Why is it cool? Because I said so!
I'm in 2004! Why did it take me so long to get here? Well, if you're going to
have as long a list of New Year's Resolutions as I did, it's going to take
to break them all ;>!
Anyway, as we
cruise along into an already contentious election year, here's some cool stuff
to look out for. C'mon and scroll along with me...
Music | DVDs |
Check out the titles below...
1) The books everybody wants to read -- or have read already!
Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl
I was happy to see Aisha Tyler
get a part on the Friends
TV show -- until I realized they weren't going to let her do anything! Find
out just how sharp and funny Ms. Tyler really is by getting her
book (perfect high school graduation gift for that young woman just starting
out in life...!).
Bill Clinton's My Life
I just couldn't resist the chance to surround Bill with lovely ladies!
President Bill Clinton was reportedly paid a $12 million advance for
this memoir. Political pundits of all stripes will have fun dishing on
this all summer -- especially if the excitement quotient of the current
presidential election doesn't get kicked up a notch or two anytime soon.
Skinny Women Are Evil: Notes of a Big Girl in a Small-Minded World
Mo'Nique is gettin' a shout-out on my page because in the pages of her
book, she mentions Chi-town's own Harold's Chicken Shack! Although
I know everyone's just sick of hearing about her longtime sitcom,
The Parkers, ending in
May--oy, the hype! The Parkers this, The Parkers
that; it was enough to make you Friends-zied!!
Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance by Barack Obama
One political race that has in no way been boring is the 2004
Illinois senatorial campaign! I don't mind admitting that I cannot wait
to vote for Barack Obama!
Somebody needs to tell that throwaway carpetbagger running for the other
party a few things -- starting
with the correct pronunciation of his opponent's name!!!
Meanwhile, check out Barack Obama's 1995 (!) memoirs, Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance.
Check out Birth
of a Nation, the new book by Boondocks creator Aaron
McGruder, filmmaker Reginald
Hudlin, and graphic novel artist Kyle
Why I Love Black Women by Michael Eric Dyson
If you have to ask why I included this book, then you just don't know me
as well as you think you do -- you just don't!! Michael
Eric Dyson is a captivating gentleman who can walk on both sides of
the street and command respect and attention. Perhaps you've seen him
Smiley's annual State
of the Black Union C-SPAN telecasts? See more works from this
Baptist minister and University of Pennsylvania professor:
Missed the 2004 State of the Black Union? Buy the videotapes from
the online C-SPAN Store -- you will not regret it! Both
sessions were electrifying and brilliant!
Presents: The State of the Black Union: "Strengthening the Black
Family: Preserving the African American Imprint on America" --
Presents: The State of the Black Union: "Strengthening the Black
Family: Preserving the African American Imprint on America" --
2) I know, you've never ever heard of the graphic
novel series, A Distant Soil. But it
would not be exaggerating to say that artist/writer Colleen Doran has
spent the better part of her life crafting this adventure! Check out
these first three volumes, and then see the A
Distant Soil web site and get a subscription to find out how it ends!
3) Speaking of fantasies and reading...
OK, it's official -- the 00's are just an older version
of the 1980s!! Check out all these cool *new* records from all these cool *old*
La Dona by Teena Marie (Cash Money Records)
Wow! And double wow! Sometimes hard work really does pay off!
I'll bet record executives all over the country were shaking their heads
in disbelief over the fact that Teena
Marie's newest record debuted in the top ten, at no. 6! Written off
by the mainstream press and critics decades ago, her true fans knew that
Teena has been touring and touring (and touring!) for the last few
years. It's nice to see real musical talent up high on the charts
again, and singing out loud and proud! Britney who?!
the USA TODAY interview with Teena by Steve Jones.
Doll Revolution by The Bangles
The just plain awful The
Allnighter film notwithstanding -- which was really only an
error of lead singer Susanna Hoffs and her director Mom -- The Bangles
truly rocked! I saw them in concert back in 1989, not knowing that they
would break up just a couple of months later! Listen to what Runaways
vet Michael Steele, sisters Debbi and Vicki Peterson, and Hoffs are
Timeless Journey by Patti LaBelle
11, 2004 USA TODAY review of this CD by Steve Jones says it all:
"When you're timeless, you never go out of style." Don't miss
the tune, When You Smile, Patti's tribute to the late Cuban
singing legend, Celia
Cruz, a collaboration that includes Santana
Go by Pat Benatar
Did you see Pat go mano e mano (voce e voce?!) with
country singer Martina
McBride on CMT's
Crossroads TV show? Don't miss it, it's so cool! Besides their both
being vocal powerhouses, Pat & Martina look almost freakishly
alike, are even almost exactly the same height! Neil Geraldo calls it --
Martina is wife Pat's clone!
