22 Dec 2011
- Written by Kam Williams
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for rape, torture, brutal violence, profanity, frontal nudity and graphic sexuality.
Running time: 158 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
|Rooney Mara, left, and Daniel Craig star in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” (Photo by Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures)|
Mikael Blomqvist (Daniel Craig) resigns from his position as editor of Millennium Magazine after being unable to substantiate the incendiary allegations he’d made about a corrupt billionaire (Ulf Friberg). Fortuitously, the disgraced journalist is soon secretly approached by an intermediary representing recently-retired industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the mysterious murder of his beloved niece, Harriet (Moa Garpendal), back in 1966.
Mikael jumps at the job offer, since his desire to escape the media circus surrounding him in Stockholm conveniently dovetails with the aging patriarch’s need to reopen the case right on location at the family’s secluded estate where Harriet had disappeared into thin air. An additional incentive is Henrik’s promise to provide the proof necessary to overturn the libel conviction.
So, straightaway, Mikael moves up to the remote island of Hedestad in northern Sweden, and starts sifting through the boxes of 40-year-old evidence. After unearthing an array of sordid skeletons in the Vanger family closet ranging from anti-Semitism to sadomasochism, he realizes that he sure could use the help of an assistant, and takes Henrik’s suggestion that he collaborate with Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a brilliant, if bizarre-looking, computer whiz.
Mikael is willing to pardon the young hacker’s tattoos, multiple piercings and punked-out hairstyle because of her passion for catching any creep who’d harm a female. And her technical skills do prove to be the perfect complement to Henrik’s uncanny ability to interview surviving witnesses despite their putting on aristocratic airs. Still, not surprisingly, the closer they come to solving the mystery, the more dangerous a situation they find themselves embroiled in.
So unfolds ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ a worthy remake of the Swedish-language thriller of the same name just released in 2009. Directed by David Fincher (“The Social Network”) this English-language version is actually a rarity in that it is an improvement over its foreign film original.
Both movies are based on the first installment of the trilogy of novels by the late Stieg Larsson, and Sony Pictures has already committed to adapting the other two books to the screen, too. Here, scene-stealer Rooney Mara is nothing short of riveting as the ever-edgy Lisbeth, while Daniel Craig disappears into his role as Mikael sufficiently so you forget about the fact that he also plays James Bond.
An intricately-woven, edge-of-your-seat whodunit as graphic and grisly as it is cerebral and mind-bending.
(To see a trailer for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” visit: http://bit.ly/pQfyBn.)
22 Dec 2011
- Written by Kam Williams
For movies opening Dec. 23, 2011
BIG BUDGET FILMS
“The Adventures of Tintin” (PG for violence, drunkenness and smoking) Steven Spielberg directs this animated adaptation of the classic comic book series about an intrepid young journalist who is abducted from Europe to Morocco where he escapes his kidnappers to embark on a perilous quest for hidden treasure. Voice cast includes Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Toby Jones.
“The Darkest Hour” (PG-13 for profanity and violence) Sci-fi horror flick about the struggle to survive of a quintet (Olivia Thirlby, Emile Hirsch, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman and Max Minghella) stranded in Moscow during an invasion of Earth by aliens in need of a power supply. With Dato Bakhtadze, Gosha Kutsenko and Veronika Ozerova.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (PG-13 for profanity, disturbing images and mature themes) Post 9/11 drama about a 9 year-old boy’s (Thomas Horn) desperate search for the lock that matches the mysterious key left behind by his father (Tom Hanks) who perished in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. With Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, John Goodman and Jeffrey Wright.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (R for rape, torture, brutal violence, profanity, frontal nudity and graphic sexuality) David Fincher directs the English-language version of the Swedish thriller based on the first installment of the Stieg Larsson trilogy about the effort of a disgraced journalist (Daniel Craig) to restore his name by solving a decades-old missing person case with the help of a sociopathic computer hacker (Rooney Mara). Cast includes Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright and Joely Richardson.
“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (PG-13 for violence and intense action sequences) Fourth episode in the espionage franchise finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his fellow secret agents (Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Josh Holloway) going rogue to clear the IMF’s name after a bomb blast flattens the Kremlin while they just happened to be carrying out an undercover operation in Moscow. With Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan and Tom Wilkinson.
