Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

All I want to do is pop bottles! In celebration of champagne, 2010, and all the possibilities that lie ahead I wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Down with the last horrid decade and onto the next. I'll be back to blogging on Monday - remember to party in style, and for my automobile wielding friends that means don't drink & drive!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

There's something off about seeing one of nature's creatures, curiously poking at one of man's most unnatural creations: Jell-O. But squirrel monkeys are just so darn cute, that you can't help but watch them as they try to decipher just what the heck they are looking at. The Bronx Zoo claims that this is a special holiday treat "Jell-O enrichment" for the monkeys, that helps them "stimulate their foraging instincts." If only I was allowed to "stimulate my foraging instincts" like that when I was a kid. Now that's what I call a blueberry surprise!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As If!

1. L.A.M.B. 'Biker' Plaid Miniskirt, $175;, 2. The Heidkrüger Boots, $89;, 3. Cashmere V-neck Cardigan, $168;

On Christmas day I watched the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone, and what really struck me was the fact that I loved it just as much now as when I saw it then... almost twenty years ago. Ouch. Twenty years is a long time, and it seems that like so many things in life, fashion's cyclicality tends to find inspiration by looking back to the 20 year mark. With that and thoughts of the celebrity deaths that loomed throughout 2009 in mind, I looked to the grungy comfort of Clueless star Brittany Murphy, and her lovable character Tai. As much as flannel has had a comeback in the past five years, I have to admit that I'm still not sick of it. For winter days it's the perfect way to be comfortable, warm and still exude a sense of style. Pair some flannel with a pair of lace up booties and pay tribute to Clueless' "tragically unhip" breakout star.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Friend Of A Feline

From Thundercats to Catwoman, the Pink Panther and the epic that is Avatar, cats have been popping up in pop culture for decades. Somehow their fictional presence has always been marred by the stigma that surrounds them in the real world. Still seen as mysterious, nasty, dark creatures, cats always play second fiddle to their canine rivals. Man's best friend, the pack hunter, the loyal side kick, is often matched against the rogue, aloof, independent feline, so its no wonder that those who care for them often get a bad rap too. But no longer! With the help of the feline-like Na'vi of Avatar and the legendary Garfield, hopefully we'll all soften our hearts to the lesser loved species. Helping to break the myth of the "crazy cat lady" is Nathan Davis, a specialist in the U.S. Army who recently won Tidy Cats Campaign to End Cattiness with his cats Frank Sinatra and Sergeant Snog. I'm digging his honesty and passion, so check out his winning essay and webisode to see how he's helping bring the feline love this holiday season.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Xmas, Festivus, Etceterus!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! I wish I could meet this reindeer and tell him how cute he is. I'll be yucking it up at the 92Y Tribeca tonight for their "The Twelfth Night of Chanukah" comedy showcase featuring Janeane Garofalo, Todd Barry, and a bunch of other Jews and Atheists who have no where else to go! But not to worry, I'll be back to blogging on Monday. Season's Eatings!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Déjà Vu: Good Golly Miss Dolly!

Dolly Parton is the kind of Diva that I can get behind. She's not just any run of the mill Diva - her bubbly personality, music and style have made her a legend. It's obvious that I abide by her cardinal rule (which inspired the name of this blog), but what's not obvious is my current obsession with classic country. I never gave country music a second thought until this year, and sweet sassy molassey have I been missing out! Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette - the list of classic country crooners goes on and on. And apparently I'm not the only one that's been sneaking in some country behind closed doors. Check out the 1983 country hit "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and the Bee Gees, and then take a listen to the 1998 hip hop hit "Ghetto Superstar" by Pras, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Mya. It's like hip hop is giving classic country a solid fist pump!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not Just Any Hourglass

