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1 Dec

Joni Mitchell: Fear of a Female Genius

Getty Images/Ringer Illustration   One of the greatest living artists in popular music still isn’t properly recognized. Joni transcends gender, genre and time. Here’s why.   by Lindsay Zoladz | The Ringer In one of the golden, waning years of the 1960s, Chuck Mitchell told his young wife to read Saul Bellow’s novel Henderson the Rain King. It was not a gesture of marital kindness so much as a power move: Chuck was older and more educated than Joan, and to her ears, his book recommendations always...
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30 Nov

Zero F*cks About Miss Universe, But Miss Jamaica!

by Kaleigh Fasanella | Allure Miss Jamaica, Davina Bennett may have been the second runner-up at this year's Miss Universe pageant, but she might as well have taken home the first place win if Twitter has anything to say about it. And, oh, do they ever. Shortly after walking onto the stage with her short Afro, Twitter was abuzz with myriad complimentary comments including, "All of that natural hair, melanated black girl magic!! 😍 ," and "MISS JAMAICA’S AFRO IS GIVING ME ALL TYPES...
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26 Nov

‘Hair Nah!’ Video Game: Don’t Touch My Hair

This Black Woman Made A Video Game After People Kept Touching Her Hair by Khalea Underwood | Refinery 29 When someone touches your hair without permission, feels happen — and not just the physical kind. It's uncomfortable. Unwarranted. Rude. Weird. Demeaning. Scary. It's easy for people to ask "what's the big deal" about the whole ordeal when they haven't experienced it themselves...
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18 Nov

History! Nigeria’s Bobsled Team Heads to Winter Olympics

Photo: Obi Grant by Veronica Hilbring | Essence For the first time in its history, Nigeria will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and it’s all thanks to the women’s bobsled team. Led by driver Seun Adigun and her teammates — Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga — the bobsled team qualified in Canada after completing the fifth of the required five races. The team is the first African team to qualify in the bobsled category. Seun Adigun told Kwesé ESPN, “This is a huge milestone...
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18 Nov

O.M.G.: ‘Betty — They Say I’m Different’ Film Premiere

Image taken from Betty – They Say I'm Different poster by The Wire Betty – They Say I'm Different profiles the groundbreaking funk musician described by Miles Davis as “Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince” Film maker Phil Cox has written and directed a documentary about the reclusive funk songwriter and vocalist Betty Davis. Called Betty – They Say I'm Different, the film draws on archival footage, animation, interviews and song lyrics to tell the story of Davis’s life, from her childhood through...
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1 Nov

“Club 57: Film, Performance & Art in the East Village, ’78–’83” @Museum of Modern Art

“We were all about being very silly at Club 57,” Min Sanchez, one of the regulars, said recently.  ALDEN PROJECTS (One of my favorite haunts. And yes, rents were under $200 a month in those days.) by Brett Sokol | NY Times Club 57, Late-Night Home of Basquiat and Haring Gets a Museum-Worthy Revival.   Kenny Scharf is one of the artists whose early work is being featured in “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983,” at the Museum of Modern...
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1 Nov

NYC Votes to Repeal 91-Year-Old Cabaret Law

This April 24, 1953 file photo shows people dancing at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, in New York. (AP Photo/Hans von Nolde, File) Associated Press/NY Daily News   10/31/17 | NEW YORK (AP) — Cut loose! New York City lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize dancing in bars, repealing a 91-year-old law that banned boogieing at most city nightspots. The anti-dancing law was first enacted in 1926 and prohibited dancing in bars and restaurants that don't have a cabaret license. Critics said the so-called cabaret law originated as...
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30 Oct

Bootsy Collins: ‘LSD was a big part of why I left James Brown’s band’

Gamin’ on ya! Bootsy Collins. Photograph: Alias Imaging/Michael Weintrob   by Candice Pires | The Guardian The musician, 66, on free love, Funkadelic, coming to earthly consciousness and getting away from being Bootsy My mother never said to me: “You can’t do that.” When it came to finishing high school or going on the road with James Brown, I decided to go. She knew I wasn’t really choosing anything harmful. She just wanted me to have fun with whatever I was doing. She was my backbone. You...
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14 Oct

Interview w/ Vincent Ahehehinnou from Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou

by Ban Ban Ton Ton   Benin`s Orchestre Poly Rythmo De Cotonou have been playing and recording for nearly five decades. Combining West Africa`s Voodoo rhythms of the spirits with Pop and Psychedelia. They released hundreds of records in their own continent before being rediscovered by everywhere else via sublime compilations on Soundway and Analog Africa. Described as “the best Funk band in the world”, their name is often preceded by the justified prefix. T.P. “Tout Puissant”. “All mighty”. As part of the...
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14 Oct

Bowie, Jennifer Connelly & More Behind-the-Scenes in ‘Labyrinth’

by Dangerous Minds A candid moment between David Bowie and his look-alike stuntman Nick Gillard on the set of ‘Labyrinth.’ As Halloween approaches I’ve become more and more convinced that this year will bring a cavalcade of David Bowie fans dressed as various personas developed by the Thin White Duke over his long career. Even yours truly is planning on “becoming Bowie” on October 31st and I’m so committed to my quest to look like Aladdin Sane that I’m planning on dying...
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14 Oct

Abdullah Ibrahim: How Improvisation Saved My Life

by Nate Chinen | NPR/Jazz Night in America The music of pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim conveys an extraordinary depth in stillness. More than perhaps any other improvising artist, he knows how to turn the solitary act of introspection into a communal experience that's both transporting and immersive. There's a history behind that sorcery, which you could say was hard-won. Ibrahim grew up in apartheid-era South Africa under the name Dollar Brand, one of the most prominent members of that country's first generation...
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11 Oct

Chris Ofili’s Frustrating, Profound ‘Paradise Lost’

The artist’s new exhibition, at the David Zwirner gallery in New York, is a controlling show, one that minimizes the viewer’s ability to walk around the gallery’s space freely. Photograph by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio courtesy the artist and David Zwirner New York / London   by Doreen St. Félix | The New Yorker To approach a Chris Ofili painting is to make peace with one’s own smallness. For the last twenty or so years, the British artist has accumulated entire universes on his canvases,...
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5 Oct

From Tupac to Lorca: Finding the “Soul” in Hip-Hop & Literature

by Alejandro Nava | University of California Press Taking its name from a song by Bobby Byrd and James Brown, Eric B. and Rakim released a single in 1987, “I Know You Got Soul,” from their albumPaid in Full. By sampling the funky rhythms and throbbing drums of James Brown’s signature sound, the rap looks backward to soul music while at the same time looking forward to a new age that will put on wax many of the hip-hop generation’s distinct...
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5 Oct

How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Political Satire

Culture critic Beth Daniels argues the cartoon moose even allowed viewers to reckon with nuclear war by Beth Daniels, Zócalo Public Square | The Smithsonian "Mr. Chairman, I am against all foreign aid, especially to places like Hawaii and Alaska,” says Senator Fussmussen from the floor of a cartoon Senate in 1962. In the visitors’ gallery, Russian agents Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are deciding whether to use their secret “Goof Gas” gun to turn the Congress stupid, as they did to...
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