Music, Life & Style.

I love music. I also have an incredibly schizophrenic taste in it- one mix on my iPod might contain Coldplay, Dr. Dre, Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift (gah!), Radiohead AND Nine Inch Nails. The dichotomy of my look and my jams must come from my Mom- who LOVES Cee Lo’s “F*ck You” and sings it out loud while wearing Talbots and pruning flowers in her garden. That dichotomy is what makes life (and people) interesting! Music heals, inspires, transforms and says what you can’t put into words.  It also influences style in such a huge way- which is why I am MAD for these prints by Moxie Creative House!

Here’s a playlist from my my iPod I most recently made- less rap music than I normally listen to, a little heavy on the “head in the oven” tunes…

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P.S. I absolutely love (and believe) this card from Richie Design too. Wouldn’t it be great if we heard foreboding tunes before something bad happened?

Adele Blows My Mind. So Does Her Apartment.

I have loved Adele for a while- but her new song “Someone Like You” absolutely KILLED me. It’s like getting punched in the soul. Who hasn’t had the thought of running into someone who broke your heart in the future and seeing they’ve moved on? OY. Not to mention this video (at bottom) was shot in her home and her taste so mimics her soulful, romantic voice. I love all the bookcase detail shots!

J’adore this bed!

My Life In Song

Picture 1

I was walking home last night- the air warm and finally comfortable, with my iPod buds snugly in my ears as a shuffle of whatever is on there played.  All of the sudden on comes “Anna Begins” by The Counting Crowes, an old favorite of mine I never listen to anymore.  As I listened to it I started getting choked up.  Perhaps it’s because it’s been an emotional week, or perhaps it’s because so much life is lived in a song.  You know what I mean? When a song that was crucial to a moment  in your life is played in the present, all sorts of things come flooding back.  For me, I can hear a song and am practically taken back to the experience I was having when I  first fell in love with it- pain, happiness, humor, love, insanity, what have you.  It’s a visceral experience really, and I think it’s a fascinating one because not many other things cause that kind of emotional tap in me. I am very much the kind of person who plays music as an antidote to a mood- or to create or embrace a mood.  I dig music of the “head in the oven” variety in which it’s all longing, down tempo and moody for  when I’m feeling pensive but am also one heck of a hip hop fanatic when I’m needing a lift, working up a sweat or getting ready to hit the town.   The dichotomy of styles explains me, as a person, perfectly.

So I thought back through my entire life and put together a playlist of songs that remind me of very specific moments in time- from sitting in my Laura Ashley smothered room as an awkward middle schooler to my first love and first heartbreak.  It’s an interesting and really fun experience- I suggest you try it.

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I wont go through the meaning behind ALL 61 songs, but here are some:

Billie Jean- Michael Jackson: My mom said she remembers the exact moment this song came on for the first time on the radio. I was 2 and apparently I LOVED to “dance” to MJ’s earliest hits (and Prince).

Walk Like an Egyptian- The Bangles: This song reminds me of jelly bracelets, puffy paint, stirrup pants, bad perms, buck teeth and general awkwardness.

Hands to Heaven- Breathe: This one is a doozy for me- totally reminds of never once being asked to dance at any of my middle school dances but watching my friends get asked. :(

I’ve Had the Time of My Life: Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes: Hello Dirty Dancing. The first PG-13 movie I ever saw and I watched it like 100 times. I was obsessed with Patrick Swayze and learning the “lift”. See also: “She’s Like the Wind”. I’m pretty sure I sang that one into the mirror a lot.

Only In My Dreams- Debbie Gibson: I was her biggest fan, I think. I even wore that stupid black hat she did and bought her perfume “Electric Youth”.  She was my first concert and I’ll never forget walking into my bedroom on my birthday and seeing concert tickets taped to my poster of her, complete with a speech bubble my dad drew next to her face saying “See you soon, Erin!”  I nearly had a cerebral hemorrhage. Also during this time my friend Anya and I made up a killer dance routine to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”

Bust A Move- Young MC: I remember sitting in my room listening to my purple radio with my finger hovered over the “tape record” button waiting for this bad boy to come on.  My introduction to hip hop- which I totally love.

Vogue-Madonna: I think there is a Madonna song for every stage of my life. This one was the BEST.

Take My Breath Away- Berlin:This song reminds me of my first love. And Tom Cruise playing volleyball.

O.P.P.- Naughty by Nature: When I took hip hop dance classes (not kidding) our routine was to this song.  I am really, really glad no video exists of such despicable acts. But I still listen to this song all the time when working out (and can do a mean running man!)

Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince: One of the best songs EVER. I immediately think of driving in my navy Jeep Wrangler my parent’s suprised me with for high school graduation. Happy as a clam.

Freshman- The Verve Pipe: For some reason I specifically associate a field trip to Boston while at boarding school with this song. I loved how melancholy it was. I was feeling misunderstood at the time I think.

Let Me Clear My Throat- DJ Kool: Senior prom. The first one Miss Porter’s ever had thanks to my best friend Nancy.  This song reminds me of that night, my ridiculous date and hairdo and Nancy and I “misbehaving” (which by normal high school standards would not be considered misbehaving- all girl’s school is a different entity entirely).

