Radio Bobby: Top 5 New Music Releases (7/29)

Welcome to July’s final Radio Bobby.  This week’s new music releases are a little “Thicke,” if you know what I mean.  Without any further ado, here are my Top 5 new music releases:

Robin Thicke1.  “Put Your Lovin On Me” by Robin Thicke (pop) – After listening to Thicke’s album Blurred Lines, it became clear to me that if anything should follow-up his popular lead single, it should be “Put Your Lovin On Me.”  A catchy pop tune, Thicke blends spoken lyrics and soft runs with dubstep, pop/dance instrumentals.  As for the rest of the album, it may grow on me, but my initial reaction is a B-.  This song though?  One of the standouts – and one of my favorite Thicke tracks!

2. “Hurricane” by Parachute (pop) – Before this week, I’d never heard of Parachute (or if I had, I’d forgotten them), but there’s no denying how good this song (and vocal) is.  It’s a tender and catchy pop song, that should see the group experience success better than Owl City a few years back.

3. David Garrett - Music album (instrumental, pop) – I can’t decide which song I liked most from violinist David Garrett – so I’ll let you go experience his new album “Music” and decide for yourself.  I’m partial to “Viva la Vida,” “Cry Me a River,” “We Will Rock You,” “Music,” “Ode to Joy,” and the pop treatment of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” f. Syd Duran.  Go, check this out.

4. “Till I Fall Asleep” by Jayme Dee (pop)

5. “Turn the Night Up” by Enrique Iglesias (pop) – Enrique’s sexy, cool new single – “I wanna get nasty…gimme some o’ that.” That’s all.

This week’s music video selection? DAVID GARRETT’S “Viva la Vida” –  it’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s definitely artistic and I love it! Enjoy!

Sochi 2014, anti-gay legislation, and NBC

Sochi 2014

A dark shadow has been cast over the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Making reference to Russia’s anti-gay legislation, an e-mail I received this morning questioned NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Games.  Designed to “protect children” from information that rejects “traditional family values,” the “Family Values Bill” bans propaganda of “nontraditional sexual relations.” Russia’s proposed law overwhelmingly passed the Lower House of Parliament with a vote of 436-0.  President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law at the end of June (just weeks after he signed a law classifying homosexual propaganda as pornography).

Read Harvey Fierstein’s Op-Ed, “Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown” from the New York Times

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Vladimir Putin, Russian President

Under “Family Values,” providing information about the LGBT community to minors, hosting gay pride events, or equating heterosexual and homosexual relationships are punishable offenses and carry fines of up to $156 per individual or $31,000 per media organization. Worse yet, the controversial law isn’t limited to Russians.  Fear for Olympic athletes, family members, trainers, reporters, and spectators who are gay, or who are “suspected” of being gay or pro-gay is rising.  “Family Values” allows authorities to detain and imprison foreign nationals or tourists for up to 14 days.

First Foreign Detainees: Four Dutch Nationals

“Family Values” doesn’t stop there.  On July 3, Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian orphans to gay or lesbian couples and to any foreign nation where marriage equality is recognized in any form (ex. United States, France).  It’s believed that Putin is also behind an edict that would allow authorities to remove children from adoptive or biological homes where parents are, or are suspected of being, gay or lesbian.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, has urged NBC to bring these unjust laws to light during their televised broadcasts of the Winter Games.

Read Chad Griffin’s letter to NBC

NBC responded:

“NBC Universal strongly supports equal rights and the fair treatment for all people.  The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our hope that spirit will prevail.”

Whether or not hope and spirit will prevail over fresh Russian law remains to be seen.  In the meantime, here’s what YOU can do: 

1.  Change.org – Add your name to the petition to Stand Against Russia’s Brutal Crackdown on Gays

2. Contact NBC: nbcolympicsfeedback@nbcuni.com or @nbc on twitter

3. Contact President Barack Obama and voice your concerns – send a letter or @BarackObama on twitter

4. Stand with Human Rights Campaign and send an accompanying e-mail with your donation.

5. Boycott Russian Vodka – ex. brands:  Stoli, Zyr, Russian Diamond, Cristall, Ivan the Terrible, Ruskova, Imperia, Czar’s Gold, Ikon, RU Classic, Kalashnikov, Diplomat, Moskovskya, etc.

