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Oh No They Didn't! -

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  • 07/06/12--17:52: The loss of black music

    Every generation has its moments when a beloved public figure is taken from us. It’s a memory that often is forever etched in our memories. No matter how much time has passed, you can look back and remember exactly where you were when you got the news that made you question if things would ever be the same again. For many of us, Michael Jackson’s death was one of those game-changing moments in time.

    It feels like those moments are happening more and more often, especially in the world of black music. But the real tragedy is that we’re not just losing these beloved artists. We’re also losing our culture.

    In the last year alone, we’ve lost musical legends like Etta James, Don Cornelius, Donna Summer and, of course, Whitney Houston. Locally, Washingtonians mourned the loss of Chuck “Godfather of Go-Go” Brown who put the nation’s capital on the country’s cultural radar.

    Look at how we try to revive the past. It returns in the form of a resurrected Tupac at Coachella, rumors of a Whitney Houston biopic, and the Jackson brothers going on a 16-city tour without their brother Michael. But it’s never the same. With each death, a piece of the public’s artistic imagination and inevitably who we are as a people passes away with it.

     While not dismissing the cross-generational greatness that remains in our midst, I can’t help but be concerned for the state of black entertainment. We’re far from a cultural drought, but much of today’s music doesn’t pulsate with the same soul that eras past did.

    Much of my disappointment stems from commercial hip-hop. I'm saddened that my nieces don't have an equivalent to Arrested Development rapping about brothas “disrespecting my black queen, holding their crotches and being obscene” on the urban radio stations they listen to daily. Where are the Fugees and Tribe Called Quest for the new generation? Even in the R&B realm — for every H-Town that talked about “Knockin the Boots,” there remained a Boyz II Men that sang about loving someone until the “End of the Road” or the “Water Runs Dry.” There was greater balance, and as a result, we could choose our music a la carte.

    Steve Harvey drove this point home in “The Original Kings of Comedy,” when he talked about the difference between Earth, Wind and Fire asking “would you mind if I looked in your eyes till I'm hypnotized and I lose my pride?” and today’s artists asking “who shot ya?” The difference between Lenny Williams crying his way through “Cause I Love You” and today’s artists making music saturated with sex but completely devoid of love.

    Much like our food, the music we consume today is engineered through very advanced technology and far from anything organic or homegrown. The commercial, synthetic production of music has gotten so bad that a mainstream artist such as Jay-Z felt the need to call for the “Death of Auto-Tune” as a critique of and challenge to individuals like T-Pain, who popularized the audio-engineering technology.

    The artists aren’t the primary ones to blame for this compromise of cultural integrity. The corporate-driven industry isn’t as invested in making timeless music like EWF’s “Love’s Holiday”as it is in keeping up with consumer trends for the purpose of having mass appeal. It’s down to a formula now. Artists are required to have pop crossover in order to be sustainable — even if the culture suffers as a result. Rapper Nicki Minaj is a good example of how a formulaic sound and a sex-driven brand will prosper against all odds. Her crossover single “Starships” debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, even though it was, as the magaizine noted, “a departure in sound for the Young Money rapper”.

     With that level of calculated success, what will challenge this generation of artists to pursue music with the same global vision that Michael Jackson had? The genius behind “Thriller” crossed every human boundary that divides us. Very few artists can popularize a nation’s culture in the ways in which Michael did. He had his faults, but he made America look good in the  eyes of the world. And he made us, as Americans, feel good about ourselves.

     This isn’t to ignore the fact that artists like Rihanna have similar global appeal. But it wasn’t just Michael’s music that was global in scope; his passion for service was as well. MJ was a servant. It’s hard to imagine contemporary artists like Rihanna and Beyonce offering the equivalent to “We Are the World” with the sincerity that Michael’s charity work had.  But that may not be a statement about them as much as it is about the difference between Michael’s baby boomer generation, which lived through the civil rights and Black Power movements, versus my generation, which seemingly has a much more self-centered and materialistic strand running through it. Selfish artistry permeates our contemporary cultural landscape because so many of us have taken our freedoms for granted and don’t feel a sense of obligation to live out a life of service.

    We can’t bring Michael or any of these artists who have passed back. But we can hope to live in a world where entertainers understand that being the greatest of all time is about much more than just music; it’s also about touching humanity in a way that forever changes people. In the end, how much our culture thrives will depend on how concerned we are about the welfare of our neighbor and the needs of our world.


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    Natalie Wood's death certificate has been changed from "Accident" to "Undetermined" ... TMZ has learned.

    Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the L.A. County Coroner filed documents making the change late last month.

    Members of Wood's family tell TMZ ... detectives from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department -- which has reopened the death investigation -- paid them a visit earlier today informing them of the change. They tell us ... detectives told them the change was made in part because some of the bruises on Wood's body were inconsistent with death by drowning.

    Family members add ... they were told at this point authorities can't prove definitively Wood's death was accidental or the result of foul play. Detectives did tell family members Wood's death was definitely from drowning, but the way she ended up in the water is unclear.

    Wood died November 29, 1981 after an alcohol-fueled party on a boat off Catalina with Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken on board.

    Law enforcement sources tell us their investigation is still active.

    I wonder if they will ever figure out exactly what happened that night.

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    the end of a truly epic trilogy is upon us. Christopher Nolan, director of all three installments of Batman, pondered even making this final film. He promised only to direct a third movie if the story was not only necessary, but gripping to him as the director. He was so dedicated to this end, that the story outline was completed before he was even named director of his last blockbuster, Inception.

    And so the story goes. The dedication towards making a truly dignified conclusion to the caped crusaders most profitable series has paid off. What has been created is not only the best collection of comic book movies ever produced, but also the most outstanding installment of the Nolan’s Batman.

    Bruce Wayne, played by the dark and brooding Christian Bale, has reached the crossroads of his relatively short life. He has lost his only love at the hands of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and is a man with a broken spirit. His alter ego is no better off, having become the most hated man in Gotham City. Bane, on the other hand, is introduced in a fashion that reflects the chaos of his character. As Bruce Wayne and his alter ego collapse, his rise to power is equally as stunning.

    Supporting both the protagonist and antagonist are a host of diverse characters that are as complex as they are intriguing. In The Dark Knight, we were presented with the Joker, who was not only insane, but also incapable of telling the same origin story twice. He would gladly die to “watch the world burn.” This movie gives us this complexity with no less than three supporting roles. While this writer has found Anne Hathaway (of The Princess Diaries and Havoc fame) to be drab and aloof in her past roles, she is the polar opposite in The Dark Knight Rises.She not only blows away Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman portrayal, she is downright intoxicating.
    As per usual, Gary Oldman provides us with a flawless portrayal of Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. He is a character that the good in us can relate to, which is pretty significant in a city that is surrounded by crime and despondent citizens. As well, we are graced with Inception-alumna Marion Cotillard, who brings talent to a role that would otherwise be considered, frankly, boring. Last, and certainly not least, is fellow Inception-alumnus Joseph Gordon-Levitt. To say anything specific about his role is to give away integral parts of the movie. Suffice to say, he is by far the best supporting character of any of the three Nolan Batman films, eclipsing that of the venerable Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth.

    I would be remiss if I did not touch on what Nolan seems to have perfected – the villain. Bane is this installment’s chaos. He is played by Tom Hardy who is (yes, you guessed it) a supporting actor in Inception. The brilliance of the direction of these films is how lost you get in the villain’s soul. You lose track of the fact that an A-list actor is on screen. You are completely immersed in their portrayal as an ordered society’s tainted medicine.

    If you thought The Dark Knight introduced us to a dystopia, just wait until you watch this movie. We learn that it is not only Bruce Wayne and Batman that are rotting from the inside out, but an entire society. You will see urbanites at their most wretched, and in their prime. The chaos wrought unto Gotham City by the Joker was merely the beginning. And Nolan manages to convey this wild ride into 165 minutes of his best work.


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    What if we told you there was a great Christian Bale flick out there that hardly anyone knows about? Or that Richard Gere starred in a must-see tearjerker opposite a dog? Hopefully you'd want to hear more, because we've spent a ridiculous amount of time compiling a list of the best yet least-seen films from the past two decades (featured alphabetically in order). No matter how dedicated a movie you are we bet at least some of these will be new to you. By the way, Sam Rockwell stars in three of them.

    24 Hour Party People (2002)
    You might think that a movie about obscure U.K. music label Factory Records that delves into the cost effectiveness of using four-color printing on a 12-inch single sleeve would not be all that interesting or funny. And you would be utterly wrong. —Clark Collis

    Backbeat (1994)
    A miraculously authentic rock & roll biopic about the early days of the Beatles told from the perspective of Stuart Sutcliffe, the charismatic ''fifth Beatle'' who died of a brain hemorrhage just before the band got famous. As Sutcliffe, Stephen Dorff shows you what a tough, sly actor he was in his raw-boned youth, and Ian Hart is a revelation as John Lennon, whose punk rage may have led, inadvertantly, to Sutcliffe's death. The musical scenes have an energy that just about singes the screen. —Owen Gleiberman

    Bamboozled (2000)
    Spike Lee's most misunderstood film is a scandalous satire about a self-loathing black TV writer (Damon Wayans) who creates a modern variety/minstrel show. His message — and it's a visionary one — is that even in our relatively enlightened era, the racist images that have defined America are still very much alive, encoded in the DNA of our pop culture, with its fetishization of African-American ''otherness.'' In Bamboozled, an entire society paints itself in blackface to be ''cool,'' and that, Lee suggests, is a new form of slavery. —Owen Gleiberman

    Box of Moon Light (1996)
    Chill out, maaaan — you don't have to take every movie so seriously. Sometimes it's nice just to kick back and watch an affable coming-of-middle-age tale about an electrical engineer (John Turturro) whose unlikely friendship with an off-the-grid hippie (Sam Rockwell) finally gets him to loosen up. It'll have you wondering whether you should take up therapy by way of cliff jumping. —Grady Smith

    Broken English (2007)
    Parker Posey has built a career on playing high-strung, hard-edged characters. Buthere, she's softer than ever before as Nora, a single New Yorker who falls for a Frenchman (Melvil Poupaud) on vacation in the Big Apple. Her refreshing performance is reason enough to catch up with this understated romantic indie. That she has terrific chemistry with Poupaud makes the deal that much sweeter. —Missy Schwartz

    Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
    In this wonderfully absurd horror-comedy, two geezers (Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis) in an old folks' home take on a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy. The twist? Campbell's character ¬believes he is Elvis Presley, while the African-American Davis is con¬vinced he is JFK (''They dyed me this color!''). —Clark Collis

