Tag Archives: psychedelics

Think For Yourself

ringo

Every once in a while I run into someone who claims not to like the Beatles.

This is absolute horseshit. The only possible reason not to like the Beatles is because you are a misanthropic malcontent, or a generally crappy person.

The Beatles weren’t around for long, compared to other bands (Rolling Stones, I am looking in your direction) but they produced such a prolific and varied body of work, that even if you don’t enjoy, say, their early pop period you can still be a fan of their later experimental psychedelic stuff.

Or the White Album. I once knew someone who argued that the White Album sucked. But this person had, admittedly, never really taken the time to listen to it. The main thrust of their argument was that they didn’t like the Beatles because they are “too popular”. Shitting on a band because they’re “too mainstream” or “too popular” or whatever is the same thing to me as liking a band for those very same reasons. If you like a certain type of music just because everyone else does, you’re a lemming. By the same token, if you don’t like music simply because everyone else does, you may think that you’re being subversive, but isn’t it really just the flip side of the same coin?

There may be parts of the White Album that you can take or leave, depending on your tastes. But you can’t argue that it contains some absolute gems. ‘Back in the USSR’ was the Beatles doing the Beach Boys, only better. ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is a delightful, happy little tune. ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ is just gorgeous. ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’ is a slightly aggressive, oddly sexual song, while ‘I’m So Tired’ is a tribute to sleep-deprived obsession. ‘Rocky Raccoon’ is probably my favorite tune on the entire album, just for the absurd pleasure of singing along with such lines as “Rocky burst in and grinning a grin / He said Danny boy this is a showdown!” It sounds like a little kid’s song, but the content is anything but.

And that’s just the first side of this double album. I’m also partial to ‘Sexy Sadie’, ‘Helter Skelter’, and ‘Honey Pie’: “Honey Pie, you are making me crazy / I’m in love but I’m lazy / So won’t you please come home”.

Whichever way you slice it, the White Album has something for everyone.

And so, to those people out there who claim not to like the Beatles simply because they are “too popular”, this tune from Rubber Soul is one for you:

Think for yourself. Don’t embrace something just because everyone else is, and by the same token don’t reject it simply to be a contrarian. Figure out what you genuinely like and dislike, and then proclaim it and defend it to your heart’s content.

I know what you may be thinking: “But Spencer, if you’re telling me that I suck if I don’t like the Beatles, isn’t that the same narrow-minded attitude you’re asking me to rise above?” Sure, fair point. And hey, don’t take my word for it. If you dislike the Beatles for a legit reason, hit me up in the comments and tell me why I’m full of it.

But it better be a good one.

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Song of the Day: Find Love

stepdad

Guess who was featured on The Mindy Project tonight?

That’s right, Stepdad!

Yay Stepdad!!!


Spotlight on Style: Military Jackets

When I watch TV shows or movies that are period dramas, I always feel slightly lukewarm about the women’s clothing. Sure, some of those empire-waisted dresses were pretty (Marie Antoinette, with its kaleidoscope of dazzling candy-colored silk frocks, showcased some striking fashion), but in general I far prefer the outfits that the men wore, specifically the military uniforms. I mean, being in the army back then was like one giant fashion show! Seriously, everyone looked totally amazing, with their formal jackets and waistcoats and tall boots. If enlisting meant getting to wear a jacket like this one, I would have signed up in a heartbeat:

marie antoinette

Really, wouldn’t you rather be wearing this fab coat than that boring black dress? *

*Actually, the dress is pretty cool. But the coat is still better.

Rock stars have long recognized the appeal of military garb. Artists such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and Coldplay have all donned military inspired gear.

jimi hendrix

Possibly the best dressed dude ever.

beatles

Juuuust a little bit of LSD involved here.

chris martin

You’re no Jimi, Chris Martin, but this is still a valiant effort.

And then there was the King of Military Jackets (and Pop), Michael Jackson:

MJ

Here is a man who was not afraid to make a fashion statement.

michael jackson

The glitter, the glove, the glasses...this is all 100% gold. Bravo, MJ. Hats off to you, sir.

