Posts By Elizabeth Black

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VH1′s Latest Rock Doc, The Tanning Of America, To Premiere February 2014

Tanning
Steve Stoute’s 2011 book, The Tanning Of America, was a revolutionary look at the history of hip-hop culture, and in early 2014, the book will be the basis for VH1′s latest Rock Doc This very special four-part series will include interviews with everyone from Diddy and Pharrell to Al Sharpton to Cory Booker and takes a look at how hip-hop has played a role not just in the entertainment world but in politics, civil rights and American culture as a whole. Read on for more details about the series which premieres in February 2014.

VH1 TAKES AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HOW HIP-HOP BECAME A DOMINANT FORCE IN AMERICAN CULTURE WITH THE DOCUMENTARY SERIES “THE TANNING OF AMERICA: ONE NATION UNDER HIP HOP”
Based On the Best-Selling Book, “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created A Culture That Rewrote The Rules Of The New Economy” By Steve Stoute

The 4-Part Documentary From VH1′s Emmy Award Winning Rock Doc Franchise
Is Set To Premiere In February 2014 Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville Episode 12: Love In An Elevator

The music of Nashville episode 12
This picture! Yesssss!!

This episode of Nashville had it all, didn’t it? By all, of course, I mean solid music, a wish (of mine) fulfilled in the form of hot elevator kissing between Rayna and Deacon (at last!), and my other wish, that of Avery getting the crap kicked out of him by Gunnar, also being fulfilled. Perfection! Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville, Episode 11: One Works Better Than Two

The Music Of Nashville

As I mentioned in my last recap of Nashville, the original music that we get to hear on the show is inversely proportional to the number of dramatic plot lines being juggled all at once, so for the past couple weeks, which have been full of rehab-filled exposition and set-up, we’ve hardly gotten any music. We have gotten some hopeful reconciliations between Jolene and Juliette, Deacon and Juliette, and Scarlett and everyone in Avery‘s band, though, which is nice. All of a sudden Juliette’s the mature one and Rayna is the horn-dog, flirting with Liam while also trying to make good with Deacon and Teddy and basically have it all, huh? Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville: It’s Official, I’ve Changed My Mind

The Music Of Nashville Change Your Mind

Here’s the thing about Nashville: the quality (and/or quantity) of good, solid music performed on the show is inversely proportional to the soapy story lines each episode features. Last night was all drama, devoted to Juliette and Sean’s whirlwind wedding, Juliette’s beef with not just Sean’s caricature of holier-than-thou Southern parents but also with her own mom, Rayna’s father’s attempts to blackmail her by revealing her older daughter’s REAL father’s identity, and Scarlett and Avery’s simultaneous makeup-breakup sex on the couch. So what I’m saying is that when all I get from this show is a couple of songs where Scarlett and her lower lip warble out a couple of twee notes, I’m not thrilled. Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville – “The Winter Finale!!”

The Music Of Nashville
Back in my day, there was no such thing as a “winter finale.” We had television shows that pushed through the holiday season, walking to school in six foot snow drifts, uphill, both ways. None of this month-long hiatus crap. But that’s how TV works these days, and we have to wait until January 9th for the return of Nashville, when we find out poor, crazy pill-popping Peggy’s fate, whether or not Juliette is REALLY going to marry her Faux Tebow, and just how this co-headlining concert with Rayna and Juliette will go.

In the meantime…let’s talk about the music from this so-called winter finale, which includes another hit from Scarlett and Gunnar, and a church hymn I know I never sang in church choir before. Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville Episode 7: Saved By The Wrong Song

Nashville Music Recap

Let me start my saying that if this was your first time watching Nashville, I am so sorry. This was maybe the worst episode of the season, due in large part because of how weird the camera angles, quick, dramatic zooms, and stupid dialogue were. The word I’m looking for here to describe this episode is “unsubtle,” I think. From the totally predictable moment where Scarlett tries to visit and maybe reconcile with Avery, only to discover Marilyn walking around his living room in just a bra (who does that? Surely just women more confident than I), to Peggy’s total overreaction when Teddy tells her that for the sake of his mayoral campaign that they can’t be seen together (I mean, if she likes him at all, wouldn’t she be understanding?) to Juliette’s “Are you gay??” accusations toward Sean just because he doesn’t want to sleep with her on the third date, it was a lot of unrealistic cheese for one episode. Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville Episode 6: Music City Cougars And SUV Moms

