Articles on this Page
- 06/04/13--15:50: _Vampire Weekend Hos...
- 06/05/13--09:30: _How Did We Miss Thi...
- 06/05/13--10:00: _Warby Parker Has a ...
- 06/05/13--12:20: _Andy Samberg Reveal...
- 06/05/13--12:50: _Your Governors Ball...
- 06/05/13--14:30: _An Israeli Rocker T...
- 06/05/13--15:15: _Mykki Blanco and MO...
- 06/05/13--15:40: _Preview Images from...
- 06/06/13--07:30: _Jimmy Kimmel Got a ...
- 06/06/13--09:15: _An Ode to Elvis and...
- 06/06/13--10:00: _The Breeders' Photo...
- 06/06/13--12:01: _Massive LEGO Exhibi...
- 06/06/13--12:30: _Writer Elliott Holt...
- 06/06/13--13:40: _Home Depot Chic = O...
- 06/06/13--14:05: _Model-Turned-Rocker...
- 06/06/13--14:15: _Antonio da Silva's ...
- 06/07/13--07:30: _Awesome '90s Russia...
- 06/07/13--10:30: _Meet Tony Award-Nom...
- 06/07/13--11:00: _The Lonely Island P...
- 06/07/13--11:23: _Mr. Mickey's Sidewa...
- 06/05/13--10:00: Warby Parker Has a Video Inspired by The Warriors
- 06/05/13--12:20: Andy Samberg Reveals a Very...Weird Alter Ego in "Spell It Out"
- 06/05/13--12:50: Your Governors Ball After Party Schedule
- 06/05/13--15:15: Mykki Blanco and MOCAtv Collaborated on Music Video "The Initiation"
- 06/06/13--09:15: An Ode to Elvis and Priscilla Presley's Sixties Style
- 06/06/13--10:00: The Breeders' Photo Tour Diary Part 3
- 06/06/13--12:01: Massive LEGO Exhibit Coming to Times Square
- 06/06/13--13:40: Home Depot Chic = Our Favorite New Fashion Trend
- 06/06/13--14:05: Model-Turned-Rocker Carmen Villain Performs In the PAPER Kitchen
- 06/07/13--07:30: Awesome '90s Russian Kid Is Your New Dance-piration
- 06/07/13--10:30: Meet Tony Award-Nominee, Kinky Boots Star Annaleigh Ashford
- 06/07/13--11:23: Mr. Mickey's Sidewalk Sale Is Here!
Vampire Weekend's new video for their Modern Vampires of the City single, "Diane Young," features a Last Supper starring Pitchfork-worthy apostles like Santigold, Chromeo, Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, Despot and Sky Ferreira (though it's never clear who plays Judas). In the Messianic role is a sketchy balaclava-wearing guy texting on his iphone while the rest of the group pop champagne bottles, have a food fight, and take hits from a saxophone bong. The whole video is essentially a series of visual non sequiturs but it's also totally entertaining and a big step up from the flaming car visuals that previously accompanied the track.
Modern Vampires of the City is out now and you can catch the band on tour this summer making stops at Lollapalooza (August 4) and the Barclays Center (September 20).
Uh, how did we miss this video KCD made of male models boredly singing Daft Punk's "Get Lucky?" The clip was made in anticipation of the the 2013 CFDA Awards and the boys are wearing the most recent collections of Thom Browne, Michael Bastian and Duckie Brown, all of whom were nominated for the CFDA's "Menswear Designer of the Year." The models look great, and the clothes look even better. What's not to love about a awkward a cappella cover of a Daft Punk jam sung by devastatingly attractive men? Watch above and feel like you got lucky.
Now if only the two cliques acknowledged their mutual love of retro-inspired eyewear that possessed the magical power of turning everyone (no matter the gender) into foxy librarians, the whole confrontation could've been avoided...but, then again, their dance battle was pretty awesome.
Watch the video above and go HERE to scope out the entire Ocean Avenue collection.
"Dude that has sex with pigs for money but only as a side thing right now, I'm just short on cash and have irons in the fire but in this economy it'll have to do. My name is Lenny."Alright then.
You can check out previous #WackWednesday videos like "Spring Break Anthem," "Diaper Money," and "SEMICOLON (feat. Solange)", and scope The Lonely Island guys in the May issue of PAPER HERE.
This weekend's Governors Ball on Randall's Island kicks NYC's outdoor music season into high gear. Three-day and VIP passes are already sold out, but you can still get $95 general admission tickets for June 7th, 8th and 9th HERE for the chance to catch headliners including Guns N' Roses, Kanye West, King of Leon, The xx, NAS, Icona Pop, Cut Copy and more. There's also a "Kickoff Party" on Thursday night at Santos Party House and eight official after-parties at various venues including Brooklyn Bowl, Irving Plaza, Bowery Ballroom and the Gramercy Theatre. In terms of the Ball itself, we're looking forward to Friday's live show by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and then we're heading over to
Webster Hall for their special DJ set. The closing party is on Sunday night at Brooklyn Bowl with Sister Sparrow, Hollis Brown and Shakey Graves.
And here it all is in simplified, schedule form for all you busy party people:
Thursday, June 6th:
Guns N' Roses at Brooklyn Bowl, 8pm
Kate Boy at Santos Party House, 9pm
Friday, June 7th:
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at Webster Hall, 10pm
Swear & Shake and The Revivalists at Bowery Ballroom, 10:30pm
Dinosaur Jr. and Reignwolf at Irving Plaza, 11pm
Poliça at Brooklyn Bowl, 11pm
Britt Daniel at Brooklyn Bowl, 1:15am
Saturday, June 8th:
GRiZ and Cherub at Gramercy Theatre, 11pm
HAIM at Brooklyn Bowl, 11pm
Yeasayer's Chris Keating at Brooklyn Bowl, 1:15am
Sunday, June 9th:
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, 6pm
Each week in our new column, "No Sleep Til...," we'll be talking to
cool kids around the globe, asking them to fill us in about the bands,
DJs, music venues and night spots they and their friends are obsessing
over. Next time you visit their home city, leave your Fodor's and Lonely
Planet guides behind and go party like a local instead.
Where do you live?
Tel Aviv, Israel
What do you do there?
I play in a band called Vaadat Charigim with [bandmates] Yuval Guttmann and Dan Fabian Bloch, and I run an independent PR company for musicians/artists.
What does your music sound like?
To me it sounds like a mix of early '90s dreamy, shoegazey stuff, with some local Israeli noiserock from the '90s, which was rougher and somewhat political.
What Israeli bands or DJs are you obsessed with and that you think we should know about?
For the size of the scene, Tel Aviv has a lot of excellent bands. Check out Charlie Megira, Ed Turner & The Danilof Center and Bela Tar. There are a lot more great bands but I like the darker stuff.
How did you discover these acts?
It's a really small scene and I've been doing booking/PR/setting up DIY concerts and festivals ever since I got out of the army so I pretty much know everyone by now.
What does those bands sound like?
I'd really hate to ruin it with words. Just google and listen to it for yourselves.
Where are the cool places to see live music in Tel Aviv?
I'm 30 and married so I'm not so sure I'm an authority on what's cool, but The Zimmer stands out as a good example of DIY culture [in Tel Aviv]. There's also the Reality Rehab Center.
I like places that mean something. These are places for concerts that are also very community driven. I used to live in Berlin for four years with my wife and there were a lot more places like that in Berlin than in Tel Aviv. It has to do with the fact that the city of Tel Aviv is so expensive. Opening a place like The Zimmer is an act of financial suicide here, so most people don't bother. Your venue really has to work and generate income to survive. I guess you could say it's "cool" that these places survive somehow by being home to an underground community and remaining true to that.
We don't really have all-ages places like you do in the States, where indie music is played to kids who dig the noise and just wanna have some fun, see a show, get together in a positive way. Here, music comes hand-in-hand with drinking and losing control. It has to do with the harsh reality. Underground culture is an escape from reality here. So the underground places are a bit on the dark side, and the crowds are diverse, from the more hardcore regulars to some curious younger hipsters who come on their designer bikes.
What are the cool neighborhoods in Tel Aviv for young people to live and hang out in?
I wouldn't say there are "cool young neighborhoods" because once they are labeled as such, the rents get higher and the cool young people have to go find a new place to occupy. Tel Aviv as a city is going in a very bad direction -- young people, even those with stable jobs, are having a hard time keeping up with the high price of living. Rents are insane, taxes are high, groceries are ridiculously expensive in the city. It leaves very little time or room for art to grow. If you were a tourist, I would just point you in the direction of the Florentine or Noga districts, though.
Describe your perfect night out in Tel Aviv.
Well, I have to say I like eating in restaurants, and Tel Aviv has a lot of great places to eat. It's such a great food city. If you are looking for a place to have a drink go to Africa, Har Sinai, CorD'uroy, Uganda or any one of the many alternative bars in the city. But, to tell the truth, I rarely go out to bars. I am more fond of house parties or roof top parties. Since all the houses in Tel Aviv are international Bauhaus-style buildings with flat tops, you get all these great roof top parties in the summer where you can just stand around and have a beer under the sky.
What's your favorite bar or nightclub?
I couldn't really say, but I have a fantasy of opening a place called "The Bottom Line" and it would just be a sad bar where everyone would come and talk about their problems and get drunk, but in a pathetic way. Everyone sitting there would just be a hopeless basketcase. There are a great number of hip bars in Tel Aviv with young, cool people hanging out, but not many sad bars. I think a sad bar in Tel Aviv could be an untapped niche market.
What's a bar or nightclub you would NEVER go to in Tel Aviv?
When I was doing PR for a larger, more commercial office before I became independent, I was working on parties organized by an energy drink company that wanted to seem young and... energetic, I guess. The parties were headlined by house or trance DJs, and took place in the most disgusting hangar-size mega clubs you've ever seen. I'm an indie kid who grew up on Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney -- that shit was scary to me.
Check out Juval's band, Vaadat Charigim, and the rest of his music recs:
Vaadat Charigim -- "Ze Beseder Lefahed" ("It's OK to Be Afraid")
Charlie Megira & the Modern Dance Club -- "Elvis Is Not Dead"
Ed Turner & the Danilof Center -- "HaTsiftsuf"
Bela Tar -- "Black Mark"
Check out Juval's nightlife listings:
The Zimmer, 5 Hagdud Haivri, Tel Aviv
Reality Rehab Center, 23 Beit Yosef St., Tel Aviv
Africa, 18 Harakevet St., Tel Aviv
Har Sinai, Har Sinai 2, Tel Aviv
CorD'uroy, 99 Allenby St., Tel Aviv
Uganda, Simtat Beit Habad 5, Tel Aviv
More from our 'No Sleep Til...' series including nightlife and music in Paris, Mumbai, Seoul, Bogotá and more!
Mykki Blanco's newest music video is as trippy and dark as usual, if not more so. This time, the Harlem rapper collaborated with MOCAtv to create the visuals for "The Initiation" from his EP Betty Rubble. Directed by indie favorite Ninian Doff, the video finds a literally two-faced Blanco walking/crawling around in urban decay while incanting menacingly in Latin. Most of Blanco's videos feature both Blanco's male rapper and female glam punk personae, and usually juxtapose richer, more luxurious sets with rougher ones; "The Initiation" features an all-male Mykki in an all-rough junkyard-scape. Check it out above and tell us if you're getting the same "Azealia Banks' three-mouthed face in 'Yung Rapunxel'" vibe that we are.
In May 1961, photographer Bruce Davidson joined a group of Freedom Riders traveling by bus from Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi. Over the next few years, with the help of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Davidson continued to document the south during the Civil Rights Movement, including the five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with Martin Luther King, Jr. A new exhibition of Davidson's Civil Rights Movement photographs, which were also published in Davidson's 2002 book Time of Change: Civil Rights Photographs, 1961-1965, opens tomorrow night at Howard Greenberg Gallery. The show is up through July 6th -- preview images from the show below.
Time of Change (Damn the Defiant), 1963. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (man dragged by police), 1964. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (hecklers taunting the Freedom Riders, Montgomery, Alabama), 1961. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (black woman and National Guard soldiers), 1961. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (black children walking by white children), 1962. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (Martin Luther King Jr., Montgomery, Alabama), 1962. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (couple dancing by jukebox), 1962. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (three bridesmaids), 1962. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
Time of Change (nannies with children), 1962. Copyright Bruce Davidson. Courtesy Howard Greenberg, New York.
We'd sell our right kidney to play champagne beer pong with Daft Punk. [via I'm With Kanye]
Ladies and gentlemen, here's Liber-cat-ce twinkling the ivories. [via Bunny Food]
Is it bad that we'd rather watch a show based off of this GIF than Game of Thrones? [via F Yeah Dementia]
Last summer we talked to Aubrey Plaza about her new movie "The To Do List," in which she plays a recently graduated high school valedictorian who makes it her mission to lose her virginity and check sexual goals off of the titular "to-do list" before college. Now there's an official red band trailer for the flick and it actually looks really fun! Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat and Donald Glover are all in the movie and, for reasons unknown, it's set in 1993. If nothing else, you can expect a nice Salt n' Pepa-heavy soundtrack. [via Splitsider]
Lifetime's Liz & Dick is a mighty tough act to follow but BBC gives zero fucks and is making their own Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton biopic. And, guess what? It stars a nearly unrecognizabel Helena Bonham Carter (above) as Taylor! [via DListed]
Her: Coat by Alberta Ferretti, dress by Victoria Beckham and earrings by Kate Spade. Eyes: Fluidline in Blacktrack by MAC Cosmetics.
Him: Suit by Mr. Start London and shirt by John Varvatos.
Shirt, shorts and earrings by Kate Spade and cuff by Erickson Beamon. Hair: Thickening Full Form Mousse by Bumble and bumble.
Leggings and dress by agnès b., shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood, cuff by Erickson Beamon and vintage ring from Grays Antique Centre.
Her: Blouse, jacket and pants by Stella McCartney and vintage brooch from Grays Antique Centre.
Him: Shirt and belt by Hardy Amies, pants by Burberry Prorsum and vintage watch from Grays Antique Centre. Fragrance: Encounter by Calvin Klein.
Shirt and pants by Burberry Prorsum and belt by Hardy Amies. Hair: Guts 10 root targeted volume spray foam by Redken.
Bodysuit by Frankie Morello and earrings by Erickson Beamon. Hair: Amp2 Instant Texture Volumize by Living Proof.
Her: Dress by Alberta Ferretti, belt by Beyond Retro and cuff by Erickson Beamon. Fragrance: Angel by Thierry Mugler.
Him: Shirt by Louis Vuitton and vintage watch from Grays Antique Centre.
Top by Louis Vuitton, earrings and cuff by Erickson Beamon and vintage ring from Grays Antique Centre. Lips: Lip Color Shine in Chastity by Tom Ford Beauty.
Bra and hot pants by Louise Amstrup and hairclips and ring by Erickson Beamon. Hair: Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy by Ojon. Eyes: Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner in Intense Black by Stila.
Styled by Katy Lassen / Hair by Liz Taw / Makeup by Celia Burton
Set design by Suzanne Beirne / Produced by Thomas Howard at upstairsproduction.co.uk / Casting by Ben Grimes / Models: Molly Smith at NEXT and Stephen Smith at FM Agency / Manicures: Ama Quashie using Orly / Stylist's assistant: Millie Humphries
Liz Taw is at Stella Creative Artists / Celia Burton is at CPM using MAC cosmetics
As the Breeders travel the world this summer in support of LSXX, the 20th anniversary re-issue of the band's enduringly
awesome Last Splash, bassist Josephine Wiggs is sharing her view of life on the road in a series of photo essays for Papermag. Below, check out her third installment.
The floor after the Toronto show. (Canadian beer cans.)
Detroit Majestic Theater, the stage after soundcheck, before show.
In the van, Kim's socks, en route to Nashville.
When Kelley was rummaging through her change purse to find me some Advil PM (loose amongst the coins) I noticed she had this tiny compass in there, too.
After the Nashville show, a woman told me she had driven from El Paso, Texas, specially to see us. I asked how long it took and she said, "16 hours--the first day..." She then produced this CDR from her bag for us to sign, explaining it was a digital download of Last Splash. When I took it to Kim and Kelley, they were nonplussed, and lamenting the absence of the album artwork, Kim embellished it.
Parking regulations in strip mall parking lot, outside Atlanta, GA.
Gas station, Georgia. Kelley wanted to buy a lotto ticket, but the machine inside the gas station was broken.
En route from Atlanta to Gulf Shores, AL. I don't know what this was in life, but it is beautiful in death.
Hangout Festival at the beach, Gulf Shores, AL. I have never played a show for so many people wearing bikinis. After taking my "crowd shot" to tweet in the middle section of "Roi" (I play drums on this song) the camera was still on when I placed it on the floor tom.
Portrait of Kelley's mini Marshall, used to create the distinctive, tiny-but-epic lead guitar sound on "Mad Lucas."
At the Apolo, Barcelona, we were the unannounced band playing the "secret show" which kicks off the Primavera Sound Festival. Backstage, Kelley is puzzled by what appears to be a bread sandwich -- two slices of white bread, with a slice of brown bread in the middle.
At the Apolo, Barcelona, backstage.
Primavera Sound, Barcelona.
The Breeders guitars at Primavera, ready to go on stage.
Roadside fare, Ohio, USA.
And something to drink? Georgia, USA
The Breeders' Photo Tour Diary Part 1
The Breeders' Photo Tour Diary Part 2
Nathan Sawaya's acclaimed exhibition "The Art of the Brick" is coming to Times Square! The New York-based artist had a wildly-successul show at The Morris Museum in New Jersey back in 2011 and his works are now seen in museums and public art displays around the world. Sawaya actually worked (for a short time) for the LEGO company after quitting his day job as a lawyer back in 2004. He has since built everything from a seven-foot replica of the Brooklyn Bridge to exact copies of the two lions outside of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street. The NYC show opens on June 14th at Discovery Times Square (226 West 44th Street) and it's "the largest display of LEGO art ever assembled" and includes several "never-before-seen" constructions. You can buy advance tickets ($15.50 to $20.50) HERE.
"I have expensive taste in paper," says writer Elliott Holt of the personalized stationery she orders annually from London. " I write thank-you notes. You have to pick your own font. Mine feels very 'me.'"
But Holt also has an interest in more contemporary forms of communication: Already a winner of the Pushcart Prize for short fiction, she drew attention during last fall's inaugural Twitter Fiction Festival when she tweeted a murder mystery from three discrete fictional accounts. Her first novel, You Are One of Them, comes out this summer and hinges on different forms of correspondence. In 1982, two 10-year-old best friends Jennifer and Sarah write letters to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, who responded only to Jennifer with an overseas invitation bringing her international fame. Thirteen years later, and 10 years after Jennifer's supposed death, Sarah is summoned to post-communist Russia by an e-mail implying that the young ambassador might still be alive.
"E-mail was still a novelty in 1995," Holt writes in You Are One Of Them, before carefully re-creating the new technology's strangeness. As she says now, "You could never have imagined the way our notions of connectivity would change with e-mail. International borders could break down. And of course notions of identity also changed, because it's a lot easier to impersonate someone online."
Holt worked at a Moscow ad agency in the late '90s -- around the same time much of her book takes place. "None of my Russian colleagues grew up with advertising, and it was amazing how quickly they wanted to speak ad-speak," she remembers. "So much of the book is about the way people and ideas are packaged and sold."
The same holds true for her work on Twitter. "I think Twitter intrigues me because it can feel sort of intimate but it's not really. It's a performance," says Holt. "The fascinating thing about creating these three characters is that it makes you wonder, 'How many other people out there are fake?'"
From IRL to Instagram, there's a new fashion trend on the loose. It's Home Depot and it's HOT. If the signature orange bag is what you want -- as spotted at the V Files Karaoke party last week in NY, or on photographer Renata Raksha's instagram feed from LA -- sorry, that's no longer available. But there are more ways to wear the logo: at Pop Souk, we noticed a chic girl wearing a car-racing jacket with a Home Depot patch, and on several men and women, we've noticed this racing-inspired t-shirt by Heron Preston (of the Been Trill collective), which features a big Home Depot logo printed on the back (you can still cop one of these, in the VFiles shop). Then there's artist Lauren Devine, who posted a photo of herself posing in front of the store this week (due to the "hottie situation," the Bed-Stuy location gets the nickname "Homme Depot").
All of this is most sensibly viewed through a prism of wider trends (well, wider within the VFiles/DIS Magazine contingent, anyway), in which artists and designers are subverting mass-market branding both through the reproduction and recontextualization of logos (there's a wealth of examples in the VFiles shop), and through the appropriation of sponsorship-style layouts, such as those used in sports or at events (DIS Mag's personal zentai step-and-repeat is genius). But don't explain any of this to the execs at Home Depot when you write them to ask them to make more of the tote bags -- it'll be funnier if they're confused.
With her messy blonde hair covering her face, black jeans and black boots, Carmen Villain certainly looks the part of a rocker chick. But her willowy frame and striking, angular features also hint at her past life as a model, one whose former career including posing for Vogue and walking in shows like Yohji Yamamoto and Alberta Ferretti. Interested in music since childhood, the London-based Villain (born Carmen Maria Hillestad to a Norwegian father and a Mexican mother) turned to songwriting and recording at the same time she was getting ready to leave the modeling industry. Teaming up with Norwegian musician and producer Emil Nikolaisen (Serena-Maneesh), Villain went to work on her debut record Sleeper, out now. Combining sludgy guitar riffs and heavy, all-encompassing drums with Villain's dreamy, Liz Phair-esque vocals, the album, in many ways, seems to be a good reflection of Villain herself: a mix of dark and light, hard-edged but soft. Villain came by the PAPER kitchen for an acoustic set and chatted with us about her music. Watch her play "Lifeissin" above.
How did you get started making music?
I started writing a few years ago as a hobby but I did it in secret. Nobody knew I was writing and messing about on the guitar and recording gear, drum machines and stuff. I started getting a few songs together and I thought, "Okay, I should show it to someone." I showed a couple of songs to a few friends of mine with total terror... a friend of a friend in music introduced me to [co-producer] Emil [Nikolaisen] who I started working with and recording the first part of the album.
Were you still modeling at this point?
At the beginning, I was still working as a model but I wasn't doing shows and the whole circuit -- I was done with it. But obviously one needs to pay the bills. At the end, I kept feeling really distracted so almost three years ago, I had to stop and remove myself from [the modeling scene]. I couldn't find focus to do my music.
You co-produced your own album. Did you teach yourself sound mixing and production?
Yeah. It's really nerdy because I sat obsessing over LogicPro and nerding [out] until I managed to learn enough and could produce half the album and recorded three of the songs in my own house.
And you're self-taught when it comes to songwriting, too?
Yeah, songwriting-wise, it's really intuitive and very personal. I was kind of in a dark place when I wrote all the songs and when I looked at the whole thing after recording it, and was trying to come up with a title for the album, all the songs seemed to have a few different themes -- it's kind of depressing.
Sleeper is a state of mind one is in; I feel like I was in this cloud and that I wasn't participating properly in life. Really passive.
Almost like sleep-walking.
Almost like sleep-walking, exactly. Also it's a nod to my friends and family. I've always loved sleeping -- almost too much -- when I was a kid. I would just sleep and wouldn't want to get up, sometimes for bad reasons. Sometimes it was just laziness. It was a dark nod to my poor family -- my poor mom who tried to get me out of bed everyday.
How would you describe your own music?
I would say it's dark but I like mixing it with nice, pretty things -- it's never too perfect. It's all loose and a bit messy with pop melodies. It's definitely psychedelic.
How did you get your start in adult films?
I am interested in exploring different artistic genres, both in terms of technique and content, but I've always been fascinated by male sex and sexuality. I became increasingly frustrated with how moving image explored this and have over the last two years began to make it the subject of my films. Experimenting is the core of my work.
How would you describe your work? What separates it from more mainstream adult films?
My work blurs the border between narrative cinema, pornography and art film, which I think makes it very hard to define as one unique genre.
It's often said that porn movies as a genre are characterized by their absence of narrative. The typical porn movie (a hard-core one anyway) is just an endless series of people fucking. But at the same time, porn is critiqued for having unsophisticated or badly integrated plot lines. That's the major issue taken up in my short films -- they're porn films that aggressively equate narrative and sexuality.
Still from "Gingers."
What's your process when doing a shoot?
My films aren't staged or scripted. I like the anthropological component to it and love filming a bunch of people and not knowing fully what is going to happen. Montage is also central to all my work. Often it's through the juxtaposition of different shots and sounds that the work assumes its narrative impact.
Why do you choose to use amateurs over actors?
I like real emotions and experiences. I really like shy people! They're the best people to film, much more interesting than a narcissist. Hiding is much more interesting, honest, sexy and natural.
Nowadays everyone consumes and produces porn just through uploading profiles and exchanging images and videos privately. It's way more sexy and interesting to have access to the realness of the person and his space than to work with porn actors in a situation where everything is fake.
Because I work with amateurs, people respond to it, because they relate to them.
Do you try to create particular moods when you film, or do you let the camera role and see what happens?
My films tell stories of real people, real emotions and experiences. They're documentaries in [the sense that] I'm filming real life, the films are not staged or scripted. A significant difference [between my films and most pornographic films] is that I'm not trying to impart information about certain subjects or be objective -- I am just filming what's happening around me, and putting myself in situations where things are happening.
How do you choose your projects? Do you make movies about what turns you on at the moment or is it all very planned?
Mostly I make films I want to watch on the Internet or at film festivals. If I'd seen these kinds of films before, I don't know if I would be making them.
If you could make any adult film (or anything else) with an unlimited budget, what would it be?
Choreograph a classical ballet company.
That's your dream project?
Actually it's to have a barn-conversion studio in the countryside of Portugal, by the sea. I'd love to produce films as well as make sustainable food, surrounded by animals, vines and cork trees.
What filmmakers, directors, artists, designers and celebrities have influenced you the most?
In terms of filmmakers, there are many. The pioneering gay pornographic art-filmmaker Wakefield Poole, Derek Jarman, Kenneth Anger, queer porn director Fred Halsted, the Dogme 95 style of Lars von Trier, Maya Deren.
I also love Wolfgang Tillmans, Fernando Pessoa, Allen Ginsgerg, and of course, Prince Harry, a ginger!
How do you think the Internet affects adult films? Do you think it's done good things or bad things?
Like everything there's good and bad. I'm actually inspired by both the classical porn narratives and new Internet forms of porn.
Still from "Bankers."
You do erotic films, so this is maybe a silly question, but how does your sexuality affect your work?
A hundred percent! Especially the repression of growing up in a Catholic country and the liberation that London gave me. If I had had this freedom since I was born then I wouldn't really care about it in the same way.
How do you like to meet people? Do you use Grindr or hookup apps? Do you think the era of the gay bar is over?
I like both the traditional and the new ways [of meeting people]. None of it will disappear, there's just been sort of a transformation.
If you could have sex with any celebrity or public figure, who would it be?
King Sebastian of Portugal.
What TV shows did you love as a kid?
I was a countryside kid -- Tom Sawyer, and the Fables of the Green Forest.
Still from "Julian."
What is your craziest sex story?
In London, if you provoke it or put yourself in the right -- or wrong -- situations, then a lot of crazy things can happen to you. I had my period in London where I let things go with the flow so most of my crazy stories come from that time. Lots of people seek this here and -- spoiler -- this will be explored in one of my next films.
Dance like no one is watching (but, more so, like you are this Russian child in sunglasses killing it on the dance floor circa 1990-something, surrounded by ladies who are what you imagined "New York women" looked like when you were a kid, watching Club MTV.). [Gawker]
Scripps Spelling Bee winner Arvind Mahankali had a spell-off with Jimmy Kimmel last night and got a case of the giggles.
Jay Pharoah went on Sway's morning show and did an ah-mazing impression of Lil Wayne rapping about having sex with a beehive. [Buzzfeed]
He just gets me, mom. [pizzzatime]
I'mWithKanye posts ANOTHER never-before-seen pic of Daft Punk umasked! I'm all up night to get ..... sorry!
:( Chris. [ThisIsntHappiness]
Called the "Goldie Hawn of Broadway," actress Annaleigh Ashford has added her big-eyed-blonde brand of humor, sweetness and all-out goofiness to the ensembles of Legally Blonde: The Musical, Hair, Rent, and Dogfight. But it's only now that she's finally getting the recognition she deserves as the quirky, sassy leading lady (biological lady, that is) in Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein's Broadway version of the 2005 British film, Kinky Boots. Ashford is nominated for her first Tony Award in the Best Featured Actress in a Musical category for her role as Lauren, a shoe-factory worker in a small town north of London, who's the catalyst behind the factory's big change from manufacturing loafers to fetish footwear designed by London drag queen, Lola. As you might have guessed, this savvy move saves the failing shoe business. Here, Ashford talks with us about working with drag queens, what she's looking forward to this Sunday at the Tony Awards and why she can't wear those now-ubiquitous 'kinky boots'...
You've been a staple on the Broadway scene for years, but it seems like this role has really been your breakout role...
It's amazing because I really do feel like I've been part of the New York theater community for quite some time now but this role has really given me the opportunity to create something kind of new. She's an unusual character and I'm so grateful for the recognition that I have received during this awards season.
What's it like working with Cyndi Lauper?
When you see Cyndi Lauper in person for the first time you're like, "Oh my God she is a pop icon." She's not only a pop icon, but she's also such a part of American culture. Being in the same room as her is kind of overwhelming, but when we were creating the project we spent so much time together. We call her Cyn and every once in a while I'll say, "Oh my God, she's Cyndi Lauper -- she is full-out Cyndi Lauper!" We were walking through Times Square yesterday, from one press event to the next, and I was not thinking anything of it and then Cyndi started to get mobbed. She's been such a wonderful spirit and I think people are really surprised with how musicalized and still how pop-centric [her score] is.
It must be so exciting to be in a hit show.
Since the day that the Tony nominations came out, the theater has been crazy banana pants. We've had so many exciting fellow actors come to see the show and people in the entertainment industry. There's nothing like the energy of a new Broadway show. There's electricity from the moment you walk into the theater to the moment you leave.
Who have been some of your favorite people that have come to see the show?
We've had such a range of people. We've had Broadway superstars like Patti Lupone and Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters and Glenn Close and then we've had a lot of pop stars because people want to come support Cyndi, so Katy Perry came a couple weeks ago, Sting, Keith Richards...
I bet the opening night party was fun...
It was huge! And then at one point they played "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and the whole room just went nuts. It was so special.
Had you worked with drag queens before this?
Oh yes, child. My very first show when I was nine years old was Ruthless: The Musical at the Theater on Broadway in Denver Colorado and the part of the Grandma is traditionally played by a man, so I sat next to Steve Kengel -- who played Sylvia St. Croix -- in the dressing room when I was nine years old. Drag queens are nothing new to me, honey! One of my favorite movies growing up was To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.
Are you sad that during the finale while the rest of your castmates are wearing the thigh-high 'kinky boots,' you wear hot-pink ankle boots instead?
Yes, I wear 'kinky booties' instead. I don't really have enough time to change into [the kinky boots] because they're very elaborate, so I found the booties in Chicago. They're very fabulous, but there are moments where I covet those kinky boots. But my knees and my ankles are probably happy that I don't wear them.
And the rest of the time you get to wear tennis shoes and jeans...
I wear sneaker wedge shoes the whole first act though nobody ever knows that they're wedge. We always thought that Lauren was a rough and tumble girl but she's a girl who goes to London on the weekends to hear her favorite bands, so she would absolutely have some kind of fierce shoe-age happening underneath those jeans.
What did you do the morning of the Tony nominations?
I stayed in my bedroom with my blanket over my head. I just wanted to know when they were over, but I could hear my fiancé [actor Joe Tapper] every time we'd get another nomination he'd be like, "Yeah!" My category was like the very last category so he came in our bedroom and he was like you got nominated! We both cried and hugged each other for a second and then my phone actually blew up.
Do you know what you are going to wear?
I'm not quite sure, but I think so. I feel like we just went through all this with my sister's prom and now me and my mom and sister are going through it for me with the Tonys -- it's the ultimate prom.
What are you looking forward to most about Tony night?
I don't even know. I'm just looking forward to being there and...performing. I've never been to Radio City Music Hall in my life, embarrassingly enough, so it's going to be really exciting.
The Lonely Island was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and they killed two birds with one stone, performing their bad grammar-ific song "Semicolon" and, more importantly, reviving the greatest Dave Coulier take-down in pop culture history. "Semicolon" usually features a Solange, but when they boys went on Kimmel they were with songstress-extraordinaire Alanis Morissette. Dressed in school clothes, the group goes through their usual list of of incorrect semicolon-fueled punchlines. You can see the joke coming from a mile away -- Alanis schooling them on their incorrect grammar and Andy Samberg calling her out on playing fast and loose with her use of irony in her classic '90s hit "Ironic." But then Alanis starts actually singing "Ironic" and suddenly the fact that "meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beauuutiful wife" is actually an example of an unfortunate situation rather than an ironic one doesn't even matter. The song's a jam no matter what. Watch and learn above.
One of the highlights of summer for me is hosting the Celebrity Sidewalk Sale at Screaming Mimi's. We gather truckloads of new and vintage designer clothing, accessories and beauty products which we sell at bargain prices to benefit Citta, a charity that builds schools, women's centers and clinics in India and Nepal. This year we're raising dough to build a girl's school and women's center in Jaisalmer, India. There will be racks of cuteness from the likes of Hugo Boss, Coach, Nanette Lepore, Charlotte Ronson, Cynthia Rowley, Decades Denim, Tom Ford Beauty, Lancôme, Lafco, Timo Weiland, Marni, Ferragamo, Sonia Rykiel, Cole Haan, Sophomore, Reece Hudson, Molton Brown, Essie Nail Polish, Alexis Bittar, Ray Ban sunglasses and Jonathan Adler. There will also be vintage donations from Karen Elson, Cindy Sherman, Kelly Bensimon, Peter Davis and Patricia Field.
It's a shopaholics paradise and all for a great cause. Come shop with us this Saturday, June 8th through Sunday, June 9th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day, rain or shine, at Screaming Mimi's (382 Lafayette St., between Great Jones and East 4th St.). See you then!