Cryin’- Aerosmith and Ascension- Maxwell: Totally songs that I associate with my first long term relationship in college. This is what regret sounds like.

Crash Into Me- Dave Matthews: I’ve been to about 8 or 9 DMB shows in my life- summertime sitting on the lawn at Meadows in Hartford jammin’ to good ol’ Dave.  This song will always be my favorite.

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems- Notorious BIG and Puffy: Dancing with my best friends in college at “TNE’s”… and not realizing how young and lucky we were.

Freebird- Lynard Skynard: I went to a Lynard Skynard concert in college. Why? Because I was downright obsessed with Freebird a few decades late. Lighters up.

I’m A Slave 2 U- Britney Spears– Continuing my embarrassing concert attendances- my best friend and first post-college roommate and I decided last minute to go see Britney at the Fleet Center. We scalped tickets, bought t-shirts (put them on immediately) and double-fisted Miller Lites and sat in the very last row with a bunch of 14 years old and their moms.

Like I Love You- JT: Does this really need an explanation? I didn’t think so. It’s JT.

Copa Cabana- Barry Manilow: This came on in Andrew’s car on one of our first dates and I was HORRIFIED. He said he loved that song. I said I don’t think I can date you.

What a Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong: ….and then I married him anyways, despite his hideous music.  And danced to this song with my Dad as I sobbed my eyes out in front of everyone (who were also sobbing, if you heard his speech you would have too- it involves the “Hands to Heaven” explanation above)

Fix You- Coldplay: The first time hearing a song live gave me goosebumps and made me cry (and I am NOT a crier, despite the many mentions of doing so on this list).  I went to their Viva la Vida tour show three times last year.

Wrong Prayer- Jaydiohead: Hold the phone- Jay Z and Radiohead together??? Too good to be true for a girl like me.

Sia-Breathe Me: It’s between”Fix You” and this song as my all time favorite. I can’t get enough of it and it’s very much a song that will forever remind me of this moment in time right now and those people in it.

Fashion Friday: Pretty Young Thing-A Fashion Homage to MJ.

We were at a charity event last night when we heard of Michael Jackson’s passing. I was, and still am, in shock over the loss of such a huge global icon at such a young age. While his death is not totally surprising (something was obviously quite wrong with Michael), it’s still devastating to those of us who grew up to a soundtrack of his prolific hits. I was a HUGE MJ fan, in fact my mom tells me she would put the Thriller album on all the time when I was a baby and I learned to dance (well, bounce) to it. I remember shrieking with glee every time the “Thriller” video would come on MTV and trying to learn the moves. Or trying to moonwalk across the floor with no luck. Not matter how you feel about him and his very troubled, sad life, he was the world’s biggest pop star and changed music forever.
My love for MJ began at a young age, as referenced above, and continued throughout my life. One of the coolest Christmas gifts I ever got as a kid was a Michael Jackson Ken doll from my brother Sean, complete with the Thriller red leather jacket and sparkly glove (he and Barbie were hot and heavy for quite some time). The red leather jacket was such an iconic symbol of cool. In fact I just read an interview in the most recent Elle with actor Ryan Reynolds who talked about buying a copy of the jacket (in pleather, of course) in middle school and wearing it every single day he loved it so much. While I giggle at the thought of that, it speaks volumes to the extraordinary devotion of his fans and the influence he had over them.

(really pissed I did not keep this)

Most recently we’ve been seeing a resurgence of the “MJ” look in fashion- particularly from Balmain’s Spring 09 collection which was a direct reference to Michael’s famous jackets.

3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 09 collection also had an MJ feel to it- hardware, sippers, frog closure vests and sequins….

Back in 2007 Givenchy had a very MJ inspired look- so perfectly “Michael” that Michael himself even bought it! Talk about fashion coming full circle!

And speaking of Michael’s jackets- how about all the sequins? He certainly loved to shine and his look was the influence for today’s shimmery sequined jackets seen by Dolce & Gabbana, Gryson, Chanel and even J.Crew!

And how about the white pantsuit look with black accents from the Thriller album cover?

Celebs love this look for the red carpet- and Angie’s is especially “MJ” with her one big earring (an homage to the one glove, perhaps?)

Pop stars who’s careers are so strongly influenced by Michael also love the white pantsuit look for performing…

JT even copied the face scarf/hat ensemble so often sported by Michael (and, and his dance moves and sound too). :)

And that whole aviator trend that resurfaced? Yeah, MJ’s been wearing those non stop for YEARS…

Beyonce looked very “Moonwalker” in this photoshoot with the classic fedora and suit and tie…

So on this sad day, try to remember the great and wonderful things Michael Jackson contributed to this world. Yes, he was a very complicated, sick man in his adulthood, but he was a true pioneer and I fear, a very misunderstood man.
Listen to this tribute and try not to dance. Or even better, maybe do a little dance in his memory…and put on a little sequined something! :)

** Sorry, I had to remove the playlist b/c of some code errors! :(