The All Day Holiday Gift Guide
if you want to get something for the tastemaker in your life
3:30 PMIt’s that time of year, kiddos, where people start wondering if the folks that say they love them plan to make that fact known through the giving of presents. Some will swaddle them in shiny wrapping, others will stick them in bags with tissue paper, or if they’re like me, they’ll use newsprint to bestow the goods upon you.
But however you plan to acquire said items, the question of what to get is always a tough one. For kids, it’s simple. Yet, once you hit a certain age, the concept of wish lists is a tad more gauche, even though companies allow you do to so with a little less shame than a handwritten note. Anyway, maybe you want to impress the person you’re giving to beyond the usual. Maybe they need to know that your gift is actually next level. If so, this list is for you.
• Soundbreaking on PBS
This documentary series is one of the most complete and exhaustive looks at the recording industry that digs far deeper than just the basic celebrity lives and careers of musicians. It’s a deep dive on the actual science and process of documenting sound and specifically music. There are nine approximately hourlong episodes, including all sorts of extra material that’s far more enriching than your average DVD extras. If you have an audiophile or someone who enjoys the history of music, it’s great.
If you’re a reader type, finding a good piece of pulp to dig your hands into is a tough one. Few people subscribe to newspapers anymore, but the concept of longform journalism and writing hasn’t gone anywhere. The California Sunday Magazine is exactly what it sounds like, and with only six issues a year, it’s a great gift to someone you care about who loves to curl up with a good nonbook.
Is someone in your life looking to become a YouTube star? Look no further than Mevo, the camera that allows you to basically create a professional-quality program, without all the hassle of a television studio. Of course, almost every computer in the world has a camera now, but Mevo is different. You can shoot multiple people in multiple places, with just one unit. Your kid is ready to shine on Facebook Live, folks.
• BAPE x Adidas collaboration
I don’t get super Hypebeasty about things, but my word, look at those kicks. Seriously, that’s about as fly as it gets. If you can get your hands on some of these to give to the quasi-sneakerhead in your life, you will have done them a great favor. There’s a whole collection of things behind this line, the latest in the collaboration between the two designers has produced one great pair of shoes. They come in different colorways, but the green camo is bananas.
This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a vanity mirror. It’s also an operating system. From a utility standpoint, this is actually a legitimately tremendous idea, not just something cool to show off to your friends. I’m not a huge mirror guy, but I probably would be if my tweets would be scrolling across the top and weather updates were in front of me. Of course, this isn’t a real thing yet, but you can bet that this guy is going to get his idea stolen by Apple, or someone, soon. There is a legit market for this.
When it comes to turntable setups, most vinyl enthusiasts are very, very serious. Because the fun of collecting is just as much about the nesting and process as it is about the music. That’s why people go out of their way to find obsolete technology. It’s the music equivalent to smoking a pipe. People have entire rooms, separate articles of clothing and all sorts of tools to partake in the habit. Anyway, this stand has it all, and it comes in a natural wood variety that if you want to paint and customize, you certainly can. Here’s a fun record to play first.
— Cards For All People (@cards4allpeople) December 13, 2016
If Cards Against Humanity isn’t your thing, we’ve got something for you. Those awkward hours where you’ve got to sit around spending time with family or in-laws can progress from the usual Uno/Spades/Bid Whist matrix and branch into something that actually works great as a team game. We’ve thrown a couple of these questions out in the newsroom at The Undefeated and it almost always started a tremendous back and forth. Makes a great stocking stuffer.
When this project dropped, I quite literally listened to it all day. If you don’t know who Big Freedia is, you can catch up here, but more importantly, where on earth have you been? When it’s time to dance, she’s the one to go to. Anyway, her take on a couple of Christmas classics is enough to get you twerking, singing and laughing all at the same time. I might not play this in front of my mom, but you better believe that if my office has a holiday party, I’m hijacking the aux cord to rock this. It has a song called Santa Is A Gay Man, which makes it the best Christmas album of all time.
All Day Podcast: 12/13/16
Instagram Live, Kanye West’s meeting with Donald Trump, and a discussion on fried chicken
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It was quite the day on the All Day Podcast. Right before we taped, photos and videos were released on Twitter of Kanye West visiting President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Apparently, they simply talked about life. But, we’re not buying that. So, we speculated what they really talked about, and the bonus: We evaluated the dap Trump gave West.