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, and this isn't Photoshopped madness. V Magazine just released a preview of their upcoming issue, and the Terry Richardson photo shoot above features model Jacquelyn Jablonski and 'plus size' model Crystal Renn playing an haute couture version of simon says. An in depth preview of the spread is currently on The Cut, and I have to say it's amazing to see Renn literally use her assets to put her competition to shame. She's fierce from "H to T" as Tyra would say. Meanwhile, other magazines are honing in on the 'plus size' trend through other dubious means, namely sticking a regular size model into some padding and calling it a day. The photo shoot below is from the third issue of German magazine I Love You, and was inspired by... you guessed it: Joan from Mad Men. I love me some Joanie more than anyone, but when you try to reproduce the curves of a woman with some padding the result is less than appealing. I appreciate the effort, but couldn't they have found a real voluptuous woman, and not just a model to fill Joanie's shoes?

Via New York Magazine and Cat Party

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Lies In The Shadow Of The Statue?

Scott Campbell's "LOST Showdowns" are just one of the many LOST inspired pieces you'll see on display at L.A.'s Gallery1988. I can't get enough of Mr. Ecko versus the Smoke Monster, or Boone versus the plane! Simple cartoons that speak volumes to LOST fans - the perfect way to get pumped for the final season. The exhibit runs until Christmas eve, so you better hurry if you want to get a glimpse of the action. Check out Flavorwire's interview with gallery owner Jensen Karp to get the whole story behind this unique venture.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcome To The Dollhouse

This week seems to be full of great finds that only exist in the minds of artists. First there was the Philco PC, and now these Lady Gaga dolls! But this situation is extremely cryptic... All I know is that this incredibly talented 28 year old guy, that goes by the Flickr name veik11, has been replicating some of Gaga's ensembles and his work is amazing. The attention to detail is shocking, at least to someone who knows nothing about hobbyists who take doll dressing very seriously. There's a whole community of people who make outfits for dolls, along with those who make the dolls themselves. Thank goodness some of them are hip enough to realize that Gaga is an ideal muse. Her outlandish outfits may cause an uproar in the real world, but in Barbie's world she's right at home.

Via Jezebel

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Video Vault

With all this talk about the new Runaways movie starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, I started thinking about women who rock. One of the first names to come to mind is the strangest: Siouxsie Sioux. She's been brandishing her own style of in-your-face-rock since the 70s, and everyone from The Cure, to PJ Harvey and Radiohead have sited her band Siouxise and the Banshees as an influence. So what's all the fuss about? Check out a video of their first single, the 1978 classic "Hong Kong Garden." There's nothing like some good ole rock 'n roll to smother the winter blues...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's A PC?

Long ago I was a PC user, standing behind my desktop until it took it's last choking breath. I said sayonara to the PC in 2007, and never looked back - until now. Form versus function is taking on a whole new meaning here, so much so, that I actually considered cheating on my MacBook with this stunner. This is the Philco PC, and unfortunately at the moment it's just the beautiful brainchild of designer Dave Schultze. Inspired by the Philco Predicta televisions of the 1950s, Schultze has managed to remake the PC into something spectacular. The monitor itself is a gem, but upon further inspection the stylized keyboard, tower, and mouse help to create an unbelievable combination. The video below includes some primo close ups of the product - now let's just hope that one day it comes to fruition!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Soon Is Now?

I pretty much died when I found this picture of Joseph Gordon-Levitt à la Morrissey. As if playing lovelorn-Smiths-lovin' Tom in this year's 500 Days Of Summer weren't enough, Joe has to go and do this. Sigh. I was incredibly excited to read today's Golden Globe nominations and see that Gordon-Levitt has been nominated in the Best Actor, Comedy category for his role in the film. He's been acting since he was six, so it's about time he gets some time in the bright shiny spotlight - although from what I can tell he doesn't relish in it all that much. I've been digging on Gordon-Levitt since '96, because as a tomboy who was big into comedy, his role as Tommy on 3rd Rock from the Sun struck a chord with me. Yeah, you might think that's weird since he was playing an old alien stuck in the body of a human adolescent - but isn't that how we all feel at that age? Anyway, congratulations to Joe on his nomination, and for old times sake here's one of my favorite clips from 3rd Rock from the Sun:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your Hair Is So "Very"!

