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Gossip Girl - Yet Another Guilty Pleasure

Posted by Miss Ess, April 16, 2008 02:52pm | Post a Comment
gossip girl chace crawford penn badgely
There's something about writing this blog that gets me to freely admit to all my trashiest pleasures.

I found a new one last week...it's Gossip Girl.  Geez, I know.  But it's so much fun to watch!  It's all scandal and drama, unfolding at an addictingly breathtaking pace.  In a refreshing move away from the oversaturation of shows about high schoolers in Southern California, Gossip Girl takes place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  It's about smart, bratty uniformed kids at a prep school and their sensational, overwrought lives.

This show is surprisingly good in all the ways that new "women-friendly" shows like Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia are not.  It's exceedingly well-cast, with pretty rich boys and perfect princess girls.  More importantly, the cast noticeably gels together instantly-- from the first episode they fit together and are believably friends, unlike the aforementioned Sex in the City ripoffs, which seem shallogossip girl leighton meesterw and awkward.  This show zips along, understanding its subjects effortlessly; a major portion of the show is the oh-so-2008 spread of gossip through cell phones.  Something scandalous happens and every character knows instantly -- it's already been texted to them, or they have checkgossip girl chace crawford nathan ed westwick chucked out the Gossip Girl blog, where the unnamed narrator of the show presides over regular posts about certain 'in' prep school kids' every move.  This all creates an accelerated feeling of excitement -- most soapy nighttime dramas slowly unfold their drama over weeks of overly fraught and extensive close-ups. This show smartly recognizes that the nature of technology has brought us to the point where if a school mate is buying a pregnancy test and anyone happens to see it, within 2 minutes everyone not only knows, but has a damning picture of the event taking place thanks gossip girl penn badgely to their handy cell phone.  Thus, the action on Gossip Girl is pleasingly quick, sort of instantly thrilling and constantly moving on.

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A Whisper To A Scream

Posted by phil blankenship, April 16, 2008 11:03am | Post a Comment
 





Virgin Vision #70173

BILLY JAM'S HIP-HOP ROUND UP OF THE WEEK: FROM A to Z-MAN

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2008 06:30am | Post a Comment

Super unique & talented, albeit generally slept-on, longtime San Francisco emcee  Z-Man flew out to New York City last week to do a couple of gigs including opening for the Alkaholiks at the Knitting Factory last Thursday (4/10) when the Gurp City former 99th Demention emcee, down with the Hieros, totally wrecked it on the mic (pictured left), much to the delight of the numerous San Fran transplants in the NYC audience that night, proudly representing in their SF Giants gear (no doubt they showed up to see both Z-Man and the other SF rapper on the bill Starski who is on the current LIKS tour).

 Z-Man, as well as pleasing fans, managed to convert many East Coast-ers unfamiliar to Z-Dazzle's fluency in the Bay Area spun Gurp City** slanguage (word billy) for a tight set that included his song "OJ Simpson & Courtney Love."  A great set, with DJ Thanksgiving Brown ably backing up the MC, from a true lyrical talent who I rate up there with E40 and the late Mac Dre when it comes to being a truly creative wordsmith, creating new words and always telling stories in a most engaging way -- a far cry from the usual tired clichés that pass as rap/hop-hop these days. For proof, pick up his CD "Dope or Dog Food" (Refill/Hiero - 2002) or any of the other releases of his available at Amoeba including his "Z-Mutiny" 12" vinyl release.  Z-Man never disappoints.

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Film Noir Festival 2008, Final Week

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 15, 2008 11:50pm | Post a Comment

So, this year's festival is winding down.  This is the final full week of programming; there is one more double next Thursday, including an amazing Richard Widmark classic.  Anyone not familiar with Mr. Widmark's career take note, this showing of Night and the City is a great starting off point.  Anyone familiar with his work should come out and pay respects as he passed on March 24th after a lengthy illness...

Last Friday my young Sylvian got a nice earful from unannounced guest speaker James Elroy.  My wife Esther spotted his mug when were eating across the street at Musso & Frank, so we kinda figured he was in the area for Hell's Five Hours & The Night Holds Terror, but we didn't know he'd do a number before the 1st feature.  The always lovely Coleen Grey (who starred in Hell's Five Hours) spoke between the films; she's quite a charmer.  Fortunately she wasn't chastised by Kenneth Anger this time around.  Previously at a showing of Nightmare Alley, Mr. Anger abruptly corrected her from the audience about some detail or another, leaving her a bit befuddled.

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Digging Through the Record Stacks - 2

Posted by Whitmore, April 15, 2008 09:41pm | Post a Comment

Music historians often site The Diablos as the originators and early archetypes to the Motown sound. Formed in Detroit in about 1950 by high school students Nolan Strong and Bob "Chico" Edwards, the Diablos derive their name from, El Nino Diablo, a book Strong was reading for a school report. From the start the group's sound centered on Nolans’s eerily ethereal, lead tenor voice. (Musical talent ran deep in his family: Nolan’s cousin, Barrett Strong, wrote "Money'' and many other R&B standards.) Other original Diablos members included Juan Guiterriez as the second tenor, Willie Hunter singing baritone, Quentin Eubanks as bass with Edwards on guitar, and later on Nolan’s brother, Jimmy, would join the group as the second tenor.

In 1954, the Diablos went into Fortune Records to cut some demos. The owners of Fortune, Jack & Devora Brown, who founded the label in 1947, immediately signed them. Their first single, "Adios My Desert Love" (Fortune 509, 1954), was written by Devora Brown. However, their second single and masterpiece, "The Wind" (Fortune 511, 1954), was written by the group. This ballad has a curiously ghostly quality and takes full advantage of the groups strongest points; a simple guitar line plays with a light vibrato, filling in behind the perfectly sculpted background harmonies singing "blow wind," as Strong's incredibly delicate, smooth as silk lead carries over the top. The atmosphere takes on a rather strange quality during the bridge when, backed by a quirky plate-reverb effect, Strong quietly recites his lines about his missing lover.  All and all, and truthfully, this cut is slightly bizarre but so evocatively captivating.  And, of course, it went nowhere, until some eight years later when "The Wind" was re-released in 1962-- this time it found a national audience, hitting the lower rungs of the Billboard Charts. “The Wind" is now regarded as a doo wop classic and is much sought after by collectors. The Diablos would continue to record for Fortune Records until the mid sixties, though with various lineups, perhaps the reason the last few releases were credited to only Nolan Strong.

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