Friday, November 27, 2009

Ghettosocks - Treat Of The Day (2009)

01. Rappin' For Fun
02. Onlyindamornin'
03. Recreation
04. Dreams Of Hawaiian Sophie
05. Stolen Kids feat. PH (Pumpkinhead)
06. Out For Treats
07. Ricochet feat. El Da Sensei
08. Role Models
09. Not Impressed feat. Cesar Comanche
10. Pink Lemonade feat. Apt
11. U Ain't This feat. D-Sisive, Rich Kidd & Muneshine
12. Guillotine
13. Take Chains Off
14. Don't Turn Around feat. Edgar Allen Floe
15. Rock The Discotech feat. Timbuktu
16. The Roof

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holocaust & American Poets 2099 - Theatre of Pain (2009

01: Stand
02: Sayonara Blues (feat. Ace Gauntlit)
03: Punch Your Face In
04: Thursday
05: Fancy Boxing (fear. Dungeon Masta, Storm Da Ghetto Mutant & Judah Priest)
06: Dark Stormz (feat. Boot Face & Weapon X)
07: Chamber of Poets (feat. Fes Taylor, Phil Anastasia, Ace Gauntlit & GS Advance)
08: Nas Diss
09: Introducing Chaos (feat. 60 Second Assassin, Buddha Monk, Dopestyle & Jus-P)
10: Rebel Hip Hop (feat. Timbo King & Dopestyle)
11: Gun Grave
12: Lost Scrolls of Atlantis (feat. G-Clef Da Mad Komposa & C-Rayz Walz)
13: Sharp Splinters (feat. Weapon X & Dopestyle)
14: Rusted Hearts (feat. White Lotus)
15: Hounds (feat. Dopestyle)
16: Gun Sword (feat. G-Clef Da Mad Komposa, Ace Gauntlit & Watt)
17: Cold Hearted Orb (feat. Dopestyle)
18: Cleopatra (feat. King Just)
19: Where Are You Walking?
20: What Can the Matter Be (Remix)
21: Domination (feat. Irie 1 & Mic Moses)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bekay - Hunger Pains Instrumentals (2009)

01. Intro (Prod. by The Returners)
02. I Am (Feat. DJ Revolution) (Prod. by The Alchemist)
03. Pipe Dreams (Feat. R.A. The Rugged Man) (Prod. by Marco Polo)
04. Bloodsport (Prod. by Shuko)
05. Young (Prod. by Shuko)
06. Rapstar (Hunger Pains) (Prod. by Alkota)
07. Crazy (Feat. Heltah Skeltah) (Prod. by Illmind)
08. Brooklyn Bridge Feat. Masta Ace) (Prod. by DJ Babu)
09. That’s Brooklyn (Skit)
10. Skemers (Feat. Wordsworth) (Prod. by Shuko)
11. Realest That Run It (Prod. by Contagious)
12. Pops (Prod. by BeanOne)
13. The Raw (Feat. Saigon & Inspectah Deck) (Prod. by Street Orchestra)
14. Visions (Prod. by J.R. Rotem)
15. I Am (Remix) (Feat. Dilated Peoples) (Prod. by The Alchemist)

Danny! - Where Is Danny? (2009)

01. Man, Motherfuck An Intro
02. Manic At The Disco
03. Where Is Danny?
04. Tattered Fedora Flow
05. Hoedown Showdown feat. Von Pea
06. I Ain't The Walrus
07. Turn Me Up
08. Many Reasons
09. Still Got Love
10. Sloppy Joe Pt. 1
11. Commercial Break (Interlude)
12. Fa Fa Fa
13. This Is Your Life (In West Watch-A-Ka-Tella) (Instrumental)
14. Off The Hook feat. Che Grand
15. George Wendt
16. Nah, I Don't Like This Beat Yo
17. Theme Music To A Killing Spree feat. Danny Brown
18. Lost One
19. Scrambled Eggs
20. Sloppy Joe Pt. 2
21. Mama I Want To Fucking Sing
22. Wake The Fuck Up Man (You're Trippin' Man)
23. Crank Dat (Hey DJ) feat. Ladi Jade
24. Get Down
25. Gone Danny Gone

Chris MacDonald's Memories of Elvis Rockin Birthday Bash is coming to the Coral Springs Center for the Arts January 8,2010

For one night only, Chris MacDonald will lovingly bring back the magic of “the King or Rock-n-roll” in a truly dynamic performance complete with costumes, back up singers, dancers and high-energy concert band. Join us for this Rockin tribute celebrating the life and music of one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time on what would have been his 75th Birthday. Majic 102.7's Legendary Radio Personality Rick Shaw will be the special guest MC .A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Majic Children's Fund. Come on out and enjoy the show while helping South Florida's children in need.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) November 23, 2009 -- 32 years ago (August 16, 1977) we lost one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time. Are you still lonesome for the energy, charisma and incredible voice of one of the most enduring icons of our pop culture? Then come celebrate the life and music of Elvis Presley, when tribute artist Chris MacDonald presents his Memories of Elvis in Concert Rockin Birthday Bash Friday January 8th at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts. Elvis Presley, recognized by TIME magazine as the "Artist of the Century," has sold more records than any other artist or group in the history of modern music. Even after death, his image and music continue to be loved and celebrated throughout the world. July 5, 2004 was established as the official 50th Birthday of Rock-n-roll commemorating Sun Records release of Elvis Presley’s song “That’s all right Mama”. With recent number ones on Billboard and Great Britain’s charts, Elvis once again proves he is gone, but not forgotten. Keeping the memory alive at countless venues throughout the country Chris MacDonald lovingly brings back the magic of the “King of Rock-n-Roll” with his tribute Memories of Elvis.

Chris’s show is not an overdone impersonation .It is a natural heartfelt tribute to the King of Rock-n-roll. Adding to the authenticity of his tribute, Chris has the honor of being the only tribute artist hired by Elvis Presley Enterprises to perform at Graceland's Heartbreak Hotel for 7 consecutive years. An energetic and experienced entertainer, MacDonald has also starred in the famous LEGENDS IN CONCERT stage productions in such cities as Branson, MO, and Las Vegas, NV. He has also performed in Concert with Elvis Presley’s original back up group The Jordanaires and D.J. Fontana at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Not only is the charismatic MacDonald superb in performing as Elvis, this versatile performer has an extensive repertoire spanning from the 50's through today including contemporary country music tunes in addition to some of his own original music. MacDonald’s solid vocals have also earned him Broward County’s Florida Country Music Association’s (FCMA) Male Vocalist of the Year award and a feature track on The Deuces Wild compilation CD which received the FCMA Best CD of the Year award. Chris has a new original country CD recorded in Nashville entitled No Misconception. All songs on the cd were recorded with harmony vocals provided by the legendary Jordanaires. The songs are available for digital downloads on or his website

For one night only, MacDonald will bring back an All-American Legend in a truly dynamic multi-media performance complete with costumes, back up singer’s dancers and high-energy concert band. Join us for this Rockin tribute celebrating the life and music of one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time. Special Guest MC for the evening will be Majic 102.7's Legendary Radio Personality Rick Shaw. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Majic Children's Fund. For more info go to

Come on out and enjoy the show while helping South Florida’s children in need.

