Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sandra Bullock Named Most Desirable Celebrity Neighbor for 2011, While Cast of Jersey Shore Voted Worst

More Americans Would Prefer to Live Next to Sarah Palin than the Obama Family, According to Annual Zillow® Celebrity Neighbor Survey
SEATTLE, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. adults would most like to be neighbors with Sandra Bullock in 2011, according to the fourth annual Zillow Celebrity Neighbor Survey(i). The cast of the reality TV show Jersey Shore was named the least desirable neighbor of 2010. The survey asked U.S. adults which celebrities and politicians they would most like to be their neighbor, and with whom they wouldn't want to share a fence.
Most Desirable Neighbors for 2011
In the coming year, 26 percent of adults surveyed would like to be neighbors with Sandra Bullock. Bullock's popularity was significantly higher among females (30 percent) compared to males (22 percent).
Fewer Americans said they would like to be neighbors with the Obamas in 2011. Last year(ii) the family was voted the most popular neighbor with 14 percent of the vote, but ranked fourth on this year's list with eight percent of the vote. For the past three years, Sarah Palin has maintained a top two ranking on Zillow's survey, consistently receiving 10 percent or more of the vote.
Talk show hosts Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia DeRossi, along with Conan O'Brien, received nine percent and seven percent of the vote, respectively.
"It was voyeuristic fun getting to know the Jersey Shore crew as they partied and fist-pumped week after week on reality television – but do we want to live 'up close and personal' next door?  Americans said no way," said Zillow Vice President of Marketing and Communications Amy Bohutinsky. "Meanwhile, not surprisingly we learned that polarizing politicians make polarizing neighbors, with the Obamas and Sarah Palin taking high slots on both our 'most desirable' and 'worst' neighbor lists."
Worst Neighbors for 2010
Americans did not feel all celebrities made good neighbors. More than one in five (26 percent) named the Jersey Shore cast the worst neighbors of 2010. Respondents in the Northeast, where the Jersey Shore reality show was originally based, were more opposed to having the cast as neighbors (33 percent). Significantly more women (29 percent) than men (22 percent) also felt the housemates were poor neighbors.
Fifteen percent of respondents found the Obamas to be the worst neighbors. The First Family was followed closely by Sarah Palin (13 percent). More than one in 10 respondents (11 percent) did not want to live next to rapper Kanye West. Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen, who both faced criminal charges in 2010, received 10 and eight percent of the vote, respectively.
Most Desirable Neighbors for 2011
Worst Neighbors of 2010
Sandra Bullock
The Jersey Shore Cast
Sarah Palin
The Obamas
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi
Sarah Palin
The Obamas
Kanye West
Conan O'Brien
Mel Gibson
Lady Gaga
Charlie Sheen
Katy Perry and Russell Brand
LeBron James
Justin Bieber
Mark Zuckerberg
None of the above
None of the above

Family Event: Bull Riding at Family Arena

Barclay Productions is proud to announce that the CBR will be coming to the Family Arena in St. Charles Missouri on February 5 2011. Championship Bull Riding, Inc. (CBR) began in 2002 as an alternative bull riding organization to give riders more opportunities to earn a living riding bulls. Since its inception, the CBR has enjoyed continued growth in prize money, sponsors, riders, and events while sustaining the founder’s vision of equality and honesty in the business.

The CBR is led by bull riding icon, Tuff Hedeman, 4x World Champion Bull Rider and President of CBR. The bull riders compete at major events around the country on the CBR Televised Tour and the CBR Horizon series to earn points towards a CBR World Championship.

The Family Arena in St. Charles Missouri is going to be an official stop of the CBR, where the cowboys ride to earn points towards that Championship. There will be 40 of the top riders in the country going up against the best bulls in the business. World Champion Bull Rider Owen Washburn will be providing some of the bulls along with 2010 CBR Contractor of the Year, Brad Vogele.

“This is not your everyday bull riding” says Seth Barclay (CEO Barclay Productions) “We have the best guys going up against the toughest bulls” states Seth. “This is a friendly and family-oriented experience for both the participants and the fans of professional level bull riding” says Seth. He goes on to say “From the fireworks until the last bull, you won’t be disappointed.”
WHEN:              Saturday, February 5, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:         The Family Arena in St. Charles on Arena Parkway
From Interstate 70, take the South 5th Street exit and follow the signs to Arena Parkway. (Just 5 minutes from Riverport).  

TICKETS:     On Sale Thursday, December 30 @ 10am
Tickets can be purchased at the Family Arena Ticket Office and all MetroTix locations including Macy’s and select Schnucks video centers or on the web at

Prices: $32.00, $22.00, $18.00, $14.00  Family Four Packs Are Just $30!
To charge by phone call MetroTix at 314-534-1111.  For help purchasing accessible seating, please call The Family Arena ADA Hotline at 636-896-4234. 

