Love It and Leave It

This week we're talking hair, and we are loving the pompadour. A versatile style for both men and women, there are so many ways to rock this do. Ladies, whether you tease up the center of a chic updo, a-la-fauxhawk, or slick back the sides and in a half-up-half-down variation, you'll look like a star. It's perfect for a red-carpet, date-night, or just going out with the girls. For men, start with an undercut and add a little pomade on top and mold into the desired shape. For you boys, it's a great everyday look, or something to try to spice things up. This is one trend we hope will stick around for a while.

NYFW SS 2014: Behind the Scenes at Ruth Tarvydas

Wendy Scalzo, a talented Rhode Island Cosmetologist, had the opportunity of a lifetime when she was asked to work on the Ruth Tarvydas show. Held in the Altman Building in Chelsea, Scalzo worked (along side other cosmetologists, Robin, Nicole, Hannah, Kim and Mayra) to make the designer’s vision a reality. “She [Tarvydas] had a specific vision that came to life on the runway with assistance from the garments, hair and makeup.” Scalzo says that Tarvydas’s vision was an underwater effect. “She wanted it to seem as if the hair was suspended in the water, floating up away from the face.” For makeup, the models rocked a “very strong mask, directly across the face. They had dark brows that faded to the cheeks.”

Love It and Leave It

This week’s Love It and Leave It column is all about color. And the color to rock for 2013? Emerald,--Pantone’s pick for Color of the Year. From the runway to the red carpet, Emerald is everywhere. A simple and gorgeous way to incorporate this year’s color into your every day look is through makeup. There are plenty of amazing products out there for you to choose from, and a product for every budget. Some higher-end options are: Make Up Forever Aqua Cream in Emerald, MAC Eyeshadow Powder Pigment in Humid, and Buxom Insider Eyeliner in Emerald. There are plenty of awesome drug-store alternatives as well for those on more of a budget, including: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in Edgy Emerald, Covergirl Queen Collection Eyeshadow in Emerald, and Loreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil in Emerald.

J. Crew Is #1

In a world where online shopping has become the preferred method, it's good to know which retaliers offer the best experience. In a survey published yesterday, J. Crew has been named the number one online retailer out there. The survey, conducted by StellaService, credits the high rating to a speedy delivery time and outstanding customer service.

Since just last month, J. Crew has sped up their average delivery time by two days. Their customer support-- especially phone support--has been exceptional. The Huffington Post reports that CEO, Mickey Drexler, personally called an upset customer to resolve the customer's issue. How's that for service?!

Leaving Haven Bursts onto the Rock Scene

Orlando band Leaving Haven is bursting onto the the music scene, gathering fans and building their already large following. Formed in the summer of 2011 (officially), the band has taken off in a big way. Members Trevor Hastings (vocals) and Luke Melsenti (rhythm guitar) met in college in 2008, and the rest is history. Luke's brother Ben Melsenti (drums) moved to Orlando and they picked up old friends Michael Strippoli (lead guitar) and Madison Macko (bass) to form the five-member band.

Hastings and the Melsenti brothers decided on the band name Leaving Haven because all members are not from the Orlando area where they reside. "[They all] left their own safe 'haven' in order to pursue their dreams," states their Facebook page. Hastings hails from Edgewater, Maryland, the Melsentis from Shelton, Connecticut, and both Strippoli and Macko from Naples, FL.

Their debut album Bad Luck Glory, dropped on June 22nd, 2012. While the tracks are hard hitting, fans of other genres will appreciate and enjoy their sound. Hastings' voice is strong and smooth while the instrumentals are complex, combining perfectly. They write with passion and a certain depth to their lyrics that is hard to come by.

"Medicated," "Always Something," and "Underrated" have the most edge, both instrumentally, and with their message. "Medicated" has a haunting quality and sounds as if a vice is talking directly to its owner, leaving the listener with a chilly feeling. "Always Something" hits the low points of life when something is always wrong; "here we go again, I'm not surprised something could go wrong, it will that's implied." "Underrated" is a wake up call to doubters, as Hastings sings "the people who said I don't have what it takes, look at me now." A very, in your face, "I can do anything I want" song.

"Viper" has a great message of rising above. "I'll blow them all away and leave them eating out of my hand, I don't care what they say I'm swinging until I hit the ground." Stand up, it says. Show people what you're made of. Don't give up. Fight.

Possibly the best track is "Never Miss Me." The lyrics are great and the song gives off such an intrinsic human characteristic. No one wants to be not missed. It's about the desire to leave an impression on people, so that you will be remembered. It's also a call to live life to the fullest and don't hold anything back.

If you're looking for a great addition to your music library, check out Leaving Haven. They are rockers for sure, but don't let that stop you if rock isn't your thing. A band with a great sound and brilliant writing, they won't disappoint.

Jesse Ruben's 'Thoughts'

Joonbug: You're such a great story-teller. Where do you get your inspiration?

