Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2015

TWENTY16: Sounds of the New Year

Here it is, my brand-spankin' new playlist to help you properly kick off 2016. Granted, I'm a little late to the party on some of these. For instance, Rudimental's "Lay It All On Me" featuring Ed Sheeran (track 2) somehow flew past my radar back in September, but this hypnotic collaboration is currently on repeat, a definite shoo-in for January's Song of the Month. *And be sure to check back because I'll be adding more tracks as we move further along into the winter. (Breaking these out into separate volumes is now a thing of the past - why not have all of the season's goodness in one place, right?) @TheFirstEcho

Nerdgasm of the Month: It's Like 'Downton Abbey' Meets 'Scream'

One of my all-time favorite murder mysteries, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, is finally getting a new remake, courtesy of BBC One and co-producer Lifetime. (!!!) I first read the novel back in in middle school at the prodding my mother, a huge Christie fanatic. I was immediately intrigued because it took on the format of a traditional slasher flick. (Ten strangers isolated from the outside world being picked off one by one.) And as a kid raised on countless Friday the 13th s and any other horror movie I could watch, this book seemed like great middle ground, a compromise between a son and a mother who wanted him to read more "classics." And Then There Were None is also the OG when it comes to large ensemble murder mysteries. I guess it's no surprise that movies like Clue and Murder by Death , which lampoon the genre, appear on my Top 10 All-Time Favorite list. Some pop culture pundits have said that Hitchcock's  Psycho is the Original Slashe

The Top 10 Douchiest Instagram Accounts of 2015 (I Could Find)

Narcissism is the name of the game when it comes to most Instagram accounts. And most of us fall for them -- hard. That's why we click "follow." We feed each other's egos, and the result is an endless supply of snapshots, selfies, and sycophantic posts that would make our ancestors collectively bow their heads in shame. (Seriously, someone should do a study on the correlation between the number of followers and the amount of skin one displays in photos.) Here are just some of the ridiculous, over-the-top accounts I've come across this year. You're welcome . 10. @itslavishbitch  / @lavishyabitch Buzzfeed called this 19-year-old prick The Worst Teenager on Instagram . And after scrolling through his posts, you'll see why. "My life is like Louis Vuitton, everyone wants it," says this so-called "entertainer." 9. @albertogestoso How do you promote peace after a horrific terrorist attack makes headlines around the wor

The 2015 Review: A Totally Critical Look Back

Updated 12/18/15 It's hard to resist turning this into a rant about some stuff that went down this past year. But if you ask me, 2015 was like any other year in recent memory. It was also over before you could scream "Kim Davis, give me my marriage license!" There was some bad, there was some good, and there was plenty of same-shit-different-day business that went on. So I'm doing my best to avoid sounding like one of those basics who either declare "I'm so over you, 2015!" or "2015, thanks for the great times!" The year was many different things for many different people, and if I were to distinguish 2015 from other years, I'd say it was the year my tolerance for hypocrisy and bullshit hit an all-time low, both in my personal life and in the world around me. (Ahem, certain presidential candidates and other public figures who don't deserve the attention -- or legislation control -- they've been granted.) Wow, what's n

Song of the Month: December 2015

He made his American television debut last week on The Tonight Show , and his mesmerizing debut album, Blue Neighbourhood , dropped earlier this month. Troye Sivan , the 20-year-old YouTuber-turned-recording artist from Australia, seems poised to dominate 2016, but before radio stations put him in their rotation, you need to sample his smooth electro-R&B sounds in "Wild," a song that is working quite nicely as a closer for 2015. (And once again, Entertainment Weekly agrees with me -- check out their Must List in the current Best & Worst of 2015 issue.) Don't let the boyish looks fool you. And if you want to be totally blown away, be sure to check out the rest of this gorgeously produced music video trilogy. @TheFirstEcho

The Santa Sessions 2015: A Holiday Playlist

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And such a time deserves a most wonderful playlist to go with it.  From me to you. @TheFirstEcho

Another Day in America, Another Mass Shooting

At this rate, I'm assuming every American will eventually, at some point, know someone who's either been injured or killed by a gun. So, what can we do? Seriously, I'd like to know what each and every one of us can actively do. Because a hope-for-the-best status update won't fix it. Tweeting out thoughts and prayers for the victims' families of the 355th mass shooting OF THE YEAR won't fix it. Carelessly blaming a faulty system won't fix it. So I ask again: besides feeling like shit and feeling helpless for a few minutes before resuming our everyday lives (and holiday shopping), what can we do? Wait until each and every one of us becomes a "friend or family member of a victim" to warrant a nationwide rallying cry? What can we do to prevent this sickening "new normal"? I'd like to know. That said, Igor Volsky , take it away: . @igorvolsky : "The NRA pays [lawmakers] to only think and pray about gun violence &