More Things We Love

April 7, 2016

monkey see, Monkey Do, monkey hear

Miles Ahead

If you’re a jazz aficionado or simply a music fan in general, Don Cheadle’s tribute, Miles Ahead, to the late legendary Miles Davis is a must see. Cheadle who stars — in a magnificent and nuanced performance, also directs (his debut), and cowrote the script with Steven Baigelman. It was a ten-year long journey of passion before it debuted in Los Angeles and New York this past weekend. “I wanted to be Miles Davis, not depict Miles Davis,” Cheadle told ABC News. “I wanted to actually go through the exercises and be in the creative space that he seemed to live his entire life in.”

The movie opens with a tense interview between Miles and a fictional Rolling Stone reporter (Ewan McGregor); “When you’re creating your own shit,” Miles asserts in his raspy voice. “Man, even the sky’s not the limit.” From there Cheadle takes us on an energized conjecture of what Miles Davis was up to during a 5 year self-imposed retirement in the late 70’s.

The film works best when in flash backs either to his turbulent first marriage to broadway star and dancer Frances Taylor (the terrific Emayatzy Corinealdi), or exploring Davis’ music making process — the scene of Davis composing moments of his 1960 album Sketches of Spain while working with musicians is particularly satisifying. All in all the movie flows with an intensity akin to Davis’ improvisational spirit which as all of us jazz (or social music as Davis prefers) enthusiasts know is pure genius.

December 16, 2014

The Big Short

It’s not an easy subject to understand or even to explain to us feeble-minded masses, but in Adam McCay’s ‘The Big Short’ he uses humor and a well written script to break down the elements that comprised the biggest crash our economy (2008) has suffered since the great depression.The Big Short is my favorite movie I’ve seen so far this year, it brung up a range of emotions in me: I laughed, got supremely pissed, and many times felt like crying.

The movie, which is based on Michael Lewis’s book, ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ will surely garner a few Oscar nominations (Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Best Movie at least). New York Times movie critic, A.O.Scott, raves, “…will affirm your deepest cynicism about Wall Street while simultaneously restoring your faith in Hollywood.” A definite must see!

November 30, 2014

Homeland

Like many of you, I had become disillusioned and dreadfully disappointed in Homeland by the time season three came to an end. It was particularly frustrating because Homeland started out on such a high note. I believed, as critics and other fans did, that we were witnessing the beginning of another epic show, atune to say Breaking Bad.  Of course that bubble burst way to soon. Yet I can say, they have managed to dig themselves out of a very big hole, and found their way back, if not to the brilliance of the first season, at least to a show worthy of an hour of your Sunday night.

Here, in no specific order, are ten reasons to give Homeland another try. (Spoiler alerts)

The tension in the plot. By the third episode you’ll be on the edge of your seat at the end of each sixty minute episode, experiencing a OMG moment, a did that just really happen moment, and have to wait another full week — which will seem at that moment like an eternity. I love it!

Thought provoking. It gets the audience thinking about real events in the Middle East that have played out over the past year or so, as well as in the minute real life perils. Drone and airplane attacks, terrorist cells and embassy security all play a role in the season.

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. What will happen to Saul as he starts a new life outside the CIA. Can he hack the private sector? There is no better actor to watch portray a man ousted from a world that’s all he has known and thrives on. His eloquent portrayal highlights what a painful place that can be.

Clare Danes as Carrie Mathison. Watching Carrie comes to terms (or not) with the brutal reality of being a mother (more on that). How she will deal with what she did at the end of last year, arguably sending the man she loved to his death. I’d wager that is difficult for even the most seasoned gifted bi-polar spy among us. Her nuanced performance depicts her inner turmoil lying in wait just below the surface.

It is oh so easy on the eyes. Not only does Rupert Friend give a strong solid performance as the hardened CIA operative, Peter Quinn, but it’s hard not to get lost in those soulful beautiful eyes. Yum!

Rupert Friend

A Pakistani point of view. Highlighting Aayan’s journey, as the sole survivor of the drone attack, on his own for a few episodes before he interacts with any of the other major characters tells the story from 2 sides.

The bathroom scene. Who knew watching a mother give her child a bath could be so riveting.

Drawing the line? Peter Quinn provides a much-needed moral conscience in the narrative. Quinn questions the bombing, he questions the CIA as well as his own involvement, even as Carrie is too fixated on avoiding her civilian life to question anything.

