Skip to main content

Posts

Flashback: The 2001 Playlist

Ah, 2001. It's not just the name of Stanley Kubrick's space epic. It was the first year of the 21st century, a year of... so much . It was the year I got my first cell phone, the year I lived abroad in London and fell deeper in love with all things British, and the year that saw one sunny September morning change the lives of every American forever. But not to be forgotten, it was the last innocent era of pop music. 2001 was the year that introduced us to new adjectives ("Bootylicious"), new artists (Hey, Craig David), and newfound respect for Pink ( Missundaztood , anyone?). Here are the 30+ tracks that made my year (gulp) twenty years ago. @TheFirstEcho
Recent posts

Christopher Pike Dragged R.L. Stine on Twitter and 13-Year-Old Me is Geeking Out

If you don't recognize the two names in the above headline, then you clearly did not come of age in the 90s as a budding horror fan ... UPDATED: Back in December of 2020, R.L. Stine, the world-famous author of nearly a hundred scary novels for kids and young adults ( and one of my literary idols ), tweeted a photo of himself with a corny caption that truly demonstrated his dad joke game. The picture showed the 77-year-old writer sitting at his desk, announcing himself as the winner of a fake award: Then, at the beginning of the new year, Christopher Pike (real name: Kevin McFadden), the other young-adult novelist who also dominated teen bookshelves during the same decade (and elusive object of my journalistic obsession back in 2011 ), replied with a fun jab at Stine, sharing his own win. 9:10am UPDATE: And Stine clapped back!!! Needless to say, if this were 1993, my younger and much geekier self would spontaneously combust from a massive nerdgasm after seeing these two so-called

SHIVER: The 2021 Winter Playlist

Four out of four Santas agree: once you've grown tired of hearing Mariah Carey belt out holiday tunes for the umpteenth time, plug into this playlist that will help you embrace the frigid temps (and the frosty new year). New singles from Ava Max, Troye Sivan, Roosevelt, and Britney Spears featuring Backstreet Boys (what is this, 2000?) should keep you warm enough for the next couple of months... @TheFirstEcho

The 2020 Review: 10 Great Songs of the Year

Given the kind of year it was, it makes sense that my favorite songs of 2020 all share a certain retro vibe that transported me back to certain eras from the past forty years. These are the men and women who produced earworms, crafted lyrics, and gave good vocals to help me (and some of you) get through our national crisis... 1. "Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus - Here's the thing: Miley is well aware of your Stevie Nicks comments, and yet she went ahead and delivered this glorious slice of rebellion that she admits is inspired by the Fleetwood Mac queen. The result is an irresistible 21st-century homage to "Edge of Seventeen" that manages to do what so few songs in 2020 could: get better with every listen. And if it wasn't exactly your rhinestone-studded cup of tea, she "don't need to be loved by you." 2. "If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)" by The 1975 - The group's best track from Notes on a Conditional Form is a synth-and-s

A Requiem for 2020

As I start to write this, news from Kentucky has come in, announcing the devastating verdict in the trial for the killing of Breonna Taylor. It is yet another soul-crushing development that has become characteristically and dreadfully de rigueur for 2020. It arrives just days after the untimely death of American pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her passing spreads across social media with countless sad emojis populating people's posts and comments about the outstanding legacy of the Supreme Court Justice, a real-life superhero. That announcement comes just weeks after the death of Chadwick Boseman, a man who portrayed a fictional superhero and represented so much to so many. Meanwhile, the air quality in Southern California has finally improved after a week of the worst conditions I have experienced in the two decades I've lived in Los Angeles. While a sizable portion of the country is on fire, another is drowning in floods caused by back-to-back hurricanes. All Halloween activitie

Hallmark Channel Presents: A Christmas in Quarantine

This holiday season, marketing exec Maggie Whitewoman returns to her hometown to spend Christmas with her family. But first, to keep her loved ones safe, she'll have to spend a week in quarantine, renting out a cozy lodge owned by handsome carpenter (and widower) Ben Blandlyhot. Soon, when Maggie can't take any more Zoom meetings for work, she finds herself helping Ben make festive face masks for the townspeople - just in time for the annual Christmas Eve Festival - and finds that love can blossom even in isolation. But will Maggie give up a career (and a hard-earned Master's degree) to move back to a town where the most ethnic thing about it is an Italian restaurant owned by an Irish ex-pat from the Bronx? Starring That Actress from That 90s Teen Show Who Can't Get Cast in Anything Else and That Former Soap Hunk Who's Really a Closeted Conservative, it's... A Christmas in Quarantine . Then, stay tuned for A Very Covid Christmas : When Susan Goodchristian catche

#TBT: JJ, Can You Hear Me?

Your early 20s are for being obnoxiously ambitious enough to get a friend to design your cover letter and resume for television writer-producer-director extraordinaire JJ Abrams. Little did I know that, one year later, I would “accidentally” cut him in line at the sushi bar inside the afterparty for the premiere of Star Wars: Episode III . @TheFirstEcho