'Gossip Girl' rocks

By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
Globe Staff / January 14, 2009
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What is it with "Gossip Girl" and Boston rock? Last season, the show name-checked Tanya Donnelly, and this week it was Buffalo Tom. Matthew Settle's character is talking to his girl-friend, played by Kelly Rutherford, and he says: "I can't believe you don't remember. . . . It was our first show in Paris and you were standing at the front of the stage and you got really mad because the drummer from Buffalo Tom groped you." Hmm. While fans of the band may have laughed at the line, it gave BT's drummer Tom Maginnis pause. "What the hell? My wife Andrea was actually watching and did a double-take, like 'did I just hear that?' " Maginnis, who lives in Newburyport, wrote in an e-mail yesterday. "Of course, then she came down and asked what I was doing groping this hot blonde. Still accountable for fictional wrongs! Nice to be referred to as a 'groper' on national television."

Off to Hungary
The John F. Kennedy Library is looking for a new CEO. We're told John Shattuck, who's been leading the library since 2001, is leaving for a job in Hungary. Specifically, Shattuck is off to become president of Central European University in Budapest. During his tenure, the Kennedy Library has greatly increased its educational programs and museum exhibits, and conducted more than 150 public conferences and forums. Shattuck is in Hungary this week and could not be reached. His wife, Ellen Hume, is the research director of the Center for Future Civic Media, MIT.

A spot in Super Bowl
The Patriots took a pass on this year's Super Bowl - all of them, that is, except Matt Light. The lumbering lineman will be featured in one of the high-priced Super Bowl spots for SoBe Lifewater. In the ad, Tom Brady's blocker shows his dance moves along with fearsome football stars Raven Ray Lewis and Giant Justin Tuck and the SoBe Lizards. We're told the 60-second spot, which will air immediately after the second quarter, is in 3-D and will lead into an ad for DreamWorks's 3-D movie "Monsters vs Aliens."

Naming rites
Ben Affleck's and Jennifer Garner's new baby finally has a name: Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck. Garner's rep shared the name with People yesterday, but didn't offer any explanation for the pick. Little Seraphina was born last week, joining 3-year-old Violet, who was spotted wearing a "Big Sister" T-shirt when Ben picked her up from school this week. A website specializing in the origin of names lists Seraphina as derived from the Hebrew word seraphim, meaning "fiery ones."

Cruise with New Kids
Just when we thought it couldn't get weirder, New Kids on the Block will host a special concert cruise for fans, sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas from May 15-18. "Our manager tells us this is not a cheesy thing, this is not a step back," said Joey McIntyre, cracking up, in a video posted on People's website yesterday. His comment quickly led to a discussion of John Mayer's cruise, which the band deemed "whack." "You know, you come on a cruise with us . . . you know what's going to happen," Donnie Wahlberg piped in. Hmm. Two of the Kids have birthdays around that time - Jordan Knight and Danny Wood - so they're dubbing it their "double birthday" cruise. "I'll be looking for my presents," Knight said.

She's made Pittsfield proud - and it has returned the favor
Hometown hero Elizabeth Banks charmed everyone at the State House yesterday, delivering the keynote address at the Massachusetts Cultural Council's 2009 Commonwealth Awards. The producer and "W" actress schmoozed with legislators and arts honchos at a VIP lunch, then presented the Creative Community award to her hometown, Pittsfield, represented by Mayor James Ruberto. Her father, Mark Mitchell, husband Max Handelman, and high school drama teacher Ralph Hamman, accompanied her. She had worried her voice might sound a little "manly" - she said before her speech she was catching a cold - but when she stepped up to the mike she sounded mostly just humble. "That was thoroughly embarrassing," Banks said, of Hamman's introduction, in which he called his former student "passionate," forceful, and talented. Banks credited Pittsfield High's drama program for her career and said she's proud of her hometown arts community. "I lived through the downturn, when GE pulled out," she remembered. "We were a factory town and suddenly there was no factory. Now when I go home and walk down that main street . . . instead of looking into empty windows . . . I look into art studios." Banks also thanked lawmakers for the state's recent pro-film industry legislation. "I was thrilled that my first movie as a producer - 'The Surrogates' - was filmed here in Massachusetts. It was either here or Australia, so thank you for the tax break."

Stepping up for an anniversary
Boston Ballet soloist Misa Kuranaga will dance with the New York City Ballet tonight for a special performance celebrating the 75th anniversary of the School of American Ballet. Misa, an alumna of the school, will join eight other guest artists and will dance the role of Russian Girl in George Balanchine's "Serenade." Boston ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen is expected to cheer her on.

A night of stars
Jimmy Fund patients got to bowl with some major leaguers during the recent New Stars for Young Stars event at Jillian's Boston. Hitting the lanes with the kids were Sox pitcher Justin Masterson and Lars Anderson, who was among a group of visiting Sox prospects signing autographs at the event.

Conan gets Lucky
You might want to tune into Conan O'Brien tomorrow night. We're told the Celts's high-flying leprechaun Lucky was in New York this week to tape an appearance. O'Brien, of course, grew up in Brookline, and looks a bit like Lucky.

Cuts at Channel 27
Two more media types were cut loose this week; Boston's Univision affiliate, WUNI-TV Channel 27, announced yesterday that sports reporter Omar Cabrera and production assistant Wendy Martinez were released from the news department. The station has also temporarily suspended production of "Despierta Boston," its morning news update.

House of Blues set to reopen
With excitement building a month ahead of its return to New England, the House of Blues offered details on its opening series of concerts yesterday. Located on Lansdowne Street in the spot formerly occupied by Avalon, Axis, and the Modern, the House of Blues officially opens Feb. 20 with the Gipsy Kings. The latest bookings suggest the venue will continue to target a young concert market with performances by Jesse McCartney (Feb. 27), Bloc Party (March 19), and Katy Perry (April 1). The Dropkick Murphys will play six consecutive nights (March 12-17). Tickets for the following shows go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. They're available through,, and, or by calling 800-745-3000. JAMES REED

Thievery Corporation Feb. 24. $32, $30 advance.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic Feb. 25. $25.
Jesse McCartney Feb. 27. $25.
Saints & Sinners Tour '09 featuring Hollywood Undead and Senses Fail March 6. $20.
Justin Nozuka March 7. $22, $20 advance.
An Evening With George Thorogood & the Destroyers March 11. $32.50, $29.50 advance.
Dropkick Murphys March 12-17. $29.50.
Ozomatli March 18. $25.
Bloc Party March 19. $25.
The Pogues March 20-21. $51.
The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest featuring Les Claypool
March 26. $27, $25 advance.
Live March 27, $29.50 and $39.50.
Morrissey March 29, $45. (Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon.)
Lady GaGa March 30. $22, $20 advance.
Katy Perry April 1. $18.
Derek Trucks Band April 2. $25.
Mates of State with Black Kids April 7. $20.
Umphrey's McGee April 9. $25.
Black Label Society Bash featuring Black Label Society with Sevendust
April 14. $29.50.
Rockstar Energy Drink Presents the AP Tour 2009 May 1. $17, $15 advance.

Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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