Browns win NFL free agency, while Giants, Bell flop

Antonio Brown won big this week, but former teammate Le’Veon Bell headlined free agency’s losers. Now that the frenzy has quieted, how did everyone do?
www.espn.com – NFL

Source: Bell plans to join Jets for 4 years, $52.5M

Former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who shocked the NFL by sitting out the entire 2018 season on the franchise tag, plans to sign a four-year, $ 52.5 million deal with the Jets, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
www.espn.com – NFL

You Were in My Dream – Xian Bell

Xian Bell - You Were in My Dream  artwork

You Were in My Dream

Xian Bell

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Price: $ 8.99

Release Date: February 27, 2019

© ℗ 2019 Drastic Measures

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Adam Carolla: Not Taco Bell Material – Nate Adams

Nate Adams - Adam Carolla: Not Taco Bell Material  artwork

Adam Carolla: Not Taco Bell Material

Nate Adams

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 9.99

Rental Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: March 5, 2019


Not Taco Bell Material is Adam Carolla’s first ever stand up special based on his New York Times best-selling autobiography. It spotlights Adam’s witty improvisational humor as we learn about his life growing up, told through stand-up comedy and photos from his early life. It’s hilarious, poignant, and even inspiring.

© © 2018 Chassy Media, LLC

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Where Le’Veon Bell fits: We put together potential contract offers

We asked NFL Nation reporters to make their best offers for the free-agent running back — then chose the best one. Green Bay, Houston or New York?
www.espn.com – NFL

War Begins Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - War Begins Book One  artwork

War Begins Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: February 14, 2019

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


The greatest enemy the galaxy has ever known is here. The war will begin…. Diana had a troubled past. The kind where her family were brutally murdered right in front of her eyes. It’s changed the course of her future – but it will change more. An ancient race left a gift inside her mind, and it is time for it to rise. … Sampson is a psychic soldier – one of the Coalition’s best. When he’s sent to the Academy to spy on students, he has no clue he’ll be drawn toward Diana and into the final fight for the Milky Way. … War Begins is a four-part action adventure space opera sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s Axira. This series is complete, and all four books are currently available.

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Not Taco Bell Material (Abridged) – Adam Carolla

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Not Taco Bell Material (Abridged)

Adam Carolla

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 12.99

Publish Date: June 12, 2012

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The 50 Greatest Violin Pieces by Joshua Bell – Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell - The 50 Greatest Violin Pieces by Joshua Bell  artwork

The 50 Greatest Violin Pieces by Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: April 2, 2013

© ℗ 2013 U-5

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Inside the next potential fight between Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers

The running back and the franchise probably are headed for more hostility over how he’s tagged, with the real possibility of arbitration.
www.espn.com – NFL

Magic Born Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Magic Born Book One  artwork

Magic Born Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


Monique is a broken witch on the run. Three years ago, she escaped being sacrificed at Vendex Academy for Magic. She’s been running since. Until now. Chance draws her back into the magical world, and one man won't let her leave. Monique is thrust into a world of violent intrigue, of old money and power, and of poisoned destinies. She has one chance. One man. And one way out.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Le’Veon Bell Wants A Valentine’s Day Date With SZA

[[tmz:video id=”0_7b7j3pn3″]] Le’Veon Bell plays football, but here’s proof he’s an expert in shooting his shot … ’cause he’s letting the world know he has a crush on R&B superstar SZA … just in time for Valentine’s Day. We got Bell leaving…

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WIRED25: Ethical AI: Intel’s Genevieve Bell On Living with Artificial Intelligence

Intel Vice President & Senior Fellow Genevieve Bell spoke at WIRED25, WIRED’s 25th anniversary celebration in San Francisco.
WIRED Videos

Losing $14.5M and a season? How we got here with Le’Veon Bell

Two franchise tags, $ 855K lost per week and one lost season. The stalemate is finally over, but getting to this point is a complicated story.
www.espn.com – NFL

Milton’s Comus – William Bell & John Milton

William Bell & John Milton - Milton’s Comus  artwork

Milton’s Comus

William Bell & John Milton

Genre: Theater

Publish Date: November 7, 1674

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


John Milton’s 1634 masque (a type of stage entertainment popular in Renaissance Europe) revolves around a young girl whose virtue is tested by the depraved and hedonistic Comus.

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Star Soldier Episode One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Star Soldier Episode One  artwork

Star Soldier Episode One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: August 16, 2017

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


Her world is dying, and only she can help. Ami is a soldier, nothing more than cannon fodder in a war that’s threatening to tear her world apart. When creatures from a cross-dimensional rift spill over her world, society as she knows it shatters. All must fight to live. But when a creature with near limitless power choses her to save her world, Ami is swept into a fight for everything and everyone. … An action-packed sci fi, Star Soldier is sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s Axira.

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A Lying Witch Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - A Lying Witch Book One  artwork

A Lying Witch Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: October 30, 2016

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


Chi McLane likes to lie. It's part of her job. She's a fortuneteller and will happily lie about your future for a fee. Then she encounters a problem. She's just inherited her grandmother's house. That's not so bad, right? Wrong. Because the house comes with a book, and the book comes with a curse. Suddenly Chi finds herself thrust into the gritty world of a seer. Yeah, because magic exists, and it ain't pretty. Oh, and there's another problem. One with broad shoulders, a deep Scottish accent, and a killer smile. Turns out he's her magical bodyguard, and he's here to stay. Chi is pushed into a realm of violent magic, petty lies, and a curse that will haunt her until the day she dies.

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A Princess Lost – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - A Princess Lost  artwork

A Princess Lost

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: September 9, 2018

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


Andalusia is no ordinary pirate – she’s a runaway princess. She ran to save her people from her betrothed. He intends to use her to start a galactic war, unless she can stay out of his clutches. When she runs into one of her old guards, she's pulled back into the life she disavowed. She can no longer afford to run. It is time to rise up and do what she should have done from the start – go to war. … A Princess Lost is the first instalment of the Rising Princess series. An action-packed galactic adventure, pick it up today.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Le’Veon Bell Hosts Rap EP Release Party at Miami Nightclub

[[tmz:video id=”0_z5utxsav”]] Le’Veon Bell can still put on a show during his holdout … taking the stage for his rap project release party … and TMZ Sports has the video!! The NFL superstar is staying busy during his time away from the Steelers…

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Le’Veon Bell Hits the Jet Skis In Miami, Pay Me Already!

[[tmz:video id=”0_0vbnegku”]] Le’Veon Bell is stayin’ afloat during his holdout — zippin’ around Miami on a jet ski … and TMZ Sports has the video.  Bell was chillin’ on a yacht on Monday — living it up — when he decided to take one of the jet…

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Le’Veon Bell Hits Miami Club In Middle Of Steelers Holdout

Probably safe to assume Le’Veon Bell ain’t coming back to the Steelers this week … ’cause dude seems pretty busy livin’ it up in Miami — HITTING THE CLUB UNTIL EARLY TUESDAY MORNING!! TMZ Sports has learned the star running back partied it up at…

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Shattered Destiny Episode One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Shattered Destiny Episode One  artwork

Shattered Destiny Episode One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: December 3, 2016

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


She’s a loner. Always has been. She’s fought to survive, tooth and nail. He’s a prince of the Arterian Royal Family – the greatest power in the galaxy. They shouldn’t meet. Their paths should never intersect. But they do. Because the Milky Way is on the verge of total war once more. Together, they can save everyone. If they are torn apart, all will fall…. … Shattered Destiny: A Galactic Adventure is a six-episode serialization, it takes you on a break-neck journey through strange alien worlds, vast star systems, and a galaxy of secrets. Packed full of action, intrigue, and romance, it’s sure to please fans of the original Betrothed series.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Art – Clive Bell

Clive Bell - Art  artwork

Art

Clive Bell

Genre: Art & Architecture

Publish Date: December 31, 1913

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


In this book the author has tried to develop a complete theory of visual art. The author has tried to make a generalisation about the nature of art that shall be at once true, coherent, and comprehensible in this book. In this author has put forward an hypothesis by reference to which the respectability, though not the validity, of all aesthetic judgments can be tested, in the light of which the history of art from palaeolithic days to the present becomes intelligible, by adopting which we give intellectual backing to an almost universal and immemorial conviction.

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Le’Veon Bell Strip Club Booty Slappin’ During Steelers Holdout

[[tmz:video id=”0_pq5qn3wn”]] Le’Veon Bell is spending his time away from Steelers camp in epic fashion … turning up with his girlfriend and smackin’ a whole lotta butts at a strip club — and it’s all on video. The Pro Bowl running back is staying…

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Kristen Bell Recalls Dax Shepard Lettuce Slug Incident and Talks Father’s Day Plans

Kristen Bell, Dax ShepardKristen Bell was not OK with a slug sharing her salad but she let it go.
Last week, the Frozen actress posted on Instagram Stories a video of an “unexpected friend for dinner”–a…


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A Leaf of Faith – Christopher Bell & David Baca Jr.

Christopher Bell & David Baca Jr. - A Leaf of Faith  artwork

A Leaf of Faith

Christopher Bell & David Baca Jr.

Genre: Documentary

Price: $ 12.99

Rental Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: May 29, 2018


Opioid painkillers are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. After losing his older brother to prescription pills, filmmaker Chris Bell (PRESCRIPTION THUGS) – himself a 6-year opiate addict – wanted to find solutions. His research led him to Kratom, a plant from Southeast Asia that when consumed kills pain like opioids, but it doesn't carry with it many of the deadly side effects, withdrawal symptoms, or addiction problems that come with opioids. It’s even helped to wean addicts off of pharmaceutical opioids. In A LEAF OF FAITH, Chris seeks natural ways to kill the pain but not the patient.

© © 2018 A Leaf of Faith, inc.

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Steelers’ Bell raps on being ‘target’ for critics

Le’Veon Bell raps about the criticism he is receiving over his contract drama with the Steelers in a new song titled “Target.”
www.espn.com – NFL

Forgotten Destiny Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Forgotten Destiny Book One  artwork

Forgotten Destiny Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: November 27, 2017

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


She’s got powers, and she has to use them to find her future husband before it’s too late…. This isn’t fair. Beth has just found out she’s a witch, and in this world, witches are regulated. When her powers are tested, she's pushed into a new job working for a rakish bounty hunter who's charm only just makes up for his arrogance. But if Beth thinks finding bounties for Josh McIntosh is the worst punishment imaginable, she hasn't met Maximus C. Knights yet. He's the most powerful kingpin in town, and he needs her to find something. Specifically? Her future husband. You see, there’s a prophecy that says one day a witch just like Beth will come along, and with a little help, she’ll save the world….

