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All the posts on www.papermag.com.

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    232marni7559493-1-1.jpeg
    Guitar-shredding queen and all around badass rockstar Marnie Stern has released the song "Year of the Glad" from her forthcoming LP, The Chronicles of Marnia (which is set to be released in March and is available for pre-order now.) You can listen to the song, an explosively loud and complex track that showcases Stern's signature tapping skills and battle-cry vocals, on the Kill Rock Stars' Bandcamp now. It's perfect for dancing but also the ultimate pump-up anthem to get ready for the new year. "And everything's starting now," she sings assuringly at the end of each chorus. We couldn't agree more.

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    thunderdome.pngSeveral years ago, Fernet Branca, the inky Italian liqueur that's been around since 1845, became an obsession among San Francisco bartenders. Now, the bitter digestif, with its forceful notes of cinnamon, myrrh and mint, is "ubiquitous," points out Adam Schmidt, barman at cozy Greenpoint hangout Manhattan Inn. "But I think people are drawn to it for its unique flavor: nothing else tastes like Fernet Branca."

    Its distinctive notes, often savored in shot form among industry folk, also works its magic in cocktails. For the Thunderdome, what Schmidt deems "a new spin on the Old-Fashioned," he combines Fernet Branca with spicy Rittenhouse rye and a rich maple syrup, finished off with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

    This soothing winter libation is exactly what you want to settle in with, listening to tunes played on the back room's hypnotic piano.

     
    The Thunderdome

    1 oz. Fernet Branca
    1 oz. Rittenhouse Rye
    ¼ oz. maple syrup
    2 dashes Angostura Bitters

     Build ingredients in glass; add fresh ice and stir. Garnish with orange peel.




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    hk_helloart.jpg
    1. Hello Kitty, Hello Art! is not only a cool book, it's also a group art exhibit opening in New York City for three days only -- December 14, 15 and 16 -- at Openhouse Gallery (379 Broome Street). Look for an installation by DABS MYLA plus works by Betsey Johnson, Kenton Parker, POSE and Simone Legno. And don't forget to pick up a copy of the book.

    jamesblake.jpg
    2, 3. There are two great shows in Williamsburg tonight: DJ Shadow is spinning at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn) for his "All Basses Covered" tour, while James Blake is at Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North Sixth Street, Brooklyn). See if you can go to both. [Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg; Photo of James Blake by Weekly Dig on Flickr]

    SOMETHING-WONDERFUL-7.jpg
    4. It's a LEGO world. New York-based artist Cimon just donated a small model of NYC's Guggenheim Museum -- it's made of LEGOs and encrusted with Swarovski crystals -- for an upcoming auction benefiting children and schools hurt by hurricane Sandy.

    carpinteros.jpg
    5. Meanwhile, down at Art Basel, an art foundation scooped up a $142,000 sculpture made from LEGOs by hot Cuban artists Los Carpinteros. [Photo by A.M. Ekstrand for Art Observed]

    Photo-by-@seanwashere.jpg
    6. Can't get enough of Art Basel Miami Beach 2012? The Beached Miami blog had a little Instagram photo contest last week and they ended up with tons of fantastic images. [Photo by @SeanWasHere on Instagram]

    Tomoko-Sugimoto-12.13.jpg
    7. Tokyo-born artist Tomoko Sugimoto opens the latest exhibit at The Standard Shop (444 West 13th Street) on Thursday, December 13, 6 to 8 p.m. The show is called "Through the Looking Glass, and What I Found There." The artist currently lives in NYC where she's the Painting Director at Takashi Murakami's studio.


    8. Download Chopped and Scrooged, a Christmas mixtape curated by Sufjan Stevens with contributions from Heems, Kitty Pryde, and more. [Via Pitchfork]

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    Far out! The CEO and co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté, turned his passion for street performance and busking into one of the biggest international entertainment companies in the world. To top that, he then proceeded to fly into the really wild blue yonder, becoming the first private Canadian space explorer in September of 2009. During his eleven-day stay on the International Space Station -- via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft -- Laliberté shot hundreds of photos of the earth that became a beautiful book, Gaia, published last summer by Assouline. Perhaps most importantly, he has used the experience to raise awareness about the importance of water. He donates the proceeds from the book and from sales of his photographs to an organization called ONE DROP, a non-profit that "educates and implements site-specific safe water solutions." Starting tonight, December 11, at 6 p.m., you can see over 40 of his photographic prints, each a unique view of the earth from over 350 kilometers in space. The show is up until January 5 at Marlborough Gallery (40 West 57th Street). Here's a taste.