Taking on the subject of mental illness. Carrie fights with her illness often, and sometimes she wins and sometimes she loses as is the case in reality. It deftly highlights the difficulties people with mental illness have in maintaining healthy relationships, in and outside of work, not always knowing how to care for oneself, and the consequences that brings. In a country so insecure about mental health it draws a red flag to the need for accessible and affordable behavioral health care for those in need.

The virtues of diplomacy over force. This season explores the delicate dance one must do in negotiating with one’s enemy. When to be tough, how to read between the lines, and deciphering the hidden meanings behind what is said and not said. This is where Carrie excels, she intuitively knows when all is not as it seems.

Feel like avoiding the chaos of retail shopping? Bunker in at home, order in food, and binge watch the first nine episodes. You’ll be all caught up for tonight’s episode. Just a thought.

Homeland airs on Showtime Sunday @ 10:00 EST.

November 16, 2014

The Basement Tapes (1975) Bob Dylan & the Band

The Basement Tapes (1975) Bob Dylan & The Band

In July 1966, while riding through upstate New York, Bob Dylan suffered a debilitating motorcycle accident (still viewed by many as a pivotal point of his career). Recuperating in his home in Woodstock he was joined by members of his backing band, The Hawks, later known as The Band (Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm) where they recorded more than 100 tracks together —  at least 30 of them originals. In 1975 Dylan gave his permission to release a two album set of the songs (The Basement Tapes) which ostensibly gave way to a new genre of recordings, the bootleg tapes (Great White Wonder — the first bootleg release of the material).

Now you can hear the magic of the entire Basement Tape sessions with Bob Dylan & The Band:The Basement Tapes Complete, over 100 songs recorded over the span of a few months (6 CD set), released in the raw, warts and all!

 

Bob Dylan & The Band The Basement Tapes Complete

Bob Dylan & The Band The Basement Tapes Complete

The New Basement Tapes

The New Basement Tapes

Experience the modern-day version of The Basement Tapes with the masterful T Bone Burnett at the helm, and a band composed of some of today’s most talented musicians – Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford.

Bob Dylan generously handed over 30 never before seen lyrics from that legendary 1967 period. T Bone Burnett and the band created the accompanying music which spawned the amazing Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.  As Burnett explains, “What transpired during those two weeks was amazing for all of us. There was a deep well of generosity and support in the studio at all times, which reflected the tremendous trust and generosity shown by Bob in sharing these lyrics with us in the first place.”

Below is one of my favorite cuts, though the record as a whole is utterly magnificent which made it nearly impossible to select a favorite.

Yes, that is Johhny Depp who sat in for Elvis Costello while he sauntered over to Las Vegas for a gig.

While researching this post I stumbled upon this diddy of taped conversations (Jan 1971) between Bob Dylan and A. J. Weberman regarding an article Weberman was about to release to every under ground newspaper. It made me fall in love with Bob Dylan all over again.

Stay tuned for Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, a documentary by Sam Jones airing Nov. 21 on Showtime.

 

August 16, 2014

A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man, a thrilling and superb espionage film based on John Le Carre’s (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) novel about the aftermath of 9/11 and the choices countries make under the guise of national security. Directed with a deft hand, Anton Corbijn (The Americans), subtly lays out the train of events that unfolds in a twist turning climax. With the aide of exquisite cinematography by Benoît Delhomme, and Australian screenwriter Andrew Bovell’s emotional storytelling, Corbijn delivers a film that’s as atmospheric as it is provocative.

Yet, the real star of the movie is Phillip Seymour Hoffman (in his final film), with one of his most nuanced and brilliant performances. Kenneth Turan sums up Hoffman’s expert portrayal of German intelligence officer, Gunther Bachmann, in his Los Angeles Times review, ” He manages to be simultaneously disheveled and determined, phlegmatic and emotional, a harsh interrogator and a warm paternal figure in a performance that feels completely natural, even off the cuff.”

The entire cast, which includes Rachel McAdams, William Defoe, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Robin Wright, as well as German actors Nina Hoss, Franz Hartwig and an underused Daniel Brühl, along with Homayoun Ershadi and Mehdi Dehbi, are well casted and excellent.

This a definite must see movie, and I imagine come award season, one that will be heavily nominated.

