Friday, August 28, 2009

Malaysia bans Muslims from Peas concert...Officials say others can attend Guinness-sponsored event...


Malaysia bans Muslims from Peas concert
Officials say others can attend Guinness-sponsored event
August 27, 2009
Associated Press


Malaysia's government has barred Muslims from a concert by U.S. hip-hop stars the
Black Eyed Peas next month because the event is organized by Irish beer giant Guinness, an official said Thursday.
The prohibition comes amid a clampdown on alcohol consumption among Malaysia's Muslim majority.
A Muslim woman who drank beer in public was sentenced to caning by an Islamic court last month, though authorities this week agreed to review the penalty.
Officials also recently curbed retail sales of liquor in a central state.
In family and personal matters, Muslims in Malaysia are governed by Shariah or Islamic law, which forbids the consumption of alcohol.


The Black Eyed Peas will perform at a theme park near Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 25 as part of worldwide celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of Guinness' flagship brewery in Dublin.
Malaysia's largest city is one of five places hosting Guinness' concerts.
The Malaysian show's official Web site said "the party is only open to non-Muslims aged 18 years and above."
Previous major pop concerts in Malaysia, including one by the Black Eyed Peas in 2007, have always been open to Muslims.
"Muslims cannot attend.
Non-Muslims can go and have fun," an official at the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture told the Associated Press.
She said the concert would not have been permitted at all under normal circumstances because government regulations forbid alcohol companies from organizing concerts.
But authorities made an exception on the hopes the event would boost tourism, the official said on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to make public statements.
Guinness must not use its logo in concert publicity material, she said.
It was not immediately clear how the ban on Muslims will be enforced.
Concert organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
Ethnic Malays comprise nearly 60% of Malaysia's 28 million people and are all legally considered Muslim, while the rest of the country is mainly ethnic Chinese and Indians, most of whom are Buddhist, Christian or Hindu.
The Black Eyed Peas have enjoyed phenomenal success this year.
The foursome has topped Billboard's Hot 100 singles charts for the past 20 consecutive weeks, the most ever by an act.
Their performance next month is the latest to be hit by restrictions in Malaysia.
Shows by Gwen Stefani ( above ) and Avril Lavigne ( below ) in recent years faced protests by conservative Muslim Malaysians over immodest clothes, forcing the artists to don attire that revealed little skin.


Madonna booed for defending Gypsies
Romanian audience scoffs at singer's plea for tolerance
Associated Press
Aug 27, 2009, 11:48 AM ET

BUCHAREST, Romania --
At first, fans politely applauded the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna.
Then the pop star condemned widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies -- and the cheers gave way to jeers.
The sharp mood change that swept the crowd of 60,000, who had packed a park for Wednesday night's concert, underscores how prejudice against Gypsies remains deeply entrenched across Eastern Europe.
Despite long-standing efforts to stamp out rampant bias, human rights advocates say Roma probably suffer more humiliation and endure more discrimination than any other people group on the continent.
Sometimes, it can be deadly:
In neighboring Hungary, six Roma have been killed and several wounded in a recent series of apparently racially motivated attacks targeting small countryside villages predominantly settled by Gypsies.
"There is generally widespread resentment against Gypsies in Eastern Europe.
They have historically been the underdog," Radu Motoc, an official with the Soros Foundation Romania, said Thursday.
Roma, or Gypsies, are a nomadic ethnic group believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent.
They live mostly in southern and eastern Europe, but hundreds of thousands have migrated west over the past few decades in search of jobs and better living conditions.Romania has the largest number of Roma in the region.
Some say the population could be as high as 2 million, although official data put it at 500,000.
Until the 19th century, Romanian Gypsies were slaves, and they've gotten a mixed response ever since:
While discrimination is widespread, many East Europeans are enthusiastic about Gypsy music and dance, which they embrace as part of the region's cultural heritage.
That explains why the Roma musicians and a dancer who had briefly joined Madonna onstage got enthusiastic applause.
And it also may explain why some in the crowd turned on Madonna when she paused during the two-hour show -- a stop on her worldwide "Sticky and Sweet" tour -- to touch on their plight.
"It has been brought to my attention ... that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe," she said.
"It made me feel very sad.
"Thousands booed and jeered her.
A few cheered when she added:
"We don't believe in discrimination ...
we believe in freedom and equal rights for everyone."
But she got more boos when she mentioned discrimination against homosexuals and others.

"I jeered her because it seemed false what she was telling us.
What business does she have telling us these things?" said Ionut Dinu, 23.Madonna did not react and carried on with her concert, held near the hulking palace of the late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Her New York-based publicist did not immediately return an e-mail message sent by the Associated Press on Thursday seeking comment.
"It's contradictory:
Romanians watch Gypsy soap operas, they like Gypsy music and go to Gypsy concerts," said Damian Draghici, a Grammy Award-winning Roma musician who has performed with James Brown and Joe Cocker.
"But there has been a wave of aggression against Roma people in Italy, Hungary and Romania, which shows me something is not OK," he told the AP in an interview.
"The politicians have to do something about it.
People have to be educated not to be prejudiced.
All people are equal, and that is the message politicians must give.
"Nearly one in two of Europe's estimated 12 million Roma claimed to have suffered an act of discrimination over the past 12 months, according to a recent report by the Vienna-based EU Fundamental Rights Agency.
The group says Roma face "overt discrimination" in housing, health care and education.
Many do not have official identification, which means they cannot get social benefits, are undereducated and struggle to find decent jobs.
Roma children are more likely to drop out of school than their peers from other ethnic groups. Many Romanians label Gypsies as thieves, and many are outraged by those who beg or commit petty crimes in Western Europe, believing they spoil Romania's image abroad.
In May 2007, Romanian President Traian Basescu was heard to call a Romanian journalist a "stinky Gypsy" during a conversation with his wife.
Romania's anti-discrimination board criticized Basescu, who later apologized.
Human rights activists say the attacks in Hungary, which began in July 2008, may be tied to that country's economic crisis and the rising popularity of far-right vigilantes angered by a rash of petty thefts and other so-called "Gypsy crime."
Last week, police arrested four suspects in a nightclub in the eastern city of Debrecen.Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also have been criticized for widespread bias against Roma.
Madonna's outrage touched a nerve in Romania, but it seems doubtful it will change anything, said the Soros Foundation's Motoc.
"Madonna is a pop star.
She is not an expert on interethnic relations," he said.
Later, Madonna's Publicist Liz Rosenberg, issued this statement...

Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said...
Madonna and other had told her there were cheers as well as jeers.

"Madonna has been touring with a phenomenal troupe of Roma musicians who made her aware of the discrimination toward them in several countries so she felt compelled to make a brief statement,"
Rosenberg said in an e-mail.
"She will not be issuing a further statement."


Q&A: Michael Moore

By Matthew Belloni
Aug 18, 2009, 02:40 PM ET
Illustration by Chris Morris
Since bursting onto the documentary scene 20 years ago with "Roger & Me," a blistering critique of General Motors, Michael Moore has directed the highest-grossing documentary of all time (2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11") and become a professional populist provocateur.
The Flint, Mich., native is now busy finishing "Capitalism: A Love Story," his take on the U.S. financial crisis, which will premiere next month at the Venice and Toronto film festivals ahead of its wide release Oct. 2.
The Hollywood Reporter:
Your new film was announced in May 2008 as a follow-up to "Fahrenheit 9/11" that would look at America's role in the world.
Then the economy tanked.
Do you feel pressure to make movies that respond to the zeitgeist?
Michael Moore:
That was our cover.
From the spring of '08, we were always doing a film about capitalism and corporate America.
But, as you've seen from the recent revelations about the health insurance industry's secret campaign to attack my last film (2007's "Sicko"), I have to be extremely dodgy in order to outsmart these corporate guys.
I had no way of knowing in May of 2008 that the economy would crash four months later.
We were right in the middle of this Wall Street movie when it happened.
THR:
The conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that in tough economic times, moviegoers want an escape.
Is there a big audience for a film that looks at the financial crisis?
Moore:
I have no doubts that people will want to come to a movie that goes after, with humor and reckless abandon, those bastards who've made their lives miserable.
They deserve a night out at the movies where the movie is on their side.
THR:
Given your history with "Roger & Me," what was your reaction to the initial bailout of GM, its subsequent bankruptcy and the firing of CEO Rick Wagoner?
Moore:
All my films, in one way or another, speak to my experience of growing up in the hometown of General Motors.
As for GM's demise, I tried to warn people about that some 20 years ago.
Nothing made me happier than seeing President Obama fire the head of GM.
It was every Flint boy's dream come true.
They arrogantly kept making lousy cars that few people wanted to drive.
They fought every safety measure from mandatory turn signals to controls that would protect the melting of our polar ice caps.
They fired tens of thousands of people over the years for the short-term benefit of making their balance sheet appear to be in profit.
That was a fraud of major proportions, and to date, no one has yet to go to prison.
THR:
You supported President Obama in the election.
How do you grade his response to the financial crisis and the health care issue?
How about congressional Democrats?
Moore:
I'm still in a stupor of stunned ecstasy that Obama won.
And I approve of most everything he's done, from apologizing to the Iranians for America overthrowing their democratically elected president in 1953 to appointing Kumar (actor Kal Penn of the "Harold and Kumar" movies) to a White House position.
He is doing the best he can with the mess he inherited, and I and millions of others are counting on him never to forget that he came from the working class and that his people need him now more than ever.
As for the congressional Democrats, what a bunch of losers -- weak, scared, stupid.
They had better get a clue pretty quick or the Dark Forces will return.
THR:
Bill Maher recently said that "America is stupid" and "too dumb to be governed."
Do you agree?
Moore:
Eight years ago I wrote a book called "Stupid White Men."
In that book, I wrote a chapter entitled "Idiot Nation."
I think that says it all.
Sad, sad, sad.
THR:
Have you ever considered leaving the U.S.?
Moore:
Thank you for asking!
I had never considered this idea until you mentioned it, and now that you have, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea!
I guess if I were going to live outside the U.S., I would live in Texas.
THR:
What's the No. 1 thing you want to teach your kids?
Moore:
Never trust anyone from Texas.
THR:
In your opinion, what's the single worst legacy of George W. Bush?
Moore:
That he has yet to be arrested for committing the worst crime the leader of a nation can commit: lie to the people and convince them to invade another country and kill its people with absolutely no provocation.
There are 8,662 parents who might better answer this question.
THR:
Your films are big boxoffice draws, and you won an Oscar for 2002's "Bowling for Columbine," but you've always been considered an outsider to the entertainment community.
Do you like Hollywood?
Moore:
Yes.
I've met only very nice people out here, and if I wouldn't miss the 20-below winters, I'd live here for sure.
THR:
What's the last movie you saw?
The last book you read?
Moore:
A Norwegian film called "Troubled Water."
Best drama I've seen this year.
The last book was "The Coming Insurrection" (a French leftist call-to-arms manifesto that has been labeled a "manual for terrorism" by the French government).
I'm also reading the daily newspaper religiously, considering how there won't be any to read a year from now.
THR:
There were reports you were feuding with Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who executive produced "Fahrenheit," "Sicko" and "Capitalism."
Will you work with them again?
Moore:
In 20 years of knowing the brothers, I have had only one fight with them, and that was over who would get the last cannoli.

Planet seems on death spiral into star

This artist's impression depicts an exoplanet similar to the newly discovered WASP-18b.
As seen from …

By SETH BORENSTEIN,
AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer –
Wed Aug 26, 1:00 pm ET

WASHINGTON –
Astronomers have found what appears to be a gigantic suicidal planet.

The odd, fiery planet is so close to its star and so large that it is triggering tremendous plasma tides on the star.
Those powerful tides are in turn warping the planet's zippy less-than-a-day orbit around its star.

The result: an ever-closer tango of death, with the planet eventually spiraling into the star.

It's a slow death.
The planet WASP-18b has maybe a million years to live, said planet discoverer Coel Hellier, a professor of astrophysics at the Keele University in England.
Hellier's report on the suicidal planet is in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

"It's causing its own destruction by creating these tides," Hellier said.

The star is called WASP-18 and the planet is WASP-18b because of the Wide Angle Search for Planets team that found them.

The planet circles a star that is in the constellation Phoenix and is about 325 light-years away from Earth, which means it is in our galactic neighborhood.
A light-year is about 5.8 trillion miles.