Chris MacDonald Memories of Elvis Rockin' Birthday Bash

Chris MacDonald lovingly brings back the magic of “the King or Rock-n-roll”.

Music Overload

A friend of mine and I often tell each other that despite the pirating of music on the internet, we are the reason the record industry is still around. Yes, I still buy tangible albums and cd's (a lot of them) from Rock It Man a local record store, although the word buy should probably be replaced with spend-whole- paychecks.

A good chunk of most of my pay checks go towards buying cd's. Music is my heroin and often times my overall mood will be dictated by the amount of goodness I have coming through my speakers. This goodness is expensive and although I am a huge advocate of supporting musicians and local record shops, lately it has been out of control. I go to the record store with the intention of perusing and I leave with my hands full and pockets empty. Often times I won't even hear a new album in it's entirety because it gets piled under newer albums that get purchased soon thereafter. I need to slow down a bit and invest more time in the music that I have purchased.

With that said, are there any new albums I should know about...

By Joe

A Quiet Morning

I like to keep this blog happy and upbeat, generally speaking.

But today, I'm sad that our office is a little emptier than last week. Jillian Asplund, our trusty Gallery Director, is on maternity leave starting today. Her baby is due this week! She'll be away from FCP until March.

We're all very happy for Jill and Craig and their new family member, of course. They're amazing people and they'll make excellent parents. And we can't wait to meet their new addition. But I'm also a little selfish and am sad sad sad that she's not here gracing our offices with her patented smile and quirky humor.

Each morning, I arrive in the offices here usually at about 8:30am after dropping off Riley for school. I open my computer, put my things in place, and begin reviewing emails and phone messages. Right at 9:00am, Jillian pops in the door and does mostly the same thing. We say hello and sometimes have a few business items to discuss, and sometimes just chat. It's part of the routine.

I've been here almost 3 years, and I'm kinda used to that little morning exchange. So I got a little sad this morning, coming in and setting up for the day, knowing that my morning exchange with Jill would not be happening.

But I couldn't help from sending her a text to let her know that I was thinking of her.

Musician, heal thyself

After having a stroke in 2005, British pop icon Edwyn Collins used music to recover his speech

In early 2005, at age 45, Edwyn Collins suffered a stroke. The British pop icon had suffered a burst blood vessel in his brain after an undiagnosed case of high blood pressure. Three weeks later, a doctor pronounced that Collins, famed for acerbic, lyrically inventive songs such as Orange Juice’s Rip It Up and A Girl Like You, would likely never recover his powers of speech and cognition. Collins was apparently such a lost cause that he wasn’t even being considered for a rehabilitation program.

In her recent memoir, Falling and Laughing: The Restoration of Edwyn Collins, Collins’s wife, Grace Maxwell, recalls thinking, “He’s at the mercy of bastards like this for the time being, but they won’t have the final say on his destiny.”

Earlier this month, Collins walked on stage at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom. Looking dapper in a black suit and leaning on a silver-topped cane, he spoke slowly to the crowd, his right arm curled up at his side. But when he started to sing, his baritone proved as powerful as ever. Clearly, Grace Maxwell had been right.

It’s been a tremendously difficult five years for the couple, but now, as Collins prepares his first album of new material since the stroke, they’re able to allow work and “real life” to take over from a constant cycle of therapy. Sitting side by side on a couch in Collins’s studio in London’s West Hampstead in early November, the inseparable duo seemed both keyed-up and relieved.

“You’ve got to be upbeat, I guess,” Collins says. “I’m getting better again, and my stage show is great — it’s taking time, but I’ll persevere, slowly.”

“You will persevere,” Maxwell echoes. Maxwell has been helping him fight his battles – artistic and otherwise – for nearly 26 years as his manager as well as his life partner. Their first decade together was a lean one, following the break-up of Orange Juice, Collins’s soul-and-funk-embracing indie band, in 1985. But the next 10 years were prosperous, buoyed by the unexpected worldwide success of A Girl Like You, a solo smash for Collins in 1995.

In Falling and Laughing, Maxwell describes, in heart-rending detail, the events following her husband’s 2005 collapse in their living room. Collins slipped into a coma, underwent a series of operations and then, just as he was being transferred to a private ward for advanced care, contracted the staph infection methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The stroke left Collins unable to stand, let alone walk. He was also struck with dysphasia, which meant he had to be taught all over again to read, write and even to speak.

“First, stuck in hospitals, I couldn’t say anything at all but ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’” Collins recalls. He then got “stuck” repeating a number of phrases, including his wife’s name, and, for some reason, the phrase “the possibilities are endless.”

Maxwell pushed to get him better care, all the while battling hospital staffers whom she calls, in Falling and Laughing, “hard-hearted incompetents” and “inattentive eejits.”

Maxwell is not one to pull punches, and her efforts prevailed: Collins flourished with the therapy she was able to secure. Unable to control his right hand to any degree, he learned to write – and taught himself to draw – with his left. He could still make the shapes for guitar chords, and Maxwell learned to strum the guitar so the two could play together as Collins developed ideas for new songs. Singing, in fact, came easier to him than speech.

“I can sing — crudely,” he laughs. There’s less inflection and subtlety to his delivery now, but he does channel startling bursts of energy.

Collins began performing again in 2007, with an ecstatically received gig at Dingwalls, in Camden. His Bloomsbury Ballroom show was an exclamation point on a just-completed tour of the Scottish Highlands. The set’s most rocking number that night was a new song called What Is My Role?, co-written with The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman. Collins stood up to perform it, and made emphatic rhythmic gestures with his left hand as he belted out the song’s searching, minor-key chorus.

Being able to leave his therapy sessions for long enough to tour is a novelty for Collins. Maxwell brings up new possible therapies for his right hand, and reminds him how well he has done so far. “You have to see speech and language and communication broken down the way Edwyn’s has been broken down to really understand what processes we take for granted.”

Collins interjects, with a dash of humour: “You mean I’m a moron, don’t you?”

“No, anything but! It takes something pretty incredible to actually do the repair job that you’ve done, Edwyn. I think [you were] maybe a superbrain, originally, to be able to come up with this degree of reassembly.”

Ideas and connections come to Collins at unexpected times. He might wake Maxwell up in the middle of the night with an idea for a lyric, or he might become transfixed by something apparently unrelated to the task at hand. At one point during the interview, he stands up laboriously, turns around, and crouches under the coffee table, reaching for something out of view.

“Captain Beefheart, please!” he asks his wife.

“We’re doing an interview just now,” she remonstrates him. Then she realizes there’s a copy of Beefheart’s 1974 CD Bluejeans and Moonbeams lying under the table. Apparently, Collins hadn’t seen it, or thought about it, since before his stroke. The cover triggered a memory of one of his favourite songs, Observatory Crest.

“That was a bit of another little neuronal bloody connection,” Maxwell says. “That kind of thing happens every day.”

Clearly, music helps Collins stitch ideas together. As part of his therapy, he learned to remember and recite the members of famous rock bands. He’s at his most enthusiastic when he shuffles, unassisted by his cane, down the corridor to his cluttered studio to show off his guitar collection, his vintage keyboards and the old recording console that was custom-built for George Martin. Here, he’s been producing acts such as The Cribs and Little Barrie (fronted by redoubtable axeman Barrie Cadogan, who also plays in Collins’s band). He’s also been recording new songs for himself, and according to Maxwell, a “cast of thousands” has offered to help out, including bands such as the Magic Numbers and Franz Ferdinand.