    Mongolia,-western-region,-Lake-Hur-Us-Nuur---Laliberte.jpg
    Mongolia, western region, Lake Hur Us Nuur

    mali.jpg
    Mali, above Dianké

    caspiansea.jpg
    Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea

    hotan.jpg
    China, Hotan region

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  • 12/11/12--13:05: Foodie Call: 22 Yummy Gifts
  • Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.01.48 PM.png



    Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.17.46 PM.pngTRUFFLES!
    White truffle mayonnaise by Empire Mayonnaise. $9 at empiremayo.com


    crackcaramel.jpgCRACK
    Caramel pops by Crack Caramel. $55 for 27 lollipops at crackcaramel.com 


    Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.35.43 PM.png
    SOUR
    Pickles-Every-Month subscription curated by New York Mouth. $200 for six months at newyorkmouth.com 


    Screen-shot-2012-12-10-at-5.42.jpgTOMATO-EY
    Crushed  heirloom tomatoes by Happy  Girl Kitchen Co. $8 at  happygirlkitchen.com
    Homemade marinara sauce from Tommaso's in San Francisco. $7 at taylorsmarket.com.


    Screen-shot-2012-12-10-at-6.27.jpgCRAZY
    Ridiculous cookies by Fattycakes NY. $13 for a half-dozen at fattycakesny.com

    SWT.jpg

    CHEWY
    Eggnog salt-water taffy by Salty Road. $6 at thesaltyroad.com

    squirl.jpg
    YUMMY
    Shady Lady tomato jam by Sqirl. $12 at sqirlla.com


    mikeshot.jpgHONEY IT'S HOT
    Mike's Hot Honey. $8 at mikeshothoney.com

    Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.43.47 PM.png
    CHOCOLATE RYE
    Dark chocolate covered rye crisps by Anna's Daughters' Rye Bread. $14 at annasrye.com

    Screen-shot-2012-12-10-at-6.44_1.jpg
    HIPSTER HOT
    Coffee by Handsome Coffee Roasters. $12 at handsomecoffee.com

    zoeturkey.jpgARF
    Zoe's Premium dog food. $5 at zoespremium.com.

    kvass.jpgOY VEY SO GOOD
    Beet kvass by the Gefilteria. $7 at Zabar's, 2245 Broadway, New York.

    ketchup.jpg
    CULT KETCHUP
    Tomato ketchup by June Taylor. $13 at junetaylorjams.com

    barrhillgin.jpg
    IN THE SPIRIT
    Gin made with raw honey by Caledonia Spirits. $44 at astorwines.com

    Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.47.50 PM.png
    DIY
    Mushroom growing gift pack by the Imaginary Farmer. $22 at theimaginaryfarmer.com

    Screen-shot-2012-12-10-at-6.52.jpgPLAY
    Edible Scrabble pieces by Andie's Specialty Sweets. $55 at andiespecialtysweets

    ducasse.pngEXPLORE
    J'Taime New York: 150 Culinary Destinations for Food Lovers by Alain Ducasse. $100.00 wherever books are sold.

    illegalmezcal.jpgFELIZ NAVIDAD
    Artisanal mezcal by Illegal Mezcal. $46.99 at drinkupny.com

    kittymarshmallow.jpeg
    CHEW
    Marshmallows by Kitty Lee Thomas Sweets. $9. KittyLeeThomasSweets.com

    pigmint.jpgOINK
    Pigmints by Petite Pig Chocolates. 8 for $12 at petitepigchocolates.com

    Above: Candy spectacles by Papa Bubble New York. $15 at Papabubbleny.com

    Style assistant: Sebastian Pearlman



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  • 12/11/12--13:40: Cherie Lily: Work It Out
  • cherielilyslimmons2.jpgCherie Lily is the kind of classic New York character who does a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Lily is a fitness instructor, celebrity trainer, musician, nightlife fixture and apparel designer as well as rocker Andrew W.K.'s collaborator and wife. She is probably best known, however, for creating the genre Houserobics, her original blend of high-energy dance and workout music. Her new self-titled EP is out Jan. 29th. Here she writes about her recent trip to L.A. to meet the one and only Richard Simmons.

