Bianca Gonzalez leads honor roll of digital rock stars at Globe Tatt Awards

For her influential internet presence courtesy of her blog and uber active Twitter account, TV host and writer Bianca Gonzalez walked away with the top award in the Globe Tatt Awards 2012.

Now on its second year, the Tatt Awards started by Globe Tattoo broadband gives due recognition to “digital rock stars” who influence, inspire and touch the lives of people through the internet and social media.

Bianca herself personally accepted the award called The One in ceremonies held at the NBC tent Friday night. As per Tatt Awards rules, the top category is given to “the most influential trendsetter that shaped opinion and moved people, ultimately starting fire in Philippine internet.”

A certain dubious libel suit notwithstanding, Bianca’s online popularity remains unscathed, thanks to her constant tweets and her blog at called “Bianca, the diary of a supergirl wannabe!”.

After a barrage of congratulatory tweets following her victory, Bianca tweeted in return, “Thank you to all who voted, and thank you to everyone tweeting me! wish i could reply to all! thank you!!!!”

As for the other awardees, there was fashion blogger Cecile Van Stratten a.k.a. Chuvaness who won the “Stylisimo” award for being “the chic-est virtual fashion vixen.”

For having the most creative and exciting videos posted in cyberspace, YouTube sensations JAMICH who is actually real-life couple Jamyhille and Paolinne Michelle took home the “Video Slinger” award.

Given that he’s more of a rapper than a rocker, Gloc-9 was the surprise winner of the “Indie Rocker” category, won last year by Up Dharma Down.

For doing their part in “making the world a better place,” the Philippine Animal Welfare Society took home The Advocate award.

Rounding up the winners were Twitter trendsetter Kimpoy Feliciano who won #Thought-Mover; photo bloggers Ryan Vergara and Garovs Garovillo of Everywhere We Shoot who bagged The Visualizer; travel blogger Bogart The Explorer who took home, well, The Explorer honors; sportsfan Jinoe Gavan of who was declared as Game Changer; and tech blogger Jason De Villa of who was adjudged Tech Junkie of the year.

In addition to the above major awards, special awards were also given to several entertainment figures.

Vice Ganda’s primetime weekly show, “Gandang Gabi Vice” won #Trending TV; radio jocks Chico, Delamar and Gino Quillamor of RX 93’s “Morning Rush” were voted #Trending Radio; and “Becky Nights” of Divine Lee, Jake Galvez, Matt Gozun, and Buem Rodriguez won #Trending Podcast.

Singer-actress Julie Anne San Jose was a big winner of two special awards, namely Trending Personality and the People’s Choice award.

Journalist Howie Severino received the Safe Surfer award in behalf of GMA Network’s Think Before You Click campaign, which was honored for its advocacy for responsible internet usage.

Rounding up the special awards were “rookies” Robbie Becroft of and food blog, who tied for the Freshest award given to new blogs that created the most impact. Another YouTube sensation Luigi Yotoko took home the The Prodigy award given to a social media rock star under 18 years of age.

The winners were judged by a group called the Tatt Council consisting of advertising executive Pao Peña, photographer Wyg Tysmans, singer and comedian Mikey Bustos, TV host Rovilson Fernandez, National Youth Commission commissioner Gio Tingson, journalist Maria Ressa, blogger Loi Landicho a.k.a. The Professional Heckler, TV host Raymond Gutierrez, musician Francis Reyes and eventologist Tim Yap.

In addition to the Tatt Council, public voting and online engagement and influence also accounted for 30 percent of the total votes.

Hosted by Esquire cover girl Georgina Wilson, YouTube star Ashley Rivera, Chicosci’s Miggy Chavez and RX 93 DJ Gino Quillamor, the Globe Tatt Awards 2012 also featured performances by Arnel Pineda, Rico Blanco, Up Dharma Down, Chicosci, Funk Avy, Pulso and Bustos himself who also provided the hilarious pre-taped introduction spiels to each major award.


Smashing Pumpkins rock again with ‘Oceania’

LOS ANGELES – Alternative rockers The Smashing Pumpkins have had huge hits – ”Siamese Dream” and “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” – as well as well-publicized in-fighting and drug use that led to the Chicago band’s break-up in 2000.

But after some false starts, lead singer Billy Corgan recently reformed the Pumpkins with new musicians and embarked on an ambitious 44-song project titled “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.”

Their new album, “Oceania,” which entered the Billboard 200 charts this week at No. 4, is part of that project and the always-outspoken Corgan talked to Reuters about the new music.

What sort of album did you set out to make?

(Laughs) We thought we’d better make a really great album or we’d have to blow this business up. The necessity of an album has pretty much gone by the wayside. It doesn’t seem to have the cultural impact anymore, and people aren’t waiting around for the next ‘Sgt. Pepper’ or ‘Pet Sounds.’

In our case, we saw where my musical legacy and the band’s abilities were being marginalized by a culture that celebrates a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with bands. So you can sit and whine, but if you believe you can make strong band music, then it trumps all other arguments – even sales. So either get out of the business or do something.

As for ‘Oceania,’ I don’t even know where the title came from. It just felt right.

You weren’t seriously thinking of quitting, were you?

No, but I felt, you have to morph the intention. OK, so the album’s dead – what does it morph into? Maybe 3D projects, like a movie you do the soundtrack for, which you also self-finance.

You say the album’s dead, yet you’re working on this massive ‘Teargarden’ multi-album project.

(Laughs) Yeah, well I ran my mouth and said I was doing this 44-song project, and the reason is, I picked a big enough number that’d force me to start and end somewhere, and give it an arc. So we began by just releasing a song at a time, and then an EP, and that was almost like an album. But I wasn’t trying to do that – I was just trying to make interesting music.

Is it true you worked in total secrecy?

Yeah. Nobody heard the music – no manager, agent, publicist. Total isolation. You definitely want and long for the validation of others hearing it, but I just felt we needed to keep everyone out of the room. We had to build our own internal confidence.

Sometimes, even people I’ve known for 20 years with the best intentions will walk in and say the wrong thing – ‘Oh, it sounds like The Beach Boys.’ I love the Beach Boys, but that might be the wrong thing to say at that moment. Or the manager comes in and says, ‘I don’t know if we can get that played on the radio,’ and you’re not even thinking that way. So we had to just trust each other.”

What comes first for you – music or lyrics?

I’m a total song-whore (laughs). I’ll do it whatever way works. Sometimes I write lyrics, sometimes I’ll have a title, or steal something from myself, warp it and change it. I don’t care.

You initially streamed ‘Oceania’ free on iTunes. Why?

There was a general perception – even among our fans – that I was no longer able to make high level, credible music. It was the watered-down version of what I used to do. This is the first time in a long time where I intended the expectation they were expecting.

The Stones in particular are a band I admire because they just roll it out whenever they feel like it, and when they don’t, they don’t. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.

I could be in the Bahamas right now, sipping a margarita … But I get up every day wanting to pursue an artistic agenda, and I’ve had moments where it’s worked spectacularly and I’m a genius, and then had it miss, and I’m an idiot. I’ve lived it all – the good and the bad, and you just have to keep going forward.”


New Muse Track 'Survival' Chosen As Official Song Of The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games

Need more proof of how loved electro-rockers Muse are in their native UK? Their upcoming new single, “Survival,” has been chosen as the official song for the 2012 Olympic Games, which kick off in London on July 27. The track will be our first taste of Muse’s upcoming sixth studio effort, The 2nd Law.

The song is expected to debut tonight (June 27) on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 radio program at 7:30 p.m. BST. The news was broken earlier today on the band’s official website.

The posting also reveals the new single’s inspiration was the Olympics in the first place: "Matt wrote the song with the Olympics in mind. It's about total conviction and pure determination to win."

The track is expected to get plenty of play throughout the games, so there's no doubt you'll have it memorized by the time of the closing ceremony.

"The song will be played throughout the Games including when athletes enter the stadium, in the lead up to the medal ceremony and also as the theme for all international TV coverage," the band writes. "We are honoured that the Olympics have chosen our song to officially represent the London 2012 Olympic Games across the globe."

