Articles on this Page
- 12/29/14--09:30: _Our 10 New Year's E...
- 12/29/14--13:20: _JUCE's New Jam Is P...
- 12/29/14--14:20: _Watch a Clip From N...
- 12/30/14--09:12: _Watch Kim Kardashia...
- 12/30/14--11:50: _Why the Closing of ...
- 12/31/14--11:30: _Hanging Out With Di...
- 12/31/14--12:30: _The 10 Most Popular...
- 01/01/15--08:45: _Listen to "Only One...
- 01/02/15--10:00: _5 Must-See Films In...
- 01/04/15--07:55: _The Sunday Funnies
- 01/05/15--06:00: _Watch Kanye's "Only...
- 01/05/15--07:52: _KOOL A.D. Forecasts...
- 01/05/15--08:55: _Watch Portlandia's ...
- 01/05/15--10:00: _Turn Up With This H...
- 01/05/15--12:30: _10 Slept-On Albums ...
- 01/05/15--13:30: _Watch This Tender D...
- 01/05/15--14:44: _Celebrities on Wint...
- 01/06/15--06:00: _A Runaways Photo Sh...
- 01/06/15--08:00: _Jimmy Kimmel Perfec...
- 01/06/15--08:30: _We're Looking For I...
- 12/29/14--09:30: Our 10 New Year's Eve Party Picks In NYC
- 12/29/14--13:20: JUCE's New Jam Is Peak Funky Freshness
- 12/29/14--14:20: Watch a Clip From Nicki MInaj's Teenage Acting Days
- 12/30/14--11:50: Why the Closing of Williamsburg's DIY Venues Doesn't Really Matter
- 12/31/14--12:30: The 10 Most Popular Stories of the Year on Papermag.com
- 01/02/15--10:00: 5 Must-See Films In January
- 01/04/15--07:55: The Sunday Funnies
- 01/05/15--07:52: KOOL A.D. Forecasts Your January Horoscopes
- 01/05/15--08:55: Watch Portlandia's Feminist Bookstore Owners Get Down at the Club
- 01/05/15--12:30: 10 Slept-On Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now
- 01/05/15--13:30: Watch This Tender Documentary About Aging San Francisco Drag Queens
- 01/05/15--14:44: Celebrities on Winter Break, Ranked
- 01/06/15--06:00: A Runaways Photo Show Opens This Friday in NYC
- 01/06/15--08:30: We're Looking For Interns!
It doesn't matter if you're visiting for New Years' Eve, or you got stuck here after waiting too long to book a flight to Tulum (or, actually, anywhere with open water and sunshine), there's one thing we know you've never said: Times Square sounds like a great idea. Our guide to New Years' Eve in New York City, below.
After releasing their breakthrough debut EP, "Taste the Juce!" this past November, our favorite London girlgroup JUCE is back with more funky freshness. "The Other One" picks up where JUCE's Georgia, Chalin and Cherish left off on, "Burning Up," delivering a smooth groove that's steeped in their signature throwback production. With a highly anticipated full-length album pegged for release in 2015, these girls are certainly ones to watch throughout the New Year.
LaGuardia High School may be eye-rollingly reluctant to align itself with alum Nicki Minaj, but Ms. Buns-Hun has long pointed to her teenage acting training as key in helping her write raps, play with language and plant the seeds of her Minajesty to come. Now, thanks to a clip unearthed by British TV series You Saw Them Here First, you can see Minaj in all her teenage acting glory. Watch above as she gets lost in a scene that involves smashing a telephone.
In our previously published behind-the-scenes interview with Kim Kardashian at our "Break the Internet" cover shoot, the divine Miss K revealed a few unexpected Internet-y facts about herself, including her obsession with the "Broom Broom, get out me car" Vine. But that wasn't all she shared. In this new, extended version of the Q&A, Kim reveals a few more fun tidbits about her web habits and puts her knack for amateur detective work and password-cracking -- as documented on prior seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians -- to the test. Watch as Kim guesses President Obama's password, reveals her source for celebrity gossip and discusses North's burgeoning iPhone skills.
On New Year's Eve while woozy couples in cheap, plastic top hats kiss at midnight, the last vestige of Williamsburg's DIY music scene, Glasslands, will go out with a clatter and bang and shut its doors. The blocks on South Kent Street that it shared with other, also-closed DIY institutions -- 285 Kent and Death By Audio -- were snatched up by VICE and will soon be home to the media behemoth's new headquarters.
The irony is hard to miss. VICE is, in effect, cannibalizing the very culture it purports (or used to purport) to represent. "[The closing of] Death By Audio and Glasslands is a reflection of culture eating itself, gentrification eating itself," Ric Leichtung, former booker of 285 Kent says. "That's a hard pill to swallow as a young artistic person. It's definitely depressing to say the least."
Though we've lost three important cultural venues -- two in the last month and a half -- their closings don't come as much of a surprise.. Oliver Ackermann, guitarist/singer for A Place to Bury Strangers and owner of the Death By Audio effects pedal company that spawned the venue and shared the space, offers a matter-of-fact explanation for DBA's closure. "Our lease was coming to an end and we were in a good deal with the landlord," he says. "He let us come back throughout the years and we were under the impression that it was going to end. They got a good offer from VICE and it was kind of inevitable. I'm surprised we lasted this long." Death By Audio closed its doors for good in November, after a month-long farewell extravaganza.
