Articles on this Page
- 09/12/14--12:10: _Jessie Ware Gets Em...
- 09/12/14--13:20: _Watch Brooke Candy'...
- 09/12/14--13:29: _Are Dr. Scholl's th...
- 09/12/14--13:45: _The 10 Dumbest Tren...
- 09/12/14--15:55: _The Best, Worst and...
- 09/13/14--10:30: _The 12 Nicest Celeb...
- 09/15/14--07:00: _This Miss America C...
- 09/15/14--09:18: _Watch Jay Z and Bey...
- 09/15/14--10:30: _The 10 Most Excitin...
- 09/15/14--11:00: _New Museum's Julia ...
- 09/15/14--11:45: _#MCM X MCM: Meet Ou...
- 09/15/14--12:30: _BANKS Is the Hottes...
- 09/15/14--14:00: _Youth In Revolt: Ta...
- 09/15/14--16:50: _The Fashion Industr...
- 09/16/14--07:30: _Tommy Chong's Weed-...
- 09/16/14--09:15: _Childish Gambino Un...
- 09/16/14--09:30: _Mr. Brainwash: A St...
- 09/16/14--11:02: _Watch Broad City's ...
- 09/16/14--11:30: _UK Singer Charlotte...
- 09/16/14--12:20: _Rapper Kool A.D. Ha...
- 09/12/14--12:10: Jessie Ware Gets Emotional in the Music Video for "Say You Love Me"
- 09/12/14--13:20: Watch Brooke Candy's Performance at Paper's 30th Anniversary Party
- 09/12/14--13:29: Are Dr. Scholl's the Next Ugly-Chic Shoe Trend?
- 09/12/14--13:45: The 10 Dumbest Trends Currently Destroying America
- 09/12/14--15:55: The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week
- 09/13/14--10:30: The 12 Nicest Celebrities
- 09/15/14--07:00: This Miss America Contestant's Ventriloquist Act Is Real Weird
- 09/15/14--09:18: Watch Jay Z and Beyoncé in Bang Bang, Part 1
- 09/15/14--11:00: New Museum's Julia Kaganskiy On Why A New Art-Design-Tech Incubator
- 09/15/14--12:30: BANKS Is the Hottest Girl In Music
- 09/15/14--14:00: Youth In Revolt: Tavi Gevinson's Broadway Debut
- 09/15/14--16:50: The Fashion Industry Finally Gets Something Right
- 09/16/14--09:15: Childish Gambino Unveils A Surprising New Slow Jam, "Sober"
- 09/16/14--09:30: Mr. Brainwash: A Street Art Impostor or the "Mozart of Our Century"?
- 09/16/14--11:30: UK Singer Charlotte OC Is About to Blow Up
- 09/16/14--12:20: Rapper Kool A.D. Has Real Strong Opinions on Sky Mall and Barf Bags
Leading up to the October release of her new album Tough Love, our former cover girl Jessie Ware just revealed another music video. Her recent tracks have been low-key and restrained R&B but "Say You Love Me" is a full on ballad.
In the video, the British songtress sits on an obviously fake rock and just lets the very real power of her voice hold the focus. Watch the stunning performance, above.
We're still reeling from our big 30th Anniversary party with Brooke Candy earlier this week. It was, to put it simply, nuts. Check out this video, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, of her diamond-studded sparkling performance. Opulence indeed.
Video by Cycy Sanders.
Yesterday, models went makeup-less in silk, military surplus on the Marc Jacobs runway. And on the sidelines, everyone from Anna Wintour to Martha Stewart wore Beats by Dre headphones atop their perfectly coiffed blonde bobs to listen to the show's soundtrack. But the headphones possibly served another purpose: drowning out the fervent click-clacking that comes with Dr. Scholl's loud-as-hell wooden sandals -- the designer's shoe of choice.
While the Dr. Scholl's brand is now synonymous with weird foot problems, for NYFW the fugly, open-toed clogs received a lush update. Wrapped in velvet with bedazzled embellishments, they almost seemed chic again. Even though they're not even comfortable (if we're remembering the hazy details of the early 2000's correctly), they may be poised to take the reigns from Birkenstocks, which dominated the S/S 2013 runway.
Dr. Scholl's have been done at Fashion Week before, notably in Issac Mizrahi's 1993 runway show. And in the early 2000s, TV's It girls launched the humble, wannabe clog from a hippie artifact of the 70s to a must have of the moment. Jennifer Aniston wore the wooden-soled shoe on Friends and it was iconic when Sarah Jessica Parker had a Dr. Scholl's moment on the show that launched a thousand trends, Sex and the City. Kristen Dunst, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams could all be spotted wearing the shoe and from then on, Dr. Scholl's was cool -- until they weren't.
But we all know that the fashion tides come and go in cycles, so the Dr. Scholl's resurgence vibes were already in the air. Snapping pics at the Marc Jacobs show, the fashion editor for the LA Times tweeted, "You knew it was coming... haute Dr. Scholls." Indeed. And with fast-fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters stocking the shoe, it looks like the spring of Scholl's is upon us once again.
It's going to take a lot of mass ridiculousness to rival stuff like hula hoops, pet rocks, and the Macarena, but I think our culture has managed to get there. Here are the 10 silliest phenomena currently holding our nation prisoner.
It was organic and exciting when Big Freedia did it. It was eye opening and funny when Miley Cyrus appropriated it. But now it's just gross already. Make it stop. Now. This trend is making me turn into Church Lady.
2. Self-aggrandizingly promoting your charitable nature
Speaking of Miley, she was way more fun when she twerked than at the latest VMAs. This time around, she launched into instant tears over the beauty of her own noblesse as a homeless teen emissary gave an important speech for her. The intentions were no doubt fine, but the result was skin crawling.
The masturbatory idiocy of the whole thing reached a peak when a Polish couple fell to their death while trying to take a selfie on a cliff in Portugal. I wouldn't be surprised if people promptly ran down there to retrieve the phone and put the picture on Instagram.
4. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
It's a great cause, and everyone's been inspiring in the way they've responded to the call. But aren't there some other causes that could use this too? How about spreading the love? Come on, Miley. Do one for teen homelessness. (Just don't tell us about it, lol.)
There are so few songs that make the Billboard charts without a special guest star along for the ride that singers seem to have developed a mortal fear of singing solo. It's become so cliché -- singer sings, then rapper raps, then singer sings again. Yawn. I'm glad they didn't do this to Aretha Franklin back in the day.
6. Existential comedy bits
The taste in humor these days is for loopy, nonsensical bits of pure silliness, but they're not always all that funny. At the Emmys, the extended segment where celebs in the audience got up and said dumb stuff ("Can I use the bathroom?") failed to hit the mark. Writers always forget that even pure lunacy has to be grounded in some truths -- and solid comic construction -- to result in hilarity. Learn it. And no, you may not use the bathroom.
6. People dying.
And not just any people! I'm talking two of the greatest comic legends who ever lived, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Their fertile minds nurtured an entire planet's worth of humor, mockery, mayhem, and inspiration. I'm sure those two are entertaining each other in the big Live Aid in the sky, but the earth is a way more barren place without their rich reserves of dark, bold laugh-making and thought provoking. At least we still have glamorous Hollywood legends like Lauren Bacall to soothe the pain. Wait a minute. WHAT?????
8. Broadway revivals
I know it's expensive to put on a show, so producers always rely on the tried and true, but come on, somebody write a new show! And when someone does write a new show, how about someone putting it on?
9. Reality shows
We know these time-wasters caught on because they're cheap to produce, but please! What should have been a passing fancy is now a lasting pollutant to our culture, full of fake conflict and faux resolutions that occupy the majority of America's nighttime schedules. At least it looks like MTV has a bunch of scripted shows coming up -- not that reality shows aren't scripted, lol.
10. Celebs divorcing after 36 years
Like rocker Neil Young and the wife, Pegi. This kind of thing is absolutely ridiculous. You've managed to keep it together for over three decades, people, just stick it out!
Most Necessary Tech-Wearable of the Week: The selfie hat. Sorry Apple Watch, but you've been bested. -- Gabby Bess [via Verge]
Best Twitter of the Week: (The Same Pic) @OfKanyeWest. Kanye. Kanye. Kanye. Kanye. -- G.B.
Best (Non-Fashion) Trend of the Week: Grandmas accidentally tagging themselves as rap icon 'Grandmaster Flash' on Facebook. [via Noisey] -- Abby Schreiber
Worst Weed Thinkpiece of the Week: This one, by a whiny pearl-clutcher who used 2,000 words to complain about pot smoke. Hashtag get over it. -- Gabby Bess
Best White House Photo of the Week: This one. The kid was Just. Not. Feeling. It. -- A.S.
Best Grab Bag of People at a NYFW Party: Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg, Skrillex, Diplo and A-Trak, who all turned up for Jeremy Scott's after party. Wonder what they all talked about. -- A.S.
Birthday Party of the Week: Swizz Beatz', whose Coming to America-themed b-day party thrown by his wife, Alicia Keys, looked AWESOME. -- A.S. [via DailyMail]
Best List of the Week: Jezebel's comprehensive list of foods that look like dicks. Spoiler Alert: #55 is Manicotti.
Celebrities aren't all horror stories doing a daily doom march to TMZ. Some of them are absolutely delightful, in fact. Here are 10 that I've really enjoyed getting to know -- albeit on a totally superficial level.
1. Charlize Theron
Meeting the Oscar winner at a press event, I was taken by her charm, her casualness, her friendliness. And imagine if I was straight!
2. Sarah Jessica Parker
Carrie Bradshaw forever, she's struck me as a strong-willed pro who hits all her marks, gives the right answers, and does a creditable job of being an old-school-style star. Bette Davis would have approved.
3. Daniel Radcliffe
You sit down with the ex Harry Potter star and he breathlessly knocks out answers to your interview questions in a way that's witty, engaging, and injects self deprecating humor too. He should start a school for this. It's magical.
4. Cheyenne Jackson
The Broadway regular is personable and appealing, making himself accessible and easy to get along with. Same for Michael Urie. It's not easy being a professional actor with range as well as a savvy media handler, but these two guys pull it off with elan.
5. Ellen Barkin
She's smart and knows all the press people and what makes them tick. She has a steely wit and is comfortable with making herself more friendly than the average celeb. You get the feeling that if not for the press/celeb divide, you'd be friends and go bowling together.
6. Vanessa Williams
Through her career ups and downs (which have mainly included ups), Vanessa keeps track of who the media people are and how to make them feel wanted. She's a delight.
7. Julianne Moore
A regular gal who just happens to be a superstar, Julianne is loyal to her downtown roots and is way friendly to talk to, she pretending she's not a huge icon while you're pinching yourself and going "I'm talking to Julianne Moore!"
8. Harvey Weinstein
"Savvy" can't begin to describe this man and the way he keeps tabs on power people and validates them with a hello.
9. Liza Minnelli
She's nice! She thinks everyone is her best friend, and if she meets someone new, they're her new best friend. At one event, Liza's publicist was summoning me to talk to her, and I was so flummoxed I didn't even go there! I got nervous--plus I know she'll always be there for me. No, really!
10. Courtney Love
She finds you at a party and entertains you with a stream of surrealness that goes by too quickly, though it lasts a long time. Then you ask for an interview and her people decline. Ah, celebrity.
11. Patti Labelle
Patti remembers everything--and everyone--and always has time to acknowledge the people she met along the way. Like little old bitch, me! When she named me from a Broadway stage as being a VIP in the audience a few years ago, I nearly plotzed right then and there.
12. Vera Farmiga
This offbeat actress is a fine talent who's been nominated for a host of things from Up in the Air to Bates Motel. In person, she looks you right in the eye, telling you kind truths and coming off like some kind of earthly deity of the arts.
Also, thanks to Paper interviews and/or events, I've gotten to shmooze cuties like Rihanna, Beth Ditto, Fergie, and Ciara--all absolutely swell and a half. Thank you, Paper, for enabling the nice celebs out there and for helping us realize there are some.
The Miss America pageant was on last night (oh.) and Miss Ohio did a terrifying ventriloquist dummy segment during the talent portion. WHAT IS HAPPENING? No n o nononono.
A touching tribute to dads at One Direction concerts. Pray for them. [TastefullyOffensive]
What's up, it's your boy Maru the cat testing a new set of boxes. [TastefullyOffensive]
Yes, go on. [Mlkshk]
This is how we're entering all rooms from now on. Kuu the screech owl knows what's up. [TastefullyOffensive]
This is going to be forever. [LiarTown]
Channeling these Ferrets playing in a box of packing peanuts today. Hate you, Monday. [TastefullyOffensive]
America's first couple goes French new wave for the first installment of their short film trilogy, Bang Bang. In a Pontiac GTO speeding down a desert road, the Carters may or may not be on the run from their marriage in real life but in Bang Bang, Bey and Jay are stylish partners in crime.
The trilogy's director, Dikayl Rimmasch told The Nowness that Jay Z wanted the concept of the film to be abstract. He said, "We're not trying to do this literally, it's not that we're Bonnie and Clyde. We're on the run from everything. On the run from becoming a cliché. On the run from doing the same thing again."
The three-part film was screened throughout Beyoncé and Jay Z's On The Run tour, which ended in Paris this Saturday, and now you can watch Part 1, above.
With over 300 films the Toronto International Film Festival is perhaps the best annual survey of contemporary cinema that currently exists (which might be troubling since it included at least two films where dogs were seen castrated on screen and only one with a human-walrus). For those at the fest, you're either looking for new cinematic themes, the next best picture, latest runaway indie success or, more likely, you're just looking to make it to the next movie on time. Seeing all the films in the festival's ten days would be an impossible feat so inevitably great films are missed and mediocre ones are watched, but there is no shortage of films that will spark conversation. The ten below represents just a few of the most exciting titles premiered at this year's fest.
Welcome to Me
The latest project from producing partners and buddies for life Will Ferrell and Adam McKay -- the two have worked together on Anchorman and Step Brothers, among other movies -- shows Kristen Wiig expanding her portfolio of diverse, more serious roles. But, luckily for us, Welcome to Me is still bitingly funny with a premise straight out of an SNL writers' room pitch session: it centers on mentally unstable Alice Kleig (Wiig) who wins the lottery and decides to fulfill her Oprah-obsessed dreams by producing and starring in her own talk show. The show turns into a platform for Kleig's unpredictable forms of emotional therapy, which sets the stage (literally) for a variety of bonkers scenarios (including one of the two aforementioned examples of dog castration). It's Wiig at her best, giving a performance that straddles the realistic and absurd.
The film that inspired a hundred WTF tweets after the first screenings lives up to its instant reputation as the most bizarre film to come from the festival. Kevin Smith's horror comedy features a shock-jock named Wallace (Justin Long) who goes to the Great White North (there's Canada jokes aplenty) to find his latest on-air story. Unfortunately his fate becomes far stranger and far more horrific than anything he's covered before on his 'Not-See Party' radio show: he turns into a homemade walrus. It's an image that'll stay with you long after you leave the theater.
While We're Young
Noah Baumbach's new film finds forty-something couple Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) befriending a twenty-something couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), whose bohemian, "small-batch ice cream-making, wide-brim hat-wearing" lifestyle both excites and terrifies the older couple. Not surprisingly the script is smart, wickedly funny and touches upon the insecurities of both generations. An ayahuasca ceremony scene is both an instant classic and a reminder that given great material Ben Stiller can shine, even while wearing a mid-life crisis fedora.
After 2002's The Good Girl it seemed Jennifer Aniston had proven her ability to play against type and with Cake, it seems the actress has finally found another dark and dramatic role. Aniston plays Claire Simmons, a woman troubled both by an accident that took her child's life and left her badly scarred and by the recent suicide of a friend Nina (Anna Kendrick). Pairing a pill addiction with dark, cutting humor, Claire alienates herself from the world rather than dealing with the weight of her loss and injuries. Going completely make-up free and appearing in essentially every minute of the film, Aniston does a very convincing and compelling portrayal of a broken woman whose obstacles loom much larger than standard fare relationship troubles.
In Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a gaunt recluse hunting Los Angeles by night as a stringer -- a freelance cameraman selling footage of the guts and gore found in local crime scenes to the highest bidding news station. As Bloom gets more and more successful, the film reaches darker and darker territory, with Gyllenhaal navigating a dialogue rich both in intensity and midnight-black humor. The climax of the film is a gorgeous, white-knuckled chase through the city that reveals both the depths of Bloom's immorality and the height of Gyllenhaal's talent.
Jon Stewart, that actor from Death to Smoochy (and, uh, the anchorman on some Comedy Central news show), makes his directorial debut in a feature based on the real events surrounding Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's unjust imprisonment. While on assignment covering the presidential elections and the ensuing riots, Bahari was able to capture intimate footage of the violence against the protestors. Gael García Bernal plays the title role and brings a playful humanity to his character even during the darkest of scenes. It's also a story with personal relevance for Stewart (Bahari went on The Daily Show, an appearance that didn't help his troubles with the government), and it marks what could be a fruitful career behind the camera.
An Italian film that takes place entirely in New York, Hungry Hearts is a disturbing portrait of a young couple who -- to put it lightly -- have different approaches to parenting. After meeting cute, getting married, and having a baby, young couple Jude and Mina (played by Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher, who both won top acting awards for the film at the Venice Film Festival) find themselves at odds over how to care for their baby. Mina begins to lose touch with reality, her neuroses over health and nutrition threatening her child's well-being, and Jude appears to be at a loss as to how to fix the situation. Adam Driver's face is at times strikingly handsome, and at times more a child's Play-Doh sculpture, but in either case it has the ability to convey complex emotion with a rare ease. Director Saverio Costanzo frequently frames it in close up and we're treated to a slowly unleashed circus of emotion as Jude reaches his wits' end. The film's hysterical beginning is matched only by the shocking twist ending.
A study of the struggling underworld of French DJs that spans decades and boasts supporting roles by Daft Punk and Greta Gerwig (Greta Gerwig? Sure!), French wunderkind director Mia Hansen-Løve's latest feature follows Paul (Félix de Givry) as he makes a name for himself in the house and garage DJ scenes. Just as his DJ career plateaus at a certain level of success, his personal life falters as he struggles to grow out of an adolescent lifestyle, with the flash and fun of nightlife offset by daylight's harsher realities.
This year's TIFF was all about projects from actors-turned-directors (Chris Evans, Alan Rickman, Melanie Laurent, James Franco just to name a few), and amongst the most highly anticipated was Chris Rock's Top Five. The maybe-sort-of-a-little autobiographical film follows a comedian (Rock) as he looks to reinvent himself. The movie co-stars Gabrielle Union as Rock's Real Housewife-esque fiancée and Rosario Dawson as the hippest and most attractive New York Times writer ever. Like the criminally under-seen 2 Days in New York, which Rock co-starred in, Top Five has a rambling, '24 hours in New York City' quality that provides an effortless and enveloping charm. It was also the biggest victor in the ever-present film bidding wars that happen at TIFF, with Paramount Pictures paying $12 million for worldwide rights.
The Theory of Everything
TIFF is often the starting line in the marathon Oscar race, with the Best Picture winners being debuted (or at least screened) in Toronto for nearly a decade. This year a lot of Oscar hopefuls (Men, Women and Children, The Judge, etc.) were met with a tepid critical reception but one Award-worthy performance that impressed the crowd was Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne plays the young physicist around the time he meets and falls in love with his future wife Jane (Felicity Jones, another potential Oscar contender) and turns a daunting role into a charming performance.
The New Museum is a quirky place. Far from the uptown powerhouses MoMa, The Met, Guggenheim or The Whitney its Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA-designed building sits on the Bowery sublimely doing its own thing with no greater mandate than to present, study and interpret contemporary art. But like everything else, technology leaves the complacent behind. Museums know this and they are working to anticipate and profit from the technological revolution. The Museum of Modern Art has hired a director of research and development to investigate how technology could help museums move into the future and the Metropolitan Museum of Art appointed its first chief digital officer. The New Museum has gone furthest of them all by launching New Inc, the first museum-led incubator for Art, Design & Technology.
Julia Kaganskiy is the 27-year-old woman tasked with the job of organizing this ambitious project from the ground up, everything from conceptualizing the space to picking the players to figuring out how to make it come together into something larger than the sum of its parts. With some 40 participants, it's up and running with lectures, workshops and connections to potential investors part of the mentoring program.
After studying journalism and art history at Emerson College, Kaganskiy found herself in New York during the 2008 tech boom when she started the #ArtsTech Meetup, a networking group of 4,000 art world professionals from museums, galleries, art-related startups and artists exploring social media and other digital technologies. She was also the Global Editor of the Creators Project, a partnership between VICE Media Group and Intel. Here, I sit down with Kaganskiy to discuss the New Museum's incubator, technology's evolving role in the art world and why artists still need some business savvy.
You seem like a perfect fit for this position.
Artists working with technology has been happening since the '60s, but it hasn't really been indoctrinated into the canon and it seems that there's a shift taking place right now, kind of feels like there's a lot of energy bubbling up: LACMA's reinstating their art and technology program from the '60s and '70s; the Barbican is opening up a digital revolution exhibition this summer; the first digital art auction happened in October at Phillips so it feels like it might be having a moment. For me it's been something that I've been attracted to because I was trying to make sense of technology.
How was it when you arrived on the scene in New York?
Tumblr had just launched, Gawker was this hotbed of new media journalists and Valleywag and all this gossip was going on about the young, hot startup folks and Silicon Alley as we now know it was just emerging. Initially, I was working in digital learning at the MoMA and helping launch their online courses and their blog and their iPad apps and things like that. But then I got more interested in how artists were using these tools and kind of casting a critical lens on these tools as well.
And that's when you did the meet-up?
That was when I started organizing the meet-up, which ended up traversing all these different interpretations of art and technology. On the one hand you had startup entrepreneurs who were essentially creating things like the Artsy's and the Paddle 8's who are using technology as a solution for art world problems. Then you also have the museums and the galleries and the cultural institutions that are trying to figure out "What do we do on the web?" "What do we do on mobile?" "How do we engage with our audiences using these new tools and platforms?" On the other side of the spectrum you have the artists that are just the wildcards, using these tools in completely novel, inventive ways that don't necessarily apply to the others but have more in common with them than people normally realize and certainly serve to inform and inspire the way that a museum might think about Twitter or Tumblr or whatever the case might be.
So now you're going to have an incubator that works to integrate art, technology and commerce.
Essentially this program came out of constantly being confronted with people who were working at this intersection of art design and technology who were thinking and working more entrepreneurially but coming at it from a creative point of view.
That line between art and commerce is blurring more than ever right now.
It's blurring a lot! But has it really been that pure? Warhol was doing Perrier bottles. It's unacceptable for an artist to toy with that until they reach a certain stature, and then it's like sure, make a Louis Vuitton handbag, whatever.
I love Richard Prince AriZona Tea.
I'm more interested in helping these young creatives figure out a way to do the work they want to do. Work that is fulfilling and challenging and interesting.
That can also turn into a business.
Right and also get paid. So the space is an open floor plan, it's a shared workspace and it's designed to be this interdisciplinary community where you might have a fashion designer sitting next to a game developer sitting next to an architect sitting next to a software developer, and the idea is they all come in with their own agenda, their own purpose, what they're trying to do. And on top of that they get a professional development program that includes weekly seminars from lawyers to talk about the difference between patent vs. trademarking, discuss various kinds of IP-related issues and questions, and also talk about equity structures. Bringing in a PR branding agency to talk about positioning, how do you tell your story in the press, how do you differentiate what it is you're doing from other people in the space? Basic business training for artists and designers.
Do they own everything they make?
Of course. It's a much more transparent relationship, especially because we're asking people to pay for the space. They own all of the IP, we don't take a stake in it in the way that you would in a traditional incubator. We're more interested in looking for ways to support the development of the idea, and alongside that, to develop a business model although we're less interested in emphasizing scalability.
Lately, we can't help but notice a certain eye-catching accessory strapped to the backs of some of our favorite handsome lads. These backpacks appear to be the work of the German brand Modern Creation Munich. MCM has recently taken its logo-printed bags (formally identifiable by their signature caramel color) to the extreme, adding studs, flash hardware and bold colors. But the acronym no longer just refers to the leather goods line; MCM has become part of the new Instagram vernacular. #MCM, a tag added to images of users' man-fatuations, stands for Man Crush Monday. Since there are over 56 million photos associated with this new social label, you just might find some of your #MCMs carrying MCMs. That would be totes amazing, if we do say so ourselfie.
Grooming by Ronnie Peterson / Styling by Kevin Breen
L.A. dark-pop singer Banks has kept a low profile since she set SoundCloud on fire last year with a handful of steamy singles, but on her strong debut album, Goddess (out September 9 on Harvest Records), she's an open book. Listening to her post-R&B tracks set to brooding electronic beats feels like reading the 26-year-old's diary. There's the sullen-yet-sultry Sohn-produced standout, "Waiting Game," where she sings, "You make me feel all sexy, but it's causing me shame," followed by the title track -- an empowering anthem about asserting yourself when someone puts you down and acting like the goddess that you are. "Each song has a different heartbeat," says Banks. "Embrace all your moods."
The resulting emotional roller coaster, with Banks shamelessly baring her vulnerabilities, not only presents a full picture of her as a songwriter, but it's also a rarity in today's pop landscape. Unlike her peers' music, Banks isn't interested in putting her own spin on the aspirational fantasy trope -- see Beyoncé's "Flawless," Katy Perry's "Roar" -- that's been trending for the past couple of years. Her reflective songs are rooted in real-life incidents -- painful or otherwise -- and you actually get the sense that you know her through them. "My music is me at my core, showing my weaknesses, anger, or any other emotions," she says smiling.
Outside of her music, she's just as personal with her fans. The anti-pop star even shared her phone number on her Facebook page last summer, when she was just a few slinky songs into her career. As you can imagine, the messages piled up fast but, a year later, she's kept the same number and still keeps a rapport with her admirers. "At the beginning, I was like, 'I want to answer everybody and obviously that's a little bit harder now,' she recalls. 'I have an extra phone now but there's no reason for me to get rid of my other number. I still answer as many people as I can. It's a really special way to communicate with people that connect with something that's so connected to me."
It might get even harder in the coming months for Banks to stay in touch as her schedule fills up with photo shoots and tour dates. "My life has changed significantly in the last two years," she says, reflectively. "It's really amazing and exciting. I feel like I'm pushing myself and doing things that are out of my comfort zone and that means I'm growing." Right now, she's riding high having just taped an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel (her TV debut) and opened for the Weeknd. Advice she picked up from her midnight-crooning counterpart along the way? "Just enjoy it."
Styling by JAK at The Magnet Agency / Hair by Nikki Providence using L'Oreal Professional / Makeup by Rachel Goodwin at The Magnet Agency using Chanel Makeup / Location: Mack Sennett Studio
Tavi wears a Comme des Garcons shirt, Ikram skirt, Alexander McQueen boots.
This fall, as her fellow Oak Park and River Forest High School alums get settled into their college dorms, Chicago native Tavi Gevinson will be making her Broadway debut in Kenneth Lonergan's 1996 play This is Our Youth, alongside Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin. Her character, a feisty FIT freshman named Jessica, would probably read Rookie, Gevinson's online magazine that created an outlet for a new culture of creative girls. But Gevinson was hardly even a gleam in her mother's eye in 1982 when the dark comedy -- about three New York high school grads trying to navigate adult life while smoking a lot of weed and cursing their rich but disappointing parents -- takes place.
An OG from her Miu Miu clogs up, Gevinson started her fashion blog Style Rookie at the ripe old age of 11, earning her the attention of the fashion designers she admired and front row seats at New York Fashion Week before she learned to drive. Her inherent self-confidence throughout her rise has been an inspiration to her followers, who happen to be in the most awkward and insecure times of their lives; it has also helped her hold her own against more experienced actors like Cera and Culkin.
(L-R) Kieran Culkin, Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson.
The cast prepped for their transfer to Broadway's Cort Theater with a much more intimate summer production of the play, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, at the Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre in Chicago. While there, they gathered at the legendary photographer Victor Skrebneski's Old Town studio, on a street named in his honor. The collegial trio, who all started their careers at a young age, were eager to get to New York, where Cera and Culkin live and Gevinson was about to move in with Rookie contributing photographer Petra Collins. "It's time for me to leave," says Gevinson. As the conversation moves from impersonations of Rosie Perez's New Yawk accent to jokes about this summer's ridiculous Godzilla remake to a debate as to whether Fargo is a comedy, it's hard to remember that she still lives with her parents. Gevinson relates to the 31-year-old Culkin and the 26-year-old Cera -- until they start talking about landlines. Culkin, who plays the hustling drug dealer Dennis, is on the phone for much of the play, pacing around his apartment, pulling the cord along with him. "Do you even have a house phone?" Culkin asks Gevinson. "Oh yeah, but the window for me having to memorize my friends' numbers and call them on the landline probably ended in middle school. That's when it was more normal for people in my bracket to have cell phones."
Now that Rookie has a full editorial team, an ever-growing group of young contributors (who range in age from their teens to their 30s), and Rookie Yearbook 3, the website's third annual anthology, has been sent to the printer (it's out October 21), Gevinson's able to focus on her acting. I ask her if there's anything she's learned from her two famous costars. "I have learned Mario Kart," she says. "I knew what it was; I just hadn't played it." Cera adds, "It's a nice blast of adrenaline before you go onstage." Youth culture has officially arrived on Broadway.
Digital Tech: Nathaniel Smith. Styling by Theresa Alleva. Hair and makeup by Frances Tsalas for Factor Artists Chicago.
Anyone who was hovering outside the tents at New York Fashion Week -- hoping to get snapped for a street style roundup -- or waiting in line for hours to get into invite only after-party, knows that fashion and exclusivity share the same bed. But even though you probably won't be able to get into an Alexander Wang party without an invite, in the last year the fashion industry has recognized that when it comes to model castings, exclusivity is totally boring. Some of our favorite campaigns this year have featured a diverse range of models that are anything but the norm.
Back in January, Diesel set out to reboot the notion of "model." For their Diesel Reboot campaign, they cast 26-year-old fashion blogger, Jillian Mercado who rocked a denim dress harder than any other -- in a wheelchair. And after Barney's premiered their Spring campaign that same month, a gorgeous black and white shoot featuring transgender models, Naomi Campbell took the stage at the GLAAD Media awards in April to acknowledge the fashion industry's efforts to diversify -- but she also called upon them to do more. "I encourage even more diversity in the fashion world. That includes welcoming trans models to the runways," she began. From the stage she gave a shout out to the trailblazing models Lea T and Carmen Carrera, who are trying to change the face of fashion.
Recently, model Andreja Pejic publicly transitioned at the height of her career as an in-demand, androgynous male model, crossing unprecedented territory. "I definitely delayed my transition," she told Time. "I was originally going to do it after high school but the opportunity to go out into the world and earn some money was definitely great. Modeling became a great opportunity. So I put off the transition but it was always going to happen." Ms. Pejic has since been featured in the MCM SS14 campaign and is currently working on a documentary Andrej(a) to tell her story.
Now fashion's freshest face is Chantelle Brown-Young. At 19-years-old she's the first high-profile model with vitaligo -- a rare skin-pigmentation disease. The Top Model is now the face of Desigual. The towering, colorful ads can be seen on almost every corner and frankly, we're loving the takeover.
Last night was the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars and Tommy Chong's routine was an absolute delight. First, he shows up to the stage in a blaze of smoke and in a fuckin' lowrider with Cheech Marin by his side, then does the cha-cha to a weird, censored cover of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Drop It Like It's Hot" (awesome) and his dance partner, Peta Murgatroyd, is wearing this green leotard thing that makes her look like a sparkly marijuana bud. Basically it's shameless and amazing and will add a little THC-spiked dose of sunshine to your morning. [via Jezebel]
Here's a previously-unaired SNL clip of Nasim Pedrad as Aziz Ansari -- her anecdote about meeting Kim Kardashian (who she impersonated on the show) for the first time is delightful, too. [via Team Coco]
Wheeeeeeeeee. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]
Famous Ass cookies -- always an excellent choice. [via The Clearly Dope]
We'd read these. [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]
Childish Gambino -- AKA Donald Glover AKA Troy Barnes from our favorite cancelled-jk-not-cancelled roller coaster of a show, Community -- is back with a new slow jam. The airy R&B track is an ode to a PG-rated love that doesn't need drugs and makes you want to two-step while sweetly crooning, "Oh honey!"
"Sober" is the first track off of Childish Gambino's cryptic EP stnmtn/kauai. According to the cover art, the unofficial follow-up to Gambino's Because The Internet will apparently feature Jaden Smith in some way. We can only hope that the actor-turned-rapper will find a way to turn Jaden Smith's mystically legendary tweets into the hottest rap song of 2014.
The legend of Mr. Brainwash, also known as Thierry Guetta and occasionally just MBW, is one of the most extraordinary in modern art. As a compulsive documentarian of his ever waking moment (30,000 hours of footage in 12 years), the French Los Angelean achieved overnight fame as the filmmaker-cum-unbelievably successful street artist in Banksy's 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop. But from the start, critics have been suspicious of Guetta's meteoric rise to success, lambasting his technical skill, his derivative style, and cliched subject matter. Some speculate that the Mr. Brainwash phenomenon is an elaborate prank, spearheaded by Banksy and meant to illustrate just how brainwashed the commercial art market really is.
Guetta's latest project manifested as a commemorative 9/11 mural painted on a Century 21 wall across from the Freedom Tower, which appeared on September 11th and will remain for three weeks. In classic Brainwash style, its distinctive features -- an enormous American flag, a heart-shaped stream of water, and the words "We love New York" -- are blatantly sentimental. While media coverage of the mural has stuck to the usual condescending tone and recycled conspiracy theories, Guetta quietly transcends this noise. Besides his collaborations with the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson (who was buying his art even before Exit came out), Rick Ross, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Mercedes-Benz, Guetta insists that his work is always inspired by love, positivity, and beauty, and often for the benefit of numerous charities. So while it's possible that Mr. Brainwash is nothing more than an extremely well-kept joke, who really cares? As his friend Isaac Gindi, co-owner of Century 21, says, "He's going to be the Mozart of our century...he's hot!"
Over a leisurely brunch in Soho, we asked Guetta about the mural, his response to criticism and how he came up with the name 'Mr. Brainwash.'
Why did you choose to make the mural for 9/11 this year?
I came to New York three or four weeks ago to do a project -- I don't even remember what it was. I was getting approached left and right in New York City, and I felt like I needed to stay longer. So I changed my flight for two days later, and then I changed it again. I ended up changing it seven times in a row. I was touched by New York City. I said, "I'm 48 years old now, I need to live here." I've lived in Los Angeles for 33 years, and at this moment in my life, where I'm going artistically, I want to stay in New York. Then I went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum because it was close to the anniversary.
Was this your first time seeing the 9/11 museum?
Completely. Just before I left, I said, "I have to do something." I didn't know what, but I had already met Isaac, who [co-]owns Century 21. I looked, and Century 21 was the closest building in front of the Freedom Tower. So I called him and said, "I want to cover your building." He was like, "Let's do it!"
How much time did you spend on the mural?
About two and a half weeks, 24 hours a day. I was working and working and putting my other deadlines to the side. Everything was getting harder to go through with -- people were saying it was too big, there wasn't enough time -- but I didn't want to give up. In the end I said, "You know what, we're going to do this the old way, like we do in street art. We're going to paste." If I wasn't strong, I would've dropped. People said, "Forget it. Just let it go. Do it next year." I said, "I don't even know if I'm going to be alive next year."
How did you come up with this particular design?
When I started, I only knew I was going to include the American flag, but I didn't know how. The heart is love, so the fireman who holds the hose loves New York City, and the city loves him. The heart is dark blue -- I usually do heart things in pink, but I wanted to stay with the color of the American flag. I had to come up with a sentence, too, so I wrote, "We love New York." I wanted to say these words for everyone in New York City.
Have you read any reviews of the mural?
They haven't been very complimentary -- for example, people say that the lettering is sloppy and the subject matter is cliched. Do you think they're missing the point?
They're just trying to be intelligent, and they don't know anything. They don't come and talk to me, they just assume things. "What's with the lettering?" I'm giving you the answer. It's done with a roller -- it's supposed to be a fireman painting those letters with a roller. If I give you a roller and tell you to write something, that's how it's really going to look. It's not like I designed it with a computer.
Do you think art critics are prejudiced against your work because of your role in Exit Through The Gift Shop?
How many critiques are bad? You may count five bad reviews out of five hundred thousand that are good, but people only look for the five. People never understand the right things at the right time. They never understand about art. Pollock was a master artist, and critics at the time were like, "It's not art! It's throwing paint on the floor." The same with Marcel Duchamp, and today he is the biggest artist in modern art. Time will tell, you know. They will never take away the energy and the passion I have.
Why did you choose to call yourself Mr. Brainwash?
Mr. Brainwash was invented around the early '90s. When you watch TV, when you buy clothes, when you come to a bar or a club, when you do anything, how do you get there? Everything's brainwashing, and I used to take any kind of brand and twist it. I would take Nike, and I'd make the logo exactly the same, but with an arrow, and I'd write under it, "Just did it." Instead of Kids 'R' Us, I'd put Boys Are Nuts. I couldn't use my name when I started doing street art, so I remembered Mr. Brainwash and decided to use it. At first, I didn't sign anything, but little by little I started signing MBW. A lot of the early people don't call me Mr. Brainwash, they only know MBW.
I think people are suspicious when they see that the artist of this patriotic mural is named Mr. Brainwash. But you're saying your name doesn't necessarily represent the attitude of your work anymore?
My heart just wanted to do this mural for 9/11. It's not for Nike, it's for the people. It's about thinking of something and executing it, and that's it. I'm done. I'm happy.
Do you feel that you bring something to street art that is unique, or had been previously lacking?
I don't bring anything. I'm just following my heart. I even sign my name with a little heart.
I'm not here to judge myself, or to judge anybody. What I want to do is to give love, and bring positive messages. My messages in art are that life is beautiful, love is the answer, and never ever give up.
Our favorite stoner girls and beautiful people, Abbi and Ilana are thankfully back -- and as high and as hungry as ever. In the first installment of their new web series, Hack Into Broad City, the duo toke up in preparation for a cereal eating competition via webcam, AKA a thing only stoned people would even think of doing.
Another thing that only a high-as-hell Abbi and Illana would think of doing? Creating an Epcot for cereal that Jerry Seinfeld would LOVE. Watch the first teaser leading up to the new season premiere of Broad City, above, and you'll understand.
Hailing from Blackburn, U.K., singer-songwriter Charlotte OC first began playing music when she was five years old and writing songs at the age of 15. She struggled with academics and never attended university, explaining that music is the only thing she ever felt like she could do. "I wasn't naughty, but I just didn't get school," she says. "When my mom and dad realized I could do music, they were just like, 'Go for it! Just do it.'"
Her sound blends elements of ethereal pop, including piano, synths, and violin bass guitar, with powerful lyrics. On September 2nd, she released her second EP, Strange, as a follow-up to her debut EP, Colour My Heart. This past Thursday, we watched the striking singer -- her heritage is a mix of Malawi, Indian and Irish descent -- perform at the Slipper Room in New York City and had the chance to chat with her about everything from her transformative experience at Berlin's most famous nightclub, Berghain, to hating piano and her thoughts on love.
So I hear you recently went to Berghain.
It's the best place in the world. I was recently there with work, but the first time I went was two years ago to party. I kept asking my friends, "What can I expect from this place?" and none of them would tell me. We were all exhausted because it was the last place we went, but everybody said, "I don't care how tired we are. We're going." I walked up to the building and was like, "What the fuck is this?" It's the scariest place I've ever been.
Did you have to wait in line to get in?
No, one of our friends is a DJ, but [the bouncer] was looking at me like, "I'm not gonna let you in." They were ready to not let me in, but thank the fuck I got inside. It was like heaven and hell. It's people you see just walking down the street and they're completely losing it. It's as if everybody's dancing on their own in the room, but they're with everybody else. Nobody gives a shit. Everybody is letting their inner freak out. It's beautiful. There was a moment when someone was making this African chant noise -- hearing it bellow in the huge space, I was like, "I might cry." It feels like a religious experience.
Anything else particularly memorable from that night?
Monkey Safari did a remix of Bon Iver and it was a cover of "High Life." As soon as I heard that it really hit me. In this moment with everything else going on, it just made a lot of sense. The ideas of what I wanted to do musically came [to me] then. I was like, "I hear what that is and feel like I can do something with it and make it my own."
What other things inspire your music?
Inspirations come from my own situations and a relationship between my older sister and her ex-partner that has been going on for ages. Growing up with it as a kid was horrible. "Cut the Rope" is about that situation. The other inspirations are mostly my own -- love and places. I find love is the most ridiculous thing. It's fascinating. It's like you're insane.
Tell me about your piano background -- you've been playing since you were a little kid?
I played piano and I hated it, which is really bizarre because all of my music is based around it. But I absolutely hated it [as a kid] and my teacher absolutely fucking hated me. I learned this piece in the last piano session I had and absolutely nailed it. Then I was like, "That's my last lesson." [Piano] just didn't sit well. I couldn't understand it. I'm not very good at theory. I'd like to learn it again, but I'm a bit scared.
How would you describe your philosophy toward music?
For somebody to be an artist and create music, it's a way of speaking. It's a way of crying out for help, especially when you write about yourself. I still struggle telling people how I feel, but when I'm writing music it comes so easily. It's a form of communication in the most desperate form.
Kool A.D. has since put on his "serious author" hat to pen a slim pamphlet, aptly titled Joke Book -- which was published by the Brooklyn-based press Sorry House, last year. The book's short, tweet-like quips are divided into two sections, Sky Mall/Barf Bag/Smart Phone and The Internet/Jazz/Feelings. Together they comprise Kool A.D.'s delightfully absurd theory of life and for the first time, the book is available to read in full online.
But if TL;DR is your life motto, we've compiled our favorite aphorisms, axioms, and general words of wisdom (that he undoubtedly gets from his beard) from Joke Book, below.
1." WHAT IF BOOKS NOT BOMBS AND FOOD NOT BOMBS GOT TOGETHER AND WERE JUST 'NOT BOMBS'?"
2. "The barf bag reminds us of our natural inclination to remain on the ground."
3. "Is the word "Revolution" tired rhetoric from a ideology incompatible with the real world or is that what THEY want you to think?"
4. "No disrespect, but isn't writing books kind of for white people?"
5. "Being starved for attention is one of the most American things."
6. "Hoping that one day you will become rich without having to do anything is another American thing."
7. "IF SHE ROLLS HER EYES AT YOU IT DOES NOT MEAN TRY HARDER IT MEANS GIVE UP."
8. "EVERY TIME YOU GO TO MCDONALD'S WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT, A PART OF YOU IS SAYING 'FUCK IT.'"
9. "WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS 'EVERYTHING THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD' I USUALLY THINK: 'WHO CARES?'"
10. "HOW CAN U B URSELF AND STILL GET MONEY AND STUFF OR WHATEVER?"
Read the rest of Joke Book on Medium.