Hello, and welcome to the 21st century

Racy.  Vulgar.  X-rated.

Everyone is buzzing about Adam Lambert’s gig at last night’s American Music Awards, and all of the above words have been used to describe his performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CNN called Lambert’s choreography “sexually suggestive,” while ABC and Dick Clark productions released a joint statement in which they said “Due to the live nature of the show, we did not expect the impromptu moment in question.”

The “impromptu moment in question” they are referring to is when Lambert’s crotch met the face of one of his backup dancers.

While that incident is probably getting the most negative attention, people are also horrified that Lambert kissed his male keyboard player near the end of the song.

Viewers were so shocked, in fact, that when the AMAs were broadcast on the West Coast, ABC decided to censor Lambert’s performance, cutting away from the singer during the simulated fellatio.

Now, was this Lambert’s best performance to date?  Probably not.

Was it shocking, bordering on obscene?  Yes.

Should you have been expecting anything less from him?  Not at all.

If you were hoping for Lambert to merely stand still on stage in front of the mic, then you are sorely mistaken.  He pushed the envelope as much as he could on “American Idol,” and now that he’s on his own, he’s pushing it even more, which is exactly what he should be doing.

At least he has the guts to be himself, Elvis hair and all.  How many artists can you name who would risk giving such a controversial performance?  My guess is not many, and the ones that you could name would all be women.

How many times have we seen Britney Spears writhe around half naked on stage? Heck, we’ve even seen her kiss Madonna, so why not Lambert and some dude? There is a double standard in society that extends into the music industry–where it’s okay for women to push the envelope with their sexuality, but when a male does it, all hell breaks loose.

After his performance, Adam talked to Rolling Stone backstage and gave some personal feedback:

“We’re in 2009.  It’s time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people’s eyes and if it offends them, then maybe I’m not for them,” Lambert said. “My goal was not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom.”

Ever heard of this thing called the First Amendment, people??

You know, the one that grants the American people freedom of speech??  It exists to provide everyone the right to express themselves freely and is an essential right for all.  You might want to remember that little fact before ripping Lambert a new one.

“But this is a family friendly program!” you say.  “My children were watching!”

Well, perhaps you should have tucked little Timmy in a tad earlier.  It shouldn’t be up to ABC or the FCC to decide what you and your kid do or do not get to see.

Censorship treats people like they’re not intelligent enough to decide what is appropriate for them on their own.  It takes the decision away from the individual and places it in the hands of someone else. Sorry, but how does this support what we are granted with the First Amendment?  Oh, wait, I guess it doesn’t. Goodbye, freedom of speech.

I guess I’m sort of shocked by the backlash this performance has received.  People have taken to online message boards to let Adam know that he has lost a fan in them, that it was completely inappropriate, etc, etc.

Have you people ever heard of Elvis?  Freddie Mercury?  David Bowie?  All of these artists pushed the limits during their time, as Adam is doing right now.

Whether or not you liked this performance, you have to admit it was pretty epic, and obviously caused controversy.  Is anybody talking about anything AMA related besides Lambert today?

Clearly, the large majority of Lambert fans have not dismissed him entirely, because his debut album, “For Your Entertainment,” was released today and is currently number seven on the iTunes best selling album chart.

I would personally like to congratulate Adam for not conforming, for maintaining his artistic integrity and for standing out in an industry of cookie cutter musicians.

Nicely done.

Countdown to the 2009 AMAs

What do Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert and the Black Eyed Peas have in common?

All three will perform LIVE at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. for the American Music Awards tonight.

AMA winners are determined by online voting and honor artists in rock music, country and everything in between.

Janet Jackson will open the show with an eight minute performance, while Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna will also take the stage to showcase their talent.

Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson have the most nominations this year, with six and five, respectively.  Both are up for the coveted “Artist of the Year” award.

Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga and Eminem are also nominees in the same category.

The 37th American Music Awards air tonight, Nov. 22, on ABC at 8 p.m.

I’ll have more AMA updates for you after the show, but for now I will leave you with the following preview:

Turkey Time TV

Searching for a complete guide to Thanksgiving themed television programming? Look no further.

TV Tango has compiled such a list, so you no longer have to worry about missing out on “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” or “Thanksgiving Disasters” with Rachael Ray.

In addition to turkey classics, there are numerous TV show marathons on as well, including “House” and “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

I’m not sure what either have to do with the holiday, because Gregory House is not thankful for anything, and I doubt any of those “real housewives” even know how to turn on an oven, much less cook.

I do welcome any excuse for a “House” marathon, though!

