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- 08/25/15--08:20: _The 5 Best Kanye We...
- 08/25/15--10:16: _A Kid Punched a $1....
- 08/25/15--11:00: _Dan Savage's Amateu...
- 08/26/15--02:00: _Premiere: Slim Twig...
- 08/26/15--02:45: _J.Lo and Balmain's ...
- 08/26/15--02:54: _Jeremy Scott and CL...
- 08/26/15--02:55: _Culture Club: 8 Fam...
- 08/26/15--04:14: _UPDATE: Watch the N...
- 08/26/15--05:45: _10 Podcasts You Sho...
- 08/26/15--06:29: _Antonio Banderas Is...
- 08/26/15--06:50: _A/S/L: Exploring We...
- 08/26/15--07:15: _Kali Uchis Channels...
- 08/26/15--07:45: _10 Nightclub Impres...
- 08/26/15--09:32: _Watch Rod Stewart, ...
- 08/26/15--10:00: _The 15 Most Influen...
- 08/26/15--12:13: _UPDATED: Drake and ...
- 08/27/15--03:45: _Watch Miley Cyrus G...
- 08/27/15--04:00: _Lisa Kudrow Came On...
- 08/27/15--04:52: _Premiere: Wolvereen...
- 08/27/15--05:30: _Marc Jacobs' New T-...
- 08/25/15--08:20: The 5 Best Kanye West Videos That Got Snubbed by the VMAs
- 08/25/15--10:16: A Kid Punched a $1.5 Million Work of Art, is Unintentionally Punk AF
- 08/26/15--02:00: Premiere: Slim Twig Goes Slow-Mo On "Fadeout Killer"
- 08/26/15--02:45: J.Lo and Balmain's Olivier Rousteing On Luxury, Race and Feminism
- 08/26/15--02:54: Jeremy Scott and CL On Moschino, Pop Culture and the Power Of Girls
- 08/26/15--02:55: Culture Club: 8 Famous Provincetown Residents Past and Present
- 08/26/15--05:45: 10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To
- 08/26/15--06:50: A/S/L: Exploring Web 1.0 with Jake Roper
- Yahoo Online Chess and Checkers for all of middle school.
- Not technically a website but IIRC was my jam for most of High School.
- MySpace for High School and Freshman year of college.
- Facebook until I graduated college.
- YouTube forever.
- 08/26/15--07:45: 10 Nightclub Impresarios Who Made NYC's Glory Days Special
- 08/26/15--10:00: The 15 Most Influential Moments of the VMAs
- 08/27/15--03:45: Watch Miley Cyrus Go Undercover to Ask People About Miley Cyrus
- 08/27/15--04:52: Premiere: Wolvereen Take Us to the Edge With "Seventeen"
- 08/27/15--05:30: Marc Jacobs' New T-Shirt Is Yours to Try
Today, MTV announced Kanye West as the recipient of the Video Vanguard Award at this year's Video Music Awards. This is well-deserved, but also pretty funny for a number of reasons -- in addition to Kanye's checkered past at the VMAs, he's barely been recognized by the body that bestows the awards. Only two West music videos have taken home statues at the ceremony (for "Jesus Walks" and "Good Life"), but that's nothing compared to the many, many pieces of visual art that were snubbed. Here are the five most noteworthy exclusions from VMAs past.
5. "Through the Wire"
One of the best early Kanye videos, "Through the Wire" is good precisely because of how simple it is. It might not have the visual flair of the "Jesus Walks" video (one of Kanye's first expensive pieces of visual bombast), but the "Jesus Walks" visuals point toward where Kanye wanted to go in his career. "Through the Wire," with its corkboard-Polaroid looks at Kanye's post-accident jaw surgery and attendant warm images from his life in Chicago, paints a more accurate picture of where he was.
4. "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (with Zach Galifianakis)
Somehow, the only one of these videos to not actually feature Kanye is also one of the best (and weirdest). There was a standard "Can't Tell Me Nothing" video, but the version that includes Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham lip-syncing the lyrics and wandering through a field, with lots of surreal imagery, manages to tap into a something bizarre and funny because of how very un-Kanye it is.
3. "Bound 2"
Remember when people thought this video was bad? Remember when James Franco and Seth Rogen made a not-great parody that mocked the actual parody (and reclamation) of Americana happening in the original? It's crazy that people ever labored under the delusion that Kanye would make a video and somehow not realize it looked corny and low-budget. That's the whole point.
Yes, the epic version of "Runaway," a film unto itself, should count -- it tells the whole story of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and is just beautiful to look at and rich. At the very least, the shortened cut could have been nominated. (Astute Ye observers will note that "Runaway" was nominated for Best Male Video at the 2011 Japan VMAs, but let's not give that ceremony's astuteness the opportunity to let the VMAs proper off the hook.)
1. "Flashing Lights"
Did you know that this video, directed by Spike Jonze, wasn't nominated for a VMA? Are you as angry as I am about that? Aren't you excited to rewatch the sparse, abstract, and violent video where a woman beats Kanye to death with a shovel? Do you know what was nominated from Graduation instead? "Homecoming."
A Taiwanese 12-year-old has done perhaps the simultaneously coolest and most embarrassing thing you could do as a pre-teen -- destroying a ridiculously expensive, centuries-old work of art. The boy tripped and broke his fall with Flowers, a 1660 painting signed by artist Paolo Porpora. According to The Guardian, he will not punished or forced to pay restoration costs, since the painting is insured, which we assume was basically his evil plan. Watch an exclusive clip of what he said to his parents below. [via Vulture]
Since 2005, sex columnist extraordinaire Dan Savage has been hosting Hump!, an amateur porn film festival that showcases fan-submitted 5-minute sex tapes with names like "Butthole Lickin'" ("To kiss or not to kiss? That is the question two women must explore after one rims the other") and "Beethoven's Stiff" ("While a penis conducts Beethoven's Fifth, a vagina plays a French Horn"). The fest, which started in Seattle and "runs the gamut of sexual styles: straight, gay, lesbian and transgender ...every color in the sexual rainbow," is going on the road and screening 18 of the best-loved films over the years, including the two mentioned previously, in cities all over the country. This weekend they're setting up shop in Boroklyn at Roulette in Boerum Hill and will have screenings on Friday night at 7pm and 9pm and Saturday night at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm -- snag tickets HERE.
