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Usher and Bert Talk Uniqueness on Sesame Street


This clip of Usher and Bert talking about uniqueness is the ray of sunshine we've been waiting for on this otherwise super snowy, grey day in New York. Usher has a ton of examples of uniqueness to show to Bert, including a cabbage driving a taxi cab that gave us major Jaimie Warren vibes, but Bert is just. Not. Getting. It. It's not supposed to get over freezing until Monday, so we'll be watching this tender little segment on repeat until then if you need us.

"The Super Bowl Shuffle" Redo With Jim James, David Wain & Lil Bub

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 1.16.00 PM.pngEven if, like us, you only go to Super Bowl parties for the chips and dip(s), chances are you're familiar with one of the Top 5 Best Joke Raps of All Time: The Super Bowl Shuffle. Originally created by the Super Bowl-winning 1985 Chicago Bears, there's a new Pitchfork-y cover featuring the likes of My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington, comedians David Wain and Dave Hill and Grumpy Cat rival, Lil Bub. Conceived by radio host Sean Cannon, the track will go on sale as a 7" with proceeds going to support the charity Reading Is Fundamental. And though these beardos aren't anything like the original Shufflin' Crew, the recording is still pretty damn great. You can listen to the cover and reminisce over the original, below.

10 Observations On This Week's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 4.24.45 PM.pngWe've asked Eli Yudin and Carey O'Donnell, authors of the very, very funny Twitter account @NotTildaSwinton, to share their ten thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams with us after watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills every week. Join us for a recap, won't you?

1) Eli: First off we find ourselves back at McAmityville with Carlton and friends. They're auditioning strippers for some sort of vague party that Carlton plans to have, and I can just imagine the invitations now: black with gold leaf and red ink that proclaim, "SOLSTICE PARTY," and then under it, "with live dancing entertainment ;)" "Do you think anyone will come?" Carlton asks her husband. She adds, "If they don't, I understand, because we are quite edgy. Some people just don't have the appreciation for the female body that I do. The female body is a work of art. My children are named Destiny, Mysteri, and Cross." Also, we meet Carlton's friend Tara again, and she continues to talk in what I have to assume is an affected infantilism. She coos and squeaks and talks about how everyone's gonna be "nakey." Keep at it girl, because if there's somebody that you want as a significant other, it should be the one that gets a boner from you talking like a kindergarten student.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 4.29.25 PM.png2) Carey: Meanwhile, Brandi and Yo-Yo head up to Brandi's hometown of Sacramento for a pretend book reading that Brandi is doing in a ballroom of a hotel. There is extra pressure on Brandi because her whole family will be in attendance, including her estranged father (who, like, isn't that estranged as we find out and was just weirded out that his daughter was agreeing to get wine wasted on national TV every week). Brandi decided to bring along Holland's most docile former milkmaid in hopes of mediating the tension with her dad. When Brandi and Yo arrive in their room, Brandi asks the middle-aged bellhop tending to them if their room is the "Presidential Suite", then asks him who else has stayed in the same room. "Guess," he says, and they ask "Obama?" and then the bellhop says, "No...Arnold Schwarzenegger" and the ladies scream and jump out of the bed. The bellhop looked exactly like Marshall Applewhite, the leader of the doomed Heaven's Gate cult, and the sort of deadpan, very-aware-of-the-camera sass he's carrying out when playing the "guessing game" with the women made me both his number one fan while also immensely depressed about everything. Later that night, after three glasses of boxed wine in his one bedroom apartment, he went up to his full-length bedroom mirror, put his hand on his hip and faintly said (á la the Real Housewives opening intro), "I'm not afraid to tell it like it is, but I always make sure to tell it with truth."

3) Carey: Brandi actually tells a pretty amazing story during her "reading" (reading? Brandi does readings. Brandi is a best selling author of books that are reads by human eyes. Ok.) about how her parents took in their friends' gay son after his own parents kicked him out of the house for coming out. This was clearly her attempt of drawing a parallel between her own situation of being "shunned", and even though the stories are not thaaaaaaat similar, it was still a nice example to show how cool her mom and dad are. In the end, Brandi and her Daddy-yo make drunken amends on the roof of their hotel, with their family and Yo-Yo in the background and fireworks exploding into thousands of flaming bits in front of them. Brandi keeps saying, "I love you, Dad," and he keeps saying, "I know."

