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Video: Reunited Original Lineup Of EXCITER Performs In Porto Alegre
Video footage of the reunited original lineup of Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER— guitarist John Ricci, drummer/vocalist Dan Beehler and bassist Allan Johnson— performing on October 5 in Porto Alegre, Brazil can be seen below. The first rehearsal photo of the reunited original lineup of Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER— guitarist John Ricci, drummer/vocalist Dan Beehler and bassist Allan Johnson— can be seen on this page (courtesy of Allan Johnson). On episode 475 of the "Talking Metal" podcast, Mark Strigl conducted an interview with Ricci. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he had anything to do with the announcement that was made in February 2014 that he was "retiring" from the music business: Ricci: "No, never, I never did. The former members [drummer Rik Charron, bassist Rob 'Clammy' Cohen and vocalist Kenny Winter] just decided they were gonna word it that way. When I had a falling out with the other members, I was so stressed out — I don't wanna get into the details about the whole thing — I did say to them, 'I need a break from music.' But, to me, that's not saying I'm retiring. So they interpreted that as, 'Oh, John doesn't wanna play music anymore.' So I never even hinted at that. They were just covering up what the real story behind the whole uprising was, in my opinion. So when they made that announcement, I got flooded with more e-mails from all over the world, saying, 'John, we don't believe this. We know you'll never retire. You are the band. What's the real story?' So that's one issue I had to deal with." On how the other members of the last EXCITER lineup could think that they could continue as EXCITER without any of the group's original members:Ricci: "It's a very complicated story. I've been doing this for many, many, many years. But I can't tolerate stress. Some situations I can't handle because I'm just gonna lose it, and I'm trying to be sane in this business. So, technically, I removed myself from the band, because I was so fed up with their behavior, and I just couldn't take it. So they thought, 'OK, if John's removed himself from EXCITER, we can continue as EXCITER.' Now, it's a very complicated story. I don't wanna… It would get into legal stuff, and I just don't wanna get into it right now. So, skipping all the details, yes, they were gonna try to continue as EXCITER without me. [But] how could you get bookings calling yourself EXCITER without at least one original guy in the band. So, what happened was the three of them ended up, as far as I hear through the grapevine — I mean, I don't know; I haven't really spoken to any of them since all of this has happened — they had a falling out among each other, so now there's no band. And the name was surrendered back to me, which I am the lawful owner of the name. I'm skipping a lot of details here; there's probably a lot of blank things that [I have not talked about]… The three of them kind of had disagreements among each other, and I wasn't involved in any of it. And they basically dissolved… We could have fixed what was happening at the time. But as far as I'm concerned — it's just my personal opinion — what was happening, we could have fixed it and continued, after I made the changes in the band. But it didn't happen that way. So any kind of apology, and they're making apologies on the Internet for the whole world to see, well, it doesn't matter anymore, 'cause the damage is done. I mean, they've toured with me, they've toured with the world, people want their autograph, people want their picture taken with them, you'd think… I'm not criticizing those guys — they played a great role in the band's music and everything — you'd think they'd sort of see clear my position in the band. I'm the guy who started the band in the '70s, I continued the band, I did most of the songwriting. In the recent version of EXCITER, I did all the lyrics, I did the melodies. You'd think if you're playing with someone like that, you'd have a little more devotion. Things could have turned out better for everybody, but it didn't happen that way. And they can make all the apologies they want, it doesn't matter anymore. The damage is done." On how he mended fences with the other original members of EXCITER, drummer/vocalist Dan Beehler and bassist Allan Johnson:Ricci: "Well, we haven't even spoken about [the issues that caused to have a falling out back in the day]. [laughs] We've had two meetings. We're only gonna start rehearsing this coming week. And when we had our meetings, those topics never even came up. We basically said, 'What happened in the past happened. It's water under the bridge.' But back then when I did that last interview with you, I very rarely spoke to Allan. I mean, we had no reason to speak to each other for anything, really. But things happened through word of mouth and the media, and 'He said this' and 'He said that.' You don't know what to believe. I mean, are they actually saying things, or is it just fabricated? So at the time, that's the way I felt. I had no idea in 2014 we'd get back together. I'm completely surprised myself. But I think Dan and Allan— and I can't speak for them — they might have a certain level of frustration as well that they really wanted to get back with me and continue the music that we made. 'Cause the three of us have incredible chemistry when we play our instruments. A lot of great bands — I'm not saying we're a great, fantastic band — but a lot of classic rock and metal bands, they have incredible chemistry when you put certain individuals together. So I think Dan and Allan, over the years, realized that, and they probably thought, 'Let's get back together with John and just keep going, having fun and playing our music.'" On whether there is still a friendship between the original members of EXCITER or if they are working together purely as business partners:Ricci: "Our first meeting, when we sat down, we did not discuss business, we just reminisced and talked about the old days and all the fun times that we had. 