Sunday, August 23, 2015

12 Unbelievable Thoughts I Thought About Carly Rae Jepsen's New Album (And The Third Is Surprisingly Dirty)

We were reading stories about Planned Parenthood literally cutting open the face of an “intact case” to obtain and sell his brain when we happened to notice that the creator of the famous Call Me Maybe song had just dropped a new album, and then we noticed that freaking Pitchfork ran a review of it.  Naturally we had to get on the case and write about Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest intact record, because let’s be honest, how couldn’t we?

This special guest issue of The Author’s Playlist was written by Beatissima journalism student Dom Forke.

Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion – Album Advertisement Review

Run Away With Me – Pure pop gold. I love the reverb and echo effects done on Carly’s voice.  This just makes me want to take my hands off the wheel, throw them in the air, careen straight into a tree, and kill myself.  My favorite lyric is, “I’ll be your sinner in secret / when the lights go out.”  So playful and flirtatious.

Emotion – Sounds exactly like a Haim track.  Gotta love it.  I’m glad that Carly Rae Jepsen is reaching out and ripping off a wider variety of artists now than she was earlier in her career.  Riding on suggestive lyrics about fantasies and tequila and inappropriately seeing women in one’s dreams, this clearly isn’t the same young and innocent Carly Rae Jepsen who stole our hearts with It’s Always a Good Time and Call Me Maybe.

I Really (Really, Really, Really, Really, Really) Like You – Hands down the best pop single since Shake It Off.  So catchy, with a chorus that’s instantly relatable to anyone who’s ever fallen in love or tricked themselves into thinking that they’ve fallen in love with someone to whom they are merely sexually attracted.  I love it when she says, “All I want to do is get into your head,” cleverly rhyming with red, like the color of her lips.

Gimmie Love – Obviously a reference to the late and legendary Biggie, Carly further pushes the boundaries by dropping a PG word (“whole damn night”) in the second verse.  This one grew on me more slowly than the rest, but after I listened through the album for the 11th time straight, I appreciated the simplicity of the repeating title in the chorus and the looping electronic bass line.

All That – A synthy, slow-paced throwback to the very best of easy listening.  Gives Thinking Out Loud a run for its money as the most touching and irresistible love song of the 2010s.  Make sure to listen alongside a muted torrent of Dirty Dancing or Grease for maximum impact.

Boy Problems – Listen up, girls.  This one’s for you.  Carly sings about how she just broke up with her boyfriend, but like Demi Lovatory, she doesn’t really care because she’s just got worse problems.  With an inspiring message about not defining yourself through men, this is necessary listening for girls who are going through those difficult, confusing tween years and don’t know what the heck is happening to their faces.

Making the Most of the Night – “Here I’ve come to hijack you,” belts Carly on the most seductive and blissful song of the album, which is an obvious innuendo referring to other female pop stars like Taylor Swift.  Insane production values and mixing make this a standout track in Jepsen’s catalog.

Your Type – Oh, the woes of being in the friendzone!  There’s a common misconception that only guys get friend-ed because girls can get sex whenever and with whomever they want (FEMINISM 101: umm, that’s totally not true), so it’s reassuring to see a major pop artist singing about this dreaded relationship stumbling block from a female perspective.  This reminds me of T. Swift’s You Belong With Me in all the right ways.

Let’s Got Lost – “I never wanted to discourage everything / your eyes encouraged silently.”  Beautiful and sugary with a sexy saxophone section entering over the bridge.  It’s good to know that Carly Rae Jepsen appreciates the sophistication of smooth jazz.  Remember Whiplash?  That was such a kick-ass movie!

LA Hallucinations – Sounds like a hip-hop-infused mashup of twenty different artists in one, but still a distinctively C-Ray song.  She even manages to work in a stinging jab at “Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows”, which is just one of 22 reasons I love Carly Rae Jepsen.

Warm Blood – If Banks’ Warm Water and Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood were combined into one super-song, it would sound like Carly Rae Jepsen’s Warm Blood.  Probably the most experimental and progressive song she’s recorded, which is a good thing.  Many Carly Rae Jepsen fans don’t like it because it sounds so different from the style featured on her first album and her second album, but artists need to evolve artistically and we should support any traditional pop musician who has the courage to try new and different things like electronic pop music.  How could Kanye have made the auto-tuney, electro masterpiece 808s and Heartbreak if he didn’t first make the leap to break away from the stale, classic-sounding rap beats that dominated The College Dropout?

When I Needed You – Well, this is it.  We made it to the end.  I mean this is amazing!  Really sends the album out with a gunshot, that is a bang.

If you like weird, boring indie music by stuffy, overrated art musicians like Bjork, Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkeys, Fiona Apple, Massive Attack, The Strokes, Jack White, The xx, Spoon, or Radiohead (ugh, I can’t stand those guys), you probably won’t like E·MO·TION by Carly Rae Jepsen.  If you just don’t get any of those people and like your basic Top 40 pop music as Basic as it can be, you’ll probably love this album. Carly Rae Jepsen isn’t a little girl anymore, and she’s here to prove that she can run with the best of them.

