Bloglikes - Music en-US Fri, 18 Jan 2019 20:55:25 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter Sony Music Severs Ties With R. Kelly, But Continues To Profit From His Recordings Sony-Music-logo-wordmarkR. Kelly and Sony have parted ways, according to multiple sources who characterized the split as everything from mutually agreeable to the controversial rapper being shown the door. The split finally comes after months of pressure over the rapper's alleged predatory behavior. and sexual abuse of women, including several minors. 

But, before you give Sony a #TimesUp Award...

R. Kelly's profitable recording catalog will continue to be distributed by RCA/Sony, and his music is still available on all digital retailers and streaming services.

[Author: Bruce Houghton]

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:10:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Sony Bruce Houghton Kelly Sony Music RCA Sony
The 5 Best Songs Of The Week Can you feel it? That slow, soft opening to the year is behind us, and 2019 is officially getting started. This week brought us great-to-excellent albums from Sharon Van Etten, James Blake, Deerhunter, Pedro The Lion, and Aesop Rock & TOBACCO. And the five best … More » ]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:07:32 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music The 5 Best Songs Of The Week Strand Of Oaks Panda Bear James Blake Gauche Weyes Blood Aesop Rock TOBACCO "AJ Soprano's Nu-Metal Shirts" Is Your Favorite New Twitter Account The most important nu-metal character of our time.

The post "AJ Soprano's Nu-Metal Shirts" Is Your Favorite New Twitter Account appeared first on Metal Injection.

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:06:26 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music The Sopranos Metal In The Mainstream A.j. Soprano AJ Soprano
Ryan Leslie Returns with Quickstrike ‘Fleurier Flow’ EP Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:04:56 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Albums Jazz Ryan Leslie R Les Ryan Leslie Returns Quickstrike 183rd Drops ‘Uptown’ EP with Smoke DZA & Vado Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:56:54 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Albums Jazz Harlem Smoke Dza Vado 183rd It Took Two Hours To Transform Cardi B Into A Tiger For "Twerk"

A few hours before climbing on a yacht to film the music video for 2019's booty-bouncing anthem "Twerk," Cardi B and Yung Miami of City Girls were calmly chit-chatting with their crew while body artists Christina Mendicino and Avi Ram painted their bodies to look like wild animals.

“It was about seven in the morning,” Mendicino tells Refinery29. “The girls were in hair and makeup since 5 a.m., so everyone was really mellow — they needed to save up their energy."

The chill vibe Mendicino paints is a major contradiction to the actual visuals in the video, which is almost four minutes of ass shaking, champagne splashing, pole dancing, split dropping, and, of course, twerking — and during all that action, the body paint didn't budge one bit. What type of sorcery is this?

Mendicino, who has been working on human canvases for over 15 years, says that when she got the call from the "Twerk" camp to turn Cardi B into a tiger and Miami into a zebra, durability was a top priority. “I was specifically asked if the body paint I used was champagne-proof,” Mendicino tells us.

And given the nature of the main "Twerk" scene — which involved splits, dips, and tricks — Mendicino needed to make sure the body paint was immune to more than just a few champagne splashes. “The art needed to be sweat-proof, twerk-proof, and water-proof,” she says. “A few days beforehand, I practiced on my friend and had to make sure that the paint could withstand some jiggle and booze.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on Jan 15, 2019 at 4:33pm PST

To take the rappers' skin from regular shmegular to safari, Mendicino and Ram used alcohol-based body paint from ProAiir and Silly Farm. And it only took Mendicino and Ram about three hours (collectively) to complete the freehand art on both women. “Two hands are better than one, so we were able to work on Cardi and Miami at the same time. It took a little over an hour and a half to paint each of them.” Mendicino added that the paint only takes a few minutes to dry, so both ladies were able to sit, move, and pee soon after the process was complete.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Avi Ram Skin wars (@airbrushhero) on Jan 17, 2019 at 7:40am PST

Since Cardi and Miami spent most of the production dancing, the body artists also needed to make sure that if their undergarments slightly shifted during filming, their animal art wasn’t disturbed. “The trick is lifting up the edges of the underwear and bra and painting the skin underneath and over the garment,” says Mendicino. “You have to create an illusion so that no matter how the body moves, the paint still looks the same." Which means you really have to get in there. “Overall, a job like this is clinical. You have to tell clients when to bend over and stick it out to get the best job done, which is what we did for this video.”

Once the transformation was complete, it held up during the full 11 hours of shooting and only needed minor touch-ups in areas like the knees — which we're guessing got smudged around the moment the rappers dropped into full splits in the sand.

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Kendall Jenner Opens Up About Her Acne For 10-Year Instagram Challenge

Priyanka Chopra Just Went Blonde — One Month After Her Wedding

How My Side Hustle Led To A Full-Time Job As Michelle Obama's Hairstylist

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:55:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Michelle Obama Miami Cardi Mendicino Yung Miami Christina Mendicino Avi Ram ProAiir Avi Ram Skin
24 Ways To Pull Off The Snakeskin Trend Once And For All

This time last year, we associated snakeskin clothing with grandma’s closet and a clearance bin. Fast-forward to now, and the pattern (actually, any animal print in general), is one of the most pervasive trends of the moment. You seriously can’t turn your head or scroll through IG without spotting some fashion person reppin’ the reptile.

While you could follow Rihanna’s lead and wear snakeskin prints head-to-toe, the look is certainly not for the faint of heart. But that’s nothing to hisss over—you can actually turn to your favorite brands like ASOS and Mango for inspiration on how to weave this particular trend into your daily vibe. So whether you’re feeling a cool snakeskin skirt or statement python pants, there’s something for everybody — outfit ideas included — slithering your way ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.


If you simply want to dip a toe into the snakeskin trend, a pair of boots is your best bet. The beauty of the perfect pair? They more or less act as a neutral and can be worn with anything, like this tailored look here.

Mango Snake Leather Ankle Boots, $99.99, available at Mango


Let the snakeskin pants be the hero of the ensemble by layering simple separates into the vibe.

Eloquii Kady Fit Printed Crepe Pant, $89.9, available at Eloquii


Give your standard black satchel a break and opt for a snakeskin style to pop against literally any ensemble, including this all-white monochromatic 'fit.

A.P.C. Geneve Skake-Print Leather Bag, $610, available at


Given the statement nature of the pattern, a simple pair of shoes—like black knee-high boots—is all you need to complete the look.

& Other Stories Printed Pussy Bow Midi Dress, $119, available at & Other Stories


A python coat will add just the right amount of unexpected polish to even the most casual ensembles.

Cli Cli by Clio Peppiatt Faux Snake Jacket, $94.5, available at ASOS


Embrace the unexpected with an eye-catching snakeskin skirt that can really be worn with most pieces in your arsenal—yes, even a printed blouse, checked blazer, and knee-high white boots.

Zara Shiny Snakeskin Print Skirt, $19.98, available at Zara

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Why Not Wear Blush On Your Wedding Day?