Hootie & The Blowfish
This newest self-titled CD has some great songs on it, but what do the
radio stations choose to keep playing? I Only Wanna Be With You
-- until I only wanna throw the radio across the room! Even if you were
never a big Hootie fan, check out the new tunes here -- this record's
totally a no-drone zone!!
My Own Best Enemy by Richard Marx
Don't call it a comeback, Richard Marx has still been here for
years! Taking a more active role behind the scenes, Richard has been
writing, producing, and arranging (and sometimes even doing some backup
singing) for everybody from pop supergroup *NSYNC
and Latina superstar Paulina
Rubio to country legend Kenny Rogers and pop-classical upstart
Groban. He was presented with the Song of the Year Grammy for co-writing
last year's Luther
Vandross masterpiece, Dance
with My Father -- a song with its own emotional resonance for
Richard as well as Luther. Presumed by some to be lightweight because of his
angelboy face and his former fluffy 80s halo hair, Marx has proven time
and time again to be made of far sturdier stuff. Don't miss out on
hearing Marx's newest tunes direct from the source :>!
Everything by Anita Baker
Welcome back the Songstress!
I cannot express the pure joy of seeing Anita
Baker back recording again, with a record deal that she's happy with
and is respectful of her intelligence as well as her singing abilities.
Anita's deferred to her role as wife and mother the last decade or so,
but she still feels that music in her soul -- and we could sure need it
now! Thank you, Anita -- stay as long as you need :>!
Mad Love by Robi Draco Rosa
Mad Love w/Bonus DVD by Robi Draco Rosa
|How do I love Robi
Draco Rosa? Let me (sigh!) count the ways!
As my sister will attest, I not only subjected her but also one of
my best friends to the singular torture of not-all-that-bad-but-really-not-all-that-good
film that is Salsa,
which starred Rosa and future wife, Angela Alvarado. Rosa quickly
realized Hollywood was not for him, and he returned to his true love,
music -- although he chose a more eclectic, creative bent than the tunes
and moves he'd learned while a member of the international
teen pop supergroup, Menudo. Today, he rivals Prince in talent,
attitude, and wacky pseudonyms. On the new CD, when he doesn't sound
like a raspy Sting, his tenor and tone quickly bring to mind the Ricky
Martin records he wrote/co-wrote and produced. Not only did Menudo vets
Martin and Rosa grow up learning to blend their voices, but the two are
practically one--! But you'll always be able to tell them apart, as long
as you pay attention to the fact that Rosa's is the voice with more of
an edge, with more angst and more anger, with a darker poetry to
Just let Robi do as he pleases -- as long as he never ever tries
to sing Blue
Suede Shoes again (see Salsa)!!
the USA TODAY interview with Robi by Edna Gundersen.
UPDATE!: Robi was honored with a 2004
Latin Grammy that he shared with wife Angela (!) for
Best Music Video, which you can see right here, courtesy of Yahoo!
Launch, as usual, Mas
* English (& Australian!) Beats *
Y'know, it's not like any of these artists are incapable of
singing, and couldn't, to use that worn-out record critics cliche', make even
the phone book sound interesting. They're all original, for the most part, and
have all had their moments in the American pop music sun. So why so much trouble
moving records here in the USA now? Too bad America won't give much beyond the
time of day to these artists from "across the pond" now that they are,
yes, older, but also more interesting than ever.
You know I have to toss in some dance tunes or
R U P A U L I S B A C K !
Looking Good, Feeling Gorgeous!
Click the button below to hear the song at iTunes.
Eye for the Straight Guy Soundtrack
Featuring the theme song, All Things Just Keep Getting Better
and dance hit You Promised Me (Tu Es Foutu)
Finally, I highly recommend these three records if you want to
hear some real people kick it up and play some real instruments!
Unclassified by Robert
Randolph & the Family Band
I caught these guys accidentally more than anything else, just seriously
jamming live on VH1 late last year. I was blown away by
their musicality in this samples-saturated era of pop music. And what
Robert Randolph does with the pedal steel guitar is UN-REAL! If you even
know what a pedal steel
guitar is, you know it's not usually a solo instrument; if you've
ever seen it played at all, it was most likely under the puttering hands
of Barbara Mandrell or Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks Natalie's
dad/producer) or other, well, to put it bluntly, white country
musicians. It's not exaggeration to say that Robert Randolph explosively
redefines the instrument as a solo funk-rock powerhouse! Visit the Robert
Randolph & the Family Band official web site to see--and more
importantly, hear -- more!
