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    Liza and PAPER? We go together like Halston and sequins! The indomitable queen of show biz (recipient, lest we forget, of Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards), graced the cover of our November 1989 issue and sang "New York, New York" at our 25th-anniversary party. She's given performances as vivid and varied as the heart-rending Sally Bowles in Cabaret and the wobbly Lucille "2" Austero in Arrested Development, and Minnelli is nowhere near slowing down: she'll perform at Mississippi's IP Casino Resort & Spa this month and will bring her new show, Great Day, to two venues in Oklahoma this November. Meanwhile, since she's put so many smiles on our faces, we thought we'd ask what puts a smile on hers.

    Liza.jpg 1. Rehearsing Great Day with my great friends Billy Stritch, Jim Caruso and Cortes Alexander. It's great to work with people I've known so long.

    2. Thinking of the greatest gift my parents ever gave me: my godmother, Kay Thompson. She was the inspiration for Liza's at the Palace...

    3. Monaco in the spring.

    4. Anything dulce de leche.

    5. Meet Me in St. Louis, where it all began. It's lovely being able to see when my father fell in love with my mother.

    6. My puppies Emelina, Blaize and Oscar.

    7. Thinking of Halston and what he left me. I miss him every day.

    8. Hanging out in my pajamas, watching TCM. They show the very best of Hollywood. And Robert Osborne knows everything.

    9. Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Lady Gaga.

    10. Knowing that the best is yet to come!

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    HoC.jpgIt's the most wonderful day of the year -- Emmy nominations! "Finally," a nation of TV addicts says to itself, "a day just for me, just for me to complain about other people not liking the same TV shows that I like." Every year, lots of people attempt to create stories explaining what, exactly, is happening with the award shows that they also resolutely claim not to care about. Here is one such narrative: The Emmys have kind of, sort of discovered the internet and, like any good white, male television antihero that critics resignedly pay attention to, are now at war with themselves.

    Many of the nominees are online favorites who have been riding waves of critical goodwill for years, existing as scrappy underdogs who would probably never get nominated by the stuffy old Emmys. Recent difficulties aside, Amy Schumer's critically-acclaimed comedy is particularly suited to a time when all of her sketches are essentially written about as separate pieces every day. The accumulated tweets bemoaning the fact that Tatiana Maslany would never be nominated for her many-faced performance in Orphan Black could power a small star.

    And this year, it seemed like the voters took note -- a lot of the nominations read like redress for a laundry list of things the internet has been complaining about for years. Maslany, of course, but also Schumer, the inclusion of Queen Taraji in the overall excellent Best Actress in a Drama category, and the fact that The Big Bang Theory is finally gone (with the exception of Mayim Bialik), ending its reign of terror along with Jim Parsons. (Bazinga!)

    It is easy to imagine a middle-aged white man leaving the Emmys committee voting room, brushing some human remainsoff of his suit after killing a dude who wasn't necessarily evil, but just kind of had to die because these things happen in his line of work. He's coolly smoking a cigarette, then looking out to the camera. "I always wanted to be a good person," he says, "which is why I'm here to nominate Taraji P. Henson for an Emmy." He bangs his hands on a desk for no reason. (This man is also Frank Underwood from House of Cards, a show that has been nominated for many, many Emmys.)

    But, as always, some of the choices are truly baffling, at least until you remember who is doing most of the voting -- the white men who run the industry. In particular, Homeland's nomination for Best Drama and Liev Schreiber's for Best Actor, which suggests that Showtime president David Nivens has some kind of weird blackmail tape on half the voters. Also, Jeff Daniels was nominated for The Newsroom, because that was a show that was on the air last year.

    The man winks. "I try to be good, but sometimes men just have to do what they have to do. And sometimes that means being bad. You know?" He smiles, winningly, knowing that his inexplicable charisma means that, even though you will be infuriated with him for choosing not to nominate Jane the Virgin for anything other than the show's narrator, you will still come back to watch the ceremony, year after year. If Tatiana can get nominated, why not Gina? He knows that basically not nominating The Americans or Hannibal for anything only makes you love those shows more, and only makes you more grateful for the scraps thrown to them by the Academy, like The Americans' writing nod this year.

    This feels like it's been the narrative of the Emmys for the past few years -- as long-standing shows slowly broke in to the nomination pool, and stayed there. It's possible, even likely, that this is because awards shows are always lagging behind critics in their understanding of what's "cool" and "good" at the moment. But it's also indicative of the breadth of tastes that make up "the internet." (For example -- people alternately cheering and jeering Schumer's nomination.) If the Emmys keeps trying to please everyone, they'll likely end up doing what they always do -- pleasing exactly no one.

    2015 Major Emmy nominees (full list here):

    Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama:
    • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
    • Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards
    • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
    • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
    • Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
    • Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovan

    Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama:
    • Claire Danes, Homeland
    • Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
    • Taraji P. Henson, Empire
    • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
    • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
    • Robin Wright, House of Cards
    Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama:
    • Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
    • Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
    • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
    • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
    • Michael Kelly, House of Cards
    • Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
    Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama:
    • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
    • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
    • Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
    • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
    • Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
    • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

    Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy: 
    • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
    • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
    • Louis C.K., Louie
    • William H. Macy, Shameless
    • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
    • Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
    • Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
    Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy:
    • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
    • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
    • Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
    • Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
    • Lily Tomlin, Grace And Frankie
    Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy:
    • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    • Adam Driver, Girls
    • Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele
    • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
    • Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • Tony Hale, Veep
    Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy:
    • Niecy Nash, Getting On
    • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
    • Allison Janney, Mom
    • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
    • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
    • Gaby Hoffman, Transparent
    • Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • Anna Chlumsky, Veep
    Outstanding Drama:
    • Downton Abbey
    • Game of Thrones
    • Mad Men
    • House of Cards
    • Orange is the New Black
    • Homeland
    • Better Call Saul
    Outstanding Comedy:
    • Louie
    • Modern Family
    • Parks and Recreation
    • Silicon Valley
    • Transparent
    • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • Veep

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    Yesterday, Paper Beautiful Person and Gyspy Sport Designer, Rio Uribe, transported us to a post-apocalyptic world of men's athleisure at his NYFW: Men's show. With a mix of materials that spanned everything from basketball net rope and puka shells to mesh and raw denim, the basketball and football uniforms, safari gear, '90s ravers and more. It's by far the most original show we've seen so far at NYFW: Men's as these photos by Rebecca Smeyne can attest. Take a look, below.

