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Albums of 2012 - Who's the Best?

There are "Best of 2012" lists all over the Internet. It would be wrong of me not to follow suit.

Here, for your list-reading convenience, I have compiled the top fives from the most reputable of music sources: +Rolling Stone , All Music by Rovi, +Billboard and +The GRAMMYs .


Rolling Stone:

5) Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
4) Bob Dylan - Tempest
3) Jack White - Blunderbuss
2) Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
1) Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

All Music:

5) Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
4) Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. City
3) Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
2) Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
1) Grimes - Visions

Billboard:
5) Taylor Swift - Red
4) Jessie Ware - Devotion
3) Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
2) Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
1) Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

And here, in case you don't already know, the Grammy picks for Album of the Year (not all of these fall within the 2012 calendar year, but were still vital albums in 2012; hence their nomination):

Last Week in Pix / 2x2

It's the last week of 2012!! We made it through the end of the world (as we know it) and now it's time for a whole new world, a whole new year, a whole new lease on life!
Here are a few images from last week:
We had a shopping event at my studio, Yoga Shelter LA, and of course I chose a station right next to the food table.  There were so many gluten free or vegan treats I didn't know what to do with myself! 
Wow. More chocolate. Typical.  These were for sale in the +Jose Eber Hair Salon in Beverly Hills. It's a glittery purple pump made entirely of chocolate. They call it The Doriean. Just kidding

 And the salon looked gorgeous! All Christmasy and festive. Every tree was decorated with purple to match the salon... Just beautiful. 
Oh, why was I at the salon? For work, of course. Model casting. I don't really enjoy these things. I feel super judgmental the whole time. But, work is work.

 Last week was my office Holiday party. We went to dinner at Le Petit Four whi…

I Guest Blogged at Boston Sweetie! - Gluten Free Nutella Cookies

Hello, lovelies!
One of my very dear friends, Stacey at Boston Sweetie, asked me to write a guest post for her blog.  Ain't she purty? 
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Obviously she doesn't read the crap you post or she would never ask that..." No! I know what you're really thinking: "Wow, Doriean, that's great! You should be so excited!" Oh, how kind of you!
Well I AM excited! You can read it here and also check out her entire blog. It's full of yummy goodness almost as sweet as she is. 
You can read my post by clicking here.
Enjoy!
*

Yule Tune Review Pt 3 - Compilations and Classics

Hi!  Well, it's almost Christmas (pending the world doesn't come to a screeching halt at some point today) and I have one more Yule Tune post for you. This is a three-fer. Woo! (Again, cramming it all in before the Mayans prove us all wrong. You know. Just in case.)

The Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs - Various Artists (The Compilation)
All of my favorite new holiday songs this year have come from this album. Save the Hanson version of 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' which isn't new, I just never listened to it really before and...feel free to judge me but I really like it.  Anyway, back to 'Winter Songs': There are your share of Christmas classics, but there is also a great selection of originals to choose from. Plus, all of your favorite adult contemporary artists (Sara Bareilles, Meiko, Fiona Apple and more) are here for the holiday party! Fave Tracks:  'Winter Song'- Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson  : Title track! This song is purdy …

Last Week in Pix / 2x2

Hi! Another week gone by, 2012 is almost over...are you making the most of it? Judging by how few pictures I took last week I'm not. I've got to take more pictures! 

I made cookies!! Correction: I made GLUTEN FREE cookies! They looked not great (gluten flour = flat cookies) but they tasted really yummy. You'll be able to read all about them soon on my friend Stacey's blog. I'll keep you posted...
Certain Someone invited me to his new place up in the hills. It's a pretty spectacular crib. I took a picture from the top of the hill, but because it was late you can't really see how amazing the view is. Either way, here it is:
Taking a picture from my car may have also dampened the effect. I'll try for better images next time I'm over there. 
I received an invite to the most prestigious and anticipated party of the year! It was tons of fun and I love getting drunk spending time with so many wonderful people.
That's all, folks. I took no more picture…

Friday Earsnacks!

