring women. Most of the film revolves around the characters– including Owens– getting ready to hit a party. He and his associates appear to commit several crimes in the process, including having an open container in a vehicle, drug possession and driving while intoxicated. It’s definitely NSFW.

Hat tip Heavy

Listen: Music Produced by Suspect in Fatal SXSW Crash (Audio)


The Other McCain- Death at SXSW
CBS-Dallas/Fort Worth: SXSW Crash Suspect In Austin Hoping To Get His Big Music Break


Listen: Music Produced by Suspect in Fatal SXSW Crash (Audio)

Photo credit: Rashad Owens/Soundcloud

Photo credit: Rashad Owens/Soundcloud

via Austin American-Statesman:

Rashad Charjuan Owens had been in Austin to perform at an East Austin venue before police say he plowed through a crowd of South by Southwest festival-goers early Thursday morning downtown.

His brother, Lamar Wilson, told the American-Statesman that he last saw Owens on Wednesday evening before his show at Club 1808 near 12th and Chicon streets. Owens, whose stage name is KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254, was the father of six young children, one of whom lives in Alaska, Wilson said.

You can hear Owens’ music at what appears to be his Soundcloud profile page.



Rashad Charjuan Owens: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know


Weekly Arts Roundup

Juan Pablo, star of ABC’s reality show “The Batchelor” stopped in Vegas over the weekend, to take in a boxing match at the MGM Grand and visit the hotel-casino’s wedding chapel. The season finale is tonight.

The stories:

This week, I’m starting with Overseas arts stories (and you’ll understand why when you read the first one): all emphasis mine:

The Times of India: Missing Malaysian plane was carrying 29 Chinese artists

BEIJING: A group of 29 artists, who attended an art exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, are among the 154 Chinese passengers missing in the Malaysian airline Flight 370 which disappeared Saturday morning while flying through the Vietnamese air space.
The artists, who came from Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong , Jiangsu , Sichuan and Xinjiang, were in Kuala Lumpur for a 3-day exhibition organized jointly by Art Peninsular Enterprise in Malaysia and a Chinese website,, which ended on Thursday.
The artists included 19 painters and most of the others were calligraphers. They were seen off at the Kuala Lumpur airport by the exhibition’s organizers. Six other artists from China, who attended the exhibition, took another flight from Kuala Lumpur.

SLR Help Brooke Shaden Build a Photography School for Human Trafficking Survivors

[W]ell known fine art photographer Brooke Shaden…. traveled to Kolkata, India with an organization called Blossomy in order to teach photography at several workshops to survivors of human trafficking….
The goal of Brooke’s Indiegogo campaign is to create a self-sustaining school of photography in Kolkata that can provide education and job placement for victims of human trafficking.
“The school that we propose would be self-sustaining after two years. The way that it works is simple: the school is attached to a fully functioning studio in which the clients that pay for portraits sessions have their money go straight back into the school system, thus providing income for those working in the school as well as those working in the studio.”

The Mirror UK: BBC bans all-male panels on comedy shows such as QI and Mock the Week:

The director of BBC Television has banned all-male panels on comedy shows from now on.
Danny Cohen said that it is “not acceptable” that women have not been present on shows like QI and Mock the Week.
The change follows long-running complaints about the ‘testosterone-fuelled’ nature of shows such as Mock The Week, which is loaded with male regulars with little scope for female guests.
“We’re not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on them,” Cohen said. “You can’t do that. It’s not acceptable.”
In the most recent series, all the regular comedians on the most recent series of Mock the Week were men and only five of the 38 guest panelists were women.
The move follows criticism from Victoria Wood, who has criticised such male dominated shows, and Jo Brand, who said she no longer considered appearing on Mock The Week….
However in 2012, writer Caitlin Moran said she had been asked to appear on “all the big panel shows” but turned them down because “I refuse to be the token woman”.
“I think that’s a boys’ game that works for boys,” she said. “It’s not like they built it to screw women over, it’s just that boys built it so they made it to work for boys. If I go on there as a token woman, it’s not going to work for me,” she said.
And Radio 4 DJ Libby Purves also questioned the move, saying yesterday: “Hmm. How often will the female be a decorative item, there to giggle at the chaps?”