DONALD TRUMP JUST GAVE KANYE WEST DAP. I REPEAT DONALD TRUMP JUST GAVE KANYE WEST DAP. WHAT WORLD DO WE LIVE IN?!?! pic.twitter.com/DOB1gUY5MR
— Aaron Dodson (@aardodson) December 13, 2016
Instagram recently launched a live video feature. To be honest, I’m not here for it. What I am here for, however, is fried chicken, and there’s a guy across the pond, known as “The Chicken Connoisseur,” who makes hilarious YouTube video reviews of that food we all know and love. For us, his recent internet fame resurfaced an age-old question in the black community: Would you ever be filmed eating fried chicken? The answer for one member of the podcast crew is “Hell to the naw naw naw.”
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Kanye West visits Donald Trump
then explains his actions on Twitter
When video first hit social media that Kanye West showed up at Trump Tower on Tuesday morning, blond hair and all, there was an audible groan from Black Twitter. Peoples’ phones instantly blew up, and next thing we knew The Life of Pablo creator was dapping up the president-elect in his lobby. To be clear, Jim Brown and Ray Lewis also made appearances there Tuesday, but for the moment, we’ll stick to Yeezy.
No. 1, this should surprise no one. He stood onstage and said he’d vote for Trump and, if you think about it, these two probably have a whole lot more in common than most people are willing to admit. But perhaps more importantly, none of us really knew that Ye was out of the hospital, and the fact that this was the first place he showed up in public was rather troublesome. Folks were very unhappy and concerned.
After their meeting at Trump Tower, Pres.-elect Trump says West is visiting as a friend and they discussed "life." pic.twitter.com/x7IuO8a3SR
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) December 13, 2016
If Donald Trump got elected president I'm sure Kanye West could too
— Brigit Davis (@BrigitDavis19) December 13, 2016
There’s just no real way to judge what any of this means. West tweets about tons of things, and if he really thinks that this situation will give him more sway pull with the new administration, so be it. Let’s not forget that James Brown is the one who walked into the White House (with Al Sharpton) and lobbied then-President Ronald Reagan to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Brown was also pretty tight with former President Richard Nixon.
We’re going to presume that this little encounter involved them getting over that whole incident back in 2009 where Trump wanted to boycott West because of that infamous stage crash on Taylor Swift. And let’s just assume that the little irony of the song about that incident, which sparked a video featuring a fake Trump backside, is now just water under the bridge. This is all rather odd.
How the heck was Ray Lewis granted an audience with Donald Trump w/ the likes of Bill Gates and Jim Brown?
— Mustafa Khan (@Junglegsus) December 13, 2016
Back to the vaunted NFL stars, however. Brown went so far as to tell CNN that Trump has “his admiration,” whatever that means. We all know Lewis’ stance on Black Lives Matter. On the surface, there are so many questions: Why are any of them there? Is it a coincidence that the three black men all showed up on the same day? Probably not.
Brown is easily the most surprising of this bunch to show his face in this scenario. Then again, this is what he does: presents himself when he thinks there’s a problem that can be solved. Perhaps most interesting about this is that #2024 tweet from Ye. He famously declared that he’d be running in 2020, but if he’s pushing that back four years, maybe it’s because he wants or foresees a two-term Trump presidency. In which case, his similar refrain might become more of a battle cry.
No one man should have all that power.
Trump is meeting with Kanye because Kanye is designing the uniforms for the camps. pic.twitter.com/mxsCdQgL1v
— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) December 13, 2016
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ — a true action movie
Forget about the Force, the newest installment is here for the fight
3:22 PMHow do you create a surprise ending to a story you already know? By not telling the audience when it will be over.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters Friday will be a different experience for many fans of the franchise, who pride themselves on rigid ties to loose concepts of historical canon and feel entitled to a near out-of-body experience every time they utter the two words that George Lucas turned into an empire.
