Twelve Oklahoma photographers will show their work and give insight into how they create their art Wednesday during the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Photo Slam.
The Photo Slam will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the museum’s Noble Theatre.
The participating photographers each will get five minutes to show and tell about what they do using a variety of tools, such as slides, digital projections and printed samples. If they exceed the time limit, they get the gong.
Todd Stewart, assistant professor of photography and digital imaging at the University of Oklahoma, chose the Photo Slam presenters from a pool of applicants.
The participating photographers are Josh Buss (see his cool photo above), Moore; Bryan Dahlvang, Tuttle; Candace Coker, Shawnee; Marty Coleman, Glenpool; Clinton Dean, Oklahoma City; Beth Downing, Tulsa; Allison Fonder, Tulsa; Robert Gurfinkel, Yukon; Matt Jarvis, Pawhuska; Romy Owens, Oklahoma City; Don Risi, Oklahoma City; and Cynthia Wolf, Oklahoma City.
The event is presented by the museum, International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. It coincides with the special exhibition “Brett Weston: Out of the Shadow,” on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art through May 18.
The Photo Slam is open to the public, but reservations are required. The cost is included in museum admission. Attendees are invited to a cash-bar reception before the event and a special after-hours viewing of the Brett Weston exhibit at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
For more information, call 236-3100 or go online to www.okcmoa.com.
Oklahoma’s crowded constellation of country luminaries might have to make room for one more star.
Country-rock singer-songwriter Shawna Russell of Okemah released her debut CD, “Goddess,” nationally on Way Out West/Nine North Records earlier this month.
Country Weekly magazine gave the disc 3 1/2 stars out of 5 in its April 7 issue, now on newsstands. Music Editor Chris Neal said in his review: “Her promising debut is soaked in the influences of 1970′s country-rock and California pop – and the role model most clearly evoked throughout the album is Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. It’s a winning fusion that evokes the era’s sense of mystery while remaining grounded in the present – especially on the scorcher ‘Fire in the Desert.’”
According to a news release, Russell recorded “Goddess” in Oklahoma City. It was produced by Tim Russell (her uncle) and Ted Curtis at Upstairs Productions Studio.
Several top-notch studio talents worked on it, including drummer Russ Kunkel (who worked for Carly Simon and James Taylor), bassist David Santos, (Elton John, Billy Joel and John Fogerty) and vocal engineer Julian King (Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Toby Keith). The mixer was Nathaniel Kunkel (Diana Ross and the Police). Russell’s rock and country influences are evident in those credentials.
Russell, who started singing professionally in her dad’s band at age 12, wrote 12 of the 13 songs on “Goddess.”
She will mark her national radio debut on April 14, with the release of the disc’s title song as the first single. She will begin a radio promo tour the next day, starting with Oklahoma stations and then branching out nationwide.
The Country Music Association named her one of the ”Who New To Watch in 2008″ artists, according to the release. In the past few weeks, news about her and “Goddess” have been included in All Access, Country Aircheck, Music Row, Radio & Records, All About Country.com, Country Stars Online and Music News Nashville.
I’ll be checking out “Goddess” as soon as I get my hands on a review copy. But it sounds like Russell is one to watch. For more information on her, go to www.shawnarussell.com.
A team of amateur comedians from the University of Oklahoma is competing at 8 p.m. tonight in a head-to-head stand-up contest with students from the University of Arkansas.
The contest is one of the regional semifinals in RooftopComedy.com’s National College Comedy Competition 2008, according to a news release. It will take place at the Loony Bin Comedy Club, 6808 S. Memorial Drive, No. 234, Tulsa.
The eight winners of each school’s on-campus contests will compete. Audience members and a panel of judges will pick the one comic who will advance to the online voting round later this month. The runner-up will compete for the fan favorite spot in the online voting round.
Online voting will determine the four finalists who will compete in a live Web cast May 30-31 in Aspen, Colo. Viewers and judges will pick who will get the title of The Country’s Funniest College Student.
OU’s team members are
· Roy Griffin
· Genevieve Rice
· Michael Burnett
· Seth Joseph
· Clint Vrazel
· Michael Pasvar
· Anthony Cavazos
· Tyler Crain.
For more information, go to www.rooftopcomedy.com.
Aspiring recording artists hoping to become a household name can compete in a new online talent search sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive and MySpace TV.
Through April 14, unsigned singers nationwide can show off their vocal talent online in the Max Fresh Video Music Competition. They can upload their video auditions at www.myspace.com/colgatemaxfresh.
Contestants can choose from a list of 15 contemporary songs, ranging from Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me” to Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.” They must submit a track from the contest list to qualify, according to a news release.
Eligible contestants also must obey all contest rules stated on the competition Web site.
The public will be able to vote on the entries April 15-27. The five entries that get the most votes will be the finalists.