After the song premiere on BBC Radio, “Survival” will immediately be available to buy on iTunes and through the band’s website.

Muse are currently completing work on The 2nd Law in London with producer David Campbell, who has worked on over 450 gold and platinum albums with everyone from Michael Jackson to Aerosmith as well as orchestrating the arrangements for the much-publicized musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”


Doris Singleton, I Love Lucy Actress, Dies at 92

Doris Singleton, a character actress and comedian best known as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s neighbor – and Lucy's frequent frenemy – Carolyn Appleby on I Love Lucy, has died, Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, confirmed.

"A day of saying hasta luego to two great ladies, Nora Ephron and Doris Singleton," Arnaz wrote on her Facebook page. "May they both fly swiftly heavenward and enjoy a blissful rest for jobs well done down here. They were loved and appreciated and will be missed."

Singleton was 92 and died Tuesday in Los Angeles, reports Variety.

Playing the competitive neighbor Appleby, who liked to boast about her son Stevie (which forced Lucy to brag about Little Ricky), Singleton first met Ball in the late 1940s, while the redhead was on radio doing My Favorite Husband, which evolved into I Love Lucy.

In a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television, Singleton recalled her first TV episode, among other memories, and how Carolyn was actually the name of Lucille Ball's schoolteacher.

Of Ball, Singleton said, "She was nice to me, and she really liked my work." If she didn't like you, the actress noted, "You didn't come back."

Singleton appeared on Lucy 10 times between 1953 and 1957, and also appeared on Ball's later TV shows. She gave another memorable performance as the sequestered hotel roommate of Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) on the 1971 All in the Family episode, "Edith Has Jury Duty."

In addition, she appeared on such shows as Adventures of Superman, Hogan's Heroes, My Three Sons, Hazel, The Munsters, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Fugitive, The F.B.I., Marcus Welby, M.D., Phyllis, Days of Our Lives and Dynasty, the Hollywood Reporter lists.

Entering showbiz as a teenager, the Brooklyn-born Singleton danced with the American Ballet Theater and sang with bandleader Art Jarrett. With her smooth, distinctive voice, she later acted on radio, appearing with George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bob Hope and Jack Benny in radio.

Singleton's husband of 61 years, comedy writer, director and producer Charles Isaacs, died in 2002.

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Music industry upbeat about iTunes Philippines

The music industry is upbeat about the opening of the iTunes Store in the country.

Because Apple’s online digital media vendor is largely identified with music, stalwarts of the industry were the first to react to the news that the service is now available in the Philippines, as well as in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Yeng Constantino, Barbie Almalbis, Rico Blanco and Ebe Dancel immediately tweeted and retweeted the announcement on Wednesday and urged their followers to buy their latest releases from iTunes Philippines.

Ogie Alcasid

Even singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, who launched only last March the similar OPM2Go website that allows the purchase of OPM songs for P15 each, welcomed the development.

“Any avenue where our musicians can sell their music is great!!” he tweeted.

Former record company executive Mony Romana believes iTunes will propel digital sales for the music industry as a whole.

“Because the Apple brand is behind it, they have the advantage of an easy buy-in. That will hopefully help change the public’s attitude towards getting music online,” Romana noted.

Toti Dalmacion

Music impresario Toti Dalmacion has been doing business with iTunes US for years through his company, Terno Recordings. That is how selected releases of Terno artists such as Up Dharma Down have found a market in the US, Europe, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.

“Regarding iTunes being here in the country now and other Asian countries, I actually like that because we can now concentrate on one company for the digital side of things as opposed to having so many local third parties or aggregators,” Dalmacion explained.

“It’s also easy to monitor, from our viewpoint as a record company. So it’s good and that way neighboring Asian countries have digital access to the releases as well and not just for Terno but for other local labels and artists,” he added.

Former band manager, events organizer, and now publisher Teddy Dario is likewise upbeat about iTunes’ entry into the Philippine market.

“It will now be easier to purchase Filipino albums, singles, even classics and make it more accessible to a wider international audience. It will also now be easy for Pinoys in the US and Europe to purchase the latest Tagalog hit singles online as well as older music by artists such as Florante or Hot Dog. I just hope that Filipino artists can easily put their work on sale on the iTunes store and explore this opportunity,” Dario said.

Warner Music Philippines executive Anne Poblador immediately gave iTunes Philippines a whirl by downloading Rico Blanco’s new single, “Amats”.

“We should embrace growth. This is something positive for the industry. It’s a sign that we are moving forward!” she enthused.

Dong Abay

Dong Abay, who will launch his new album “Rebulto” on Thursday at Cubao X, was also in a gleeful mood.

“This is great! Mas madaling ma-access ang Filipino music online. I love Apple. Sana bigyan nila ako ng hi-tech gadgets,” he wisecracked.

And hard rock fan Wo Rosete, an executive of Smart Communications who has been sponsoring some of the biggest major concerts in the country in recent years, said, “Finally! Yes, this should be good for the Philippine music industry.”

Rosete sees a boon for unsigned bands and the back catalogue of veteran artists.

“The traditional ‘record contract’ is already a thing of the past. As a distribution channel, iTunes Philippines can also help resurrect classic Pinoy rock in digital format! How about a digital only compilation of ’80s Pinoy punk bands? Asteeeeg! Digital-only recordings are less costly to produce so Razorback and Wolfgang can now release digital-only versions of a full concert,” he elaborated.

But there are others who expressed reservations about the download service taking off in the country.

Former music blogger Jim Ayson said, “99 cents per track charged to credit cards is not for the masses. Apple should open itself to operator billing so you can pay with your cellphone bill or load.”

Similarly, musician and Radio Repulic Philippines content manager Adrian Arcega pointed out, “I’m curious, more than anything. Not a lot of Filipinos own credit cards, so that’s something iTunes has to hurdle. But hey, they changed the purchasing habits of the rest of the music-consuming world, so who knows? The local online music stores have a headstart and an advantage in that sense.”

And former director of programming for MTV Philippines Andrew De Castro (a.k.a. North Andrew for old fans of radio station 99.5 RT) is a little more guarded with his optimism.

“Of course, iTunes opening in the Philippines is a welcome development. But I’m not sure it will positively impact the music industry in a big way — but I hope it does,” De Castro offered.

“For sure, the AB class will patronize iTunes Philippines because it’s convenient. It’s instant and goes straight to their iDevice. The lower classes, though, will probably continue to download from file sharing sites or go pirated. The 50 bucks per track they’d have to pay at iTunes can get them an entire album on CD at a tiangge,” he said.

Nevertheless, De Castro still sees a bright side to an iTunes presence here. “I think it benefits indie artists most. The revenue goes straight to them and they don’t need to tie up with a label for distribution,” he concluded.

At the moment, there are still more Filipino artists on iTunes US than on iTunes Philippines.

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Diana Zubiri rocks award ceremonies with revealing acceptance speech

It was an acceptance speech worthy of the first acting award of her career.

A tearful Diana Zubiri accepted her Young Critics Circle award for Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role to raucous applause and loud belly laughs at the award ceremonies held Wednesday afternoon at the University of the Philippines.

The 27-year-old actress, who was honored for her role as a stressed-out nurse in Eduardo Roy, Jr.’s 2011 Cinemalaya entry “Bahay Bata”, recalled her humble beginnings in show business.

“Bago po ako makapag-artista, ang nasa isip ko lang po kasi ay makatulong ako sa pamilya ko, ang magtrabaho, saka po ang motivation ko dati ay makabili lang ako ng cellphone na may camera, masaya na po ako,” she confessed to a crowd composed mostly of students and faculty members at the Claro Recto Hall of the UP Faculty Center.

Diana, who displayed her flair for comedy during her six-year stint on the popular gag show “Bubble Gang”, had the audience in stitches several times as she thanked the YCC, her family, friends, producer Robbie Tan, and her manager, showbiz scribe Jojo Gabinete who, she said, still could not believe she won the award.

But what really brought the house down was Diana’s recollection of the controversy that made her a household name 10 years ago.

