The Dishmaster

Entertainment News With a Side of Dish

Wednesday

2

August 2017

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Matchbox Twenty: A Brief History of Everything Tour — A Full Review

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My history with Matchbox Twenty dates back to their inception. They’re an Orlando-based band that sent tongues wagging in their hometown prior to their massive success. If you’re from Florida like me and ran in certain circles, you’d likely now brag about finding them first. To be fair, my brother found them first and I went along for the ride, but that’s neither here nor there.

The group currently consists of Rob Thomas (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Kyle Cook (lead guitar, backing vocals), Brian Yale (bass), and Paul Doucette (rhythm guitar, drums, backing vocals). They began as Tabitha’s secret, which included Matchbox Twenty members Rob Thomas, Brian Yale, and Paul Doucette (who replaced Chris Smith) in addition to Jay Stanley and bassist John Goff. Creative and personal conflicts caused the end of Tabitha’s Secret and the subsequent ousting of Stanley and Goff, who later filed suit. They were replaced with Kyle Cook and Adam Gaynor, and Matchbox Twenty emerged. It’s been said that Goff and Stanley did not want to sign a deal with the production company of Atlantic Records rep Matt Serletic. But shortly after Matchbox Twenty and Serletic joined forces, the band had a seven-year deal with Atlantic Records. Their debut studio album, ‘Yourself or Someone Like You’ put them on the map.

Kyle Cook had previously exited Matchbox Twenty last year, saying there was a “deterioration of communication, disagreements on when, where and how we tour and a general break down of democracy within the group.” Cook reunited with his band-mates for the 2017 “A Brief History of Everything Tour”, and though it’s unclear why he finally came around, his other band, Rivers and Rust, served as the opening act. As for rhythm guitarist Adam Gaynor, he left the band in 2005, saying “I will no longer be a member of the band. I know most of you were confused if not slightly angered by this news. I wish there was some bright rainbow of an answer here … but there is not.” At the time, a “source” told Billboard “The band has decided not to renew his services.”

Rob Thomas previously teamed with Counting Crows for a very successful 2016 summer co-headline tour. It’s no secret that Thomas can fly solo, and I was fortunate enough to see his tour at The Greek with Counting Crows. He was excellent. In fact, I attended that show to cover Counting Crows, and I was delightfully pleased with the bonus of Thomas. That being said, now that I’ve seen him with his band-mates at The Forum, the magic is greatly multiplied. There’s something about performing with the guys he grew up with that takes Thomas up a notch. He’s got this earnest energy that makes you feel as if you’re seeing a band about to make it big, yet they’re so polished and professional, they can carry an arena with ease. I’ve seen a lot of our greatest artists perform without the band with which they got their break, and it’s simply never the same. I’ve seen Crosby without Stills, Nash and Young, Jennifer Nettles without Kristian Bush (Sugarland), and Jon Bon Jovi without Richie Sambora. It can be done, but should it? In fact, I’m a firm believer that discontent can fuel creativity, and though I know nothing of Thomas’ band dynamics, what I know is this — seeing Matchbox Twenty live is a true privilege.

 

Monday

31

July 2017

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COMMENTS

GIRLS TRIP Review– You Must See This Film

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Sit down, white boys. The Flossy Posse has arrived, and your members-only club is tired. Girls Trip is the answer to high-concept comedies that can’t survive the script (see Bad Moms). The film stars self-help author Ryan (Regina Hall), gossip blogger Sasha (Queen Latifah), single mother Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) and hilariously loose-lipped Dina (standout star Tiffany Haddish). Time has forced them apart, but when Ryan gets invited to New Orleans on business, she brings the group together for a much-needed reunion.

It goes without saying that a female-led cast is already a coup. It also goes without saying that an all black cast is an even-more-welcome addition to the Cinemasphere. In a previous, scathing review of Bad Moms, I made it clear that the content was obviously written by white men, and the escapades therefore represented the antics of some Brentwood b*tches that had far too much time on their hands. THIS is not THAT. In a scene that can nearly sum up this message, Sasha visits the French Quarter, where she sees some drunk men on a makeshift zip-line and says, “That’s some white-boy sh*t right there.” Elizabeth Davelli (Kate Walsh) delightfully adds to this idea as Ryan’s white agent whose uncomfortable use of slang made me rethink writing #Slay on Instagram.

