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I'll House You With Way-Back Playbacks

Before iPods: LL Cool J 1986. Hrmm, my second pic of a boombox in a week. Maybe I'm onto something...

As much as I am obsessed with emo indie-rock and the skinny hipster boys in those bands, whenever I go out, I love to listen to House music (the tribal kind is always nice) and old-school R&B Hip Hop.  Back in the 90’s (everyone makes fun that I can’t get over the 90’s), the music and party scene was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Maybe it was because the nightlife scene was fresh and new, combined with the danger and excitement of possibly getting busted with a fake i.d. or sneaking out of windows in outlandish Betsey Johnson (very SASSY photospread).  I could tell you crazy stories, but I will leave those secrets in my hair.

A SASSY fashion spread: Just like that one time I put extensions in T's hair for New Year's Sobe 1999.

Driving in my car, the DJ was playing a string of way-back playbacks.  As much as I loved grooving to the tunes in the car, it made me ponder two deep thoughts, “Wow, I’m getting old” and “Definitely need to put this on the Wedding Dances playlist (one day universe!).  People would lose their minds on the dancefloor.” haha.  I really should learn how to DJ.  The crowd would go WILD!

  • Soho – Hippie Chick  Ahem, methinks this one really should be my LC anthem because I’m such a bohemian.
  • Snap – I Have Got The Power (“It’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kinda heavy…” Does it kill you, like it kills me?)
  • LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
  • Boyz II Men – Motownphilly  
  • Blackstreeet – No Diggity
  • Everything But the Girl – Missing
  • Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (“She wakes up early in the morning, just to do her hair now…Da-da-di Da-di-da” You know you love it.)
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March 10, 2010   No Comments

Cures for Dance Injuries

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h6pXPHaWM0]

I must confess that last week part of the reason I was unable to write was because I was suffering from dance injuries.  Over the past weekend, I had reunited with my favourite OOC, overzealous crew of dance misfits and we hit the dancefloor as if it was going out of style.  There was vogue-ing, some double-dutch with improv and random new dance recruits, plus participation from the DJ. 

Much to my chagrin when I woke up, I found I was paralyzed with sore muscles and a clementine sized bruise on my arm from banging into a bar table.  I am not 21 anymore.  No sir-eee.  To add salt to my own wounds (because clearly I’m a masochist), I went to my weekly flamenco lesson followed the next day by a hardcore yogi Ashtanga class.  Ouch! I paid the steep price for dancing and yoga…but it was worth every penny!  And I’d do it again!  I said it.

To cure my dance fever, here are some home remedies to get me back into top form (so I can do it all over again):

  • Hydrate!  Obviously, drinking 8 glasses of water is important to naturally detox the system and replenish fluids lost during dance moves.  My bestie N recommends cooling beverages such as coconut or aloe water during extra warm activities such as hottt yoga or even regular yoga (which tends to naturally heat up).  I like drinking coconut water with little bits of pulp – reminds me of a snowglobe.
  • Cool down & Stretch – Sometimes I just lay on the floor.  Sometimes I sit down and reach for my toes.  Other days, I stand flush against a wall and put my hands in the air and reset my shoulders back.  After a few stretches, I often mix my favourite lavender with a carrier oil in the palms of my hands and gently massage my knees and ankles.  This way I can be a dancer forever. 
  • Sweet dreams – I also like putting a few tiny drops of Lavender essential oil on my pillow before I go to Sleepytown.  The fragrance is extremely calming and promotes a sound sleep. And before I close my eyes, I think about the steps in my choreography so that when I have to dance it again, I kill it.

ZZZzzzzzzzzzz

Joaquin Cortes in his hey-day leaning to the left

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March 9, 2010   No Comments

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

“Shake-Shake it-Shake it.”  – Outkast

JGL I love you. Brains, cutes, skinny and a dancer?!! Dang!

Words of wisdom.  Dancing is by far one of my favourite past times.  I have to fight the incontrollable urge to break out in dance while in boutiqes that play really good music or when walking down the street to the sounds of a nearby car blaring Biggie.  Have you ever noticed the contagious nature of dance? How one minute a dancefloor is vacant and the next, it’s thumping with people getting down to a really good song?  It’s like that scene out of 500 Days of Summer where Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a musical montage to Hall & Oates ‘You Make My Dreams’.  I think more people would dance to work if it was socially acceptable… and if they had a good choreographer.