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 4.23.56 PM.png4) Eli: When Brandi finally does convince her dad to return an "I love you too," I got the fuzzies.

5) Eli: Let's also talk about the fact that throughout the entire trip, Yolanda's been working as a middleman between Brandi and her dad. And girl is persuasive. I started to fantasize about a spin-off, Yolanda Foster: Hostage Negotiation. Yolanda in a light teal bulletproof vest with a loudspeaker, telling bank robbers memories of Holland: "In Holland we were very poor.  But we would never rob a bank, we would simply go and pick tulips, and flatten them, and draw numbers on them, and pretend they were money.  And we would exchange the tulips for hugs.  Then we would return to the house for a traditional Holland dinner of tulip casserole.  Now put down that pesky AK-47 and let those hostages go!" 100% success rate.

6) Carey: I imagine Yolanda uses those same negotiation tactics with her husband, David. I can see him sitting at their kitchen island, reading the paper, when Yolanda embraces him from behind. "David, my love," she whispers, "Do you see the lemon trees? I want there to be more of them, my love." "More of them," he repeats, his eyes in a wide daze. "Yes, my love," Yo coos back. "I want its roots to spread through this house, and all of the houses in all of the lands. I want its branches to grow taller than this roof and all of the roofs; I want its branches to block the sun." David nods, gripping the handle of his coffee mug that says "David Foster" on the side.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 4.23.16 PM.png7) Eli: Joyce heads to a gun range and after relating a fairly chilling story about an attempted home invasion, proceeds to do some target practice with her hubby while he yells in his thick accent, "NOW WE ARE TALKING!"  But despite how genuinely terrifying the home invasion story was, don't let that fool you into thinking that this was a serious activity. Joyce proceeds to violate so many gun range safety procedures that we end up less with the gun range scene from Silence of the Lambs and closer to the one from Super Troopers. At any point I expected Yakety Sax to start playing and for Joyce to accidentally wound everyone at the range before shrugging. The scene ends with a shot of their instructor's face and we watch as his faith in the Second Amendment disappears.

8) Carey: Thank God we got to see Joyce shoot a gun! Felt like the entire season, and the past hundred years or so, had been building up to THIS moment.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 4.24.06 PM.png9) Eli: Empowered by her recent bout with a paper cutout, Joyce decides it would be good for all the girlz to take a self-defense class. I secretly hope, however, this is just a plan by the producers to spice up the next inevitable physical altercation in the series. This way, whenever the Brandi/Joyce scuffle does go down -- most likely at a charity event for bipolar hedgehogs -- we'll get to at least see a sleeper hold or two. 

10) Carey: I feel like when this show doesn't really know what to do to bring all the women together, they force them to go to some weird gym in Hollywood and take an exercise class of some kind together. I can picture the producers sitting in a meeting, and saying: "Oh, I don't know what we should this episode... maybe go-kart racing?" "No..." "I guess...just have them go take a self-defense class." "Yes! A self defense class. That's good and, like, empowering, you know?" "Yeah, go Google it."

Damien Jurado Gets Extraterrestrial With "Silver Timothy"


Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, the eleventh album by inveterate indie-mystic Damien Jurado, is out today. "Silver Timothy," the stony, Zombies-meets-Dungen lead single, is presented here as a mysterious vignette set among the vast, sun-baked mesas of...Central Oregon? Who knew? Check it out (make sure you catch the possible E.T. cameo at the end), and don't miss Jurado's Bowery Ballroom show this Friday.

Lena Dunham Will Help You Sell Your Couch on Craigslist


craigsad.pngcouchtweet.pnglenacouchretweet.pngA Broooklyn man named Mickey Dwyer was trying to sell his couch on Craigslist. A "beautiful, sexy, REAL and relatable couch.....Basically the Lena Dunham of couches." He took to twitter to ask Lena for help about getting the word out and, like the good used furniture-pushing samaritan she apparently is, she re-tweeted it. We hope that couch finds itself a good home and that it will one day be the voice, nay -- a voice -- of the $800 Macy's couch generation. [Defamer]

In other news, Judy Blume and Lena Dunham talk sex and books in a new interview.

fortunatocastro_quickcheckout.jpgThe Cut has an interesting photo series by artist Fortunato Castro who transformed himself into his mother and recreated scenes from her life as part of his senior thesis at Cooper Union. 

VFILES' cuckoo street style show, LisaTV, is back with a new segment on gay rodeos.