    Being a diehard fitness enthusiast, Richard Simmons is my ultimate hero. So when I heard that anyone could take an exercise class with the fitness icon at his Los Angeles studio, Slimmons (and for only $12!), I jumped on a plane.

    I didn't believe it myself until I went there and was so starstruck, I could barely breathe! Turns out, when Richard is not on TV or on the road, he's at his home base in L.A., getting people sweating. You can see him in all his glory (wearing his signature Dolfin-brand striped shorts and his Swarovski crystal tank tops) every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at Slimmons.

    With glistening silver letters over its double doors, Richard's safe sweat haven is a place for all humanity to get fit and have fun doing it. Before Richard opened his studio nearly 40 years ago, there wasn't a place where all shapes and sizes were treated with love and compassion. Gyms were serious, unfriendly places where people dreaded going. Richard, however, is a comedic genius and keeps his legions of fitness followers motivated with his flamboyant hijinks.

    cherielilyslimmons1.jpg
    As a fitness instructor teaching group classes for over 10 years, I can safely say that I've never witnessed a fitness experience like it. Richard's high-flying attitude is contagious. From the moment he walks into the room, he's on fire. Richard is a performer and Slimmons is his stage. He has members laughing out loud while they strut to his playlists with fabulous titles like "All Newies To Make You Dewey," a mix of new Top 40 hits including Psy's "Gangnam Style" and "Hummingbird Heartbeat" by Katy Perry. You never know what to expect from Richard. On any given day, you might find him in full costume for a special themed workout. One Saturday afternoon, Richard was dressed head-to-toe as a pink poodle; for Election Day, Richard taught class dressed as Sarah Palin. My face hurt from smiling so hard.

    Without a microphone, Richard waltzes around the studio encouraging everyone to keep going, throwing out one-liners that make the class crack up. ("I don't care if you puke, just keep moving!" was one of my personal favorites.)

    Richard interacts with each person in the room, making everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. After class, fans line up to share a moment with the legendary fitness master. Richard takes photos and speaks to anyone and everyone. My trip to L.A. was well worth it.




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    headcup_1.jpg
    ART: "Modern Times" at Lesley Heller Workspace
    The ten artists in this group show each made vessels in materials ranging from porcelain (Barry Bartlett's Buddha vases) to bronze (Sarah Peters's upside-down head cup, above) to felt (Christy Rupp's re-created oil cans) to sugar (Yuka Otani's translucent drinking cups).
    Lesley Heller Workspace, 54 Orchard Street, (212) 410-6120. 6-8 p.m.

    FILM: Get Mean at 92Y Tribeca  
    The fourth and final film in Tony Anthony's "The Stranger" series combines the spaghetti western with the time travel flick, bringing the titular cowboy into contact with Vikings, Mongols, Moors and more. It screens tonight as part of the "Beyond Leone" series, with an introduction by Chris Poggiali of Temple of Schlock.
    92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, 7:30 p.m. $12

    MUSIC: The Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden  
    You could try to get tickets to see Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West and the Who. It's for a good cause, after all. Or you could make a donation to the Robin Hood Foundation's relief fund (or the charity of your choice) and watch on TV from home, where you might actually be able to see the performers' wrinkles.  
    Madison Square Garden, 2 Pennsylvania Plaza, (212) 465-6741. 7:30 p.m. Sold out. 
    Visit http://www.121212concert.org/broadcast for a list of websites, networks and movie theaters that will be showing the concert.  

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    Amanda Seyfried admitted she was drunk during her appearance on the Late Show last night and had a frank, mostly charming but slightly strange discussion with David Letterman about having stage fright and calming her nerves with booze before doing talk shows. [CBS]


    Here's Retta being the best on Conan Monday night. This is so, so good. [TeamCoco]
     
    tumblr_meu9oo8SJ41qzxzwwo1_500.jpgAhhhhhhh! The ones in the foreground with missing eyes are the worst. [RatsOff]

    rightkiss.pngHow to kiss, according to a 1942 article in Life magazine. The story includes steamy tips like "boy and girl should stand close together but not hold each other too tightly." Get a room! [Jezebel via TheMarySue]
     
