Articles on this Page
- 05/14/13--10:12: _Video_dumbo, a Big ...
- 05/14/13--11:00: _From Tumblr to Fash...
- 05/14/13--13:35: _Five Ordinary-Folk ...
- 05/14/13--14:00: _You'll Soon Be Able...
- 05/14/13--15:00: _15 New Yorkers We M...
- 05/14/13--15:26: _Blond Teens Spar in...
- 05/15/13--08:30: _Own This Bea Arthur...
- 05/15/13--09:45: _ Maison Premiere's ...
- 05/15/13--11:00: _Photographer Jamil ...
- 05/15/13--11:03: _Armory-O-Rama: Stev...
- 05/15/13--11:10: _Awkward Black Girl'...
- 05/15/13--11:50: _Bridges and Powerli...
- 05/15/13--12:15: _Here's Isabella Ros...
- 05/15/13--14:50: _Misspelled Band Nam...
- 05/15/13--15:56: _This Hilarious Katz...
- 05/15/13--17:00: _Actor Jake Silberma...
- 05/16/13--07:30: _Watch Tobias Fünke'...
- 05/16/13--10:45: _Nasty Pig's New Vid...
- 05/16/13--12:25: _Daft Punk and the R...
- 05/16/13--12:59: _Ooh, a New Track by...
- 05/14/13--10:12: Video_dumbo, a Big Festival of Moving Image Art, Opens This Week
- 05/14/13--13:35: Five Ordinary-Folk Parody Accounts to Follow on Twitter
- 05/14/13--14:00: You'll Soon Be Able to See All the Issues of the East Village Eye
- 05/14/13--15:26: Blond Teens Spar in Lorde's "Royals"
- 05/15/13--08:30: Own This Bea Arthur Nude for a Cool $2 Million (NSFW)
- 05/15/13--11:03: Armory-O-Rama: Steven Sebring + Paul McCarthy's Upcoming Shows
- 05/15/13--11:10: Awkward Black Girl's Issa Rae Is About to Blow Up
- 05/15/13--11:50: Bridges and Powerlines Bike to "Williamsburg" (Premiere)
- 05/15/13--12:15: Here's Isabella Rossellini As a Hamster, Eating Her Young
- 05/15/13--14:50: Misspelled Band Names: What's the Matter With Kids Today?
- 05/15/13--15:56: This Hilarious Katz's Deli Waiter Made a Talk Show
- 05/16/13--07:30: Watch Tobias Fünke's Sizzle Reel
- 05/16/13--12:25: Daft Punk and the Rise of the New Parisian Nightlife
- 05/16/13--12:59: Ooh, a New Track by Giorgio Moroder
"Video_dumbo" -- the eighth annual festival and exhibition of "moving image art" -- opens on Thursday, May 16th, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (540 West 21st Street). Works by 106 artists from 30 countries will be on view, including new videos by Christian Jankowski, Elija-Liisa Ahtilla, Nicolas Provost, Mathias Mueller/Christoph Girardet, Mark Lewis and Mike Hoolboom. There are 14 different screening programs (tickets are $5 per screening), plus eight installation works under the title "Re-Return to Sender" that feature "apparatus that recognize, investigate and celebrate themselves." The festival was curated by Caspar Stracke and Gabriela Monroy, and the screenings and exhibit run until May 25th.
Image via Eyebeam.
For anyone with even a remote interest in music, fashion or the Internet, it might be hard to suppress feelings of intense jealousy when talking about #Been #Trill. Lately, the DJ-crew-turned-art-collective have had their hands in everything from buzzed-about New York Fashion Week parties and a meme-generating Tumblr page to DJ mixes and high-profile street apparel collaborations with the likes of Stussy and Hood by Air. "We all really love music, and that's at the heart of everything. But this is really just a group of friends having fun," says Matthew Williams, who along with Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston, Justin Saunders and YWP constitutes #Been #Trill.
All art directors by day (Williams has done art direction for Lady Gaga, Abloh is Kanye West's creative director), the team came together after a first-hand sampling of Europe's sub-par club music scene inspired the friends to turn people on to sounds they were into. An immediate musical influence was trap -- a drum-specific, maximalist strain of Southern rap music that has only recently begun to infiltrate pop and electronic music realms. "We don't represent the genre of trap music in any way," Williams says, citing the collective's eclectic mixes, where Swedish pop tarts like the Cardigans can be found rubbing shoulders with space-cadet rapper Future, as well as some of #Been #Trill's own original productions. If anything, #Been #Trill's true influence stems from where hip-hop party culture and the Web collide. "We wanted to recontextualize what the word means. When you hear 'trill,' it doesn't mean 'Underground Kingz/ trill/ South/ sipping lean.' 'Trill' means Internet music," Williams explains, a reference to #Been #Trill's playful meme-ifying of hip-hop culture. "It's funny."
