Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Proud(ish) To Be American" by Daniel Gross, Newsweek (February 22, 2010)

Maybe even The Office didn't do enough :(

My colleague Evelyn Gibbons told me about an essay written by Newsweek columnist Daniel Gross in the February 22, 2010 issue of Newsweek (page 19) that kind of slams the Electric City.

The article, titled "Proud(ish) to Be American", compares the economic situations of other countries to America:

"Two years ago Dubai was going to be the next Las Vegas/New York/Miami rolled into one, all because it was proving more adept at diversifying its economy from energy into tourism, services, and financial services. Now it's looking like the next Scranton."

I hate to do this, but to quote Jar Jar Binks, "How Rude!"

To read the full article online, click here. It's the last sentence in the next-to-last paragraph.

Thanks to the divine Evelyn Gibbons for this reference.

UPDATE March 1, 2010 Times-Tribune writer Christopher Kelly contacted Newsweek columnist Daniel Gross and wrote an article about their talk and his pride in Scranton. The article, titled "Scranton, Dubai Connection Makes Sense: Fortune Fickle For Both," was published in the Sunday, February 28th issue of the Sunday Times (page D1). To read the article online, click here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes and Their Impact on a Generation by Susannah Gora (2010)

I am totally loving the just-published book about the making of and cultural impact of the teen movies of the 1980s. The book, titled You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation by Susannah Gora, focuses on the films that were the Citizen Kane of children of the 80s (like myself) such as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and St. Elmo's Fire. The book features interviews from the actors and filmmakers responsible for these classic flicks, such as Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Matthew Broderick, John Cryer and Anthony Michael Hall.

Noticeably absent from the list of actors interviewed for the book is Wilkes-Barre native Michael Schoeffling, who played "dreamy" Jake Ryan in the seminal teen 80s film Sixteen Candles. Schoeffling now leads a quiet and private life with his family in northeastern Pennsylvania.

However, pages 30-31 gives a brief biography and description of Schoeffling's career up to the filming of Sixteen Candles:

"Michael Schoeffling was born December 10, 1960 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and grew up in southern New Jersey, the second of three brothers."

You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation is presently not available to borrow from Albright Memorial Library. But who knows? Maybe I'll donate my copy to the collection after I finish reading it. To purchase a copy of the book from author Susannah Gora's website, click here.

For a previous blog entry on Michael Schoeffling, click here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weekender Article: "All Over The Map" by Michael Lello & Nikki M. Mascali

Check out this week's Cover Story of The Weekender. It's an excellent article by Weekender Staff Writers Michael Lello and Nikki M. Mascali titled "Famous Faces: From John Legend to Jack Palance, Celebrities Have Ties To NEPA." The article features not only famous locals in entertainment previously profiled in our blog (like John Legend, Lauren Weisberger, Jerry Orbach and Michael Schoeffling), but it also features locals from a variety of fields and professions---from politics (Joe Biden) to sports (Joe Madden and Joe Collins) to good old-fashioned pornography (Nicole Sheriden).

The article is available in this week's edition of The Weekender (February 10th, 2010), as well as on The Weekender's website. To read the article online, click here.

Also, a little birdie told me that our Entertainment blog was used for some of the notables featured in the article---(blushing).

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lenny Kaye (1946 - )

@gatsbystyle " @splrefdept NEPA has almost everything,
including Patti Smith's guitarist! LOL!"

One of my favorite Tweeters Barb (aka gatsbystyle) sent me the link for a recent article from the Pocono Record titled "Snowmageddon" Part II: Speeders Beware, published on their website on February 8th, 2010. The last part of the article references Lenny Kaye, longtime collaborator of the legendary singer/poet/artist Patti Smith and that he lives in East Stoudsburg, PA. Wow! Even though it's not technically a WB/Scranton reference, it's still NEPA...and I LOVE Patti Smith, and Lenny Kaye is an excellent guitarist and a modern legend, so I'm including an entry on Lenny Kaye, damnit.

