Shit I’d Marry: Gorilla vs. Bear Swag

2 04 2012

Last week I got the best surprise!
A dope ass tee from one of my favorite blogs EVER,

For those of you have been living in dressing rooms of Kohl’s or something for the past five or so years, Gorilla vs. Bear is probably the most influential music blog of all time. Yes, there is Pitchfork but that’s a website & this is a blog, one dude’s personal opinion that ended up shaping & spawning a whole community of music blogs. I can honestly thank Chris Cantalini personally for introducing me to much of my favorite music, particularly between 2009-2011, when beachy pop & chill wave ruled the universe & I was in heaven.

And the best part of it is, Chris is not a pretentious dipshit.
He’s a really nice, cool dude who loves music & basketball.
I’m truly honored he thought of me & that I get to rep this hard.

Very excited to add this staple to my Spring style. It’s one of those amazing American Apparel track shirts so you know it’s super soft & the retro inspired graphic is top notch. I’m wearing a small & it fits perfect. #STOKED

Grab your own & show your love for music & animal fights at GVB’s store!

Shit I’d Marry: T&tT’s Favorite Albums Of 2011

20 12 2011

Well, it’s here.
The moment you’ve ALL been waiting for,

Thank you for being patient. It’s taken me a whole week to do this because of all the other shit I have to do that is moderately more important than making lists like five people give one fourth of a fuck about, but that’s okay. I really appreciate you giving one fourth of a fuck to be here.

There may be some of you who are late to the game & don’t realize that the only reason my blog started to matter is because of a particular group of music bloggers that became my friends & pushed me into stardom & then I started writing features for Pitchfork’s now defunct Altered Zones and my boy Ian’s blog, Friendship Bracelet. I seriously don’t know how any of that really happened since I mostly relate music to my feelings & moods instead of objective opinion. I’m not an authority by any means but I do think I’m somewhat of a tastemaker in terms of leading a leisurely Southern California lifestyle. And these albums are the watermelon mojitos of my iTunes.

That’s what this list brings you.
These are my favorite albums,
not necessarily the best albums.
These are albums for sunny days,
for day drinking & hard lounging.
Albums for long drives down the coast
& weekends spent camping with friends.
This is a list that sums up my 2011,
so drink up.

– – –

10. Summer Camp, Welcome To Condale

I’m not a huge fan of synthesizers, but Summer Camp does it right. Instead of using them as a means-to-an-end in terms of music making, Summer Camp uses them like they would have been a Billboard Top Ten band in ’86. Honestly, if you didn’t know better, you’d probably be asking yourself what Molly Ringwald film these songs were written for. Young love & the suburbs? I’m in! And the supreme use of a Weird Science quote? BITCH PLEASEEEE. Too good. I nearly broke my ankles dancing in new platform shoes in my underwear to this the first day I got it, sooo if that doesn’t say anything, I don’t know what will.

Favorite Track: “Brian Krakow” & “Welcome To Condale”

9. Tennis, Cape Dory

Despite how much I hate being so damn predictable, Tennis’ Cape Dory has me written all over it. Beachy pop about relationships on the high sea? I’m not going to sit here & act like just this past week I saw them at Spaceland (fuck you, it’s still Spaceland) & wasn’t singing along with every single song. Because I was! Eagerly! Just like I did in my car for six weeks straight after this came out. I don’t disagree with the argument that this is “girl music”. It’s catchy, it’s cute and it’s preppy pop, rendering it completely irresistable to me. Luckily, I am a girl so I can listen to it all I want without emasculating myself. If you have/had a vagina, you probably have sung at least a couple songs in the mirror too.

Favorite Tracks: “Baltimore” & “Bimini Bay”

8. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues

EVERYONE. SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP. I REALLY LIKE THIS ALBUM. I don’t care how much pretentious-ass guff I get for this pick. Look, I’m a sucker for masterful instrumentation & heavenly harmonizing. Throw in some universal themes and call me cooked. I can’t help that these fools are supremely talented. Much like The Beatles, yeah, you don’t have to like them but if you can’t respect their game, I’m genuinely worried about your moral character.

Favorite Tracks: “Montezuma” & “Blue Spotted Tail”

7. Shannon & The, Clams, Sleep Talk

Such a great album, one of those you can listen to all the way through without skipping a song. I love that. It’s a real throw-back to the surf days of yore, but with a couple of twists including elements of soul, punk and tinges of classic R&B. It’s very entertaining to listen to, and I also enjoy that Shannon & The Clams seem to have a bit of a sense of humor about themselves (See the tiki-hooting of “The Cult Song” & you’ll get what I mean, I swear that song should be in some 60’s Gidget rip-off flick right before some cheap Elvis looking fool gets sucked into a cave or something). It’s lo-fi, it’s fun, it’s a rolicking roll at the beach, immediately prompting fantasies of tandem long-boarding with your number one babe. This should have been the soundtrack to your summer. Luckily for all of you who slept on this, we have another summer in like five months, so hold tight!

