April 11, 2013

 

ARIES

Your enthusiasm has an effect on the outside world on Monday and Tuesday. It's almost as if flowers lift higher out of the earth when you walk by. Midweek, walks are great, and in keeping with your mood, when progress is a concern but speed is not. Thursday and Friday are especially molasses-filled days, but, like molasses, they are not without a certain amount of sweetness. You will reap rewards for your perseverance. Saturday and Sunday, by comparison, are strapped-to-a-rocket speedy. Expect your hair to get wild.

 

TAURUS

You are of two minds about everything at the beginning of the week. The best advice is to shop around. Don't take the first thing that catches your eye if it's not right. Don't feel pressured to accelerate through the decision-making process. Starting Wednesday, everything will be easier, and you'll feel good just from being in the company of people who know you. Thursday and Friday find you happy as well, appreciative of everything you have, wondering if you've become a glutton, what with all the excess that surrounds you. Nevertheless, this weekend you will be in the mood to shop.

 

GEMINI

Whatever you're feeling on Monday, you're not alone. The people around you are more complicated (and more understanding) than you may realize, and talking with them -- or finding another way to express yourself -- is a grand idea. Tuesday's great for communicating as well. Wednesday and Thursday are more introspective days (you will have to call on inner resources to get everything handled), and Friday involves an awkward squabble with someone nearby (a coworker or a neighbor). But Saturday and Sunday are bursting with goodness and, possibly, romance.

 

CANCER

The slightest suggestion recalls a whole world to you on Monday and Tuesday. A smell, a color, even a word brings you right back to something from your past (and all the attendant emotions). On Wednesday and Thursday, dinner parties, charming people and your house all figure strongly, and Friday is full of crazy ideas and a sense of urgency about generating newer, crazier ideas. Saturday is the kind of day when you'll walk to the store and, on a whim, decide to keep walking -- just to see how far you can get, to make an adventure of your afternoon. Sunday, however, is made for completing tasks.

 

LEO

A nice-to-meet-you attitude on Monday and Tuesday is the way to go. Prepare to shake hands with someone who, in the course of a casual conversation, will change your opinion of something. On Wednesday, you won't see anyone except the people you work with, and on Thursday you won't have much room for thoughts except those related to work. But Friday is a total mixed bag: celebrities, the law, your boss, your ego -- all of these things may figure in. The weekend, conversely, is about none of those things. The weekend is about friends, dreams and hopes.

 

VIRGO

High-spiritedness can quickly become combativeness when tempers run short. On Monday and Tuesday, keep your head on long-term goals (your relationships with the people around you, for instance) rather than short-term questions (who stole your stapler?). It isn't until Wednesday that you begin to feel truly compatible with others this week. Thursday and Friday find you getting a lot done -- and finding more and more things to do (one door, alas, leads to another) -- and the weekend is loaded with potential. It will be a great weekend or a nothing weekend, depending entirely on you.

 

LIBRA

Whatever else happens, Monday and Tuesday afford you time to spend with you-know-who -- time stretching into forever. What will you do together? It's entirely up to you. But a dose of selflessness isn't a bad idea. What would this other person like to do? Wednesday and Thursday, your mind is still on other people (attachments and alliances are strong themes), and Friday finds you scrambling to find a creative way to tell someone how much you appreciate them. Saturday and Sunday, expressing yourself comes more easily. You'll come up with so many new ideas you won't remember them all.

 

SCORPIO

While your impulse to deal with issues as they arise is a good one, it's not the right impulse on Monday and Tuesday. Avoiding conflict is the order of the day. Things could easily get out of hand. Wednesday and Thursday are better suited to working things out -- although, to your frustration, the best solution most likely requires that you give in on some point (a small point, a painless concession). Boldness is key to getting beyond the obstacles Friday has in store for you, but this weekend you're better off proceeding on tiptoe. Sunday is deep.

 

SAGITTARIUS

Your checklist is a game on Monday and Tuesday -- a competition with yourself, a true test of your effectiveness. You welcome the challenge. You like creating these kinds of games for yourself, and you like getting things done. The secret to Wednesday is in the details, but Thursday and Friday you'd be wise to take a step back and look at everything through wider goggles. On Saturday there is so much going on that you'll have no chance at depth or meaning in your social interactions -- but you'll be so busy this won't even occur to you. Sunday's busy too.

