Showing posts from May, 2016

I Went to Florida and Glimpsed My Life in the Year 2045

Picture it: Ellenton, Florida, 2016. I'm floating in a heated pool when all of a sudden I hear a very raspy New York accent break the silence. A woman named Janice is chatting up her friend while suntanning on a pair of lounge chairs. From the looks of Janice's skin, it seems as if she hasn't skipped a day of sun since the Clinton administration. Her mop of short gray hair is a stark contrast to her brown, leathery skin. This was my fourth and final day in Senior's Paradise. (Real name: Colony Cove, a community where my New York parents have purchased a home to escape the harsh winters of the Northeast -- they are now what Florida residents call "Snowbirds." ) I got a taste of the retired life. And compared to the non-stop routines and jam-packed schedules of my Los Angeles existence, it was a welcome relief. Here's what went down during my time in South Florida: THURSDAY 6:45am - The town car that picked me up at Tampa International pulls

When Bad Music Videos Happen to Good Pop Songs: Ariana Grande's "Into You"

Ariana Grande's "Into You" is possibly the catchiest and radio-friendliest track to come off her recently released  Dangerous Woman. It's a perfect piece of summer pop that's juuuust naughty enough to make you wanna...let's say,  rub up against someone . After all, "a little less conversation, and a little more touch my body" might be my favorite lyrics of the season. However, the music video is a letdown. Directed by Hannah Lux Davis (Demi's sweaty, sizzling "Cool for the Summer," Hilary's neon-riffic "Sparks"), the visual treatment does nothing to complement the song's vitality. Watching Ari flirt and frolic her way around the desert and in cheap motel room with her (spoiler alert!) bodyguard isn't the exciting and dynamic narrative I was hoping for. Also, was there no budget for some choreography and some backup dancers? I don't know about you, but "Into You" screams "big dance number!

SUMMER16: The Playlist

*UPDATED 6.19.16 There's just something about a summer playlist. Chock-full of tunes designed to make your season sizzle, a good summer playlist is meant to be blared wherever you go during the next three months: backyard barbecues, beach trips, pool parties, and everywhere in between. This year's playlist, fittingly titled SUMMER16 (forgive my lack of imagination this time around), should hopefully keep the festivities rolling along. I've curated more than 60 tunes to please all crowds. I've got a fair share of earworms, booty shakers, and chillout numbers to keep you busy til Labor Day. HOWEVER, A DISCLAIMER: If you wish to hear some Beyonce (ahem, "Freedom" and "6 Inch"), you can request my iPod DJing services, and I'll be happy to provide a more comprehensive set (Damn you, Spotify!) Enjoy: @TheFirstEcho

When Bad Music Videos Happen to Good Pop Songs: Zayn's "Like I Would"

I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard Zayn's "Like I Would" earlier this year, hoping that it would be the official follow-up to his ode to hate sex, "Pillowtalk." And it appears that it is indeed his next single for radioplay. It has a sexy, Weeknd-esque groove that's good for blaring in the car. Will it be easily forgotten six months from now? You betcha. But still... Directed by Director X (real name), the video for "Like I Would" is a laserlight-filled exercise in Let's-Throw-All-Our-Money-At-Cool-Looking-Shit-That-Has-Nothing-To-Do-With-The-Song. The following thoughts ran through my head during the first viewing, from start to finish: Are we watching an audition tape for Tron 3 ? Are we supposed to know why Z has a neon-orange eye? Did the dude lose a contact lens? Is he a cyborg sent back in time to terminate a certain boy band that will waste five years of his life? Thankfully there is some choreography in the