"But why is it so perfect?" she asked.
"Because it's groomed with the tears of thousands of girls who watched Untamed Heart," he replied.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Enjoy The Hannukah Cookie, Man!

I'm not sure who created the Arrested Development ode at left, but they're spot on. The comparison makes perfect sense: Michael is the hero, Lindsay is the beauty, Lucille is the villain, Gob is "a magician," Buster is the idiot, and Tobias is... well just a "never-nude" I suppose. In celebration of the genius that was Arrested Development and tomorrow's first day of Hannukah, check out Ben Stiller's cameo as magician Tony Wonder below:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Down By The Shore

So unless you're one of those people who don't own a TV, you've probably already seen or at least heard about MTV's new "reality show" Jersey Shore. It's probably one of the worst things I've ever subjected my eyes to, but after only one episode there are already countless highly quotable lines. That's got to mean something right? Parody is only a step behind, and comedians are hot on the tail of the Jersey Shore train wreck. Nick Kroll has made a name for himself doing both acting (FX's The League), voice work (HBO's The Life & Times of Tim), and stand up, but his character Bobby Bottleservice may be on the verge of becoming a viral sensation. I saw Kroll last year for a Chanucomedy event at the 92Y Tribeca, and his stand up snagged me in under a minute. His blog is pretty amazing too. And remember, unlike The Situation, Bobby Bottleservice respects women:

Photograph by Christopher Smith for the New York Times

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Design Within Reach (No, Really!)

Vintage objects tell a story, and it's up to us to listen. Whether it's an old toy, a vase, or a set of vintage postcards, it's hard to imagine how many tales can be spun from just one item. Outside of New York City, it's easy to stumble across pristine vintage finds (I'm talking about you Detroit!), but within the confines of this city these gems are rare and pricey. However, some stores in Manhattan and its boroughs, continue to pride themselves on amassing items that evoke the beauty of the past without a hefty fee. Le Grenier (pictured above) is located on the waterfront in Greenpoint, just a few subway stops away from the city. The owner Maya Marzolf is a former producer of fashion photography who has worked with Steven Meisel and Mark Seliger, so you know her aesthetic is romantic and warm. The store is full of great antiques and housewares, and they also provide prop rentals for photo, film and other special events. Thankfully, they even carry replica Edison bulbs which are surprisingly hard to find in a city that is obsessed with recreating retro looks in both public and private spaces. But if you thought for one minute that Le Grenier was anything but authentic, think again. Marzolf's own home was recently featured on a blog, and although she "consider[ed] it a bit cringe-worthy to be “promoting” [her] own house" she spoke eloquently about the experience:

"I choose to share my own space with you just to illustrate that what I’m doing here at Le Grenier truly is a labor of love. As one of my dear friends phrased it, what better way to illustrate that my style is sincere? What I offer you at Le Grenier is not just something that I’m trying to sell; instead, it’s an aesthetic and lifestyle in which I myself partake."

And what a lovely aesthetic and lifestyle it is. Take a peek at Le Grenier's website, or saunter over to Brooklyn to check it out in person.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lykke Li, Sång Fågel

I first met Li Lykke Zachrisson on a cold winter evening almost two years ago when I was working on a piece for Trace Magazine. Although the article never came to fruition, meeting the young songstress was a refreshing experience. At only 21 years old she was confident and eloquent - this was someone you could tell had figured out who she was from a young age. She told me how as a child she traveled a lot with her family, and those experiences helped shape her music. Li's music is a strange mix of upbeat pop songs coupled, with darker stripped down pieces. It's within these songs where she shows both her vulnerability and a softer side. The live rendition of "Tonight" filmed by Christian Haag, from her 2008 album Youth Novels, showcases her talent as both a performer and musician. Also if you're a fan of The Shirelles like I am, check out Li's homepage for a cover of their 1960 hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." Expect big things from this Swedish song bird:

