Articles on this Page
- 03/06/15--08:50: _Watch Rihanna Previ...
- 03/06/15--10:53: _Kurt Vonnegut's Ori...
- 03/06/15--11:00: _Albert Maysles On H...
- 03/06/15--11:27: _Jay Electronica Sha...
- 03/06/15--11:30: _Claudia Comte's Art...
- 03/06/15--12:00: _Why Fashion Peoples...
- 03/06/15--13:30: _50 Cent's Toddler I...
- 03/06/15--13:30: _There's Now a Drake...
- 03/06/15--15:00: _The Best, Worst and...
- 03/07/15--08:25: _Listen to New M.I.A...
- 03/08/15--07:24: _The Sunday Funnies
- 03/09/15--07:25: _Watch A Man Feed Pa...
- 03/09/15--09:00: _Watch Grimes' New V...
- 03/09/15--09:26: _Listen to an Unrele...
- 03/09/15--10:00: _12-Year-Old Ryan Go...
- 03/09/15--10:30: _The Knocks Channel ...
- 03/09/15--11:15: _Shop, Comrades: A M...
- 03/09/15--12:15: _Make Every Day Wome...
- 03/09/15--12:30: _Genesis P-Orridge I...
- 03/09/15--13:00: _Watch This Clip of ...
- 03/06/15--08:50: Watch Rihanna Preview Another New Song, "American Oxygen"
- 03/06/15--10:53: Kurt Vonnegut's Original Artwork is Up For Sale
- 03/06/15--11:27: Jay Electronica Shares a New Track "Road to Perdition"
- 03/06/15--11:30: Claudia Comte's Art On Ice
- 03/06/15--12:00: Why Fashion Peoples' Pets Are Becoming Their Spirit Guides
- 03/06/15--13:30: 50 Cent's Toddler Is Making More Money Than You
- 03/06/15--13:30: There's Now a Drake Keyboard For Your Phone
- 03/06/15--15:00: The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week
- 03/07/15--08:25: Listen to New M.I.A. Track "Can See Can Do"
- 03/08/15--07:24: The Sunday Funnies
- 03/09/15--07:25: Watch A Man Feed Paul Rudd Like a Baby Bird For Charity
- 03/09/15--09:00: Watch Grimes' New Video, "REALiTi"
- 03/09/15--09:26: Listen to an Unreleased Drake Verse on a Remix of "Madonna"
- 03/09/15--10:00: 12-Year-Old Ryan Gosling Is On His Way to Steal Your Girl
- 03/09/15--12:15: Make Every Day Women's Day With These Essential Wardrobe Additions
- 03/09/15--12:30: Genesis P-Orridge Is Preaching the Gospel of Voodoo
- 03/09/15--13:00: Watch This Clip of 22-Year-Old FKA twigs Teaching Dance Lessons
In advance of her new album, Rihanna has been torturing us with seconds-long clips of new music. Yesterday she previewed a devastating clip from "Higher" and now she continues the trend with "American Oxygen," a fitting track for an American hero like Rih. The song is featured in a NCAA March Madness commercial, so just ignore all the sports stuff and, instead, focus on Rihanna's patriotic, wind-blown glory.
Robert Weide has been attempting to make a documentary about his longtime friend Kurt Vonnegut for 33 years. Thanks to Kickstarter, a documentary about the literary idol, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time, is finally happening. With the goal of $250,000 reached, we'll finally get a cinematic glimpse into the author's life through Weide's dutiful lens from 1988 to the author's death in 2007. And now we can also peak into Vonnegut's mind from a different angle. Weide is selling off the author's original drawings to further fund the project. "Kurt's always made gifts of his art to me," Weide told Mashable. "Basically all of the original artwork on our walls is from one Vonnegut or other." Ranging from doodles to "bad jokes that he just loved," check out Vonnegut's delightfully curmudgeonly artwork, below.
Legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles stopped by the PAPER offices on Friday and was kind of enough to have a chat with PAPERMAG. Maysles, who is kicking around the idea of making short films about some of PAPER editor Kim Hastreiter's friends, has several projects on the horizon. Most of them are still top-secret, but he does have a short film based on a track off R.E.M.'s new album, Collapse Into Now, in the works, as well as a movie consisting entirely of children interviewing each other. Below, Maysles talks to us about that project, Grey Gardens as a gay cult classic and what he wants to work on next.