 

CAPRICORN

Your family is in your thoughts on Monday and Tuesday. You are feeling loyal and worried in that loving, protective way, and the best thing to do might be to pay a visit. If that's not possible, try to connect in some other way. Wednesday is much more you-centered -- a creative project will have you grinning -- and Thursday or Friday evening might be right for a small trip somewhere, for a couple of hours or overnight. Camping? A motel with a pool in a no-name town? The weekend returns you very much to the real world, full of flaky people, talkative strangers and faithful, brilliant friends.

 

AQUARIUS

You're easing into a new approach to your life. Monday and Tuesday, you're feeling a bit radical, a bit bohemian -- or maybe you're just reading too many French novels. It's changing the way you dress though, no? And the way you interact with people? Your values? Wednesday and Thursday, your self-discovery takes on even more dimensions, and on Friday you are baffled not only by your own strangeness but by the strangeness of life itself. It's a wild week for you, internally. And then it becomes wild externally: An out-of-left-field love affair rocks your weekend.

 

PISCES

Everything takes on a certain murkiness on Monday, and by Tuesday you'll have no idea which way is up. That kind of disorientation can be fun, so long as you're in the mood for it. Wednesday and Thursday, find antidotes to the ambiguous abstractedness. Make dinner at home. Put down your thoughts in writing. Play an album you know by heart. On Friday, nothing is as strong as the pull of your heart, which may explain why, on Saturday, you'll open up a book of poetry. Sunday isn't a boring day, but you should try to keep the activities cerebral rather than athletic.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 11, 2013

By BRIAN MAHONEY

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets are losing one of their biggest names as they prepare for the playoffs.

Jay-Z owned just a little piece of the team, but was a large presence when the franchise changed homes and identities this season.

The rap mogul is selling his stake in the Nets so he can become certified as a player agent, possibly before the end of the season. The process is underway, with paperwork already filed, a person with knowledge of the details said Wednesday.

NBA rules prevent anyone from being involved in ownership and player representation.

Yahoo Sports, which first reported Jay-Z’s plans, said his Roc Nation company has partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and hopes to compete for players in this June's NBA draft.

Jay-Z owns less than 1 percent of the Nets, but has had a major impact with the franchise's move to his hometown. He had input and in some cases complete control of everything from the interior of the $1 billion Barclays Center to the design of the team’s black-and-white uniforms, which he debuted himself during his run of eight sold-out concerts in September that served as the debut of the arena.

A spokesman for Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, did not respond to a message.

Friendly with LeBron James and a number of sports superstars, Jay-Z could quickly make Roc Nation a force in the agency field. The company recently signed New York Yankees All-Star Robinson Cano. The Nets hoped his reputation and friendships would help them three years ago when James led a loaded field of free agents, but the Nets, then playing in Newark, failed to land any of them.

Jay-Z attended only a handful of games this season, but his affiliation with the franchise provided a necessary buzz for its first season in Brooklyn. He sat in his courtside seat next to wife Beyonce in November when the Nets beat the Knicks in their first matchup as New York rivals, providing the trash talk afterward when he tweeted that the city was under new management.

The Nets have clinched their first playoff berth since 2007 and are in position to have home-court advantage in their first-round series.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 11, 2013

By CHRIS TALBOTT | Associated Press

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country singer Brad Paisley says he was trying to foster an open discussion of race relations when he collaborated with rapper LL Cool J on "Accidental Racist."

The new song about racial perceptions has drawn ire from both the country and urban music worlds after its wide release this week. Paisley, the singer-songwriter known for his white cowboy hat and virtuoso guitar work, gave his first interview Tuesday since the hubbub began on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" after briefly addressing the debate Monday night on Twitter.

"I felt like when we were writing this song, it wasn't necessarily up to the media and I don't really trust Hollywood ... or talk radio or anything like that to sort of deal with that anymore," Paisley said on the show. "I think it's music's turn to have the conversation."

The song appears on Paisley's new self-produced album "Wheelhouse," released Tuesday. It's his most ambitious album so far and the progressive message of "Accidental Racist" is in line with opinions the 40-year-old West Virginia-born singer has expressed before in interviews and songs.

Of the album, Paisley wrote on Twitter, "I hope it triggers emotions," and says he wouldn't change a thing about it: "This is a record meant to be FAR from easy listening. But fun. Like life. Have a ball, ya'll."