Girls Trip was written by Kenya Barris (black-ish) and Tracy Oliver (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl) and directed by Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man films). This is important. First, it’s important to diversify the brains behind this business, because without that diversity, we won’t get to see fresh, original art. Sure we’ve seen drunken antics a million times, but have we seen Tiffany Haddish deliver delicious profanity about the hidden usages of a grapefruit (you’ll have to see the film)? These women know how to execute an exceptional script. And most importantly, they know how to adequately represent the heart of the film minus the pretty little bow. It didn’t just hit the mark, it kicked the door open.

Thursday

20

July 2017

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COMMENTS

Tyga Talks to The Breakfast Club — Reveals a Lot About His Relationship With Kylie Jenner

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Tyga made an appearance on The Breakfast Club to promote his music, and the interview quickly became a Kardashian interrogation. Though I predict this won’t get too much pick-up given his ambiguity, it’s actually far more revealing than it might seem. Below are some of the more startling revelations. Watch the video to see it in full.

  • Tyga isn’t bankrupt. When asked about his finances, Tyga insists that the Kardashians are puppeteers of the press, and planted those negative stories about his life. To prove his point, he asked if we’ve read one negative story since their breakup. To be fair, it’s possible we haven’t read ANY stories, negative or positive, since people care way less about Tyga now that he’s not with Kylie Jenner.
  • He claims responsibility for Kylie Jenner and Blac Chyna’s style. According to Tyga, both Kylie and Chyna got “glowed up” because of him. Their looks changed, their bodies changed, and their image therefore changed.
  • Tyga warned Rob Kardashian about Blac Chyna. Though he’s not specific, it’s clear he thinks Chyna is high maintenance, and Rob is not the man for the task. When pressed for more details, Tyga simply said “you see it.” Enough said.
  • Tyga won’t admit that he’s a sexual predator who left his then Baby Mamma for a fifteen year old girl. As for when he and Kylie first began dating, he says they were “friends” until she turned 18.
  • He did not approve of Kylie and Kendall’s controversial t-shirts.
  • He did buy Kylie a car, but she also bought him a car, which means they basically bought themselves a car.

Thursday

13

July 2017

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COMMENTS

Music Spotlight: I’m With Her Releases “Little Lies” — Listen Now

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I was sent the video below by a team whose name I won’t mention, because I’m not pleased with them. The band, called “I’m With Her” release a new single, entitled, “Little Lies,” and it immediately caught my attention. The harmonies are great, and the folk trio is clearly deserving of praise. But praise isn’t enough. I want their story, their names, their pictures, and their history to write my post, and unfortunately, none of that was sent my way. The solution? I’ve done my own digging, and discovered some interesting data.
The group consists of Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’ Donovan, and Sara Watkins. As it turns out, Jarosz has released four studio albums, and her most recent entitled ‘Undercurrent’ received two Grammys (Best Folk Album, Best American Roots Performance). I’ve listened to it, and it’s fantastic. Sarah Watkins is a founding member of the band Nikel Creek, whose self-titled breakout album was produced by Alison Krauss and earned two Grammy nominations. They later won a Grammy in 2002 for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Most recently, they were nomination for two Grammys in 2015 for Best American Roots Performance and Best Americana Album (‘A Dotted Line’). Watkins plays the fiddle, and her talent clearly runs in the family, because she played alongside her mandolinist brother in Nikel Creek. She also played percussion while touring with The Decemberists. You can catch her performance at Largo in Los Angeles on August 18th. Aoife O’ Donovan is an Irish-American singer and songwriter who is most known as the lead singer for the band Crooked Still. They have put out five albums.

There you have it folks! Your very own power trio! Listen to “Little Lies” below.

Thursday

6

July 2017

0

COMMENTS

Kesha Releases “Praying” and Macklemore Releases “Glorious” – Intentional Competition?

