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Showing posts from October, 2014


#TBT: That Time I Got Chased Out Of The Glendale Galleria By Security

Picture it: Glendale, 2010. Two weeks before Halloween.

On a very family-friendly Sunday afternoon, six men start stripping in the middle of the Glendale Galleria (in front of Crabtree & Evelyn no less) and proceed to dance and grind to "It's Raining Men."

And yours truly was one of the masterminds behind this failed flash mob (one of many that took place throughout Los Angeles that weekend).

You see, I was the producer for a viral campaign promoting the DVD release of Vampires Suck, which involved a series of public stunts that recreated the Twilight spoof's homoerotic dance number. We were hired by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, so we were a totally legit production...except for one tiny detail.

We neglected to inform the aforementioned shopping mall of our plans and totally went in unannounced.

Cue the mall security guard who immediately came over to stop the performance. Cut to: a dozen other mall cops who started running after us the second everyone o…


MOMENTS: The 2014 Fall Playlist, Vol. 2

From the looks of the cover, one might think this second volume of fall tunes may be a little dude-centric. True, but the ladies are in full force as always. This marks Taylor Swift's first appearance on any playlist of mine - and once you listen to #4, you'll understand why I gave in. Then there's Tove Lo's "Moments," after which this compilation is named, because it. Is. Everything. (Seriously, her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, is one of the best of 2014.) But the real surprise may be Hozier's slot at #5, a track that will indeed take you to church and cause your jaw to drop when you hear this 24-year-old Irishman's voice.

1. "Lips Are Movin" by Meghan Trainor
2. "Moments" by Tove Lo
3. "Glory Days" by Betty Who
4. "Out of the Woods" by Taylor Swift
5. "Take Me to Church" by Hozier
6. "Wrapped Up" by Olly Murs feat. Travie McCoy
7. "Slow Acid" by Calvin Harris

8. "I Wann…


1989: A Good Year For Many Other Things Too

While you listen to Taylor Swift's brand-spankin' new album, 1989, for the 23rd time this week, I'd like to direct your attention to other things that entered the world during the year T.S. popped out in a hospital somewhere in a town that is probably priding itself on being the birthplace of a superstar.

Let us reflect on and honor those who contributed so much to pop culture 25 years ago...

1. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

2. Madonna's video for "Like a Prayer":


3. Seinfeld's debut on NBC.

4. The first official episode of The Simpsons on Fox.

5. Back to the Future Part II:


6. The B-52's "Love Shack":


7. This piece of literature:

8. The Dodge Dynasty, a fine automobile named after a TV show about rich women with shoulder pads who slapped the shit out of each other:

@TheFirstEcho


Last Week A Bigoted Redneck Got Served A Big Plate of Justice in Dallas

Bravo, Texas. Bravo.

Here's the video. (The accidental TGIFriday plug comes at 6:09)


When Your Halloween Costume Gives You Major Moose Knuckle

This past weekend I attended Halloween Havoc XIV, my friend Matt's 14th annual costume bash, where (naturally) I provided a playlist of tunes for all to enjoy (lining up Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" with vintage Britney's "Drive Me Crazy" does wonders for a dance floor).

This year I decided to go with a hybrid costume, putting a demonic spin on Alice in Wonderland's Tweedledee (hence the name Tweedle-Demon; thank God I added a name tag to clarify for people). And I appreciated all the compliments I received throughout the night.

But after checking out a few snapshots on Facebook and Instagram, I noticed that my red suspenders did nothing to help my sweatpants situation, particularly in the crotch area.

You live. You learn. And you have a good laugh.

Luckily nothing else came up.

*Thanks to @marzaar for the photo.

@TheFirstEcho


Since We're on a 90s Kick, Here's This: 'Swans Crossing'

A very young, pre-Buffy Sarah Michelle Gellar...

That girl who lived in a submarine with her dad...

And that theme song...

Ah, Swans Crossing, the short-lived syndicated teen soap that dominated the summer of 1992:


And here's a little sample:


MINDBLOWING FACT: did any of you know that Mira Sorvino appeared on this?

