Archives for : October2013

Beyonce:Sydney- Halloween Edition ;-)

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Hattie Little: Motowns Best Kept Secret! motownjunkies.uk.com

 

hattieEnding the four-song run of unreleased, undocumented, unheralded material that opened Motown’s biggest year to date, the long-forgotten Hattie Littles here makes her final Motown bow.

Received wisdom has it that Hattie, who had the blues in her veins and who considered herself a blues singer rather than a soul vocalist, just didn’t have a place in Motown’s bright and shiny brave new world, and there’s a lot of truth in that. It’s hard to imagine her on too many TV specials, or opening live shows in front of teenage fans who’d come to see the Supremes.  Hattie belonged to a slightly earlier, slightly earthier strain of Motown acts who couldn’t be polished up for the pop charts, and who didn’t fit the company’s new image, and at first blush it seems obvious she shared their fate.  Like Gino Parks, Henry Lumpkin, Singin’ Sammy Ward (the quintessential example), or any number of other forgotten names from the first shaky days of Motown, Hattie Littles couldn’t adapt to the move away from jazzy blues-inflected material to big R&B ballads and pop hits, and so she was gone.

But in Hattie’s case, that’s not quite right. As we’ve seen already here on Motown Junkies, not only was she an extremely talented singer who never cut a bad record, she also had a voice with real commercial potential too.  And that’s never more clearly the case than here, the very last time we get to meet her.

Motown wasted endless time and money trying unsuccessfully to replace Mary Wells once the young starlet walked out on Motown, splitting her role (and remaining material!) between Kim Weston, Brenda Holloway and a few other equally worthy but fundamentally different singers.  Listening to You Got Me Worried, a bouncy R&B-pop ballad delivered in Hattie’s usual thousand-megawatt style (think Kim Weston turned up to 11), and putting it alongside Miss Littles’ earlier B-side Here You Come…? Well, I don’t know whether Hattie (who, again, liked her blues) would have been up for it, but – vocally, at least! – it seems to me Motown had the perfect candidate right under their noses the entire time, and they let her slip away into total obscurity. The buffoons.

She doesn’t sound all that much like Mary Wells, not really; although there are definite similarities in the way she pronounces and aspirates certain sounds, they’ve got different voices and different ranges. (Hattie is quite a bit louder, for a start.)

No, rather, it’s that listening to Hattie – especially when she’s doing bouncier material like You Got Me Worried – it feels like you could be listening to Mary Wells.  Hattie is a fine actress, able to sell the material, and she’s got the same smirking, salacious streak in her deliveries, a spark of menacing, sexy intelligence that suggests she’s putting her tongue in her cheek and winking at the producer’s window between lines (the same sort of ability to imbue an otherwise throwaway line with a raised eyebrow that Cal Gill of the Velvelettes does so well).  And Hattie doesn’t have to rely on sultry contralto whispering to get the effect; she’s got another trick up her sleeve in that she can also do it by ramping up to full force and blasting the paint off the walls in the next room, Kim Weston style.  Most importantly, though, this song is exactly the sort of thing you can imagine Mary Wells doing; as I say, their voices are ultimately quite different, and so it’s only when Hattie tackles this kind of song that it all becomes clear.  Too late.

The song, a catchy number that sounds more like a potential single than the proposed A-side Conscience I’m Guilty (though the distinction is academic, because this single never actually materialised), isn’t up to the standards of Mary’s best cuts, or Hattie’s, for that matter. Nonetheless, it’s still a whole lot of fun, and both Hattie and the musicians sound like they’re enjoying themselves plenty; it’s a breath of fresh air which sounds like the début from some new talent, the jumping-off point for a new and exciting career.  Certainly it doesn’t sound like what it really was: a final, half-hearted throw of the dice from a disinterested label, one of America’s great unsung singers shackled to a record company who didn’t bother to release her records.

It’s believed that Hattie has more material still waiting in the Motown vaults (from whence presumably came this and this, which have surfaced on compilations in recent years). If so, there will never be a worthier candidate for a proper retrospective anthology CD to finally appear. Until that day, this will have to do; as I said last time, there are certainly worse ways to bow out.

Cheese Steak Soup!

cheese teak soup

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 soft hoagie rolls, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound shaved beef steak or roast beef
  • 1/4 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery seeds and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup flour, the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes; set aside.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes. Toss the cheddar, provolone and the remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl; slowly whisk the cheese mixture into the soup until melted. Return to the blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot and bring to a low boil; remove from the heat.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pepperoncini and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with the beef, croutons and more parsley.

Photograph by Johnny Miller

Morgan Osman:Mixed Edition

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Serengeti Teas and Spices opens in Harlem

IMG_0020Caranda Martin carefully tells each of his customers when they come in for their morning coffee where the beans, flavors and even milk came from. To him, each cup has a journey.