6. Boycott Sochi 2014 broadcasts unless NBC agrees to bring Russia’s social injustices to light, to mass audiences.

Holy-Whoa-my-Lady-GaGa!

Lady GaGa InstagramIt appears Lady GaGa has reclaimed her shock factor, this time with a “nude” image uploaded to Instagram.  The photo appears to be a promotional piece used to advertise her upcoming album ARTPOP and is rumored to be the cover photo for V Magazine (though it’s speculated the magazine cover could just be a fan mock-up). Either way, it’s an attention-grabbing picture and Mother Monster is definitely looking sexy with that big, fluffy golden mane.

“The Instagram Photo” comes on the heels of GaGa’s recently released ARTPOP teaser video footage – which shows her bizarrely licking a large fork or hand(?).   See the video below:

 

Bri Bella’s “slip” controversy

Brie Bella slipOn Monday’s episode of RAW (7/22), during the “MizTV” segment featuring the cast of Total Divas, Bri Bella had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.  Twitter lit up and photos surfaced instantly.  PWMania.com reported that WWE officials were furious over the incident and forced Bri to issue an apology. After RAW, Bri released the following statement:

BriBellaApologyForced or unforced, the apology still came – highlighting a double standard on behalf of the company.  WWE doesn’t want things like this to happen and is sensitive to the 8 year-old Cenation, but the sexualization of the Divas shouldn’t come as a surprise to them, which makes the “forced” apology (if that is the case) ridiculous.

As recently as 2008, WWE was cross-promoting Playboy with WrestleMania.  From the late-1990s – 2008, Divas featured on the cover of Playboy were worked into Playboy-themed matches or received Women’s Championship opportunities on the “Grandest Stage of them All.”

  • 1999:  Sable in Playboy; Women’s Championship Match: Sable (c) vs. Tori at WrestleMania XV – def. Tori to retain
  • 2001:  Chyna in Playboy; Women’s Championship Match: Ivory (c) vs. Chyna at WrestleMania 17 – Chyna won the Women’s Championship (Chyna’s actual appearance was in 2000, but feud carried to WrestleMania)
  • 2004:  Torrie Wilson & Sable in Playboy; Playboy Evening Gown Match at WrestleMania XX – def. Miss Jackie/Stacy Keibler
  • 2005:  Christy Hemme in Playboy; Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus (c) vs. Christy Hemme – WrestleMania 21 – Stratus retained
  • 2006:  Candice Michelle in Playboy; Playboy Pillow Fight vs. Torrie Wilson at WrestleMania 22 – Wilson victorious
  • 2007: Ashley Massaro in Playboy; Women’s Championship Match:  Melina (c) vs. Ashley WrestleMania 23 – Melina retained
  • 2008: Maria Kanellis in Playboy; BunnyMania Match: Maria & Ashley vs. Beth Phoenix & Melina – WrestleMania 24 – Phoenix & Melina won

WWE’s shift to TV-PG in 2008 ended the Playboy-Mania era.

Pre-PG programming directly encouraged fans to sexually objectify their Divas.  WWE even ran annualized specials for television and print publication – ex. Divas Magazine (swimsuits, lingerie) and WWE Divas: Undressed (2002), a lingerie special where Torrie Wilson won the “Golden Thong Award.”

Sable and LatexAdditionally, from the mid-1990′s – 2008, RAW and Smackdown featured a host stipulation matches (gravy bowl, pudding, lingerie pillow fights, mud wrestling, paddle on a pole, and evening gown) and contests (bikini, pie eating, wet t-shirt).  Many of their segments were even hyper-sexual (remember Sable removing her top and having latex hand-prints over her nipples on RAW, or The Kat flashing the crowd at Armageddon 1999, Eric Bischoff’s “Hot Lesbian Action” in 2002, Trish Stratus & Vince McMahon’s NFL spoof in 2004, any one of the “Playboy unveilings,” or Edge and Lita’s “Live Sex Celebration” in 2006?).

Given the product is now PG-rated, I can see why WWE would want an apology issued, but if the rumors of fury are true, I don’t understand.  The incident was accidental and if we’re really going to look at the situation, WWE is responsible for the “controversial” arousal of the WWE Universe, after all, they did spend a decade sexually objectifying their female talent.

