Dance Hall Daze: 10 Days Of ‘Dance Hall Days’ by Wang Chung

Day 1

For the past 7 days, Dance Hall Days by Wang Chung — or as I now call it, Dance Hall Freaking Days by Wang Goddamn Chung, has been running through my head. It started when I heard it on my way to work last week. I was tapping on my steering wheel, jamming in the driver’s seat, and singing along to the roughly 10% of the lyrics that I actually knew.

Those were simpler times.

I was an effing idiot last week.

By now, knowing roughly 10% of the lyrics – and making up the rest – isn’t whimsical and charming. My Dance Hall Daze has been so long, so awful, so grueling that I think the only thing that will help is listening to it. Since it’s been in my head for over 150 hours now, minus the time that I’ve been sleeping or listening to other music, I figure my sanity may as well go out with a bang.

Starting right now I will be listening to Dance Hall Days every day for 10 days, like a toddler with a favorite Little Einstein DVD.

So take your baby by the wrist (because otherwise she might cut them): it’s going to be a long 10 days.

Day 2

You know what this song is to me? It’s like the auditory version of those slideshows of decrepit malls. What was once full of the poppy, peppy optimism of the 80s is now just a deserted shell of horror.

Also, I still don’t know why we let a band of like 5-ish white men call themselves Wang Chung. But I do know that I can now respond to “Everybody have fun tonight/ Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” with a definitive OH HELL NO I WOULD PREFER NOT TO.

Day 3

Despite my steadfast refusal to look up the lyrics, I’m figuring out that they’re the worst ever. Let’s talk about the third verse, for instance:

And take your baby by the ears

Pulling someone by the ear – in addition to being equal parts kind of violent and pretty much a weird thing to do – is just not an effective way to lead somebody somewhere.

and play upon her darkest fears

NOPE. I wasn’t alive in 1984. Is this how dating used to work?

We were so in phase in our dance hall days/ We were cool on craze. . . .

Just so we’re on the same page: craze is a drug? Right?

Take your baby by the wrist and in her mouth an amethyst

Okay. Did anyone else read that creeptastic fairy tale where that girl has diamonds and gems fall from her mouth when she speaks, then her sister has slugs and toads fall from her mouth? I don’t even know what the moral of that story is, but maybe Wang Chung is making an allusion.

Or maybe these lyrics are just weird and make no sense.

Probably the latter.

Day 4

Why can’t your baby just go where she wants? Jesus.

Day 5

When I was a kid, I thought they were singing “dance all day” or “dance so dance” instead of “dance hall days.” Which brings me to more lyrical analysis (I know them now):

Take your baby by the heels/ and do the next thing that you feel

I’m going to say that if you already have your baby by the heels (whether the “baby” is an actual infant or that’s an affectionate term for your significant other), your next impulse is not going to be so good, either.

Take your baby by the hair

Guys I’m really starting to think that Wang Goddamn Chung is a killer.

And pull her close and there there there

There… is where you hid the body? Because there’s no way this is ending in anything but murder.

Day 6

So, the guy from Wang Chung looks like Brian Krakow meets Barney Stimson with a touch of the essence of Logan Echolls, right?

+

=

 

Day 7

It’s time to dissect the music video – here, if you don’t want to scroll up:

Get to 0:10. Is his smile for REAL? It looks like the best thing that has happened to this guy – EVER – is appearing in this horrible music video for the song that is, now and presumably forever, the soundtrack to my nightmares.

Several seconds later, he illustrates “take your baby by the hand” by bending his own hand toward himself.

He is wearing a cozy Aran sweater tucked into high-waisted ivory pants. Winter whites. Fitting, for this is the winter of my discontent.

The lead singer is so over-dramatic, and so vaguely resembles an alternate-universe Neil Patrick Harris, that this whole video is like the Barney Stimson version of Let’s Go To The Mall.
I haven’t seen anyone so menacingly violin at me in a music video EVER. Remember when Celine Dion had, essentially, a sidekick who was a young Asian woman who played the violin? Ah, the late 90s.

0:40 Look closely. In the background there is a witch dancing, and what appears to be a furry. So, now I’m thinking that in “everybody wang chung tonight”, the phrase “wang chung” means “have a nightmare.”

0: 45 There are also, inexplicably, home videos from yesteryear clipped in intermittently. I imagine that Wang Chung stole them from the house of the woman he’s murdering in this song.

0:50 I think the lead singer and one of the violinists (there are two, WHY?) might be twins. They are like three terrifying Joey Gladstones.

gladstone

1:33 The lead singer is so emphatic and dramatic and awful that if you haven’t watched the video up until this point, I’m going to need you to do it. He really means this. I have never meant anything as earnestly in my whole life as Wang Chung means that he is going to drag a woman out of a dance hall by her feet and scare her while they’re both on drugs.

2:14 The Wang Chungs appear to be performing in front of a school portrait backdrop. Also their chunky sweaters are tucked into their high-waisted khakis, which seems awfully bulky and uncomfy.

Also uncomfy: listening to this.

2:25 The one guy air violins at us. But he has a real violin.

2:34: The main Wang Chung has his arms crossed over his chest with his hands on his shoulders, like you’d comfort yourself after finding a dead body. Which, judging by how this dance hall day is going, he then realizes that he killed himself while “cool on craze.”

3:15 Three men dressed as the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and The Lion are playing saxophone. Of course, at this point.

3:24 OH SHIT IT’S THEM

3:37 Now it’s like a Wizard Of Oz dance party, but way less cool than you’d think a Wizard Of Oz dance party would be.

3:54 The video closes on a still photo of two naked children in the ocean, just as a reminder that the past 4 minutes were creepy.

Day 8

During my daily listen, I forgot that I had unplugged my headphones after a web-ex. I was at work, in my own office with the door closed, but I still can’t look my nearest colleagues in the face just in case.

Odd side effect of all this Wang Chung: an increased desire to listen to British music from the 80s. It’s almost as though I need  The Raincoats and The Smiths and The Police to wash this musical abomination from my memory.

Day 9

I did some research (I went to Wikipedia, OK?) and Wang Chung began its tenure as Huang Chung, which is supposed to mean “perfect pitch” in Mandarin. But they changed it because people kept calling them “Hung Chung.”

Okay, boys. Okay. I think this is like my third-grade “about me” worksheet when I said that my nickname was “The Human Encyclopedia” even though, to my knowledge, nobody has ever called me that. Just because you want it to be true doesn’t mean it is.

I mean shit. I think I even spelled encyclopedia wrong.

Day 10

I have nothing left to say about this. Thank God it’s over.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Kerry Washington

Let’s be honest. Do I really need to explain why Kerry Washington is our Woman Crush on this Wednesday (and everyday, TBH)? Since Scandal has left us hanging by the thread of Olivia’s white coat after last week’s finale, I figured us Gladiators can get our mini-Kerry fix this week with a love letter to the woman in the white hat herself.

