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SONG OF THE DAY: THRIFT SHOP – MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS (FEAT. WANZ)

Published March 7, 2013 by Teresa

Macklemore (center) from the “Thrift Shop” video.

I’ve been obsessed with this song for a couple of months now. Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” (from his album, The Heist) is one of those songs that captures you instantly, both because of its humor and because of its musicality. Hearing “Thrift Shop” for the first time reminded me of the way I felt when I heard the leaked version of Cee Lo’s “Fuck You” for the first time on YouTube, and thought it so original and amazing and hilarious and badass that I insisted on playing it for everyone that came into my house that day (and that was a lot of people, as I was having a yard sale that day. Yes, I played it for just about every single person who bought something).

The attitude of “Thrift Shop” speaks to a lot of my values, particularly as they crystallize the longer I live in L.A. With all the “red carpet” events (something that loses its meaning when anyone can buy red carpet at a party store) and people flocking to designer whatever to make a good impression in front of people they’ve never met and will never see again, it’s nice to have a battle cry to the tune of “That shirt’s hella dough/And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t.”

But the reason why “Thrift Shop” is my Song of the Day today in particular is because it goes along with another blog post I wanted to write today….about the one time I DID spend “fifty dollars on a T-shirt,” and why I consider that one instance totally worth it.

So, enjoy the song now, and keep an eye out for the blog post later. Here’s “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Wanz).

 

 

SONG OF THE DAY: LOST – AMANDA PALMER & THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA

Published March 6, 2013 by Teresa

I am in love with this photo. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

When I first listened to Amanda Palmer‘s latest album with The Grand Theft Orchestra, Theatre Is Evil, “Lost” lost me within a verse. It wasn’t one of my favorites. But for some reason, because of various things I’ve been thinking about lately, this song started poking up from where I’d buried it and making sense to me.  Now, it’s one of my favorite songs on the album. Because nothing’s ever lost forever.

Today’s Song of the Day is “Lost” by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Below is the official lyric video.

SONG OF THE DAY: Left Foot Day – Useless Beauty

Published March 5, 2013 by Teresa

Katie Boone and Nam Choi of Useless Beauty

Useless Beauty, a great singer-songwriting duo comprised of Katie Boone and Nam Choi, is based out of NYC and is one part Regina Spektor, one part Tori Amos, and a million parts adorable. :) Their songs range from cute to cutting, and I love them because they are always experimenting and either playing instruments or writing about topics that you don’t see or hear about every day. That, and the music and voices are beautiful. If you’re in NYC, you should check them out live (or hell, they’ll eventually start touring!), and if you can’t see them live, give their music a listen!

I’ve chosen their most recent song/video, “Left Foot Day,” from their most recent album, Sisters, as my Song of the Day, because it’s cloudy here in L.A. today, and this song is like a ray of sunshine.

Enjoy. :)

SONG OF THE DAY: Baby’s On Fire – Die Antwoord

Published March 4, 2013 by Teresa

New “Song Of the Day” feature here at The Experience. Because I’ve been wanting to include more music on the blog and give myself an excuse to broaden my musical horizons and listen to more awesome and interesting stuff.

Now let’s get on with it. :)

Ninja and Yo-Landi Va$$er of Die Antwoord.

Song: “Baby’s On Fire”

Performed by: Die Antwoord

Album: Ten$ion (2012)

Someone recently introduced me to this South African hip-hop/techno duo (maybe Zef would be more accurate) while we were driving in his car, and I immediately fell in love with their brashness, their weirdness, and their flawless delivery. Die Antwoord (which means The Answer in Afrikaans) has been a group since 2008-ish, but their album, Ten$ion (2012), is definitely their best, though there are some really good tracks on their debut, $o$, too.

