Posts Tagged ‘Mary J. Blige’

Random Friday Thoughts — December 1, 2017

Welcome to December!

I hope you’re getting into the holiday spirit.  I am, but I’m also ready for this dreadful year to end and start anew in 2018.

While I’m glad the upcoming royal wedding is giving us a slight breather from mass shootings and the shameful cesspool of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, television news, and politics, I’m already over the talk of Prince Harry and his actress fiancee. *

With this comment, you can tell that starting anew and positive is still a month away. 🙂

* Oops, I spoke too soon.  After I wrote that paragraph earlier in the week, Matt Lauer was fired from “The Today Show”!

Thank you for taking the time to check out my “Random Friday Thoughts”!

“WORLD AIDS DAY”

December 1st is “World AIDS Day”.

It was started in 1988 to raise awareness about the spread of HIV and the AIDS pandemic.

World-AIDS-Day-2012_0

While we now have medications, when that taken properly, that allow those living with HIV to live a long, full life, that wasn’t always the case.

We still have a world of people that are still not being treated for HIV and AIDS because of the cost of medication and the fact that many in this country and the world don’t even know they’re infected with HIV.

People, if you’re sexually active (even in a relationship), get tested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HIV-POSITIVE & UNDETECTABLE

Great news coming in the fight against the spread of HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says that HIV-positive people that are being treated and with undetectable viral loads CANNOT spread the HIV virus to others.

This is fantastic news in the fight against HIV and for serodiscordant couples — where one is HIV-positive and one is HIV-negative.

While this is a huge step forward, people still need to be aware of the other sexually transmitted infections out there that are rampant in both the LGBT and straight communities!

THANKING PRESIDENT BUSH

While I agreed with a few things that President George W. Bush did as Texas Governor when I lived in Lubbock in 1997, we were usually at odds in our thinking process, especially when he was Commander-in-Chief.

STOP AIDS

One of the things I’m most proud of came in the early part of his presidency.

In his 2003 State of the Union message, President Bush committed $15 billion (that’s billions with a “B”) to fight AIDS in Africa in what would be knows as PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).

It’s still one of the biggest programs ever to fight a single disease by any country.

Thank you again, President Bush!

By the way, I still love former First Lady Laura Bush and I’d love to meet President and Mrs. Bush one day to chat!

Laura Bush

LOVE ANA’S HONESTY!

If you’re not familiar with Ana Navarro, she’s a Republican strategist and political commentator who’s not afraid to be honest — she doesn’t care what political party!

CONGRATS REBA!

Congratulations to Reba McEntire on the Grammys nomination for her first gospel album, “Sing It Now:  Songs of Faith & Hope”!

reba-faith

It earned a nomination in the BEST ROOTS GOSPEL ALBUM category.

While “Pray To God” didn’t get nominated, Reba is getting country radio airplay for the latest single, “God and My Girlfriends”!

It debuted on the Billboard Country Airplay chart at #54 and is expected to move up some week!

“CALL ME BY YOUR NAME”

“Call Me By Your Name”, the critically-acclaimed LGBT love story, is the movie that I most want to see.  But, it won’t be until early 2018 that I’ll get that chance since it’s only in limited release now.

However, it opened in four theaters last weekend and grossed an eye-opening $103,233 per screen average.

That was the biggest per screen average of 2017 and it was good enough to debut at #14 for the weekend ($412,932) — again, in just 4 theaters!!!

call me

“BEACH RATS”

While I await the wide release of “Call Me By Your Name”, I checked out “Beach Rats”, a movie that’s getting a lot of buzz, too.

It’s nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards — for Best Male Lead (Harris Dickinson) and Best Cinematography.

21-year-old East London newcomer Dickinson plays Frankie, a young man wasting away his summer hanging out with his friends on the Brooklyn boardwalk drinking, doing drugs, and watching fireworks.

This isn’t just a “coming-of-age” summer for Frankie.  His dad is dying of cancer and he’s secretly meeting older men for sex in public wooded areas.  The struggle with his sexuality is something he keeps from his girlfriend, his family, and his friends for much of the movie.

Dickinson is a bright new talent and earns the rave reviews he’s getting for his acting.  And, that has nothing to do with how cute he is or his gorgeous body! 🙂

GRADE:  A-

“MUDBOUND”

This poignant Netflix drama takes place in poverty-stricken and backwards Mississippi in the 1940s.

It tells the story of a white family with a racist patriarch that ends up having to live on the land of an African American family.

Casey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks lead an excellent cast.

However, the standouts are Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell, the two sons — one from each family — returning from war.  The friendship that forms between them is very touching.

I know it’s a period piece, but the frequency of use of the n-word, the blatant racism, and the graphic violence at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan are still painful to watch.  But, the movie is powerful.

I really wish I had seen more of Mary J. Blige.

If you check out “Mudbound”, stay for the amazing Blige song playing over the credits.

GRADE:  B

BINGE WATCH “THE BRAVE”

I’m really enjoying this freshman NBC action series.

