Web Bytes: The Fault in Our Stars Music Video (AKA “Let Me In” by Grouplove)

I am more than an little excited for the release of The Fault in Our Stars, so I am latching on to any and all little tidbits that come out and you are just going to have to deal with it.

Check out the music video for “Let Me In” by Grouplove that was just released.  It has a lot of brand new adorkable clips (name that one at 0:25) and, hey, the song is pretty good, too!

Ellen

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Totally Rad Pop Culture Items from My Childhood That I Wish I Still Had

Life is full of regrets, everyone knows that.  The following are my life’s biggest.

bsc1) Babysitters Club T-Shirt – This was so rare and awesome that even the internet couldn’t help me find it again.  Back in 1994, little Ellen loved her Scholastic book order catalogs.  Many of them featured a special offer at the back where you could join the Baby-Sitters Club Fan Club.  So exclusive.  So VIP.  I begged my mom for months and finally, she caved.  Among the membership benefits was the coolest t-shirt you have ever seen.  It was bright and colorful with hip phrases like “Best Friends Forever” and “Mary-Ann + Logan”, but worst of all, it was big enough on me back then that I could still totally rock it to this day.  Sigh.  This one hurts the most.

Dtv_romancin2) DTV Romancin’ VHS Recording – Back in the late 80s to early 90s, Disney Channel tried to cash in on the MTV cash cow and make music videos to popular songs using clips from their cartoons.  These music videos would often appear between their cartoons and sometimes they would air specials.  My favorite of these specials was DTV Romancin’ (also aired as DTV Valentines).  It had Chip and Dale dancing to Madonna, the cast of Bambi wooing to Lionel Richie’s “Hello”, and just about every clip of a phone from a Disney cartoon played with “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.  Needless to say, I wore this VHS out.

902103) 90210 Blow Dryer – I was far too young to care about this 90210 blow dryer, but I felt like the coolest 1st grader on the black when I would (attempt to) blow dry my hair with this beauty.  It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t a very good blow dryer, it only mattered that it was aqua green and purple and was emblazoned with that zip code.  In my head, it was the blow dryer that Kelly, Brenda, and Donna used.

full house4) Full House Michelle Scrapbook – Have you ever wanted to look at pictures of episodes of Full House?  Then have I got the book for you!  This book has it all.  Michelle gives all the dirt, like how Uncle Joey is so silly!  And how Uncle Jesse is so cool!  Did you know that DJ loves Steve?  Or that Stephanie thinks you are so “rude”?  (Mainly I wish I still had this one so that I could marvel at how obsessed I was with this stupid book).

beauty5) Handheld Beauty and the Beast Game – I blame this game for making me so easily addicted to games on my iPhone.  I was never great at your Nintendos and your Playstations, but even I could handle three buttons.  Dodge left, dodge right, and of course, “MAGIC”!  The premise was pretty basic, because those three buttons won’t allow for much.  At first you hide from the beast, but then you kiss him and then you hide from Gaston so that you can get to the beast and kiss him and finally, you escape the mob led by Gaston so that you can get to the beast and kiss him so that he becomes the “handsome” prince.  It’s a wonder that I ended up with even a shred of feminist sensibilities.

$T2eC16J,!)sE9swm(vm4BS!TdnQu5w~~60_356) Spice Girls Pin – When I was in fifth grade, one of my friends got this set of five pins that spelled out SPICE.  We divvied up the pins, each girl getting the pin with the Spice Girl that they most embodied.  See that “P” with Ginger? That was all mine.  Somehow, as a 10 year old, I was Ginger Spice.  Probably because I had the closest thing resembling red hair, was terrible at sports, and hated Posh.

little mermaid7) Little Mermaid Sheets – At the age of 3, I was so hard core about The Little Mermaid that it was a bit ridiculous.  I had the entire soundtrack memorized before I had seen the movie.  When I finally DID see the movie, I stood on my seat and sang along with the whole thing.  I mainly wish that I still had these sheets because I still have a twin bed and would SO sleep on these bad boys.

giga8) 101 Dalmatians Giga Pet – I was very explicit with Santa.  I am a Giga Pet girl and NOT a Tamagotchi girl.  Also, don’t even think about getting me a cat.  Apparently, this led Santa to a 101 Dalmatians Giga Pet because it was the same Christmas that the live action movie came out, and I was more than happy to receive my little demanding dalmatian.