Popgun Presents, the booking and promotion group in charge of Glasslands, respectfully declined to comment until after the venue's closing tomorrow night. Over the last several weeks, they've put on a series of #lastlands shows, as they've dubbed the final days of the venue, which have included performances by some of the countless bands that have graced the venue's stage, How To Dress Well, TR/ST, Delicate Steve, Beach Fossils, Com Truise and Waxahatchee.
Though it's easy to write overly-sentimental obituaries for these venues -- and for Williamsburg itself -- that's not what we're interested in here. New York is full of people who like to romanticize earlier eras when "creatives had it better" and there will undoubtedly be plenty of folks who will do that to this neighborhood. But that's missing the point. While it's disappointing that these venues are closing, it doesn't necessarily seem indicative of a larger cultural drain that Brooklyn's young, creative community has fallen victim to. Where the DIY scene is concerned, it's never been about the actual spaces so much as it has been about the community of musicians, artists and creative minds that gather and produce in them. As Leichtung, who also runs the music site Ad Hoc and books shows for Webster Hall, Baby's All Right, and more says, "At the end of the day, DIY is not about doing some crazy shit in a warehouse illegally, it's about community building."
And the artists leaving Williamsburg aren't disappearing, of course, they've just been decamping to neighborhoods like Ridgewood, Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights or Sunset Park where they can find cheaper rents. Similarly, there's been a proliferation of new venues on the Williamsburg periphery of East Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Ridgewood -- Silent Barn, Shea Stadium, Trans Pecos, and Palisades -- who all operate with a strong DIY ethos in the vein of Death by Audio, Glasslands and 285 Kent.
That's not to say that these newer venues are carbon copies of their predecessors. The main difference between a handful of these venues and those closing in Williamsburg is they're run "above ground," with promoters making sure all of their licenses are in order so that they won't get slammed with any noise violations or Cabaret License-related infractions. Longtime DIY promoter Todd P recently went above ground, opening Trans Pecos in Ridgewood as a self-proclaimed avant music venue, and others have been following suit. "After a while it just gets hard to pull off. As you can see with Todd P's case, the longer you do it, the higher profile you get, the harder it is to do things [underground]," Leichtung tells us. "I've been doing shows for eight or nine years now and after a certain point, you're like, 'I can't do it DIY.'"
Leichtung also offers up Palisades, on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, as another torchbearer for DBA and Glasslands. "I feel like [Palisades is] really a reflection of things to come in that they are a fully-legal venue but operate with the ethos of a DIY space, with the sensibilities that would prioritize community over financial gain. That kind of attitude is really absent right now in a lot of venues around the city."
And then there's the Market Hotel. Rumors of the reopening of this storied show space and artist residence, also on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, have bounced around the local music community for the better part of the year. A long-time resident and event organizer for the currently shuttered space, Leichtung confirms plans to reopen. "In the past year or two we all had to move out of our studios [in the Market Hotel] so that the construction could happen to bring the building up to code. It's very, very difficult to bring a building that's more than a hundred years old up to code and it's very costly... It's been a slow process but I'm confident that hopefully in 2015, Market Hotel will re-launch as a fully legal venue."
Meanwhile, the pedal-making branch of Death by Audio is currently looking at locations south of Williamsburg in Clinton Hill. DBA the venue, on the other hand, has a hazier future. Edan Wilber, the affable head honcho of the DBA show space explained, "It's all up in the air. It's all kind of sudden so we're looking. We can't say anything concrete yet unfortunately, but we definitely want to [find a new space]."
So is this the death knell of independent music and the DIY scene in New York City? Definitely not. But if there is anything to be concerned about, it's that the people who make up the city's music community are moving further away from each other, making creative cross-pollination less common. Seva Granik, producer of the acclaimed roving DIY party SHADE observes, "At this point, my take on what you'd be seeing now, is things are so far spread out that it will be much more difficult to forge communities that would be capable of producing culture at large."
A few months ago I zipped down to Tampa, Florida for a meeting with a legendary superstar in her field. You might not realize this person is a superstar -- ore even recognize her name -- but if you ever watch HSN, chances are you've seen the Queen of TV Shopping, Diane Gilman, in action.
In home shopping circles Gilman is the equivalent of Barbra Streisand: a legend, an above the marquee name. She's the only on-air talent at HSN who has a style closet on-site so she can leave clothes and some of her signature blingy, designer accessories at the office.
I was hanging out with Diane to watch her launch her 'Today's Special.' In home shopping land, having a 'Today's Special' is a sign that you've entered the level of greatness. The TS is a special bargain that's launched at midnight, highlighted throughout the day and ultimately sells by the truckload.
On that particular fall day Diane was selling her SuperStretch Comfort Waist jean and by 1am Diane had sold over 22,000 pairs. Women of all ages go cuckoo crazy for these jeans. Being a hard-hitting journalist, I asked my mother (a Gilman shopper) what it is about the jeans that makes them so irresistible? "They're very soft, comfy and easy to wear," Mrs. Boardman said. "Some jeans are rough and kind of stiff but not hers. They look good and make you feel good. I love them."
I asked Gilman when she knew she was made for selling her designs on TV. "I so vividly remember that 'aha' moment when I recognized that sharing my designs on television was a rare gift for me. I was driving away from the studio at 2am on a full moon night, when I saw a shooting star. I made a wish that I could do this for many years, and that wish came true! I really, really wanted this!"
Gilman was born in Beverly Hills, California, which isn't surprising considering her air of glamour. Despite the fancy surroundings, Gilman had a traumatic childhood in an abusive home with an unsupportive mother (which she documents in her book Good Jeans: 10 Simple Truths about Feeling Great, Staying Sexy and Aging Agelessly), but rose above and started a career in fashion in her twenties. Along with some friends, she opened a boutique/collective called "I'm a Hog for You Baby!!" (after the Coasters' song) where they sold hippie dresses for $10.
She remembers, "My store in LA was on Fairfax Blvd. directly across from the famous Canter's Delicatessen, an enduring celebrity hangout. We were a consortium of UCLA art students and we all contributed by designing, sewing, and embellishing. The entire store was dresses at $10 retail! One day a white Rolls Royce pulled up, Cher got out (looking fabulous!), came into our store, scanned the racks, and turned around to shout, 'Sonny!!!! Get in here!!!!' Sonny and the chauffeur came in and took every dress off every rack, and threw them into the car trunk! We were wiped out of merchandise, and had to close the store for a week, which we spent sewing furiously to restock!"
Her book is part memoir and part self-help book and is filled with the blend of common sense and optimistic charm that helps make Gilman so irresistible on television. She's in her 60s but has the energy and upbeat attitude of a woman half her age. She's fueled by the fact that the best time of her life in now, both for work and romance. The enthusiasm is infectious and judging by her customer reactions, both from my mother and the women who call in to the show while I'm there, Diane's selling more than jeans. She's selling a new lease on life. One woman who called in has over 100 pairs of Gilman's jeans. Every woman who called says they'd given up on feeling sexy or looking good the way they did when they were young until they got a pair.
Watching Gilman on air is truly hypnotic. She's a pro and on the night of her 'Today's Special' the HSN host Suzanne Runyon was playing the perfect straight man, updating people on sizing availability and engaging in comfortable banter with Gilman. It's the kind of TV that's entertaining the way Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show are entertaining. You just want to hang out with Gilman and her sidekick. Except of course for the 22,000 women who ordered a pair of the jeans in the first 60 minutes. They want to hang out AND shop.
1. No Filter: An Afternoon With Kim Kardashian, by Amanda Fortini. Photographed by Jean-Paul Goude.
In her profile of Kim Karashian for our Winter "Break the Internet" issue, Amanda Fortini writes of our revered and reviled cover girl, "behind all the hoopla, there is an actual woman -- a physical body where the forces of fame and wealth converge. Who isn't at least a tad curious about the flesh that carries the myth?"
Many people, it turns out, are a tad curious.
Since we published this story on November 12th, 2014, it has received 34,147,700 unique pageviews. That's a lot. And that's certainly a lot for us here at the independently owned Papermag.com, which typically receives less than half of that in traffic for an entire year. Though many sites gleefully trumpted the fact that we hadn't, in fact, actually broken the internet, as if we had intended this call to action literally and expected Google.com to merely direct you to an image of the emoji shrug man following the publishing of our piece, we made the butt-shaped impact on the Internet we were aiming for. And we did it in collaboration with a pop culture lightning rod who not only knows exactly what she's doing, but how to make you help her do it. All 34,147,700 of you.
2. 10 Celebrity Dick Pic Valentines For You and Yours, by Max Kessler.
Some of the best celebrity d.p.s of all time, turned into Valentines. This exactly the type of story your parents hope to see your byline on some day when you tell them you'd like to become a writer. You're welcome.
3. So Whatever Happened to the Stars Of NYC Prep?, by Carey O'Donnell.
Paper contributor Carey O'Donnell tracks down the stars of the cult-favorite 2009 Bravo reality show NYC Prep to find out what life has been like since. And why did people love that show so much? The series only lasted one season, but, as O'Donnell writes, compared to other shows within the teen reality-sphere of the era, it took a uniquely grim look at Manhattan's young and wealthy: "NYC Prep was a far shrewder and darker take on modern teendom than Laguna Beach's, while not sacrificing the ghoulish awkwardness of high school." Or Sebastian's hair.
4. Tim and Eric Do High-Fashion Drag, by Jessica Jean Jardine. Photographed by JUCO, styled by Shirley Kurata.
Comedy's absurdist nightmare princes Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim jumped at the chance to model high-fashion beauty looks for our "Break the Internet" issue and the photos, shot by the genius L.A. duo JUCO (Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud) and styled by Shirley Kurata, could not have been more spectacular and bizarre. This story delights us endlessly.
5. How Nicki Minaj and Female Artists are Turning the Color Pink into a Weapon, by Gabby Bess.
6. Fran Lebowitz to Tourists: "Stay Home," by David Hershkovits. Photographed by Rodolfo Martinez.
Fran Lebowitz gave us the greatest 30th anniversary gift we could have ever asked for in September: an epic, hours-long interview, during which we barely got a word in. But, as Paper editor David Hershkovits writes in his introduction, you don't need to speak when it comes to talking with Fran Lebowitz, you just have to listen. The Q&A covers much ground and include many devastatingly perfect Lebo-isms, and, boy, were there some highlights. Choice moments include Lebowitz taking New York City tourists to task, ("I don't want these people to come here... Stay home. Sometimes I walk around and go, "Go home") destroying wealthy politicians, ("no one earns a billion dollars. People earn $10 an hour, people steal a billion dollars") and dismissing Lena Dunham detractors and their implicit misogyny. ("I always defend her when people say she's not that great. I tell them, 'I don't know, I don't care, but let me assure you: the world is full of mediocre men who are stunning successes.') The world needs Fran Lebowitz.
7. "Meet the Beautiful People Class of 2014," by Alex Scordelis and James Rickman. Photographed by Harper Smith.
Every April, we honor a mix of our favorite rising film, art, fashion, tv, theater, lit and comedy stars with an April "Beautiful People" issue. This year's class featured everyone from Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox to architecture duo Snarkitecture to At Midnight host Chris Hardwick.
8. How Natalia Kills Is Seducing the World, by Tahirah Hairston. Photos by Edward Singleton. Styling by Solange Franklin.
The British dark-pop chanteuse was seemingly everywhere this year, both modeling and performing, and still finding time to pen eight songs on for Madonna's new upcoming Rebel Heart album. Plus, damn, she is sultriness writ large in these photos.
9. Meet the 32 Soccer Players Vying to Be the Hottest Guy In the World Cup, by Abby Schreiber and Elizabeth Thompson.
The internet wasn't hurting for hot soccer player lists during the World Cup, that was for sure. But we here at Papermag.com took it a little further with a full, regularly updated bracket, broken down into categories including tattoos, hair length and "Williamsburg haircut" among others. In the end, it came down to Italy's Claudio Marchisio and Greece's Panagiotis Konel and we let the people do the voting. See who won here. Why can't the World Cup happen year-round?
10. Hardcore Honey: bell hooks Goes on the Down Low with Lil Kim
And, finally, our number 10 most-read story of the year wasn't from 2014, but rather a May 1997 cover interview between Lil Kim and feminist intellectual, author and former Paper columnist bell hooks. Stumbling on this piece in our archives, I did a double-take when I saw hooks, who made headlines this year when she referred to Beyonce as a "terrorist," had written the piece. Though the Q&A was nearly twenty years old (and it's hard to say whether hooks-now would have taken the same line of questioning as hooks-then), the interview was so grimly timeless in its discussion of female sexuality and all of the double standards women performers who dare to be sexual endure, that we re-published the entire piece. Kim's responses couldn't be more real and unguarded, either. Women who are household names, as she was in 1997, rarely go on the record about their love for anal sex in national publications. But Kim did, and she did it proudly.
Are you lying in bed crying right now because you decided it would be fun and funny to do Jell-O shots last night? Same. Kanye West isn't helping with the tears this morning, because he just released this tender ode to daughter North with Paul McCartney. "Only One," sung by Kanye from the perspective of Kanye's late mother Donda to North, features soulful keyboard from McCartney and is the first single off West's upcoming album. You can stream the song over at Kanye's website, where he has also included the lyrics, or download it from iTunes.
PAPER's Dennis Dermody shares his top five film picks this month.
Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Canadian director Xavier Dolan has crafted one of his most emotionally devastating films in this vivid portrait of the turbulent relationship between a widowed mother, Diane (played by a sensational Anne Dorval), and her volatile teenage son Steve (played by a terrific Antoine-Olivier Pilon). Trying to home school this wild child and work to pay the bills becomes an insurmountable nightmare for Diane, which is remedied by a mysterious neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clement), a stuttering teacher and mom on sabbatical living across the street. The three become a weirdly close family unit almost divorced from the real world. Xavier Dolan still likes to play with the framing device -- the screen shrinks or expands to underscore the emotional landscape. But this film lovingly and painfully examines this combustible mother/son relationship with true compassion and savage poetry.
A guy walks into a bar, right? The bartender (Ethan Hawke) offers a free bottle if the stranger's life story is especially bizarre, and there unfolds a wild tale of abandonment as a child, a troubled life in an orphanage, space camp, unwed pregnancy, even gender reassignment. But that pales in comparison to the bartender's subsequent time-travel proposal. A real cosmic pretzel of a movie directed by the Spierig Brothers (Daybreak) and based on a Robert A Heinlein short story. Sarah Snook is particularly amazing in this intriguing film that twists your brain as much as staring at a M. C. Escher drawing.
So true! This wickedly funny film by Damian Szifron consists of six twisted tales of revenge. The film covers everything from road rage and weighing the consequences of poisoning the man who destroyed your family to a hit & run accident that bizarrely turns into a sleazy business deal and one man's fury at having his car towed, which literally destroys his life. The finale is a wedding celebration from hell that is gloriously deranged. That section alone shows the director's style, nerve and unpredictability factor. A sardonic bitch slap of a film.
Brutal, slightly long, but ultimately mesmerizing, this film by the Mo Brothers centers on two killers from different countries who bond on the Internet. Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura) is a handsome Tokyo-based ex bond trader and a psychotic serial killer of women who films his atrocities and posts them on the web. Bayu (Oka Antara) is a disillusioned ex-journalist in Jakarta estranged from his wife and daughter who reaches out online to Nomura after he kills a cabbie, and his accomplice, who attempt to rob him. Nomura encourages Bayu to embrace the murderer in him. Some sequences will scorch your brain with their darkness and fury. A nihilistic, compelling exploration of senseless violence and its horrifying consequences.
An epic (170 minutes) but elegant movie by Dominik Graf about the ménage a trois between famed writer and philosopher Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter) and two sisters -- Charlotte (Henriette Confurius) and Caroline (Hannah Herzsprung) Von Legefeld. Beginning in 1787 Charlotte becomes entranced with Friedrich when beneath her window he asks directions one day. But aside from writing a controversial play, "The Robbers," Friedrich seemed a poor prospect for a suitor. But early on the two sisters make a pledge to stay true to Schiller. They even correspond in a secret code, and once when he almost drowns, strip him in the woods and warm his body with theirs. Caroline, with Schiller's help, even published a novel "anonymously" called "Agnes Von Lilien," which was wildly popular. Another puzzle piece in in this strangely fascinating film.
This kid is the best wedding dancer EVER. [Gawker]
The rudest cat ever wakes up an angelic, sleeping kitten and it does not go well. [TastefullyOffensive]
Hi hi hi hiiiiiiiiii. [AfternoonSnoozeButton]
The smiley face is what makes it. [ThisIsntHappiness]
A tiny hamster gets tucked into a tiny bed. Scream forever. [TastefullyOffensive]
Here's a compilation of a firefighter named Jeremy being startled by his mean co-workers over the course of a year. [TastefullyOffensive]
Happy New Drake! [LaughterKey]
Trouble with love? Work problems? Mercury retrograde? Don't worry. Rapper, author of the forthcoming novel O.K. (Sorry House), and expert astrological navigator, Kool A.D. will safely guide you through the coming month.
LIBRA (September 23 - October 23)
U have settled into a new rhythm. Things will continue at this pace and rhythm for a while. Listen to Future: Finessin. Stay hydrated. Avocado is an important food for u this month. Try telling a joke to somebody this month and I bet u they will laugh at it. Make some much needed alone time for urself.
SCORPIO (October 23 - November 22)
Do sit ups and push ups every day. Eat less sugar, fat, carbohydrates and dairy, more protein, fiber, roughage. Drink a lot of water. Run, swim. Drink less beer. Wine, liquor and weed are fine. Pills and powders in moderation. Psychedelics are fine, encouraged even. Delete all the games off ur phone and read a book or two. Go see a movie by urself. Visit a church, a casino, a graveyard, or all three. Talk to at least one stranger. Perfume urself with jasmine or sandalwood oil.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 22)
All music is world music. All music is soul music. All music is experimental music. All music is psychedelic music. All music is noise music. All music is rock and roll music. All music is rap music. All music is blues music. All music is jazz music. All music is Heavy Metal music. All music is Industrial music. All music is commercial music. All music is folk music. All music is religious music. All music is melancholy. Allmusic.com seems like a website that could never live up to its name. Read "The Story of Kenny Loggins' 'Footloose,' As Told By Bassist Nathan East" or whatever, don't. Who has time to click links and read shit? Take one day this month to turn off ur phone and stay off the internet.
CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19)
U Might have a threesome this month so keep ur eyes and ears open. Be gentle, patient and honest. Don't try to force ur ego upon any social situation u find urself in. Drink coconut water at some point this month. Buy a bouquet of flowers for urself. Shoplift something from a Walgreens, Walmart, K-Mart, Target, Long's, Duane Reade or 7-11. Preferably Walmart tho. Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket. Spray paint a yin-yang symbol on a cop car. Get kicked out of a bar if that's how u feel. Get into a fight with a stranger if that's how u feel. Get arrested if need be. Fear nothing.
AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18)
Get some fried chicken at Elve's at some point in the first weeks of January. That same week, get some ribs at Everett and Jones on San Pablo and University. That same week, get some chicken and waffles at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles at Jack London Square. The next week get corned beef hash and poached eggs at Ole's Waffle shop in Alameda. The next day get corned beef hash and poached eggs at Jim's Diner in Alameda. Later that week get a cheeseburger from the Giant Burger on Telegraph and West Grand. The following week get two carne asada tacos at the Sinaloa on International and 22nd, then two carne asada tacos at the Sinaloa on Fruitvale and San Leandro, then two carne asada tacos at Guadalajara on Fruitvale and San Leandro, then two carne asada tacos at El Farolito on International and 37th, then two carne asada tacos at El Farolito on Mission and 24th. Eat a lot of carrots, blueberries, apples and oranges throughout the month -- actually, throughout the year. Listen to All Eyez on Me and Killuminati (Seven Day Theory) by 2Pac, "Don't Fight the Feelin'" by Rappin 4-Tay, Born to Mack and Life is... Too Short by Too Short. Rewatch whatever Alejandro Jodorowsy movie u watched last month but this time with the sound off and Too Short's Freaky Tales on loop. Also listen to Ornette Coleman's seminal 1968 album Free Jazz a few times.
PISCES (February 18 - March 20)
When it comes to "revolution" as an idea/ideology/politic, two questions that spring to mind are:
1. Why the fuck not?
2. What the fuck else would you be doing in your spare time?
Those who call communism, socialism, anarchism and other "revolutionary" ideologies fatally idealistic or hopelessly romantic could perhaps consider the fatal idealism and hopeless romanticism of capitalism, "the republic," democracy, plutocracy, and pretty much all human ideology, period. The "revolutionary" or "communist" or "socialist" or "anarchistic" ideas are all gestural cosmic splinters of a larger, extra-linguistic idea. Words are important and useful but u should take some time, maybe 30 minutes to an hour per day, to sit in silent meditation. U had a lot of sex last year, pick the sexual partner u liked best and go deep with them emotionally.
ARIES (March 21 - April 19)
Watch that documentary on Ai Wei Wei that's on Netflix then go to an art museum with a Cancer. If you can't find a Cancer, then a Taurus, Aquarius, Gemini or Scorpio will do. If you didn't trip on a psychedelic drug last month like u were supposed to, then do it this month with a Cancer, if possible. A Taurus, a Gemini, a Scorpio or an Aquarius would also work. I highly recommend tripping on acid in an art museum if you've never done it. Keep a glass of water in the corner of ur room that is closest to the direction of the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. Try to empty and refill it everyday, but if u miss a few days here and there it's no big deal. Mail a postcard to somebody u haven't talked to in a while.
TAURUS (April 20 - May 20)
Keep listening to Celia Cruz, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Dawn Penn like last month. Also add into the mix: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Scott, French Montana, Apollonia, Madonna, The Sugarcubes, FKA Twigs, Grimez, Sza, Tinashe, Kehlani, Dej Loaf, Erykah Badu, MIA, Kimya Dawson, Sleater Kinney, Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, Gangsta Boo, Bahamadia, Jill Scott, Rah Digga, MC Lyte, L'Trimm, E.S.G., Traveling Flower Band, Acid Mothers Temple, The Boredoms, Queen Latifah, Jean Gray, Ursula Rucker, Roxanne Shantay, The Donnas, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Supremes, Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chaka Khan, Selda Bagcan, Sade, Monica, Brandy, SWV, TLC, Selena, Destiny's Child, The Ramones, Solange Knowles, Apache Beat, Siouxie Sioux and the Banshees, The Slits, Chairlift, Kate Bush, Tecla, Kate Ferencz, The Modern Lovers, Unicornicopia, Shellshag, The Unicorns, Au Revoir Simone, Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion, School of Seven Bells, Zambri, Flowers, The Murmurs, The Cranberries, Hole, The Seeds, The Zombies, Azaelia Banks, Action Bronson, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Florence and the Machine, Acrylics, King Krule, Crystal Castles, Throbbing Gristle, De La Soul, Ciara, Ashanti, J-Lo, Lauryn Hill, The Rolling Stones, Bad Brains and Mary J. Blige. Watch the 1980's remake of Godard's Breathless starring Richard Gere with the sound turned off and Too Short's Freaky Tales on loop.
GEMINI (May 21 - June 21)
Maybe we can smash the myth of genius with the rising of Mars in the house of Venus. You could stop me if you've seen this. Not even in our wildest sleep could we dream this. A field of light. A field of anything you'd like. From foot to brow, this is clearly what we're doing now.
CANCER (June 21 - July 22)
Better than the feeling of anger is a sense of and a will to justice. Better than sadness is meditation. Better than fear is love. Better than war is peace. These are linguistic statements that can be deconstructed to mean essentially nothing, but the spirit behind them is a nameless, wordless hope. Go to a church or a casino this month. Eat mostly Chinese food if you can. Go to an art museum with an Aries, preferably while tripping on a psychedelic drug.
LEO (July 22 - August 23)
When you boil it down to simple semantics, the word "revolution," and its etymological meaning/weight/history within English and the larger gradient of human language in inter-translation, seems more human or more natural (or more friendly to the ideas of "human" and "natural") than that of say "hegemony", or even the much simpler "rule." The idea of the "commune" or the "society" seems more natural/human than the idea of "capital." But when you boil it down even further to the point at which semantics themselves dissolve, you're left with mere gibberish. Words/language are a type of action, yes, physical, yes, (they are symbolic objects can be heard and seen and even literally held) but like all other physical things there is a metaphysical property to them (or beyond them, if you will). What do u want to do with ur life? Do that.
VIRGO (August 23 - September 23)
Everything that is true for a Capricorn this month is more or less true for u too. Above all else, the main theme of this month is FEAR NOTHING. There is literally nothing to fear but fear itself. Look up Jim Carey motivational speeches on Youtube.
While we await the triumphant return of Portlandia and its fifth season this Thursday, enjoy this new clip of feminist bookstore owners Candace and Toni like you've never seen them before. Though we almost never see Candace and Toni out of the confines of Women & Women First and floor-length linen skirts, here we get a flashback to the early '90s, when the two were less concerned about putting an end to our insidious phallic culture and more so about who could be the hottest, most shoulder-padded dancer in the club. They've got the power.
It's the third remix from a new EP that also includes re-works by producers Joakim and Jam City. You can snag the single and the EP in the U.S. starting tomorrow and in the meantime, give it a listen, below. Kindness is also heading out on a global tour this month and will play the Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade on March 14 & 15, respectively (for a complete list of dates, go HERE).
This past spring, I landed myself grand jury duty. I assumed that because I work from home writing about pop music and teaching online courses and none of my various employers could pay me for my time, I had a pretty solid excuse as to why I couldn't serve. But when I entered a Washington, D.C. courtroom early on a Monday morning, things looked pretty bleak from the jump. A grand jury needs to consist of 23 jurors and, by my groggy count, there were maybe 30 people in the room with me. It became clear pretty quickly that, unless I could provide documentation that I was either terminally ill or a lizard person, I was pretty much fucked.
I would end up seeing almost 50 different homicide and assault cases over the course of five weeks, for five days a week, from 9am-5pm. There was a lot of blood, a lot of crying mothers, a lot of heartbreak. It was eye-opening in almost every respect, but it was also incredibly draining and upsetting. Needless to say, my freelance work took a backseat for those five weeks, and my normal listening habits were disrupted in ways they haven't been since college. Instead of listening to five-to-ten new records a week, I only had time for one or two. At the end of my service, I knew that I was in a listening hole I couldn't reasonably dig my way out of. And in a weird way, that was OK: instead of just blowing through tons of releases to keep my head above water, I actually spent more time with stuff I genuinely liked and loved. I tried to stay in this same frame of mind for the rest of the year, and in a lot of ways, I was a much happier music listener.
Civic duty notwithstanding, there's some likelihood that you, too, have a list somewhere of albums you've been meaning to hear from the past year (or any other, for that matter). With that in mind, here are ten albums (in no particular order) that, for whatever reason, didn't get as much shine in 2014 as they should've but are great ways to jumpstart your 2015 (at least while we wait for the new Kanye/Sleater Kinney/Mark Ronson/Adele albums to drop).
1. Cymbals Eat Guitars -- LOSE
No use beating around the bush: LOSE is my favorite album of the year -- in any genre. It's one of the best indie rock records to come along in years, complete with grandiose guitar work, life-affirming hooks and eloquently spun stories about loss, confusion and grappling with a past that won't let go of you. Some of the record deals with the death of frontman Joseph D'Agostino's former bandmate and best friend, but it's such a relatable, open-hearted piece of work, that you can't help feeling a sense of joy -- or redemption -- from shouting along to it. "There's less and less rock music that matters," D'Agostino told SPIN recently. "Of course there are exceptions every year but... rock is not the thing any more." LOSE is one of those exceptions. And for those of us that loved it, it was also the rule.
First Listen: Single "Chambers," which reads like the bleaker parts of a Jonathan Franzen novel but plays like a dance-rock classic.
2. Lewis -- L'Amour
Some argue that the myth surrounding Lewis' L'Amour is more interesting that the actual record, and that's fair -- after all, it's a hell of a story: In 1983, a freakishly handsome mystery man calling himself Lewis recorded an album at a Los Angeles studio, then zoomed away in his white Mercedes with a gorgeous girl, never to be heard from again. What he left behind is L'Amour (reissued this year by Light In the Attic), a simple, affecting collection of hushed synth-folk tunes that support the idea of Lewis as a forgotten specter. Another record surfaced, 1985's Romantic Times, which featured Lewis (credited as Lewis Baloue) having a cigarillo in a white suit in front of a Mercedes and a private jet. Unfortunately, the mystery was too good to be true, as Lewis was tracked down in Canada (he has no interest in picking up where he left off) and identified as a stockbroker named Randall Wulff. Even if the story is a bit of a let-down, we're still left with L'Amour, in all its strange, fragile glory. Put it on, and you'll find it incredibly easy to forget that the ending was spoiled for you.
First Listen: The lilting opener "I Thought the World of You," which should be at least twice as long as it is.
3. Ava Luna -- Electric Balloon
Brooklyn outfit Ava Luna sound like a blast from the not-too-distant past on their deliriously fun sophomore effort Electric Balloon, dismantling and reconstructing angular punk funk, frenetic art rock and quirked-out R&B, sometimes all at once. The band calls itself "nervous soul," and that's a pretty accurate tag. It's a little slapdash, a little all-over-the-place, a little uninformed. But it's also so proudly offbeat, charming and dance-friendly, it's strangely irresistible. Ava Luna's closest spiritual cousins would be Dirty Projectors, but unlike the work of that band, Ava Luna's willingness to take themselves less seriously is a real asset. It's the best record to come out of Brooklyn in 2003 that came out this year.
First Listen: "Plain Speech," which sounds like three lost Talking Heads' demos playing all at once.
4. Sleaford Mods -- Divide & Exit
If you've ever wondered what a collaboration between The Streets and Mark E. Smith of The Fall would sound like, look no further than Grantham, England duo Sleaford Mods. Andrew Fearn takes care of the dinky beats and electronics, while Jason Williamson -- part street corner preacher, part neighborhood pub bully, part hungover, downtrodden standup comedian -- rants and raves. During a year where outrage-one-upping threatened to become an Olympic sport, Sleaford Mods made indignation fun again.
First Listen: "Liveable Shit." You put up with it.
5. Tove Lo -- Queen of the Clouds
It took Tove Lo some time to get on her feet. Roughly 16 months ago, the Swedish singer dropped her breakthrough single "Habits," one of the catchiest songs to come along in recent memory about being a sad, stoned fuck-up. The song went largely unnoticed until later this year when "Habits" began to cozy up alongside the likes of Charli XCX on radio playlists nation-wide. The aesthetic connection shared with Charli XCX seemed like something of a gift and a curse for Tove Lo: On one hand, a song like "Habits" probably wouldn't have gained much traction if not for the groundwork laid by Charli. But, on the other, news that Charli's new album, Sucker, would be released at the end of October made it a very real possibility that it would totally dwarf and obscure Tove Lo's debut, Queen of the Clouds, released only a month earlier. In an effort to squeeze a little more juice out of Charli's hit "Boom, Clap," Sucker was pushed back into December. It hardly mattered for Tove Lo, however. "Habits" played well on the charts, but Queen of the Clouds as a whole went largely overlooked. Too bad because the record's darker, funnier, wittier and more varied than almost anything on Sucker. So if you have to choose just one...
First Listen: "Talking Body," which actually could've just borrowed the title "Have a Sad Cum" from Death Grips.
6. 100s -- IVRY
I was late to 100s' IVRY mixtape, which the California rapper released for free online via A-Trak's Fool's Gold label. It wasn't until July that a friend of mine threw it on in the car. I knew the guy had incredible hair, but man, I had no idea that anyone was still capable of making G-funk sound this vital in 2014 (all due respect to the great DJ Quik). From the pimpadelic "Fuckin Around" to the unexpectedly tender strut of "Different Kind of Love," IVRY capitalizes on a market sorely in need of some love. Unfortunately, 100s recently announced that he'd be changing his name to Kossisko, and christened the event by dropping a cover of The Clash's "Bankrobber" with London singer Rainy Milo. It is not good. 100s' (er, Kossisko's) next move will be a crucial one, but we can at least find comfort in knowing that we'll always have IVRY, an album that, for once, made pimpin' look easy.
First Listen: "Ten Freaky Hoes," where 100s hilariously runs down sexual encounters with wit and aplomb, and delivers the best blunted-in-the-passenger-seat chorus of the year.
7. Restorations -- LP3
Post-rock without the pretension, the hum of Heartland restlessness, arena-rock tailor-made for the state fair, a neon sign promising Guitars As Big As Your Head™ -- Restorations' LP3 sounds like all of these things. The Philadelphia-based band aren't beholden to any particular genre, which is ultimately their greatest strength. Ask one person, and they'll describe LP3 as a punk rock record, albeit it with three howling guitars and plenty of room for skyscraping solos. Ask another, and it's Americana for the emo set. But everyone will agree that LP3 is an impressive work and an album tailor-made for the few of us who thought that War On Drugs LP was totally bogus.
First Listen: "Separate Songs," for each and every righteous climax.
8. Drake's Soundcloud Releases
True, almost nothing that Drake did in 2014 could be described as "overlooked." As one of the most consistently surprising and surprisingly consistent pop figures we have today, his every move is tracked and picked-apart and shared and meme'd fanatically. But we're including the trail of one-offs he left on the OVO Soundcloud page on this list because, nestled amongst monster jams like "0 to 100 / The Catch-Up" and "Trophies" are other, less in-your-face gems like "Draft Day" and "6 God," almost all of which are worthy of prime placement on a LP. Equally important to the actual music was Drake's commitment to keeping his evolution transparent, recording and releasing songs in real time. In 2014, it's not a necessarily novel approach, but with an artist as dominant as Drake making music that's this of the moment, it feels downright bold.
First Listen: Conventional wisdom would suggest "0 to 100 / The Catch Up," but the real keeper is the "Doo-Wop (That Thing")-flipping "Draft Day," in which Drake brunches with Qatar royals, eats his first raw oyster, and catcalls Jennifer Lawrence.
9. Leon Vynehall -- Music for the Uninvited
The title of up-and-coming Brighton, England producer Leon Vynehall's mini-album Music for the Uninvited is a reference to dance music's inclusion of outsiders, and its slinky, slow-burning, orchestrally-tinged house grooves feel nothing but welcoming. Music for the Uninvited is a record so steeped in subtlety, it's hard to know whether it wants you to dance, lounge, or simply just be. But no matter how languid and unassuming these pieces are, it's in the gorgeous little details that it comes alive, showing the intentions of an exciting young voice who understands the value of a "less is more" approach. The most polite dance record of the year, by far.
First Listen: "Goodthing," a hypnotic, glitter-dusted soft-thumper that won't leave your head for weeks.
10. Felicita -- Frenemies EP
If I'm being honest, I have to admit that I was largely turned off by most of the stuff affiliated with the amorphous, secretive and overbearingly cutesy electronic pop label PC Music this year. "Hey QT," the most notable PC Music-affiliated track of 2014, reminded me of what I imagine the soundtrack to a pornographic Pokémon fanfic Tumblr post might sound like. So it's hard to explain my love for Felicita's Frenemies EP, which is only loosely tied to PC Music but, in intention and execution, shares a great deal in common with the label's artists like SOPHIE, Hannah Diamond and A.G. Cook. What makes Felicita's music stand out? In a nutshell, it's just plain weirder. Hyper-caffeinated and dayglo dizzy, these fractured tracks sound like a Lisa Frank binder becoming self-aware and going on a nightmarish, psilocybin-soaked rampage. In a cute way.
First Listen: "Skip Blush," which finally answers the question of what kind of music Elmo and a broken jack-in-the-box doing alien Mariah Carey imitations would make.
To read more interviews with the performers in the documentary and to see the accompanying photos, head HERE.
Rihanna used her time off to humbly work on her boob-selfie game (we've counted 4 since Christmas). If bad gal Riri has anything to do with it, 2015 is going to be the year of the boob-selfie. Too bad "belfie" is already taken.
8. The Wests
As with everything Kim Kardashian does, the holidays were a family affair for our "Break the Internet" cover girl. There are plenty of adorable photos of the fam on Instagram, but our favorite is of North meeting Santa for the first time at Kris Jenner's annual Christmas Eve party and visibly hating the gift that he brought her.
7. Lena Dunham
The Girls star took adorable photos on New Year's Eve with her boyfriend Jack Antonoff, trolled E! online by wearing a ring on THAT finger, got a special 1995 abortion issue of Ms. and expressed how we all feel about fuck boys via cake. All of these things add up to an A+ winter break.
Psst! We're looking for interns!
Online and Print Editorial
We're looking for a quick-learner with advanced research skills who's also pop culture obsessed. Good writing skills are a must and transcription experience is a plus. Web editorial interns will be responsible for assisting in researching online stories, transcribing interviews, and occasionally pitching and writing their own blogs. A familiarity with Paper is important (please don't email us asking for an internship at VICE).
Please send a resume, writing samples, and a brief cover letter to email@example.com for all online applications and a resume, writing samples and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org for all print applications.
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Web Public Relations
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