Movies, Music

Girl Crush of the Week: A Whole Lotta Lana

I’m just going to destroy any hope you have of me mentioning Lana Turner. I’m not a 75 year old man reminiscing about the good old times, okay? She’s not on the list (even though I will admit she’s a super babe). I have some fresh and modern Lana’s to dish out. So sit tight and shut up.

Lana Del Rey– Obvs I would start with this bombshell. She can do no wrong in my eyes. Granted, I’m supposed to be wearing glasses 24/7 and I’ll probably have a lazy eye by the time I’m 35, so I wouldn’t fully trust the judgement of my eyes, but I digress. Miss Del Rey is a bit of a meathead in the brain department, but she has perfectly pertinent lyrics and melodies that calm my worried soul. Her groovy music videos and velvety voice could melt anyone’s cold, grinchy heart.tumblr_nfi2ptBCjk1rq171wo1_r1_500

Lana Tisdel– You’re probably like, who is this obscure Lana that Lily speaks of? No, she’s not some random girl I went to high school with, although that would be cool. She’s a character played by Chloe Sevigny in the movie Boys Don’t Cry. This movie resonated with me on so many levels. I went into a spiraling depression (and by “depression” I mean that I was kind of maybe upset for ten minutes) and made everyone around me partake in the disturbing topic. I even featured the film in one of my college Film Crit essays about female directors. Sorry, TMI. Anyway, Lana is one of the only characters in the movie that shows the qualities of what a kind and accepting person should be. Even though she’s surrounded by bad behavior and a dead end life, you can tell she’s optimistic and emits beauty in a somewhat dark place. tumblr_lzjkrxj4oI1r7vb7no1_500

Lana Kane– Okay yes, this is another character from a show. Does anyone actually know a real person with the name Lana or is it just one of those names that writers make up? Lana Kane depicts the bad-ass side of Lana’s around the world. She’s one of the secret agents in the adult cartoon, Archer. If you haven’t watched this entire series, what have you been doing with your life? Lana tells it how it is and has no time for losers like you. Or me, for that matter. She has a rockin’ bod, a good sense of humor, and is relatively down to earth for someone who risks their life on a daily basis. tumblr_mm50xuHHxz1qefwl8o8_500

Lana Winters– Yet another fake Lana. But a good one. American Horror Story is one of my newest and best obsessions and Lana Winters appears in the second season as a hard-hitting news reporter trapped in a mental institution gone…well, mental. Her story line is perhaps the best and most chilling because she’s the typical tragic tale of someone trapped somewhere they shouldn’t be with no one that understands their situation. Basically a nightmare. But she ends up prevailing after a series of incredible feats and ends up doing something very human–becomes famous for her memoir and lets narcissism take over. Don’t worry, I couldn’t ruin this season if I tried. You should still give it a go. And Chloe Sevigny is in it too. So we have officially come full circle together. I love when that happens!

Literally same.

Literally same.

Who have you been crushin’ on lately?

 

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Music

Girl Crush of the Week: First Aid Kit

I know the stars have aligned when my new fave musical artist also happens to be my new girl crush. It’s like the world wants to make life easy for me and bundles all of my interests into one. Thanks world.

So um First Aid Kit. I’m pretty sure I first heard their musical styling on Sirius XMU’s channel. In a sense, XMU is like the university station equivalent for satellite radio. They play all the songs and bands you’ve never heard of mixed in with songs and bands no one had heard of five years ago that people still aren’t totally familiar with. It’s pretty good.

Anyway, First Aid Kit at first listen sounds like a folksy band that originated somewhere over the rainbow (but probably Montana?) with their twangy, yet semi-familiar chords that will keep you asking for more. But once you delve deeper, you’ll realize that these melodic voices belong to Swedish sisters, Johanna and Klara Soderberg (mentally insert umlaut over the ‘o’ in Soderberg if you will).first-aid-kit-band

The duo graces us with beautifully crafted lyrics paired with references that fit their indie-folk sound: “I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June if you’ll be my Graham and my Johnny too/No I’m not asking much of you, just sing little darlin’ sing with me.”

