DCBigPappa's Blog

Politics & Pop Culture from a homocon.

Category Archives: Pop Culture

Christmas Music


I used to love Christmas music!  I looked forward to it every year.  I knew all of the songs, religious and secular.  They were fun, heartfelt and joyous.   But that was then.

Today, shopping malls start pumping in the “Christmas cheer” as early as October.  And the artists of today produce seasonal songs that, to be kind, is extremely lacking.

Much like the holiday itself, Christmas music — err, holiday songs have become so commercial.  These singers are churning out songs simply to make a buck.  Hey, that is the American way.  And as long as there’s a market for it, they will continue to do so.

To be fair, there have been a few songs here and there in recent years that will stand the test of time for the holidays.  Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and Bryan Adams’ “Something About Christmas Time” comes to mind.  But in my opinion, there hasn’t been a great release of a Christmas song, or songs since 1987’s A Very Special Christmas.

As a fundraising avenue for the Special Olypmics, A Very Special Christmas compiled songs from 15 of the biggest acts of the time.  Listening to this CD still holds up through the years.  Take a look at the amazing tracks below.

AVerySpecialChristmas

Sharon Osbourne on Justin Bieber


This screen shot is completely stolen from my buddy Billy Masters.

NPH Inks Book Deal


NPH — or Neil Patrick Harris to the common man — has inked a deal with Crown Archetype to write a memoir.  Now he can add “Author” to his many, many monikers.

 

 

Bourne Tops, but It Ain’t Pretty


All of my friends know that I’m a Bourne fan.  A fanatic, really.  I own all three original Bourne movies on DVD and have watched each one a dozen times or more.  I have eight of the ten Bourne books on my Kindle Fire — three by the originally author, the amazing Robert Ludlum, and five from Eric Van Lustbader.

The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment of the masterful Bourne series brought in a cool $40.3 million during its opening weekend.  Me and my good buddy Jake were among the masses of those who couldn’t wait to see how Hollywood would branch out the series that Matt Damon brought to the big screen.

Hoping to see this Jeremy Renner-led pic at the Uptown Theater, our first wave of disappointment came when we found out the Uptown would still be showing The Dark Knight Rises for a third week.  So we opted for Regal Cinema’s Gallery Place/Chinatown location.

We started the early evening off with cigars at Shelly’s Backroom with some other friends.  After enjoying a pair of Dominican Partagas Fabulosos, we then walked the six blocks to the Verizon Center complex.

Arriving just before show time to a packed house, we had to take seats near the front of the auditorium.

Because it had to retell a familiar story from a different angle, the beginning dragged a little.  It then delved into a subplot of Renner’s Aaron Cross character being a super charged junkie in need of a fix; travelling half of the globe to get it.

Tony Gilroy, the new director, tried to do too much in this film.  While Paul Greengrass (director of Supremacy and Ultimatum) was focus, albeit with no steady-cam, Gilroy jumps all over the place.  Literally.  From the Alaska wilderness scenes, to the murder-suicide in the government lab, to Manila shanties of the Philippines, it’s not focused.

Towards the end, there is the obligatory yet masterful chase scene.  This is one of the highlights of the film.  It is also something that the series is known for.  But then the movie abruptly ends, setting it up for an obvious sequal.  There’s no closure, no cliffhanger, nothing.

And what a travesty to hold Joan Allen’s Pamela Landy to very last minutes of the film before bringing her out?  Of course, I now expect her to have a vital and pivotal role in the next installment, with her trial for treason.

Two and half hours later, we left somewhat disappointed.

To be fair, I did enjoy some of it.  But I found it lacking.  Yet I will likely see it again to try to pick up things I missed the first time around.

When Divas Attack!


Wow!  the bitch is back, and he’s being vile, bitter, and slightly on point.

Queerty, reports some pretty vicious quotes from an aging Sir Elton John about an also aging Madonna.  It’s been obvious for some time that Elton and Madge don’t like each other.  But the vitriol in this latest dust up is quite stirring.  The following are not for delicate eyes.

Quote #1

“If Madonna had any common sense she would have made a record like Ray Of Lightand stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and make great pop records, which she does brilliantly. But no, she had to go and prove… she looks like a fucking fairground stripper.”