Nashville Music Episode 6
I’m the kind of person that needs to make comparisons. It’s probably annoying to other people, but I need to just have a frame of reference for some things, so I’m going to say this, and then let you all agree or tear it apart: last night on Nashville, while watching Avery (Jonathan Jackson) perform the song, “Kiss” — at last, a solo on this show that is really, really great! — at the club where he was being scouted/seduced, I got a little bummed out that he wouldn’t be portraying Jeff Buckley in the upcoming biopic, Greetings From Tim Buckley. I don’t doubt Penn Badgley will do a decent job in the role (OR DO I?) but watching Jackson finally get some screen time of his own to showcase his voice was an unexpected pleasure, and if you combine the sweet desperation in his voice with the intensity behind his up-to-no-good eyes, I feel like I’d rather hear him sing Buckley’s songs and play that tortured soul than Badgely. But we don’t need him typecast as the tortured soul, Avery emanates enough of that to last a career to be honest, and he’s on my bad side now that he’s slept with that no-good Music City cougar, Marilyn Rhodes. (Music City Cougars! Coming this fall to CMT!)

(Off topic, the character bio for Avery reads “Avery’s a dead sexy East Nashville hipster with tons of talent—and the swagger to match.” Now that I’ve cut and pasted that, let’s never speak of it again.)
Read more…

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The Music Of Nashville Episode 5: B—h Slaps and Guitar Hijackers

Nashville Music Episode 4
Okay, how many episodes until we get a song from Juliette about rear view mirrors as metaphors for the past? I give it till next week.

Juliette and Deacon spent some time bonding this week over the fact that Juliette’s pill-popping mom needed rehab and Deacon, rehab alum that he is, was the only person who could convince her to go. At one point, Juliette even finds her mother passed out with some random hobo, both in their underwear after a bender, and Juliette kicks the hobo out of her house and back to his boxcar, to the horror of all the passersby on the sidewalk outside her home. I bring this point up solely to ask you all, didn’t Juliette live in a super-secure gated estate last week? Were all the horrified onlookers like Disney Castmembers that she pays to act like real people on the grounds of her property? That part confused me.

ANYWAY. Point is, she’s mortified by her mother, Deacon helps, her mom slaps her for making her go to rehab, and then Deacon tells her to put all this in her rearview mirror which is a Carrie Underwood-style song if I ever heard one. Or at least an actual Pearl Jam song. Read more…

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The Songs Of Nashville, Episode 4: More Music, Less Shoplifting!

The Music Of Nashville

This week on Nashville, the focus was less on the music and more on the love triangles and campy drama. Which was too bad, because this show excels at the music more than the camp. If I want to see a story about a young, immature starlet with mommy issues who likes to shoplift, I’ll peruse TMZ, thanksverymuch. But I still have a few highlights and things to discuss about episode 4, entitled “We Live In Two Different Worlds.” The first thing is this detailed, awesome interview with show creator Callie Khouri. The interview, posted this week over on Vulture, gets way in-depth about Khouri’s inspiration for the show. Read more…

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Why Is The Music Of Nashville So Good? A Look At The Songs And Songwriters From The Show’s First Three Episodes

Nashville Music
Nashville is a really good show, you guys. If you think it’s going to be like some Country Strong knockoff, or if the thought of Hayden Panettiere singing will make you want to un-save the cheerleader (Heroes callback! Remember Heroes?), I can assure you that neither of those scenarios are the case. Nashville is soapy network TV at its best with unrequited love stories, illegitimate children whose paternity will probably get discovered soon enough, and a rivalry of old talent (well, Connie Britton old, so still youngish and hot) competing with new ingenue (Panettiere, who is younger and by certain Hollywood definitions, hotter). And the music on the show, which is executive produced by T. Bone Burnett, is so, so good. These folks aren’t messing around. Using real Nashville locations (The Grand Ole Opry, The Bluebird Cafe), she show mixes fact and fiction and employs a stable of established songwriters to provide the music for the show. For a list of all the music featured, ABC has created a music page found here.

Each week, I’ll be giving a rundown of my favorite music from the show, and since I’m a little behind, and we’re coming off of episode three, I’ll start with a quick refresher of the best songs so far, and their impressive pedigree. Read more…