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- 04/22/15--09:00: _The 10 Most Scene-y...
- 04/22/15--10:00: _Aziz Ansari is Team...
- 04/22/15--10:55: _Shamir Launches a R...
- 04/22/15--11:41: _John Perry Barlow T...
- 04/23/15--03:30: _See Heidi Klum Star...
- 04/23/15--05:00: _Meet The Latest Cel...
- 04/23/15--05:45: _Chris Pratt Gets Sc...
- 04/23/15--05:52: _Alexa Chung Shares ...
- 04/23/15--07:30: _See Artist JR Creat...
- 04/23/15--08:15: _The 11 Art Openings...
- 04/23/15--10:00: _YouTube Turns 10 To...
- 04/23/15--11:22: _Some Things We Lear...
- 04/23/15--11:30: _10 Reasons Why "MyI...
- 04/24/15--04:30: _Surprise Performanc...
- 04/24/15--04:50: _Listen to Bleachers...
- 04/24/15--05:30: _Here's the Perfect ...
- 04/24/15--06:10: _'Drag Studies' Cour...
- 04/24/15--06:30: _Andy Warhol's Scree...
- 04/24/15--07:00: _Deets On This Year'...
- 04/24/15--07:25: _Afternoon Cute: Geo...
- 04/22/15--09:00: The 10 Most Scene-y Restaurants In NYC Nightlife History
- 04/22/15--10:00: Aziz Ansari is Teaming Up With Netflix to Create a New Sitcom
- Tom Haverford and his wife, Lucy, relocate to New York and attempt to open a combination bar and laundromat, only to realize it already exists. The resulting tension creates a rift in which Tom opens a niche laundromat, while Lucy opens a bar next door.
- Aziz Ansari, vocal feminist, starts a collective with Fred Armisen. Courtney McBroom doesn't know how to react.
- The whole series is just a collection of his adventures with Kanye
- 04/22/15--10:55: Shamir Launches a Relationship Hotline
- 04/23/15--05:00: Meet The Latest Celebrity It Kid-Turned-Model: Lily Rose Depp
- 04/23/15--05:52: Alexa Chung Shares Candid Photos of Her Friends, From Cara to Dakota
- 04/23/15--07:30: See Artist JR Create a Large-Scale Pasting In Madison Square Park
- 04/23/15--08:15: The 11 Art Openings to See This Week
- 04/23/15--11:22: Some Things We Learned About Diplo From His New Interview Magazine Q
- 04/23/15--11:30: 10 Reasons Why "MyIdol" is Our New Favorite App
- 04/24/15--04:50: Listen to Bleachers' Remix of Sia's "Big Girls Cry"
- 04/24/15--06:10: 'Drag Studies' Course to Be Offered at UK University
- 04/24/15--07:00: Deets On This Year's Brooklyn Zine Fest
- 04/24/15--07:25: Afternoon Cute: Geometrically-Groomed Dogs
There's no point in eating unless there's also some partying involved. And it turns out that the most treasured boites, cafes, and eateries in New York's history have been the sceniest ones -- the places where people went before or after a club, or which became like clubs, thanks to the extraordinary richness of the ambience on the menu. Here are the 10 most glorious of these fabled haunts:
One U (1 University Place)
Mickey Ruskin had opened the world famous Max's Kansas City where rock, drag, and Warhol prevailed. Well, he later premiered Chinese Chance (which was nicknamed One U) with Richard Sanders, and the result wasn't quite as legendary, but it did have a distinctly downtown cache. One U was a comfortable, atmospheric '70s hangout for clubbies, stars (Lauren Hutton, Nico, Bowie), and gawkers. Sitting there one night, I learned that Reagan had been elected in 1980 -- but I still have good memories of the joint.
Lady Astor's (Lafayette Street, across from the Public Theater)
I loved this charming hangout, which brimmed with chandeliers, mirrors, and hanging velvet. Amazingly, it wasn't the least bit pretentious. It was actually cute and almost clubby, and I remember going for light snacks and not being forced to order more than I wanted.
Dizzy Izzy's New York Bagels, 408 W. 14th Street
Before the Meatpacking District became a polished destination for tourists with multiple credit cards, it was the home of prosties, transsexuals, rats, Jackie 60, meat trucks, and a wonderfully seedy place where you could get really delicious, fresh bagels. It was so New York I can still taste it.
Florent (69 Gansevoort Street)
This was another Meatpacking pioneer, opened by the flamboyant Florent Morellet in 1985 and going on to become a thriving hub for performance artists, AIDS activists, and onlookers way before that nabe was descended on by outsiders. An occasional drag performance would ratchet up the excitement, and the annual Bastille Day party was extravagantly fun and full of feathers. Most fascinatingly of all, the menu board on the wall included Florent's HIV diary!
