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

Here are my spontaneous, disconnected reactions to the Republican candidates’ reactions to a bunch of carefully coordinated snares in the first GOP debate of the 2016 presidential race.  Technically it was the third debate of the race, but the one on C-Span earlier in the week and the one featuring all the pollster-certified losers don’t count because nobody watched them.  I’ll have another real article with structure and a thesis and such up later.

* Megyn Kelly on the moderator panel.  Who approved this?  She has a history of picking fights with every conservative- or libertarian-leaning person who comes on her show.  She didn’t get the job for her brain, folks.

* Pandering to Facebook viewers who don’t follow politics anyway.

* “Positioned on the stage according to where they are in the polls.”  Which polls?  Why would you tell us this, except to remind us that Trump and Bush are leading in the arbitrary polls you chose?

* What’s the fat slob with a record of political corruption and groveling for money doing here?  Who on earth is John Kasich and why did they invite him to argue here instead of Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, or the ever entertaining Rick Perry?

* I apologize for calling Chris Christie a slob.  Apparently we’re not allowed to call people slobs anymore.

* The Pledge – This is not a debate.  This is a trap.

* “You fully understand…”  Why are you talking down to him, Bret?  Do you really think he’s a dummy?  Do you think your audience is full of dummies who need to be reminded that we’re effectively living with a two-party system?

* Rand Paul feeding Bret the troll on Trump’s pledge.

* “We’re going to move on… to be clear, you’re not making the pledge tonight?”  I thought you were moving on!

* “Ben Carson, your critics say…”  What anonymous critics?  Against whom is Carson defending himself? “Until a few months ago, you were unfamiliar with the political parties in Israel.”  Is Obama familiar with the political parties of Israel?  Are you, Megyn?  Does anyone care?

* Marco Rubio making Hillary the Enemy of the debate.  Actually, just about everybody making Hillary the Enemy of the debate.  Democrats and Democrat-Socialists are still jumping into the race and all you fools are acting like Hillary’s already won it.

* The Jeb Bush dynastic politics question.  That’s seriously the hardest leading question you could come up with for him?

* Megyn Kelly playing the sexism card.  “For the record, it was well beyond Rosie…”  Who else, Megyn? Why are you pulling out random quotes without supplying context?  Couldn’t one argue that hags like Arianna Huffington and Rosie O’Donnell got off really easy being called slobs and pigs?  It’d be sexist for Donald Trump not to call them those things just because they’re women and he should be nicer towards them on that account.  This is possibly the dumbest thing you could pull out of a bag to discredit Trump, so dumb that no one was even talking about these statements prior to the debate.  Isn’t your motto “We don’t make the news; we report the news”?  Why are you manufacturing news?

* “How can you win when you’re such a divisive figure?”

* “Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion?”  Who says they’re going to die, Megyn?  What scientific percentage of a chance of dying do you need in order to kill your unborn baby, and who will measure it?

* What is “everyday America”, Scott?

* Mike Huckabee sounds like a nut.  What’s he even taking about with the 5th and 14th amendment?  I thought the 14th amendment was about racial equality, not sexuality or citizenship or some other phony “civil right”.

* “Your Saint Peter rationale”.  Seriously, why is John Kasich on the Republican panel?  Why not abolish Medicaid altogether?

* “There should be a path for earned legal status…” but there is, Jeb.  Why speak for a minute about cutting back on immigration if you’re going to undercut everything you just said in your last 10 seconds?

* What does Chris want Trump to do?  Talk to Bush, talk to him, talk to the people who called him a man of “extraordinarily ugly” convictions?

* “What evidence do you have that the Mexican government is sending murderers, rapists?”  You’re a reporter, Chris.  Why don’t you tell everybody?

* Marco Rubio talks for a minute on immigration but advocates nothing.

* Scott Walker also says nothing.

* What are you blathering about, Chris Christie?  No one wants to hear about your not-dead wife.

* Rand Paul makes Christie look like a petulant, constitutionally illiterate stooge.

* “What would you do to take care of ISIS?”  Forty minutes into the debate, a legitimate question of policy.

* “How do you look at them now and tell them your brother’s war was a mistake?”  Was it?  Why are you hurling loaded questions?

* “Would you bring back waterboarding, Mr. Carson?”  Neverending stream of asinine, barely relevant questions is neverending.

* “We have to take care of the people who can’t take care of themselves, and I’ll do that through a different system.”  Who are those people, and why do they need help, Mr. Trump?

* Bret Baier: Jeb didn’t talk about Common Core, so why don’t you, Rubio?

* Yo, Jeb, Common Core is all about lowering standards.

* “That includes people who feel as though they don’t have the chance to move up… restore the sense that The Miracle will apply to you.”  What the Hell is Kasich talking about?

* “If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt…” Thank you, Carson.

* “To save the entitlement system…”  None of these people should even want to save the entitlement system.

* “They don’t need that Social Security check.”  But they already paid for it, Christie.  I don’t suppose you’re going to say that high-earning people “don’t need another tax break” either.

* Huckabee has the right idea on Social Security, but then he doesn’t follow through to its logical conclusion.

* Do you really want to argue with Donald Trump about his own business ventures, Chris?

* Why is ISIS the target of every single foreign policy-related question?  Name recognition?  Public paranoia?  There are other terrorist networks out there, many of them armed by Iran.

* Barack Obama’s credo is “trust and vilify”.  Good one, Huckabee.  That didn’t sound canned at all.

* “How could you help a charity so openly committed to abortion rights?”  What abortion rights, Megyn, and didn’t we establish earlier on in the debate that you don’t think abortion is that big a deal?  Would you really let a mother have a baby rather than have an abortion?

* “I created a culture of life in our state.”  What is a culture of life?  You sound like a whacko.

* Is Megyn Kelly such a b**ch that she needs to flagrantly twist Marco Rubio’s position on abortion in order to make him look like a wishy-washy opportunist?  You’re the top-rated newsbabe on cable and #2 reporter overall, second only to O’Reilly.  Shouldn’t you be above that sort of rank distortion?

* “When did you actually become a Republican?”  What does that even mean?  They’re not competing for the prize of Best Republican.  They’re competing for the presidency of the United States and using the Republican party to get there.

* “I have said that Trump’s language is divisive.”  Every politician’s language is divisive.

* “I just happened to go to a gay wedding…”  How progressive of you.  Kasich says that supporting gay marriage is about “showing unconditional love” and “loving them no matter what they do”, and the audience eats it right up.

* Thank you for slapping down the marriage question, Rand Paul.

* Cut from Scott Walker talking about training police and restraining force into a movie trailer about the members of N.W.A.

* Walker’s head bobs when Carson’s speaking are driving me nuts.

* All these people need a more descriptive word than “increasing” and “decreasing”.

* Are we really going to talk about trannies in the military?  This whole event is a joke.

* Rand Paul had this exact same Israel argument with a dumb bimbo from the Today Show several months ago.  Why are you bringing it back up?

* The Facebook God question is a blatant setup, so why is nobody calling that out? This is an obvious act of sabotage meant to make Republicans look like the religious loony party.  Would the subject of religion ever come up in a Democrat debate?  How difficult is it to say, “I didn’t come here to exchange pleasantries about my faith.  I came here to sell myself and my future vision for government.”

* There’s a word for people like John Kasich that starts with D and rhymes with rag. But I guess he’s also a rag.

* “We gotta stop worrying about being loved and start worrying about being respected…”  Aren’t those the same thing?

* Ben Carson is right.  You all sound arrogant and stupid saying that you’re the only Chosen One who can repair America’s Obamanation.

* “I’ll be my best to do that.”

* This right here.

* Biden announcing his presidential run afterwards in a way that only Biden could.

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.