August 16, 2014

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a movie that charts the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) along with his sister (Lorelei Linklater), mother (Patricia Arquette) and father (Linklater staple, Ethan Hawke) who are divorced and living their own lives is a true gem of a movie. Not only is this movie an amazing organizational feat, shot with all the same actors over a 12 year span, but as Time magazine puts it, the work is “a thrilling epic of ordinary life.” That is just what you see, the good and the bad of life that happens to us all, and how those moments help shape and mold us into the adults we become.

Boyhood is both tender and small, while epic in what it has accomplished in terms of breaking ground in the film world. The running time is three hours, yet not once did I want it to end, or believe it was showing us more than the story needed. It goes by in the blink of an eye, kinda like life itself.  A definite must see!

Country Portrait Of An American Sound

Currently on display at one of my favorite ‘museums’, the Annenberg Space for Photography, is Country: Portraits of an American Sound. The exhibit employs historical and contemporary photographs, videos, and an original thirty minute documentary (commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography) to explore how “images shape the public identity of country music performers and of the genre itself “.

Besides the 110 prints  – country music biggest stars, such as  Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams – and the use of film, the exhibit also has on display country albums and film posters, a slideshow of digital images, archival artifacts from musical instruments to stage costumes and a jukebox containing rare audio files.

For more info on the exhibit and the Iris Nights Lecture Series, and Saturday night country music concerts that supplement the exhibit – Thursday and Saturdays from July 17th through Sptember 17th click here.

Exhibit runs through September 28, 2014.

Annenberg Space for Photography // 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067

March 21, 2014

Bill Cunningham is famous for tooling around New York city, camera slung over his shoulder, snapping street fashion shots for his famous On The Street of the New York Time’s Style section.

In the years before he became famous for his street style images, Cunningham spent eight years, from 1968 to 1976, working on a whimsical, passionately important photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historic sites of the same era.

He searched secondhand shops for antique clothing, finding gems some merchants had no idea were in their possession, and looked for architectural sites across the city to create the perfect tableaux, many of which featured his muse and fellow photographer, Editta Sherman.

“I’m crazy about fashion and I’m mad about architecture,” he said. “It was all here in New York City.” And, his fashion knowledge was made abundantly clear from the notations he noted on the back of the prints. In one depiction of the Civil War era, he recognized that the  period’s brightly colored fabrics were made possible by “the industrial revolution in textile dye from natural to chemical.”

Cunningham donated nearly all the 88 gelatin silver prints (which were made into the 1978 book, Facade) to the New-York Historical Society that are featured in the exhibition – Bill Cunningham: Facades

Through June 15, 2014  @ the New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024  212.873.3400

February 25, 2014

” I swear I’ll drive all night just to buy you some shoes
And to taste your tender charms
And I just wanna sleep tonight again in your arms”

“Cause you’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got my love, you’ve got my love
Through the wind, through the rain, the snow, the wind, the rain
You’ve got, you’ve got my, my love heart and soul”

A girl can’t ask for more than that……

March 30, 2013

The Hour

By happenstance last week, while trolling through On Demand, l lucked across The Hour on BBC- what many called the British answer to Mad Men. Since I love period dramas (this one starts off in London, year 1956) for the costumes and set design, I figured it was worth an hour of my time. Cut to 4 hours later and the wee hours of the morning (I watched 4 episodes of season 2 that night ) and I was hooked. I watched the remaining 2 and the first season in the following 2 days –  that’s how good this show is!

Written and created by the award-winning Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady,” “Shame,” “Sex Traffic”), The Hour is set in the world of 1950s television journalism (behind the scenes of the BBC newsroom) and delves into the personal lives, professional interplay and jealous ambition between aspiring but renegade journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘Skyfall’), the beautiful ambitious young producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai, ‘Emma”) with whom he is in love, and his handsome rival Hector Madden (Dominic West, ‘The Wire), the face and lead anchorman of this rising television news team.

This fashionable and stylish six-parter (each season consists of 6 shows) is witty, intelligent and passionate, all while being a feast for the eyes – the costumes rival those of ‘Mad Men’, and while the sets might not be as dazzling as Mad Men’s, they have wonderful aspects and are realistic to what news show sets were like in late 1950’s London.

Season 1 is available on itunes, and while season 2 will be airing On Demand until June of this year, you won’t want to wait that long to watch this riveting, entertaining and totally addicting show!