The finalists will be judged by a celebrity panel featuring Bryan-Michael Cox, Grammy-winning songwriter and producer; Tito el Bambino, Latin singer-songwriter; and Danyel Smith, editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine.
The winner of this year’s Max Fresh Video Music Competition will get to particpate in a professional recording session and video production, featuring an original song written and produced by Cox. The winner also will get the chance to perform his or her original song at the All-Access Lounge, the pre-party to Z100 FM’s Jingle Ball, one of New York City’s most popular concert events.
“Standing out in the industry is an incredibly difficult task. I decided to partner with Colgate Max Fresh because the contest gives us a way to find fresh new talent from across the country and the online entry makes it easy for the contestants to share an audition video with a wide audience. It’s the first time I’ve ever written a song without knowing who will end up singing it. That creates an element of excitement for me in addition to finding a fresh voice,” Cox said in the release.
The winner will be revealed May 26.
A catchy quote from a movie, television show or other source to brighten the beginning of your week:
Tick: I’m about to write you a reality check. Or would you prefer the cold, hard cash of truth?
- Click here to learn the source.
While keeping people updated on the latest entertainment news and my random thoughts isn’t an uworthy goal, Oklahoma City mom Carrie Black used her blog to deal with her son Ian’s battle with cancer.
Here’s their story, which ran in the “Know It” feature on cancer in Sunday’s The Oklahoman. You can find all the cancer stories at www.newsok.com/news/cancer.
Sharing your story
Blogging options on the Web
“When your 3 ½-year-old tells you that his pee looks like a strawberry slushie, you sit up and take notice.”
Oklahoma City mother Carrie Black vividly recalls the Sunday in July 2005 when she realized something was wrong with her middle child, Ian.
The next day, Ian visited his pediatrician, but by that night, the boy was in the emergency room with abdominal pain caused by a ballooning tumor on his left kidney. He was transferred that Tuesday to Children’s Hospital, where the family learned Ian had Wilms’ tumor, a rare childhood kidney cancer.
When the Blacks arrived at Children’s, volunteers advised Ian’s parents to set up a free personal Web site on CaringBridge.org. Before Ian underwent surgery the next day to remove his left kidney and the tumor, his mom started blogging about his ordeal.
Through her son’s operation, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Black used the site to keep relatives and friends updated, find other families coping with Wilms’ tumor and air her thoughts.
“It was a good place for me to just kind of vent,” she said.
Ian, now 6, has been off treatment for 26 months, but his mom has kept up his CaringBridge page, recently blogging about his tonsillectomy. His page is at www.caringbridge.org/visit/ianblack.
Last year, she also started www.myspace.com/kidsgetcancertoo. Her blog there is a personal outreach project to offer support and information regarding childhood cancers.
Other blogging options:
- www.carepages.com: Free, personalized Web sites for people dealing with serious illnesses or injuries.
- www.blogforacure.com: Free personal blogs in a huge community of cancer survivors supporting each other.
- www.medicineworld.org/cancer/cancer-blogs-list.html: A home page to many different cancer blogs.
- www.healthcentral.com/breast-cancer/weblogs.html: A collection of breast cancer survivors’ blogs.
- www.redtoenail.org: Free personal blogs in an online community for people with cancer.
Cancer message boards:
- http://myplanet.planetcancer.org/forum: Provides a support community and place to discuss different issues for young cancer survivors.
- www.cancercompass.com/message-board.htm: Links to several different cancer-related boards, including ones dealing with specific types of cancer, treatments and prevention.
- www.mdanderson.org/topics/survivorship: Click on “Cancer Survivor Message Board” link to go to a secure message board for cancer survivors and caregivers to share concerns about how cancer has affected their lives.
After months of my husband Patrick, teenage son Chris and I saving allowances, Christmas money, spare change and other sundry cash, we saved up enough to purchase an Xbox 360. It was part of a big lesson for Chris in the value of saving money and delaying gratification.
At some point during this process, I agreed to learn to play “Halo.” After all, it was reasoned, if I was helping to save up for the 360, I should learn to play one of the new games on it. Since the guys insisted that “Halo 3″ be the first game for the new system, I would need to learn to play “Halo.”
So, we finally bought the shiny new console, and for Easter, Chris received an additional controller and copy of the long-awaited “Halo 3.”
After Patrick and Chris played out the story for a couple of hours, it was time for my “Halo” lesson to begin. Since we only had two controllers (more are on order), and one belonged to Chris, he was put in charge of my education.
Instead of starting back at the original “Halo,” as I expected and which still looks much cooler on 360, the little punk opted to plunge me into “Halo 3.” Basically, I had no idea what was going on except that my character was Master Chief and that under ordinary circumstances (read: not me playing), I kick major alien tail.
Having watched four seasons of “Red vs. Blue,” I recognized the Warthog and energy sword, but I kept expecting Tucker to show up and say “Bow-chicka-bow-bow.”
