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    Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.42.18 PM.pngHello, rose lovers! We start this episode with an eskimo brother coitus confirmation from Shawn. Exciting stuff! Well, not a confirmation, but certainly not a denial -- he and Nick are squabbling like a couple of men who are dating the same women and are trapped in Ireland, and Nick throws Shawn's former brotherly sexcapades in his face as evidence that he's not...here for Kaitlyn? A good guy? I was confused, and these two are annoying me. Also, isn't it just kind of a bragging point if you're the first Eskimo brother in this scenario? Because I'm assuming Shawn did just that to the guys, fairly understandably. Wouldn't bother me, but I'm a "cool girl." Anyway, on to Ben H.!

    He and Kaitlyn ride horses on their one-on-one, and I am excited for Ben H. to be the next bachelor. It's not officially confirmed yet, but my Bachelor spidey sense tells me this is basically a done deal. "Ben is a calming presence. I think that the horses felt it and nature felt it," Kaitlyn says, and she's right! Ben H. has some chill vibes going on, and I could actually see him in politics one day -- dude is smooth and provides a good soundbite. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can govern the state of California for eight years (still weird!) Ben H. could get my vote.

    They're trying to make it seem like there's a chance he won't go home, so I guess points for trying -- Ben H. is "excited to know more about one another," and you can really tell these people just haven't spent that much time together. They also discuss Ben's age (he turned 26 this year) so you can expect a wide age range of the ladies they select for him, which should be very fun and full of ageism. Anyway, Ben can wear the hell out of a cable knit and they spend the night together. "I feel hopeful I'll wake up in the morning thinking he's the one," Kaitlyn says trying to convince herself, but Ben is destined for his own shot at dating 25 people at once.

    Up next is her overnight date with Shawn. They both wear goofy golf outfits, and Kaitlyn makes the best bet I've ever heard: If she wins she gets whatever she wants and if he wins she gets whatever she wants. Autonomy, people! I'm into it. They play truth or dare, so Kaitlyn makes him streak, which is good for everyone -- he has a very nice body, and I'm sure his personal training business will flourish after this show.



    At dinner Kaitlyn says the last thing she wants to do is bring up Nick with Shawn, so she does exactly that. Shawn tells her he confronted Nick about being an asshole, and he basically thinks he's a smooth talking creep, to which I wholeheartedly agree. Eskimo brothers comes up again, and I'd love to know how many hits that Urban Dictionary page got after this episode. For the record, my mom wasn't even very shocked at the definition. Eskimo brothers: who cares!



    Shawn spends the night, and as he casually saunters through the parking lot with the assurance of a man who had sex, we see Nick creeping in the background. To be fair, when Shawn confronted Nick the first time he basically just yelled at him for a while, and Nick wants the opportunity to do the same. However, he doesn't get it -- I don't know how much protein powder Shawn snorted, but dude is fired up. "If I hear my name come out of your mouth one more time to Kaitlyn it's not going to be pretty" he threatens, before repeatedly telling Nick he just spent all night with Kaitlyn and he's the last person he wants to talk to before kicking him out. "I hope Kaitlyn is as smart as I think she is," Nick says, very wrongly equating her intelligence with choosing him over Shawn. "I'm sick of all this. We all are," he continues, accurately summarizing the audience perception of this tedious bro feud.



    Hey, it's Chris Harrison! What's up, buddy? "You know Shawn in particular has been jealous," he says. "A part of you has to wonder is it just here?" Shots fired, Harrison! He came to play, and that is an excellent point. "The Nick thing fascinates me," he says, clearly voicing the main question I have: That guy? Really? Basically, Kaitlyn has a passionate connection with Nick. They like to do the sex to one another. I don't get it but I get it, and she finally mentions Ben. "He's everything on the checklist," she says, but you can hear the reticence in her voice.



    Unfortunately for Ben Kaitlyn is looking hot as hell in that red dress with a deep-v J Lo would cosign. She has to leave the room before sending him home, whispering to Harrison that she doesn't want to break down in front of them. She does send Ben home, telling him "you are going to find the best girl in the world and it frustrates me it's not me.""I felt that I showed you who I was...I'd love to be able to share life with you but that's not going to happen, and it's going to be tough" he responds, telling her (accurately) that she looks great tonight before getting in the reject car. I like that Ben is the type of guy to wear his seat belt after getting dumped. That makes sense.

    Back to Nick and Shawn, everyone's favorite unbeatable combination. In case you didn't pick up on the fact that they will never send snapchats to one another, we are treated to a pointless scene in which they both drain glasses of champagne and posture to one another without speaking. Next stop: family dates.



    First we're off to Utah to hang out with Nick and his gazillion siblings (Utah, remember? You get it), and I have to say that dating anyone with more than three siblings freaks me out. It's just a lot. Nick's been in the final two dudes before, and he stumbles his way to telling Kaitlyn "I don't think it's a big surprise that I'm totally in love with you. So, yeah." Eloquent! "When Nick called me and told me he was going on "The Bachelorette" I was like 'oh, no'" one of his dozen sisters accurately summarizes, and his mother looks like she's going to vomit and is in tears. Have fun, Kaitlyn!  These poor people have to meet another random girl from a reality dating show, so they are understandably hesitant about this experience given how horribly wrong his first shot at love on this franchise went.

    Actual sibling count: seven, because #Utah. "I think everyone in my family is very worried about me," Nick says, and that could not come across more strongly. His family might as well be standing outside their house holding pitchforks and a noose. "He's taking the same risk again and hoping for a different outcome," one of his 86 sisters says, which sounds suspiciously like the definition of insanity. Just saying!

    However, Kaitlyn does pretty well in her sibling one-on-ones. Nick has one very precocious, charming-ish sister, who point-blank asks Kaitlyn if she loves Nick. "I care about your brother a lot a lot a lot" Kaitlyn responds, really getting onto her level. I want to give Nick's mom a high five for her fun statement necklace and a hug, because this lady is near the edge. "I was very confident and naive last season, and I didn't know that you don't always know what else is going on," Nick tells his mom, and the "what else" in that situation and this one is the girl you're dating falling for someone else. I believe that's also what's happening here; however, Nick doesn't.  "With Kaitlyn I don't think that's what's going on. Not to get too confident, but I do think she loves me. 99% sure." Yikes, Nick. Good luck.