We Scoured Instagram & Found 8 Of 2019's Buzziest New Jewelry Brands

Turns Out Americans Don't Trust Fashion Brands To Protect The Environment For Them

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:50:22 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Rihanna Asos Eloquii Zara Like Cli Cli
The 5 Best Videos Of The Week I don't rank late-night performances in this space, but this week, there were a couple of exceptional ones that demand to be mentioned. First, there's Sharon Van Etten unleashing her full soul-wrecking wail while singing "Seventeen" on Colbert. And then there's one that basically is a music video: Bad Bunny euphorically lip-syncing "Mía" … More » ]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:46:08 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Video Music Colbert Spike Lee Tyga Straight To Video Andrew Donoho Cardi B Troye Sivan Sharon Van Etten Jai Wolf The Killers DAPS City Girls Emma Westenberg Arrad Mr. Gabriel Anne Midgette: I Was Wrong About Movie Music And The Concert Hall

“I saw ‘A New Hope’ with both the NSO and the BSO in September and found that the experience confirmed something I had started to suspect: As a classical music critic, I was clueless. That is: While I liked John Williams’s music just fine when I first saw the film at age 12, by the time I had attained legal adulthood, laden with a cargo of acquired snobbery about the superiority of Western civilization, I had learned, and bravely parroted, that ‘film music’ was somehow beneath me.”  – Washington Post

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:32:20 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Art Music John Williams Anne Midgette BSO NSO 01.16.19
Corey Taylor Reveals Lyrical Themes for Next SLIPKNOT Album Taylor has called the new album ""one of the darkest chapters in Slipknot's history — it's that good."

The post Corey Taylor Reveals Lyrical Themes for Next SLIPKNOT Album appeared first on Metal Injection.

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:30:16 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Taylor Slipknot Upcoming Releases Corey Taylor
Kendall Jenner Opens Up About Her Acne For 10-Year Instagram Challenge

As celebrities take to Instagram to post their #10yearchallenge, a viral opportunity for them to brag about how well they're aging, Kendall Jenner is instead seizing the moment to get real about an issue she's battled for 10 years: cystic acne.

Yesterday on her Instagram Stories, the model posted photos from when she was 13 years old, with cystic acne visible across her forehead, cheeks, and chin. "I was 13 and ran home crying everyday because people would stare at my skin," she wrote. She followed up with a recent photo of herself on set, saying, "Yesterday on film zero makeup." The posts come two weeks after the 23-year-old announced that she was partnering with skin-care brand Proactiv to spark a conversation on "Skin Positivity."

Instagram/@kendalljenner Instagram/@kendalljenner

But Jenner didn't end the conversation there. She shared another current photo to her main feed, writing, "While there are much bigger problems happening in the world, suffering from acne for me was debilitating. It’s something that I’ve dealt with since I was a young teen and has caused me to feel anxious, helpless and insecure." She added, "I didn’t think I’d see the day where I would feel confident posting a makeup free picture. My goal is to open up a dialogue around skin positivity."

View this post on Instagram

While there are much bigger problems happening in the world, suffering from acne for me was debilitating. It’s something that I’ve dealt with since I was a young teen and has caused me to feel anxious, helpless and insecure. As humans, I don’t think we share our insecurities enough because we live in a time where being “perfect” is the standard. We curate our life online and pick the pretty moments to post. I’d like to show a younger generation that not everything is perfect. Being insecure about my acne gave me thick skin but I wouldn’t ever wish that feeling upon anyone so after trying countless options, I found something that has been helpful in maintaining clear skin for me. It’s been a long journey but I’m excited for where my skin is now. I didn’t think I’d see the day where I would feel confident posting a makeup free picture. My goal is to open up a dialogue around skin positivity. ❤️

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on Jan 17, 2019 at 3:49pm PST

Jenner has turned off the comments on the post, which is in paid partnership with Proactiv, and it could be due to the online criticism she's received since the skin-care campaign debuted during the 2019 Golden Globes. Social media was torn by the news of the partnership, with some fans bewildered by Kris Jenner's teaser and others doubting her actual use of the product. Neither Kendall nor Kris have posted about the campaign on Instagram since the backlash — that is, until now.

Controversy aside, we're glad to see Jenner using her platform to open up a dialogue about acne and mental health. In a 15-year study published in the British Journal of Dermatology last year, researchers confirmed that acne sufferers were at a significantly higher risk of depression. After following 134,427 men and women with acne and 1,731,608 without, scientists found that patients with acne were 63% more likely to be diagnosed with major depression in the first year after developing acne compared to those with clear skin. "It appears that acne is a lot more than just skin deep," noted University of Calgary epidemiologist Isabelle A. Valerand, the lead author of the study. "It can have a substantial impact on overall mental health."

If Jenner's campaign can help one of her 102 million followers going through something similar, then the exhausting #10yearchallenge might just be worth sticking out for a few more days.

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It Took Two Hours To Transform Cardi B Into A Tiger For "Twerk"

Priyanka Chopra Just Went Blonde — One Month After Her Wedding

How My Side Hustle Led To A Full-Time Job As Michelle Obama's Hairstylist

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:30:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Instagram Michelle Obama Kendall Jenner Kris Jenner Jenner Priyanka Chopra Kendall Kris University of Calgary British Journal of Dermatology Isabelle A Valerand PST Jenner
Exclusive: Don't Miss The New Gender Equity Campaign Inspired By The RBG Movie

Though she’s long been an icon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ("RBG") has increasingly stepped into the media spotlight lately. Her decades-long legacy is the inspiration behind the recent film On The Basis Of Sex, which chronicles some of the challenges she has faced in her long fight for equal rights.

Though the film is sure to inspire viewers, it’s also spurred the creation of a new initiative jointly spearheaded by Participant Media and the ACLU called All Rise. Hinged on the idea that "it takes everyone to create real change," the campaign calls on individuals to take action in the continued fight for gender equity.

Through the ACLU's new digital tool, users are able to learn about workplace equity issues at both state and federal levels as well as take real action signing petitions and contacting policymakers.

The "Know Your Rights " action redirects to a page of resources related to gender justice in the workplace, including pregnancy discrimination, paid family leave, and equal pay. Another button allows you to sign a petition urging Congress to support the Family Act, which would provide all workers — regardless of gender, income, or age — with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they need to care for family or take a medical leave. Yet another page allows users to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, which gives employees the tools to challenge the wage gap.

In addition to this digital advocacy toolkit, the All Rise campaign also includes a national screening program that targets law firms, corporations, and organizations as well as an ambitious screening tour across five key U.S. states where policies on workplace equity will be introduced during legislative sessions later this year. Upcoming events include Jackson, Mississippi on January 22 and Portland, Oregon on January 31.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has dedicated her life to fighting for equality, and this new initiative is a continuation of this legacy. “We are excited and energized by this incredible film and its empowering message inspired by the remarkable life and career of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” said Holly Gordon, chief impact officer for Participant Media, in a recent press release. And though Ginsburg herself is not directly involved in the campaign, Participant Media and the ACLU are determined to fight for the very causes Bader Ginsburg has dedicated her career to.

Lenora Lapidus, director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, furthered: “Justice Ginsburg is a luminary in the fight for gender equality and her legacy lives on at the ACLU decades after she founded the Women’s Rights Project.”

Ultimately, whether watching On the Basis of Sexin theaters or interacting with the All Rise initiative in one of its many engaging online and in-person forms, this campaign is a timely reminder that, while the fight for equity is far from over, we can accomplish so much more when we all rise up together.

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I've Switched Jobs 4 Times — Each With A $20,000 Bump

A Week In Southwest Michigan On A Joint $146,000 Income

Fyre's Billy McFarland Has Negative Money In The Bank

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:25:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Supreme Court Congress Aclu Portland Oregon Times Ruth Bader Ginsburg Don Ginsburg Southwest Michigan Jackson Mississippi RBG Participant Media Lenora Lapidus Billy McFarland Holly Gordon Bader Ginsburg RBG Movie Sexin
Why Not Wear Blush On Your Wedding Day?

There are a few hard rules when it comes to your wedding day: don't drink too much champagne on an empty stomach, avoid the groom while wearing your dress pre-ceremony, and wait until the last possible moment to give the rings to the ring bearer. But if there's one rule the wedding world takes most seriously, it's that the bride must always wear white. Thankfully, we're not big fans of the rules — especially this one. So while a white dress is the end-all-be-all for a lot of brides, we're making a case for a much different choice: blush wedding dresses.

