Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guest Post: Albums of the Year

The illustrious Justin Thompson (@JustThompson) has agreed to grace Truly Unruly with his annual Albums of the Year List.  He happens to be my boyfriend, but don't take my word for his good taste.  His reputation speaks for itself-he's booked FUN., Wale, Taking Back Sunday (and others) in addition to paying his dues at the 9:30 Club in D.C.  So without further ado,  here are his favorites of 2012 in no particular order:  

Frank Ocean – Channel ORANGE

Behold, the future of R&B and the first real icon of our generation.  Channel ORANGE is a great album, but not as perfect as adoring critics will have you believe.  Can I complain about an album because it’s too deep?  Because it’s too cerebral?  Because that’s the only thing holding me back.  Regardless, you need to listen to this.  It’s a staggering work of young genius.
Essential tracks: Sweet Life, Pyramids, Lost

Circa Survive – Violent Waves

This record was born in the wilderness, raised by wolves, and cursed to walk alone, away from the sun, forever in darkness.  This is easily my favorite atmosphere record of the year.  When you listen to this, you’re in it.  It’s a gorgeous, immersive experience.
Essential tracks: My Only Friend, The Lottery, Sharp Practice

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid M.A.A.D. City

Alright, this is the best album of the year.  You’ll never be on Kendrick’s level.  He bangs like an indie Waka Flocka Flame while dropping some of the best socially conscious rap you will ever hear.  This is the renaissance of West Coast Hip Hop; it’s also one of the definitive rap albums in the post-The Chronic era.  Put this record head-to-head with any of the modern classics we have today (yes, even Dark Twisted), and I’m confident it will beat it.  In twenty years kids will be rolling joints on this vinyl cover, what else do I need to say?
Essential tracks: Backseat Freestyle, Money Trees, m.A.A.d City

Bahamas – Barchords

When you first listen, you might not catch it.  Breezy is the first word that comes to mind.  This Canadian singer-songwriter has a once in a lifetime voice and wrote my vote for song of the year (Caught Me Thinking).  At its best, it’s a brand new take on pop hooks with surf guitar.  At it’s worst, it’s bad M. Ward, which is pretty bad.  It’s the one album you should listen to that you probably haven’t heard of.  Don’t let this fly under your radar any longer.
Essential tracks: Caught Me Thinking, Lost In The Light, Okay, Alright I’m Alive

Bad Books – II

Comeback player of the year.  Their debut lacked everything: hooks, substance, legitimately interesting harmonies.  This follow-up improves on all the things their first album neglected.  It combines all of the pieces that made their primary endeavors (Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra) so great without sounding like a collaborative side project.  This is a band, and a damn good one at that.
Essential tracks: Forrest Whitaker, Friendly Advice, It Never Stops

Milo Greene – Milo Greene

This album is harmonies stacked on more beautiful harmonies.  There's not much more to explain.  At first listen, everything seems to blend into one big song, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Repeated listens will show some of the nuance; and, it’s worth the extra work to decipher.
Essential tracks: Son My Son, 1957, Cutty Love

Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dreams

No pop record should be this good; and [almost] every song on this album should be a Top 40 hit.  Do you remember the first time you heard “Adorn”? It’s neo-90’s soul, and it’s a legitimate LOVE SONG.  It’s rare and a fantastic opener to the incredible sex carnival that’s about to commence.  I’m serious.
Essential tracks: Don’t Look Back, Use Me, The Thrill

Father John Misty – Fear Fun

Our heavenly father, who will be known from this day forward as Father John Misty, invites you to live vicariously through his drug-addled romp though Laurel Canyon.  Care to join? This is what Edward Sharpe dreams about being every night, except Josh Tillman actually lives it.
Essential tracks: Nancy From Now On, Tee Pees 1-12, I’m Writing A Novel

Schoolboy Q – Habits and Contradictions

If Kendrick Lamar didn’t release his masterpiece in 2012, this would be the best rap album of the year.  Schoolboy will fuck your bitch, and then tell you about it; simple as that.  At first glance, this is standard smoker’s fare, but something about Schoolboy’s presence raises this album to the next level.  It’s raw and ferocious- a too hard, eternal party, never ending, hangover record.
Essential tracks: There He Go, Hands On The Wheel, Nightmare On Figg St.

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

This is a more than worthy holdover album to the new Spoon record that will (FINGERS CROSSED) arrive in 2013.  It’s also a hell of a lot more than just the sum of its parts.  Divine Fits have crafted a cohesive 80’s tinged, percussive album. Britt Daniels once again proves his legendary stature. 
Essential Tracks: Flaggin a Ride, Would That Not Be Nice, My Love is Real

To sample, check out Justin's Best of 2012 playlist on Spotify:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry & Bright

Get the most mileage out of your sequins.