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Le’Veon Bell Wants A Valentine’s Day Date With SZA

[[tmz:video id=”0_7b7j3pn3″]] Le’Veon Bell plays football, but here’s proof he’s an expert in shooting his shot … ’cause he’s letting the world know he has a crush on R&B superstar SZA … just in time for Valentine’s Day. We got Bell leaving…

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Architecture – Nancy R E Meugens Bell

Nancy R E Meugens Bell - Architecture  artwork

Architecture

Nancy R E Meugens Bell

Genre: Art & Architecture

Publish Date: August 30, 2010

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


The classic introduction to what architecture is; materials employed and definition of distinctive features of the main styles. With 86 drawings it explains in depth: -Egyptian, Asiatic, and early American architecture -Greek architecture -Roman architecture -Early Christian architecture -Byzantine and Saracenic architecture -Romanesque architecture -Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman architecture -Gothic architecture in Europe -Gothic architecture in Great Britain -Renaissance architecture in Europe -Renaissance architecture in Great Britain

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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons – Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons  artwork

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: September 2, 2008

© ℗ 2008 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

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Love Ballad To Your Therapist with Kristen Bell & Yvette Nicole Brown

Love Ballad To Your Therapist with Kristen Bell & Yvette Nicole Brown

Love Ballad To Your Therapist with Kr… 3:23
Kristen Bell sings a love ballad to the most important person in her life, her therapist Jan Gray PhD (Yvette Nicole Brown).
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In a World… – Lake Bell

Lake Bell - In a World...  artwork

In a World…

Lake Bell

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 7.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: August 9, 2013


Inside the cutthroat culture of movie trailer voice-over artists, Carol, a young female voice coach, joins the all-male race to land the white-hot new trailer of a blockbuster trilogy, and with it lay claim to the legendary trailer catchphrase “In a world…”.

© © 2013 In A World , LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2012 – Kyle W. Bell

Kyle W. Bell - Game Freaks 365's Video Game Guide 2012  artwork

Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2012

Game Freaks 365, no. 8

Kyle W. Bell

Genre: Games

Publish Date: December 4, 2011

Publisher: Kyle W. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


Picking good games can be hard. Avoiding duds can be even more difficult. That's why smart consumers turn to experts on the subject. Game Freaks 365 was founded to help people choose games that are worth their hard-earned dollar and bypass games that are better suited for the trash can. Writing about video games is our passion. This guide aims to help the smart consumer pick the best games on the market in 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and Nintendo 3DS. Over 70 reviews from some of the finest games of the past year are found in Game Freaks 365's Video Game Guide 2012, including popular titles like Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Catherine, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Infamous 2, Killzone 3, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Little Big Planet 2, L.A. Noire, Portal 2, Resistance 3, Super Mario 3D Land, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!

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Dax Shepard Reveals ‘Christmas Fever’ With Wife Kristen Bell Includes Matching Jammies

Dax Shepard opens up to Access Hollywood Live’s Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover about his recent romantic roller skating date night with wife Kristen Bell. Plus, how big are he and Kristen planning to go for Christmas this year?


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I Do…Until I Don’t – Lake Bell

Lake Bell - I Do...Until I Don't  artwork

I Do…Until I Don’t

Lake Bell

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 14.99

Rental Price: $ 5.99

Release Date: September 1, 2017


In Vero Beach, Florida, a trio of couples at various points in their relationships become the subjects of a film about marriage being an antiquated idea that needs a reboot: Why not turn marriage into a seven-year deal with an option to renew? For Alice and Noah (Lake Bell, Ed Helms), more than a hint of boredom is setting in as they approach their first decade together and the prospect of parenthood. Meanwhile, Alice’s funky sister Fanny (Amber Heard) is sure her "open marriage" to Zander (Wyatt Cenac) is the key to their free-spirited happiness. And then there's Cybil and Harvey (Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser), a pair of empty-nesters wondering what the next stage will be. As the manipulative filmmaker (Dolly Wells) attempts to show how marriage is outmoded, the couples she interviews discover the "do" and "don'ts" in their own relationships. I Do…Until I Don't is Lake Bell's directorial follow-up to her acclaimed 2013 film In A World.

© © 2017 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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Jordan Bell starts, Steph Curry cooks in Golden State’s rout of the Bulls

The Bulls led by three at the end of the first quarter, but Chef Curry heated up in the second quarter to lead Golden State to a blowout.
www.espn.com – NBA

Serena Williams’ Wedding, Huge Stars, Tennis Themes and Bell Biv DeVoe!

Here’s one case where Bell Biv DeVoe broke their own rule — and totally trusted a big butt and a smile … because they were some of the VIPs at Serena Williams’ wedding!!  It all went down in New Orleans on Thursday night — where huge stars like…

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Angel: Private Eye Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Angel: Private Eye Book One  artwork

Angel: Private Eye Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Gabrielle Sauvage


Right and wrong will cost you…. Lizzie Luck is magical. Apparently. The DNA test came back proving she's from the otherworld. She's unemployed, has 24 dollars in her account, and is so out of luck it's killing her. Things couldn't get worse, right? Wrong. When she winds up in the police station and comes to the attention of the city's richest, most charming and most powerful vampire, her fortunes take a turn for the worse. Soon she finds herself under contract to him. She has to agree to his terms, and in return, he'll find out who she is…. From magical murders to dangerously attractive vampires, Lizzie is thrust headfirst into a world of intrigue, mystery, and fantasy. …. With plenty of action, adventure, wit, and romance, Angel: Private Eye is sure to please fans of Witch's Bell. A seven-book series, the first two books are currently available.

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The Last Queen Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - The Last Queen Book One  artwork

The Last Queen Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: June 19, 2017

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Odette C. Bell


Try to imagine this. Try to imagine that you’re the last of a dying, powerful breed. Try to imagine that you can’t live alone. You have to marry a modern-day king, or you’ll die. That’s me – the Last Queen. As my life falls apart, I’m forced into a world of dark magic, death, power, and arrogant kings who will do anything to acquire me. In this violent game, I will need to align myself to live. But, instead, I will choose to fight…. The Last Queen is an action-packed, fast-paced urban fantasy from Odette C. Bell. It’s sure to please fans of The Frozen Witch. 

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Kristen Bell Just ‘Literally Saved’ Josh Gad’s Family From Hurricane Irma

Anna definitely ❤️ Olaf, as Kristen Bell ‘literally saved’ the family of her ‘Frozen’ co-star Josh Gad from Hurricane Irma.
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Ring, Ring Goes the Bell: 15 Songs About School

The subjects range from crushing on teachers to rock 'n' roll rebellion
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The Frozen Witch Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - The Frozen Witch Book One  artwork

The Frozen Witch Book One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: September 7, 2016

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Odette C. Bell


She’s in trouble – of the mythic kind. When Lilly White finds a strange box, it changes her life. It ignites the ice that has always lain dormant in her heart. Oh, and it brings her to the attention of him. And who is he? The god of revenge. He drags her into his world. A world of magic, of crime, of retribution. She’ll never escape him. And soon she’ll realize she doesn’t want to…. … The Frozen Witch is an action-packed urban fantasy sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s Angel: Private Eye.

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The Boy (2016) – William Brent Bell

William Brent Bell - The Boy (2016)  artwork

The Boy (2016)

William Brent Bell

Genre: Horror

Price: $ 14.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: January 22, 2016


The Boy is a frightening thrill ride directed by William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) and starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead). Greta (Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village. She soon discovers that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that they care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

© © 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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Jenni JWoww Farley Shares Precious Video of Her Daughter Dressed as Bell, Dancing With the Beast (AKA Roger Mathews)

Roger Matthews, Meilani, JWowwOK, if this doesn’t give you all the feels, we don’t know what will…
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Drake Bell Is No Longer Bummed About Missing Out On Josh Peck’s Wedding

Drake Bell says there are ‘no hard feelings’ between him and Josh Peck after the ‘Drake & Josh’ star didn’t invite his onscreen step-bro to his wedding.
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Chats with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant, Pentatonix’s Avi Kaplan, Ben Rector and Widespread Panic’s John Bell, Plus We/Or/Me and HPnB/Dan Zanes Exclusives

2015-11-09-1447107228-5974387-LynyrdSkynyrdPronouncedSecondHelpingDVDcoverlr.jpg

A Conversation with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant

Mike Ragogna: Johnny, the new one is titled Lynyrd Skynyrd Live In Jacksonville. Using the old term f there’s really such thing as a blast from the past, this would be it, right?

Johnny Van Zant: Yeah, you know, it was something that we talked about doing for a while. Actually we had the thought a few years ago but it just never panned out. This year it worked for us. We did it in a really cool place down here, an old theater that’s been here for years called the Florida Theatre, it holds about eighteen or nineteen hundred people. We did it over a period of two nights and it was a great time. We went back and tried to have as much fun doing it and doing it in the same order as it was on the record, which was really cool because “Sweet Home” starts out Second Helping. [laughs] For that particular part of the show it was like, “Okay, we’re starting the show with ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ which we never do,” so it was a hoot. Then we had a bunch of songs that we’ve done in a medley because there are so many great Skynyrd songs but we’d never played them all together. We were up in Canada earlier this year at a sound check and we went through the whole thing, so when we got prepared we finally booked the dates and we had a great time. It was awesome for me…I was home every night. [laughs] The bands were awesome, they were there from all ages, that was a pretty cool thing to see. I hope the fans love it, man. We had a good time doing it, I’m looking forward to seeing what the response of the fans are.

MR: You have a couple of dates left in November, right?

JVZ: We just have those few shows, we usually try to take off this time of year and spend it with our immediate family instead of our Skynyrd Nation. Try to catch up on things.

MR: What have you learned about your first two albums from the tour and playing the songs often?

JVZ: Probably just tempos and stuff like that. We were like, “Wow, that was recorded really fast!” Either in our old age we’re getting slower or we we’re just like, “Wow, that’s really booking it on the album.” There’s just different little intimate parts where you go, “Wow, okay, maybe we could’ve done this,” or “Maybe we should’ve done that,” but again, man, it was just a blast going back. For us just doing our record set, of course you play “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” so we’ve been playing those for a long, long time, but then you have songs like “Curtis” and “I Need You” which was really cool because the band’s never done “I Need You” live. It was really cool to go back and do that one, it’s a great song. Looking at the fans singing along with it was awesome.

MR: I imagine you guys might have discovered a couple of new favorites.

JVZ: You know what, we hadn’t done “Poison Whiskey,” which was really neat. We never figured it would go over that great live, and I don’t know if it was just particularly that night, but it just went over really well that night. Those two nights, I should say, because it was done over a period of two nights.

MR: You said it was a multi-generational crowd. What do you think is leading the younger crowd to Lynyrd Skynyrd other than their parents introducing them to you?

JVZ: Yeah, forcing them to listen to it. [laughs] I always go, “Did your parents force you to listen to it?” and you’d be surprised, a lot of them say, “No, I love the music!” I think it’s just that Skynyrd songs are timeless. “Free Bird” is timeless, “Sweet Home” is timeless, they’re just timeless songs. I think people relate to Skynyrd, it’s a working class band. They’re just songs with messages. To this day there’s never been a song written that didn’t have a message.

MR: It’s been said that you guys were the smartest southern band there ever was when you came around.

JVZ: [laughs]

MR: Songs like “Workin’ For MCA” were pretty controversial, considering it was your home label. What kind of memories are coming back to you from those days as you revisit these two albums?

