Thursday, April 27, 2017

$425 for a Pair of Dirty Jeans?

The $425 dirty jeans from Nordstrom.
Would you pay $425 for these jeans? (Nordstrom)

MUSINGS

How much would you pay for pair of old, dirty, worn out blue jeans? Nordstrom thinks that a tune of about $425 sounds about right. Seriously. At least you can get free shipping if you order online.

Made in Portugal, Nordstrom describes The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans as “Heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans in a comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you're not afraid to get down and dirty.”

Actually, what I think they meant to say was that with these jeans, you could give off the impression that you aren’t afraid of getting down and dirty without actually having to do so. Heck, at $425, you could hire your butler to roll around in your muddy backyard for you to give that same impression. Perhaps the funniest part is the washing instructions advising that owners wash cold and then line dry. Only the rich can get away with wearing dirty clothes. Ironically, the clean version of these Jeans sell for $196.

This Day in Pop Culture for April 27

Amy Grant's "Baby Baby" became a #1 song in 1991.

Oh, Baby

It was on this day and through May 10th of 1991 that Amy Grant’s song, “Baby Baby,” became a #1 hit song. Written by Grant and Keith Thomas, it was the first single released from her album, Heart in Motion. Grant became the first Christian pop singer to have a number one single in the U.S., although the song itself wouldn’t be considered a “Christian song” since it has no religious meaning to it. Though the song is a simple love song, Grant had initially had trouble writing the lyrics, but after looking into her daughter Millie’s six week-old face, she had found the inspiration she needed. The music video of the song, which was directed by D.J. Webster, was up for nomination for “Best Female Video of 1991” by MTV. A remake of the song featuring Grant and Tori Kelly was released in 2016 for the song’s 25th anniversary.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Buckle Your Seatbelts - Video of the Day

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Buckle your seatbelts. Cars 3 is coming this summer.

This Day in Pop Culture for April 26

"The Voice" premiered on NBC on April 26, 2011.

'The Voice' is Heard for the First Time

The television singing competition reality TV series, The Voice, aired for the first time on this day in 2011. The NBC show is based on The Voice of Holland, where contestants try to get the attention of the four celebrity judges by singing to their backs. If one of more of the judges turn their chairs to face “the voice,” the contestant will join that celebrity’s team of singers. If more than one chair is turned, the contestant gets to choose which team they would like to join. After all of the teams are filled, the contestants are coached by the judges and perform live on TV where viewers vote on the best performances. Those who have served as coaches on the show include Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, Shakira, Usher, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

John Ridley Directs ‘Let It Fall’ About Tensions in Los Angeles

"Let It Fall: L.A. 1982-1992
A scene from Let It Fall: L.A. 1982-1992 (ABC)

TV

Oscar winning writer of 12 Years a Slave and showrunner for ABC's award-winning American Crime, John Ridley presents the two-hour documentary, Let It Fall: L.A. 1982-1992 this weekend. With a partnership with Lincoln Square Productions, Let It Fall chronicles the uprising of Los Angeles beginning in 1982, a whole ten years before the Rodney King Riots.

Many tend to think that the L.A. riots that happened 25 years ago were a problem between just black citizens and white police officers, but there was a whole lot more going within Hispanic, Korean and Japanese communities too.

“Unlike many of us, there are some at the center of the Los Angeles uprising who cannot move on from the events of nearly 25 years ago,” says Ridley. “As we all still live with a number of the same issues that led to the uprising, they still live with a single event. What those individuals recall, and what they survived, urgently needs to be expressed.”

Ridley is collaborating with a team of veteran ABC News journalists, led by executive producer Jeanmarie Condon, who has won multiple DuPont, Peabody, Murrow and Emmy Awards for documentaries and in-depth coverage of current events.

“With many of the films I’ve been a part of, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to take the past and make it present,” says John Ridley. “For me, the documentary space is about allowing people who have lived history to tell their stories in their voices.”

“John is committed to seeing the humanity in everyone on all sides of this story,” says Condon. “He has a unique way of looking at questions of race and class and conscience. We are all so humbled that the participants have entrusted us with their most personal and emotional memories of this time.”