Friday, December 4, 2009

For The Love of Food

We’re deep in the trenches of the holiday season, and you know what that means – total decadence. Whether your favorites are sweet or savory, family gatherings, office parties, and end of the year celebrations all involve the consumption (and sometimes over consumption) of treats. We’re just a few days past “pie season,” and headed towards “cake season” with increasing speed. So when you’re racking your mind trying to come up with the perfect dessert to bring to that holiday party, why not take a queue from Rachel Zoe and bring something as fashionable as your ensemble? I look forward to The Zoe Report daily, and today Zoe served up an unexpected twist for readers: food! Cake Monkey Bakery makes individually sized layer cakes, as well as cookies, pastries and a handful of other adorable confections. I don’t even know if I could eat one of their adorable cakes, for fear of destroying such a perfect example of pint size beauty. The best thing about Cake Monkey is that you can order what you need for others, and tack on a couple extra for yourself. Two cravings satisfied with one very convenient solution, who could ask for more?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Normal People Are So Hostile

With only a few more episodes of Dexter left until the season finale, I'm scrambling to find a new show to help me get through these dreary cold months. Sure there's always movies and cable, but where will I get my bloody satisfaction? That's still left to be seen. In any event, the fine folks over at Flavorpill recently highlighted some work by graphic designer Albert Exergian, who's been putting a pared down spin on classic television imagery. I love the poster he did for Dexter (pictured above) but he's also tackled a handful of my favorites from LOST, to Six Feet Under, Mad Men and Twin Peaks. I have a feeling the list will continue to grow, so check out his site and maybe you'll finally find that desktop image you always wanted.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Have You Heard?

Pop music is like that famous Mother Goose rhyme - when it's good, it's very very good, but when it's bad it's horrid. The latest pop export has only one album to their name, but oh what an album it is. La Roux's self titled record came out in June, but I only discovered it by reading an enthusiastic post over on Fourfour. As far as pop music goes Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid are a perfect pair. Jackson's red mane is enough to make any fan of androgynous icons take notice. Their music is an unstoppable combination of electropop and retro synthpop influences. This is the kind of music you listen to when you're getting ready to hit the town; music that makes you feel sassy, powerful and enigmatic. Listening to "Bulletproof" makes me want to cast off any uncertainties about myself, and strut what my mamma gave me... when a song has that kind of effect you know it's a keeper.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Age of Blossoms

Wong Kar-wai's films are like photographs strung together with music and motion. His film In the Mood for Love is a perfect example of this. Set in Hong Kong in the 60s, the film tells the story of two people who become neighbors by chance, and soon realize that their spouses are cheating on them with each other. There's a quiet sadness to their relationship, and their rather innocent relationship becomes a place of solace and comfort. In the clip below we see the beginning of their relationship forming - the physical proximity of the two characters, coupled with the lethargic pace of the scene build an almost unbearable amount of tension. It's hard to explain just how powerful the performances, cinematography, and music are in this film, so it's best to start with a short clip. Whet your appetite with this, and then watch the film in its entirety as soon as you can.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Modern Life Is Rubbish

I've already admitted that I once was a massive anglophile, and Brit Pop was just one of my many obsessions. Amongst the many bands that crammed the airwaves, Blur was my all time favorite. When I was in England at age 16 on a school trip, I convinced my history teacher to excuse me from an itinerized activity so I could go to a local record shop to get their 10 year anniversary box set. At that age I spent the majority of my money on records, and with good reason. To this day Blur remain one of my favorite bands, not just for nostalgia's sake. The men in Blur are all extremely talented musicians, and like many British bands before them they harnessed the ability to make fans go wild. I was really bummed when they broke up, and even more upset when on their brief reunion tour they didn't make a stop in NYC... but all is forgiven! No Distance Left To Run documents their short lived reunion for all to see. It's not the typical band documentary full of pomp and ego, but rather a peek into a group of friends who love to make music together. Now let's just hope it screens in the continental United States.

