Posts by Chris Stout
Lately I’ve been binging on the artwork of Robert McGinnis. I even picked up a few of his movie posters at Comic Con. I just love this guy’s style; pulp realism with heavy doses of sexy sophistication. His work is extra-provocative without ever being low brow. His pieces are a throwback to a bygone, classy era when women were chic and men were dapper. Plus the guy’s really good at painting attractive women.
McGinnis packs personality, danger, flirtation and subtle exploitation into his paintings. These compositions come across as simple, visually-appealing works of playful, pulpy, advert art. I just love it.
You’ve probably seen his work before. Think of the classic movie posters for films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barbarella and the original Bond movies. In addition to his poster work, McGinnis has produced tons of pulp-crime paperback covers, advertising pieces, western paintings and even romance novel covers.
The thing he’s best known for is his women. McGinnis just loves painting hot, stylish, perfectly breasted women. Take a look at some of his work:
If you want to learn more about this great American illustrator, check out the film Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer. It came out in 2000 and its solid introduction to the man and his work.
Valvoline has teamed up with Sporting News to give fans a chance to vote on their college football preseason top 25. It’s called the Sporting News Fan Poll backed by the Valvoline Engine Guarantee. Fans can check head-to-head comparisons with expert predictions and other media-generated polls. You can submit your picks from now until August 31 at SportingNews.com/fanpoll.
Leading up to the kickoff of the college football season, Valvoline and Sporting News will also feature an ongoing weekly column called “Count on It,” where experts Matt Hayes and Steve Greenberg will debate the hot college football topics of the week.
The fine folks at MIMOBOT sent us one of their units to review this month. We also saw their booth at Comic Con this past weekend. Mimobots are stylish little USB flash drives that are sculpted into detailed, big-headed characters from franchises like Star Wars, DC Comics, Hello Kitty and other iconic figures. It’s like a little goofy action figure that stores up to 2 GBs of data for you.
The unit that we got to review is the Green Lantern MIMOBOT. It’s a sturdy, detailed and colorful little device. Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern head is about twice the size of his body and his melon pops off to reveal the USB port. He can stand easily and the top of his head pops back on in a secure fashion, so you don’t have to worry about the Green Lantern losing his dome.
When you pop the Green Lantern into a USB port, you’ll see that he comes with an 80mb zip file. Unzip this and you’ll get four folders with 14 avatars, 24 icons, six screensavers and wallpapers of various sizes for mobile devices, iPads and desktops.
The one complaint we have is that the unit is kind of large, so if you have multiple things plugged into your USB ports, you could end up losing a slot. But if you have the slots to spare and you want to add a touch of action figure-ness to your media storage needs, the MIMOBOT is pretty nifty.
MIMOBOTs are compatible with Macs and PCs. The unit comes with a hoodie, some stickers and a little catalog that shows you other MIMOBOT unites. Check out the MIMOBOT site to see the full selection of characters.
Pepsi MAX kicked off a new promo at the MLB All-Star FanFest in Phoenix this week. The Field of Dreams campaign gives fans the opportunity to create a custom, 11-man dream team comprised of living baseball legends. Until August 31, you can visit MLB.com/PepsiMax to vote for your favorite living legends. Each time you vote, you’ll be entered to win a trip to play ball with the Pepsi Max Field of Dreams Team next spring.
The list of living legends is strong. Fans select their favorite players out of a pool of 30 MLB greats (with three living legends for every position). The relief pitcher position is stacked with sweet moustaches. It’s hard to select the best stache among guys like Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage. Shortstop’s a tough choice too, with Barry Larkin going against Cal Ripken Jr. and Ozzie Smith. And the outfield is absolutely stacked. You got guys like stolen base leader Ricky Henderson, recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Rice, 12-time All Star Dave Winfield. Mr. October Reggie Jackson, hit machine Tony Gwynn and the kid with the prettiest swing of all-time, Ken Griffey Jr.
Fans can vote for their favorite legends up to 25 times per day. Four finalists will be selected in September and they’ll battle for votes to see who will bring the Field of Dreams Team to their home town. The winner gets to bring 10 friends along to play ball with the best of the best.
Here’s some footage of the launch party and the commercial spots that ran during the All-Star Game:
The days of June gloom are past us, people. America just had a birthday party this weekend. Barbeques, beach weather and scantily clad babes are now normal parts of your every day routine. Summer 2011 is in full effect. It’s time to start enjoying it.
So how are you going to celebrate this year? There might not be a vacation on the horizon, but you better be planning yourself some good times this summer season. And whatever kind of get-together you conjure up, you’ll need some quality tunes to fire up your party. Especially if there are ladies present. And for reasons that are still unclear to me, nothing gets girls more excited in the summertime than 90s RnB jams.
I don’t know why it’s like that, but it’s true. Girls go wild for 90s RnB tunes. They just do, man. Mark that shit down as fact. If for some reason you don’t believe me, try a little experiment this month. Plan a little party. Encourage beach attire, and invite some girls over. Then bust out 10 solid summery RnB jams from the 90s and see what happens. If you need a starting point, here are the 10 best RnB summer jams from 1990-1999:
On A Sunday Afternoon – Lighter Shade Of Brown (1990)
That’s right, we’re talkin’ plain and simply apple juice, my friends. The pride of Riverside, California, Lighter Shade of Brown sampled “Groovin” by the Young Rascals and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James & the Shondells to achieve the mellow flavor of this classic 90s jam. You don’t need to be a vato in the park to appreciate this song. It reached #39 on the Billboard Hot 100. If you tell me there’s a better background BBQ theme song made in the year 1990, I will not believe you.
Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (1991)
Yea, this one seems kinda obvious, but this song still holds up in 2011. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince even won a Grammy for the tune in 1991. If you haven’t heard Kool & the Gang’s extra-relaxing Summer Madness tune, the original track that spawned this beat, you should definitely check it out. It’s like a melting marshmellow of funky feel-goodness.
Rump Shaker – Wreckx-n-Effect (1992)
Nothing says summertime like a girl in a bikini playing a saxophone on the beach. Plus, jet skis! Ain’t nothing wrong with that. The sax rip came from Lafayette Afro Rock Band’s “Darkest Light,” and the song also features samples from tracks by The Emotions, Magic Disco Machine and Manzel. Plus, girls seem to know what to do when they hear that sax intro.
Dazzey Duks – Duice (1993)
You can’t have a 90s RnB summer party without a little Miami Bass in the mix. And really, no other season promotes the short-shorts quite like that chunk of fun-times between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Toss in an Afrika Bambaataa sample, and you got something that resonates with everyone.
Fantastic Voyage – Coolio (1994)
I like old school music. I always prefer the original to the remake. That said, Coolio’s take on Lakeside’s “Fantastic Voyage” is a pretty solid homage to the bouncy, synth-funk sound of original. It’s also nice to know that if Coolio took a trip to the beach on a hot summer day, he’d probably let you roll in the trunk of his magic bike-turned-hooptie. Did you sae how many people came out of that thing? I counted 4-5 hot chicks, at least one midget and all Three Amgios.
Fantasy – Mariah Carey (1995)
This song just makes you wanna ride rollercoasters. And maybe the ’95 version of Mariah while you’re at it (yea, I said it). “Fantasy” sampled “Genius of Love” by the Tom Tom Club, which makes it a fun party tune in any season. But the rollerblades just give it that extra-special summer 90s touch. And anything that conjures up visions of ODB in a clown suit has to be good for your summer get down.
California Love – 2Pac Featuring Dr. Dre (1996)
People love this song and I get that, but I’d put on “West Coast Poplock” by Ronnie Hudson & The Street People over “California Love” any day of the week. But if you’re hosting a Thunderdome-themed block party, this track has to be your go-to option. They actually filmed the cameo-packed video in the same Thunderdome set. “California Love” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the most commercially successful record of 2Pac’s career. The piano riff comes from Joe Cocker’s “Woman to Woman,” which was also sampled by the Ultramagnetic MC’s. Plus, it sure beats Katy Perry in the Don’t-Forget-California’s-Awesome genre.
Let me just pause here and say that selecting 90s summertime RnB jams is kinda hard after about 1997. Not impossible, mind you. Just much more difficult. In 1997, “I’ll Be Missing You” and “Candle in the Wind” were big hits in the distinctively non-summer memorial-pop category. Not really good for party tunes. 1997 also saw the rise of bands like Aqua, Hanson, Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls. Needless to say, summertimey RnB party music took a big hit that year, but that didn’t stop a certain British RnB artist from reaching the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in early summer 1997 with, you guessed it…
Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison (1997)
That’s right. Thank God the Brits bailed us out of that soulless summer. Morrison’s comeback song would’ve hit number one if “MMMBop” madness wasn’t sweeping the nation at the time. How embarrassing, America. The song sampled Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love,” proving once again that Tom Tom samples are like a one-way ticket to party town.
Too Close – Next (1998)
Step one, get lots of girls in bikinis together in a small space. Step two, “Too Close.” Everything pretty much unfolds the way you’d expect after that. This may not really be a summer-specific song, especially when you consider the original track it sampled (“Christmas Rappin” by Kurtis Blow).” Still, it’s hard to argue with the results. Boner songs are all part of the summertime party program.
Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill (1999)
This Lauryn Hill track came out in 1998, but it really blew up (commercially, critically, music video-ly) in 1999. If you’re hosting a summer pool party because of “that thing,” might as well come out and say it. What the hell else are you going to play that’s 1999 party-time RnB, “Summer Girls” by LFO? Didn’t think so.Pretty sure Lauryn Hill has even made a record since ‘99, but this jam is way more appropriate for your 2011 warm season social gathering. Plus, if you’re inviting chicks that were alive in 1999, there’s a 100 percent chance they love Lauryn Hill. Those are good odds, bro.
So is this the definitive list of summertime 90s RnB jams? Nah, relax man. It’s not even all that comprehensive. You’ll notice that there’s no Biggie, no Snoop, no Pharcyde, no Mary J and no “Regulate” (and girls friggin’ love them some Regulate). Any of those 90s jams will still get your party going. This is just a quick n dirty, West Coast-biased chronological list of 90s RnB hits with a strong summer appeal. We tried to stay with a warm weather party vibe, but if you feel strongly that we missed some fantastic summertime jams, please let us know in the comments below.
Fourth of July, baby! It’s time to enjoy a three-day weekend full of BBQ action, beer consumption and gold ole fashion patriotic laziness. 80 percent of Americans will host or attend a barbeque this weekend. 80 friggin’ percent! That’s a lot of burgers to grill, and if you want to grill ‘em up the right way, we got you covered.
We spoke with Celebrity Chef Hubert Keller yesterday about grilling up the perfect burger. We discussed gourmet add-ons, common mistakes, the Budweiser Backyard Burger recipe and the Bud United Big Time Contest that’s going down on Facebook. Chef Hubert is also a DJ, so we asked him how spinning records compares with being a chef. Check out the full interview:
Last month, we chatted with Kate Upton and discussed her involvement in the SoBe #TryEverything campaign. She mentioned that there was an upcoming SoBe staring contest competition that was going to feature her going up against a few unsuspecting dudes. Poolside no less. As the footage below demonstrates, these dudes didn’t have a chance to compete against the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie of the Year. Take a look: