My Jam Monday: Guilty Pleasure

So seeing as the idea for this segment was unabashedly stolen from Dancing with The Stars, I figure playing off tonight’s DWTS theme was not such a bad idea.

Tonight the stars will be dancing to songs inspired by their guilty pleasures. I can’t think of too many songs that are inspired by my guilty pleasures (Disney Princesses, Hello Kitty, and Sex and the City reruns), but I can certainly attest that there are a few artists or songs on my Ipod that I consider my guilty pleasures.

While most of my music choices stick towards alternative, classic rock, or country, I have a not so secret (for those who know me best!) obsession with none other than… Nicki Minaj. Somewhere deep in my soul I feel she is a part of my spirit animal (Yes, a part. My spirit animal is a complex being!).  Besides Nicki’s music, I can’t really get into/relate to most rap music. But there is something about her fierceness that makes me want to “Rawr Rawr, like a dungeon dragon!”

I have one other song that is totally my guilty pleasure. Although, not so secret, because when it come on I blast it loud and proud. Not only is it one of favorite songs, but I think that in the wake of some of the destruction and hate going on recently, it fits in quite well. It always brings me up when I am down, and I hope it can do the same for you!

 

 

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Fashion Review : The 2017 Emmy’s

It’s that time of year again friends… Award Season!

For my fellow fashion fiends, this is such a fun and exciting time. Between the Fall fashion mags, and now the red carpets, there is inspiring and innovative looks wherever you turn.

Last night got the ball rolling with the Emmy Awards.  There was so much spot on styling going on it was hard for me to choose my favorites, but also made those who didn’t nail it glare like a bad neon bar sign.

As someone who cherishes dessert, lets plan on ending on a sweet note, and begin with those who turned things slightly sour.

Julianne Hough

 

I’m starting off with Julianne Hough, who I always have mixed feelings about. I think she is a stunningly beautiful woman, but I never seem to understand her style choices.  This dress is surely not the worst of the night, but does make my bottom 5 A) because there was just so much better on the carpet, and B) I once again don’t understand this.

Julianne should seriously should be able to look good in a potato sack with her gorgeous body and dewy face, but somehow once again I am left questioning her taste. This actually photographed fairly well, but when you saw it on TV it looked a little like something out of the Lorax. Those pink details were furry and fluffy looking. Overall the style of dress was also just underwhelming. It had no pizazz and looked like something I could pick up myself at Lord & Taylor.

Tracee Ellis Ross

I mean, I thought is was a little early for the cast of White Christmas to be doing promo, but apparently I was wrong! Oh, wait, Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t starring in White Christmas? Could have fooled me! I was ready for a chorus line of Rockettes to come out and join her. That would be the only scenario in which this dress might work. Feathers should never be anyone’s go-to, and if they are should be approached with caution, but not for Ross! She ran full speed ahead into the feather bin and then thought that a poofy bell sleeve was an appropriate accompaniment . Um, no.

Zoe Kravitz

I know that Zoe Kravitz has a style all her own. Her edge is typically something to admire, but this just did not read right with me. All I could see was a pinata horse:

You can’t unsee it can you?

Regina King

Much like Julianne Hough’s dress, this is not a full disaster, but with so much better on the carpet, this just stood out as not good.  The color was dull, the pattern leaned slightly on the bad drapes side, and the top just looked piecey and a little off. She still looked beautiful overall, but there was just something about this look that I was not impressed with.

Ariel Winter

Oh Ariel Winter, what are we to do with you? You get angry when people judge you for being too sexual and you try and defend your right to dress however you want. And while that is commendable, you are not helping yourself when you are styled by Fredrick’s of Hollywood. There is sexy and then there is just tacky. I am all for you showing your curves and expressing your body however you feel comfortable, but there are better ways to do it than this dress. It looks like a Street Fighters costume. And, just like in Street Fighter, this dress just needs to be finished.

OK! Now for the good. There was so many, it was hard to choose, but here we go.

Laverne Cox

I honestly don’t think I have ever seen Laverne Cox look  bad. Last night she continued her streak. Everything about this look was flawless. It was shimmery and slinky and fit all her curves just right. Her hair and make up went right along with it. Absolutely stunning!

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel looked like she just stepped off the softest, most angelic cloud and onto the carpet. She was an elegant goddess from her flawless hair to her effortless dress. With just the right amount of sparkle, balanced with the right amount o sheer, she stepped onto the carpet and I was in awe!

Sarah Hyland

Ok, now I know people are going to disagree with me for the one glaring mistake with this dress, that was pretty evident in several of the photos. It was that the the black lining was not fit properly and kept creeping up, being visible within the stomach cut out.  But, looking past that, I just love this look. I think she was one of the only young stars that went outside of the box and still looked elegant.  I thought her hair and makeup were glamorous and helped balance the edge of the dress. The color was bold and she certainly made a statement when she hit the carpet.

Claire Foy

Well, I am a sucker for pants on the red carpet. This jumpsuit worn by Claire Foy was done impeccably, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.  It was sleek and timeless, and the styling of her hair and makeup fell right in step. I loved the whole look’s effortlessness while challenging the stereotypes of red carpet wear.

Nicole Kidman

 

 

And then there was Nicole. Much like Laverne, I don’t think I have ever seen Nicole Kidman go wrong. I couldn’t wait for her to hit the carpet, and she did not disappoint. I loved that she did a tea length gown instead of floor length. I loved the drama of the neckline. I loved the vibrancy of the color. I just loved everything. She was statuesque as always  and made my night!

I’m looking forward to hearing what Fashion Police has to say tomorrow night, and for the next Red Carpet to come along!

Don’t Call it a Comeback…OK maybe it is

Whew! Where did that summer go? Can’t believe I let it fly by without posting! But excited to get back at it.

Sad to say that Throwback Thursday Vinyl will be taking a hiatus until I can figure out a way to post my tunes without any interference from Youtube of Vimeo. Hrrrm…

But not to worry there will be, hopefully, lots of new an exciting material *crosses fingers*.

I’m going to keep it simple to kick off my return, with a new edition of My Jam Monday.

This week  I have not been able to escape one particular song, but nor do I want to! It started off as one of those songs that I didn’t like, then grew to nod along with, and then became a full on love fest. And then I found out it was by Liam Payne, and I will literally eat up anything 1D *guilt pleasure alert*, so it was officially solidified as my new jam! Enjoy!

 

In Memoriam

I was sitting on the porch today enjoying the beauty of the Memorial Day sunshine, when my mom came out to tell me some disheartening news.  A member of our family had passed away; or so it  seemed. Gregg Allman has always been a part of our lives, and to hear of his passing, does create a void in a way. Now I can’t claim to be an Allman Brother’s fan. My father will tell you I have spent most of my life rolling my eyes at him, whenever he begins reveling in the grovel of Gregg’s voice or the 15 minute drum solo of Jaimoe, which my brother and I loving know as “Gregg’s bathroom break.” But, even if we couldn’t quite appreciate or understand Gregg’s music while we were growing up listening to Britney Spears or Eminem,  I can honestly look back and see that Gregg, the Allman Brother’s, and my dad’s love for them, has changed my life.

While each generation finds its own unique sound, I believe that it is the music that our parent’s expose us to from a young age, that truly helps root our appreciation of music and  the genre’s that we will most gravitate to. As mentioned, I was a 90’s baby’s with bubble gum pop ruling my record choices for a good portion of my early years. However, my dad never let us get into the car without listening to at least one of his songs first. “One song, and then you can have control of the radio,” he would promise. Of course it would always be an Allman Brother’s song, which was 10+ minutes long and we would get to where we were going just as the song was finishing! As much as this begrudged us at the time, our exposure to musicians playing instruments and songwriting that had deeper meaning than the puddly pop we were indebted to, was a blessing. It may have taken a while for me to come around, but by the time I was heading into high school, I had come to discover my own rock legends  and delve more into classic rock music.

For me it was and will probably always be Fall Out Boy. My brother passed down a burned copy of their Take This to Your Grave album, and from the moment I heard “Saturday” my music bubble, in which I only listened to Top 4o, was  shattered. I soon was intrigued to learn more about Fall Out Boy’s influences and what musicians inspired them.  I soon was rediscovering and truly appreciating the music that my parents had always had on in the background. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Neil Young, Bob Seger, and most notably the Beatles.  I even ended up writing my college entrance essay about The Beatles. An essay about how much they impacted me, and how all the music of my parent’s generation influenced me. All the music,  I thought, but the Allman Brothers, which I did in fact bring up in the essay. I still felt that I couldn’t quite connect with Gregg. But, the universe was determined to never let the Allman Brothers get too far away from me, even as I journeyed into adulthood. When I first met my college advisor, he mentioned, I gathered jokingly, that the only reason I got into the school was that the essay mentioned his favorite band. “Oh yeah, the Beatles,” I thought.  Nope! The Allman Brothers, even if it was a line about how I didn’t care for them, he was at least proud that I knew who they were.

Gregg’s passing is truly the end of an error in this household.  I doubt that his music will die out with him, and I in fact am fully prepared to hear his music coming from my Dad’s speakers in an incessant celebration of his life  for the next few days, but it does mean the end of my dad and his 4 brothers donning their Eat a Peach shirts and heading out for the umpteenth time to go see Gregg in concert, and the pure joy that comes along with that. I know this will  hurt, because if my crying at coming within inches of Andrew Mcmahon at a recent show is any indication, I know how awesome it feels to see your idol in concert.

So rest easy Gregg,  they will never catch the Midnight Rider, and they will never be able to find a musician who can fill your shoes.

 

 

Throwback Thursday Vinyl

My first intro to ska or reggae sound was from No Doubt.  Of course the genre had been around much longer than that, but I was surprised to discover it influencing the sound a of a late 70’s British rock star.  Ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time, Elvis Costello’s “Watching the Detectives,” most certainly  pulls it sound from this innately island  genre.

Costello attributes his writing  of the song to a late night binge listening session of the Clash’s first album.  Perhaps he had some late night re-runs of old detective shows on while doing this? Or maybe he was up late unable to sleep due to a fight with the girl in the song?  Whatever the circumstances,  it is widely accepted that the song is about a boyfriend that is frustrated with his girlfriend for paying him no attention while she watches detective dramas on TV.

Even with its quirky storyline, “Watching The Dectives” was certainly a new avenue for the British Punk scene it was inspired by.  It is no wonder why it grabbed the critics’ attentions and has remained a hit to this day.

Throwback Thursday Vinyl

This week I am going back to The Beatles and one of my favorite albums, The White Album.Bouncy, cheerful, tinkly,” says Hunter Davies¹,  “Martha My Dear” it is short and sweet, and apparently cuddly! Martha is turns out was Paul’s Old English sheep dog.  The dog and Paul’s piano were the only inspiration needed to created this tune, with none of the other Beatles taking part in the recording. Recorded in October 1968, it is thought that, although Martha was indeed a real dog, that perhaps she may have not been the soul subject of the tune, as it was only a year prior that  Paul’s engagement to Jane Asher was called off. Critics reviewing the lyrics believe that the song reflects Paul’s wish that Asher never forget him, even though it was his infidelity that lead to their split.  “Martha My Dear” has not be considered one of The Beatles stand outs by any means, but it certainly has the upbeat, bubbliness that makes you want to hum along. While the true inspiration may have come from a break up, the sound definitely evokes the spirit of a jolly Old English sheep dog.

Davies, Hunter, ed. The Beatles Lyrics. New York: Little,Brown, 2014. Print. ¹

Throwback Thursday Vinyl

Well, after an extended hiatus do to my turntable failing on me, TBT vinyl is back!👏👏

To kick things off, a bit a of a tribute. Two weeks ago today we lost a memorable legend of rock, J. Geils. While  born and raised in New York, we Bostonians like to claim him and the J. Geils Band as our own, as they were formed while Geils was attending Worcester Poly Tech and after recruiting local musicians including lead singer Peter Wolf, making the loss even more bittersweet.

The J.Geils Band first came onto the scene in the mid 60’s as an acoustic blues band, but started using electric guitars and adding in keyboard, harmonica, and other instruments and sounds, leading them into the genre of rock, with early performances opening for bands such as The Allman Brothers and The Byrds.

The early 70’s brought most of the bands commercial success, with their third album Bloodshot reaching #10 on the Billboard charts and their single “Must Have Got Lost” peaking at #12 in 1975. Then in 80’s, the debut of MTV help gained the band a #1 hit with “Centerfold,” of their 1981 album Freeze Frame.

“Flamethrower” is one of the B-side songs off the Freeze Frame album, rising to only #25 on the charts, however it does not provide any less vim and vigor than any of their more popular hits. The song is an ode to a woman who is all business during the day, but knows how to bring it when she clocks out. Here’s to working hard and playing harder!

 

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