The Dishmaster

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Tuesday

21

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Tamra Judge Admits to Violating Her Daughter’s Wishes

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When Tamra Judge’s daughter publicly chastised her mother for posting their joint photo on social media after specifically stating that her invitation was contingent upon not doing so, I naively thought there must be some misunderstanding. After all, if your estranged daughter finally extends an olive branch, one would think that you’d vigorously abide by any and all of her requests. But as most viewers learned on the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion last night, there was no such misunderstanding. Tamra overtly disobeyed her daughters wishes and justified it with the exact reason given by her daughter — she put her reputation first. “I stupidly posted a picture of her and I on graduation, which she had asked me not to do,” Tamra said. Her reason? “There were so many horrible stories that were coming out and I was impulsive.” I might be the only person shocked by her declaration, but it certainly sheds light on their issues, Tamra often attributed to her ex-husband’s poisonous badmouthing of her. Tamra’s daughter has long denied that her father is responsible, and now we know the truth.

Friday

10

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Jennifer Lopez Releases Amor, Amor, Amor featuring Wisin — Hot Damn

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Jennifer Lopez’s new video, ‘Amor, Amor, Amor’ is dated, and it’s dated in all the best ways. From her vintage guess shirt to her signature over sized gold hoops with leather joggers and gelled baby hair, she’s rocking a serious throwback to my Miami upbringing. Though I like the song, the video showcases the singer’s seriously hot bod. Watch her work it with an assist from Wisin below.

Friday

10

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Everything We’ve Learned About Taylor Swift on ‘Reputation’

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Taylor Swift had no choice but to reference the infamous Kimye Feud

Though team Kimye said they’re too busy raising their children to address Swift’s digs, it would be impossible for Swift to have taken the high road given the massive hit her brand took for that feud. Though we know “Look What You Made Me Do” is about Kanye given the “tilted stage,” “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” takes some more jabs.

It was so nice being friends again
There I was, giving you a second chance
But then you stabbed in the back while shaking my hand
And therein lies the issue
Friends don’t try to trick you
Get you on the phone and mind-twist you
And so I took an axe to a mended fence

It goes without saying that this verse is enraging. Let me get this straight, Taylor Swift gave Kanye West a second chance? Did Swift call actress Camilla Belle for lyric approval over a song that basically called her a whore in reference to her romance with Swift’s ex at the time, Joe Jonas (She’s an actress, whoa/She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa)? Also, explain to me how she was mind-twisted? Oh right, because Kanye asked for permission to say he made her famous but neglected to declare he’d use the word “bitch.” Fine distinction, Taylor. Let’s not relive it.

Taylor Swift Thinks Calvin Harris is a Narcissist

On “I Did Something Bad,” Swift says “never trust a narcissist,” and “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing. I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming.” As for why she’s so angry, it’s unclear, but it might have something to do with the song Harris wrote with Swift for which he later took sole credit. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s reference to flying “playboys” around the world, who “drop her name.” This is not a pretty picture, folks, but it’s also not surprising given their ugly breakup.To be fair, that might also be a Hiddleston dig given that the press leaks at the time said Swift questioned Hiddleston’s intentions. I’m also guessing the song title, “I Did Something Bad,” refers to the fact that her relationship with Tom Hiddleston overlapped with her Harris romance.

She Met Her Current Boyfriend While Still With Calvin Harris

Swift’s song, “Gorgeous,” makes it clear that she crushed on her current man from afar. In fact, she says that when they met she had an older boyfriend. The reason that’s likely Harris is because on another song, “Dress,” Swift says, “Nights back when you met me, your buzzcut and my bleached hair.” Swift had bleached hair at the Met Gala in 2016 and her new beau had a buzz cut around the same time for a movie role.

Swift’s Relationship With Tom Hiddleston Was “Cursed” From the Start

Swift suggests that Hiddleston was a rebound who broke her out of prison from her relationship with Harris, which she desperately wanted to leave. Hiddleston also somehow “poisoned the well” with one mysterious action referenced by the lyric “X marks the spot” and a “switch to the other side.”

She’s Happy, and She Wants to Keep Her Romance a Secret

“King of My Heart” calls her new boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, “the one she has been waiting for,” saying she’ll “never let [him] go.” This song also has another subtle jab at her exes, referencing the cars they drive while saying, “they never took me quite where you do.”

So is the album good? Yes. Taylor Swift is always good. She’s got a team of people who work extremely hard on making a great album, and the tone is always consistent. I slightly object to some of the hip hop elements, as it feels a little try-hard given that Swift is simply far too uncool for it. It’s also slightly over-produced, which is to be expected. The added elements often distract from the melody, and given that this record is less about heartbreak and more about reinvention, I found myself far less invested in the lyrics. When someone’s “reputation” is impacted by hard truths about their character, my listening experience is slightly dented. But as I said. It’s good. It’s always good.