The planet is 1.9 million miles from its star, 1/50th of the distance between Earth and the sun, our star.
And because of that the temperature is about 3,800 degrees.

Its size — 10 times bigger than Jupiter — and its proximity to its star make it likely to die, Hellier said.

Think of how the distant moon pulls Earth's oceans to form twice-daily tides.
The effect the odd planet has on its star is thousands of times stronger, Hellier said.
The star's tidal bulge of plasma may extend hundreds of miles, he said.

Like most planets outside our solar system, this planet was not seen directly by a telescope. Astronomers found it by seeing dips in light from the star every time the planet came between the star and Earth.

So far astronomers have found more than 370 planets outside the solar system.
This one is "yet another weird one in the exoplanet menagerie," said planet specialist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

It's so unusual to find a suicidal planet that University of Maryland astronomer Douglas Hamilton questioned whether there was another explanation.
While it is likely that this is a suicidal planet, Hamilton said it is also possible that some basic physics calculations that all astronomers rely on could be dead wrong.

The answer will become apparent in less than a decade if the planet seems to be further in a death spiral, he said.


Money not easy for filmmakers


Funding is out there for Hollywood --
the trick is finding it
By Georg Szalai and Paul Bond
Aug 27, 2009, 06:36 PM ET
Despite a credit crunch that has wealthy investors hiding cash under their mattresses rather than risking it on films and Wall Street retreating from financing studio slates, Hollywood isn't running out of money.
Witness James Janowitz of Pryor Cashman.
The attorney is buttoning up a $250 million structured finance arrangement -- including money from hedge funds -- that will help pay for the production of a dozen films.
"The market isn't as strong as it once was, but there is activity, and the structures make sense as long as they don't unduly favor the studio or producer," Janowitz says.
In short, a film-finance bubble that pumped billions into Hollywood during the first few years of the new millennium has popped, but the show is going on with new -- and a few old -- players.
Foreign investors and government entities, including U.S. states and foreign territories offering incentives, have taken up some of the slack.
Plus, finance folks have hit up strategic investors including film distribution partners;
rich individuals who might or might not have invested in films before; and
relative newcomers to the field among financial investors, such as family foundations and pension funds.
The money, though, comes under more stringent terms these days.
The interest rate banks charge on loans when film is used as collateral has increased 20% compared with five years ago, "when it was all lovely and nice," says Jeanette Buerling, who runs Magnet Media Group with partner Maggie Monteith.
Investors and their interest in staying on budget also are inserting themselves into the filmmaking process more than they used to.
During the lensing of one recent indie movie where the budget faced overrun, the creative team had to bargain with the financiers before shooting more.
"We broke it all down by shots and decided, 'this is what we should shoot and this is where the bank closes,' " says former studio exec John Hadity, president and CEO of production finance consultancy Hadity & Associates.
In the post-bubble era, there are only rare new slate deals for big studios and puny pre-sales abroad for indie films.
Such notable institutions as Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Dresdner have pulled the plug on film lending, and hedge funds have been trying to get out of their film investments -- often at lower prices.
So, filmmakers often must chase money far and wide to cobble together deals.
"Even Steven Spielberg had trouble getting a bank to step up," says Janowitz, referring to the recent financing secured by DreamWorks from India's Reliance Big Entertainment.
Buerling says film investing remains popular with rich Europeans seeking tax advantages.
Among the movies her company is backing, in part through a $250 million fund, include "13," starring Mickey Rourke, "The Experiment," with Forest Whitaker, and "Cleo," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Even amid this tough economic environment, there's enough interest in movies from investors to encourage a second Film Finance Forum next month in New York.
The first one, four months ago in Los Angegles, attracted 120 participants.
"The equity players who are left are being very careful and diligent about the investments they are making," says Katherine Winston, managing partner of event organizer Winston/Baker.
Jesse Cohn, who manages hedge fund Elliott Associates' relationship with Relativity Media, highlighted that point last year.
After the two struck a slate-financing deal with Universal, Cohn said he liked the "fair and reasonable" investment terms agreed to by the studio.
"These deals have nearly always paired a strong and profitable studio with a poor structure, or a weak and unprofitable studio with a good structure," he said.
"This is the first deal we've seen that matches a top-tier studio with a structure that properly aligns the interests of all parties.
"While Hollywood routinely has replaced one golden goose with another -- the Japanese in the 1980s, the Germans in the '90s and Wall Street at the turn of the millennium --
this time it appears a hodgepodge of entities from India, Singapore, Switzerland and the Middle East are among those stepping up to the plate.


FOREIGN COIN STILL A TRICKLE
Initially, foreign investors were taking advantage of a weak dollar, then a decline in asset values made film investment more affordable.
Swiss outfit Millbrook Pictures, for example, launched about a year ago with its first U.S. foray, "W.," from director Oliver Stone.
Millbrook has raised millions from private investors who are passionate about movies, managing director Karl Spoerri says.
Beyond the usual criteria -- original scripts and a good cast -- Millbrook seeks films that can be made on a "realistic" budget.
Spoerri predicted Swiss interest in film investing might rise because "other forms of investments have turned out riskier than thought, so people would rather put money into something that is declared as a risky investment from the start.
"Clearly, the $825 million raised by DreamWorks that includes $325 million from Reliance, along with an investment from distribution partner Disney and a loan syndicated by JPMorgan, indicates there's overseas interest in Hollywood.
For now, foreign money is not as big a boon as highflying Wall Street bets were, though, no matter what the buzz might be.
"I do see foreign investors take note, and I think the trend there is going to be positive, but it hasn't hit us in a big way yet," says independent film consultant John Logigian, who works with high-net-worth individuals.
From August 2004-August 2007, Wall Street channeled at least $11 billion into the production of about 600 films, the money coming from such famous names as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citibank.
"There is no way to replace all of that money," Film Department CEO Mark Gill says.
"The time of easy money is over."
Adds Robert Darwell, who heads the transactional entertainment, media and technology group at law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton:
"There has been an adjustment in the marketplace, and likely a necessary one.
Maybe there were too many movies made.
Hopefully a bit of Darwinism will help in that stronger projects survive."


THE STATES STEP UP
Although Hollywood didn't need a bailout, production incentives offered by most U.S. states also quickly have become a key part of budgets, especially for indie films.
"It's a component of nearly every movie," Darwell says.
Especially for independent movies with budgets in the $4 million-$5 million cost range, $750,000 or $1 million in incentives can be "very meaningful," he says.
"I refuse to work on a project if it doesn't include some form of production incentives," Hadity says.
"I find that irresponsible."
Some government money also can be tapped overseas, combining the government and international funding trends.
In fall 2007, Time Warner's Warner Bros. studio struck a broad partnership with Abu Dhabi Media, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, that included plans to jointly finance films with a $500 million fund, even though that fund since has stalled.
Hyde Park Entertainment has struck a seven-year, $250 million financing partnership with Imagenation Abu Dhabi, a unit of Abu Dhabi Media.
Plus, it is financing a slate being developed by its Hyde Park Asia arm with backing from Singapore's Media Development Authority.
"Government and state-sponsored groups and private money have become very important because of the pullback from Wall Street," Hyde Park chairman and CEO Ashok Amritraj says.
THE AGENCY ANGLE
Hollywood talent agencies also see opportunity in the brave new film-finance world.
This year, Gersh named producer Jay Cohen as head of a new film-financing and packaging division.
"We felt there was a clear need for these services," he says.
Similarly, CAA has worked with Bob Stanley, former head of media and sports finance at Merrill Lynch, to help find funds for the likes of Summit, Marvel and United Artists.


STEADY PLAYERS
Meanwhile, there are the usual high-net-worth individuals who remain unafraid of the movie biz, including
FedEx founder Fred Smith of Alcon Entertainment;
Jones Apparel founder Sidney Kimmel of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment; and
eBay's first president, Jeff Skoll, of Participant Media.
Also, Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media is busy as ever before, perhaps even benefiting from a sudden lack of competition.
Relativity's staying power might owe to its relationship with New York hedge fund Elliott Associates, which provides solid financial backing.
Plus, Relativity knows its way around Hollywood.
But when not dealing with the usual suspects, patience is required.
"We're having to educate new investors," says Laura Fazio, who has worked on slate deals for investment banks and now is managing director and global head of telecom, media and technology at Aladdin Capital Management.
She has traveled to Asia and Europe lately because, "we all just have to go further afield.
"With battered housing and stock markets, she tries to sell film investments with the positive industry trends.
"I have a great chart that shows worldwide boxoffice rising against all the major market indices," Fazio says.
So, while things are much more sober in film financing these days compared with a few years ago, the sky isn't falling.
"Everybody's portfolio has taken a hit, so people look for new opportunities," Logigian says.
"It's not like the auto industry that has been hurting so much.
I do have people coming into the showroom and looking.
They may not close the deal, but they are at least looking."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Incredimail...ISRAEL's incredible story...


Miley Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, photographed in Calabasas, California. Their easy on-screen rapport is a key part of Hannah Montana’s success.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz; styled by Michael Roberts


'Shalom Sesame' books Gyllenhaal, Stiller
Twelve-part series will shoot in Israel, U.S.
Associated Press
Aug 26, 2009, 12:04 PM ET


JERUSALEM --
Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Stiller and Christina Applegate ( above ) are just a few of the stars slated to appear in a new Sesame Street-style production geared at teaching Jewish-American children about Jewish culture."Shalom Sesame,"

a 12-part series for preschoolers featuring the globe-trotting Muppet Grover ( above ), will explore Jewish identity and traditions and will film on location at several Israeli sites, including the Western Wall.


Big-name guest stars, including actors Debra Messing ( above ) , Greg Kinnear and

Cedric the Entertainer ( above ), will join puppets and children in segments filmed in Israel and the U.S., according to the series' producers.
Anneliese van der Pol ( above ), a Broadway actress and star of Disney Channel's "That's So Raven," had never been to Israel before arriving Wednesday to film her scenes with the Muppets.
"I think it's really important to educate children in a fun way and a not too confusing way," said the 24-year-old musical star, who is Jewish and is named after teenage Holocaust victim
Anne Frank ( below )

"Shalom Sesame" was first produced in 1986, selling more than 1 million copies on video and DVD.
The new incarnation will tackle more issues of diversity for Jewish children and be accompanied by an interactive Web site and other outreach materials.
"For so much of the Jewish community outside Israel, they may never come here, this is a great way to have a virtual experience" of the place, said the project's executive director Danny Labin.
The series is expected to debut around the Hanukkah holiday in December 2010.

LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:
***Columbia Records announced the October 13 release of Bob Dylan's brand new album of holiday songs, Christmas In The Heart.


Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year.
Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Winter Wonderland," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Must Be Santa."
All of Bob Dylan's U.S. royalties from sales of these recordings will be donated to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to more than 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season.
Bob Dylan is also donating all of his future U.S. royalties from this album to Feeding America in perpetuity.


***Hot music artist Irene Nelson ( above ), (http://www.irene-nelson.com/) signed with the prominent Hollywood P.R. firm LCO for media representation.
Here music has been released in her native Russia to wide acclaim.
***The average CD can hold 74 minutes' worth of music.
That unusual length was determined by Sony's president, who decided that a single CD should be able to contain the longest recorded version of
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Britain's Ten Alps acquires Uproar Asia
Former BBC producer Macdonald to head Ten Alps Asia
August 26, 2009
By Patrick Frater SEOUL --
British factual TV production group Ten Alps has acquired Singapore's Uproar Asia as a first step to becoming an Asian indie.
It is paying an initial GBP30,000 ($49,100) and could pay out a further $921,000 over the next two years depending on performance.
Uproar will be rebranded as Ten Alps Asia and be headed by former BBC and Channel 4 producer Sarah Macdonald.
Her credits include five years at "Newsnight" and Channel 4's "Dispatches" -- including an investigation into the CIA's extraordinary rendition program -- as well as a "Panorama" investigation "Sex Crimes & The Vatican."

"Singapore is a good place to base ourselves for markets across Asia," said Macdonald.
"We have found positive engagement with the Media Development Authority and Economic Development Board, which we plan to further explore.
"Uproar currently has a slate that currently includes "First Time Filmmakers - Vietnam," a documentary film competition in association with The Ford Foundation and Discovery Networks Asia,
and an environmental series "Nature Versus Nature," which is syndicated worldwide through Content Films

LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:
***Residents of the Motion Picture and Television Fund's long-term-care unit and associated hospital were notified yesterday that they need to find new homes by year's end.
Following several tumultuous months, the move is expected to result in a lawsuit by residents and others against both the fund and the Hollywood folk on one or more of its governing boards, The New York Times estimates.