Lindsay Lohan is starring in and producing a new psychological thriller. We're sure it'll be great...

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 5.25.55 PM.pngMiley Cyrus wears pasties and Billy Bob teeth in this new promo for her MTV Unplugged episode.

A UK bartender tried to place former British Prime Minister Tony Blair under citizen's arrest.


Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 5.15.39 PM.pngPussy Riot will perform at the Barclays Center on February 5th as part of Amnesty International's Human Rights concert. They'll join The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara and more.

Feeling fancy? Tomorrow night marks the return of New York City Ballet's Jewels. The three-part ballet features Balanchine's interpretation of emeralds, rubies, and diamonds.

The Bushwick Book Club celebrates their 5-year anniversary with a Kurt Vonnegut-themed show tonight.

Catch Macaulay Culkin's Velvet Underground cover band, The Pizza Underground, at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar this Friday.

Michelle Obama Photobombing the Miami Heat = Amazing

WSM7.gif Aaaaand here's Michelle Obama photobombing Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat with the help of LeBron James and generally being the best. Dwayne Wade's reaction is everything.  [DailyDot]


Priorities. [Reddit]

Alison is a good friend. [TastefullyOffensive]

Here's a video of female capuchin monkeys in Brazil throwing rocks at boy monkeys they want to do it with. Can relate. [TastefullyOffensive]

WSNK.jpgPaper book club? [Mlkshk]

tumblr_mzbf9g9xLc1qelyl4o1_500.gifFree desktop background. [Coinfarts]

The men of Full House are now doing yogurt commercials, which isn't even the depressing part -- the depressing part is that you are now old enough to be in the serious yogurt consumer ad demographic. Keep those bones strong with A.M. calcium chews and do hip stretches while watching your "programs" nightly, aging millennials. [PopCultureBrain]

tumblr_mtzq2pMgYp1r6oew5o1_250.gifGPOY. [FYouNoFMe]

Utopia or Failed Vision? Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti

Jay Carroll is a photographer and writer whose travels can be found at @onetrippass. Originally from New England, He is currently based in San Francisco where he works as the Global Brand Concept Designer for Levi's.

carrol_1.jpgLast winter, me, my girl and our dog Lefty piled into our truck and drove the 14 hours from San Francisco to Arcosanti, the late Italian architect Paolo Soleri's experimental "arcology" town in the middle of the Arizona desert. I was there to shoot the lookbook for Rene Holguin's L.A.-based, Western-inspired line RTH. Soleri's vision was for architecture and ecology to work harmoniously to support a central community. The tiered labyrinth of massive half-domes and huge archways, where repetitive shapes both adorn the colorful walls and function as integral parts of the structures, is home to casting and ceramic studios (where residents make their famous wind bells), gardens and kitchens, amphitheaters, community and living spaces.

carroll_3.jpgcarroll_2.jpgWe met up with a group of friends and posted up in the Sky Suite, a small apartment set atop the entire compound. From the deck we could access the top of the main arch, which had 360-degree views of the surrounding mesas and mountain ranges. Over the course of a week, we made friends with the people living there; some of the residents were only visiting for a short time to learn about Soleri's ideas and work on various projects. Others were there for the long haul, either believing wholeheartedly in that world, or escaping something on the outside. Arcosanti is like no other place I'd ever been before. It felt like a half-realized '70s vision of the future, somewhat abandoned, transient and wild. Finished or not, the intent of its idea can be found in the people living there, and I often find myself longing for its unique spirit of community.


Israel Exposed: Learning from the Band Vaadat Charigim

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 3.12.44 PM.png(Photo by Goni Riskin)

You don't need to speak Hebrew in order to understand The World is Well Lost, the debut album by Tel Aviv trio Vaadat Charigim; the roaring guitars, subdued vocals, and eerie segues evoke a world careening toward its own destruction, populated by everyday people who still manage to think about clothes, art, and love. And the fact that Spin and Pitchfork have already featured songs from the album suggests that American listeners are getting the message.

Singer and guitarist Juval Haring (who clued us in to the Tel Aviv music and nightlife scene in "No Sleep 'Til Tel Aviv") was nice enough to walk us through the album's ravaged landscapes, translating the occasional line and adding some backstory along the way. Skyping from Tel Aviv, Haring also shed some light on the group's decision to sing in Hebrew, the unique challenges Israeli bands face, and his years as a Berlin expat and international road dog. So cue up the album, out now, and follow along.

