a culture-ful weekend

I had dinner with my wonderful college friend Rachel Beck the other night, and we got to see “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” on the tab of MKE magazine because I do short movie reviews for their Threeview pieces. Anyway, I have had very little exposure to Dave Chappelle, but I have to say I was definitely a fan after seeing the movie. It’s part documentary, part concert film, part stand-up routine, featuring Chappelle, who it seems one day decided to throw a huge hip-hop party in Brooklyn. He invited some of black music’s most talented and socially conscious performers, and managed to stage a reunion of the Fugees.

Chappelle lives in a small town in Ohio and wanders around the town a few days before the show gathering up some interesting characters to take the bus to New York City, apparently to add some midwestern flair to the urban party. It seems that the whole town loves him, one elderly man politely declining the invitation stating his hearing isn’t good enough for him to understand the lyrics in rap music. I hadn’t heard of this movie beforehand, and I’m not sure I would have paid $8 to see it in the theater, but I would have definitely rented it. Today I decided to download the Inside the Actor’s Studio episode featuring Chappelle, which was at times touching and sad, and other times hilarious. I love Kanye West, Wyclef Jean, and Lauryn Hill, and after seeing the block party I decided to download a few songs by Jill Scott, Common and the Roots.

I also saw “Brokeback Mountain” a few weeks ago, also for the Threeview (I rarely go to the movies normally, we’re a renting couple) which was wonderful. I just finished watching the Oscars and was a bit surprised that they didn’t win many of the awards, including Best Picture, that they were expected to. However, it seems many of those awards went to “Crash,” which I thought was a fantastic, important movie, so that’s okay.

I’ve also been reading a great book by Zadie Smith lately, called “White Teeth.” It’s quite a wild ride of a book, depicting the intersecting lives of people from Bangladesh, Great Britain, and Jamaica living in suburban London. The storytelling is unique, ambitious and hilarious in my opinion, featuring clashing cultures, personalities, generations, races and religions.

Anyway, I haven’t done too thrilling lately, other than consuming words and pictures through media, and working.

I’ve got to get out more often.

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