HBO’s latest drama “Here and Now” has us all shook with Raymond Lee’s raunchy sex scenes. We recently stumbled across “Here and Now” and were taken in by Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter -we figured it has to be good for actors who primarily do movies to jump into the TV pool. While it’s reminiscent of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” – with a backdrop of the lush green NorthWestern terrain, a flirtation with the supernatural, a gaggle of characters with their own storylines, it tries too hard to touch on a laundry list of social issues and comes off as an extended PSA. Getting back to Lee’s sex scenes, we just can’t remember ever seeing an Asian male getting that much action on an American screen. Sure, Lee’s character, Duc Bayer-Boatwright, has some major issues including sexual addiction issues stemming from a childhood in a brothel (geez, can’t we move past “Miss Saigon” already?), probably a dislike of Asian women (as seen by his rejection of the Asian women at the bar) but he was getting his groove ON…A LOT. Lee displayed a sexuality that is usually coveted by white leading men and stereotyped of black male characters, but not usually Asian men in America -basically, a welcome change to their emasculating portrayal and stereotypes.    

  HBO’s latest drama “Here and Now” has us all shook with Raymond Lee’s raunchy sex scenes. We recently stumbled across “Here and Now” and were taken in by Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter -we figured it has to be good for actors who primarily do movies to jump into the TV pool. While it’s reminiscent of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” – with a backdrop of the lush green NorthWestern terrain, a flirtation with the supernatural, a gaggle of characters with their own storylines, it tries too hard to touch on a laundry list of social issues and comes off as an extended PSA. Getting back to Lee’s sex scenes, we just can’t remember ever seeing an Asian male getting that much action on an American screen. Sure, Lee’s character, Duc Bayer-Boatwright, has some major issues including sexual addiction issues stemming from a childhood in a brothel (geez, can’t we move past “Miss Saigon” already?), probably a dislike of Asian women (as seen by his rejection of the Asian women at the bar) but he was getting his groove ON…A LOT. Lee displayed a sexuality that is usually coveted by white leading men and stereotyped of black male characters, but not usually Asian men in America -basically, a welcome change to their emasculating portrayal and stereotypes.    

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Music Critic Allan Raible’s 50 Best Albums of 2015