More stories:

Photo credit: Max Vadukul/Vanity Fair

Wes Anderson. Photo credit: Max Vadukul/Vanity Fair

In an interview in the new issue of Vanity Fair highlighting his new film ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, director Wes Anderson reveals, ““I would like to try to make a movie on location in space or on a nearby planet.”

The full interview is here.

The Independent UK:
Wes Anderson and the best props in Hollywood: Meet the graphic designer tasked with bringing the director’s films to life

2014 Razzie Awards Full ‘Winners’ List
Hat tip Gene/Blackmailers Don’t Shoot (catch his latest Linkfest here.)

Forbes: This Photographer Just Made $15K In One Day On Instagram

 On the eve of his 34th birthday, Arnold didn’t have a clue how he was going to make rent for the following month, so, at midnight, he posted this message on Instagram:

“Hello, I just turned 34 this second. For one day only I am selling 4×6 prints of whatever you want from my Instagram archive for $150 each. I swear I will never sell anything this cheap again. If you’re interested, send a screenshot of the photo(s) of your choice to (one d) and I will send a paypal invoice, followed by a signed print. Easy peasy. Happy my birthday. I love you”

The response overwhelmed him. Orders poured in. A day later, he’d received nearly $15,000 worth of requests, and collected some $5,000.

The whole story’s worth reading!

Whitney Biennial and the Armory Show: New York’s busiest art week

For the first time since 2004, the commercial and non-commercial art platforms share the same week. Are curators being forced to rethink their roles?

Hat tip for prior two pieces: Conservative Animal

Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time

The cameraman who shot Steve Irwin’s fatal last scene with a stingray, during which he was poisoned after being stabbed by the animal’s foot-long barb “thousands of times” has opened up about the nature conservationist’s final moments (scroll down to watch the video).

Read the whole thing.

Cue the “Milkshake” jokes– Kelis has a cooking-based reality show:

The show premiered Feb. 26th, but you can stream the first episode of Saucy & Sweet online now. In this episode, Kelis prepares a thank you meal for her marketing team that involves jerk ribs, shrimp fricassee and goat cheese ice cream. It’s half a cooking show, half a peek into her life while prepping for the release of her new album.

Read more, and stream the first episode for free.

Blackmailers Don’t Shoot: How I Met Your Mother – A Slightly Premature Retrospective

The CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother has reached the television equivalent of a heat death. The writers are out of ideas and are just cashing their paychecks, but the producers insist on squeezing just a few more episodes. It took quite a while for the show to jump the shark, but this season’s episode that was written in verse finally caused fans to give up.

How I Met Your Mother is the story of lovelorn neurotic Ted Mosby and his four friends: horndog pick up artist Barney Stinson (pictured above,) rageholic Canadian Robin Scherbatsky, and gooey married couple Lily Aldrin and Marshall Eriksen. The show is framed as a series of stories told mostly to Ted’s future children.

Read more at Blackmailers Don’t Shoot.

And I’ll leave you with something musical:

Photo credit: Warner Bros. Music

Photo credit: Warner Bros. Music

Paste: Busy Doin’ Somethin': Uncovering Brian Wilson’s Lost Bedroom Tapes, 1968-74

Feel free to give feedback on the Arts Roundup… I’d love to hear what you think!


Weekend Arts Capsule- 3/1/14

Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/24/14

Debut- Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/18/14



Weekend Arts Capsule


Yep, that’s a 17-year-old Prince. See the “Robert Whitman Photographs PRINCE” at Mr Musichead story below.

The stories:

The Independent UK: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 role to be completed using CGI

Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s filming on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was almost complete prior to his death bar one major scene, according to reports, which is to be completed using ‘digital things’ and camera tricks.
The late actor played head gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee in last year’s sequel Catching Fire….
Now The Hollywood Reporter cites a Lionsgate source as claiming that no rewrites will be needed and that “they seem to have plans that don’t seem very complicated” regarding completing filming without the actor. “You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to,” the insider added.

The The Springsteen Cover of Lorde’s ‘Royals’ You Never Knew You Needed

The Boss opened his show in Auckland last night with an acoustic cover of the mega-hit “Royals” by the Grammy-winning New Zealander Lorde. The performance (h/t Dwight Garner) was captured by a concertgoer who was apparently recording from neighboring Australia.

