12 January 2011

Top 6 Picks: December

1) Matt and Kim, Sidewalks: I have been into Matt & Kim since Damon from Starscream put them on a mix-tape for me back in 2007. I heard the song Yea, Yeah and just about lost it. I loved Grand, and have found that Sidewalks is a total maturation from their previous two albums. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 likes this album, too. I like the hip-hoppy feel to some of their songs - though Wires and Silver Tiles are my two faves. If you haven't heard it, go out and give it a try. M&K FOR LIFE.

2) Saltwash Canvas Backpack from L.L. Bean: After seeing this bag featured on Calivintage I got a serious bag crush that could only be satisfied by begging everyone I knew to get it for me this holiday season. My previous backpack was leather, thrifted, and had been repaired once already after having five solid years of love and heavy usage, I decided enough is enough, I need an upgrade. This backpack is gigantic, classic, and totally fits everything I need for my commute around the city (try change of shoes, lunches, books, camera, planner, pencil pouch, change of clothes, etc.). I LOVE THIS BAG. Oh and did I forget to mention that it's on sale? Thanks for the tip Lexie!
3) Vega Watch from Nixon: I had wanted a watch from Nixon for an entire summer, and at the end of summer 2k8, I found this bubblegum pink beauty at a resale shop in Chicago for $15 in perfect working condition. I rarely wore it, having found it clunky, heavy, and hard to read - so I just kept it in my room for two years until the battery died. One of the first things I learned working at a museum is that you must always wear a watch (there aren't clocks in the galleries, and it's impolite to check your phone!). In light of the new year, I dusted this baby off, had a new battery put in at Marshall Macy's, and have had this thing strapped to my wrist non-stop. Plus it's a fantastic color!

4) The Films of Tom Palazzola at the Art Institute of Chicago: One of the perks of working at a wonderful museum is that I have access to some of the best works of art at my fingertips. In the Modern Wing there is a great film/new media/sound gallery that periodically screens films - and this exhibition of 4 of Tom Palazzola's films just came down this past weekend. 30 minutes of experimental film footage shot on beautiful 1970's color format film, these moving pictures tell the story of America and Chicago by creating interesting portraits of those objects, images, and people that become the subject of the camera. Rocky and Ricky (pictured above) is a 12 minute film about a wedding shower in suburban Chicago neighborhood. The movie is less about the shower and more about the colorful characters that make the event memorable. Jerry's Deli is a portrait of a day in the life of a zany out-there sandwich man. These films are amazing - I'm officially a huge fan of this man's work.
5) Tiny Furniture: I heard about Tiny Furniture after being hipped to Lena Denham's other project Delusional Downtown Divas a hilarious web series and satire on the gallery and underground art scene in New York City. Having loved the show, I wasn't surprised when I heard all of the hype surrounded 24 year old Dunham's success at Sundance this past year, and I honestly couldn't wait for it to come to the Music Box Theater in Chicago. Tiny Furniture tells the story of a girl in a post-graduate malaise. Having just finished college, Aura breaks up with her boyfriend, moves back in with her mother, and struggles to figure out what to do next. Can you see the parallel to my life here? This film is funny, simple, and threads together honest moments that most of us can truly relate to. SEE THIS FILM.

6) Annie Road Tee by ETC. for All: I bit the bullet and ordered this shirt. It combines a love of SanRio, the Beatles, and a playful cheery aesthetic - plus the cotton is super soft. I've basically been living in this shirt since it arrived last month, and I have found that I've been wearing a lot of bubblegum pink ever since.