Monday, January 16, 2017

Mixtape Monday: Best Songs of 2016

These are accounted separately from my Best Albums of 2016 list (it's always had to choose my top 7 albums of the year). There was a lot of wonderful new music (and films) this year.

1. Freedun (feat. ZAYN) - M.I.A. (probably the most positive and uplifting M.I.A songs - the world needs her now more than ever)

2. I Wanna Know (feat. Nico & Vinz) - Alesso (Michael and my's song this summer, it sounds like a vacation on a dream cloud)

3. Angel - NAF (from Jenny Lewis' peaceful protest girl band)

4. 666 ʇ - Bon Iver (22, A Million was a gorgeous album, and his most experimental yet)

5. Best to You - Blood Orange (summery citrus)

6. Wish That You Were Here - Florence + The Machine (a transcendental single she did for “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”)

7. A 1000 Times - Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam (a retro, soulful album from 2 members of The Walkmen and Vampire Weekend)

8. Grand Hotel - Regina Spektor (Remember Us To Life is theatrical and spooky)

9. Audition (The Fools Who Dream) - Emma Stone (from La La Land, this song will always make me well with tears)

10. Cranes in the Sky - Solange (Beyonce's sister released what I call a "pastel version" of Lemonade, with more funk/chill vibes)

11. 33 "GOD" - Bon Iver (makes me miss my modern dancing days)

12. Atomic Number - case/lang/veirs (supermoon, superfemale group)

13. Ivy - Frank Ocean

14. The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Sia (is it just me or is she the "go-to" for any movie soundtrack?)

15. U-Turn - Tegan and Sara (love their spunky new album)

16. WOW - Beck (I guess we can expect a new album this year?)

17. City of Stars - Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (also from La La Land)

18. Wings of Love - liv (new music from Lykke Li, very Fleetwood Mac)

19. Wolf - Skott (for fans of: Florence + the Machine and AURORA)

20. Man on the Moon - Britney Spears (Glory is a great workout album, start to finish. I'll always love Brit.)

21. Shut Up Kiss Me - Angel Olsen

22. EOS - Rostam (this dude had lots of exiting projects this year)

23. Im In Love (Ft. James Vincent McMorrow) - Kygo

24. Ladies Don't Play Guitar - Tennis (this group keeps gettin' better and better)

25. Same Ol' Mistakes - Rihanna (theme song to Atlanta, which reminds me I need to watch Atlanta)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Best Albums of 2016

Best Album of the Year: Beyonce Lemonade
Only Beyonce can drop a surprise album/visual album overnight without having to do all the promotional B.S. beforehand. Lemonade is stunning start to finish (as is the accompanying film shot in New Orleans). Bey and her team seamlessly pull off bouncing from one genre to the next - country, rock, contemporary R&B - with it all still sounding cohesive. The album tells a story of infidelity, trust, and hope. I kind of feel like Jay did not cheat on Bey and the whole album is just a work of fiction (I mean, she was married when Single Ladies came out), but who knows? Lemonade is a feast for the eyes and ears and I think will now be an iconic album for women, but more importantly for black women. 

"My love was stronger than your pride
Beyond your darkness I'm your light
You get deep you touch my mind
Baptize your tears and dry your eyes
So many people I know that they just trying to touch you
Kiss up and rub up and feel up
Kiss up and rub up and feel up on ya
Give you some time to prove that I can trust ya again
I'm gonna kiss up and rub up and feel up
Kiss up and rub up and feel up on ya"
 - All Night

Check out: "Sorry" for the ultimate boybye song, "Hold Up" samples Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and "Don't Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)" is a badass pure rock song
2nd: Lady Gaga Joanne (Deluxe)
After her stint with Tony Bennet and several TV appearances showing/proving that she is a truly gifted singer songwriter (as a Little Monster, I knew this all along - WAKE UP PEOPLE), I knew Gaga's next album would be a little more real, a little less produced. Joanne is exactly that - a raw crackling, soulful gem of a record. It's probably my favorite Gaga album yet. Critics have said it's all over the place, but I think it's downright American, homey, and features only the best of Lady Gaga's many flavors. It's got grit, but also a lot of girl power. Peace and love, Gaga! 

"Young, wild, American
Lookin' to be somethin'
Out of school go-go'n
For a hundred or two
Some asshole broke me in
Wrecked all my innocence
I'll just keep go-go'n
And this dance is on you
One, five, ten, lay a million on me
Before the end of this song
Young, wild, American
C'mon baby, do you have a girlfriend?
Rain on me a million
I'm not flawless, but I gotta diamond heart"
- Diamond Heart

Check out: "Sinner's Prayer" got that spaghetti western vibe, "Hey Girl (feat. Florence Welch)" lets lift each other up as women and not tear each other down, and "Joanne" is a like "Million Reasons" but BETTER
3rd: St. Lucia Matter
This band will always be an all-time favorite of mine. Their 80's tinged, tropical lush sound always feels like an exotic escape. Matter is fun, sexy, and synth heavy, its like what should be playing on the radio and the clubs. But maybe the fact that they're still a little unknown is what makes their pop so sweet. 

