Tag Archives: YouTube

The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Shaded Me, And I Liked It

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Monday mornings typically start with me rolling over and banging my bald head on my cell phone, then checking one or two emails. Last Monday morning, I received a startling email from Instagram. The subject line said, Warning. I almost peed on myself.

“Hi,

We’ve removed or disabled access to something you posted on Instagram because a third party reported that it infringes their intellectual property rights.

We strongly encourage you to review other content you’ve posted to Instagram to make sure that it isn’t in violation of our Terms of Use. Accounts that repeatedly infringe our Terms may be deactivated.”

I responded immediately, but of course, the email bounced back.

In my head, I browsed through my Instagram feed and took note of all the copyrighted images. Almost every other person that I follow has a copyrighted picture of a celebrity, a company logo, or Kermit the frog sipping tea. On my Instagram, about 99.9% of the pictures and videos that I post I have personally taken. Then, I remembered the day before I went to Janelle Monae’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I had posted pictures and video from the concert, which was amazing. I developed a new level of respect for the uniformed artist. Did Janelle report me to Instagram I thought? Then, I thought about the several hundred Janelle Monae concert videos I have watched on YouTube. Song lyrics came to me: Continue reading

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It happened. Reading at the Downtown Los Angeles Library for ALOUD

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Breaking out into a sweat, from running, into the auditorium is how my reading started. I was late for the sound check. Actually, I was the last person to arrive. I sat in my seat in the front row and listened to the first reader read the first five sentences of her piece. Then it hit, it was really happening. I was reading in the ALOUD series at the Downtown Los Angeles Central Library.

I had known about it for about five months and I pushed it to the back of mind. Work (my numerous gigs) came first. Turning in my thesis project for school was a priority as well.

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When I sat in the seat, my nerves tightened and made me question everything I had practiced for my performance. I stood when it was time for my sound check and everything came rushing out.

What follows is from later that day. Continue reading

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Reading at West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library Grand Opening & Dedication

West Hollywood Library (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Recently I read from For Colored Boys at the West Hollywood Library with Antonio Brown and Jonathan Kidd (contributors to the anthology), and actor Jorge Ortiz. I edited and posted the reading on YouTube; please watch the videos and comment. I will be reading again at the West Hollywood Library during  the City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City/One Pride’ Festival in June.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Question and Answer Session

Stay tuned for more information on the West Hollywood Library reading in June.

US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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Review of Laura Mullen’s Enduring Freedom

The book: Enduring Freedom: A Little Book of Mechanical Brides
Publisher: Otis Books/Seismicity Editions

Dum dum de dum, here comes the bride … collection, forty-one to be exact within Laura Mullen’s Enduring Freedom. If little touches, slender silk ribbons, nosegays, dragee, place setting, escort cards, are what ties a wedding together with a knot, the bride herself, in assorted milk-white chocolate-colored fabric and beads, ties together the collection of poems.

The title, Enduring Freedom, hints at Mullen’s sarcasm on how weddings are treated as an event in quotations worthy of being breaking news that triumphs war and economic hardship. But also breaks down the interworking of how different women react leading up to the ta-da moment and the potentially negative boomerang effect of lists and living outside one’s means.

Stylistically, Mullen utilizes prose poems and the familiar worried bride archetype as a way to allow readers to see the bride through a less than personal camera lens. The bride is displayed like vintage Barbie’s or dime-store knock offs in glass cases, pinned down, labeled with her scientific name, like Bride of Detail, Bride of a Thousand Flaws, or Be Creative Bride, laid out flat, and spread out to see what she looks like when dry.

What is Mullen trying to accomplish with Enduring Freedom? Should there be a moratorium on all weddings until further notice? What is the purpose of a traditional wedding? To show the public how much money went into the little things and not for rent or mortgage or some other bill.

Bandschnalle Einsatzmedaille der Bundeswehr En...

Enduring Freedom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mullen inserts those ideas into the background of her carved prose poems like small buttercream cake portions and drops the bride figurine minus the groom on top, in a refreshing context that helps the poet to preach quietly without shouting, considering we are in a church.

Despite the dizzying effect of white on white, tulle, chiffon, lace, crepe, and organza, Enduring Freedom is an aesthetic assembly line of wonder that feels fresh and not frozen and thawed out from the common place.

Buy Enduring Freedom here.

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Azari and III Rocked Sónar On Tour Concert

MUSIC: Live Show Review

How I first heard Azari and III is indicative of their sound, which can be best described as dance music cut into fine lines of disco synthesized euphoria, to be snorted in generous doses. At a downtown L.A. party, SummerTramp (where brown-meets-white meets all the colors of the rainbow in swimwear), a DJ played a song that I’d never heard. I had to add it to my iTunes library. While continuing to dance, I held up my smart phone, to capture the song and identify the artist. Ten seconds later, Hungry for the Power by Azari and III appeared on the music app. Everyone at the party went crazy. The experience was recreated, with more smoke and flashing lights, when the band came on at 12am, Saturday, November 10, as part of the Sónar On Tour Concert.

The preceding band, Die Antwoord (who unabashedly dissed Mother Monster, Lady Gaga in their music video, Fatty Boom Boom) woke up the crowd, while Azari and III took the crowd on a rave binge at the Shrine Expo Center. The vocalists Cedric Gasiada (aka Starving Yet Full) and Fritz Helder ran on the stage and sung, “I’m hungry for the power,” and their movements matched the lyrics. They were animalistic, dramatic, and nuanced; an effect that was appreciated. The worst thing that can happen going to a dance music concert, is watching an entertainer who cannot entertain.

Everyone in front of me, in the standing room only space, who hadn’t been dancing to Die Antwoord, rocked out with the Cedric and Fritz. The other band members: Dinamo Azari and Alixander III were behind turntables, serving the crowd the classic house beats they needed to hear. Azari and III is an amalgamation of Dinamo’s last name and the three I’s after Alixander. The group’s goal is to create art and it was accomplished. They are a band with a future-sound and a fashion forward look. The wild intensity created by the energetic four-some, was extended and visualized through Pfadfinderei, an internationally renowned design collective. Dolphins, cut flowers, music video clips, and unrecognizable words flashed behind the band and were interrupted by rainbow-colored Emergency Broadcast System slides. The visuals served as a fifth band member, heightening the concert experience.

Into the third song, Indigo, Cedric asked the crowd, “Are you possessed?” As I looked around the mob of people, I could tell everyone was literally possessed, dancing away, uninhibited. Whatever the source of that possession is open to question, but Azari and III’s music genius is not. Nine songs later the crowd was hungry for more.

Azari & III

Azari & III (Photo credit: evasèe)

After leaving SummerTramp, I downloaded the song, Hungry for the Power, and realized I had more music from the band. I had their song, Stay Here, which was a super-collaboration with English dance band, Friendly Fires. I even had songs they remixed: Little Boots’ Shake, Sam Sparro’s I Wish I Never Met You, MNDR’s #1 in Heaven, Uffie’s Difficult, and Sunday Girl’s Self Control.

The line up at the Sónar On Tour Concert also included: DJ Nic Fanciulli, DJ Paul Kalkbrenner, and DJ Seth Troxler. The concert attracted: college students, club kids, drag queens, musicians, L.A.’s fashion elite as well as Kat Von D, Dita Von Teese, and Rose McGowan. L.A. was the last leg in the tour schedule. Some concertgoers had not heard of Azari and III, but became instant fans. Azari is hungry for your love and your love they will have, one city, one song, one remix, at a time.

To listen to Azari and III check out their YouTube Channel @ AzariandiiiOfficial and to buy their music go to iTunes now.

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Frenchie Davis, The Voice, The Courage

Check out the teaser video to my interview with Frenchie Davis for GBM News. She talks about everything from her new single and the video for, Love’s Got A Hold On Me, to the Voice vs. American Idol, to questions about sexuality. Stay tuned for the interview.

English: Frenchie Davis at 12th annual GLAAD T...

Frenchie at 12th annual GLAAD Tidings Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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HeckleVision + Hipster Humor = H.E.L.L

Alcohol and black men-spiked anatomy jokes turned Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles’ (DFFLA) free screening of Night of the Living Dead, on Friday the 13th, into a nerve-eating nightmare.

Before the movie started, attendees were told to text jokes to a MuVChat number and the jokes would appear directly below the pre-CGI cult classic, an inventive way to push dialogue, however the pairing was abused as soon as the lead actor Duane Jones, a black man, playing Ben, ran out of breath on screen. MuVChat is the interactive technology used to display the text messages.

Actor Duane Jones in a scene from the movie Ni...

Duane Jones in a scene from the movie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Showing snide comments alongside tweet-worthy movies is a growing trend called HeckleVision – think director commentary on a DVD meets reality reunion show, with verbal hair pulling and whosever wig gets snatched off does not get a spin-off show.

DFFLA tweeted this, “Celebrate Friday 13th being a smarta** @ free ‘Night of the Living Dead’ screening,” a few hours before pressing play and a link within the tweet said, “prizes for best audience members’ tweets.”

Being a smarta** or making snide remarks is always welcomed but there is a difference between being a smarta** and being just an a**.

The first comment, “she’s more scared of the black man than the zombies,” forced the room to howl in laughter but then the comments, within seconds, turned butt ugly.

“She’s thinking how big his d*** is.”

“His wood is ginormous.”

“He stole the rims.”

“She doesn’t understand Ebonics.”

“OJ’s hiding out in the house too.”

Like Night of the Living Dead’s famous tagline, “They won’t stay dead.”  The comments did not stay dead. Continue reading

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