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    PSH2.jpgDoes anyone really want to read recaps of music performances they didn't get to go to? We thought not. That's why this year, we decided to do our Pitchfork Festival coverage a little differently: a weekend-long scavenger hunt.

    Think of it as a loving homage to everything great and terrible abut music festivals -- uncomfortable streetstyle gallery, public roast, and Where's Waldo? -- all brought to you by Paper staffers Eric Thurm and Sandra Song. Each day we'll be on the lookout for Chicago's best, weirdest, and cringe-worthiest, from white people saying "fam" to gratuitous headwear (baby headphones included).

    Eric and Sandra will be directly competing against each other, but you can use the #P4KScavHunt hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to join in, too -- the reader with the most points at the end of the weekend wins the office copy of Big Freedia's memoir. Here's the list of items we came up with:

    • gratuitous headwear (2 points for flower crowns, 3 points for baby headphones, 7 points for appropriative headdresses)
    • celebrity sightings (2 points)
    • teens vaping (1 point per Blu-style vape, 3 points per massive cyberpunk vape) 
    • person throwing up before 5 p.m. (5 points)
    • being given a mixtape (2 points)
    • white people saying "fam" (1 point per white person)
    • someone saying "Chiraq" in earnest (1 point for us, -1000 points for humanity)
    • dad with kids at Wilco's set (1 point per dad, 2 points per audible dad joke)
    • visible cans of QT (3 points)
    • overheard conversation attempting to explain PC Music (2 points)
    • overalls at Chance the Rapper (1 point)
    We thought we might have forgotten a few things, so we got some suggestions from artists performing at Pitchfork Fest -- we'll try to do y'all proud. Here's their list:

    • Clark: "[Find the] most inhibited English producer who secretly just wants to be making his own music in his hotel room." (1 point, we see you trying to get us to go to your set Clark)
    • Mourn: "When we were at Best Kept Secret Festival we saw a guy carrying and showing a picture of Jesus... maybe it would be cool to find someone who had a weird picture as well." (5 points to the person with the weirdest photo at the end of the weekend)
    • The Julie Ruin's Kathi Wilcox: "Best homemade band shirt or tote. Fan art is always cool. Or anyone carrying a book. It has to be an actual book though, magazines don't count." (1 point per book)
    • Ex Hex: "I double dare you to wear this helmet that my boyfriend made out of Beanie babies (it covers your whole head and face) and crowd surf, or dance on stage." (10 points because you probably won't do it)
    • Vince Staples: "Take a white hippie woman's flip-flops. They have to get and photograph themselves with a pair of hippie flip-flops." (20 points, with the caveat that we definitely are not encouraging stealing someone's property, wink-wink, etc.)
    And there you have it! We'll be tweeting our findings using #P4KScavHunt -- if you're at the festival, join in and see if you can beat us in discovering

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    Summer can be a tough season for cinephiles buy for filmgoers who want something more substantial than foul-mouthed bears and rampaging dinos, here are 5 essential foreign movies you've got to watch -- many of which you'll find playing in NYC.

    The Princess of France copy.jpgPrincess of France (Argentina)
    In his third film inspired by Shakespeare's comedies, Argentine director Matías Piñeiro offers a stylish meditation on art, performance, and love. This story of a group of Buenos Aires actors preparing a radio production of Love's Labour's Lost is less invested in character and plot than the intricate social dance of the characters, and the graceful camerawork that captures it all. With echoes of Rivette, this exquisite gem of a film uses music, theater, literature, and painting to celebrate the unique sensual pleasures of cinema.

    eden_3.jpgEden (France)
    French director Mia Hansen-Love's film follows Paul (Félix de Givry), a DJ based in part on her brother and co-screenwriter Sven Hasen-Love, through two decades in the French electronic dance music scene. Tracing Paul's career from the excitement of the hedonistic '90s to his later struggles, the film depicts the challenges and the melancholy of the artist's life in Hansen-Love's signature subtle, perceptive style. Look out for Greta Gerwig as one of Paul's girlfriends.
    Now playing at IFC Center

    Mala Mala.jpgMala Mala (Puerto Rico)
    Hot on the heels of Transparent, the popularity of Laverne Cox, media coverage of Caitlyn Jenner's transition, and the Sundance hit Tangerine, Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini's Mala Mala further enriches the cultural conversation about the lived experiences of transgender people. The documentary dives into Puerto Rican trans culture, and follows an eclectic cast of characters, including business owners, activists, and sex workers, resulting in a compelling reflection on community and personal identity.