    The Century of the Self (2005)
    Adam Curtis's mind-opening documentary looks at how our consumer culture re-coded who we are inside. The movie is a vast and fascinating essay-mosaic about how the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays, drew on the theories of his uncle Sigmund Freud to create a new kind of human being — not a rational citizen but an irrational consumer, ruled by unconscious appetites. It reveals how ''individuality'' has become the ultimate conformist desire. —Owen Gleiberman

    Chuck & Buck (2000)
    Mike White stars in a riveting creep-out of a comedy (which he also wrote) about a gawky arrested-development case who decides to stalk his boyhood best friend, whom he still obsessively adores. Unsettling? You bet. But also hilarious and suspenseful — and, in the end, touchingly true to the way that our childhood dreams can refuse to let go of us. White's amazing performance may be the ultimate expression of geek love. —Owen Gleiberman

    Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
    Are you a Downton Abbey devotee? Well then, now more than ever you need to see this adaptation of Stella Gibbons' deliciously warped comic 1932 novel, a sharp send-up of all things British and pastoral. A walloping bundle of Brit talent participates in this production: Look, there's Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, and Ab Fab's Joanna Lumley! —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The Daytrippers (1996)
    A quirky, marvelously populated comedy about a woman (the sublime Hope Davis) who drives from Long Island to Manhattan to sleuth out whether her husband (the also very good Stanley Tucci) is cheating on her. By the way, the woman takes her entire extended family with her. In a station wagon. —Jeff Giles

    Devil's Playground (2002)
    When Amish kids turn 16, they're allowed a rite-of-passage year in the ''devil's playground'' — the religion's name for the outside world — before committing to their community. Oscar-nominated documentarian Lucy Walker (Waste Land) follows a few likable teenagers — girls in bonnets passing cigarettes, a drug-addicted boy unsure of his place in the world — as they come tenderly of age. It's like Dazed and Confused, with a poignant spin. —Karen Valby

    DIG! (2004)
    Even if you've seen your share of rock docs, nothing will prepare you for the unchecked golden-god ego of Anton Newcombe. Ondi Timoner's fantastic film traces the rivalry between the Dandy Warhols and Newcombe's band, the Brian Jonestown Massacre — a rivalry that existed almost exclusively in Newcombe's paranoid, drug-sozzled mind. —Chris Nashawaty

    Enter the Void (2009)
    A psychotropic cinematic trip that draws heavily from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Gaspar Noé's dreamlike melodrama follows the disembodied spirit of a drug dealer as he drifts over and through a candy-colored Tokyo. It's like seeing the world held under a black light: This is a film that's meant to be experienced, not watched. —Keith Staskiewicz

    Eve's Bayou (1997)
    ''The summer I killed my father, I was 10 years old.'' So begins this fluid, feminine, African-American, Southern gothic beaut, an outstanding directorial debut from actress Kasi Lemmons that'll lure you in with its shimmering, dream-state visual elegance. The characters are unique — a well-to-do Creole family in the early 1960s; the themes are universal. —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Fish Tank (2009)
    A year before Michael Fassbender battled the X-Men, his onscreen magnetism was already on display in this drama, which cast him as the object of affection for both a mom (Kierston Wareing) and her daughter (Katie Jarvis) in a poor British suburb. But even Fassbender's charm won't distract you from Jarvis, who packs a lifetime of heartache into her movie debut. —Adam Markovitz

    Fly Away Home (1996)
    A girl (Anna Paquin) who just lost her mom learns to raise geese while her sweetly hapless dad (Jeff Daniels) learns to raise her. Fly Away Home is the rare family movie that's so lovely and genuine your kids will ask to watch it 10 times — and you'll ask it watch it 11. —Jeff Giles

    George Washington (2000)
    In his hauntingly poetic debut, writer-director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) tracks a group of working class kids in rural North Carolina. Every gorgeous frame, every line of dialogue, feels fresh and revelatory. There's romance, tragedy, lost innocence, and hard wisdom in this small indie that leaves an epic impression. —Karen Valby

    Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
    That silver-haired Beat poet of a filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch, does a twist on the traditional hitman genre that allows for detours into mysticism, action, samurai philosophy, and an homage to Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï. Forest Whitaker defines Jarmuschian cool as the title hitman, a philosopher/killer in cornrows. —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2010)
    Chances are you missed this Lasse Hallström weepie when it bypassed U.S. theaters and limped straight to DVD. Which is a shame, because it's terrific. Richard Gere plays a professor who adopts a lost Akita puppy who turns out to be the most loyal dog ever, especially after tragedy strikes. We won't say any more, except this: Have a box of tissues ready before you press play. —Chris Nashawaty

    Happy Accidents (2000)
    Brad Anderson's sci-fi/rom-com mind-bender is proof that a film can simultaneously make your heart swell and your head hurt. Vincent D'Onofrio and Marisa Tomei fall in love even though he claims to be time-traveling back from the year 2470. Is he mentally unhinged or telling the truth? When a love story is this beautiful and weird, does it even matter? —Chris Nashawaty

    Idiocracy (2006)
    In Mike Judge's satiric vision of a dumbed-down future, Luke Wilson plays an average Joe who wakes up after a 500-year cryogenic slumber to find he's the world's smartest man. Twentieth Century Fox dumped this mash-up of Sleeper and Beavis and Butt-head in a handful of theaters with zero fanfare, resulting in less than $500,000 in grosses. Now, that was dumb. —Josh Rottenberg

    The Iron Giant (1999)
    We know some of you probably saw this remarkable animated sci-fi/fantasy movie when it was first released, but now is the time to revisit the story of a robot whocrash-lands off the coast of Maine in the Cold War 1950s. Why? The more oneknows of today's crazy world, the more piercing the political overtones. Plus, it was directed by Brad Bird, before he made The Incredibles and the recent Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    I've Loved You So Long (2008)
    French director Philippe Claudel's drama has an abhorrent subject: a mother's killing of her own child. But you'll be drawn in by the haunting power of the movie's slowly unraveling mystery and Kristin Scott Thomas' magnificent turn as a woman struggling to reintegrate into society after 15 years in prison. —Josh Rottenberg

    Last Night (2011)
    Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington play a New York couple who, over the course of one night, face temptation — she with an old flame who might be her soul mate (Guillaume Canet) and he with a colleague (Eva Mendes). The story is mature, the direction (by Massy Tadjedin) expert, and the acting superb. Knightley's final scene just might leave you gutted. —Missy Schwartz

    Layer Cake (2004)
    The film that landed Daniel Craig the Bond role also proved that Guy Ritchie's producer Matthew Vaughn is a first-rate director in his own right. It might take a few viewings to sort out the plot, in which a London drug dealer (Craig) gets lost in a labyrinth of double crosses. But it's worth the effort if only for the crackling opening monologue: ''Life is so f---ing good, I can taste it in my spit.'' —Dave Karger

    Lilya 4-Ever (2003)
    Lukas Moodysson's great, lyrical, wrenching tale of an abandoned teenage girl whofalls through the cracks of her crumbling town in the former Soviet Union and into the hands of a Swedish sex trafficker. The movie takes us perilously close to the terror and tragedy of her experience. In doing so, it captures, withextraordinary intensity, why sex trafficking has become one of the definingcrimes of our era. —Owen Gleiberman

    Love & Basketball (2000)
    Strong-willed tomboy Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and boy-next-door Quincy (Omar Epps) evolve from rivals into best friends and lovers. Sure, it's ''boy meets girl'' with a heavy helping of hoops, but this isn't a chick flick masked as a sports film. Brimming with clashing dreams, intense family dynamics, and the subtly sweet chemistry between Epps and Lathan, Love & Basketball, at its core, is about growing up. —April Daley

    The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
    Scottish actor/filmmaker Peter Mullan (War Horse) wrote and directed this portrait of a group of teenage girls cast out of their hometowns in Ireland and sent to a Catholic asylum after committing such ''crimes'' as being raped. With an impressive young cast including Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy), the amazingly true story will shock, outrage, and eventually inspire you. —Dave Karger

    Marwencol (2010)
    After suffering a near-fatal beating that resulted in brain damage, photographer Mark Hogancamp coped with his pain by creating Marwencol, a fictional WWII-era Belgian town populated with Barbies and G.I. Joes. With sensitivity and respect, this moving doc from filmmaker Jeff Malmberg invites viewers into Hogancamp's remarkable world and serves as a testament to the healing powers of art. —Missy Schwartz

    Memories of a Murder (2003)
    Based on the true story of South Korea's first documented serial killer, this is more than a mere crime drama. It's also a nuanced investigation into Korean politics and a gripping (and sneakily humorous) examination of man's behavior when confronted with evil. Director Bong Joon-ho would go on to make the it-came-from-the-Han-River creature feature The Host, but this slow-simmering dead-end mystery is his real monster movie. —Keith Staskiewicz

    Moon (2009)
    An astronaut (Sam Rockwell) has been in space for three years when his health mysteriously starts to deteriorate around the same time as he meets a healthy version of himself (also Sam Rockwell) at his lunar station. Director Duncan Jones delivers a stellar film that harks back to sci-fi's golden age of the 1970s and answers the question, What's better than one Sam Rockwell performance? —Sara Vilkomerson

    Murderball (2005)
    Despite glowing reviews and a big marketing push by MTV Films, this Oscar-nominateddocumentary about paraplegic rugby players never expanded beyond 97 theaters. That's too bad, since the story of the U.S. team's battle to win gold at the 2004 Paralympic Games is as exhilarating and crowd-pleasing as Rocky. Like the gladiatorial wheelchairs wielded by these aggressive athletes, the film packs an unexpected wallop. —John Young

    My Summer of Love (2004)
    The intensity of teenage love, in this case between two girls on the Yorkshire moors, has rarely been captured more knowingly and sensually. And what a stunning debut for both actresses! Meet the amazing Natalie Press, with thefreckled allure of a young Sissy Spacek, and the then-unknown Emily Blunt as the posh half of the duo. —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Next Stop, Wonderland (1998)
    Cupid's arrow takes a roundabout route before eventually hitting its target in Brad Anderson's exquisite samba-fueled rom-com. Hope Davis gives an adorably exasperated performance as a lonely-heart Boston nurse looking for Mr. Right after getting dumped. The setup is sitcom simple, but the film sidesteps obvious Sex and the City single-girl stereotypes for something smarter and more honest. —Chris Nashawaty

    The Orphanage (2007)
    In this chilling but beautiful and heartfelt ghost story, a woman's plan to reopen the orphanage where she was raised goes horribly awry when her own child disappears. Exec-produced by Guillermo del Toro, the movie is in the same ballpark, and league, as his much-better-known Pan's Labyrinth. —Clark Collis

    Perfect Blue (1997)
    Don't make the mistake of thinking anime is just about giant robots and squid monsters. Echoing Vertigo and prefiguring the psychological identity games of Black Swan, this schizoid-thriller about a pop star with a murderous stalker dives into the murky depths of mental illness, fame, and obsession, where reality and fantasy intermingle. —Keith Staskiewicz