***Dana Delany( above ) has been named co-president of the Creative Coalition, the nonprofit org that advocates for increased support of the arts and other causes.
Delany, one of the stars of ABC sudser "Desperate Housewives," succeeds Tony Goldwyn and will join Tim Daly in the leadership of the org, along with exec director Robin Bronk.
***The post-merger shakeout at WME continued last week with the departure of WMA vet Paul Bricault from the corporate marketing and consulting division.
With Bricault's departure, WME's consulting wing will be headed by Mark Dowley, who had previously headed the Endeavor Marketing unit that operated separately from the tenpercentery.
With the WMA-Endeavor merger, Dowley now serves as the in-house head of the area for WME.

LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:
***On Tuesday, YouTube announced it would allow users to monetize their videos via ads that will result in a revenue split between the site and the owner of the clip.
YouTube will work to identify the videos that get the most hits, ask the owner if they're ok with ads being attached and then share the resultant income.
The video-sharing site did not comment on the exact split.
***Jermaine Hall is being named the editor of the revived Vibe magazine
and Vibe.com.
Hall previously served as Vibe's webmaster, among other positions.
The hip-hop title, which shut down in June, will return in November via an investment group led by InterMedia Partners.
***Bowlmor Lanes, the trendy downtown Manhattan spot that made rolling balls a blast for the celebrity cocktail jet set, is applying for a liquor license at 229 West 43rd Street, the former New York Times Building.
Bowlmor's lease for 70,000 feet will be signed in "a matter of days."

***Arianna Huffington, the visionary behind the Huffington Post, is establishing "a Madonna-like celebrity in the online world," muses MarketWatch columnist Jon Friedman.
"She is a maverick. Huffington has made journalism exciting.
It looks she is having a hell of a lot of fun."
***Despite their reputation as early adopters, young people are not flocking to Twitter.
But their parents are.

PEEP SHOW:
A New York hotel that crosses over the citys latest attraction the High Line has been drawing attention for the randy displays in its fishbowl rooms.
Now, the New York Post reports that the Standard Hotel encourages the voyeurism in order to entertain the parkgoers outside.
"We don't discourage it.
In actual fact, we encourage it," a bellhop tells the Post.
The bellhop says that, after the hotel opened late last year, staff members were encouraged to pose nude in front of the windows.
"One of the managers even got naked in a room, and filmed itthey were considering a live feed for the Web site," the staffer said.
"She's an exhibitionist, too."
Parkgoers have reported seeing men masturbating, pornographic films being shot, and couples having sex.

DID YOU KNOW:
***The circulatory system of arteries, veins, and capillaries is about 60,000 miles long.
***Rockstar Ozzy Osborne once saved his wife Sharons Pomeranian from a coyote by tackling and wresting the coyote until it released the dog.
***Brazil has more kinds of primates than any other country, with 16 genera and 77 species.
***A female blue shark's skin is three times thicker than a blue males to survive courtship bites.
***Horses prefer calming or cheerful instrumental music, but are agitated by loud music such as rock.

IncrediMail - Israel's incredible story


By David Shamah
August 25, 2009
Incredimail aims to give users what they want – animations and designs that can be inserted smoothly into emails, and text messages.
Even most Israelis don't know that the hundreds of millions of emoticons, animations, 3D effects and sounds that now jazz up e-mails all over the world, originate in Tel Aviv.

I envy Ofer Adler.
Not only is he the CEO of IncrediMail, one of Israel's top web success stories, but he also gets to make millions of people happy every day, every time they use e-mail.

IncrediMail applications have been downloaded more than 80 million times by people in over 100 countries.
You know the program. It's the one that inserts those cute little animations, emoticons, caricatures, flashing words, hearts, stars, 3D effects, sounds and other cutesy touches in html e-mail messages.

"In any given month, IncrediMail is used to send out about 300 million messages," Adler tells ISRAEL21c.
Not only that; nearly 10 years after it was first introduced, IncrediMail products are downloaded 1.7 million times each month.
How successful is that?

"I think that after Outlook Express - which comes included with Windows - we have the most popular e-mail client application.
We certainly have more users than Thunderbird [the popular tool that helps people to manage e-mail, instant messaging, social networking messages, etc.]," says Adler.

Giving people what they want

So how did IncrediMail get to be one of the most successful applications ever?
"By giving people what they want," Adler replies.

One of the company's prime missions has been to make sure that the animations and designs that are inserted into messages integrate smoothly with e-mail, so that they're easy to use.
"We don't use attachments for our designs, everything is in HTML," ensuring a light footprint that's fun to use, he adds.

The beta version of IncrediMail's second iteration - called IncrediMail 2 - is due out any time now, and it contains many improvements, says Adler.
It's faster, and you can use your own photos for the decorations and animations.

Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest group of IncrediMail users is not kids, but adults who won't deal with an application that causes them unnecessary tech trouble.

"Sixty nine percent of our users are over age 32, with many in their 40s and 50s," Adler says.
That means that the application has to be easy enough to handle for those in that non-techie demographic.
Incidentally, he adds, the folks in that demographic are more likely to click on web ads, which helps IncrediMail to make money.

Hi! Yo! - branching out from e-mail
Nowadays, IncrediMail is for more than just mail.
Because e-mail is already passe among the under-20 crowd - they prefer to text each other using messenger programs - Adler's team developed HiYo , which brings the same HTML tricks to MSN and Yahoo Messenger.
It will soon also be available for AOL Messenger - which is descended from another Israeli web mega-success - ICQ.

Over the past year, says Adler, more than six million users have installed HiYo, without too much advertising by the company.

"It's very viral," he says. "One user sees it in an instant message and immediately clicks to download and install it, and so on.
About 90% of HiYo users come to the program in this manner."
member of the IncrediMail family is PhotoJoy, a desktop program that lets you take your digital photos and turn them into fancy screensavers or desktop 'gadgets', so you can finally do something constructive with the hundreds or thousands of digital photos on your computer, or at photo sites like FlickR and Picasa.