Article from ABCNews.com Anyone who tells you that 2015 didn’t offer up a wide variety of excellent music wasn’t paying attention. This year was actually tremendous. You may have had to do a little digging to find the best records, but like many recent years, 2015 offered up an embarrassment of riches. I liked a lot more albums than I could include on this list, but what you have here is the best of the best of what the year had to offer. 50. ALABAMA SHAKES – “Sound & Color” With their second full-length album, Alabama Shakes really came into their own, offering an appealingly diverse set of songs that merged the old-school rockabilly-flavored soul of their debut, “Boys & Girls” with new elements of woozy psychedelia, slight electronics and even some small pockets of punk. This is a slightly more modern and nuanced record than its predecessor and it serves as a bit of a sonic grab-bag, but it is that much more rewarding for its sense of eclecticism. With this album along with her artier and harder-edged Thunderbitch side project, 2015 was the year when front-woman Brittany Howard proved to be one of the most intriguing emerging figures in rock. Favorite Tracks: “Gimme All Your Love” “I Don’t Want To Fight” “Dunes” “Sound & Color” “Future People” Read the original review here. 49. JANET JACKSON– “Unbreakable” After a seven year break, Janet Jackson reunited with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to make a record that was both funky and smooth. From the soulful title-track to the J. Cole-assisted slow-jam, “No Sleep,” Janet picks up right where she left off. This is a record that wallows in mellower soundscapes, but on upbeat tracks like “Goin’ B Alright,” ”Damn Baby” and the “BurnItUp” (featuring Missy Elliott) Janet proves she can still rock the party. This is a mature record from Janet, but it maintains the spark of classics like “Rhythm Nation 1814” and “janet.” Essentially, this was exactly the record she needed to make. Favorite Tracks: “Unbreakable” “The Great Forever” “Goin’ B Alright” “After You Fall” “Damn Baby” Read the original review here. 48. KACEY MUSGRAVES – “Pageant Material” Kacey Musgraves stands out from the modern day country pack for several reasons. Chief among them are both her witty sense of sarcasm and the fact that she seems more cut from an old-school, classic country cloth than the rest of the music that passes for country these days. Her fifth album, “Pageant Material” showcases her skills quite well, between the melancholy-tinged “Die Fun” and the humorous title-track. Musgraves shows a great deal of quirkiness and personality that is all her own, making her really stand out among her country peers. She comes off as fearless. This is definitely not a cookie-cutter country record. Favorite Tracks: “Die Fun” “Family Is Family” “Dime Store Cowgirl” “Pageant Material” “Are You Sure” (Hidden Track Featuring Willie Nelson) Read the original review here. 47. VIVIAN GREEN – “Vivid” As pop radio has gotten increasingly myopic and homogeneous, both rock and R&B have been pushed increasingly out of the mainstream. On the R&B side of the equation, Vivian Green has long been seen as someone who has never gotten her due. This is something she acknowledges on “Count Your Blessings,” a key track from her excellent album, “Vivid,” when she sings, “People always say, ‘She’s so under-rated,’” before adding, “I’m blessed. I’m blessed. I’m blessed.” But it is easy to see that she really is under-rated. “The One That Got Away,” “All I Want Is You,” and “I’m Not Broken,” in a different time would have been huge pop smashes. Vivian Green has delivered the album of her career here, mixing classic soul elements with modern flecks of electro-pop. True to its title, this is a multi-hued collection that deserves your undivided attention. Favorite Tracks: “The One That Got Away” “I’m Not Broken” “Count Your Blessings” “All I Want Is You” “Get Right Back To My Baby” 46. LOS LOBOS – “Gates Of Gold” It’s been nearly forty years since Los Lobos debuted and yet “Gates Of Gold” is one of their strongest records to date, jumping from blues to more jazz-influenced places to Latin music and beyond. “When We Were Free,” for instance shows a great deal of musical sophistication in its minor key guitar chords over an intricate drum-pattern, whereas “Mis-Treater Roadhouse Blues” shows a fuzzier, and bluesier side of the band. Over the years, we’ve come to expect a variety of different styles from Los Lobos and their level of skill has always been truly impressive. It is almost like they are several very different bands rolled into one. Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo and company continue here to show their immense musical flexibility. Favorite Tracks: “When We Were Free” “Too Small Heart” “Poquito Para Aqui” “There I Go” “Made To Break Your Heart” Read the original review here. 45. LOCAL H – “Hey Killer” In 2013, Local H’s Scott Lucas was attacked and choked when he was mugged while touring Russia. “Hey Killer” is Local H’s first batch of originals since that undoubtedly scary incident and the first proper Local H record to pair Lucas with drummer Ryan Harding who jumped aboard for last year’s covers EP, “Local H’s Awesome Covers Mix #2,” which found them delivering among other things a grunged-out cover of Lorde’s “Team.” There’s a volatility to “Hey Killer.” Rockers like “City Of Knives” and “Mansplainer” pack a great deal of power, while building ballad “One Of Us” really resonates. Lucas still rocks with the same power he did nearly 20 years when he scored a major alt-rock hit with “Bound For The Floor.” If you haven’t listened to this band since 1996’s “As Good As Dead,” you have a lot of catching up to do. Lucas and company have remained a consistently vital rock force over the years. This album is as forceful as it is appealing. It is an excellent example of dynamic rock, stripped to its core

Producer J.J. Abrams Would Pick Ava DuVernay to Direct a “Star Wars Film

Don’t tell the Star Wars fans that think black people are ruining their science fiction BUT, if J.J. Abrams had his way, a female would be directing a future Star Wars installation. And it would be an African American female! The producer of “The Force Awakens” was interviewed by Nerdist’s Dan Casey, and when asked who he would like to see direct a future episode, Abrams had this to say: “The knee-jerk reaction, if I had to, is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it. She is as much a fan of genre movies, and hearing her talk about not just “Star Wars” but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it. When you look at her work in “Selma” which was as well-told and as sophisticated and humane a film as I think has come out in the last decade, if she can do that story that well.”