Favorite Tracks: “Sleep Talk” & “You Will Always Bring Me Flowers”

5. Woods, Sun & Shade

The quintessential folk album of 2011. Done & done. Woods has been around for a minute, but much like early Devendra Banhart, their initial releases were just a little too weird for me. They were enjoyable and skillful, but lacked the melodic patterns I personally need in order to listen to an album on the reg’. Sun & Shade takes the experimental flare that drew me to Woods in the first place and exemplifies the structure I desperately craved. The album itself is a faultless mingling of psych-rock with pop sensibility, and folk with innovation. Sun & Shade is thoughtful yet still rousing, and the ideal place to lose yourself on a sunny afternoon.

Favorite Tracks: “Be All Be Easy” & “Out Of The Eye”

5. Dirty Beaches, BadLands

This album is exceptionally sexy. Just, so so sexy. On a dark, blown-out beach of beats and crashing waves of reverb, there is Alex Zhang Hungtai on the shore, slicking back his hair with a comb under a blanket of stars. Dirty Beaches is the beddable bad boy who makes you weak in the knees. Even though you’re so fucking afraid of motorcycles, but you get on his motorcycle anyway because he holds your hand and you melt. His Adonis-greaser vibe and nearly sinister crooning is masturbation inducing. It’s swooning. It’s eerie. It’s a tantalizing trip to Twin Peaks, if Twin Peaks had a couple of dark lifeguard towers to lose your virginity in.

Favorite Tracks: “A Hundred Highways” & “Lord Knows Best”

4. Monster Rally, Coral

Oh, Monster Rally, how I adore thee. Definitely the most talked about project on my blog for more than a year and a half, the Cleveland bedroom-musician-cum-DJ-or-something-or-other incredibly mixes romantic romps through the tropics. It’s this jungle-dream-jazz-world vibe that is simply unparalleled, in both sound and mixing expertise. While looking for a way to explain Coral, all I can say is it sort of makes me feel like a less drug addicted version of Elvira Hancock. Like, that I’m probably living lavishly in 1970’s Hawaii, lounging by immaculate beaches all day & wearing long, too-low cut dresses all night. I serve perfect cocktails from my wet bar & sashay across shag carpet. I’m the classiest adult with a wild side while listening to this album. Like, oh, she’s so domestic! Look at the way she shakes that martini! BUT WAIT! NOW SHE’S SKINNY DIPPING!

I lead a very, very rich fantasy life. And Monster Rally is the soundtrack.

Favorite Tracks: “Color Sky” & “The Birds (Pt. 1 & 2)”

3. Real Estate, Days

I feel like Real Estate and I have a lot in common. Lush lawns, chlorine pools, taking it easy. At first, Real Estate seems almost minimalistic, but a good listen reveals layers of skillful sequences and nearly elegiac lyrical conclusions. It’s not sad, but it’s definitely reflective. Maybe it’s that I spend a lot of time mulling over the circular driveways and tree lined Main streets that harbored my own youth, but I can’t help but get lost in this album. I’m really glad it didn’t suck, TBH. Their first album has been my absolute go-to since its release and I was nervous for my suburban soul mates, but they came through, just like I knew they would. Also, so so so glad Alex got to sing on this album! That song, “Wonder Years” has some seriously mental guitar shit going on.

Favorite Tracks: “Green Aisles” & “Wonder Years” & “It’s Real”

2. White Fence, Is Growing Faith

Good fucking god, I love White Fence. So many bands have tried to capture a true yet organic take on the sounds of the 60’s & 70’s, but most fail. Not White Fence. White Fence sounds like some gem you’d accidently stumble upon in the dollar bin of your favorite record store, but is still fresh as fuck. Tim Presley is the best musician in Los Angeles, and arguably one of the best in the world, in my sort of professional opinion. You just do not get the craftsmanship, vision and innovation that White Fence encompasses in just any band. It has a nearly Beatles feel to it, with its steady beats and I love Presley’s punch-drunk vocal delivery. It’s catchy and quixotic, so basically, fanfuckingtastic.

Favorite Tracks: “And By Always” & “Sticky Fruitman Has Faith” & “Lillian (Won’t You Play Drums?)”