Via New York Magazine

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Time to eat eat eat! I can't wait! Enjoy the holiday fun. I'll be back to blogging (and healthy living) on Monday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh My Sweet Lord

There are no words to express the delight found in the pages of Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs... yes, kitties with wigs. I read about this last week while flipping through a copy of People magazine at my hair salon, and almost choked on my own saliva. Then earlier this week a friend sent me an email with a link to their site and the subject line "do you love it?" The answer is a resounding yes. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait says it best on their web site:

"Little animals in clothes have always brought me a lot of joy but kitty wigs?! Holy crap! I felt like a star-bellied sneetch. Why are kitty wigs so awesome? It's simple: cats play it straight. They don't lean on the joke. They get it. Cats are the Buster Keatons of the animal kingdom. Cats in wigs and the people who take their pictures bring me a lot of happiness and make me feel not so alone in this world."

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

This is the stuff you just can't make up. I'm almost two months into my new gig, but I still don't feel right looking at my blogs while on the job (even though I've seen plenty of co-workers chuckling at YouTube vids). Somehow the sucio-ness of my would be lover Michael K over at Dlisted doesn't seem like it would fly in a litigation office. So when I get home from work one of the first things I do is scope out the pop culture garbage that I missed all day. Today I came home to find that Dlisted had posted an entry about a guy a went to summer camp with. His name is Ohad, and I remember him oh-so-well. He sang "I Swear" by All-4-One at the camp talent show, and it blew my mind. His fake tan, huge muscles, highlighted, straight ironed, and extremely gelled hair were all part of the cheesetastic package. And then to top it all off the next year his boy band blew up in Toronto, and I forced like 50 people to watch the videotaped footage of the talent show so they could see just how dedicated Ohad really is. I dare you to watch this without peeing yourself just a little (if you must, watch it on mute to protect your ears). Behold! Ohad's boy band b4-4:

via Dlisted

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Dark Side

1. Brooklyn Bridge Double Finger Ring, $250; 2. Spike Ball Pyramid Ring, $210; 3. Multi Pyramid Bracelet Set, $150; 4. Diamond Pyramid Earrings, $50. All available at nOirjewelry.

I am completely obsessed with nOir Jewelry. It's been over two months since I started rocking my Stack Pyramid Rings, and yet every time I look down at my hand I still get a thrill. That's when you know you've made a sweet purchase. The best part about nOir (besides their unbelievably edgy, sexy designs) is of course their reasonable prices, because you know I love a good deal. I'm generally accessory crazy and anytime I can find jewelry that's this high quality (most of their pieces are 18K gold plated) without breaking the bank is a victory in my books. But I'm not the only one digging on them. Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Gwen Stefani are all fans, and you know those ladies have got serious style. But don't be intimidated! Designer and owner Leeora Catalan’s styles aren't just for celebs, they're for any dangerous dame out on the prowl.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Design Within Reach (No, Really!)

Adorning your walls with art can be overwhelming, so why not solve the problem with a temporary fix? Wall decals are an easy way to add strong visual focus to a room, without the permanence of paint or the stress of hanging heavy artwork. There are companies that can design your very own vinyl decal, while others have a wide array of styles to choose from. Etsy is a great place to to find decals that are both unique and reasonably priced. ShaNickers based in Florida will even frame your very own text in a decal like the one pictured above. So get stickin' and breathe some much needed life into your bare walls.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All Eyes On Precious

So much has already been written about Precious, that writing another positive review seems redundant. With that said I'll just keep it simple: see this film. You won't regret it. Like a Zora Neale Hurston novel, the film is rife with despair, introspection and despite it all a good dose of hope. The performances are utter perfection. From newcomer Gabourney Sibide to Mo'Nique, Paula Patton and Mariah Carey, this film showcases the thespian within them all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Puppy Love