Where the most variety we used to see in wedding dresses came in the form of stark white versus ivory, modern versions are showing up on the market in a wide array of hues. We're hardly suggesting you wear neon on the big day (not that we oppose!), but opting for a warmer shade is no longer frowned upon. Ahead, we've rounded up 15 blush dresses that look every bit as wedding day-appropriate as the white dresses we're used to seeing, if not better.

So if you're looking to break a couple rules on your big day, take a peak at the blush wedding dresses we're loving this season.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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We Scoured Instagram & Found 8 Of 2019's Buzziest New Jewelry Brands

Turns Out Americans Don't Trust Fashion Brands To Protect The Environment For Them

16 Long Sleeve Bodysuits To Replace Your Tops With

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:20:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music
R. Kelly Dropped by RCA Records After Documentary Furor Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:19:20 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music News Rca Records Kelly Sony Music R Surviving R Kelly (TV Program Royce 5’9″ – “Cocaine” (Video) Book of Ryan, out now.]]> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:11:34 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Videos Jazz Royce Ryan 2dope DJ Khalil Royce 5'9 FRI. BRIEF: Deezer Radio App • Cassette Sales Grow • Spotify Stock Rally • Dolby 234 • More DAILYBRIEFFRIDAY 1.18. 19

Music Business News From Around The Web

Updated continuously under the More News tab

[Author: Bruce Houghton]

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Music Business Music Tech Bruce Houghton
Cardi B's Epic Trump Shutdown Rant Is Now A Song [LISTEN] image from scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.comCardi B took to Instagram on Wednesday to express her righteous outrage over the longest government shutdown in history. "Now, I know a lot of y’all don’t care because y’all don’t work for the government or y’all probably have a job,' she said addressing Trump and Congress. "This s--- is really f---ing serious, bro, this s--- is crazy."

12.5 million views later, meme masters The Gregory Brothers remixed her minute long rant into a political jam, "Yeah Bitch/ Nah Bitch." 


so excited for our first co-write with @iamcardib, Yeah Bitch / Nah Bitch

— The Gregory Brothers (@gregorybrothers) January 17, 2019

Here is her original post.

          View this post on Instagram                  

I know a lot of ya do r watch the news so I’m letting ya know shit getting real .....I ain’t going to say nothing much tho I don’t want mofos to off me.....ANYWAYS TWERK VIDEO OUT NOW

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:41pm PST

[Author: Bruce Houghton]

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:10:06 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Instagram Congress Trump Bruce Houghton Cardi Gregory Brothers
What Ivanka Did This Week: ???

Ivanka's schedule has not been made public, so each week, we will do our best to cover the public events and forums she attends, the meetings she has with lawmakers and government officials, and her social media presence.

Ivanka was unusually silent on social media this week while scandal swirled around her. In a bombshell BuzzFeed News report published on Thursday night, we learned that Ivanka was slated to manage a spa at a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, a deal which President Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about. According to "federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter," both Ivanka and Don Jr. were involved in the negotiations. But a spokesperson for Ivanka told BuzzFeed News that she was only "minimally involved" in the project.

"Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the [Trump] Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site, and, even internally, was only minimally involved," wrote Peter Mirijanian.

Additionally, Forbes is investigating that a woman who "runs a business peddling access to Chinese officials and allegedly has ties to Chinese military intelligence" bought an Upper East Side penthouse that used to belong to Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. A Trump Organization spokesperson said the "transaction, which occurred two years ago, was reviewed and approved by outside ethics counsel."

The Daily Mail spotted Ivanka leaving her house on Friday morning, and described her look as "unusually tense."

So what did Ivanka actually do this week? Our best guess:


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Embattled By Anti-Semitism Claims, The Women’s March Forges On

Melania Flies To Florida On Military Jet After Trump Tells Pelosi To Fly Commercial To Afghanistan

As Shutdown Drags On, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has One Simple Question

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:09:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Florida Congress Daily Mail Moscow Upper East Side Trump BuzzFeed News Michael Cohen Trump Tower Pelosi Ivanka Trump Organization Jared Kushner Don Jr Ms Trump Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Trump -RSB- Organization Peter Mirijanian Additionally Forbes
ILL NIÑO Split In Two - Argue Over The Rights To The Name Current & former members of Shattered Sun, Upon A Burning Body and Sons Of Texas have joined.

The post ILL NIÑO Split In Two - Argue Over The Rights To The Name appeared first on Metal Injection.

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:01:50 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Texas Breakups & Shakeups Ill Nino
A Week In Southwest Michigan On A Joint $146,000 Income

Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

Today: an accountant who makes $23,000 per year ($146,000 when combined with her husband) and spends some of her money this week on Honey Nut Cheerios.

Occupation: Accountant
Industry: Nonprofit
Age: 43
Location: Southwest Michigan
My Income: $23,000 between my two jobs
My Husband's Salary: $115,000 plus ~$8,000 bonus
My Paycheck Amount: $325 (biweekly) and $275 (2x/month)
My Husband's Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $3,300

Monthly Expenses
Mortgage: $1,797 for our four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home on one acre. I live with my husband, E., and two kids. Mortgage should be paid off in six and a half more years!
Car Insurance: $230 for three vehicles
Utilities: $200-$350
YouTube TV, Philo TV, Hulu, Netflix: $80
Internet: $89
Cell Phones: $160 for four lines
Life Insurance: $45
Health Insurance: $150 copay for a PPO with $6,5000 deductible, plus $350 to a HSA ($9,000 balance), pretax via my husband's job
Dental Insurance, Life, LTD, ADD: $150 pretax via my husband's job
401(k): My husband deducts 8% ($767/month) pretax, and gets 6% match and 4% gift. It has a $300,000 balance, and I have $100,000 from a previous job.
Savings: $500 to our kids' college fund, with $50,000 balance, and an average of $1,200/month to general savings, which has a $28,000 balance.
Personal Account Deductions: $400 for my husband, $200 for me. We use these for individual spending like meals/drinks with our friends, and my clothing and husband's sports/equipment.

Annual Expenses
Athletic Club: $875
Archery Club: $200
Golf Membership: $700
Church & Charitable Donations: $2,500
Vacations: $1,000-$3,000
Kids Sports & Camps: $2,500
Home Improvements: $5,000-$15,000

Day One

9 a.m. — Wake up and start putting away some of the laundry I did last night. My younger son, C., begrudgingly agrees to help sort socks — the ones that are his, anyway! My older son, R., gets up, lets the dog out, and gets cereal. He needs to get to school for a team practice at 10, and my husband, E., will take him. R. recently turned 16 and just finished the 50 required hours of "driving with a parent" to take his road test, but since he hasn't driven on snow/ice yet, we want him to practice that before getting his full license. After drop-off, E. treats himself to breakfast ($14) out before starting on yard work. It snowed early this year, so he needs to get lots of leaves up now that the snow has melted. $14

11 a.m. — I shower, get ready, and start making the 20 sub sandwiches we volunteered to bring to R.'s practice. I make two extras to leave for E. and C. and grab a KIND bar, apple, string cheese, and Project Seven water for myself to have in the car. I text R. as I arrive; he and a friend help me carry in the spread, which also includes lemonade, chips, and cookies. The group leader is very appreciative, and they all dig in. Instead of driving home, I browse at a nearby furniture store until R.'s pickup time. After meeting a savings goal for the year, we have maybe $3,000 available to spend on home improvement projects. We already purchased some Wayfair storage cabinets for our entryway, and now we want to upgrade some older chairs and furniture in our main living space. I take lots of pictures.