Since it’s opening last week, Serengeti Teas and Spices, located at 2292 Frederick Douglass Blvd., is quickly becoming a Harlem hotspot. Owned by Martin, a chef and chemist, the shop cafe features over 400 teas from around the world, mostly Africa.

A native of Liberia, Martin tugs at the roots of his grandmother who was an herbalist. He grew up learning about holistic living and working on his family’s farms. His teachings led him to work for several chefs and in hospitality including working with Chef Marcus Samuelson of Harlem’s Red Rooster

His dream became reality when he created a place to give a taste of Africa to the palate.

“Africa is the one of the largest producers of tea,” he said. “By the end of the year, Kenya will be one of the largest tea producers in the world.”

Serengeti Teas and Spices works with small harvesters in Africa and South America. The menu includes teas, chai, and cold beverages. Teas can be bought loose leaf or pre-packed coming from Kenya Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Cameroon. Ghana. India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Drinks on the menu include Bushman Honey Espresso, Pomegranate Hibiscus, green tea with rosehips and King Tut Wild Lemonade with sea salt from Kenya.

Martin said that while tea shops are mostly downtown, he wanted to bring the experience to uptown residence. While Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts might be in abundance in Harlem, Martin said his cafe offers something different. The area’s last tea spot, the Harlem Tea Room, closed in 2008.

“My goal was to bring Africa to a community that had a direct relationship with Africa,” Martin said. “We wanted to position ourselves as authentic. I’ve lived in Harlem for 20 years and I wanted to give back to a community that has shown me so much hospitality. There is no other place I would have opened my first shop.”

Along with great teas for the palate to explore, spices are also available for customers to but. Among them are African curry, smoked paprika from Spain, Tunisian turmeric and Wild African hot chile.

Those looking to sit and eat have the choice of pastries from Balthasar to go with their tea or coffee. Also available on the menu are smoked lentils, braised meats, stews and vegetarian and vegan items. Serengeti also serves up preserves made on sight including a ginger, pineapple chutney and a popular apricot, rosemary and buckwheat honey preserve.

“As Africans we always have has a relationship with African American,” said Martin. “Harlem is where I feel most at home and I felt I could contribute to a need.”

Ethel Waters:Happy 117th Birthday!

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Vanilla Ice:Happy Birthday!

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Willow Smith:Happy Birthday!

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15 Most Shocking Celebrity Conspiracy Theories

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15. Solange- According to Beyonce theorists, Solange is  actually Bey’s daughter. This means that apparently, Beyonce is 37-years  old (rather than 32) and had Solo at 14, in order to cover up the  scandal and Tina Knowles and then-husband Matthew Knowles claimed  Solange as their own. We’ll have to mark this as the most ridiculous  celebrity conspiracy theory we’ve heard yet.

14. Eminem- Hiphttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png  Hop heads raised their brows following the violent 2006 death of D12′s  Proof, who died of four gunshots following an altercation outside a  Detroit pool hall. Oddly enough, collaborator and friend Eminem foretold  the event in a music video a year prior launching a bunch of conspiracy  theories that Proof’s death was in sacrifice for Eminem/D12′s fame.

13. Amanda Bynes- During the initial stages of Amanda Bynes’  well-documented public meltdown displayed in 140 characters via Twitter,  the actress’ string of photos and erratic tweets confused the world.  Some alleged that the actress was faking a meltdown in order to get  publicity. Rumors of Bynes’ fabricated breakdown went into overdrive  after she was jailed for throwing a bong out of her Times Square  apartment. Although Bynes is now in psychiatric care, theories that her  stint in a private rehab is a part of a media stunt still loom.

12. Lil Wayne- Rumors have been circulating for years that  Lil Wayne hires ghostwriters who remain uncredited to edit and add  additional bars to his tracks. Allegedly, an artist named Gillie the Kid  claims to have written “pretty much all” of the cutshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png on Wayne’s debut album, The Carter 1.  Weezy’s protege Drake is also said to have a hand at ghostwriting  tracks for his boss but Drizzy has refused to confirm or deny such  rumors.

11. M.I.A.- M.I.A. unleashed her inner whistleblower  during an interview with Nylon in 2010, where she said both Facebook and  Google were developed by the CIA set on tracking people’s movements and  lives. The outspoken rapper went on to say that “all governments are  connected to Google, governments can shift their search engines so only  what they want you to see comes up.”

10. Kurt Cobain- According to a report filed by the Seattle  Police Department, Kurt Cobain’s dead body was found at the scene three  days after he reportedly committed suicide. That hasn’t stopped  theorists from side-eying the story based on evidence that include a  note with two different handwritings, and an obscene amount of h-eroine  in his system that wouldn’t allow most people the ability to operate a  firearm. The gun did not have any fingerprints, and there was no  gunpowder residue found on the late singer’s hands.

