Archive for October, 2009

FEARLESS FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

About a week ago, I mingled my way into McDonalds. I generally do not eat much fast food but I was starving and it was convenient. I decided to splurge and to splurge big. So I ordered a Big Mac.

After squirting ketchup into papercups, I went to sit down noticing an elderly woman sitting alone eating an ice cream cone. Something told me to say hello, so I did. And what happened beyond that first introduction was, well, awesome.


Denise (think Jessica Tandy but French) was 76 years old and bubbling over with life. In a thick foreign accent, wearing pearl earrings & a knit beret, she spoke with her teeth showing, the smile accentuating her wrinkle filled face as I sat mesmerized. Filled with contentment and a zest that I felt I was missing in that moment, I wondered what she possessed, wondered if I possessed the same thing, if it somehow swam inside me the way it swam inside her.

Denise was born in Paris (her family still resides there) but has lived in New York City for 30 years. She told me that New York was the “greatest city on earth”. She told me that I needed to learn to cook, that what I was eating was unhealthy and that I needed to start watching these things while young. She asked me if I exercised. She asked what gave me a spark, what it is I loved to do. She called the French snobs. She mentioned how she bikes all day, every day (except for at nights because her vision isn’t what it used to be). She laughed out loud & I, I fell in love.

And in what seemed like a split second our half hour long conversation had come to an end. She wished me luck in finding what it was I was searching for with a kaleidoscopic glow and as she walked away, I realized what she had, was what I’ve always been searching for — FEARLESSNESS.

Heartbreak had left me tangled in fear, rattled my spurs. Filled with jaded doubts I had accepted the disconnection I felt in trusting another human being with my heart. But through the eyes of a 76-year-old firecracker, I realized that I am ready again. I’m ready to jump.

Check out FOREVER & ALWAYS (the new piano rendition) from Taylor Swift’s Fearless re-release above. See how it ties together? Get it?! Get it?! Sweet.

TICKLE ME GYLLENHAAL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Brokeback Elmo.
Sesame Darko.
The Day After Big Bird.


[Photo: New York Post]

Can you believe that Sesame Street has been around for 40 seasons?! Well, 39. But for their upcoming 40th season, the show has recruited several awesome guests–Jake Gyllenhaal being one on a roster of many that includes Hugh Jackman, Michelle Obama, Adam Sandler, and Cameron Diaz (among others).

Screw grown-up TV, Sesame Street is where it’s at!

Check out a vintage clip of the classic show with the legendary Johnny Cash, below.

MICHELLE BRANCH CHANNELS INNER POCAHONTAS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

After six long years, Michelle Branch returns with a new solo record. And I couldn’t be happier. One thing I have always admired about Branch is her ability to keep things simple & unaffected, including her image. Less is more–and in a concocted world of peroxide pixies Branch stands out in a way that’s even prettier than her candy coated peers.

You can watch the music video to the first single, SOONER OR LATER (above), as well as an interview with Billboard Magazine discussing the record, below.

MAROON 5 TRAILER PART DEUX

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Maroon 5 are out with a second trailer for their new album, coming out in 2010. Yes, I said SECOND (I’m sure you may have missed the first) trailer. But FOR REAL, this album best be dynamite! They are hyping it up like it’s bottled water and it’s Y2K!!!


“We’ve been together now for a long time, and we almost had no choice but to go to some remote place so we could really focus on making the best record we’ve ever made,”
singer Adam Levine explains in the video.

Check out the boys of Maroon 5 below, in Geneva Lake, Switzerland, where they worked with producer Mutt Lange for their upcoming release.


Maroon 5: New Album Trailer 2

Maroon 5 | MySpace Video

MAT KEARNEY DOES THE MOONWALK

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

He loves God & makes beautiful music because of it. And he’s just like the rest of us! He, too, can’t do the Moonwalk.

His debut album was like medicine to me when I was going through a hard time spiritually. Mat knows what’s important in life and what isn’t and he spills it perfectly through his music.


[Photo: CableCarCouture.Com]

One of my favorite tracks by Kearney is GIRL AMERICA:

Boys with hungry eyes have been beating her door
Telling her that’s what she’s for, trying to rob at her core
Then leave calling her a whore, but still she knows there’s more
I know she knows there’s more because there is a voice she can’t ignore
‘Cause it was founded in the foundations, from the day of her creation
In God we trust engraved on the treasures of her nation
And the void that the boys can’t fill
With the tipping of the bottle or the popping of the pill
But still most of her friends don’t care as they glare
Ready to drown down the funnel as they frown down the tunnel
They stumble and they tumble breaking down into rubble
My girl America, stop can’t you see
It’s not the circumstances that determine who you’re gonna be
But how you deal with these problems and pains that come your way
It’s for you that I pray with hope for a brighter day
And so I say, your deliverance is coming

I LOVE THIS DUDE! Kearney + backstage + moonwalk. Click play.

KATHARINE MCPHEE DYES

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Dyes. She’s blonde now. Get it?! I’m so clever.

This video is gorgeous. But that’s besides the point–it finally seems like McPhee has found her style as an artist, and by the look & sound of things, it’s blonde & HEARTFELT.

UNBROKEN (the new album) is due out January 5th.

