MusicAlbum to Love: Okkervil River

With the season of road trips and beach blankets upon us, so comes the need for great new playlists. And boy, do I have a little treasure for your mp3 player (or cd player, walkman… whatever it takes). A good friend of mine (thanks PT!), citing my love for Cold War Kids, clued me into Okkervil River‘s new album about a month ago, and I’m hooked!
 
image courtesty of filtermagazine.com
 
Released May 10th, the sixth album from Austin, Texas born Okkervil River, I Am Very Far has become an instant favorite on my iPod. Critically acclaimed for their literary merit as well as just great indie rock, their song lyrics read like poetry set to music. So much so, that their record label has released a hard bound book of the album’s lyrics, aptly titled I Am Very Far: The Lyrics, calling the publication “a complete work in its own right.”
 
Take a listen.
 
It’s a little difficult to keep track of the line-up, what with the constant guest appearances and as many as thirteen additional musicians along for the ride in the recording booth, the official crew includes Grammy winning songwriter Will Sheff on vocals and guitar, Lauren Gurgiolo on electric guitar and mandolin, Justin Sherburn on vocals, keyboards, and guitar, Cully Symington on drums, and Patrick Pestorius on bass and vocals.
 

 
In addition to traditional musical accompaniment, I Am Very Far also features some sounds as unconventional as filing cabinets being thrown across the room, unreeled rolls of duct tape, and a fast-forwarding and rewinding boombox (Jagjaguwar). The Guardian sums it up, writing, “it could be a mess, but it isn’t, largely because the songwriting is uniformly great.” Praised by the New York Times for “writing like a novelist”, Will Sheff is clearly an all star when it comes to songwriting, producing, and whatever else it takes to create such incredible music.
 
Photos courtesy of Jagjaguwar

 It should come as no surprise that the name of the band itself is a literary reference, taken from a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. Though, with all this talk of scholarly songwriting and bookish allusions, there’s no need to feel guilty for simply enjoying it for how great it makes your ears feel.

 
Check out their website to listen to more of the album, including “The Valley”, another of my personal favorites. While you’re there, check the tour dates, because they hit the road May 31st to promote the album, so they may be coming to a city near you! Soon!
 
Any Okkervil River fans out there? How does this album compare to the others?

ContestsName the Dress Contest #53!

The contest has ended. Take a look at the winner below and be sure to enter next week!

Winner: Erika

Winning name: On a Doily Basis Dress

Note: Entries are made public via comments and therefore, we cannot delete any entries.

FashionPretty Little Liars Season Two Premiere!


 
We all have our guilty pleasures, but after an entire season of this nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, I’m no longer ashamed to admit it: I can’t get enough of Pretty Little Liars. I stumbled upon ABC Family’s new juggernaut on a whim, and at first, I was a little embarassed to be so hooked, but I have to tell you that this show is awesome!
 
Adapted from the bestselling series of books by Sara Shepard, let me tell you, the suspense, the drama, the outfits, the hair, the makeup… It’s like Sex and the City-meets-Gossip Girl for the younger set (and up…). Even if the stories didn’t have my heart pounding show after show, the on-set style is to-die-for. If only I had been this fashion savvy in high school…
 

 

 
But it’s not just the TV-ready looks that have me loving these new starlets. On and off the set, these girls are stunning, and they’re already making a splash as the newest addition to young Hollywood’s fashion elite. Just look how chic they are at the Young Hollywood Awards!
 

 
Introducing (from left to right): Ashley Benson (who plays Hanna Marin), Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery), Troian Bellisario (Spencer Hastings), and Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields).
 


If you’re not familiar with the show, I won’t spoil anything for you, just expect a whole lot of wild twists, turns, and scandalous intrigue from the four leading ladies of Rosewood High School. The Season One DVD set was just released June 7th, and it’s the kind of show that is super rerun friendly, so be prepared to watch the same episodes over and over without losing interest. Though, to be honest, with the season two premiere tomorrow (finally!!!!), I know (and my DVR can confirm), that there will be no shortage of reruns airing over the next few days. So don’t worry, catch-up is a totally realistic endeavor.
 
 
 
Don’t miss Pretty Little Liars tomorrow, Tuesday June 14th, at 8/7c on ABC Family!
 

 
Are there any other Pretty Little Liars lovers out there? Are you as psyched as me about the season two premiere??

BeautyDisney Delight: Eyeshadow from Your Favorite Films!

Any Disney fans out there? Makeup lovers? If so, then welcome to the incredible talents of makeup artist Katie Alves of Deviant Art. Using Halloween makeup and other products from her arsenal of awesome, this Ontario native has created some of the coolest eyeshadow looks I have ever seen. A proclaimed Disney fan, she uses famous scenes from some of her favorite films to create scenes like the ones below.
 
 
Lion King
 

 
Alice in Wonderland
 

 
Aladdin
 

 
Snow White
 
 
Nighmare before Christmas
 

 
Tangled
 

 
The Little Mermaid
 
Pretty cool, huh? While listening to Green Day or watching Lord of the Rings, she’s also posted some really cool tutorials on lip and eye looks that you should definitely check out. Head to her page to try for yourself and to see some of her other really awesome artwork!
 
Who’s going to try one of these looks for your next costume party?

ContestsRed Riding Hood DVD Release Twitter Party!


You are invited to join us for the Red Riding Hood DVD release party! We will be chatting about the movie, fashion, and giving away prizes! See below for more info about the DVD.

How to participate:
Participating is super easy! We will tweet questions from our Twitter account during the party. Just tweet your answer to the questions and chat with us and other attendees using the hashtag #rrhlulus to participate and enter to win prizes.

We have a chat area on the bottom of this page where you can keep track of conversations going on using the party hashtag. The party will last an hour. In case you are unfamiliar, a hashtag is the # symbol followed by text that is used on Twitter to tag tweets.

Important: Make sure to always use the hashtag #rrhlulus any time you tweet for the Twitter party.

Please refer to this page for the full contest rules and regulations.

Prizes

Fifteen (15) DVD’s

One (1) $100 LuLu*s Gift Card

One (1) $100 wbshop.com Gift Card

Two (2) $50 wbshop.com Gift Cards

 

About the Red Riding Hood DVD

Valerie is a beautiful young woman torn between the brooding outsider she loves and the wealthy man her parents have arranged for her to marry. When Valerie’s sister is killed by a werewolf, everything changes. Panic ensues and Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the deadly beast. One that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect …and bait.

              
                                         

Buy it 6/14 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and rent with Movies On Demand

Red Riding Hood © 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.