“Noong nasa showbiz na po ako, naalala ko na ang award lang na nakuha ko noon eh noong na-award ako ni Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos noong nagkaroon po ako ng kaso. Kung naaalala nyo po yung kasong kinasangkutan ko noon dahil sa indecent exposure noong nag-pictorial po ako para po sa FHM,” she recalled to a roar of laughter and wild applause.

She added that she was shocked to win the award that saw her defeat a formidable field composed of Arthur Acuña, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio and Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino for Loy Arcenas’ “Niño”, Tirso Cruz III, Raquel Villavicencio, Jennifer Sevilla and Edgar Allan Guzman for Jeffrey Jeturian’s “Bisperas,” Vincent Sandoval in his film, “Señorita” and Alfred Vargas for Zurich Chan’s “Teoriya.”

“Kasi po nakita n’yo naman sa pelikula wala po akong ginawa kung hindi maglakad ng maglakad tapos ako pa ang nanalo. Hindi po ba nakakapagod din naman ang maglakad ng maglakad?” she wisecracked.

She pointed out that facial expression is not the only way to convey a good performance.

“Pati po yung body language. Yun po yung isang bagay na nakita at inobserbahan sa pelikula at sa aking pagganap,” she surmised.

Diana is currently a third year Theater Arts student at Miriam College. Her studies have kept her out of the limelight for a while until she resurfaced in “Bahay Bata” last year.

After the ceremonies, Diana told Interaksyon that it was easy for her to accept “Bahay Bata” because she fell in love with the script and thought that women might be able to relate not just to her character but also to the other women depicted in the movie produced by Cinemalaya and Found Films.

In “Bahay Bata”, which also won the Jury Prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France this year, the actress plays Sarah, a nurse at an understaffed public maternity hospital who is forced to do a double shift on Christmas Day as she attends to expectant mothers in varying stages of labor.

With her YCC victory, Diana, who still possesses the knockout figure that continues to rank her among FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women for the last 10 years, hopes to be more visible again.

She revealed that GMA is lining up several projects for her but won’t confirm or deny the possibility of returning to “Bubble Gang”.

Despite their limited budgets, she is also looking forward to do more indie films. “Hindi naman po ako namimili ng role. Basta maganda lang ang istorya, gagawin ko,” she said.

“Libre naman po ang mangarap. Dahil po sa inspirasyong ibinigay ninyo sa akin nangangako po ako na hindi po ito ang una at huling award na matatanggap ko,” she vowed as she concluded her speech.

Other winners were Adolf Alix, Jr. for “Haruo” (Best Film), Rodolfo Vera for “Niño” (Best Screenplay), Dexter Dela Peña and Paul Marquez for “Teoriya” (Best Cinematography and Visual Design), Arnold Reodica, Christine Muyco and Jema Pamintuan for “Ang Sayaw Ng Daliwang Kaliwang Paa” (Best Sound and Aural Orchestration) and Charliebebs Gohetia for “Señorita” (Best Film Editing).

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'Dolphy more active, more ticklish' - Makati Med bulletin

MANILA - Comedy King Dolphy has become more active, responsive, and even ticklish, with his physical senses stronger, according to the latest bulletin of Makati Medical Center.

Based on his physical expressions and body movements, Dolphy also appear to be able to feel pain, a good sign according to the doctors.

While his platelet count improved, blood transfusion will continue.

He will also undergo dialysis today.

Meanwhile, the hospital enforced stricter security measures and visiting guidelines after a tabloid reporter tried to take pictures of the Comedy King in the ICU.

The doctors also recommended stricter visitation privileges as Dolphy's immue system is still weak and prone to infections.

Visitors are required to get a clearance from Dolphy's family.


The Best Ways To Store Music

Today the main kind of music medium sold is a digital MP3 file, but before, music was always sold on a physical medium. It can be a nightmare to uncover an old collection and find that none of the items play like they did before. Each different type of music medium takes a slightly different environment to keep it performing right.

Having a hard drive crash with all the individual's collection on it can be devastating, and in my cases the data cannot be recovered. In these cases it is important to obtain a reliable storage setup to ensure performance. There is a great way to back up externally without having to sacrifice reliability. Having an external box with an internal hard drive is less expensive than a normal unit and more reliable with the proper research. If the external enclosure ever fails, an individual can simply buy another enclosure or take the hard drive out and put it inside their PC to access the information.

Storing compact discs is pretty simple, but there are some important factors to take into consideration when doing so. CD books that hold many CDs are one of the best methods of storage, but should be enclosed and no part of the book can be plastic. The temperature can be low and the CDs can still be destroyed in cheaper plastic cases. After placing them in the book, the individual may also want to consider purchasing a sealed container to put everything in for further protection. Warm temperatures also warp discs over lengthy periods of time, and usually an air conditioner is recommended.

Tapes resemble CDs with how they are stored. The tape is very sensitive to magnetic fields and heat, so keeping them in a sealable box that is shielded works best. Humidity is also blocked with a seal considering that old Billy Idol tapes can rust so quickly when exposed.

Other mediums do not have problems with large size like vinyl records do, and because of records' size, they require much more room. Storage cabinets designed for keeping the Beatles vinyl safe for a long period of time can be purchased, but they are often very expensive. Normal deep cabinets are normally used for these instead. Most cases can benefit from simply adding doors to the front and placing the openings of the Nirvana vinyl records towards the back. Simple containers can easily store the albums and they may not even be important for areas that are not dusty or that have low humidity.

SoundStage Direct, LLC is an online independent store based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. SSD has the largest selection of vinyl records online. And you don't want to miss amazing closeout deals available at our LP outlet! We have record albums in every genre (example: the Beatles vinyl) and in a variety of formats available ready to be shipped at your doorstep.

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Marian Rivera Meets Grandparents For The First Time

MANILA, Philippines - Marian Rivera visited her birthplace Spain recently, which allowed for a happy reunion with his father who then facilitated a first time meeting between her daughter and her grandparents.

“Na-meet ko ang lola’t lolo ko na ‘di ko na-meet before. So, nagkaroon kami ng maliit na reunion sa Spain; kasama sila papa tapos lolo’t lola ko, yung mga uncle ko. Nagkaroon ng bonding at pag-uusap na ang saya-saya. Parang feeling ko sobrang kumpleto na lahat," said Rivera.

She excitedly related that her father is planning to visit the Philippines next year.

Rivera last saw her father, Spanish restaurateur Francisco Javier Alonzo Gracia in 2010. Prior, they were estranged for seven long years.

Rivera was born in Madrid, Spain. Javier Gracia separated with Rivera's mother, Amalia when the former model was just a child. Rivera grew up with relatives on her mother's side in Cavite, occasionally visiting her dad in Spain during school breaks. The number of visits waned when Rivera became too busy with her college studies as well as having to juggle time as ramp and commercial model.

Rivera was in tears when her father greeted her during a birthday concert in 2008, admitting that it was an unexpected surprise. It eventually allowed for the two to renew their bond culminating with Rivera visiting his father in 2010.

In a separate interview, Marian's boyfriend, Dingdong Dantes, denied that he had asked Gracia's blessing to marry his daughter during the visit. Rivera likewise denied the matter, insisting that she wouldn't try to hide it if it were the case.

According to Rivera, the visit was part of a long-planned vacation that she and Dantes thought necessary after having spent a great deal of time working together in the recently concluded GMA-7 series, "My Beloved."


Fête de la Musique 2012 tonight, June 23

All roads lead to Makati Avenue tonight as the Embassy of France, the Alliance Française de Manille, together with Rustan’s, the City of Makati, B-side (The Collective) and San Miguel, bring you the yearly Fête de la Musique 2012, featuring French DJ Collective Chinese Man and 10 of today’s up-and-coming Filipino bands!

One of the most-awaited musical events of the year, Fête de la Musique will be held for the first time on Makati Avenue for an outstanding Street Party Concert on Saturday, June 23, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Chinese Man, made up of High Ku, SLY and Zé Mateo started in 2005 at the behest of their grand master, the renowned and mysterious Chinese Man, founder and inseparable figurehead of the Chinese Man Records Label. Their music, a blend of Hip-Hop, Dub, Afro-Beat, Baile Funk, traditional music and forgotten samples make them one of the most innovative DJ collectives in France. The release of Groove Sessions Vol. 1 & 2, Chinese Man’s albums, paved the way for a sold-out tour in France and Europe.

Chinese Man’s live acts are a one-of-a-kind experience, especially with their latest opus, Racing with the Sun, as they showcase special live music and VJ’s performance featuring eight people onstage. As an impressive and uniquely multi-faceted group, Chinese Man Records label brings together producers, DJ’s, graphic artists and filmmakers who build and promote a collective visual and musical identity.

The collective will infuse a zen and groovy touch on the Fête de la Musique stage that will thrill Filipino audiences and artists. Fête de la Musique is also an event to showcase the richness and variety of the Filipino Music Scene.

Filipino bands set to rock the stage include Brigada, Paul Zialcita, Cynthia Alexander, Johnny Alegre Affinity feat. Alvin Cornista, The Blue Rats feat. Cooky Chua, Jonan Aguilar feat. Tondo Tribe, Flippin Soul Stompers, Indio I, Hijo, Pepe Smith and Manila-based French singer Julien Drolon.


VIDEO: Donations go viral for grandmother bullied by busload of school children

NEW YORK - Video of a US grandmother being bullied by a busload of school kids went viral on Thursday, tugging at the heart strings of sympathetic strangers who donated more than $330,000 to send her on a trip to recover from the ordeal.

The 10-minute video of school bus monitor Karen Klein being harassed by 12- and 13-year-olds went viral shortly after it appeared on YouTube and Facebook late Tuesday.

The cell phone clip shows the 68-year-old grandmother of eight trying her best to ignore taunts such as "fat ass" and "asshole" on a middle school bus in the town of Greece, near the city of Rochester in New York state.

The students also harass the white-haired woman about her weight, her hearing aid and her hairdo. One even leans in and says he will urinate on her front door, while others make rude gestures, laugh and even poke her.

Klein did not report the abuse but the video -- captured by a student on the bus -- quickly became an Internet sensation.

With a goal of sending Klein on a vacation to recuperate from the trauma, the website launched an online fundraising drive and quickly surpassed its goal of raising $5,000. By late afternoon on Thursday, it had amassed a staggering $338,650.

"God bless you, Karen!!" said one post on the site, signed Rachel. "I don't know how you handled yourself with such grace in such a horrible situation."

"It completely broke my heart, and I knew I had to contribute," says another post, signed Caroline.

Klein told television broadcaster NBC that she had been picked on before by her young charges.

"They just could be really nasty," she said. "I want the boys punished but I don't know how."

As for the outpouring of support, Klein said she was "amazed."

"I've got, I don't know, the nicest letters, emails, Facebook messages," she said. "And it's like, wow, there's a whole world out there that I didn't know. It's just really awesome."

School authorities, meanwhile, have said the four students involved in the taunting would be disciplined.

The underaged harassers, whose names and phone numbers surfaced online, were also getting a dose of unwanted attention from the public.

Greece Police Captain Steve Chatterton told AFP that one student's cell phone had 700 threatening messages.

"We are trying to get people to stop because it really serves no purpose," the chief said, adding it was no different from the bullying on the bus.


Microsoft finally Surfaces in tablet market

After seeming to have tabled its tablet dreams, ceding the market to Apple and Google, Microsoft has surfaced, literally. It has announced its entry into the mobile market -- the Surface. But tucked away below the surface were unannounced details such as price and battery life.

What we did learn was that the Surface comes in two different flavors -- for Windows RT and for Windows Pro. The RT version is in both 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte orientations.

Some of the distinctive features of the 9.3-millimeter Surface is its magnesium case with a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass display. On the back, a kickstand is integrated, breaking up the seamless lines just a bit. The Wi-Fi-enabled Surface weighs in at 1.5 pounds, which is a hair heavier than the iPad (1.44 pounds). It also connects via USB 2.

PHOTOS: The Microsoft Surface

The tablet, complete with Office, is touted as fully-functional as a Windows desktop, with specs that rival many ultrabooks on the market today, including the latest Intel CPU. Surface has the standard front and rear cameras.

"It was important that the Windows software could rise to the surface," said Panos Panay, the products' designer.

The screen features digitizers for both touch and digital ink, and the pen magnetically tucks away into the top of the tablet.

Something that is reminiscent but with a twist are the magnetic smart covers to go with the Surface tablets. The covers appear very similar in basic function to Apple's smart covers, but the twist comes with a virtual keyboard on the Touch Cover and a tactile keyboard on the Type Cover.

As names go, it's not something that immediately triggers that gotta-have-it reaction, but then neither did iPad initially.

Microsoft said it focused on details as intricate as the sound of the kickstand. "We really wanted to get the sound right, so you get that visceral feeling, that emotional attachment," said Panos.

The question remains how the public will receive this late entry.

"It's a bold challenge against Apple, but a lot will depend on the details of price, battery life, ecosystem," said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. "It will be interesting to see how their licensees react when they discover they are competing with Microsoft as well as Apple."


Suu Kyi gets rock star treatment, courtesy of star-struck Bono

DUBLIN - Aung San Suu Kyi received a rock star welcome in Ireland Monday, with U2 singer Bono among those performing at a concert to honor the Myanmar democracy icon after flying in with her on his private jet.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi took to the stage with Bono to receive a prize from Amesty International at the rights group's "Electric Burma" concert in a packed Dublin theatre. She was met with cheers and a standing ovation.

Bono thanked her for being there, saying: "We know there are many many other places you could be and we understand the signal your presence here sends out and we are humbled, we are grateful."

"It is one of the great ironies that by your confinement, the world has become your home. Dublin is your world this evening."

Suu Kyi sat alongside Bono - who has long supported Suu Kyi's freedom struggle and dedicated the song "Walk On" to her - after the pair travelled from Oslo, Norway, where they had co-hosted a peace forum.

"To receive this award is to remind me that 24 years ago I took on duties from which I shall never be relieved but you have given me the strength to carry out," Suu Kyi said in reply.

"I have discovered how much more people care. I had not expected this. I had not known how much they cared. This has come as a surprise to me and a very moving one."

The concert opened with Ireland's Riverdance troupe performing against an atmospheric set designed to look like a nocturnal beach scene.

Bono's fellow rock star-activist Bob Geldof then took to the stage, saying: "You actually honor us by being finally here with us."

Ambassador of Conscience Award

Suu Kyi received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award, the rights group's most prestigious prize, after performances from world artists including Benin singer Angelique Kidjo and US rapper Lupe Fiasco.

She won the award in 2009 but was under house arrest in Myanmar at the time so could not collect it.

The concert also featured a recorded message from Dave Lee Travis, the British DJ nicknamed the "Hairy Cornflake", who Suu Kyi has said kept her spirits up during her time under house arrest.

Myanmar comedian-activist Zarganar, another of the performers, said he spent almost 11 years in prison in his country "because of making jokes".

Bono, wearing his trademark black glasses, wrapped up the event with a performance of "Walk On", followed by U2's "One".

In Dublin, Suu Kyi also met with Irish President Michael D. Higgins.

After the concert at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, thousands of people were expected at an open-air event where Suu Kyi will be given the Freedom of the City of Dublin, some 12 years after she was named for the honour.

She is expected to address the crowds, who will sing "happy birthday" to her a day before she turns 67.

An emotional Suu Kyi delivered her Nobel lecture at Oslo City Hall on Saturday, more than two decades after receiving the peace prize awarded to her in 1991 for her "non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights".

She was also unable to accept it at the time.

After visiting Ireland, Suu Kyi's 17-day European tour takes her to Britain on Tuesday.

Birthday in Oxford

She will celebrate her birthday in the southern English town of Oxford, where she studied at the prestigious university and lived for several years with her late English husband, Michael Aris.

Oxford University, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics and met Tibet expert Aris, will award her with an honorary degree on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Suu Kyi is to address both houses of parliament in London in a rare honor for a foreign dignitary, as well as meet Prime Minister David Cameron and heir to the throne Prince Charles.