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes a free pass to shamelessly wear sequins to any and all events.  (If you need any encouragement, check out Anthropologie's Sparkle & Shine board.)  But since investing in sequins isn't always easy on your wallet, you might not have a different dress for every party.  One solution is to find a good neutral piece that you can get multiple wears out of.  I opted for this gold skirt from LOFT, pictured below, and managed to pull together the following outfits with things that I already had in my closet (minus a few pieces of the jewelry).  So go ahead and indulge yourself with some sparkle, tis the season after all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wes Anderson Round Up

If you've been losing sleep at night wondering which Wes Anderson character you would most likely be, then fret no more.  Jennifer Lewis over at Flavorwire has created a charmingly simple way to find out.  
So, what kind of bird are you?

Kanye Wes Anderson continues to update

Monday, December 17, 2012


via National Geographic

It was a bleak and foggy Monday in D.C.  Here's a few pictures to lighten the mood.

prints on Etsy

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hey Girl, Here's Your New Favorite Bridal Magazine

Honestly, I've never been into bridal magazines.  If anything, I usually use them as food porn and eye fuck the cakes.  At least until recently when Bride & Groom magazine caught my eye and subsequently stole my heart.  The first issue I ever saw (Winter/Spring 2012) had the spitting image of Jessica Rabbit on the cover.  Think about it, when was the last time you were standing in line at the grocery store skimming magazines and you thought to yourself, "wow, that is one sultry bride"?  Probably never.

The lovely people over at Washingtonian magazine though are doing some amazing things with their bridal publication.  Not only are they publishing Bride & Groom, but the icing on the proverbial wedding cake is that  the writing is kept in house too; so, you know you're guaranteed quality content.  Here's a peek at what's inside your typical issue: 

stunning editorials (more here and here),

bold graphics,

and advertisements that almost blend into the publication.  

Plus, there's even a little something to entice the dapper man in your life.

My favorite section is called Real Weddings which, as you may have guessed from the title, features actual ceremonies that happened in and around D.C.

What you may not have guessed is that these people are often on the cover, such as Lili Tuggle-Weir above.    

While the magazine isn't necessarily new (it debuted in December of 2008), a lot of people might not have it on their radar.  Only two issues are published a year, Winter/Spring and Summer/Fall, and they're distributed locally.  If you're headed to D.C. for the holidays, be sure to keep an eye out for Winter/Spring 2013 which hit newsstands this past Friday; and if you can't get your hands on a physical copy, fear not.  Judging from Washingtonian's other publications, it's safe to assume a digital version is probably in the near future.

Monday, December 10, 2012

His and Her's Gift Guide

What to get your significant other for any stage in your relationship


He will finally understand your love for DIY projects
Beer Making Kit $40 Brooklyn Brew Shop 


Bonus points if you get her limes and tonic


Bear Boxers to hibernate through the winter in


Her favorite part of Reddit is r/aww
The Crazy Cat Sweater $78 Need Supply Co.


Simple with an air of Ron Swanson, and it won't show dirt 
Wood iPhone case $25 J.Crew


Here's to you for knowing her favorite female in fashion
Pop Fizz Clink iPhone case $26 Kate Spade


If your families start to drive you crazy, meet up and go see Django Unchained on opening day
2 tickets for $20


If not already, then her soon to be favorite movie
Moonrise Kingdom dvd $15 Amazon


A classic that will become a staple of his wardrobe  
Clarks Desert Boots $130 Need Supply Co.


Because she constantly steals your clothes
Tomboy Style: Beyond the Boundaries of Fashion $22 Amazon


"California folk on a 5 day mushroom and cocaine bender. No Sleep"
Fear Fun vinyl by Father John Misty $17 Amazon 


Dreamy and perfect for a snow day
Milo Greene, self titled vinyl $16 Amazon


A Pendleton blanket for movie nights at his apartment 
$40 + on Ebay.


She can't afford the pet deposit, but she's dying to see a puppy under the tree anyways
Albert the French Bulldog Pillow $24 Urban Outfitters


Make him a playlist he can listen to commercial free and on the go
Spotify Gift Card $10/$30/$60 


She swears like a sailor, but you really don't mind  
I Love the Shit Out of You poster $30 Etsy


Keys to your place are optional 
Leather Anchor Key Ring Urban Outfitters $18


Don't forget to write something about a bright and shiny new year together on the card
The Full Monty nail polish Nordstrom $14


There's always next year:
Whiskey Advent Calendar buy here, but save yourself some money and DIY