    1165.jpgIf one were looking for unicorn hooded towels for adults that come with rainbow manes, one would buy them at this Etsy shop. Burn upon reading. [LaughingSquid]

    photo-2-7--0288334b59542f550c3bf31b393b4ce08340e90f-s4.jpgIn honor of Haunkkah, NPR's The Salt introduces us to the Latke Double Down (brisket sandwiched between two latkes). That actually sounds kind of delicious, no?


    k4QT1.jpgIKEA Monkey X Ruined Spanish Fresco Monkey Jesus = art. (P.S. Poor IKEA monkey! We hope he's doing OK in his new home at an animal sanctuary.) [Reddit]



    Here's a girl performing the Stanley Steemer jingle in a variety of genres. We're more partial to the rich harmonies of the Empire carpets jingle, but that's just us. Guess this is still pretty impressive. [Vulture]
     tumblr_me7gvpcNRq1qhs94vo1_r1_500.jpgIn sum, Beyonce. [PenisPolice]

    tumblr_lw4xem2J0L1qjixsmo1_500.jpgHere comes Zilla Claus. [Megret]







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    When Prince Rama asked their fans to submit videos of themselves dancing to their new single "So Destroyed"...well, they did.  And after a little editing by Rama sister Nimai, this is the result.  We're loving the girl with the swinging-rope contraption hanging on the wall of her living room.  WTF?  Our neighbor complains about our stationary exercise bicycle. Anyway, the band is still on tour -- they just opened for the Chromatics down in Miami for Art Basel -- and they'll be back in NYC later in December.  The track is from their latest album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World. The end of the world, by the way, is not today 12/12/12.  You've still got nine more days to party.




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    karlie-kloss-m-monde.jpgWe're loving Karlie Kloss's lewk in the new cover story for M le Monde! She can work those short pompadour hairstyles to death. Also, someone buy us that pink coat. [via Fashion Gone Rogue]  


    20120904015936800.jpgFile this under "things that were inevitable": according to Bloomberg, Chinese shoppers have beaten out American shoppers as the biggest consumers of luxury goods, making up a whopping 25% percent of global luxury sales. [via Fashionista]  


    lamphear-editorialist.jpgThe big fashion Musical Chairs game of 2012 continues: a source told Fashionista that Kate Lamphear, formerly at Elle, will be heading to a new mag called The Editorialist. [via The Cut]  


    ferrel-port.jpgA mustachioed Will Ferrell will be on the cover of the newest issue of Port Magazine! There's also going to be a feature which includes the story of his SNL audition. Get excited.  [via Selectism]  

    Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 11.34.29 AM.png
    The new Spring/Summer Louis Vuitton campaign is an ode to checks and its unforgettable runway! [via Fashion Copious]           


    130DC87E-C7BC-14DCB-A089-DBF73DE2535C.pngBrooklyn Fox, the popular Williamsburg lingerie store right off of Bedford Ave., now has an online shop! [via Press Release]  


    fragment-design-x-cole-haan-2012-holiday-collection-3.jpg
    Nike and Cole Haan have partnered up again! The Holiday LunarGrand Collection will be available in Hong Kong and select stores on December 13th. [via HypeBeast]   
       

    hathaway-rxn.jpgAfter her accidental upskirt picture was posted on the web, Anne Hathaway remained exceptionally demure about the whole thing. The Post overheard her talking about trying to find the comedy in the incident, and when asked about it on the Today show, she was incisive and professional: "I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment, and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I'm sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies the sexuality of unwilling participants. Which brings us back to Les Mis..." We're clapping in our seats! [via The Cut]  





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    Sticky%20Bun%20by%20Mary%20Ellen%20Johnson.jpeg
    Get ready to feel very, very hungry. Mary Ellen Johnson has mastered the art of painting food with such intense hyper-realism that she has our mouths watering just looking at them. From glistening sticky buns to pristine-looking banana splits, Johnson's paintings look exactly like photographs. You can see her work in person at her solo show at OK Harris Works of Art in SoHo now through January 19. In the meantime, can someone please send some treats drizzled in maple and chocolate syrup to the Paper offices, like, immediately? Thanks.