Dave's Luncheonette (Canal Street and Broadway)
At this retro diner, old school waitresses served you eggs with egg creams, and if you sat by the window, the people-watching was just as delicious. Even if you didn't, you were agog at the panoply of extraordinarily colorful creatures sitting inside the place. Dave's was open 24 hours, and it quickly became the de rigueur stop for narrow-tied rockers and filmmakers who needed a bite after a night of dancing and posing at the late '70s hotspot, the Mudd Club. It was basically the after party.
Brasserie (100 E. 53rd Street)
This perfectly amiable restaurant is still there, but its heyday was in the '70s, when it became the after-place for revelers at the ultimate disco, Studio 54. It wasn't even all that close to the nightclub, but after dancing till 4 A.M. to Donna Summer songs, everyone was adrenalized (and a lot of them were pumped up on other things, of course), so the trek was inevitable. Brasserie -- which anyone in the know called "The Brasserie" -- offered not only sustenance, but a swanky enough sensibility to keep up the evening's classy allure. And it's open all night!
After nights of Village bar hopping, this was a wonderfully gay-friendly, comfy neighborhood hangout, with nice food, good service, and terrific outdoor seating in the summer. It was like home to many a gay.
David's Pot Belly Stove (94 Christopher Street)
If you craved an omelet at three in the morning, you headed to David's, which was cozy and rustic, yet sophisticated and teeming with the Village party crowd in need of some egg-citement. A real treasure, David's was on the site of what's now Havana Alma de Cuba restaurant. Even though it raised everyone's cholesterol rates, I miss the potency of that pot belly stove.
Kiev (117 Second Avenue)
The king of NYC's "Pierogi Belt," Kiev opened in the 1970s, serving wonderful Polish food to the East Village club crowd. It closed in 2000, was reinvented, then shuttered again in 2006, then reopened again, and then closed again! But the memory of that borscht lingers on.
One-Fifth (1 Fifth Avenue)
Where Otto pizza restaurant currently stands was a fancy but inviting restaurant that felt more like an event than just a place to get food. The nautical theme was special, and so was the next restaurant the same team of owners opened -- the long running Odeon. You can still go to Odeon, so I suggest you do that and realize that, despite the glories of the past, the best of times is now.
Aziz Ansari is teaming up with Bob's Burgers' H. Jon Benjamin, Tim & Eric's Eric Wareheim, and Dear White People producer Lena Waithe, among others, to create a new sitcom for Netflix. Details are annoyingly scarce -- the only scraps we've gotten are via Deadline about the show having "semi-autobiographical elements" and plotlines that deal with "dating and relationships." We also hear they're filming the show in New York and that the 10-episode first season will also be produced by Parks & Rec vets Michael Schur, Alan Yang, and David Miner.
While we await more details, we have a few predictions:
To promote his new single "Call It Off," Shamir has set up a relationship hotline for his fans. Dial the number, leave a message with your problem, and Shamir will call you back with his tips. Areas of expertise, according to this new infomercial, including "sidepiece consultation" and "late period Grand Funk Railroad." Watch above and stay tuned for our 2015 Beautiful People launch next week -- Shamir's one of our chosen ones.
Just who is this mythic figure known as John Perry Barlow? Wikipedia does a good job of setting the table: American poet and essayist, retired Wyoming cattle rancher, cyberlibertarian, aisle-straddling political activist. He is also a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation; the latter counts Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras as members. Since May 1998, he has been a Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He's a member of too many boards to mention, a Wired magazine contributor and an all-around American OG.
If you have the chance to encounter John Perry Barlow in any form, especially live, be prepared. I had the good fortune to dine with him at the invitation of Jacqueline Bosnjak, whose new agitprop record label, Department of Records, recently put out A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace -- a spoken-word version of Barlow's 1996 manifesto. Written primarily in response to the passing of the Telecommunications Act, which Barlow's Electronic Frontier Foundation saw as a threat to the independence of cyberspace, it's even more relevant today in the age of surveillance overreach than it was back then. But more on the Declaration later.
I digress to give you a better idea of what it's like to sit with this erudite everyman. Somewhere in the course of our three-hour dinner, I innocently ask him the reason for his visit to the city. Next thing I know, he's telling me about his great friendship with John F. Kennedy, Jr.
"I was probably John Kennedy, Jr's closest friend when he died," he begins. "I knew him extremely well from the time his mother sent him to work on my ranch until he died. I used to be a cattle rancher. And he had been out of Secret Service protection when he turned 16 and he had become a menace -- doing stuff like mixing up a large quantity of wallpaper paste and pouring it down the mail chute of 1040 Fifth Ave. You can imagine how that went down. Like a rambunctious puppy. A major teenager. Jackie sent him to the Youth Conservation Corps and the press was on him like stink on shit. She wanted to bring him in but not bring him in all the way.
