Friday, December 31, 2010

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

The Twelve Pains of Christmas

I'm really not sure what gift will compliment this, so I think I'll just leave it at that. See you in 2011!

Happy New Year
Nostalgically Yours

Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Sixth Day of Christmas...

Sorry about the inclement weather issues! Here are your gifts, as promised: Six Dancing Divas!

Carol Channing

Judy Garland

Julie Andrews

Patti Lupone

Bernadette Peters

Barbra Streisand

Internet down due to storms. Will re-post later. Enjoy the video!

Nostalgically Yours

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas...

Today's two items could not have less to do with each other, but they're both interesting in their own ways.

This version of "The Twelve Days" is translated into American Sign Language. I've been trying to teach myself ASL for quite some time now, and I've heard that translating songs is one of the best and easiest ways to learn.

Today's second feature is a song and dance from "Yolanda and the Thief". Probably Fred Astaire's biggest flop, it was originally intended as a fame vehicle for Fred's costar (and then lover) Lucille Bremer. It had the opposite effect, however, and Astaire retired after making only one more film. Despite being an overall flop, "Yolanda" does have its moments - this number being one of them. Though Astaire took a backseat to choreographer Eugene Loring, he did insist for this number that they do something he'd never done before. Supposedly Astaire made the production team sit through every one of his movies taking copious notes in order to find something fresh for Astaire and Bremer. What did they come up with? It's an almost indistinguishable element of the song, but if you watch for the subtitles everything will be clear:

Nostalgically Yours
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

My favorite kind of music is A Capella. So, naturally, today's version is by an A Capella group called Straight no Chaser:

Today, along with your gift, y'all get a fun tid-bit about "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The line "four calling birds" is actually a common mispronunciation of "four colly birds". A colly bird is another name for a blackbird - like the four and twenty baked into that famous pie.

On to the gift. Though today's 12 version isn't by a barbershop quartet, they are my favorite kind of vocal harmony groups. Here are four delightful videos for you to enjoy:

This first is from "The Music Man", one of my favorite musicals. True, this isn't completely A Capella, and, true, Shirley Jones sings as well but I don't think either of those things detract from the song as a whole.

This next one is less interesting for its soundtrack than for its fascinating timeline of men's Barbershop Quartet Fashions from 1939-2008. Look out for 1950 (the original Buffalo Bills) and 1972 (the most terrifying suits I've ever seen):

The third is fun not just because of the spectacular vocals, but also because of the nostalgic television show theme songs!

The fourth is a great personal nostalgia moment for me. I had the Simpsons music CD as a kid, and I must have worn it out for listening to it so much. My favorite track?

This extra one is just plain fun. Crude language warning (but it's worth it)!

Nostalgically and Musically Yours

Monday, December 27, 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...

The more erudite among you will definitely enjoy today's "12 'isms' of Christmas". The less erudite will probably have to look up most of these , along with the meaning of the word "erudite". I'm just teasing - I actually had to look up a few of these myself:

(Just FYI this video does contain some strong language)

As your gift for today, I'll add an "ism" to that list: Symbolism. Hands-down, my favorite artist of this movement is Gustav Klimt. The following are photographs from "AE" magazine, via Kattaca (who I believe did the Art Direction for this shoot) on Behance Network. Click the image to see the rest of the photo shoot. They are absolutely stunning.

Klimt's original

The stunning photographic take (click for more)

Fuck you!
Nostalgically Yours

Sunday, December 26, 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas...

Today I feature two variations on the theme with local flavor:

The Twelve Yats of Christmas - Benny Grunch and Da Bunch

The Twelve Days of Cajun Christmas - Tee Jules

If you're not from these here parts you probably won't understand many of the gifts. Even I who have been exposed to Cajun culture since birth didn't catch everything. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below and I'll be sure to clarify!

Today's "gift" is brought to you by the Tired Old Queen at the Movies - two wonderful holiday recommendations that I plan on taking up as soon as find some time. Enjoy:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On the First Day of Christmas...

Since I've been so pitiful about posting in the past few weeks, and because I know I'll be posting very little in the weeks following New Years since I'll be moving and hunting for my first apartment, I've decided to post on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. For each of the days (traditionally from December 25-December 5), I will post a new version of this well-known song:

I know, you're probably thinking, "Oh, gosh! This should be terribly, terribly boring..." Well, I promise you it won't be. I won't simply be posting the same song covered by 12 different bands. In fact, the original song in it's totality only appears thrice, and these are already quite different. The rest are spin-offs, local variations, or something else entirely.

In addition to this, I'll be posting "gifts" I deem appropriate to fit with each of the numbered days. Today's gift is the Victorian episode of "Super Sizers", whom I reviewed in a previous article. I chose them despite having covered them so recently because this episode features a traditional Victorian Christmas feast, which I deemed quite appropriate considering the date. Enjoy this over some eggnog, but be ready for some pretty grizzly sights!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Merry Christmas,
Nostalgically Yours

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

As you all know, I have a serious thing for cross-century voyeurism. Probably the only thing I like more than this is seeing how a period is portrayed within another period (for instance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, the 20s done in the 60s). What I like even better than this is seeing what people of the past thought the future would be like:

My favorite moment? 1:04: "Ooh, swish!"

