Gender Equality in Pop Culture

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Game of Thrones So Far

In Episode 203, Germar covers GoT to this point in the season. Arya's in a cult? Sansa sleeping with enemy? Jon Snow bad af! A tiny little king becomes a man. You're watching; you get it.  Plus, a special shout-out to VEEP.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Indie Music: Secondborn "Symbols"

by Germar Derron

Symbols exists in an awkward space. Each track plays perfectly. Everything from effects, to drums, guitars, and vocals, the mix and arrangement--the production--all of it is flawless. But after several listens to the entire EP, no song sticks in my head. And as I write this, internally I'm screaming "say love, say love." So maybe I'm wrong. I'm wrong.

Everything about this EP reminds me of that one good 30 Seconds to Mars song, The Kill. That's a compliment because that song is perfect. It's an amazing style of music. It's frantic and diverse without being schizophrenic a la System of a Down. Just when you think you're being lulled to sleep, in the best way, you get kicked in the head--in the best way.  The vocals remain pitch perfect throughout. That shouldn't be something that I note, but I must, because the same cannot be said for most indie projects. Screamo creeps in just enough to provide some edge. But Symbols never feels too emo.

I just completed a 180 while writing this review. I can't really say anything negative about the project. Someone slap these songs onto some video game soundtracks and the world will eventually sing along. Plus, I imagine the live shows play loud, awesomely loud, ear-bleeding loud, like all of the best of the genre. My heart's beating faster, and I'm sweating a little just thinking of the possibilities.

What likely pushes this EP into major label territory is a flawless production and engineering job. I complain about balance, levels, and compression in every review. I can't do that here. Every song rocks hard. Good job gentleman.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fearless Flap with Erin McKelle--Episode 4

In episode four, series producer Germar Derron turns the tables and interviews Erin. Who is she? Wait, she was adopted??? What's this podcast about?  Sex much? But first, Germar does a spot-on Erin impression.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2 Episode 18 Review and After Show "The Frenemy of My Enemy"

Coulson and Hunter form a dangerous alliance as they turn to someone unexpected for help; Lincoln and Skye are drawn into a conflict.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Michael Buble Gets Too Cheeky

by Melissa Scott

Known for writing and singing adoring songs about the beauty and charm of women, Michael Buble’s latest praise of female attributes arguably crossed a line. While vacationing in Miami with his wife Luisana Lopilato last week, Buble posted a classic “bubble butt” example on Instagram a little too zealously. The “sexist”-laced backlash he received as a result overstretched the issue.

Buble posted a photo including the oblivious woman’s butt, while he smirked in the foreground. The girl wore decently tight black shorts; nearly one-third of her bottom hung out. Buble captioned his post, “There was something about this photo Lu took that seemed worthy of Instagram.” He adjoined a list of hash-tags saying: “#myhumps #babygotback #hungryshorts  #beautifulbum.” 

Following his post, social media exploded with criticism of body-shaming. Commenters fervently accused, “did you ask her permission to post that?” and “would you say what you hashtagged to her face?” One commenter even remarked “that’s something I would never imagine him doing!” Refinery29’s Elizabeth Kiefer posted an angry retort, scorning Buble’s objectification, especially from the standpoint of a celebrity:

Snapping a clandestine photo of a woman you don’t know in a public place and sharing it with the million people tuned into your Instagram account—even if you are being complimentary—is messed up. It boils a person down to their most diminished and least important form: what they look like. It’s sexist and creepy. And, women of the world, including the ones with ample bottoms in bike shorts, deserve better than that.

Buble quickly responded apologetically, posting a statement admitting his error.

Anybody who knows me would never misinterpret the message of the photo my wife took in Miami that seems to have caused unexpected rage by some people. I do not court controversy. But I realize that a photo that was meant to be complimentary and lighthearted has turned into a questionable issue. For the record, It hurts me deeply that anyone would think that I would disrespect women or be insulting to any human being. I was not brought up that way and it is not in my character. I regret that there are people out there who found the photo offensive. That was not and is not my intention. Women are to be celebrated, loved, respected, honored and revered. I’ve spent my life believing that and will continue to do so.

