Sometimes, Dames Nation, something perfect and incandescent twirls into your life.
Given Your Dames' long-standing enthusiasm for slickly-produced Swedish pop, songs that feature male falsetto & refrains that can be rendered as "oo oo OO oo," and music that can be fairly described by Dame Sophie as "what Adam Levine would write, if he had a sense of humor," we would have probably liked this song even if it hadn't had One of The Greatest Music Videos of All Time.
But!! It also has One of the Greatest Music Videos of All Time.
The video takes all the homoerotic subtext of 1960s James Bond films and makes it gloriously text, culminating in a dance numer that rivals Gene Kelly-Donald O' Connor dance numbers of yore. AND IT EVEN HAS A TWIST ENDING!! The hardiest tip of the hat to #Damespal Jess for linking us to it, as it has been making both of our weeks.
We hope it will make you smile the way Gold Nostril is smiling here:
Velvet Goldmine Live-Tweet Next Saturday!! (#velvetdames)
This movie: Excessively strange, extraordinarily pretty. Not unlike Bowie, in that respect.
SPEAKING of homoerotic texts! We are continuing our Festschrift for Bowie with the first of our Patreon-promised livetweets! We’ve chosen Velvet Goldmine, about a Ziggy Stardust-ish glam rocker who fakes his own death, and the fans who loved him. It’s basically “What if Citizen Kane BUT INSTEAD David Bowie?” Amazing costumes! Great music! Hot British dudes saucily winking! An early, formative work from Oscar-nominamted director Todd Haynes! A certain amount of tonal weirdness that will be QUITE FUN to chat about with a gang of smarties! And did we mention the homoeroticism?? Join us, won’t you?
When: Saturday, February 6, 2016, 8pm ET
Where: Twitter! We’ll be using & tracking #velvetdames throughout the film
How: The film is available on Netflix - just hit PLAY at 8pm ET!
Yes, that's Ewan MacGregor winking at you saucily. You're welcome, lad-likers.
We always have at least twenty. Of everything.
Every now and again, we like to go through what we've shared on Twitter, and re-share a few highlights, both for the subscribers that don't tweet, and for the tweeters who may have missed some things. This week, we're highlighting:
1) The Flora & Fauna of Our Hearts
These vintage images of canine cosmonauts from the USSR are basically just screaming "#damesbait #damesbait #damesbait!" at the top of their lungs. We love the Audubon Mural Project, which is putting endangered birds on Manhattan's facades, but we do think it would benefit from more corvids.
Speaking of birds, how about some more DOPE #DamesBait-y ornithology? Like an article unlocking the secrets of starlings' murmurations!
Dame S. loves Sarah Smith's fresh take on the vintage botanical resin jewelry trend.
These pictures of an ancient Chinese ginkgo tree dropping its leaves are so beautiful that they seem fictional.
This octopus typewriter by Courtney Brown is #EldritchAsFuck
Dame S's current reincarnation aspiration: Bubu The Chinchilla. (Tea party video within!)
2) Dream Looks
What's that? A photo album of glorious haristyles from the 1960s that typify the sentiment "the higher the hair, the closer to God"? Yes we WILL scroll through THIS ENTIRE THING.
Dover, the home of Tom Tierney's famous paper dolls, has a coloring book dedicated to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and it's only $3.99. WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW.
After reading this great piece on the exquisite style of Fran Fine from THE NANNY, Dame Margaret kind of wanted to throw away all her clothing and wear only red turtlenecks with checker print miniskirts.
Adieu, productivity & BONJOUR, this game from the Victoria & Albert Museum that allows you to design an elaborate wig in the style of the 18th century!!
The Hang-A-Round Calculator(TM): a 70s version of Joan's pencil necklace?
Dame Sophie's Minimalist Selection
Well, my week got away from me good & proper, so it’s a smaller than usual selection here. Maybe this is a good thing? You guys seem pretty evenly split on the “ahhhh, too many links!”/”GIVE ME ALL THE LINKS to stuff in my eyeballs!” issue. Let’s call this an extra-carefully curated adult snack tray, shall we?