Jennifer, photos of the dress you wore for your birthday are everywhere. You look amazing.
Jennifer Lopez: Oh, I know -- the little slutty dress. Yeah, that's good.
So what does luxury mean to you?
Lopez: To me, it's stuff that's very custom or made for you or fitted -- that's how I like all my clothes to feel. And when I think of luxury, whether it's a house or a car or any luxury item, it's like something special about it that feels like you. Or a piece of jewelry -- you know what I mean? It has to have a classic feel to it. I like things that are super trendy. I like things that look like they could've been in this era or that era, but it still feels modern.
Jennifer, what is it about Olivier's work that says luxury to you?
Lopez: Wearing them just now, it feels very much like me. I know probably every girl thinks this, and that's the genius of a designer: everybody who puts it on feels like, "Oh my god, this is made for me!" It's the velvet, it's the sparkle; it's so ready for the spotlight. I think every girl who wears any special thing, they want to feel like they're a star. And that's how you feel when you wear one of Olivier's dresses. Like, "OK, where are we going? There must be something special going on!"
Will we see that kind of specialness in your costumes for your Vegas residency that's coming up?
Lopez: Oh, for the Vegas? Yeah, that's what I'm hoping. That's what we're hoping for.
Olivier Rousteing: I'm for it completely.
Because if you do Balmain costumes, people would go crazy.
Lopez: I think of it like Bob Mackie with Cher, or even with Diana Ross. People like that who really created for a singer, a stage performer. You think of Cher at the Oscars -- that thing she wore on her head and everyone went, "Who did this?" Again, it was so her and it was so custom made. It goes back to how luxurious it was: you wouldn't see that everyday. That's what I imagine the Vegas show to be. I would love to work with Olivier on the show, even if he couldn't do the whole thing, to really create something timeless. We still talk about those things because they made such a mark, but Bob and Cher had a real relationship. It was those special relationships between designers that really created timeless fashion moments and timeless moments in pop culture.
Olivier, I want to know what your definition of luxury is.
Rousteing: For me, luxury today is confidence in assuming who you are, where you are, no matter where you come from. And that's what I think I do with Balmain. A lot of people say it's a party dress or something, and I think Jennifer explained pretty well that she wants to wear it onstage. When you want to wear something onstage, you want to wear it not because it's a party dress, but because it's armor. It's something you feel really strong in that you're going to show to the world.
And your muses are always these beautiful, sexy women who are also very strong.
Rousteing: Yeah. For me, Balmain is almost feminist. It's about the power of girls and women in the world. And that's why I love Jennifer. All the muses that have inspired me are really strong and they sometimes fight against the world to show their own rules, which I think Jennifer did throughout her career and she's still doing it. You see many stars today try to look like her. She imposes her own rules. And when I think, "What is the Balmain girl?" it's this. It's a woman who knows what she wants and is going to express it.
Lopez: The concept of a fearless, strong woman who radiates confidence inside and out is an inspiring idea. It's a great thing for young girls and women to see Balmain's muses illustrated by these ideas of strength and beauty. For them it's about a woman who creates her own destiny and forges her own future.
Do you think that fashion houses need celebrities nowadays?
Rousteing: Yeah, because celebrities are so inspiring. It doesn't matter about the money or where you live or where you come from. I think celebrities have something to say to the world, and they have a communication that is so inspiring to the new generation. And communication is what's most important today. I think celebrities help fashion survive.
You've worked a lot with the Kardashians and the Jenners. What draws you to them?
Rousteing: It's what I said -- you go and fight against the rules. Like, there's no taboo. You are who you are and you're going to show it to the world. And it's what I'm doing on my own. I'm building my own business, my own story. When I got the [Balmain] job I was 25 and I was not known. I was not this big fashion name. I come from an orphanage. My parents are white, I'm black. Nothing in my life responds to a normal rule. So I love people who are assuming their own lives and showing people that dreams can come true.
Certainly you play by your own rules on Instagram.
Rousteing: I'm risqué. In French we have a phrase: "Who doesn't take a risk doesn't get anything." And I'm really risqué, but I think Balmain is risqué. Living on the edge -- that's what I love about my life.
Marc Jacobs got in trouble recently because he was a little naked.
Rousteing: Yeah, he showed his ass [on Instagram]. We are human and sometimes people forget that being a designer doesn't mean that you can't actually do what a normal person would do.
One of the things you've brought up before is racism in the industry. Balmain is one of the few luxury houses that cast diverse models. Why don't luxury houses cast more black or Asian models?
Rousteing: Because they're not living in the real world. You asked me why we need celebrities in fashion, which I think was really smart. Celebrities come from music. I think the music system is way more open-minded and way more diverse. Fashion people sometimes forget that, except for the front row that you're going to get at your show, there's an entire world that loves fashion. So it's important for me and for Balmain to show the diversity because it's also about the luxury of communication. And you don't communicate for just 10 people in the room during a show; you communicate to an entire world.
I'm seeing more and more fashion houses go the digital route and not do fashion shows anymore. What is your take on that?
Rousteing: I think fashion shows have to still exist, but I think the new way of showing is what's important now. The '90s were really important to fashion shows because you had Naomi, Claudia, Carla, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington. You wanted to see a show; you wanted to see those girls who were so inspiring. Fashion sometimes forgets that you need to inspire people. So that's why I think a lot of people start to get bored of shows -- you're not showing the real woman or real man on the catwalk. You just show hangers that wear clothes, and you don't even know their name and you forget them in a month. Everybody went to a mini-mall trend, so now a lot of shows start to look the same. I think fashion was interesting when you had the big, powerful houses that were not for only a trend. They wear what they wear -- their own identity. In France for example, you have Chanel, you have Yves Saint Laurent, you have Balmain, you have Balenciaga... I think we need to just be different and keep our identity no matter what's gonna be the trend. We just follow our trend.