"They're making a doc about him [Barlow was in town to be interviewed for it]. Not many people know what a remarkable human being he was. And how successful he was in what he was trying to do. He set out to be a 'good man.' That was his central goal. Called me one night when he was a junior in Brown. 'You know, this is going to sound incredibly arrogant to say that it would be a cakewalk for me to be a great man. I'm completely set up. Everyone expects me to be a great man. I even have a lot of the skill and tools. The thing is that I've been reading the biographies of great men and it seems like all of them, my father included, were shitheads when they got home. Even Gandhi beat his wife,' he said. 'And what I think would be a much more interesting and more challenging ambition for me would be to set out to become a good man -- define what that was, and become that. Not many people would know, but I would have the satisfaction of knowing.' I had this wonderful conversation with him about two weeks before he died. We talked about a lot of things. I taught him to fly. I said, 'You've got enough flight time so that you're dangerous as shit.'"
Barlow holds the floor on a wide range of subjects, casually dropping quotes from the likes of Emma Goldman (If I can't dance, I don't want your revolution!) as he discourses on Marx and the decline of the British Museum. Barlow doesn't speak in sound bites, though he's eminently quotable, his vocabulary a colorful mix of the erudite and the profane. Our conversation rambles from conspiracy theories to neuroscience, causality and, of course, drugs. He did travel with the Dead!
How does one graduate with a comparative religion major from Wesleyan and end up in this unchartered land of career plasticity?
"Alright, I took acid," he says. "And I immediately became very focused on physics. I'd been raised a good Mormon. And had a very literal relationship with the Almighty. At a certain point I just lost my ability to believe that the lost tribe of Israel crossed the ocean in a submarine. This is more or less corresponding with the time when I got a motorcycle and dropped acid. I wanted to figure out how to relate to it so I started studying physics and then frankly ran aground on arithmetic. It was so goddamn laborious, I gave up on that and began studying comparative religion."
Barlow's prescient Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace was written at the World Economic Forum, where he had been invited to speak and was late on a deadline for the book 24 Hours in Cyberspace. "I was there to be a dancing bear because they had just discovered the Internet and they wanted to show how hip they were," he says. "We had passed the Communications Decency Act, which would have made it a felony and up to a $100,000 fine using such words that I had heard used many times in the Senate cafeteria. It was just the most ridiculous. I was simply stating that it was going to be very difficult for the physical world to impose sovereignty on cyberspace. Even though the relationship of cyberspace to the physical world is exactly that of mind and body, it is difficult for the body to locate the mind and impose anything on it."
He was at a party with a lot of hot women, he recalls, running back and forth from the dance floor as the words struck him. He never did make the deadline, but the Declaration was completed. "I sent it out to my friends, about 400 people, the Barlow spam list, people that didn't have anything in common except that I liked them and had their email address. First thing I've ever seen go viral. It was everywhere overnight.
"It was described as techno-utopian," he says. "There was a certain calculation to that. The best way to invent the future is to predict it. I felt that if I were persuasive enough in giving a vision of the future in which the Internet was inherently free and could not be controlled we had a better shot at it.
Watching a short clip set to Sia's "Fire Meet Gasoline," feels a bit like watching a Nicholas Sparks novel-meets-a Victoria's Secret commercial-meets-a Lifetime movie. But that's not necessarily as shitty as it sounds. It's actually pretty good! Directed by Francesco Carrozzini, the clip stars Heidi Klum [Ed. note: Huh] and Game of Thrones' Pedro Pascal as a passionate couple who like to have sex and, apparently, set fire to their home. We've already said too much. Give it a watch, above.
After popping up at the recent Chanel Metiers d'Art show in New York City, it seemed practically inevitable that Lily Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis) would soon get swept up in the fashion tailwinds. And now the 15-year-old has, with her editorial debut in Oyster Magazine, shot by Dana Boulos. In the short Q&A she talks about listening to Future, watching The Office and using blush as eyeshadow -- basically regular high school kid stuff. Here's hoping that regardless of a burgeoning modeling career and two celebrity parents, Lily Rose has a few more normal teen years left in her before she starts partying at Fashion Week and hanging out with Justin Bieber. (Oh wait, too late.) See a few more pics from her Oyster shoot, below, and head over to their site for more.
Prepare for an Internet-induced heart explosion: Chris Pratt is on Ellen today and challenges Noah "The Apparently Kid" Ritter to a dinosaur-themed trivia game in honor of the actor's appearance in Jurassic World. We won't mince words: Noah schools Chris and, with his exuberance and blue shirt and khakis, reminds us of a cuter mini-version of Chris Farley's classic SNL character, Matt Foley. Watch the video, above.
