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Beyonce at Barclays – Best Thing I Bought All Year

30 Dec

I’ve spent a lot of money this year and although I know Suze Orman wouldn’t approve, I’d have to say I’m pretty happy about most of my purchases. I found a $5 gem to squeeze out every last drop out of all my expensive beauty products, tracked down the perfect red lip color and even discovered a drugstore brand makeup remover gentle enough for my sensitive eyes, but my best purchase this year has to have been tickets to Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter Tour at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Beyonce-Mrs-Carter-Tour-Tank

I have to admit, I haven’t seen very many live concerts. When it comes down to prioritizing my purchases I’ve often found myself asking “Do you NEED this?” vs. “Does this make you happy?”,  so while I can sometimes justify a $200 shopping spree (can’t go to work naked right?)  it’s a bit harder for me to spend the same amount to see live entertainment.

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My outlook on concert spending kinda changed after Michael Jackson died. I  realized that I’d missed Britney Spears at her peak and now that MJ had died I’d never be able to see him live either. I couldn’t continue to miss all my favorite music stars. So when Beyonce announced that she’d be going on tour I decided I HAD to get tickets – missing this tour was NOT an option!! Luckily I snagged seats for the last North American show  a week after Bey dropped her surprise visual album. Hearing new material made me kinda glad I’d waited so long to see the starlet. Though I’ve been a member of the Beyhive since she was singing on stoops with Wyclef, I feel like she’s never been as great as she is now and I‘m glad I got to experience this version of Beyonce rather than the one too scared to try something new.

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What makes Beyonce so good? On this self-titled album, the singer seems to have come into her own as both a person and an artist. Her last four albums, though great, were still pretty “safe” since she followed this formula:

  1. Release a single embracing current pop trends (i.e. Diplo rhythms or featured artist like Shakira) and carefully craft an album filled with R&B/Pop tracks.
  2. Be sure the songs, and their accompanying videos, build confidence in women while enticing straight men and providing catchy phrases for the gay community.
  3. Go platinum and repeat.

Beyonce-Mrs-Carter-Tour-Tank

On her latest work Beyonce sticks to her fail proof formula, but instead of crooning strictly family friendly lyrics, Beyonce delves into more controversial topics such as erotica and feminism. Does it mean this is the real Bey – the one she’s been hiding from us in these carefully controlled interviews and documentaries? Not necessarily, but at the very least it shows she’s grown comfortable in taking expressive risks and it works! Bey’s newfound knowledge of self is apparent not only when listening to the album but in watching her perform on stage. Of course she’s never had problems commanding an audience as her alter ego “Sasha Fierce” but the confidence she’s gained as ‘Yonce  takes her performance to another level.

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So that’s why concert tickets were my favorite purchase in 2013. For the price of a Sallie Mae payment I got to see one of my favorite all-time artists belt out her greatest hits while still in her prime. Beyonce gave me an experience I’ll never forget, but just in case I ever need a reminder I snagged this over-priced souvenir tank – told you I could always justify more clothes. 😉

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Tank ~ Mrs. Carter Show Memorabilia | Blazer~ Express| Pants ~ Express | Shoes ~ Aldo | Lipstick ~ Urban Decay

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Miley Cyrus is Feelin’ Herself in new ‘Adore You’ video

26 Dec

Miley-Cyrus-Adore-You-videoIn what might be her most racy video yet, Miley Cyrus is feelin’ herself  – literally. Miley released a video for ‘Adore You’,  the latest single from her Bangerz album this morning and its just as sexy – if not more – than her last few.

Miley’s the solo star in this video, laying in bed in a sheer version of her favorite outfit – a matching nude bra and panties set – while creating a home movie. Miley writhes around in bed as we see snapshots of her touching/licking herself, putting her fingers in her panties and caressing her A-cups while making “O” faces.

Check out the video for yourself below:

 

Christmas 2013 Movie Guide

18 Dec

Whether you’re partaking in the “movies and Chinese food” tradition or you’re just in a mood to see a new flick, there are a few new releases worth checking out this Christmas. See below for four films that hit theaters next Wednesday.

Grudge Match

Sly Stallone and Robert DeNiro relive their days as “Rocky” and “Raging Bull” respectively, without actually reprising their roles. Henry “Razor” Sharp (Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (DeNiro) get an opportunity to step back into relevancy when  a promoter (Kevin Hart) tricks the aging boxers into reviving a 30 year old rivalry. Expect references to the original Rocky and Raging Bull films as well as old guy jokes.

August: Osage County

Director John Wells brings this Pulitzer-Prize winning Broadway play about the women of the Weston family being reunited after a family crisis brings them back to their childhood home in the Midwest. As with many stage to big screen productions, Osage County features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Abigail Breslin.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

When Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, fears he’s lost a photo that could potentially be used as the cover of the magazine’s final issue he goes on an adventure to find the missing negative. With a PG rating, Mitty is a family-friendly film which also features an all-star supporting cast including Kristen Wiig playing Mitty’s love interest and Shirley MacLaine.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorcese directs and Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the true story of corrupt New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (based on his own memoir) who founded a brokerage firm while indulging in a hard-partying and drug-laden lifestyle. Supporting cast includes Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey.