Take a listen. The Toledo Mud Hens ain’t afraid of no ghost, will wear Ghostbusters uniforms

Triple-A Toledo’s awesome alternates were made to honor the 30th anniversary of the classic film, and are slated to be worn during the Mud Hens’ matchup with the Charlotte Knights on May 30.

Check out photos of the super-cool uniforms!

Hollywood Reporter: Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Could End the TV Talk Genre, Study Suggests

So far, The Tonight Show under Fallon has contained far more music and comedy sketches and “gimmicks” than it did under former host Jay Leno, according to the study, conducted by Stephen Winzenburg, a communications professor at Grand View University….

Notice how he doesn’t compare it to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show? Uh, yeah.

“Nobody calls The Tonight Show a variety show and if they do they’re wrong, but based on Fallon’s first week it suddenly looks like one and it could preclude the death of the talk show because everyone will want to copy it,” says Winzenburg. “Fallon is basically doing Saturday Night Live with a short interview segment.”

Read the whole, wrongheaded thing.

Now, this might be a worthwhile show to catch, if you’re in the LA area. A 17-year-old Prince…

“Robert Whitman Photographs PRINCE” at Mr Musichead

Robert Whitman Photographs PRINCE, an exhibition of never-before-seen photos of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer…. [opened] February 20 in Los Angeles…. at Mr Musichead Gallery, a famed LA gallery focused on rock and roll imagery. With this show, Robert Whitman is going to premiere photographs he shot of Prince back in 1977 in Minneapolis, where they are both from, when the future pop star was 17…. The photo shoot took place on the streets of Minneapolis where Prince was born, raised and started his music career with the influence of his father. Some images were shot in his studio, as well as at Prince’s manager’s home….
The exhibit runs through until March 7th.

Find more Prince photos at the link.

Be@rbrick designed Daft Punk representations from Pharrell Williams personal art collection Photo:

Be@rbrick designed Daft Punk representations from Pharrell Williams personal art collection Photo:

This Is Not A Toy Exhibition – Guest Curated By Pharrell Williams at Design Exchange

Although I was flummoxed, the minute I read that Producer, Singer, Songwriter and avid art collector Pharrell Williams was a part of this project, I knew it was something I was not going to miss. The exhibit’s title was inspired by the universal disclaimer often found on product packaging and gives patrons a glimpse into the world of the designer toy trend which unbeknownst to me, these items made out of plastic, plush and vinyl have been a hot commodity in the art circles since the early 90′s….

The exhibit is on display at Canada’s National Design Museum, Design Exchange in Toronto through May 19th.

You may remember Pharrell’s performance with Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder at January’s Grammy awards show.

National Anthem Girl

Singer Janine Stange is trying to perform the National Anthem at stadiums in all fifty states “to promote patriotism + honor our nation’s heroes”.

Again, as with last week’s Arts Roundup, she’s a decent singer but you gentlemen will enjoy looking at her…


Watch the trailer for Paul Walker’s last completed film, Brick Mansions

A trailer for Paul Walker‘s last completed film, Brick Mansions, has been released just three months after his tragic death.
The late Fast & Furious actor plays Damien Walker in the District B13 remake, an undercover cop who must defeat a crime lord holding Detroit hostage with a neutron bomb….
US music producer RZA from hip-hop crew Wu-Tang Clan stars as the crime lord….
Walker and RZA became firm friends while shooting for Brick Mansions. The rapper wrote a song called “Destiny Bends” in tribute to his “kindred spirit” co-star after Walker died aged 40 in a Los Angeles car crash.

Have any comments, suggestions on the Weekend Capsule or any of the other new, arts content? Leave me a message.

MTV’s “120 Minutes”, Sept. 1993: Matthew Sweet- “Time Capsule”


Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/24

New Lowering the Boom Feature: Weekly Arts Roundup- 2/18



Oldest Continuously-Held Sporting Event in the U.S. Sticking with NBC Until 2025

KY Derby

Looks like the 140-year-old Run For the Roses will be staying on NBC’s airwaves for the foreseeable future.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – NBC Sports Group has announced a 10 year agreement with Churchill Downs Incorporated for broadcast rights to the Kentucky Derby.

