Archive for February, 2011

Recapping The Worst Oscars Ever

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Did that really just happen? Did the coolest, most star-studded event on the planet just melt down like a 13-year-old with a new crop of acne? Fifteen minutes into that painful exercise our whole Oscar-watching party slumped in disbelieving silence. No laughs. No energy. No electricity whatsoever. It was so bad on so many levels, and hopefully somebody somewhere has taken show producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischner out back and administered punishment. A cattle prod comes to mind. Herewith, my comments on the car wreck that was the 83rd Academy Awards.

1.  James Franco, keep your day job, even it requires you to cut your arm off. You are charming, handsome, talented, and perhaps the worst MC ever selected. Poor Anne Hathaway practically popped a hammy trying to keep the mood up and the pace lively. She set her career back five years trying to cook this turkey. (more…)

Yawn … Colin Firth Takes B-B-Best Actor

Posted by    |    February 24th, 2011 at 11:33 am

What does a guy have to do to win an Oscar? That’s what James Franco must be asking himself. The bro totally carries 127 Hours, climbs mountains, scales sheer rock walls, starves, cries, and finally, cuts his own arm off, and it looks like he will lose the Academy Award to an English guy who, wait for it … stutters. As luck would have it, Franco is also co-hosting the Oscar broadcast this year, so he should just sneak backstage and write his name in.

The email buzz I’m getting shows a surprising amount of support for Jeff Bridges, who reprises the Rooster Cogburn role in True Grit. Says one reader: “Bridges has the big brass ones to take a role made famous by the great John Wayne — no other actor would go near that role — and he nails it!” No one understands the Javier Bardem nomination: “Hey, isn’t he shagging Penelope Cruz? That’s enough award for anybody!” And personally, I think Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is absolutely brilliant. He took Aaron Sorkin’s genius dialogue and made a movie about computer programmers riveting. Award-worthy stuff. See what our reviewers predict here. As for my ballot, I think Oscar will bow to the king and go home to Britain with Colin Firth.

Major Babble Milestone

Posted by    |    February 24th, 2011 at 4:20 am

We are excited to announce the addition of ArtBabble’s 1000th video- together making up hundreds of hours of the best art video content online, available 24/7 for your delectation. What are some of your favorite videos so far?

The ArtBabble team would like to thank our 30 enthusiastic and committed partners for their time, energy and devotion to the project- we couldn’t do it without you!

Babble on.

Band of Brothers, and not the Miniseries

Posted by    |    February 23rd, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Former US Presidents having nothing on Boyce Avenue. They (the band, not the Presidents) are playing a sold out show on Monday, President’s Day, which means audience members have ditched their history papers and Excel spreadsheets in favor of a placid concert more relaxing than a night spent on the couch, waiting for Tuesday’s obligations to swarm their minds and hinder healthy sleeping patterns. You can hear the voices of fans at the box office range in pitch from excitement to disappointment upon hearing the Cambridge Room at House of Blues is completely out of tickets.

A band of brothers hailing from Sarasota Florida, Boyce Avenue keeps it a family affair between Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano. They fall into the rock genre with a mature lyricism wise beyond their collective years. Drummer Jason Burrows is not a sibling, but possesses the kindred downbeats of a blended family member.

Boyce Avenue has progressed from former set lists fully loaded with melodious covers of hit songs that gained them international popularity, to sets mostly composed of original work. “This is our fourth time in Dallas, and we can promise you it will not be our last,” says lead singer Alejandro. Their audience has grown with them from the beginning as they worked to establish a name and create a place for themselves in the music industry. (more…)

YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Boyce Avenue at the House of Blues

Posted by    |    February 22nd, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Boyce Avenue in the Cambridge room in Dallas, Texas 2.21.2011

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Academy Award Debate: Best Picture

Posted by    |    February 21st, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Welcome, film fans of Dallas! For the next week we will enthusiastically debate which films, actors, actresses, and directors should be holding Oscars when the 83rd Academy Awards airs on Sunday, Feb 27 on ABC. You can read my post, then add your own comment or send me an email and I’ll post it for you. We also have two semi-qualified movie buffs weighing in via our Academy Award video series. We begin with Best Picture.

