Monday, February 28, 2011

Farewell to the Lovely Jane Russell

One of the last, true Pin-Up icons of the 40's and 50's passed away today in California.

If you have a WWII Pin-Up girl tattoo, chances are, that lovely lady was modeled after Jane Russell.

She was the leading Pin-Up stationed overseas during the war, famous for her gorgeous smile, and of course ... her gorgeous figure.

Jane, you will be missed!

"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Star Dies at 89"

Must See Music: Eli Paperboy Reed

In my opinion, the Rockabilly music scene needs some spice ...
Or in this case, some soul.

I've been following Eli Paperboy Reed around for the last few years.
Following. Not stalking, might I add.
(Classy ladies shouldn't have to stalk ;)

And I must say, I am thoroughly impressed by this man, and the band he performs with. Thoroughly.

He gave me legitimate chills the first time I heard him sing, and has been the prime reason for putting on my "boogie shoes" multiple times.

Eli is a fellow Brooklyner, which leads some to believe he's more Hipster than hip ... but this little white boy has more soul than the Devil himself could ever buy.
Check this out...

This video shows him playing acoustic, but he is usually backed by "The True Loves," who can really shake em' down.

Do you happen to live in Austin?? Lucky you ... ;)
Buy tickets for this show in advance. Just do it. You can thank me later!

Eli Paperboy Reed & the True Loves - Live at Stubb's BBQ - Sunday, March 20th.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"You'll Never Win a Battle with a Well Read Woman"

Alright all you intelligent Rockabilly Ladies.
With temptation lurking ...

...persuading you to pick up an Us Weekly, rather than a thick & hearty page turner ...
I implore you to resist and opt for something a wee be classier, and FAR more entertaining.
And if you're looking for quality Rockabilly-esque suggestions, I'd be happy to give some advice on the subject.

Recently I've become rather obsessed with Raymond Chandler.
Likely you've seen the film adaptation to his most famous novel,
The Big Sleep, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. A must see, in my opinion.

But interestingly enough, he has a whole slew of books that fall into the L.A. Noir category. I just finished, "The Long Goodbye," which was absolutely incredible.

Philip Marlowe, the main character, is a hardboiled PI with more wit and sarcasm in his one liners than anything I've seen in recent literature or film. Raymond Chandler is a genius in my book. I'd love 5 minutes and a shot of whiskey with the man. Just absolute genius. ;) 

We're talking hot, dangerous dames with long legs and classy cars, big city crime and tons of suspense.
I recently ordered all of his short stories and early novels that I've yet to read, and hardly know what to do with myself in the meantime!

So there you have it. Hours of endless, and classy, entertainment.
Let's stop following Jessica Simpson's "battles with the bulge" or Lindsay Lohan's impending jail sentence...
We're better than that, aren't we?

You can thank me later ... ;)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Lady Can't Live Without ...

... Lot's of things ...

But I think it's important to note that a lady really shouldn't be without a small "nook" to call her own.

In a home filled with roommates,  husbands, children ... or in my case, boyfriend & pitbull ... I think it is imperative that the modern lady have a simple vanity.
This may sound trivial, but hear me out. 
A vanity offers a small intimate space that a woman can call her own. 

A place to unwind. A place to start her day. A place to keep her endless bottles of perfume, bobby pins,  jewelry and lipstick, of course. A place where she can display those little trinkets that the boyfriend won't allow on the fireplace mantle. A place to light the scented candle that he thinks is "stinky" ... and so on ;) 

I must admit, I'm one lucky lady these days. Freddy built me the equivalent of a walk-in closet in our sun room, just off the kitchen. It may be a bit make-shift, but it's all I need. I get to watch the sunrise in the  morning while I get ready for work ...
...and I get to put my makeup on in my own little space, not having to worry about sharing the bathroom mirror in a frantic attempt to look somewhat put-together before catching the morning train.
As far as I'm concerned, all ladies deserve this little slice of privacy.
As you can see, mine is not some expensive, glamorous armoire. 
I have a portable kitchen cutting table with an antique mirror that belonged to my grandmother, simply propped up against the wall.

My jewelry box is a new addition ... a gorgeous
Mele & Co., ivory & creme oak finish with a suede fabric lining.

Apparently, the Mele family immigrated from Italy to New York in the early 1900's, and became famous for making exquisite keepsake boxes for Purple Hearts during the war.

Now, I have my own to display my wonderful vintage treasures along side the other brick-a-brack I've collected throughout the years.

So there's my space. :)
Sweet and simple. But in my mind, well deserved. 
I hope I've inspired you to create your own if you don't have one already!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Just Wanna' Dance!

Too often it seems that true Rockabilly nightlife is dead. Kaput. Finito.
Do you know what I mean?
For starters, check THESE guys out!
When was the last time you rocked this hard??
Or have you ever?
Sure, there are several spots in Austin that knock your socks off on a pretty regular basis, so I'm not pointing fingers there.
However, the rest of the country seems to be lacking in joints where you can really jump & jive...

