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50 Cent in "Southpaw"?

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

The cast of “Southpaw” now includes 50 Cent, according to the New York Post’s Page Six. Director Antoine Fuqua is shooting the movie in Indiana, Pa., and soon will move to Pittsburgh locations.

Page Six reports that the rapper will play a promoter who’s part of the entourage of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, cocky, aggressive, volatile boxing champion Billy Hope. He fully expects to ride out his career with his massive winnings, adoring fans, beloved wife, Maureen, and their 10-year-old daughter.

When Billy’s temper triggers a fight and shootout that leaves Maureen dead, Billy’s life spirals out of control. After he loses his house, money and daughter, he begins to find his way back to some kind of balance with the help of an amateur trainer.

The cast also includes Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams. Screenplay is by Kurt Sutter.

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Liner Notes Vol. IX

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

News, reviews, features 'n more...enjoy!

From the New York Times, the kerfuffle over a digital orchestra for "The Ring" http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/arts/music/a-digital-orchestra-for-opera-purists-take-and-play-offense.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0 
From New Music Box, an ESPN for classical music http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/classical-music-in-the-era-of-espn/ 
From WNYC, an interview with outgoing New York Phil concertmaster Glenn Dicterow http://soundcheck.wnyc.org/story/concertmaster-says-farewell-new-york/ 
From Classical Voice North America (full disclosure, the publication of a professional association of which I am a member), an opera about (Allegheny City native) Gertrude Stein http://classicalvoiceamerica.org/2014/06/19/review-27-ricky-ian-gordon-opera-theatre-st-louis/ 
From the New York Times, New York's early music scene http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/arts/music/early-music-and-its-future.html?_r=0 
From NPR, a man who lacks rhythm http://www.npr.org/2014/06/24/323710682/think-before-you-clap-you-could-be-beat-deaf 
From the Dallas Morning News, themed orchestra programs http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/columnists/scott-cantrell/20140620-toward-livelier-orchestra-programs-pick-a-theme.ece 
From New York Magazine, Justin Davidson's review of the New York Philharmonic's new music biennial http://nymag.com/arts/classicaldance/classical/reviews/ny-phil-biennial-2014-6/ 
From the Atlantic, Lisztomania and the romantic power of music http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/the-romantic-power-of-music/371806/ 
From the Harvard Crimson, a message from pianist-scholar Robert Levin for graduates http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/5/29/amaze-yourself-amaze-world/ 

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Punk shocker: Black Flag + Joe Grushecky

Written by Scott Mervis on .

grusheckyMike Vallely, Joe Grushecky and Greg Ginn (photo by Desiree Grushecky)

When you go to a Bruce Springsteen concert, you expect an appearance by Joe Grushecky.But a Black Flag show?!

The Iron City Houserocker did indeed get on stage with the legendary hardcore band Wednesday night at Altar Bar.

Here’s the connection: Grushecky is a longtime friend of Mike Vallely, the singer and former pro skater standing in for Keith Morris, Ron Reyes, Henry Rollins, etc., in this version of Greg Ginn’s band.

Grushecky met Vallely more than a decade ago at a Houserockers show in Jersey. Vallely was impressed with Grushecky’s lyrics and approached him with some of his own writing.

“I’m like, ‘Here’s this hardcore skating guy and he was writing this poetry that was really good, really streetwise,” Grushecky says. “It seemed right to take that step and write music to it.”

They recorded the EP “Weekend in Pittsburgh” together in 2002, and Vallely also became friends with Joe’s son Johnny.

“He would come into Pittsburgh when he was in town and he would stay at the house and he took Johnny’s band on tour,” Grushecky says. “I went with them, and opened doing some acoustic songs.”

Grushecky is not the consummate Black Flag fan or anything -- (no four-bars tattoo on HIS arm), but he went to check them out Wednesday night.

“I can’t tell you every Black Flag song they played, but they were great. I was aware of them, as much as the Dead Kennedys, the Descendents, all those bands.”

Grushecky was surprised to learn show that Black Flag and SST founder Ginn was an Iron City Houserockers fan back in the day. “He played a lot of the same clubs we did on the East Coast and would hear about us,” Grushecky says.

BF invited Grushecky up for an extended jam on the last encore: “Louie Louie.” Of course, Grushecky knew it, and Black Flag cut it in 1981 with Dez Cadena on vocals.

Grushecky realizes he must have seemed out of the place to some members of the crowd.

“I’m sure the older punkers were amazed, like ‘Geeze, you played with Bruce Springsteen and now you’re playing with Black Flag.’ Opposite end of the spectrum, but music is music.”

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