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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Afropunk Fest

Jada Pinkett Smith performs with
her metal band Wicked Wisdom
Afropunk Fest, which began in 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, has gained some notoriety for being one of the most diverse music festivals in the country. Afropunk co-founder Matthew Morgan said that the term was first coined by Mr. Morgan and James Spooner in the 2003 documentary "Afro-Punk" as a very literal description of black people who liked punk music. See Afropunk on Facebook.

Punk is an essence and a mind-set even more than a particular type of music. Miles Davis, even in jazz, when he started experimenting with free-form jazz, that was very punk for that time.

This year's festival was as large as it was diverse. The New York Police Department estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 people gathered in at Commodore Barry Park on Saturday alone.

The festival's musical talent reinforced that assertion, boasting a wide-ranging lineup of artists from heavy metal band Wicked Wisdom (now Wicked Evolution), with Jada Pinkett Smith as its lead singer, to Vintage Trouble, which mixes rock with liberal influences from 1950s and '60s rock 'n' roll, funk and R&B.

Vintage Trouble's lead singer, Ty Taylor, said Vintage Trouble came together in 2010 because the four members wanted to form a band that wouldn't constrain them musically. Like many of the bands at Afropunk, Vintage Trouble gleefully tramples all over the neat edges of any given genre, instead just making music that sounds good to them. Each song on their first album, "The Bomb Shelter Sessions," was recorded live in the studio to create a fresh, authentic sound."

The real advantage of Afropunk, both its growing online presence and the festival, is that it provides a platform for people who see themselves as misfits, and allows them to more easily connect with others, regardless of their background or race. When Jimi Hendrix was making rock music, he didn't make black rock. He made rock.  (WSJ, 8/26/2013)
Link to this article

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jack McCain & Renee Swift Marry

U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona and his wife Cindy shared in a happy occasion in June – the wedding of their son Jack McCain to Renee Swift.

Jack McCain, Renee Swift, Cindy McCain and Sen. John McCain

The younger McCain, 27, serves as a lieutenant in the Navy, stationed in Guam where he is a helicopter pilot. Swift, 29, a Bay area native, is a captain in the USAF reserve. The couple met in Guam.
Jack McCain and Renee Swift
The wedding ceremony was held at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, with a reception following at the California Academy of Sciences.

Renee and Jack McCain's wedding at
 Grace Cathedral Church and reception
 at the California Academy of Sciences
 museum in San Francisco, California

The festivities were attended by all of the McCain children, reports The Washington Post. Also attending the couple's rehearsal dinner Friday night at the Tonga Room of the Fairmont Hotel, said the newspaper: former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.  (People, 6/3/2013)
Link to this article

Monday, August 05, 2013

Ownership of Television and Cable Networks

Cable News Ratings


Television Holdings:

* NBC: includes 13 stations, 28% of US households.
* NBC Network News: The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Meet the Press, Dateline NBC, NBC News at Sunrise.
* CNBC business television; MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service (co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); Court TV (co-owned with Time Warner), Bravo (50%), A&E (25%), History Channel (25%).  The "MS" in MSNBC  means microsoft



Westinghouse Electric Company, part of the Nuclear Utilities Business Group of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL)

Television Holdings:

* CBS: includes 14 stations and over 200 affiliates in the US.
* CBS Network News: 60 minutes, 48 hours, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS Morning News, Up to the Minute.
* Country Music Television, The Nashville Network, 2 regional sports networks.
* Group W Satellite Communications.

Other Holdings:

* Westinghouse Electric Company: provides services to the nuclear power industry.
* Westinghouse Government Environmental Services Company: disposes of nuclear and hazardous wastes. Also operates 4 government-owned nuclear power plants in the US.
* Energy Systems: provides nuclear power plant design and maintenance.


Television Holdings:

* Paramount Television, Spelling Television, MTV, VH-1, Showtime, The Movie Channel, UPN (joint owner), Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Sundance Channel (joint owner), Flix.
* 20 major market US stations.
Media Holdings:
* Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Video, Blockbuster Video, Famous Players Theatres, Paramount Parks.
* Simon & Schuster Publishing.


Television Holdings:

* ABC: includes 10 stations, 24% of US households.
* ABC Network News: Prime Time Live, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America.
* ESPN, Lifetime Television (50%), as well as minority holdings in A&E, History Channel and E!
* Disney Channel/Disney Television, Touchtone Television.
Media Holdings:
* Miramax, Touchtone Pictures.
* Magazines: Jane, Los Angeles Magazine, W, Discover.
* 3 music labels, 11 major local newspapers.
* Hyperion book publishers.
* Infoseek Internet search engine (43%).

 Other Holdings:

 * Sid R. Bass (major shares) crude oil and gas.
* All Disney Theme Parks, Walt Disney Cruise Lines.


Television Holdings:

* CNN, HBO, Cinemax, TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Brothers Television, Cartoon Network, Sega Channel, TNT, Comedy Central (50%), E! (49%), Court TV (50%).
* Largest owner of cable systems in the US with an estimated 13 million subscribers.

 Media Holdings:

* HBO Independent Productions, Warner Home Video, New Line Cinema, Castle Rock, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera.
* Music: Atlantic, Elektra, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. Records, EMI, WEA, Sub Pop (distribution) = the world’s largest music company.
* 33 magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, In Style, Fortune, Book of the Month Club, Entertainment Weekly, Life, DC Comics (50%), and MAD Magazine.

Other Holdings:

* Sports: The Atlanta Braves, The Atlanta Hawks, World Championship Wrestling.


Television Holdings:

* Fox Television: includes 22 stations, 50% of US households.
* Fox International: extensive worldwide cable and satellite networks include British Sky Broadcasting (40%); VOX, Germany (49.9%); Canal Fox, Latin America; FOXTEL, Australia (50%); STAR TV, Asia; IskyB, India; Bahasa Programming Ltd., Indonesia (50%); and News Broadcasting, Japan (80%).
* The Golf Channel (33%).


* Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight.
* 132 newspapers (113 in Australia alone) including the New York Post, the London Times and The Australian.
* 25 magazines including TV Guide and The Weekly Standard.
* HarperCollins books.


 * Sports: LA Dodgers, LA Kings, LA Lakers, National Rugby League.
* Ansett Australia airlines, Ansett New Zealand airlines.
* Rupert Murdoch: Board of Directors, Philip Morris (USA). 

(LA Indy Media)
Link to this article

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Named President of Oscar Academy

Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, film industry marketing veteran and one of a few Black Hollywood insiders, was named president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences July 30 in Los Angeles.

The election of the Lionsgate motion picture group co-chair, who is already an Academy member, by the 48-member board, marks the first time an African American will oversee the group that bestows coveted Oscars for cinematic works.
The action comes during a period in which the commercial film industry is under pressure to demonstrate ethnic diversity.

"I think it's wonderful. She's a person who has paid her dues for the academy. She knows all the ins and outs of the academy. She doesn't have to start at the beginning,” said former academy president Tom Sherak.”  (Afro, 8/31/2013)
Link to this article