The Playboy Mansion officially sold for $100 million, half of what it was listed for


The sale of the Playboy Mansion has officially closed, and the final sale price has been confirmed.


Daren Metropoulos, a principal of the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co. and a former co-CEO of Pabst Brewing Company, paid $100 million for the historic property, a representative for Metropoulos told Business Insider.


The 20,000-square-foot Los Angeles home had originally listed for $200 million in January, which made it the most expensive home for sale in America at the time.


As part of the terms of the sale, Hugh Hefner must be allowed to stay as long as he desires. The estate was sold by Playboy Enterprises, which leases it back to the 90-year-old Hefner. The company bought the mansion 45 years ago for just over $1 million, a historically high price for the area at the time.


The five-acre property includes the main 29-room mansion and a four-bedroom guesthouse.


Metropoulos purchased the next-door estate from Playboy in 2009, reportedly paying $18 million for it. Once Hefner’s tenancy ends, Metropoulos apparently intends to connect the two properties into a single 7.3-acre estate.


“I feel fortunate and privileged to now own a one-of-a-kind piece of history and art,” Metropoulos said in a press release announcing the closing of the sale. “I look forward to eventually rejoining the two estates and enjoying this beautiful property as my private residence for years to come.”


Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland had the listing, along with Mauricio Umansky of The Agency. Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Previews International represented Metropoulos.

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Suicide Squad Tops Box Office a Second Weekend


Warner Bros. Pictures‘ Suicide Squad held on to the top spot at the domestic box office, despite a big drop in ticket sales and a strong opening from Sony Pictures‘ Sausage Party.


The David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad added $43.8 million, a 67.3% drop from last weekend (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dropped 69% its second weekend), to take its North American total to $222.9 million. Internationally, the comic book adaptation earned $58.7 million this weekend for a total of $242.5 million overseas. Made for $175 million, the film has now earned $465.4 million worldwide.


Suicide Squad stars Will Smith (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus), Joel Kinnaman (Netflix’s “House of Cards”), Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt), Jai Courtney (Insurgent), Jay Hernandez (Takers), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World), Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors), Scott Eastwood (Fury), Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns), Adam Beach (Cowboys & Aliens), and Karen Fukuhara in her feature film debut.

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THE GOSPEL According to First Album in Over a Decade To Be Released Sept. 9 /“Diamond Sinners” Video Premieres with PopMatters National Tour Announced


“The sound of this record might have changed but all the ingredients used in previous <PIG> albums are the same: Healthy doses of discipline, desire, delectation and delight,” explains post-rock <PIG> frontman Raymond Watts about his new album THE GOSPEL (Metropolis Records; release date September 9, 2016). “Or if one refers to the ingredients as the bricks and mortar of making music – the instruments of daily torture such as drums and synths that deliver it, or the ideas and the oxygen for the flame to fan it – then nothing much has changed… and yet everything has changed.”

While seemingly contradictory and in opposition to its own existence, this dichotomy of thought is the fuel that feeds the gritty yet orchestral environment within <PIG> exists. Over a decade since the release of 2004’s Pigmatyr, THE GOSPEL is a rebirth of sorts, transforming the band’s original post-industrial incarnation to an almost entirely different, dark-rock animal. Opening with the tolling of church bells, the first single “The Diamond Sinners” is a swanky midnight dancefloor track whose video PopMatters premieres this week and can be viewed here:

The “Diamond Sinners” single EP (released last week, Sept. 5) contains the album track as well as three remixes from industrial stalwarts SKOLD, tweaker, and Marc Heal. “Each of them have done a fabulous job and brought their own special flavour and a brand new way to love thy neighbor,” Watts explains about each of the remixers. “I am so thrilled and grateful to these guys that have dipped their trotters in the trough.” Each version adds a new take on the track and reimagines it in different lights. “The tweaker Remix” benefits from “a tempo change and several pulsating synths”, while the “SKOLD Remix” finds “semi-tame Viking” Tim Skold isolating the hook which “slides engagingly into your ear before burrowing deeper and setting up home there for evermore.” Marc Heal’s “MC Lord of The Flies Remix” turns it into a dancefloor banger, by “digging up the carcass of <PIG>, giving it the kiss of life and a little CPR… bless his cotton socks.”

THE GOSPEL treks through different textures and rhythms, crafting a diverse album that finds itself diving deeper into the alt-rock territory of Iggy Pop and the Stooges than it does of <PIG>’s earlier post-industrial material. From the whiskey-drenched swank and howl of “Found in Filth” to the insidious and slinky grind of “Toleration Or Truth” to the swirling sweaty driving anthem of “I’m So Wrong”, it’s an album that defies simple categorization, punctuated by Watts’ distinctively dark growl. Co-written with Marc Thwaite (Peter Murphy) and Z.Marr (Combichrist) who also co-produces.and does double-duty with programming, guitars and additional vocals, <PIG> is rounded out with Watt’s former KMFDM bandmates En Esch on programming, guitars, vocals and Guenter Schulz on guitar.



The 10+ years between Pigmartyr and THE GOSPEL has been a metamorphosis of sorts for Watts. Among the highlights once he put <PIG> into hibernation included writing music for fashion and film for Chloe, Marios Schwab, Halston, The Row and the sound design for the exhibit Punk: Chaos to Couture at NYC’s Metropolitan Music of Art. But the most ground-breaking and perhaps most rewarding was his collaboration with the late and immensely celebrated fashion icon Alexander McQueen who commissioned Watts and his old Psychic TV partner-in-crime John Gosling to embellish the serene instrumental track “Inside” (from <PIG>’s Genuine American Monster album). The fluid soundtrack to McQueen’s masterpiece, Plato’s Atlantis, the show was reprised after McQueen’s untimely death as the finale of Savage Beauty, the posthumous retrospective that broke all records at The Metropolitan Music of Art in New York and Victoria & Albert Museum in London. “Working on Savage Beauty was (and I don’t mean this lightly) absolutely fantastic,” he explains. “To work with so many talented people from so many different fields all in the pursuit of showing Alexander McQueen’s genius (a word often overused but not in this case) was an honour and a joy.”



With THE GOSPEL ready for release in September, <PIG> will be hitting the road for the “American Excess Tour” throughout North America this Fall (tour dates below). “This tour will be a coming together of the old(er) and the new,” Watts explains about the tour’s planned setlist. “I never really feel as safe on stage as when I have a great big bald German to my left (En Esch) and to my right, Guenter Schulz, probably one of Germany’s more amiable and memorable exports… my idea of heaven, and I’m just glad they’re on my side. Also in the trenches with me are Galen Waling [drummer for Julien-K, Left Spine Down and formerly 16 Volt] and Z.Marr.” Supporting the tour will be En Esch’s industrial/mutant/disco/zombie/art rock solo project Peter Turns Pirate with Combichrist drummer Joe Letz adding his DJ skills between sets. Available for purchase exclusively on this tour is the vinyl-only release RISE AND REPENT, containing additional remixes of tracks from THE GOSPEL and previously unreleased material.



Watts concludes, “I am now just looking forward to getting our rag tag bag of miscreants into shape so they can give birth to a <PIG> on show that is fat, healthy and singing for its supper when he’s off the noose and live and loose this September and October…. digging up a backyard near you.”

<PIG> is Raymond Watts (vocals, programming, guitars), Z. Marr (programming, guitars, additional vocals), and En Esch (programming, guitars, additional vocals). THE GOSPEL will be released on September 9, 2016 via Metropolis Records.




9/6/2016 Toronto, ON Coalition
9/7/2016 Detroit, MI Smalls
9/8/2016 Pittsburgh, PA Brillobox
9/9/2016 Wilmington, DE Bar XIII
9/10/2016 New York, NY Stimulate
9/12/2016 Atlanta, GA Club Famous
9/13/2016 Tampa, FL Crowbar
9/15/2016 New Orleans, LA The Willow
9/16/2016 Austin, TX Elysium
9/17/2016 Houston, TX Numbers
9/18/2016 Dallas, TX The Church
9/19/2016 Tulsa, OK Vanguard
9/20/2016 Kansas City, KS Riot Room
9/21/2016 St Louis, MO Crack Fox
9/22/2016 Cold Waves Fest Debonaire
9/24/2016 Cold Waves Fest Metro
9/25/2016 Omaha, NE Sokol Underground
9/27/2016 Denver, CO Oriental theater
9/28/2016 Salt Lake City, UT Area 51
9/30/2016 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
10/1/2016 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
10/2/2016 Los Angeles, CA Complex
10/4/2016 Portland, OR Star Theater
10/5/2016 Seattle, WA Highline


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Lawyers Are Smiling as Dallas Throws More Money at Its Exxxotica Fight

A billboard for the EXXXotica Expo, to be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, is displayed on the northbound frontage road of Interstate 35, just south of 8th Street on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 in Dallas.   (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News) 07302015xBRIEFING 07312015xMETRO 08012015xPUB

The cost of banning Three Expo’s Exxxotica porn convention from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is still mounting. Instead of reaching an agreement with Exxxotica’s founder J. Handy to settle the suit, Dallas hired a group of the most experienced and ideological business lawyers it could find to fight Handy in U.S. District Court.


Those lawyers, as the city continues to discover, aren’t coming cheap.


Wednesday morning, the city council approved another $175,000 to the two firms representing the city in the case. The council funded the lawyers with a 9-5 vote; Casey Thomas, who voted with the mayor’s 8-7 majority to ban Exxxotica, was absent.


This vote brings the city’s running tab in the case to more than $400,000. For scale, that’s about half of what the proposed 2017 budget allocates to solving the loose dog problem in southern Dallas. Put another way, DPD’s post-shooting response cost about $700,000 in police overtime.


The case is nowhere close to being over, either. Discovery between the city and Three Expo is not slated to be complete until March 2017, a couple of months before a jury trial is expected to start.


The city won at the first hurdle when U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater turned down Handy’s request for a temporary injunction that would’ve forced the city to allow Exxxotica to hold its convention at the Kay Bailey this year. Dallas appellate attorney Chad Ruback told the Observer that he believed the case could take years, if either side decides to fight the trial decision on appeal. That could easily drive the attorney fees incurred by keeping the convention away into the millions.


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Exclusive: Frank DiMino Plotting Reunion With Angel For Farewell Concerts




Frank DiMino has confirmed that plans are afoot to reunite his former group Angel for a handful of farewell concerts. The singer, whose new single and video Never Again both feature Angel band-mate and guitarist Punky Meadows, broke the news on July 31 via his Facebook page with the declaration: “Special Announcement Coming Soon. Hint: It’s ‘Angel related’.”


“All of this this so secretive, even I don’t know what it is,” Frank guffaws nervously when talking to Classic Rock from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, so we inform the singer that a couple of months ago Punky had told us: “We couldn’t go on tour and be Angel again, that’s in the past. But doing two final shows to cap it all off, that’s something I’d never say never about.”


“I’m in full agreement with that,” DiMino affirms. “We’re not taking Angel back on the road again; it would be quite an undertaking to do just one, two three shows with the full stage show. So should that happen then it’ll be in one place. That would be in America, but if it was financially viable we’d also like to play in Europe as we missed out you guys first time around – maybe at a festival. We haven’t debated the logistics of it all but everyone is interested and [plans are] in the works.”


The stars are aligned, it seems. And it all began back in May when DiMino and the rest of Angel – Meadows, keyboardist Gregg Guiffria, bassist Felix Robinson and drummer Barry Brandt – accepted an award at the Vegas Rocks! Hair Metal Awards – the first time in 35 years that the surviving members of Angel were onstage together (original bass player Mickie Jones died in 2009).


“Gregg [Giuffria] had intended to play on my solo record but couldn’t make it happen timing-wise,” reveals DiMino. “Though the five of us stayed friends, it was surreal to be back in a room after all these years. It didn’t take long to return to our roles, for the personalities to mesh again.”


Yes, these are heady times for fans of Angel, DiMino having issued his solo debut, Old Habits Die Hard, last July, while Meadows opted to return to the fray with Fallen Angel (which featured Robinson on bass) back in the springtime.


“For Punky it’s a whole new start but things are slightly different for me because I’ve kept my hand in by singing here, there and everywhere,” Frank laughs. “I’m already writing some new stuff with Paul Crook [Meat Loaf/Anthrax, producer of the debut] for a second solo record. I’m just getting moving on that.”


DiMino and Meadows remained buddies since Angel’s breakup in 1981. Due to scheduling issues the video for Never Again was filmed in Vegas, while the director visited North Carolina to shoot Punky separately. “You can’t tell the difference,” Frank believes, “Paul [Gervasi] did a really nice job.”


Meanwhile, the DiMino band are set to make their live debut at the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood on October 21, playing solo songs and tunes from the Angel catalogue.

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Johnny Cash to Be Celebrated by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame




Country legend’s influence will be a focus of 21st annual Music Masters Series in Cleveland

The musical legacy of Johnny Cash will be saluted by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Case Western University for the 21st annual Music Masters Series, a week-long event which hits Cleveland, Ohio in October and culminates with the Music Masters concert on October 21st.


A highly influential figure for country and rock musicians alike, the Man in Black entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, two years before his American Recordings collaboration with Rick Rubin would introduce him to an entirely new audience. A 1980 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cash is one of a small handful of artists to be welcomed by both institutions.


“We are so grateful that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is honoring Johnny Cash for the 2016 Annual Music Masters series,” said John Carter Cash in a release. “Our father remains one of the most enduring names in entertainment history, and this recognition helps further his legacy and inspire both existing fans as well as a whole new generation of Johnny Cash fans.”


The annual week-long Music Masters series gets underway October 17th in Cleveland, with the Music Masters tribute concert taking place at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre on October 21st at 7:30 p.m. ET. The list of performers for the tribute concert will be revealed later, but members of the Cash family are expected to be in attendance. Additionally, a Johnny Cash celebration for fans will be held October 22nd at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


Currently, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is displaying Cash’s tour bus through the end of October. Dubbed “J.C. Unit One,” the coach was home away from home for Cash and wife June Carter Cash while they toured. Bus tours are included with admission to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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