Opinions, Opinions: Installment Three

ALBUMS

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Bankrupt! by Phoenix: I’m an ever-changing girl with ever-changing emotions and I need an album that can roll with that, and Bankrupt! by Phoenix does just that. It’s basically split into two sections; upbeat songs that are perfect for rocking out to when you’re feeling plein(e) de vie and songs that were (I’m pretty sure??) written to cry to. Some of my favourites that fall into category a) are ‘Entertainment’, ‘Drakkar Noir’ and ‘S.O.S. In Bel Air’ and for category b), ‘Bankrupt!’ and ‘Bourgeois’ but I do truly love every song on the album. I saw Phoenix live last month and it was phenomenal and I had a wonderful time and I definitely recommend that you give them a try. S/o to Sofia Coppola for using Phoenix songs in her films which helped me discover them. -Amy

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Shrines- Purity Ring:  I remember so distinctly stumbling upon Purity Ring a couple of summers ago. Their single “Fineshrine” was popping up all over the internet. With one listen, I was hooked. At first, I was a little skeptical of the duo consisting of Megan James and Corin Roddick. I had never heard “pop” music like this; it felt like a whole new sub genre. After downloading the rest of Shrines, I was swept away into a haze of synthpop, with undertones of electronic yet retro riffs. What separates Purity Ring from other pop groups is their ability to pair complex lyrics with mesmerizing and dreamy melodies. James sings in “Cartographist”, “Grow ancient gardens, the paths that you found in me, peel off the weight that you’ve held from the start of me”, hinting at a disguised emotion, consisting of desire and nostalgia. The track “Obedear” will lure you in with James’ cooing voice and envelop you in the opening melody. The album takes you on a journey into the darker realm of pop- Shrines could pass for the soundtrack to a futuristic witch hunt. -Virginia

MOVIES AND TV

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Pushing Daisies (ABC, 2007-2009) managed to be smart, funny, just the right amount of twee, and incorporated several musical numbers (a very important quality for a show to have, IMO), all while being one of the most original shows that I’ve seen. The show centered around a pie-maker named Ned, played by Lee Pace. Anything dead that Ned touches comes back to life, but if he touches it again it stays dead forever. He uses his abilities to bring his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles (Anna Friel) back to life and help his detective friend (Chi McBride) solve murders. The basic story structure follows that of any murder-solving show, but a million times more colorful, weird, and fun. It was unjustly cancelled due to the writer’s strike, but show creator Bryan Fuller has said that a reboot(!!!) is in the works in the form of a movie or Broadway musical. -Kathryn

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The Lady in Number Six won the Oscar for best documentary short at this year’s ceremony and even though I haven’t seen the other nominees I’m confident that it was totally deserved. It’s only about 38 minutes long but gets incredibly detailed into the life of Alice Herz-Sommer who at the time of the documentary’s filming was the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and an acclaimed pianist. Her outlook on life is almost impossibly optimistic and she herself repeatedly says how important love and laughter is to her. After watching the film I truly felt like I KNEW this woman and I wished the documentary had gone on more so I could’ve lived with her a little bit longer. The Lady in Number Six is available on Vimeo for purchase but was also acquired by Netflix earlier this month and will possibly be available on there by April 1st. ENJOY! -Jessica

BOOKS

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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin: I read this book for the first time when I was 11, and then again and again and again and each time it has the same impact on me and leaves me in a puddle of tears. I absolutely adore this book, so much so that I’ve tried my best to share it with as many people as possible. It follows the (after)life of recently deceased teenager Liz and it’s a really beautiful and alternative insight to life after death that doesn’t necessarily link to religion. It deals with grief on both Liz’s behalf and her family’s, as well as friendship and new found loves and passions and I can connect so well with every single character in the book. I kindly urge you to read it because it is one of the best books I have ever read and it made me feel so many things. GET A COPY. -Amy

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Even Though I Don’t Miss You by Chelsea Martin: A friend recommended I read Even Though I Don’t Miss You by Chelsea Martin and I’m so glad he did. Having read it several times and dog-eared nearly a third of the pages, I would feel too guilty keeping this book to myself. Martin’s collection of prose-poems is pretty much perfection. Even Though I Don’t Miss You is perfect for when you want to laugh, cry, feel accomplished for finishing a book in one sitting, be that person who casually carries a cool-looking book at all times, finally understand that weird feeling you never even knew you really felt, or if you just feel like reading something that really rules. “I want to squint right now to help explain what I’m feeling but this poem can only ever be words,” Martin says, and in saying so conveys exactly the feeling. Kind of like how I want to empty the entirety of my heart onto my keyboard right now but that would just be gross and you’d never see it anyway. Martin’s short narratives and poems read like diary entries you wish you wrote. Her stories are insightful and illuminating, her prose self-reflective, sweet, and incredibly smart. Even Though I Don’t Miss You begs to be read again and again. I would let you borrow my copy, but it’s filled with emotional notes, too telling underlines, and a bunch of heart doodles. Once you read it you’ll understand. Chelsea Martin understands. Would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of love, the internet, self-deprecating humor, eating in bed, and to anyone looking to get into poetry. And to anyone who is willing to listen to me. -Jane C

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