Poor Buble. Yes—posing with an unaware woman’s voluptuous backside and dispatching that picture to over a million followers may not have earned top judgment awards. Especially since he's known for singing exaltations of women on bended knee.  But the fact is . . . the girl had a great rump.

Buble admired every angle, albeit via social media. If “Lu” had posted the picture, maybe the issue wouldn't have been so shocking. The girl clearly knew her butt looked good. There’s no way she wore those spandex otherwise. And personally, had Michael Buble noticed my butt, and felt the need to take a selfie with it, I say “Buble, knock yourself out.”  

If any other ordinary person had posted that same picture—especially a male—I would guess his “likes” would be through the roof. The “People of Wal-mart” site doesn't exist for nothing--sometimes sharing documented amusement is necessary. Unfortunately, Buble, with his four Grammys, is barred from the fun. There are in fact some things that celebrities aren't allowed to do, and that includes posting pictures of random girls’ butts on Instagram and captioning them “beautifulbum.”

In fact, while people criticized Buble for his indecency, a similar crowd condemned Pink after her appearance at the John Wayne 30th Annual Odyssey Ball in Beverly Hills, honoring Maggie DiNome for her contributions fighting cancer. The very same body-shaming slams made against Buble were thrown at Pink. The media pounced viciously on Pink’s physical weight gain and apparently unflattering dress choice. Pink quickly slammed back. She tweeted, “I can see that some of you are concerned about me from your comments about my weight.” After scorning the media’s greater interest in her appearance than the cancer benefit cause, she tastefully concluded, “While I admit that the dress didn't photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful.”

In light of both situations, I think the slams made against Pink were much more substantial and worthy of notice. Buble make a stupid mistake; there’s no need to charge him with making sexist slurs. But when body image becomes more news-worthy than receiving an award for saving lives, Buble isn't the primary one who should be ashamed.

Hot Trailers and Look to the Cookie

In Episode 201, Germar reviews all the latest hottest trailers: Star Wars, Avengers, Batman punking Superman, and Ant-Man. But first, don't let this website and podcast disappear! Have we whitewashed the site? Is it too mainstream? Does the content suck or do you just not even bother?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Indie Music: Little Shells "5 Deep Under"

by Germar Derron

Listening to this album for weeks has only made writing this review harder. Initially, I thought "I get it, they're good, I'll review this." Now, I feel it. I don't know that I can write adequately about how much, and why, I like this, but I have to try. 

I worked in live sound for years. I've heard it all. Almost no one is as good as they think they are. Everyone treated me--who controlled everything about their sound--terribly.  The pay sucked. The patrons mostly hated me, spilled beer on me, or groped me. A few times a year an act would come in and make it all worthwhile. Their mere existence improved my life. Those groups made me feel sad too. There must be so much amazing music in the world that I'll never know. If I still worked the club/bar scene, Little Shells could definitely be that "few times a year" act.

On 5 Deep Under, Little Shells does something that only the best, and biggest, acts of all time manage. "I'll Remain" is the single.  It's a good choice, but so are four other tracks. I want to hear all five of those songs regularly on Pandora, in advertisements, in movies, and at the end of HBO's Girls. And three other songs are close to flawless too; they just might not work in any pop space.

Sonically--technically, musically, and somewhat vocally--this thing is all over the place, but it's awesome. That said, I'd hope to see them push more--take more chances on a future project.  

Life is weird. I listened to the first track. I didn't like the mix--the vocals ride high. Then, I heard some not purposeful pitch problems. I almost didn't review it. Now, I can't wait to use these songs on a podcast, in a web show or film. Simply stated, this is the best I've heard so far in 2015.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2 Episode 17 Review and After Show "Melinda"

The story of Melinda May’s transformation into “The Cavalry” is revealed as she finds herself at a crossroads in the war between Coulson and Gonzales. As Skye learns more about her true heritage from Lincoln, the truth about the Inhumans will send her in a new direction.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix

In Episode 200, Germar covers the show that should have been called "The Fine A-- Women of Hell's Kitchen" SPOILER FREE.  So, what did he think?  What did you think? You can listen before, after, or during your binge.

Friday, April 10, 2015

One Year Older; One Year Better?

In Episode 199, on the eve of Germar's birthday, he talks about the past year--careers, moving to Hollywood, friends, the website, and of course the ladies.

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