Friday, January 29, 2010

Three Words for Today.

Flat . Screen. Television! 

I may never leave the house now!

Cry Me a River

Now that Coco is off the air [sadness], Jay Leno went on the Oprah show to talk about how he and the NBC execs shafted Conan. No sorry, let me get that straight--he was on Oprah crying how he has been vilified in this debacle. To quote el Leno "It all comes down to numbers in show business."

Really? I wonder if that would have been your sentiment say when you took over from Johnny Carson. Remember, your ratings weren't great? Wouldn't it have been funny if the NBC execs said, "Sorry Jay, but your ratings are in the tank and we gotta let you go. It all comes down to numbers in show business. See ya!" Conan wasn't given a real chance to succeed or fail. Just remember that when you come back to the Tonight Show in March--don't expect your ratings to be back for a while, either...David Letterman has stolen your thunder. 

To quote my friend Mrs. J., "When he first announced Conan would take over 6 years ago or so, he was all, "I wish him the best, I want nothing to do with it." Suddenly it comes time for him to leave and he's like "Waaaah, let me have the 10 o'clock hour!" and screws up Law & Order among other good shows, and that gets terrible ratings, and he's like,"Well I'm not leaving until you give me the Tonight Show back." Now Conan is out on his ass and as far as I am concerned Jay Leno is the biggest asshole in Hollywood (reminder: Mel Gibson is in Hollywood) and he's not even funny. Well said Mrs. J., well said. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Surprise! Kids Will Turn Out OK If They Are Raised by Gay Parents.

This just in! Kids raised by gay parents are better off than being raised by a single parent.. This is great news especially in light of what's going on in California right now. In the current issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, it states that, "it's ideal if a child is raised by two parents who are "responsible, committed, stable," but that the gender doesn't cause radical differences. [More here]

However, I must say that being raised by a single parent, my mom did one heck of a job. So, I have to give props to my mom! And to all those kids out there who were raised by a single parent--you have them to thank for your success!

The Future is HERE!

Today Apple unveiled its new toy the iPad [you think they could have come up with a better name, but go figure]. I have been reading all the speculation and hype about this gizmo with calm reserve. However, when I saw the pictures of it today, I must say that it is a work of art and will probably be the demise of the NOOK and the KINDLE.

I immediately thought of how I could get my hands on some cash to buy one, but then I stopped. Why? Sure, I am a self-professed gadget-boy. I love my i-Pod, my Zune, and my laptop. But as I thought about it, the iPad is nifty, but what purpose will it serve in my life? I don't like e-readers [as politically incorrect as that may sound] and if I want to surf the internet with a light portable device, I'd rather take my 500 dollars and spend it on a decent notebook. So no, I will not be drinking the Apple kool-aid this time. Now I just have to find some other shiny object to pique my interest.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rest in Peace, Teddy.

I was shocked and saddened to discover that R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass passed away yesterday. I can still remember when my mother would play his records when I was a kid. His sexy baritone and smooth lyrics were hard to resist! "Turn off the Lights", "Close the Door", and "Come Go With Me" were definite baby-makin' songs! Philadelphia lost another fantastic singer, but his legacy still lives on. I'll miss you Teddy. Thanks for making music for us grown and sexy folks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crazy Ass Religious Leaders...I Mean Lunatics.

I'm sitting here reading my afternoon updates of the Huffington Post and stumbled across this wonderful gem. It seems Mr. Robertson believes that the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday was the result of the people of Haiti making a pact with the devil so they wouldn't be under French rule. Seriously? Is this for real? But I guess I shouldn't be surprised as this was the same moron that blamed 9/11 on homosexuals and abortionists. How's that for being a good "Christian?"

For something even more absurd, the Pope has decided to criticize the movie "Avatar." According to the Prada-wearing-Pope, the movie is, "flirting with the idea that worship of nature can replace religion." If only, Miss Thing! How about this; instead of you making comments about some action flick, how about you turn your introspection back on to your religion and look at some of it's flaws. Not so pretty, huh? So do me a favor and let Mr. Cameron stick to making action movies and you can continue to preach your arcane relgious doctrine. Thanks!

Go Team Conan!

When I heard that Jay Leno was stepping down from the "Tonight Show" last year, I was elated. I never found him to be funny and his jokes are for a lack of a better term--awful. So, imagine my surprise when NBC announced they are giving Leno his own show at 10:00. I felt betrayed by NBC because by moving Leno 10:00 all of NBC's dramas would air an hour earlier. Now I am a huge Law and Order fan and having that show moved messes up my entire TV schedule. Thanks, NBC.

