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Bringing his ax to the Hammer

By Colin Newton

There’s something to be said about playlists. You can do whatever you want with them, stuff them with any kind of music to match any kind of mood. Guitarist Ross Hammond’s career has been a bit like a personal playlist built over the years, and on Thursday, Aug. 6, he’s bringing that playlist to the Hammer Museum in West L.A. as part of the museum’s JazzPOP concert series.
“Being in Sacramento, I get down to Los Angeles some,” Hammond told Giive a (bleep). “But this will be my first really big gig there.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hammond’s playlist utilizes jazz, Americana, world music and more.

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Cause Celeb: Actress’ latest role is Rescuer

by Colin Newton

Maybe you’ve felt like your life could be a movie, but Santa Monica-based actress Marie Paquim can actually say that her life will be. Working in the entertainment industry since the age of three, Paquim was kidnapped by human traffickers and rescued by the FBI following a two-and-a-half-year search.

Despite developing her dark ordeal into the upcoming feature The Land of the Free, she still has time for the dogs.

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Ace, the inspiration for Ace of Hearts and owner Kari Whitman, who was so brokenhearted at his passing that she created the nonprofit in his honor to save more dogs from high-kill shelters.

“I was looking for a nonprofit related to animals because I love animals,” Paquim told Giive a (bleep). “I was looking for the right nonproft organization.”

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Mike Rowe has a dirty job for you

by Colin Newton

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned hard work? That’s what Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It, wants to know. And that’s why he made the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.

“Nobody else seems to celebrate work ethic,” Rowe told Giive a (bleep). “We try to reward work ethic.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 1.50.11 PMThe mikeroweWORKS Foundation started during the recession as a PR campaign in defense of jobs that existed, but people seemed to be ignoring, Rowe said. Jobs like electricians and plumbers, carpenters and welders.

“We’ve told our kids those opportunities are for losers. That’s the mindset that fuels the misconception,” Rowe said.

So now, the foundation also supplies scholarships for people to work for companies like Ford and Caterpillar.

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Cause Celeb: Lisa Ann Walter helps ill feel pretty

By Colin Newton

Like the old song says, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright.” But what do you do when you don’t feel “oh so pretty”?

Calm down, this isn’t an infomercial. We’re talking about when people who are chronically or terminally ill cannot get to the hairdresser, the barber or the beauty parlor. The Beauty Bus Foundation solves this by bringing the beauty parlor to them through live services and delivered beauty bags.

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Lisa Ann Walter

This year’s Beauty Drive, the foundation’s annual fundraiser, will be a star-studded event. Lisa Ann Walter, who created and judged the self-explanatory game show Dance Your Ass Off and has appeared in Bruce Almighty, War of the Worlds and the upcoming TV series Scream Queens, has been cast as the host.

“I’ll make people laugh, keep the show moving, and if anything goes wrong — and it always does, that’s part of the fun of a live event — share it,” Walter told Giive a (bleep). “And to keep our eyes on what’s important.”

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Cause Celeb: Stars, drag queens and bingo

By Colin Newton

Kirsten Vangsness from Criminal Minds and drag queens playing bingo to support child literacy? We must be in Hollywood.

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Kirsten Vangsness

Only here could one find an institution like “Legendary Bingo” — “Los Angeles’ longest running and most successful weekly celebrity/drag queen charity event” (one wonders how fierce the competition was); and obviously, only in Hollywood would next week’s charity be Reading to Kids.

Reading to Kids’ mission is based on a 1985 study that said the single most important activity for eventual success in reading is to read out loud to children, said Charlie Orchard, managing director of Reading to Kids.

So the organization partnered with seven elementary schools in Downtown LA to bring live reading to underserved children. Once a month, volunteers read aloud to children, make arts and crafts projects that relate to the readings, and present the kids with books to take home.

“Reading aloud to children imparts a love of books,” Orchard said.

Vangsness, a friend of a longtime reader, is the first celebrity ball caller to sign up for the event ahead of time. But well known personalities have been known to drop in unannounced. Two years ago, Richard Simmons led everybody in a brief dance workout.

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