Monthly Archives: May 2013

I Like London In the Rain Mix

Actually I don’t like London in the rain (the constant drizzle was partly responsible for my moving back to NYC). But I remember being caught in a heavy downpour on a leafy street in King’s Cross, without an umbrella or wellies. There was nowhere to take cover, so I turned up the volume on my ipod and walked home in the rain, resigning myself to getting soaked and feeling oddly liberated. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, there’s nothing like music to enhance the mood of a rainy day.  I actually tried making a summertime mix a couple days ago, and it just wasn’t coming together. It was pouring outside, and Annette’s “Muscle Beach Party” didn’t exactly fit with the cozy feeling being inside during a torrential rainstorm. So I switched to the Satisfactions “Bring It All Down” and took it from there…….. 1. The Chiffons: Up On the Bridge2. Eiichi Otaki: Ame No Wednesday3. Shapes & Sizes: Rain On My Face4. Barbara Chandler: How Can I Say No To You?5. Jacqueline Taieb: Le Printemps A Paris6. The Sweet Things: Don’t Come Looking For Me7. Blossom Dearie: I Like London In … Read more

Japanese Pop Cinema in London

You don’t need subtitles to understand the appeal of Mariko Kaga, often called the Japanese Bardot and star of Monday Girl (Getsuyoubi No Yuka), Ko Nakahira’s French new wave-esque tale of a good-girl-gone-wild from 1964. Petite and pouty, Kaga piles her hair up in a messy black bouffant, and looks ravishing as she prances around in a men’s shirt with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. I picked up the DVD whilst living in Tokyo, and despite the lack of English subtitles and my failed attempts to understand the too-fast-to-catch Japanese, I enjoyed multiple screenings, perfectly satisfied watching the adorable Kaga flit between Yokohama’s nightclubs and bedrooms, in Nakahira’s beautiful monochrome. Monday Girl has rarely been shown outside of Japan, but the BFI in London are soon to host a film festival honoring Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, with screenings of Monday Girl along with girl-gang drama Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, juvenile delinquent flick I Look Up When I Walk (starring “”Sukiyaki” singer Kyu Sakamoto), along with other top picks from the studio’s “golden age” of the ’50s + ’60s.  The Nikkatsu Studio Film Festival runs from June 1 – 30, 2013 at London’s BFI … Read more

A Pleasant Blend of Women & Wine

Bust Magazine’s Happy Hour On Thursday June 6th, I’ll be DJing at BUST Magazine‘s Happy Hour from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Heathers506 East 13th Street (Corner of Avenue A)New York, NY 10009For directions, please click here. Plenty of girl groups, R&B, soul, pop, swing, and easy listening to swig cocktails by…….

Lost Angels

Danny Harris was once an Olympic silver medalist in track and field. Then he began dabbling in drugs. Then his grandmother died. It was the beginning of a downward spiral that cost him his athletic career, sports sponsorships, his home, and all financial stability. He ended up in the 52-block vicinity in downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row, the subject of documentary Lost Angels, Skid Row is My Home. Actress Catherine Keener narrates in an overly serious and somber tone, perhaps as an attempt to over-emphasize the incomprehensible–Los Angeles’ highest concentration of homeless are living just blocks away from its financial epicenter.  As the system for providing housing and health care to society’s mentally and physically disabled as well as drug addicted continues to erode, the neediest have little choice but to live on the streets. Many of Los Angeles’ 50,000 homeless ironically call Skid Row their home. It’s come to symbolize a community, a place for America’s forgotten. We meet Danny Harris, along with Terri “Detroit” Hughes, Kevin “KK” Cohen, and Albert “Bam Bam” Olson, whose varied yet similarly tragic tales of comfortable-to-destitute highlight just how easy it is to end up in poverty. Those that believe that all individuals should be fully responsible for themselves and “get a job” would do well to watch Linda Harris, whose congenital skin … Read more

My Favorite Record #9

Colin Blunstone: Caroline Goodbye (Epic, 1971) I’d probably feel quite differently about this song if I was Caroline Munro–’60s model, Bond Girl, and one-time girlfriend of the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone. He wrote the not-so-subtle “Caroline Goodbye” following the couple’s break-up, and doesn’t appear at all self-conscious about exorcising his pain so publicly. For Caroline Munro, listening to her lovesick ex mourning her departure must’ve been a bit cringe-worthy. It’s nice to know you’re missed, but the image of your former lover pouring over your photos (“my you’re looking pretty good”), swept up in sorrow just ain’t so very appealing. For those with a less personal connection to Blunstone, the magic of “Caroline Goodbye” is precisely in its raw, dead-honest, heart-exposed emotion. You get the feeling that this is a man who can’t fake it. The center of his universe has moved on, and “Caroline Goodbye” serves as both therapy and as a cautionary tale for the future. “I should’ve known better, I should’ve seen it sooner,” he sings, as if he somehow could’ve escaped the inevitable. I can think of few singers able to tackle emotional ballads with such delicacy and restraint. There’s never … Read more

Behind the Beehive

Last week began with a super-fun research trip to Miami and ended with my cat Pumpkin requiring emergency surgery. I was born with the inability to handle trauma, so while I should have carried on updating Cha Cha Charming and attempting to resume my life as normal, I’ve been paralysed with sorrow and playing cat care-taker 24/7, tending to Pumpkin’s every need in hopes of nursing her back to health. She has a major infection on the left side of her face, which has paralyzed her left eye. The surgical site is ghastly, and she has to wear one of those horrible cones for the next two weeks and be given heavy doses of anti-Bs. I’m told this infection may just be the tip of the iceberg. Ugh. Thankfully, a much-needed break from cat duties came on Monday night with Ronnie Spector’s one-woman show, Behind the Beehive. We were seated next to the most adorable Ronnie look-a-like, who wore her hair in a massive black bouffant, with a little lace top and gingham capri pants. Ronnie’s back-up singers noticed her from the stage, and excitedly pointed her out. I had seen … Read more