Category Archives: Music

Promising Young Woman Review

We’ve all heard stories about women who after getting drunk, have been raped. When the police start to dig into the facts, the man’s defense is that she was wasted.

Promising Young Woman hit theaters last Christmas. Cassie (Carey Mulligan) was once a medical school student with a bright professional future ahead of her. When her best friend was sexually assaulted, her life turned upside down. Now she works at a coffee shop by day and takes her revenge by night. Hitting different bars, she pretends to have had one too many. Letting the man of the evening take her home, she lets him believe he will be able to take advantage of her. When Cassie reveals that she is sober and questions him, he does not know how to respond. When one of her former classmates, Ryan (Bo Burnham) walks into the coffee shop, he seems to be different. All seems well on the romance track between Cassie and Ryan. I would love to say that there is some version of happily ever after, but alas, there is not.

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell (The Crown), this is one amazing film. This is one of Mulligan’s best roles in years. She is vengeful and angry, but not in an obvious way. Her way of getting revenge is cold, sweet, and thoroughly delicious. The fact that the male characters are unnerved by Cassie’s actions is nothing short of a dream come true. All of this is backed by an amazing soundtrack, led by the Britney Spears song, Toxic.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Promising Young Woman is in theaters and available for streaming on VOD.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Music

Genius: Aretha Review

There are two equally important keys to success: talent and hard work.

The 4th season of National Geographic Channel’s Genius series follows the life and career of the late Aretha Franklin. The first three episodes cuts back and forth from the early fifties, when the future superstar is a preteen to the sixties when the adult Aretha (Cynthia Erivo) is on the brink of superstardom. As a young girl, Franklin was a singing wunderkind. Raised by her enigmatic preacher father C.L. Franklin (Courtney B. Vance), she witnesses both his devotion to the church and his less than moral extracurricular activities. In the present, she is not only dealing with work and motherhood, but her sometimes shaky marriage to her husband/manager, Ted White (Malcolm Barrett).

Watching the first three episodes, I feel like I know who Aretha Franklin was, as a whole person. Not just the image presented in the press. Looking back, she represents badly needed change in this country for both women and people of color.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Genius: Aretha is available for streaming Hulu.

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New Randy Rainbow Video: TED and LINDSEY! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

The joke about politics and politicians is that the promises that are made on the campaign trail doesn’t always translate into action when the winner takes office. But I would hope that at the very least, he or she tries to turn those promises into reality.

Randy Rainbow released his new video earlier today.

Titled TED and LINDSEY! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, Rainbow uses the song Kansas City from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! as the basis for the video. If I were to judge some Republican members of Congress on a scale of 1-10, (1 being somewhat decent and 10 being the worst of the worst), both Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham would score an 11. They are hypocritical bullshitters who are more concerned with saving their own skins and kissing you know who’s ass rather than doing the job the voters hired them to do.

I can only hope, that at some point in the future, their constituents replace them with someone who puts their constituents first.

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Filed under Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Throwback Thursday: The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992)

For people of a certain generation, The Jackson 5 were a large part of their early years. Which naturally beckoned Hollywood to tell their story via a television two part miniseries.

The Jacksons: An American Dream aired in 1992. Starring Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Joseph Jackson and Angela Bassett as Katherine Jackson, the viewer is introduced to the Jackson family, warts and all.

The problem with some programs of this ilk is that they can be over-dramatic. This can be done by either unnecessarily adding events that did not happen or making a low key piece of the timeline more dramatic than it needs to be. Granted, it is television, but I still found the story to be compelling. If everything that happened in this fictional adaption really happened, it certainly explains the public image of the family.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Music, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Flashback Friday: Fantasia (1940)

When a brand is successful, the easiest thing to do is to create factory line like replicas of the product that created that accomplishment. The harder thing to do is try something new.

In 1940, Disney temporarily broke away from what decades later would be their princess narratives and released a film that was and still is completely novel. Fantasia is a series of short films set to the music of classical composers.

What I like about this film is that it is different. The risk paid off. Though each individual narrative is able to stand on its own, it is the music that ties them all together in a seamless and entertaining fashion.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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New Randy Rainbow Video: MR. BIDEN (Bring My Vaccine) – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

If there is one word on everyone’s lips these days, it is “vaccine”. The questions of who can get the Covid-19 vaccine, where can we get it, how we can get an appointment, etc. are everywhere.