2 p.m. — I pick up R. and take him shopping to try on shoes for a Christmas present. He picks his favorite, and we take advantage of the BOGO 50% off deal to get him a pair of sale price winter boots, too, for only $32 more. I use the mall app to add a 15% off coupon ($133). In another store I buy a fuzzy blanket that C. admired earlier that I want to surprise him with ($16). $149

4:30 p.m. — We all leave for our athletic club. My sons are playing in a youth event, and E. and I plan to work out. I pay for the event fees and watch them for a while before starting my 45-minute workout — rowing machine, elliptical, bike, stretches, and treadmill. $10

6:30 p.m. — We eat dinner at an Italian place nearby. We usually eat out as a family once a week, but often it's just breakfast or fast casual, so tonight is a treat. We order pizza puffs as an appetizer, E. gets a draft beer to go with his sausage/peppers, the boys share a pizza, and I get a cocktail and mushroom risotto. We leave with lots of leftovers. $101

9 p.m. — I log onto work to record some financial batches for one of my jobs. E. has an event for work that he has to get up really early for, so he goes to sleep. The boys are playing computer games online with friends, and my dog is snoring at my feet. In between batches, I take a break and browse — I want to get a few more of this athletic top they carry, and R. could use more fleece pajama pants in the hard to find size Mens Large Tall. I buy just enough to make the free shipping level. At midnight I let the dog out, brew Tazo tea, and turn in. $52

Daily Total: $326

Day Two

3 a.m. — E.'s phone goes off, and he goes down to his office. I text him a few times to see how it's going; it seems like it'll be an easier night. I play a game on my phone to stay awake until he's done — I know I don't have to do this but it seems almost traitorous not to! He finishes his tasks by 5 a.m., comes home, and we fall asleep soon after.

11 a.m. — Was hoping to go to church but slept too late to get there in time. So instead, my younger son, C., and I grocery shop. First at a traditional store that has a great salad/hot bar (which we get food from and eat in the car later) as well as amazing fresh squeezed orange juice. We also buy two salad mixes, bananas, meatballs, chicken breast, and lemonade ($37). Next is Trader Joe's, where we get more salad mixes (including my favorite corn and quinoa salad), cauliflower, pretzel bread for the boys, eggs, precooked bacon, milk, soup, salami/provolone packs, saucy scallops, spaghetti sauce, veggie/grain mixes, stir fry veggies, gingerbread bars, mini chocolate mousse cakes, chocolate mint shortbread cookies, and fresh flowers ($123). We also stop at another furniture store but don't buy anything yet. After we get home, E. takes C. to the archery club to shoot targets with their bows (free with our annual membership). $160

5:30 p.m. — I take the boys to their youth group Christmas parties. It's located near one of my jobs, so I hang out at work until their pickup time. An event is wrapping up and I chat with my boss a bit before doing some work. We get home around 9. I read blogs and Facebook, clean up the kitchen, heat up leftover risotto and pork tenderloin for myself (E. warmed up leftover pizza), start the dishwasher, let the dog out, and go to bed at midnight, after leaving the boys' lunch money on the counter for the week. $20

Daily Total: $180

Day Three

8:30 a.m. — E. and the boys are already off for work and school. Even though it's Monday, I am excited for the day: I don't have to work until late due to an evening financial meeting, and I'm seeing my longtime best friend for lunch. She's an RN who lives near our hometown; when she gets weekdays off that mesh with my semi-flexible work schedule, we try to meet in a town halfway in between. I shower, pick out a cute outfit for lunch, and pack a more business appropriate outfit to change into later. I put chicken breast with buffalo sauce in the Crock-Pot for the guys to have for dinner while I'm at work. I take the dog for a quick walk and get in my car. The drive north is relaxing — it's a sunny day with clear roads.

12 p.m. — I meet my friend at Applebee's. We bring in Christmas presents for each other, and she shows me proofs of her son's senior pictures. He's about to turn 18, and we can't believe that we're this old! We get salads, honey tenders, and mac & cheese ($12 with tip, from my personal account). The time goes by way too quickly, and soon I need to head back for my work meeting. I stop at an apple orchard on the way home — bringing home the kids' favorite donuts will make them forgive the fact that I had to work late ($11)! $23

4:30 p.m. — I arrive at work, run reports, and make copies for our evening meeting. It's over by 8:30, but I still need to run payroll. I snack on some squares of dark chocolate while I work.

10:30 p.m. — I get home and the boys are excited to see me and especially the donuts! E. is already asleep and the boys go to bed soon after, but I need time to turn my brain off before I can go down (my biggest struggle when I work evenings). I decide to make a photo calendar as part of our gift for my in-laws, using a "free" code (not really free after shipping and a size upgrade). I make hot tea, eat a donut, take the dog out, and finally fall asleep by 1:30. $14

Daily Total: $37

Day Four

9 a.m. — As long as I'm mostly caught up, Tuesday is often a day where I don't go into the office (but I may do a few hours of work from home). I get busy ironing a bunch of work clothes while catching up on three episodes of This Is Us on Hulu.

11:30 a.m. — E. texts that he's coming home for lunch (his work is close to our house, so he does this a couple times per week). I take a quick shower and swap my comfy PJ pants for comfy yoga pants and a cute hoodie. I make a Caesar salad for my husband topped with the last of the steak we grilled late last week. He has another overnight work project tomorrow night, and I remind him about C.'s band concert, so he plans to leave work around 2, nap early, and then attend the concert. After he leaves, I start wrapping presents for the box I'm sending to my in-laws, as well as things I've gotten for the kids.

3:30 p.m. — Both kids have after school activities today, but C. is able to ride the "late bus," so I only have one pickup. R. drives on the way home, but first we stop to fill his car up with gas ($42) and mail a package to the in-laws at Staples ($11). Then I start on dinner — on the days I don't go into work, I try to cook larger meals and make lots of veggies. I bake a big salmon fillet, boil cauliflower (some of which I leave as florets and then use the rest for cheesy mashed cauliflower), roast Brussels sprouts, slice zucchini, and warm up the last of the risotto. C. is picky, so he gets popcorn shrimp, zucchini, and baby carrots. After dinner, the kids do chores: R. washes the dog and carries the laundry baskets upstairs, and C. unloads the dishwasher and vacuums. I do two more loads of laundry, shower and wash my hair, and call it a night at 11:30. $53

Daily Total: $53

Day Five

8 a.m. — Up and dress quickly to get going for an 8:45 work breakfast. I enjoy eggs Benedict (paid for by the company) before returning to the office. I work on assigning charge-to accounts for all last month's credit card purchases, and then do bank reconciliations. I don't eat lunch due to the big breakfast, but do sip on an "emergency" Bubly sparkling water from the stash I keep in a desk drawer. I leave work by 2:30 since I need to take C. to a dentist appointment.

3:30 p.m. — C. is in the chair and I am texting with the mom of one of his friends about another athletic club event this Saturday. She volunteers to drive there, and E. and I will pick up and bring home. I make plans to have dinner with just E. that night, with some furniture shopping together after. Just as C. finishes, I get a FB message — my teacher friend's district has a half day on Friday and she's wondering if I can meet her for some shopping? It's been way too long since we've gotten together, so I jump at the chance to see her, even if it means working both jobs tomorrow so I can take Friday off. C. finishes the appointment with no issues, which means no out-of-pocket charges.

5 p.m. — Dinner is salad kits and leftovers: apple/cheddar/spring mix with the remaining pork tenderloin for me and E., and tenderloin, pretzel bread, and apples for the boys. C. gets dressed for the concert and we leave with R. driving. The sixth graders, who have only been playing their instruments for three months, are up first. It's cute. Seventh graders are an improvement, and the eighth graders actually sound really good.