Luckily, the military look is a fashion trend that will never die, with styles being reimagined every season or two by the industry’s top designers (less luxe versions of which eventually filter down to us plebes who can only afford to shop at the mall):

marc jacobs

Marc Jacobs

balmain

Balmain

dolce & gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana


Sidenote: Almost every single piece in D&G’s Fall 2006 runway show was so insanely amazing that the whole thing makes me want to sob with joy. They basically had their models dressed up as Napoleon and Josephine, and the attention to detail is stellar, from the high collars to the crested buttons to the braided gold rope trim. If you’re ever feeling down, check out the slideshow on Style.com – even if you can’t afford them (who can?), it’ll make you feel better just knowing that such beautiful clothes exist.


Peaceful, Easy Feeling…

The Finn

Go west, young man

Hola amigos, and Happy Monday! We hope you all had a great weekend & hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our California playlist, ‘California Über Alles’. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. And now we move on to Part 2! Honestly y’all, there are so many songs that have been written about California, it’s kind of crazy. I guess it still holds a certain mystique as the land of opportunity, probably a carryover from the old days of frontierism and the fervour of the California gold rush. You have to admit it’d be kind of cool to be out there prospecting for gold, and I can only imagine that when people got there and saw how beautiful it was they’d be hard pressed to want to leave.

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You Make Me Laugh, Give Me Your Autograph

oasis

I’m currently reading a book called “Oasis: The Truth” by the band’s first drummer, Tony McCarroll (to be reviewed shortly), and it’s putting me in a ‘90s frame of mind. I remember so clearly when ‘Definitely Maybe’ came out…it was the fall of 2004 and I had just started university. As I was a mere 17 years of age, I had to resort to using my roommate’s ID to get into bars. This would have worked perfectly (we actually bore a passable resemblance to one another) except for the fact that my roomie and I became instant BFFs, so we rarely went to bars separately. Not surprisingly, trying to get past the bouncer with an ID bearing the same name as the person who has just gone before you is rarely an effective tactic.

Fortunately, the floor we lived on in residence quickly gained notoriety as one that excelled in booze-fuelled shenanigans and drunken revelry and we threw some pretty kickass parties at home, which saved me from having to go through the whole ID rigamarole too often. Even though we were an all-girls floor, we definitely raged as hard (or harder) than some of the male-only residences. I remember the first time I heard this song because my friend Michelle always made amazing mixes and she put it onto the mixed tape for our first party of the year. Ever since then, this tune has reminded me of the excitement I felt being away from home, meeting new people, and feeling the freedom to be myself (“I can’t be no one else”). It also reminds me of standing in a dingy residence hallway drinking disgusting alcoholic concoctions (Purple Jesus, Blue Lagoon, etc) out of plastic cups. By ’94-’95, grunge fashion was slightly on the wane and we were all wearing miniskirts or little dresses with those awful thigh-high tights. In retrospect we looked like idiots but at the time I just remember it being such a period of optimism and new adventure, living in an unfamiliar city, staying out ‘til the early morning hours drinking coffee with boys in all-night diners, sleeping through morning classes, rolling into the dining hall at noon with a raging hangover — and loving every single minute of it. I still get a little thrill of excitement when I hear the opening bars of this song, and I miss those carefree days of being a student (let me clarify: I don’t miss the homework, but I do sometimes long for the days of total lack of responsibility).

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I will be over twice the age I was when I first heard this song. Yes, it’s been eighteen years since I stood in that hallway downing jello shots, blissing out on mid-’90s Britpop (Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Supergrass, Elastica, etc) and dancing all night. Unlike the bands we were listening to, we weren’t under the influence of any illicit substances (other than some underage alcohol consumption of course) but we didn’t need to to be. The music and the joyful folly of youth were enough of a trip on their own.

So my Song of the Day today is a ’90s classic, ‘Supersonic’ by Oasis. Happy Birthday to me!


Spotlight on Style: Jimi Hendrix

everyone knows that rock stars have the best style. they can get away with wearing the most outrageous ensembles (bootsy collins, seriously, wtf) and no one so much as bats an eyelash. i have a theory for why this is the case: a) they don’t have corporate day jobs that require them to wear stuffy work clothes, and b) they are somewhat insane.

our first “spotlight on style” profiles a man who needs no introduction. one of the greatest guitar players of all time, he was also an exceptionally stylish fellow. he fused day-glo psychedelic patterns, boho-esque flowing scarves, and sgt. pepper-style military regalia into one sartorially splendorific mess.

let us examine some of his most flamboyant stylings:

SGT. PEPPER ON ACID:

jimi was clearly a fan of the military jacket, and he rocked it hard, pairing it with skinny trousers & gold medallions:

jimi hendrix military jacket 1

jimi hendrix drumming

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