"Odisea" (Odyssey): This is the most post-apocalyptic song on the record. It sets the tone for the rest. It goes over certain monuments in the city of Tel Aviv -- Dizengoff Center (a famous shopping center from the eighties), Tachana Merkazit (central station) -- and envisions them destroyed and asks questions like, "What will I wear in the next war? What's fashion going to be like?" It also suggests that we should "live today like it were yesterday," if all we have to look forward to is "dying in a blast wave." The chorus lyrics say "Ana ana ana ana nashki oti besof haolam," which means, "Please please please please kiss me at the end of the world."

"Kezef Al Hamayim" (Sea Foam): There's a big feeling in Israel that things are temporary. Even though from the outside we seem very sure of ourselves and our presence here and everything, the youth -- and also my parents' generation -- are slowly losing that belief that something could last forever or last in the ideal way that we saw it before. Sea foam is an image of something that disappears slowly, and the song is about fleeting things, fleeting people.

"Lehitorer Velo Lada'at" (Waking Up and Not Knowing What's Wrong): It's about waking up and not knowing where you are, what time is it, what day it is. Feeling lost.

"Ze Beseder Lefahed" (It's Okay to Be Afraid): A conversation between a guy and a girl -- "Let's become nothing together; let's run away and disappear." I've had that kind of conflict living in Berlin -- it was like leaving the real world here in Israel and moving to a place that's safe for young people to not do anything or do whatever they dream. It's kind of like disappearing, in a way.

"Haolam Avad Mizman" (The World is Well Lost): This is kind of like "the hit" in Israel. [Laughs.] The world is well lost but let's lie on the beach and have fun and fall in love because it doesn't matter. We can just feel whatever we want.

"Ein Nehama Ladoachim" (There is No Comfort for the Fading): That song is kind of about growing up as a promoter in Tel Aviv and watching the scene changing and realizing it's not the same as when I was young -- but maybe it is and I'm just older and maybe I don't know anything. I used to organize a lot of shows on rooftops and that disappeared. And we don't have basement shows like they do in the States. We have bomb shelters, but we don't have basements.

"Kmo Lahzor Habaita" (Like Going Home): It's about living in a city and you love living there but you come from the suburbs, which sucked when you were young, but when you go back, you get sad for some reason. I like my life in Tel Aviv and I really don't like the suburb I come from. But then again, maybe I just don't like thinking about myself when I was there or thinking about or where I am now. The gap between the two is kind of terrifying.

"Mahshefot" (Witches): This is a reference to a band that used to be in Israel. It was a phenomenal girl band. I always try to reference Hebrew rock, you know? So that was a song about the lead singer.

Tell me about the decision to exclusively sing in Hebrew.

There's been 10 years -- if not more -- of bands singing in English and trying to mirror the trends that are happening overseas. I wanted to make a record that hasn't been made in Israel in a long time -- a UK-sounding Hebrew rock album. I wanted to do a new-sounding Israeli record, for Israeli people, who know the history.

What's your music background?

I had a Nirvana band when I was 15-16 years old called Delirious. Then I had a post-rock band that actually did pretty well -- just like Vaadat Charigim's doing pretty well (you don't sell anything but you get appreciation). And I toured the States with this band, Lebanon, at least four times. Then I had TV Buddhas. I went from having total financial failure since tours are totally expensive if you don't come from the States, to touring with my wife, Mickey Triest, as a duo in Europe after realizing that they actually pay money there. And then we just stayed in Berlin and toured and the money from shows was the money we ate from. That went on for four years. And then about two years ago I started Vaadat Charigim when the touring became too much for TV Buddhas. [Mickey and I] were suffering as a couple as well. We didn't have day jobs because we couldn't speak German.  I didn't expect to go overseas with a Hebrew project like Vaadat Charigim but we've gotten good reviews, press that I didn't get with any other project I had in English, and I'm really considering getting back on the horse. I'm addicted to it, as you can see.

Do Israeli bands ever tour the Arab world?

To tour the Arab world would be amazing. We could just go to Egypt or Jordan, but we couldn't play there. 

Why not?

It feels dangerous. "Hi, we're from Israel," you know? "Some of you probably don't like us." I'm not generalizing, but we don't have the best image there.

You've played New York before, and you'll be here again after South by Southwest. Any NYC stuff you're looking forward to?

I know a lot of cool people in New York, like this band Shellshag. I really enjoyed Don Pedro's, if that's still around. I really like New York. I lived there for three years when I was little. We lived in the Bronx, in this monster apartment building complex. I tried looking for it once, but I got depressed driving around the Bronx.

Vaadat Charigim will play Pianos on March 23rd. The World is Well Lost is available here.

Jemima Kirke, Artist

jemima_painting3.jpegHeads up San Francisco art freaks: Girls' Jemima Kirke is having a solo show at Fouladi Projects this March, featuring oil portraits of friends and family along with a self-portrait (above) or two. We may have rolled our eyes when Jessa started painting after getting hitched to Thomas-John but as for Jemima, we're digging the RISD alum's work. (And don't forget she comes from a prodigiously artistic fam -- dad Simon is the drummer for Bad Company, mom Lorraine owns West Village vintage boutique Geminola, and sisters Domino and Lola are a musician and an actress, respectively.) Check out Jemima's pieces featured in the show above and below.

Kirke's show runs from March 21-May 10; Fouladi Projects is located at 1803 Market, San Francisco, CA  



Here's a Preview of Chris Cunningham's Robot Sex-Free Warpaint Documentary


Chris Cunningham, the director of Bjork's robo-sexual "All is Full of Love" and those nightmarish Aphex Twin videos, put together this preview to his forthcoming Warpaint documentary. No release date has been announced for the film, but Warpaint's new, self-titled album came out yesterday -- ample time for a bruising Pitchfork review and a rave from Chvrches frontwoman Lauren Mayberry via The Talkhouse. Here, Cunningham layers his own mix of the song "Love is to Die" over some serene shots of the band in the studio and the desert. Can't say I miss those marauding hell-children.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Disguised Himself as a Gold's Gym Employee


Arnold Schwarzenegger put on a fake mustache and wig and pretended to be a Gold's Gym employee named Barry Kleiner. Most people didn't recognize him but a few people did and their reactions are pretty great. The video was part of a promo in support of charitable organization After-School All-Stars. [via Hyper Vocal]

Yeah Yeah from Sandlot wants you to have a spray tan party in this Old Spice commercial. [via YouTube]

tumblr_molw2meTbc1rby04wo1_500.gifOur Thursday morning anthem. [via Afternoon Snooze Button]

"Not Another Sundance Movie" combines all of your favorite (and by favorite we mean most eye roll-y and overused) indie movie tropes. The title cards are genius. [via Uproxx]

Here's a clip of a New Jersey reporter doing a segment on the weather when she's video bombed by an awesome dude playing air guitar. [via Tastefully Offensive]

tumblr_mzm5c1vIOk1rby04wo1_500.gifEternal life motto. [via Rats Off]

Sick of Rob Ford yet? No? Us neither! Here's a dancehall remix of some recent Ford shenanigans c/o Animal New York.

Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 7.40.29 AM.pngScreen shot 2014-01-23 at 7.40.48 AM.pngThese are the only valentines we'd like to get this year. [via Laughter Key]

Someone made a brilliant supercut of Noel Gallagher just ripping into Oasis' old videos. He says things like "Why was I dressed like that? I look like fucking Columbo" and "I have to say about all these videos: if you needed four guys to walk around in slow motion, we were the best at that." [via Rolling Stone]

Cool Comix: Wendy -- Art Girl On the Go!

Walter Scott is a Vancouver-based sculptor, comic artist and designer. His comic series Wendy is the ongoing narrative of a sassy urban protagonist, whose dreams of art stardom are perpetually derailed by the temptations of punk music, drugs, alcohol, parties and boys. For more Wendy stories, go to wendycore.tumblr.com.


Lorde's the Latest: Rockers' T-Shirt Tributes


In a thoughtful move, Lorde took advantage of her Rolling Stone cover shoot to pay tribute to those legendary garage-punkers, the Cramps. I have no doubt that, upon the fifth anniversary of singer Lux Interior's death, on Feb 4th, Lorde will post a tender acoustic rendition of "Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?"

Meanwhile, here are a few other rock stars who've used their torsos to plug relatively obscure bands.

tumblr_mga3waqPHw1qz9qooo1_1280.jpgI guess his CORPORATE MAGAZINES STILL SUCK shirt was in the wash that day. Circa Nevermind, Kurt Cobain brought mainstream visibility to Daniel Johnston, with an ensuing bidding war in which the most vehement A&R guy, according to Johnston, was Satan.

