So for the past few days in my peripheral vision I’ve been seeing this black ad online. I’m not really taking it in, as I try not to be too consumed by the beast of the media we’re constantly exposed to. Finally it gets me, it’s for Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not for your local shop… but the chain in Thailand. It’s polished and looks slick, but it’s the same ol’ ish…
My impression was that Robin Thicke’s big hit “Blurred Lines” was meant to be an awesome tribute to Marvin Gaye’s 70s smash “Got To Give It Up.” Sampling and re-creating classic hits has been such a mainstay for the music industry for the past 30 years now, that I thought most people had probably stopped taken notice of it. Not Marvin Gaye III, who it appears will be taking legal action against Thicke, who initiated a lawsuit against the Gaye family.
Thousands marched on Washington this past weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The actual date that the speech was rendered, is today. My niece Leighana was among the multitude, where Reverend Al Sharpton, the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, and King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, spoke. Here’s a shot of my niece below, who continued a tradition her mother and I participated in when Stevie Wonder campaigned for King’s birthday, to be declared a national holiday. Apart from a few words from King III, I’ll let the esteemed Dr. King do the rest.
Michael Jackson would be 55 today (8/29) if he were still among us. Michael’s mom Katherine Jackson and his two eldest children Prince (16) and Paris (15), are currently in the midst of a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live, charging them with “Wrongful Death.” AEG’s position is, Jackson was already using drugs that took his life when they began their contractual agreement. On August 14, Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe took the stand in the pending case. Rowe was called as a defense witness for AEG, and testified as her former mother-in-law Katherine sat in the front row.
At one point amidst our daily usage of cell phones and modern technology, it seemed to me that some folks were just getting out of hand. It inspired me to do this cheesy short film, I hope you like it.
Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” album is forty years old today! What’s crazy is I was just listening to it no more than four weeks ago, thinking how relevant Stevie’s lyrics still are, but I put it on for the music. It was “Living for the City” that I wanted to hear in particular, but “Innervisions” is one of those records you can put on and just press play, still today. Back in the day when it was released, we had to put the needle on the record, as CD was something, on the way.
Some television shows celebrate their 200th episode. Unless I’ve completely lost it, this is my 200th blog — no, I haven’t lost it, it is my 200th blog. 20 blogs per page, at 10 pages, equals 200 right? 20 X 10 = 200. Generally T-V programs will review and/ or reflect on the shows that preceded the 200th show. That’s very appropriate for television, and I suppose I could touch on a few of my favorite blogs over the past five years, but I believe speaking on public figures that are anti-FUNK or just plain FUNKED UP may be more intriguing.
The Hughes Brothers set it off in the world of cinema with their gritty depiction of South Central L-A ala the film “Menace II Society” in 1993. A ghetto opus captured on screen, it made John Singleton’s “Boyz N The Hood” of two years prior look like a Disney movie. After four releases under their preverbal belts as a directing duo, the brothers Executive Produced their fifth release “Scratch.”
The Coen Brothers have gone from Funky Indy filmmakers to mainstream Hollywood since they first arrived in 1984. A follower of their work since “Blood Simple,” which I saw at The Quad theater in NYC’s Village area, I’m looking forward to their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Starring Justin Timberlake, the film also more than solidifies the singer’s place as an A-List movie actor.
D’Angelo has taken the stage over the past two months. He did a few sets in London a couple weeks ago and another at Minneapolis’ popular venue First Avenue (that Prince made famous) with Questlove in June, according to okayplayer.com. I discovered this in light of a poster saying he’s performing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on August 1st. That date is the kick-off of several sets through October.
Tina Turner had an official wedding last Sunday to celebrate her civil ceremony to her long-time beau music producer Erwin Bach. The couple have been together for 27 years, and had the celebration at their home on the banks of Lake Zurich in Switzerland. Among the guests were Oprah Winfrey and Bryan Adams.
Due to the tremendous response funkalicious blog got from our LeA Robinson post, we can’t imagine you won’t LOVE the video for her new single “Higher.” Robinson keeps it ol’ skool, takin’ ya back to the good ol’ days of hangin’ at the skating rink. And what’s that melody I recognize? It’s not a sample, but a re-creation of some flavor we got from Fonda Rae, back in the day. Check it out…
A concrete park sprayed with graffiti is scheduled to no longer exist soon. Located under the tracks of the 7 train on Long Island City in Queens, NY, it’s been there for 10 years. Meres is the name of the gentleman that acts as curator of the legendary site, that’s said to be shutting down this September.
In light of the not guilty verdict for the accused in the case of Treyvon Martin, Stevie Wonder announced recently that he will no longer perform in Florida. During the midst of a show in Canada, he expressed not only won’t he do that state, he added he will not do concerts any where in the world that upholds the “Stand Your Ground” law.
That pretty much sums it up. On this day a man that should have gone to jail for murdering 17-year-old Treyvon Martin was found not guilty for his crime. The fact that a jury of 6 women, four of them mothers, allowed an obvious vigilante to go free is an American travesty. So many dreams shattered because a citizen, who was instructed by police to stop pursuing what he professed to be a “suspicious character”, is dead.
Denzel Washington stars in the new movie “2 Guns”. A crime-drama, Mark Walberg co-stars, in this tale of two cops on a mission. As posted on imdb, “A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob — the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from.”
Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Alicia Keys and John Mayer will headline the second Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 28th according to a USA Today article. The event is timed around the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. The United Nations General Assembly meeting promotes a movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.
A fan of “True Blood” since its inception, I’ve noticed a little extra flavor this season. We’re about at the halfway mark and it looks like we’ll be killing “Warlow” on Sunday judging from the previews — I was thinking it was gonna take all season, but I digress, back to the FUNK. Retta from the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” hosted the season premiere at club “Fangtasia” for starters.
P!nk’s new single “True Love” parallels the theme of her new movie “Thanks for Sharing.” A story about recovering sex addicts, P!nk plays “Dede”, one of several participants in a twelve-step program for sex addiction. In the process,”Dede” may actually find ‘true love’ for the first time. The video for “True Love” has been getting a lot of attention, as it’s reflective of the entertainer’s actual life.
Alfred Hitchcock believed that “In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.” If Stephen King is the “Master of Horror” and Alfred Hitchcock is the “Master of Suspense”, Brian DePalma would be the “Master of Thriller” right… At least that’s how I see it. While all three can be “Scary”, there’s something about the way the words are spoken, the drama is built up or how it’s shot that gives a cinematic presentation various distinctions. “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,” THAT’S SUSPENSE — Hitchcock said that too — I just found that quote after my preceding two sentences.