Suu Kyi's tour, which also takes in Switzerland and France, is her first trip to Europe for 24 years.

It has been clouded by continued violence in western Myanmar where dozens of people have been killed and more than 30,000 people displaced by clashes between Buddhist Rakhines and stateless Muslim Rohingya.


Red Hot Chili Peppers Prep Singles Series

The Red Hot Chili Peppers plan to release 18 unheard songs from the sessions that produced their latest album, I'm With You, over the next six months.

Starting on August 14th with the release of "Strange Man" and "Long Progression," the group will make each installment available both digitally and as a 7-inch vinyl. "Magpies" and "Victorian Machinery" will follow on September 11th.

"Some songs seem to have a lot more of an agenda than others," said Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer in a statement. "Some songs play well with others and some songs need more attention and a little extra care. Here are some songs that seemed to want to pair up and take a later train. Keep your eye on them, they're up to something . . ."

Each 7-inch will also feature cover artwork from Kelsey Brookes, whose radiant, energetic pieces stem from a background in microbiology, surf culture and folk art. According to the statement, fans will also be able to combine all nine of the 7-inch records released in order to create a larger piece of artwork.

These won't be the only unique releases from RHCP this year: Following their recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the group announced a covers EP that found them recording songs by other inductees including Neil Young, the Beach Boys and Iggy & the Stooges. The band is currently touring the world in support of I'm With You, their tenth studio record.

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Dream come true

Aaron Enrick Gernarde, 18, had mixed feelings when he heard the news that President Obama is putting an end to the deportation of undocumented students.

“Sana green card na agad,” he was exuberant at first and skeptical next. “Is that a sure thing. And then what?”

Aaron and his family came to the country on tourist visas when he was 10. He studied at Flushing High School in Queens, played basketball in the park around his neighborhood and pledged allegiance to the American flag. He’s all-American but not on paper.

Aware of his family’s immigration status, he said he was afraid to go out of the house, even to go to school. Pulitzer Award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’ act of outing himself as an undocumented immigrant inspired him, he said.

Aaron is among the estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who will be given the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. without the fear of deportation. Obama signed an executive order on June 15 allowing so-called Dream Act children to stay in the country without fear of being deported and enable them to find jobs. The government denied it is an act of amnesty and maintained it is “not a grant of citizenship.”

“This is a new policy that grants deferred action to undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children and who have been raised and educated as Americans in the U.S.,” explained lawyer Guerrero Yee. “This policy will allow thousands of eligible persons between the ages of 15 and 30 years old to apply for deferred action and U.S. work authorization in two-year renewable increments.”

Many Filipino Americans welcomed the news.

“President Obama is finally standing up for issues that he believes in,” said professor of psychology Kevin Nadal. “So although people may accuse him of vocalizing these positions merely for votes, I actually admire him for standing up finally for social justice.”

“We do have students who will benefit from this policy,” community college professor Suzanne Lansangan-Sabangan told The FilAm. “After all it is not their fault that they got here in the first place.”

Immigrant rights organizer Christina Baal said President Obama should be applauded.

“This is really a happy day. We in the immigrants’ rights and labor community are celebrating the entry of talented and energetic youth into our workforce,” she said.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations or NaFFAA commended journalist Jose Antonio Vargas for “taking great risks in calling attention to the plight of these young people.”

“As Vargas puts it, ‘They grew up here, they were educated here, and they have so much to give back to the country they call home,’” NaFFAA said in a statement.

The organization reiterated its call for Congress to pass the DREAM Act and “end the nightmare of a generation of young people who are Americans and deserve to have the basic rights that all Americans enjoy.”


Google launches cultural map of Brazil’s Amazon tribe

RIO DE JANEIRO – Google on Saturday unveiled a cultural map of Brazil’s Surui indigenous people, a digital tool that will help the Amazonian tribe share their vast knowledge of the forest and fight illegal logging.

The map, the result of a five-year partnership between Surui chief Almir and the US technology giant, was released online for the first time at a business forum held on the sidelines of the UN Rio+20 conference on sustainable development here.

The map, a collection of pictures and videos mapping historical sites and offering 3-D visualization of Surui territory in the northwestern Brazilian state of Rondonia, is available on the site as well as on Google Earth.

Donning a multi-colored feather headdress, chief Almir hailed the project that “shows the value of our culture to the world through Google.”

Almir, who proposed the idea of the map to Google during a visit to the United States five years ago, told a press conference that he was particularly proud of the contribution Surui youths made to the project, including narration.

“We really believe that this is ground-breaking, ground-breaking for Google,” said Rebecca Moore, Google Earth Outreach leader. “The Surui people and Google worked together to bring the story of the forest to the global community.”

Almir said his 1,300-strong tribe plans to use the map as well as Android smartphones provided by Google to monitor and denounce illegal logging around its territory.

Moore said that by developing the map Google now had a methodology that can be used to help other indigenous peoples around the world, including in Canada and New Zealand.

Almir said his goal was to raise awareness of the need for a sustainable use of the forests.

“We understand the forest, Google understands the technology and we have established a partnership for the good of the forest,” he said.


Ringo Starr's Birthplace Saved from Demolition

Ringo Starr's birthplace in Liverpool has been saved from the threat of demolition, the Telegraph reports. The house, a run-down three-bedroom Victorian terrace, was one of 400 buildings marked for demolition in the Dingle area of Liverpool, but Beatles fans and city residents have successfully lobbied to save the house, along with 15 others in the area. The Liverpool City Council has agreed to give locals the opportunity to fix up the properties.

The Liverpool City Council initially resisted efforts to preserve the house because Starr only lived at the location with his family for three months as an infant. The National Trust of England decreed that the house did not merit saving because of his brief stay there at a very early age, and that they simply did not have the means to acquire more than a dozen houses where the Beatles lived as children.


Les Paul Auction Raises Nearly $5 Million, Fetches Record-Setting Prices for Guitars

An auction of Les Paul's guitars and his other memorabilia raised nearly $5 million. The sale of the music instruments owned by the godfather of electric guitar additionally pulled in record-setting prices for guitars, according to Julien's Auctions of Beverly Hills.

A 1982 Gibson Les Paul, a rare prototype recording model, was sold for $180,000. Meanwhile, a 1951 Fender No-Caster helped raise $216,000, a 1940s Epiphone Zephyr a.k.a "Klunker #3" fetched $144,000, and a 1927 Gibson L5 sunburst guitar went under the hammer for $87,500.

Other items which were up for sales included a collection of Les Paul research notes ($28,125) and a Les Paul recording console ($106,250). A sign for the Les Paul Iridium Club and a custom license plate were auctioned off at the two-day sale as well.

The auction concluded on Saturday, June 9 on what would have been the late musician's 97th birthday. It benefited the Les Paul Foundation that supports music education, engineering, innovation and medical research.

Les Paul died from complications of pneumonia at the age of 94 in August 2009. He was well known for being a pioneer of recording techniques and inventing one of the world's most widely played guitars, the Gibson Les Paul. Along with his wife Mary Ford, he enjoyed a string of hits in the 1940s and 1950s that included "Mockin' Bird Hill" and "How High the Moon".


Cruise Doubts He Could Sell Rock Star Act In Film

MANILA, Philippines --- Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise once thought he wouldn’t be able to convince the public of his portrayal of fictional rock star Stacee Jaxx in the film version of “Rock of Ages.”

During the early days of filming, Cruise confided to director Adam Shankman that if he could not sing the part, he wouldn’t be up for it.

Recalled Shankman, “There was a moment when we were looking at each other and Tom said, ‘Well, what if I can’t sell this? Because I won’t do it if it’s not me singing.’ With everything he does, from stunts to performing in front of an audience, it has to be him doing it.

“He believes his audience has come to expect that, and why bother doing it otherwise? But this is what he loves. He loves making movies and he wants to be really good, so he works harder than anybody at it.”

