For anyone who grew up in the 90s, The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was required daily viewing. Even though you couldn't pay me to watch the show now, back then I, like millions of other kids, was addicted, collecting toys, fanclub merchandise(which I still have) and even Tommy's (the Green Ranger's) karate video. Little did I know however, that one of the rangers was on our team ( I guess was too busy staring at the Black Ranger). David Yost, the actor who played Billy, talks about the homophobic abuse he suffered from producers and crew members on the show, as well as his stint in a "Pray The Gay Away" program. The video is kind of sad to watch, but it does have a happy ending. Watch it below:
I can't believe it's almost been 10 years since Aaliyah died in a plane crash. I can remember waking up early Sunday morning and turning on the TV to hear the news that she'd died the night before. I think part of the reason Aaliyah's death was so shocking to everyone in our generation is because she was the first R&B performer we'd all grown up with to pass so suddenly. What I loved about Aaliyah, besides her music, was how secure she was in her identity as an artist. She understood her voice and how to use it, and created her own musical sound and visual sense, with her dark shades and all black clothing. She had a sense of mystery, something that is extremely hard for artists to pull off in today's world. I still wonder what kind of music or movies she would be doing now. Rest in peace Aaliyah. Take a look at a few of my favorite Aaliyah cuts(there are so many to choose from) below:
Imagine you and your boyfriend are in your house, doing some completely mundane activity like washing dishes or laying out on the couch watching TV together. All of sudden one of you looks out the window and sees about 10 or 12 people, dressed in their Sunday best with big hats and three-piece suits, shouting Bible passages and praying for your sinful, gay soul. For seven years straight. Well for a gay couple in Cananda this wasn't a dream but a real, attack-of-the-evangelicals style nightmare, courtesy of Highfield Road Gospel Hall. Others in the neighborhood confronted the group, and eventually got them to leave. According to resident Geoff Skelding, who captured the incident on camera:
"This is a group from a church at the end of my street. Apparently they have been grouping in front of a gay couple's house and reading their bible loudly for the past 7 years. They may have also driven a lesbian couple from the area as well by doing the same thing. Tonight most of our neighbours came out and were successful in getting them to leave. The people who go to that church don't even live in our area! Police came by shortly thereafter."
If you into getting in shape but can't/don't want to join a gym, these "thug workout" videos, made by the Ruff Ryders, are pretty informative. But if you just feel like looking at some eye candy, then sit back, press mute(unless you want to hear the generic music in the background) click play, and let the show begin below:
Since Bloc Party declared itself on hiatus last year, member Kele has stepped out onto the solo platform with his debut The Boxer, released in June. Kele's solo material has taken a decidely more synthesized, dancier direction than his work in Bloc Party's. Which is all good for me. The dancier the better I say. Kele, who came out in a magazine interview with Butt Magazine a few years back, is also one of the few openly gay black male (emphasis on male:) artists of any genre, a fact he sees as important in showing the diversity of the gay community. "If I’d have had someone saying it’s okay to be you when I was a teenager, I’d probably be a very different person. That is why I’m doing this now, after years of not doing it. It’s good to show that gays come in all shapes and sizes.” Anywho, take a listen to a few tracks and watch the "Tenderoni" video below:
Yes indeed. Elizabeth Berkley's (a.k.a Jessie Spano's-"I'm so excited" lmao:)' turn as raunchy, wannabe dancer Nomi Malone in Showgirls is one of my favorite guilty pleasure flicks. The movie is chock full of campy characteristics: glamour, catfights, bitchy remarks, and brazenly sexual dance numbers.
For those who haven't seen it, a quick plot summary: Nomi is a drifter who hitches a ride to Las Vegas with hopes of a becoming a big star. Along the way she meets Molli, a seamstress at the Stardust casino who lets her shack up at her trailer while she snags a job working at a sleazy strip joint called The Cheetah. Along the way she catches the eye of Cristal (like the champagne) Conners, lead dancer of a huge show at the Stardust, who simultaneously becomes her rival/ potential lover. Sex, drugs and backstabbing insue.
Part of what places Showgirls in the so-bad-that-it's-good category is the unintentional hilarity.Case in point: when Nomi is gettin' her groove on (if you can call it that) in the club. I mean seriously, what the hell was she doing on that dancefloor. Gurl you're supposed to be an aspiring dancer, not some random rave chick who's squirming like you just dropped some ketamine and are trying to crawl out of a K-hole! Then again when Nomi is peforming a lapdance for Cristal and her boyfriend Zack (a.k.a Trey from Sex And The City), flinging her back around in contortions like a dead fish. Seriously, I feared for her spinal health after making this movie.
The dialogue is another barrel of laughs. Like when Glenn Plummer's character James tells Nomi "I have a problem with pussy," or when he calls her a whore for working at the Cheetah, shouting, "It ain't right! You got too much talent for it be right! Bitch I'm tellin' you the truth! Or when Nomi shouts "You don't know shit!" at Cristal after she threw shade at her about working at The Cheetah. Some of my other favorite lines from the film:
Many an editorial has been written about whether an openly gay rapper could ever reach mainstream success. Rapper and spoken word artist Kaoz could be the one who breaks through. Kaoz pulls no punches in his music, tackling addiction ("White Girl") homophobia ("Boy Next Door 2010") and relationships with powerful poetry and nimble rhyme play. Kaoz is probably the first gay emcee that I feel like I want listen to into instead of someone I should listen to (i.e. I support him because he's an out artist even though I'm really not feeling the music) Kaoz has a couple of free downloads at his official website and you can stream the entire EP here. Listen to a few tracks off his Tyler Durden EP below:
Twenty-one year old You-Tube sensation Priscilla Renae has more to her than meets the eye. While her first single, the independence anthem, "Dollhouse" sounds like standard issue dance pop (very good standard issue dance pop thank you very much), the rest of her debut Jukebox, is a diverse exploration of her musical influences.
The Florida native channels piano-heavy pop ("Love Sick," "Bacon and Eggs") acoustic ballads ("Pretty Girl," "Stone Garden") and hip hop-soul/funk mash-ups("Rockabye Baby"). Insecurity is the topic on the album closer "Fixing My Hair," where Priscilla feels she may not measure up to her man's expectations. "Either way you tell me I'm so pretty/I need to hide all of my insecurities."
"Rockabye Baby," tells of the woes of teenage parenthood, playing on old nursery rhymes with the lyrics "Little Miss Mary Mack/Got buttons all down her back/She let Georgie loosen them up/And now her belly's fat." Things don't get much better for Georgie and Mary by the third verse. "Screamin' Georgie Pordgie let me in/Saying not by the hair of my chinny chin chin/She scribbled down I hate you on his subpoena papers."
The bouncy "Mr. Workabee" takes to task a workaholic boyfriend who forgets he's "got a queen at home," and call outs the potential cheater, singing "The buzz around town is you creep around/So what are you workin' on." But it isn't all broken teenage dreams and heartbreak. The playful kiss-and-make up jam "Bacon and Eggs" and head over heels pop rock of "Love Sick" balance out the more somber moments. Although she can really let loose vocally, Priscilla smartly exercises restraint, only giving the tracks what they need instead delving into diva belting.
If Jukebox has any flaws, it's that it gets a little too ballad heavy towards the end. Having another uptempo dance track could've broken up the album's slow pace. It'd be easy to compare Priscilla Renae, who played most of the album's guitar and piano parts, to Sara Bareilles, FeFe Dobson or a pre-Rated R Rihanna. While she's certainly has similarities with those artists, Jukebox proves she has her own identity.
Happy 52nd B-day to Madge, a.k.a Madonna, a.k.a The Queen of Pop! She's definitely one of my top 5 favorite artists ever. I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't listen to something by this woman. Anyways enough gushing. Get into some of my favorite M clips/performances below:
With the end of summer(and hopefully this hellacious heat) upon us, I thought it'd be a good time for some random thoughts.