The things he once took for granted – especially touring, performing and recording – are now sources of pleasure. Having had to relearn so much of his day-to-day activity, Collins now approaches life with a new perspective. Maxwell recalls how this past summer, Collins encountered a man he had known as a boy in the Scottish village where he grew up and hadn’t spoken with in 40 years.

“We did know that he tried to kill himself,” Maxwell says. “What’s the first thing Edwyn said? He goes, ‘I heard you tried to kill yourself. Now, don’t do that again. Life is precious.’ … [The neighbour] goes, ‘Depression, Edwyn, it’s a terrible thing,’ and Edwyn goes, ‘Yes, I know, but listen to me: Life. Is. Precious.’”

Collins, his eyes wide, breaks into an endearing smile. “I’m grateful for everything, I guess,” he says. “It’s great to be back once more.”

Falling and Laughing: The Restoration of Edwin Collins is published by Ebury.

By Mike Doherty

Have You Considered Plastic Wedding Plates?

Are you planning a wedding on a strict budget? Plastic wedding plates look formal and won’t break the bank. Divine disposable plates are elegant and can be found in any color or size. Your plastic plates can fit in perfectly to your dinner reception decorations.

Before you are able to order your plastic place settings, first figure out how large the guest list is going to be. Once you have made a list, map out the quantities of plastic plates you might need.

For a cocktail party, it is good to prepare two 7" plates per person for every two hours of serving. Add in toothpicks and napkins, and that should be sufficient for hors d'oeuvres. If you are offering a straight buffet, you should consider two to three dinner plates per person and one dessert plate. Remember that your guests will most likely go back for a second helping. A full-service or a plated buffet where there is a sit down brunch, lunch, or dinner may call for a few different plate sizes. When setting the dining table a single 10 1/4" plate is enough for the main course. You will need a 9" plate for a more informal meals, like salads or sandwiches. 6" or 7" plates are perfect for bread and butter, side dishes and desserts.

Plastic wedding plates look like china and can save your wallet. Chances are, this is the first wedding that you have planned. Like most brides, you are learning as you go along. There are so many questions and items to cover. Decisions are even more difficult to make when you have a small budget. Don’t stress, get help from professionals when ordering your plastic plates. They have experience to help you plan for your reception.

Book Review – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini writes with power and surety, producing another best seller with A Thousand Splendid Suns.  This is his second novel, following close upon the heels of The Kite Runner, and like the earlier book deals with the troubled history and people of Afghanistan.

Two women, Mariam and Laila, a generation apart, are thrown together under painful circumstances. (What in this country isn't painful, especially for its women?) Tyrannized by those who hold dominion over them, the two women eventually find common cause and unite to face their enemies.

Mariam, the illegitimate daughter of a prosperous businessman, is married off to Rasheed, a Kabul shoemaker. She is only 15. But when it becomes apparent over the years that Mariam will never produce a male heir, Rasheed's domination over his wife escalates into verbal and physical brutality.

Enter Laila, a girl of 14. It is now the early 1990's, after the Soviets have left the country and the mujahideen are fighting for control. Laila, whose parents are killed in a rocket attack, is given aid by Mariam and Rasheed. It becomes clear to Rasheed, however, that this girl will be the one to bear him a son. And so at the age of 60, Rasheed takes Laila as his second wife, bringing her into the household.

Laila bears two children, the first a girl, whom Rasheed, in time, comes to understand is not his own. The second child, a boy, dies not long after birth. By now the Taliban are in control, Rasheed becomes increasingly frenzied, and life's hardships are greater than before.

The novel's heart is the gradual bonding of Laila, the girl-mother, and Mariam, an older woman.  Hosseini writes poignantly, giving voice to the inner lives of his two female characters-a remarkable accomplishment for any male author. What follows is devastating. Yet Hosseini is unflinching in his desire to remind us not only of his characters' tragic lives, but also of their strength and capacity to sacrifice for those they love.

While some criticism has centered on the book's melodrama-characters too good or evil to be believable-the power of Hosseini's writing is his ability to illuminate and make readers care.  This is a book that brings immediacy to the story of people's lives in a remote yet vital part of the world.

An American Critic's Perspective on 21st Century and Pre-21st Century Literature in the English Language

An American Critic's Perspective on 21st Century and Pre-21st Century Literature in the English Language

by Belford Vance Lawson 

The people who made money and a livelihood, even a career, by compiling anthologies of poetry for American students entering junior high school or high school sometime after 1950 made a point of including Robert Burns so that Alfred Lanier and Alfred Tennyson were not mistakenly believed to be the only type and/or nationalities of poems and poets available to English-speaking people in the then lower 48.

There was a sappy, drippy American poet-William Cullen Bryant- who was popular in the late 19th century who succeeded as an Americanized Tennyson-Three names-sounds like Edward Arlington Robinson but wrote earlier-a "plashy marge" type(referred to swampy reedy embankments next to a flowing river). I remember at Groton being reduced to stitches at the corniness-whoever spoke in real life about "plashy marges"?- of Bryant.

But back to Burns. Everybody who read around in these anthologies eventually read  about Burns' take on the Afton Waters in Ayrshire. We also knew about Burns' accent poetry--wee sleekit cownrin' beasties. Burns was widely, whether or not well, anthologized not just on the Atlantic shores but all across America.

I don't take any special credit for knowing these things, because by the time I was 14 I knew that literature was going to be a primary psychic and cultural environment for me throughout my life, and once I formally committed to majoring in English there was so much to continue to learn.

But until the 60s, the anthologists (e.g. Louis Untermeyer, Robert Penn Warren, Cleanth Brooks, and those type boys) saw to it-abetted by schoolteachers who taught the English they were told to teach whether they knew any English or not-that every body stateside  got a feeling for Irish and Scottish poetry-as well as for the poetries that, each with its own flavor, began to emerge from the many sub-Americas.

The lifetimes of Baltimore's Edgar Allen Poe and upstate New York 's Walt Whitman overlapped, but their poetry did not converge in subject or in manner. The poetry of each might have been written on different planets by different species.

Much the same, I speculate, could be said about the relationship between Burns and his British and Irish contemporaies. I imagine that Burns was taken much more seriously in the USA than in England , and this is because of American anthologists wanting to prove their breadth, in order thereby to rout the stereotype of American provinciality.

There remains no question that Burns' Afton poem garlanded the dreamtime of many an American child for many decades, many fortnights, many moons....

Download & Watch Online ‘Big Brother’ TV show and watch online!

The article throws light on some important aspects which you must know when it comes to watch online and download ‘Big Brother’ TV show. Go through the article and let yourself know what to keep in mind while downloading any popular TV show and movies also.

Talking about the storyline of this reality series, it can be said that Big Brother is a combination of reality, drama and romance. It shows how a group of people goes through the daily activities when hidden cameras watch their each and every move. This is the whole concept which Bog Brother moves around. The participants are known as Housemates/Houseguests. Each season of series begins with a particular no. of houseguests as they are locked in a well-equipped house and are left with no connection to the outside world. Evictions are done on periodic basis and each houseguest tries to avoid eviction to win the grand cash prize.

