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First Person: Karaoke

Karaoke isn't just standing in a room and singing a song
it's a performance, a live show, a party and, yes, it's even a form of art. Whether you're renting out a room at your local karaoke hotspot, singing in front of 35 strangers, or busting out your PlayStation at two in the morning for a round of SingStar, k
araoke is one of our top party pastimes. 

What's better than
 getting together with your friends to sing your favorite songs and failing miserably while trying to remember the choreography to "Single Ladies"? 
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

For those of you too shy to try, I promise you won't regret it. 
When it comes to karaoke, there are no regrets—only proof that you're way more fun than you thought you were. 

We asked some friends and karaoke aficionados for their favorite places to perform, their go-to songs and their ultimate karaoke moments. Trust us, you won't want to miss a thing. —Alex & Ally 

Who: Charli XCX / Musician / London
Karaoke Song: "Kiss" or "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Prince
Karaoke Spot: New York. It's always better there and people take it really seriously, which is always funny. I actually went 'round one of my fans house recently to have a karaoke party with them and all of their friends. It was kind of crazy... 
Charli XCX's new album SuperLove is out now. 

Who: Tyler Glenn / Singer in Neon Trees / Provo, Utah 
Karaoke Song: "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. Belting the "start again" part is a real treat. 
Karaoke Spot: I'm very picky, but mostly I like to do it at stuffy industry parties or creepy sports bars. 

Who: Olivia Bee / Photographer / Brooklyn
Karaoke SongSomething by Madonna! Or the "Ooh You Touched My Tralala" song.
Karaoke SpotA friend's basement.

Who: JC Coccoli / Comedian / Los Angeles
Karaoke SongSalt-N-Peppa's "Shoop"
Karaoke SpotKorea Town. (Or a rich person's house. Those are always pretty epic.)

Who: Katie McCurdy / Photographer / NYC 
Karaoke Song: Cheap Trick "I Want You to Want Me" 
Karaoke Spot: Sing Sing or 59 Canal, NYC. 
Recently at a karaoke bar in the Poconos, PA, I was reprimanded by a security guard because my "dance routine" was a "safety hazard." 

Who: Jeremy Burke / Founder of Loud Village / Los Angeles
Karaoke Song"When You Were Young" by The Killers and also "Time To Pretend" by MGMT when I'm with my buddy, Ryan.
Karaoke SpotYE RUSTIC INN! We go every Tuesday after my comedy show at Best Fish Taco (it's right down the street). That or some good ol' Korean Karaoke in KTown.

Who: Miles Garber / Musician & Model / L.A. & NYC
Karaoke Song: "With Arms Wide Open" by Creed
Karaoke Spot: Wherever my friends and I stumble upon.

Who: Bobby Whigham / Photographer / Philadelphia
Karaoke Song: Salt-N-Peppa and any '90s love ballad 
Karaoke SpotRed Lounge in South Philly. It's a semi-hidden gem that is just starting to get some exposure. The amount of space you have to perform and hold the audience in the palm of your hand here is epic.

Who: Jac Vanek / Boss Lady at JAC VANEK (Shop at UO) / Los Angeles
Karaoke Song: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Karaoke SpotEither a shitty dive in Korea Town or for embarrassing novelty, Saddle Ranch.

Who: Joe Kusy / Guitarist and Vocalist for Far-Out Fangtooth / Philadelphia
Karaoke Song: "Give Me Just A Little More Time" by The Chairmen of the Board, although I really want to get wasted and do "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra.
Karaoke Spot: It's a tie between Ray's Happy Birthday Bar and the Adobe Cafe.

Spires "Candy Flip"

Spires are your favorite Brooklyn studio bros that were born to make dreamy landscapes for our ears. Jack, Samuel and Ethan are revivalists of both the downer shoegaze days of the '90s, and hypnotic heat of '60s psychedelia on "Candy Flip." (Produced by Connor Hanwick of The Drums, holla!)

As winter approaches, this song is already making us think of next summer's nights!

Candy Flip" b/w "Comic Book" is now available via online retailers such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as a 7" via Insound and on import at Rough Trade UK. —Alex

It's Ghost Dating Season:

Are you so over dating human beings? Well, have we found an alternative choice for you!

If you're feeling lonely this mystical month, definitely spend some time on to find the ghoulish partner that is out there for you! Maybe you will bond over your love for Twizzlers or your similar taste in records.