“War Horse” (PG-13 for ) Steven Spielberg directed this World War I saga about a young man (Jeremy Irvine) who enlists in the British Army after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. With Emily Watsaon, Benedict Cumberbatch and David Thewlis. (In English and German with subtitles)
“We Bought A Zoo” (PG for mature themes and mild profanity) Screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s bittersweet memoir recounting the grieving widower’s (Matt Damon) decision to relocate his family to a dilapidated estate with 200 exotic animals on the premises with hopes of refurbishing the zoo while rebuilding their lives. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning and J.B. Smoove.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
“Albert Nobbs” (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) Glenn Close plays the title character in this genderbending drama about a lesbian who passed as a man for over 30 years in order to survive in 19th Century Ireland. With Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson and Mia Wasikowska.
“The Flowers of War” (Unrated) Historical drama based on the Geling Yan novel about a mortician (Christian Bale) who poses as a priest in order to save the lives of prostitutes and parishioners during the Japanese’s rape of Nanking. With Shigeo Kobayashi, Bai Xue and Paul Schneider. (In English, Mandarin and Japanese with subtitles)
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” (R for sexuality, nudity, violence, rape, ethnic cleansing and profanity) Angelina Jolie directed this romance drama set during the War in Bosnia and revolving around a Serbian soldier (Goran Kostic) who reencounters a Muslim ex-girlfriend (Zana Marjanovic) now being held captive in a POW camp. With Fedja Stukan, Branko Djuric and Nikola Djuricko.
“Miss Minoes” (PG for rude behavior, smoking and brief profanity) Carice van Houten stars as the title character in this kiddie comedy about a cat which morphs into a woman in order protect its quaint hometown from developers with evil intentions. Cast includes Theo Maassen, Sarah Bannier and Pierre Bokma. (In Dutch with subtitles)
“Pina” (PG for sensuality, smoking and partial nudity) Reverential biopic about modern dance maven Pina Bausch (1940-2009), featuring both tributes to and performances of four pieces by the late choreographer. (In English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Croatian, Korean, Italian and Portuguese with subtitles)
15 Dec 2011
- Written by Kam Williams
For movies opening Dec. 16, 2011
BIG BUDGET FILMS
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” (G) Animated adventure finds Alvin (Justin Long) and company running amuck on a luxurious cruise ship only to end up stranded on a tropical island after being accidentally being tossed overboard. Voice cast includes Jason Lee, Matthew Gray Gubler, David Cross, Anna Faris and Alyssa Milano.
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (PG-13 for drug use and intense violence) Guy Ritchie directs this international crime caper in which the renowned sleuth (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his loyal sidekick, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), match wits with their archenemy, the intellectually-intimidating Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris). With Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams and Eddie Marsan.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
“Addiction Incorporated” (PG-13 for brief profanity) Whistleblower documentary about Victor DeNoble, the corporate scientist gone rogue whose damning testimony before Congress singlehandedly exposed the tobacco industry’s deliberate efforts to make cigarette smoking as addictive as possible.
“Carnage” (R for profanity) Roman Polanski directed this class-conscious drama, set in Brooklyn but shot in Paris, about two couples (John C. Reilly and Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) who decide to talk after their sons (Elvis Polanski and Eliot Berger) are involved in a schoolyard brawl. With Nathan Rippy, Tanya Lopert and Julie Adams.
“Cook County” (Unrated) Prodigal Papa drama about a recently-paroled ex-con (Xander Berkeley) who returns home to mend his relationship with his estranged teenage son (Ryan Donowho) only to discover that the boy’s uncle (Anson Mount) has turned the place into a meth lab teeming with addicts. Support cast includes Polly Cole, Makenna Fitzsimmons and Yankie Grant.
“Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel” (R for violence, nudity and profanity) Reverential biopic about Roger Corman, the legendary B-movie director who helped launch countless film careers, including those of Jack Nicholson, William Shatner and Robert De Niro, while cranking out a never-ending string of low-budget offerings. With appearances by Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Pam Grier, Peter Bogdanovich, Peter Fonda and Ron Howard.
“The Pill” (Unrated) Better-late-than-never comedy chronicling the efforts of a confirmed bachelor (Noah Bean) to get a girl (Rachel Boston) he just shared a one-night stand with to take the Morning After pill. With Anna Chlumsky, Jean Brassard and S. Lue McWilliams.
26 Jan 2012
- Written by Myron Mays
That sound? Oh, it’s just the President, singing
Shouts out to our president! Who would have thought the guy could carry a note. But he pulled it off, singing a few notes of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” during an appearance at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem recently.
I’m reminded of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on the “Arsenio Hall Show” prior to Clinton’s election as President of the United States. I do believe that was one of the things that got him elected.
As for President Obama, I think his brief melodic moment may just help him secure a second term. If you ask me, he should have done the whole song. Mr. President, Frankly, you held out on us.