Rogue One is not that film. It’s a movie that’s cleaner, smarter and more mature than any of its predecessors and doesn’t waste time setting up long parables of myth to connect miniscule dots in the galaxy to one another. If you’ve never seen a Star Wars movie in your life, but have a rudimentary understanding of the Force, you will thoroughly enjoy the Gareth Edwards-directed film.
What you also get is the first glimpse into what Disney had in mind when the company announced that it plans to release a film from the franchise every year. The simple psychological difference between “the next Star Wars” and “this year’s Star Wars” will be enough to knock the luster off of the brand for many. But what you get with Rogue One is an action movie that probes the Z-axis of the Star Wars universe, without a care as to who it offends or lets down.
The acting, just like in The Force Awakens, is a drastic improvement on anything we’d seen from Episodes I through VI. In terms of storyline, it’s FAR easier to follow than any of the others. Viewers are not forced to tangentially learn new planet and system names that will eventually become important. They’re captioned on the screen, so not only can you identify them, you know how to spell them, too.
Clearer than any point made by its creators is its lack of concern for making this feel like some nod to the old. There are Easter eggs, yes. But they are far more deftly tucked in and highlighted, while not being the ham-handed efforts of old that were obviously there as catch phrases for people just looking for familiar faces. For a movie based on a single line of another film, it’s phenomenal.
Felicity Jones as Jyn Urso is almost the best cast character in the entire series to this point. Forest Whitaker manages to undertake the role of Saw Gerrera without making you feel ridiculous, and Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe will be coming to a Halloween costume near you, very soon. We need not even point out how absurdly on point Genevieve O’Reilly is as Mon Mothma.
But for a fan of a certain age, this is the installment that will test your loyalty the most. The brand is no longer for you. If you have children, you’ve probably done your best to instill your Skywalker or Sith values in them as best as you could. Yet, the characters we’re presented with here push the boundaries of the good/evil binary. While we’ve grown accustomed to loving the pageantry and pomp of a certain part of this universe, the more genuine exploration of the grit and grime proves to be far more intriguing than one might think. Palace grandeur need not apply.
Pound for pound, this is probably the best action movie of the series. Standing alone, it works best as a film that needs no others. We’re bereft of lightsaber battles, but if you need that at this point, you’ve got plenty to draw on. Rogue One is the movie for the part of your life when you decided what you liked is what was cool, not what everyone else told you it was. This isn’t the flick for nerds clinging to textbooks or jocks memorizing playbooks. It’s a tad more refined, but not quite slick. To use an obvious metaphor, it’s the kid who went on gap year and traveled the globe before coming back to the night-before-Thanksgiving function with way better stories than your freshman year at state college.
Which is the point when you realize this story is just plain more interesting than most of the others, anyway. So, if you’re expecting that land where the Force ruled all and you got at least one gargantuan display of it per movie, you won’t get it. You’ll see a legit suspenseful thriller that right when you let your guard down hits the hyperdrive and puts you right back to your childhood.
Daily Dose: 12/13/16
Jay Z flips Phil Jackson’s ‘posse’ comment to praise LeBron James
9:50 AMWant to thank everyone who tuned in Monday night to ESPN Radio to hear Domonique Foxworth and me fill in for Jalen & Jacoby. It was a fun time, and hopefully they’ll be more of that in the future!
Welp, the inevitable has happened. Donald Trump has quite literally picked a cabinet member who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actual CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson (whom Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che joked had the most oil tycoon name ever) has been tapped to be Trump’s secretary of state. He, of course, has no formal diplomatic experience, but as this tweet points out, there’s an argument that an oil company head has dealt with more countries than your average global diplomat. ABC News reports on the announcement.
We’re getting to that point of the year when weather becomes a big factor on the East Coast. Say what you like about various regions’ ability to “deal” when it comes to bad conditions, the fact is that bad weather creates treacherous conditions for people who don’t have the ability to just gas up the four-wheel drive SUV and bunker in the house for a couple of days. As the Christmas holiday comes up, the latest winter blast could be a source of major havoc. Basically, look out for your loved ones. ABC News’ weather team has the latest.
