Friday, June 08, 2007

My Pop Culture Indigestion

This is going to be one of those music-related post that isn't going to be relevent unless you know who I'm talking about.

Tegan and Sara have a new album, The Con coming out in North America July 24 and in Australia July 28.

It was hush-hush on the new album at first, as it was still in production, but then a few singles were leaked online. I thought their music was cool, but when I read what they had to say about their leaked album, and I think they are just seriously chill:

ps: i have downloaded leaked albums before. so i am not trying to seem like a creepy school teacher slapping your ears with a ruler. i swear.

So what did they do? They made the leaked singles available on MySpace:

When you're young and famous, it's good to be as self-possessed as they are.

If you have time, go sample their music. If you like it, maybe you would like to buy their albums.

More music related note: Keren Ann released her new album recently. Shouldn't be hard to find, because she nicely titled it, Keren Ann.

If you love Feist, you may want to check out Keren Ann. Her new album is stronger and more confident than her previous works. It seems she has returned to basics, this new album gives more play on her vocals. Her vocals are lush, powerful, textured, and proves that the human voice is still the most beautiful instrument ever created.

Check out if you have time.

Finally, have anyone else checked out this list of Hot 100 Women as voted by the (mainly *ahem* lesbian/bisexual) readers of It was a response to the (IMO) highly objectable list of Maxim Hot 100. (No. I'm not going to link to Maxim magazine on my blog.)

Among the Maxim Top 10 are:

1. Lindsay Lohan
2. Jessica Alba
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Christina Aguilera
5. Jessica Biel
6. Ali Larter
7. Eva Mendes
8. Rihanna
9. Eva Longoria
10. Fergie

Ewww ... Linday Lohan? Eva Longoria? Fergie? Can this list be more bland?

But when we look at the AfterEllen list, the diversity of the women is mind-boggling. Among the Hot 100 is Helen Mirren at #31 (Woo Hoo!), Meryl Streep, Gillian Anderson (Scully is still Pin-Up Girl for the Geeks), Queen Latifah, Catherine Deneuve and Carmen Electra.

The AfterEllen Top 20:

1. Leisha Hailey*
2. Angelina Jolie
3. Kate Winslet
4. Lena Headey
5. Sarah Shahi
6. Jennifer Beals
7. Tina Fey
8. Jordana Brewster
9. Salma Hayek
10. Natalie Portman
11. Eliza Dushku
12. Scarlett Johansson
13. Piper Perabo
14. Kate Walsh
15. Keira Knightley
16. Jodie Foster
17. Kate Moennig
18. Elizabeth Mitchell
19. Halle Berry
20. Simone Lahbib

Now, there's always going to be disputes about these listings. Personally I find Keira Knightley, Halle Berry and Sarah Shahi as exciting as dishwater. And where are the Asian beauties? Gong Li? (Please, no one suggest Ziyi Zhang) Maggie Cheung? Or how about Missy Peregrym? And Eliza Dushku don't cut it for Top 10?!

But what I do like when I compare the Maxim and AfterEllen lists is how it shows men (okay, men who are Maxim readers) and women (okay, okay, women who are gay) rank hottiness on different scales altogether. The women seem more forgiving of wrinkles and are more willing to embrace intelligence and experience than the Maxim men. Is it a big surprise? Nope. But it's still comforting.


Carl V. Anderson said...

There are always people on those lists that I don't agree with, but more often than not I think most of them are attractive, it may be the order that they are ranked that I don't agree with.

And, in my opinion, all music related posts are relevant because if it is someone I haven't heard of then I go check them out. I've discovered the most wonderful music over the internet.

darkorpheus said...

But like I mentioned earlier, the stand-out feature is that more mature actresses like Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Catherine Deneuve are included in a Hot 100 List.

They are fine actresses in their own right - but many often do we think of them, in conventional circumstances, as Hot?

Imani said...

But I like Zhang Ziyi! ;) (In 2046 anyway.) I have to say Maggie Cheung is one of those women who gets hotter and hotter as she ages. IMO one of the top actresses working today.

darkorpheus said...

Imani: Ah, but in Memoirs of a Geisha it was obviously Gong Li, as the fiery Hashimoto who steals the movie from Ziyi Zhang.

Maggie Cheung and Gong Li - these women mature like the best vintage, don't they? *sigh*

I adore Maggie Cheung in In the Mood For Love.

Imani said...

I couldn't get past the tortured accents in Memoirs -- why, oh why wasn't it sub-titled? -- to notice the acting I'm afraid. I just wanted it to be over. :/

I love Maggie in everything and I'm a huge Wong Kar Wai fan so yeah, definitely In The Mood For Love. I haven't seen a lot of Gong Li stuff but I like her in what I have.

MissMiller said...

Still relevant for those outside the loop - especially those trying to wean themselves off trash (ahem). Checked out tegan and sara, had never heard of them before. You know how it works though - heard them on the radio today! spin out.

darkorpheus said...

imani: Oh yes! I'm so glad someone hated the awful accents in Memoirs.

When the movie opens with that Ziyi Zhang voice-over: "A story like mine, should never be told." I was sitting in the cinema wondering: Then why are you telling me this story then?

And that awful Ziyi Zhang/Gong Li confrontation, when Gong Li hissed, "I. Shall. Destroy. You!"

ARGH! I have followed Gong Li's career for over a decade. She could do so much better than this!

But since you're a Wong Kar Wai fan - do you remember Gong Li's very brief appearance in 2046, when she played the gambler, Su Lizhen, who wears black all the time, with a single black glove on her hand? And she was probably in love with Tony Leung - but she is a gambler, and she knows when to cut her losses, and when she cannot win. So she walks away, knowing he does not love her.

That was so powerful. Vintage Gong Li.

LA: *ahem* *coughs* Trash? What trash? All pop culture serve their purpose. And I think Tegan and Sara are heading Down Under for a concert. I think. I alway enjoyed their happy upbeat tunes.