Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Last Thursday I attended the annual "Singles Party" hosted by Indianapolis Monthly at Nicky Blaine's Cocktail Lounge. I had a wonderful time, met some wonderful people. Even did some networking. I didn't stay the whole time, but I did manage to sit down for a drink and chat with a nice young lady.
As I pondered what drink I should try, she could tell I was quite perplexed and not a drinker - and she was right. I had no idea what to order. All I knew is the event was partially sponsored by Kettle One and their drinks were going for $7. But Kettle One just seems too distinguish-y, and ridiculously faux-manly. It tries too hard. When I think of Kettle One slender, well-bearded, white men, dressed in sleek, black Tom Ford suits with white shirts that have the top two buttons unbuttoned (I still got love for Tom Ford, though). I wanted something more laid-back but flashy. I guess that's why I had always ordered a Ciroc with any juice I thought tasted good. The young lady insisted I order a Ciroc because it was "good" - and that's exactly what I ordered. That shit was $10.50. I could've shot myself.
A friend and fellow intern of mine, Pamela, ordered a mysterious carmel colored drink with some cream on top. It looked delicious. I took it upon myself to have a sip. It was the best alcohol I've ever tasted - that may not be saying much, but whatever. She informed me it was a "White Russian." I would've ordered one if I hadn't already ordered a damn Ciroc (sorry, Diddy) and realized that I'd be paying $18 for parking that night. I learned my lesson that night: Ladies you don't know are terrible at suggesting drinks (duh), Ciroc is only "good" because it's Diddy's drink, and paying more than $10 for parking or a drink of any kind is just ridiculous.
White Russian Recipes:
2 oz vodka
1 oz coffee liqueur
1 jigger vodka
1 oz white creme de cacao
1 oz cream
2 oz Stoli Vanil vodka
1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
1/2 - 1 oz light cream
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The Band of Outsiders Spring/Summer 2010 Collection is tailored, hip, fun, and functional - kinda like the stars featured in the lookbook - Dave Franco ("Scrubs"), Donald Glover ("Community"), and Leslie Mann. All the images are in the form of Polaroids, which I love. I have actually been thinking about buying a Polaroid sometime this year to document my times and surroundings. It gives things a cool, laid-back, old-school feel to them. Band designer Scott Sternberg described his brand as, "like what your dad wore but reinterpreted for the future." If the future looks this cool in the sun. I may need to move to SoCal.
For more pics click here.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Ke$ha, 22, makes me think of that college girl who was at every party sloppily drunk off her ass while dancing the night away before hooking up with some random guy, and throwing up in the toilet while her friends hold her hair. The only thing is she’s somehow appealing enough to continue to be popular with guys and girls alike.
To me, she may be very different from that, but from the sound of her debut CD, Animal, it seems she’s trying to give off that vibe, that’s Ke$ha. She describes her fashion sense as “garbage-chic” and named Keith Richards as her fashion inspiration (Really?). Basically, she could care less what we all think.
Nevertheless, she is talented.
Born in Los Angeles, but growing up in Nashville, TN, she was taught to sing and write songs by her mother. You can hear some of that southern-ness in her voice throughout Animal.
She may not have the best voice, but she has a niche and there’s a definite place for her in music today – albeit the party scene. The thumping beats, auto-tune, and daring lyrics make you want to listen when no one is watching (unless you’re that party girl). I admit buying her CD and think it’s pretty good for what it is – a party CD. “Tik Tok” is infectious, “Take It Off” makes me want to fist pump like my name is JWow, and “Stephen” has one of my favorite openers of any song I’ve heard recently.
I expect Ke$ha to get even bigger as this year goes on. It won’t surprise me one bit if she takes home a Grammy next year. And even if she doesn’t, we know she’ll party her ass off regardless.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I first ran across Jason Derulo a couple years ago while reading a feature story on Diddy. At the time Derulo was writing songs for Danity Kane, Donnie Klang, and Cassie.
