How to Get Her Back: the photos

Posted in film on September 5th, 2010 by urbanguy

Images from my latest short. Check out the film in the urbanguy films section.

Psychic iPod: Norman Connors – Valentine Love

Posted in film, funky snob, music, words on July 27th, 2009 by urbanguy

The Funky Snob™ was feeling sorry for himself y’all. Hey it happens.

Sensing yo boys’ predicament, some Norman Connors and Jean Carne swooped in on the iPod random with the quickness.

Lush instrumentation, relevant lyrics…a Snob can dig it.

It upped the mood from world-weary to reflective…introspective even.

Charlie Wilson – There Goes My Baby (Video)

Posted in film, funky snob, music, words on July 5th, 2009 by urbanguy

Charlie Wilson doesn’t get the props that he should for holding it down for so long and influencing today’s R&B.

His latest, Uncle Charlie, will probably stay under the radar but does have a couple of cool joints such as this one (written, incidentally, by Babyface and Calvin Richardson).

Props go to Snoop as well for continuing to show Charlie some love.

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UrbanGuy’s Five Underrated Michael Jackson Songs

Posted in culture, film, funky snob, music, words on July 2nd, 2009 by urbanguy


It’s been a full week since Michael Jackson passed on and I still can’t believe it. Usually when I hear about a celebrity dying, my reaction is nowhere near as it was when I heard this news.

Dude was only 50…I shouldn’t have been hearing this for at least another 20-30 years.

This honestly feels like a relative passing…it’s a truly strange feeling. Everything that could be said has already been written (and arguably more eloquently), but for me he was a supremely talented individual who stands as a tragic genius, a symbol of the transformative power of music…that and the fact that we typically don’t appreciate something ( or someone) until it’s gone.

It’s weird that listening to his music now adds a richer context, a deeper sense of meaning…a growing realization that we will likely never witness someone so musically talented in our lifetime. His achievements will likely never be topped, and the chance of an individual so thoroughly dominating and captivating the music culture consciousness will never be duplicated.

For me, the favourite MJ songs are the underrated ones, the ones that you probably won’t hear in any mainstream tribute. This list is by no means definitive (or in any particular order), but here is five of my  beloved and underrated Michael Jackson tracks:

Heaven can wait: 2001′s Invincible was vastly underrated. Poorly promoted (MJ was in the throes of a huge public/media backlash) Heaven Can Wait is a testament to the fact that even through he was prone to screaming his vocals rather than singing at this point in his career, he could still throw down when he wanted to. Great lyrics, fab production (check out that amazing bridge where his vocals get progressively stronger before it climaxes). Great track.

Butterflies: If you’ve heard Floetry’s demo version of this, you greatly appreciated Michael’s uncanny knack for making any song his own. Another one off the Invincible album, Floetry’s version is good but MJ’s emoting on this joint makes the song for me. Just a great song.

Happy: “Suspended between time and space…” Love, love this song that people not many people have heard from the Music & Me LP. Listen to that classic 1970s orchestral sound…haunting and beautiful at the same time. If you don’t smile while listening to this track, something is seriously wrong with you.

Get on the floor – This track from the seminal Off the Wall just could have easily been a single. Off the Wall was Jackson’s groundbreaking LP but that are more a  couple of tracks that should have been more popular. This is one of them for sure. Just a damn cool funky disco groove…sounds like a song that would have been played early to get the party started.

Morning glow: Michael transforms a sappy track from a 1972 Broadway musical into a hidden gem of a song. Even if you don’t know who Pippin (son of Charlemagne) is, you know that Mike sings the hell out of this song.  Off his Music & Me solo album, the vocal control and range for someone so young is magical. Even the backstory (Pippin is a young princely lad looking for something to make his life worth living for) is vividly ironic.

Thanks for the great music Michael.



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Jay-Z – D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune) [Video]

Posted in film, funky snob, music, words on July 1st, 2009 by urbanguy

Not a huge fan of Jay-Z but this song is, in the words of Borat, vera niice.

Classy, post-modern headnod hip-hop over here…

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India.Arie feat. Musiq Soulchild: Chocolate High (Video)

Posted in film, funky snob, music, words on April 15th, 2009 by urbanguy

Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even know this song existed.

Lack of push and/or marketing? No doubt.

