My So-Called Life: A Celebration of Teenage Drama Through Song

If you are anything like us here at MITN, you would have known that last week Sundance Channel began to reair ALL OF THE EPISODES of My So-Called Life. This is a big deal, for many angst-ridden/nostalgic and once angst-ridden teenagers, which pretty much accounts for all teenagers anywhere at anytime. What I am trying to say is, at least give this show a shot. If you don’t have cable, get on your friend the Internet and visit Netflix, (and maybe other video sites?) which has the complete series up.

The show follows Angela Chase, a 15 year old girl doing 15 year old things, like getting mad at parents, dyeing her hair unnatural colors, and being generally moody. Wait, that makes it sound annoying. I swear, it is excellent. Seriously, just watch it. Please. And if you have, I salute you. The show features some cool mid-90’s tunes, which inspired me to create this playlist of high school melodramaticness (a word I just invented, to coincide with the 90’s music’s inventiveness). So it is guaranteed to be great. So just listen to it, please. Click Angela’s pretty face below to access 8tracks (or just click here).

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Royal Wedding Madness Playlist!

Are you beyond excited for the wedding of the century? Have you bought your Will & Kate Refrigerator yet?

(yes it exists)

DJ Huxtable, now known to her loyal subjects as HM Queen Haley Prudence Hennesberton of Denvershire (yes you too can be royal) is so excited she may not be able to sleep tonight. Meanwhile, DJ Starbuck and DJ Brady are both baffled by the amount of press this event is getting and are trying to remain sane.

To honor this momentous and ridiculously publicized occasion, we are bringing you a very smashing playlist full of the very finest British pop music to ever be played at a wedding. Or in this case, not at a wedding. Seriously, it’s that bad. I mean good.

Yes, that’s right. MITN’s first ever Royal Wedding Playlist!

Full Playlist Here

Wondering what didn’t make the list?

– Jolly Holiday – Mary Poppins (too silly)

-White Wedding – Billy Idol (too ironic)

-Every Breath You Take – The Police (too creepy)

-You Are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker (too sweet)

-In my Life – The Beatles (too obvious)

-Every other Coldplay song (too awful)

The Great Gatsby: Nick Carraway’s Playlist

Books are humanity in print
-Barbara W. Tuchman

Two weeks ago we premiered our very first fictional character’s playlist from the silver screen. Today marks our very first fictional character from the written word. We believe that reading can be the most visual of the arts, relying far more on the readers’ imagination. Readers visualize scenery, characters, architecture, voice inflection, accents, colors, sounds, and of course, music. To kick off our very first literature playlist, I chose a novel that I hope is familiar to all of us (especially with the recent news of the Gatsby mansion being demolished) and that is known to many as “The “Great American Novel”:

Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby highlights life after the first World War, a time known as the “roaring 20’s” when American society prospered amidst a soaring economy. The novel is narrated by Nick Carraway, a young bachelor wanting to learn the bond business. Nick moves to Long Island’s North Shore known as “West Egg” and rents a summer cottage next to the mansion owned by wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby, famous for his lavish parties. Nick becomes involved with several other wealthy individuals who spend their time going to parties in elegant estates and mansions. The imagery of these parties stand out the most in the novel and were truly representative of the “American dreams” of high society during the time period. The 1920’s were truly a time for celebration and nothing fit that mood better than jazz music.

As you can imagine, Nick Carraway attended many grand parties and danced the night away to the hits of the time such as Benny Goodman’s “Bugle Call Rag” and Glenn Miller’s “Farewell Blues”. Other jazz legends of the 1920’s and beyond (Ellington, Mingus, Gershwin) are truly essential music for this playlist.  And finally, Chopin’s “Nocturne” undoubtedly sets the mood for the finale of the novel in which Nick leaves for the Midwest, never to forget his summer spent on West Egg.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”


Breaking Weird Al News!

Weird Al Yankovic has (finally!) made a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”. His song “Perform this Way” was meant to be the single off his new album and he was even going to donate all the money from sales of the song and music video (how awesome would that video have been) to the Human Rights Campaign. Unfortunately, Gaga said “no” to the parody, which hasn’t stopped Al from uploading a video to Youtube and releasing the mp3 for free at his site. You can read more about the “Gaga Saga” at Weird Al’s blog and watch the above video dubbed with lyrics.

I think it’s even better than the original. Take that Gaga!

