Saturday, September 01, 2007

82: Zappa

Can work concerts, recording sessions, tours, special events.
Reasonable freelance rates.
Open to on-staff positions, consulting, and
one-time gigs.
Hip to international scene, French flair.
A decade of experience.

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The Presidential Election Campaign Period May Just Now Officially Kick Off, But The A-List Is Always Raring To Go! Issue #82.


A NEW DANCE...It looks like Forest Whitaker is taking no prisoners after the Oscar. Not only as an actor but wielding a bit of much needed multicultural power in Tinseltown. Homeboy has gotten himself together to restructure his production company, Spirit Dance Entertainment. The last film the company produced was 2005's American Gun. However, Spirit Dance now has Powder Blue on its slate for 2008. Now in pre-production, Timothy Linh Bui (Green Dragon) will direct the film about four Los Angelenos--a mortician, an ex-con, a suicidal ex-priest, and stripper--brought together on Christmas Eve by circumstance. Already signed on are Jessica Beil, Patrick Swayze, Ray Liotta, Kris Kristofferson. Executive producer Whitaker will star as well. We hope that Spirit pumps it up; it would be great to see a fully active Black star-powered production company in the mix.

ACTION!...When it comes to breaking new stars, no one can underestimate the power of the music video. So, for the second year in a row, Glamour Magazine has done its part in giving new talent a much-needed break. Under Glamour Reel Music, the mag invites an established artist to select a winner from an array of applicants who she thinks will be the hottest ingenue and then the star directs the newbie's video. This year, Ciara handpicked three: Paula Campbell, Tiffany Evans and Samantha Jade. The final winner was selected by an online voting, last month. Drum roll: Campbell was the winner. Now Ciara has just crafted Campbell's first music video--"Ain't Nobody Stupid." Campbell, who is working on her debut CD, actually already had a contract with Sony/Columbia. The Ciara directed video can be seen online and on the various music video shows. Word has it that Ciara was so comfortable commanding the set that she can't wait to do more directing. Be on the the lookout.

SUMMER CHUCKLE...Need to indulge in a little fun guilty pleasure? Well, unfortunately the broadcast debut has already taken place, but be sure to look for the re-broadcasts of TBS' "World's Funniest Commercials." How they find such crazy commercials from around the world is beyond us but perfect for a chuckle to end out the summer.

ROOM FOR ONE...Are you ready for another non-threatening Black Hollywood idol? Well, it seems to us that the industry gods have been grooming Nick Cannon to claim a sort of Will Smith Jr. position in Hollywood. You know, everybody loves 'em, easy going, jester with no problem mixing it up in mainstream circles. Not sure if anyone has noticed or not but since he earned the coveted Studio Magazine award for “Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award” at Cannes for his role in last year’s film Bobby, Cannon is being prime-positioned the next Smith. And all we have to say to that is: Nice work if you can get it, the old adage goes. Thing is, however, it's just a shame we don't seem to get "the bad boy," the "mark of excellence," the sex god"--the full array of young urban Hollywood like the mainstream does. Just food for thought.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS..Nary a brown face in sight, but we have to hand it to TNT's "The Company," that hot series covering the rise and unforgivable mistakes of the CIA. It definitely gets the award for "gripping." Tune in.

FASHION DON'T...With major involvement from Vogue, you'd think CBS's upcoming "Fashion Rocks" special (Sept. 7th,) would be on point. But we're confused about which is supposed to celebrate the genre's influence on fashion. This itself is odd, since everyone knows that these days Hip-Hop inspired Urban wear is what is really rocking. But that's not the only thing which is confusing. It's the performance lineup: Alicia Keys (R&B), Fergie (Pop/Hop Hop), Carrie Underwood (Country), Usher (Urban), Jennifer Hudson (R&B), Jennifer Lopez (Urban Pop), Ludacris (Rap), and Martina McBride (Country). The only rockers are Aerosmith, Santana, Avril Lavigne, and Fall Out Boy. CBS: Bite the bullet, have a show highlighting Urban music's influence on fashion--you won't be sorry. Need a clue? Last week's MAGIC convention in Vegas would have given you a few hints.

BEING SEEN...Love checking out the latest celebrity images? Well, visit Picture Perfect Agency at for your fix.


ALL EYEZ ON ME...It's one of the probing questions of our time--will the real murder of Tupac Shukur ever be revealed? Well, a new DVD about to hist stores on Sept. 13 claims to have uncovered new information about the rapper/actor's killing. The new documentary film Tupac: Assassination, a Bond-Age Films and Step-N-Up Enterprises production distributed by Eyecon/Fontana, lays out the entire murder conspiracy plot surrounding the tragic murder of Tupac. Written/directed by RJ Bond and executive produced by Bond and Frank "Big Frank" Alexander (Tupac's former bodyguard) unfolds as a compelling whodunit.

THE COME UP...Speaking of Hip Hop DVDs, Legal Hustal Records has just announced the release of Cormega Presents Who Am I? In stores Oct. 23, this, say producers, is the first documentary DVD to take an inside look into the life a popular rap artist such as Cormega. Executive produced by Cormega and filmed by Jordan Tower, it covers four years of Cormega's life. The DVD package also includes five previous unreleased music videos and will be accompanied by a soundtrack
NBC Universal Drops ITunes
NBC Universal has cancelled its iTunes contract and says it will withdraw the television shows it currently offers through the service in December, when the current contract expires. This comes after Apple rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing. In turn, Apple issued a statement saying it was dropping NBC. It said it's doing so because NBC wanted Apple to "pay more than double the wholesale price" for each NBC TV episode, which would have upped user costs to $4.99 per episode, up from $1.99 presently.


Zappa on Zappa, L.A.

For fans of Frank Zappa who haven't yet caught "Zappa on Zappa" (ZPZ) on tour, you just might want to scoop up tickets because you will certainly not be disappointed. Dweezil Zappa is not only a talented musician in his own right, but somehow uncannily embodies even almost the same technique as his father. But this is not simply a re-hashing of or homage-of-sorts to a deceased icon. While true to an unbelievably huge spectrum of Zappa senior's work, somehow this group of talented musicians make each song their own. The level of expertise, energy and enthusiasm does not wane for a second even though the show is at least three hours long! Weaving in video of Frank Zappa occasionally with beautiful lighting and impeccable sound, ZPZ is a treat for all Zappa fans out there. The cherry on the top? Ray White, a soulful/blues vocalist, who joins the band on several tracks. While not for everyone, the complex texture of most of this music is nothing if not a testament to the range of human creativity.--Philippe Certa


Illegal Tender (Universal Pictures/New Deal Entertainment Present) stars Wanda De Jesús, Rick Gonzalez, Dania Ramirez, and Tego Calderón; DJ Envy; rappers MIMS and Red Cafe minglin' at the Illegal Tender premiere in NYC at the Chelsea West Cinema.