Trends, Travel, Film, History and Books provide readers with information that might be off the beaten path of their traditional news sources.   Whether its innovation, unique travel, classic or new age films and documentaries, looking at history from a different perspective or discovering new and established authors, it brings a fresh look to things that are either old or new again.

Yoshi's Oakland


Macy Gray. Photo Courtesy of Yoshi's

Macy Gray. Photo Courtesy of Yoshi’s

Fri 8.5

GRAMMY©-winning singer/songwriter


Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

A multi-award winning, multi-platinum selling singer, songwriter, actress and mother of three teenagers, Macy Gray has been overturning fan expectation and industry formula since the beginning of her musical career in 2000 with her critically acclaimed debut album ‘On How Life Is’. A truly gifted songwriter and brilliantly unique vocalist, Macy first entered the international musical arena with her hit single ‘I Try’ and soon became an instant global superstar.

She says of her latest album titled THE WAY, “I wanted to create a record that reflects who I’ve become as a woman, mother and artist. This album is very personal to me. I want my fans to understand the place where I’m at in life and feel inspired by my music because it’s relatable.”

With a colorful career that includes multiple Grammy, Billboard, MTV and BRIT Awards, and record sales of over 25 million worldwide, the integrity and innovation of Macy Gray’s artistry has allowed her to forge her own path to success and win fans and critics from all around the world. Her music transcends genres, from experimental soul and alternative rock, to retro-disco and hip-hop.  Read more.

SOURCE:  Macy Gray


Blackalicious. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi's

Blackalicious. Photo Courtesy: Yoshi’s

Sat 8.13


Doors: 9:45 pm / Show: 10:00 pm

“We’re older, we’re wiser, we’re more mature,” MC Gift of Gab (nee Timothy Parker) says of Imani, Vol. 1, Blackalicious’ first new album in a decade. “It’s better now, because we’ve grown as people and artists.”

“Each one of these records is a chapter in our lives, and we put our complete heart and soul into it,” agrees Gab’s longtime musical partner, CJ/producer Chief Xcel (aka Xavier Mosley). “We live these records.”

Imani, Vol. 1 lives up to the beloved California-bred duo’s hard-won reputation as one of hip-hop’s most progressive, forward-thinking creative forces. Acclaimed for the sublime combination of Gab’s verbal dexterity and lyrical eloquence, and X’s bracing beats and distinctive soundscapes, Blackalicious has earned widespread respect, both inside and outside of the hip-hop community, for the wildly inventive, personally charged innovations of its first three albums, 1999’s Nia, 2002’s Blazing Arrow and 2005’s The Craft.

Three years in the making, Imani, Vol. 1—the first of a projected trilogy to be released over the course of two years—is perhaps Blackalicious’ most ambitious and accomplished effort to date, maintaining the spirituality, introspection and positivity that are the twosome’s trademarks, while making it clear that their musical vision and creative drive remain as strong as ever.

Although Imani, Vol. 1 is driven by Gift of Gab’s uplifting verbal sophistication and Chief Xcel’s expansive sonic sensibility, which are as distinctive as ever on such riveting tracks as “On Fire Tonight,” “Escape,” The Sun,” “We Did It Again” and the epic “Alpha and Omega.”

The pair is joined by such guest performers as Afro-pop diva Zap Mama, who’s featured on the title track; Amde Hamilton of legendary ’60s rap progenitors the Watts Prophets on the album-opener “Faith,” eclectic singer-songwriter Imani Coppola on “The Sun,” underground hip-hop duo LifeSavas on “That Night,” neo-blues auteur Fantastic Negrito on “Love’s Gonna Save the Day,” Myron of retro-soulsters Myron & E on “On Fire Tonight,” and the all-star hip-hop combo of Lateef, Lyrics Born, Monophonics and DJ D Sharp on “Alpha and Omega.”  Read More.

SOURCE:  The Offical Blackalicious


Oprah Book Club 2.0


Bookcover: Barkskins. Photo Courtesy: Oprah Book Club 2.0

Bookcover: Barkskins. Photo Courtesy: Oprah Book Club 2.0

Your Reading List for the
Rest of Summer

Get a head start on the new titles everyone will be talking about next month. From psychological thrillers to dazzling works of historical fiction—you’ve heard it here first about the books that are about to be BIG.