    Prime (2005)
    Meryl Streep is a Manhattan therapist whose patient (Uma Thurman) is dating a younger man (Bryan Greenberg). Turns out the younger man is also Meryl's son. Good rom-coms are hard to come by, and this one's a breezy pleasure with irresistible charms: the comic genius of Streep as a Jewish mother, the romance of New York, and the glowing presence of Thurman. —Jess Cagle

    Primer (2004)
    Bending its celluloid into a Möbius strip, this miraculously low-budget (only $7,000) sci-fi thinker — about a pair of friends who accidentally discover time-travel — has a labyrinthine, paradox-studded plot that works like a treadmill for your brain. Luckily it's also fun, so you won't mind when you inevitably have to rewatch it. —Keith Staskiewicz

    Rare Exports (2010)
    If you're a fan of movies about creepy life-forms awakened from long burials, and if you like your Santa Claus stories with a dash of vinegar, then you need to add this freaky-fabulous Finnish tale to your annual holiday viewing. Here's a beautifully made, inventively ghoulish horror movie involving monsters, blocks of ice, and a worldwide market for Christmas myths. —Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The Ref (1994)
    A cat burglar (Denis Leary) holds an unhappily married couple (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey) captive in their suburban Connecticut home during the holidays. Thescenario might not immediately sound like comedy gold, but Ted Demme's twisted and hysterical film — with stellar supporting turns by Christine Baranski and Glynis Johns — make this one of the very best anti-Christmas movies. —Sara Vilkomerson

    Rescue Dawn (2006)
    Actor Christian Bale and director Werner Herzog are both known for going to extremes for their work. Put the two together in this incredible-but-true survival story of a downed combat pilot who escaped a brutal Laotian prison camp during the Vietnam War, and the result is a kind of gonzo art-house Rambo movie, as harrowing as it is thrilling. —Josh Rottenberg

    The Rules of Attraction (2002)
    Upon its release, this cheeky adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel about a group of bored, privileged college kids (led by James Van Der Beek) was known as themovie where Dawson turned devilish. Featuring a cast of rising stars like Jessica Biel and Kate Bosworth, Attraction also boasts a standout performance by Ian Somerhalder as a (literally) bed-hopping bisexual student. —Dave Karger

    Safe Men (1998)
    Two incompetent singers (Steve Zahn and Sam Rockwell) are mistaken for expert safecrackers in Providence. The supporting cast of lunatics — including a disconsolate Mark Ruffalo and Paul Giamatti as a Jewish gangster — keep the madcap story spinning, but it's Zahn and Rockwell who make it hugely entertaining. —Marc Snetiker

    Smiley Face (2007)
    Dude, there's no one better at playing stoned than Anna Faris. Her immensely likable wastoid character, who's daft without being dumb, eats a batch of her roommate's laced cupcakes and gets herself into a series of ridiculous scrapes. The whole goofy trip is a showcase for an actress at the top of her game who deserves more movies this fresh and funny. —Karen Valby

    Surfwise (2007)
    Nine siblings (two champion surfers, two members of '90s one-hit wonders the Flys, their swimsuit-designer/model sister, and four other bothers) grew up together in a 24-foot RV under the iron fist of a surfing-obsessed father. This unforgettable documentary about the wave-riding clan becomes an exploration of family bonds and the American dream. —Adam Markovitz

    Together (2000)

    It's easy to turn people who live on communes into ponytail-wearing hippie caricatures (see: Wanderlust). But director Lukas Moodysson's bittersweet dramedy (featuring Michael Nyqvist, who'd play Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) pulls off something more difficult and rewarding, finding the beautifully messy humanity in the screwed-up residents of a 1970s Stockholm commune. —Josh Rottenberg

    Two Family House (2000)
    A wisecracking Staten Island native (MichaelRispoli) can't get the pregnant Irishwoman (Kelly MacDonald) squatting in his newly acquired apartment to vacate, but when he provides her with new housing, her feelings start to change. MacDonald expertly conveys the transition from prickly to smitten, and Rispoli exudes an innocent dreamer's charm. —Grady Smith

    Walking and Talking (1996)
    Writer-director Nicole Holofcener's debut film about a pair of twentysomething best friends(Catherine Keener and Anne Heche in their breakout roles) dealing with love, heartache, and the bumpy road to adulthood has everything you look for in romantic comedy and rarely find: whip-smart dialogue, bracing honesty, and spot-on performances. When people wax nostalgic about the '90s heyday of indie film, this is the sort of movie they're talking about. —Josh Rottenberg

    Wendy and Lucy (2008)
    A girl (Michelle Williams) with nothing to her name besides a no-good car and a faithful dog must travel from Oregon to Alaska to find work. Director KellyReichardt (Old Joy) says more about the precariousness of life on America's margins than any politician will ever pretend to understand. And in a career defined by her subtle, pained grace, Williams delivers her most heartrending work yet. —Karen Valby

    Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
    The ragged chemistry between Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous) and Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight's Tale) keeps this backdoor romantic comedy breezy — no small feat, considering its title. The movie is just dark enough to woo the cynical half of any sweetheart couple searching for something between The Notebook and Blue Velvet. —Kyle Anderson

    I myself have seen:
    Chuck & Buck (a cute but odd film starring a Brandon Routh lookalike and the geeky guy in the pic)
    Idiocracy (kinda silly and often on Comedy Central)
    Layer Cake (you're typical Guy Richie film which was pretty decent)
    The Magdelene Sisters (a haunting foreign period piece)
    Moon (a great sci-fi flick in the vain of 2001)
    Rescue Dawn (a decent war flick)
    The Rules of Attraction (you're typical BEE movie)

    Entertainment Weekly

    Just a sample of some movies to pick from in case anyone is looking for the weekend and are tired of Spider Man & Scientology.
    What films did you see ONTD? Any others you suggest?

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  • 07/06/12--19:25: IT'S SOAP NEWS FRIDAY!!!

  • Greg Vaughan Joining DAYS... But As Who?!

    Working together upcoming Hallmark movie Two In will be a good trial run for Greg Vaughan (ex-Diego, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; ex-Lucky, GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) before the two become co-stars in Salem!

    A DAYS setsider tells Soaps In Depth that Vaughan has been cast on the NBC soap -- but it's unclear whether or not he'll be playing Sami's twin brother, Eric, as rumored.

    What we do know is that Vaughan will begin taping in August and he'll be entering the canvas as a holy man. Has Eric made a career change since moving to Colorado following a near-fatal accident? Or has Vaughan been cast in an altogether different role?

    A spokesperson for DAYS could not be reached for comment.

    Peter Porte Says Farewell!!

    His short stint at THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has come to an end, and Peter Porte (Ricky) admits that he saw the writing on the wall for his future in playing Isabella and Paul's son. "I was there just under a year, but when you start stealing babies, threatening lead characters and murdering people, you know your time is going to be limited," he tells Soaps In Depth with a smile. "He certainly was his mother's son!"

    Overall, Porte says his experience on Y&R was "incredible. I had a great time. I learned a lot and worked with some incredible people." And should another soap come calling, Porte has his door wide open. "I'd love to!" he says of tackling another daytime role. "Sign me up!"

    Join Linder & Friends For High Tea!!

    On Saturday, July 21, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Kate Linder (Esther) will be headed to Vancouver, BC, Canada, to host the 14th Annual Afternoon Tea, and she's bringing some colleagues along with her! Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael), Jessica Collins (Avery), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) and Y&R hair and makeup artists George Guzman and Patti Denney will join Linder for a charity appearance to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

    The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street in Vancouver, from noon to 2 p.m. LeBlanc will emcee the tea party, which will include a Q&A session, live auction, an on-the-spot makeover for one lucky winner, and autograph session. Plus, attendees will get a gift bag and be able to purchase exclusive Y&R merchandise. Tickets are $80 and are available at For questions, call (604) 836-7929.

    Risky Business For Roberts!!

    THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Eric Roberts (ex-Vance) is the latest former soap star to lend his talents to Cinemax's late-night anthology series, FEMME FATALES. In this week's episode, titled "Family Business," he'll play a politician who, together with a hard-partying trust fund heir -- played by Ashley Hamilton (Cole, SUNSET BEACH) -- gets caught between an ambitious Mafia princess and the determined female detective who's trying to take her down. Nikki Griffin, who had a recurring role on Y&R as Crimson Lights barista Kelly, plays the Mafia princess, Nicole, and GENERAL HOSPITAL's Stephen Macht (ex-Trevor) returns as Mob boss Mr. Ryan. Tune in Friday, July 6, at 11 p.m. ET.

    Gareis Welcomes A Girl!!

    Congratulations to THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Jennifer Gareis (Donna) and her husband, Bobby Gassemieh, on the birth of their little girl! The couple welcomed daughter Sophia Rose Gareis Gassemieh on June 29. "Mommy and baby are happy and well," reports a B&B spokesperson. Baby Sophia joins her big brother, Gavin, who just celebrated his second birthday.

    Is Bill's Sister Bolting?!

    THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Karen recently made the move from the East Coast to Los Angeles -- and came out as a lesbian in the process -- but don't expect to see much more of Caroline's mom (at least, not this one).

    Her portrayer, Joanna Johnson, is currently producing the new CW medical drama, EMILY OWENS, M.D., which will premiere in the fall. As a result, Johnson is currently unavailable to tape more episodes, which is all part of the long-running understanding she's had with B&B's executive producer and headwriter, Bradley Bell.

    That means the broader story being planned for Karen and Danielle may have to wait, for now. "Unfortunately, Joanna's time is being taken up with this new show," confirms a show spokesperson. "Her storyline is not necessarily going away, but it's being refocused."

    On the bright side, the rep says fans can look forward to continue seeing more of Caroline's other mom, Dani, played by soap vet Crystal Chappell.

    Spend Your Days With B&B's Battle!!

    Are you a fan of THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Texas Battle (Marcus)? Then this is your chance to spend every day of next year with the soap hunk! The actor has posed for some yummy pictures for his Official 2013 Texas Battle Calendar!

    You can purchase the standard edition calendar for $19.99, which comes with a poster. Or for $24.99, you can get the special edition, which includes the poster plus a Q&A with the star, behind-the-scenes tidbits, a B&B screen test scene, and is personally autographed! To purchase the calendar, visit

    Booksigning Events This Weekend!!

    This weekend, Lee Phillip Bell and Michael Maloney, co-authors of The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell: Creator of the Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful, will again be joined by stars of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL at booksigning events.

    On Saturday, July 7, Y&R's Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael) and B&B's Heather Tom (Katie) will join the authors at Warwick's in La Jolla, CA, from 4-6 p.m. Complimentary admission tickets for two people will be given with copies of the book purchased from the store. For more information, visit

    Then, on Sunday, July 8, the authors head to the Barnes & Noble store at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. B&B's Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy), Don Diamont (Bill), Heather Tom (Katie) and Y&R stars Peter Bergman (Jack), Kate Linder (Esther) and Bryton James (Devon) are scheduled to join Bell and Maloney in signing copies of the tome for fans from 2-4 p.m. For additional information, call (714) 444-0226 or visit

    See Jackson Sing!!

    In the past two weeks, Jonathan Jackson won an Emmy for having played GENERAL HOSPITAL's Lucky, and moved his family across the country to Tennessee, where he is about to start filming the upcoming ABC primetime drama NASHVILLE. But he'll be back home in Los Angeles this weekend, playing a gig with his indie rock band, Enation. The group will be performing on Sunday, July 8, at 7 p.m. PT at the Roxy.

    For tickets and additional information, visit

    Macht Returns To FEMME FATALES!

    This week, GENERAL HOSPITAL's Stephen Macht (ex-Trevor) once again returns to Cinemax's late-night anthology series, FEMME FATALES, in his recurring role as Mob boss Mr. Ryan. In the episode titled "Family Business," Eric Roberts (ex-Vance, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) plays a politician and Ashley Hamilton (Cole, SUNSET BEACH) is a hard-partying trust fund heir who get caught between an ambitious Mafia princess and the determined female detective who is trying to take her down. Nikki Griffin, who had a recurring role on Y&R as Crimson Lights barista Kelly, the Mafia princess, Nicole. Tune in Friday, July 6, at 11 p.m. ET.

    OLTL Starlet Cast In Bullying Flick!

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Kelley Missal (Dani) has been cast in the independent film, The Contest, a drama which will tackle the sensitive subject of high school bullying. The film focuses on two small-town students -- a bully, and one who has been bullied -- who are forced to work together in a cooking contest. The ensemble cast is headlined by Kenton Duty (Disney's SHAKE IT UP!) and Katherine McNamara (a star in the upcoming Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn) and includes Kyle Dean Massey (HART OF DIXIE) and Raviv Ullman (Disney's PHIL OF THE FUTURE). Filming is currently underway in New York.

    Exclusive: Brown Books A DIVA Role!!

    In November, GENERAL HOSPITAL alum Brianna Brown (ex-Lisa) will be relocating to Atlanta to begin production on DEVIOUS MAIDS, which has been picked up for series by Lifetime. But the actress is already getting familiarized with the Georgia city: she's currently in Hot-lanta shooting an episode of DROP DEAD DIVA!

    A spokesperson for the Lifetime hit tells Soaps In Depth exclusively that Brown will appear in DIVA's season finale, "Jane's Getting Married," airing Sunday, September 9. Brown will play a character named Hannah, who is married to Jane's client, Mark, and is suffering from a neuronal brain tumor that will kill her in six months -- and she's refusing surgery. "She's a former cocktail waitress at a dive bar who now is a genius due to a fatal brain tumor that rapidly increased her intelligence 50 points," explains Brown. "She refuses to remove the tumor despite her husband's wishes because she is finally respected for her brain."

    As far as the growing buzz on MAIDS, Brown tells In Depth she's excited to see what the future holds. "We will be moving production to Atlanta at the end of November to shoot our 13 episodes. In DEVIOUS MAIDS, I play a trophy wife married to a much older man who is insecure about her new husband's former wife and doesn't trust her newly-hired maid," Brown says. "I'm thrilled to move to Atlanta with my cast and get to really dive into such a fun role on a fabulous show. When I saw what Marc Cherry [DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' showrunner] created with the final version of the pilot, I was blown away! I think fans are really going to be excited once it starts airing next spring on Lifetime!"

    In the meantime, Brown can also be seen on HBO's TRUE BLOOD. "I have a small, recurring role this season, as well as next season," she says. "I play a fairy. They just aired my first episode [this past Sunday]."

    Irna Phillips: Three Elements That Make The Daytime Serial Format Popular!

    Irna Phillips, considered by many to be the "queen" or "creator" of the daytime serial was born 111 years ago today. Below is an essay she wrote late in life about soap opera sharing lessons she learned from her many decades of experience in radio and television.

    1. Escapism. While I reject the theory that the U.S. housewife is a downtrodden and unchallenged slave to her kitchen, I do recognize that her life, as all of ours, contains a degree of tedium and monotony. I think the soap opera listener, therefore, out to be given some insights into other lives and life-styles. She (or he) should be offered the chance to participate vicariously in problem solving, from minor matters such as how to settle a family quarrel to weightier issues such as crime, punishment, and retribution. The listener should be asked to think a little. With it all, there should be some means to achieve the second element:

    2. Identification. It is a perilous practice among dramatic writers to allow their situations or characters to become too remote from the average listener. On AS THE WORLD TURNS, for example, I have tried to keep my characters on a life-size scale. They are well off, but not wealthy. They are average in intelligence. My villains (though I reject the concept of the totally irretrievable character) are never so villainous that the listener turns away in disgust. There must be that element of universality in everything - that something that causes the listener to say, "Yes, I have felt that way," or "I have known someone very much like that."

    3. Conviction. I suppose there is a little of the evangelist in all of us, and I am no exception. I have always tried to impart a point of view to my stories, to carry a message, if you will, that I believe is important for the viewer to hear. It is not a heavy-handed message, I hope, but one that comes across only from prolonged exposure to a program like THE GUIDING LIGHT or AS THE WORLD TURNS.

    What is the message? Nothing earthshaking. I have tried to let my programs convey my own faith in the family unit - not necessarily the unit of yesterday, but also the possible unit of today and tomorrow. I believe in a stable home, in healthy mental attitudes, in discipline, and in cooperation. The critics say, "But why then do soap operas convey such a sense of overwhelming tragedy, of lives gone wrong?" First of all, I don't believe they do; but as for the tragedy that is seen, I can only point out that unrelenting bliss can be (in dramatic terms) as tedious as unrelenting misery. It is true, however, that there is a school of serial writing that might be characterized as "never a dull moment." I try to leaven my story lines with problems of the sort anyone may encounter from time to time - some of us, to be sure, more often than others. These troubles, or tragedies, are a kind of crucible in which I try to expose the inner strengths and weaknesses of my characters. I ask myself what forms escapism should take - on television or in real life. Many people today simply do not want to face reality, and they look to television to escape it. I believe that answering their need is part of my mission as a writer.

    Even Scheherazade must have felt that her storytelling was more than an exercise in lifesaving.

    B&B's Linsey Godfrey Is Cancer Survivor & Heroine!

    During the filming of Surface, she was fatigued. She went to several doctors, who prescribed antibiotics, vitamins and B12 shots. When the series wrapped up, Linsey came home to Tallahassee, where the family was living at the time. She still was exhausted.

    After fainting three times in one week, the 17-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. The diagnosis came just a day after Linsey got her first movie role.

    But the movie had to wait. Instead of filming, Linsey started chemotherapy.

    With a positive attitude about the 85 percent treatment success rate for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Linsey chose not to be treated at a children's hospital. She felt guilty about getting well in front of kids who might not.

    Fans swoon over GENERAL HOSPITAL star Scott Reeves at Stars & Stripes Festival!


    "DAYS OF OUR LIVES" was a category on Friday's episode of JEOPARDY! and a number of the show's stars appeared to give the clues.

    Watch Joseph Mascolo (Stefano), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas), Galen Gering (Rafe), Kristian Alfonso (Hope), James Scott (EJ), Chandler Massey (Will), Christie Clark (Carrie) and James Reynolds (Abe) in the video below:

    Angelica Rivera, Mexico's New First Lady, Has A Soap Opera Past!

    Mexico elected a new president yesterday. During his campaign, 42-year old Enrique Peña Nieto used his youth and good looks to his advantage, glossing over his political party's reputation of corruption and promising a new future for Mexico. His wife since 2010, the famous soap opera actress and singer Angelica Rivera, was instrumental in his campaign.

    As a telenovela actress, Rivera was praised for her sun-kissed skin, long brown locks and sexy, voluptuous style in roles on shows like ALCANZAR UNA ESTRELLA II and MARIANA DE LA NOCHE.

    Alison Sweeney To Appear At MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run!

    Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador Alison Sweeney (DAYS OF OUR LIVES)will join Major League Baseball, Hall of Famer George Brett, former Royals Mike Sweeney and Jeff Montgomery, and American Idol winner David Cook to show her support for cancer research and education at the MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike taking place on Sunday, July 8 in downtown Kansas City’s Power and Light District.

    SOAP STARS REACT: Andy Griffith Dead at 86!!

    Actor Andy Griffith, the man who played folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry in THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, died Tuesday at the age of 86.

    Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. "Doug" Doughtie.

    He passed away after an unspecified illness and "has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoake Island," the family said in a statement.

    Soap stars took to twitter to mourn the loss of the television icon. Below is a roundup on responses:

    Melody Thomas Scott‏ (@MelodyThomasSco)
    So sad 2 learn of AndyGriffith's passing. His 1st series gave audiences the comfort they were, and are craving. I still watch daily. RIP,friend.

    Laura Wright (‏@lldubs)
    Soooo sad about Andy Griffith -- My favorite was the man who walked in the trees and jingled - RIP

    Colleen Zenk‏ (@ColleenZenk)
    Oohh, Andy... I grew up with you, just like Opie... what a wonderful actor...

    Brett Claywell‏ (@BrettClaywell)
    RIP Andy. You made our state proud. Thanks for all the quality time with my grandparents. Too many good memories to list.

    Lee Meriwether‏ (@LeeMeriwether)
    Andy Griffith and I were acting partners who became close friends. We played husband and wife in the movie "Angel in my Pocket", a Musical Special together with Don Knotts and Janet Leigh, and then again as marrieds in the series, The New Andy Griffith Show.

    For a time after, we corresponded back and forth in character. He, as a member of a group of teenage boys who had a fan club in his home town, and I chose to write as a sister who was part of Siamese twin tap dancing act. I saved his letters (they were cute and funny). I've often wondered if he had saved mine.

    We talked on the phone through the years. With my daughters, Kyle and Lesley, we went to see him perform in Vegas. And he saw me doing the musical "Follies". Andy found the "perfect gal" as he said when he met Cindy. She was the perfect match for him. Caring, understanding, and devoted. My prayers are with her.

    Daniel McVicar‏ (@danielmcvicar)
    RIP Andy Griffith

    Ken Kercheval (‏@KenKercheval)
    RIP Andy... off to a new journey ‪#andygriffith‬ I will miss you.

    Gregory Michael (‏@GregoryMichael)
    Andy Griffith touched & shaped so many lives, including my own. I will miss him. May you rest from your greatest performance. ‪#life‬ ‪#ripandy‬

    Molly Burnett‏ (@mollydollyy)
    Oh Andy Griffith

    Mark Hapka‏ (@MarkHapka)
    RIP Andy Griffith! You were a true entertainment hero!

    Lisa LoCicero‏ (@lisalocicerogh)
    gAwww.. Andy Griffith.. I will always remember your speech to little Opie when he killed the mama bird with his slingshot.. ‪#classic‬

    WHERE ARE THEY NOW: ATWT's Judith Blazer!

    A new production of "Mame" at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn. has been extended another week to July 7. It stars Louise Pitre as Mame and former AS THE WORLD TURNS actress Judith Blazer as Vera.

    Blazer is mostly known for her theater work having appeared in Broadway's "Titanic," "45 Seconds from Broadway" and "LoveMusik" and off-Broadway's "Hello Again" and "Bernarda Alba." She also sang at new York City Opera productions of "Sweeney Todd" and "Candide."

    Blazer played Ariel Aldrin, the sister of James Stenbeck, on ATWT in the early 1980s. She also appeared as Marissa, Olivia's sister, on GUIDING LIGHT in 1999.

    Watch Blazer performing "Bosom Buddies" with Pitre in the video below.

    GH: Jason and Elizabeth Kiss!!

    In the July 16th issue of Soap Opera Digest, it features an article about Jason kissing Liz after he witness John and Sam in a lip lock. Liz stumbles upon Jason in a bad mood and wonders what's wrong. At first he is silent but Liz gets him to open up. He tells her about McBam's kiss. Liz then tries encourage Jason to find out what's really going on. RH says Liz wants JaSam to work things out. They hug, next thing you know Jason plants one on Liz.

    Its not intentional on Jason or Liz's part, he's hurting and Liz is comforting him. Jason realizes what he did and is like "Oh my god, what did i just do to you." To Liz, its no big deal and shrugs it off. They are friends and she understands.

    The next morning Steve hears Liz trying to reassure Jason that everything is cool. This leads to Steve confronting Jason at Kelly's about kissing his sister. Sam hears this and is angry and Jason is like hey, I kissed Liz because I saw you kissing John.

    Y&R: Jerry Douglas News!

    Jerry Douglas just posted on his Facebook page that he just finished taping his scenes on Y & R which will air on August 1st. He mentioned that it will probably be the last show that all the Abbotts will be shown together in one or two scenes. The scenes were touching & wonderful experience for him.

    In The Year 2002!

    Erica struggled with her doubts about whether or not Kendall was guilty of the arson charges. Kendall's plans to enlist Aidan's help were less than successful when Aidan discovered her plot. Ryan left Pine Valley after learning of Kendall's breaking and entering. Mia discovered Adam's true intentions regarding his wife's mental health and she told Liza the truth about Colby's missing money. Roger continued to blackmail Simone, insisting that she help him write his book about Proteus. Greenlee's mother pressured Woody to give her money in exchange for a peaceful wedding. Vanessa phoned Greenlee and promised to tell the truth about Leo's parentage.

    After telling Katie that Simon (the look-alike Simon - Donovan) has the diamond, Cooley died. An imprisoned Simon came face to face with Donovan and warned him to keep his hands off of Katie. Katie realized Donovan is an imposter but did not let on. Margo was saddened to learn that she is not pregnant. Hal insisted that Alison return home with Susan. Lisa agreed to back Carly. Jack told Carly that Julia was carrying his child when she left town. Craig humiliated Aaron and Lucy at dinner by revealing Aaron's indiscretion with a young married woman in Seattle. Lucy and Lily requested that Sierra return to Oakdale. Unaware of each other's identity, Mike Kasnoff and Molly became acquainted at a bar in New York City.

    After helping Stephanie deliver Brooke's baby girl and informing Brooke that she is no longer her daughter, Bridget gave Deacon the news that he's a father, threw him out, and told Eric about the end of her marriage and her decision to return to college. Stephanie promised to help Brooke with her new daughter. C.J. returned, furious to learn that Ridge and Marone Industries now control Spectra. Along with other major department stores, Lauren also decided to carry the Spectra line instead of Forrester. Amber returned home from rehab. Upon learning that there were no orders for the Ambrosia line, Rick, Thorne, Amber confronted Sally and were shocked to learn that Ridge is now in control of Spectra.

    Tony was on to Sami's scheme to use him to win Brandon's affections and ended up sealing a deal with a "kiss" for a favor down the line. Tony and Lexie disrupted the Horton/Brady bar-b-que to reveal the "bug" in Zach's "jack in the box" and prove their supposed good intentions, but not before Tony discovered that John had stolen "the key" to his future. Colin seemed strangely connected to the DiMera clan. The meteor shower was more than what everyone bargained for as one hit the ground on Airport road airport injuring a Billie whose return to town seemed unexpected and somewhat mysterious. Brady and Philip both shared part of their July 4th at the hospital with Chloe. Belle spearheaded a donor drive for Chloe. Nicole "fell" for Victor again in an unusual turn of events. Shawn and Belle's intimate 4th of July at Lookout Point seemed to lead them to an unbelievable discovery.

    Nikolas attempted to romance Gia with promises of a vacation and a cheerful day at the carnival. Alan was again upset by Monica's continued flirtation with Rick Webber. AJ started drinking again and sneered at his wife when she confronted him. Zander and Elizabeth grew closer during their captivity. Sonny wrote Jax a check for the money that Carly stole from Club 101 to pay for her fertility procedures. Alexis turned down the offer from her old law firm. Sarah urged Lucky not to overreact to Liz's disappearance. In her attempt to escape, Liz broke a gas pipe. Skye accepted Jax's employment offer. Jax told Alexis his true feelings for Skye.

    Cassie told Josh and Reva that she could cover the hospital bills, but later put a very reluctant Danny on the spot and begged him to lend her the money via "the mob." Alan got the goods on Gus by uncovering his juvenile record and taunted Phillip with the contents. Alan warned Olivia to stop her quest to mess up Phillip and Beth's relationship and later proposed a "business marriage." Gus kept his investigation into the woman from his past from Harley. Blake and Ross, and Harley and Gus waited for Tory to make her move against Blake. All of Springfield gathered for the annual Bauer July 4th barbecue as certain people played out their fantasies for July 4th 2003, i.e. a healthy Rick enjoying life with Mel, Bill hooking up with Lorelei, Olivia enjoying life with Phillip instead of Alan, Cassie and Richard enjoying a happy life in Springfield, etc. Beth decided to go to Texas to learn about "Lorelei's" life. Reva tried to explain to Cassie that Richard's condition was worsening and that she had to make some decisions soon, but Cassie told Reva that she was convinced that her dream of the "lion" was a sign that Richard would recover. Edmund tried to make his peace with Richard. Richard awakened from his coma.

    Troy discovered Nora and Sam in an embrace. A disoriented Natalie discovered Ben after he was pushed by Niki. However, Niki managed to set it up to look like Natalie was the one who pushed Ben. Niki attempted to suffocate Ben in the hospital, but was interrupted by Renee. Jessica and the cops became suspicious of Natalie, but Cristian insisted that she was innocent. Lindsay imagined that she was free for Independence Day. Todd, Rayburn, and Téa discovered an army map. Rayburn read it and then deciphered where they were. Antonio and Keri learned that Rae was an illegal therapist, who stole her friend's diploma and then changed her name to match the one on the diploma.

    Larry and Amanda rescued Katherine. Larry arrived at the lake just in time to save Mac from being attacked by Ralph. Billy, Katherine, and Larry were later hospitalized. Jill arranged for the charges to be dropped against Amanda in exchange for her leaving Genoa City. Victor returned to find Maxwell visiting with Nikki at the ranch and became irritated when Nikki and Victoria confronted him about his trip. Diane's plans to stage an accident backfired when she was actually run over by Phyllis' car. Diego tried to convince Sharon that he could outsmart Victoria. Ashley experienced unpleasant side effects from the radiation therapy.


    Monday ("Taking the Test")
    EJ consents to taking a polygraph test to prove his innocence; Nicole and Daniel can't fight their attraction.

    Tuesday ("The Failed Test")
    Will tells the police that EJ could not have killed Stefano; Daniel and Nicole discuss their relationship.

    Wednesday ("Coming Clean")
    Sami tries to get EJ to open up to her; Chad receives an alarming call from Carly.

    Thursday ("Missing")
    Chad and Daniel file a missing person report; Andrew blackmails Gabi.

    Friday ("The Love Triangle")
    Sami is caught in the middle of Lucas and EJ's conflict; Chad puts himself in danger hoping to rescue Melanie.

    Monday: Carly gets caught between Johnny and Todd; Sam drives Jason to make a drastic move; Lulu and Maxie question Patrick.

    Tuesday: Sam opens up to her sister; Todd hatches a scheme to protect his daughter; Sam hears something shocking.

    Wednesday: Heather uses blackmail; Patrick faces temptation; Elizabeth encourages Jason not to give up.

    Thursday: Sam comes close to the truth; Olivia considers the situation with Steve and his mother; T.J. makes an accusation.

    Friday: Todd and Heather deepen their alliance; Sonny opens up to Kate; Luke receives a visitor.

    7/9, Kate is furious with Steffy; Brooke forces Liam to make a difficult choice.

    (The Choice)
    7/10, Liam has an important decision to make; Dayzee picks her wedding gown.

    (The Happenings in Italy)
    7/11, Brooke and Taylor update Ridge on the happenings in Italy; Ridge delivers Liam some marriage advice.

    (Best Man)
    7/12, Marcus has an important question for Thomas; Steffy must speak to Hope about an urgent matter.

    7/13, Brooke pressures Liam to be honest with Hope; Hope showcases her new wedding collection to the media.

    (Phyllis's Crime)
    7/9, Christine learns about Phyllis's crime; Anita has something important to reveal about Jeff.

    (Ashley's Decision)
    7/10, Ashley reaches a conclusion about her marriage; Phyllis knows her secret is about to be revealed.

    7/11, Christine demands answers from Phyllis; Abby wants to help Carmine with his legal woes.

    (Small Steps)
    7/12, Neil and Harmony grow closer; Michael begs Phyllis to come clean to him about her past.

    (Paul's Loss)
    7/13, Paul deals with a painful loss; Victor and Nikki's chemistry is undeniable.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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    The badass bikers of "Sons of Anarchy" come roaring back to the tube in September -- and Yahoo TV! has an exclusive look at a teaser for Season 5 of the FX series.

    The clip shows the motorcycle club from Charming, California, traveling the open road while the song "Trouble Weighs a Ton" by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys plays. As the bikers round a bend, they approach a small bridge where "club women" Tara (Maggie Siff) and Gemma (Katey Sagal) are. Gemma runs out in front of the moving pack of bikes, raising her hands as if she were telling them to stop. The first motorcycle in the pack -- with Jax on it -- skids, crashes through the railing, and goes over the side. Tara has a look of horror on her face and Gemma screams as bike parts fly through the air. The relationship between the two women is a major focus this season now that Jax is president. Tara stands by his side, leaving little room for Gemma.

    better version of the video can be found @ source

    so dramatiq~~ lmfao.

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    Singer Rihanna made her exit from her New York City hotel in New York on July 6, 2012 to attend her grandmother Clara 'Dolly' Brathwaite's funeral.


    poor riri :( 

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    The 'who's that girl' moment at the 2012 BET Awards goes to raptress Brianna Perry! The 'Marilyn Monroe' lyricist stepped out in a body fittin' dress that I don't even think Beyonce could pull off nowadays!!

    rapper-brianna-photo-shoot-1 copy

    When I asked Brianna about the inspiration for her glammed up look, she tells me, "My style is constantly changing, I like to express my personality and daily emotion through my wardrobe. My BET Awards wardrobe selection represented how I felt that day, "FABULOUS", no matter what the outcome was in the category I was nominated for.

    Carlton: How long did it take you to squeeze into that sleek dress? 

    Brianna: It took me literally 2 minutes to slip into my dress with the help of my stylist and the designer I was dressed quickly!

    Carlton: Fashion is very important right now in female rap industry because your fashion separates you from your competition...correct?

    Brianna: The line is thin, you are either a "Fashion Fail" or you make the fashion sell;  and I wanna be a brand that can sell the product I choose to wear.

    Carlton: You say you're "Hollyhood" in your rap lyrics, but this look seems very Hollywood chic.  Why the change? 

    Brianna: "Hollywood" and "Hollyhood" is not to far from each other to me. I create my own Hollyhood fashion. I don't wanna go to far away from my audience but remain fly. That's why it's Hollyhood. It feels better to the fans when they feel they can reach you or feel you. I didn't wear a chain with the dress cause I allowed the shoes to give the funky edge to the beautiful dress. I loved the silver dress cause it gave me the total look I was going for. Kind of like the girl who walks in, says nothing but really says so much! It complimented my complexion and showed sexyness without showing any skin! That was the goal and we accomplished that goal.

    Well done Brianna!!! 

    Now more about that futuristic looking fabric she wore. I reached out to the designer James Knox and he broke down what it took to make this for Brianna...Knox explains, "Brianna's dress is actually from my new dress line; which is self-titled, "James Knox".  Her shoes are by Azzedine Alaïa; clutch is from KOTUR; and her jewels were vintage.  The BET Awards was the introduction of Brianna to many new people who have not had the privilege of hearing the talent of this spectacular "femcee".  We wanted to be sure that her introduction was indeed fashion forward, while also being current and relevant to the BET Awards audience. This particular dress on Brianna says that she is daring, bold and most certainly not afraid to stand out amongst the masses."
    Carlton: But what is it made of? Liquid metal? 

    James Knox: The dress is made entirely from very small metallic sequins which on camera almost look like liquid metal.  There is a stretch element to the dress; many people are asking how did it fit so well on Brianna's body and the secret certainly that element of stretch. Brianna is a force to be reckoned with in the world of hip-hop music.  She was on the stage of the BET world on Sunday night and it was important for her to sizzle.  As Brianna grows into a brand, it's important that we recognize that she is a female rapper but that we also recognize that she is a fashion-concious, stylish girl who can glam it up when she chooses to.

    Carlton: How was it working with Ms. Perry?! When can we see more of your collection? 

    James Knox: Working with Brianna was great. She has an incredible energy around her and while soft-spoken, she is probably one of the most humble people I have ever met.  She seems totally untainted by the industry and was so grateful for everything.  That's really all one could ask for.  As far as my line...the look book to my collection is being shot as we speak and once that's complete, individuals will be able to purchase directly through me and throughout multiple boutiques in New York and Los Angeles.

    Watch Brianna Perry's latest video...'Back Der' below.

    Source: Carlton Jordan 

    For updates on James Knox's line, people can follow him on both Instagram and Twitter @JamesKnox! You can follow Brianna on Twitter: @BRIANNATHEYRB, YOUTUBE: BRIANNATHEYRB & FACEBOOK: BRIANNATHEYRB!

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    Of all the childhood toys to update for the early 21st century, the Furby seems like a no-brainer. After all, the hairy ball of amalgamated animal strangeness packed in electronics so baffled the general public that it managed to get itself banned from the Pentagon as a threat to national security. After the Furby was first decommissioned in 2000 (managing to sell an impressive 40 million units in its first three years), Hasbro attempted to revamp the line in 2005 with Emtro-Tronic Furbies, bigger versions of the toy that brought increased facial emotions and voice recognition, failing to recapture the success of the original line.

    The latest addition to the line marks a much more significant update for our old furry pal, bringing him up-to-date for a generation growing up with smartphones and tablets, with revamped aesthetics, new innards and an appetite for Apple's iPad. We managed to get our hands on the squirming and verbose little Mogwai-esque creature -- four of them in fact -- for a bit, when Hasbro popped by our office with a furry blue army packed in a duffel bag. Check out some impressions of the reborn furball after the break.

    It's immediately clear, right off the bat, that we're not dealing with your older sister's Furby here. Those big, white, glowing eyes get you immediately. In place of those familiar plastic spheres are two big LCDs that comprise roughly a third of Furby's body. The new eyes significantly contribute to Furby's range of emotions, allowing Hasbro to design different dot matrix pupils for different moods like anger and innocence. Graphics are in the mix as well, with images of things like rainbows and two-finger peace signs cycling through the mix. As with his predecessor, this Furby's got eyelids, though they play a fairly limited role, like opening up when it wakes up from sleep mode.

    Beyond the eyes, Furby looks largely similar to earlier units, if "slightly larger," according to Hasbro's measurements. Our unit was covered in thick, neon blue fur. At launch, it will be available in six colors, that number jumping to 10 by the holidays. His tail, plush feet and moving pointed plastic ears are all a slightly lighter shade. In the middle of its forehead is a black marking -- it doesn't actually serve a particular function, instead serving as a "legacy" design, where the toy's IR sensors once lived. Just below his eyes is a yellow beak that opens and closes as it speaks. Inside is a red tongue. Pressing down on this starts Furby chewing as though it were being fed.

    Furby's also got capacitive sensors in its head, stomach (also home to its internal mic), back and sides that react to touching such as tickling. A mechanical tilt switch lives inside of it, so Furby knows when you're jostling it around or holding it by the tail. These sort of interactions will alter Furby's character, sending it into a transformation with flashing eyes. We saw a slew of different moods between the four units Hasbro brought in, including an angry one with pointed pupils that sings Sabbath-like riffs and an extroverted Valley Girl-esque mood. Furby's mood is also affected by speech (be it from you or fellow Furbies). The more you speak, the more chatty it becomes -- speak enough and will begin incorporating more English words into its speech.

    For those having trouble with the famous Furby language, there's an app for that. The free Furby iOS app (available this month) offers up a translator that will listen to its speech and spit out its English equivalent. The app also features a dictionary and meals for Furby, which are served up by flicking them in its general direction. Unlike, say, a Tamagotchi (or, you know, a real animal), Furby won't die if you don't feed it -- though it may get cranky. Furby also has no OFF switch, so the potential to drive parents nuts is fairly high. Leave it alone long enough, however, and it'll get tired, start snoring and eventually just fall asleep. You can rouse it back with a little bit of interaction.

    Furby's certainly a fascination. All those who saw us playing with the creature were immediately transfixed, be it due to nostalgia for Furbies gone by, or fascination with this strange new creature. Interacting with the toy is pretty all encompassing off the bat, trying to get it to run the full cycle of mood swings -- we managed to turn it from angry to precocious in the space of a few minutes. And certainly the addition of smartphone / tablet interactivity helps. However, unless you're willing to spring for a couple to keep each other company and are under the age of, say, 10, you might want to learn the Furbish word for "bored." The new, tech-savvy Furby will run you $60 when it hits this fall.

    I still have mine, old and one of the old 'new' ones, without the batteries naturally.

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    With Chief Justice Roberts‘ vote to save Obamacare, I was reminded of what my dad told me more than 50 years ago: Never trust a man who wears a black robe. He might be naked under there.

    Because our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government hold the 10th Amendment in contempt, I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War. Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.

    Because of the chief justice’s vote, Fedzilla just burped and is now prepared to gobble up even more of our tax dollars, more of our GDP and limit even more opportunity in the private sector.

    As I recall, the president and the government’s very own attorney who argued the case before the Supreme Court said that Obamacare was not a tax. Fascinating, Mr. Chief Justice, that you legislated from the bench that Obamacare is a tax.

    Our entitlement programs have bankrupted America. We have dug a financial crater so deep that many doubt we can ever climb out. With his vote, Chief Justice Roberts didn’t give Fedzilla an even bigger shovel, he gave Fedzilla an earth mover with which to dig bigger financial holes.

    Quite possibly, with his vote, Chief Justice Roberts just engineered the ultimate demise of this great experiment in self- government. If you think we are skating on financial thin ice now, just wait until 2014 when the full financial tsunami of Obamacare comes crashing down.

    The president should have Chief Justice Roberts over for dinner, give him a ride on Air Force One and apologize for not voting for him during his confirmation hearings. It’s the least the community-organizer- in-chief can do for the turncoat chief justice who saved the president’s socialist health care program.


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  • 07/06/12--20:41: Oh, God...
  • Morgan Freeman says US doesn't have a black president.
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    Morgan Freeman has one of the best, most recognizable voices in Hollywood. The words that come out of his mouth always sound amazing — even if what he says is totally from another planet.

    In an interview with NPR, Freeman expressed his opinion about Barack Obama's heritage, saying that he's not black enough to be America's first black president. "Barack had a mama and she was white, very white American, Kansas, middle of America," Freeman said. He later added, "America's first black president hasn't arisen yet ... [Obama] is America's first mixed-race president." Freeman also criticized the Republican Party for "purposely [thwarting]" Obama. Morgan, how 'bout sticking to words that other people write for you?


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    So, according to Morgan Freeman, I'm not black, since I'm only half black... good thing I don't give a fuck what Morgan Freeman thinks when it comes to the race I choose to identify as.

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    A lucky Pearl Jam fan was called upon to choose the setlist for the band's recent show in Amsterdam at the Ziggo Dome.

    The show, which took place on June 27, saw Brian Farias of Rhode Island, who has seen the band play 108 times, pick the songs for the night.

    "I thought I was hearing things when Eddie [Vedder] offered it to me," said Farias, who is a longstanding member of the band's fan club, the Ten Club, to Rolling Stone.

    Farias made over 40 drafts before coming up with the final setlist, which comprised both fan favourites and rarities. Of compiling it he said: "It was really stressful, because it's something you know is never gonna happen again. You're only getting one shot at it."