And thanks to the Internet, the members can still call cities like Chicago, Montreal, New York and Venice Beach home while pushing #Been #Trill forward. Now with their very own webstore up and running (where T-shirts featuring emoji icons and the slogan "Irie Trill Vibes" go for $100 a pop), the crew played Coachella last month, and have more top-secret music and clothing collaborations in the pipeline. To which Williams adds, "It's a way to pay for all of our plane flights to one place to hang out for a weekend and play music."
The world doesn't need another @GrumpyCatPope parody Twitter account's take on the Super Bowl. These Twitter accounts tweet as if they're ordinary people who might actually exist in our world, which is the funniest parody of all. Below, five highly recommended follows for when you need a little breath of fake air in your Twitter feed:
A gym manager who speaks in disjointed soundbytes like "Come on bro" and "When you think you're all warmed up you let me know."
An angry teenager obsessed with anime, which is somehow funnier than it sounds. Baseball player Brandon McCarthy occasionally gets into fake Twitter fights with him.
A dad learning the Internet. Best tweet: "I love my family but first and foremost I am a blogger not a dad."
A normal guy shares his thoughts on current news and weather. He's a dystopian hellscape version of your most boring friend.
Real news stories about Floridians doing insane things. Sample: "Florida Man Blames DUI On Pet Squirrel He Keeps In His Shirt."
Some exciting Tuesday afternoon news: legendary downtown paper the East Village Eye is making its entire 72-issue archive digital and downloadable. The Eye chronicled the art, fashion, politics and
culture of the East Village, Lower East Side from 1979-1987, profiling everyone from the Beastie Boys, Iggy Pop, Run DMC, David Lynch, Robert Mapplethorpe, Betsey Johnson, Patricia Field, and Afrika Bambaataa along the way. Contributors included Richard Hell, Glenn O'Brien, Cookie Mueller and David Wojnarowicz; and the Eye was (supposedly) the first publication to ever print the phrase "hip-hop." They've already posted ten full issues in honor of the Met show, "Punk: Chaos to Couture" and we can't wait to see the rest. Check out some old East Village Eye spreads below and get excited.
More from June, 1979:
New Jersey really rolled out the red carpet for Prince Harry earlier today, what with Gov. Chris Christie presenting the prince with his very own "royal fleece," after all. Now that our favorite ginger is heading to New York City, it's time to one-up our tri-state neighbor and show them what a welcome wagon really looks like. Below, we present fifteen suggestions for whom should be there to welcome Harry to the Big Apple.
15. Lady Bunny, who will tell him, "I don't know why everyone is making such a fuss over you -- you're just a lowly prince and I'm a QUEEN."
14. A Smorgasburg vendor, who will ply the prince with $11 artisanal pigs in a blanket and pimento cheese.
13. Derek Blasberg, who will tempt Harry with offers of joining him, Karlie Kloss, Kate Bosworth and and Giovanna Battaglia at "this fashion launch thing at Top of the Standard" or maybe that other "launch party thing at Le Baron." But first he has to "make an appearance at this charity dinner thing at the Four Seasons." So many things.
12. Fran Lebowitz, who will observe Harry silently, and skeptically, while puffing on her Marlboro Lights.
11. Mitik, the orphaned, mustachioed baby walrus, who will be photographed nuzzling Harry. The photo will become one of Reddit's top hits of the day and we will put it in Morning Funnies.
10. The Zarins, who will try to set him up with their daughter and will share their newest idea about a reality show centered around celebrity pets, starring, obviously, Ginger Zarin, the Pupperoni Princess.
9. The Peruvian pan flute player from the Bedford L stop (not the one pictured -- the other one -- you know who we're talking about), who won't stop playing until Harry tips him. He won't realize until later that Harry gave him British currency.
8. 1 Member of A$AP Mob (but not A$AP Rocky because he's on tour -- probably A$AP Ferg), who may or may not be spotted trying to get Harry to come hang out and smoke blunts with the crew later.
7. The couple from thee Grand Prospect Hall commercials, who promise Harry they'll give him a 30% "VIP discount" if he hosts his wedding there. Oh man, to be invited to that.
6. Sandy Kenyon, who won't actually be there -- he'll just make an appearance via taxi TV when a cab passes by while he totally pans the new Star Trek sequel. "Do yourself a favor and take a trek to see a DIFFERENT movie this summer."
5. A nervous key grip from Girls who will ask Harry to get out of their shot.
4. Anthony Weiner, who will smile politely and ask if Prince Harry's on Twitter.
3. The Admissions Director at Trinity (not pictured), whose poker face will hide the fact that she's already had three dreams in which Harry meets some lovely, career-driven New York-based woman with a multicultural background. They fall in love, get married and settle down in a nice UES co-op to have three children, all of whom, of course, go on to attend Trinity.
