Friday, December 23, 2011

Site of the Week 12/19-25/11: December Well

For those who don't like Christmas songs and want to get into the season in a different manner, there's a remedy!  Listening to winter-themed songs, like I often do, is the best way to get into the holiday and seasonal spirit.  It's the one way I don't absolutely hate winter when I can listen to music with bells, xylophones, and other instruments with eerie, dark, hollow, and mute sounds.  Former Malinky fiddler Mike Vass has been quite busy with solo projects (as well as being up to no good).  His current project: December Well.  Read on for more about the project.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Top Albums of 2011

This year saw one of the best in terms of high-quality indie music.  The surge in self-produced and -funded albums creates a true artistic vision.  It's also the year of female artists.  Half of the top 10 best-selling albums are from women.  This is a good sign!  Among the top 10 was Mumford & Sons, who had a very big year.  I've chosen my top 5 albums to coincide with Auddie P's forthcoming list.  These gems are ones you can't let by you.

 5. Emily Smith's Traiveller's Joy
Emily Smith continues her trademark sound of rich traditional Scots language and music combined with a sleek, modern folk pop feel with this lovely release.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dating Tips from Esther Smith

It's Christmastime(!) and during this season I celebrate in many ways: listening to Christmas music, baking and decorating cookies and watching my favorite holiday movies.

You can learn a lot from these movies. The Grinch teaches you the true meaning of the season. Elf shows you that magic things can happen if you just believe. And Home Alone teaches us how to outsmart stupid burglars. And to remember to not forget your kid when you leave for your family vacation. All are valuable lessons.

In the classic Meet Me in St. Louis we not only learn the importance of family, but also how to get your man. 

In the film Judy Garland's character, Esther Smith, is a young woman living in St. Louis who has her eye on the boy who just moved in next door, John. If you're a single gal like me, you know how much work can go into wooing a man. So, even though the film takes place more than 100 years ago, I think many of Esther's strategies would still work today. Take note of the tips below and try them out for yourself!

Tip #1: Be Formally Introduced
This seems like a no brainer, but a lot of times you can fancy someone from afar and not make a move simply because as far as you know, he doesn’t know you exist. Esther solves this problem brilliantly by hosting a party at the Smith home with the sole purpose of formerly meeting John. When she and John are introduced Esther acts as if she didn’t catch the name and has never heard of him and John is intrigued. Very smooth.

My Holiday Celebrations, Movie Style!

Our family's Christmas Even tradition, as of 5 years ago, is to watch Elf together.  Last year, I was a wee bit too intoxicated to enjoy it and passed out after accidentally moaning when Zooey Deschanel started singing.  It was an awkward moment when the entire family looked at me.  I celebrate with other movies, though, leading up to Christmas.  I make a point to watch these movies every year, as I did in college.

1. Just Friends
Chris Brander is home for the holidays, and he hasn't been in 10 years.  Revolving this film around the holidays made it better, as there was so much more to deal with for physical comedy.  Anna Faris brightens my holiday spirit when she sings, "Mall people come and go, mall people they just don't know."  The brotherly relationship and motherly advice and friendships, that when you return, are still there, like you never left.  This is a classic that I've quoted every line of Anna Faris' with Auddie P during our college years.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feminist Feature: Mindy Kaling's New Project

Mindy Kaling has finally revealed her project: an animated series.  She'll executive produce, write, and voice a character on the series about a high school volleyball team.  Even if it's like a bunch of mini movies of a frakked-up sports teams, it doesn't matter because Mindy Kaling makes everything better.