I've been here for less than a week, and this Pacific Northwest weather is not quite clicking with my system yet. I wake up in the morning, birds are chirping at my window, the sun is gleaming on my face, and it appears to be beautiful, then I step outside and it's cold. There's a giant grey cloud looming overhead, but it's sunny across the street, and just when you think the weather is going to be fine, it starts to rain? Someone tell me this changes soon. All I'm hearing is that summers here are the best, but I feel like I'm being lied to.
For me, the 1920s stand out as one of the coolest times to be alive. The music, the parties, the changes in social mores, the fashion, the burgeoning of film and radio. (This is of course, with rose-tinted glasses neglecting the poverty, the subjugation of classes, ethnicities, and women—not to mention the violence brought on by prohibition.) Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby introduces high school English classes everywhere to the roaring twenties and its lavish galas filled with copious amounts of glamour and booze—set to a soundtrack of swinging tunes.
On the other hand, the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby, released this week, gives us a Leo Dicaprio trying his best Paul Newman imitation and an indulgent take on an already-indulgent literary masterpiece. This includes using contemporary music instead of music from the renowned Jazz Age (didn't we learn this was a bad idea from A Knight's Tale?).
To right this terrible wrong, here's a playlist of some of the period's finest. (Sorry Yeezy and Hov, but Bessie Smith makes for a better Jazz Age soundtrack than Watch the Throne does.) You're encouraged to play these songs while watching the trailer or when re-watching episodes of Boardwalk Empire. More bathtub gin please...
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of THE ROYAL WEDDING (a.k.a. the biggest media frenzy of our lifetimes, a.k.a. the time you stayed up late eating rice cakes tweeting about Pippa Middleton, a.k.a. something you maybe didn't care about but still saw on the news the next day, etc.). In honor of the royal couple's anniversary, I am re-publishing this Royal Wedding Mix I made last year. Listen to it while you defrost that slice of wedding cake you've been saving in your freezer since April 29, 2011. The songs are just as regal as ever!
One of the funniest (read: most irritating and laughably asinine) consequences of reproductive-rights discussions is that the word "choice" has many, many, many more meanings than what a woman does with her own body, but the same word is used to apply to all of them. For those of you that don't remember Samantha Bee's perfect illustration on the Daily Show of how incredibly loaded the word choice has become, watch here. To sum up Sam's point, we all make choices. And we should! That's how life gets lived! So let's reclaim...decisions. No, wait, that's not quite right. It's like an alternative... What's the word I'm looking for?
Here is a BitchTapes dedicated to all sorts of choices, from your pro-choice friends at Bitch Media. Track list after the jump!
You know that moment when you're singing along at the top of your lungs to a song on the radio and you look around at your friends in the car, only to realize that instead of joining in they're all staring at you in disbelief? And then they have to explain to you that, no, there's not a "bathroom on the right" in that CCR song, and you've been singing the lyrics wrong for YOUR ENTIRE LIFE? Those songs we've always heard wrong are called Mondegreens, and I've made a mix of 12 of them (crowdsourced around the office and on Facebook) for today's BitchTapes. Be sure to share your own Mondegreens in the comments—they are completely hilarious.