Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is Awesome. Simple As That.

The more skits I see from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the better I feel about the SNL veteran taking over The Tonight Show and kicking Jay Leno to the curb in 2014.

And this is one of those reasons why I feel like late-night is finally experiencing a much-needed rejuvenation: a lip sync-off with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (obviously promoting his directorial debut, Don Jon) and Stephen Merchant, the tall, gangly Brit who can pull off a mean Will Smith interpretation.

Just skip to 3:15 to witness some lip syncing realness and then 8:05 for some Nicki Minaj epicness.


@TheFirstEcho


Passport to Peru: The 2013 Fall Playlist, Vol. 2

This next batch of songs has the fortune of being a part of my South American soundtrack when I journey down to Peru tomorrow.

I couldn't ask for a better collection of delightful earworms that will provide some much-needed entertainment on 8-hour flights, excursions through Machu Picchu, and late nights in Lima. Ears up, kids...

1. "High Society" by Betty Who - I'm kicking off things with the Australian chick who provided the song in that Home Depot marriage proposal that went viral earlier this month. Sure, "Somebody Loves You" is a great roller disco anthem from the 80s, but it's this catchier, sparkling gem that has made me an obsessed fan of the indie pop tart. It's perfect for any run-away-and-forget-your-problems scenario. Play it. Then repeat. And repeat again:


2. "Heart Out" by The 1975 - The 80s continue to make a comeback in this British alt-rock-pop ditty from a group that deserves some of your recognition. Press play over HERE.

3. "In The Stars (Galaxy Mix)" by Icona Pop

4. "Shot At The Night" by The Killers - M83 produces for Brandon Flowers & Co. on this pretty awesome single that returns the group to its electro-rock roots. Listen HERE.

5. "No Strings" by Chloe Howl
6. "You Make Me" by Avicii feat.
7. "Hero" by Jessie J

8. "Piano" by Ariana Grande - This girl's got potential, and this track is easily beats her current single, "Baby I":


9. "Gorilla" by Bruno Mars

10. "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears - As much as will.i.am may be ruining Brit-Brit's musical integrity with this derivative piece of club trash, it's still club trash you can get drunk to.

11. "Overdose" by Ciara
12. "A Light That Never Comes" by Linkin Park & Steve Aoki
13. "Sorry" by Naya Rivera feat. Big Sean
14. "The Way We Are" by Aiden Grimshaw
15. "I'll Be Around" by Empire of the Sun
16. "Spirit" by Deloreon
17. "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
18. "Disco Love" by The Saturdays
19. "Vacation" by G.R.L.
20. "Stay The Night" by Zedd feat. Hayley Williams
21. "L.A. Story" by Sammy Adams feat. Mike Posner

@TheFirstEcho


Betty Who: The Best Home Depot Music Video Ever

Viral videos of epic marriage proposals are awesome and all, but they still remind me that I'm single.

That said, the niftily staged public display of affection that went down earlier this week in Utah (in the lumber aisle -- hi yo!) was not only the happiest day for one lucky guy, it was both a great way to plug Home Depot's support of marriage equality and direct people's ears to indie Australian pop tart Betty Who.

Her single, "Somebody Loves You," is the perfect anthem for an occasion like this. It's like a long-lost gem from the 80s, a sparkling, uplifting ditty that'll get you smiling through the crappiest of days.


And here's the official music video:



You can download her impressive EP, The Movement, and get three more of her songs over HERE.

@TheFirstEcho


Passport Alert: I'm Going To The Dominican Republic (with Rihanna)


As luck would have it, I will be putting my passport through the ringer later this fall when I take a trip down to Punta Cana to enjoy three nights at the Hard Rock Resort & Casino...two weeks after I return from Peru.

I'll be writing another travel feature for Instinct Magazine (similar to my Mexico trip in February) and a few other media outlets in which I'll report on the food, the sights, the amenities...and Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour (all-access pass included). Trust me, I'm shaking my head at myself as I write this.

Many thanks to the publicity powerhouses at the Zimmerman Agency for hooking up this poor schlub. You guys spoil me rotten...and I look forward to you spoiling me more in the near future.

See you on the beach, RiRi.

And thank you, Universe, for this embarrassment of travel riches.

@TheFirstEcho


Theme Song of the Month: September 2013

Autumn is rearing its pretty, multicolored head, and it's time to stray from easy-breezy pop and focus on something a little more substantial, don't you think?

Enter: Ms Mr (that's Miss Mister), the New York-based duo that's garnering some attention on alternative radio with their single, "Hurricane," and giving me a theme song that's accentuating what will surely be a busy month for me (an upcoming camping trip, a Palm Springs getaway, and yes, my travels in Peru). Consider me mesmerized by the noirish vocals and early-to-mid-90s rock sensibility (is it me, or am I getting a Mazzy Star vibe here?).

Have at it:



@TheFirstEcho


J.J. Abrams Wants More of My Money, And He Will Have It


My all-around idol has co-written a multi-layered book that's expectedly shrouded in mystery. It's even got an impressive, stylish teaser that makes some movie trailers look like poo.

[In my best Veruca Salt voice]: I want it now!