The agreement includes rights to programming on Oaks and Derby days that will televised on both NBC and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and featured on the NBC digital platforms.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Churchill Downs for both the iconic Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby and are proud to have them as signature elements of our Championship Season,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, in a statement released Wednesday. “This decade-long deal is a testament to the strength of the relationship between Churchill Downs Incorporated and NBC Sports, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing. We will continue to utilize the wide-ranging media platforms of NBCUniversal to surround the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with wall-to-wall coverage and extensive promotion.”

Read more at the link.

In other sports world news, Az is reporting that the NFL is “strongly considering” moving next year’s Pro Bowl to Glendale, Arizona. Super Bowl XLIV is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium.



Weekly Arts Roundup

CarriDee, Cycle 7 winner, America's Next Top Model

CariDee, Cycle 7 winner, America’s Next Top Model

Other women might understand the very real perils of an “America’s Next Top Model” marathon on Oxygen network. I couldn’t get this Roundup published over the weekend, as the result of one, 2006’s Cycle 7 (what they call a season at ANTM). That season’s lovely winner CariDee English (left).

Ms. English commented on a Cycle 8 contestant’s trials with meth (the 5th comment down). Interesting to contrast that more candid interview with one immediately after her win.






Jennifer Lopez to star in, executive produce NBC police drama ‘Shades of Blue’

Yes, reportedly in 2015 JLo’s adding the title “executive producer” to that of “American Idol judge”. And she’s getting back into acting. Theoretically.

Hat tip Patty at Littlebytes News

NY Daily News: ‘Sting: The Last Ship': Television review

90-minute concert version of Sting’s upcoming Broadway musical about his childhood home

She Katherine Heigl: Crowdfunding for film is a bust

Katherine Heigl was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars a few years ago. Now her independent film is struggling to raise funds.


AP: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author Harper Lee settles museum lawsuit

Lee had reached an agreement with the Monroe County Heritage Museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. over its sale of merchandise with her name and the title of her classic novel.


Léa Seydoux at the British Academy Film Awards, 2014

Léa Seydoux at the British Academy Film Awards, 2014

New DVD release: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ (VOD: Feb. 25)

From Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the film unanimously won the Palme d’Or from the official jury and the FIPRESCI Prize. It is the first film to have the Palme d’Or awarded to both the director and the lead actresses, with [Léa] Seydoux and Exarchopoulos becoming the only women apart from director Jane Campion to have ever won the award.

Blue Is the Warmest Colour is based on the 2010 French graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh, which was published in North America in 2013.

So, yeah, the movie’s in French. Like you guys will care (reference above photo).

Image hat tip F*#&YeahLeaSeydoux

New: BONUS feature: This week’s Weekly Arts Roundup Spotify soundtrack: The Fall- The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004, The Fall- Extricate, The Stone Roses- S/T and The Pixies- Bossanova. And “The Wagon” by Dinosaur, Jr. (Their “Just Like Heaven” is only acceptable cover of a Cure song, by the way.)

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions on the Arts Roundup. Until next week!


RIP, Harold Ramos!

Harold Ramis—best known for his contributions to Ghostbusters, Caddyshack and Animal House—has died. The actor, writer and director has struggled with health-related issues from an autoimmune disease since 2010, according to The Chicago Tribune. Ramis was 69.

Ramis got his start in Chicago, where he made his first step into comedy at the famous Second City comedy troupe. He was a performer and head writer for the legendary SCTV sketch comedy show in the 1970s. Later, Ramis’ writing contributions to the comedy world include several staples: the previously mentioned Animal House and Ghostbusters, in which Ramis starred as the iconic Dr. Egon Spengler, as well as Stripes and Groundhog Day.

Read the rest.


New Lowering the Boom Feature: Weekly Arts Roundup


New Lowering the Boom Feature: Weekly Arts Roundup

 Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, in Mike Nichols’s 2012 Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (Photo:

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, in a 2012 Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (Photo:

At least once a week, I’m going to start sharing stories that intrigue me from the arts world. So much of what forms our way of thinking and our lives comes from the music that we listen to, the movies or other works of art we experience. Whether we realize it or not, art helps us appreciate the quality and permanence (or impermanence) of the world.

