Archive for November, 2018


The extremely rare wet day in the City of Angels, so this is perfect.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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I’m a sucker for a great use of acoustic guitar, and a sucker for love, and this video covers both.

Great song, but more than that, decades later, this man still had it!

Enjoy!

Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson calls for crowd noise during the final minutes of the 76ers 96-93 win over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, March 12, 2003 in Philadelphia. Iverson led all scorers with 31 points.(AP Photo/Miles Kennedy) ORG XMIT: PXC106

Worked away from the camera lately, setting the baseline for my voiceover work.  Like being in front of the camera, you try to gravitate toward things you’re naturally passionate about, so for this I went to ‘The Book of Basketball’, the beginnings of black cinema, and luxury cars.

Enjoy.

I don’t know if this particular film needed the help, but first off let me say Netflix is getting better at playing to the eyes and ears of the film geek community.  I got to see ‘Roma’ at the Directors Guild over Thanksgiving weekend, on the big screen the way I’m sure Alfonso Cuaron (and traditionalists in the nominating committees for awards season) prefer to see films.

I had no preconceptions on what this would be, or really, what it was about. (So I’ll try to be deliberately a little more vague than normal here.)  But here’s the setting: a year in the life of an upper middle class Mexican family, and their maid/nanny, set in the not too distant past.  Language, setting and political dynamics of the country are very specific.  Shifting family relationships, sibling rivalries, falling in and out of love – universal.  We all can relate to that.   

The narrative doesn’t point the audience to pass judgment on this family, one way or the other.  For some people, that will translate as the film being ‘slow’ (for not telling you what to think).  The artistic crowd I saw it with took well to it though.  Best Foreign Film nomination seems like a lock next year.  Maybe more depending on what else rises and falls over the next month.

A recommend here for when it starts streaming.

In no particular order, thank you…

Mom, Pops, Sheena, the Fradieus, Darryl, Tara, Brittany, Tawana, Shannon, my ‘Fan Club’, Steve, Lorenzo, Leo, Jermaine, the Asian Delegation and my Age of Learning family, Nathan and Saba, Jay, Tish, Alfred and Amber, Adrian and Aida, Ben, Terrance, Brandon, Akela, Aaron, my Jayhawk family, Larvell and April, the Ummah, Dorian, Ormonde and Melissa, the Frat, the Starkies, Gene, my Trojan family, Quincy and Sophia…

And an ever growing list of people who I hope won’t be offended I didn’t name check them specifically.

Thank you for friendship.  Thank you for love.  Thank you for inspiration.  Thank you for leaving me be when I need time and space to figure things out on my own.  Thank you for listening when I reach out and I seek the opinion of someone I trust.  Thank you for pulling me back into focus when it’s time to get things done.  Thank you for cracking me up when I need to be reminded ‘it ain’t that serious.’

Thank you for reminding me how many people love me, look up to me, and are counting on me in various ways.  Thank you for standing by me, and standing up for me as I’ve lived a full, three dimensional life.  As time goes on, I can’t stress enough my appreciation for that.  

Onward.

Last song for the week. Have some things to say tomorrow…

Still on a Queen high after ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’  In the Q&A, when Riz was asked what he used to channel Freddie, he said he would often come back to this song, and to think about where Freddie Mercury was at in his life when he wrote this.

I looked up the lyrics when I got home.  And yeah.  Makes sense.

Enjoy!

Short week, so let’s get these jams in quickly…

One of the first videos and songs I have a fairly vivid memory of seeing. 

How vivid?

I’m fairly certain I saw used to see this frequently on Video Soul with Donnie Simpson.

(Ask your parents kids.)

Enjoy!

So here’s my disclaimer: I have more vivid memories of the Simpsons’ ‘Sherry Bobbins’ episode than I do if the original ‘Mary Poppins’.  In my mind now, the original film is more certain iconic songs and clips than remembering the plot of the actual movie.

So, I doubt the new film will become as iconic as the original.  But, I also feel like, they didn’t mess it up (if that makes sense).  As others will surely say, to have a fun, completely non-cynical, old school Disney film in 2018 is kind of nice.  That’s one.

Two, I don’t know who else was on the short list, but Emily Blunt was the right choice to play this part right now.  She can sing, she has natural comedic timing, she carries the part as her own.  

Lin-Manuel: I almost feel like HE was born for this movie more than Emily was.  He fits naturally in the classical musical form (because of course he does), and thankfully, they give him a number that lets him do his modern, hip hop flavored style.

The movie doesn’t go wide for another month, so I won’t ruin some of the winks to the audience that are thrown in.  But I can definitely the adults got a kick out of a few things that went over the heads of the kids in the audience I was in.

Fun.  This was fun.

Does ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reinvent the wheel for musical biopics? No.  

Could it have gone further in detailing why Freddie Mercury is an icon, to multiple communities?  Definitely.

But is it fun?  Does Rami Malek excel in the ‘every reason to fail’ role of making the audience believe he’s Freddie Mercury?  Absolutely.

The end of Mercury’s life coinciding with the beginning of mine, but I’m enough of a pop culture nerd to know that’s one of those parts, that, man, how do you recreate Freddie Mercury? But credit Rami (who credits the real and fictional band of people who made this film) for letting us suspend our disbelief for a couple hours.  

A few more notes I have to add in:

It’s been said but it’s true: the Mike Myers cameo is perfect, in its role and its tribute to one of his own signature roles.

I completely forgot ‘Bismillah’ was in the lyrics of the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but if you think I didn’t make sure I had that song in my digital library before the movie was over, then you don’t know me.

Along those lines, I had some Queen jams in the library (because how could you not?) But the film does a good job of reminding you how many classics they had over the years.  Strictly in terms of getting people to say ‘Oh yeah, do I have that one?’ this movie is already a massive success.

Recommend.

Fifteen years ago today, ‘the Black Album’!

I think a lot of us knew in our hearts Hov was way too young (and had too much money left to be made) for this to really be his ‘retirement’ album.  But good Lord, this is still such a complete work.

’99 Problems’. 

‘What More Can I Say?’

‘PSA’.  I’m in a corporate space as I write this, and I had to restrain myself from getting up and yelling out the lyrics as I queued that one back up.

And today’s video. The production alone on these songs is blog worthy, I’ll leave that to the full time music critics.

For now, enjoy!