Gina Gershon: In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind

•November 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s no fun losing your pet, but for Gina Gershon it was a life changer. Roughly 10 years ago, the actress known for such movies as Bound, Face/Off and most recently Killer Joe, came home from the Cannes film festival to find that her assistant ( Cassandra with a star at the end of her name) no longer had her cat Cleo in her care. Apparently, the ex staffer had taken the kitty to a dog groomer, which scared Cleo so much that he ran away. “So many people were like, ‘Oh just get another cat.’ But oh my God, I just fell apart. I was heartbroken,” Gershon says from New York, where she currently lives. “I got to the point where I thought I was going crazy. I was so desperate to have him back. I didn’t realize how insane it all was until later.”

Her book, In Search of Cleo: How I Found My Pussy and Lost My Mind (Gotham Books, $22.50) chronicles the 2½ month period it took to find the black cat, searching the streets of Los Angeles and meeting with random strangers who claimed to have him (there was a sweet $1,000 reward). Gershon, 50, encountered various impostors  She was initially fooled a few times by copycats, which was devastating. “After you’ve had your heart broke a couple of times you kind of shut down.”

In Search of Cleo is also a metaphor for the men in Gershon’s life. The sexy singleton interweaves past boyfriends into the story, like an unnamed designer Gershon hooked up with Hong Kong. She was convinced he was her soul mate and husband in another life until he revealed he was married. “I wasn’t sure that [experience] belonged in there,” Gershon admits. “But the book is just a trippy journey about looking for love. If you’re open anything can happen, I suppose.”

In the last chapter, we read that “a large woman with short, cropped hair and pierced body parts” finally found Gershon’s dear feline, near the grooming place where he originally ran off. Gershon knew almost immediately: Cleo has a telltale spot on the roof on his mouth and a certain way he eats. Her one true love is still around. “He’s a very demanding, spoiled cat,” she admits. “He’s getting older now, he’s all brown and moving a little bit slower. But he still wakes me up in the morning with kisses.” Could another book be in the works? Doubtful. “It was important for me to tell my story but I’m not a writer,” she stresses. “I love writers, and I wish I were a really good one. My style was just keeping it in my own voice, even if there were run-on sentences. My favorite passages are the ones I wrote and never looked at again.”


Dead Confederate— Challenges Inspire

•October 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a few years of touring hard in the States and overseas, recent times have been seemingly low-key and quiet for a loud band like Dead Confederate. They’ve more or less remained off the radar for the last year. In this short time, the band adapted to their drummer leaving to start a family, learning to work with a handful of new drummers, and half of the remaining members getting married (not to each other). 2011 saw it’s fair share of music from them, although not the typical side of Dead Confederate: There were many solo performances from members, an expanded incarnation of the band that ventured out on minitours playing Neil Young’s Tonight’s The Night in it’s entirety and, most recently, the formation of Diamond Rugs (a “super group” featuring Dead Confederate’s Hardy Morris, Deer Tick’s John McCauley & Robbie Crowell, Black Lips’ Ian St Pe, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, and Brian Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite). It is in times like these that some bands discover what success really means to them. As the band began mixing their third, currently-untitled LP (this time in their home of Athens, GA with producer David Barbe), singer/guitarist Hardy Morris had this to say about Dead Confederate’s success— “I don’t think any of us have a desire for any kind of quote-unquote fame. All we want is to be able to make records. No one’s ever been looking to own Bentleys and swimming pools. We are happy calling ‘making records and playing shows’ our job. If you would have told me when I was a kid that I would have seen half the world and done a fraction of the stuff we’ve done, I would have called you crazy.”

Challenges and changes do nothing, if not inspire.

On their new album— “I think these songs are kind of a culmination of all the stuff we’ve done. I know for me, I wanted to approach this album like it was the last thing I was going to do; the last album I’d make. I knew that wasn’t the case, but that’s the mindset I held going in because I think, in some ways, that’s what people want to hear.  I know that’s what I want to hear… Songs that feel like it might be someone’s last breath. Some desperation, some personality. Not to say it’s going to be an exceptionally bleak album or anything, but most of the songs we’ve recorded for this album hold onto that darker, quasi-southern vibe we do. I think it has some similarities to both of our previous records, but in the end it will certainly be its own thing.”