The Tom Cruise IncrediMail legend

According to one version of the "IncrediMail legend," Adler, along with his cousin Yaron Adler (now president of the company), first thought of the idea for IncrediMail after seeing the 1996 Tom Cruise hit movie Mission Impossible.

Ofer, who was working in the Tel Aviv Stock Market at the time, thought that an e-mail Cruise sent in the movie - where a 3D envelope seemed to float away when the star sent a message - was one of the coolest things he had ever seen.

"Partially true," says Adler of the story, which has been repeated in several media outlets.
"We were somewhat inspired by that Tom Cruise e-mail, but we had other inspirations as well."

However, the creative pattern was set early, and the IncrediMail design department follows film, as well as trends in other spheres of popular culture, and relies on user feedback to come up with new cool effects.

Another incredible fact in these times of globalization and outsourcing, almost all of IncrediMail's 110 employees work in Israel, at the corporate headquarters in the Tel Aviv high-tech zone of Ramat Ha'hayal.

Giving it away for free and raking the money in

"We're lucky enough to be able to do everything we need from Israel, since all of our business is on the web," Adler says.
"If we were a business-to-business type of company that had to call on clients all day long, if would be different.
But we deal strictly with consumers over the internet, so being located in Israel is not an issue."

And being an Israeli company has not had any negative impact on business, Adler adds.
"Not that we try to hide the fact, but even most Israelis aren't aware that IncrediMail is an Israeli company, much less people abroad.
When I drive to various places in Israel and people see the IncrediMail bumper sticker on my car, they ask me about it, because they're familiar with the program and enjoy it - and they're shocked to find out we're located in Tel Aviv."

Another interesting piece of information is that even though the company's products are all available free (although there is a premium version of IncrediMail, with more capabilities and no ads),
the company is earning extremely well, thanks to advertising partnering programs and monetized search queries using Google and other web search engines.

Founded in 1999, IncrediMail has been
traded publicly on Nasdaq since 2006,
and is profitable,
with a positive cash flow,
operating at zero debt.
And all that comes from putting smiles on people's faces and adding a bit of fun to their lives.
There's a lesson there somewhere for all us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BMI reports fiscal-year revenue increase...Generated $905 mil for a 0.4% boost

BMI reports fiscal-year revenue increase


Generated $905 mil for a 0.4% boost


By Edward Christman, Billboard


Aug 25, 2009, 05:15 PM ET


NEW YORK -- Broadcast Music, Inc. managed to eke out its 25th year in a row of growth, generating $905 million in revenue in its fiscal year ended June 30.


That represents a 0.4% increase over the $901 million it collected in the prior fiscal year.


Likewise, the company also increased royalty distributions to $788 million during the year, up from the $786 million disbursed in the prior fiscal year.


BMI, which represents more than

400,000 songwriters, composers and

music publisher affiliates and

has a repertoire of more than 6.5 million songs,

said growth was impacted by "one of the most difficult economic environments in the company's history," in the press release announcing its revenue total.


In looking at revenue, the company said 38% of domestic revenue came from radio,


29% came from cable and satellite;


while 17% came from broadcast television and


16% came from general licensing.


Meanwhile, it said international revenue was comprised of 68.8% collections from Western Europe, 13.8% from Asia Pacific and 17.6% from other territories.


But unlike last year, the company didn't break out what percentage of revenue domestic and international constituted.


"We understand the significant market pressures faced by the businesses which we license, and we anticipate tough discussions in the year ahead as we negotiate new agreements for the use of our repertoire," BMI's president & CEO Del Bryant said in a statement.


"At the same time, we are encouraged by the steady growth in our market share, and in the expanded use of music by both traditional and digital media, both dynamics that drive our licensing income.


We have an intense focus on efficiency and cost containment.


These factors give us confidence in our ability to meet the challenges of this volatile economic landscape, and to provide a point of stability to our songwriters and value to our customers, as the economy works its way to recovery.


"During the year, the organization completed the integration of Landmark Digital Services' radio performance data into its radio survey;


launched a complete redesign of its website, BMI.com, with enhanced transaction tools for musical creators, music publishers and licensees;


and significantly increased the scope and pace of its talent development activities, sponsoring and promoting more than 200 showcases, professional seminars and panels.


In new media, the company said it now has a portfolio of more than 6,700 digital media properties under license.


Despite the widespread impact of the economic downturn, BMI was able to grow revenues in this sector by 11%, the organization said.

Rock Hall of Fame $100,000 Concert Tickets...

Rock Hall of Fame $100,000 Concert Tickets


By: Roger Friedman


Tuesday August 25, 2009


$100,000 — one hundred thousand dollars — that’s what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is soliciting from big names, VIPs and rock stars for their big Madison Square Garden shows on Oct. 29 and 30.


The shows — billed as the 25th Anniversary Concerts for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, not the I.M.Pei-designed Museum in Cleveland — feature Bruce Springsteen, U2, Metallica, Simon and/or Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills Nash & Friends and, in a nod to soul music, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.


The Rock Hall is offering four VIP packages priced at $100,000, $50,000, $25,000 and $5,000.


This is all “to support the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation” in New York, run by Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner.


There is no mention on the solicitation of the Museum in Cleveland, except to include one-year memberships as part of all the packages.


The $100,000 package is the best.


It includes 10 premium seats for each night located either on the floor or in the loge — no guarantees, though. Just best seats available.


But it also buys an invitation to Wenner’s private dinner on Oct. 28, another pre-concert dinner for VIPs, and rehearsal tickets.


The best thing in the package: “Exclusive gift items and collectible laminates.”


The total deductible amount is $84,750.


That the Rock Hall has become big business is no secret to readers of this column.


The Foundation lists $14 million in assets already, and pays its chief staffer, Joel Peresman, a former exec at Madison Square Garden, more than $350,000 a year in salary.


But the foundation has come under fire in recent years for who it inducts into the Hall of Fame and who has been left out.


That’s a list that begins with Chubby Checker, inventor of the the Twist, to


artists like Neil Diamond, the Hollies, Neil Sedaka, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Donovan, Carole King,


Chicago, Dionne Warwick, Hall & Oates, the late Billy Preston, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon,


the Moody Blues, Cliff Richard & the Shadows, and


dozens more who for some reason Wenner and his nominating committee don’t consider “hip.”


