May 20 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! (May 19th, ’10)

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Greetings, earthlings!  (Or not…did you just hear The X Files’ theme song?)

That song was an ill-advised choice to listen to so close to bedtime…colour me freaked out! *hesitantly checks out room for sign of alien invasion…still feels a little wary, but is too scared to look in the closet so just sits uneasily in her chair*

Um, speaking of a “Mid-Week Madness” (although this is of an entirely different sort), ladies, gentlemen and all other friendly life forms? You know what time it is.  Time to dance! 

If you’re anything like me, you have this recurring daydream where you’re striding down slick city streets (but know exactly where you’re  going), look effortlessly-yet-amazingly-glamourous-and-stylish (wearing at least one vaguely-futuristic-looking thing and a bitchin’ black leather jacket), and feel thoroughly “modern,” “futuristic,” “edgy,” “urban” and a bunch of other similar words that have kind of lost their original meaning and are over-used by people who are anything but modern, futuristic, edgy or urban?  (Case in point: I’m wearing a flannel shirt (completely without irony) as I write this to you).  Hopefully, the aliens will prefer to stalk ‘n kill a more stylish prey.

ANYWAYS, my imagination and this next song are about 67% responsible for my near-daily delusions of coolness.  “I’m in Love With a German Film Star,” which was a big hit for The Passions in 1981, perfectly captures this feeling of dark, slightly gritty, glamour in a movie star-worshipping culture.     Bonus points if you can incorporate posing for a flurry of cameras while dancing to this:

 The Passions- I\’m In Love With a German Film Star

I equally love the techno version of this song.  Hear me out, it’s frickin’ amazing! I might even love it equally-more than the original.  It’s impossible *not* to pretend you’re cool while listening to it.  The song was initially covered by the lovely Sam Taylor-Wood, with The Pet Shop Boys at the producing helm, and then techno fiend Gui Boratto put his spin on it.   As the song goes, it is indeed “a glamourous world.”

Sam Taylor-Wood, Pet Shop Boys, Gui Boratto- I\’m In Love With a German Film Star

I was thinking of sending the song along to our former German exchange student, but then I figured that he might be a little confused.  Or flattered.  Or terrified.

Cheers!

Kylie


Apr 22 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! (April 23rd, ’10)

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Yes.  The photo and the the single dangling cross earring do not deceive you.  Today, we are dancing to George Michael.  Yes!  Unlike the “Faith”-era picture above, we are dancing to more recent George Michael.  Although he’s better known as an ’80s and ’90s icon, both through his work with Wham! and his solo career, George (may I call you George?) is still going strong.  This entire week month has been pretty much devoted to prancing around to “Flawless (Go to the City),” from his album “Patience.”  The lyrics to this song are uplifting, straight-talkin’ and affirming.  They also make me want to move to the city.  All of this from a pop-dance song?  George Michael gets me.   This video for this song is like the mascot of Mid-Week Dance Parties everywhere, and features the most amazing spontaneous-group-dance-in-a-hotel-room scenes ever!  It’s like dancing around in your bedroom, singing into your hairbrush, but on a much grander, George Michael-fied scale.  Another extra-awesome part of the video is that it features a wide range of people, all united through their love of dancing to George Michael songs.  Or, y’know, united through their love of dancing in music videos for pay.

ANYWAY!  Check out the song that I get dressed to in the mornings:

George Michael- Flawless (Go to the City)

FLAWLESS!

As a special bonus, here’s the video for “Freedom 90.”  Directed by David Fincher, it stars the Holy Trinity of supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington.   A classic, classic video.

George Michael- Freedom 90

LINDA EVANGELISTA!

What songs can’t you help prancing around to this week?

Cheers,

Kylie


Apr 15 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! (April 14th, ’10)

Hello, friends!

What a great day it is today!  The sun is shining and the lawnmowers are out for their first whirl.  Naturally, I am inside and wearing a delightfully wierd sweater that is actually kind of itchy but I suffer through it in hopes that the “delightfully weird” part will triumph over the “itchy fibres fusing to my skin” part… as you do.   I’m also watching hilarious videos on Youtube.  Life is, indeed, grand. 

Coco Rocha is a 21-year-old Canadian supermodel with an engaging personality and a distinctive face.   Possessing both brains and beauty in equal measure – like, a truckload of measure - she is fully deserving of the rarified “supermodel” tag.   Rocha deserves her own article detailing her various charity works and her brave public stance against the overwhelming demand for increasingly thinner and thinner models in the fashion industry (a move that could have very well gotten her blacklisted), so I’ll be writing about that shortly.   How does Coco Rocha fit in today’s MWDP?  The girl knows the value of a spontaneous dance party, as her charming homemade music videos can attest.   There’s one video in particular that tugs my heartstrings, and that’s the one of Coco and her father dancing to “I Wanna Be Like You” from Disney’s The Jungle Book.   This video is equal parts “awwww” and “doing your best impressions of jungle animals,” so let’s check it out:

Coco Rocha and Trevor Haines- The Jungle Book

Seriously- their commitment to all the lip-synching and their synchronized dance moves are hella impressive.   I also think it’s pretty adorable that Coco’s dad seems just as into the song (if not even more so) as Coco.

I wanna walk like you! Talk like you! You see it’s true-ue-ue!

Kylie


Apr 2 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! March 31,’10

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Hey! Ho! Let’s…dance!

I hope these past days have been very dance-worthy for you all, and that you’ve been frolicking in daisy-covered fields like they do in so many prescription drugs and feminine hygiene products commercials.   Well, frolicking in daisy-covered fields, riding horses along the beach, and winking at mysterious yet non-threatening strangers.   Well, sometimes it’s more like they smile shyly at each other, because winking would be too outrageous and something that the wearer of the leading competition would totally do.    Ummm….what?

Anyways, I’ve been finding myself in a pop-punkish mood these days.  Ohhh….nostalgia for the music of those early teenage years.  The sweet strains of Sum 41 piercing our delicate eardrums as we stood around awkwardly in someone’s basement, avoiding eye contact with everyone else, or as we made the half-hour drive to the mall.  Our parents were driving, of course.  Well, The Dollyrots are poised to make the glory days of 2006 happen over again.   Their 2007 single “Because I’m Awesome” is ridiculously infectious and it is scientifically impossible to not dance around when you hear it.  (So just a friendly warning in advance if you don’t like to play air guitar, flip your hair around and pose in the mirror in front of other people: you might want to shut the door).   I’m also a fan of the album cover, which features a bunny wearing a gas mask.  The cheerleader-y “rah rahs” at the end reinforce the importance of being your own cheerleader, so there’s a nougat message about self-esteem wrapped in a delicious chocolate pop-punk shell.     Plus, The Dollyrots are signed to Blackheart Records, so if they have Joan Jett’s stamp of approval, then that’s more than good enough for me. 

The Dollyrots- Because I\’m Awesome

What music is making you do flying split leaps this week?

Cheers,

Kylie


Mar 25 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! March 24th, ’10

 

 

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Rockin’ out at the 2007 Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland

I have a confession to make:  I frickin’ love to play air guitar.  In fact, most of September, 2006 was spent doing just that, until I belatedly realized that grad students have fewer classes because apparently they’re expected to do more research.  The more you know, eh?  Student slacker antics aside, I know I’m not alone in my love for air guitar.  Once exclusively the domain of nerdy boys alone in their rooms, or musicians with dreams of Motley Crue-levels of super-stardom, the delicate art form has broken free from the bedroom, basement and dive bar, as proven by the fact that such an event as the Air Guitar World Championships even exists.  

In addition to plaing air guitar, I love daydreaming about what it would be like to be in a band, not just Rock Band.   I also daydream about what my imaginary band would sound like, and what sort of songs we’d write.  The imaginary outcome always changes from day to day.  Because I’m having a mid-90s musical moment, today, my imaginary band (in which I would play lead guitar- obviously!) would sound a lot like the song “Volcano Girls” by Veruca Salt.   It ain’t the same without Nina and Louise!  

Veruca Salt- \”Volcano Girls\” 

What does your imaginary band sound like today?  And more importantly, what would you play?  Air guitar?  Air drums?  Air vocals? Would you multi-task and play more than one air instrument? 

Cheers,

Kylie


Mar 18 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party!!

Hidey ho, leprechauns!!

Welcome to the St. Patrick’s Day edition of the Mid-Week Dance Party! I hope you’re getting up to all sorts of Irish-themed mischief and shenanigans, as we all celebrate our suddenly-shared Irish heritage!   In Glengarry County, where I’m from, we have a year-round love of all things Scottish and Irish, and we’ve all been raised with a love of Celtic music.  One of the fantastic aspects of Celtic music is that it can fit into a million of different music genres.  I’ve been blaring Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” all day, so I’ll spare you that.   However, I will still get you dancing, two-stepping, and moshing with some kick-ass tunes from Celtic punk rock legends The Pogues and the Dropkick Murphys:

Dropkick Murphys- \”The Spicy McHaggis Jig\”

The Pogues- \”The Irish Rover\”

I hope you all have a magical day, whether you’re wearing some green, swilling some green beer, dancing up a storm or mourning the potato famine.  Regardless if you acknowledge the day, may we all have a bit of the luck of the Irish!

Cheers to you!

Kylie


Mar 4 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! (March 4th, 2010)

Hi kids!

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Wednesday, Schmednesday…Thursday still counts as “mid-week,” right?  It’s long overdue for our mid-week dance party.  My parents are away on vacation, I’m in “charge” of the house (although I had the unfortunate realization that one can’t really be that much in charge if no one else recognizes that I’m in charge…), and the whole scenario has deteriorated into a “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead” situation.   Except we’re not dead.  We’re dancing. 

