Showing posts with label musicality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label musicality. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

La La Land

I am feeling super dazed and jet lagged after my bizarre yet awesome foray to LA for the Grammy's – the result of a silent auction package benefitting charity that was so kindly gifted to my sister and I. I have some great pictures to post of the eclectic and warm home we stayed at for a night, but until my brain returns to normal, I will instead share some random highlights of the trip.

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The grammy’s of course were cool to attend, but our less than stellar seats meant you probably saw more sitting at home on your couch than we did way up in the rafters of the Staples Centre. The sound was still great though and it was very cool to see so many varied names in music under one roof (and so many Canadians!) It was even more amusing to see so many people dressed up in satin gowns climbing the steep concrete stairs of the Staples Centre in their high heels. It’s a miracle no one broke their neck!

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A post-grammy dinner of steak tartar and mac and cheese at Boa was quite tasty - and it turned into quite the scene when barricades of paparazzi started to catch celebs like Drake, Elton John and Jamie Foxx coming in for a bite.

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The night continued to turn around when we walked across the street to Trousdale, where the always amazing Kings of Leon were hosting a crazy after party, which apparently was the best of the bunch, a little rowdy with more than one person being escorted out, and had a host of random guests from glee guys to glam American idols drinking and dancing up a storm in one furious bunch. I have to agree with all of the above that’s been written about the epic night - in fact I agree so much that I couldn’t get out of bed and missed a day’s worth of shopping and exploring because it was just too much fun. Oops!

I promise more normal decor posts later on in the week once my head adjusts…

(image of arcade fire via grammy.com, mac and cheese via amber eats LA, Followill boys via Just Jared )

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tickling On Ivory

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I am loving these light and airy spaces– mainly due to the stunning white pianos in both schemes – how refreshing!

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(top photo: Domino, bottom photo: Tim Clinch)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

imageI really really liked 500 Days of Summer.

Fabulous soundtrack. Fabulous people.  Pop culture references that cater to more of an Urban Outfitters crowd than to those who prefer to hang out at Abercrombie.

The protagonists even hold hands at IKEA and melt for one another while playing pretend house amongst the BILLY bookcases.

Yes the whole niche is becoming easily recognizable – a plot line catering to late 20’s hipster angst questioning the character’s place in the world with a torturous rollercoaster romance thrown in, all set to a soundtrack of up and coming independent music that gets as much critical praise as the movie itself – but at least 500 Days of Summer takes a different approach.

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The movie jolts back and forth over the 500-day long course of the rocky relationship between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, but it’s Deschanel who wears the pants and brings the drama.

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Levitt appears simultaneously angular and liquid on screen. He is dynamic and appealing even when wounded (and boy did he set my heart a flutter with his gangly frame and adorable smirk!) Decor-enthusiasts will like the scene where he gains entry to Summer’s apartment which looks like a mash-up of Anthropologie’s home department and a grandmother’s drawing room and anyone who has ever had their heart broken will be bale to empathize with the results of a love lost.

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Soundtrack standouts include “Sweet Disposition” by the Temper Trap and “Vagabond” by Wolfmother. The zooey-crooned She & Him cover of “Please Please Please” by the Smiths is sweet, but if I had to choose between versions I’d go with Dream Academy’s from Ferris.

Fun fact: Gordon-Levitt listened to She & Him’s debut album everyday during filming to help realize the electric chemistry between Zooey and him (cute!)

PS- Gordon-Levitt started a website called hitRECORD.org that is quite interesting

PPS- enjoy these sexy snaps of Gordon-Levitt from GQ last year:

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(GQ photos by Ellen von Unwerth)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

“And what was just a world is a star”

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I really really LOVED the Stratford production of West Side Story.

Even the often cranky Toronto Star critic Richard Ouzounian raved about the musical in his review.