photo9) Minnie paraphernalia – This girl had a lot of Minnie Mouse paraphernalia.  It is unclear as to whether this was due to an obsession on my part or on my mother’s part, who was buying all of it.  Either way, I loved Minnie Mouse and demanded to see her almost immediately upon my first arrival at Disneyland.  The item I most wish I still had that I cannot find is this tubular neon school folder, but I am pretty sure I wore it to tatters.

disney afternoon10) Disney Afternoon soundtrack tape – I loved Disney afternoon, but what kid in the early 90s with Disney Channel didn’t?  And almost more than the cartoons themselves, I loved the theme songs, mainly because of this cassette tape.  I may or may not have most of these downloaded to my iTunes.  And I may or may not bust them out on a regular basis.  And I may or may not be able to still do the breakdown on the Tale Spin theme song.  “Spin it, let’s begin it, bear and grin it when you’re in it, you can win it in a minute when you spin it, spin it, spin it. So spin it.  Tale Spin!”

What item from your childhood are you most upset that your mom talked you into throwing out?

Ellen

Choice Picks: Top Five Fictional Bands I Totally Wish Were Real

I am, by nature, pretty shameless when it comes to my tastes and pop culture preferences. However, I recently had to explain to a 12 year-old why Mouserat was the greatest band ever (which included my own rendition of “5000 Candles in the Wind”) and he managed to make me feel like a total bung-hole in a way only a 12 year-old can. That totally demoralizing conversation forced me to confront the fact that a really disproportionate number of my favorite bands are, umm, not real. To numb the shame, I compiled a list of the best fictional bands, ever.

5) The Electric Dream Machine (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)

 

4) Crutial Taunt (Wayne’s World)

 

3) The Wonders (That Thing You Do)

 

2) Clash at Demonhead (Scott Pilgrim v. The World)

 

1) Powerline (A Goofy Movie)

-Whitney

Grade A, Choice Picks: Top Christmas Songs

I should add a big huge fat note that these are MY favorite Christmas songs and not what I consider to be the greatest of all time.  Also, you are going to notice from my list that I have a very specific type of Christmas music that I prefer: female Jazz vocalists.  What can I say?  I know what I like.

beatles-paul-hol6343559410. “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” – Paul McCartney: Back in my hometown, there is a radio that played Christmas music beginning earlier and earlier each year (i’m sure a lot of you can relate).  This was my main discovery from that radio station.  This is partly a nostalgic pick because a friend on my high school carpool and I would get really excited when it came on. Probably because it is one of a kind and wasn’t Michael Bolton singing some song that has been recorded a million times.  They played a lot of that kind of stuff.

9.  “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Julie London: This one has been recorded a few times but I dare you to find one that is, well, sexier.  This recording and her voice really makes you believe that she has got some love to keep her warm, if you know what I’m sayin’.

8.  “The Christmas Waltz” – Nancy Wilson: It should be noted that when I was about 13, my dad got these Christmas CDs called Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails and I became obsessed.  Most of the songs on this list come from those CDs and I am ever grateful to them for discoveries like Ms. Nancy Wilson.  This is a great, not overly played Christmas song and my favorite version of it.

music-never-CLICK7.  “Little Saint Nick” – The Beach Boys: I had the Beach Boys Christmas album on a cassette tape when I was about 7, so you can just imagine little Ellen bumping this on her Boombox.  Yeah, this one is definitely a nostalgic pick.

6. “Sleigh Ride” – Ella Fitzgerald:  Remember what I said about my preference for jazzy female vocalists?  Well, it doesn’t get much better than Ella.  She just makes every Christmas song… cooler.  I highly recommend her Christmas album.  I mean, it’s called Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas.  What’s not to like?

Meet Me in St_ Louis MO JG5.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Judy Garland: This one falls under the “Classic Christmas” category, and of course, the original Judy Garland version from Meet Me in St. Louis is the best.

4. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” – Nancy Wilson: Now, you may argue with me that this is not a real Christmas song because it is about New Year’s Eve, right?  Wrong.  The whole premise of the song is the singer is asking early to get a leg up on the competition.  While the recent Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt video is pretty good because I am sucker for some ukulele, Nancy Wilson’s version still reigns supreme in my book.

Mariah+Carey+All+I+Want3.  “All I Want For Christmas” – Mariah Carey:  The newest song on the list and the only Christmas recording from the past 20 years that should be on this list.  This song is fabulous, everyone knows it.  It is only bettered by the fact that it is featured so prominently in one of my favorite movies of all time, Love Actually.

2. “The Man with the Bag” – Kay Starr: I love this song!  Another one that I probably like more because it is not played non-stop throughout the course of the Christmas season, but also it is fun, jazzy and has a great vocal.  Favorite line has to be “Everybody’s waitn’, they’re all congregatin'”

nat1. “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole:  This one had to be number one.  I know that it is number one on a lot of these lists, but it is for good reason.  There are few songs that make you really feel like it is Christmas, but this one always delivers.  I can’t help but get that warm, happy feeling and be transported to a some big cozy chair in front of a glowing Christmas tree and warm fireplace.  Can you?

 

What do you think? Do you disagree with my list?  Guess what? I don’t care if you do.  But let me know some of your favorites regardless.  If you didn’t already see them, check out my favorite Christmas movies, TV episodes, and specials.

Ellen

Mixin’ It Up: May’s Playlist

rilo-kiley-rkives-cover-artI Remember YouRilo Kiley – I really should just list the whole RKives album here, but that’s not how this list works. That being said, you should also check out “Emotional“, “Patiently“, “Let Me Back In” and “I’ll Get You There” My only complaint against the album is that it is not a reunion album and just a compilation of unreleased tracks.  Come back to us, Rilo Kiley!  This song just happens to be the track I have been rocking the hardest.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for bouncy, happy songs.

S.O.S. in Bel AirPhoenix – I have been rocking this album pretty hard lately, as well.  There is something about Phoenix’s music that just make me want to dance!  You know?  Really let loose and dance like no one is watching.  This happens to be the track that I enjoy doing that to the most.

Diane YoungVampire Weekend – It must be the oncoming summer season that is really drawing me to all these peppy songs.  If you saw Vampire Weekend on SNL last week, you probably already downloaded this song, but in case you didn’t, I suggest you get this one and begin blasting it in your with the windows rolled down.  I know I have been.

That GirlJustin Timberlake – I know there are some haters out there for my boy JT’s latest album, and while it is not as good as FutureSex/LoveSounds, I enjoy the throwback quality of 20/20, perfectly exhibited with “That Girl” and my other fav from the album “Pusher Love Girl“.  Don’t hate.  Just get down and dirty.  It’s what JT would want.

Do-Nick-Jess-Get-Together-New-Girl-Finale-VideoI Always KnewThe Vaccines – If you saw the New Girl finale, you should not have to ask why this song is on the list.  Nothing like a good Nick Miller snog to endear a song to me.  How perfect is the line “Let’s go to bed, before you say something real” for Nick and Jess?  Also, the song is just plain catchy and cute.

Blurred LinesRobin Thicke feat. T.I and Pharrell – This month’s playlist was missing a good solid pop/dance track.  Then this song came out.  Have you heard this song?  I am incapable of not dancing to this song.  Please tell me that I’m not the only one.

Romeo and JulietThe Killers – This song is obviously old news because the original is 30 years old and this cover has been around for a few years, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of how perfect this song is.  Really listen to this song and tell me that it isn’t one of those perfect songs where every aspect just comes together to create music magic.  That is your homework for this post.

Sunday GirlShe & Him – Admittedly, I have been a little disappointed with Volume 3.  I don’t think anything will ever live up to Volume 1, but this cover of Blondie’s “Sunday Girl” is pretty darn infectious and a definite highlight on this latest album.  “London” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” are my other highlights if you were interested.

Random-Access-MemoriesDoin’ it RightDaft Punk – I feel pretty cliche listing a Daft Punk song from their new album, Random Access Memories because the internet seems to be pretty obsessed with it right now, but this song is LEGIT.  Check it out.  Definitely my favorite from the album so far.