It's a bit spooky, really, when past predictions hit so close to home. It's one thing to watch the Jetsons and wonder how they ever came up with those sorts of things, but another thing entirely to see near-accurate predictions.

Hope you liked it as much as I did,
Nostalgically Yours

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Whole New Look

I'm sure you've noticed the complete over-haul to my blog. I'm still trying to make a few tweaks, but I think I'll be able to stick to this look for quite some time. I just hate stumbling upon blogs that look exactly like mine... So, I've customized my blog even more.

I must give credit where credit is due, though - the illustration I've used as my new header is by famed Illustrator Rene Gruau. He's one of my favorite Illustrators of the 20th century, and I didn't even know it until I realized how many of the fashion drawings of the 50s and 60s I've admired for years and years. He's even influenced my own illustration work. Here is a sample of his work, followed by some of my drawings following his lead:

Probably his most famous illustration

He even dappled in menswear... sort of.

Finally, here are some of my illustrations inspired by Gruau's work:

Velvet and Sequins

Leather and Suede


Now onto a bit of administrative stuff. I'm not going to post again until next week. I have final projects due Tuesday so I'll probably prepare some stuff for Monday so I don't have to skip it again. School ends on the 18th, but the family comes in four days later for Christmas, which means my house is going to be bedlam until the 31st. I'm really going to try my hardest to post lots of interesting stuff over the holidays, but I'm not making any promises. Besides, I'm sure most of you will be too busy with your own lives to read my little 'ol blog. In any case, we shall see each other multiple times before the end of the year.

Nostalgically Yours

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pin-Curls - An Experiment

So, after watching some really great demo videos by StrawberryKoi Vintage on Youtube, I decided I would try some pin curls in my hair that is finally long enough to do fun stuff with again.

Of course, I disregarded about half of the instructions and just sort went at my hair madly with bobby pins:

Again, barely any compliance with the tips set out by StrawberryKoi Vintage, but I was dying to try it and I was busy watching two lectures for my online classes. No time for accurate pin-curling. I left them in overnight (which isn't as uncomfortable as I was led to believe. I didn't get a chance to take them out until the evening, which gave me plenty of opportunities to terrify and confuse mailmen, electricians, and family members. Finally this is what came out:

You can thank the sudden cold snap here in New Orleans for my delightful wardrobe. The temperature bottomed out around 30 degrees F the previous night and of course our heater decided to break down just then... Anyway, after a bit of brushing out I ended up with something not half bad:

Do you like my sexy pose? This wasn't very different from what my hair normally looks like - just a bit poofier than usual. I suppose I can't complain since I didn't do the pin-curls properly... Oh well, back to the drawing board! I'm definitely going to be trying this again (maybe when my hair grows out a bit more). If anyone gets any good results from this great demo, please share!

Love and Bobby Pins,
Nostalgically Yours

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sex and the Austen Girl - Two New Episodes

Two more episodes of "Sex and the Jane Austen Addict"! I admit, these are a bit delayed in their posting. However, Babelgum recently overhauled their website, and the share buttons on videos were malfunctioning. They've tweaked their bugs though, so now I can share more delightful videos with you all!

Episode 21: "The Chamber Pot Episode"
Chamber Pot versus Flush Toilet. Enough said.

Episode 22: "Transportation"
Here the girls compare the carriage to the "horseless equipage". Jane also tells her experiences with the elevator and the subway.

Flush Toilet. Hands down.
Nostalgically Yours

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Supersizers - Review

As you all know, I'm a complete history voyeur. I get a strange thrill out of even the slightest insight into the lives of periods past. Well, I've once again been lucky enough to stumble onto another delightful series on Youtube. The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze me. This show is called Supersizers, a BBC Series originally filmed as part of a series of programs on Edwardian England. The show was so popular, however, that Supersizers Giles Coren (Food critic) and Sue Perkins (Comedienne) ended up doing around 12 episodes on a wide range of time periods, from the Roman Empire through the 1980s. This is the first part of one of the episodes - The Supersizers Go Elizabethan!

Now, you might be surprised that I like it. The show is no stickler for historical accuracy outside of the food. However, it brings a freshness to history that many television shows lack. Perkins and Coren don't pretend to like the food or customs they endure. They poke fun at what they go through, but they still have a sense of respect for the history.

I must warn you: if you are a vegetarian for moral reasons or are otherwise sensitive to any sort of visual carnage, be prepared to shield your eyes during the cooking sequences.

You'll definitely be hearing more about this series!

Bon Appétit!
Nostalgically Yours

PS: Doesn't Giles Coren look positively delectable in that Jerkin?