April 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
While I won’t call myself a “stan”, I’ve been a huge fan of Beyonce ever since 2003’s Dangerously In Love. The Houston-bred Pop diva is known for her thumping beats, power anthems, and introducing people around the world with new sounds. So when the final single “Girls” (off Beyonce’s upcoming album) dropped today, many people were confused.
Being such an avid fan of Beyonce, I had high expectations for her music. After all, she’s been gone for almost two years. When I heard “Girls”, my immediate reaction was not pleasant. I played the track again to give it a second chance, but that didn’t help either. The beat, a Major Lazer “Pon Di Floor” sample, was the first thing that threw me off. Don’t get me wrong, that track was FIRE…..in 2009. We are in 2011, pop artists are pushing the envelope with their songs (note Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Britney Spears, etc). Why are we regressing in time with a tired, over-played, & over-used song? Keep reading…
April 20, 2011 § 3 Comments
Even though I wasn’t able to attend one of the best music festivals in the world (I’m weeping as I type), I was still able to enjoy the 3-day festival thanks to Coachella’s Youtube account, Twitter updates, and blog posts. The performers were outstanding and the vibe was very cool, but my favorite part of Coachella and any music festival is the style! From celebrities to local California hipsters, I present to you my top picks of the best Coachella style looks!
Actress Kate Bosworth is known for her nouveau-hippie/hipster style, and this look is a perfect example of it. While I’m not the biggest fan of the mainstream hipster look, I do love how Bosworth’s stylist paired a simple Topshop tee with white denim cutoffs. The look is fresh, All-American, and very California.
Sheer tops are one of my top trends for Spring ’11, and this concert-goer pulls off the look effortlessly! I like how the beaded-gauzy top is juxtaposed with a tough boot; it makes the outfit a little less girly. Classic aviators & simple jewelry top off the look perfectly.
April 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
After a draining two-year hiatus, The Kills are back with a fresh new album! The duo, composed of Jamie Hince & Alison Mosshart, stepped unto the scene in 2001 with their unique sound that reshaped “indie” rock. Blood Pressures, released on April 5 2011, does not disappoint. The vibe is cool and edgy in a way that only The Kills could bring; the album is best paired with a bottle of warm whiskey. Reverting back to their roots of scratchy blues-rock yet still playing around with new sounds, the album is a musical maze.
The album opens up with “Future Starts Slow”, an uptempo track that highlights The Kills’ best assets. Mosshart’s raspy voice layered over Hince’s cool tone makes for great harmony and a hint of nostalgia of past albums. “Satellite”, the 1st single off of Blood Pressures, provides the listener with a new sound brought by the rock duo. The steady distortion, the heavy bass drum, and the harmonized vocals give this track an electrified post-reggae vibe. The Kills brings it back to their hit album Midnight Boom with the 80’s revival track “Nail In My Coffin”. The syncopated drums and Mosshart’s crystalized vocals breathes new life to the album.
April 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
There has been a distinct sound sneaking into the trendy tunes of Pop music today. It is fun, loud, and makes you feel good enough to dance your ass off. This musical trend is: Dancehall. Once the gritty and unforgiving brother to Reggae, Dancehall is now influencing many Pop artists of today. Interestingly enough, Jamaican Dancehall has now gripped the ropes of techno-pop music, ultimately switching roles of these two genres.
Dancehall first originated in Kingston, Jamaica in the late 1970s, and grew into Jamaica’s primary genre. Once non-Jamaican musicians got a hold of it, Dancehall became a crossover genre, dumbed down to please consumerist ears that were used to bubbly sounds. Pop artists have always showed their interest with Dancehall/Ragga music and its language ever since the Jamaican genre was formed (note No Doubt, The Notorious B.I.G, Ace of Base, The Police, Sublime, The Rolling Stones, etc.) but I believe it began to seep heavily into the radio stream around 2002 thanks to Elephant Man & Sean Paul.
There are a handful of songs from the past two years that have been on rotation simply for their use of Dancehall aesthetic techiques. Some of my favorites are discussed further. Budding “It” girl of Pop music Robyn’s “None of Dem” from 2010’s Body Talk uses the Jamaican dialect of Patois (highlighted in the title & chorus) to give the song an arrogant vibe. “Dancehall Queen”, also off of Body Talk, has more of a ragga/dub sound. Its electricized synths introduces 1980’s Dancehall into the modern era, thanks to super-producer (and a Dancehall fan) Diplo. Keep reading…
April 6, 2011 § 3 Comments
The fashion industry rattled when word broke out that Vogue Paris’ editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld was leaving the magazine. The instant speculation of who would fill her position went along with the shocking news. Who else could fill Roitfeld’s slick & sexy Alaia stilettos? Well, it turns out that the perfect fit was former Creative Director Emmanuelle Alt, the fashion maven who is known for her Parisian take on Rock and Roll chic.
A few weeks ago, Alt’s very first Vogue Paris cover was released for the month of April 2011. The cover, which features Brasilian bombshell Gisele Bundchen, was striking to many. It was strongly due to the cover’s light and airy styling, a complete departure from the magazine’s well-known display of dripping wet sexual imagery. Bundchen, donning a Dolce & Gabanna Spring 2011 dress, gives off a distinct type of sex appeal. Not the kind of oozing pleather-wrapped sex appeal we usually attribute to the magazine, but it’s a whispering of a subdued Sicilian bella donna appeal.
The cover is great, but it doesn’t sit comfortably within the magazine’s standards; many have criticized Alt for using a dress shown on many (six to be exact) 2011 covers, including Vogue Germany. I do like the Italian romanticism that the cover has, I believe it is very fresh and girly in a positive way. But do I think Vogue Paris when I look at it? Unfortunately, no.
But the cover isn’t always reflective of the importance of a magazine: the inside editorials tell the story of the magazine. I have to say, the Parisian magazine always brings it when it comes to editorials. This issue does not disappoint in any way. Featuring some of my favorite models, some editorials are sexy and sartorially inspiring while others come across as bland & lacking excitement. Here is my Vogue Paris April 2011 Issue Review.
This editorial, which reflects the cover’s laid-back style comes off as very boring & very done. The hippie free-child style is nothing new and definitely does not fit the innovative and sexy aesthetic that is Vogue Paris. Rating: 2/5
Pivovarova’s sharp green tongue is what immediately drew me into this editorial; it’s fun, inviting, and a cool twist for the Parisian magazine. Her intense blue eyes combined with the warrior-like styling makes for some great images. It still carries a hint of the magazine’s sex appeal, but keeps it subdued. Rating: 3/5