Category Archives: Music

Google Salutes Birth of Hip Hop With Interactive Doodle

Cey Adams with his Doodle sketch. Credit: Google

*Can you believe its been 44-years since the birth of Hip Hop? Well, for those of us who would know; those who recall the first utterance of the new age form of music, it wasn’t actually called hip hop. 

It was just plain rap.

Suffice it to say that it will bring joy to your heart to know that the giant known as Google is paying homage to this music genre with a commemorative doodle. 

The artist behind the image is none other than Cey Adams — a visual artist and founding creative director of Def Jam records.

The folks at Google actually sat down with the players that came up with the whole idea to pay tribute to Hip Hop in this way.

I recall the early days of rap (Hip Hop’s predecessor). I was living in the Bronx, New York, and my homies and I got down with rap forefathers Run-D.M.C., Whodini, Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and The Sugarhill Gang. Little did we know that one day the music coming out of our little neighborhood would be — what’s the word?

Iconic.

Judging from what “The Keyword Team” of Google learned, what had happened was… Continue reading

Take a Look! O, The Oprah Magazine ‘Share the Adventure’ Cruise Was Awesome! (Photos)

A VIEW FROM THE TOP. Sailing from Seattle on Share the Adventure Cruise, ms Eurodam. Photo courtesy HAL.

*For those of us who didn’t get the memo, from the looks of things Oprah and guests who did had an O-mazing time on the ‘Share the Adventure’ cruise that brought together some of the world’s foremost visionaries for an entire week as they set sail from Seattle to Alaska. 

It was a week chock full of talks and activities aboard “ms Eurodam” and along with partners at the Holland America Line, O, The Oprah Magazine, is now sharing the adventure with the rest of us in an array of exclusive photos and video.

Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line welcome guests to ms Eurodam for Share the Adventure Cruise. Photo courtesy HAL.

 Throughout the week guests took part in morning meditation with yoga instructor Sara Ivanhoe and explored eating well with Impatient Foodie founder Elettra Wiedemann. 

Morning Yoga! Photo courtesy HAL.
Elettra Wiedemann, author of the new Impatient Foodie cookbook and blog leads a session of Let’s Eat! during Share the Adventure Cruise. Photo courtesy HAL.

O, The Oprah Magazine editor in chief Lucy Kaylin and editor at large Gayle King shared a peek behind the scenes of the award-winning magazine, explaining how they bring the pages to life.

Doesn’t Oprah’s BFF and O, The Oprah Magazine editor-at-large, Gayle King, look great? Photo courtesy HAL.

Kaylin and books editor Leigh Haber each led conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winner and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout for the first-ever O’s Reading Room.

Author Elizabeth Strout signs copies of her book for excited guests. Photo courtesy HAL.

After viewing scenic Glacier Bay, Oprah Winfrey took to Eurodam’s Mainstage to host A Conversation with Oprah.  Speaking at two full-house engagements, Winfrey shared her journey to success, her self-proclaimed ‘Year of Adventure’ and the desire for this cruise to be the start of something meaningful for those on board.

Photo courtesy HAL.

“We are in the business of trying to expand the way people see themselves and their lives, and that’s what travel does,” explained Winfrey.

“I want it to be more than just a trip.  I want it to be the start of something big that started with this adventure of a lifetime that fuels and feeds in a way that is grand and deep and wide,” she added

Gayle King (left) Editor at Large, O, The Oprah Magazine, chats with SuperSoul 100 and fitness evangelist Angela Davis and answers questions from fans. Photo courtesy HAL.
India.Arie performed. Here she engages with the crowd. Photo courtesy HAL.
Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford (left) and O, The Oprah Magazine Editor at Large Gayle King (right), lead teams at the Game Night competition. Photo courtesy HAL.

“The first cruise in our partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine was tremendous; the energy and inspirational atmosphere on Eurodam was felt by all and truly something special,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

“The incredible caliber of talent and performances on the Share the Adventure Cruise exceeded expectations, and we leave this week with a lifetime of memories and lessons on how to live your best life.”

International fitness evangelist Angela Davis motivates guests aboard ms Eurodam. Photo courtesy HAL.

The July 15 cruise was the first of several special cruises with Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine. Four additional Adventure of Your Life cruises with SuperSoul 100 Members (to be announced) will set sail as follows:

• November 29, 2017 – 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Koningsdam.
• March 3, 2018 – 7-Day Tropical Caribbean roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
• August 11, 2018 – 7-Day Alaska roundtrip from Seattle on ms Eurodam.
• October 28, 2018 – 7-Day Eastern Caribbean roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.

 
In addition, more than 300 Holland America Line cruises sailing from North America from August 2017 through 2018 will offer a variety of engaging activities developed with the magazine’s editors and designed to nourish body and soul.

Daddy Yankee Officially Becomes First Latin Artist To Reach Number One On Spotify

In an email to The Associated Press last week, Spotify announced that Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, also known as Daddy Yankee, is officially the first Latino artist to reach the music streaming service’s number one spot.

