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.