9. Alicia Keys- During an interview back in 2008, Alica  Keys revealed she believed Tupac and Biggie were both assassinated in a  government and media ploy to “stop another great black leader from  existing.” She went on to say that hardcore hip hop was another plan to  “convince black people to kill each other.”

8. Britney Spears- Who can forget Britney Spears’ breakdown in  2007?! The memorable meltdown is said to be one big cover-up created by  the Bush administration in an attempt to turn the public’s attention  away from the government’s actions overseas and glued to gossip blogs.

7. Khloe Kardashian- Khloe Kardashian has been rumored to have a  different biological father than her sisters, Kim and Kourtney.  According to theorists, Robert Kardashian isn’t Khloe’s father since  Kris was having an affair while they were married. The rumors were  brought on up the family’s reality show, and while Kris Jenner confirms  she did cheat on her then-husband, she has slammed the rumors that Khloe  is fathered by another man.

6. Bob Marley- In 1981, Bob Marley died at the age 36  after battling with melanoma. According to conspiracy theorists, the CIA  felt threatened by his political beliefs being spread throughout the  world, and it’s been wildly speculated that the CIA secretly gave him  the diseasehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png by putting poison in his boots in attempt to shut down Marley’s influence.

5. Kanye West & Taylor Swift- The most brow raising moment in VMA history  may have been a preplanned stunt devised by MTV, Kanye West and Taylor  Swift. The two megastars who share the same agent allegedly wanted to  drum up some press around the event, whether it be good or bad, in  Kanye’s case…really bad. Meanwhile, MTV was more focused on  regaining relevancy surrounding the VMAs after suffering from a decline  in ratings. Obviously, the stunt worked out really well for MTV, and  Beyonce, who let Swift deliver her speech after winninghttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png Video of The Year of “Single Ladies.”

4. Katie Holmes- Tom Cruise’s marriage with Katie Holmes was  rumored to be fake, so naturally her pregnancy with their daughter Suri  Cruise was also widely panned as fraudulent, especially when photos of  her baby bump appeared to dramatically fluctuate in size throughout her  pregnancy. In some photos her stomach would be very visible, while in  others Holmes’ baby bump seemingly vanished. Theorists suggested that  Suri was born much earlier than Cruise and Holmes previously announced,  and that Katie wore a prosthetic baby bump to throw off baby bump  watchers.

3. Tom Cruise- Tom Cruise has long been the subject of odd  Hollywood conspiracy theories, including the rumor that the Church of  Scientology auditioned some of Hollywood’s hottest starlets for the  coveted role of Mrs. Tom Cruise. In September 2012, Vanity Fair  published an eye-opening account of the audition process said to include  Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan and Cruise’s ex-wife Katie Holmes.  The length of their marriage, perks the actress would be given (better  roles, magazine covers, etc) and more were exposed. Reps for Cruise and  the Church of Scientology have both slammed the allegations.

2. Kim Kardashian & Kanye West- Before Kim Kardashian’s divorce with Kris  Humphries was finalized, she began dating Kanye West. After four months  of dating Kanye announced Kim was pregnant with the rapper’s child. In July, Kimye fans were shocked to learn that Kim Kardashian had delivered her daughter, North West five weeks earlier than the date that she previously announced. According to theorists, the early delivery was not so much a surprise to Kardashian, who allegedly lied about her due date because she was embarrassed by how quickly she got pregnant after getting together with West.

1. Beyonce- After Beyonce announced her pregnancy at  the MTV VMAs, the public’s reaction to the news went from excitement to  suspicion. First, the Internet began to speculate over whether or not  the size of her belly and her term matched up, then following the third  trimester, during an Australian  interview, the fabric of her dress created a fold that gave the  impression her belly was deflating. Rumors of Beyonce wearing a fake  baby bump, while the real woman who was carrying Blue Ivy had been sent  to live in secrecy ran wild.  On a scale of 1 to ridiculous, we’re going with the latter.

TLC: 200% increase in sales!

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Doris Payne:Professional Jewel Thief Part I

 

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How does a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1950s America wind up as one of the worlds most notorious jewel thieves? A glamorous 81-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the nearly $2 million in jewels she’s stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat.

With Payne now on trial for the theft of a department store diamond ring, filmmakers Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond probe beneath her consummate smile to uncover the secrets of her trade and what drove her to a life of crime. Stylish recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how Payne managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany’s from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes.

 

This sensational portrait exposes a rebel who defies society’s prejudices and pinches her own version of the American Dream while she steals your heart.