FURTHER INFO:   Please call The Family Arena event hotline at 636-896-4242 for more information, or visit our web site at

PARKING:       Please note that the cost of parking is included in the ticket price for this event.


  (St. Louis) – The St. Louis Symphony today announced the appointment of Kevin McBeth as the Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus, effective January 1, 2011. He will conduct the chorus and orchestra for the “Lift Every Voice” Black History Month Celebration concert on February 18, 2011. McBeth succeeds the founder of the IN UNISON® Chorus, Dr. Robert Ray, who after 15 years, retired at the end of last season.

Following an extensive and collaborative search process that involved the IN UNISON® Chorus Advisory Committee, President and CEO Fred Bronstein, Music Director David Robertson and Vice President of Artistic Administration Bret Dorhout, McBeth emerged as the unanimous choice.

Kevin McBeth, Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus: “I've been a fan of the entire St. Louis Symphony organization since my arrival 15 years ago. I look forward to an incredible future with the IN UNISON® Chorus. It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be chosen. With just a few weeks before our first concert, I'm very eager to get started.”

Fred Bronstein, President and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony: “We are delighted with the appointment of Kevin McBeth as Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus. This past year, the Chorus celebrated a wonderful 15-year history since its founding by Dr. Robert Ray. With Dr. Ray's retirement, we knew that there were big shoes to fill. I'm convinced we have found exactly the right person. The appointment of Kevin McBeth signals the next chapter in the history of this very special group. With Kevin, the IN UNISON® Chorus is in very good hands.”

Harry Moppins, IN UNISON® Chorus Advisory Committee: "As a 13 year member of the IN UNISON® Chorus, I am very excited to welcome our new musical director, Kevin McBeth. I am optimistic that Kevin will be a great leader and is the perfect next step in the evolution of the Chorus."

David Robertson, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony: “I was delighted that Kevin and I share a creative vision for the future of the IN UNISON® Chorus, and together we look forward to building upon the amazing work already done by Robert Ray.”

Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration
Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:30pm

Kevin McBeth, conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus

An annual celebration with the St. Louis Symphony In Unison® Chorus and the St. Louis Symphony.

Tickets are available now at the Powell Hall Box Office, online at, or by phone at 314.534.1700.

Kevin McBeth is the Director of Music at Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis. He serves as full-time administrator for the Music Ministry, which includes 18 choral and handbell ensembles, involving nearly 500 children, youth and adults. Kevin has also recently served as Adjunct Professor in Choral Music at Webster University. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted honor, festival and touring choirs (choral and handbell) in the United States and Canada. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and Music Director of the St. Louis Metro Singers. His 30-year career in church music has included appointments in churches in Houston, Texas and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
McBeth is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, and has done graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston. In addition to being a published composer and author, he was also choral music editor for Abingdon Press. McBeth has served on the board of the Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA), the Missouri Choral Directors Association (MCDA), and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR). He was also the Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). A strong advocate for training future conductors, he has presented several workshops and interest sessions at the state and national levels.
McBeth has recently conducted concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Choirs under his direction have also performed at regional and national gatherings for choral and handbell music, including both state and division ACDA conventions, and at the American International Choral Festival. Mr. McBeth has prepared choruses for performances with Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, John McDaniel, Andy Williams, Billy Porter and Hugh Smith. He also conducted the chorus for the opening ceremonies of the 2001 St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the fall of 2002, the National Religious Music Week Alliance named him as one of the top ten Church Music Directors in the country. In the church music field, he has collaborated with Mark Hayes, John Leavitt, Hal Hopson, Joseph Martin, Howard Helvey, John Purifoy, Michael Burkhardt and Craig Courtney.
His orchestral conducting credits include performances with the Houston Civic Symphony, the New England Symphonic Ensemble and with members of the St. Louis Symphony in a concert featuring Garrison Keillor. In the summer of 2005, he conducted a Festival Chorus in his first European concert tour to Great Britain. Upcoming engagements include choral festivals in Missouri and Texas, as well as a return to Carnegie Hall.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Soul queen Teena Marie dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A publicist says singer Teena Marie, who made history as Motown's first white act, has died at age 54.
The confirmation came Sunday from publicist Jasmine Vega, who worked with Teena Marie on her last album. Her manager, Mike Gardner, also confirmed her death to CNN.
Marie developed a lasting legacy her silky soul pipes and hits like "Lovergirl," ''Square Biz," and "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James.
She was known as the "Ivory Queen of Soul," but was certainly not the first white act to sing soul music. However, she was arguably among the most gifted and respected, and was thoroughly embraced by black audiences.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Stuart Celebrates Two GRAMMY Nominations And
Continues Taping 2011 Episodes Of THE MARTY STUART SHOW

Nashville, TN- Dec. 16, 2010—A short form documentary is in the works about American music icon and Renaissance man Marty Stuart.  The film shines a light on Stuart’s early life and influences in his hometown of Philadelphia, MS and the role it played in the making of his latest album, GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS).  Select songs from the album are featured throughout the documentary short, including some candid stories behind the songs. The project, set to premiere in early 2011, is titled “Marty Stuart In Philadelphia, MS,” and was helmed by Jacob Hatley, who directed the critically acclaimed “Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm.”  