JVZ: Well, I think just a band getting its act together and growing as a band. There was an album called First And Last that was put out years later that was done before these two albums, but these were the first two albums that were successful. Of course, Pronounced… came out and “Free Bird” did pretty good for that record, and when “Sweet Home” came out it flip-flopped and made people start catching on to the first record from “Sweet Home.” They went back and went, “Wow, there’s another record out there called Pronounced…” and both of them went rapidly platinum and the band just exploded from there.

MR: Was it like Al Kooper was a member at the time?

JVZ: Yeah, he was. He guided the band. Al’s a great musician. If it wasn’t for Al Kooper there might not be a Lynyrd Skynyrd. He’s the one who found us at Pinocchio’s in Atlanta, Georgia and signed us to Sounds Of The South through MCA, brought the band to attention.

MR: “Sweet Home Alabama” is probably your classiest, most classic single, whereas “Free Bird” has grown even beyond you; it’s not just the band’s anthem, it’s a southern anthem. What was that?

JVZ: Way back when, there was FM radio, and jocks used to say, “Man, we love “Free Bird” and “Stairway To Heaven” because we can put it on and use the bathroom and when we come back it’ll still be playing.” [laughs]

MR: So you have DJs’ bowels to thank for this.

JVZ: Yes, there’s a lot of them out there that appreciate those two songs. That was a time when radio played whole albums instead of just singles. Singles were new to FM radio when “Sweet Home” came out. The biggest single for Lynyrd Skynyrd was actually “What’s Your Name.” That was the highest charting single for Lynyrd Skynyrd, which kind of amazes me because “Sweet Home” was a single, too, and it’s the one that’s been played for years and years in movies, we’ve got our buddy Kid Rock who had it in his song “All Summer Long,” along with “Werewolves Of London” by Warren Zevon. It’s just amazing to me. It’s pretty funny, we were over in Europe a few years ago and we’re all Beatles fans so we went on The Beatles’ Liverpool tour, we rented a bus and took our crew and we had a guide telling us all about their houses and, “Oh, this is the field where ‘Strawberry Fields’ was written.” We went to John Lennon’s house and there were these kids in the neighborhood on their bicycles and they said, “Hey, who are you?” because they could tell we were some band. We were like, “Lynyrd Skynyrd” and somebody said, “Yeah, ‘Sweet Home Alabama,'” and one of the kids spoke up and said, “Oh yeah, Kid Rock’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama!'” [laughs] We were laughing our butts off. We said, “Thank you, Bobby, for introducing us to some eight year-olds in London.”

MR: But that points out that you have an international audience. What is it about Lynyrd Skynyrd that gives it this kind of presence?

JVZ: I think it’s just common people, man. People love the songs. You hear a song like “Simple Man” or “That Smell” and people relate to it. Hell, these days “Saturday Night Special” with all the gun stuff going on, it’s just relatable man. There’s an old saying, “Hey, the music will be around a lot longer than we will.” That’s a cool thing about playing music, that music will be here long after we’re gone.

MR: Johnny, what advice do you have for new artists?

JVZ: I don’t know, man, it’s such a difficult time, first of all if you’re going to do this have plan A and plan B. So many people are great singers, great players and never make it, so have that plan B, but follow your dreams and work hard at it and keep your nose clean, that means don’t be into drugs and drinking and all that stuff, man, because that’s ruined a lot of my friends and almost tried to ruin myself with it. Just keep at it, man. If you believe in yourself, give it a time period and see what you can come up with.

MR: In your case, it’s really also been about family, hasn’t it?

JVZ: It has. We always tell people when we were young we didn’t have six hundred channels and video games and computers and iPhones and stuff, we had an old swing set out in the front yard and that was our entertainment. We would listen to the Grand Ole Opry and the Ed Sullivan show and learn the songs and go out and sing them on the swing set during the day. That was our entertainment, it was very common. We weren’t a rich family, but we were rich in family. We didn’t have a lot of money, but hell, money don’t make you who you are.

MR: I imagine the pain doesn’t go away, the loss of Ronnie and everybody in that crash.

JVZ: Oh yeah. October twentieth was thirty eight years, I believe, and it just doesn’t seem that long. I guess time flies, but it just really doesn’t seem that long to me. It still seems like yesterday.

MR: Since you guys planted those seeds, look at all that’s sprouted. You ended up with not just your band, but Rossington Collins, 38 Special, Skynyrd left a mark.

JVZ: Yeah, and hopefully we still keep on keepin’ on. We’re getting ready to start recording for a new record and all that good stuff, it’s what we do. I had a conversation with Gary Rossington the other day, he’s had some heart trouble, so he said, “I went out by my lake and I’ve been kind of meditating and I figured out what’s really important to me–my grandkids, my family, and playing guitar.” I went, “Yeah, that’s pretty much all of us.” That’s what we love. You asked me what it is about Lynyrd Skynyrd; I think it’s that the fans see who we are. There’s no faking it or trying to be something else. No makeup–no offense to anybody who wears it. But as far as artists go, if you see us on the stage, that’s who we are and when we come off it’s still who we are.

MR: So you’re still okay with being the Kings of Southern Rock?

JVZ: [laughs] You know what, man? I have to put the Allmans in there, too.

MR: [laughs]

JVZ: We all grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, so there was something in the water. Hey, that’s a good song title, I may use that. [laughs]

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with Pentatonix’s Avi Kaplan

Mike Ragogna: Avi, on your new self-titled Pentatonix album, you’re exploring some new technology and stretching out a little more vocally. So how did you approach this album differently than past projects?

Avi Kaplan: In terms of production, I think that the goal for this album was to show how we write songs and how eclectic we are, but it’s also an album to really compete in the pop world. As for the new technology, we actually haven’t used too much more than our other albums, we’ve just been a little bit more liberal with some different types of effects, some filters and reverb. What we wanted to do was push the boundaries a little bit, but also make sure that anything we do on this album is something we can recreate live. That is something that is super, super important as a band. Regardless of what we do on the album, we want to make sure that we can do every single track justice.

MR: How did these songs come together?

AK: Our record label put us with a bunch of different songwriters, we wrote in duos and trios. Honestly we just wrote a bunch of songs, I’d say around forty, and then at the end, we just chose the ones we thought accentuated what we do best.

MR: Were there any songs or their recordings that really pushed you?

AK: I think that with originals, everyone is going to be more emotionally invested, so with these songs I wouldn’t say that it was trying to figure out how it was done but actually getting everyone to agree on how it should be finished.

MR: Avi, Pentatonix recently won the Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella. That has to relaunch you differently than if you were still going the independent route, like after the group’s initial Sony signing years ago. How did that propel you as a group creatively or professionally?

AK: Professionally, I think it made us feel like we had been doing the right thing. It felt so good, we were so proud of it. I wouldn’t say that we’ve gotten any new opportunities because of it, but it’s really just an amazing thing for us to have under our belt, and for us to be able to say as an a cappella group and as individual artists.

MR: What’s the relationship between Pentatonix and its fans? Are you aware of who they are in the bigger sense?

AK: Absolutely. Our fanbase is definitely a family. A lot of them have been with us from the beginning, really. I feel like one of the reason it’s so close is because we’re an a cappella group in the pop industry, we’re trying to compete with all of these acts, we’re obviously going to be the underdog in every way. Our fans also feel that way, they want to be able to prove to the world that they can make us everything that we think we can be. We’ve gone on this journey together and just gotten so much closer. We love to say that our fans are the nicest fans in the world. They’re just the most supportive. It’s really just an amazing family, we’ve become friends with our fans, we know them by name and by face, it’s just a really beautiful thing.

MR: What do you think has evolved over the course of the records? Can you see a difference between where you started and where you are now?

AK: I think that overall, we’ve just come a little more into our own as artists trying to figure out our sound. Even this album was a little experimental, trying to figure out exactly what our sound is. I think we’re still refining it, but through all these processes, all the albums we’ve done and all the things we’ve done, I think we’ve just been refining our sound, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

MR: What are your thoughts on Pentatonix’s association with Cracker Barrel?

AK: Well, first of all, I love Cracker Barrel. We all love Cracker Barrel. I know that the trio who grew up in Texas went to Cracker Barrel growing up, Kevin’s from Kentucky, he went to Cracker Barrel all the time, we’ve been to Cracker Barrel as a group, I’ve fallen in love with it, I love southern food, I love southern comfort, I just love the vibe. As a group I feel like it totally resonates with what Cracker Barrel stands for and the vibe that they have. As far as how it came about, they’re fans of the group, we’re fans of Cracker Barrel, it just kind of worked out.

MR: Are there any fun or interesting collaborations that will happen in the future with the organization? Maybe surprise some Cracker Barrel crowd one night with an impromptu performance?

AK: That’s exactly what’s going to be happening, we’re doing surprise performances at Cracker Barrels, singing for fans, eating some food, it’s going to be a really great time. At the end of the day when you put together a scene in Cracker Barrel it’s going to be amazing.

MR: “First Thing’s First” is a great song, it’s like, “Okay, you want to get rich and all that, but first thing’s first, get your house in order, get your heart in order.” That’s sort of the message of Pentatonix in a lot of ways, isn’t it?

AK: Absolutely. The thing about it is we really pride ourselves in being grounded and really keeping the right things in the forefronts of our minds and our hearts, it’s something that we really care about as a group and want to continue, and something we really want to extend to our fans and really anybody. We want to have a positive message. There’s a lot of music out there that isn’t positive, it doesn’t really talk about the greatest things. When it comes to music in general I personally feel that music is around to bring life to others, and I feel that that’s what we personally try to do nonstop with our voices. Singing is such an organic and vulnerable and humble thing, it just makes sense. If we were trying to be cocky and talk about terrible things I feel like it just wouldn’t make sense with what we do. It’s just our vibe and what we care about.

MR: And that theme carries through when you listen to something like “Ref” or “Misbehavin,” which, if you listen to the lyrics, of course, you’re not misbehaving.

AK: Yeah, it’s funny because when you hear the aesthetic of “Ref” or “First Thing’s First,” you think it could be a little bit of a cocky song or talk about some bad things, but it really doesn’t, the messages behind both of those songs are really great.

MR: By the way, I think “Ref” might be my favorite song on the album. With regards to a relationship, saying, “I’m not going to be the ref here,” is a subtle, cool concept. I don’t think I’ve heard that said in such a way before.

AK: Honestly, I was so happy and proud of everyone in the group for the writing we did.

MR: If you only had time to show a person one song on the album, what would that one song in your opinion be?

AK: Man, that is really, really tough. I would say either “Cracked” or “Na Na Na.” I think both of those are really our vibe, really our style and it kind of accentuates the happiness and the fun in “Na Na Na” and the seriousness and the soul and grit in “Cracked.”

MR: Now that you have set the bar at this level of songwriting, does it tend to make you want to stretch the boundaries even further? I’m not suggesting taking on anything like religion or politics, but are there bigger concepts that you’d like to tackle?