Doris Payne (born 1930 in Slab Fork, West Virginia) is one of the world’s most notorious jewel thieves.

 

Her modus operandi was to enter jewelry stores posing as a well-to-do woman, typically looking for a diamond ring. Using her natural grace and charm, she would engage the clerk, asking to see an assortment of items. Eventually, she would “cause the clerk to forget” just how many items were outside the case, and at some point she would leave with one or two pieces.

Her career spanned five decades, states, and even countries. She was arrested many times, but was generally more successful than not.

A feature length motion picture is currently being planned about her life, starring Halle Berry as Payne. The motion picture to be written and produced by veteran TV writer, Eunetta T. Boone in association with Jason Felts (Virgin Produced/Relativity Media). A documentary about her life – The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne – is also being produced by Matthew Pond & Kirk Marcolina of Treehouse Moving Images LLC.

On Friday, January 22, 2010 Payne was arrested in Costa Mesa, California for removing the tags from a $1,300 Burberry trench coat from a Saks Fifth Avenue store and subsequently leaving the store with the coat. In January 2011, at the age of 80, Doris was sentenced in a San Diego court to five years for stealing a 1 carat diamond ring

 

Barney’s VS. The United State Civial Rights

1383523_225118457664491_854356955_nThe issue over whether high-end department stores in New York City have wrongly targeted black shoppers – including movie actor Rob Brown – as potential thieves is escalating.
A New York state senator on Monday called on the city’s Commiss…ion on Human Rights to investigate the allegations as a fourth black shopper stepped forward to claim he had been wrongly stopped by police after shopping.
Meantime, Mark Lee, CEO of Barneys New York, and senior executives from the pricey retailer are scheduled to meet Tuesday morning with Al Sharpton and Hazel Dukes, president of the New York chapter of the NAACP, at the Harlem
headquarters of Sharpton’s National Action Network, Sharpton’s office announced.
Four black shoppers in recent days stepped forward to allege racial profiling. Two of the cases involve Barneys New York and two involve the Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square.
Brooklyn resident Art Palmer told CBS that he was stopped by four undercover police officers outside Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square back in April after using two credit cards to buy several hundred dollars worth of shirts and ties.
“They ran up on me and pulled out their badge and demanded to see my merchandise,” CBS quoted Palmer as saying. “Went through everything, checking receipt against shirt, making sure it matched. I was humiliated.”
As Palmer made the allegations, state Sen. Eric Adams, a Democrat from Brooklyn, N.Y., called on the city’s Commission on Human Rights to investigate.
As a matter of procedure, parties that have filed lawsuits in cases cannot also ask the commission to investigate. The other three black shoppers who have stepped forward have filed lawsuits, including actor Rob Brown of Finding Forrester and of the HBO series Treme.
Others are welcome to file complaints with the commission by calling 212-306-7450 during normal business hours, said Betsy Herzog, the commission’s director of communications.
A representative in the Barneys New York press office did not respond to a telephone message left Monday night. Representatives for Macy’s did not respond to an e-mail message Monday night.
An expert who monitors such cases as a representative with the NAACP national office said what is happening in New York is that people are stepping forward more. Such cases take place on a regular basis, based on contact made with NAACP branches, said Niaz Kasravi, criminal justice director for the civil rights organization.
“The NAACP has always said racial profiling training and cultural competency training should be mandatory for not only law enforcement but other people who have the capacity to influence people, such as police officers, security officers or even clerks at stores,” Kasravi said.
In the Rob Brown case, in which the actor alleges in a lawsuit filed Friday with state Supreme Court in Manhattan, police allegedly accused the actor of making a “purchase from Macy’s with a fraudulent and or unauthorized debit/credit card,” the NY Daily News reported.
Brown told the news organization he was “paraded” through Macy’s back in June in handcuffs and detained for an hour in a store holding cell before being let go.
Macy’s released a statement on that development, saying it was investigating the claims. “We do not comment on matters in litigation,” the retailer said in a statement.
In related matters, 21-year-old nursing student Kayla Phillips alleged four plainclothes officers stopped her at a subway station after she purchased a bag from Barneys New York, the Daily News reported.
Trayon Christian, 19, filed a suit claiming police handcuffed him and took him to a precinct after her purchased a belt at Barneys New York.
Barneys has said it is seeking advice from a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.       –      Melanie Eversley, USA TODAYSee More

Eddie Holland Jr:Happy Birthday!

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Otis Williams:Happy Birthday!

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Eva Macille:Happy Birthday!

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Nia Long:Happy Birthday!

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Randy Jackson: Happy Birthday!

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Kate Jackson:Happy 65th Birthday!

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Melba Moore:Happy Birthday!

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Gabrielle Union:Happy Birthday!

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