“The piece focuses on how music and location work together or how places often inspire and influence artists,” explains Hatley.  “Marty's sound comes from a very specific region, and it was a real privilege to be able to go down to Mississippi and get to know the people who shaped him as an artist.”

To preview a clip of the film click here: 

Stuart received two 2011 GRAMMY nominations for “Best Country Collaboration With Vocals” for “I Run To You,” the stunning duet written and performed with his wife and country music queen Connie Smith and “Best Country Instrumental” for “Hummingbyrd,” his tribute to the great guitarist Clarence White.  He is currently taping new episodes for the third season of The Marty Stuart Show which debuts on Jan. 8 with Willie Nelson as the first guest.  The show brings traditional country music into living rooms across the country every Saturday night on RFD-TV and continues to be the channel’s highest rated show.

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young tribute band Marrakesh Express to perform Saturday, January 8, at the Old Rock House in St. Louis

There are hundreds, if not thousands of tribute bands performing the music of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, U2, and other monsters of rock. But Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young? Next to none.

A band dedicated to tributing CSNY is unheard of due to the difficulty in replicating the 3- and 4-part vocal harmonies that made the group international superstars. Marrakesh Express excels at reproducing CSNY's complex songs and cascading, layered harmonies, and takes the audience back to the late 1960s with youthful musicians who bring an authentic hippie vibe and visual to the stage.

CSNY was arguably the biggest band in the world after the demise of the Beatles, and is one of the most enduring and influential musical groups of all time. The band, born in the turbulent years of the late 1960s, released hit after hit that spoke directly for their generation. Their songs remain in heavy rotation on classic rock radio stations to this day.

Marrakesh Express upholds the integrity of that music with their vivid and realistic performance of CSNY’s most recognizable songs. Featuring four harmonizing vocalists backed by a top-flight band, they deliver a unique and energetic concert performing the classic CSNY hits, deep cuts, and fan favorites.

The band has played to literally tens of thousands of appreciative fans, including headlining the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert. The music of CSNY has stood the test of time and fans of the classic rockers, as well as young people who are curious about “the 60s,” are anxious to venture out to hear it represented live.

Marrakesh Express will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, January 8, at the Old Rock House, 1200 South 7th Street. Tickets are $10 (21-and-over). Visit the band at or

Merle Haggard a Kennedy Center Honoree

Gin Blossoms Perform on Fox News Channel's 'All American New Year' Special

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Platinum-selling hit-makers the Gin Blossoms will perform three songs on Fox News Channel's "All American New Year" special hosted by Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly.  The band will perform three of their hit songs live including their new single "Miss Disarray."  The Gin Blossoms returned to the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart this year with their highly anticipated new album on 429 Records, "NO CHOCOLATE CAKE".  With a fantastic first week debut at #73, the band is back and proving once again that their effortless brand of melodic pop rock is as vibrant and beloved as ever.  The first single from the album, "Miss Disarray" (which Popmatters states "is easily the best slice of pure frosting..."), was a Top 50 Hot AC radio hit.  Fox News Channel's "All American New Year" airs nationally on December 31st beginning at 11:00PM.
With total worldwide album sales topping 10 million units powered by their indelibly melodic, Grammy-nominated Top Ten singles, Gin Blossoms—Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela, Scott Johnson and Bill Leen, are back and in peak form.  Says the San Antonio Express-News of "NO CHOCOLATE CAKE": "Gin Blossoms tug at the heart strings like few pop bands... power pop nirvana." The eleven new tracks were written, produced and performed by the band with the help of John Richardson (drums) and Danny Wilde on keyboards and additional production (of The Rembrandts).  The band will be touring extensively throughout 2010 and 2011.
For more information visit:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcom readers... here's the deal

Hi all, my name is Scott Kiefer from Sparta, Illinois. I have been an entertainment journalist in the Midwest area, specifically in the St. Louis area for 27 years now. I have recently had a blog on the Belleville News Democrat website, The Concert Hotwire. Our company is rebuilding it's blog formats, and unfortunately, it will not be carrying my blog for a while. So, I decided to begin my own entertainment blog, right here for everyone to see. I will continue to bring you up to date interviews with artists of every genre, and front row pictures from their area performances. In addition, I will be letting you in on all the latest entertainment news.... local and national. Be looking for my posts daily, beginning Dec. 22.