cashmereandtweed

3

E! Network has scripted and cast one of the network’s first scripted dramas entitled Songbyrd. The show, which at this point is in its pilot stage, is loosely based on singer Diane Warren.

Lauren (Bethany Joy Lenz of One Tree Hill fame) is a songwriter who employs a small staff, including sister Mickey (Rumor Willis), to manage her unconventional, but successful, process. Mickey is Lauren’s sister, a smart and shy young woman, trying to decide on her future. Now working for her sister, Mickey secretly works on her own music.

Songbyrd is from the creative minds of former Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff and produced by Smash’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

3

The Good Mad, as their title may suggest, are anything but ordinary. Their music is a mix of country, folk, and bluesy tunes braided together to create their unique Americana sound for the new generation. If any of you watch The Lying Game you may recognize this trio as Strangeworthy, Laurel’s (Allie Gonino) band. I got to ask Adam Brooks, Andy Fischer-Price, and Allie Gonino a few questions and they were very generous in their answers!

I’ve read that “The Good Mad” was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s quote, “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” Is that true? If so, what attracted you to this quote in particular?

Adam: The thing that attracted me to that quote was, well, everything! It perfectly articulates and captures those of us who lust for more life and cannot even consider a dull and dreamless routine. It also nods to the search for more of the “mad ones”, and the joy we get in finding and connecting with more people who crave life in this way.

Before you were The Good Mad, Allie, you were in a girl group called The Stunners. There is quite a difference in sound between these two groups. How did you make that jump from pop/dance music to the folk Americana sound you have now?

Allie: It was actually The Stunners that was a huge jump for me sonically. I grew up singing and playing country music, so when we started The Good Mad, it was more of a return to my roots. I will always have a place in my heart for pop music, and maybe I’ll try it again in the future, but the music I’ve been making the last two years just feels closer to my natural frequency.

Your songs are very poetic. Who writes your lyrics? Does that poetry come from one of you in particular?

Andy: We all write lyrics, so I don’t think the poetry comes from one of us in particular. Lyrics are a tricky thing because they usually come after we have a good-feeling melody intact, and whatever words we pick for that melody have to bolster it without sounding forced or awkward. Sometimes the lyrics show up from just being the best sounding words for the song, and the meaning comes to us after interpreting our own “poetry”. There are no rules, though. Sometimes it’s words first, or words and melody simultaneously. Poetry is the most condensed and efficient form of writing; whatever is being communicated can’t be said with fewer words and often has multiple meanings. The poetry in our lyrics probably comes from us having a lot to say, (we’re all pretty cosmic, abstract thinkers), while in the confines of a melodic structure.

Music is driven by emotion, but some people are a little more raw with their feelings while others simply write about general emotion. Taylor Swift, for example, is famous for wearing her heart on her sleeve. Is your music inspired by specific people and events or do you write about overall emotions and how you are feeling?

Allie: I think it varies. Sometimes I’ll be going through something that I want to write about and I will pull very specific inspiration from that situation or person. Other times, I’ll sit down with an instrument and write whatever poetry flows well with the chords and rhythm I come up with. Those are the kinds of songs that take on meaning after singing it a few times, or even after a few years.

What would you say has inspired each of you the most (in terms of musicians, quotes, movies, people, television shows)?

Adam: I have been inspired by On the Road a lot, not just for the “mad ones” quote, but I read it at a time in my life when it really sealed the deal that I was going to dedicate myself to living for adventure and joy, not for a pile of money to retire on when I’m old. I also would have to say I’m inspired my my dad’s passion for all things guitar. Without that I can’t know if I would have had the same passion in myself naturally.

Andy: The list of artists and people I have been inspired by is pretty countless. Of course, the Beatles have been a source of inspiration, along with Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, My Morning Jacket, Edward Sharpe, Arcade Fire, etc. I think the through line between all of those bands is that though the songs may have had individual writers, the music you hear sounds as if it was created by some cosmic genius, an entity that is bigger than any one person in the band. I’m inspired by true collaboration and all of the magic and mystery that it yields. I’m inspired by those who’ve worked and worked at their craft to turn themselves into masters of truth and integrity, whose art has the power to communicate the brilliance of existence, rather than the brilliance of the artist.

Allie: I’m inspired by all art forms and headstrong women. Women like Martie McGuire, Oprah Winfrey, my mother. Thinking about it, I’ve always been attracted to and inspired by people who are well put together. It doesn’t matter what your style is, or how much you spent on your clothing, as long as it’s an accurate representation of your personality and I can see that you put thought and creativity into how you present yourself. And I’m always inspired by people who pride themselves on having integrity. People who stay true to themselves, and give generously to others.