We want more!
It’s ‘my year’ for Oscars
About every two years or so, the Academy Awards is actually worth me taking the time to sit down and watch, and 2012 is my year, thanks largely to “The Help.”
The movie that cost $25 million to make while grossing over $205 million to date netted four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. In addition, nominations were announced this week for Viola Davis (Best Actress), and Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain (Best Supporting Actress consideration for both).
Now granted, I will probably be channel flipping a little bit because I like the Animation Domination cartoon lineup on Fox Sunday night. I love “Family Guy” and I make no apologies for it. However, I will not miss any of the Academy Awards’ “good” parts, trust me. (lol)
By the way, “The Help” – told through the view of Mississippi maids battling racism during the early 1960s – airs on ABC on February 26 at 8 p.m.
Memphis Rebirth Entertainment presents ‘Soul Talk’
“Soul Talk” goes down this Saturday night at the Marshall Arts Gallery at 639 Marshall Ave.
A fully interactive lounge session, “Soul Talk” allows patrons to control the evening by creating their own music playlists. Throughout the evening, the DJ will spin the songs submitted, and between sets we will discuss various topics as it relates to the music industry. Complimentary wine, beverages and food will be served all evening. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Comedy at the Desoto Civic Center
Sommore, Bruce Bruce and Earthquake will be shaking up the Desoto Civic Center in March. The Royal Comedy Tour (RCT) has been around since 2009 and continues to showcase those comedians who are presently the voice of the industry.
In the tradition of “Def Comedy Jam” and BET’s “Comicview.” the RCT is raw, real and in your face. The show also features Tony Rock and Mark Curry. Be sure to get your ticket and show up at the Desoto Civic Center on March 4. Tickets are available at the Desoto Civic Center Box Office.
Bobby Womack at the Fitz
The Unsung special on TV One featuring Bobby Womack really makes me want to see him in concert.
Well, guess what? “The Poet” himself is coming to the Mid South at Fitzgerald’s Casino in just a few weeks! If you like hits such as “Across 110 Street,” “If You Think You’re Lonely Now,” and “That’s The Way I Feel About You,” you might wanna mark your calendars now for February 18th!
For more information, call The Fitz at 1-800-766-5825.
PARTING SHOT: Just a reminder to mark your calendars for What’s Happening Wednesday! There will be great food, drinks and lots of bowling! So make plans to hang out with me on Feb. 8! Until then, that’s what’s happening.
19 Jan 2012
- Written by Myron Mays
I always look forward to 103.5’s Peace and Freedom Weekend. Not because I work there, it’s always a great weekend of entertainment and education.
It was all comedy and laughs at Sam’s Town Casino last Friday (Jan. 13) night with the “Mo Funny for your Money Comedy Show.” Featuring comedians Pierre, Joe Clair, Special K and more, the show was definitely worth the money. I even got a chance to sit down and talk to Pierre. That interview will be forthcoming, so be on the lookout.
The following night was all about the Blues as Sir Charles Jones and Bobby Rush took the stage to deliver their unique brands of the blues to a sold out house.
After resting on Sunday, there was the 103.5 full broadcast at the National Civil Rights Museum. Hundreds, maybe thousands, showed up to not only remember the sacrifices Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made for us, but to also learn more about the struggles of the civil rights movement.
Here’s a little note to remember: the National Civil Rights Museum is actually open every day of the week except for Tuesday. You don’t actually have to wait until Dr. King’s birthday to pay them a visit. They have great things happening over there all the time. But if you never keep up with them, you’ll never know, right?
One more note: Dr. King did not fight for equality only on his birthday. He did it every day until he died, which leads me to my point. You don’t have to wait until one day of the year to stand up for what’s right. You don’t have to wait until once a year to be aware of what Dr. King stood for. You can live the dream every day.
So what are you waiting for?
‘Someday’ by Jae Henderson
Have you read ‘Someday’ by Jae Henderson? Well, here’s good news if you haven’t. For a limited time you can read the eBook version of this wonderful inspirational romance for only .99 cents on Kindle and Nook! Find out why readers can’t stop talking about it. Download your copy today! For more information, visit www.jaehendersonauthor.com.
What’s Happening Wednesday returns!
OK, I am really excited about what’s about to take place. Starting Feb. 8, join me each and every Wednesday night from 7 until 10 at Cotton Bowl Lanes at 9091 Highway 51 North Stateline Rd. in Southaven for the all new “What’s Happening Wednesdays!” Free admission! Great food! $1 Cosmic Bowling and $5 drink specials til closing. Enjoy Karaoke hosted by me, Myron Mays, & you can even bring the kids. Let em bowl! For more information, visit whatshappeningmyron.com. This is gonna be a whole lot of fun!
