Entries in Pop (3)

Wednesday
Feb012012

R.I.P. Don Cornelius, and Remember the 'Soul Train'

 

REVIEWING THE NEWS: A complicated legend, Soul Train creator and black-music pioneer Don Cornelius, passes away.

By Kenny Herzog

Don Cornelius: 1936-2012

 

Much like the recently deceased King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, Soul Train conductor Don Cornelius' final years were marred by legal entanglements and poor health. But just as when word spread of M.J. and J.B.'s passing, news that Cornelius, 75, was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide still took your breath away.

We have a tendency to define people by their lowest point, particularly when we initially put them on a pedestal. But we mostly admire and ultimately mourn figures like Cornelius because of how something they created at a different time in their lives put us in a special place inside our imagination. And in the case of Soul Train, it was the hippest, coolest place to be on a Saturday morning, but also (and by design), a demonstration of peaceful activism, enormous catalyst for cultural integration, an heir to Motown as a platform for black artists and blueprint for future groundbreaking musical television like Yo! MTV Raps. In short, Soul Train was the shit.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Despite Don Cornelius' troubled end, he was still there at the beginning.

THE SOUL TRAIN MAKING NO STOPS RATING: It's Gonna Be a Stone-Gas, Honey/10

 

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Thursday
Jan122012

Katy Perry Refuses to Comment on Dad's Anti-Semitic Remark

REVIEWING THE NEWS: The pop star's Reverend dad makes ugly, hurtful comment about Jews during sermon, and she's staying mum.

 

By Kenny Herzog

Katy Perry: Daughter of a misguided preacher man.

 

Dating back to the holiday season, it's been a banner winter for ignorance toward Jewish customs and/or outright anti-Semitism. First, there was Mitt Romney's tossed-off Twitter sentiments toward his "Hannukah"-loving constituents, then a group of four men were pursued for allegedly spray-painting swastikas near Manhattan's Bryant Park and, right on that incident's heels, a Brooklyn jewelry shop incited residents' furor by selling earrings that eerily invoked the Führer. And now, we can add Katy Perry's father, Rev. Keith Hudson, to the list of individuals perpetrating prejudice stereotypes and/or casual slandering against Jewish people.

Hudson, while recently appearing as a guest sermonizer at Pastor Paul Endrei's Church of the Rise in Cleveland, was conveying the story of how God blessed Abraham. At that point, Endrei tells the Associated Press, Hudson "talked about being blessed so much that you would make a Jew jealous." Cause, ya know, modern-day Jews relate to enormous spoils. (Ugly, ugly, ugly stereotype.) 

Endrei, amidst his damage-control, insultingly added that only one out of his 300 congregation members objected to the joke. Talk about preaching to the choir. Hudson complied by issuing his own statement of contrition, making sure to specifically apologize for "hurt I caused my Jewish friends," which sounds awfully similar to when hompohobes defend their ignorance by boasting about all their gay acquaintances. Nice try, Keith.

And where was daughter Katy amidst all this? Granted, the former Christian songstress has been preoccupied dissolving the sanctity of that whole marriage thing with ex Russell Brand, but you'd think she could muster up better than having her agent tell AP "the singer does not comment on her personal life."

Katy: Gossiping about your own divorce and standing up for an entire minority of people, many of whom buy your records, are two very different things. If you're not embarrassed by your father's remark, then that's your business, and diverting attention away from your days as a faith-based artist is most certainly all business. But standing by as the man who raised you and molded you makes damaging, ignorant insinuations about millions of proud Jews isn't protecting your privacy, it's just selfish and immature. 

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Time to wake up from your "Teenage Dream," Katy.

KEITH HUDSON'S UGLY REMARKS: 0/10

KATY'S CONFLATING IMAGE-PRESERVATION WITH HUMANE OBLIGATION RATING: 0/10

WHERE ARE OUR PROUD JEWISH CELEBRITIES RATING?: 5772/10

 

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Monday
Jan022012

Here's Why Katy Perry and Russell Brand Split Up

REVIEWING THE NEW YEAR'S FIRST NO-BRAINER CELEBRITY DIVORCE NEWS: We've got the real reason behind the pop singer and comedic actor's rapid separation.

By Kenny Herzog

Katy Perry: We think she'll bounce back. Get it? Cause she has huge boobs. 

 

Katy Perry and Russell Brand have shocked and awed the world with the announcement of their divorce, which is in process as we speak. And on an especially slow post-New Year's news day, it's been all the global media can talk about. Hell, the Today show even dedicated a bizarrely somber and extensive package to the stars and their failed marriage, lamenting its spiral from "fairy tale" to "Hollywood casualty." Yes, it is truly the Black Dahlia of inter-medium celebrity splits. 

But only REVIEWniverse has the true scoop. Rumor has it that Perry and Brand met-cute, found each other nice and attractive enough, and figured marriage would commonly ground their mutually demanding careers and act as a postitive bonding agent between she, the fallen evangelical Christian, and him, the constantly reforming bad boy. But eventually, the pair's differences became irreconcilable, and even their practical and earnest commitment wasn't enough to overcome their lack of lasting chemistry or time and willingness to make marriage itself their most important responsibility, allowing everything else to fall into place.

Scandal!

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Who cares? (Us!)

KATY AND RUSSELL DIVORCE-PREDICTABILITY RATING: 15 Months/10

AT LEAST IT LASTED LONGER THAN 15 DAYS RATING: Sinead O'Connor/10

MARRIAGE CAN BE BORING. PEOPLE DON'T BECOME FAMOUS TO BE BORING RATING: It Ain't Always About "Me" Babe/10

 


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