And now back to our regularly scheduled programming …
I know we’ve been going a little overboard lately with the Oscars coverage. Promise we’ll lay off (well, maybe one or two more posts — but that’s it!). Anyway, aside from the four-and-a-half hour, retrospective-packed shindig on Sunday night, there was another big show I hope you caught over the weekend — the return of SNL.
It was a truly memorable episode, hosted by Tina Fey, with instant classics like the commercial for “Annuale” (the once-a-year period birth control), “I Drink Your Milkshake” (where Daniel Plainview and Anton Chuger drink, you guessed it, other people’s milkshakes), and Mike Huckabee’s self-parody on Weekend Update.
But best of all was Fey’s op-ed, in which she raised the question of why so many Democrats are abandoning Hillary Clinton. “People say that Hillary’s a bitch,” Fey said of the Chappaqua resident. “You know what? Yeah, she is. And so am I. And so is this one [gesturing to Amy Poehler]. Bitches get stuff done. … It’s not too late, Texas and Ohio, get on board. Bitch is the new black!”
By the way, assuming the YouTube link dies soon, here’s a link to an extended version of Fey segment on NBC website.
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, who lives in Chappaqua, is in the midst of recording his first solo album since 1990, with a planned April release. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s laying the album down as his Westchester home and is then planning to go on a North American concert tour later this year.
He summed up the artistic process behind the new album to Billboard:
<blockquote><div>”Basically, I’m trying to get back into the mindset I was in when I did my first solo record [1978’s ‘Ace Frehley’]. That record seemed to have all the elements everybody liked — a real cool instrumental, a hit single, some real heavy rockers, a nice variety of different genres of music.”</div></blockquote>
Though he also pointed out some of his favorite new tracks — “A Little Below the Angels,” “Pain in the Neck,” “Fractured Quantum,” and “Genghis Khan” — he bizzarly won’t be performing any of the new work on stage. “Every show’s on YouTube, every song,” he said. “I don’t want to play any of the new songs ’cause I don’t want to give away anything.”
Which is all fine and good (frankly, I’m more jazzed about him doing the old Kiss tunes anyways), but sooner or later, if you keep beating that dead horse, all that’s left is to star on season two of “The Celebrity Apprentice.” And, well, we all know how that turned out for Gene Simmons.
(AP Photo/Paul Warner)
Maybe it’s just the frigid temps and brittle lawns, but for some reason this weekend I started daydreaming of golf. And maybe that’s why, despite already feeling “Celebrity Apprentice” fatigue, I was still drawn to one story about The Donald lately. Specifically, his plan to build a new set of links — “the best course in Europe and maybe in the world,” in his words — over in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
As Trump put it to the Telegraph, “We have the land to do it, and I’m willing ot spend the money to make it the finest coure of its kind in the world.” That land consists of 2.5 miles of coastal sand dunes called Menie Estate. While the article makes an analogy to Burt Lancaster’s interloping oil-tycoon character in “Local Hero,” it also makes an interesting historical note: Trump’s own mother, Mary Macleod, was born in the country. She grew up “in the village of Tong outside Stornoway before leaving the island of Lewis in 1930 for a new life in New York, where she met property developer Fred Trump at a dance.” That, Trump explains, more than anything else, accounted for why he settled on the site.
“After looking at 211 rival sites around the world. I really wanted this to be built in Scotland. Mary Macleod was seriously Scots. When I first saw this piece of land I was overwhelmed by the imposing dunes and rugged Aberdeenshire coastline. I’d never seen such an unspoilt and dramatic seaside landscape. It’s the perfect location. </div></blockquote>
“Donald Trump to build golf resort in Scotland” [Telegraph]
(Trump photo: Linda Barat/The Journal News)
In case it wasn’t already clear from last night’s episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” — during which Upper Grandview’s Stephen Baldwin taunted Piers Morgan with bizarre retorts (“boomerang … boom … remember that … boom”) — now the youngest Baldwin has officially been named to the “Stupid Bitches Club.”
The honor comes from GaySocialites.com (I get these things from Google News alerts, I swear), which also cited his anti-gay marriage position, support for Mike Huckabee, and the film “Threesome” as further evidence of Baldwin’s bitchiness. I would have listed his role as Barney Rubble, from “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.” But that’s just me.
(NBC Photo: Justin Stephens)
In the aftermath of the Heath Ledger tragedy, director Ang Lee — who worked with Ledger on “Brokeback Mountain” and lives in Larchmont — had one of the nicest quotes about the actor in any of the stories I read.
“Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis more than any of us could have imagined – a thirst for life, for love and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking.” </div></blockquote>
Eager to find any other comments Lee has made about Ledger in the past, I stumbled upon something even better: an article in The Age about how Lee is a cruel, cruel tyrant on film sets. As the story put it, Hugh Grant once nicknamed the normally softspoken man “Fang Lee” after shooting Sense and Sensibility. The only other evidence that the story puts forward to back up its claim is the Heath Ledger once said (with Lee standing at his side) that the director “drove him and Jake Gyllenhaal to the outer limit of physical endurance in freezing temperatures.”