Speaking of identity, you have a collection with H&M coming out. How do you keep your identity while doing a fast-fashion collection?
Rousteing: It's a bit of a challenge. But it's really, really important for me to keep my identity. It's been a lot of work on the fabric and the techniques because when they were saying, "What is Balmain for you?" I said, "It's couture, it's couture, it's couture." But couture isn't only about embellishment; couture is the amount of hours you're going to work on the fitting, on the tailoring of the jacket to make it perfect. We obviously switched some fabric and some techniques, but we worked so much to give people the DNA of the house. I wouldn't have done this collaboration if I couldn't give my identity.
And this will surely bring you new and younger fans who will then become fans of the main house.
Rousteing: Yeah, I think I'm going to get some new fans. But what Balmain was five years ago and what Balmain is today -- it already was in this direction of getting younger people. When you love music, when you love pop culture, you know what Balmain is today. When you love Kim, Kanye, Rihanna, Jennifer, you know Balmain. I'm connected to the music world, and that's what makes Balmain more real.
I love that you compare it to music, because your line is so entrenched in the music world.
Rousteing: Music is my life. I couldn't sketch and I couldn't create without music.
Lopez: Pop culture and fashion have always had a correlation, from old Hollywood to contemporary music. As a performer, I know that clothes are an expression of the music I create or the character I play.
We're having this moment now where we have Insta Girls and social media is a huge part of fashion. What do you think is going to happen next? Do you think we'll find the next big designer on Instagram?
Rousteing: Yeah. People get bored of what is fake. So I think Instagram is like a big, real TV in a way. A real social, digital story where, when you wake up, you're going to see my reality, I can see his reality, I can see your reality. I think after Instagram, people will go for even more reality. Because from Instagram, which I think is the real story, we're going to go to another app that's going to be even more real. You always want to know more and more and more.
So what does luxury mean to you both outside of fashion?
Rousteing: My luxury today is feeling free. It's freedom. I think it's the most priceless thing. And I'll tell you the truth: if you ask me, "What about Balmain is luxury?" it's not the amount of dresses that I did that cost more than $20,000. For me, luxury is feeling free to express who I am and what I want to do. That's luxury for me.
Lopez: Everyone has their own definition of luxury. For me, sometimes it means the quiet moments away from the business of my life, when I get to spend time with my children and my family. And I agree with Olivier: freedom of choice is a true luxury. We are lucky to have it.
See Our Double Covers! Olivier Rousteing & J.Lo and Jeremy Scott and CL
Read Our Cover Story With Jeremy Scott and CL
Jeremy, can you tell me who CL is and why you love her?
Jeremy Scott: To me, she is one of my best friends; to her fans, she's the Baddest Female. So yeah, it's a dichotomy. I know she also has an image, and I'm aware of the image -- I contribute to the image. But when I think of her, I don't think of that. I think of who I love and who I know, and it's a very loyal, very sincere and very smart person.
How did you guys meet?
CL: Well, I wore his Adidas shoes in my very first video, and you [Jeremy] saw it on the Internet, and someone from Adidas contacted you?
Scott: I was coming to Korea for Adidas and I said, "I want to do a shoot with her. I want to meet her. I love her. I'm obsessed!" They set up a photo shoot for us so we could meet and do something.Actually, the first video was "Fire"?
Scott: So there were pieces from my own collection in the video and we just instantly clicked. I came dancing into the studio...
CL: We had so much fun. I still remember that day.
Scott: And somehow she coaxed me within a few days to go onstage with her to perform in Korean -- which I don't speak!
CL: You were good!
Scott: And I somehow rapped or sang in Korean.
CL: Yeah. The youngest girl in my band, because we were performing at a club, couldn't come in.
Scott: She was underage so I took her part. It was a lot of fun. We have many good memories, and we've had many, many, many since then -- not with me onstage though!
Jeremy, what is your definition of luxury?
Scott: For me, the things that are luxurious are things that are rare. It's not really about how much something costs or whether it's "limited edition"; it's about how special it is. It could be a mass-produced thing. It doesn't need to be expensive. And maybe that's why it has changed: it's not so much about the most expensive materials and the most expensive workmanship and the most amount of time you can say something took to make. Of course I realize that's not a bad thing, but it can also just become heavy and old. You can make something that's very "all that" but still ugly and not special.
Do you see changes in the luxury market in terms of newer designers moving in?
Scott: I never really thought about it. There's obviously a younger crop of designers, and I think that means a younger crop of clientele. There's a generational shift of what someone 20-35 thinks is special, beautiful, rare, unique and luxurious versus someone who's 45, 55, 60, who's been that customer for a while. That's why, when I make things, I try to make something that you've never seen before. Even if it's using things you are familiar with. I'm all about that, because that's iconography -- a way to communicate with the masses. You can speak to more people while making hybrids of things that are special and unique.
What you've been doing with Moschino is so fun. How do you balance that playfulness with luxury?
Scott: Honestly, I have the best manufacturing and the best quality at my fingertips, so it's just like, "I'm going to make that giant milkshake into a purse." I can do it and make it with beautiful quality. I can take these very pop ideas and then they have this dichotomy: the way they're made does follow the tradition of "luxury." I'm just giving it a new image, to a degree; a different take, as opposed to an alligator purse.
Do you feel like you need a celebrity or a recognizable face for a luxury line these days?