AK: I think we’re always trying to expand. As far as religion and politics, I don’t think we’d ever take a stance on that type of thing because honestly everyone in the group is very, very different. We all have the same values, but we don’t all agree on the same issues. We wouldn’t ever do anything that would make anybody uncomfortable. If there ever was something that we felt really strongly about, like music in schools, that’s something we can all get behind, if there was ever an issue that we all felt really passionate about and could all get behind, one hundred percent we’d expand and really take a stance on that.

MR: Of course, you all have music education when you were in school.

AK: Yeah, we were all classically trained, I was actually an opera major in college, Scott was a pop music major, Mitch had actually just graduated, he was going to be a music major, Kirstin was a music theater major in college. Kevin was actually pre-med and East Asian studies but he has been doing music and is an extremely amazing talented musician, he’s classically trained, he played at Carnegie Hall, he’s done a lot of great things in music.

MR: I think a big point in the debates on music education in school is the grade school level. Did you all have grade school music programs?

AK: I’m sure we all did music in grade school. I know that I was in band, I played trumpet, Kevin was in Orchestra, he did cello, the trio definitely did choir in grade school as well.

MR: Who oversees the vocal arrangements?

AK: You know, we actually have a different overseer for every arrangement because we all have such different and eclectic musical styles and tastes. For instance, if we’re going to be covering an R&B song I would say that Scott would take over for that sort of thing. If we’re doing a real chill, vibe-y, emotionally type of thing, or if it’s choral and has a lot of beautiful harmonies I would say I would arrange it. Kevin is the leader when it comes to beats and all those different groove changes and stuff. Everybody has a different strength. It might even just be because of what song it is. If Kevin’s super in love with a song he can lead that one, you know?

MR: I’m sure people have thrown all kinds of musical comparisons at you guys.

AK: Oh yeah, there are a bunch of different groups that people talk about, absolutely.

MR: Have you taken any cues or inspiration from any of those notes?

AK: Absolutely. I would say that I’m the biggest a cappella nerd of anybody, I would say that I listen to a cappella groups more than anybody else. I know that we definitely have our own style but there are times where we say, “Oh my gosh, we should definitely have a Take Six moment here,” or “We should do an old school Manhattan Transfer-y type of thing here.” We definitely have knowledge of that stuff and we do a bunch of different styles, we like to lean in different directions, it’s a lot of fun. At the end of the day, if it wasn’t for those groups doing their thing and having those different styles, we really wouldn’t be here.

MR: I think this is a great time for Pentatonix because there are so many boundary-pushing productions out now that are grounded in pop.

AK: Honestly, it’s really cool that they’re getting more creative and experimental when it comes to production, but also you’ll notice that while there are a bunch of dance songs out there a million tracks in them, there’s also stuff like Adele, or this new Drake song that are very, very minimal. There’s a lot of minimal tracks coming out and that’s something that’s very exciting for us because at the end of the day we have five voices, one who beatboxes and sings at the same time. It’s really cool to know that there are some tracks out there that are pretty minimal that we could definitely compete with.

MR: Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas To Me is one of the best-selling Christmas albums of recent years. Just thought I’d mention that.

AK: Yeah, it’s surreal to hear that.

MR: And on your new album, you have a New Year’s song that accentuates its complicated vocal arrangement. Was it fun to record?

AK: That was a lot of fun to sing! It was really cool, actually. I run an a cappella camp and we actually brought in the A Cappella Academy Choir, which is all of my students. That was really amazing to have them sing on that song, so it was extra fun to record that.

MR: So you’re into mentoring?

AK: Oh absolutely, running that camp is definitely my favorite thing that I do in my life right now.

MR: Avi, you fell right into my devious trap! What advice do you have for new artists?

AK: I would say to really, really think about what your strengths are, play to those, doing try to compare yourself to other people. If music is your heart, put everything you possibly have into it. Don’t let any opportunity go by, make sure you do everything possible to make sure that you can succeed in it. Not everyone has success in music, not everyone gets rich and famous from it, but at the end of the day you can remember why you’re doing music, to bring life to others and to lift people up. Just keep that in mind.

MR: So what’s coming in Pentatonix’s future?

AK: Honestly, there are so many different thing that we want to do. We really want to have a hit song on the radio, we’re working on that now, more touring, expanding our fanbase, there are so many things we want to do.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with Ben Rector

Mike Ragogna: Ben, your brand new album Brand New went Top Ten! And you’re positioned in the Top Ten on like five other Billboard charts. You’re a superstar!

Ben Rector: You’re kind to say that. I’m not sure I’d agree, but I’m really glad people have enjoyed the record!

MR: Alright mister, how did you do it? Did it have something to do with your voice, maybe the songs?

BR: I hope so. I’m not sure what else I’ve got going on that people would buy the record for!

MR: Okay, so it took a few albums and singles, but what would the documentary say about how you got to this level of superstarfulness? Leave out no detail!

BR: If there were a documentary, it probably wouldn’t be terribly exciting, as it’s mostly been slow and steady growth over the past 8-10 years. I started traveling and playing music professionally early on in college and ever since it has grown steadily. There wasn’t one thing that drastically changed my trajectory or brought a whole bunch of new fans on board at once, I think it’s just now getting to the place where it’s a little more visible.

MR: Kidding aside, it’s like “Make Something Beautiful” is the theme of the album, as in when something goes wrong in life, you’ve got to make something beautiful. Can you pull the curtain on some of these songs, how you came up with some of their topics and maybe a story or two of their creation?

BR: So glad you noticed that song! Basically, for this record, I wanted to make a first record again. The longer you do something, the harder it is for it to feel fresh and new, the way it did when you were starting out. I wanted to get back to when I was in college skipping class to write songs, looking forward to Thursday afternoon when I’d drive to another state and play for free hoping I’d sell enough CDs to pay for the gas home. That’s the central theme of Brand New, which is also the single. I actually wrote that song after the record was finished, it always ends up that a few weeks after you’re done with an album something special shows up and usually there’s no time to record it. Since that had happened a few times already, I built in a little extra time to see if anything like that would show up, and thankfully it did!

MR: By this point, and since you released the last couple of albums yourself, do you enjoy recording and releasing albums yourself? Are you at least grinning a teensy bit that you beat the system and sold thousands of CDs without a major label?

BR: It’s definitely really satisfying to see something work and find an audience without a machine behind it. On paper there definitely shouldn’t be as many people coming to shows and buying records as there are. I’m really grateful people are seeking it out!

MR: Who are some of your favorite artists and who inspired you creatively?

BR: I love a lot of old singer songwriters, James Taylor, Paul McCartney, Randy Newman, Billy Joel. I love new music too, but those are probably my favorites.

MR: What’s your favorite song on the album and don’t claim, “Oh, they’re all my children, I couldn’t do that,” because that won’t work.

BR: I think mine is probably “The Men That Drive Me Places.”

MR: In “Almost Home,” you lost your shoes in New York City. And there’s a guy talking obnoxiously on a flip phone in “The Men That Drive Me Places” who’s from where? New York. Is there something with you and New York?

BR: That’s a great question! I think both of those were actual events. I did lose a pair of shoes in New York City on a tour, and my best honest guess about where Howard was from was New York. I don’t know if that means that me wanting to mention it is just evidence that New York is cool and iconic?

MR: I love that you wrote a song about a huge gathering…you know, in “30,000 Feet.” Is this yet another New York City song? Maybe about the Halloween parade? By the way I’m kidding.

BR: At first, I didn’t understand the question, and I now see that it is a pretty good pun.

MR: I can’t help it, sorry. What advice do you, Mr. Ben Rector, have for new artists?

BR: Spend as much time and energy as you can getting better at writing songs, that’s what will separate you from other artists–at least in my opinion. Work hard and having high expectations for your work.

MR: And lastly, how do you think you’ve grown as an artist?

BR: I think on this record cycle my goal was to be able to soak things in a little more. It’s easy for me to focus on what needs to improve or what isn’t good enough about a show or a record or anything really, and I’m realizing I don’t want to look up in ten years and realize I spent all my time worrying and none of my time enjoying what is a really rare and awesome season.

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WE/OR/ME’S “THE LONG GOOD-BYE” EXCLUSIVE

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photo credit: Liza Mitchell

According to We/Or/Me aka Bahhaj Taherzadeh…

“‘The Long Good-Bye’ is a song about detachment. We live out our days as if in constant denial of our own mortality. We attach ourselves to this world as if we will never leave it. We bury ourselves in jobs, in relationships, in so many things that tie us to a reality that is in truth temporary and fleeting. This song is an acknowledgment of the ephemeral nature of our lives, but it has never felt sad or morbid to me. It is about embracing the unknown and letting go of the worries and attachments that we carry around in our daily lives.”

website: http://weorme.com/

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A Conversation with Widespread Panic’s John Bell

Mike Ragogna: John! Mr. Panic! How did your new one, Street Dogs, come together?

John Bell: We’ve been moving in a direction of capturing on our studio recordings as live a feeling as possible. It’s a departure from what we’ve done in the past, because we do so much live stuff with our regular touring performances, and those recordings are available as well, but still, in sometimes if you get too bogged down in the technology of the studio things can tend to homogenize. There’s a tendency to maybe lose some of those moments that just pop up spontaneously, so we’re making an effort to keep that in the mix, so to speak. We just made a conscious effort to do these songs one at a time and keep as much of everybody’s original performance on a track as possible. To a large extent, we accomplished that. Some of the tunes were brand new, so they were put together in a more studio, traditional way, but for the most part even the vocals we cut mostly live while the band was playing. More of the spontaneity comes through, there’s more of a magic moment in there when you’ve played the song enough to know how to be in the groove but you haven’t played it so much that you’ve over thought it.

MR: You’re a very respected group.

JB: By some. [laughs]

MR: And you’ve been together for thirty years. To me, that shows respect for each other in the band. What do you think has kept Widespread Panic going strong?

JB: We started out together pretty green. This is the first and only band that I’ve ever been a member of. For years we just had each other as far as our musical support and our performance experience and songwriting experience. We were already pretty solidified before we got into the whole record industry and some of that stuff that would jostle a band in its early beginnings loose. We already knew we could count on each other, everything else was more of an outside world than the world we were aspiring to. There was some early glue there that I think helped out. Beyond that, our mission is to perform music on stage and have fun doing that and do it in an improvisational sense, so it’s always fresh to us. You’ve got a blueprint of how you’re going to approach things before you go on stage, but then the thing kind of takes on a life of its own. That freshness takes the boredom out of the situation. It’s like going to sleep every night; you know you’re probably going to dream, but you don’t know what’s going to happen.

MR: Nicely said. Improvisation is so much more common in jazz and blues, your New Orleans style is pretty unique.

JB: All those musical genres fill up at the same family reunion. They’re cousins, blues and jazz. Rock ‘n’ roll is…oh, I don’t know, just the less intelligent cousin.