But Cruise went to great lengths to pull the rock star stunt. Instead of concentrating on cuts of his muscles, which he usually does in his action films, Cruise zeroed in on his vocal capacity. He would later realize that he can in fact sing very well. Yes, even that belting part, Cruise did well, all by himself, in “Rock of Ages.”

“From the moment he signed on, Tom started training his voice with an incredible vocal coach, Ron Anderson,” said Shankman.

“I remember the first time we heard him sing. He’s got this outrageous, four-octave range – turns out he has opera singers in his ancestry, so he’s probably genetically predisposed to sing, but no one’s ever asked him to before. I’m just the lucky recipient of this revelation, I suppose.”

The filmmaker confessed to feeling of relief when he found out Cruise could really pipe out songs because he had always wanted a Hollywood biggie to play Stacee Jaxx. “The joy at having discovered that he can sing was a huge relief.” Shankman admitted.

In the plot, “Stacee Jaxx is the rock god that every guy wants to be and that every woman wants to bed. The lead singer of Arsenal, Stacee is at a turning point in his career, and in his life. He’s about to go solo, and his final show with the band is at The Bourbon Room.

It’s a homecoming of sorts, as he played his first gig there back in the day. But fame and fortune may have come too easily to the front man who, after years of indulgence, has become boozed up and blasé to the point of bored, and less than reliable when it comes to showing up for his own shows.”

Shankman looked back at how his casting dream became a reality: “I was thinking to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we got one of the biggest movie stars in the world to play one of the biggest rock stars in the world?’ As luck would have it, I ran into Tom Cruise, told him I was directing this movie, that it was a musical, and that I was going to offer him this part. He said, ‘Are you serious?’ I said I was. Then I described Stacee to him and he laughed really hard. The next thing I knew, he was in, and I was making a musical with Tom Cruise.”

Luckily for the “Hairspray” director, Cruise exceeded expectations: “Tom is a rock god because he brings all of the star power that comes along with being Tom Cruise, and he’s found a character that audiences have never seen before.”

However, Cruise is not the only A-lister lending star power to the film, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones are also on board as well as Russell Brand, Paul Giamati an Malin Akerman.

The New Line Cinema production distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures opens June 14.


Def Leppard and Poison Take Over Hollywood for 'Rock of Ages' Premiere

The Eighties-themed musical Rock of Ages had its star-studded premiere in Hollywood last night, bringing out cast members like Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Brand as well as a wide array of Eighties rockers, from REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin to Lita Ford.

Those veterans of the Sunset Strip music scene were right at home. "It's not 2012 tonight," MC Riki Rachtman told the star-studded crowd, taking everyone back to the days of big hair and big hooks. And for one night it was 1987 again as the makeshift "Bourbon Club," the fictional venue that serves as the center of the movie, delivered pyrotechnic-laden sets from a "fired-up" Bret Michaels with Poison and Def Leppard.

"To be here with Catherine, Tom and everyone and having a party, that’s an awesome day," Bret Michaels told Rolling Stone. "And the fact that it’s with Def Leppard, my friends, I’m in my natural environment."

Def Leppard also felt comfortable, though guitarist Phil Collen noted that some musicians get nervous at this kind of high-profile gig. "They go, 'Oh my god, look who’s over there,'" he said. As for Collen, he loves being the center of attention. "I’m really cool with it. In fact when we’ve had like Jimmy Page on the side of the stage, we’ve had everybody come down, I kind of ham it up and actually it works in my favor," he said. "[And] tonight, because we met Tom and he’s so super cool, I think it’s gonna be a blast."

"We were there when Tom sung his bits for 'Pour Some Sugar On Me,'" Joe Elliott added. "It was in Fort Lauderdale about a year ago. We just played West Palm Beach and they invited us to come and see him shoot it, that was very cool." Count Elliott among the many impressed with Cruise's transformation into a rock star. "He was great," Elliott said. "He got really kind of in deep with the project."

For many attendees, last night was also just a celebration of the era. "Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, we were all one big family," Lita Ford said. And it was also a chance to maybe get some vindication. After all, the Eighties hard rock scene has often been regarded as the bastard step-child of the time, maligned in the same way disco was lambasted in the Seventies.

But a big Hollywood film and hit Broadway musical based on the songs of the time gives the tunes more credibility. "I think right now we have empirical proof that this music is infinitely more enduring than people gave it credit for back then," director Adam Shankman told Rolling Stone.

That is music to the ears of some of those who have not been treated kindly by critics over the years. "When you see the longevity of it, it does kind of make people kind of go, 'You know what? REO Speedwagon didn’t suck as much as I thought they did,'" Kevin Cronin said. "'They still suck, but not as much as I thought.'”

Elliott believes that those who give the music a chance will find some gems. "We don’t need a film to vindicate the fact that the Eighties had its moments," he said. "So many people knock it, Lou Reed fans and Loudon Wainwright fans, whatever, they have a go at the Sunset Strip and say, 'Oh, it’s awful.' There is some good stuff. For people brave enough to be honest, you’ll find there’s a lot of great music in the Eighties."


Bradley shocks the world with split decision over Pacquiao

Unbeaten American Timothy Bradley ended Manny Pacquiao’s 15-fight winning streak with a controversial split decision victory over the Filipino ring icon on Saturday.

Judge Jerry Roth scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao, while C.J. Ross and Duane Ford both saw it 115-113 for Bradley, even though it appeared Pacquiao hurt Bradley throughout the fight — particularly with his straight left hand.

Pacquiao fell to 54-4-2 with 38 wins inside the distance, suffering his first defeat since he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Erik Morales in March 2005.

Bradley improved to 29-0 with 12 wins inside the distance and seized Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

Pacquiao, a world champion in eight weight classes who is reckoned the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, said he thought he had done enough to win.

“Absolutely, yes,” he said during a post-bout interview, to cheers from the crowd.

“He’s a strong puncher, he rocked me a couple of times in the fight, but I held my ground and fought to the end,” Bradley said. “This is boxing.

“Every round was pretty close. Pacquiao won some of the early rounds. I controlled the later rounds with my jab.

“I need to go home and review the tape,” he added.

Promoter Bob Arum called the decision “unfathomable” and “incomprehensible”.

“I want to congratulate Tim Bradley, he’s going to make a lot of money,” Arum said. “But I want to say I have never been ashamed as much to be associated with the sport of boxing as I am tonight.”

Bradley came out aggressive and got the better of the exchanges early in the first round before Pacquiao hurt the American with three straight lefts late in the round.

Pacquiao continued to get to Bradley with the straight left in the second and third rounds, connecting also with some right hooks to the body and the occasional over-hand left.

Bradley stayed in front of him and kept punching but didn’t appear to be hurting the champion.

In the fourth Pacquiao hurt Bradley with a series of blows. After one exchange that included a left to Bradley’s jaw the American stumbled back.

Pacquiao rocked Bradley with another left to the head in the fifth and in the sixth backed Bradley into the ropes, unleashing a barrage that included a strong right hook to the body.

A tenacious Bradley continued to challenge Pacquiao, and it was Bradley’s work in the final three rounds that turned the tide for the judges, even though by then he was complaining to his corner of pain in his right foot, which he had twisted in an earlier round.

Bradley appeared at the post-fight press conference in a wheelchair.

The announcement of the result was greeted by boos from the pro-Pacquiao crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, and sons Manny jnr and Michael — watching their father fight in Las Vegas for the first time — looked stunned.

However, Pacquiao wasn’t prepared to criticize the judging.

“It’s part of the game,” said the fighter, who earned a controversial majority decision of his own over Juan Manuel Marquez in November to keep his winning streak intact.

Arum said Saturday’s decision was more of a shocker than Pacquiao’s narrow win over Marquez.

“It was close, everybody said it was close,” Arum said of Pacquiao-Marquez. “This wasn’t really a close fight.”


‘Tired, worn out’ Pacquiao will lose, says underdog Bradley

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – World champion Manny Pacquiao says he’s rejuvenated in body as well as spirit, but challenger Timothy Bradley says the Filipino ring icon is primed for a fall when they meet on Saturday.

“He’s worn out, tired, I can see it in his eyes, the wrinkles,” says Bradley, a 5-1 underdog despite his unbeaten record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts.

