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2008: REWIND

One could try to rhyme 2008 with cheap words like "great" and "celebrate," but they wouldn't do any justice because this year was so full of sweet and sour morsels that flavored our lives from January through December - it would require a ginormous task force to take one snapshot of all twelve eventful months.

Lucky for you, I'm up for the challenge...



Our dearly departed Heath Ledger became immortalized in the second-biggest motion picture in history. Miley Cyrus got naked. The 90s came back with a well-coiffed vengeance (the NKOTB reunion, the 90210 reboot, Neil Patrick Harris mania). Katy Perry kissed a girl...and a whole lotta people liked it. Gas reached five dollars a gallon. iTunes reached its 5-year anniversary. China rocked the Summer Olympics. A Depression rocked economy. Rihanna became Chris Brown's boo. Mariah became Nick Cannon's (explain that one to me again). A "man" got pregnant. A hockey mom saw Russia from her house. And wh…

Breakout Artist of 2009?

My obsession of the month has started...

Get the scoop HERE.

Total Request Dead

A little over a week ago we witnessed a death in the pop culture universe.

TRL had aired its final show on MTV, counting down its last top 10 list of videos. Every VJ from the past decade returned to the Times Square studios, even Granddaddy himself Carson Daly, reminiscing over memorable performances and iconic videos from days gone by (1999, how we miss thee).

Having not regularly watched the show since...oh...let's say sometime in 2001, I still felt a slight pang from the loss. Although my memories of TRL may not have been as intense as your average 13-year-old girl, I will still cherish my personal experiences with the show (having lived just north of Manhattan)...Being on-camera to request Blink-182's "Adam's Song" during spring break...Taking my 12-year-old cousin to see Backstreet Boys promote Black and Blue...Coming in 2nd Place in a Halloween costume contest for my zombie version of Carson Daly (with a Total Request Dead microphone in hand)...maneuvering …

Rihanna, Beyonce & Me

Last night's AMA's at the Nokia Theater in downtown L.A. turned out to be more like a Divas Live concert...and yours truly was front and center for every one of the 19 (!) performances (is it me, or do they continue to outnumber the actual awards given out?). Anyway, check out my highlights of the night HERE.


On The 'Street' Where You Live

I grew up on Centre Avenue in a city called New Rochelle...but I came of age on Fear Street in a town called Shadyside.

Created and written by the incomparable R.L. Stine, Fear Street was the first (and most successful) teen horror series that could be found on bookshelves all across America in the early-to-mid 90s. It took place in the fictitious hamlet of Shadyside. Much like Springfield in The Simpsons and Fairview in Desperate Housewives, it existed in Anywhere America. Most of the action centered on a long and winding dead-end street named after a powerful dynasty infamous for its "shady" dealings and black magic practices in the 1800s, eventually leading to a curse that was placed on the entire neighborhood.

Before Twilight, there were vamps sucking it up in Goodnight Kiss and Goodnight Kiss 2. Before The Craft, there were witches brewing up trouble in The Burning. And way before those Gossip gals could perfect the art of deception and greed, there was The Rich Girl

Movement

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


In the six-plus years I've been in L.A. never have I lived through such an exciting and emotional week. I, along with countless friends, coworkers and acquaintances, cheered and celebrated Barack Obama's victory on Tuesday night. There was a feeling that this country was finally entering a new era, one filled with hope and much-needed unity. However, the joy was short-lived when it was announced on the following morning that Proposition 8 had been passed, allowing the state Constitution to be amended and discriminate against same-sex couples, banning marriage as their civil (read: human) right (*Note: this is after the State Supreme Court had made it legal; never in the history of America has a constitutional amendment been written to discriminate against a group of citizens).

I wanted to show you, my readers - especially those of you on the East Coast - what it'…

CHANGE: Fall 2008, Vol. 2

No matter where you stand, the truth is undeniable: our country is going through an enormous transition (and it doesn't involve foliage). Frankly, it's exciting as hell.

