October 27, 2013 |
BAKERSFIELD - Peddling the songs of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the heart of Bakersfield - when you're neither Owens nor Haggard - could rank on the scale of tough gigs right up there with hauling coals to Newcastle and selling ice to Eskimos. That was anything but the case, however, when 20-time Grammy Award winner Vince Gill and longtime friend steel guitarist Paul Franklin brought their new tribute album, "Bakersfield," to its namesake town to celebrate the distinctive West Coast strain of country music and its two most prominent practitioners, who emerged there more than half a century ago. It was no surprise, ultimately, that Gill and Franklin were accorded heroes' welcomes for shining the spotlight anew on a richly fertile period and place by nearly 3,000 Bakersfield residents who filed into the Rabobank Arena Theater on Friday night.
October 26, 2013 |
Plenty of star players were on USC's sideline Saturday against Utah, but most of them were in sweatsuits because of injuries. All-American receiver Marqise Lee, tight ends Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer and safety Dion Bailey offered direction and support to seldom-used reserves and walk-ons in the first half as interim Coach Ed Orgeron preached what has become his mantra: "One team, one heartbeat. " "Coach O said, 'This is one of those kinds of little-brother-takes-over-for-big-brother games,' " said senior receiver De'Von Flournoy.
October 26, 2013 |
Sometimes, being strong means acknowledging a weakness. USC kicker Andre Heidari said last week he was in a kicking funk after missing two field-goal tries in the Trojans' loss at Notre Dame, a significant admission from a player whose mental toughness and kicking accuracy as a freshman All-American had marked him as special. And he had little time to straighten himself out: Interim Coach Ed Orgeron put the kicking job up for grabs Monday, no longer able to accept squandered scoring opportunities while the Trojans offense continues to sputter.
October 25, 2013 |
A few weeks back, I reviewed the movie "Pulling Strings," a bilingual, cross-cultural romantic comedy set around the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. I found the film to be unexpectedly charming, with a sort of breezy appeal many recent Hollywood rom-coms strain toward but fail to achieve. My review made a mention of the actress Stockard Channing, noting that she "steals every scene she's in because, well, she's Stockard Channing. " This was followed by a parenthetical: "About all that need be said of Tom Arnold's performance as a bumbling embassy administrator is that he is not Stockard Channing.
October 23, 2013 |
Strange question about Steve Blake - what exactly is he? Point guard or shooting guard? He has been the point man since picking up a basketball in his Florida high school days, but he keeps popping up in the Lakers' starting lineup as a shooter next to Steve Nash. "I'm a utility guy. Put me at center. Why not?" Blake said. That won't happen for the 6-foot-3 rail-thin bundle of Blake. But Coach Mike D'Antoni continues to give him more freedom, a long leash born last season when Blake averaged 11.6 points and 3.9 points over the last five weeks, easily his best stretch with the Lakers in three mostly nondescript seasons.
October 22, 2013 |
The California Master Plan for Higher Education decreed that it was the job of the state's community colleges to train students for technical careers and for the sort of semi-professional occupations that generally require a two-year associate's degree. Those who wanted a bachelor's degree - and the sort of jobs that go with one - could move on to either California State University or the University of California. But the master plan was written during the postwar baby boom, and like many of us who were born back then, it's beginning to develop wrinkles.
October 21, 2013 |
Quarterbacks, beware. When you're facing Eagle Rock, know that senior cornerback Paul Gandara is lurking and looking to cause a little havoc. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior has 21 career interceptions going into this week's game against Marshall. He has led Eagle Rock to a 7-0 record. "I don't notice how many I have because each game my main goal isn't to get an interception," Gandara said. "It's to help my team in any way. Usually, when the quarterback will make a little mistake, I see my chance to capitalize.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 |
Jazz singer Gloria Lynne, whose roller-coaster career took her from hits like "I Wish You Love" in the 1960s to near-obscurity and then rediscovery, died on Oct. 8 in a Newark, N.J., hospital. She was 83. The cause of death was a heart attack, said her son Richard Alleyne, a rock arranger known professionally as P.J. Allen. Lynne was lauded for her interpretations of songs in a wide variety of styles, and "I Wish You Love," her best-known recording, scored high on the charts in 1964.
October 19, 2013 |
Jackie Chan is not dead. And he's not retiring. "There are so many different rumors, I am getting used to it," the 59-year-old actor-director says of online reports of his demise. "Don't worry, before I die, I let you know. " Chan may be looking to slow down on the action, but after more than 50 years and 100-plus movies, he seems unstoppable. His latest film, "Chinese Zodiac," which opened Friday in the U.S., still features him leaping from buildings, fighting in the air and rolling down a mountain in a full-body rollerskate suit.
October 17, 2013 |
Early in her career, Jacqueline Bisset discovered that she didn't need to be in every shot of a movie. Bisset came to that realization while making Jerry Paris' underrated 1970 drama "The Grasshopper," which cast her as a wide-eyed teenager from British Columbia who winds up a prostitute in Las Vegas. It was the first time the British actress, who had become an international sensation in such films as the seminal 1968 thriller "Bullitt" and the 1970 granddaddy of disaster flicks, "Airport," carried a movie.