    The Tribe copy.jpgThe Tribe (Ukraine)
    Preceded by reports of brutality so intense that audience members have fainted during screenings, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's wordless The Tribe immerses viewers in the world of an Ukrainian school for the deaf, following new student Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko) as he navigates the school's gang-dominated social system. With a cast of non-professional teen actors, this audacious feature debut is not merely an assault on audiences' nerves, but a bold example of purely cinematic visual storytelling.   
    Now playing at Cinema Village

    Horse Money  copy.jpgHorse Money (Portugal)
    In Horse Money, master filmmaker Pedro Costa continues his twenty-year cinematic exploration of the Lisbon slum Fontainhas. While shorter than Costa's previous film, the critically lauded Colossal Youth, Horse Money remains defiantly anti-commercial, with non-professional actors, no conventional screenplay, shadowy cinematography, and a dream-like style. Though Costa works with a small budget and crew, his intellectually and aesthetically challenging works have established him as one of the towering figures of contemporary cinema.  
    Opens July 24 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

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    Earlier this month we got the full trailer for the upcoming Netflix prequel to camp classicWet Hot American Summer, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and today we meet the camp counselors via a new grainy VHS-style staff orientation video. The whole gang is back, from Amy Poehler as rage-filled talent show director Susie to Paul Rudd as bad boy Andy, a smoldering enemy of cafeteria dinnerwear. We've also got some new faces in the mix. This includes Jason Schwartzman as Greg, boy's head counselor and gloriously stilted self-proclaimed "good guy." July 31st can't come soon enough.

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    Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.55.17 PM.pngKylie and Kendall Jenner

    Today Balmain unveiled its Fall 2015 campaign shot by Mario Sorrenti and it's a high-fashion, ultra-luxurious celebration of sibling love. Or rivalry. Or both. Kylie Jenner is pinning down her sister Kendall. Bella Hadid holds down Gigi while doing her lipstick. Joan Smalls shows her sister Erika how to pose. So brothers don't feel left out, Armando and Fernando Cabral recreate the classic Pietá pose. Each duo are decked out in the sparkliest of Balmain disco finery and photographed in an old church. It's enough to make you call up your brother to plan coordinated looks for up in the club this weekend.
    Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.55.31 PM.pngBella and Gigi Hadid

    Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.55.43 PM.png
    Joan and Erika Smalls

    Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.55.57 PM.png
    Armando and Fernando Cabral

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    Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Amazon's launch, and just to make everyone feel like it's time to apply for their AARP card here's what the site looked like shortly after its debut on July 15, 1995:

    originalamazonhomepage.jpgPhoto via Business Insider

    That's a lot of grey.

    We wondered what other sites' early interfaces were either absent from our memories or overridden by later versions, so we dug up these gems. Unless you're an impressively early adopter with a photographic memory, these sites' first editions will make you feel roughly 1.5 million years old.

    Google (1997)

    Photo via Wikipedia

    Google just could not even when it registered its domain name in 1997 and put four exclamation points on its homepage to prove it.


    itunes1-640x374.jpgImage via ars technica

    Apple purchased SoundJam MP from Casady & Greene in 2000 and converted it into iTunes 1.0, which looks surprisingly similar to today's rendition considering the drastic changes other interfaces have undergone -- except for the part where people uploaded White Stripes songs onto their iPods.

    Friendster (2002)

    Screenshot 2015-07-16 16.41.21.png

    Image via CBS

    For those too young to recall, Friendster was a sort of Myspace meets OKCupid that never gained steam after the early aughts, calling it quits last month after a brief stint as a social gaming site. But its pastel borders will be forever memorialized in the hallowed halls of Google Images.

    Facebook (2004)

    remember-when-facebook-was-called-thefacebook-it-started-at-harvard-and-slowly-opened-up-to-other-colleges.jpgPhoto via Business Insider

    Though "Thefacebook" sounds about just as natural as "the Iraq," that was the site's name when it was first released "for popular consumption at Harvard University."

    Twitter (2006)

    originaltwitter.jpgPhoto via readwrite

    Apparently, the original Twitter logo looked like leaves collecting dew and had the "e" dropped Grindr-style. "What up?" in 1990s-tagger font belie its 2006 launch.

    Tumblr (2007)

    Photo via One MonthRails

    In February 2007, Tumblr founder David Karp tried to make the word "tumblelog" happen. That didn't work out too well for him, but people were so pleased with the platform's early dashboard that there's now an extension to bring it back. I mean, look at that flower!

    Instagram (2010)

    Compared to the other sites on this list, Instagram is as young as the little puppy pictured in this tutorial from its launch year of 2010, which displays a similar interface to the current one -- aside from that cool retro camera in the old logo.

    Here's to feeling like dinosaurs when Instagram celebrates its 20th anniversary, after it gets rid of the camera logo altogether because nobody will remember what a camera even is.

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    gracejonesilentfilm.jpgGrace Jones, Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins are all stars of an upcoming movie directed by  Swedish artist Bjorn Tagemose that sounds like a Rudolph Valentino movie shot at the Roxy and put through Google DeepDream.

    Titled Gutterdämmerungand billed as "the loudest silent movie on earth,'the film will be scored by a live rock band. It stars Iggy Pop as a punk angel who, after God banishes rock 'n' roll and all of its subsequent sex, drugs and fun from the world, returns the devil's evil guitar to earth. Chaos ensues, with Rollins playing a puritanical preacher and Jones as a goddess sent to keep the testosterone of the wild-eyed rock-loving masses in check.

    Jones, Rollins and Pop elaborate on the film more in the video below, as does their co-star, Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal, who, of the four, offers possibly the most trenchant (and RAWK) description of the film:
    "It's not a rockumentary, it's not fucking Spinal Tap, it's the real fucking deal. And it's the craziest fucking story you'll ever fucking see in the theater."

    What? Exactly. More stars, and a release date, will be announced down the line.

    [Via Pitchfork]

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    Following up last week's ridiculously brief release of new footage from the upcoming return of X-Files, Fox is back with another impenetrable teaser from the new season. Here, we see what appears to be a downed UFO, a cameo by the "I Want to Believe" poster and Mulder and Scully creeping along with their guns and flashlights drawn. It's A-game millennial torture.

    X-Files returns in January, by which time you'll be a drooling mess, rocking in the corner, chain-smoking Morleys.

