Friday, February 27, 2009

Flick Picks: The Wrestler

Three words
A May zing!
Marisa Tomei made Halle Berry's Monster's Ball performance look like a nun.
Is that what you have to do to get an Oscar nod?
Take it off, play gay, or die?
That seems to be what works.
Anyway, Mickey Rourke was fantastic.

The Boss

Beyoncé
for Ebony Magazine April 2009
[pics courtesy of entertainmentrundown.com]

I can't say a word...
I'm Dangerously in Love Track 9...

[Third pic...That should have been the Oscar look]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nostalgia: Lose My Breath

Teairra Mari, Amerie, and Rihanna
"Lose My Breath" [Live @ 2005 World Music Awards]



Teairra actually gave me the most. Rihanna was blah. It's amazing what a haircut did for her. And Amerie...that hair...That's all.
Girls honoring women.
I miss DC3

Mac & PC

Mac Cosmetics & Hello Kitty



I can dig this. It gives me an Alice in Wonderland feel. Alice on acid.
Mac always makes the girls look so PC [Pussy-cunt as my co-worker would say]

cunt [kuhnt] adjective- Displaying a strong sense of femininity and high degree of being fabulous.
origin- afro-homo street vernacular

Thing 1: "Look at Miss Beyoncé's shoes. That bitch is so cunt."
Thing 2: "I know, right. And her mug is beat. Makeup is on point. Is that MAC?"
Thing 1: "It's gotta be."
Both: "Everyone knows it's all about MAC."
Thing 2: "And we ain't talkin computers, honey."

Going Green

Michelle Obama
White House Gershwin Honors

Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Stevie Wonder was being honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the White House. The prize “celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Time Out

Beyoncé
Photos: Tony Duran





Go to your room, Sasha.
You've been naughty.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mixtapes: Turn off the Lights

Ok...
We all have "needs". Lol. And we know that over the years, love has had soundtracks. Marvin Gaye, Sade, Isley Brothers... Baby making music heightens a "situation".

So, I have compiled the songs that I feel like are the most sexual and sensual tracks from recent artists. You may see some favorites or some new ones. Download and fill up that iPod with the sounds of R. Kelly, Beyoncé, Usher, and more. [I sound like a damn infomercial]

Anyway, click the links to download.
Call your friend over and sip a cocktail or two...
And you know...

[DOWNLOAD Naked Mixtape Disc 1]


Tracklisting
1. Customer Raheem DeVaughn
2. Take You Down Chris Brown
3. Promise Ciara
4. Bed J. Holiday
5. Falsetto The Dream
6.Supernatural Ciara
7. Feeling U, Feeling Me (Interlude) Alicia Keys
8. Can You Handle It Usher
9. This Woman's Work Maxwell
10. Secret Place (Interlude) Danity Kane
11. Until the End of Time Justin Timberlake & Beyoncé
12. Tell Me Do You Wanna Ginuwine
13. Speechless Beyoncé
14. Feels So Good Brandy

[DOWNLOAD Naked Mixtape Disc 2]

Tracklisting
1.Sweet Love 112
2. All I Jill Scott
3. T-Shirt Destiny's Child
4. Red Light Special TLC
5. Follow Me Brandy
6. Nice and Slow Usher
7. Naked Marques Houston
8. Untitled (How Does It Feel) D'Angelo
9. Let's Get Lifted Again John Legend
10. Crown Royal Jill Scott
11. I Need Love Robin Thicke
12. The Greatest Sex R. Kelly
13. Do It to Me Usher
14. Discipline Janet Jackson

This is a Man's World

Wendell Lissimore
for Basic House SS09
photos: James Macari
stylist: Paul Stura




Monday, February 23, 2009

Compose Yourself: Reporter Gets Hood

Watch how this reporter quickly turns off the Al Roker in favor of a little 'realness'.

You know what I'm going to say...
He failed to do what?
K_ _p His _ _ _ _ osur_.
"I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat. 'Keep His Composure!'"

