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Philly prepping for Jay-Z megaconcert

Sun., Aug. 26, 2012

The city where America was made is gearing up for rapper Jay-Z’s “Made In America” music festival, which officials estimate will attract 100,000 fans to Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend.

Construction of stages and tents began this week at the somewhat unusual venue, a tree-lined boulevard in the heart of downtown. It’s the first show on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to require paid admission. Rock stalwarts Pearl Jam are co-headliners of the two-day event.

For those who can’t make the festival on either Sept. 1 or 2, don’t worry – filmmaker Ron Howard will be directing a movie about the show.

Overall, city officials expect 50,000 paying fans each day for the bill curated by Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. Musicians include Skrillex, Drake, Afrojack, Chris Cornell, Run-DMC and hometown favorite Jill Scott.

Slake your hunger on ‘True Blood’ eats

“True Blood” fans can soon concoct their own blood-red beet bisque, crimson sweet tea and other Cajun delicacies inspired by the hit HBO vampire drama and compiled in a new cookbook.

Louisana’s cuisine is often referenced in the series, where vampires and mortals mingle over bowls of okra gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

The cookbook, “True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps,” was compiled by Cajun chef Marcelle Bienvenu and is being released in bookstores on Wednesday, shortly after today’s broadcast of the show’s fifth-season finale.

“I sat down and watched (‘True Blood’) with my notebook, and I was amazed how much food was mentioned in the series,” she said. “It was fun making the recipes come to life. I think people are still mystified by south Louisiana food. There’s still such a mystique about the food and culture here.”

Stars line up for Helm benefit show

John Mayer, Gregg Allman, Dierks Bentley and several other musicians are getting together to pay tribute to the late Levon Helm.

The “Love for Levon” benefit concert will be held Oct. 3 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. It will include performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Patty Griffin, Bruce Hornsby, Mavis Staples and Joe Walsh.

The influential Grammy-winning singer and drummer for The Band died of throat cancer earlier this year at age 71.

The birthday bunch

Singer Vic Dana is 70. Singer Shirley Manson (Garbage) is 46. Guitarist Dan Vickrey (Counting Crows) is 46. Drummer Adrian Young (No Doubt) is 43. Actress Melissa McCarthy is 42. Actor Macaulay Culkin is 32. Singer-actress Cassie is 26. Actress Keke Palmer (“Akeelah and the Bee”) is 19.


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