Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

This “Making of Contra” video makes life worth it.

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

As you will soon see in this new documentary about the creation of a not-that-new-anymore album, Rostam, the band’s smirky keyboard player, blacked out the white letters “YAM” on his favorite little keyboard so that it just reads “AHA” instead.

AHA, for sure!

The lives of these musical brainiacs are one brilliant lightbulb moment after another and I’m locked in the ultra-bright glow.

Cherry On Top

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

To you she’s maybe just the chick that sang “Buffalo Stance”.

But I had the time and the mind to pay better attention when the 80s were turning into the 90s, and so “Kisses On The Wind” might’ve been a less buzz-worthy follow-up to her name-making smash, but not an unworthy one. And then came the dark “Heart” video which freed Neneh from her green-screen cell and placed her in the brilliant spotlight of David Fincher. And then came the rap clip about AIDS, insidiously infecting the old, cold format of the PSA with the youthful sizzle of MTV so that worrying about HIV became less a matter of Life Or Death but of Hot Or Not.

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Neneh always had too much to worry about, too much to school us all on, to waste her time getting us to majorly like her by cuddling mer-boys or tapping with animated skat cats like her pop diva contemporaries did. She’s been lying pretty low for the past twenty years, but she’ll be rising back up in February with her album Blank Project and she sounds like she’s still got pages of personal and social woes to alert us on.

She might’ve stomped into our world via the dance floor but she’s too urgent and acid-jazzy to bop around in such feelin’-good grooves these days.

However she needs to sound now, whatever she wants to say, I’m listening. Old friends will tell you things no one else can.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I know all of y’all a little bit, but since I’ve never met your Sweetheart or your Sixteen Year Old Cousin or your Self-Defense Instructor, I wouldn’t know better than you what to go and gift any of them this Christmas. But I love the way Holiday Gift Guides shine spotlights on selections and shops which readers might not come across otherwise – and so I’m issuing out the first ever Treasury-approved Gift Guide, highlighting items I’m sure someone in your life would probably treasure.

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1. Geneva Travel HiFi System
I demand my iPhone speakers white, un-ugly, and non-gigantic, and this is the most handsome little-ish device I’ve come across in my thirteen months of hunting. It’s got Bluetooth, of course, plus an FM clock radio, tuckable within a future-retro travel case.

2. Manjukaza Painting
Far across the sea, Hong Kong artist Majukaza strokes out a never-ending series of affordable ink wash paintings, all of them black on white, each one a little different than those that have come before, and all of them modern masterpieces.

3. Minuteman Watch
I grew up in Swatch Watches, and now tend to wear vintage timepieces off etsy. The aesthetic of Squarestreet’s Minuteman watches span both sides of the spectrum, and then settles somewhere in between. Some designs offer brown lizard print leather bands, others sport see-through candy-like cases. Whether your style is pretty Poppy or more Papa-like, Minuteman’ll tick with every look.

4. Vermont County Store Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Short-Sleeve Sweatshirts used to be a thing, then they basically stopped being a thing. And I just LOVE things like that. These sweatshirts appear to be cut a little on the big and baggy side but I’m gonna just go with it (like in the movie Just Go With It) and make ’em look casually cool anyways.

5. Monoi Tiki Tahiti Coconut Oil
The Line is a freakily chic shop in New York that sells some pricy little prizes. These bottles of Tahitian-made Coconut Oil cost but twelve tiny bucks though and they’re just the thing to make you feel dewy and tropical when winter turns you all dry and dreary.

6. Nate Berkus Aluminum Box
Online, almost everything Nate Berkus designs for Target looks lust-able. In person, that’s not always the case. It all comes down to (it always comes down to!) material and finish, and these shining ebony and ivory enameled storage boxes could pass for “good vintage condition” 1977 Pierre Cardin pieces. Hurly-the-Hubby thinks they’re cool too.

7. Cupid Deluxe CD by Blood Orange
iTunes gift cards are a’ight, but a real CD you can handle with care feels so much better un-stuffed from a stocking. Blood Orange’s album (I swear) is like the seductive soundtrack of some Pacific-set romance starring Mia Sara and whichever heartthrob looked hunkiest in bolo ties back in ’88. It’ll turn your half-lame life into a montage of hair-flips in hot tubs and kisses in corvettes. (Wouldn’t “Kisses in Corvettes” be the BEST name for a song? Someone go off and make that happen.)

8. Musco Orange Amber Shaving Cream
I haven’t considered straying from my praise-worthy Proraso brand of shaving cream for six or seven years now. But the Hermes-y citrus-colored tube of this orange and amber-infused Musco cream is telling me it’s time to at least consider letting something new come between me and my Mach 3.