I’m not much of a country girl at all, but for some reason their tunes speak to my soul. It’s a refreshing old-school take on Americana. They have perfectly studied country accents which makes me think they have a thing for 50’s country music. That’s cool because I have a thing for babes from Sweden who can sing.

Two of my favorite First Aid Kit songs are “Emmylou” and “Silver Lining“. Click to listen.

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Music

Music Review: Chromeo

I never really got into Chromeo’s first album, She’s in Control, nor their second album, Fancy Footwork. However, I’ve given their third, and most recent album, White Women, a thorough listen and have really quite enjoyed myself doing so.

This Montreal duo tends to pair funny and charming lyrics with synthy-pop beats which make it deliciously addictive for your ears. I actually saw them in concert not too long ago at a Lollapalooza session where they were decked out with keyboards in the shape of women’s legs and an appreciative crowd ready to dance.Chromeo_Fancy_Footwork

Their music just makes you feel really good and happy. Some of my friends think that their newest album is a bit more serious and studied than their previous two, but I dig that they’re trying something different and making it work. My favorite new tracks would have to be “Jealous”, “Sexy Socialite”, and “Old 45’s.”chromeo-white-women

Here’s a sweet vid sampling if you haven’t had the chance to listen yet.

 

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Judging, Music

Analyzing Avril

If your eyes haven’t had the pleasure of watching Avril Lavigne’s new music video, “Hello Kitty”, you’re probably 84 years old and don’t own a computer. Or even know who Avril is. If that’s the case, would you be willing to trade lives with me?

The mistress of Nickelback has made the entire world cringe with her new song and “dance moves.” The song itself is kind of difficult to understand and not just because some of the lyrics are in Japanese. I’ve listened to the song twice now and all I call decipher are the words “Come come kitty kitty, you’re so pretty pretty.” The next poet laureate, perhaps?

I’d like to give Avril an ounce of credit and assume that someone else wrote this song for her and when she read the title, “Hello Kitty”, she was like, “Oh God. Really? Okay.” So maybe it’s not totally her fault. But I have to give her props for singing a song that makes “Sk8er Boi” sound like something performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

As for the music video, it’s painful to imagine that these are the BEST shots the director could get. Basically Avril dances around in cupcake tutus, blazers, and unflattering tights. She’s followed around by four identically dressed Japanese (I’m assuming) women who don’t look the least bit happy to be trailing this Canadian wannabe around all day. I imagine that the direction given to Avril on set was like “Okay can you just jump around or something? Maybe try to mouth the lyrics like you’re actually saying the words? Try to strum the guitar like you know how to play the guitar.” The beginning of the video seems like Avril is pretty into what she’s doing but by the end, it kind of falls apart. Her heart just isn’t in it. Which is probably a good thing.

If you care to ruin your life by watching this terrible POS, be my guest. CLICK HERE.

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Music

Girl Crush of the Week: Iggy Azalea

So um, I know I haven’t been floating around the blogosphere lately, but I just had to get this post out of my system before it’s old news. I mean, technically my girl crush has been on the radar for some time now, what with her new music video being viewed 14.5 million times. I think 10 million of those views were by me. Whoops!

When female rapper Iggy Azalea’s new single “Fancy” was released, Tumblr was all a twitter. I’m sure Twitter was all a twitter too, but like, I only have so much time in the day to read other people’s thought processes. tumblr_n1z9t3otKz1tn9h0go1_400

This Australian blonde bombshell really hooked me with her deep-toned rhymes and slick moves. I almost fainted when I clicked on her music vid and saw that it was inspired by one of my favorite movies of all time, Clueless. I’m cultured, I swear. To be perfectly honest, the music really fits the 90’s vibe that Clueless gives off. Many might disagree, but I’m going to be extreme and say that it’s the work of an artistic genius.