1. Connan Mockasin, Forever Dolphin Love

I discovered Connan Mockasin when Dudefriend got this insane surf video I’m obsessed with, Lost Atlas. This album completely changed the game. Reminiscent to what could be cheaply described as a more accessible Ariel Pink, this album is an acid-dipped storybook dreamscape, residing somewhere between sunglass-shaded & stoned drives down PCH and the moss covered caves that foster my prettiest fantasies. It is clean psychedelia, something with imagination and precision. Ethereally sharp, Forever Dolphin Love simultaneously leads the journey while holding your hand down the path, narrating your current life– a soundtrack that not only reflects the present, but somehow manages to influence the future. I swear I’ve only had one bong rip guys, but really, this album is really a magical & adventurous beast. Anytime I am listening to it, I feel like I am in the most beautiful place in the world & feel as though at any moment, anything could happen; my life could begin.
Yes, this album makes me feel like I could be born again, right now.

Favorite Tracks: “It’s Choade My Dear” & “Faking Jazz Together” & “Forever Dolphin Love”

– – –

So, that is that. Thank you for joining me on this exploration of my year in music. I sincerely hope you check out anything you didn’t already know about & support these awesome artists. I absolutely love talking about myself & my incredible taste so I hope you had as much fun as I did. xo

Monster Rally’s Permanent Vacation (for IMPOSE Magazine)
A Tangent Exemplifying How Shamefully Crazy I Am (About Tennis)
I Have A Confession (About Fleet Foxes)
A Tangent About SXSW
Shit I’d Marry: Lost Atlas

For That Special Marissa A. Ross In Your Life: The T&tT Holiday Gift Guide

30 11 2011

There is only one thing that comes close to how much I love Summer

I love Thanksgiving, I love all of December, I love decorating shit, I love making ornaments, I fucking love love love Christmas music, I love themed cocktails, I love wearing big coats over tiny dresses, I love being wished a thousand happy Hanukkahs, I LOVE Christmas & I sort of love New Year’s.

But I hate shopping during the holidays.
That’s the fucking worst idea ever.
Especially when you don’t know the person well.
You’re like clawing your way through the mall,
navigating through a Disneyland crowd on PCP.
How are you supposed to see that perfect gift
while you’re busy getting struck head-on by 4-wheel drive strollers?!

So, in the spirit of the season, I decided to make a Holiday Gift Guide so that moms, dads, friends & unacquainted cousins could get an idea as to what to get that very special, weirdly sophisticated dumb asshole that drinks too much in their family for Christmas/Jewish Week this year.

So, press play on this delightful Dent May holiday jam & get to reading! You only have like, 26 days left to figure out how to get all this shit under my tree.

Bandit Cabernet $8

Wine in general is a good idea but a personal affordable favorite is Bandit boxed wine. It’s delicious & more eco-friendly so you can drink it & pretend you’re not such an asshole. Also: there is 33% more wine because it’s in a box. Also: great for Ross testing!

Wine Away $18.50 (pack of two)


Jeffrey Campbell Lita’s $159.95

Give your spritely little friend the extra five inches she’s always dreamed of with these incredibly cute, chic & incredulously comfy Jeffrey Campbell’s. If we’re going to be real here, these shoes have changed my life & I have been stomping around in them for weeks acting like I’m the queen of something.

Sachajuan Volume Powder $34

I was recently introduced to this stuff when my hairdresser used it for my last photoshoot. Contrary to popular belief, I actually have very thin hair, just a lot of it. This volumizing powder not only gave me the perfect amount of poof, but also gave my hair that awesome just-outta-the-ocean feeling & I didn’t have to wash it for days (which means a lot to hustlers with little time on their hands).

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling $25

I don’t know what you people want from me. I will continue to rave about this book for forever. Buy it for someone this holiday season. You have to. Not gifting this to a lovely lady is a fucking crime against humanity.

R29 + Samudra Beach-Inspired Pouches $60

Okay. OK. These are actually just on my Christmas list since @etoilee8 tweeted them at me this morning & I was just like, “DAMN. SOMEONE BETTER GET ME ONE.” Like, for real. A beach scene. That I can put stuff in. What more could I possibly want in the universe besides a ranchion?! (Note: A ranchion is a ranch-mansion, which is like a mansion but a little more cozy & welcoming.)

CSA $25 – $600

Since you pay weekly, this could be either pretty cheap or really expensive but anyone who reads me on the reg’ knows I’m obsessed with Community Supported Agriculture. I rep them so hard on the internet & in real life. Basically, for $25 a week you get two bangin’ big ass bags of local, organic produce. That is so much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store! And $3 of every purchase goes to your local school district. Plus you just pick it up. I’ve heard that this is best in California where we grow tons of stuff year round, but I know my friends in New Mexico love it too! Great for parents. They will think you’re looking out for your own health & not drinking yourself to sleep on a regular basis.