Scott: I have such an affinity for musicians especially. I'm not really an actress' designer. I love musicians because, if their job is to personify a part of their personality, then I can come in and help turn up the volume on it. I love that, because it is really being with a unique person and creating with a unique person, and that's why I have these strong female relationships like I do with CL, Katy, Rih, Miley. I'm lucky I have those relationships with people I feel so inspired by. I am the musicians' designer because I do things that are stronger and more eccentric. I get it: actresses have to blend and become other people all the time. I'm not that person. My design stands out, it personifies. It's like a megaphone. And I love that [CL et al] can carry my message further.
CL, as a pop star, how do you see that relationship between music and fashion?
It always goes together. But I feel full when I wear Jeremy's stuff. Sometimes it could get boring if you just wear all black, but his all black is a whole different thing. So whatever I wear, I feel like I could play this character onstage; it gets me into that zone. I started wearing his stuff when I started my career, so it's always been there.
What is it about Jeremy's work that speaks to Korean audiences?
CL: It's not only Korea; I'd say it's the whole Asian market. A lot of his fans show up when I'm there in Asia, and vice versa. I think they love it because it's just good! How else can I explain that? In Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, we're more into colorful, cute, very animated, so I think we're more connected to that too.
Scott: I feel like Asia has always been super open to "new." Maybe because there's already such an ancient culture, anything new is exciting. I feel like that's why it's always been so quickly embraced there. I do think my clothes set you apart, and that is something that is great in Asia. There is less hair-color difference, unless you input it yourself, and there are things that are already keeping people more similar, so you can set yourself apart easier.
Is Korea a major force in luxury?
CL: I think a lot of the young kids right now are looking for something new,and they want to look different. Especially girls, and this is why I'm trying to come out here -- to set an example of an Asian girl. A lot of Asian girls love being basic because it's safe. But the thing is, a lot of my fans are those girls, and they want to be bolder, but there's no one they could look up to and be like, It's OK to be that way. There's no one out here who will do that, and I feel like I have done enough for Asia and changed a lot of girls. Even if it's a phone case, they try. Girls in Asia are very obedient, shy, timid, quiet, but I can tell that it's changing, and I want them to be stronger and tell them that it's OK to be different. Being special is a luxury, and I don't think we have that. Yet.
Hair by Danilo (Jeremy Scott) and Marcy Harmon (CL), makeup by David Hernandez for NARS (Scott) and PONY (CL); photographer assistant: Kevin Kozicki; digital assistant: Alex de la Hidalga; style assistant: Marc Eram
See Our Double Covers! Olivier Rousteing & J.Lo and Jeremy Scott and CL
Read Our Cover Story with Olivier Rousteing and J.Lo
There's a new trailer out for Banksy's dystopian hellscape theme park/pop-up art exhibition Dismaland, and it's just as bleak and shitty as you'd imagine. No fun for the whole family!
Update: Watch it above, because the park itself is available mostly if you are a famous person who happens to like Banksy. Artnet reports that Brad Pitt is getting the entire place to himself one morning before the scheduled 11 AM opening, because Brad Pitt is a massively successful, wealthy celebrity who is still really into Banksy poking fun at capitalism. Apparently, Jack Black has already gotten to do the solo Dismaland experience. Who's next?
While "Serial" has become a cult-favorite and household name when it comes to podcasts, there are a million more in the K-hole of the Internet to sort through. We know you probably don't have the time to do that, so we've done the research and found 10 new podcasts you need to start listening to. From music to sex and social issues, you'll want to keep pressing play.
If you love booze, bad jokes and talking about topics like race, gender and pop culture, BuzzFeed's "Another Round" might just be your new favorite podcast. Hosted by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton -- two black female writers from BuzzFeed -- the duo has succeeded in deftly navigating both serious and humorous topics (like police brutality and male strippers) all while being under the influence of bourbon.
Gimlet Media -- aka the monopoly of podcasts -- has quite the gem with "Mystery Show." Hosted by "This American Life" contributor Starlee Kine, "Mystery Show" discusses a new mystery every week that you can't otherwise solve via Google. Mysteries so far have ranged from analyzing Jake Gyllenhaal's height to the vanishing of a video store in New York. If you're always looking for some kind of closure, this podcast is for you.
At a time when technology is changing society as we know it, NPR's "Invisibilia" explores the idea that computers are changing humanity as a species. Weaved with interviews, storytelling and scientific research, co-hosts Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel try to navigate "the invisible forces that control human behavior." The duo explores the idea of computers changing human emotions, how our expectations influence those around us and what would happen if you could get rid of fear.
"Sex With Strangers"
Sometimes it's just fun to hear other people talk about sex -- especially when those other people have awkward, hilarious and downright TMI conversations with strangers. In "Sex With Strangers," host Chris Sowa travels the world talking to sex workers, members of kink and fetish scenes and the LGBT community. He has covered the sexuality of livestock in Washington state, talked to couples in Clearwater, FL spending their Valentine's Day at the world's first Hooters and talked to important figures in Portland's sex positive community. If you're interested in exploring how sexuality exists in other regions and countries, Sowa's podcast is a great place to start.
"How To Be Amazing"
It's a pretty self-explanatory title but on PRX's "How To Be Amazing" actor/comedian/author Michael Ian Black does in-depth interviews with some of the most interesting people of our time about how they've become so successful (and amazing). So far, Elizabeth Gilbert, Miranda July, Tavi Gevinson and Amy Schumer have been in Black's hot seat discussing their passions, struggles, creative processes and even failures. That lineup alone was enough to get us on board.
Get your weekly dose of pop music culture from some the New York Times' best and brightest critics. From Sleater-Kinney to Straight Outta Compton, New York Times music critics Jon Pareles, Ben Ratliff, Jon Caramanica and Nate Chinen discuss the best new music, stars and up-and-comers. Hopefully newly-hired pop editor Caryn Ganz will be joining the crew regularly now that she's on staff.
"The Atavist Magazine"
Fans of long-form journalism and mysteries like "Serial" should be listening to this podcast from digital-only publication The Atavist Magazine where writer Adam Higginbotham uncovers the story behind the race to end one of history's strangest extortion cases. Beginning in 1980, and also known as the "Harvey's Resort Hotel bombing," the story follows a case around Hungarian political refugee Janos "Big John" Birges, who made the largest bomb in American history as his life began unraveling. The podcast originated as book written by Higginbotham, A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite and there will also be a movie coming out via Warner Bros.