Fresh Face: Peter

Peter KortenHoven
Elite Model Management








This 22 year old model from Sierra Leone [though half Dutch] was discovered in the gym while working out. I first saw him in an American Eagle campaign and have since seen him pop up in various ad campaigns. I'll be on the look out for this rising star. Two thumbs up!

The Musical is Back

The Musical is Back
2009 Academy Awards
Musical Medley performed by host Hugh Jackman, Beyoncé, Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, and Dominic Cooper

It was a grand idea, but it left me a little cold.

Jackman is great but Zac and Vanessa bother me. And Beyoncé wasn't really needed. However, she's graced the Oscar stage five times, more than any modern performer (especially African-American) that comes to mind at the moment. So, I can't really knock the hustle. They appear to love her.

These Oscar performances often create a weird dynamic. The Oscar telecast is part ceremony and part television event so they have to balance star power and authenticity. A song from Motorcycle Diaries won the Oscar a few years back and the composer and performer of the song was substituted for Antonio Banderas. Beyoncé filled in for Minnie Driver for the Phantom of the Opera number Learn to Be Lonely a few years ago. Celine replaced Whitney the year she was supposed to perform and Whitney had nothing to do with the actual films nominated. Should Diana Krall sing the jaz number accompanying the montage of fallen stars or was Queen Latifah a good choice? Last night, John Legend was a strange choice to honor the song nominees.
Some peope take issue when the original singers of the nominated material are snubbed for recording stars. I understand the issue, but big stars draw viewers.
Can Beyoncé sing in French effectively? No. Can she draw viewers and interest? Yes. Is that right? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not a purist in this area. I didn't cry because M.I.A. didn't perform.
John, Queen Latifah, and Beyoncé are not musical theater performers but their job is to entertain. I think they are more than effective in that area.

Wolverine De-Clawed

Hugh Jackman
81st Annual Academy Awards Opening



***
Just for the heck of it, here's his amazing 2004 Tony Award Opening.



He's wonderful :-)
The Oscars were anything but boring this year.

Mr. & Mrs.

Michelle and Barack Obama
at their first black tie dinner hosted at the White House.
It was for the National Governors Association.

[Photo: Getty Images]

Michelle....
Mrs. Obama, if you're nasty.
I love it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Compose Yourself: Unbeweaveable

Just watch...

"I invested a lot of money into this weave, and it saved my life."
Compose yourselves... Yes, that was real.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Start Spreading the News

Beyoncé
New York, New York
AFI Tribute to Robert DeNiro



I feel you...
I want to wake up in the city that doesn't sleep.

Nostalgia: For Zion

Destiny's Child
Soldier



I will never forget the time I rolled up beside a middle aged white chick and she was bumping this track.
Glitter meets ghetto.
"Where dey at? Where dey at?"
[crickets chirp]
Oh well...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Extraterrestrials

Kanye West and Amber Rose
Leaving Gramercy Hotel in NYC

Coldest story ever told....

King of Pop Brings Sexy and Style Back

Justin Timberlake
Crowned GQ Magazine's Most Stylish Man in America





The singer-songwriter known for his fedoras, three-piece suits and unorthodox fashion mixes tops a list of the 10 most stylish men in America by men’s magazine GQ. "He’s the guy we end up dressing like a year after he’s adopted the look," the magazine says. The 28-year-old Grammy winner heads his own clothing line, William Rast, producing items like skinny jeans, vests and graphic T-shirts. The suits-with-sneakers look Timberlake made famous on tour is a nod to practicality. "I just put sneakers on because I couldn’t dance in the shoes I had," he explains. "I couldn’t leap with just insoles and dress shoes. I would’ve hurt myself."

Rappers Kanye West & T.I. as well as photographer Alexi Lubomirski were faves of mine on the list.
I can dig it J.T. Now come on, King of Pop. When's your next album? Can we get the next one an album of the year nod like the first two? Don't leave us waiting...