MR: [laughs]

JB: But the elements of improvisation are the same. You have to have a certain command of your instrument, even if that’s vocals. The next thing is you’ve got to be listening, and able to hear five other guys at once and what conversation is taking place at the time and be able to enter into that conversation without interrupting. And to be able to let go a little bit. Be in control, but at the same time let go and flow with what’s happening, because it’s not all under your control. All that’s under your control really is being a mindful steward of what you’re doing.

MR: You start the album with “Sell Sell,” and that seems to set the paradigm for the whole record. Why did you choose to start with it, other than my theories?

JB: You know, I respect anybody’s interpretation of how things are laid out. I can tell you that we didn’t really think about it in terms of making a statement or anything. Basically, we looked at the songs that we had accumulated for this record and tried to come up with an order that seemed to flow and have some cohesiveness. We just decided that one seemed like a good way to kick-off the first sounds you hear when you put on the record.

MR: So I’m over-thinking it when I see connections between many of these songs?

JB: Well there is something; by the time you get in to do a record, it’s a snapshot of the band’s collective mindset, where you are in that period of your career or your life together. There could be some underlying subliminal cohesiveness that we’re not even aware of ourselves.

MR: You’re also an old fan of folks like Dr. John, Van Morrison and you’ve even cited George Carlin as an influence.

JB: First record I ever bought, yup. Class Clown.

MR: Do you think that that set your humor and view of the world?

JB: By the time it got to that album and some of his work as he continued to evolve, he was more than a comedian. There was a funny, cynical philosopher kind of guy in there, too. Kind of like Lenny Bruce, close, but not as caustic, and a little bit easier to understand. I bought the record because I think I was eight or nine and he was doing this funny thing where it looked like he was putting his finger up his nose. You used to buy albums for their covers and then see what was inside. But there’s a rhythm in the way he tells a joke, the way he colors a scene for you, and obviously there’s the way words can be looked at differently and fit together in a way you hadn’t used them in everyday language. Those were the things that were coming through, but again I was just a kid, I didn’t know things were coming through, but when I look back I can say listening to comic records–Firesign Theatre was another one–it was just kind of blowing up your mind and letting you know that there are other ways to treat our Americanized English language.

MR: “Street Dogs For Breakfast” and “Poorhouse Of Positive Thinking” seem like they could’ve been written after a George Carlin show.

JB: [laughs] This is an interesting bit… Those came from Jojo’s brain. So I don’t know, play with that. I’m not trying to blow the theory, but I didn’t want to silently sound like I was taking credit for those.

MR: How has the group evolved over the years? What has changed from the beginning until now?

JB: Hmm. Something I take for granted: for years we were flying by the seat of our pants as far as where we were gigging, where we were staying, the equipment we were working with. For years now we’re working on a level where we don’t worry about any of that stuff now. We’re thirty people on the road and usually it’s eighty or ninety percent of the same faces on every tour. It’s been like that for a while so you’re very grateful and there’s a point where you might have taken it for granted, but that makes it so you can get out and just focus on the music. But that’s been in place for probably twenty year, twenty five years. But that’s a big deal, having the stability and professionalism behind the scenes. I also go to bed earlier. We don’t go out after the show and raise hell ’til sunrise.

MR: Dirty Side Down was one of your most critically-acclaimed albums, and then you took five years off. Was that a reaction to it being your most critically-acclaimed album?

JB: We really don’t think in terms of a timetable or anything. We spend a lot of time on the road, we try to spend as much time with our families as we can when we’re not on the road. Deciding to go in and put another record out just pops up when you get the itch. It doesn’t seem that long to us, because your last album feels like a new album for about a year, and then we did pre-production on this thing about two years ago, then we came back and recorded it. This album’s been finished since February and now it just came out. For us it doesn’t seem like five years, it seems like two years if you look at it formulaically like that, but beyond that we don’t really even think about it. We put out and album when we feel like putting out an album.

MR: Yeah, and then thirty years go by and you’re not really thinking about that either.

JB: We’ve got material out there, because of the new way that music is listened to, over the internet. All of our shows are available to download and listen to the day after the show. You can pluck the songs out or you can buy the whole show. Then sometimes we go in with some of the live material and put it through a full studio ringer and create a live album like that.

MR: I think it’s great that Widespread Panic has realized how to support yourselves with your music on the internet by selling the concerts, et cetera, whereas a lot of other seasoned bands still haven’t figured out what to do next.

JB: We’re lucky that there would be an interest to buy the show, or buy multiple shows of the tour or listen to it on the couch while it’s streaming in your living room, or do pay-per-view. We’re really lucky that the way we did our stage show was that every show was going to be different. It’s not like we’re going to throw the same fifteen songs at you every night. These last three nights we played probably seventy songs and there wasn’t a repeat in the whole night. I guess what I’m saying from a marketing standpoint is we’re fortunate that the way we approach it we’ve got a different product every night that somebody might be interested in buying.

MR: What do you care about in music these days? What are you listening to? Are there contemporaries you listen to or is it mostly the stuff that you already love?

JB: Mostly, my personal teddy bear of a collection, the stuff that I’m familiar and comfortable with. But there’s so much out there. Lately I’ve been trying to get back and listen to some older stuff–like Woody Guthrie kind of things–start just revisiting the stuff of the past that were the building blocks of folk music, which overlapped with the emerging rock ‘n’ roll scene. Things that I might have overlooked. I’m just being curious about the musical lineage.

MR: Would that include folks going forward like Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie and Joni Mitchell? Folk music was the role model for most of the singer-songwriters who became popular in the sixties and seventies.

JB: And there’s something of a refined revival going on with Americana, where it’s more traditionally based and song based, there’s a little storytelling going on. If I’m trying to listen for new stuff I’ll watch Austin City Limits or there’s an NPR station on North Carolina that I listen to on a radio app on my iPad. They play stuff I’ve never heard, but they’re one after another, just blasting it. It’s called WNCW. I think they’re out of Asheville.

MR: Do you see yourself developing something out of that? Is there a future John Bell album inspired by this music?

JB: Oh, no plans along those lines. I was just trying to answer your question as truthfully as possible. Along with my Van Morrison and Leon Russell and Zeppelin and Talking Heads, that’s where my ears have started reaching out and finding some interest. I always feel fortunate that I’m still a fan and I can get excited by listening to the radio just like when I was a kid.

MR: And there are a billion internet stations to listen to.

JB: Oh yeah. I remember the fascination of having a short wave radio and that was like magic, when you got something you were really lucky, you’d be listening to some wack stuff from the Soviet Union or something. But here with the internet you can dial up stations all over the world clear as a bell. It’s amazing.

MR: What does the future look like for Widespread Panic? You said you put together projects when you feel like it, but there’s still a marketing side involved. How do you balance those?

JB: You coordinate things so they don’t get in each other’s way, but beyond that it’s just a byproduct of doing what we’re doing. Basically we’re writing songs, living our lives and we get on stage and play music and thankfully people are still coming out to support that or else we wouldn’t be able to do it at all. We write together, which is a blast. We’ve got the live and studio forms to put those down for people to look at. Beyond that the rest is just a byproduct of what we’re doing. Dare I say it’s an art form.

MR: You had Duane Trucks join the band for a little bit, filling in for Todd Nance. Fill me in on that.

JB: We’ve just been playing with Duane for a little bit. It’s basically a personal affair, so I’ll just leave it like that, but I will tell you to go out and have a kid enter the fold that’s half your age is really a gas. He comes with none of the cynicism that we’ve created in our worlds. His enthusiasm level is huge. Being from the Trucks family, and a generational music family his respect for music and his knowledge of how to communicate verbally as well as the way he plays, it’s really refreshing.

MR: Is there any mentoring going on?

JB: Yeah, him to us! No, the best thing we can do for him is mention movies and say, “You haven’t seen that yet?” Harold & Maude, Being There, stuff like that.

MR: Do you also like Robert Klein?

JB: Oh definitely.

MR: That was a really great period for comedy and comedy albums. It was like people were using their brains in addition to outrageousness.

JB: Oh, it was wild. I was exposed to Firesign Theatre when I was in high school but as I became a little better read going through college I’d listen to these things and there are contemporary literary references and things like that that I had no idea were underlying these bits. There were also references to pop culture that I wasn’t really privy to at the time. Firesign Theatre was kind of psychedelic comedy.

MR: Tom Lehrer did that, too. I’m getting off track here, though.

JB: Man, you’re right on track. I got kicked out of class in first grade for bringing in That Was The Year That Was. Man, if you listen to something like “Who’s Next?” about the proliferation of the atomic bomb, a couple of the players in the script are different, but it’s still very applicable to what’s going on today. It’s amazing.

MR: I think what’s going on politically today is pretty amazing. The parallels, some of the same fights and some of the weird stuff that’s happening in politics, it’s like the late fifties again.

JB: I don’t know, maybe when things were in a bit of a boom status before the housing crash and stuff like that, in times when the majority of folks are doing pretty okay and they don’t want their boat to be rocked, I think they might tend to not be so loud with airing their grievances and finding fault with other folks and stuff like that, but it seems like when times get pinched some of these old wounds hadn’t really healed and those same patterns bubble back up out of frustration.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

JB: Oh, wow. Try not to get distracted by any of the other byproducts that come up with what your artistic intentions are to begin with. The original inspiration is what got you locked in in the first place. If you’re a painter or a sculptor or a musician or poet, you’re excited because something’s happening through you and you’re getting to experience something kind of magical. If you’re able to sustain that and involve that receptivity in yourself as an artist and you do it long enough that people start to notice and you’ve got “a product” some other distractions can come in and really muck up what the original inspiration was. You can do both. You can stay in your artistic mindset and if the business part becomes a part of it, that can have a life of its own, too. But it’s easy to get distracted. You’ve got to keep exposing yourself to that feeling. Keep some breath in it, water those seeds.

MR: So I guess we’ll be talking again in five years?

JB: Maybe so. Who knows, there’s no big plan sketched out. As long as it’s fun and serving our collective soul, then there’s no reason not to do it. It’s helping with the quality of life. Our lives. Take it or leave it.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

******************************

HOT PEAS ‘N BUTTER & DAN ZANE’S “AMISTAD” EXCLUSIVE

2015-11-09-1447104501-7453039-HPB_Vol7_Amistadweb.jpg

According to Hot Peas ‘N Butter’s Danny Lapidus…

“‘Amistad’ is a video that has been a long time in the making and has been a labor of love. The general theme of the song is friendship and how friends are always there for each other…It features Hot Peas ‘n Butter’s new friend…Dan Zanes, who lends his awesome voice to the song and his awesome self to the video. While recording the song, we really hit it off and we are so proud to call Dan a true friend. He was the inspiration for this song and for the theme of our new album Put Our Heads Together.

“Every new year that we make music for kids and families we realize a little more how important our community is and how important it is to stand by your friends. Friendship has been a continuing theme for Hot Peas ‘N Butter all along.