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Forgive me if I find on-the-nose schmaltz to be off-putting. While I’m certainly happy Kesha is making a comeback and speaking her truth, my heartless core just happens to be put off by this indulgence, and the epic drum back-beat just feels like a try-hard attempt at making the music memorable. The song, entitled “Praying,” was co-written with Macklemore’s Ryan Lewis, and the track was strangely released the same day as Macklemore’s new song, “Glorious” (absent Ryan Lewis). The fast-rap hip hop duo won three Grammies, and Lewis left their partnership without any tangible explanation. Ben Haggerty says that “the decision came from a place of love for one another” but some “creative space would be good” for both of them.

It’s no secret that Kesha has endured a bear of a legal battle, fighting Dr. Luke and Sony to exit her contract amid claims of sexual harassment. “Praying” will be the “Tik Tok” singer’s first new material since the 2013 EP ‘Deconstructed.’ As for Macklemore, “Glorious” is fine. It’s catchy, as all his songs are. Listen to both tracks below.

Wednesday

5

July 2017

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COMMENTS

Jay-Z’s Anti-Semitic Lyrics on 4:44 – There’s No Excuse

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Excited about Jay-Z’s new album, I listened to it in its entirety, and without outside influence of any kind. I was immediately struck by a lyric on “The Story of O.J.,” which says, “You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.” I listened again and again, in hopes that the context would in some way call-out the anti-Semitic stereotype, and I quickly discovered that was not the case. Soon, I turned to google, where I found a ridiculous defense by famed Israeli-American music manager Guy Oseary, in which he claims Jay’s lyrics are actually a compliment.
 
First, shame on Guy Oseary. To use what I can only assume is a personal friendship to cloud his judgment is gross. Claims like these are never a compliment, and though he acknowledges that the “‘rich jew’ the ‘business jew’ the ‘jew that owns the world’ is a stereotype which has been repeatedly used with the wrong sentiment,” somehow Jay gets a pass here because Mr. Oseary read it in context. I too read the context, and that context is indeed anti-Semitic. I am perfectly capable of understanding the implication here, and I’m no sycophant whose entire paycheck is fueled by the music industry’s power players.

The anti-Semitic notion that Jews own the world and that our success is to the detriment of others, is not only offensive, it’s extremely dangerous. These conspiracies such as the world domination by Jews, are the same claims that once fueled Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, who felt it their purpose to stop us from such a takeover. It’s a heated declaration with dire consequences, and it should not be taken lightly — or as a compliment.

Finally, is it possible Jay-Z had pure intentions, and he wrongly used this lyric as an expression of admiration? To put it simply, it doesn’t matter. If Bill Maher doesn’t get a pass from the black community for wrongly using the horrific term “house nig***” in a terrible attempt at a joke, then Jay-Z doesn’t get a pass from the Jewish community for perpetuating this disgusting stereotype. He should know better.

Thursday

29

June 2017

0

COMMENTS

Music Spotlight on Jades Goudreault: The Next Big Thing?

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I pride myself on having a musical ear, and that bold declaration is backed up by having found The Lumineers long before anyone else. I’m not often impressed, but when I am, I’m fiercely loyal. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to make it, or whether you’ve made it at all. I will insist it’s because the music industry is blind, and it can’t possibly be for lack of talent. Why? Because I said so, and I know what I know. One such artist is Jades Goudreault who I found many years ago during one of my internet deep dives. I immediately reached out and was shocked that she had yet to be discovered.

On the other end of that conversation was a sweet teenager who traded my enthusiasm for kind compliments, humility, and a clear ambition. Five years later, she’s at it again, and this time with an original tune called “Bow Down” and I’m happy to report that I love it.

Jades was born in Montreal to a single mother and French is her first language. She moved from Montreal to Florida at age four, where she quickly figured out her desire to perform. It’s also no surprise that she was voted nicest person in high school because our email exchanges make me yearn to root for her. Despite spending a few years in Los Angeles honing her skills, she now lives in Florida where she performs at local festivals and special events. She began gaining attention after Radio One Lebanon posted a mashup she did with Jake Donaldson, and it quickly rose to 1 million views. Jades is currently recording her first EP, and her single, “Bow Down” is available on Spotify, iTunes, and more. I’m told the song is now in the top ten most downloaded tracks of the week in Canada. Listen to her single below.