Atlanta, GA — S.N.A.C. it up! CEO/Chef, Shiona Shi Curry authors S.N.A.C. it up! Cookbook: Shis Natural Approach to Cooking to inspire children to make healthy food choices. Shis passion for eating healthy ultimately translated into an aspiration for all children to be healthy, while enjoying food that tastes great.

Shi credits her parents desire in supplying her siblings and herself with a diet of natural foods, even though she was initially hesitant. However, after adopting positive affirmations into

Shiona Shi Curry, author of S.N.A.C. it up! Cookbook: Shis Natural Approach to Cooking. Photo Courtesy:

Shiona Shi Curry, author of S.N.A.C. it up! Cookbook: Shis Natural Approach to Cooking.
Photo Courtesy:

her life, Shi found it easier to make healthy food choices. After making a conscious decision to eat healthy, Shi also began exploring her love for cooking, which stemmed from her fascination as a four-year-old when she would watch cooking shows, and read every cookbook she could get her hands on.

Shi, with the guidance of her supportive parents, began transforming natural foods that are usually considered unappealing to children, such as brussel sprouts and broccoli, and made them SNACalicious. Shi then decided to create a platform to educate children on the benefits of eating healthy and thinking good thoughts, i.e. affirmations, while remarkably encouraging her peers to take charge of their lives at a young age.

In the S.N.A.C. it up! Cookbook, Shi uses all natural ingredients and spices, and creates delicious gourmet dishes that are easily reproduced, and as such is a great guide to keep children engaged in taking control of their overall health.

Shi also conducts a number of workshops and seminars to engage children with the message of healthy eating and thinking, while highlighting the correlation with childhood obesity and diabetes. Program titles include: Think Inside the Lunchbox, S.H.A.R.E.W.I.T.H., Sweet Life on S.N.A.C, and Tobys War on S.N.A.C.! All programs, including the S.N.A.C. it up! School DVD Curriculum, which are designed to address different aspects of health.



Phase 3 of The Passport Party Project in Toronto, Canada. Photo Courtesy:

Phase 3 of The Passport Party Project in Toronto, Canada. Photo Courtesy:

Oakland, CAThe Passport Party Project, a National Geographic Travel award-winning philanthropic global awareness initiative for underrepresented American girls 11-15, just announced its Phase 4 initiative The #365PassportProject, which will put passports in the hands of 265 girls. And, for the first time, 100 boys with the help of travel advocates worldwide will receive passports as well. Spearheaded by travelpreneur Tracey Friley, the project’s goal is to encourage young underrepresented tweens to start down the path to global citizenship early by becoming passport holders and travel ambassadors who ultimately pay it forward by encouraging passport ownership, teen travel and study abroad amongst their peers.

According to passport statistics, less than 39% of Americans hold a U.S. passport and study abroad statistics indicate that only 25% of underrepresented youth (8.3% Hispanic/Latino American; 7.7% Asian/Pacific Islander; 5.6% African-American; 3.6% Multiracial; 0.5% American Indian/Alaska Native) make up the study abroad population. In line with Diversity Abroad and the Institute of International Educations #GenerationStudyAbroad initiative, The Passport Party Project aims to make a difference in both passport and study abroad stats in its own way by shifting the global mindset of teens in their formative years so that they are prepared for international travel and ultimately, the global marketplace.

To date, Passport Party Project passport scholarship applicants have hailed from cities like Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and passport gifts have come in from as far away as Beijing China and Toronto Ontario with even more world travelers being encouraged to give via Frileys social media channels as well as those social media channels of Passport Party Project advocates. This is a true grassroots effort for our kids, says Friley.

Imagine being 11-15 years old and getting your very first passport. Imagine knowing a world traveler who possibly even looks like you bearing that gift. Imagine the global mind shift. Imagine the possibilities. With or without a plane ticket or immediate travel plans in sight, being in possession of a global permission slip changes everything, don’t you think?

Phase 4 opened July 15, 2016 and closes July 15, 2017 or whenever 365 passports have been gifted. Towards the end of Phase 4, any teen girl who obtained her first passport via the #365PassportProject will be in a position to compete to get her first passport stamp on her first trip abroad during a Passport Party Project trip currently in the works.

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