Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future by The Bird and The Bee
I'm gonna call it and say that this is one of the best cds of the year. Inara Georgoe (The Bird) and Greg Kurstin (The Bee) produce music that is bouncy and candied and so dang catchy. The really fun part about listening to them is that not only is it extremely fun, but it's also extremely smart. The lyrics are sly and their specific brand of electronic pop relies on many different eras of history. There are themes of vaudeville, bossa nova, East Asian, and those are impeccably tied together with a sort of 60's-spy-movie flair. I can't get enough of it. (Myspace|Amazon)
He's A Stud, She's A Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti
Lfar reviewed this a few months back and when she says something is good, I know it's good. This guide to feminism was concise and straightforward. I've always considered myself a feminist, but what I liked most about this book was how it raised awareness about so many little issues that are actually extremely critical to equality. Her blog/community, Feministing.com has been listing the sexist Super Bowl ads and after reading the book, I picked up on all of the examples during the game. So I can definitely say that the book worked. Jessica has a super-sharp wit, although her brand of sarcasm can get sort of old after 50 chapters. My only real problem was that book was marketed towards women and these are things that EVERYONE needs to be aware of. Not only does it talk about the unfair differences in the workplace, it also discusses the unrealistic and paradoxical standards that women are held to on an everyday basis. (Caveat: Probably not for younger readers--check out her other book, Full-Frontal Feminism.)
How I Met Your Mother, Season Three
I watched Seasons One and Two this summer and fell hard for HIMYM, as it's called by fans. So I hate saying anything negative about the show, but S3 just doesn't match up. It's not as re-watchable, quotable, or loveable and even though I might blame the writer's strike as I often do, I really think the writers hit a slump. I mean, this doesn't mean it was an awful season. Hardly. HIMYM is still one of the freshest comedies on tv and it nails (heh) today's late-20-something relationships better than any show. Marshall and Barney's slap-bet continues to escalate and Ted and Robin effectively handle their new post-break-up friendship. The guest stars are either hit or miss, with Mandy Moore being a hit and Britney Spears being a miss. (Two episodes with her? Really, guys?) I love how the show plays with time--the amount of flashbacks just for the sake of a joke is astounding and often rewarding. (SORT OF SPOILER: Stella, played by Sarah Chalke, was never my favorite girlfriend of Ted's, so I'm glad the search for The Mother continues.) What I'm trying to say is that even a mediocre season of HIMYM can still be legendary.