Monthly Archives: August 2008

Rapper DMX Guilty of Trying to Buy Drugs

Alas, the sad saga of rapper DMX‘s downfall, has reached another melancholy milestone. The rapper pleaded guilty Thursday of trying to buy drugs in Miami and will be extradited to Arizona “where he expects to be released on bond”.

Rap star DMX pleaded guilty to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana in Miami and was awaiting extradition to Arizona on outstanding drug charges there, his lawyer said on Thursday.

The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, entered the plea on Wednesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court and was sentenced to time served, said his lawyer Bradford Cohen.

He was jailed two or three days after his July arrest on a charge of trying to buy illegal drugs from an undercover police officer during a street corner sting, Cohen said.

Unfortunately, even if DMX is released on bond, he still has additional charges to face:

Simmons has a home in Arizona and missed a court hearing there on charges of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He also faces animal cruelty charges stemming from the discovery of dog carcasses and malnourished dogs on his property near Phoenix.

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Democrats’ Anticipation Builds for Obama Speech

As readers of NowPublic member Karen Hatter’s post know, today marks the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech.

Tonight also marks another historic occasion, as Barack Obama will give his acceptance speech as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

Anticipation is running high and Democrats are eagerly anticipating the event, which will be held at Denver’s Invesco Field.

Democrats were beginning to file into Denver’s Invesco Field Thursday afternoon to hear their party’s new standard bearer Thursday as Sen. Barack Obama prepares to outline for the party faithful and the rest of America his plan for change, in what are bound to be the most crucial remarks of his political career.

Having won his party’s nomination for the presidency handily on Wednesday, Obama will seek to put his historic run for the White House in high gear. But the world will be waiting to hear more about his plan for new domestic policy and how the United States will rebuild its standing with other nations.
On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, Obama is scheduled to speak to a throng of roughly 75,000 at Invesco, the stadium home to the National Football League’s Denver Broncos.

The Democratic faithful are relocating from the nearby Pepsi Center, their home for the last three days, since the stadium seats roughly four times as many people. 

The speech has been relocated in order to accommodate the thousands of  admirers and Obama supporters expected to attend:

The speech, which Obama said was relocated to include not only delegates but thousands of admirers and just the curious, will consume broadcast time as well as upset normal day-to-day life in Denver. A number of arteries were to be shut down, including a nearby freeway and security procedures — already tight heading into Thursday — will be even more rigid.

Obama is orchestrating the first outdoors nomination acceptance speech since 1960 when John F. Kennedy moved Democrats from the Los Angeles Sports Arena to the nearby Los Angeles Coliseum, primary site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. Obama, D-Ill., formally won the Democratic Party’s nomination for president on Wednesday, becoming the first African-American to be nominated for the White House.

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Paul McCartney Confirms Concert in Israel

Singer Paul McCartney will perform in Israel at the end of September, almost half a century after his former band The Beatles were blocked from performing there.

Israeli media have been debating the reason for the cancellation, 43 years ago, and opinions range from the fantastical to the mundane:

Paul McCartney is set to play his first concert in Israel, 43 years after Israel blocked a concert by the Beatles for fear the band would corrupt Israeli youth.

McCartney confirmed Wednesday that he would play in Tel Aviv on Sept. 25, promising to give Israelis “the night they have been waiting decades for.

“I’ve heard so many great things about Tel Aviv and Israel, but hearing is one thing and experiencing it for yourself is another,” he said in a statement. “We are planning to have a great time and a great evening.”

McCartney’s visit is as hotly anticipated in Israel as it was in Quebec City, where he played on the Plains of Abraham in July.

The concert confirmation comes a few months after Israel’s ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, wrote a letter to surviving members of the Beatles apologizing for the 1965 cancellation.

“Israel missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade, and the Beatles missed an opportunity to reach out to one of the most passionate audiences in the world,” Prosor wrote, extending an invitation to come to Israel.

The exact reason for the cancellation is in dispute this week in the Israeli press.

The people blamed for the cancellation are former education ministry director Yaakov Sarid and then-prime minister David Ben-Gurion, who were said to have feared the teen fervour connected with the Fab Four.

A simpler and more pragmatic explanation of the story suggests that the cancellation was simply the result of a dispute between rival concert promoters.

The real reason for the cancellation was not concern for the morals of Israeli youth, but a bitter feud between rival concert promoters, he said.

Nevertheless, McCartney’s performance will be commemorative, if nothing else, in that it will occur as part of Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

McCartney’s concert will come as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Jewish state.

(I wonder what Palestinian Beatles fans are thinking…)

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Blogger Arrested Over Leaked Guns N’ Roses Songs

It’s a criminally tough being a music blogger, isn’t it? Always on the hunt for the latest remix, always digging for the dopest download, and ever searching for the most exclusive of mp3s…the leaked album in advance of its release.

But when the unreleased songs in question are taken from a G n’ R album that’s been more than 10 years in the making, you can bet the “Chinese Democracy” crackdown will be swift and decisive.

And it has been.

A blogger suspected of streaming songs from the unreleased Guns N’ Roses album “Chinese Democracy” on his Web site was arrested Wednesday and appeared in court, where his bail was set at $10,000.

FBI agents arrested 27-year-old Kevin Cogill on Wednesday morning on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Cogill appeared in court in the afternoon wearing a T-shirt; his girlfriend sat court and afterward said, “Rally the troops,” but declined further comment.

Federal authorities say Cogill posted nine unreleased Guns N’ Roses songs on his Web site in June. The songs were later removed.

For those still looking to hear what all this fuss is about, a song from “Chinese Democracy” is set to be released as part of Rock Band 2 in September.

“Chinese Democracy” is a much anticipated – and repeatedly delayed – new album by Guns N’ Roses that is more than 10 years in the making. At least one of the album’s songs could be heard legally: The band wrote on its Web site in July that its track, “Shackler’s Revenge” will be featured on the video game Rock Band 2, slated for release in September.

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Biltmore Cabaret is Back in Business

After much lobbying and public outcry, the Biltmore Cabaret has obtained a reprieve from Vancouver city officials and been allowed to re-open for business. 

As NowPublic previously reported, the venue had been facing regulatory pressures from the city for alleged fire code violations, however, the club’s owners claimed the Biltmore was being unfairly punished.

The following is a statement released by the club’s owner, Zak Pashak, on Thursday.

For ongoing updates on this story please check out our Biltmore page.

The Biltmore is back open for business. So many people did so much to help us, and I think that a lot of people can be proud of this. Everyone who sent an email, everyone who talked about what was going on, everyone who even read about what was going on- not to mention the people making phone calls, doing media requests, helping me write press releases, and contacting their elected representatives. I hope that this can give us East Van live music fans some hope in Vancouver. Maybe things are changing a little, one step at a time.

I’m going to be apolitical for now and let my excellent staff get back to doing the great work that they do. I have 10 more days in Japan, and I’m really looking forward to coming home to a club that is open for business so I can continue try to make the Biltmore a wonderful local venue. We will have a lot of work to do- but we are all ready. Myself and the staff will do our best to make sure that we keep the Biltmore a tightly run, locally minded art space for the city of Vancouver. We owe you all a great live music venue and with your help we are building it.

The staff at the club who have stuck this out deserve a hug- so if you go down and see a show the next little while please give them one. They have shown so much strength through a very difficult time. They are the people doing the hard work of making the Biltmore what it is going to become.

Thank you again everyone- your letters and words of encouragement were crucial. I had no idea that so many people would show such strength and conviction. I am humbled by it, and I am immensely grateful for your support of not only me, but also of what the Biltmore wants to be in Vancouver.

Zak Pashak
Biltmore Cabaret

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Edinburgh Festival: Fringe Director’s Shock Departure

Jon Morgan, the recently appointed director of the Edinburgh Festival, which is the world’s largest fringe fest, has made a sudden departure from his position.

The crisis-beset Fringe festival in Edinburgh suffered another significant blow after its director resigned suddenly today, only 15 months after taking up his post.

Jon Morgan stunned his colleagues and senior figures in the Edinburgh arts world by stepping down from his post three days after the Fringe revealed the first drop in sales for eight years, and following damaging rows over the role of the event’s comedy venues.

Fringe venue directors said Morgan could be followed by further resignations from Fringe board members, who they said should take overall responsibility for the crises which hit this year’s event – the worst summer in its 61-year history.

His resignation comes days after news was released that ticket sales for the festival had fallen a dramatic 10% in 2008.

The event was hit by a series of problems with ticketing after its new centralised box office collapsed on the first day of ticket sales in June, leading to a six week delay in the distribution of tickets, and further serious backlogs.

The launch of this year’s Fringe programme was also overshadowed by a row over claims, since denied by those involved, that the city’s “big four” comedy venues were plotting a breakaway event after they published an independent joint programme.

On Monday, Morgan disclosed that this year’s ticket sales had fallen by 10% from the record 1.7m tickets sold last year – a drop he blamed on the economic downturn, the popularity of this year’s Olympics, the bad weather and lastly the ticketing problems.

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Kate Moss is Solid Gold

British supermodel Kate Moss has been immortalized in a solid gold statue created by artist Marc Quinn.

The piece, entitled “Siren” was unveiled in London on Thursday and will be on display at the Nereid Gallery of the British Museum from October 4, 2008 to January 25, 2009. 

A solid gold sculpture of British supermodel Kate Moss worth 1.5 million pounds (2.8 million dollars, 1.9 million euros) was unveiled in London on Thursday

The 50 kilogramme (110-pound) work is by artist Marc Quinn, previously famous for a controversial sculpture installed in London’s Trafalgar Square of a pregnant woman with no arms due to a medical condition.

“I thought the next thing to do would be to make a sculpture of the person who’s the ideal beauty of the moment. But even Kate Moss doesn’t live up to the image,” he said.

 

The golden sculpture, entitled “Siren,” will go on display surrounded by other pieces including Crouching Venus, the goddess of love, at the Nereid Gallery of the British Museum on October 4. The show runs until January 25.

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