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Wednesday

28

June 2017

0

COMMENTS

Wendy Williams Blows Lamar Odom Interview With Endless Kardashian Questions

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While I understand that Lamar Odom’s fame is largely attributed to his marriage to Khloe Kardashian, forgive me for actually being interested in the man’s life. A struggling addict for years who long-refused rehab, Lamar seemed like a lost cause. Plus, he’s got children, and I’m highly curious about their relationship. And who can forget that he survived a near-death experience? Apparently, I’m the only one interested in his life, because Wendy Williams spent the entire interview with a cringe-worthy inquiry into each and every Kardashian, rather than asking the man actual questions. How about, “What was the turning point for you to get sober” or any other question under the sun that doesn’t involve his ex. And if you’re going to ask about Khloe Kardashian, then how about asking something interesting that we don’t already know, such as “did your children like her” or “did you cheat on her for the entirety of the relationship” or “why did you refuse marriage counseling?” Watch below.

Monday

26

June 2017

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COMMENTS

Fight Club With Live Score at The Wiltern — A Full Review of the Event

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Los Angeles is filled with inventive ideas — some work and some don’t, but I’ll never take the city for granted with its exponential offerings of new experiences. One such experience was ‘Fight Club’ at The Wiltern. The unconventional movie night featured the famed cult classic on a big-screen projector that was displayed just above a live band who played the film’s original score as it aired. The live musical score accompanying the film was performed by Hollywood multi-instrumentalist Angel Roche (Dave Navarro and Ziggy Marley), Eric Klerks on guitar and bass (Grandmothers Of Invention), Damon Ramirez on the synths (Fungo Mungo, Looner), and film composer, Zoë Poledouris-Roche (composer: Conan The Barbarian, Bully).

I went into this experience with a positive attitude, a great amount of excitement, and the embarrassing admission that I’ve never seen ‘Fight Club’ in full. Also, as a lover of all things music, this seemed like a can’t-miss idea. But sometimes ideas are better than its execution, and this is one of those times. For starters, ‘Fight Club,’ though a cult classic that would no-doubt draw a large audience, doesn’t have a substantial amount of music. When the music began, I found myself extremely excited, which means with a different film, this would have worked. Furthermore, the on-stage “acrobatics” as it was marketed, was disjointed and distracting. Acting out scenes as they air just felt odd, and I’d have rather seen a small spotlight on the band as they played instead. It’s also worth noting that since the audience was unaware of exactly what would happen on stage, it’s just not smart to have people running through the crowd yelling things as fights are heard on screen. Translation? — I thought, for just one millisecond, that we might be in the midst of a terrorist attack. I checked in with my surroundings to see if I was the only person with this thought, and I noticed that the energy of the room shifted as others also looked around in fright. It’s possible I’m reading into it, but I pride myself on feeling the energy of a crowd when judging what I see, and I think I’m right here. Though sad and unfortunate, this just can’t happen in a live-theater experience anymore. There are ways to do it, but this wasn’t it.

If I were planning the next event, I’d encourage a film with more music, spotlight the band with a dim light, and introduce the experience with more clarity. Lastly, I’d have more food available for purchase. A for intention, though.

Monday

26

June 2017

0

COMMENTS

Ravi Coltraine on NPR’s Tiny Desk – WATCH NOW

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I once asked a Tiny Desk performer what it was like to perform in NPR’s now coveted performance space and he simply said, “It’s small. It’s exactly what it looks like.” I wish I could offer some intimate inside knowledge that exceeds that explanation, but perhaps that’s what makes it so memorable to watch. The live video series space is that of “All Songs Considered” host Bob Boilen, who conceived the idea with Stephen Thompson after leaving a bar show, frustrated they couldn’t hear the music over the crowd noise. Boilen never thought it would gain the attention it has, but with over 500 performances, the cult following speaks for itself. Below, you’ll see Ravi Coltraine grace the room. As the son of John Coltrane, Ravi’s talent isn’t surprising, and according to NPR, there’s a lot of talent in that circle, as “all members of the band here are performing artists in their own right and come from artistically rich families; drummer E.J. Strickland is the brother of saxophonist Marcus Strickland; Adam Rogers parents performed on Broadway and Yunior Terry is Yosvany Terri’s brother, both heirs to Cuban music royalty.” Watch the stunning performance below.

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