You have the R.E.M. project and a couple of other big films coming up that are still under wraps. What else have you been working on lately that you can tell us about?
I'm making a movie featuring pairs of kids, around age six or so, chatting with each other. I just sit in on their conversations and see what they have to say.
What made you want to work with kids?
Well, one moment of inspiration occurred many years ago when my daughter was four and I took her to pick up the New York Times one night. We got to the newsstand and the paper hadn't arrived yet, and she turned to me and said, "Daddy, the paper's not ready because the people haven't been killed yet." Kids come up with the most beautiful ideas and can express them so uniquely.
It's so much better than putting just a camera on one person as an interview. Because these kids are of the same age they spark one another. I've already filmed 10 couples and then I'll probably do another 10.
What do kids tend to want to talk to each other about?
They talk about what they want to be when they grow up. During the election I filmed a couple of kids -- a girl who was six and a boy who was four -- and they were talking about voting. The boy turned to the girl and said, "You know, we could stop war. If only people would vote."
And that will be out next year?
Yes. And, going on from there, we've been talking to Kim [Hastreiter] about maybe doing a series of half-hour or hour-long portraits of her friends. She knows the most interesting people.
Is there any of her friends you're specifically interested in?
Well, Marcus Samulesson. I just had lunch at his new restaurant in Harlem, the Red Rooster. I think there's a film there. He's so special.
I had lunch at his restaurant today. Here it was snowing fiercely outside, it was the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, everyone had already had their lunch, and yet the place was packed. I got to talk to the people next to me. It was a table of three, and two of the people were locals from the neighborhood. Really interesting people. One of them turned out to be from Venezuela and we talked about Oliver Stone's film about Hugo Chavez, South of the Border, which I worked on. It was one of those coincidental, exciting events that happen in our lives.
That sounds like a New York moment.
Well, it's interesting you say 'New York moment.' That's another film we're working on. We're calling it New York Secrets. It's about all of the things going on in New York that you don't always know about. There are so many special things that take place here that are unbeknown to us. Like when they had all of those pianos installed around the city? And people could come up and play them? We drove around and filmed that, because that's something that can only happen in New York.
What else will New York Secrets feature?
I filmed Ramadan in Brooklyn. We went and filmed this Muslim man who plays drums at four o'clock in the morning on Ramadan so people will wake up and have breakfast before the rest of the day, when they're required to fast. That was beautiful.
Do you have any projects coming out of the Maysles Institute that you're looking forward to?
Well, we're probably going to change the name from Maysles Institute to "Center for Documentary Filmmaking." We're doing that for two reasons: One, we're the only theater in the city -- we have a 60-seat theater -- that only shows documentaries. And, two, because we're teaching kids how to make their own films. And it was so exciting last year, we had a graduating class of a dozen, ages eight to 12. They did a wonderful job making their own films, and we showed them to a full-house audience, and then we did a Q&A. One of the people in the audience asked the kids, 'Are any of you planning to make a career out of filmmaking,' and all 12 of them raised their hands. It was such an exciting and wonderful thing for all of us who do this work to see.
When did you know you wanted to start making documentaries?
Well, I was already a psychologist. I was teaching psychology at Boston University and we had the summer off and I went to Russia and made my first film in a mental hospital there. I got so excited about the possibilities of both passing on the experiences of the people in the film as well as introducing them to a world who would never otherwise get to know anyone like that. I wanted to enter the lives of people in a very informal but private fashion. And, through that process, I wanted to humanize these individuals and thereby make the viewer all the more humanized. We need to know one another as we really are.
Is that your main intention when you make a film? To introduce your audience to people they would otherwise never meet?
Yes. For example, with my kids project, we might know a little of our grandchildren and their ideas and their ways of expressing things, but to see a whole film of children beautifully expounding on their experiences? That's something to remember and to talk about.
With Grey Gardens the outside world already knew the Beales and had an idea of them, but maybe it wasn't one that was positive?
Well, as it turned out, the movie was their dream come true. Through the film, they could engage with the world without leaving their home. In fact, I believe that dynamic induced a whole viewership of special people. I think that movie has earned a special gay viewership because these two women "came out," so to speak. And they did it successfully. They didn't lose any of their character.
Is there a movie that's still your dream movie to make? That you haven't been able to do for whatever reason?
