Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Strange Familiar Will Never "Surrender"

"Love Keeps Us Marching On" - Surrender, The Strange Familiar 

This is a refrain from the awesome song and current video Surrender by The Strange Familiar, from their amazing album The Day The Light Went Out. Check out the excerpt from the interview I did with front woman Kira Leyden Andrea about it below.

MS: It's a good message. All the songs do fit together well, "Surrender" was a particular favorite of mine.

KLA: Very cool, that's actually my favorite. We are going to shoot a video for that one, that is our next big thing, to try and get that video done. (laughs)

This album is the band's best effort to date, which came from a place of great struggle and ultimately hope that the they went through, check out my full length interview with Kira after the jump -

Surrender is a "never give up" type of song that achieves it's goal. Kira's vocals are powerful and raw, and the video astutely reflects the honesty of the lyrics. If you are not "familiar" with these guys yet, it's time you were...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's All About The Hef, Hugh Hefner That Is

Tony Palmer's 1973 Film About Hugh Hefner, The Founder and 
Editor of Playboy, to be released on October 21

Hugh Hefner & Playboy are pretty tame by today's sex tape society, but he will always have a place in the history of the world as a pioneer & visionary -

The quote below that states this little opus is as "distasteful as one might have expected" clearly reviewed it in 1973 when it was released, raise a glass here's some ass!

"A brilliant, thoroughly good humoured and subtle dissection of an extraordinary man 
by a master film maker." - The Times
This 1973 documentary by the award-winning director Tony Palmer shone a light on the multi-millionaire Hugh Hefner and his Playboy empire. It gave Hefner the opportunity to tell his story and, of course, it offended the usual suspects - Mary Whitehouse, the Daily Express and many more. The film charts Hefner's rise from a small-time publisher to Playboy becoming one of the world's best known brands.

As Hefner says: "We had no money at all, and I mean literally no money. I doubt that any major magazine in our time has ever been started with as little initial investment. My own investment in Playboy was $600, all of it borrowed. The entire enterprise is now valued, in 1973, at something around $200 million." 

He continues: "The real essence of Playboy was trying to put not just sex, but the whole notion of play and pleasure, back into the American concept of living. And that proved to be a little more revolutionary than I realized when I started."

The 53-minute film will be available on DVD on October 21st via MVD Entertainment Group.

"As distasteful as one might have expected." 
The Daily Express

"It blatantly flouted TV's legal obligation not to offend against good taste and decency" 
Mary Whitehouse

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Shindig: We're All Part Of The Sideshow

"They love you when you're on all the covers
When you're not then they love another
They love you when you're on all the covers 
When you're not then they love another" Dope Show - Marilyn Manson

Believe it or not, Ripley's has added a side show to the Shindig Music Festival ...

Spear headed by Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction and featuring the legends of rock themselves!

Jane says 
'Have you seen my wig around? 
I feel naked without it'
She knows  Jan Says - Jane's Addiction 

A couple of key elements to the upcoming SHINDIG MUSIC FESTIVAL will combine to recall the flavor of the original Lollapalooza, back when it started as a traveling rock circus in 1991.

Believe It Or Not?!
One of those elements is undoubtedly PERRY FARRELL, who conceived the original alterna-rock extravaganza (now an annual three-day festival in Chicago) as a “farewell” tour for alt-rock legends JANE’S ADDICTION, which co-headlines the second annual edition of THE SHINDIG with punk rock favorites RISE AGAINST to anchor a daylong, two-stage lineup in the city’s historic Pigtowndistrict when the festival returns Saturday, Sept. 27 to Carroll Park, 1500 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD.

The other key element is the sideshow – in this case, the RIPLEY’s BELIEVE IT OR NOT! SIDE STAGE, where festival goers will “step right up” and into the bizarre world of the carnival sideshow, for hours of unparalleled amusement emblematic of the fun and diversity of Charm City’s people and neighborhoods that THE SHINDIG represents. At the Vending Village in the Woods, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! will be presenting a stage overflowing with outrageously abnormal entertainment, featuring fire breathers, sword swallowers, aerial acrobats, burlesque shows and other visually captivating oddities, all hosted by The World Famous LIZARDMAN. Among the more than 20 featured acts are Adam Realman, the Coney island Strongman Spectacular; Serpentina, the Snake Charming Contortionist; Marlena Dee, the Daredevel Showgirl and sword swallowing Playboy model;Jonathan Burns, the Sexy Flexy Comedy Contortionist; Danny Borneo, the Wild Man of Sideshow;Candy Del Rio, and her Bodacious Burlesque, and many other fashionable freaks. Seeing is indeed believing!
Giving Good Face
Adding to the eclectic festivities on this year’s two main stages will be musical performances byGogol Bordello, Clutch, Fishbone, Halestorm, Lucero, Roddy Walston & The Business,Larry and His Flask, The Mahones, The Bots, Charm City Devils, and Bad Seed Rising. Gates open at Noon. Music Begins at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale NOW at $70. VIP tickets are SOLD OUT! Ticket sales are well ahead of the pace of last year’s inaugural, attended by over 10,000 people, and going fast! To order tickets, go to Complete festival information at

The all-day festival – currently nominated Best Local Music Festival in the annual Baltimore City Paper Reader’s Poll (voting ends Friday) – will feature two identical main stages with NO OVERLAPPING SETS of music. Aside from the Ripley’s Side Stage, the Vending Village in The Woods also will offers a variety of Baltimore’s best and familiar food and beverage options with plenty of seating and shade available.

