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Showing posts from May, 2011

10 Years Ago This Week: "Lady Marmalade" & Six Feet Under

It's been a decade since Baz Lurhmann reinvigorated the movie musical with Moulin Rouge and Missy Elliot recruited her army of pop sluts to remake Labelle's 70s hit. Along with superproducer Rockwilder, Missy employed 00s pop darlings Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink, and Lil' Kim to strut their stuff in corsets and peacock feathers and bring some French-speaking funk into the new millennium. Coincidentally, the tune was also the lead single from the aforementioned movie's soundtrack and stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for six weeks, starting shortly after the 2001 Memorial Day weekend. My last full summer living in New York was spent as an employee of Westchester County, working at Glen Island Park , lunching by the beach, taking train rides into Manhattan to take advantage of my turning 21, and getting hooked on a new HBO drama called Six Feet Under : It just so happens that one my many trips down to the city that summer also included a matinee of Nicol

Farewell Oprah

TV historians, take note. Today we bid adieu to a woman who is not only a talk-show host and mogul; she's a spiritual leader, an advocate for literacy, an educator, an icon, and undeniably, an American institution that has influenced the lives of millions. Today is one of those moments you'll want to remember so that you have an answer to the question, "Where were you when...?" I was 6-years-old when the former local Chicago news anchor with the unusual name took to the stage and welcomed her first studio audience and first panel of guests. Since then, my memories of The Oprah Winfrey Show were scattered randomly over two decades' worth of afternoons. As a child, I knew that she was always there when I came home from school, always on after General Hospital . As a teenager, I knew she sometimes chatted with some cool guests and had gotten several intense exclusives. As a young adult, I admired her philanthropy and appreciated her vulnerability as she discussed

Random Thought of the Week #23

...among other things.

How to Listen to Lady Gaga's Born This Way

*UPDATED 5/23/11. Possibly the most anticipated pop album to come along in years, Lady Gaga's Born This Way has a lot to prove and live up to. After all, LG went as far as to call it "the Album of the Decade." And after sampling - and replaying - this baby while on a retreat in Palm Springs, I have a couple of things to say... First, almost half of the album (the Deluxe Edition, that is) may polarize fans with its way-out-there, not-so-radio-friendly selections. Second, the insane production value and in-your-face lyrics in some songs seem to convey an inflated ego at work. That, or an insatiable desire and ambition to reinvent oneself while redefining pop music in the process. I'm exhausted just thinking about what's she's accomplished in less than three years. However, with that all said, if you think about it, there really is no other current female artist who's as bold and daring as this chick. Some of you may even hate me for this, but Gaga has no

Guilty Pleasure of the Week: "Unfriend You"

*Updated 6/30/11 It's come to this, kids: Pop songs named after Facebook-inspired verbology. While overdosing on new music downloads this week (19 songs just today) I stumbled upon this surprising little ditty from everyone's favorite piano-playing angel who, if you ask me, will always kick Bieber's ass in the artistic prowess department. Greyson Chance (remember the kid who sang GaGa's "Paparazzi" at his school talent show?) has penned the light and airy "Unfriend You," a response to the lying, two-faced bitch who hurt his heart in the seventh grade ( yep, he turns 14 this August - get over it ). For anyone who's ever been broken-hearted in junior high (For me, it was the sixth grade; a certain cheerleader who shall remain nameless flirted with me just to get to my best excuse me if this song resonates a bit with me): PS - What's with the lens flares? Did JJ Abrams direct this?

London Calling...and Calling

Ten years ago this month I said farewell to England as I completed my junior year through Boston University's internship program in London. After five memorable months of navigating the Underground, minding the gap, munching on fish and chips, and becoming a high tea convert in the posh neighborhood of South Kensington, I felt myself becoming a true Anglophile. Now, whenever I flip over to BBC America, I find myself pining for a black cab to come and whisk me away to Trafalgar Square or Covent Garden. One of my earliest memories of living in what I call "the Manhattan of Europe" involved a visit to the historic Tower of London along the Thames River. It was a chilly (and wet) January morning. I bundled myself up in a long, woolen Pierre Cardin coat I had bought in Boston the year before. If it weren't for the American Eagle baseball cap (or the Old Navy jeans...or my pair of navy blue Sketchers), I could've passed for a young Asian businessman out for a stroll be

20 Years Ago This Month: 'Summertime' and Soapdish

On May 20, 1991, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince released "Summertime," which went on to peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and snag a Grammy for Best Rap Song. Yes children, before he was a Man in Black, before he became an Oscar nominee, and before any of his progeny could whip their hair back and forth, Will Smith was shooting low-budget videos in his hometown of Philly, PA, rhyming about barbecues and rolling through the hood with the top down. I, at the time, was finishing the fifth grade at New Rochelle Catholic Elementary and dreaming about eating popsicles at summer camp and catching fireflies outside my parents' apartment building back in New York. Let's get nostalgic with it, shall we? Then, 11 days later in the same month of that year, Soapdish was released in theaters. I had seen this movie at the Bay Plaza shopping center in the Bronx with my mother. The little film buff in me was starting to develop a taste for large ensemble pieces, especial

The Rising: 2011 Summer Playlist, Vol. 1

Slip into that swimsuit. Pick up that trashy beach read. And listen up. Allow me to present my suggested soundtrack for the Summer of '11, twenty tunes you'll want to download ASAP while you lather up some sunscreen and break out the flip-flops. You can thank me later with a daiquiri ... 1. "Wet" by Nicole Scherzinger - With lyrics like "Dripping down my neck, soaking wet, sink or swim or you drown" set to a hard bassline, how could this NOT be required poolside listening? (Also try: "Killer Love") 2. "Criminal" by Britney Spears - Arguably the most redeeming track from the dance-heavy Femme Fatale , this mid-tempo breezer is a theme song for anyone looking for a scandalous summer fling. (Also try: "I Wanna Go") 3. "Papi" by Jennifer Lopez - The holy union of J.Lo and RedOne delivers with fierce flair. Previously seen as my Theme Song for May . 4. "Do It In The AM" by Frankmusik feat. Far East Movemen

Theme Song of the Month: May

Forget "I'm Into You." For some reason this J.Lo jam conjures up images of humid afternoons in New York, blaring 103.5 KTU on the radio while stuck in traffic on the Bronx River Parkway and catching a whiff of barbecue smoke from nearby neighborhood parks. God bless RedOne for lending his trademark gloss to what I hope will be the next single from this hot 41-year-old Mami. H.P.M.

Reason #35 Why I'm An Anglophile

Having read the book earlier this year and having fallen in love with these two characters, I eagerly await this film adaptation that stars two of my favorite actors (Anne Hathaway's British accent notwithstanding). I'm a little peeved at Focus Features for pushing the release date from July 8 to August 19, but so be it. And having just watched the trailer several times in one sitting, a few things: the casting of Patricia Clarkson, I did not see coming, and that One Republic song? Not my first choice, but hey, it's about Ryan Tedder talking a stroll through London, so I guess I can see the correlation.