December 9, 2008

Illinois governor's corruption charges touch Obama

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Police today arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff on federal corruption charges that both touch the Tribune bankruptcy and the incoming administration of his fellow Illinois Democrat Barack Obama.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the governor and his Chief of Staff John Harris allegedly demanded the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co. That takes pettiness to a new level.

Finding a new owner for the ivy-covered baseball temple is in the best interest of all taxpayers. I can't understand why any political leader with an ounce of integrity would want to hinder the sale, even to the extraordinarily obnoxious Mark Cuban. Then I read a little further.

The Tribune reports Blagojevich and Harris have been accused in a "wide-ranging criminal conspiracy" to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for state appointments, state jobs and state contracts.

Finally, Blagojevich allegedly tried to sell his influence in picking Obama's successor. "Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate." The Associated Press reported that the governor allegedly "took money from at least one individual in connection with naming a successor for the U.S. Senate seat." It does not name the person.

Obama, whose own dealing with Chicago's political establishment hurt him during the campaign, has some explaining to do.

Let this be a cautionary tale. With hundreds and billions of dollars floating around in bailouts and other government financial help, some people are bound to get sticky fingers.

And how is this for irony: Blagojevich was elected in 2002 as the first Democratic governor in 30 years in because voters were tired of the ethics shenanigans of his predecessor Republican George Ryan. The former governor is now in prison on corruption charges.

Source: Blogging Stocks

Interview with comedian April Macie

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April Macie is a stand-up comedian who has appeared on NBC's Last Comic Standing (Season 4) and continues to tour around the country spreading humor everywhere she goes. Along with her comedic prowess, she was also listed in our inaugural list of the Hottest Women in the World (which we're 3.5% sure she's pretty proud of). You can stay up-to-date on her tour schedule at her MySpace page located at MySpace.com/AprilMacie.

Q: Your early childhood was filled with several tumultuous twists and turns. Instead of giving into the despair and pain, you were able to battle through the darkness and create a brilliant and, might I add, admirable career. Any theories on why comedy so often spawns from dark times?

AM: Comedy is a defense. And honestly, what's funny if someone was like, "yup... grew up with money, white picket fence, and homemade pudding in the fridge." Those people turn out to be lawyers and doctors. Comics are like, "yup... my mom's titty fell out of her tube top at my third grade parent teacher conference." Homemade pudding just ain't that funny, gettin' a beatin' with the puddin' spoon, now that's funny.

Q: As a former Hooters girl it must be incredibly easy to come up with a copious amount of reasons why it was not a pleasant experience, so let's instead make it interesting. Can you describe 3 lessons being a member of the "orange and white" clan taught you?

AM: 1) There's nothing sexy about smelling like wing sauce.
2) Pantyhose + Dolphin Shorts = Sweaty Ass.
3) Big titties rule the world!

Q: Given the fact that your tour schedule appears to be never ending, how do you make time for April?

AM: All time is April time. Even though I spend three out of every four weeks on the road, I am only required to be somewhere two to three hours a night... And most of those hours are spent drinking.

Q: How much does being an attractive female decrease the perception that you can be funny?

AM: Comedy is difficult for ALL women, but when an attractive woman steps on stage she is immediately at a deficit. People assume that attractive people have had an easy life and therefore have nothing to draw from. It's bullshit! My dad beat me like everybody else.

Q: Flash forward to November - Who has earned your Presidential vote?

AM: Mrs. Clinton has my vote. But if she doesn't implement universal healthcare, I'm going to ask that she comes over and takes my temperature... rectally.

Q: What personal illumination would come as a major surprise to your fans?

AM: First, that I had to look up personal illumination. Second, that life is about perception. Third, do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

Q: If Last Comic Standing were to hold a competition of every comic who ever has performed, who do you think would be in the Final 3 and who would earn your vote of the best of all time?

AM: I don't think a woman has ever been in the top 3; how crazy is that? If Last Comic Standing were on cable, I'd say, I would win. Funny, NBC frowns on jokes about anal, something about censors. After me, not quite sure, I'm very self-involved.

