“Smokin’ Aces” Prequel Blasts Out On DVD, Blu-ray

Smokin' Aces

Smokin' Aces

“Smokin’ Aces” Prequel Blasts Out On DVD, Blu-ray.  “Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball” is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray Hi-Def.  The follow-up to the 2007 action movie of the same title is available in an unrated, fully loaded version that allows viewers to experience the full throttle adrenaline of the prequel to the charged-up flick that captivated audiences.  The film follows FBI Agent Walter Weed (Tom Berenger), whose unimportant, boring position with the Bureau becomes a whole lot more engaging when he finds out that a cadre of assassins are looking to take him out. Evading the hit men and women puts Weed in for the ride of his life as he learns more about the mysterious figure who has dispatched them.  Vinnie Jones and Ernie Hudson co-star in the second “Smokin’ Aces,” joined by returning cast members Tommy Flanagan and Maury Sterling of the first film, which featured an all-star cast with Ben Affleck, Alicia Keys, Taraji P. Henson, Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Chris Pine, Common, Andy Garcia and more.  Joe Carnahan, the writer/director of the first “Smokin’ Aces” – relinquishes the director’s chair to P.J. Pesce for this straight-to-DVD prequel. Pesce has also picked up directing responsibilities on franchises like “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Sniper” and “The Lost Boys.”  The special features are numerous on the DVD, including a gag reel; behind-the-scenes segments; the featurettes “Confessions of an Assassin,” “Cue the Clown” “The Bunker Mentality: Designing the Set; and audio commentary by Carnahan and Pesce. The Blu-ray version also comes with a pocket BLU application.

2010 Grammy nominees:The Fame (Lady Gaga) up for Album of the Year!

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

For the second year in a row, the Grammy Awards announced their nominations during a special primetime concert, held at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre L.A. Live and broadcast live on CBS. In between performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell, Sugarland, host LL Cool J and Nick Jonas’ new band, the Administration, presenters read off the nominees in all major categories, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Beyoncé led all nominees with 10 nods, followed by Taylor Swift with eight nominations. The Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West and Maxwell each received six. (View photos from the Grammy nominations concert.)  Below are the nominees in some of the top categories. For a complete list of nominees, visit And keep checking for predictions, poll and previews of the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, taking place Sunday, Jan. 31 in Los Angeles and broadcasting live on CBS.

Album Of The Year:
I Am…Sasha Fierce (Beyoncé)
The E.N.D. (the Black Eyed Peas)
The Fame (Lady Gaga)
Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King (Dave Matthews Band)
Fearless (Taylor Swift)

Record Of The Year:
“Halo” (Beyoncé)
“I Gotta Feeling” (the Black Eyed Peas)
“Use Somebody” (Kings Of Leon)
“Poker Face” (Lady Gaga)
“You Belong With Me” (Taylor Swift)

Song Of The Year:
“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga & RedOne, songwriters (Lady Gaga)
“Pretty Wings,” Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Use Somebody, “Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
“You Belong With Me,” Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)

Best New Artist:
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Best Rock Album:
Black Ice (AC/DC)
Live From Madison Square Garden (Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood)
21st Century Breakdown (Green Day)
Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King (Dave Matthews Band)
No Line On The Horizon (U2)

Best Rap Album:
Universal Mind Control (Common)
Relapse (Eminem)
R.O.O.T.S. (Flo Rida)
The Ecstatic (Mos Def)
The Renaissance (Q-Tip)

Best Pop Performance by a Duo Or Group with Vocals:
“I Gotta Feeling” (the Black Eyed Peas)
“We Weren’t Born To Follow” (Bon Jovi)
“Never Say Never” (the Fray)
“Sara Smile” (Daryl Hall and John Oates)
“Kids” (MGMT)

The Album of the Year category hasn’t been totally respectable in a long time–favoring sales and mainstream recognition over quality–but usually a solid act like Radiohead,Dixie Chicks,White Stripes,OutKast,Bob Dylan will slip in there to class up the joint.  This year? Say it ain’t so, Grammy.  When the nominees were revealed last night during a primetime concert in L.A., we learned that album of the year nominees include Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift. No, that is not the list of top 5 artist on your young cousins’ iPod. Those are the nominees for Album of the Year.  In other silliness, not-new-anymore artists like MGMT and Silversun Pickups were nominated for Best New Artist, though I was glad to see Maxwell’s writers pick up a nod for Song of the Year for the gorgeous “Pretty Wings.” Biggest observations during a stroll through the other categories: The Pop Vocal Album category is scary (Black Eyed Peas, Colbie Caillat and The Fray, such brilliance!) while Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance should include the phrase “over 50 years old” when nominating Prince, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. All legends, of course, but still.  Nice lineup for Best Rock Song of U2, Green Day, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam and Springsteen. And French pop act Phoenix continues its rise with a Best Alternative Album nod for “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.”

