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.