I’m not sure how exactly that qualifies him as an evil taskmaster, but the article goes on, “Under that mild-mannered exterior — consisting of a gentle-to-inaudible speaking voice, self-deprecating manner and an overall Zen calm — lurks a driven obsessive, a Caligula among directors.”
As for another claim in the article — that Lee spent 100 hours filming a ten minute sex scene for “Lust Caution” — well, that’s just plain common sense. And, I think, even something that a frostbitten Heath Ledger would have approved of.
“Fang Lee: Cruel but True” [The Age]
(AP Photo/Focus Features)Ã‚Â
It’s been a busy month for Bedford/Mount Kisco homeowner DMX. Since video of him looking coked up and erratic showed up on the Internet right before the holidays, the following has happened:
On January 11, a Maryland judge awarded Monique Wayne $1.5 million in damages, as a result of a character defamation suit she filed against DMX. Wayne, who is the mother of the rapper’s son, sued after he said in an interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine that he was sexually assaulted during a one-night-encounter in 2003. We reported on this back in 2006, after the interview came out. Wayne already won a paternity suit against DMX in 2004, and was suing the deadbeat dad for $6 million this time around. As has been the case with nearly every other court date the man has faced in the past year, he failed to show up at the Maryland court to defend himself. [E! News]
So, given that Sony dropped him from their label, how is he going to manage to pay Wayne? Why, by cutting an album, duh. But not just any old album — a gospel album this time. And a combination hip-hop album, to boot. Call it gospelraphop. The albums, which are to be released by independent label Bodog Music, will be called “Walk With Me Now” and “You’ll Fly With Me Later,” and as DMX explained it to MTV, “The same title is gonna be on both albums, but on one album one part [of the title] is gonna be [highlighted], … the other album, the other name is gonna be [highlighted].” Got it? Also interesting, the gospel album will have no swearing and “No songs about b—-es, no songs about robbing, just straight ‘Give God the glory.’ ” [MTV News]
(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
It seems like just about everyone associated with Juno is getting all kinds of Oscar love (Ellen Page, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, to name a few), but one of the names sadly missing is Jason Bateman — one of the most unheralded but outstanding parts in the movie. Then again, in a year with both Javiar Bardem and Hal Holbrook duking it out for Best Supporting Actor, he still wouldn’t have stood much of a chance.
But for all you Bateman fans out there, we have some good news on the Rye native: He’s teamed up with sister Justine to create a WGA strike video. It’s the first time the two have appeared onscreen since “Arrested Development.” The best part, though, is that the clip is all done in Peanuts “waaa-waaa-wa-wa-waaaa” speak. Trust us, it works.
<embed src=”http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1321273390″ bgcolor=”#FFFFFF” flashVars=”videoId=1338937197&playerId=1321273390&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://services.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&” base=”http://admin.brightcove.com” name=”flashObj” width=”364.5″ height=”309″ seamlesstabbing=”false” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” swLiveConnect=”true” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash”></embed>
Oh, and here’s a link to the WGA strike blog, United Hollywood, where I found this.
The competition is getting so fierce on “Celebrity Apprentice” that Stephen Baldwin is apparently going to be calling in some favors from brother Alec Baldwin. And here I thought Corbin Bernsen on “Celebrity Mole” was just about the stiffest competition he’d ever face. But he ain’t got nuthin on Gene Simmons and clearly Stephen, that rude little Upper Grandview pig, is as much of a marked man as ever.
The episode featuring Alec is set to air this Thursday, Jan. 19, at 9 p.m. DY-NO-MITE!
“Alec Baldwin and Jim Cramer guest star on next week’s ‘The Celebrity Apprentice'” [NBC]
(NBC Photo: Nicole Rivelli)
Among the multitude of celebrities in our myriad People of the Year lists — in InTown, Rockland Mag, Suburbarazzi, and The Journal News — nobody generated quite as much controversy as a certain New City rapper. Yes, we’re talking about Stephen Redmond — henceforth to be know, at his request, as only Lucky Me.
We received a deluge of letters from Clarkstown parents complaining about Rockland Magazine’s decision to feature the artist, best known for his YouTube hit “I Love New City,” as No. 20 in our countdown. One wrote, “Why would you highlight to dregs of the county???” Another alleged, “Your magazine added to the hype of a drug dealer and an adult male who is known to frequent school events and exchange phone numbers with 14 year old girls, perhaps to add to his customer base.” And yet another said, “Does he [the author of said article] realize that he featured a drug dealer next to people who have tried to bring threater and movies back to Riverspace? What a disgrace!!”