There's something about Mr. Schwartzman. At age 15 I saw Rushmore at a local movie theater, and I was completely confused and perplexed about the film's lead. He was dorky yet confrontational, repulsive yet endearing - I couldn't put my finger on it but I was intrigued. Two years later when he made an appearance on Freaks & Geeks I decided that Schwartzman wasn't just a one trick pony and I wanted more. Thankfully he's taken on roles in both mainstream and independent films, in addition to creating some great music (Coconut Records). He's become one of those celebrities that dudes want to chill with and ladies want to get with. The roles he's taken on range from creepy stalker and power hungry aristocrat, to lovable detective. He's even dabbled in some modeling for Band of Outsiders (pictured above). Good things come in small packages... sometimes they even brandish incredibly shiny luxurious hair. Sigh.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Have You Heard?

Brooding teenagers are run of the mill, but brooding teenagers who can take that angst and transform it into expertly crafted pop songs are exceptional. The XX are a bunch of 20 year-olds from London, and in the spirit of Joy Division they've got sullen pop music down to a science. Their self-titled record just came out in August, and every track is almost flawless. The harmonies are haunting, as are the classic "coming of age" lyrics about love, loss and lust. I'm totally obsessed with their single "Crystalised". Check it out below:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? No Way!

Maybe it's just the mentality of a perpetual renter, but every time I enter a space, especially in New York City, I always think about it's history. What was this before it became what it is today? What words were spoken here 20 years ago? 40? 50? Did some tragic or joyful event transpire in the very place I stand? I'm happy that I'm not the only one that thinks this way, as evidenced by an article today in the New York Times. The photography above is of 316 E 59th Street in Manhattan. The first two pictures were taken in the 1930s, and the last picture was taken this year. But these aren't just personal pieces of memorabilia: between 1938 and 1943, 700,000 black-and-white images, known as tax photos, were taken to make property assessments in addition to creating a jobs program for the federal Works Progress Administration. Once again in the 1980s, a second set of 800,000 photos was taken, also for tax purposes. These images document the changes that transpire in a city, but also highlight the constants that stand the test of time. The architecture that peppers NYC is more important than we think, and it takes a second glance to really appreciate the fact that an old building can shelter both old and new souls alike.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Franken-shhhhhteiiiin!

I promise this will be the last time I post about Twilight for a while... it's just that when I saw this clip last week on SNL I laughed 'til my face hurt. It may just have been the wine, but it also could be Bill Hader's amazing impersonation of Robert Pattinson:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flu'ed Up

I have a horrible case of the flu and didn't have the strength or time to blog yesterday (I slept from 5:30pm until 2pm today) - here's a little something to quell my guilt:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Boy, Do They Grow Up Fast!

Petit (on the left) with his brothers and sister!

Petit (on the right) with his sibling! Kittens circa 2005!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Only The Good Die Young

If I’ve learned anything from watching Six Feet Under, it’s that death happens all the time. As we go about our day we don’t often think about how easily it can all end, but somehow when a celebrity passes away we’re surprised. They’re just people right? But there are some people that you just can’t forget. Is it their deaths make them legendary? Maybe it’s their DNA? Or were they simply destined to become icons? There are countless musicians who have left us, not because of self destructive behavior, but rather due to circumstance. Three that come to mind are Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline and Marc Bolan. All extraordinary musicians, and unique characters so why is it that they all died so young, and under such tragic circumstances?

Buddy Holly was just 22 years old when he died in the infamous plane crash that also claimed the lives of musicians Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The event was later referred to as “The Day the Music Died” in the classic Don McClean song “American Pie”. Holly wasn’t afraid of flying, quite the opposite - he wanted to get his pilot’s license. Life really does play mean tricks on you.

Then there’s the incomparable Patsy Cline, who died at 30. By the time of her death, Cline had already survived two car crashes in her lifetime, one of which was near fatal. It seems as though Cline had a feeling her time was almost up as she reportedly told Jordanaire back up singer Ray Walker as she exited the Grand Ole Opry just a week before her death: "Honey, I've had two bad ones (accidents). The third one will either be a charm or it'll kill me."