    Wait, are Shawn and Nick both from Utah, or has this show resolutely refused to use multiple locations? Anyway, Kaitlyn will be meeting Shawn's two sisters, a very safe number of siblings, and we learn that Kaitlyn has six step sisters and one on her own. Wow! "Sisters are my jam!" she happily tells Shawn, but she should perhaps be more concerned about Shawn's dad. "Is this just in the moment?" he wonders, but Kaitlyn is ready to rumble. She seems generally more happy and excited to be there, but then again she did just meet a small village of Vialls.

    Shawn is very close to his two sisters, who grill her fairly heavily, asking her how many serious past relationships she's had (two) and if there is more to their connection than attraction (there is). "I care about him so much. There are so many times when I'm like there's no way he's that good," Kaitlyn tells his sister, before asking her about his trust issues and if he's ready for marriage. "If he loves you I could see him getting engaged before" is her answer, so break out the bubbly.

    "The minute you walked into the door I was like there's love in the room," Shawn's sister tells him, but his dad isn't as sold. For some reason, he questions the validity of being able to propose to someone in under two months who has been concurrently been dating multiple men. "Let's start with one real question. What the hell is going on?" he asks Shawn and oh, how I laughed. Indeed, sir. What the hell indeed.

    "I've had some pretty tough moments, but I'm able to open up now. I never felt something like this with another girl" Shawn says, but his dad isn't done. "How much time have you really had to get to know her?" he asks, and instead of giving him the real answer (not much) Shawn tells him that Kaitlyn told him he was the one early on, despite her afterwards telling him on multiple occasions she was mistaken to do that. Oh well-- Shawn seems like he mostly tends to hear what he wants to.  

    "I'm in love with you and I have been for a while" he tells Kaitlyn, but not before also making it sound like he's going to break up with her. Classic Shawn. "I'm a little disappointed she didn't say she loved me. I feel like she wanted to tell me but she can't," Shawn says and I kind of think he might not realize what show she's on. Of course she can't tell you yet, dummy. Come correct, Shawn. Cut to Kaitlyn crying and being confused about her choice. "I care so much and now people's families care so much...when I think about saying goodbye to the two I have left, I don't know what to do" she says through her tears, but I think she's really beginning to process that she's going to have to be the second woman in two years to dump Nick Viall on national television.

    Next week is this reunion show, so this should be a fun one. Poor Jared apparently can't move on with his life, hopefully Kaitlyn can yell at stupid Ian, and we'll have to look at both JJ and Clint again, so steel your stomach. And in two weeks we'll have our conclusion and paradise can start with is great, because this season has been pretty emotionally exhausting.

    Until then! 



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    obeycityslideshow-LRG2.jpg
    Ready to have those heartstrings tug? Producer Obey City has dropped a new video for his collaboration with Kelela called "Airy" and the Merlot Sounds EP track is a waxy, introspective remembrance of things past. Set to 80s-heavy synthlines, Kelela offers a hesitant apology of "I made it hard...It's your move, I'll be here for a while, so take your time." Premiered earlier today by Opening Ceremony, the Melissa Matos-directed video is all grainy zooms and low-lit film shots interspersed with abstruse touches of text that are universal in their ambiguity -- a reflection of the sort of meandering thought that tends to accompany nostalgia-drenched films such as this.

    Watch the video below.



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    Dunham Apatow talk1.jpg(photo via Julie Cunnah/Film Society of Lincoln Center)

    Last night, Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham had a conversation about Apatow's work and comedy in general for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It went pretty much the way you would expect (for good or ill) -- a lot of jokes, not too much discussion of the specifics of production, and a decent number of references to bodily functions. But the most striking thing was a general sense of paranoia.

    In the past few months, comedians have increasingly expressed reservations about the current climate of "PC" criticism, in which -- according to the comics -- a single off-color joke can ruin an entire career. Much of the discussion included asides to people recording the event, suggesting in a humorous-but-not-really way that this was a possibility. And the specter of what could happen to some comedy critical darlings lingered in, not just the obvious discussion of Apatow's distaste for Bill Cosby, but also in a conversation about Trainwreck, a movie directed by certified controversial comedian Amy Schumer. When audience questions turned to diversity -- a subject that both Apatow and Dunham have surely been asked about in nearly every interview they've done in the last few months -- Dunham gave a concise, thoughtful, but also seemingly rehearsed answer.

    The changing role of criticism is certainly a fascinating topic -- particularly in comedy, and in standup, which is frequently a work in progress by definition -- and while resisting oppression should always, always take first priority, the uneasy defensiveness in comedians is notable, at the very least. Is it because the recognition of how frequently comedy punches down is unsettling? Is it because having the massive eye trained on the entertainment industry now possesses the slightest semblance of a fist? These are maybe aggressive takes -- at the very least, the fact that artists feel creatively stifled is worth considering.  

    Especially because one of the more interesting moments of this week was the suggestion that criticism cold actually stimulate creativity. In a discussion of Katherine Heigl's distaste for Knocked Up, Apatow noted that the film's aggression in the relationship between Heigl and Seth Rogen's characters (which contributed to the actress' displeasure) had been prompted, in part, by a review of The 40-Year-Old Virgin written by The New Yorker's David Denby. The suggestion that Catherine Keener's character in the earlier movie was "trouble"(and accordingly an interesting an engaging character),Apatow implied, led him to explore more aggression between men and women in relationships.

    I'll be honest -- I would have rather listened to Dunham and Apatow just shoot the shit, because that's what you look for comedians to do. Really, it would have been awesome (if also a little troubling) if they had just been able to do something like spend half an hour talking about the Minions. But Apatow's story hinted at a potential future where everything, criticism and comedy both, are better. Even the suggestion of ways in which large-scale critical, intellectual feedback can help make artists better is a welcome sign today, and the sort of anecdote that will hopefully fill up future conversations.

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    Darren Criss may have traded in his Glee-era bowtie-and-blazer for a blonde wig and denim booty shorts to play the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway but off the screen and stage, the actor seems to find inspiration from what's going down the catwalk. He's often spotted front row during NYFW and the past few days he's made time to catch some NYFW:Men's shows as one of the CFDA's official ambassadors even amidst the final week of his Broadway run. We tagged along for the ride yesterday.

    Darren10AM.JPG10 AM

    "The cool thing about Mondays is that it's Broadway's day off," Darren says as he recounts the Richard Chai dinner the night before, which he hosted with fellow CFDA ambassador Joe Jonas. We're in the back of an SUV heading downtown to Clarkson Studios for the Public School presentation. "He's wearing a Public School shirt," his stylist chimes in from the front seat.

