March 5, 2010 |
To their detractors, the Black Eyed Peas are a soulless hit machine, mechanically churning out chart-topping singles with subtext as shallow as a sideways CD. Their sold-out show at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday night seemed designed in part to answer their critics, not with a defense of their integrity but with a hearty "So what?" As the group's four vocalists emerged from a haze of green smoke, a robotic face on the screen behind them ran down a list of the show's components, as if it were an old PC booting up, step by step, and each Black Eyed Pea were just a subroutine within a giant computer program.
February 26, 2010 |
For the BEP, there's BF and AF. That is, in the career of the Black Eyed Peas, there are two distinct stages: Before Fergie and After Fergie. Before singer Stacey Ferguson joined the will.i.am-led group, which headlines at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday on a bill that includes Atlanta rapper Ludacris, the Peas were a politically conscious alt-rap band with little commercial success. Then in 2003, Fergie came on board, lending her apple pipes to the international hit "Where Is the Love?"
September 11, 2009 |
Trashy gossip blogger Perez Hilton has had an auspiciously controversial 2009 to date. To start, there was the Miss USA 2009 pageant, for which Hilton served as a judge. During the question-and-answer session, he prodded Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA, into revealing her faith-based response to his same-sex marriage question. Later, he added a little salsa by dissing Prejean's remarks. Then there was the incident where he allegedly got socked by Polo Molina, an operations manager for Black Eyed Peas, after allegedly calling Peas front man will.
March 13, 2009
RE "5 Million Reasons We're Still the Daily News" (and related Tattle): This "news article" reassures us that Philadelphia Newspapers LLC (the DN and Inquirer) made money last year, before . . . interest payments, amortization, depreciation (and presumably taxes, as in standard accounting principles). This is like me saying I did fine last year, even though I didn't make any credit-card payments, think I can sell my used car for the value I paid new and didn't pay my taxes. Does this make me any less broke?
March 12, 2009
Happy St. Patty's Day Simple is better. Ask chef Ben McNamara what goes into his luxuriously rich shepherd's pie at St. Stephen's Green, the Fairmount pub, and he's a bit incredulous at the suggestion that it's more than it is. How fancy can it get? He starts with mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion), adds 90-percent-lean ground sirloin, roux, tomato paste, beef stock and peas. Then he pipes fresh potatoes whipped with heavy cream and butter on top. - Michael Klein Shepherd's pie ($12)
January 29, 2009 |
Of course, the marjoram-scented pea soup may not precisely replicate the steaming bowls that are still fixtures at eateries all across Stockholm on any given Thursday night. Here at South Philadelphia's stately American Swedish Historical Museum, the peas are yellow and split. In Sweden, they tend to be whole. And the ham speaks, well, with a different accent. But on Saturday morning, the Men's Pea Soup Committee will cook up 16 gallons of what is considered an extremely passable rendition, stirring devotedly away in the museum's basement kitchen in the sprawl of FDR Park.
November 11, 2008
READING Thurston Clarke's "The Last Campaign," a detailed account of RFK's 1968 run for president, I'm struck by similarities between back then and now. In style, message and even some language, Bobby Kennedy's campaign shows some resemblance to Barack Obama's. I'm not arguing that Obama's another Kennedy (all candidates, like all people, are different) or that "Obamalot" is coming to Washington. It's just that the book, in examining RFK's campaign, reflects one we just saw. "The big similarity," Clarke tells me, "is the ability of both Kennedy and Obama to inspire young people and minorities.
June 5, 2008 |
With her granddaughter on her lap, Marilyn Russo presses the pedal on the golf cart and heads off to the fields on a sunny afternoon. Passing the plastic-wrapped hothouses with tomato plants reaching the ceiling, and the stands of apple and peach trees starting to bud, and the rows of pea plants beginning to blossom, she pulls up to the six acres of strawberry fields and stops to investigate the clumps of fruit hanging beneath the dark green leaves....
September 27, 2007 |
He dreamt up one of the world's biggest groups (Black Eyed Peas), penned and produced songs for some of the top albums of the last year (from Justin Timberlake, the Pussycat Dolls, John Legend and Fergie). And this week he released his first true solo CD, tagged with the populist title "Songs About Girls" and festooned with the shiny-sounding hit "You Know What It Is. " So why does the juggernaut that is Will.i.am sound so irked? Give him a second and he'll explain - heatedly.
September 13, 2007 |
Joan Witter strides along Walnut Street just east of the bustling 52d Street corridor and stops at a facade painted with Caribbean flags. "You can smell the islands in here," she tells me eagerly. And as she opens the door to the Walnut Supermarket, a breeze tinged with salt fish, ripening plantains and exotic spice greets my nose like a trade wind. As we head inside this sprawling market, it's clear that it caters to a broad clientele, with bulk bins of gari (cassava meal) from Ghana, bags of giant smoked shrimp, and jars of Senegalese peanut butter for the African crowd.