Which Actors Can Hack It As Musicians?

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Hollywood Shuffle got word Thursday that Blues Brother and Saturday Night Live alumnus Dan Aykroyd will be at the downtown Spec's this afternoon from 3-7 p.m. to sign bottles of his new vodka, Conehead Crystal Head.

Aykroyd is in town to act as Grand Marshal for Saturday's Art Car Parade. Saturday night he'll also be at the House of Blues, the restaurant and music-venue franchise he helped co-found, for the Houston Heart & Soul Blues Benefit Concert featuring Little Joe Washington, Texas Johnny Boy, Milton Hopkins Diunna Greenleaf and a special performance by "Elwood Blues." The concert benefits the International House of Blues Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to "bringing the arts to schools and communities through programs that increase public awareness of African American contributions to American culture."

Back in the day, HWS used to think that the Blues Brothers was just a bad Sam & Dave tribute band, back before we had this long-term obsession with Stax Records, and then we learned that Steve Cropper and the adorable Donald "Duck" Dunn, also known as one half of the Booker T's MGs, were in the original Blues Brothers Band. That gave the Brothers a bit more credibility.

The only problem is that when certain people are surrounded by sycophants, they begin to believe they can excel at any and everything. Not every actor should be allowed to list a second career - especially musicians - their resume. Below, HWS looks at the bad ones, and some of the good ones.

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Steve Martin: Aykroyd isn't the only actor to pursue musical ventures. Another SNL alum (sort of), Renaissance man Steve Martin, was in town just last month with his bluegrass band - he's a kick-ass banjo player (and has been for a while, Chuckie, baby!). He's also the author of one of HS's favorite novellas.

Scarlet Johansson: People were incensed - incensed - that ScarJo would dare defile a Tom Waits song. But HS thinks her voice sounds awesome here, and it's live, not over-produced in a studio. And anyway, we're too busy thinking about beautiful she is to care much.

Jason Schwartzman: Doesn't Phantom Planet's song just scream summer? And who's that with the monobrow and mop-head on drums? Why, it's Wes Anderson's favorite cad!

Taylor Momsen: Taylor Momsen is on Gossip Girl, but she's also pretty hardcore as a singer. She's also a model. Her band, The Pretty Reckless, will be in Houston July 2 with the Warped Tour.


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