Once a month, Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh get together to talk about the good and the bad of being a female Muslim in America and how to negotiate their faith with more secular interests like sex, drinking and punk shows. With their podcast, the ladies do a great job of showing that you can live your life, be imperfect and still have faith.
It looks like podcast network Headgum has another hit on its hands. "The Mindhouse" features comedian Josh Ruben's attempts to get into the minds of his guests to find out "what they do and why they do it." Ruben's podcasts are compared to "WTF with Marc Maron" and his guests range from actors like Michael Stahl-David to artists like Liza Treyger.
"Hello From The Magic Tavern"
If you like made-up stories, imaginary places and improv, then "Hello From The Magic Tavern" is a must-listen. Writer/director Arnie Niekamp hosts this totally "fake" podcast from the land of Foon. Each week new characters are introduced in Foon to entertain listeners. Basically if you like D&D (even a little bit) and like hanging out in a bar talking, you'll be into this.
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.
This week, we talk to Jake Roper, the host of Vsauce3, part of the popular YouTube channel. Not only does he make his living on the internet, he does so in an extremely internet-y way: making videos about video games, superhero movies, and other science in nerdy fictional worlds. If there were ever a way you might "expect" someone to be able to succeed online, this is it. So... what kind of early internet experience leads someone to a career explaining, say, what would happen if Superman punched you? Find out in this week's A/S/L.
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.)
CompuServe. All of my friends had AOL (I had a number of AOL discs that I grabbed from the checkout counter at Blockbuster. I liked the discs because I could put them in my CD binder so people would think I had more music CDs than I actually did). We couldn't use AOL because my parents had a personal vendetta against AOL for not hiring my dad when he applied for a job there.
What was your first screen name? Email address? What did they mean to you?
Gr8drumboy@compuserve.com. I remember sitting at the computer with my dad coming up with a username. I was probably 10 years old so I still couldn't be fully trusted making decisions by myself/being on the internet without asking. We landed on Gr8drumboy because I was into drumming and I told my dad that using numbers in place of letters was really cool.
What was your most profound AIM away message (or rough equivalent)?
Oh man, I had a TON of different away messages for different situations. More importantly, do you remember when you could have profiles on AIM? You might be able to still, but I have no idea about anything anymore. I included a quiz in there, so a lot of my away messages were directed at driving traffic to that quiz. Either that or the away message would be the IP address of whatever Counter-Strike server I was currently in. Sup, ladies.
Also why doesn't ICQ get any love?? That was my first IM client. So many memories! I liked that you had to find people by their ICQ # instead of a specific name.
How many MySpace friends did you have at your peak? How many LiveJournals? (No lying.)
No clue! I just remember the Top 8 being VERY important. Who you placed in there could effect your physical life. It was serious business. I never had LiveJournal but I did have Xanga. I wish I hadn't deleted that page because I can only imagine the amazing poetry I posted and the Donnie Darko photoshops I made. Plus I wrote a lot of Alien/Predator and Terminator/Matrix crossover fan fiction on that thing.
Who were the first people you thought were big deals on the internet, and did you ever interact with them IRL?
Can't remember specific folks, but any artist I found on MySpace Music was a big deal in my mind. I would actively seek out their concerts and go when they were in town. Also when I would randomly land in an online match with someone well known in that specific game... that was always a big deal. I probably updated my AIM away message to alert everyone that some awesome CS player had just annihilated me.
And this particular person didn't get started on the internet, but the internet is how I found them. Steve Alten wrote the MEG book series, and I LOVED those books when I was a teenager. Anything with sea monsters really intrigued me and, for some reason, he put his AIM screen name on his website so I would message him from time to time. I was learning 3D modeling at this point so I'd send him renders I made of scenes from his book. I really wanted him to hire me to work on the movie version of MEG. That obviously didn't work out.
Chart the history of your life in websites, by listing the most important site to you each year you've been online.
What's the strongest relationship you've ever formed with someone you hadn't met IRL? Did it change if/when you met?
When I was in seventh grade, I had my first girlfriend. She was a girl I met over Yahoo Checkers. She totally destroyed me in the game, but we would still chat all the time. I wrote her name in silver sharpie on my Five Star notebook. It lasted about a week because I beat her in Checkers. I also had lots of friends from Counter-Strike clans that I kept in touch with for years. I was going to take a Greyhound bus to one of their houses for a week long LAN party but my mother was not as eager as I was about that trip.
What's the most important thing you've learned from the internet? The best opportunity you've gotten from it?
Be careful what you do and say. The internet is forever. Which I like because it has, to a degree, shaped how I interact with people. The best opportunity would be my job and my digital friends. I get to make videos on YouTube and I get to work at Google, as well. Neither of those platforms would exist without the internet. Thank you, series of tubes.
Do you wish you had spent less time online when you were younger? Do you wish you spent less time on the internet now?
No and no. I'd spend most of my free time online: playing games, chatting on AIM, making websites, working on Half-Life 2 MODs. It was amazing and I got to interact with more people from more places than I ever would have in real life. If I spent less time on the internet now, I'd have to find a different job.
A party ain't nothing without a party thrower. After we rounded up ten of our favorite legendary club owners and promoters, we realized there were even more impresarios we left off the list and who should be recognized for their inimitable ability to fling proverbial confetti.
The easygoing entrepreneur (full name Donald Mulvihill) managed Kenny's Castaways and the Bitter End, went on to run the Cat Club, and then scored his biggest coup with Don Hill's, which he opened in 1993 as an atmospheric dive on Greenwich and Spring Streets. The place played host to all sorts of people on the edge, especially at its regular rock-the-house events like Squeezebox and BeavHer. Sitting at his own club, watching the live bands, Don (who, sadly enough, passed in 2011) was the picture of serenity.