Thursdays at the Bartlett Comedy Spot
Funnyman Prescott hosts “Karaoke Thursdays” each and every Thursday at the Bartlett Comedy Spot. Admission is free all night. There will be $1 drinks and happy hour prices until 8 p.m.
Also, calling all poets and comedians! Hit the stage this and every Sunday night at the Bartlett Comedy Spot. Admission is free before 8 p.m., when the show starts. Stormy is your host. If you like “Def Poetry Jam” and comedy you will enjoy Open Mic Sunday. You can get at Prescott on Facebook for more information about the Bartlett Comedy Spot.
‘Love Thang’ with Karen Brown
My good friend Karen Brown is at it again! And this time, it’s a “Love Thang!” Check her out on February 12 at the Rumba Room located at 303 South Main at Pontotoc in Downtown Memphis. Tickets are on sale now and are $15 in advance. For more information, call 901-573-6092.
13 Jan 2012
- Written by Myron Mays
The birth of a child is a beautiful thing and I would want to be among the first to congratulate Jay Z and Beyoncé on the birth of their new baby – Blue Ivy Carter – if.
Now, I’m pretty sure that someone is not gonna like me after this. I am, however, a journalist and we journalists have to look at the whole picture.
OK, here we go. Do you really believe that she was pregnant?
I’m not saying that Beyoncé didn’t have a baby. I’m just saying that things don’t quite add up. Like time for instance.
Most babies are born in nine months, right? Consider this: Beyoncé announced her pregnancy at the Video Music Awards on MTV back in late August, about 5 months ago. Did she look four months pregnant then? Not to me. I’m no pregnancy expert, but should she have been dancing around like that after four months of being pregnant?
I’m not gonna dwell on that one though. Seriously, I’m happy for the both of them. I even hear that Jay Z has a new song out that actually has the baby crying in the background. Kinda puts you in the mind of Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Isn’t She Lovely.”
It certainly looks as though “Baby Blue” will be a child with every opportunity that the world has to offer. I mean, Jay Z is your Dad and Beyoncé is your Mom? What else can you ask for?
On another note: Ruben is back...
I was listening to Ruben Studdards new single, “I’m Single,” and thinking to myself, ‘Here’s a guy who really never got the props he deserved.” He was an American Idol winner, but you really never hear a whole lot out of him. Still, he is really talented, and, in my opinion, is making great music.
There is actually a story behind “Single.” It tracks back to his divorce two and a half years ago. What better way to create a hit song than to write one that reflects the life, love and pain that you go through. Those make the best songs.
So here’s what I need you to do. Go to Youtube and look up this song. It might take a little while to grow on you, however, it will. Then on June 28, go to Itunes and purchase the single.
At The Bartlett Comedy Spot
You’ve seen comedian D’Militant on BET and “Def Comedy Jam” and now you can check himn out for four big shows on Jan. 13-14. There will be two shows each day. Admission is only $10.
Funnyman Prescott hosts “Karaoke Thursdays” every week. Admission is free all, with $1 drinks and happy hour prices until 8 p.m.
Showtime for “Open Mic Sundays” begins at 8 p.m., with a standing call for all poets and comedians. Admission is FREE before 8 p.m. Stormy is the host, and if you like “Def Poetry Jam” and comedy, you will enjoy this setting.
You can get at Prescott on Facebook for more information about the Bartlett Comedy Spot.
Peace and Freedom Weekend 2012
Join Soul Classics 103.5 as we celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday with our Annual Peace and Freedom Weekend. We have a weekend full of events leading up to our live broadcast at the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday (Jan. 16) from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Don’t miss the “Mo Funny for your Money” comedy show at Sam’s Town Casino this Friday Night. I will be hosting the show, so make sure you get your tickets today! Tickets are available at Sams Town Box Office for $25.
Also on Saturday, there will be the big blues show, featuring Sir Charles Jones and Bobby Rush. Tickets are $35. I am expecting to have a great time and of course I will tell you all about it on next week! Until then, that’s what’s happening.
05 Jan 2012
- Written by Myron Mays
Four years ago I opened up the microphone for the first time and uttered these words:
“Soul Classics 103.5, Number one for old school.”
Wow, it’s hard to believe that I have been at that station for that long. I guess time flies when…well, you know the rest.
