Fashion: H&M gives students 15% discount on fall fashionz FUCK YEAH

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UMMMMMMMMM, YES. YES YES YES YES YES.

Fall or back to school shopping season is the best season of the year. I like it so much more than Christmas shopping. Like a billion times more than Christmas shopping, because you get to pick out exactly what you want to look like for fall (instead of stressful Christmas shopping and getting drunk and crying in front of your family).

I am on the edge of my seat waiting for fall clothes to make their triumphant seasonal debut. While shopping with a friend a couple of weeks ago, we got to see some of the fall season’s bags at Fossil before they hit the floor and I WAS STUPIDLY ECSTATIC. I don’t even shop at Fossil, but it was super fun to see a couple of bags that hadn’t been released for public touching yet. It’s the little things, people.

Anyways, this morning as I’m checking H&M‘s website to browse what kind of awesome shit I can wear this fall (sweaters! boots! falling in love at a coffee shop with a brown-haired dude to the smell of pumpkin!) I found their AMAZING discount for students. Take in your ID and get 15% off. I am so excited about this. I’m actually legit going back to school in the fall, but my college ID also has no expiration date. I’m assuming a lot of folks’ universities don’t have an expiration date on them, bc duh why would they. So, if you still have a college ID laying around your sad or awesome apartment, that means GOD IS LOOKING OUT FOR YOU.

FAVE H&M FALL ’13 PICKS

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Coat with Quilted Sleeves, $59.95

This jacket screams awesome eyeliner with a side of really pissy but self-righteous attitude. A must have for fall ’13!

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Shirt Jacket, 39.95

This is perfect for the “I think I might look like a meth addict. Gimme a chai latte and also I’m not tipping” attitude.

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Short Dress in Jersey, $17.95

Ah yes! The “I’m gonna steal your wallet but AFTER you buy me a whiskey ginger cuz I’m not a total dick” look. FAB.

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Knit Sweater, $12.95

The “if there isn’t a cranberry muffin left i’m gonna murder your chia pet” sweater. Love!

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Sweatshirt Dress, $24.95

The “I’ve got a Ph.D. so STEP OFF LOSER” outfit. Smarties can dress crazy good too, y’all!

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Gaga vs Perry: Life is better when two pop stars reign at the same time

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Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP” 11.11.13

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Katy Perry’s “Prism” 10-22-13

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There seems to be a special alignment of the planets (or corporate music industry strategy. whatevz) when a huge pop star releases an album.  Madonna vs. Cindi Lauper, Britney vs. Christina, and now Gaga vs. Katy Perry. What would be the fun in releasing a major diva studio pop album without some healthy competition?! GOD THIS FALL IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry rose to fame together, both have two albums under their sparkly belts and are slated to release their third albums this fall, respectively titled “ARTPOP” and “Prism”. I have no idea which one I’m more excited for. Dare I say I’m excited for both? Pop blasphemy! Pop music tyrant! To the VMA stakes!

I’m excited for Gaga’s “ARTPOP” because:

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Single art for Gaga’s “Applause”. Me gusta.
  • I like all of the aesthetics so far. Her first single titled “Applause” has a fresh look to it. I’m digging the white a lot. It’s a whole lot better than her “Born This Way” album art, that’s for sure.
  • Gaga lives for art. She puts a lot of effort into her artistic process. “ARTPOP” is said to be a journey through collaborations with famous artists like Inez & Vinoohd (worked with Björk in the music biz and a lot of fashion photography), Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic (famous performance artist and recently in Jay Z’s latest video release) and Jeff Koons.
  • Girlfriend ain’t afraid to get a little weird, which is always makes for an interesting time.

I’m excited for Katy Perry’s “Prism” because:

  • She is a quintessential pop star. I get the vibe that Katy Perry will (and does) do everything she is directed to do by her label. I like her music a lot, but it is very cut and dried classic pop music. It will be like 200 feet in front of new trends, but won’t stand anywhere near what would be called innovative. She is here for one purpose: Sexy. Hot. Pop. Star. And we love her for that.
  • You know she’s gonna have the best pop song of fall on her new album. She works with the best pop music producers in the business (Max Martin, Dr. Luke) and the best pop music songwriters (Sia, Bonnie McKee). She gets the best of the best of the BEST to help produce and write her music.
  • Her fashion sense is good, even though it’s completely fucking commercial “I’m a sexy lady! Gee whiz! Boobs! Firework!”

“Born This Way” and “Teenage Dream” were both great sophomore releases but totally pandered directly to “troubled” and  “bullied” teens and less towards an artistic, grown up sound. I think both of their upcoming albums will show long overdue maturity, however Gaga probably has more freedom to grow up in the limelight than Katy Perry. Katy Perry is the pop music, number 1 hit maker slave, and Gaga is the weirdo artist but still has to appeal to a wide audience. Life is hard in Pop World, y’all.

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Pop Predictions

All things considered, I think Gaga’s album will be way more interesting and creative than Katy Perry’s. It’s like if Madonna from 30 years ago (holy fucking shit it has been THAT long) split in half, birthing two opposing pop star molds: with Gaga you get the edge, the art, and the cravings for controversy. With Katy you get the “I’m the Queen of Pop now” who releases really great but kind of predictable #1 hits that are about as stimulating as a cold Diet Coke with a really great sandwich. Sure, everyone loves Diet Coke and good sandwiches, but it’s no orange San Pellegrino with a side of classical piano training and a penchant for performance art. Only time (internet leaks) will tell which album will prevail. BRING. IT. ON.

7 Questions in Heaven with The Autumn Stones

7 Questions Autumn Stones
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I met The Autumn Stones-where else!- on Twitter. (Follow them here for some fancy Canadian fun.) What a place. They are a band from Toronto, Canada who has recently been featured in a Canadian publication called Now Magazine as a part of a really cool cover project called 50:50 (more on that cool shiz below). They are an indie-pop, sax-infused quartet from the big T (can that be a new nickname for Toronto?!). Check out what they have to say about the Toronto music scene, their upcoming album Escapists and what they would do if they were kidnapped by Beliebers.
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1. What’s the music scene like in Toronto? Is everyone in a band? Are people really nice there? How’s the dating?

Yes just about everybody is in not just one but often a few bands. It’s pretty saturated with artists here in Toronto. The key is to find some likeminded people and show support for them. That’s kind of the law in the Toronto music scene. To be honest I’m not crazy about the local music here but there are some decent bands. Just nothing that really does it for me the way my favorite bands do.
Toronto is pretty.
Toronto is pretty.
The people in Toronto are pretty nice as a rule. We have a reputation for politeness but truthfully we’re not the warmest bunch. We can be a little standoffish. At shows not a lot of people dance. It’s improving slightly though.
I’m the only single guy in the band right now but I am not much of a dater. I do chat up girls here and there but I usually get too drunk to get anywhere. I mostly just stare and grab the occasional bum. I am taking a stab at online dating but I couldn’t really say as I have been mostly dating myself for the last 2 years.

2. How was the Autumn Stones formed? Where did the name come from?

I founded The Autumn Stones in 2009 from the ashes of my old band The Assistants. I pinched the drummer and then met the original bass player later on. The original idea was for us to not really be a band but just do 1 album and to try to avoid all of the typical band hassles. It was really meant to just be a recording project. But after the first record I started writing better songs and wanted to keep it going and see where things could go. Our lineup is completely different now and we’ve started to embrace playing live a bit more. We’re anxious to get back in the studio though. That’s my favorite part of being in a band. I think it is the true measure of how good a band is. At least it has always been what’s most important to me. I used to have vinyl copies of The Stone Roses first record and Guided by Voices Bee Thousand on my bedroom wall to remind myself what it’s all about.
Strike a pose, Autumn Stones.
Strike a pose, Autumn Stones.

The name of the band comes from a song by The Small Faces called Autumn Stone. It’s a nice little tune. I’m not a huge fan of theirs but have always liked that song and thought it would make a great band name since I was 19. I tried getting a few of my older bands to take that name but it always got turned down by other members. So, instead I stared my own band called The Autumn Stones and then found members to be in it. That’s the way to get your ideal band name. I’m not sure what it means to be honest. I know that Stone Henge has a winter and summer stone and that it was likely used as a primitive calendar by ancient people. I suspect that The Small Faces may have got the idea from Stone Henge but I’m not sure. For me the name evokes something melancholic or nostalgiac in me. Also it implies something that lasts a really long time but not forever.

3. Who are your favorite artists and which artists influence your work most?

The Smiths. They look straight outta hipster compton.
The Smiths. Music + style icons.

My favorite artists are The Magnetic Fields, Galaxie 500, Guided by Voices, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. I’d say all of those bands have had a big influence on the writing given that I write all of the songs. I’m influenced a lot by what I read as well. A great deal of my lyrics deal with religion and many of my favorite writers such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris have inspired much of my lyrics. We have a new unrecorded song called End of Faith which gets it’s title from the book The End of Faith by Sam Harris. The lyrics to that song are kind of a response to the line in Lennon’s Imagine where he says to “imagine no religion.”

4. When I was 12, my family and I went on a road trip to (drum roll) Thunder Bay. We ate at a restaurant, overtipped the waitress, went to a mall where I bought a purple, glittery butterfly candle and left. (Purple glittery butterfly candles are totally Canadian, right?) We know how to party. But you live in Toronto. Describe Toronto in 12 words.

Good story. Never heard of those candles though. Toronto in exactly 12 words:
Scorching heat. Bitter cold. Giant penis-shaped tower. Hockey crazed. Big Smoke. Home.
In two words: Canada’s cock.

5. Tell me about your new album “The Escapists”. Does it relate back to your first release “Companions of the Flame” or does it move in a totally different direction? What was the inspiration behind the title “The Escapists”?

The title “Escapists” is culled from the lyrics of one of our songs called Ooh La La. The line goes; “Hey girls, let’s unwind entwined. Lace and pretty face, escapists.” I think it works as an album title because a lot of my lyrics deal with things that could be construed as forms of escape or evasiveness. I suppose this has come up in a lot of the stuff I write. Human beings are dreaming animals. So much of what we do is related to our imaginations. We listen to music watch tv, movies, read, observe. We seem to spend most of our time imagining, dreaming or planning more so than doing things. I use the term escapists ironically because I think it is so much a part of being human that it isn’t really escape. It’s the thing that humans do best. We imagine and plan our environment better than any other species. So, “Escapists” is everyone although ironically it isn’t really escape since these things are just what we do.
“Escapists” is a little different from “Companions of the Flame”. “Companions” had more optimistic love songs because I was in a more optimistic place in my life whereas “Escapists” is a bit lonelier, darker and a little heavier too. The songs deal with religion, sex, death, alcoholism. It’s juicier. I am really looking forward to getting into the studio to record these songs as we have spent a long time working on the arrangements and have higher expectations this time.

6. You were asked by NOW Magazine to cover Feist’s “One Evening” for their (really awesome) 50:50 video series (Check it out here, it’s really cool project where new local Toronto bands cover songs from the 50 best albums to come out of Toronto). Even though the covers aren’t completely finished yet, which one has been your favorite so far?

I’m going to be a jerk and say us. I just thought that her song was probably the best on the list and I think we did a decent enough job of it. Also, I’m not a big fan of many of the records on that list and haven’t heard many of the covers. Sorry Now. I guess I’m kind of a music snob that way. Although I should give an honorable mention to our friends The Whirly Birds who did Blue Rodeo’s Rose Colored glasses. I do have a bit of a soft spot for Blue Rodeo and Pete Carmichael did a great job singing that. He has a really rich and distinct voice.

7. If you were held captive by a bunch of pre-teen bandits and forced to give the Autumn Stones spin on one Justin Bieber song, which song would it be?

I honestly can’t name a Justin Bieber song but I can do you one better. I would proceed to sing a song I wrote on Halloween a few years ago when my brother who is 6 2″ dressed as Justin Bieber for Halloween. It’s called “Me and the Beeb” and it is awesome and had everyone at the party singing along. One of my finest hours.

FEAR THE BIELEBERS
FEAR THE BIELEBERS

WHY: Why is Avril Lavigne still making music?

Avril Lavigne releases the least rock and roll song ever called “Rock and Roll”

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SHE’S SO PUNK AND EDGY YOU GUYS.

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There are just so many questions surrounding the puzzling fact that Avril Lavigne is STILL GETTING PAID TO MAKE MUSIC. A modern day “Who killed Kennedy” of the pop music world if you will, except the exact opposite. Who the fuck is keeping her alive? And WHY GOD, WHYYYYYYYYYY?

I’ll admit I was totally into her song “Sk8er Boi” in middle school, cuz I remember taping it on a cassette tape from the radio and listening to and jumping around my room every night before bed. She totally fit into that anti-Britney/Christina/Jessica mold that was puking blonde highlights and belly button rings into everyone’s eyebalss in the early aughts. Avril made sense back then from a marketing standpoint: grab the attention of the girls who don’t look or act like Britney/Christina/Jessica and give them Avril because they don’t know who Blondie is yet. MONAYZ. Got it.

It is now 2013. And for the past probably 6-7 years of popular music, I am always SO CONFUSED as to why she is STILL releasing songs. Here are some thoughts:

GAHHHHHH. Everything grating in one picture. Image via justjared.com
GAHHHHHH. Everything grating in one picture: faux raybans, shaved sidehead, a fucking HAT. You make it too easy, Avril. Image via justjared.com
  • She’s engaged to Chad Kroeger from Nickelback. That’s pop culture relevant for a few LOLs. (I can’t even write that sentence without laughing a little bit. love is love, good for them, blah blah blah but still. THE most uncool pairing in the history of Canadian pop, right?!).
  • She signed some crazy awesome (for her) record deal back in 2001 that was crazy like 10 records or something.
  • Canada is secretly the most powerful pop music machine in the world (Avril, Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, CELINE DION)
  • God doesn’t hates us, he just doesn’t give a shit anymore.

Take a listen at her new Max Martin produced song called “Rock and Roll” below. It’s not horrible from a music standpoint because Max Martin is a pop music genius producer and can do no wrong. But Avril, really?! Still harpin’ on the faux punk “fuck the system, I’m rock and roll” pop canadian princess thing? WHY HASN’T ANYBODY TAUGHT HER WHAT IS COOL. She’s almost fucking 30. Drop the faux punk shit, plz. It’s so embarrassing! There are ways to still look edgy without pretending to be 17 and afflicted. Just ask Kelly Osbourne. Or (cringe) Pink. She manages to not look like a fucking idiot, puts on a fascinating pop trapeze show, and releases non-vomit inducing pop music. Or, you know, you can ask literally anyone who is 30, looks cool and isn’t Chad Kroeger.

Good grief.

7 Questions in Heaven with Celia Inside

7 Questions Celia Inside

Celia Inside (@celiainside) is an artist I met on Twitter. HELL YEAH TWITTER. We bonded over music, tv and HORRIBLE fucking dating stories. It’s cool to be out on the web and randomly stumble across people you vibe with. Sometimes the internet is great. Anyways, CI just released an EP called Remodel that is full of relationship deconstruction, electric guitar and really, very pretty vocals. (Download the EP for free here)

Check out what this very fresh artiste de Boston has to say (on the very first 7 Questions!) about breakups, the very solo recording process and loving Solange.

1. What was your main inspiration to record the Remodel EP? A break-up, a boring winter, an angel speaking to you in dreams?

There was definitely some post-breakup inspiration, but it was mixed with other stuff. I was going through a kind of perfect storm of huge life changes that happen in those first couple years after college. My friends were moving away and getting super busy with work, and I was busy too, but less well-adjusted about it, I think. So I pressed pause on everything, disappeared for a while, and turned my feelings about those challenging and confusing times into angsty songs! And then the title came about later — it was (and still is) the perfect one-word sentence/truth/tough love advice I need to hear. Remodel. Change, evolve; find a way to live your life that won’t make you miserable!

2)Which song is your baby, the one you love the most or that you feel the strongest connection with and why?

 

“Leaving Girls” is pretty near & dear to me, partly because it was the first song to really take shape both instrumentally and lyrically. There are a couple lines there that have really resonate with people, me included, and I like how the title/words leave lots of room for interpretation. I originally wrote it as a kind of friendship breakup song but it can really apply to anyone who is… leaving, I guess. Haha. I also like how dark and unpredictable it can be… along with the many layers going on between the harmonies and the spastic guitars and the synth. That’s my St. Vincent-wanna-be song.

3)The recording process: You recorded everything yourself (KUDOS bc that shit is HARD). Describe the last week of recording/mixing/mastering. Was there a lot of caffeine/alcohol/pot/sex/cuddles with puppies?

