“The Memphis Movement” is something I was not familiar with when Valentino announced it as a design inspiration for the 2017 Fall RTW collection. David Bowie collected it and an exhibition was held on the movement that started in Milan back in 1980. It was definitely a THING.
Writer Lauren Schwartzberg summed up The Memphis Movement as “loud colors and zany patterns.” It's very 80s. It inspired the movie set to Bette Midler's black comedy Risky Business and the The Saved By The Bell set.
The odd geometrical and color combinations were arguably in response to the cold austerity of the clean lines of metal and leather of the times. The group got it's name from the Bob Dylan song, “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”. How these nice Italians figured out the words to this song is beside the point. It's seen a reemergence into the sphere of commercial culture, since then. And, I may be remiss in saying this, but it seems like even the Hermes maison collection “A Walk In The City” borrows it's vibrant hues and right angles from a movement long thought dead.
This is the woman after all who broke her toe, but still wore heels “because she couldn't ruin the look”. She's taken court ordered anger management classes and admitted that she used to have a problem with cocaine. Who hasn't.
She also completed community service in a Dolce & Gabana dress. There's nothing more quintessentially Naomi Campbell then that.
Quite recently I was listening to the radio and by quite recently I mean practically every day when I heard a cover of Lesley Gore's classic hit, “You Don't Own Me”. It was reworked by this girl named Grace. I don't know her from Australia, but it's a very nice little update. The song also features a few rapped verses from G-Easy. I've listened to it a few times and I feel like he's missed the point of the song.
“You Don't Own Me” is such a vibrant song and it deserved to be reworked for a younger 21st century audience. It's all about telling your significant other that they can't control you. It's the song used to close the movie The First Wives Club, an entire film dedicated to the revitalization of women brought down by their husbands.
The biggest of these was “It's My Party”. Well known for it's refrain, “it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.” This inspired a “concept” album of songs that had to do with tears, which quite honestly is better in theory then in practice. “It's My Party” was her number one and breakout hit. It's what made her star.
The song also inspired a follow up hit “Judy's Turn To Cry” that followed the story arc of the previous song. Because, “now it's Judy's turn to cry, because Johnny's coming back to me”. Now why she wants him back is still up in the air, but needless to say she does. Who said love wasn't real.
Quite recently we've seen a wave of nostalgia come back on the radio whether that's in the form of eighties synths or Meghan Trainor's bright reincarnations, her latest musical inspiration being nineties Britney Spears updates. Voice contestant Melanie Martinez include a sample of “It's My Party” on her debut album Cry Baby in a song called “Pity Party”. Swedish duo Icona Pop even used it in a much maligned “My Party”. Lesley Gore's musical influence is impossible to deny.
Buy "Pity Party"
And, if that's not enough, she also guest starred on Batman back in her hey day. What more could you ask for?
LeAnn Rimes was one of the powerhouses. Blonde and skinny. She has been referred to as the new Patsy Cline. Although, I've never found too much similarity between Patsy's husky tones and LeAnn's pleasant demonstrative voice. LeAnn is probably best known for her massive “How Do I Live” and Coyote Ugly “Can't Fight The Moonlight”. She's married to Eddie Cibrian. Therir marriage was swirled with a cheating scandal on both sides and it was glorious.
Faith Hill was always meant to be a contendor with Shania Twain. She never quite made it there. She's probably best known for “This Kiss” (a Taylor Swift favorite) and number two charting “Breathe”. She's married to country superstar Tim McGraw and despite their almost divorce they proved love is real. My mother and I personally lived for her second album It Matters To Me, but it was 1999 Breathe that would be her biggest success selling over eight millions copies in the United States.
In recent times, women have not been given a voice or a platform. Kacey Musgraves is a critically acclaimed country artist with a single hit to her name. Brandy Clark, an established songwriter, has been having a hard time gaining traction. Although, her lesbianism may be a factor in conservative country radio. Jana Kramer (“Why Ya Wanna”, “I Got The Boy”) so far has only been able to produce one radio single an album. Maddie & Tae (“Girl In A Country Song) deserve better. Cam is capable of more then just “Burning House”. And, right now it seems like Kelsea Ballerini (“Dibs” “Love Me Like You Mean It”) is the only woman able to conquer country radio.