From her early beginnings as the annoying sister (who has a soft spot for true love) in Save the Last Dance, to a D.C. fixer who has a penchant for red wine and jam (not necessarily together) on #Scandal, Kerry has captured our hearts with her superior acting, but moreover with her beauty and grace. Here are just a few more reasons why we think this momma-to-be is the bee’s knees.

She’s No Dummy

I feel like there are two types of actors. The kind that dropped out of school to chase after their dream of making it big, and the ones that were always at or near the top of their class, most likely a graduate of some kind of drama school like Yale/NYU/Julliard etc. Kerry falls into the latter group. After attending one of the best prep schools in America, she went to George Washington University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in anthropology and sociology. I mean, whoa. I can barely even tell you what anthropology is besides the incorrect spelling of an overpriced clothing store I KID, I KID. Needless to say, she’s got brains to back her beauty. What do you expect when your mother is a professor and educational consultant?

Her intelligence is apparent in her various philanthropic and political extracurriculars, such as serving as a board member for The Creative Coalition and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Kerry is also on the board for the organization V-Day, which is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. And since Barry O selected her to the Arts committee, it’s no wonder she’s supported him all through his term, even speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She may be an actress, but you can tell she’s not just there for the publicity – you can feel her passion for the cause.

She’s Inspirational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relatedly, Kerry doesn’t seem like one to ever phone it in. Everything she says, she says it with purpose, with thought behind it. If she has an opinion, she means it. If gives praises to a co-star, she’s not saying it to be in their good graces, it’s because she actually likes being around that person. When she talks about an issue that’s close to her heart or a message she wants to get across, it’s because she truly believes in it. Kerry has a certain confidence and grace that all women should aspire to have. But let’s be clear, I’m not saying we should be more like Kerry. I’m saying be inspired by Kerry and be the best you you can be. Carry yourself with your own grace and confidence and maybe you might just be able to inspire others too.

She’s a Fashion Darling

Believe it or not, Kerry wasn’t always the red carpet stunner that we know and love today. Exhibit A: She legit wore an “I <3 NY” tee to an event. Bless. In her defense, it was 2001. But over the years, she’s come to embrace and love fashion. Being the life-long student that she is, Kerry admitted that she took it upon herself to earn a degree in ‘red carpet style’, and studied it like it was her job. Literally.

“OK, I’m going to admit this: There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand career-wise — because they knew how to work that red carpet. I was like, ‘I’m missing a really important tool. If I am the CEO of the Kerry Washington Corporation, my marketing department is really lax.’ So I sort of developed a new character: Red-Carpet Kerry. And I researched her like any other character. I actually called Tracee Ellis Ross, who’s a good friend, and literally asked, ‘How do you pronounce Hermès?’ Red-Carpet Kerry needed to know.” {x}

See – girl is no dummy. To prove her faux degree paid off, here are just some of my favorite looks from KW over the years.

Stella McCartney – 2013 Project Runway finale @ New York Fashion week

Marc by Marc Jacobs – 2013 ABC Upfronts (and WERKing it)

Michael Kors – 2013 MTV Movie Awards (To this day, probably my favorite look of hers ever. I dream in color block)

Giambattista Valli – 2013 TCA Summer Press Tour (seriously, how are you so beautiful)

Oscar de la Renta – 2013 NAACP Image Awards (yet another one of my faves)

Louis Vuitton – 2013 Django Unchained Photocall in Berlin. (I’m in a super violent Tarantino film, but look how adorbs and mod I am! LOOK AT MY BOW HEADBAND!!!!!)

Miu Miu – 2013 Golden Globes (Remember when Kerry first got these bangs and she looks wicked fierce? Yeah.)

Giles – 2013 Django Unchained Premiere in London (Move over bitches, there’s a new A-lister in town and her name rhymes with Shmerry)

Miu Miu – 2013 Oscars

Vince Camuto – 2013 Variety’s 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon

Prada – 2014 SAG Awards (Sometimes when I feel like shit in an outfit, I remember that KW wore a crop top to one of the most important industry awards shows WHILST PREGGO and I feel better about my life choices)

She’s FUNNY, Y’all!

So we know she can handle dramas, but we’ve never really seen her do comedy. However the moment she was announced as a host for Saturday Night Live last year, I knew she was going to kill it. And she did not disappoint. Sometimes it’s really frustrating as a fan of both the host and SNL to see good talent go to waste on bad sketches – but this was NOT the case with Kerry’s episode. Every single sketch was hilarious, so much so that I still have it on my DVR. If you can’t find it online, you’re welcome to come to my place and we can fangirl over Kerry together.

She’s loved by everyone she works with

Like we’ve done with Amy Poehler and Tatiana Maslany previously, a good indication of a person’s character is judged by what their friends and peers say about them.

“I root for Kerry. She’s got a fantastic show, Scandal. What’s amazing about her – the evolution of Kerry Washington to play the woman she plays in Django and then to see her play this beautiful woman taking care of business on Scandal, it’s amazing.” Jamie Foxx {x}

“On a personal level there’s never been a better friend. But on the, like, at work, because Number One sets the tone of everything. I don’t even know how to quantify to you how thoughtful Kerry Washington is. I mean she will call you, text you from Italy on a press tour, to make sure you have shoes to wear to a luncheon. Or, you know, cause these moments are so new to most of us in the cast and it’s great we get to meet them together as a family. But Kerry’s always there to make sure that we’re okay. She always checks in, before you even know that you need to be checked in on, you know, she’s like “so how are you with…?” She’s got the biggest heart. There’s no one, possibly ever, as committed as she is. I mean she is your tireless cheerleader. She works from 3 in the morning ’til 11 o’clock at night. She’s happy and she’s there for you and she cheerleads like you- You can hear her screaming “I LOVE MY JOB!” down the hall. Tiny little person, very loud. But yeah, we’re all lucky that we get to do this job at all. My family of people is lucky because the project is so amazing and because we’re all grateful people. But to have her be the jewel in this crown is the biggest blessing of all.” Bellamy Young {x}

“Three words to describe Kerry Washington: Grace, Beauty, Brilliance… Times a million!” Katie Lowes {x}

“Kerry is an incredibly intelligent, politically minded, hilariously funny, warm person. I’m one of her biggest fans. As a human being and as an actress.” Dan Bucatinsky {x}

“So graceful, really really lovely, terrific human being. And she manages to look amazing on every red carpet she steps on to.” (Scandal Executive Producer) Betsy Beers {x}

“We’re proud of her talent and enjoy getting to work with her and have a wonderful collaboration and she’s an amazing person.” Shonda Rhimes {x}

“I had really been dying to work with Kerry Washington. We knew each other a bit, I really loved her as a person, and I was such a huge admirer of her work. When I heard the combination of Shonda and Kerry, I thought, OK, this is going to be interesting…  Kerry and I just have this subliminal connection as people and as actors, which contributes to our physical chemistry on-screen together. She is – in addition to being one of the best actresses in America- an extraordinary team leader on our show. She approaches her work with this ferocious enthusiasm and work ethic that’s not at all self-serious. She sets an example for all of us of how to be fun and work hard. So working with her is just—you’re always challenged by her and inspired. With some actors, you end up talking about the scenes, figuring it out. Kerry and I never have to talk about anything. We always seem to be coming from the same place, and both of us are actors who tend to throw ourselves into whatever we’re doing. We just really trust each other, and it’s always thrilling, I think.” Tony Goldwyn {x}

“I #CelebrateKerry because her assistant called my agent and told me to do so.” Josh Malina, all around jokester {x}

Coachella 2014 Fashion Wrap-Up

Pull out your 90s jumpers and flower crowns. Lace up your Doc Martens. Grab your dry shampoo, but probably leave that Hipster Indian Headdress at home (it’s kinda offensive, you know?). It’s Coachella season!

