Fri04182014

Entertainment

Memphis rolls out red carpet for “About Last Night” star Michael Ealy

michaelealy 600With the new movie "About Last Night" set for a Valentine's Day (Feb. 14th) release, one of the stars – Michael Ealy – strolled the red carpet at the Malco Paradiso in East Memphis on Sunday.

DSC 0391Ealy, co-star of the television series "Almost Human," stars in "About Last Night" with Kevin Hart, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant.

The ‘introduction’ of Kameron Whalum

kamwhalum 600Memphis' Kameron Whalum – fresh off of a critically acclaimed performance alongside Bruno Mars during the Super Bowl 48 halftime show – kept that momentum rolling at the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street Friday night.

With his signature trombone ever-ready and his backup role to Mars giving way to front-man status, Whalum stepped right into what he earlier acknowledge would be "my first show."

In an interview with the TSD's Kelvin Cowans prior to the Super Bowl performance, Whalum had said, "I just want to introduce myself to people that may just know me from Bruno Mars or the church." He is the youngest son of Sheila Whalum and the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., the pastor and first lady of The New Olivet Baptist Church.

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Ledisi headed to Memphis with ‘The Truth’

ledisi 600Grammy-nominated powerhouse Ledisi will be at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis on April 18th – two days after she kicks off a 30-city tour titled after her upcoming new album, "The Truth," which is in stores March 11.

The tour, which has partnered with ESSENCE as a media partner, will stop in major markets across the US and Canada starting in Jacksonville, Fla. on April 16th and concluding in Sacramento, Calif. on May 25th.

Opening up for Ledisi will be The Robert Glasper Experience. For every pair of tickets purchased, fans will receive free download of the album to redeem on release day. Those who purchase tickets also will receive a one-year subscription to ESSENCE.

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Super Bowl halftime, a Hooligan and hardwork

kwhalum 600When Bruno Mars performs live at the Super Bowl halftime before 100-plus million television viewers on Sunday, Kameron T. Whalum, a super-talented trombone player with deep Memphis roots, will be in his familiar spot amid Mar's onstage backers, aka the Hooligans.

I'll be in front of a television – super-proud of the man who grew out of the youngster that I once made the starting point guard and captain of the basketball team that I coached and mentored at New Olivet Baptist Church, where Kameron's dad, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., is pastor. Kameron made all the difference in the season we had that summer, as we blew some teams out by halftime. When the games were tight, rather than going off – as I sometimes have – I'd leave the locker room (after knocking over some paper cups) and allowed Kameron to motivate them.

I detected leadership in Kameron; he carried an aura of winning, an essential trait shared by many successful people. He absolutely had it as a child, not at all surprising considering the ample supply of role models in the Whalum family tree. With the big game looming, Kameron and I shared this conversation.

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E-BRIEFS: MJG at Stax, All-Star Jazz-A-F!RE Benefit Concert, Unique Steppers, & ‘RISE’

MJG 600MJG to share the real deal at Stax Fresh Trax

Record Deal or Record Steal? Super Star or Mega Scar? The wheels, deals and power appeal of the music industry are as attractive as ever, Everybody wants to be down! In an era of beats, rhymes, auto-tuned vocalists and music makin' machines...what's a "real" artist to do?

On Feb. 5th, MJG of the world-famous rap duo 8-Ball & MJG will stop by Stax Fresh Trax and spill the beans at the Stax Museum of American Soul at 926 East McLemore. Listen to MJG's journey and learn how to develop your own career path.

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OPENING THIS WEEK Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

kammovie 600BIG BUDGET FILMS

"I, Frankenstein" (PG-13 for intense fantasy and pervasive violence) Adaptation of Mary Shelley's monster classic re-imagined as a dystopian tale revolving around a reanimated corpse (Aaron Eckhart) caught up in a clash between demons and gargoyles. Cast includes Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto and Yvonne Strahovski.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

"Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys" (Unrated) Lapland documentary chronicling a year-in-the-life of a family of reindeer herders. (In Finnish with subtitles)

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The Taboo to pursue!

taboo 600Born in L.A. on July 14, 1975, Jimmy "Taboo" Gomez began dreaming about show business at an early age. The versatile fourple threat is a multilingual rapper, singer, dancer and emcee who got his big break in 1995 when approached by will.i.am to form the Black Eyed Peas.