Of course, all of the letters arrived unsigned and on the same paper — looking an awful lot like they came off an identical printer. Still, the Clarkstown parent(s) wasn’t the only Lucky Me hater out there. Another person, posting as Tiffany Spencer, had this to say on the blog back on December 5: “i have heard another rapper by the name of Fire whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s music is way more realistic and perfected he is also from Nyack juast as Lucky me.”
Naturally, when Lucky Me himself caught wind of this, it set off a heated comment war. And when we interviewed Fire shortly before Christmas — if only to give give equal time to all Nyack (or former Nyack) rappers — Lucky Me was one of the first people to sound off on the post: “ARE SERIOUS YALL GIVE THIS BUM SOME LIGHT / NO ONE KNOWS THIS GUY / HELL WILL NEVA BE AS GOOD AS ME / I WAS STAYED QUIET UNTIL I SAW THIS.” Lucky was also good enough to share his AIM handle in that comment, and — well, we couldn’t help but take the bait.
An extensive interview soon followed. The full text is after the break, in its full instant-messenger glory …
In this inaugural post of 2008, I figured it would only be fitting to stay on the topic of Hillary Clinton (our No. 1 Person of the Year) and politics for a sec. After all, with the Iowa Caucuses a day away, that’s all anyone is talking about today.
Pretty much everything that can be said about the candidates has been said — except, that is, for an exhaustive rundown of celebrity endorsements. And no, I’m not talking about the Chuck Norrises, Barbara Streisands, and Oprahs of the world — we’re just looking at the who our beloved Lower Hudson Valley stars are campaigning for.
Our full report is after the break.
OK, so technically she wasn’t there for last week’s grand opening of the new Ritz Carlton Westchester, but that didn’t stop intrepid food editor Liz Johnson from getting a quote from the Chappaqua resident about the forthcoming 42 restaurant. Set to open on New Year’s, 42 is the brainchild of Trotters mastermind Anthony Goncalves. And, apparently, Vanessa Williams is a big fan. In addition to telling Liz that Trotters (which was recently converted into the tapas-based Peniche) is one of her favorite restaurants, she said “I love the cuisine … his [Goncalves] creative approach to food. Pairing sweet with savory – blending a lot of Italian cuisine with Portuguese.”
And seeing as how Vanessa’s hair-straightening salon of choice is the White Plains Sears — right near the Ritz at the Galleria mall — the new restaurant location will be every bit as convenient as Trotter once was. Throw in the pimped out spa on the 9th floor of the hotel and, well — Vanessa, if you’re looking to move south of Chappaqua, we hear penthouses in towers I and II go for a bargain $7 million. Come on, you can afford it.
“Ritz Carlton Westchester offers swanky accommodations, great food” [LoHud]
UPDATE: Lest there was any confusion, Phil Reisman clarifies on his blog that Williams was not, we repeat not, at the opening of the Ritz. Williams’s mother (who appeared in the pages of InTown with daughter Vanessa and granddaughter Sasha Fox) wrote in to the columnist to clarify:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dear Phil Reisman,I read your account of the Ritz-Carlton opening and the reference of not seeing Vanessa Williams . You didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see her because she was not there. She was still on the west coast. How do I know? I am her mom and was waiting for her arrival to celebrate Christmas I enjoy your columns.. most of the time. Helen L.Ã¢â‚¬?</div></blockquote>
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
It’s unlikely that anyone remembers the Loco Joe cappucino soft drink, much less that Stephen Baldwin was one of its pitchmen. Except, that is, the good ol’ New York Post. The paper broke news on the 23rd that the owner of Charity Beverage USA (which was supposed to use profits from drink sales to fund breast-cancer research and “other charities”) was actually skimming more than $1 million off the top. The perp in question is Bill Richards, who was charged with theft by deception in NJ and sentenced to five years probation.
While Baldwin, who lives in Upper Grandview and was only actively promoting the drink back in 2004, doesn’t appear to be connected to any of the wrongdoing, there is one strange loose end in the case. Richards is still apparently trying to shake down investors. On Distributorship.com — “The place to find the best business opportunities, best franchise opportunities, wholesale beverages and available beverage distributors on the internet” — you can still inquire about being a Loco Joe vendor. What’s more, Baldwin is still an (unwitting?) shill for the company, with the following testimonial proudly featured on the site:
You do not have to look very far to see that coffee is big…we here at Charity Beverage USA are currently preparing to go nation wide, with a great new tasting drink called loco Joe iced cappuccino, using the new innovative 8.25 oz ready to drink Tetra Prisma packaging.
We hope that you will join us in the exciting chance, to take hold and control a part of the huge ready to drink coffee market. Not only is this a great opportunity for your own success, but its also a great chance to make a difference in lives of so many others.
While I can’t claim to have ever tasted the “innovative” 8.25 oz drink myself, and thus cannot endorse it or its distributorship opportunities, I do have to hand it to Richards. For a business named Loco Joe, nice choice of spokesperson!