Two years ago the Foundation was embroiled in a voting scandal when Wenner ripped up a ballot inducting the Dave Clark Five so he could include Grandmaster Flash instead.


For years, the Rock Hall also paid close attention to rock’s roots, mostly because of the presence of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.


But insiders agree that since Ertegun’s death in December 2006, Wenner is working without anyone to modify his behavior.


Most of the nominating committee consists of rock writers who have either worked for him in the past for work for him now.


It’s funny to think that the original 1986 committee included ’60s deejay Norm N. Nite and the blues musician John Hammond, giving it ties to rock’s origins.


That notion must seem quaint now.

Jessica BIEL...most Dangerous Celebrity on the WEB


LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY By
KURT COBAIN:
They surround themselves with these professional dickhead commercial rock n roll guys, who like, when they show up at an airport, their manager runs ahead of them and yells at the people greeting them, 'No video!
We want a path straight to the van!
We don't want any pictures taken!'
Y'know, I'm like, so what. (1991)

DANGER:


Jessica Biel is the most dangerous celebrity on the Web.
Security technology company McAfee Inc. on Tuesday reported that searches for the 27-year-old actress are more likely to lead to online threats such as spyware and viruses than searches for any other celebrity



Beyonce will be accepting the Woman of the Year Award at the 2009 Billboard Women In Music Event, set for on Oct. 2 in New York City.


LBN-BRUTAL FACT:
India is about 1/3 the size of the United States, yet it is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of 1,166,079,217.
India is the seventh largest country in the world, at 1.27 million square miles.
India is the largest democracy in the world.

Web startup links professionals, novices
Blazetrak launches in September, with musicians on board
By Georg Szalai
Aug 25, 2009, 05:11 PM ET
NEW YORK --
With everyone in the media and entertainment industry exploring ways to make money online,
a startup is looking to help entertainment professionals digitize and
monetize the talent discovery and mentoring process,
while giving hopefuls a shot at stardom.
Blazetrak.com plans to launch Sept. 15 to connect aspiring talent with registered professionals of their choice who will provide feedback on submitted materials, such as audio or video files, for a fee the pros set themselves.
Blazetrak has already signed up about two dozen pros, mainly from the music industry, while it also eyes the film, TV, sports and fashion worlds, and expects to announce partners in these fields around launch time.
Among big names already on board are Outkast's Big Boi,
R&B/hip-hop producer Rich Harrison,
country music king Paul Worley,
country star John Rich and
Swedish producer Kalle Engstrom, who has worked with the likes of
Celine Dion and Lindsay Lohan.
Pros can register with Blazetrak and then create one or more requests.
They also get to specify in what form they want submissions, how they will rate them and what fee they charge for each submission.
For example, a music insider could create one standing request for video submissions from female R&B singers within a certain age range and charge $200 for each feedback video he provides, plus a separate temporary search for male or female dancers for a new music video that charges $50 per submission.
Meanwhile, hopefuls can -- after a quick sign-up -- search for pros looking for the kind of talent they bring to the table and submit whatever is needed, from photos or documents to audio and video, directly to them.
Blazetrak charges their credit card and retains a 35% cut, with the rest going to the celebrity.
Blazetrak guarantees audio or video feedback from the pro within 30 days and says its integrated recording system that requires no extra software allows the creation of a feedback message within minutes.
If a pro wants to work with a new talent, they can reach out to them directly or via the Blazetrak team.
They can also search their archive of received submissions later based on ratings, keywords and the like.
Blazetrak is also looking at potentially running Web portions of TV talent competitions a la "American Idol" in the future.
"The professional on Blazetrak is one who is looking for talent or simply wants to connect with a fan.
They also want to be compensated for their time," Blazetrak co-founder Corey Stanford explains the premise, calling the business model a win-win situation.
Will aspiring hopefuls really pay what could be several hundreds of dollars for feedback from a star they adore?
Stanford points out that some hopefuls fly across the world to meet with "non-decision-makers" or spend thousands to attend workshops.
The birth of the Blazetrak idea in 2007 may also provide a clue.
Back then, Stanford was partnered with a record label that was looking for a way to streamline the demo submission process.
They started charging a fee for a guaranteed review -- only to get even more demos than before.
For celebs, Blazetrak positions itself as a chance to get paid for a streamlined A&R or mentoring process without the need to stockpile CDs, DVDs or stacks of paper.
"They are bombarded on a daily basis via MySpace, Facebook and especially in person with pitches from people that want them to see their stuff," co-founder Nate Casey said.
Word-of-mouth is a key part of the Web site's promotion strategy.
The founders say professional partners will push hopefuls to Blazetrak.
Plus, any pro who brings on another client gets 2% of that person's Blazetrak revenue.
The original Blazetrak co-founders are Casey, Stanford and Harrison brother Ron.
They were later joined by fourth partner McKinley Joyner, who provided seed funding.
Music Licensing Fees Keeping Shows off DVD

"Thirtysomething" finally on video, but where's "Wonder Years"?

By Daniel Frankel


From the first, string-laden tracks laid down by Stuart Levin and W.G. “Snuffy” Walden, to recorded songs from well-known artists like Ray Charles and Rickie Lee Jones, “thirtysomething” was a series full of music.

But music is also the main reason why the groundbreaking drama by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick will only, finally, be issued on DVD on Tuesday -- more than two decades after the hit series went off the air.


Licensing all that great music was expensive -- $1 million for the project, according to one knowledgeble person -- and very nearly prohibitively so.


“Both Ed and I tend to be forward-looking people," said Herskovitz in an email to TheWrap.
"It was not like this was a thorn in our side – but every six or eight months, we’d say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, why isn’t this out on DVD yet?’ and we’d call our attorney.”


As the studios have rushed to get TV series on DVD, a handful of well-known shows have been held up because licensing their music has been deemed too expensive or time-consuming.

On Oct. 6, for example, Fox will finally release season one of “Ally McBeal." "Cop Rock," the one year Steven Bochco experiment in cop camp, "China Beach" and "Cold Case," have all been delayed for similar reasons.


Indeed, virtually all of “Thirtysomething’s” less popular running mates from the fall 1987 broadcast TV schedule, when it premiered, have been out on disc for some time, including CBS’ “Jake and the Fatman” and NBC’s “Crime Story.”