Keep in mind that the last first-person shooter I played with any regularity was “Doom” on my PC back in college. With the Xbox, I’ve mostly played fighting games and a few sports contests. (I am a killer “Gladius” warrior.)
Fortunately, Chris was smart enough to not put me immediately into story mode, instead picking the versus mode that allows just the two of us to fight without a bunch of grunts and brutes to muddy the waters. Though those alien scumbags might have been more forgiving than my merciless offspring, who seemed to relish blasting me, sniping me, running me down with the Mongoose and jumping fatally onto my head while I was trying to learn to, say, walk forward, pick up a new weapon or turn into a tunnel.
Tired of his heartless antics and apparent inability to grasp the concept of scaling it back a bit for the rookie, I booted Chris to the bench and let the hub have a shot. Having coached me through gameplay before, he was more understanding and willing to give me a chance to get my wits about me. He at least had the courtesy to wait a moment before gunning me down when I asked for a reminder of what button to hit to swap weapons.
My one advantage at playing the game was my sharp eyes, so I was good at spotting all sorts of new weapons. Both Chris and Patrick would cruelly wait until I found something new, encourage me to try it out, and then kill me so they could snatch it.
After a couple of hours on Saturday, I was able to get the hang of moving and shooting and even got in a sweet kill by blasting Chris at long distance with a missile pod. It’s little moments like blasting your son’s character’s head off that make gaming great family time.
Chris and I also tried out the forge concept this afternoon, creating a level in which we were invincible and had access to every weapon. (We could also custom-color our armor, and considering my level of “Halo” intelligence, I went with Caboose blue armor.) We cruised along pretty happily, my confidence increasing, until Chris discovered that he could kill me with back attacks. The carnage once again ensued.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll learn to cover my back before he puts the gravity hammer through it. Until then, he better watch it if I ever get him roped into a round of “Gladius.” My undead summoner has a death head’s staff and we’re not afraid to use it.
The Hollywood Reporter also is reporting that rapper/actor/ultra-cool guy Mos Def will play rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry in the upcoming movie “Cadillac Records.”
Darnell Martin (“Their Eyes Were Watching God”) wrote and directed the film, which is filming now in New Jersey. Set in the 1950s, the movie chronicles the topsy-turvy life of Leonard Chess, founder of Chess Records, and the label’s artists, which included Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf.
Chess and his brother Phil started the label by selling records out of the trunk of their Caddy, hence the film’s name.
The cast also includes Adrien Brody as Chess, Jeffrey Wright as Waters, Beyonce Knowles as Etta James, and Gabrielle Union as Waters’ girlfriend Geneva Wade.
Writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, best known for penning the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, are in final negotiations to write a live-action big-screen film version of “The Lone Ranger,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie will be made by Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films in association with Entertainment Rights.
“The Lone Ranger,” which is owned by Classic Media, started as a 1930s radio show and expanded to movie serials, TV shows, comics, toys and more.
The hero started out as one of a group of Texas Rangers pursuing Butch Cavendish and his gang of outlaws. The villains ambush and believe they have killed all the Rangers. But an American Indian named Tonto finds the sole survivor and nurses him back to health. The Lone Ranger, wearing a mask and riding a stallion named Silver, pairs with Tonto to bring Cavendish’s gang and other ne’er-do-wells to justice.
The Lone Ranger has many IMDB film credits to his name, but he hasn’t had much big- or small-screen success in the modern era. The 1981 film “The Legend of the Lone Ranger” has a “box-office flop” tag on IMDB. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie was such as failure that star Klinton Spilsbury never worked in Tinseltown again.
The 2003 TV movie “The Lone Ranger” didn’t fare much better. (One pithy IMDB user claims “the horse was the best actor in it.” I admire that individual’s snark.)
But Elliott and Rossio are experienced in taking old-fashioned action fare and turning into movie success. They also wrote “The Mask of Zorro,” a movie that has the undying gratitude of millions of men for introducing Catherine Zeta-Jones to the world. (And let’s face it ladies, Antonio Banderas in a mask isn’t too hard on the eyes.)
Plus, Elliott and Rossio managed to script at least one really entertaining movie based on a Disneyland ride. (That’s one trilogy that definitely follows the law of diminishing returns.) Surely the sharp-penned duo can do something with that masked man, even if his signature battle cry is “Hi-ho, Silver, away!”
The song that has been on my brain the most this week:
- “Don’t Stop the Music,” Rihanna (currently No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Five).
This dance track came on the radio while I was driving home earlier this week. Gabe the Babe, now 16 months old, has become quite the little dance machine, and this song really got him grooving the car seat. It was so cute and he was having such a good time that I just couldn’t change the channel. This song wouldn’t ordinarily do it for me, but it’s been stuck in my head all week. And surprisingly, that hasn’t necessarily been unpleasant. It’s kind of catchy, in an overly-electronic, sex-kitten kind of way.