Well, there's one, but it requires so much travel and is going to be so expensive to make. I call it In Transit. I'll get on long-distance trains in China, Australia, Western Europe, South America and Africa, and I'll walk through the train looking for someone who I think may have a story. Then, when it's time for them to get off the train, I'll get off with them and start filming. I was on a train in Pennsylvania, and this woman got on in Pittsburgh. She had two kids with her and was 26 and, right away, she had to tell me why she was on the train. When she was three her family broke up. It was an ugly divorce and she had never seen her mother again after that. After all of those 23 years, she had just gotten a call from a woman in Philadelphia saying, "I'm your mother. Get on the next train. Meet me at the train station." So I filmed her getting off in Philadelphia and, as she was about to go up the stairs into the station, there was already a woman waiting there at the top of the stairs. She flung open her arms and rushed down the stairs and they embraced and talked for a bit. Then the mother turned to me and said, "Isn't she gorgeous?" It's that sort of stuff, that humanizing stuff, that I think is so worthwhile and so satisfying as a filmmaker.
Are there any differences you come across when you're filming people outside of the U.S.?
It's the same thing. People are people. We all share common ground, and I don't know of anything more important than that. I couldn't see people going to war, then, if they knew even one or two families in Iraq. They would say, "Oh no, we can't put them in danger."
Have you seen any documentaries recently that you really loved?
I saw a film, In Search of Pitt Street, just the other day that my son showed me. It's made by Nina Rosenblum. It's a film about her father, Walter, who is a photographer, and his life and work. It illustrated the point that the more personal a film is, the more powerful it becomes. It was all behind-the-scenes footage and she obviously has a great deal of love for her father, and her father is clearly someone who is a loving person himself. You can't help but love the film and the people in it. To me, that word -- "love" -- is the love of my life. That word, wherever it exists, I think we should get to know it.
The elusive Jay Electronica was thankfully forced to share a new track, "Road to Perdition." The song leaked last night and the rapper hopped on Twitter this morning to share a higher quality version. "Road to Perdition" is the type of lyrically dense track we've come to expect from Jay Elec, but there's plenty of fun moments too: "My whiteboys say that shit you spit last year, bro, was like a real fine merlot and a cashmere throw." The track also features a sample from Jay Z's "Success" off American Gangster. Hopefully this is a sign that Jay Electronica's album is dropping within this lifetime. Listen to "Road to Perdition," above.
Ice rinks are usually reserved for large men in helmets, petite dancers in sparkles, or Disney characters singing songs, not usually for giant art games. But in 31-year-old Claudia Comte's world, art is meant for more than gallery walls. Tornado Kit, the newest project by the Berlin-based artist, transformed an ice rink in Gstaad, Switzerland into a giant interactive board game with pawns modeled after her abstract wooden sculptures -- except 10 times the size -- and oversized dice that tell the players where to glide. Her paintings were installed under the ice, showing simple shapes and colors that match what the players roll. "I really want to create immersive environments for people to be a part of," Comte says of the installation, which was open to the public in Switzerland for two months, allowing the locals to push around the sculptures and play the very simple Swedish game, which roughly translates to "move fast but slowly."
Tonight at the Swiss Institute, Comte will show another facet to the project, a colorful video of the game in action. Shot with nine camera angles, the film shows players from the local ice hockey team pushing the large Styrofoam sculptures around the rink, following Comte's directions from a computer generated voice over the loud speaker. "These hockey players, who usually move very fast, have to move slowly for the game," she says.
It's a strange thing to watch, these men moving around, delicately holding on to the gliding figures as if they might slide away. But Comte is happy to have people interacting with the work. "With my wood sculptures," she says, "everyone wants to touch them. It's something warm and inviting and you want to feel the surface, but that's usually not possible. With this project you are invited to play." The video is a playful extension of her gallery work, with a comic book style and a range of music paired with the dancing shapes. It makes you want to go out to Rockefeller Center (or whatever frozen puddle you can find), put on your skates and join in on the art game.
Take a look at an exclusive clip from Tornado Kit before it debuts tonight, and make sure you check out Comte's signature wooden sculptures at her first New York solo show, now on view at Gladstone Gallery.
Recently my parents took my boyfriend and I to a weekend retreat in the village of Lily Dale in upstate New York, a hamlet that has the largest congregation of mediums in the world. Originally home to the Fox sisters, who are largely credited as founders of the Spiritualism movement, which believes that the dead can communicate with the living, Lily Dale is currently a top destination for folks curious about New Age-y religions, Spiritualism and all things occult. For my family, a visit to Lily Dale is an annual tradition. Both my grandmother and great-grandmother claimed to be clairvoyants and my mother is no stranger to a dream catcher or a bit of cleansing sage.
We were there for a seminar on finding our spirit guides or an entity that can provide guidance and inspiration. So, in a congregation hall reminiscent of 17th century Salem, my mother, father, boyfriend, 25 crystal-covered hippies, and I closed our eyes, and went into what our instructor called the "safe place." It was there that we asked the universe to reveal to us our spirit guides. At that moment, in my mind's eye, my three-year-old blue-grey hairless cat, Fuss, trotted over, sat down, and blinked slowly into the sunshine.
As it turns out, I am not alone: there is a growing constituent of people who believe that their pets serve a greater purpose in their lives. And, perhaps not so shockingly, a lot of these people are in fashion. For an industry that can occasionally turn into a pissing contest to see who can be the most outrageous and ahead of the curve, it makes sense that some designers would look for unorthodox inspirations, elevating their pets into muses (see: Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette) and beyond.
Isaac Mizrahi tells us about the importance of his German Shepaherd-mix, Harry: "I paid seventy grand for a crystal, which was insane; it was specially washed and it lived inside a tree, ya know? And honestly when I got the crystal my life improved by like 30% or something, but when I got Harry... 70%!" Harry has even played match-maker. "I met my husband Arnold because of Harry, which is a common story," Mizrahi says. "I was walking my dog and I met Arnold on the street."
"To call Harry my spirit guide sounds too on the nose," Mizrahi continues. "There is a deep deep deep deep deep connection! There is a physical connection and an emotional connection. If I cough, he can't bare it, right? He leaves the room. If I'm crying he literally comes over and licks my face -- so it's deep and it's profound." Harry even shepherds Mizrahi off to sleep each night and keeps the designer on a strict bedtime schedule.
Like Mizrahi, designer John Bartlett thinks his dogs play an important role in his spiritual life. An avid Vedic meditator, Bartlett says he spends 20 minutes repeating a mantra twice a day. It's often thought that during these sessions, an energy field is created around the meditators that animals are particularly sensitive to. "Dogs sense when we are meditating and easily go to that place with us, which often involves sitting on my lap," Bartlett says. His canine brood consists of chihuahua Papa, terrier-mix Millie, and baby Bernese Mountain dog Hugg, all of whom are rescues.
For others, pets may provide career inspiration and guidance. Self proclaimed 'Crazy Cat Lady' Abby Moriarty, Women's Design Director at Calvin Klein, says that "it's no secret that my cats are my everything. They're my aesthetic spirit animals as well as my guides." Her twin cats, River and Eames, are both Domestic Short Hair (DSH) rescues with snow-white fur and blush pink noses. They live in her white and blush apartment and they adorn the walls of her white and blush office, alongside the white and blush clothing pieces she creates.
Her story began with her first cat, the late Flick, also a DSH, who, Moriarty says, "guided me during a time when I moved from corporate fashion to freelancing, and was working for myself." She adds, "I finally had down time, and I spent it with him." It was during this quality time when Moriarty came up with the idea to create breathofthecat.com, a fashion blog inspired by Flick's clean and sparse good looks and terrible cat breath. The blog's popularity garnered the attention of Shepard Fairey who invited Moriarty to do a capsule collection based on her site for his OBEY line. "I really came up with that concept with Flick. He calmed me and guided me to inspiration in a time of transition," she says.
While it's easy to pass all of this off as just another "silly fashion people trend," doctors and animal experts alike share the idea that animals possess a sort of higher power. Self-proclaimed 'Vegetarian Veterinarian Weirdo' Dr. Linda Bender, the author of the book Animal Wisdom and the teacher of a class at New York's Open Center called "Animal Wisdom, Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals," says, "We are finally rising to animals' consciousness levels!" She explains that there are various levels of consciousness and as humans, we live on the surface and it's where we experience our daily life and discourse. Animals, on the other hand, exist on a "pure energy level," without any egos or neuroses. If we can turn inward and concentrate, we can start communicating emotionally rather than verbally, which is how our pets speak to us and, in some cases, bring us guidance, inspiration and calm.
And if it seems like a stretch to imaging getting guidance from a creature that drinks out of the toilet or sleeps 23.5 hours of the day, just remember which one of you stress eats, picks at your skin and needs to take a Xanax before you go to bed/go to a meeting/go to a party.
In a recent interview on Power 105.1's The Angie Martinez Show, rapper 50 Cent revealed his youngest son Sire's new job: a model for an audio company that'll make him -- wait for it -- $700,000. 50 made it clear that although the payday is much more than his son is ready for, he'll have the option to do what he pleases with it. "I was about to say 'this is your college fund' but I got to handle that part and let him just have that," the rapper said. We want to be Sire when we grow up.
It's been a banner day for using other people's art to speak for us via text because we're all dead inside. In addition to the new Cindy Sherman emojis we told you about earlier, we bring you news of a recently launched Drake keyboard for your phone to go with your still-drying Drake manicure. The free new app, simply titled "Drizzy," is for iOS8 and up and includes all of your favorite Drake lyrics for texts of every mood, including "feels," "hustle" "exes," "hate" and "random."
You can also share the track that your lyric came from, if you want to give your Drizzy-isms some context, or you can keep it mysterious. If your mom doesn't get that "I got bitches asking me about the code for the wifi" means "I love you too," that's her prob.
Download it here.
[via Pigeons and Planes]
Best Way to Pay Your Brooklyn Rent: By starting a BDSM dungeon in your apartment as one woman did in Park Slope. If you're going to live in the most expensive place in America, you might as well have some fun! -- Evan Siegel
Best Air Guitar, Bass, Drums, Mic Stand...: This new video by Brooklyn dance dudes Legs. It's a pleasing throwback to sophomore-year improv exercises, and a reminder that you don't need a big budget -- or even props! -- to make a weird, cool video. (Also, don't miss the Liz Taylor cameo.) -- James Rickman
Biggest Haters: The pop-allergic art critics destroying the new Bjork retrospective at MoMA. -- E.T.
Most Mind-Blowing Connection: Beyoncé and Beck's dad. Thanks to a Redditor, we learned that Beck's old man David Campbell contributed string arrangements for Beyoncé's 2006 album, B'Day. This "feud" just got more interesting. -- Tené Young
Most Passionate Speech Directed Toward the Internet of the Week: Tom Hanks'. Back in January, Tom Hanks dared to ride the subway. This is an act that usually endears us New Yorkers to celebrities, but in this case Tom Hanks did it all wrong. The actor took up not one, but two seats, apparently missing the memo on the new manspreading rules, and the internet was quick to call him out on this. During an interview at a Knicks game on Tuesday, Tom Hanks defended himself against the manspreading claims and (plot twist!) called out the internet. While no good can ever come from men taking up too much space, at least we get to hear Tom Hanks emphatically say, "Hey internet!" on an infinite loop, above. -- Gabby Bess
Least Kinky School: This one in the UK that punished an 11 year-old for dressing as Christian Grey. He had zip ties and everything! Do they not appreciate his authenticity? -- E.S.
Best Movie Promo of the Week: The one for Unfinished Business, in which cast members Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco posed like characters out of cheesy stock portraits. Vince Vaughn's blank stare = how we feel every day at approx. 4:30pm. -- Abby Schreiber
Best Way to Express Your Inner Drake: This new app. Called Drizzy Keyboard, the app allows iPhone users to turn their keyboards exclusively into Drake lyrics. 6 God has answered our prayers! -- T.Y.
Wisest Investment: Spending $60,000 on a bag of air from a Kanye show. That's right, before ebay deleted the listing, people were bidding ridiculous amounts of money for a ziploc bag. -- E.S.
Greatest and Best Thing Ever: This 15-year-old laying waste to a Dragon Force song and managing to look vaguely distracted (read: 15) at the same time. -- J.R.
The King's Most Loyal Subject: Jack White, who bought an Elvis first recording for a cool $300,000 to reissue it on Record Store Day. That's dedication... or maybe just obsession. -- E.S.
Most Persistent Nipple-Free-er: Chelsea Handler, who took to twitter topless yet again to show everyone she hasn't had work done. That's fine! Thank you. -- E.T.
M.I.A.'s been working on new music and just released the track "Can See Can Do" via Twitter, with hints of a new album this summer. She apparently also planned to release the new song "All My People" but then changed her mind. No matter, "CanSeeCanDo" is a jam.
"CAN SEE CAN DO" > https://t.co/W8Wo5eVwzK to my hardcore fans hang in there summer is coming-- M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) March 7, 2015
SNL shows us what an Iggy Azalea talk show would look like and it's a beautiful nightmare. Give Kate McKinnon all of the Emmys; her Iggy is perfect. [Uproxx]
Watch Conan O'Brien smoke and drink with the local youth in Cuba.
All rise for his eminence and grace, King I Hate This. [Mlkshk]
Clickhole is our crack.
Your 2015 Horoscope. [2rsquared]
John Stamos went to the Full House house in San Francisco and NONE of the tourists there recognized them. Put these people in JAIL. [Uproxx]
Fox explains Empire to white people by adding a new white character, Chip the office manager, in this SNL spoof. [Uproxx]
So that's how she does it. [EtsyIfYou'reNasty]
Justin Bieber parodied his absurd Calvin Klein ads for his upcoming Comedy Central roast. Stop making us like you, Justin!
Just want to be best friends with this cat. [Mlkshk]
Daylight savings time added a little extra sunlight to our lives this weekend and it seems like, here in New York, we're finally over the worst of a particularly brutal winter. The smell of soil is in the air, flowers are starting to bloom and a man is spitting food into Paul Rudd's mouth like a mother bird tending to her flock. Spring has sprung. Last night Comedy Central's autism fundraiser Night of Too Many Stars aired, with one of the evening's highlights including "Wheel Of Rudd," in which audience members could make donations to spin a wheel and do something to Paul Rudd. Watch as Joe from Queens lands on "Baby Bird" and ~really~ gets in there as he delivers a mouthful of roasted chicken to America's husband. The video cuts off right before the final shot, but someone has kindly Vined the entire thing as well below. [Via Uproxx]
While we wait for Grimes to release a new album, the Canadian singer has been slowly teasing out new music (list this past summer's excellent, would-be Rihanna track, "Go") and today she's released the video for another new song, "REALiTi." On the YouTube description, she explains that the track is a demo from the sophomore album she scrapped and that it's not "mixed or mastered." After filming the video during a tour throughout Asia -- that included stops in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo -- she decided to go ahead and release the song/video anyway as a tribute to her fans. Watch the clip, which was edited by Grimes' brother, Mac Boucher, above, and see the singer hanging out in jungles, waterfronts, concerts and neon-tinged streets throughout Asia, above.
Oh, good. My least favorite song from Drake's recent "mixtape" now has a remix. Houston producer OG Ron C is releasing a chopped-and-screwed version of If You're Reading This It's Too Late and, you guessed it, it's called If You're Choppin' This It's Too Late. The first track he's shared from the project is a reworking of "Madonna" that includes a previously unheard, second verse from Drake. The new verse has Drake asserting once again: sweatpants, hair-tied, chillin' with no make up on -- that's when you're the prettiest. Listen to it above.
For all his enlightened machismo, never ever forget that Ryan Gosling was once a precocious theater kid. In this recently unearthed clip from 1992, we get to see the tween-aged actor in a silky purple shirt and some MC Hammer pants performing some fancy footwork with his all-female dance crew -- Ryan & Company -- to Cathy Dennis' 1991 jam "Touch Me (All Night Long)." Watch the clip above -- his kiddie pelvic thrusts are unreal.
NYC-based electro duo The Knocks have a moody new video for their track, "Dancing With Myself," which we're excited to be premiering here on PAPER. "Bruce Springsteen's 'Streets of Philadelphia' video was inspiration," band member B-Roc (aka Ben Ruttner) says. "We wanted something that reflects our lives -- we live in Chinatown and work down here and we wanted to show us in our element." The funk-laced dance track features vocals by B-Roc's bandmate, JPatt (aka James Patterson), and comes from their upcoming So Classic EP, out April 7th via Big Beat/Neon Gold. Ahead of the release, you can catch the guys down at SXSW where they'll be playing two showcases -- one on 3/18 at 78 Rainey and another on 3/21 at Empire Garage. For a complete list of their tour dates along the West Coast, go HERE and give "Dancing With Myself" a watch, above.
For as long as I can remember, I've been gripped by two seemingly contradictory obsessions: the struggle for social justice and, snuggling right next to this noble belief, a fierce desire to possess the most beautiful material things that money -- usually a lot of money! -- can buy. In both arenas I am a woman of extremes: I like my politics tough and my sables soft. I really, truly believe that cruelty-free diamonds are a girl's best friend.
Of course, some people might think that sequestering a copy of Lenin's State and Revolution in a Fendi bag, or pinning a "Health Care is a Human Right" badge on the lapel of a Prada coat, is maybe just a little peculiar. And I admit that, at least on the surface, these twin notions are extremely unlikely bedfellows. (Or, put another way, the mattress would be in an underground resistance bunker, but the sheets would be Frette.) I confess that in my younger years I was a bit troubled by this conundrum, feeling a nagging guilt as I made lists of brooches and bags in the back of my notebooks during graduate school lectures on Marxist political economy.
It wasn't until I made a fateful trip to Paris when I was in my twenties, and went to a militant labor rally there (couldn't understand a word, but I am sure I agreed with everything), that I realized these opposites were far from irreconcilable. The French radical feministes were all dressed in silky Saint Laurent-ish dresses, impeccable heels and glossy scarlet rouge a levres at a time when their American counterparts thought overalls and Frye boots were dressy. If these Frenchies could storm the barricades looking like they just stepped out of the pages of Madame Figaro, why couldn't I?
It's easy to understand the roots of my activism. I came of age in the 1960s, when everyone who was cool, everyone you wanted to hang with, was on the Left. And my parents were both staunch union members, though oddly their idea of a fun Saturday afternoon was trolling the aisles of Saks Fifth Avenue. I think it was part of some idea they had of themselves as cosmopolitan sophisticates. They read The New Yorker and we went to Broadway shows -- neither activity shared, as far as I could tell, by any of our Massapequa neighbors. I guess I ended up taking their two mild ideas to extremes: my clothes are far more expensive and fancier than anything they ever wore, and I rarely miss a demo, even if it means tromping around Zuccotti Park in a pair of beribboned lavender Repetto ballet shoes.
And on reflection, it seems to me that my politics and my shopping fervor are rooted in the same conviction: that people who work for a living should be able to afford nice things! Why shouldn't the ones who work the hardest (if you don't know what I'm talking about, try bussing tables for 10 hours or standing behind a cash register at the 99-cent store until your feet are ready to fall off) have good clothes and decent homes? Why should anyone have to worry for one minute about health insurance? Why should some doofus with a pile of inherited wealth get to shop on the Rue Saint-Honoré while our underpaid brothers and sisters are stuck with Walmart?
But you don't have to take it from me. A hundred or so years ago, the great socialist thinker and activist Emma Goldman, describing her idea of a fabulous new world, allegedly stated, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." Hey Emma, how about a trip to Bergdorf's before we hit the clubs?
It's easy to side eye slogan-ed t-shirts that announce a cause and do little else, but it's hard to resist the allure of a crop top sweatshirt that simply says, "Girls at Night on the Internet" when that's literally you. International Women's Day might be over, but here's 10 crucial closet additions -- beyond your standard "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" tee -- to make every day women's day.
1. Girls At Night On The Internet Sweatshirt
Artist Grace Miceli created this crop top sweatshirt because she knows what you do at night and gets you on a scarily accurate level. Noted lover of sweatshirts Lena Dunham is a fan.
2. VFILES Sport Plus "Girl Power" Necklace
A statement piece.
3. Matriarchy Now T-Shirt
The latest addition to your ever expanding, misandrist t-shirt collection.
4. Féminin Sweatshirt
Not just a sweatshirt, but a mock turtleneck sweatshirt.
5. You Are Nothing Without Feminist Art Tote
Where is the lie.
6. "PMS" Long-Sleeved Shirt
A shirt that doubles as a helpful reminder.
7. No Time For Fuckboys Halter
Women to the front, fuckboys to the left.
8. Women Wimmin Womin Womyn Sweatshirt
Women! Also available here.
9. Please Don't Talk To Me Tote
Ignoring catcalls just got easier.
10. Witch Hat
A witch hat suitable for these modern times.
When we think of Voodoo, pin-pricked dolls and face-painted men in top hats shaking a stick might come to mind. But now, thanks to an unlikely disciple, the truth about the ancient West African religion (also known as Vodoun) is coming to light in a new documentary. Psychic TV singer and Throbbing Gristle co-founder Genesis P-Orridge stars in Bight of the Twin, which follows the artist on a trip to the annual Vodoun Twin Festival in Ouidah, Benin, a city that's known as the birthplace of the religion and supposedly the place with the highest birthrate of twins in the world. As the doc's synopsis explains, twins play a prominent role in the Vodoun belief system and are "venerated as Gods...and when one twin passes away, the living twin remembers its spirit by carrying around a small, carved replica of their dead brother or sister, called a Joumeaux." In the film, P-Orridge (who refers to themselves by the pronoun "we") takes part in a "twin fetish ritual," allowing h/er to reconnect with h/er late wife -- and partner in their famous Pandrogyne project -- Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge. To this day, P-Orridge carries a Joumeaux doll around their neck to represent Lady Jaye. We had the chance to chat with P-Orridge about the documentary, which was directed by Hazel Hill McCarthy III, offering Fanta to the gods and why Vodoun is chronically misunderstood in the West.
First of all, I heard that you were in West Africa shooting part of the documentary during the Ebola scare?
Yes. Two of the crew dropped out the night before we left. Pathetic. My answer to that was, "Really? Think about it. If someone were to make a book or a film about your life there could be two endings: the first is you're a miserable old man in an old peoples' home, forgotten and shaking and lonely. Or you died of Ebola making a film about Voodoo. Which is a more interesting ending?" The [crew] said their parents didn't want them to go but it was 2,000 miles to the nearest possible case.
What was it like the first day you arrived?
The first day we walked around the market. After the twin festival ceremony for dead twins in the town square, we traveled around with the drummers and the chanters and it was all very up and happy. Everyone was grinning. We arrived at the temple of the twins and they made a prayer for Jaye here. The deity is a trough of the remains of decades of offerings of candies and Fanta. The women all run these ceremonies, one is the president of the twin association. It's not like being in a church over here.
Tell me more about the festival for dead twins.
As mentioned, there is a high priestess of the twins. All these women have had twins that have died and they're all chanting and making music with tambourines with old metal plates, and drummers. It is incredible how many there are. They do a sacrifice with Fanta, cookies and candies. They still think of the twins as children, so they give them what children like. This old lady who must have been 80 was singing and chanting all day, for hours, until it was night and completely pitch black. As it was ending, this woman started putting the dolls in this band around her waist. We wondered, was she stealing them? Someone said she had 13 sets of twins and that at least one twin died in each set.
What was it like meeting Dah, the high priest, when you first arrived in Benin?
Dah Gbedjinon would put his arm around us when he went around saying hello to people in the village as if to say, "these people are under my protection, don't rip them off." He smiled and took me to a bar called The Vatican. We sat for hours. We speak poor pigeon French and he doesn't speak English. We spoke all day about Voodoo, ceremonies and magic, but neither of us speaks each other's language. He invited us to his compound and we sat down. He said "You're like me; you're the Dah of New York." He was wearing a high priest necklace. He gave me one too and put it over my head. Dah was telepathically filtering so we understood each other.
You've been to Benin twice, first in January 2014 then in September 2014 for the Vodoun Festival. What made this trip different than the last one?
That I got a high priest necklace out of the blue. The bottom is a python and two chameleons. We also found out the last day that [Vodoun] does have a supreme concept of the deity -- it's the meeting of male and female in one. We understood all of that without being told.
Can you tell us more about the twin dolls?
The dolls look like different people, they each have different expressions. When they're first made, they all look the same. They get expressions during the ceremony. It's very bizarre. They look like the people they would have become in adult form during the ceremony. That was staggering.
You bring your doll of Lady Jaye everywhere with you?
If she is not around my neck, she's in my purse everywhere I go. We went through a big reminder course of how to feed her and put her to bed. She got another two outfits this time.
What are Voudon prayers like?
They're so joyful. It's not "oh dear they died." It's "yay we are still with you, we will never forget you!" rather than the oppressive, guilt-ridden fearful thing that's associated with Western religions.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions we have in the West about Voodoo/Vodun?
It's a very gentle religion based upon communicating and is very much about community. There's no darkness to it at all. It's all about keeping your sense of balance with nature and life. We kept asking them why are there so many twins being born in Benin? It's not genetic. The high priestess agreed to be interviewed for the first time. She said: "They know that we love them whether they live or die here, so they all come here to be born." What a beautiful answer. Is that a horrible, frightening religion? No, that sums up to me the misunderstanding of the West.
Man, are we bummed that we can't go back in time five years and take dance lessons with a 22-year-old FKA twigs. God bless the internet, though, which dug up this video of twigs teaching contemporary dance workshops in London. The snippets are from a pre-fame time when the young singer was working as a backup dancer for names like Ed Sheeran and Taio Cruz. It's also proof she's been the most eloquent and elegant oddball since the start.