JnapX.jpgA couple decades later, Cobain's old drummer played on the first Tenacious D album, and wore his Sunno))) shirt for this awesome photo. (Ignore the pentagram, Daniel.)

Green_Day_Tilt.pngHow many teenaged hearts lurched in their brittle rib cages when Green Day, who until recently had been a goofy band on an East Bay punk label, used the video for their gonzo hit "Longview" to plug Tilt, their old label-mates? Mind you, this was 1994; the fact that Green Day was suddenly playing stadiums, and you could still see Tilt at your local teen center, was really too much to process.

duff-misfits.jpgDuff McKagen's Crimson Ghost shirt must've had head shops all over the country scrambling to bulk up on Misfits stock -- which saw much better sales than Axl's "Shit Happens" shirt.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.43.31 PM.pngNice: the super smooth, Grammy-winning Frank Ocean repping the super brutal, hair-whipping Trash Talk. Sonic differences aside, the last Trash Talk album came out on the Ocean-affiliated Odd Future Records. And then there was the time Ocean and some fellow Odd Futurists really raised the aggro-bar at a Trash Talk show in New York.

Former Fashion Fund Contestant, Fallon's Dana Lorenz, Recaps Episode 1

danalorenzfashionfund.jpgLast night Ovation debuted its new season of its formerly online-only series Fashion Fund, in which 10 designers compete to be named Fashion Fund Designer of the Year by Vogue and the CFDA -- an award that comes with $300,000 and a one-year mentorship from major fashion bigwigs. We asked Fallon designer Dana Lorenz, a former Fashion Fund contestant herself, to recap the series. (That's her to the left. Hi Dana!) Tune in to Papermag every Thursday for her thoughts on last night's episode.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.22.00 PM.pngLast night Ovation aired the series premiere of Fashion Fund, which chronicles the process of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund. As a Fashion Fund finalist from 2011, I am supremely excited to see what this season and group has in store. Despite that fact that I was a guest at the winners dinner and I already know the results (as do most people with access to the Internet), I will be learning about all of these brands, save a couple, for the first time.

First comes the portfolio drop-offs at the CFDA headquarters. Ironically, while watching last night, I was laid out on the sofa with a bit of food poisoning and that knotted stomach brought back memories of the anxiety I felt as a prospective finalist at that same moment. My "book" took months to create, cost a down payment on a summer home upstate, and was created by the same team who used to design for Visionaire. This is your LIFE'S DREAM, so I wouldn't have done it any other way. You birth this "baby" of your company that has all your hopes and dreams and DNA wrapped in a prim, luxe package and hand it over to a girl that brings it over to a pile of 49 other "babies."  It's nerve-wracking, but totally exhilarating.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.22.32 PM.png Misha Nonoo drops off her portfolio.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.31.23 PM.pngThe judges deliberate.

Cut to the selection process where the judges (who include Anna Wintour, Diane Von Furstenberg, Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing, J.Crew's Jenna Lyons and Steven Kolb of the CFDA) fight for their favorites. Every season (three have been filmed) there are designers that don't get selected but are discussed on film, and sometimes it's not cute. In fact, sometimes it's brutal. But if these designers are watching they are getting the best advice in the business. "Lacking vision" = million dollar advice. "Looks like other people's stuff" = million dollar advice.  If you are a kid in Ohio watching this show hoping to one day become a fashion designer... watch, listen, absorb. This is million dollar advice.

Then there's the pivotal call from Steven Kolb. Steven you are so sly!  Occasionally working the "dramatic pause," he wracked the nerves of some of the designers on the other end of the line wondering if it was good news or bad. By the way, if you are called, you are in, and it is a very profound moment. You know from that moment on your career has taken a dramatic and unbelievable turn -- and that your life is theirs until November.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.18.02 PM.pngPublic school get "the call."

Early favorites:

Public School -- These guys ooze cool, and you can just imagine them taking the same path to success as a Rag and Bone.  Designers always talk about their "brand" early on, sometimes prematurely.  I can see a "brand" here.

Marc Alary Jewelry -- With a new jewelry designer emerging around every corner, this guy has his own voice.  His designs feel, super original and he seems to come from a very honest place about his work.  In an industry that tends to favor the ready-to-wear designer, I know that in order to succeed he needs the support.  I like him, we'll see.