“What Money Paid For” was the first song I ever heard by you guys. I instantly fell in love. It is really relevant to our country right now. Was there an event specifically that inspired the song or was it just a topic you guys felt passionate about?

Adam: “What Money Paid For” was written during the absolute rock bottom of our recent recession, and at the time there were “Occupy” movements all over the nation. I didn’t have a lick of money in the stock market, still don’t, and I guess that was the jump off point. Sort of an anti-currency ode, if you will. I was also listening to a lot of Fleet Foxes at the time.

What has been your favorite song you’ve recorded? Do you guys even listen to your own music or is that too weird?

Adam: I definitely listen to our music, just not all the time. You’re always in different moods and sometimes I am not in a Good Mad mood. But I really love how “Falling Asleep” came out (on the ALTA EP). We all wrote it together and it reflects the mayhem of everyone’s brains on top of each other. But the choruses are so chill and I love the peaceful vibe.

Andy: I think I’m torn between “Bird in Another Tree” and “Falling Asleep”, though I rarely listen to our tracks. (It’s hard to listen without critical ears and I like to keep the magic intact.) But I love how both of those songs sort of bloom throughout. They start simple, swell and grow to a climax, then set you down on a nice little cloud at the end instead of just bursting into silence. Special, mysterious little ditties.

Allie: Oh my god, I’m such a dork when it comes to our music. I don’t know how other people feel about their own music, but I hope they like it enough to want to jam out to it! Any time I need a mood elevator, I don’t turn to prescription medication, I turn to The Good Mad. So much love is attached to those songs for me, great memories making the music, performing the music, and the songs themselves are such trips. My favorite song to record was probably “Falling Asleep (Shine Don’t Shadow”. It’s one of my favorite songs of ours, and recording it with the other musicians at County Q in Nashville was really fun.

Allie, you are on The Lying Game as is The Good Mad. Was Strangeworthy written into the show initially or was it (and Laurel’s passion for music) added after they saw your involvement with The Good Mad?

Allie: The Lying Game creator, Chuck Pratt asked me over lunch one day, after already having shot the pilot, if I would like for him to write a music story-line for Laurel. Of course I said yes. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. They were originally going to hire a local Austin band to back me up, but I suggested they listen to The Good Mad’s music. Fortunately, they liked it so Adam auditioned for the role of Baz and booked it.

Do you have any plans to tour nationally or internationally? I love watching videos of you guys performing live, but I’m an east coast NYC girl. I’d love to get to hear you live and I know a lot of other people would to!

Adam: Our touring schedule has been so intermittent and depends on so many changing variables, but I would love to tour everywhere! East coast, west coast, Midwest, international, you name it, I want to go and play music there.

Allie: I agree with everything Adam said. I’m really looking forward to playing in Australia. We have a lot of fans there, and I’ve never been. 

You released two EPs in the past year. Alta was the first. Can you explain a little bit about where that name came from? It is beautiful, but unusual.

Andy: Alta is the name of my aunt, who is a doctor in Iowa. All of her professional career she’s donated to the sciences, (to hospitals, to schools doing cancer research, etc.) She never had the right opportunity to donate to the arts. She then found out that my band was trying to get money together to record an EP and offered to foot the entire bill. We were trying to think of how we could ever properly thank her for her insane generosity, when Allie and Adam thought to name the EP after her. It felt right because she has such a unique, cool name (we probably would’ve found a different way to thank her had her name been Linda or Beth), but she was so touched when she found out that she cried!

You also said you would be releasing a full length album within the next year. Can fans expect that to be sooner or later?

Andy: We’re still trying to figure out the best route to go about recording a full-length album. Do we record in Austin or Nashville again, or just get things going in LA? A lot will probably depend on whether or not The Lying Game gets picked up for a third season, which we’ll know within a week. Ideally, we’d record this fall and release next spring or early summer. But a lot is still up in the air!

Written by Sydney Weinshel

8

Last night the second episode of the fourth season of Pretty Little Liars aired on ABC Family. The past two episodes have been enlightening for fans, having revealed many answers to questions we’ve had for months, years.

As much as I love this show and its creative team, there was a scene in last night’s episode I found to be offensive. Never have I been offended by anything on the show. In fact, I am very rarely offended by anything. The scene I am referring to (partially depicted above) is one in which Ezra Fitz is advising Spencer Hastings on her college essay. The prompt in question was “Discuss one situation in which you were right and wish you hadn’t been”. Spencer decided to write about her experience being stalked and bullied which led to her eventual mental breakdown and hospitalization.

The part I was offended by was Ezra’s reaction to the essay. He advises her to write about a different experience. He believed the essay she wrote was too honest and revealed too much. He said that now more than ever colleges are concerned with the emotional stability of students. He said that by revealing all of her “baggage" her many attractive qualities might be overshadowed.

My question is, why is this the stigma? Why is it that once someone reveals they have had a mental illness, or have had some other traumatic experience, they are automatically unstable? Spencer is right. She wouldn’t be the person she is had she not had a best friend who was murdered or a stalker who blackmailed her for a year and she wouldn’t be the person she is had she not spent time in Radley (a mental institution that is often referred to in the show). Why can’t people look beyond the bad and see how trauma can have a positive affect on a life? Why can’t victims be empowered by their struggle and not live in fear of shame by others?

We are living in a time where mental illness is a taboo and we are trying desperately to change that. I am afraid that this scene of Ezra essentially shaming Spencer's experiences has even further swept mental illness under the rug. I am really disappointed in Marlene King and the show for allowing this scene to unfold the way it did. I know this wasn’t intentional, that they would never purposefully shame a group of people or their experiences, but I was just very disheartened by the entire situation.

Written By Sydney Weinshel. Gif Set by Tali.

9

The Great Gatsby was magical, marvelous, and manic.

Baz Luhrmann is synonymous with all of these words. His films are beautiful, artistic, and far from traditional. You simply cannot enter into his world expecting a conventional take on an ageless story.

Luhrmann transformed Fitzgerald’s fantastical world of the 20s into something electric and mesmerizing. Critics may be ripping apart the liberties the risky director took with the classic work, but nothing about the production was done flippantly and without thought. Every decision, every oneliner, every song was chosen with precise research and absolute care.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was nothing if not a leader. He was new and modern as was his work. Luhrmann’s understanding of this is what made the movie great. Any director could’ve pumped this story full of hip-hop music and other ostentatious choices, any other director could’ve been safe, but only someone as creative and dedicated to the core of the tale could pull off something as groundbreaking and crazy as what Luhrmann did with The Great Gatsby.

I saw the film on Thursday, the day it was released in New York. I got all gussied up and I sat in the theater, with my equally nerdy friends, staring in awe at the screen for two hours and twenty minutes. I watched Gatsby’s sanity unravel, I saw Nick Caraway observe this life he didn’t live, I saw Daisy toy with hearts, and I cried. I cried at the beauty. I cried for the love and the loss. I cried.

As I was leaving I heard the people behind me complaining. They didn’t appreciate Luhrmann’s take on a book that defined an era. They said Luhrmann “wasn’t a very good director” and “didn’t do the story justice” and I just sat there thinking are these people out of their minds? I just viewed one of the most cinematically beautiful films in the last 15 years and these people didn’t like it?

But that is a lesson I have had to learn. The lesson that madness and genius go hand in hand and not everyone is going to appreciate it. The Great Gatsby is going to go down in history, if only in my book, next to Titanic and Avatar as one of the most cinematically and emotionally astounding films in the last two decades.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel 

3

Going into the theater to see The Spectacular Now I was not at all prepared for the film I was about to see. I’d heard it was supposed to be the Say Anything of our generation (and being a huge fan of 80s-coming-of-age movies, that caught my attention), but the movie was so far from what I’d expected. I fell even more in love with the story than I thought I would, but for very different reasons.

What I thought would be a beautiful love story about the popular guy falling in love with the unlikely girl turned out to be about a boy learning to love himself first. Sutter (Miles Teller) spent his entire high school career hiding problems he didn’t even know he had behind parties and alcohol and his “perfect” girlfriend, but after she breaks up with him, he is at a loss. Luckily, Aimee (Shailene Woodley) is there to rescue him from his slump. She becomes somewhat of a project for him. One would think that what started as a project would turn into true love like every other predictable teen romance storyline ever, but that would not be the case. What I saw was a truly unhealthy relationship between an obvious young alcoholic and a naive girl who hadn’t garnered much male attention in her high school years.

The viewer sees Aimee’s transformation from independent and introverted young woman to a borderline destructive and dependent little girl. This was most apparent to me when Sutter turns on her (rather violently) on a road trip home from meeting his estranged father just moments after she professes her love for him. He screams for her to get out of his car on the side of the road where she is then hit by a car. She, luckily, gets off with a few scratches and a broken arm. To my horror, when Sutter visits her at home for the first time following the incident, she greets him warmly and with love as if he hadn’t been cruel and horrible to her last time they spoke. I was greatly disturbed by her lack of self respect in that moment. Looking back on the film as a whole, that was just one event in a sequence that made this story about Sutter’s inability to love himself and put himself first. Ultimately, this movie is about his destructive behavior and his journey to realizing his is worth more than a few jokes and a drunken party stunt.

The thing we should come away from after watching this is not a deeply embedded belief in young love, but that nothing in life is perfect. It is a series of imperfect events that lead up to now. We can choose to to keep living the same moment over and over again or we can chose to live life to the fullest and push our boundaries to live in the extraordinary, magical, wondrous now because we are never as young as we are at this exact minute. We are “existing right here in this precise moment between what happened and what’s going to happen” and nothing is more spectacular than that.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

9

Seven Psychopaths is a movie about a psychopathic screenwriter writing a script about seven psychopaths while on the run from a psychopathic mob boss. Confused yet?

Marty is a drunken, Irish screenwriter who is in a slump. All he can come up with is the name of his movie, Seven Psychopaths, and one psychopath (that he actually stole from his best friend, a fellow psychopath). If you cannot already tell, this movie gets very twisted very fast.

When Marty’s best friend, Billy (a dog kidnapper), steals a ShihTzu belonging to a psychopathic mob boss, the two of them and Billy’s boss go on the lam to evade the crazed man. This journey takes Marty on a path to self discovery where he realizes he has a drinking problem and is able to finish his script. Unfortunately, he has to run into a handful of psychopaths in order to reach this self discovery.

By the end of the film, the audience realizes Marty has been writing the movie they have been watching the whole time. Every element of the movie was discussed as being part of Marty’s movie at some point in the film, from the meaningful talks in the desert to the epic shootout at the end. As per Marty’s request, his movie about psychopaths is really a movie about life at heart.

The movie, though sometimes hard to follow, is extremely entertaining in the nonchalant way it handles the gore and killings throughout the 110 minutes. This is, after all, a comedy about psychopaths.

4/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

4

Late monday night we lost a true national treasure. Our little princess, our Heidi, our Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm…

In honor of our dearly beloved Shirley Temple Black, here are ten of her most remarkable quotes:

  1. “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
  2. “When I was 14, I was the oldest I ever was. I’ve been getting younger ever since.”
  3. “Any star can be devoured by human adoration, sparkle by sparkle.”
  4. “Make-believe colors the past with innocent distortion, and it swirls ahead of us in a thousand ways; in science, in politics, in every bold intention.”
  5. “One famous movie executive, who shall remain nameless, exposed himself to me in his office. ‘Mr. X,’ I said, 'I thought you were a producer, not an exhibitor.’”
  6. “Good luck needs no explanation.”
  7. “Sunnybrook Farm is now a parking lot; the petticoats are in the garbage can, where they belong in the modern world, and i detest censorship.”
  8. “I wanted to be in the FBI. I wanted to be a pie salesman. It was so intense that the studio got the prop department to make a little pie wagon and they filled it with tarts. I wheeled it around the set and sold it to the crew. I was about 8-years-old. I always sold out and I didn’t have to pay for them. It was a great deal!”
  9. “I class myself with Rin Tin Tin. People in the Depression wanted something to cheer them up, and they fell in love with a dog and a little girl.”
  10. “When asked 'Won’t the new Suggested For Mature Audiences protect our youngsters from such films?’ she answered, 'I know many forty-five year old men with the metalities of six year olds, and my feeling is that they should not see such pictures either.’”

Written By Sydney Weinshel

10

The Academy Awards 2013: Best Dressed

The Oscars is the most acclaimed award show in the entertainment industry and dressing for it is no easy task. It is a hit-or-miss situation and poor taste can follow you forever. Take a look at some of the best dressed stars on this years’ red carpet (in no particular order):

  1. Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
  2. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
  3. Reese Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton
  4. Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
  5. Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan
  6. Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive
  7. Channing Tatum in Gucci
  8. Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen
  9. Samantha Barks in Valentino
  10. Jennifer Aniston in Salvatore Ferragamo

Written By Sydney Weinshel

5

It’s over. The show that defined so many of us for so many years came to an epic conclusion last night. That’s right, I am referring to Gossip Girl.

