new music: Dizzy

Dizzy, “Swim”

How did I miss this Canadian band play Boston earlier this month? Vocals are a little bit Lily Allen, a little bit Lorde; melody is a little bit xx. a little bit Cults. Overall cool, dreamy and a song to play on repeat for hours. It’s that intensely infectious. what an amazingly talented young band. I look forward to hearing more and seeing them play out live. Dizzy is: Charlie, Alex and Mackenzie Spencer and Katie Munshaw

Munshaw said: “Making music always stemmed from my being overly sensitive about everything, so when you’re that close to so many people you’re bound to meet the essential characters that screw you up enough to start writing about them.”

 

 

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new music: Totally Mild

Totally Mild, “Lucky Stars”

such a pretty, heartfelt acoustic song from Totally Mild. It’s vulnerable and melancholic. The theatrical, stark tone makes it particularly powerful and memorable.  The Melbourne, Australia band’s sophomore album, Her [Chapter Records], will be released February 23, 2018. The band has toured with Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Best Coast, DIIV and The Chills and will perform at SXSW in 2018.

Totally Mild is:
Singer/songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell
Zachary Schneider [guitar]
Dylan Young [drums]
Lehmann Smith [bass]

Totally mild album cover

Her Tracklisting:

1. Sky
2. Pearl
3. Working Like A Crow
4. From One Another
5. Lucky Stars
6. Today Tonight
7. Underwater
8. Take Today
9. More
10. Down Together

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book review: The Faerie Handbook

faerie handbook

The Faerie Handbook by Carolyn Turgeon and the editors of Faerie Magazine. Harper Design| November 2017| 240 pages | $35.00| ISBN: 9780062668110

RATING: ****/5*

“The Faerie Handbook is for all those fairy lovers who want a delicious escape, who see that old-world oak with its moss-grown trunk, who love to read poetry and sip herbal tea on a fainting couch on a rainy afternoon in front of a fire, or walk in long dresses over dewy lawns, feeling the wet grass on their feet and watching the light break over the landscape.”

This striking and elaborate book might be the perfect gift for that fairy enthusiast you know. Popular fairy characters include Tinker Bell (Peter Pan), Galadriel (The Hobbit), Glinda the Good Witch (The Wizard of Oz) and Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood). The Faerie Handbook is divided into four parts: Flora & Fauna; Fashion & Beauty; Art & Culture; and Home, Food & Entertaining.  In Flora & Fauna, there’s a list of fairy world inhabitants with descriptions of dwarves [“Dwarves were a powerful people who would be appalled to know they’ve been named for their allergies, shyness, unpleasant demeanor, or lack of intelligence.”], gnomes, pixies, leprechauns and others. There’s a section on herbs and flowers. On clover: “Fairies are attracted to clover, so if you come across a field of it, be on the watch for a fluttering of wings.” On wild thyme: “A patch of thyme was traditionally set aside in herb gardens for the fairies to live in, somewhat like birdhouses are placed in the garden today.” In Fashion & Beauty, there’s details about shoes, clothes, fragrances, bathing and more. In Art & Culture section there’s a part about Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream— “While Shakespeare drew from multiple sources for the play, mainly folk beliefs and medieval romance, most of the main plot was wholly imagined, which was unusual for him. And his romantic, diminutive fairies almost immediately became a convention of literature.” There are also sections on Victorian fairy painting, changelings and the Cottingley fairy hoax. In Home, Food, & Entertaining, you’ll find recipes for flower lollipops, lavender shortbread cookies, honey ricotta tart, frosted cranberries and fairy teacakes. There are sections on edible flowers, fairy drinks, hosting fairy-themed parties. There’s a section on artist and author Tasha Tudor— “Although the main subject of the books she wrote were her dolls and her beloved pet corgi dogs (regarded in Welsh folklore as a gift of woodland fairies, with markings on their flanks from fairy saddles), the curious blending of the natural and supernatural worlds in her life seeped into her writing and illustrations.” DIY throughout the handbook with instructions on crafting fairy furniture, flower pressing, making a fairy terrarium, making a fairy flower crown, making fairy dust and creating an arbor.