    Darren1030AM2.JPGPublic School's Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow with Darren Criss

    10:30 AM

    Arriving at the show, we make our way inside Skylight Clarkson Sq relatively unnoticed. Darren snaps some pictures on his phone of Public School's models, lined up against a faux-prison wall, glaring out at a throng of onlookers also eagerly snapping mug shots. "They're playing soundbites from The Usual Suspects," he says. "This is very cool, I'm in."

    A few moments later, his viewing is interrupted when reporters notice his arrival and begin to swarm around, attracting a sizzle of camera flashes from others.

    darren11AM.JPG11 AM


    About half an hour later, it's time to leave. Darren has a show tonight and decides to head home for a power nap (his chipping sparkly nail polish will need a new coat, though, before he steps onto the stage as Hedwig). Before our exit, Darren excitedly spots Bill Cunningham, smiling unassumingly from the sidelines. The fashion icon lifts his camera towards the Broadway star, and with a snap, Darren's face lights up. We scramble into the waiting car.

    Lamenting the loss of a planned photo-op during lunch, Daren offers to jump out and stage one at a hot dog cart on the street. Everyone in the car laughs, unsure of whether or not he is serious. His excitement, however, is unambiguous.

    12 PM

    Just before we part ways, Darren jokingly offers for us to join his nap session. Instead, we end up compromising for a selfie and plan to meet back up at 3pm.

    Darren_3PM3.jpgDarren Criss takes in the Todd Snyder show

    3 PM

    We reconvene in the car. Darren, looking well-rested, has changed into a tee. A few minutes later, and we're back at Clarkson where we head inside for the Todd Snyder show.

    Darren finds his seat front row, mingles with his neighbors, and exchanges smiles with a handful of other attendees before the lights dim.

    With the last smattering of applause at the show's finale, the booming music dies down and the crowd rises almost collectively. Darren is ushered backstage, where he walks around curiously, lifting his phone occasionally to take a shot of the racks of clothes frantically being packed into boxes.

    He chats with Mr. Snyder, smiles for a photo, and lauds the show briefly after an interviewer and cameraman inevitably surround him.

    Darren_3PM1.jpgTodd Snyder chats with Darren Criss

    4 PM

    The end of the interview concludes his second day of NYFW: Men's, and he's out the door, ready to get back on stage.



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    spotify-us.jpgSpotify's convenience and apparent all-consuming ability to provide music (though not all music) is kind of terrifying, especially when you consider that the streaming service has been able to do "studies" to determine things like the most popular songs in each state. Now, the service moves local, tracking which musical choices make each major world city "distinctive." Some of these are pretty unsurprising (Chicago really likes King L, Lil Durk, and Vic Mensa), others are, at least at first glance, a little out of left field (Boise is super into Tech N9ne?). Play around with the map below for sneak peeks at what people all over the world are doing in their own homes. And if you're paranoid about a giant company's ability to harness every piece of information about your cultural taste for marketing reasons, don't worry -- maybe Apple Music will be a more benevolent overlord! [via The Fader]


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    bAND Seed.pngThe Harlem Flames, one of the bands formed in Band Seed

    On Park Ave. and 102nd St. in Harlem, there's an unmarked storefront obscured by rusty steel shutters. From the outside, it looks like just another casualty of rising rent. But inside, it's a place where young kids from Harlem and the Bronx develop the chops, and the DIY ethics, to start their own bands. The space is home to Band Seed, a nonprofit launched in 2014 that teaches kids collaboration and confidence, garage-band style.

    "This is the closest thing you're gonna get to a garage in New York City," 27-year-old Band Seed founder Andrew Ockenden says, gesturing around the room. Along with his close college friend, Mike Monteiro, Ockenden started Band Seed a year and a half ago as a way to give kids in his adopted community the same opportunities he had growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia -- practicing in a garage for hours on end, handing out CDs to friends, running his band like it was a job.

    "I want everyone to experience that, but the fact of the matter is it's not possible," he said. "You live in New York City, you live in an underserved community. There's no garage for you to have a garage band in."

    Since its inception, Band Seed has clung fiercely to a DIY ethic. Students come to Ockenden not because some authority figure made them, but because they want to be in a band. Offering free facilities and instruction, it champions a rigorous, feel-focused style of teaching and instills a militant self-starter mentality in students.  Ockenden teaches students basic chord structures and rhythm, and then they figure out for themselves what sounds good. "We're not teaching them how to read music, we're not teaching kids theory," he said. "It's not numbers and dots."

    Ockenden says his non-technical style of teaching appeals to young kids tired of being taught in a dry and academic way. "For my entire life I loved music," he said. "And yet I didn't enjoy a lot of music classes in school." Instead of Bach and Beethoven, Band Seed students learn to play songs by artists they're actually interested in: Taylor Swift, ASAP Ferg, Meek Mill. They also write their own music.

    On a windy spring day, three middle schoolers from Harlem and the Bronx -- Branden, Javel and Jameek -- stood inside the Band Seed space talking about a song they had just written. It was a bass-heavy funk instrumental, and Branden was worried some of the measures didn't sound right together. Ockenden assured them if they played on time, the song would work. Javel clicked his drumsticks together and they began again. Ockenden paced around the room, tapping the drum kit, nodding his head, pumping the air in time to the music.

    After practice, Branden, Javel, and Jameek brag about being the only band in their entire school. "I'm not gonna lie, it helps with the ladies," Branden, who recently got a new girlfriend, said. They make plans for next week's session -- write some new beats, work out the kinks in today's song -- and promise to practice more when they get home.

    Just like Branden, Javel and Jameek's band, Band Seed is still in its growth and development stages but Ockenden hopes to expand the organization in the next few years, moving to other boroughs and eventually other states. His final utopian vision is this: a Band Seed venue where kids of all ages can hang out and play music, whenever they want.

    Ockenden insists there's no other organization doing what Band Seed is doing -- other nonprofits focus on traditional forms of music education, he says -- but there are groups just a few neighborhoods away with like-minded goals. Nonprofits like Willie Mae's Rock Camp for Girls and Little Kids Rock instills confidence in young girls and underserved communities through music.

    "There's something really powerful about a group of women and girls just making noise," Karla Schickele, one of Willie Mae's founders, said. "You're never told, 'You're really good for a girl.'"

    You may recognize the name Willie Mae because it's where heavy-lidded pop musician Mac DeMarco donated the $21,100 he earned from selling his pair of scuffed up red Vans on eBay earlier this year.

