Throwback Thursday || Stormy Weather

04/10/2012 § 1 Comment

  With today’s gloomy weather in New York, this seemed positively apropos…
As sung by Lena Horne in the 1943 film by the same name.
For more of the beautiful Miss Lena, head here.

Throwback Thursday || American Girl

20/09/2012 § Leave a comment

Little known fact: I went through a serious Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers phase when I was about 13.  For some reason, I’ve spent much of the week revisiting some of their older stuff, with this song making a repeat appearance.  It’s a song that inspires a delicious sort of restless energy.  Immediately makes you want to dance and is perfection on a road trip.  Drop the windows and turn it to 11 — you’ll see.  The fact that it was written in and inspired by the San Fernando Valley – no, all that University of Florida stuff is an urban legend – the place where I spent my formative years, is the perfect icing for my nostalgia cake.

I’d also like to award honorable mentions for other a few other Americans, namely Tunes (so beautiful!)Women, Boys, Idiots, and Pie.

Quite Continental Mix III: Move It

06/08/2012 § 2 Comments

“I just want to play ball.”

London 2012 has definitely been the year of the woman.  I am over the moon at how the stories of Franklin, Soni, May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings, Rhode, the Williams sisters, Richards-Ross, the 38-0 record of the US women’s basketball team, and, my personal favorite, Gabby “USA Gold” Douglas, have dominated the headlines.  And while I may be a bit old to start my Olympic career, I’m really hopeful that the little girls watching this summer — like my nine year-old niece who really loves gymnastics — are inspired to push for Olympic gold.

For those of us who are a little older, but have nonetheless been similarly inspired to improve upon our own personal bests, I’ve put together a mix of songs guaranteed to power you through a few extra miles.  Or maybe your commute to work.  While some prefer running to books on tape (books on mp3…?) I’ve always been a bit dance-heavy in my workout soundtracks.  Throw in some Beyoncé, a few rock anthems and a bit of 80s, and I’m good to go.  I hope you enjoy it.  It is a Spotify playlist that can be accessed via the player embedded below, or this link.

So get on out there and play ball.

Quite Continental Mix II

18/07/2012 § 5 Comments

  1. Francoise Hardy — Le temps de l’amour
  2. DJ Cam & Anggun — Un Eté à Paris
  3. Serge Gainsbourg — Cha cha cha du loup
  4. Nina Simone — Feeling Good
  5. Gotan Project & Thelonius Monk — Round About Midnight
  6. Charles Aznavour — Je M’voyais Déjà
  7. Bitter: Sweet — Dirty Laundry
  8. Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald — Summertime
  9. Yves Montand — Pour faire le portrait d’un oiseau
  10. Shirley Bassey — Where do I begin? (Away Team mix)
  11. Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse — Valerie
  12. Peggy Lee — Fever
  13. Duffy — Warwick Avenue
  14. Nina Simone — Lilac Wine
  15. Stan Getz, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto — Corcovado
  16. Billie Holiday — Speak Low (Bent remix)
  17. Sammy Davis Jr. — The Lady is a Tramp

A mix that is a little French, a little jazzy and features more than a few of my favorite divas (Dame Shirley Bassey!  Nina!).  This time around, I wanted to hear the old with the new, so along with the classics, you will notice a few remixes by Gotan Project and Verve, and a few new songs, a few selections by Stéphane Pompougnac (sidenote: did you hear the rumor about Hôtel Costes settling into TribecaYes please!) — but nothing too dancey.  Perfect for a sultry summer evening.  Enjoy.

You may have also noticed this is my first Spotify playlist, which you can access via the embedded player above, or this link.  Let me know if you have any problems with either, yes?  And, you can find Mix I here.

*Updated: I also created an abbreviated version of this playlist on if you don’t/can’t use Spotify.  I wasn’t aware Spotify is unavailable outside of the US!  Find it here.*

Photo of Lena Horne, singing in Paris in 1947, taken by Yael Joel for Life Magazine.

Shortlist #4: Specs, tunes and hawks.

29/06/2012 § Leave a comment

A collection of things I’m currently obsessing over:My new Prestons in gimlet tortoise by Warby Parker.
Sidenote: love the co-ed shirt by G1 Goods — and it’s on sale right now!

The release of Beasts of the Southern Wild on Wednesday (NYC/LA).
I seriously get goosebumps every single time adorable 6 year-old
wondergirl Quvenzhané Wallis shouts “I’m the man!”
You can also read the review by AO Scott of the NY Times here.

In my summer make-up bag:
NARS eyeshadow: Silk Road (icy peach pink/ rose gold with gold flecks)

Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil in Bourbon
Diorshow Black Out mascara in Kohl Black
Anastasia brow gel
Anastasia brow powder duo in Brunette
Sephora Collection IT brow filler brush
While I am usually a black eyeliner type of girl, this summer I’ve been changing it up with tones that are softer but help bring out my eyes (which are a funny, changeable color that’s almost blue).  I’ve been embracing warm, golden colors and perfecting my brows.  I quite like it, especially with my new specs!