@TheFirstEcho


#TBT: That Time I Sweated My Ass Off on Style Network

It was a sweltering day in August of 2011. And those hot indoor studio lights didn't help. But these awesome folks and I squeezed onto a couch and managed to get through a taping of The Look For Less to help a friend out. 
From left to right: actor-director (and former producing partner) Michael Medico, stylist Meg Titus, yours truly, S Factor manager (and fellow Cumberbitch) Stephanie Gradski, and Paul Mitchell events director Greg Bonhomme.
They're good people.
@TheFirstEcho


Why R.L. Stine's 'Party Games' is a Tricky Piece of Literary Nostalgia: 3 Ways to Read It

Plaid flannel and babydoll dresses may be making a comeback at the mall, and dance music appears to be returning to its house roots, but there's another reason why 2014 is feeling very 1994: author R.L. Stine has returned to Fear Street, the series of books that dominated the Young Adult section in bookstores during the Clinton era.

The latest entry, Party Games, is dedicated to Stine's Twitter followers, the thousands of twenty- and thirtysomethings who came of age during the author's literary heyday (yours truly proudly included). They're the ones who have longed for some 90s nostalgia in the form of good old-fashioned teenage bloodshed and have taken to social media, urging him to revisit the fictitious town of Shadyside and its infamous dead-end street.

Party Games is the story of 17-year-old Rachel Martin who gets invited to a birthday party hosted at a mansion on mysterious Fear Island, where the titular games turn deadly for guests. The birthday boy happens to b…


SURRENDER: The 2014 Fall Playlist, Vol. 1

Raise your pumpkin lattes!

Fall is not only a great time for more cerebral entertainment. (Hello, award contenders and award-winning novels!) It's also a season for harvesting new music. And I've got a bounty of tunes to keep you cozy while that autumn chill rolls in...

1. "Runaways" by Betty Who
2. "Love Me Harder" by Ariana Grande feat. The Weeknd
3. "Real Love" by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne:


4. "Blame" by Calvin Harris feat. John Newman
5. "Surrender" by Cash Cash
6. "Jealous" by Nick Jonas - *Yes, it's true. This doesn't suck.
7. "Modern Hearts" by The Knocks feat. St. Lucia:


8. "Go All Night" by Gorgon City feat. Jennifer Hudson
9. "Habits (Stay High)" by Tove Lo - *From what is quickly becoming one of the best pop albums of 2014, Queen of the Clouds.
10. "Burnin Up" by Jessie J feat. 2 Chainz
11. "Drive My Car" by Nick & Knight
12. "Love Who …


Song of the Month: October 2014

Tove Lo, the Swedish import who's currently making an impact on American radio with her single, "Habits (Stay High)," recently released her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, and I have to say it's one of the most refreshingly dynamic and original pop albums I've heard in a while (don't be surprised if it appears on my Best of 2014 list in December).

"Moments" is one those brilliant tracks from Clouds, an unapologetic manifesto with a soaring chorus that will have you embracing whatever flaws you think you may have.

It also includes what is possibly my favorite lyric of 2014:

"I can get a little drunk, I get into all the don'ts, but on good days I am charming as fuck."

Listen and love:


@TheFirstEcho


'Desperate Housewives' 10 Years Later: Remembering A Primetime Soap Benchmark

A seemingly happy wife and mother named Mary Alice puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger...and a seemingly idyllic neighborhood is never the same.

Not since Knots Landing have television viewers been so enraptured by the weekly dramas of a bunch of cul-de-sac-dwelling suburbanites. For eight seasons Wisteria Lane on ABC's Desperate Housewives was a ground zero for soapy fun. It quickly became a place where secrets -- along with several criminals -- were harbored, where a wealthy a former model slept with her gardener, where a neglected wife went off her rocker and shot up a supermarket, where an accident-prone single mom got kidnapped by a vengeful ex-con, where an on-the-lam family hid from an eco-terrorist, where a shady politician got skewered by a picket fence during a tornado, where an airplane crash landed into a Christmas block party, where a serial killer once held a pregnant woman hostage, where a bitchy real estate agent got electrocuted by a telephone pole, wher…