And the Author’s arbitrary rating is...
9.37 out of 10.  Eminently shallow but listenable pop music, unlike Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, etc. etc. excruciating hacks that you hear on the radio.  It ain’t Radiohead or U2 or Velvet Underground or some depressing fare like that, but it’s fairly fun for the flimsy stuff it is.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Horror Movie Roundup: "Shaun of the Dead" Is Scientifically Unfunny

Also making the case that Michael Haneke's Caché is one of worst films ever made.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Best" Movies of the Year Part 4 ("Under the Skin", "Lucy", and "The Loneliest Planet")

Continuing the Author’s severely belated countdown of the most acclaimed (and not acclaimed) films of 2014, the Author grapples with the inflated praise for some pretentious sci-fi and slowcore cinema.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Everything wrong with the GOP debate

Scattered thoughts on Republicans walking right into Rupert Murdoch’s trap.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hillary Clinton Says Size Doesn't Matter

Article written by George Stefano Pallas.  Historical ignorance, sizeism, and APish style decisions practiced by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect nor should be construed as those of the Author.

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton took a bold stand Wednesday on what’s certain to be the defining social issue of the 2016 presidential race. With the battle to legalize same-sex marriage officially settled by the United States’ most powerful non-legislative body, the winds of change have now begun to veer towards another underclass that’s long been lurking in the shadows, craving the same privileges and dignity that most American citizens take for granted.

Aligning herself with the Tiny House Movement may be the riskiest and most rewarding decision Clinton will make this political season. Considering the controversial statements and condemnation that tiny homeowners have endured from almost every Republican candidate at some time, Clinton is setting herself firmly at odds with social conservatives and trusting that she’ll benefit from increased commonality with the youth vote and their progressive values.

“Whether you’re building a tiny house with four other people and putting it on your trailer or it’s a crowd going out for a walk one night and decide they want to buy that house, I mean, what difference, at this point, does it make?” she said in a broadcast message for the nonprofit Human Rights Campaign. “TINY rights aren’t just rights for tiny homeowners. It’s human rights for everybody.”

Clinton’s video quickly went viral on Facebook and TINY residents celebrated it as a new pinnacle in the acceptance of their community’s ideals. America has been rapidly evolving on TINY rights, with fully 41% of likely voters now identifying with the Tiny House Movement as compared to 35% at the beginning of the previous administration. Television has begun to reflect this growing tolerance with an increase in TINY-centric programming, including HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters”, “Tiny House: Big Living”, and “Tiny House Builders”, as well as TLC’s “I Am Tiny” and MTV’s “Tiny, Not Tamed”.

The GOP’s strategy so far has been to stay away from TINY issues and focus on improving the economy, but Clinton’s historic move and the burgeoning cultural movement may force them to take a more open stance on the TINY community. Baby boomers and Generation X are content with knowing that 2015 is the best time ever to build a tiny home in America, but socially liberal people insist that the country has a long way to go before it’s guaranteed equality for all property owners. In most states, they point out, TINY residents are not considered a protected class and aren’t ensured the same necessary protections from police and firemen.

“When was the last time you saw a cop busting down a tiny house door to stop a burglary?” asked Salon contributor Sara Jessabelle Watson on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. “Exactly. This is what advocates of TINY living are talking about, you know, this wanton disregard for the rights of people just because their homes look different. And I think people are finally waking up to see the ashes, and there’s still a major gap between where voters are on this and Congress is. Tiny houses matter, and we won’t stop until we see as many tiny houses saved from burning down or getting robbed as regular houses.”
“We won’t stop until we see as many tiny houses... burning down or getting robbed as regular houses.” ~ Sara Jessabelle Watson

Once a requirement for enfranchisement in the pre-Civil War era, land ownership used to be a preferred weapon of the moneyed elite for suppressing the middleclass vote. Many tiny homeowners are concerned that religious conservatives will reinstate these laws to silence the voices of people with different living arrangements. “It’s definitely a concern of mine,” says Annalise Jefferston, who lives out of her trailer house with her roommate and friend Corynne Cox. “Like, I don’t plan on getting in a long-term relationship any time soon and to a lot of people, that’s just unbelievable to them because they think I should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, so yeah I’m concerned.”

Tiny homeowners also continue to fight for equal visitation rights, which remain limited because of institutional discrimination against their living conditions. “If my good friend and typical suburban mom Donna Dees-Thomases gets sick in her tiny house while she’s on the road, then she can only have two friends or partners over at a time,” says Clinton. “That is not just, and that’s not what America is about.”
“its ease to talk the talk but lets’ see @HillaryClinton walk the wack #tinyhousemovment #notconvined” ~ @TinaSimone

Not everyone in the Tiny House Movement is impressed by Clinton’s stand, though. The Alliance of TINYs Against Taxation (ATAT) gave a press release commending Clinton for her positive message but calling for a stronger display of solidarity. “If Clinton really wants to show that she understands the struggle of tiny homeowners, then she should purchase a tiny house and try living in it for a week.  A lot of people suspect she already owns a tiny house. Why doesn’t she just come out and say it?”

The Author’s Files reached out to Clinton to ask what she thought of Marco Rubio calling for a bipartisan plan to enact comprehensive homeownership reform. Before the publication of this article, we had an emailed reply direct from Clinton herself, but then we accidently put our computer’s hard drive through a shredder and lost the message forever.  It won’t make any difference.