Check out the video for the the record’s first single, HAD IT ALL, below.

THE EMANCIPATION OF RIRI?

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Rated-R? I prefer PG-13.

I’m a bit torn by how I view this statement. Actually I’m not torn. To be honest, I find it violent and unnecessary. I think the entire record, properly titled RATED-R, was developed around an entire theme: to stir, to shock in a dark & twisted way. I get it, I’m just already over it. Yes, it’s my opinion and I have that choice, I just personally could do without the overuse of violence and sex to get an audience’s attention.

Rihanna is beautiful & a survivor, and although it might be considered less entertaining to most, I think she could’ve released a track of complete and utter empowerment without this idea of triggers from a gun. But, hey, this is the world of entertainment, where shock value and oversexualizing “art” sells–so once again the formula will do the trick and radio and fans will swoon.

Perhaps Rihanna will make a video that will give the song more of an empowering justice. Until then, you can check out the first single, RUSSIAN ROULETTE (co-written by Ne-Yo), below.

DUDE! What is up with that barb wire? Not a fan. Not a fan.

JORDIN PERRY, KATY SPARKS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Kordin Sperry.
Jaty Parks.
JK Sperry-arks.
Perry Sparks.

Ok, I’m done.

Jordin Sparks takes on Katy Perry’s HOT N’ COLD.


I’m diggin’ it!

Check out Jordin’s performance from BBC’s Radio 1 Live Lounge, below.

LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE (AND LISTEN TO SHAWN MCDONALD)

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’m currently reading BLUE LIKE JAZZ (Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality) by Donald Miller. It was a gift from my friend Becca, who thought I could take something from the book. And she was right. One of my favorite parts is when Miller discusses fear. We fear death. We fear being alone. We fear life. We fear the unknown. We fear God. But why? It’s because we do not have the answers. There’s no formula proven by science to explain life to us. But that’s the beauty of faith. One thing that resonated with me personally was how he states that he believes we have two ways to approach this fear: terror or AWE. We can choose to be terrified by our thoughts and by our fears or we can choose to be in AWE of God, and to learn to trust Him with our lives completely. I hope we all learn to choose awe.

Yesterday, as I was walking down the streets of Manhattan, on a wall usually covered with sexually suggestive ads promoting products or albums or films, there were several large pink and purple posters that said: LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE.

The posters were promoting Christ. In a city where sometimes God and serving others seems to be the last thing on everyone’s minds, I thought this was a beautiful thing to see.

Check out Shawn McDonald and a song I recently discovered through a friend on Facebook. Shawn’s music is empowering with a skin all its own. Listen to TAKE MY HAND, below.

TYRA BANKS FOR PRESIDENT

TYRA BANKS FOR PRESIDENT
by Rob Brayl
Copyright © 2009 / All Rights Reserved

Imagine if supermodels
Ruled the world
The streets would be transformed
Into red carpet runways and every day
A severe fashion show

The art of couture clothes
Would become the religion of choice
And Vanity Fair would replace
The Bible

Every fierce flawless face
Would be mistaken
For celebrity
And everywhere you looked
Flashes of glitter
Would burn the air
Like paparazzi pollution

Living dolls and painted pin-up girls
Would roam in cop cars
Handing out citations for
Manic makeovers

Food would be replaced
With calorie corrected dosages
And flip flops discarded
For Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos

Tyra Banks would become President
And the highly anticipated press release
Would predict
Next season’s new black

Botox and lip injections
Would be mandatory
And silicon implants sold in convenience stores
Alongside cocaine cigars and dirty magazines

Beautiful clothes and makeup would overflow
Like gossip spill
But no matter how gorgeously mannequin
No makeup can clothe an ugly heart

LEARN TO LOVE YOUR FLAWZ.

Check out Imperfect is the New Perfect, by up & coming singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby, below.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, DUST YOURSELF OFF & TRY AGAIN

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot . . . and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

–Michael Jordan

REBECCA ST. JAMES & THE POWER OF HAKUNA MATATA

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This song makes me feel good. I hope it does the same for you.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

HAKUNA MATATA!

Check out DON’T WORRY by Rebecca St. James below.

NELLY FURTADO INDUCES SPANISH DISC

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Frustration. Pain. Heartbreak. <--All in Spanish. But don't worry, there's English subtitles. Check out Nelly Furtado's new single, from her first full-length Spanish album (Mi Plan), below.

Nelly Furtado – Manos al Aire – Mi Plan from Nelly Furtado on Vimeo.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: BEYONCE ON FAME

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“People look at us head to toe, judge us, and think that we’re not human. We are. Nobody’s a celebrity but God.”

– Beyonce Knowles

FACEBOOK: THE MOVIE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Facebook’s movie (properly titled The Social Network) is set to begin filming this fall. Does anyone else think this sounds as boring as bologna (yes, I just said bologna)?! What’s next? MYSPACE, THE MUSICAL?! <--Hey, I said it here first. I claim first rights. Nah, in all seriousness, the film may turn out to be quite the catch. It will be directed by DAVID FINCHER (Fight Club, Curious Case of Benjamin Button) after all and will star Justin Timberlake.

Until the film is released, check out this hilarious skit poking fun of the social network, below.

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