At its heart, "Accidental Racist" is about how cultural symbols favored by whites and blacks — the fashion choice of wearing Confederate flags or baggy pants, for instance — come loaded with meaning.

It's not a new discussion. Though race relations have evolved over the decades, cultural symbols continue to color perceptions.

Paisley uses the Confederate flag as an example in the song, noting whites are "caught between Southern pride and Southern blame" 150 years after the end of the Civil War.

"I try to put myself in your shoes and that's a good place to begin," Paisley sings, "but it ain't like I can walk a mile in someone else's skin/Because I'm a white man livin' in the southland/Just like you I'm more than what it seems/I'm proud of where I'm from/But not everything we've done/It ain't like you and me can rewrite history/Our generation didn't start this nation/We're still paying for mistakes that a bunch of folks made long before we came."

Paisley was unavailable for an interview and LL Cool J's publicist did not immediately respond to messages. The 45-year-old rapper, who elevated himself from a teen sensation on the streets of Queens to an American cultural icon as a personality and actor on shows like CBS's "NCIS: Los Angeles," provides the response to Paisley's meditations.

He kicks off his portion of the song "Dear, Mr. White Man, I wish you understood what the world was really like living in the hood." Later in the song he raps, "I guess we're both guilty of judging the cover not the book/I'd love to buy you a beer, conversate and clear the air/But I see that red flag and I think you wish I wasn't here."

Later he and Paisley enter a call and response portion of the song where LL Cool J raps in part: "If you don't judge my 'do rag, I won't judge your red flag. ... If you don't judge my gold chains, I'll forget the iron chains ... Can't rewrite history, baby ... let bygones be bygones ... Rest in peace, Robert E. Lee, I got to thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me ... ."

"One of my favorite lines in the song is he says 'I think the relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin','" Paisley told DeGeneres. "Leave it to a rapper to put it so simply and so beautifully."

Not all the good people of the blogosphere and Twitter world were as taken, though, and comedians were weighing in as well.

Demetria Irwin of black culture blog The Grio wrote, "'Accidental Racist' is the worst song in the history of music," then broke it down line by line.

Comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted: "I can't wait for Brad Paisley & LL Cool J's next single: "Whoopsy Daisy, Holocaust, My Bad""

Even the usually open-armed Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots seemed taken aback as he tweeted: "Just heard the "Accidental Racist" man that Weird Al is amazing."

A little later, he compared the reaction to "Accidental Racist" to the recent backlash over Rick Ross' contribution to the Rocko song "O.U.E.N.O," which brought an apology after detractors accused him of glorifying date rape.

"All the "OUENO" weigher ins....i expect "Accidental Racist" to get equal amount of discussion & dialogue," he wrote.

That it did. Paisley told DeGeneres that was the point.

"Make up your own mind," he said. "That's fine. You can throw things at me. I'm all right."

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 11, 2013

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House celebration Tuesday night of Memphis soul music is an affirmation of the decades of hard work that went into making it a classic American music sound, said some of the artists tapped to perform.

“I’m proud to do this,” said Sam Moore, half of the Sam & Dave soul duo, known for the hit “Hold On, I’m Comin’.”

Moore said he was kicking off the concert in the East Room after an introduction by President Barack Obama. The 77-year-old said it's his first time meeting Obama and he joked about possibly wearing a diaper — just in case.

“You just hope you don’t slosh in your shoe,” he said in between rehear­sals. Moore did not give away any de­tails about his performance.

Artist William Bell said the concert reaffirms years of hard work that began in the 1960s when Stax Records was created in Memphis, Tenn., and the label cranked out one soul and R&B hit after another for more than a decade.

Among its artists were Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Bell and Sam & Dave.

“As kids coming up, we didn't think it would last this long,” the 73-year-old Bell said of the music genre during a rehearsal break. He said he would perform one of his hits, “You Don’t Miss Your Water.”

Tuesday’s concert is the 10th in the “In Performance at the White House” series. The lineup includes Alabama Shakes, Steve Cropper, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Bell and Moore, with Booker T. Jones as music director and band leader.

Al Green was listed in the original lineup but, about an hour before the show, the White House released a statement from the singer’s spokes­man who said Green had suffered a back injury that will keep him from traveling and that he will be unable to perform. Green sent his regrets.

The entire program is set to air next Tuesday on PBS stations nationwide. It will also be broadcast at a later date over the American Forces Network for service members and civilians at Defense Department locations worldwide.