The first hour of the special two hour finale focused on recapping the series, giving fans a look at the development of the show from the beginning, and including commentary from the cast. Viewers reveled in the exclusive as they anxiously awaited the start of the final episode.

Finally, nine o'clock came around and the countdown to the revelation of Gossip Girl’s identity began. Who would it be? Dorota? Nelly Yuki? Jenny Humphrey? Would the creators bring in Kristen Bell, the voice of Gossip Girl for the past six years? We would soon find out.

So much happened in this episode that is almost impossible to cover it all. There were appearences from old cast members including Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey), Jessica Szohr (Vanessa Abrams), Connor Paolo (Eric van der Woodsen), Katie Cassidy (Juliet Sharp) and Desmond Harrington (Jack Bass).

Finally, after so much pain and turmoil, our favorite couple is married. Chuck and Blair finally tied the knot last night in Central Park followed by a swift arrest. The two were questioned about the mysterious death of Bart Bass, but were released when there was no evidence that either of them were involved in the situation.

The real kicker was the revelation of Gossip Girl’s identity. It turns out the Lonely Boy Dan Humphrey had the means to unveil her this whole time, which he choses to do in his finale installment of his exposé to be published in The Spectator. As the piece is posted paragraph by paragraph by Sage, a montage of old cast members are seen reading the piece and reacting to the identity of Gossip Girl. Agnes Andrews, Juliet Sharp, and Vanessa Abrams are a few of the people who are shocked to know who she is. A special appearance from Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson had fans in a fit of hysterics as they prepared to audition for Gossip Girl while simultaneously discovering Gossip Girl is none other than… DAN HUMPHREY!

Who would’ve ever guessed that outsider Dan Humphrey was capable of being Gossip Girl? I sure didn’t. My money was on Dorota and apparently so was everyone else’s. Ultimately, everyone is okay with the fact that one of their own tortured them for six years. All he did was tell the truth and use it to his advantage as they all had done before.

As with every good finale, there is a 5 years later piece at the end. We get to see the son of Blair and Chuck, Henry Bass (who trended worldwide last night) and an appearance from Jenny and Eric. Jenny’s bag was labeled “J for Waldorf”. Isn’t it funny the way things come full circle? The Spectator ran an ad for a movie called “Ivy League” based on the autobiography by Ivy Dickens. The two female leads would be played by Lola Rhodes and Olivia Burke. Jack Bass and Georgina Sparks ended up together as well as Rufus and Lisa Loeb (who previously made an appearance on the show a few years ago). All were gathered for the wedding of Serena and Dan. It may be cheesy, but sometimes we all just need to know that they all lived happily ever after and they did.

The show did set up for a possible sequel. There is always going to be someone on the outside looking in and there is always going to be a Gossip Girl. But that is the next generation’s problem.

So long and fare well to Gossip Girl, we will never forget the drama. What shall we do with our Monday nights now?! Maybe give The Carrie Diaries a chance? After all, it was advertised every single commercial break of the finale.

XOXO

Written By Sydney Weinshel

7

“You’re gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man-boobs are gonna concave.”- Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy

“You girls are awesome-ly horrible, I hate you, kill yourself, GIRL POWER”- Adam Devine as Bumper

“There’s 4 groups on campus: the Bella’s… That’s us. We’re the tits.”- Brittany Snow as Chloe

These are just a few of the gems you can hear in the aca-awesome new movie Pitch Perfect. The film is set at Barden University in the midst of a competition between a cappella groups. After a humiliating defeat at Nationals the previous year, returning senior Aubrey (Anna Camp) is determined to return to nationals with a rocking group to redeem her tragic loss. Unfortunately, no one wants to join the Barden Bellas after such a dismal loss. The only girls they could get were a group of misfits: self-proclaimed ‘Fat’ Amy (Rebel Wilson), loner Beca (Anna Kendrick), quiet Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), sexually promiscuous Stacie (Alexis Knapp), and 'friendly’ Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) among others.

As Aubrey desperately clings to past and tradition, Beca challenges the group to be different and better for it. Beca also starts up a flirtation with a member of the rival team, The Treble Tones. Jesse is cute, funny, and head-over-heels for Beca who can’t even see it. As Jesse (Skylar Astin) tells her, “[She’s] one of those a cappella girls, [He’s] one of those a cappella boys and [they’re] gonna have a cappella children.” Too bad Aubrey said dating a Treble is suicide as a Bella, and she is Dixie Chick serious about kicking anyone out of the group who breaks that rule.