Missing an episode of a reality series means different than missing the episode of a daily soap. If one misses an episode of soap, he/she’ll come to know the storyline of it by watching the next episode in line. But on the other hand, suppose you miss an episode of Big Brother. And, your favorite contestant goes out in the very same episode. Watching the next episode will tell you nothing and you would never come to know what made a houseguest to leave Big Brother. Innumerous other examples can be given in same scenario.

There are two ways to watch the missed out episodes of any reality series like Big Brother. Either you can purchase DVDs or download it. It’s of no use to wait for DVD release because DVDs are released months later the original airings of any show. Moreover, DVDs are released in form of complete seasons so you would have to buy the complete DVD set, even if you want to watch single episode only.

So, all this makes people to turn to internet to download ‘Big Brother’ episodes or to watch the series’ episodes online. What should one do, follow the following:

Go to any search engine and type the following words: Download Big Brother or Big Brother download.
Within few seconds only, you would see thousands of websites offering the very same services. The huge no. of websites doesn’t mean that you can download easily. In fact, it creates mess.
Generally, two types of websites emerge in search results. The first category websites offer complete Big Brother and other TV shows, without paying anything. Trust me, nothing comes free on internet so don’t waste your time and efforts.

Instead, become the member of a genuine website. What a genuine website means? It means that you can download shows wit high quality and fast speed by fulfilling the requirements, availing membership, of the site. Generally, membership comes in two modes- lifetime membership and limited membership. Lifetime membership validates the member to make unlimited downloads throughout his life, paying one time charges only. On the other hand, limited membership offers services for a limited time period only. When we join a website as a limited time member, we need to make rapid payments to continue our services with the website.

My experience recommends that one should become lifetime member of a website as it’s the only way to get high quality downloads by not making the rapid payments.

Cable FX Presents Damages - A Wonderful Ensemble Cast Involved With A Great Story

Drug dependence can be awful. Soon the drugs you use are not enough and you need more and more. Damages, which has won star Glen Close both an Emmy and Golden Globe, shows this truth in a brutal light. Close is not the only one on Damages so honored. Many of the actors, creators, and writers on Damages have been recognized for their outstanding work.

Glenn Close plays Patty Hewes, the lawyer from Hewes and Associates. Whether loved or loathed, Close plays her role with a brilliant relish. And then Ellen Parsons, played by Rose Byrne, shows up. She's a recent graduate who many firms scout, but prefers to work for Patty Hewes. While their characters clash, neither will submit to another's will. As these characters evolve, you see some amazing performances.

Damages mixes things that happened in the past, and things that are going to happen along with the current storyline. If you miss even a minute of this show, you are likely to miss a key plot development. Attention is a prerequisite for keeping up with Damages' complicated plot. And it's important to be observant. Closely observe the neck of Saffron's shirt at the same time Ray Fiske does in the first episode, for example. Characters come and go and you are expected to remember them. Also, be ready to lose at least one of your favorite characters. From show to show you'll never know who will make it to next week. There are thirteen programs in the first season, and some of the best actors will likely not be in the second season, except in flashbacks.

Now, I ask will my addiction continue? Can the writers keep coming up with such great material? Are there still more twists and turns left to fill another season or two with such intense intrigue? We can only wish. If the people behind Damages can't keep up the outstanding quality that they've maintained so far, TV will lose one of its most promising shows in decades.

One thing I suggest, if possible, invest in a Hi-Def TV to get the full Damages' experience. Comcast Cable offers a great lineup of digital and High Definition channels. The show is even better when it is in high definition. But HDTV isn't all. Comcast provides outstanding Digital Voice and High-Speed Internet service as well. My previous DSL service did not permit me to download a/v files or keep up with my personal favorite programs as quickly as this service does. I also got rid of long distance fees when calling anywhere in the nation with crystal clear Comcast Digital Voice service. By taking advantage of the Comcast HD Triple Play bundle I pay one monthly flat rate for all three great services. I located the best promotion on the Internet. I recommend Comcast as a top-notch provider for broadband, cable, and digital phone service.

Manga Appeal

Japanese manga is a big business right now.  Tweens are not the only ones interested in this form of comic, either.  There are versions for small children, all the way up through adult.  Some are cute and whimsical, some are dark and somber.  What draws people to enjoy this booming art form?

There are so many different things about manga that attract fans.  The story lines can be simple, as in a child's cartoon, or very in depth.  It can be light and funny or dark and scary.  The characters themselves run the same gambit as the story lines.  You can find fluffy animals all the way up to evil doers.  There truly is something for everybody.  Some manga are so engrossing, it's easy to forget that it's basically a comic.

When the craze started in America, the quality was average.  There weren't that many manga available, so you took what you could get.  Now there are entire sections of manga in book stores.  The quality and quantity have both risen to scary proportions.  The average reader can choose a genre, and then browse through many authors to find what suits them best.

Most true lovers of manga try to dabble in the drawing of their favorite characters.  They think that it's got to be so easy.  Many try; more don't ever figure it out.  For those that do manage to draw good characters, or even characters of their own, even fewer manage to ever do anything with it.  The standards, believe it or not, are pretty high.  You have to get the formula just right.

So, what's the appeal of manga?  Well, it seems to be a quick break from the everyday life.  It's not an ordinary book, but a comic with a purpose.  Often you just need a mental break, and manga offers this in droves.  Why not check one out.  You might find yourself hooked.

Sequentially Smart

[June 22, 2009] Emily Ragozzino's "Tom Boy Tara" ( is a web comic involving gender stereotypes and college humor as key ingredients in making the comic so readable and enjoyable by both male and female audiences. The comic just began in September 2008 after Ragozzino had published a series of comic books all involving female outcasts entitled Dork Girl (A trilogy of books) and Why I Hate Cheerleaders featured on and These books were sold, along with paraphernalia plastered with art and logos from the books, at The Toronto Paradise Comic Convention two years in a row beginning in 2007 and again in 2008.

This year she hopes to attend the Toronto Fan Expo on the weekend of August 28th 2009 along with three male comic creator friends of hers (Terrence Gordon, Aaron Powers and Dan Wettlaufer) who she believes are extremely talented in their own way. Emily enjoys involving other artistic friends in her comic endeavors, even though she struggles as a cartoonist herself. Along with creating a website as well as numerous products on the site she is also gathering a select group of friends of hers to do a photo shoot involving three people dressed as her cartoon characters. The shoot is supposed to take place in front of a graffiti wall in downtown Toronto on July 5th 2009 and she's hoping the shoot will run smoothly.

"You have to think outside the box as an artist, you'll never get noticed copying what other people do, what worked for them may not work for you, and you have to be able to experiment and not be afraid to fall down in the pursuit of getting what you want." Ragozzino definitely likes to involve others in her ideas even though she is not financially equipped to pay the models and photographer, they all think the idea is a great one and she's provided them with hardcopies of her comics and t-shirts she's made at past conventions as a thank you for helping out.

