OKCAUGUST 29 - SEPTEMBER 15
VOL. 8 ISSUE 18 LOOKATOKC.COM
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KEVIN DURANT TAKES TALENT TO THE BIG SCREEN IN FAMILY FLICK
THUNDERSTRUCKSTO RY O N PAG E 2 0
F R O M
When I sat down with Kevin Durant on Aug. 21 to discuss his new family lm, Thunderstruck, it was as an entertainment writer who, thanks mainly to the extraordinary eff orts of Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates, only recently became a basketball fan. So most
of what we discussed was in my particular wheelhouse movies and music.
As you will read in my interview with Durant on page 20, basketball served as his primary focus during his childhood spent in gyms and on courts in Washington, D.C. and Prince Georges County, Md., and when he watched movies, he gravitated toward basketball-themed lms that could serve as inspiration or in uence Hoosiers and Above the Rim gured prominently. And music powered him through and does so to this day. Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, along with the late and sorely missed Aaliyah, lled his headphones then and now, and his mother, Wanda Pratt, introduced him to old-school R&B, something that provided a foundation for his current interest in neo-soul acts.
But one aspect of our conversation I found particularly instructive about life in the spot-light. At this point, after going all the way to the NBA nals and earning a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in London, Durant is one of the most famous people in the world. Then, if you factor in his likeabil-ity, Durant becomes this towering presence. But even someone as well-known as No. 35 is impressed when he meets his own idols. No matter what you achieve, there will always be personal heroes who, when you nally get introduced to them, still knock you out.
I met Jay-Z before, Beyonce, I met guys like P. Diddy before and I met Denzel, Durant said. I met a lot of people from playing basketball, man people I was blessed to meet. Ive built a relationship with a few rappers. Its pretty cool to be a part of a group of people who worked their way up in their profession.
It was that last line that resonated as I left the interview. Durant does not particularly value fame he values achievement.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, as I was making my usual pass through enter-tainment cyberspace, the breathlessly reported top story on Enter-tainment Weeklys Web site announced that Nicole Snooki Polizzi, a member of the cast of my nightmares as well as MTVs Jersey Shore, had given birth to a baby boy, Lorenzo Dominic LaValle. Lorenzos mother is wealthy beyond reason or justi cation for doing almost nothing. She is famous for being famous.
If, on the outside chance, little Lorenzo lacks inspiration in his young life, a person to emulate for their abilities and their values, there is always Kevin Durant. With all his visability, the things that make you famous are light-years more important to this great basket-ball player than fame itself.
G E O R G E L A N Gfrom the editor
BY GEORGE LANG
LOOKatOKC EDITORGeorge Lang
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from the top
15 | Premium Rush peddles extreme thrills
11 | Camille HarpOklahoma City songwriter teams up with Sooner State native for an acoustic album.
L O O K A T O K C
LOOKATOKC.COM I AUGUST 29 - SEPTEMBER 15 I PAGE 11 >>>
album review A L I T T L E B I T O F L I G H T C A M I L L E H A R P
Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Camille Harp infuses her new EP A Little Bit of Light with a warm glow that occasionally ares into a scintillating blaze.
Harp cannily partnered with fellow Sooner State native and recent New York City transplant Luke Dick to make the acoustic-leaning, seven-song album.
Along with producing the record, Dick helped Harp pen three of the tracks, including the wise and folksy opener One by One, which showcases her unique raspy voice, and the lovely title track, which closes the album with an optimistic glow.
An ode to a failed romance, their Thinking It Over begins with a bright bounce but adroitly shifts tones, taking on a darker radiance
and spotlighting Harps skill at evoking complex emotions.
Dick also directed the music video for Harps seductively stripped-down rendition of Bruce Springsteens Im on Fire.
The self-described Okie songstress slow-burn version of The Boss often-
covered 1985 hit kindles the sexual tension until you can practically feel the ames.
Harp veritably incandesces with her hopeful ballad Maybe and her mournful lost-love song Cemetery Heart, and she invites country-rock fans to burn up the dance oor with
the twangy Leave My Heart Alone. Harps father, longtime musician Garry Harp, penned the nimble toe-tapper about a cagey woman who warns potential suitors you can have my body ... but when you leave, my heart stays here with me.
Harps next live performance will be during the Sept. 14-15 Illinois River Jam in Tahlequah.
For information on the camping
and music event, go to www.illinoisriverjam.com.
Brandy McDonnell, Entertainment writer
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album review P E R F E C T L Y I M P E R F E C T E L L E V A R N E R
Elle Varners mother sang backup for Barry White and her father was a ses-sion musician and pro-ducer in the 1980s, so it computes that a pleasing throwback aesthetic would form the foundation of Varners debut album, Perfectly Imperfect. Varners sweet and seductive vocal style is steeped in jazz traditions rather than post-Whitney Houston soul our-ishes, and as its title suggests, Perfectly Imperfect rises above the rest by layering organic delivery and sensibilities into its rst-rate material.
This emphasis on real rhythm and blues is addressed in style and substance on the opening track, Only Wanna Give It to You, in which Varner sings that she came before this digital ocean where people only
move in digital motion. Her slight rasp lends truth to the statement: Varners vocals never sound worked over and there isnt a hint of technical sweetening on the glorious Re ll, a slow-burning ballad about saying too much, too soon. Producers Andrew Pop Wansel and Warren Oak
Felder throw some star-tling sound ourishes into the arrangements, includ-ing a sawing ddle sound on Re ll and the crack-ing snares and guitars on Sound Proof Room. But Felder and Wansel are strictly in the business of building a great sound for Varner, who shows off her soaring vocal mastery on
the neo-soul gorgeousness of I Dont Care.
Varner could be the real thing, a singer who can bridge the gap be-tween the sweet soul of the past and the tech-enabled pop of modern chart singles. Oh What a Night is a party
banger about too much tequila and smeared makeup that succeeds be-cause of the singers funny, self-dep-recating delivery what Varner does through nuance cannot be achieved through Auto-Tune. For emphasis, she goes almost entirely acoustic on the
clever penultimate track Damn Good Friends, showing that Perfectly Imperfect is all the better for leav-ing in all of Varners distinctly human qualities.
George Lang, LookatOKC Editor
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movie review P R E M I U M R U S H
P remium Rush moves like The French Connection on two wheels with no brakes from start to nish. Its the Tour d