The Faerie Handbook includes four-color photographs and illustrations, silver foil patterning on full book cover, silver foil book edges and a satin bookmark.

Faerie Magazine is a quarterly magazine with a readership of 28, 000 and nearly 2 million followers on Facebook.

Carolyn Turgeon is editor-in-chief of Faerie Magazine. She’s the author of five books: Rain Village; Godmother; Mermaid; The Next Full Moon; and The Fairest of Them All.

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

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Project Runway recap: There’s No Business Like Snow Business [S16.Ep12]

Project Runway. Season 16 Episode 12 on LIFETIME. judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen. Guest judge: Katie Holmes. Host: Heidi Klum. Mentor and co-host: Tim Gunn.

Episode 12: There’s No Business Like Snow Business

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Final five: Ayana; Brandon; Kentaro; Kenya; Margarita

As it stands Kenya hasn’t won a challenge and Kentaro has been in the bottom twice in a row.

challenge: create a high fashion winter look

The designers head to the Minus 5 Ice Bar for inspiration in the cold. They bundle up in robes. Seems Iceland-inspired and not all that fun. Tim Gunn leaves them to get a cup of hot coffee.  They have 30 minutes to sketch, two days and $400 to spend at MOOD for the challenge.

They all seem to be designing coats which makes sense. At MOOD, Brandon finds a wax cotton for a distressed look, Ayana wants black with a neon, Kenya finds a herring bone print she likes, Margarita looks at fur and says she wants “rabbit or deer.” UGH.

At the check out, Tim says: “Did anyone purchase fur? We’re a fur-free show.” Yay to that. Cruelty-free would be fantastic but unlikely considering Heidi Klum isn’t cruelty-free and neither are Zac Posen and Nina Garcia. Margarita can’t buy the fur and can’t replace it. Tim then says he feels bad in not stating it’s a fur-free show. So with the other designers okay, Margarita gets five minutes and goes back and chooses an awful faux fur.

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Kentaro continues to charm as he says of his jacket: “It looks like a beautiful whipped cream.”

Tim checks in. For Kentaro’s wrap jacket, he wonders if he should swap out the lavender turtleneck for yellow and both agree it’s too yolkish and Tim suggests using the same fabric and “owning it.” He tells Kenya: “at this point it’s all in the details.” He adds that if she’s able to “infuse some of the underlying pieces with innovation,” she might win. I’m guessing that’s not going to happen. Brandon explains that growing up in Utah they had frigid winters, so he’s created a crop top? Because an open midriff is exactly how I approach winter. Tim tells him he’s exceeded expectations and that he’s a fan of his work. Ayana works on an asymmetrical pea coat. Tim notes it has a “clean 60s vibe.” Ayana wants to paint the fabric and Tim says it looks like a possible Kindergarten project. She shows him a sample of what she intends to do and he approves. Margarita has  long sleeve dress with faux fur that Tim says “It’s Tippi Hedren and The Birds.” So she thinks she’ll make a completely faux fur dress.

The models arrive. Kenya’s excited to work with the other plus-size model Jazzmine. What if Project Runway used ALL plus size models? Ayana says: “Kentaro’s look is simplistic, it’s cool, it’s high fashion.” I agree. The winter white look definitely works.

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Guest judge this week: Zac Posen muse Katie Holmes

Runway notes:

Margarita—oversized bathrobe, Flintstones

Kenya—solid coat and fabric choice. Don’t like the shirt and the high waist pants.

Kentaro—cool jacket. Shorts questionable for winter although I like shorts with tights as an alternative to skirts.

Brandon—cool coat and color. Definitely don’t like midriff exposed for winter.

Ayana—stylish. Great lines.

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BRANDON

–says he hung out in Park City a lot.Zac: “Nice to see a winter version of what you do. It feels luxe. It feels street.”

Nina: “I appreciate the layering and I like your use of texture.”

Katie: “Beatifrul modern take on something traditional.”

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MARGARITA

–wanted to do a coat that feels like fur (maybe because she wasn’t allowed to buy actual fur)

Heidi: “A fur dress can be so tricky but it really works.”