    pbj.5%20by%20Mary%20Ellen%20Johnson.jpegPB&J 1/2, 2012

    Big%20S'moresweb2.jpegBig Smores, 2010

    Big%20Waffles%20by%20Mary%20Ellen%20Johnson.jpegBig Waffles, 2010

    Big%20Chocolate%20Eclair%20by%20Mary%20Ellen%20Johnon.jpegBig Chocolate Eclair, 2012

    Big%20Banana%20Split%20by%20Mary%20Ellen%20Johnson.jpeg
    Big Banana Split, 2011

    Top: Sticky Bun, 2011

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    Bare
    , now playing at New World Stages, has everything a high school sex romp rom-com needs to succeed: a slutty girl with a mysterious past, a hilariously perky student, a teacher who turns out to be a great cabaret performer in a drug-induced song and dance number staring the Virgin Mary... Thing is, it's actually about a secret gay romance and turns into a tragic drama instead. Find out above if we left feeling bi-curious for this revival!


    Dead Accounts, now playing at The Music Box, has a lot to recommend it: the formidable comedic timing of Jayne Houdyshell, the frenetic energy of Norbert Leo Butz, and the star power of Katie Holmes -- not to mention the fact that the playwright Theresa Rebeck has been on a role recently, what with Seminar and Smash. With all this talent, is Dead Accounts a million dollar idea or was that not enough to keep it from being dead on arrival? 


    David Mamet's The Anarchist, now playing at The Golden Theatre, centers around a convict named Kathy (played by the legendary Patti LuPone) who, after thirty five years of incarceration for a politically motivated murder, attempts to persuade Anne (played by the accomplished Debrah Winger) to exonerate her. Does the Anarchist behave well enough to be released or should we lock it up and throw away the key?

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    155.jpg
    Sad to hear that the Gershwin Hotel (7 East 27th Street) will soon be changing management companies.  On the other hand, we're happy to report that there's a "last big party bash" on Saturday night, December 15th, starting around 8 p.m. and the theme is "Christmas With Andy."  The party is in honor of the Met's "Regarding Warhol" exhibit and two books: Thank You Andy Warhol by Catherine Johnson and Andy Warhol's New York by Thomas Kiedrowski.  Look for a Billy Name photo exhibit curated by Dagon James, Warhol films, Campbell's Soup ornaments and music from DJ Tennessee ("disco-era Studio 54 music") and DJ De Flame. Plus "Andy Santa will be serving Christmas cocktails."  The best news?  Admission is free



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    fatima1.jpgWhen Brooklyn-based Kuwaiti musician Fatima Al Qadiri began recording her new EP, Desert Strike, the artist turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: an early '90s video game. That game (whose title she borrowed for her EP and which is based on Desert Storm) was in many ways a virtual-reality counterpoint to Al Qadiri's experiences growing up in Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation and the eventual U.S. liberation. Al Qadiri refers to those experiences in her music by merging a video game's surreality with the reality of warfare, combining spacey synths and ethereal chanting with jarring gunshots and the pinging sound of bullet casings falling to the ground. Here, we talk to the artist about growing up in Kuwait, recording the new EP and why she never liked playing the Desert Strike video game as a kid.

    Tell me about your background and growing up in Kuwait.

    My father did his graduate degree in History in Russia and immediately got hired and was made an ambassador at a very young age -- not that many young men could speak important languages -- or strategic languages, let's put it this way. [He was the ambassador] to Zaire first but Zaire was so dangerous. Then he became ambassador to Senegal, where I was born but then we moved back to Kuwait.  He resigned from the foreign ministry and went from being very right-wing to being very left-wing. He was an activist. [He and my mother] were leading members of the Kuwaiti resistance and we moved around from house to house.

    What do you remember of that period?

    It wasn't safe to stay in one house for very long because the Iraqi military was constantly going through houses to see if there were any inhabitants and if there were, you were basically at their will. Some of the [Iraqi soldiers] were teenagers with machine guns. They were recruited against their will in Iraq and it was just a really crazy situation. The thing with war and occupation is that it's not black and white, it's a human disaster for everybody.

    [Once] my mom pretended to be pregnant, wearing an abaya -- the black cover -- but under her fake belly was a newsletter that [my parents] had printed and were decimating. All of their actions were punishable by death and they wouldn't have just killed them, they would've killed the entire family. They put our lives at risk. Thank god nothing happened and that we survived.

    When did you start becoming interested in music?