Wasn't Sunday's episode of True Blood a beast? I mean you had fights, hot gay sex scenes (Eric and the Mississippi queen's lover) hot straight sex scenes (Sookie and Bill were goin' at it!) the death of Loraina (She was fabulous but that chick had to die....I mean when would she realize that Bill doesn't want you gurl?) and my gurl Pam's bitchy wit.
Aren't you glad that the BP well is finally closed?
And aren't you hoping (as a Louisiana resident I am) that the company doesn't just cut and run, or even worse, try to drill there again in the future?
Is Lauryn Hill actually going to come out, see her shadow and make a new album? And why do we all still care so much?
I can't lie, I'm a little disappointed in my girl Alicia Keys. I mean I know relationships and love are complicated, but I just never pictured Alicia as a home wrecker. Hopefully Swizz Beats, her and the baby will be happy though.
And speaking of Swizz Beats, Alicia,was the sex really that good? Seriously take a look at Swizz.
Wouldn't it be hot if Christina Aguilera did an album of Teena Marie covers?
Don't you just love watching those ads for that spy show starring Boris Kodjoe? Granted it might just be a watered down Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but Mr. Boris is still fine! I'm just sayin'.
Even though it was completely over-the-top and inappropriate, how many of us have fantasized about doing what Steven Slater did?
Speaking of Steven Slater, didn't he kind of steal the Barefoot Bandit's shine?
Why don't more Americans realize that stopping Muslims from building a mosque near Ground Zero is the real anti-American act?
Aren't you the least bit curious what Seth MacFarlane, a.k.a Stewie's solo album will sound like?
Weren't you shocked by Fantasia whole-married-man-suicide attempt drama?
Wasn't Nicki Minaj's "Your Love" video artistic and incredibly economic at the same time? You know mama probably went Bed, Bath and Beyond to get those sheets for the video!
How in the hell could Prince fix his mouth to say the Internet is over? Baby you're not Jay-Z. You cannot declare an end to trends. Beside Jigga would never say that because he's a business man.
Isn't Kanye's "Power" video a shoe-in for Video of The Year?
Janet Jackson is funny as hell in skits. Visual proof below:
Or at least their replacement policies do. Forgive me techno-savvy friends, but I believe is true (at least partly). While I myself do not own an iPhone, my man does so I do feel I have some experience to draw from . Of course, having speedy Internet access, being able to take high quality photos, video and audio clips and upload your entire music collection are big pluses. But the minuses are a bitch (pardon my french, but I've been on the phone all day with Apple and AT&T reps who keep contradicting each other and in general have no idea what the hell they're talking about).
In the past year since he's had his iPhone, it has: had trouble syncing(and when it does it takes at least 4 to 5 hours) has frozen up for no apparent reason, which almost required us to send it off in the mail for repairs which could've taken up to three weeks, bought applications that he never ordered (and showed up on the bill) and just last night it decided to die for no apparent reason. Not to mention the phone's always one drop away from a cracked screen and is hella hard to type on. Seriously, I've never seen a device that's so fragile and high maintenance--hell even CDs/DVDs/video games can survive a few scratches.
Normally this wouldn't have been too bad of a situation, but customer service informed me that the warranty had expired four days ago. Never mind that he told the people at AT&T the phone was on its last legs and asked if he could get another phone, to which they responded by incorrectly informing him that he'd have to pay around $300 to $400 for a replacement(even though he wouldn't have had to pay jack since the phone was still under the warranty at the time).
Of course having an extended warranty/insurance (which runs an extra 69.99) would've been helpful, and I realize it's our own fault for not having it. But what's really pissing me off is the crap you have to go through to get it replaced/fixed. During one of the many calls I made to Apple technical support, I was told I could send in the phone to get it fixed for $199 (which contradicted what another rep said earlier). However, I'd also have to pay $29 if I wanted an alternate phone sent, plus have the company place a $200(the price of the new iPhone) hold on my account for a few days. All told I'd pay around $400. And that's whether or not the company can fix the phone. Or I could've just sent the phone through the mail for $199 and be shit out of luck if they couldn't fix it, which could take up at least three weeks for them to determine. Life's full of tough choices now itn' it?
