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Showing posts from February, 2012

#TBT: And The Oscar Goes To...ME

Twas the night before the Oscars, and all through L.A.
Actors were prepping for Hollywood's big day...


Back in 2005, I had the pleasure of experiencing the Academy Awards up-close when I was a wrangler at the Governor's Ball, one of the biggest afterparties known to man. It was a paying gig I gladly took (thanks to a hookup via the ever-fabulous Kathleen Newlove) and remember as The Night I Nearly Tripped Oprah.

Once I was relieved from my exhausting duty of guiding glamorous guests to their ornately designed tables where only half of the food was eaten (Blasphemous! How dare they neglect the culinary crafts of Mr. Wolfgang Puck!), I was able to walk around the huge ballroom above the Kodak Theater and take in my surroundings.


The publicists were crazed, all attached to their cells,
With hopes that those agents would go straight to hell...


I was drawn to the outdoor entryway where there seemed to be hubbub of activity. Cameras were flashing. Well-dressed bystanders hovered aroun…

#TBT: Movies Named After Robert Palmer Songs

Make that, not-so-great movies.

Late 90s cinema wasn't so kind to Meg Ryan (in 1997's Addicted to Love) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (in 1999's Simply Irresistible).

@TheFirstEcho

Chris Hardwick Is My Obi-Wan

Kind of. But he doesn't claim to be whatsoever.

In my recent edition of "What I'm Reading," Chris Hardwick makes it clear from the beginning: "I AM NOT A LIFE COACH." He has no intention of being a motivational speaker or a self-help guru in his book, The Nerdist Way ("How To Reach The Next Level - In Real Life"). Nevertheless, his witty words of wisdom are proving to be helpful as I prepare to head further into my (gulp) 30s and figure out what the hell is going on with my life (my birthday's five weeks away as I write this; gift ideas can be viewed over HERE).

It may be hard to believe - actually, it's not - but this book was written for me. At least, that's how I feel. Although I can't recall ever being called a "nerd" to my face (I didn't grow up in an 80s teen comedy), I've always identified with this "sub-race" of human beings. I fit the criteria. I can finish the line, "You might be a nerd if…

You're Just Jealous...


LUSTER: The 2012 Spring Playlist, Vol. 2

Told you it was coming soon...Let's just get right down to it, shall we?

1. "In Your Light" by Gotye - To kick things off, how about a tune that'll make you wanna throw open the window, take a deep breath, and smile knowing that everything's going to be all right:



2. "Brokenhearted" by Karmin - The quirky pop duo (right) recently made a splash on SNL and instantly wooed me (and I'm sure countless others) with their debut original single. These YouTube sensations, a.k.a. Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, have gone from the web to a record deal to national television in less than a year. And yes, a full-length album is being prepped for an April drop. If my Spidey sense is correct, these guys are about to blow the f**k up.

3. "Starships" by Nicki Minaj - Summertime. In three-and-a-half minutes of RedOne-crafted frivolity.

4. "Heaven" by Emeli Sande

5. "It All Belongs To Me" by Monica feat. Brandy

6. "Hotel Nacional" by G…


JUMPING ON THE MEME BANDWAGON

You may have seen memes similar to the one above popping up all over social media. I thought I'd contribute to the trend and give a shout out to my cyber brethren.

Holla.

H.P.M.


LIFE LESSONS FROM 'REVENGE'

I had my doubts about The Primetime Soap making another comeback to television. With Desperate Housewives on its way out this season, I was concerned that a juicy, adult serial wouldn't make an impact in the 2010s, especially on network television. And I'm not talking about a drama that involves doctors, lawyers, Upper West Side rich kids, or bloodsucking hotties. I'm referring to a straightforward sudser, chock full of sex, bitchy vixens, and old fashioned backstabbery. A more meticulously plotted Melrose Place. A dishier Dynasty people could tweet about...You know what I'm talking about.

That said, Revenge has been quite the surprise, a thrilling, soapy ride that just gets better with every episode. It seems to have avoided the mistakes of its predecessors and is now delivering twist after turn after twist. And let's hope it isn't a one-trick (or one-season) pony. While Revenge may have learned a few lessons from the soaps of yesteryear, I've learned a few…


RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE WEEK #30

Good luck to Jessie J, Katy Perry, and Karmin as all three of their singles ("Domino," "Part Of Me," and "Brokenhearted" respectively) compete with each other on the charts while sounding SO similar...it's not even funny. I say: blame it on producer Dr. Luke. Or is it just me?

May I present Exhibits A through C...

Jessie's "Domino":



Karmin's "Brokenhearted" (they wooed me during last weekend's performance on SNL):



Katy's "Part Of Me":



Those curmudgeons and cynics who think today's pop music is rubbish will have a field day with this. The evidence speaks (or sings) for itself.

H.P.M.

*And if you're wondering, I've listed each one above in order of preference.


