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Showing posts from June, 2013


RED WHITE & EQUAL: The 2013 Summer Playlist, Vol. 2

After this week's historic California Supreme Court decision to squash the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, summer became a whole lot sweeter for same-sex couples and supporters of marriage equality.

So it makes sense to celebrate with some tunes that'll be blaring from an iPod dock near you.

There are some obligatory tunes from a couple of pop divas (Britney, Kylie) as well as a few from several unexpected acts (Hello there, Empire of the Sun, Phoenix, and Bastille).

You are now entering what I like to call The Summer of Equality. Enjoy, and be excellent to each other.

You can sample some of the tracks below, or get the whole musical enchilada here.


After Living in L.A. for 11 Years, I Know This Much To Be True

Last Sunday, while driving home from a lovely dinner with old friends in Venice (my old stomping grounds) I exited off the 10 Freeway to head north on the 405.

This exit ramp is one of many I've driven hundreds of times in my 11 years of living in Los Angeles. However, this particular ramp provides an unusual view of the city. On a clear day, in a span of two seconds (if you're a cautious driver like myself), you can be greeted by a unique panorama. As the ramp curves high above the surface streets and speeding traffic, there's the Westside to your left, the tall condominiums and office buildings of Westwood and the Wilshire Corridor straight ahead, and the cluster of faraway structures in Hollywood and downtown on your right.

This view is unusual because no one has ever really captured a shot of the city from this angle, despite the fact that Los Angeles is known for being one of the most photographed cities on the planet (and the least photogenic). This view also stands…


Ladies and Gents of California, Let's Put A Ring On It

So, this happened on the eve of my 11th anniversary of living in Los Angeles, a historic turn of events that I'm sure has 99.9% of my friends and loved ones celebrating across the state of California (and elsewhere). What a joyous day.

I can only imagine the dollar signs wedding planners must be seeing right now. After all, a step towards equality for all also means a step towards a better economy for all, right?

Goodbye DOMA. Farewell Prop 8. You're finally old and irrelevant. In the words of The Black Eyed Peas, you're "so 2008."


@TheFirstEcho


According to 'World War Z' and 'White House Down,' Parents Make Better Action Heroes

Like many moviegoers, I was somewhat excited for World War Z, the Brad Pitt-fronted adaptation of the bestselling zombie survival guide written by Max Brooks. Despite the behind-the-scenes budget drama and reshoots that plagued the film, I got a kick out of the trailer when it premiered earlier this year. Despite the inundation of zombie apocalypses in pop culture (The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Warm Bodies, the Resident Evil franchise), I knew I'd eventually cough up several bucks to see -- once again -- the entire planet get torn apart and ravaged by flesh-eating nasties.
However, even though I had never read the book, I knew the movie had gone through drastic changes to transform it into a summer blockbuster with mass appeal -- and this is where I (partially) have my biggest beef with it.
Gone were the first-person accounts from the book that gave the global disaster different perspectives from around the world. Instead of a large, disaster-movie-like ensemble, the movie ver…


Theme Song of the Month: June 2013

Leave it to the (slightly) more progressive radio stations in New York to introduce me to new pop jams that can brighten up my summer (shame on you, Los Angeles).

Case in point: I caught Nikki Williams's "Glowing" on Z100 while driving into Manhattan during my recent summer visit to the East Coast.

While the video is a poorly directed piece of disappointment, the song itself is an unabashed club banger, an anthem for blaring on the road, by the pool, or in your bedroom on a Saturday night.

The girl's got some pipes, but someone should tell her to ditch the whole drunk-flower-child-at-EDC look:



@TheFirstEcho