    DeMarco was drawn to the organization because of its commitment to teaching young girls how to play music. "I think it's an interesting thing to set kids up with at an early age," DeMarco said. "It opens doors. Unless you're really awful." But that doesn't mean DeMarco is going to start teaching anytime soon. "I could probably teach kids a little bit of guitar," he said, "but I might set them on the wrong path."

    Despite different methods, what organizations like Band Seed and Willie Mae do share in common is a commitment to foster the kind of collaboration, community and commitment that exists among bands in the DIY scene.

    "It's not just about the music," Ockenden says. "It's about the camaraderie between the members of the band. And it's about having your own project that your parents didn't make you do."

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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. 


    mike eagle 1.jpgThis week, we talk to rapper Open Mike Eagle. His music somehow manages to seamlessly blend indie rock influences with unapologetic "art-rap" into something with equal parts pathos and humor, applying a perspective to the world that's both consistently relatable and highly specific. Last year's Dark Comedy might have been the best album of the year, and this year's A Special Episode of EP is just as good.



    He has a great group of collaborators, from the other members of the Hellfyre Club collective to a who's who of LA beat producers to Hannibal Buress. Maybe most importantly for A/S/L purposes, he's consistently interested in the way modern technology and pop culture shape the way we understand the world and ourselves.

    How did you first encounter the internet? Did it seem natural to you? 

    I can't remember if the very first encounter was AOL or a dial-up bulletin board. I was doing both pretty heavy in high school. I'm guessing it was probably AOL -- the chat rooms in there became my life for a while. 

    What was the first internet service you made an account for? Was there a specific reason you made it? (i.e. I made my first AOL account so I could sign up for Neopets.) 

    My first service was definitely AOL, although I had accounts for Prodigy and Compuserve as well. I signed up with AOL cause I kept getting them endless CD-ROMs in every magazine ever. Plus, I had a modem and couldn't figure out what the hell else to do with it, until i eventually found the BBS community.

    compuserve-a.jpgWhat was your first screen name? Email address? What did they mean to you? 

    My AOL screen name was Primus4340. Primus was my favorite band at the time, and I suppose that it was the favorite of 4,339 users before me. My first email address was openmike20@hotmail.com -- I still have it, and it's still my rap name, too. I guess I don't let things go. 

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

    Never used AIM much. I don't like one-to-one chatting. It reminds me too much of talking on the phone.

    What are all the services you've used to share music over the years? Were any of them especially terrible? 

    Oh man. Napster, Audiogalaxy, Morpheus, Soulseek, Kazaa, Kazaa Lite, and a little LimeWire. I never torrented much, because I still don't really understand how it works. I used to really really, really like Audiogalaxy. Audiogalaxy x The Rap Sample FAQ was my entire digital music collection for a couple of years 

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

    I thought the guys that moderated the games in AOL chat rooms were rock stars. (I was 14.) I didn't meet anyone from the internet until the BlackPlanet era. 

    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? 

    Man, I don't know if my memory goes back this far. I'll give it a try:

    AOL
    Various bulletin boards
    Hotmail
    411wrestling.com
    Hapster
    Yahoo
    cdnow.com
    insidepulse.com
    megagreek.com
    BlackPlanet
    SoulSeek
    Robert Anton Wilson's site
    MySpace
    Gmail
    Facebook
    Philaflava
    Twitter

    RAW.jpgSecond part of that question is a little difficult, 'cause I'm not sure if that's the way these sites affected me. When I look at the list, it looks like my journey has slowly changed from using the internet to find out about things to using the internet to meet and interact with people. It also follows my journey from being a content consumer to a content creator 

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

    Hell, I still haven't met the owner of my current label home (Mello Music Group), and my career is pretty much in his hands. 

    What's the most important thing you've learned from the internet? The best opportunity you've gotten from it? 

    Well, I've learned how to use every piece of audio software I have by watching YouTube tutorials, so that's pretty important.

    The best opportunity I ever got was being on WTF with Marc Maron, 'cause I used the internet to send him a long, nonsensical email that he actually read.


    Your music is often concerned with technology's ability to both enhance and isolate people -- how has that manifested itself in your life? 

    Sometimes when I'm really, really, high, I think about how if I were an alien looking down on people, I'd be horrified by how many of us seem to be perfectly content with sitting in rooms alone, staring at various screens and tapping electric boxes. Like, could you imagine if we found a species of ape that liked to sit by themselves staring at boxes? 

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

    I don't really worry about the amount of time I spend online so much as I worry that we don't know the long-term health side effects of exposing our bodies to these technologies in such a prolonged fashion every day. I have a song where I imagine the EMF waves from my cellphone will turn me into a Godzilla monster one day. The studies of the effects of these waves on our bodies are pretty horrifying.


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    A nightclub without a fab owner and/or promoter is just a space with some people in it. The people that run the place and draw the crowds have to be magnetic, colorful, and professional enough that you'll want to go to their events more than once -- and they should considerably add to the party, not just sit at their registers, counting the cash. Here are some of the more memorable impresarios from the olden days of NYC nightlife:

    Steve Rubell.jpg[Photo via]

    STEVE RUBELL  
    The Brooklyn-born Rubell was the personality behind the legendary Studio 54, the ultimate '70s disco, which he co-owned with spark and aplomb. The doorman was a snoot, but Rubell loved press, so he'd spot me in the outdoor throng, pull me in, and tell me which superstars were scheduled to show up that night. Rubell also co-owned the '80s megaclub the Palladium, by which point he was still spunky, but in a somewhat mellower tone, having been through ups and downs (and prison for tax evasion). He died of AIDS in 1989, leaving a legacy of good-time thump-thumping.               

    eric good w madonna.jpgEric Goode with Madonna. [Photo via]
     
    ERIC GOODE
    The Rhode Island-born conservationist made a splash by joining with his brother and some other partners to open Area, the art-drenched '80s club which changed its theme every five weeks, doing so with elaborate motifs and real artistic vision. Eric was always a lanky charmer, who seemed a little out of place in such a wild and woolly venue, but he brought heart and soul to it, going on to create B Bar and take over Bowery Hotel.

    Rudolf Piper.png[Photo via]

    RUDOLF PIPER
    The German club god helped bring us the legendary, multi-floor rock club Danceteria, about which he aptly said, "That place had an un-fucking-believable magic." With busty "It girl" Dianne Brill on his arm, Rudolf was always affable, witty, and aware of the larger artistic issues that drove a late-night good time. He's currently working his magic in Brazil.