Let it Rall: L.A. 1982-1992 airs Friday, April 28 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

The Kitty Hawk Flyer is Pretty Cool - Video of the Day

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Just in time for summer..."The Kitty Hawk Flyer is a new, all-electric aircraft. It is safe, tested and legal to operate in the United States in uncongested areas under the Ultralight category of FAA regulations. We’ve designed our first version specifically to fly over water. You don’t need a pilot’s license and you’ll learn to fly it in minutes. To learn more, visit https://kittyhawk.aero/."

This Day in Pop Culture for April 25

Matthew West was born on April 25, 1977.

Matthew West is Born

It was on this day in 1977 that contemporary Christian musician Matthew Joseph West was born in Downers Grove, Illinois. Although his first love was baseball and wanted to pursue a career with the sport, he ended up receiving a music scholarship for Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. West released three independent records before he signed with Universal South Records which released his Dove Award-winning album, Happy in 2003. His first single, “More” stayed in the #1 spot of the Christian Adult Contemporary charts for nine weeks. It was that same year that West married his wife Emily. His second album, History, was released in 2006 but in 2007, West experienced what he called “some vocal fatigue.” Doctors at the Nashville Vanderbuilt Voice Center found some hemorrhaging due to some polyps which had to be removed and was prescribed two months of vocal rest. He wasn’t sure if he could ever sing again. A documentary titled Nothing to Say by Benjamin Eisner was created documenting the experience and was released in 2008. Matthew and Emily have two daughters and live in Nashville, Tennessee. His most recent album, Live Forever, was released in 2015.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Geoffrey Rush Brings Einstein to Life in ‘Genius’

Review of "Genius"
Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in Genius.
 (National Geographic Channel)

TV SHOW REVIEW

Like the world that it promotes, National Geographic Channel is taking a huge leap this week with the premiere of the network’s first scripted series, Genius telling the life and times of Alfred Einstein. This is no small project. Created by the Fox 21 (who also created the award-winning mini-series, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and executively produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Genius is pretty incredible. From the opening theme music written by Hans Zimmer, the pilot episode is engaging, if a little off-putting. We quickly learn that Einstein had a way with the ladies and although brief, it was still shocking to see sex being portrayed on the National Geographic Channel. Though it can be argued that Einstein’s affairs are definitely part of his life story, the show could have implied this behavior a little more subtlety. Will that said, this limited series isn’t about sex. It’s about a genius of a man who didn’t quite fit in and yet always did.

Review of "Genius."
Samantha Colley plays Einstein's first wife, Mileva Maric.
Genius tells two stories at the same time going back and forth with a younger and older Einstein. When a young Alfred Einstein (portrayed by Johnny Flynn) was just entering college, he failed most of his studies (probably because they did not interest him) but excelled in the area of physics which was enough to persuade the college dean to bend the rules. We learn that Einstein’s father (Robert Lindsay) was tough on him wanting his son to have a better life while his mother (Claire Rushbrook) tended to want to coddle him.

The older Einstein is expertly portrayed by Geoffrey Rush who while brilliant, doesn’t understand why he can’t have a romantic relationship with both his wife (Emily Watson) and Betty Neumann (Charity Wakefield) the young woman who idolizes him. This half of the story also takes place during the rise of Hitler and the beginning persecution of the Jewish people.

Review of "Genius."
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.
Much of Einstein's theories that are shared throughout the episode were over my head, but it will appeal to those smarter than me. However, I found Einstein’s behavior and how he related to people to be very interesting. Although he doesn’t mean to be, he is quite self-centered often mentally leaves conversations to focus on a new theory or whatever is troubling his thoughts. When a friend is tragically killed, it is his wife that has to remind him that he needs to take time to mourn. While feeling a little on the long side, Genius is both entertaining and interesting and if the first episode is any indication, this is going to be one show that you won’t want to miss.

The cast of Genius includes an impressive list of co-stars including Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men and also starred in National Geographic's Saints & Strangers) who plays consulate official Raymond Geist, Seth Gabel (Fringe) as close friend Michele Besso and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as J. Edgar Hoover.

Genius premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m.

Related: The Who’s Who of Genius