The O-town Scene

January 10, 2013

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Laygirl Fashion|By Emily Popek New Music Notes|By Mark Boshnack 2013 Brings Need to Reptile Youth Regale Not Suffer for Fashion with Tale of Yoko Ono I've never been a big one for New Year's resolutions. Lately, a new year just seems like another page of the calendar, which whizz by ever faster as I grow older. But in keeping with the spirit of the new year, I offer the following fashion resolutions, which I do hope to uphold: 1. I resolve not to be boring. This is nothing new for me. If I have a fashion credo, it's "Don't be boring." But, like everyone else, I get lazy sometimes and throw on a pair of gray slacks, a navy sweater and flats, and call it a day. Well, no more. Life's too short to be boring, and if I'm going to justify this crazy shoe habit I seem to have developed, I'm going to have to actually wear some of them out of the house. 2. I resolve to let my outside match my inside. Not in the "I wear black on the outside because I'm black on the inside" way, but in the "My clothes say something about me" way. Too many times, I have picked out an outfit because it looked stylish or interesting or polished or cute — but it didn't look like me. And as much as I love getting any type of compliment, it means a lot more when I feel like what I'm wearing really expresses something about who I am. 3. I resolve to not suffer unduly for fashion. There's no good reason to wear clothes or shoes that don't fit. I am a grown-up and I can buy myself nice things that fit me properly. I don't have to suffer in ill-fitting shoes or hitch up a too-loose pair of pants all day long. And if there's something I really love that doesn't fit quite right, I can have it altered. I hear there are tailors that do this type of thing. Although that leads me to No. 4 … 4. I resolve to sew. I read a lot of sewing blogs, which has instilled in me the deep desire to start making my own clothes. Anyone who knows me is probably laughing themselves out of their chair right now, because a) I'm lousy at sewing and b) I am typing this column right now in my bathrobe on the floor next to my daughter's crib in the middle of the night because this was the only time I could squeeze out to write it. But damn it, if you are committed to something, you find the time. And I really want to do this. I am going to get over my fear/hatred of the sewing machine and whip up something really awesome … like maybe a scarf. Hey, I may be ambitious, but I'm not crazy. Emily F. Popek is still a little traumatized from a high school sewing class that did not go well at all. She is also assistant editor at The Daily Star. With the release of the self-titled album by Reptile Youth, I have to wonder, is it the next Arctic Monkeys? Reptile Youth is an electro-pop duo from Denmark that built up a devoted following over several years before it released its first album. With songs like "Be My Yoko Ono" and "Black Swan Born White," it clearly has what it takes to make it big — an understanding of what it takes to draw in the listener — but sometimes they stray. This brought back memories of the Arctic Monkeys, who exploded on the scene in 2006 with its first album. With punk rock songs such as "I Bet that You Look Good on the Dance Floor" and "Fake Tales of San Francisco," it was one of fastest selling records in Great Britain. But the few songs that strayed from the successful formula turned out to be a glimpse of issues that clouded its future records for me. The group strayed too far from what they did best. Listening to Reptile Youth, there are some outstanding tunes, with a few that miss the Reptile Youth mark. I am hoping that the group sticks with what it does best on the next album. Vocalist Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen and bassist Esben Valloe have put together some great songs for this outing, starting with the opening track — "Black Swan Born White." Sounding LCD Soundsystem-inspired, Valloe's funky bass, along with strong drums and synthesizer, helps Kristiansen tell the tale of a man who is out of sorts and looking for love. With lines such as "I'm a black swan born white, but you can make it alright tonight," it gets the album off to a promising start. "Morning Sun" is a little too poppy, but "Dead End" features the solid rhythm section and vocals that tell a story of a man in search of meaning. With lines such as "I feel like Moses at a dead end / waiting for the sea to be divided/ waiting for someone to lead the way," it's got a lot going for it. Then there is "Speeddance," a song that features an enthusiastic vocal performance by Kristiansen, once again backed by a funky groove. To get an idea of the energy this band can generate, check out the band's video on this one. Then it's on to my favorite track, "Be My Yoko Ono "— a tale of life with a memorable chorus. "Be My Yoko Ono I need someone to hold my hand ... for you I'll break up my band." Once again, the band's video adds some imaginative visuals to a memorable song. But then the album slows down, with "A Flash in the Forest," which isn't bad, but seems strangely out of place. "It's Easy to Lose Yourself," seems like someone's error in judgement. So it's a mixed bag on this one, but the world would be a poorer place without some of these tracks. So c'mon Reptile Youth, I'm pulling for you. Mark Boshnack is a reporter for The Daily Star, and a music fiend. He can be reached at Contributed mboshnack@ thedailystar.com. Jan. 10, 2013 O-Town Scene 5

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