Tuesday

7

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Ronan Farrow Exposes Harvey Weinstein’s “Army of Lies” — The Most Shocking Allegations

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Ronan Farrow’s new piece in the New Yorker seems ripped from Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal, only the truth is stranger than fiction. It’s both important and complicated, which has motivated me to provide a breakdown of the most important parts. Here they are.

Weinstein hired Kroll and Black Cube to investigate and suppress allegations against him

Kroll is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube is an agency run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube offers operatives who are “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units.” Their mission was to stop the New York Times piece on Weinstein and to obtain an advance copy of Rose McGowan’s book, which was to be published in January.

Two private investigators from Black Cube met with actress Rose McGowan to extract information using false identities

Under the ruse of being a women’s rights advocate who worked for a fake wealth-management firm, a woman named “Diana Filip” contacted McGowan with a phony initiative to combat discrimination against women in the workplace. They met multiple times, and when McGowan revealed that she was speaking with Ronan Farrow for his Weinstein take-down piece, Filip then contacted Farrow with the same alias. Farrow ignored her. She then contacted a journalist from New York with a different alias, and this time she posed as a “victim” of Weinstein. The journalist smelled a rat and it didn’t go further. The fake website for her bogus wealth management firm has now been removed. Black Cube has since defended themselves, saying they “operate in full compliance with the law of any jurisdiction in which it operates—strictly following the guidance and legal opinions provided by leading law firms from around the world.” Another freelancer also contacted other victims and allegedly reported that information back to Black Cube.

Weinstein’s lawyers helped Black Cube with their mission

One such lawyer who helped Black Cube is David Boies. Boies represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Though he directed Black Cube in their efforts to squash the New York Times story, his firm simultaneously represented the Times in a libel case. Using a law firm to hire an investigative agency is a cunning tactic, because any objectionable actions used by the agency is then subject to attorney-client privilege, thereby shielding them in court. As for whether it’s a conflict of interest to try to stop a Times story while simultaneously having them as a client, Boies’ argument in his own defense is so twisted it’s not worth repeating. It is worth noting; however, that Boies says his hands are clean because he did not “direct” Black Cube’s methods. To put it simply, they might have hired them to uncover evidence, but they did not “direct” them in how they would uncover that evidence.

Weinstein used the National Enquirer for help

In an effort to undermine the credibility of his accusers, Weinstein appealed to Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer. She then provided details of a call made with Robert Rodriguez’s ex-wife. It was alleged that Rodriguez left his wife for McGowan. The call was recorded. Rodriguez’s ex has now made it clear that she would not have cooperated in any efforts to discredit McGowan, but since they would not stop calling, she finally agreed to have a conversation. Howard has since offered what I consider to be a weak defense, which basically suggests the information provided was off the record, and because they had a television-production agreement with Weinstein, they had an interest in protecting their company against what they believed to be false accusations. Perhaps Howard and Boies should have coffee.

Weinstein also employed an investigation firm, known as PSOPs, to uncover compromising data on his accusers

Two private investigators, named Jack Palladino and Sara Ness, produced detailed profiles of Weinstein accusers, including 100 pages on Rose McGowan. But it didn’t stop there. Many of the private security firms he hired also sought to uncover negative information on the journalists themselves, including Ronan Farrow and David Carr, who died in 2015. Carr’s widow says that he always felt he was being surveilled and though he wrote negative stories about Weinstein, he stopped short of exposing his actions toward women for fear of retribution.

This story is horrific, disturbing, and shocking, but I find some sense of solace in at least knowing that this guy, for the past three decades, has employed extremely technical tactics to keep this quiet. It should be really, really difficult to successfully silence victims, and in this case, he spent millions of dollars to do so. According to McGowan, “It was like the movie ‘Gaslight. Everyone lied to me all the time. For the past year, I’ve lived inside a mirrored fun house.” I also find solace in knowing that these tactics will no longer work, as victims have now mobilized in support of one another. Shame will hopefully no longer be used as a tactic for secrecy. As for men, I can only hope that they join the movement.

Sunday

5

November 2017

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COMMENTS

Tabloid Gossip: Your Week of News

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Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner are engaged. Pop Sugar

Patton Oswalt tied the knot. TV Guide

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are back on. Jezebel

Kate Upton got hitched. People

Kendall Jenner and Blake Griffin are going strong. E! Online

Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa are married. Cinema Blend

The agent who grabbed Terry Crews genitals has been identified. Vulture

Tamar Braxton ended her marriage. Bossip

Alec Baldwin is expecting his fifth child. MSNBC

Another bachelor baby is on the way. RTVW

Ray Liotta and his ex-wife might have reunited. Daily Mail

 

Wednesday

1

November 2017

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COMMENTS

N.E.R.D. Releases “Lemon” and It’s Everything You Want

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I recently inquired as the whereabouts of The Neptunes given Pharrell Williams’ solo success and stint on ‘The Voice.’ He’s returned to his roots with N.E.R.D., featuring Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley. They’re back with Rihanna by their side for “Lemon,” and the video is hypnotic. Directed by Todd Tourso and Scott Cudmore, it features Mette Towley, a Minnesota native with a BA in Dance who has worked as a touring dancer with Pharrell for years. Catch them in action at ComplexCon.