'Cause, I mean, we toured quite a bit. In 1985, we did a MOTÖRHEAD tour across the U.S., coast to coast, we also did a MEGADETH tour, coast to coast, we played shows with MERCYFUL FATE, we did a couple of shows in upstate New York with ANTHRAX when we were signed with Megaforce. We had a really good time and everything. So our first meeting was just four hours of… You know, we were sitting at a bar, just drinking beer and talking about the old times. So yeah, we're still friends. Our level of dedication to EXCITER, no one has ever questioned it. Yes, we have a difference of opinion on certain business issues, but when it comes to music, we're exactly on the same wavelength — like, our headspace is exactly the same, musically speaking. And it makes it so much easier when you're writing songs, that everyone recognizes everyone else's vision; you don't have to shove down their throat. But, I mean, on the other hand, for the past 20 years I've been continuing EXCITER, in most cases I handle all the band's business dealings. So the same thing will stay — I will be handling a lot of the business stuff. But because we're the original three guys, everyone's opinion counts when it's time to make decisions; I'm not just gonna be railroading those decisions — I'll ask Dan and I'll ask Al their opinion — and we'll move forward with whatever opinion we take." The original EXCITER lineup recorded three classic albums in the 1980s — "Heavy Metal Maniac" (1983), "Violence & Force" (1984) and "Long Live the Loud" (1985) — before Ricci left he group and was replaced by Brian McPhee.EXCITER's latest album, "Death Machine", which featured Ricci as the sole remaining original member, was released on October 29, 2010 via Massacre Records.
ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Talks DEREK JETER's Legacy, 'Chile On Hell' DVD And 'Big Four' At Yankee Stadium
Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. You can now watch the chat below.Ian's autobiography, "I'm The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax", was released on October 14 via Da Capo Press. For "I'm The Man", Ian worked with Jon Wiederhorn, co-author of the books "Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History Of Metal" and "Ministry: The Lost Gospels According To Al Jourgensen". Ian recently told Lithium Magazine about how his memoir is different form other rock and roll autobiographies out there: "What makes mine different is that it doesn't take the usual story arc that most of these rock/metal biographies and autobiographies do. That arc is usually the rise to fame, the fame, the crash and burn and then some sort of redemption. I don't have that story arc. I don't know what you would call my story genre, but it's more about coming from nothing and being able to do all that I have done. I think it's about being able to show anybody that no matter where you come from, whether you're a scrawny kid from Queens [New York], you do have the opportunity to make something of yourself. I am the living proof of that. And you don't have to take the normal road that's portrayed in these books. You don't have to take the MÖTLEY CRÜE road."
KORN's RAY LUZIER Explains Move To Nashville
KORN drummer Ray Luzier was recently interviewed by the Nashville rock radio station 102.9 The Buzz. You can now watch the chat below. On how he likes living in Nashville, where he moved from Los Angeles in June 2014: Ray: "It's awesome, man. [I spent] 26 years in L.A. The traffic, the smog, the people… People actually say 'hi' to you here [in Nashville] and they mean it. It throws me off. I'm like, 'You messin' with me?' They're, like, 'No. Hi. How are you doing?' I'm like, 'Oh, hey. I'm pretty good.' So it's taken me a little bit. I'm a little bit jaded from L.A." On his childhood years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Ray: "It's changed a lot. I was born and raised there. And I moved in '88 to go to L.A. to pursue music and do what I'm doing now. But, like most cities today, they've come a long way. It's building and it's really good. But there was not too much there when I was [living there]. I moved from a 118-acre farm to Hollywood Boulevard. It was a big shock, to say the least."KORN will release a limited-edition 300-page hardcover book including photos from the archives paired with brand new notes and commentary from the members. From the stage to the dressing room to the recording studio, you’ll have unlimited access to everything that went into the band’s career so far. The deluxe reissue of KORN's 2013 album, "The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition" (Prospect Park) was made available at Best Buy stores in North America starting July 15. For the "World Tour Edition", the Bakersfield quintet lock and load last year's critically acclaimed "The Paradigm Shift", with three brand new songs including the single "Hater", plus "The Game Is Over" and "So Unfair". In addition, it's been beefed up with a bevy of live tracks recorded all over the globe and expanded artwork.
MACHINE HEAD: Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Making Of 'Now We Die' Video
Behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "Now We Die", the new video from San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD, can be seen below. The clip was filmed on October 3 in Oakland, California with director Mike Sloat, who has previously worked with TESTAMENT and HATRIOT."Now We Die" is taken from MACHINE HEAD's new album, "Bloodstone & Diamonds", which sold around 18,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 21 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on November 10 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the CD was produced by MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn and Juan Urteaga, and like the last seven of eight MACHINE HEAD albums, was masterfully mixed by Colin Richardson. Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY) and Steve Lagudi. Regarding the musical direction of "Bloodstone & Diamonds", Flynn told Metal Hammer magazine: "There's definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It's a really heavy record arid there's a dark and evil vibe to a lot of it, but I feel like there's more of a rock vibe in there too. It's stripped down at times, and I like that. I think that sense of urgency has carried over from the demos we did, which were all done very quickly and spontaneously. We tried to keep that spontaneous vibe on the album." He continued: "At one point we started getting really anal on the tracks and spending tons of time on stuff, and we'd listen back and say, 'You know what? This doesn't have the vibe of the demos.' The demos were so fuckin' frantic, so we changed our mindset and now it's a little bit looser. Some of the guitar takes are basically live. Often, 40 or 50 percent of a song came from a spontaneous, live take and that's killer! It adds energy and makes the songs feel alive." Regarding the "Bloodstone & Diamonds" album title, Flynn said: "Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth. It is also a lyric from the opening track of the album, 'Now We Die'. "In many cultures, the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band."
OZZY OSBOURNE/FIREWIND Guitarist GUS G. Reveals Favorite Tattoo
Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, recently answered "five random questions" for Shockwave magazine. You can watch the question-and-answer session below. A special expanded edition of "I Am The Fire" was released in Europe on November 3 (digitally in North America on November 4). This limited CD + DVD digipak features four bonus tracks and a 62-minute bonus DVD (including the album's four official video clips so far, plus three live tracks, six guitar tutorials, as well as an EPK and track-by-track commentary). "I Am The Fire" entered the official chart in Greece at position No. 27. The CD sold around 700 copies in the United States in its first week of release."I Am The Fire" was mixed by Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STONE SOUR, STEEL PANTHER) and was recorded between Los Angeles and Gus' home country of Greece through the latter half of 2013.
NWOBHM thrash godfathers RAVEN have launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to finance the recording of their next studio album, "ExtermiNation". The band has recorded a full-length covers CD titled "Party Killers" that is being offered as an exclusive Kickstarter reward for backers. The group is also offering exclusive t-shirts, patches, and a seven-inch vinyl single via the campaign, which runs through November 28."Party Killers", which is is available on CD and 12-inch vinyl, includes the following tracks: * "Too Bad Too Sad" (NAZARETH) * "Bad Reputation" (THIN LIZZY) * "Cockroach" (SWEET) * "Fireball" (DEEP PURPLE) * "Hang On To Yourself" (DAVID BOWIE) * "He's A Whore" (CHEAP TRICK) * "In For The Kill" (BUDGIE) * "Is There A Better Way" (STATUS QUO) * "Ogre Battle" (QUEEN) * "Queen Of My Dreams" (EDGAR WINTER) * "Tak Me Bak 'Ome" (SLADE) Snippets of RAVEN's versions of "Cockroach" (SWEET), "Tak Me Bak 'Ome" (SLADE) and "Fireball" (DEEP PURPLE) can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below. Comments RAVEN vocalist and bassist John Gallagher: "We were writing for the new album at a cool studio in Richmond, Virginia, and in the middle of jamming asked the engineer there if we could record a few cover tunes just for the hell of it. The sounds were so good, we decided to do something we'd been threatening for many years: 'Party Killers'— a collection of cover tunes guaranteed to deafen yer neighbors!! It's basically a peek into the little red 45rpm singles box we used to have at home... songs and bands that were very influential to us as kids, but given the RAVEN overhaul! I think it gives a nice insight to our roots and will be an excellent companion to the new album."RAVEN released the "Rock Until You Drop - A Long Days Journey" two-disc DVD as a digipak in North America on July 2, 2013 via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort contains four hours and 30 minutes of concert footage from around the world, in the studio, backstage, interviews with the band, the fans, musicians and producer. It tells the story of over three decades of trailblaizing metal mayhem!RAVEN's latest album, "Walk Through Fire", was released in the U.S. on March 30, 2010 (one day earlier in Europe through SPV/Steamhammer) via Metal Blade Records. The CD was recorded at Assembly Line Studios with engineer/mixer Kevin 131 (PROJECT: FAILING FLESH, DECEASED, DYSRYTHMIA, GARDEN OF SHADOWS).
AGNOSTIC FRONT To Begin Recording 'The American Dream Died' Album In December
New York hardcore veterans AGNOSTIC FRONT will enter Buzzbomb Sound Labs on December 5 to begin recording their 11th studio album. Paul Miner (TERROR, H2O, ATREYU, DEATH BY STEREO) will engineer, mix and master the CD for an early 2015 release via Nuclear Blast. Artwork and layout will be handled by artist Todd Huber, who works with vocalist Roger Miret's clothing line American Made Kustom. "We are excited to be working with Paul Miner at Buzzbomb Sound Labs on our new record which we are calling 'The American Dream Died'," comments Miret. "This recording promises to be mean, fast and furious; with elements of our classic styles, adding chaotic blasts of real old-school hardcore!" AGNOSTIC FRONT's latest album, "My Life My Way", was released in March 2011 via Nuclear Blast. The CD was recorded at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida and featured 13 anthemic songs laid down by Erik Rutan (MADBALL, GOATWHORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, etc.) under the watchful guide of producer Freddy Cricien of MADBALL. The record was mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (SEPULTURA, SUFFOCATION, UNEARTH) in New Windsor, New York.