And what better way to celebrate this new chapter in our history than with a soundtrack to guide you through it all? We'll need all the good tunage we can get while we clean up the mess we're in...iPods ready?

1. "Womanizer" by Britney Spears

2. "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolph feat. Lil Wayne

3. "Up" by The Saturdays

4. "Insomnia" by Craig David - Take Ne-Yo's "Closer" and a dash of Chris Brown's "Forever," and voila...

5. "Return the Favor" by Keri Hilson feat. Timbaland - Or, The Way I Are, Part 2:



6. "Last Goodbye" by Avenue

7. "Party in Your Bedroom" by Cash Cash

8. "Human" by The Killers - It's nice to see the boys getting back to their "Mr. Brightside" roots.

9. "Breathing Your Love…

10 Great L.A. Movies

Trying to describe what it's like to live in Los Angeles is like trying to tie a knot with a fart - nearly impossible.

Many have attempted to explain what it's like, often calling L.A. its own planet, which I totally get. Oftentimes I catch myself using the adjective schizophrenic, probably because of the multitude of attitudes that layer this city more than the smog that blankets it. Here, you'll find that in most circles transplants outnumber the natives, resulting in a mishmosh of values, personalities and Starbucks latte preferences. And the random physical landscape of the city couldn't reflect this more perfectly: beaches, ghetto alleyways, mountain trails, residential streets, deserts, strip malls - and that's all within an hour's drive.

I've picked ten films that, for me at least, successfully encapsulate the L.A. experience. And after living here for six-plus years, I like to think that I have a firm grasp on what that's all about.

These movies ar…

At Spike TV's SCREAM Awards

I recently got a shout-out on OhLaLa Magazine:



It was for the kickass weekend I had at Spike TV's SCREAM Awards at the Greek Theater here in L.A.

* Hanging with Seann William Scott and 90210's resident bad girl Annalynne McCord



* Witnessing a Scream reunion between Wes Craven and Neve Campbell

* Crowning a couple of Scream Queens

My extensive coverage for Hot in Hollywood is up and running. Enjoy.

Return to the Prep: Part 2

Peeking into dark classrooms and wandering the trophy-lined hallways of Iona Prep on a Saturday night during the Class of '98 Reunion was - in the eloquent words of our valedictorian, Mark Michalowski - "a complete mindfuck."

The flashbacks were in full swing as we four strolled past the rows of polished lockers (yes 4, out of the 198 who graduated ten years ago) - homeroom shenanigans, beating deadlines for the school newspaper, inside jokes during AP Calculus (we bitchslapped logic proofs), rehearsing for weekend speech-and-debate tournaments in Room 209, the hot Italian teacher who had an affair with a senior after graduation...

The reunion wasn't just all about us. The classes of '03, '93, '88, '83, and '78 were in attendance as well. The class of '03, fresh from college - not yet affected by "the real world" - were an eager bunch, enjoying the comeback, happily paying their respects to the school that had sent them off to prestig…

Womanizer

To celebrate the release of Britney's debut single from her sixth studio album, Circus, I've gone ahead and put it up for all to enjoy.

Not as addictive as last year's "Gimme More," but it continues to prove that the hot mess can still pump out catchy dance pop. Damn.

GET IT HERE.

Return to the Prep: Part 1

"I think when you're 18, your personalities conflict, and then you meet up 10 or 15 years later and the playing ground is totally different and you're fine...of course there were nerves going in. But half of it was the buildup everyone else put in on it."

- Shannen Doherty on returning to 90210



The way I see it, there are two kinds of people who attend their 10-year high school reunion.

First, there are those who have stayed close to their hometown, their roots, and welcome with open arms the chance to see familiar faces from the past, regardless of what they've achieved over the past decade. The second group, on the other hand, accepts the invitation to return to their alma mater in hopes of subtly showing off what they've achieved since stripping off the cap and gown and bidding adieu to the lockers and lunchmeat.

And then there's me: a sucker for nostalgia, slightly masochistic in his curiosity and simply looking for a reason to escape the palm trees and…