The program also honors Memphis, where whites and blacks came together in the 1960s to make a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic grooves despite it being a segregated city.

Earlier in the day, the first lady kicked off a workshop featuring Moore, Staples, Timberlake, Musselwhite and Harper for students from 16 schools and organizations in Virginia, California, Memphis, New York City, Maryland, Florida and Washington, D.C.

She noted Memphis’ history as the birthplace of Elvis Presley’s rock and roll and B.B. King’s blues.

“And while you can hear both of those influences in Memphis soul, this music has a style and a story uniquely its own,” Mrs. Obama said, before launching into the story of Stax Records.

She noted that the label also represented “somebody my husband thinks he sounds like” — Green. “Let’s just tell him he does, OK? Since he is the president, we like to boost him up a little bit.”

It was a reference to Obama singing a few bars of Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in February 2012 during a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Apollo Theater.

Mrs. Obama also tried to encourage the students, including some aspiring musicians, by noting that the artists perched on stools in front of them have spent decades perfecting their talent to get where they are.

She recalled playing the piano as a young girl and said she regretted not keeping it up. But she said the skills learned through music can be useful in other avenues of life.

“The discipline, the patience, the diligence I learned through the study of music, those are all skills that I apply every single day in my life,” Mrs. Obama said. “I applied them as a student, as a lawyer, as a first lady, and definitely as a mother.”

Started in February 2009, the “In Performance at the White House” series has celebrated the music of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Hispanic music, music from the civil-rights era, Motown and the blues, Broadway and country music.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 11, 2013

By Chelsea Battle

LAWT Contributing Writer

 

Wayans.  The mere mention of the name likely brings to mind the talented siblings who took Hollywood by storm in the 1990’s and successfully created a dynasty that traversed the decade and reigns to this day.  Determined to carry the torch, the latest generation of Wayans is working hard to earn their rightful place on the throne.

Says Damien, “There was always a misconception of what it’s like being a Wayans or a second generation Wayans. A lot of people thought we were just born into money and it was like—nope—it was a tough road, a tough journey.” But the Wayans are nothing if not tough.  The new kids on the Wayans family block have taken the popular misconception of a cookie cutter lifestyle and capitalized on it, resulting in the launch of BET’s Second Generation Wayans show.

“You know, me and my cousin Craig [who co stars in the show] were project kids, project bred—we were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths,” Damien reveals. People look at you in a good light sometimes and people look at you in a negative light sometimes. Because you are a Wayans, they expect you to be [like] your family at times. We’re trying to carve our own name and ground ourselves, like our uncles grounded themselves.”

In keeping with family tradition Marlon Wayans, Damien’s uncle, is one of the executive producers for Second Generation Wayans. The show, which Damien says is largely based on real life experiences, reflects years of the ups and downs, successes and failures which he and the younger Wayans have experienced while trying to break into showbiz. Because ‘elders’ Shawn, Keenen, and Marlon have frequently appeared in the spotlight, the assumption is that the entire Wayans family is solidly linked into the film industry. With Second Generation Wayans Damien, his cousin Craig, and Uncle Marlon wanted to dispel that notion and portray the true path which the younger generation has taken.

“Hollywood is a very fickle town,” explains Damien. “It’s a very ‘What have you done today?’ type of town especially now a days. They’re not making certain types of movies like they used to.  Sometimes you feel like Hollywood is its own clique, so that’s why I’m happy I got my clique—my Wayans clique!”

Underneath it all is the rocky, albeit quirky, and genuine love that is the glue that bonds the Wayans together.

“It’s always fun being able to do what you love, and my family is my best friend; so throughout the years that I’ve been working with family it has kind of become second nature. You know, we have our arguments; we have our disagreements, but at the core of it all we are family, and we love to have fun with each other.”

Outside of the show when he’s not working out at a spin class, or chowing down on some Crazy Rocking Sushi on Santa Monica Boulevard, he’s writing and working on projects for his production company. In addition to developing a movie, he’s also directing a six part You Tube web series called That’s a Friend. The series is designed to make viewers beg the question “Is my friend really ride or die?”

“It’s about putting your friend to the ultimate test,” says Damien. “So if you’ve ever wondered, ‘How ride or die would my friend really be in a time of need?’ we take scenarios and we see how ride or die that friend really is.”

The multifaceted Damien Wayans is slowly proving his staying power in this industry, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is indeed a ride or die Wayans.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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