    When I was five, I remember my conservative grandmother told me that if I heard music that was not religious music, I should cover my ears and say "God forgive me," over and over again. And I remember doing it. [But] my parents loved the radio and my father has a huge record collection. I owe a lot of my musical taste to his taste in music because he collected records like Grace Jones records, and records by this French disco producer Cerrone whose productions are orchestrally unbelievable.That was one of my earliest memories of hearing [my dad] play it over and over again.

    When did you start making your own music?

    I started making music when I was nine, immediately after the liberation of Kuwait. I started making music on this little keyboard and then the keyboards just got bigger from there and the recording techniques got more sophisticated.

    What kind of music were you making when you were that age?

    The [songs] were really dismal, wretched, depressing sounds and melodies. I was just so taken aback by the apocalypse that I had seen -- seeing your country burn to a crisp is something that can only be experienced [first-hand].

    And it was those experiences that inspired you to make Desert Strike? Did you play the video game as a kid?

    I absolutely hated that game. I never played it. I only watched the introduction over and over again because the introduction was so disturbing. It was based on the conflict. They don't mention Kuwait, they don't mention Iraq, they gave Saddam a slightly different face -- call him 'The Leader.' It's all so vague the language.

    I don't believe that the game was made for children. There was no soundtrack. It was just the sound of evil, high-pitched chopper blades [going] at an incessant frequency. And bombs. And just going around from a birds-eye view in a helicopter bombing things. I believe it was the first commercial and contemporary game that was really designed for the military. There have been many since then.

    What made you decide to revisit the game now?

    It took me a long, long time to become sophisticated enough to write music using music software because I've always just played music on the piano or keyboard and recorded it on audio cassette. I come from a completely different background than these young producers these days that have been on the Internet all their life. It's taken me eleven years to get to the skill level that I am today but [I'm] by no means done improving. There's so much more need for improvement.

    Did you always want to produce a record inspired by the game?

    I felt [the sound of the game] was the sound that best represented how I felt at the time. I've always wanted to make a work about that period of my life because it was the most surreal, the most sci-fi [experiences] and it's definitely given me a buffet of psychological problems. You don't go through that unharmed or unscathed. It's something that's haunted me my entire life and I needed to make a mature work about it. I didn't have the skill level at 25, I didn't have the skill level at 28, I had the skill level [to do it] at 31.

    Last October, I started writing the material for the record right before the launch of the previous record, Genre-Specific Xperience, so I started working on it then. It took about a year and I finished it in September. I'm a slow worker but I'm not in a rush. I never made music to achieve anything but to heal myself.

    Can you expand on that?

    A lot of the conditions that I've made my records under have been [times] of extreme depression.

    Was that the case for this one?

    Yeah. [My depression has] been around since after the liberation of Kuwait. This is why I'm really going back to my roots. This is the genesis of my career as a musician, going back to that time. I suffer from bouts of manic depression and that is when I write a lot of music, usually.  [The music is] all a soundtrack for the apocalypse or living past the apocalypse. I always feel like I narrowly escaped it, [like] I should have died. Saddam was pretty close to fulfilling his plans to extinguish the Kuwaiti population. Part A [of his plan] was to capture all of the men and boys and take them to prisons in Iraq. They were almost finished doing that. My father was taken -- he was a POW. It was crazy because my mom and my sister were visiting someone and I had gone next door. It was just me and my dad in the house and I went down four doors to my neighbor's house to play the video game Castlevania because I was so addicted to the soundtrack and that was when the Iraqi soldiers came and took my dad. That game spared me from seeing my father being dragged out of the house and taken to a prison camp. I just came back and he was gone. I can't even play video games anymore -- I avoid them at all cost. I associate them with deep manic depression.

    It must have been difficult to revisit those memories while working on the album.

    It was really, really hard. It's annoying for me when a commentator says, "Oh, she's made another conceptual record." This is so far from conceptual. This is deeply personal -- this is a naked record and an autobiographical sentiment. [It's] deeply sentimental and has nothing to do with concept. If I was able to write a memoir, this would be it.

