Category Archives: General Fabulousness

Two Women (Goddesses?), with Great Minds and Great Style…Toni & Angela

I saw this pic on The Silver Girl, author Tayari Jones’ tumblr site, and HAD to share it at SCOTT TOPICS™. Partly out of respect to Tayari–if you haven’t read her beautiful first novel (and Hurston/Wright Award winner for Debut Fiction) Leaving Atlanta, you haven’t read a good novel in years, for one thing–and partly out of respect to the two beautiful, ground-breaking sistas strolling through the city in this photo. You can read Tayari’s blog here. And her new novel The Silver Girl is coming from Algonquin Books next year. (Thanks Tayari!)

Toni Morrison and Angela Davis, in all their funky, intellectual, Afro-wearing glory…one can only IMAGINE what they’re talking about!!!…Hope this pic inspires you like it’s inspired me!

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Filed under books, General Fabulousness, Toni Morrison, WayBack Machine, writing

Finally!!! Cee Lo – Official “FUCK YOU” Video

This is by far my favorite song of the year, and the official video makes me love it even more!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Peggy & Betty & Joan, Oh My!: Rolling Stone does another TV cover

Rolling Stone follows up the True Blood cover with a celebration of Mad Men, calling it “the best show on TV.” I’ve always thought so, but after this week’s episode—Don’s “lost weekend”, Peggy’s assertiveness, when-Roger-met-Don, Pete’s Cosgrove-inspired meltdown—it’s feeling more like the best show ever (well, other than The Wire…or (the first 6 seasons of) The Gilmore Girls, I guess, but I digress…) Here’s the cover: Don Draper with Peggy, Betty and Joan, three of the women in his life. Seizing the pop culture moment, before the backlash begins, baby…? (Oh, before I forget, might that reference made to Don’s new art director—who’s clearly an insecure, sexist mess!—mean the possible return of dear old Gay Sal? Hope so…)

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Ear Candy #2 … and some Eye (popping!) Candy, too!

Music that’s been making me happy…:

{AEROPLANE}

Apparently this Belgium dance-music crew likes its retro-disco danced to a modern island-y beat, and I love that they do. This glossy beaut manages to be a coke-high and a weed come-down all at once, like Sly & Robbie & Grace found a lost Silver Convention track and dressed it up for a rocking party in the 21st century…

{GIRLS}

Girls is lo-fi as power pop, though at their Myspace page they describe themselves as “tropical/gothic/trash.” Fair enough. Their “Lust for Life” isn’t brand new, but I discovered this San Francisco band recently, and I can say, I was thrilled to find out the song wasn’t some shoegazing retread of Iggy’s classic tune. No, this is all coy pop hedonism-love song stuff, with a sense of fun and longing that pours right out of the ringing guitars and the snotty hi-teen vocals…and I love a song with hand-claps…They made an x-rated version of the video which is QUITE raw, with LOTS of nudity, including plenty of  bare breasts and at least one shot of a hard dick being used as a microphone…definitely NSFW…but fun as fuck, and I think better the tone and energy of the song…Here’s the original version:

You can see the x-rated one here: NSFW: Girls’ “Lust for Life” Video Hardcore XXX Version.

{JANELLE MONAE}

And just because I have to, and just because I didnt much care for the “Tightrope” song in its original incarnation, I have to include this remix video of the ArchAndroid first single, featuring B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco. And also because it might be sexiest vid since Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and because Janelle strikes the right kind of poses—going from rapper to supermodel with just a shoulder bend, hands on hips, and a blink and stare…haughtiness never seemed so crazy down-to-earth and real. LOVE HER. (And, yo, who’s the mysterious guitarist in the background? Is that who I THINK it is???)

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“We make a mean team, my Adidas and me…”

Reportedly—and Internet Luddite that I be, who knew such things were even measured?—Adidas is apparently, in the wake of World Cup (and maybe Wimbledon, I’d suggest?), beating Nike in the social media buzz world. Or at least FastCompany says so…The two sneakers you see above, the Stan Smith and the Rod Laver, are, in my opinon—other than some Air Jordans I rocked in the 90s, and the suede black Pumas I wore throughout high school in the 80s—the greatest sneakers ever made. To quote another Run-D.M.C. song, I may not “want nobody’s name on my behind,” but I’ve never been mad at having Sirs Smith or Laver on my feet. Their sneakers live on. Created for tennis, but wearable with everything. Made for men. Elegant. Tasteful. Classics.