In addition to her "think outside the box" method (that's been taught to her from the teachers of Georgian College Barrie in her Fine Arts advanced course she graduated from) she is coming up with new and old creative ideas. If she is a part of the Fan Expo (which she is anxiously awaiting to see if the waiting list representatives will wave her and her colleagues in) she hopes to make the usual pins, and stickers for the convention. Plans she has that are a little different than the traditional at the convention tables include: creating temporary tattoos and fortune cookies involving her logo and guidance she's created involving situations that happen in the comic and that can be used as advice for those reading. She also has many products like t-shirts, mugs, and even skateboards featured on her website for those who care to check them out. 

She hopes Artist Alley will increase this year at the convention so that she has an opportunity to exhibit her work and unique products and send people to links of her artist friends to expand their horizons as well. It is the largest convention in Canada, involving Comic books, sci-fi, video games and select celebrities related to these genres and quite possibly the second largest convention in the world next to the San Diego Con. It may be an expensive place to be, however she is hoping to have only a few little things at the table that are inexpensive so those watching their wallets during the recession won't lose too much. If you like A-sexual comics that involve witty, social humor I suggest you check the comic out, and if you catch her at the Fan Expo, go over, say hi, and maybe indulge in a fortune cookie or two.

Tile Style Dragon Picture Computer Mouse Pad

I have found the most unique mouse pad ever. I have used this mouse pad for the last couple of weeks and have found that there is no problem with the mouse traveling over it. I use a Logitech cordless optical mouse. I have not tried the mouse pad with a ball mouse as I do not have one and probably never will.

The mouse pad has a dragon picture on it, lacquered over top of wood, made to look like it is on tile. It is very durable and will retain its finish almost indefinitely.

Most dragon lovers will really appreciate how nice the picture looks and how great it appears sitting on their computer desk. This makes a real nice gift to give the dragon lover who uses his/her computer a lot and would like to have something new, different and special.

I know there are a lot of mouse pads available in the market so I thought I would pass this one on because it is different from anything I have ever seen and is definitely unique.

The company that makes these mouse pads offers a good selection of different dragon pictures available to place on the mouse pads. You can also use a picture of your own if you like, so you can really personalize the mouse pad to your own tastes.

One thing I appreciated about the Dragon Mouse Pads is that they are not mass produced on a piece of foam; each one is made to order. Naturally they do cost a bit more but I do feel they are well worth what I paid for mine and I am even thinking of giving some to my friends for gifts.

If you or someone you know is a dragon lover share this mouse pad with them, I am sure they will thank you for showing them something different.

China grants tax preferential policy to comic and animation industry

China's Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation have jointly issued the taxation policy to support development of comic and animation industry on July 31, 2009, stressing the priority of the supportive policy is given to independent innovation capacity of domestic comic and animation enterprises. According to the policy, starting from 2009, domestic comic and animation companies are granted with preferential tax treatment covering VAT, corporate income tax, business tax, import duties and import linkage VAT.

According to a circular on taxation policy on supporting development of comic and animation industry jointly issued by the above two departments. Before December 31, 2010, China will apply the 17% VAT rate to ordinary tax payers in the industry which sell self-developed and -produced comic and animation software, but the part of actual tax burden which exceeds 3% will be refunded upon collection. At the same time, exports of comic and animation software are exempted of VAT. Self-developed and self-produced comic and animation products of enterprises verified as comic and animation enterprises will also be entitled to apply for the income tax preference. Businesses in the comic and animation production chain, such as script writing, image, background, animation and story board designing, producing, shooting, drawing, coloring, picture synthesizing, dubbing, sound effect synthesizing, subtitling, compressing and code transforming, will enjoy the 3% business tax rate by tax reduction on the temporary basis before December 31, 2010. Enterprises approved by related departments of the State Council as comic and animation enterprises are exempted of import duties and import linkage VAT on products really needed for self-developed and –produced comic and animation direct products.

The verification standards and procedure of comic and animation enterprises granted with preferential tax treatment and self-developed and –produced comic and animation products shall be implemented according to the Administration Measures on Verification of Comic and Animation Enterprises (for trial operation) issued by the Ministry of Culture and other departments concerned in December 2008.

Indicators show that comic and animation industry will be taken as an important part of China's development of cultural industry. China's comic and animation industry has achieved rapid development in recent years. The number of enterprises with comic and animation as main operation and simultaneous business has exceeded 10,000, and quantity of such products increased a lot. Statistics indicate that by the end of 2007, China had more than 5,400 comic and animation research and development institutions, and comic and animation film length surged ten times from 2003 to 2007 to reach 100,000 minutes. China produced 249 comic and animation TV films in 2008 with a total length of 131,042 minutes, rising 28% year on year, and the output value of the comic and animation industry exceeded RMB18.0 billion.

However, there still exist problems which shall not be ignored in development of China's comic and animation industry, mainly including poor quality of comic and animation products, lack of leading enterprises with large scale, high level and complete production chain, small economic scale of the industry, weak development of original works and lack of complete production chain of comic and animation enterprises. At present, China's development mode of comic and animation industry is limited to “policy-booster type” and “financial subsidy type”, comic and animation products have low cognitive ratio, and the fund yield ratio is also low. Among a big number of prize winners at the fourth international comic and animation festival held last year, each had investment costs of more than RMB10 million, but the best box office works amounted to only about RMB6 million. Statistics show that China now has 447 universities having comic and animation major, and 1,200 colleges having majors relating with comic and animation, with students of 100,000. However, the comic and animation industry requires special specialist-type employees with sound theoretic quality and rich operation experience, which need good foundation of literature and overall art expression. The traditional training mode can hardly satisfy the real needs of the country's annual output of 180-odd comic and animation films. Currently, shortage of talents or expertise is a fatal factor restraining the quality upgrading of China's comic and animation products. Chinese enterprises lack core competitiveness in the comic and animation industry which stresses the “content is the king”.

By Li Xin

What do the different DESIGN SIZES on mean? Can I change the size for the actual tattoo?

The smaller designs we sell on are generally 1 - 3 inches, and the larger tattoo designs are generally 7 - 10 inches. In general (and this is not a perfect science), designs on are "sized" at the smallest size they could be applied as a tattoo on skin.

Skin is a "living canvas" and has its own properties as a "medium" for art. There are general "rules" in tattooing (do's and don'ts) for how to apply a tattoo on the skin for it to look good and STAY looking good over time. One of these rules applies to how "tight" a tattoo can be and still "hold up over time".

On skin, ink fades and ink spreads. How well the tattooist applies the ink can definitely effect these things, but following the "rules" also greatly effects the results. If a design is applied to the skin that is too "tight" (too much "ink information" in too small a place, the end result will be an abstract "ink blob" on the skin.

For example in the "medium" sized tattoo design to the right (the rose with the cross), if this tattoo design is applied on the skin at a much smaller size than it is here, then the black lines in the leaves will run together and the leaves will look like black ink blobs (black dominates all other colors and shades). So the general rule here is that if you try to put too much detail into a design that is too small to support the detail, the tattoo will not hold up well over time.

In general, tattoo designs can be "scaled up" (made larger) with no problem. However, to make the tattoo design smaller on the skin than it is as we sell them, most likely the tattooist will need to alter the design (stencils) to leave out some of the detail. So yes, larger designs CAN be made smaller, but this takes some extra work by the tattooist (and of course depends on the skill level of the tattooist to do this job well).

