The New Green Hornet Trailer for 2011 Debuts at Comic Con.

It turns out that Seth Rogin is the Green Hornet in a 2010 movie based on the comic.  Take a look at the trailer and let me know what you think.
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Galaxy of Tar at Afro-Punk Festival 2010

Being on staff at the 2010 AfroPunk Festival was hard work and a lot of fun at the same time.  I've been wanting to share some of my experiences, but life's been a bit crazy and I haven't had the chance to really get my thoughts together.  So I'm going to focus on a couple of highlights that I experienced over the two-day event.

One of the bands I looked forward to was Galaxy of Tar.  I first learned about the duo when I started blogging for Afro-Punk.  When you're promoting an event, it's important to know as much as possible about the bands.  I heard their music and loved it.  The best way to describe it is a harsh melodic and industrial sound.

The lead singer is America's Next Top Model cycle 4 winner Naima Mora with Elias Diaz on drums, Nemanja Rebic on guitar and Samuel Fernandez on bass.  As one of the earlier bands on the first day, not many attendees got the chance to see them.  I also missed out because of working backstage.  Luckily, after leaving the festival for a moment, they came back and I got the chance to hang with Naima and Elias for a bit.  One of the most surreal moments of the day was when I asked them to take a picture with me.  Naima had the idea of jumping while Coby Kennedy took the picture.  Unfortunately my digital camera takes a moment to capture an image.  We wound up jumping up and down over and over again leading to some random and funny images.

Wait! We're not ready!

Okay, Go! No Elias you're too late!

Well, okay then, let's try fierce.  Elias that's not fierce!


Okay, let's try a nice pose.

This is going to have to do, then.
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Absolut-ly NOT Brooklyn

During my travels around Brooklyn, I've noticed an interetsing reaction to the recent Absolut Vodka campaign, promoting a partnership with Spike Lee.  Absolut Brooklyn is a limited edition flavored vodka inspiried by Spike Lee's Brooklyn.  The flavor is red apple and ginger, something that sounds like a Jolly Rancher dipped in vodka.  Truth be told, I haven't tried it, but to this drinks snob, it doesn't sound like the best thing.

The bottle is redesigned to show a colorful hand-drawn stoop and a brownstone.  When you see it in the store, there is a part of you that wants to puchase this limited edition bottle, just in case Antiques Roadshow comes to town in the year 2050.  When you see the advertisement in the subway, it's a different story.

The anonymous pop op-ed scrawled across subway advertisements shows no reverence for the contrived.  Spike Lee is not immune.  Anyone who would question the authenticity of someone who directed such Brooklyn-based classics as Do The Right Thing, She's Gotta Have It, and Crooklyn and now lives up on the Upper East Side is beyond me.

Our anynomous op-ed taggers have expressed their thoughts about the Absolut Brooklyn partnership by answering right back on those same advertisements that line the G train (I'm not surprised because there is not much else to do while you're waiting 30 minutes in the middle of the night) and the F train.  Below are some photos of what people really have to say about Absolut Brooklyn.

The G Train at Fulton Street

A Reminder of Spike's Former Days of Glory

Kudo's to the person who came up with this one.

A Comment on Gentrification - honestly, we can't blame everything on Spike!

Comments about the taste and Spike's choice of partnership.
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A New Way to Listen to Music

Tired of society force feeding culture to you?  Want to watch artists in the moment creating a fleeting piece of work that will only be heard once in a lifetime?  Then let me introduce you to Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris.

Morris, affectionately known as "Butch" Morris is my cousin.  The first time I remember meeting him, I was 12 years old and my mother told me that he wrote the theme music to the "Spencer for Hire" spin off series, "A Man Called Hawk."

Once I moved to New York, I spent family time with Butch and saw him perform for the first time.  I loved it!  The music moved through an abstract cacophony of rhythms and notes to a beautifully blended aural tapestry, each instrument providing its own color to the sound.

The secret to Butch's sound is a technique called "Conduction."  It is where musicians must watch Butch's movements and give him what he wants.  It's a conversation where the musicians get the opportunity to contribute whatever melody or harmony happens to be inside them at the moment.  There is no sheet music.

It's more like a conversation.  

Butch: "Flute, give me a tune."
Flute: "Okay Butch, how about this?"
Butch: "That's nice!  Keep it up.  Trumpet, what do you have to say?"
Trumpet: "I'm feeling this."
Butch:  "Hmmmm.  I'll keep that in mind.  But let's go back to the flute for now.  Everyone, follow the flute."

And it goes on from there.

Butch has worked with all types of instruments in his travels.  He even works with poets and actors.  I can't wait until he works with dancers.

He'll be at NUBLU, which is on Ave C between 4th and 5th street.

So when your friends tell you that they just saw someone at The Jazz Standard, you can reply  that you went to see Butch Morris play at NUBLU and they will be impressed.  

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You Thought I Was Through? Oh No! Now It's Nerdcore!

In my never ending quest to find individuals willing to break their mold and live life as they are on the inside, it would be remiss not to include those lovable geeks in the nerdcore movement!