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The SPB Q: Alisa Valdes

{I first discovered the work of Alisa Valdes back in 2003 when her first novel The Dirty Girls Social Club was published (under her then name Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez) to wide acclaim and fanfare, with some critics calling her the “Latina Terry McMillan” because of her funny and raw and smart depictions of female friends doing their tours of duty in the battles of the sexes. I came very close to interviewing her when the book came out, but never got around to it as the book’s release coincided with my first retirement from journalism. I re-discovered her work when I returned to Brown and took a course on Latino fiction and memoir, and fell in love again with Lauren and Usnavys and the rest of the great characters who populated the bestseller and made it a crowd-pleasing, page-turning favorite–and made it a subject of a friend’s dissertation on “chica lit” and American culture. Valdes’s work includes five other novels (including Dirty Girls sequel Dirty Girls on Top and YA novel Haters) and The Three Kings (coming in November). I never got a chance to interview her, but we have become pals on the Internet, and I look forward to her move East in the fall to teach at her alma mater, Boston’s Berklee College of Music. So until I get to experience her wit and style in person, and I get to tell her how much I love her stuff (and how much her work has influenced my novel coming out next fall!) I give you Alisa’s SPB Q…enjoy!}

Name: Alisa Lynn Valdes (formerly Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez)

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Zodiac sign: Pisces

Favorite book: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Favorite author: Charles Dickens and Dean Koontz. I had to include at least two authors, because, really, what writer has only one favorite author? I think Koontz is the best writer working in the English language right now. He is an artist, a social commentator, an entertainer and a superb craftsman, all at once. Dickens was the Koontz of his time. Both writers root their work in a profound search for justice and compassion, and do not shy away from the darker side of human nature. I love them.

Favorite movie: Billy Elliott. This is the ultimate underdog movie, and weaves together social commentary on class, gender, and stereotyping. A brilliant, beautiful film.

Favorite song: Too many to name just one! I have musical ADHD. When I love a song, I listen to it constantly for weeks, then I can’t stand it and never listen to it again. This, incidentally, appears also to be how I approach my love life.

Fictional character you wish you had created: Mrs. Havisham. ’nuff said.

Career High: Seeing my first novel on a shelf in a bookstore for the first time.

Life High: The birth of my son, seeing his tiny hands for the first time, watching him open his eyes. Truly life-changing beauty.

You’re on a desert island and can only have 5 CDs/books/ or DVDs shipped in to you. What are they? Something by Berlioz; something by Jose Marti; something by Dickens; something by Eminem; Every season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Your favorite quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein

Guilty pleasure: Disney Channel and Jake T. Austin. I am 26 years older than Jake, decades older than most of his fans, but I nonetheless admire him as an actor and human being; an old soul.

{If you wanna check out Alisa’s website/blog, click here.}

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Weekend Round-up (Kinks, Links & Hijinks)

{All the World’s a Stage}: My old college friend Lynn Nottage has been rocking the theater world with her brilliance with such plays as Intimate Apparel and the Pulitzer-prize winning Ruined, both powerfully dramatic pieces. Her new play, due in NYC next season, seems to be heading in a more comic direction: [PLAYBILL]

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Here’s Venus, in her Tina Turner-inspired mini-dress at Wimbledon. I’m really just posting about this cause I think homegirl is so fly, but also as an excuse to put some vid of Tina and the Ikettes on my blog, you know, burden of influence and all that…That said—and I say this as a Negro who loves dance, but hates to see Negroes dancing for food/clothes/cars or detergent in bad TV commercials (remember this? or this?)—wouldn’t it be cool if Venus broke into a fierce ol’ Pony after she (hopefully) wins the big prize next week, and wowwed the Brits like Tina did herself back in the Swingin’ 60s?

Here’s Tina (catch the dress) and the Ikettes, opening a show in ’71:

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