Recordings | Nov. 6, 2014

By Cait Brennan, Nov. 6, 2014.

Annie Lennox | Nostalgia | Blue Note | 

No matter how revolutionary they were at the outset, it seems every artist is destined to make an album of standards. There was certainly nothing standard about the sensational Annie Lennox when “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” took over MTV, and her solo debut Diva was an exciting reinvention and an instant classic of its own. True to form, Lennox takes on the classics in Nostalgia with a powerhouse vocal performance and a timely set of tunes.

The opener, “Memphis In June,” starts off sounding like an old-time 78 rpm record spinning on your great-grandma’s Victrola, but soon blooms into a lush orchestral sound. Lennox delivers soulful turns on blues and jazz standards like “Georgia On My Mind,” “Summertime,” and such reverent, emotionally-charged Billie Holiday standards as “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless The Child.”

Lennox is at her best when she steps away from the reverence and lets sparks fly, like when she tears it up on the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins favorite “I Put A Spell On You,” and her simple, tender take on “The Nearness Of You.”   

Annie Lennox has never sounded better, and these mostly pre-World War II songs, which reach back to a complex era not unlike our own, have never felt more timely.

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National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Gender-Inclusive Universities and Student Privacy

For many students, attending university is a profound, often life-changing, transition. It is often the student’s first time living on their own without parental supervision. This lifestyle is also accompanied by a period of self-discovery, of defining and redefining a sense of personal identity largely independent of the influence of family and friends from home.

For students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, this rite of passage can also be a deeply empowering one. Indeed, attending university may be the student’s first real opportunity to explore their gender identity in a safe, comfortable, and accepting college.

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José Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia agave fields

Disclaimer: My trip was provided courtesy of a press trip but all opinions about the trip and events are my own. Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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