Why else would Rolling Stone bump Grammy-nominated rapper Drake off its cover to pay tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman? Art matters.


Washington Times: Devo guitarist Bob Casale dead at 61

Devo guitarist Bob Casale died suddenly Monday from health complications that led to heart failure, his brother announced Tuesday. He was 61.

“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” his brother, Gerald, a Devo vocalist, told TMZ. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer, and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got.”

Read the rest.

Guess what? You can watch Justin Bieber performing live in Cairo later this spring… for just under $300.00!

Cairo You Better Beliebe It!

The sprawling Porto Cairo Mall plays host to the boy wonder, this 25th April, 2014, turning the whole space into one giant arena for this once-in-a-lifetime concert. Tickets, of course, will be limited, but you can pre-reserve using to avoid disappointment….

You can call 02 3749 6162 now to get your name on the advanced sale list and become the first to know then [sic] the tickets are released. Alternatively, you can head to and register your interest, filling out the online form accurately and you will be called back.

Tickets are extremely limited and will officially go on sale at the beginning of March….

Tickets will be on sale for 2000LE [$287.212] per person.

Also, at Egyptian Chronicles: As if #Egypt needs this, Justin Bieber is coming to Cairo

Modern Art Painting Sells for Record Price through Christie’s in Europe

The Guardian: Francis Bacon painting of burglar who broke into his house sells for £42m

Also at Irish Examiner: Francis Bacon painting sells for a record €51 million

A masterpiece by Francis Bacon has become the most valuable piece of artwork ever sold by auction house Christie’s in Europe after going under the hammer for a record £42.2m (€51m).

Miami New Times: Miami Artist Destroyed $1M Ai Weiwei Vase Because PAMM “Only Displays International Artists”

The vandal is actually Maximo Caminero, a well-known local painter who has shown works at the Fountain Art Fair. He tells New Times that he destroyed the vase to make a point….

“I wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are many foreign artists like myself and others who have been here thirty years and have never received attention or support from MAM or now PAMM and other local museums,” he continues. “We are all taxpayers here and PAMM used $200 million of public money on its building and opened with Weiwei’s work to draw attention to itself and as always continues to ignore local artists.”

The Speakeasy blog at the Wall Street Journal: Italian art sleuth is testing DNA of the skeletal remains of the ‘real’ Mona Lisa to gain insight into the artwork

Italian art sleuth Silvano Vinceti announced the start of DNA tests on a skeleton that could be the remains of Lisa Gherardini, the Florentine noblewoman widely believed to the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. If the skeleton turns out to belong to Gherardini, Vinceti plans to build a computer-generated reconstruction of her face, which could shed new light on the age-old fascination with the world’s most famous painting.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip on the previous two stories: Lisa Fung

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Through an intergovernmental agreement signed on March 6, 2007, France and the United Arab Emirates decided to create a universal museum, bearing the name Louvre Abu Dhabi, with an opening slated for 2014….
The right to use the Louvre name for thirty years, governed by a specific agreement between the Musée du Louvre and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is a key issue.

That’s it for now. Feel free to give feedback on the Arts Roundup… I’d love to hear what you think!

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. compete during the figure skating ice-dance free dance program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 17, 2014. (Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. compete during the figure skating ice-dance free dance program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 17, 2014. (Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)


‘House of Cards’ Majority Whip Kevin Spacey MTed Both Dem & GOP House Whips… And Actually Got a Reply!

kate-mara-kevin-spacey-house-of-cards-qa-event-03The folks at Netflix-only drama series House of Cards went all out on social media in the weeks leading up to the show’s second season premiere tonight. Star Kevin Spacey, who plays conniving Democratic House Majority Whip Francis Underwood, got into the act, too– sort of.


Second Season Preview:

Hat tips to RJ Moeller for the Spacey tweet and PJ Media for the trailer.


Both Whips made cameos in this House of Cards spoof from the intro of 2013’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

Josh Kraushaar at National Journal: How ‘House of Cards’ Gets the Biggest Thing About Washington Wrong