"Science and reason will tell us so
The blood in our veins are just chemicals
You'd better believe I keep my demons to myself
You'd better believe it's getting harder
But I'm never gonna stop until it's broken
Never gonna stop until it's broken
How long 'til we learn
Dancing is dangerous"
 - Dancing on Glass

Check out: "The Winds of Change" straight outta the 80's, "Love Somebody" is silky smooth, and "Physical" a good workout one, yeah
4th: Lucius Good Grief (Deluxe)
Electric, colorful and melodic -Lucius is just as vivacious on their record as they are live. This album has more nods to the 80's then on their debut (their cover of Bowie is gold). The ladies are at their boldest on this record and thankfully have thrown in some slower ballads to the mix allowing their harmonizing to really take the spotlight. Lucius is #twinning goals.

"Looking for a scene to cause
But the only thing I see, blue skies ahead of us
Searching for the empty half when somethings filling up the glass
I'm hopeless
It almost makes me wish for rain
When everything begins to go my way
This guilty feeling comes along with it and you know
It almost makes me wish for rain"
 - Almost Makes Me Wish for Rain

Check out: "What We Have (To Change)" goes and tells it on the mountain, "Almighty Gosh" is a fun, Bollywood number, and "Born Again Teen" is a rager!
5th: Santigold 99 Cents
How freaking amazing is this album cover?!? I loved her convenience store/consumerism/egoism concept that carried over to her promotional tour for the album - SEE HERE! Don't mistake 99 Cents for a sellout, if anything it's her most experimental and eclectic one yet. Santigold is an exciting artist, you don't know how to define her or know what direction she'll go next, but her music and lyrics are always relevant and topical. 

"I call what I see and if I judge, well, then so be
To my neighbours I'm the best thing around
Living my life in a fantasy
Living my life in my vanity
Hey mom maybe you’ll see me now
All I wanna do is what I do well
Ain't a gambler but honey I'd put money on myself
All I wanna do is bottle it to sell
'Cause my brand does vainglorious much better for your health
Woah oh oh
I can’t get enough
All they've said it's true
I can’t get enough of myself"
 - Can't Get Enough of Myself (feat. B.C)

Check out: "Chasing Shadows" is Rostam produced, "Who Be Lovin' Me" will get stuck in your head, and "Rendezvous Girl" has 80's magic. 
6th: Gwen Stefani This Is What The Truth Feels Like
I've always been a fan of Gweny-Gwen-Gwen. This album is her most personal yet (all about her dramatic divorce from Gavin Rosdale to the beginnings of finding love with Blake Shelton). I had this entire record on repeat at the gym and listened all the way through each time. There are no fillers or fluff on here. And she's 47?!? How I don't know. She's just bad-ass. 

"You're a sapphire, you're a rolling stone
You're a sparkle in a deep black hole
You're like moon shine, when the curtains close
You're my answer, one that no one knows
And I can't believe it, that you even exist
You know I would be dumb to give perfection up
How can I accept it, that this is so precious?
You know I would be dumb to give perfection up
You're rare
And I'm loving every second of it, don't you know?"
- Rare

Check out: "You're My Favorite" calls back Love. Angel. Music. Baby. days, "Where Would I Be?" recalls No Doubt's reggae sound, and "Make Me Like You" is cute and spring-y. 
7th: M83 Junk
If the goofy, Punky Brewster inspired album art doesn't already tip you off....Junk is an exploration of 80's sitcoms, whimsy and space (M83 is so good at space). Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is in my top 10 albums of all time because of it's movie-ready epic songs (many of the songs used in "inspiring commercials"). Junk is the silly younger sister to that album and I would classify as TV ready. You'll find yourself smiling because of how goofy/happy some of the songs are. No space Junk here, just pure joy (and more French lyrics). 

Taking a foreign flight
Looking for signs of life
When you flashed upon my screen
Testing the atmosphere
Your silhouette appears
And I know I'm not alone
But empty haze
Is all that remains
I'm lost on the sidewalk
Just calling your name
 - Walkaway Blues

Check out: "Go!" is the albums "Midnight City," "For the Kids (feat. Susanne Sundfør)" reminds me of an old 80's ballad on a soft rock station, and "Moon Crystal" is basically an intro to a sitcom, hilarious. 
What were your favorite albums of 2016??
see also:  Best Albums of 2011 |  Best Albums of 2012 |  Best Albums of 2013 Best Albums of 2014 | Best Albums of 2015

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas in the {studio} Apartment