Although I wasn’t old enough- -and I certainly wasn’t cool enough- -to realize it at the time, 1994 was a pretty phenomenal year for music.   It’s mind-boggling to think that anything from as recent as 1994 could be considered ”old-school,” yet so many of the artists and songs from that time remain completely fresh.   Let’s pretend we’re at the coolest, least-awkward (if such a thing exists) middle-school dance, shall we?   And we’re sporting our best scrunchies?

Here’s “Can’t You See” by Total, featuring The Notorious B.I.G:

\”Can\’t You See\” – Total, featuring Biggie

Of course, if you have any song recommendations, let me hear them!  What songs are you listening to this week?

Much love,

Kylie


Feb 11 2010

Mid-Week Dance Party! (Wednesday, February 10th, 2010)

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And who are we to argue with Andrew WK?  Like most of you, I love to dance.  I dance all the time.  I dance to vastly inappropriate songs, at vastly inopportune times.  I have dreams of spontaneous-yet-choreographed dance routines going down in supermarkets.  I’ve been highland and step dancing since I was a wee Kylie, but here’s the thing:  a highland fling, no matter how perfectly-executed, doesn’t exactly go over well in a dance club.  I know this because I’ve tried.  Oh God.  

I also dabbled in other forms of dance in university (haha- – “whooooaaaa…when I was in university…those were some craaaazy times…I even dabbled in….dance”), and I’ve learned that I can more than hold my own in a dance recital or in a festival performance.  However, when it comes to “just dancing,”  I’m more Benes than Baryshnikov.   And that’s perfectly alright, because the joy of dance depends on a little less on technical skill, and a little more on enthusiasm.

Like I’ve said, I’ve been enthusiastically flailing around for quite some time, as have my two younger sisters.  Whenever we were feeling thrilled about something, or overwhelmed about something, or pondering something, or terrified about something (and those feelings probably all happened on the same day), we would crank the speakers up to 11, all “Spinal Tap”-style, and just let loose.  Sometimes even my little brother would join in the fun.   We would just jump around (to “Jump Around”), or play imaginary instruments, make up ridiculous dance routines that were sure to “impress” our parents (there is also known existing footage of a living-room gymnastics show, but to spare my little brother from a lifetime of humiliation, I’ll refrain from posting it.  We’re going to save it for his wedding, instead.)  This tradition carried through to university, where my friends and I would have epic residence hallway, and later, kitchen dance parties- for any and all occasions.  At first, I think it started as an incentive to actually do dishes, but we were far too clever to fall for that trick.   Dishes were left abandoned in the sink (and stacked on every possible inch of counter space), but we were far too busy dancing to notice.

These are the origins of the Mid-Week Dance Party!  The purpose of this brand spankin’ new feature (um, also because this is a brand spankin’ new website) is to liven up our week, to listen to some great music, to move our bodies (ok- that just made me think of an ’80s exercise video- -sorry for that!), and to remind us just how fantastic it feels to boogie and be-bop around like a 5 year-old. 

Alriiiiighty, then.  I’ve picked two corresponding songs for the very first edition of Mid-Week Dance Party.  The first song is one that you definitely all know.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve been prancing around, pretending to be wearing impossibly high shoes that look like futuristic armadillos in space, and mumbling nonsensical lyrics to yourself in public.  And you have no intention of stopping.  Of course, the first clip is “Bad Romance,” by Lady Gaga.  This video is just straight -up a mind-blowing spectacle, and rife with so many references, underlying meanings and multiple interpretations.  The attention to detail is also staggering.  I mean, razorblade-lens glasses?  The cat’s teeth are capped?  Amazing.  Lady Gaga wanted to make an over-the-top, visual feast of a video for her fans, and she completely delivered.   The second clip, “Badder Romance,” is recognition of that.   In this video, an imaginative group of friends pay tribute to the original by creating their own homemade pop culture parody.   There are so many screamingly hilarious details in this video, I can’t even begin.   Even Lady Gaga approves, and linked the video on her Twitter page.  Y’know when Whitney Houston had that whole “I believe that children are our future” song, and you felt kind of guilty, because if you were indeed the kid she was singing about, then you were totally letting her down?  Well, we can all relax and slack off now, because the sheer awesomeness of the ”Badder Romance” group has got our backs.   They will make you giddier than getting a pony for Christmas!

Enjoy!

“Bad Romance”

Lady Gaga- \”Bad Romance\”

“Badder Romance”

Lady Gaga- \”Badder Romance,\” by BINKproductionz

(My computer seems to be a bit cantankerous, and is not letting me embed videos, but I promise to sort that all out.)  If you have any suggestions for future Mid-Week Dance Party songs, please please please let me know!  They can be any genre of music, and it doesn’t matter if they’re even considered “danceable” by anyone other than you.  

So, kiddywinks, what songs are currently tapping their way into your ears and making you tap your feet?