13 Bold Predictions for 2013

1.  A RiRi – Chris Brown sextape leaks/is released.  It replaces the Tommy – Pam sextape as the holy grail of celebrity sextapes.

2.  Like 2011 was the year of Gosling, and 2012 was the year of Tatum, 2013 is the year of Elba as Idris Elba becomes a major star critically and commercially .

3.  Justin Timberlake gets major Oscar buzz.

4.  At least five perennial All-Star baseball players (including one former MVP) test positive for PEDs, reigniting the steroids in baseball conversation.

5.  Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne retire from rap (neither retirement sticks).  Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.

6.  Watch this trailer:

This is how it ends, *M. Night Shyamalan Twist*: It is training.

7.  The ABC Jimmy Kimmel to 11:35 shift is a debacle, which prompts Kimmel to bitterly leave ABC.  At the same time, health problems force Letterman into an early retirement and Kimmel takes over the Late Show.

8.  Apple stock plummets (relatively speaking).

9.  Something happens that drastically changes our perception of Barack Obama.  In a positive way.

10.  People stop using Facebook.

11.  Tiger Woods wins his first Major since 2008.

12.  Trinidad James becomes the 2013 version of 2 Chainz.

13.  Joesph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel start dating.  Hipster everywhere rejoice.

Drizzy Madness Retrospective

A while back I did a little thing called Drizzy Madness.  With over a thousand views it’s easily my most popular post to date.  That said, almost everyone I talk to about it, makes clear they did not agree with the final outcome or, for that matter, most of the bracket itself.

Now four months removed I can look at it with fresh eyes and say I did make some pretty egregious errors, though I do stand by most of my picks.  Here’s my breakdown of my biggest mistakes and a defense of my most controversial picks.

First Round 

Forgive Me

Find Your Love (1) vs The Ride (16):  While I still maintain that The Ride is tremendously underrated and Find Your Love is equally played out, I still should have showed Find Your Love some respect.

HYFR (4) vs Dreams Money Can Buy (13) :  HYFR should have beat DMCB.  I don’t really have a good excuse to why I didn’t picked HYFR.  I still really like the DMCB sample but I totally overlooked the subversive anthem-y-ness of HYFR.  Looking back at the bracket I could say with some confidence that HYFR probably should have made the Elite Eight.

I Will Not Apologize

Up All Night (4) vs The Resistance (13):  Sure, if Up All Night comes on Hot 97 I’m not going to change it but Nicki’s verse is still weaksauce.

Light Up (6) vs Paris Morton Music (11):  On the surface picking against Jay in the first round seems like blasphemy, but like Drizzy and Jay’s first collaboration Off That, Light Up just didn’t live up to the hype.

Who Should Have Went Further

Say What’s Real (7):  If you read my original post, you could tell I had a hard time picking against Say What’s Real.  It should have beaten Over.

Houstaltanvegas (11):  I’m just going say it, Houstatlantavegas should have been in the Final Four.  My bad.

Who I Stand By

Fear (8):   I took a lot of grief over knocking out Best I Ever Had in the second round, but I stand by Fear being a Final Four caliber track.  It’s an all-time great headphones track.

9 AM in Dallas:  It beat Forever AND Shut It Down, two tracks a lot of people thought had a claim at the top spot.  I respond simply by saying 9 AM is one of Drake’s best pure lyrical performances.  And I’m not alone in that assertion (exhibit 1) (exhibit 2).

Defending The Champ

Here’s where I took the most crap.  It seemed no one agreed that Marvin’s Room should have been crowned champ.  Even more, most people didn’t even think it deserved a spot in the Final Four.  The prevailing feeling was that Shut It Down, Best I Ever Had or Houstatlantavegas should have taken the top spot.  Here’s what I say to those people, if aliens came down to Earth tomorrow and said to you, “In six minutes explain to me everything about Drake.”  You could play Marvin’s Room and they would immediately get the picture.  “Oh, he’s a sort of rapper slash whiny singer, who’s kind of bitch but also sort of endearing, who’s still hung up on his ex-girlfriend even though he seemingly has sex all the time and for some reason he tapes a lot of his private phone calls.  Is that all?”  Then you would take your remaining 13 seconds and say, “Yea, and he also threw a champagne bottle at Chris Brown’s head.”  And that would be it, they would know everything they need to know about Drake in six minutes.  That’s why Marvin’s Room is Drizzy’s #1 song.

The Five Greatest Marriages of All-Time

5.  James Carville and  Mary Matalin

So what if James Carville draws a striking resemblance to Golem from Lord of the Rings?  So what if he may have framed Roger Rabbit?  And so what if Mary Matalin is contractually obligated to only wear clothing in pantsuit form?  Shakespeare had  Romeo and Juliet, we have Carville and Matalin.  Instead of the Montagues and the Capulets, it’s the Bushs and the Clintons.  In the 1992 presidential election, Carville was campaign manager for Bill Clinton while Matalin was campaign manager for George H.W Bush.  In 1993 they were married.  In 2012, they still don’t agree and they’re still adorable.

4.  Jay-Z and Beyonce

Watch the 03 Bonnie & Clyde video.  Now watch the Crazy in Love video.  You just watched arguably the two coolest people in the world, and they’re married.  Think about that for a second and let it set in, THE TWO COOLEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE MARRIED.  I guess that makes sense, but I still can’t quite wrap my head around it, shouldn’t a relationship have some sort of “cool quota”?  It’s just unfair.  When they’re not making platinum albums or selling out stadiums, they’re hanging out at the White House with Barry and Michelle or kicking it with Gwyneth and Chris or just chopping it up with O.  To reiterate these are two coolest people IN THE WORLD, and yeah, they just combined chromosomes to make a baby AKA Blue Ivey AKA the future leader of the free world.

3.  Brad and Tori

Who says you can’t find love on reality TV?  Brad was on The Real World San Diego (the original), Tori was on Road Rules 2007: Viewers Revenge (anyone else remember Road Rules?), they met on RW/RR Challenge: The Gauntlet III (MTV’s best piece of programming EVER).  Brad played the consummate good guy (albeit a bit dim) who ALWAYS got screwed in the end (and was the ONLY worthy foil to CT).  Tori was the beauty queen/emotional wreck.  After eight Challenges, three finals and one of the greatest Challenge moments ever, Brad finally won (with Tori at his side of course), had a baby and retired from reality TV.  To Brad and Tori (yeah, that’s Wes, Evan and Cameran in the wedding party).

2.  Clair and Cliff Huxtable

I don’t often use this word, but there’s only one word that accurately describes Cliff Huxtable.  And that word is, SWAG.  Combine Cliff’s swag with Clair’s class and you get one of the greatest marriages ever.  A marriage that yielded four of the coolest kids around and Vanessa.  I can’t explain it, just watch:

What did I tell you?  SWAG.

1.  John and Donna Massaro

This picture was taken thirty years ago today on my parent’s first wedding anniversary.  Yep, that makes today my parent’s 31st Anniversary.  And they have unequivocally the greatest marriage of all time.  I put full blame on them for my disillusions of love at first sight and believing in “one true loves.”  They’re in their sixties now and I can still catch them making out on the couch, which is mostly gross but still sort of endearing.  They still go out dancing at least once a week.  They still take trips out east to visit the wineries or head into the city to catch a Broadway show.  But most nights they just sit next to each other and watch their shows on CBS until my Dad falls asleep on the couch and my mother wakes him and tells him to come up to bed.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.  Not to be overly sentimental, but I think all I want, is what they have.

The Sunglasses Hall of Fame: Sunglasses and Advil

A few months ago I began curating the first ever Sunglasses Hall of Fame. The Sunglasses Hall of Fame will honor those who have shown a steadfast appreciation for sunglasses, have pushed sunglass culture further and have influenced the current sunglass  landscape.   

Tom Cruise was the inaugural member to the Sunglasses Hall of Fame.  Today, he will welcome a second member.