The winter finale was very suspenseful and with the holidays, you have a chance to binge watch the nine episodes before it returns January 1, 2018!

For God & Country - Season Pilot

Here’s what I had to say about the series earlier in the fall:

I checked out one of the new fall series, “The Brave”, on NBC, mainly because I have a crush on Mike Vogel (“Cloverfield” and “Under The Dome”).  It was very entertaining and suspenseful and the pilot episode ended with a major cliffhanger, so I’ll be back next week to see what happens.

And, in November, I mentioned the series again and added, Still enjoying this thriller, yet it seems like every time they go up against terrorists, they always win without causalities.  That’s a good thing because this show has the most beautiful cast!

JAMES TAYLOR

Speaking of beautiful, I was just reading an old “Rolling Stone” magazine and came across this 1969 photo of James Taylor!  Holy moly!

JT 1969

You probably remember him from his hits “Fire and Rain” (#3, 1970) and “You’ve Got A Friend” (#1, 1971).

COUNTRY RADIO SHOWING A LITTLE LOVE FOR…

Shania Twain’s second single from “Now”, “We Got Something They Don’t” is getting some radio airplay at country stations.

The lead single, “Life’s About to Get Good” only reached #33 on Billboard Country, but it reached #12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

MOST PLAYED CHRISTMAS SONGS

Christmas music is taking over the airwaves now, especially at adult contemporary stations, which have gone to 24-hour holiday music.

Earlier this week, I shared the 10 most played Christmas songs last year, according to Nielsen Music.

Let me just say that I was shocked at what was #1!

It wasn’t “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey or, sadly, my favorite Christmas song, “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters.

The most played Christmas song last year was by a Puerto Rican singer.  It was released in 1970 and didn’t even crack the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 — it peaked at #44.

#1

Find out what that song is and if your guess was in the Top Ten!  Click on the link.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/oh-lord-christmas-music/

“LAST CHRISTMAS”

I don’t even want to think of my “Last Christmas” because it would sadden me.

However, this fun, upbeat, chic remake of the Wham! classic is okay to think about. 🙂

If you’ve never seen Cascada’s cool version, here it is.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Advertisements

Christmas Treasures “Mix 96.1” May Miss

If you live in the Quad Cities, Mix 96.1 is the “official Christmas station” and it started playing your holiday classics 24 hours a day through Christmas Day/

That’s too early for many (?) and perfect timing for some of us!

Christmas 2014

Yesterday, I shared my ten favorite Christmas songs and you’ll hear some of those on Mix 96.  Others, like Reba, you won’t!  What gives?  You don’t have to be a country station to play a “mix” of artists. 🙂

Here I’m going to share some of my more recent holidays songs (compared to the classic or more popular versions) that I’d love to see become standards. Some already get airplay and some don’t and may never.

So, today you’re listening to “A Peeps’ Christmas”.  This is what it’d sound like if I could program Mix 96 for a day this holiday season.  Once you venture through my list, you may find some that you’ll cherish and want to hear each Christmas.

MARIAH CAREY — “AULD LANG SYNE” — THE NEW YEAR’S ANTHEM

This one totally rocks!

LEONA LEWIS — “ONE MORE SLEEP”

KELLY CLARKSON, REBA McENTIRE, & TRISHA YEARWOOD — “SILENT NIGHT”

Incredible — even before Reba joins them!

STRAIGHT NO CHASER — “THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS” (LIVE)

MICHAEL BUBLE & MARIAH CAREY — “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU”

KYLIE MINOGUE — “WHITE DECEMBER”

CASCADA — “LAST CHRISTMAS”

MARIAH CAREY — “OH SANTA”

LADY ANTEBELLUM — “A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS”

MARY J. BLIGE — “RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER”

ERASURE — “THE CHRISTMAS SONG”

LeANN RIMES — “ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE”

KELLY CLARKSON — “UNDERNEATH THE TREE”

HANSON — “WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME”

KYLIE MINOGUE — “100 DEGREES” (This is new, but, so disco!)

BRITNEY SPEARS — “MY ONLY WISH (THIS YEAR)”

ANNIE LENNOX — “WINTER WONDERLAND”

JUSTIN BIEBER & MARIAH CAREY — “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU”

KELLY CLARKSON — “WRAPPED IN RED”

So, did  you find any new ones here you like?

Anthony

My Favorite Albums of 2013

Last week, I recapped my favorite albums of 2010 (“Night Work” by the Scissor Sisters), 2011 (“Femme Fatale” by Britney Spears) and 2012 (“MDNA” by Madonna).

Now it’s time to share my favorite albums of 2013.

20

LAURA PAUSINI

“20 GRANDES EXITOS”

20-Grandes-Éxitos-Laura-Pausini

19

DEPECHE MODE

“DELTA MACHINE”

Depeche-Mode-Delta-Machine-Album-Art-mala-1024x997

18

MARY J. BLIGE

“A MARY CHRISTMAS”

Mary-J.-Blige-A-Mary-Christmas-

17

ELI LIEB

“ELI LIEB”

eli_lieb

16

JOSH GROBAN

“ALL THAT ECHOES”

All_That_Echoes

15

MICHAEL BUBLE

“TO BE LOVED”

Michael Buble To Be Loved

14

ROBYN

“BODY TALK”

Since I was three year late to the bus on this one, here’s a bonus just in case you missed it, too.

13

EMELI SANDE

“OUR VERSION OF EVENTS”

Emeli Sande

12

ZEDD

“CLARITY”

zedd-clarity

11

AVICII

“TRUE”

Avicii True

On Thursday, I’ll have the Top Ten since I have a special Christmas letter for you tomorrow.

Anthony

“Rock of Ages” — Should You Choose Tom Cruise or Def Leppard?

This past spring, I was really excited about the new Tom Cruise movie musical, “Rock of Ages”.

As the June release date neared, I decided that instead of catching it at first-run theaters, I’d wait for it at the cheap theater.  Then, I decided I’d just wait for the DVD release in October.  Did I make the right choice to wait instead of going on a date night (with popcorn and soda) that would have cost more than $30.  Or, was the $1.05 I spent at Redbox all the movie was worth?

We rented it this past weekend and now I wish that I had gone to the theaters this summer to see it and hear the rocking soundtrack with theater sound!

It was very entertaining and the music soundtrack, although rock heavy, featured many of the staples of my teens years and my 20s!  It was heavy on Foreigner, Journey, Pat Benatar, Def Leppard,  along with a dose of Night Ranger, Joan Jett & The Blackearts, AC/DC, and many others.  That alone was worth the rental price!

The movie focus on a nightclub on the Sunset Strip, “The Bourbon Room”.  The owner, Dennis (Alec Baldwin) and his right-hand man, Lonny (Russell Brand), are trying to find a way to keep the rock club open despite the back taxes they owe.

If that wasn’t enough, the religious, conservative wife of the mayor (Bryan Cranston), Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is determined to close down the evil clubs on the Strip, starting with the Bourbon Room.

While not as compelling as she was in the movie, “Chicago”, Zeta-Jones is always a pleasure to watch and her kooky church musical number to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me Your Best Shot” is awesome.

The key to saving the club from closing down is getting difficult washed-up rock star, Stacee Jaxx, played by Tom Cruise, to perform his last concert with his band before he goes solo.

To prepare for the role, it’s reported that Cruise practiced his singing five hours a day to do his own vocals instead of lip-synching.  When Cruise was performing, he was mesmerizing.  However, his alcohol infused haze leading up to those musical numbers dragged on a little too long.

The stars of the movie, Julianne Hough (“Dancing With The Stars”, “Footloose”) and Diego Boneta (“Pretty Little Liars”, “Mean Girls 2”), are beautiful and fun to watch.  As Sherrie, Hough plays a small town Oklahoma girl heading to Los Angeles to be a star.  Boneta plays Drew, a barback at the Bourbon Room, just waiting in the background to gain enough confidence to perform in front of a crowd as a rocker.

The storyline is nothing new.  I’ve seen it before in “Coyote Ugly” and “Burlesque”, but nevertheless, it’s fun and fresh with rock and roll!  You know the two young, sexy people are going to crush on each other, maybe fall in love, have a misunderstanding, break up, and possibly reconcile?

After a chance encounter with Stacee Jaxx at the club the night of his performance, both Sherrie and Drew decide it’s time to move on.  She gets a broken heart and Drew lands a new recording contract.  But, that doesn’t mean things are great in his world.

Luckily, Sherrie gets a job at “The Venus Club” teaching “aerobics”.  (Not really!)  However, that gives us the chance to meet the owner of the club, Justice Charlier, played by the amazing, beautiful, talented, and electrifying Mary J. Blige.  The screen just lit up everytime Mary J. was singing and performing.

In its opening weekend, “Rock of Ages” placed third at the box office with $14.4 million.  It was pretty much panned by critics and only grossed $55.5 million and considered a failure.  The movie’s budget was $75 million.

Gretel was impressed by the whole rock musical plot line and went to Halloween party Saturday night as a rocker!

By the way, I only covered her eyes once in a steamy, well choreographed number between Stacee Jaxx and Constance Sack, a reporter for “Rolling Stone” magazine, played by Makin Akerman.

And, I guess I was ready for a rock musical before I even knew about this movie.  This picture is from last Halloween as I rocked Gretel’s Hermione Granger (“Harry Potter” series) wig.

Actually, that wig on me looked as bad as some of the wigs on the actors in the movie.

So, when it comes to “Rock of Ages”, should you choose Def Leppard’s 1983 #1 Billboard Rock track (#16 on the Billboard Hot 100) or this movie?  While I liked the Def Leppard song, “Rock of Ages”, I liked “Photograph” more.

I choose the movie.  “Rock of Ages” was very enjoyable and I would watch it again.  It didn’t break any new ground for musicals, but I didn’t go into it expecting that.  If you want to be entertained for two hours, definitely rent it.

GRADE:  B

Anthony