1)  I love to dance to house music particularly those with a tribal beat, a dash of sexy latin vibes and thumping bass.  2) I love randomly showing up to a party where drummers magically appear.  3)  And I also love when I get to dance/vogue with my friends 90’s styles.  Love x 3.  That’s pure GOLD. 

Here are some songs old and new to start a ‘dance party’ in your living room:

  • Shakira f. Lil Wayne – Give It Up To Me
  • Sergio Mendes – Magalenha
  • Armand van Helden – Funk Phenomenon
  • Jay Z f. Rihanna & Kanye – Run This Town
  • Akon f. David Guetta – Sexy Bitch (kind of an offensive title but a silly-fun dance song nonethless)

You see this? Shakira's hips don't lie.

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January 14, 2010   No Comments

Phoenix: French Rockers Say "Merci Beaucoup"

Phoenix in the garden: pink shirt check, skinny pants check, manorexia check, brooding love pop lyrics check.

At Forever 21 you can buy t-shirts that say I heart French boys. Does this kill you like it kills me?

Last Saturday, my sketchy friend K and I took in the sold out Phoenix concert.  It’s always quite funny to go to an all-ages event because half of the population could be either your a) intern or b) children…I mean, if you were a child-bride. 

The french indie-pop rockers put on a stellar show as the lead singer thrashed around stage and threw his mic into the air.  The group was humbled by their fan appreciation in broken english,  “Ahh, every time we come here, the crowd gets biggger an’ bigger.  We do not expect everyone to sing lyrics. Zank you. Merci beaucoup.”  Although he spaced out on ‘Too Young’ and forgot some of the words, I attribute to him wondering, ‘Ah, what am I singing again?’

If you like Phoenix, why not sample some tracks from Friendly Fires or Tahiti 80?  And as an avid concert goer, here are some tips to live by to enjoy your concert experience.

  1. Early Bird Gets the Worm – Go early enough to see the opening act, only if you want to see them.  Arriving a half hour into the doors opening guarantees you a pretty good spot to view the stage, allows time for a washroom break and to grab a drinkie-drink. 
  2. Don’t Touch Me – Have respect for others personal space and no elbows out.  When maneuvering around other patrons, say ‘excuse me’ and ‘thank you’ when they part like the Red Sea.   
  3. Think About Others – Dance if you wanna dance.  Sing if your voice isn’t like nails on a chalkboard. 
  4. VIP Exit – Leave part way through the final encore song.  You can grab your coat and make a mad dash for the doors avoiding the crush of masses through the exit and out the parking lot.  Smart.
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December 7, 2009   No Comments

There's Something About Kylie

I think it’s safe to say that Boystown (Church & Wellesley) in Toronto is a ghostly scene tonight.  Imagine hay rolling down the streets past the uber-trendy martini lounges, disco balls with lights flashing to vacant bars, tight muscle T’s folded away neatly in cherry wood drawers.  Where have they all gone you ask?  Is there a 90% off sale at D&G? Did you like my Bruno reference?

My spider senses (aka Facebook updates) tell me that you will find the flamboyantly cute gays packing the stands at the Kylie Minogue concert shaking their bedazzled, Rock n’ Republic jeans to the diva pop.  Nothing turns them on like sequins and Vegas showgirl outfits.  Nothing!  I am such a loser.  I should be there with the boys dancing (the gays love me).  Super-tear.

Kylie's Got the IT Factor: Feathers & Black Velvet Bow!

Kylie's Got the IT Factor: Feathers & Black Velvet Bow!

Miss Kylie, the petite Aussie import wears many hats – songstress/actress/songwriter/fashion designer/philanthropist/etc/etc (don’t you love it when people have many slashes? so versatile!).  And can you believe she’s in her forties?  Wild.  While many know her best for ‘The Locomotion’ back in the 1980’s, she re-emerged in her 30’s with a Top 10 North American hit ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ that played across many international dancefloors.  Many people have yet to truly discover her groovy dance songs which fuse electronica, dance, pop and have THE BEST DJ REMIXES ever!  Of course, the gays know this because they are trendsetters.  Hello! 

Kylie on the album cover of WOW. Feel it

Kylie on the album cover of WOW. Feel it

Kylie recently triumphed over cancer and is now travelling with her Showgirl: Homecoming Tour.  Her musical persona is an amplified Brigitte Bardot with elements of disco, glitz and glam.  She shakes her bodaciously cute can in gold short-shorts (I would too with a tight @ss like that) and skimpy, barely there fashion forward/risk-taking costumes, that only the British or adorably petite can pull off.  I love her music soooo much.  It’s a great pick-me-up, kind of like eating candy. 

And if you are throwing a festive soiree and people are being more party pooper than party trooper, encourage wallflowers by cranking up the Kylie a few decibels.  That, or spike their drinks with Grey Goose (tastes like water).  Works like butter, like two sticks of butter.

Here are my Top 10 Kylie tunes to save your life or party (in no particular order):

  1. Like a Drug
  2. The One
  3. WOW (MSTRKRFT Remix)
  4. Heart Beat Rock (Benny Blanco Remix) – OMG, HOTTT dance track! Can’t touch this!
  5. Slow
  6. Red Blooded Woman
  7. Love At First Sight
  8. I Believe in You
  9. Love Affair
  10. Burning Up
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October 9, 2009   No Comments

Flamenco, Andalucia's Dance of Love

Galliano's modern interpretation of flamenco.

Galliano's modern interpretation of flamenco.

Yesterday my bestie A and I were discussing one of our favourite early 90’s Vogue fashion spreads featuring one of our choice supermodels, Helena Christensen as a Spanish beauty with a travelling, gypsy caravan.  The fashion was heavily influenced by Andalucia Spain with fiery red, tiered, flamenco dresses, intricately woven scarves, brocade fans and headpieces.  Funny how we both remember it so vividly.  I am obsessed with everything Spanish – I keep conversational cd’s in the car to practice, I coerce friends into Spanish vacations whenever possible, I am definitely taking flamenco lessons this Fall and I am investing in a black and red polka dot skirt so I can channel my inner Andalucian gypsy. 

For travellers to Seville, no journey is complete without the viewing of a traditional flamenco show.  Although I have been to Spain a few times, I have yet to enjoy the pleasure of participating in this long standing tradition.  Teardrop.  Fortunately, I have watched Vida (a Cuban flamenco troupe) and a shirtless, tight spandex-pant wearing Joaquin Cortes when they performed in the city.  I could barely sit still.  I wanted to hop on stage.

How fun would it be to walk around in these outfits all day? Note precision on hands. Adore.

How fun would it be to walk around in these outfits all day? Note precision on hands. Adore.

The origin of the Flamenco actually stems from the Indian Hindus who were brought over to entertain the royal courts with their beautiful ancient dances.  Through the years, the dance form integrated influences of  the Moorish and gypsies from Persia and Pakistan.  Flamenco as it is known today is danced with passion, graceful precision, stacatto footwork and fluid hand movements.  Live shows often include Spanish guitar accompaniment and the use of castanets (to accent the finger snapping).

From Andalucia.com, “There is widely held belief that you cannot learn the flamenco and that it is a secret held in the hearts of gypsies.” The most spontaneous and purest dance is the one that comes from your heart.  So true.

Here are some Flamenco Links to keep your toes tapping and your dancing soul lit with passion! Ole!

  • Feel the heat – The Flamenco Festival hits Toronto October 24th with special guest Rafael Campallo at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre www.torontoflamencofestival.com
  • Listen to your heartbeat – You’ve always had rhythm and felt bohemian.  Take a dance class with Esmerelda Enrique who offers flamenco, technique and spanish guitar classes throughout the year  www.flamencos.net
  • Better yet, go to where it all started –  Immerse yourself in the culture and history of Seville.  Bring me back a flamenco skirt will you? I am always supportive of travellers.  Love Spain as much as I do!  www.travelinginspain.com
Any of these fancy skirts will do.  Obsessedx3

Any of these fancy skirts will do. Obsessedx3

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September 29, 2009   2 Comments