So Happy Holidays, friends! Go give and receive with all your heart.

And for year-round insight into all I’m basically wish-listing, peek at my Pinterest boards.

Now I’m Laying Around In The Dark

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I guess when you suddenly go from neglected ‘lil sista to heiress of indie-queen fortunes, you only have enough time to put out a music video like once a year, tops. The main thing I love about this Salon-Jay (as Hurly pronounces it) clip is it takes not much of anything and makes it definitively something.

Every film I ever made, back in the day, followed that same secret recipe. We used way less metallic shirts than Solange now does, but fat regrets are a fact of life.

There’s also a making-of video where Salon-Jay cites choreographical inspiration from Minneapolis masters The Time. Girl gots taste.

(And in even newer news, Baby Knowles also has a slow-burning brand new single out. Cash In.)

Modern Vampires of the City

Monday, February 4th, 2013

So the album cover’s gonna be all moody and un-vibrant, and its title is appropriated and appropriately baroque.

VW hasn’t released a song yet that I don’t like, so May 7th has a good shot of being the bestest day of this entire year.

Stocking Unstuffing

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The thing with me is: No one, not even the great and powerful Hurly, can ever be sure which gifts will really wow me, and possibly earn their way into the hallowed archives of The Treasury. Here’s what tickled my 2012 fancy and made the final, blog-worthy cut!

I don’t know if any of these Asian candies will even enter my mouth. But their packaging is totally eastern on the front, and then Helvetica-banal western on the sides. I told Hurly they belonged in a movie I could’ve once made about a sour but sweet-toothed U.N. representative circa 1973.

Hurly played no part in the gifting of this vintage Madonna pin. My sister did. Since, after all, it was she who I’d taught the dance in the “Vogue” video to after I’d carefully learned it myself back when we were kids.

This Welsh Corgi figure was the present that brought the biggest smile to my face for the longest spell. It looks just like our goofy guard dog, Aesop, and I knew instantly it was a gift I’d have laying on the various dressers and bookshelves of every home I’ll ever live in until the day I die.

I also got some carrot-y scented hair gunk from the brand that has the same name as my dog. I didn’t smile as big or long about it. It sometimes takes a lot to melt my freezing little heart.

A few Christmases ago I received a Mexican Bingo game that I love playing with my niece and nephew because it teaches me Spanish. I can now say Watermelon, Canoe, and Black Man in Spanish – La Sandia, La Chalupa, El Negrito. This set of rhyming dominoes might be less educational for me, but my nephew turned six on Christmas so he and I should get a few years worth of joy out of them.

One night after one of my niece’s school plays we went out for pizza and some of her sporty schoolmates were wearing these pom pom hats with the name of their school on it. I liked the retro, suburban, athletic look of them, said so, and now I have one for myself; allowing me to accessorize just like the jock-y, hockey-loving boy that I totally never was back in my own school days.

This tooth brush’s jet black bristles are made partly of charcoal, which is a natural purifier. Color me intrigued!

I don’t know what I love more. Gymnastics, or playing Wii, or watching Shawn Johnson “Aw, shucks” her way through the Norman Rockwell poster that is her life. Now I can combine all those loves, plus the thrill of “designing” my own video game gymnast with this possibly life-affirming Wii game.

And then lastly, a happy pack of HawCakes. Whatever those are. The first ingredient is something called haw, if that at all helps.

I hope that your holidays were wondrous and filled with pins of pop stars you learned the dances of when you were 14, and candies you’d make movies of, if you ever made movies. I am pretty positive 2013 is gonna be better than 2012 was. It’s gotta be.

London Calling

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I don’t know how much the rest of the 2012 world has ever heard of this Julie London chic. I mean, I never had. Until I had – a week ago, when I came upon the fabtastic cover of her debut album online.

I’m not sure exactly what Julie sounded like, or why she showed so, so much cleavage and couldn’t be bothered to look into the camera’s lense, but I knew I needed some sort of copy of the 1955 album in my life semi-immediately.

So a half-Japanese import CD of Julie Is Her Name should pop up in my mailbox any day. Even if I hate it, I know I’ll still totally love it.

Suddenly This Summer

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Yeah, so suddenly this summer I’m wearing a brand of sandals I never thought I would.
(Cause the soles are white like a Red Wing boot or something!)

And I’m stocking up on double-bar packs of chocolate from Iceland.

And I’m sporting a Panama Hat two or three times a week.

I’m also rooting hardcore for happy-headed gymnast Gabby Douglas, going Nuts on my iPad, wondering if Fiona Apple isn’t too old now to be freaking her own self out so darn much, and last night I finished  Girl Gone.

What have you all suddenly been up to?

Happy Heart Day

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Be a real romantic this Valentine’s Day. Get this First Aid Kit song stuck in your head, especially its brilliantly beautiful bridge, and then sing it for your sweetheart enough times that the two of you can perform it as a duet.

That’s what I’d do today, if I hadn’t basically been doing that the past two weeks or so.

The Best of Twenty Ten

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

An editor by nature, and by trade, I’m a real sucker for any “Best Of” list since they efficiently illuminate what was or still is relevant and radiant, while whittling away the extraneous.

Unless we count my nearly two years of Treasuring as one giant list itself, I’ve never posted a proper list. I thought I’d look back through the digi-pics of 2010 to tally up the top 10 treasures I’d measure as “The Best of The Year”.

1. Favorite Accessory
My new, U.S. issued Aviator Kit Bag. After one machine wash, and one mini-trip to New Orleans, it’s proven itself to be the perfect carry-on suitcase in terms of size and studly style.

2. Favorite Flashback
A TV junkie, just about everything’s been re-runs since early December. But Universal’s HD cable channel, roster-ed with random re-runs of hits from all eras, has been providing me with a dozen Charlie’s Angels episodes a week. It was my first favorite show as child, and it’s finally aged enough now to no longer seem dated and dull (which it did to me a few years back). Now every single tunic, discotheque, and Tom Selleck cameo highlights how chic and swanky the late 70s and early 80s were.

3. Favorite Finger-Painting
The J. Crew shorts I cropped myself then coated in 5 different colors earned me internet high-fives as well as veiled death threats, but I wore them rogue-ly and regularly all summer, to that magic point on the far side of self-consciousness. These shorts and the sideways glances they brought on taught me that if I’m not making someone’s eyes roll over what I’m wearing, I’m just not doing my job.

4. Favorite Follow Up
After two whole albums and a boat-shoe-box’s worth of B-sides, I’ve never heard a Vampire Weekend song I didn’t like. The CONTRA album was more Californian and yet noticeably colder than the New York band’s debut disc, but the sound of shivers in the sunshine made me happy and happily sad, over and over and over this year.

5. Favorite Mistake
I’ve ordered a lot of treasures over the internet these past years, but these vintage black boots were the only package that never arrived. (NOOOO!) I’m still too torn up inside to tell why I loved them so much, or type up all the outfits I would’ve worked up around them. Rest in peace, black boots. I know, without you, that I won’t.

6. Favorite Flavor
The black licorice macaron I chewed in slow motion on the windy steps of a church somewhere in Paris.

7. Favorite Escape
No one saw this coming, not even me, but somehow I became a fan of prison break books. Papillon is the ultimate, the tall-tale-sized autobiography of a Parisian criminal’s repeated escapes from prisons in French Guiana, including the Devil’s Island colony. The protagonist’s will is so strong and sturdy that even when he must endure years/chapters trapped to sunless, solitary confinement, his tone remains brave and bright. The Steve McQueen movie version of the story isn’t criminal, but it lacks the disarming charm of Papillon and his incredible adventure.

8. Favorite Fad
Reddish-orange pants, or orangey-red jeans. But we all already knew that.

9. Favorite Forty-Four Minutes
The best “hour” of TV I saw all year was Mad Men’s season four episode “The Suitcase”. There’s always been a “Will they or won’t they?” tension to Draper and Peggy’s relationship. Not “Will they or won’t they?” fall into bed, but “Will they or won’t they?” fling aside the stressed charades of their 1960s social roles for forty five seconds, and just look at one another for who they actually are. In “The Suitcase”, they finally did just that, puked-on dress shirts and all. It was a long time coming, and it was a sweet and needed relief.

10. Favorite Fantasy
Lying on the beaches of Mexico on an extra large, linen deck-towel– shaped island. I got the towel in August, the plane ticket in November, and soon enough my fantasy will turn reality!

2011 has a lot to live up to.

Cover Girl

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Some free legal advice:

Kirsten Kennis may be 5 feet 8 inches of WASP-y gorgeousness but don’t even think about downloading or re-tumblr-ing her beautiful face for your own enjoyment, artistic or otherwise.

If she’ll take Ezra and his boys to court, I don’t doubt she’d do it to all of us as well.

Mama’s Got A Brand New Band

Friday, May 28th, 2010

She didn’t need the rest of Rilo Kiley this time, and she didn’t need the Watson Twins either. But Jenny Lewis didn’t want to do it all by herself, so her boyfriend Jonathan Rice stepped in, and a new record will surely slither into our summer grass come August.

When it comes time, here’s hoping it’s she out of the two who hogs the mic.