March 21, 2013

Dawes

I became aware of the band Dawes last year, a little late to the dance as their second record, Nothing Is Wrong, was released in June, 2011. From that first listen to If I Wanted Someone and Time spent In Los Angeles I became enamored, and have been making up for lost time ever since. Not only are their melodic melodies hypnotic and catching, but the lyrics are insightful, poetic and strike a chord from the first read. It’s easy to see why Bob Dylan has them opening for him on his April dates.

Dawes (composed of brothers Taylor-guitars and vocals and Griffin Goldsmith-drums, along with Wylie Gelber-bass and Tay Strathairn-keyboards), are considered part of the Laurel Canyon sound, which often cites influences such as Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Neil Young, among others, yet is a band that absolutely has it’s feet planted in today’s modern rock sound.

On April 9, Dawes releases their new album, Stories Don’t End. The 12 tracks (11 songs and a reprise) were written by the bands front man, Taylor Goldmith, and was produced by Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones). The first single, From The Window Seat (listen below) is burning up the air waves and wildly expanding their fan base.

Oh, and a few other great things about those Dawes boys. They have style to boot, and just returned from Rwanda with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to help fight malaria.While there they donated musical instruments to the Gihembe Refugee Camp, north of Kigali, Rwanda. Love them!!

Dawes Boys

February 21, 2013

Tristin Prettyman Cedar & Gold

Tristin Prettyman and her smokey alto voice graced the stage of Troubadour on Thursday, January 31st. Me and some of my bestest friends made the evening into a girls night out (looking around seems we weren’t the only ones), which seemed apropos considering her latest album’s (Cedar & Gold) theme of sifting through the wreckage of a love gone wrong and emerging stronger on the other side.

Prettyman, a beautiful woman (even if her stylist choose an awful dress for the evening), has a natural grace, a quick wit –  she told humorous and poignant stories about the songs meaning, though there might have been one too many references to her famous ex, Jason Mraz – affable charm and much, much talent to boot.

The entire night’s set, a respectable 90 minutes of lively and at times soothing melodies, was enjoyed by the entire sold out crowd, yet the stand out moments came from Cedar & Gold’s tracks – My Oh My, Quit You, The Rebound, I Was Gonna Marry You, Glass Jar, When You Come Down and my favorite (the evening’s closer) Come Clean.

I highly recommend grabbing a few of your friends, check out what ever live music is playing in your vicinity and quickly snap up tix, make a dinner reservation and have a night full of laughter, song and dance. It was truly rejuvenating!

August 5, 2012

One of the most important things I can tell you about this little gem is to just go with it! The ride will be magical and indeed, this Ruby is full of sparks. Written by (and co-starring) Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks, is a movie with astonishing intelligence and humor; sensitive and full of grace.

With out giving too much away, this is a story of writer Calvin (an exceptional Dano), who as a teenager wrote a novel that became a sensation, but for the last 10 years has been in a drought. He fantasizes about the girl of his dreams, starts writing about her non-stop, till he wakes one morning and finds Ruby (Kazan) in his house eating cereal. Thinking his vivid imagination has gotten the best of him he soon learns that she is very much alive and real.

Real life boyfriend/girlfriend, Paul Dano (Calvin) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby), are excellent as romantic interests and head an all-star cast which includes Chris Messina, who turns in a stellar performance as Calvin’s brother/best friend, Annette Bening, Antonia Banderas, Steve Coogan and Elliot Gould. Ruby is expertly directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris of Little Miss Sunshine fame.

This maybe Kazan’s first screenplay, here’s hoping it’s not the last.

July 17, 2012

Want to be surrounded by rock ‘n roll’s greatest? Now showing at the Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles is Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, running through October 7. As a self-confessed rock & roll chick, to be in the midst of the greatest rock legends and all the talent that oozed from the iconic photographers was like I had died and gone to heaven.

The group show features over 166 prints, divided into 8 sections – behind the scenes, live performances and stirring portraits of musical stars – from over 100 photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, Ryan McGinley and Linda McCartney, Bob Gruen, Lynn Goldsmith, Anton Corjin and Albert Watson. Make sure not to miss the series on Bob Dylan by photographer Barry Feinstein that is slightly tucked away. In addition, there is an original short documentary film directed by Steve Kochones, and produced exclusively for the Annenberg Space for Photography that shows more than 500 photographs, behind-the-scenes footage with exhibit photographers and transparent interviews with them that provides for telling insights behind the lens.