The festival is over now, but don’t worry — the two weekends of Coachella 2014 provided enough fashion inspiration – and fashion WTF-ery – to last us the whole year.

Beyonce and Solange

Confession: Although “What Would Beyonce Do?” (along with “How would Beyonce feel about this?” and “What would Beyonce get on her sandwich?”) is the driving question that gets me through my days, style-wise I’m kind of obsessed with little sister Solange. She wears fun prints and boho pieces because screw it, she’s not Beyonce. And her natural hair is to die for.

Coachella is pretty casual, and that means that Queen Bey wasn’t going to wear a bedazzled leotard (on second thought, bedazzled leotards DO sound sort of Coachella). Instead, she was getting her inner Solange on. How fun was it to see these sisters hanging out together, making music, and looking flipping amazing? Beyonce’s purple shift is like a 2010s reboot of the 90s tribute to the 60s mod look (you following?) – and I would gladly trade in half of my wardrobe for Solange’s orange romper. I don’t have children yet, which is good because I would also probably trade my firstborn to have Knowles DNA (or at least that hair).

Haim

Speaking of sisters that make me want to sort out exactly what sort of nature/nurture combo made them so damn cool: HAIM. Este, Alana and Danielle are three twenty-something sisters whose sound is like En Vogue meets Wilson Phillips meets Fleetwood Mac, which means you should be listening to them if you aren’t already. No surprise that their Coachella style was completely on-point. The great thing is that their set was so energetic* that I could hardly find a shot of all three of them on stage. The mesh-knit sweater and especially that cutout dress are amazing, though a week later I’m sure they have some really weird tan lines.

* The full set was online but it’s been taken down now for copyright/IP reasons. On behalf of lawyers everywhere, I’m sorry, we’re the worst.

Jared Leto

How is it possible to have had a 20-year-long crush on Jared Leto? Aren’t I still only like 21? But seriously, I remember that every time I would sneak-read my sister’s Seventeen magazines as a kid – the jig is up now, sorry! – they were always talking about Jared ‘Jordan Catalano’ Leto. The man holds up well.

So, elephant (zebra) in the room (pants): yeah, those are zebra pants. It’s Coachella, which is like Hipster Halloween. But Leto isn’t about the clothes, he’s about the hair, and isn’t it beautiful? He looks like a freaking Haim sister. I’m just saying, if they all collabed on some gloss spray or a leave-in conditioner, I’d probably buy it.

Katy Perry

As I said: Hipster Halloween. Except for the offensive stuff, you can’t really criticize Coachella fashion – it’s supposed to be a bit wacky. It’s just that this reminds me of all of the parts of 90s style I’m not ready to see again, from the Manic Panic hair to the black socks to the DIY’ed weird-fitting dress. But I cannot blame Perry at all for taking her chance to wear something you couldn’t get away with anywhere else – I’d do it too.

Ellie Goulding

The good: this is a really non-Ellie-Goulding look, and Coachella is all about trying new things! And if the weirdest new thing you’re trying is a fashion risk, you’re probably going to make it through the weekend. I’m into all of the cutouts we’re seeing, tanlines aside, and the cape thing is kind of Stevie Nicks.

The bad: the first thing I thought when I saw this was “S&M diaper.” Then I realized that that probably exists. Then I thought about what that observation is going to do to our Google traffic.

Kate Nash

First of all, Kate Nash is so cool. Made Of Bricks was the soundtrack to getting ready to go out or lounging around in the morning when I was in college. Seven (what???) years later, she’s still just as awesome and her newish album Girl Talk is even better. Nash always had a sort of girl-next-door look, so I was surprised to see this Coachella get-up, like when you’d see someone after summer vacation in high school and they’d gone from prep to goth. Then I was immediately unsurprised, because Coachella’s tagline is basically “I Wear What I Want.” Nash’s whole band was in pink too, so it was sort of a fun glam-rock-y thing.

Lorde

A little bit Haim, a little bit Kate Nash. Lorde started her set in a gold lame cape/gown getup, but switched to a casual crop top and harem pants thing. Should we even still say harem pants? That’s probably as bad as “wife beater” shirts.  Whatever you call them, I love these fun baggy pants Lorde has been showing up in lately. Remember: even if you subscribe to old-timey fashion rules about wearing white, it’s already after Memorial Day in New Zealand (uhhh…. is that how that works?).

Pharrell

I thought maybe Coachella would be when Pharrell would bust out some sort of Abraham Lincoln stovepipe hat or a sailor cap, but I gather that he bought a lot of these Arby’s hats wholesale and now dammit, he’s going to wear them. Please note the obligatory hipster scarf, which is probably a utilitarian measure at Coachella – keeps the sand out of your mouth and eyes.  I sort of love that his shorts remind me of something that I would have rocked as a little girl in the early 90s.

Justin Bieber

A head that appears to be facing backwards on his body, like a twerpy male version of the girl from the Exorcist. Cutoff sweat-shorts. A friggin bucket hat.

Justin Bieber would, everybody.

Vanessa Hudgens

If a non-Indian person wears a bindi in the desert, and there’s nobody there to photograph it, is it still culturally appropriative?

(Yes.)

The pink tipped hair is fun though.

Chvrches (/Lauren Mayberry)

Chvrches is a really fun band -they were one of my picks on our songs of the summer playlist last year, but I think this year it might really happen. Lauren Mayberry is, in addition to being a solid musician, somebody you should be listening to off-stage as well.

But this is a fashion post, so I’m going to say it: Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches has the best bangs in the music industry. If my bangs looked like this, I wouldn’t be living in a 27-year cycle of having bangs, growing them out because they never look right, cutting them again, and growing out, etc.

Kid Cudi

My life in crop tops:

Age 5: My brothers’ shady little league coach always wears crop tops. I distinctly remember playing on the dirt pile, watching him walk by and wondering whether the shirt was meant for somebody my size.

Age 15: I say screw it, I’m going to wear a crop top; I feel really skanky about it but if you can’t wear it when you’re 15, when?

Age 25: I wonder if the return of the crop top means I’M supposed to be wearing them; am relieved that I’m old enough that it’s probably not expected of me.

Age 27: Kid Cudi in a crop top at Coachella. It is like my whole life has been leading up to this moment.

See that look of unadulterated glee on Kid Cudi’s face? That is the expression of a grown man who knows that he is successfully pulling off a male crop-top and skinny shorts. Bravo, mister.

Lana Del Rey

I waffle between loving this and thinking it looks too lounge-y. Is Hawaiian print  quite ready for a comeback? It reminds me of being in junior high in 1999 and coveting the items in the Delia’s catalog, and surely that wasn’t THAT long ago.

But when you get down to it, it seems like Lana feels comfortable and happy, and with her crazy-enviable hair, she looks great. Plus it’s fun to see some bright color out there instead of drab summertime sadness-y getups.

Regular Non-Famous Humans In The Crowd

A few of the Coachella staples were on hand, and these looks were sported by the famous and non-famous alike:

Flower crowns: the more bohemian, less offensive alternative to the hipster headdress of a few years ago. I approve.

Hats: Because you’re in the freaking desert.

90s style: How am I old enough for this to be happening??? Basically just dress like if Clarissa Darling went to a music festival.

Somewhere between west coast grunge and Tragic Kingdom-era Gwen Stefani?

Message T’s

I never thought about Rita Ora one way or the other, but wearing this to troll the kiddos at Coachella makes me love her a bit.

Neon: Make Kelly Kapowski proud (Why are all my fashion refs two decades old?)

Native American inspiration (/appropriation?): Proof that white people shouldn’t have nice things

There were a few other trends on hand too: lots of denim shorts, floral print, and heavily tatooed people among them.

In addition, when sorting through the lineup of performers I thought that about 6 of the more unknown men were Macklemore.

None of them was Macklemore.

 

We Own The Finish Line

Monday, April 15th, 2013: A day that will be remembered as one of the most tragic in the city of Boston.

Monday, April 21st, 2014: A day that will be remembered as a testament of courage, strength, and perseverance by the people of Boston.

Boston Red Sox Victory Parade

Before writing this post, I sat at my computer staring at a blank page for almost an hour, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. I knew I wanted to talk about it in some fashion, but I was at a loss. We try to keep things lighthearted on our blog, but the events last year didn’t stop us from writing about it (x,x).

As I look back at how devastating that day was, I remembered how I couldn’t stop watching the news play out like a movie as police put the city on lockdown and searched for the college-kid bomber, and how I had a weird unsettling feeling in the weeks after, and how my mind kept going back to one thing: how incredibly proud I was to see the people of Boston, a city I used to (and still do) call home, come together as one resilient unit.

We all know that immediately after the bombs went off, there were people who ran towards the site to help injured victims, as opposed to running in the opposite direction. First responders, police officers, marathon volunteers, even those who were running the race stopped to take care of strangers. This was just the first of many examples of courage and kindness to come out of a horrible event.

In the hours, days and weeks that followed, stories of heroism and love came to light, like cowboy-hat wearing Carlos Arredondo, whose instinct to run towards survivor Jeff Bauman and stay with him until he received help after losing two legs -and that image became one of the most memorable moments captured from that day; editors at Boston Magazine created a simple yet powerful image of running shoes from those who participated in the marathon and gave them a chance to share their own personal stories from that day; and even this makeshift memorial that was created right after it happened. A usually bustling Boylston Street (where it all went down) was still closed off, but people still came by to show their respects.

Nearly a month after that fateful day, I returned to Boston to attend my friends’ wedding – one of whom had been running the marathon but finished well before the bombs went off. This memorial was moved a few blocks down to an area just a stone’s throw away from the finish line, and also happened to be an area where I used to walk across every day to get to work. The familiar setting paired with an unsettling yet powerful tribute was like a feeling I’ve never had before. Of sadness and grief, but also pride for what this city has done to show their support.

Prior to living in Boston, I had no idea that A) the Boston Marathon was such a huge deal B) Patriots’ Day, the day of the Marathon, is a state holiday in which there’s no school, and usually no work for the adults. People flock to the course to watch people run by. The marathon has always been unique in that the course goes through a ton of residential areas, where people will sit on the sidelines and cheer people on – whether they know them or not. And I can’t help but think this year, the sidewalks will be filled with more people than ever before. It is that kind of support that is so overwhelming it brings tears to my eyes. So often we get caught up in being negative and frustrated with people who make us mad every single day, but in the end, we have to remember that we’re all in this together. That’s all we can do – stand together. Every single person who was there to physically help at the finish line, every doctor, nurse, every person who donated money to the One Fund, proved that the city of Boston isn’t just made of individuals, it’s a city that can come together even in the darkest of times and still find a way to take charge and go into the light.

Boston proved that the only way to combat this hateful crime wasn’t with waging war – it was by showing that a trying time only brings them together, forces them to be stronger, more resilient than ever before.

Celeste Corcoran became a double amputee after the bombings. She’s spent the past year learning how to walk again and determined to stay strong on her own two feet in the face of something so tragic. Through the Dear World project, Celeste, along with her daughter Sydney who severed a femoral artery in the blast, were able to return to the finish line a few weeks ago, stronger than ever before.

She said, “I had never been back, and this was about reclaiming it. That finish line has been a negative space since the marathon. This was about reclaiming that space in a positive way. I chose to be there. I took back control.”

And that’s exactly what the people of Boston and thousands more will do on Patriots’ Day – take back control. Boston isn’t a city to easily back down. I think that reputation precedes them. After the bombings, it’s hard to imagine anything that will rattle Boston and its people. It’s a city that is so incredibly loved by the residents and exudes so much pride that it’s contagious the moment you enter the city limits. It’s a character of its own and that character will never concede, never show signs of defeat, never waver in the face of adversity. I mean this is a town where the Boston Red Sox, seemingly the soul of the city, had to endure an 86 year wait for a World Series championship. And season after season, the fans said, ‘we’ll get ‘em next year’. It’s about staying strong, Boston Strong.

During a tribute held last week, hundreds of survivors and first responders gathered to pay tribute to the lives lost and the ones who made it out with heads held high. Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech that pretty much summed up the whole spirit of the city, that will be carried on this Patriots’ Day and every one from now on:

“We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome … and we own the finish line.”

ICYMI: Back to Black

GUYS GUYS GUYS DID YOU WATCH ORPHAN BLACK LAST NIGHT?!!?

No? Don’t watch it or never heard of it before? Well, we’re here to change you mind. This week, we professed our love for the show’s star, Tatiana Maslany.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.

Smart Lady

Again, this may not surprise you if you watch Orphan Black, but Tatiana speaks a bunch of languages, so she’s probably pretty darn bright. I especially respect that instead of just plugging her show in interviews, she uses the time to drop some knowledge. It’s one thing to acknowledge how important media representation is from behind the internet, and another to bring it up when you are  criticizing the industry that employs you.

Or this:

And these:

“As a kid, I wanted to be a boy because I equated that with strength. There’s a problem with that. It’s only growing into my own womanhood that I realize how warped that is that I was attributing strength to male qualities.”
“I didn’t see people like me on screen, or just as a kid, I wasn’t any of those girls. I identified much more with like, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I did with any human woman on-screen, so that’s saying something.

Everyone, let me just remind you that even if you don’t have a big platform to discuss representation, tuning in to shows like Orphan Black tells networks and execs that this is what people have been waiting to see. That’s Saturday on BBC America, friends.


