Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee and watching the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love this. It makes me feel like a kid; it's the perfect chance to indulge my slightly embarrassing love of cartoons.

Like Rocky and Bullwinkle (which you can watch on Hulu right now, just saying).

See more photos of parades past here. Hope you're stuffing yourselves silly. Enjoy the holiday!

Monday, November 25, 2013

GIVEAWAY: "The Diviners", a creepy 1920s New York mystery that's the cat's pajamas

I am skipping Monday Man Candy today, but for good reason; I have a giveaway! The nice people and Little, Brown asked me if I wouldn't be interested in Libba Bray's "The Diviners", a deliciously scary murder mystery set in New York in 1926. I was skeptical at first but boy, am I glad I reserved judgment. I've read about 300 pages in three days and I cannot put this thing down.

The Dapperest Men in New York at the National Arts Club

Last Monday, I got to go to a reception at the National Arts Club for I Am Dandy, a beautiful book with photos by Rose Callahan and essays by Nathaniel "Natty" Adams. The two got together to profile images of men who out-dress the average dude on a regular day. These are men with such a particular, amazing approach to style (often vintage but not necessarily) that they incorporate into their everyday lives. Some work in fashion but most don't, about a third are gay and the dandies come in a range of ages from men in their late twenties to men into their seventies.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turn Up the Volume. NPR is Playing Rare Soul Music Today and It's Amazing

I follow NPR on Tumblr because they educate me on all kinds of wonderful historical and artistic things. I don't check my Tumblr much but I'm so glad I did today, because I saw that, to commemorate a historic all-night soul party in England, they're playing all kinds of rare soul records.

From NPR Northern Soul:

It's been 40 years since the first all-night R&B party at the Wigan Casino nightclub outside Manchester, England. The doors didn't open until 2 a.m., and its 1,200-capacity ballroom was packed until dawn with dance-crazy (possibly amphetamine-fueled) soul fans. They called the uptempo vibe Northern Soul, after the region of England that fell in love with rare '60s R&B.

To mark the anniversary, public radio's KALW and a handful of San Francisco DJs curated a 24/7 music channel devoted to the best R&B songs you've likely never heard. For every Marvin Gaye or Wilson Pickett song in the mix, there's another 50 incredible jams by artists who never quite made a name for themselves.

San Francisco's soul scene is largely defined by uptempo, obscure 45s from the 1960s, so this was a natural project for KALW. Just like the DJs in Manchester, Bay Area DJs are famous for digging up the best unheard soul singles, and the hunt has only become more creative as time moves further away from when these records were originally pressed. Now, with more than a dozen separate '60s soul dance parties to attend each month, the Bay Area is getting exposed to the same intensity, energy and dedication of those original U.K. all-nighters.

The Northern Soul Radio playlist brings together the tracks that launched the genre in the 1970s with the songs that dominate the revivalist soul party scene in San Francisco today — some of which were digitized for the first time just for this collection.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday Man Candy (on Tuesday): Jeff Richards

Candy is still good the next day? That's what I'm telling myself since I'm late with Monday Man Candy. My apologies, ladies! But I think you'll admit he was worth the wait.

I spent my Saturday night on the couch with Turner Classic Movies and bottle of Bacardi. I watched The Women, an amazing movie, and the not-so-amazing musical remake of that movie, The Opposite Sex. Just about the only good thing to come out of that movie was the dreamy Jeff Richards, who played Buck Winston.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#Noirvember: "Scarlet Street"

I've been enjoying seeing everyone's #Noirvember posts on Twitter and Tumblr and participating myself. Last week I wrote about a Barbara Stanwyck movie Crime of Passion and this week I finally watched Scarlet Street (1946), which had been sitting in my Netflix queue unwatched forever.

Scarlet Street is a pretty tame noir. It's missing the delicious transgression of, say, a Gilda. Funny, because the censors came down really hard on the movie and it took a while to get into theatres? Why? Because it was just so darn immoral and it ends with a graphic murder (weapon of choice: an ice pick)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Man Candy: Harry Belafonte

I have to be honest. I don't love Harry Belafonte's calypso. I like him doing pop standards and Christmas carols--and of course all his activist and humanitarian work. But most importantly, I like looking at him as a young man. He's just so handsome it doesn't even make sense.

Harry was hottest in Carmen Jones, I think. A funny movie, with pretty hep slang in the dialogue but then opera with words that seemed straight from the slaves in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Confusing at times but not a bad way to spend an evening. Especially when Harry Belafonte is at one point a sweaty, shirtless convict.

She left you? That tramp. I'll make it better...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Retrofit: All Business In Jantzen

Last week, I was feeling fancy, I guess. So I got all dolled up in my Jantzen vest and skirt set that I bought from Jill at Adeline's Attic for no good reason other than to go to work. I work in an office without a dress code so sometimes I go to work looking like I've gotten lost in the wrong business.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy #Noirvember!

I was poking around Tumblr earlier today and found people were posting about Noirvember, I clicked the hashtag and was so happy to find people were taking the month to celebrate film noir. I love a good film noir, gorgeously shot and lit with subversive subject matter.

And it's perfect because I'd recently watched "Crime of Passion" (1957) starring Barbara Stanwyck. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

New! Monday Man Candy

I love pinups a much as the next girl, but I still have a soft spot for matinee idols, lounge lizards, greasers and the other beautiful men of yesterdays. So instead of Music Mondays, I'm instating Monday Man Candy. You're welcome.

The first man up is kind of a no-brainer: Marlon Brando.