I started out in radio back in 1994. The setting was a small radio station in Senatobia, Miss. I had not been on the radio a day in my life when I walked in the building and spoke to the station manager. I expressed my interest in getting into radio and offered to work for free, just to learn.
Get this: I ended up walking out the door not only with that opportunity, but with a small hourly wage as well.
I fell in love with my new career, which has featured stints at four radio stations, and work with television stations as well.
And some 18 years later, I still absolutely love what I do.
Not only is it my fourth anniversary on 103.5, this week also marks my fourth anniversary as a columnist for the New Tri-State Defender as well. Back then, however, my column was called “Ask Myron.”
My first column ran under the headline, “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” I talked about how there is no more love in our music.
Now, four years and a name change later, I still love sharing my thoughts on pop culture and informing you on what’s happening in and around town. Trust me when I say, “The best is yet to come!”
Dekey at the Bartlett Comedy Spot
I’m sure you’ve heard about the Bartlett Comedy Spot at 5709 Raleigh Lagrange at Sycamore view by now, right?
Well, come and get your laugh on this weekend with ATL Comedian DEKEY’s from “Who’s Got Jokes” and BET’s “Comic View.” Two shows – 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. – are set for Friday and Saturday nights. Admission is $10!
‘Five Guys Named Moe’
Edge Productions presents the “Five Guys Named Moe Music Review” at the New Daisy Theatre on historic Beale Street on Thursday, Jan. 12.
“Five Guys Named Moe” is a musical by Clarke Peters, with music by Louis Jordan and others. The musical originated in the UK in 1990 at Theatre Royal Stratford East, running for over four years in the West End, and then premiering on Broadway in 1992.
There will be a show at 6:30 p.m. with a matinee show at 11 a.m. Tickets are $7, with ages three and under free. For more information, including group rates, call 901-721-5757.
New Year’s note: The easiest New Year’s resolution anyone can have is to “stay alive.” I mean think about it, if you’re not alive, nothing else really matters, right?
OK, maybe I’m being a little silly. But you get my point, right?
29 Dec 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
Flip the calendar back on the year we call 2011 and a lot of notable happenings tumble out. Collectively they add up to a big year – way too big to detail in this end-of-the-year reflection.
So, let’s go for the highlights.
Two years after the stunning death of the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson’s doctor – Dr. Conrad Murray – was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison. He may actually get out in two, which, in my opinion, akin to a crime. Four years is nothing for the death of another human being.
The NBA Lockout put a lot of professional basketball players out of work for much of the year and caused the NBA season to start considerably late. It also had many of us wondering if there would be a season at all. Then at what was considered the 11th hour, the two sides came to an agreement. I’m sure that there are a lot of basketball wives and baby mamas happy about that news...oh yeah, I’m sure there’s a lot of happy basketball fans as well. LOL
In 2011, we were introduced to a former pizza CEO named Herman Cain. I actually almost thought that there would be two African-American men going head to head for the office of President of the United States, one Democrat and one Republican. However, Cain’s checkered past surfaced and slapped that possibility sideways. Cain reportedly failed to take into consideration that he has had countless sexual harassment cases against him, as well as a number of affairs. Funny thing, he doesn’t even realize that his run is over.
Rapper T.I. came home again after having to return to prison for violating the terms of his parole following an incident where he and his wife were traveling in Los Angeles with a few illegal items inside of their car. His new reality show, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” also debuted on VH1 this year with 2.8 million viewers.
After reportedly hurling a chair through an office window after an appearance on “Good Morning America,” singer Chris Brown went on BET’S “106th and Park” to apologize for the incident. Thankfully for him, he was able to recover from that and move on with his career.
Black America’s favorite couple, Will Smith & Jada Pinkett, experienced marital problems, as reports of her cheating with singer Marc Anthony surfaced. Proof? None to date, as Smith & Pinkett apparently still are together. Meanwhile, Anthony and his wife, Jennifer Lopez, did split this year.
Wasn’t it cool how Beyoncé made her baby announcement on the VMAs? She performed and rubbed her torso and stole the show. Although she is still keeping the baby’s gender under wraps, we will find out soon!
We lost quite a few of our favorite entertainers in 2011. Nate Dogg, who is probably the greatest hook singer who ever laced a rap song, died earlier this year of complications from multiple strokes. He was 41. Nick Ashford, half of the R&B performing and songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson, passed away after a battle with throat cancer. He was 69. We also lost rapper Heavy D at the young age of 44.
Jazz poet and musician Gil Scott Heron passed away this year as well. He was known for his 1974 album, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” He was 62 years old. Boxing great “Smokin” Joe Frazier died at the age of 67 after a short bout with liver cancer.
Well, that’s it for 2011. I am so looking forward to what the New Year has in store. I can hardly wait. Until then, that’s what happened. Happy New Year!
16 Dec 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
Yep, it’s that time of year again. You know...lots of shopping, wishing for snow and – most of all – listening to all of that great holiday music. Every station on the radio is playing some sort of Christmas music, whether its 24/7 Christmas songs or just one per hour. Go to your favorite store or even your favorite restaurant. It’s everywhere, isn’t it? The sound of Christmas is in the air.
Here’s a Christmas wish. I don’t mean to sound like Scrooge, but I wish there were more modern-day, listening-worthy Christmas songs.
Really, we have spent years enjoying our favorites such as the Temptations’ versions of “Silent Night,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and others. We have also enjoyed such hits as Donnie Hathways’ “This Christmas” and The Jacksons’ “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
But what happens when the listener can no longer identify with those songs? Does Christmas become less meaningful? Will there ever be any new songs that have as much of an impact as those songs did?
The most recent “original” Christmas song that I can readily think of is Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight’s “Let It Snow.” And as a radio personality, I’m a witness that we have put some serious miles on that song. (lol)
But right off hand, can you think of a Christmas song that is more recent than “Let It Snow” – one that really makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside? I can’t and you probably can’t either.
While we consider the Christmas songs that we all know and love to be timeless, are they really as timeless as we think they are? Will my grand children look forward to hearing “This Christmas?” Will they wanna listen to Christmas music by the Jacksons when they grow up?
Here’s a challenge to today’s artists...get into the Holiday spirit. Go write a great song. Record and release it and create some new holiday standards. The future of Christmas could very well be in your hands!
Ok, maybe it’s not that serious, but you get my point, right?
Neo Soul & Jazz Jingle
El Mac and Strickly Jazz Entertainment presents Neo Soul & Jazz Jingle at the Westin at 170 Lt. George W. Lee Ave., across from the FedExForum. The event will be in the lobby and the Bleu restaurant beginning at 9 on Christmas night and going until 2 a.m. There will be drink specials and live music by Will Graves and Soul. For more information, you can hit El Mac up on Facebook.
‘If Scrooge Were A Brother’
If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the great plays at the Hattiloo Theatre, this is a great time to get by and check out “If Scrooge Were a Brother.” The musical is an “urban” spin of Charles Dickens’ Classic “A Christmas Carol.” It tells of sour and stingy Eb Scroo’s ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. It plays through Christmas Eve. For more details, just go to Hattlioo.org.
From Wrags to Ritches
Don’t forget to check out “Wrags to Ritches” at the Cannon Center on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. It’s a story of domestic violence, teen pregnancy, drugs and alcohol, sexual abuse and dark family secrets, all of the ingredients for a compelling and intriguing stage play. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, call Sharon Coleman at 901-525-1645.
Soulful Christmas Celebration
Join Brown Baptist Church on Dec. 16 and Dec. 18 for a Soulful Christmas Celebration, featuring Kathy Taylor, Earnest Pugh and Angela Spivey.
The shows will be at the church at 980 Stateline Rd. in Southaven. The Dec. 16 show starts at 7 p.m. and the doors open at 6:30. The Dec. 18 show starts at 6 p.m. and the doors open at 5:30. For more information, visit the Brown Baptist Church website at brownbaptist.org.
PARTING SHOT: I’m finally gonna start my Christmas shopping soon. Wish me luck. I’ll be sure to share the details of my adventure. Until then, that’s what’s happening.
(If you have an event that you’d like for me to cover or attend, send me an email at Myron@whatshappeningmyron.com!)
08 Dec 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
My ‘regulars’ know that I’m not one to stray too far away from entertainment when it comes to this column. I have never really talked about politics here, and I won’t start. But sometimes politics can be very entertaining.
And in the case of Herman Cain, it’s very entertaining. Just when I was beginning to think that there were gonna be two African-American candidates running against each other for” POTUS” – that’s President of the United States – one of them forgot that he had a checkered past when it came to females.
Cain, who was once considered a front-runner in the GOP race for the Republican Party nomination, stepped down this week amid allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity. I’ll admit, while I am a moderate Democrat when it comes to my political preference, I was actually starting to become sort of proud of the guy, even though I had no intentions of voting for him.