Anyway, while “Fatty Boom Boom” was the first song I heard that made me sit up and go “Ooh! This is good!”, I’m makingBaby’s On Fire” my Song of the Day, because I love Yo-Landi Vi$$er. She sounds like she’s 12, but she will kill a motherfucker. :)

The video on top contains just the song and the lyrics if you just want a listen (also, um, there’s Spotify and Pandora). Below that is the official video, which is a battle cry from little sisters everywhere telling their privileged older brothers who get everything they want to stop being so protective about who they do or don’t get into bed with. And apparently, that message sometimes needs to be conveyed with a brick to the face.

Enjoy the weirdness.

Amanda Palmer Is My Artist Soul Sister

Published March 1, 2013 by Teresa
Me and Amanda Palmer in 2009. Yes, there was a reason she posed that way that SHE didn't even know. No, I'm not gonna tell you now. :)

Me and Amanda Palmer in 2009. Yes, there was a reason she posed that way that SHE didn’t even know. No, I’m not gonna tell you now. :)

I’m so grateful to my friend, writer Jenner Gandin Le, for posting Amanda Palmer’s recent TED Talk on her blog so that I knew it was available! I, like all of Amanda’s fans, have been privy to her nervous, excited preparation for the talk for a while now.

And it was worth her effort, and worth the wait.

I’m not a rock star (except in my own mind), but I do seem to have what some have referred to as a “magical super power.” Generally, when I ask for something, there’s a good chance that I’ll get it – be it financial help, or a place to stay, or a ride somewhere I can’t get to on my own. I’ve asked for jobs and gotten them. I’ve asked for seemingly outrageous favors from seemingly out-of-reach people, and gotten them. I don’t think that I’m particularly special, but when I think about it, I think there are reasons why this happens so frequently. First, I trust people. I trust pretty much everyone unless they prove to me that I shouldn’t. My trust isn’t something that has to be earned, but rather, everyone gets an allotted amount and it grows or shrinks depending on your treatment of me and others around me. I don’t trust blindly or naively – I’m cautious when I need to be – but I do trust that everyone is, at their core, a human being, and deserves the respect of being treated without suspicion. My suspicion is something you earn.

I have many dear friends who find this way of thinking totally backwards; who think it should be the other way around. Yet, these are often the same people who marvel at the fact that, no matter how dire any situation I face might seem, that I always manage to have people around me willing to help. It makes me really sad that this isn’t everyone’s experience, and a big part of me wants to tell them that the reason why this works is because trust allows you to be open to people, and when people sense that you’re open to them, they’ll be open to you. Secondly, (and this sort of ties into the first reason), because I trust people, and because I’m open to people, they know that if it’s within my power to help them when they ask, I will. And I won’t expect anything in return, except their kindness. Third, for whatever reason, there are people who believe in my talent and my creativity, believe in the work I do, and feel like their helping me allows me to do more of what I do, which they seem to like. Also, they know that I’m not a slacker. That if I’ve borrowed money, it might take me a while, but I will pay it back if you’ve asked me to. That if I have a couch, or a corner of floor space, it’s yours if you need it to crash. That if I have the cash, and you need a meal, you and I are going to the nearest food establishment on me. I’ve convinced people that I am a worthwhile investment. I work hard with my writing, and I work hard to maintain my relationships, so people know that I will work hard to prove that their faith in me was well-placed.

I’m not perfect, but I do have integrity, and I think people know that.

When I watched Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk, I recognized a lot of myself in it. In the shame felt for asking, and in the knowledge that I need to trust that whether people respond with “yes” or “no” (and believe me, I’ve been told “no” plenty of times – there goes that “magic super power” theory!), they will not hate me, or think less of me, for asking so long as the asking comes from a good place. It’s a difficult thing to live a lifestyle that is uncommon and unsteady. What makes it less difficult is trust. Trusting that if you fall, there will always be someone there to catch you. It could be someone close to you (as in my best friends who have ALWAYS been there to help me through thick and thin), or it could be someone you’ve never met (like the people online who supported me going to my first Gallifrey One), but there’s always someone if you’re willing to be open to them and willing to be brave enough to ask.

I realize that not everyone feels this way, or that not everyone’s life experience hasn’t taught them this. All I can say is…no war has ever started because one side was too open to or tolerant of the other. I’m not magical, and I haven’t come through life unscathed, but I’ve learned that the more I’m open to others, the more others open themselves up to me. It’s as close to “math” as the human experience can get.

Because Boys Deserve Love Songs, Too. A PLAYLIST.

Published February 14, 2013 by Teresa

So, the other day I was listening to music, and when the song My Guy came on I had the same thought I always have whenever that song comes on.

God, guys get shitty love songs.

Women are pretty lucky in that department. We get songs like Just the Way You Are (both the Billy Joel song and the Bruno Mars song), or Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours, or even One Direction’s That’s What Makes You Beautiful. Songs that praise us not only for our beauty, but for how special we are in any number of ways. How we brighten someone’s day. How we make someone’s life.

Now think about the song, My Guy. It starts out great: Nothing you could do could make me untrue to My Guy. Nothing you could buy could make me tell a lie to My Guy. OK, cool. That’s awesome. As a matter of opinion, I think he’s tops. As a matter of taste, to be exact, he’s my ideal as a matter of fact. Awww, isn’t that sweet?

Then the song goes off the fucking rails.

No muscle-bound man could take my hand from My Guy. No handsome face could ever take the place of My Guy.

Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa, Lady. What the hell? It was going so well! Now suddenly you’re all, I don’t want someone handsome! I want YOU. And then THESE are the lines that get repeated in the song!

Gee, thanks. If I were Her Guy, I’d be pissed.

Compare that to the song My Girl: I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May. He’s got honey. He’s got a sweet song. He doesn’t even talk about her looks, like, AT ALL. She’s just ten different kinds of awesome IN GENERAL. When he talks about the stuff he doesn’t want or need, he’s talking about other things he could get apart from her. And he’s not even comparing her to other women, he’s comparing her to OTHER ASPECTS OF LIFE. And SHE WINS.

Take that, Mary Wells.

I started thinking about other songs women sing to men, and it was really easy to come up with songs where women accidentally slight the men they’re singing to even as they’re singing about how great they are. Deniece Williams’ Let’s Hear It For the Boy says: My boy sucks at just about everything, and he’s not that great looking, but I love him anyway. Paula Abdul’s The Way That You Love Me is a little better in that she says that the “way that he loves her” means more than the stuff he buys her or the places he takes her….but it’s not like she’s saying NO to those things, either. And then you’ve got a whole slew of songs that attempt to woo men by tearing down the women they’re currently with or have been with; songs like Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend, or Alicia Keys’ If I Was Your Woman. Ease up on the girl-on-girl hate, Ladies.

What’s interesting is that I think a huge part of feminism that needs examining are the messages men receive as far as “what they’re good for.” If women are told that their value is solely in nurturing, that they’re only as valuable as the sex they provide, or the children to which they give birth, men are told that their value is solely in “providing.” This, of course, means providing financial and physical security. You’d better have a job. You’d better be able to buy me things. You’d better be big and strong and…I don’t know…be able to build me a log cabin, or somesuch bullshit. Is it any wonder, then, that some men might feel a little threatened when their wives/girlfriends make more than they do? It’s like, Well, what now? What’s my purpose? What am I good for if the one thing I was trained to be good for has suddenly become unnecessary? I think we need to talk more about what else men can and should provide. A listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Understanding. Being there in difficult situations. Being a quality father who spends time with his kids, not just money on them. So much about heterosexual relationships is framed around the idea that guys pay for dates, or pay the bills, etc, that if these things don’t happen, even if a woman loves the guy to death, she might feel “embarrassed.” She often feels the need to explain. When the reality is that she shouldn’t have to, any more than a guy should have to explain when the woman he’s with works long hours, or doesn’t want to have kids. Every relationship has its own balance, and people need to mind their own business and stop comparing relationships to each other. They’re not all supposed to be alike. Because no two people are alike. Never mind who’s paying for what over there, and stop gendering stuff like finances and emotions. Women can pay bills, and men can listen to you vent about your problems. I know – CRAZY.