VIDEO: Cast of Annie Remake films ‘Tomorrow’ scene in Harlem

11 Dec

Jamie-Foxx-Quvenzhane-Wallis-Cameron-Diaz-film-Annie-in-Harlem

When we first learned Jay Z was working on the Annie remake and that there would be some updates to the original script questions were raised about the soundtrack. Would they stick to the original songs or would Jay do completely new songs? Maybe they’d just take the originals and do their own renditions?

Well it looks like they’re keeping the film’s most famous song. Footage has surfaced of Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne and Cameron Diaz in Harlem singing “Tomorrow” in front of a big band and alongside other cast members. The lyrics and tune haven’t changed but the gang has added a bit of choreography.

Annie is scheduled for release on Christmas 2014. In the meantime, enjoy this little sneak peek of the closing scene:

 

8 Grammy nomination surprises you didn’t see coming

9 Dec

Grammy nominations were announced Friday night and while some of our expectations were met – Macklemore dominating the hip-hop categories like Taylor Swift dominates country, “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” contenders for Record of the Year – there were quite a few surprises.

But where's this new album though?

But where’s this new album though?

No new music but Beyonce is nominated.

The Knowles-Carter team really is winning this year! Though the Beyhive is STILL waiting for official new material, the Queen Bey managed to snag a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration nomination for her song “Part II (On the Run)” with hubby Jay Z. If you count her work on The Great Gatsby soundtrack which is nominated for Best Compilations Soundtrack for Visual Media, that makes two.

Justin-Timberlake-201320/20 Experience nominated in the pop categories?

Justin Timberlake put out a two part album this year which helped him garner a total seven nods. The shocker? Three of those nominations are in pop categories. JT is up for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Mirrors”,  his “Suit & Tie ” single with Jay Z is a nominee for Best Pop Duo/Group and his album is up for  Best Pop Vocal Album. Yes, Justin burst onto the scene as a pop singer nearly two decades ago but the 20/20 Experience is clearly an R&B album. But maybe since Rihanna won one of the two Soul/R&B awards she was nominated for at the AMAs this balances things out?

Tamar-Braxton-Love-and-WarTamar Braxton nominated for THREE awards

Many people thought Tamar’s first single was good but how many actually thought she’d get a Grammy nod? The Braxtons star snagged three nominations this year for with her album Love and War up for Best Urban Contemporary Album, and its title track up for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. Between her talk show The Real being picked up, giving birth and snagging all these nominations Tamar is having a great year!

Mack-WildsDixon Wilson is  nominated for a Grammy

While you weren’t paying attention, Tristan Wilds – most famous for his role as Dixon Wilson on The OC – was jump-starting his R&B career. Under the alias “Mack Wilds”, the Staten-Island native released New York: A Love Story on September 30th – just in time to qualify for a Best Urban Contemporary Album nomination. Wilds competes with Tamar Braxton, Fantasia, Rihanna and Salaam Remi – who produced  11 of the 13 tracks on Wilds album.

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Sara Bareilles has TWO nominations

Speaking of music you didn’t know was happening, remember Sara Bareilles’ single “Brave” from earlier this year? Though most of us forgot she put out new music until Katy Perry was accused of sampling Bareilles for her own single “Roar”, critics were watching and they seem impressed. Bareilles “Brave” was nominated for Best Solo Pop Performance and her album The Blessed Unrest is up agains Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, Daft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for Album of the Year. Good luck!

Snoop-Lion

Snoop Lion: Respected Reggae Artist

How many people still think this “Snoop Lion” thing is a joke? Well the Academy doesn’t. Somehow Snoop’s Reincarnated snagged a nom in the Best Reggae Album category, joining the ranks of Sly & Robbie and the Jam Masters, Reggae royalty Ziggy Marley, and veterans Beres Hammond and Sizzla.

Ariana-Grande
Ariana Grande gets snubbed

The Nickelodeon star has been nicknamed ‘Mariah Carey 2.0’ by the public and her singles are pretty great, so it’s surprising that Ariana Grande’s debut album Yours Truly didn’t garner a single nomination. Comparable fellow female newcomers Lorde and Kacey Musgraves managed to snag four noms each including Best Pop Vocal Album and Best New Artist respectively so how did Ariana not qualify for either category?

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Yeezus snags two award noms – too little or two too many?

Though Kanye’s latest project was not well received by the public, The Academy seems to be almost as pleased with this work as Yeezy himself. Yeezus managed to snag two noms in  you guessed it – the “black” categories. “New Slaves” is up against more popular singles “F****n Problems”, “Holy Grail”, “Started from the Bottom” and “Thrift Shop” for Best Rap Song while Yeezus competes with the same artists, who also happen to be the most nominated – Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Drake, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for Best Rap Album.

What else shocked you about this year’s nominees? Do you think anyone got snubbed? Do you think any nominations were undeserved?