7 p.m. — On the way home R. mentions he is out of body wash , so after dropping E. and R. off at home, C. and I go to Target. In addition to the body wash, we get Goldfish, granola bars, milk, Honey Nut Cheerios, Vitamin Water, two dog toys to give as Christmas presents, two storage bins, hand soap refill, and packing tape. We get home around 8:30, and I watch a little TV with C.: two episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and one of We Bare Bears. The kids go to bed, and E. does prep work for a work update that goes live just before 11. $55

2:30 a.m. — The session concludes with no major issues. I made chocolate coffee drinks for E. and myself around midnight to help us stay awake, and it takes a while for them to wear off, even though I'm exhausted since I didn't sleep earlier in the day like E. did. I run a bath and the soothing lavender stuff I put in it helps a little.

Daily Total: $55

Day Six

9 a.m. — We get up and get ready for work. I grab a prepared salad and a variety of snacks and drinks to take with me. I drive to my first job and then spend several hours preparing checks and deposits. Then I head to their bank, and eventually arrive at my other job. I eat string cheese and a Clif bar and drink Vitamin Water in the car on the way.

2 p.m. — I begin running payroll. Once everything is complete, I eat the salad, yogurt, and apple I brought. I get a phone call from my dad, who had a car maintenance appointment at the dealership in town. He is done earlier than expected and wants to know if I would like him to stop by my house and take the boys out for Chick-fil-A. This is great timing, as I probably won't get home until 7 or 8, and I know from E.'s texts that he took the afternoon off to play golf with friends (yes, they are crazy, but it's 45 degrees and sunny — it may rain or even snow again tomorrow). I text R. to let him know that his grandpa will be coming by. The boys are very happy with the news, and I know the dog will be glad to see one of his favorite people as well! My mom passed away many years ago, but I am still lucky to have such an involved father. He is a great influence in my boys' lives.

7:30 p.m. — After running a larger than normal amount of checks for the week, I'm on my way home. I miss seeing my dad, but find the chicken nuggets and frozen lemonade shake he left for me :). E. gets home around 8. His golf was free with his course membership, but they stopped at a restaurant after for a couple beers and nachos ($18 from his personal account). We fall asleep around 11:30. $18

Daily Total: $18

Day Seven

9 a.m. — The kids head off for their last day of school before break, and we turn off the second alarm to fall back asleep. I take a long shower, wash and straighten my hair, put on my favorite skinny jeans, a tunic top, and suede boots, and go downstairs to make some breakfast. We enjoy fried eggs with sautéed grape tomatoes and mushrooms on top of wheat bread with melted provolone. Then I head out to meet my friend. E. is on vacation until the new year, so he works on a home improvement project — we have been ridding our main floor of the previous older carpet and installing wood floors, but it's been in "not quite done status" since his last stretch of time off.

1 p.m. — I meet my friend at Loft. She returns a pair of pants and buys a sweater, and I get a skirt ($17 from my personal account). Then we visit a sporting goods store, where I. buy $15 athletic shorts for C. and an $18 polo for E., and American Eagle, where I buy a $10 t-shirt for R. I help my friend pick the perfect sparkly sweater from Banana Republic to wear to a party she's going to. We part ways at 4, as she needs to get to Meijer before taking her daughter to an event later in the evening. I find a text from R. asking if he can have a friend over. I let him know I'm on my way, and as I pull into the driveway, he jumps in my car to go get his friend. Dinner is tacos, and I break out some Not Your Father's Root Beer from the garage fridge (and A&W for the teens...) Happy weekend to us! $60

Daily Total: $60

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We want to thank you for dropping such a dope project recently “X”,  please tell us who is JOSEPHNSPARROWB? Where are you from? How did your Hip Hop brand come about? What does the name JOSEPHNSPARROWB mean to you?

JOSEPHSPARROWB is a character that represents/self reflects on widely unacknowledged characteristics of human error and the means in which I do that varies from project to project. “JOSEPHSPARROWB” is a typo of
my name, typos are one of the most minor forms of chaos, which human error is a product of. I don’t “brand” in myself in any particular way but that, I make art asking for no financial success in return.

We notice you style is super original and very creative. Give us a little background on you style and how it cam about?

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I don’t do this to make money so I can’t answer that question.

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Where can people find you on the Internet? Drop all the vital links.

Here’s my Soundcloud, literally every piece of music I’ve released is there. Enjoy!

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Bill Gunn's 'Personal Problems' and a History of the Video Revolution

The '60s and '70s signal watershed decades for the growth of alternative media in the West. The emergence of offset printing during the '60s allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of publications to bloom since it only required a typewriter, some glue, a few volunteers, and a vision. Pirate radio stations also proliferated across the United States, Europe, and Latin America during this time.

Perhaps nothing captured the excitement and utopian possibilities of the youth revolt like the video revolution. Although it required a costly initial down payment of roughly $1,500-2,000, the Sony Port Pak hand-held camera allowed collectives and individuals relatively cheap and immediate media-making capabilities compared to film. Tapes were cheap to purchase and could be recorded over again and again. As the technology advanced during the early '70s, videographers would immediately playback their recordings to the very people taped, allowing a degree of trust and transparency to develop between those in front of and behind the camera.

Furthermore, infrastructure was developing, particularly in the United States and Canada, to allow for the distribution of grassroots video productions over television through public access and UHF and VHF channels. Robust grants were to be had for collectives and groups interested in democratizing the media. The New York State Council on the Arts alone, for example, was offering grants totaling over $20 million in 1970-71 to video collectives.

Yet as I have more thoroughly documented, many of the key players of the video revolution came from relatively privileged backgrounds: white, middle-class, and from the West (Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2017). This doesn't mean that historically disadvantaged groups and individuals didn't benefit from the proliferation of analog video technology and the cable revolution. However, as of yet, we have no clear and comprehensive documentation of how videotape technology impacted working-class ethnic communities and communities of color from this time at either a national level or worldwide other than through partial and often anecdotal accounts.

This historical amnesia results from many causes: 1. the highly unstable nature of early videotapes that lose magnetization and their images; 2. lack of proper storage facilities for early video tapes, which are often hidden in someone's attic, basement, closest, or the like that speeds tape deterioration; 3. limited official repositories where such tapes can be properly archived; and 4. those coming from the most disadvantaged backgrounds often lack access to those institutions with resources to archive their work. Plain and simply, a majority of the work produced on early videotape is lost, most likely exceeding the massive loss of roughly 75 percent of early silent film—though no comprehensive study has been done regarding the attrition of analog videotapes.


As a result, because of limited access to tapes, a common tale proliferates regarding the origins of early grassroots video that privilege the same players like Raindance, Ant Farm, Videofreex, Challenge for Change, and TVTV while continuing to obscure lesser known but equally important groups and initiatives like International Videoletters, Optic Nerve, Portable Channel, Broadside TV, Urban Planning Aid-Media Video Project, South Bronx Community Action Theatre, Cyclops, Video Kinetics, Community Video Center, Nebula Experimental Video, and on and on. These origin narratives tend to overplay the limited experiences of a few select groups rather than providing a more nuanced and diversified way of understanding how video technology intersected with communities that comprise a wide socio-political range and that hold different interests.

The recent release of Bill Gunn's Personal Problems (Kino Lorber) marks a major intervention in correcting this limited history. Not much has been written about it. Nicholas Forster, a PhD student at Yale University, is writing the first biography of Bill Gunn. The few writings about Personal Problems understandably position it in an auteurist framework of Gunn's oeuvre since he has been neglected by film history. Yet the Blu-ray release of Personal Problems can also be seen as a major intervention in recovering "lost" videotapes representing an important black collective creative contribution of US grassroots videomaking.