QUEENSRŸCHE's MICHAEL WILTON: How Diminishing Budgets Have Affected Recording Process
Progressive metallers QUEENSRŸCHE recently took part in a question-and-answer session with listeners of the Pennsylvania radio station 97.9 X. You can now watch the discussion below. Asked how QUEENSRŸCHE approaches the recording process today compared to a time when recording budgets were in the high six figures, guitarist Michael Wilton responded: "Very carefully. This is the modern age. We all have computers with Pro Tools systems on, so you get a lot of the initial work kind of 'pre-done.' These days, you can do most of the recording on your own personal studio, so that brings the budget way down. We usually rent out a big room for drums, and that's usually the biggest expense as far as the production cost. And everything else is kind of… Overdubs are subbed out into smaller places — sometimes our homes, sometimes our rehearsal halls. Generally, the budgets have shrunken, so you just have to be wise with your money, because sometimes the producer eats up a big portion of that, and then what's left is kind of what the start-up is for your tour. It's really a mathematical game, to try and just figure out what you actually get to keep out of that recording budget." Singer Todd La Torre, who says that QUEENSRŸCHE has been his favorite band since he was 15 years old, joined the group several months after meeting QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton at the 2012 edition of the NAMM convention in Anaheim, California.QUEENSRŸCHE is currently working on material for a new studio album for a tentative early 2015 release.QUEENSRŸCHE's self-titled album sold around 13,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Century Media Records.
DAVE LOMBARDO Explains His Double-Bass Technique (Video)
Video footage of former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo's November 22 clinic at Cueva Rock in Quartucciu, Sardinia, Italy can be seen below.Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band.PHILM released its sophomore album, "Fire From The Evening Sun", on September 16 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR. The band's lineup is completed by guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco "Pancho" Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR).Lombardo told "Let There Be Talk" podcast about the musical chemistry of the original SLAYER lineup: "I appreciate the nucleus of the band. Like [John] Bonham. When Bonham was part of [LED] ZEPPELIN. When his son [Jason] took over, oh my God. C'mon. Really? I have respect for Jason and for what he's done, but when he put a double-bass pedal on a single bass drum, that just blew it for me. It's, like, 'Really, dude? Your dad was about single bass.' "There is a certain magic — just like with SLAYER, just like with AC/DC with Bon Scott— there's a certain magic when you have those musicians and nobody could replace that. Nobody. That's it. You can't. Yeah, SLAYER's new drummer [Paul Bostaph], yeah, a lot of fans like him. But there's that magic. It's chemistry. It's like when you meet a girl and you two get along really well, and it's like a chemistry; it's something special. Same thing with the band: you get these four guys, [and] they may hate each other, but on stage, there's magic. And that's what's missing, I personally believe."
DUFF MCKAGAN: 'My Bucket List Is A Lot Less Important Than My Kids' Bucket List'
During a recent interview with the Johannesburg, South Africa radio station RSG 100-104 FM, Duff McKagan (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER, LOADED, WALKING PAPERS) was asked if there are still any items left on his bucket list after more than 30 years of playing rock and roll. "I'll tell you what, playing yesterday [during a KINGS OF CHAOS rehearsal], Billy Gibbons [ZZ TOP] showing me songs, that's a bucket-list item," Duff responded. "I couldn't believe that I was in a room and Billy Gibbons… who I've gotten to know a little bit, but it's still Billy Gibbons. Me saying I know him doesn't belittle the fact that it's Billy fucking' Gibbons." He continued: "But, you know, I don't know the bucket list. It's changed now that I have kids. So my bucket list is a lot less important than my kids' bucket list and what they wanna do, and they're both teenagers. And that has totally taken the front seat of my life in the last 17 years. "All of the stuff we're talking about — rock music and all of that — it's all fun and games, and it is my occupation."McKagan added: "When I was 18, I could have never imagined that you can actually make a living doing this. And so now I make a living doing this, and that's what I do. "Bucket list… I don't know, man. There's so many things to do. I think I'm half way through, and I'm still kind of a kid. You look at AEROSMITH and THE ROLLING STONES and ZZ TOP and BLACK SABBATH and all these guys who are still filling arenas, they're all 20 years older than me. So I'm still the kid, and I've got a lot left to do."WALKING PAPERS, which also features MISSIONARY POSITION's Jeff Angell and SCREAMING TREES drummer Barrett Martin, has just finished recording its sophomore album for a tentative early 2015 release.
Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