Batman Trilogy Set— Out On December 4th

•October 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Dark Knight Rises arrives this holiday season onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on December 4th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. In the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Gotham City is threatened by the masked terrorist Bane, forcing Batman to return from an eight-year absence and fight for his city one more time. Also available will be the free The Dark Knight Rises app for IOS 5.0 or higher compatible devices including iPhone and iPad, and Samsung Galaxy devices including S2, S3, Note, Nexus and Tab (operating system requirements vary by device). Building upon the already available “TDKR: Gotham City’s Most Wanted” app, The Dark Knight Rises app will be updated in two phases. The first update, which will be available in late October, will include several interactive activities such as a photo application that will allow users to put themselves into a Tumbler, a video application that will allow users to insert a Tumbler into their personal videos, and more. The second update, which will be available on December 4th, will integrate second screen functionality into the app. It will allow users to sync compatible mobile devices with the Blu-ray disc via BD-Live enabled Blu-ray players connected to the same Local Area Network to access exclusive bonus content. The bonus content will include film location information, Gotham City maps, film trivia, photo galleries and “making of” featurettes. In addition, the second screen app controls playback of the film on your TV via Blu-ray player. “The Dark Knight Rises” app will be available through the iTunes store and Google Play.

The Dark Knight Rises will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and on single disc DVD for $28.98. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray and in standard definition on DVD. “The Dark Knight Rises” Blu-ray disc takes advantage of the marriage of IMAXÒ and 35mm formats by using the hybrid master to replicate the unique theatrical experience of integrated film formats. Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the single disc DVD include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*

Also available December 4th, just in time for holiday gift-giving, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset, featuring Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises all in one collection. Available on Blu-ray or standard definition DVD, The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset will also include a premium book exclusive to the collection, which takes fans deeper into the epic franchise, as well as existing special features. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment also plans to release The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition in 2013.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar winner Christian Bale (The Fighter) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The Dark Knight Rises also stars Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy as Bane; Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox. The screenplay is written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas , Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on Batman Begins and the record-breaking blockbuster The Dark Knight. The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker; Michael E. Uslan; Kevin De La Noy; Thomas Tull; with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics.

Internet Radio: Keeping Rad In Radio

•October 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

by Jeremy DeHavilland,

For years, Internet Radio had been a swirling, underground phenomenon that has now leapt out of hipster circles and permeated the global mainstream arena. Led by Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Spotify, 2011 saw the prominence of terrestrial (AM/FM) radio continue to show its gray hairs and crumble away in favor of the more convenient and technologically savvy product of Internet Radio. A plethora of car manufactures have committed to Internet Radio and have begun installing the technology into cars because Pandora Radio alone has had such high ratings in the 18 to 34 age demographic. This is a pretty amazing feat especially since the vast majority of radio listeners are work commuters who listen in on the terrestrial (AM/FM) radios that is optional with the majority of cars… along with satellite radio

Internet Radio provides advantages that terrestrial radio can’t touch. This has reinvigorated a medium that has been stale and painfully outdated for so long. Now there are droves of excited listeners flocking to it like teenagers to a prime time show on vampires. The first thing one notices right off the bat in listening to radio online is the CD-esque quality. Internet broadcasts don’t utilize the heavy compression used by terrestrial radio broadcasts that squash the bass and treble dynamics together in volume. This heightened spectral listening experience catches the highs and lows that were intended to express the emotional timbres of the artist. This superior sound quality also avoids being interfered with by static, because the broadcasts are global, not just regional. Beyond the technical aspects, the variety and selection of what is broadcast is much more expansive and free from the constrictions of the generic formats of traditional classic rock or oldies stations, while featuring much less commercial interruptions than its predecessor. Many stations have algorithms that can create qualitative suggestions based on previous user selections that transcend genres. Oh yes my friends, we can have Elvis, Bob Marley, and The Black Keys rocking out on the radio back to back to back!

Even with all of these clear technological advantages, the most intriguing part of Internet radio is in the boundless possibilities that are presented through the means of digital convergence that the web provides. The Internet has become the force that it is simply due to interchangeable mass media that allows us to intuitively shift between film, music, radio, and virtually any other medium on the same device. This opens up a new artistic frontier that allows new combinations of communication and entertainment that can arise from anyone who wishes to attempt something new. YouTube has memes that have made instant celebrities out of people broadcasting out of their bedrooms and now the sites and allow anyone to set up there own Internet Radio show while having milk and cookies in bed.

Blog Talk Radio allows people to host live web based broadcasts over the Internet with merely a computer and a phone. No downloads are required, just a password that lets you pick your time slot and a special number which allows your phone to connect to the broadcast and act as an on air microphone. CinchCast dumbs down the process even further by allowing its user to create pod casts with only the need of a RSS feed. So if you’re stuck in traffic flipping through the played out barrage of terrestrial radio commercials and screaming out the window that, “this sucks!”; now’s the time to log on and experience Internet Radio, or begin practicing your radio voice so when you get home you can bust out your music collection and start your very own show!

Born in London, England on the same day as the infamous Amityville murders, Jeremy DeHavilland has never strayed from the eye of the storm. Moving to New Jersey at a young age he was forced to forfeit his English accent in exchange for a license to fist pump. Jeremy is currently a composer & multimedia producer, who is an associate producer for and plays guitar in the popular San Diego based rock/punk band Comfort in Chaos.

