Mini Fred Op-Ed: Remembering Jane Russell (1921-2011)

Jane Russell just passed away at the age of 89 and was a huge part of my childhood. Most people close to me know that I rarely watch movies made past 1969.  For all the passion I have for things such as music, tennis, baseball, humor, and politics, I’ve never had much of an interest in modern film. While my friends were all growing up with movies like Pretty Woman, Top Gun, and Edward Scissorhands, I was growing up with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, All About Eve, and The Harvey Girls.

It was always a foregone conclusion that I was going to have a huge infatuation for acting in its most basic of forms.  I’ve never been interested in special effects. Instead I’ve been a huge fan of storytelling and imagination, which is a perfect example of why I love to write so much. I love to daydream and modern movies leave little to the imagination.

Jane Russell occupied a rather large part of my childhood. As a child, I was OBsessed with movies such as The Outlaw, Macao, His Kind of Woman, and, of course, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Russell was always sexy as hell with her low voice and..umm..huge ‘brazier.’

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes remains one of my favorite movies of all-time and, in fact, I still pull out from time to time to escape the modern world and drench myself in memories. Marilyn Monroe was always considered the ‘star’ of the movie, but I really think that it was Jane Russell who stole the show. If you’ve seen any of her other movies you’ll know that a role in a musical was a definite stretch for her and I think she pulled it off flawlessly.

I’m very sad to hear of Russell’s passing, as it represents the loss of a huge talent and a true Hollywood star. RIP Jane Russell.

Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’ Video Premiere

And here we have the latest video by Lady Gaga..This weekend I wrote a Mini Fred Op-Ed about Lady Gaga that I haven’t yet finished. The basic gist of the whole thing was that we really should learn to appreciate her and her message. Gaga is using her celebrity to do ‘good’ in the world, and helping by attempting to shift the global conversation towards inclusion and acceptance.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Born This Way is not for you bitter queens that keep calling Gaga a Madonna rip-off. This song is for the 14 year old black gay lesbian teenager on wellfare, living in the middle of Mississippi, who is being beaten everyday by her religious parents and made fun of every day at school for being black and/or gay and/or a woman and/or poor. This is a song for the misfits of the world and I find it revolting of anyone who tries to take Lady Gaga’s message and turn it into a derivative hate-fest. Lady Gaga is the most important pop star making music today and this song gives kids hope, above and beyond everything else.

You don’t have to like her music, but you’ve got to love her message.

The Hotness: Mother Mother, Mr. Little Jeans, Adele

The Hotness is your daily look at 3 new songs that are amazing, essential, and are sure to make you horny. Ok, the last part isn’t necessarily true. But if you don’t like at least one of these three songs, you need to check 1) Your testosterone levels 2) Your estrogen levels 3) Your hearing.

Mother Mother are a 5-piece Canadian band, based in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Their 3rd album, Eureka, is set to hit stores on 15 March and I’m absolutely loving it. The dueling male-female vocals will remind some of a much more playful version of fellow Canadians, Star, but they remind me of now-defunct 90s band, That Dog (minus the violins), and do powerpop better than just about anyone out there; using a whole range of different instruments to create their fun-as-fuck sound. I’ve been all over their latest album, and I highly recommend it to anyone who longs for the days of 90s powerpop perfected by Imperial Teen, and others. My favorite song is called, Problems, and you can check it out below. Eureka is out 15 March on Last Gang Records, which has released albums by Metric, The New Pornographers, Crystal Castles, Chromeo, and Fan Death (among others).

Mr. Little Jeans is the moniker of Norwegian solo artist, Monica Birkenes. Her music sounds sort of like a more organic version of fellow Norwegian singer, Annie, and also Kylie Minogue.  In the last few years, she’s been getting lots of viral buzz by releasing such gems as Angel, Faking Gold, Stones in the Attic, and (my favorite) Rescue, which you may recognize from HP’s latest commercials. She’s currently in the studio, working on her debut album with super-producer, Greg Kurstin, of Lily Allen fame (among others) and should be released sometime in 2011 on Neon Gold Records.

Adele‘s new album, 21, is the album of the year, thus far, in my opinion. For anyone that has been through heartache, for anyone that loves old souls, for anyone that loves timeless piano driven music, and for anyone that loves a powerful female vocal, you need to hear this album. Rumour Has It is the 2nd track on the album, and one of my favorites. It’s a pretty obvious choice as a single in the future and should easily be #1 when it’s released. 21 is out now on XL/Columbia.



      Mother Mother 'Problems'



      Mr. Little Jeans 'Rescue'



      Adele 'Rumour Has It'


Daily Tune: Keren Ann ‘My Name Is Trouble’

Keren Ann is an Israeli-born singer–songwriter that has just released her sixth solo album, 101 on EMI. Aside from being a lucky bitch with residences in Paris, Tel Aviv, and New York, Keren Ann is also one of the most amazing talents that you’ve likely never heard of (at least here in the US). Her voice is pure beauty and most of her music is laden with keyboards and lounge-y guitars that fit in perfectly with my obsession of music-to-daydream-to.

Today’s Daily Tune is also the first single and video from 101, and it’s called My Name Is Trouble.  I’m pretty sure that many of you will eat this right up and have it on repeat for a few days; I can’t get enough of it. The song reminds me of what I love most about Keren Ann, which is her ability to make me close my eyes and imagine myself on a train looking out the window at the countryside of some western European country.

Prepare to be entranced by this song and definitely do your part by picking up Keren Ann’s new album, 101. My Name Is Trouble is my favorite song on the album, but the whole thing is worth dissecting and obsessing over.!/kerenannmusic

      Keren Ann 'My Name Is Trouble'

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