Also, some of the larger designs sold on actually SHOULD be made larger than the size they print at. The largest actual size of designs we sell is 10 inches by 7 inches. This is to accommodate standard printers that only print this large (so you can print your own tattoo design from home). For example, the "large" tattoo design to the right (of the dragon with the transparent tribal over it) really has too much detail in it to be done at this actual size. But we sized this design to be able to print on your printer. Any tattooist should be able to "scale" the design by changing the size of the stencils using a copy machine.

What are STENCILS (line drawings) and why are they important?

Stencils, also known as "line drawings" or "liners" are what a tattooist REALLY needs to apply the tattoo design to the skin. The line drawings are run through a thermofax (or similar device) with the result being the line drawings set to carbon paper. The tattooist then applies a liquid solution (type may vary) on the skin, and presses the carbon line drawings to the skin. This provides a "blueprint" on the skin . . . a guide to create the actual tattoo.

Stencils are a way that the tattoo flash artist (artist who creates the design on paper) communicates the intended artistic nuances of the design to the tattoo artist (who actually applies the tattoo on the skin). Like any type of communication, it is a "two-way conversation." Not all line drawings are created equal. Some tattoo flash artists put more "information" into their design stencils and some put less. Likewise, tattoo artists use stencils differently. Some will follow the stencils provided exactly as they were created, while others may alter the stencils before using them to create tattoos on the skin.

Regardless of how they are created and used, almost ALL tattooists use line drawings. There are a very few select number of tattooists who "freehand" tattoos, but even they will oftentimes use a pen directly on the skin before they start to apply any ink. In other words, they may not be using any "reference material" (designs and/or stencils on paper), but to create on skin what they have in their mind, they still create the "stencils" on skin with a pen of what they imagine the final design to look like.

The bottom line is that most tattooists NEED stencils to create tattoos on skin.

Tiny tattoos could help diabetics ditch needles

New sensor acts like a mood ring for glucose levels in mouse experiments

Eight-year-old Julia Balobeck needs to prick her fingers so many times each day that the tips of her digits have started to turn numb and black. Even at her age, she understands that the needle sticks are crucial to keep track of her blood sugar levels and manage her Type 1 diabetes, but she’d really like someone to find a better way.

Help may be on its way for Balobeck and other diabetics who must jab themselves as many as 10 times each day to get that critical drop of blood that will reveal glucose levels and indicate whether a shot of insulin is needed.

Scientists are starting to test a kind of sensor that changes color with rising blood sugar levels. The high-tech tattoo, which is about the size of the clicker on the end of a ballpoint pen, is made up of tiny spheres that are injected into the outermost layer of skin. These nanospheres contain a special kind of ink that reacts with glucose, explains the tattoo’s inventor, Heather Clark, a biomedical engineer at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.

Although the tattoo hasn’t yet been tested in humans, the early results in mice have been very promising, Clark says.

The new sensor may be more like a mood ring than a tattoo since it reflects changes in a person’s skin. As it turns out, when blood sugar levels rise, glucose levels increase everywhere else in the body, from the eyes, to the kidneys — even to the outermost layer of the skin.

Each tattoo sensor is made up of millions of tiny rubbery beads that can be injected into the skin like the dye that makes up a regular tattoo. The beads are so small that 600 of them placed end to end could fit across the diameter of a hair.

The tiny beads are infused with two substances. One is a molecule that can pull glucose into the sphere and bind to it. The other is a special fluorescent dye. With no sugar present, the two molecules bind to each other and turn the sphere yellow. When sugar levels rise in the skin, molecules with glucose attached jettison the dye and the sphere turns purple. 

Exactly what color you see in the tattoo will depend on how much glucose is available to be grabbed out of the skin, Clark explains. A healthy level leaves the tattoo with a kind of orangey color.

In mouse experiments, the tattoo color has tracked well with blood samples, Clark says.

The next step is to try the tattoo out on diabetic mice and if that works out, the researchers will be ready to test the tattoo in people. Clark isn’t sure when that will happen, but she’s hoping it will be within the next five years.

If the research pans out, it would be a welcome change for both patients and the doctors who treat them. Even if the tattoo turned out to be a little less accurate than the blood sugar test, it would be a big help, says Dr. Rexford Ahima, an associate professor of medicine at the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania.

“If there was a painless way to allow us to monitor blood sugar, that might encourage more people to stick with their treatment,” he said.

Julia Balobeck has her fingers crossed. “I just had my birthday and at my party I had to test my blood sugar five times,” she says. “It would make my life a ton better if I didn’t have to prick my fingers anymore.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Steven Siegel

The Song Is You

It might seem innocent.
Yes, this is innocence. It is the purity of what happens when the postmodernisms and the camps and the sooavantgardes have made their statements and played their anti-tunes, and yet, we are still there, trying to listen in to that something special.

Call us romantic. Call us Those Who Couldn't Stand The Progress And Stepped Back.Retrograded, taking the easy way out, exploring the (music's, world's, history's) feedback.

Yet feedback is not the sound that comes back to its source. It is not the echo. It is the echo used as an input.
Thus, what you call feedback is the mere beginning, the source material of the process of creation. As the world comes back crumbling to the imperfection of our ever-childish senses, our feeble gestures, breaking through our inherited self-irony, make things possible. Better, they give us back the light.

Too light? Too naive?
Would you prefer this?

The Gospel was right: The meek shall inherit the Earth. Actually, they've inherited it already. Along with the self-irony, they took what was most precious, and what many deemed lost - the damn aura. Yes, the damn aura still shining and glowing through all the mechanical reproductions. We still want their bloody flesh, we still want to know this is where it's at, right here, between the stage and you, between the song and you.

x x x
All this crossed my mind when watching the brilliant The Song Is You festival at Powiększenie in Warsaw recently.
The song that stayed with me the most was simple.
Here it is:

Do you get it? Beyond the gorgeous lyrics, can you feel how it was, listening to it in the club basement, with the grand piano behind Momus, the lights, the weekend dying away? Or can you imagine it? How different is the song you hear from mine?
More on the festival here. Don't miss tonight (12.03), the last part of the festival, with Kyst and AU.

The Song Is You

It might seem innocent.
Yes, this is innocence. It is the purity of what happens when the postmodernisms and the camps and the sooavantgardes have made their statements and played their anti-tunes, and yet, we are still there, trying to listen in to that something special.

Call us romantic. Call us Those Who Couldn't Stand The Progress And Stepped Back.Retrograded, taking the easy way out, exploring the (music's, world's, history's) feedback.

Yet feedback is not the sound that comes back to its source. It is not the echo. It is the echo used as an input.
Thus, what you call feedback is the mere beginning, the source material of the process of creation. As the world comes back crumbling to the imperfection of our ever-childish senses, our feeble gestures, breaking through our inherited self-irony, make things possible. Better, they give us back the light.

Too light? Too naive?
Would you prefer this?

The Gospel was right: The meek shall inherit the Earth. Actually, they've inherited it already. Along with the self-irony, they took what was most precious, and what many deemed lost - the damn aura. Yes, the damn aura still shining and glowing through all the mechanical reproductions. We still want their bloody flesh, we still want to know this is where it's at, right here, between the stage and you, between the song and you.

x x x
All this crossed my mind when watching the brilliant The Song Is You festival at Powiększenie in Warsaw recently.
The song that stayed with me the most was simple.
Here it is:

Do you get it? Beyond the gorgeous lyrics, can you feel how it was, listening to it in the club basement, with the grand piano behind Momus, the lights, the weekend dying away? Or can you imagine it? How different is the song you hear from mine?
More on the festival here. Don't miss tonight (12.03), the last part of the festival, with Kyst and AU.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Even B Harris

Link to site:


This is why your grandpa spoke with such reverence about the great Al Dorne.

