Friday, January 21, 2011

Esperanza Spaulding Sings and Plays Upright Fretless Bass

Esperanza Spaulding

"Terra Nova" - "Little House on the Prairie" With Dinosaurs

"Terra Nova," an adventure series about a family from the year 2149 which travels back 85 million years in an attempt to "restart" humanity.  It might be the most expensive broadcast television series ever made.  The first two hours of the show cost about $16 million.  The per-episode cost is expected to be more than $4 million. A typical hospital or lawyer drama is more on the order of $2.5 million per episode

Production in Australia includes hundreds of extras and towering sets that took nearly 15 weeks to build.  The Terra Nova "colony" is the size of a football field inside 18-foot walls, complete with a market, hospital and residences. An 8-foot animatronic velociraptor makes a cameo in the second hour.

Terra Nova" tells the story of the Shannon family in the year 2149, when the Earth is overcrowded and the majority of plant and animal life is extinct. A portal into primeval history gives the Shannons and thousands of other families a chance to travel back to pristine, prehistoric times. At first the Terra Nova settlement seems idyllic, but the Shannons quickly encounter man-eating dinosaurs; the colonists become disenchanted and restive.  The show is "Little House on the Prairie with dinosaurs.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin are the executive producers of the show. (WSJ, 1/21/2011)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Attendees at The White House State Dinner for Hu Jintao

Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release
January 19, 2011

State Visit and Dinner Program



      The Honorable Madeleine Albright, Washington, D.C.
      Ms. Alice Albright
      Ms. Christiane Amanpour, ABC News, New York, NY
      Mr. James Rubin
      The Honorable David Axelrod, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
      Mrs. Susan Axelrod
      Mr. Jeffrey Bader, National Security Council
      Ms. Rohini Talalla
      The Honorable Elizabeth Bagley, Washington, D.C.
      Mr. Kevin Frawley
      Mr. Steven Ballmer, Microsoft, Redmond, WA
      Mrs. Connie Ballmer
      Ms. Bette Bao Lord, New York, NY
      The Honorable Winston Lord
      Mrs. Denise Bauer, Belvedere Tiburon, CA
      The Honorable Howard Berman, Representative from California
      Mrs. Janis Berman
      Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
      Dr. Jill Biden
      The Honorable Joseph Beau Biden, III, Attorney General of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
      Mrs. Hallie Biden
      His Excellency Zheng Bijian, Chairman, CIIDS
      His Excellency Dai Bingguo, State Councilor
      Mr. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs, New York, NY
      Mrs. Laura Blankfein
      The Honorable Antony Blinken, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, Office of the Vice President
      The Honorable Stephen Breyer, United States Supreme Court
      Dr. Johanna Breyer
      Mr. Greg Brown, Motorola, Schaumburg, IL
      Mrs. Anna-Louise Brown
      The Honorable Dr. Zbigniew Brezezinski, McLean, VA
      Mrs. Emilie A. Brzezinski
      The Honorable Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
      The Honorable Lael Brainard, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs
      The Honorable James E. Carter, former President of the United States
      Mrs. Rosalynn Carter
      Mr. Jackie Chan, Beverly Hills, CA
      Mr. Phillip Button
      The Honorable Elaine Chao, Washington, D.C.
      Dr. James Chao
      His Excellency Wang Chao, Vice Minister for Commerce
      His Excellency Tung Chee Hwa, Vice Chairman, CPPCC, former Hong Kong Chief Executive
      Mr. John A. Chen, Chairman, Committee of 100, New York, NY
      Mrs. Sherrie Chen
      The Honorable Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, Trenton, NJ
      Mrs. Mary Pat Christie
      The Honorable Judy Chu, Representative from California
      Ms. Chiling Tong
      The Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy
      Mrs. Jean Chu
      The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, Secretary of State
      The Honorable William J. Clinton, former President of the United States
      The Honorable James E. Clyburn, Representative from South Carolina
      Mr. John Clyburn
      The Honorable Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago, Chicago, IL
      Mrs. Maggie Daley
      The Honorable William Daley, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
      Ms. Bernadette Keller
      His Excellency Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce
      Mr. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., New York, NY
      Mrs. Judith Dimon
      The Honorable Thomas Donilon, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor
      Ms. Cathy Russell, Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden
      The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
      Mrs. Karen Duncan
      Mr. James Fallows, The Atlantic, Washington, D.C.
      Mrs. Deborah Fallows
      Mr. Xie Feng, Director General, MFA
      Mr. Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, Washington, D.C.
      Mrs. Ann Friedman
      The Honorable Michael B. Froman, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs
      Ms. Nancy Goodman
      His Excellency Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology
      The Honorable Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense
      Mrs. Becky Gates
      The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
      Mrs. Carole Geithner
      Mr. Mark Gilbert, Boca Raton, FL
      Mrs. Nancy Gilbert
      The Honorable Chris Gregoire, Governor of Washington, Olympia, WA
      Ms. Courtney Gregoire
      His Excellency Zhu Guangyao, Vice Minister for Finance
      His Excellency Zhang Guobao, Vice Minister for NDRC
      Mr. Herbie Hancock, Los Angeles, CA
      Mrs. GiGi Hancock
      The Honorable Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology
      The Honorable Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
      The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Representative from Maryland, Democratic WHIP
      His Excellency Wang Huning, Director of the Policy Research Office of CCCPC
      The Honorable Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China
      Mrs. Mary Kaye Huntsman
      Mr. Robert Iger, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, CA
      Ms. Willow Bay
      Mr. David Ignatius, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
      Dr. Eve Ignatius
      Mr. Jeff Immelt, General Electric, Fairfield, CT
      Mrs. Andrea Immelt
      The Honorable Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
      His Excellency Li Jiaxiang, Vice Minister for Transportation
      His Excellency Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
      His Excellency Ling Jihua, Director of the General Office of CCCPC
      Mr. Robert Kagan, McLean, VA
      Ms. Victoria Nuland
      Mr. Michael Kempner, East Rutherford, NJ
      Mrs. Jacqueline Kempner
      Mr. Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola, Atlanta, GA
      The Honorable John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts
      Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry
      Mr. Robert King, UAW, Detroit, MI
      Ms. Julie Kushner
      The Honorable Ron Kirk, United States Trade Representative
      Mrs. Matrice Ellis-Kirk
      The Honorable Henry Kissinger, New York, NY
      Mrs. Nancy Kissinger
      Mr. Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, Scarsdale, NY
      Ms. Sheryl WuDunn
      Ms. Ellen Kullman, DuPont, Wilmington, DE
      Mr. Michael Kullman
      Dr. Zhang Kunsheng, Director-General, Protocol Department
      Ms. Michelle Kwan, Torrance, CA
      Mr. Lang Lang, New York, NY
      Mrs. Zhou Xiulan
      The Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget
      Ms. Maya Lin, New York, NY
      Mr. Daniel Wolf
      Ms. Limin Liu, Reno, NV
      Dr. Hugh Shapiro
      Mr. Andrew N. Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI
      Mrs. Paula Liveris
      The Honorable Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce
      Mrs. Mona Locke
      The Honorable Christopher Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
      Ms. Kathryn Thomson
      The Honorable Richard Lugar, Senator from Indiana
      Mrs. Charlene Lugar
      Mr. Yo Yo Ma, Burbank, CA
      Ms. Jill Hornor
      The Honorable Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol, Department of State
      Mr. W. James McNerney, The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL
      Mrs. Haity McNerney
      Mr. Evan Medeiros, Director for Asian Affairs, NSS
      His Excellency Jiang Mianheng, Vice Chairman, CAS
      Mr. Mel Monzack, Wilmington, DE
      Mrs. Ann Monzack
      Admiral Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
      Mrs. Wendi Deng Murdoch, New York, NY
      Mr. James Murren, Las Vegas, NV
      Mrs. Heather Murren
      The Honorable Thomas Nides, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
      Ms. Virginia Moseley
      Mr. Paul Otellini, Intel, Santa Clara, CA
      Mrs. Sandy Otellini
      The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Representative from California, Democratic Leader
      Mr. Paul Pelosi
      His Excellency Zhang Ping, Minister of NDRC
      The Honorable David Plouffe, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
      Ms. Olivia Morgan
      Mr. Tom Pritzker, Pritzker Organization, Chicago, IL
      Mrs. Margot Pritzker
      His Excellency Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of the State Council
      Ms. Jean Quan, Mayor of Oakland, CA
      The Honorable Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, CA
      Ms. Azita Raji, JP Morgan Securities, Inc., Belvedere, CA
      Mr. Gary Syman
      The Honorable Ben Rhodes, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
      Ms. Ann Norris
      The Honorable Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, New York, NY
      Mr. Ian Cameron
      Mr. Robert Roche, Shanghai, CN
      Mr. Kenneth Roth, The Human Rights Watch, Washington, D.C.
      Ms. Annie Sparrow
      The Honorable Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President
      Ms. Courtney Chapin
      Mr. David M. Rubenstein, The Carlyle Group, Washington, D.C.
      Mrs. Alice Rubenstein
      Mr. Kirk Rudy, Austin, TX
      Mrs. Amy Rudy
      The Honorable Brent Scowcroft, The Forum for International Policy, Washington, D.C.
      The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
      The Honorable Gary Sebelius
      The Honorable Susan Sher, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady
      The Honorable Neil Cohen
      Mr. Robert Sherman, Boston, MA
      Ms. Kim S. Sawyer
      His Excellency Chen Shiju, Chief of the President’s Office
      The Honorable George Shultz, Stanford, CA
      Mrs. Charlotte Shultz
      Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Culver City, CA
      The Honorable Phil Gordon, Mayor of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
      The Honorable Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy & Director of the National Economic Council
      Ms. Allison Abner
      The Honorable Jim Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
      Ms. Sherburne B. Abbott
      Ms. Barbra Streisand, Malibu, CA
      Mr. James Brolin
      The Honorable Tina Tchen, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
      Mr. John Thornton, The Brookings Institution, HSBC North America, Palm Beach, FL
      Mrs. Margaret Thornton
      His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
      Dr. Stanley Toy, Jr., Pasadena, CA
      Ms. Lana Toy
      Mr. Luis Ubinas, The Ford Foundation, New York, NY
      Dr. Deborah Tolman
      Mr. Jose Villarreal, Commissioner General, Shanghai Expo, San Antonio, TX
      Ms. Sara Villarreal
      Ms. Vera Wang, New York, NY
      Mr. Arthur Becker
      Mr. Steve Westly, Menlo Park, CA
      Ms. Anita Yu
      Ms. Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine, New York, NY
      Mr. Shelby Bryan
      Ms. Patricia A. Woertz, Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur, IL
      Mr. Kelvin R. Westbrook
      Mr. B.D. Wong, New York, NY
      Mrs. Roberta Wong
      Mr. Charles Woo, Mega Toys, Los Angeles, CA
      Mrs. Ying Woo
      The Honorable David Wu, Representative from Oregon
      Ms. Anna Kopperud
      His Excellency Xie Xuren, Minister of Finance
      His Excellency Zhang Yesui, Chinese Ambassador to the United States
      Madam Chen Naiqing
      His Excellency Sun Yibiao, Vice Minister for Customs