Among the popular hip-hop group's hits are the Grammy-winning "I Gotta Feeling," "Let's Get It Started," "Boom Boom Pow" and "My Humps," to name a few. Besides music, Taboo is also the designer of his own line of footwear, Taboo Deltah, and has added acting to his bag of tricks.

Here, he talks about his latest outing as Guillermo in "Jamesy Boy," a fact-based tale of redemption co-starring Ving Rhames, James Woods and Spencer Lofranco. Although he wants to make more movies in the future, he is currently focused on his own solo album releasing later in the year, as well as on an upcoming tour with the Black Eyed Peas.

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Meet Augusta Savage’s ‘Gamin’

gammin 600The Dixon Gallery and Gardens welcomes Augusta Savage's 'Gamin' on January 19 through March 23. Celebrating the Dixon's recent acquisition of the landmark sculpture, the exhibition looks at Savage and 'Gamin' and their place in the larger context of early twentieth century African-American art.

Surrounded by works from notable artists in The Horseman Collection, including Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, and Bob Thompson, Savage's 'Gamin' reveals the emotions, history, and politics that informed Savage's work and that of her contemporaries.

The exhibition presents the work of African-American artists from the twentieth century who experimented with a range of subjects and styles in ways that express the diversity and vitality of African American art and identity. Although centered in Harlem, the spirit of the cultural movement found expression in cities and art centers across America from the 1920s onward. Figures such as Savage inspired African-American artists to find their artistic voice in ways that often celebrated the African American experience.

 

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‘Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down’

speed 600There's a lot more to life than accelerating its pace, but you wouldn't know it judging by the everyday behavior of most folks lately. People have become so hopelessly dependent on smart phones, computer tablets and the like, that they can't go for more than a few minutes without texting, checking their messages or looking something up online, however trivial.

I first recognized this phenomenon a few years ago when I was invited to a friend's house for Passover. During the Seder, while his family and friends were taking turns reading from the holy Haggadah, he was secretly texting away under the table. Despite being contrite and embarrassed when I pointed out to everybody that our host was ignoring the sacred ritual, he was right back at it less than five minutes later.

Back then, I had no words for such behavior besides rudeness, but thanks to Dr. Stephanie Brown we now have a diagnosis of addiction to speed. In her groundbreaking book, "Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down," she bemoans the fact that the culture has morphed into a ramped-up dystopia where machines lead and humans follow.

 

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This week’s DVD releases

thebutler 600Top Ten DVD List for January 14, 2014

"The Butler"

"You're Next"

"Fruitvale Station"

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Kam’s Kapsules

kamkap 600BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Her" (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) Oscar-nominee Spike Jonze (for Being John Malkovich) directed this romance drama revolving around a lonely letter writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice (Scarlett Johansson) on his computer's operating system. With Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Bill Hader and Olivia Wilde.

"The Legend of Hercules" (PG-13 for sensuality and intense violence) Mythological saga, set in ancient Greece, revolving around a demigod (Kellan Lutz) torn between pursuing true love and fulfilling his destiny by toppling a tyrannical king (Scott Adkins). With Gaia Weiss, Roxanne McKee, Liam Garrigan and Luke Newberry.

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Nico Anderson: ‘I am a movement’

freshfruit 600(Fresh Fruit is Kelvin Cowans' periodic look at upcoming and rising talent from Memphis and the surrounding areas.)

I caught up with Memphis Music Producer Nico Anderson while he was doing a little Christmas shopping so we could talk a little music. The Oak Court Mall was packed beyond parking room and inside the people were elbow to elbow frantically shopping for deals. Nonetheless, Nico – aka Trackstar – was mellow and, as he put it, always ready to talk about music.

Kelvin Cowans: When did you start producing music?
Nico Anderson: Let me see, I graduated Trezevant High School in 2005, so it had to be right around 2007 that I started getting serious about music. I had always loved it but it was then that I really started moving in a professional manner about it.

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