In the event you missed the season two premiere of Orphan Black on Saturday because you’ve never seen it or know what it is, let us acquaint you with one of the best new(er) programs on TV.


Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Orphan Black

Orphan Black is a series on BBC America that ended its first season run at the beginning of June. Despite the fact it wasn’t the best rated program, it’s been slowing gaining a lot of attenion, and garnering a lot of critical acclaim just in time for Emmy voting season. Not to mention the lead actress, Tatiana Maslany, just won a Critics’ Choice Television award for Best Drama Actress (beating out the likes of Claire Danes & Juliana Margulies)!

Quick plot summary: A woman named Sarah witnesses another woman, Beth, jump into train tracks to commit suicide. Sarah decides to steal her purse only to find out she looks exactly like Beth. In order to escape her messed up life, Sarah assumes Beth’s identity… except she soon finds out there are other women out there who look just like them. Clones if you will. Needless to say, there’s a sci-fi element to it. For the record, I’m not that into sci-fi shows, I mean I really liked Heroes, but this show is more drama than sci-fi, if that’s any help to you.

Number one reason you need to watch this show:

Tatiana Maslany!

It’s true what all the critics are saying about her. She is amazing. Because this show is about clones, she plays every single one – 9 in all I believe? – flawlessly. So much so that in my head they’re all different actresses. She posted a pic of one clone’s love interest, and I was like ‘how is she even with her, she doesn’t have scenes with that character?’ No, I’m an idiot, she’s really good at her job, and she plays all the clones and acts with all the other actors.

Every character is so fleshed out. From the costumes, to the little personality traits to the accents (oh yeah, she switches between accents too), everything flows so seamlessly. There are multiple scenes throughout the show where she has to play a clone pretending to be another clone. It sounds confusing, but she makes it so believable. On top of that, she’s a really good actress. In the approx 5 minutes Beth is shown before she kills herself, Tatiana shows her entire character in just one look. It’s mesmerizing.

For example:

This is Sarah. Punk-rock chick.

This is Beth. Detective about to commit suicide.

This is Tatiana Maslany playing Sarah pretending to be Beth.

One of the great things I read in an interview with Tatiana is that she has an extensive background in improv, which she uses to solidify each character. Her intuition of the ‘yes, and’ process helps lead the character in the natural direction she would go in. If you’ve ever seen (good) improv-ers, you know that they can make anything into a like 15-30 minutes – or more – sketch (Name a profession and a place! A pimp in Transylvania! So much story to tell already!). With Tatiana, she’s using that same skill and creating an arc for all 9 characters from episode to episode, building on the excellent backstory and script provided for her. Plus her mom is a French/English translator, so she is super good with languages. She learned German before she learned how to speak English! She’s legit perfect for this role. Roles. All the roles.

In fact, to all you Emmy voters out there, please please please give this girl a nomination at least. And then give her an Emmy. I feel so strongly about this I’m inclined to start a grassroots campaign – which I’m sure has already been started by some fangirl in Canada (fun fact: the series was shot and based in Canada. In fact, Tatiana and most of the cast are Canadian! Eh!).

There was a recent article on Buzzfeed in which comedian Patton Oswalt legit explains why she deserves all the awards. I’m not the only one who believes in this girl, y’all!

I would list other reasons why you should watch this show, like I guess the other excellent actors, the outstanding writing, the show’s ability to make you have no idea what’s going to happen next and possibly yell and throw objects at the TV, the hilarious jokes that are thrown in, or the loyal, gay best friend:

or this smokeshow (Paul, Beth’s boyfriend):

But I’m going to stick with Tatiana Maslany.

PS: Orphan Black is currently available On Demand (for Time Warner Cable, at least), but here’s a handy guide to find a provider near you!

Saturday Spotlight: Holy Saturday, Batman!

Today is Holy Saturday. If you remember your Sunday School (or went to a billion years of Catholic school like us), you’ll know that this is the weakest day in the Easter Triduum. If you aren’t familiar, here’s the crash course:

  • Holy Friday: Jesus dies.
  • Easter Sunday: Jesus is risen.
  • Holy Saturday: ???

Take it from the girl who got in trouble for asking how Sunday morning is possibly three days after Friday night: this is the boring part of Easter week. That’s why, to spice it up, I just say the name of the day like I’m talking to Batman: Holy Saturday! If you’re just waiting around, coloring eggs and counting the hours until it’s somewhat acceptable to eat a bunch of jelly beans, here’s some light reading. Hopefully you’ll be enthusiastically proclaiming “Holy Saturday, Batman!” by the end.


 

Generic Country Song Of The Summer

I like country music. I do. But gone are the days of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The new cliche country song isn’t about tears in your beer. It’s a list of about 20 of the same things that are supposed to evoke the small-town life of a lower-middle-class white man who’s a casual misogynist (and sometimes accidental racist).

It’s time for the “songs of the summer” to start rolling out, and the country song of the summer practically writes itself – as in, this is a two-minute stream of consciousness. Grab a ball cap, park your old pickup by a body of water, and get ready for some old-fashioned objectifyin’: here is your Generic Country Song Of The Summer:

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I like Jesus on a Sunday
Girls on a Saturday
American trucks and football in the fall
I like baseball on a Friday
Workin’ hard on Tuesdays
Crackin’ open an ol’ beer can after it all

I’m not ashamed to pray in school
Not too hip for Levi’s
I don’t need earrings to be cool
Just a little ol’ girl in my passenger seat
With a plaid shirt tied low and shorts cut high

Who doesn’t know she’s beautiful…

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there


Old School Loves

Connie Britton + Nathan Fillion, 1997

I couldn’t exactly find evidence these two dated, but they did attend the 1997 Emmy Awards together, as seen from this pic. They were in Spin City together, but did romance happen offscreen too? We’ll probably never know, y’all.

Linda Blair + Rick James, 1982

First of all, how disturbing is this picture??? Rick wrote his song Cold Blooded about his lady love, but his drug abuse problems were too much for Linda to handle, so she broke it off.

River Phoenix + Martha Plimpton, 1989

I guess their relationship was high-profile at the time, but I no idea they were a thing, seeing as how I was like 8 when they dated. They starred in two movies, including the Oscar nominated film, Running On Empty, together, and attend the Academy Awards hand in hand that year. Their relationship ended because she objected his drug use, and he died from an overdose in 1993.


 

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.


 

Band at Coachella or Stefon’s Favorite Club?

The first weekend of Coachella 2014 has come and gone, but there’s still one more weekend of music and hipsters and alcohol and drugs and questionable fashion in the desert. In LA, these two weekends in April basically means a mass exodus of folks heading out to Indio, and in certain neighborhoods (read: hipster neighborhoods), it’s eerily quiet.

And while Coachella is a music and arts festival, I feel like it’s become less about the music and more about the event itself, which celebrities you can spot, and how many artistic Instagram photos you can post. Lest we forget about all the indie rock bands and dance/rappers we’ve never heard of before? That’s what Coachella is all about. When you look at the lineup and go, ‘IS THAT EVEN A REAL BAND??’