Well, that calculated move by NBC and the one who doesn't want to retire [Leno] backfired and caused the company millions in lost ad revenue as most people didn't tune into see Leno deliver the same tired shtick. So, what do Leno and NBC do? Move Leno back to the 11:30 spot. Aw Hell No! Sorry Jay, but you had your time in the sun--move on and let the younger, more talented comedian shine. Conan deserves his chance to be in the 11:30 spot. Not to mention that if this does go through, Jimmy Fallon won't be on until 1:00. So how about you show show a little grace and move quietly out of the limelight?. Remember Johnny Carson? He was class all the way. Maybe you should take this as your cue to get out of television for a while. Learn from your elders and use the time to shine all those cars you purchased! As for the bean counters at NBC, please heed what Conan said and give the man a chance to succeed.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Music, Makes the People Come Together.

With 2009 a done deal and all sorts of publications proclaiming what were the best music releases in 2009, I decided to give my two cents about what's worthy of praise. To be honest, I cannot say that I am impressed with what is called art these days. Case in point: While I appreciate Beyonce and all her bootyliciousness, I don't see her as an artist. While she knows how to shake her thing and lip-sync with the best of the prefabricated 'divas', she really shouldn't be called an artist. [Sorry, Beyonce.] I think people like Jill ScottMinnie Ripperton, Joni Mitchell, or Bruce Springsteen are artists. They write their material and know how to sing. More importantly they know that true art isn't about bling and hype, but more about writing good songs and creating music that is timeless. In today's world of Top 40 and American Idol, it's all about artifice, flashy videos, controversy, dance moves but nothing else. I keep waiting for the next music zeitgeist a la NIRVANA, but I have a feeling I won't see that happen again.

However, I was pleasantly surprised that most of my favorite artists released CDs in 2009. For me it was an embarrassment of riches and I hadn't see such a bounty of great music since the 80s. So, in my humble opinion here are my top 20 CDs from 2009. Rolling Store eat your heart out!

20. Zero 7: Yeah Ghosts: I must admit, I was saddened that this duo decided to take a different approach to their sound. But I do give them props for trying something new.

19. Verve: Forth

18. Lily Allen: It's Not Me, It's You

17. Q-Tip: Kamaal The Abstract. Finally this one saw the light of day and it was worth the seven year wait!

16.Weezer: Rattitude

15. Skye: Keeping Secrets

14. Bad Lieutenant: Never Cry Another Tear

13. Dangermouse and Sparklehorse: Dark Night of the Soul. This is the best CD that was never released.

12. Peter, Bjorn and John: Living Thing

11. RES: BlackGirlsRock: Another CD that was never released. Fortunately, you can get it here.

10. Bob Mould: Life and Times. Bob Mould just keeps getting better as he gets older!

9. Basement Jaxx: Scars

8. Massive Attack: Splitting the Atom EP. OK, so it's not a full length CD, but I had to put it on here since they take forever to release new material.

7. Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown

6. Mos Def: The Ecstatic

5. Friendly Fires: Friendly Fires [Re-release] This is the best new wave/ dance music since Duran Duran's Rio

4. Depeche Mode: Sounds of the Universe. DM use old synths, but never sacrifice song craft and pop hooks with this release. I will go on record by saying DM are our generations' Beatles! Nuff Said!

3. Pet Shop Boys: Yes. Another stunning effort from Neil and Chris. I dare you not to dance to All Over the World!

2. Doves: Kingdom of Rust. I never got tired of listening to this CD. As a matter of fact, the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love with it. I got a chance to see Doves perform live and it was one of the best concerts I have seen in a while.

1. Maxwell: BlackSummer'sNight. This is the real deal! As Michael Baisden would say, "This is music for the grown and sexy folks." Indeed, BlackSummer'sNight has it all, slow jams, deep grooves, sexy lyrics and Maxwell's lovely falsetto. Though it may have taken eight years for him to release BlackSummer'sNight, it was well worth the wait. 

Looking forward, the first quarter in 2010 seems promising with artists such as Hot Chip, Massive Attack, Corrine Bailey Rae and Sade releasing new CDs. I look forward to spending my hard earned cash on these artists and hopefully I'll be able to do another top 20 for 2010!