Wait, What?! T.I. & Mekhi Phifer Cast in A&E’s “Roots” Remake

There’s a Roots remake on the horizon and the cast is made up of a rapper (T.I.), a couple of British Black actors (Rege-Jean Page & Malachi Kirby), and Mekhi Phifer! Wait, why is there a Roots remake? Was the first one not good enough? Well, A&E is already in production with the 4-part series based on Alex Haley’s book about his family’s journey from enslavement to freedom in America. This new iteration promises to be as good as 12 Years a Slave if you ignore the fact that there’s a rapper in it and just focus on the Black Brits playing Kunta Kinte and Chicken George, because we all know they bring home the award nominations (ahem, 12 Years a Slave). Mario Van Peebles, Phillip Noyce, Thomas Carter and Bruce Beresford are the directors for the series and Questlove is the executive music producer.    

Anthony Mackie is “2 Legit” & Joseph Gordon-Levitt Has “Rhythm”

Lip Sync Battle has to be the most original concept show in a long time, because who doesn’t love to see celebrities pantomime other celebrities songs, especially when they nail it. The Night Before co-stars Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned their lip-sync battle into a dance-off when Mackie nailed a performance of MC Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit,” right down to the “Hammer Time” wiggle across the stage and the spandex biker shorts and Joseph Gordon-Levitt donned lipstick and a ponytail for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.” Is this how actors promote their movies nowadays? If so, then more please.  

Beyonce as X-Men’s Storm Better Than Halle Berry!

Beyonce jumped into the wet dreams of comic geeks everywhere when she attended Ciara’s birthday party dressed as X-Men’s premiere black character – Storm! The internet and Bey followers are all a dither complimenting Bey Bey on her costume – well, of course they are, we all know what happens when you hate on Beyonce. But seriously, Beyonce’s Storm costume is actually quite good, especially when you compare it to Hollywood’s version of the DC comic heroine – Halle Berry in a bad wig with bangs. Actually, that describes a lot of Halle Berry movies – Monster’s Ball: Halle Berry in a bad wig; BAPS: Halle Berry in a bad wig; Losing Isaiah: Halle Berry in a bad wig. Beyonce not only chose a fuller wig that exemplifies ethnic hair, but she also nails the fierce look -well, of course she does. Hollywood are you watching this? Eu, a Senhora dos Elementos, ordena que comprem meus álbuns! #Beyonce lacrando de #Tempestade dos #Xmen!! #BeyHive #Storm #BeyonceStorm #StormXmen #Xwomen #Marvel #XmenMarvel #Pop #SuperPop #GeekGays A photo posted by POPssauro (@popssauro) on Oct 26, 2015 at 12:01pm PDT

VIDEO: What if One of the Black Characters went Back To The Future?

While everyone celebrated 10/21/15, the date that Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly, in Back to the Future II (1989), traveled forward in time to help his future children, black people thought about how things haven’t changed that much in this so-called future. Youtube parody channel F-Comedy rebooted the blockbuster to illustrate this scathing reality. In the short “What if One of the Black Characters went Back To The Future?” Goldie Wilson, the cook at the 1950s diner replaces Marty McFly in the driver’s seat of the Delorean and travels to 2015.

The Weekend ‘Can’t Feel His Face’…But Taylor Swift Is Feeling His Hair

Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, who goes by the moniker The Weekend, and sings the hit song “Can’t Feel My Face,” was apparently petted like a puppy when he met singer Taylor Swift at a Grammy after-party this year. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the dreadlocked musician tells of how Swift did not abide by that unspoken golden rule that black people have – don’t touch our hair, at least not without asking first. Tesafye says, “the whole time she was talking, she was kind of, like, petting my hair?” he said of the 15-minute encounter. “I think she was just drawn to it—she must have been a little gone off a few drinks. And of course, I’m not going to be like, ‘Hey, can you stop?’ I mean, it felt good! But when she started petting my hair, that’s when I was like, ‘I definitely need a drink.’”