Why would I be proud? Well, he is an African-American man who has made such an impact that it was almost possible that the Republican Party could have made him their candidate. He was actually beginning to outshine his opponents in debates and he was really picking up momentum.
But then he sort of forgot that he carried on a 13-year affair (He says it ain’t so.). That was after he apparently forgot that there were allegations of sexual harassment against him…that he settled. Did he not think that all of those things would come back up? They always do, don’t they?
God forbid if I ever run for president. I’d never wanna have to explain anything and there are no lingering sexual harassment issues in my past. Maybe a few credit issues, a few bitter girlfriends and a couple of bad habits. (Lol) OK, let me officially announce now that I will never run for president.
Still, looking back on it all, wasn’t Cain funny? Wasn’t he entertaining? The guy really should look into doing comedy. He’d really be good. He’s already had a successfully comedy act run (read campaign). I mean, I’m not picking on the guy; He’s just really good for entertainment news.
Andre Turner Basketball Camp
The Andre Turner – Fundamentally Sound basketball camp with University of Memphis’s “Little General” and Coach “D” Davitria Harrell will be held Dec. 27-30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Collierville Community Center. The four-day camp for boys and girls, ages 7 to 14, will focus on basketball skills, strategy, sportsmanship and teamwork.
For more information, contact Brad Heacox at the Collierville Community Center, 901.457.2770 or Coach D at 817.404.2196.
With Jazz-A-F!re and Redd Velvet
You’re invited to hang out for a night with one of my greatest friends, Redd Velvet! On Thursday, Dec. 15, the Memphis Black Arts Alliance/FireHouse Community Arts Center’s Jazz-A-F!RE Orchestra, featuring Redd Velvet, will perform in the Skyway Ballroom at The Peabody Hotel, 149 Union.
The MBAA’s first ever Jazz-A-F!RE Holiday Cabaret also will showcase vocalist Naomi Williams Moody, bassist Kent Suggs, trumpeter Nokie Taylor and other Last Sunday regulars. Co-hosted by WMUR U92 FM, the MBAA fundraiser begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and silent art auction followed by live entertainment from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Stax remembers Rufus Thomas
Here’s the invitation: Please join the Stax Museum of American Soul Music on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Stax Museum for a special event celebrating the life of the “World’s Oldest Teenager,” Rufus Thomas, on the 10th anniversary of his death. We’ll have a special short video, refreshments and more. Admission is free and the party promises to be funky!
01 Dec 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
Ok, now I’m gonna be the grouchy old man that I’m always joking about. Can someone tell me why these awards shows can never get the tribute portion right?
During the Soul Train awards I was looking forward to three tributes – one for Gladys Knight, another for Earth, Wind & Fire and the third was for the late great Heavy D.
Unfortunately, all three were disappointing.
As for the Gladys Knight tribute, I only have one question: “Tamar Braxton...really?”
I mean, Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott were in the audience. They were probably thinking to themselves, “Child, I really need to be up there.” It makes me wonder if they were at least asked to participate.
On to the Heavy D tribute...
All of my favorite rappers appear to be old men now. No one on stage seemed able to actually breathe and rap at the same time. And while it was good to see Big Daddy Kane, and even Kurtis Blow, why was the Goodie Mob there? Anyway, although that was not what I expected, I could not think of anyone else that I would have had up there instead. So there you have it. (lol)
The Earth Wind and Fire tribute was somewhat better. I enjoyed seeing Eric Benet and Joe and Robin Thicke performing together. Those guys could actually form a group and do very well.
One final question: Why did they have Earth, Wind & Fire performing during the closing credits?
That was just wrong.
Will Downing & Boney James
Trust me, Will Downing and Boney Jones will be put on a good show at the Cannon Center this Saturday night. I’ve seen them both in concert on two different occasions and enjoyed both shows immensely. I plan to enjoy this weekend’s show too. Call the Cannon Center Box Office to get your tickets. See you Saturday!
Starry Nights at Shelby Farms
Starry Nights has returned to Shelby Farms Park and will be there through Dec. 30. It features dozens of enormous holiday displays illuminated with more than a million environmentally friendly LED lights. Prices are $20 per car, $50 for a minibus, limo, shuttle or oversized van, and $150 for tour buses. Cash only at the gate.
Visit starrynightsmemphis.org, become a fan of Starry Nights on Facebook, or call Jen Andrews at Shelby Farms Park at 901-767-PARK for more information.
