Just Keep Your Eyes on Us, Dames Nation!
Your Dames would like to welcome you officially to Summer 2015 with the the most life-affirming, good cheer-inducing fake music video of the year so far. (Yes, this is a video so nice we’ve linked it twice! What can we say? Our love for dance scenes knows no bounds.)
What makes “Shut Up and Dance”, which we know has already peaked at 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, so appealing? Let Dame Sophie walk you through it:
Four on the Floor: if you’re not already familiar with this term, describing a tempo that makes you want to move move move move, you’ll be noticing it everywhere now.
The Edge: Does the opening guitar lick from “Where The Streets Have No Name” give you goosebumps & prepare you mentally for a pop song that is also an anthemic spiritual experience? Listen to the opening notes of this song. Same effect, because they are nearly the same notes, in the same key, at the the same tempo.
Bruce Springsteen: stay with us, now! Ok, this song isn’t a rock-based literary short story about star-crossed working class lovers set down the shore, BUT it is yearningly romantic, includes some rather florid lyrics, and makes you want to pump your fist in the air as you sing along, so we’re giving The Boss some influence points here.
On a more personal note, this week marks one full year of Two Bossy Dames! We kicked things off as a weekly tweet-barrage of five links each, in the style of Bim Adewunmi’s #bims10things (which, side-note, we strongly endorse: every Friday, Buzzfeed UK’s Culture Editor posts ten great links/photos/GIFs guaranteed to make you smile & think). And now look! Dames Nation is A Thing! A Thing of beauty, and of dancing, which is how we circle back around to this song, forever on the playlist of the eternal dance party that is our friendship -- one might even say that we were bound to get together! Bound to get together!
Thanks for being along for the ride, friends!
One might even say that we GO together. Like rama-lama-ding-dong, even.
We Want To Go To There
And who could understand wanderlust better than Anita??
How is it that the famously conformity-loving English treasure their eccentrics most of all? Where would we be without the William Morrises, the Freddie Mercuries, the Kate Bushes of this world? When a vacation home can be described as a “bonkers, yet dignified” shrine to a fictional saint, we can only urge you to never change.
Not that America doesn't have its own glorious eccentrics, like Loy Bowlin, who dubbed himself the "Original Rhinestone Cowboy" and bedazzled every part of his life, from his Cadillac to his dentures. While it's too late to visit his spangled and kaleidoscopic "Beautiful Holy Jewel Home" at its original location in McComb, Mississippi, you will be able to visit it, reconstructed and preserved, at the Kolher Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin from December 6, 2015-December 31st, 2016. [Ed. note: Does a Very Sparkly Midwestern Dames Christmas await us, dear Dame M? -- Dame S.]
While we're discussing places we could go, why stop at ones that actually exist in our time line? INSTEAD, let's pretend that we're equipped with a TARDIS that would enable us to visit both the last two live shows of The Thrilling Adventure Hour at Largo this past spring (written about so movingly by--of all publications?!--Playboy Magazine)...
...and the alternate dimension New York City where Stanford White was not murdered in The Crime of the Century and instead managed to finish the 200-foot-tall owl mausoleum that newpaper tycoon James Gordon Bennett Jr. commissioned him to design. A giant owl! Taller than the Statue of Liberty! With a coffin suspended in the middle, hung by iron chains! Just TELL US you don't want to go to there. Just TRY and tell us that.
Longtime readers know our views on the importance of preserving cultural artifacts of all kinds. Imagine our untrammeled delight in this nifty WIRED piece on how hero-librarians of the Library of Congress painstakingly preserve American film history in a nuclear-resistant bunker where you can borrow the movies!
No one, that's who.
Put Your Earbuds in Your Ear, In Your Ear
This recent episode of Reasonably Sound is all about summer’s ubiquitous Mister Softee jingle, and the history of ice cream truck jingles in general, which -- as it encompasses Depression Era economics, the carefully considered reminiscence-triggering aesthetics of the tinny jingles, and hellooooo, ice cream! -- we assure you is way more interesting than you might have imagined. (Bonus Track: one of Dame Sophie’s favorite summer songs, Jonathan Richman’s dizzyingly almost-endless “Ice Cream Man”)
Three alt/indie-rock 90s playlists, totaling 800 songs. YES.
The Slate Culture Gabfest’s segment on the weirdly unsetttled race for the Summer Song of 2015, featuring the reliably excellent Chris Molanphy (who Dame Sophie thanks for agreeing with her that “Style” is the best song off of 1989), with many bonus tracks featured on the 2015 Summer Strut Playlist.
And finally! NPR Music staffers are now curating & updating playlists! Gather ‘round and feast your ears upon the sonic delights of beloved songs chosen by Jasmine Garsd, Katie Presley, and Ann Powers (that last one is not the list Ann Powers shared on on the NPR Music account, but instead one from her personal account -- but with a title like Borscht Belting it Out, we couldn’t leave it un-mentioned!)
Twee (and Royal!) as Hell
Shake it, you saucy minx.
Designer Inka Mathews is playing upon our love of (1) vibrant things, organized neatly and (2) tiny things, displayed beautifully by matching small everyday objects to their Pantone colors. It's incredibly simple, but we could look at her work for HOURS.
Prince George's look at his sister’s christening was a near-perfect replica of his father’s outfit at Prince Harry’s christening 30ish years ago. Kudos to both keen-eyed royal watchers for spotting it & royal archivists for preserving the original ensemble so well! Also: THAT FACE. OUR EMOTIONS. (h/t Alert Reader Julie for this one!)
And, in further Royal Tweeness, how could we resist sharing Vanity Fair's in-depth article on Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis?? Stone, it's not what we're made of. (h/t Alert Reader Rachel!)
Miscellany! (Jen, we think you're better off, baby)
Jen, forever Friend In Our Heads, and Mark, King of Our Hearts
Both your Dames, well, we're suckers for a good process story, especially when it contains impeccable John Mayer shade. So this tell-all from a celebrity publicist about the art of announcing a celebrity break-up could not have been more up our alley.
Father-Daughter beatboxing competition video! Do we really need to tell you anything further???
If you live in the UK and want gourmet grilled cheese ingredients sent to your home weekly, the Cheese Posties Kickstarter is here for you!
In post-war England, classic children’s author Joan Aiken lived with her family in a bus on their little plot of land just outside London. Lucky for us, she wrote a magazine story all about it! (h/t legendary editor Sharyn November)
$12,000 (CDN) in helium will get you one amazing multicolored balloon-powered flight over Calgary (and also arrested, but it sounds 100% WORTH IT). And one more O, Canada! moment: the hilarious & touching street-and-Twitter memorial to a dead raccoon Toronto’s animal services department took their sweet time picking up.
Ok, this piece is titled 25 GIFs For Anyone Who Is Mad That Serena Beat Maria Again, but it’s also invaluable service journalism for anyone in need of a devastating kiss-off response GIF.
Want to get a shockingly profound dose of nostalgia for your 90s childhood? Then gaze upon the Solo Jazz cup and learn how a disposable cup became a lasting icon of the '90s.
And speaking of 90s icons...Dame Sophie sometimes likes to ponder alternate timelines. For example, what would our movie-going landscape be like if Paul Rudd had followed up his dreamy Clueless-closing kiss with Alicia Silverstoneby staying on the path of becoming primarily a romantic lead actor? (For the record, she’s glad he did not, because what he’s wound up doing is much weirder and more interesting, but the possibility is out there, enhanced by this delightful oral history of that scene!)
We would pay untold kajillions of dollars to re-enact this scene.