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Idol Chatter

by Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasJack Black and Jason Segel — The Next David Bowie and Bing Crosby?One of our favorite Christmas traditions is watching Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s classic “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” performance. The duet originally aired as part of the 1977 TV special “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” and no matter how humbuggy we might be feeling around the holidays, it always warms our hearts.So we admit that we were a little caught off guard to hear that the classic had been re-recorded… and by two comedic actors at that. So after a little trepidation, we watched Jack Black and his “Gulliver’s Travels” co-star Jason Segel’s animated video for “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”In fairness to them, no one can harmonize quite the way that the greatest crooner and the most stylized rock star could in ’77. But the Black-Segel effort has a bit more rock bravado, which should never be undervalued.Plus all U.S. proceeds of the sale of the song on YouTube go to Blue Star Families. The organization was formed in 2008 by “a group of military spouses to raise the awareness of the challenges of military family life with our civilian communities and leaders,” according to the official website.Hopefully Segal and Black will help raise money for these very worthy families. At least for the holidays, they can enhance the Blue Star Families’ motto transforming it from “Support. Connect. Empower.” to “Support. Connect. Empower. And Rock”Kids Rock for Kids with CancerOn Saturday, December 11, Slash of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, will join several other L.A. area bands to do their part in the fight to cure cancer. The catch? The other bands are made up of kids who go to the Rock Nation School, where Head of Musical Operations Tony Avalon and Music Director Chase Hampton teach them how to play music. Most importantly all proceeds from the Monster Showcase will benefit Shred Kids’ Cancer.The Shred Kids’ Cancer charity was formed in 2008 when the then 9-year-old founder Teagan Stedman discovered his friend’s brother had cancer and he wanted to do something about it. On the organization’s website Stedman writes, “Shred Kids’ Cancer is a charity that lets kids try and do something for these other kids who are suffering. It’s a way to make the kids who have cancer know that we are here for them and show them we care and give them strength.”Shred Kids’ Cancer holds various events during the year, but the big gig is the Shredfest each spring. It’s billed as “a battle of the bands to battle kids cancer.” This Saturday’s Monster Showcase is Rock Nation’s way of helping this worthy cause. One of the young musicians performing at the showcase is 13-year-old Ben Babylon. Ben’s dad Guy was a Grammy-winning keyboard player who worked with Elton John for over 20 years. Guy passed away last fall and his music now lives through his son. Ben is excited about Saturday’s showcase saying, “Teagan Stedman is this amazing kid… he didn’t just say, ‘Here’s a little foundation, put money in this box.’ He did this whole thing with music.”He went on to explain, “The first Shred Kids’ Cancer that I did was in April at The House of Blues… and not only was I playing a concert and playing a song, but I was playing to help find a cure for kids’ cancer, so it was really cool.” Lucy Liu Stays Home for UNICEFThis weekend Lucy Liu (“Ally McBeal” and “Charlie’s Angels”) is starring in a made for TV movie called “Marry Me.” But when she’s not acting, she’s working tirelessly for UNICEF. We had a chance to speak to the actress while she was promoting the Lifetime mini-series and she mentioned her latest work with the global charity.In the past Liu, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2004, has traveled to Peru, Pakistan and the Congo to highlight the needs of children suffering worldwide. She also recently made a documentary film called “Red Light,” which deals with the issue of child trafficking in Cambodia.The actress said that her focus has shifted slightly in the last few months. “Recently I went to Texas and did a fundraiser for them… there’s other things instead of traveling out of the country, because I’ve been traveling a lot actually for work.”She continued, “This year has been more about fundraising and being more local and showing up for other events like going to Texas… as opposed to going out of the country and visiting the areas. [It’s been] more visiting the people and trying to encourage people to donate money, because it’s been much more difficult this year. Obviously economically it’s been very tight for everybody. So we’re hoping that people can still continue to be aware of how much their donations, even big or small, can make a big difference.”And even though the trips abroad are sometimes difficult, Liu said staying home has its challenges. “Actually it’s harder to go to those events than to go to other countries and see what’s going on and be involved with children. It’s almost more difficult to go and get dressed up and ask people for money.”You can watch Liu in “Marry Me” on Lifetime on Sunday December 12 and Monday December 13 at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. Central and you can find out more about UNICEF by visiting their website.

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