I requested an invitation from Spotify on a whim, not knowing much about it. I downloaded the new music application on Friday - and I am already completely obsessed. Get it now. No, seriously, get it now. This is music access in a form similar to iTunes, but far superior. You can listen to millions of songs for free as long as you're connected to the internet, which we are 24 hours of the day anyway. No more 30 second clips from iTunes, no more skipping Pandora songs and listening to ads, no more fear that I'm going to get arrested for downloading Britney's newest single. Spotify is the raddest thing around.
Honestly, the only thing I liked about Nicki Minaj when her first single(s) hit was her outrageous hair. But, like most things pop, she's grown on me and, I'll admit I like her acclaimed summer hit, Super Bass. I don't really get her extreme push-up bras, but for me there's no denying those neon colors - and how about the black-light scene? Disturbing but pretty awesome.
TONIGHT I WAS EXTREMELY LUCKY TO ATTEND THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF DAVID ROBERT MITCHELL'S SXSW SUCCESS, THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER. SET IN A PURPOSEFULLY NONDESCRIPT TIME PERIOD (THAT ESCAPES THE BRANDING OF ELECTRONICS OR POP MUSIC OR FASHION), A HANDFUL OF TEENAGERS SPEND ONE OF THE LAST NIGHTS OF SUMMER DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST, BEING THEMSELVES.
MITCHELL USES NON-PROFESSIONAL ACTORS/TEENS AND I WAS QUICK TO JUDGE THEIR ACTING AS BAD AND AWKWARD. BUT THEN I REALIZED THAT THEY WERE PERFECT - AND PERHAPS THEY WEREN'T REALLY ACTING AT ALL - BECAUSE THEY WERE EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEEDED TO BE - AWKWARD AND UNSURE AND HEADSTRONG AND NAIVE. PERFECTLY REAL. THE EDITING WAS SUPERB, LOOPING SEAMLESSLY BETWEEN EACH TEEN'S NIGHT.
BUT AGAIN, MORE THAN ANYTHING, I WAS STRUCK BY THE HONESTY OF THE FILM. I WAS FLOODED WITH MEMORIES OF MY EARLY TEENAGE DAYS IN MY RURAL TOWN, WANDERING AROUND IN THE SUMMER NIGHTS LOOKING FOR SOME SORT OF EXCITEMENT. AND I GUESS THAT'S WHY MYTH WORKS, BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS FELT THAT. MITCHELL'S WRITING PAINFULLY ENCAPSULATES ADOLESCENT DESIRE THAT'S HEAVILY ACCENTED WITH INSECURITY AND CLUMSINESS. TO AN ADULT AUDIENCE THESE LINES ARE HILARIOUS. UNFORTUNATELY, A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD BOY REALLY NEVER SOUNDS SUAVE SAYING "I WANT TO KISS YOU NOW." BUT GOSH, I REMEMBER HOW MUCH I WANTED ONE TO SAY IT TO ME.
It may be worth the day trip to Philly for this free to see Diplo and Das Racist. But if you'd rather stay in the area, then on July 30th the 2011 Mad Decent Block Party series comes to New York City with Gang Gang Dance, The Hood Internet, and Bosco Delray, among others. Sponsored by PBR and Spin Magazine, this totally free and all ages concert will be a hot, sticky, fun summer day.
We all know that songs embody episodes and moments of our lives. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley transports me to turning off of Route 128 at exit 26 in Weston to one for my last days of high school. And I still feel like I'm standing on the plaza of my middle school with my discman in hand and headphones on every time I hear Jack Johnson's Bubble Toes. Songs can bring us back to specific emotions just as much as our feelings can effect how we feel about a song. A perfectly good song can be marred by an unpleasant or sad experience (see: breakup, death, graduation).
But I've recently realized that seasons can effect my music taste as well. I don't just mean that I like pop, upbeat songs more in the summer. But when I first hear a song it's instantly related to the season I listen to it in. Mumford & Sons/Sigh No More is winter (2010/2011). Vampire Weekend/Vampire Weekend is spring (2008). Florence & the Machine/Lungs is the winter melting into spring (2010). B.O.B/Leaders of the New Cool is the sticky summer (2009). And listening to these musicians in any other season seems inappropriate.
I've been following BEGINNERS for a while now, as I follow most things that Parts and Labor touches. The anticipation of seeing the film grew to the extent that I was sure I would be let down by whatever I saw. But I was not. I loved it. I've been a complete sucker lately for impossible love stories (meet cute - halloween party: he's Freud, she has laryngitis and can't speak, etc), but Mcgregor and Laurent's chemistry didn't disappoint - though between the two of them little could. If that whole nauseating beautiful love thing doesn't do it for you, then maybe you'll be happy that the film's pacing moves seamlessly back in time to when Oliver's (Mcgregor) father was alive. A newly out-of-the-closet 78 year old battling cancer, Christopher Plummer lifts most of the film out of its potential darkness and gives it light. The pace slows a bit near the end, but the movie redeems itself. And when the title card finally came just before the end credits (a subtle jab that we are all just beginners), I couldn't help but smiling.
I GOT THE TIP OFF ABOUT THIS BAND FROM MY FRIEND, SO PROPS TO HER. THEY'RE NOT ONLY MAKING ME WISH I HAD MORE LAZY SUMMER TIME TO LAY OUTSIDE AND LISTEN TO THEIR SWEET SOUNDS, BUT ALSO PROVIDING ME MORE FODDER TO WANT TO TRAVEL TO SEATTLE (MY CURRENT CITY CRUSH).
IF YOU'VE GOT THE TIME, NEED A NEW BAND, LIKE SEATTLE THINGS, LIKE ATTRACTIVE MEN WITH GRIZZLY BEARDS, OR JUST GENERALLY LIKE GOOD MUSIC,