If I asked you who the most dominant player in the NFL was, who would you say? There’s a pretty good argument for Ezekiel Elliot, what with him tearing up the league on the ground and his Dallas Cowboys squad having the best record in the league. There’s also a good argument for David Johnson, who seems to be able to do almost anything on the field as a running back, but whose Arizona Cardinals are not as successful. Yet, there’s also the homey Le’Veon Bell who went berserk on Sunday. FiveThirtyEight’s Chase Stuart makes the case.
Jay Z is not here for the games. On Monday night, at a ceremony to honor the Sports Illustrated Sports Person of the Year, Shawn Carter took to the stage to speak and introduce LeBron James, who won the honor. He didn’t just extol the virtues of the Cleveland Cavalier, he made a very specific reference to e Jackson’s posse comment, which you’ll recall at the time, was way out of line. It was a pretty cool moment from one mogul to another, and one that showed a genuine amount of respect between the two. ESPN’s Ian Begley reports.
Coffee Break: When Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks and writes, people listen and read. That’s really all there is to it. So, you might want to take some time to check out his latest piece, titled My President Was Black, which also will likely be the first and last time that a Young Jeezy lyric is channeled for the cover of The Atlantic.
Snack Time: Child sex scandals are not anything new to the globe, but as we learn more about human trafficking over time, we find different places where its evil has thrived over the years. One such place: English soccer.
Dessert: This new Kehlani/Little Simz video sends an important message — know what you bring to the table.
Zaytoven is the star of Gucci Mane’s Tiny Desk concert
The NPR staple was taken over by the man on the keys
You don’t really need much more explanation than Gucci Mane + NPR Tiny Desk to get excited. Over the years, as the public radio outfit has become a larger and more relevant music journalism outfit, its signature live shows have changed in nature. This, of course, all started with T-Pain, who wowed the world two years ago with his version.
But on Monday, the Guwop version that was taped a couple of months back was released, and people are loving it. To be clear, as a strict piece of art, this is not the greatest of Tiny Desks. Typically, we get an artist who shows off something you haven’t otherwise seen from a range standpoint, with flips and remixes to songs, to the point that it’s an entirely new experience musically from what you’re used to. That’s not the case here from Gucci, BUT he brought along Zaytoven, who is the best part of this effort by a mile.
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Mr. Mane’s comeback tour since being released from prison has been well-documented in this space and many this year. But the people around him, the Mike Wills of the world and so forth, haven’t necessarily gotten the same shine. Now, the world is about to know just how Zay gets down. His energy, his whole vibe and never mind his skills on the piano make this whole thing.
Daily Dose: 12/12/16
Will Smith’s killer convicted of manslaughter
11:30 AMOn Sunday night, Domonique and I got in the ESPN Radio booth to talk some football for NFL Nation. Here it is, if you missed it. Also, we’ll be filling in for Jalen & Jacoby on Monday, from 7-9 p.m. EST. You can tune in to that here.
The man who killed former NFL player Will Smith has been found guilty of manslaughter. The weeklong case has been an arduous one, with the entire situation being an obvious no-win. No matter how you feel about Cardell Hayes, the man convicted, what became clear from the court proceedings is just how completely unnecessary this altercation was, never mind a person’s death. There was also the added problem that a lot of people think Smith’s celebrity played a huge role in the case. ABC News has the details.
We’ve been treated to some more gems from Donald Trump’s coming administration. He told Fox News openly that he had no plans to be taking security briefings every day, because if nothing changes, he doesn’t need to take the time. He can be updated whenever he needs because he considers himself a smart person. Meaning, he basically plans to wing every decision on topics he didn’t already concern himself with before he was elected. FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman breaks down what we’ve learned about how Trump will govern.
It’s prime time holiday party season. If you haven’t been to one yet, surely this week will feature quite a few, between your office or your friends or your church or wherever it is that you go to be social. I inadvertently ended up crashing another news organization’s event the other night, but it didn’t end with a problem, so that’s good. But as we all know, these things can get very hectic when someone decides to tie on one, and then ends up doing way too much. Broadly’s Sophie Saint Thomas chronicles some of the most insane office shindigs.
Adam “Pacman” Jones has always been a volatile character. First of all, that nickname alone is great, but over the years, his penchant for strip clubs kept him in the news and his violent behavior also got him tossed from the NFL at one point. He’s also one of the biggest trash-talkers in the league and on Sunday he didn’t hold anything back on that front, calling Terrelle Pryor Jr., “garbage” on multiple occasions. Seriously, check out this clip of Jones going the extra mile to paint this picture to the media.