    Desert Strike is out now via Fade to Mind



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    179228808,DCA6B813A4237329F64.jpg
    1. Scissor Sister Jake Shears DJ'd at the opening of SPiN -- the ping-pong social club -- last night in the downtown LA Standard Hotel (550 South Flower, Los Angeles). Tons of celebs got their game on including: André BalazsNikki HaskellVincent GalloWill Shortz (all pictured above), Susan Sarandon, Chelsea Handler, Topher Grace, Gia Coppola, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, Alessandra Balazs, Melissa Etheridge, and Olympian Erica Wu. [Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage]


    2. Mathew McConaughey's song from Magic Mike, "Ladies of Tampa," is officially eligible for an Oscar! Here's the full -- and very long -- list. Yes, "Skyfall" is eligible too. [Variety] 


    3. New York's weekly WIERD party -- "one of the longest running weekly music parties in the city" -- hosts the US debut of Sweden's Lust For Youth tonight, December 12, at Home Sweet Home (131 Chrystie Street). Doors open at 10 p.m.

    midnight-wednesday2sm.jpg
    4. Thirty-five East Village stores are staying open late tonight, December 12, for the first annual "Midnight Wednesday." Here's the full list of participants. Get out, buy something and help them shake off the after-effects of Sandy.


    5. Our neighbors at Saveur have a new episode of "Dueling Dishes": watch chefs Marc Aumont (the Modern) and Emma Bengtsson (Aquavit) each make bûche de noël.

    hologram_album.jpg
    6. Jody High Roller (a.k.a. RiFF RAFF) has a new mixtape. Click here to start download. [XXL, via Stereogum]



    7. Based on a shady-sounding report from British tabloid The Sun, Paul McCartney will supposedly play a set with Nirvana's rhythm section, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, at tonight's big Sandy benefit at MSG. [via HuffPo]

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    bobbycannavale620.jpgNot only is actor Bobby Cannavale currently sharing a Broadway stage with his idol Al Pacino in the revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, he's apparently sharing his time offstage with Bridesmaids' actress, Rose Byrne. We spotted them canoodling at the the premiere of the third season of Portlandia on Monday night, and couldn't help but think,  "Damn, he gets around with some of the coolest ladies in the biz." Not that the talented, totally hot Cannavale is a hard sell but, still, we're impressed. Here's a guide to a few other actresses that Cannavale has dated, and what they're up to now. (You can just send our award overnight express, Pulitzer committee. Thanks.)

    Cannavale was married to Jenny Lumet, granddaughter of Lena Horne and daughter of Sidney Lumet from 1994-2003. They have a teenage son named Jake who starred alongside his dad in Nurse Jackie this year. Lumet went on to write Rachel Getting Married in 2008.

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    Bobby was 33 when he started dating actress Annabella Sciorra, who was 11 years his senior. He dumped her for his 22-year-old co-star Alison Pill in the Broadway play Mauritius (see below). Ironically he ended up starring alongside Sciorra his next time out on Broadway in The Motherfucker with the Hat, four years later. This week, Sciorra starred in a Rockaway benefit at the Cherry Lane Theater for Hurricane Sandy victims.

    Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 4.58.31 PM.pngAs we mentioned above, a very young Alison Pill fell for Cannavale while co-starring with him in the play Mauritius, but it wasn't until after they broke up that Pill's career really took off. She's since been a regular presence on Broadway and currently stars in Aaron Sorkin's HBO hit, The Newsroom. And her love life doesn't seem so bad either. She recently tweeted a topless photo of herself to new boyfriend Jay Baruchel.

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    Continuing with the co-star theme, Cannavale also dated Broadway superstar Sutton Foster. The actors met doing the off-Broadway show, Trust. In 2011 they were both nominated for Tony Awards, Foster for Anything Goes and Cannavale for The Motherfucker with the Hat. (Foster won.) The two broke up in April of 2012, but she's now starring on the enjoyable ABC Family show Bunheads, about ballet dancers.

    Bobby+Cannavale+Sutton+Foster+65th+Annual+3nyKgC7ZyRHl.jpgOK, this is a huge stretch, but we once spotted Cannavale smoking with Tony-winning actress Nina Arianda, a former Paper Beautiful Person and star of the upcoming Janis Joplin biopic, Janis, outside of a theater-related event, and, hey, they'd be cute together!  Just putting that out there. (That's Smash's Will Chase in the middle of the handsome pair.)

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    And finally... it looks like Rose Byrne will be Cannavale's date to this year's Tony Awards. But first, .she's starring in the British newlywed comedy I Give it a Year, out in February.

