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Do You! by Russell Simmons

If anyone is fit to write about entrepreneurial success it’s Russell Simmons. Do You!, however, is not a specific outline of how he built his numerous companies, rather it’s more a set of concepts that one can use in business, or everyday life, to better themselves. I have to admit, after reading the book I was inspired to start work on a project I had been putting off for years and it felt good. Simmons will be the first to acknowledge there’s nothing new in this book, what Do You! has are essentially common sense realities about life that we should all know, but sometimes forget to harness. After reading through it your first thought will probably be “I knew all that, so how come I’m not doing all of it?” My lone gripe with Do You! is that Simmons goes a bit overboard with his love of yoga, something that I think could have been put more in the background. In fact, you might want to just skim that chapter, but make no mistake, read through the rest and you will, much like me, be inspired to do even more in life.


Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns

One can’t help but to love J. California Cooper and her heavy-handed narrator self in her latest offering of short stories, Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns (2006), told the way your tough but sweet, God-fearin’ auntie would: sometimes graceful, sometimes verbose, often preachy, forever feigning ignorance, but wisdom-wise in true southern doublespeak. Although different ages and circumstances were identified, attempts to give the narrator of each story a separate personality were futile; one could imagine aunties’ shawl-draped shoulders embracing the southern breeze as she recounted her tales. The one perceptible departure was an odd, rambling narrator whose message nearly fell through the holes in her childhood recollection. The vibrant characters adorned with telling names offer pre-encounter insight into their lives like sisters Willa and Futila Ways and politician Mr. Bsurd. The tales presented in Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns hold all the jealousy, misery, adultery, covetry? and every breakable admonition in the Old and New Testaments one can handle where characters reap what they sow, for better or worse. Give it to a churchified loved one and they’ll smile for days. But be careful or you’ll find yourself their next victim, er witnessee.


Can Joann - Hurt People Hurt People

I appreciate its introduction, as I close my eyes to recognize film credits appear on the miniature screens that are the back of my eyelids. This is definitely, the perfect opening instrumentation for a future indie film that will win countless awards and change the world as we know it, in ‘pay it forward’ fashion. Can Joann rocks, on ‘Hurt People Hurt People’ their album recorded in a farm house located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. With nine total tracks your equation works out as such; [a hint of head nod + smooth cool rocky blues, equals]. There are poetic pen etches and successful attempts made to address personal life issues that many of us face but don’t always acknowledge. There’s quite a bit of self analysis going on here. Subtle and overt remarks about society that display optimism and the belief of future progress ultimately exist as well. ‘Hurt People Hurt People’ is actually an inspiring story being told in song if you catch on to the plot early and pay attention throughout.



‘Waitress’ is a little bit country, and a little bit off-kilter funk, tragic-romantic, dysfunctional comedy. An amalgamation of peculiar characters that converge into a brilliant, well balanced blend of interesting human ingredients, sorta like those edible ones Jenna (Kerri Russell) uses to create the magnificent pies she’s known for. Jenna’s husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto) is quite disturbing. Veteran actor, Andy Griffith who plays the role of Old Joe, is a certified scene stealer, while Ogie’s (Eddie Jemison) ‘spontaneous poems’ will indeed put a smile on your face. Nathan Fillion as Dr.Pomatta is convincing as mister nice guy awkward, gradually building to become the picture of a slightly flawed knight in shining armor. Dawn (Writer/Director; Adrienne Shelly R.I.P.) is big screen ‘Ugly Betty’ incarnate. Becky (Cheryl Hines; Curb Your Enthusiasm) is satisfyingly humorous. And Cal (Lew Temple) is a side order cook slash restaurant manager who’s much smarter then he let’s on. ‘Waitress’ is a film about, pies, marriage, infidelity, growth, interestingly strange relationships and more pie.


Carina Round – Slow Motion Addict

In a fair world Carina Round would be ruling the pop charts with Slow Motion Addict. We don’t live in a fair world, however, and the pop charts in America haven’t been very kind to foreign acts as of late, most of which become either one hit wonders (Lady Sovereign), or critically acclaimed artists who can’t seem to get airplay or sell records (The Streets). Hopefully Round will find a way around this predicament as Slow Motion Addict is one part The Killers and one part The Cardigans (think Gran Turismo Cardigans not “Lovefool” Cardigans). Round proves she can write, rock and even slow it down on Slow Motion Addict, making it one of the scarcest kinds of albums around, a complete Top 40 album. After a complete listen it’s clear Slow Motion Addict wasn’t made to sell singles on iTunes, it was made to be a great album, and that’s exactly what it is.

Tank – Sex Love & Pain

Sometime during the last decade or so R&B music made the move from talking about all aspects of life to simply speaking about relationships. Love has become the overwhelmingly favorite theme of R&B singers and Tank is no exception. On Sex Love & Pain you can expect to hear songs about, well, Sex, Love & Pain, though there seems to be an abundance of the Pain. Tank can sing, his only issue is the subject matter he chooses gives him little to get creative with. Yes, we all need booty albums, but if Tank wants a lasting legacy in R&B he might want to try dipping his feet into the deeper end of the pool sometime. I think we’d all be pleasantly surprised by the results. In the meantime he’s given us another fairly typical R&B album.

Sa-Ra – The Hollywood Recordings

Very few groups have the hype machine working for them quite like Sa-Ra does. Everywhere I’ve turned in the past six months someone has been trying to sell me on Sa-Ra being the next big thing in Hip-Hop. Of course, all of those people doing the selling work with them in some way. Now that The Hollywood Recordings is out we can all finally judge for ourselves. Sadly, much like the majority of things that are over-hyped, Sa-Ra isn’t much to write home about. The Hollywood Recordings sounds like an album made up of people who think they’re really cool and desperately want us to feel the same way about them. Unlike a George Clinton album, where the artist comes across as cool because they are, not because they feel they are, Sa-Ra’s album lacks authenticity. At times they try to channel George Clinton, and at other times (a lot of times) they make attempts to sound like Pharrell, but at no point in time do they attempt to create a sound of their own. In the end, The Hollywood Recordings is another example of someone trying to manufacture cool when we all know in reality cool is simply a state of being and it can’t be faked.


The 100th Human by Chris Fenwick

Want to help yourself but avoid the hollowness of the typical self-help book? Turn off your internal editor, let go a little, and you’ll soon find yourself enjoying Chris Fenwick’s “The 100th Human.” The novel takes its title and premise on the scientific study and questioned phenomenon of the 100th Monkey effect, which determines that once a critical mass of awareness is reached, knowledge will spread mentally to all others. Despite its occasional weak phrasing and obvious monologues on positive thinking, it was a worthwhile pursuit. The author deftly controls the speed of the book, placing readers in the thick of the characters’ physical and spiritual quest for truth as they encounter impending danger. Buy it from Amazon and visit the author’s website for access to some freebies that will help you to continue to seek heightened awareness. “The 100th Human” novel puts your toe in the self-help sea, but it’s up to you to step in.

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