FILE - This May 18, 2013 file photo shows Hannah Hooper, left, and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove performing as part of Party in the Park at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Grouplove's, “Ways to Go,” was the most viral track on Spotify, from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify. (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP, file)The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.

Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2012 file photo, musician Robin Thicke performs during Macy's Passport presents Glamorama 2012 at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Thicke's "Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)" was the top streamed tracks on Spotify from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)The following list represents the most streamed tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.

'Mad Men' creator to receive honorary Int'l Emmy
NEW YORK (AP) — "Mad Men" creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner is being honored with the 2014 International Emmy Founders Award.
Cirque show scene returns after performer's death

FILE - This undated file photo released courtesy David Fox shows acrobat, Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, who died June 29, 2013, during a production of "Ka" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A key battle scene near the end of Cirque du Soleil's "Ka" show is returning more than a year and a half after performer, Guillot-Guyard, fell 94 feet to her death when a wire rope snapped during the stunt. Officials with Cirque du Soleil invited reporters to a Dec. 3, 2014, preview of the scene's return at the MGM Grand hotel-casino. (AP Photo/Courtesy David Fox, File)LAS VEGAS (AP) — A key battle scene near the end of Cirque du Soleil's "Ka" show is returning more than a year and a half after a performer fell 94 feet to her death when a wire rope snapped during the stunt.

Nobel Prize for DNA discovery going to auction

This image provided by Christie's auction house shows the 1962 Nobel Prize medal James Watson won for his role in the discovery of the structure of DNA. The medal is going on the auction block Dec. 4, 2014 at Christie's. (AP Photo/Christie's)NEW YORK (AP) — The 1962 Nobel Prize James Watson won for his role in the discovery of the structure of DNA is going on the auction block.

Rough week for Fox in Nielsen ratings
NEW YORK (AP) — If Fox launches a comeback over the next couple of years, the network may very well look upon the week before Thanksgiving 2014 as its low point.
Nielsen's top programs for Nov. 17-23
Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Nov. 17-23. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.
Sylvia Day fan advocate in TV's 'Crossfire' series

This January 2014 photo released by Sylvia Day LLC, shows best selling author Sylvia Day in New York. Day's latest book "Captivated By You," the fourth in the Crossfire series, was released on Nov. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Ian Spanier Photography)NEW YORK (AP) — Sylvia Day vows to protect her fans' favorite moments when her "Crossfire" erotic romance novels are adapted for television.

Cosby philanthropy shadowed by sexual allegations

FILE - In this May 12, 2011 file photo, comedian Bill Cosby appears at Temple University's commencement in Philadelphia. Temple University says Cosby remains a trustee of the Philadelphia institution despite renewed scrutiny of sexual assault allegations against him. At least three women have publicly discussed their allegations against Cosby in recent weeks. Through his lawyer, the 77-year-old comedian has strongly denied wrongdoing. Cosby has never been charged. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bill Cosby's record of big donations to colleges and other institutions has been a key part of his rosy public image. But even his generosity can't stand apart from the rising tide of allegations made by women accusing him of sexual assault.

'Birdman' leads Spirit Awards nominations

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Michael Keaton, left, and Edward Norton in a scene from "Birdman." The film was nominated for six Spirit Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Winners will be revealed at the annual awards ceremony on Feb. 21. 2015. The ceremony will air live from Santa Monica, Calif. on IFC. (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Pictures)LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Birdman," a dark comedy about show business, took flight Tuesday with a leading six nominations for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards.

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