Monday

30

October 2017

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COMMENTS

Would You Give a Kidney to Save Your Best Friend’s Life?

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Selena Gomez has some good friends, one of which is Francia Raisa, who willingly donated her kidney to Gomez after Gomez suffered the severe symptoms of Lupus. The story is insanely moving, but it certainly got me thinking. Other than my immediate family, I doubt I’d donate a kidney to save a friend’s life. Watch below as the two discuss the process.

Wednesday

18

October 2017

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COMMENTS

David Gray & Alison Krauss Co-Headline The Greek — Full Review

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It might seem odd to say that a singer’s voice is his best asset, but in the case of David Gray, it’s worth noting. His voice perfectly punctuated the power of his beautiful music, yet the rougher, more masculine tone gives it a mesmerizing juxtaposition. I’m guessing he’s aware of this because he stepped right onto that Los Angeles stage at The Greek Theater for an Acapella rendition of “One Fine Morning”, which roused the audience the moment he arrived (see video below). He then effortlessly moved to the piano, where he delivered a stadium worthy performance with the feel of a small dive bar. And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, the multi-instrumentalist grabbed his guitar.

It feels as if you’ve just discovered David Gray. As if you’re about to run home, CD in hand, hijacking your friends stereo to introduce them to this great underground artist they just have to hear. Nowadays, that process comes in the form of a link, but it’s all the same love for music with an immediate desire to share that love with the world.

David Gray is a live artist. Artists come in many forms, and some of my personal favorite albums aren’t quite up to snuff with what happens on stage. There’s many reasons for that, but when a musician exceeds the album, it’s magic. My favorite song of the night was “The One I Love,” given that Gray slightly changed the arrangement to give the tune a more upbeat, live-band feel. He saved “Babylon” for the end, along with “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” and “Nightblindness.” Though one might think “Babylon” served as the evening’s highlight, I must reiterate that because each and every performance was better than the next, this was not a wait-for-the-hits concert. Every second was used wisely, and I’ll now be attending every Gray concert possible from now on.

Gray’s 10 album, 25-year career has positioned him as one of the UK’s leading artists. The Grammy-nominated musician’s latest studio album, Mutineers, set itself apart from previous albums, while simultaneously satiating his oh-so-loyal fan base. Gray also released a greatest hits collection entitled The Best of that included a re-recorded 25th Anniversary version of “Shine” and new tracks “Smoke Without Fire” and “Enter Lightly.” He is currently in the studio recording a new album which is set for release in 2018.

As for Alison Krauss, she certainly does not need my accolades. She’s a polished live performer with a stellar backup band and a very loyal audience who appeared to be hyper-focused on her every move. It takes a top-notch artist to command such respect, and Krauss proves she’s worthy, time and time again. In fact, as the Gray/Krauss show neared its end, my inner monologue was on overdrive as I thought, “Wow, here’s two people who proved what a show looks like when it’s just about the music. Here I am, under the stars at one of the best venues in Los Angeles, watching the purest of people share their gift with the world. The audience’s attention span reflected that. Just pure, unaffected joy.

Wednesday

18

October 2017

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COMMENTS

Artist Spotlight — STABLES

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The alt-folk duo known as Stables sent this video for “Reverie” my way, and I dig. There’s an obvious comparison to The Lumineers here. Their debut album, “Beyond Brushes” is worth a listen, as is their song below. Their new album drops next year. Check it out.

Tuesday

10

October 2017

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COMMENTS

Artist on the Rise: RIVVRS

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Looking for your next underground artist on the rise? Meet RIVVRS, also known as Brandon Zahursky, who is an interesting mix between Mike Posner and Hozier. I don’t know Mr. Zahursky personally, but I’d imagine he’d take issue with the Posner comparison, but that’s a compliment on the vocals front. He adds an interesting layer of depth to this lane, which happens to be a sweet spot on my playlist, thus making me the perfect person to review his new lead single, “Don’t Give Up On Me.” The song can be found on his full-length album, ‘Cosmic Dream’, which will be released in 2018.

I can’t take full credit for finding RIVVRS, though. He’s has over 30 song placements on network television shows, and over eight million Spotify streams. In fact, his debut single “I Will Follow You,” was written into the script of an episode of ‘About A Boy’ in 2014. Prior to his full-time career as an artist, he worked in the wine industry. When he left, he couch surfed, played house concerts, and performed at a coffeehouse in San Luis Obispo, which is where another artist told him to attend the Durango Songwriters Expo near Santa Barbara. It was there that he got the attention of the Hollywood music supervision community. Sometimes it pays to take a risk, and judging by his new single, he made the right decision.

Listen below to his latest release, which you can also find here.

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