As film and media historians like David James, Chon Noreiga, Devorah Heitner, and Cynthia A. Young have chronicled ethnic cinemas and media proliferated within the United States throughout the '60s and '70s in the wake of anti-colonial global resistance, Third Cinema endeavors, the civil rights movement, and student upheaval. The recently established Ethno-Communications Program at UCLA provides fertile terrain for the development of many skilled black filmmakers like Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima. But even more broadly, the Black Arts Movement, the Chicano Arts Movement, the American Indian Movement, among many others, inject youth with a desire to produce new artistic forms that not only better reflected their communities, but also were more intertwined with and produced by those communities.

So when Ishmael Reed, Steve Cannon, and Joe Johnson formed a small publishing house named Reed, Cannon, and Johnson Communications Co. to publish and distribute the works by black and other underrepresented authors, they were only one among a sea of independent ventures made by those coming from communities of color to own the creative means of production that allowed for a more diverse art and literature to spread beyond the confines that traditional cultural gatekeepers allowed. As time progressed, Reed suggested creating a black meta soap opera radio play since Steven Cannon hosted a show on WBAI in New York City and Reed hosted a show on KQED in California, where it could be broadcast. According to Cannon on a Blu-ray extra, "We were dissatisfied with the kind of stuff that was coming out of Hollywood, that Blaxploitation, Super Fly and that kind of bullshit. We wanted to do something ... more authentic and more realistic in terms of middle-class black people."

As Forster documents in the liner notes for the Blu-ray, the radio production was produced collectively with the three main actors playing Johnnie Mae (Vertamae Grosvenor), Charles (Walter Cotton), and Father Brown (Jim Wright) improvising their lines while being recorded. Afterwards, the recordings were transcribed, edited and then performed for the on-air production. As Forster notes, "The 'script' that developed focused on the minor rhetorical battles waged between Johnie Mae Brown, her husband, Charles, and her father-in-law, Father Brown."


Once Reed and Cannon met Bill Stephens, a founder of the video collective People's Communication Network, they decided to create a video pilot. People's Communication Network created videos for public access distribution. Perhaps its most famous video prior to Personal Problems was Queen Mother Moore Speech at Greenhaven Prison (1973). Inspired by the 1971 resistance in Attica, prisoners at the maximum security Greenhaven Prison agitated for better conditions and led to a prisoners' community visiting day. Queen Mother Moore was one of the featured speakers that day. With hair in an ornate bun and beautiful white lace dress standing behind a podium, Moore speaks in no uncertain terms against "the super oppression of our people", where she advocates for armed resistance in the light of having her grandfather lynched. She accents the black history she learned from Marcus Garvey and stresses:

"You can't steal from the white man. All you can do is take back from him. Because everything he has got, he stole it from you. Everything. He stole it from you. You are not the criminals. I like to ask you. Have you stole anybody's heritage? Have you stolen children from their mothers and sold them on the slave block? Have you stole wealth from the lands and have you stole whole countries? You haven't been stealing."

Families and prisoners wildly applaud as her speech increasingly indicts not only the criminal justice system but America as a whole, all the while speaking in her best Sunday church attire.

With funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, Reed, Cannon, Stephens, and Gunn produced a 40-minute pilot, which is included on the Blu-ray. The pilot highlights a moment from the radio program, which will be re-performed for the full-length production, where Johnnie Mae and Charles argue about when she came in last night—she is having an affair with a musician while Charles is also having his own affair -- the movies they have seen, and the sudden arrival of her good-for-nothing brother-in-law Bubba (Thommie Blackwell) and his wife Mary Alice (Andrea W. Hunt).

Most notable about the pilot that differs from the full-length project are its overly theatrical conventions. Both Johnnie Mae and Charles have extensive soliloquies about their life and frustrations. Such moments allow the audience to process a large amount of information in a limited amount of time, but don't make for compelling viewing due to the largely static framing and excessive exposition. Furthermore, some blunt framing bludgeons the viewer with overt symbolism, such as when Johnnie Mae combs her hair in a mirror and is positioned between a wig and African totemic figure, suggesting her own tensions between assimilation and being true to herself.

Interestingly, a news broadcast about Three Mile Island and local labor issues runs under much of the dialogue, reminding viewers that the personal problems we are witnessing are embedded in a larger context. Yet what exactly the purpose of accenting this is not entirely clear. A similar confusing moment occurs when the camera pans out the window to the Hudson River while a black racist piece of memorabilia perches on the window sill. Something is being hinted at obliquely here about history and a racist past, but how it aligns with the family melodrama remains obscure.


Ultimately, the pilot feels amateurish in its shooting and soliloquies. The lack of cutting and highly mobile camerawork speak to Stephen's guerrilla video influence. Editing, in addition to being a time consuming process with analogue video, was often shunned by video guerrilla practitioners as overtly manipulative in two ways: 1. it directed the audience's attention to exactly where the director wanted it; and 2. it removed one from the natural rhythm of the unfolding moment being recorded. Much of the benefit of video is its ability to capture duration in that it is not as expensive to shoot as film. One is no longer concerned about how much money each foot of film costs to process. Instead the tape can be left to roll, immersing itself into the setting, becoming a part of the process where incidental moments and spontaneous brilliance might emerge.

Videotape and the improvisatory style of the actors on Personal Problems well meshed with one another. Critics often speak about Personal Problems in relation to Gunn's earlier work Ganjia and Hess (1973) as if the two are more directly related than they are. For example, Steve Ryfle in a recent article suggests Personal Problems "might well be Gunn's greatest achievement, an attempt to create a new narrative form" ("The Eclipsed Visions of Bill Gun", Cineaste (Fall 2018), 27). But this is a difficult assessment to make, since both works are shot on completely different mediums and thus require different aesthetic approaches. Also, how much innovation can solely be attributed to Gunn is debatable, since Personal Problems was done collaboratively.

The full-length version of Personal Problems excels far beyond that of the pilot. One can identify at least four additional causes, besides Gunn's immense talent, to account for it: 1. the cast had now worked together on two-to-three earlier versions, strengthening their improvisational style; 2. the full-length version, which is two hours 45-minutes, provided the needed space for Gunn to tease out more nuanced textures than the shorter forty minute version allowed; 3. the replacement of Bill Stephens with Robert Polidori as cinematographer dramatically improves the framing of the production given Polidori's experimental film background; and 4. a larger editing team on the feature length version that replaced Stephens with Polidori and got rid of Don Q. Kelley by adding Walter Cotton, Niamani Mutima and Kip Kanrahan creates a more complex editing pattern.

The opening two scenes of the full-length version of Persona Problems don't even identify themselves within the soap opera tradition. The opening sequence begins with an interview with Johnnie Mae at the hospital in which she works. An interviewer, never identified off camera, speaks to her about her work and life as she looks towards the camera in a stationary medium shot. The moment validates Johnnie Mae's intelligence as she speaks thoughtfully about how she enjoys her work at the hospital and admits to resenting her mother working as a domestic for a white girl when she was a child who felt her mother's absence from home. Her observations accent the complex familial relations that exist between mother and daughter and expose how work life intrudes upon domestic life.

The opening sequence possesses a documentary naturalism as if shot on the spur of the moment, as many street tapes produced by video collectives were at the time. Her words come naturally to her, feeling unscripted, as the camera remains steadily trained on her full length body. The sequence anticipates the "confessionals" that will later become a staple of reality television. But rather than the rapid editing of the later that privileges soundbites, this sequence fosters the space for Johnnie Mae to express her complete thoughts.