    STEVEN GREENBERG
    A rotund man with white hair, Steve was called "Ben Franklin" by many people -- well, by me, anyway. He made his fortune on Wall Street and he went on to use it by opening the Roxy, co-owning the Palladium, and partnering on the Gramercy Park Hotel. Greenberg also owned the rooftop at 230-Fifth Avenue, where he threw a lavish 2010 party for me, hosted by Joan Rivers and Michael Urie. Greenberg pulled all the stops out with the booze and food, longing to play host to a bohemia-filled soiree that brought together different cultures -- and we truly delivered for him. He died in 2012 and decreed in his will that money from 230-Fifth should be funneled to NYC hospitals.

    micahel fesco 1960.JPG[Photo via]

    MICHAEL FESCO
    From 1974 to 1981, Fesco owned the Flamingo, a private gay club on Broadway and Houston, which revelers remember with adoration. They cite the club's "stairway to heaven," the "sexy and subversive music" by DJs like Howard Merritt and Richie Rivera, and the theme parties, which foreshadowed gay circuit events. Fesco currently does "sea teas," taking his act to the river.

    larry tee and lahoma.jpgLarry Tee (center) and Lahoma Von Zandt (far right) [Photo via]

    LARRY TEE AND LAHOMA VON ZANDT
    In 1989, up from Georgia came these two -- DJ Larry and drag star Lahoma -- and they created La Palace de Beaute, a fabulously frisky hangout named after a hair salon down South, at the Underground space. Their style was kitschy and their approach was freewheeling as they brought on future stars like RuPaul (and themselves) to entertain the drunken masses. Larry now splits his time between Berlin, London and NYC while Lahoma (Jon Witherspoon) has left drag to pursue a saner lifestyle.

    BOBBY BRADLEY
    In 1981, Bradley and two other ex employees from the dance club Interferon opened the intimate, amazing Pyramid on Avenue A. With his easygoing manner and drawl, Bradley hid a real lust for performance, as he encouraged players like John Kelly and Ethyl Eichelberger and booked John Jesurun's weekly serial Chang in a Void Moon. According to Iris Rose's history of the club, Bradley was getting hooked on drugs as time went on, and some of the Pyramid's performers were even getting paid in coke! In 1984, he was ousted and he later passed on of AIDS, but I still remember his friendly glow.

    Lee Chapell.jpg[Photo by Alexis Di Biasio via]

    LEE CHAPPELL
    The Roxy (the former roller skating palace on West 18th Street) had become a live music venue called 10-18, but then it was the Roxy again, and in 1990, the weekly "Locomotion" event made it faboo, with all sorts of interesting gays, drag queens, and clubbies. The event was co-promoted by Lee Chappell and the almost as flamboyant David Leigh, who designed and made the décor (with a team), hired the DJs and performers, and handled every other detail through 1991. (Around Pride of '91, John Blair started bringing in swarms of shirtless gym bunnies, and that made the mix even more eye popping.) Lee always dressed up extravagantly and had the manners to match. He's gone on to many other venues and events, like the Drip pool party at the Grace Hotel, a real splash, which won the Glam award for Best Event in 2009. He makes nightlife grand.

    JOHN CONTINI
    Brooklyn-born Contini was a longtime constant on the scene, offering wisdom and charm at a variety of venues. I'll let him tell you a capsule version of his nightlife credits, since they span the sweep of several decades of frolic:

    "I started promoting for Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager at Enchanted Garden in Queens. I re-opened Le Jardin as Jouissance in September 1976. I kept it open for a year and then made a deal with Maurice Brahms to take over the promotion of Infinity, in return for a 10% stake in the club. It was a huge success until it burned down on 2/14/79. It took three of my partners at Infinity and two others a year to build and open the Underground (2/28/80). I gave John Blair his start there, among others. In October of '80, we were hit with a tax evasion lawsuit from Infinity. This came from Steve and Ian, who were already in jail for the same reason from Studio. Maurice and another partner from Infinity, but not Underground, went to jail for several years and I sold my interest at Underground and filed back taxes. I went to work on Wall Street, promoted a few parties -- including the Pretty Preppy Party at the Peppermint Lounge -- and laid low until I had a chance to open the Cat Club in '83. It opened two weeks after Area, but we were able to get an amazing crowd that loved to dance because of our wonderful dance show. Andy Warhol loved it there and had a private Halloween party there for his entire Factory staff and a few friends. Don Hill was the manager. I remained there for almost three years and at the same time started teaching at risk and homeless kids. In '86, after Maurice came out of jail and took over Underground again, he threw out his partners there and asked me to return to help him run it, which I did. I also went to law school at the same time. Maurice also opened Red Zone, which I worked the door at with Kenny Kenny and Aphrodite and turned Underground into La Palace de Beaute, which I had a hand in (but that was Steve Lewis' work). Maurice and I opened Peace, where Life opened a few years later. I also worked the VIP doors for the Palladium and Life when they opened. My last nightclub was Magnum in Soho 1996. It was an A-list lounge. Mark Ronson was the DJ on Wednesday nights and Dominic Chianese on the weekend. I stayed for a year until I decided that my other work with homeless kids was more important."

    Also: Marc Berkley, Steven Cohen, and Rob Fernandez. (May they rest in peace.)





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    The modern music festival is a very strange institution, essentially creating a summer camp for adults with minimal consequences. Depending on your perspective, it's either exhausting and overwhelming or exciting, but no matter what it's interesting. In advance of this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival, we asked a few of our favorite artists to answers some questions about their own festival experiences, who they're excited to see and what they're excited to do. Peep their proclivities below.

    ex hex p4k.jpgEx Hex (Saturday, 3:20 PM, Red Stage)

    Festival culture is often, more or less, "anything goes." for attendees. Does this apply to bands too?

    As a band, it definitely doesn't feel like you can do whatever you want -- you have to play well and do a good job. It's not the same thing, so [festivals] are definitely not the same experience for performer. I've never been to a festival as someone just interested in going to see bands.

    If you haven't gotten to experience it, what's the most anyone at one of your sets has taken advantage of that freedom?

    We just played Where the Wild Things are in the Netherlands, and this guy got on stage and was wearing a full tiger costume, and he was dancing around while we were playing, which was pretty cool. He stayed on stage for a full song, then we convinced him to crowd surf. That would not happen at a normal show. So yeah, I do think people get a little looser at festivals.

    Does that change anything about the way you play?

    To be honest, festival shows are a lot more pressure than normal shows -- I don't have this feeling of them being fun. A lot of times you don't get the sound check, you don't get to test the stage, you don't know what the monitors are going to sound like. If you're not a headlining band, things are kind of rushed -- you just go up there and play. I've had really good experiences, and really bad experiences where the monitors sound horrible. And playing outside is challenging, and if you're playing during the day... I've done a couple where the sun is so bright that I can't see the lights on my pedals.

