By Hannah Landers, Muse Editor
Sweet summer is almost here, which means it’s almost time for The Muse to take a vacation. But before we grab our flip-flops and short-shorts, we have a few final suggestions to make this summer the most Muse-tastic ever. Below is a list of movies to see, albums to listen to, food to nom on and lifestyle events to check out during the long, hot days. Enjoy your summer, Musies! And don’t forget the sunscreen!
Book adaptation: “The Fault in Our Stars” (June 6) — Sure, “The Giver” promises performances from the likes of Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and, er, Taylor Swift. But “The Fault in Our Stars” has a beautifully tragic story and a fresh-faced cast. If the trailer alone doesn’t make you tear up, you are a monster.
Epic: “Godzilla” (May 16) — Walter White from “Breaking Bad” takes on one of film’s most infamous monsters. Need I say more?
Comedy: “22 Jump Street” (June 13) — If you liked Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops in high school, you’re going to love them as undercover cops in college. Ja feel?
Superhero: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (August 1) — With a team of characters that includes a genetically engineering raccoon marksman and a “tree-like humanoid,” “Guardians” promises to be “The Avengers’” weird younger brother. The diverse cast is another draw, especially with a newly buff and mostly shirtless Chris Pratt leading the pack (am I right, ladies?).
Once in a lifetime: “Boyhood” (July 11) — Director Richard Linklater tells the story of a young boy growing into adulthood, but because he shot the film over a period of 12 years, the audience is actually watching young actor Ellar Coltrane age from 7 years old to 18 years old in a span of three hours.
Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Jack White’s “Lazaretto” (June 10) — Jack White’s last solo venture was filled with a lot of good ol’ blues-tinged rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s hoping that this album is more of the same.
Girl power: Lykke Li’s “I Never Learn” (May 6) — The ethereal Swedish songstress is back after three years, promising more subtle brilliance with her one-of-a-kind voice.
Indie comeback kid: Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain” (May 20) — Bright Eyes front-man Oberst usually injects a little more of his country-tinged Nebraska roots into his solo releases and vocal assists from folk duo First Aid Kit only sweetens the deal.
James Blake 2.0: Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (June 17) — If you caught Smith’s performance on “Saturday Night Live” in March, you know the power of this Brit’s haunting and soulful melodies. At only 21 years old, Smith is slated for a meteoric rise.
Movie mix-tape: American Laundromat Records’ “I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson” (May 13) — This 23-track album features a diverse array of artists covering songs from Wes Anderson’s iconic films. Muted color schemes and Jason Schwartzman not included.
Chocolate chip cookie milk shot: From the genius who brought you the “cronut,” the chocolate chip cookie milk shot is exactly what it sounds like: a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a shot glass filled with milk. It’s a magical update on a childhood favorite.
Infused ice: Ice cubes no longer have to be the boring frozen treat of your summer. Restaurants are starting to see the potential of infusing them with herbs, fruit and other goodies in order to spice up cocktails and other drinks. Cheers!
A spot of tea: From tea leaves in entrees to tea-based cocktails, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy tea without having to sip a steaming hot cup in the middle of July.
Ice cream sandwich smorgasbord: After enduring years of the cupcake’s reign as most popular dessert, it looks as though we’ll all be screaming for ice cream sandwiches from roaming food trucks soon enough.
Adult popsicles: Booze-infused popsicles aren’t a relatively new idea, but the fun flavor possibilities and their simple prep make them a no-brainer for summer.
Music festivals: For many, summer is equated with hanging outdoors and listening to their favorite bands. Muse did a blog post earlier in April with a list of the best music festivals across the country. All you have to do is pick one (or two … or five).
Get your drink on: You don’t have to be in traditional “wine country” to take a tour of a winery. Or, if beer is more your thing, check out a brewery. Sites such as Groupon offer great rates that include tours, food pairings and of course, tastings.
Stuff your face: Food festivals happen nearly everywhere, and they’re a great place to expand your palette and maybe even find your new favorite restaurant. Some of them are even tailored to a state’s signature dish, such as the Maine Lobster Festival.
Pay homage to your favorite author: Okay, this one is kind of a stretch, but if you happen to be in Florida this summer, why not remember a famous author who used to live there? Hemingway Days is a five-day festival in July that includes book signings, readings, a fishing tournament in honor of the author’s favorite sport and a look-alike contest (Google some pictures and thank me later).
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
Remember when I wrote about men’s fashion? I was so good at that, right? (Just agree with me.) Well, now I’ve decided to foray into the great wilderness that is pop culture, armed with only a dream and access to the Internet. Join me as we count down the top seven things that you might have missed this week in pop culture!
7. “Full House”:
Apparently there is a “Full House” reunion in the works! The iconic television show, which ran from 1987-1995, was almost a religion in my household, and its ongoing popularity has proved that it probably held the same position in the lives of others. According to an interview John Stamos did with CBS News, the project will be “sort of reunion-like, not with the full cast.” So who do you think will be in the Full House reunion? Let us know in the comments below!
My world is coming to a halt because J.K. Rowling, in a new article (in which she was interviewed by Emma Watson — perfection) announced that she isn’t quite certain that Ron and Hermione should have ended up together. The author instead wished that she had put Harry and Hermione together instead. Personally, I can see Hermione and Ron not working out, but Harry and Hermione just seems…weird. Whose team are you on? Ron or Harry?
As per usual, Beyoncé was flawless at the Grammys. Using only a chair, smoke and her own perfection as props, she gave a sultry, strong rendition of “Drunk in Love”, a song from her new self-titled album, BEYONCÉ. Her husband, rapper Jay-Z, joined the performer later in the song. Despite the song being censored live, parents are in an uproar about the duet, citing it to be a little too risqué for children. What do you think? Was Beyoncé’s dance too sexy for the Grammys?
4. The “Midnight Memories” music video:
I had to put this in here. One Direction, the boy band that’s sweeping the nation, nay, the world, released the music video for the titular song of their album, Midnight Memories. The video, which has over 8.5 million views on YouTube, features the boys hanging out with old ladies and generally getting rowdy, while making it seem like the most fun thing in the world, as only One Direction can.
3. Miley Cyrus, “Unplugged”:
Miley Cyrus had complete creative control over her MTV program, “Unplugged”, taking a decidedly Southern twist on her breakout album Bangerz. The artist, glowing in a platinum pixie cut and bedazzled cowboy gear, had Madonna on as a guest performer, but made it clear that she had originally wanted Dolly Parton to join her. And if there is no other proof that Miley is the new Queen of Pop, there is the fact that Madonna was her second choice. Sorry, Mads.
2. “The Fault In Our Stars” movie trailer:
This one dances close to my heart. The trailer for “The Fault in Our Stars”, adapted from John Green’s New York Times bestseller, premiered on Wednesday, already racking up eight million views on YouTube. Whether you have loved the book since its release, or fell in love with Augustus Waters’ lazy smirk, you know that this is one movie you have to see. With Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort leading an amazing cast, hopefully “The Fault in Our Stars” can live up to the beauty of its source material.
1. “Same Love” marriages:
Keeping up with all the feels, I had to double up on Grammy love this week. 34 couples, gay and straight, were married during the Grammys after a rendition of Macklemore’s groundbreaking song, “Same Love.” Making Grammy history, the occasion proved that music isn’t just for topping billboard charts or making money: it is, has been, and hopefully always will be, a vehicle for change. And it makes for a kick-ass wedding story!
That’s all for this week, if there’s anything I missed, or anything you think should be included in the Pop Culture Countdown next week, sound off in the comments below!