Haha — thanks, girl! Yeah, it wasn’t so fun at times. I couldn’t sleep because I was really stressed out, so I would just drink black tea and stay up super late tweaking this and that. I became super nocturnal — more-so than usual, haha. And yes, I definitely cuddled with my puppy on the reg! She’s so affectionate; bless her heart! She should get a producer credit.

4)Where do you see your music going in the future? Are there any new genres you’re exploring now that may influence your next record?

Ah, there is so much I want to do! On one hand, I’m into R&B in a big way. I grew up listening to so much hip-hop and R&B — it’s a part of me — and I definitely want to experiment more with making beats. I’d love to make an R&B mixtape and rap some on it. I used to rap a bit and I miss it a lot! Especially when I hear some inspired hip-hop. I also feel like a lot of people are loving “Stranger,” which is kind of my Mariah Carey/R&B experiment on Remodel. So yeah, definitely more of that hotness. 😉

On a totally different note, I’d like to rock a little harder; I want to see what I can come up with working with a more traditional set-up: guitar, bass, drums, and that’s it. I’m so amazed at what some bands can do with only three or even two people live. Hop Along and Wye Oak come to mind. When you see them play, you’re definitely going to rock out, but there’s so much genre-bending and style-blending going on with their music too. Those are both bands that make me cry while I bang my head!I’ve always been musically pulled in so many different directions. It makes perfect sense to me to make different albums in totally different styles (ala PJ Harvey or The Cardigans, who are both huge inspirations of mine).

5)You’re gearing up for some live shows in the Boston area (right?). How do you feel about performing these songs live? What is your live set up?

 

That’s the goal — to play live in Boston/New York/wherever I am in the near future. And I feel… conflicted. Because these songs obviously require some drums and synth and PEOPLE that I don’t currently have, yet I want to perform solo & acoustically, at least for a little while. Celia Inside is a veryyy new car and I need to put some miles on it before I, like, plan a cross-country road trip, you know? I’m still very new to performing. I actually just played an original song for the first time tonight at an open mic night! So I have some work to do on this front. But ask me again in a year! 🙂

6)If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Hmmm. So I thought about this for a while and came up with the BEST answer: Solange. When you talk about artists, truly original people doing new and incredible things creatively like only they can, Solange is at the top of that list. I’m so in awe of the True EP, partly because her last release (SoL-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams) was SO good and fresh and then she somehow managed to top that by like 100%. I love the choices she makes — vocally, lyrically, image and PR-wise, everything — and I just… feel her spirit (lol). Completely. She’s totally brilliant and down to earth and cool. So yes, in my dreams, I would collaborate with Solange and we’d become besties and Beyonce would get dinner with us occasionally and stuff.

7)What’s the most embarrassing artist/song you absolutely LOVE?

Haha. First, I want to note that I’m not easily embarrassed when it comes to this stuff! Like, I regularly go to bat for artists I adore that people are too cool for like Paramore and Danity Kane and whoever. With that said… Ashlee Simpson! When I listen now, her vocals can be ROUGH. Like, oh man. But I think there are some GREAT songs on those first two albums she did. “Unreachable” pops into my head to this day. That whole first album is money and then, on the second one, I LOVE “In Another Life,” “Dancing Alone,” “Say Goodbye”…. Omg, I forgot how solid they were! I think her team had a really cool sound going on. Ugh, I love it.

I hate rich people: Miley Cyrus Edition

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Image via hollywoodlife.com

Gotta love the mega rich. It’s so much fun watching them spend crazy amounts of money–and wear money outfits now!– during an economic recession. Way to go, Miley. BRAVO. YOU’RE SO EDGY AND RICH.

The national unemployment rate is currently 7.6%.

Celebrité: Cory Monteith found dead reports @CTVBC

RIP Cory Monteith
RIP Cory Monteith

Reports are coming in that GLEE star Cory Monteith has been found dead in Vancouver. CTV BC is gearing up to report:

He had previously been in rehab later this year due to substance abuse (not sure which substance) and was dating GLEE costar Lea Michelle. SAD. SO YOUNG. And talented! If anything, may this inspire the many young GLEE fans to learn more about substance abuse.

Check out his last tweets yesterday about the national movie sensation “Sharknado”. Rest in Peace, CM.