Fashion Experiences Obama Effect?

The Obama Effect hit the runways recently as many designers came out in support with designs patterned after his style as well as official campaign gear.
According to New York Times, there seems to be another Obama effect taking place with the explosion of black male models on the scene.


"Some casting sheets actually said ‘No Blacks,"’ the 19-year-old model Shawn Sutton [far right in photo above] was saying on Friday, backstage at the Duckie Brown show in the Bryant Park tent. He was referring to the model castings at the recent men’s wear shows in Milan.

"It was pretty brutal and, yeah, it was racist," he added. "But things opened up a lot by Paris, so I paid it no mind."

Mr. Sutton was one of 24 models in a show whose casting, for once, reflected some ethnic diversity. It is early days in New York’s Fashion Week, but already there are signs that the recent industry habits of exclusion may be undergoing a shift. Call it the Obama effect, if you will.

"Oh, it’s totally about Obama," said Marcus Lloyd [second from left in photo above], a 22-year-old African American model from Dallas. "I remember my agent was like, ‘If Obama does become president, there’s going to be a lot more work for you guys."’


I'm not sure if Obama really has anything to do with this. Beginning with Vogue Italia's iconic issue centering around African-American women, there have been more brown faces out there than there have been since the days of Naomi and Tyson. My three faves- Marcus Lloyd, Wendell Lissimore, and Chanel Iman- are regulars in the industry. I think it's interesting that the barriers are being broken but I think that has more to do with the world being saturated by the influence of people of color. At any time, you can look at the Billboard Hot 100 and the top ten spots are easily made up of 75% artists of color, if not more.

Why would a society that still doesn't see the value of people of color be so quick to put us in the forefront? It's all about exoticism. Beyoncé may not be the epitome of a white woman's ideal body type, but her physique is what catapulted her career. Hip-Hop is perhaps one of the biggest sources of disdain among mainstream America, however it is used in campaigns for American brands all of the time. The entertainment and arts world is typically dominated by faces of color these days.

The runways may be speckled with brown these days but I don't think it's about equality as much as it is about keeping things interesting. Nevertheless, I'm happy for my brothers and sisters doing their thing. I'm glad that doors have been open. In an industry such as fashion that prides itself on being progressive, it's a shame that these unwritten, or written, rules still exist. Black is beautiful. I think the above picture says it all...sigh...

Christopher Columbus

Kanye West
Welcome to Heartbreak [Video]



Yeezy is a titan.
Ok, let me go compose myself...

Amy Sings the Blues


Amy Winehouse has a voice that I feel is a rarity. It's rough but somehow soothing. She has a voice that was not made for modern pop music, which explains why her music is so heavily influenced by retro styles.
Personal life aside, she is a gem.

The songs from her first album, Frank, showcase a lighter side of Amy. The best part for me is actually the bonus disc of demos and live performances.

Here's her fabulous recording of the jazz standard Someone to Watch Over Me. The mood really evokes Ella, Sarah, and Billie...
Amy was definitely born in the wrong era.

Anyway, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tie-My-Bow-Tie [No I'm not speaking in Tongues]

How to Tie a Bowtie
by David Hart & Company
and Jeremy Nelson Studio



I still haven't mastered it... I won't let it beat me!!!

[Click here to visit David Hart's Website for more bowtie info]

For Your Bookshelf: Esquire's Style Handbook

Ok, I'm not a guy who tends to be a label whore. I think that it's silly to pay 400 dollars for some shoes. I beat my shoes up. Why would I pay that much? I do, however, believe in looking good in whatever you choose to wear.
I love fashion because it's art. It's a fantasy. Editorials and runway shows are art but I don't try to emulate them.
Give me a cardigan, some skinny jeans, and some driving shoes and I'm complete. No purple label needed. My most recent purchase was some 60s style vintage glasses that I had seen Malcolm X sporting as well as my dad in my fave pic of him.

Anyway, Esquire publishes an annual special issue centering around Men's style called The Big Black Book. I have bought it upon every release because it's helpful. It gives tips about suit purchases, shoe care, and overall etiquette for men. It's all about the basics.

I recently purchase the above book, Esquire The Handbook of Style: A Man's Guide to Looking Good, for myself and a friend. It is an overall lifestyle guide for men, including trip packing tips, grooming strategies, and of course style tips.

I think it's essential for any man who calls himself a gentleman. I need to publish my own soon.
Compose Yourself: George Arnett's Guide to Being a Gentleman
I could work, right...

In the meantime, get some Esquire in your life.

Yes, We Can!

Funny Cartoon poking fun at Barack's Yes We Can attitude


Uphill Battle: Economic Reconstruction


Ok...I haven't had a political post in a while. Mostly because I have been busy and I haven't had the chance to be glued to the papers, TV, and news sites to take in everything. The whole stimulus package is Greek to me. I don't know enough about it. Apparently, I'm not alone.

Congress voted on the stimulus bill and it seems safe to assume that they didn't read it. The document wasn't posted on the government's Web site until after 10 p.m. the day before the vote to pass it was taken. I doubt that they rush to comb through the document in that short period of time. That's a bit unsettling...

I don't have all of the numbers straight and it's hard to really break down where the money is going. All of the money from the first bailout is even account for. What I do feel is that Obama is too stuck on bi-partisanship. I know that it's best to not alienate the GOP members, but enough with the excessive compromising. It could be a shrewd political move given the opposition he has been met with. From here out he could argue that he tried to work with the Republicans and now it's time to play hardball. One problem is that the Democrats have hardly been united through all of this.

The biggest problem is that the stimulus may not be enough and the powers that be have not ruled out another stimulus plan in the near future. It seems as if in efforts to rebuild the economy, spending has spiraled out of control. Many private economists have predicted that the national debt will grow dramatically in the new few years. Maybe that isn't avoidable. Most of the issues we face will involve being realistic and not falling into the mentality that things will change overnight. It seems that Obama's entire presidency will center around managing expectations. He is compared to Lincoln and FDR so often and his true test may just be keeping the nation together and orchestrating a Reconstruction of his own. That mild temperament and pragmatic approach will come in handy.

Obama has made a few missteps with appointments and such, yet his approval rating is soaring. However, we must not forget that Bush also had excellent ratings around 9/11. We know how that ended... We have to let Brother Barack prove himself. He has it in him but we put too much investment in this one man.

In the meantime, I will try to stay on my grind and postpone any dreamy vacations I have thought about. All of my efforts need to be focused on securing my future the best way I can. I'm about to be past the halfway point through my twenties so it's time to make some moves. We all can boost our own pockets by cutting corners and avoid splurging. It's not as easy as it sounds, but Americans need to change some behavior before anything drastic will happen as far as economic improvment goes. We have to be more responsible when buying houses we can't afford, driving cars we can't afford and living lifestyles that are a mere fantasy.

The American Dream is just that, a dream. We are now living in the American reality.

Hats Off Marcus

Marcus Lloyd
Backstage for
Gerlan Jeans Fall 2009


Um...no comment.
Not a good look.
But he's Marcus. So he can rock a bow on his head and I would think it were genius anyway. haha
Blame it on the designer.
Hopefully, this does not trickle down from the runway and start a trend...

Mr. West: By Himself He's so Impressed

Yeezy Covers Details Magazine



On Music and Image

"Put this in the magazine: There's nothing more to be said about music. I'm the f*cking end-all, be-all of music. I know what I'm doing. I did 808s in three weeks. I got it. It's on cruise control. . . . Man, we talked about music for God knows how long! Now let's talk about how my f*cking sweater didn't come back right from Korea. That's what's interesting me."


On "Gay"

“Titles are very important. I like to embody titles, y’know, or words that have negative connotations, and explain why that’s good. Take the word gay — like, in hip-hop, that’s a negative thing, right? But in the past two, three years, all the gay people I’ve encountered have been, like, really, really, extremely dope. Y’know, I haven’t, like, gone to a gay bar, nor do I ever plan to. But where I would talk to a gay person — the conversation would be mostly around, like, art or design — it’d be really dope. From a design standpoint, kids’ll say, ‘Dude, those pants are gay.’ But if it’s, like, good, good, good fashion-level, design-level stuff, where it’s on a higher level than the average commercial design stuff, it’s, like, gay people that do that. I think that should be said as a compliment. Like, ‘Dude, that’s so good it’s almost … gay.’”

[Check out the article here]




I had stopped reading Details...It just wasn't the same anymore. Maybe I will resume my subscription now.
Say what you want, this man is a genius. Shag haircut and all... LOL

***

Speaking of which, here's Kid Cudi, Kanye West and model Amber Rose at the Michael Bastian presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Swag in full effect. She gives me everything....

How could you be so heartless??...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Get Into This

Three recent purchases of mine.
A little Electro, a little Hip-Hop, a little Soul...
All part of a balanced breakfast.
No lengthy reviews for these but I am digging them.
Go to iTunes. Download a track or two.
Music is good for the soul.

MGMT
Oracular Spectacular


Electric Feel



These guys are so refreshing. And Solange is a fan too, which makes it all better. :-)

***
Cool Kids
Bake Sale

Black Mags



Hip-hop that's fun to listen to. Taking it back to Run-DMC. No need to shoot anyone. Why get blood on your new kicks?

***
Amy Winehouse
Frank


F*ck Me Pumps



Before the drugs, the tats, and the pompadour... I love it.

I Got the Blues

Wendell Lissimore
for DOOA Denim



Goofballs!

I love my First Couple. :-)
Above pic is from behind the scenes at the inaugural balls. Published in Paris Match

Chanel in 'Page Six'

Miss Chanel Iman
Page Six Magazine from the New York Post


Behind the scenes:
I love how she talked about staying thin while eating soul food. Most people would probably think she's just talking. I mean how could she weigh 5 pounds and indulge in such "heavy foods"? I understand Miss Thing. I understand.



Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Daily Tea: Learn to Be Lonely

"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."
-Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher.

We all have that issue.
Have you ever felt like you have been in a relationship or sought one out only because you didn't want to be alone, not because you loved that person?
Sometimes we are afraid to spend time alone because it forces us to live with ourselves and confront our issues rather than be distracted by someone else.
People say that you are born alone and you will die alone. It's grim but it's true. People go in and out of our lives and it's essential to learn to stand alone.
A song from the film version of Phantom of the Opera comes to mind.
It's called Learn to Be Lonely

"...Learn to be your one companion.
Who will be there for you, comfort and care for you?...
Never dream that out in the world there are arms to hold you.
You've always known your heart was on its own.
So laugh in your loneliness...
Learn to be lonely.
Learn how to love life that is lived alone."

I know that the song sounds a bit melancholy but I really like it because it talks about relishing in your own company. Even when there is no one around to talk to, we should be able to be happy with ourselves and love our own time alone.

Grab a book, get a quiet corner, and bask in the silence.

Compose Yourself: Fruitcake Lady Gives Advice

Fruitcake Lady Compilation
This hag is hilarious!
Remember ladies, keep Miss Puss clean. haha

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cherry, Cherry. Boom Boom!

I'm still in love with her...She broke my heart.

Lady Gaga

Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)



Love Game
[it's a bit out of sync. hopefully an HQ version will surface soon]





"Let's have some fun. This beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pull Me Back to the Ground

Halo
Beyoncé
Live at 2009 NAACP Image Awards

Monday, February 9, 2009

Like a Prayer

Madonna
for W Magazine
Photos by Steven Klein











A chick named Madonna and a smokin' hot guy named Jesus posing in a photoshoot...
There's something sacrilegious about it all...