Chinese state dinner seating chart

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FCC & Justice Approve Comcast Merger With NBC Universal

The Justice Department, along with the Federal Communications Commissionon, approved Comcast's $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal on Tuesday.  The deal merges the nation's biggest cable and Internet service provider with NBC Universal's library of entertainment.

Most of the conditions for the merger apply for seven years. In addition, Comcast made several voluntary commitments to the FCC to ensure that the deal would be in the public interest. It will offer more children's programming and local news. It will also offer low-income households Internet service for $9.99 a month and stand-alone broadband Internet subscriptions for $49.99.

Comcast promised that it would not retaliate against broadcast networks or cable programmers for licensing their shows to competing firms such as Time Warner Cable or DirecTV. Comcast volunteered to treat all Internet content fairly - with similar speeds - even if the FCC's net neutrality rules are overturned by a court.

The FCC and Justice also demanded that Comcast relinquish its management stake in Hulu, the online joint venture NBC has with News Corp. and Walt Disney. But Comcast would be able to keep its financial stake in the Web site.

The FCC approved the deal on a vote of 4-to-1 (Michael J. Copps opposing).  (Wash Post, 1/18/2010)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Carlos Santana Marries Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman & Carlos Santana
Guitar legend Carlos Santana and former Lenny Kravitz drummer Cindy Blackman married at the Ritz-Carlton in Mauiin, Hawaii on December 19, 2010.  Blackman wore a custom-made silk dress from the Zurich boutique Zoro for the ceremony.
The couple washed their hands in a bowl of rainwater and "We absolved ourselves of all things past and all things future except the two of us. It felt so clearing to do that."  They released doves "to release our purity and love into the cosmos."

The wedding and reception included 180 guests, including comedian George Lopez and musician pals Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, who performed at the reception.

After honeymooning in Hawaii over the holidays, the guitarist went back to work at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. (People, 1/5/2010)

Cindy Blackman

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sly Stone and The Family Stone

James Brown may have invented funk, but Sly Stone perfected it; his alchemical fusion of soul, rock, gospel, and psychedelia rejected stylistic boundaries as much as his explosive backing band the Family Stone ignored racial and gender restrictions, creating a series of euphoric yet politically charged records that proved a massive influence on artists of all musical and cultural backgrounds.

In 1966, Stewart formed the group Sly & the Stoners, while his younger brother Freddie led his own band, Freddie & the Stone Souls; soon the siblings merged the two acts, and with bassist Larry Graham, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, saxophonist Jerry Martini, and drummer Greg Errico, Sly & the Family Stone were born.

As the group's chief vocalist, songwriter, and producer, Stone pushed the envelope further with each successive release; and with the 1970 chart-topper "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin," he essentially created the sonic blueprint for the funk and disco that dominated the decade to follow via a percussive groove propelled by Graham's pop-and-slap bassline.
However, as the utopian ideals of the 1960s gave way to the paranoia and corruption of the 1970s, the celebratory sound that once epitomized Sly & the Family Stone gave way to the bleakly unsettling There's a Riot Goin' On, a dark, militant masterpiece that yielded the hits "Family Affair" and "Running Away."

Released in 1973, Fresh was Sly & the Family Stone's last truly great album, and after issuing Small Talk the band unraveled, with 1975's High on You credited to Stone alone.

Sly & the Family Stone were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

(Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide)