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Ol’ Boots & The Hoots embrace crooners of old

From their embellished jackets and pompadour-ed hair to their heartfelt music, Mark “Boots” Graham loves everything about singers Hank Williams, Conway Twitty and Buck Owens.

Compared to today’s styled-to-the-max country-pop stars, Graham, the frontman for the Red Deer band Ol’ Boots & The Hoots, by far prefers the old-time country artists you still see featured on late-night infomercials. READ

The November Man: Here comes bland, James Bland

Ex-007 actor Pierce Brosnan always thought he had at least one more James Bond movie in him. On paper, the spy thriller The November Man looks like it might be at least a reasonable facsimile. It’s not by a long shot, although it’s not for want of trying. In fact, this looks to be a case of trying too hard. READ

Rogers and Shaw launch video-on-demand service called 'Shomi’

Two of Canada’s top telecommunications companies have teamed up to launch a subscription video-on-demand service they say can rival the current industry titan Netflix without cannibalizing their own cable and television-on-demand services. READ

Keep on truckin’

Its name alone would bring Hamilton hard-rock group Monster Truck to the attention of some (mostly young, male and pickup-driving) Central Albertans. READ

Two local ceramicists nominated for provincial awards

Two Central Alberta ceramicists are in the running for a 2014 Alberta Crafts Award. READ

Not just a flight of fancy

In this hyper-kinetic age, two Red Deer artists are using stillness to try to capture children’s attention and help foster an appreciation of nature. Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur have created a series of bird friezes and sculptures in white porcelain as a travelling art/education exhibit commissioned by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts TREX program. READ

Blackfalds rock band the Frank stay close to its roots

There’s no place like home for making music, according to The Frank. The Blackfalds rock group that started out as a high school band in 1997 has become something of a local institution with its live shows at Red Deer’s The Vat regularly drawing a loyal horde of followers. READ

Dinner theatre back in city

Two dueling baseball coaches, a potential jewel thief and a hapless CIA agent with a penchant for self-destruction all figure into Central Alberta Theatre’s 2014-15 season. READ

Robin Williams' widow: He had Parkinson’s disease, was sober at time of death

Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and was sober at the time of his suicide, his wife said Thursday. READ

Celine Dion suspending show biz career to focus on ailing husband

Quebec superstar Celine Dion is suspending all of her show business activities — including her lucrative Las Vegas residency — to focus on her family and the ailing health of husband Rene Angelil. READ

Actress Lauren Bacall dead at 89

Lauren Bacall, the slinky, sultry-voiced actress who created on-screen magic with Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep and off-screen magic in one of Hollywood’s most storied marriages, died Tuesday at age 89. READ

Robin Williams hanged himself with belt, sheriff’s official says

Authorities detailed Robin Williams’ final moments Tuesday, saying the actor and comedian hanged himself with a belt in his San Francisco Bay Area home. READ

Robin Williams dead in apparent suicide at age 63

Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63. READ

Duo a melding of musical minds

When guitarist Tuck Andress first encountered singer Patti Cathcart at a band audition, it wasn’t just a case of boy meets girl. It was a melding of musical minds. READ

Then, now and tomorrow: Ivan Daines Friends and Heroes Country Music Pick-nic

Ivan Daines bills his Country Music Pick-nic as “featuring the stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow” — and he’s not kidding. READ

A look at the digital and divisive redesign of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the past two years, inside the high-tech sanctuary of Industrial Light and Magic, the man who built a virtual virgin jungle for the last Indiana Jones movie and conjured 30-metre-tall aliens for War of the Worlds has been confronting his most difficult task yet: creating a digital version of the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that could realistically interact on screen with Megan Fox. READ

Guardians rockets to top of box office

LOS ANGELES — Guardians of the Galaxy blasted past expectations at the weekend box office. READ

Jack Semple: Beckoned by the blues

The blues is a language Jack Semple is fluent in. The Regina-based guitar virtuoso has played country, jazz, folk and rock ’n’ roll over the years. But the blues keeps beckoning him back. “It’s the ultimate guitar music because it’s simple and basic, but contains this whole range of emotions and great passion,” said Semple, who headlines at the 12th annual Jazz at the Lake Festival in Sylvan Lake on Saturday, Aug. 16. READ

Juno nominee not afraid to experiment

Danny Michel has lived the ultimate fan fantasy. The singer/songwriter was such a dedicated follower of The Garifuna Collective that he decided to approach the Afro-Amerindian cultural group from Belize to see if they could make a collaborative album together. READ

Guardians is a gas

The most telling commentary made in anticipation of Guardians of the Galaxy came in the form of a tweet: “DC/WB is all like ‘Wonder Woman’s too confusing for a movie!’ and Marvel/Disney is all like ‘Here’s a raccoon with a machine gun.’” READ

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