New York does a pretty fantastic job with their club, Swing 46.

This commercial may have a high cheese factor, but it is still one of my favorite spots in the Big Apple.

I just feel like music was SO integral in the original Rockabilly culture, and now, too often we find ourselves sporting the look without having any ties to our musical roots.

My boyfriend and I have close to 1,000 vinyl records, most of which being oldies, but goodies.
I'll be sure to spotlight some of our favorite Rockabilly musicians on this blog over the course of the next few months ...

But I would love to hear some of your musical suggestions! Also, where do you go when you really want to swing? Throw some worthwhile Rockabilly bars my way, and I'll be sure to visit!

(I'm especially keen to San Francisco suggestions at the moment, for obvious reasons ;)

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Please, Read Before you Dress!

Ladies ... how did we come so far in the wrong direction ... in so little time??

Now, I understand. Not everyone works in an office, therefore, not everyone needs to dress like the fabulous buxom red head you see keeping the books for Don Draper and the likes ...
So your work attire may be a bit more laid back, I get it.

But never should I ever expect to see such disregard for one's appearance as you see here on the right.

Sneakers are NOT to be worn with skirts on your commute to work.
I saw this 9 times this morning alone, and it makes my head spin!

Invest in a sweet little pair of Audrey Hepburn flats if you aren't a "Suffer for Fashion" kind of girl.
There's nothing wrong with that.
But let's try to salvage our femininity in the process, yes?

In New York and especially in California I keep running across women who literally look like they ran out of their house in a fire, with their PJ's on, and a pair of non-street worthy shoes.

If this is truly the case, I am sorry for your loss.

If the fire theory is not a reality, then you need to invest in a mirror.

There was a day when women had great pride in their appearance at all times. They would get dolled up to go to the grocery store. Put on mascara and a skirt to take the dog out. This may be an extreme in our modern society, but I would like to believe that the Rockabilly woman ...
(Being as how she is obsessed with all things vintage) ... would be the one leading the pack back towards some semblance of style.

Especially given the more "Asexual" fashions that have emerged in our society as of late.

So for the love of God. Put on a dress every now and then!

Throw on a pair of fitted capris, grab your flats and a cardigan, and maybe a little bit of lipstick, eh?
Pony tail, flower, headband ... something!
Let's put some of that sass back into walkin' the dog, eh? ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Take your "Katy Perry" and Shove It.

OK, that may sound a tad bit harsh.
Let me just clarify ... I have nothing against Katy Perry, on a personal level. She's never wronged me in any way.

I'm definitely the "Anti-Fan" when it comes to her music, but nothing personal, like I said.

More than anything, I'm disappointed in the mass population.

To start ... I swear,  if I hear, "Hey, I love your Katy Perry bangs!" one more time ... I can't be held responsible for what I do to that person. Just saying. I'm so sick of the ignorance!

And yes, I deem this to be "historical ignorance."

Surely, people ... SURELY you have heard of
Bettie Page!?!

Katy Perry can replicate the Bettie Page bangs all day long, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I do ...
But people can't really be so shallow as to believe she invented this look??
Her hit song, "I Kissed a Girl" might be revolutionary to some, but this hair style is VINTAGE, people!
You are simply looking at a modern Rockabilly resurgence in our pop culture ...

Let's take a closer look at some modern celebrities with so called "Katy Perry Bangs," shall we? ...



Where do you weigh in on the subject?

I guess you could say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

But I'm also inclined to say that I love the Rockabilly style because it is relatively unique.
Are we in danger of losing ourselves and our identity to a teeny bopper sensation??
Love to hear your thoughts on this one ;) ....

Friday, February 18, 2011

For the Love of Burlesque: Part 1

Some may say, save the best for last.
However, I honestly don't believe I can discuss the modern world of Burlesque without first showing you my absolute favorite performer.
She's just the bees knees!

I've been to Burlesque shows all over the US, from New York to San Francisco, and everywhere in between.

And all I can say is, there is only one Angie Pontani.

Sure, there are all sorts of styles when it comes to modern Burlesque. And sure, sometimes I prefer something a bit more tongue in cheek, or comical. But Angie's style is the epitome of elegance. 

She's taken the titles of both Miss Exotic World and Miss Cyclone, my personal Coney Island favorite :)

And she's an Italian Stallion living in Brooklyn,
which means I had countless Angie performances to choose from during my time in NY.

Looking for proof?
The video above is one of her most classic numbers.
If your boyfriend hates the ballet, maybe this is a fair compromise?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bubble Gum Girl

Some may say this is me "projecting my own neurosis" onto the general population ...
But I see it as an opportunity to voice a very important principle of proper etiquette.
This goes for all women, across the globe ... regardless of "style." 

It is not now, nor has it ever been, acceptable to chew with your mouth open.
It is simply NOT OK.

Smacking your bubble gum does not make you appear:
A. Sexy
B. Flirtatious
C. Social

Smacking gum and popping obnoxiously loud bubbles makes you look like a child.
I'm sorry, but that's the harsh truth of the matter.