See, the problem is, George Lucas doesn't believe fat meat is
greasy! ALL PEOPLE ASKED FOR was to have the original versions of the
"Star Wars" films--warts and all!--on DVD. And George just can't bring
himself to do it -- he flat out REFUSES to allow his TRUE original state of the
art vision... from 1977... to be viewed in the format it was seemingly created
for, the DVD! He believes we should get the "best" versions of these
films, with the various 1970s special effects digitally redone and "cleaned
up" for the 2000s modern movie audience. At best, it is a sprucing
up. At worst, it's an arrogant rewriting of history! It's like painting a
sweeter smile on the Mona
Lisa! How can people truly gauge how Lucas has grown as a filmmaker if he's,
figuratively, thrown all of his old films in the fireplace??
Star Wars Trilogy (Special Edition) [DVD] DVD
The films that changed the face of sci-fi cinema are back, in a deluxe four-disc collector's set. Follow the odyssey of Luke Skywalker from farmboy to Jedi knight, and see how he and his allies defeat Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire, in the action-packed Special Editions of "Star Wars" (1977), "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983). Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, and Billy Dee Williams star. 387 min. total. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, Dolby Digital Surround, French Dolby Digital Surround, Spanish Dolby Digital Surround; Subtitles: English; audio commentary by Lucas, Fisher, Kershner, Kasdan; documentary; unseen footage; featurettes; more. Four-disc set.
Star Wars Trilogy (Special Edition--Letterboxed Version) [DVD] DVD
The films that changed the face of sci-fi cinema are back, in a deluxe four-disc collector's set. Follow the odyssey of Luke Skywalker from farmboy to Jedi knight, and see how he and his allies defeat Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire, in the action-packed Special Editions of "Star Wars" (1977), "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983). Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, and Billy Dee Williams star. 387 min. total. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, Dolby Digital Surround, French Dolby Digital Surround, Spanish Dolby Digital Surround; Subtitles: English; audio commentary by Lucas, Fisher, Kershner, Kasdan; documentary; unseen footage; featurettes; more. Four-disc set.
Finally! A movie where Selma Blair is already deemed crazy,
so she didn't have to act it ;>! OK, seriously, the best reason to see this
film is Ron Perlman's brash, powerful, yet vulnerable Hellboy! Grab your kittens
and stock up on Baby Ruth candy bars and check it out!
Yes, it's the long-awaited team-up we weeped and cried for --
Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis! C'mon, I can't be the only person who's a fan of
Victorious and Army
of Darkness! And I can't be the only person who saw Bubba
Ho-Tep! Geez, you'd think when I went to see it in a movie theater, I
was all by myself alone (which I wasn't... until that other guy left
halfway through)! Y'see, in the movie, Bruce is Elvis, although everyone thinks
he's just an old Elvis impersonator with a bad hip. And Ossie plays John F.
Yes that John F. Kennedy, the former President! Y'see,
he's actually still alive.
And they dyed him!
Ho-Tep: Collector's Edition
With Optional Commentary by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
Audio Commentary By Director Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
Audio Commentary By "The King"
"The Making of Bubba Ho-Tep Featurette
"To Make A Mummy"- Makeup and Effects Featurette
"Rock Like an Egyptian" - Featurette about the Music of Bubba
Joe R. Lansdale Reads from Bubba Ho-Tep
Original Theatrical Trailer
Or, you could always read the book...
Bubba Ho-Tep by Joe R. Lansdale
TV: Now your favorite TV shows can be found on DVD! Make up
your own "Must See TV" schedule! Watch your favorite shows, in
episodes that are uncut! No commercials! Bunches of extras!! Check out the
current selection below.
Get your favorite Biography videos at A&E Television's Online Store.
It's official! Video
games ARE good for you! Check out the latest aids to your own personal
health improvement :>!
The games every true hardcore gamer is waiting for -- and the
video cards you should have for them...
As seen in TIME
Political Machine PC game:
Search for more games!
National Mail Voter Registration
The National Mail Voter Registration Form is the one document that allows you to
register to vote from anywhere in the United States.
White Castle Logo T-Shirt
Don't miss Harold
and Kumar Go to White Castle!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
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