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    To kick off the their debut album, Psychic Reader, which comes out today via Afternoon Records, Minneapolis-based indie rock trio Bad Bad Hats just released their video for the album's opening track, "Midway." In the trippy video, the group plays in darkness while their figures are distorted through a kaleidoscopic filter and lead singer Kerry Alexander gazes into the camera, her face stained with mascara-run tears. The track's meshing of dreamy synth beats, distorted guitar, and Alexander's serene croon bouncing over hand claps make it the perfect, dreamy-pop summer soundtrack. This is the kind of music to listen to on a roof, under the sun with a fizzy drink. Make it a Bad Bad Hats summer and then catch them on tour with Mynabirds at Rough Trade in Brooklyn on September 25.

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    Do you hear that? That's silence. It happens every Thursday through Sunday between the months of June and September. The yearly ritual of wealthy New Yorkers summering out in the Hamptons is in full force, leaving a void in the Thursday night art opening scene. Turns out, all the art has moved with the 1% out to Long Island.

    artcrawlhamptons3.jpgHayal Pozanti at Halsey Mckay

    All located on the main drag of downtown East Hampton, Harper's Books, Halsey Mckay, and Eric Firestone galleries have each brought bright and dynamic shows to the ritzy vacation town. At Halsey Mckay, the colorful graphic patterns of Elise Ferguson radiate through the front window, pulling in the passerby on a night of show openings and parties. Ferguson's works are based on mathematical equations, painted intricately onto rough plaster, juxtaposing each precise pattern with a level of disorder. Upstairs the vibrant colors and shapes continue with Hayal Pozanti's Scrambler, a collection of sculptures and paintings that translate data about our social media use into a tactile, analog form, using the artist's own personal alphabet. One sculpture showed the physicalization of the statistic that "40% of all text posted to Instagram contains at least one emoji in the photo caption." We all took an art selfie and discussed, which emoji best represented the Hamptons (martini glass/ sailboat).

    artcrawlhamptons1.jpgEddie Martinez at Harper's Books

    Next door at Harper's Books, a shop and gallery specializing in rare art books, there was an opening and VIP dinner to celebrate a group show of works on paper described as "a game of tag between artists." Eddie Martinez, Katherine Bernhardt, Joe Bradley and more showed rough sketches and paintings you might expect to be doodled on a napkin at a diner, or given to you intimately by a friend.

    artcrawlhamptons2.jpgShe Sells Sea Shells at Eric Firestone gallery

    Down the street, there was no question where the inspiration for Eric Firestone Gallery's group show, She Sells Sea Shells, came from: the sand on the floor says it all. With a star-studded line-up of artists like Eric Yahnker, Sam Friedman, Kenny Scharf, Jen Stark, Agathe and Max Snow, Andrew Kuo and many more, the beachy show featured a range of materials and mediums, each work bringing a light-heartedness and sense of humor to the space. Many of the artists were in attendance as well as art world gentility like Nate Lowman, Kathy Grayson and Kathy Grayson's dog. If the air wasn't so easy to inhale and the rosé not so consistently flowing, we would of thought we were back at a downtown gallery. But then again, most New York City galleries don't have their after party on a beach with bonfires, free crab rolls and access to unlimited napping spots in the sand. As great as that was, we realized that after an overloaded weekend of art, sun and back pain, a vacant city might actually be the best vacation.

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    Amidst all the cutesy Snapchat geotags and well-lit Insta selfies comes Beme: a simple and unique social media app. Well, it's actually not unique at all...and that's the point.

    YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat co-created Beme (pronounced beam) to foster a more genuine sharing environment. Instead of uploading edited videos to Vine or slapping a filter on a Snap story, on Beme you can only record 4-second clips in real-time. Also, you record by holding your iPhone to your chest, and the censor at the top of your phone captures and automatically sends the video to your friends. There's no "liking" feature either -- if you want to react to a friend's clip you can send them back a selfie while you're watching.

    Though some kinks have to be worked out, Beme is a refreshing return to basics that we so desperately need. Watch Neistat demonstrate the app below:

    [Via The New York Times]

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    This week Jeff Rüdes invited his most fashionable friends to the opening of his first boutique in Soho. Rüdes, who was previously the founder/owner of J Brand jeans, has turned his sartorial eye to menswear and the party also served as a preview of the Spring 2016 collection whose look is sharp, tailored and expensive. The revelers included Amar'e Stoudmire, Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor, Nick Wooster and Jim Moore. Check out photos from the night, below.

    Amar'e Stoudemire

    Jeffrey Rüdes (center) flanked by models

    Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor

    Brendan Monaghan and Mark Lloyd

    Nick Wooster

    PAPER's Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits sandwich Jeff Rüdes

    Lauren Joseph and Eric Rutherford

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    Vince Staples' explosive debut, Summertime '06, might allude to a pivotal season in his life but by any measure, Summertime '15 is shaping up to be a damn good couple of months for the buzzy rapper. On the heels of his well-received record release, Staples gives us the video for album track, "Norf Norf," which sees him staring into the camera and rapping from the back of a squad car, central booking, a table (where a cop has him pinned down) and, ultimately, behind bars. Set to psychedelic beats and languid drum snares, Staples raps lines like "I ain't never ran from nothin' but the police" while maintaining a sense of confidence and dignity while he journeys through the U.S. correctional system. Give the clip a watch, above.

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    T&EZT-plane-8.jpgI went into this interview with the understanding that Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim would be discussing their new book, Tim and Eric's Zone Theory, "in character." The book is their take on self-help, with all the lo-fi scatological nightmarishness that fans of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and their countless other shows, music videos and ads would expect, so I hoped to find them standing in the middle of a conference room in pristine white collarless suits and piercing contact lenses. More than that, I wanted them to sit me down, tell me what was wrong with my life, lay hands on me. I've spent enough hours being hypnotized by their work -- the dissonant dreams of childhood rendered in middle-of-the-night public access programming -- that some part of me actually thought they could help me.