Not wanting to spend what would almost be a month's rent, I asked if I could send the phone to an Apple store in Baton Rouge to get a replacement, to which I was told no. I'd have to drive two and half hours to come in person to pay $199 for another phone, or as the employee at the Apple Store told me, the price they determined at their discretion.
What the f*ck! What's so hard about exchanging my account info over the phone or online, getting my bank card information and sending the new phone through the mail while I send the old one. They damn sure don't hesitate to suck the money out of my account the times I've paid the bill online. What's the problem now? It's not like it'd be hard to track me down. You have my Social Security number, which is pretty much the digital equivalent of a toe tag. *Takes deep breath and counts to ten* We'll probably end up going to the AT&T store and shelling out an extra hundred to replace a phone that could've been replaced for free a week earlier if the salespeople knew their contract plans. Oh well at least I got to vent at little. I guess the key words for this life lesson are: phone insurance.
Whoopi Goldberg was seriously geeked out on Monday's episode of the view. The actress admitted that she'd just returned from an overseas AmFar event and needed to be "drugged up" when flying due to her fear of planes. While I can see Ms. Whoopi popping a valium to calm down for her flight, it looked like she fired up a couple of bongs by the way she was giggling! Look at the clip below:
It's been a while since I've done a rant and rave post, and I figure this is as good a topic as any. By now I'm sure everyone has heard about the controversy surrounding a Muslim group's decision to build a mosque and community center near Ground Zero, a.k.a where the Twin Towers were hit and destroyed on September 11, 2001. Now I can understand why people would be emotional over the building's location, but this is getting ridiculous.
Of course you have the typical knee-jerk reactions from the usual suspects such as Sarah Palin, who tweeted nonsense that building the mosque would "stab Americans in the heart" and asking peaceful Muslims to "please refudiate." Refudiate Sarah? Really? Are we making up words now? Then she had the nerve to compare herself to Shakespeare. I'm sorry but if this woman gets elected president or vice president in 2012, the only silver lining will be to watch Tina Fey making fun of her every moronic move on SNL for the next four years. But I digress.
Back to the mosque. People are talking like it's just the first step of a full-on Taliban takeover led by Osama Bin Ladin and the ghost of Saddam Hussein! First of all, the people who attacked us on 9-11 do not represent all Muslims. They were radical extremists. If some whack-job fundamentalist Christian blew up an abortion clinic tomorrow I'm sure no one would freak out if a church was built down the street. Because most Americans know that behavior does not represent all Christians. But when it comes to Isalm(or any other non-Christian religion) people suddenly get stupid.
Second of all, Muslims building a mosque near Ground Zero is not the same as the Japanese building Buddhist or Shinto shrines at the site of Pearl Harbor(yes people are really saying this-check the comments at MSNBC.com.) The attack on Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with a religion or radical extremists. It was a military action, pure and simple. Should we get rid of every Italian, Japanese or German restaurant as well? Besides, if we follow this line of thinking, every Native American should protest the building of every Christian church they see, since the followers of that religion were responsible for taking their land and pretty much destroying their entire way of life, all in the name of Manifest Destiny. Oh how quickly we forget.
Another idiot statement made by the opposition is that the mosque symbolizes Islamic extremists' "victory" over America, and that by placing it near Ground Zero we'd be allowing the terrorists to win, when in reality the exact opposite is true. Labeling all Muslims as extremists, saying no mosque should built near Ground or anywhere else in America and any other sorts of bigoted statements only makes the terrorists' viewpoint-that Americans think we're superior to everyone else, that we're intolerant of other religions, that we want to impose our way of life on everyone else--true. Not allowing the mosque to be built would send the message that America is anti-Muslim, and would contradict the values of freedom of religion and democracy. Now I'm babbling but you get the point: building a mosque near Ground Zero is not anti-American. Denying people the right to practice their religion based on the actions of a few radicals is.