Rebel WIlson steals the show as hysterical and confident, heavy-set singer trained in “mermaid dancing”. She is a constant laugh. When Bumper tells her he feels like they should kiss, she rebutes him b saying, “Sometimes I have a feeling I should do crystal meth, but then I think mmm, better not.”

Set to the music of our generation and others before us, Pitch Perfect is a party in the movie theater. You better aca-believe it! Be prepared to get pitch slapped.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

youtube

Carried Away- Passion Pit

One of the most interesting and innovative music videos I have seen in quite a while.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

Are you ready to be a NARSissist?

This may seem like a weird question, but not for those who have heard of the famous Nars Instagram account under the witty handle, Narsissist. This is the official account for the make-up brand and let me tell you, it does an amazing job of portraying the luxurious and high class nature of the brand. All make-up lovers beware…you will become addicted to this account.

It’s hard for me to pick just one thing that I love about this particular Instagram account so I’ll pick three! 

1) You get a behind the scenes look into the world of Nars make-up. 

2) You can see how colors will look on you

3) They have fun with it!

So come on! Become a Narsissist already!

Written By: Cheyenne Adler

2

A long time ago we used to be friends, but I haven’t thought of you lately at all. These lyrics are EVERYTHING. So is the show they so accurately accompany. In 2004 the CW premiered a television show that would launch a cult following for years to come. Though the show was suddenly canceled after three years, fans remained devout to the show, calling themselves Marshmallows. That show was Veronica Mars.

Nearly ten years after the show’s cancellation, Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie adaptation of the beloved show. Their goal was $2 million dollars. That goal was met a mere 10 hours after launching the campaign. The campaign ended a month later with 91,585 donors raising $5,702,153.

The Kickstarter campaign broke several records. They broke their first record by raising $1 million dollars in less than 5 hours. In less than 24 hours they raised their goal of $2 million dollars. It also holds the record for the most backers of any Kickstarter campaign.

The movie was released (in theaters and on digital copy) exactly one year and one day from the initial launch of the campaign and it was perfection. As a fan who joined the game 10 years too late, I had a fresh memory for every one-liner, minor arc character, and LoVe feel.

The movie brought back some of the most minor characters and even made some of them important to the film (Gia was the villain? Gia is smart enough to be the villain?). There was an amazing cameo from Kristen Bell’s hubby, Dax Shepard. The only recast in the film was Carrie Bishop (originally portrayed by Leighton Meester) and I was very impressed by that. For the movie to be great, everyone needed to proverbially come home.

In classic V. Mars style, the film made reference to some of the most fangirl worthy lines and moments from the show’s run. There were also a few surprises for the Marshmallows. Logan is in the air force now, Veronica is still with Piz (gag me), Mac is working for Kane Software, and Weevil is a freakin’ dad! WEEVIL IS A DAD!!!!!!

A few dissappointments: no word (not even a reference to his status) on Duncan. Where is he? Is he still on the lam? How’s his daughter by Meg? What about Parker? Did she and Mac stay friends? Don’t you usually keep in touch with your college roommate? What happened to Veronica while she was at the FBI? When did she transfer to Stanford? Why hasn’t she met Piz’s parents yet? Who is the new leader of the PCHers? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

But of course, those were all minor holes compared to the masterpiece of moments that made up this fil. These were the 10 best moments from the film (in order):

  1. Veronica referring to herself as a marshmallow
  2. LoVe referencing Logan’s infamous drunk speech about their love being epic
  3. James Franco’s viral video cameo
  4. Keith Mars’ reaction to seeing Veronica taking a message
  5. Veronica verbally bitch-slapping Madison Sinclair and later actually bitch-slapping Madison Sinclair.
  6. Weevil as a dad
  7. Deputy Leo punking Veronica
  8. Dick’s flask belt
  9. “We Used To be Friends” being sung by a street performer
  10. Logan is in the Air Force *swoons*

Besides one to many references to the Piz/Veronica sex tape (don’t even get me started), the film was a raging success filled with easter eggs for Marshmallows, essentially any fangirl’s wet dream.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

4

What has come to be known as Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” Era is gone. Swifties around the world raced to iTunes, Best Buy, Target, and WalMart at midnight on October 22nd to purchase the country-pop princess’s new album Red. America’s sweetheart has been counting down the release of her fourth album on twitter for the past ten days hyping up the album, as if that was necessary. This album has been the talk of the town since she officially announced it in August 2012.

