Face Off

Face Off

Mr. Permut, here is my movie idea: Easter Bunny hides a nuclear egg. Cop from Brooklyn switches faces with it to recover the egg. Big Explosions. Nicholas Cage. Read More

Amber Vittoria’s Clap Along – An Illustration Inspired by James Victore’s “Burning Questions: The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness.”

Amber Vittoria’s Clap Along – An Illustration Inspired by James Victore’s “Burning Questions: The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness.”

Check out this great illustration by Amber Vittoria that was inspired by James Victore‘s “Burning Questions: The Relentless Pursuit of Happiness.” It’s about the idea of letting yourself be happy instead of hunting down/pursuing happiness as if it were game. I agree with this sentiment. Most of our unhappiness comes from insecurities and fears. Let them go! Allow yourself to be happy. You can purchase Amber’s illustration here. Read More

Go BTS On Sharknado 2! … The Most Epic Spoof of All-Time

Has everyone seen Sharknado? You know, the movie in which Los Angeles gets hit by a massive storm, only to have the water-logged city overrun by sharks! If you think that’s ridiculous, well, in the second movie… the sharks can fly! YUP. Wall Breaker Stephanie Barkley recently wrapped up production design on the sequel and had this to say about her experience: “I recently was a production designer on Sharknado 2.  If anyone is familiar with Sharknado, they’ll understand that designing the sequel was no walk in the park.  One of the reasons why Sharknado became such a social phenomenon was its comedic production value.  I wanted the sequel to have an upgraded look from the first film, but not in a way that took the Sharknado out of it.

 

“When I was read the script and found we would be dealing with a number of New York City’s main attractions, I didn’t think the Empire state building would be cool with sharks being thrown around its observation deck, so we’d have to build it.  With the help of an amazing Art Department crew, we did just that!  My Art director, Randy Hartwig, on top of being extremely talented, kept the positivity flowing through all the turbulence that we encountered.  The special effects crew kicked ass as well, always rising above and beyond the last minute expectations, ready for the opportunity to make a bloody mess.

 

“This was a great opportunity for me, and one that I really enjoyed.  It was a true pleasure to bring this vision to life.  I believe that when you see Sharknado 2 in July, our passion for this fun project will shine through on the screen.”

 

I’m really interested to see how over-the-top this movie can possibly get. It obviously has to top the 1st movie in its ridiculousness. It seems like the perfect summer spoof to help people forget about how hot it is outside. Let’s just hope a shark-infested hurricane doesn’t hit the week of the premiere! Check out some of the behind the scenes moments that Stephanie captured. Be sure to also check out the trailer from the 1st movie above to give you a hint as to how ridiculous these movies are! Read More

Charles Bradley: The Unknown Man Who’s Become The Golden Eagle of Soul Music

Charles Bradley‘s name should be synonymous with recording giants like James Brown, Sam Cooke,  Al Green, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye. Mr. Bradley is a funk/soul/R&B singer, signed to the Daptone Records label under the Dunham Records division. His performances and recording style are consistent with Daptone’s revivalist approach, celebrating the feel of funk and soul music from the 1960s and 1970s. His voice, expressions, and emotions are life-altering. His life was, for many years, a difficult one.

 

Born on November 5, 1948, Bradley was raised by his maternal grandmother in Gainesville, Florida until the age of eight when his mother, who had abandoned him at 8 months of age, took him to live with her in Brooklyn. In 1962, his sister took him to the Apollo Theater to see James Brown perform. He was so inspired by the performance that he began to practice mimicking Brown’s style of singing and stage mannerisms at home. When he was fourteen, Bradley ran away from home due to his poor living conditions – his bedroom was in a basement with a sand floor – and lived on the streets during the day and slept nights in subway cars for two years. Later, he enlisted in Job Corps which eventually led him to Bar Harbor, Maine to train as a chef. One time while working, a co-worker told him he looked like James Brown. When asked if he could sing, he was at first shy, but eventually admitted that he could. He overcame his stage fright (when a crew member pushed him through the curtains onto the stage) and performed five or six times with a band. After his band mates were drafted into the Vietnam War, the act never re-formed. Bradley worked in Maine as a cook for ten years until deciding to head west, hitchhiking across the country. He lived in upstate New York, Seattle, Canada and Alaska before settling in California in 1977. There, Bradley worked odd jobs and played small shows for 20 years.

 

It wasn’t until 1996, when Bradley moved back home to Brooklyn to become closer with his mother, that he finally began to more seriously pursue music. He began making a living moonlighting as a James Brown impersonator in local clubs under the name “Black Velvet.” It was during this time that Mr. Bradley’s brother was tragically murdered, which greatly influenced his future career in music. Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records met Bradley while he was performing as Black Velvet. Roth introduced Bradley to Daptone artist and his future producer Tom Brenneck, then the songwriter and guitarist for The Bullets, and later for the Menahan Street Band, who invited Bradley to his band’s rehearsal. Bradley asked that the band simply perform while he made up lyrics on the spot. After writing several songs, with Daptone releasing some of them on vinyl starting in 2002, Brenneck and Bradley chose ten to be released as a full-length LP.

 

Charles Bradley’s debut album, No Time For Dreaming, was released in 2011 when Bradley was sixty-three (!!!) years old. Think about that for a second. The man should have been a contemporary to many soul and motown greats. He didn’t get the opportunity to release a full-length album until he was in his sixties. I discovered Charles Bradley’s music through the Menahan Street Band. I couldn’t believe how much soul, worldly influence, and hope were packed into each song. The man exudes characteristics and qualities that could only be obtained through the kind of hard life he’s lived. It’s the kind of life that could have broken him, or turned him bitter, but has only served to make him a stronger and more positive human being. Bradley’s second album, Victim of Love came out on April 2, 2013. He’s been frequently sampled by artists like Jay-Z.

 

If you don’t appreciate Charles Bradley’s music, I think you’re missing something in your life. This man’s life story is one that people need to know. Listen to the man’s voice and his message, because… what a voice he has! Everything about Charles Bradley is the absolute truth. He couldn’t be fake if he tried. Many of the songs I’ve selected are from live performances. Please enjoy below! I’d love to know if his music has touched you as much as it touched me. Read More