Nerdcore is a genre of rap that celebrates the culture of geekdom.  This could range anywhere from politics to fantasy or science fiction.  For example, you may hear a song in the style of the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere" about "Four young hobbits that I know so well."   Major figures of the Nerdcore movement include MC Frontalot, MC Hawking and YTCracker, who is an artist at the Nerdy South Record label.

MC Frontalot - First World Problem

Optimus Rhyme - Obey the Moderator

You have to admit, these lyrics are dope!  

If you would still like to learn more about Nerdcore, you might want to go see the documentary, "Nerdcore for Life."

There have been some grumblings that Nerdcore could have racist undertones because the majority of artists are white guys taking on what could be considered traits of the black American community.  While I cannot say for sure if this is the case because I haven't been to any shows, I find it hard to believe that guys rapping about being an OMM moderator or The Lord Of the Rings can be considered racist.

Is this racist? 

I didn't think so.

It's fun!  Anyone who has ever had a passion for something a little off center can appreciate what these kids are trying to accomplish.  They are living their lifestyle and talking about the things that they love.  It's no secret, you have to be pretty eloquent to be a good MC.  That takes brains and wit.  It's safe to say that any geeks have this in spades.  Everyone should have the opportunity to strut on stage.  It's a great feeling.  Let the nerds have their jams!

Now I would like to take the time to debut my latest nerdcore song.  Check it!

(P.S. The song is intended to be funny and no one was hurt in the process of making it.)

Let me lay it on the line
I got a little geekiness inside
And you know that the man
Has got to deal with it

I don't care what they say
I'm not about to pay nobody's way
'Cause it's all about the Guinan in me

I want a geek in the mornin'
A geek in the evenin'
Just like me
I want a brainy brother that can satisfy me
If you are that kind of man
'Cause I'm that kind of girl
I've got a geeky secret, everybody sing
'Cause we don't give a damn about The Ring

'Cause I will be a geek
Until the day until the dawn
and we can nerd out
all through the night to the early morn'
So come on and we'll roll up to comicon in a gangsta lean
and we can roll play any time of day it's all good for me!

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Double Rainbow Across the Sky

As you know, this blog is about people using the internet to help them overcome social and political boundaries perpetuated by mainstream media and dominant cultures.  The following post is, admittedly a stretch.  But I think it's about a man who is secure in himself enough to share a moving experience with the world.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And here's the remix...

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Black Nerds. Need I say more?

I have a confession to make.  I have a bit of a reputation among some of my girlfriends for being attracted to a particular type of guy.  My friend Lisa is always quick to remind me about the time when the model/bartender at her local watering hole was doing everything and anything to get me to notice him...and I was wrapped up in conversation with two skinny, computer lovin', comic book reading nerds.

So I had to control my excitement when a friend introduced me to the BNN - The Black Nerds Network.  Yes, you heard me right.

The BNN was founded by two black Brits who realized that the Afro/Caribbean culture is more likely to promote and celebrate a "ghetto" lifestyle than any other group of people.  So they decided to promote the idea that it's good to be a NERD!

The dynamic duo started with a myspace page that generated 3000 friends.  Of course, being the nerds that they are, they've migrated over to Facebook and beyond.

'Black people sometimes believe our own bad 

press and behave accordingly, even adopting       
negative stereotypical behavior as a way of
throwing it back at society.'
(Glenn C. Loury)

Before we go further, I want to say that there have always been black nerds in mainstream culture.  Here are just a few:

 Barack Obama                

                                            Garrett Morgan
                                                                                            Inventor of the gas mask and traffic light

Benjamin Banneker

  Okay, well, you get the picture.

  Now one can't just show up and declare that they are a black nerd.  Oh no!  It takes time and dedication plus the ability to withstand constant taunts of not being cool or not loving your race enough to get bad grades and talk street.

You must know what a Commodore 64 is, you must follow the Boondocks religiously.  Wyatt Cenac must be a comedic hero for keepin it real on The Daily Show with John Stewart.  You must be able to refer to obscure references to Transformers, He-Man, She-Ra, X-Men, Spider Man, The Green Lantern, Star Trek, Dr Who, Star Wars, The Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, The Cosby Show, A Man Called Hawk, The A-Team, The Wiz, and Fat Albert in order to truly explain the point that you're trying to prove.

The BNN is primarily a blog that follows design and culture.  Since it was created by black Brits it has a stronger Afro/Carribean influence than a similar blog might have if it was created in the US.  Anyone who is creative and a free thinker is welcome to join the site.

Trolling through the site might turn up postings about fashion, design, tattoos and art.  Once you've crossed the threshold you can sport your allegiance by wearing one of the graphic tees that the site sells.  And watch you friends turn green with envy as you stroll down the street carrying one of these bad boys!

I know you'll be getting yours ASAP!

As for those model/bartender types who try so desperately to get my attention, it's not that difficult!  Just ask me to go see Predators when it comes out.  When we meet, don't wear anything that costs more than your rent - or your electric bill - and we'll be fine.
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