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The melodies, the dancing, the vocals, the creative stage direction – it was electric! Paul Nolan as Tony is swoon-worthy and Chilina Kennedy’s Maria is perfectly lovely. The entire cast reminds you of what true talent is and what it takes to be a triple threat. Plus it was nice to see an old dance teacher of mine tearing it up on stage as one of Anita’s girls.

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If you’re within a couple of hours of Stratford then I totally recommend making the trip to see it. At Festival Theatre there are no bad seats and it is truly a wonderful production. It plays until  October so you have no excuses! 

(photos by David Hou)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yearning for Yorn

A Jersey-born music master and beholder of Hollywood-royalty genes, I’d rather not spill my guts about my long torrid affair with Pete Yorn.  Instead I’m just going to link to an iMix playlist I made of all my favourite Pete songs and let his exquisite music speak for itself.

pete is so sexy

Click here to preview the songs, and I must point out that the last three tracks are some of the best make-out songs ever...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It’s Official

I have a crush on Mark Ronson.

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He’s totally gifted when it comes to musical arrangements, producing & DJ’ing, brother to sam and charlotte, half-brit, sharp dresser and Ashkenazi to boot!

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Last week Alex from Phantom Planet revealed he and Mark have a writing date for a new project and I couldn’t be more excited considering their last collaboration yielded this.

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Even if he’s dating Daisy Lowe (not-so-secret daughter of Gavin Rossdale and 19 to his 33) , I still will cultivate my crush on him due to insatiable talent and that impish grin.

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Pick up the latest issue of Bazaar to read more about Mark’s unusual upbringing and see amusing pics that pit the well-rounded sibs as the eccentric Tenenbaums.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Time Moves Slow at 12:59

Is your Monday going slowly so far? Wishing for a peaceful weekend nap?

Press play.

Monday, June 16, 2008

MMVAs Madness

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I had the longest day/night yesterday while working as part of the PR team for the Muchmusic Video Awards.

The pouring rain made getting through the outdoor event slightly hellish for some, but I was lucky to be stationed inside where there was shelter and chicken dumplings galore!

The throbbing tootsies, exhaustion and minor hangover were totally worth it in the end though...

Here are some highlights:

  • Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre still have the right stuff and I sure didn't mind an impromptu hug from the latter
  • a certain actor with an elemental name on one of my fave "corporate" shows has the nastiest publicist I've ever encountered
  • the jabawockeez are some of the nicest guys around and have a taste for literature!
  • Belly has never been to belly's (a crime!)
  • Chase Crawford, aka Nate from GG, is even more gorgeous in person if that's possible
  • RiRi is only getting more beautiful
  • "Dancing in the dark" sounds lovely when eminating from a Bedouin Soundclash jam

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There was tons more than I mentioned going on in the packed block of Queen and John but the real fun was to be had at the after parties. I only ended up making it to Ultra, where the booze continued to flow as Aoki spun downstairs with MSTRKFRT and VIPs mingled on the patio

I reunited with some friends, former MTV crew as well as former band crushes, but ended up bailing on Perez's bash at Revival for the sake of being alive in the office today (my plan sort of worked)

If you missed the show, you can watch MMVA performances here.

(photos courteousy of muchmusic.com)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

North by Northeast Music Festival 2008

Every summer for the past 14 years,  the North by Northeast Music Festival (NXNE) has descended upon Toronto unleashing heaps of concerts, screenings, panel discussions for hipsters and music aficionados to devour.  The idea is to expose T.O. to original music from around the globe and to hear as much as you can in  three days.

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Despite this noble goal, I'm sticking with my tried and true favourites and will be seeing only 2 bands: The Stills and The Coast. I figure working the MMVAs on Sunday will fill the music quotient  for the weekend so I'm limiting my NXNE exposure to tonight and tomorrow.

First up is The Stills tonight at the Mod Club.

I went through a mad obsession phase in the summer of 2006 where I could not remove their second album Without Feathers from my car/stereo/laptop. Now that they've switched labels and are part of the Arts & Crafts family, I am extremely excited to see if their sound has evolved somewhat again. The new album will be out in August so I'm sure I'll hear plenty of new material tonight!

