Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘song’ Category

Date Night: Down The Rabbit Hole

In breakfast, movie, museum, music, nyc, romance, song, tour, treasure trove, upcoming on March 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm

This plan for your weekend is courtesy of BLoGT.

In honor of the long-awaited release of Tim Burton’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, in theaters March 5, BLoGT presents a special themed Date Night, designed to help you OD on Lewis Carroll’s enduring drug trip. Do a little pre-planning and -purchasing, wear your walking shoes, and remember to update your iPod before you go!

Head uptown early to snag a seat for breakfast at…

Alice’s Tea Cup, 102 West 73rd Street, at Columbus Avenue

Praised by Yelp and Glitter Sleuth alike, this themed restaurant has three locations on the Upper East and West Sides. The whimsical decor, dotted with quotes from the original novel, and the menu, overflowing with pots of tea, trays of scones and tiers of delicate sandwiches, are all designed around Carroll’s whimsical world. A favorite for little girls’ birthdays and yoga-fit mommies’ brunches alike, this is no place for hetero men.

Arrive at the restaurant early, or be prepared for a wait of an hour or more; once ten o’clock rolls around, tables are at a premium.

After you’ve munched yourself into an Alice-themed stupor, head northeast through Central Park to find…

The Unbirthday Party sculpture, at 74th Street and Central Park East, north of Conservatory Water

Meet your favorite oversized characters! You’ll have to jostle for place with the dozens of children who constantly clamor all over this beloved sculpture, commissioned by George Delacorte in 1959 in honor of his wife, Margarita. It’s worth the wait, though, so stick around and takes pictures of your date sitting on a giant bronze mushroom. Better yet, steal a quiet spot on the back of a mushroom and read from the original text to one another. While you’re back there, play Spot-The-Tiny-Bronze-Insect; the sculpture’s details are lovely.

For some time away from the crowds, walk southeast through the Park’s eastern side while rocking out to…

  • White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane
  • Alice (Underground), Avril Lavigne
  • Eat Me, Drink Me, Marilyn Manson
  • Alice, Stevie Nicks
  • Sunshine, Aerosmith
  • Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Bob Dylan
  • Alice In Wonderland, Wynter Gordon
  • Heads Will Roll, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Alice, Alice,Victim Effect
  • Down the Rabbit Hole, Adam Lambert

Many thanks to Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland Site and Spinner for much of this playlist. Check their sites out for more song ideas, and for Wonderland-inspired music videos!

Continue south long enough, and you can spend your afternoon perusing…

Tim Burton at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, between 5th & 6th Avenues

Don’t be one of the only New Yorkers who hasn’t yet seen this exhibit! Funded by Johnny Depp and Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham-Carter, the must-see retrospective of director Tim Burton’s work traces back to his earliest beginnings, including scribblings and drawings on cocktail napkins. Immerse yourself in his weird world.

Remember to purchase timed tickets online before you go; again, in the afternoons, the museum and especially the exhibit become packed.

Finally satiated? Wend your way home by way of…

“Alice: The Way Out” in the 50th Street 1 train subway station

The Central Park Unbirthday Party isn’t Alice’s only artistic appearance in the Big Apple. Keep your eyes peeled on the subway platform for a series of awesome and oft-overlooked mosaics featuring Alice and her friends in Wonderland, installed by Liliana Porter in 1994. There’s loads of cool art in the subway system; see what else you can spy on your ride home.

And cap off your day with the piece de resistance…

A screening of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland at a theater near you! Wear a campy outfit and join the screaming fangirls, or just stand back and take it all in.

As with everything else on this date, buy your tickets online ASAP and arrive at the theater EARLY. Enjoy!

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Womannequin Goes Viral!

In music, song, women on July 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

My article “Womannequin” was picked up by Global Grind!

Check it out here.

(And yes, for those of you in the peanut gallery, a response post to your comments on “Womannequin” IS coming. Patience!)