    Of the experience, he added: "It was like programming your iPod and then Pearl Jam show up in your yard and play it for you."

    Pearl Jam played:

    'Last Exit'
    'State of Love and Trust'
    'Severed Hand'
    'I Got Shit'
    'Nothing As It Seems'
    'Got Some'
    'Glorified G'
    'The Fixer'
    'Better Man'
    'Hail, Hail'
    'Rearview Mirror'
    'Crown of Thorns'
    'Sonic Reducer'
    'Baba O'Riley'
    'Yellow Ledbetter'/'Little Wing'


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    Finally available for stream is the long-awaited debut album from beautiful South Londoner Lianne La Havas.

    Listen to it here! It's Flawless,tbh


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    For Blackjacks and Kpop fans world wide, it’s time to celebrate the return of 2NE1!

    The girls have officially released the music video for "I Love You", a track that is dubbed as “electro pop”, showing a new fierce, yet sexy transformation of the girls. The song deviates a bit from their previous releases with a more mellow vibe and producer Teddy experimenting with new sounds, but it’s still a formula that works for the girls, nonetheless.

    Check out the long awaited music video for “I Love You” below!

    Source: youtube, allkpop

    Why did they have to recycle GD's weave? Also, Dara should totally work a fully shaved head. She could work it.

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    When Frank Ocean, a rising star in the R&B world, announced on Tuesday that his first true love had been a man, he seemed to be taking a giant risk with his career.

    After all, Mr. Ocean, 24, is a rising star in the hypermasculine world of urban music, where singers cultivate images as lady-killers. He is a member of the Odd Future hip-hop collective, whose rappers are known for using anti-gay slurs. No other mainstream R&B artists have acknowledged having homosexual relationships. For decades, even the rumor of homosexuality had ruined artists in hip-hop circles

    But how big a gamble was it? Mr. Ocean has received strong support from other artists, his record label and cultural commentators, while the negative reactions have been largely muted and equivocal.

    That lack of uproar seems to echo a broader shift in attitudes toward homosexuality and gay culture: Coming out is not as controversial as it once was. Mr. Ocean’s revelation occurred just days after Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor, acknowledged that he was gay. It also comes just months after Jay-Z, Russell Simmons and other hip-hop figures forcefully supported President Obama after he announced his support for gay marriage.

    “Ten or 15 years ago Frank Ocean could never have come out,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African-American studies at Duke University. “It would have been death to his career.”

    It is too early to tell if Mr. Ocean, who declined to be interviewed for this article, will suffer for his honesty when his debut album, “Channel Orange” (Island Def Jam), is released later this month. Sales of his record will be viewed as a measure of how much times have changed. “It’s going to be a kind of litmus test,” said Nelson George, a filmmaker and the author of the novel “The Plot Against Hip-Hop.” “You can’t really know the real impact of this for six months to a year.”

    It is worth noting that several major hip-hop stars have seemingly remained silent about Mr. Ocean’s decision, among them Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Drake and Nicki Minaj. (idk bout the rest of these basic bitches, but Kanye West gives no fucks that Frank Ocean is gay.) Mr. Ocean was also the target of dozens of death threats and antigay comments on Twitter, mostly from men.'

    “There is still a very nasty streak of homophobia in this country that we have to overcome,” Mr. Simmons, a founder and former owner of the Def Jam label, said. “I’m hoping the support by his friends and the members of the creative community will override it and, whatever he loses, he will gain more.”

    But Mr. Ocean’s declaration that he had fallen in love with a man and carried on an intimate relationship for more than a year, which he made in a rambling, poetic letter that he posted online, immediately attracted support from Mr. Simmons, who praised Mr. Ocean for his “courage and honesty,” adding that his statement “gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”

    Other hip-hop heavyweights signaled their support. Jay-Z, (KING) the rapper and label owner, posted a long defense of Mr. Ocean on his Web site written by the critic Dream Hampton. (Posted below) Joie Manda, the president of Island Def Jam, said that Mr. Ocean “broke down a wall that should never have been built.” Female R&B artists like Solange Knowles and Rita Ora published supportive messages online.

    And Tyler, the Creator, the shock rapper who has collaborated with Mr. Ocean in the cutting-edge group Odd Future, said on Twitter that he stood beside him. The statement was all the more surprising since Tyler, the Creator, often insults gay men in his lyrics.

    The positive reaction suggests that there has been a cultural shift, music critics said. For a new generation of R&B fans, it seems, just as for the rest of the population, sexual orientation has become a less toxic issue.

    “To even have a climate where a relatively young person — he’s 24 — is comfortable enough not only to intimate this in his lyrics but to make a statement about it and put it on Tumblr says we have come a way as a society,” said Joan Morgan, a critic and the author of “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost,” essays about feminism in hip-hop.

    Jerry Boulding, urban editor for All Access, a radio trade publication, predicted urban program directors would still play Mr. Ocean’s songs if he maintained the quality of his previous work. “It becomes a question of talent — he obviously is talented,” Mr. Boulding said. “But he is going to have to pick his material well, because some of the things he sang about before he came out obviously won’t have the same meaning now.”

    The publicity surrounding Mr. Ocean’s announcement might even work in his favor, generating interest in the new album, Mr. Boulding said.

    Ebro Darden, the program director for Hot 97, a hip-hop station in New York, said that Mr. Ocean’s sexual orientation would not be a factor in the station’s calculations about broadcasting his songs. “Hot 97 has supported Frank Ocean since before his record label knew what to do with him, and we will continue to,” he said. “I hope people judge him based on his music, not personal preferences.”

    There have been gay rappers before, but most were underground artists who never gained mainstream popularity. In the Bay Area a group of homosexual rappers formed the Deep Dickollective in 2000 and tried to start a “homohop” genre, putting out four albums before disbanding. The white lesbian rapper Invincible has developed a following in Detroit. The songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and the independent R&B singer Rahsaan Patterson have also come out.

    Mr. Ocean might have been a target of greater criticism, several critics said, if he were a tough-guy rapper or a seductive R&B singer in the tradition of Marvin Gaye. But his music is about nuanced heartbreak rather than seduction. “He’s never been read as a hypermasculine R&B singer,” Mr. Neal said. “His audience is already sensitive to this kind of issue.”

    Though he is not yet a major star, he is still a promising and in-demand songwriter. Last year he released “Nostalgia, Ultra,” a mixtape that received rave reviews and included the R&B hit “Novacane,” which has sold 185,000 singles. He also contributed two hooks to “Watch the Throne” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam /Roc Nation), last year’s collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West, and wrote the track “I Miss You” with Beyoncé for her most recent album, “4” (Columbia).

    Because Mr. Ocean is an emotive singer who has written many songs about heterosexual relationships, his sexuality had never come into question until this week, when some critics noted the lyrics for three songs on his new album — “Bad Religion,” “Pink Matter” and “Forrest Gump” — seemed to address a male object of love.

    Mr. Ocean had already decided to make his love affair with a man public in the liner notes to the album, but, as the BBC and other news outlets raised questions about his lyrics, he made the decision to publish a draft of those notes on his Tumblr blog on Tuesday, his publicist said. In that letter to his fans, written in December 2011, he said he had fallen in love and slept with a man he met four summers ago, when he was 19. The affair continued, he wrote, for at least two summers.

    “By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant,” he wrote. “It was hopeless. There was no escaping. No negotiating with the feeling. No Choice. It was my first love. It changed my life.”

    Chely Wright, a country singer who came out in May 2010, said Mr. Ocean’s willingness to explain his emotions to his fans, to go beyond a flat statement about his sexuality, had moved her to tears. She predicted he would lose some fans, just as she had in the conservative world of country music.

    “It was so emotional and correct the way Frank penned a letter to his audience,” she said. Gay artists, she said, had a “responsibility to tell our stories in a bit more detail so our listeners and our fans don’t automatically think, ‘Gay sex! Oh my God,’ so they might understand the true nuanced journey of a closeted person in a conservative world.”

    src: NYT

    Thank you, Frank Ocean.

    It’s true, we are a lot alike… “spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to.” In your opening few lines, you simultaneously established your humanity, a burden far too often asked of same sex lovers, and acknowledged that in this age of hyper self- awareness, amplified in no small part by the social media medium in which you made your announcement, we are desperate to share. You shared one of the most intimate things that ever happened to you – falling in love with someone who wasn’t brave enough to love you back. Your relieving yourself of your “secret” is as much about wanting to honestly connect as it is about exhibition. We are all made better by your decision to share publicly.

    You and Anderson Cooper have the same coming out calendar week in common, but in many obvious ways, you couldn’t be more different. Anderson Cooper is an heir to one of America’s great Industrial Age fortunes and a network professional whose maleness and whiteness backed by his considerable accomplishments guarantee him work. You are a young Black man from New Orleans who fled your still struggling city. You didn’t arrive in Los Angeles with generational wealth and privilege, only the beautiful lyrics and melodies that danced through you and your dream of making it in a music industry whose sand castles were crumbling.

    You are in fact, connected to one of hip-hop’s great cadres, in the tradition of Oakland’s Heiroglyphics, The Native Tongues and The Juice Crew. Your music family, like all the rest, will likely grow apart, but in this moment Odd Future bends hip-hop’s imagination with utter abandon. You fulfill hip-hop’s early promise to not give a fuck about what others think of you. The 200 times Tyler says “faggot” and the wonderful way he held you up and down on Twitter today, Syd the Kid’s sexy stud profile and her confusing, misogynistic videos speak to the many contradictions and posturing your generation inherited from the hip-hop generation before you. I’m sure you know a rumor about Big Daddy Kane having AIDS and with it, the suggestion that he was bisexual, effectively ended his career. You must have seen the pictures of pioneer Afrika “Baby Bam” from the Jungle Brothers in drag and read the blogs ridiculing him, despite the fact that he’s been leading a civilian life for nearly two decades. I know as a singer you love Rahsaan Patterson and bemoan the fact that homophobia prevented him from being the huge star his talent deserves. Only last month Queen Latifah unnecessarily released a statement denying that her performing at a Gay Pride event meant she was finally affirming her identity for thousands of Black girls. Imagine if Luther had been able to write, as you closed your letter, “I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore…I feel like a free man.”

    But you’re not an activist. You’re a Black man in America whose star is on the rise, working in hip-hop and soul, where gender constructs are cartoonishly fixed. Your colleague Drake is often attacked with homophobic slurs when he simply displays vulnerability in his music. He seems to respond by following those moments of real emotion with bars that put “hoes” in their proverbial place. But you’re a beautiful songwriter (your question to Jay and Kanye, “What’s a King to a God?” on their own song on an album about their kingdom, was brilliantly sly). Your letter is revolutionary not least of all because it is about love. It is about falling in love and feeling rejected and carrying both that love and rejection with you through life. The male pronoun of the object of your desire is practically incidental. We have all been in a love that felt “malignant…hopeless” from which “there was no escaping, no negotiating.” Your promise to your first love, that you won’t forget him, that you’ll remember how you changed each other, is so full of love and grace.