“This boy’s not ready for me.”

Pacquiao and Bradley weighed in on Friday before a raucous crowd of about 4,000 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight world title will be on the line.

Pacquiao weighed in at 147 pounds (66.67kg) — the heaviest he’s been at a weigh-in.

In comparison, Pacquiao weighed in at just 144.6 pounds (65.58kg) when he fought Antonio Margarito in a super welterweight title bout fought at a catch-weight of 150 pounds (68.03kg) in 2010.

Bradley tipped the scales at 146 pounds (66.22 kg) and the challenger, who has presented a relaxed front in the build-up to the bout, was all-business at the weigh-in, scowling and moving in on Pacquiao in the photo-op staredown.

When Bradley gave an aggressive jerk of his chin, Pacquiao seemed to struggle to suppress a smile.

“I’m smiling,” Pacquiao said. “I’m happy.”

While Pacquiao is the favorite, he has, indeed, been doubted by pundits who point to his unconvincing majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in November, along with such signs of weakness as debilitating leg cramps in his more recent fights.

“I’m ready for war,” Bradley declared after the weigh-in in front of a pro-Pacquiao crowd. “Don’t matter getting booed. None of these people are going to be in the ring. It’s going to be me and Manny at the end of the night.

“I’m set out to prove everybody wrong.”

Pacquiao — who has won titles in eight weight classes and boasts a record of 54-3 with two drawn and 38 knockouts — has said his preparations for his last Marquez fight were hampered by marital strife, a thing of the past now that he has re-dedicated himself to God and spends his time in Bible study rather than gambling, drinking and womanizing.

“They’re as happy as can be,” trainer Freddie Roach said Thursday of Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee. “He’s in a much better place than he was before his last fight.”

While promoter Bob Arum has characterized Pacquiao’s life as “careening off the rails” prior to his spiritual re-awakening, Roach seemed to think things weren’t that bad.

“He just got caught up in the limelight a little bit,” Roach said. “He took a step back and looked at his life and didn’t like it — and he changed.”

Roach said the change has carried over into the gym, but Bradley sounded a skeptical note this week.

“He’s here, he’s there, he’s fornicating and now he’s got his religion in place,” Bradley said. “I don’t have to throw religion in people’s face.”

Whatever the truth of Pacquiao’s spiritual quest and its impact on his physical abilities, Bradley’s trainer, Joel Diaz, said Saturday’s fight will come down to ring skills, pure and simple.

Diaz said that’s what will give his fighter a chance in what Bradley has acknowledged is the biggest bout of his life.

“Manny is a one-dimensional fighter,” Diaz claimed. “He unloads a lot of punches, but he’s reckless.

“He doesn’t focus on his defense. You can counterpunch him all night long. And Timothy’s a brawler who can move his feet and be smart enough to make any changes he needs to in there.”

Roach, not surprisingly, begs to differ.

He says Bradley isn’t a slick counterpuncher and won’t be able to match Pacquiao’s quickness.

“He’s the same fighter he was as an amateur,” Roach said of Bradley. “He makes the same mistakes. We’re going to take advantage of them.”


Singer Sheryl Crow unfazed by benign brain tumor

LOS ANGELES – Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year but she does not worry about it because it is benign, the singer-songwriter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In a story posted on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday, Crow, whose hits include “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun,” said the tumor was discovered when she went to a hospital to be tested because she was experiencing memory loss.

“I haven’t really talked about it,” she told the newspaper’s nightclub and entertainment reporter Doug Elfman, “In November, I found out I have a brain tumor. But it’s benign, so I don’t have to worry about it. But it gives me a fit.”

A representative for the singer was not immediately available for comment.

Crow told the Review-Journal that she has a history of memory loss dating back to the 1990s when she forgot the lyrics to her hit “A Change Would Do You Good” while singing in a show in Las Vegas.

“I worried about my memory so much that I went and got an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). And I found out I have a brain tumor,” she said. “And I was like, ‘See? I knew there was something wrong.”

She made headlines in May when she forgot words to “Soak Up the Sun” at a show in St. Petersburg, Florida. Onstage at the time, she joked, “I’m 50. What can I say!”

Crow, who has two children, was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2006, which was successfully treated that year.


John Mayer: Taylor Swift Song 'Made Me Feel Terrible'

Taylor Swift has never confirmed whether her song "Dear John" is about John Mayer, but the musician certainly thinks it is – and he's not a fan.

"It made me feel terrible," Mayer, 34, tells Rolling Stone in its latest issue.

"Because I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do."

Swift, 22, is known for writing songs about her exes, and in "Dear John," she sings, "Don't you think I was too young to be messed with?"

The song appears on the country superstar's 2010 album Speak Now, which was released shortly after she was briefly linked to Mayer.

Mayer himself recently issued a mea culpa regarding interviews he gave revealing intimate details of his relationships with Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston.

Of Swift's song, he tells Rolling Stone: "I never got an e-mail. I never got a phone call. I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I'd already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you've ever been, someone kicked you even lower?"

Mayer also apparently takes issue with Swift as a musician.

"As a songwriter … I think it's kind of cheap songwriting," he tells Rolling Stone. "I know she's the biggest thing in the world, and I'm not trying to sink anybody's ship, but I think it's abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, 'Wait till he gets a load of this!' That's bull––––."


Foo Fighters Drummer Will Play Iggy Pop in 'CBGB'

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins will portray Iggy Pop in the forthcoming film CBGB, the Hollywood Reporter confirms. This will be Hawkins' first significant acting role, though he has had comedic roles in a handful of Foo Fighters videos. It's unclear how substantial the role will be – there's a good chance that it's a small part and Hawkins was cast in part because he somewhat resembles the Stooges rocker in his prime.

Other parts in the film have been cast as well, including The Borgias actress Mickey Sumner as Patti Smith, The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki as Television manager Terry Ork, Malin Akerman as Blondie singer Debbie Harry and Rupert Grint as Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome. Alan Rickman will star as Hilly Kristal, the owner of the famous punk rock hot spot.

Philippine bank in $1 billion rights issue

MANILA, Philippines -- BDO Unibank, the Philippines' largest lender, launched a record $1 billion rights offer Tuesday, as it looks to boost its capital base to comply with new global banking rules due to come into effect.

The bank, controlled by the Philippines' richest man Henry Sy, said in a statement it will sell 895.2 million common shares to existing shareholders at 48.60 pesos ($1.12) per share.

The offer will run from June 18 to 27 but will only be available to those who hold BDO stock as of June 7, said its chairwoman, the shopping mall tycoon's daughter Teresita Sy.

"This capital raising is intended to support the growth and expansion of the bank amidst the positive sentiment on the economy," Teresita Sy said in the statement.

"At the same time (it will) strengthen the bank's capital position in anticipation of new Basel III requirements," she said.

Existing shareholders will be entitled to buy one share for every three they already own.

BDO Unibank closed 0.15 percent higher on Tuesday at 65.05 pesos.

The additional shares have been given a tentative listing date of July 4.

The move comes as the so-called Basel III rules mandating banks increase their capital-to-assets ratios, which are designed to avert another crisis like that seen in 2008, are set to be rolled out from next year.

The new rules will require banks to raise their high-quality core capital to 7.0 percent of total assets from the current 2.0 percent.


Neil Young Enlists Shepard Fairey for 'Americana' Visuals

For his new album with Crazy Horse, Americana, Neil Young asked artist Shepard Fairey to create paintings to represent each of the record's 11 songs. The series of works premiered in L.A. last night at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery and will be on display there starting this week through July 14th.

"We discovered a lot of depth in these songs and the visuals of these are just amazing," Young told Rolling Stone. "'Clementine' is so deep with its original verses and this art, you really get a feeling for the tenseness and desperation of the situation, the unresolved death and longing."

Fairey's work brought out a lot in the songs that Young believes he might not have seen otherwise. "Almost every one of them had a view that was unique to me," he said. "I wouldn’t have thought of it."