Photo of Alexa by Zackery Michael
Like any bright-eyed expat, Alexa Chung faced a steep learning curve when she first moved here from her native England. "You know when you get in a taxi and you go, 'Please can you take me to 7th and B,' and they don't answer? I found that so rude, because London taxi drivers will tell you everything about the city, to the point where it's annoying in the opposite way. But now I realize it's just how the city works. What's the point of talking when you can just get shit done?"
It's safe to say that Chung, the globally celebrated writer, TV host, designer and fashion muse, could deftly and, more important, humbly make her way through just about any metropolis these days. The images in this story represent a scattershot array of locales as well as Chung's New York, but there's a common thread connecting these captured moments -- one that ties back to her adoptive home.
"That's the nice thing about living in NewYork," she says. "There's enough expats there that it feels like a big community, and we all swap friends. I like that cross-pollination. With the Internet and travel, everyone's kind of in on the joke now."
Jenny Eliscu, Alexa's apartment, New York
Brianna Lance, sushi restaurant, New York
Pixie Geldof, Met Ball bathroom, New York
Aimee Phillips, Gramercy Park Hotel, New York
Matt Hitt, One Direction concert, New York
Tabitha Simmons putting on her shoes, Morocco
Waseem Cheema, Alexa's apartment, New York
Harley Viera-Newton in a coat, New York
Tennessee Thomas, the Deep End Club, New York
Cara Delevingne on a boat, New York
Daisy Lowe in the sea, Maldives
Check out this super-cool timelapse video showing French artist JR (and his crew) pasting down the image of a giant dude on 23rd Street between Eataly and Madison Square Park. It was shot from the top of the Flatiron Building over 24 hours. A photo of the completed work is on the cover of this weekend's New York Times Magazine for their "Walking New York" issue. It's a shot of Elmar Aliyev, a 20-year-old waiter at Old Baku restaurant in Brooklyn who moved to NYC last August.
New York artist Lisa Yuskavage has a show of new paintings and pastels opening on Thursday, April 23rd, 6 to 8 p.m. at David Zwirner (533 West 19th Street). Zwirner has represented the Philly-born artist since 2005, and this is her fourth solo show with the New York gallery. Up until June 13th.
The art collective Sin Amor launches a new set of enamel pins at The Gift Shop at Red Bull Studios (220 West 18th Street) on Thursday, April 23rd, 7 to 10 p.m. "Pin" contributors include Leo Fitzpatrick, Othelo Garvacio, Lele Severi, Jason Rodman and VIZIE. Since 2013, the group has released cool, limited-edition screen prints, zines, tee shirts etc. DJ JR on the decks. Get on the list HERE.
Flux Factory hosts their 9th annual benefit auction on the 23rd from 7 to 10 p.m. at 79 Walker Street. Seventy-five artists have donated works for this fundraiser, and there's a party with open bar and DJs. You can bid online HERE through April 22nd and go HERE for tickets to the party.
Brooklyn tattoo artist -- and RISD alum -- JK5 celebrates the release of 13, limited-edition "scratchboards" at The Shop in the Standard High Line from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd. Joseph Ari Aloi (that's his real name) will be on hand to sign copies of his book and will also customize the store windows.
Check out twelve new works by Mary Corse -- an L.A. artist usually associated with the 60's "Light and Space " movement -- on April 23rd, 6 to 8 p.m. at Lehmann Maupin (536 West 22nd Street). By mixing paint with tiny glass beads, the artist's work can appear to change in brightness as the viewers' perspective shifts. Up until June 13th.
A solo show by Canadian artist Brent Wadden opens from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd, at Mitchell-Innes & Nash (534 West 26th Street). It's his first major solo exhibit in NYC and includes eight new "woven" paintings. Up until the end of May.
Mnuchin Gallery (45 East 78th Street) has an exhibition of paintings by the late, Paris-based artist Simon Hantai on view from April 28th to June 26th. The works cover his first "mature" decade -- the 60s -- when Hantai created his "pliage" or "folding" method. This is the first show of its kind in the US, and the opening is on the 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. On April 30th, the gallery also hosts a discussion on the artist's life moderated by Sarah Hanson with his son, Daniel; Alfred Pacquement and Robert Storr.
Luxembourg & Dayan (64 East 77th Street) has an exhibition of early figure drawings by Richard Prince opening April 23 and up until June 6. When Prince moved to NYC in 1974, he signed up for a class in SoHo where, according to Prince, "Whoever showed up and took off their clothes got whatever we could afford to put in the (passed) hat."
From April 24th to the 26th, video artist Alex Bag will hold open auditions at Team Gallery (47 Wooster Street) for a sit-com based on four art-world characters. Prospective actors will perform a monologue chosen by the artist, and the TV program will be produced and shown later.
Performa and the NYU Steinhardt School host "Paradiso: Performing the Renaissance," a two-day conference "historically situating and addressing the vibrant experimentation and interdisciplinarity that characterizes contemporary artists' performance." It all happens on April 24th and 25th from 1 to 5:30 daily in the Einstein Auditorium (34 Stuyvesant Street). Check out the full list of participants HERE. Admission is free, but you must pick a day and reserve one of the limited number of seats to: email@example.com.
Murray Guy (453 West 17th Street) opens Leidy Churchman's "The Meal of the Lion" on Saturday, April 25th, 6 to 8 p.m. The New York-based artist uses Henri Rousseau's similarly-titled painting as the starting point for an "extraordinary junkyard of symbols, representations and alliances" resulting in a "tryst of the real and the imagined." On view until June 6th.
In honor of the ten-year anniversary of the first video uploaded to YouTube (that would be "Me At the Zoo"), we've tracked down ten of our favorite YouTube 1.0 stars to find out how their insta-fame affected their lives and what they're up to today.
Star Wars Kid (2002)
Real name: Ghyslain Raza
Occupation: Law Student
With over a billion views across the Internet since the video of 15-year-old Ghyslain Raza went public in 2002, "Star Wars Kid" is one of the best-known and most parodied memes. It shows Raza pretending to use a golf ball-retriever as a light saber in his Québec high school's studio. He accidentally left the tape at school, where it was discovered by three classmates and uploaded to a file-sharing service without Raza's knowledge. An unknown source uploaded the video to YouTube a few years later, the perfect breeding ground for thousands of parodies.
Unfortunately, Raza was bullied both online and at school to the point where he finished his education in a psychiatric ward. He spoke publicly in 2013 about his experience, and went on to get a law degree at McGill University.
Numa Numa (2005)
Real name: Gary Brolsma
Occupation: Musician, web designer
One of the first viral videos to hit YouTube, the Numa Numa guy's funny lip synch of a seemingly gibberish song went crazy both online and off. The video was made in December 2004, when New Jersey videographer and recent high school grad Gary Brolsma lip dubbed a video of the 2004 Moldovan song "Dragostea din tei" by O-Zone. Two months later, it exploded on flash site Jeff is Cool. It was eventually was ripped from the site on to YouTube, and there have been millions of parodies and mashups ever since.
Brolsma embraced his new stardom, and created a video channel called NewNuma dedicated to remakes of his famous rendition. Currently, he does web design and continues making videos. Last year, he released a 10-year-reunion video of the Numa Numa song.
Leeroy Jenkins (2006)
Real name: Ben Schulz
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Back when World of Warcraft was at the height of its popularity in the mid-2000's, a guild called PalsForLife posted a video to WoW's official forum that showed a character charging into battle screaming "Leeroy Jenkins!" and getting his team killed. Hardcore WoW fans were not amused, but when it was shared on YouTube by forum users, a different crowd went nuts over it. For a few years, it was a catchphrase over the Internet and the real world used for jumping into something stupid head-first. People have argued that it's staged, but it still hasn't been confirmed after all these years.
The Colorado college student behind the video, Ben Schulz, has done well at keeping under the radar. He made a few appearances at Blizzcon and ROFLCon, but stopped shining in the public light in order to pursue his college education. He's now an electrical engineer, and still plays games (although he no longer plays WoW).
Kelly aka "Shoes" (2006)
Real name: Liam Sullivan
Who better to play a stereotypical teenage girl than a man in his mid-thirties? The neurotic, shoe-loving "Kelly" was brought to life by Massachusetts actor Liam Sullivan almost ten years ago. Even though Sullivan had incorporated her into his stand-up acts a year prior to her YouTube fame, Kelly's first and most notorious appearance was called "Shoes," a music video about shopping for shoes with her friends. The video was featured on Entertainment Weekly twice and Kelly made several appearances on various reality shows. Sullivan also created many more Kelly videos, such as "You Can't Text Message Break Up" and "Let Me Borrow That Top."
For a while, Sullivan continued making videos on YouTube and his website, liamshow.com. However, his accounts haven't been active since 2013.
Evolution of Dance (2006)
Real name: Judson Laipply
Occupation: Motivational Speaker
It was the dance to end all dances. Ohio motivational speaker Judson Laipply put together the routine in 2001 as the closer for his speeches at school and corporate events. The "Evolution of Dance," which covered everything from Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" to Jay-Z's "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," was uploaded to YouTube in 2006 so Laipply could add it to his Myspace page. In under two weeks, it reached over 10 million views and found its way to national news networks. "It was amazing," Laipply says. "I'll never have an experience like that again in my life... and you can never get the same type of marketing push that you get from a true grassroots viral video."