“Not only do you have to clear the rights with the publisher, but you also have to clear the master rights with the labels,” says Garson Foos, co-head of Shout Factory, which is distributing “thirtysomething” for studio MGM.
“And in some cases, rights could be split up among three different publishers.”


Indeed, virtually all of “Thirtysomething’s” less popular running mates from the fall 1987 broadcast TV schedule, when it premiered, have been out on disc for some time, including CBS’ “Jake and the Fatman” and NBC’s “Crime Story.”

The studios have been aggressive in recent years in releasing scripted TV shows into the DVD market, since these titles sell well -- even in a mature disc marketplace -- and can command a higher price point and profit margin than theatrical movies.

According to Gord Lacey, founding editor of tvshowsondvd.com, while the studios tend to license music into perpetuity, paying for regions and timelines that, in many cases, they don’t need, smaller companies like Shout license more efficiently, signing deals that span five years and cover only North America, for example.


“That cuts their music-licensing costs by a lot,” he said.


Shout Factory, for example, will sell the first-season set of “thirtysomething” for $59.99 and hopes to move at least 100,000 units in the process.


In explaining the delay for "Ally McBeal," Fox officials noted that they didn’t want to put out the lawyer-themed dramedy, starring Calista Flockhart, without securing rights to all the music first.


“Audiences expected to hear a timeless classic or something completely new each and every week,” read a studio statement.

“We understood the importance from the get-go and have worked hard to bring fans all of the original music.”


Likewise, the DVD releases of music-laden series “The Wonder Years,” from Fox, and Warner Bros' “China Beach” have also been held up, with no release date set for either.


According to Lacey, “The Wonder Years” is “the Holy Grail” of music-heavy shows that haven’t been released on DVD yet.

“You can’t release that show without the music, and there’s so much music on it that has to be licensed.”


Then there’s “thirtysomething.”

Pioneering the way for today’s complex ensemble character dramas, four seasons worth of the show have sat largely dormant in the MGM vault, with only limited release through broadcast syndication and cable TV sales, since it signed off the ABC schedule in 1991.

For their part, Foos and his partners, who previously ran music label Rhino Records, have specialized in getting musically-hindered TV shows, including “Freaks and Geeks” and “My So-Called Life,” into the DVD market.

“Our selling point is that we do all the leg work in getting the music cleared,” he explained. “We knock on the doors of the studios, saying, ‘Let us license your complicated shows that you don’t want to deal with.’”

Foos had his eyes on “Thirtysomething” for years, and was finally able to enter talks with MGM in late 2007 with the help of series producers Zwick and Herskovitz, who had long wanted to get the show out on DVD, too.


Finally getting all the music licensed for the series took from that point in time through the spring of this year.


“It’s an extremely time-consuming process, and you sometimes have to do a little detective work to track (rights-holders) down,” Foos said.


“Garson called me after we had finished putting together the ‘My So-Called Life’ set,” Herskovitz said.
“We had discussions over the years with MGM and they had told us it was just too difficult to deal with the music, and he said, ‘Can you give me a try?’ "


It’s an expensive process, too. While revenue from CD sales continues to decline, Foos added that “rates for licensing music for film and TV have gone down very little.”


As for the licensing deals themselves, these come in all varieties, from flat-rate arrangements to those structured on a per-unit basis.
Typically, a rights holder can expect about 10 cents a song on a major DVD release per disc sold.

And with some songs having multiple licensees (aka “sides”), Foos said a single episode of “Thirtysomething” could involve negotiations with 56 individual sides.


While the cost of licensing music on TV on DVD releases isn’t decreasing, overall DVD sales have been.
And there’s also a revenue slide from the initial season-one disc release of a show to its season two DVD premiere -- usually about 15%-20% -- with some of the less avid series fans dropping out of the market.


Given these factors, Fox has released only one season of popular comedy “Malcolm in the Middle.”
Universal has only put out one season of drama “American Dreams,” a series similarly full of original tracks.


For his part, Foos says he plans to eventually release all four seasons of “thirtysomething.”


“It’s the music licensing and the cost of music-licensing that holds these shows up,” he added.


“We really encourage publishers to try to work collaboratively to understand the economic realities of the DVD business so that everybody can make money.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grace Jones ROCKS at the Bowl....





Grace Jones at the Bowl



I’ve been lucky enough to attend two great shows recently.

Last Sunday Night Grace Jones in all her fabulousness took the stage of the Hollywood Bowl to remind us that sometimes it is...

not about having the best voice, or the greatest band, or being the best dancer,

it is about performance artistry, showmanship and artistic vision

or at least that’s the message I imparted to my daughter who was awestruck by the amazing costumes La Jones donned for each number.


Dengue Fever ( above ) opened the show and they are fronted by a Cambodian singer and lay on some world class world music grooves, although they are very much an LA band.




...and a comment by a fan...


Last night was an epic night in my life.

We went to see Grace Jones at the Hollywood Bowl and were obviously really excited to be the first in the US to see her perform after all these years.

Jones took a 30-year-hiatus from making music, because according to her she had nothing to say.


But with last nights performance I can guarantee that her energy, at now 61, and talent has been brewing inside her for a long time.


I could have never expected the caliber of performance that she delivered.


With 7 breathtaking wardrobe changes she stole our hearts time and again.


In between songs she would go back stage to change and carry on a very Grace Jones monologue with that raspy and powerful voice, as we awaited her extravagant return.

Her costumes were designed by infamous costume designer Eiko Ishioka, known for her Oscar winning wardrobe in Bram Stroker’s 1992 Dracula,


Cirque du Soleil: Varekai, and

the costumes for the Beijing-2008 Olympics to give you an idea of a few iconic pieces of her work.


The woman is an outright genius!


I feel like my jaw was dropped through 80 percent of her show- it was one trick after another.


A 61-year-old woman on six inch stilettos dancing around the stage, or a huge voluptuous red gown drowning her in fabric until she turned around for us to see that her back was totally bare – a full booty shot!

Or was it her 10 ft long legs, perfectly toned as if she were in her prime.


The woman is extraterrestrial, out of this world fantastic!


My words are too vapid and undemonstrative to describe the emotion that overcame me last night, but here are some photos we took to share with you of each outfit change.