The list of nominees:  Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter’s Bone. Here is my luminous, dazzling insight:  Black Swan — mix evil and artsy with ballet, feathers, and bloody-eyed lesbians and I’m in. But too weird for Best Pic. The Fighter — Loved every Bahston brahwlin’ minute. Has character arc, courage, incredible performances from the entire freakin’ cast. A contenduh. Inception — brilliant. Maybe too brilliant? Too much CG FX for me. The Kids Are All Right — too trendy and PC. Does not deserve nomination. The King’s Speech — bloody marvelous. Damn those Royal Shakespearean thespies for making st-st-st-stuttering heroic! 127 Hours — If this wins, I’ll cut my arm off. The Social Network — Socially awkward nerds defeat rich, entitled face jocks … how can this NOT win? Toy Story 3 — 37,000 times better than “Up” (what is it with SAD animated films?), but too heart-wrenching for The Reidster. True Grit — Only deepened my Coen Bros. crush; best dialogue of any western ever. Gutsy, transcendent remake. Winter’s Bone — My personal favorite on so many levels. No other film pulls you in like this one. Indie film-making at its very best. Oscar goes to: The Social Network. Your thoughts?

Have we Met before?

Posted by    |    February 16th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Welcome to The Metropolitan Museum of Art

ArtBabble is pleased to announce the partnership of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, from New York, NY. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. Its collection includes more than two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. Welcome to the ArtBabble family!

See their new series, Connections, featuring personal perspectives on works of art in the Museum’s vast collection.

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The Land Before Facebook

Posted by    |    February 15th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Although Mark Zuckerberg will probably disagree with me, there was once a time when Facebook didn’t exist and Myspace was the dominant social network. Teenagers invented self-absorbed usernames, boasted their star sign, and listed their “Top Friends” in order for all to see. The Myspace profile was never fully completed until you chose a song to be docked in the upper left hand corner of your page. This song accurately described your entire life story in three minutes and thirty-five seconds.

The high school that I attended was so incredibly emo that a skinny jeans, hoodie, and converse sneakers combo was the wardrobe adorned by both sexes. Complete with anarchy symbols and Black Flag lyrics drawn on the inside soles of one Mr. Chuck Taylor footwear; this was how we collectively chose to be individuals. (more…)

Alternative playlist generation

Posted by    |    February 15th, 2011 at 1:26 am

It is not because I become unnecessarily giddy when Hillshire Farms commercials appear on the box in my living room, or because AdAge and AdFreak are part of my Twitter community, do I advocate the art of Advertising.  It is because only when brands like Nivea and Zales find the right tune to back their message is a spot elevated to the next level – the Google level, if you will. At the Google level, crazed Gen-Y-ers frantically type in as many search terms as their brains can rally to find that catchy song intermittently playing commercial breaks between The Office and 30 Rock.

Parachute the band – not the life saving device – opened for the Plain White T’s at House of Blues Dallas on February 13, as the audience made sure to DVR the 53rd GRAMMY Awards before leaving the house. Having recently graduated from UVA in 2008, the multi-talented artists have been friends for a number of years. Switching from one instrument to the other, bandmates Will Anderson and Kit French remind me that while Justin Bieber has a cool story, he’s not the only talented kid with a guitar and a video camera. (more…)

The Orbans rock the Kessler Theater, will rock Dada tonight, and SXSW soon enough

Posted by    |    February 11th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Fort Worth band, The Orbans, sprung on the scene last June with the release of their first studio album, When We Were Wild. Since that time, they have been taking over the Metroplex faster than Speed Racer on a conveyor belt, playing a profusion of shows in the North Texas region.

The Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff hosted the band on a January evening before the city was blanketed (and subsequently frozen over) with snow. Opening with “Alibi” and “Don’t Lose Yourself” it quickly became apparent that everyone in the Kessler Theater’s art deco venue felt a wave of luck sweep over them knowing they took shelter in such an intimate space with a band that will be huge. (more…)