And in the meantime, I think good guys deserve better love songs! Songs that praise them for being awesome without talking about what they’re not or what they don’t have. I’ve picked out a couple that I think qualify for your listening pleasure…

BRAGGING RIGHTS

When your man is so awesome you have to brag about him to the world!

Beyonce – EGO

I love the way this song not only makes the guy she’s singing to sound like the best thing ever, but makes the singer sound like the best thing ever. :) It’s like, you’re awesome, I’m awesome. We should be awesome together and take over the world. Fuck, yeah.

Christina Aguilera – AIN’T NO OTHER MAN

You got soul, you got class, you got style…you’re badass. BOOM. Point made. :) Also, I love that the song gets deeper than that, saying that Every time I see you everything starts making sense, and You are there when I’m a mess/talk me down from every ledge/give me strength from your love lessons/you’re the only one who’s ever passed every test. This guy “provides” all the important stuff, and has class to boot!

YOU GET ME IN A WAY NO ONE ELSE DOES

When you want your man to know how much you appreciate what he puts up with!

Alanis Morrisette – EVERYTHING

I love this song, because it gets into the nitty-gritty of what’s important in a relationship. You see all my light and know all my dark…and you’re still here. Really knowing someone and loving them flaws and all. If you find a guy who can call you on your crap, but still recognizes all that’s good about you, a guy who sees past all the bullshit defense mechanisms you put up and into everything awesome about you, hold on to him!

Nicki Minaj – RIGHT THRU ME

Nicki Minaj has a couple of great guy-praising songs. I love Your Love, because in addition to talking about a good man, the chorus sounds like it was written by someone who would rather be doing ANYTHING other than singing a sappy love song. :) Super Bass is just fun. But I love this song, because it’s both a commendation and an apology. It’s smack in the middle of a fight, and the guy is mid-calling-on-bullshit, and she knows it. And she respects him for it, because he knows her so well. Guys who pay attention to you enough to know when you’re putting up a front. Guys who know the difference between you actually being okay, and you just saying “I’m fine.” That’s what’s up.

I LIKE SPENDING TIME WITH YOU

When you want your man to know that just being with him is enough!

Eliza Doolittle – MONEYBOX

This song talks about money. Hell, it’s in the title. But I’m including it on this list, because it would apply to someone whether they have money or not. It’s not berating a guy for having money, or for not having it. It’s saying, Money’s not important. Spending time with you is. It can either be making a guy feel better for not having a lot of money, or it can be telling a rich dude that she’s not a gold-digger. Either way, it focuses on quality time with someone who loves the same things you do. I’d highly recommend listening to the album version of this song, but I love this acoustic version, and I couldn’t resist.

Lily Allen – CHINESE

Here’s another Brit! Again, this is a song about the little things about relationships that are often the most important. Getting home to you, getting Chinese, and watching TV. It’s a simple song, but a beautiful one.

YOU’RE HOT

Because you weren’t checking out his “personality” when he walked by.

Carly Rae Jepsen – CALL ME MAYBE

I know. I’m not fifteen. I don’t care. Not only is this song catchy as hell, but it captures something that doesn’t always get captured. Guys are generally expected to make the first move and bear the brunt of rejection. This song has a girl making the first move, because he’s so much more awesome than the other guys chasing her she couldn’t help herself. I love the nervous insecurity of it – and the fact that, for once, it’s not on the guy.

Salt ‘N Pepa – SHOOP

A Woman-Compelled-To-Make-The-First-Move classic! If looks could kill you would be an uzi. You’re so hot, you make me wanna shoop. Whatever that means. ;)

Shakira – OJOS ASI

You knew I had to throw in a song in Spanish, right? :) It’s a cliche – a guy complimenting a woman’s eyes. Well, here Shakira tells a dude that she’s been all over the world and has never seen eyes like his. Sometimes men have amazing eyes, and they need to be praised over a thumping, Lebanese-influenced beat, okay?

Well, that’s it for now! I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day celebrating love in all it’s forms! And if you have any other suggestions for good love songs for guys, hit me with them in the comments below!