Womannequin

In music, song, women on June 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I hate breast implants. With a passion. I find them disingenuous and unfair. I feel the same about most forms of plastic surgery, but breasts implants are anathema.

“Real Woman,” a ladies’ night anthem by Natalia Cappuccini, is right up my alley. Natalia, a 2008 newcomer with only a handful of released singles, opens the song with a computerized voice combining the words “woman” and “mannequin.” She proceeds to rap and sing about the “womannequin” phenomenon, rejecting standards of female beauty for herself and her audience.

The song’s lyrics are strong throughout, but the first verse has the most concrete examples and memorable lines (“But my legs ain’t long like Tyra Banks’ / Doctor, what can you do for me?”) The beat is fit for the dance floor, the message powerful and clear. Aesthetically, I have no problems with this single.

The biggest issue with “Real Woman” is, ironically, Natalia herself. For all her insistence of rejecting female beauty standards, Natalia is a lot hotter than the average woman. Critics complain that, in order to be true, the song should be sung by a REAL “Real Woman,” perhaps one who doesn’t wear makeup or have a flat stomach. Furthermore, Natalia sings about how attractive she is to men, regardless of not being a “clone.” Must women base their self-worth on the attentions of men?, the critics chirp.

These arguments are greater than I can tackle in a single blog post. However, here’s my quick and dirty response.

Judging by her appearance (which I’m guessing is something I shouldn’t do, given the content of the song), Natalia is aiming at a target audience of preteen girls. In that case, I accept her Hollywood physique. It is economically unfeasible to be overweight or plain-looking in the entertainment industry. Furthermore, puberty is awkward and awful, and I’m not about to withdraw any positive messages for young girls just because those messages are brought by role models who look like runway models.

Bottom line? If Natalia, in her precious four minutes of air time on the radio, can start to bridge the gap between being beautiful and being smart, more power to her. You go, girl.

All The Above, by Maino, feat. T-Pain

In music, song on June 14, 2009 at 8:14 pm

My co-intern Katie introduced me to “All The Above,” by Maino & featuring T-Pain, about a week ago. I’ve played the infectious song every morning on a loop since then. A few reactions:

“All The Above” has a catchy tune, harmonies worthy of an a cappella group, and a beat to move to. The song’s blend of synthesizer and Auto-Tune vocals with rapping is effervescent and memorable. The technique is a recent trend, featured everywhere from the epic “Let It Rock,” by Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne, to the equally infectious if slightly less PC parody, “I’m On A Boat,” by the Lonely Island, also featuring T-Pain.

Memorably, the lyrics reference both 2008 presidential candidates, with obvious favoritism. Maino grabs our attention as he raps “When I think that I can’t / I envision Obama” into a soundless void. Maino’s other shout-out (“The new Benz is all white / Call it John McCain”) is a mirthful and mocking interjection, but lacks clout and comes across as a throwaway line.

Maino’s lyrics focus on several disturbing concepts found in American society today, the two most dominant being entitlement and materialism. The song references Maino’s jail time in the early ’90s, yet brashly asserts his innocence. Maino even goes so far as to say that he “deserves to be rich” and is “destined for greatness.” I’m not quite ready to assume anyone’s worthiness of being rich, much less someone convicted of a drug-related kidnapping, but that’s neither here nor there.

Materialism also features heavily, as Maino raps “I envision the diamonds / I envision Ferraris” as his motivation to keep going in life. This striking shift away from the four elements of hip hop and the way of life they symbolized, is not Maino’s fault; the shift has been happening for years. Still, it’s odd to hear both the first black president (a step forward) and a love of material goods (arguably, a step backward) referenced in the same breath as Maino’s inspiration.

Beyond entitlement and materialism, “All The Above” is fiercely proud of “the ghetto” and “the ‘hood.” The many positive references to Maino’s upbringing are, I believe, a positive thing, especially as he enters Hollywood and the alienation that is showbiz.