Had this occurred during an active segment, I’m sure it would have garnered equal social media attention, but it probably would have been less “controversial” or “infuriating.”  Then again, Bri’s malfunction could have been avoided altogether, had WWE booked their female talent in action, instead of in a meaningless 5-minute segment, which left the women underutilized and the fans cheated.

The point is, how many of us really remember “nip slips” from RAW?  Google is probably the only one.  Do you remember Kaitlyn’s malfunction on June 16?  Probably not.  So it’s just as likely that Bri’s will be forgotten and she’ll be forgiven – but really, is it that big of a deal? No – and if it is, WWE has only itself to blame.

On a lighter note:  During the segment, it looked like Natalya noticed and said to Cameron and Naomi (the Funkadactyls), “Do you guys see it?”

Radio Bobby: Top 5 New Music Releases (7/22)

Last week iTunes had a bunch of really great releases, this week – the pickin’s were a little more slim (even with the underwhelming Selena Gomez album).  Nevertheless, there’s still some really awesome new music this week.  Here is my top 5:

1.  “Sinners” by Lauren Aquilina - (singer/songwriter) Aquilina delivers a beautiful, personal track with simplistic and gorgeous vocals and a piano backdrop.  Listen – powerful.

2. “Drop It” by Trevor Jackson - (r&b/soul/pop) Trevor Jackson sings, “what you gonna do?” Dance.

3. “Introduced Species” by Hands Like Houses - (alt. rock)

4. “Beautiful” by Ben Rector - (singer/songwriter) – a fun, relaxing and uplifting song – did I mention it’s the free single of the week?

5.  “Love More” by Chris Brown f. Nicki Minaj - (r&b/soul/pop/rap)

#CharmApe, a visceral and transformative experience (review)

CharmApeLast night I attended Charm Ape, a “one night only” exhibition hosted by artist David Wolk.  A sizable crowd packed into an abandoned loft – filled only with Wolk’s paintings, sculptures and trapped summer air.

Click here to view a Storify of my tweets from Charm Ape

Outside, the busy corner of Cherokee and Iowa was filled with spectators in search of the Giver of Charms.  Rain clouds moved in overhead, fans carried cooling air into the rundown buildings, and the sounds of Charm Ape echoed blocks away.  The Giver led visitors to a fence and requested they select a charm that spoke to their soul.  This was our initiation.  Here we received direction to the loft and vague reference to the transformation about to occur.

“This hero’s journey is your own.” – from Charm Ape

David WolkThe loft displayed an eclectic assortment of art and sound.  Box fans in the windows and on the floors created movement – of air, and of draping curtains and plastic.  This aura was one of New York – or so I imagined.  Having never been to New York, I applauded Wolk’s ability to create an ambiance found generally in movies.  I was transported – for the time, it felt like I was living a Hollywood scene, mingling with indie artists at a personal event.

Click here to read my pre-show interview with artist David Wolk

Slowly introduced by ethereal sounds (bells, impressive vocals), the Charm Ape emerged and began his transformation.   This performance element added new meaning to the placed sculptures and hanged paintings.  Each grouping of art became a part of life, a part of the journey – purpose was in both the chaos and the order.

We witnessed the symbolic life of an artist – from childhood innocence and creative exploration to the loss of identity and the manifestations of inner demons (ex. suicidal tendency).  Ultimately, the Charm Ape was broken, bathed and reawakened – free.  Celebration was the result of this mythical journey and emotional, powerful expression of art.

“My future with you is not my past with you.” – Charm Ape

This piece was a gift to me from David Wolk. I gravitated to it because it represents a life-cycle, much like the exhibition.  Charm Ape, July 20, 2013.

This piece was a gift to me from David Wolk. I gravitated to it because it represents a life-cycle, much like the exhibition. Charm Ape, July 20, 2013.

David Wolk and the Myth of the CHARM APE

CHAMP APE: PromotionalOn Saturday, July 20, local artist David Wolk will present CHARM APE: Exhibition, Myth, and Performance.  Guests will be initiated into the CHARM APE journey by locating the Giver of Charms at the corner of Iowa and Cherokee Streets in St. Louis.

See Coreen Savitski’s KSDK story with David Wolk

Wolk said, “I’m not sure who I am. I’ve been on this art adventure with Cranky Yellow for quite a few years and this work is another representation of that journey.”