Basquiat...Coming to An E-Store Near You

Neff_Basquait_3.pngAsk and ye shall receive.

California streetwear brand Neff has a new collection out this week featuring works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and, improbably, the collaboration with the late artist's estate began after the founder and CEO, Shaun Neff, sent an email to an address he found on Google.

Explains Neff:

"I literally googled the 'Basquiat estate' because I am such a fan and sent an email to the contact on the website.  One week later I got a phone call and we were launching a collab."
The collection includes t-shirts, long sleeves and hoodies featuring some of Basquiat's paintings like Jersey Joe Walcott or Sugar Ray Robinson. And, although this capsule arrives on the heels of the collaboration Uniqlo did last year, there's a sense of simpatico between Basquiat's art work and streetwear, particularly as seen in the brand's lookbook, below. Every item in the collection retails for less than $40 and you can find it HERE

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 12.45.20 PM.png

Tommie Sunshine Exclusive DJ Mix -- "Polar Vortex"

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 3.26.59 PM.png
On this otherwise frigid Thursday, let Tommie Sunshine whisk your eardrums off to Ibiza with his new "Polar Vortex" DJ mix, featuring EDM tracks by David Guetta, Disco Fries and Afro Bros, an unreleased song by Afrojack ("Musician") and a few bootlegs from Sunshine himself.

"I wanted to put something together that was representative of where music is at the moment," Sunshine says of the mix. "['Polar Vortex'] is proper EDM. It's edging towards the sound you hear at festivals. These days, that's what's ringing my bell."

On the subject of EDM, Sunshine adds, "I'm all for [EDM] going as mainstream as it can. It's gonna go so much more mainstream. People think, 'Yeah, it's gotten so [big]' but it hasn't even started. It's still a niche thing." Looking ahead, the producer predicts that "[EDM] is gonna get blown out and played out but it's gonna take years for that to happen so now is the best time to be a music lover, to be a DJ, to be a producer. I think this summer in particular is going to be the most outrageous time for music. And the best part is we've somehow sold America on the most subversive subculture of the last twenty years. They've made EDM into popular culture when in reality, it's a party culture, a drug culture, it's left-of-center."

And for any EDM #haters, Sunshine has this: "Anybody who just poo poos [EDM] or pushes it aside is just missing the party."

So come join the party and listen to "Polar Vortex," below.

1) Afro Bros - Bass On Steroids
2) Wax Motif & Neoteric - Das Machines (Botnek Remix)
3) DVBBS & VINAI - Raveology
4) Disco Fries - Murika (Tommie Sunshine & Live City Remix)
5) Afrojack - Musician
6) Tommie Sunshine & Deorro - Supa Hot Fiya
7) Hard Rock Sofa vs. Eva Shaw - Get Down
8) Wiwek - Salute
9) David Guetta & GLOWINTHEDARK vs. Yves V - Manga Party (Tommie Sunshine Bootleg)
10) Yeah Yeah Yeahs, A-Trak - Heads Will Roll (Jewelz & Scott Sparks Bootleg)
11) Dubvision & Firebeatz - Rockin
12) Bassjackers - Crackin (Martin Garrix Edit)
13) Bart Claessen - Chimaera (ACTI Remix)

Keep an eye out for a new single by Sunshine this March, which will be the first of seven singles released via Ultra throughout the year.

F-Yeah: Disclosure & Mary J. Blige Team Up For "F For You"


As recounted in a 2011 Paper cover story, Mary J. Blige's reign as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul began when she was a 21 year-old high school dropout from Yonkers. So it's pretty apt that she would team up with Disclosure, the duo of London-adjacent brothers whose Gramminated debut, 2013's Settle, came out when younger brother Howard Lawrence was nineteen. Here, the Lawrence bros. take one of their videos from last year, draw all over it and then step back while Blige takes it to a whole new level.

Chloe Sevigny Shoots to Kill in New Crime Drama


Chloë Sevigny stars as a rogue cop in A&E's new crime drama, Those Who Kill. And, judging by its new trailer, the show seems like a pretty straightforward cop drama: there's plenty of murder, a suspenseful score, and Chloë Sevigny looking off into the distance with what we'd like to officially term 'cop drama crazy eyes.' Almost every variation of CDCE can be spotted in the under-three minute clip (off into the distance, in the shadows, while staring at an old photograph), and we can picture Drew Droege parodying this shiz in 3-2-1... But to be real, we're pretty much always down to watch Chloë Sevigny do anything, especially while she's carrying a gun.

Watch This 8-Year-Old Boy Shut it the Hell Down on India's Got Talent


Meet 8-year-old Akshat Singh, your new dance-piration (sorry cool guy disco sunglasses boy, you've been replaced). Here's Akshat on India's Got Talent being the best and Just. Owning. It.. [Uproxx]

Ladies and gentleman the 26 most depressing seconds ever on MSNBC: Andrea Mitcell interrupting former California congresswoman Jane Harman discussing the NSA to cut to breaking Justin Beiber arrest news. [Reddit]

All of Larry David's insults from Curb Your Enthusiasm in one supercut. We're taking "you're much, much stupid" for ourselves. [Uproxx]

Free v-tine! [Hipstercarlos]

leotumblr_mzq7pgFgGU1rhxsypo5_500.pngAnother free v-tine! Well I never, Leo! [LaughterKey]

BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling star in this faux snooty French film-meets-The Office trailer for Novak's new book, One More Thing. [Heeb]

Further proof that border collies are the scary-smartest dogs around: Here's a video of border collie named Bieber [no comment] learning the name of a new toy in under 1 minute. [TastefullyOffensive]

WUM0.jpgWould you like me to seduce you? [Mlkshk]

sexcookbooktumblr_mywdavySnC1rn9p6qo1_500.jpgTitle just flows off the tongue. [TastefullyOffensive]


See ya, suckers. [Ratsoff]

Chef Dan Silverman On Power Meals and Screwing Up Roast Chicken

Dan Silverman_Credit Cameron Nielson.jpgChef Dan Silverman is heading up the kitchen at the newly reopened Regency Bar & Grill inside Park Avenue's totally renovated Loews Regency Hotel. Previously at Andre Balazs's Standard Grill, here he's partnering with Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group's Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli. Silverman took a break between breakfast and lunch to talk to us about power dining and how you can grill a chicken perfectly 15 times and still not know how to do it right.

One of the things you're famous for is serving power lunches at Lever House whereas The Regency is famous for power breakfasts. How different is that for you?

Hopefully we're going to be doing power lunches here, too.

And power dinners?

That is the goal.

And power drinks in the new Lobby Lounge?

We're in the process of rolling out some fun bar food. We have powerful drinks.

How early are you getting to work?

I'm usually here overseeing breakfast by 7:30 or 8. Power brokers are up early. I like to stay through dinner service but my body can't take it, being here till 11 at night. I'm trying to run a marathon, not a sprint.

I read in Crain's that some of your breakfast regulars want the same cereal -- Larry King likes Honey Nut Cheerios and another man likes plain Cheerios. Have you been stocking up on it?

That is part of the learning curve for us but yes, a fair amount of cereal.

Spike Lee has already returned to have breakfast there. Al Sharpton used to be another regular. Has he been in yet?

Yes, I've heard that but I'm not the person to talk to about it.

You're not out there working the tables?

I'm trying to make sure the plates that hit the tables all have what they want on them. Maybe at some point I'll be able to get out there and shake hands and kiss babies.

Did you have trouble finding enough good line cooks? I keep hearing there's a critical shortage.

It's not a new thing but the shortage is very, very apparent. There's a finite number of good cooks, which hasn't changed, but the number of restaurants opening has gone up. Television and the Internet have made our profession look like 'overnight success story' people. People go into this business now with expectations that aren't realistic. I always tell them this business is about learning from an endless series of mistakes. It's hard work and it's repetitive. I don't know that people have the patience for it anymore. Everywhere I've worked lately no one wants to spend the time to learn.

The way the media presents the job it looks like immediate gratification and creativity.

Look, some of the blogs and shows are interesting and informative but I say if you make a grilled chicken my way 15 times perfectly you still don't know how to do it because you haven't screwed it up yet. There can be a variation in the chicken, in the temperature in the kitchen, and just working through the changes of the seasons. You figure out where you went wrong, admit it and correct it and then repeat over and over.

Last year I interviewed Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari and he called you 'an organizational mastermind.' Are you like that at home?

Absolutely not. My wife says, 'It's like there are two of you. At work you're making lists and crossing things off and you come home and do nothing.' I just say, 'Sorry, honey!'

The Regency Bar & Grill at Loews Regency Hotel, 540 Park Ave., 212-339-4050