Lenny Kaye was born in New York City on December 27th, 1946. He moved to New Jersey when he was a teenager and later formed the bands The Vandals and The Zoo. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1968.

In 1971, Kaye met poet Patti Smith and began accompanying her at poetry readings. Kaye became Smith's most frequent collaborator, playing guitar on her quadrilogy of 1970s albums--the legendary Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter, and Wave. Kaye is the infamous "LENNY!" who sings the second verse on Smith's unapologetic rebel anthem "Rock and Roll N*****." Kaye and Smith ended their musical collaboration for a time in 1979 when Smith left the music industry to marry Fred "Sonic" Smith from the band MC5 and to start a family in Detroit.

In the 1980s, Kaye formed his own band, Lenny Kaye Connection, which released the album I've Got A Right in 1984. He also became a successful producer of other artists, including Soul Asylum, poet Allen Ginsberg, and two bestselling albums by Suzanne Vega (his first with Vega, 1987's Solitude Standing, spawned the top 3 hit single Luka). He was also a guitarist in The Jim Carroll Band in the 1980s.

Lenny Kaye resumed his artistic collaboration with Patti Smith in 1994; he co-produced her album Gone Again and has played guitar (and co-written songs with Smith) on all of her subsequent albums. They continue to tour the world together to this day.

Kaye is also a published author, co-authoring Waylon Jennings' 1996 autobiography and penning the 2004 Russ Columbo biography You Call It Madness. He has been nominated three times for Best Album Note Grammy Awards for CD boxed sets on the Bleecker & MacDougal, Crossroads, and Elektrorock.

According to the Pocono Record, Kaye presently makes his home in East Stroudsburg, PA, and he often plays gigs in area pubs such as Gallo's Bar and the awesome record store Main Street Jukebox.

Kaye also continues to tour the world as lead guitarist of The Patti Smith Band. Smith usually closes her shows with "Rock and Roll N*****" with Kaye sharing vocals, and he often does a solo cover of The Seeds' 1966 hit Pushin' Too Hard during the shows as well.

Lenny Kaye was also interviewed in yesterday's (February 8th) issue of the Pocono Record; to read it, click here. In the interview, Kaye states that he and Smith are presently writing songs for a new album :)

Now if only Mr. Kaye stumbles across this blog entry via Google and can score me some impossible-to-get tickets for Patti Smith's annual end-of-year three-night gig at NYC's Bowery Ballroom...I can wish, can't I?

Several of Patti Smith's CDs featuring Lenny Kaye on guitar--including Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Wave, Gone Again, Peace & Noise, Trampin', Twelve and the career-spanning compilation Land--are available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. Lenny Kaye is also featured in the superb documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life, available to borrow from Albright Memorial Library.

Much thanks again to the ever awesome Barb (aka Twitter's gatsbystyle) for this groovy NEPA reference. And indeed, "NEPA has almost everything, including Patti Smith's guitarist!"

Monday, February 08, 2010

Wayne County Native Josh Fox's "Gasland" Wins Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival

Congratulations to Wayne County native Josh Fox for winning the 2010 Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his documentary Gasland.

For more information on Gasland, check out the film's official website. A clip from Gasland is available to view with this article.

An article by staff writer Steve McConnell titled "NEPA Filmmaker's Documentary Garners Sundance Award" appeared on page 9 of the February 5th, 2010 edition of Citizens' Voice.

You can also become a fan of Gasland on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"Blue Valentine" Now Has Official Website, Twitter and Distributor

The new film "Blue Valentine" (which included scenes that were filmed in the Reference Department at Scranton Public Library in May 2009) has recently premiered at The 2010 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews from critics and audiences. The film, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, was just acquired by distributor The Weinstein Co. and will be released theatrically in the very near future.

The official website for the the film has recently been launched and can be accessed at The film also has an official Twitter page:

Click here for a previous blog entry about the filming of scenes from "Blue Valentine" in the Reference Department at Scranton Public Library in May 2009.