Check out the video for "Helicopters" below to see why I deemed them obsession-worthy (and why vocalist Dave Hamelin has the nicest mop of curls ever)

Tomorrow (Thurs., June 12), I plan on seeing  The Coast.

These Toronto locals have a gig at the Horseshoe Tavern and I try to make it to their shows whenever I can. I have been following their career for a few years and love seeing their fan base grow and grow and grow and grow. Check out a live performance of "Tightrope" from MTV Live (it may not work for US peeps)

Happy show going Toronto!!!

(The Stills photos via Quebec Scene, The Coast photo via Exclaim)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Playlist #3: Best of Phantom Planet

In honour of last week's kick-ass Phantom Planet show, the playlist I'm offering you is the best of PP (at least, according to yours truly)

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After watching them open for Panic at the Disco and then subsequently chatting with lead singer and former obsession Alex Greenwald and bass-player and unbelievably nice newlywed Sam Farrar -- my Phantom Planet kick is completely rekindled and I want nothing else but to share the love.

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My Top Ten Phantom Planet Faves You Should Check Out:

  1. *The Entire Album "The Guest" (including bonus tracks)
  2. What Are You Waiting For
  3. Do The Panic
  4. By The Bed
  5. The Hours
  6. Rise The Setting Star
  7. Raise The Dead
  8. This Heart of Mine
  9. Knowitall
  10. Dropped

* One of my favourite albums ever -- you must check the whole thing out as picking one or two tracks will not do the band justice.

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So instead of staring blankly at my selections please open up your itunes and sample the tracks in the iStore. I'd like to think you find the music as smile-inducing and infectious as I do. If you're too lazy for that, than click here for past music videos or check out their newest music video here.

PP buffalo- alex on jor

PS- To embarrass myself, here are some vintage shots of my nerdy seventeen-year-old self at the last PP show I saw in Buffalo in 2002. How priceless is the shot of Alex laying on jor's chest after crowd surfing??

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Attention Music Fans: Check Out BlueHaze!

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To most music lovers and concertgoer's, staying on top of your live show schedule can be tough. So many shows. So little time. You're over the plethora of spam on myspace, you hate sorting through the e-mail blasts from different bands in your inbox, and pollstar's annoying pop-up is too much too handle.

Enter BlueHaze, a social network for concert fans that lets you:

  • Easily find concerts near you
  • Share photos and read reviews
  • Quickly scan your iTunes library and get tour alerts for your fave artists
  • See what shows your friends are attending
  • Keep track of your personal concert history

There are more features coming soon so if you're big into music and concerts, I recommend you stop by BlueHaze to check it out!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Playlist of the Week #2

Nothing is better than waking up on a Saturday morning knowing it's a gorgeous day and you have the weekend ahead of you to enjoy the sunshine!

Follow Ms. Jenny Lewis' lead and take a stroll outside  (purple umbrella optional) - but first play these tracks to get you in a sunny mood.

Sunny Songs from So Cal:

  1. Maroon 5 "Sunday Morning"
  2. The Like "June Gloom"
  3. Rlio Kiley "Silver Lining"
  4. Rooney "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?"
  5. Phantom Planet "Always On My Mind"

(image via rockrgrl)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Playlist of the Week #1

Music has always played a huge role in my life. My last years of high school and all of university were spent going  to countless shows, discovering new bands and increasing my collection of CDs and EPs. I felt right at home whether it was front row, backstage, hanging out on the bus, chatting at the merch table or dancing in the crowd - I miss that buzz live music gave me.

Unfortunately the past year or so has seen my concert attendance slip (oh the perils of waking up for a 9-5 job in the burbs). As a result I hear less and less new music and the number of gigabytes stored in my itunes isn't nearly as large as it should be.