I did some research on Miss Azalea because I refused to believe that was her birth name. I was right. No one would name their daughter Iggy. But apparently some people do name their daughters Amethyst. That’s Iggy’s given name (according to Wiki, of course). She might be the first person in the history of time to have a stage name that’s more normal than her actual name. Little fun fact for ya.tumblr_n22te9vYW21rsxbklo1_500

The best thing about her perhaps, is that her appearance doesn’t fit her voice quality. At least in my humble opinion. It’s kind of fun to listen to her music first and then watch the music video afterwards. White female rappers are few and far between so it’s really refreshing to see her and listen to her skill set. Besides Iggy Azalea, the only white female rapper that I know of is myself. I usually perform behind steering wheels and in showers. Look out, Lil’ Lil might be coming to a venue near you!

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Music

Music Review: Lord Huron

I was lucky enough to score some sweet tickets to a Lord Huron concert a couple weeks ago. And by “score” tickets I mean that my husband bought them for us. I was also lucky because the concert took us out of our tired hometown setting and brought us into Seattle for a weekend trip. I’m really living the life of Riley these days.

Held at the city’s Showbox theater, the concert took on a dark, cavernous vibe. It was a pretty crowded show, an all ages event, making it tough to meander around. When the group came on stage they opened with a couple of their most popular tunes, made familiar from commercials and episodes of MTV’s Catfish.

Their set wasn’t painfully long, on the contrary, it was the perfect length. They played their most recent album, Lonesome Dreams, in it’s entirety and threw in some covers for good measure. I personally feel that their music sounds like a countrified cross of Mumford and Sons and some other indie flavor that I can’t quite put my finger on.lordhuronsite

Their look, as a whole, was practically perfect in every way. You know when a band dresses the same as how they sound and it makes the concert feel like a show? That’s what occurred in Seattle. They were dressed like hipster cowboys. Bolo ties and skinny jeans, cowboy boots and suit vests.

They ended with their biggest hit, “Time to Run” which caused everyone to tap their toes. This was my favorite part of the concert because I was down in front, a midst the families, couples, and singles, watching the smiles spread across their faces when they recognized the first chords of the song.

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Memories, Music

Little Lullabies

I had trouble sleeping when I was younger. Well, not really. I slept just fine. But getting me to go to bed was tough. I didn’t ask for stories, hugs, or for someone to make sure that there weren’t monsters under my bed. I asked for songs. Lots of songs.

My mom always sang me to sleep as far back as I can remember. She would make up lullabies, sing songs she knew, or sometimes just hum familiar tunes. When I was able to talk, I would request songs or sing them with her. I always enjoyed learning and repeating lyrics.

Once my brother was born, he also got an earful of melodic tunes. When we were younger we would sleep in the same bed and I would sing to him in the dark. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was a random request that I had to sing over and over. Instead of the lyrics “So let’s root, root, root for the home team” I had to replace the word “home” with whatever color my brother suggested. So let’s root, root, root for the yellow team.

Eventually my parents had to start getting creative. You can only listen to “Old McDonald” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” so many times. I liked when my mom sang “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. The lyrics were so colorful and there were so many things to visualize! Best song ever!giphy

In times of desperation, we would listen to ABBA or Disney soundtracks while falling asleep. Not always peaceful, but they did the trick.

I remember when my dad would sing theme songs from old TV shows that rescued him from his childhood. Gilligan’s Island was my favorite. Occasionally my mom or dad would sing The Brady Bunch intro as well. These songs were ideal because they told a story (of a lovely lady…). My mom couldn’t really sing The Partridge Family’s intro because there wasn’t much to it. And it doesn’t really do much in the relaxation department–Come on, get happy!–despite it being her favorite childhood show.

My parents would also sing us children’s church songs which were always very mellow and usually had a good message about God and Jesus loving us. That was always a comforting way to fall asleep.

I love that my parents took the time to sing us to sleep. I recognize that it wasn’t an easy task, especially when we didn’t drift off to a magical dreamland immediately and kept asking for them to sing another. I think I went through every baseball team color in the rainbow for my brother’s enjoyment. But that’s just what parents (and big sisters) do.

Did your parents or siblings ever sing to you before bed?

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