The New Orleans-born Hayne was a zany lady who became sort of an Auntie Mame for the disenfranchised. She turned the former Club Baths into Cave Canem, where we re-lived ancient Rome; she transformed an adjacent space into La Nouvelle Justine, the S&M restaurant where the food was surprisingly not punishing; and in 1993, she birthed Lucky Cheng's, where straight people thrilled to dinners with drag queens. Cheng's eventually moved to Times Square, and then Hayne moved to the afterlife, where she's no doubt throwing more parties.
CHI CHI VALENTI, JOHNNY DYNELL, RICHARD MOVE, KITTY BOOTS, HATTIE HATHAWAY, PAUL ALEXANDER
The techno-erotic downtown arts center known as Jackie 60 started in 1990 and eventually grew to its own club, Mother, which gave a roof to the creatively homeless. The above crew -- a rich batch of eccentrics and intellectuals -- were the ones who made it rip, filling the scene with larky lingo, ripe references, and daring dress codes. They even allowed in the occasional Gwen. By the way, Jackie still lives on with events like the Night of 1000 Stevies.
An earthy good-time guy, Frank was a co-owner of the Peppermint Lounge and then Irving Plaza before opening the World, the East Village playpen filled with sexuality, music, and an air of possibility. Home of Dean Johnson's Rock and Roll Fag Bar and many other memorable events, the World feels in retrospect like some miraculous mirage.
The likable Arthur owned Hurrah, an innovative dance club which catered to New Wave music and its prancey-posey practitioners, from 1976 to 1980. In the '80s, he was even more major, with involvement in the World and after-hours haunts like the Jefferson and the Continental. Back when clubbies were out all night, indulging in a lifestyle of pure fun and expression, Arthur was their merry ringleader.
The Peruvian promoter would wear a red gown and a black sparkly top hat and jewels and hold court at the ultimate '70s disco, Studio 54. She says she created it. Well, she definitely helped.
A defiant answer to the glitz of Studio 54, the Mudd Club was a wonderfully atmospheric hovel on White Street, full of rockers, artists, indie filmmakers, celebrities, and wannabes, with a sprinkling of bridge and tunnel folk who read about it in People. Steve -- who started the club on a budget of $15,000 -- was the dry, quietly outspoken guy who lurked in the shadows and made it all happen.
Brooke owned Meow Mix, the long running East Village lesbian bar (which closed in 2005) and she threw Fragglerock, a frisky monthly party at Acme Underground. She went on to open another lady place called Cattyshack in Park Slope. She's a lesbo-legend.
ERICH CONRAD, EDWIGE, BILLY BEYOND
Beige -- the gay Tuesday night indoor/outdoor get together at B Bar -- ran from 1994 to 2011, filling the place with cruising, debauchery, and chit chat almost as long as an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. In the early days, the above three were the impresarios, comprising a sort of downtown Mod Quad. Erich is the elevated presence who told me his main goal growing up in Cleveland was "to get out"; Edwige is a sultry chanteuse with le gift of gab; and DJ Billy also opened a Beige in L.A., where they didn't necessarily get it. Conrad -- who currently co-promotes prettyugly with PAPER's Drew Elliott and Zigzag -- told me, "The actual inspiration for Beige was when I was in Africa for a month being chased by baboons on a mountain and all I had was a Claudine Longet tape." I knew that!
In the late '80s and '90s, Chip amused us at clubs like Mars (where he did the gay-licious Mars Needs Men) and Quick! He masterminded my zebra-striped birthday party at El Morocco, featuring scandal star of the moment Sukhreet Gabel; handled the long running 1984 at the Pyramid; did my Joan Rivers/Michael Urie-hosted bash at 230-Fifth; and continues with Spin Cycle PR, which boasts the Laurie Beechman Theatre among its clients. As others come and go, Chip keeps on rocking.
The visuals for A$AP Rocky's At.Long.Last.ASAP have generally been pretty good, even if they didn't give us the Kanye feature we all wanted. Maybe that's why the video for "Everyday" fits in several of Rocky's collaborators for the track -- Rod Stewart, Mark Ronson, and Miguel. Though they're all billed together as part of a "a hip-hop Hollywood story," the appearances are mostly brief, serving to bolster the consistently sleek aesthetic that's characterized the A.L.L.A videos. Not that that's a bad thing. [via The Fader]
The VMAs are an odd awards ceremony. In contrast to, say, songs, movies, TV shows, books, Broadway plays, etc., people aren't quite as invested in music videos as an art form. (Have you ever watched a music video and thought, "Wow, that was totally VMA bait"?) But that doesn't mean they're not a cultural institution like similar entertainment industry pageants. In fact, by stripping the objective "recognition" of "artistry" from the VMAs, they've been freed to become a bizarre yearly ritual of delightful pop insanity, an event that has spawned more than its fair share of iconic and influential moments -- many of which you might have forgotten even happened there. Today, we run through the history of the VMAs to remember the sheer breadth of things that have happened there, and remind you: Yes, that happened at the VMAs.