NEW VIDEO FEATURE: The RaceMan Briefs

Blindie brings you the RaceMan Briefs featuring Darien Sills-Evans, a really smart-looking black guy, giving commentary about pop, politics and race.

Dr. Dre Does Damage Control, Apologizes to “the Women I’ve Hurt” -Cosby Take Note

Dr. Dre, former N.W.A rap group member, producer, and entrepreneur, is trying to maintain his reign as the self-proclaimed “first billionaire in hip-hop” by doing some damage control on his women-beating past. On Friday, Dre released a statement to the New York Times attempting to apologize for his misdeeds against women.

GIMME FIVE: Things Left Outta Straight Outta Compton

The musical biopic Straight Outta Compton directed by F. Gary Gray tells the story of the rise of the West Coast rap group N.W.A (Niggas Wit’ Attitude) and its members Ice Cube, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren. While the film was highly anticipated and well received at the box office, pulling in over $60 million in its opening weekend, its exemption of the women the rap group used and abused on their way to the top of the charts has not been winning rave reviews. We’ve rounded up 5 female events left out of the rap biopic – notice the misogynistic theme. 1. The female rap group J.J. Fad, one of the first groups signed by Eazy E’s label Ruthless Records, and their 1988 debut single featuring the hit “Supersonic,” which earned a Grammy nomination (the first female rap group to earn such a distinction, ultimately helping establish the label. 2. Dr. Dre’s violent attacks on ex-girlfriend, rapper Michel’le. 3. Dr. Dre’s violent attack on Pump it Up! host Dee Barnes in 1991 -smashing her head into a wall, and beating her up on the bathroom floor of the Po Na Na Souk nightclub. 4. Dr. Dre’s violent attack on rapper Rapper Tairrie B at a Grammys party in 1990. 5. A lot of other women the hard core rap group worked with -Yo Yo, a female rapper with whom Ice Cube worked with after leaving N.W.A; Jewell and Lady of Rage, with whom Dr. Dre later worked with after N.W.A; collaborations with Michel’le; or even Eazy E’s protege Tairrie B, billed as the first white female hardcore rapper. Hmm, and the director F. Gary Gray calls it “reality rap” in this Youtube clip. Really? Dee Barnes fills in some of the deleted history and gives great insight on the culture of violence against women within the black community, music or otherwise, in a Gawker article: “There is a direct connection between the oppression of black men and the violence perpetrated by black men against black women. It is a cycle of victimization and reenactment of violence that is rooted in racism and perpetuated by patriarchy.” Barnes’ article on Gawker is worth a read, not only because she sheds light on the women who were left out of the film but as she reflects on the pain of the past she exhibits a level of maturity, objectivity, and restraint that is very hard to attain after surviving abuse, career malignment, and watching your abuser become a household name. At one point she even fondly recalls N.W.A., as being her brothers. Blindie can’t wait to read the memoir of this intelligent, strong woman  – Music, Myth, and Misogyny: Memoirs of a Female MC.

Spectre Star Christophe Waltz “open” to a black James Bond, but not really…

Christoph Waltz stars in the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Spectre, as the villain Franz Oberhauser. When asked whether he thought there would ever be an African American James Bond, Waltz said he was open to the possibility but then basically tried to make that possibility seem absurd by asking, “it wouldn’t make sense to cast Martin Luther King with a white man, would it?” Uh, yes, it would make sense Mr. Waltz, because Lin-Manuel Miranda cast black men as America’s founding fathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the musical Hamilton, and it was a smash hit off-Broadway and is winning rave reviews on-Broadway. Don’t worry, Blindie is still open to the possibility of going to see Spectre at the cinema. We admit we’re suckers for a Bond film.

Miss Jackson is back!

Clad in Rhythm Nation black, Miss Jackson strode through LAX with her husband, Mr. Who-Cares-Which Oil-Heir-From-the-UAE-He-Is.