The only hint of a more "artsy" project at hand is when the tape sometimes cuts to other sequences as she speaks to the interviewer. For example, when she speaks about a patient coming in injured a few days prior, we cut to some of that video. Or when Johnnie Mae speaks about her love of poetry, we see her with Raymond (Sam Waymon), her lover, reciting poetry in a park. Remarkably, the sequence fuses the best elements of guerrilla video with that of film editing, drawing both traditions together in a way that is fairly unique for early video projects like this.

Personal Problems, at its best, allows moments of black middle-class life to open itself up before viewers unlike anything ever seen on television even to this day. During its second sequence we watch three women, one being Johnnie Mae, sit outside and gossip about their lives, work and romance, for 16-minutes. We learn at this moment that Johnnie Mae is seeing a man named Raymond. Only later, however, do we realize she's married. The video's soap opera elements remain mostly marginalized for more naturalistic moments that detail the robust patterns of daily life.

A similar moment occurs near the end of Personal Problems, as Charles and a group of male friends visit a bar after the wake for his father. The men drunkenly tease one another throughout, playing off each other's words and relating a sense of camaraderie and familiarity. There is an Altmaneque use of dialogue here where they speak simultaneously over one another throughout while sometimes one voice occasionally dominates: "I would like to toast to a sense of humor...", "Is that the toast?", "I'll drink to that.", "You'll drink to anything."

The camera work holds them all in a four shot, but at times smoothly moves closer to pan along the line of the men sitting at the bar for a close-up until gracefully moving back again. The seamless dialogue between the men is matched by a fluid camera work that highlights the men as a group as well as their individual idiosyncrasies. Again, the sequence accents duration through the rhythm of their dialogue, the flow of the camerawork, and their movements in relationship to one another. The camera immerses us in the moment, not just observing the men but feeling a part of their group until they jokingly argue over who will pay the bill when leaving.

This would be a miraculous moment of acting for any film, but keeping in mind the long history of racist Hollywood and television portrayals of African-Americans, particularly at the moment in time when Personal Problems was being shot, the video cannot help but be something akin to revelatory. Even with a strong African-American filmmaking tradition by people like the aforementioned UCLA film directors, Spike Lee, John Singleton, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Robert Townsend, Bill Duke, William Greaves, Boots Riley, and Barry Jenkins, Personal Best stands out as a unique project.


One cannot help but feel a kinship between Personal Best and Barry Jenkins' incredibly powerful recent film If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). Within it, Jenkins similarly carves out space to get into the texture of its young protagonists' lives. A profoundly beautiful moment occurs when Tish (Kiki Layne) and Alonzo (Stephan James) consummate their relationship. The camera hangs onto their images, lovingly taking them in under the warm lighting of Alonso's apartment while the music gradually rises as if embracing the two young lovers protectively. The camera gently caresses the space around them as Jenkins conjures their connection into something palpable. The film slows down to allow this highly stylized yet personal moment take root as if luxuriating in a rare moment ever seen on commercial screens: two young black people fully in love with the worries of the world temporarily cast off of them.

Personal Best similarly immerses us into the textures of black life often unseen on commercial screens. But because it's shot on video, we can even more deeply immerse ourselves in these moments. Furthermore, a sense of "authenticity" arises through the acting, which film cannot emulate, since it's too costly to experiment and allow such lengthy improvisational styles to develop; this does not mean Personal Best is any less stylized than If Beale Street Could Talk. But it feels much less stylized, with a strong documentary impulse defining it.

Yet like thousands of other of video projects Personal Best remains largely unseen during the last 35 years. Despite a few small screenings at the time of its release in 1980 and 1981, the video suffered a familiar fate that haunts most videos: hidden away in storage, collecting dust . Yet, unlike most projects, Kino Lorber and a few enterprising individuals painstakingly digitized the 58 U-Matic tapes that Ishmael Reed had stored over the years. The importance of the project in terms of its worth as a collective black creative enterprise and its significance in Bill Gunn's limited filmmaking oeuvre could not be ignored.

Reed, during one of the Blu-ray extras, stresses how he sees Personal Best in a long line of independent African-American film production: "If Jake [Perlin] hadn't intervened and brought this back, it would have met the fate of most of the so-called 'race' films. They vanished. They faded. They were lost ... So we follow that tradition where there's an alternative to Hollywood." Yet it also belongs to a much lesser known tradition of ethnic media-making surging during the '60s and '70s, when the video revolution suddenly enabled select black and brown communities to take hold of this new technology in order to capture for the first time the rhythms and texture of their lives that remained (and still largely remain) absent from commercial screens.

If anything, the belated re-release of Personal Problems should serve as an important reminder of the need to locate, identify, screen, and document all the other "minority" video productions that occurred during this period of time; a trove of unknown productions could provide important bridges from the past to our present not only in terms of inspiring a new generation of artists but also revealing a hidden history of struggle and innovation that reveals the full potentiality and limits that the digital revolution might inherit from this earlier moment.

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R. Kelly’s Manager Surrenders on Threat Charge Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:29:38 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Music Television News Georgia Kelly R Crime and Criminals Atlanta (Ga Documentary Films and Programs Timothy Savage Joycelyn Savage Lifetime Television Surviving R Kelly (TV Program Henry James Mason 3 Women Reflect On How Marie Kondo Has Changed Their Lives

So you've decided to finally decided to hop on the KonMari bandwagon, but you're not sure how to make it work for you. Or perhaps you've just been obsessively watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix and wondering (very understandably), so, uh, after she leaves do they actually keep doing that?

We've been wondering the exact same thing — so we asked three bloggers with very different lives, habits, and senses of style to reflect on their experience with the KonMari method. One recently worked with Kondo herself on a home makeover, while the other two have been maintaining theirs since the Kondo craze first hit in 2015. Read on for their thoughts on implementing, customizing, and keeping up with KonMari.

Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, worked with Kondo in 2018.

What is the biggest thing you learned from KonMari-ing your home?
To be much more decisive. I'm someone who wavers on a decision for a while, which is neither helpful, nor productive. I'm much more strict about what stays in our home: only the things that I use and love. I'd assumed that once I got rid of something that I'd feel guilty, but it's actually been the opposite. As soon as something's out of the house, I feel an enormous amount of relief and it's that much easier to keep organized.

As a fashion and lifestyle blogger, how to do balance the minimalism of KonMari with all the clothing and accessories you inevitably collect?
Constant editing. I might have to go into my closet to reevaluate what's in there more than the average person, but I've also found that doing so frequently makes the process a lot easier and faster. Now I'm able to go through everything and take into account if there are pieces I'm not wearing, that don't fit properly, aren't in great condition, or that feel dated.

How well would you say you've kept up with KonMari since working with Kondo?
There are certain areas of the house that are easier to maintain than others. For example, my bathroom is tough since I'm constantly sent new products to try (I swear that's not a complaint!), so the organization in there can suffer. The same goes for our kitchen pantry because I love trying out new snacks, which means that our drawers are filled to the brim. But at least I now have the tools to manage it all in a much more efficient way and do so regularly.

Do you have tips for people on how to maintain their KonMari home makeovers?
I guess just to be honest with yourself. If and when things start piling up, start the process over again.

Abby Lawson of Just A Girl And Her Blog, KonMari'd her home in 2015.

How well would you say you've kept up with your KonMari routine since first doing it?
I think that everybody will have their own ways of tweaking it, and have some things that work well for them from her message and some that don't. I still fold our clothes using that folding method that she shows where you can see all the shirts in the drawer. I don't really — and have never followed — her method to a T for my little boys' socks and underwear, just because it's too hard and they're seven and ten and won't keep it that way anyway. We've moved since then — when we first did it we were in this little tiny townhouse, so part of my motivation for the decluttering was just that I didn't have much space so I needed to get rid of things. It's a process, but I think that her ideas of only keeping around like what you love and being careful of what you bring into your house have really stuck with me throughout that time.

Do you regret parting with any of the items you got rid of?
No, I can't even think of any examples where I was like, oh I got rid of that too hastily and now I wish I had it back. It's kind of like, out of sight, out of mind.

Do you feel like KonMari has changed your life?
I definitely think that mindset of being aware of what is coming into my house and what I'm keeping around has been helpful. It has has changed how I think about my things because before I'd be like, oh, that's on sale. I should get that. But now it's like, well, do I really love that? Is that going to add something to my house? Or is it just going to be this thing that adds more clutter? It's not that I've never made that mistake since I read her book — I've totally made that mistake a bunch of times — but I have also not made that mistake a bunch of times too, because I have this little Marie Kondo in the back of my head saying, is that really going to be a positive addition to your home?

Do your sons understand it? If so, how have you explained it to them?
We do talk a lot about it, particularly with toys, which are obviously their area. We talk about, you know, do you use this, or is it time for another kid to enjoy it now? Especially for my younger son, who is a big more of a sensitive soul, he really resonates with that. The idea of, oh, somebody else is gonna love this and take care of this more than I do. They have also seen and recognized that when they have less toys that are well organized, they spend more time in their playroom playing with them because they can find their stuff and it's only the stuff that they love. They have made that observation to me independently, like hey, when we only have the stuff we really like, we're in here, we use it more often. So that has been cool to see.

Sarah Akwisombe, business coach, KonMari'd her home in 2015.

How much did you stay true to the book when you were doing your KonMari makeover?
So the first thing I'll say — and a lot of people called me out on this when I wrote about the book — is that I couldn't read it until the end, because I just found it really repetitive. I think once you get the gist of how it works, you can just give it a try. I would say I read at least two-thirds of it. Some of it I found quite funny, especially as a British person. We take everything with a pinch of salt and anything that's kind of uber spiritual or uber cheesy, we will kind of make a mockery of it. So when she says, you must never ball up your socks or your underwear, because your underwear basically has feelings and its bad vibes and stuff, I was like, okay, I'm not going to say thank you to my underwear everyday. So with those kind of things, I didn't listen, but what I did do is sort of take the gist of it — ways of maximizing space, clever ways of folding things, the clustering [of different types of objects], throwing things away don't, as they say, spark joy.

How much would you say you've kept up with it since that initial purge?
What I have kept from it is that I fold my clothes a lot more than I used to. I fold all my jeans, trousers, that kind of thing. My daughter, who is six, she doesn't have a wardrobe with any hanging space, I literally fold and roll all of her clothes in drawers, which is a bit more time-consuming, but we live in a small apartment, and it's actually saved a lot of space. I have also stuck with being a little more ruthless about how much crap I'm just keeping around. I would also say I've been a little bit better with keeping — you know how she'll say, like, this is my box of socks, this is my box of makeup brushes? — I have been a bit better at segmenting things like that.

Do you regret any of the stuff you got rid of?
My instant reaction is no regrets. Sometimes when you get a Facebook memory or something like that, I'll be like, oh, that tee shirt was really cool, and I got rid of it.

Do you have tips for people who have just decided to KonMari their homes to and want to ensure that it fits within their life permanently?
Don't take it too literally. I think [you] can take the principles and make them work for you. And that doesn't mean that you failed at the method, is just that you found a way to make it work for you.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

These Beautiful Anthropologie Home Buys Are On Double Sale

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Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:25:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Facebook Fashion Music Netflix Don Marie Kondo Kondo Konmari Abby Lawson KonMari Emily Schuman Sarah Akwisombe
Guitarist Erik Rutan To Fill-In For CANNIBAL CORPSE On Upcoming Tours A perfect fill-in.

The post Guitarist Erik Rutan To Fill-In For CANNIBAL CORPSE On Upcoming Tours appeared first on Metal Injection.

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Priyanka Chopra Just Went Blonde — One Month After Her Wedding

It's been seven days since we last heard from Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas on social media — and by now we know that's out of the ordinary for the newlyweds. Sure, after their three-day wedding celebration in early December and a Caribbean honeymoon (which they live-blogged via Instagram Stories), it would make sense for the two to slow down, take a break from Instagram, and revel in wedded bliss. But today is not that day — at least, not according to Chopra's brand-new hair color.

Just an hour ago, Chopra graced our feeds with her own take on the viral #10YearChallenge. But instead of an outdated photo, fans got a recent one of Chopra with freshly highlighted hair. Although the post isn't totally dedicated to her new sun-kissed look, Chopra does call out the fact that the blonde is, in fact, new — just like her husband. "With this #10yearchallenge taking over the internet, it's got me thinking about the past ten years of my life, like probably all of you," she writes. "So much has changed! Not just my hair or my clothes (or my husband!), but in how I see the world."

View this post on Instagram

With this #10yearchallenge taking over the internet, it's got me thinking about the past ten years of my life, like probably all of you. So much has changed! Not just my hair or my clothes (or my husband!), but in how I see the world. How I understand myself. In these 10 years, with everything I’ve done, I realized that it’s my curiosity in others that has led me to grow into who I am today. So I decided to feed my curiosity by starting a journey where I will meet some extraordinary people. I am a lifelong learner and I am always seeking inspiration. Help me navigate my way through this journey as I ask my peers, role models, and friends -- #JustOneThing. Watch my stories today☝️ to be a part of my new @youtube Originals Special, “If I Could Tell You Just One Thing."

A post shared by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:26am PST

For the record, this isn't the first time Chopra has gone blonde. Two years ago, she spent most of her summer with fine, babylights and she even kicked off last January with caramel balayage. Still, it's evident that these highlights were painted on with a heavier hand than she's ever tried before. And we just have one question: What colorist is responsible for our new blonde envy?

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

How My Side Hustle Led To A Full-Time Job As Michelle Obama's Hairstylist

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Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:20:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fashion Music Instagram Nick Jonas Michelle Obama Caribbean Priyanka Chopra Chopra Instagram Stories Priyanka Chopra Jonas @priyankachopra
Sony & R. Kelly Part Ways

Sony and R. Kelly have “agreed to part ways,” Billboard reports. I guess that’s the polite way of saying they’ve finally dropped his child-molesting ass.

Continue reading below…

Neither Sony nor R. Kelly have made an official statement yet. According to Variety, Kelly’s back catalog will remain with RCA/Sony and his music is still available on streaming services and digital retailers.

Since the airing of Lifetime’s horrifying documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, pressure has been mounting on Sony (and RCA Records, which is owned by Sony) to drop R. Kelly.

On Wednesday, protestors gathered outside Sony’s New York headquarters demanding the singer be dropped. Earlier this month, a plane carrying a banner with the message “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly” was flown over Sony’s offices in Culver City, CA.

A petition calling for him to be dropped has gathered over 217,000 signatures.

R. Kelly has been signed to Sony for over a decade. In 2012, he joined the Sony subsidiary RCA and released four especially grossly-titled albums including Black Panties and The Buffet. Despite funding — and, of course, profiting off — his career in the face of continual allegations, Sony has finally succumbed to public pressure and decided to do the right thing.

Hold the applause, though; RCA just recently signed Chris Brown, whose troubled history with women is also well documented.

Related: Kanye West on R. Kelly: “If We Going to Tear Down One Artist, Let’s Take Down All the Art”

Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:17:28 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs New York Kanye West Sony Jazz Chris Brown Music News Rca Records R. Kelly Kelly Culver City Good For Humanity RCA Sony