    When I met them, in the second-floor lobby of Hotel on Rivington, they were seated in a corner in comfortable clothes, unnoticed by the half-dozen others milling around. They spoke at library levels, even while defending the book's no-women slant and railing against what, as I understand it, they deplore the most: the world's glut of "dumbs,""dodos,""the dimwitted" and "dumdums." When our half hour was up, I'm not sure I felt any better. But we did talk a lot about God, diarrhea and the tragic legacy of Eric's high-school job at Subway, when the Zone Theory was far in the future and and he was a simple "shit subhuman trash boy."

    I am very glad to talk to you guys about this, because I am a huge fan of your shows, and also I feel like my zone isn't that toned.

    Eric: We're here for you.

    My first thought was, like, comedy is the greatest therapy...

    Tim: Laughter is the best medicine, is the expression.

    Anyway, this book is a different direction: healing, self-help, I don't know how you define this. Do you think this has more power to help people than your shows?

    Tim: By a factor of a thousand.

    Eric: Laughter is a one-dimensional thing, and it's a temporary fix. You chuckle, and then you're back to your dull, horrible, unsuccessful, unhealthy life. This is a system of seven zones. You reach Plane 8, which is a much more elevated state of being and consciousness. So that's why I would say it's a much more profound, powerful healing device. 

    Tim: We don't live in ivory towers; we have to communicate and deal with human beings all the time, so we thought what better way to make my experience with, say, the dude working at the Burger King I go to for breakfast every morning... Why not make his life better, so that when I'm dealing with him, I'm not screaming at him: "I said a ham and cheese croissan'wich, not a bacon and cheese croissan'wich, and I shouldn't have to specify egg." So...

    Eric: It's the same order every morning.

    Tim: It's the same dude.

    Eric: The problem is I have to hear about this. He goes through this experience, same guy, and the next hour is just Tim complaining about it. So we can change that burger man's life...

    Tim: "Oh sorry, it's eleven o'clock. We're not doing breakfast anymore." Fuck you. I see the goddamn Croissan'wich sitting there. Are you just gonna throw it out?

    But this is a change that starts with you, with your attitude to him.

    Tim: No. I'm in the right on this issue, so I see clearly. I, as a Zone Plane 8-er, I can see 10 steps ahead. So if life is a chess match, I'm basically saying checkmate from the beginning of the game. From scratch. So I see the croissan'wich there. I see it.

    Eric: Literally. 

    Tim: It's not metaphorical; it's literally there. So if I can encourage the guy at Burger King to work harder to do a better job and take personal responsibility, whether it's 11:05 or whenever they're cutting off breakfast... If he becomes a Zone Planer, then he'll become more responsible as an employee, and then my relationship with him will be easier. I don't think there's anything more clear about that than what I just said. 

    Eric: There's nothing more to say about that.

    What about when you were in the position of the Burger King guy, before you were Zone anything? When was that?

    Eric: We were lost until we met Ba'hee Natarumu Priss Dimmie.


    Eric: Zone Theory is based on his teachings. So we were kind of lost. We had some success with TV and film, but it wasn't until we started talking to Turkeyman and he kind of gave us all the knowledge. That's when we changed. We went through all those seven zones.

    Is this while you were making the show?

    Tim: It was after the show. We had a dark period, we were just basically lost saying, "What do we do now?" We've achieved everything we've ever dreamt of. The dreamboard that we have, you know, you have... movie: check. TV show: check. TV show: check. TV show: check. Web series: check. Live tours, recorded albums: check, check, check. Book.

    Eric: When you're in Hollywood and you've done everything, you turn to narcotics. You turn to prostitution. And I lived many years in that life, until Ba'hee came in and really helped us get back on track. We're giving back; this is what we're doing. We've been helped, we've been saved. We're Zone Plane 8.

    I'm confused because it sounds like the book was also an impulse to check off all those things.

    Tim: It was a little bit of that, too. 

    Eric: There was a lot of confusion.

    Tim: I don't want to use the word "scam." I said, "What if we had a scheme to create a product that we've dreamed of creating that doesn't exist yet and it satisfies that check that we've been desiring?"

    Eric: We don't want to say the word "cult," but we can say "club." 

    Tim: There is a market for this. They don't give the Bible away, you know. You gotta go into your Walden Books and buy it.

    T&EZT-opening-spread.jpgAm image from Tim and Eric's Zone Theory.

    You mentioned drugs. Certainly, you're going to be getting a lot of comparisons to Scientology. Scientologists are very anti-psychiatry and medication. Where do you guys stand on that?

    Tim: Well, we don't encourage it. When you do the Zone Theory fast, of course, you're gonna cut out alcohol, you're gonna cut out drugs. And we hope that inspires you to move beyond that. But people get hung up on the idea of what you consume. We say, do what you want to do, but listen to your diarrhea. So if you're diarrhea tells you "This isn't working for me, doing cocaine every weekend is causing the body stress," listen to diarrhea because it's a wise messenger of information about what's happening inside your body.

    And to be clear, we're not talking about eliminating diarrhea. 

    Tim: No, no no. We've found through our research that moderate diarrhea is very healthy, and when you incorporate the Zone Theory Diet into your life, you will find yourself having moderate to severe diarrhea throughout the week. 

    Eric: And when Tim's talking about "listen to what your diarrhea has to say," he's not talking in general terms. He's talking in specifics. We sell a Diarrhea Dipstick that is a diarrhea reader.

    So just... a diarr-reader.

    Tim: That might've been a better title for it. But it's open-source technology, so if somebody wants to come out with a competing product that works better, we welcome that. But the point is Zone Theory is not about telling you what not to do; it's about connecting in and finding out what you should be doing. 

