Song of the Month: March 2015

Anyone familiar with Kylie Minogue's "Get Outta My Way" from 2010 will notice that it has been sampled in Alesso's "Cool," featuring Roy English (above, right).

And, believe it or not, it works wonderfully, especially with English's vocals, allowing the track to slightly rise above the standard EDM fare that's flooding the airwaves.

That, and it's a perfect song to get me pumped for my birthday at the end of the month. Give it a try:

And because I can't make up my mind and choose one song to dominate my month, I'm just going to drop this right here, the latest from British songstress Clare Maguire.

Ladies and gents, introducing the infectious, sass-filled "Don't Mess Me Around":


The Only 'Black and Blue' That Matters

Screw your white-and-gold nonsense.



'Clue' Turns 30: Let's Celebrate With Some GIFs, Shall We?

Clue, the 1985 movie adaptation of the popular murder-mystery board game (written by John Landis) that sparked a humongous cult following, is celebrating a humongous anniversary this year.

And yours truly, who has attended several midnight screenings of the film and watched it dozens of times on VHS, DVD, and Netflix, plans to celebrate alongside all of the quote-spouting die-hards who are just as obsessive as I am.

Has it really been 30 years? Let me count...

Well, either way, the geek out is real. I'm so excited! There isn't enough exclamation points to express my excitement! I'm so...

To those who don't understand the comedic brilliance of this film, which stars a venerable who's-who of the comedy world -- Brennan, Lloyd, Mull, to name a few --  or don't even realize that this movie exists:

I literally can't right now.

This movie taught me how to be an optimist, to look on the bright side of things...

...and educated me on the importance of a good, well-placed pun.

If anyone tells you otherwise or tries to convince you that this movie isn't worth a mere 90 minutes of your precious time, do not listen to them.

So grab some friends and loved ones...

...and get in on the fun, won't you?

Happy Anniversary y'all.

Your accident-prone, cognac-swilling, telegram-singing fan,


Oscars 2015: The Best GIF of the Night

NPH did a great job last night -- as did Common, John Legend, and Gaga, who took all of us to church with their standing-O performances -- but it was Meryl and J.Lo who provided a gif that keeps on giving: their reaction to Patricia Arquette's you-go-girl acceptance speech:

In short, this is to be saved and utilized for every "Yaaaassss" moment of 2015.

Thank you ladies.


When Bad Music Videos Happen to Great Pop Songs: Calvin Harris & HAIM's "Pray To God"

"I've got it!" cried the music video director. "Let's have these Wilson Phillips wannabes stand still and give us their best Morticia Addams. And we'll throw some animals in there. And then they're on horses! With mist!"



Why 'Jupiter Ascending' Matters Despite Its Glorious Mess

Call me crazy, but the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, despite its ridiculousness and not-so-great execution, is the kind of movie we desperately need in Hollywood.

The big-budget sci-fi epic represents something that rarely happens at multiplexes across the country in the 21st century: a original piece of work widely distributed and put on the big screen.

The word "Marvel" isn't attached to the opening credits (or any comic-book label for that matter). There's no YA novel from which it was adapted. Heck, there isn't even a cheesy 80s TV show that inspired a big-screen reboot of the property. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a glorious thing.

Yes, it's about Mila Kunis playing a cleaning lady who finds out she's a powerful descendant of an intergalactic dynasty. Yes, Channing Tatum plays a half-wolf hybrid who has a cool pair of gravity-defying rollerblades that makes the hoverboard in Back to the Future Part II look quaint. Yes, some of the action is over the top. But the filmmakers have built a world we haven't really seen before. It's kind of a beautiful thing.

As Lana Wachowski told the Los Angeles Times last Friday, "When I was young, originality was everything. A sequel was like a bad word. We've gone to the opposite place where [audiences] actually are more excited about a story we know the ending to." (More on that here.)

Jupiter Ascending bombing at the box office -- when you align it's $180 million budget with its $19 million opening weekend performance -- is a sad indication of how Hollywood execs are shaping the tastes and expectations of the American audience. It also gives studio heavyweights the ammunition to further prove their case that what is old will be new again...and again. There's no need to invest millions of dollars in an original idea when they've already conditioned moviegoers to accept and consume fare like Furious 7, Taken 3, Ghostbusters 3, a fourth Jurassic flick, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

I could go on and on about the current state of American film, but Grantland's Mark Harris has already done that with his highly insightful article titled "The Birdcage." It is a MUST-READ for anyone who has a sliver of concern about what your money is funding every time you visit the box office.

Seriously, read it now (allow yourself 10 minutes to get through it all). And then leave your comments below. I'll wait.


'The Breakfast Club' Turned 30, And This is How I Celebrated

With the one and only Lea Thompson (Some Kind of Wonderful, Back to the Future)

February 15 marked the 30th anniversary of one of my all-time favorite movies, and I couldn't have imagined a better way to celebrate the milestone.

The Breakfast Club was just one of the many movies gloriously retold through song in For The Record's Dear John Hughes, a musical tribute to the director who gave an entire generation an unforgettable oeuvre and the rest of the world The Brat Pack.

I was honored to be invited to the opening night of this spectacular show. (It was my fifth time attending the troupe's showcase, so you may have heard me rave about them before.) Needless to say, the 80s nostalgia was in full effect.

Evan Rachel Wood gettin' some in a nod to Some Kind of Wonderful.

And yes, there was cake at the afterparty where I got to meet Lea Thompson. (Quick story: Last year Bello Mag had done a spread on her daughter, Zoey Deutsch, and she thanked me for how wonderful it had all turned out.)

The surprise of the night? Evan Rachel Wood killing it as Ally Sheedy in TBC and Mary Stuart Masterson in Some Kind of Wonderful.

I can honestly say this is one of the best live musical experiences in Los Angeles. I'll be giving a full write-up on the night over at

In the meantime, you can sample some of the knockout performances here:

A video posted by Hiko Mitsuzuka (@thefirstecho) on

A video posted by Hiko Mitsuzuka (@thefirstecho) on