Katie: “I love the way it frames the face.”

Zac: “The jacket is quite classic.”

Nina: “There’s a timeless chicness to a wrap coat. When she opened the coat the surprise effect was everything.”

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AYANA

–inspired by a rebel/outlaw

Nina: “I like that you played with color.”

Heidi: “I would want to have this coat. The undergarment is costumy and childish.”

Katie: “I like the fact that you get a two-in-one coat.”

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KENYA

Zac: “It’s a fun textile. Her coat has some attitude. The blouse and the tweed and the pants doesn’t all sit well together.”

Heidi: “As a total look I’m not like ‘what is that?’ Her torso is super tiny.” i.e. it’s disproportionate.

Nina: “She’s way too cool for the outfit underneath.”

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KENTARO

Nina: “I think you did a wonderful job and it looks very modern, very sculptural.”

Heidi: “This is heaven from head to toe. I love the fabric you used. I love the color. I want to be that girl.”

Zac: “I think this is the chicest snowwoman I’ve ever seen.”

Katie: “You’re telling a story and I really like this story.”

At this point it’s pretty clear that Brandon will show at New York Fashion Week [NYFW].

Heidi asks the designers why they should go to NYFW and who they want to go with them.

Kentaro: “brother” Brandon [of course] and Ayana

Brandon: “brother” Kentaro and Ayana

Kenya: Brandon and Ayana. Because Ayana “always has 1000 things in her brain.”

Margarita: Brandon and Kentaro

Ayana: Kenya –“she already knows who her customer is” and Brandon

It’s announced that they’re all going to fashion week. Tim says, “It’s completely unprecendented.” But then he says to wait for more information and it looks like only three will *actually go.

 

 

 

 

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new music: Lean Year; Misty Boyd

“Come and See,” Lean Year

–a meditative and profound song with lilting vocals and a mesmerizing melody. Powerful and elegant. Lean Year is Virginia-based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson [The Comedy, Entertainment]. The duo co-wrote the album at home in Virginia and recorded it at the home studio of Chicago musician and engineer Erik Hall [In Tall Buildings, NOMO]. Lean Year’s self-titled album is out now.

“Oh Marie,” Misty Boyce

— This is an aching, sad, beautiful, winding song. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter’s full-length album, Get Lost, will be released on February 16, 2018.  As a popular keyboardist, Misty Boyce backed Sting, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and BØRNS. She recently lost her brother to an opioid overdose and her step-father to suicide. The indie-folk artist turned to writing music to work through the varied emotions she felt after these losses and hopes to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction, mental illness and suicide. Boyce said: “Sometimes, I write to get the things I don’t want to feel out. And then maybe somebody else hears it and feels the same way, and it makes us both feel less alone. I get very frustrated with how disconnected we all are from each other, and how we’ll use whatever we can get our hands on to other people, whether it’s religion or our phones or what you like on Pinterest—anything to make us feel right and prove other people wrong. And then we don’t have to listen anymore. We can just tune out and focus on our own self-obsessed worlds. Nobody’s listening. It’s a scary thing.”

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Project Runway recap: Warrior Fashion [S16.Ep11]

Project Runway. Season 16 Episode 10 on LIFETIME. judges: Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen. Guest judge: Rachel Brosnahan. Host: Heidi Klum. Mentor and co-host: Tim Gunn.

 Episode 11: Warrior Fashion

Final five: Ayana; Brandon; Kentaro; Kenya; Margarita

Designers meet Tim Gunn in a boxing ring where an AVON representative introduces them to breast cancer survivors.

challenge: create a high fashion editorial look inspired by these warrior women

Designers have 30 minutes to sketch, $200 to spend at Mood and 2 days to complete the challenge.