A VALENTINE'S DAY NOTE TO SELF

For all the singletons out there.

Now, let's go f**k up a box of chocolates. Who's with me?

H.P.M.


THE WHITNEY HOUSTON EFFECT

When a celebrity dies, especially those superstars who are recognized across the globe, the world stops for a moment. And when his or her death occurs under bizarre and mysterious circumstances, especially after years of public struggles and making questionable decisions, the world starts to analyze the crap out said famous person's life. Topics brought up by the media hounds are immediately discussed, tweeted, speculated, and debated in the days that follow. What could have been done to avoid this?...This was bound to happen...Let's remember her for her talent and not her troubles...Why do celebs think they live by a different set of rules and standards?...

This is NOT one of those nit-picking pieces.

Instead, what I'd like to focus on is a particular reaction fans (and anyone with an iTunes account) have as a result of a celebrity's (notably a popular singer's) demise.

When Michael Jackson passed away nearly three years ago, his stock in music went up, so to speak.…


THE WHITNEY PLAYLIST

I just have to say that, despite any career spirals and tabloid fodder, it is increasingly saddening to see my childhood icons leave this world. Naturally, after hearing about today's passing of Whitney "I'm Every Woman" Houston, my iPod shall pay tribute, in the days that follow, to the woman who taught me that "it's not right, but it's okay."



And a message for Howard Bragman: If you say you're sad yet not totally surprised that it happened, then you, like most around her, should've done something, offered guidance. Because what you said on CNN implies that you, and countless others, have been idly waiting for the train to crash. #prick

Collecting more of my thoughts,

H.P.M.


THEME SONG OF THE MONTH: FEBRUARY 2012

My jam this month isn't a brand spankin' new single. In fact, Ola's "All Over The World" was released overseas last summer, and regrettably I had to find out about it now. The track is pure, unadulterated Eurotrash pop. But it's digestible Eurotrash pop.

While I expected the video to feature the Swedish pop singer globetrotting across different continents with a bevy of babes following him (as the chorus would instruct), I realized that concept would probably involve a production budget as big as Gaga's last three epics combined. Therefore, whoever shot the music video apparently took the lyric "follow me all over the world" to mean "let's walk around New York City late at night and see what happens."

Enjoy:


BRANDY & MONICA...AND IT'S 1998 ALL OVER AGAIN

Feels like I've been waiting for this sequel to "The Boy Is Mine" for years.

It's been 14 years since we heard the R&B divas trade lyrics about the triflin' men in their lives. Who knew the magic would repeat in 2012? Listen to the new track, "It All Belongs To Me" below (and don't mind me while I flashback to my senior year of high school):



If the above doesn't work, try HERE or below...and feel the nostalgia:


SPLENDOR: THE 2012 SPRING PLAYLIST, Vol. 1

If you're already pining for those April showers that bring May flowers and would like to get rid of those scarves and winter coats, then feast your eyes (and ears) on the following choice cuts. It may be February, but we can jump ahead of the season, can't we? And who cares what that groundhog said? These should hold you over till you start smelling that freshly cut grass and picking out patterns for your Easter eggs.

Caution: Some serious beats await you towards the end of this compilation.

1. "Next to Me" by Emeli Sande - The recent Brit Award winner is making waves with her debut single, a rollicking piano-driven jam featuring a rejoicing chorus. Here's hoping that she finds at least a fraction of Adele's success here in the States:



2. "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye feat. Kimbra - Already placed in my top faves of 2012, this Belgian-Australian musician's got a haunting set of pipes. And may I strongly suggest trying out the exquisite M…


MERYL STREEP VS. GLENN CLOSE

Shortly after the holidays those fashionable fellows over at Bello Mag had asked me to write for their Entertainment section, particularly for their 32nd issue (now available at the App Newsstand for iPads and iPhones). And what you see above and below are the two pieces I contributed: my 2012 movie preview and a little blurb on the Oscar race (click on the images for a closer peek).


MY BEEF WITH KIDZ BOP

At first I thought it was a joke.

Several years ago I came across a CD in a store that appeared to be some kind of rip-off of the NOW! That's What I Call Music series. Only these Top 40 hits were redone for the 8-and-under crowd. Kids singing Britney Spears? And Bret Michaels? And -- wait for it -- The Beatles? I had to do a double take. "This is all kinds of wrong," I told myself.

Just how many kinds of wrong?

First of all, I wouldn't advise current pop artists to give this organization the rights to rape their songs with cheesier renditions of already cheesy singles.

And editing suggestive lyrics to accommodate these versions does a disservice to the songwriters. Case in point: Below is the video for Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory," as interpreted by a bunch of smiling, zit-free teens who, in reality, probably illegally downloaded Born This Way onto their smartphones during recess.



Changing my favorite lyric of the song from, "It isn't hell if eve…