Wolk’s journey with Cranky Yellow began in 2005 with the concept’s development and foundation of a website that acted as an online publisher of art, music, literature, and t-shirts.  In 2007, Cranky Yellow became a storefront gallery in the Antique Row on Cherokee Street.  Here, Wolk and the Cranky Yellow team began curating international exhibits and published the first Cranky Yellow book.  Business was good, and by 2009, Cranky Yellow had relocated to a larger space on Cherokee.

By 2010, the new gallery had become a venue known for hosting and presenting nightly entertainment (musical performances).  In August 2011 the gallery closed and Wolk’s journey shifted to an exclusively online experience that invites visitors to get involved, as essay contributors/writers or as contributing artists. Now, he presents CHARM APE, a “one night only” experience that blends visual (paintings, sculptures, etc.) and performance art.

Visit and Explore Cranky Yellow

Psychosis“The event is totally immersive. I started developing it a few years ago with some writing and it has grown into something fun and different. The CHARM APE show has lots of internal dark secrets and joyous, light revelations. The [CHARM APE] exhibit is personal and the performance art rituals will delight and astound.  It is a wave of experience,” said Wolk.

When creating art, Wolk’s passions come into play, particularly for CHARM APE.  Wolk noted he enjoys star-gazing, exploring and experiencing nature, bright colors, writing and drawing in a daily journal, and dreaming – during both day and night.  His exhibit is based on the latter.  In the event’s press release, Wolk said, “I began having the most vivid dreams which intensified into full mythic visions.  I found myself identifying with the central figure of this unfolding parable. I enter the exhibition not only as the creator but also the ceremonial participant; the protagonist of this myth.”

Despite the event’s exclusivity (because it’s “one night only”), Wolk is open to the idea of a free-range, traveling show.  He said, “I will be changed and I assume my work may expand in different directions. I hope to go exactly where it takes me.  Look at the eraser collection.  It is a big jar of colorful charms.  I’ve had it since I was a little boy.  Charm Ape for life it seems.” (see top photo)

Click Here for Wrong Division’s coverage of CHARM APE (link to audio at the end)

The CHARM APE exhibition is free and opens at 7 p.m. – the performance starts promptly at 8:30 p.m.  Find the Giver of Charms for further details and instruction.  Check back this weekend for a review of the exhibit.

NOTE:  Follow my experience at the exhibit on twitter.  I’ll be using the hashtag:  #CharmApe

Diva Dream Matches: Victoria vs. AJ Lee

Victoria (left) vs. AJ Lee (right)

Victoria (left) vs. AJ Lee (right)

The Competitors:  

VICTORIA:  2-time WWE Women’s Champion, competed in the first women’s cage match (against Lita)

AJ LEE:  Current Diva’s Champion, former RAW General Manager

Background: 

WWE’s Women’s Division is no stranger to psychotic females.  In the past decade, some of the most interesting feuds or competitors have, at one point or another, been complete psychopaths!

One of the most notable was Lisa Marie Varon under the ring name Victoria (and later Tara in TNA Wrestling).  Victoria’s hardcore feud with Trish Stratus helped revolutionize women’s roles in contemporary professional wrestling.  She was memorable for her hard-hitting in-ring style, her willingness to hit and be hit by foreign objects, and for her obsessive, maniacal shaking (which complimented her t.A.T.u. theme song, “All The Things She Said.”)  Not to mention, she was part of some of the most grueling and intense women’s matches, and a frequent competitor in stipulation bouts (hardcore, Chicago Street Fight, cage match, etc.).

Flash forward about a decade and the current Diva’s Champion is AJ Lee.  She’s a loose cannon and goes completely berserk when people call her “crazy.”  Her craziness though, is fairly recent to the women’s division, as she’s spent most of her time in the main event scene feuding with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Kane, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero.  AJ Lee has become the torch-bearer WWE’s women’s division and recently, she dethroned and disposed of her adversary (Kaitlyn) and appears poised to run amok against ex-beau “Ziggy” (Dolph Ziggler).

Victoria was a powerful and unpredictable performer.  AJ Lee by contrast, isn’t powerful or steallar in the ring, but she is improving and she would definitely have the mental edge.  This feud would have to simmer and continuously be a game of cat-and-mouse with each woman gaining the mental or physical advantage over the other one on a consistent basis.  Victoria’s power could put the hurt on AJ Lee, but AJ’s mind-games could be the downfall of Victoria.