Neon Trees— Slick Pop Hooks and Organic Rock

•October 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“I wanna shake up your system/I wanna rattle your bones/I wanna take you to the stars/And then I’ll leave you alone.” —Farther Down

Like their name, Neon Trees are a combination of slick pop hooks and sturdy organic rock, both melodic and hard-hitting, their anthems of adolescent angst, longing, love lost and found, delivered with the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve passion that only comes from hard work and commitment. Their Mercury Records debut, Habits, produced by friend, singer/guitarist Tim Pagnotta, is a refreshing blast of timeless rock energy and spirit that wouldn’t sound out of place at any point from ’60s garage-rock to 2010 dance rock, with the first single, Animal, taking off from a round of weaving, angular guitars into a song equally at home in the arena as on the dance floor, a paean to sexual longing in which singer/front man Tyler Glenn wails, “Take a bite of my heart tonight.,” and you have no reason to doubt his sincerity. Take hook-happy new wave, add to it the classic-rock story-telling humanity and leaven with other-worldly charisma, and you begin to understand the palette Neon Trees are working from. “I have this weird, obsessive nature of wanting to be a superhero,” admits Glenn, who cites his two favorite performers as the Boss and the King of Pop. “I just want to help my friends and the people I love by saving them, only to realize they’re really saving me by listening to the music. The songs are all about forgiveness, love and passion, which basically sums up the whole vibe of what we’re about as a band, professionally and spiritually.”

In the opening Sins of my Youth, Tyler reminisces about a childhood of trial, error and eventual self-discovery. “I’ve got these habits I cannot break… Call me crazy/I was born to make a mess.” Your Surrender takes Roy Orbison’s romantic plaint and sets it up against Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, while Girls and Boys in School speaks for itself, with a playground chant over a dark yet sing-along synth-pop chorus. Chris Allen has a quirky, edgy Johnny Marrr-meets—The Edge guitar playing while drummer Elaine Bradley drums with the intensity of John Bonham adding a heartbeat to the sensuality of the songs. “We’re all about songs which relate the human experience,” says Las Vegas native, bassist Branden Campbell. “The emotion is very important to us. Our logo is a human heart with wings. We try to keep it real, but we’re not afraid to dream, either, work hard and admit we want success.”

“We approach the songs from a classic perspective,” adds guitarist Chris Allen, who formed the initial group in Southern California with neighbor Tyler, who lived around the corner. “Even from the start, it was all about the music for us. We didn’t even talk to each other, just practiced.”

“I’ve always tried to keep my feet on the ground with my songwriting,” adds Tyler, a self-taught musician who began composing when he was six. “I try to focus on getting out what I’m thinking and feeling. It’s a tool to help me cope with all the weird things that come into my mind. I’m just happy to have found that outlet.” When Allen moved to Provo, UT, to attend school, Glenn followed him, knowing he wanted to play music with Allen. “That was a real awkward trip,” laughs Chris. “We drove all the way out there and hardly said a word to each other. All we knew was we wanted to play music together.” Once there, they were soon joined by Campbell on bass and drummer Bradley, a Midwestern Led Zeppelin/Depeche Mode fan, a combination that clicked despite the fact the individual members eventually discovered they were all very different people. ““We are all so fascinatingly different,” explains Bradley, who has been playing in bands since she was 14, first as a guitarist then as a drummer.

“Tyler’s the quirky serious type who is really a goofball. Branden’s the musical history encyclopedia. Chris is the manual labor. Being in this band is like an arranged marriage where divorce is not an option, and I’m okay with that.” Being signed to a major label hasn’t changed Neon Trees one bit. “Our goal and how we play are still the same,” insists Tyler. “We’ve always tried to evoke a larger-than-life feel, even if we’re playing to 10 people in a garage. We’re just trying to keep our feet on the ground and remember why we started doing this in the first place.”

“Music is a sacred act of communion for me, offering hope and love,” says Tyler. “That’s the heart of this band. Just like in life, though, you need to have fun, too, you have to laugh and dance and sing. The songs that last and get people to feel something are the ones they can sing along to and really identify with.

“There’s so much breath to what we do,” adds Elaine. “Every song represents a different aspect of our sound. We don’t stick to a single formula. And we have the goods to back it up live.”

“Our favorite thing is playing live shows, traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people,” adds Chris. “We just want to share that feeling we got from the bands that inspired us, and then We want to pass the torch.” With their major label debut, Habits, Neon Trees light the fire… or

There Will Be Some Who Will Not Fear Even That Void

•October 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There Will Be Some Who Will Not Fear Even That Void is an ecological film for the 21st century: part expedition documentary, part personal exploration of man’s relationship with nature. The film is a semi-fictional, sci-fi documentary, made as Director Saeed Taji Farouky’s love-letter to the Arctic. Shot over two and a half weeks on a tall ship as it sailed around Norway’s Arctic Svalbard Archipelago, There Will Be Some Who Will Not Fear Even That Void incorporates the stories, work and experiences of the 16 other artists aboard.