With hits such as Gasolina, Despacito, and Shaky Shaky, Daddy Yankee surpassed Ed Sheeran, who previously held the coveted number-one spot, according to USA Today. Continue reading

Catch Awesome ChamberSoul Cellist, Shana Tucker & Women’s Work at L.A.’s World Stage This Weekend!

*LOS ANGELES, CA (July 14, 2017) – ChamberSoul cellist/singer-songwriter Shana Tucker returns to The World Stage in historic Leimert Park Village on Friday, July 21, 2017 with her newest project, “Women’s Work: A SisterCentric Musical Collective”. The ensemble will also feature Steph Johnson (guitar/vocals), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), Melonie Grinnell (piano), and Rob Thorsen (bass).

Women’s Work empowers audiences and communities through lyrical storytelling. “We seek to share stories about life, love and the human condition…in an empowering way, from a woman’s perspective, but also specifically as female artists thriving in this male-dominated music industry,” says Tucker of the anticipated program. “Each musician contributes a unique voice to the program of original compositions and arrangements with influences spanning jazz, soul, R&B, and acoustic pop genres.”

Tucker first appeared at The World Stage in October 2016 with jazz saxophonist/composer, Bennie Maupin and his ensemble. Her debut CD, “SHiNE” was released in 2015 (Jazz Urbane Records).Touted by JazzTimes Magazine as a jazz talent “…whose imprint and vitality has already been quite visible…” Shana’s style and sound has been described as a blend of Dianne Reeves, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman, with an efficient complexity reminiscent of Bill Withers. Continue reading

Peek-A-Boo! Ever Wonder What ‘Chandelier’ Singer, Sia, Looks Like Without That Wig? (Photo)

*Sia! What the hell do you look like under that wig? It’s a brilliant strategy to spark curiosity (telling us we can’t see something, just makes us want to all the more); kind of reminiscent of Michael Jackson making his kids wear masks.  ‘Chandelier,’ from her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, took over the radio airwaves when it debuted as the album’s lead single in March 2014. But the song has become the backdrop of many a workout regimen — including this writer’s. Sia also stands out because not only is she one helluva vocalist, but unlike most of today’s hot-to-trot singers, the singer/songwriter born Sia Kate Isobelle Furler in Austrailia is older than most of her colleagues. At 41-years-old, she is sought after by some of today’s hottest producers. In fact, she has written hits for numerous recording artists, and is featured on records by Eminem, Kendrick Lamarr, Flo Rider, Pusher T and Kanye West.

But her love of wigs is not for the reason you might think.  Continue reading

El Capitan in Hollywood Presents ‘The Lion King Sing-Along!’

*Remember how much fun you had the first time you saw ‘The Lion King?’ Now imagine being in a beautiful theatre, seeing it on the big screen again, and being able to sing each song out loud with others in the audience. Wow! The time has come and the place will be Hollywood’s historic El Capitan Theatre August 4-20th.

But tickets are on sale now.

Ed Collins, General Manager at The El Capitan Theatre said, “Disney created an instant classic with the original release of ‘The Lion King’ in 1994 and its popularity has never wavered. We are thrilled to offer a whole new way to enjoy this beloved Disney film at The El Capitan Theatre. Who can resist singing along to such unforgettable songs as “Hakuna Matata,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life”?  “THE LION KING SING-ALONG” will also include a special live appearance by Timon on The El Capitan Theatre stage before every show. There is simply no better way to experience the laughter, music and majesty of this Disney masterpiece.” Continue reading

Tracy Nicole Chapman is Sister Rosetta Tharpe in ‘Shout Sister Shout’ at Pasadena Playhouse

Tracy Nicole Chapman rehearses in ‘Shout Sister Shout’ at Pasadena Playhouse. —
Photo by Nathaniel Peterson

*Pasadena Playhouse has announced the cast and creative team for the world premiere musical SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Created and directed by Randy Johnson, who wrote and directed the hit Broadway musical A Night With Janis Joplin, with book by Cheryl West (Play On!). SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! tells the story about the life and music of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train,” and “Strange Things Happen Every Day.” Tharpe, known as The Godmother of Rock & Roll, was a trailblazer in the history of American music and influenced some of the greatest Rock & Roll and R&B singers of all time, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and Johnny Cash.

Tracy Nicole Chapman (Little Shop of Horrors, Caroline, or Change, Into the Woods, The Lion King) will bring Sister Rosetta Tharpe to life in the starring role. Continue reading

How To Avoid A Hole In Your Face Courtesy Of Your Neighborhood Brown Recluse Spider

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*Imagine waking up from a sound sleep the way country singer Meghan Linsey did recently:  with an “awful” stinging pain in her face.

She’d just been bitten by a brown recluse spider. She’d awakened to the little guy dying in her hand.  

Sadly, Linsey did not develop super strength, agility, nor the ability to swing through the city via webs spun from her wrists.  

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“The swelling was the first thing, and then I ended up just having crazy, crazy symptoms,” Linsey said.  “I had muscle spasms, and I had a body rash all over.”

Just over a week later, she developed an open wound at the site of the bite, which she called “a hole on my face.”

That’s what I’d call it too.  This MF took a chunk outta her CHEEK!   Continue reading