Valentine’s Day has a tendency to be very commercialized and glitzy-- filled with ultra fancy dinners and over the top dresses. For many, however, long reservation waits and rooftop extravaganzas are less than intriguing. Perhaps a quaint café or cozy bistro is more your speed? Here is a list of 5 romantic, adorable and affordable places to spend this day of love (or any day), all against the backdrop of Europe. After all, Europe is the home of romance, cafés, decadent desserts, copious wine, and desire. Valentine’s Day is merely a few days away, and while you might not be able to swing a European lover’s getaway, perhaps you can manage a subway ride and short stroll to one of these underrated, Woody Allen-esque romance spots in the city.
Sarah Barthel on vocals and keyboards and Josh Carter on vocals and guitar make up the Electronic Rock duo Phantogram, who will release their second studio album titled Voices through Republic Records on February 18, 2014.
Originally from Greenwich NY, the two were friends since junior high, coming together later in life to record their “street beat, synch pop, rhythmic, swirling guitars, airy vocals and echoes,” as Carter had once described the sound of their music. Among their musical influences are Sonic Youth, David Bowie, Prince, Cocteau Twins, and The Flaming Lips, who featured the couple on their song “You Lust” off their album, The Terror. The two originally went by the name Charlie Everywhere as they performed in the Saratoga Springs Area, later becoming Phantogram in 2009.
Lena Dunham is all the rage these day, and with being the star and creator of the quirky and indie comedic HBO masterpiece: Girls, it is quite warranted. Dunham took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy and Girls also won for Best TV Comedy.
There is not another show on television quite like Girls. Dunham tapped into a very specific space and boy, does she move in it oh so well. Aside from her unique writing and genuine humor that pushes the envelope while being a pretty damn perfect depiction of what 20-something college-grads trying to find themselves experience in our society today.Girls is also known for some kickass tunes. In case you need a refresher, Volume 1 included songs from Robyn, The Troggs, The Vaccines, Fleet Foxes, Lia Ices, Belle & Sebastian, Oh Land, and how can anyone forget: Icona Pop, among others.
We might not know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootise Pop, and frankly, we shouldn’t care. What we should be more interested in, however, is that it apparently takes four ladies and three albums to sum up the Dum Dum Girls. Their most recent collection, Too True, off the Sub Pop records, is to be released in the United States January 28 2014. NPR streamed the album on their website on January 20 as a “First Listen” and you might have caught the single “Rimbaud Eyes” on Soundcloud.
It is the month of September, and whether you’d like to admit it or not, summer-lovers, the air is getting crisper, leaves are dancing to the ground, and fall is imminent. Autumn-romantics: rejoice!
Along with this glorious season brings the bustle of back to school. Don’t lie, even if you’ve been out of the classroom for years, you know the utterly blissful feeling of a brand new box of unused, perfectly narrow-tipped colorful crayons, a fresh, un-doodled planner, and pencils, sharp with erasers still intact. Yes, and a new pair of sweet kicks. This feeling of a clean slate, a new beginning and a fresh start is one that is comforting and reminiscent of a simpler time. You might not be breaking out the new zippered AND Velcroed Trapper Keeper, but LUSH Cosmetics has a way you can feel new and young again while getting so fresh and so clean (clean).
Monday night, September 2 was the James Franco Roast on Comedy Central. Roast Master was none other than Seth Rogen, Franco’s long-time friend. Monday night’s lineup consisted of comedians: Nick Kroll, Jonah Hill, Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader, Natasha Leggero, Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, and Jeff Ross. A plethora of jokes ensued about Franco’s seemingly blazed Oscar Hosting, sexuality, and project choices, Hill’s weight, and the amount of Jew-dom on stage. Below are 10 of the best jokes from the night to ring in the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah:
Seth Rogen: "Look at me doing all the talking while you sit there and do nothing. I feel like I'm co-hosting the Oscars with you."
The director of The Squid and the Whale and co-writer of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Noah Baumbach, first teamed up with actress Greta Gerwig when she starred in his 2010 film, Greenberg. The two decided to collaborate again on a co-writing project in which 2012’s comedy/drama Frances Ha, directed by Baumbach and starring Gerwig (her first attempt at screenwriting), was born. Filmed in digital and black-and-white to mimic the feel of a Woody Allen film and the cinematography of that of Gordon Willis who worked on Annie Hall along with 1950s and '60s French undertones, watching this movie is like taking is a cool little trip.
A young man with shaggy hair, dressed in a collared paisley button-down and multiple beaded necklaces with a peaceful and “no destruction” attitude walks by you with a cool grin…no, this is not a scene from a Woodstock or Haight-Ashbury documentary, but rather a description of the lead-singer of the psychedelic indie-rock band, Foxygen. The band formed in California in 2005 when Sam France and guitarist/keyboardist Jonathan Rado were just 15 years old playing some local gigs and mainly making appearances at their high school. At that time, The Beatles, other 1960s artists, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre were their main influences.
Earlier this month, Florence Welch (of Florence + the Machine) launched her very own jewelry line, Flotique. The line is inspired by her band’s Grammy-nominated second album, Ceremonials. Like her first album, Lungs, Ceremonials has a spooky and somewhat ritualistic feel to it…similar to the haunting vibe that laces Flo’s baroque-pop music, dancing, and dresses.
The 26-year-old musician has a love for romantic, Renaissance, and vintage styles. Currently, her seven piece capsule collection includes necklaces, earrings, a cuff bracelet, and a ring modeled after her birdcage tattoo, all priced under $100. The line feels very 1920-1930 Art-Deco, (perfect to wear at your Great Gatsby premiere parties!) which is certainly very “Flo”, but I must say, I was expecting even more of her witchy, edgy, magical, and even gothic sides to come through. She has been compared to Kate Bush, Bjork, Siouxsie Sioux, and her musical idol, Grace Slick and is one of the most talented, creative, unique, and vibrant female artists around today. In every way of those words: from her style, to her writing, to her voice, to her music, Florence is bold and refreshing, and I am hoping her jewelry line will convey that more in the future.