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  • 12/12/12--16:00: Instagift Guide 2013
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    We cannot get enough of the Downton Abbey cast's appearance on The View. For starters, Jim Carter (Mr. Carson) has some real chemistry with Barbara Walters and shows off his secret juggling skills. Also, we want to be friends with Thomas IRL -- he seems so nice! (And, for more IRL-ness, check out "Downton Abbey Stars On-Screen vs. Off-Screen.") [via The View

    Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 6.18.07 PM.pngIn today's Headlines You Couldn't Make Up Even If You Wanted To: "Maneater: Hall bitten by Oates." Yep, a man named Oates bit another man named Hall somewhere in Ohio. [via Uproxx]

    Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 6.28.51 PM.pngHeads up, we just found the holiday gift for that gamer in your life: a pixelated-looking Minecraft pickaxe bottle opener. [via The Daily What]

    Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 6.31.10 PM.pngLove this device that prevents that douche sitting in front of you on the airplane from putting his chair all the way back. [via Evan Roth]

    Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 6.34.48 PM.pngIkea Munkë. [via Adult Swim; Thanks Alex!]

    tumblr_mewyb5VWc11qaw0cqo1_500.jpgOkay, the Perth meteorologist has set the weather humor bar pretty high. Your move, Al Roker. [via The Clearly Dope]

    tumblr_m8nezd9Qnb1qzk2apo1_500.jpgYou look mah-velous! [via Rrrick]

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    Nothing like some wavy vibez courtesy of Bubba Sparxx. [via It's Poonanji Marsha]

    tumblr_lumc4fA4Gv1qcvthoo1_500.jpgThis Nicki tree is giving us nightmares. [via Paris Hilton Sex Slave]



    Channing Tatum, schmanning Tatum. People's Sexiest Man Alive: Mustache Edition, Nick Offerman, talked to Conan about his signature scent and wearing a mustache lasso contraption when he goes to sleep. The host also plays a clip of Offerman's recent striptease for charity and, fair warning, there are nipples. So.many.nipples. [via Team Coco]

    Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.30.26 AM.pngIn case you missed it, Kanye West wore a Givenchy leather skirt to play last night's mega 12/12/12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief but Jared Leto won the night. [via Twitter]


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    Hollerado went to a hot air balloon festival. They shot a new video. Whoopee! After the Canadian indie rockers finished filming this clip for "Pick Me Up" from their upcoming album, White Paint, they added a little animation and...we'll let singer Meeno Versteeg explain: "Needless to say we had an amazing time. We met a ton of excellent people including Franz the cocker spaniel and some pink-haired jump-ropers and of course Braeden, the awesome red-headed kid who knew the name and date of every hurricane in the last 50 years."

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    rachel-zoe-sales-down.jpgRachel Zoe's clothing line seems to not be doing so well: Selfridges dropped the line, Saks no longer carries it in-store, and most other department stores have drastically downsized the amount of clothes they carry from the collection. [via Buzzfeed Shift]  


    dezeen_Transformations-by-Maarten-de-Ceulaer-for-Fendi_ss2.jpgLove the pliable "planks" made from Fendi's luxe leather and suede that Maartin de Ceulaer used to adorn his furniture. [via Dezeen]     


    proenza-schouler-de.jpgFresh off the heels of a well-reviewed Pre-Fall presentation, the Proenza Schouler boys have some more good news: they'll be opening a second store in SoHo! [via WWD]   


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    Derek Blasberg, etiquette expert, has joined forces with Opening Ceremony to make "Hand Written Letter Helper" stationary. Think of it as a cute cross between Mad Libs and those ubiquitous "cheeky" Post-It notes they sell in cutesy stationary stores. [via Press Release]  


    tumblr_mex4fr3iiG1qet71xo1_500.jpgThis Tumblr-made Ikea Monkey x Marc Jacobs "ad" is perfect. [Fashionista]  


    glowdark4.jpgCheap Monday just released a new glow in the dark collection, which features luminescent jeans, shoes, t-shirts and wallets. [via Fashion Beans]  


    disney-chopard.jpgDisney is clearly on the minds of fashion folk everywhere: Chopard and Harrod's are collaborating on a line of jewelry inspired by the Disney princesses, available until the end of December. [via High Snobette]  

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