“The recording of ‘Amistad’ at P.O.D. Noise Studios in NYC, was enhanced by performances by Clifford Carter on keyboards [Bill Evans, Paul Simon, James Taylor]; Rich Mercurio on drums [Sara Barreilles, Idina Menzel, Enrique Iglesias]; Oz Noy on guitars [Chick Corea, Eric Johnson, Warren Haynes]. HPnB band mate Francisco Cotto performs on bass. Lead vocals were by the two artists and real-life friends: HPnB leader Danny Lapidus and Dan Zanes. Lapidus also produced and mixed the song.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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The Wedding Trap – Adrienne Bell

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The Wedding Trap

Second Service, no. 1

Adrienne Bell

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: July 6, 2013

Publisher: Adrienne Bell

Seller: Smashwords


Beth Bradley has a problem. Everyone is expecting her successful music executive boyfriend, Charlie, to be her date for her best friend’s wedding. There’s one hitch: Charlie doesn’t exist. Unless she can think of something fast, she’s headed for the most humiliating weekend of her life. Alex Tanner has a problem. The former Navy SEAL's search for a double agent lands him at the Kensington Hotel, and he needs a cover to finish the job. When the sexy maid of honor blackmails him into pretending to be her lover, he thinks he's been handed the solution. Except Beth has a way of stumbling into trouble, and when the man Alex is hunting starts targeting Beth, Alex has to decide between duty and the woman who has stolen his heart.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Romance

The Bravest Thing Lake Bell, Jared Leto, and Laverne Cox Have Ever Done

When stars risk their lives on camera, they usually do it with the help of stunt doubles or CGI. But that doesn’t mean the rush of adrenaline is fake. We asked celebrities at the Academy Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Film Independent Spirit Awards to tell us about something that required real courage.
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For Whom the Bell Tolls

I work at a large company and we often get wrong numbers on the office phones. My cube-neighbor, Steve, is in the habit of answering all of his calls
on speakerphone, which means I have the pleasure of hearing them.

Yesterday morning, his phone rang and he picked up, saying “[name of company], this is Steve.” The woman on the other end said, “Who is this?”

Steve said, “With whom did you wish to speak?”

There was a long pause and the woman said, “Did you just say WHOM?”

Steve: “Yes I did.”

Woman: “I have the wrong number.” Click.

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.
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Joshua Bell: Romance of the Violin – Joshua Bell

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Joshua Bell: Romance of the Violin

Joshua Bell

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: October 17, 2003

© ℗ 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

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Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology – Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Mark O’Conner, Mark O’Connor & Yo-Yo Ma

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Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology

Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Mark O’Conner, Mark O’Connor & Yo-Yo Ma

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: May 15, 2001

© ℗ 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

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Lake Bell: Being a mom puts new perspective on thriller ‘No Escape’

As a writer, director and new mom as well as an actress in projects including the Netflix comedy series “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” Lake Bell has a lot on her plate. She takes time to talk to TODAY about her intense new big-screen thriller opposite Owen Wilson, “No Escape,” in which she plays a mom in the middle of an uprising in Southeast Asia.


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‘No Escape’ Premiere: Owen Wilson and Lake Bell Showcase Parental Instincts in Action-Packed Thriller


The thriller premiered downtown at L.A. Live.

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Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2011 – Kyle W. Bell

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Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2011

Game Freaks 365, no. 6

Kyle W. Bell

Genre: Games

Publish Date: January 5, 2011

Publisher: Kyle W. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


Picking good games can be hard. Avoiding duds can be even more difficult. That's why smart consumers turn to experts on the subject. Game Freaks 365 was founded to help people choose games that are worth their hard-earned dollar and bypass games that are better suited for the trash can. This guide aims to help the smart consumer pick the best games on the market in 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and Nintendo DS. Over 65 reviews from some of the finest games of the past year are included in Game Freaks 365's Video Game Guide 2011, including popular titles like BioShock 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Donkey Kong Country Returns, God of War 3, Halo: Reach, Heavy Rain, Mafia II, Medal of Honor, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Red Dead Redemption, Resident Evil 5, Rock Band 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Split/Second, and UFC Undisputed 2010. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Broken Episode One – Odette C. Bell

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Broken Episode One

Broken

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


Special Commander Joshua Cook has a secret, she’s sure of it. He’s the Coalition’s latest golden boy, but she knows he has a past that’s far from sparkling. Ready to find out what his secret is, she isn’t ready for the man himself. Josh is the rudest, meanest, crudest Coalition officer she’s come across. She’s about to give up when the unthinkable occurs – they get stuck on a desert planet far from help. They’ve got to rely on each other to survive. Which is harder than it sounds …. Broken is the continuation of the Galactic Coalition Academy universe. A four-episode space opera, it charts romance, action, and humour on an adventure through the galaxy.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Axira Episode One – Odette C. Bell

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Axira Episode One

Axira

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: April 11, 2015

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


She is different. Powerful. A solider of centuries. For 450 years she was enslaved to one of the masters of the Kore sects. She was forced to fight in endless battles. War, destruction, desolation – all wrought by her. But then she escapes. Seeking revenge on her master, she turns to the only group powerful enough to help her – the Coalition. She joins the Academy. It should be easy. It isn’t. She rapidly finds out that despite her raw power, she needs more to become an effective recruit. But now is not the time for failure. There is a spy on Academy grounds – a spy who is tearing the Coalition’s intelligence to shreds. She finds herself drawn into the hunt. A hunt she will not lose. For she is Axira, the most powerful spacer in the Milky Way …. Axira is a four-episode miniseries. A space opera with plenty of action and adventure, and just a dash of romance, it is the third instalment in the Galactic Coalition Academy series.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Betrothed Episode One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Betrothed Episode One  artwork

Betrothed Episode One

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: June 30, 2015

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC


Sometimes destiny can no longer wait …. Annie Carter is new to the future. Born 400 years in the past, she was cryogenically frozen after a serious illness, only to wake up to a new world. One that has a plan for her. Annie is not normal. She has an ability – one that could condemn the very universe. People will kill to get to her. There is one man who can keep her safe. But to get to him, she must battle her way through assassins, armies, and friends. The stakes could not be higher, for they are everything. …. Betrothed is a five-part sci fi series. A space opera packed with adventure, action, and romance, it is sure to please fans of Odette C. Bell’s A Plain Jane and The Betwixt.

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Lake Bell on Wet Hot American Summer and Her Big Weekend Plans

lake bell

Welcome to our Weekend Agenda series, in which every Friday we ask the people we most adore to share their weekend plans, and the one cultural thing that’s top on their list for the next 48 hours. Next up: Lake Bell, currently cracking us up on Netflix’s new eight-episode series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

When the credits opened on the beloved 2001 movie, Wet Hot American Summer, we found ourselves at Maine’s Camp Firewood at 5:57 a.m. on the last day of the season. Early morning make outs were in high gear. Camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) was enjoying a coffee-sipping flirtation with David Hyde Pierce’s astrophysicist Henry. Resident hottie Katie (Marguerite Moreau) was tongue wrestling with bad boy counselor Andy (Paul Rudd), while sweet and nerdy Gerald “Coop” Cooperberg (the movie and show’s cocreator Michael Showalter), looked on, burning with jealousy.

The new Netflix series, also cocreated by Showalter and David Wain, reunites the original cast with a few Camp Firewood newbies, and dares to ask: How did we get here? We’ve flashed back eight weeks to 7:45 a.m. on the first day of the summer. Katie is dating Blake (Josh Charles), a counselor at the neighboring waspy Camp Tigerclaw who enjoys spying on his girlfriend, tearing up money, and sporting a triple-popped collar. Beth is dealing with a camp-threatening toxic sludge problem. And Coop isn’t even really sweating Katie; he’s way too into his “girlfriend” Donna (Wet Hot newcomer Lake Bell), who forces Coop to wear a puka shell necklace while also sending him some seriously mixed relationship signals.

“My character is a super awkward, insecure sixteen-year-old Jewish girl who just got back from Israel,” Bell explains by phone while her nine-month-old daughter Nova coos in the background. “She’s feeling pretty important about all the decisions she’s making in her life, which includes wearing really bad overalls and trying to use Israeli terms for mundane things.” (For the record, the overalls are pretty cool.)

Read on for more from our conversation with Bell about becoming part of Wet Hot, what it’s like to bring your baby to Camp Firewood, and that other thing she’s psyched to stream on Netflix this weekend.



lake bell wet hot american summer

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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

So how’d you get involved with round two of Wet Hot American Summer?
David Wain is a really good friend of mine. We often do work slightly incestuously: Me and my friends who work on one thing, we try to lasso in other friends for other projects. I was part of a lasso from Childrens Hospital into Wet Hot. I was super jazzed to be a part of it because I was a fan of the original movie.

Do you remember watching the original?
I don’t have a visceral kind of, “I was right there” [memory]. Wet Hot American Summer was sort of lowbrow genius, you know? But smart in its cultish silliness. It wasn’t considered something of great cultural caliber. But like many cult pieces, it sort of became something culturally relevant, which I think is what’s so wonderful about it. At a time when every series we’re supposed to be DVR-ing is very important, very serious, has to do with heavy, heavy matters, I think Wet Hot provides a respite to that DVR homework. It’s totally the gummy bears of your programming.

That’s true, although I know some people who take it very seriously, who are really obsessed.
Yeah, but that’s what’s so genius about it. When you say obsessed, I think it’s because it’s such a tremendous vacation from everything that’s so serious. You can have fun watching it. There’s no pressure. Sure the cast is insane. Everybody’s come back for it and everybody’s gone on to do some pretty impressive stuff. It’s a little more important now than it was then in terms of this relevance. But I love things that sort blossom into being relevant years later. I’m a fan of the late bloomer, as a rule.

So Donna wears a pretty funky pair of overalls. I was into them!
I lean into all things that are a little off. I will always wear overalls. At this point I find a way in most of my life to wear a jumpsuit or an overall, anything that’s sort of like a an all-in-one situation. I do that on the red carpet a lot. I like to be done in one fell swoop. This is my second overall comedy moment, from In a World . . . to Wet Hot. So I’m lobbying hard for women to start wearing them in a pretty major way.

Whose idea were they?
They were in my fitting. I’ve actually I worked with this costume designer on Childrens Hospital and she knows I’m a big overall person. I was four months postnatal when we shot it. We were trying to cover my baby belly cause, obviously, four months after [giving birth] you’re basically still pregnant, I was looking for something that made sense, but that also covered that midsection as much as possible.

You did, though, opt for a crop top underneath.
That’s the key. That was the optical illusion. I’m like, crop top, but cover the midsection, so as to distract you. Oh, everything must be OK down there. She’s wearing a crop top, so obviously . . .

Did the filming make you feel like you were back at camp?
My particular situation was a little less like camp because I had the old infant-in-the-trailer kind of thing. I don’t remember having that in camp. But I think the camaraderie and the goofiness and the playful politics of a set is sort of camp-like

I went to all-girls camps so there wasn’t anything naughty going on. And I was also very young. I think I was eight years old. I didn’t have the raucous time that the counselors [are having in Wet Hot.] They’re like sixteen to eighteen, but of course they’re 35–45-year-olds playing that. Thirty-five playing sixteen is totally normal.