"I was born and raised in Baltimore and creating a festival and vibe we've never seen was my goal,” says THE SHINDIG’s curator, longtime Maryland independent concert promoter, Paul Manna at 24-7 Entertainment “As a fan of every artist playing, I just know that thousands of live music lovers will truly appreciate this lineup as much as I do. Seeing Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction, one of my all-time favorite bands, perform in Pigtown will certainly be the icing on the cake.”

The Shindig's inaugural event last year, featuring Dropkick MurphysJoan Jett and The BlackheartsThe Gaslight AnthemClutchThe Mighty Mighty BosstonesReverend Horton HeatThe Hold Steady, and more, was a resounding success, prompting Pigtown officials to welcome its 2014 return.

"The Shindig showcased our historic neighborhood to the most people ever gathered for an event inPigtown or Carroll Park - without any incidents or arrests,” says Ben Hyman, Director of PigtownMain Street. “They are yet another example of our investment in Pigtown, including the opening of nine new businesses and hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic development."


Official Website -

Saturday, September 13, 2014

AHS: I'm A Pepper, You're A Pepper...

Wouldn't You Like To Be A "Pepper" Too? 
That's correct all of you American Horror Story fans, Pepper has escaped The Asylum and joined the Freak Show!

American Horror Story: Freak Show that is.

Pepper a fan favorite inmate who visited during it's second season, Asylum is back and part of season four's Freak Show.

Naomi Grossman the actress who portrays Pepper and is pictured above with the World's Smallest Woman is a perfect fit.

According to show creator Ryan MurphyPepper is one of the members of the titular group of entertainers, managed by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange). Explains Murphy, “What Elsa has done for 20 years is she goes around to hospitals and jails and rescues these ‘freak’ circus performers who are going to be shipped away to asylums and she signs the waivers and she becomes their guardians.” This season of AHS takes place in 1952, a good 12 years before the events of Asylum. So Freak Show, according to Murphy,  “is sort of like what happened to Pepper before she went to the asylum.”

Step right up and marvel at the Freak Show, check out the full length trailer below...

Get Freaky at: 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Michael Shinafelt: U + UR Hand

Everyone Needs A Hand Sometimes
"Keep your drink just give me the money
It's just u + ur hand tonight" - Pink

OK people it's time to keep it real, honest & raw with yours truly. Friend and fellow horror fan M.E. Franco, author of the popular supernatural thriller Dion series of books: Where Will You Run? Where Will You Hide? & Where Will You Turn? Was curious about me and my Entertainment Journalism career.

Prepare yourself, I am direct and do not hold back, I talk candidly about my most surprising subject and tell you who the biggest Jackhole was I have ever dealt with. 

That's right, it's just you, me and our hands, right here, right now!

ME: Some personal things that I always like about your blog, but may not have said, is that I love the way you are supportive and respectful of people. Even when you make fun of stuff, or look at things critically, you are usually positive, and I love that about your writing
Hey M.E. Glad UR Entertained 

MS: I am flattered and happy you noticed. There is too much negativity in the world and I want to Entertain as well as be truthful without being snarky or a jerk.

ME: What got you interested in the entertainment industry?

MS: Growing up I loved movies, I used to watch them, go to them and breath them day and night. I also loved TV shows as well. One of my favorite things was to watch horror movies on TV on the weekend with my Dad. I came to Los Angeles to act and ended up writing and have now gotten back into acting again as well.

ME:. Who was the first person you interviewed?

MS: Singer Erin Hamilton, who happens to be Carol Burnett's daughter. She was sweet enough to be my first interview, we met for coffee and it was a fun time!

ME:. What have you learned about interviewing since then?

MS: To prepare less and not write down any questions. All I ever write down are a few notes about names of things the subject is doing or has upcoming. My experience has taught me to simply have a conversation as the person you are interviewing will tell you everything you need to know.

ME: Whose interview surprised you most?