2. A fashion publicist wearing an Alexander Wang tank top she spent two months' of her salary on and a casually suppressed feeling of panic, who will be too busy talking on her Blackberry while checking emails on her iPhone to notice when Harry arrives. Once she realizes her mistake -- well after he's left -- she'll yell expletives into her phone. To no one.
1. Bill Cunningham, who will completely ignore Harry and snap photographs of a passing woman wearing a jaunty cloche, red lipstick and a transparent rain coat, jumping over a puddle.
"We crave a different kind of buzz," sings buzzed-about 16-year-old Lorde, after drily listing luxury accoutrements in a jumprope-worthy singsong chant: "Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece." Handclap percussion helps contribute to the schoolyard vibe on "Royals," even if the lyrics invoke jet planes, islands and hotel rooms. The slow-paced clip mostly takes place in one of the latter, where two disconsolate blond teens spar, shower, and shear their skulls.
This nude portrait of Bea Arthur by John Currin (which she didn't pose for) is up for auction at Christie's today and estimated at $2 million. Run, don't walk! [HuffPo]
Daft Punk X some goats = magic. [TastefullyOffensive]
Love is scary. [TastefullyOffensive]
Geese are nature's thugs. [TheClearlyDope]
FYI, Detroit's Kickstarter-funded RoboCop statue is nearly complete. [AVClub]
Sorry, but Sanditon Coffee does not like you like that. [LaughterKey]
This baby's dance moves really bring the heat. [Videogum]
Before venturing to New York, where she was "exposed to food that gave me the push to get a job in a kitchen," Lisa Giffen lived in LA, working for Sharpie. Post-permanent pen era, she spent her days in the kitchens of top restaurants like Daniel, Blue Hill, Ed Brown's short-lived Eighty-One and as sous chef at sadly shuttered Adour Alain Ducasse. Since April, the Crown Heights resident has been executive chef of Williamsburg oyster and absinthe den Maison Premiere, exalting its dinner menu with dishes like crayfish bread and pigeon with foie gras. Here she talks fine dining, farmers' market frustration and being a lady in the kitchen.
You've spent a lot of time in the kitchens of traditional fine dining restaurants, and now you're at the helm of one of Brooklyn's hippest joints. Is that a big change?
It's definitely different, but the standards are the same -- without the tablecloths. All of our dishware is custom monogrammed and we have porcelain cloches and silver trays. It's the same quality -- but less in your face -- even if it's in a hipster environment.
The definition of fine dining has certainly changed.
People don't want to do fine dining anymore because of the money and the time commitment, but they still want really good food in a nice setting, especially in Williamsburg, where there's a new condo being built every single day. All those people were going into Manhattan for dinner, and now they are happy eating here, where they can wear jeans and listen to good music.
Where do you eat in Williamsburg?
The Wythe Hotel -- it has a nice lobby to hang out in -- and Café Colette for breakfast. I tend to like going to all the old staples like Diner and Marlow & Sons.
Under your leadership, Maison Premiere is fast becoming a go-to for a full dinner, not just a cocktail hangout with a few small plates.
It's a world-class oyster bar with a world-class cocktail menu, and I want the food to match those experiences. Our tasting menus are taking off and people are seeing it as a destination to eat a real meal, too. We have over thirty different types of oysters, and we're bringing in abalone, sepia and turbot. I love it because I can put frog legs and sea urchin on the menu and people will want to eat it.
What does spring hold for Maison Premiere?
I tend to not do a lot of local seafood, but in terms of seasonality everyone wants springtime produce. At the Union Square Farmers' market, there are ramps, but still a lot of potatoes and rutabagas -- and not one single baby carrot. If I'm going all over the world for the seafood I might as well go local for the produce and typical but exciting things for the season, like fava beans, peas and spring onions.
Was one of the takeaways of working at Blue Hill a reverence for local ingredients?
They taught me seasonality. I learned that it was not only important from an ethical sense, but that it tastes so much better. It's frustrating now that I'm getting all this great seafood like whelks that I would like to pair with spring vegetables, but they haven't hit this part of the world yet. I also learned about making the best of space. Blue Hill had a very small kitchen, but they brought in whole pigs and lambs. In that tiny kitchen they did so much.
Your kitchen pedigree is impressive. As a woman, have you come across a particular set of challenges or any blatant sexism in your journey?
What's great about this industry is that it's based on word of mouth and people who like you and think you're good. I've never found a job on Craigslist, but through a network of like-minded cooks. It's not a harder lifestyle for a woman, but the standards can be tough if you want to have kids; it's more of a juggle with the long hours and time away from home. You do push yourself harder to prove yourself, but in the end I've never had a problem. At Adour, the kitchen was fifty percent women.
What's your favorite tipple?
A white negroni.
Your parents were U.S. Army contractors, so you spent much time living in Germany. Are there any culinary memories from that era influencing your cooking today?