Glam rock king Marc Bolan, lead singer of T. Rex, died just two weeks before his 30th birthday. Bolan never learned to drive because he was scared of getting into an accident, so as irony would have it he died in one. As a huge fan of T. Rex I always found it extremely eerie that so many of their songs either involve cars, or at least mention them. I guess sometimes your greatest fears become realities.

Even though their careers were short lived, it's safe to say that each of them has made a lasting impression on the fabric of popular music. From the roots of rock 'n roll, to classic country, and 50s inspired cosmic glam, their ghosts live on in song.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When Edward Met Bella...

Oh em gee guys!!! We're only like 17 days away from the premiere of New Moon!!! Can you hear all the Twihards screaming yet? Well get your earplugs ready because the screamathon is about to begin. Round one started this week when Harper's Bazaar released pics from their cover shoot with both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The photo above has been spinning Twihards into a frenzy, as it's basically a recreation of a shot seen in the first Twilight movie. But I'm not a hater, no way! I'm just as excited as a 15-year old girl in Nebraska. Even if the movie is horrible, I'll take any excuse to stare at Robert in all his grungy glory. What can I say? The man loves his hair almost as much as I love mine. It's kismet!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Man Of The Century

Imagine living to see your 100th birthday. Then imagine that during that lifetime you produced some of the most important anthropological work of the 20th Century. What a life that would have been right? Claude Levi-Strauss, French anthropologist and the “father of structuralism,” lived that life. Levi-Strauss’ approach to anthropology was so far removed from other thinkers of his time, because he looked at different cultures through a unique lens – instead of trying to pinpoint all of their differences, he “argued that history and experience were far more important in shaping human consciousness than universal laws.” By analyzing myth and culture, Levi-Strauss challenged many theories which reduced tribal behavior and society as primitive, and solely based on tradition. The NYTimes ran a great article about his life and work today, and what struck me the most about the article was Levi-Strauss’ interpretations of modern living: “With the fading of myth’s power in the modern West, [Strauss] also suggested that music had taken on myth’s function. Music, he argued, had the ability to suggest, with primal narrative power, the conflicting forces and ideas that lie at the foundation of society.” For a man who devoted his life to exploring humanity, and who at one point taught in a local high school in Paris where fellow teachers included Jean-Paul Satre and Simone de Beauvoir, he was incredibly in touch with the realities of the world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

#1 Dad

The past couple of weeks at my new job I've finally started to realize why people love Pandora so much. Pandora let's you create your own "radio station" by choosing one artist to mold an entire playlist after. What I've really enjoyed is finally hearing the artists that I've always heard about, but never got around to listening to. Case in point Loudon Wainwright III, singer/songwriter, thespian, and father of Montréaler Rufus Wainwright. I've been a fan of Loudon since he played the classic "divorced dad going through a midlife crisis" character Hal in Judd Apatow's Undeclared, but until today I had never heard his music. I've really been missing out. My knowledge of folk music is limited at best, so when listening to a Pandora playlist inspired by Nick Drake I was pleased to discover that the man who had made me laugh years ago, is also one hell of a musician. Check out this video of Loudon playing a track from the Knocked Up soundtrack, and if you're a fan of Freaks & Geeks I suggest you give Undeclared a whirl.

Friday, October 30, 2009

For The Love of Food: Halloween Edition

When you’re a kid, the best part about Halloween is the candy. As much as a costume can bring joy and excitement, the candy amassed over the course of a night becomes sacred like pirate booty. We fiercely protect our treasure against those who linger too closely, knowing all to well that some items are valued more than others. Personally chocolate bars ranked in as number one, followed closely by caramels, mini bags of chips, and random wrapped taffy goodies. Now that I’m older the thought of eating a whole bag of candy is slightly nauseating, but deep inside the inner child in me still screams with delight every time I see a jumbo bag of Halloween candy. The best part about 'trick or treating' in Canada is our unique candies, and salty snacks. Every Halloween no matter how far from home I am, I think about those chaotic nights - sweating through layers of make up, maneuvering my way to a stranger's door front, and lastly dumping my bag of candy on the basement coffee table, and going to town. Ketchup chips, Coffee Crisps, Aero Bars, Caramilks, Smarties!!! Thankfully I discovered the Lower East Side's candy haven (aka Economy Candy), but if you’re not in NYC and have a hankering for some Northern treats, Canadian Favourites can definitely satiate all your desires. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All Hail The Queen