People who are real Coachella fans get off on knowing bands before everyone else knows who they are, no matter how ridiculous the name of their band sounds. So in the spirit of putting the music back put on your flower headbands and try your hand at guessing whether the following words are real legit bands that are playing at Coachella this year, or the name of a fake club by SNL’s former city correspondent, Stefon. Good Luck! (highlight the text between the two arrows for the answer!)

Scuba

COACHELLA ⇐

Scuba, real name Paul Rose, is an EDM DJ from London.

Blitzen

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest holiday club is Blitzen, and right now they’re having their 12 Days of Christmas dance party. It has everything: (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas) 12 jacked albinos, 11 Little Richards, 10 piercer babies, 9 Asian Balkis, 8 gay Aladdins, 7 psychos swearing, 6 Puerto Screechers, 5 homeless Elmos. 4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking cone… It’s that thing were two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.


Tonight I’m Cleanin’ Out My Closet: Adventures In Wardrobe Reduction

Sizes

Fashion tip: If you look like a kid from those awful “vaguely old-fashioned children playing dress-up” posters from the early 90s, you’re wearing the wrong size.

Even those of us who aren’t taunted by “skinny clothes” probably own some things in the wrong size. I have pieces I bought on sale even though they were a few sizes too big, ‘longs’ even though I’m 5’2 (ha!), and clothes from college, when every late-night pizza was accompanied by late-night garlic knots.

Grab a full-length mirror and some shoes of varying heights and get to work. Can’t zipper something? You don’t need that negativity in your closet. Those pants are JERKS. Have to hitch up your pants so they don’t fall off – AND cut an extra notch in the belt? Ditch ‘em, skinny. If you must keep your wrong-sized clothes, at least stash them out of the way. You get a pass if you are pregnant or had a baby recently.

For those gray area clothes, ask yourself if it actually looks good on you. Not if it’s a nice piece of clothing, but if it looks good on you. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. It’s not you, it’s the clothes.
If you truly love something, and it can fit with a minor alteration, then either do it or take it to the tailor. But set a timeline – a week or two – and if you haven’t done it by then, show it the door.

Seasons

Most of us do this already, but please store your off-season clothes out of the way. If you don’t have room for that, then at least put them in the back or sides of your closet and in one dresser drawer. You shouldn’t have to rake through shorts and mini-dresses in February. Like jeans that won’t zipper, they are JERKS and they’re bringing you down.

While you’re at it, make sure your clothes are suited to seasons you actually deal with. This is where super-minimalist wardrobes fail me. I deal with four distinct seasons, from “was this winter a promotional tie-in for Disney’s Frozen?” to “I didn’t even know that could sweat.” If you live where it’s 70 degrees all year, you don’t need too many sweaters. And if even your summers only reach a drizzly 60 degrees, you don’t need tons of flimsy sleeveless dresses.

Generic Country Song Of The Summer

I like country music. I do. But gone are the days of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The new cliche country song isn’t about tears in your beer. It’s a list of about 20 of the same things that are supposed to evoke the small-town life of a lower-middle-class white man who’s a casual misogynist (and sometimes accidental racist).

It’s time for the “songs of the summer” to start rolling out, and the country song of the summer practically writes itself – as in, this is a two-minute stream of consciousness. Grab a ball cap, park your old pickup by a body of water, and get ready for some old-fashioned objectifyin’: here is your Generic Country Song Of The Summer:

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I was sittin’ in my pickup
Riverside
Ice-cold beer that I drink from a can
A little beat-up old Chevy
Riding with the top down
I like wearin’ ball caps because I am a man

We were layin’ by the fishin’ dock
Blue jeans
Sweet tea like my mama made, I like that
A little beat-up old hometown
Parked out in the hayfield
Sometimes girls wear cutoff shorts, I also like that

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there

I like Jesus on a Sunday
Girls on a Saturday
American trucks and football in the fall
I like baseball on a Friday
Workin’ hard on Tuesdays
Crackin’ open an ol’ beer can after it all

I’m not ashamed to pray in school
Not too hip for Levi’s
I don’t need earrings to be cool
Just a little ol’ girl in my passenger seat
With a plaid shirt tied low and shorts cut high

Who doesn’t know she’s beautiful…

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there

Ridin’ down the old dirt country road (I own a gun)
Moonlight on my shoulders, crickets in the air (Girlll)
Park out by that rusty screen door
Starin’ at your window hopin’ that you’re there (I own a gun, I own a gun)

Did we do it? I count:

  • referring to things as “little,” “old,” or both
  • Beer (in cans – bonus! Bottles are for city folk)
  • A sort of gentle creepiness (like cute stalking?)
  • Anticipating and refuting criticism for being Christian/ traditional/ into denim
  • Jeans
  • Ball caps
  • Reference to working
  • Attractive women who are somehow unaware that they’re attractive
  • Jesus
  • Screen doors, for some reason
  • Song structure that … isn’t
  • Spending time in a parked car, preferably near bodies of water
  • Sports, but not like soccer or lacrosse or anything like that
  • Fields
  • Stuff that doesn’t make sense but you don’t realize it at first ( truck with the top down, e.g.)
  • Crickets
  • A narrator who sometimes seems like he’s 15 and sometimes like he’s my dad
  • Droppin’ the g’s in gerunds
  • Mama
  • Dammit. We forgot the dog.

Old School Loves

Lena Dunham recently did an interview with Grantland in which she talks about one of her favorite Tumblrs, called Old Loves. The site contains photos of celebrities who used to date – most of whom are couples that most of us forgot about (Or just really amazing pictures of couples that used to be. RIP Brit +JT). This is what happened when she recently perused

“The craziest thing that ever happened to me, was like, Old Loves is my passion, I check it like once a week. It’s how I kick back on like a Friday night … And I was going through it and I saw my boyfriend and his girlfriend from high school. I know I shouldn’t spill that in a public forum, but you can Google it… She’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, but it was just so surreal to be looking through this blog that gives me so much pleasure and then there’s my boyfriend. And I was like, ‘My mind is going to explode.’”

So this is the picture Lena came across featuring her fun. BF Jack Antonoff…

Yup. That’s a young Scarlett Johansson. They both went to the Professional Children’s School in New York City and apparently dated from 2001 until 2002. And then she got super famous and he wrote a song called Better Love, accusing her of letting the fame get to her head. Woof.

I explored the site for myself and found some gems that are on the same level (or better) of “WTF, THEY DATED?!” as Scarlett + Jack. Are there any on this list that blew your mind as much as it did mine??

David Arquette + Drew Barrymore, 1991

These two were teenagers when they first hooked up and dated in 1991, and eight years later, he played brother Rob to her Josie Geller in Never Been Kissed. You know who has been kissed? Those fake siblings. Josie Grossie indeed.