    Do you usually at least manage to catch other people's sets?

    Yeah! We just played at Sled Island, and it was so fun because we played on one stage with like, King Tuff, Drive Like Jehu, Television, and Viet Cong, and we just stuck around and watched the entire day, basically, and it was a blast because it was so crazy to see every single band. That's what I love about it, getting to see all these bands I might not see normally.

    Is there anyone in particular you're looking forward to seeing at Pitchfork?

    I'm really excited to see Kurt Vile. And I'm psyched to see Future Islands.

    clark p4k.jpgClark (Sunday, 5:45 PM, Blue Stage)

    Festivals are notorious for being spaces where you can let your inhibitions go, what is the best way you've taken advantage of this?

    I don't normally find I'm that inhibited, this is part of the problem you see, I usually just do exactly what I wan. I love my life. So festivals to me are sort of humbling places where I get a bit annoyed and don't get to do exactly what I want for a few days.

    Do you have a festival drug or imbibe of choice?

    Probably acid. Or probably (not actually), I would just want to wonder into the countryside, or end up accidentally setting fire to Dave Grohl or something.

    I believe you're doing a live set, but if you were to come up with a DJ set on the spot what would a few songs you would want to include?

    I would play everything from Four Tet to Richie Hawtin and then do something mental like finish on Annie Lennox. JOKE! I don't know. I'm rubbish at DJing.


    julie ruin p4k.jpgThe Julie Ruin (Sunday, 2:50 PM, Blue Stage)
    Answers by Kathi Wilcox

    How do you cut loose at a festival?

    The way I usually cut loose at a festival is having too many cups of earl grey tea backstage. 

    You've probably had your fair share of festival experiences, tell me what your most memorable one was.

    A girl asked me to sign her birth control pills at Fun Fun Fun Festival in Austin.  That was pretty original, I thought.  Another girl asked me to sign a tampon (unused!). It's not easy to sign a tampon, let me just say. 

    Who are you looking most forward to catching this festival? Why?

    I'm really excited to see Waxahatchee on Sunday.  Also Perfume Genius, How to Dress Well, and Courtney Barnett.  Perfume Genius I keep hearing about but have never seen live.  I just saw How to Dress Well perform a song with a color guard team in Brooklyn and it was really great.  And Courtney Barnett is simply the coolest.  Great songs, total charisma, and no bullshit. 


    mourn p4k.jpgMourn (Sunday, 1:55 PM, Blue Stage)
    Answers by Jazz Rodríguez Bueno

    Is this your first time in the States? 

    Second time! We played here in April.

    Europe has an incredible festival culture. What's your most memorable festival experience?

    Primavera Sound. It takes place in our city and we've gone there several times. I enjoyed the PiL [Public Image Limited] show there on 2011 or 2012 (I can't remember).

    You guys are playing alongside some heavy hitters from years past. Who are you looking most forward to catching this festival?

    We'd love to see New Pornographers. We missed them on Primavera Sound, so would be cool to catch them on Pitchfork.


    vince1.jpgVince Staples (Saturday, 3:45 PM, Blue Stage)

    Has your live show and approach to performing changed over the past year?

    The change in the music has made it easier on me, just understanding the need for certain things based on being on certain tours or playing at certain festivals requires a different perspective.

    How does that change the way you're approaching this weekend, specifically?

    With more people, it's easier at festivals, honestly. You know, they just want to come see music and have a good time, it's not really based on what they're expecting from you, or what they're actually expecting as far as the music. So it's kind of easier to get people to react to the music, but you still got to prepare the best set, because a lot of people might not know who you are.

    Does that make performing any of this material difficult?

    It's less about that and more about the production and the mix and pacing and stuff like that..

    Are you going to see anyone else perform at the festival?

    That depends on timing, because you know the festival -- I definitely want to see other people perform, because you learn a lot from watching other people's shows. That's definitely something I want to do.

    Anyone particular you want to catch?

    I know Chance is performing, so I want to see him.


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    a-wes-anderson-themed-art-show-is-coming-to-new-york-body-image-1436558536-640x800.jpgby Martine Johanna via Facebook

    It's not news that Wes Anderson's signature aesthetic is much admired and oft-imitated but what is news is that an art show featuring over 70 Anderson-inspired pieces is coming to the Joseph Gross Gallery in Chelsea from August 7th-9th for you (and the other 42k people attending on Facebook) to enjoy. Although this pop-up exhibition has been hosted at the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco for the past five years, this is the first time the Wes Andersonian works will be featured in New York. For a complete list of participating artists, go HERE.

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    James Corden has had some pretty funny carpool karaoke sessions with people like Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey, but last night he brought this recurring skit to the next level as he belted out with both Rod Stewart and A$AP Rocky. In the video, he first begins to bond with his fellow Brit by playing Stewart's cover of "The First Cut is the Deepest" then the two briefly discuss Stewart's past of wrecking hotels and "drinking and shagging" before Corden turns on A$AP's single (featuring Stewart) "Everyday." Watch as the three hilariously sing together and then Rod Stewarts makes a few moves on Corden.
     

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    LAVERNECOX_web.jpg

    Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox came under fire this week for her non-defense of Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg re: her critique of Kylie Jenner's cornrows following an appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live this past Sunday. Along with fellow guest Vogue Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley (who's also talked about fashion's lack of diversity), Cox was asked by host Andy Cohen to comment on white girls in cornrows, and both avoided answering -- leading many commentators to ask why two prominent black voices shied away from such a pertinent conversation.

    Cox took to Tumblr last night to elaborate on why she didn't leap to Stenberg's defense, explaining that the topic of cultural appropriation was obviously a complex issue that needed more than "the 10 seconds or less" she would have been given on Cohen's show. Cox says she was unfamiliar with Stenberg and didn't want to get in the middle of what she initially perceived to be an interpersonal celebrity feud, as she has "never been interested in interpersonal attacks, feuds or 'checking' individuals publicly."

    Cox, however, has since researched Stenberg's work and words, saying she was "very impressed" by her video below on cultural appropriation in relation to black hair and was particularly struck by Stenberg asking, "What would America be like if we loved black people as much as we love black culture?"



    It's an essential question that keeps popping up, as the culture of marginalized communities is commodified without accompanying change or activism. And by shedding important historical context, the experiences of the disadvantaged are typically rendered invisible -- a point that is hit home by Cox's post and Stenberg's work. After all, as Cox posits, "How do we lovingly make people aware of that history and the potential affects of cultural appropriation that further marginalize and stigmatize those already the most adversely affected by systems that disadvantage certain experiences, bodies and identities over others?"

    Perhaps the solution is for Bravo to run an hour-long appropriation special in the near future, you know, instead of another Real Housewives of [insert city here] three-part reunion.


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    MTMxNjE1MzMwMjc0NDI4OTM4.jpg
    photo via Chanel

    It's probably an understatement to say that Lily-Rose Depp has experienced a meteoric rise to fame over the past few months. After all, the 16-year-old has kind of set the Internet ablaze with her, um, mere presence, and as a result, the entire world has been waiting to see what's up next for the Girl with the Perfect Pedigree. And it looks like the answer is being the new face of Chanel eyewear, as evidenced by some newly-surfaced Karl Lagerfeld-shot photos and a short video teaser. Absolutely adorable in all her pearl-studded glory, those are definitely some Lily-Rose-colored glasses we'd like to have. Talk about good genes.



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    BFA_5363_617009.jpg
    photo by Owen Kolasinski / BFA

    Hope you're still full from lunch, because former Paper covergirl Kelis has more than a milkshake for you this time. That's right, she'll teach you (but she's has to charge) with an upcoming cookbook, aptly titled My Life On a Plate.

    After all, it's pretty well-known that food has always been Kelis's second love, an obsession that was taken to the next level with her last album Food, which featured an entire tracklist of songs named things like "Jerk Ribs,""Friday Fish Fry" and "Biscuits n' Gravy." Plus, as a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and the hostess of her very own Cooking Channel show, you know her grub is gonna be good. Pre-order the book here.

    My Life On a Plate is in stores September 7th.

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    Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at last night's ESPY awards and gave a powerful acceptance speech, touching on the bleak reality that despite increased visibility and acceptance, the trans community continue to be victims of hate crimes, bullying and suicide. "

    My plea for you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well," said Jenner. "How do we start? Start with education. Learn as much as you can about another person."

    After a 13-minute short film about her life narrated by Jon Hamm (who has been vocal about his distaste for the Kardashian empire in the past, interestingly), Jenner delivered the following speech to an audience that included her children, stepdaughters, mother and sister. Watch it all below.



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    2015-07-14-21-42-41-073.gifEmoji GIF Booth. Photo courtesy of Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool

    At the 1964 World's Fair in New York, the public experienced the first "picturephone" linking video with phone calls, saw the next level of robotics in Walt Disney's "It's a Small World" ride, and were able to ask a computer a question and get a response in seconds. Fifty years later and lightyears ahead in our technological predictions, a smaller, hipper and more artistic tech fair conducted by NEW INC, The New Museum's incubator for art, design and technology, has come to Red Bull Studios New York to show off a whole new type of future. At the interactive showcase open to the public until July 30th, the NEW INC's inaugural class have displayed collaborative projects that bring innovation, excitement and a sense of humor to the ever-expanding art and technology field, introducing a drawing robot instructed by Sol Lewitt (with its own Twitter handle), a fog maze, a rapping cotton candy machine, an addictive app that tests color perception, and of course, a GIF photobooth.

    DG_150714_RedBullStudios_NYC_0042.jpgThe drawing robot

    "They have found a common language and common identity that comes from a place of not fitting in," says Julia Kaganskiy, the director of NEW INC, of the incubator's collection of artists, designer and programmers. "When you're working across disciplines we are so used to these silos, and when you are someone who is interested in combining fields, people don't know what to do with you or talk about your work." Surrounded by the collaborative projects at the showcase, however, the blending of fields feels like a natural progression of both technology and art, with a refreshing sense of wonderment. Upon entering the space, guests are immediately invited to play. Weave through a hanging forest of shimmering fiber optic "sea urchins," a collaboration by NEW INC member's Lisa Park and Kevin Siwoff inspired by bioluminescent creatures, that change color with sound. Release synth beats by tapping on glowing Samsung cell phones, arranged in a spaceship type installation, to create a collaborative and interactive cell phone electro band, a project by Odd Division and Luisa Pereira originally created with Swedish band LIttle Dragon for a performance at The New Museum. Even the photo booth, a staple now at art and fashion parties, is interactive, with the ability to create and share photo GIFs with custom emojis and filters developed by Pablo Gnecco and Dan Moore.

    DG_150714_RedBullStudios_NYC_0040.jpgCotton Candy Theremin

    Many of the NEW INC members are involved in a variety of different collaborative projects throughout the space, using their particular specialties to create an eclectic body of work. "We curate the group thinking of it as an ecosystem," explains Kaganskiy on the incubator's selection process. "It's a very peer driven environment as opposed to a competitive environment." The artists seems genuinely excited to create together, like Philip Sierzega and Emilie Baltz whose desks face each other in NEW INC's office space, immediately bonding over their interest to create a multi-sensory interactive experience. Together they developed the Cotton Candy Theremin, a machine which, as a guest spins their own wisps of cotton candy, plays remixed candy-inspired rap lyrics, projects a digital animation of floating sunset colored sugar crystals, and creates the smells and environment of a county fair, but in space.

    Snowblind copy.jpgSnowblind

    NEW INC's collaborations range from interactive features, art and technology products available for purchase in the Gift Shop, as well immersive site specific installations, like Snowblind created by innovative architecture and design groups The Principals and Studio Studio. In the lower level patio that's usually filled with smokers during Red Bull's crowded event openings, the cigarette smoke has been replaced with a dense fog to create an ephemeral and transitory experience. Walking through the narrow room surrounded by tactile clouds that change hue with body movement, you feel as if you are in another world completely. This shapeshifting architecture, together with the many interactive apps, mechanics, and art projects in NEW INC's first showcase, are a not only charming and engrossing, but a truly realistic vision of the future.

    NEW INC End of Year Showcase will run until July 30th at Red Bull Studios, 220 West 18th  Street, New York.

    Photos courtesy of New Inc


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    alaina.jpeg
    In our new column, "The Coolest Person In the Room," we're asking our favorite nightlife pros (hosts, DJs, door people, promoters, bar/club owners, club kids, bartenders, socialites) to tell us about who they think is the one party person whose look is always on point, whose energy is contagious, and whose scene is worth checking out -- basically, that person at the club who they've got their eye on and think we all should know. In each installment, the previous "coolest person in the room" will pass the baton and nominate someone else. 

    Previously we featured DeSe and she's been kind enough to nominate our next 'Coolest Person in the Room,' Miss Laina Baby.

    Who is Miss Laina Baby? 

    ALAINA IS LITRESS WITH A BRAIN. SHE IS ABOUT TO GO TO MED SCHOOL IN THE FALL, BUT DURING HER UNDERGRAD SHE WAS ABLE TO TURN UP AND GET HER HOMEWORK DONE LOOKING WHILE EXTRA FLEEKY.

    Why do you love her? 

    SHE'S SMART AND SEXY. SHE'S VERY CHILL AND IS NOT OBNOXIOUS EVEN WHEN SHE TURNT DA FUCK UP.

    What makes her unique to nightlife? 

    SHE KEEPS IT EXTRA FLEEKY AND SEXY. WE FEEL LIKE BEING UNIQUE IN NIGHTLIFE IS ABOUT KEEPING IT SIMPLE AND SEXY AND KNOWING HOW TO DANCE. THERE'S A LOT OF KIDS OUT THERE IN CLOWN MAKE-UP...HAVING A NATURAL BEAT FACE IS SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT IN THE CLUB THESE DAYS. 

    When was the first time you met Laina? 

    I MET HER THROUGH HER OLD ROOMMATES. I FELT GOOD VIBES WHEN WE FIRST MET BECAUSE SHE REMINDED ME OF MY HIGH SCHOOL BEST FRIEND XTINA. 

    What is your favorite memory of this person? 

    THE BEST MEMORIES HAPPEN EVERYTIME SHE GETS TURNT UP IN THE CLUB. SHE BE ACTIN BRAND NEW IN A GOOD WAY AND ITS REALLY ENTERTAINING!

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    caitlyn-jenner-vanity-fair.jpgCaitlyn Jenner's latest ally: the automated iPhone personal assistant Siri, who now answers questions about "Bruce Jenner" using her correct name and responds to "What gender is Bruce Jenner?" with "The answer is female." See for yourself: Here's what happened when we asked, "How old is Bruce Jenner?"

    IMG_1058.PNGSiri is one intelligent piece of software indeed.



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    Having walked in countless shows for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Vivienne Westwood, campaigns for brands like Kenzo, Versace and Calvin Klein (where he appeared with his IRL girlfriend, model Jasmine Tookes), and editorials in V and Vogue, it's an understatement to say that Tobias Sorensen is an in-demand guy. So much so that's it's been a while since he's walked the runway for shows in his current homebase -- New York. With his return to the Big Apple to appear in NYFW: Men's, we had the chance to come along for the ride during a hectic day of shows.

    Tobias_8am.jpg8 AM

    Bursting out of his building behind two small dogs tugging at their leashes, Tobias runs over to me, apologetically explaining that he needed to take them out for a second and will be right back down. He is wearing black loafers, jeans, a tee, and a Yankees hat, and seems relatively calm considering the day ahead.

    He heads back in and reemerges a few minutes later, this time with no dogs (but the same outfit). A large black SUV sits in front of his building, engine running attentively. I walk towards it, but luckily, I notice Tobias step into the street and raise his hand to hail a cab before I open the door to a car that's clearly not for us.

    After several failed attempts to flag a cab down, Tobias takes out his phone to order an Uber. A white minivan appears in a few minutes and we speed downtown for the Michael Bastian show.

    Tobias_830am 1.jpg8:30 AM

    In the car, we talk about his summer routine (gym with his girlfriend, walking his dogs, and work), spending time at home in Denmark, and his newly- released campaign for Calvin Klein Eternity Now.

    "It's by far the most exciting experience I've had modeling-wise" he says of starring in the campaign alongside his Victoria's Secret angel girlfriend, Jasmine Tookes. The two have already appeared as a couple in shoots for Vogue and V, but this is their first campaign.

    "We both live in New York, and it's such an iconic American brand. It's something we can always look back at."

    Tobias_9am.jpg9 AM

    We pull up to Skylight Clarkson Sq, where we head around back and enter through the backstage area. After checking in, Tobias is ushered out onto the the runway with several other models for a walk through. "Stop and spin between these two columns!" a woman wearing a headset instructs, motioning a twirl with the pen in her hand.

    Later, in the hair and makeup room, Tobias is instructed to take a bottle of shampoo to the bathroom and wash his hair. He returns, chats with the hair stylist who is ferociously spritzing and straightening his hair, then disappears to change before the show.

    Tobias_1130am.jpg11:30 AM

    The show has just ended but Tobias is already late for backstage at the next one, Asaf Ganot, where he will open. "I'm supposed to be there at 11" he smiles. We push our way through the swarms of models and reporters after he says his goodbyes.

    Hoodie up, Tobias leads the way through the rain towards our Uber, which has mistakenly arrived a block away. Inside the car, he makes a few calls in Danish, then tries Jasmine, who does not pick up, so he sends her a text instead.

    Tobias_12PM.JPG12 PM

    We arrive inside the cavernous, dimly-lit, ArtBeam gallery. "Tobias!" A woman with a clipboard smiles excitedly, emerging from the dark. We follow her past the runway and into the backstage area, equally as spacious, but bright and humming with activity.

    He smiles and says hello to familiar faces, and then, once again, is sent to the bathroom to wash his hair.

    About an hour later, walkthroughs are over, hair and makeup is finished, and it's time to change before the show. "You've gotta walk out there either way," he smiles. He's not nervous about opening, and with almost a decade of runway experience, he shouldn't be.

    Tobias_230pm.jpgTobias snaps a picture with friend and model Anderson Noel and his brother Stanley

    2:30 PM

    The show has just ended, and press, stylists, and designers alike cheer and clap backstage, looking up at the live feed of the audience applauding and rushing to get a closer look at the models, now lined up along the runway.

    Someone signals to bring the models back in, and Tobias reenters with the others as people pour into the backstage area. We shake hands and he thanks me in his soft Danish accent before snapping a picture with friends. Our six hours together are over, and it's time for him to head off to another show.


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    After penning a breakout song ("Stay With Me"), writing the new James Bond theme and winning four Grammy awards, Sam Smith has landed a new fashion campaign with Balenciaga. The singer recently posted a video on his Instagram with the caption "So honoured and ecstatic to announce my collaboration with @balenciaga on the upcoming FW15 Menswear campaign!!!! #Balenciaga." The 15-second preview. below. shows Smith's silhouette emerging from shadows in a mysterious black and white haze. Keep an eye out for more images from the campaign in coming weeks.


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