This is my way of saying support your female country singers. They're not getting enough respect and a music base full of women deserves to have their voice heard in it. All of them are amazing and talented and they deserve your recognition.It's time for this patriarchal reign of men to stop in country radio.
Feel free to comment with additional female singers, I didn't mention.
Female songwriters have had less of an impact on the music industry in recent times. People claim this has to do with declining record sales and the music industry’s unwillingness to invest money in female musicians. Both country and hip hop formats have seen a drop in female artists, since their peak in the nineties. Songwriting houses only need “one female writer”
That’s why musicians such as Diane Warren are important to the vitality of the music industry. Bonnie McKee and Ester Dean being some of the young blood in the game. Both of them writing hits for megastars Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Katy Perry.
The artists she’s had hits for just prove her diversity. She’s worked with balladeers as diverse as Michael Bolton (“Time, Love, and Tenderness”) and Christina Aguilera (“I Turn To You”). Pop artists Cher (“If I Could Turn Back Time”) and Taylor Dayne (“Love Will Lead You Back”). R&B icons Monica (“For You I Will”), Toni Braxton (“Unbreak My Heart”), and Aaliyah (“The One I Gave My Heart To”). Hard rockers Aerosmith (“I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”) and Chicago (“I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love”).
There’s not an icon that Diane Warren hasn’t worked with.
Currently she’s nominated for an Academy Award for the rape awareness ballad “Til It Happens To You” that she cowrote with Lady Gaga. The song was used in the documantery The Hunting Grounds that deals with the rape epidemic on college campuses. It’s her eight nomination for best original song. It shows if anything that Diane Warren is not going away and that women still have a voice in the music industry.
Last month Lana Del Rey graced us with her third major label studio album when she dropped Honeymoon on September 18th. It's gorgeous. It's lush. It's Lana Del Rey of 2015.
It's not surprising that she counts her as one of her idols. Lana has been quoted as saying “I know she's (Amy Winehouse) isn't with us anymore, but I believe she was who she was and in that way she got it right.”
Rolling Stone referenced The Crystals as one of her inspirations. I similarly pointed this out in a Throwback Thursday published a few months ago. The Crystal's were one of the more popular girl groups of the sixties and one of their songs was “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)”. This was directly quoted in Lana's own “Ultraviolence”. Both songs are haunting and cinematic. The link between them is clear.
One of the most obvious inspirations is Nancy Sinatra. Daughter to the legendary Frank and known for her massive hit “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, Lana Del Rey is referenced as being the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Of course as she later retracted with GQ “that was supposed to be a joke.” The label has nevertheless stuck. Partially due to Lana Del Rey's own retro polished image that harkens back to Nancy's heyday. And, one can't forget when Lana Del Rey's covered Nancy's hit “Summer Wine” with her ex boyfriend a few years ago.
An array of rock influences have been credited by Lana. Bruce Springsteen, Dan Auerbach, Nirvana, among others. These sounds are clearly infected on Ultraviolence. Not just because Auerbach helped helm the record. And, the aching sadness of Nirvana was conveyed without an icy guitar solo.
Honeymoon has proved what Born to Die and Ultraviolence only hinted at. The continued success of Lana Del Rey. With hit makers this strong to back her up it's no surprise she's endeared herself the way she has.
My mother was the recipient of some of her books. My mother only reads Christian fiction and I came into contact with two novels by Giffin. Her breakout novel Something Borrowed and Baby Proof (my former personal favorite).
Now I would love to delve in the intricacies and of her other works like Heart of the Matter and Love The One You're With, but we have a star filled movie and two novels to tear apart.
He might have been attractive and wealthy, but he was an ass. He was indecisive and I was not about him. He needed to get his shit together. It was the same thing in the movie. Each time I read the book or watched the movie I hoped she would end up with her best friend Ethan. I didn't want Rachel with Dex. She was too pure of a cinnamon roll for him. Needless to say I didn't get what I wanted.
The lead was as dull and flat and two dimensional as could be expected. Dex was played by a reasonably attractive Colin Egglesfield. Although, I've always thought his face was somewhat disproportionate.
It might not sound like I enjoyed this movie, but it's a guilty pleasure. I live for it. If you need a good rom com please watch it. Queue it up on your Netflix.
This was not the corner piece in Emily Giffin's career in my opinion. Until I stopped at the library and picked up Something Blue. The follow up to Something Borrowed that tells the story from Darcy's perspective.
Now I learned something crazy about Pac-Man. So, Pac-Man is actually based off a Japanese story. The story is that this creature eats children in order to protect them from monsters. It really begs the question of who's the villain in this story. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never been good at Pac-Man. Or any video game.
The exhibit also discussed computer games. The only one it really focused on was Myst. I knew of this game. It was an adventure puzzle game. It pioneered computer video games. My aunt loves this game. It's supposed to be incredibly difficult. You don't know what's happening. Your just this unnamed character exploring this island The only kind of puzzle games I ever played were the Nancy Drew ones. I'm just a dork enough to love them.
Now the game I truly consider art was Flower. It was released on one of the Play Station systems and the entire point is to move flowers. You play the wind and you traverse this terrain. It's soothing and beautiful. Absolutely amazing. Now, I wouldn't have spent fifty dollars to play the wind, but I most certainly see the artistic merit of this game. It was visually stunning. The entire thing.
I don't know if I've done an accurate job of relaying the history of video games or convinced you that their art. But, no one can ever tell me that there isn't artistic merit to these games. Creating these worlds with computer models instead of a paint brush doesn't diminish their creativity.
Although, Halo is not art. It has the merit of a Kids Bop CD.
Legendary record producer. Italian. Giorgio Moroder is one of the most legendary people that you may or may not have heard of. I've brought him up a few times on the blog and mentioned him on the YouTube channel. He's worked with everyone from Blondie to Daft Punk and is an icon in his own right.
These range from “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff” from Donna's highest selling album Bad Girls to her breakout hit “Love To Love You Baby”. Her duet with Barbra Streisand “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” was also deftly handled by his hit making skills. Other accomplishments with Donna Summer include “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “On The Radio”, and “I Feel Love”. Giorgio Moroder is the man who pioneered the sound that disco heralded.
Surprisingly enough he was not one of the main producers behind the Top Gun soundtrack. The movie that launched Tom Cruise to super stardom and the soundtrack that sold over 9 million copies in the United States. He was however the one behind two of it's most prominent hits. The song that launched Berlin “Take My Breath Away”. Otherwise known as the love theme to Top Gun and the always up tempo Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”.
Buy "Deja Vu"
His two dalliances with male artists just don't land. “Tempted” gives off a filler track vibe that Cobra Starship is famous for delivering. And, the Mikky Ekko led “Don't Let Go” is far too serious for such a light and enjoyable album.
The one thing Deja Vu proves is that 74 might not be the new 24, but it certainly has circled around to it. Giorgio Moroder sounds current without sacrificing his artistic merit and with over 40 years in the industry, there's a lot.
Buy Deja Vu
A night of cheap entertainment was in order. Currently there's $25.17 in my bank account (I'm ignoring the textbooks that still need to be bought). Joyce and I caught up over a bottle of apple cider and showed each other two movies we had to see.
The cast is fairly female driven only with the androgynous chemistry of Marc (played by Israel Broussard) to break the estrogen. There are some great guest appearances by Paris Hilton, Leslie Mann, and Kirsten Dunst. Emma Watson also plays one of the thieves with her iconic line, “I want to rob.”
It's scary how accurately this movie portrays teenagers. They are fame obsessed. They have pouty mouths to have pouty mouths. They do drugs and they party. All while their parents ignore them. Sofia Coppola did an amazing job accurately portraying them. You root for them even as you know there is only one way this will end. It's a teen movie that certainly trying to say something about society. And, how we're driven.
Buy "Bad Girls"
This movie is a 5 star experience. It's funny. It has a message to be taken away from it. It's 90 minutes long. Take your time out and see it.
A rock band that likes to have sex and party hard. A young journalist who hasn't been deflowered. A plane going down in the tragic tradition of Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson. A homosexual identity revealed with a “I'm gay!” The quintessential explanation of what the seventies were. The late and great Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a role that seems less a role, then real life.
It was nominated for four Oscars. It's practically a landmark in cinematography. Zooey Deschanel plays the role of the narrator's sister. She's giving us some Katy Perry realness and it makes me wonder how hard it would be to replace Katy with Zooey. They could be twins.
If The Bling Ring didn't capture your attention and Almost Famous seems tepid. I can't help you. These movies are tens across the board and the highlight of 2000 and 2013. Get your life together.
Greta Garbo, and Monroe