MS: Margaret Cho. My first interview with her was sitting across from her on a couch after a photo shoot that she had done for it. Our chat was the cover story for Frontiers magazine. She was really low key and quite demure, I thought because of the lack of energy the interview was going to suck, it didn't. She gave great answers...while I did not expect her to be like her stage personae, I also did not expect how shy she actually was. Since then I have interviewed her several times and she now knows me, we basically have conversations and she is a lot more relaxed.
Me & Margaret Cho
ME:. Who would be your dream interview, and what one question are you dying to ask?

MS: I would have liked to have interviewed Elizabeth Taylor. What would I ask? What wouldn't you ask her?! She really lived! I would also like to have chatted up Joan Rivers, another woman with an incredible life who you could ask everything.

ME: You're a big fan of horror movies and have been in a few yourself. What do you find so appealing about horror movies?

MS: There is a catharsis with them, a visceral thing. Not to mention they are just plain fun and entertaining! Who doesn't like a good scare?

ME: What was your most spectacular death scene?

MS: My death scene in The Summer Of Massacre - something that I know you have seen. I loved sitting at the premiere with my then boyfriend and seeing the Boogeyman crush my skull in slowly until it popped like a cherry on a fifty foot screen, it was awesome!
Premiere Time: Myself & "The Boogeyman" Scott Barrows 

ME: Is there a famous horror character you'd like to interview? What questions would you ask?

MS: Norman Bates. I would ask him: Does mother really know best?

ME: On your blog, you outspokenly cover what you love, including controversial topics. Is there any topic(s) you avoid?

MS: Politics. I refuse to discuss that, and I can't stand people who do. If you know the answers get in office and go solve the United States many issues, please I would love for them to be resolved. I have my opinions, but mostly, unless I am with really close friends, I keep them to myself.

ME: You often build relationships with the musicians and entertainers you interview, which makes your blog so much more personal and interesting to read. Do you ever get nervous before an interview? If so, what do you do to relax?

MS: Never. Being an actor, and having a certain amount of my own celebrity sort of makes those nerves not exist for me. Especially since a lot of my subjects are friends of mine in real life. People in the music biz especially cotton to me as I have studied piano, guitar and have sang. I can still read sheet music and a keyboard - which I love. Thus I can talk shop with them and know what I am actually saying, same goes for the actors I interview as well. Since I have done, and still do it...

ME: Have you ever had an interview get out hand?

MS: Yes, Marky Ramone, who was not one of The Ramones founding members but was inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame with them. He bumped our time twice during the day to later than scheduled. The second time the PR guy gave me his direct number and said that Marky told him to have me call him in fifteen minutes. I did and Marky told me he was shopping or some lame thing and to call again in an hour. That was the straw that broke the camels back! I called the PR guy and said that clearly Marky was a complete Jackhole with no intent on giving an interview and no respect for my time and I called the whole thing off.

Get more on M E. at:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Because I Can: "Married With Children" 17 Years Later

Reunited And It Feels So Good

Katey Sagal aka Peg Bundy from Married With Children and unstable matriarch and big bad biker mama Gemma Teller on Sons of Anarchy of which the first episode of the final season premiered last night, got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame yesterday.

Thus it was time for a Bundy family reunion, Yay!

I was privileged enough to have V.I.P. access to one of the tapings of an episode during the 10th and final season of MWC. By this point and time the cast and crew were lightning quick pros, who had it all down pat and clocked in at an hour and a half for a shoot.

Not like the numerous times I was forced to sit through a V.I.P. access filming of Friends which took four hours, ugh!

Katey Sagal, Ed O'Neil, Christina Applegate & David Faustino were in top form and all reunited to celebrate their very talented co-star for her well deserved honor.

The often nominated MWC star has never won an award until her Golden Globe nomination for SOA.

Which has been sorely overlooked by the Emmy committee. So a toast to all you MWC fans out there, this reunion photo is for you and me!

Cheers, and get your Anarchy on!!!

Sons of Anarchy on FX

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fast Forward: Cherie Currie & Kim Fowley

Cherie Currie

“What a betrayal!! I imagined Kim and this guy back at the Starwood laughing at the fact that I was on my period, right before Kim sold me off like some kind of low-rent Hollywood pimp. It was embarrassing, and more than anything in the world I wanted to just go home… I realized that this whole thing was a setup by Kim, and I cursed myself for being too meek to stop it.” - Cherie Currie "Neon Angel" 

Fast Froward to 2014, the now. Cherie posted this on her Facebook page a few weeks ago:

“Life is ironic. Kim Fowley was moved into my home a week ago Friday. I have been a 24/7 caregiver for him. Funny, I have not been a fan of this man for decades but time is the great equalizer. It has been an honor to be there for him. He is ill so please send prayers to him. He is as brilliant now as he has ever been. Caring for him keeps me from FB. Know I love you all and please send positive thoughts his way.”

Life is an experience that throws us many curve balls. The important thing is to keep evolving and most of all forgiving..

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" - Gandhi 

Runaway with Cherie at: