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For Would-Be Serenaders

John Cusack in Say Anything: Holding up a boombox for more than five minutes. That's love.

I have this perfect ceiling to almost floor window which overlooks the park.  On sunny afternoons, it is my favourite thing to sit on my plump, Paris-striped couch with a mug of peppermint tea staring aimlessly at dogwalkers and passerby’s.  To be honest I think my window is perfect for a serenade.  John Cusack is such a dreamboat.  I can just picture it like a scene out of Say Anything, him holding up a boombox, parked in front of my window, me opening my window leaning out giving him lovey-dovey eyes. 

To top off the perfection would be a New Wave or 80’s tune, perhaps a romantic, rock love song.  Whatever happened to love ballads anyways?  Should anyone ever feel so liberated to serenade the one they love, here are a few that are swoon-worthy.  These would also work exceptionally well for karaoke.  The hipster crowd always goes wild for a way-back playback:

  • Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over
  • Michael Penn – No Myth (Romeo in Black Jeans)  This one was re-discovered while grocery shopping in the health food aisle.  Oldie but goodie!
  • Mr. Big – To Be With You
  • When In Rome – I Promise
  • Extreme – More Than Words.  Support local hairbands!  These guys are from Toronto and when I was in elementary school, my teacher Mr. Polesi managed to get them to play in our gymnasium. 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viQWJUoRG50]

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March 3, 2010   No Comments

All My Single Ladies

Top of the Freebie Five: James McAvoy

That Beyonce song is so catchy.  And that choreo(graphy) so great for a Super Sweet 16. 

Having adopted ‘la vie boheme’ (translated as the bohemian life, a song from the musical Rent), I have the days to galavant on sidewalks or run errands.  I adore people-watching and there is nothing more enjoyable than playing the game, “Is he single?” In the vein of Penny from Inspector Gadget, I have been secretly honing my observation and deductive reasoning skills.  Well, I guess not so secret now that I’ve written a post about it.

Some tips for my single ladies… 

  • Doggy Alert –  I live in close proximity to a community park where the cute hipsters walk their dogs in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.  Keep on looking if he’s walking a French bulldog.  Where there’s a mini dog, a girlfriend is close behind.  And if the dog is wearing a cable-knit sweater, it pretty much seals the deal.
  • The Laundromat – Have you seen the episode of Friends where Ross teaches Rachel how to do her laundry?  Well, that is a tv show and pure fiction.  People don’t get together in laundromats sharing glances while piling dirty delicates into the spin cycle.  When I say it like that, it’s weird and awkward isn’t it?  The cute boys with savings accounts are picking up their drycleaning.   
  • Caffeine Fix – Today my bestie N introduced me to a ‘hive’ – a concentrated swarm of hotties sipping double espressos at The Dark Horse cafe (215 Spadina Ave).  Turn on your laptop, sidle up to the communal table and find an empty seat beside a social entrepreneur.  “Hi, is this seat taken?” 
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February 19, 2010   No Comments

Cover Me

It’s the Year of The Tiger.  Roar!

Like a tiger, let’s attack this year with energy and excitement.  One very determined stance I would like to take in my pursuits is that I will only do things that I love.  And that with the same energy, I endeavour to finish what I start.  While I don’t always feel motivated to get off my Ektorp (Ikea’s #1 selling couch is just so damn cozy), I find that music helps to get me on my feet. 

Of late, some of my favourites have been cover songs.  Obviously, the originals you can’t hold a candle to but it’s interestingly different to hear another artists’ take on a classic:

  • Alphabeat – Digital Love (Daft Punk cover)
  • Nada Surf – There Is a Light That Never Goes out (The Smiths)
  • Rogue Wave – Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) 
  • Death Cab For Cutie – Love Song (The Cure)
  • Exlovers – Wicked Game (Chris Isaac)

Alphabeat dances it off! "Ooh, I don't know what to do! About this dream and you!"

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February 16, 2010   No Comments

Girl Crush: Lykke Li

With a name like Lykke: Irresistible Swedish indie pop rock chanteuse

Girl Crush:  The act of having a crush on a fellow girl due to factors such as charismatic personality, personal style and physical attraction (hottt).  All of my girlfriends are girl crush material.  As in, if I were a guy, I’d totally date you.

Object of Current Girl Crush:  Lykke Li.  Scandinavians brought us great functional design (Ikea, H&M), a goddess screen siren (Uma Thurman), co-ordinated metallic jumpsuits (ABBA) and now Lykke Li. 

You are obsessed with Lykke Li too, aren’t you?  If you’re not, you should be.  Not only is she blonde and quirky beautiful (she probably wears her hair in braids all the time), wears cute outfits, she is such a unique singer with her feathery light vocals layered on a variety of tracks (electro pop to soul, she does it all).  Lykke Li hails from Stockholm Sweden; the daughter of a painter and a musician, she released her first album in 2007 “Little Brit.”  She is a darling among the music bloggers but her many musical accolades are well founded as her style ranges from breathy pop, to moody solos and dance worthy remixes.  Trust me, she’s going to blow up.

Fall in love with Lykke:

  • Little Bit (Gigamesh Remix)
  • Breaking It Up (Pocketknife’s Loosefoot Remix)
  • Hanging High
  • Possibility (For you Twi-hards)
  • Knocked Up (Kings of Leon vs. Lykke Li Rodeo Mashup)
  • Until We Bleed – Kleerup f. Lykke Li
  • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
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January 18, 2010   No Comments

She's Got Baby Fever

So Hip It Hurts, Original Rock Baby Icon Kingston gives hottt mama Gwen a mini massage

The best greeting card I ever gave someone to congratulate them on the news that they were pregnant had a stick figure drawing of a girl that said: “You Made A Baby” and opened up to read, “I can’t even make eggs.”  haha.  That was a few years ago because I can actually make a decent omelette now.

Growing up, I was always that girl that never wanted to hold the baby for fear of dropping it but when I turned 26 the internal-maternal clock was detonated and now I’ve been hit with severe ‘Baby Fever.’  We keep this secret in my hair for any boys that I happen to date.  Fortunately, I have a plethora of girlfriends that have kicked into baby baking mode (bun in the oven, get it?) and I get to go to indie stores where the hipsters outfit their precious littles ones in mini versions of downtown cool.  City kids, I can’t get enough of them and their haphazard styles.

True Blue baby I love you: Kolkid, for the downtown babe that has everything...

One of the best Queen West West stores for the young and restless is KolKid at 674 Queen Street West.  It’s like Urban Outfitters for babies and toddlers.  Here the adults and kids alike are entranced and bemused by butterfly dioramas, felted birdhouses, silhouette wallpapers and baby kimonos. I freaked and gasped over mini music boxes that play Stairway to Heaven, felt hair pins in the shapes of berries and ruffled white baby tank tops.  I went with my fashionistah bestie C and our good friend G, here are some of our choices for the trendsetter mothahs-to-be on the block: 

Baby Converse: Go black because Shiloh would.

Bla Bla Lolie knit toys. We liked the Owl with the skirt and C took home a half naked mermaid.

Hungry much? Lark Knit Cupcakes

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January 10, 2010   No Comments

In Search of Emo

Hipster Love: Rachel & Hayden...should really be Adam. Hellooooo!

A True Story:  The other day, I invited my dance poppet I to visit me for brunch, a bookstore perusal and a leisurely stroll along the Queen West West block.  Since I live in the Fashion & Design district, the streets are teeming with hipsters within a 10 mile radius.  I told my friend to wear skinny jeans to assimilate to his surroundings (like camouflage). haha.  When we passed another civilian male in skinny jeans, I assessed and compared the “tightness” by whether or not I could observe ankles.  I said, “If there was a war on skinny jeans, you would win that battle.”  Comedy ensued. 

The emo hipster is Seth Cohen on the O.C. or Serena Van Der Woodsen’s wannabe trustfund artist boyfriend (for 5 seconds) Aaron Rose on Gossip Girl.  It’s the starving artist at the local cafe writing on his iMac whilst sipping an espresso, the rocker sidling up to the bar at the Dakota ordering what’s on tap.  Is it life imitates art or the other way around?  Personally, I think hipsters are cute.  Generationally, we will always have an archetype of the free-spirited artist which represents a certain time and place.  The hipster is to now as hippies were to the seventies and beatniks were to the fifties.  Makes sense, non?

If I had to describe the hipster, I could break it down by wardrobe… 

  • The essential t-shirt – Deep V American Apparel t-shirt in the lightest weight organic cotton, displaying just the merest hint of chest hair.  You couldn’t consider yourself one if you don’t own it.  

"This old thing? I got it at American Apparel."

  • Facial accoutrements – Emo glasses, the dark rimmed, dramatic kind even for the non-visually impaired.  I suppose it’s a 1950’s homage to retro.  Your vision is perfect?  Dude, that’s lame!  Fake it until you make it.  And throw in some facial hair to complement the hobo look.
  • Lumberjack chic – The city has some rough terrain and no outfit is finished without a dash of a buffalo check, be it on a canvas sneaker or a fringed scarf casually wrapped just so.  When you see a trend stick for more than 3 seasons, it will likely endure. 

Kicking it hipster x 10: Buffalo check canvas runners. What??!

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December 28, 2009   No Comments