Madonna's White Wedding (1984)
The MTV Video Music Awards started in 1984, and appropriately enough, the entire evening was stolen by Madonna, arguably the greatest music video artist of all time. Wearing a combination wedding dress/bustier and a "boy toy" belt buckle, she writhed around onstage while performing "Like a Virgin," the single that cemented her status as an icon. During an era when MTV was still shiny and new, the inaugural awards show was truly a can't miss event, and Madonna seized the moment to demand our complete attention. She hasn't relinquished it since. -- Michael Tedder
Bon Jovi Inspires MTV Unplugged (1989)
Taking a slightly different sonic tack than you would expect from Bon Jovi, this acoustic performance is largely credited with inspiring the MTV Unplugged series -- which, you know, went on to be kind of a big deal. -- Eric Thurm
Michael Stipe Schools Everyone (1991)
Things Were Different In The '90s, Part One. The late '80s and early '90s saw a number of artists raised on countercultural ideas publicly wrestling with how to square their beliefs with superstardom. In 1991, R.E.M.'s video for "Losing My Religion" broke the Athens alternative-rock pioneers into the mainstream, and frontman Michael Stipe used the occasion to expose the MTV audience to some ideas that were important to him. (This was a moment when being politically aware was de rigueur for hip rock bands.) R.E.M. and director Tarsem Singh pretty much ran the table that night, and every time Stipe collected an award he wore a brightly colored t-shirt that sported a socially-aware slogan, including "Wear A Condom,""Handgun Control" and "Love Knows No Color," which was emblazoned on a pink shirt accessorized with a red AIDS awareness ribbon. Preachy? Maybe a little, but it was still a brave move by a mainstream figure in 1991, during an era when people were both deeply afraid of yet deeply ill-informed about AIDS, and mainstream acceptance of homosexuality was far in the future. It's very unlikely that anyone at this year's ceremony will follow Stipe's lead and have the courage to use their moment to call for gun safety, but we can always hope. -- MT
Krist Novoselic's Bass Face (1992)
Things Were Different In The '90s, Part Two. A year after R.E.M's coronation, Nirvana crashed the mainstream in much less time, but Kurt Cobain was determined to prove he would only play by his own rules. He refused to perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit," much to the consternation of the event's organizers, and pushed instead for a new composition titled "Rape Me." They settled on a powerhouse run through of "Lithium," though the band goaded MTV executives with a few introductory bars of "Rape Me." Towards the end of the performance bassist Krist Novoselic, frustrated by equipment problems, threw his bass into the air. He misjudged the return, however, and ended up with a bass in the face for his efforts. As he stumbled off the stage in a daze, drummer Dave Grohl stepped up to the microphone and began taunting Axl Rose ("Hi Axl! Where's Axl?"), as retaliation for the Guns N' Roses vocalist boorish backstage behavior earlier in the evening. -- MT
Fiona Apple Calls Out the World (1997)
Things Were Different In The '90s, Part Three. Fiona Apple won the Moonman for Best New Artist, largely on the success of her breakthrough video for "Criminal." Perhaps conflicted that she had to make a video in her underwear to people to pay attention to her and wary of mainstream success, she gave one of the most inflammatory speeches in the history of award shows. It started with a shout out to Maya Angelou and the opening salvo "This world is bullshit," and from there she proceeded to tear into the star machine. The speech incurred an immediate backlash (Et tu, Janeane Garofalo?) with many quick to accuse Apple of being a hypocrite, but it's not like she was wrong about a single thing. Go with yourself always, Fiona. -- MT
The Beastie Boys Decry Rape Culture (1999)
Things Were Different In The '90s, Part Four. In 1999, MTV rewarded the Beastie Boys for a decade plus of iconic clips with the Video Vanguard Award (basically the MTV equivalent of a lifetime achievement). But the Beastie Boys had bigger things on their mind. In the wake of the sexual assaults of Woodstock 1999, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz took the opportunity to denounce the sexism of the music industry and called for musicians and concert promoters to work harder to ensure "the safety of all the girls and the women who come to our shows." The audience, which included such notable feminists at Metallica, Kid Rock and Fred Durst, was not at all pleased to be put on blast. Horovitz's wife, iconic riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna, later said "we left 5 minutes after this because it was so far beyond the 'who farted?' feeling, it felt like people were gonna kill us." -- MT
Macy Gray's Hard Sell (2001)
In 2001, presenter Macy Gray really, really, really wanted people to know that her new album The Id was coming out soon. At that point, she was two years away from her hit "I Try," and was eager to prove to the world she was no one-hit wonder. Not afraid to be obvious, she wrote a blue, metallic-looking dress that night that read "My New Album Drops Sept. 18, 2001." Just so no one missed the point, the back of her dress urged viewers: "Buy It." The tactic didn't do all that much for her sales, but hey, we'll always have "My Nutmeg Phantasy." -- MT
Eminem Gets Mad at a Puppet (2002)
If you're looking for the moment when people started to turn on Eminem, that time he lost his shit at the 2002 VMAs because Triumph the Insult Comic Dog poked fun at him is a pretty solid tipping point for when the rapper's tough guy shtick finally got old for all but the diehards. But, perhaps worrying that he wasn't appearing humorless enough that night, during an acceptance speech, Eminem later told his rival Moby (who had criticized Eminem in 2000 for homophobic and sexist lyrics) that "I will hit a man with glasses" if he didn't stop hurting his feelings. Classy. -- MT
Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera Kiss (2003)
Madonna, queen of the VMAs, gets another entry on this list. She used her accumulated political capital to help Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera vault into adult pop stardom using the awards ceremony as a staging ground, something that's happened several times over the years. -- ET
Lil Kim Shows Up Fresh From Prison (2006)
Having just been released from jail, Lil Kim appears at the ceremony in a prison jumpsuit, ostensibly escorted by guards. Her speech before presenting the award for Best Male Video is just full of excitement (for obvious reasons), making it the rare VMA moment to be purely enjoyable without even a touch of awkwardness. -- ET
Kanye Interrupts Taylor Swift (2009)
Perhaps the most famous VMAs moment in recent history, "I'mma let you finish" might also be one of the most important. Sticking up for his friend (and deserving artist) Beyoncé, Video Vanguard recipient Kanye West found himself at the apex of the popular "foot in mouth" narrative that had coalesced around him. With his reputation on the rocks, Kanye retreated to record My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album for which we can at least partly thank the VMAs. -- ET
Lady Gaga's Meat Dress (2010)
...and Morrissey wept. -- MT
"Trap Lord in Stores Now" (2013)
When Jason Collins -- who had recently come out as the first openly gay male athlete in a major professional sport -- signed up to present at the VMAs, he surely didn't expect to be faced with the sheer awkwardness and obliviousness of A$AP Rocky. Flacko clearly has no idea how to deal with being on the stage with Collins, following up a heartfelt speech with a plug for A$AP Ferg's album and an off-handed wave indicating that, yes, he is aware that Collins is gay. Trap Lord is in stores now. Never forget it. -- ET
Miley Cyrus Twerks on Robin Thicke (2013)
Lots of people just don't get Miley Cyrus like we do. She's always been comfortable with herself, but getting to the point where she's as public and unabashed about it as she is now necessitated a few bumps in the road, including this performance with creepy older man Robin Thicke. At the time, the spectacle brought down a hail of thinkpieces about everything from cultural appropriation to discussions of Miley's sexuality to complaints about Thicke. -- ET
This was a banner moment both for Bey and for the mainstream success of the current version of the feminist movement -- or at least one part of it. No matter what you think of the performance, or of the ideas (watered-down or otherwise) it tried to convey, it's pretty incredible that a massive pop star did something like this at all. And it could only have happened at the VMAs. -- ET
Drake has had quite the summer. He got into a weird, protracted fight with a dude he is ostensibly friends with and cast aspersions on a woman he was apparently once in love with. He got really fit (more on that later). And now he might have gone 0 to 100 real quick with a new girlfriend -- photos have surfaced of him making out with tennis champion Serena Williams at a restaurant in Cincinnati. Here is a timeline of a couple we're not saying you definitely need to call Aubrena, but we're also not not saying it either.