On Thursdays, from 6:30pm-8pm, there is a free lecture series that includes fabulous stories by the world’s top rock and roll photographers (requires advanced registration). For the following 2 Saturdays The Annenberg Space has partnered with acclaimed Los Angeles public radio station KCRW (89.9FM and KCRW.com) to create free outdoor live music (advance RSVP required) to tie in with the exhibit.

Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

June 16, 2012

Of Monsters And Men – My Head Is An Animal

As the most buzzed about band of 2012, Iceland’s Of Monsters to Men –  themild-mannered” six-pack folkie popsters – have transformed into total rock stars . As victors of 2010’s Músiktilraunir, the new group earned a slot on the influential Iceland Airwaves Festival later that year, followed by Seattle’s radio station KEXP posting Little Talks from a Living Room Session. From there it was just a matter of time before the ripple effect took place and by the summer of 2011 Little Talks hit No. 1 in the band’s native country. The band was asked to perform again at Iceland Airwaves 2011 where there audience had grown tremendously but their appeal has remained distinct. Their music is as fantastical as it is pretty.

The group’s, My Head Is An Animal, dropped in the US in early 2012 with their single Little Talks swiftly on its way up the charts. Though the song is about loneliness and insanity, the tune is upbeat and fun to sing along to – just as the band intended.

Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks Watch Video here

June 11, 2012

Los Angeles’ very own A + D Museum’s (Architecture plus Design) annual Come In! exhibition series continues with their third installment titled Les Femmes. This summer’s exhibition which starts July 12 and concludes on September 8th, honors women in all fields of designs – architecture, interior design, textiles and installation art etc. 25 women will take over the museum with their innovative, inspired installations in this not-to-be-missed show.  All to be topped off with an opening reception this Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the museum – 6032 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

A+D Museum, a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, was formed to fill a need for an arena to showcase architecture and design exhibitions by important regional, national and international designers in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of museum row, A+D has continually held exhibitions on the subject since its doors opened in January of 2001. To become a member please visit aplusd.org.

May 5, 2012

We’ll miss you Adam. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Yauch family.

Beastie Boys – Sabatoge

April 16, 2012

What if you could get the latest information on the best of fashion, art, culture and travel everyday? What if this information was brought to you through a highly creative and technologically advanced approach and from a company that was ever evolving and forward thinking, and what if it was brought to you via email, everyday?

For me, it would be sublime and with Nowness, the digital leader in luxury storytelling, all that info is at the tips of our fingers.

NOWNESS is an innovative space where ideas, both timeless and timely, are first and foremost, and with thirteen categories  — Architecture, Culture, Design, Fashion and Film to name a few –you’re bound to find at least a few that’ll peak your interest.

Join Nowness here.

Take a look at Goyte’s (pronounced GO-TEA-YAY) latest video for his smash single Somebody That I Used To Know. A chillingly beautiful song from his 3rd studio album, Making Mirrors, that was independently produced. The Belgian born, Australian raised singer is a bonafide star in his homeland and is quickly becoming one here in the states – he was the musical guest on last Saturday’s SNL show and played Coachella yesterday.  Purchase his album Making Mirrors here.

February 10, 2012

Black Keys –Gold On The Ceiling

I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, I LOVE THESE BOY’S ( The Black Keys), as long as they keep putting out hard-driving, rock and roll/blues music as excellent as their new single — Gold On The Ceiling. As the Los Angeles Times put it, “It’s a party record, a driving down the highway, “I’m in love with rock and roll, and I’ll be out all night” record.

For those of you lucky enough to have nabbed tickets to the upcoming Coachella music festival (April 13-15 and April 20-22.), The Black Keys are the headliners for Friday night of both weekends. For the rest of us living in Los Angeles , we won’t be able to see the boy’s (due to contract provisions with Coachella) unless we venture out of the city. Can any body say ROAD TRIP!!!

December 12, 2011

La Botte

Last Friday, on a double date, we were lucky enough to be treated to a dinner at La Botte( Italian for the bottle) in Santa Monica, California. We had done our homework and knew we were going to a restaurant that had been awarded a Michelin star in 2009 but we weren’t prepared for the friendly yet romantic atmosphere that is La Botte, or that to receive a Michelein star you’re part of an elite group of restaurants.

