Jade Blackmore

Pop culture writer & poet

The LOOP, Disco Demolition, and the Wild Days of Chicago Rock Radio

I finally watched the Twisted Sister documentary on Netflix a few weeks ago. I'd been avoiding it for awhile, but figured, "Well, I've watched every other rock doc, I'll give this one a try." The doc was almost three hours long, and it covered the band's slow climb to MTV fame.

Mansfield 66/67 Movie Review: Jayne's Life Would Have Made a Great Reality Show

Directors Todd Hughes and P. David Ebersole take a quirky approach to the life of actress Jayne Mansfield with the documentary Mansfield 66/67. The film explores the last two years of the actress' life, a chaotic time marked by a floundering career, rumors of satanic worship, and a gruesome end in a car crash at age 34.

Something Else!
'Danny Says: A Documentary on the Life and Times of Danny Fields' (2016): Movies

Best known as the man who discovered the Ramones, Danny Fields guided them from 1975 until 1980. He was so impressed by the band that he borrowed money from his mom to secure the position as manager. The boys got a new drumkit, and under Fields' tutelage the Ramones got a recording contract, toured England, influenced many U.K.

Looking Back and Living in the Now: Good Times and 50 Years of the Monkees

I found a copy of Spy magazine from the mid-1990s when I cleared out some storage boxes the other day. Spy was a nothing's sacred snarkfest for hip cognoscenti of the time. I don't know why I kept it - probably some tenuous connection with someone who worked there, or who was related to somewhere who worked there.

Health Blog

Reversing Five Years of Tinnitus with Silence and Good Food

When I stopped going to concerts and clubs (a few years later!), the ringing and whooshing disappeared after about a year of diminishing in-ear noise. Occasionally, it would boot up at night, but it was nowhere near as irritating as it had been when I went to shows every week.

Green Tea for Better Health and Fresher Breath

No food or beverage is a miracle worker, but green tea comes close. With a host of powerful antioxidants, a moderate amount of caffeine, and traces of theobromine and theophyline, two natural stimulants, this tea provides maximum health benefits and zero calories per cup. I discovered green tea by accident a few years ago.

How Giving Up Sugar Changed My Life

I first gave up eating sugar the summer between sophomore and junior year in high school. It was 1976, and the notion of healthy eating was still reserved for hippies and weirdos. But I didn't need to worry about school, gym class or track practice, so I took the summer off from sugar.

Don't Count Calories - Use a Master Grocery List Instead

If trying to lose weight the conventional way hasn't worked for you, stop counting calories and put your calculator away. Create a healthy master grocery list instead. Using a master grocery list makes shopping easier - and more fun. You don't have to write a new grocery list every week unless you want to do...

Pumpkin is More than a Halloween Decoration - It's One of the Most Nutritious Fruits You Can Eat

If you're like most people you encounter pumpkins three times a year. You - Carve a Jack 'o' Lantern for Halloween and throw it out on Nov. 1 Buy a pumpkin pie from the bakery or the frozen food section of the supermarket for Thanksgiving dinner Buy pumpkin spice latte in the fall because it's a modern, seasonal coffee rite Ok, maybe you get pumpkin spice candles, too - or pumpkin-scented soaps.

PDF of Interview - Trashy Lingerie (Un) Dresses Celebrities for Halloween

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Book Review: Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs by D. Caroline Coile, PH. D

Cannabis is now accepted as medical treatment for dozens of ailments in humans. But what about cannabis for dogs? Yes, there is such a thing and it's used to treat anxiety, pain and even cancer in canines through the use of CBD oil. The new book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs by D.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

There are almost 60 million stray and feral cats in the United States, with the number growing everyday. Some cats are truly feral or wild animals while others are lost cats that have strayed too far from home.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

We've all seen pictures of pet dogs and cats that are so unusual looking they make us laugh or squirm, but what about fish and amphibians? In the slippery world of salamanders, the , the axolotl brings in the highest number of oohs and aaahs - and maybe some yucks - of all the salamanders available to pet owners.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Digital Library/Gary M. Stoltz People who find snakes, lizards and other reptiles too icky to keep as pets may find slimy-skinned, water-partial amphibians, like salamanders, less offensive. Sure, salamanders are a little slippery and lizard-like, but they're pretty laid-back. They come in all sorts of colors, sizes and varieties.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

Oct 14 is the Be Bald and Free Day. This was conceived by Wellcat Holiday & Herbs to honor folks who are bald, either by chance or choice. After all, there's enough attention heaped upon the long-tressed populace. Why not devote a day to hairless people - and even hairless pets.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

Writing is a solitary profession, so it's no wonder that many famous authors throughout history have enjoyed the company of a cat (or two or three) as they labored at the computer, typewriter or composed with pen and paper. Here are a few writers who shared their workspace with a feline companion.

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

Douglas Green's book, "The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead" is the story of one man's experiences with his pet, an exuberant mixed breed pup he named Shirelle. (A lifelong music fan, Green borrowed the name from 1960s singing group the Shirelles.)

Diva Dogs and Funky Felines

Overview The Cavalier King Charles, a descendant of toy spaniel breeds of the 16 th century, is a wide-eyed cutie who enjoys being around people. The Cavalier King Charles is named after King Charles II of England. King Charles admired the toy spaniel and they followed him around during his daily routine.

Something Else Reviews and Other Entertainment Reviews

Something Else!
'Super Freak: The Life of Rick James,' by Peter Benjaminson: Books

What do you think of when someone mentions Rick James? There's a good chance the Dave Chappell Show, " I'm Rick James, bitch," " Cocaine is a helluva drug " and "Super Freak" come to mind. Of course, none of those scenarios were far from the real-life James when he was under the influence - which tended to be most of the time.

Something Else!
Punky Meadows - 'Fallen Angel' (2016): Review

It's been 37 years since we've heard guitarist Punky Meadows' last full-length project, 1979's Sinful from his glam-rock band Angel. For decades, Meadows had been so conspicuously absent from the music business, the Washington City Paper conducted a search for the D.C.-area native in 2007.

Something Else!
Meet 'The Wrecking Crew': Studio musicians behind countless hits

The West Coast pop music scene exploded in the early 1960s, providing work for local studio musicians and New York session players who headed to Hollywood for lucrative gigs. The Wrecking Crew, a tight-knit group of between about 30 L.A. studio musicians, were the unsung heroes of 1960s pop music.

Something Else!
'You've Heard These Hands,' by Don Randi (2015): Books

The Wrecking Crew, Denny Tedesco's documentary about a tightly knit group of studio musicians in the 1960s and 1970s, gave music fans a detailed look of the group as a whole, and their contributions to pop music.

Something Else!
'Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead' (2015): Movie Review

In 1969, former Harvard Lampoon writers Doug Kenney, Robert Hoffman and Henry Beard, tailored a humor magazine for a counterculture crowd, got an investor and turned it into the newsstand magazine National Lampoon. The publication skewered popular culture, politicians and everyday people with a combination of jolting parody ads, nudity, crude short stories and underground comics.

Something Else!
Why is UFO classic rock's best-kept secret?

Before heavy metal, thrash, speed metal, black metal and nu-metal, their hard-rock precursor blasted from arenas worldwide. Simple straightforward songs about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (and the occasional ballad) from the likes of AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rainbow and others ruled the charts.

Something Else!
Frank DiMino - 'Old Habits Die Hard' (2015)

Frank DiMino, lead singer of legendary hard rockers Angel from 1975-81, is back with his first solo album, Old Habits Die Hard. Angel was Casablanca Records' white-clad antithesis to Kiss - though Gene Simmons discovered the band and got them signed to the label.

Phantom of the Paradise: Brian DePalma's Horror Rock Musical Turns 40

Phantom of the Paradise opened on Halloween 1974 to utter silence in a handful of movie theaters. It was only later, and without the fanfare of its farcical cinematic cousin The Rocky Horror Picture Show, that this Brian DePalma film attained cult status.

Movies: I Am Divine (2014)

A wild ride through the life of Harris Glenn Milstead, AKA actor and drag icon Divine, I Am Divine packs a lot of information into a 90-minute documentary. The Jeffrey Schwarz film paints a portrait of an overweight, bullied kid from Baltimore who rose to infamy portraying "the filthiest person alive" in John Waters' cult classic Pink Flamingos.

Deep Cuts: The Monkees' 'Nine Times Blue,' 'Mommy and Daddy,' others

The Monkees are receiving the accolades that eluded them during their heyday. Unless you've ignored the media totally since the 1980s reunion, most people know the band broke out of the manufactured TV image with Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork writing and/or performing their own music starting with 1967's Headquarters .

Deep Cuts: Styx's 'Midnight Ride,' 'Shooz,' 'Queen of Spades,' others

Although remembered for pop hits like "Come Sail Away" and "Babe," Styx began as the Midwestern answer to Yes or King Crimson. Formed in Roseland neighborhood of Chicago in the mid-1960s by singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung and twin brothers Chuck (drums) and the late John Panozzo (bass), Styx added guitarist John Curulewski in 1969, who has also passed, and then second guitarist James "JY" Young in 1970.

Movies: Good Ol' Freda (2013)

The Beatles' 1963 Christmas recording makes the rounds of classic rock radio stations every holiday. The lads send Christmas cheer to fans around the world as they joke and sing bits of holiday carols. George Harrison thanks Freda back in Liverpool and the other lads join in, chorusing "Good Ol' Freda."

Movies: The Punk Singer (2013)

The Punk Singer, Sini Anderson's briskly paced, 80-minute film examines Kathleen Hanna's ascension as unofficial spokeswoman of the riot grrl movement. From her involvement in feminist zines to her political activism, Hanna, vocalist for Bikini Kill, embodied the whole alternative rock/riot grrl aesthetic.

Something Else! Interview: Good Ol' Freda director Ryan White

Good Ol' Freda director Ryan White's documentary about the Beatles' loyal secretary Freda Kelly, has been a big hit at film festival screenings for the last few months. It's now being shown in select theaters across the country, stirring up memories for fans of a certain age and providing a pop culture history lesson for younger fans.

Books: Quincy Jones: His Life in Music, by Clarence Bernard Henry (2013)

Quincy Jones, one of the most prolific musical composers, arrangers and producers of the 20th Century, is best known as arranger and producer for Michael Jackson's Thriller. Quincy Jones: His Life in Music chronicles all his accomplishments, from his early days as a trumpeter with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra to the recent awards and recognitions Jones has received for his six-decade career in music.

Cinema Sentries

Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me Movie Review

"I never got beyond 29 in my head," Ronnie Wood says at the beginning of the documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me. "So to be 70, it's just so weird. It's like being in a Dali painting. It's very surreal."

New Orleans Music in Exile Blu-ray Review: After the Hurricane

Unless you live in New Orleans or know someone who does, you might not have paid much attention to its reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina. Robert Mugge's documentary, New Orleans Music in Exile, focuses on the lives of the city's musicians in the aftermath of the hurricane, and how they dealt with the destruction of their homes, clubs, and livelihoods.

Book Review: The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ by Dave Thompson

Richard O' Brien's gender-bending musical The Rocky Horror Show premiered in London in 1973, at the height of the U.K.'s glam-rock craze. Although most glam entertainment eventually dissipated, Rocky Horror remained the one true constant from that time, retaining its kitschy '70s glory throughout the decades.

TV Review: American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley

The latest installment of the PBS series, American Masters, documents the life and music of blues maestro Riley "B.B." King. A sharecropper's son who first played guitar in church, he also worked as a DJ before becoming the undisputed king of American blues (and an inspiration to countless rock musicians).

Jaco DVD Review: Tribute to a Jazz Legend

The documentary Jaco traces the life of iconic jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, from his childhood in Florida and first gigs as a teenager to his innovative style of bass playing, work with Weather Report, and his untimely death at age 35.

DVD Review: DC Comics Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures, Volume 1: A Peppy Blast from the Past

DC Comics Superheroes: The Filmation Adventures, Volume 1contains nine animated adventures from The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, which ran on CBS-TV for the 1967-68 season. It's a truncated version of the two-disc DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures that featured all the show's supporting superheroes - including Hawkman, Teen Titans, and the Justice League of America..

My Music & Film Reviews

Book Review: Punk USA: The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records by Kevin Prested - Cinema Sentries

Queen: Live at Wembley Stadium 25th Anniversary Edition DVD Review: A Wonderful Keepsake

This two-disc DVD set from Eagle Rock Entertainment, commemorates the 25th anniversary of Queen's iconic concerts at London's Wembley Stadium in 1986. The DVD features the complete July 12, 1986 show at and the rain-soaked July 11th show in its entirety. The "Magic Tour," designed to promote the album A Kind of Magic, was the original band's last sojourn.

Album Review: The Blues Magoos: Psychedelic Resurrection

The psychedelic sound of the late 1960s produced many bands with colorful names and one mainstream hit. The Vanilla Fudge, Electric Prunes, Bubble Puppy, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Seeds (not a flashy name, but a major group in the genre), and the Blues Magoos.

Here's Edie: The Edie Adams Television Collection DVD Review

After Ernie Kovacs' untimely death in a car crash in 1962, his widow, actress/singer Edie Adams, devoted herself to preserving his legacy - and tying up some loose ends Saddled with Kovacs' unpaid tax bill, she set out to work to pay the IRS and ended up building an entertainment and business empire of her own.

Goldfinger Movie Review: The Series Swings into Full Throttle

The third James Bond movie, Goldfinger, swung the franchise into full gear after Dr. No and From Russia with Love. Sean Connery's suave performance and Guy Hamilton's direction steer the Bond films into the foolproof template that they've followed for every succeeding film.

No No: A Dockumentary Film Review: Covers All the Bases

No No: A Dockumentary traces the colorful and complex career of MLB pitcher Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter (or No No) on LSD in 1971. The infamous "no-no" is revisited by Dock, his teammates and sportswriters in No No, but director Jeff Radice's film doesn't dwell on that dubious achievement.

Birth of the Living Dead DVD Review: An Entertaining Documentary

The Walking Dead , zombie conventions, Shaun of the Dead, and innumerable zombie novels all owe their existence to the granddaddy of them all, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Birth of the Living Dead, Rob Kuhns' documentary about the groundbreaking zombie film, doesn't deliver any major revelations about the film, but it does include some interesting segments that show how the film has impacted society.

Book Review: Horror Films FAQ by John Kenneth Muir: The Thinking Person's Guide to Horror Films

The FAQ series from Applause Books has devoted editions to pop culture staples like Kiss, the Beatles, Star Trek, and the Three Stooges. One of the publishing house's latest releases tackles a much broader subject - horror films Written by pop-culture critic John Kenneth Muir, whose previous books include Horror Films of the 1970s and The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, Horror Films FAQ explores horror films by format and decade.

Book Review: Armageddon Films FAQ by Dale Sherman

Armageddon Films FAQ can be called a companion volume to Applause Books' Horror Films FAQ in that there is some overlap. A few of the zombie films mentioned in Horror Films are also classified as Armageddon films, but most movies about the end of civilization stand in their own distinct genre.

Entertainment Today
Book Review: Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar

Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar By Peter Benjaminson Chicago Review Press Mary Wells, best known for her 1964 hit My Guy, was Motown's first female superstar. Long before Diana Ross and the Supremes graced magazine covers and TV specials, Wells broke ground with her playful voice and good looks, before a...

LAFF 2012: A Band Called Death Rises from Obscurity

While attending the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in 2009, I noticed the headlining band was called Death. That doesn't make any sense, I thought. The only band I know called Death is a death-metal band and that band is no more. What's going on here?

California Solo Movie Review: A Formerly Famous Musician Faces His Demons

California Solo, the latest film from director Marshall Lewy ( Blue State), is about a musician's journey of self-discovery and redemption. Robert Carlyle ( Trainspotting, 28 Weeks Later) gives an understated performance as former Britpop star Lachlan MacAldonich. Lachlan's rock 'n' roll days are behind him and he's resigned to live a quiet life working on an organic farm in Southern California.

Purple Noon Criterion Collection DVD Review: A Treat for the Eyes and a Test for the Nerves

Purple Noon ( Plein Soleil), Rene Clement's 1960 film based on Patricia Highsmith's novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, is more brooding and unsettling thanAnthony Minghella's 1999 adaptation. Long before Matt Damon took on the role of Tom Ripley, French actor Alain Delon's chiseled good looks and cool demeanor breathed life into Highsmith's suave identity thief.

Perfect Sound Forever

Perfect Sound Forever- Jobriath: Rock's First Gay Icon

Jobriath Rock's First Gay Iconby Marianne Moro(November 2004) Rock history is filled with tragedies, stories so sad or bizarre a fiction editor would dismiss them as unbelievable. Few of the stories are as tragic and well-hidden as that of Bruce Wayne Campbell, better known during his brief and tumultuous career in the music business as Jobriath, the first openly gay rock star.

The Runaways

The Runaways Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin By Marianne Moro(April 2004) Hard rock and heavy metal have always been the great unkown as far as female musicians are concerned. If that's the case now, it was far worse in 1975.