That said, not feeling this song. At all. The Funky Snob says you’d think these two artists (great on their own) could put together a more satisfying effort than this middling and perfunctory duet.

EDIT: It’s the hook that bothers the Funky Snob. The verses have a nice flow but the hook is just too cornball.

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Jazmine Sullivan: Dream Big (Video)

Posted in film, funky snob, music, words on March 12th, 2009 by urbanguy

Another video so soon? Cool.

But heavy on the CGI a la the previous joint? Really?

Although the garish CGI suits this song so much better..its still a bit too literal. I like some subtext in my videos please. Still like the song though.


Monday Music

Posted in film, general, music on March 9th, 2009 by urbanguy



Posted in culture, film, general on February 8th, 2009 by urbanguy


“Nurse.Fighter.Boy is a rich exploration of the connections between the healer, the warrior and the child of its title…”

I’m curious to see this flick.

It’s awesome that films like Nurse.Fighter.Boy actually get to see the light of day in Canada — which is why I’m extra hopeful that it’s actually good.

I dig Charles Officer’s cinematic style so I’m definitely checking this out. Plus it’s got Clark Johnson AKA Meldrick.

meldrick lewis


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Louis Mercier: Black On Film

Posted in culture, film on March 23rd, 2006 by urbanguy

Louis Mercier: Black On Film
By Ryan B. Patrick
Pride Entertainment Writer
Pride News Magazine
March 22, 2006

In film parlance, the term “mise-en-scène” refers to almost everything that a filmmaker puts into the composition of the film shot, including the movement of the camera and characters, lighting, set design and overall visual environment. Quite literally, it means “put in the scene”.
For Louis Mercier, “mise-en-scene” is everything the young African Canadian filmmaker does and more. The talented writer, actor and producer recently accomplished an extraordinary feat when, not one or two, but three of his short films (Delivering Santiago, Toussaint and Perfect Pitch) were screened stateside, at the recent Delray Beach Film Festival in Florida.
Mercier’s films have been screened in Montreal, Detroit and Toronto, but this is the first time he’s had three films screening at once.
“It’s exciting,” Mercier tells Pride News Magazine over the phone. It’s an honour, as an African Canadian, to have all three films represented at the festival, Mercier says.
He notes that, while he helped produced the shorts, the films were also a collaborative effort. Delivering Santiago and Toussaint were written/directed by Tory Falkenberg, while Perfect Pitch was written/directed by David Eng, and Mercier acts in all three.
By his own accounts, the Haitian-born Mercier has been exposed to the performing arts his entire life. He immigrated to Canada in 1979, and notes it was long hours glued to the television screen that got him hooked on writing and performing.
“Growing up, television was almost like a nanny,” says Mercier. He got his start acting in school plays at the age of nine, which led to auditioning for indie film and working at a community television station.
He initially went to university to become an electrical engineer, while pursuing acting on the side. But the acting bug ultimately took over, Mercier says, and he decided to focus all his attention on the craft.
After a couple of acting gigs, including a prominent role in the Radio-Canada network television series, “Temps Dur”, Mercier eventually created his own production company (Soulion Entertainment) and added writing, directing and producing to his credits, with the short films Toussaint, Aces Down, Eye & I and Delivering Santiago.
Mercier describes the films as character-driven. Toussaint features Mercier as a Haitian-Canadian student who harbors an secret love for a fellow Indo-Canadian student. He is faced with the dilemma of risking humiliation by revealing his true feelings or forever losing her.
“I like to create films that speak out to people,” he says. Of all his films, Toussaint hits close to home, as it’s based on a true event, Mercier says.
One of many events in a decade’s worth of professional film and video experience, in front of and behind the camera.
“I’m primarily an actor…that’s where my passion lies,” Mercier says. So, in an industry where there is a distinct lack of roles for African Canadian actors, Mercier decided to branch out into producing in order to create his own opportunities. “Early on, I found out that, in order for me to be in front of the camera, I had to start projects from behind the camera,” says Mercier.
In addition to acting and producing, Mercier is adding the hat of director to his portfolio, and he notes that Soulion Entertainment intends to produce feature films, television programming, documentaries and stage productions designed to educate and entertain, while giving a much-needed voice to people of colour.
It’s a dog-eat-dog film world in Canada right now, Mercier says, adding, “I’m trying to show the cats in the industry that I’m a force to be reckoned with, and to take charge of my career.”

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