1953 illustration from Colliers about six greedy, shiftless sons waiting for their father to die.

These overalls alone are an act of utter brilliance:

Notice how sharply Dorne observed the folds at the knee and the waist, and how he used such a descriptive line to convey them. You can also tell from the way he drew those haunches that he understood perfectly the anatomy beneath the overalls.

Dorne's knowledge of anatomy did not hobble his imagination in any way. Look at the liberty he took in redesigning the human skull, placing ferret-like heads on the bodies of lummoxes.

In addition to the seemingly dislocated jaw, note the loving attention Dorne paid to the furrowed brow, the curve of the eye and the interaction between cheekbone and nose. This is a master draftsman at work.

Other examples of that fabulous Dorne line include:

But it would be a mistake to look at this drawing as just the sum of its highlights. Look at the total architecture of the drawing. Dorne has carefully placed these sons, leaning forward like vultures, to focus all attention on the dying old man.

Although he is the centerpiece of the drawing, you never see the old man's face. In a further act of stagecraft combining color and line, the old man's red sleeve draws your eye right where Dorne wanted it. (Admittedly, these watercolors have faded with the years, but even in 1953, that sleeve stood out).

For me, this is a lovely drawing with the kind of complexity that you rarely see in illustrations designed for today's shorter attention spans. The artist Leonard Starr recounts an exchange between Dorne and famed pop artist Andy Warhol: Warhol claimed, "Art today has to go beyond mere drawing" to which Dorne responded, "Excuse me, Andy, but there's nothing fucking 'mere' about drawing."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lives of the saints

Canadian duo Tegan and Sara find better loving through artistry

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is known for its high incidence of poverty, drug use and crime. Often referred to as “Canada’s poorest postal code,” it’s not the first place you would associate with romance. Yet the neighbourhood provides the backdrop for Hell, the lead single off Tegan and Sara’s new album, Sainthood.

An arresting power pop anthem, Hell uses the themes of addiction and struggle as metaphors for unrequited love.

“Four ways to remove all the bad that we do from the heart and soul of the city, sad and cold,” sings Tegan Quin, “Four ways to collect what we say and what we save, to discard and find a brand new way.”

This material gives you a sense of the overarching mood of Sainthood, the sixth studio album by the Calgary-bred twins. The title is a nod to Leonard Cohen’s 1979 song Came So Far for Beauty, itself an ode to the pursuit of love. The songs on Sainthood, the Quins claim, examine the ways in which we compromise ourselves when we’re blinded by infatuation.

"I was writing about the pursuit of someone, but I was also pursuing someone who was in a relationship,” Sara Quin explains, casting a quick look at her sister, who sits across the table from her during a recent interview in Toronto. “It gave me this strange perspective on my parents’ divorce, on my own relationship breakups over the past few years, relationships that Tegan has been in, that friends have been in, my grandparents’ relationship.

"As different as they all are, and as individual as we all are, there’s something universal about rejection and impotence and redemption.”

Sara realized it was the same old story of searching for salvation in someone else’s arms. That heightened awareness, she says, led to a newfound distance in her songwriting. Flinty resolve runs throughout Sainthood. “I deserve this anguish on my house,” Sara yelps on Night Watch, a sharp look at the sense of failure that accompanies a divorce. Her own actions receive a similarly critical treatment in Alligator, which finds Sara pining for a girl who’s pulling away from her (both Quins are gay). “Relentless, it’s true,” she sings, “My motor mouth runs over you.”

At 29, the Quin sisters have been performing professionally for over a decade. Their early career was riddled with charmed encounters – at 18, they won a battle of the bands contest, and signed a Canadian deal with Neil Young’s Vapor Records label not long after that.

By the time they released their fourth album, So Jealous (2004), the two had completely reworked their aesthetic, replacing raggedy folk-rock ballads with streamlined songs that combined angular electric guitar and synth-pop. Not coincidentally, So Jealous provided Tegan and Sara with their first major radio hit, Walking with a Ghost, a catchy single that was later covered by the White Stripes.

Their last album, The Con (2007), marked their first time working with producer Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie), who also produced Sainthood. It earned them a Juno nomination for Alternative Album of the Year.

“Standing there with Sainthood in my hand and looking back at the five last records we did, I’m not totally sure sometimes what I was trying to say,” says Tegan. “And I was so sure when [we put those records] out. You lose touch with what you were.”

The Quin sisters don’t typically write songs together, a fact that baffles those who assume that, as twins, they share some psychic connection.

“A guy interviewed me from some southern radio station the other day and asked, ‘So, like, does Sara ever bring you a song and you’re like, “Oh my god, I had that same idea”? ‘Cause you guys, like, share DNA, so you have the same brain,’” Tegan groans, rolling her eyes. “I wanted to shoot back, ‘No, we don’t have the same brain, you moron!’”

For Sainthood, the Quin sisters holed up in a spooky joint in New Orleans and willed themselves to work as a team. Only one of the co-written ventures (the mantra-like Paperback Head ) made the cut, but they documented the process for In, one of three impressive-looking coffee table books offered as part of a deluxe run of Sainthood. Priced at a hefty $80, a limited-edition presale version was out of stock by early October, which speaks volumes about the ardent nature of Tegan and Sara fans.

The Quins work very hard to maintain a direct pipeline between themselves and their listeners. The Con was packaged with a behind-the-scenes DVD, and they’ve spun that intimate approach into an ongoing series of anecdotal video blogs. On stage, the two mine sibling rivalry for humorous effect.

Though they seem eager to yammer on about the minutiae of their daily lives on camera, the Quins say the trick is that they’re constantly playing the part of antic performers.

“I remember getting our website built in 1998 and writing back to fan mail on dial-up,” says Tegan. “It took days to write back to, like, 20 emails. And people would ask questions about us, and our relationships and our sexuality. We’d get these emails from all over the world.

"At the beginning, it didn’t feel too intense. And then all of a sudden one day, it was really big and busy and crazy. We’ve definitely learned where the line is, and how much of ourselves we give.”

Says Sara: “We sort of present ourselves as these charismatic and comfortable people: We’re fun! Look at how we’re going with the flow! Here are all my thoughts and opinions!”

“But we aren’t like that in our regular lives,” adds Tegan. “A lot of our friends talk about how weird it is to see us play. Not only because of the screaming fans and the whole rock star vibe, with lights and tickets and people and seats. But they’re like, ‘It’s so strange, because you guys really aren’t like that until attention is put on you.’”

It’s tricky to find that balance between transparency and protecting your privacy. “We were reflecting what the audience wanted to see,” says Tegan, as she tries to explain how the two developed their performance personas.

It’s not so different, the Quin sisters acknowledge, from that process of contorting yourself to match some saintly ideal in the hopes of winning over a potential sweetheart. Try too hard, and you’ll lose yourself and the girl.

Just How High Will New Moon Rise?

Twilight was huge. New Moon will be huger.

Um, won't it?

Sure, go ahead, and call it now. You won't be disappointed. (Unless you were seriously expecting Teams Edward and Jacob to sink Titanic.)

Projections have New Moon, rising in theaters midnight Friday—following the one-night-only theatrical return of Twilight—grossing anywhere in the Forks, Wash., neighborhood of $80 million to $100 million by the close of Sunday, and maybe $200 million-plus when all is said and done and swooned over.

On either the high or "low" end, the presumed opening-weekend take would put the sequel in elite company, and leave the franchise with nothing to fear—except perhaps its own hot, media-dominating self.

So far this year, only two movies have notched $80 million-plus debuts: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which kicked off the summer season with $85.1 million in May, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which topped $108 million in June.

If New Moon joins the club, it'll get there on the strength of its Twi-hards' collective devotion (and willingness to buy advance tickets in record numbers), and not necessarily its budget: The Summit Entertainment production cost a blockbuster-cheap $50 million versus Wolverine's $150 million tab and Revenge of the Fallen's $200 million pricey price tag.

"Personally, I think anything over $70 million [opening weekend] would be a good achievement for Summit," said The Numbers' Bruce Nash.

And while bottom line-wise Nash is correct, this is where the franchise's own hot, media-dominating self may get in the way.

"I think we are looking at $100 million, and honestly, it'll be a bit of a disappointment if it doesn't since it is following in the footsteps of Twilight's $69 million," Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said, referencing the original 2008 film's sit-up-and-take-notice debut.

Nash probably wouldn't disagree. "I do think that there's a danger of setting expectations too high with a release like this," he said. "The main concern for fans should be that Summit continue to invest in the movies so that all the books are eventually filmed."

Actually, given the reports of thousands upon thousands of sold-out screenings, the main concern for fans may be getting tickets.

R u a ‘sucker’ 4 Edward or do u howl 4 Jacob?

It’s not easy for a vampire or werewolf to find that special someone online

Sure, it’s flattering to have girls and women the world over swooning over your every move and hair toss, but sometimes a guy just wants to connect one-on-one, you know? Without a lot of D-R-A-M-A.

This seems to be the case with “Twilight” heartthrobs Edward Cullen and Jacob Black, as played by Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in “Twilight” and its sequel, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which opens Friday. Finding love in these troubled times isn’t easy, especially if you’re a vampire/werewolf — and have to do an online personal ad.

Edward’s ad: SUCKER 4 U
If you think that last jerk you dated was the king of ‘Come here, go away,’ then hold onto your cafeteria tray! I will read your mind, haunt your dreams, ruin your birthday and leave white pancake makeup all over your piano keys. And you’ll love every sick, delicious second of it.

Transplanted Midwestern boy seeks Forks-area female for good times and odd line readings.  I’m 17 but I seem older, a lot older. I have greenish, goldish, blackish eyes, the metabolism of a coked-up gazelle. And I seem kind of British but I’m really just pale.

You can’t mess up my hair any more than it already is, but it sure is fun to try, right?  So hit me up. I’ll make you feel more alive than you’ve ever felt in your life and then kill you, maybe.  Can’t rule it out. That’s part of my charm. No fatties.

Jacob’s ad: HOWLIN' 4 U
Some jerk breaks your heart then vanishes into thin, foggy air? You can cry on my shoulder all you want. It’s a totally buff shoulder, too, built for crying on. Go ahead, beautiful, let it go. I’m here for you.

Long-haired, Native American hunk-next-door seeks lady love for LTR or tortured love triangle with third party. I’m as loyal as a German shepherd, a great listener and I may or may not have feelings for CMA Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my hair in a ponytail. I’ve also experimented with HairDinis and Topsy-Tails but I’m thinking of just cutting it all off. What do you think I should do?

My passions include long, expository walks on the beach, shapeshifting, snacking on red vines, protein shake parties with my homies and our trainers, gate crashing proms, fixing up cars and motorcycles and making Mario Lopez feel washed up and out of shape.

I’m ready to get serious but first, a confession: Lately, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to howl at the moon. Not sure why. How ’bout you answer my ad and give me a reason howl?

I’m one of the good guys, I swear, and I’m housebroken. Go Mariners.

Pitt passes on millions to trick-or-treat

Plus: Palin jolts Oprah’s ratings; keeping tabs on TomKat

With so many celebrities willing to attend the opening of an envelope if a paycheck is involved, a recent decision by Brad Pitt is especially impressive.

Pitt declined an invitation to the Oct. 31 Grand Prix Ball Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and the $5 million payday that came with it, according to Life & Style magazine. Instead, Pitt was photographed trick-or-treating with his kids in L.A.

“He’s spending more time with the family and doing less of these appearances, even though it’s a huge sum of cash,” according to a source who spoke to the magazine.

James Magee, a rep for Global Event Management, confirms that the actor was expected at the affair.

“We were told he would be attending as the guest of the Tourism Development & Investment Company,” Magee told Life & Style. “But he was a no-show, and nobody seemed to know why.”

The ball, which helped raise money for the clean-water charity Fresh2o, was the culmination of a three-day event celebrating Formula 1 racing. Beyoncé, Aerosmith (sans Steve Tyler) and Timbaland all performed.

Palin gives Oprah a ratings jolt
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s book, "Going Rogue," was a best-seller before it even came out, so it did stand to reason that interest in the former vice presidential candidate would spill over into her appearance on Monday's "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

It did more than that: Winfrey’s sit-down with Palin was the highest rated “Oprah” show in two years, since the entire Osmond family appeared in 2007.

And it’s a good thing Palin delivered: by the looks of it, she’ll have to suffice as Oprah’s favorite thing this year. According to reps for the show, there are “no plans this season” for “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” the much-loved holiday gifting episode.

Keeping tabs on TomKat
People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” franchise is unbeatable on the newsstands, regardless of the choice the editors make. (But quick question: Aren’t there sexier-looking photos of winner Johnny Depp out there? The one chosen for the cover doesn’t exactly drive home the decision.)

So really, the fight for your celebrity magazine dollars this week is about what the other publications thought was newsworthy. The most popular choice: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The two celebrated their third anniversary on Wednesday; in a slow news week, they’re the obvious hook.

But happy stories don’t really sell, so despite the many sources who insist the couple is happy and boring, two mags, Star and Us Weekly, come up with the opposite. Star claims on the cover that Holmes has a $15 million tell-all in the works, and Us runs the headline: “Her secret deal: Katie’s regrets.” Given the fact that from the outside looking in, this celebrity relationship still seems confounding, the stories are just believable enough — both ought to do well.

Quick Oscar programming note
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony has a director now, Hamish Hamilton, who most recently directed the MTV Video Music Awards.

Why should you care about the director of an awards show? During the event, there are a number of cameras shooting from different angles simultaneously. The director is in the control room, making decisions about which shot to take. Some of them are scripted: obviously, when a presenter is listing the nominees in a category, you take the camera focused on the presenter, not one panning the audience for reactions.

Some are unscripted, split-second decisions. When someone rushes the stage and takes the microphone from the person accepting an award, you cut to the camera capturing that moment. Which is exactly what did not happen at the VMAs. The Oscars are shaping up to be an interesting production.