Sunday, September 30, 2012

Out Spotlight

 Today's Out Spotlight is an English musician, who, with Neil Tennant, makes up the pop duo Pet Shop Boys. Today's Out Spotlight is Chris Lowe.

Chris Lowe was born Christopher Sean Lowe on October 4, 1959, one of four children to Clifford and Vivien Lowe.   He attended Arnold School, an independent school in his hometown of Blackpool, Lancashire. He also worked in the Solarium where he followed the family tradition of his grandfather play trombone in a comedy jazz troupe.  Lowe was a member of  seven-piece dance band called One Under the Eight, that played old-time favorites like "Hello Dolly", "La Bamba" and "Moon River".   He also became a skilled pianist. 

In 1978,  he went to study architecture at the University of Liverpool and during a work placement in 1981 at a London architectural practice, he designed a staircase for an industrial estate in Milton Keynes. It was at this time that he met Neil Tennant in a hi-fi shop on the Kings Road in London.  From that meeting the foundation for Pet Shop Boys was formed.

Recognizing a mutual interest in dance music, they began to work on material together, first in Tennant's flat in Chelsea and from 1982, in a small studio in Camden Town. It was during those early years that several future hit songs were created, including "It's a Sin", "West End Girls", "Rent" and "Jealousy".

Starting out, the two called themselves West End because of their love of London's West End, but later they came up with the name Pet Shop Boys, derived from friends of theirs who worked in a pet shop in Ealing. Their big break came in August 1983, when Tennant was assigned by Smash Hits to interview The Police in New York. The duo were obsessed with a stream of Hi-NRG records made by New York producer Bobby Orlando, simply known as Bobby 'O'. According to Tennant: "I thought: well, if I've got to go and see The Police play, then I'm also going to have lunch with Bobby 'O'." They shared a cheeseburger and carrot cake, at a restaurant called the Apple Jack, on 19 August (two years to the day since Tennant and Lowe had met) and, after hearing a demo tape that Tennant had brought along with him, Orlando suggested making a record with the Pet Shop Boys.

In April 1984, the Orlando-produced "West End Girls" was released, becoming a club hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco. On November 2, it was voted "Screamer of the Week" by listeners of Long Island, New York radio station WLIR. It was a minor dance hit in Belgium, and France, but was only available in the United Kingdom as a 12" import.

Pet Shop Boys  went on to become one of the world's best-selling music artists, selling over 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records.  Their music became a part of the soundtrack of the 1980's.  Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1986 they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four number ones: "West End Girls", "It's a Sin", "Always on My Mind" and "Heart".

They maintain consistent public personalities—in interviews Tennant appears cerebral, articulate and loquacious; while Lowe, now almost always seen in his trademark attire of hat and sunglasses (since as early as 1985), appears guarded yet fun-loving, terse yet flippant and casual. They have maintained a consistent pattern for interviews, in which Tennant is the primary speaker, answering questions at length, while occasionally being interrupted by brief, generally humorous interjections from Lowe (which is comparable to the concept of a comedic double act).
After Pet Shop Boys began touring on a regular basis, Lowe became known for his behavior of standing still while playing keyboards on stage. In 1995, The Guardian commented that he was "possibly more famous for not doing anything than almost anyone else in the history of popular entertainment.

They have also been seen as willfully contrary, defying expectations of record labels and the music industry in terms of commercial image, self-promotion and the nature of their own music. In their early years, Pet Shop Boys seemed to be mostly defined by the things they refused to do.

At the 2009 BRIT Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.  While synonymous with the 80's the band continues to create fresh and relevant music.  The band's eleventh studio album, titled Elysium (continuing their tradition of single word titles), was released in September 2012, the first single of which, titled "Winner", was released in July 2012.  They participated in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London reprising their hit "West End Girls."

While Lowe has not been involved in many solo projects, he has done some.  In 1993 he wrote and produced the track "Do the Right Thing" for the footballer, Ian Wright (Lowe is a die-hard Arsenal F.C. fan). The song featured backing vocals by the long-time Pet Shop Boys’ backing singer, Sylvia Mason-James, and the single featured remixes by Rollo. In 2004 Lowe was commissioned to do music for an advertisement for the sunscreen brand Blockhead. The song ended up in a remixed version on a "CafĂ© Mambo" chill-out compilation.  And he has also written the music for the song "Streets of Berlin", featured in the revival of Bent at the Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall in 2006.

Branching out from music he has appeared on both television and radio.  In 1995, he had a cameo in the Australian soap opera Neighbours.  On the radio, he once filled in for  host Pete Tong when he was too sick to present the Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1.  And in August 1991, Lowe and Tennant were invited to take over Simon Bates' mid-morning show on BBC Radio 1 choosing the playlist, principally dance music. They were invited back to fill the same role in July 1992.

In March of  2009, the duo  presented a radio cover show at Absolute Radio on 15th, while DJ Geoff Lloyd was on holiday; appeared on Rob Da Bank and Friends on 16th, showcasing their A to Z of music; and  Lowe was interviewed by Gaydar Radio presenter Simon Le Vans airing on the 19th.

 Lowe's innovation and style was not limited to his music and in 1997, he returned to his architectural roots, when  his flat was the subject of an in-depth feature in Elle Decoration magazine.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Never Back to Chat

This has been brought this up before but what's TV without repeats.

Why hasn't Jake been on Jay Leno since BBM?

It was a good interview, Jake seemed relaxed and enjoying it. What went wrong? He's never been back and at this point it is blatantly obvious after promoting 7 more movies in almost 7 years that somehow he's missed Jay every time.  

Is it out of loyalty to Conan?  Because at this point that's bit much.

Or is there something more to it?

What do you think?

Jake doesn't think all of NBC is bad - here he is posing with former NBC host Katie Couric  at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Direction Needed.

Ohh I thought said One Director, not Direction. 

 See I'm a director. I got my card and everything. 

I've directed two episodes of OTH.

Yeah really. It was still on the CW up till last year.

I know!! Who'da thought.

I can direct TV, commercials, music videos, school programs, backyard musicals....and kids.

 Are you sure?  I can sing if you want. 

Oh my eye?  I tried out for a job for John Woo last week.

Happy Austin Friday. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why (W)ME Worry?

Jake's on Conan tonight and you have to wonder what can happen that hasn't.

When they get together


Big Moons

Some Musical Theater and Jazz Hands


Arms a flutter



Gee your beard smells terrific moments

And Jake's gag reflex

Where else could they go tonight?  ; )

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What a Difference a Day Makes Part 2

Today was Yom Kippur the most important day of the Jewish calendar.  It is a day of atonement after 10 days of reflecting on what you've done over the past year, it is a day usually spent with family, fasting, praying  and in services.

It reminded me of last year's Yom Kippur, you know when Jake was living in New York.

Hey he's living in New York this year too.

And how everyone was seen (or 'shopped)  going to services together last year.

Kind of like this year

 .. oh wait

Hmmm wonder what's the difference?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friends and fauxs

 So what do you do when the contract's up and the faux finishes?

Do you avoid each other?  Do you play nice?  What is the etiquette for this kind of thing?

For Jake the contract has been cut short a couple of times and have being dumped (Reese) and doing the dumping (hello Swifty) it's a tough call.  But it seems that Jake has been courteous if need and all business when and if he runs into them at event.

Now Austin is where it differs.  It seems like after the closing date on  contracts it's not all faux and go, but some friendly moments.

A few tweets here and there and then today Austin bumped into his former co-star after the gym, greeting with a hug and waits while she grabs a coffee.

But does that sound like a former beau that got dumped? Because it sounds more like a girlfriend meet and greet.

While HuffPo is trying to float that the faux could rise again, it seems nothing more than running into a former co-worker.  We know how Soph loves to PR' it up when a new season starts, and a new series, double that love.

So going to The Godfather, the I-Ching of movies -- " It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

The best part of the whole thing?  When do you see Austin in baggy shorts and flip flops?

Monday, September 24, 2012

#1 with a Bullet

Congratulations Jake.

With a come from behind the underdog  EoW went to the top of this weekend's box office.  And with that Jake has something he has never had before,  opening a movie at #1.

It was done without a three ring circus or a bearded lady. 

So here's something to think about Jakey.

Maybe the reason that you done so well  is because you're letting your craft shine again, and not let it get dimmed by all the others shenanigans of playing the game in HW.

People get to see what a great actor you are on screen instead focusing on the other act off screen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight  is an American actor who has earned him 3 nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.  He is also a voice from Hollywood supporting the LGBT community.  Today's Out Spotlight is Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

 Jesse Tyler Ferguson  was born October 22, 1975 in Missoula, Montana, and then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was raised. At the age of eight he decided to become an actor, and joined the Albuquerque Children's Theater, where he was a member for six years. In high school Ferguson played Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, and General Bullmoose in Li'l Abner. He also joined his high school speech and debate team, and worked as a dancer/singer at Cliff's Amusement Park.

Ferguson graduated from St. Pius X high school in 1994 and attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City. His professional career began in New York where he worked mainly in off-Broadway and Broadway shows, including the Tony Award-winning, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where he originated the role of Leaf Coneybear.

 He received a 2005 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Jesse in Spelling BeeFerguson's experience with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has been fulfilling, as he says of Leaf, “He is very close to who I am because I helped to create him...I was, as a child a very shy, awkward kid. I was artistic and creative but I didn't have very good social skills. I sometimes think that I still don't! all that is definitely part of who Leaf is." However, “I am a horrible speller and am in constant fear that I am going to spell one of the memorized words wrong in the show. I actually spelled ‘vulpine’ wrong one night. It came a part in the show when we are rapidly moving through spelling words...we just pretended that it didn't happen, and hopefully no one noticed.”

 He has appeared in the films Untraceable and Ordinary Sinner, on the TV shows The Class, Ugly Betty, Sally Hemings: An American Scandal, Mercury In Retrograve and the Rosie O’Donnell show.Jesse on Ugly Betty, 'Icing on the Cake'

He has also performed in the musicals Cinderella, Peter Pan, The King and I, Annie Get Your Gun, Hello Dolly!, The Boys from Syracuse, Rhythm Club, Summer of '42, On the Town, Newyorkers, Little Fish, twice in Hair, and Embarassments.

Ferguson has also appeared in the plays Corpus Christi, Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Kean, The SantaLand Diaries, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Where Do We Live? and Comedy of Errors.

In the summer of 2007, Ferguson starred in the Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was honored with a 2008 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for his performance.

Most know Ferguson from his most current role, where he  plays the role of Mitchell Pritchett, the openly gay lawyer on the acclaimed ABC sitcom Modern Family. For his performance, he has received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2010, 2011 and 2012).

He has been a involved member of the LGBT community and voice from the  Hollywood community for LGBT rights.   In March 2012,  he was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8 – a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage – as Dr. Ilan Meyer. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a non-profit organization funding the plaintiffs' legal team and sponsoring the play.

Ferguson was on the March 6, 2012 episode of Piers Morgan Tonight commenting on Kirk Cameron's remarks in which Cameron called homosexuality unnatural and "detrimental to society", Ferguson said "The only unnatural thing about me being gay is that I had a crush on Kirk Cameron until about 24 hours ago."

 This past week,  he announced his engagement to lawyer Justin Mikita, his boyfriend of nearly two years.  He made the announcement in a video that also marked the launch of a new foundation called, which advocates for bow ties and marriage equality.