Born Jason Desrouleaux, 20, (he changed the spelling for his stage name to make it easier to pronounce), the Miami native has been in song writing since he was 16. He released his debut single, “Whatcha Say” in August and the song became a smash, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November. I know I couldn’t get the song out of my head for months.
While many listeners simply took to the song’s hook, Derulo’s voice sounds somewhat of a slightly deeper Jeremih and flows well over the Imogen Heap-sampled (“Hide and Seek”) track.
To be honest, I haven’t heard much else from him other than his next single, the guitar-infused, “In My Head.” Yet, I really like his voice and feel he has a serious chance to catch the hearts of both R&B and pop fans this year. His self-titled debut album on the Beluga Heights/Warner Music Group label drops March 2. I’m interested to see how he sells. My guess is he may start out slowly because “Whatcha Say” was released so long in advance and his second single isn’t close to that one. Nevertheless, I expect his sales to pick up with a third single next summer. Whatever happens, the kid’s got talent and I expect him to be up for plenty of hardware over the course of the next year.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
In 2009 I became more interested in music than ever before. New, different music from what I first began getting into in the mid to late ‘90’s. Now, I’m developing a “thing” for indie-rock, electronica and alternative music once again. My musical taste has expanded. That expansion brought me to Dan Black. With classic British-pop vocals and lyrics that read like poetry, Black is certain to leave his mark in the U.S. this year.
In 2008 Black released “HYPNTZ”, which is a mashup of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella”. On the song he impressed critics with his hip-hop knowledge as he sang Biggie’s lyrics while keeping his own vocal melody. Black’s first real single, “Symphonies” was released as iTunes single of the week for the week of December 28, 2009. It’s a simple, lively, pop song with edge from the “Umbrella” beat. The single is off his album, “Un” released in the UK in 2008. The album is said to be smart and confident and garners influences from Jay-Z. Biggie, Prince, Beck and De La Soul to name a few.
Black received Justin Timberlake’s stamp of approval last summer and with his British, indie-rock, hip-hop, and pop sound there’s little doubt in my mind that UK’s Black will be making a big name for himself stateside.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
It wasn’t long ago when Sean Anderson worked as a telemarketer in Detroit making a measly $100 a week as a junior in high school. The rapper better known as Big Sean had bigger dreams, as telemarketing wasn’t the hustle he’d dreamed of. Luckily, one day a friend called him to tell him Kanye West was at the 102.7 FM radio station. In an effort to get signed, Sean rushed to the station and used his relationship with the staff to get close to Kanye. West denied him at first before telling him he had 16 seconds to spit. Sixteen seconds turned into 10 minutes.
"Kanye shook my hand and started walking away," Sean told MTV. "My friend was like, 'You gotta go for it.' So I tapped him on the shoulder and was like, 'I'm an aspiring MC. I do this show every Friday. Can I rap for you?' He was like, 'No. I gotta go.' I'm like, 'Man, please — you're my hero. Let me rap for you? Just let me spit for you.' "
Kanye let Sean spit as he walked out of the station. After a while a crowd had formed and Kanye was bobbing his head. "It was like out of the movies," Kanye told MTV. "I could hear his personality and character and style in it. He just walked up to me and said a rap and I said, 'I'mma sign you.' That's what happened and to this day Sean’s clear Midwest flow has skateboard kids and hip-hop heads alike bobbing their heads. Now signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music, he’s set to release his debut album Finally Famous sometime this year. His persistence helped him find a new hustle. So much for that old telemarketing gig.
With the Grammy's airing this past weekend I felt it was only fitting for me to unveil my 10 favorite new artists who I'd like to see make it BIG in 2010. A couple of my picks are already big names, but have yet to reach the full potential of their young stardom - some haven't yet released an official album, and those who have haven't yet seen Grammy fame. I guess this is my toast to them and my way of saying, "These people are the shit. Now recognize." And they all should be recognized, because sooner or later you'll have their songs, outfits, and pictures stuck in your head if you don't already. When you see these artists run to download their music, upload their photos, peep their style, and look for their tours. I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed.