Halle Berry To Direct, Star In MMA Film

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Halle Berry, star of such works as Catwoman, X-Men, Cloud Atlas and Monster’s Ball, will both direct and star in an upcoming mixed martial arts-related film called Bruised.

Berry will play the role of a disgraced former MMA fighter in the film.

Sarah wrote about Berry’s martial arts connections for Asian World Of Martial Arts.

To read about them go here.

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Jenesia Tackle Poverty, Abuse

Jenesia

Jenesia

Spruce Grove, Alberta pop duo Jenesia are using their music to further good causes.

The pair are speaking up on topics like poverty and sexual abuse.

I spoke to them about their social efforts in a feature for Samaritanmag.

To read it go here.

 

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Massive Attack: Pre-Millennium Tension

Massive Attack

Massive Attack

Look over your shoulder, keep your eye on your neighbour, trust no one: These are sentiments usually reserrved for paranormal-hunting government agents, not rock stars, but the leery eye has afflicted Massive Attack, too. Mezzanine, the Bristol trip-hop trio’s new album, is more spycatchers’ guide to self-help than bass-bin beach party.

Indeed, bubbling just beneath the monstrous bass lines and Liz Fraser’s (Cocteau Twins) sweet vocal mixes is a tension you’ll miss if you don’t pay attention. But it’s there — wild-eyed suspicion.

“Being in a band is quite schizophrenic, really,” says 3D. “We spend a lot of time away from home and when we get back we don’t relate to people necessarily.” He’s unshaven and looks as though he could have authored numerous conspiracy theories, rather than dub-infected pop songs. “These things do lead to a bit of insecurity and paranoia and that’s reflected in the music.”

You wouldn’t think a group as important as Massive Attack would need to be a wary lot. Three albums in (Blue Lines ’91, Protection ’94, Mezzanine ’98), the aforementioned 3D, Daddy G and Mushroom are pretty well-established these days. They work with Madonna; get to pick and choose who they’ll remix; and the band have become both a popular pick and a critical fave. If you trace Massive’s roots back to its genesis hanging in Nelle Hooper’s crew, it’s not a great stretch to suggest that the Attack is single-handedly responsible for creating the trip-hop genre.

However, a quick listen to the dark “Group 4” from Mezzanine suggests they’re still more trench coat than top hat. Lyrical snippets: “While TV cameras monitor me” and “I train myself in martial arts” don’t exactly ring out peace, love and positive vibes. Throw in the equally sinister “Angel” and the reptilian “Inertia Creeps” and there’s little doubt the band is looking over its collective shoulder.

“It’s one of the themes on this record,” says 3D. “I mean, we haven’t gone out and been deliberately dark in this end-of-the-century kind of way that says everyone’s getting darker… it’s like a general end-of-the-century kind of freak show going on, y’know what I mean?”

“With us it’s just based on themes in our lives — our relationships.”

From that, one could gather Bristol is some James Bond-ian swing town where rock stars double as covert ops in crazy world domination schemes. Sadly, it’s far less glamourous. Mushroom suggests: “A quick night in Bristol. You probably come down there. Go to the pub. Then go home,” he says, laughing.

“People think Bristol is a marketplace town like Seattle,” Mushroom continues. “You walk down the street and see Portishead hanging on one corner and we’d be on another and Roni Size’d be on the next. It’s all really just people staying in. It’s a really boring town, actually.”

If Bristol is so boring, then the wariness so palpable in songs like the rolling-thunder “Risingson” must come from somewhere else.

Perhaps somewhere even closer to home — in their heads. The next three hypothetical scenarios give weight to this theory by showing Massive Attack even exhibit hints of suspicion in their humour.

Who would win a battle royale between Madonna, Goldie, Tricky and The Artist Formerly Known As Prince?

3D pipes in immediately: “Madonna’s the richest, so she’d probably hire some serious assassins. She’d make the phone call and that would be it — done.” Then, with more introspection — but also with more secret knowledge implied, Mushroom adds, “You wouldn’t be able to find Goldie because he’d know it would be coming up, and he’d just run out the back door and sic pit bulls on ’em.”

If six death-metallers with swords and two rappers with Glocks are 10 feet apart, then start to fight, who’ll win? “Glocks are going to win against swords every time man,” says 3D. “Yeah,” adds Mushroom.” You don’t miss with someone with a sword coming at you.”

If everyone smoked a big joint simultaneously would it mean a massive shortage of junk food an hour later? “I think there would be riots,” says 3D.

Riots, pit bulls, sleazy short guys with gold teeth? It screams out “vivid imagination,” but check the Horace Andy-sung “Man Next Door” and you’ll know Massive Attack truly believe in these type of characters and scenarios, and always have.

Indeed, even the band agrees. As 3D says, “We’re pretty much the same place [as that]. The same level, the same mentality.”

This feature originally appeared in the May 1998 issue of Chart Magazine.

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Feist & K-OS Featured On Polaris Podcast EP14

Polaris Podcast EP7 was live from Ottawa.

The focus of Polaris Podcast episode 14 was two albums that had received Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize hall of fame designation — Feist’s Let It Die and K-OS’s Joyful Rebellion.

For this episode we interviewed expert Polaris jurors Karen Bliss and Tabassum Siddiqui.

This and other Polaris Podcast episodes can be found on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify.

But if you can’t be bothered to go that far you can listen to it right here:

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Remembering Kid Yamamoto

Kid Yamamoto

Kid Yamamoto

Pioneering mixed martial arts fighter Kid Yamamoto passed away on September 18 due to complications from cancer. He was 41.

Sarah wrote about Kid’s impact on MMA in a post for Asian World Of Martial Arts.

To read it go here.

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Samaritan News 10 Pack: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, More

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

I continue to contribute to charity ‘n’ entertainment news site Samaritanmag.

Here are some of the news I did for them in the spring:

Hot Docs Giving Away $200,000 Worth of Tickets to Students, Seniors and New Canadians

15th Annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival To Feature Five Female Directors

Hip Hop Artist Emmanuel Jal Among Winners Of 2018 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent

Jay-Z Tells Letterman Trump is Great For America and Explains Why

iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED Proceeds To Help Combat HIV/AIDS In Africa

Crowdfunding Campaign for Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team Bus Crash Victims Tops $5 Million

Lady Gaga’s Foundation Selects Five Schools to Receive Financial Gift to Improve Mental Health Programs

6 Things You Need To Know About March For Our Lives and Where the 839 Rallies Are Taking Place

Malala Yousafzai Promotes Girls’ Education, Offers Solutions, on Letterman Netflix Episode

John Oliver-Connected Satirical Children’s Book to Benefit AIDS, LGBTQ-Related Causes

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TIFF 2018: If Beale Street Could Talk Continues Barry Jenkins’ Excellent Work

If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins, the director behind the moving coming of age drama Moonlight has once again created something excellent with new film If Beale Street Could Talk.

The film, adapted from James Baldwin’s novel, is a romantic drama that follows a woman and her husband who’s been wrongfully convicted of a crime.

Sarah reviewed the film for Consequence Of Sound.

To read her review click here.

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