Edit: Gaga Approves! Read more

Popularity Contest: A Rant with Purpose

As you’ve probably figured out already, the music biz (as we call it) thrives solely on popularity. Now that can stem from a whole lot of things. Physical appearance of the artists, fashion, crazy antics, and sometimes even their musical talent. I say sometimes because let’s face it- what is “popular” isn’t always good. And when there are so many talented musicians and musical groups out there in the world it’s hard to understand why they are often overlooked by radio and mainstream and replaced by inferior posers.

Which brings me to a recent discovery. Actual talent on the radio. As you may or may not know, I was away in Ghana for the past two years. Apparently during that time someone decided that artists who play their own instruments and write their own songs should also be included in today’s top music. I returned home to find artists like Mumford & Sons, Adele, and The Decemberists all over the Billboard charts. You can only imagine my surprise.

Now here is where I will start to nitpick. Obviously everyone’s tastes are not the same and even those previous artists I listed may not be to everyone’s liking. So now the question is, why those artists/bands over all the others? What makes them better? Supposedly we can leave that up to listeners to decide- I mean, if they want to hear it obviously it will be played on the radio. But…. suppose listeners are not aware of all the other artists that sound (how do I put this) exactly like those previous artists. I mean, how would they ever find out if the radio only plays what was once unknown and is now “popular”? Ah. Now that is a tough one.

So what is popularity? Even in the indie scheme of things? Certainly Adele has appeal over the masses, she’s certainly doing well for herself and I would be lying if I said that “Rolling in the Deep” was not one of my new favorite songs. But seriously, why her? And I don’t mean to solo her out, but I want to make a point here. Female folk/country/bluesy artists are nothing new. Remember Duffy, Norah Jones, even Lex Land who we introduced you to a while back. Is Adele just the new new?

And what of Laura Marling?

She remains one of the most incredible young promising folk artists I have ever listened to and yet she gets minimal publicity (except in England where she won Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards). Marling wrote her first album “Alas I Cannot Swim” when she was 17 and her poetic lyrics seem to come from someone much older and mature.

I wander the streets, avoiding them eats
Till ring on my finger slips to the ground
A gift to the gutter, a gift to the city
The veins of which have broken me down

Her last album “I Speak Because I Can” was just as miraculous, coming from a matured and older Laura Marling. Perhaps her song content is just too dark to catch on. Songs about religion and faith don’t sell as well as ones about boyfriends and dance clubs. But in any case, her newest collaboration with Mumford & Sons has me wondering if this might lead to her big breakout into America. After all, America seems to eat up those boys and their banjos. Their new EP will be coming out July 5th and it features traditional Rajasthani folk collective Dharohar Project. Bollywood on Top Billboard? We’ll have to wait and see…

My name is Peggy Olson, and I’d like to smoke some marijuana.

What better way to give tribute to this past weekend’s Record Store Day than by featuring a character who has a kick-ass record collection. When talking about Mad Men, the show about the glamour age of Madison Avenue and the three martini lunch, everyone automatically thinks of suave Don Draper. At Movies in the Newspaper, we happen to think of a heroine, Ms. Peggy Olson.

No character has evolved more than Peggy. She first started on the show as a conservative, Brooklynite secretary. Four seasons later she becomes a marijuana smoking, stripteasing senior copywriter. You can’t help but admire a woman who breaks through extremely thick glass ceiling in the old boys’ club of the advertising world.

The following mix is compromised of tunes from women that Peggy may have identified with during lonely nights after work, with a Chubby Checker song thrown in the mix because the girl also knows how to party:

Record Store Day!

As many of you already know, today is Record Store Day! Record stores across the country are having special events, releases, give-aways, and concerts! To find a record store nearest you visit the Record Store Day website.

Many music websites have been posting lists of special releases that will be available today. Pitchfork has released their guide to the day and Paste just named 30 releases they believe are deserving of your dough.

We at Movies in the Newspaper are of course excited to jump into the record store action. But unlike our fellow music blogs we have decided to do something a little different. Today we will share with you the best of the worst. The worst album covers that is.

So without further ado:

MITN Presents: Top Ten Best of the Worst Album Covers Ever!

 (The juxtaposition of these two covers on this list was no happy accident)

We have no idea either.

Also the winner of the most depressing album cover ever

 This is just ridiculous on so many levels. MC Pooh?

 The best part of this cover? The fact that one of these men is now NY congressman.

And an added bonus:

Hope you enjoyed our best of the worst!

For more albums to avoid solely based on their terrible artwork check out these links.

Happy Record Store Day everyone!