John Witherspoon at the Funny Bone
The very funny John Witherspoon will be performing at The Funny Bone at Harrah’s Casino Tunica on December 1st through the 3rd. Showtimes are Thursdays at 8pm, Friday at 8pm and 10:30pm and Saturday at 7:00pm, 9:30pm and midnight. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of show. For tickets and more, please call (662) 357-4242 or purchase online at www.funnybone tunica.com. Special Offer! $5 off Thursday Nights Show! The Funny Bone is located at Harrah’s Casino Tunica on the 2nd Floor next to Paula Deens.
Hattiloo Theatre Presents “If Scrooge Was a Brother”
“If Scrooge was a Brother” is an urban spin of A Christmas Carol. It tells of sour and stingy Eb Scroo’s ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. This production runs from December 1st through the 24th at the Hattiloo Theatre located at 656 Marshall Avenue. For admission and other Box Office questions, please call (901) 525-0009 or visit them online at www.hattiloo.org.
Keia Johnson Video Premiere
Join us for the premiere of Keia’s new music video for the song “Movin’ On” from her debut CD “T.I.M.E.”! It’s all happening Sunday, December 4, 2011 at the Ice Bar 4202 Hacks Cross Road at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the cover is $7. Enjoy Ice Bar’s full menu and specialty cocktails and then a performance by Keia and the premiere screening of “Movin’ On” directed by the talented Isaiah Conyers.
As I am writing for this week, Dr. Conrad Murray has been sentenced for the death of Michael Jackson. I will most definitely talk about that one next week. Until then, that’s whats happening.
23 Nov 2011
- Written by Myron Mays
I decided to step out of my normal circle of activities and do something different last weekend, choosing to take my kids to see “Annie” at Playhouse on the Square. I know you remember the story of Annie, a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan.
I remember seeing the movie years ago, but the play was a lot of fun. My children are so funny. When it got to the part where the cast sings, “It’s A Hard Knock Life,” they both looked at me and said, “They’re singing Jay Z!”
I’m like, that’s where Jay Z got the song from.
Anyway, it’s a top quality play and I highly recommend you check it out. It will be playing through Dec. 23. Check out the website at www.playhouseonthesquare.org.
I’m pretty sure that over the next few days I will be forced to go see “Happy Feet.” I’ll be sure to share my experience.
This year, I have made a vow not to consume any turkey products whatsoever.
Year after year, there seems to be more turkey than I can handle. I swear the more you eat the stuff the more it multiplies.
So no turkey and dressing, no turkey sandwiches, nor any turkey salad! That way I can be up and alert for Black Friday. I am planning to hit as many sales as I can. As a matter of fact, I will be up and ready to go at 3 a.m.! Perhaps I’ll see you out there.
Curtis Givens All Black Affair
CGI Entertainment & Crown Royal Black presents The 11th Annual Curtis Givens All Black Affair on Friday, Nov. 25 at the Esplanade 901 Cordova Station in cordova. Tickets are $40 in advance and can be purchased at Sammy’s on American Way or Big Bills on Elvis Presley. For more information or VIP booth reservations, call 901-233-8416.
Lalah Hathaway at the Hard Rock
Her name is legendary. Her music is timeless. Her lyrics touch you at the core. Her voice possesses rich warmth that soothes your ears and holds you close. She is Grammy nominated artist, Lalah Hathaway and she is coming to Memphis in December.
Daughter to Soul Music Legend, Donny Hathaway, she is one of this generation’s greatest soul legends. She will be performing at the Hard Rock Café at 315 Beale Street on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. Get your tickets at www.soulloungeusa.com.
Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michelle
Do you like Musiq SoulChild? Of course you do. I know you love those hits such as “So Beautiful,” “Love,” “Yes” and “Anything.” Well, you will get a chance to hear those and much more when he blows into town on Dec. 30 at the Cannon Center.
Also on the show is songbird Chrisette Michelle. This show will be a great one to wrap up the year on, so get your tickets soon. They are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets and the Cannon Center Box Office.
Soul Train Music Awards
If you’re still stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner and too full to leave the house, be sure to check out the “Soul Train Music Awards” this coming Sunday (Nov. 27) at 8 p.m. on BET & Centric.
There will be performances by the Original 7ven, formerly Morris Day and the Time, and much more. There will also be a tribute to Gladys Knight and Earth, Wind and Fire. Expect surprise and a whole lot of fun.
I am excited about seeing the all-star tribute to Heavy D, with Whodini, Big Daddy Kane and Kurtis Blow.
Will Downing & Boney James
Just a reminder...Tickets are still available for the big show featuring Will Downing & Boney James at the Cannon Center on Dec. 3. Get yours now at www.mixandmingle.net.