Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards

I so wish I could go to this.

An Aboriginal awards show is some exciting stuff. I just found out about this event and it definitely deserves a spot on my list of award shows I'd like to attend. Right under The Oscars, The Almas, The AZN Excellence Awards and The Black Movie Awards.

So here's the 411, according to the event's official website:

The second annual Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards will take place Friday, November 2, 2007 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This spectacular gala event will be broadcast live on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network(APTN) which will feature performances by the best Aboriginal recording artists across North America.
Naturally, the category I'm most interested in is: Best Gospel CD.

And by the way, the dude in the cowboy hat is Shane Yellowbird, winner of last year's Best New Artist, Best Music Video and Single of the Year.

(Hat tip to The Native Blog)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Mat Kearney Video Features "Pocahontas"

First off, it's nice to see a young lady of color in a music video where she isn't dressed scantily and shaking her butt alongside some rapper. It's even nicer to see Christian music artists showcase more diversity because the role of "pretty girl" could have easily been cast to someone with a little less melanin in her skin.

So who is Mat Kearney anyways? I'm glad you asked.

His acoustic rap/rock style was made popular by the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack, or so people say. I've never watched more than 10 minutes of the show but it supposedly features wicked cool music in pivotal emotional scenes. I first heard of Kearney before all that Grey's hype when I was hosting my radio show in college. Later on, I went to one of his live concerts and the guy's talent was...undeniable.

Anyhow, back to the point of this post, Q'Orianka Kilcher, who is best known for her role as Pocahontas in The New World, is in Kearney's video for his latest single called "Breathe In, Breathe Out". The song is simple yet touching and the video matches its tone.

Watch it and tell me what you think.

Interesting fact: Q'Orianka Kilcher is Jewel's cousin.

Monday, October 22, 2007

With a Voice Like Hers

I have this friend who can really sing. She has this unsuspecting little powerhouse voice. She's talented enough to land a record deal and do the whole tour the world blitz. But the thing is, she's not focused on being a pop star. You'd think with a voice like hers she'd be off making a name for herself in the music industry, but she's not.

I, on the other hand, am a ridiculously bad singer. If I ever tried out for American Idol I'd be more along the lines of William Hung than Kelly Clarkson. But nevertheless, I absolutely love to sing (even at the expense of other people's ears). I own a karaoke machine and do countless off-key renditions of High School Musical and Grease.

So then this thought came to mind: If I had her voice I could do so much with it.

But could I really? Who am I to judge how God made me? He obviously didn't give me the voice to be a professional singer, but He did give me a lot of other good qualities. Then that made me think about all the people who looked at me and my abilities and thought about what they could do with them.

Take my legs for example. To someone who is paralyzed, they might think I take my smooth dance moves for granted. I haven't taken my ballroom dance skills to the next level. But someone might have fantasied about a professional dancer like I've spent time fantasizing about being a rock star. It's easy to get on this "sick cycle carousel" of wanting what you don't have. But it's never a fun ride. And this line of thinking will leave you dizzy in the end.

Thinking about what you would do with other people's talents is a waste of time but finding out how to maximize your own talents is worth every minute.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hilary Duff Dates a Black Dude...

That is, in her upcoming movie: Greta.

The Duffster teams up with Evan Ross (ATL, Pride) in a romantic comedy about inter-racial dating.

Here is IMDb's official synposis:

A waitress falls for an ambitious cook at a restaurant where they work. But as their love blossoms, she has to overcome concerns of her grandparents who are worried about the mixed-race relationship and her boyfriends criminal past.
It sounds perfect until it gets to the "criminal past" line. Why did they have to go there? It's oh-so-stereotypical and just lazy on the screenwriter's part. There are so many other creative and intriguing storylines they could have explored. Not all black men have criminal records. I wish Hollywood (and America) would finally get that.

Anyhow, I'm still excited to see this movie. I'm a big Hilary Duff fan. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched A Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice. Plus, I'm delighted to see Evan Ross in a romantic comedy. He was so geeky cute in Pride.

Oh, and for those of you who have never heard of Ross before, he's actually biracial. He's Diane Ross' son and Tracee Ellis Ross' (Girlfriends) little brother.

(Hat tip to Invisible Woman...Black Cinema At Large)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Saving Sex City

Join Heather and Annie, an ex-stripper and ex-prostitute turned Christian evangelists, as they venture the streets of Las Vegas reaching out to the lost and the lonely in their new video podcast: Saving Sex City.

This is exactly the kind of relevant and much needed programming that Christians should be making.

To learn more about Heather and Annie check out their respective ministries: JC'sGirls and Hookers for Jesus.

Black Hollywood - Will Smith, Corbin Bleu, Tyler Perry and More

It's good to see black men making postive strides in Hollywood. It's tough enough getting quality stories produced. It's even tougher getting ones made with brown-skinned leads. Halle Berry had something to say about this issue at a Things We Lost in the Fire press conference.

But like the Bible says in Philippians 4, let's think on the good things:

1. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? is #1 at the box office. (He's a professing Christian and very open about his beliefs)

2. Will Smith is developing a sitcom based off his hit movie Hitch through his production company. And he's to star in the highly anticipated action/thriller I Am Legend.

3. Corbin Bleu of High School Musical fame is pumping up his producing chops for an upcoming movie. (I really hope he becomes the next big thing. Plus, he's a Christian too)

4. Two promising movies are coming out this winter featuring stories about black families: Pefect Holiday starring Gabrielle Union and Morris Chesnut and This Christmas starring Chris Brown, Loretta Divine and a plethora of other notable black actors.

Pretty good, huh?

Things may not be where we want them to be when it comes to diversity on the silver screen but we have to keep pressing on. Future generations will reap the benefits.

Hat tip to Young, Black & Fabulous and Blackarazzi.com.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blue Like Jazz Movie

Good news! They're turning one of my favorite books Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller into a movie. So that means Penny, Mark the Cursing Pastor and Tony the Beat Poet are coming to life on the big screen. How cool is that?!?!

I've read this book countless times, suggested it to people, let my friends borrow my copy and at some point I'm sure I'll give it someone as a Christmas or birthday gift. It's that amazing.

Blue Like Jazz is the candid story of one man's journey to find Jesus, understand himself and make sense of the world around him. It will make you laugh, cry and think deeply of what it means to be human. Donald Miller is one of the few modern authors who is able to write with such clarity, honesty and great wit when it comes to the complexity the soul.

Click here to read Miller's latest interview where he talks about his upcoming book and film.