I’ve been constantly listening to the magnificent playlists Moonrise Kingdom put together on  I’ve always thought that one of the most important characters in Wes Anderson films is the soundtrack, but in this case we get individual playlists organized (and inspired) by all the characters.  Find them here.

A few weeks ago, while walking down Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village, a full grown red-tailed hawk swooped down right next to me, picked up a tasty sparrow treat and proceeded to eat it in three bites while sitting on a fence not much taller than me!  I’ve since found out that who I met that evening was one half of a Village celebrity couple: Bobby and Rosie, the NYU red-tailed hawks.  I’ve seen them a few other times in the park, but the best way to watch them — and their two babies! — is via the NYU Hawk Cam, which you can find here (I’ve been watching nonstop).

The Shangri-Las ~ Shout

07/06/2012 § Leave a comment

The Shangri-Las ~ Shout
Performed on the Lloyd Thaxton Show, February 1965.

Completely obsessed with the “tough girls with broken hearts” image of The Shangri-Las, their performance of this song, and their double breasted sweaters.  (My apologies for the condition of the clip, but I wasn’t able to find this without the curious blurry lines.)

Fun facts:

1.) My mother danced on The Lloyd Thaxton Show as a teenager.  Thaxton also frequently had cast members lip-sync popular songs, and my mom performed “Walk on By” by Dionne Warwick.  Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find a clip of this performance.  I remain hopeful that the internets will someday deliver it.

2.) The Shangri-Las were two sets of sisters:  Mary and Betty Weiss, Marge and Mary Ann Ganser.  Early on, Betty Weiss preferred not to perform live, so Mary would step in and lip-sync her songs — which is what is happening in this clip.

3.) Their “tough girl” image probably originated from the fact they all hailed from Queens, but it was supported by rumors of Mary attracting the attention of the FBI for transporting a firearm across state lines.  Mary contended the pistol was needed for her protection, after someone tried to rob the girls while they were on tour.  Badass.

For more of The Shangri-Las, try this album.

The Quite Continental Mix I

09/05/2012 § 6 Comments

  1. Dinah Washington – Blue Skies
  2. Ella Fitzgerald – Whatever Lola Wants
  3. Sammy Davis Jr. – Something’s Gotta Give
  4. Sarah Vaughn – Ain’t Misbehavin’
  5. Dean Martin – Volare/An Evening in Roma
  6. Dinah Washington – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby
  7. Doris Day – Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
  8. Rosemary Clooney – Sway
  9. Sarah Vaughn – Misty
  10. Dinah Washington – I Wanna Be Loved
  11. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Summertime
  12. Lena Horne – Someone To Watch Over Me
  13. Dinah Washington – Since I Fell For You
  14. Chet Baker – I Fall In Love Too Easily
  15. Doris Day – Fly Me To The Moon
  16. Dean Martin – Besame Mucho
  17. Dinah Washington – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

For my first-ever playlist, you get jazzy songs for a smoky midtown bar, or for shoes-off slowdances on the rug after the dinner party’s all gone home.  It’s a little heavy on the strings and Dinah Washington, but I didn’t mind that all too much — so I hope you don’t either.  Click play to enjoy!

Experimenting this evening with 8tracks, which I found via the Rugby Style Blog.  The songs may not play in the exact order above, but they’re all in there.

Photo of Ella Fitzgerald, performing at Mr. Kelly’s Nightclub in Chicago, 1958.  Taken by Yael Joel for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.

Throwback Thursday || Bert Stern’s Jazz on a Summer’s Day

02/05/2012 § Leave a comment

In gorgeous color, photographer Bert Stern captured the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in his lovely film, “Jazz on a Summer’s Day.”  An amazing cocktail of pop culture, jazz, sailboats and summer in New England, it is definitely worth your time.  I can’t wait for summer, by the by.  Sidenote: I personally feel Anita O’Day’s hat almost steals the show — would be perfect for the Derby this weekend, no?

If you’d like to have it in your own library, head here to purchase.

Ben Carroll ~ A Change Is Gonna Come

26/04/2012 § 7 Comments

Allow me to toot the family horn a bit…

Ben Carroll is an amazing singer and songwriter.  He also happens to be my cousin.  Ben’s currently hard at work on a soon-to-be-released third album, but he recently took some time out to make this clip of one of my most favorite songs, Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”  When we were all kids, my siblings and I used to force Ben to sing to us — totally understandable, once you’ve heard his voice.  Enjoy.

Ben Carroll on Facebook || Twitter || Website

And if you happen to be in LA, Ben has a show on May 4 at WitZend in Venice.
Find details and ticket information here.

Throwback Thursday ||The Smiths ~ This Charming Man

12/04/2012 § 4 Comments

I’m not sure you appreciate how often I sing to myself:
“I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear”

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