Author Archives: Sean

About Sean

Creator and consumer of Pop Culture.

FROM THE CREATOR OF THIS BLOG – A NEW PROJECT!

I’d like to invite the followers of this blog to check out my new project – a new podcast entitled The Perfect Podcast. The Perfect Podcast celebrates the highest achievements in music, film, literature, food, visual arts and more! In each episode I talk to a different person about the creations they believe achieve perfection. From the perfect short story to the perfect music video to the perfect cocktail to the perfect skyscraper – the show explores and celebrates the artists who have achieved the elusive, intimidating, confounding and 100% subjective state of . . . Perfection!

http://www.theperfectpod.com/

I plan to tackle some of the subjects I’ve covered in this blog. I definitely think Prince has created a couple of perfect albums, Michael Jackson has created some perfect songs, Madonna and Janet Jackson have starred in a few perfect music videos and Annie Lennox has turned in some perfect vocal performances. I’d love to hear from you about what you think is perfect or ideal in pop culture. Please visit my website and leave a comment and let me know. Thank for checking this out. Enjoy!

http://www.theperfectpod.com/

 

Prince

So much to say, but no words can describe. If you’ve read this blog you know how much Prince’s music has meant to me over the past 30 + years. I recorded a special tribute to his music on my podcast. Take a listen and remember and celebrate the iconic artist with me.

Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall

Michael Jackson released Off the Wall in August 1979. The album’s influence would stretch across the 80’s, 90’s and beyond and become a pop/R&B classic. Last month filmmaker Spike Lee released the documentary  Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall. On this episode of Inside Pop we review the movie and test our knowledge of Jackson trivia. It’s a fun episode in which my co-host, our special guest and I let our Jackson fan flag wave!

Inside Pop on Itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-17-spike-lees-michael/id1056867859?i=363210749&mt=2

 

Inside Pop on Soundcloud

Who Gets To Play Michael Jackson?

Readers of this blog know how I feel about Michael Jackson (in a nutshell – no other musician’s music has meant more to me). So you may be wondering how I felt when I heard that Joseph Fiennes was cast to play Jackson in a TV production about the alleged road trip Michael took with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando in the wake of the 9/11 attack on New York City. Initially I felt bemused, but the more I thought about it the angrier and more suspicious I became. Yes Michael’s appearance drastically changed over the years. Beginning in the early 80’s and over the next few decades his nose narrowed, his skin lightened and his hair straightened. How much of that change was an act of self hatred? Necessary reinvention? An unfortunate pigmentation disorder? We’re all allowed to conjecture. But casting a white British actor to portray MJ feels like an intentionally blunt way to deal with the world’s most famous – and most complicated – Black entertainer.

And in the current climate where much needed and long awaited conversations about the need for increased diversity in the entertainment industry are finally happening this casting feels additionally insensitive. This isn’t color blind casting. It’s completely conscious – and in my opinion – clueless.

We touch on the controversy in the latest episode of my pocast. Feel free to click below to hear the discussion. Within the episode I also recommend a take on the Jackson, Taylor, Brando road trip that is respectful, moving and yes – even humorous.

Inside Pop On Soundcloud

Inside Pop on Itunes

Inside Pop on Stitcher

 

Revisiting The X-Files and Felicity

In the spirit of pop culture nostalgia I’d like to share the latest Inside Pop podcast. We revisit the 90’s TV classics, The X-Files and Felicity, and see whether they stand the test of time. Hope you enjoy!

On Soundcloud:

On itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/113-revisiting-x-files-felicity/id1056867859?i=360941235&mt=2

A New Venture

To the visitors of this blog I want to share an exciting new venture of mine.  My love of Pop Culture extends beyond the year of 1984 – all the way into the present. Please take a listen to my new podcast – Inside Pop –  a weekly podcast that reviews and celebrates the week’s biggest pop culture (movies, music, film) stories.

Below is a link to the latest couple of episodes – our review of The Revenant and our celebration of the best movie moments of 2015.

You can listen on Soundcloud:

 

Or Itunes:

Inside Pop 111: The Revenant, David Bowie

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inside-pop-111-revenant-david/id1056867859?i=360157724&mt=2

Inside Pop 110: Favorite Movie Moments of 2015

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inside-pop-110-favorite-movie/id1056867859?i=359796209&mt=2

Thanks for checking it out!

THE REVOLUTION (AND PRINCE)

Ok readers – it’s time for a Pop Quiz. Ready?

The phenomenal 80s albums Purple Rain, Parade and Around the World in a Day were recorded by whom?

If your answer is ‘Prince,’ then please head to the back of the class and receive five demerits.

The correct answer is Prince and the Revolution.Prince and The Revolution poster

Without a doubt Prince, the solo artist, is a musical GENIUS. But together with his band, his genius expands. In 1984, the multi-racial, sexually ambiguous, mysteriously cool group of men and women known as The Revolution represented a musical and social utopia. It’s a powerful thing to see oneself represented on TV and film and whether you were male or female, black or white, straight or gay –  or somewhere in between – you could see a cooler version of yourself reflected in the band’s line-up.

Every time I saw Purple Rain (at least 3 times that summer) , watched one of The Revolution’s videos (dozens of times) or stared at their album’s liner notes (100s of hours) I thought, “this is how the world should be; filled with a diverse group of exquisitely talented musicians – with a penchant for paisley.”

Wendy and lisa and princeI have and always will be partial to Wendy and Lisa. The fact that these two extraordinary musicians also happened to be impossibly cool, sexy women was enough to captivate me. But once I heard the opening of “Computer Blue” I was obsessed with their narrative and needed the answers to many questions.

What is the exact water temperature Wendy likes? We’re talking bath water, right? And I’m pretty sure I have a general idea of what’s about to ‘begin’ – but I wouldn’t mind details.

Wendy and LisaAs a feminist I can’t applaud the fact that Prince seemed to use the Wendy & Lisa lesbian fantasy solely for male titillation. But the fact that Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman had a committed, years long romantic relationship and an even longer professional partnership (that continues today) makes me think of them as two of the most important LGBT individuals in pop history.

But first and foremost I think of them as musicians. Wendy and Lisa, along with Brown Mark and Doc Fink and Bobby Z and Prince came together to form my favorite band of 1984.

I’ve seen Prince and The Revolution perform twice in concert (two life changing, transcendent experiences!). The last time was in ’85 or ’86 and the show featured the expanded line-up that included Susannah Melvoin, Eric Leeds and Jerome (from The Family) and Sheila E. Towards the end of the show Prince injured himself on stage and exited. The Revolution must have jammed for about 10-15 minutes and they commanded the attention of every person in the audience at Madison Square Garden. I think everyone realized they were witnessing something rare and wonderful.PATR Stage

What most of the fans probably didn’t know was the band was going to break up after the tour. A great band doesn’t last forever but I wish we would have been able to get one or two more albums from them. Sign O the Times is a perfect record – but I can’t help wondering what it would have sounded like if Prince had collaborated with Wendy and Lisa and the rest of The Revolution.

But we’re lucky to have 3 albums  – the greatest being Purple Rain. Throughout this month we’re going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this record (including those amazing B Sides!)

Shall We Begin?

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