The guide awards one to three stars to a small number of restaurants of outstanding quality. One star indicates a “very good cuisine in its category”, a two-star ranking represents “excellent cuisine, worth a detour,” and three stars are awarded to restaurants offering “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”. A three-star Michelin ranking is rare. As of late 2009, there were 26 three-star restaurants in France, and only 81 in the world. Even a one star is rare and quite the accomplishment.

If you’re in the market for a romantic dinner for two or to start a new family tradition at the holidays – we recommend  trying La Botte. Your taste buds will love you!!

March 29, 2011

From the director of Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor, and Ace Ventura:Pet Detective comes a surprisingly powerful and inspirational film.

“We started out asking;What’s wrong with our world? And more importantly;What can we do about it?

But we ended up finding what’s right with it.”   Tom Shadyac

I Am in is select movie theaters, for more info visit http://www.iamdoc.com

March 24, 2011

“Rodarte: States of Matter” at MOCA.

Everyone wants to get close to the red-hot Rodarte designers, and this spring, those in L.A. will get their fix when MOCA displays over 20 designs by the ever-edgy Mulleavy sisters. The exhibit will include looks culled from various runway collections (Spring 2010, Fall 2010, and Fall 2008) and costumes the sisters created for Darren Aronofsky’s psycho-thriller, Black Swan.  But instead of relying on the figures of Natalie Portman or the Mulleavys’ new mini-muse, Elle Fanning, to bring the looks to life, they will be presented on their own, as “inanimate objects in a state of flux.” And given Rodarte’s adventurous use of materials (from vinyl to cheesecloth) and atypical processes (they’ve been known to burn their designs), we have a feeling that these looks will speak for themselves. March 4 – June 5, 2011

for more info visit http://www.moca.org/audio/blog/

March 15, 201

PLEASE GIVE

We at Curators of Style, believe it’s stylish to help those in need and the people of Japan are in need. Give generously, give what you can but PLEASE GIVE.

Following are a list of charities that are aiding the victims in Japan:

American Red Cross:  Donations can be made to the relief efforts for Japan by calling 800-733-27677 or visiting http://www.redcross.org. You may also text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text message is a $10 donation to the Red Cross and will be added to your next cellphone bill.

Global Giving: Donations to the Japan earthquake tsunami relief can be made online at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/ or by texting JAPAN to 50555 to donate $10. The donation will be added to your next cellphone bill.

International Medical Corps: Online donations can be made at https://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=1967 or by calling (800) 481-4462. You can also text MED to 80888 to donate $10, which will be added to your next cellphone bill.

Bananagrams!

If you enjoy Scrabble and Boggle, you’ll love Bananagrams – a quick paced game where you build your own crossword. There’s no waiting; everyone plays at once .

It’s a learning tool, a family activity, and sharpens your word skills; all while hanging out with family and friends. The game consists of  144 letter tiles that zips neatly into a banana-shaped case that provides fun anytime and anywhere.

So, if you’re  planning on a career designing crosswords for The New York Times, or not, this is a game for you.

Available at http://www.target.com for $14.99

Holiday Rock and Roll

Clockwise from top left Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys, Tom Petty,Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons.

These gifts can speak to you, sooth your soul, or recreate memories of summers spent falling in love in Strawberry Fields.

They’ve been known to motivate Dancing In The Streets or to waste away in Margaritaville.  It can even take us across where the grass is always greener for a more Beautiful Day.

They even penned some quotes to remind us of what’s important in life; All You Need Is Love.

We aren’t speaking of voodoo magic, or a glimpse inside one’s dreams, but simply the gift of music.  A gift that can transform one hour into an escape or a trip down memory lane.

Here are 10 box sets or CDs that we think will make great gifts for the music lover in your life:

  1. Bruce Springsteen.  The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story box set.  $89.99
  2. Bob Dylan.  The Original Mono Recordings box set.  $129.99
  3. Tom Petty.  The Live Anthology box set.  $112.00
  4. Arcade Fire.  The Suburbs.  $13.99
  5. The Black Keys.  Brothers. $13.99
  6. Kanye West.  My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. $14.99
  7. David Bowie.  Station to Station (Special Edition). $34.99
  8. Mumford & Sons.  Sigh No More.  $13.99
  9. Florence and the Machine.  Lungs.  $12.99
  10. John Lennon.  Power to the People (The Hits) CD/DVD set. $29.99