In that magic few weeks when springtime is imminent, the days are newly long, and the sun, while not in full effect, is at least making its presence known, I can’t get enough of simple, yummy, classic pop songs. Here in Portland, these days have recently been more frustrating than magical, with rain and even hail upstaging the sunny bits and making it unclear when we can expect the springlike part of spring to arrive. So I’m taking a stand, musically at least, with a playlist that all that bashes you over the head with riff-tastic, seasonally appropriate tunes perfect for blasting from your car or your headphones, or perhaps singing along to in the shower with your sponge mic.
In times of war (check), political and economic upheaval(check), and social tension (check), artists are in a unique position to stoke democracy and to put pressure on the state, or, as the case may be, the banks, the corporations, "the man", etc. "In my experience, when things are upside down," actress and writer Anna Deavere Smith said in a PBS interview in 2006, "there's an opening for a person like me. I think when things fall apart, [as an artist] you can see more and you can even be part of indicating new ways that things can be put together."
There's a new brand of supermodel in town, and, good news for the fashion industry, hunger-fuelled temper tantrums aren't part of her coding. It's the HRP-4C fembot, who made her entrance down the catwalk at Tokyo Fashion Week last month.
An opera singer with stage fright, a stay-at home mother who's tired of seeking societal approval, a dark and twisty virgin, and a young woman who has struggled with body hatred and bulimia are among the ten women who seek out Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque for an opportunity to change their lives in just six weeks—and Deirdre Allen Timmons' A Wink and a Smile captures their transition on film.
The first movie to explore the process of becoming a burlesque dancer, this musical documentary shows that Burlesque is more than just a campy striptease. It's about embodying a powerful persona, mocking traditional gender roles and sexual scripts, exploring sexuality through a teasing playfulness, and having a wicked sense of humor. A Wink and a Smile is full of delightful surprises that uncover both the history of the art form and its modern day incarnation through a handful of today's popular performers. Burlesque is about the creativity of the reveal, not the reveal itself, so here's a brief interview with Timmons intended to whet your desire to see this film.
While the April Issue of French Vogue features a somewhat creepy spread of model Lily Donaldson equipped with a pretend pregnancy, baby doll, and high-fashion look, this month's French Elle issue is trying something different...models shot without makeup or Photoshopping. Yippee!
By now you might have heard of the Republican protest referencing the Boston Tea Party of 1773 by using tea bag iconography to protest federal tax spending, complete with Tax Day protests occurring around the country. When Wonkette caught wind of the new campaign, they said "The bit about the tea bags, though — that is just not good television." They forgot about Rachel Maddow:
Maybe it's cause we're on the West Coast, and it takes a good three hours for us to catch up to ANYTHING in New York, but no Gawker, the joke's not old yet. Tomorrow maybe, but today we can relish in conservative ignorance at its most laughable, and wait for those sweet, sweet, tax returns...
Monday night's Daily Show had a segment wherein Jason Jones traveled down to Florida to find out about senior citizens' sex lives. Here's the video, in case you missed it:
I found this video to be pretty interesting (although WTF is up with the sexual assault guy?), since I don't spend that much time thinking about how STDs affect seniors (and I bet you don't either). So I did a little digging around and found the full-length version of "Sex and the Seniors." Watch it, and hear the charming poem one of the seniors wrote about reproductive health, after the jump!