One of our large plates is spaetzle with rabbit and yellowfoot mushrooms. It is a recipe I learned from a neighbor growing up.
Right now, if you could travel anywhere just to eat, where would you go?
I would like to take a trip to New Orleans to understand the essence of Creole cooking. Any trip for me is food-worthy -- even if it's just going upstate.
298 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, (347) 335-0446
Jamil Hellu has been quietly creating a cuckoo series of photos called "Guardians of the Golden Gate" for months. Hellu takes ordinary San Franciscans, and asks them to create a superhero identity for themselves, complete with costumes. Then he takes them around the Bay Area and photographs them out and about. The majority of the subjects are handsome and scruffy -- who doesn't love a bear in a costume? Check out photos below, wish you were in San Francisco, and click on each image to see it full-size.
New York City's uptown and downtown armories are mounting separate, one-man art exhibitions in the next few weeks. New York-based photographer, Patti Smith documentarian and artist Steven Sebring is opening a three-day installation called "Revolution," from May 21st to May 23rd in the 69th Regiment Armory (68 Lexington Avenue). The multi-media extravaganza has been in development for three years and includes photos, films and sculpture. It's free and open to the public (Tuesday, 3 - 9 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon) with a big reception on May 22, 7 - 10 p.m.
On June 19th, the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue) opens "WS," the largest U.S. installation by the L.A. artist Paul McCarthy. The Snow White-inspired show will include "a massive, fantastical forest with towering trees, two off-scale houses, equipment and props from classic film-sets, and layers of film and sound." McCarthy's 80-foot-tall inflatable dog was a big hit at last week's Frieze New York art fair and, until June 1, you can still catch his three concurrent shows at Hauser & Wirth. Tickets to the Park Avenue exhibit are available here, but you must be 17 to attend. We're guessing the age restriction has something to do with the mention of pantsless Dwarves with "penises flapping in the air like pompoms" in a recent New York Times piece on McCarthy and the making of a film included in the show. WS is up until August 4.
"Why couldn't Seinfeld have black people? Did they think black people wouldn't find it funny?" This was the question the producer/director/writer Issa Rae asked herself when creating her wildly popular Web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. "The humor I wanted to exhibit was not explored in comedies of color, and that bothered me," says Rae, who's been acting since childhood and got her start making a Web series while a student at Stanford. It turns out she was right. Her endearingly fumbling title character, "J," who navigates awkward situations like offensive coworkers and regrettable one-night stands, has resonated with more than a million viewers, including Pharrell Williams, who added the show to the roster of his i am OTHER YouTube channel. (According to Rae, Williams says he has an awkward streak of his own.) Now after two seasons, Rae is turning Awkward Black Girl into a movie ("we're trying to figure out if we want to go the studio or the independent route") and creating a TV show with Hollywood bigwig Shonda Rhimes (the creator of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice) called I Hate L.A. Dudes, inspired, in part, by Rae and her friends' frustrations with dating the men in their city.
Although Rae may be moving offline and onto bigger screens, she disagrees with the notion that producers are only using the Internet platform as a means to a shinier, more established end in TV or film. "The Web is currently being viewed as an end in and of itself," she says. "Creatives are turning to it with content they know is too 'risqué' for TV." Practicing what she preaches, Rae is continuing to write and produce more content for the Web, including a show for her own channel about what happens when roommates hook up, as well as a series centered on a church choir for producer Tracey Edmonds' "faith-friendly" YouTube channel, Alright TV. And, whether for film, TV or the Internet, it's a safe bet that Rae will continue mining her own life for material, as she does on ABG, like when she addresses the fact that she's a "woman of color who can't dance." J would definitely have given Elaine Benes a run for her money.
Each song on Bridges and Powerlines' Better EP (out next Tuesday on Daisy Pistol) takes its name from a different Brooklyn neighborhood. At the center is the soaring "Williamsburg," which agglomerates sounds around an intricate three-guitar pattern. The video mimics this crescendo, with flickering colored panels rising up to reveal more of the musician's visages as the song builds and a lone bicyclist (as befits the title) slowly makes his way across a nocturnal landscape. Images of fireworks accompany a whirring electro breakdown.
Bridges and Powerlines play an EP release show at Piano's, 158 Ludlow Street, this Saturday, May 18.
Oh my, how we enjoy Isabella Rossellini's new web series "MAMMAS" (which you can read all about here). Something about Isabella dressing up as animals and explaining their maternal habits just...works. In her latest installment, she plays a hamster. Hamster mothers, for those of you who didn't have a million of them as pets while growing up (insider tip: they always run away, or at least that's what our parents always told us), tend to eat the runts in their litters. Now you know, and now you can see Isabella Rossellini enjoying her protein-rich offspring in the clip above.