This is the theme of Randy Rainbow’s new video. Based on the classic doo-wop song, Mr. Sandman, the new video is entitled MR. BIDEN (Bring My Vaccine) – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody.

I love that Rainbow is staring to shift from the satirical criticism of you know who (which was and still is warranted) to a non-partisan perspective. If we are to be honest about the game of American politics, we must be open to the idea that all politicians, regardless affiliation should face public judgement when necessary. The idea that one side is flawless and the other side is completely wrong opens the door to mistrust, possible violence (as we saw on January 6th), and a country divided.

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Filed under Music, National News, Politics

The United States vs. Billie Holiday Review

There is something about the power of music. A beloved song has a way of making it’s way into the listeners brain, conscious, and perhaps helping to change things for the better.

Billie Holiday is one of the most beloved singers of the 20th century. Though it has been six decades since her physical form left this Earth, her performances and songs continue to leave a mark on fans. The new biopic about her life, The United States vs. Billie Holiday dropped yesterday on Hulu.

The film stars singer/actress Andra Day as Holiday, Garrett Hedlund as Harry J. Anslinger, and Trevante Rhodes as Jimmy Fletcher. The audience follows Holiday as she battles drug addiction, racism, and gets involved with FBI agent Jimmy Fletcher. Woven into the narrative is the iconic and dark song Strange Fruit, which sadly is as potent today as it was during Holiday’s life time.

I really wanted to like this film. Day’s performance is worthy of the accolades she is receiving. Unfortunately, that is where I have to draw the line. Frankly, I was bored. I wanted to be hooked, but I was not. Whatever tension and drama I anticipated was sadly lacking. Especially with Anslinger’s obsession and persecution of Billie Holiday. That should have been more exciting that it was actually was.

Do I recommend it? No.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Hulu, Movie Review, Movies, Music

Don’t Give Up: An uplifting video interview with Erin Walter, lead singer of band, Parker Woodland

Hear; Let's Listen

Album cover art from Parker Woodland’s 2019 EP The World’s On Fire (and We Still Fall in Love).

Earlier this month, I chatted with Erin Walter, lead singer of Austin, Texas punk-rock band Parker Woodland. From our conversation, I learned that virtual performances have made the touring process for musicians more comfortable. However, due to the increased accessibility of putting on remote performances, virtual tours can also quickly increase fatigue. Musicians can tire from balancing work and performance – even when it is all being completed from their home. Thus, Erin encourages self-care and taking breaks when necessary. Erin says, “To all the creative folks out there, take it one step at a time, rest when you need to rest, and don’t give up. Get your art out there when you are able. Whatever your timeline is, that is the right time.”

My conversation with Erin indeed raised my…

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Framing Britney Spears Review

Twenty years ago, Britney Spears was one of the biggest acts not just in music, but in the entertainment industry as a whole. She was everywhere. These days, its a different story.

The new Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears, premiered on Friday. The movie follows her life, career, and the #FreeBritney movement. Their claim is that that Spears no longer needs to be under the control of the conservatorship, currently held by her father. After her mental health issues became public in 2008, it was enacted for her safety. The claim of those interviewed is that Spears is perfectly capable of making her own decisions, and that the conservatorship is no longer needed.

I loved this movie. It shines a new light on how disgustingly she was treated both by the press and those who benefited from her time at the top of the pop culture food chain. The issue at the heart of this film is mental health, and how those who suffer (women especially) usually get the short end of the stick. If there was one sticking point, it was that if Spears was male, none of this would have ever been considered. But because she is a woman, she must be taken care of because it would be impossible that she is capable of making her own decisions.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Feminism, Hulu, Mental Health, Movie Review, Movies, Music

New Randy Rainbow Video: MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

It was not that long ago that fringe groups with out there ideas were just that. They lived in the corners of the internet that most of us didn’t even know about or consider looking at. Then you know who was elected.

Though he is out of office (Thank G-d), his influence still persists and will do so for a long time. The most obvious sign of his still lingering sway is Marjorie Taylor Greene. Randy Rainbow released his latest video today with her as the subject.

The song Rainbow is using is Evergreen from the 1976 adaptation of A Star is Born. If there was a way to insert his picture next the word “genius” in the dictionary, I would happily add it. Taylor Greene is not just your average Republican, her views are dangerous. It says something when Karl Rove, one of the big wigs of the party, called out his colleagues to do the right thing.

The fact is that this woman has to go. If she doesn’t, it will tell me everything about the Republican party that I will ever need to know.

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