Charlie Sheen + Kelly Preston, 1989

Long before Charlie Sheen was WINNING Charlie Sheen, he was engaged to a young Kelly Preston pre-Travolta. Allegedly there was a rumor going around that he accidentally shot her in the arm (sidenote: holy crap I never knew this story!). Charlie tells this story that basically this revolver he used to carry in his pants pocket accidentally went off when she picked up his jeans, and the shrapnel hit her arm, thus causing her to bleed. What. TIGER BLOOD, Y’ALL.

Alyssa Milano + Scott Wolf, 1995

Alyssa and Scott met on the set of their 1993 movie Double Dragon, and they immediately knew they’d get married to each other. Scott literally said “People get all oogily around us.” Gag me with a spoon. But he also said, “You can interview us 25 years from now – and we’ll prove we’re not just another couple who met on a movie set.” Ok guys, 2018 – make sure someone from People contacts them for a follow-up interview.

Heath Graham + James Woods, 1992

Heather and James first met while she was studying at UCLA, and then later went on to film the movie Diggstown together, but according to James, they spent “every day together for a year”. But the start to an end was when he basically admitted he was only dating her because she was blonde and had big boobs. What a skeeze. Oh and if you can’t tell from this picture, there is a 23 year age different between them.

Connie Britton + Nathan Fillion, 1997

I couldn’t exactly find evidence these two dated, but they did attend the 1997 Emmy Awards together, as seen from this pic. They were in Spin City together, but did romance happen offscreen too? We’ll probably never know, y’all.

Geri Halliwell + Jerry O’Connell, 2003

Jerry spiced up his life with a blonde Ginger, but this romance didn’t last long…

Guliana Rancic + Jerry O’Connell, 2003

Because he quickly moved on to dating E! News host Giuliana Rancic (nee, DePandi at the time). In fact she was dating Jerry when she first met her hubs Bill Rancic, and Jerry kind of had a weird prophecy about their romance. Bill said, “I was at NBC up fronts promoting The Apprentice. O’Connell was on an NBC show, and he jokingly said, ‘I’d introduce you to my girlfriend but I’m afraid the two of you would run off together.’ ” And they lived happily ever after

 

Linda Blair + Rick James, 1982

First of all, how disturbing is this picture??? Rick wrote his song Cold Blooded about his lady love, but his drug abuse problems were too much for Linda to handle, so she broke it off.

Brad Pitt + Christina Applegate, 1989

Christina met Brad when she was 16, as they had the same group of friends. This pic was taken when she brought him as her date to the MTV Movie Awards – except she ended up ditching Brad that night to leave with another guy!!! Poor choices.

Sofia Coppola + Keanu Reeves, 1992

Keaunu met Sofia when her father, Frances Ford Coppola directed him in the film Dracula. Hm. Good thing he already had the part before they started dating.

 Molly Ringwald + Adam Horovitz, 1987

No one really knows exactly how long the 80s starlet and 80s rapper dated, but per interviews in which he talked about her, their romance lasted about a year. This couple seems unlikely, but the more I think about it, the more it reminds me of a Claire/Bender relationship a la Breakfast Club. Opposites attract?

Matt Damon + Skylar Satenstein

Okay, so the woman holding Matt Damon’s hand is Skylar Satenstein, who isn’t a celebrity on her own, but definitely has been linked to some high profile names. Matt and Skylar dated while he was at Harvard, and she was an emergency medical physician. In fact she was the inspiration for Minnie Driver’s character appropriately named Skylar in Good Will Hunting. Skyler went on to date OJ Simpson (totally getting a Nicole Brown Simpson vibe from her, no?) and went on to marry -then divorce Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.

River Phoenix + Martha Plimpton, 1989

I guess their relationship was high-profile at the time, but I no idea they were a thing, seeing as how I was like 8 when they dated. They starred in two movies, including the Oscar nominated film, Running On Empty, together, and attend the Academy Awards hand in hand that year. Their relationship ended because she objected his drug use, and he died from an overdose in 1993.

Fred Armisen + Martha Plimpton, 2006

Martha Plimpton got around, huh? This was pre-Elisabeth Moss shitshow, and while I appreciate Fred as a comedian, between these two headstrong ladies, I can’t help but think he’s common denominator in the breakups. But what do I know?

Tracy Chapman + Alice Walker

alice tracy

Tracy Chapman and Alice Walker were in a relationship in the mid 1990s. They kept it quiet in the public eye, but apparently it was common knowledge among the people in their circles. In 2006, Alice told The Guardian, “My life is not to be somebody else’s impact – you know what I mean? And it was delicious and lovely and wonderful and I totally enjoyed it and I was completely in love with her but it was not anybody’s business but ours.” I think the most important thing to take out of this is ALICE WALKER IS A LESBIAN??? (I’ve never read her stuff, does she talk about it?? Apologies for my ignorance if this is the case)

Heather Graham + Heath Ledger

I like to think that Heath only ever dated Michelle Williams, so this pairing is odd to me. Heather and Heath dated in 2000 after meeting in a club in Prague (because, Hollywood). He even called her his muse at one point. She was also 10 years his senior, but clearly, age ain’t nothin but a number to Heather, right James Woods?

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tatiana Maslany

There are only days left before Season Two of Orphan Black premieres! When we identified Orphan Black as a show you should be watching if you aren’t already, the ONLY reason we felt we needed to give to watch it was Tatiana Maslany. So naturally, she was a logical candidate for our Wednesday woman crush. Here’s why:

She Is Such A Good Actress That I’m Still Not Sure How She’s One Person

In Orphan Black, Maslany plays over ten clones. The amazing thing is that these are fully realized characters – each one has a different accent, world-view, and way of moving through space. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t watched the show, but you completely forget that these characters are all played by the same person. It sounds like it would be confusing having the same person play multiple characters, but each one is so different that you never mix them up.

Now for the real next-level acting: at times, Maslany plays one clone pretending to be another. And even when she’s doing THAT, there is no question for the viewer who she is and what the character is doing.

Tatiana Maslany Probably Makes Awesome Playlists

If you’re the kind of person who’s always looking for the man behind the curtain, you’re probably wondering HOW the heck one person plays multiple characters on the same show and keeps them straight. The surprisingly fun answer: music and dancing. Tatiana says: ” I had an amazing coach who I’ve worked with for a few years and she talks about the internal rhythm of somebody and how if you change the song that’s inside of you that changes maybe how you walk or how you express yourself how you speak even your dialect changes… If I’ve got like… Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio going on internally… which I always do…”

The tracks that Maslany lists as inspiration for her characters make me think that she’d be the friend you’d want to put in charge of your road trip playlists.

If you actually watch the show, these selections make so much sense (and let’s talk about how great these artists are, too):

  • Helena: Antony And The Johnsons, Tom Waits
  • Sarah: The Clash, Dizzee Rascal, The Prodigy
  • Cosima: Grimes, Diplo
  • Alison: Showtunes! (and guys [SPOILER!], rumor has it Alison joins a theatre troupe this year![/SPOILER])
  • Rachel: 90s slow jamz

Yes, And…

We love comedy, so naturally Maslany’s improv background pushes her even further into Imaginary BFF territory. She’s actually a certified teacher and was on a professional improv team for years. If you’ve scrolled through Tumblr or watched any interviews, this probably doesn’t surprise you much.

Flamenco?!

It makes sense that someone who is able to physically move in different ways for different characters would have a dance background. But one article said that Maslany’s background is in flamenco. Could that be true? I took flamenco when I studied in Spain and it is just one of the coolest dance forms there is – but it’s definitely underrated and not a lot of kids in North America take lessons in it. If this info is legit, it’s nice to have someone out there repping for dance forms other than ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop.

Smart Lady

Again, this may not surprise you if you watch Orphan Black, but Tatiana speaks a bunch of languages, so she’s probably pretty darn bright. I especially respect that instead of just plugging her show in interviews, she uses the time to drop some knowledge. It’s one thing to acknowledge how important media representation is from behind the internet, and another to bring it up when you are  criticizing the industry that employs you.

Or this:

And these:

“As a kid, I wanted to be a boy because I equated that with strength. There’s a problem with that. It’s only growing into my own womanhood that I realize how warped that is that I was attributing strength to male qualities.”
“I didn’t see people like me on screen, or just as a kid, I wasn’t any of those girls. I identified much more with like, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than I did with any human woman on-screen, so that’s saying something.

Everyone, let me just remind you that even if you don’t have a big platform to discuss representation, tuning in to shows like Orphan Black tells networks and execs that this is what people have been waiting to see. That’s Saturday on BBC America, friends.

But You Don’t Have To Take Our Word For It…

As we mentioned when we discussed Amy Poehler, the best way to know how someone really is can be listening to what people have to say about them. It’s pretty easy to differentiate faint press-tour praise from real admiration.

 

“She is so positive, she is so happy, she is so nice, so down to earth. She didn’t blow up and get a big head, you know. She came back for season 2 and she somehow is even more humble. It’s awesome. And she is so much fun to work with.”  – Kristin Bruun
“She’s a total natural, a working prodigy.” – Graeme Manson
“Everyone wants to do their best work because she’s working harder than everyone here, and everyone knows she’s doing something special.” – John Fawcett
“I absolutely adore her, she’s fantastic. She’s just jaw-droppingly good. She’s absolutely brilliant. It’s not an easy thing to do well, you know? It really isn’t easy to be different people at the same time… I think it’s just an enormous testament to her that she pulls it off. I think the whole show hangs on it and if she wasn’t as good as she is it wouldn’t have worked. It’s only getting the recognition and success because she’s that good, I think. It’s brilliant, and it’s fantastic to watch. ” – Maria Doyle Kennedy

Have we convinced you? Then tune in to BBC America on Saturday, April 19 for Season 2 of Orphan Black!

Band at Coachella or Stefon’s Favorite Club?

The first weekend of Coachella 2014 has come and gone, but there’s still one more weekend of music and hipsters and alcohol and drugs and questionable fashion in the desert. In LA, these two weekends in April basically means a mass exodus of folks heading out to Indio, and in certain neighborhoods (read: hipster neighborhoods), it’s eerily quiet.

And while Coachella is a music and arts festival, I feel like it’s become less about the music and more about the event itself, which celebrities you can spot, and how many artistic Instagram photos you can post. Lest we forget about all the indie rock bands and dance/rappers we’ve never heard of before? That’s what Coachella is all about. When you look at the lineup and go, ‘IS THAT EVEN A REAL BAND??’

People who are real Coachella fans get off on knowing bands before everyone else knows who they are, no matter how ridiculous the name of their band sounds. So in the spirit of putting the music back put on your flower headbands and try your hand at guessing whether the following words are real legit bands that are playing at Coachella this year, or the name of a fake club by SNL’s former city correspondent, Stefon. Good Luck! (highlight the text between the two arrows for the answer!)

Scuba

COACHELLA ⇐

Scuba, real name Paul Rose, is an EDM DJ from London.

Blitzen

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest holiday club is Blitzen, and right now they’re having their 12 Days of Christmas dance party. It has everything: (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas) 12 jacked albinos, 11 Little Richards, 10 piercer babies, 9 Asian Balkis, 8 gay Aladdins, 7 psychos swearing, 6 Puerto Screechers, 5 homeless Elmos. 4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking cone… It’s that thing were two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them.

Jelly Bones

⇒ STEFON ⇐

Located on the Lower Upper Side, this random home invasion is the creation of legally drunk clothing designer Nick Nolte and Gabana. As you walk in, you’ll be handed a glass of champagne – or is it piss? This place has everything: Slurpies, mushmouths, litterbugs. But Don’t worry about security, because it’s guarded by an army of hobo-cops. Homeless Robocops.

Holy Ghost!

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Holy Ghost! is an American synthpop duo from Brooklyn.

Thank You!

⇒ STEFON ⇐

New York’s hottest club is Thank You! Located inside a crashing blimp, this euro trash utopia is a creation of beatnik doctor, Soulpatch Adams. And this place has everything: ziplines, fish food, that fat Hawaiian guy that no one invited, an old Pakistani woman that looks like a California raisin. And this weekend they’re having a tournament of everyones favorite trivia game: Shaun White or Bonnie Raitt. Look closely, the answer may surprise you.

Graveyard

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Graveyard is a hard rock band from Sweden with members whose real names are Axel Sjöberg, and Truls Mörck, clearly taking a page out of the Mike Schur book of fake names.

Drowners

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Drowners is a “post-punk” band from New York City. Whatever “post-punk” means.

Scampi

⇒ STEFON ⇐

Illegally parked behind the Statue of Liberty, this hate-speech haven is a creation of frat boy guru D-Bag Chopra. This place has everything: Zip drives, gozers, Ke$ha.  Is it Ryan Seacrest? No –  it’s a drowned albino who looks like Axl Rose. For the kids, there’s a special workshop where you can build a bear… but not the kind you think. There’s a VIP section filled with Furtlenecks - it’s that thing of when like, fat guys have a beard, but only on their chin roll. And they have a pack of roaming draggers. Roaming draggers? It’s that thing of when an old dog has short legs but a long penis.

Slice

⇒ STEFON ⇐

If you want fun, then listen to this: New York’s hottest club is Slice. Club promoter Gay Liotta is back, and this time he’s gone crazy. Jump in and join a dance party where you’ll see twinks, gypsies, grown men in wedding dresses, a cat from a bodega, puppets in disguise… It’s that thing like when Alf wore a trench coat, so he could go out into public.

Daughter

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Daughter is a British indie rock band, whose songs have been used on Grey’s Anatomy, Teen Wolf, and Arrow.

Poolside

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

Poolside is a Los Angeles-based duo who classify themselves as “Daytime disco”. Honestly, in addition to making up band names, can these bands just make up their own genres too?

Bicep

⇒ COACHELLA ⇐

British Dance DJ who has the least appealing name ever.

Push

⇒ STEFON ⇐

This place has everything: Ghosts, banjos, Carl Paladino, a stuck-up kitten who won’t sign autographs, furkels.
Furkels? Fat Urkels. After you’ve been with one of those guys, you’ll ask yourself “Did I do thaaaat?’