I'm trying to get back into the scene, so to honour this musical resurgence, I am going to start posting a weekly playlist. There may be a theme or it may be totally random, but either way I hope it will inspire you to explore new music and support struggling (and not so struggling) musicians everywhere.

So here is playlist #1, with a theme of the bands I'm seeing live this season. I've included links to where you can hear the song for free, but I urge you to buy the songs if you like them!

  1. Phantom Planet "Raise The Dead"
  2. The Coast "Tightrope"
  3. Born Ruffians "Little Garcon"
  4. Miracle Fortress " Hold Your Secrets to Your Heart"
  5. Panic at the Disco "There's A Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey..."
  6. Kate Nash "Foundations"
  7. Rogue Wave "Publish My Love"

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Return to Phantom Planet

From 2001 to 2003, I was OBSESSED with the LA rock band Phantom Planet. I saw them in multiple cities, joined their official fan club so I could sit in on sound checks, interviewed them for my first published article and more.

By the time their song "California" was chosen as the theme for The OC, Phantom Planet's music-making had already become somewhat stagnant and they were fading fast from my radar. Drummer/ songwriter Jason Schwartzman left the band to focus on acting, their third self-titled album didn't match the success and mass-appeal of The Guest and guitarist Jacques Brautbar would leave the band shortly as well to join Something For Rockets.

Despite these bumps in the road, I have always kept my ears tuned for any significant news from Phantom Planet. They were my introduction to industry vets such as Weezer and Elvis Costello and other so cal acts including Rilo Kiley, The Like, Rooney and Maroon5.

(In fact, Maroon 5's first CD, Songs About Jane featured a promotional sticker on it from Phantom bassist Sam Farrar that said "If I wasn't in Phantom Planet, I'd be in Maroon5")

Fast forward to now, when recent news that Phantom was signed to Fueled By Ramen has led to a new album called Raise The Dead and new tour dates with label-mates Panic at the Disco!

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I listened to Phantom's new album on their myspace not really knowing what to expect. They are a 4 piece now and in a totally different places in their lives and careers.

Despite this disconnect, I am happy to report that once the percussion of the title track kicked in, I felt that familiar tingling in my bones and it was like being in grade 12 and drooling over every beat of the EP all over again.

I am totally loving all of the songs and can't believe that a version of "Do The Panic," a live track that is at least 8 years old, made it on to the new disc! The album is fresh and not nearly as dark as the last release - perfect for the upcoming sunny season!

So now Phantom Planet are poised for a major revival on my itunes and the inner music-fanatic in me can't wait to watch them live again next month (and 6 years later! oy)

Friday, January 25, 2008

5 Top Things To Do On A Cold Canadian Winter Weekend


1. Sip a frothy cup of peppermint hot chocolate from Williams-Sonoma. Better yet, top it off with mini marshmallows and enjoy while reading your new issue of Domino!


2. See a good movie. I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly last weekend. It was so unbelievably heavy and wondrous at the same time. I went home and downloaded the soundtrack immediately and cannot stop talking about how beyond the film was.

Warning: you may leave the theatre feeling envious of the natural grace and sex appeal many French women have, such as Emmanuelle Seigner, who shines in a supporting role in the film.


3. Listen to your favourite sunny music. It doesn’t have to be as blatant as Kokomo, but anything that perks you up and makes you forget your winter blah’s will do.

If you’re looking for some new sunny tunes, check out Rilo Kiley and Kate Nash. Both happen to be red heads- do I detect a trend?


4.Have a festive predrink and serve a seasonal cocktail, such as my latest cold weather fave: the apple crush.

To make a pitcher that will serve 8 people, mix 2 cups of apple-flavoured rum , 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 5 cups apple juice and ½ cup lemon juice. Mix well and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


5. Put on your comfiest sweatshirt, cuddle up with your significant other or favourite friend/pet/family member and watch a favourite DVD. If you have a cozy throw like the luxury plush one from Restoration Hardware (above) then all the more power to you!

Happy Snuggling!!!