Victoria had a short-lived “checklist” gimmick.  I’d love to see that followed through, except with a list composed of all the physical torture Victoria would want to put AJ through.  How well would AJ’s mind-games stand up next to Victoria’s physical and raw power and aggression?  Then again, could AJ’s mind stand up to the torture of Victoria?

It could be dubbed The Widow’s Battle and we could see how The Widow’s Peak fares against The Black Widow.

Winner:  VICTORIA (initially); AJ LEE (long-term)

Likelihood:  Unlikely but Possible

Missed Opportunity:  Victoria and AJ Lee were never in the WWE together – so there never was a chance for the writers to miss an opportunity (though, I wouldn’t put it past them to miss it if both women had worked together).  That said, Varon was recently released from IMPACT Wrestling, so there is a [slim] possibility that we could see the match one day (it’s WWE – never say never).

Perhaps the present will be the missed opportunity.  Why couldn’t Victoria return on a part-time deal (like Jericho, Lesnar, RVD, etc.) to work a full program against AJ Lee before transitioning into a trainer role in NXT?  Victoria holding the Diva’s Championship would give the title more prestige and legitimacy (afterall, the damn thing is a bedazzled purple and silver butterfly), having her drop it back to AJ after a program would be a huge rub!

Miss the first Diva Dream Matches post?  Diva Dream Matches: Eve Torres vs. Trish Stratus

Best Body 2013: Check-In

mile time 7-16Hello y’all,

Just thought I’d revisit those goals I set on July 1 (though, I know, I’m a day late!).

Goal #1:  Run a mile in 9 minutes

Goal #2:  Lose 6-8 pounds

It’s been a challenge to stay focused the last couple weeks, I’m not going to lie – and the [mixed] results show it.  The other day I read something about physical fitness being more mental than it is physical – today, I realized just that.  Here are the results:

Result #1:  Ran 1 mile in 8:38!  Goal BLASTED!

Result #2:  Weight In:  223.6 (starting weight:  227.2) = total weight loss of: 3.6 pounds.

I ran that mile today in well under 9 minutes only because I was focused – and jammin’ out to “WooHoo” by Eli “Paperboy” Reed.  Consider that goal handled.  However, the on-again, off-again exercise routine is reflected in the weight-loss.  While it’s still a loss (which makes me happy), I’m disappointed that I couldn’t even meet the minimum goal.  That said, it’s time to get it back.  Next check-in?  August 1.

Here are the goals:

Goal #1:  Incorporate Yoga into my daily life.  That means YOGA everyday! 

Goal #2:  Re-introduce weight training into my exercise routine.

Goal #3:  Run 1 mile in 8:20.

Goal #4:  Weight Loss of 5-8 pounds.

Four Goals.  Two weeks.  See you then!

-Bobby-james

Radio Bobby: Top 5 New Music Releases (7/15)

iTunes has a TON of new and stellar music available this week!  Summer has definitely arrived.  For that reason, this “Top 5″ is really jam packed! Hope you enjoy and start a playlist!

1. “Poison” by Sick Puppies - (rock) “I like it, I love it.” Sick Puppies’ new album Connect was released this week.  Of all the songs, I loved “Poison” the most, thought I’m also enjoying “No Mercy,” “There’s No Going Back,” and “Better Waste of Time.”  To be honest, it’s just a great rock album! Go, enjoy it… after you’ve explored the rest of this list, of course!

2. “Samson” by V.V. Brown - (dance) Talk about an experience.  V.V. Brown’s “Samson” is alluring with it’s tribal, almost animalistic beat and deep, dark sexy vocals.

3. “WooHoo” by Eli “Paperboy” Reed - (pop) A great pop song! Reed’s song sounds like the lovechild of Bruno Mars and Cee Lo Green! “I ain’t, I ain’t got no dough….I go WooHoo!”

4. “Miss Jackson” by Panic! At the Disco f. Lolo - (alternative) = this week’s featured music video (see below)

5. “Wildfire” by John Mayer - (rock)

5. “Inland” by Jars of Clay - (singer/songwriter)

See what I’m talking about people! This was a GREAT week for music.  I’m going to be dancing all summer long!