    Eric: And in terms of prostitution and sex, if you do the Zone Theory, you're gonna be bottling and storing a lot of your Probo [semen] on a daily basis, so you will be exhausted and depleted. You will not want to hit the streets and look for that trash.

    Tim: These things sort themselves out on their own.

    Diarrhea is a very consistent theme throughout your work. There's D-Pants. Dr. Steve Brule has talked a lot about his loose movements, and of course there's Shrim in the movie. Why is this such a central part of your ethos?

    Tim: Well, we produce a lot of content.


    Tim: Content. And from the beginning of Awesome Show at least, we always tried to include a nod in there to our favorite brown liquid. So while we've yet to make a film where the entire premise is based on diarrhea or an entire book called Diarrhea: The Book, it does become a thing that ends up in our work, because the word is funny to say and it's an experience that everyone has. We all have it. Not all the time, thank God. But it's one of life's... It's one of the worst things in life.

    Switching gears...You talk about God in your FAQ and how God is compatible with this. What is your relationship with God?

    Tim: I'm watching him right now on these TV screens. There he is. I don't think there's a big difference between God and that dude there. It's basically him, down here on Earth. No relationship with God. At all.

    Eric: Same thing. None. 

    Tim: No interest in the subject. It's for the dim-witted.

    But it's OK for Zone climbers...

    Tim: Yeah, yeah. We're not exclusionary. If that gets you through the day, you know, all the best to you. 

    But if you have someone who's entering the Zone Program, what if you're scared of hell?

    Tim: What about it?

    Can you help with that?

    Tim: I would encourage them to embrace Zone Theory and you'll realize that you're scared of the wrong things.

    Eric: There's a lot more real-life stuff you gotta battle with. That's what we kind of focus on. The hocus-pocus is for the Burger King guy, really. On one of the first pages, it describes the person that needs this book. And you'll find that if you are a religious freak, you will need to change your life for this.

    It's like a pre-Zone-Tone...

    Tim: We're getting this book out and the next book is gonna be Zone Theory for Women, and then the book after that is gonna be called Prepping for Zone Theory: Pre-Zone Process. And that's really designed for the low, low, lowest common denominator. Dodos who are not ready for this. I envision it being more of just a pamphlet, designed not for children but for men and women who have the mind of a child. Dumdums.

    We have to go there with the no women thing. There are a lot of people in my office who were thrilled when they heard about this book, and then we heard from your PR, "Sorry [PAPER senior editor] Elizabeth, but you can't be a part of this interview."

    Tim: I don't know why she was excluded from being a part of the interview. I mean, the book is written and designed to work for men. Nothing against women. If a woman put out a book on the proper usage of tampons, for example, that wouldn't be designed for men. We encourage women to purchase the book, and we recommend they purchase the book, own the book. But reading it is excluded and will not be...

    Eric: Tolerated.

    So they would buy it and...

    Tim: They can give it as a gift. They could keep it sealed. They can get it signed by us. They can display it. I mean, obviously it's a free country. They can read it but it's not recommended. It could be very damaging to their health. 

    Eric: And our message to the press is: There will be Tim and Eric's Zone Theory for Women

    And it won't just be "How to be a Zone Wife."

    Tim: No no no. It'll be a full comprehensive system for them to achieve perfect happiness.

    timericzonetheory2.jpgWhat change do you want to see in the world as a result of this book?

    Eric: The big thing is, Tim and I want to take some of these dumbs and just elevate them to regular humans -- like functional happy, healthy humans. There's a lot of scum out there, a lot of trash that we deal with on a day-to-day basis. It'll be nice to elevate humanity, really. That's the big picture with this book: get it out there, print as many as the Bible. Have this be in your hotel nightstand. Here's another option.

    Tim: I want to be able to go to Burger King in the morning and not have a hassle. I want to go to Subway for lunch and not have the same guy ask, every day, "Whole wheat?" Yeah. Yes. Still whole wheat. Like it was yesterday. Tuna. No mayo. Provolone. 

    Eric: People are programmed to obey. I was a Subway employee once, and that's what you do. It taught me a lot about dealing with people. One of my first jobs. I got it because the manager -- we called her the Raven -- she was like the cute goth girl in my high school when I was a freshman, and I did that job just so I could be around the Raven. She commended me on my mopping skills. It was a pretty powerful experience.

    Did anything ever...

    Eric: No. I thought there may have been a chance, but I was just a shit subhuman trash boy.

    Tim: She committed suicide four years ago, before we had the chance to publish Zone Theory for Women.

    Eric: And I asked Tim, "Could you just not support Subway? Do you have to eat there every day and I have to see the wrappers? It reminds me of the death of Raven." And he said, "No."

    Tim: Well, here's the deal: Quiznos is garbage. Jersey Mike's is fine, but the price points don't make sense. So I'm still getting a better deal at Subway than I would anywhere else. So. Where's that math take you? Follow the numbers.

    Eric: Yeah, it's just a simple request. It just hurts to see that.

    Tim: Well, don't look. Close your eyes. 

    Tim, you mentioned that you have doubts about your own thing that you've created. 

    Tim: I did?

    There's a whole page on it. I believe the page ends, "It is shit."

    Tim: Oh yes, yes...Well, I think it's fair to say that there was not good spot-checking done on the book before it went to press. You know, I'll be honest, we didn't read a lot of the book.

    Eric: Here's the weak thing about the book. You know, page 11 [reads]: "About the Author. Tim is a weight-lifter, poet, artist, musician, writer." Third paragraph, "Tim is a weight-lifter, dancer, chef, and minister." We did say "weight-lifter" twice in there.

    I wondered if that was just for emphasis or...

    Eric: Not sure.

    Tim: I think that was a creative choice.