Mr. Kanye Omari West.

In the 21st century no man has put his stamp on Sunglass culture more than Kanye West.  Whether it’s single-handedly bringing back shutter shades (picture below) or unabashedly wearing sunglasses inside, at night or anytime he pleases, he continues to drip swagu.

Classic Kanye Sunglass Moments include:

Stronger
Gold Digger
808s and Heartbreaks
2007 VMAs

G.O.O.D. Music Cypher
2008 Grammy’s
Vman Cover
All of the Lights

Congratulations to Kanye West on joining The Sunglasses Hall of Fame.

Crossing My Fingers

I graduated college a little over two years ago.  I got the first job I interviewed for, like most first jobs the plan was do that for a while, keep applying, keep interviewing, get a job I actually wanted and start my fabulous post-grad life.

I applied/interviewed for a bunch of jobs I had absolutely no interest in  (mostly, administration assistant, legal assistant, and data entry positions), and, apparently, the feeling was mutual.  No new job offers.  Then I got fired from NBC.  Kept applying.  Kept interviewing.  Still no bites.

The other day, for the first time in a while, I interviewed for a job that actually interested me/I want.  The job is at Mom and Pop Music.  An independent music label that features Metric, Neon Indian and, one of my favorite new(ish) bands, Sleigh Bells, among others. (*Quick aside* Sleigh Bell’s Treats is one of my favorite albums of 2010 the last four years, I credit it with opening me up to new types of music (like indie pop and indie rock) and allowing me to become more confident in my musicial tastes/opinions *aside over*.)  If I get the job, I will be working under Michael Goldstone, the guy who signed Pearl Jam. (*Another quicker aside* Pearl Jam’s Ten > Nirvana’s Nevermind *aside over*.)  The job would include the typical minutiae, answering phones, scheduling, yada yada yada, but would also include, going to shows, researching new talent and working with artists, so, yeah, I’m interested.

I walked into the trendy midtown office, the walls lined with albums and CDs, staffed with a bunch of twenty-somethings,  and greeted by an attractive young woman wearing a summery pink dress with black polka dots.  The first thing she said, “Sorry the office is so empty, everyone’s at Lollapollaza.”  Can you see why my interest is growing?

The girl in the pink dress interviewed me.  It was only a twenty minute interview (not a good sign).  But, I don’t think it was terrible.  I mean, I’ve had worse. There was no attack of flop sweat, I didn’t have a case of the”umms” (I’ve had experience with both).  It was also far from my best effort, a few jokes landed flat, and of course she asked me my least favorite interview question of all time.  “Tell me about yourself?”  Well, I came in fifth in fantasy football league last year and considering my late season injuries, I was proud of that.  I watch a lot of late night television while falling asleep on my parents couch.  I’ve been listening to Passion Pit’s Gossmaer incessantly for the last week.  I actually did say that last thing, it felt appropriated, but really, what am I suppose to say?

Anyway, I just sent the, “thank you for your time, I hope to hear back from you,” post-interview e-mail, basically the Hail Mary e-mail of the interview process.  The e-mail that says, “ignore my lack of experience, my middling interview and, instead, be impressed by my politeness.”

Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe I’m about to start my fabulous Post-Grad life or maybe I’m doomed for a Post-Grad dystopia on my parents couch.

Crossing my fingers for the former.

Summer’s Not Over Yet…

Last night, in the doldrums of boredom (that doesn’t make sense, but I like the way it sounds), I made a Dope-Ass-Summer-Soundtrack.

Am I three months late? Yea, but who cares?  We still have August.

It’s forty tracks, designed for barbecues, block parties, bonfires and beaches.

It came to me in a whirlwind, it took only fifteen minutes to compose.  It’s my proudest moment of the summer (slow summer).

If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ll be a bit surprised on the song selection.

(SPOILER ALERT: No Hip-Hop/Rap Tracks).

Without further adieu (or is it “without further ado” (?)).

Enjoy!