I find this post hard to write, and I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, what else could I possibly write about this week but the untimely passing of Whitney Houston? Perhaps it feels too much like everyone else has already had their turn. Surely, you’re tired of seeing her name in your Facebook feed. Perhaps it’s because I was never really a massive fan of hers, though I can certainly appreciate the sheer talent she possessed.
No. Really, I’m having a hard time reporting on the death of Witney Houston because of the way her death has been reported, and mutated, and exploited.
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, which depending on your current romantic station, is cause for either celebration or a stiff drink. Or perhaps both. I tend to abide by the hippie-esque plaudit that every day should be about love. That said, I still find myself sucked into the holiday mentality of showing my love via conspicuous consumption: weekend getaways, fancy dinners, fabulous gifts. (In 2010, I was given an engagement ring on Valentine’s Day, proving this holiday isn’t ALL bad.) We all find ourselves scrambling towards a romantic ideal. This day shall be perfect. Like a love song.
Although, when you stop to think about it, most love songs are fucked up.
Because love is such an immensely complicated emotion, ritual, protocol, that no two loves are the same. And no two love songs are the same. While one likely jumps to Etta James or Stevie Wonder when one first thinks “love song”, there’s a lot more to it out there. Continue reading
Yesterday saw the release of arguably the most argued-about album in eons: Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die. I can’t remember the last time music fans worked themselves into such a froth over an unproven artist. The official reviews are decidedly “meh”. Entertainment Weekly gives Born To Die a C+, while Spin gives the album an almost apologetic 6 out of 10. “This record is not godawful. Nor is it great. But it’s better than we deserve. We broke her; we bought her,” Spin critic Rob Harvilla declares. I wish somebody would bother to explain to me why there is so much vitriol directed towards Lana Del Rey. So, I’m going to try to figure it out myself. Continue reading
The nominations for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced yesterday. Most film buffs are rejoicing/cursing about who and what is in (Gary Oldman!) and out (Albert Brooks??), but what I thought most startling is the fact that there are only two nominees this year for Best Original Song. According to news outlets, 39 songs were eligible for the Best Original Song nod – but we ended up with two. Since I haven’t seen The Muppets or Rio, I can’t pass judgment on these two songs. Though I like Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, so I’m rooting for him to win for his Muppets song, “Man Or Muppet”. Continue reading
As the whole world likely knows by now, Jay-Z and Beyonce welcomed their first child, a little girl named Blue Ivy Carter, into the world about two weeks ago. And while most proud parents send around ebuilient Facebook updates or share cigars, Jay-Z was moved to song. Very soon thereafter, he dropped “Glory”, an ecstatic paean to his baby. Thanks to a sample of little girl Blue crying, “Glory” carries a “featuring B.I.C.” credit – and as a result, Miss Carter now holds the Billboard record for the youngest Hot 100-charting artist in history. Continue reading
Shortly before Christmas, I jumped at the chance to attend a preview screening of the movie We Bought a Zoo. This wasn’t because I dig zebras or want to shag Matt Damon. (I always thought Affleck was cuter.) We Bought a Zoo is the latest film from Cameron Crowe, director of Say Anything, Singles and Almost Famous.
For many years, I considered Cameron Crowe to be just as much of a rock idol as Michael Stipe, Bono or Thom Yorke – all folks that I fear I wouldn’t be able to spit out 5 words in front of before bursting into reverent tears. Cameron Crowe may not be a musician in his own right, but he certainly knows his stuff, having cut his teeth as a writer for Rolling Stone as a teenager. Continue reading
Christmas is in less than a week. Holy balls. This year, the season has felt like a blur of shopping, strategizing, shopping, running around and uh, more shopping so far. Hooray for adulthood, I suppose, but a large chunk of my spirit yearns for flannel pajamas and a big cup of cocoa, and ignorance of all the plans. For the most part, I managed to avoid the Targets of the world, but I did find myself in many a store, all with piped-in holiday standards over the soundsystem.
Are they trying to kill me? Continue reading