Coffee Break: I’m going to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story today. This has me very excited. But on a larger level, this is the first installment of Disney’s plan to release a movie from the franchise every year for some time. Will this model work? Or will fans, both longtime and new, suffer from too much recency effect. We’ll find out this week.
Snack Time: As a loyal fan of the Fast & Furious franchise, I’m always wondering how they’re going to flip the next installment. Well, the new trailer for The Fate of the Furious is out, and it’s completely insane.
Dessert: Willow Smith dropped a new three-song project last week, and it’s kind of perfect for a gloomy day.
Daily Dose: 12/9/16
John Glenn dies at 95
2:24 PMOn Thursday, I wore a bucket hat in front of a camera and tried to flip a water bottle to do a trick, with no success on camera. But, Domonique Foxworth is good at these sorts of things. Check out the latest edition of Locker Room Lawyer.
Sometimes, you find yourself in over your head. And what you try to do when that happens is act like you’re not, and scramble to make something happen to regain your footing. But, as it turns out, you drown faster when you struggle. So, right now, with Donald Trump saying that he’s going to be executive producer of The Celebrity Apprentice in his spare time. His spare time. A guy with literally zero political experience is suddenly planning his spare time out for when he gets in to office. OK, buddy. ABC News tries to explain how this will work.
One of the most savage things we do in this country is execute prisoners. Operative words: one of. Anyway, in quite a few states, they’ve shelved the practice not just due to the fact that many consider it inhumane as an overall act (does killing a killer make sense?) but because the specific practice of putting someone to death is actually rather difficult. And Thursday night in Alabama, one such procedure went wrong, leaving a man conscious for some time when he was supposed to be dying. VICE’s Keegan Hamilton has the story.
John Glenn died Thursday. He was a combat veteran, a pilot, an astronaut, and eventually a U.S. senator. He’s also the first American to ever orbit the earth, which is just a wild concept in so many ways. If you’ve ever been to Ohio, you know that Glenn is nothing short of a god there. I would also go so far as to argue that as far as guys with two first names go, he’s at the top of the medal stand. I could be wrong. Anyway, he was 95. FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten breaks down exactly how popular Glenn was.
People love blaming black people for their own deaths. It’s a concept that’s rooted to the basic framework of white supremacy, which is to say, you should reasonably expect to die if you find yourself upsetting a person of authority or otherwise in your black skin. This is where the whole “no angel” concept comes from and why people think that “just obeying the law” is the best way not to get killed by a police officer. But, in the case of Will Smith, the former NFL player who was killed in New Orleans, there are a lot of opinions. ESPN’s Mike Triplett reports on the latest.
Coffee Break: We all love chicken. It’s delicious. But not all chicken is the same. Some people go for fried (everyone does), some people bake it, other people roast it, there are many things to do. But sometimes you need a recommendation as to which chicken is the best. Luckily, The Chicken Connoisseur is here to save the day.
Snack Time: Look, in a time of national anxiety, the holiday season can be very stressful. You need some music to ease your pain. And fam, when I tell you that Big Freedia has saved us all in 2016, believe me, fam, it’s true.
Dessert: In case you forgot, Dom and I will be rocking on ESPN Radio from 7-10 p.m. on Sunday night. Tune in!
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 11: LeBron James takes on the #WaterBottleChallenge
The Posse is most definitely on Broadway
12:06 PMWhat do you do during a blowout in an NBA game? Me, I like to watch the people who mop up after players hit the floor. They’ve got such an intense job and get no credit. Anyway, what LeBron James and friends like to do is play the water bottle challenge. On the court. During play. We’ve all got Phil Jackson to thank for this, who with his rather poorly phrased and intended comment about James’ posse last month, clearly upset The King.
The question is: If you’re an NBA ballplayer, should you be playing silly games on the sideline when the one in front of you has lost your interest? We took this one to court, and a new judge had an interesting verdict. And this is a gratuitous reason for me to mention the two greatest songs ever involving the word posse. Here’s the first. Here’s the best.