So, besides watching Wet Hot American Summer all weekend, what’s the one piece of culture you’ll feel good about consuming?
My daughter Nova and I are driving up to my mom’s house in Connecticut. Maybe you guys aren’t getting points for that, but I’m going to see my mom so I am. And we’re going to watch the Tig Notaro documentary [Tig on Netflix]. She’s one of our friends and I adore her and was there with her through her difficult times. I’m so happy that this documentary is getting such great reception. I think that those two pieces of cultural nourishment will complement each other.

What else will you guys do in the country?
In Connecticut, we have a good old-fashioned baby playdate. My mom has bought a sandbox that she would like us to come up and try. My daughter is nine months old so this is kind of a big deal. We’re going to be doing a lot of sand work. There is a wading pool that will happen. We do some hiking and walking. There’s about five dogs up at my mom’s house so we’re going to bring our dog into the mix and make it six. She also has birds we’re going to see. She has quail that she rescued from people who hunt quail. It’s like a lot of animals, sand, water. All the elements, basically.

Sounds really elemental.
Yeah, it’s really cool. And you know when you go to a country house, there’s always cooking. It’s always like, what are we cooking next? You finish lunch. You’re like, all right! Let’s cook dinner!

 

This interview has been condensed and edited.

The post Lake Bell on Wet Hot American Summer and Her Big Weekend Plans appeared first on Vogue.

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5 Reasons We Love Kristen Bell

Could Kristen Bell literally be any cooler?

The actor, who rose to fame in the titular role on “Veronica Mars,” has since become a Hollywood mainstay, with iconic roles in films including “Frozen” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” She also publicly advocates for causes like animal rights and environmentalism, and has a very excellent Twitter.

In honor of Bell’s birthday on July 18, The Huffington Post put together some of the things we love most about the star. 

1. She sings like an angel.

Bell’s skills aren’t limited to the straight acting sphere. She also kills it in the singing department, most prominently in her starring role as Anna in Disney’s “Frozen.” In case you’re not familiar with her beautiful voice, here’s a little sampling:

 

Bonus cool points: Bell was partly responsible for making her “Frozen” character so relatable. She opened up to Buzzfeed last year about her role in the development process:

My character initially was written very, what I would call, prissy. She was very girly, [and] I kind of pushed more for something weirder. Something different. Something more unique and unlike anything we’d seen before … I never saw a Disney Princess that I identified with when I was growing up. They all had good posture, they all woke up batting their eyelashes, no one had bad breath; I couldn’t relate. I wanted to see someone that felt like me. 

 Bell also brought us a relevant texting-themed Christmas song:

 

Amazing.

2. She speaks out about her beliefs.

Bell uses her celebrity platform to support causes including animal rights, environmentalism, voter education and social equality. She postponed her marriage to her now-husband Dax Shepard until California legalized same-sex marriage.

“We’ve been very vocal about not wanting to be married in a state that doesn’t allow that right to all of its citizens,” Bell told Celebuzz back in 2012. “We’ll wait until California gets on the right side of history.“

Bell also consistently works to protect and empower children. Alongside Shepard, Bell launched a campaign to stop paparrazzi from taking invasive photos of celebrities’ kids, and urged major outlets, to large success, to stop running the images.

Not to mention her consistently great insight into the world of parenting, and raising young women in particular:

“I think we slighted a lot of girls [in the past] by trying to give them advice. And I love to give unsolicited advice, so I’m just as guilty,” Bell said to Buzzfeed in 2014. “But something I’ve learned … is that people are their own best moral compass and introspection is something that is not encouraged enough today.”

 3. To put it simply: Veronica Mars

Bell likely entered your consciousness as bad-ass teen private eye in the much too short-lived series “Veronica Mars,” which ran from 2004-2007. Though the show premiered more than 10 years ago, it’s fan base (which includes us!) continues to have rabid interest in the series, thanks in no small part to Bell’s fantastic work in the titular role. In 2014, Bell reprised the part for a Veronica Mars film, funded entirely by fans on Kickstarter. And as of earlier this month, it seems like the series could have even more life. 

Though “nothing [is] in the works,” show creator Rob Thomas told TV Line’s Michael Ausellio that both he and Bell would be open to doing another “Mars” project — potentially a “short-run series”: 

“Kristen [Bell]’s game, I’m certainly game,” he said. “Like a Veronica Mars True Detective is really appealing to us, that sort of setup.”

In case it’s of any bearing: we, too, are game. 

4. She is extremely hilarious

Bell is obviously acclaimed for her work in dramas (see reason #3) and musicals (see reason #1), but she truly brings down the house as a comic actress as well.

The actor steals the screen as Sarah Marshall in 2008 comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and makes us LOL as very intense catering professional Uda Bengt in Starz series “Party Down” (our personal favorite funny work from the actor).

 

Bell also rocks it in the Ryan Hansen-starring CW Seed meta “Veronica Mars” spin-off “Play It Again, Dick.” 

5. She REALLY loves sloths.

 

No explanation necessary.

BONUS: She’s the voice of “Gossip Girl.” You know we love you.

Happy birthday, Kristen!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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Witch’s Bell Book One – Odette C. Bell

Odette C. Bell - Witch's Bell Book One  artwork

Witch’s Bell Book One

Witch’s Bell, no. 1

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: January 30, 2012

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


An urban fantasy with everything from romance to mystery, The Witch's Bell Series follow a feisty witch, Ebony Bell, as she solves magical malady after magical malady. Ebony Bell is living just exactly the life she wants. She has her very own magical bookstore, a wardrobe full of fabulously glitzy clothes, and a sweet bowl just brimming with lollies. But when a 6ft-tall annoyance by the name of Detective Nathan Wall walks through her shop door, her sweet life turns to ruin. As witch consultant for the local police department, Ebony has to work infuriatingly close with the man. And if that wasn't the worst thing that could happen, she slowly finds out that an ancient, thoroughly powerful entity might just be out to curse her. Very soon she finds herself ditching the ruby-red heels, dashing across rooftops, breaking and entering, and stuffing whole bookstores into bags. Oh, and possibly kissing annoying detectives.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Introduction to Sound Design – Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell - Introduction to Sound Design  artwork

Introduction to Sound Design

Christopher Bell

Genre: Music

Publish Date: March 24, 2014

Publisher: CbDesigns

Seller: christopher bell


An introduction to sound design with a concentration on the fundamental tasks of analyzing, importing, sampling and exporting audio clips for usage in other multimedia projects.  Additionally, a brief history of acoustic recording as well as a consolidated overview of the technical nuances associated with audio file types.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Girl’s Day Drop It Low for Harmonica-Heavy ‘Ring My Bell’

Almost exactly a year after releasing their last pool-party anthem, Girl’s Day return with another summery smash that further shows their…
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Ricky Bell — Bobby Brown’s At His Breaking Point

There’s only so much Bobby Brown can take … which is why his friend of 40 years, Ricky Bell says there’s no way to comfort him over the impending loss of Bobbi Kristina.   Ricky, one of Bobby’s New Edition…

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TMZ Celebrity News for Music


Katy Perry Celebrates Being Crowned One of Forbes’ Highest-Paid Celebrities By Chowing Down at Taco Bell

Katy Perry may be one of Forbes’ highest paid celebrities. But that won’t stop the “Roar” singer from chowing down on some fast food!

Shortly after the publication…


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The 50 Greatest Violin Pieces by Joshua Bell – Joshua Bell

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The 50 Greatest Violin Pieces by Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: April 2, 2013

© ℗ 2013 U-5

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Classical

A Plain Jane Book One – Odette C. Bell

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A Plain Jane Book One

A Plain Jane, no. 1

Odette C. Bell

Genre: Science Fiction

Publish Date: October 10, 2012

Publisher: Odette C. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


What if you had lived your whole life thinking you were normal? No, worse than normal – plain? What would happen if one of the most highly-trained and vicious assassins in the galaxy attacked you one warm summer's night? What would happen if you were thrust into an adventure with the galaxy's greatest heroic heart-throb? What would happen if a mysterious and ancient race appeared with one desire – to kill you? What would you do? Jane grew up knowing one thing: she's nothing but normal. But then one little run-in with an assassin robot threatens to destroy everything she thought she knew about herself. Soon she finds herself with none other than Lucas Stone, the galaxy's number one pin up and hero. And together the two of them have to find out exactly who Jane is and what's after her before the galaxy is plunged into war.

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2012 – Kyle W. Bell

Kyle W. Bell - Game Freaks 365's Video Game Guide 2012  artwork

Game Freaks 365’s Video Game Guide 2012

Game Freaks 365, no. 8

Kyle W. Bell

Genre: Games

Publish Date: December 4, 2011

Publisher: Kyle W. Bell

Seller: Smashwords


Picking good games can be hard. Avoiding duds can be even more difficult. That's why smart consumers turn to experts on the subject. Game Freaks 365 was founded to help people choose games that are worth their hard-earned dollar and bypass games that are better suited for the trash can. Writing about video games is our passion. This guide aims to help the smart consumer pick the best games on the market in 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC and Nintendo 3DS. Over 70 reviews from some of the finest games of the past year are found in Game Freaks 365's Video Game Guide 2012, including popular titles like Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Catherine, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Infamous 2, Killzone 3, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Little Big Planet 2, L.A. Noire, Portal 2, Resistance 3, Super Mario 3D Land, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Arts & Entertainment

Eric Dane laughs at this old ‘Saved By The Bell’ clip

Actor Eric Dane steams up the set of the Fourth Hour when he joins the ladies to talk about kicking off season two of his show “The Last Ship,” where he plays a sea captain that survives a global pandemic. The ladies also dig up an old clip of his appearance on a funny “Saved By The Bell” episode.




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Kristen Bell Is as Devastated as the Rest of Us After Game of Thrones’ Gut-Wrenching Season Finale

Kristen Bell, TwitterWe feel you, Ryan Hansen. (Also, spoiler alert!)

Kristen Bell, in all her Kristen Bell glory, gathered some of her nearest and dearest last night to watch the season five finale of Game…


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‘Saved by the Bell’ Star Lark Voorhies — Family Begs Her … Leave Your Husband NOW

Lark Voorhies is putting her life in danger every day she sticks with her new husband … this according to family and friends who are urging her to pull the plug on the marriage, STAT. TMZ broke the story … Lisa Turtle from “Saved by the…

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‘Saved By the Bell’ Star Lark Voorhies … New Husband Wanted by Police

Lark Voorhies — who played Lisa Turtle on “Saved by the Bell” — has married a fugitive from justice … TMZ has learned. Jimmy Green is a wanted man in Tuscon, Arizona after a 2012 incident in which he allegedly threatened to kill a store owner.…

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Another Piece of Me – Laura Bell Bundy

Laura Bell Bundy - Another Piece of Me  artwork

Another Piece of Me

Laura Bell Bundy

Genre: Country

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: June 9, 2015

© ℗ 2015 Big Machine Records, LLC.

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Missile Bell – Part 2 – The Studio CD – Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy - Missile Bell - Part 2 - The Studio CD  artwork

Missile Bell – Part 2 – The Studio CD

Trace Bundy

Genre: Instrumental

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: October 1, 2008

© ℗ 2008 United Interests

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Instrumental

Drake Bell catches heat over tweet: ‘Still calling you Bruce’

Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell is under fire after he tweeted “Sorry…still calling you Bruce” when the world met Caitlyn Jenner on Monday.


CNN.com – Entertainment

GamersGate: The World's Largest Online Game Store

Drake Bell Says He’ll Still Call Caitlyn Jenner ‘Bruce’

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, has received widespread support online after publicly coming forward with her new identity on Monday, but at least one celebrity fired off a transphobic comment on Twitter.

Drake Bell, the former Nickelodeon star, indicated he would refuse to acknowledge Jenner’s new identity.

“Sorry…still calling you Bruce,” he tweeted.

This set into motion all the usual stages of a Twitter meltdown.

There was an attempt at rationalization, in which Bell suggested it was a sign of respect.

“I’m not dissing him!” he wrote, using the pronoun that Jenner no longer uses. “I just don’t want to forget his legacy! He is the greatest athlete of all time! Chill out!”

There were insults directed at those offended:

“Calm down children” he wrote.

An attempt to brush it off:

“Good thing social media has no effect on real life,” he wrote.

And finally, of course, the final stage: deletion. However, the tweets have been preserved in a number of places, including Page Six, Perez Hilton and Billboard.

Bell’s reaction not withstanding, Jenner’s revelation has been met with widespread acceptance and respect, and her new twitter account already has nearly 1.7 million followers, prompting this tweet:

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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons – Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

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Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Joshua Bell & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Genre: Classical

Price: $ 9.99

Release Date: September 2, 2008

© ℗ 2008 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

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Oops! Kristen Bell live-tweets accidental carpool ride

As it turns out, Kristen Bell is just as susceptible to making the occasional silly mistake as the rest of us, a point she proved Thursday.




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Laura Bell Bundy Releases ‘I Am What I Am’ Video

Laura Bell Bundy has released the music video for “I Am What I Am,” a clip filmed in Switzerland and inspired by the classic film The Sound of Music. “There is not another place in nature I feel more connected to my higher source than in the mountains,” Bundy said in a statement. Bundy’s latest album, Another Piece of Me, is due June 9 via Big Machine Records.
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Wer – William Brent Bell

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Wer

William Brent Bell

Genre: Horror

Price: $ 14.99

Rental Price: $ 2.99

Release Date: July 29, 2014


Defense attorney Kate (A.J. Cook) is called to defend the creepy, yet gentle, Talan (Brian Scott O'Connor) after he is charged with the murders of a vacationing family. She soon learns that he is a werewolf and that he may have been all too capable of the slayings. Things take a turn for the worse when Talan escapes from his imprisonment and runs loose through the city of Paris.

© © 2013 Focus World. All Rights Reserved.

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American Voices: Chicago Taco Bell Could Be First In Nation To Serve Alcohol

A Taco Bell in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago has applied for a liquor license, which if granted would mark the first Taco Bell location in the country to serve alcohol. What do you think?





The Onion

Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, and Elizabeth Olsen Get (Really) Honest About Their Beauty Routines

What do Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, and Elizabeth Olsen have in common (besides being ridiculously talented, gorgeous actresses)? Their commitment to being eco-friendly. In honor of Earth Day, we caught up with each of them…




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Idina Menzel & Kristen Bell – Making Today A Perfect Day (From “Frozen Fever”) (Lyric Video)

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Hot Transsexuals are waiting for You!

Mark Burnett, MGM and Canada’s Bell Media Unveil First Joint Reality Pilot


‘Dream Funded: Let the Crowd Decide’ sees entrepreneurs pitch ideas to 100 consumers with $ 250 each to back new products.

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Don’t Believe the Bonne Bell Shut-Down Hype! Here’s the Latest News About Your Beloved Lip Smackers

The Internet has been buzzing today that Bonne Bell, makers the beloved Lip Smackers lip balm that had us all forever tasting root beer in our youth was shutting down. But everyone can breathe a…




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Love Me Sweet: A Bell Harbor Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged) – Tracy Brogan

Tracy Brogan - Love Me Sweet: A Bell Harbor Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged)  artwork

Love Me Sweet: A Bell Harbor Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged)

Tracy Brogan

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 9.95

Publish Date: January 20, 2015

© ℗ © 2015 Brilliance Audio

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Mary Poppins Quits with Kristen Bell

Mary Poppins Quits with Kristen Bell

Mary Poppins Quits with Kristen Bell 2:46
Mary Poppins (Kristen Bell) is working for minimum wage, and really needs a raise.
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The Power in Owning Your Story | The Rob Bell Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

Tune in Sunday, December 21, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

When Rachel was 17 years old, her father, a well-respected pastor in their small town, took his own life. Rather than bury her feelings, watch how Rachel found power in owning her story.

Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN

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About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Discover OWN TV:
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What’s Inside the Backpack We All Carry | The Rob Bell Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

Tune in Sunday, December 21, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Pastor Rob Bell says we all carry the painful moments of our pasts, as if wearing a heavy, burdensome backpack. Watch what Rob says happens when you open up the metaphorical backpack and use its contents to help someone else.

Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN

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About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Discover OWN TV:
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Source: Steelers’ Bell avoids ligament damage

An MRI did not reveal any ligament damage to the knee that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell injured Sunday night in a 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, a source told ESPN.
ESPN.com – NFL

Taco Bell Responds To ‘Leaked’ Gay Commercial

Earlier this month a gay-themed television commercial attributed to Taco Bell featuring two men cuddling and a same-sex wedding leaked onto the Internet.

In the clip, which can be seen above, two buddies stop at the fast food chain for a “breakfast pitstop” and then one of them ponders aloud, “I wonder what else we could fit in before work.”

Among the activities the guys manage to check off on their joint to-do list: finding pirate treasure, riding jet skis, spooning on a picnic blanket and getting married.

Little information is provided on the video’s YouTube landing page but the high quality of the ad had many believing that the clip was legitimately produced by Taco Bell.

After the video began going viral on Internet blogs late last week, Taco Bell sent the following statement to Mediaite.com on Friday night:

“We didn’t create this ad, but we can see the people who did share the same Live Mas passion for our brand — and our breakfast—as we do. Although we cannot condone unauthorized use of our intellectual property, we are impressed with their work and would be open to meeting with them.”

In recent years companies have often chosen gay themes and plots for a variety of reasons from the comedic to the inspirational. In 2014 Honey Maid graham crackers and Cheerios both featured queer representations in advertisements for their products.

(h/t Towleroad)
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Steelers RB Bell exits game with knee injury

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell left Sunday night’s game with a knee injury after hit from Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson and did not return. NBC’s Michele Tafoya reported Bell has a hyperextended knee.
ESPN.com – NFL

A Mouse Tale Official DVD Trailer (2015) – Drake Bell, Miranda Cosgrove Animated Movie HD

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SUMMARY: In order to save their kingdom from evil rodents, Sebastian (Drake Bell) and Samantha (Miranda Cosgrove) are sent on a quest by the King of Rodencia (Jon Lovitz) to obtain a legendary magical crystal which has the power to defeat the rodents. With the help of two trustworthy knights, they must venture deep into the forest and enter the forbidden world of giants in order to accomplish their mission and restore order to the kingdom.

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Ben Bell – Patchwork Cacophony – Independant

There isn’t anything that shrieks BEN BELL at you in this album but as an example of classic Prog and as an album in its own right this is bloody fine.
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Not Taco Bell Material – Adam Carolla

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Not Taco Bell Material

Adam Carolla

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 20.95

Publish Date: June 12, 2012

© ℗ © 2012 Random House Audio

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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Welcome Another Baby Girl, Their Second Child Together—Check Out Her Name!

Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell Christmas came early for Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard!

The couple have welcomed a baby girl, their second daughter together, Bell revealed Friday night via Twitter.

“The…


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How the Universe Is Rigged in Your Favor | The Rob Bell Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

Rob Bell, a progressive pastor, explains the symbol of the cross and why he believes the universe is working in our favor to help us find peace with the past.

Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/1vqD1PN

About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Discover OWN TV:
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Kristen Bell Welcomes Second Child With Dax Shepard

Congrats go out to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard!

The couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Delta Bell Shepard, they announced on Twitter Friday. Bell and Shepard’s little bundle of joy joins big sister Lincoln, 1.

Bell recently told People that deciding on a baby name was much more difficult the second time around. “We had a little bit of a breakthrough. We’ve settled on one, thankfully,” she said. “It’s a lot of pressure, especially because we felt ‘Lincoln’ was so perfect.”

As for her pregnancy, Bell said it was easy, breezy. “I’ve had a lot of friends who have had rough pregnancies and I’m really, really thankful,” she told Us Weekly. “People are affected differently by hormones, we’re all different.”

Congrats to the happy family!
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How Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Plan to Manage 2 Babies

gty dax shepard kb 141125 16x9 608 How Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Plan to Manage 2 Babies

                (Photo Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard will have their hands full with a toddler and a newborn when baby No. 2 arrives.

No surprise, then, that the couple – already parents to daughter Lincoln, 20 months – is looking forward to some well-deserved time off together.

“The baby’s going to arrive right when we wrap our shows and we are both taking off tons of time to just canoodle as a family,” Shepard, 39, shared with People.

As for juggling two babies, the couple admits they are in new territory.

“I think we’ll probably get through it just like everybody else does, which is we’ll put it together day by day,” Bell, 34, told the magazine with a laugh.

Kristen Bell Donates $ 91,500 Worth of Baby Supplies to Mothers in Need

Kristen Bell Pregnant With Second Child

“We were told to pick up the oldest first if both are crying,” Shepard chimed in about advice they received for juggling two babies.

“It seems like a smart piece of advice. Since no one is imprinting memories of how you’re treating [Lincoln] already and the newborn doesn’t really know who’s holding them,” Bell added.

Joked Shepard, “We know the first one is great so we don’t want to ruin the first one. We’d rather roll the dice on the second one.”

Entertainment

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Welcome a Second Daughter! Here’s Her Adorable Name

More pink for Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard: The couple welcomed their second daughter, daddy Dax tweeted earlier today. Delta Bell Shepard is here. She doesn't look like either @IMKristenBell or me, but we're…




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Billy Bob Thornton’s Dream Jobs: Game of Thrones and…Saved by the Bell!

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Billy Bob Thornton, HodorBilly Bob Thornton is looking for another television project.

While the actor is up for an Emmy for his work in Fargo, he won’t be returning for the second season.

“It…


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Playboy’s Miss February 2012: Leola Bell | Playmates

Playmate Leola Bell is softer than velvet in this seductive video. http://bit.ly/1jrQQE6
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Kristen Bell to host the CMT Music Awards for third year in a row

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