    You were born in the ’80s, when gay rights activists were seizing the streets of New York and other major world cities, fighting for visibility and against a disease that threatened to disappear them. The cultural shifts created from those struggles in some ways make your revelation about your fluid sexuality less shocking than it would have been decades before. Still, there are real risks with coming out as a man who loved a man. I hope you hear and are reading the hundreds of thousands of people who have your back.

    We admire the great courage and beauty and fearlessness in your coming out, not only as a bisexual Black man, but as a broken-hearted one. The tender irony that your letter is to a boy who was unable to return your love until years later because he was living a lie is the only truly tragic detail about your letter. A million twirls on this spinning ocean blue globe in this vast endless blackness for you my love.

    src:Jay-Z's blog

    omg ;_;

    Beyonce posted to her website:

    When will your faves, tbh.

    Frank Ocean tag, tbh.

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    Nate Naylor jealous of Jared Leto's flirtatious ways with ex Scarlett Johansson

    Scarlett Johansson’s boyfriend, Nate Naylor, may be the envy of men everywhere, but when you’re dating an A-list girl, every man’s a rival. And, according to a source, Nate’s biggest nemesis is none other than pretty-boy Jared Leto.

    “Nate is especially threatened by Jared,” says a friend. “He jokes that the only girl he knows who is prettier than Jared Leto is Scarlett. (whut)

    “Nate’s jealousy is firmly rooted in the wild fling Jared and ScarJo had back in 2004. Since then, Jared has torn through a bevy of beauties, but he never got over Scarlett.

    “Jared still holds out hope that they might get back together again,” says the source. “She was the only girl to ever break his heart, and he still talks about her all the time.” (false, Jared dumped Scarlett after dating for a year because she was too young then but he then hooked up with Ashley Olsen and Lilo, both younger than Scarlett).

    Scarlett, 27, is reportedly “flattered” by Jared’s enduring affection, and it’s become a source of tension. “One time she even took a caled from Jared during one of their romantic dinners,” says the friend. “It turned into a big fight.” At press time, an even bigger confrontation was looming.

    Sparks were about to fly on June 29, when Scarlett — who hasn’t seen her old amour in years — (false, Jared whent to see her Broadway play) was scheduled to attend a star-studded fund-raiser for President Obama that Jared, 40, was throwing at Chateau Marmont in L.A. “She’s all stressed out about what she’s going to wear, which is so not like her,” a friend said before the event. “This was a red flag to Nate.”

    Nate, of course, was planning to attend and keep “a close eye on things” — and he’s ripe for a showdown. “Nate is ready to explode,” said the friend. “There’s only so much a man can take.

    posting this for the fun


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    As projected last week, Linkin Park debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with its new album, "Living Things," ahead of the also-debuting "Overexposed" by Maroon 5 at No. 2.

    However, the race for No. 1 turned out to be much closer than initially expected. Linkin Park starts with 223,000 while Maroon 5 enters with 222,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. A little over 1,000 copies sold separates the two titles -- the smallest gap between Nos. 1 and 2 on the chart since the Dec. 11, 2011 tally.

    That week, the gap was less than 1,000 between the top two rungs. Nickelback's "Here and Now" debuted at No. 2 with just under 227,000, while Michael Buble's "Christmas" rose 2-1 with a little more than 227,000.

    Linkin Park's "Living Things" secures the band its fifth No. 1 on the chart. In the span of time since 2000 -- when Linkin Park debuted on the Billboard 200 -- no other band has had more No. 1 albums.

    Linkin Park's previous studio effort, "A Thousand Suns," was released in 2010 and also bowed at No. 1 -- with 241,000. Of the act's five studio releases, all but its first reached No. 1. That album, 2000's "Hybrid Theory," peaked at No. 2 for four nonconsecutive weeks in early 2002. Though it never hit No. 1, "Hybrid Theory" did finish 2001 as that year's top selling album.

    In addition to four No. 1 studio sets, Linkin Park also earned a No. 1 album with its Jay-Z collaboration effort "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course."

    In the runner-up slot on the Billboard 200 this week is Maroon 5, with its new album "Overexposed." It's the band's fourth studio album, and follows 2010's "Hands All Over." The latter set also bowed (and peaked) at No. 2, selling 142,000 in its first week.

    "Overexposed's" start marks Maroon 5's best sales week for an album since 2007's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" debuted at No. 1 with 429,000. That large sum was driven by the band's building success over the previous five years, thanks to the steady sales of its debut album "Songs About Jane." That album was released in June of 2002, though it didn't reach a Billboard chart until December of that year.

    "Overexposed" comes after a very buzzworthy year for Maroon 5. In April of 2011, the group's frontman Adam Levine debuted as a coach on NBC's breakout TV show "The Voice." Shortly thereafter, he notched a No. 4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as the featured guest on Gym Class Heroes' single "Stereo Hearts." Also last summer, Maroon 5 teamed with Levine's fellow "Voice" coach Christina Aguilera for the Hot 100 No. 1 "Moves Like Jagger." The group followed that up with its current hit, "Payphone," the lead single from "Overexposed." It has reached No. 2 on the Hot 100.

    Back on the Billboard 200, last week's No. 1 album, Justin Bieber's "Believe," falls to No. 3 with 115,000 (down 69%).

    At No. 4, the "Maybach Music Group Presents: Self Made 2" compilation album starts with 98,000. The first "Self Made" set arrived almost a year ago, and bowed at No. 5 with 59,000. The new effort includes Wale's current top 20 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs hit "Bag of Money," featuring Maybach label chief Rick Ross, along with Meek Mill and T-Pain.

    Right behind the "Self Made 2" set at No. 5 is R. Kelly, who debuts his latest album, "Write Me Back," with 68,000. It's his 14th top 10 album and follows 2011's "Love Letter," which launched at No. 6 with 154,000. "Write Me Back" is R. Kelly's first studio album to bow with less than 100,000 since his first solo set, 1993's "12 Play," debuted with 44,000.

    As for the rest of the top 10 albums: Kenny Chesney's "Welcome to the Fishbowl" slips 2-6 (61,000; down 68%), Adele's "21" holds at No. 7 (42,000; down 12%) and One Direction's "Up All Night" is steady at No. 8 (39,000; down 6%). Usher's "Looking 4 Myself" slides 6-9 with 36,000 (down 26%) and the "Rock of Ages" soundtrack dips 5-10 with 28,000 (down 42%).

    TOP 10
    1. Linkin Park - 223,000 (Total: 223,000)
    2. Maroon 5 - 222,000 (Total: 222,000)
    3. Justin Bieber - 115,000 (Total: 489,000)
    4. Maybach Music - 98,000 (Total: 98,000)
    5. R. Kelly - 68,000 (Total: 68,000)
    6. Kenny Chesney - 61,000 (Total: 254,000)
    7. Adele - 42,000 (Total: 9,492,000)
    8. One Direction - 39,000 (Total: 899,000)
    9. Usher - 36,000 (Total: 213,000)
    10. Rock of Ages - 28,000 (Total: 113,000)

    adele is comin for that diamond!!!! last certified diamond was usher's 2004 album confessions!!!

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    The Bates are a family much like the Duggars. They have a lot of children. They're Christian. They love Rick Santorum, even though he is an evil Catholic. They're into arranged marriages, but call them courtships. Now, they have their own television series on TLC!

    On Monday, August 13 at 9 PM ET/PT, TLC welcomes another supersized family in UNITED BATES OF AMERICA, an all-new series following Gil & Kelly Jo Bates and their large brood of 19 children, ranging in age from six-months to 23-years old. Audiences will recognize the Bates family from several episodes of the hit series 19 KIDS AND COUNTING, as they are close friends of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's clan. Each thirty-minute episode of UNITED BATES OF AMERICA explores a new adventure with the Bates family as they manage everyday life in the hills of Tennessee-and the inevitable chaos that ensues with 10 girls and 9 boys running around under one roof.

    This eight-part series begins with newborn Jeb's emotional homecoming from the hospital-and the unavoidable adjustment of adding another child to the family-along with the children planning for their much-anticipated annual Valentine's "I Love You Day" gift exchange soiree. Over the course of the season, Kelly Jo and Gil share their love of music and family values-from homeschooling their children, to goofing off while building chicken coops and whitewater rafting. Second oldest daughter Erin, heads off to college for the first time to continue her education beyond her many years of homeschooling and the gang goes to hang out with the Duggars at the biggest social event of the year-the annual ATI homeschooling conference.

    While the Bates family makes the country life look easy, they aren't without their struggles. See how the family copes with the older boys working at Gil's dangerous tree-cutting business, and when Kelly Jo is hospitalized, can the family function smoothly without her?

    The Bates may come off as a wholesome family whose values hearken back to simpler time, and that's probably because they are.

    After adding onto and then redecorating their home, Kelly Bates posted photos of their classic Americana decor to the family website. This included the Roy Rogers Room, Fireman Bath, Dad and Mom's Date Booth, John Deere Room ... and the Patriotic Room.

    Various sites critical to the Bates' ties to Gothardism were quick to notice something hanging from the walls of the Patriotic Room: Two drawn portraits of Stonewall Jackson and Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    Here is a quick history lesson for those unaware of who these two men were ... Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the most well known Confederate Generals during the American Civil War. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Lieutenant General in the Confederate Army. Before the war, he made millions as a slave trader. He commanded troops in a massacre of black prisoners. Forrest was also an early member of the Ku Klux Klan, possibly Grand Wizard.

    These portraits are placed above a sign with "GOD BLESS AMERICA" written on it. The sign is a bit ironic, as these two men fought to secede from the United States of America over states' rights (to own slaves, mainly).

    Perhaps it is more telling that Kelly Bates quickly removed the photo of the portraits after people complained on her site. (The image wasn't completely deleted and can still be found here, proving that it does come directly from their site. In case it is ever deleted, a screenshot can be found here showing the URL, which is the Bates' website.) The Bates haven't commented on the photo or why it was removed from the original post.

    Portraits of Confederate Generals, one also a member of the KKK, in a patriotic themed room ... Is it racist? Or is it simply an interest in history? Many use their heritage as a defense of having either pictures of Confederate army members in their homes or flying the Confederate flag. Would TLC be promoting this as a family friendly show if the Bates were of German descent and had pictures of Goebbels and Mengele as patriots? There are always lessons to be taken away from history, but that doesn't mean history is always something of which to be proud.

    Sources: 1 & 2

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    I really like you too Kathy :/ but that joke was in poor taste

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