Back to BlackBeyonce and Andre 3000 – I have yet to see The Great Gatsby and I know there are mixed reviews on how the music works within the context of the movie, but regardless of that, the soundtrack for this movie is a pretty dang awesome compilation of music.  This is just one of many highlights on the album.  (Did not mean to have so many covers on the list).

Ellen

Mixin’ It Up: March’s Playlist

Boy_-_Mutual_FriendsThese posts take me a while to write, so let’s skip the chit chat and get to it.

Little Numbers”  BOY – This is my number one pick that I’m pushing this month because I want more people to be as obsessed with this song as I am.  I just saw them them in concert this past Friday and they were so adorably genuine and just plum excited to be singing their songs for people.  Not to mention, the song is dang catchy.  I dare you listen and not start bopping your head or humming along by the last chorus.

Heartbreaker”  Alabama Shakes – Last month began my love affair with Alabama Shakes.  I may be a little behind, but I have certainly made up for lost time over the past few weeks.  I love the Brittany’s voice and the sort of old school soul and garage band rock melding that they have going on.  Rather than recommend their two main tracks (“Hold On” and “Boys and Girls”, both of which I LOVE), I thought I would recommend the B-side-ish tracks that I really like.  “Heartbreaker” has all the possible passion that could fit into one song.

Breakin’ Up”  Rilo Kiley – I had to include a Rilo Kiley song in this month’s mix because I am so excited for their new album that is coming out next month.  Like, beyond excited.  This is mainly due to the fact that they have not come out with a new album since 2007!  “Breakin’ Up” is a little more peppy than what I am expecting from their new album, but that doesn’t make me love it any less.   (The video I linked is this goofy, homemade video, but their dancing amuses me).

White Nights”  Oh Land – While I don’t think I will ever be able to endorse Girls, I can safely say that I fully endorse the Girls soundtrack.  It has given me a few price gems, such as “White Nights” from this band I have never heard of.  It’s great.  Thanks for this, Girls, but stay away from Parks and Recreation Emmy awards.

Velvet Elvis”  Alex Winston – While driving to the aforementioned concert this past weekend, my friend played this odd little song for me.  It is about a girl who is in love with a velvet portrait of Elvis.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Another Velvet Elvis song?”  But this was the earworm that would not leave after I listened to it, so I proceeded to buy and listen to it for three days, as you do with earworms.  Which brings us to present day, where I am still listening to it on repeat.

SLPGirl from the North Country”  Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash– I’ve always been a mix girl rather than an album girl.  I am often made fun of for my eclectic mixes, but variety is the spice of life.  I think this is why I have always loved soundtracks.  They are mix CDs made by your favorite filmmakers and the songs have little music videos in your favorite movies.  Over the course of my three viewings of Silver Linings Playbook, this song has endeared itself to me.  Believe me, no one is more surprised than me to have two Bob Dylan songs in two months’ mixes, but it happened.

Say You’ll Be There”  Spice Girls – I was recently discussing the value of Spice Girls with a friend of mine and I’m just going to come out and say it:  I STILL love the Spice Girls.  I bust out my Spice Girls albums on the regular.  They are just a plain ol’ good time and I am not going to hide in shame, so if you are in the LA area and you see a girl blasting this song in her car with reckless abandon, you’ll know who it is.

Temptation”  New Order – I have encountered New Order a few time on my hipster movie soundtracks and have come to the conclusion that I love New Order.  Any time they are on a mix or soundtrack, that song is always my favorite song on the CD.  When I got the Perks of Being a Wallflower (I haven’t seen it, but why wouldn’t I usually like the soundtracks of hipsterific movies set in the 80s) soundtrack and saw that there was a New Order song, I knew that I was a goner.  Sure enough, I love “Temptation”.

Skin”  BOY – Another sampling from BOY.  I had to include this song and link a video that someone took from the show that I went to because while I like the original recording of this song, I really loved the stripped down, melancholy version that they do live.  Now I can only wish that they will release this version somewhere so that I can download it and have it as my own.

Always Alright”  Alabama Shakes – Another Alabama Shakes song, also featured on Silver Linings Playbook, because I just can’t get enough.  Seriously, watch the linked video and answer me this:  How cool is she?  I love her.

Ellen