Y'all, it's only the 5th day of Christmas! Needless to say - my decorations will be up for a while. 
Xmas Apartment
The Holiday is MUST WATCH TV for the holidays. 
Xmas Apartment Xmas Apartment
lil' Christmas tree car // being creative without a mantel
Xmas Apartment Xmas Apartment
presents on the peacock chair // lil' trees everywhere
Xmas Apartment
Xmas Apartment Xmas Apartment
Xmas Apartment
all my mugs from Christkindlmarkets past and present
Xmas Apartment Xmas Apartment
I love my Letterboard!! // a "Scandinavian" moment

Monday, December 26, 2016

#MelaniaTrumpsHate: Why Christmas Reminds Me of Bullying / A Merry Christmas Message

2 NEW #MelaniaTrumpsHate videos - both Christmas-y themed! 
Subscribe to the YouTubes here!
 ^Melania: I really identify with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer because we were both bullied as kids. Yes, I know. I was bullied as a little girl in Slovenia.
^Melania: I am thankful for many things this year. Thank you and Merry Christmas! I love Moscow Mules!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mixtape Monday: Christmas Mix Vol. 14

Kacey Musgraves and She & Him (for the 2nd time) both released Christmas albums this year, let us rejoice and be glad. 

Christmas Mix Vol. 14
a very indie holiday mix

1. Just Another Christmas Song - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings (RIP Miss Sharon Jones, her music and joy will live on)
2. A Willie Nice Christmas (feat. Willie Nelson) - Kacey Musgraves
3. Must Be Santa - She & Him (featuring Jenny Lewis)
4. Sleigh Ride - Spice Girls
5. Dirt Sledding - The Killers
6. I Believe In Santa Claus - Dr. Dog
7. Funky Little Drummer Boy - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
8. Feliz Navidad - Kacey Musgraves
9. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Martha Wainwright (yes, Rufus' sister) (not on 8tracks)
10. Winter Wonderland - She & Him (also featuring Jenny Lewis - and how cute is that video?)
11. The Blizzard of '96 - The Walkmen
12. Silent Night - Kate Nash
13. The Spirit of Giving - The New Pornographers (not on 8tracks)
14. New Year - Regina Spektor

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Pins {Pinterest}

above: {pin it/source}
below: Chocolate Gingerbread Men with Candy Canes {pin it/source} // Elf Quote Christmas Cookies {pin it/source}
above: {pin it/source} // {source}
below: DIY Clay Words {pin it /source}
above: adorable packaged soap {pin it/source} // starry hair{pin it/source}
below: {pin it/source}

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#MelaniaTrumpsHate: Welcome to my YouTubes page!

This past summer I started character bits as Melania Trump around town at open mics, of course thinking that she would only be relevant until November. 
Yet, here we are. 
In my attempt to make lemons into lemonade (still very tart and sour lemonade) I decided to create a YouTube page called #MelaniaTrumpsHate. Since her campaign as "First Woman" is to fight cyper-bullying, I thought she should vlog about internet safety but mostly about herself. 

This my new creative/comedic project - it's goofy and surreal, but I hope it lightens people's moods and gets them to laugh for a minute and 36 seconds. 

So, here is the first video - more to come! Please subscribe and share! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mixtape Monday: N O V E M B E R

Current mix, a lot of duplicate artists:

1. Pulling Teeth - Lucius
2. Shut Up Kiss Me - Angel Olsen
3. Rough Going (I Don't Let Up) - Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
4. The Punisher - Lucius
5. Hey Girl (fest. Florence Welch) - Lady Gaga (Ultimate lift your fellow women, grrrl power song)
6. Dream it up - CLARA-NOVA
7. Grand Hotel - Regina Spektor (love the imagery in this song)
8. 1959 (feat. Angel Deradoorian) - Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
9. Wish That You Were Here - Florence + the Machine
10. Wolf - SKOTT
11. Bleeding Heart - Regina Spektor
12. Joanne - Lady Gaga
13. 29 #Strafford APTS - Bon Iver

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cranes in the Sky by Solange

I haven't seen a video this beautiful in a long time. This is a woman with impeccable taste (have to you seen her wedding photos?) and who has a lot to say. Please enjoy. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Postcards from California

Last month I met up with my parents in NorCal and brought along my Fujifilm Instax Instant Camera. I usually bring by big DSLR on trips but since I've been fortunate enough to have travelled to that part of the country before I decided to experiment with a new medium. 
California 2016
Big Sur
California 2016 California 2016
de Young Museum // 16th Avenue Tiled Steps
California 2016
McWay Falls
California 2016 Cali 2016
Mom n' me // sunset in Carmel-by-the-Sea
California 2016
Golden Gate, duh
California 2016 California 2016
Elephant seals // HWY 1
California 2016 California 2016
Gumball alley in San Luis Obispo // Mission at Carmel
Cali 2016
Cali 2016 California 2016
Blue Angels over the Bay
California 2016
Big Sur, again
Cali 2016 California 2016
more tiled steps....
California 2016
I love the colors in this 
California 2016 California 2016
The Madonna Inn - didn't stay there, but had to take a look inside. Barbie's dream ranch hotel.
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