Wildfox Runaway Donovan T $92

Did you read the thing? Hello, duh, yeah, this is for Marissa A. Ross’. It’s very reminiscent of my favorite HST quote plus I live in Wildfox because I’m a spoiled bitch & it’s the best. Give your favorite spoiled bitch this shirt so we can be spoiled bitches together (until I steal this from her & we’re mortal enemies).

Herbal Ecstasy $20

I just got this in Santa Cruz at the Happy High Herbal Store. They specialize in “legal party alternatives”. As someone who has enjoyed (not saying I condone!) recreational drug use in their day but doesn’t have the time to deal with a three day depletion of serotonin, I was intrigued. Does it work? No idea. I haven’t tried it yet but who cares? Even if you don’t orgasm off sucking on Skittles & rubbing Vick’s Vapo-Rub all over your face, at least you will be putting a good laugh in someone’s stocking.

Betsy Johnson Darling Diamond Thigh Highs $18

I just think these are really versatile in the fact that they could go from seduction-to-snuggle. First, you have them on with some pumps & a cute dress. After everyone loses interest in clothing & disregards their shoes & ruffle some sheets, you can throw on a comfy sweater & your cute undies & hit the couch in these. They’re like pants but sexier.

T by Alexander Wang Knit Crew Neck Pullover $195

Who knows? Maybe this is the comfy sweater I was talking about! I just think every girl needs a good black sweater they could wear everyday if they wanted to. I like to buy mine a size or two too large & feel like I’m swimming in warmth.

Wool Blanket around $30

I’m sure I’m being totally not politically correct in calling these wool blankets “Mexican Blankets” but I feel like you totally know what I’m talking about now. I got this amazing one in my favorite color at my local hipster “general” store. I keep it on my couch where I snuggle it for hours while watching Storage Wars.

Demeter Suntan Lotion Perfume $6 – $39.50

It’s like being at the beach all year round! Okay, so this stuff doesn’t smell like coconut but it does smell like your mom’s Hawaiian Tropic from the late eighties which I LOVE. All you’ll need is one of those one pieces that barely covers your crotch & completely misses your hips & you’ll be set.

Hennessy $35

Because all us egomaniacal fiends really want to be rappers on the inside (sometimes).

Crosley Record Player $100+

I got one of these a couple years ago & I love it. They’re super stylish plus they come with speakers built in! Sure they kind of suck in terms of speakers but awesome when you don’t want to throw down for a whole sound system/want a gift for a girl who probably doesn’t give a shit about sound systems anyway.

The Doors, Self-Titled on vinyl $8+

I’m sure there are people out there frowning on this choice, but seriously, fuck you. It is not my fault that you have never been drunk on a hot summer day in Los Angeles. Anyone who doesn’t “get” The Doors, that’s all they need to do. Get super wasted in the heat of LA & suddenly The Doors make sense. I know this because everyone in LA is not from LA and they’re like “WTF” until I show them the light. This is my personal favorite Doors album. It’s so classic, super sexy & mad fiendish. I just want to get into a bottle & a bunch of trouble with it. Another great choice: Waiting For The Sun.

Women by Charles Bukowski $16

Tangents about booze & sex. Can’t get much more Marissa A. Ross than that.

MAC Wet, Wild & Wonderful PlushGlass $18.50

I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THIS! It’s my favorite lipgloss in the world. It’s not too dark with the quintessential amount of glimmer & tons of shine. Only downsides: it will ruin wine glasses & the faces of those you’re making out with. Oh well. Occupational hazards exist, ya’all.

Corkscrew Keychain $3 – $10

Do you know how many times people like me are in situations where they need a corkscrew but left the travel one from the Hilton in their other clutch? ALL THE TIME. That’s why this is a really affordable & smart gift!

Family Members’ Left Over Pharmaceuticals

For you broke, soulless types with access to your elderly-people relatives’ medicine cabinets or recent wisdom-teeth-losing younger siblings who haven’t discovered the recreational uses of Vicodin yet.

So, that’s it!

Unless you know where to get a bikini made of a hundred dollar bills?

Shit I’d Marry: Monster Rally’s Crystal Ball Vinyl

18 11 2011

Shit I love so much that yeah, I would marry it.

So, I think if someone was to accuse me of having an affair,
it’d be with Monster Rally & Gold Robot records

I’m so thrilled that they decided to release Crystal Ball on vinyl because to be totally honest, I needed it. I really can’t live my leisurely lifestyle without all of MR’s releases on beautiful vinyl. That’s just the bottom line.