Also, ABC Family has started its “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” prematurely, so there’s always that option.  There’s nothing like watching “Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Day Special” and then being able to flip over to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” right?

Bottom line:  if you’re not in the mood for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or football, you’ve got plenty of other options.

Tim Burton invades MoMA

Starting this November, Tim Burton’s artwork is taking over the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

Burton (right) with Johnny Depp

The gallery exhibit, which begins Nov. 22 and runs through April 26, 2010, features drawings from Burton’s early childhood, films made prior to his professional career and many more never-before-seen pieces.

All are conveyed in a variety of mediums, including drawings, puppets, storyboards, cartoons, costumes and props.

A film exhibit is being paired with the gallery exhibition in order to further honor Burton and his works.  It runs Nov. 18 through April 26 with one or more of Burton’s films screened daily.

Upcoming titles include “Edward Scissorhands,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Big Fish” and “Sweeney Todd.”

Burton himself will be making a personal appearance at MoMA today, Nov. 18, for a book signing.

If, like me, you’re dying to go but don’t live in NYC, perhaps this promotional video will suffice.

(No? Sorry, I didn’t think it would be enough. I myself am currently perusing orbitz.com to find a flight from Detroit to New York so I can be there in time for the book signing…)

New Dashboard: “Belle of the Boulevard”

Chris Carrabba and his band, Dashboard Confessional, have just released a new album, “Alter the Ending.”

The first single off the disc is called “Belle of the Boulevard” and abides by the old Dashboard sound fans have come to know and love.  Yet, it’s also easy to hear how they have progressed as a band and gained a more mature sound and a new perspective.

“Alter the Ending” is available on iTunes now, as well as a bonus track version that includes an acoustic disc of all their new songs.

Check out “Belle of the Boulevard” here…

P.S.  If you’re a fan and want to hear them live, Dashboard will be playing at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit on Tuesday, Dec. 8!!

fred flare wants you to “stay cute!”

While taking a study break and perusing fredflare.com, I have decided that this site has the most random assortment of items ever.

The Brooklyn store

If you’re looking for maple flavored toothpicks, a holiday scented pencil set or a squishy sushi keychain, this website is for you.

As far as I can tell, the price range is pretty large for a variety of somewhat pop culture-y, eclectic items.

To give you a visual, here are my “Top 5 Random Items From fredflare.com”

1.  “Waxed Salad Floss” I’m trying to think of an occasion where one would want lettuce flavored floss.  Perhaps if you’re on the go and don’t have time to both snack and brush?  Nothing else is coming to mind…

Lunch, anyone?

2.  “Blinking Rudolph Lipgloss” I can’t speak for all the ladies, but I might be just a tad embarrassed if I whipped out my BLINKING RUDOLPH LIPGLOSS in public.  Perhaps this item is for those 10 and under.

Red looks good on you...

3.  “Mattress Wallet” REALLY?!  A mattress wallet??  This was found in the “top sellers” section.

Now your cash can sleep snuggly...

4.  “Crazy Cat Lady Game” Another best seller.  Probably you shouldn’t brag if you own this…

Grab your 402 felines and get crackin'!

5.  “Jonathan Adler shoe butter dish” For $64.  I’ll take my butter out of a $3 plastic container, thankyouverymuch.  Butter not included.

The butter that lived in a shoe

As you can see, fredflare.com offers a variety of items that you probably would never actually need. However, if you’re looking for bacon band aids, an ice cream lamp or wasabi lip balm, now you know where to go.

There are undoubtedly more than just these 5 odd items on the site.  Check them out for yourself at fredflare.com.

“Glee: Vol. 2” on the way

I bet the creators of “Glee” are laughing all the way to the bank.

While the show’s first season hasn’t even wrapped, its second soundtrack is being released on Dec. 8.

I will admit it: I am a total Gleek, faithfully tuning in every Wednesday at 9 p.m. and bopping along to the soundtrack as I walk to class every day.

I’m not the only one–the first disc was released a little over a week ago on Nov. 3 and is currently an iTunes bestseller at number 5 on the albums chart.  All of the songs were available individually before the release of the album, so it’s pretty impressive that it’s selling so well.

In case you’re eager to find out what will be on “Glee: The Music, Vol. 2,” check out the track listing here:

1.  “Proud Mary”

2.  “Endless Love”

3.  “I’ll Stand By You”

4.  “Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl”

5.  “Crush”

6.  “(You’re) Having My Baby”

7.   “Lean On Me”

8.  “Don’t Make Me Over”

9.  “Imagine”

10.  “True Colors”

11.  “Jump”

12.  “Smile” (Lily Allen cover)

13.  “Smile” (Charlie Chaplin cover)

14.  “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”

15.  “Don’t Rain on My Parade”

16.  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

17.  “My Life Would Suck Without You”

I, personally, am looking forward to hearing “My Life Would Suck Without You” and “Imagine.” Hopefully the cast will do Kelly Clarkson and John Lennon proud.