Young and Fairey have worked together before, when Fairey included Young in his May Day project, a series of portraits of some of his heroes from different walks of life, in 2010. As a result of that painting Fairey did of Young, the rocker asked Fairey to design the packaging for the 25th anniversary of the Bridge School, Young's annual Bay Area benefit.

Given their past history, this project was very much a collaboration between the two. "We talked about them. If he didn’t have an idea or he was wondering, we talked and between the two of us we came up with concepts for them," Young said. "Some of them he knew exactly what he wanted to do and they were great and I just kept saying yes."

For Fairey, the project was a labor of love. "I’m just really excited I got to do this because I love Neil’s music and I love the way that music affects people viscerally and inspires them to look deeper into the meaning of the songs," Fairey said.

Both of them are hoping to get people to reexamine songs they think they know. Americana is made up of 11 standards, from "Oh Susanna" and "Clementine" to "This Land Is Your Land" and "Wayfarin' Stranger." But Young says these aren't the songs people think they are.

"We had to bring back the original words. Everybody’s forgotten what the songs are about in the first place in their kind of rabid celebration of the beauty of the songs and the lightness of some of the verses," Young said. "They took away the counterpoints the songs were a house for, and so the songs weren’t as strong. And now with the original verses back in and the art that reflects the tension of the original message, we’ve worked on it and made a different thing out of it."

Those words were music to Fairey's ears. "I’m so glad to hear that from Neil. We discussed some of that, but I almost didn’t want to press on all my political views just in case we disagreed," Fairey said, eliciting strong laughter from both himself and Young at that last part. "But my reading into a lot of the songs was it was very relevant to the struggle reflected in [John] Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, which people are saying this recession is the most serious thing since the Great Depression and a lot of the same dynamics are at play, so I felt like it was very relevant."

The works will live outside of the gallery. In addition to being the centerpiece for the recent 40-minute short film Young did to promote Americana, which finds the rocker visiting a gallery in search of images to accompany his book America, the paintings will also join Young and Crazy Horse on the road. "The art will be the backdrop for this short tour that we’re doing," Young said of the upcoming Americana dates, which he described as "really a very short tour."

And beyond the next tour, he sees this partnership continuing in some way. "We’re both moving pretty quickly in our lives right now, but we’ve had a good time collaborating on this and I’m sure there are gonna be more opportunities for this."

Axl Rose Now - Is Anybody Still Listening?

W. Axl Rose was one of the most powerful and polarizing figures in popular music in the late '80's and early '90's. When "Appetite for Destruction" exploded on the rock scene in 1987, Rose and the rest of G 'n' R were leading the hard rock pack. The "Appetite" lineup imploded far too quickly, and by the mid-'90's, Axl was the only one left. Now, well into the second decade of the 21st Century, the voice behind hits like "Welcome to the Jungle", "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Paradise City" is still screaming into the wind. But is anyone paying attention? Or have the intervening decades put up a smokescreen of grunge, hip-hop, teen pop, boy bands, emo and reality TV that Rose's roar can't cut through?

The artist originally known as Bill Bailey infamously broke with his band mates and kept Guns 'n' Roses going with all new members. This might not have caused the controversy it did if Axl didn't take an astonishing 15 years to release the first album with the new Guns, the long-awaited "Chinese Democracy". But all this begs the question - after so much time, and without the band that made "Appetite" arguably the best hard rock album of the '80's, is anyone still listening?

I guess the first thing to say here is that, in my opinion, "Chinese Democracy" is a damn good record. It's uneven in places, to be sure, and stylistically, it's all over the map. It's also no "Appetite", but that's not a fair comparison. I also don't know if it's worth waiting 15 years for, but few things are. Axl's voice hits like a freaking hurricane, though, and some of the songs are nothing short of amazing ("If the World", "This I Love", "Street of Dreams"). How good the record is really isn't the point, though. The point is whether or not anybody cares.

The album's sales indicate somebody must. It was certified platinum, and with the current state of the music industry, I'd say that's the equivalent of at least double platinum twenty years prior. Sure, it's a long way from Guns at their peak, but platinum is still nothing to sneeze at. Ecstatic audiences have packed auditoriums around the globe and generally been treated to amazing, marathon performances (albeit ones that frequently fail to start on time). Rose may not be at the epicenter of what's happening in music today, and, even amongst fans, he may have lost the support of people who only want to hear the "Appetite" lineup. In an industry that seems to be in free fall, however, the man still seems to be enjoying remarkable success. More albums and more extensive touring in America could push that success to an even greater level. Hell, if the Gunners give it another five or ten years and then reunite, they could reap the benefits of truly legendary status, and their tours could be received like those of, say, the Rolling Stones.

If you're looking for current bands that embody the kind of musical recklessness that groups like G'n'R once did, I recommend checking out the Hard Ponys.
You can download a FREE song from them HERE!

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Band manager Richard Tan passes away

MANILA, Philippines -- Band manger Richard Y. Tan passed away early Sunday due to meningitis.

Tan is the manager of Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Gloc-9, Franco, Moonstar 88, Typecast, Hilera, The Youth and Chicosci under Backbeat Artist Management.

On June 2, artists took to social media networks to call for prayers for Tan after he was rushed to the hospital and confined to the intensive care unit.

Tan lost his battle at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, according to a report by MYX.

“The entire music industry is mourning his passing and remembers his valuable contribution to the music scene. He mentored and took care of some of the best rock bands in the industry today and has given his knowledge to a lot of young acts who also aspire to make it in the business,” the music channel said on its website.

Artists took to Twitter to give thanks to Tan.

“RIP Sir Richard Tan. Salamat sa lahat ng naitulong mo sa amin, directly and indirectly. May you rest in peace,” said “It’s Showtime” host and Itchyworms member Jugs Jugueta.

“Woke up on our roadtrip wondering about Richard Tan's condition. Saddened by the news. Rest in peace, sir. We will miss you greatly,” said Rico Blanco.

“You have no idea how much I gained from that little talk we had. Thanks. You will be missed,” tweeted Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon.

“Prayers for the quiet man behind some of the biggest bands this country will ever see. You'll be missed terribly, good sir,” said former Sugarfree lead vocalist Ebe Dancel.

“Sad and shocking news for the music industry. Another important figure passed away,” said Tanya Markova.

Music industry stalwarts also took time to remember Tan.

Jim Ayson, who pioneered Pinoy music on the Internet, called Tan “one of the nicest guys and gentlest souls in the Pinoy band scene.”

“Richard was a really nice guy, we'll miss him,” Ayson said.

“Thanks for the music. You truly rocked,” said Andrew Santiago, station manager of radio station Magic 89.9.

Gang Badoy, one of the founders of RockEd, said, “Woke up to such sad news. One gentleman I admire passed away. Rest in peace, Richard Tan, nurturer of talent, protector of artists' dreams.”


Amy Winehouse's Family Puts Late Singer's Home On The Market

Amy Winehouse's family is continuing to move on from the tragic passing of the talented British soul singer by putting her north London home up for sale.

“The Winehouses have decided to put the house on the market, with great regret,” a spokesman for the family told Reuters via email.

The Winehouses note that it simply didn't feel right for any of them to reside there. “Amy loved that house but none of the family felt it appropriate that they should live in it and it was not practical to keep it empty while paying the costs of its upkeep,” they explained.

Fans of Winehouse have ventured to the Camden property to show their respects for the late, great singer. They even transformed a nearby square into a shrine in the days following her untimely death.

Various newspaper reports suggest that the three-bedroom home is currently on the market for £2.7 million (or $4.2 mill for we Americans).

Winehouse’s final album Lioness: Hidden Treasures was released posthumously last December and contains a collection of unheard tracks that feature the likes of Nas and Tony Bennet. Winehouse seemed to have had a profound impact on Nas.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling to do something with her now that she’s not here. I’m happy… the sweet part is that we have the music, fans have new music from her,” he explained. “It’s new because they’ve never heard it. The bitter part is that she’s no longer here to really give it to us and to really live her music and for us to see her smile and hear her voice."

The rapper also recalls his fond memories of hanging with the songstress in the studio, saying, “She was hilarious, man. She would make you laugh. To her, music came so easy.”