I know I don't usually blog on Fridays, but because I've been covering Christmas albums all month you've been missing out on all the other great music!
Well, I'm sure you haven't been missing out. But I haven't been able to share the non-holiday tunes I'm bumping and that, friends, is a travesty. 
So here are a few quick tracks that I can't get enough of right now:
Gary Clark, Jr. - You Saved Me
I've been listening to Gary Clark, Jr. for several weeks now thanks to Certain Someone. You have GOT to check this kid out. He's extremely versatile. His album, 'Blak and Blu' proves that with every track. He jumps from Black Keys-esque rock to Maxwell-ish R&B/Soul to down-home blues and back again. My absolute favorite track is 'You Saved Me'. It sounds so sexy and you can't help but groove to it. Ugh. Love. 

Mikky Ekko - Pull Me Down
Christopher sent me this song and the first night I heard it I played it on repeat all night. I…

Yule Tune Review Pt 2: Country Christmas

When I was little I sort of felt like I wasn't supposed to like country music, being African American and all. Plus, Daddy never listened to country and - since I did everything my Daddy did - neither did I.

As I grew older I learned that Mama LOVES country music. Like, really really loves it. So it became not so bad. Plus, I'm from Oklahoma and country music is everywhere.

Now that I've given you a brief history of my appreciation for country music, let's get into this review already, gee golly.

Lady Antebellum - On This Winter's Night


This Christmas album is...pleasant. It's full of your classic covers played acoustic and semi-acoustic. This group has perfected the art of harmony, and this skill rings true on every song. It's hard not to smile, sway and hum along.

There's nothing extremely stand-out about any of the tracks, however. I'm actually angry about their rendition of 'This Christmas'. It literally pisses me off. I can't even g…

Last Week In Pix / 2x2

I feel like so much happened last week! But really it was just a crazy busy work week where I had plans every night after work. I took pictures of most of those plans.
Tuesday I took Sonic to The Grove for pictures with Santa!
Unfortunately, they made us leave because the line was too long and "Santa had to get home to Mrs. Claus by nine."  Bullshit. I'm not a five year old! Don't lie to me! Cut the line from now on, don't make people who have been waiting thirty minutes leave empty handed! Needless to say, we were sad. 
But Chris, Sonic and I got to wander around The Grove summoning all will power in order not to buy anything save a sip from Starbucks.  Then we celebrated National Cookie Day at the best possible place to do so: Diddy Riese. Yum.
The very next night happened to be pet night at The Americana. So after work I took Sonic there for round two of pictures with Santa. Jay Leno had just completed an interview when we got there. I managed to snap a supe…

Yule Tune Review

Tis the season for Christmas music! Hooray!

This week I have two albums for you. Both you should listen to, but one you should listen to all season long!

Colbie Caillat - 'Christmas in the Sand'

I don't like Colbie Caillat. I'll just put that out there. Her music has no substance. It's not even bubble gummy it's just...fluff.

Well, this Christmas album is no different. It's half-assed attempt at your holiday favorites, with some flousy originals thrown in there for good measure. It's good background music if you're having a holiday get together. Who doesn't need more company-friendly music?

Favorite tracks:

Christmas in the Sand - This one is my favorite song on the album because a) it's an original (as far as I know) so I have no other version to compare it to, giving Colbie a leg up where she has none on other songs on the album and b) I'm staying in LA for Christmas so, essentially, it will be Christmas in or very near to the sand for…

Last Wk in Pix / 2x2

Enter December!! Can you believe 2012 is almost over? Are you planning to make the most out of what the Mayans thought would be the last days of life as we know it?
Because we were coming back from a holiday, I thought for sure last week would drag. Luckily - luckily may not be the word - things were extremely busy at work. We are going through a lot of changes, I've gained more responsibility and the days flew by. So hopefully I can breeze through this post just as easily. 
Monday I went to yoga and it was an incredible class. Mentally and physically an amazing workout. I got home, supremely relaxed, sat down to do my nails because I had an important meeting Tuesday that I wanted to look really nice for. For some reason I got all tensed up while doing my nails and thinking about said meeting that all of the sudden there was a twitch followed by excruciating pain in my wrist.  I couldn't rotate it or bend it. My pinky finger, ring finger and thumb were tingling. This was not …

Suggested Tunes for Times Like These

"Times like these" meaning those drought periods when no artist of interest to you releases new music. 
I tried to listen to Rihanna's 'Unapologetic' and could not handle it. I thought I was old when Chris Brown's latest album dropped. Now I know I am. The poppy nothingness just doesn't sustain me. Yes it's catchy, it's repetitive, the beats are simple enough that any skinny white chick could figure out how to shake her ass to them. But when the album ended I felt like I was robbed. (Luckily I streamed it for free).
When these droughts occur, I like to go back to my CDs. 
CD= Compact Disc.  Definition: those round, silvery things in the floor board of your car that are horribly scratched and probably unplayable. 
These are the ones I pulled out that I suggest you listen to if you haven't in awhile. If you've never listened to one or any of these GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Just kidding. Check them out for sure, though. 

Dashboard Confessional &#…

Last Week in Pix/2x2

Last week = Thanksgiving week! I was really looking forward to a break. As I was looking, forward I spotted this on my way to work early last week:

This, my Twihards, is dedication. 
I've become addicted to hot chocolate with Hazelnut Baileys. 
I went through an entire bottle of Baileys this weekend. I may have a problem. 
For Thanksgiving most food was supplied, but I wanted to make mac&cheese. I decided to alter my recipe so that it was gluten free. 
It turned out pretty good. When I use Almond Milk, however, I need to add more salt and more cheese. 

Below is our bourgie meat and cheese plate that Chris put together. 
Which we demolished!!
Sonic got some playtime in with Uncle Chris...

We took our Happy Thanksgiving portrait 'Californians' style:

Friday night Chris and I dropped in on Johnny Polygon's Venice shindig. He was DJing, not rapping. I was sort of hoping for some rap-action. But alas...

Super exciting, right? Well. That's how Thanksgiving goes when…

Last Week in Pix/ 2x2

Happy Sunday!
This week was relatively quiet until Thursday rolled around. On Thursday my world sort of exploded. I entered a Twitter contest with DigitalLA for tickets to the advanced screening of the final Twilight movie. Immediately after entering, I got a text from Mike inviting me to a party thrown by the project he had been working on all week. I accepted, thinking there was no way I would win the Twitter contest. 
Joke's on me. I won the contest and needed to be downtown for the movie at 5:30pm. The party was at 9pm. I rolled out of bed that morning, so I looked like luke warm crud. Trust me, it was bad. My plan had been to go home, nap, shower then head out to Hollywood for the party. But with this movie there wouldn't be time for that. 
I started my trek downtown from the valley at 4:20. An hour and ten minutes would be enough time, right? 
WRONG. Meet LA traffic. I did not make it by 5:30. I was thoroughly upset, called Chris (who had also won entry) crying because …

New Tune Review! 'Lotus' & 'Paradise'

We got a healthy dose of new music this week, people! I hope you're as excited as I am. 
Christina Aguilera - 'Lotus' Christina has proven her incredible range over and over. She's revealed her cute, then rockin, then thick voluptuous bod. She's shown she plays well with others - at least as far as music is concerned. 
So what's left? Judging by 'Lotus', not a whole lot. 
It's as if she got some pop-tastic beats, pulled her friends together (friends='The Voice' costars Cee-Lo and Blake Shelton) and held a playdate at the inner city park. 
Don't get me wrong, the songs are fun. But there are no adorable 'Genie in a Bottle' moments; no arousing 'Dirty' tracks; no introspective tunes like 'Beautiful'. It's just...not exciting. X-tina has been giving out so much advice on 'The Voice' that perhaps she feels she has nothing left to learn herself. 
'Lotus' is good. Chick can SANG, no doubt. But if you…

Last Week in Pix/2x2

Hey kiiiiiids! A good handful of things happened last week, so let's get to it:
Last week, Christopher took us to a Laker game!!  Yes, I have great disdain for the Lakers. But I'm not going to pass up the NBA in VIP, OMG! 
Had to sport the Thunder shirt. 
 If I'm not mistaken, this is the first game the Lakers won this season. Apparently I'm good luck for Lakers. 

I hope all of you went out to vote! I am completely overjoyed that my POTUS gets four more years to solidify the great work he's done. 



Friday I went to see 'Skyfall' at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
(Picture from lalist.com)
I've been to the Arclight before, but never in the dome. It was superb! The movie was incredible and so was the company. 

Saturday I represented Yoga Shelter at the North Hollywood Farmers Market!  It was actually a lot of fun reaching out and talking to strangers about yoga. I got to spend time with a few awesome yogis and drank some juice I'm sure had mor…