Friday, January 11, 2008


You, the J.B. Spins reader, are a coveted audience. Dozens of press releases hit my in-box every day, announcing events and other stuff to plug. Here’s a quick round-up of some interesting things I will pass along.

The first comes via a post from Karol. Evidently a friend of hers will try to eat more than a dog to raise money for a charity. I don’t really get how that works, and don’t really want to. However, the charity looks impressive. Pups for Peace sounds like a touchy-feely hippy outfit, but what they do is really cool. They train bomb-sniffing dogs to combat Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers. This is work that saves lives. Eat up, man.

I know several people at Health Corps, a non-profit founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz to provide health education and mentoring in high schools. On Friday the 18th, they are sponsoring “Saints and Spinners,” a 24-hour stationary bike marathon in Grand Central, featuring different celebrity riders throughout the day, and hopefully setting a Guinness World Record. Guest spinners scheduled to appear include: Miss USA Rachel Smith, Miss Universe Riyo Mori, and Miss Teen USA Hilary Cruz. I’m just saying.

If you’re looking for the perfect accessory, consider a Cambio bracelet. All the cool kids are wearing them. Seriously, these young people are as cool as cool gets, defying Castro’s thugs for the sake of their country’s future. Cambio means change, which Cuba desperately needs. It has become their slogan, which they have worn on white bracelets, at tremendous risk to their lives and safety. All people of good conscience should wear one in solidarity. (I do.)

On a lighter note, I expect to post a review of John Regen’s latest CD early next week—I’m just not done chewing on it yet. Regen has an impressive jazz background, but his own sessions are more in the singer-songwriter vein. He gigs at the Cutting Room tomorrow night at 9:30 PM, before leaving on a European tour. Check out the tunes on his myspace page, and if you don’t have plans, consider going. Look for a review of Let It Go here soon.

Most of us have the 21st off for King Day, but not the staff of Merkin Hall. To celebrate their grand reopening, they are hosting a free Grand Piano Marathon of solo performances from 2:00 -8:00 PM. The scheduled artists include Anat Fort, one of the best jazz pianists on the scene today (her latest CD, A Long Story was one of the Top 10 of 2007), and New Orleans’ own up-and-coming jazz star Jonathan Batiste. I’ll be there for a while, at least (exit and re-entry will be allowed).

If there isn’t anything here to interest you, do not despair. I’ll have plenty more stuff by the end of the day.