    So it sounds like this was not something you guys... Did you sit down together and devote months and years of life to every page of this?

    Tim: No, no. There's a very fine gentleman who we set up in an office in the Valley with a computer. Which was annoying because we'd drive out there, but the rent was too good for the space where the office is. And we'd visit with him and he would let us know where he was at. 

    Him being...

    Tim: The typist of the book. He typed the ideas and the concepts that we would begin to provide. So as the book progressed, we'd spend less and less time there because of the distance.

    And he kind of picked up the slack? 

    Tim: He had a deadline imposed by us to finish certain chapters -- benchmarks, you know. "Finish 10 chapters by Friday."

    Eric: The typist did his job. He worked very hard.

    Tim: One of those unsung heroes. 

    Eric: Yeah, literally unsung. There was no credit...There's a whole deal in the publication world about typists and how much they do contribute.

    OK, that's all the questions I've got. 

    Tim: Well, that was fun! Played it straight there, that was good. The more contradictions revealing this thing to be a total scam, the better, I think. ☆

    Tm and Eric's Zone Theory is in bookstores now.


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    The Kominas (Miles Dixon) copy.jpg[Photo by Miles Dixon]

    Though continued racism and Islamophobia often causes many brown people living in the West to downplay their cultures to try to "fit in,"Boston-based 'Post-Colonial South Asian punk band,'The Kominas, are doing exactly the opposite. They're brash, raucous, and hilarious; they're overtly and unashamedly brown and they very clearly do not give a fuck about what you think of them. With titles like "Pigs Are Haram" and album art featuring a handcuffed man in a bra and panties being fed sweets by a woman in traditional South Asian dress, their new record Stereotype, out now, sees The Kominas reclaiming their Desi identities in a powerful way. I sat down with band members Basim Usmani, Sunny Ali, Shahjehan Khan and Karna Ray to talk more about their new album, defying stereotypes and using humor as a tool for social commentary.

    Did you know you wanted to be an all-South Asian Punk outfit from the beginning or was that an organic process?

    Sunny Ali: I'd say it was organic. We like calling ourselves "Brown Punk" because none of us were born in Pakistan and Karna is Indian -- we like using color to describe our sound. We've been describing ourselves as a "Post-Colonial punk band" lately.

    Shahjehan Khan: The band began just like a lot of American bands do, in a basement in suburban America. I think that any PoC can identify with our music, but any human being with a shred of consciousness about the state of America or the world in 2015 can identify with what we are saying.

    Western curriculums try so hard to cover up their colonial past. Do you feel that the Post-Colonial Punk label enables you to reclaim your ethnic identities in a way that's empowering?

    Sunny Ali: It kinda turns the tables on the way people have been describing us -- gives them some perspective. Not sure if any other bands describe themselves that way but would be cool if that caught on.

    Basim Usmani: We have a lot of intersectional elements going on and identify in a lot of ways. I embrace Muslim Punk wholeheartedly because we have seen Muslim Americans have their language policed. There's a huge freedom of speech issue for American Muslims currently; a lot of us have valuable perspectives on what's going on world wide, but there's so much self-censorship because kids don't want to be arrested for an inchoate crime.

    Considering some white people have argued we're living in a "post-racial society," it's important that these labels are designated by people of color on their own terms.

    Karna Ray: I've never heard that argument [about being in a post-racial society] from someone who wasn't in the process of alleviating some hereditary racial guilt or justifying their privilege. It's a phrase used I think uniquely by white people and indicates how far up their own ass they are. It's terrifying that people who hold that belief are utterly committed to the objectivity of that perspective, as if their esteemed passage through life extends to everybody around them. Whiteness in that way is the behavior of assuming the neutral position and that you possess the ability to supersede issues of race, nation, gender, creed etc. For anyone on the outside it's an obvious expression of power and a pretty big fuck you.

    Shahjehan Khan: We are absolutely intending to be "that band" that throws everything on its head as Sunny has pointed out. It still takes really pushing the envelope in order to begin a dialogue about anything that has real depth and weight, be it politically, socially, or spiritually. It is absolutely crucial for us to put our own words into the dialogue. We have already had much experience with having our music/lyrics/message whitewashed and dumbed down. I suppose that's understandable to a certain extent because it takes time and stages in order for whatever dominant group to allow the "other" into it. However the cool thing now is that we PoCs have much more power than previous generations might have had and we can be found in all professions (like journalists!), and thus we can finally speak our own narrative, in our own words.

    Listen to Stereotype, above

    You use humor on Stereotype to comment on the current status of brown people in society, and it's executed in a way that is clearly going to make white people uncomfortable.

    Basim Usmani: A lot of youngster whites have social circles that are 100% white -- that's the precedent. They don't necessarily know any better. That's the reality of punk shows or mainstream rap shows, or indie rock -- these are white spaces. We took a lot of similar topics that bands like the Clash, or Dead Kennedys would have run with anyways but added our own insights to it. It really does feel weird to be playing in spaces where there aren't many PoCs. But we have to make this cultural change happen. Due to white self-segregation, our fans have never felt welcome at these shows. Which is ironic because rock or punk is incredibly popular in Asian countries.

    Beyond defying prejudiced Western standards, it seems like some of what you do is intended to shock or subvert South Asian conservative norms -- i.e. the way you guys  openly experiment in terms of dress, lyrical content and artwork with the cover of Stereotype being a shining example. Can you speak to that?

    Shahjehan Khan: As South Asians you could say we are attempting to de-stigmatize creative endeavors as not just "hobbies" but crucially important facets of who we are and where we "come from."

    Even in the rare instances we're 'represented' i.e. The Mindy Project, the character is still an OBGYN. South Asians have historically created wonderful forms of art in all forms but there's arbitrary societal pressure to adhere to that 'model minority' complex.

    Shahjehan Khan: You do have people doing incredible things these days though, and breaking through so that they are are accepted and lauded not only independent of their racial or ethnic background but in fact within their communities as "our pride" in a way: Riz Ahmed, Rasika Mathur, Hassan Minhaj, Mira Nair, Munaf Rayani, Shilpa Ray to name just a few.

    I would argue that art (whether through music, storytelling, or a visual medium) is the best way to reach someone who otherwise might not be reachable to you. It's what can truly touch a person's heart.

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    Carly Rae Jepsen's upcoming E•MO•TION album, due out late next month, had another new single released off it if today and it's just as much the pop perfection that is "I Really Like You." Releasing the single this morning with an accompanying no-frills video showing Jepsen gallivanting in Paris, Japan and New York, "Run Away With Me" is the perfect anthemic summer  jam and likely to be wafting from a speaker or three near you on the beach this weekend. Everything's coming up Carly, y'all.

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    Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 4.56.17 PM.png

    Sure, there are official afterparties this year, but instead of seeing the same people you saw in the day at, well, night, why not take the opportunity to delve into some smaller, local Chicago-bred talent in the wee hours? As such, we've assembled a list of some excellent shows for once Union Park shuts down, so that you're not stuck at the same watering hole as everyone else in a bucket hat.

    Friday, July 17th

    Fox Bar

    Just a short walk away from the festivalgrounds, Soho House's Fox Bar will keep the party going with vinyl DJs all evening long. Even better, if you show your Pitchfork ticket to their mixologists, they'll pour you a complimentary beer and a shot.

    Fox Bar, 113-125 North Green Street; 10pm. FREE

    So you had to RSVP in advance for this one, but hey, maybe your security schmooze game is one to be reckoned with. After all, the mere fact that Makonnen, Speakerfoxx AND LIL B will all be in one room is almost too much to handle.

    Location ???; 10pm. FREE with RSVP

    What's better than a self-described night of "sex jams, hip hop and R&B"? Nothing, duh. Especially when there's booze, manicures and NO COVER from 9-10 p.m. Acrylics and alcohol, oh my.

    Beauty Bar, 1444 West Chicago Avenue; 9pm. Tickets $5

    Saturday, July 18th

    The Pitchfork Review is one of the best long-form music publications out there and to celebrate their 7th issue (that has Grace Jones on the cover!), they're throwing a party with burlesque performer Po'Chop, artist Danny Giles, and DJ sets from the likes of Cqqchifruit, The Lady Speedstick and FKA Swag. 

    Subterranean, 2011 West North Avenue; 10pm. Tickets $5

    We think the main draw here is DJ Taye, who makes some of the best new-gen footwork tunes to come out of Chicago's Teklife collective as of late. Plus, free!!

    East Room, 2828 Medill Avenue; 9pm. FREE with RSVP

    Okay, not technically an afterparty, but rest assured that the most excellent Father will take care of all your raunchy, post-Pitchfork party needs. For the hedonist in you, make sure you grab a ticket and end your Saturday with a game of Who's Gonna Get Fucked First.

    Reggie's, 2109 South State Street; 10pm. Tickets $17

    Hosted by estimable Chicago label-collectives Them Flavors and Auda, this Saturday night show will be headlined by Ma Nguzu, who's known for her work as a member of both Future Brown and Nguzuguzu. A staple of the LA-based Fade To Mind collective, turn up in your Hood By Air finest and prepare to death drop the night away.

    RSVP for the Secret Location; 11pm. Tickets $10

    Sunday, July 19th

    No one knows cutting-edge electronic music quite like Warp Records, and to showcase some of their best talent, they've arranged quite the Pitchfork afterparty featuring Daphni (aka Caribou), techno god Clark, Chicago bop heroes Sicko Mobb and UNO/Ghostly producer Feral. Trust us, this line-up is stacked.

    Smart Bar, 3730 North Clark Street; 10pm. Tickets $10

    Them Flavors is back for the second night in a row with In the Loop Productions for a show featuring Leather Corduroys, DIY hip-hop trio Hurt Everybody and more highly-regarded local acts. A part of the influential Chicago-based SaveMoney collective, members of whom include Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Caleb James, it's sure to be a crazy one that's just a stones throw away from the festival grounds.

    Bottom Longue, 1375 West Lake Street; 8pm. Tickets $15

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    We've come a very long way since chat room emoticons and ClipArt. So long, in fact, that today marks World Emoji Day. And to celebrate our little unsung iOS heroes, let's look at ten of the greatest themed emoji keyboards.

    broad-city-app-keyboard.jpgBroad City Keyboard
    Although Abbi and Ilana won't return to our TV screens until 2016, feel free to text your friends emojis of the Judith Light dog and rotisserie chicken in the meantime.

    Cindy Sherman-Icon
    Who better than Cindy Sherman to supply us with a keyboard-full spectrum of feels? This is definitely a new medium for her.

    After a grueling wait, WE FINALLY HAVE TACOS. This Texas-themed keyboard app has some other gems like a Red Solo Cup and an armadillo but...did you hear the part about tacos?

    Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.11.31 PM.png

    MAKERS rallied for more inclusive emojis for women and created this feminist-themed dream keyboard. There's Oprah, Gloria Steinem, and Notorious RBG.

    Emoji - Seinfeld Edition
    Ah, finally! Emojis you don't have to explain to your dad. Included is the full cast, a puffy shirt, some Junior mints, yada yada yada.

    toastface.pngGhostface Killah Emojis
    For when cash rules everything around you.

    Bitmoji allows you to create an adorable personalized avatar of yourself with fabulously cheesy catchphrases like "I'm worth it!" emblazoned across the top of them. Which, let's be honest, is probably a better option than that selfie you're about to send. Plus, they add new emojis every Friday afternoon --  a special treat before the weekend.

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