I generally avoid saying anything that makes me sound like a cranky old person. You know how cranky olds say things like, "Nightlife today is lame. Now Area! That was a fun nightclub." You might as well just say, "Run! I'm over the hill and a big kill joy and I haven't gone out since 1999 because I just got tired." Still, I can't stop myself from asking a question that will brand me as a Cranky Old Person (or, fittingly, COP): What is wrong with these bands today who spell their names deliberately wrong? Like Deap Vally. What the hell is that about? It's not even a fun spelling pun like the Beatles. It's just changing the spelling so unhip people like me embarrass myself and spell it wrong. I mean, people used to say Chloë Sevigny was pretentious for having an umlaut in her name but a bonus umlaut is nothing compared to spelling your band's name "Majical Cloudz." What is that J in "Majical" about? Don't get me wrong -- both Deap Vally and Majical Cloudz are included in our upcoming summer music issue and I j'adore them for their talent, but if you're going to mess with the spelling of your name at least be creative. A Z instead of an S at the end of a word is like naming your band after that animated film Antz.
There, I said it. And now that you know that I'm an old fool who doesn't understand the kids today, here is a list of other bands with crazy spellings that the kids are nuts for right now and that make me cranky.
Araabmuzik -- Again, anyone substituting a Z for an S should be forced to sit on a tack.
2 Chainz -- See above.
Cookie Monsta -- This one I actually like.
Krewella -- Why not just go for it and make it Krewella Duh Vyl?
Wavves -- Actually, this kind of has a nice look to it.
Altern8 -- This reminds me of the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
CHVRCHES -- This one feels like ye olde Roman times. I take it all back, I'm starting to like these funny spellings.
Classixx -- Ok, I take that back, because Classixx with double Xs makes me puke!
Deadmau5 -- You cannot have the number five be an S. The number five doesn't sound like an S! Here is the proper use of a '5' in a band's name: The Jackson 5.
Headhunterz -- Again with a Z?
Redd Kross -- They get a pass for being legends and for spelling 'Redd' like Redd Foxx of T.V.'s Sanford and Son.
Xperience - I don't mind this. It sounds like a Designer Imposters version of Drakkar Noir.
Sqürl -- This I love. Who runs the world? Squirrels!
If you ever worry that your waiter might be judging your order choice, this video's proof that your paranoia might be justified. David Manheim considers himself the eyes and ears of Katz's Delicatessen and he's not cutting any sandwich corners when it comes to his acerbic commentary on life working in New York's most iconic eating establishments. Though Manheim dreams of becoming a talk show host, for now he spends his time being the "last" Jewish waiter working at Katz's and spitting some rogue dining philosophies on camera ("They say the customer is always right. I say 'not here, f*ck them'"). Watch as Manheim schools costumers on the appropriate way to order (though there really may not be one, in his book) and critiques the deli's chaotic ticketing system. This year is Katz' 125th anniversary and Manheim has certainly found a way to commemorate it. More episodes, please!
How tired are you of actors and actresses who claim they don't care about awards when you know damn well they're up at 5 a.m. the day the Golden Globes, the Oscars and the Tonys are announced, drinking an Irish coffee and cursing out the competition? This is just one of the reason we especially like Jake Silbermann, who's currently making his Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's latest play Assembled Parties, about what happens to a ritzy New York family when the glamour fades. But when Silbermann said he was surprised about his show being nominated for a Tony Award for Best New Play, we believed him (he didn't even know what day the Tonys were being announced until friends started to call). The tall, dark-haired actor with a varsity smile first caught our eye when he was one half of the first gay relationship on a soap opera as Noah on As the World Turns. Aside from Assembled Parties' Tony nominations we recently talked to him about acting alongside '90s TV icon Judith Light and the hooch he's got stashed in his dressing room.
You must be one of the only actors on Broadway who did not have a calendar alert set for the Tony Awards announcement.
I don't follow that stuff so much. I didn't think it was for another week or so. I certainly knew by the time I got to the theater I'd gotten calls from friends and family saying they were excited. That was how I found out.
So you're not a big awards person...
No I'm honestly not. I think awards shows are fun, but I wouldn't say that I watch that many. I definitely will watch this time around. I mean it's kind of fun this year, I have friends who've been nominated aside from people in the Assembled Parties like Judith Light. This is my first Broadway show and I haven't been in this world for very long, so I think I'll watch with a little more invested interest now.
Were you intimidated making your Broadway debut alongside veteran actors like Judith Light and Jessica Hecht?
I mean, I grew up watching Judith Light on Who's the Boss and from the first reading we did she was so sweet and immediately made me feel at home. That's kind of the vibe I got from just about everyone else in the cast too. I also had Lauren Blumenfeld who was making her Broadway debut in the show. I was very eager to work with them and for me all that really means is be prepared and go and be ready to work.
Are you addicted to Broadway now?
Yeah, I kind of am.
The two acts of the play are very different. In the first act you play Scotty and in the second act you play Timmy, Scotty's younger brother. Which was your favorite brother to play?
I go back and forth some days I have a little bit more of an affinity for Scotty and then more for Timmy. It's always interesting to see how the audience reacts to each of those characters, because they're very different people. I don't want to give anything away, but [Scotty and Timmy] have not grown up together. They've grown up in very different times with very different circumstances and it's made them completely different people.
I didn't see the switch coming at all and I actually thought in the first act you were going to pull another As the World Turns moment with your co-star Jeremy Shamos...
Really? We actually had other conversations being like, "We need to make sure this doesn't seem this way because it's definitely not intended." [Richard Greenberg] likes keeping you guessing.
Since this was your Broadway debut was the opening night party for Assembled Parties also your first Broadway opening night party?
I had been to a few, but this was my first Broadway opening. I was surprised at how tired I was. I was so lame! I didn't even stay that late, but it was fun. For actors working on a play it feels like it's not yours, like it still belongs to somebody else until after the opening. And then the opening happens and you're like, "OK great, now we can really let these characters grow and see what we can find."
What do you like to do in New York when you're not working?
The one thing about being in a show that's a little awkward is that I'm at work when most of my friends who aren't actors are getting off, so I can't really see too much of them. I don't really do too much hanging out right now, it's pretty much just the show, but I still feel like the show is in its infancy. Monday night is our dark night so that's definitely a night to take my girlfriend out somewhere and do something with just us. We'll see where the show's at once the summer comes around, but I do love getting out of town for those long weekends.
What's one thing you have to have in your dressing room?
I can't lie--I like a good scotch or a good bourbon, so I've got a Macallan's in the dressing room right now. It's nice to have a little post show nip of that.
Pictured above is Jake Silbermann getting his cheeks patted by the one and only Judith Light as Jessica Hecht looks on in their play Assembled Parties which is now running at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, 261 W 47th St, New York, NY. Photographed by Joan Marcus.
It was dog's turn to be the D.D. last night. [via The Clearly Dope]
Cute family vacation photo. [via Coin Farts]
We've read 'em all. No shame. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
Little puppy, licking hot air from the hair dryer. [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]
As part of "Wack Wednesdays," The Lonely Island guys released another single off their upcoming record, The Wack Album. Presented without comment, listen to the latest -- "I Fucked My Aunt" ft. T-Pain. [via HuffPo Comedy]
Here's the new video lookbook for gay, Chelsea-based clothing company Nasty Pig. The video was shot by @lilinternet, who directed Diplo's video ode to twerking, "Express Yourself," but in keeping with the brand's roots, @lilinternet made this video sexier, scene-ier and shirtless-ier. In addition to the adorable pit bull -- who in our opinion steals the show -- the video features a lot of hot, muscular guys and all of the gay nightlife personalities you can think of, including Matthew Camp, Frankie Sharp (who styled it), Roze Black (the door girl mentioned in "Let's Have a Kiki"), and Juliana Huxtable. A word of warning: the song that accompanies the video, "IamNASTYPIG," will likely be burned into your frontal lobe and stuck in your head for days, weeks, even years. And yet: hot guys, eye-catching clothes, cute dog. Watch above.
In honor of the upcoming release of Daft Punk's much, much-anticipated new album, Random Access Memories, we're re-posting our November 2007 cover story
on the duo. Below, we find Paris' electro princes primed for a triumphant comeback following 2005's critically panned Human After All and a several-year hiatus from touring.
Daft Punk's Electroma ends in robot suicide. The gorgeously shot hour-long film is about two androids that drive across California in a black Ferrari coupe. Their license plate reads "Human," and it's clear that's what they want to be: Stopping at a blisteringly sterile medical facility in the desert, they're attended to by white silhouette "technicians" who pour latex over their helmets and fashion them into human faces -- grotesque, expressionless caricatures of the men beneath Daft Punk's disguises, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. But the man-masks are neither convincing nor weatherproof, and as they wander through a sunbaked robot suburbia, their faces melt. Distraught and inconsolable, the chrome-domed android takes off his leather jacket, flips a switch on his back, and explodes in the desert. His companion, whose helmet resembles something a Harley biker might wear in space, lights himself on fire. Cut.
There is no dialogue.
The soundtrack features music, but none of it is by Daft Punk. Even weirder, Daft Punk do not actually appear in the film. Instead, actors play the robots. "It is inspired by surrealism in general, painters like Magritte," says Bangalter, the taller, more talkative member of the group, who wears the silver mask. "It's about creating sensation without triggering the verbal area of the brain." He pauses to think. "It is music for the eyes."
Electroma is quiet, calm and deeply unsettling. It couldn't be further from the French DJ duo's other project out this fall, ALIVE 2007, which is, simply put, a bolt of lightning captured on DAT. Roughly the same length as the film, ALIVE is their first collection since 2004's critically panned Human After All. It exceeds all expectations. Recorded in Paris last summer, the album documents the searing energy of Daft Punk's first live hometown show in a decade. The two meld their biggest hits into a frenzy of house and electro that's the most exuberant and sexual release of the millennium, binding classics like "Around the World," "Harder Better Faster Stronger" and "Da Funk" together in a sound collage that's so cathartic it transcends genres. This isn't dance music, punk or hip-hop. It's all of them. Daft Punk are rock stars.
After a nine-year hiatus from DJing live, they amped up production values and
took their disco circus on the road, where, dressed in their helmets and Hedi
Slimane-designed leathers, they basted audiences in sound and light. Daft Punk
are the underground's most colorful and visible ambassadors, the first
electronic music act to matter since the dot-com implosion in 2000. New York
City favorites the Rapture, who were opening up on the American leg of the tour,
had trouble competing. "Our soundman put it really nicely," says Gabe Andruzzi,
the Rapture's keyboardist. "He said it was like the Jetsons versus the
Flintstones," Andruzzi laughs. "It was like opening up for a movie. No, a
Daft Punk's first gig since the late '90s was at Coachella in 2006. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo transported 11 tons of equipment to the California desert to play atop a giant pyramid. The crowd's general exhaustion with homogenous indie rock and Daft Punk's showmanship combined to make the performance memorable. The DJs were stunned by their audience's response. "It completely snowballed," says Bangalter. "The Coachella show was supposed to be one of only two or three, but after there was a sense that it was worth going back on the road, worth showing people all over the world, because of this excitement about us and our music. Now we are finishing at 45 shows."
Pedro Winter, Daft Punk's manager and head of French indie electro label Ed Banger Records, which Winter launched in 2003, recalls his response. "When we put out Human After All, I got a lot of bad feedback, like, 'It's so repetitive. There's nothing new. Daft Punk used to be good.' Then they came back with the light show, and everyone shut their mouths. They said, 'Ooh la-la!' People even apologized, like, 'How could we have misjudged Daft Punk?' The live show changed everything. Even if I'm part of it, I like to step back and admire it. Me, I cried."
"Ah, Pedro," jokes de Homem-Christo. "We have an expression. In France, you say he is a fleur bleu. A blue flower. It means he is crying all the time."
Daft Punk might be the best known of Paris' brainy disco artists, but they're
not alone. Over the past three years, the City of Lights has seen an
intellectual dance-music revolution, the result of labels like Ed Banger and
Kitsuné fostering and promoting artists through record releases, collaborations
and, of course, parties. The Ed Banger nights in Paris are the equivalent of
underground-overground parties in New York, London, L.A. and Tokyo, like the now
defunct MisShapes party, Steve Aoki- and the Cobrasnake-hosted events, and the
GBH crew's evenings at Hiro and Studio B. Clubs like Paris Paris, Le Baron, Rex
and others are meeting spots for the most creative and social artists,
musicians, designers and club kids in France. Just like their American and
British cousins, the neon-clad kids there like to dance.
Daft Punk, who were recently considered part of the ancient regime, over and
done with, are back in business. "When we were growing up, there were few
composers, like Serge Gainsbourg, we could look up to," says de Homem-Christo.
"Now, for the first time since the first wave of what journalists called 'French
Touch' -- with bands like Air or Cassius -- there is another new wave of really good
bands. It took 10 years, but now there is a good dynamic in France that's
producing music with good energy."
As Daft Punk's return was embraced by their native country, downtown New York and alternative L.A., they also achieved a measure of mainstream success by aiding in tantrum-prone rapper Kanye West's Akira-style video for his song, "Stronger," which samples Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger." (Bangalter and de Homem-Christo don't actually appear in the video, mind you; instead, the actors from Electroma are the ones wearing the robot suits. Yes, it's still weird.)
That renown helped pave the way for their electro colleagues. Drill-bit funksters Justice, the dreamy Sebastian and sultry sex kitten Uffie, have become ubiquitous dancefloor staples. Justice, whose video for their Michael Jackson-paean "D.A.N.C.E." was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in September, are probably the most famous of the Ed Banger artists, but all are part of a local scene in Paris. "They're like one big happy family," says Mark Hunter, aka the Cobrasnake, the Internet photographer whose specialty is capturing the new rise of global nightlife. "It's all super-good vibes. You get the sense when you go to an Ed Banger party that their focus is on collaboration rather than career." About Daft Punk, he's unequivocal: "There's a lot of hometown pride for them out there. They're treated like kings."
Winter, who's been with Daft Punk since 1996, says the duo have earned that
status. "French music and electronic music is where it is now thanks to Daft
Punk," Winter explains. "It's just a fact. We all owe them something. Daft Punk
opened the road to a lot of things, to all the artists. I am where I am because
of Daft Punk."
That's a debt he plans to make good on. On their most recent tour, Winter and Daft Punk attended a series of Ed Banger after-parties. Winter also DJed the Colette Dance Class in New York in the fall of 2006. Presented by Parisian lifestyle boutique Colette, a one-stop shop near the Louvre for all your Angela Boatwright, Ryan McGinnis and Nan Goldin needs (and whose PR director is Winter's wife), the parties are an ongoing series of nightlife events in which club-goers, sometimes wearing masks, are taught dance moves. The inspiration behind the masks is distinctly Daft Punk-ian. "Daft Punk hiding themselves? It's that the two guys are really shy and they needed to find something to get them out of the limelight," says Winter.
But de Homem-Christo says that it goes deeper than that. "At an arena, the
audience looks up to an idol, to an artist, to someone who is dancing, and
there's more of a cult of personality around him, like the one with Mick
Jagger." The 33-year-old continues, "But us, we are robots. The interaction is
totally different. We feel that people can't have a relationship with someone
who is above them, you know? Robots don't make people feel like there's an idol
on stage. It's more like a rave party where the DJ isn't important. This is what
we do: We are two robots in this pyramid with this light show, but everything is
[meant] for you to have fun and enjoy yourself."
Bangalter said that the two became robots as they were working in their studio on the morning of September 9, 1999, at precisely 9:09 a.m. He explained that he and de Homem-Christo were working on their sampler when it exploded. When they regained consciousness, they discovered that they'd become machines. Regardless of the credibility of that tall tale, Bangalter's story was a fun way to defuse pre-millennial angst and poke fun at DJ culture in general. No one expected the costumes to last. But they did, and at this point, the helmets are as iconic as the KISS makeup or Iggy Pop's leather jacket. By now, the two are almost like method actors (or method DJs); they are rarely photographed without their masks. Many of their fans don't know what they look like. "The mask gets very hot," Bangalter admits. "But after wearing it for as long as I have, I am used to it."
Daft Punk met when they were 12, bonding over a mutual love of midnight movies, Easy Rider and the Velvet Underground. They founded a Beach Boys-inspired band called Darlin in high school (with Laurent Brancowitz, who later joined wistful French outfit Phoenix), and put out a single in 1992. A negative review in British music mag Melody Maker called their song "daft punk," and the two adopted the slur as identity, just as they were beginning to go to raves. ("Raves changed everything," Bangalter says.)
After years DJing around Paris, they released their debut, Homework, in 1997. Its dark, grinding house numbers, including "Da Funk" and "Around the World," became popular as DJ culture reached its zenith. Going back to the studio, Daft Punk returned in 2001 with the funkier Discovery, which was more sonically complex than its minimal predecessor and featured the undeniably joyful wedding disco of "One More Time." For that album, Daft Punk wrote and produced a Japanime film called Interstella 555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, using Discovery as the soundtrack. After releasing a remix record, the two were on hiatus until 2004's Human After All, which was recorded in just six weeks and largely derided as a lackluster effort.
In the interim, dance artists had been rising to the fore in Paris, New York and elsewhere. James Murphy, one of the co-founders of DFA Records and the man behind LCD Soundsystem, was one who bridged the worlds of punk and dance. On his debut in 2005, Murphy released a single called "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," which he has said was a fantasy of his, an extension of the typical punk-band-playing-the-rec-room dynamic of American youth. The lyrics imagine a fist-fighting good time as "robots descend from the bus." When asked about the song now, Bangalter becomes coy. "It's a cool song." The 32-year-old continues, "Would we play James Murphy's house now? We can't confirm and we can't deny. There are a lot of secrets about us. That's what's exciting, you know?"
Maintaining the aura of mystery is one tenet of the group, who have worked with some of the best video directors in the business to capture a moment and obfuscate their own identity: Spike Jonze, Roman Coppola and Michel Gondry. The latter director's older brother Olivier is directing and editing the video for the first single off of ALIVE 2007, "Harder Better Faster Stronger," which was shot at Coney Island earlier this summer. Daft Punk arranged for audience members to bring cameras (250 people did) -- post-modernism at work.
We are happy to mean something," Bangalter says. "The hardest thing for an artist isn't measuring up to people's expectations. It's about getting across the understanding that what we did was legitimate. We see it as a validation, sort of -- whether it comes five years or 10 years down the line, obviously it's better if the validation comes while you're still alive."
Legendary Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder is back in the spotlight with his new Daft Punk collab -- and he's also just released a new track on his own. The seventy-three-year old did the music for a video game called "RACER" and you can give it a listen below. Moroder is a three-time Academy Award winner and a three-time Grammy winner, but "RACER" is not his first video game. Several versions of Grand Theft Auto incorporate his music, including the film score from Scarface and his collab with The Human League, "Together in Electric Dreams" He will be in New York City on Monday, May 20, to spin records for the Red Bull Music Academy at MePa nightclub Cielo (18 Little West 12th Street). And, yes, it's sold out.