Quote #2
“Why is she such a nightmare? Sorry, her career is over. Her tour has been a disaster and it couldn’t happen to a bigger cunt.”

That Dee-lux Apartment in the Sky


Last night, I learned that the actor who played one of my most beloved characters on television in the 70s and 80s passed away.  Sherman Hensley (1938-2012) originated the role of George Jefferson on All in the Family, and went on to star in the most successful of seven spins-offs — The Jeffersons.

For eleven years, I would anticipate George Jefferson strutting into or out of a scene, yelling for or arguing with his wife, “Weezie,” (Isabel Sanford) and ALWAYS fighting with their maid, Florence (Marla Gibbs) and neigbor, Helen (Roxy Roker — mother of Lenny Kravitz).  Hensley would later star in the church comedy Amen.

Today, in an age of few TV theme songs, I doubt I can find anyone over the age of 30 who doesn’t know all of the words to that Ja’net Dubois opening,   Will Smith even references the song in his 1998 mega hit, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It.  (Now they give it to me nice and easy/Since I moved up like George and Weezie).

It was on this show that I first heard the iconic song, Georgia on my Mind.  It was during an episode when they first introduced Weezie’s sister, Georgia.

And for good measure…

Two Dads are Better Than None


Don’t Hate Them Because They’re Beautiful, Cool, & Awesome Dads.  Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka with their two kids.  I love this picture!

New TV show: Political Animals


Earlier this week, a dear friend of mine invited me to a private pre-screening she was hosting of the USA Network’s new series, Political Animals, staring Sigourney Weaver as a former presidential candidate & current Secretary of State.  Let me just say that Ms. Weaver looks absolutely AMAZING!

The short run series (I guess this is the new term for mini-series) premiere this Sunday (July 15).  The show navigates the worlds of politics & family – & women’s roles within them.  Let’s see how long it takes you to place the Sigourney’s character with a real-life person.

It’s pretty good.  I am actually looking forward to watching it again this weekend and tuning in each week.

From the press release…

USA Network, the #1 cable network, is set to launch a new limited series, Political Animals, which focuses on a former First Family & what happens as they continue to navigate the fast-moving political waters of Washington, DC & their complicated personal lives. While completely fictional, the series explores very real issues pertaining to women’s leadership & difficult balancing acts women in power often face: career & family, public & private, integrity & ambition.

From the acclaimed TV & film producers Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters, Jack & Bobby) & Laurence Mark (Working Girl, Jerry Maguire, Dreamgirls, Julie & Julia), the provocative series (six episodes) will tap into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of a high profile political dynasty & all of the traps & trappings that come with the long & bright spotlight.

Is Young Hollywood Really This Stoopid?


Chuck Brown, Donna Summer – GONE!


We seem to be losing music royalty left and right! Last night we found out about the passing of the God-Father of Go Go Chuck Brown. And today while out to lunch, I heard of the passing of the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer.

Most people, unless you are into the DC music scene, aren’t familiar with Chuck Brown or Go Go-style music — an early form of hip-hop. Go Go style gathered wide-spread notice in 1988, when E.U. busted out with Da Butt, from the School Daze soundtrack. Then his signature track was sampled in Nelly’s 2002 mega hit, Hot in Herre (“I feel like bustin’ loose, and I feel like touchin’ you”).

To put it in context, Chuck Brown is to DC was Stevie Ray Vaughan was to Austin, TX.

Then there is Donna Summer. I don’t even know where to begin. I first fell in love with her music with the soundtrack from Thank God It’s Friday, a little known 70s movie with an amazing musical line up – Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Thelma Houston, just to name a few.

Then there was the video-fave She Works Hard for the Money. But of course, going back in time, there were the greats like MacArthur Park, Love to Love You Baby, Hot Stuff, and Bad Girls. Whew! That girl could sing!!! She had a couple of comeback hits with This Time I Know It’s for Real (1989), I Will Go with You (Con te partirò) (1999), and Stamp Your Feet (2008).

Both Chuck Brown and Donna Summer sure did work hard for their money. Rest in peace.

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