From a chocolate factory to a winery, Lucille Ball took viewers on thousands of adventures throughout the course of her hit show I Love Lucy. The legendary redhead's comedic chops are still unmatched to this day. We've seen some pretty amazing female comediennes grace the stage since Ball, (Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Janeane Garofalo, Lily Tomlin, and Margaret Cho come to mind) but Lucille's style and attitude are wholly unique. She was doing bits in 1951 that still resonate to this day. You can't help but laugh when you watch Lucy do her thing. This year I'm dressing up like Lucille for Halloween and I can't wait to try out my Vitameatavegamin routine!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Have You Heard?

CMJ was in full effect last week in New York City, and I was so close to avoiding it! But alas, when I got the invite to the Fader Fort, I couldn't pass it up. My boy Theophilus London was performing with his new super group Chauffeur, featuring the boyishly handsome Mark Ronson, and magical producer Sam Sparro. Like almost every Fader CMJ event I've attended, the crowd was pumped, the music was hot, and the venue was... for lack of a better word, a complete hellhole. This time around, it was held in the basement of the newly crowned king of hipsterdom, the Ace Hotel. The hotel is fabulous albeit in a strange location, but the problem here was that the event was held in the basement, and their AC was busted. So picture a literal hot box of sweating drunk bodies, accompanied by loud music and disturbingly bright lights. Standing in that room for 4 hours was my work out for the day - I was drenched. After all that, Chauffeur's set was only two songs. Yes, just two. This was probably due to the fact that they've only been together as a group for a month. Overall it was quite an experience, topped off with a nice pot of tea in the hotel lounge post-sweat. I could say I've learned my lesson, but next year if the line up is enticing you know I'll be there, sweating profusely and cursing my own stupidity. Check out Theophilus' latest single (produced by Machine Drum) below, and make sure to listen to Chauffeur's single here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Anyone Up For A Milksteak?

When the weather turns, and the temperature starts to drop in NYC, the inevitable happens: I become obsessed with certain films, records, and television shows, and nurture my obsessions in the comfort of my home. The latest show to entrap me is It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Although I had seen a few episodes two years ago, it was only with my recent conversion to DVR that I finally started watching Sunny on a regular basis - and now I'm completely addicted. The characters are utterly despicable, horrible, unsymapthetic people, with nauseating habits and disturbing behaviors - they make Larry David look like a saint. But it's their complete lack of social tact and morals, that make them so entertaining to watch; having the legendary Danny DeVito as part of the gang doesn't hurt either. I just bought season 1 & 2 so I'm excited to bunker down, and see how it all began. The video below captures the creation of one of the best rock opera incarnations of all time. I guarantee it'll get stuck in your head, but hey, then you'll be just like me singing it in the shower, on the street, and anytime I want to make myself LOL.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Video Vault

Madonna, what happened to you? Remember when you were provocative and sensual, yet still had a sense of humor? Remember when you used to make the Pope angry, and consequently make prudes everywhere scream in despair? Those days may be ancient history, but I'm glad I can still watch videos like 1995's "Human Nature" and reminisce. This video is fiercer than all of Tyra's wigs put together - the clothing, the choreography, the beat, and the lyrics themselves exude a sense of ultimate power. Like a caged animal about to break free, this track builds tension, and experiments with behavioral power dynamics rarely addressed in pop music. Madonna may have grown soft with age, but at least we can seek refuge in the Haus of Gaga. Even the material girl herself can admit that.