Sippy Cup – Melanie Martinez

Roller derby has a funny way of introducing you to people that are way, way cooler than you’ll ever be.

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While the derbyverse prides itself on being a diverse group, I’ve realized that a lot of players are tastemakers – influencers – and just generally “in,” on everything that’s smart.

In the case of this song by Melanie Martinez, I found it via the Facebook of another derby athlete who’s a baller. Homegirl puts me to shame on the track.

…And also when it comes to music taste.

“Sippy Cup” by Melanie Martinez showcases both her entrancing vocal style, as well as a storyteller heart, with brutal lyrics.

Martinez has a funny ability to permeate music and tv without you knowing it; she wrote the theme song for AHS: Freakshow – “Carnival.”

Her quirky style fits flawlessly with the quizzical turns that the show takes, and it’s obvious that she was a solid choice for a featured artist.

Matrinez was also a finalist in The Voice, which I found surprising for such a genuine artist.  (Given that singing reality shows feature cookie-cutter artists that slip back into obscurity after a few releases.)

I feel like Martinez has the sass and know-how to avoid that fate, though. The girl wrote her whole album, conceived the character Cry Baby (modeled after the insult she’d received her whole life) and had a 19 year-old friend create all of the artwork for it.

When you look further into her aesthetic, Martinez truly has evolved, even since her tenure on The Voice.

With babydoll outfits complete with giant hair bows, Martinez fits the Blue Velvet intro, as Billboard pointed out. She’s sickly-sweet on the surface, but if you lift the tablecloth, you’ll find gore and guts underneath.

She’s got an air of Lana Del Ray, but surprisingly, with more theatrics. (And less label tampering.)

Whether Martinez’ character Baby Doll can stand the test of time (and growing up) is yet to be seen, but regardless of what direction she takes, this artist will be fun to watch grow. Let yourself become engrossed in her YouTube videos and palatable cooing now, while you’re still considered an early adopter.

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Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge

For the sake of full disclosure, I LOVE American Horror Story. Judge as you see fit.

The truth is, I love the horror genre. But not enough films come out yearly to satiate my addiction. And unfortunately, I’m a snob (Whomp Whomp).

I really like higher production values. I’m not the person that can watch, “Space Aliens & Cheerleaders 6” and find value in it. I need history and culling from real events and trends to keep me interested.

But, mainly, I’m a sucker for a good set. Seriously. If the set is ominous enough, I’m all-in.

And with the art deco opulence that is AHS: Hotel, I’m wrapped already. (Especially when I saw the Shining-esque carpet in the lobby! Swoon.)

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Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

So it’s no surprise that when I heard “Tear You Apart,” playing in the background of a vampire menage a quatre, I was immediately intrigued.

She Wants Revenge is often categorized as “Darkwave,” “Gothic Rock,” etc. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t personally like any of their other tracks. But what I do love about this one is how it’s so unexpected, yet so fitting for the scene it’s in.

The monotone approach that Justin Warfield takes with his vocals works splendidly, lending to the eerie truth that The Countess and Donovan truly care for no one. Death, gore and violence are a hard constant of their reality. And even the sycophants like Donovan don’t always win.

She Wants Revenge seems like they fit nicely into that weird time around 2007/2008 with bands like Mindless Self Indulgence where they were slightly seeping into the mainstream despite obvious quirks to their music.

I’ve never exactly been a fan of industrial or electronic music, and despite a wardrobe of all black, I certainly don’t fit into the goth scene. But when a song sticks out and is attention-worthy, I have no problem playing it on repeat. I often still find myself repeating the line, “I like my coffee black just like my metal.

So kudos to She Wants Revenge for doing a great job of lodging themselves into my subconscious. And great work, AHS for continuing to pair haunting visuals, stunning setwork and memorable music together. You don’t have to like Glee to understand the addiction that Ryan Murphy can foster.

Life On Mars – David Bowie

I’m just going to be honest, here. I’m not usually addicted to television, but I’m madly in love with American Horror Story. The season could be a total dud, and I’m still going to watch every episode (*cough cough Asylum cough cough*)

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While I wasn’t wildly impressed with Freak Show, they did feature a lot of covers of music. One that initially slipped by me was “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie.

I’ve never been a huge Bowie fan. I know his popular songs, but I don’t plan on buying an album anytime soon.

But when Elsa Mars sung that song over – and over – and over, I had to look into it. The damned thing got stuck in my head!

Usually a song reference doesn’t slip past me, but I’m glad I eventually picked up that this wasn’t an original composition.

Of course, this was during Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust phase, and his one dilated pupil only adds to the eeriness. He’s pale as hell, and truly does look otherworldly. So, good on him for pulling that one off.

I do applaud AHS for their nod, including matching suit and makeup. I really do love it when a show takes a song and makes it their own. So while Bowie’s version is still best, it’s still fun to see references and how a song really can fit into – and transform – a show.