Margarita says that she knows what Brandon and Kentaro’s collections would look like and she’s not that interested in seeing pleats and Dolman sleeves. After the trip to Mood, Kentaro’s struggling again with designing for a plus-size model. Brandon works on drop crotch pants. Again. Brandon says: “Kentaro is my biggest competition. I just think his clothes are clean and they’re cool. But I’m confident. I’m one of the only designers here who have a consistent story on the runway and I feel like I’ve been the most well-received here.” The judges do love his work. Brandon and Ayana have two wins. Ayana’s are more recent which bodes better for her. Margarita and Kentaro have one win. Kenya’s the only designer left with no wins. I can’t recall if anyone’s made it to NYFW without winning a challenge.

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Kentaro notes that Brandon’s design looks similar to his. Both have hoodies. They should work together after the show.

Tim checks in. He tells Ayana: “I’m crazy about the top. For me, it’s a real wow moment and I do not say that casually you know that.” He tells Kentaro to make sure he doesn’t have “too many competing ideas” and notes he likes his color palette more than black or navy. Brandon says he’s designing a nomadic, androgynous warrior. Tim asks Brandon if he’s doing enough that judges will think it’s “beyond” what they’ve already seen. Tim reminds Kenya she’s the only designer left who hasn’t won a challenge and tells her: “On a scale of 1-10 this needs to be a 20.” Margarita wants to capture chaos and despair associated with cancer or major illness. I love this idea but not what she’s doing at the moment. Tim likes it. He also tells Margarita: “We don’t have any control over where they get it or not. It’s what you want to say and it’s a powerful message coming from you.”

The models arrive and Liris is excited to work with Kenya. She says: “A model connects with a designer in a certain way and it translates to the runway.” Kentaro has scrapped his design to make a new one “quick like Cup of Noodle.”

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Runway notes:

Brandon—cool

Ayana—chic, bold, great print

Margarita—don’t like gold with red or like the corset

Kentaro—looks like a hair salon smock

Kenya—power vibe

Guest judge this week: Rachel Brosnahan

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KENYA

Heidi: “I love the way Liris looks today. Finally someone gets her 100% right.”

Nina: “This is an example that you don’t need hijinks to communicate power. Here is power on the silhouette. Her is power in the color. Here is power in the tailoring.”

Rachel: “It’s just stunning.”

Zac: “You delivered on the power of fashion.”

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BRANDON

Heidi: “It is out there but I feel you are creating something new.”

Nina: “It is extremely editorial. I think you really have a sense of what is happening in fashion and that is really important in fashion.”

Zac: “You knocked it out of the park. You played with a lot of elements and it worked.”

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MARGARITA

Zac: “You have some really nice draping. The containment of the corset did almost the opposite of what you intended.”

Heidi: “To me it is very literal of the wonder woman. This looks a little messy.”

Nina: “She looks like she’s stuffed in there. This looks very much like a costume.”

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KENTARO

Rachel: “I can’t see her body at all and I wish I could.”

Nina: “I see more monastic than majestic.”

Heidi: “From waist down I like this look a lot. From the waist up there’s not enough.” Heidi also notes that Kentaro’s design looks a lot like Brandon’s design.

 

AYANA

Zac: “Wacky buy it’s impeccable and I’m blown away.”

Rachel: “It is bold certainly.”

Heidi: “She looks so strong, powerful and sexy without showing any skin.”

 

BRANDON is the WINNER

 

MARGARITA is OUT but Tim uses his Tim Gunn save

 

 

 

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music news: Lloyd Cole at City Winery on November 15, 2017

 

lloyd cole photo by doug seymour

Hey if you have middle-aged nostalgia, there are plenty of good shows! UK native Lloyd Cole will be in Boston on November 15, 2017 for an acoustic set at City Winery for his Retrospective Tour. New venue and should be an excellent setting. I ‘m most familiar with Lloyd Cole for his solo work from the 90s– he released an eponymous album in 1990 and Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe in 1991 and Bad Vibes in 1993. Revisiting. It’s solid. Brooding, assured. Bit of glamrock/Britpop elements combined with folk style. Although I didn’t remain tapped in on The Easthampton, Mass.-based musician’s career throughout the years, he’s not stopped regularly putting out music. I really like the song “Women’s Studies” which came out on Standards in 2013.

$22-26, Wednesday, November 15, 8 p.m., City Winery Boston, 1 Canal Street,  Boston, citywinery.com.

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