Prior to the release, Swift released five singles from her 16+ track album as well as a philanthropic single about a little boy with cancer (all proceeds went to cancer research). All was almost lost in the week leading up to her epic release when some of the tracks were leaked onto the internet. Most notably, the much anticipated collaboration track with British indie singer Ed Sheeran. Swift didn’t make a official statement, nor did she turn the track into a single (as she did when single “Mine” was leaked two years prior).

All the drama and anticiapation was washed away at midnight when the album was released and within 40 minutes the album hit number one on iTunes. Her most eclectic album to date features a jamboree of intensely radio-pop songs mixed with sweetly-sad ballads about her many high-profile relationships. Fans are already speculating which “self-indulgent” boyfriend each song is about.

Unlike her past albums, not all the tracks are about scorching the guys who broke her heart. “State of Grace” is about what it feels like to fall in love as opposed to what it feels like to have your heart broken. Swift has stated that she wanted to song to sound like falling in love.

“All Too Well” may not be about a successful relationship, but it isn’t about calling out an ex on his bad behavior either. it is simply about what it feels like to know a relationship is over while still being in love with the person.

“22” isn’t even about love at all. It is about going out and having fun and simply being a “happy, free, confused, and lonely” 22-year-old. Her hidden message (something only a true Swiftie can find) is “Ashley Dianna Claire Selena”, four of Swift’s closest friends. Swift sings, “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.” Thanks to her instagram and twitter pages, fans have an inside look at her dress up parties with Ashely, Dianna, Claire, and Selena.

“I Almost Do” is strangely reminiscent of Speak Now’s "Back To December". “I bet you think I either moved on or hate you ‘cause each time you reach out there’s no reply. I bet it never ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye,” she sings in her signature heartbreakingly beautiful voice. In this ballad, Swift describes the internal struggle one may face when trying not to fall back into an emotionally exhaustive relationship.

There are so many more songs on the album that are more geared towards her heartbreak than his wrong doing, which is a fresh perspective from the “Better Than Revenge” songstress. Usually she uses her music as an outlet for anger and revenge on her exes, but Red is different. Of course, there are still the scorchers such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”, but there are also heartbreaking ballads and upbeat-carefree-dance songs focusing on herself.

We have another winner from a one-of-a-kind young lady. No one knew that when Taylor broke out onto the scene in 2006 that she would become one of the most respected, talented, and successful young artists of our generation. No one knew she would become the voice of her generation. She is just a small town girl from Pennsylvania who became an international country-pop superstar. “This is the golden age of something good and right and real.”

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

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Today, the 1D World Store opened up in Madison Square Garden. Fans from all over waited in line for the store to open up this morning and were not disappointed. The store not only featured their merchandise, but included a One Direction karaoke station, the telephone booth from their new album, and a photo station. Cutouts of the boys were stationed around the store, formerly a Borders Bookstore. Fans took pictures and wrote on the walls with Sharpies, leaving messages in hopes of the Brits seeing them.

Written by Sydney Weinshel. Photos by Sydney Weinshel.

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Going To Hell is the second full length album by punk rock band The Pretty Reckless, producing 3 singles, which has followed their successful breakout record in 2010. The only music to be released between the albums was an EP, featuring 3 new tracks and two live tracks, in 2012 while they were on a headlining tour.

The making of this sophomore record has been a roller coaster ride for the band. They were victims of Superstorm Sandy, losing 2 years of hard work when their New Jersey studio was destroyed along with all their recordings, equipment, and guitars. They rallied together and took another year and a half to recreate an album worthy of the four year wait.

Going To Hell pulls inspiration from religion, specifically Catholicism, with references to priests, Heaven, Hell, prayer, confession, sex, death, and absolution. It is a cohesive collection of 13 original tracks and two acoustic covers that represent the band as they are now, not as they were when they busted into the rock scene.

While their first album was semi-autobiographical, with each song standing strong yet alone, their second album tells a story of corruption and religion. The sound, fans will note, is significantly different from Light Me Up. It is much more representative of their sound as heard live with raw vocals from Taylor Momsen and a more elaborate production sound featuring a bigger sound from an array of instruments.

One of the more haunting tracks on the album is “Sweet Things” featuring not only Momsen’s vocals, but Ben Phillips’ as well. The dynamic is reminiscent of the title track on their EP, Hit Me Like A Man. In the same way they shared that song, “Sweet Things” tells the story, from the perspective of both Momsen and Phillips, of sex and the corruption of youth. The track is haunting; nightmarish even.

