LABOR DAZE: The 2014 Summer Playlist, Vol. 3


Goodbye, Summer of 2014.

Thank you for giving us some great beach weather, Chris Pratt, and enough Ice Bucket Challenges to last until the next charity-driven meme turns into another viral gimmick. But before you go, let's celebrate you one more time before we all start to stress out over our Halloween costumes...

1. "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
2. "Big Girls Cry" by Sia
3. "This Is How We Do" by Katy Perry
4. "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor -
5. "Classic" by The Knocks feat. Powers
6. "Paralyzed" by BT feat. Christian Burns:


7. "It Was Always You" by Maroon 5
8. "Everything You Wanted" by Clubfeet:


9. "Lovers on the Sun" by David Guetta feat. Sam Martin
10. "One More Day" by Example
11. "Do or Die (Stay With Me)" by Afrojack & Thirty Seconds to Mars
12. "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj
13. "Ordinary Human" by OneRepublic
14. "Superheroes" by The Script:


15. "Leave Your Lover" by Sam Smith
16. "Everything Remind Me of You" by Tessanne Chin
17. "Here For You" by Gorgon City feat. Laura Welsh
18. "Break The Rules" by Charli XCX:


19. "Beautiful Life" by Armin Van Buuren feat. Cindy Alma
20. "All The Way" by Timeflies
21. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Van O Remix)" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

@TheFirstEcho


Song of the Month: September 2014


Too bad this sumptuous jam didn't drop earlier this summer. But no bother. If you're looking for a tune to close out The Summer of 2014, look no further.

The Knocks (a.k.a. Ben "B-Roc" Suttner and James "J-Patt" Patterson - not to be confused with the bestselling crime novelist) have crafted a fine, groovetastic number called "Classic" featuring vocals from some chick who goes by the name Powers.

Enjoy the hell out of this one, kids:


*Also, you've probably noticed that I've taken out the word "Theme" in the above headline and abbreviated this series of posts as "Song of the Month." It's just better, no? And yes, it helps with search engine optimization purposes.

@TheFirstEcho


Ann Coulter's Ice Bucket Challenge


Thanks to B. Scott's recent post on Facebook, I took the liberty of updating it a bit.

@TheFirstEcho


Pop Culture Rant of the Week: Ice Water Mothers


1. Mothers of the world: keep your hands on the wheel and your iPhones off your babies in the backseat. I'm sure your precious children are capable of cute shit at home.

2. I love my friends, especially the ones who know better than to dare me to dump a bucket of ice water on my head. Consider us old-fashioned; we like to directly donate money to charities we wholeheartedly support.

3. The Ariana Grande video for "Break Free" (featuring Zedd, can't forget about him) debuted this week. I didn't think it was possible to produce a prozac-induced remake of Britney's 2000 classic "Oops I Did It Again," but here we are (seriously, I like the girl, but she must have more than two facial expressions in her):


4. This trailer for The Babadook. I'm getting some serious The Others vibes. My guess: there is no monster. The mom is just going nuts and ends up murdering her child. The end.


5. And finally, not so much as a rant but a reflection: Watching Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, and Dead Poets Society will be all the more special from now on.

@TheFirstEcho


Matt Bean: Entertainment Weekly's New Editor or Photogenic Poster Boy?


Earlier this year the seats of power shifted at Entertainment Weekly.

Out went Jess Cagle and in came Matt Bean as the mag's Editor in Chief.

Bean hails from SportsIllustrated.com, and his headshots (below) apparently hail from the School of Dapper Gentlemen. Which makes me wonder if we'll be seeing a lot more of this photogenic writer on TV (morning news, talk shows, etc). The above photo was taken for last month's Comic-Con issue, so naturally, Bean had to perfect his "hot nerd" look.



Either way, whether or not they're prescription lenses, the glasses are a nice touch.

@TheFirstEcho


Theme Song of the Month: August 2014


Where the hell did July go? Are we really two-thirds into the year already?

For August I could showcase Katy Perry's "This Is How We Do" or Jessie J's collab with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, "Bang Bang," but that would be a bit predictable, no?

Coming out of nowhere is Sia's "Big Girls Cry," a stirring track from her latest album. Consider me mesmerized:


@TheFirstEcho


Comic-Con 2014: What to Expect This Year


Frankly, I don't know what to expect this year (my eighth!) because my schedule won't allow me to get an early start on the geekfest that is Comic-Con.

Well, maybe I do...Complaints about the line to get into Hall H. Sweating my ass off while trying to cross the street and carry a bag of swag I don't really need. And attempting to meet up with acquaintances amidst the crowds of cosplayers and nerds in need of deodorant.

However, I do have one thing penciled in my schedule: On Saturday I will be transformed into a zombie courtesy of the make-up team from The Walking Dead (for a piece I'll be writing). I'm already brainstorming hashtags and Instagram captions for the inevitable photos. Stay tuned.

And if you still don't know what Comic-Con is at this point, then why are we friends?

@TheFirstEcho


THE DREAMERS: The 2014 Summer Playlist, Vol. 2


Before I head off to Comic-Con to conclude this madcap month I wanted to squeeze out another curated collection of tunes for the remainder of the summer. Much like the box office, the music scene this season hasn't been too bountiful.

But what's aplenty is Adam Levine; here he appears twice, first with Maroon 5 and then on a breezy track from the Begin Again soundtrack. (Check it out. Really.) What else? Your standard alt-dance-pop, Ariana Grande's latest, a breathtaking Whitney Houston cover, and -- get this -- a soulful hipster rendition of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" from 2013.

1. "Maps" by Maroon 5
2. "Break Free" by Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
3. "Stranger" by Chris Malinchak feat. Mikky Ekko - Close your eyes. Nope, that's not another long-lost Michael Jackson track you're listening to:



4. "Blink" by Cascada
5. "Sideways" by Wrabel:



6. "No One Else Like You" by Adam Levine
7. "Enjoy the Ride" by Krewella
8. "Hideaway" by Kiesza
9. "Reverse" by Somekindawonderful:



10. "Hungry Eyes" by NONONO
11. "Born to Run" Afrojack feat. Tyler Glenn
12. "She Came To Give It To You" by Usher feat. Nicki Minaj
13. "How Will I Know" by Sam Smith
14. "Talking to Ghosts" by Foxes
15. "Cool Kids" by Echosmith
16. "Faded" by Zhu
17. "Extraordinary" by Clean Bandit feat. Sharna Bass

18. "Bo$$" by Fifth Harmony - With lyrics like "Michelle Obama, purse all heavy with Oprah dollars," how could I not include this piece of irresistible trash?

19. "No Diggity" by Chet Faker
20. "Start Again" by Blake Lewis
21. "I Will Never Let You Down" by Rita Ora

@TheFirstEcho