While you wait for the second soundtrack, check out two of my favorites from “Glee: The Music, Vol. 1” below.

“Defying Gravity” by Chris Colfer and Lea Michele

“Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” by Cory Monteith

Tune in to “Glee” every Wednesday at 9 p.m. on FOX!

“Ugly Betty” still going strong

I had some spare time this weekend, so I decided to catch up on a few episodes of “Ugly Betty.” Seeing as how it’s currently November and I still hadn’t seen the season finale from May, it was about time.

I found that once I got back into the series, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.  This forced me to lounge around and watch three of the four episodes that have been aired so far this season. (Sorry, econ homework).

I must say, the show is the best it’s been since season one.  However, ratings have gone down something like 37 percent from last year??  I’m blaming the show’s Friday night, 9 p.m. time slot for the dip in viewers.  I’m betting a lot of fans, myself included, watch episodes online when they have spare time, not at 9 on a Friday night.

While some critics believe that Betty (played by America Ferrera) has run her course, I wholeheartedly disagree.  The show still has the same wit it had during season one, which is one of the best parts of this show.  It would be nothing without Amanda (Becki Newton) and Marc (Michael Urie) slinging insults at Betty, and now that she’s more confident, her handing them right back.

*SPOILER WARNING*

To get you up to speed thus far…season four finds Betty working her way up the Mode food chain, as she is now a junior features editor for the magazine.  She and Marc were both up for the position, and Marc is not at all pleased Betty beat him out for the job–and he makes no effort to hide his disdain.  To add to Betty’s stress, her ex boyfriend, Matt (Daniel Eric Gold), is now her boss and tries to make her life as difficult as he possibly can.  Daniel (Eric Mabius) is trying to get back into the swing of things after the death of his wife, which includes hiring a new assistant at Mode and befriending a woman in his therapy group.

*END OF SPOILER*

Here’s some of that humor I was talking about.  The following clip is from episode four of this season, where Betty and Marc investigate the top 10 worst jobs in NYC and pitch their idea to Wilhelmina. One of these jobs is that of a hot dog vendor…

To catch season four of “Ugly Betty,” tune in Friday at 9 p.m. on ABC, or catch up on episodes here.

G.I. Joke

I thought it couldn’t get any worse than “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.” That is, until I had the displeasure of seeing “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” last night.

Channing Tatum as Duke

Let me just start off by saying that I wasn’t going in to this expecting much, but I was even more disappointed than I thought I would be.

The plot was pretty shaky, the acting was not all that great and the writing was just embarrassing.

I understand that this is not meant to be a thought provoking film, but the viewer should not feel as if he or she has lost brain cells upon exiting the theatre.

The action scenes seemed to drag on, and it was all just nonstop computer imagery.  If something wasn’t blowing up, either the Eiffel Tower was crumbling to bits or there was a high speed car chase of some sort.

As for the acting, Channing Tatum is nice to look at, but he should probably stick to dancing in “Step Up.” Also, Dennis Quaid clearly needs to go on holiday and clear his head so he never accepts a script like this again.

Speaking of the script, as a writer, I was incredibly disappointed.  This is one of those movies that I not only question how it got made, but what zoo they got the monkeys from to write it.  Maybe I should be less harsh on the actors and blame the poor dialogue they had to work with?

Pros: at least I didn’t pay for it, and even though I was squirming around in my seat for the last 40 minutes, I made it out alive.

Cons: well, everything mentioned above.  And the ending was set up perfectly for a sequel.  NOOOO.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against action movies.  I love action movies. Example: the Bourne series, Die Hard, any of the Batman movies, etc.  If you’re looking for a good action movie with a little bit of substance to go along with it, I suggest you rent one of those and skip “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.”

Parachute: shot and chopped by yours truly

It may have taken a while, but I have FINALLY compiled my Parachute footage/pictures into a video. Better late than never, right?

In case you missed my earlier post, I met the band Parachute in late September. They played an acoustic show/had a meet-and-greet at Borders in Birmingham, which is where the majority of this footage is from.

The rest is from the same night, in Pontiac, when they played with Secondhand Serenade, The Rust and Evan Taubenfeld for the “Secondhand High Tour.”

Check out my video here and let me know what you think!