Q: In 10 years, how close will you be to achieving your life goals?

AM: If I'm dead in ten years, very close. If not, my goals are constantly changing. That's what keeps me driven.

Q: Where can we catch more of you in 2008?

AM: People can see more of me at their local Waffle House.

Q: Let's end with word association. I say wombat and you say...

AM: Wom-what?!!

Source: Wicked Info

Stephen Colbert to visit Conan O’Brien tonight

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Since it’s been a while since we mentioned this and it would be a shame if people forgot, here’s a little reminder to the Colbert Nation that Stephen will be on Late Night with Conan O’Brien tonight.

Here’s a flashback to another of his interviews with Conan:

People always talk about the “King of Glory” dance (not surprisingly), but I think my favorite thing about this interview is watching Stephen break out the Quenya and geek out about Tolkien. Regardless of your favorite bit from this one, I think we can all agree that it’s a great time.


Source: No Fact Zone

Google Names the Worst Band in the World: Creed

If you go to Google and do a search for [worst band in the world], you’ll actually get an answer. Have a look:
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So.. Who are Creed?

Creed was an American post-grunge band from Tallahassee, Florida that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The band won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song for the song "With Arms Wide Open" in 2001. The band broke up in 2004 after three multi-platinum albums, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide. In November 2008, rumours began to circulate about a possible Creed reunion in 2009.[1]

History

Creed formed after Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, friends at Florida State University and high school classmates at Orlando's Lake Highland Preparatory School, decided to form a band, recruiting Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips to complete the quartet in late 1995. Under the name "Naked Toddler" (the name "Creed" was eventually suggested by Marshall), the band was soon dominating the Tallahassee local music scene, and was one of the few local bands playing all original music in a town where club owners wanted local bands to play cover songs. The four members had already written and collaborated three of the songs that would go on to become tracks on their chart-topping debut album My Own Prison. The songs were "One", "Sister" and "What's This Life For".

My Own Prison (1997-1998)

Their debut album, My Own Prison, was independently released in 1997 and only cost them $6,000 to produce[citation needed], and distributed to Florida radio stations. This drew the attention of several labels that agreed to see the band, only to pass. Rejected, Creed was playing a small gig when Diana Meltzer from Wind-Up Records heard the group. She had heard their independent album, and after hearing them live, signed the band to her label. After a remix to make it more radio friendly, My Own Prison was re-released by Wind-up Records across the country. The album was a surprise success, reaching the Top 40 on the Billboard Top 200, and spinning off several singles ("My Own Prison", "Torn", "What's This Life For", and "One") that topped the rock radio charts. The band's hit song "My Own Prison" was also featured as a live performance on the charity album Live in the X Lounge.

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Human Clay and Marshall's Departure (1999-2000)

Their second album, Human Clay, was released in 1999 and debuted on the Billboard 200 album chart at number one, based on the strength of its first single, "Higher", which spent several weeks on the top of the rock radio charts. It wasn't until early 2000 that the single crossed over onto pop radio going to the Top Ten on the Billboard Pop Chart, and Creed became a household name. The follow-up single, "With Arms Wide Open," also hit number one that fall.

Meanwhile, Brian Marshall quit the band, and Brett Hestla (Virgos Merlot, Dark New Day) took over on the Human Clay tour, and subsequent tours. Around that time, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit bad-mouthed Stapp at New York's Krock 92.3 "Dysfunctional Family Picnic Concert" where they were both performing. In response to this, Scott Stapp invited Fred Durst to an open boxing match.[1]

Weathered (2001-2003)

In the fall of 2001, "My Sacrifice", the first single off Creed's last album Weathered, was used in a series of promotional tribute videos made by World Wrestling Entertainment. They also had "Young Grow Old," a B-side to the 1999 release Human Clay, featured as the official theme song for World Wrestling Entertainment WWE's Backlash pay-per-view event in April 2002. In early 2002, "Bullets" was released as a single, along with a costly, special effects-laden video. The song and video were possibly Creed's least successful since achieving mainstream success. However, Creed rebounded quickly, with one of the summer's biggest hits, "One Last Breath".

