• Ice Cube’s Straight Outta LA


    Rapper Ice Cube, a member of pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A., is an actor, writer, producer and director of feature films and has helped launch the careers of many including Chris Tucker and Bernie Mac. Ice Cube’s latest directorial effort is a documentary entitled Straight Outta LA which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary was produced as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series. The sports channel, celebrating its 30th anniversary, recruited high-profile directors to make 30 original films focusing on a sports event of the directors choice from the past three decades.

    Sex and the City 2: Still Sexy?

    Today I took an unofficial poll about the new Sex and the City movie and the result was split 50/50. Half of those polled wanted to see the movie while the other half did not. Recently a friend uploaded a billboard image on Facebook expressing his excitement and anticipation about the upcoming release. Others expressed their disdain for the latest installment from Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda through their status updates. I have watched Sex and The City since the first episode aired on HBO. The material was raw and the fashion spoke for itself before the days of having every outfit drilled down by designer names. I have no problem rewatching the first three seasons I own on DVD but when the first movie was released, I was not on the bandwagon. While many women gussied up for the premiere and sipped Cosmopolitans, I preferred viewing the film in the comfort of my home thanks to Netflix. The same applies to the sequel. While the plotline may be lacking (Aidan again… really??) and the dialogue ripe with one liner zingers, I admit to wanting to see the wardrobe while under the influence of a healthy serving of champagne.

    Au Naturel Is The New Black


    With all the problems in the world, I was astonished to see the headline “Jessica Simpson without makeup on the cover of Marie Claire”. Marie Claire claims Jessica is makeup free in their May edition but I’m calling their bluff since hints of blush and mascara can be seen. What is refreshing about the cover is it appears to be airbrush-free and you can actually see her laugh lines. In the latest chapter of “Stars- they’re just like us”, unretouched magazine spreads are garnering top billing in the news these days.


    Applegirl And Her Apps

    Color me not surprised when I saw videos of a girl going by the YouTube handle Applegirl002 remaking top pop hits by Lady Gaga and Beyonce on multiple iPhones. Overproduced beats are the perfect material for this new form of instrumentation (I hesitate even calling it that). She has been spreading her music on YouTube by posting videos of herself videotaped in her living room with a backup band comprised of a variety of iPhone applications. As someone who has a deep appreciation of synthesizers and mixers, is this just an example of the next wave of electronic instruments in a smaller handheld form?

    So many questions came to mind when I first watched Applegirl’s YouTube clips performing Irreplaceable on three iPhones and Poker Face with the help of four iPhones. I wondered exactly how much time she spent figuring out how to recreate a song with iPhone applications. I was also curious to know if she had any formal music training. My question has been answered with her latest upload where Applegirl is seen playing a keyboard and her bandmate is an iPhone app. She is definitely musically inclined so I can’t help but think about what her own original music would sound like unplugged.

    Twin Peaks: Still Bizarre Twenty Years Later

    When you want to have a marathon session watching back-to-back episodes of a series, I suggest spending some time with Twin Peaks. If you like mystery and suspense and want a total mindf*ck, then this is the show for you. Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks debuted twenty years ago and aired for two seasons. Popular high school student Laura Palmer is murdered and FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan, is sent to the small fictional Washington town to investigate. Throughout the series viewers become acquainted with the townsfolk and a seedier side of Twin Peaks is revealed.

    New Amerykah: Badu In The Buff

    Erykah Badu’s latest release New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh has been playing in my ears nonstop. She has been making the rounds on television shows promoting the new album and performing her new single Window Seat. A controversial video for the song was released the same week New Amerykah Part Two hit the stores. In the video, Badu is seen walking towards the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza, in her hometown of Dallas, stripping away articles of clothing until she is in the buff and ends with her collapsing to the sidewalk as if she has been shot. Rolling Stone writes “In the video, Badu is making a statement against ‘group think,’ saying in a voiceover in the closing seconds, ‘They play it safe, and are quick to assassinate what they don’t understand.’” A mother of two filed an indecency complaint with the city of Dallas and claims her and her children were offended by Badu’s actions during the guerilla video shoot. The city of Dallas is issuing Badu a disorderly conduct citation. The citation is similar to a traffic ticket and will result in a $500 fine.

    Say Hello To Scarface’s Little Friends

    When I did theater as a kid, we stuck to more traditional fare like Peter Pan and Annie. An adaptation of Scarface is making the rounds online. Children are starring in the roles of quintessential cocaine cowboy Tony Montana and his crew in a what appears to be a school play. This morning when I walked into my office lobby and looked at the television, it was making headline news. The hoax is up. The work was produced in LA by director Marc Klasfeld and Rockhard Films whose credits include videos for Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert.

    Fast backward in time

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