Joan Rivers & The Feminists…Ramble

Last night I went to a dinner party to discuss current trends with a variety of ‘cool hunters’ ranging from fashion, hotel, and fragrance experts and more. One of the issues that came up was all of the female equality campaigns and how many people changed their social media profiles to Beyonce with the word FEMINIST behind her during the VMA’s (it also happens in her ‘On The Run’ tour.)

That word ‘feminist’ gets thrown around a lot. Joan Rivers was a woman who broke ground. She was the first female comedian, the only female ever, to get her own late night talk show. She blew my mind and curfew as a child. This sassy, smart mouthed woman who went to none other than Barnard College of Columbia University, which also happens to be my Alma Mater, where they drum female rights into the fabric of your mind, whether you are a card carrying Naomi Wolf (author of ‘The Beauty Myth’) fan or not. It is a small group of buildings with the campus being New York City. Get out there, conquer, kick ass, beat doors down and don’t let people tell you know because of your gender. 

It always amazes me how Johnny Carson could recognize Joan’s talent, making her the permanent guest host while he took off, but then when she was offered her own show, he never spoke to her again. Joan’s joke writer, Cassie St. Onge revealed in her touching tribute to Joan on XoJane.com, Joan never understood what or how Johnny wanted to be repaid, but she dealt with it, the way a true ‘feminist’ does, no need to declare it (I’m not for /against declaring it), and she made the way better for other females and her fans by saying what no one else could say. 

I watched a clip of her on E! News explaining why, off-camera, she always was nice to her fans (something I’ve heard from everyone I know who has met her and I work in entertainment so that’s a lot of people)– it was because she met three stars growing up and they were all nice to her. Her philosophy was that it was as easy to say ‘thank you’ as to say ‘no, I don’t have time right now.’ That shows a real grace of character, something that doesn’t instantly pop to mind as a description of Ms. Rivers, but true. I’ve worked with a lot of famous people, been behind-the-scenes, threatened by one boy bander with a baseball bat on a scorching hot day in Orlando, witnessed ugly behavior towards fans and that clip enforced what people who’ve met and worked with Joan have always felt from her, that she cared and she was kind, so it carries a good deal of weight with me and I will miss her shocking comments on Fashion Police, red carpets and her reality show with her daughter, Melissa. 

Sweet dreams Joan Rivers, you were a gem!

 

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The Coldplay ‘Ghost Stories’ Campaign…Ramble

Yes, I’m a huge and I mean huge Coldplay fan. I don’t like them ‘ironically’ as one recent fellow I dated (see that’s past tense) remark. However, that doesn’t preclude me from being able to analyze their campaigns. Their sixth album ‘Ghost Stories’ is a beautiful and haunting in honesty. Note, I was not a fan of ‘Mylo Xyloto’, though a few songs grew on me, and though I loved ‘X & Y’ it was about three or four ballads too long, a fact that is also noted by the band.

When I first heard the lyrics to ‘Magic’ about how ‘I just got broken, broken in to two, still I call it magic, when I’m with you’ red flags started to wave in my head. Of course, I ignored them because the lyrics were all too relatable to me. March saw the debut of other new songs from ‘Ghost Stories’ during their globally broadcast performance as part of the iTunes Festival at SXSW. “Another’s Arms” told the tale of having broken up and the oddness of moving on, still wishing for the person already gone. Now the red flag was as large as Russia’s, and my heart was concerned. The following week GP and Chris Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’, which is also brilliant timing from a marketing standpoint of an album launch.

Woah, is that cold? Fair enough. You can say that but the moments I took to mourn their relationship, also produced even greater depth to the lyrics of ‘Ghost Stories’. Friends commented I might be rushing out to buy the album but they were sure Gwyneth Paltrow wasn’t listening to it. I disagree since Chris told the BBC’s Zane Lowe in an exclusive interview it was the most truthful album they have ever made. The word ‘true’ appears in several of the songs. It’s also really about heartbreak, not being over someone who was ‘True Love’ but having to move forward. Even in “A Star Full of Skies” he mentions in out of all those stars “I think I saw you”, do you get more literal? Or on “Magic” when he sings “and with all your magic, I disappear from view.” Well damn.

The global Coldplay campaign didn’t need the press of a breakup because it included hand-written lyrics for all songs hidden in libraries all over the globe, hints given away via Twitter, TV shows including Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon in the US (let alone the countless ones overseas), and The Voice, as well as live shows in five major cities globally.

Tickets in NY were hard to come by unless you work in the music industry or are willing to pay scalpers.

Personally I’d rather shell out a few extra bucks for the deluxe version at Target, a multi-million dollar campaign #MoreColdplay across social media, television and in-store promotions. The fan incentive? Signed paper stars from the adverts, which also were part of the set dressing for their SNL appearance.

Let’s not forget the continued support of iTunes post-SWSX which included a pre-order, an exclusive track, immediate downloads from the pre-order, social media support and dedicated newsletters and homepage banners.

What I love about Coldplay is the imperfection of it all, the inclusion of fans and the music, of course. I once got into a discussion with a senior level exec at Sony about why Kings of Leon, also releasing their fourth album at the time, were not as successful as Coldplay. He said there was no way and then that album turned out to be KOL’s most successful album and he had to buy me an expensive dinner. Music, when it’s brilliant can still go unheard if it is not marketed properly. Team Coldplay always delivers some new way of connecting with the music, making it fun and inclusive of the fans. Look for their TV special as well:

Crush of the Week: Amy Poehler…Ramble

Golden Globe winner and second time host, Amy Poehler is on fire these days. I’m personally in awe of her spirit and now her entrepreneurship. She just inked a deal with NBC for a new TV pilot, which will star Natasha Lyonne (who sorry I’m not a fan of since she did an interview looking for apartments and totally put down Brooklyn. Girl, Orange is the New Black films here all the time, get over your I can only live on the the Island mentality or Bjork will bop you next time you come this way, I digress.)

Ms. Poehler’s Parks and Recreation has one of the most talented, funniest casts on TV. Like many people, I was slow to get into it, I was always out on Thursday nights, but once I started watch it on demand, I was hooked. The clever writing, the sincere way Poehler’s Leslie Knope inspires everyone is just brilliant. I love how well developed the characters are, for example, the Ron Swanson character who eats meat, deplores vegetables and government, once gave a child a land mine as a reward, is a carpenter, has two evil ex-wives named Tammy (the same name as his mother) and hides his money in the woods.

Back to Leslie, I mean Amy… she was also the first guest on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyers’ ever setting the tone as “The Joaquin Phoenix of this show” according to Seth:

Although, Amy asked for George Clooney to “please stop” their prank war, she and bff, Tina Fey, are in a prank war with George Clooney:

The prank war which started at The Golden Globes, places Amy and Tina on a higher plane of playing with the boys, something both of them have never let them stop them from succeeding. In Tina’s book ‘Bossy Pants’ she mentions that Amy has bigger balls than any of the men they were in Chicago’s Second City with and it influenced her to stick up for women. Who says women can’t be funny? A man who has insecurity problems and has clearly never watched Amy as Leslie Knope.

Into Temptation…Ramble

The vortex of cold makes going outdoors a challenge, but no match for a dog’s bladder. This morning we were out rather early so Elle could ‘do her business’. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Lyrics crept into my head, which sometimes I refer to as a broken jukebox……

The guilty get no sleep, the last few hours of morning, experience is cheap, I should’ve listened to the warning,

but the cradle is soft and warm

Indeed the cradle was soft and warm, but not without edges. Sometimes you have to give into temptation, even knowing full well the earth will rebel. When the spell is broken, reality is a cold, cruel mistress, especially in the heart of winter months. Here’s hoping you cannot relate to what I’m feeling and just enjoy the magic that is Crowded House.

Crush of the Week: Sam Palladio…Ramble

Dreamy. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Sam, who portrays Gunner on ‘Nashville.’ As someone who has worked in the music industry I absolutely get a huge kick out of it, especially this season’s addition of Oliver Hudson as the hot shot new president of Edge Hill Records.

Aside from looking dreamy, here are five reasons I’m crushing on Sam this week:

1. Sam has a great voice. He is working on a solo album so watch out for that one. Who wouldn’t want to fall asleep listening to Sam’s voice? Here’s a little taste of his band Salt Water Thief:

2. He’s British. ABC loves to cast Brits. Nashville is no exception. Palladio’s American accent is really dead-on, maybe he can teach Rachel Weisz how to speak with an American accent. (Please, I love you Rach, but it’s not your strength).

3. Sam is a one woman man. He’s been dating former co-star & show love interest, Chloe Bennett. She is now part of Marvel’s ‘Agents of SHIELD’, also on ABC. Chloe is a big pop star in China (how cool is that?!) under the name Chloe Wang.

4. Sam is super responsive to fans on Twitter and live tweets the East Coast airing of ‘Nashville’ almost every week.

5. He seems to have a great time playing music and truly enjoy himself. And, yep he is super dreamy with that flop of brown hair & looks good with a little stubble.

Feminism That Kicks Ass Lily Allen is Back…Ramble

Don’t need to shake my ass for you, cause I’ve got a brain.
Oh Lily Allen, have I told you lately how much I adore you? J’adore Lily! There has been a lot of noise this year, especially since Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” became such a huge hit & Miley Cyrus’ tongue & ass can’t seem to be anywhere but in our faces, like we all don’t get enough of that on public transport.

Here’s a smart, amazing way of taking on the glass ceiling, while providing a beat you can actually shake that ass to singing “It’s hard out here for a bitch!” I am having a debate at which lyric is my favorite “Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits” – “Trust the injustice, it’s not going away”– oh woman, you are too amazing.

What Does The Fox, Uh My Girl Say…Ramble

Yeah, if you hear ‘What Does The Fox Say’ one more time, you’re going to smack the niece/nephew/family member who introduced it to you/your man/your kids upside the head. Still, this SNL parody of it with Kerry Washington living out her pop star dreams is a must watch. This is going in high rotation my friends as a reward to myself. Seriously. Now watch it, cause it’s full of butts…