For more information, please visit the film’s website:

Director & Cinematographer: Saeed Taji Farouky
Producer: Marie-Therese Garvey
Co-Producer: John Arvid Berger (Jabfilm – Norway)
Editor: Gareth Keogh
Editorial Consultant: Jesper Osmund
Conceived by: Connor Dickie, Sarah Jane Pell (, Saeed Taji Farouky
Co-writers: Saeed Taji Farouky, Gareth Keogh, Marie-Therese Garvey,
Music Supervisor: Joe Lewis
Artistic Advisor: Camille Seaman (
In collaboration with: Anita Doron (
Distributor: DR Sales (Denmark –
Broadcasters: NRK (Norway)

This project is supported by:
The Royal Norwegian Embassy London (
Newertown (
Stama outdoor gear (
The London International Documentary Festival (
Planet Agents (
Hull Maritime Museum 
The Norwegian Club, London (

Portrait of a Filmmaker—Saeed Taji Farouky

•October 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Saeed Taji Farouky was born in the UK to Palestinian-Egyptian parents and grew up between London and various Middle Eastern cities. He is an award-winning human rights documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on underreported issues and marginalized communities. His films are concerned with transparency in documentary filmmaking, often referencing the relationship between subject and filmmaker. In 2011 he was awarded a Senior Fellowship at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) for his documentary work, and has previously been named Artist-in-Residence at the British Museum (twice) and at Tate Britain. Farouky is also a human rights educator with Amnesty and teaches filmmaking at London’s Metropolitan Film School, located in Ealing Studios. But Saeed, like so many filmmakers and artists… has a dream.

I took a personal interest in his project because it envelops the imagination and feed our sense of what matters most in our world. This week on The UPBEAT Entertainment News Syndicate Radio Show, I will be interviewing Saeed. Not because he is a popular filmmaker with name recognition and a Hollywood budget which affords him a lavish lifestyle… No, Saeed has none of these often “worshiped” attributes… but he has a longing, a sincere passion to make a difference… not in an industry where everyone seeks fame and name recognition. But on a planet, OUR planet, a place that we look at from afar but rarely venture into on a much deeper level. So I plan to share Saeed’s “vision” with all of you in hopes that it will inspire you to follow your dreams and in the process, change the way we see things, one dream at a time.

As I mentioned in a post/comment about this project: “If EVERYONE that read this gave these guys just $10.00, they would meet their goal and realize their dream. Dreams matter. We need to tap into our humanity, be a tad bit more selfless and commit some random acts of “making dreams come true”. Why else are we really here? It certainly isn’t to save up until we’re 65 and are too tired to actually “enjoy” it. Remember people, it’s the seemingly insignificant kindness we share that gives us something back every single time… we just aren’t as aware of it as we should be.”

Read on below to learn more about Saeed’s film and join us at The UPBEAT Entertainment News Syndicate Radio Show on Friday at 6:00 PM Eastern Standard time at in Studio A to hear a “Portrait of a Filmmaker”.

“…Even That Void looks gorgeous and will resonate with many at a time when the official notion of “environmentalism” as an “ism” is no longer working…” —Maude Barlow, Chair of Council of Canadians & Co-Founder of Blue Planet Project

There Will Be Some Who Will Not Fear Even That Void is an ecological film for the 21st century that asks, “Can art save the Arctic?” It is a film about the future of our planet that will turn the traditional environmental documentary on its head. Rather than looking at our influence on the environment, …Even That Void examines the environment’s influence on us— emotionally, psychologically and ethically. …Even That Void was shot over a two and a half week sailing voyage on a tall ship carrying twenty artists around Norway’s remote Arctic Svalbard Archipelago. The documentary chronicles the bizarre, surreal, beautiful and frightening work of the artists, living aboard the ship, landing daily and making work in response to the extreme environment and innate poetry of the Arctic landscape.

While the footage is real— made up of the Director’s observations of and collaborations with the other artists— the plot is fictional. The Director imagines the artists as a team of specialists sent on a mission in the future to rebuild the Arctic environment after it has been nearly completely decimated by global warming. With no master plan, maps or blueprints, each artist recreates the Arctic of his or her own memories, fears, desires and (flawed) expectations. Ultimately, the film is a love-letter to the Arctic: obsessive, affectionate, heart-breaking. The sense of wonder at the landscape is be balanced by darker contemporary concerns: global warming, the Arctic resource race, the political tension of a militarized Arctic and the disappearance of the last great wilderness.

The film’s website is:

The Kickstarter Donation Page is: