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All the posts on www.papermag.com.

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    The Culture Whore reliably throws some of the most insane and eclectic parties in Brooklyn's underground queer nightlife scene. For Pride, they teamed up with Philly collective Factory Girls and it was major, filling 2 floors and 3 rooms at a grimy rental space in Bushwick until hours past dawn. They called the party "0 @ S 1 S" and invited a sprawling list of the scene's weirdest and cutest hosts, performers, queens and DJs. Check out our pics, below.



























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    Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 3.46.49 PM.png

    As if you weren't already dying a little re: Cher and Willow Smith's respective castings, the Marc Jacobs's Fall/Winter 2015 campaign has just unveiled a brand new face -- and it's none other than longtime friend/90s icon Winona Ryder.

    Channeling a little Lydia Dietz, Winona looks absolutely adorable in her askance chop-bob, all big smiles and heavily lined eyes. But of course she would, seeing as how she's an old pro at modeling Marc's swag à la her infamous shoplifting trial looks and Jacobs's subsequent 2003 Spring/Summer campaign. 

    Winona Ryder • Marc Jacobs Fall '15 campaign photographed by David Sims

    A photo posted by Marc Jacobs (@marcjacobs) on


    Either way, everyone's favorite Girl, Interrupted looks right at home amongst this superstar cast of offbeat darlings -- and the timing couldn't be better, as she also happens to be in the midst of production for her (as of now unnamed) X-Files-esque Netflix show. Winona Forever.

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    schumer 1.jpgThe Amy Schumer "backlash" -- or, at least, a harder look at her after what felt like months in which the comedian could do no wrong -- is real. With sketch after sketch on her show being picked up and run as "perfect" by media outlets (including this one), funny appearances at award shows, and a generally higher, mainstream profile for her ongoing project, it was inevitable that she would eventually come under increased scrutiny (no honeymoon period lasts forever). Recently, The Guardian published a piece in which writer Monica Heisey claims that Schumer has a "shockingly large blind spot around race." (Check out the original essay for examples and context.) Schumer responded on Twitter:


    Look: much of the comedy the original essay highlights is more nuanced than it would appear, and certainly expecting perfection from comedians (who are increasingly treated as people with Important Things to Say) is probably an ultimately disappointing endeavor, at best. But that doesn't mean anyone should be free from criticism. 

    Sticking by a project that is frequently great, funny, and incisive is laudable, especially if Schumer believes in it enough to be willing to commit to statements at a level of public visibility that will likely invite potential criticism. But the impulse to shut down criticism and claim you are worthy of nothing but praise because of who you say you are -- telling people to "move on to the next person who is more deserving of your scrutiny" -- is the equivalent of pulling a Jedi mind trick, claiming "this is not the insensitive humor you're looking for." Such a move makes it harder for critics to engage in good faith, which is too bad, since there's a lot of useful discussion this could produce.

    The use of the phrase "blind spot" in the original comments is helpful here -- it implies that, with a little more information and willingness to learn and empathize from everyone involved, the problem would, if not go away, at least be a lot more manageable. Time to put the work in.


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    hba2.jpg
    First it was the My Little Pony peens, now it's all about the fetishistic pacifiers, thanks to Hood By Air's blockbuster SS16 fashion show yesterday, which took place in front of the legendary Philharmonie de Paris. 

    Titled "Galvanize," this collection is a far cry from last year's "Daddies" collection (which pivoted upon ideas of frustration, repression and restraint), though one that still attempts to dismantle "identity" and play with accepted societal norms.

    With an interesting take on silhouettes and cuts typically associated with children (i.e. overalls, hair clips, putting items of clothes on wrong parts of your body), there was also a big emphasis on (child psychology-rooted) oral fixations -- from the spiky, S&M-esque pacifiers to the codeine bottle invites, which designer Shayne Oliver told Dazed was inspired by "the idea of having to always drink something, it's like a pacifier in a way -- it's just a comfort thing." Another interesting tidbit is that Oliver's good friend (and Björk/Kanye collaborator) Arcamade his runway debut yesterday -- a relationship that Oliver himself described as "infantile."

    arcahba.jpg
    Too bad he couldn't soundtrack.

    hba1.jpg
    hba3.jpg
    [h/t Dazed; images via]

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    Welcome back to our Model Crush Monday column! This week we are featuring RED Model's etherial Sam Lever. With youthful boyish features and piercing eyes Sam ads another dimension to our growing list of featured #MCMs. Dressed from head to toe in the latest from one of our favorite brands, Diesel, Sam embodies that mysterious boy next door. Be sure to check out selects from our shoot below!

    mcm_paper003.jpg
    Sam wears full look Diesel

    mcm_paper001.jpgSam wears full look Diesel

    mcm_paper005.jpgSam wears full look Diesel

    mcm_paper008.jpg
    Sam shows some skin

    Photogrpahy: DIggy Lloyd, Grooming: Amanda Wilson, Styling: Kevin Breen

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    LA-based musician Active Child, AKA Pat Grossi, first came to our attention a few years back when his 2011 debut LP, You Are All I See, introduced his brooding, choral-inflected electro-folk to the world. With his second full-length album out this month, Mercy, we're excited to be premiering the video for its first track, "1999." The quietly lush song is reminiscent of Fleet Foxes or James Blake and the surrealist video, which features hooded, masked figures and an anthropomorphic sheep brings to mind Where the Wild Things Are. It's a gorgeous clip. Give it a watch, above, and catch Active Child on tour, playing a number of seated performances in venues like LA's Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian on July 10th. (For a complete list of tour dates, go HERE.)

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    difficult people 1.jpgAs Hulu moves more aggressively into making its own original television, it's been able to get into bed with better and higher-profile talent. Case in point: the upcoming series Difficult People, which is produced by Amy Poehler and stars Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as obnoxious friends in New York. It's a rather well-worn scenario, but the trailer -- which is sparsely focused on the pair interacting at one particular event -- seems to recognize this, and draws attention primarily to Klausner and Eichner's banter. Watch the trailer below, and prepare for the series, which debuts on Hulu August 5. [via Huffington Post]



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    Hailing from Atlanta, OAK stylist and go-to party host Cameron Cooper is a big presence, a bundle of fashion inspirations, wild anecdotes and quippy one-liners. And his apartment is equally as intriguing, a heavenly, all-white Williamsburg sanctuary filled with an assortment of knick-knacks from artist friends collected over the years -- something that's not too difficult to imagine considering he rolls with the likes of Ladyfag and jewelry designer Zana Bayne. We spent a Friday night before one of Ladyfag's 11:11 parties to document his "getting ready" process -- white eyelashes, white wine and all.




    "Zana Bayne is one of my best friends. She made this hat -- and actually started her collection when she moved into my apartment...I'll attach the dreamcatchers to it, even though that wasn't her intention. She thinks it's just me being ridiculous."


    "Zana also made [a pair of white bracelets] specifically for tonight. Our on-going joke is that I'm going to keep asking her for more until I have them in every color. Like, I had her make red ones for a Christmas party."



    "I actually used to own a vintage clothing store called 'Now Playing' around here on Havemeyer in like '04, '05. I closed it because it wasn't fun anymore."


    "Ladyfag and I met at the Cock, right after she moved here. I remembered seeing her at Room Service, crawling on the floor, dancing, and being like, 'Who is that girl? She is so crazy!'"


    "Make-up is hard. I am horrible at make-up. That's why I just do shapes. [My favorite look is] to take circle stickers and paint over it and take it off, so then you get this negative space."



    "[My roommate and I] make costumes for a non-profit dance company called Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre. This year is their 10 year anniversary, and we've been working with them for 4, 5 years."



    "I was always going to parties in Atlanta, since I was a kid...the first party I went to in NYC was Limelight in '93 when I was visiting."


    "I actually moved here around 9/11. It happened and I stayed around [Atlanta] a few more days and then drove my U-Haul up a few days later while they were doing recovery around the Towers."



    "I love an all-white look, especially in the club because it's dark and everyone else wears black, so you look like a white, ghostly figure snaking through the crowd."


    "But sometimes it takes a village."


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    CRYING-BACHELORETTE.jpg This season of The Bachelorette is giving me SAD. Every episode starts off all dark and gloomy with someone complaining to or about Kaitlyn (most often to her face!) and it's just bumming me out. I want to see Kaitlyn and Chris Harrison taking a sunlit morning stroll in some garden, bumping elbows and speaking in hushed tones and cautious smiles about her journey. But! Here we are, and we open with Shawn in Kaitlyn's room. He says this:

    "Are you in love with me?"
    Kaitlyn, looking incredulous: "You can't put me on the spot like that."
    Shawn, putting her on the spot just like that: "Yes or no?"
    Kaitlyn: "I'm falling in love with you."



    Whoo, boy! Shawn, thou shalt not ask that to The Bachelorette's face (or anyone's face, really) so early into your "process." This is Shawn pushing his luck. Her constant reassurance of him combined with her fear of his finding out about Nick, and what he would do with that information, makes for a ball of ick. "It feels wrong. It feels like I'm constantly disappointing people...my heart would break if Shawn left, but this is why I have to explore every option. If someone can't be here they might not be the person for me," she says. Watch your lean back, Shawn -- that sounds reasonable given the strange situation in which she finds herself.

    I'm glad to see Nick and Tanner taking me up on that morning garden stroll idea. They gossip about Shawn (so glad Tanner told Nick that Shawn calls him "the other guy" -- that'll bug him) and Tanner continues to be the Greek chorus we love. "I think Shawn thought he was at the top of the totem poll, so he's threatened by Nick." Succinctly put, sir.

    It's on to the dreaded two-on-one, and I for one don't want to see sweet, sneaky-funny Joe go through this. JJ unfortunately lost his villain title early on and now he's just a putz. "Today is the biggest day of my recent life," JJ says, realizing he can't put this date above the birth of his daughter.

    Joe uses this opportunity to tell Kaitlyn that he, too, is falling in love with her. "I know that you could feel the passion when I kissed you...you're worth putting it out there for...I'm falling in love with you," he says, to which she seems pleased-ish. JJ uses his time to tell Kaitlyn he cheated on his wife three years ago. Kaitlyn sends JJ home. Joe, however, doesn't immediately get a rose -- she makes him sweat it out and be southern and charming through dinner before he emerges victorious.



    Back to you, Shawn! Apparently off-camera in San Antonio, Kaitlyn told Shawn that he was the one, and it's got him feeling all types of ways. For her part, Kaitlyn is beginning to feel fed up with all the entitlement and gerrymandering she's had to do. "Certain people are like 'why aren't you validating me all the time,'" she tells Joe.

    Cue to Shawn taking it upon himself to visit Kaitlyn in her room yet again. First of all, can we make an effigy of that ugly couch and send it and all it represents out to sea? Nothing good has happened on that thing. Shawn times his visit to coincide with Kaitlyn giving yet another emotional interview, for real-deal crying. She, yet again, is terrified Shawn knows she slept with Nick. Nope! He's just feeling your run-of-the-mill, group dating show blues.

    "After we came down to my room in Texas and we talked off-camera, you said some things to me that made things very difficult. When you look me in the eyes and say 'I think you're the one' it's tough," he says. Kaitlyn initially is relieved he's not about to give her the scarlet letter, before she hits on the real issue. "Maybe it's my fault for reassuring you too much," she says. "It's hard for me" Shawn protests, to which she (accurately) hits back with "It's hard for everyone...I've been so reassuring to you and I haven't been like that to other people."

    But Shawn, you see, likes her more than the other guys. At this point Kaitlyn has transformed that sofa of sin to a pristine white couch and is basically lounging back with a glass of barolo, because she has transformed into Olivia Pope, and Shawn is getting handled. "When this stuff happens it makes me question us," she tells him, and he's backpedaling. "I'm going to work at this whole thing because it's worth it. I want you more than anything." This, you might note, is a bit different than last week when he told Kaitlyn that she was being "stupid" and "ruining everything." #Dating

    More backstory on this San Antonio off-camera tribunal, which needs its own footnote at this point. Apparently Ben H. was there, too (this will come into play), but Kaitlyn focused all her attention on Shawn and did say those things to him. The validity of those feelings is sounding a bit iffy, however. "In that moment and in that time, that's who I could picture myself with, so I said something like 'yeah, you're it.' It's definitely a regret that I've had, and it's led to problems." No kidding. This is why I really like Kaitlyn. She's made some total bonehead moves, but it's weird and exciting to watch an actual human navigate this totally unfathomable, bizarre experience. It's just nice to be reminded this is super weird.

    Known "handsome devil" Ben H. also needs to talk at Kaitlyn a lil bit. I actually still don't totally understand what happened at #SanAntoniogate, but bear with me. Apparently Ben H. was initially in on this weird San Antonio hang, but he left the room to shower, and apparently while he was doing so Kaitlyn told Shawn he was the one for her. I think. "That night has really altered everything for me, and not in a great way," she tells him, because Ben needs to make sure he's not just "spinning his wheels." Kaitlyn is "extremely disappointed in herself" for putting them both in that situation, and I'm confused again. Anyway, they make out.



    Ugh, Nick. He's just squirrely and I can't take it. Nick is freaking out, because this could potentially be the second time a lady says "thanks but no" after sleeping with him. "A concern of mine is you talking about it [the sex] with other people," she says. "You can talk about the date, but not how romantic it was, and I think maybe some people were..." she trails off. Seems like some of the fellows picked up on the potential subtext of Nick telling them how "intimate" the date was, though he tells her to her face he never used that word. Then he starts fidgeting and crying. "I spend time with you and I leave with this confidence, and then I remember I was once the overconfident guy," he says and I have to say, Nick is good at laying it all on the line. They make out.



    Man, this episode is like the mumblecore movie of my nightmares! Can't we make the guys be human cannonballs or something? Kaitlyn and Shawn go 'round and 'round again. "What concerns me is how you fight through these situations," she tells him as breakup music plays. "That night what I did, I shouldn't have done." They basically agree to take a "break," which I've never seen before. "We need to take a step back and decide if this is something we can get back to," she says. But Shawn just sees having 2.5 large fights after dating someone for a couple months as a "bump in the road."

    Oh, the rose ceremony! So nice to see you, what, an hour in? There's been virtually no sunlight on this gloomy, emo episode. The voice of the people, Tanner, and sensitive hunk Ben Z. go home, and his exit is :( "'This is a girl my mom would have been proud to meet...a cool girl, an amazing woman. Having that forever love is everything to me...I've just got to find her. I'm trying, I'm trying." I'm confident in you, Ben Z.! Just go to virtually any bar after this show and you'll be fine. Don't bring Ian.

    On the group date they're off to Killarney, and Kaitlyn chooses Jared as her ride or die while the other guys board the paddy wagon. Kaitlyn hits the curb a few times (who cares! It's a rental!) while she and Jared have a perfectly nice time together. I get why she chose Jared, because, as Mary J. says "no more drama," but she will crush him like a bug, make no mistake.



    "I feel like I got back on track tonight," Kaitlyn says, as Chris Harrison ominously makes his way up the stairs. At this point, typically, Kaitlyn will send two more fellows home and then proceed to meet the families of the four remaining men. But not this time! "Be honest with me: Do you think you're ready to go visit four families?" Harrison asks her. She tells him, vaguely, about whatever happened in San Antonio, and that she also brought Nick back to her hotel and she "really regrets it.""That's good, we all screw up" Harrison murmurs as he half-comforts her. Does he know she means they did it? I bet he does! This is where it gets weird for me:



    "Let's just tailor this to your experience and how it's going. You have already had off-camera time with some of these men, and I think it's important to get some of these other relationships up to speed, and I think you need off-camera time to get to know them," Harrison says. "That's what the fantasy suite and these exotic dates are all about." No, they're all about having sex, Chris Harrison! Kaitlyn will have her three overnight dates next week, apparently has the blessing to bang on all of them, and then she'll cut one more and meet the families of the final two men.

    So...is Kaitlyn too skanky to meet four families? Or is this just the most "fair" solution? I truly don't know, but I dig this development -- time to weed 'em out, because there's no way it's not Shawn and Nick at the final. Chris Harrison breaks the news to the guys, who will have three dates this week before they are cut in half. The first group date goes to Chris "cupcake," and you know this guy is about to get the axe since the last thing Chris Harrison said to Kaitlyn was to be extremely judicial in who she keeps.

    They take a helicopter to see the countryside and then have a picnic at the edge of a cliff, because that is the ideal place to breakup with someone. Seriously -- did Chris cupcake get voted Most Stable by the show's psychologists? Because when Kaitlyn drops the hammer, as we knew she would, he breaks down sobbing into his scarf cliffside. "I really wish you could be in my life, Kaitlyn" he tells her, before later telling the cameras that Kaitlyn is "wrong, and I don't think she knows what she wants." That seems true, Chris cupcake! Anyway, she Instagrammed something nice of the two of them last night, so all is well. God, this episode felt long.



    On to next week! Shawn and Nick (finally!) get into it, Kaitlyn again may or may not tell the men she boned Nick, Jared is crying, and Nick and Shawn fight some more.

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    You know your soundtrack is capital-F fire if Santigold's contributing, and her latest for the upcoming John Green-based, Cara Delevingne-starring Paper Towns is no exception.

    Pulsating, swagged out and exceptionally radio-friendly, the track's aptly titled "Radio," as we predict this will be ruling airwaves all summer long. Plus, it's all amped up by a dub-influenced melody and hazy rap-sing hook, which practically guarantees it staple-status for all those summer BBQs you've got in the works.

    Listen to it below.


    [h/t Spin]

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    Diane2.jpgWhere do you begin with Diane Martel, the director whose era-defining videos range from Mariah's "Dreamlover" in 1993 to the 2013 double-play of "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines"? NYC native, niece of Public Theater founder Joseph Papp, high-school dropout, pop-visionary who's worked with Nicki Minaj, the White Stipes, Nas, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and tons more... whether you know it or not, Martel has made you laugh, grossed you out and pushed your buttons. Martel, creative director of our summer issue's Miley Cyrus and Charli XCX stories, spoke with our very own Drew Elliott about her bizarre and brilliant body of work.

    On Reckin' Shop: Live From Brooklyn, her seminal 1992 documentary 
    Reckin' Shop was about an elite crew of "backpack dancers" -- dancers who danced in circles at Red Zone, Sound Factory, the World and various clubs in the early '90s. This was when hip-hop was still geared toward social messaging, so people would dance to Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, Pete Rock... The DJs were, like, Johnny Dynell and Dmitri from Deee-Lite, so all this stuff was bubbling and coming to some kind of fruition. A lot of the kids in "Dreamlover" were also in Reckin' Shop. It is very important to me to add authentic culture into mainstream culture.


    On capturing the vibe
    Method Man and I worked on his first video, "Bring the Pain" [released in 1994]. The video captures the feeling in the music quite well; it also showcases his character and his charisma. This is not an ultra-visionary video -- not Glazer, Jonze, Cunningham -- but it still resonates. It's about him and the RZA and Wu-Tang's vibe, not me. Same with [N∙E∙R∙D's] "Lapdance" and [Robin Thicke's] "Blurred Lines" -- very much about capturing the vibe in the music and the charisma of the artist. For Miley's "We Can't Stop" video, I worked on some topical Internet vibes that were slightly subversive, and I knew from talking to her that she had a lot of power and intensity. That video was less about the music and more about surrounding her with contemporary imagery and some Net-style shit.



    On Def Jam
    Method Man was a great subject, as good as George C. Scott in his world, so I was getting to work with these intense characters. It was all very comfortable. That scene, Def Jam in the early '90s, was amazing: you'd have Q-Tip in one room and DMX in another and Wu-Tang in another, all playing music, and Lyor [Cohen] going crazy and loving it, and Russell walking around, and piles and piles of LPs in one room and marijuana wafting through the halls. It was a completely live scene that was just beautiful and epic. Epic times.

    On "Blurred Lines"
    That was heavily fueled by Pharrell's music and his persona, and T.I. Those two have really solid imaginations and personas. They're beautiful, epic performers. And Robin rose to the occasion. It's an example of me making something that was inspired by Pharrell's music and the lyric, and then wanting to put the artist in a situation where they had to perform and improvise within a world I would create. So that forced Robin to interact with this world that challenged him to be more daring and edgy. In a lot of my work, the performers are put to a test: I put you next to a mind-blowing naked girl who is mocking you, and you have to fucking do it -- you have no choice but to do it. I only do this with people who can get there, and I knew Robin could get there


    On creative-directing the Bangerz tour
    Miley asked me to direct her tour after we did the VMAs and the "We Can't Stop" video. I had to learn about every aspect of touring and creating a show, so I literally started looking online... I made a treatment pretty early on for each song, and I would meet with Miley and tell her my ideas, she would change things here and there and add her ideas, and I had to find all these people to make content. Directing the tour allowed me to learn about CG and graphic animation as well as production design for huge venues. I was lucky to work with [production designer] Es Devlin, and during the making of the tour I met my directing partner Geoffrey Lillemon; our directing name is CGPP. We are both into surrealist, absurdist CG and 2D digital art. The most important thing that was successful was the narrative of the show. My priority was to create something that worked strategically from the first moment to the last, in front of huge rooms of screaming fans. Of course, I had the best artist in the world to work with. There is nobody who can handle an audience of that size like Miley.


    On signature motifs
    Food and shoes. [laughs] They're my things. But now I'm moving into new areas. I did the video for [Khia's] "My Neck, My Back." That video has a lot of food in it: burgers, hot dogs. For a while, I was really into having a lot of really minute kinds of mess and garbage in videos -- things that had juiciness to them. Everything was made out of garbage in Goldfrapp's "Ride a White Horse" video. You should look at my new video I did with Geoffrey for Yelle. Now I'm really into working with CG and post.




    On Franz Ferdinand
    I really like "Do You Want To" and I really like "Evil Eye." They wanted to take the piss out of a lot of modern art. They're really well educated, went to art school, super smart, we're still really close friends. They're brilliant. Alex [Kapranos] is a lead man: very interesting, strong character. They gave me a list of artists they wanted to include, and then I just had to stage it properly. Yeah, that's a really well staged video. We did it in one day; it was insane. And then "Evil Eye," I did that for them last year, and I really liked that. This gory horror video.



    On working with Snoop (and bonding over cats)
    Snoop is the best. We used to talk about our cats. He had a cat named Frank Sinatra, and I had cats named Twinkle and Swinkle and he had pictures of them on the wall in his studio. He's awesome, super talented, Snoop is like a star; his character to me is strong, like an actor in a Shakespeare play.

    On product placement
    Yeah, it's fully compromised in so many ways in the past couple years. I'm very lucky: I get to do work where I can pretty much do what I want, but I do have to throw in a pair of headphones or some ridiculous thing. But I understand the business of it; it's just changed. It's not about Chris Cunningham or Jonathan Glazer or Spike Jonze making this brilliant work anymore. It's about selling something.

    On her Wikipedia page
    I have to hire someone to strip that so I can redo it. It's very hard to change your Wikipedia page. The guy who edits it is this freak, like, some kind of music video buff, and I've contacted him several times and asked him to please stop adding things that aren't true, and then he writes back and tells me about freedom of speech on the Internet. I wrote him a letter once and said I was a single mother, and my career is very important to me. I said, "I'm crying right now because I'm so upset." And he was like, "Too bad." My website lists the things I like -- as it should be. I've done a hundred things; I only like some of them.

    On future projects
    I'll work on some things with Miley this year, and I'm a creative director for Charli XCX, whom I adore. I also work with Ben Jones, who's the creator of the show Stone Quakers. This summer I will be directing a short, and I'm currently writing a live-action musical film whose structure is inspired by the films All That Jazz and The Wiz.

    On her billions of views, and what really matters
    I think more about the relationships I have with these artists. Because I'm working with their voice, bolstering their voice, so when I'm making a video I think more about them than myself. I was very happy with "Blurred Lines" and Miley's tour. It was super satisfying and wonderful, and the relationship I have with her -- it's about her, not about me. The way she made everything her own, the changes she made to any of my ideas to make them better -- that interaction is great and lovely. You have personal relationships with these artists and then you make something, and the relationship's more deep and more important to me than the thing, in a way. Knowing that it works is very important, but knowing that it works for them, and helps them grow, is the more satisfying part. 


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    Famously known for saying in "Art Groupie" that she'd "never write [her] memoirs," disco-era goddess/perpetual queen Grace Jones has (thankfully) gone back on her word, as she's finally releasing I'll Never Write My Memoirs this fall -- which also has her looking flawless on the cover, because, duh.

    Chronicling the Jamaican-born beauty's rise as a high fashion model for YSL, muse/girlfriend to Jean-Paul Goude and her years at Studio 54, the memoir will also explore her second and third careers as a hit-making musician and blockbuster actress, not to mention her encounters with people like Jerry Hall, Jessica Lange and Arnold Schwarzenegger. After all, can you imagine anyone more plugged into the epicenter of 80s culture? Fingers crossed for some juicy Area stories.



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    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.19.30 PM.pngPhotograph by Jiro Schneider

    Welcome to our column The New Royals, in which we introduce you to the noteworthy youngsters we know are destined for fame. Some will actually be from royal or princely families, others will be the brethren of showbiz's kings and queens. Whatever the case, they'll be fabulous.

    If musical talent is hereditary, then Kaya Stewart must be a genius. The daughter of Eurhythmics' Dave Stewart, Kaya has been around music all her life -- she wrote her first song at the age of 6, and at the ripe old age of 15, she's signed to Warner Brothers and going out on the Warped Tour. We chatted about her career in anticipation of debuting her new music video, "Jonah," which you can watch after the interview.

    Age: 15
    Zodiac sign:
    Pisces
    Occupation: Artist (singer/songwriter)
    Hometown: London, but I live in LA 

    School: I'm home schooled through an online program
    Discovered: On Soundcloud when I was 13



    What's the story behind the song "In Love With a Boy"?

    I wrote "In Love With A Boy" when I was 13. I never felt like I really fit in, so music and songwriting was a way for me to escape. We had a huge math final, and I was terrible at math, so I knew I was going to fail. There was a boy in my class I really liked, so I decided to flip over my math final and write a song. By the end of the class, I hadn't finished any of my final, but I was so excited I went home as fast as I could and recorded it.

    Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?

    The first song I ever wrote was when I was 6 years old. It was called "Under the Moon." We had just moved from London to LA at the time. One day I want to get the song tattooed on my ankle.

    Did you grow up with tons of music in the house?

    My whole family is very musical, so there was always great music and songwriting playing in the house. I was so lucky to have such a talented family with such great taste in music, it definitely was a huge influence on my songwriting today.



    Do you perform live a lot? What's been your favorite performance?

    Performing live has always been my favorite thing to do. Although my dream is to perform to huge audiences, I love a small intimate performance. I recently performed at The Echo in LA. The crowd was so energetic and I didn't want the set to end! It was such a cool club with people who truly love music, and a fun show. Definitely one of my favorites. I am joining the Warped Tour for three weeks, starting July 15th.

    What was the first CD you bought or downloaded?

    The first CD I bought was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I don't think that there is one song on the entire album that I don't know the words to.

    How would you describe your style?

    My style is a huge part of who I am. I love the idea of juxtaposition, and I think my style and my music is a perfect example of that. I would describe my style as punky and edgy with a rock n' roll influence, yet my music is empty and with an electro feel. Debbie Harry has always been a huge style influence for me. When I am on tour, or even just at home, I am always pulling up pictures of Debbie for inspiration.



    "Jonah" video


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    ex machina1.jpgSome of the most widely acclaimed movies of the year have been science fiction, a genre that is rapidly losing the stigma it once had when compared with supposed "cinema" or its ink-stained cousin, "literary fiction." So it's appropriate that, in one of the best pieces of Hollywood news in some time, novelist Zadie Smith is teaming up with filmmaker Claire Denis to go where neither has gone before: The pair are working with Smith's husband, poet Nick Laird, on what will reportedly be a film set in "a future that seems like the present." (Besides sci-fi, Denis is also making her first foray into English-language filmmaking.)

    What kind of science fiction movie will Smith, Denis, and, kind of, Laird, end up making? A painstakingly crafted, broad in scope but narrow in focus look at interstellar immigration? (Kinda in their zone.) A near-future allegory about a Big Issue like most critically-acclaimed science fiction films these days? (In addition to Ex Machina, this loose subgenre includes District 9, Her, and Children of Men, and... eh.) A stealth remake of The Fifth Element? (Yes, please.) Until we know more details, we're left to do the one thing sci-fi does best: speculate.

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    Miley with creative director Diane Martel; photography by Paola Kudacki

    The cover story of our Use Your Voice issue focuses on the Happy Hippie Foundation and the inspirations of its founder, Miley Cyrus. Here, we dive into the long transcript of Miley's interview with writer Amanda Petrusich -- an interview that ranged from diet to sexuality, from partying all night to studying with monks and far beyond. In conversation as in performance, Miley does nothing in half measure, as you'll see below.

    On finding the party/wellness balance
    I love nutrition, I love fitness and, you know... I also like to party. I do a lot of things that a bunch of nutritionists and fuckin' fitness people will tell you not to do, so I'm a great person to talk about it because I won't judge you, you know what I mean? I do yoga every day, no matter how hard I party. Even if that means I go back to sleep. I call it the "Brian Wilson Diet" because that's all he ever did. It's all about balance. You can't tell people that are 22 to only be healthy, and you can't tell them to only party because they're going to fuckin' die.

    On vegetarianism
    If you knew someone who ate humans, you'd be scared! I love my mom and my dad and my brothers and sisters, and I never, ever, ever want to eat them.

    The more evolved you are, it's easier to become vegetarian because at some point down the line, I don't think we'll be eating meat. I think that'll have to do a lot with environmentalists, because right now, California is in a serious drought. And I just read an article that... I think it's between 20 and 40 percent of the water in our state goes towards feeding the cows that are going to feed us. So you know, we're just wasting a lot. And eating animals, I think, is kind of barbaric. I've only been a vegetarian for about two years, and I never wanted it to be public. I was cool about being public with everything in my life besides being a vegetarian because I thought, "Fuck, if I'm older and I want to be a hypocrite and whatever..." And then I thought, "No. I want to tell the world that I'm a vegetarian because then I'll never turn back." The last thing I'd ever want to look like is a hypocrite. And so I won't eat [meat] again... I want to be public about it because I want the responsibility.

    On family influence
    I just want [my sister] to not be how I was at 18, 19 -- throwing cigarettes out my window and shit. It's totally fine at 16 to be selfish because we're growing... our bodies are doing so much that we have to focus on ourselves. I just want [a child] so I can teach them kind of the opposite of what I was taught... My mom gave me the most loving home that a Nashville mom ever could. But growing up in L.A., I'm just so much more aware.

    On her childhood
    What's crazy is people are so shocked by me being naked. It so shouldn't be a shock because every morning before school I'd run around naked and I'd get on a dirt bike and go up to a fuckin' fire that my dad would have built all night. My dad's a cool hippie psycho freak, and we would go sit by a fire all night.... In the morning I'd go to school at 8:30. So at 6 in the morning my daddy would wake me up and he'd take me into the teepee and I could run around. My dad was just this, like, Indian god to me. Deep in my ancestry there's some Native American blood, and my dad always instilled it in us.

    On expanding her horizons
    If I lived where I was born, I might be married with a fuckin' child by now. I would be learning a lot less. Every day I learn from being alone, and from traveling, from different cultures. And I'm totally inspired by all religions and all sexes, and I love it. I think in other places, we're just not exposed to it so you never think about it... so I don't think it's anything to blame people for.

    On family and solitude
    I pretty much lived with girlfriends, boyfriends, brothers and sisters. Even when I was home when I didn't have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, when I was fuckin' 15 or 16, I'd make my brother or my sister sleep in bed with me. I hated sleeping alone. I remember one time I went to this [place] that was run by a bunch of monks. They asked me what my biggest fear was, and I was like, "Being alone." Then they asked me what my second biggest fear was and I said my mom dying, because I just would never survive. Then we had to name our third biggest fear and I said, "One of my brothers or sisters dying." Because if my parents die, I'd need [them] to take care of me. Then I got really into yoga and I got into being more spiritual and learning that, at some point, everything's going to die. Now I love my day, where I hang out with my friends, but I'm in love with the night because I love going to bed by myself. I feel like you can't know yourself until you've been by yourself for a while.

    On homelessness
    I hate to sound like a goody-two-shoes, but for my brother's birthday I gave him all these Ziploc baggies filled with deodorant, toothpaste, socks and a couple bags of nuts. Because in L.A., it's so common to see so many homeless people, and I can't drive by in my fuckin' Porsche and not fuckin' give something. And I see it all day. I see people in their Bentleys, and their Rolls, and their Ubers and all that shit, just walking past these vets that fought for our country. Or these young women that have been fuckin' raped and they have no choice; they don't want to stay at home. If it's better for you to sleep on the street than be at home, then think about these people's home lives. Think about these young kids that have mental issues that haven't been able to get the help they need. Kids that just came out to L.A. to live a dream, just like me, and they didn't have the fuckin' destiny that I had. It's not fair.

    On her sexuality
    I was trying to think of it, like, "What do I really identify as?" Because I'm not even bisexual, I'm not even trisexual. I'm literally open to every single thing that's consenting and not an animal and is a human of age. Anything that is legal, I'm down with. I'm down with anything that, to me, is morally acceptable... If I say that I'm bisexual, I'm axing out a huge part of the world. Genitalia has nothing to do with my partnerships.

    On acceptance
    Even before I ever thought about doing anything sexual, by the time I was 11 or 12 years old, I questioned having to be stuck with boys because all the boys at my school were idiots. And I was like, "I can't... this cannot be my future." And I had some really cool teachers that were much older than me and different people that I learned from. I just always thought that when that's legal, when I'm of age, I'm never going to be against any age group, I'm never going to be against any sexuality.... When I was a kid, I knocked my head against a tree and they said I would have been dead if I was over the age of five because I would've been so scared that I would've gotten tense and broken my neck. But I didn't because I was a baby and I didn't know any better. And that's the same thing as sexuality and acceptance, I think. When you're fuckin' in kindergarten you don't think if your friend's black or white.

    On reading the Bible
    You see these people protesting. I go to awards shows where people are outside saying, "God hates gays" outside of the fuckin' Emmys. It's insane. I actually had to read the Bible because I went to a Christian high school. At first I hated it because I was going through all these sexual things. And I hated reading it because I felt like I was being judged. Then I loved it because some people argue with me about their religion. I've read the Bible but half of the people that are arguing with me haven't even fuckin' read it. That's fucking insane. 

    On striking a balance
    I'm singing about empowerment while I've got my tits out, and it's like, "What the fuck?" But that is empowering because the other night I was playing with Joan Jett in Dallas and I was in nipple pasties, like, "Fuck, maybe I shouldn't go out. These people in Dallas are going to be really offended." And then I thought, "No, there are people that need to see it." They need to see a woman standing next to another chick playing guitar, fuckin' singing a rock 'n' roll song with their tits out. Not just like, wrap their legs around a fucking pole. Which is fine too, if you choose. I'm down with that also if you're trying to make money. I'm like, "DO IT! DO YOUR THING!" As long as you're not hurting anyone else, your choices are your choices.

    On her diverse collaborators
    I pretty much have been [working] with Mike Will and the [Flaming] Lips, and I may be the only person that can bring those two people together. They all went to a 2Chainz concert, which is also hilarious. And I was also in 1 Oak the other night with fuckin' Flaming Lips and Mike Will. I got Mike on one side with the homies, I got the Lips on one side with a bunch of fucking freaks from Oklahoma. I'm like, "This is just too cool." It's something new for the Lips, which is awesome, and it's something new for Mike... all of us are getting something new.

    On her backyard sessions
    I just want something that was without the stunts, without the nipple pasties, without the weed. I wanted something that America could watch. I wanted to give them something that's like, "OK, you're not afraid of this." If I'm overly aggressive, it would just be like, "Turn that shit off. Of course that bitch with fucking nipple pasties thinks that gay people should get married. She's smoking weed! She's a psychopath." That's why I wanted Ariana to do it -- like, yo, they'll listen to her! Then when Ariana comes out and says I agree with it, maybe it makes it a little less insane.

    On her favorite rapper
    My favorite rapper, which is kind of actually random... I'm obsessed with Big Sean. I know him as a friend, and everything he goes through in his life, I hear in his raps. And it just so cool to see people actually writing their life.

    On evolving in public
     "I'll say this: when you go to Spotify [and type in my name] now, I don't want my related searches to [keep being] my related searches. No disrespect! Just take me fucking seriously! Listen to my new music! I'm not just the "We Can't Stop,""Wrecking Ball" bitch! I'm doing real shit! I'm singing about real things.

     On whether she could imagine herself marrying a woman
    I do. I've had that...There's even been things that were as serious as I've had with any public male figure. But people never really looked at it and I never brought it into the spotlight. Whoever is the coolest person I could ever relate to, you know.


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    usgirls.jpg
    U.S. Girls's Meg Remy makes feminist, pop-tinged gems that are both haunting and unusually alluring in their lush, lo-fi dissonance -- and if the eerie, self-directed video for "Woman's Work" is any indication, her film skills are just as admirable and incendiary. 
     
    The second single from her forthcoming album Half Free, it's centered upon the idea of hysteria in reaction to ageing, itself a derogatory female trope that Remy attacks as, quite frankly, bullshit. A dizzying, sepia-toned exploration of looks-related neurosis, it's a poignant jab at the intrinsic "female burden" of beauty that darts between close-ups, grainy stills and bleached-out shots. 

    Watch it below.


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    kendrick 1.jpgToday, Kendrick Lamar continues his 2015 streak of making aggressive, dense art that's difficult to parse at first look (or listen), with the video for To Pimp a Butterfly's "Alright." The video, directed by Colin Lilley and The Little Homies, features many of the themes that have come to characterize Lamar's work this year. There are joyous depictions of black bodies (c.f. "King Kunta"), a fractured consciousness ("u," which is incorporated into the beginning of the video), and a depiction of Lamar himself as a deeply vulnerable superhero, attempting to make himself into a transformative figure while simultaneously unflinchingly acknowledge his flaws ("The Blacker the Berry").

    Here, he alternately floats around and raps on a pile of money until a magical bullet from a white cop takes him out with a finger, in a manifestation of the "apartheid" he explicitly criticizes in an extension of the album's refrain. It's predetermined by the lyrics -- "gonna kill us dead in the streets for sure" -- and, like the rest of the record, it's tough to fully grasp initially. Is the video for "Alright" as great as it seems? Decide for yourself below.


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    The internet has been part of our lives for long enough that a generation of writers and artists has come of age with it, and used it as a tool to construct their creative and professional identities. But that also means that they grew up alongside an internet that today's teens would find foreign and scary, during the days when MySpace was the biggest social network, AIM buddy profiles were important social statements, and having your own GeoCities page was a big deal. Our column, A/S/L, asks the people who are best at the internet to tell us about their personal Web 1.0.

    FashionPirate.jpgThis week we talk to beauty writer and artist Arabelle Sicardi. Formerly BuzzFeed's Beauty editor and a writer for a vast array of publications that include Rookie, Refinery 29, The Daily Beast, and Jezebel, Sicardi is currently enmeshed in a battle over the appropriation of their* art by some dude at Yale and currently, possibly, writing a book.

    *Sicardi prefers "they" pronouns

    What was the first internet service you made an account for? Was there a specific reason you made it?

    One of my first memories is of AOL chatrooms! Trying to sext at 10 and chickening out, haha. Neopets was definitely a huge part of my life for a long time though. And then the Teen Vogue forums and Harry Potter roleplaying forums. Basically after the age of 11 I stopped going outside.

    arabelle 1.0.jpgOne of Sicardi's first fashion blogging photos, taken circa 2008.

    What was your first screen name? Email address? What did they mean to you?

    My dad made me a Yahoo email account -- vinylfinal@yahoo.com, I think. I have no idea why he chose that name. I still remember the random gibberish password. I think Yahoo at the time had a good random password generator -- I don't think they have it anymore. It was surprisingly progressive given that two-key encryption wasn't a commonplace thing yet.

    What was your most profound AIM away message (or rough equivalent)?

    I strictly used Fueled By Ramen lyrics as my away messages. Very intricately -- special font and color choices, the longer the excerpt the more pissed/moody I was. My short lived screamo phase was also memorable. (Note to self/I miss you terribly etc., etc.)

    (We asked Arabelle for a particular Fueled By Ramen song, and were directed instead to their favorite My Chemical Romance song. Please give it a listen.)


    How many MySpace friends did you have at your peak? How many LiveJournals? (No lying.)

    I was totally a scene kid on MySpace and did the whole [MySpace Friend] train thing. My MySpace name was Arabelle Arsenic -- I can't remember how many friends I had, probably like 600 to 800? I had a brief stint as a catfisher, also. That was excruciating. I was very insecure. I had two LiveJournals. I still use one occasionally. Was never big on LJ, though, I mostly lurked.

    Who were the first people you thought were big deals on the internet, and did you ever interact with them IRL?

    I think Jeffree Starr was really big on MySpace when I was obsessed with it, and Jac Vanek? The scene queens. I've been to a bunch of events with Jac and she's nice. I think we're just really awkward around each other because we're both used to having the best hair in the room. Ha.

    jeffree star.jpg(photo via Jeffree Star Cosmetics)

    Chart the history of your life in websites, by listing the most important site to you each year you've been online. How did each of those help facilitate your understanding of how taste functions and is created online?

    Neopets -- for way, way too long, probably six years? Like all of my middle school/elementary school existence. I was obsessed with it and with guilds and the Help Chat, jockeying for prominence in the forums and making friends with the coolest people in the boards. I made some really good (superficial) friends and we looked out for each other, bought each other lab map pieces and stuff on our birthdays. It was a virtual gossip realm when I was too nerdy to actually hang out and gossip with people in my school at the time. I stopped caring when they froze my first and most precious account. I still have an account I think, it's probably 14 years old or something now.

    (We attempted to find Arabelle's Neopets account, but discovered that, though their Neopets are -- hopefully -- safe, the website is sadly down.)

    neopets.jpg
    After Neopets I was super into Harry Potter Roleplaying Forums and totally lied about my age and stuff to be cool -- I wanted to be 17 or 21 so badly when I wasn't yet. Running forums gave me a huge sense of control and ownership. I cut my teeth as a writer in roleplay forums, I'd spend entire days writing or creating plotlines with other people. It helped me understand verbosity doesn't make you a better writer -- and sticking to one idea is much harder than doing whatever the hell you want until you're bored.

    After HP forums I got super into Quizzilla/FanFiction.net and Teen Vogue forums when they still had them -- found fashion blogs that way, which I suppose started me off into fashion. I never read Vogue as a kid or Teen Vogue until I was in it, my parents never let me buy them. I developed my taste through fashion blogs and fashion books at the library and worked kind of backwards. I became a fashion blogger the same time I became a conscious fashion consumer. Now, I wouldn't consider myself a fashion blogger anymore, but it was a huge part of my life and I owe my life to it, probably.

    What's the strongest relationship you've ever formed with someone you hadn't met IRL? Did it change if/when you met?

    I guess it would be with Tavi! I think she's my oldest internet friend at this point? Which isn't to say it's the strongest since we're both really busy now, but it's the oldest, and she'll always be my sister. I think we've known each other for about eight years or something....since the start of fashion blogging. The O.G. Rookie crew -- her, Laia, Elizabeth, Hazel, me, we've known each other for a long time. These are the women I discovered feminism with and through, who were my sisters and support when I had none IRL. We are all IRL friends now. To be honest I wouldn't differentiate so much between IRL and internet friendships because at this point all my friends besides school friends, I've met via the internet or via someone I met on the internet. Internet friends are friends of choice and intention rather than circumstance, and I think that difference is everything. I am the child of WiFi culture. Meeting someone online isn't weird to me, it's just part of my daily habits.

    When you were first online, did you ever create alternate identities?

    Oh of course. I catfished people when I was like a 12-year-old! Not out of malice, I was really insecure and terrified I wasn't pretty enough and I was rejected pretty constantly for one reason or another so it seemed like the only way I would be given love at the time. The internet is a breeding ground for constant invention. I have a lot of sympathy for my younger self, even if she embarrasses me. I learned a lot, and I owe myself to my embarrassments. I don't think there's anything really wrong with editorializing your life.... to an extent, of course. (No Dolezals ever, please.) But all of me is real, even the performed parts. I don't think I owe internet strangers the whole or entire truth about myself. The internet is a very entitled monster. I regret writing under my real name quite often, actually. People think they know you because they've read 800 words.

    What's the most important thing you've learned from the internet?

    Anger is an energy / Time is a flat circle / the human capacity for evil is infinite / you can find your girls wherever you go / kindness can win sometimes, if you're lucky.

    Do you wish you had spent less time online when you were younger? Do you wish you spent less time on the internet now?

    No / yes. I owe who I am to my endless time spent on the internet, and I love myself and am proud of what I've learned through it. I went to school, I am academically educated, but I'm self-taught in the things I care most about and make my living through -- I learned most of what I know about beauty and fashion, etc, through internet and publicly available resources. I'm grateful for that obsession I had when I was younger and the privilege I was given to be able to pursue these things to the very end.

    But I mean of course it didn't come without consequences. My career has been media fodder, there are forums dedicated to hating and analyzing me and the people I love. I've had stalkers and hatemail and I met my rapist on the internet! The internet has ruined me in ways that if I had known, I would have never logged on in the first place. But I'm still glad I got sucked in to this garbage heap on most days -- isn't that strange and terrible? But you understand, I'm sure -- I owe everything to the internet, the good and bad parts. The good outweighs the bad, by far, by a million miles. I have learned to consume and experience it differently: less to share and prove myself, to validate myself and vie for space and power, and more to connect to the people I love and to remember what I want, the way I want to. I have a lot more secret spaces now -- portions of internet just for me. I think there's a luxury in not sharing everything. It is one of my greatest wishes to be more mysterious -- I'd like to be fog. Fog is terrifying.


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    Though he's primarily known for his drum-n-bass production and work as Pro Era's former beatmaker, Lee Bannon has been exploring decidedly more ambient territories as of late. The latest example of which is his two-fer video for both "DAW In The Sky For Pigs" and "Disneµ Girls," which also sees him returning to his experimental roots. 

    Taken from his forthcoming album, Pattern of Excel, the video itself is an intriguing compare-and-contrast of the subtle differences between the two individual songs, themselves visually demarcated by a trip across the Williamsburg Bridge. All facilitated with a little help from Scout Willis who stars in the clip, it's at the very least a fascinating turn of direction for the prolific producer that has us wanting more. Read a snippet of what he had to say, below.

    The visuals (like the songs themselves) are really mesmerizing and introspective, and so I guess the question on everyone's mind is why the 180? It's such a departure from the massive drum and bass sounds you've become known for in the past few years -- and it's obviously no coincidence that it coincides with your upcoming name change to ¬ b ("not bannon"), right? 

    It actually feels very natural to me. When working on my first album Alternate Endings, I spent a lot of time making drone and drumless tracks before inserting percussion. So in many ways it feels the same for me -- just holding off of the percussion a bit with this one. The name change is definite, but to what [end is] still a bit undecided. ¬ b is a bit of a place holder. 

    You also allow snippets of Scout's voice to float in and out of the song itself, which is a pretty unprecedented stylistic choice. Why? 

    Yeah, I feel that letting the bits of voice shine through the audio on the visuals gave it a bit more character. The director Jacob [Wayler] brought it to life. It was filmed as a kind of journey from AM to PM in the city. 


    Pattern of Excel is out July 10th on Ninja Tune.

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    You think there were no weird, offbeat celebrities before reality shows came along? You think Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians are the height of bizarre? Well, that's a weird way to think. Let me take you back to the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, when a bunch of homegrown freaks permeated the media, to delightfully kooky effect. Here are 10 flavorful gems who attained the ultimate in wacky stardom.

    singing nun.jpgTHE SINGING NUN
    One of the weirdest pop hits of all time was "Dominique," a 1963 French song written and sung by Soeur Sourire, aka Jeanine Deckers, the Singing Nun. The lilting, minimally arranged ditty about Saint Dominic proved irresistible, becoming a huge hit in 11 countries around the globe and making every nun stuck in a convent start fantasizing that she could be the next pop diva on the charts. But fame wasn't all it was cracked out to be for the unhappy Belgian sis. In 1985, Deckers and her girlfriend, Annie Pescher, made tragic headlines by committing suicide together. The reason was supposedly financial problems, not the fact that they had finally seen the awful Singing Nun movie starring Debbie Reynolds.

    tiny tim.jpgTINY TIM (1932-1996)
    Born Herbert Khaury, Tiny Tim early on discovered that he had a taste for singing old standards in an unnatural yet arresting high pitched voice. He made a sensation on the wacky comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, where he'd pull his ukelele out of a shopping bag and trill "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" while smiling and touching his hair. In 1969, Tiny married a very naïve young woman named Miss Vicki on the Tonight Show, causing another freakshow ratings bonanza. The marriage, however, was a bit of a sham -- though Tiny had two more after that. But I'll give the guy this much -- his oddball act wasn't an act at all. He was a true outcast, not faking his weirdness for a second. In fact, the man wore adult diapers -- not because he had to, but for cleanliness' sake -- and he was obsessed with UFOs. He may have been one himself.

    mrs. miller.jpgMRS. MILLER (1907-1997)
    Elva Miller was the original William Hung. She became famous by singing in a shrill belt and doing so in such an off key, off-the-beat manner that she caused mass nausea with every note. The woman willfully massacred songs like "Moon River" and "Downtown," and with the latter, she actually made the Hot 100, the record-buying public obviously needing a good guffaw. And once she realized her appeal was in being bad, Mrs. M went along with the joke, singing even worse, if such a thing was possible. Meryl Streep is playing a similar character, the talentless socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, in a movie. But who'll be brave enough to play Mrs. Miller? Madonna?

    miss miller.pngMISS MILLER (1897-1990)
    Not to be confused with Mrs. Miller, the unmarried Lillian Dorothy Miller became famous solely for sitting in audiences from the 1950s to the 1980s. (God! I've sat in audiences almost every night of my life, and never got famous for it. Not yet, anyway.) In her pill box hat and holding on to a lovely clutch, the woman sat there watching tapings of the Tonight Show, the Carol Burnett Show, and the Merv Griffin Show, becoming a celebrity just for her relentlessness, her look, and her no nonsense persona. A government typist until 1958, Miss Miller sometimes got to banter with the hosts or guests from her perch in the audience and was even brought onstage by Jack Paar at least once. But that didn't go to her little old hatted head. She gladly went back into the audience for many a Merv.

    angelyne.jpgANGELYNE
    A blonde actress and singer who wasn't getting anywhere, Angelyne splashed herself on various L.A. billboards starting in 1984 and people started to take notice. The surgerized sasspot got some parts and bookings and was buzzed about to the point where in 2003, she actually ran for California governor, using her pink Maltese as her mascot. Alas, Angelyne lost to another cartoon character with even bigger tits, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    dr ruth.jpgDR. RUTH WESTHEIMER
    The pint sized German psychologist seemed like your cheery aunt as she went on talk shows and chirped about all sorts of incredibly dirty things. As a sex therapist, she served great messages about liberation and responsibility, and her perky demeanor helped it all go down easier, making her a superstar for all the world to get off on. The Wall Street Journal got it right when they described her as "a cross between Henry Kissinger and Minnie Mouse."
     
    clara peller.jpgCLARA PELLER (1902-87)
    Another feisty old bag, the Illinois-born manicurist and actress hit paydirt in 1984 with a Wendy's commercial where, at a made-up rival fast food place, she looked at a puny burger and exclaimed, "Where's the beef?" Her crusty, funny delivery made her a star, and "Where's the beef?" became the most overused tagline of the decade, often relied upon for a salacious innuendo that Dr. Ruth probably loved. Alas, Peller was fired after she did a commercial for Prego Pasta Plus spaghetti sauce and said, "Where's the beef? I found it! I really found it!" Wendy's correctly felt this showed that she found the beef somewhere other than Wendy's, so they axed her. Peller replied, "I've made them millions and they don't appreciate me." Yes, she had a beef.

    larry bud melman.jpgLARRY "BUD" MELMAN (1921-2007)
    An offbeat little man named Calvert Grant DeForest started appearing on Late Night With David Letterman in 1982, doing little comedy bits, sometimes involving heckling the host. (He also played Kenny the Gardener, a whole other lovably demented character.) An instant hit, "Bud" was very Ed Wood-meets-John Waters and one of those talk-show finds that made late nights more perversely appealing.

    unicorn.jpgTHE BARNUM & BAILEY UNICORN
    In 1984, the B&B circus debuted "the living unicorn" named Lancelot and he became a sensation, even though he was clearly a goat -- or several goats -- with a grafted horn, not the mythical creature of our wildest dreams. As the public lined up to buy tickets to gawk at this creature, animal organizations cried cruelty and there were claims of fraud, followed by the circus taking out ads saying, "Don't let the Grinches steal the fantasy!" When they finally dropped Lancelot from their roster and the unicorn lost his proverbial horn, it was very Tennessee Williams. At least that's how I saw it.

    jeane dixon.jpgJEANE DIXON (1904-1997)
    Dixon was an entertaining crackpot with a syndicated astrology column and lots of nutty predictions that would appear in The National Enquirer, including macabre foreshadowings that rarely came true. She predicted JFK's assassination, though she had also predicted that JFK wouldn't even become President, so that kind of negates her triumph. Amazingly enough, President Nixon actually admired Dixon, met with her, and listened to her terrorism predictions! But one thing Dixon never predicted was her own death. That came as a surprise to everyone.

    Runners-up: Charo, Liberace, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mason Reese, Rodney Allen Rippy, Lucky Vanous, Max Headroom, Zacherle, Elvira, Pat Paulsen, Fabio, Senor Wences, Topo Gigio, Pee-wee Herman












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