Update:We missed this 2011 Drake tweet to Serena that reads as a rather ... revealing peek into their relationship. Look down at your own risk.
@serenawilliams I cannot wait to put it on you and make you sweat..........during our match this weekend.-- Drizzy (@Drake) August 4, 2011
(photo via TMZ)
2011 -- Serena and Drake Start Dating
Drake and Serena Williams date for a while after Serena ends a relationship with Common. Both are famous but Drake doesn't quite have the star power he has now. The two reportedly go on vacation together in Florida, and are apparently "in each other's lives" at the end of the year.
2012 -- Common and Drake Sort of Beef, and it's Sad
With a new album conveniently out, Common tries to provoke some excitement at the prospect that he's beefing with Drake over Serena. The pair trade shots over who is softer, undoubtedly prompting embarrassment on Serena's part. The tactic doesn't really work though. (Here is a sub-timeline of the beef for the particularly masochistic.)
September, 2012 -- Serena Starts Dating Her Trainer
They were apparently still together in January of this year.
February, 2014 -- Rihanna and Serena Fight
Drake, perhaps deciding his life needed to be even more like a sitcom than it already was, reportedly invites both Rihanna and Serena to one of his shows, where the pair exchange heated words. Drake leaves with Rihanna, and Serena tweets this:
Summer 2015 -- Drake Gets Jacked
Everybody needs love-- Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) February 24, 2014
Drake gets really buff over the summer.
Friday, July 10 -- Serena Friendzones Drake
Serena gives an interview during Wimbledon (where Drake has made a number of appearances) in which she claims he is "just like family." It's not very convincing.
The Rest of the Summer -- Drake Does Some Other Stuff
Sunday, August 23 -- Caught in the Act
TMZ acquires photos of Drake and Serena making out in a restaurant in Cincinnati. Is Aubrena official now? Only time will tell. All we can say for sure at this juncture is that we hope Serena Williams doesn't get a Views From the 6 shoutout that's as cringe-y as what Drake said about Nicki on her song, "Only."
Miley Cyrus is free to be herself on our cover -- but it's easy to forget that lots of people aren't as tolerant. For many, Miley is a representative of decaying moral standards or the evils of twerking or something. She set out to investigate those opinions herself on Jimmy Kimmel Live, posing as a reporter doing a segment on the VMAs. The responses she gets are alternately funny, horrifying, revealing, and sweet (especially when she talks to a couple of younger fans). Check them out below. [via Vulture]
Taylor Swift's 'Parade of Stars' continues at her blow-out run of shows at LA's Staples Center and last night -- her final show at the venue -- the pop star brought out Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake and...Phoebe Buffay! Lisa Kudrow came onstage in character (flowy floral skirt and all) and performed a rendition of "Smelly Cat" with Swift. Fans, predictably, lost their shit. Watch the clip above.
Even if you are a few years removed from the titular age, there's a lot to like about "Seventeen," the debut single and future prom staple from Wolvereen, the new group from Olivia Eigel, former singer for indie-pop group Purple Apple. Though soaked in glimmering synths, there's a surprising amount of '70s riff-rock boogie in the DNA "Seventeen," for someone born in the Clinton Administration, though Eigel says that any allusion to Stevie Nicks'"Edge of Seventeen" was unintentional.
"I was out in LA, about to go into the summer before my senior year and I was really looking at what it means to be 17. Almost an adult yet we still have so much to learn before we really grow up and go off to college," she says of the songs origins. "This song is about just enjoying the end of being a kid and making the most out of summer."
"Seventeen" will be included on Wolvereen's as-of-yet-untitled debut album, due next year. Eigel recently graduated high school and moved to Brooklyn, and as such she needed a new project that represents where she is in her life currently. And if it can reference everyone's favorite member of the X-Men, then so much the better. "We were going for something a little more fierce than our previous name and after a lot of back and forth we decided that Wolvereen sounded more sophisticated and exciting, but at the same time wasn't exactly the same as the X-Man," she says. "I just watched the new movie and he is pretty awesome, though!"
Listen to the track below.
After deftly handling a non-controversy controversy on Instagram that involved accidentally posting a nude selfie of his butt (and a slight peek of peen) with the caption "It's yours to try," Marc Jacobs is once again blocking out the haters in the most delightful way possible: with a t-shirt inspired by the incident. He debuted the tee on -- where else? -- Instagram with the caption: "I mean the t-shirt!! @marcjacobs Now available (THE T SHIRT!!!!) at a MARC JACOBS store near you ;)"
Fingers crossed we'll see the shirt popping up on celebs in his front row at NYFW in a few weeks.