Alexis Chaney’s piece on how teen girls have driven 60 years of pop music with their unseemly displays of swooning, screaming, and crying is the best thing I’ve read all week, on a topic deeply close to my heart.
Many longtime readers know of my fascination with Elena Ferrante, the pseudonymous Italian author behind the Neapolitan Novels, about a fractious & intense friendship between two women. The first novel opens just after the end of the Second World War and the last closes in the 1990s. Ferrante refuses all public appearances, so her translator, Ann Goldstein, often stands in for her. This interview between Goldstein and Katrina Dodson, who recently re-translated all the short stories of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector into English, is basically catnip for those of us obsessed with identity, public personae, and the acts of speaking & writing. Speaking of works in translation! PEN America’s got a Kickstarter going to redress the gross inequity in literary translation. 9% of world languages account for 90% of all translations! Not okay!
The Substitutesis a fantasy webcomic about friendship, accidental adventure & heroism. It’s extremely winning and showcases some dynamite, lush art, and best of all, the artist publishes on a biweekly schedule, so you can get caught up very quickly. This is also a special reminder to myself about how much I love webcomics & how I need to make more time to read them regularly. Some clever Dames Nationals must have a great system for incorporating them into their weekly reading schedule -- please do tell me what works for you!
Dame Margaret's Minimalist Selection
Dame M. has exactly two things she cares to speak about this week.
One:Susan Harlan's utterly perfect McSweeney's list"Alternatives to Resting Bitch Face,"which is so perfect that it will probably make you weep with laughter. She would quote her favorite bits, but that would just constitute copying and pasting the entire thing SO.
Two: Spite Houses, such as:
The Pink House on Plum Island, which is rumored to have been built as part of a divorce settlement that demanded the wife receive and exact replica of the house she lived in with the husband she was leaving, so he built her one in the middle of a marsh, and wired the pipes to only deliver salt water, which: SPITEFUL!
The Hess Triangle in New York, NY, which is less of a spite HOUSE and more of a spite PLAQUE.
The John Hollensbury Spite House in Alexandria, VA, which was built to keep jerks from using his alleys, and is now a beloved landmark.
And all the many excellent others highlighted in Hyperallergic's indispensable round-up of Spite Houses throughout history, which delighted Dame Margaret's heart to no end. Its subtitle is "An Architectural Phenomenon Built on Rage & Revenge." HOW CAN YOU BEAT THAT????
This Week in Hamilton (ALSO ABREVIATED THIS WEEK)
This week, the cast of Hamilton paid tribute to Les Misérables, one of its chief inspirations, and it did so TWICE. First, on Saturday, while the show was shut-down by last weekend's blizzard, Leslie Odom Jr. melted all our hearts with a stunning mash-up of "Stars" from Les Mis and "Wait for It." And then! On Sunday, Lin-Manuel made his Les Mis debut, singing the part of Loud Crier. His elation is palpable and ADORABLE.
If you were watching that first video and were like "Yeah, this is cool, but GODDAMN, where can I get that dope t-shirt that Leslie is wearing???", you're in luck! Your Dames know! Dame Margaret's best friend's brothersells them through his amazing business Declaration Clothing, which has all kinds of amazing historically-themed paraphernalia, all of it made ethically here in the U.S. ENJOY!
OR if you were watching that first video and were like "Yeah, this is cool, but HOW DOES HAMILTON MASH-UP SO WELL WITH LITERALLY EVERYTHING????", you're in luck! Only this time it's thanks to Natalie Zutter, who looked into just that question at Tor Books this week.
AND FINALLY, if you were watching that video and you were like "Yeah, this is cool, but forget Javert. HOW is Burr like Judas Iscariot?", then once again, YOU'RE IN LUCK!! Because #Damespal Rachel did a GREAT job tackling Burr's parallels to Judas, Salieri, and other famous Nemesis Narrators throughout literature. So, go! Read! Enjoy!!