Look at that! It’s so lovely!

You should get your limited copy at Gold Robot Records pronto.
Because there is no time of year that is not perfect
for escaping into the midcentury pool party in your mind.

Also be sure to check out the remixes of his first full length, Coral, now up!

Monster Rally’s Crystal Ball

Shit I’d Marry: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

1 11 2011

Shit I love so much that yeah, I would marry it.

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that makes your world a sunnier place. Suddenly, you realize you’re not alone and that even those you admire the most, have been in the same place you are now. The book makes you laugh for all the right reasons and you can feel the joy of it shiver from your toes to your heart. It’s basically the book you always dreamed of writing but it’s written a thousand times better.

This is that book.

Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is the best book you will read this year. In fact, I can say with certainty, that this is actually one of the best books I’ve ever read and definitely one of the only five that have made me honestly laugh out loud. It’s one of those books I snorted over, then read back aloud to Dudefriend. And then, he laughed out loud too.

It is effortlessly funny with the perfect mix of formats, both long form essays that serve as entertaining and heartwarming memoirs as well as quick and hilarious quips that read like a blogger’s dreeeam post.

I am fortunate enough to work with Mindy and I am so grateful she is a part of my life. Every ounce of sweetness, charm, hilarity, intellect and wit you see of her is genuine. I’ve never met a more generous and lovely person. I sincerely hope everyone buys this book and enjoys it as thoroughly as I did.

Mindy is the Beyoncé of comedy.
You are a fucking fool not to read this.

Shit I’d Marry: Hong Kong Cavalier

11 10 2011

Shit I love so much that yeah, I would marry it.

Oh, damn, somebody’s comin’ up
trying to get me all infatuated & shit!

Hong Kong Cavalier is this dude I know nothing about,
but my home boy JJ sent me and I’m like,

The perfect blend of surf-pop-lo-fi-garage-fuzz that I can’t help but fall helplessly in love with, HKC is a quintessential addition to any iTunes library that plans on maintaining an air of Indian Summer throughout the cold remainder of 2011.

I’m also a sucker for loops & sound bytes from movies,
so I mean, yeah, Hong Kong Cavalier is my new jumpoff.
I don’t know what else to say but just like believe me,
& press play.

Shit I’d Marry: Lost Atlas

7 09 2011

Shit I love so much that yeah, I would marry it.

If there is anything quintessential to my existence– aside from breathing, writing & drinking– it is the perpetual summer I create for myself and (sometimes to their dismay) those around me. Born and bred in Southern California, the majority of my childhood weekends were spent at the beach or the pool. I can’t stand not being in the sun for more than a couple days, and there is nothing I love more than a cocktail next to a body of water.

That being said, my Dudefriend is from Chicago.
For the longest time my obsession with laying in the sun boggled him,
and totally fucked all my ideas of “fun”.

Luckily, over the past year Dudefriend,
a super gnarly snowboarder,
has picked up surfing.

This is hands down one of the best things
that has ever happened to our relationship.

Not only does this give us both a reason to be at the beach every weekend, but it has also brought professional surf videos back into my life, which in my personal opinion are the best (& only) pro-sport videos to watch. Skateboarding is kind of cool too but it just doesn’t have shit on surf videos. I know this because I worked at Active Ride Shop, which means I have seen a lot of skate videos and none of them are as dope as surf videos, and especially not THIS surf video.

I wanted to recount all my years spent scouring the Newport harbor for surfer boys, but I will spare you the gushy details of my pre-teens daydreaming about Kelly Slater and get to the point.

Lost Atlas fucking kills it.

Here’s why:
1. SIIIICK surfers, including some household favorites
like Dane Reynolds, Craig Anderson & Dion Agius.
2. The cinematography looks straight out of a fucking Wildfox lookbook.
3. And most importantly to my audience, THE SOUNDTRACK IS INSANE.

Watching this video is like taking my ideal three months of vacation around the world looking through that perfect weed/sunglass filter and checking out mad babes while listening to a mixtape I made myself.

It features Dead Gaze, Summer Camp, White Fence, Dirty Beaches, La Sera, Washed Out, BAnanas Symphony, Grimes and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It also features this totally critical New Zealand bro I’d never heard of named Connan Mockasin.

I dig this title track from his latest release,
which is also featured in Lost Atlas.

Seriously, I’ve been watching this surf video
like every other day for the last month,
and I’m still bowling the fuck over it.


Congratulations, Kai Neville.
You win.


Go wish his neckbeard a good one on Twitter.


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