Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MJ is always the perfect pickup ...

So, like I said, after the depressing Madonna Malawi documentary, I needed something to lift my spirits. And how convenient that Tribeca was also showing the very groundbreaking, most important musical film of all time that night _ "Thriller"! Their was face-painting, a dance contest and more to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that great album and video but of course I missed a lot of it ... I came in while they were midway showing the documentary on the making of "Thriller."

But it was loads of fun. There were at least 1,000 people outside to watch it on a beautiful night. Little kids were getting white gloves (see, MJ is kid appropriate). My girl Dara got her MJ on, and I got my white glove! John Landis, who directed the historic clip, was also on hand to sign autographs. It was cool hearing the excitement from people who had never seen the documentary (I've watched it too many times to count). Twenty-five years later, and it's still magical, and still manages to thrill.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Madonna's Malawi documentary

Remember the last time Madonna did a documentary, and the most shocking thing involved the creative use of a water bottle (so I've been told at least ...)

Well, don't expect any such frivolity when you watch "I Am Because We Are," her new documentary on Malawi, the southern African nation from which she took home David, the child she is trying to adopt.

The movie is a very, very, very, very, very (did I say very?) depressing look at the tragedy of this country, and another one of those movies that makes you wonder if Africa will ever emerge out of its malaise. This movie was particularly paralyzing for me _ after watching how the AIDS crisis is devastating the country, the abject poverty, the superstitions that are holding them back and the horrific violence that some perpetrate on each other, it made me wonder if any help would help at all. Madonna tries to end the movie on a hopeful note but after almost two hours of nothing but misery it's a tough sell.

Madonna showed the movie at the Tribeca Film Festival, in front of packed theater _ Natalie Portman was in the audience, as was her BFF Rosie O'Donnell. She later answered questions for the crowd ... all in all, it was a riveting evening. But I so needed a pick me up after that!

Quincy Jones Tribute

Remember when Tevin Campbell was like the man in the 90s? Well, ok, he was never the man, but he was sorta a hot kid and he had some great songs, courtesy of Prince and Quincy Jones. Well, he came out to honor the latter at ASCAP's tribute to Jones for his 75th birthday. It was truly an old-school night _ not only did Tevin sing his "Tomorrow" song (with his now deep voice), but James Ingram killed it with "One Hundred Ways," then again with Patti Austin with "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" (that might be my wedding song one day, though I am partial to "Feelin' On Yo Booty.")

Tony Bennett also performed, as did Siedah Garrett (she co-wrote "Man in the Mirror" and sang on MJ's "I Can't Stop Loving You," for all y'all who are sleeping on Ms. Siedah). Lesley Gore also sang the hits Quincy created for her (including "You Don't Own Me") while Tamia and Take 6 were also among the performers. Whoopi Goldberg was in the crowd while I could have sworn I saw Lou Gossett, but I didn't wanna break my neck to get an extra close look.

We had to leave early because of my furry children so we missed Quincy actually speak but the night was made for me when Patti and James sang.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MJ vs Prince Party

I almost started not to go to the Keistar Michael Jackson vs. Prince party on Friday _ even though I wore my glitter shoes in honor of MJ _ because the line was so dang long to get in! This year, it was at Blvd on Bowery, and even though the party started at 10 p.m., when we got there at 1 a.m., the line was still wrapped around the block with about 200 or so people waiting in line!

Thankfully, my guy knew people who were further ahead on line so we just ever so slyly joined them (ok, so maybe that's not nice _ but you gotta do what you gotta do!)

Anyway, I digress _ let's focus on the music (courtesy of DJ Spinna). For those not in the know, the party features music by MJ and those related to him in some way (be it the Jacksons, Janet or Nas sampling an MJ song) vs. the music of Prince and his disciples (The Time, Apollonia, Sheila E. _ you get the picture).

Now even though MJ's side is the easy winner each time (truth be told, Prince doesn't have a lot of danceable jams compared to MJ), this year it was more competitive than usual _ maybe thanks to Spinna's mix. The dance floor was constantly crowded and while I got a few elbows in the back, it was worth it!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gnarls Barkley and Santogold

Gnarls Barkley took their show to New York City's Highline Ballroom last night, and of course, the eclectic duo drove the audience crazy with their band. I shockingly have not heard the whole album yet so it was nice to hear some of the songs, but I really want to sit down with it on my ipod and get to really take it in.

Santogold and her girls were the opening act _ while the crowd was kind of enthusiastic, they were kind of dead and not really getting into it as much as they could have. But the energy picked up during her final two songs. Here's a snippet of Gnarls' set ...

Yo! MTV Raps Anniversary

MTV is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show "Yo! MTV Raps," and I was honored to be part of the panel discussing the groundbreaking hip-hop series. The panel included Fabolous, Doctor Dre and Ed Lover, journalists Elliott Wilson and Nelson George, Fab Five Freddy and MTV's Sway. I learned a lot on the panel (like I didn't know Dre and Ed Lover didn't even know each other before they did the show together!)
We talked for an hour on a panel that is available on MTV's web site ... check it out here

UniverSoul Circus!!

First off, let me apologize for not keeping up these posts (to the perhaps one person who ever reads this). Before I started this blog, I'd be mad when my favorite bloggers didn't update their stuff every hour. Now I've gone like two weeks! But hey, I'm no Dlisted (great blog if you haven't checked out), I'm just a D-list blogger (maybe Z-list).

But I digress! I went to the Universoul Circus when it debuted in Brooklyn's Prospect Park late in March ... I haven't been to it in years, but it's just as fun as I remembered. We saw tigers, camels, acrobats and elephants (including one who had a minor _ make that major _ accident on stage. But you can't really make Depends for elephants).

Here are some pics of the show. It's in the New York City boroughs through April I believe and is touring nationally. Check it out!!