James Poyser is The ReBel Yell

james-poyserGrammy award winning songwriter and producer James Poyser is The ReBel Yell. A new collaboration project alongside Khari Ferrari Mateen (The Roots) and vocalist Supastar  BBE / Rapster ushers in one of the world’s A-list R&B / hip hop producers, JAMES POYSER, for THE ReBeL Yell, a jaw-dropping new project alongside KHARI FERRARI MATEEN (The Roots, J*DaVeY, Skillz) and vocalist SupaStar.  He has written and produced for everyone from Common, Jill Scott and The Roots to Al Green, Talib Kweli and Queen Latifah and is a member of the Soulquarians alongside Questlove, J Dilla (RIP), Bilal, Common, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Q-Tip and Talib Kweli. He can also be seen on TV playing keys for The Roots as part of Jimmy Fallon’s house band.  His productions are renowned as consistently on-point, polished and musically accomplished, a stamp of quality behind some of the great names in contemporary black music and an important part of Philadelphia’s new soul heritage.  The first single from the project is ‘Army Of MisFits’.

Full album ‘Love & War’ is released in the UK on August 31st

For more information check out the bands myspace page here:

Estelle joins Grammy Celebration Concert Tour

estelle2The full line-up for the second GRAMMY Celebration Concert Tour presented by T-Mobile Sidekick that includes some of today’s most talented and recognizable musical acts including Kelly Clarkson, Common, Estelle, Lady Gaga, Leona Lewis, LL Cool J, Katy Perry and Gavin Rossdale has been announced. In addition, the resident DJ for the entire tour will be recording artist and “American Idol” runner-up Blake Lewis.  GRAMMY nominees Leona Lewis and Gavin Rossdale kicked off the tour in Los Angeles, performing at the Hollywood Palladium for thousands of fans on April 9. The tour will then move on to San Francisco at The Warfield with GRAMMY nominee Natasha Bedingfield and N.E.R.D.

May shows will include a Boston appearance on May 4 with two-time GRAMMY winner Kelly Clarkson and GRAMMY nominee Lady Gaga at the House of Blues Boston, and then a show in Miami with GRAMMY winner Common and GRAMMY nominee Katy Perry, performing an intimate set for the audience at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on May 13.

The tour will conclude on May 28 in New York City with GRAMMY winners LL Cool J and Estelle. The New York natives will take over Terminal 5 to wrap the GRAMMY Celebration Concert Tour presented by T-Mobile Sidekick.

Oakland Gets Lifted

johnlegendThe sultry voice baritones that are John Legends will be oozing off the stage at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Monday night.

The most well dressed singer and pianist in the industry will bring his pop sound and political saviness to the Bay Area just one week before the presidential inaguration. Legend blew into the living rooms of ordinary Americans this year, with his part in the Barack Obama tribute song “Yes We Can.”

Born John Stephens, Legend, who was a child prodigy who grew up singing gospel in Ohio, for years was behind the scenes of some of the biggest acts in the business. But with a fashion sense like his, who can stay in the closet that long?

Legend got his big break when he was still a teenager, when Lauryn Hill chose him to play piano on her hit “Everything Is Everything” in 1998. After completing college, he moved to New York, where he began to build a loyal following playing in nightclubs and hawking his own Cd’s.

But it was his writing skills, and not his lovely sense of style, that got him noticed, and his steady cash flow. Legend wrote and played for artists such as Alicia Keys, Common, Twista, Janet Jackson, and Kanye West.

But, it wasn’t until the biggest ego in show business, West, signed him to his new label that he adopted the Legend name with 2004′s Solo Sessions Vol. 1: Live at the Knitting Factory. Get Lifted, his first studio album, was released that same year.

His single “Ordinary People,” helped his album reach the Top Five of the Billboard 200 and led to three Grammy Awards: Best R&B Album, Best R&B Male Vocal Performance, and Best New Artist. Once Again, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and number one on the R&B/hip-hop Albums chart, followed in October 2006.

Legend will play the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Monday night at 8 p.m. And while we may have given you short notice, tickets are still available at Razor Gator

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