Stapp was involved in a car accident in April 2002 and it had seemed that the tour that they had planned was not going to happen. However, Stapp recovered in time to appear in the last few shows. "Don't Stop Dancing" was a minor hit for Creed in late 2002/early 2003.

Break-up, subsequent activities, and reunion rumors (2004-present)

In June 2004, Creed officially announced their break-up. Stapp began recording his debut solo album, The Great Divide with Roadrunner Records recording artist Goneblind. The other band members (including former bassist Brian Marshall) formed a new band, Alter Bridge, with Myles Kennedy. Touring bassist Brett Hestla has since joined the band Dark New Day. On November 22, 2004 Creed released a greatest hits album.

Since Creed's disbanding, many fans have been waiting for a reunion. The three members currently involved in Alter Bridge have stated that Creed is solely in their past, and will not reunite any time in the future. Tremonti even went as far to say that he would only agree to a Creed reunion if it was for "world peace." Originally, Stapp was optimistic about Creed reuniting someday, yet his recent claims reflect that he too feels that Creed is in the past, and claims that the band will reunite if "hell freezes over".

In 2008, Mark Tremonti, along with Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, appeared as guests on two separate tracks on Sevendust's album Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow.

On November 3, 2008, Blabbermouth.net reported that a Creed reunion could materialize in 2009. According to Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, Myles Kennedy is rumored to replace Robert Plant for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour in 2009. Blabbermouth states that "if Kennedy should take the job with the Zeppelin offshoot, the sources have indicated that there are already "big bucks" on the table for a Creed reunion."[2] On December 2, Rolling Stone reported that an announcement of a Creed reunion is "imminent"[3], though Alter Bridge's fan liaison Michael Tremonti has squashed this rumor recently on the AlterBridgeBand.net forums.

Controversies

Despite the band's continual dismissals of the label, Creed is sometimes labeled a Christian rock band due to the fact that all three albums focus on questions of faith, Christianity, and eternity. The band was never signed to a contemporary Christian music label, nor did it perform in Christian music venues or get any widespread regular play on Christian radio. However, the band's namesake creed itself denotes a popular Christian theological concept, of absolute individual belief, usually monotheistic. Also, themes within their musical titles such as "Human Clay", "Higher" ,"My Sacrifice", "My Own Prison", "With Arms Wide Open", and "One Last Breath" contain allusion to Christian theology, however it hasn't been confirmed that the songs were meant to be Christian songs.

Creed was sued in 2003 by four concert goers who claimed Scott Stapp "was so intoxicated and/or medicated that he was unable to sing the lyrics of a single Creed song" at a December 29, 2002 concert in Chicago. The lawsuit was later dismissed and the concert goers who filed the suit were mocked in a Daily Show segment conducted by Rob Corddry.

Scott Stapp contemplated committing suicide sometime in 2003 after drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey. According to Rolling Stone he was convinced that anyone involved with Creed wanted him dead so he would become a "Kurt Cobain martyr-type" and increase record sales. "I had crazy thoughts going through my head," he says. (http://www.rollingstone.com/special/9139515/scott_stapps_fall_from_grace)

Collaboration with World Wrestling Entertainment

For many years, Creed collaborated with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) by allowing many of their songs to be played for promotions (such as a song being the soundtrack for a pay per view). In 2001, when WWE began airing videos highlighting many different wrestlers' careers as well as video highlights of the rigors of the road for wrestlers, a Creed song was almost always the background music; "My Sacrifice" being the most-used song. Even following the breakup of Creed, Scott Stapp and Alter Bridge have both contributed music to WWE.

Band members

Former members

Touring members

  • Brett Hestla – bass guitar (2000–2004)
  • Brian Brasher – guitars (1995)

Session members

Discography

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References


Source: Wikipedia