October 2013 is all about finding a steamy ghost lover on the internet who you can really bond with. Who cares about finding a new, real human who will look cute on Instagram in a Halloween costume selfie? As all your friends comment "OMFG! Who is that?", you can just post a picture with your way hotter ghost date.

The best part about dating a ghost is that you can hang out with them whenever, wherever!

Sure, people may think you are talking to yourself in public, but if anyone asks, just casually tell them that your current partner is a ghost and you guys are on a date right now. They'll be sure to understand!


Premiere: Icona Pop's "Girlfriend (The Chainsmokers Remix)"

We've been obsessed with Icona Pop since their badass, Charli XCX-penned, femme hero anthem "I Love It" held the world hostage.

And now our girls are back with their new song "Girlfriend"! We are proud to premiere this dope remix by The Chainsmokers which will be available on Beatport via Big Beat Records on 10/21.

"Girlfriend" is off Icona Pop's full-length debut, This Is…Icona Pop, available now on iTunes.

Time for a jam party alone in your bedroom... NOW! —Alex

The Ceremonies "Land Of Gathering"

The Ceremonies are three art-school brothers out of L.A. who have decided to grace the ghoulish month of October with their new, "Spring in the midst of Fall" video, "Land of Gathering." Did we mention two of them are twins?!  People, start swooning.

They are a bit of a mystery for now but with those pulsing drums and bursting choruses, it seems we will be hearing more from them very soon! Listen to their new self-titled EP via Spotify now and buy it on ITunes via Capitol Records. Alex

Happy October 3rd!

Don't be such a skeeze! Check your iPhone lock screen. Grab a glass of fruit punch!  Don't you know what day it is?! IT'S OCTOBER 3RD! THE ICONIC DAY THAT AARON SAMUELS ASKED CADY HERON WHAT DAY IT IS, DUH. In celebration, we rounded up our whole UO BLOG crew to tell you our favorite MEAN GIRLS quotes! So fetch.

Hazel: "I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can't help it that I'm popular".

Katie: "Shut up! I love that shirt on you."

Maddie: "I can't go out." *cough*cough* "I'm sick."

Angelo: "But you love Lady Smith Black Mambazo!"

Alex: "And they have this book, this burn book, where they write mean things about all the girls in our grade."

Ally: "So you can go shave your back now. Bye Jason."

Much love, Mean Girls.

Halloween Jams: Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back)

Halloween is almost here and, UO is ready to keep you posted every week of October with our favorite ghoulish and creepy pop videos. (#HalloweenJams, y'all.)

I remember when I was around 6 years old, my cousin was watching this music video late at night at around 9:00 PM and I walked in on accident and was both intrigued and terrified.  I couldn't sleep for the next week, and I would stare outside my bedroom window thinking that Nick Carter with vampire fangs was sitting on my roof like a bat waiting to drink my blood. The song looped in my head everywhere I went, and I thought that I was cursed. 

If you have nowhere to go or you are busy hanging out on the corner of internet street taking selfies in your Halloween costume, be sure to blast this song alone in the dark. Who knows what could happen?! —Alex

Music We Love: "Charm Attack" by Leona Naess

Picture yourself lying on your high school's grass field. It's 1999 and school just got out. You go home to drink a bottle of Sunny D and dance around your kitchen, alone, while a spellbinding song plays from the Adult Alternative station. The song is "Charm Attack" by Leona Naess. Sadly, we haven't heard from her since, but imagine Fiona Apple during her Tidal-era swallowing a bottle of Tinker Bell's pixie dust.

The mystifying lyrics, the calming and heart-bursting nostalgic chorus - it's haunting and electrifying. Still as good in 2013 as it was in 1999. You should definitely consider adding this to the Fall playlist on your iPhone. Alex

Charli XCX's "SuperLove"

Charli XCX's new music video "SuperLove" is like what people in the '60s would imagine the future to be like. Pretty millennial girls in buffalo platforms selfie-ing through an unknown Asian city as their faces glow via the skittle-lit arcade lights.

And did we mention the dancing robots? It's a minimal vision of the future, but both the alien disco sounds and "video-game IRL" imagery are an exciting direction for 2014 pop. "I think your hair looks better to one side!" Charli admits. Could she be singing about Aaron Samuels?!

"SuperLove" will be released December 1 via Asylum/Atlantic. —Alex

Girl Power: Adri Law

23-year-old photographer Adri Law is able to showcase the beauty of both California normalcy and the L.A. fashion and music scene in a clean and eloquent way. The palette of her art is gentle, dreamy and cohesive, giving her work a classic feel.

Girls can look just as pretty behind the camera as they do in front of it!

Check out some of our favorite shots from her official website and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter. —Alex

Sky Ferreira's "You're Not The One"

Sky Ferreira's new music video for "You're Not The One," directed by Grant Singer, lets you see an abusive relationship through a hallucinogenic lens. Her tongue-tied lyrics are refreshingly human as she reinforces New-Wave swagger, switching between powerful shouts and serene hums. It's the perfect medicine for your annual 3:00 AM crying session. ("It's the middle of the night and I'm so gone!")

Who will die in this game of cat and mouse? You'll just have to watch and see. 

If you like what you hear, "You're Not The One" is now available on iTunes! —Alex

Sky Ferreira's "You're Not The One" Teaser

It looks like Sky has brought something down from the heartbreaking extraterrestrial clouds and planted it into our human ears!  

Check out this 16-second clip of her new leather-raver-rebel music video for her new single "You're Not The One" directed by Grant Singer.

Long live lasers and bleach blonde hair!

It's coming soon.

P.S. #TeamSky

Style Icon: Nancy Downs (2k13 Reboot)

I have spent most of my midnights during the last three years trying to summon Manon (no results, YET!), all the while managing my crush on a fictional '90s teen witch: Nancy Downs (played by goth queen Fairuza Balk) from '90s cult classic The Craft.  She is a style icon in her own "Friday the 13th" right.

If Nancy were to be writing her spells down in a TextEdit instead of a journal, and reblogging Wicca iconography and pictures of dudes via pale blogs on Tumblr, this is how she would probably dress in our cyber-gothic world today! —Alex

Check out the essential Nancy Downs 2k13 Reboot look!

Get the look:
As a substitute for the school girl skirt, we think that Nancy would like to be comfortable in something more chill while casting hexes on boys in her class.

Blood red. Need I say more? 

Platforms instead of oxfords because duh. Futurism!

Always need to be protected.

This dark lipstick is already a steal for only four bucks, but that doesn't mean Nancy wouldn't shoplift it anyway.

P.S Never forget the best lesson she has taught us! We don't need to watch out for any weirdos because, "We are the weirdos, mister!"

Corner Crush: Kristin Prim

Our Friday the 13th style crush is none other than half poltergeist/half DIY Nine Inch Nails video vixen. Kristin Prim's an editor/fine artist of her self made magazine, Prim. Since she was 14, she's been getting front row seats at the hottest shows at NYFW and now she has a respected spot in the NYC art scene.  

Even though her style is minimal, it seems to contrast her powerful face.

When she isn't working on her mixed media/body art, she is posting creepy-chic things on her Instagram that we totally love! Check it out. —Alex

(Via Instagram)

Sky Ferreira Announces Debut Album, 'Night Time, My Time

Recently coming down from the success of last year's Ghost EP (buy it on iTunes!), 21-year-old singer/songwriter Sky Ferreira has been teasing clips from her then untitled debut album (the title has changed like 300 times—she's either stone cold ADHD or simply indecisive) on Instagram, on stage and in tidbits of lyrics on her personal Tumblr. (Look out for the kawaii .gif of her licking the cheeks of DIIV boyfriend Zachary Cole Smith!)

It feels like over the past few years we (as in the internet) were all watching Sky in transit and expected her to takeoff in the way we wanted her to, but since she is a young woman, we should let her find her identity. Let her slip different ones on like dresses, without judgment, until she is comfortable in whatever fits best. I mean, come on; growing up in the public, real time world must be pretty scary.

Now, it feels like her time has finally come and we can't be more proud. Patience is real!

She's gone from MySpace to Ck One to the cover of literally every magazine ever, gaining her a respected crown in the indie music scene. And now, Sky Ferreira is finally releasing her debut album Night Time, My Time via Captiol Records on October 29! 

For more info, head over to Pitchfork to see the tracklisting for the album as well as her future tour dates! —Alex

Meet Alex!

And now! Introducing the newest addition to our fabulous blog team... drum roll please... ALEX!!!!

"Sup? My name is Alex. I pretty much don't leave my house because everybody is terrifying. You can find me in my room drinking a coke, watching made for TV movies on VHS from the '90s and studying the production/songwriting credits on Britney Spears' discography. Oh yeah: I recently just finished writing my first novel, YOURS TRULY, BRAD SELA."

Read more from Alex on his Twitter page @alexkazemi and be on the lookout for his posts, coming to you right... now.