Although he had many offers to work with sitcoms and star in reality shows, he declined them all, satisfied with the career path he had already chosen. In 2009, Laipply did a sequel video including other dances like the "Soulja Boy." He continues to inspire students and corporations through motivational speeches and the famous dance. "It goes with one of my lines I like to say during my speeches, 'Life isn't always the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance.' The [Evolution of] dance becomes the piece to help drive home the idea that life is change. It's fun and leaves people talking," Laipply says.
"Chocolate Rain" (2007)
Real Name: Tay Zonday
Occupation: Voice Actor/Musician
Who could forget the bizarre musical composition that confused a nation? Tay Zonday (aka Adam Bahner), a graduate student from Minneapolis, Minnesota, uploaded the song with an unusually upbeat melody, vague lyrics, and a unique side breathing technique (Zonday explains in the annotation on his video that he did this to avoid breathing into the microphone). No one could agree upon the meaning, and even Zonday hasn't given a full explanation. Some sources say the song speaks out against institutional racism, while Zonday only tells us: "I sing about what I can't say. That's the entire point." As a result of the fame, Zonday dropped out of his Ph.D. program to pursue acting for seven years. He currently does voice work and continues working on independent music.
"What What (In The Butt)" (2007)
Real Name: Samwell/Sam Norman
Occupation: Restaurant worker, Musician and Writer
In 2007, we all asked ourselves the life-changing philosophical question of the decade: "What what, in the butt?" Sam Norman, later known by his stage name Samwell, was a flight attendant from Chicago making up a silly song with a good beat 30,000 miles in the sky. With the help of friends who owned a production company in Milwaukee, the over-the-top, special effects-happy music video was released on Valentine's Day. "Nothing says 'I love you' like 'in the butt,'" Samwell explains.
Samwell couldn't believe that he filmed a glossy music video about his song -- let alone that it went on to get so many views and so much hype. He went on to make multiple appearances on South Park, Tosh.0, Lily Allen and Friends, and more. "Once it came out, I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, what have I done? I don't know if it was a good idea to put that out, what would people think?' Samwell recalls. "I wanted to be a 'serious artist.' But ultimately, I think it was the best thing because here we are eight years later and people are still talking about it."
Currently, Samwell serves at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. while continuing to pursue other endeavors, like creating new songs and writing a new sitcom called Simply Samwell, a series about a talk show host adjusting to a new city and new life.
"Charlie Bit Me" (2007)
Real Name(s): Harry and Charlie
Cute videos of kids just being kids always rank high on "Most Viewed" YouTube lists (behind cat videos, maybe). It's no wonder that a clip of 3-year-old British child Harry in dismay over his 1-year-old brother, Charlie, biting his finger made the world laugh. The video was brought to light by CollegeHumor a month after it was uploaded, and has been parodied by countless YouTubers, the Hemsworth brothers on Jimmy Kimmel, and others. Harry and Charlie are now 11 and 9, respectively and the family continues to blog their adventures on both their YouTube page and their website.
David After Dentist (2009)
Real Name: David Devore Jr.
David Devore Jr. had just gotten out of surgery to fix an extraneous tooth caused by hyperdontia when he was still out of sorts from the anesthetics, and his father (David Sr.) taped his reaction. After sharing with his family, he decided to upload it to YouTube a year later, where all sorts of news sites from the Wall Street Journal to BuzzFeed picked up the adorable tangent. "It was quite a week," David Devore Sr. recalls. "It was a very quick, unexpected surprise."
Devore is thankful for the advertising revenue he's made from the video. The nation was in the middle of the notorious real estate crash, which happened to be the industry Devore worked in. The money made from the video allowed the Florida family to keep up their lifestyle and allow Devore to change his career path. He currently works in social media consulting, and he's working on a serious video called "Is This Real Life?" where he interviews people in the same backseat as David Jr. sat in six years ago about their own lives. David Jr. is now a 14-year-old eighth grader who's a great student and loves to play football and video games, although he doesn't share as much of a passion for video as his father.
Keyboard Cat (2009)
Real name: Fatso
The original video was taken in 1984, but this musically-inclined feline wouldn't become a household name for another 25 years. Charlie Schmidt from Spokane, Washington thought it would be funny to put his son's shirt on his mild-tempered cat, Fatso, and put his hands under the shirt to make her play a riff on the electric keyboard. Schmidt uploaded it in 2007 along with various home videos to keep the footage safe from physical damage. It gained even more popularity when blogger Brad O'Farrell used the clip to accompany a video of a man falling down an escalator two years later. No sooner did Schmidt give O'Farrell the video rights did his inbox become swamped.
"That day, my email had 50 pages of new messages that came while I was at the store," said Schmidt. "It was all positive responses to the cat. And then it just took off." From there, the video snowballed. Celebrities tweeted about it and he did multiple interviews with news outlets.
Fatso died in 1987, but has been succeeded by Bento, a distant relative of the cat. Schmidt still makes new videos featuring Bento, who has recently met Grumpy Cat, completed a commercial for Delta Airlines, and played the halftime show at Puppy Bowl X. "I am living the dream," Schmidt says. "[I'm] the definition of what rich is: Rich doesn't mean that you have so much money you can get screwed up and ruin your life. It means what you love to do brings enough income that you don't have to do anything else."
Interview has a particularly illuminating interview with Rick Rubin and Diplo in their new issue. Below, a few tidbits we learned about Mr. Major Lazer. (Since when was he a school teacher in Philadelphia?) Read the full interview here.
1. He wants to retire "Diplo material" and focus on Major Lazer, even though he's currently DJing like crazy in Vega$$$.
"Diplo has a ceiling in Vegas, and I'm doing great there, but I'm so proud of Major Lazer -- the way it sounds, the way it's mixed. I feel like if I devote my time to that, it could grow."
2. Major Lazer's cartoon for Fox has already completed 10 episodes and will match up to their upcoming album.
The new album is lined up with the cartoon, and then we're touring. And hopefully, 2015-16 will be our year when we can push this to the next level.
3. He thinks Madonna is "hardheaded" but likes artists that have a strong opinion.
My favorite song on the record is the one featuring Nicki Minaj ["Bitch I'm Madonna"]. We were drinking at night--and I don't think Madonna really drinks--and she was like, "Play me just the craziest shit you have." It has, like, this Japanese pizzicato melody and a drop that's just insane, like, a little thing I chopped up. And she was into it. And then I put guitar over it because she likes to start in with guitar. I cut the guitars up. I did it, like, in the night. And then the other songs were, like I said, negotiating. And she's really hardheaded. [Rubin laughs] When I first came in there, she was down for whatever, but towards the middle, it became a lot more about what she wanted to do.
4. He says that all a musician needs to be successful in 2015 is SoundCloud and YouYube.
... Anybody can reach anybody now. All you need is a SoundCloud or a YouTube, and if the song is great, it's gonna rise up there. But even, like, five years ago, labels were like gatekeepers... I mean, you can imagine if you were in a rock band, you have to find a group of friends that are interested in music, start a band, rehearse, learn to play the instruments. Then you have to write songs. Then go find a studio. Write a demo and maybe find somebody who knows somebody who can send a demo to somebody. Maybe get a deal. Then maybe get a release. Then maybe go on a tour. And that's like a five-year process
5. He's got a place in Vegas, but "Airbnb's" in L.A.
6. He's got two kids and once taught school in Philly.
I have two children now, and every day I break up my day around three and I pick up my son, then go see my other son till seven. I have to do that because I'm away on the weekends working...my father was a great father. He was around, but he never spent any time with me. I didn't think I needed it, but now I find that I really want to spend every day being with my son, at least playing with him, doing puzzles, whatever it is.
I was a schoolteacher for a while, and it was the worst job. In Philly, there are a lot of social programs. If you have a degree, you can go and apply. I was basically a social worker, but I became sort of a sub teacher in a special program, helping kids with reading or math. But we would also do plays, learn about music ... We were doing lots of fun stuff, but that was such hard work. I couldn't do that anymore.
7. He bought a house with "cash from DJ gigs" and used to sell shitloads of mixtapes at Kims on St. Marks Place.
Back then I didn't pay taxes.
8. He credits DJ Z-Trip with his first big break in Vegas.
He didn't want to DJ at this club called the Palms anymore, so they put me in, and that was a developmental place for me. The Palms closed, but by the time it did, EDM happened, and all these guys came into Vegas, like Tiësto, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, and Hardwell. I took a Monday night at one of the big nightclubs because I had built a little name there. And Monday was the weird night. I was playing hip-hop when everybody else was playing the giant rave music. But my night was so fun that it became one of their most popular parties, and now I've become probably one of the top four DJs in Vegas for residencies.
9. As a teen in Florida, his fave DJ was DJ Laz.
I was in Fort Lauderdale from about age 7 to 14. And that's where I learned the most about music.
10. The City of Philadelphia's fee for the first Mad Decent Block Parties was only $10, even when they'd get thousands of people.
We had small, weird, independent shows, and we made music there. And the thing about block parties in Philly is that the city will block your street off and the police will come protect it. All you needed to pay then was $10. It's crazy. All you have to do is have most of the people on your block say that it's okay to have a party that day. On our street was an abandoned building, so we only had, like, ten people who needed to sign. We had 2,000 kids come the first year.
The 2015 Mad Decent Block Party (/) returns to Philly on August 6 and 7, and then comes up here to Brooklyn on August 8 and 9.
In case you've been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, allow this to be your PSA that the whole world has imploded with pole-dancing, pug-faced avatars rapping in Chinese.
Thanks to tech company Huanshi Ltd., the newly viral "MyIdol" app will fulfill all your creepy and inventive photobooth dreams. The free app, now only available for iPhones, creates a lifelike avatar from whatever image you feed it. You can take a new photo via the built-in camera or choose a preexisting one (which gives you the power to tackle bigwig artistry by uploading saved photos of Beyoncé or Jay-Z). Then the fun part: within the scores of hair/makeup/clothing options the app gives you, feel free to wax and pluck and dress to your wildest desires. The catch? Literally everything is in Chinese. Not to fret, though -- the iTunes listing promises an English version coming soon. It also offers a how-to guide to avoid the random button-clicking, but you'll probably find that random button clicking both A) sometimes wields the result you wanted and B) takes you on many meaningful adventures. Consider MyIdol the 3D, Dancing Baby version of Bitmoji.
From tween James Franco to fuck boi Obama to adult baby Justin Bieber, we've broken down ten reasons why MyIdol is our new favorite app. Keep scrolling to take a look at our masterpieces.
1. Tween James Franco
2. Putin as a stripper in drag
3. Leonardo DiCaprio at Coachella
4. Adult baby Justin Bieber celebrating his birthday
5. Fuck boi Obama
6. Angry sports fan Jack White
7. Kim Kardashian-with-a-Kris Jenner haircut doing martial arts and crying
8. Suburban bro Kanye playing some acoustic guitar
9. Drake as a dad
10. And finally, Rihanna walking down the runway as a panda
Last night, seminal Japanese streetwear brand A Bathing Ape celebrated its 10th anniversary at Up & Down, with a knock-out music lineup that included a DJ set by Virgil Abloh and surprise performances by Pusha T and Travi$ Scott. The highlight of the evening was probably when Scott leaped off the DJ booth during his set and swung from one of the club's giant chandeliers into the crowd, bottle of Hennessy still in hand. Or perhaps it was when he climbed back up and started wiping blood from his injured hand all over the ceiling. You decide! Scenes from the party, below.
Meech of the Flatbush Zombies
Next week Sia will release several commissioned remixes of 1000 Forms Of Fear single "Big Girls Cry," and, today, we she released Jack Antonoff's take on the track. Antonoff, who records as Bleachers, has an expansive electro take with skittering drums that blows out Sia's thunderously emotive voice even more. It's awesome. Listen below, via Fader.
You better work -- to pass the UK's first approved drag studies course.
Starting next year, performing arts students at Edge Hill University, will be able to take "Drag Kings and Drag Queens of Performance," the first higher-education course focused on how the art of drag blurs existing boundaries between sexuality, identity and gender.
Located right outside of Liverpool, home to a prominent LGBTQ scene and Britain's first and only sanctioned gay quarter, Edge Hill seems like an appropriate place to educate students about the implications of drag and how it has been used as a tool for advancing gay cultural and related political agendas.
The course will not only allow students to "explore drag as a highly camp performance art," but "also engages with complex gender, feminist and queer theory to explore the social and political implication of 'doing gender' in performance," as senior lecturer Mark Edward said. "There's a lot more to drag studies than wigs, make-up and high heels," he told Pink News, as the course will also explore the relation of costuming, LGBT theater and HIV/AIDS activism to drag.
Let's just hope that the final is a lip sync for your life.
Here's something we never thought we'd be saying: Head out to Times Square a little before midnight every night next month to see something very cool. Times Square Arts is hijacking electronic billboards at 11:57pm each night in May to display Andy Warhol's Screen Tests. These silent, black-and-white film portraits feature the likes of Edie Sedgwick, Susan Sontag, Lou Reed, amongst other notable Factory regulars.
While you run the risk of getting groped by Cookie Monster in Times Square, what better venue for blurring the lines between art and commerce? Andy would be proud.
The fourth annual Brooklyn Zine Fest is this weekend, April 25th and 26th, at Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn Heights). Three thousand zine fanatics stopped by last year and over 150 exhibitors will be on hand for 2015's celebration of self-published magazines. There's a completely different set of exhibitors on Saturday and Sunday and, since admission is FREE and open to everyone, be sure to come through on both days. There's also panels on subjects like "Food & Drink Culture in Zines" and "Black Lives Matter: Zines & Activism." It's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. Go HERE for a complete list of all the exhibitors.
By now you probably know about the ancient Internet meme known as bread cat.
But have you encountered its newest canine counterpart? Cause now we've got some fluffy pups copycatting (ugh) our carby kittens of online yesteryear with their square crops. Behold the latest geometric groom that's taken trendy Taiwanese mutts by storm. We're going to go ahead and coin it as "Bread Head."
We've included a few of our favorite looks below.
White bread classic.
Not to mention donut hole-shaped dogs in a variety of flavors.
So say bye to the man buns, cause these dogs are definitely a better set of tufty treats.