And not just any child, at that ...
A child that was never taught any table manners.

Now, I know your grandma didn't let that fly when you were a kid. ;)

So show a little respect for those around you, and keep those pretty red lips closed while chewing!

If you're squirming in your chair right now, a little red in the face because you know I'm talking to you .... have no fear.

It's never too late to develop a good habit!
God knows, I've started late on a few...

Simply start now, paying close attention to your "form" when eating.

Even pick a partner in crime, someone you trust, who can call you out when you slip up!
If she doesn't ... I will! ;)

Now take this, go out into the world, and chew silently, with poise and grace ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back to the Roots


A little background, shall we? 

To start, the term, "Rockabilly," refers to the merging of 1950's Rock music and "Hillbilly" country music, primarily in the South. Being a Southern girl at heart, I'm happy to embrace all of these elements, and the decades they celebrate. In fact, I'll be the first to raise a Lonestar and dance a jig to  Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Now, the other side of the subculture's equation is referred to as "Gothabilly," which I tend to lean towards, given my fascination with Classic Cars, Film Noir and all things Bettie Page. 
You can expect to see lots of leather, high heels, pencil skirts and fishnet stockings in this crowd. Which, by the way, I think can be pulled off in a manner that suits all women, of all shapes and sizes. (Which is more than I can say about today's modern fashions) ...

Furthermore, these ladies tend to boast elaborate tattoos.     
(Myself included...) If done well, these can only add to the woman's mystique, as far as I'm concerned. But if done wrong .... well, let's just leave it at that, shall we? If you feel so inclined to explore the depths to which some will sink ... well, just have a look at this fabulous collection of nonsense. "Gallery of Ink that Stinks"

If you are looking for a little perspective regarding my initiation into this vintage loving culture, I'd have to say, that my very first Rockabilly / Gothabilly role model, as corny as this will sound, was Traci Lords in Cry-Baby.

Yes, I was only 8  years old, and yes, I had a raging crush on Johnny Depp's character ...  but above all else,  I recognized something in her style. She may have been ultra-sexy, but she was also ultra-classy.
I mean, look at that luggage! And just the right amount of leg ... bravo!
A perfect example of "Less is More"
So given that we come from a long line of classy ladies, I'm a bit shocked at some of the recent Rockabilly spin-offs.

For example ... what are we trying to channel here?

Size / Schmize. You can be a size 14 and pull it off with grace and sex appeal.
But this is a classic example of a Rockabilly "no-no" ...

I personally think the gal could take a lesson from the "World Famous Bob"...
She's not a size 2, by any means ... but she knocks sex appeal out of the ball park.
I've seen her multiple times on stage at some of New York's finest burlesque shows, and I must say, we could all take a lesson from Bob.

So there you have it. A small initiation into my Rockabilly world ... and hopefully a glimpse into what I'm trying to achieve here with "The Rockabilly Sophisticate."

** And on a side note, I would LOVE to hear about YOUR first Pin-Up idol. ;)

More to come ... Ta Ta for Now!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Birth of The Rockabilly Sophisticate

Hello world of Blogging ...

So nice to see you again!

I've returned to your domain in an attempt to collect my thoughts with some vague amount of structure, but this time I would like to do so with one main theme in mind.
Rather than blog about travels and mishaps along the way, I've decided to cover a new beat.
But fear not !! ... there will be cynicism, sarcasm and humor just as before.
(I can't operate any other way, to be quite honest.)
Some may be offended, others may learn a thing or two ...
and some may contribute their own thoughts, which is where the real fun begins. ;) 

Now, on to the point ...

Over the years I've adopted what most are quick to label as  "Rockabilly" style.

If you generically add up the tattoos, the vinyl records, the Bettie Page bangs, the obsession with vintage clothing and the affinity for 1950's Chevy's, then  yes ...
I suppose you could call me a Rockabilly.

However, if you take a closer look, you'll see that I don't quite fit the mold.
In fact, one may be inclined to say that I belong to this group like a pearl onion to a banana split.

Now do me a favor, and check out the images most associated with the term "Rockabilly."

I'm sorry, but I'm not exactly thrilled to be among them.
Nor am I too keen on carving out a spot for myself on this page.
And why, you may ask?

Well, please excuse my bluntness .... but I like to think I have more class in my pinky finger than most of those dames you see embracing the term.
(And I did say MOST ... as in, there are a few exceptions to the rule ... )

So, this brings me to the topic of my new blog.
I would love to have a hand in re-defining what it means to be a "Rockabilly Woman," and in doing so, I'm going to coin the term,
"Rockabilly Sophisticate."

I chose not to shun the word, as it really is a fascinating cultural phenomenon.
I would simply like to take the "feminine potential" to a new level ... here, on this little blog. 

We will cover topics ranging from feminine decorum, daily attire, the art of burlesque, rules of etiquette for classy Rockabilly ladies, and so much more.

Should be a hoot!