The wait for this album was well worth it, allowing the band to create an album that was impeccably produced, well written, and even well curated. Each song was carefully chosen and placed within the record to create an evocative commentary on religious beliefs and practices.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a movie adaptation of a book by the same name. It seems like all that is coming out these days is movie adaptations and most of them are poorly done, leaving a fan of the book severely disappointed and rather angry that someone had the audacity to change any part of the book while filming. This is not one of those movies.

As a fan of the book, I can honestly tell you that I have never seen a book be adapted into a movie in such a seamless and beautiful way as The Perks of Being a Wallflower was. From the flawless cast to the brilliant soundtrack, this movie was as true to the book as it possibly could be. All credit due to Stephen Chbosky, who wrote the book, the screenplay, and directed the movie.

The story is centered around a 15-year-old boy, Charlie (Logan Lerman), whose friend has recently committed suicide. Before he starts high school he vows it will be different for him, but the first day proves that this is easier said than done. Then he meets Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), seniors and half-siblings, who take him under their wing and expose him to a carefree and serendipitous side of life, which may seem romantic to him at first, but soon proves to be filled with as much sorrow and pain as his wallflower existence is.

The movie is set in a world of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show while dealing with abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional), drugs, alcohol, depression, and sexuality. It is a coming of age story unlike others in that its main character, Charlie, is a wallflower who sees all and says nothing. He has a great mind, but doesn’t share and often has a lot more insight than he is given credit for; some of his advice for Sam includes, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Charlie is unique because not only does he have depression and severe social anxiety, he works through the problems throughout the film, never quite reaching a point where he is “cured”. There is no traditional happy ending for the characters. The story simply ends not unlike the way life does (without a moral and mostly without a ride out into the sunset).

This movie will make you laugh and cry, often at the same time, as well as make you feel things you didn’t think you felt. It leaves you, as Robert McCammon said in Boy’s Life, feeling a little heartsad and not quite knowing why. It is here you can touch the “golden pool of light” and for just a few moments you feel complete and utter understanding of life and love.

It leaves you feeling infinite.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

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Summertime Sadness (Cover)- Miley Cyrus in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

I just wanted to include this as a companion to the piece I wrote yesterday about my opinion of Miley Cyrus. She can really sing. She has a beautiful voice and has the ability to sing gorgeous songs, so why is she purposefully not living up to her potential?

Written By Sydney Weinshel

5

Gossip Girl is back and scandalous as ever with a season premiere sure to knock viewers off their couches. Serena is missing, Dan is canoodling with Georgina, Blair and Chuck are together (kind of), and Ivy is in cahoots with Lola plotting some mischievous plan.

Serena has created a new life for herself in a remote area where no one knows her. She isn’t even using her real name. Sabrina is her name now and apparently she is from Wisconsin? S is escaping again and that can only mean she has hit rock bottom. Could there be some happiness in Serena’s future? I don’t know, but her new man, Steven, seems to good to be true.

Dan has spent the summer in Rome with… Georgina? Writing a tell-all book about the Upper East Side with an unstable psychopath, as Chuck so eloquently put it, is a recipe for disaster. It is only a matter of time before this backfires on him and Lonely Boy is excommunicated once again.

Blair has spent a productive summer in Paris planning her new fashion line. Chuck has spent the summer looking into his father’s fake death after he was cut out of Bass Industries. The two have spent the summer loving each other from a far. What else is new? They supposedly have a pact. Once they were done with their personal responsibilities, then they can be together. Did B dump Lonely Boy for a chance at maybe with Chuck? Some old Blair.

Nate has been on top of the world since he decided to launch The Spectator on his own. His lead story was an exposé on Gossip Girl’s identity, but he traded his silence to Gossip Girl for information on how to find Serena. Poor Nate. Won’t he ever stop sacrificing himself to save S?

And then we have Ivy. Supposedly she has been staying with Rufus this summer. A little strange considering it’s just the two of them. She has been helping him scope out prime spaces for a new art gallery, but nothing is ever black and white with Ivy Dickens. Suspicions are confirmed when she leaves a mysterious message with Lola, the real Charlie Rhodes, discussing their plans to manipulate Rufus. For what, we don’t know. What could she be plotting? Whatever it is requires Rufus’s utmost trust because at the end of the episode she kisses him and they are found indecent on the couch by a very startled Dan Humphrey.

This is shaping up to be a season of deception and seduction unparalleled to any other season thus far, but be careful because nothing is ever as it seems on the Upper East Side.

XOXO

Written By Sydney Weinshel