Jesse Ruben: Thank you. A lot of times when you tell someone that you're a songwriter, they say "Oh, so you're a storyteller." But I find that most of the time, that's not the case. In the last few years I've really tried to focus on story: characters, plot, narrative, in a pop song setting. It's an interesting challenge to say a lot in only a few minutes. I really love it.

As far as inspiration goes, you get it from everywhere. Traveling, meeting new people, walking down the street, reading, or just from out of nowhere. That's always the best.

JB: Why an EP? And why two parts?

Ruben: I'd recorded fourteen songs and ended up really liking how ten of them came out. But I thought that releasing ten acoustic tracks might be a bit much at once. I realized that the songs broke down really well when you split them in half. They were much more coherent that way. I also had never released an EP before, so it was trying something new.

JB: What made you want to put out an acoustic record?

Ruben: My last album (The Ones That Matter) was a full scale big budget record. It took me half a year to make that thing. It was such an overwhelming process; I really wanted to go the opposite direction. Me, my guitar, my songs, and a mic. No edits. I don't think a lot of people are doing that right now. It was also different because you couldn't be so precious with everything. We didn't have a month to get everything perfect. The performances are much more raw, which is what I've always liked about listening to music.

JB: How would you describe your sound to someone who's never listened?

Ruben: Folk/pop/singer-songwriter/AWESOME.

JB: The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie, so I have to ask, what made you want to cover "If I Only Had A Heart?"

Ruben: I heard a friend of mine down in Nashville cover it, and I absolutely loved it. Loved the arrangement, loved the song, so I thought I'd try it. I don't do too many covers, so I was really nervous to start playing it, but the response has been amazing. And the writing is so incredible. What a song. And it was written like 70 years ago.

JB: What's the story behind "We Can?"

Ruben: I was trying to get away from writing relationship-y songs. There are so many things to write about. That's one of the scary/amazing/overwhelming things about writing, that you can literally write about ANYTHING. I had just finished my first marathon (I'm currently training for my third, for The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation), and was thinking about all of the people who were so inspired by it. What I like about the song is that it expands as it goes along. So the first verse is "I Can", the second verse is "You Can", and the third verse is "We Can". People have been writing the most incredible things to me about it. I love it.

JB: You went to college at Berklee in Boston, did your Berklee days inspire "I Should Get Out More?"

Ruben: It sure did. Particularly the line "as I watch the local news/the neighbors are throwing a kegger bigger than Bonnaroo". I was literally sitting on my couch watching them do one of those horrible local news pieces late at night, and my neighbors across the hall had tons of people over. I like that song because it gives me and the audience a break from the "heaviness" of some of my other material. It's just fun.

JB: "In the Blink of an Eye" seems like a bit of a mystery for listeners; it lends itself to a lot of interpretaton. What do you have to say about the song? What does it mean to you?

Fan Favorite Jesse Ruben Drops New EP

He's baaaaaack! Jesse Ruben, Berklee alum and Boston favorite, has a real crowd pleaser with his newest album, the EP, Thought's I've Never Had Before, Part 1 (available June 12th). Anyone who's been to a show (or five) will recognize a few of the tracks, and think to themselves "Thank God!" And new fans, don't worry, the mix of inspiring, silly, and heartbreaking tracks will draw you in and leave you wanting more.

We start with, "We Can," an anthem we should all embrace. Ruben declares, "every dream I'm trying to achieve, I can, I can, I can" and promises that WE can too. We can make a difference; we can change the world. We can.

Boston Emcee Qupid, a.k.a. Sticky Mama, to Release “Start Running”

Local up-and-coming emcee Qupid/Sticky Mama will drop her most recent release, Start Running in early 2012. The critically acclaimed mix tape includes tracks such as “Start It Up,” “Who Want It,” and “Buck Em Down.” Influenced by Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan, Lil Kim and others, Qupid’s rhymes are some of the most lethal to ever come from a female’s mouth. Her hard-hitting lyrics and unmistakable swagger make her a unique talent.

Known for her hardcore hip-hop sound, Qupid has opened for many top label artists like Red Café, Jay Electronica, ED O G, and Master Ace and Buddah Monk from Wu Tang Clan. When she’s not writing her own rhymes, Qupid can be found writing other pieces of music or advertising jingles. She also is the founder/C.E.O. of Production Company, SAS Productions and LoveArrow Publishing.

Uplifting Songs of the Week

Ever had one of those days where you felt like you could not keep your head up? Where you couldn’t keep smiling, because every minute it felt like someone was slapping off that smile? I have, and thankfully, there are a few go-to tracks to help me though.

Nicki Minaj knows how to keep a girl’s head up! I’ve been blasting “Superbass” this week, a huge hit off of Pink Friday. There’s something about the fun beat, the quick rhymes and the catchy chorus that puts me at ease and erases my sorrows. Negativity leaves my head and my only thought is “I want to dance!”