Lastly, there’s a guy I’ve been spending quality time with lately who happens to be an amazing person. To him, I say:

I like you. And if you can’t handle it…well you can just fuck off!

:)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

RETCON: Behind the Scenes

Published September 21, 2012 by Teresa

Miley directs Sean, Verton, and Yuri. Photo by me.

Well, there are only 11 days left in RETCON’s IndieGoGo campaign. If you’ve been thinking about backing us, now’d be a great time!

As you’re thinking about it, why don’t you lookenzee at our new Behind the Scenes video, featuring interviews with Firefly’s SEAN MAHER, Ben 10′s YURI LOWENTHAL, and ME from…um…that PBS thing where I played an FBI agent in an ill-fitting, polyester skirt suit. Anyway, the video’s pretty rad, and the boys are hot. :) Check it out!

JOIN THE MISSION!

 

RETCON on IndieGoGo!

Published August 30, 2012 by Teresa

Logo by the uber-talented Jennifer Lynn (www.jennydoll.com)!

If you have been following my goings-on at all (and really, you must have, otherwise why are you here?), you’ve probably heard about the web series RETCON on which I’m a writer/producer. You can follow the show on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, or sign up for our mailing list at our website!

However, today was an important day for the show. Today was the day where we took our first steps toward actually making RETCON a reality. We launched our IndieGoGo campaign!

Me and RETCON creator/star Miley Yamamoto as we (so-not-nervously at all!) launch our campaign.

We’re trying to raise $30,000 by September 30th, and so I’m asking anyone within view of this post to do two things:

1) SPREAD THE WORD. Send the link to the IndieGoGo campaign to everyone you know! If you’re so inclined, spread the link on our behalf once a day for a week. Just one week. It would be such a help.

2) BACK THE CAMPAIGN. If you like the look of the video (many of the same people involved in producing the video will be involved in producing the show) and want this story to be made, or you just want to support a project I’m working on (ideally, you want both!), please give within the first week if you can. Obviously, your backing will be helpful any time during our 30-day campaign! But giving during the first week will help us build some much-needed momentum that will encourage others to give, too.

What video, you ask? Here it is! Watch, and adore:

Amazingly hot actors, a brilliant crew, a funny script, and SEAN MAHER DEMANDING A LATTE! What’s not to love about this video? :)

I moved out to L.A. a year ago this week (more on that later! Can you believe it’s been a year already?!) to write and make things. With your help in making RETCON successful, I’ll have a chance to do just that! I’m really proud to be a part of this project, and I hope that we can all go on this journey together. Thank you for whatever you can do!

http://www.indiegogo.com/retcon

Update, and Why Garfunkel and Oates Speak to My Soul

Published May 29, 2012 by Teresa

By SebbyWhite on DeviantArt.

Hello everyone!

So, there’s a lot going on. But, because there’s so much going on, I haven’t been able to set aside time to write about it properly, because there are too many other things to write/do/prepare for. So, this is just me letting you know that 1) I’m not dead, and 2) that I will be attempting to keep a more regular blog (as well as more regular writing of an internet nature in general) after June 1st, which is an important deadline for me.

Until then, please enjoy the latest Garfunkel and Oates video entitled 29/31. It pretty much speaks to my soul. My 32-year-old, shriveled-ovaried soul:

Intro: The Fray Project

Published April 9, 2012 by Teresa

Hello, world! At long last, after taking way too long to create the relevant pages on my blog, I am finally ready to present The Fray Project! It’s something I’m doing for me (putting structure to a whole mess of self-improvement stuff I’ve been doing lately), for you (I just might clue you in to a fun new way to exercise, a way to save money you haven’t thought of, or a cause you’d be interested in supporting), and for others (I hope to be attaching a fundraiser to this. Stay tuned).

Watch the video, check out the tab up top, and come along with me on my journey to be even more badass than I already am! And who knows? You just might learn something. Or at least have some mild entertainment at work when you should be entering data into that spreadsheet.

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